110 Government’s PACER Fees Are Too High, Federal Circuit Says (news.bloomberglaw.com) 30
303 Microsoft Fast Design (fast.design) 116
43 Google is happy to control core Web schemas, but they neglect project (threadreaderapp.com) 10
22 Geometric Folding Algorithms: Linkages, Origami, Polyhedra (ocw.mit.edu) 5
54 Toshiba formally and finally exits laptop business (theregister.com) 18
264 To Head Off Regulators, Google Makes Certain Words Taboo (themarkup.org) 197
274 Apple says game streaming services violate App Store policies (gsmarena.com) 251
122 Pysa: An open source tool to detect and prevent security issues in Python code (engineering.fb.com) 16
30 P2 powers internal collaboration at WordPress.com and now it’s free for everyone (wordpress.com) 7
74 Exploiting Android Messengers with WebRTC (googleprojectzero.blogspot.com) 26
156 Infinity: open-source search engine (infinitysearch.co) 48
55 Atlassian tells employees they can work from home forever (cnbc.com) 9
39 Launch HN: Nestybox (YC S20) – Containers beyond microservices (news.ycombinator.com) 32
11 DEF Con 28: Safe Mode (defcon.outel.org) 2
101 On the Performance of User-Mode Threads and Coroutines (inside.java) 37
291 Mac keyboard shortcuts (support.apple.com) 444
350 Crush: A command line shell that is also a powerful modern programming language (github.com) 151
100 How much things can change (rodneybrooks.com) 65
74 An Introduction to Godel's Theorems (Second Edition) [pdf] (logicmatters.net) 15
118 I made a mechanical keyboard with 3D-printed switches (incoherency.co.uk) 17
20 Using ImageMagick to make Contact Sheets (2013) (patdavid.net) 5
7 W.H. Auden on No-Platforming Ezra Pound (nybooks.com) 0
52 What Is the Minimal Set of Optimizations Needed for Zero-Cost Abstraction? (robert.ocallahan.org) 18
35 Overcoming Us vs. Them (2017) (nautil.us) 7
126 CNO neutrinos from the Sun are finally detected (syfy.com) 50
45 Self-Contained Development Environments (2018) [pdf] (charig.github.io) 16
34 Surprising Economics of Load-Balanced Systems (brooker.co.za) 5
159 JuliaCon2020: Julia Is Production Ready (bkamins.github.io) 67
113 Awesome-sysadmin: A curated list of amazingly open source sysadmin resources (github.com) 10
11447 20GB leak of Intel data: whole Git repositories, dev tools, backdoor mentions in source code (twitter.com) 916
273 Scientists rename genes because Microsoft Excel reads them as dates (engadget.com) 78
33 How hard is type checking in X? (typing-is-hard.ch) 16
35 A dbg(...) macro for C++ inspired by Rust's (github.com) 13
7 Link Lock is a tool for encrypting and decrypting URLs (github.com) 0
16 Performance Optimizations for React Native Applications (blog.soshace.com) 2
6 If you are interested in Physics simulation we made a video about it, hope this can be helpful! Tell us what you think (youtube.com) 0
8 Tricks with C++ Lambda Expressions (bfilipek.com) 0
3 Validating Leaked Passwords with k-Anonymity (2018) (blog.cloudflare.com) 0
15 Crush: A command line shell that is also a powerful modern programming language (github.com) 8
7 bargs - Parsing command line arguments in Bash has never been easier! (github.com) 0
2 Your benefits of working with JSON based virtual DOM (medium.com) 0
43 Why are you seeing GPT-3 everywhere? (towardsdatascience.com) 29
8 How Our Stack Evolved in 10 Years (storage.googleapis.com) 4
405 Simdjson: Parsing Gigabytes of JSON per Second (github.com) 89
1 Let’s code a small utility in assembly to resize Hearthstone (robertovaccari.com) 0
2 Scope of Variable in the Context of User-defined Functions (towardsdatascience.com) 0
1 How to Use AIs to Find Bugs. And by AI, we mean Automatic(ally Generated) Invariants (jeanstack.substack.com) 0
3 Web page of Python Inventor (gvanrossum.github.io) 3
6 30-year-old file format behind MacOS hack (techxplore.com) 5
4205 Frances Allen, pioneering researcher in compiler optimizations and the first woman to win the Turing Award, has passed away (ibm.com) 158
6 Horizen Sidechain Tutorial: The Zendoo Node (blog.horizen.global) 1
1 My Journey with Codecademy Web Dev Part 1 (youtu.be) 0
2 Types of JDBC Drivers in Java with Examples – KNOW PROGRAM (knowprogram.com) 0
Why We Have a 'TikTok Problem' (substack.com) 6

