01.02.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 2/1/2021: Nitrux 1.3.6, GNU Alive 2.0.3, Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” (210101), Cawbird 1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Firewall: Everything You Need to Know

      The Linux OS is famed for its awesome security system and protocols. This statement is the best-selling pitch that a Linux enthusiast will use to recruit a Linux newbie. No one wants to deal with a system prone to malicious attacks from unknown scripts or black hat hackers. Most of us can attest that we fell in love with Linux because its system did not need an antivirus. We did not need to scan every external device that made its way into our Linux system through the machine ports.

      However, the functional attributes and security infrastructure of the Linux OS make it perfect in our eyes but not in a network-centered infrastructure. Our Linux systems’ security in a domain that connects thousands of computers is not guaranteed the same way it is on a desktop computer or laptop that connects to the internet or any other network once in a while. Moreover, the activeness of these desktop computers and laptops with Linux systems might prompt a user to consider malware and rootkit scanners’ implementation to be safe from the assumption of total guaranteed security. However, this article is here to consider a solution to the network-based threats that might face our systems.

    • The 10 Best Open Source Firewalls for Linux
    • Kernel Space

      • New Linux Driver To Support Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller

        A few weeks ago, Roderick Colenbrander from Sony Interactive Entertainment sent a series of thirteen patches that introduces a new official Linux kernel driver to support the Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Game Controller.

        As the introduction patch says, the latest proposed hid-playstation driver aims to enable DualSense gamepad support operating in both Bluetooth and USB modes.

      • Linux 5.11 Gets New Framework To Help Avoid Burning Your Skin On Hot Devices

        While the Linux 5.11 merge window has been over for one week where new features are normally added, a power management pull request sent in today for mainline is adding some tardy features including the Dynamic Thermal Power Management (DTPM) framework that in part is designed to help ensure users don’t burn themselves with hot devices.

        Rafael Wysocki sent in the New Year’s Day power management updates for Linux 5.11. The changes include a crash fix for P-State, new C-states table for Intel Snow Ridge processors within the Intel Idle driver, and the new DTPM Framework.

      • A Fresh Linux For The Most Unexpected Platform – The Nintendo 64

        Though it was famously started by Linus Torvalds as “a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones“, the Linux kernel and surrounding operating system ecosystems have been ported to numerous architectures beyond their x86 roots. It’s therefore not unusual to hear of new ports for unsupported platforms, but it is extremely unexpected to hear of one when the platform is a games console from the mid-1990s. But that’s what [Lauri Kasanen] has done, announcing a fresh Linux port for the Nintendo 64.

        This isn’t a Linux from 1996 either. The port builds on an up-to-date kernel version 5.10 with his N64 branch and a tantalising possibility that it might be incorporated into the main Linux source for the MIPS-64 processor architecture. That’s right, the Nintendo 64 could be an officially supported Linux platform.

      • 11 Features That Didn’t Make It In 2020 For Linux 5.11

        For as great as Linux 5.11 is with its new features, there is also some prominent material that has yet to be upstreamed into the mainline kernel — some of which is likely to hit in 2021 while other changes have less likely ambitions for mainline.

    • Applications

      • Cawbird 1.3 Released with Improved DM Support, Video Uploading

        Cawbird 1.3 is available to download. The latest version of this GTK Twitter client for Linux desktops includes a number improvements to direct messaging.

        This post, Cawbird 1.3 Released with Improved DM Support, Video Uploading is from OMG! Ubuntu!. Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.

      • GTK+ Twitter Client ‘Cawbird’ 1.3 Released with Uploading Video Support

        Cawbird, free and open-source GTK+ Twitter Client for Linux, released version 1.3 with many new features, improvements, bug-fixes.

        Cawbird 1.3 comes with improved DM (Direct Messages). It adds ability to send media in DMs, delete DMs, load older DMs, and fixes DM load order issue.

        The new release includes new Vala implementation API allows to upload videos and larger animated GIFs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Richard W.M. Jones: Read and writing VMware .vmdk disks

        One advantage of this approach is that it exposes the extents in the disk which you can iterate over using libnbd APIs. For a backup tool this would let you save the disk efficiently, or do change-block tracking.

      • Restic Backups, A Flexible & Powerful Backup Solution – Front Page Linux

        The backup solution space is crowded. There are a multitude of applications, commands, and methodologies that are available. Choosing the right one is a daunting task that can definitely leave your head spinning. After having tried a few of the options out there, I have settled with Restic and here’s why.

      • Side for informatics: TDF-planet

        As I wrote earlier in a blogpost now we have the cypress.io test framework integrated into Collabora Online codebase. We use this test framework to run automatic tests against the code base as part of the CI process. When a test fails it’s crucial to have proper logging to make it easier to find out, why a test fails. Also, we need a way to add additional logging messages for debugging a test case in detail. In this post, I’ll try to summarize the different loggings available for cypress tests.

      • How to Install Tor and Tor Browser in Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This is a beginner’s guide shows how to install and setup Tor service and Tor Browser in Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20. It should also work in Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 16.04.

        Tor, The Onion Router, is a free and open-source service enables people to browser the internet anonymously. While Tor in Ubuntu main repositories is always old, here’s how to install the LATEST version and receive updates via its apt repository.

      • How To Rollback Fedora Silverblue To Previous Version – OSTechNix

        We already knew how to upgrade Fedora Silverblue to next available version. What if there is a problem with an update or upgrade? No worries! Fortunately, Silverblue keeps a record of previous previous, so we can easily downgrade or rollback Fedora Silverblue to previous version in no time. This can be helpful if the new version is unstable and/or not working properly.

      • How to Set Up ModSecurity with Apache on Debian/Ubuntu

        This tutorial is going to show you how to install and use ModSecurity with Apache on Debian/Ubuntu servers. ModSecurity is the most well-known open-source web application firewall (WAF), providing comprehensive protection for your web applications (like WordPress, Nextcloud, Ghost etc) against a wide range of Layer 7 (HTTP) attacks, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and local file inclusion.

      • How To Install Deepin Desktop Environment on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Deepin Desktop Environment on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Deepin is a default desktop environment for Deepin Linux Distribution. It is developed by a Chinese company Deeping Ltd. It is a sleekest and most beautiful and user-friendly desktop environment. Deepin comes with pre-installed Samba, Font Installer, Cloud Printing, and Application Store.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of the Deepin Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Latest Node.js on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to install latest Node.js and NPM on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. We need to add Node.js PPA to your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS systems and install it. Latest version of Node.js ppa is maintaining by its official website on Github. Node.js is one of the most popular web technologies to build network applications quickly.

        Same instructions you can apply for any Debian based distribution, including Kubuntu, Linux Mint and Elementary OS.

      • Install HPLIP 3.20.11 In Ubuntu 20.10 / Debian | Tips On UNIX

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install HPLIP 3.20.11 in Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, LinuxMint 20, and Debian 10.6.

        HPLIP – HP Linux Image and Printing, developed by HP for Printing, scanning, and faxing with HP inkjet and laser-based printers in Linux platforms.

      • Installing the official nvidia driver for a GeForce GTX970 | Arcolinux.com

        In this other article we install via pacman. That is the preferred way. Then pacman can actually manage the package. In this article we will use the .run file from nvidia.com.

        First look at the beneath to understand the steps we will have to take.

        The first video is for hybrid display laptops (Intel and Nvidia).

      • Get to know Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1 and learn to install it

        Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.1 enables admins to import and export VMs from Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure, as well as create multiple VM instances. The new version also improves paravirtualized images and boosts support for nested virtualization.

        Oracle VM VirtualBox is an open source hosted hypervisor first released in 2007. Through a series of corporate mergers and acquisitions, Oracle became VirtualBox’s official sponsor. IT administrators can download VirtualBox from Oracle’s website. Oracle uses the GNU General Public License GPL version 2 for VirtualBox as opposed to the more recent GPL version 3.

      • What is chattr command in Linux command-line utility.

        Chattr (Change Attribute) is a Linux command-line utility that sets and unset certain attributes in the file and directory to provide a level of security.

        If you also been confused like me. What’s the difference between chmod and chown? They both also been used to restrict access to file permission by changing mode and user.

        Look, Chattr behaves completely differently from both of them. Chattr is file system utility can only be used to restrict file for normal and root users. You can set an attribute to your file and directory to restrict editing, appending, or even restricting accidental delete of files.

        Let’s look at some examples to know more understand more deeply.

      • Command to Enable Minimize and Maximize Buttons on Pop!_OS

        Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro that is quite popular because of its good performance and user-centric approach. It has borrowed the AppCenter from Elementary to give access to a variety of open source applications to users. Furthermore, out of the box, it comes with only a few applications that are extremely needed in day to day usage.

      • Jonathan Wiltshire: WordPress in a subdirectory

        For many years now I’ve had WordPress installed as a subdirectory to my site but appearing to at the domain level, i.e. /wordpress/index.php is transparently presented as the homepage. This is done by setting the “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” settings and then mapping requests which do not match an existing file or directory through as a PHP pathinfo using Apache’s mod_rewrite rules in a .htaccess file or server configuration.

        In this way most of the site is WordPress’s dynamic pages and posts, but WordPress itself is neatly contained and random static resources such as /screentest/1024.GIF work as expected.

      • How to install KDE Plasma & Cinnamon on Pop OS Linux Desktop

        If you don’t like the default Gnome desktop of Pop OS then install the rich KDE Plasma or Cinnamon desktops with just one command and here in this tutorial, we will see how?

        Although Gnome is not bad at all, however, those who are used to Linux Mint’s Cinnamon and Windows Like interface definitely feel unfamiliar with it. Thus, if you want to install some other desktop on Pop OS, then that’s possible as well…

      • Linux Candy: BobRossQuotes – collection of quotes from Bob Ross

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

        Robert Norman Ross (Bob Ross) was an American painter, art instructor and television personality. Famous for his delightful hippie persona, his popular PBS television show The Joy of Painting (1983-94) brought him to the attention of the masses. Bob subsequently became widely known via his internet presence.

