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Links 30/11/2019: Redox Milestone, Wine 4.21, Qt Creator 4.11 RC

  • GNU/Linux

    • Systemd 244 Released With New Init System Features For Black Friday

      Systemd has a present for you with a new release that comes bearing more features for this Linux init system.

    • Black Friday 2019 Laptop Specials

      It’s Black Friday! Get 10% off the base Librem 13 v4 and Librem 15 v4 laptops. If you’re looking for added security choose a Pureboot bundle or our anti-interdiction services from the firmware drop-down on the configuration page. Shipping is on us too! We offer free international shipping to pretty much anywhere in the world.

    • Black Friday 2019: Best Chromebook deals

      The best Chromebooks, as well as many others, are available for discounted prices.

    • The best Linux gifts for 2019

      I love Linux. It's a great operating system that gives me both power and far more privacy than any of its rivals. And it's fun! Here are some gift suggestions to help give your Linux-using friends and family members a happy holiday season.

    • Holiday gift guide: Books for the learner, explorer, or tinkerer on your list

      It is my pleasure to introduce's selection of books that would make excellent holiday gift ideas. We hope you find them interesting items to give as gifts this holiday season or to add to your own holiday wishlist. Each book exhibits qualities that make them excellent gifts for open source enthusiasts, as they all encourage learning, exploring, and tinkering.

    • Redox (UNIX-Like)

      • Real hardware breakthroughs, and focusing on rustc

        After the addition of the NVMe driver a couple months ago, I have been running Redox OS permanently (from an install to disk) on a System76 Galago Pro (galp3-c), with System76 Open Firmware as well as the un-announced, in-development, GPLv3 System76 EC firmware . This particular hardware has full support for the keyboard, touchpad, storage, and ethernet, making it easy to use with Redox.

        This particular machine has had a debugging port soldered on, using the unused CEC pin of the HDMI port as RX, and then a custom HDMI to USB serial cable for closed-chassis debug. Now I can get serial output from the board, using the Intel LPSS UART on the PCH, which is supported in this commit to the kernel, and an earlier commit fixing memory-mapped serial ports. This has allowed for easier debugging of the kernel and drivers.

        I am fairly satisfied with how things are going, and will continue to focus on running a permanently installed Redox system. My work on real hardware has improved drivers and services, added HiDPI support to a number of applications, and spawned the creation of new projects such as pkgar to make it easier to install Redox from a live disk.

        It has also become easier than ever to cross-compile for Redox, with the redoxer tool which can build, run, and test using commands similar to cargo. It automatically manages a Redox toolchain and can run executables and tests for Redox inside of a container on demand.

        However, a long-standing issue (the longstanding issue?) of Redox OS has been this: To allow the compilation of Rust binaries on Redox OS.

      • Real hardware breakthroughs, and focusing on rustc

        On the Redox site, creator Jeremy Soller gives an update on the Unix-like operating system written in Rust.

      • After four years, Rust-based Redox OS is nearly self-hosting

        The Redox OS, written in Rust and currently under development, is only "a few months of work away" from self-hosting, meaning that the Rustc compiler would run on Redox itself, according to its creator Jeremy Soller.

        Soller, who is also a principal engineer at the Linux hardware company System76, based in Denver, USA, says that he is now running Redox OS permanently on one of his company's laptops, with "full support for the keyboard, touchpad, storage and Ethernet".

        Soller says that a long-standing issue has been "to allow the compilation of Rust binaries on Redox OS".

      • Redox OS will soon permanently run rustc, the compiler for the Rust programming language, says Redox creator Jeremy Soller

        Two days ago, Jeremy Soller, the Redox OS BDFL (Benevolent dictator for life) shared recent developments in Redox which is a Unix-like operating system written in Rust. The Redox OS team is pretty close to running rustc, the compiler for the Rust programming language on Redox. However, dynamic libraries are a remaining area that needs to be improved.

    • Server

      • Life as a Linux system administrator

        Linux system administration is a job. It can be fun, frustrating, mentally challenging, tedious, and often a great source of accomplishment and an equally great source of burnout. That is to say, it's a job like any other with good days and with bad. Like most system administrators, I have found a balance that works for me. I perform my regular duties with varying levels of automation and manual manipulation and I also do a fair amount of research, which usually ends up as articles. There are two questions I'm going to answer for you in this article. The first is, "How does one become a system administrator?," and second, "What does a Linux system administrator do?".


        After I left the Desktop support group, I moved on to Windows domain administration. I installed a Red Hat Linux 4.0 system that I also hid under my desk from prying eyes. I also installed Samba on it to fool network probes and my annoying team leader who once asked, "What is that Linux server doing for us?" My answer was, "It isn't doing anything for us, but it's doing a lot for me. I use it for research." I kept the Red Hat Linux system until I moved to a different group. Linux was still not allowed on the network. I still didn't care. Yes, I was defiant and terrible but I was also not going to sit around messing with Windows 3.11 and Windows 95 while the rest of the world embraced Linux.

      • IBM

        • Raytheon Leans on Red Hat to Advance DevSecOps

          Jon Check, senior director for cyber protection solutions for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said Raytheon has developed a set of DevSecOps practices for organizations building applications deployed in highly secure environments, involving government contracts.

          Raytheon and these customers have been challenged by a chronic shortage of IT professionals with the appropriate level of clearance to work on these classified projects. To overcome that issue, Check said Raytheon developed what it describes as a “code low, deploy high” approach to DevSecOps. Developers who lack security clearances can still build applications; however, those applications can only be deployed by IT professionals having the appropriate security clearance.

          In addition, Check said Raytheon has developed integrations between its DevSecOps framework and various IT tools based on the ITIL framework, which so many IT operations teams depend on to foster collaboration across the application development and deployment process. For example, he said, whenever code gets checked into a repository, an alert can be sent to an IT service management application from ServiceNow.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.4 Gets First Point Release, It's Now Ready for Mass Deployments

        Announced by Linus Torvalds on November 24th, the Linux 5.4 kernel series is the latest and most advanced kernel branch that GNU/Linux users can install on their favorite distributions. It ships with the long-anticipated support for Microsoft's exFAT file system, a new highly-anticipated "lockdown" security feature, and many hardware improvements.

        Additionally, Linux kernel 5.4 brings improved app memory management on Android, a new high-performance virtio driver called virtio-fs, which can be used for sharing files between hosts and guests, dm-clone for live cloning of block devices, a new security feature called fs-verity for detecting file tampering, as well as many improvements for AMD GPUs and APUs.

      • USB Updates In Linux 5.5 Help Intel Ice Lake, NVIDIA Xavier + More - But No USB 4.0 Yet

        Earlier this week as part of his series of pull requests, Greg Kroah-Hartman has submitted the USB subsystem updates for the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel.

      • The Linux Kernel Disabling HPET For More Platforms - Including Ice Lake

        Reported on earlier this month is the decision by Linux kernel developers to disable HPET for Intel Coffee Lake systems. The High Precision Event Timer was being disabled since on some Coffee Lake systems at least this timer skews when entering the PC10 power state and that makes the time-stamp counter unstable.

        This is believed to be a firmware issue rather than a hardware problem, but the best course of action was just disabling HPET for Coffee Lake systems to avoid the problem. Fortunately, the Linux kernel has other supported clock sources besides HPET and in fact TSC is preferred over it due to lower overhead.

      • The Allwinner "Cedrus" Video Decoder Supports H.265 On Linux 5.5

        The Cedrus video decode driver developed by Bootlin after successful crowdfunding for creating an open-source Linux video decoder for Allwinner SoCs now has H.265 support!

        Cedrus was merged back in Linux 4.20 after raising over thirty-six thousand dollars from crowdfunding to have an intern work on the project. Initially it supported the Allwinner A10/A13/A20/A33/R8/R16 SoCs and supported MPEG-2 and H.264 for video decoding. H.265/HEVC support was in the works but only with Linux 5.5 is now completely wired up.

      • EXT4 For Linux 5.5 Sees New Improvements For This Mature File-System

        While EXT4 is the most common Linux file-system among distributions and is quite mature at this stage, it does continue seeing noteworthy improvements every so often with new kernel releases. With Linux 5.5 there are more notable improvements on deck.

      • Linux 5.5 Brings Logitech G15 Driver, Better Windows Precision Touchpad Support

        The HID area of the kernel is always eventful when it comes to improving the input device support for newer hardware. With Linux 5.5 the HID story means a new Logitech driver and other enhancements.

      • The "Catch-All" Driver Subsystem Changes Sent In For Linux 5.5

        Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the char/misc changes earlier this week and were already merged for Linux 5.5.

        In the pull request Greg commented, "Here is the big set of char/misc and other driver patches for 5.5-rc1 Loads of different things in here, this feels like the catch-all of driver subsystems these days." Indeed, char/misc these days is a random smothering of work. There had been talk previously of spinning out portions like a proposed hardware accelerator subsystem but as it stands now no major splits to char/misc but it just continues increasing in scope.

      • System76 ACPI Coreboot Laptop Driver, Huawei Laptop Improvements Sent In For Linux 5.5

        Sent in on Thursday were the platform-drivers-x86 updates targeting the Linux 5.5 kernel.


        - The Huawei laptop driver for hotkeys and related functionality now supports newer models. The Huawei driver also now supports Fn-lock, battery charging thresholds, exposing additional information via DebugFS, and other improvements.

      • Graphics Stack

        • virtio gpu status and plans

          Time for a status update for virtio-gpu development, so lets go ...

          Before we begin: If you want follow development and discussions more closely head over to the virgl project at freedesktop gitlab. Git repos are there, most discussions are happening in gitlab issues.


          Little change to reduce image data copying. Currently resources have a guest and a host buffer, and there are transfer commands to copy data between the two. Shared mappings allow the host to use the guest buffer directly.

          On the guest side this is pretty simple, the guest only needs to inform the host that a shared mapping for the given resource -- so the host might see changes without explicit transfer commands -- is fine.

          On the host side this is a bit more involved. Qemu will create a dma-buf for the resource, using the udmabuf driver. Which in turn allows qemu create a linear mapping of the resource, even if it is scattered in guest memory. That way the resource can be used directly (i.e. a pixman image created for it, ...)

          Status: Almost ready to be submitted upstream.