An anonymous reader shares an analysis: As national security expert Lucas Kunce notes, Facebook is in fact the reason we have a TikTok problem to begin with. When Twitter launched a TikTok-like product Vine years before, Facebook actively killed the product by refusing to let Vine access its APIs on the same terms other corporations got. Mark Zuckerberg personally made the call to shut off access to Vine, and Twitter eventually shut the product down. Then, Facebook allowed TikTok to advertise massively on its platform, at a time Zuckerberg was currying favor with the Chinese Communist Party to try to get into the Chinese market. In other words, Zuckerberg killed an American competitor using anti-competitive means, and promoted a Chinese competitor for his own business interests. Now we have a TikTok problem, but that's because policymakers refused to enforce anti-monopoly rules against tech giants.

At Talkspace, Startup Culture Collides With Mental Health Concerns (nytimes.com) 8

The therapy-by-text company Talkspace -- which has raised more than $100 million from investors -- made burner phones available for fake reviews and doesn't adequately respect client privacy, former employees say. From a report: The app launched in 2014 to positive press but lukewarm customer reviews, with ratings of about three stars out of five on both the Google and Apple app stores, according to a Times analysis. Users complained about glitchy software and unresponsive therapists. In 2015 and 2016, according to four former employees, the company sought to improve its ratings: It asked workers to write positive reviews. One employee said that Talkspace's head of marketing at the time asked him to compile 100 fake reviews in a Google spreadsheet, so that employees could submit them to app stores. Mr. Lori (an ex-employee) said that Talkspace gave employees "burner" phones to help evade the app stores' techniques for detecting false reviews. "They said, 'Don't do it here. Do it at home. Give us five-star ratings because we have too many bad reviews,'" Mr. Lori said.

Mr. Reilly, the Talkspace lawyer, disputed this account, saying that employees were free to write reviews any way they liked. "We alerted employees if they were to leave a review, to do it from their personal phones -- not from the Talkspace office network, as that would cause issues with the app store," Mr. Reilly said in an emailed statement. "To be clear: We have never used fake identities or encouraged anybody to do so; there is no event involving 'burner' phones, and the idea in and of itself is nonsensical relative to the large number of reviews outstanding."

Gates Foundation Teams Up With Vaccine Maker To Produce $3 Covid-19 Shots (wsj.com) 33

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it is backing the world's largest vaccine maker, Serum Institute of India, to churn out 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine for poorer countries and price them at less than $3. From a report: The move comes as governments around the world, including the U.S. and U.K., strike vaccine production deals with the manufacturers of a handful of promising, late-stage vaccine development projects. The Gates Foundation as well as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance -- an organization which helps negotiate and finance vaccines for poor countries -- said they would back privately held Serum Institute, or SII, to speed up the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine doses for the developing countries once any are proven effective. SII is one of several contracted manufacturers already tapped by AstraZeneca to make a vaccine in development at the University of Oxford.

The Pune, India-based SII is the go-to vaccine supplier for the World Health Organization and others and produces 1.5 billion doses of other vaccines every year, making it the largest in the world by volume. The three organizations said the collaboration will help ensure that lower and middle-income countries won't be forgotten if a coronavirus vaccine is found. "Researchers are making good progress on developing safe and effective vaccines for Covid-19," said Bill Gates in a statement. "But making sure everyone has access to them, as soon as possible, will require tremendous manufacturing capacity and a global distribution network."

