Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 2/10/2020: More GNU/Linux Laptops and Steam On GNU/Linux Grows ~8% in 2 Months



  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 are doing some serious magic with Pop!_OS and Auto Tiling

        With the release back in April of Pop!_OS 20.04, the distribution made by hardware vendor System76, it came with an impressive Auto Tiling feature that System76 continue expanding.

        Stacking is the name of a new feature recently included (source), which allows Pop!_OS 20.04 users to stack together tiled windows. The result is that it should make it easier to organise your tiled windows in the same workspace without sacrificing window size and it's especially useful for smaller screens like laptops.

        It looks like it combines their awesome Auto Tiling with a form of Alt+Tab to produce a really useful way to manage your workflow.

      • TUXEDO Aura 15 Linux Laptop Launches with AMD Ryzen 4700U, LTE Support

        Meet TUXEDO Aura 15, TUXEDO Computers’ newest Linux laptop powered by the highly efficient AMD Ryzen 7 4700U APU with 8 cores, clock speeds of up to 4.1 GHz, integrated Radeon RX Vega 7 graphics, and low power consumption of only 15 watts.

        TUXEDO Aura 15’s built-in 49 Wh battery comes with a so-called “Flexicharger” feature that prolongs the battery’s life, offering up to 9 hours of runtime in 1080p video streaming at 150 cd/m2 brightness and up to 15 hours runtime when in idle mode.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Steam On Linux Ticks Closer To 1.0%, AMD CPUs Now Power A Third Of Linux Gaming Systems

        Valve has updated their monthly Steam Hardware/Software Survey statistics for September and they indicate the closest we've seen in a while for Steam on Linux closing back in on the 1.0% threshold.

        Back during August Valve reported a 0.89% marketshare for Linux compared to 0.86% in July. But for September it jumped by 0.05% to 0.94%. Given the continually increasing Steam user-base, this is likely the largest the Steam on Linux marketshare has ever been in absolute terms.

      • Computer-generated realities are becoming ubiquitous

        On the software front, VR has benefited from a change in the way video games are built. Games no longer involve pixelated monsters moving on two-dimensional grids, but are sophisticated simulations of the real world, or at least some version of it. Millions of lines of code turn the player’s button-presses into cinematic imagery on screen. The software that does this—known as a “game engine”—manages the rules and logic of the virtual world. It keeps characters from walking through walls or falling through floors, makes water flow in a natural way and ensures that interactions between objects occur realistically and according to the laws of physics. The game engine also renders the graphics, taking into account lighting, shadows, and the textures and reflectivity of different objects in the scene. And for multiplayer games, it handles interactions with other players around the world.

      • Scream Fortress XII has arrived for Team Fortress 2, new all-time high player count

        Love now until November 7, it brings with it 4 new community maps: Megalo, Bloodwater, Hassle Castle, and Moldergrove. There's also the Wicked Windfall Case which has 22 new community-created cosmetic items, a chance to give one of 6 new community-created Halloween-restricted items as a bonus item and a chance to give a taunt Unusualifier as a bonus item. There's also 19 new community-created effects, a Scream Fortress XII War Paint Case, you get a Soul Gargoyle just for launching the game during it if you don't have one already too.

        [...] To get you in the mood to play more, all the Halloween Contracts have been reset, allowing them to be completed again and there's new contracts for the 3 community maps added with this event. If you manage to complete a contract, you will get a 'classic' Halloween item and the chance for a Wicked Windfall Case or Scream Fortress XII War Paint Case.

      • Senscape show true dedication with ASYLUM, fixing issues with Unreal Engine and Linux

        ASYLUM is an upcoming supernatural horror adventure and the spiritual successor to cult classic Scratches set in a massive, decaying mental institute.

        Funded on Kickstarter back in 2013 where they managed to get $119K in funding, and it's still one of the most successful campaigns to come from Argentina. As they continue hacking away at the code to bring it to release, they've given another big update on how it's doing - in short: very well.

      • 5 lessons I learned from Open Jam 2020

        For many people, programming is fun because it's a little like solving a puzzle. You know that, in theory, if you can just arrange logic statements and conditions in the right order, using just the right syntax, then you'll end up with an application that does something useful. The problem, strangely, is that sometimes you don't know why you'd need the application you end up with. It's like stepping outside for a walk with nowhere to go. Just as marathons provide a framework and a goal for aimless foot traffic, there are events without a cause for coders. Called sprints, hackathons, dares, or jams, these programming events are great excuses to sit down, possibly with a team of your coding comrades, and develop something interesting.

      • Go on a journey to find riches in Silk Roads: Caravan Kings out now

        Silk Roads: Caravan Kings is a merchant simulator set on the Medieval Silk Roads during the time of Marco Polo.

        Developed by Priory Games and made in the excellent Godot Engine, in Silk Roads: Caravan Kings you make your way from Venice to China through any of 3 major real-life trade-routes and encounter a series of events with multiple choice solutions similar to the Oregon Trail.

      • Chaotic co-op game Overcooked! 2 gets another great free content expansion

        After something to play this weekend? How about trying out some more Overcooked! 2, the completely chaotic multiplayer cooking game.

        One of my favourite games to play in co-op and Ghost Town Games / Team17 keep expanding it since the original release back in 2018. A fresh update went up on October 1 named Moon Harvest , which is free for everyone who owns it.

