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Links 23/12/2017: LibreELEC 8.2.2, Mesa 17.2.8, New SlackEX

Posted in News Roundup at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Give Your Linux Desktop a Festive Feel with these Xmas Tux Wallpapers

      Yup, you don’t need to turn to turn to Google to track down a badly GIMP’d xmas scene featuring a pasted pixelated tux.

      Mark Riedesel, better known by the handle ‘Klowner’, creates a new Christmas Tux wallpaper each and every year – and has done so since 2004! His fully festive backdrops are made using a selection box of open-source graphics apps like Inkscape and Blender.

      His latest design, sat atop of this post like a wobbly tree topper, is one of the best yet. It features Tux and a cat looking out over a christmassy tabletop village featuring festive looking penguins amid snow topped houses.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux >=4.9: eBPF memory corruption bugs

      A few BPF verifier bugs in the Linux kernel, most of which can be used
      for controlled memory corruption, have been fixed over the last days.
      One of the bugs was introduced in 4.9, the others were only introduced
      in 4.14.

      The fixes are in the net tree of the Linux kernel
      but not in Linus’ tree yet.

      The following bug was introduced in 4.9…

    • Linux Foundation

      • Automotive Grade Linux Showcases Open Infotainment and Over 20 Member Demonstrations at CES 2018

        Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for the connected car, today announced that the latest release of the AGL infotainment platform, Unified Code Base (UCB) 5.0, will be available later this month and on display at CES 2018 along with more than 20 other AGL demos by member companies. Automotive Grade Linux is an open source project hosted at The Linux Foundation.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Damage Rectangle Interface Proposed For Atomic DRM Drivers

        DisplayLink developers in cooperation with interest from VMware’s virtual graphics driver team have sent out a draft proposal for adding a damage interface to the Direct Rendering Manager drivers.

        This is a proof-of-concept code for allowing “dirty rectangles” to be sent to the DRM drivers, a.k.a. areas of the screen where the contents have changed and need to be updated. Rather than submitting the entire screen contents each time to the DRM driver for re-processing, the damaged regions could be passed onto the DRM kernel drivers as hints/properties. In the case of DisplayLink where they are focused on their USB-based display adapters, this would be bandwidth savings. Similarly, VMware has been interested in such an interface for their VMWgfx stack for virtual devices in a VM. There’s also obvious savings as well for remote desktops.

      • Intel Posts Experimental Patches For Wayland/Weston/Mesa HDR

        While NVIDIA has been working on HDR display support for the X.Org Server environment via a new “DeepColor” extension, Intel developers have begun working on High Dynamic Range support for Wayland/Weston and the associated changes needed to Mesa.

      • AMDGPU Queues Up “More Stuff” For Linux 4.16

        AMD has sent in another round of AMDGPU Direct Rendering Manager driver updates to DRM-Next for staging until the Linux 4.16 kernel merge window next month.

        Two weeks back was the first batch of AMDGPU updates targeting Linux 4.16 that brought multi-display synchronization, continued Vega and Raven Ridge fixes, TTM operation context support, and other improvements.

      • Keith Packard Sends Out Latest Patches For RandR 1.6, Linux VR Improvements

        Keith Packard working under contract for Valve on improving the VR HMD / SteamVR support for the Linux display stack has sent out his latest – near final – patches for the RandR 1.6 additions.

        Keith sent out early Friday the latest Resize and Rotate (RandR) X extension updates for dealing with DRM leases and non-desktop output code. The DRM leases is about allowing a “lease” on VR HMD outputs to a VR (SteamVR) compositor.

        The non-desktop output code is about ensuring the VR HMD HDMI/DP interface isn’t treated as a normal “desktop” output, as is currently the case when using the open-source Radeon driver with the HTC Vive, and ends up becoming part of an extended desktop.

      • Nouveau Developer Working On NIR For SPIR-V Compute, Step Towards Vulkan In The Future

        There’s some exciting news for open-source NVIDIA “Nouveau” driver users this holiday season!

        Karol Herbst, a longtime community developer who for years has been working on Nouveau, has sent out a series of patches working on NIR support for the NVC0 Gallium3D driver!

      • NVIDIA Sends Out Signed Firmware Images For GP108 Pascal GPUs
      • mesa 17.2.8

        Mesa 17.2.8 is now available.

        In this release we have:

        The SPIR-V compiler has seen corrected a possible SEGFAULT.

        The Intel i965 driver includes a correction for Haswell involving
        doubles management.

        The AMD drivers have also received some fixes. A couple have gone for
        radv and radeon’s VCE while r600 has seen corrected some glitches
        detected with This War of Mine.

        Gallium has also received a patch fixing a problem affecting the VMware
        driver and the st/nine state tracker.

        The endianness detection in Windows platform has been corrected to
        default to little endian.

        Finally, the X11 driver has been improved to notify properly a mesa
        warning rather than using fprintf.

      • Mesa 17.2.8 Released With Just Over One Dozen Fixes

        For those still riding the older Mesa 17.2 series rather than the current Mesa 17.3 series that saw its v17.3.1 update this week, v17.2.8 is now available.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Ready to edit ?

        Following the recent Kdenlive 17.12 release, a few annoying issues were reported in the AppImage. So we decided to focus on these and you can now download an updated AppImage with these 2 nice changes:

        Translations are now included in the AppImage, for easy editing in your native language!
        Fixed a high CPU usage on idle due to the sound pipeline

  • Distributions

    • Best Xfce distro of 2017

      One more. After exploring the ups and downs of the Gnome and KDE/Plasma crop of this year, we now focus on what Xfce can deliver us. Arguably, this is the third largest, most important desktop environment in the open-source universe, straddling the chasm between the two opposing philosophies of the G and K worlds.

      Back in 2016, I found Xfce to be a very vibrant, healthy, innovative technology, with a good string of successes, and a range of balanced, practical distributions. There were no cardinal revolutions, but then also, there were no wild swings in quality, either. It was all rather stolid. Now, let’s see what 2017 can tell us.

    • Reviews

      • Quick Look to PureOS GNU/Linux, A New 100% Free Distro

        PureOS GNU/Linux is a new Debian-based and user-friendly distro that just certified by the FSF as 100% free distro (along with Trisquel). PureOS is developed mainly for Purism Librem computers but it’s publicly available, so we can download PureOS and install it on our own computers & laptops (currently 64 bit only). This article shows how PureOS looks at inside starting from the Desktop (GNOME 3.26) until the System Installer (Calamares). As summary, I can say for now (December 2017) that if you’re looking for the most user-friendly 100% free distro, you should try PureOS. Enjoy!

