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Links 21/8/2020: System76’s Bonobo WS, LLVM 11.0 RC2



  • GNU/Linux

    • How to Move from Windows to Linux

      There are thousands of Linux distributions out there, and it can be confusing just to read how one is different from the others. To get started, you may want to try Ubuntu, not because it is the easiest to use, but because it is the most popular. Thanks to its millions of users, you can easily find help if you run into issues (which you are bound to do).

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Checking out the new AMD Serval WS Laptop from System76

        System76 has released their new AMD-based mobile workstation, the Serval WS. It features a 15.6" display, Nvidia graphics, and AMD Ryzen CPUs.

      • System76’s Bonobo WS Makes a Comeback as Their Most Powerful Linux Laptop

        System76 is relentless in their pursuit to provide Open Source firmware to all of their Linux laptop line-up, and the new Bonobo WS is the latest to get the Coreboot-based System76 Open Firmware and the System76 Embedded Controller Firmware after the Darter Pro, Lemur Pro, and Oryx Pro.

        These Open Source technologies not only offer users full control over their hardware, such as battery, fans and keyboard, when they buy a Linux laptop from System76, but they also greatly speed up the boot time and overall performance of the device.

      • Lilbits: Use a Sony DSLR as a webcam, buy a monster Linux laptop, and more

        Linux PC maker System76 has released its most powerful laptop to date: the new System76 Bonobo WS is a mobile workstation with support for desktop-class chips including a 125-watt Intel Core i9-10900K processor and NVIDIA RTX 2080 SUPER graphics. At 8.4 pounds, it’s not the sort of laptop we’d normally cover on Liliputing, but hey, it’s more portable than a desktop with those components.

        [...]

        System76 Bonobo WS is a 17.3 inch Linux laptop/mobile workstation PC with desktop components (up to a Core i9-10900K deca-core CPU, NVIDIA RTX 2080 SUPER graphics, 128GB RAM, Thunderbolt 3, and 1080p 144Hz or 4K/60Hz display options. It’s HEAVY though (8.4 pounds).

      • Bonobo WS: System76 Unveils Its Most Powerful Linux Laptop
        Linux PC Vendor System76 has finally launched its new Bonobo WS portable Linux laptop with high-end specifications, powerful and open source components.

        With a 17.3-inch 1080p or 4K Matte display to play 4K videos and higher resolution gaming smoothly, Bonobo WS boasts a 10th generation Intel Core Desktop processor underneath.

      • Things We Love About the New Bonobo WS

        The Bonobo WS is a powerhouse of performance—as well as an actual house for tiny elves. There’s a lot to love about this new laptop, some of which we recite in song from our respective locations.

      • Bonobo WS
      • System76 Launches The New Bonobo WS High-End Linux Laptop At $2399+ USD
      • System76 reveal the true monster desktop-class laptop 'Bonobo WS'
    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel defends its 'magic instructions' against Linux founder's criticism

        Computing's Mr. Grumpy, Linus Torvalds, wished "a painful death" on Intel's AVX-512 instruction set, and Intel's Mr. Charisma, Raja Koduri, has now offered a defence of it in the face of questions from PCWorld's Mr. Lovely, Gordon Mah Ung. It's okay, I'm going to stop that now, lest the estate of Roger Hargreaves comes after me.

        Back in July Torvalds was hanging out in a forum thread speculating on the potential absence of AVX-512 in the upcoming Intel Alder Lake platform, when he chose to call out the feature and called on Intel to start "fixing real problems instead of trying to create magic instructions to then create benchmarks that they can look good on."

        At the Intel Architecture Day this month PCWorld quizzed Koduri on Torvalds' comments, to which he responded saying: "AVX-512 is a great feature. Our HPC community, AI community, love it. Our customers on the data center side really, really, really love it."

        "We understand Linus’ concerns," continues Koduri, "we understand some of the issues with first generation AVX-512 that had impact on the frequencies etc, etc. and we are making it much much better with every generation."

      • 5.9 Merge window, part 1

        As of this writing, just over 3,900 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.9 kernel development cycle. While this merge window has just begun, there is already a significant set of new features to point out.

      • Local locks in the kernel

        The Linux kernel has never lacked for synchronization primitives and locking mechanisms, so one might justifiably wonder why there might be a need to add another one. The addition of local locks to 5.8 provides an answer to that question. These locks, which have their origin in the realtime (PREEMPT_RT) tree, were created to solve some realtime-specific problems, but they also bring some much-needed structure to a common locking pattern used in non-realtime kernels as well.

        [...]

        A kernel function attempting to acquire a spinning lock that is owned by another thread will spin (loop actively) until the other thread, which must be running on a different CPU, releases the lock. This type of lock is fast, but it may waste CPU cycles if the wait lasts for a long time. Spinning locks are thus used around short sections of code. Longer code sections protected by spinning locks will increase the overall system latency; code that needs to respond to an event quickly may be blocked on a lock. The category of spinning locks contains spinlocks and read-write locks.

        The situation is different with sleeping locks; a thread taking such a lock will, as the name suggests, relinquish the CPU if it cannot obtain the lock. This type of lock works for longer sections of critical code, but takes a longer time to obtain. Also, sleeping locks cannot be taken when a thread is running in atomic context; that happens, for example, when interrupts are disabled, the code holds a spinlock, or it holds an atomic kmap (atomic kernel mapping). In non-PREEMPT_RT kernels, sleeping locks include all types of mutexes and semaphores. In practice, even sleeping locks do spinning in some cases if there is a possibility to obtain the lock rapidly. For example, mutexes may spin if the mutex owner is running (and thus should release the mutex shortly). This is called "opportunistic spinning"; interested readers can look into the details in the kernel documentation.

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: How to Join Virtual LPC 2020

        A reminder about how to attend our virtual edition of the Linux Plumbers Conference.

        If you are registered, you can participate by joining the Meeting Rooms on our Big Blue Button instance, starting Monday August 24th. You will find a front end showing the schedule for the current day with all the active sessions you can join. If you are having issues, please consult the LPC 2020 Participant Guide.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AOMedia Forms AV1 Software Working Group Using Intel's SVT-AV1

          The Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) today announced the formation of a Software Implementation Working Group (SIWG) to bring AV1 video support to more platforms by leveraging Intel's open-source SVT-AV1 implementation.

          This AOMedia working group is working to bring AV1 encoder support to more platforms and the group is being chaired by representatives from Facebook, Tencent, and Intel.

        • Paving the way for high bitrate video streaming with GStreamer's RTP elements

          RTP is the dominant protocol for low latency audio and video transport. It sits at the core of many systems used in a wide array of industries, from WebRTC, to SIP (IP telephony), and from RTSP (security cameras) to RIST and SMPTE ST 2022 (broadcast TV backend).

          Being a flexible, Open Source framework, GStreamer is used in a variety of applications. Its RTP stack has been battle tested in multiple use-cases across all of the aforementioned industries, giving it the distinct advantage of being able to apply optimisations from one use case to another. Without a doubt, GStreamer has one of the most mature and complete RTP stacks available.

        • NVIDIA Linux Driver Preparing To Drop SLI AA/AFR/SFR Support

          NVIDIA is preparing to remove support for multi-GPU modes of AA (anti-aliasing), AFR (alternate frame rendering), and SFR (split frame rendering) from the Linux driver in the near future.

          NVIDIA has updated their deprecation schedule today to reflect that the current NVIDIA 450.xx driver series is the last branch supporting SLI AA/AFR/SFR modes. NVIDIA 450 is the current stable Linux driver series this summer while soon should be succeeded by a new series in ushering in the upcoming GeForce 3000 series support.

        • Vallium: a *software* swrast vulkan layer FAQ

          I had some requirements for writing a vulkan software rasterizer within the Mesa project. I took some time to look at the options and realised that just writing a vulkan layer on top of gallium's llvmpipe would be a good answer for this problem. However in doing so I knew people would ask why this wouldn't work for a hardware driver.

        • Why VALLIUM Is Just For Software-Based Vulkan & Not GPU Hardware Drivers

          Merged into Mesa 20.3 earlier this week was VALLIUM as a Vulkan front-end to Gallium3D with an explicit focus to serve as a CPU/software-based Vulkan implementation and relying upon the Gallium/LLVMpipe infrastructure. But with VALLIUM being a Gallium3D front-end, some have wondered whether this could allow Vulkan to magically work with existing Gallium3D hardware drivers or even to run Vulkan on GPUs not natively supported by Vulkan.

        • Radeon ROCm 3.7 Release Enables OpenMP 5.0 By Default In AOMP

          AMD's software team has released version 3.7 of ROCm, the Radeon Open Compute stack as their alternative to NVIDIA's closed-source CUDA compute environment.

          The ROCm 3.7 release comes just hours after they released AOMP 11.8 as AMD's downstream of LLVM/Clang focused on providing Radeon OpenMP offloading support until the work is all upstreamed in LLVM/Clang. With AOMP 11.8 they are using the branched LLVM 11.0 code that is nearing its stable release, OPMD updates for the FLANG Fortran compiler, OpenMP debugging improvements, and other changes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • The Steam Play Proton compatibility layer turns two years old

        Two years ago to the date, Valve Software made an announcement that would change Linux gaming on Steam: that announcement was the new version of Steam Play with the Proton compatibility layer.

        Proton is the Valve-funded fork of Wine, a compatibility layer designed to run Windows software on other systems. With Proton, Valve are focusing of course on games and Steam integration with the help of CodeWeavers. Two years on, there's a huge amount more AAA games (thousands) playable on Linux with a few clicks of a button (guide). Thanks to Proton, users moving over from Windows likely don't need to give up a lot of their games, since many should work well and the importance of that cannot be understated as a back catalogue is vital.

    • Games

      • The puzzle series Hexcells gets a huge discount and dark mode

        Developer Matthew Brown has crafted a set of brilliant puzzle games with the Hexcells series and it seems they're not entirely finished with them years after release.

        The series has gone onto receive wide acclaim from other critics and users on Steam, with each game in the series having thousands of user reviews and a positive rating. So clearly Brown has done well here. If you've not played them: they're a series of ambient and relaxed logic puzzles. You could say it's a puzzle game in its purest form, with no bells and whistles and that's part of why it's so good.

      • Mythicard is an upcoming free online card-based auto battler

        Do you enjoy build up a good deck of powerful cards? How about competitive online matches? Keep an eye on the upcoming Mythicard, a free to play auto-battler.

        The idea here is that you have competitive matches against 5 other people, as you compete to be the last one standing. In order to win, you have to build up an army of cards and improve on things each round. The battlefield is a row of eight maximum cards in play per player, with each round letting players purchase cards, sell card, level up and rearrange their card's attack order. With cross-platform online multiplayer across Linux, macOS, Windows and Android. Once a round begins, you engage in automatic 1v1 battles until there's no cards remaining for one player.

      • Manage a private space company in EarthX and go to Mars

        With a name that's clearly a parody of SpaceX, the indie game EarthX has you build up and manage a private space company and with a recent update you can go to Mars.

        You get to develop rockets, fight for contracts with competitors and perhaps live out your dream of becoming a nutty ridiculously rich entrepreneur. This isn't another Kerbal though, it's much more of a management game as you build up your little base of operations and get designing some rockets. With a recent expansion released in July the game has opened up a lot as you can now head to Mars, you can even build on it and perhaps try your hand a little Terraforming.

      • Dynamic physics 3D platformer 'Crumble' to launch in December - try the demo

        Crumble, a 3D platformer I've been excitedly following for quite some time actually has a release date now and they plan to launch it on December 4, 2020.

        It looks pretty fantastic and from the time we've played of the early builds, it feels awesome too. It's a rolling-ball 3D physics platformer, where your character is just a silly face with a very long and sticky tongue. It's actually a bit hilarious with the unstable platforms and destruction that goes on during some levels. There's even a level where you control an aeroplane by rolling across it to change direction.

      • Darkest Dungeon: The Butcher's Circus is now available for Linux PC

        Red Hook Studios have released an update to the free Darkest Dungeon: The Butcher's Circus DLC, which now includes Linux PC support too.