        Do you want Bob Ross to live on? Let’s take a look at BobRossQuotes, a simple Python program that offers up a collection of quotes from the man himself.

      • How to install Nvidia Drivers on Fedora Workstation

        The reputation of NVIDIA drivers is not a new concept to the world of operating systems. Experienced gamers will be quick to breakdown the properties and specs that made them go with these drivers. However, the experience provided by these custom-tailored drivers does not just side them with gamers alone but also DLCs (Downloadable Content) and patches for creative applications.

      • How To Install Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Erlang is a programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements for high availability. …

      • How to use symbolic links on Linux

        Symbolic links (or Symlinks) are files that act as shortcuts or references to another file or directory. Although different, roughly speaking, we can think of symbolic links as being similar to software shortcuts on the desktop: by clicking on them, we run a program that is stored elsewhere on the computer and, sometimes, even on another machine. But everything works so transparently that it looks like we’re clicking on the original executable.

        The use of symbolic links in Linux is very common: different programs tend to use links to libraries instead of replicating the file in another directory. This is also a good way to save disk space and system resources.

      • How to fix EACCES: permission denied, access ‘/usr/local/lib/node_modules’

        The permission error ‘EACCES permission denied access, /usr/local/lib/node_modules’ occurs in most cases when the user may have installed npm using a Node installer (which is not recommended since npm will be installed in a directory with local permissions which can give rise to permission errors in case npm packages are run globally, see documentation).

      • How to install Dash to Dock on Pop OS Linux distro – Linux Shout

        Dash to Dock is a gnome extension available to install on Linux distros that are using the Gnome Graphical user interface desktop environment. The purpose of it to allow users to hide the regular Gnome Dash which is a little bit confusing for new users. And instead of Dash, the extension will provide a Dock that can be customized and place on all four (top, bottom, left & right) sides of the screen as per the ease of usage.

      • How to install Project64 on a Chromebook with Crossover 20

        Today we are looking at how to install Project64 on a Chromebook with Crossover 20. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Installing the official nvidia driver on a hybrid graphical system – msi gt70 – gforce gtx670m | Arcolinux.com

        In the other article we install via pacman. That is the preferred way. Then pacman can actually manage the package. In this article we will use the .run file from nvidia.com.

      • How to Install Nvidia Driver in Ubuntu Linux (GUI and CLI method)

        If you are a beginner Ubuntu user, you may find it a bit tricky and confused on how to install the Nvidia drivers. This quick guide explains two methods – graphical and command line to install Nvidia driver in Ubuntu Linux.

      • How to add local songs directory on Spotify

        As you know, many songs easily available on YouTube. So, recently I switched to Spotify because of its awesome music experience and audio quality.

        When I am searching all my video songs on Spotify, I found there are only a few of them available. To listen to a song, I have to use some media player like VLC. If you like me, then you also don’t want to have multiple apps.

        So, after spending a couple of hour on the internet I came through that we can easily share our local music directory to another device connected in the same network in Spotify.

    • Games

      • Valve’s Steam Data For December Points To A Huge Dip For Linux Gaming Marketshare – Phoronix

        Valve just published their Steam Survey numbers for December 2020 and it’s a huge letdown for Linux gamers if the numbers are indeed accurate.

        According to the published numbers from Valve, the Linux marketshare on Steam represented just 0.57%, or a drop of 0.33% compared to the month prior. The December 2020 figures show Windows picking up just over 1.6% while macOS losing 1.31% marketshare down to 2.14%. These numbers are a huge upset for both Linux and macOS gaming.

      • What was hot on GamingOnLinux through December 2020

        Here is a look back some of the most popular articles on GamingOnLinux for December 2020, an easy way to for you to keep up to date on what has happened in the past month for Linux gaming, open source and other general Linux news that we cover!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Tease ‘Production Ready’ Wayland Support, New App Menu in 2021

          KDE developer Nate Graham has shared a preview of the KDE roadmap for 2021 and — spoiler warning — it includes several interesting changes that fans of this free software stack are going to love.

          [...]

          And there are big plans for KDE Plasma Wayland support too.

          The KDE/Wayland situation has improved over the course of the past twelve months. It’s not the default session I use on my KDE Neon install, but it is way more usable now than it was this time last year.

          Next year devs plan to make it even better.

          Graham predicts that the “…trend of serious, concentrated Wayland work [will] continue in 2021, and finally make Plasma Wayland session usable for an increasing number of people’s production workflow.”

          It’s hopped that the KDE Plasma Wayland experience will become “production ready” in 2021 — so watch this space!

        • KDE In 2021 Should See Production-Ready Plasma Wayland, Other Improvements

          KDE developer Nate Graham who has made a lot of contributions to KDE in recent years and is well known for his weekly KDE development summaries has published a 2021 roadmap for the year.

          Based on being intricately involved with all things KDE, Nate published a New Year’s Day roadmap looking at likely accomplishments for the desktop environment this year.

          Among the 2021 roadmap items are delivering on a “production ready” Plasma Wayland session, properly handling fingerprint support throughout the KDE stack, completing the Breeze Evolution icon work, creating a replacement for the Kickoff application launcher, and support for re-flowing text within the Konsole terminal emulator when it’s being resized.

        • KDE Will Make Plasma Wayland Ready for the Masses in 2021, Improve Fingerprint Support

          I think 2020 has been a great year for KDE and its ever-growing Plasma and Apps ecosystem, especially because of the launch of the PinePhone KDE Community Edition Linux smartphone, but also because of the numerous updates that the popular desktop environment and related applications received.

          KDE Plasma is getting bigger, more powerful, and featureful with each new release, and 2021 looks to be an amazing year for developing one of the most used Linux desktop environments ever.

        • KDE roadmap for 2021

          We’ll finally finish up polkit-in-kio, which got closer in 2020 but didn’t quite make it. 2021 will be the year! We will probably also get power/session actions in the lock screen as this feature is necessary for Plasma Mobile, and making it work in the Plasma Desktop session as well will be fairly simple. Per-screen scaling on X11 seems unlikely given our renewed focus on Wayland, and on that subject…

          I’ll be honest: before 2020 the Plasma Wayland session felt like a mess to me. Nothing worked properly. But all of this changed in 2020: suddenly things started working properly. I expect the trend of serious, concentrated Wayland work to continue in 2021, and finally make Plasma Wayland session usable for an increasing number of people’s production workflows.

        • This week in KDE: Happy new year!

          Kate’s CTags plugin now includes a “Go to symbol” feature (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.04)

          Dolphin now lets you modify the entries in the context menu so you can remove items you never ever use (Duong Do Minh Chau, Dolphin 21.04)…

        • Even With The New Year’s Holidays, KDE Still Saw Some Improvements This Week

          While development on KDE (and other open-source projects too) was lighter this week as a result of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the KDE desktop still saw some refinements this week.

          On top of the KDE 2021 road-map, developer Nate Graham published his usual weekly development summary of the happenings for the week. Ending out 2020 for the KDE project included work on:

          - The Dolphin file manager now supports modifying the context menu to remove items that you are likely never to use.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Joaquim Rocha: That year we’ll all remember

          Let’s first address the microscopic elephant in the unventilated rooms. This section requires no introduction, though.

          Looking back, going to FOSDEM in the first weekend of February now seems completely crazy, especially knowing now that the virus was already in Europe then. I wonder how many of us got it with mild symptoms back then, and assumed we were having the infamous “FOSDEM flu”.

          I am lucky that the confinement didn’t apparently affect me too much. Prior to Kinvolk, I had been working remotely for several years, so I was already used to the loneliness of this way of working. Besides, in Berlin we were living in a house with a small backyard where the kids could play, so we were lucky in that regard as well.
          Of course working with the kids at home is never the same as working alone, and it was not great for the kids to be for such a long time away from their friends. Like everyone, I do have many stories related to the confinement rules, but I will refrain from writing those in this post.

          [...]

          As I wrote last year, I didn’t expect to have any time to devote to tech stuff outside of work and that was certainly true. I even let the GNOME Foundation membership expire during the preparations for the move… But let’s see how the year develops.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Deepin 20.1 has Arrived

          In typical fashion, the developers of Deepin Linux have opted to take the road less traveled and release a version of their Linux distribution that shuns the typical and offers up a release that will turn heads and have some open source enthusiasts shaking their heads in wonder.

          Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, is up to the beholder.

        • Deepin 20.1 Installation Steps with Screenshots

          Deepin is a user-friendly Debian based Linux distribution. It is a free and open source operating system mostly used at desktop level. Recently stable version of Deepin 20.1 has been released. Deepin 20.1 comes with stable kernel version 5.4 and Debian 10.6 package repositories.

          In this article, we will cover Deepin 20.1 OS Installations steps with screenshots. Following are the minimum system requirements for Deepin 20.1

        • Nitrux 1.3.6 Released with KDE Plasma 5.20.4 and #Linux 5.10 LTS, More AppImages

          Continuing the monthly release cycle, Nitrux 1.3.6 is here to provide you with an up-to-date installation media consisting of Linux 5.4.83 LTS as default kernel, Linux 5.10.4 LTS and Linux 5.9.16 as alternative kernels that you can install from the distro’s repositories, as well as the latest KDE Plasma desktop and applications.

          These include the KDE Plasma 5.20.4 desktop environment point release, as well as KDE Applications 20.12.0 and KDE Frameworks 5.77.0 software suites, all compiled against the Qt 5.15.2 open-source application framework.

        • Changelog: Nitrux 1.3.6

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.3.6. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.
          Nitrux 1.3.6 is available for immediate download.

        • Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” Released With Dr460nized Gaming Edition

          After Garuda Linux “Golden Eagle” and “Black Eagle,“ the Garuda team has announced the release of a new version (first of this year 2021) called Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” (210101).

          For those who don’t know, Garuda Linux is an Arch-based free and open-source operating system. It features Btrfs as the default filesystem with Zstd compression and several home-baked GUI applications.