    • New Releases

      • LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.2 MR

        LibreELEC 8.2.2 is a minor maintenance release to resolve an ffmpeg issue that allows the legions of 3D movie fans (both of you) to watch them again. It also fixes an issue with the WeTek Core after recent WeOS updates have been installed, adds support for the 2nd generation of RF remote from OSMC, and disables the flashing blue ‘activity’ LED on the Odroid C2 that most users find annoying. That’s all it contains. No package bumps or driver or kernel changes are included, because at this late stage of the release cycle we have no desire to go fix things that might add new bugs.

      • Embedded Linux OS LibreELEC 8.2.2 “Krypton” Released with Fix for 3D Movies

        LibreELEC (Libre Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) team released today a new maintenance update to their LibreELEC 8.2 “Krypton” operating system series to fix a critical bug.

        LibreELEC 8.2.2 is the second maintenance release for the LibreELEC 8.2 “Krypton” series, which is based on the Kodi 17 “Krypton” open-source media center, and it’s here one month after version 8.2.1 to fix a critical bug in the FFMpeg multimedia backend that prevented users from enjoying 3D movies.

        Users who want to watch 3D movies are recommended to manually update to LibreELEC 8.2.2 using the manual update function in the LibreELEC settings add-on, as there won’t be any automatic updates available until after the Christmas holidays. If you don’t want to update manually, you’ll have to wait until December 27 or 28.

      • Christmas comes early! LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.2 Kodi Linux distro is here

        Christmas is almost here, and I don’t know about y’all, but I am thrilled. While I am looking forward to spending time with family and thinking about the birth of Jesus, I am not ashamed to say I am excited about presents too!

        Today, Christmas comes a bit early thanks to a new LibreELEC (Krypton) release. Version 8.2.2 of the Kodi-focused Linux-based operating system is being called a minor release, but it is still a very special gift for users of the media center. After all, version 8.2.1 was previously called the final Krypton version, but as we now know, it wasn’t.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mandrake Linux founder creating Google-free Android OS

        The original creator of Mandrake Linux (which evolved into Mandriva and subsequently Mageia and OpenMandriva), Gaël Duval, has decided to create a new fork of Android which is restricted to the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS); the new creation is called eelo.

      • Open mobile OS eelo by Mandrake Linux creator on Kickstarter

        The creator of Mandrake Linux runs a campaign for the open, free mobile operating system eelo on the crowd funding site Kickstarter right now.

        Designed to break the dominance of Apple’s and Google’s walled systems, eelo is based on LineageOS but takes it a step further than that.

        At its core, eelo is more than just an operating system as plans are underway to establish free, open and secure web services next to it. Services like email, cloud storage and online office tools are mentioned explicitly on the Kickstarter project page.

      • Leaving Apple and Google : my “eelo odyssey” — Introduction

        In 1998, I created Mandrake Linux, because I was both a Linux fan and didn’t like Windows on the desktop. It’s been a long time, and I’m very happy I’ve been one of the actors who contributed to make the Linux desktop possible, even though it didn’t completely succeed. Since then, the smartphone has emerged. And it’s now a “companion of life” for many of us. On my side, I’ve been using Apple iPhones exclusively, since 2007. The main reason behind this choice is that I like iOS. It covers my needs, it looks great and elegant, and I find it very intuitive to use.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get KDE Applications 17.12, LLVM 5, and Other Goodies

        It would appear that a total of four snapshots were released between December 15 and December 21, snapshot 20171220 being the last one available for OpenSuSE Tumbleweed. And they include a few interesting things, such as the massive KDE Application 17.12.0 software suite for KDE Plasma 5 users.

        When the KDE Applications 17.12.0 packages arrived in the Tumbleweed repositories, they included a bug for the KMail email client that couldn’t send out email over secure SMTP connections. However, the openSUSE Tumbleweed was quick to release a fix for this issue in the update channel.

    • Slackware Family

      • SlackEX Build 171223 (Slackware 14.2) live dvd/usb with KDE 4.14.38, kernel 4.14.8-x86_64-efi-exton, Nvidia 384.98 and VirtualBox 5.2.4

        New features in version 171223 of SlackEX
        I have replaced kernel 4.12.9-x86_64-exton with kernel 4.14.8-x86_64-efi-exton with support for “everything”. Kernel 4.14.8 was released 171220. KDE is upgraded to version 4.14.38 (latest KDE version). All other component software is also upgraded to the latest Slackware Current version by now. I may also mention in particular GParted 0.29.0, VirtualBox 5.2.4 (latest, not in Slackware’s repositories), Google Chrome 60.0.3112 (not in Slackware’s repositories – you can download my build at SourceForge.net), Gimp 2.8.10 (installed from source), GSlapt 0.5.4b, Slackpkg 2.82.1, Firefox 57.0.2, Thunderbird 52.5.0, Samba 4.7.3 and GCC 7.2.0. Furthermore I have installed Grub2, which can be used as boot loader (if you want) after a hard drive install. Study the full package LIST. Note: I have replaced Wicd with NetworkManager. It works better in SlackEX.

      • Slackware-Based SlackEX Distro Released with Linux Kernel 4.14.8 and KDE 4.14.38

        GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton released today a new build of his Slackware-based SlackEX distro, bringing various updated applications and core components.

        The sole purpose of SlackEX is to make Slackware Linux more accessible to those who want to install a GNU/Linux distribution on their personal computers. SlackEX promises to be as easy to install and use like popular Linux Mint and Ubuntu distros.

        Based on Slackware 14.2, SlackEX Build 171223 is here with both the Slackpkg and GSlapt package management systems pre-installed to make installation of additional programs a breeze. It also includes developer’s 4.14.8-x86_64-efi-exton kernel with extra hardware support.

        “Any novice can quickly learn to use Ubuntu they say. My remaster of Slackware Current (14.2), which I call SlackEX 14.2/Current 64-bit Linux Live DVD/USB, is however just as easy to use as Ubuntu and/or Linux Mint,” said Arne Exton in the release announcement.

      • December packages for Slackware’s Plasma 5 – focus shift

        Jingle Bells galore! I have some goodies for you, right before Christmas. If your winter holiday starts today, there’s some nice new stuff to play with – especially if you have not dared touch slackware-current until now. Perhaps it’s time to free up a partition on your hard drive now?