        • VirtIO-GPU Working Towards Vulkan Support, Other Features For Graphics In VMs

          Linux virtualization developer Gerd Hoffmann laid out some of the VirtIO-GPU happenings. Among the features being pursued are shared mappings to reduce image data copying, blob resources, metadata query for querying host render capabilities/requirements, host memory support to implement coherent memory and other features, and then lastly is the Vulkan support. But it's still likely to be some time until the Vulkan VirtIO-GPU/Virgl support is ready for any end-user usage.

        • vkBasalt, the Vulkan post-processing layer has another new release with new effects

          Adding a little extra visual enhancement to games on Linux is getting more interesting, with the help of the Vulkan post-processing layer vkBasalt which has a new build up.

          Recently, they put up a new build enabling SMAA support and yesterday another new version was released to expand it even further.

          Available in version 0.2.1 is a new "Deband/Dithering" effect and you can now also change SMAA settings in the configuration file. You might also see it having less of a performance impact, as the settings are now "applied at pipeline creation". There's also been some changes to the Shader Directory and Config File, with both having multiple possible locations where they can rest to help with distribution specific packages.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 vs. Linux Performance On The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

        The new AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X is performing faster on Linux than Microsoft Windows 10. When carrying out more than 80 different tests on Windows 10 compared to five Linux distributions, Windows 10 was beat out by the open-source competition. However, the performance loss for Windows isn't as dramatic as we have seen out of earlier generations of Ryzen Threadripper HEDT workstations. Here are those benchmarks of Windows 10 compared to Ubuntu 19.10, CentOS 8, Clear Linux, Fedora Workstation 31, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

        This is our first cross-operating-system look at the Threadripper 3970X since it was released last week. All five tested Linux distributions installed fine when using the MCE workaround to boot. There were no other problems to report for hardware compatibility with this Zen 2 HEDT system on the different Linux distributions. The hardware used for all of this Windows/Linux testing was the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X at stock speeds, ASUS ROG ZENITH II EXTREME TRX40 motherboard, 4 x 16GB Corsair DDR4-3600MHz memory, 1TB Corsair Force MP600 NVMe SSD, Radeon RX 580 graphics, NZXT Kraken water cooling, and a Thermaltake Toughpower 1250 Watt power supply.

    • Applications

      • 4 best Linux password managers

        Password managers are very popular right now. There are so many of them that many people don’t know which one to use. If you are a Linux user and you’re looking for a way to manage your passwords, follow along as we discuss the 4 best Linux password managers!

      • Calibre e-Book Management Software Releases Version 4.5

        Calibre 4.5 e-book management software releases version 4.5 with bug fixes and enhancements.

        Calibre is a decade old excellent piece of software and must have app for e-book readers. This free and open-source app is loaded with features and it makes the app ideal for casual and expert users. You can nearly do anything related to e-book using this software.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - HTTP proxy configuration through DHCP.
          - Parameter block support in D3DX9.
          - A few more dlls converted to PE.
          - Various bug fixes.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        You will find documentation on

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

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.

      • The Wine 4.21 development release is now available

        They say Wine improves with age, well my puns certainly don't get any better so you can relax as this week I'm all out of juice for the release of Wine 4.21.

      • Wine 4.21 Released As Wine 5.0 Inches Closer

        Wine 4.21 is out today as the newest bi-weekly development release as the feature freeze approaches for the Wine 5.0 release in early 2020.

        Wine 4.21 brings with it 50 bug fixes ranging from various games to IE8 issues to other problems now resolved.

      • Wine-Staging 4.21 Released With New Patches Up For Testing

        Built off yesterday's release of Wine 4.21 is now a new Wine-Staging release that continues shipping over 800 patches on top of upstream Wine for offering an experimental/testing blend that often works out much better for gaming on Linux.

    • Games

      • Epic Games have awarded the FOSS game manager Lutris with an Epic MegaGrant

        The Lutris team announced yesterday that Epic Games have now awarded them a sum of money from the Epic MegaGrants pot.

        In the Patreon post, the Lutris team announced they've been awarded $25,000. While this might be quite a surprise to some, Tim Sweeney the CEO of Epic Games, did actually suggest they apply for it which we covered here back in April. To see it actually happen though, that's seriously awesome for the team building this free and open source game manager.

      • Euro Truck Simulator 2 heads to the Black Sea with the next DLC release on December 5

        Euro Truck Simulator 2 is expanding again, with the Road to the Black Sea expansion that's now been announced for release on December 5.

        Quite a big DLC giving you access to travel through and expand your company through Romania, Bulgaria and some of Turkey too with Istanbul. Coming with it are 11 new local company docks and industries, 20 new major cities and many smaller towns and settlements, a bunch of new unique 3D assets, local AI trains, trams, and traffic cars, border crossings with feature-rich border controls and more.

      • Atari VCS enters the final stages of pre-production as it heads towards mass production

        Ah yes, Atari VCS, the delayed Linux-powered gaming box that was crowdfunded on IndieGoGo. It's still a thing and the team seem to think it's all going well.

        In a new development update on the Atari VCS Medium account, the team posted a set of questions and answers from the COO Michael Arzt as to what's been happening recently. This follows on from the news back in October, where their system architect Rob Wyatt quit citing non-payment.

      • XWayland Multi-Buffering Lands To Avoid Stuttering / Tearing

        When X.Org Server 1.21 finally lands those relying upon XWayland for running various Linux games should find less (or ideally, none at all) stuttering or tearing.

        The recently reported work on XWayland improvements around game tearing and stuttering have landed! There was some improvements that landed earlier this month while now the multiple buffering support for xwl_window has landed. This is designed to avoid stuttering and eliminating tearing issues thanks to double/triple buffering.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt Creator 4.11 RC released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.11 RC!

          Find more details on what is new in Qt Creator 4.11 in the release blog post for the Beta, and in our change log. And seize this opportunity to test 4.11 and give us last minute feedback!

        • Aracele Torres: My participation in LaKademy 2019

          Hi, people! Here I am again telling about how I love this community and like to be part of every activity we organize. Almost two weeks ago we had a new edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, which we’ve been organizing in Brazil since 2012. This edition was held in Salvador, Bahia, for the second time (the 2015 edition was there too).

        • KDE Frameworks 6 sprint

          Last week I took a train to Berlin for the KDE Frameworks 6 kickoff sprint. A lot has been said about it by my fellow attendees already, so I won’t go into detail much.

          Work on Qt 6 has begun and with Qt 6 a version 6 of the KDE Frameworks is due. This will gives us the opportunity to clean up and redesign some of our API.

          Main goal for the sprint was to discuss the major design principles for KF6. I personally focussed on two aspects. First, we want to better separate logic from the user interface to allow different UI implementations for desktop and mobile uses. Futhermore, we want to reduce the amount of dependencies our libraries have. While we are doing fine for a lot of frameworks some have very ugly dependency structures. Probably our worst offender here is KIO, the framework that powers Dolphin and many more KDE applications.

        • Plasma Edit Mode refinements

          Editing, moving and customizing widgets in Plasma Desktop improved a lot in 5.17, and then in 5.18 it will get a brand new edit mode, to be really efficient editing your desktop layout (and have less visual noise by default).

          This week another new feature landed in the edit mode for 5.18: it’s possible to set some plasmoids without background and a nice drop shadow, for an extra clean and modern look for your desktop.

          In addition, a plasmoid can specify this backgroundless shadowed mode as its new default, like the digital clock now does (when is on the deskop)

        • Krita Weekly #4

          Phew, I am late this week for the update, kudos to my university exams nevertheless better be late than never. One more week passed, we are now closing on the 4.2.8 release. This week too we can see a steady decrease in the number of bugs. 17 bugs were reported and 23 were fixed, a net decrease of 6 bugs. The rate has gone down a little bit compared to the previous month, cause the folks are now mostly focusing on the resource rewrite.

        • Krita Weekly #5

          This week we got 13 new bug reports while 22 got fixed, a net decrease of 9 bugs. The bug tracker says that there are about 415 bugs remaining, so still a long way to go. And last week the 4.2.8 beta was released. Thanks to all the folks who participated in testing it. You can expect the 4.2.8 release this Wednesday.


          Ivan fixed some inconsistency in the visuals of the line endings. And coming to the resource rewrite, Boud has been working on to make document storage work like bundles. Tiar has been busy with tagging, a working combobox can be found in the corresponding branch to filter resources. And Wolthera has been dabbing with the storage widget ui. Collectively they also fixed some missing parts of the API involved with the resources.

        • Announcing Season of KDE 2020

          Focused on offering an opportunity to anyone (not just enrolled students) contributing to the KDE community, this is a program that is comparable to the well-known Google Summer of Code, with some special differences. A key difference is that SoK projects are not limited to code-focused work, but any that benefit our community. For instance, projects can be about documentation, reports, translation, system administration, web and other types of work as well as code. Each contributor will work with a mentor and within a team that will also help the contributor.

        • October/November in KDE Itinerary

          Time for another bi-monthy status update around KDE Itinerary! Since the last report plenty of things have happened again, ranging from multi-ticket support to integration with the Plasma Browser Integration plug-in, most of which you’ll find in the upcoming 19.12 release.

        • Q_PRIVATE_SLOT with new connect syntax

          When using PIMPL, we sometimes want to move implementation of slots into the private class as well. In order for Qt to be able to invoke those slots that formally exist only in the private class (which usually is not a QObject), we use the Q_PRIVATE_SLOT macro in the main class. It allows Qt to invoke the slot method, even though it exists in the private class.

    • Distributions

      • Pretend to be Using Windows with Kali Linux Undercover Mode

        As you can see, unless someone is looking closely, it’s not easy to figure out that it is not a Windows computer.

        The undercover mode could be helpful in a few situations. For example, if you are using your laptop in a public place and don’t want to ‘alarm’ the person sitting beside you with the Kali Dragon, the undercover mode help you blend in.

        This could also be used to lure some dumb tech support scamster who offers to help repair the PC and installs malware instead.

        Now that you know what undercover mode is, let’s see how to use it.

      • Kali Linux Adds 'Undercover' Mode to Impersonate Windows 10

        Kali Linux 2019.4 was released last week and with it comes an 'Undercover' mode that can be used to quickly make the Kali desktop look like Windows 10.

        Kali is a Linux distribution created for ethical hacking and penetration testing and is commonly used by researchers and red teamers to perform security tests against an organization.