        • Garuda Linux “Serpent Eagle” (210101)

          It’s once again time for a new release, and we have got quite some nice changes for this one!

          Even though December has been a rough month due to big infrastructure changes we still had time to improve a lot of things – apart from much needed QoL changes some of our Garuda applications got some major improvements to how it handles user interaction.

          [...]

          As there has been a massive increase of Telegram users lately (962 at the time of writing this post!) its impossible to do proper support there. Please use the forum as a place to search for help!

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • First Distro Testing of 2021: OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Argon RC

          Yesterday, I read the DistroWatch announcement that OpenMandriva 4.2 RC had been released, so I decided to download it to give it a quick glimpse.

          All the technicalities are found here. To a non-technical Linux user like me, they do not say much, except for the upgraded versions of the programs I use, like Firefox, LibreOffice, etc.

          I really want to see how this new release looks on my desktop, so I used the Rosa Image writer to create the live USB and ran it. This is what I found:

          1. It does not have any problem to boot with my nagging UEFI PC. That’s great!

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 RC Released With Linux 5.10, Completed AArch64 Port

          OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 was released last February while now we are closing in on the release of OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 for that Mandriva/Mandrake-derived Linux distribution.

          Back in the summer OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha was released with an anticipated beta in December. However, after internal testing the developers decided to go straight to a release candidate after being more than satisfied with the quality of the proposed beta. Barring any serious bugs from coming up, the developers expect to release OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 very soon.

        • Mageia Artwork Voting

          With the first release candidate due in the coming weeks, it’s time to get the artwork for Mageia 8 finished. Before we get down to choosing the images, it’s really great to see all of the submissions and how creative people are, they will definitely help make Mageia 8 look great, our thanks to everyone that has given their time for this.

          There will be two votes, one for backgrounds and one for screensavers. The signature background will be chosen from the top 5, the runners up will be included as additional backgrounds. The screensavers will be taken from the top 20 images that are suitable.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed on the Banana Pi BPI-M2 ZERO

          I recently got myself a Banana Pi M2 Zero board while ordering other stuff at an electronics distributor. The M2 zero is the same form factor and feature set as the Raspberry Pi Zero W (the GPIO pin headers are said to be compatible, it has WiFi and Bluetooth built in and an USB OTG port). The CPU is an Allwinner H2+, a quad-core ARM processor running a 1GHz clock speed, RAM size is 512MB. Processing power is probably comparable to a Raspberry Pi 2 board.

          I bought the M2 Zero to use it with an RTLSDR stick to receive the signal of my outside RF temperature sensor. This worked with the Raspberry Pi Zero W, but was a bit too much for the slower CPU which has other more important things to do anyway (playing internet radio ;-), so the M2 Zero was a cheap, more powerful alternative. The box will be running headless and thus I do not care about support for graphics and multimedia anyway.

          In the end, I switched the RF receiver to a RaspyRFM board whih is using less energy and simpler to use than an RTLSDR stick just to receive some sensors and now the M2 Zero board is free for tinkering…

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/53

          The last week of 2020 has come to an end. Tumbleweed had been rolling steadily throughout the entire year and did went for the big finale of the year with a whopping 7 snapshots (1224, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1228, 1229 and 1231).

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware-Based Slackel 7.4 Released with Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, Full Portability

          Coming six months after Slackel 7.3, the Slackel 7.4 release is now available in a lightweight form with the Openbox window manager by default. KDE Plasma and MATE editions may follow in the next days or weeks, but for now let’s have a look at the general changes that apply to all of them.

          First and foremost, Slackel is now powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which means top-notch hardware support. Slackel 7.4 includes the recently released Linux kernel 5.10.4 by default, and also comes with all the latest updates from Slackware’s ‘Current’ tree for the best possible Slackware Linux experience.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Top 10 Reasons to Use Fedora Workstation

          What is a Fedora Workstation, if you may ask? If an operating system can be described as powerful, user-friendly, and reliable, then by default, we have found the first clue to this puzzle. The Fedora workstation is not just built for developers. In a corporate environment, it is also ideal for both professionals and students. It also extends a welcoming hand to hobbyists that seek to explore its design architecture and functional process.

          This article seeks to bait your technical mindset to consider the uses and applicability of a Fedora Workstation. However, this article’s bait is as sweet as this Linux distro, and there are no consequences to considering it except for the outcome of technical awesomeness. Before we indulge with the reasons why you belong to Fedora, we should first honor the features that make Fedora a suitable candidate for this article piece.

        • IWB, IBM Emeritus: The Evolution of American Capitalism – Tweaks, Reforms, or Wholesale Change?

          “American capitalism has evolved time and again, and we may be poised for another such shift,” said a recent McKinsey article, Rethinking the future of American capitalism, by James Manyika, Gary Pinkus, and Monique Tuin. “Capitalism has contributed to significant gains in economic growth and prosperity throughout its history. But at a time of growing public discontent about rising inequality, heightened competition from economies with different models, and existential threats including from climate change, capitalism in its current form – and American capitalism in particular – may face its most serious test.”

          Adam Smith, the 18th century Scottish philosopher and economist, is generally considered the father of free-market, free-trade capitalism. Smith is most famous for The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776 and generally regarded as the first work of modern economics. He’s also well known for his famous metaphor of the invisible hand – “the free market, while appearing chaotic and unrestrained, is actually guided to produce the right results by this so-called invisible hand.”

          Smith believed in a balanced approach to capitalism. On one side is the fierce competition and self-interest inherent in open, free markets. On the other, – as he wrote in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, – is the sympathy and community support that’s required to achieve beneficial results in well functioning, stable societies.

        • Happy New Year! 5 things we learned last year

          “This year, entire industries went to basically a standstill. Most of the tech industry, though, has had the opposite experience. Demand for cloud, hardware, and open source solutions to remote IT problems grew at an astronomical rate. I am grateful for the job security, but I know there is also a very real risk to our well-being, and that is pushing too hard for too long. Growth is not sustainable when it risks breaking down our own personal well-being and relationships! The first thing I am doing in 2021 is organizing my time to devote more to healthy non-work-related hobbies, exercise, and family. As we slowly get back into some semblance of normality, let’s pursue healthy goals—like getting a little extra sleep and turning off our screens for some set time each day!” — Jeff Geerling, author of Ansible for DevOps and Ansible for Kubernetes

          “A lot of people talk about wanting to return to normal, but before we jump back into the old ways of doing things, let’s take a step back and consider what we should strive to keep in terms of work-life balance. Gone are the days of only being home long enough to unpack and repack a suitcase for the next business trip. Perhaps many of us don’t need to resume our road-warrior ways. I urge everyone to at least consider whether you really need to attend that meeting in person and make some thoughtful decisions as you start back up. Working during your optimal creative hours may not coincide with “normal business hours” or your coworker’s best hours, and many people were just as productive working split shifts or four-day workweeks. We don’t need to go back to 50 or 60-hour workweeks. In terms of working from home, we all felt the pain that veteran remote workers have experienced for years, and we found ways to work through it and figure things out. As some of us return to the office, keep those practices of remote celebrations and asynchronous communications in place to help those who remain remote feel included.” — Dawn Parzych, a developer advocate

          “This has been the most interesting and challenging year I have ever experienced. While missing close contact with family, tools like Google Meet, Jitsi, and Zoom enable us to keep in touch in powerful and flexible ways. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, we had been keeping in touch with family using Zoom and Jitsi. My mom turned 100 years-old in October, and we were able to attend her virtual birthday party from over 400 miles away; we live in Raleigh, NC, and she lived with my brother and his family in Columbus, OH. Mom died in November, so her birthday was the last time I saw her and that was only possible with today’s technology. I have also found lots of opportunities to learn many new things. My church needed to create and post audio versions of the services, so I have learned to use Audacity to take audio files from different sources and blend them together into a single file that can be streamed from the church’s server. I am just now learning OBS studio so we can live stream our services with only a couple of participants present in person.” — David Both, a Linux trainer, writer, and speaker

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ReactOS in 2020

        Despite all the turbulence, it has been quite a productive year for ReactOS. Many bugs and instabilities were resolved, many more have been introduced. This year we hired two kernel developers full-time, this happened for the first time in the project’s history.

      • ReactOS Has Been Steadily Improving As An Open-Source Windows Implementation

        ReactOS as the long work-in-progress open-source operating system implementation of Windows enjoyed much progress over the course of 2020.

        ReactOS over the course of 2020 saw shell improvements, usability enhancements to its application manager, upgrading to GCC 8.4 and CMake 3.17 as its central build components, progress on Clang compiler support (albeit still not yielding bootable binaries yet), the new storage stack was merged, Kernel-Mode Driver Framework support, enhancements to its memory management code, plug-and-play enhancements, and more.

      • Web Browsers

        • TabFS

          TabFS is a browser extension that mounts your browser tabs as a filesystem on your computer.

          Out of the box, it supports Chrome and (to a lesser extent1) Firefox, on macOS and Linux.2

          Each of your open tabs is mapped to a folder.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Alive 2.0.3 available
            release notes:
            
              Maintenance release.  Happy new year.
            
            README excerpt:
            
              GNU Alive is a keep-alive program for internet connections.
              It repeatedly pings a series of user-specified hosts, thereby
              encouraging (one hopes) the involved networks to not disappear.
            
            NEWS for 2.0.3 (2021-01-01):
            
              - Scheme auto-compilation suppressed during ‘./configure’
            
                The configure script runs several Scheme programs as part of its
                normal operation.  These used to be auto-compiled by Guile 2.x,
                which was unnecessarily profligate.  Now, auto-compilation is
                suppressed by way of env var ‘GUILE_AUTO_COMPILE=0’.
            
                NB: Operation of GNU Alive, itself a Scheme program, will still
                trigger auto-compilation unless suppressed in a likewise manner
                by the user.
            