        The KDE Applications 17.12 have been released by the KDE community. This set of KDE applications is completely free of the legacy KDE4 stuff (kdelibs4). The KDE developers have removed everything from their regular release cycles that is still based on kdelibs4 and/or unmaintained or broken anyway.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.38 Tool to Improve Support for Classic Snaps

            Announced just a few minutes ago by Sergio Schvezov, Snapcraft 2.38 will soon make its way into the stable software repositories of supported Ubuntu Linux releases, as well as other GNU/Linux distributions. The biggest change that landed in this new version is better support for classic Snaps, which will allow for true isolation for host’s dynamically linked executables.

            “Snapcraft now has a better architecture overall to handle classic Snaps, not only for those coming from parts that are built, but also for the case where prebuilt binaries are dumped into the Snap,” writes Sergio Schvezov. “Prior to this version of Snapcraft, true isolation for a dynamically linked executable from the host was not possible. The work here makes sure that the correct interpreter is set and also sets up valid rpaths for the binary.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • System76 Says Ubuntu-Based Pop!_OS Linux Won’t Break Lenovo or Acer Laptops

              A System76 engineer working on Pop!_OS Linux, the company’s Ubuntu-based operating system shipping pre-installed on all of their computers, writes about the recently discovered Ubuntu bug affecting some Lenovo laptops.

              As you probably are aware, Canonical is currently discouraging users to download the latest Ubuntu release due to an issue that corrupts the BIOS of some Lenovo laptops, as well as other brands like Acer and Toshiba. The bug is related to the intel-spi-* drivers in the Linux 4.13 kernel packages shipping with Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), and should also affect other Ubuntu 17.10-based distro like Pop!_OS.

            • Pop!_OS Community Update and Happy Holidays Edition Post!

              I want to start off wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season from the System76 family to yours! We at System76 hope that you spend it in the company of those who love and care for you. On the off chance you’re alone, we hope you got some awesome video games queued up or have a favorite hobby that you can indulge in. :-)

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kubeflow Brings Machine Learning to Kubernetes

    Kubernetes at its’ core is a container orchestration system. But simply running containers for their own sake has little purpose, at the end of the day what really matters are applications.

    Among the most interesting and often challenges types of application workloads are machine learning, which can often be difficult to deploy and operate. On Dec. 21 the Kubeflow project was officially announced by Google engineers as a new stack to easily deploy and run machine learning workloads.

    “The Kubeflow project is dedicated to making Machine Learning on Kubernetes easy, portable and scalable,” the Kubeflow GitHub project pagestates. “Our goal is not to recreate other services, but to provide a straightforward way for spinning up best of breed OSS solutions.”

  • Coreboot Picks Up Support For Some Older ThinkPads

    Coreboot is now able to replace the proprietary BIOS on some older Lenovo ThinkPads.

    Coreboot has already offered pretty good coverage of older Intel-powered ThinkPads while two more models were added this week.

    The ThinkPad X131e is now supported by upstream Coreboot. This laptop shipped with SandyBridge and IvyBridge CPU options and under Coreboot most of the laptop should be working except for Fn keys and ACPI S4 hibernation and potentially wireless.

  • Apache Hadoop 3.0.0 Boosts Big Data App Ecosystem

    Fours years after Hadoop 2 became generally available, the open-source Big Data platform takes a giant step forward, with new capabilities to support containers.

    In the world of Big Data, one project has long loomed larger than all the rest – Hadoop. The open-source Apache Hadoop project provides the core framework on which dozens of other Big Data efforts rely.

    The Apache Hadoop v.3.0.0 milestone became generally available on Dec. 14, marking the first major version change for the project since Hadoop 2 debuted in 2013.

    “Hadoop 3 is a major milestone for the project, and our biggest release ever,” Andrew Wang, Apache Hadoop 3 release manager stated.

  • Events

    • LinuXatUNI held last meeting of the year

      The local Linux community in Lima, Peru held the last meeting today sharing a breakfast. Peruvians usually take “chocolatada” (made with chocolate and milk) with paneton for Christmass holidays, and we are not the exception.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Announces Firefox 60 as Next ESR (Extended Support Release) Branch

        Mozilla recently announced that the next ESR (Extended Support Release) branch of its open-source and cross-platform web browser would be Firefox 60, due for release next year in early May.

        Since their initial launch, Firefox ESR releases have become more and more popular among various organizations that aim to offer customers a stable, long-term supported, and reliable browsing experience. Firefox ESR is known to be used in schools, universities, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

        The current Firefox ESR branch is based on Firefox 52, but it’s nearing its end of life in six months, so Mozilla now plans to promote the upcoming Firefox 60 release to the ESR channel, along with a new policy engine that promises to make Firefox deployments and integration into existing infrastructures a lot simpler for sysadmins.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Looks At Making Wayland Support Available By Default

      There’s an active discussion this week about making Wayland support available by default on FreeBSD.

      FreeBSD has working Wayland support — well, assuming you have working Intel / Radeon graphics — and do have Weston and some other Wayland components available via FreeBSD Ports. FreeBSD has offered working Wayland support that is “quite usable” for more than one year. But, it’s not too easy to get going with Wayland on FreeBSD.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Mitigating Cyber Security Risks Arising From Open Source Software

      A recent report indicated that Linux and other open source software (OSS) are emerging as serious malware targets. The report is a helpful reminder of the need to carefully consider the terms and conditions of OSS licenses and the resulting risks assumed by both software developers and end users in using OSS, including as it relates to cyber security. The increasing occurrence of cyber attacks should be a significant concern for most organizations. Understanding how OSS is licensed, and developing appropriate open source policies, is an important part of an organization’s overall solution for managing cyber security risks.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • The power of open source: Why GitLab’s move to a Developer Certificate of Origin benefits the developer community

      After being approached by Debian developers, GitLab decided to ditch the industry standard Contributor License Agreement in favor of adopting a license that is developer friendly — the Developer Certificate of Origin.

      We’re grateful to Debian for bringing their objection to the CLA to our attention, inspiring us to reconsider what we’re asking of our contributors. It’s now one of the reasons both Debian and GNOME plan to migrate their communities to GitLab. We want to be an option for everyone, and hopefully, this change is another step in that direction.