        This is the brand new free DLC that adds in PvP battles to Darkest Dungeon, which are entirely separate to the main campaign. It brings the tough turn-based combat to an entirely new audience. Red Hook Studios are still tinkering with their idea and this is the start of a second Season of content for The Butcher's Circus. In addition to adding Linux and macOS support to the new mode they've also added an Offline Mode to practice against bots, Steam Rich Presence support, improvements to the Direct Challenge feature and more polishing.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Panel Improvements Merged Ahead Of The Forthcoming Xfce 4.16

        Xfce 4.16 continues to move along on new and improved features with hopes of shipping this calendar year. A batch of xfce4-panel improvements were merged today.

        A lot of improvements hit xfce4-panel today, namely around the merging of the status notifier plug-in with the system tray plug-in in this panel code. All the patches that hit the Git repository today can be seen here.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Cantor - Hierarchy Entry and Markdown Image drag&drop

          this is the fifth post about the progress in my GSoC project and I want to present a new major feature that help to structure the content of the worksheet as well as another minor feature improving the handling and the usability of the insertion of images in the markdown worksheet entries.

          When working with worksheets holding a lot of information it is sometimes required to be able to structure the content. This structuring is possible now with the help of a new entry type - Hierarchy Entry. With this entry a hierarchical representation of the content can be achieved which allows structures like "Chapter -> Section -> Sub-Section", etc.

        • Google Summer of Code 2020 - Post 8

          It has been a long time since my last post. I am facing a personal problem, regarding the health of my dad. It has been difficult to find time to work and take care of him. When I have time, it is really difficult concentrate properly. This is the very reason why I am very happy to say that I finally got a working version of a graph layout algorithm specifically designed for directed acyclic graphs. See an example layout in the image below!

        • KDE Neon: KDE’s Very Own Linux Distribution Provides the Latest and Greatest of KDE With the Simplicity of Ubuntu

          KDE Neon is the official distribution from the KDE team itself. It is an ideal choice for hardcore KDE fans who want to enjoy the latest and greatest of KDE with the simplicity of Ubuntu.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Alejandro Domínguez: Fractal: GSoC final report

          The GSoC is coming to an end and so the work planned for this event for all students. And I’m one of those students.

          In previous stages of the development in this event I went full-on to refactor the whole app-backend separation and interaction to decrease the level of indirections when making requests to the server and so have a nicer time adding multi-account support. You can see what I made here and here.

          As I announced in the last progress update, where I got to rework the error system internally, I started working towards the goal of integrating matrix-rust-sdk into Fractal instead of implementing multi-account support, since the latter came to be a lot more unwieldy than initially thought, having to touch too many moving (and undocumented) parts across the code. But this brought the need to unexpectedly learn another library and get to gripes with its assumptions about its usage.

          After a quick glance over the documentation I thought I was ready to tackle the task. First barrier: the library is still early alpha and there was a version conflict with another crate. With some try and failure I got Cargo to accept the setup and I could make the matrix-sdk Client login. But initially I had to have two clients working at the same time while I incrementally moved everything to matrix-sdk. Fortunately, there was a method to set the login parameters in the client without making the request to the server. That meant I could share the access token. Neat.

        • Chapter 4: Adventures with change tracking

          So This week I was working on change tracking in Music.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Tumbleweed rolls out Apache, Wireshark, Nano, Remmina Updates

          The latest snapshot, 20200818, brought KDE Applications 20.08.0. The latest applications release offers a plethora of awesomeness. Dolphin adds thumbnails for 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) files to the list and previews of files and folders on encrypted file systems such as Plasma Vaults can be seen. This is done securely by storing the cached thumbnails on the file system itself, or falling back to generating them but not storing cached versions anywhere if necessary. Konsole also comes with a new feature that displays a subtle highlight for new lines coming into view when the terminal output is rapidly scrolling by and shows a thumbnail preview for image files when hovering the cursor over by default. The announcement about the new features is worth reading. Command line utility dar 2.6.10 updated the configure script to handle some undocumented enables and fixed less thana handful of bugs. Users of the Mate Desktop Environment had a fix with the engrampa 1.24.1 package to avoid a memory leak in Java utilities and the mate-calc 1.24.1 fixed incorrect parenthesis handling; both packages update translations. Those who use the TV and webcam recorder xawtv will noticed the update to version 3.107 after ta build issue was resolved with GNU Compiler Collection 10.1. Other packages to update in the snapshot were the new major version of perl-Image-ExifTool 12.04, rubygem-i18n 1.8.5 and rubygem-rubocop-ast 0.1.0. The snapshot is trending moderately stable at a rating of 73, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Redefines Cloud-Native Management with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, the latest addition to Red Hat’s portfolio of IT management technologies designed for the hybrid cloud. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is designed to help organizations further extend and scale Red Hat OpenShift with enterprise-grade management capabilities across hybrid and multicloud environments, allowing them to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters and enable multi-cluster application deployments across hybrid clouds while ensuring policy and governance.

        • Red Hat Brings Virtualization to the Cloud-Native Era with Latest Version of Red Hat OpenShift

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift 4.5, the latest version of the industry’s most comprehensive Kubernetes platform. Red Hat OpenShift 4.5, which includes the general availability of OpenShift Virtualization, is designed to help organizations break down application barriers between traditional and cloud-native infrastructure and extend control over distributed resources.

        • Red Hat Advances Kubernetes Across the Cloud-Native Toolchain with Updated Developer Portfolio

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced updates to its portfolio of developer tools, bringing new capabilities that further equip customers to build, deploy and manage applications in Kubernetes-based environments. With tools optimized for Red Hat OpenShift, the industry's most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, developers can tap into the benefits of Kubernetes—including speed, consistency, portability and scale—without extending development time or complexity.

        • Red Hat Named a Leader by Independent Research Firm in Infrastructure Automation Platforms Evaluation

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform has been named a Leader by Forrester Research in The Forrester Waveâ„¢: Infrastructure Automation Platforms, Q3 2020.

        • JSON logging updates in Open Liberty 20.0.0.8

          With Open Liberty 20.0.0.8, you can now customize HTTP access log fields in JSON logs. This feature allows you to include fields from the accessLogging logFormat attribute in your JSON logs. You also can write a JSON log file directly to system.out, without wrapping it in a liberty_message event.

          [...]

          In Open Liberty, you have the option to format your server logs in either basic or JSON format. When logs are in JSON format, you must specify the sources (message, trace, accessLog, ffdc, or audit) that you want to send to messages.log or console.log and standard-out.

          In Open Liberty 20.0.0.8, we’ve added the option to include fields from the accessLogging logFormat attribute in your JSON logs. Previously, only selected fields were printed in these logs. Now, you can include other NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) access log fields in your JSON logs. This new feature lets you receive more informative logs that suit your needs.

        • Red Hat OpenShift Now Includes OpenShift Virtualization

          The latest version of the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes platform is now generally available. Red Hat OpenShift 4.5, which includes the general availability of OpenShift Virtualization, helps organizations break down application barriers between traditional and cloud-native infrastructure and extend control over distributed resources.

          Red Hat OpenShift now includes OpenShift Virtualization, a new platform feature that enables IT organizations to bring standard VM-based workloads to Kubernetes.

          First introduced at Red Hat Summit 2020 as a technology preview feature, OpenShift Virtualization is now generally available and included with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform at no additional cost.

        • Standardizing on Kubernetes, and more industry trends

          The impact: There is a great deal to gain from Kubernetes continued adoption. Developers pay more attention to code and less to infrastructure; operators get more scalable ways of managing infrastructure and ensuring compliance, business owners get quicker feedback on business strategy.

        • What is generative AI and how much power does it have

          Generative AI refers to programs that can use existing content like text, audio files, or images to create new plausible content. The MIT Technology review described generative AI as one of the most promising advances in the world of AI in the past decade. Generative AI enables computers to learn the underlying pattern related to the input, and then use that to generate similar content. There are various techniques to do that such as generative adversarial networks (GANS), transformers, and variational autoencoders.

          Let’s talk about GANs before discussing the use cases of generative AI and how daunting it can be for some use cases.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Not Got an Ubuntu 20.04 Upgrade Notification Yet? You’re Not Alone…

          If you check the “meta file” Ubuntu LTS releases use to ‘find’ new versions you’ll spot that it doesn’t (yet) include Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (though the recent 16.04.7 LTS and Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS releases are both present).

          Is this omission a bug?

          No, it turns out; it’s intentional.

          Ubuntu’s Alan Pope has said “…it’s common for us to hold back upgrades for a bit until we’re super confident people will get a good experience”.

        • Tour of the snap developer account in the Snap Store

          Sometimes, you may wonder, what’s on the other side of the curtain? If you’re a developer contemplating snaps, you surely want to know the range of tools and options available in the developer account dashboard in the Snap Store. But some of the features may not necessarily be immediately visible or relevant until you’ve uploaded a snap. To that end, we wanted to give you an overview of the Snap Store, and show you the different capabilities you will have as a snap developer.

        • Design and Web team summary – 20th August 2020

          The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Deb Nicholson to Join Open Source Initiative as Interim General Manager

        Deb Nicholson has been serving as our Director of Community Operations for just over two years and is now leaving to Conservancy to take on the role of Interim General Manager at the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Although Deb will no longer be on our staff, she'll remain part of the Conservancy community, most formally as a volunteer on our Evaluation Committee that reviews applications from potential new member projects.

        In the two years since she became the Director of Community Operations, Deb has helped Conservancy welcome six new member projects, put on two Copyleft Confs, run two fundraising seasons and contributed over 50 posts to our blog.

      • Announcing OSI's New Interim General Manager

        The Open Source Initiative is bringing in Deb Nicholson as its new Interim General Manager. Nicholson will be supporting the organization through a period of growth and introspection over the upcoming year as stakeholders continue building on the non-profit's past successes. She will be overseeing day-to-day operations, including marketing, staffing and infrastructure, as well as supporting board and volunteer activities.

        OSI's President, Josh Simmons elaborates, "We're thrilled to welcome Deb as an Interim General Manager at OSI. Her credentials are top notch, and she's well respected within the free and open source software communities... I couldn't ask for a better partner as OSI works through its second major transformation! Deb's roots in the software freedom community and at Conservancy bode well for our movements as we strive to present a more unified front to advance our shared goals."

        We would also like to take this moment to thank Patrick Masson for seven years of service as OSI's General Manager and Director. He leaves behind a powerful legacy as OSI's first full-time employee. Masson will be continuing his work as an outside consultant to support this transition as well as supporting FLOSS Desktops For Kids. We wish him all the best, both inside and outside, the open source community.

      • 3 ways a legal team can enable open source

        I am an open source lawyer for Red Hat. One important part of my job is to provide information to other companies, including their in-house counsel, about how Red Hat builds enterprise-class products with a completely open source development model and answering their questions about open source licensing in general. After hearing about Red Hat's success, these conversations often turn to discussions about how their organization can evolve to be more open source-aware and -capable, and lawyers at these meetings regularly ask how they can modify their practices to be more skilled in providing open source counsel to their employees.

        In this article and the next, I'll convey what I normally tell in-house counsel about these topics. If you are not in-house counsel and instead work for a law firm supporting clients in the software space, you may also find this information useful. (If you are considering going to law school and becoming an open source lawyer, you should read Luis Villa's excellent article What to know before jumping into a career as an open source lawyer.)

      • Submit your session for LibrePlanet 2021 before Oct. 28

        Submissions are being accepted through Wednesday, October 28 at 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time (16:00 UTC). General registration, award nominations, exhibitor registration and sponsoring packages will open soon.

        We invite activists, hackers, law professionals, artists, students, developers, young people, policymakers, tinkerers, newcomers to free software, and anyone looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, to submit a proposal for a session at LibrePlanet. Session proposals can focus on software development, copyleft, community, or other related issues.

      • End-to-end network programmability

        McKeown began by noting that he has used free operating systems throughout his 30-year career in networking, first BSD, then Linux. Those operating systems have shaped networking in various ways; they have also shaped how networking is taught to undergraduates at Stanford University, where he is a professor. The Linux infrastructure is "an amazing example of networking at its best that we show to our students and try to get them experience getting their hands dirty using it", he said.

        He is a "huge believer in the open-source community for networking". In his group at Stanford, all of the code is released as open source. The "real revolution in networking" over the last ten years or more has been the rise of open source as a "trustworthy infrastructure for how we learn about and operate networks". Ten or 12 years ago, everyone was using closed-source, proprietary networking equipment, but today's largest data centers are all running on mostly open-source software, mainly on Linux-based equipment.