              - bootstrap/maintenance tools
            
                upgraded:
            
                 GNU texinfo 6.7
                 GNU Automake 1.16.3
                 GNU Autoconf 2.70
                 GNU Guile 2.0.13
                 Guile-BAUX 20201108.2335.8592e21
            
                as before:
            
                 (none)
            
            tarball and detached signature:
            
            http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/alive/alive-2.0.3.tar.lz
            
            
            http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/alive/alive-2.0.3.tar.lz.sig
            
            
            http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/alive/alive-2.0.3.tar.xz
            
            
            http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/alive/alive-2.0.3.tar.xz.sig
            
            source code:
            
            http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/alive.git?h=p
            
            homepage:
            
            http://www.gnu.org/software/alive/
            
            
          • GNU Alive 2.0.3 available

            GNU Alive is a keep-alive program for internet connections.

      • Programming/Development

        • Some Vue + Django tips

          As I wrote last time, I currently develop a web app based on Django and Vue using the django-compressor-parceljs. I’d like to mention some small things that I’ve learned since last.

        • Which programming language and technologies should you learn in 2021?

          It’s 2021 and if you’re looking to learn a new programming language, DevOps tool, public cloud, or infrastructure items, the big question is which one to go for? Here are my picks on where to invest your time and energy.

          This article was inspired from a pre-Christmas catch-up with a good friend and former colleague who spoke about his love for tech but wondered where he should put his time if he’s to learn new things in 2021. Those who have been in the industry for some time have seen no end of changes.

          Once it was pretty simple; C and C++ were the programming languages to learn, with UNIX an established enterprise operating system and Windows an emerging contender. Pascal was being taught, which led to Delphi before Java emerged with its built-in memory management. The Internet, once a secret of military and education, exploded in reach and popularity bringing with it JavaScript – a naming choice seeking to leverage the Java brand despite having no connection. Microsoft’s .NET hit the scene bringing a new way of developing Windows Forms apps before WinForms became passe as XAML evolved. Now the web is the application delivery platform of choice, operating systems are largely irrelevant, and public clouds bring infrastructure to the masses with low barriers to entry. DevOps – the application of programming disciplines to infrastructure assets – is serious business, as is data and analytics.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Mohammad S Anwar: Annual Report – 2020

            The highlights of 2020 is the growth of The Weekly Challenge. I had incredible support and encouragement from each and every member of Team PWC. I would like to take this opportunity to thank, Pete Sergeant of Perl Careers, for the generosity and sponsoring the prize money. I am happy to announce that Pete agreed to continue in the year 2021 as well.

            I am blessed to have the guidance and support by many big names of the Perl Community. First name is, Neil Bowers, I have even had the honour to work with him. He always encouraged me to push my boundary. He is the one who encouraged to give talk at London Perl Workshop. Before that I had zero experience in presenting talks. Now after so many years, I have given talks at various Perl Conference across Europe. There is one more person who shaped my growth and he is Gabor Szabo. Funny, I have never met him personally. I still remember my first interaction with him when he asked me if I am interested in giving interview. That interview changed me completely. I remember one incident, when Gabor offered to be my partner-in-crime while contributing to Dancer2 project. It was great experience working together as remote pair-programming. Final nail in the coffin was when I became co-editor of Perl Weekly newsletter. I really gave him hard time first few weeks and but then with his help I understood the nitty-gritty of being a co-editor. Today, I am the co-editor with the most editions after him. It is a big deal for me. At the start of Dec 2020, Gabor, offered me to collaborate in one of his project. What a shame, I haven’t completed the draft. I hope to get it done soon, sorry Gabor.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Please promote ODF with these posters!

        The posters, available at high resolution in several shapes, have been made to “spread the ODT – ODS – ODP [formats] to all people in all countries”, in order to encourage everybody to “change their habits of saving as DOC – XLS – PPT formats [because the] ODT – ODS – ODP formats are better”.

      • When you make digital archives in the wrong way…

        The take-home lesson is…

        that problems that seem technological very often are, in fact, technological. They are a mix of bureaucratic incompetence, and ignorance. A digital archive planned, done and regularly updated in the right way has many more probabilities to remain available and widely usable for centuries than one made of paper.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Welcome 2021! Go Away, 2020!

      Four years of the worst, most malicious, most demagogic, most crooked, most lying president in American history will come to an end in less than three weeks.

    • Opinion | 2020 Be Gone
    • My Favorites of 2020
    • The Takeout Society

      There is natural beauty in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains here, but that beauty is challenged by the increasing number of people who come here.

      Where the bloated sense of importance comes from is hard to fathom since the area is not one in which typical working-class and middle-class people can hope to earn a living? There is a small professional class and tradespeople, but the kinds of jobs that fueled a successful economy for some in the post-World War II world no longer exist. Tourism, the economic buttress of the area, only pays a few at the top the means to live here. Other people hang on to survive. A major defense contractor, General Electric, left the largest city in the area, Pittsfield, taking with it many good-paying jobs and leaving PCBs behind that are still the object of controversy and environmental problems.

    • Right Now: The New Year

      This is because the reliability of any representation is at the very start questioned and more disturbingly rejected without question. Whether the percentage of Americans that are so anti-realist, in the philosophical sense that there is neither truth nor reality independent of what we say they are, decreases, and that faith in rational/empirical investigations of the way things are independent of our views and theories regains its hold on American political and social order is an undecidable issue here at the start of 2021.

      What we do know is that no such order of things has been ever built on such undecidability, on aporia — the absence of a clear path. Such absence has proved fatal in America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Cyberspace’s “reality” of disembodied communication antiquates non-synthetic life; the logic of the algorithm antiquates the slow emotional, sensuous, imaginative, rational responses of our human faculties. Immersion in web life is an immersion in the hyperreal; and here, where an infinitude of clashing narratives bombard in a never-ending shitstorm, a shared path, a common understanding can no longer be found.

    • Breakfast Table With Jewish Newsletters
    • Education

      • Girls’ Education is Another Casualty of the Coronavirus Pandemic

        When compared to boys, unequal access to education holds back millions of girls and women across the world. According to UNESCO estimates, 132 million girls are out of school. While the “gender gap” in education has narrowed over the past decade, girls are still at a disadvantage, particularly in accessing high school education.

        This gender gap is generally wider at higher levels of schooling. According to some estimates, women in South Asia, for example, have only half as many years of education as men, and female enrollment rates at the high-school level are two-thirds that of males. And women still constitute two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population.

    • Hardware

      • Great Timing

        With a keen interest in all things “retro”, I’ve previously bought copies of Fusion Magazine, which I’ve enjoyed. Shortly after I blogged yesterday about The Best Portable Spectrum, I received a marketing email from Fusion Retro Books. With impeccable timing, they’re promoting a new Spectrum game, called Neadeital by Matt Birch.

      • Dell Latitude D630 Retirement – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        With the digit changes into the new year, so goes some changes for the layout of the tech in my home. My new HP EliteBook needs a place besides my lap or in a computer bag and my Dell Latitude D630 that has been beside my main machine has been getting less and less use due to the encumberment of the Nvidia GPU. This D630 has served me well since I purchased it new from Dell in 2007.

        [...]

        I know it is silly to anthropomorphize a computer but I can’t help but to have a kind of connection with the technology. It has been a tool to get my work done, entertained, educated and allowed me to explore many aspects of tech for many years. It was also the first business grade laptop I purchased from the manufacturer that I spent countless hours researching. I really believe I would continue to use it if not for the Nvidia GPU as performance wise, it does a great job in many other aspects.

        What this has cemented for me is that I will avoid proprietary hardware, like Nvidia from this point forward. I will most certainly steer clear of anything where I am limited by the corporate decisions of a company that cares little about the long term viability of their products.

      • ESP32-S3 dual-core WiFi and Bluetooth LE 5 SoC supports AI acceleration for AIoT applications
    • Health/Nutrition

      • In 2020, COVID Put a Mirror Up to Our Society
      • US Barely Kept Track of the Nearly 3,000 Health Care Workers That Died in 2020
      • Opinion | “Those of Us Who Don’t Die Are Going to Quit”: A Crush of Patients, Dwindling Supplies and the Nurse Who Lost Hope

        Almost a year into the pandemic, supply shortages remain so severe that nurse Kristen Cline reuses her N95 for several shifts while her hospital buckles, patients suffer and folks nearby socialize maskless as if the pandemic were already over.

      • Trump’s Racism Has Now Killed 1 in 1000 Americans in Less Than a Year

        How is it that in Australia it’s 3 out of every 100,000 people, and in New Zealand it’s 1 out of every 200,000 people, but here in America we’re dropping like flies?

        Chalk it up to Republican racism and a libertarian indifference to the notion of society.

      • Colonization Fueled Ebola: Dr. Paul Farmer on “Fevers, Feuds & Diamonds” & Lessons from West Africa

        We continue our conversation with medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, whose new book, “Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds,” tells the story of his efforts to fight Ebola in 2014 and how the history of slavery, colonialism and violence in West Africa exacerbated the outbreak. “Care for Ebola is not rocket science,” says Dr. Farmer, who notes that doctors know how to treat sick patients. But the public health response was overwhelmingly focused not on care but containment, Dr. Farmer says, which “generated very painful echoes from colonial rule.”

      • Dr. Paul Farmer: Centuries of Inequality in the U.S. Laid Groundwork for Pandemic Devastation

        As the United States sets records for COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, we speak with one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases, Dr. Paul Farmer, who says the devastating death toll in the U.S. reflects decades of underinvestment in public health and centuries of social inequality. “All the social pathologies of our nation come to the fore during epidemics,” says Dr. Farmer, a professor of medicine at Harvard University, chair of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder and chief strategist of Partners in Health.

      • “Those of us who don’t die are going to quit”: Overwhelmed hospitals and the nurse who lost hope

        The COVID-19 pandemic came at a tough moment for the agency, which was more than a year into a massive reorganization by the administration of President Donald Trump that left hundreds of jobs empty and sent the VA scrambling to hire contract positions to help with, among other things, procurement of supplies.