  • In 1977, the Sex Pistols played their last UK gig: a Christmas show for children
  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 17-Year-Old YouTuber Shot to Death After Reportedly Insulting a Cartel Boss
    • A 17-year-old YouTube star insulted a notorious drug lord. The teen was found with at least 15 bullet wounds.

      Prosecutors have not determined the identities or motives of those responsible. But they confirmed to news outlets that they are investigating a possible link to the recent videotaped insult toward El Mencho.

    • Rashid Khalidi: U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital Means It Cannot Be a Peace Broker

      At the United Nations, over 120 countries defied President Trump Thursday by voting in favor of a resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The final vote was 128 to 9, while 35 nations abstained and 21 countries casted no vote. Control of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues: Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Sustained protests continue in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories, despite a brutal Israeli military crackdown. We speak with Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University and author of “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.”

    • Gulf leaders buy caviar, Rolexes and other gifts for UK ministers

      Gulf monarchies have continued to shower UK foreign ministers with lavish gifts, according to newly released government data.

      The data reveals that Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf Bin Alawi gave Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson six tins of Caspian Caviar, worth more than $1,000 in total, when they met in July. In the same month, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry gave Minister of State for the Middle East Alistair Burt a Rolex watch worth nearly $8,000.

      These are the latest in a long line of gifts which UK ministers have received from Gulf governments. These include luxury christmas hampers, rugs and a $2,600 designer briefcase given to defence minister Tobias Ellwood by the United Arab Emirates.

      Responding to these revelations, campaigners told Middle East Eye they are concerned that undemocratic Gulf monarchies with poor human rights records have too much influence on the UK’s foreign policy.

    • Former US attorneys, GOP officials come to Mueller’s defense

      More than 40 former U.S. attorneys and Republican and conservative officials are pushing back against efforts to discredit the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

      In a pair of letters, the groups say Robert Mueller and his team must be allowed to continue their work, unimpeded.

      The 22 former U.S. attorneys, who served under presidents from Richard Nixon through Barack Obama, say it is “critical” to the “interests of justice and public trust to ensure that those charged with conducting complex investigations are allowed to do their jobs free from interference or fear of reprisal.”

      Seeking Mueller’s removal “would have severe repercussions for Americans’ sense of justice here at home and for our reputation for fairness around the world,” they wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump on Friday that was coordinated by Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Aardvark dead, four meerkats missing and eight people hurt in devastating blaze at London Zoo

      An animal has died as a result of a huge blaze at London Zoo, with four meerkats also reportedly missing.

      Bosses at London Zoo have confirmed that an aardvark named Mischa perished as a result of this morning’s fire.

      Eight staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock after desperately carrying animals to safety as the flames spread.

      Mischa, aged nine, was initially reported missing as staff assessed the damage suffered in the early morning fire.

  • Finance

    • Economically speaking, gift-giving can be a waste of money
    • How to Get Away With Bankruptcy Fraud

      The boxy building that houses JC Foreclosure Service doesn’t look like much. Drive past, and you might miss it among the gas stations and body shops and small homes here in Bell, a working class, Hispanic enclave in the south part of Los Angeles County. The only thing that might catch your attention is the bold red writing on the front window that says, in Spanish, “WE MODIFY YOUR LOAN. EVICTIONS. BANKRUPTCIES.”

      But inside, a kind of magic happens. The owner of the business, Carlos Baez, is a master of a Los Angeles art: contorting bankruptcy into a tool for profit. When his clients come to him, desperate to stay in their homes, he can promise help — as long as they keep paying him — by harnessing the power of bankruptcy to stop foreclosure. Baez is not a lawyer and records show the hundreds of cases he’s filed are often shoddily prepared and thrown out within a few months. But actually winning lasting debt relief for his clients isn’t the point. The goal is to buy time — which he does again and again.

    • The blue passport is taking back control? No, it was first imposed on us from abroad

      On Thursday the Home Office announced the return of the blue British passport, to a chorus of approval from Brexiter newspapers and politicians. The irony is that the UK could have had a blue passport while an EU member. EU member state Croatia currently has a blue passport, after all. In any case – the “iconic” blue passport was imposed from abroad back in 1920 – thanks to the the League of Nations.

      The EU never mandated burgundy passports: it simply produced a standard format that many member states chose to use for the sake of convenience. I imagine that the then UK government assumed that nobody cared that much about the colour of passports. It’s now clear that apparently trivial symbols of national identity are very meaningful for a lot of people. We’ll never know whether, had the government reintroduced blue passports when complaints first arose, the expense and disruption of Brexit could have been avoided.

    • Blue passports could have been re-introduced without Brexit, Government admit

      The Government could have changed the colour of British passports back to blue at any time regardless of Brexit, it has emerged.

      Theresa May described the decision to revert to the “iconic” colour as an “expression of our independence and sovereignty” away from the EU.

      But the Home Office confirmed that the UK voluntarily adopted common passport criteria from the European Economic Community (EEC) and was not obliged to keep it.

    • Journalists Who Relayed GOP’s Deficit Moaning Owe Us Apologies

      Now that the Republicans’ brazen tax bill that the CBO predicts will add $1.4 trillion to the deficit has passed, yet again exposing “deficit concerns” by congressional Republicans as an empty marketing ploy, will those in the media who pushed the Deficit Doom narrative during the early Obama years admit they were wrong?

      Suddenly deficits—something Every Serious Person cared about—are a total nonissue. The Beltway orthodoxy for decades—especially in the years following the 2008 economic crash—that deficits would crush our economy and render the United States insolvent is mysteriously absent from the Republicans’ plan to increase the deficit by equivalent of the GDP of Russia. (To say nothing of September’s budget-busting Defense bill—FAIR.org, 9/21/17.)

      During the early Obama years, nominally straight reporting frequently trafficked in deeply ideological assumptions about deficits and debt; echoing “deficit hawk” Paul Ryan and the “populist” Tea Party movement, they painted an image of apocalyptic doom…

    • EU dismisses May’s claim blue passports are sovereignty statement

      Britain could have chosen to have blue passports while remaining a member of the EU, the European parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator has said, dismissing Theresa May’s claim that the move is a victory for British sovereignty.

      The government has said blue passports will mean enhanced freedom for Britons, but EU officials have said they could spell travel delays and extra paperwork because of diminished travel rights post-Brexit.

      Guy Verhofstadt emphasised that there was no Brussels regulation stating that EU countries’ passports had to be a certain colour. There is a legally non-binding European council resolution from 1981 which recommends burgundy.

