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Links 20/12/2020: GNOME 40 Workspace Updates, New Excuses From Red Hat About CentOS

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • postmarketOS // Introducing the postmarketOS podcast

        Here is a little holiday present from half the core team, the first episode of the postmarketOS podcast! The idea is of course that you give it a listen, so we won't spend much time introducing it here. Add to your podcatcher or visit the site for more information.

      • Turn Your Window Manager Into A Desktop Environment - YouTube

        So you installed a stand-alone window manager, but a window manager is not a desktop environment. It's just window manager. It manages windows. It DOES NOT manage notifications, clipboards, volume controls, bluetooth, etc. You have to install programs to do those tasks.

      • Xwallpaper: Everything A Wallpaper Setter Needs - YouTube

        If I want a program to set my wallpaper I don't need a bunch of extra image manipulation features, I just want something that sets my wallpaper and that's it, Xwallpaper does exactly like, it does have some minor issues but they're nothing that effect how I use my system.

    • Kernel Space

      • MIPI I3C Host Controller Interface Driver Comes To Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        Announced back in 2018 by the MIPI Alliance was the I3C Host Controller Interface (HCI) 1.0 specification whereby a common I3C HCI driver could support a range of multi-vendor sensors and other components relying on I3C.

        MIPI wrote at the time, "MIPI I3C HCI defines a common set of capabilities for the host controller and the software interface, allowing for the building of class definitions based on a common set of features. The definition allows for vendor-specific extensions and optimizations."

        Two years later, a MIPI I3C Host Controller Interface driver for Linux was published over the summer. But for this initial MIPI I3C HCI driver code there was limited testing due to HCI 1.0 hardware still being scarce even while HCI v1.1 and HCI v2.0 standards are already in the works.

      • FUSE, OverlayFS, Ceph Ready With Improvements For Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        This first week of the Linux 5.11 merge window continues to be very active with many of the kernel maintainers looking to land their changes ahead of the Christmas week where they are often taking time off work.

        On top of other file-system improvements covered already for Linux 5.11 like a ton of Btrfs improvements and more F2FS encryption/casefolding/compression feature work, the Ceph, OverlayFS, and FUSE components all have some changes worth noting for Linux 5.11.

      • Intel Platform Monitoring Technology Is Supported By Linux 5.11

        After undergoing review the past several months, Intel's Platform Monitoring Technology (PMT) is merged with the Linux 5.11 kernel.

        Platform Monitoring Technology is hardware telemetry initially exposed with Tiger Lake hardware. This hardware telemetry is driven by customer demand and isn't about reporting hardware data back to Intel but rather collecting data on hardware internally within organizations and making it easier to manage. PMT currently supports Telemetry, Watcher (hardware sampling/tracing), and Crashlog components for various use-cases within organizations.

      • KVM With Linux 5.11 Brings AMD SEV-ES Host Support

        The KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) changes were sent in today for the Linux 5.11 cycle.

        Exciting of these KVM changes for what will be the first major Linux release of 2021 is supporting AMD SEV-ES on the host side. Linux has already seen bring-up work for AMD SEV-ES, the Secure Encrypted Virtualization Encrypted State functionality.

    • Applications

      • 6 ways this fullscreen text editor improves focus

        The great thing about computers is that they’re really good at multi-tasking.

        The bad thing about computers is that they’re really good at multi-tasking.

        Whether you consider yourself, as a human, good or bad at multi-tasking, sometimes you need a little help focusing. One of those times is when you’re trying to compose clear and concise communication. And that’s exactly why Focuswriter was developed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Migrate CentOS Linux 6, 7, 8 servers to Oracle Linux - Linux Shout

        Centos Linux 8 server or desktop which would be out of the shelf by the Redhat next year becomes a topic of apprehension for some users or administrators. However, those are on CentOS 7 they don’t have to worry yet because still, there is a time, as it will reach to end of its life in 2024.

        Well, one of the popular alternatives which are available to switch the CentOS 6 or 8 is the Oracle Linux, which is free and works with the same binaries used by the CentOS after all both are RPM-based and descendent of Redhat.

        If you are worried about your installed applications and packages on CentOS 8/7/6 Linux in the process of migration then you don’t have too much because most of them will be intact as they are, even after switching to Oracle Linux.

        Let’s talk a little bit about Oracle Linux, it is free to download, use, and distribute (even source code) operating system based on RedHat that’s why it is compatible with most of the binaries of RHEL or CentOS. Even enterprises can use it in a production environment free of cost without any obligation from Oracle. With every major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Oracle also released its own therefore the latest version of Oracle Linux is 8 which in CentOS about to end in 2021.

      • How To Install Ajenti Control Panel on CentOS 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Ajenti Control Panel on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Ajenti is a hosting control panel that allows you to set up a website very easily. It comes with a clean and modern interface, so setting up application servers, databases and routing should not be difficult at all. Moreover, it comes with great language support. Using Ajenti, you can set up applications written in PHP (PHP-FPM), Python (WSGI), Ruby, and Node.js in no time. Exim 4 and Courier IMAP are automatically configured so you can use virtual e-mails, DKIM, DMARC, and SPF. This control panel is written in Python and runs on multiple Linux distributions.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Ajenti Control Panel on CentOS 8.

      • How to manage processes in Linux - TechRepublic

        No matter your Linux system, be it desktop or server, there will be quite a large number of processes running at any given time. Hopefully those processes are all running as expected. But if not, this article from TechRepublic Premium has some tips to get your processes running smoothly again including how to list running processes, how to kill a running process, how to "nice" a process, and more.

      • Linux awk command with 10 examples | FOSS Linux

        Computer systems have always been used to analyze valuable data stored in simple text files. In turn, computer systems themselves are managed through log files. What is potentially common in these two situations is that they hold a great amount of data, which often needs to be streamlined before actually reading the data; otherwise, it is just confusing.

        For example, if you are reading some data arranged in a tabular form, you want some columns, you don’t want others.

        This requirement was a dire one even back in the day, and consequently, the GNU Project holds an amazing tool that helps users filter and extract data for a better experience. That tool is AWK.

      • Add, Delete And Grant Sudo Privileges To Users In Alpine Linux - OSTechNix

        We already have shown you how to create a sudo user, assign sudo permissions to existing users and remove sudo privileges from an user in Arch Linux, CentOS and Ubuntu. Today, we will see how to add, delete and grant sudo privileges to users in Alpine Linux.

        For the purpose of this guide, I will be using a minimal Alpine Linux box.

      • How To Install Apache Spark on CentOS 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Spark on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Spark is a fast and general-purpose cluster computing system. It provides high-level APIs in Java, Scala, and Python, and also an optimized engine that supports overall execution charts. It also supports a rich set of higher-level tools including Spark SQL for SQL and structured information processing, MLlib for machine learning, GraphX for graph processing, and Spark Streaming.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Apache Spark on CentOS 8.

      • How to Install Alacritty Terminal Emulator via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the fastest terminal emulator, Alacritty, in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Linux Mint 20 via PPA.

        Alacritty is a cross-platform, GPU-accelerated terminal emulator works on macOS, Linux, BSD, and Windows. It’s free and open-source software that strongly focus on simplicity and performance. And it features Vi mode, search, Vi search etc.

      • How to Make KDE Plasma Desktop Look Like Chrome OS - Linux Scoop

        This video shown step by step how to customize KDE Plasma Desktop Look Like macOS Big Sur. In this video, I use Manjaro KDE Edition for implementing the theme look like Chrome OS.

        This tutorial also works on Linux Distribution which using KDE Plasma Desktop such as KDE neon, Kubuntu, OpenSUSE, KaOS, Netrunner, Chakra, Debian KDE flavor, Fedora KDE Spin, Arch with KDE plasma.

      • [Solved] No Bootable Medium Found Error in VirtualBox

        Many VirtualBox users have experienced at least once the message ‘FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.‘ Sometimes it is also shown ‘No Bootable Medium Found! System halted‘.

        This error is more common when trying to start a new virtual machine, but it is not impossible to happen at an existing virtual machine if the virtual hard drive is missing.

        Note: This problem has to do purely with VirtualBox, and can be experienced on any host operating system be it Windows, Mac OS or Linux.

      • How to Create a New File in Linux

        Creating a new file in Linux seems simple, but you'd be amazed at how many ways you can do it!

      • pacman Failed to Update Core – How to Fix

        This quick guide helps you to fix the common pacman failed to update core error in Arch Linux, Manjar, and other Linux.

      • MS Edge browser updated to 89.0.731.0 €» PCLinuxOS
      • How to Install Microsoft Edge in Arch Linux and Manjaro

        This quick guide explains the steps required to install Microsoft Edge Browser (now Dev version) in Arch Linux, Manjaro, and other similar distributions.

      • How to Migrate CentOS 8 Installation to CentOS Stream 8

        End of CentOS 8 support was actually a poor decision was made by the CentOS Project Team.

        If you missed the Official Announcement, then read it from Centos Blog.

        I feel pity about users who have just configured their server before launch and boom no support from the Development team after December 2021.

        If you have CentOS 7 on your server, you do not need to worry now, and You still have time till June 30, 2024.

        If we want to continue to use CentOS, you need to switch to CentOS Stream 8 sooner or later.

        Carl George, member of Centos Project Team, Clarify CentOS Stream 8 End of life “2019-09-24 to 2024-05-31 (4 years, 8 months).”

    • Games

      • Learn a new old language by programming a game in Algol 68 |

        In this article series, Correspondents and others have been writing the same "guess the number" game in various programming languages. This exercise shows how the basic concepts you'll find in most programming languages—variables, expressions, and statements—can be applied to learn new languages.

      • Godot Engine - Camille Mohr-Daurat was hired to work on physics

        Thanks to a generous donation, I was brought onto the team to work part-time on improving the 2D and 3D physics engines for the next 6 months.

        The main goal is to modernize Godot Physics 2D and Godot Physics 3D, the custom physics backends Godot uses internally for physics simulation.

        For 3D physics: Bullet is currently the default physics engine, but this will change. Godot Physics will become the new default after improvements and no loss in functionality is verified. The reason being Godot Physics is lighter, simpler and easier to maintain. That will make 3D physics easier to use and more reliable for most use-cases out of the box.

      • FOSS Patents: Viral Days: inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, this real-time strategy game for Android and iOS demonstrates the propagation of a virus and, especially, the most effective ways to stop it

        Nine months ago, to the day, I woke up after about four hours of sleep. With large parts of the world in lockdown, I started thinking about how a mobile game could make a useful contribution in the current situation and any future situation, as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not the first and won't be the last of its kind.

        I'll tell you in a moment what happened then, but fast forward from March 2020 to this weekend, and Viral Days (product website) is available for iOS on Apple's App Store and for Android on the Google Play Store.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Mobile Installation on a Desktop

          Plasma Mobile is .. well, it’s KDE Plasma, adjusted and tweaked for use in mobile. The tagline is “Plasma, in your pocket” and the sub-title on the PlaMo website is “Privacy-respecting, open source and secure phone ecosystem.” You can get it on the PinePhone and elsewhere. “Elsewhere” can be made to work, but I’ve had a bit of a struggle to get there.

