01.12.21

Links 12/1/2021: GTK 4.0.1 Released, Jailbroken iPhone 7 Running Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Top 20 Things You Can Also Do On Linux

      The Linux distro is what we call the Jack of all trades in the Operating System world. Reason? It applies to any OS functionality that you want to achieve. It is not just about achieving such functional objectives but also the easiness of achieving them. This easiness has nothing to do with the required skillset because we will need to get our hands dirty. It might not be a joy at first, but once you grasp the Linux OS, you enter a state of supreme awakening after realizing you were being restricted from a complete OS experience and exposure.

      The easiness context mentioned above defines most Linux distros’ architecture and design to cross your path. The most convincing Linux philosophy that made us turn against other popular OS distros is its open-source standard. We cannot completely state that all Linux distros are open-source because others are commercialized to cater to some business and enterprise needs in the market place.

      However, a significant portion of the Linux community is taking the open-source approach. Their influence and impact are so great that you might actually believe a commercialized Linux distro is some fictional character.

    • Server

      • Software Is Eating Every Layer Of The Datacenter

        Software may be eating the world, as Marc Andreessen correctly asserted nearly a decade ago, but some parts of the world are crunchier than others and take some time for the hardware to be smashed open and for software to flow in and out of it.

        We have been watching with great interest since around 2008 or so as merchant silicon came to switching and routing and how control of hardware was broken free from control of software, much as the X86 platform emerged as a common computing substrate a decade earlier. Initial attempts at creating portable and compatible operating systems for switching and routing had their issues, but a second wave network operating systems are emerging and, we think, will eventually become the way that networking is done in the datacenter, breaking the hegemony of proprietary operating systems as happened in compute in the past. A decade of open systems Unix platforms on dozens of chip architectures really just helped create the conditions that allowed Linux on X86 to become the dominate platform in the datacenter. And, ironically, now that Linux dominates, now different hardware, now including various kinds of accelerators as well as new CPUs, can now be slipped easily in and out of compute in the datacenter without huge disruption to Linux.

        The same thing is starting to happen with network operating systems, including the SONiC/SAI effort championed by Microsoft, the ArcOS platform from Arrcus, whatever Nvidia ultimately cooks up through the combination of Mellanox Technology and Cumulus Networks. Cisco Systems is now a supplier of merchant silicon with its Silicon One router chips, which debuted in December 2019 and which were augmented with switch chips last October. Every switch ASIC vendor has created some form of programmability for its packet processing engines, with P4 as advanced by Barefoot Networks (now part of Intel) being the darling but by no means the only way to achieve programmability, and now we see the industry rallying behind the concept of the Data Processing Unit, or DPU, which among other things manages network and storage virtualization and increasingly runs the compute hypervisor, offloading these functions from the CPUs in host systems.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Get 10% MORE FPS in Linux games with GAMEMODE!

        Linux gaming has really become a thing in the recent years. 80% of the reported games on ProtonDB are marked as working on Linux, thanks to Proton, wine, and a host of other libraries like DXVK. Even with all of that progress, there can still be a performance gap between Windows and Linux on some games. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce that gap, and that’s Gamemode.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 107

        Monitoring and automating our homes, heating systems, brewing the perfect beer with a raspberry Pi, modern databases, KDE Korner, and more.

      • Mozilla’s Most “Controversial” Blog Post

        Mozilla please stop letting these CEOs run your company into the ground, there was no reason for this blog post to be controversial but you keep letting things like this happen, surely someone at Mozilla had a better title for this blog post.

      • Destination Linux 208: Mythbusting Linux Misconceptions

        This week on Destination Linux, we’re going to bust some myths as we talk about some Linux Misconceptions. Then we’re going to review some information on openSUSE and review the interesting facts revealed in it’s most recent community poll. We’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • Fedora 34 Looking To Tweak Default zRAM Configuration

        ast year with Fedora 33 zRAM was switched on by default. The setup was that using a compressed zRAM drive for swap space leads to better performance and in turn a better user experience. Some spins of Fedora have been using swap-on-zRAM by default going back many releases while since F33 it’s been used for all spins. Now with Fedora 34 the configuration is being further refined.