      • People’s Vaccine: Calls Grow for Equal Access to Coronavirus Vaccine as Rich Countries Hoard Supply

        While the United States, Britain and other wealthy countries race to vaccinate their populations against the coronavirus, a new report finds that as much as 90% of the population in dozens of poorer countries could be forced to wait until at least 2022 because wealthy countries are hoarding so much of the vaccine supply. A growing movement is calling for the development of a people’s vaccine and the suspension of intellectual property rights to expand access. We speak with Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni, a policy adviser to the People’s Vaccine Alliance, and Achal Prabhala, a public health advocate and coordinator of the AccessIBSA project, which campaigns for access to medicines in India, Brazil and South Africa.

      • A Poet’s Work

        A cheerfully reassuring letter from our local branch of a corporate- phony-not-for-profit hospital chain sincerely informs us of their commitment to keeping us all healthy. That must be why the nurses on the Acute Care Ward are assigned seven patients when the stated limit is three. It is so good to know the salaried bureaucrats out there care about me. That must be why with small bars, cafes and restaurants daily tanking our County Health Department raised their annual permit fee accompanying the pain-in-the-ass application with a severely threatening letter printed on hot-pink paper letting us know late submissions would not be tolerated and subject to serious fines andwithdrawal of their permission for our very existence. A man could drown is all this caring. That must be why with millions hungry and homeless and millions more facingbankruptcy and eviction our beneficent elected leaders benevolently decidedto send each tax-paying American the magnanimous sum of six-hundred dollars while they blissfully pissed away billions on tax cuts for millionaires, corporate handouts andsuperfluous munitions to blow up more brown people, all before Congress adjourns and goes home for Christmas to celebrate the birthday of Jesus who famously taught us to hate and obliterate all of our enemies and to let the destitute suffer for they surely deserve it. Gandhi said Christianity was a wonderful theory he’d love to see put into practice. I second that radical motion as we are now in dire need of new old-school gospel religion that does not genuflect before the All-Mighty Dollar.

      • Go Bonobos in 2021

        Blame it on tRump.

        Blame it on the Coronapocalypse.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for the start of 2021

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libxstream-java and p11-kit), Mageia (curl and minidlna), and openSUSE (groovy).

          • Very Pwnable Network (VPN)

            This research starts with a weird series of crashes on Jiska’s iPhone. Due to her ongoing paranoia, she decided to use a VPN, and because she had to trust her university’s network anyway, she decided to use her university’s Cisco VPN service. Obviously, this did not go well, and soon she had crash logs with memory accesses to invalid addresses, because these addresses were representing Strings?! These errors only occurred when she had bad network connectivity and no debugging enabled, so nobody was able to reproduce them. Either way, to start analyzing Cisco AnyConnect security, the more accessible Linux client was the first option. Gerbert did a detailed analysis and documented how this client works, since there was no documentation at all and users basically install a black box on their system. The application is by no means just a VPN client anymore. In addition to VPN connections, the application offers a number of special features like auto updating, file deployment and host assessment. The AnyConnect Linux client is even able to execute arbitrary scripts provided by the server, thus, the user needs to ultimately trust the AnyConnect provider. Even if this trust assumption holds true, the client is so complex that various attack vectors become possible. Gerbert found two vulnerabilities resulting in three attack scenarios. One of the issues was fixed without being assigned a CVE, the other one got CVE-2020-3556. Matthias continued with the iOS client, which is even harder to analyze than the closed-source Linux client. Since many Linux features are not available on iOS and the client has a completely different design, the previously found attacks do not apply. However, he will show the general architecture of this iOS Cisco AnyConnect Network Extension.

          • Adobe Flash Player is now history, top browsers end support

            First announced in July 2017, Adobe had said to stop updating and distributing Flash Player after December 31, 2020 due to the diminished usage of the technology and the availability of better, more secure options such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly.

          • Adobe Flash Player is finally laid to rest

            Released in 1996, Flash was once one of the most popular ways for people to stream videos and play games online.

            But it was plagued with security problems and failed to transition to the smartphone era.

            Adobe will no longer offer security updates for Flash and has urged people to uninstall it.

          • Microsoft says [crackers] were able to see some of its source code

            Earlier this month, Microsoft President Brad Smith said the attack was a “moment of reckoning” and warned about its danger. “This is not ‘espionage as usual,’ Smith said. “In effect, this is not just an attack on specific targets, but on the trust and reliability of the world’s critical [sic] infrastructure in order to advance one nation’s intelligence agency.”

          • SolarWinds [attackers] accessed Microsoft source code, the company says

            It is not clear how much or what parts of Microsoft’s source code repositories the [attackers] were able to access, but the disclosure suggests that the [crackers] who used software company SolarWinds as a springboard to break into sensitive U.S. government networks also had an interest in discovering the inner workings of Microsoft products as well.

          • Group Behind Alleged Russia [Crack] Broke Into Microsoft’s Internal Systems

            But the admission Thursday is the first time Microsoft acknowledged the attackers did more than place a tainted software update on its system: hackers successfully broke into the company’s systems and viewed source code, the carefully guarded DNA of the company’s software products.

          • Here’s why it’s so dangerous that SolarWinds [crackers] accessed Microsoft’s source code

            Some security experts think that even a glance at source code data might provide information that could help with future attacks.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Litigation Against Mass NSA Surveillance: Year in Review 2020

              The Jewel v. NSA case arises from general seizures and searches conducted through three NSA surveillance programs: the NSA’s current Upstream tapping of the Internet backbone, its past actions collecting Internet metadata and its discontinued mass telephone records collection, purportedly authorized by section 215 of the Patriot Act. Two of the three programs have now been stopped or changed significantly, one by Congress and another by the government itself after Senator Wyden and others raised concerns. Stopping the third is key, as is ensuring that none of them can be restarted.

              In 2020 we were hopeful to have a decision from the Ninth Circuit rejecting the government’s argument that its overblown secrecy claims should nullify our cases.  Obviously the whole world knows about these programs — they’ve been discussed in Congress in public and by the European Courts. EFF Pioneer Award winner Laura Pointras even won an Oscar for her documentary about them. Even still, the case continues. In early November, our amazing volunteer attorney Richard Wiebe got to make the argument before a three-judge panel– and we  still await a decision.  

              The slow pace makes it clear that we need additional and real reform of the state secrets privilege as well as an overhaul of the NSA’s activities.

            • Questions Remain About Pretrial Risk-Assessment Algorithms: Year in Review 2020

              EFF did not have a position on the ballot measure. Much like the ACLU of Northern California, EFF believed this proposition—no matter its outcome—does not create a fair pretrial system. However, EFF has done extensive research on pretrial risk assessment algorithms, and worked to prevent the deployment of unfair tools through the legislature. 

              Pretrial risk assessment tools come with their own risks and potential pitfalls, and it is vital that Californians consider what’s required to address their potential harms. While the proposition failed, the fact is that these tools are currently in use in 49 of California’s 58 counties as part of their bail system, according to a December 2019 report from the Public Policy Institute of California. 

              There are many reasons to be concerned about replacing cash bail with an algorithm that categorizes people as low-, medium-, or high- risk before releasing some, and leaving others in jail. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Forgiveness, Trump-style

        Like Jesus, trump who was facing the end of his life as president, found it in his heart extend forgiveness to a wide variety of people.  Unlike those Jesus forgave who were facing the prospect of punishment for their sins at some future time, however,  the trump bestowed forgiveness on sinners who had already been punished for their sins.  The sins for which many of the pardons were forgiven were sins committed by people who in sinning had shown their loyalty to the trump during the period he was applying for residency in the White House or during the time he occupied the premises.  There were, however, a few exceptions to that.

        Among the exceptions were pardons given to four murderers who committed their murders in Iraq while in the employ of Eric Prince, the brother of Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education during the trump administration. The four murderers worked for Erick Prince’s company, Blackwater Worldwide,  a security firm.  The pardons of the murderers had the unfortunate side effect of once again drawing attention to the fact that a cabinet secretary’s brother employed murderers.  Such renewed, and almost certainly unwelcome attention on Betsy and Eric, did nothing to reduce the joy the four murderers almost certainly felt upon learning that their sins had been forgiven, as it were,  and they would soon be free to walk the streets again and obtain gainful employment. The fact that it once again drew attention to Eric and Betsy was something about which,  as the vernacular has it, they could not  have cared less.

      • Court Orders Veterans Affairs Department to Replace Flawed Science in Plutonium Disaster Case

        The Veterans Legal Services Clinic of Yale Law School, which since 2016 has assisted in litigating the case, Skaar v. Wilkie, along with the New York Legal Assistance Group, announced the decision. The ruling follows oral arguments made September 2, 2020, and comes one year after the Court’s historic decision to certify “class action” status for the veterans of the disaster.

        On Jan. 17, 1966, during an airborne refueling gone wrong, an Air Force B-52 bomber exploded over the village of Palomares. Seven crewmembers were killed and four hydrogen bombs were thrown to the Earth. Upon impact, conventional explosives inside two of the H-bombs detonated, blasting two giant craters and spreading as much as 22 pounds highly radioactive, carcinogenic pulverized plutonium across the Spanish village and countryside. (See Dec. 18 report)

      • US govt-sponsored website Bellingcat disrupts MH17 trial in Netherlands
      • Canada, Haiti and Venezuela

        Last week foreign affairs minister François-Philippe Champagne spoke with his Haitian counterpart Claude Joseph. According to Champagne’s tweet about the conversation, they discussed COVID-19, Haiti’s elections and Venezuela. Presumably, Champagne relayed Ottawa’s position concerning Venezuela’s recent National Assembly elections, which delivered a final blow to opposition politician Guaidó’s farcical presidential claims. In August Joseph met his US and Canadian patrons in Washington on the sidelines of an anti-Venezuela Lima Group meeting. In response Haïti Liberté’s Kim Ives noted, “what could be more ironic and ludicrous than Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse accusing Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro of being ‘illegitimate and dictatorial’ while demanding that he immediately ‘hold free, fair, and transparent general elections’? But that is exactly the position of the Lima Group, a collection of 15 Latin American states and Canada, which Haiti joined in January 2020.”