Massive Hack Hits Reddit (zdnet.com) 71

A massive attack has hit Reddit today after at least tens of Reddit channels (subreddits) have been hacked and defaced to show messages in support of Donald Trump's reelection campaign, ZDNet reports. From the report: The hacks are still ongoing at the time of writing, but we were told Reddit's security team is aware of the issue and has already begun restoring defaced channels. A partial list of impacted channels (subreddits) is available below, according to ZDNet's research: r/NFL, r/49ers, r/TPB (The Pirate Bay's Reddit channel), r/BlackMirror, r/Beer, r/Vancouver, r/Dallas, r/Gorillaz, r/Podcasts, r/freefolk, r/StartledCats, r/TheDailyZeitgeist, r/Supernatural, r/GRE, r/GMAT, r/greatbritishbakeoff, r/11foot8, r/truecrimepodcasts, r/Leafs, r/weddingplanning, r/Chadsriseup, r/bertstrips, r/CFB ...and many many other more.

US Government Contractor Embedded Software in Apps To Track Phones (wsj.com) 17

A small U.S. company with ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities has embedded its software in numerous mobile apps, allowing it to track the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter and documents it reviewed. From the report: Anomaly Six, a Virginia-based company founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps. An SDK allows the company to obtain the phone's location if consumers have allowed the app containing the software to access the phone's GPS coordinates. App publishers often allow third-party companies, for a fee, to insert SDKs into their apps. The SDK maker then sells the consumer data harvested from the app, and the app publisher gets a chunk of revenue. But consumers have no way to know whether SDKs are embedded in apps; most privacy policies don't disclose that information.

Anomaly Six says it embeds its own SDK in some apps, and in other cases gets location data from other partners. Anomaly Six is a federal contractor that provides global-location-data products to branches of the U.S. government and private-sector clients. The company told The Wall Street Journal it restricts the sale of U.S. mobile phone movement data only to nongovernmental, private-sector clients. Numerous agencies of the U.S. government have concluded that mobile data acquired by federal agencies from advertising is lawful. Several law-enforcement agencies are using such data for criminal-law enforcement, the Journal has reported, while numerous U.S. military and intelligence agencies also acquire this kind of data.

YouTube Will Stop Emailing Subscribers About New Videos Next Week (9to5google.com) 35

A lot happens on YouTube, and the Google video site has for ages emailed subscribers that opted into alerts about new uploads and livestreams. YouTube is getting rid of these emails next week as very few people opened alerts about new videos from their inbox. From a report: The rationale is "less than 0.1% of these emails are opened," the company said. Messages about your "account, mandatory service announcements, etc." remain, with Google hoping that the broader change today will help "you more easily spot and pay attention to the important emails." It reflects companies increasingly wanting to reduce information overload.

To Head Off Regulators, Google Makes Certain Words Taboo (themarkup.org) 64

As Google faces at least four major antitrust investigations on two continents, internal documents obtained by The Markup show its parent company, Alphabet, has been preparing for this moment for years, telling employees across the massive enterprise that certain language is off limits in all written communications, no matter how casual. From a report: The taboo words include "market," "barriers to entry," and "network effects," which is when products such as social networks become more valuable as more people use them. "Words matter. Especially in antitrust law," reads one document titled "Five Rules of Thumb for Written Communications." "Alphabet gets sued a lot, and we have our fair share of regulatory investigations," reads another. "Assume every document will become public."

The internal documents appear to be part of a self-guided training session for a wide range of the company's more than 100,000 employees, from engineers to salespeople. One document, titled "Global Competition Policy," says it applies not only to interns and employees but also to temps, vendors, and contractors. The documents explain the basics of antitrust law and caution against loose talk that could have implications for government regulators or private lawsuits.

Canada's Last Fully Intact Arctic Ice Shelf Collapses (reuters.com) 88

Iwastheone shares a report: The last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed, losing more than 40% of its area in just two days at the end of July, researchers said on Thursday. The Milne Ice Shelf is at the fringe of Ellesmere Island, in the sparsely populated northern Canadian territory of Nunavut. "Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up," the Canadian Ice Service said on Twitter when it announced the loss on Sunday. "Entire cities are that size. These are big pieces of ice," said Luke Copland, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa who was part of the research team studying the Milne Ice Shelf. The shelf's area shrank by about 80 square kilometers. By comparison, the island of Manhattan in New York covers roughly 60 square kilometers.