        With Fedora 33, the zRAM configuration was limited to a 0.5 fraction of RAM or 4GB, whichever is smaller, while for Fedora 34 the zram-fraction will be 1.0 and the maximum zRAM size set to 8GiB.

        [...]

        This in particular should help the Fedora 34 experience for systems with minimal amounts of RAM.

      • A Zoological guide to kernel data structures

        Recently I was working on a BPF feature which aimed to provide a mechanism to display any kernel data structure for debugging purposes. As part of that effort, I wondered what the limits are. How big is the biggest kernel data structure? What’s the typical kernel data structure size?

        [...]

        A lot of the articles we read about the Linux kernel talk about size, but in the context of numbers of lines of code, files, commits and so on. These are interesting metrics, but here we’re going to focus on data structures, and we’re going to use two fantastic tools in our investigation…

        [...]

        Zooming out again, what’s interesting about the pattern of structure size frequency is that it seems to reflect the inherent cost of large data structures; they pay a tax in terms of memory utilization, so while we see many small data structures, and the falloff as we approach larger sizes is considerable.

        This pattern is observed elsewhere, bringing us back to the zoological title of this post. If we look at the frequency of animal species grouped by their size, we see a similar pattern of exponential decay as we move from smaller to larger species sizes. For more info see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_size_and_species_richness. If metabolic cost is a factor in determining this pattern in nature, we can observe a similar “metabolic cost” in memory utilization for larger data structures in the Linux kernel also. A related observation – that smaller species (such as insects) exist in much larger numbers than larger species in nature – would be interesting to investigate for the Linux kernel, but that would require observing data structure utilization in running systems, which is a job for another day!

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA Patches Several High Risk Security Flaws In Windows And Linux GeForce Drivers, Update Now

          For as long as developers have been writing software code, they’ve been inadvertently creating bugs. It’s when those bugs can compromise the security of a PC that a bug goes from an annoyance to a potential real danger. Security issues with apps can be worked around in the interim, even if it means uninstalling it, but what about when the security vulnerability is in the driver for some critical piece of hardware; say a video adapter? When that happens, developers have to isolate the cause and act quickly to plug the holes, or else risk any PC with that hardware being open to attack. Such was the case for NVIDIA this week.

          The GeForce, Quadro, and AI accelerator maker has issued a series of driver updates this week to prevent ten years of graphics hardware from being susceptible to attacks. This is a big deal is because like video drivers from all major vendors, NVIDIA’s drivers run in kernel mode with additional unrestricted access in the name of better performance. That’s true of the oldest hardware on the market up to and including the latest Ampere GPUs from the GeForce RTX 30 Series.

        • NVIDIA Graphics Drivers Vulnerabilities Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases

          Three security vulnerabilities are affecting the NVIDIA graphics drivers in Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla), Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series that could allow local attackers to cause a denial of service or escalate privileges.

          All users are urged to update their NVIDIA graphics drivers as soon as possible to the new versions available in the stable software repositories. The 460.32.03, 450.102.04, and 390.141 versions are available for Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and are based on the latest NVIDIA display driver upstream release that also includes various other bug fixes and improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • Clear Linux Squeezed Out More Open-Source Performance In 2020

        Here is a look at how the performance of Intel’s Clear Linux compares for the end of 2020 against the end of 2019 and 2018 on the same hardware platform for looking at the Intel performance optimizations made to this open-source Linux distribution. This was another year of Intel engineers making more headway on out-of-the-box Linux performance even though they have been less vocal about the project over the past year.

      • AMD Ryzen 7 5700G Zen 3 APU Makes Benchmark Debut With 3.8GHz Base Clock

        As for the performance figures, it posted a single-core score of 1,304 and a multi-core score of 8,717. Comparing those scores with other systems a little tricky because it was run on Ubuntu, and performance metrics on Geekbench vary wildly between Linux and Windows.

        That said, we spotted a recent entry for a Ryzen 7 4700G running on Linux (no mention of the specific distro), which posted a 1,271 single-core score and a 6,134 multi-core score.

    • Applications

      • K9 Mail open source mail application for Android

        Gmail is the most popular email application on Android, although there are many other options that are of great interest to users. If you are looking for a customizable email application in which you can manage multiple accounts, K9 Mail is an ideal open source alternative.