        This change is pleasing to him—not simply for the sake of openness—but because it has allowed the owners and operators of this equipment to be able to program it. Those players can then introduce changes into their networks to improve their service in various ways. That kind of innovation can only be helpful to the networking world in the future.

        A combination of express data path (XDP) and BPF provides the ability to do fast packet forwarding in the Linux kernel. In parallel, new forwarding pipelines, hardware accelerators, switches, and smart network-interface cards (NICs) are emerging, many of which are programmable using the P4 language. How can those two things be brought together so that the benefits can be gained end-to-end? Those two "camps" could be determined to be in opposition to each other, but he hopes that does not end up being the case. If the two do not end up working together, he said, it "will only confuse developers and users".

      • Intel oneAPI Level Zero 1.0 Released

        As part of the upcoming oneAPI 1.0 "Gold" release, oneAPI Level Zero 1.0 was released this morning.

        Intel's oneAPI Level Zero API is their direct-to-metal interface for offload accelerators. To date it's largely been about Intel GPUs but there is also work on supporting FPGAs, other GPUs, and other offload accelerators in general. With the oneAPI Level Zero 1.0 release, their low-level API is signaled that its ready for adoption and production use.

      • 5 Best Free Configuration Frameworks for Emacs

        Getting to grips with Emacs is not easy. In fact, it can be one of the steepest learning curves for newcomers. Learning the concepts and being productive with this editor to produce your own dotfiles from afresh takes time and a fair chunk of effort.

        But there’s a much easier way to start being productive. There are numerous projects that produce their own package of configuration. These configuration frameworks take the vanilla Emacs and add their own configuration files, pre-defined internal commands, and configurations for various plug-ins (known as packages). In essence these configuration framework replace your .emacs.d directory, offering an easy to use Emacs configuration for Emacs newcomers and lots of additional power for Emacs power users. The configuration frameworks are sometimes labelled Emacs distributions.

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl ping pong

        Pretend that a ping pong ball represents a single curl installation somewhere in the world. Here’s a picture of one to help you get an image in your head.

        [...]

        If you manage to do this construction work non-stop at the rate of one ball per second (which seems like it maybe would be hard after a while but let’s not make that ruin the fun), it will keep you occupied for no less than a little bit over 317 years. (That also assumes the number of curl installations doesn’t grow significantly in the mean time.)

        That’s a lot of ping pong balls. Ten billion of them, give or take.

        Assuming you have friends to help you build this tower you can probably build it faster. If you can instead sustain a rate of 1000 balls per second, you’d be done in less than four months.

        One official ping pong ball weighs 2.7 grams. It makes a total of 27,000 tonnes of balls. That’s quite some pressure on such a small surface. You better make sure to build the tower on something solid. The heaviest statue in the world is the Statue of Liberty in New York, clocking in at 24,500 tonnes.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • De-Googling: Chrome

            Moving away from Google Chrome was probably the easiest migration in my de-Googling efforts. I’m not a huge user of bookmarks, history, or extensions, so those weren’t tying me down. On the desktop, I just switched to a combination of Ephemeral (as my defaut) with Epiphany/GNOME Web as my main “real browser.”

            Ephemeral is a lightweight privacy browser that I develop for elementary OS, so of course I dogfood it and have it set as the default. A key feature is that you can pop sites open in your “real” browser with one click, so I usually have that set to Epiphany—the native GTK browser that comes with elementary OS, so it’s an obvious choice.

            However, some sites don’t perform well in Ephemeral or Epiphany (usually due to unnecessary user agent sniffing), so I do keep Firefox around for that. And Firefox on the desktop has gotten really good. Since Epiphany supports Firefox Sync, it’s actually pretty easy to jump between the two as needed. I also occasionally install Chromium for testing web development in a Chrome-based engine, but I don’t use it for any real browsing.

        • Mozilla

          • Why Did Mozilla Remove XUL Add-ons?

            During the past few days, I’ve been chatting with Firefox users, trying to separate fact from rumor regarding the consequences of the August 2020 Mozilla layoffs. One of the topics that came back a few times was the removal of XUL-based add-ons during the move to Firefox Quantum. I was very surprised to see that, years after it happened, some community members still felt hurt by this choice.

          • The Mozilla Blog: A look at password security, Part IV: WebAuthn

            As discussed in part III, public key authentication is great in principle but in practice has been hard to integrate into the Web environment. However, we’re now seeing deployment of a new technology called WebAuthn (short for Web Authentication) that hopefully changes that.1

            Previous approaches to public key authentication required the browser to provide the user interface. For a variety of reasons (the interfaces were bad, the sites wanted to control the experience) this didn’t work well for sites, and public key authentication didn’t get much adoption. WebAuthn takes a different approach, which is to provide a JavaScript API that the site can use to do public key authentication via the browser.

            The key difference here is that previous systems tended to operate at a lower layer (typically HTTP or TLS), which made it hard for the site to control how and when authentication happened.2 By contrast, a JS API puts the site in control so it can ask for authentication when it wants to (e.g., after showing the home page and prompting for the username).

          • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Practicing Lean Data and Defending “Lean Data”

            At Mozilla, we put privacy first. We do this in our own products with features like tracking protection. We also promote privacy in our public advocacy. A key feature of our privacy work is a commitment to reducing the amount of user data that is collected in the first place. Focusing on the data you really need lowers risk and promotes trust. Our Lean Data Practices page describes this framework and includes tools and tips for staying lean. For years, our legal and policy teams have held workshops around the world, advising businesses on how they can use lean data practices to reduce their data footprint and improve the privacy of their products and services.

            Mozilla is not the only advocate for lean data. Many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many others use the term “lean data” to refer to the principle of minimizing data collection. Given this, we were very surprised to receive a demand letter from lawyers representing LeanData, Inc. claiming that Mozilla’s Lean Data Practices page infringes the company’s supposed trademark rights. We have responded to this letter to stand up for everyone’s right to use the words “lean data” in digital advocacy.

          • Mozilla Accessibility: Early Mac Firefox VoiceOver Support

            We’ve made some great early progress with Firefox VoiceOver support on macOS and we’d love it if web developers could give it a test run and provide feedback on any issues you run into while evaluating web page accessibility.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a5

            Tor Browser 10.0a5 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

      • Programming/Development

        • [llvm-dev] [11.0.0 Release] Release Candidate 2 is here
          Pre-built binaries will be added as they become ready.
          
          

          Please file bug reports for any issues you find as blockers of https://llvm.org/pr46725

          Release testers: please start your engines, run the script, share your results, and upload binaries.

          We're a bit behind schedule, but I also don't think we have any super bad bugs open, so hopefully we can still wrap up fairly soon.

          Thanks, Hans

        • LLVM 11.0-RC2 Released For This Widely-Used, Open-Source Compiler Stack

          LLVM 11.0 after being under development for a half-year is preparing to ship with build speed improvements around pre-compiled headers, AMD Radeon "Navi 2" support, C++20 improvements, usage of C17 by default if no other C standard is specified, parsing but no handling yet for the GNU "asm inline" C extension, Radeon GCN offload capabilities for OpenMP, load hardening mitigation work and SESES as the latest on the compiler-based mitigation front, support for new Arm CPUs, and much more as previously covered in our LLVM 11.0 feature overview.

        • Building a Flutter application (part 1)

          Flutter is a cross-platform open-source user-interface (UI) toolkit that is based on the Dart programming language. In early July, Canonical and Google worked together to bring Flutter to the Linux desktop. On August 5, Flutter version 1.20 was released, improving Flutter's performance, expanding its widget library, and more.

          In a two-part series, we will be implementing a simple RSS reader for LWN. In part one, we will introduce the BSD-licensed Flutter and cover some Dart concepts that will be used by the application. Readers may also want to consult our introduction to Dart for more information on the language. Part two will build on the basic application to further flesh out the UI features.

          According to its project page, Flutter's use-case is "for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase." Its GitHub repository indicates it has over 660 contributors who make a little less than 100 commits per week. Google claims that the project has had two-million developers use the framework on a variety of platforms.

        • PHP struggles with attributes syntax

          PHP 8.0 is on the horizon, and the project has imposed a feature freeze for the release. There's one exception to the feature freeze, though: the new attributes syntax. An attribute is syntactical metadata for PHP code, identical to what is called an "annotation" in other languages. Even though attributes have been voted on multiple times by the community, major contributor and creator of XDebug Derick Rethans threw a wrench into the works days before the feature freeze by challenging the current syntax. The ensuing discussion lead to the fourth attributes proposal for the year, with a special feature freeze exception being made by release manager Sara Golemon. This exception gives Rethans one more opportunity to convince the community to change how attributes work up to the Beta 3 release, scheduled for September 3.

        • Rotary encoders: Raise a Glitch Storm | Hackspace 34
        • Python

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In #12
          • Polishing and Usability - Building SaaS #69

            In this episode, we polished some parts of the application. Now that my first customer is using the app regularly, the feedback is coming in rapidly. We worked to fix some of the issues that she found.

            The first issue that I tackled dealt with ambiguity about a course’s relationship to a school year on the course’s detail page. I fixed this issue by displaying the grade level on the course page to provide all the details. This change makes it clear what grade level the course is connected to. This is useful because courses in the school year could have the same name (e.g., “Math”).

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • On Vacation. No Internet. No News.

      Last time I went on vacation without access to news, I was in Greece, on Ithaca, and Chernobyl happened. I found out about it a week later when I got to Athens to catch my flight back to Hamburg. There was an English language newspaper there – Daily American perhaps, or that was the paper in Rome, I can’t accurately recall now – and there was a bold headline about a nuclear accident, so I picked up the paper and read. It explained the maps I had seen on Greek TV when I had dinner in an island restaurant. The arrows, the red zone on the map. I hadn’t understood a word that the reporters were saying so it all meant nothing to me at the time.

    • Giants and Warriors Workers Fight Back
    • How to Initiate Contact With a Mentor

      If you can do any of these—and avoid their opposites—you’ll significantly raise your chances of getting a response from your potential mentor. And if you can do all six you’ve maximized those chances.

      Happy hunting!

    • Google is Encouraging Bad Behavior By Not Listing Updated Content Dates

      That’s not how the internet should work.

      If anyone knows a solution to this, or someone at Google who can help fix it. Please let me know.

    • Dalí and the Marx Brothers: The Mirror Scene that Crashed

      We could use some comic relief in these troubled times, and the times are always troubled. My grandfather used to say, “If you’re not a little wacky today, there’s something wrong with you.” Some people look to mindfulness for relief. Me, I follow Harold Lloyd’s example and gesture at myself in a circus mirror. Don’t take yourself too seriously and you won’t have an excuse to take anyone else that way.

    • Steve Bannon is arrested for fraud

      The four have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money-laundering. According to Audrey Strauss, the acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office investigated the alleged scam, the four men “defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretence that all of the money would be spent on construction.” Mr Bannon appeared in court after his arrest, entering a not-guilty plea. At the time of writing, the accused had not commented further on the charges.

    • Steve Bannon Charged With Stealing From Charity He Created to Fund Trump's Wall

      Steve Bannon, who served as President Trump’s chief White House strategist up until August 2017, was arrested Thursday on charges relating to misusing funds raised for constructing a private wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    • Defining Steve Bannon Downward
    • Steve Bannon Arrested for Fraud Related to Role in Privatized Border Wall Scheme

      The "We Build the Wall" campaign, led by Iraq War veteran Brian Kolfage, raised over $25 million.

    • Private Border Wall Fundraisers Have Been Arrested on Fraud Charges

      When we asked Brian Kolfage last month to explain how his group We Build the Wall had spent the $25 million it had raised, plus address concerns of corruption when the private sector takes over the building of border walls, he scoffed.

      “How is there corruption?” Kolfage, a decorated Iraq War veteran, told ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. “It’s privatized. It’s not federal money.”

    • Science

      • Mechanizing The Methodology

        My friend Clint Gibler of TL;DR Sec fame graciously created one of his brilliant summaries of the talk, which you can find here.

      • International Scholars Must Resist the American Campaign to Inject Racial Tribalism Into Science

        Unfortunately, the force of that temptation has been growing stronger recently, and not just within the progressive subcultures of English-speaking countries. On June 22nd, Parisian vandals threw red paint on a statue of no less a French intellectual icon than Voltaire, whose 1763 Treatise on Tolerance, ironically, traced the history and importance of ideological and religious pluralism.