        Joseph is the representative of a prime minister appointed extra-constitutionally. His boss was picked by Moïse after parliament, which needs to endorse a prime minister, expired because the president failed to organize elections. Moïse is ruling by decree and pushing to extend his term by a year to February 7, 2022, against the wishes of most Haitians and constitutional experts.

      • Opinion | Iraq Today Is a Nightmare That Americans Largely Sleep Through

        “It is part of the American way of making war, arriving unwanted in a third world country with promises to liberate, and then leaving as our domestic politics (or just losing) turn that war into an unwanted child.”

      • The Grinnell 14 Go to Washington

        It was fifty years ago.

        The sanitized 1950s, its Men in Grey Flannel Suits, and the Military-Industrial complex President Eisenhower warned about, were the dominant voices. Bob Dylan had just released his first record, and the folk music movement was emerging, but the old order maintained cultural hegemony.

      • Top 12 The Grayzone stories of 2020: From Julian Assange persecution to Bolivia coup defeat, corporate war on free speech to OPCW cover-up
      • After the war over Nagorno-Karabakh: British military flirts with Turkish-style armed drones

        Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles are smaller and much cheaper than their US counterparts. They can be procured in large numbers, so their loss in action is of little consequence.

      • Drone Murder Has Been Normalized

        I’m old enough to remember when drone murders were shocking. Heck, I even recall a few people calling them murders. Of course, there were always those who objected based on the political party of the U.S. president at the moment. There were always those who believed that blowing up human beings with missiles would be OK if the Air Force would just put a damn pilot in the plane. From pretty early on there were those ready to accept drone murders but draw the line at drones that would fire the missiles without some young recruit in a trailer in Nevada being ordered to push a button. And of course there were immediately millions of fans of drone wars “because with drone wars nobody gets hurt.” But there was also shock and outrage.

        Some were disturbed who learned that most of the targets of “precision drone strikes” were unknown human beings, and that even more just had the bad luck to be nearby those unknown human beings at the wrong time, while other victims had tried to help the wounded and gotten themselves blown up in the second tap of a “double-tap.” Some of those who learned that drone murderers had referred to their victims as “bug splat” were disgusted. Those who discovered that among the known targets were children and people who could easily have been arrested, and those who noticed that all the talk of law enforcement was utter nonsense as not a single victim had been convicted or sentenced and virtually none had been indicted, raised concerns. Others were bothered by the trauma suffered by those participating in the drone murders.

      • Why Senators Must Reject Avril Haines for Intelligence

        Barack Obama’s top lawyer on the National Security Council from 2010 to 2013 followed by CIA Deputy Director from 2013 to 2015, Haines is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. She is the affable assassin who, according to Newsweek, would be summoned in the middle of the night to decide if a citizen of any country, including our own, should be incinerated in a U.S. drone strike in a distant land in the greater Middle East. Haines also played a key role in covering up the U.S. torture program, known euphemistically as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which included repeated water boarding, sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, dousing naked prisoners with ice cold water, and rectal rehydration.

        For these reasons, among others, the activist groups CODEPINK, Progressive Democrats of America, World Beyond War and Roots Action have launched a campaign calling on the Senate to reject her confirmation.

      • The Aftermath of the George Floyd Rebellion

        According to NPR, the police responded “to a non-emergency call about a man sitting inside a car repeatedly turning it on and off” in a garage. For this, Hill was executed. Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther called for Coy’s firing, adding “from what we can see, none of the officers initially at the scene provide medical assistance to Mr. Hill.” In other words, they watched him die and did nothing. Also in Columbus, another black citizen, Casey Goodson Jr. was shot by a white sheriff’s deputy, Jason Meade on December 4. So much for the bad apples argument regarding the Columbus police department. This is a thing, as we have seen repeatedly. It’s how American police departments function – by killing people, disproportionately black people. And that’s why the country blew up in the summer and into the fall, because the African American community had enough of it.

        There have been over 900 fatal police shootings per year, every year, since 2015 in the U.S. While he does not dwell on individual cases of police brutality, Marc Lamont Hill keeps them ever present in his new book, We Still Here. Institutional police violence and the George Floyd rebellion it provoked are some of Hill’s subjects. He also zeros in on the context – the Covid-19 pandemic: “For perhaps the first time in modern history, a global health pandemic was spread from the privileged down to the poor…Economic power enables social distance…‘Sheltering in place’ is a luxury of the privileged.” Hill also discusses the dangers of getting sick posed by attending crowded protests. But that danger didn’t stop thousands of people from pouring into the streets. Nor did it stop the right-wing backlash – from Fox news repeating its sensationalized and sometimes fabricated stories about riots, looters and violence ad nauseam and from armed, radical rightwing terrorists, who swarmed out of the woodwork.

    • Environment

      • As South African Climate Justice Veterans Fall, Consciousness Begins Reviving, From Below and Across

        Deaths of four frontline KwaZulu-Natal activists – and latest Durban oil refinery explosion – define 2021 battlegrounds

        On three days last week – December 23-25 – South Africa’s east coast province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) lost three of its clearest voices for social justice and environmental sanity: rural women’s leader Sizani Ngubane (74), trade unionist Patrick Mkhize (60) and progressive activist Faith ka-Manzi (52).

      • Youth Activists Ring In 2021 With Renewed Demand That World ‘Wake Up to the Climate Crisis’

        “It must be the year we take real action instead of continuing to repeat meaningless words and empty promises.”

      • Opinion | Top Positive Environmental Stories From 2020

        This year, species were brought back from the edge of extinction, interest in renewable energy surged, environmental monitoring technology improved, new protected areas were created, and a few Indigenous women leaders got some long-overdue credit and recognition.

      • The Times Call for a Bold Conservation Agenda, Will Biden Seize the Moment?

        The Biodiversity Crisis

        The federal government needs to embrace the ecological role of large native carnivores. Re-listing wolves under the Endangered Species Act is the first and most obvious step, given that the species still isn’t recovered across most of its natural range. In California, there is only one active wolf pack. Wolves have been spotted in Nevada and Utah, but there are no breeding populations, and in Utah wolves are killed or deported. Wolves remain listed under state Endangered Species statutes in parts of Washington and Oregon, signaling that populations there remain at risk. In Colorado, one pack showed up, only to have half its members shot. The three western states where wolves were previously de-listed are cautionary tales demonstrating that state and local agencies can’t be trusted with wolf management. Idaho is at war with wolves, driven by a belief that nature exists solely for human use and domination. Wolves are shot without any wildlife management across 85% of Wyoming – no license, no permits, no seasons, no bag limits.

      • Opinion | Overshadowed by COVID: The Deadly Extreme Weather of 2020

        2020 was alarming, unforgettable and traumatic—and not only because of COVID-19. Lethal natural hazards are increasing in frequency under our changing climate, and 2020 is a testament to that.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • You Don’t Want to Imagine an Ocean Without Coral Reefs, But You Might Have to

          What is also concerning is a consensus among these scientists that rising temperatures are creating rapid and negative changes in the ecosystems. The evidence in the report on coral reefs is shocking. “Coral reefs will soon disappear,” said Carvalho, if the current levels of inaction persist. The UNEP report is written by highly qualified scientists who make closely argued points and do not offer loose statements. So, it is pretty chilling to confront—early in the report—the suggestion that corals will be wiped out by the 2040s.

          The report notes that there has been a long coral bleaching event that started in 2014 and ended in 2017; this was the longest coral bleaching event on record that “spread across the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.” To put it simply coral bleaching is when rising sea temperatures lead to an overheating of the coral reefs; when the reefs overheat, they expel the zooxanthellae (Algal symbionts), which results in the coral bleaching. Bleaching can be reversed when sea temperatures cool. What happened between 2014 and 2017 was that the sea temperatures did not drop enough for the corals to recover at the end of the summer of 2014, and in the years that followed.

    • Finance

      • 2020′s Legislative Attacks on Gig Workers Will Change Labor Forever
      • 81 Senators Vote to Override Trump Veto of NDAA as GOP Continues to Block $2,000 Relief Checks

        “At a time when so many Americans are facing economic desperation,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, “it is tragic that the Republican leadership has turned their backs on the working families of this country.”

      • Covid,  Brexit and Dreadnought : the UK Slides Into Economic And Social Turmoil

        The commonality of the three phenomena is that the UK would be better off without any of them. It would also benefit from removal of prime minister Boris Johnson, whose grotesque incompetence contributed to mismanagement of the pandemic crisis and produced a needless pantomime concerning the mechanics of leaving the European Union.  His allocation of vast funds to military projects is irresponsible, and his declaration that “the international situation is now more perilous and intensively competitive than at any time since the Cold War” is absurd.  No country threatens the physical security of the United Kingdom.

        The atmosphere in the UK is unhealthy, and not only in a covid-droplet sense. It is ghoulish because the country has been split into two groups comprising those who wish the country had stayed in the European Union and those who supported exit on almost any terms. There is no dialogue at all : there are flat statements, followed by flat contradictions, followed by personal abuse.  Matters are made worse by inflammatory comment in media outlets that seek to gain popularity (and sales) by encouragement of a divisive, malevolent nationalism.

      • Opinion | Georgians–Go Vote for a Long Overdue Raise!

        The problem is that Democratic messaging is the “same old, same old.” Tired themes that almost lost the Presidential election on November 3rd to the worst, most corrupt, anti-worker, anti-consumer, and anti-environment GOP in the Party’s corporate indentured history.

      • The Georgia Fraud Story You Haven’t Heard: Sec of State Raffensperger Speaks With a Forked Tongue

        I conducted the third of three interviews for CounterPunch during this year’s election season with Palast on December 28th, having learned from him that Raffensperger is no hero; that he and his immediate predecessor Brian Kemp succeeded in illegally purging 198,000 registered voters from Georgia’s rolls, causing the Black Voters Matter and other voting rights groups to sue in federal court to get these names reinstated in time for next week’s elections. Below are excerpts from our interview.