        K9 Mail is an email application that is available as an APK for Android . This application has just undergone a radical change, .e.g. releasing a new interface. It is considered as one of the most interesting Android applications for open source enthusiasts.

      • KeePass v2.47 Released With New Features and Improvements

        You should not use the same password on all the websites, and you cannot possibly remember all of them all the time. Password managers solve this problem for you by creating strong password and remember them for you.

        Unlike most other password managers on Linux, KeePass Password Manager doesn’t store your password in cloud. Instead, it stores all your passwords within a local database. And this database can be accessed with a master key.

        Recently, KeePass released a new stable version 2.47 with new features. It includes the option to save search parameters as profiles, XPath expression search mode, Argon2id key derivation function, and more.

        The release also includes some major improvements in search performance, enhancement on the user interface, integration, and more. Although KeePass is mainly released for Windows, there are unofficial packages available for Linux.

      • TabFS Makes Your Browser A File System

        Like Unix, old-fashioned Linux has the philosophy that everything should look like a file. That paradigm works well and most of the operating system’s core features follow that pattern. However, many modern additions don’t really treat things as files or, at least, not files you can easily manipulate with the other tools. [Omar Rizwan] has a handy Chrome extension, though, that will make your browser tabs look like part of your file system. Not only is it a novel idea, but it is also surprisingly handy.

        The extension feels like a bit of a proof of concept, so installation is a bit rough, but it does work and it allows you to do things that you would otherwise have to write an extension or a sophisticated program to screen scrape which is always less than desirable.

      • 1Password For Linux Beta 0.9.8 Released, Inching Closer To Stable

        As you might already know, last year, the development preview of 1Password, a cross-platform password manager app, and later its first beta version was unveiled for all Linux-based operating systems.

        Now with the advent of the new year 2021, the 1Password team has announced the release of new feature-packed beta version 0.9.8.

        The latest 1Password for Linux Beta 0.9.8 is another one step closer to its official stable release with long-term support for Linux platforms as it’s stable version is already available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

        However, if you want a stable version of 1Password for Linux, you can also use 1Password X in your browser.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Make CapsLock useful (again) on Linux and Windows

        Once upon a time a post by Nikitonsky has inspired me to organize the hand movement on a keyboard by utilizing a CapsLock key. The idea is to use arrow keys without moving your hands from a default position, remapping the arrows to CapsLock + j/l/i/k. It’s been more than a year since I’ve tried that, and while I didn’t completely internalize this new layout (it’s hard to break habits!), it definitely has improved my typing experience.

        Nikita provides an excellent motivation for this endeavor in his blog post, so I won’t repeat it here. I’ll just describe a few additional changes made to this layout since I started using it: [...]

      • How To Build A Jekyll Site Using Simple.css

        As Bugs Bunny once said – that’s all, folks! We have come to the end of this rather long guide on how to build a Jekyll site using Simple.css and Netlify. This is by far the longest post I have ever written – at nearly 7,000 words, but I wanted to be as verbose as possible so that the barrier for entry is low. Some technical knowledge is always required when working with static site generators, like Jekyll. So please bear that in mind if you decide to give this a go.

      • usbkill the OpenBSD way

        So what is hotplugd, and how can it be useful? The man page does a good job of explaining it. Simply put: when any device is attached to or detached from your machine hotplugd will execute a script.

        To see how simple it is to write a hotplug script we can start by simply logging device attach events. First, start by enabling and starting hotplugd (as root): [...]

      • Decrypting TLS Streams With Wireshark: Part 3

        To make life easier for the recipients of your capture file with secrets file, you can also merge both files together: embedding the secrets into the pcapng file. This way, they don’t have to configure secrets files in Wireshark, just opening the pcapng file is sufficient for the TLS traffic to be decrypted.

      • Download and install CentOS 7 Server Minimal ISO on PC or virtualbox

        If you don’t want to install around 4GB or 9.5GB ISO file of CentOS 7 then, use the 900 MB ISO image to install the minimal version with only the base package on your server.

        On one hand, where CentOS 8 Linux will stop getting further updates in December of this year, CentOS 7 Linux still has a long time to reach the end of its life that is stipulated in 2024. Thus, if you want to start with this server Linux distro then still you have enough time, and here will let you know how to install CentOS 7 minimal version on Server, PC, or VirtualBox.