    • Education

      • Crowded Reopenings Are Endangering Students and Setting Up Schools to Fail

        Seventeen years ago, against the advice of my parents, I decided to become a public school teacher. Once I did, both my mother and father, educators themselves, warned me that choosing to teach was to invite attacks from those who viewed the profession with derision and contempt. They advised me to stay strong and push through when budgets were cut, my intellect questioned, or my dedication to my students exploited. Nobody, however, warned me that someday I might have to defend myself against those who asked me to step back into my classroom and risk my own life, the lives of my students and their families, of my friends, my husband, and my child in the middle of a global pandemic. And nobody told me that I’d be worrying about whether or not our nation’s public schools, already under siege, would survive the chaos of Covid-19.

      • Back to School, Back to Covid?
      • This Is What Dystopia Looks Like

        Chicago, Ill.—Jamila had never officially been my student.

      • Grief Circling

        The coronavirus pandemic of my experience has been a slow eruption of omnipresent neighborhood and planetary grieving, in a year that was already characterized for me by grief above all else: my mother died of cancer in London in November 2019. Before the virus’s death toll began accruing, I’d been doing research, belatedly, on collective death doulas, good deaths, death cafés, and the death positivity movement. As luck would have it, I was recruited into a neighborhood “grief circle,” directly after Mum’s death, by a flyer posted outside my house. I have been attending ever since. It is convened by the cofounder of Philly Death Doula Collective, Kai Wonder MacDonald. It’s in that space that I have grieved the fact that Mum didn’t have a particularly good death, nor even, for complex reasons, a real funeral. Grief circles are confidential, loosely anonymous gatherings that are free or priced on a sliding scale. They exist for the sole purpose of bearing witness to the grief of others, and being witnessed in one’s own. The core premise is that witnessing grief reciprocally is an ancient form of mutual aid. There is no toxic positivity and no advice-giving. Ours currently takes place weekly and draws between six and fifteen attendees, about three of whom have remained constant throughout. Our grief circle stepped into overdrive this spring, for obvious reasons. Kai now schedules specific circles for so-called “essential workers.” COVID-19 deaths, especially for the racialized populations that are bearing the brunt of the virus, are rarely good deaths. Kai’s “trauma-informed” practice holds that lonely, fearful, disenfranchised deaths, in turn, breed trauma among the living.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Has The Pandemic Shown That The Techlash Was Nonsense?

        There's an excellent piece over at RealClearPolitics arguing that COVID-19 killed the techlash. It makes a fairly compelling argument, coming at it from multiple angles. First, there's the question of how real the "techlash" ever was. It's long appeared to be more of a media- and politician-driven narrative than a real anger coming from people who make use of technology every day:

      • Meatpacking Companies Dismissed Years of Warnings but Now Say Nobody Could Have Prepared for COVID-19

        At the end of June, with hundreds of his workers already infected with COVID-19 and several dead, Kenneth Sullivan, the CEO of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, sent a pointed letter to two U.S. senators who had launched an investigation into outbreaks in meatpacking plants and industry warnings of an impending food shortage.

        In blunt, unapologetic terms, Sullivan chastised critics for suggesting Smithfield had acted too slowly to prevent the disease from spreading among its workers and surrounding communities. These “revisionist historians,” he wrote, refused to be “bound to reality” by saying meatpackers could have spaced workers out, slowed processing lines or stockpiled face masks.

      • ‘Sputnik V’ launches in October Russia is planning a mass immunization campaign during the coronavirus vaccine’s final phase of clinical trials

        Russia is planning to launch a mass immunization campaign against COVID-19 in October 2020, using the “Sputnik V” vaccine developed by scientists at the Gamaleya Research Institute in Moscow, announced Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which sponsors the vaccine’s research and development.

      • Replacing Hunger with Malnutrition

        Former UN official calls out failing African Green Revolution.

      • The “Great” Reopening

        It’s as if they want America's schools to fail.

      • School Reopenings Are Only Going to Get More Chaotic

        On the second day of the new school year, a high school sophomore named Hannah Watters snapped a photo of the hallway at her school in the suburbs of Atlanta. Kids in backpacks were standing shoulder to shoulder. Few were wearing masks. “This is not ok,” she tweeted. Within four days, six students and three staff members reported new cases of Covid-19, and classes were moved online for the following Monday and Tuesday. Brian Otott, the superintendent of the county school district, maintained that it wasn’t possible to require mask wearing. Watters, meanwhile, received a five-day suspension—since rescinded—for sharing her photo online.

      • Students Are Sharing Photos of Crowds, Lack of Masks as Schools Reopen

        This pattern is playing out in other school environments across the country. Students anxious about what they say are unsafe conditions on campus told Teen Vogue that administrators seem more concerned about controlling the press or doing damage control than protecting the health of students, staff, and teachers. They say they’re also stressed that they could become the target of harassment from their fellow students or from the public if they’re revealed as the source of any incriminating photos.

      • Reclaim Public Medicine for Public Health

        By taking the vaccine industry into full public ownership, we can provide an internationalized response to this and future pandemics that properly recognizes vaccines as a global public good.

      • Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Are "Embarrassed" by Trump's COVID Response

        A new poll published this week demonstrates that Americans are increasingly pessimistic about how the U.S. has generally responded to the coronavirus pandemic, with a majority believing “the worst is yet to come” for the first time since the start of May.

      • In DNC Remarks, Dying Medicare for All Activist Ady Barkan Delivers Powerful Indictment of 'Broken' US Healthcare System

        "Everyone living in America should get the healthcare they need, regardless of their employment status or ability to pay."

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft makes it harder to disable Windows 10 antivirus software

          Microsoft Defender (which used to be known as Windows Defender), is the built-in antivirus tool in Windows 10, and Microsoft has just made it more difficult to disable.

          While the current version of Microsoft Defender does a good job of protecting PCs against viruses, malware and other internet threats, there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to disable it.

          It’s always been a bit tricky to turn off Microsoft Defender in Windows 10, and while you could pause its real-time protection, it would automatically turn itself back on later.

        • Adobe accidentally deleted people’s photos in latest Lightroom update

          Adobe representative Rikk Flohr acknowledged and apologized for the snafu in a forum post yesterday. Per Flohr, the company has released another update “to prevent this issue from impacting additional customers.” However, the photos can’t be recovered, according to Flohr. The update won’t help anyone who’s already been impacted.

        • Is Gmail Down? Google Drive Outages Reported in U.S., Europe and Australia

          Many users noted receiving an error message that read either "Oops something went wrong" or "Message could not be sent. Check your network and try again," when attempting to send an email.

          Newsweek has contacted Google for comment.

        • Helsinki man loses €100k in "Microsoft support" scam

          Police said these kinds of scams come to their attention on a nearly daily basis. In June, for example, police reported two similar incidents in which two victims had each been conned out of as much as 30,000 euros.

        • Epic vs. Apple is not about 'freedom'

          In my experience, when wealthy people talk about “freedom,” it doesn’t usually mean freedom for the rest of us, just freedom for them. This whole affair can easily be characterized as being little more than a company of millionaires fighting a company of billionaires over the right to take a cut from software sales.

        • Publishers Ask Apple CEO for Same App Store Deal Given to Amazon

          Apple takes 30% of the revenue from most subscriptions in its App Store, then 15% after the first year. But in late July, a congressional antitrust panel disclosed internal emails showing a more-favorable deal struck between Apple services chief Eddy Cue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They agreed to a 15% revenue share for Amazon Prime Video customers who signed up through the iPhone app and no revenue share for users who already subscribed via Amazon or elsewhere, the emails showed.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tone Deaf Facebook To Cripple VR Headsets Unless You Link It To Your Facebook Account

              Back in 2014 when Facebook bought Oculus, there were the usual pre-merger promises that nothing would really change, or that Facebook wouldn't erode everything folks liked about the independent kickstarted product. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, who has since moved on to selling border surveillance tech to the Trump administration, made oodles of promises to that effect before taking his money and running toward the sunset. Among those promises was the promise users would never be forced to use a Facebook login account just to use your VR headset and its games, and that the company wouldn't track your behavior for advertising.

            • California Fusion Center Tracked Anti-Police Protests, Sent Info To 14,000 Police Officers

              As anti-police brutality protests have spread across the country in the wake of the yet another killing of an unarmed Black man by a white police officer, so has surveillance. Another set of documents found in the "Blue Leaks" stash shows a California-based "fusion center" spreading information about First Amendment-protected activities to hundreds of local law enforcement agencies. Pulling in information from all over -- including apparent keyword searches of social media accounts -- the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) distributed info on protests and protesters to officers across the state.

            • Stop the Police Surveillance State Too

              We can't let cash-strapped police departments shift from racist human policing to racist technology-driven policing.

            • UK Says South Wales Police's Facial Recognition Program Is Unlawful

              The South Wales Police has been deploying a pretty awful facial recognition program for a few years now. Back in 2018, documents obtained by Wired showed its test deployment at multiple events attended by thousands was mostly a mistake. The system did ring up 173 hits, but it also delivered nearly 2,300 false positives. In other words, it was wrong about 92% of the time.

            • Unsecured Social Data database leaks 235 million public profiles from TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube

              Researchers from Comparitech have discovered yet another unsecured database which has leaked 235 million records to the world. The records include hundreds of millions from Instagram, forty some million from TikTok, and four million from YouTube. These public records were scraped from these social media platforms by Deep Social, a now defunct company that seems to have sold the data to Social Data. Scraping of public records is something that is forbidden by all three affected sites. In fact, Deep Social was banned from Facebook and Instagram for breaking that policy back in 2018.

            • Proctoring Apps Subject Students to Unnecessary Surveillance

              With COVID-19 forcing millions of teachers and students to rethink in-person schooling, this moment is ripe for an innovation in learning. Unfortunately, many schools have simply substituted surveillance technology for real transformation. The use of proctoring apps—privacy-invasive software products that “watch” students as they take tests or complete schoolwork, has skyrocketed. These apps make a seductive promise: that schools can still rely on high-stakes tests, where they have complete control of a student's environment, even during remote learning. But that promise comes with a huge catch—these apps violate student privacy, negatively impact some populations, and will likely never fully stop creative students from outsmarting the system.€ 

              No student should be forced to make the choice to either hand over their biometric data and be surveilled continuously or to fail their class.€ 

            • EFF Calls on California Gov. Newsom To Mandate Data Privacy Protections for Californians Who Participate in COVID-19 Contact Tracing Programs

              San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called on California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to ensure that all COVID-19 contact tracing programs include enforceable privacy protections that strictly limit how much and what kinds of data can be collected from Californians and prohibits using that data for anything other than reining in the pandemic.More Californians will feel safe participating in efforts to trace transmission of the novel coronavirus if they know their information won’t be used to deport them or build data-rich profiles for data brokers and advertisers, EFF said this week in letters to Newsom and lawmakers.

            • Former Uber security chief charged with paying hush money to cover up 2016 [cr]ack

              According to the charges, Sullivan tried to pay the [cr]ackers via a bug bounty program, paying the $100,000 even though the company didn’t know who the [cr]ackers were. Sullivan tried to get the [cr]ackers to sign nondisclosure agreements, which stated that the [cr]ackers didn’t take or store any of the user and driver data.

              In the criminal complaint, filed in the Northern District of California, the FBI details some of the steps Sullivan allegedly took once he realized drivers’ license information could have been involved in the [cr]ack. “At approximately 1:00am Pacific time on November 15, 2016, Sullivan reached out to Uber’s then-CEO [Travis Kalanick] via text message,” the complaint states, adding that call records show that Sullivan and Kalanick had a call that lasted about five minutes. “The CEO’s response reflects that the prospect of treating the incident under the bug bounty program was already being discussed,” the complaint states.

            • Mark Zuckerberg testified before the FTC as part of its Facebook antitrust probe

              Facebook is under several antitrust investigations outside of the FTC’s. Last September, a coalition of state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, opened an investigation into the social media company. Since last July, the House Judiciary Committee has been investigating big tech companies, including Facebook. Just last month, that House panel held a hearing where Zuckerberg testified, along with the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, and Google.