        As most people are used to seeing Windows and macOS devices being used, it may look suspicious to see a user running Kali Linux with it's distinctive dragon logo and a Linux environment in an office lobby or other public setting.

        With this in mind, in Kali Linux 2019.4 the developers created a new 'Undercover' mode that will make the desktop look similar to Windows 10 in order to draw less suspicion.

        "Say you are working in a public place, hacking away, and you might not want the distinctive Kali dragon for everyone to see and wonder what it is you are doing. So, we made a little script that will change your Kali theme to look like a default Windows installation. That way, you can work a bit more incognito. After you are done and in a more private place, run the script again and you switch back to your Kali theme. Like magic!"

      • Exton|OS Distro Is Now Based on Ubuntu 19.10 and Ships with Linux Kernel 5.4

        As we reported last week, Arne Exton started upgrading some of his GNU/Linux distributions on the latest Linux 5.4 kernel series, but Exton|OS is the first to ship with the stable version of Linux kernel 5.4, which was announced by Linus Torvalds on November 24th, a major release that features exFAT support, AMD improvements, and a new lockdown feature.

        This new Exton|OS release is built for UEFI PCs and ships with the latest Budgie 10.5 desktop environment by default with the Papirus icon theme, the Calamares graphical installer instead of Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer, and up-to-date packages synced with upstream as of November 28, 2019, including GIMP, Gparted, Mozilla Firefox, SMPlayer, and SMTube.

      • OSGeoLive Distro Opens Doors to Geospatial Worlds

        OSGeoLive is a unique Linux distro. It pulls together a large library of Linux tools and applications that support geospatial workloads. It is not designed to be a general usability Linux operating system, but if you add the software it's missing, you can happily use it for other computing tasks.

        I was particularly intrigued by some of its standalone applications and Web app offerings. Browsing through this distro's feature tools was a fun-filled discovery experience.

        Nothing needed to be set up or configured. One click led to another. With each new screen came interesting information that teased my inquisitive mind. The experience actually sparked an interest in the world of geospatial elements.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Debian Family

        • Debian welcomes its new Outreachy interns

          Debian continues participating in Outreachy, and we'd like to welcome our new Outreachy interns for this round, lasting from December 2019 to March 2020.

          Anisa Kuci will work on Improving the DebConf fundraising processes, mentored by Karina Ture and Daniel Lange.

          Sakshi Sangwan will work on Packaging GitLab's JS Modules, mentored by Utkarsh Gupta, Sruthi Chandran and Pirate Praveen.

          Congratulations, Anisa and Sakshi! Welcome!

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (November 2019)

          In November 2019, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 15 hours (of 15 hours planned) and on the Debian ELTS project for 5 hours (of 5 hours planned) as a paid contributor.

          For LTS, I, in fact, pulled over 1.7 hours from October, so I realy only did 13.3 hours for LTS in November.

          (This is only half-true, I worked a considerable amount of hours on this libvncserver code bundle audit, but I am just not invoicing all of it).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Build smart display devices with Mir: fast to production, secure, open-source

          Mir is a library for writing graphical shells for Linux and similar operating systems. Compared to traditional display servers, it offers numerous benefits that are important for IoT devices: efficiency, speed of development, security, performance, and flexibility. All are required by the devices of today, and even more so for the devices of tomorrow. In this whitepaper we’ll explain how Mir, alongside Ubuntu Core and Snapcraft, lets developers build devices that are ready for the future of IoT, while offering stable, secure and performant solutions to the problems the industry faces today.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

            First, select the Accessibility Inspector from the Developer Toolbox. Turn on the accessibility engine by clicking “Turn On Accessibility Features.” You’ll see a full representation of the current foreground tab as assistive technologies see it. The left pane shows the hierarchy of accessible objects. When you select an element there, the right pane fills to show the common properties of the selected object such as name, role, states, description, and more. To learn more about how the accessibility tree informs assistive technologies, read this post by Hidde de Vries.

          • Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

            Since its debut in Firefox 61, the Accessibility Inspector in the Firefox Developer Tools has evolved from a low-level tool showing the accessibility structure of a page. In Firefox 70, the Inspector has become an auditing facility to help identify and fix many common mistakes and practices that reduce site accessibility. In this post, I will offer an overview of what is available in this latest release.

          • CSS zoom, a close up on issues

            CSS zoom is a non-standard feature.

            It was initially implemented by Microsoft Internet Explorer, then was reversed engineered by Apple Safari team for WebKit, and exist in Google Chrome on Blink. Chris talks briefly about the origin.

          • Week notes - 2019 w48 - worklog

            The end of the 2019Q4 is approaching at the speed of light, specifically for me, given that I will be away starting December 21 until January 2. Previous instance of the week notes has been published.

          • This Week in Glean: Differences 29.11.19 10:37

            Currently my team is responsible for the Telemetry framework inside Firefox on Desktop and also the Glean SDK, targeting our mobile products. We're working on bringing the Glean experience to Firefox on Desktop, but in the meantime Telemetry is what we have, need to support and sometimes implement new features on.

            One of these features is a new ping (or, better, a change in a ping), that we now want to support across all our products. I'm speaking of the deletion-request ping here. When a user opts out of Telemetry we take this as a signal to also delete associated data from our pipeline.

            Implementation in Firefox Desktop was merely renaming an existing ping that is triggered when the user disables "Data Collection and Use" (about:preferences -> Privacy & Security). It contains no additional data. Implementation in Glean was not much harder either. Glean already supports custom pings: Pings that can be defined and send by the application using Glean. Glean's internal pings follow the same pattern, they are just pre-defined. The biggest difference?

            It's called deletion_request ping instead.

            On ingestion data from a ping is decoded from its JSON form and put into tables on BigQuery (in our documentation you can find an overview of the data pipeline if you are interested). BigQuery table names can only contain alphanumeric characters and underscores (see "Table naming" in the BigQuery documentation). We avoid any translation in the pipeline by just enforcing this directly on ping names.

          • Historical Reasons

            I’ve known for a while how to override bash builtins, but it was something I’d long filed under “ok but why” in my mental repository of software esoterica. Until I saw this comment I hadn’t considered how useful it could be. I’ve long held the position that our tools are so often ahumanist junk because we’re so deeply beholden to a history we don’t understand, and in my limited experience with the various DevOps toolchains, they definitely feel like Stockholm Spectrum products of that particular zeitgeist. It’s a longstanding gripe I’ve got with that entire class of tools, Docker, Vagrant and the like; how narrow their notions of a “working development environment” are. Source, dependencies, deploy scripts and some operational context, great, but… not much else?

          • Async Interview #1: Alex and Nick talk about async I/O and WebAssembly

            Hello from Iceland! (I’m on vacation.) I’ve just uploaded the first of the Async Interviews to YouTube. It is a conversation with Alex Crichton (alexcrichton) and Nick Fitzgerald (fitzgen) about how WebAssembly and Rust’s Async I/O system interact.

      • LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Local event update: LibreOffice at OpenFest in Sofia, Bulgaria

          Sofia’s OpenFest looks like probably the largest open source software and hardware festival in Bulgaria. There were plenty of people – more on Saturday than on Sunday.

          There were three tracks, and a huge room for many workshops (four or five usually), which covered topics such as electronics skills improvement (eg soldering), or padlock cracking, or developing with Elasticsearch…

          There was also an awesome kindergarten (with backlit sand projection game), a relaxation area and a speaker’s corner, to allow attendees pose more questions to speakers, after their lectures. The organisation of the event was great, I must say, which includes pre and post parties, lead by Yana Petrova.

        • LibreOffice Git Lands Its Skia Drawing Code - Leading To Vulkan-Accelerated Office Suite

          With LibreOffice 6.4 branched ahead of its release next year, feature development is open on what will be the next follow-on release for later in 2020. And this week one big underlying code change was merged... Using Skia for drawing the interface in an effort to ultimately replace the Cairo usage.

          The Skia graphics library is what has been in development by Google for well over a decade and is used by the Chrome web browser, Chrome OS, and other projects. Skia supports CPU-based rasterization as well as GPU acceleration via OpenGL and other APIs. Skia excitingly also has a Vulkan GPU back-end too. Skia sees much more development by Google and others compared to Cairo that has rather stagnated in recent years. Those unfamiliar with Skia and wanting to learn more can do so via

      • Public Services/Government

        • FHIR + openEHR

          Standards are great, but as per the GDS Service Manual, always start with user needs and work back from the problem you are trying to solve. Too often I have seen procurements or projects that are based on a set of technical outputs, not business or user outcomes. The danger with this is you implement a thing, which maybe complies with a standard, but doesn’t infact solve an entire user problem. What I have outlined in this post are a couple of models, but as with all patterns they are to be used as a baseline or blueprint of how to approach a particular kind of problem. They can be customised and reused but they do not represent the answer. The key point is to select the approach/standard/technology that best meets your need. Don’t identify everything as a nail, just because you have a hammer.

      • Programming/Development

        • Play-ing with Godot

          I’ve finally come to a point where I have a project that is useful, and at a good enough quality (anyone with graphics skills who wants to help?) to be shared with the broader world: Mattemonster. What I’m trying to say is that I just went through the process of publishing a Godot app to the Google Play store.

          There is already good documentation for how you export a Godot app for Android, and detailed guides how to publish to Google Play. This blog is not a step by step tutorial, but instead mentioning some of the things I learned or noticed.

          First of all, when setting up the Android tooling, you usually have an android-tools package for your distro. This way, you don’t have to install Android Studio provided by Google.

          The configuration settings that you use to export your app goes into the export_presets.cfg file. Once you put the details for your release key in, you should avoid storing this file in a public git, as it contains sensitive data. But even before then, it contains paths that are local to your machine, so I would recommend not storing it in a public git anyway, as it makes merging with others painful.

        • Haskell
        • Python

          • Unit Testing in Python with Unittest

            In almost all fields, products are thoroughly tested before being released to the market to ensure its quality and that it works as intended.

            Medicine, cosmetic products, vehicles, phones, laptops are all tested to ensure that they uphold a certain level of quality that was promised to the consumer. Given the influence and reach of software in our daily lives, it is important that we test our software thoroughly before releasing it to our users to avoid issues coming up when it is in use.

            There are various ways and methods of testing our software, and in this article we will concentrate on testing our Python programs using the Unittest framework.