    • How Inequality Kills

      Contrary to the assumptions of left-liberal commentators, neoliberalism is not merely a bad policy adopted by “greedy” elites. It is in fact a fundamental systemic rejection of the post-laissez-faire settlement put in place in just about all of the developed capitalist countries after the Second World War. Out with the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society and forward with what is essentially a resurrection of 1920s capitalism. Because capitalism is a globally integrated system, if neoliberalism exists on a significant scale anywhere, it must exist everywhere. It is thus a “New World Order,” a phrase deployed by G. H. W. Bush and Adolf Hitler.

      Neoliberalism is an eminently rational arrangement for the capitalists and their political cronies who instituted it. The system is called capitalism, not laborism, because it was forged for centuries and is presided over by those whose overarching objective is to maintain a settlement that serves the interests of owners of capital. Adam Smith’s tome is called The Wealth of Nations, not The Income of Nations or The Wages of Nations. The bottom-line priority of those who own society’s most valuable asset, its means of production, is that society be organized around the continuous increase of wealth, especially the wealth and income of its wealthiest. The welfare state foils that project. The evidence is unambiguous: after the Depression and during the great expansion of the Golden Age, we witnessed the unprecedented: the share of national income flowing to the one percent continued to fall by an increasing percentage each decade during the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s. (1) These were the only years in American history when an essential feature of State policy was to increase social services benefitting the working class and redistribute income from the wealthiest to those who do society’s work. And these were also the only years in the history of the republic that featured ongoing and increasing downward redistribution. This was the result of New Deal and Great Society social legislation, and the power of labor unions. Hence, from the perspective of the enlightened capitalist, the legacy of these policies must be reversed.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformer of the Year: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

      Intentional fabrications packaged as legitimate news have become just another way for hyperpartisan websites to generate Facebook user engagement and cash in, launching outlandish lies into the mainstream. Users seem generally unable to differentiate between real and fake news, and as they see more and more conspiracy theories in their news feed, they become more willing to accept them.

    • MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski apologizes for remarks about Mark Halperin victims

      MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski apologized Friday evening after she angered some of the women who had accused veteran journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment or assault with comments she made earlier in the day on “Morning Joe.”

      “We have been trying our best on Morning Joe to have an honest conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Brzezinski said in a statement. “The issue has hit close to home given that Mark Halperin was on our show. I have spent a lot of time talking to some of his accusers and to Mark himself. Often I bring up the issue on our show because I think it would be less than genuine to talk about the growing number of cases without recognizing that a former member of our team acted very badly.”

    • Donald Trump redesigned the Presidential Challenge Coin, replacing “E pluribus unum” with “Make America Great Again”

      E pluribus unum (“Out of many, one”) has been an American national motto since 1782. It embodies two things trumpists hate: a highbrow phrase in a dead language deployed by early American aristos in the service of classing things up by excluding people who don’t read Latin; and a message of strength through unity and diversity.

      Trump’s agenda includes a constant, seemingly instinctive program to demoralize his opponents by trolling them with stupid shit that makes them embarrassed to share a nation, a political system, and (in the case of the whites who voted against him) a skin-color with him. This move makes his supporters happy — even if they’re not getting coal back or forcing all the Muslims and Mexicans into concentration camps, they still know that those fucking libs are as miserable as Fox News made them over the past twenty years of lies about impending Sharia law and Soros-funded Maoist guerrillas training for the Final Conflict — and it makes his opponents want to die. If he gets it just right, he makes those opponents so miserable they stay home and get drunk instead of putting on pussy hats and marching in the streets.

    • Trump Embodies the Crisis of Capitalism: A Conversation With Naomi Klein

      After the spate of disastrous floods, fires and quakes that have shocked us this year, this is a good time to revisit Naomi Klein, whose work continues to dig deep into the way that the global capitalists use shock and chaos to advance their agenda, regardless of the impact on the vulnerable. It’s hard to think of a national or global emergency that Donald Trump hasn’t tried to exploit for his own purposes, but still, a year after his election, roughly 30 percent of Americans polled continue to support his presidency. What is Trump selling? Who’s buying? And why? And what do those who consider themselves part of the resistance need to say “yes” to, after so many months and years of saying “no” to Trump and Trumpism?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • War Propaganda, Media Censorship and the “Conspiracy Theory” Meme. Project Censored 2016

      In recent years, as documented on this site and on the Global Research News Hour radio program, we have seen an acceleration in the level of propaganda and its ability to shape common narratives around war.

      The Assad government is blamed for virtually all the blood being spilt in Syria in recent years, in spite of evidence to the contrary. Russia, not NATO, is being blamed for an imperialist agenda for Ukraine and Eastern Europe. And a McCarthyist narrative accusing President Putin of interference in the 2016 US Presidential elections has taken hold in spite of an almost complete lack of evidence upholding that narrative.

      More to the point, reporters risk being tagged ‘conspiracy theorists’ or ‘Russian agents’ if they dare to challenge these and other official narratives.

      Billions of dollars of investment, not to mention political careers are dependent on maintaining these narratives, so it is understandable that dissident perspectives will sooner or later come under attack if the body politic begins to be influenced by them.

    • In Break From Past Leadership Role, US Gov Largely Missing From Internet Governance Forum

      The United States has been a steadfast supporter of the UN-led Internet Governance Forum since its inception over a decade ago, regularly bringing large and high-level delegations to the Forum. The US must have seen the forum as the lesser evil when governments from many continents pounded the desks during the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) conference in Tunis over the US special role in overseeing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and thereby the heart of the domain name system, the root zone. But IGF 2017, held this week, saw a dramatic change in that regard.

    • Saudi-Egyptian broadcast deal raises issue of censorship

      Saudi TV has signed a contract for the exclusive broadcast of two Egyptian drama series across the Arab world beginning during Ramadan 2018. On Dec. 8, Khaled Madkhali, director of state-owned Saudi TV, tweeted that he had signed a contract with Magnum Productions to broadcast “Hidden Worlds,” starring the legendary Egyptian actor Adel Imam, and “Tayeh,” starring the popular Amr Youssef. In a separate tweet, Madkhali added that the move is supported by Saudi Culture Minister Awad al-Awad, noting that it represents a quantum leap for Saudi TV. The cost of this deal has not been disclosed.