          The reason I’m writing this is that a user showed up in the #calamares IRC channel asking for installation help for Plasma Mobile Desktop (wut?). Calamares is an adaptable modular Linux installer which is used by lots of Linux distro’s as the basis for their (ISO or USB-stick) installer. It is also used by some editions of KDE neon, and it turns out that Plasma Mobile has an ISO image for “desktop devices” which are regular x86 systems. That includes x86 2-in-1 desktop / tablet machines, like Lenovo’s Yoga and Dell also has 2-in-1s.

        • KDE Sees New Features, Bug Fixes Ahead Of Christmas

          Winter holidays haven't yet slowed down the pace of improvements for the KDE desktop stack. It was another busy week enhancing KDE Plasma and related desktop components with new functionality and fixes.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekly development recap of KDE changes for the week.

        • How to use this KDE Plasma text editor

          KWrite is a desktop text editor for KDE’s Plasma desktop. It’s meant to be a universal application that anyone can reasonably use when they need to jot down a quick note, write a school paper, do some programming, and/or anything else you can think to do with a text editor. It uses components of the Kate editor to create a simple interface but leverages those same components to provide a long list of useful features.

          KWrite isn’t intended for general availability; it’s a component of the Plasma desktop by KDE, so if you’re running Plasma, then you already have KWrite. If you don’t run Plasma, then you can install Plasma, so you can either start using it along with KWrite or just use KWrite as needed. However, it’s intended as the default text editor for your Plasma desktop, so if you really want to use it as a standalone application, then it’s probably easier to just install Kate.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 Workspace Navigation is now more Intuitive

          The workspace navigation is going to change completely in GNOME 40. The new design is so easy and immersive that people may be migrating to GNOME from other desktop environments.

        • GNOME Shell UX Continues Improving For GNOME 40

          The pandemic isn't slowing down work on GNOME 40... In addition to this week's release of GTK 4.0, GNOME Shell developers continue progressing on some visible improvements slated for this 2021 desktop update.

          The areas of focus for GNOME Shell developers have been on providing better overview spatial organization, helpful boot and empty states, improved touchpad navigation, and more engaging application browsing and launching experience.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • MX Linux 19.2 KDE – Features KDE Plasma 5.14 and Based On Debian 10.4

          The MX Linux team has been released and announced the second point release of its MX Linux 19 “Patito Feo” series with KDE Plasma desktop environment edition for the first time.

          MX Linux 19.2 KDE edition ship with KDE Plasma 5.14.5 on top of Debian 10 “buster”, refreshes its new 64-bit ISO edition, AHS (Advanced Hardware Support) which featured first in the previous MX-19.1 release. It comes with the latest Debian kernel 5.6, Mesa 20, and an updated firmware package.

          MX Linux 19.2 KDE also includes the usual MX tools, antiX-live-USB-system, and snapshot technology that our users have come to expect from our standard flagship Xfce releases. Adding KDE/plasma to the existing Xfce/MX-Fluxbox desktops will provide for a wider range of user needs and wants.

      • Slackware Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Continues Pleading The Case For Its CentOS Changes - Phoronix

          Taking many by surprise was the news last week of CentOS 8 being EOL'ed next year as what has been a popular downstream of Red Hat Entrprise Linux that is free of charge and often adapted for use within large organizations. Instead, IBM-owned Red Hat is looking to position CentOS "Stream" in front of RHEL as its upstream. That still isn't sitting over well for many and today is a new post on the CentOS Blog.

          Other enterprise Linux distributions have been looking to make use of the situation in attracting CentOS users looking for a new home to the likes of Oracle Linux as well as some working to create new CentOS-like distributions like Rocky Linux. Red Hat though still is expressing optimism that CentOS Stream will work out for around "95%" of current workloads and they will be rolling out some new, yet-to-be-announced options for helping to fill the gap (presumably some expansion of their free RHEL Developer Program or other low-cost, self-service RHEL pricing option).

        • Wade: Balancing the needs around the CentOS platform

          Karsten Wade, who has served on the CentOS board among other things, has posted a blog entry on the CentOS change and its effects on users.

        • Balancing the needs around the CentOS platform

          These past few weeks I’ve read through and listened to a lot people’s reactions and responses to our news about the future of the CentOS Project. I see a lot of surprise and disappointment, and I also see people worried about the future and how this is going to affect them, their livelihoods, and the ecosystem as a whole. I feel a strong sense of betrayal from people, I hear that.

          I don’t know if my story here is going to help you or not, but I appreciate you reading it through and listening to what I have to say. The history I cover I think is necessary to understand where we are today. From here I’m going to be available on the CentOS devel list and Twitter if you want to talk further about why I think it’s going to turn out okay.

        • IBM Emeritus IWB: What Is Objective Reality?

          I learned about The Constitution of Knowledge, - a 2018 National Affairs essay by author and journalist Jonathan Rauch, - from a recent OpEd by NY Times columnist David Brooks. In his “remarkable essay,” wrote Brooks, “Rauch pointed out that every society has an epistemic regime, a marketplace of ideas where people collectively hammer out what’s real. In democratic, nontheocratic societies, this regime is a decentralized ecosystem of academics, clergy members, teachers, journalists and others who disagree about a lot but agree on a shared system of rules for weighing evidence and building knowledge.”

          Rauch’s essay asks a very important and timely question: what is objective reality? “In everyday vernacular, reality often refers to the world out there: things as they really are, independent of human perception and error,” he wrote. “Reality also often describes those things that we feel certain about, things that we believe no amount of wishful thinking could change. But, of course, humans have no direct access to an objective world independent of our minds and senses, and subjective certainty is in no way a guarantee of truth.”

          The distinction between subjective opinion and objective facts is nicely captured in this widely used quote: People Are Entitled To Their Own Opinions But Not To Their Own Facts. It’s the essence of any discussion about objective reality. However, the distinction between opinion and facts has long been rather porous in totalitarian regimes, as well as in highly polarized periods, - like our own.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Working To Modernize Its Website, Rolls Out New Homepage

          The Debian project's current website has arguably a rather dated look and feel but work is underway on modernizing the website to give it a fresh look. This week the project rolled out a redesigned homepage.

          Developers are working to modernize the Debian website including an improved layout, new icons and CSS styling, updated content, and better structuring. Obviously that's a rather large undertaking and they are working to incrementally improve it.

        • Sandro Tosi: Gmail and add a label to team emails

          Recently the Python Team started the migration from Alioth mailing list to a team.

          Alioth mailing list, being a real ml, included a List-Id header, which is handled by Gmail natively and which you can use to create a filter based on it.

          Tracker.d.o instead uses a custom header, X-Distro-Tracker-Team, and Gmail doesn't allow to create filters on custom headers. But there's a solution: Google Apps Scripts.

        • Testing VDPAU in Debian €« etbe - Russell Coker

          VDPAU is the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix [1]. I noticed an error with mplayer “Failed to open VDPAU backend cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory“, Googling that turned up Debian Bug #869815 [2] which suggested installing the packages vdpau-va-driver and libvdpau-va-gl1 and setting the environment variable “VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl” to enable VPDAU.

          The command vdpauinfo from the vdpauinfo shows the VPDAU capabilities, which showed that VPDAU was working with va_gl.

          When mplayer was getting the error about a missing i915 driver it took 35.822s of user time and 1.929s of system time to play Self Control by Laura Branigan [3] (a good music video to watch several times while testing IMHO) on my Thinkpad Carbon X1 Gen1 with Intel video and a i7-3667U CPU. When I set “VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl” mplayer took 50.875s of user time and 4.207s of system time but didn’t have the error.

        • Yves-Alexis Perez: iOS 14 USB tethering fix

          A small patch was later commited to the Linux kernel and found its way to Linux and distributions stable releases. On Debian stable you'll need to upgrade to Buster 10.7 to get the fix.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What Does 'Install Multimedia Codecs' Do in Linux Mint?

          Here’s a simple analysis on what packages will be downloaded and installed by a special option named ‘Install Multimedia Codecs’ on Mint 20 Ulyana all editions. With this analysis I hope you can see what software licenses you are accepting, including the nonfree ones, and whether it is a Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) enters your computing. This analysis requires you to understand basic Debian’s package management system which is the basic of Mint software distribution especially the concepts of package dependency. Don’t worry I will explain them briefly for you so you can grasp the table clearly. I wish you enjoy discussion below.

        • Download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – DVD ISO Images

          Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa is the latest LTS release available to download. This tutorial will provide you the download links to DVD ISO Images of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with different desktop flavors. You can find the Ubuntu 20.04 release notes on its official website.

          In this tutorial, you will find instructions to download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa ISO images from official site. Also you will learn how to download images with zsync command line utility.

        • Alan Pope: Multiple GPUs in a Skull Canyon NUC

          Every 3 years at Canonical we get a laptop refresh fund. With it we can buy whatever devices we need to work. I used my last one to buy a ThinkPad T450. The most recent one arrived in November this year. I was considering replacing the ThinkPad with a desktop computer of some kind. I can certainly keep the T450 for portable work, but I mostly sit at the same desk all day, so figure I may as well get a desktop rather than a laptop.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Let's Try Operation Tulip Technology

        Operation Tulip is an European online service based on Nextcloud technology with beautiful appearance that is free/libre open source software (also known as FLOSS). It is a solution for most people who cannot afford to setup a server computer themselves but want a secure, privacy respecting, full featured internet based storage and file sharing. By having a gratis account you can unlock yourself to try file manager integration, as well as calendar, contacts, backup, and phones synchronization that can be accessed anywhere anytime. Operation Tulip is one great example among others that are still coming and growing. This is a beginner's guide to Operation Tulip as well as more generally to Nextcloud usage. Let's try it out!

      • Ubuntu, Nextcloud Desktop, and Operation Tulip
      • 4 Best Free and Open Source Tools to Track Cryptocurrencies

        A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Typically it does not exist in physical form (like paper money) and is also typically not issued by a central authority. Instead, there’s decentralized control.

        Cryptocurrencies have not only had an impact on the world’s expectations surrounding money. They’ve also continued to evolve since the first Bitcoin block was mined back in 2009. Since then, thousands of unique cryptocurrencies have appeared.

        Of these, Bitcoin remains the most popular. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble. But Bitcoin could be on the verge of adoption by professional investors which would send its price higher.

      • Web Browsers

        • What is Brave browser’s market share [Ed: Those are not legitimate measures.

          How large is the Brave browser’s market share in the browser wars? A slew of technical hurdles make it difficult to count Brave’s user base, so no one has shared any market share analysis numbers that include Brave. Until now.


          Brave blocks the tracking scripts from these two companies by default, so its users are excluded from these datasets.