      • Farming and creature battler Ova Magica gains an impressive new tech demo

        A little farming, a little egg hatching and perhaps a battle or two? That's on the cards today with Ova Magic, which has a fresh tech demo available to try.

        Inspired by the likes of Slime Rancher, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Pokemon, Grandia and many more the upcoming title is so full of charm it's spilling over the sides. Currently under heavy development, what ClaudiaTheDev and Top Hat Studios have here is a possible hit - it has all the makings of one.

      • Dynamic physics swinging-platformer Crumble gets a final trailer

        Crumble is an upcoming 3D platformer where you control a happy little ball-face, rolling around and using your hilarious long tongue to swing across platforms and it looks brilliant.

        "Crumble is a physics platformer with a grappling tongue mechanic. Join the chaos of unstable platforms and unexpected destruction with this cute blue ball! Try to progress in exciting levels falling around you. Move like a Slime, jump like a Ball, swing like Spiderman!"

      • Cosmic Frontier: Override now has its open source Kestrel Game Engine online

        Cosmic Frontier: Override is the upcoming remaster of the classic Escape Velocity Override, and just as the team behind it promised during the Kickstarter - the game engine is now open source.

        "Cosmic Frontier: Override is a single-player space-trading game in the mold of the inspirational Elite (1984). It is a remake of Escape Velocity: Override (1998), by the same scenario designer. Cosmic Frontier is a free-form game: you can go wherever you want, and work for whomever you want — including for no one but yourself. You can be a peaceful trader, a bounty hunter, a soldier for Earth, a galactic explorer, a rapacious pirate — or all of these and more in the life of a single pilot"

      • RADV's ACO Back-End Can Be A Massive Win For Vulkan Compute - Not Just Gaming

        While the Mesa "RADV" Radeon Vulkan driver's "ACO" back-end was developed and funded by Valve with gaming in mind to optimize game load times and help with delivering optimal performance, it turns out ACO works damn well for some Vulkan compute workloads too.

        With the recent Vulkan neural network performance tests and the follow-up NCNN inference Vulkan tests on the AMD side they were already done with Mesa 20.3-devel where ACO is already the default and delivered strong performance generally against NVIDIA. The performance was great on Mesa's RADV with ACO but with one of the Tencent developers working on NCNN having mentioned that ACO is a big help, I was curious to see what the previous state is -- or when manually opting for the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end rather than ACO.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Beta

          Today we are looking at Ubuntu 20.10 Beta. It comes fully packed with Gnome 3.38, Linux Kernel 5.8, and uses about 1GB ram when idling. It is fast, stable, and should be another great release! Enjoy!

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Ubuntu 20.10 Beta.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source tools provide an economic advantage for science

        Free and open source software (FOSS) and the distributed digital manufacturing of free and open source hardware (FOSH) have shown great promise for developing custom scientific tools. For some time now, FOSH has provided scientists a high return on investment. In fact, my previous research in the Open Source Lab reported substantial economic savings from using these technologies. However, the open source design paradigm has since grown by orders of magnitude; now, there are examples of open source technology for science in the vast majority of disciplines, and several resources, including the Journal of Open Hardware, are dedicated to publishing them.

      • CMS

        • The Month in WordPress: September 2020

          This month was characterized by some exciting announcements from the WordPress core team! Read on to catch up with all the WordPress news and updates from September.

  • Leftovers

    • Masked: A Suburban Haiku

      Someone passes by…

    • Sufjan Stevens’s Lullabies for the Apocalypse

      Things are bad. Everyone I know seems more than a little deranged, driven slowly out of their minds by the absolute and continuing failure of the government—not from a lack of resources but because the people in charge simply do not care. It’s become harder and harder to bear the traditional inaction of liberal politics: If one political party doesn’t care about your well-being and the other refuses to fight on your behalf, what can you do?

    • [Old] The head of IBM and the Stewardess Incident

      That's when columnist Jack Anderson was about to spill the beans on Ambassador to France Arthur K. Watson. Watson, the son of the founder of IBM, had gradually been forced out of the company his father built and had to settle on a career in US Government service. On a flight in 1971 from London to Washington, DC, he got rip roaring drunk, demanded to be served a bottle of Scotch and started shoving money down the blouses of Pan-Am stewardesses.

      President Nixon discussed the incident with his Chief of Staff, HR Haldeman in the Oval Office and the conversation has been helpfully preserved by the White House taping system.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • 'Everything Is at Stake': Reproductive Rights Advocates Say Barrett Signing 'Extremist' Anti-Choice Ad Confirms Worst Fears

        "Trump said he's only nominating justices who'll end Roe and criminalize abortion," says NARAL Pro-Choice America's president Ilyse Hogue. "We take him at his word."€ 

      • On the Brink of Chaos

        Our nation is on a dangerous edge right now. We are pummeled by the coronavirus’ predicted “second wave” as cooler weather forces more Americans indoors where the virus thrives. The state of the economy remains dismal with continuing sky-high weekly filings for unemployment and no sign of new congressional COVID relief funds. Another police shooting of an innocent black citizen has protesters in the streets from coast to coast.

      • Researchers Say Trump Is the "Largest Single Component" of COVID Misinformation

        President Trump is the largest individual driver of falsehoods and misinformation surrounding COVID-19, according to researchers at Cornell University, who recently analyzed 38 million articles about the coronavirus pandemic in English-language media from around the world.