          • python-gnuplotlib knows about multiplots

            gnuplotlib and numpysane are becoming mature (i.e. I use them all the time, have done that for a while, and they work very well), so I'm going to start doing some proselytizing on this front. I want to do a talk in the near future, and looking forward to that, I'm going to expand the docs, and I'm implementing some long-envisioned-but-never-completed features. The first one of these is now complete: multiplot support for gnuplotlib.

            Gnuplot multiplots are a way to create more than one plot in a single window (or hardcopy). These are a bit of a corner case, and I've been mostly getting by without ever using these, but sometimes they're really nice.

          • #100DaysOfCode, Day 009 – The Collections Module

            I wanted confirmation of my thought process, and realised that if I was going to figure out the code itself, this would take much, much longer. Besides, writing Python will come to me if I stick with this as I have been doing, so no guilt about copying code.

          • Python 3.7.5 : Script install and import python packages.

            This script will try to import Python packages from a list. If these packages are not installed then will be installed on system.

  • Leftovers

    • Scorsese’s Irishman, Dobbs’ Hoffa

      This fall, I’ve suffered through some of the worst Hollywood films I’ve seen in eighteen years of film reviewing. Each year I get a bunch of DVDs or Vimeo links from Hollywood studios to influence the ballot I cast for the NY Film Critics Online (NYFCO) awards meeting in early December. This year I began to lose sleep worrying over whether I would be able to nominate any English-language films for best of 2019. Emulating the upscale Academy Awards ceremony, NYFCO has a separate category for foreign language films—an artificial distinction. Theoretically, NYFCO can choose a foreign-language film for best film of the year, but it never happens. The only thing that seems foreign to me is a Noah Baumbach movie.

    • Sacha Baron Cohen Comes out Swinging

      Having made a name for himself causing cringing controversy, forging alter egos with the ease of a spam producer, Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat, Bruno) has taken a plunge into waters swum by every indignant activist, commentator and show pony worth column space in the media scape. The target is predictably dull, normal and soporific: the digital monsters of Silicon Valley and their tyrants as demon conjurors.

    • America’s Darkest Secrets Are Laid Bare in ‘The Report’

      While most Americans will never be able to see the full Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture committed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, even the publicly available executive summary reveals shocking facts about the agency’s heinous acts. “The Report,” a new film by director Scott Z. Burns—whose work includes “The Bourne Ultimatum” and, more recently, “The Laundromat”—brings to life this dark chapter of recent American history with a cast that includes Annette Bening, Adam Driver and Jon Hamm.

    • Science

      • Underwater [Internet] cables can detect offshore earthquakes

        The researchers used a technique called distributed acoustic sensing, which works by sending pulses of light through the cable and analysing the light that returns to detect slight movements.

        “If you start moving a certain portion of the fibre because there’s some seismic wave propagating, you’ll be able to see that seismic wave strain on the cable,” says Lindsey.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • FBI Investigating Newark Beth Israel’s Transplant Program for Possible Fraud

        The FBI is investigating the organ transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, according to people contacted by the bureau.

        The bureau is looking into whether the program, which kept a vegetative patient on life support for the sake of boosting its survival rate, attempted to defraud federal insurers Medicare and Medicaid, said one person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. FBI spokeswoman Patty Hartman said that the agency could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.

      • $11 Million Medicare Tool Gives Seniors Wrong Insurance Information

        The federal government recently redesigned a digital tool that helps seniors navigate complicated Medicare choices, but consumer advocates say it’s malfunctioning with alarming frequency, offering inaccurate cost estimates and creating chaos in some states during the open enrollment period.

      • Unions Dig In to Protect Hard-Fought Health Plans

        Deep under Los Angeles, laborers are busy digging more subway lines to connect a complex and diverse populace with sometimes conflicting goals. While changing the city, union workers€ like those from Laborers Union Local 300 will also have much to do with rebuilding a health care system that is presently unfair, overpriced and cumbersome.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • checkra1n on Linux nearing release, Apple TV DFU helper coming too

          Despite being a closed ecosystem, iDevice users enjoy an advanced level of control over the OS through jailbreaking. But, not many opt for it because the Cupertino tech giant denies warranty claims for jailbroken gadgets.

          Moreover, one has to choose the jailbreaking tool so carefully that an incompatible selection will make your iPhone/iPad a fiasco. Owing to the frequent vulnerability fixes released by Apple, we can’t use a single tool for every iOS iteration.

        • Jony Ive is no longer on Apple's leadership page

          His new firm is called LoveForm, which sounds an awful lot like LoveFilm - right down to the fact that both will score you 16 in a Scrabble match, assuming you're competing without someone that plays fast and loose with the ‘no brand names' rule. That's where the similarities end though: it's more focused on design than posting DVDs to people.

          Unlike most people starting their own business, Ive won't have to hustle for new clients right away. Apple led the press release announcing Ive's exit by saying it would be one of LoveForm's clients, which is kind of like writing a blank cheque. But, hey, if anybody can write a blank cheque and not worry about the consequences then it's Cook & Co.

        • Security firm Prosegur hit by Windows Ryuk ransomware

          Well-known British security researcher Kevin Beaumont was one of the first to point to a statement on on the Spain-based company's website in which it said that there had been "a security information incident on its telecommunications platforms".

          Prosegur is the largest security firm in Spain and listed on Madrid Stock Exchange in 1987.

        • [Older] IBM: ‘Mac users are happier and more productive’ [iophk: duh]

          IBM CIO Fletcher Previn talked up fresh IBM findings that show those of its employees who use Macs are more likely to stay with IBM and exceed performance expectations compared to [Windows] users.

        • [Older] IBM: Mac users perform better at work and close larger high-value sales compared to [Windows] users

          Today, IBM announced some major news showing the benefits of using a Mac over a [Windows machine] at work. According to IBM research, there are 22% more macOS users who exceed expectations in performance reviews compared to Windows users. High-value sales deals also tend to be 16% higher for Mac users compared to [Windows] users.

        • [Older] IBM: Our Mac-Using Employees Outperform Windows Users in Every Way

          According to IBM, one staff member can support 5,400 Mac users, while the company needed one staff member per 242 [Windows] users. Only 5 percent of Mac users called the help desk for assistance, compared with 40 percent of [Windows] users. This Mac-IBM love affair has been ongoing for a few years, and the same IBM PR points out that in 2016, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn declared that IBM saves anywhere from $273 to $543 when its end users choose Mac over [Windows].

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Microsoft Teams spurs open source in Aussie channel [Ed: Gross case of openwashing. How on Earth did Microsoft manage to have proprietary software that's mass surveillance inside businesses framed as "open source"?

              Qbot is the brainchild of UNSW senior lecturer David Kellermann. Antares helped bring Qbot to life and, as it is the bot's primary developer, supports the code.

            • US Air Force says they are developing an Open Source Jet Engine

              The Responsive Open Source Engine (ROSE) is designed to be cheap enough that it can be disposable, which has obvious military applications for the Air Force such as small jet-powered drones or even missiles. But even for the pacifists in the audience, it’s hard not to get excited about the idea of a low-cost open source turbine. Obviously an engine this small would have limited use to commercial aviation, but hackers and makers have always been obsessed with small jet engines, and getting one fired up and self-sustaining has traditionally been something of a badge of honor.

              The economies of scale generally dictate that anything produced in large enough numbers will eventually become cheap. But despite the fact that a few thousand of them are tearing across the sky above our heads at any given moment, turbine jet engines are still expensive to produce compared to other forms of propulsion. The United States Air Force Research Laboratory is hoping to change that by developing their own in-house, open source turbine engine that they believe could reduce costs by as much as 75%.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Alibaba Cloud makes available its self-developed algorithm via open source on Github [Ed: Outsourcing one's code to a proprietary spying and censorship platform of a foreign firm and foreign regime]

              Launched in 2009 and headquartered in Singapore, the cloud subsidiary of Alibaba Group offers cloud computing services to enterprises.

            • Alibaba Publishes AI Algorithms on Github [Ed: Alibaba gives its code to Microsoft to further facilitate surveillance]
            • GitHub Seeks Security Dominance With Developers [Ed: GitHub is proprietary software in NSA PRISM, so assume back doors. Ignore these Forbes puff pieces of Microsoft (lots of them).]
            • Rav1e Picks Up More Speed Optimizations For Rust-Written AV1 Encoding [Ed: Still stuck inside GitHub]

              The Rust-based "rav1e" AV1 video encoder continues picking up performance optimizations.

              During the month of November we've seen SSE4.1 and various x86 Assembly optimizations, other CPU performance optimizations, and also happening recently was the initial tagged release of rav1e (v0.1).

            • Daniel Stenberg: curl: 25000 commits [Ed: Unhealthy dependence on GitHub]

              The first ever public release of curl was uploaded on March 20, 1998. 7924 days ago.

              3.15 commits per day on average since inception.

              These 25000 commits have been authored by 751 different persons.

              Through the years, 47 of these 751 authors have ever authored 10 commits or more within a single year. In fact, the largest number of people that did 10 commits or more within a single year is 13 that happened in both 2014 and 2017.

              19 of the 751 authors did ten or more changes in more than one calendar year. 5 of the authors have done ten or more changes during ten or more years.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libvpx and vino), Fedora (grub2 and nss), and SUSE (cloud-init, libarchive, libtomcrypt, ncurses, and ucode-intel).

          • Friday Fluff: Chess password cracked after four decades

            A good password paired with strong encryption protects data against unexpected loss. No password is unbreakable, but some can last for quote a long time. After 39 years, recently a few old Unix passwords were cracked. Computer pioneer Ken Thompson had hidden his access behind a chess opening.

          • ThreatList: Healthcare Breaches Spike in October

            October experienced a 44.44 percent month-over-month increase in healthcare data breaches, resulting in 661,830 healthcare records exposed or stolen during the month.

            That’s according to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights’ monthly report reported via HIPAA Journal. The department said that hospitals and other healthcare organizations reported 52 breaches to HHS during the month. Year-to-date, the total number of breached healthcare records stands at 38 million, affecting 11.64 percent of the population of the United States.

          • Private Internet Access Sold Out! | Choosing A New VPN

            This video goes over the purchase of Private Internet Access and Choosing a new VPN. I also layout the 3 points you NEED when choosing a new VPN.

          • Undercover mode for the Fedora Security Lab

            Every time when there is a new release of Kali Linux it doesn’t take long till people start to ask when a feature or tool will be added to the Fedora Security Lab.