"This was the largest remaining intact ice shelf, and it's disintegrated, basically," Copland said. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global rate for the last 30 years, due to a process known as Arctic amplification. But this year, temperatures in the polar region have been intense. The polar sea ice hit its lowest extent for July in 40 years. Record heat and wildfires have scorched Siberian Russia. Summer in the Canadian Arctic this year in particular has been 5 degrees Celsius above the 30-year average, Copland said. That has threatened smaller ice caps, which can melt quickly because they do not have the bulk that larger glaciers have to stay cold. As a glacier disappears, more bedrock is exposed, which then heats up and accelerates the melting process.

Security Researcher Troy Hunt is Open Sourcing the Have I Been Pwned Code Base (troyhunt.com) 20

Security researcher Troy Hunt: Let me just cut straight to it: I'm going to open source the Have I Been Pwned code base. The decision has been a while coming and it took a failed M&A process to get here, but the code will be turned over to the public for the betterment of the project and frankly, for the betterment of everyone who uses it. Let me explain why and how.

Facebook Criticizes Apple's App Store Policies, Launches Gaming App on iOS Without Games (macrumors.com) 32

Facebook has joined Microsoft in condemning Apple's App Store policies, after the company was forced to remove the games feature from its Facebook Gaming app, which launches today on iOS. From a report: In a statement, Facebook said it has had its Gaming app rejected multiple times by Apple in recent months, but Apple cited its App Store guidelines to justify the rejections, claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games. Facebook says it shared usage data with Apple from its Android Facebook Gaming app that showed 95 percent of activity involves watching streams, but it was unable to change Apple's stance on the matter.

Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said it chose to go ahead with the launch of its app in the App Store, but users faced an "inferior" experience compared to Android users. "Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple's approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app -- meaning iOS users have an inferior experience to those using Android," said Sandberg. "We're staying focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month -- whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not."
Microsoft, which is facing a similar challenge, said on Thursday: Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content. All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree.

Facebook Will Let Employees Work From Home Until July 2021 (cnn.com) 58

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Facebook is extending its work from home policy until July of next year, becoming the latest tech giant to commit to letting staff work remotely in response to the coronavirus pandemic. "Based on guidance from health and government experts, as well as decisions drawn from our internal discussions about these matters, we are allowing employees to continue voluntarily working from home until July 2021," said Nneka Norville, a Facebook spokesperson, on Thursday. Norville also said Facebook is giving employees $1,000 for "home office needs."

Zuckerberg pitched the idea to Facebook staff as both a matter of satisfying employee desires and also as an effort to create "more broad-based economic prosperity." "When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives," Zuckerberg said on a livestream posted to his Facebook page in May.
Google also recently extended its work from home policy until July 2021. And some companies, including Twitter, said their staff may work remotely indefinitely.

Frances E. Allen, the First Woman To Win the Turing Award, Dies At 88 (ibm.com) 16

Frances "Fran" Allen, a pioneer in the world of computing, the first female IBM Fellow and the first woman to win the Turing Award, died on August 4, 2020, the day of her 88th birthday. IBM writes in a blog post remembering Allen: As a pioneer in compiler organization and optimization algorithms, Fran made seminal contributions to the world of computing. Her work on inter-procedural analysis and automatic parallelization continues to be on the leading edge of compiler research. She successfully reduced this science to practice through the transfer of this technology to products such as the STRETCH HARVEST Compiler, the COBOL Compiler, and the Parallel FORTRAN Product. As much as Fran will be remembered for her technical vision and her foundational work in computing, she will equally be remembered for her passion to inspire and mentor others, fostering an environment of perseverance and hard work throughout the IBM community.