      • 'Illegal and Immoral': Experts Say 'Self-Promoting' Trump Letter in Covid-19 Food Aid Boxes Clear Hatch Act Violation

        One hunger advocate said the inclusion of the note "essentially blackmails nonpartisan food charities into aiding Trump's reelection campaign."

      • Amy Coney Barrett Signed Anti-Abortion Letter From Extremist Group Against IVF

        Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court, signed onto an anti-abortion open letter in 2006 penned by an organization that believes live begins at fertilization, even when outside of a person’s womb.

      • Covid Threatens to Worsen Disparities in Maternal and Reproductive Care

        Even under normal circumstances, Black motherhood in the United States can be heavy, moving between feelings of hope and pride and feelings of fear. As Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrice Khan-Cullors put it, being a Black mother means being someone “who has to carry the weight of having to protect her children in a world that is conspiring to kill them.” Consignment to this sorrow is part of what it means to be Black in America.

      • Why are Americans so confused about Covid-19? Blame Trump, Cornell study says

        According to a new study from Cornell University, President Donald Trump is the world’s biggest spreader of coronavirus misinformation.

        Nearly 38 percent of the “misinformation conversation” began with Trump doing things such as promoting unproven “miracle cures” for Covid-19 or claiming with zero evidence that the pandemic was a “Democratic Party hoax” aimed at derailing his presidency, the researchers from the Cornell Alliance for Science found.

      • Covid-19 Live Updates: Fauci and Trump Are at Odds Again Over Masks

        Of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and internet falsehoods about the coronavirus, one common thread stands out: President Trump.

        That is the conclusion of researchers at Cornell University who analyzed 38 million articles about the pandemic in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Mr. Trump made up nearly 38 percent of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic” — falsehoods involving the pandemic.

        The study, to be released Thursday, is the first comprehensive examination of coronavirus misinformation in traditional and online media.

        “The biggest surprise was that the president of the United States was the single largest driver of misinformation around Covid,” said Sarah Evanega, the director of the Cornell Alliance for Science and the study’s lead author. “That’s concerning in that there are real-world dire health implications.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Signify

        We look at OpenBSD’s Signify. You can use Signify as an alternative to GnuPG or Minisign for signing and verifying files.

        Signify uses Ed25519 for cryptographic signing and verification. OpenBSD developers use Signify extensively for signing. Actually, Ted Unangst developed the tool to sign and verify OpenBSD’s files. Besides, some other projects rely on Signify, like Wireguard, radare2, or LibreSSL. The current version of Signify is v30, released on September 24, 2020.

      • Thousands Of Mathematicians Join Boycott Against Police Collaboration

        Over 2,000 mathematicians have signed a letter agreeing to boycott all collaboration with police, and insisting their colleagues do the same.

        They are organizing a wide base of mathematicians in the hopes of cutting off police technologies at their source. The letter’s authors cite “deep concerns over the use of machine learning, AI, and facial recognition technologies to justify and perpetuate oppression.”

      • Proprietary

        • Second Cyber Attack in a Week Hits Global Shipping Industry

          The global shipping industry sustained a second cyber attack within a week that’s raising concern about disruptions to supply chains already straining to move goods heading into the usual peak season for consumer demand.

          The International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency that serves as the industry’s regulatory body, said in a statement Thursday it has suffered “a sophisticated cyber attack against the organization’s IT systems.” A number of IMO web-based services are currently unavailable and the breach is affecting its public website and internal systems, it said.

        • Treasury Department warns against paying hackers involved in ransomware attacks

          The Treasury Department on Thursday issued two adversaries highlighting the dangers of ransomware cyberattacks, and warning against paying ransoms demanded by hackers.

          Both the agency’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCIN) issued alerts around ransomware attacks, which have been increasingly widespread over the past two years and have ramped up during the COVID-19 crisis.

        • Lessons learned: Provisioning new employees during a pandemic

          For many enterprises, rapid remote deployments were made easier through use of tools for remote configuration.

        • Biggest Ransomware Attack Yet Crippled U.S. Hospitals Last Weekend

          We've talked a lot about how while the lack of security in Internet of Things devices was kind of funny at first, this kind of apathy towards privacy and security in everyday technology isn't a laughing matter. Whether it's cars being taken over from an IP address up to ten miles away, to the rise in massive new DDoS attacks fueled by your not-so-smart home appliances, security experts have spent the better part of the decade warning us the check for our apathy on this front is coming due. We've (and this includes government agencies) have spent just as long ignoring them.

        • [Cracked] hospital chain says all 250 US facilities affected

          The chain has not commented on reports it was hit by ransomware, though its description of the attack in a statement Thursday was consistent with malware variety that encrypts data into gibberish that can only be restored with software keys after ransoms are paid.

        • Microsoft Outlook users hit with second outage in a week

          Microsoft Outlook suffered its second major outage this week on Thursday morning as people around the world had trouble using the email platform for more than four hours.

          The outage, which Microsoft confirmed around 2 a.m. Eastern time, was preventing users from accessing email accounts over the internet and through desktop and mobile apps, the company said.

        • Ransomware Victims That Pay Up Could Incur Steep Fines from Uncle Sam

          Companies victimized by ransomware and firms that facilitate negotiations with ransomware extortionists could face steep fines from the U.S. federal government if the crooks who profit from the attack are already under economic sanctions, the Treasury Department warned today.