            • Facebook’s Zuckerberg Questioned by FTC Investigators

              Facebook is under investigation for whether it’s abusing its outsized share of the online advertising market, in addition to whether its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp and its copying of competing apps’ features violate antitrust laws. At a congressional hearing last month, alongside the CEOs of three other technology giants, Zuckerberg defended those deals and argued that Facebook’s numerous products have a lot of competition.

            • Amazon Alexa Unit Pauses Hiring Amid Pressure to Make Money

              The accelerating push for profits has prompted the company to consider selling ads on the Alexa service, they said, an idea previously avoided for fear of hurting the user experience. The pullback also coincided with a hiring spree at U.S. warehouses, where Amazon has added more than 175,000 people to help handle a surge in online orders.

            • What Can America Learn from Europe About Regulating Big Tech?

              Groans and laughter rose from the crowd as they realized what this meant. If China could issue such a lofty inventory of ideals while simultaneously surveilling and suppressing its citizens, then Silicon Valley could as well. The Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence was arguably dedicated to producing just these sorts of grandly empty assurances. If it’s hard to be against ethics, it’s just as hard to be against “human-centered” A.I.; there are no institutes for “inhuman” or “machine-centered” artificial intelligence. Schaake’s speech was a pointed message: talk is cheap.

              July’s congressional hearings, in which the top executives of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple spent hours fielding skeptical questioning from a House antitrust panel, may signal a new era of increased regulation for American tech companies. European lawmakers, however, have long outpaced their American counterparts; having adopted new privacy regulations in 2018, they have now begun drafting a series of new laws aimed at limiting the anticompetitive practices of the major tech companies in Europe. Schaake—with her skepticism of rhetoric, her insistence on the role of government in protecting privacy and challenging monopolies, and her conviction that regulation enables rather than suppresses innovation—epitomizes a pragmatic and quintessentially European approach to tech. For her, the question is not whether the major tech companies will face democratic accountability but when.

            • Jihadi Murderers Feign 'Reform' and Fool the Establishment

              Jihadis continue to tell infidels what they wish to hear, and the latter continue to eat it up—to their own, often fatal, detriment.

              This is one of the findings of a July 22, 2020 study titled “Prisons and Terrorism” in Western Europe (the second such publication of a decade-long project begun in 2010). Published by Kings College London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), it finds that “‘False compliance’ seems to have become more widespread, especially among jihadist prisoners, though its true extent is unknown. This can be a major issue in relation to risk assessment and release arrangements.”

            • Trump, Addressing Far-Right QAnon Conspiracy, Offers Praise For Its Followers

              In the nearly three years since it first popped up on anonymous online message boards, the QAnon conspiracy has transformed from a fringe movement to a major player in far-right politics and culture.

              Research from the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America counts 20 candidates for Congress who will appear on the general election ballot in November that have either identified themselves as believers in QAnon or have given credence to its dogma.

            • Thousands of good luck wishes and blessings for the Berlin car jihadist on Facebook

              The Berlin lawyer Seyran Ates has done some research in the social environment of yesterday’s ” single offender “. [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • War, Peace and the Democrats

        The party itself still stands firmly in the middle of nowhere.

      • Critics Say Trump Push to Sell Fighter Jets and Armed Drones to Emirates Confirms US-Israel-UAE Deal 'Was Never About Peace'

        "Peace is not an arms deal to be made between anti-democratic regimes. It must be made between peoples."

      • Mayor Keller’s Killer Cops: An Assessment of Court-Ordered Police Reform in Albuquerque

        Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is making progress at police reform, but you can’t ask Albuquerque residents Ken Reiss and Jose Vallejos what they think about Keller’s claims. APD officers killed them last week.

      • Foiled in the Security Council: The United States, Extending Arms Embargoes and Iran

        There are no official policing authorities as such when it comes to international relations. Realists imagine a jungle of states, the preyed upon and the predators, a grim state of affairs moderated by alliances, agreements and understandings. But there is one body whose resolutions are recognised as having binding force: the Security Council, that most powerful of creatures in that jumble known as the United Nations.

      • Military coup deepens unrest in extremist-hit Mali

        Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was forced to resign on Tuesday after soldiers arrested him at gunpoint in a coup that has plunged the West African country, plagued for years by extremist violence, into a new phase of uncertainty.

        The African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) both condemned the coup – which left four people dead and more than a dozen injured, according to Amnesty International – and suspended Mali from their respective bodies.

        The junta leaders, who call themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), ordered a nighttime curfew and the closure of land and air borders – a move likely to impact humanitarian organisations working in the country.

        Many fear that the group’s actions could further destabilise the country and the wider Sahel region, where al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic-State-linked groups continue to expand their reach, triggering record displacement.

        “A period of uncertainty is beginning,” said Bokar Sangaré, a Malian journalist and commentator.

        Etienne Sissoko, a Malian economist, told TNH that the prices of goods will likely increase as trade slows and regional sanctions bite. International donors may also pause funding, he said, weakening an already lacklustre economy.

        The junta has promised quick elections and a civilian transition, but its intentions remain unclear. Brema Ely Dicko, a sociologist from the University of Bamako, said soldiers can expect stiff opposition should they try to hold on to power.

        “If they don’t honor their commitments, they will face further uprisings in a few months,” he said.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Twelve US Billionaires Have a Combined $1 Trillion

        For the first time in US history, the top twelve U.S. billionaires surpassed a combined wealth of $1 trillion.€  On Thursday August 13th, these 12 had a combined $1.015 trillion.

      • A Note on Lost GDP During the Shutdown

        Some folks have complained about the loss of GDP over the last five months and questioned whether the shutdowns have been worth the price. While people often toss around huge numbers in the trillions of dollars as the cost of the shutdown, these big numbers are often both inaccurate and misleading.

      • Donald Trump is Losing His Tech War with China and Doesn't Even Know It

        For the Trump administration’s senior officials, it’s been open season on bashing China. If you need an example, think of the president’s blame game about “the invisible Chinese virus” as it spreads wildly across the U.S.

      • Erased From the Trump Administration’s Draft of a Key Foreign Aid Policy: Any Mention of LGBT People

        The lead U.S. foreign aid agency has proposed a new policy on gender and women’s empowerment that eliminates any mention of transgender people or contraceptives, running counter to its own long-standing practices in deciding what programs to support.

        The draft policy released by the U.S. Agency for International Development on Wednesday was billed as an update and replacement to the original 2012 policy, released under the Obama administration. Though written subtly, the agency’s gender policy is parsed closely by experts and grantees as a clue to the kind of initiatives the agency will prioritize, and it guides USAID’s grant-making and development work worldwide.

      • New Unemployment Claims Again Exceed 1 Million—A Reminder That 'Now Isn't the Time to Cut Benefits That Support Jobs'

        Some economists reiterated calls for extending the $600 weekly boost that's opposed by Trump and congressional Republicans.

      • Trump Proposed Trading 'Poor' Puerto Ricans for Greenland After Hurricane Maria Devastation, Former DHS Official Says

        Former Trump staffers previously revealed the president's desire to buy Greenland from Denmark, a proposal one Danish official called "final proof that he has gone mad."

      • Anti-Immigrant Policies Are Not Only Cruel, They Also Have an Economic Cost

        U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the government agency that processes visas, green cards and citizenship applications, claims it’s going broke. USCIS officials are threatening to furlough some 13,400 employees as early as August 30, after initially planning the measure for August 3. The furloughs would add to what was already a huge backlog in application processing, creating a disaster for tens of thousands of immigrant applicants. As many as 126,000 people already approved for citizenship may not be naturalized in time to register for the November elections.

      • Tensions rise as Zimbabwe’s economy implodes



        President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF government faces mounting opposition as economic and social tensions rise.

        Zimbabwe’s currency is in free fall, with inflation running at 800 percent, leading to severe food, fuel, medicine, and currency shortages.

        [...]

        Zimbabwe has recorded just under 5,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and over 120 deaths. This is believed to be a significant underestimate, with some of the country’s leading figures becoming infected, including several legislators and Mnangagwa’s son.

        The healthcare system, already limited and starved of resources, is on its knees, struggling to respond to the pandemic which is disrupting other healthcare services.

        Fifteen thousand nurses, at the forefront of the struggle against the pandemic, have been on strike for nearly two months, vowing not to return to work—despite government threats and intimidation—until their demands for personal protective equipment (PPE) and the payment of their wages in US dollars are met. Their lives are being put at risk by the lack of PPE.

        [...]

        According to Bloomberg , relations between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are acrimonious, which is why he has now been given the poisoned chalice of the health ministry. Mnangagwa accused Chiwenga during a “heated exchange” in a politburo meeting of attempting to use the July 31 protests to embarrass him. Chiwenga, a former general with strong support in the military, is seen as a possible rival for the presidency.

        While Chiwenga played a prominent role in the 2017 coup that ousted longtime ruler Robert Mugabe and brought Mnangagwa to power, Mnangagwa has attempted to undermine his influence by reassigning those seen as being loyal to Chiwenga to other posts or outside the country.

        Such is the economic turmoil that last June, in an unprecedented move, the Joint Operations Command (JOC) made up of officials from the military, police and secret service, intervened to order the closure of the stock exchange and to ban large mobile-money transfers in a bid to avert collapse. Military leaders denied they were planning a coup.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • New Jersey Supreme Court Says 'Forgone Conclusion' Trumps Fifth Amendment In Crooked Cop Case

        The New Jersey Supreme Court has made the Fifth Amendment discussion surrounding compelled production of passwords/passcodes more interesting. And by interesting, I mean frustrating. (h/t Orin Kerr)

      • 'Very Bad News for Trump' as Federal Judge Rejects His Claim That Tax Records Subpoena Amounts to 'Harassment'

        "The grand jury is getting its hands on those tax returns."

      • Celebrity, War, and Presidential Elections

        On May 30, 1979,€ a letter appeared€ in 5 major newspapers in the US assailing the human rights record of Vietnam, a nation where the US killed about 3 million people and where about 58,000 of its own soldiers died. In bordering Cambodia, where the US war has spread besides a vicious air war over Laos, millions more died, including those massacred in the Cambodian holocaust.

      • Day After Chiding Democrats for Calling for Mail-In Voting Amid Pandemic, GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy Tests Positive for Coronavirus

        The lawmaker said he will self-quarantine and follow advice of medical experts.

      • If Joe Biden Rejects His Progressive Base, Trump Will Win

        He could pave the way for another Donald Trump victory in the “the most crucial election in human history.”

      • The “Obama Inspiration Syndrome”

        It will take more than inspiring speeches to save democracy.

      • So Far, 2020 Has Been Our Year of Magical Thinking

        So many of us, including me, have been focused on the failure of the federal response to Covid-19, watching President Trump’s catastrophe-by-public-policy roll out day after day since late February. I’ve written a lot about it in these pages. In a misplaced triumphalism, some people in states that have managed to have a relatively quiet summer with low rates of Covid-19 cases have chastised those in states with renewed outbreaks as being foolish or unheeding of scientific advice, as governors still slow-walk the response to the disease and ordinary people shun masks and flock to social gatherings. We all like to think of ourselves as different, doing the right thing, doing our part.

      • 'Big Mistake': Progressives Slam Biden Campaign for Dismissal of Muslim-American Advocate Linda Sarsour

        "Weaponizing the charge of 'anti-Semitism' to silence criticism of Israel is despicable," said activist Ady Barkan.

      • Remembering Charlotta Bass, the First Black Woman to Run for VP in 1952

        Senator Kamala Harris is the first Indian American and first Black woman to be nominated for vice president on a major party ticket, but, as many historians have noted, Harris is not the first Black woman to run for vice president. That distinction belongs to the journalist and political activist Charlotta Bass, who was the editor of The California Eagle for nearly 30 years, one of the country’s oldest Black newspapers, which covered women’s suffrage, police brutality, the Ku Klux Klan, and discriminatory hiring and housing practices. Bass joined the Progressive Party ticket in 1952 on an anti-racist platform that called for fair housing and equal access to healthcare. Bass’s exclusion from the public narrative signals a tendency to “sideline Black radical politics,” says author and historian Keisha Blain.

      • Trump Embraces Support From Far Right Conspiracy Group QAnon

        President Trump crossed a new line Wednesday — one that until recently no one knew existed — when he offered praise from the White House briefing room for the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, which the FBI has labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat. QAnon followers “like me very much” and “love America,” the president told reporters, before affirming the group’s core belief that he is in fact “saving the world” from the “radical left.”