        • Mozilla

          • Kartikaya Gupta: 9 years and change

            I should probably note here that November 20 was my last day as a Mozilla employee. In theory, that shouldn't really change much, given the open-source nature of Mozilla. In practice, of course, it does. I did successfully set up a non-staff account and migrate things to that, so I still retain some level of access. I intend to continue contributing; however, my contributions will likely be restricted to things that don't require paging in huge chunks of code, or require large chunks of time. In other words, mostly cleanup-type stuff, or smaller bugfixes/enhancements.


            Working at Mozilla was in many ways a dream come true. It was truly an honour to work alongside so many world-class engineers, on so many different problems. I'm going to miss it, for sure, but I am also excited to see what the future holds.

          • Mozilla Firefox Appears Ready To Enable AVIF Image Handling Support By Default

            It looks like Mozilla Firefox very soon will be enabling support for AVIF as the image format based on AV1 video coding.

            Google added support for AVIF to Chrome/Chromium earlier this year and shipped with Chrome 85. There has been other industry adoption as well around AVIF images, even by the likes of Microsoft with Windows. Now in an upcoming Firefox release, AVIF image support will be present too.

      • Programming/Development

        • Which programming language should you learn in 2021? Here are the top 10

          The year 2020 has given a massive boost to digital technologies and spurred the demand for developers and programmers. However, given the dynamic nature of the technology landscape, new technologies emerge each day. While upskilling and learning new programming languages is a definite plus for any developer who wishes to grow in their career, knowing which languages to learn is equally important.

          Below is a list of the top 10 programming languages that are predicted to rule 2021 in order of priority. If you’re looking to upskill, this list can be a good reference point.

        • How To Install Python 3.9 on Debian 10 – TecAdmin

          Python is an object-oriented, high-level programming language. It is an open source with a large community. Python is used as key languages among the top tech companies like Google. The Python 3.9 stable version has been released with several improvements and security updates. It included multiple new modules, improved existing modules and many other features.

          Debian 10 default repositories comes with Python 3.7. So if your application can work with this version, install it from default repositories using command apt install python3 . To install Python 3.9 on Debian 10 follow this tutorial.

        • Intel ISPC 1.15 Released With Support For Sapphire Rapids, Alder Lake - Phoronix

          Intel released a new version of their SPMD Program Compiler (ISPC) this weekend that brings new improvements for this compiler that supports a variant of C focused on single-program, multiple-data programming for Intel's CPU and GPU targets.

          ISPC 1.15 offers the latest features for compiling the C-based SPMD language code for x86_64 CPU execution and Intel graphics of Broadwell/Gen8 and newer making use of oneAPI Level Zero. With ISPC 1.15 the new CPU targets are Tiger Lake, Ice Lake Server, Alder Lake, and Sapphire Rapids. New on the GPU side is now fully supporting Tigerlake Gen12 Xe-LP in conjunction with oneAPI Level Zero.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Day 20: A Raku in the Wild – Raku Advent Calendar

            Quite a while ago, Santa got a feature request for a web application called AGRAMMON, developed by the elves of one of his sub-contractors Oetiker+Partner AG in what then was called Perl 5. When Santa asked the elf responsible for this application to get to work, the elf suggested that some refactoring was in order, as the application dated back almost 10 years and had been extended regularly.

            As the previous year had seen a real Christmas wonder, namely the release of Perl 6c, the elf suggested, that instead of bolting yet another feature onto the web application’s Perl backend, a rewrite in Perl 6 would be a bold but also appropriate move. The reason being that the application used a specially developed format for describing it’s functionality by none-programmers. What better choice for rewriting the parser than Perl 6’s grammars, the elf reasoned. Fittingly, the new AGRAMMON was going to be version 6.

            When Santa asked when the rewrite would be finished, the elf’s obivous answer was “by Christmas”. And as things went in Perl 6 land, by the time the rewrite is finally going into production, the backend is now implemented in Raku.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Jimmy Dore’s PPOTS

      This is a very personal matter to me partly because, for too long when I was a child, I was a bedwetter. I hated myself for it. I was treated like a degenerate at times because of it. All I knew was that every night, as I went to bed, I was terrified of what situation would greet me in the morning and on too many mornings I awoke with the feeling that the depth of my unconsciousness during the night was as if I had been drugged. All of this seemed like an inescapable curse.

      All of these decades later this memory came back to me because of Jimmy Dore and a seemingly revelatory idea. The feeling I’m having is the same as that which I felt on those nights long ago when I would wake up in the middle of the night from the deep darkness of my sleep and realize that I needed to get up and take a good, long piss. I felt a little redeemed.

    • The Times They Ain’t a-Changing

      But it could have been different.

      Dylan, pre-sale, had assets worth an estimated $200 million. Post-sale, he’ll have half-a billion. If he lives to 100, he’ll have to spend $25 million a year for the rest of his life to spend it down. More, if he invests.

    • The Wisdom of Wholeness

      The words are those of Mark Haywood, in an email to me last week about my column, “Embracing Ecological Realism.” I think the words nail it. And I would add that “global humanity” includes a connection to Planet Earth, to life itself. And my intention is to put these words in a political context that is free — so I pray — of cynicism.

      The irony is that this is ancient wisdom. We used to know this, once upon a time. Then we got civilized and became conquerors. We are now at the end, or nearly so, of this dark, bloody path. And while global humanity’s next step is uncertain — we must plunge into a new way of being — the wisdom of our fathers and mothers can guide us:

    • Have Yourself a Revolutionary, Bachian Christmas

      Martin Luther’s 1522 sermon on the Epiphany can be read as part of his larger project to shore up the political order threatened by the radicalism of Karlstadt and others. In Luther’s view the heavenly king had not come to earth in order to destabilize the political order, even though the tyrannical Herod and those invested in his authority misinterpreted the divine birth as a direct threat. Luther’s account of the Epiphany relies on his Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, which posits one realm ruled by God and the other subservient to worldly regimes. But Luther couldn’t help but be attuned to the restive spirit of Christmas, acknowledging that Herod “feared that an insurrection would drive him from his kingdom.” The great insurrection of the Reformation, the Peasants’ War of 1524-5, was itself propelled by the centrifugal social forces Karlstadt had helped to set in motion.

      The elaborate music Bach produced for the Christmas season two centuries after Karlstadt was not intended to make explicit the latent political dimensions of the Christmas story. Yet they are there in the music.

    • The Best Albums of 2020

      Listening to recordings is always a confrontation with the past—an encounter with sounds created at another time, whether that time was five minutes earlier or 50 years ago. In 2020, when life changed so rapidly that five minutes could feel like the passing of 50 years, music changed along with everything else. Some of the best music released this year but recorded before the pandemic took up matters that were once urgently topical, like gentrification and the overreach of Big Tech, but now feel strangely historical.

    • Can We Finally Stop Marching to Disaster?

      And so began War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, a free, bilingual, antiwar tabloid that, at its height, distributed 100,000 copies every six weeks to more than 700 antiwar organizations around the country. It was already clear to the four of us that night — as it was to millions around the world — that the terrorist attacks of September 11th would provide the pretext for a major new projection of U.S. military power globally, opening the way to a new era of “all-war-all-the-time.” War Times was a project of its moment (although the name would still be apt today, given that those wars have never ended). It would be superseded in a few years by the explosive growth of the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle. Still, it represented an early effort to fill the space where a peace movement would eventually develop.

    • Do-Rag of Thorns: a NY Jet Fan's Lament

      The Titans won that game against the Dallas Texans by a score of 41-35 (Don Maynard and Art Powell ran wild), but since then, with the exception of the 1969 win in Super Bowl III and losing in a few AFC championship games, it’s been largely downhill.

      We all have our sports crosses to bear and mine is the Jets, who this year are headed in the direction of 0-16, a distinction of ineptitude that only a few teams in league history have matched. Celebrated Jets quarterback Joe Namath was wrong when he said: “I never drink at halftime.”

    • ‘Mank’ Recovers the Radical Roots of ‘Citizen Kane’

      Long exalted as one of the greatest achievements of cinema, Citizen Kane has suffered the fate common to canonized art: It has become familiar and safe. To be sure, the lore around the film often fixates on how controversial it once was. As a filmic roman à clef about William Randolph Hearst, the film naturally angered the powerful press baron and his many allies in Hollywood, who spared no effort in trying to suppress it. Gossip columnists ran scurrilous stories designed to destroy director Orson Welles and others involved in the production. MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer even made a bid to buy all the prints with the goal of destroying them.

    • Can't Even

      Like many other people, I first became aware of Anne Helen Petersen's journalism when her Buzzfeed article "How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation" went viral. Can't Even is the much-awaited (at least by me) book-length expansion of that thesis: The United States is, as a society, burning out, and that burnout is falling on millennials the hardest. We're not recognizing the symptoms because we think burnout looks like something dramatic and flashy. But for most people burnout looks less like a nervous breakdown and more like constant background anxiety and lack of energy.

    • Science

      • Scholarly Infrastructures for Research Software

        The Task Force arrives at a clear and distinct policy recommendation: “all research software should be made available under an Open Source license by default, and all deviations from this default practice should be properly motivated”. In terms of specific actions, the task force recommends including this clause in all future research funding programs.

        This rhymes with the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science from November, where it was stated that “to fully achieve the potential of Open Science, all research software should be made available under an Open Source license by default, and all deviations from this default practice should be properly motivated. We recommend including this clause in all future research funding programs.”

    • Hardware

      • Russell Coker: SMART and SSDs

        The Hetzner server that hosts my blog among other things has 2*256G SSDs for the root filesystem. The smartctl and smartd programs report both SSDs as in FAILING_NOW state for the Wear_Leveling_Count attribute. I don’t have a lot of faith in SMART. I run it because it would be stupid not to consider data about possible drive problems, but don’t feel obliged to immediately replace disks with SMART errors when not convenient (if I ordered a new server and got those results I would demand replacement before going live).

        Doing any sort of SMART scan will cause service outage. Replacing devices means 2 outages, 1 for each device.

        I noticed the SMART errors 2 weeks ago, so I guess that the SMART claims that both of the drives are likely to fail within 24 hours have been disproved. The system is running BTRFS so I know there aren’t any unseen data corruption issues and it uses BTRFS RAID-1 so if one disk has an unreadable sector that won’t cause data loss.

      • AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN launched with asset tracking and smart building kits

        With increasing connectivity issues on low-power devices, which transmit data over long-range, work on batteries that can last several years without replacement, LoRaWAN is one of the major solutions to address these issues as it has support in Zephyr OS as well.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Pence, Who Backed Muslim Visa Ban, Gets Vaccine Invented by Muslim Immigrants

        Pence also praised far right-wing evangelical leader John Hagee. Hagee has said that Muslim Americans are not real Americans.

      • First In the Room, Back of the Line: America's Profiteering Health System Does It Again
      • Restrictions on the South Texas Border Were Meant to Protect People From COVID-19. Then the Handcuffs Came Out.

        The day that Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was arrested for reopening her business in defiance of Texas emergency stay-home orders, Robin Torres sat in a county jail 500 miles away facing the consequences of his own failure to follow such rules.