            This time the most asked feature is the “undercover mode”.

            To make it short: Never.

            The reason is that the Fedora Security Lab live media doesn’t need this. We are running Xfce (in the meantime for several years now) with the default Fedora wallpaper and a default theme. It pretty hard to tell (reading impossible if you don’t have the menu open) for a person who only get a quick look at your desktop that you have a lot of specialized tools at your disposal.

            You are even stealthier if you only add the Fedora Security Lab toolset to your default Fedora installation. This make the Fedora Security Lab the perfect tool to perform security-related tasks in an office environment at customer’s sites.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy and Big Tech’s Surveillance of Our Lives and Bodies

              Data privacy is the biggest tech human rights concern today. While this contention might seem exaggerated to some, to most people working in tech today experts are aware of how new technology poses serious threats to our privacy as the recent case of Google’s recent purchase of Fitbit which ensures the tech giant’s reach into private health information. And this would not be the first case of big tech overreaching privacy laws.

            • Apple card? Google checking account? Why Big Tech wants to be your banker.

              And partners seem to be key. By teaming up with existing banks and other financial institutions, the high-tech giants won’t have to bother with all the regulatory plumbing that comes with financial transactions. The partnerships offer tech firms a better chance of avoiding such government scrutiny. Even Amazon, which is the leader in the U.S. in integrating digital commerce with transactions, including credit cards and even cash advances to its merchants, is partnering with Synchrony Bank to offer its card.

            • Hey Congress, How's That Privacy Bill Coming Along?

              The privacy framework was spearheaded by the top Democrats on the four powerful committees with jurisdiction over the issue. Besides Cantwell, who is the ranking member of the Commerce Committee, the group includes the Judiciary Committee’s Dianne Feinstein (D-California), the Banking Committee’s Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Patty Murray (D-Washington).


              Next Wednesday, the Commerce Committee will hold a much anticipated hearing on privacy. While the hearing is seen as a positive step by many, some Democrats say the GOP shouldn’t get a pat on the back just for doing their most basic duty. That sentiment helps explain, in part, why they dropped their own blueprint.

            • Pressure mounts for federal privacy law with second bill

              Pressure is gathering for a federal privacy law in the US with the introduction of a second bill that would protect consumer data. The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell not only outlines strict privacy and security rules, but also establishes a dedicated FTC office to enforce them. Cantwell also pointed out in her Bill announcement that it defines privacy as a right in federal law.

              The proposed law would prevent companies from mishandling data to cause individuals harm. They’d also have to hand over a copy of the data to the individual owning it at their request and name any third party that they’d given it to. They’d also have to delete it when asked.

              Companies would need to publish clear privacy policies, and they’d need to get a person’s consent before weakening their privacy measures. The consent measures are pretty close to those under the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) that comes into effect on 1 January 2020, in that they require companies to get permission to process someone’s data and allow individuals to opt-out of having their data transferred to others.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Life and Times of Jimmy Hoffa

        Jimmy Hoffa used to say he’d be forgotten ten years after his death. This was an uncharacteristically unintelligent judgment. Forty-four years after his murder on July 30, 1975, Hoffa is still famous enough that one of the most celebrated movies of the year is about the man who claims to have killed him, Frank Sheeran. Called The Irishman, the film, directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Robert De Niro as Sheeran, Al Pacino as Hoffa, and Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino, the Mob boss who approved the killing. For a labor leader, such a level of fame is not only extraordinary; it is unique.[1]

      • Ohio’s Pro-Nuke Assault Threatens American Democracy with Violence & More

        The nuclear industry’s violent assault on democracy in Ohio has taken a surreal leap. It could seriously impact whether Donald Trump will carry this swing state—-and the nation—-in 2020.

      • Trump Sentences Future War Criminals to Death

        On November 15, US president Donald Trump pardoned two US Army officers accused of war crimes (one convicted, the other awaiting trial).

      • What is Happening in Spain?

        The transition from dictatorship to democracy in Spain (1978) was carried out under conditions very favorable to the profoundly conservative forces that controlled the Spanish state and the majority of the media. The democratic forces (lead by the clandestine left wing parties) were institutionally weak. It is true that popular resistance against the dictatorship had been strong primarily among the working class, the base of these parties. Spain had the largest number of political strikes in Europe during the transition period (1975-1979), which played an important role in forcing the end of the extremely repressive regime (for every political assassination undertaken by the Mussolini dictatorship, Franco’s regime killed 10,000 people). Institutionally, however, the left wing forces were at a disadvantage. Their leaders were in jail, or exiled abroad, and there was an enormous imbalance of forces at the negotiating table. On one side, the inheritors of the fascist state controlled the state apparatus and had the support of the Army, of the Church, and of the major economic and financial interests in the country. On the other side were the democratic forces that had come out of hiding only a few months before the transition started. The popular mobilization was critical in forcing the end of the dictatorship, but the political branch of those mobilizations was not strong enough to break with the previous dictatorial regime. As an example, the King, appointed by the dictator Franco as the head of state, continued to be the head of the new democratic regime and the head of the armed forces, holding enormous power in guiding the process of transition.

      • Statement Condemning US Removal of Democratically-Elected Evo Morales

        Following months of destabilization, on November 10, 2019, the legitimate, constitutional, democratically-elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, was driven at gunpoint out of office and the country by the US and its allies, among them Bolivian fascists and several members of the Organization of American States (OAS), including Canada. This latest aggression follows centuries of colonial, imperialist, and neo-colonial conquest and plunder of the Indigenous-majority population of Bolivia.

      • Evo Morales and the Rights of Mother Earth

        I lived in Bolivia for about 9 months in 1991, in a small town near Vinto.

      • Bolivia: Anatomy of a Coup

        On Sunday, October 20 Evo Morales was re-elected president of Bolivia with 46.85 per cent of the vote against his nearest competitor, Carlos Mesa, who received 36.74 percent. In anticipation of a Morales victory the U.S. corporate media launched a fake news disinformation barrage nine days earlier aimed at discrediting the result and setting the stage for a well-orchestrated fascist-led coup. Presented to the world as a popular democratic revolution against a dictator, the coup was led by fascist groups in alliance with Bolivia’s defecting police and army. The relentless media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), aptly reported: “The€ New York Times’ editorial (11/11/19) accused Morales of “brazenly abusing the power and institutions put in his care by the electorate. The Washington Post€ (11/11/19) alleged that ‘a majority of Bolivians wanted [Morales] to leave office’ –a claim for which they provided no evidence – while asserting that he had ‘grown increasingly autocratic’ and that ‘his downfall was his insatiable appetite for power.’ The€ Wall Street Journal€ (11/11/19) argued that Morales ‘is a victim of his own efforts to steal another election,’ saying that Morales ‘has rigged the rules time and again to stay in power.’” FAIR’s corporate media accounting goes on to list several major media outlets in the country that dutifully sang the same song. Not a single major daily challenged these baseless accusations. These “manufacturing consent” specialists were unanimous in denouncing Morales and his re-election long before the votes were tallied. The Bolivian coup was conceived as a relatively quiet U.S.-supported regime change endeavor in comparison to the overt and monstrous full court failed coup that U.S. imperialism conducted against the Venezuelan government of Nicholas Maduro several months earlier.

      • Reversing Pro-Palestinian Stance of Evo Morales, Bolivia's Coup Government Moves to Restore Ties With Israel

        Morales cut off diplomatic ties with Israel over its deadly 2009 assault on the occupied Gaza Strip and called for top Israeli officials to be charged with genocide.

      • Israel’s Next Move: The Real Danger in US Decision to Normalize Illegal Jewish Settlements

        It is hardly shocking that the United States government has finally decreed that illegal Jewish settlements which have been built in defiance of international law, are, somehow, “consistent” with international law.

      • ‘Instead of her face, I saw a pizza’: How women in Russia are fighting back against sexual assault

        In life and in news reporting, violence against women is a sadly “evergreen” topic, but the issue has taken on new and growing momentum in Russia, where there’s a rising number of high-profile cases involving rape and self-defense. Meduza has reported extensively on these investigations, and, in this first episode of “The Naked Pravda,” managing editor Kevin Rothrock speaks to a handful of activists and journalists who are working to shed more light on these cases and the social movement that hopes to transform how Russia handles women’s safety.

      • Iraqi Prime Minister to Step Down After Weeks of Anti-Government Protests

        Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced Friday that he would resign following weeks of anti-government protests and a violent response from security forces which has been condemned by global human rights campaigners.

      • Iraqi Prime Minister to Step Down as Human Rights Defenders Condemn Security Forces' Attacks on Anti-Government Protesters

        The country's top Shiite cleric called for a change in leadership Friday "to preserve the blood of [Iraq's] children."

      • Iraqis Rise Up Against 16 Years of "Made in the USA" Corruption

        As Americans sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, Iraqis were mourning more than 60€ protesters killed€ by police and soldiers on Thursday in Baghdad, Najaf and Nasiriyah.

      • Iraqi Prime Minister to Resign in Wake of Deadly Protests

        Iraq’s prime minister announced Friday that he would submit his resignation to parliament, a day after more than 40 people were killed by security forces in protests and following calls by Iraq’s top Shiite cleric for lawmakers to withdraw support.

      • Danes see Greenland security risk amid Arctic tensions

        The FE's head Lars Findsen said Greenland was now a top security issue for Denmark because a "power game is unfolding" between the US and other global powers in the Arctic.

      • The Hague stabbing: Three injured in attack on shopping street

        However, in a later update, police said that description was wrong without providing further details.

      • 2 Killed in London Stabbings; Police Fatally Shoot Suspected Attacker

        A man wearing a fake explosive vest stabbed several people Friday in London, killing two in what police are treating as a terrorist attack before being tackled by members of the public and then fatally shot by officers on London Bridge, officials said.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Lies About Assange Must Stop Now: John Pilger

        After almost a decade of smear, mainstream media outlets like The Guardian and Fairfax are getting nervous, now that they understand what is happening to Assange can happen to them, writes John Pilger.

        Newspapers and other media in the United States, Britain and Australia have recently declared a passion for freedom of speech, especially their right to publish freely. They are worried by the ‘Assange effect’.

        It is as if the struggle of truth-tellers like Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is now a warning to them: that the thugs who dragged Assange out of the Ecuadorean embassy in April may one day come for them.