      • Obama Breaks With Convention Protocol to Call Trump a Threat at DNC Night Three

        The third night of the Democratic National Convention was an affirmation of the formidable opposition to a second Trump term. Here was Kamala Harris, a Black and Indian American woman, becoming the vice-presidential nominee with the crack of a gavel. Here was Hillary Clinton, the road not taken made flesh, dressed in suffragette white and warning the country not to blow it again. Here was Elizabeth Warren with a plan. Here were children made electric in their fear of dying in bullet-riddled classrooms. Here was Gabrielle Giffords to underscore their point in blood.

      • Before Kamala Harris, There Was Charlotta Bass: Remembering 1st Black Woman to Run for VP in 1952

        Senator Kamala Harris is the first Indian American and first Black woman to be nominated for vice president on a major party ticket, but, as many historians have noted, Harris is not the first Black woman to run for vice president. That distinction belongs to the journalist and political activist Charlotta Bass, who was the editor of The California Eagle for nearly 30 years, one of the country’s oldest Black newspapers, which covered women’s suffrage, police brutality, the Klu Klux Klan, and discriminatory hiring and housing practices. Bass joined the Progressive Party ticket in 1952 on an antiracist platform that called for fair housing and equal access to healthcare. Bass’s exclusion from the public narrative signals a tendency to “sideline Black radical politics,” says author and historian Keisha Blain.

      • Abolitionist Derecka Purnell on Historic Kamala Harris VP Pick & Why Black Progressives Feel Torn

        As Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman of color to run on a major party presidential ticket, many Black progressive women remain ambivalent, says Derecka Purnell, a human rights lawyer, abolitionist and columnist for The Guardian newspaper. “It’s just unfortunate that you have to protect someone because of their identity … while at the same time if you care about the masses of Black people, the masses of poor people, the masses of immigrants in this country, you know that you have to speak truth and be honest about their record,” Purnell says.

      • “I Know a Predator When I See One”: Kamala Harris Takes Aim at Trump, Accepts Historic VP Nomination

        Senator Kamala Harris has formally accepted the Democratic vice-presidential nomination, becoming the first woman of color to run on a major party presidential ticket. We feature part of her historic speech.

      • Latinx Democrats Received the Same Number of DNC Prime-Time Slots as Republicans

        On the first night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), four Republicans spoke in support of former Vice President Joe Biden. That’s the same as the number of Latinxs who will be given time to speak during prime time for the entire week of the convention. While the first face to appear on-screen during the first-ever virtual DNC was Eva Longoria, the activist and actor of “Desperate Housewives” fame, only three other Latinxs received prime-time billing: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), the first ever Latina to serve in the U.S. senate, was given 120 seconds to speak the first night. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-New Mexico) was given a short slot to speak on Wednesday. And the most prominent Latina in the Democratic Party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), only spoke for 97 seconds on Tuesday.

      • “Don’t Let Them Take Away Your Power”: Obama Slams Trump at DNC & Warns U.S. Democracy Is at Risk

        On the third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, party leaders argued that U.S. democracy is at risk if President Trump is reelected in November, with a lineup of speeches from former Congressmember Gabby Giffords, senator and former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and former President Barack Obama, who grew emotional describing the stakes of the election and urged people not to “let them take away your democracy.” We air excerpts from the night’s events.

      • Rep. Katie Porter Demands IG Probe Into Whether Trump Violated Ethics Laws by Putting Pharma Exec in Charge of Covid-19 Vaccine Effort

        "This deserves a full, independent investigation," said the California Democrat.

      • NYT Urges Biden to Shun His Party’s ‘Left-Leaning Brand’

        Being concerned with working-class Americans, to the€ New York Times€ and corporate Democrats, means portraying yourself as “an average guy,” not offering policies that will actually help the working class.

      • LIVE CHAT: Join Us Now for the Democratic National Convention

        Too much has happened since last we chatted. The pace at which the crises facing our nation keep unfolding has been exhausting, and the pain of our collective and individual losses is too enormous to put into words. But there is hope. We are, on this last night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, just 75 days from the November 3 general election in which Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, will take on President Donald Trump and—unless something truly wild happens next week—his VP, Mike Pence.

      • Nancy Pelosi Endorsing Joe Kennedy Over Ed Markey, Critics Charge, 'Reveals a Ridiculous Double Standard'

        Progressives accused the House speaker of "proving she's not, in fact, against Dems primarying Dems, as long as it's to remove anyone who advances halfway progressive ideas."

      • ICU officials refuse to admit Navalny’s own wife, demanding to see their marriage certificate

        Officials at the intensive care unit in Omsk where opposition politician Alexey Navalny is now fighting for his life have refused to admit his wife, Yulia, or his personal physician, Anastasia Vasileva, both of whom rushed to the hospital from Moscow.€ 

      • After an apparent poisoning, Alexey Navalny’s condition has stabilized, but he’s still reportedly in a coma

        Alexey Navalny’s condition has stabilized, says Anatoly Kalinichenko, the deputy chief doctor at the emergency care hospital in Omsk where the opposition politician has been hospitalized.€ 

      • Omsk doctors say Navalny is in no condition to be moved to another clinic

        Doctors at the Omsk hospital where Alexey Navalny is currently hospitalized have refused to transport him to another clinic on the grounds that he is in no condition to be moved. The director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, lawyer Ivan Zhdanov, wrote about this on Twitter.

      • ‘He needs to be transferred to Europe’ ‘Meduza’ interviews Navalny’s physician about the opposition politician’s apparent poisoning in Siberia and what should happen now

        On August 20, a plane carrying Anti-Corruption Foundation founder Alexey Navalny was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk after Navalny became violently ill during the flight. He was immediately hospitalized. He reportedly lost consciousness and was put in intensive care, where he needed to be connected to a ventilator. Navalny started feeling unwell en route from Tomsk to Moscow. According to his press secretary, Kira Yarmysh (who was traveling with him), Navalny has apparently been poisoned. Before boarding the plane in Tomsk, he drank a cup of tea at the airport. Doctors in Omsk have declined to say anything about Navalny’s diagnosis, citing doctor-patient confidentiality, but they say his condition is now stable. “Physicians are doing everything possible — they’re honestly working to save his life right now,” Anatoly Kalinichenko, the deputy chief doctor at the emergency care hospital in Omsk, told reporters. Meduza spoke to Yaroslav Ashikhmin, the general practitioner and cardiologist who’s monitored Navalny since 2016 and is now arranging Navalny’s medical evacuation to a facility in Europe.

      • Alexey Navalny is in a coma and doctors aren’t sure why ‘Meduza’ reports from on the ground in Omsk, where Russia’s most prominent opposition politician is fighting for his life

        On August 20, Anti-Corruption Foundation founder Alexey Navalny was hospitalized at an intensive care unit in Omsk after his plane from Tomsk to Moscow was forced to make an emergency landing when he became violently ill. The opposition politician’s condition is serious: at the time of this writing, he’s in a coma and connected to a ventilator. Navalny’s aides say he was almost certainly poisoned, though the circumstances of this alleged attack remain unknown and the substance potentially used is still a mystery. At Meduza’s request, Omsk journalist Vasily Epanchintsev, a reporter for Gorod55, visited the hospital where Navalny is being treated to learn more about what has happened.€ 

      • Unexamined toxins Activists and journalists are frequently poisoned in Russia but the authorities almost never investigate these attacks. Here are five notorious cases that preceded Alexey Navalny’s recent hospitalization.

        Opposition politician and Anti-Corruption Foundation creator Alexey Navalny was hospitalized early on Thursday, August 20, in critical condition. At the time of this writing, he is in a coma and breathing through a ventilator. Doctors have yet to share a diagnosis to explain Navalny’s sudden illness, but signs suggest he was poisoned. Will the Russian authorities open a criminal investigation? If they do and if he was indeed poisoned, will the police find those responsible? Judging by past investigations of similar attacks, the chances are slim.

      • Stable but serious condition It’s now been more than 12 hours since Alexey Navalny’s apparent poisoning. Here’s what we know so far.

        Alexey Navalny was hospitalized in the Siberian city of Omsk on the morning of August 20 and remains in a coma. Doctors say he’s in stable but serious condition. Navalny’s exact diagnosis remains unknown. The Omsk Health Ministry's press service said that there are “no signs of stroke or heart attack, and no signs of infections, including the coronavirus infection.” Navalny’s personal physician, the head of the Doctors’ Alliance, Dr. Anastasia Vasileva, told Meduza that Navalny underwent good blood tests, but isn’t undergoing detoxification treatment. He also has an enlarged liver and is showing an increase in a particular liver enzyme. Without citing any sources, the Telegram-based news outlet Baza claims that according to preliminary findings, Navalny was exposed to toxins that affect the functioning of the nervous system. The source of this toxic substance remains unknown, Baza says; but it supposedly caused Navalny’s brain to swell. The Omsk Regional Health Ministry stated that the reports about Navalny’s brain swelling haven’t been confirmed. Another Telegram-centered news outlet, Mash, published a doctor’s report following an MRI, which says that there were no “structural changes” to Navalny’s brain.€ 

      • Reports are surfacing that Navalny was poisoned with hallucinogenic drugs. Is that even likely?
      • Navalny’s headquarters asks the Kremlin to help evacuate him abroad for medical treatment

        Following an apparent poisoning, Alexey Navalny’s headquarters have officially asked the Kremlin to help evacuate him abroad for treatment. Dr. Anastasia Vasileva, Navalny’s personal physician and the chairman of the Doctors’ Alliance, wrote about this on Twitter.€ 

      • Kremlin spokesman promises to help transfer Navalny abroad for treatment (if requested), says opposition politician’s possible poisoning isn’t worth a special presidential briefing

        Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday that he is monitoring reports about anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny’s hospitalization and wishes him a speedy recovery, “as he would for any Russian citizen.” Vladimir Putin’s press secretary also promised to help transfer Navalny to a hospital abroad, if such a request is made.

      • Before he became violently ill Opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been hospitalized and possibly poisoned. Here’s why he went to Siberia, where he was apparently attacked.

        On August 20, opposition politician Alexey Navalny was hospitalized at an intensive care unit in Omsk after becoming violently ill aboard a plane returning from Siberia, where he spent several days in Novosibirsk and Tomsk. Navalny’s condition is reportedly very serious and it’s possible he was poisoned. Meduza reviews why Russia’s most famous anti-corruption activist was in Siberia.

      • Alexey Navalny is fighting for his life in an Omsk hospital after an apparent poisoning

        Anatoly Kalinichenko, the deputy chief doctor at the emergency care hospital in Omsk where opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been hospitalized, has delivered an update on his condition.€ 

      • Biden’s Next Job Is to Convince America That He Means It

        Joe Biden finally got to accept the Democratic presidential nomination that he began seeking in the 1980s, and he did so with a graceful turn, promising, “We can and will overcome this season of darkness.”

      • Biden’s Grief Versus Trump’s Grievances

        America, indeed the entire world, is in a season of death. Every day, hundreds of Americans die from Covid-19. Given this reality, it’s not surprising that the Democrats have had a death-haunted convention. Indeed, one of the main qualities of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden repeatedly touted in the convention was his ability to comfort the grieving.

      • The DNC Refuses to Address the Elephant in the Room

        If you want to know why Republicans have come to dominate the judicial branch of government, while Democrats are reduced to offering thoughts and prayers to an 87-year-old woman battling cancer, look no further than the third night of the Democratic National Convention. If you want to understand how Mitch McConnell was able to steal a Supreme Court appointment from a Democratic president without sparking half the country into civil unrest, listen to what the Democrats told their own voters last night. If you want to know why a woman’s right to choose is overwhelmingly popular yet teetering on the brink of collapse, why the right to vote is being suppressed, why people will be forced to risk their lives to vote during a pandemic this fall, or why our children will be shot at whenever it’s “safe” enough to open schools again, behold the ongoing failure of the Democratic Party to make the courts matter to their own voters.

      • Warren Uses DNC to Demand Child Care as "Basic Infrastructure of This Nation"

        Speaking on the third night of the Democratic National Convention from a Massachusetts kindergarten facility that’s been shuttered for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday lamented the failure of the wealthiest country on the planet to provide crucial services to families with children and demanded that child care be treated as “part of the basic infrastructure of this nation.”