        Luther became a conservative darling this spring for her provocation, spending two days in custody on contempt of court charges. Largely in response to her case, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott eventually prohibited the authorities from jailing anyone for violating the stay-home orders established to stop the spread of COVID-19.

      • Leaked Documents Show How China’s Army of Paid Internet Trolls Helped Censor the Coronavirus

        In the early hours of Feb. 7, China’s powerful internet censors experienced an unfamiliar and deeply unsettling sensation. They felt they were losing control.

        The news was spreading quickly that Li Wenliang, a doctor who had warned about a strange new viral outbreak only to be threatened by the police and accused of peddling rumors, had died of COVID-19. Grief and fury coursed through social media. To people at home and abroad, Li’s death showed the terrible cost of the Chinese government’s instinct to suppress inconvenient information.

      • US Population Growth Falls to Lowest in a Century Amid Pandemic Fallout
      • White House abandoned plan to send 650 million face masks across the U.S. in April, report says

        The idea to have USPS ship out personal protective equipment came from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Post reported. The reported plan was to start distributing masks in April, with Covid-19 hot spots getting first priority.

        The newly uncovered documents suggest the government had initially intended to utilize the Postal Service in early pandemic response plans. The distribution program would have come at a time when President Donald Trump largely resisted wearing a mask.

      • Cuba's Revolution in Health Care

        To convey his findings, Fitz details the processes by which the Cuban health care system has developed, seeking to address established problems with new radical solutions. But this is more than just a detached, “neutral” look at the subject—it is developed around his experiences in Cuba, supporting his daughter, Rebecca Fitz, throughout her six-year medical training at the Latin American School of Medicine, ELAM (ELAM are its Spanish initials), which is located in Santa Fe, Playa, about a 90 minute bus ride outside of Havana.

        Just the very existence of ELAM signifies the role of internationalism in the Cuban medical system. In addition to developing a health care system that provides Cubans with a life expectancy the same as for those of us in the US, with a lower infant mortality rate, and at a cost about 4 percent of what the US pays annually, Cuban medical missions currently are taking place around the world: “The Associated Press reported that when COVID-19 went world-wide, Cuba had 37,000 medical workers in 67 countries” (p. 251). But he also shows how Cubans have brought over 20,000 people from around the world since 1999 to Cuba to be trained in providing quality health care for their respective countries, and this training—even for Americans—is provided for free! And he provides accounts of 13 medical students from around the world in ELAM to give their perspectives and experiences from that training.

      • More Brave New Food: FDA Approves An "Innovative Animal Biotechnology Product"

        The modification was achieved by removing the gene for alpha-1,3-galactosyltransferase, which “attaches alpha-galactose sugars to cell surfaces,” reported Medpage Today.

        In addition to addressing the decidedly preventable AGS and giving the green light for the developer, Revivicor, to sell GalSafe pig meat through the mail, the new “animal biotechnology products” could also be useful in medical products and xenotransplants says the FDA.

      • Humanitarian Aid in the Time of the Virus

        The United Nation’s emergency relief head recently appealed for $35 billion to help the world’s “most vulnerable and fragile” in 2021. Mr. Mark Lowcock’s arguments for donations, presented in the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO), were well documented. Describing the situation as “desperate,” he pointed to a record 235 million people who will need humanitarian assistance in 2021, an increase of 40% from 2020 due to Covid-19 as well as continuing conflicts, a record number of people displaced and climate change shocks. According to the report, “Extreme poverty has risen for the first time in 22 years…By the end of 2020, the number of acutely food insecure people could be 270 million.”

        Other UN officials echoed his call. In a recorded message for the launch of the GHO, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “conflict, climate change and COVID-19 have created the greatest humanitarian challenge since the Second World War…. The humanitarian system again proved its worth in 2020, delivering food, medicine, shelter, education and other essentials to tens of millions of people. But the crisis is far from over. Humanitarian aid budgets face dire shortfalls as the impact of the global pandemic continues to worsen.”

      • To Protect Great Lakes, Michigan Tribes Oppose Enbridge Line 5 Pipelines
      • Swept Away in the Lost Time of Covid

        The world was on the rack. Our friends were € particles in an expanding universe with€  plagues and other evils swirling between us. The G’wichin people, who follow the€  caribou, and tell some of the € world’s funniest stories, seemed about to lose their fight with the€  Bureau of Land Management over drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. The war industry, which enthralls our nation, was goading the Senate€  to pass on a $23 billion sale of drones and missiles to further incinerate€  Yemenis. A bioengineering solution to climate change, regarded as insane in 2011, was now being seriously considered by scientists.

        Locally, Caltrans was girding itself for another attack on the ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove.

      • The Pandemic Pipeline: Land & Water Defenders Continue Resistance to Enbridge Line 3 in Minnesota

        Indigenous and environmental activists have been holding daily protests against the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, cutting through Indigenous territory and running under more than 200 streams. Winona LaDuke, director of the group Honor the Earth, says the project’s approval amid a historic slump in oil prices and accelerating climate crisis make it unsound on economic and environmental grounds. “This is the end of the fossil fuel era,” LaDuke says. “The industry is ending, and there’s certainly no reason to approve a new tar sands pipeline.”

      • Joe Biden's Historic Pick for Health Secretary Signals Hope

        Xavier Becerra, who would be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, has been an outspoken supporter of reproductive rights.

      • As Pandemic Rages On, Analysis Finds 1 in 5 People in US Prisons Infected With Covid-19

        The new data follow the ACLU's warning that America's "unique obsession with incarceration has become our Achilles heel when it comes to combating the spread of Covid-19."

      • Evictions Are Violence: Millions Could Lose Homes Amid COVID Pandemic If Federal Moratorium Expires

        Millions across the U.S. could be forced from their homes in the middle of the pandemic if Congress does not extend the federal eviction moratorium that is due to expire at the end of December. Congress is expected to push the moratorium back by one month, to January 31, in the $900 billion stimulus bill being debated in Washington, but such an extension would only be a temporary fix to a much wider problem. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one-third of U.S. households are behind on rent or mortgage payments and will likely face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months. We speak with UCLA researcher Kathryn Leifheit, who says the lifting of state eviction moratoriums this summer led to 430,000 new COVID infections and 10,000 deaths. “We think these deaths are preventable, and they could have been prevented had those moratoriums been kept in place,” says Leifheit. We also speak with tenant rights activist Tara Raghuveer, who says the federal evictions moratorium “wasn’t good enough to begin with,” but allowing it to expire would leave “millions of families vulnerable to eviction within the first 20 days of the next year.”

      • 'Do as I say': Anger as some politicians ignore virus rules

        Denver's mayor flies to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with his family — after urging others to stay home. He later says he was thinking with “my heart and not my head." A Pennsylvania mayor bans indoor dining, then eats at a restaurant in Maryland. The governor of Rhode Island is photographed at an indoor wine event as her state faces the nation's second-highest virus rate.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • VMware Flaw a Vector in SolarWinds Breach?

          U.S. government cybersecurity agencies warned this week that the attackers behind the widespread [cracking] spree stemming from the compromise at network software firm SolarWinds used weaknesses in other, non-SolarWinds products to attack high-value targets. According to sources, among those was a flaw in software virtualization platform VMware, which the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) warned on Dec. 7 was being used by Russian [attackers] to impersonate authorized users on victim networks.

        • Nothing makes me worry more about the SolarWinds hack than Trump now saying it’s ‘under control’

          Here are a few perspectives on the SolarWinds [crack] from entities that do not currently have negative credibility: [...]

        • Trump Downplays Suspected Russia-led [Crack]

          U.S. President Donald Trump is downplaying the severity of a massive cybersecurity breach by suspected Russian operatives that has exposed the networks of government agencies and private sector companies, contradicting the assertions of his secretary of state and lawmakers briefed on the matter.

          After days of silence, Trump took to Twitter on Saturday for his first comments on the [attack], which is thought to have impacted at least 18,000 customers of SolarWinds, a Texas-based software management company. Those affected include the Energy, Treasury and Commerce departments, as well as state and local governments.

        • Building a Trusted ICT Supply Chain [iophk: Windows TCO]

          This white paper specifies five key and eight supporting recommendations to build trusted supply chains for critical ICT technologies, including guidance to conduct a public-private collaborative process to identify goods and materials critical to the continual function of the economy, society, and government. The paper also supports reinvigorating American high-tech manufacturing and innovation with partner nations to ensure continual availability of these goods and materials. In addition, the white paper recommends an approach to ensure that American and partner companies are able to compete with Chinese companies in domestic and global markets through the use of strategic government investment and instruments of the development community.

        • Trump downplays Russia in first comments on [cracking] campaign

          Contradicting his secretary of state and other top officials, President Donald Trump on Saturday suggested without evidence that China — not Russia — may be behind the cyber espionage operation against the United States and tried to minimize its impact.

          In his first comments on the breach, Trump scoffed at the focus on the Kremlin and downplayed the intrusions, which the nation’s cybersecurity agency has warned posed a “grave” risk to government and private networks.

        • Trump Contradicts Own Administration While Downplaying Massive Cyber Attack

          One day after the president’s own secretary of state pinned the blame on Russia for recent cyber attacks, Trump falsely claimed the incident has been exaggerated by “the Fake News Media”

          Trump’s first public remarks on the massive and ongoing cyberattack that breached dozens of US federal agencies, think tanks, and companies were aimed at continuing the president’s cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin — while showing little regard for what his own national security officials are saying.

        • SolarWinds [crack] shows we need a 'whole of society' national cyber strategy [iophk: Windows TCO]

          By now you have probably heard of the SolarWinds [attack], reportedly attributed to a Russian [cracking] group (Cozy Bear or APT29), that used a compromised vendor platform to exploit networks across the U.S. government and possibly the private sector. Sadly, there is a poignant parallel to the current COVID-19 crisis. Individuals can take extensive precautions to protect themselves, but if others are lax, ultimately it puts everyone at risk.

          The same is true for cyber. As showcased by the SolarWinds [attack], the cybersecurity of government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and other businesses and institutions is directly tied to downstream providers. This means that even a “whole of government” approach is not sufficient: The U.S. desperately needs a national cyber strategy aligned with a “whole of society” approach.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • 5 stories about open principles changing organizations in 2020 [Ed: Bryan Behrenshausen (Red Hat) is trying some more openwashing even after IBM in effect canned CentOS; unethical corporations trying to pass themselves off as "charities", "communities", "job creators" etc. rather than grifters, spies, informants and rats]

              Open principles are reshaping our organizations. These stories—our most-read of the year—explain how and why that's happening.

        • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Let’s Reject the Violent vs. Nonviolent Crime Dichotomy to End the War on Drugs
      • Are Cuban Protesters Freedom Fighters or US Pawns?

        Painters, musicians, and other artists are responding to what they call the "lack of freedom of speech." The government calls them agents of the U.S.