    • Letter: Censorship at the CDC is troubling

      It surprises me that there isn’t more concern about the censorship imposed at the CDC. At first, I thought it was “fake news.” Censorship is a way to limit thinking. Most fascist governments use it. North Korea, Nazi Germany, etc. If a government or cult, such as Scientology, limits words or books or any source of free thought, it encourages adherence to an ideology and doesn’t allow for open minded thinking. How can we let this happen in this country?

    • There Is No Ban on Words at the CDC

      HHS staffers have been telling those at CDC and other agencies that it would be better to avoid any phrases that might attract extra notice from the budget-slashers higher up the chain. This is tactical advice: They want to bolster the CDC’s position during these negotiations. Levin suggests that words like vulnerable, entitlement, or diversity might annoy Republicans in Congress and make them less inclined to grant requested funds. But it seems more likely that the same advice is meant to ward off cuts from OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and his team of budget hawks; after all, they’ve been more tight-fisted than even congressional Republicans. (The latter rejected the Trump administration’s most dramatic cuts to science spending earlier this year.)

    • Censoring Science at the CDC
    • HHS defends withholding comments critical of abortion, transgender policy
    • Parker: Some words and phrases deserve censorship

      Other, more intriguing words were mentioned in a meeting as possible “trigger” words that might so upset congressional Republicans that they’d slash funding. These were fetus, science-based, evidence-based and transgender. In some cases, alternatives were suggested, such as “unborn child” for “fetus.” In other words, if you want those people — congressional Republicans — to fund us, don’t use language they don’t like.

      One could call this either, “Oh, my God, they’re trying to ban words!” Or, you could call it common sense. I’m not sure which is more discomfiting, however: CDC guys worried that “science-based” would so frighten Republicans that they’d kill their budget, or, that this could possibly be true.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Report shows GCHQ has more offensive cyber-weapons but

      GCHQ, the UK’s cyber-intelligence agency, has substantially increased its ability to hack into devices, but its project to crack encryption has so far failed, according to a report by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).

      The committee, which oversees the work of all the UK intelligence agencies, has snuck out its annual report just as Parliament breaks up for Christmas. But amongst the various revelations it contains is the news that GCHQ has “over-achieved” in its programme to enhance its own cyber-attack capabilities.

    • Surveillance Battles: 2017 in Review

      If you’ve been following EFF’s work, you’ll know that we’ve been fighting against the creeping surveillance state for over 20 years. Often, this means pushing back against the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance programs, but as new technology becomes available, new threats emerge.

    • Facebook allows users to view past interaction with Kremlin-linked content [iophk: “every click is saved forever…”

      Facebook on Friday released a tool that allows users to see what Russian propaganda content they may have liked or followed on Facebook and Instagram.

    • Man in China sentenced to five years’ jail for running VPN

      “Anonymizers such as VPNs are a key enabler of human rights online,” said William Nee, a researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. “The fact that this man got such a long sentence for selling VPNs is a very worrying sign, and it reflects how the Chinese government is determined to punish those that try to jump over the Great Firewall and access information that isn’t subjected to the world’s most intense censorship regime”.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • At Google, Eric Schmidt Wrote the Book on Adult Supervision

      A good example of this give and take came over the issue of whether Google should create its own internet browser, which Page and Brin began urging in 2001. Schmidt considered the browser wars of the 1990s (where Microsoft used market power to vanquish rival Netscape) to be one of the defining experiences of his career. He urged them to hold off, fearing Microsoft’s wrath. Eventually, the founders convinced him that Google was in a position to create a superior product no matter what Microsoft did.

    • What Is Fascism? An Excerpt From “Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It”

      Shane Burley’s Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It looks at the rise of fascist politics in the US, how the different strands work, and the different, intersecting movements that have arrived to confront fascist violence. In the below excerpt, Burley discusses what exactly fascism is beyond the hype and misinformation.

      Building on a wealth of scholarship and research, Burley analyzes the foundational principles of fascism that tie together the battles of World War II to the neo-fascist “alt-right” insurgency.

      The search for what is called “generic fascism” has been ongoing since the Second World War. Does the Third Reich serve as a model even though it gave in to suicidal imperialism and a genocidal flurry of ethnic rage? Is the Iron Guard the perfect example even though it suppressed all other points to their prime enemy, “the international Jew?” Does Mussolini define the term since he invented it, though his racial policies were less pronounced than most? Does National Shinto in Japan provide a proper model even though its religious nature and distinct cultural landscape makes it unique?

      The journey, instead, has been to find a clean definition that would encompass all historical instances and, by virtue of its descriptive qualities, begin to rope in more recent movements, putting small insurrectionary movements on the same ideological footing as those that terrorized Europe. Many want to define fascism as a specifically interwar project, describing it in terms of its state policies, aesthetics, and particular aims — a definition that presumably leaves it in the past as no movements of any consequence match the NSDAP) or Italian Fascist Party directly. For many far-right philosophers, like Alt Right co-founder and former paleoconservative professor Paul Gottfried, fascism was merely a brief political project that attempted to reclaim the “True Right.” That right, he asserts, is in opposition to the “false right” that makes up much of American conservatism. Gottfried would agree with Hawley that American conservatism has been made up, primarily, of three elements: hawkish foreign policy, free market economics, and conservative social ideas defined, largely, by Christianity. But how does conservatism relate to human equality?

      Roger Griffin presents a concise, intensely ideological term to define fascism: “palingenetic ultranationalism.” His definition, which was taken up broadly by what is referred to as the “new consensus,” rejected the view popular in academia that fascism is defined by its structural qualities, those unique to World War II, instead of its ideological core. Instead of having a perfect generic example, Griffin identified the ideological types that are shared across cultures and time periods, using the theory of “ideological morphology.” Originally proposed by Michael Freeman, ideological morphology looks at what defining features a broad set of specific ideologies needs to be “recognizable.” This means the aesthetics, style, and organizational form does not define it, but rather the ideological qualities that can be shared broadly, in entirely different contexts. Fascism then is a form of extreme nationalism, broadly defined, that bases itself on a mythological past that a group intends to return to. This term does not reflect state policies, whether authoritarian or libertarian, because all of those are subservient to its meta-politics. The fascist project is not about achieving totalitarianism, it is about reclaiming the mythological identity and order, and if totalitarian means are the way to get there then so be it. The fascist projects of the past have used authoritarian political parties as their avenue to power as well as command economies to see a vision through, but all of that was due to their situation and political climate. In the modern fascist movement, a whole range of political possibilities are welcome, as long as they share a (somewhat) agreed-upon vision of the essentials.