      • What Belarus Stands to Lose

        As the political crisis in Belarus smolders on, one thing is clear: Responsibility for the breakdown rests entirely with President Alexander Lukashenko, who has held on to power since 1994. It was he who presided over the evident falsification of the August 9 election, condemned as fraudulent by the West and which even Russia’s foreign minister called “not ideal.” Lukashenko also ultimately commands the security services that have brutalized thousands of peaceful demonstrators over the past fortnight. But recognition of these facts, and of Lukashenko’s record of authoritarianism and cruelty, should not mask concerns about the potentially disastrous consequences of any poorly managed regime change.

      • Kamala Harris Does Her Best to Redeem Our Sexist, Racist Past

        For many Democratic women, Wednesday night’s convention roster heralded a celebration tied up in a well-worn ribbon of grief. As we hailed the historic nomination of Senator Kamala Harris, the first black woman ever chosen as a vice presidential candidate, we also mourned the lost chances of other amazing women who spoke this very same night: Hillary Clinton, the 2016 presidential nominee who won by 3 million votes but lost the Electoral College to Donald Trump, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose own inspiring 2020 presidential campaign ran strong, until it didn’t.

      • As Democrats Leave Cities, Rural Areas See an Uptick in Voter Registration

        Greene County, N.Y.—Maybe Republicans in Greene County should be careful what they wish for.

      • When It Comes to€ Trump v. Biden Yoga Berra is Right: It Ain’t Over Till it’s Over

        We might as well stop the presidential election now and declare Joe Biden the winner.€  At least that is the consensus of the presidential prediction machines that political pundits and the media are pouring out.€ € €  Much like in 2016 where nearly all the predictions had Hillary Clinton a certain winner over Donald Trump, the same mistakes are possibly being made again this year. But to invoke two Yogi Berra lines, “it ain’t over till it’s over,” and it appears to be “Deja vu all over again.”

      • Hands off Lebanon: Macron’s Self-serving ‘New Pact’ Must Be Shunned

        French President, Emmanuel Macron, is in no position to pontificate to Lebanon about the need for political and economic reforms. Just as thousands of Lebanese took to the streets of Beirut demanding “revenge” against the ruling classes, the French people have relentlessly been doing the same; both peoples have been met with police violence and arrests.

      • Trump's Bass-Ackward Government

        "Deregulate...Deregulate...Deregulate..."

      • Before Kamala Harris, There Was Charlotta Bass
      • Warren Praised for Using DNC Address to Demand Child Care as 'Part of the Basic Infrastructure of This Nation'

        "Our economic system has been rigged to give bailouts to billionaires and kick dirt in the face of everyone else. But we can build a thriving economy by investing in families and fixing what's broken."

      • Warnings of DeJoy Scheme to 'Kill Postal Banking' as USPS Reportedly Considering Plan to Let Wall St Set Up ATMs in Post Offices

        "What JPMorgan Chase wants to do looks like another attempt for big banks and corporations to privatize our public infrastructure so their shareholders gain while working families suffer."

      • “We Will Make Biden Do It”: Economist Darrick Hamilton on Pushing the Next Admin to the Left

        As Democrats coalesce around Joe Biden ahead of the November presidential election, we speak with economist Darrick Hamilton, a former Bernie Sanders supporter who took part in the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force, about where the Democratic Party is headed on economic policy. Hamilton says that while Biden’s policies are not as radical as the moment requires, he can be pushed by social movements. “We will make Biden do it,” Hamilton says, quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt on the need for activists to pressure lawmakers. “But first and foremost, Donald Trump needs to get removed.”

      • Trump Is Losing the Tech War Against China

        For the Trump administration’s senior officials, it’s been open season on bashing China. If you need an example, think of the president’s blame game about “the invisible Chinese virus” as it spreads wildly across the United States.

      • What Populism Is and Is Not

        As a writer, I consider Thomas Frank something of an idol. Early issues of The Baffler, the magazine he cofounded in 1988, were hugely influential to me as an adolescent, and his books on political culture—like The Wrecking Crew and Listen, Liberal—continued to influence me well into my adult years. My own writing is what I call “store-brand Thomas Frank,” at its best a passable substitute for the real thing.

      • The Democratic Platform Heads in Right Direction on Criminal Justice, but Still Misses the Moment
      • Obama’s High-Minded Civics Lesson Asks Too Much of Us

        If the United States of America survives another century, currently an uncertain prospect, then the current living politician whose words are most likely to continue to be studied is Barack Obama. He and Bill Clinton are often rated together as orators, but they are in fact very different in scope. Bill Clinton is a master at giving wonky barn burners, speeches that make easily understandable in an almost folksy vernacular complex matters of social debate. Obama is a more classic speaker in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., one who speaks to the highest issues of politics: national unity and citizenship.

      • 'Language Used by Demagogues': Sanders Rips Trump Over False Claim That He Can Only Lose If Election Is Rigged

        "Trump is going to lose not because of non-existent voter fraud. He's going to lose because the American people are sick and tired of his pathological lies, his rejection of science, his racism, and his sexism."

      • Racist Crackpots 'R Us
      • Dems Formally Nominate Joe Biden for President, as DNC Features Republicans & Sidelines Progressives

        Joe Biden is the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, after he was formally picked by the party to challenge President Trump in November on the second night of the virtual Democratic National Convention. We feature highlights from the night, which featured speeches from 17 so-called rising stars in the Democratic Party, including voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, who unsuccessfully ran for Georgia governor in 2018, as well as Democratic heavyweights like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. For a second night in a row, the DNC prominently featured the voices of Republicans and former Republicans backing Biden, including John McCain’s widow Cindy McCain, former defense secretary and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who helped make the case for invading Iraq in 2003 by lying to the United Nations about Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. The night ended with a keynote address by Jill Biden.

      • AOC Uses 90-Second Convention Speech to Blast 'Unsustainable Brutality' of US Economy and Celebrate Movement Fighting for Justice

        The New York Democrat praised the "mass people's movement working to establish 21st-century social, economic, and human rights, including guaranteed healthcare, higher education, living wages, and labor rights for all people in the United States."

      • Trump’s “Law and Order” Campaign is a Distraction

        We can’t let Trump shift public attention from his failure to attack the virus to his attacks on Americans protesting to create an America where Black lives matter and everyone can thrive.

      • 'DeJoy Should Still Be Fired,' Says Progressive Caucus Co-Chair as Postmaster General Vows to Suspend—But Not Undo—USPS Sabotage

        "Our work's not done until these actions are reversed—not 'suspended'—and the USPS has the funding it needs."

      • Trump’s Push to Privatize the USPS is a Direct Threat to Democracy

        The time for mere alarm has already come and gone. We all need to do something about this crisis.

      • The Fox is Still in the Henhouse at the Post Office

        In the face of a historic public outcry, the postmaster general has promised to stop sabotaging essential services—temporarily.€ 

      • Trump’s Disgraceful Assault on the Post Office

        Lagging in the polls, Donald Trump has launched a campaign to discredit the upcoming election and disparage the United States Postal Service.

      • "It's a Cover-Up": White House Accused of Hiding Mnuchin Role in Recruiting Postmaster General DeJoy

        Documents obtained by a watchdog group reveal that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with the Postal Service Board of Governors in February "to discuss the search for a new postmaster general."

      • Please Mr. Postman
      • USPS Sorting Machines Are Still Being Dismantled Despite DeJoy's Promise to Stop

        In spite of promises from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy earlier this week to suspend radical changes to United States Postal Service (USPS) facilities that resulted in slower mail delivery, some post offices in Michigan appear to be continuing to dismantle their mail sorting machines.

      • If Republicans Want a Fight Over the Post Office, Give it to Them

        Donald Trump’s attack on the United States Postal Service is by design but not merely his design. Republicans and their corporate allies have been after the post office for years, undermining its ability to function and mocking its more than 600,000 workers in hopes of clearing the way for the privatization of an agency that has, since the founding of the nation, provided essential infrastructure for American democracy. It is the role that the Postal Service will play in the 2020 elections that has Trump and his allies agitated now, but their targeting of it is nothing new.

      • Trump’s War on the Post Office and the Census Bureau

        Donald Trump’s war on U.S. governance and democracy has targeted two of the oldest institutions in the country—the Post Office and the Census.€  The Post Office is older than the Constitution, tracing its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general.€  The first Census was taken in 1790, just after the election of George Washington; it is taken every ten years in order to allocate seats for the House of Representatives.€  Both institutions are explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution, and no U.S. president—other than Andrew Jackson—has tried to compromise them.

      • DNC Chair Put Lobbyists in Charge of Reviewing DNC Member Qualifications

        For a political party whose platform calls for “sustainable economic growth, which will create good-paying jobs and raise wages,” the Democratic National Committee has appointed a lot of lobbyists for major corporations that oppose wage growth to its top committees.

      • The mutual aid corridor ‘Meduza’ visits the volunteer camp outside of the infamous Okrestina detention facility in Minsk

        The Okrestina Street detention facility in Minsk, where many arrested demonstrators have been processed and held, has become a symbol of police brutality in Belarus. Just outside its walls, volunteers established a camp where they offer medical, legal, and psychological aid to released detainees — hundreds of whom say the police abused them in custody. On August 19, as law enforcement has backed down from mass arrests at protests, the volunteers began€ dismantling€ the camp.€ Some say this was at the authorities’ request, while others maintain that it’s because there are€ hardly any€ political prisoners left inside in the jail.€ Meduza€ shares photos of the encampment while it stood and explains how it worked.

      • Kyiv denies involvement in bringing suspected Russian mercenaries to Belarus

        The Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, has dismissed media reports claiming that Kyiv lured suspected Russian mercenaries to Belarus as part of an intelligence operation. In an interview with the Ukrainian outlet LB.ua, he referred to the story as disinformation.

      • EU to impose sanctions against Belarusian officials over violence against protesters

        The European Union plans to impose sanctions against representatives of the Belarusian government responsible for the “shocking and unacceptable” violence used to disperse protests, as well as for the falsification of the elections, says European Council President Charles Michel.

      • European leaders refuse to recognize results of Belarusian presidential election

        The leaders of European Union countries have refused to recognize the results of the presidential elections in Belarus, announced German Chancellor Angela Merkel following an extraordinary EU summit on Wednesday, August 19.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump Petitions Supreme Court to Let Him Block Users on Twitter Again

        President Donald Trump has made a formal request to the United States Supreme Court to reinstate his legal ability to block users on social media.

      • Bangalore Burning

        On Tuesday, August 11th, in what appears to be a pre-planned attack, a 1000-strong mob of Muslim men, raising the Islamic chants of 'Nara-e-Taqbeer' and 'Allah-hu-Akbar’, descended on the streets near DJ Halli and KG Halli police station. The violent mob was armed with iron rods, sticks, petrol bombs, and other sharp objects.

        It was alleged that a Hindu Dalit boy had made a derogatory post about the Prophet Mohammad; the subsequent madness sprang from it. The mad mob had gone berserk and barged into the residence of a local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA). A separate mob of armed Muslims proceeded to attack the local police headquarters. They locked the gates from outside and pelted stones, damaged the lined-up vehicles, and then set the police station on fire. They didn’t spare the local ATMs, nor the public or private properties either.

      • Chinese academic expelled for denouncing President Xi

        Former Professor Cai Xia, who has made strident criticisms of Chinese President Xi Jinping, was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Monday for statements that “damaged the country’s reputation” and were full of “serious political problems.” Media reports indicate that she is no longer in China.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Iraqi Kurdistan Closes Two NRT Bureaus Over Protest Coverage

        Authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan closed two bureaus of the regional television network NRT and arrested three of its journalists over claims that its coverage of protests was inciting violence.

        Security camera footage published by NRT appears to show uniformed security putting a lock on the front door of the channel’s Erbil office on Thursday.

      • Torturing Assange: An Interview with Andrew Fowler

        Andrew Fowler is an Australian award-winning investigative journalist and a former reporter for the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners programs. and the author of The Most Dangerous Man in the World: Julian Assange and WikiLeaks’ Fight for Freedom. This is an updated edition of his 2011 account of the rise and political imprisonment of Assange. Much of that account explained how Assange seemingly inevitably moved toward an adversarial positioning against American imperialism abroad. He was a tonic for the indifference expressed by so many ordinary Americans in the traumatic aftermath of 9/11 and the rise of the surveillance state. Boston Legal’s Alan Shore (James Spader) seems to sum it up succinctly.