      • Russian sapper killed during demining in Nagorno-Karabakh

        A Russian sapper was killed in Nagorno-Karabakh while demining roads near the city of Shusha, Interfax reported on Friday, December 18, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

      • ACTION ALERT: NYT Erases US Economic War Against Venezuela

        Last week, Venezuela held elections for the national assembly, the country’s main legislative body. Though turnout was at a historic low, President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party won a resounding victory.

      • The Military Will Test Soldiers for Drugs—but Not Covid-19

        This year, US troops taking holiday leave will be greeted upon their return with mandatory health testing—for illicit drugs. Covid-19 tests, on the other hand, must be paid for by service members out-of-pocket, despite thousands of military personnel having tested positive for the virus, according to Defense Department documents obtained by The Nation.

      • Air Force Veterans of Plutonium Dust Disaster Win Class Action Standing

        On Jan. 17, 1966, an air force B-52 bomber exploded over the village of Palomares, Spain during a routine airborne refueling. Seven airmen were killed and the bomber’s four hydrogen bombs were thrown to the earth. Conventional explosives (not the nuclear warheads) in two of the bombs detonated in massive explosions, one right in the village, gouging massive, plutonium-covered craters and spewing as much as 22 pounds of pulverized plutonium dust over houses, streets and farm fields.

        On June 19, 2016, the New York Times published a 4,500-word investigative report about the lawsuit filed in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by chief master sergeant Victor Skaar (USAF, Rt.). Skaar, who was 30 at the time, was part of a clean-up team, dubbed Operation Moist Mop, assigned to the disaster response. A throng of some 1,700 soldiers were put to surveying 400 acres and washing the inside and outside of village buildings. Over a period of 80 days they filled 4,810 barrels with plutonium-contaminated soil and loaded the drums aboard a ship bound for disposal stateside.

      • The High Price of the New High Ground

        Last December the US Department of Defense (DOD) created the Space Force, although a major push to increase the military’s presence in space dates back to the Obama administration. In fact, space has always had a military aspect to it, and no country is more dependent on that dimension than the US. A virtual cloud of surveillance satellites spy on adversaries, tap into communications and monitor military maneuvers and weapons tests. It was a US Vela Hotel satellite that caught the Israelis and the South Africans secretly testing a nuclear warhead in the southern Indian Ocean in 1979.

        While other countries have similar platforms in space, the US is the only country with a world-wide military presence, and it is increasingly dependent on satellites to enhance its armed forces. Such satellites allow drone operators to call in missile strikes from half a world away without risking the lives of pilots.

      • The Killing Just Keeps Going On

        Yet here it is, the end of November, and the police killing is still going on. On November 13, two black teenagers are killed by cops in Florida. On November 19, a black man sitting in the back seat of a car, a mere passenger, is hauled out of the car and shot four times by cops. On November 23, a leader of the protests against the police murder of Breonna Taylor is targeted in the middle of the night and shot dead. In the same town, on the same night, a motorist is killed by cops during a traffic stop. He was white. His name was Brian Thurman. Like a black person, he had no one to protect him. And then, as if to reenact these tragedies as farce, a totally crazed man, a person of color, goes running around on Market St. in San Francisco wielding a frying pan and a kitchen knife, escaping a fire in his apartment of uncertain origin, moaning and screaming in inchoate pain, while fighting with a ghost. Maybe, in his duress, he had become a Roman gladiator whose frying pan was a shield and whose kitchen knife was a sword. Those with the ability to feel his distress might interpret him as personifying the total inability to make sense of this world. So he jousts with the psychotic spirit of senselessness. The cops who come to the scene, however, could think of nothing other than using him for target practice — beanbag rounds, rubber bullets, stun guns, and finally live ammunition. Somehow he survived. They let him live, which means he will be thrown in prison for his impersonation of official insanity. For the cops, his emotional distress was not a cause for empathy. Instead, it rendered him an enemy to be dealt with militarily.

        All this in one “Democracy Now” broadcast, in late November, 2020, four hundred and forty years after the first Slave Codes in Virginia (1682) had established that a black person disobeying a white person could be killed outright. Under those codes, a black woman could not be raped because she did not have the right to say no. A black man could not be murdered because he would have to be granted his humanity first in order for his murder to even be considered “manslaughter.” Who was Messerle killing when he shot Oscar Grant in the back? What were the Berkeley cops sitting on when they sat on Kayla Moore and crushed her ability to breath?

      • The Long, Long Road Home: the Afghan Refugee Crisis Enters Its Fifth Decade

        Afghanistan’s refugees are, to repurpose the notorious phrase, a known unknown.

        The fog of war has filled the country’s beautiful, fertile valleys for 40 years and counting. No census has been taken in Afghanistan since 1971 and no one really knows how many people reside in the country. Somewhere north of 35,000,000, people say, though this is an estimate.

      • Query on Suspicion: German EU Council Presidency wants Criminal Records Index

        For the second time, the German Federal Criminal Police Office is leading an EU pilot project that aims to enable cross-border queries of police files. The Federal Ministry of the Interior has been pursuing the project since the German EU Presidency in 2007. This could affect not only police suspects but also their relatives or victims.

      • Seagulls Without a Sea: Days at Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Iraq

        Today I would like to share with you some scattered and memorable moments I spent with some brilliant Yazidi young girls and boys whose dreams, like those many Iraqis from different diverse backgrounds, have been shattered by the brutal consequences of the US occupation of Iraq, which include the creation of ISIS. It goes without saying that the Yazidi suffering is inseparable from the horrific violence experienced by many Iraqis like Assyrians who had their homes, culture, and history in Mosul and its surroundings intentionally erased by all the internal and external parties that funded and created a monster they named “ISIS” to cover their tracks. Same applies to the horrific consequences experienced by Sunni Arabs, Turkmen, and other religious and ethnic groups in different parts of the country who have suffered a great deal. Yet, of course, the mainstream media will always focus on some groups and neglect others, depending on their political agendas.

        Despite the chilly rainy days in January, February and March, many young girls and boys attended these debate sessions to engage with their facilitators and with each other. I must confess that even to me, as a field researcher, it seemed futile for these young people to attend such sessions when they are living in tents with the lack of the most basic human needs and services. Deep inside, I admired their resilience and perseverance. I admired the fact that they were there engaging in meaningful dialogues despite the lack of bread, milk, and medicine.

      • Donald Trump’s Final Act: Snuffing Out the Promise of Democracy in the Middle East

        Little of their agenda has been advanced in the past decade. Governments of the southern European states have one by one betrayed the aspirations of the people; the most dramatic such failure was of the Syriza government in Greece, which won a mandate against austerity and then surrendered before the troika (the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund) in 2015.

        Uprisings in northern Africa ended with the return of the generals (as in Egypt), the destruction of states (as in Libya), and the assertion of the Arab monarchies (from Morocco to Saudi Arabia).

      • CIA-Backed Afghan Death Squads Massacred Children Inside Religious Schools in Campaign of Terror

        A shocking exposé in The Intercept reveals CIA-backed death squads in Afghanistan have killed children as young as 8 years old in a series of night raids, many targeting madrassas, Islamic religious schools. In December 2018, one of the death squads attacked a madrassa in Wardak province, killing 12 boys, of whom the youngest was 9 years old. The United States played key roles in many of the raids, from picking targets to ferrying Afghan forces to the sites to providing lethal airpower during the raids. The Intercept reports this was part of a campaign of terror orchestrated by the Trump administration that included massacres, executions, mutilation, forced disappearances, attacks on medical facilities, and airstrikes targeting structures known to house civilians. “These militias … were established in the very early days of the Afghan War by CIA officers, many of whom had been brought back into the fold after the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 who had previously been working in Afghanistan during the 1980s,” says reporter Andrew Quilty. “This network of militias was set up and appear to be entirely under the control of the CIA but made up entirely of Afghan soldiers.”

      • Meet Bolivia’s revolutionary 19-year-old vice-minister of sports
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Corporate Fact-Checking Services Shouldn’t Be Our Defense Against "Fake News"
      • Dissenter Weekly: New Acting Attorney General Involved In Lawsuit Against Snowden’s Book

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting attorney general who will be at the Justice Department until the end of President Donald Trump’s administration in January. He was involved in the lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s book, Permanent Record.

        Later in the show, Gosztola covers COVID-19 data whistleblower Rebekah Jones’ column encouraging would-be whistleblowers to not be intimidated. She had her home raided by Florida agents. This is the last broadcast of the “Dissenter Weekly” in 2020, and Kevin uses the overtime portion of the show to give a bit of a speech on what lies ahead for whistleblowers in the coming year. He urges viewers to consider the courage of unknown and unsung whistleblowers, who work among us but do not have the kind of support networks high-profile truth-tellers do.

      • Americans For Prosperity Sue Commerce Department To Find Out Who Was Influencing NTIA's Attack On Section 230

        This is kind of fascinating. The group Americans for Prosperity have announced they've filed FOIA litigation against the Commerce Department after it has refused to respond to a FOIA request seeking communications between two former top NTIA officials that we've discussed here recently, regarding Section 230.

    • Environment

      • Climate Change
      • Energy

        • North Dakota Residents Fight Loopholes Allowing Fracking to Poison Their Water
        • Form Follows Function

          Meanwhile, some of us have to do real work rather than shill on Twitbook. So, some of us require transport. Nowadays, all of that transport requires computers. That includes planes, trains and automobiles. Cars require computers for the mandatory air bags. They also require a computer for the mandatory emission control - which fairly much makes fuel injection mandatory or an alternative source of power, such as hydrogen or lithium which requires a computer as the last line of defense to prevent explosion. Admittedly, it would help if said computer was designed rigorously. This requires partitioning tasks for maximum safety rather than maximum sales. For example, by not allowing an optional micro-controller, running on a common bus, to have unrestricted access to engine, gears, brakes and steering for the purpose of automatic parking. And if you must do that, don't make DBus available over TCP port 6667 on Sprint's data network because that would avoid recalling 1.4 million vehicles.

          Incidences like this led me to work on a 256 bit cell network protocol with CRC32 and two phase commit. The latter is commonly used with databases but it offers considerable benefit for process control. Unfortunately, I thought that I was clever to make a fully software implementation but I subsequently discovered that a hardware implementation uses less transistors and less energy. This is particularly true if there are multiple communication channels.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump’s Party Circus
      • Comparing Republican With Democratic Party Energy Levels: No Contest

        Just under 400,000 votes, in the six battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, gave Biden his Electoral College victory! Democrats wake up!

      • Sweden seeks new probe of M/S Estonia ferry wreck after 25-year ban

        The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority has made a request to amend a law banning dives in order to allow a re-examination the wreck after a documentary presented evidence of a previously unknown hole in the vessel.

        "We have no plans to rescind the law on protecting the peace of the grave, but we will look into how the law needs to be adapted to do the surveys the accident investigation authority wants to do," Sweden's Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg told a press conference.

      • With Perdue and Loeffler Under Fire for Shady Transactions, Warren Intros Bill to Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stock

        "With U.S. senators brazenly trading stocks to profit off a raging pandemic, the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act is more urgent than ever."