        CD: I’m glad to have you back, Greg Palast. And boy, have you had an active year, most recently with Black Voters Matter and the ACLU in Georgia. The ACLU released your findings that Georgia illegally removed 198,000 voters from the voter rolls, which you say could affect the outcome next week

      • Opinion | Biden’s Top Trade Official Should Work to Protect Governments From the Rising Number of Corporate Lawsuits

        In 2020, foreign investors filed at least 51 known cases demanding huge sums from governments struggling to fight a historic pandemic.

      • Victor Jara’s Hands: An Anti-Fascist Memoir-festo and Brief Personal History of Neoliberalism

        Last month, older friends on Facebook who came of age in the 1960s were busy reflecting on what they were doing when they heard the news that JFK had been assassinated. Personally, I had only recently graduated from diapers to plastic pants and was likely occupied with important matters like trying to do the twist in front of the TV while my grandmother clapped and sloshed Scotch all over her TV table. But like most Americans who have not washed down decades of Rush Limbaugh with great swigs of QAnon Kool-Aid, I can’t help but wonder how we will look back at this moment in history. Is this the moment we turn the tide, or is it a brief respite from the country’s descent into full-blown fascism? The latter scenario would mean, of course, full speed ahead into climate collapse, given that the U.S. military is hands down the single largest carbon emissions machine on the planet, and our collective dust speck is already close to the boiling point.

        May you live in interesting times. You got that right. These times are so interesting that we’ve had a lame duck president holed up in the White House consulting with his legal team from the Island of Malevolent Misfit Toys about the possibilities for declaring martial law to overturn the results of the election and it’s not the top story.

      • Roaming Charges: It is What It is, But is That All There is?

        + Get ready for four years of this kind of austerity-mongering from the elite enforcers of neoliberalism, including the newspaper owned the the world’s richest human…

        + Meanwhile, the editors’ own paper reported that there’s been a 54 percent increase in the deaths of homeless people in Washington DC this year, to at least 180.

      • Petit-Bourgeois “Normalcy” Pining at The New York Times

        Look at last Sunday’s New York Times’ Sunday Review section. It begins by asking readers what they would give to be standing at a bar in a mid-town restaurant, “post-pandemic, shouting a drink order over your friend’s laughter.”

        Give me a break. I couldn’t afford a Manhattan drink even if I drank. I wouldn’t yell my request if I decided to start drinking again.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • As Lawmakers Prepare to Draw New District Lines, GOP Has the Advantage
      • Biden Cabinet Picks Blinken and Yellen Each Made Over $1 Million From Corporate Clients and Speeches

        “This crap is why Washington doesn’t change,” said one critic in response to the new financial disclosures.

      • Migration and Racism: Lessons From Antonio Gramsci, an interview with Peter Mayo

        In this sense, the studies of Maltese academic, Peter Mayo, regarding Gramsci and educational policies, provide insightful views with regard to the topic. “The discourse on migration in Gramsci is central to national or ‘national popular’ life in Italy and the ‘southern question’. Gramsci teaches us that it is necessary to study immigration through an analysis of social differences in the contexts of origin and not simply (or simplistically) in the current context of settlement, short term or for the long haul. This applies to immigrants who travelled north of the peninsula in Gramsci’s time and, more recently, those who migrate from Africa to Europe. To avoid stereotypes and inappropriate representations, it is necessary to understand the context of origin in all its complexity. What are the conditions that have led thousands of people to leave their homeland and move elsewhere? “, says Peter Mayo.

        With Gramsci, it is necessary to consider the link between emigration and subordination – “Gramsci spoke of a new subaltern bloc (a simple alliance could be ephemeral) consisting of the working and peasant classes. A bloc must be firmly rooted as if it were a natural alignment. Today there is a need to analyze and deepen the knowledge of social classes at multi-ethnic and multi-cultural levels. Gramsci helps us in this by shedding light on Arab and Islamic contributions to so-called ‘Western civilization’”.

      • As Trump Extends Visa Ban and Court Upholds Insurance Mandate, Advocates Urge Biden to Quickly Reverse Anti-Immigrant Policies

        The healthcare ruling, said one immigrant rights advocate, “makes clear that the Biden administration must move swiftly to rescind all of President Trump’s xenophobic presidential proclamations.”

      • Pelosi and Biden: Stand Up!

        Congressman Pascrell interpreted this language to mean that those who would ignore constitutional rules cannot serve in Congress. Thus, he called on Pelosi and Lofgren to refuse to seat members-elect who sought to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

        Pascrell was targeting the 128 Republican members-elect of Congress who joined the seditious lawsuit Texas filed against the swing states that voted for Biden. His argument has force. These members-elect joined an action advocating the reversal of a certified presidential election. The lawsuit was designed to destroy a key pillar of our constitutional democracy. It was inimical to the Constitution and so, aided its enemies.

      • Biden and the World: A Deeper Look at His Foreign Affairs Team

        New Thinking?

        Almost needless to say, having a deeply experienced team is no guarantee that policy will be smoothly implemented, that costly mistakes will be avoided, or that past successes will be extended.  This team is surely mindful of the “Vietnam syndrome” regarding overseas interventions and intelligence failures such as 9-11 and Iraq, just as it is supportive of Obama’s legacy of engagement with Iran and Cuba.  But the past doesn’t assure lessons learned either about the use of force or of diplomacy.

      • Trump: the Final Daze

        Under these happy Fox News scenarios, this Trump colossus will bestride the earth—president without portfolio—as popular out of office as he was in it with his MAGA-base, a political Force 5 of verve, energy, and pithy primetime denunciations of the Biden-Obama resurgimiento.

        History, however, suggests otherwise. Most ex-presidents—at least those lucky enough to survive the withdrawal symptoms of high-office stimulation—fade into obscurity, once the battery on their bullhorn runs out of juice.

      • The Chaotic Life of Donald Trump

        That’s a basic Donald Trump move.

        The difference between him and that shamed unidentified driver is he mostly reneges, if only temporarily, to get the attention that’s his oxygen. There’s meanness, bullying and vindictiveness connected with those thoughtless actions.

      • Expand the Postal Service in 2021

        Postal workers saw us through 2020 at enormous cost to their own health and safety. “The USPS carried out its mission despite more than 23,000 postal employees testing positive for COVID-19 and tens of thousands additional workers, up to 19,000 on some days, being under quarantine and away from work due to exposure,” reported the American Postal Workers Union at the close of a pandemic year that saw more than 100 postal workers lose their lives to COVID-related symptoms.

      • Land’s End
      • Donald the Culpable

        If he had shot somebody and his victim died, he could be arrested for murder, perhaps even while still in office.

        These days, he’d probably not dare show his face on any New York City street, but if he did, and if he would then gun a victim down, he would find himself busted in a New York minute, sure as shootin’.

      • Magic Mountain
      • The latest case against Mr. Navalny Meduza breaks down the evidence, or lack thereof, presented by federal investigators against Russia’s top oppositionist

        In the late evening hours of Tuesday, December 29, Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee announced felony fraud charges against Anti-Corruption Foundation founder Alexey Navalny and “other individuals.” The opposition figure and his colleagues are suspected of embezzling hundreds of millions of rubles in donations to their organizations “to buy property and valuables” for themselves. Pro-Kremlin bloggers have circulated these same allegations for years without ever presenting convincing evidence. Meduza examines the biggest questions about the Russian authorities’ new case against Navalny, which comes just weeks after he accused President Putin of personally ordering his assassination. 

      • Facebook and the Street

        Unfortunately, I’ve also been subject to the political ravings of conspiracy theorists, lunatic libertarians, racists, right-wing fools. nazis and a host of others. My usual response to most of these posters is to block them. After all, I wouldn’t talk to them for long if I ran into them at a bar or party, so why would I want to talk with them online? My list of blocked people contains a few hundred names.

        The aspect of Facebook that is most annoying for me, though, are the people with leftist politics who spend their time complaining about the world but never seem to actually act on their dissatisfaction. They don’t attend meetings or protests but will tell you why meetings and protests don’t work. This is despite their usually perceptive take on the issues. I am reminded of theorists who have never leafleted or picketed; writers who have never sat-in and debaters who have never faced down a cop. They may have attended a meeting or two, however, if only to argue their point. Then, when tasks were put on the table, they volunteered for none. Even those they had the talent for. As a person who has been involved in leftist politics for almost five decades, I can assure you that this behavior is older than Facebook. However, Facebook just makes it easier to get away with it.

      • Patterns of Occupied Palestine: Goodbye Trump, Hello Status Quo

        Ali was roughly 50 meters away from the occupation forces when he was struck in the abdomen “by a .22 caliber bullet fired from a ‘Ruger’ rifle — a gun produced by the Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.” DCIP also confirmed that Ali was the fifth minor to be killed with live ammunition this year alone. It also happened to be his birthday, December 4th, and he was looking forward to his party.

        On December 6, 2017, exactly three years and two days before the state of Israel decided to violently snatch Ali’s life away from him with systemic unaccountability that it continues to enjoy, Donald Trump made known to the world that he would be moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

      • Trump hotel looks to cash in on Biden inauguration
      • How Progressive Democrats Almost Re-Elected Trump

        The Democrats may have beat Trump, but they didn’t beat Trumpism. The polls had indicated a Democratic sweep up and down the ballot. But the Democrats failed to take back the Senate as they expected. They lost seats in the House where they also expected to gain. They failed to flip any of the nine of the state legislative chambers they had targeted and instead lost three more. Republican control of redistricting in 30 states means they will be able to gerrymander districts in order to extend their overrepresentation in state legislatures and the House compared to their popular vote. Trumps’ vote grew from 63 million in 2016 to 74.2 million in 2020. Even if they win both Senate seats in the January 6 special election in Georgia, the Democrats’ narrow congressional majorities mean no real change from the long-standing bipartisan policy consensus of domestic austerity and foreign imperialism, which has epitomized “work-across-the-aisle” Biden’s entire career.