          In its advisory (PDF), the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said “companies that facilitate ransomware payments to cyber actors on behalf of victims, including financial institutions, cyber insurance firms, and companies involved in digital forensics and incident response, not only encourage future ransomware payment demands but also may risk violating OFAC regulations.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • What’s It Like to Be a Contact Tracer? We Spoke With 3 to Find Out.

              Renee Simmons never forgets a name. And there are a lot of names.

              Since late June, the 56-year-old contact tracer with the Rock Island County Health Department has spent most of her time cold-calling people whose names are assigned to her from a database that documents who in Illinois, and who in her community along the Mississippi River on the state’s northwest side, is the most recent to test positive for COVID-19.

            • Facebook moderators at Accenture are being forced back to the office, and many are scared for their safety

              Facebook has an estimated 15,000 paid contractors almost entirely employed by third-party firms, and therefore not eligible for many of the same benefits as corporate employees. These contractors often spend their days looking at graphic videos, hate speech, and other disturbing material posted to the social network in large volumes on a daily basis. Some Facebook moderators, including those employed by Accenture, have developed post-traumatic stress disorders, and Facebook in May settled with current and former moderators for $52 million in a ruling that concluded the job had severe negative mental health effects.

            • TikTok repeats as highest earning social media app in third quarter

              TikTok was again the highest earning social media app in the last three months, despite a tumultuous couple of months over the fate of the popular video sharing platform in the U.S. due to challenges posed by the Trump administration.

              It was the second consecutive quarter TikTok ranked above other nongame apps, according to data released by marketing intelligence group Sensor Tower on Thursday.

              YouTube, Tinder, Tencent Video and Disney+ round out the top five grossing nongame apps in the last three months, according to the data, which does not include revenue from in-app advertising.

            • Palantir Presentations Show How The LAPD Is Able To Turn Tons Of Garbage Data Into Ineffective Policing

              Palantir is raking in millions. It's your surveillance provider, whether you -- the valued customer target -- had any say in the matter or not. Data comes in from all over and Palantir helps law enforcement make sense of it. Haystacks are useless. "Drilling down" -- to use official Palantir parlance -- is everything. Whether it's ICE or your local PD, Palantir is turning data into arrests… or at least stops/frisks and low-level harassment.

            • What Is Palantir? Never Profitable Company, Born With Help of CIA Seed Money, Makes Market Debut

              Government contracts are believed to be a major source of revenue for the company co-founded in 2003 by Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire also known as the co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook who still sits in its board of directors. It was founded with the help of "CIA seed money" and has never been profitable, according to the Associated Press.

              The company's technology, which has been described as "surveillance" or "data mining," analyzes massive amounts of data from disparate sources, potentially finding hidden relationships or patterns that could be used to predict future events. Palantir itself says it makes "products for human-driven analysis of real-world data," adding that their technology is designed to "help institutions protect liberty."

            • Palantir IPO: why the secretive data giant is cosying up to Donald Trump

              America remains the most important market for these firms. But as they have grown, the giants of Silicon Valley have become more global in their outlook and less deferential to their domestic political leaders. It is a cliche to say that Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook wield similar power to nation states, but one that is increasingly accurate. It's not uncommon to see prime ministers and presidents converse with the CEOs of US firms as if they were meeting a fellow political leader.

            • Secretive Big Data Firm Palantir Makes Low-Key Stocks Debut

              Data analytics firm Palantir, which has drawn fire over its law enforcement and national security work, made a low-key debut Wednesday on Wall Street at a hefty valuation of more than $20 billion.

            • Palantir Shares Go Up in Wall Street Debut

              Investors embraced Palantir despite its inability to turn a profit and the many controversies swirling around it. Among them is the highly unusual way Palantir has kept most of its corporate voting power in the hands of three founders, including Peter Thiel, a venture capital investor and member of Facebook’s board.

            • How Facebook Entrenches Itself

              Facebook’s changes under the hood are a power grab.

              My colleague Mike Isaac wrote about Facebook’s latest step to make its apps — its main social network, Instagram and the Messenger chat app — blend together more seamlessly behind the scenes. Facebook’s products would stay separate, but over time they would interact in ways they hadn’t before.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Lawmakers introduce bill targeting foreign disinformation on social media

        The Foreign Agent Disclaimer Enhancement (FADE) Act targets influence campaigns by requiring political content on social media to include a disclaimer if it is produced or sponsored by foreign groups, with the disclaimers remaining if the post is shared.

        The legislation would also expand language in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to clarify that political ads and other content funded by a foreign source posted to social media that is meant to influence U.S. citizens must also be reported to the Department of Justice. FARA currently generally does not extend to social media posts.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Burbs of Chaos
      • 2020 Right Livelihood Laureates Honored for Fighting 'Increasing Threats to Democracy' Across Globe

        Human rights defenders in Iran, the U.S., Nicaragua, and Belarus were recognized this year for what is known as the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize."

      • 'Strong Start' But 'Not the End of the Road,' Says Greenpeace as Biden Vows to Bar Fossil Fuel Leaders From Transition Team

        "Personnel is policy, and we need experts in the White House who put climate and environmental justice ahead of corporate profits."

      • America's Dark Side in the Age of Trump

        Have a heart, America. Reject American carnage in all its forms.

      • Fire Donald Trump

        This is the most important election in our lifetimes—and one of the most consequential in The Nation’s 155-year history. Accepting his party’s nomination in 2016, Donald Trump promised to “lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace…to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth.” At his inauguration, he returned to that theme, vowing to rebuild “our country, with American hands and American labor.” All lies. He also claimed to be worth billions–and to have paid “millions” in taxes. That turned out to be a lie, too.