      • Warren Introduces Bill Banning Members of Congress From Owning or Trading Stock
      • Georgia Senators Loeffler and Perdue Are Campaigning Against Democracy

        In fact, the result has so unsettled Georgia’s embattled Republican senators that they are now campaigning against not just their Democratic rivals but democracy itself.

        Last week, Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue endorsed a bizarre legal scheme by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to overturn the results from four battleground states that played a pivotal role in deciding the 2020 election for President-elect Joe Biden: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia.

      • Securing the TikToker vote Moscow’s authorities plan to use TikTok to promote Kremlin-backed candidates during the 2021 elections

        Political strategists working for the Russian authorities are planning to use the video-sharing app TikTok for campaigning in Moscow ahead of the 2021 State Duma elections. The hope is that a presence on the popular app can be used to encourage apolitical young people to vote for Kremlin-backed candidates. The spin doctor that “sold” the Moscow authorities on the idea claims to have successfully used the app during this year’s regional elections, though most of the videos under the corresponding campaign hashtag have nothing to do with the vote.

      • Oligarchic Transition

        As an election approaches, the script is always the same; it is only the actors that are different, although some have recurring roles. The basic premise, held by the Republicans and the Democrats, is this: The nation is at a critical turning point. If I (fill in the name of any candidate of either party) am not elected, there will be a drastic change in your way of life.

        From that point, the scripts diverge. We will look at them here:

      • Trump's Lies About Immigrants Should End With His Presidency

        This was outrageous then. And there’s more evidence now that it was, of course, patently false.

        A new study finds that “undocumented immigrants have considerably lower crime rates than native-born citizens and legal immigrants across a range of criminal offenses, including violent, property, drug, and traffic crimes.”

      • Dr., Not Mrs. or Kiddo

        It is hard to know where to start. First of all, the “D” in Dr. Biden’s degree and in my own Ph.D stands for doctorate. It is derived from the Latin term doctore which means “to teach.” The first doctoral degrees were awarded to academics some 800 years ago. As such, it is entirely appropriate that someone who teaches for a living use the title Dr. after having earned the terminal degree. It does not mean to practice medicine, as Epstein asserts. In fact, use of the term by physicians was controversial until the 1860s because so many claiming the title were quacks and fraudulent.

        Epstein concluded with this little gem: “Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden.” Like many, Dr. Biden uses the title in certain circumstances, not others. Dr. Biden is not asking her family or close friends to call her Dr., she is simply asking that publicly she be acknowledged as more than just the wife of the President-Elect. Perhaps Epstein should enter the 21st century and recognize that the President’s wife can be more than just his sidekick. Further, his use of the word “kiddo” is infuriatingly sexist. It is a term that has long been used to minimize women and one that I personally have been called by males many times.

      • Ways of Escape: a Short Guide for Americans Seeking Political Asylum

        When I was I child, I used to dream of killing Hitler:

        I’m standing on a street in the middle of a big crowd. Everyone is waving the Swastika and shouting “Sieg Heil” at a passing motorcade.

      • Heaven Can’t Wait
      • Learning the Lessons of the Latino Vote

        And in Georgia, we will soon discover whether progressive candidates have learned these lessons well enough to prevail again.

        Two critical U.S. Senate runoffs present an opportunity for candidates to speak directly to Latinos throughout the state about the issues that are urgent in their communities. And they should seize it, because Latinos deserve solutions to the hardships we face and leaders we can trust to fight for them.

      • Uncrowning€ The Crown

        I was enrolled at the Victoria University of Manchester, as it was officially known, and which was named after another queen. I knew more about her than I did about Elizabeth II. I was writing my Ph.D. thesis about British imperialism in the nineteenth-century and beyond.

        In 1964, the year I left New York and went to England, Marxists taught in British universities. Some were also Communists. I could say the word “imperialism” in conversation with them and not be reprimanded. Columbia, where I’d received a B.A. and an M.A., was still locked in the days of McCarthy and McCarthyism. Professor Eric Bentley, who taught drama and plugged the work of Bertolt Brecht, had once been a lefty but he didn’t advertise his radical past or his bisexuality€  on€ campus. Bentley died in August 2020 at the age of 103.

      • Wresting Our Country Back

        Democracy prevailed this year thanks to the spectacular efforts and determination of grassroots activists and electoral allies across the country. But it was far too close—and it took all of us. You could feel it, in the calls to landlines, texts to cell phones, even the few door knocks—and the sustained mobilization of tens of thousands who knew this was a fight like no other in American history.

      • The Real Resistance Begins Now: 25 Groups That Will Keep Fighting No Matter Who's President

        The key word in the phrase “peaceful transfer of power” is, of course, not “peaceful” or “transfer” but “power.” The real machinery of government grinds on, year after year, decade after decade, on imperial autopilot, largely indifferent to who commands the helm. And, in Biden, we have an old hand, who offers experience and competence (instead of disruption and radical change) at managing the affairs of the empire.

        We have a pretty clear notion of what this will mean. Biden was there for the birth of neoliberalism. As a politician, he has repeatedly endorse imposing “shock therapy” economic policies, not only impoverished nations, but, to be fair, also upon the poor and marginalized here in the US. He is a chief architect of our carceral state, having scripted the punitive federal crime statutes and drug laws that resulted in the US stuffing its prisons with a higher percentage of its population than the gulags of the USSR at the peak of Stalin’s purges. Biden demands obedience abroad and discipline at home.

      • The Great Awokening and the Stillborn Revolution

        As I have highlighted previously, within modern history, there were at least three periods of major attitudinal shifts and broad cultural unrest around identity issues.

        The first, of course, was in the mid 60’s through the mid 70’s. The second was in the late 80’s through the mid 90’s, leading to the last major blow up around ‘victimhood culture,’ ‘political correctness,’ ‘free speech on campus’ etc. (on my read, in response to changing demographics at American universities and other elite institutions, and the tensions that more-or-less inevitably accompany significant increases in diversity). And apparently, we are in the midst of another today.

      • What Shall We Call It?

        The whole rotten armature of the Republic will be put back together by Biden and his crew despite the overwhelming evidence of its, never mind his, decrepitude. Under Trump, the nation has absorbed extraordinary episodes of domestic chaos – closing in on 300,000 citizens killed in a disastrously mismanaged pandemic, four years of deliberately divisive, white supremacist rule by the Republicans, witch-hunts by the Democrats, an impeachment of the president, and, this year, the most remarkable series of iconoclastic demonstrations against the country’s historically rooted values of oppression, exploitation, enslavement, and the annihilation of indigenous peoples, during the Black Lives Matter uprising.

        Yet the recent Federal election is an affirmation of business-as-usual, a celebration of a return to normality – despite the startling indications of the system’s bodily corruption. Faith in the restorative power of our democracy remains high, faith in the power of voting remains undiminished and, for a little over half of the electorate, a sense of victory hangs in the air.

      • Unchecked Republican Lies Opened the Door for Trump

        If Donald Trump is not the worst president of all time, then his only competition is Andrew Johnson, his predecessor in the impeached-and-not-reelected category. (To be perfectly accurate, Johnson was never actually elected; he succeeded Abraham Lincoln.) Not coincidentally, the period following Lincoln’s assassination in the aftermath of the Civil War is likely the last time American politics were as chaotic—and perhaps as dangerous—as they are today.

      • Hackers target ‘IStories’ investigative journalists following Putin’s press conference

        The online accounts of six journalists from the investigative outlet IStories were targeted by hacking attempts after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conference yesterday, IStories reported on Telegram.

      • ‘I want to say thank you to Putin personally’: Moscow lawmaker Yulia Galyamina’s final statement in court as she faces three years behind bars for protesting

        On Friday, December 18, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court held deliberations on the case of Moscow City Duma deputy Yulia Galyamina, who is facing criminal charges for repeatedly violating the “rules on conducting public events.” Galyamina, who is also a lecturer at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE), became the subject of a criminal case due to her involvement in an unauthorized protest opposing amendments to the Russian constitution on July 15, 2020 (law enforcement officers arrested more than 100 people at the demonstration). She was also fined several times for taking part in protests ahead of the Moscow City Duma elections during the summer of 2019. State prosecutors are now seeking a three year prison sentence for the Moscow lawmaker. Here is the final statement that Yulia Galyamina made in court today.

      • Mayor Pete, Transported to Candor
      • Is a Civil War Brewing Within the GOP?
      • SCOTUS Lets Trump Census Plan Excluding Undocumented Immigrants to Move Forward
      • Secular Power Changing America

        Last spring, progressives in the Washington state legislature, backed by Planned Parenthood, mandated that all public schools must teach sensible, practical sex education. The goal: to prevent teen pregnancy, reduce sexual disease, save girls from “date rape,” caution grade-schoolers about predators, foster respect between sexes, and the like. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law.

        Conservative churches and Republicans erupted in outrage. Congregations signed petitions to repeal the new law – forcing a referendum in the Nov. 3 election. But the hidebound opponents lost 58-42. Thus Washington became the first state to have sex education approved by public vote.

      • Investigative Reporting Details Massacres, Reign of Terror by US-Backed Death Squads in Afghanistan

        The Americans, said the head of one provincial government, "step on all the rules of war, human rights, all the things they said they'd bring to Afghanistan," and are "conducting themselves as terrorists."

      • Universal Soldiers of Resistance to Fascist Thinking: Chomsky on Extinction

        Gaud help me. All those years of education in Boston — telling the Young Republicans on campus to go fuck themselves, as a work-study cub reporter, at the student newspaper; watching the tie-dyed t-shirt clad women dance at the Nelson Mandela release festival held at the Hatch Shell on the Charles; writing napkin poetry at the Wursthaus (Black Forest steaks marinated in German folklore, at least 48 hours) in Harvard Square; even letting a love interest drag me over to the MIT student pub (empty, summer) where a beer and boredom soon settled in and I caved to male gazing at my would-be girlfriend across the table, who was dating an anarchist with a skateboard. Hmph. And Chomsky giving lectures everywhere in Cambridge at the time, and me never attending one. Not one. On the other hand, I wasn’t one of those types that trotskies him out to prop up slurring proclamations about every five fucking minutes either, like the skateboarder.

        I don’t know why I didn’t attend any of his lectures, until the Internet was up and running for a few years. Maybe his emotionless delivery did nothing for me, maybe it was the intellectual intimidation factor. I found Hegel more accessible at that time. (Aced the course, too.) But now — come to think of it, that new dishevelled look reminds me of some other image in my memory buried like a manufactured consent egg — I am beginning to Woke to Noam’s clarion call. He’s been described as our beloved “Public Intellectual,” and I get that now; it’s an apt and meet description. And at least he’s not bitter, like Socrates was in the end, knocking back the hemlock brewsky.

      • Mitch Wants Corporations to be Able Kill You With Impunity

        Mitch took you and me hostage back in May, when the House of Representatives passed the HEROES act that would have funded state and local governments and provided unemployed workers with an ongoing weekly payment.