        A common refrain was echoed by the Guardian last week. The extradition of Assange, said the paper, “is not a question of how wise Mr. Assange is, still less how likable. It’s not about his character, nor his judgement. It’s a matter of press freedom and the public’s right to know.”

        What the Guardian is trying to do is separate Assange from his landmark achievements, which have both profited the Guardian and exposed its own vulnerability, along with its propensity to suck up to rapacious power and smear those who reveal its double standards.

      • NDR reimbursed criminal charges

        Systematic video surveillance, recordings of conversations, notes on guests and spied-out phones: Confidential documents accessible to NDR and WDR document how WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his visitors were spied on in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The e-mails, photos, audio and video recordings show how surveillance measures have gradually been developed over the years.

        In addition to video footage of the inner workings of the London diplomatic property and audio recordings of confidential conversations, security officials apparently recorded serial numbers of cell phones and made notes about guests.

        For this purpose, they are said to have copied passports, disassembled electronic devices and installed hidden microphones in the embassy building. According to statements made by former employees, the collected material has also been made available to clients in the USA - allegedly a secret service.


        Assange lived in the Embassy of Ecuador in London from 2012 to April 2019. For the security within the embassy building, the Spanish security company Undercover Global - UC Global for short - was responsible until 2018, commissioned by the Ecuadorian government to film and review guests.

        Former security firm UC Global, with whom German Public Broadcaster NDR and WDR were able to speak, however, accuse the company and its CEO, David Morales, of passing on intelligence gained within the embassy to alleged US intelligence agents.

        In corporate emails which are available to NDR and WDR there is always talk of improving the audio quality of the sound recordings. Repeatedly, it is also about the establishment of a secure livestream from the embassy. UC Global rejects the allegations of its employees and emphasizes that the company has always acted on behalf of the government of Ecuador.

      • JOHN PILGER: Visiting Britain’s Political Prisoner

        I set out at dawn. Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh is in the flat hinterland of south east London, a ribbon of walls and wire with no horizon. At what is called the visitors centre, I surrendered my passport, wallet, credit cards, medical cards, money, phone, keys, comb, pen, paper.

        I need two pairs of glasses. I had to choose which pair stayed behind. I left my reading glasses. From here on, I couldn’t read, just as Julian couldn’t read for the first few weeks of his incarceration. His glasses were sent to him, but inexplicably took months to arrive.

        There are large TV screens in the visitors centre. The TV is always on, it seems, and the volume turned up. Game shows, commercials for cars and pizzas and funeral packages, even TED talks, they seem perfect for a prison: like visual valium.

        I joined a queue of sad, anxious people, mostly poor women and children, and grandmothers. At the first desk, I was fingerprinted, if that is still the word for biometric testing.

        “Both hands, press down!” I was told. A file on me appeared on the screen.

      • Kerry O'Brien uses Walkey Awards speech to rally journalists, saying press 'freedom is eroded gradually'

        The Journalism Is Not a Crime campaign came about after Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided ABC's Sydney headquarters and the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst in June.

        Newsrooms across the country joined a public protest calling on the Federal Government to address threats against press freedom, petitioning Prime Minister Scott Morrison to change laws that would protect whistleblowers and journalists from prosecution when acting in the public interest.

        On Thursday night, Smethurst told the awards ceremony she was unable to tweet the details of the raid on her home as the AFP had her phone.

        O'Brien said the media industry was challenged by the polarisation of journalists as being left or right-leaning, a trend that "has to be resisted".

        "For journalists to call out the powerful of any political colour for their abuses of power is not about ideology," he said.

        "It is simply journalists doing their job, practising their craft."

        O'Brien, who hosted 7.30, Four Corners and Lateline, was inducted in the Logies Hall of Fame earlier this year, using the opportunity to defend the ABC in the wake of successive budget cuts and to reflect on the industry's failures to "cut through fake news".

    • Environment

      • European Parliament declares climate emergency, calls for major emissions cuts

        The groundbreaking declaration, which urges the 28-country bloc to reduce its emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, was issued yesterday after it was backed by 429 and opposed by 225 Members of the European Parliament.

        Europe thereby became the first continent to follow in the footsteps of numerous scientists and national and local governments in formally recognising the emergency.

      • Pictures: Inside the newly-opened Hesburger made entirely out of recycled trash

        A newly-reopened branch of Hesburger on Helsinki's Kasarmitori is made almost exclusively out of the company's own waste materials. Customers in the restaurant can sit on repurposed ketchup barrels and eat under lights made from deep fat fryers.

      • How the worlds's demand for palm oil is driving deforestation in Indonesia

        They’re not only burning the forest, they’re destroying the peatlands that lie beneath it -- the world’s largest natural terrestrial carbon sink.

      • Climate adaptation now

        Even if we meet the Paris agreement’s goal of limiting the average global temperature increase to well below 2€°C, at least 570 cities and some 800 million people will be at risk from rising sea levels and more frequent and destructive storms. And these dangers will grow as temperatures climb ever higher. The very existence of some island countries and coastal communities will be threatened.

        It is thus essential to reduce the risks that climate change poses to humans and the economy. Unless action is taken, climate change will reduce global GDP per capita by more than 7 percent by 2100, with equally severe consequences for countries, whether they are rich or poor, hot or cold.

      • Nine climate tipping points now 'active,' warn scientists

        Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

        In an article in the journal Nature, the scientists call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent key tipping points, warning of a worst-case scenario of a "hothouse", less habitable planet.

        "A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated," said lead author Professor Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.

      • Climate Justice Movement Turns Up the Heat on Democrats

        The fossil fuel industry knows it’s the world’s largest source of total greenhouse gas emissions, and that wealthy countries must take decisive action to reduce those emissions to avoid catastrophic global warming by the end of the century. The industry also knows that green tech and renewable energy is only getting cheaper. The latest climate report released this week by the United Nations (UN) makes these facts alarmingly clear.

      • Could California’s Public Banks Finance a Statewide Green New Deal?

        After years of claiming to be a leader in climate action, California might be finally starting to step into its promised role — and it is bringing a secret weapon to the challenge.

      • Do your maths and tackle the climate crisis

        So you want to be a climate scientist? For a start, you’ll need good maths. And Oxford educators have found a way to help you.

      • Dozens Arrested for Demanding Food Justice at Jane Fonda's Fire Drill Friday Protest in DC

        The weekly demonstration coincided with a global youth-led climate strike that aimed to put pressure on governments attending COP 25.

      • Lauren MacCallum | Accidental Activism
      • 'We See No Other Options': Youth Activists Lead Global #ClimateStrike Ahead of COP 25

        "Countless negotiations have produced much-hyped but ultimately empty commitments from the world's governments."

      • Why We Strike Again

        For more than a year, children and young people from around the world have been striking for the climate. We launched a movement that defied all expectations, with millions of people lending their voices – and their bodies – to the cause. We did this not because it was our dream, but because we didn’t see anyone else taking action to secure our future.

      • The Grand Illusion

        As the ecological crisis deepens, nearing the infamous Tipping Point – taking us closer to planetary catastrophe – we are being led to believe that an imminent “greening” of the world economy will deliver us from a very dark future. Somehow, against all logic, we have adopted a collective faith in the willingness of ruling governments and corporations to do the right thing. Carbon footprints will be drastically reduced thanks to a combination of market stratagems and technological magic. While greenhouse mitigation seamlessly advances, the ruling forces can return to what they do best – indulge their religion of endless accumulation and growth.

      • Gleaning the Dumps of Deonar: “I Was Born in Garbage, I Will Die in Garbage”

        Kitabun Nisa Shaikh is standing on the edge of a hillock of rubble and garbage, picking out plastic from a nallah slowly flowing by her house in Rafiq Nagar. Some of the waste has slithered there from the adjoining Deonar landfill, some of it is garbage thrown right into the open drain. Using a long wooden stick with a hook, she manages to draw in a pink plastic bottle entangled in a slimy black rag. Then she reaches across with the stick for the next item of value to her.

      • What Should You Do About Climate Change?

        Earth’s climate is changing before our eyes, and at a faster rate than given by all previous scientific predictions. The melting of glaciers and permafrost, and the methane burping from tundras and the Arctic Sea; the enhanced power of hurricanes, rain and snow storms, and floods; the swelling of the oceans and the creeping inundation of shorelines worldwide; the unrelenting severity of droughts and wild fires; the acidification of the oceans, die-off of corals and reduction of marine life; and the havoc all these geophysical phenomena play on food production and on the habitability of the many environments both humans and wildlife call home, are all startling clear to see.

      • Energy

        • Unhappy Thanksgiving: Explosions at Texas chemical plant keep more than 50,000 out of their homes

          The Houston Chronicle said TPC Group, which until 2010 was known as Texas Petrochemical, “has a spotty environmental record in recent years.’’

          The newspaper reported that earlier this year TPC Group was fined $214,000 for excessive emissions and pollution, including a failure to report incidents. The Chronicle also said a storage tank at the company’s Houston facility caught fire last year, although there were no injuries.

          Texas has seen multiple petrochemical industry fires this year, including one that burned for days near Houston and another one that killed a worker at a plant in nearby Crosby.

        • Fight or Switch? How the Low-carbon Transition Is Disrupting Fossil Fuel Politics

          As the Trump administration works to weaken regulations on fossil fuel production and use, a larger struggle is playing out across multiple industries. Until recently, oil companies and their defenders generally reacted to calls for regulating carbon emissions by spreading doubt and promoting climate denialism. However, I believe this approach is becoming less effective as climate change effects worsen and public demands for action intensify€ worldwide.

        • Koch Network Jumps Into 2020 Races by Backing GOP Senators

          The Charles Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is running ads backing Republican senators, marking the first election-related spending of the cycle for the Koch network that has undergone significant restructuring this year.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Some CEOs Earn 1,000 Times More Than Their Workers. Here’s How We Stop That
      • The Impunity Doctrine: The Meek Shall be Buried Beneath the Earth

        The ruling class are feeling the heat. By feeling the heat, I mean they are disproportionately perturbed by toothless condemnation of their tax-avoiding wealth accumulation by presidential hopefuls looking to shore up “progressive” support during the primaries. Never mind that this highly scripted spectacle is underwritten by Wall Street, and its executive producers are the military/tech/industrial complex, the plutocracy will no longer countenance ANY ruptures or least resistance to the neoliberal dragnet it has cast over the earth. Thus they have decided that impunity – as opposed to stealth avoidance of being detected at their crime scenes – is the only way to fortify the “borderless”, garrisoned, surveillance state against the huddled masses. The lucky few experience this heavily stratified, toxic biosphere as their own private pleasure dome, while the luckless majority, with their heads barely above water, are slowly being boiled alive.