      • Federal Judge Rejects Attempt to Block Mail-In Voting in Montana

        A federal judge on Wednesday rejected an effort by the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee to block an expansion of mail-in voting in Montana after the GOP plaintiffs failed to present to the court a single example of voter fraud in the state within the past two decades.

      • GOP-Led Inquest Decried as Effort to Suppress Florida Voters With Felony Records

        Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s call for state and federal investigations into billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s effort to raise millions to pay off court fees to help Florida felons restore their voting rights was a “gross abuse” of power, “voter suppression,” “a fearmongering tactic used before” and based on a “fundamental misconception” of anti-corruption laws, according to experienced campaign lawyers and former federal election regulators.

      • Trump in the Debate: None Dare Call It Treason
      • After Trump and RNC Fail to Cite 'Single Instance' of Fraud, Federal Judge Rejects Effort to Block Mail-In Voting in Montana

        U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen slammed the Trump campaign's claims of widespread voter fraud as a "fiction."

      • Get Ready for Election Month 2020

        In 2018, despite months of hype about a looming blue wave, election night was a dud. Cable commentators sagged, trying to find meaning in what seemed to be mixed results. Democrats appeared to have lost high-profile statewide races in Georgia, Texas, and Florida. And while the party seemed to win control of the House, at midevening it looked to be by the narrowest of margins.

      • Petition to the White House asks to expel Turkey from NATO

        A petition has been promoted by We the people to get the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to answer a question on the all-out war against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan supported by Turkey and ISIS merncearies.

      • Trump Isn't Keeping His Fascist Plan Secret. He's Trying to Derail the Election.

        In the 1930s, when a New York publishing company was thinking of bringing out an unexpurgated English-language edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, its editors first approached the radicals of New York’s New School for Social Research, who assembled a specialist team of anti-fascist German refugees to do the translation. Why would the refugees do that — one might think — hadn’t they suffered enough? But the translators agreed readily. They wanted the world to know what Hitler was thinking, to take his ideas seriously, to grasp how different his politics was from the “normal” right-wing politics that had come before.

      • The Propaganda War Against Voting by Mail

        Wherever remote voting becomes routine, turnout soars. And we all know who loses then.

      • The Mobster-in-Chief

        The white mobs didn’t care whom they killed as long as the victims were Black. They murdered people in public with guns and rocks. They set fire to houses and slaughtered families trying to escape the flames. In East St. Louis in July 1917, white vigilantes lynched Blacks with impunity.

      • Howie Hawkins responds to first presidential debate

        On Tuesday, September 29, our candidate was shut out of the debates. We noted to our supporters and during our media interviews how ours is the only campaign that discusses and has answers to the issues that American families care about. True to form, Trump and Biden participated in what is now considered the worst debate in our nation’s history. Through the evening of the debate, traffic to our website spiked, and soon after our website crashed. It is clear that voters are desperately seeking an alternative to corporate parties that just take our votes for granted and offer no solutions to the crises that American families are facing. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. Vote Hawkins/Walker.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Because Congress Apparently Has NOTHING AT ALL IMPORTANT To Work On, It Introduced TWO MORE Section 230 Bills Yesterday

        If you were in a coma for the past 12 months, just came out of it, and had to figure out what had happened in the last year or so solely based on new bills introduced in Congress, you would likely come to the conclusion that Section 230 was the world's greatest priority and the biggest, most pressing issue in the entire freaking universe. I've completely lost track of how many new bills have been introduced this year -- in the midst of a pandemic -- that try to undermine and destroy the open internet enabled by Section 230 of the CDA. It's absolutely ridiculous.

      • The Online Content Policy Modernization Act Is an Unconstitutional Mess

        EFF is standing with a huge coalition of organizations to urge Congress to oppose the Online Content Policy Modernization Act (OCPMA, S. 4632). Introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the OCPMA is yet another of this year’s flood of misguided attacks on Internet speech (read bill [pdf]). The bill would make it harder for online platforms to take common-sense moderation measures like removing spam or correcting disinformation, including disinformation about the upcoming election. But it doesn’t stop there: the bill would also upend longstanding balances in copyright law, subjecting ordinary Internet users to up to $30,000 in fines for everyday activities like sharing photos and writing online, without even the benefit of a judge and jury.

        The OCPMA combines two previous bills. The first—the Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act (S. 4534)—undermines Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. Section 230 enshrines the common-sense principle that if you say something unlawful online, you should be the one held responsible, not the website or platform where you said it. Section 230 also makes it clear that platforms have liability protections for the decisions they make to moderate or remove online speech: platforms are free to decide their own moderation policies however they see fit. The OCPMA would flip that second protection on its head, shielding only platforms that agree to confine their moderation policies to a narrowly tailored set of rules. As EFF and a coalition of legal experts explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee:

      • Coinbase Workers Rattled by Politics Ban and Fear Being Muzzled

        Many employees were shocked by Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong’s blog post imposing the rules Sunday, and some are concerned that he is trying to stymie discourse that should be happening, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. Neither knew of anyone taking an exit package from the San Francisco-based company, but employees have until Oct. 7 to apply.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 21

        I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers as unnoticed as bags of frozen chips coming off a production line.