    • Suman Raghunathan on Muslim Ban Return, Bruce Stanley on Don Blankenship

      Also on the show: Don Blankenship is the kind of guy who, when the mining company he runs is polluting the local water, will run a private pipeline over to the next town for his own home. And the kind of guy who, having been convicted with conspiring to break mine safety laws, leading to an explosion that killed 29 men, emerges from prison and announces a run for Senate. You might chuckle, but Blankenship’s confident recourse to Big Lie politics—he alleges his conviction was a state conspiracy—stands a better chance with an establishment press corps whose fears of “partisanship” make it hesitate to check lies with adequate force. We have a reminder of Don Blankenship’s record in a 2016 interview on the subject with attorney Bruce Stanley.

    • When Police Shoot a Man Who Was Stabbing Himself

      The Minneapolis police put Marcus Fischer in an interview room. He started to cut himself, so they shot him.

      A suspect in an armed robbery is sitting alone in a police department’s interview room. He takes out a knife and begins cutting himself with it, including his neck.

      You would think that the police would recognize this as a mental health crisis, a potential suicide, a situation that demands careful, nonviolent de-escalation techniques to keep everyone safe.

      But on Dec. 18 in Minneapolis, officers took another approach, with disastrous results. They tried to use a Taser on 18-year-old Marcus Fischer and then they shot at him. At least one bullet hit and wounded him, leaving Marcus in critical condition.

    • Dreamers Shouldn’t Lose DACA Status When They Follow the Rules

      We’re in court to make sure the Trump administration keeps its promises to Dreamers.

      This fall, the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers young undocumented people who came to this country as children temporary permission to work and live here. The decision threw the lives of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants into crisis. The president has repeatedly insisted that there’s “nothing to worry about” and that Dreamers can rest easy while Congress works on a legislative fix.

      But that’s proven to be false.

      By Christmas, about 13,500 young people will have lost their DACA status since the administration began letting DACA permits expire on Sept. 5. On average, another 122 young people are now losing DACA every day. If Congress doesn’t come up with a solution immediately, a thousand more will start losing their status each day starting in March.

      We’re also seeing the Trump administration target Dreamers who haven’t broken the program’s rules by revoking their DACA status even before their permits expire. Dreamers have lost their jobs, their driver’s licenses, and their ability to support themselves and their loved ones. They’ve been locked up in immigration jails and threatened with deportation.

    • The Trump Administration Might Be Trying to Strip the Citizenship of an American Detainee Held in Secret

      The Supreme Court has made clear that U.S. citizenship can only be voluntarily relinquished.

      Update (12/22/17): In its latest filing with the court, the government won’t say whether it is considering requiring the detainee to relinquish his American citizenship in exchange for his release from U.S. detention. The filing also states that the government does not believe it is legally required to allow him to consult an attorney before renouncing his citizenship.

      The Supreme Court has long held that American citizenship can only be voluntarily relinquished and the government can’t just take it away. But in a chilling new development, the Trump administration may be trying to coerce an American who has been secretly imprisoned without a lawyer to “voluntarily” give up his citizenship.

      For more than three months, the Trump administration has held the American citizen in a secret jail in Iraq, refusing even to release his name and depriving him of his liberty without charges or any opportunity to contest the government’s allegations before a judge. After a hearing last month in the ACLU’s motion for access to the detainee, the government admitted that it is also ignoring his request for a lawyer, in a brazen violation of his constitutional rights. “That kind of unchecked power is, quite frankly, frightening,” Judge Tanya S. Chutkan noted in response to the government’s insistence that it can continue to hold him without allowing him to consult an attorney.

      Now, according to a report in The New York Times, the government may be trying to deprive the prisoner of his citizenship as well. The report states that the Trump administration originally wanted to prosecute the man — but it has no evidence that would hold up in court. So, according to the Times, the government might offer the prisoner a bargain: If he “voluntarily” gives up his U.S. citizenship, the government could let him out of military detention and transfer him to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly a dual citizen.

    • What It Means to Fight for Technology Users in 2017

      EFF fights for technology users. We believe that empowering and protecting users should be baked into laws, policies, and court decisions, as well as into the technologies themselves. Since our founding in 1990, we have paired this goal with the common-sense recognition that in order to properly consider these questions, you need to listen to the voices of those who understand, deeply, how the technology works.

      This guidestar has served us from the very beginning of EFF. EFF helps courts and lawmakers recognize that the speech of Internet users must be protected against government censorship, that technology users should not be subject to overbroad search and seizure, and that strong encryption ensures that users have security and privacy in the digital world. We work to protect against copyright and patent laws that threaten technologies that empower users to co-create our culture—technologies like podcasts, user-created videos, and peer-to-peer filesharing. As users come to rely on the Internet—to find a job, connect with loved ones, speak out on issues of the day and organize for a better tomorrow—EFF’s role in standing up for users becomes increasingly important.

      So what does it mean to stand for the users in 2017 and looking into 2018? It means standing up to protect the fundamentals of democracy online, especially addressing the newly urgent needs of users organizing politically, while keeping up our longstanding role of encrypting the Web and combating mass surveillance.

    • Sheriff’s Office Directs Officers Not to Ticket Pedestrians for Failing to Carry ID

      The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has told its officers not to ticket pedestrians for not carrying a driver’s license and is voiding six such citations it erroneously issued.

      The tickets were identified in mid-November by ProPublica and the Times-Union in their Walking While Black investigation, which documented significant racial disparities in pedestrian citations and unearthed constitutional concerns surrounding how the Sheriff’s Office uses them as a policing tool.

      Lt. Chris Brown of the department’s Professional Oversight Unit wrote in an email that its investigation into the tickets had been sustained, and the citations were in the process of being voided. All but one of the pedestrians who received the false tickets is black.

    • Republican Senator Rand Paul Freezes Trump Nomination Over NSA

      Sen. Rand Paul is holding up the confirmation of a key national security official over concerns about a government surveillance program, an administration official confirmed to The Daily Beast.

      He has temporarily blocked John Demers –– currently Boeing’s assistant general counsel –– from being confirmed as Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s powerful National Security Division, according to that source. Paul’s concern about Demers, per sources, is that he has vocally defended Section 702 surveillance, which lets the NSA collect electronic communications.