Starting as a programmer, Fran's first assignment at IBM was to teach the research community FORTRAN, a new complex language IBM had announced just three months before. This was the start of Fran's career-long focus on compilers for high-performance computing. Following FORTRAN, Fran became one of three designers for IBM's Stretch-Harvest project in the late 1950's and early 1960's. As the language liaison with IBM's client, the National Security Agency (NSA), Fran helped design and build Alpha, a very high-level code breaking language which featured the ability to create new alphabets beyond the system defined alphabets.

An Experimental Compiler for IBM's Advanced Computing System (ACS) became her next project. Fran designed and built the machine-independent, language-independent optimizing component of the compiler. The result was a tool to help drive the hardware design and a new way to analyze and transform programs. This work led to Fran's seminal paper on Program Optimization, first published in 1966, describing a robust new framework for implementing program analysis and optimization as well as a powerful set of new algorithms. Fran's 1970 paper on Control Flow analysis introduced the notion of "intervals" and node dominance relations, important improvements over the control flow abstractions given in her earlier paper. Her 1972 paper, "A Catalog of Optimizing Transformations," identified and discussed many of the transformations commonly used today.

Scientists Spot Space Junk With Lasers In Broad Daylight 34

Researchers from the Institute for Space Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences have developed a technique in which lasers can measure the position of space debris during daylight conditions. Details of this unprecedented achievement were published in Nature Communications. Gizmodo reports: Prior to this, lasers could only detect space junk during twilight, as ground stations enter into darkness and objects near the horizon remain illuminated by the Sun's rays. This small window of opportunity severely minimizes the amount of time available to search for and characterize these orbiting objects, which can threaten crucial satellites.

"We are used to the idea that you can only see stars at night, and this has similarly been true for observing debris with telescopes, except with a much smaller time window to observe low-orbit objects," explained Tim Flohrer, Head of ESA's Space Debris Office, in an ESA press release. "Using this new technique, it will become possible to track previously 'invisible' objects that had been lurking in the blue skies, which means we can work all day with laser ranging to support collision avoidance." The new technique differs from conventional methods in that it can track objects during daylight hours, which it does using a combination of telescopes, light deflectors, and filters that track light at specific wavelengths. So even when the sky is bright and blue, scientists can increase a target's contrast, making previously invisible objects visible. Keys to this method include additional telescopes and the ability to visualize space debris against the blue sky background in real-time. In daylight tests, the distances to 40 different objects were measured with the new technique, which had never been done before.

Germany Plans To Dim Lights At Night To Save Insects 107

An anonymous reader quotes a report from MSN: In a draft law seen by AFP, the country's environment ministry has drawn up a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats. "Insects play an important role in the ecosystem...but in Germany, their numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years," reads the draft law, for which the ministry hopes to get cabinet approval by October. The changes put forward in the law include stricter controls on both lighting and the use of insecticides.

Light traps for insects are to be banned outdoors, while searchlights and sky spotlights would be outlawed from dusk to dawn for ten months of the year. The draft also demands that any new streetlights and other outdoor lights be installed in such a way as to minimize the effect on plants, insects and other animals. The use of weed-killers and insecticides would also be banned in national parks and within five to ten meters of major bodies of water, while orchards and dry-stone walls are to be protected as natural habitats for insects. The proposed reforms are part of the German government's more general "insect protection action plan," which was announced last September under growing pressure from environmental and conservation activists.

TikTok Ban: Trump Will Prohibit Transactions With ByteDance Beginning September 20 (theverge.com) 177

According to The Verge, "President Trump has signed a new executive order which will block all transactions with Bytedance, TikTok's parent corporation, in an effort to 'address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.'" From the report: The move comes after months of escalating tensions, which saw Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others at the White House warn that TikTok presented a national security threat because of its Chinese ownership. Microsoft is currently in talks to acquire portions of the app, aimed to be complete by September 15th. Trump's new order is set to take effect in 45 days, just after the September 15th deadline set for negotiations in the Microsoft sale.

Another order banned transactions with WeChat, a popular texting app in China that has maintained a limited U.S. user base focused on recent Chinese immigrants. In both orders, the president names the International Emergency Economic Powers Act as authority for the move, as well as the National Emergencies Act -- effectively naming TikTok's continued operation within the United States as a national emergency. Such a move is highly unusual, and will likely be subject to a legal challenge.