      • Assange on Trial: Embassy Espionage, Contemplated Poisoning and Proposed Kidnapping

        September 30. Central Criminal Court, London.

      • US Lawmaker ‘Adopts’ Jailed Vietnamese Journalist as Prisoner of Conscience

        “He is a man of conviction, who has been wrongly abused, detained, and imprisoned for trying to cover issues important to the Vietnamese people, but which are uncomfortable for the Vietnamese government to hear.”

        Nguyen Van Hoa, 25, was jailed by the People’s Court of Ha Tinh in Nghe An province on Nov. 27, 2017 after filming protests outside the Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group steel plant, whose spill in 2016 killed an estimated 115 tons of fish and left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless in four central provinces.

      • The Misguided Campaign Against Journalistic Objectivity

        Prof. Callison seeks a decisive shift—indeed, a revolution—away from journalistic objectivity, and an explicit embrace of subjectivity. She told Germain that “objectivity [has been] interpreted in most newsrooms as… a way of not acknowledging your social location as a journalist, that there has been a way of reporting on certain topics and certain communities in the past that may have caused harm.” Instead of attempting to rise to this “harmful” objective ideal, journalists should exhibit clarity about “whose social order you’re maintaining.” Offering models to be emulated, Prof. Callison cited Toronto journalist Tanya Talaga, whose 2017 book about Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, reflected Talaga’s own roots. So, too, with black activist Desmond Cole’s 2020 book The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘You have no masks’: Meet the Belarusian developer working on a facial recognition algorithm for doxing riot police

        On September 24, developer Andrey Maximov uploaded a video illustrating the work of a computer program that “unmasks” Belarusian law enforcement officers. The algorithm is capable of recognizing the face of a person involved in suppressing protests, even if it’s hidden by a mask, cap, or balaclava, Maximov said in the YouTube video. But apart from the demo video, which has provoked doubts among experts, there was nothing else to confirm the existence of an actual, working algorithm. As it turns out, the program isn’t quite ready yet — in conversation with “Meduza,” Maximov said so himself.

      • 'Years of Repair': New Animated Film Imagines the Future to Come Inspired by a Vision of Justice and the Common Good

        "The true power and possibility of this project is not onscreen," explains executive producer Naomi Klein. "That resides in the movement of movements that is fighting for this vision of radical repair every day.

      • ‘A flagrant rights violation’ State investigators in Russia reportedly plan to arrest single gay fathers on child trafficking charges

        Member of Parliament Oksana Pushkina, the deputy head of the State Duma’s Committee on Family, Women, and Children’s Issues, has asked Russia’s Attorney General to confirm reports about the Investigative Committee allegedly planning to arrest a number of single, gay men, who became fathers through in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures and surrogate mothers. The single fathers in question are reportedly being accused of child trafficking and state investigators are allegedly threatening to place their children in foster care for the duration of the investigation. Pushkina’s letter to Attorney General Igor Krasnov was obtained by RBK.€ 

      • Who Has the Power to Define Christianity in the US?

        On August 26, during the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence closed his acceptance speech with a biblical sleight of hand. Speaking before a crowd at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, he exclaimed, “Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire.” In doing so, he essentially rewrote a passage from the New Testament book of Hebrews: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.”

      • Rights Groups Warn Trump 'Jeopardizes Lives' with Cuts to Refugee Resettlement Program

        The Trump administration is "trying to grind our refugee system to a halt and ensure that Black and Brown immigrants don't have refuge here."

      • It’s His Land. Now a Canadian Company Gets to Take It.

        This past spring, while much of the country focused on COVID-19, three men who work in an obscure corner of the federal government weighed a question with profound effects across the American West. On the docket was a proposal to build a natural gas pipeline that would slice through hundreds of miles of Oregon wilderness, private lands and areas sacred to American Indians. The plan, which had been repeatedly rejected by state and federal regulators for more than a decade, would give a Canadian company the right to seize the land it needed from any American property owner who stood in the way. The government panel that would make the decision can meet in person. But on this March afternoon, it was conducting the people’s business in writing — government by what amounts to dueling memos.

        The members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are typically the kind of people President Donald Trump has in mind when he derisively talks about the “deep state”: faceless bureaucrats who pull the levers of power with little scrutiny or accountability. Except these were Trump’s bureaucrats. Two of the three members had been appointed by the president, whose enthusiasm for any project that might be cast as boosting America’s fossil fuel industry is nothing if not predictable.

      • India Hits 6 Million COVID Cases as Modi Government Represses Dissent

        As India becomes just the second country to hit 6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, we speak to journalist Rana Ayyub in Mumbai, who was recently hospitalized after testing positive for the disease. India’s lead pandemic agency says an antibody study suggests more than 60 million people in the country have already been infected with the coronavirus — 10 times the official count but still a small fraction of its population of 1.3 billion. “It doesn’t feel like India is even talking about the pandemic,” says Ayyub, a global opinions writer for The Washington Post. “More than the fear of the pandemic, people in this country are fearing the massive unemployment and the fact that they are going without food.”

      • Pakistan's Mughal Syndrome

        In recent years, India has begun to view the Mughals and other Muslim dynasties before them, not as natives but invaders and colonizers. Hindutva’s rise sees even Islam as a foreign religion and the Mughal monuments, including the Taj Mahal, as occupiers’ relics. The 1947 partition takes on new meaning as India reincarnates Hindu glories whitewashing the Muslim rule.