      Paul’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story, though they did send out a press release on his “Special ‘Festivus’ Edition of ‘The Waste Report.’”

    • Confederate Statues Removed from Public Parks in Memphis

      In Memphis, Tennessee, statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and former Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest have been removed following a campaign led by a group called Take ’Em Down 901. On Wednesday night, the Memphis City Council voted to sell two city parks where the statues were located to a private nonprofit. Soon after, the statues were removed. The sale was done in order to get around a state law barring the removal of memorials from public property. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he had wanted the statues removed before April, when the city will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot dead in the city on April 4, 1968.

    • Arkansas Spurns Warehousing of Floundering Students

      As Leana Torres began high school, family crises — her estrangement from her father, her stepmother’s terminal cancer — shadowed her through the hallways. She experimented with drugs and got C’s, D’s and F’s in class.

      Torres could have become a casualty of her difficult home life — the sort of student school districts may all but write off because circumstances outside the classroom seem to overwhelm teachers’ best efforts. But she didn’t. When her mother and educators enrolled her in a public alternative school in Bentonville, Arkansas, they were opening doors for her, not shutting them.

      “My mom actually sent me here as a punishment,” says Torres, who has long dark hair and big brown eyes, “but it’s actually the best thing that’s happened to me.”

    • Justice Dept memo warns judges against being too sympathetic in child immigrant cases

      A Justice Department memo issued this week contains changes to guidelines for questioning unaccompanied and undocumented immigrant children, as well as directs judges to try such cases fairly despite “sympathetic allegations” that such cases may include.

      The memo issued Dec. 20 by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and obtained by Reuters eliminates previously-issued language instructing officials how to conduct “child-sensitive questioning” and requests judges be skeptical of minors who it says may be abusing the system.

      An unaccompanied minor “generally receives more favorable treatment under the law than other categories of illegal aliens,” the memo claims, which creates “an incentive to misrepresent accompaniment status or age in order to attempt to qualify for the benefits.”

    • Poland judiciary reforms: Judge accuses government of coup

      Poland’s most senior judge has published an open letter accusing the conservative government of “staging a coup” against the judiciary.
      It comes after the government passed controversial reforms that critics say threaten the rule of law in Poland.
      Malgorzata Gersdorf said the government was walking “along the abyss” into which the whole nation might fall.

    • Mamie Johnson, Woman Who Pitched in Negro Leagues, Dies at 82

      And in sports news, the pioneering professional baseball player Mamie Johnson has died at the age of 82. She was the only woman known to have pitched in the Negro Leagues. Over three seasons with the Indianapolis Clowns in the early 1950s, she won 33 games, while losing just eight. In 2009, Mamie Johnson spoke to the Visionary Project.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Why Loss of Net Neutrality Hurts Democracy

      The principle of every person having equal access to the Internet represented a strong pillar of modern democracy — and its removal represents another victory for profit-dominated plutocracy, as Dennis J Bernstein explains.

    • Who Can Clean Up the FCC’s Net Neutrality Mess?

      There are three possible paths to the reinstatement of the net neutrality protections stripped away through last week’s vote.

      Last week, the Federal Communications Commission took the long anticipated, widely disparaged step of doing away with net neutrality protections, over the objections of roughly 80 percent of Americans who support a level online playing field. Net neutrality is no more — unless, that is, the right people say that the FCC has gone too far.

      There are three possible paths to the reinstatement of net neutrality protections that were stripped away through last week’s vote.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • “Pirate” Streaming Service Sued by “Legal” Competitor

        This week an alleged pirate streaming service was sued in a Massachusetts federal court. The complaint was not filed by a copyright holder, but by a licensed streaming platform, which accuses the pirate service of civil conspiracy and unfair business practices, among other things.

      • Swedish Police Set to Take Over Pirate Bay Domains

        Police in Sweden have filed a formal request with domain registrar Binero to take ownership of two Pirate Bay-related domains. The move follows a decision from the Supreme Court this morning which determined that domain names constitute property that can be seized by the Swedish state.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023

  3. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)

  4. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  5. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)

  6. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)

  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023

  8. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape

  9. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend

  10. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)

  11. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that

  12. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)

  13. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day

  14. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day

  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023

  16. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

    Staff with technical skills won't stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself "Open Source"

  17. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

    Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail

  18. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Understand the Company's Value Proposition (Building Systems) and Rejects Security

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has failed to sell what it was actually good at; instead it hired unqualified people and outsourced almost everything

  19. Links 25/01/2023: NuTyX 23.01.1 and GNU Guile 3.0.9 Released

    Links for the day

  20. Links 25/01/2023: Stratis 3.5.0 and Many Political Links

    Links for the day

  21. New Record Low: Only One 'Linux' Article in ZDNet in More Than Two Weeks

    Only a few years ago ZDNet published about 3 “Linux” stories per day (mostly FUD pieces); now it’s a ghost town, painted in ‘alien green’; considering ZDNet’s agenda (and sponsors) maybe it’s better this way

  22. Links 25/01/2023: Pale Moon 32.0 and DXVK 2.1

    Links for the day

  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 24, 2023

  24. ISO Certification Hardly Tackles Any of the Real Issues

    The real-world threats faced by private companies or non-profit organisations aren't covered by the ISO certification mill; today we publish the last post on this topic before proceeding to some practical examples

  25. [Meme] Medical Data Sovereignty

    What happens when your medical records/data are accessible to a company based abroad after a mysterious NDA with the Gates Foundation? The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) does not mind.

  26. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Open Wash Ltd. and Medical Data/Projects at Risk/Peril

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was good at gloating about “ISO” as in ISO certification (see our ISO wiki to understand what ISO truly is; ISO certification needs to be more widely condemned and exposed) while signing all sorts of dodgy deals and lying to clients (some, like the Gates Foundation, were never mentioned because of a mysterious NDA); security and privacy were systematically neglected and some qualified as criminal negligence (with fines/penalties likely an applicable liability if caught/reported)

  27. Links 24/01/2023: Wine 8.0 is Ready, FSF Bolsters Copyleft

    Links for the day

  28. Azure Has Layoffs Again, Microsoft Still Cutting

    Even supposed ‘growth’ areas at Microsoft are being culled (this growth is faked, it is a lie)

  29. Links 24/01/2023: Tails 5.9 and ArcoLinux v23.02

    Links for the day

  30. Links 24/01/2023: GStreamer 1.22 and Skrooge Gets New Site

    Links for the day

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