        Mitch refused to even allow the Senate to discuss the HEROES Act until or unless the legislation also legalized corporations killing their workers and customers. That is, McConnell wants to make it impossible to hold corporations legally accountable for COVID-19 infections caused by poor safety practices.

      • America’s Destructive Denialisms

        The refusal of tens of millions of Americans to recognize the election results is part of a much larger denialism—of Covid-19, of climate change, and U.S. decline.

      • Deb Haaland’s Nomination for Interior Secretary Lauded as "Important Step"
      • Winona LaDuke: Deb Haaland’s Nomination for Interior Sec. Is “Important Step” for Native Americans

        President-elect Joe Biden has picked New Mexico Congressmember Deb Haaland to become secretary of the interior. If confirmed, Haaland will be the first Native American to serve in a Cabinet position. Haaland’s nomination was backed by progressives, as well as more than 120 tribal leaders, who sent a letter to Biden last month urging him to select her for the post. “That was a very, very important step for the Biden administration,” says Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, rural development economist and Native American activist. “Indian people know how to take care of this land.”

      • Deb Haaland: ''I'll Be Fierce for All of Us'

        Haaland is poised to become the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency.

      • Ban on Digital Ads Lifts for Georgia Runoffs, Opening "Dark Money" Floodgates
      • As Georgia Goes, So Goes the Senate...and the Country

        Senate rules now permit€ senators to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless “three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn” (usually 60 out of 100 senators) vote to bring debate to a close by invoking “cloture”€ under€ Senate Rule XXII. Even if a filibuster attempt is unsuccessful, the process takes floor time.

        If two more Senate seats go to Democrats, this would create a 50-50 balance of power that can be tipped by the presiding officer, Vice President Kamala Harris. A light in the dark tunnel of Washington politics is that there is cause for hope.€  To eliminate the filibuster would be much easier than to eliminate the Electoral College. It does not require a Constitutional amendment but can be accomplished€  by a simple majority vote—not a supermajority. If Democrats can muster fifty-one votes (with Vice President Harris), they can rule out future filibusters and prevent Republicans from dictating the Senate agenda and terms of debate.€  Americans and their elected representatives € could still disagree sharply on many issues, € but both bodies of Congress could begin to act on pressing issues.€  Mitch McConnell could remain leader of Senate Republicans, but could no longer exert a stranglehold on any issue that arises.

      • In Secret-Ballot Vote, House Democrats Overwhelmingly Deny AOC a Powerful Committee Seat

        "It is very clear the party leadership is working to shut out progressives and has no intention of working with the left to 'build back better.'"

      • Last-Minute GOP Push to End Emergency Lending Programs Condemned as Effort to 'Sabotage the Economy,' Undermine Biden

        "Republicans are threatening to blow up an agreement to provide basic relief to Americans now if they can't cripple the ability of Biden administration and the Fed to offer more help next year."

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Record Number of Journalists Jailed Globally

        A record 274 journalists are in jail worldwide, with China, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia leading the field as the worst offenders, the press freedom organization’s annual survey shows. It is the fifth year in a row that more than 250 were imprisoned.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Trump and Death

        When considering the number of deaths for which Trump was responsible, historians will also look at those killed because of his devotion to the death penalty.

      • The Government Promised to Return Ancestral Hawaiian Land, Then Never Finished the Job

        Twenty-five years ago, the state of Hawaii and the U.S. government promised Native Hawaiians to correct a historic wrong.

        Public agencies had occupied thousands of acres intended to return Native people to their ancestral lands, paying little or no compensation for decades as the sites were used for military bases, game preserves, schools and other purposes. In 1995, state and federal legislation pledged to provide reparations.

      • Supreme Court Punts on Trump Attempt to 'Use the Census as a Political Weapon to Disempower Communities of Color'

        "If this policy is ever actually implemented, we'll be right back in court challenging it," vowed the ACLU attorney who argued the case.

      • Abuse on the Mainland: Australia’s Medevac Hotel Detentions

        Australia’s own concentration camp system hums along, inflicting suffering upon asylum seekers and refugees who fled suffering by keeping them in a state of calculated limbo. Its brutality has been so normalised, it barely warrants mention in Australia’s sterile news outlets. In penitence, the country’s literary establishment pays homage to the victims, such as the Kurdish Iranian writer Behrouz Boochani. Garlands and literary prizes have done nothing to shift the vicious centre in Canberra. Boat arrivals remain political slurry and are treated accordingly.

        Recently, there were small signs that prevalent amnesia and indifference was being disturbed. The fate of some 200 refugees and asylum seekers brought to the Australian mainland for emergency medical treatment piqued the interest of certain activists. Prior to its repeal as part of a secret arrangement between the Morrison government and Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie in December last year, the medical evacuation law was a mixed blessing.

      • Trump and Death

        In presiding over the deaths of the thousands who have died during the last 12 months, the trump was ably assisted by the corona virus. It outsmarted the trump each time the trump announced that the fight against the virus had turned the corner and posed no further threat. Those pronouncements were, as we now know, wrong. The virus has killed approximately 300,000 people in the United States and that number is increasing at the rate of one new death every 30 seconds. Apparently aware of the fact that the virus was proving on a daily basis that it did not enjoy the same happy relationship with the trump that the trump thought he enjoyed with the virus, there have been few, if any, trump references to the virus or to those whose lives have been upended by the virus since November 3.

        As significant as the trump’s failed relationship with the virus has been, when considering the number of deaths for which the trump was responsible, historians will also look at those killed because of the trump’s devotion to the death penalty.

      • Protect Our Civil Liberties Act would repeal Patriot Act, FISA Amendments Act, and ban encryption backdoors
      • The Family Court Judge Who Threatened a Mother With Contempt of Court for Getting Her Child a COVID-19 Test

        Ohio juvenile court Judge Timothy Grendell has been outspoken about his belief that the COVID-19 pandemic is overblown.

        At a protest rally in May, just steps away from where he presides over family court, Grendell proclaimed that public health restrictions to contain the pandemic were unconstitutional and “we should be allowed to get back to our lives.” The following month, he testified to state lawmakers in Columbus that health authorities and a “drumbeat” of media coverage had “created an atmosphere of fear” surrounding the virus.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • With Terrible Federal Broadband Data, States Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

        As a director of a state broadband program, one of my biggest challenges is data. I know lots of areas in my state have inadequate or no service. I get those emails every day. We have a public facing broadband map which is based on the data that the internet service providers (ISPs) provide to the FCC on what is known as the Form 477. The notorious problem with the 477 data is that gross inaccuracies are built into the reporting. ISPs report advertised speeds based on census blocks, where if one home in a census block is served, or could reasonably be served, the entire census block is considered served.

      • AT&T Pisses Off Everybody (Especially Christopher Nolan) For Launching Movies Straight To Streaming

        To be clear, AT&T has no shortage of nasty habits, whether we're talking about how the company routinely does too little to thwart criminals eager to rip off AT&T customers, or the way it can routinely be found hoovering up taxpayer money in exchange for, well, less than nothing. But one thing the company did get correct (or at least more correct, more quickly than other counterparts in cable and TV) was that streaming was the future.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hulu With Live TV Price Hike Latest Sign of vMVPD Insanity

        Hulu’s “Hulu With Live TV” service is the latest to see an increase in monthly fees, up a whopping 18% to $65 as of Dec. 18. VMVPD operators like FuboTV and YouTube TV have added new channels in 2020, from Disney and ViacomCBS respectively, and then increased prices to cover the cost.

    • Monopolies

      • Tech giants beware Russian lawmakers seek significantly harsher fines for Internet companies that fail to comply with censorship orders

        The Russian State Duma’s state-building and legislation committee has approved amendments to a draft law on fines for Internet companies that fail to comply with orders from Russia’s federal censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, Interfax reports. In particular, tech companies that do not restrict access to and/or remove content banned in Russia could face fines tied to their annual revenue. For major companies, this could mean penalties in excess of millions or even billions of dollars. The lawmakers behind the proposal underscored that foreign companies like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are usually the ones responsible for these types of violations.

      • Jessica Martinez on Gutting Worker Protections, Mitch Stoltz on Breaking Up Big Tech

        This week on CounterSpin: More than 308,000 US women, men and children have died of Covid-19. That devastating toll has been borne disproportionately by Black and brown people in dangerous occupations and at the short end of an unequal healthcare system. Workers in fields, factories and hospitals, endangered by the pandemic, are now held up as pawns, as some lawmakers look to make workers’ health and safety a “tradeoff” for Covid relief. We talk about efforts to gut worker protections under the guise of economic support with Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

      • Another Day, Another Antitrust Lawsuit For Google:

        So, just as I was finishing off the post on Wednesday's antitrust lawsuit against Google brought by 10 states, news broke that the other big state antitrust case against Google had been filed as well. This one involves 38 states, led by Colorado and Nebraska. I'm assuming that this is the main state antitrust lawsuit that states had been talking about, as compared to the first lawsuit with fewer states. Whereas the first state lawsuit focused on display ads, this one focuses on the market for search.

      • DSA a ‘missed opportunity’ for counterfeit proactivity rules

        Counsel in the fashion industry say the Digital Services Act does not go far enough, while internet rights groups say they broadly welcome the proposals

      • The European Commission’s New Pharmaceutical Strategy For Europe [Ed: This is patent-centric and monopolies-centric, not "a more patient-centered pharmaceutical system"]

        On November 25, 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published its “Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe” which outlines the Commission’s multi-year vision for a more patient-centered pharmaceutical system. The strategy aims to achieve various goals through legislative and non-legislative actions, namely ensuring access to affordable medicines for patients and addressing unmet medical needs while supporting the competitiveness, innovation and sustainability of the EU’s pharmaceutical sector.

      • Patents

        • This week in IP: brands want unitary SPCs, alcohol brands data released, are women excluded from patents?

          With the increasing likelihood of a functioning Unified Patent Court coming into existence next year, European drug makers are having a think about the benefits of a supplementary protection certificate that would be valid across all EU member states.

          Elise Melon, head of IP policy and operations for UCB in Brussels, says she has noticed the pharma industry’s increased appetite for a unitary SPC system over the past five years. She believes many people have been waiting to see what happens first with the UPC.

          “Parallel litigation in Europe can be quite intense,” she says. “We are really looking forward to the UPC, but for us in the pharma industry, the system needs to have unitary SPCs to be meaningful. This will facilitate the process and streamline the procedure for both applicants and offices.”

        • In-house reveal US patent litigation trends they'll watch in 2021 [Ed: "In-house" or "In-house leaders" simply means patent litigation zealots who loathe justice and love to fight (they profit from it; it gives them a "job")]

          In-house leaders set out the most important patent litigation issues and cases for next year, including Texas filings, APJ appointments and skinny labelling

        • Knolly Bikes Suing Intense for Alleged Patent Infringement

          Knolly is suing Intense for an alleged patent infringement of a rear suspension design, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports.

          The suit was filed on Monday as 'Knolly Bikes Inc. v. Intense Cycles, Inc.' at California Central District Court with case number '5:20-cv-02571'. Knolly is alleging that Intense has infringed on the patent US 10,363,988 granted to Knolly CEO Noel Buckley that was filed in 2014 and granted in 2019.