      • Pandemic of Repression: Modi Government Crushes Dissent While Ignoring India’s 6 Million COVID Cases

        As India becomes just the second country to hit 6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, we speak to journalist Rana Ayyub in Mumbai, who was recently hospitalized after testing positive for the disease. India’s lead pandemic agency says an antibody study suggests more than 60 million people in the country have already been infected with the coronavirus — 10 times the official count but still a small fraction of its population of 1.3 billion. “It doesn’t feel like India is even talking about the pandemic,” says Ayyub, a global opinions writer for The Washington Post. “More than the fear of the pandemic, people in this country are fearing the massive unemployment and the fact that they are going without food.”

      • How Ecuador’s Democracy is Being Suffocated

        A recent poll showed that if Andrés Arauz Galarza were allowed to run in Ecuador’s presidential election of 2021, he would win in the first round with 45.9 percent of the vote. The pollsters found that Arauz—who was the minister of knowledge and human talent from 2015 to 2017—wins across “all the social strata and regions of the country, with a slight weakness among the richest voters in the country.”

      • Democracy: It’s Not Dark Yet, But It’s Getting There

        Ever since the Nobel Peace prize-winning President Barack Obama had the audacity to hire as his press secretary someone with the forked-tongued name Josh Earnest (can you say, oxymoron?) back in 2014, I’ve given up on the hope that executive administrations will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ever again. Obama worked the Press. The uproarious Jonas Brothers drone joke, followed by the knee-slapping drive-by shootings of American citizens overseas a year later, turning Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 year old son, into drone meat. Or the drone double taps: first their weddings, then their funerals. Get it? “They hate us more than they love life,” whistleblower John Kiriakou once said. But keep pushing, and they’ll write poetry to us, he continued.

      • Uber-funded ballot measure in California would create "permanent underclass of workers," expert says

        It all goes back to California's Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The impetus for AB5 was to make gig economy work into more stable and reliable work, and reduce worker exploitation; currently, driver-contractors like those who work for Uber or Lyft are not guaranteed health care of any other benefits if they work more than 40 hours a week, as they are legally contractors rather than employees.

        Likewise, such drivers and deliverypersons often make less than minimum wage after their own expenses are accounted for. AB5, which put into place a "test" to determine whether someone is a contractor or employee, was designed to lift these kinds of workers out of poverty.

        Yet since AB5 passed through California's state legislature, Uber and Lyft have refused to comply; instead, they chose to pour over $180 million into the astroturf campaign for Proposition 22. Similar gig worker-reliant companies have chipped into the campaign, too. DoorDash has donated $47.5 million; Instacart has donated $27.5 million, and Postmates has contributed a little over $10 million.

      • Cops Caused My Wife, Son's Deaths

        Ron also claims deputies obstructed fire department medical personnel from entering the home to provide treatment. In all, he claims Valerie went without treatment for 30 minutes ... and was pronounced dead at 8:42 PM.

        As for Cameron's death ... Ron claims his son was unarmed on their property later that night when deputies found him. According to the suit, Cameron was unarmed and had his hands up when the cops opened fire, hitting Cameron 22 times. Ron claims Cameron also went without medical assistance for at least 13 minutes, and was left to die in the driveway.

      • The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

        The pandemic has put 500,000 more girls at risk of being forced into child marriage this year, reversing 25 years of progress that saw child marriage rates decline, according to a new report by the charity Save the Children.

        Before the global outbreak, 12 million girls married each year, now the charity warns that up to 2.5 million more girls could be at risk of child marriage over the next five years.

        With up to 117 million children estimated to fall into poverty in 2020, many will face pressure to work and help provide for their families."

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Verizon Is Still Abusing The Hell Out Of The Word 'Unlimited'

        Back in 2007, Verizon was forced to strike an agreement with the New York State Attorney General for falsely marketing data plans as "unlimited" when the plans had very clear limits. Thirteen years later and it's not clear the company has learned much of anything.

      • Losing the Right to Encryption Means Losing Business

        But governments around the world that pass anti-privacy legislation are incurring unplanned costs that go beyond the chilling effects of lessened privacy for their citizenry.

        Laws that attack encryption and privacy stifle their local tech industry and tarnish their reputation internationally, both of which are detrimental to their own economy.

    • Monopolies

      • New Technologies Should Be Regulated by Government -- Not by Those Who Profit

        Humans are inventing new technologies at a breakneck pace, adding to the thousands of previous innovations that have created vast wealth and greatly expanded the possibilities for human well-being. But technology has also created the climate emergency, the H-bomb, and a world so filled with plastic that you are probably breathing plastic microparticles as you read this, with unknown consequences for your health.

      • Bt Cotton in India is a GMO Template for a ‘Monumental Irreversible Catastrophe’

        Cotton is the only genetically modified (GM) crop that has been officially approved in India and has been cultivated (illegally then legally) in the country for more than 20 years. Although GM mustard has been approved for commercial cultivation by India’s apex regulatory body for GM crops (the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, GEAC), a public interest litigation led by Aruna Rodrigues is before the Supreme Court challenging that decision and commercialisation of the crop is on hold.

      • Patents

        • Book review ”Proceedings before the European Patent Office” by Müller and Mulder



          The book of Marcus Müller and Cees Mulder, “Proceedings before the European Patent Office. A Practical Guide to Success in Opposition and Appeal” is published under the Elgar Practical Guides series (2020).