        Democratic progressives got crushed as bad as the Greens did in this election because they took their own voice and demands out of the campaign narrative. After the corporate Democrats closed ranks to defeat Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, progressive Democrats closed ranks behind Biden. Biden then ran against progressives as much as Trump. He boasted that “I beat the socialist.” He vigorously opposed the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. “Biden stiff-arms the left — which holds its fire” is how the Washington Post headline aptly characterized Biden’s relationship to progressive Democrats in its article on the first Trump-Biden debate.

      • How Progressive Democrats Almost Re-Elected Trump

        By giving unconditional support to Joe Biden, progressive Democrats almost got Trump re-elected. Trump came within as few as 21,462 votes in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin of winning the Electoral College. If those votes had gone to Trump instead of Biden, the Electoral College vote would have been tied 269-269. The election would have then gone to the House of Representatives under the Constitution’s 12th Amendment for a one-state, one-vote decision where Republicans have the majority in 26 state delegations of the incoming House.

        The Democrats may have beat Trump, but they didn’t beat Trumpism. The polls had indicated a Democratic sweep up and down the ballot. But the Democrats failed to take back the Senate as they expected. They lost seats in the House where they also expected to gain. They failed to flip any of the nine of the state legislative chambers they had targeted and instead lost three more. Republican control of redistricting in 30 states means they will be able to gerrymander districts in order to extend their overrepresentation in state legislatures and the House compared to their popular vote. Trumps’ vote grew from 63 million in 2016 to 74.2 million in 2020. Even if they win both Senate seats in the January 6 special election in Georgia, the Democrats’ narrow congressional majorities mean no real change from the long-standing bipartisan policy consensus of domestic austerity and foreign imperialism, which has epitomized “work-across-the-aisle” Biden’s entire career.

        Democratic progressives got crushed as bad as the Greens did in this election because they took their own voice and demands out of the campaign narrative. After the corporate Democrats closed ranks to defeat Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, progressive Democrats closed ranks behind Biden. Biden then ran against progressives as much as Trump. He boasted that “I beat the socialist.” He vigorously opposed the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. “Biden stiff-arms the left — which holds its fire” is how the Washington Post headline aptly characterized Biden’s relationship to progressive Democrats in its article on the first Trump-Biden debate.

      • Why the Year 1990 Was So Important

        In 2016, presidential candidate, Donald Trump said he would look into H1B visa abuse if he was elected. After he won the election, he seemed to forget his promise.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Gunmen Kill Prominent Journalist in Western Afghanistan

        According to the provincial governor’s spokesman, Arif Abir, others in the car, including Aimaq’s brother, were unharmed. Aimaq worked as the head of the local Radio Sada-e-Ghor station and was also a human rights activist in the province.

      • The Julian Assange Pardon Drive

        Such blindness is much in evidence in a co-authored contribution to The Daily Signal from this month.  The authors are insipidly predictable: national security and technology types with comic strip names (Charles “Cully” Stimson; Klon Kitchen) and rule of law advocates who seemingly campaign against their own brief (John G. Malcolm).  Having not bothered to read the evidence submitted at the extradition trial, the authors are obedient to a fictitious record.  This includes allegations that WikiLeaks harmed US diplomatic relations; the stubborn libel that Assange’s actions, far from exposing US atrocities, led to a loss of life; and the disruption of essential “intelligence sources and methods”.  (Accountability can be expensive.)

        The authors fail to appreciate the dangers of the Assange case to the First Amendment, free speech and the publication of national security information.  They merely claim to be free speech defenders, only to neatly hive Assange’s activities off from its protections.  Free speech is a fine thing as long as it is innocuous and inconsequential. “Suppression of speech, in a free society, is wrong.  But Assange is not a free-speech hero.”

      • Afghanistan violence: Bismillah Aimaq is fifth journalist to die

        According to Reporters without Borders, Aimaq survived at least one other attempt on his life months ago.

        Afghan rights campaigners and pro-government figures have also been targeted in a new and worrying trend.

      • Saudi Arabia braces for Joe Biden

        The Trump-Saudi relationship was a constant source of tension between the White House and many Republicans in Congress, who chafed at the Kingdom’s involvement in the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the White House’s unbridled support of the Saudi war effort in Yemen. These actions also drew heavy criticism from Democrats.

        President-elect Joe Biden has called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” and promised a strong hand in relations with the country, especially confronting Riyadh over its human rights abuses.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Reproductive Rights Advocates Say Ohio Fetal Remains Bill Is Unconstitutional
      • Argentina’s Decades-Long Fight to Legalize Abortion Ends in Victory

        On Tuesday evening, Argentina was filled with green: green graffiti proclaiming “Children, Not Mothers,” green banners exclaiming “It Will Be Law,” and green bandanas reading “National Campaign for Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion.” Teenagers and grown women alike tied the green handkerchiefs of the campaign to legalize abortion around their necks to signal their devotion to the cause as they poured out into the streets of more than 120 cities. Together, they stood vigil for nearly 12 hours as the Argentine Senate debated a bill to legalize abortion.

      • Two New Films About the Black Struggle in the 60s

        Seen together, the two films are a powerful statement about the continuity between the struggles that shook the USA to its roots a half-century ago and the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Although I generally write reviews about films that are easily accessible through either widespread theatrical release and/or streaming through the customary outlets such as Netflix or Amazon, my advice is to search the horizon for them starting with the “MLK/FBI” website and Amazon Prime. Amazon produced “One Night in Miami” and will likely make the film available at some point.

        “MLK/FBI” draws heavily from David Garrow’s 1981 “The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.: From ‘Solo’ to Memphis”. Garrow’s commentary is heard throughout the film, along with that of two African-American studies professors: Donna Murch and Beverly Gage.

      • The Black Bottom Where Levee’s About to Break

        Black Bottom also refers to a section of Detroit, along Hastings Street (Paradise Valley) that, beginning in the 1920s, saw Jewish residents flee their neighborhoods and be replaced by Black families. I recently watched on YouTube a local TV special, Detroit Classic, in which author and historian Ken Coleman explains the origin thusly,

        The 20-minute segment, that includes interviews with musicians, is well worth a watch, as it provides a précis of the loamy loam origins of Detroit blues and R&B.

    • Monopolies

      • Big Pharma Rings in New Year by Raising Prices on 300 Medications
      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: Ericsson sues Samsung over eight patents in the Eastern District of Texas

          Ericsson’s original mid-December complaint against Samsung in the Eastern District of Texas was just about FRAND licensing issues and didn’t involve any infringement claims. As of yesterday, i.e., New Year’s Day, Ericsson amended the complaint by also bringing eight patent infringement assertions…

        • Samsung opposes Ericsson’s motion for Texas anti-anti-antisuit injunction, criticizes incomplete picture of facts surrounding dispute

          On December 28, Chief Judge Rodnay Gilstrap of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted Ericsson an unprecedented–and in my view, outrageously overreaching–temporary restraining order (TRO) against Samsung’s pursuit of a Chinese action intended to resolve a global FRAND rate dispute. Samsung had pre-empted Ericsson’s December 12 action in Texas by bringing a complaint five days earlier in the Intermediate People’s Court in Wuhan, China, a court that has previously enaged in global FRAND rate-setting. Yesterday (i.e., on New Year’s Day), Samsung filed its opposition (this post continues below the document)…

          [...]

          Samsung says it seeks to avoid “piecemeal litigation” in multiple jurisdictions. It appears to me that Ericsson would also like one court to set a global FRAND rate–though Ericsson might want to bring infringement claims (and requersts for injunctive relief) in multiple places. In fact, one of the strongest arguments Samsung makes against the original TRO–and it’s so strong that maybe even Judge Gilstrap can’t brush it aside–is that the Texas anti-anti-antisuit injunction would enable Ericsson to bring cases not only in the U.S. but also other places (such as Germany). That’s a clear overreach. If the Chinese court found that Ericsson must not pursue, for instance, a German injunction, then there’s no way a Texas judge who respects the law and himself could interfere with a Chinese-German antisuit situation.

          The opposition brief stresses something that was clear to me just bsed on Ericsson’s motion: the key question on which this anti-anti-antisuit absurdity turns is that a U.S. court could only grant Ericsson’s motion on the basis of considering China a totally unfair jurisdiction. Well, there are a few countries in the world, which I don’t want to name here, with respect to which that would make sense. But not China.

        • 2020 Patent Dispute Report: Year in Review

          Not even a pandemic could stop patent litigation and PTAB activity from growing in 2020. As companies began to look for ways to trim and fueled by a wave of litigation financing, NPEs are now more sophisticated and have greater access to assets to enforce. These two factors contributed to both the growth of litigation activity and petitioners using the PTAB to help combat these assertions. It would be expected moving forward that this trend would continue into 2021.

        • Former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall R. Rader assures Texas court of fairness and quality of Chinese patent litigation process

          In the last week of 2020, Chief Judge Rodnay Gilstrap of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted Ericsson an unprecedented–and in my view, outrageously overreaching–temporary restraining order (TRO) against Samsung’s pursuit of a Chinese action intended to resolve a global FRAND rate dispute. Samsung had pre-empted Ericsson’s December 12 action in Texas by bringing a complaint five days earlier in the Intermediate People’s Court in Wuhan, China, a court that has previously enaged in global FRAND rate-setting. Yesterday (i.e., on New Year’s Day), Samsung filed its opposition, which I’ll discuss in the next post. What I’d like to highlight here in a separate post–warranted by the enormous significance of this declaration–is what Professor Randall R. Rader, the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, tells his colleagues about China as a patent jurisdiction…

      • Copyrights

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DecorWhat Else is New


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  3. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

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  4. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

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  6. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

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  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

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  11. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

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    Links for the day



  14. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  15. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  17. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  18. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  19. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  20. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  21. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  22. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  23. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  24. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  26. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  27. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



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

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  30. 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)


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