        • EPO/UPC

          • As the Bundestag passes the legislation to ratify the UPC Agreement, the UPC may finally open its doors in 2022 [Ed: No, there are complaints on the way. Notice how pretty much all the coverage about UPC comes from patent litigation profiteers and never from actual journalists. This is lobbying, not reporting.]
          • How to get a Unitary Patent [Ed: This is just incredible lying; there's no UPC, so these lawyers are basically looking to sell something that does not exist!]

            Enhanced cooperation under Regulation 1257/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of unitary patent protection was used to establish the unitary patent (UP). Also termed the European patent with unitary effect, the UP will be a single patent right covering all the states that take part in the enhanced procedure. It is expected that the UP will cover 24 of the 27 Member States. This means all Member States save Croatia and Spain who have not taken part in the enhanced cooperation procedure so far, and Poland which, although it participated in the enhanced cooperation, has since indicated that it will not sign the UPC Agreement establishing the Unified Patent Court (UPC), and thus UPs will not be enforceable there (only the UPC has jurisdiction over UPs).

          • The Unified patent court and unitary patent - Introduction [Ed: For marketing purposes, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP now sell lies about the UPC, in effect promoting something illegal and pushing non-existent "products"]

            A new patent right and patent enforcement system is coming for patent protection in the Europe and is likely to start in 2022.

          • European Patent Office Extends Closure Due To COVID-19

            The European Patent Office said Thursday it will shutter its offices in Berlin, Munich and The Hague through Jan. 10 due to the current state of the pandemic, as several European countries ramp up measures to tamp down spikes in COVID-19 cases ahead of Christmas.

            The office was originally set to close from Dec. 24 through Jan. 4, but in light of the lockdown measures — including bans on large gatherings and shutting down nonessential businesses — EPO president António Campinos decided to prolong the closure.

            "In response to recent developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and stricter lockdowns across Europe, the president of the EPO has decided to prolong the closure of its filing offices," the EPO said on its website.

            Given the extended closure, the office said it will accordingly extend filing deadlines for documents and payments through Jan. 11, when it will reopen its doors. In the meantime, the office directed users to file documents online or drop them in automated mailboxes.


            The amendment requires that the public be able to access oral hearings, whether by allowing members of the public to attend remotely or streaming proceedings to a room dedicated for public viewing at the European Patent Office.

          • Green Home Solutions Closes Out Year with Historic Expansion as Services Become Increasingly Essential
          • New IP court ruling sets precedent for the EPC’s application in Turkey

            A recent ruling from a Turkish IP court breaks new ground in the ongoing battle for the European Patent Convention (EPC, 138/3) to be applied to patents in Turkey.

            The Turkish IP Law prohibits amendments or limitations of claims or patent documents after a patent has been granted. The only exception to this is changes made by the patentee during the national post-grant opposition phase, which was introduced in 2017.

            In line with the introduction of a post-grant opposition procedure, the IP Law prohibits any ruling to be made in a revocation action against a national patent while the post-grant opposition phase is ongoing before the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office. However, the law allows revocation actions to be heard and ruled against the validation of European patents while post-grant oppositions or appeal phases are ongoing before the EPO. Likewise, local courts are not obliged to deem EPO proceedings to be a prejudicial matter – this is entirely at the discretion of the judge.

          • Germany Clears Path for European Unitary Patent System [Ed: No, it does not. The UK does not ratify and will not ratify. Thus the UPC cannot ever start.]

            On December 18, 2020, Germany cleared the path for the European Unitary Patent System, which is expected to launch early 2022. Germany was the last European state whose ratification was required. In November 2020, the German Bundestag approved the introduction of a European Unitary Patent (UP) and a Unified Patent Court. On December 18, the German Bundesrat agreed. (The German President still needs to sign the law before it comes into effect, however, this action is deemed to be a formality.) Germany will subsequently inform the Council of Europe Secretariat of the ratification, and the Unified Patent Court can then be established.

          • All eyes on Germany as UPC is resuscitated at Bundestag and Bundesrat [Ed: No, you cannot resuscitate something that is both illegal and unconstitutional (and is in breach of Vienna Convention)]

            German ratification of the UPCA is one of the last hurdles for the Unitary Patent system. The system has suffered a series of delays ever since an agreement was reached in 2012 that made the Unitary Patent possible through enhanced cooperation at an EU-level.

            The Unitary Patent system aims to provide easier and affordable access to effective patent protection in the EU. Instead of a collection of national rights that require separate renewal, enforcement and in some cases translation, a Unitary Patent would be universal and singular within participating European states, reducing cost and time implications.

            The Unified Patent Court would provide access to legal and technical specialists and work according to streamlined procedures.

          • China ramps up role in tech innovation [Ed: The corrupt EPO and the regime of China nowadays collaborate closely on propaganda]

            "Our study shows that Chinese innovation in the field of fourth industrial revolution technologies has increased greatly. China has displayed, by far, the fastest growth of all major innovation centers around the world. Its universities, businesses, and regional hubs are becoming increasingly important players in the global 4IR innovation landscape," said Antonio Campinos, president of the European Patent Office.

      • Trademarks

        • What Does "Brexit Means Brexit" Mean To You? (Video)
        • Brexit: Protect Your Trademark And Design Rights Before They Are Taken From You

          From the 1 January 2021, Registered Community Designs (hereinafter "RCDs") and European Union Trademarks (hereinafter "EUTMs") will not provide protection in the United Kingdom.

          What does this mean for holders of EUTMs and RCDs?

          Under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, on the 1 January 2021, the IPO will create a comparable UK trademark for all right holders with an existing EU trademark. These rights will be immediately and automatically replaced by UK rights with no fees applicable. If you own an existing right, you do not need to do anything at this phase. The rights will retain their original application date, registration certificates will be available from the UKIPO and UK-only service address will not be compulsory for the first three years.

        • UK Changes Allowable Location Of Address For Service For 2021

          The UK government has announced that it intends to proceed with changes to UK legislation governing the "address for service" that may be used for intellectual property rights. An address for service is a correspondence address given to the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKPIO) by proprietors of IP rights. Usually the IP attorney of the proprietor is listed as the address for service. Currently, any address in the European Economic Area (EEA) is accepted.

        • Determining Similarity Of Goods And Services In Trademark Opposition Proceedings

          This article aims to discuss similarity of goods and services in case of an opposition against a trademark application before the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (the office).

          Article 6/1-b of the IP Code sets forth that* "the trademark applied for shall be rejected in circumstances where it is identical or similar to an earlier application/registration, covers the same/similar goods or services therewith and creates a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public in the nature of being associated with the earlier application/registration."

      • Copyrights

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 20: The Case Against Bill C-10

          Given the market risks and the costs to consumers in the form of increased fees, reduced choice, and less competition, Bill C-10 needs a rewrite. There are viable alternatives that would allow the government to maintain the long-standing Canadian ownership principles and still ensure that Canada benefits from the presence of foreign streaming companies. The government could guarantee more revenues for Canadian productions from companies such as Netflix through tax policy, including the announced mandating of the collection and remission of sales taxes. It could also use existing tax credit policies that are an essential part of the production sector to mandate that recipients meet new requirements on promotion and adjust current eligibility requirements to make investment by foreign services in Canada even more attractive. Rather than seeking to shoehorn internet streamers into the broadcast system despite obvious differences and significant repercussions, it needs to rethink the evident blunders in the bill. (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10, Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling out Tech Tax Policies?, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required, Broadcast Reform Bill Could Spell the End of Canadian Ownership Requirements, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services, Day 14: The Risk to Canadian Ownership of Intellectual Property, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada, Day 16: Mandated Payments and a Reality Check on Guilbeault’s Billion Dollar Claim, The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 73: The Broadcasting Act Blunder – Why Minister Guilbeault is Wrong, Day 17: The Uncertain Policy Directive, Day 18: The USMCA Threat That Could Lead to Billions in Retaliatory Tariffs, Day 19: The Misleading Comparison to the European Union)

        • Creative Commons Board Tribute to Departing General Counsel Diane Peters

          For twelve years as General Counsel at Creative Commons, and even before that as a member of the greater open knowledge community, Diane Peters has been the embodiment of CC’s innovations and ideals. Diane was the chief architect of the current generation of Creative Commons legal tools–the mastermind of their universal design principles and detailed provisions, and the leader who harnessed the insights of the entire CC community to ensure their precision and excellence. Through this work, Diane not only built our legal tools but also built our network–mentoring and collaborating with lawyers and other community members around the world to perfect the CC tools and spread the CC philosophy.Diane is a legal hacker in the best sense of the phrase. She has harnessed the law to avoid organizational pitfalls and legal jeopardy, and also to accomplish our loftiest goals. She has done this from her crucial and complex post as General Counsel, Board member, and Board Counsel and Secretary. This role as trusted counselor can be a challenging and even lonely one, requiring a lawyer who is both embedded in and objective about a beloved organization. Diane served in this difficult role with deft skill, wisdom, and grace.At CC HQ and among the CC community, Diane has been not just a lawyer but a senior leader, working in partnership with CEOs, directors, staff, and community members to ensure CC’s adherence to our vision, mission, and highest ideals of integrity in times of both triumph and trouble. Diane has served as our institutional memory and the keeper of the CC flame. The Open COVID Pledge is a testament to Diane the lawyer and Diane the leader. It is a great legal hack that also demonstrates Diane’s management and direction-setting skills, and the emotional intelligence necessary to quickly accomplish a critical goal through the collective efforts of a diverse group of contributors with their own institutional affiliations, priorities, and personalities. OCP is a beacon that shines a light towards CC’s future, thanks in large part to Diane.Diane has also been a visionary regarding sharing by scholarly, educational, and cultural institutions. Her expertise and collaboration with partners including MIT, UNESCO, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution were essential to achieving the release of countless works of culture and knowledge into the commons.It is hard to imagine CC without Diane Peters. And we won’t. Because Diane’s legal talent and collaborative leadership have left an indelible mark on every aspect of CC’s work. She has ensured that this work will stand the test of time, evolving to meet new opportunities and challenges while remaining true to CC’s ideals.

        • Cosplay Models Want Cloudflare to Stop 'Indulging' Pirate Sites

          Niece Waidhofer and cosplay models Ryuu Lavitz and OMGcosplay are accusing Cloudflare of protecting and supporting pirate sites that host their leaked photos. Responding to the lawsuit, Cloudflare pointed out that it's a content-neutral service provider but the models argue that the CDN provider has made a cottage industry out of indulging pirates.

        • YouTube Ordered to Unmask Cheaters TV Show Pirates & How Much Money Was Made

          The creator of popular TV show Cheaters is now engaged in legal action to prevent the series from being viewed on YouTube illegally. Targeting more than two dozen channels that uploaded episodes, lawyers for Bobby Goldstein Productions wants YouTube to hand over their identities and an account of the profits generated.

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