      • As Global Inequality Rises, So Are the Movements Fighting It
      • How People Are Using Our Chicago Parking Ticket Data in Their Research

        When we published Driven Into Debt — our series looking at how Chicago’s traffic enforcement system unfairly burdened black and poor motorists — we knew people would want to see the raw data behind our investigation.

        So we published all 66 million rows of it on our site, for free, making the city’s internal ticket-tracking system easily accessible to the public for the first time. Then, in December 2018, we used this data as the backbone for our interactive database, The Ticket Trap. While we’ve found a number of stories in the data, our analysis only used a piece of what we had; we hoped people with the time and means would be able to find more for themselves.

      • The Seattle WTO Uprising & the Indymedia Movement, Twenty Years Later
      • Gas Mask in a Shopping Bag: Looking Back at WTO Seattle
      • WTO Shutdown: I Was Jane Doe #520

        WTO Shutdown 20-Year Anniversary Series:€ The Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project and Common Dreams have produced this series of ten people's history accounts and forward-looking lessons from organizers who were in the streets...

      • “It Was Twenty Years Ago Today:” Seattle Diary

        Seattle has always struck me as a suspiciously clean city, manifesting a tidiness that verges on the compulsive. It is the Singapore of the United States: spit-polished, glossy, and eerily beautiful. Indeed, there is, perhaps, no more scenic setting for a city set next to Elliot Bay on Puget Sound, with the serrated tips of the Olympic Mountains on the western skyline and hulking over it all the cool blue hump of Mt. Rainier.

      • Seattle +20: What the Global Justice Movement Got Right

        Twenty years ago, protesters forced the cancellation of parts of the third ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. A combination of internal advocacy within the ministerial and protests outside (The Battle of Seattle) stopped the WTO from carrying out an agenda designed to enrich corporate elites and impoverish everyone else.

      • Development: A Failed Project

        "They talk to me about progress, about 'achievements,' diseases cured, improved standards of living. I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.

      • Black Friday Protests Across Europe Demand Amazon 'Start Treating Workers Like Humans—Not Robots'

        "Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances."

      • Progressives Condemn 'Nonsensical and Dishonest' Pete Buttigieg Ad Attacking Free Public College

        "This is such a disingenuous attack that can be used for literally any universal program."

      • Gentrification
      • New Poll Finds Majority of Americans Across Political Spectrum Back Warren's Ultra-Millionaire Tax

        At rallies, the White House hopeful has criticized billionaires for their complaints about her plan to impose a two percent tax on wealth over $50 million.

      • Capitalism's Failures Have Ignited Protests Worldwide

        What follows is a conversation between journalist Ben Ehrenreich and Marc Steiner of The Real News Network.

      • How World Bank Arbitrators Mugged Pakistan

        Wall Street hedge funds and lawyers have turned an arcane procedure of international treaties into a money machine, at the cost of the world’s poorest people. The latest shakedown is a $5.9 billion award against Pakistan’s government in favor of two global mining companies – Antofagasta PLC of Chile and Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada – for a project that was never approved by Pakistan and never carried out.

      • Rental scams

        One of the cybercrimes that bothers us at Cambridge is accommodation fraud. Every October about 1% the people who come as grad students or postdocs rent an apartment that just doesn’t exist. Sites like Craigslist are full of ads that are just too good to be true. While the university does what it can to advise new hires and admissions to use our own accommodation services if they cannot check out an apartment personally, perhaps 50 new arrivals still turn up to find that they have nowhere to live, their money is gone, and the police aren’t interested. This is not a nice way to start your PhD.

        Some years ago a new postdoc, Sophie van der Zee, almost fell for such a scam, and then got to know someone here who had actually become a victim. She made this into a research project, and replied to about a thousand scam ads. We analysed the persuasion techniques that the crooks used.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Mr. Johnson, Tear Down This Wall!

        On June 12, 1987, the greatest president in the history of the United States of America (according to US opinion polls), Ronald Reagan, challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Twenty-nine months later, November 9, 1989, the communist party leaderships of the DDR and Soviet Union, complied and opened the wall.

      • Destruction by Egotism

        President Donald Trump claims to proceed from a unique wisdom but his real drivers are how to win the next election and enlarge his personal wealth. His concerns are not the good of his country or the well-being of humanity, but what is good for him. Hostile to expertise and good advice, Trump€  wreaks mayhem in every€  corner of the world.€  Every week if not every hour brings a new outrage.. Just consider what he has done in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

      • Thanksgiving 2019: Where Are We Now?

        Thanksgiving is a fine time to take stock.


        “Kakistocracy” is an old word that Trump and his minions have made timely. It ought to be used more than it is in accounts of our president and his administration. It means rule by the worst, most inept, most unscrupulous, most contemptible, and most vile.

        On this Thanksgiving, with a general election less than a year away, there is much to take stock of — because, as Donald Rumsfeld might say, there are so many “known knowns.” Formerly on top of George W. Bush’s gang of miscreants, the hapless Rumsfeld is now only the second most ludicrous Donald in the American political firmament of the past twenty years.

        Among those known knowns, we know that Congressional Democrats will vote, probably unanimously, to impeach Donald Trump. Trump is not just the most ludicrous Donald in recent decades, but also, far and away, the most god-awful president in more than a century and half. Arguably, he is the worst president ever, though some pieces of work just before and after the Civil War set the bar for that title rather high.

        The reason is not that the inveterate cowardice of the Democratic Party’s leadership or of most of its rank-and-file is subsiding. It is that Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” have become too numerous and too egregious for Democrats – indeed, for anyone still blessed with the wits they were born with — not to want him gone right away.

      • Nancy Pelosi’s Daring Diagnosis

        Victor Lustig, who was born in Bohemia in 1890, was a child of unusual charm and imagination. He used these talents in unique ways during his life. Taking advantage of his mastery of several languages, he tricked the passengers of ocean liners steaming between Paris and New York City, making them believe that he had a money-making machine. He sold the machine at the exorbitant price of $30,000. Over 12 hours the machine would produce two $100 bills. As Lustig’s supply of those bills was limited, once they were finished, the machine ceased producing them. When the buyers realized what had happened, Lustig was long gone.

      • Why the UkraineGate Hearings Didn’t Move the Dial

        CNN and MSDNC’s talking heads seemed surprised and disappointed that the recent televised impeachment hearings do not appear to have moved any but a small number of Republicans into supporting the impeachment and removal of the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump.€  Liberals roll their eyes while discussing surveys showing that Republican voters are unmoved by clear evidence of Trump’s corrupt conduct in trying to extort political dirt on Joe Biden out of Ukraine with the bribe of American missiles.

      • When Trump Became Messiah to the American Right

        The Divine Right of Rulers isn’t a new concept—it’s one of the oldest and worst political tricks in the book. So when Energy Secretary Rick Perry appeared on Fox News and referred to President Trump as the “chosen one” and “sent by God to do great things,” no one should have been shocked. Of course, Perry is just echoing Trump himself. Already, he’s referred to himself as, “the second coming of God” and “the chosen one.” Those in his base, who are evangelical by a large margin, have yet to be upset by these characterizations. Perhaps that’s because Rick Perry and Co. genuinely believe it.

      • Now Is Not the Time for Democrats to Waver

        As the House Judiciary Committee opens the final round of hearings next week in the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, there are, once again, reports of wavering among centrists and moderates in the Democratic Party. Although conservative news outlets have taken the lead on such reporting, there is little reason to believe the coverage is fake or exaggerated.

      • The House Is Not a Home: A Common Sense Impeachment Proposition

        Now that the House of Representatives case for impeachment has been made as the public hearings have concluded, it is assumed that a vote to impeach must follow. For those who believe that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as President, there is a far better option.

      • Rural America Has a Young People Problem

        From 1990 to 2010, according to US Census data, the number of people in our town between the ages of 25 and 34—in other words, young adults who have put down roots—declined from 14 percent of the population to 7 percent. And those who left are likely to have been among the best and the brightest: According to Rob, almost all his high school acquaintances who were in advanced placement classes went off to college and never returned.

      • The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself

        Barack Obama is using his post-presidency to attack the Left and protect the status quo. The historical myth believed by so many liberals that Obama was a progressive leader who was hemmed in by the presidency's political constraints is collapsing fast.

      • Apple, Bowing to Russian Pressure, Recognizes Crimea Annexation on Map

        But Russia’s Parliament is now rejoicing at getting at least Apple to fall partly into line. When viewed from inside Russia, Apple apps show Crimea as part of the Russian Federation and separated from Ukraine by an international border.

        This means that Apple has joined Google, Yandex and some other technology companies in redrawing Ukraine’s borders to satisfy Moscow’s territorial claims, at least for customers viewing their maps on devices inside Russia. Viewed on devices outside Russia, Crimea remains part of Ukraine.

      • Several journalists arrested in crackdown in Saudi Arabia

        From November 16 to 21, Saudi authorities arrested at least seven journalists, bloggers, and columnists, according to reports by The Associated Press and London-based human rights group Al-Qst. Saudi authorities have not publicly stated any reasons for the arrests, which included many who have not published in recent years.

      • Wayne Barrett on Rudy Giuliani, Melissa Goodman on the PATRIOT Act

        CounterSpin this week revisits two interviews from the past, on topics very much of today. First up: Now that Rudy Giuliani is known as Donald Trump’s rabid fixer, whom we learned none other than John Bolton described as “a hand grenade” who would “blow everyone up,” the former New York City mayor has fallen out of elite media’s good graces. To which New Yorkers say, what took you so long? Much of media’s story around Giuliani was about how cool and effective he was on September 11, 2001. And much of that story is myth. In 2006, CounterSpin spoke with the late journalist Wayne Barrett, then at the late Village Voice, about his book, Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, co-authored with Dan Collins. We’ll hear that interview today.