          It constitutes a very practical, clear and hands-on guide on EPO proceedings directed to both the experienced patent attorney due to its reference to important (and current) case-law as well as to its references to the 2020 Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal. It is also a perfect guide for patent attorneys that want to have a complete and detailed overview of the EPO proceedings as well as need strategic and practical advice.

          What I really appreciated reading the book, is the way it combines the theoretical, legal framework, the extensive case-law references as well as the practical perspective, all coming together in a very pedagogic manner, with a clear structure and a number of explanatory illustrations. This is also why the book could with advantage be used in advanced courses in patent law.

      • Copyrights

        • House Committee Hearing Shows Disagreement on How to Fine-Tune the DMCA

          U.S. lawmakers are considering updating the DMCA to bring it into line with current piracy challenges. A detailed consultation process resulted in a set of recommendations from the Copyright Office this year, but many questions remain. A hearing at the House Judiciary Committee yesterday reiterated that stakeholders aren't in agreement on how to move forward.

        • Oracle Is Wrong About Having Permission To Reimplement Amazon's API. But They Shouldn't Need It.

          Readers of this site no doubt know that Oracle’s arguments in its lawsuit against Google, set to be argued in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, could spell disaster for the computer industry, by turning the act of reimplementing an API into copyright infringement. Back in January, I revealed in an Ars Technica piece that it could even spell disaster for Oracle itself, because Oracle’s cloud storage service reimplements Amazon’s S3 API. Oracle did not dispute my findings but shrugged them off, claiming Amazon had granted permission. I was skeptical, but at the time did not have hard evidence to prove a negative that Oracle had no license.

        • UEFA Obtains New Pirate IPTV Blocking Injunction Against Irish ISPs

          UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe, has obtained a High Court injunction in Ireland compelling the country's largest ISPs to block access to pirated live games. At least in theory, customers of Eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone should find illegal IPTV providers much more difficult to access during the 20/21 season.

        • Book Review: Copyright's Arc

          He rejects any ‘one-size-fits-all’ global copyright regime, and posits that copyright should be adapted to local realities in order to serve a higher purpose: furthering human dignity through access to art.

          [...]

          The book continues with chapters on Interaction between Copyright Regimes and a more practical consideration of Transitioning to Copyright’s Arc, before concluding. Of course, Skladany recognises that there are practical limitations to his thesis being implemented, especially bearing in mind the huge variety of national contexts and priorities. He argues that an adjustment to copyright legislation could bring Big Copyright around, with the idea of directly helping human development being the most attractive incentive, while responding to reviewer feedback and anticipating various counter-arguments throughout.

        • If You're Going To Sue YouTube For Infringement, Maybe First Don't License Your Music To YouTube Or Setup Fake Accounts To Upload Your Own Works

          Fifteen years ago, we applauded jazz musician Maria Schneider, who was an early adopter of crowdfunding her music directly from fans -- getting them to donate to help her pay to record a new album. We were excited to see musicians like her go direct to fans and show that you didn't need record labels and the old way of doing things, such as locking up the music, to become a successful musician. For reasons I don't fully understand, in the intervening years, Schneider has become one of the most vocal critics of "big tech" and "piracy," even as she had been an early embracer of the internet and unique business models.



Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] Community of People to be Exploited, Then Thrown Away, Left Behind or Even Slandered
Debian.org front page
Alexandre Oliva's FSF disposition
During my recent trip for LibrePlanet, I was fortunate to have, or at least start, long conversations with nearly everyone in FSF staff
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
 
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters
Jean-Pierre Giraud, Possible Forgeries & Debian: elections, judgments, trademark already canceled, archaeologist
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Six on the Beach: After Losing Six Continents Microsoft is Losing Oceania Too
Based on the 6- or 7-continent view of the world
Links 17/06/2024: Mass Layoffs Accelerating in Tech, Concerns About Impact of the Net
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/06/2024: Hyprland Analysed and No Use for Betrusted
Links for the day
Microsoft Can Never Make a Comeback Anymore, the Community is Shutting It Out
We're relying on the real community, not fake ones or coopted ones
The World is Becoming (or Has Already Become) Linux
An intercontinental success story
Georgia: Bing Share Fell by Half Since 'Bing Chat' (LLM Hype), Fell Behind Yandex As Well
Georgia's situation is interesting
[Meme] SPI and 'FSFE': Sponsored by Microsoft to...
women's instincts do not matter to these strongmen
[Meme] Shitburger of an LLM
IBM and the Hololens
Links 17/06/2024: Chatbot Nonsense Thrown Under the Bus (Severe Failure, Pure Hype), How to Finance Free Software 'Hackers'
Links for the day
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day
Africa is Android and Green (Chrome, Not Just Android Logo)
In Africa Firefox is almost below 1% now
Coercion From the "Consent" and "CoC" Crowd is a Self-Defeating Tactic
Freedom of the press; Nothing less
Covering Abuses and Corruption
We'll never surrender to blackmail
According to statCounter, GNU/Linux Increased From 3.77% to 3.89% This Month (Worldwide), Windows Now Below 20% in 78 Nations, Below 10% in 27 Nations
Highest since March (for GNU/Linux)
Ubuntu Running Out of Energy
Its planet too is deteriorating
Links 16/06/2024: In Defence of Email and Why Recycling Symbol Lost All Meaning
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Computer Science Course Union and Potentiometer
Links for the day
Cross border crime: sale of Swiss insurance in France and European Union without authorisation
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day