      • Julian Assange’s partner launches crowdfund campaign to fight his extradition to United States

        Assange faces 175 years in prison for “crime of journalism”

      • Of two minds: Russia’s mass media and state officials can’t seem to decide where they stand on Alexander Lukashenko. That’s because the Kremlin doesn’t know, either.

        Generally speaking, the major media outlets in Russia (whether controlled directly or indirectly by the state) report important domestic and international political events as dictated by the Kremlin. This same code of conduct applies to public remarks by members of Russia’s Parliament. In recent reports by national news agencies, several high-profile Russian politicians have openly criticized Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and talked about the falsification of his re-election. It’s a mixed bag on television, where the national networks have reached no consensus on how to cover the events in Belarus: some channels call the protesters “bandits,” while others air footage of large crowds and broadcast comments from demonstrators. Sources tell Meduza that the Kremlin has yet to issue its usual instructions to elected officials and the mass media when it comes to talking about the situation in Belarus, and Russia’s leadership appears to be reluctant to support Lukashenko, for now.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

        Many school districts are deciding that police in classrooms cause more problems than they solve.

      • A Kind of Blueprint

        In 1980, when she was 29, the South Korean–born artist and poet Theresa Hak Kyung Cha moved from the Bay Area to New York. She hated the city. After two years there, she wrote that achieving success would require her to accept the “dregs of morals, money, parasitic existence.” To her, the thought of making that ethical bargain was “in all honesty, disgusting.”

      • Canceling Margaret Sanger Only Helps Abortion Opponents

        I admit I took it a bit personally when Planned Parenthood of Greater New York took the name of the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, off its flagship clinic in Manhattan in July. It will now be called Manhattan Health Center. What am I supposed to do now with the two Planned Parenthood Maggie Awards I’ve won for articles on reproductive rights? Life comes at you fast. Some news reports made it sound as if the change was related to internal struggles over racism; staffers of color have complained that they were disrespected and passed over for promotion, and around the time that Sanger’s name was removed, Laura McQuade, the CEO of the New York affiliate, was fired amid accusations of racism. These were legitimate concerns. Of the 22 members of the PPGNY board, according to The New York Times, only one is Black. (Two are Asian, and two are Hispanic.) Especially given that Black women make up a large proportion of Planned Parenthood patients, that’s pretty shocking.

      • Bring Back Affirmative Action to UC Berkeley
      • Trump Panned for Giving Tacit Endorsement of FBI-Labeled Terror Threat QAnon, Calling Conspiracy Group 'People That Love Our Country'

        The president's comments about the group labeled by the FBI as a domestic terrorism threat came on the same day Facebook restricted thousands of QAnon accounts.

      • GOP Is Waging a War on Voting. Here Are 8 Ways You Can Protect Election 2020.

        The 2020 presidential election will not be decided by the popularity of candidates or their ideas. It will not be decided by how many people intend to vote for each candidate. The usual dramas of polls, debates and running mates are irrelevant.

      • Prague’s Fights Over Kundera: Biography From the Files of the Secret Police

        In 2008, while I was staying in Prague, a scandal broke out involving the Czech writer Milan Kundera, who has lived in Paris since 1975. Respekt magazine published an article claiming that Kundera had informed on a foreign spy of Czech extraction who was staying that night in the students’ residence of which Kundera was then the president. No definitive, valid proof was ever found to back up this accusation, but the slander stuck: a large part of the Czech public allowed itself to be convinced that Kundera was an informer. The writer was a victim of post-totalitarian vengefulness.

      • Students Victimized By Police Are Conflicted Over NYPD Presence In Their Schools

        As recent calls to “defund the police” sweep the nation, some students who have police in their schools feel conflicted about their safety.

        Shadowproof spoke to students in New York, who felt the presence of police is overwhelming in most cases. However, they see police as their only protection against legitimate security concerns presented by one of their peers bringing a firearm, knife, or other deadly weapons to school.

      • Open Call For Submissions On Black Lives Matter Organizing, Police Abolition

        Following the publication of several excellent articles from our open call in June, Shadowproof continues its coverage of the movement to abolish the prison industrial complex.

        We’re seeking another round of contributions from independent journalists on the following topics:

      • In Further War Crime, Israelis Cut Electricity to Gaza, Idling 50,000 Factory Workers

        The denial of electricity to two million civilian noncombatants is nothing less than a war crime.

      • The Complete Guide to Defeating Voter Suppression

        One of the most overt forms of voter suppression is voter purges, where officials simply throw out people’s voter registrations. Studies have shown that Black voters are more likely to be purged from voter rolls. Georgia has purged nearly 300,000 voters in the past year, while Wisconsin is still trying to toss 200,000 legal voter registrations in the garbage can before the November election. Since 2017, Oklahoma officials have deleted more than 10 percent of its voters’ names from the books.

        There are many reasons why your registration may have been purged, including inactivity, punctuation, the way you spell your name or even your handwriting. If someone just says that you moved—even if you live in the same precinct—an election official has the right to make your registration disappear.

        So go check your voter registration now.

        And then check it again immediately before you cast your ballot because that’s how they getcha.*

      • Malaysian State of Kelantan Seeks to Make Folk Drama Shariah Compliant

        A new controversy has erupted in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. The state government has declared that after a careful study it will decide how to make Main Puteri, an indigenous Kelantanese dance form, Shariah compliant by “correcting” parts that it considers “un-Islamic.” Only then will it be allowed for public entertainment.

      • Syria: Turkish occupation of Afrin has led to widespread human rights violations - new findings

        Turkish forces have been giving Syrian armed groups free rein to commit serious human rights abuses against civilians in the Syrian city of Afrin, Amnesty International said today, following an in-depth investigation into life in Afrin under Turkish military occupation.

        Amnesty’s research shows that Afrin residents are enduring widespread human rights violations, mostly at the hands of Syrian armed groups equipped and armed by Turkey.

    • Monopolies

      • Tim Wu Joins The Ban TikTok Parade, Doesn't Clarify What The Ban Actually Accomplishes

        I've mentioned a few times that I don't think the TikTok ban is coherent policy.

      • Pope Francis Says Covid-19 Vaccine Must Be 'Universal and for All'—Not Just the Rich and Powerful

        In addition to coronavirus, Pope Francis said, "we must also cure a larger virus, that of social injustice, inequality of opportunity, marginalization, and the lack of protection for the weakest."€ 

      • A judge's stay allows Uber and Lyft to keep drivers classified as contractors in California

        While Uber never made an official announcement on Thursday that it would stop operating, the company was expected to make an announcement before midnight after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made numerous threats. Uber also sent out a notification on Wednesday evening that rideshare services were on the verge of ending in California temporarily. Both Uber and Lyft have confirmed to Salon in separate statements that the two companies will continue business as usual in California.

      • Patents

        • Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          ANDA litigation, pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, has become more complicated over the years since enactment of the statute in 1984, with more patents being asserted and more parties participating over the opportunity to market a generic version of a branded, innovator drug. Particularly under circumstances where there are several ANDA litigants, and where most of them are not the sole "first filer" entitled to 180-day market exclusivity should they prevail in invalidating the innovator's patent(s) or (less often) showing that their generic product will not infringe, there is an incentive for the branded drug maker and at least some of the competing generic companies to enter into a settlement agreement. (It should be noted that these settlements are not in the manner of "pay-for-delay" agreements; that is a separate topic). One feature of these settlement agreements is that, absent any first filer garnering exclusivity status, each settling generic company seeks an agreement granting them the right enter the market when any non-settling generic company succeeds in invalidating the branded drug patent(s) or proving non-infringement. The Federal Circuit's decision over such a settlement agreement in Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. illustrated the impossibility of crafting an agreement that encompasses all contingencies, the difficulty in foreseeing all contingencies, and the efforts a patentee will expend to enforce provisions of an agreement despite the agreement not being satisfied (as well as the toxic effect even the hint of gamesmanship can produce, even where the fact of a party engaging in gamesmanship may be very much in doubt).

          [...]

          The Federal Circuit affirmed, in an opinion by Chief Judge Prost joined by Judge Hughes; Judge Newman dissented. The panel majority construed the terms of Section 1.2(d) and held that the Hikma decision triggered the provisions of Section 1.2(d), and as a consequence Takeda would not be able to prevail on the merits under Delaware law (which controlled under an express provision in the Settlement Agreement). The panel rejected Takeda's argument that the term "all" in Section 1.2(d) required adjudication of the five patents the parties dismissed in addition to the three patents that went to trial. The panel majority held that this interpretation was not consistent with the plain language of the agreement, based on use of the phrase "asserted and adjudicated" in this section of the Agreement. One basis for this decision is that Takeda's interpretation would render the word "adjudication" meaningless in the panel majority's view. Perhaps equally persuasive was the panel majority's recognition that Takeda's construction would "lead[] to the absurd result that Takeda could prevent Mylan from ever relying on the clause by simply asserting and then withdrawing a claim from a proceeding," which the opinion characterized as "gamesmanship."

          The panel majority also rejected Takeda's contention that the intent of the parties was to permit Mylan's "early" entry into the colchicine market based on a change in the status quo (or the status of the licensed patents) for the entire market, because the Agreement did not have terms reciting this intention. And the panel majority rejected Takeda's further contention that the Agreement did not contemplate Hikma's Mitigare€® product, saying that considering the Hikma litigation as a triggering event was "exactly a circumstance Takeda asserts Section 1.2(d) was intended to cover" (and in a footnote, notes that the Hikma litigation was ongoing when the Settlement Agreement with Mylan was being negotiated).

        • How Much Nexus is Too Much Nexus?

          Great question in the new Supreme Court petition of SRAM, LLC v. FOX Factory, Inc. The Federal Circuit has tightened its belt on Secondary Indicia of nonobviousness — only rarely finding that the claimed indicia are closely enough tied to the claims at issue and creating additional hoops of proof for the patentee. The petition argues that those requirements go beyond the statute and Supreme Court precedent. When I wrote about the original 2019 FedCir decision, I explained that This is “not a good case for patent holders.”

      • Trademarks

        • Epic Games Sued By Company That Manages 'Coral Castle' In Florida Over New Fortnite Map

          Of all the trademark insanity we cover here, there are still little nuggets of niche gold when it comes to the truly insane trademark disputes. There are plenty of these categories, but one of my personal favorites is when real life brands get their knickers twisted over totally unrelated items in fiction. If you cannot conceptualize what I'm talking about, see the lawsuit brought by a software company that creates something called Clean Slate against Warner Bros. because...The Dark Knight Rises had a piece of software in it that was referred to as "clean slate."

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Troll Richard Liebowitz Reveals His Retainer Agreement: He Gets Most Of The Money

          We noted last week that Judge Lewis Kaplan (like so many other judges who have copyright troll Richard Liebowitz in their courts) was fed up with Richard Liebowitz's unwillingness to follow fairly straightforward orders, including that he produce the retainer agreement with his clients, as well as present evidence that the client knew of and approved the specific lawsuits at hand. Judge Kaplan did this in at least two (and possibly more?) cases. In the case we mentioned last week -- the Chosen Figure LLC v. Smiley Miley case -- despite already receiving a benchslap from the judge for not providing the retainer agreement, Liebowitz has filed some random emails between his own staff and... his client's girlfriend? That does include an email from his client saying he doesn't check email much so to have his girlfriend on email chains instead, though it's not clear that this will be enough to satisfy the judge's request for authorization for "this case specifically," but we'll see.

        • Introducing Our Google Season of Docs 2020 Participants

          We’ve selected technical writers to work with us from September to December 2020 on three different projects related to the CC Catalog API, CC Vocabulary, and our new WordPress base theme.

        • Publishers File European Commission Complaint Against Google For Hosting 'Piracy Apps'

          An anti-piracy group representing publishers in Russia has filed a complaint against Google with the European Commission. According to the letter, Google fails to remove piracy-enabling apps from Google Play, creating barriers to entry for legal platforms. The complaint, however, is far from straightforward.

        • Torrent Site 1337x Bans 'YTS' For Handing User Data to Movie Companies (Updated)

          1337x.to, one of the world's most-visited torrent sites, has banned uploads from the YTS group. The decision comes after YTS, a popular torrent site in its own right, shared user details with several movie companies. Shortly after the decision, the account of EZTV.io was banned for its apparent association with the YTS group.



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