      • Impeachment Inquiry Throws Spotlight on Family Favoritism in Politics

        As the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine progresses, the issue of nepotism has become one of the subplots. President Trump is accused of withholding U.S. military aid as he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden. As recently as November 20, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee suggested that Hunter Biden should be subpoenaed to testify. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, Jr., of all people, alleges that Hunter Biden is profiting off his father’s name. As many have been quick to point out, the same critique could apply to Donald, Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Jared Kushner.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Should Be Impeached for His Climate Policy Alone

        It is time to take Donald Trump’s disregard for climate crisis seriously. As Commander in Chief, Trump is abdicating his duties to protect his people, instead actively aiding and abetting the corporate polluters who are causing the climate chaos. Trump is wasting irreplaceable time that we need to prevent a worsening climate crisis. Trump’s actions, expanding the fossil fuel industry’s emissions, make the perils even worse. This is another reason for impeachment—climate crisis jeopardizes the American people in major ways.

      • Return of the Mao Suit

        The CBC noted that the new Chinese ambassador to Canada appeared wearing a Mao suit to present his credentials to the Governor-General, representative of Queen Elizabeth II. In the recent past delegates of the Communist Party of China wore Western-style business suits to such events, so the CBC asked what message might be intended by the return of the Mao suit?

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Malta journalist murder: Businessman offers to testify in exchange for pardon

        Maltese businessman and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech offered on Thursday to testify against top politicians in case of the 2017 murder of a journalist in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to Reuters news agency and The Times of Malta.

        The Maltese Cabinet met for an emergency meeting on Thursday evening as the ongoing murder probe threatens to destabilize the government. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced early Friday that no pardon had been granted to Fenech.

        Fenech officially requested the pardon in exchange for more information, after he was arrested on his yacht last week.

      • Daphne Caruana Galizia: Malta suspect will not get immunity

        Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said a suspect in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia will not be granted immunity to reveal what he knows about the case.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • If There’s a Warrant for Your Arrest, the Government Should Have to Tell You

        I read about Eric Barrier, half of the classic rap duo Eric B. and Rakim, and how he recently wound up in jail. The story is interesting not because it’s unusual but because it’s typical.

      • Street Fighting Man: The Night New York City Cops Beat Me Bloody

        I know your€ eyes are glued to the circus in D.C. and the slaughter that’s taking place in Afghanistan and half-a-dozen other places in a world that’s on fire. I’m paying close attention, too. I’m also paying attention to my strangely electrifying memories of the night I was arrested and beaten by a dozen or so New York City cops until I was black and black, my skull cracked open and bones broken. There have been worse beating since then, but at the time the ACLU said it was the worst beating in NYC history. Fifty years later, some of my bones haven’t healed; several fingers are crooked and a near-constant reminder of the occasion when my pal, Robert Reilly, and I were detained for hours in two precincts in Manhattan and worked over, so to speak, at the behest of John Finnegan, known informally as “Captain Jack,” the head of the infamous Red Squad, which was the subject, decades ago, of a documentary by Joel Sucher (of Pacific Street Films).

      • Britain’s Chief Rabbi is Helping to Stoke antisemitism

        Chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has not only misrepresented the known facts about Labour and its supposed antisemitism crisis. He has not only interfered in an overtly, politically partisan manner in the December 12 election campaign by suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn –€ against all evidence€ – is an antisemite.

      • Why Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is Wrong About Labor€ Anti-Semitism

        The Tories strategy for ‘hiding’ their deep-rooted racism involves them perpetuating gratuitous acts of racism so regularly that they are effectively normalised. Nothing to report here apparently.

      • Haiti on my Mind

        Racism is an ulcerated ostrich, or a crenulated werewolf, perhaps an infected tourniquet or an awkward viper – Will Alexander

      • Pilgrim Songs

        Edward Winslow’s€ Good Newes from New-England€ published in 1624 in London begins its narrative in November of 1621.€  There is no word of the first Thanksgiving. That didn’t happen until 1623 and was a day of devout prayer and penance rather than one of festive celebration and culinary surfeit.

      • He Defended the Confederate Flag and Insulted Immigrants. Now He’s a Judge.

        When South Carolina lawmakers confirmed a batch of new magistrates this year, one nominee stood out from the pack: Mike Pitts.

        The former state House member had made a name for himself in Columbia as a staunch defender of the Confederate flag, and on Facebook he has penned anti-immigration screeds and used racially charged language. In May, for example, he posted a photo of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, an African American Democrat running for president. His caption: “Cory Booker alway [sic] looks like he just hit crack real hard.”

      • The Torture Called Solitary
      • #NoMusicForICE Campaign Against Amazon Enters Second Phase

        #NoMusicForICE, which is a campaign by musicians who are boycotting Amazon over its ties with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), entered its second phase on Black Friday, with musicians demanding that the company stop streaming and selling their songs.

      • Iran: Arrested Protesters Are In Grave Danger Of Torture And Execution

        Security forces have arrested at least two thousands of protesters and civil activists in the recent days in Iran. They are in danger of torture, forced confessions and several can be sentenced to death.

        Given the Islamic Republic’s dark history of torture and mass executions, Iran Human Rights (IHR) urges the UN and the Red Cross to send a special team, including human rights expert, to visit Iranian prisons and detention centers.

        IHR’s Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said: “Detainees are in grave danger of torture to extract false confessions. We also worried about issuing death sentences for some of the protesters. Today, Iranian people need the international community’s attention, more than ever.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Access Now calls on Internet Society to halt the sale of .ORG

        This opaque decision was made without consulting civil society groups that rely on .ORG to operate, without taking into consideration the human rights impacts of the business deal, and without taking into account the sale’s deleterious effects on the governance of the open and free internet. It follows closely on the heels of the removal of price caps in the .ORG Registry Agreement, despite overwhelming community opposition. With this sale, Internet Society has pulled the rug out from under civil society around the world to allow a sale that stands to benefit only a few.


        We call on ISOC to stop the sale of .ORG until we get answers to the important and fundamental questions this agreement presents. [...]

      • The Future of Internet Regulation at the European Parliament

        Last week, I gave three talks in Belgium, starting with one titled “Dear regulators, please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” at an event on The Future of Internet Regulation organised by the Greens and Pirates at the European Parliament on Tuesday.

        You can watch it via the Peertube embed, above, thanks to the lovely folks at La Quadrature du Net who took the initiative to rip the recording of the live stream and host it on their own instance. They also edited together a version with my slides, captions, and translations. I’ve embedded that version at the end of this post.

    • Monopolies

      • From Standard Oil to Google and Amazon

        One of the very first investigative journalists, Ida Tarbell went after the “throttling hand” of Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller. By 1880, the company owned 90 percent of US oil, its transport and its sale.

      • Patents

        • Patents were assigned in New Hampshire from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10

          The following patents were assigned in New Hampshire from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10.

        • Software Patents

          • VirnetX patent win against Apple vacated by U.S. appeals court

            Zephyr Cove, Nevada-based VirnetX, which was founded by employees at government contractor Science Applications International Corp, holds patents related to secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links.

          • U.S. Appeals Court Overturned a Major $503 Million Patent Infringement Case against Apple by VirnetX

            We're now learning today that a "U.S. appeals court on Friday voided a jury’s calculation that Apple Inc should pay $503 million for infringing patents owned by licensing firm VirnetX Holdings Corp , setting the stage for another potential trial in a decade-old legal battle.

          • Apple wins partial reprieve over VirnetX $503 million patent case

            A US appeals court has upheld two rulings that Apple infringed VirnetX patents, but reversed the decision on two others. The nearly decade-long legal case must now go back a Texas judge who will consider further hearings.

          • 40 law and economics professors supporting FTC against Qualcomm's appeal contradict themselves just two pages apart

            At least one other amicus brief I've downloaded by now makes that point as well, and it's too important for a mere footnote. Those monetization-focused SEP holders who refuse to license component makers--Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, and various trolls (though there's only a floating border between former handset makers and trolls)--come up with arbitrary and shifting-sand-style positions on what hardware components are needed in order to implement a standard. For an example, in its German infringement actions against Daimler, Nokia argues that only an end product--in that case, a car--implements a standard, but car makers purchase telematics control units (TCUs) that, in turn, come with connectivity modules (often called network access devices, or NADs), and the NADs actually are like a complete phone, just without a screen, and cars add absolutely nothing that is required to practice the standard.

            Even if the debate is about chipsets used in smartphones (as in FTC v. Qualcomm), the phone is an arbitrary choice: as the footnote quoted above notes, only the combination of an entire network (with all its base stations) and the end-user devices would implement the standard if one followed Qualcomm's (or Nokia's or Ericsson's) logic. As a result, no company other than a Huawei or Samsung (which make base stations as well as end user devices) would be entitled to a cellular SEP license--or maybe telcos that operate networks and resell phones could obtain a license, too. Such a nonsensical result would be an invalid outcome that would make it impossible to give any remotely reasonable interpretation to FRAND licensing pledges.

            The second part of Professor Contreras's amicus brief explains that Qualcomm's reference to its own past license agreements as a point of reference for determining reasonable (the "R" in "FRAND") royalties is "circular logic." Here, Professor Contreras cites to a publication by Professor Thomas Cotter (University of Minnesota and author of the highly recommended Comparative Patent Remedies blog): Reasonable Royalties, in Patent Remedies and Complex Products: Toward a Global Consensus.

      • Copyrights

        • 'Pirate' IPTV Reseller Boom Media Wants $250,000 in Donations to Fight Lawsuit

          Former 'pirate' IPTV reseller Boom Media is being sued in the US by broadcaster DISH Network. A defeat could cost tens of millions of dollars but that's not all. Boom Media owner John Henderson says what DISH really wants is information on his suppliers and customers, so he want to take the case to trial. To finance that, however, he needs at least $250,000 in donations.

        • Planned .Org Registry Sale Puts The Pirate Bay at Risk

          The Internet Society is in the process of selling the Public Interest Registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital. The planned sale has raised widespread concerns over a possible price hike and suspensions of .org domains. This could also be relevant for many pirate sites including The Pirate Bay, which still operates from its original .org domain

        • Court of Appeal Denies Kim Dotcom Access to Illegal Spy Recordings

          The New Zealand Court of Appeal has refused to grant Kim Dotcom access to his private communications captured illegally by the country's spy agency. The Court found that while the intercepted communications, which formed part of the Megaupload investigation, are 'relevant', the need to protect national security tips the scales in the state's favor.

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Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"