      • Moving from Lubuntu 18.04 to 20.10 | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        The Lubuntu developers will no longer be supporting Lubuntu 18.04, the final release of Lubuntu to use LXDE, after April this year. I therefore decided to replace it with Lubuntu 20.10 on the family desktop machine (a single-seat, multi-user installation).

      • How to Install NGINX on Ubuntu 20.04 and Host Website

        NGINX is an open-source web server software. You can deploy NGINX as a standalone web server, or as a proxy in front of other web servers (in essence, reverse proxy). Nginx is one of the best web servers to host a high traffic website.

        In this tutorial, we will focus on installing NGINX as a standalone web server on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Automating responses to scripts on Linux using expect and autoexpect

        The Linux expect command takes script writing to an entirely new level. Instead of automating processes, it automates running and responding to other scripts. In other words, you can write a script that asks how you are and then create an expect script that both runs it and tells it that you’re ok.

      • How to Install Signal Desktop in Ubuntu and Other Linux

        This quick guide explains the steps required to install Signal desktop in Ubuntu and Other Linux. It is available in .deb, Snap, and Flatpak package format. Take a look at how you can install it.

      • 8 tips for the Linux command line

        The Linux command line provides a great deal of flexibility. Whether you are managing a server or launching a terminal window on a desktop system, the command line brings with it an extensive toolkit to update files, tweak system performance, and manage processes. The command line is where it’s at.

        Testifying to the command line’s popularity, Opensource.com publishes many excellent articles about how to get the most out of your system. The following were some of Opensource.com’s most-read articles about Linux commands in 2020…

      • 15 Linux LS Commands You Need to Know

        You can use Linux ls commands to print out directory contents. It’s one of the most basic terminal commands in Linux. Thus, a thorough understanding of it is essential for navigating your way around the terminal. Listed below are some useful examples of using the ls utility. Bookmark this as a reference point for the future.

      • Install qBittorrent 4.3.2 on Ubuntu / Linux Mint

        This tutorial will be useful for beginners to install qBittorrent 4.3.2 on Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and Linux Mint 20.1.

        qbittorrent is an open-source BitTorrent client designed as an alternative for the popular client Torrent written in Qt5.

      • How to install Godot 3 on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Godot 3 on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Find and Replace in Vim / Vi | Linuxize

        Find and replace is a powerful feature of Vim, which allows you to make changes to your text quickly.

      • How to recover AWS account access if the MFA device is lost

        It is recommended to enable Multifactor Authentication (MFA) for your AWS account. MFA is used to secure your AWS account, it adds an extra layer of security to the account. When you log in to your account you are asked to enter an MFA code which acts as an extra layer of security.

        In case you lost your MFA device or the device is not functioning you may not able to enter the MFA code. In such a case you will need to disable MFA for the account.

      • How to Install Invoice Ninja on Ubuntu 20.04

        Invoice Ninja is a free and open-source online invoicing app for freelancers & businesses that helps you to accept payments, track expenses, create proposals, and time-tasks. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Invoice Ninja with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Set Up High Availability for Resource Manager – Part 6

        YARN is the Processing Layer of Hadoop, which consists of the Master (Resource Manager) and Slave (Node Manager) services to process the data. Resource Manager (RM) is the critical component that is responsible for resource allocation and management among all the jobs running in Hadoop Cluster.

        It is always recommended and best practice to have the Cluster High Availability (HA) enabled on Critical services like Namenode and Resource Manager.

      • How to redact PDF files in Okular – Tutorial

        I’ve written a short tutorial showing how to redact PDF files using the highlighter funtion in Okular. As one might say, hiding in plain sight. Take a look.

      • How to install ImageJ on a Chromebook

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

      • How to install Stremio app on Linux Mint distro – Linux Shout

        Stremio is an open-source online streaming player for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Here we will show the process of Stremio installation on the Linux Mint distro.

        To watch various videos and shows online, the users can use the Stremio streaming application that fetches content using the various add-ons available to activate, created by its community. As we know the installation of any application is pretty straightforward on Windows, however, for Linux, it would not be.

    • Games

      • CS: GO could be getting a performance boost very soon on Linux using OpenGL

        Valve’s ever-popular competitive first-person shooter – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive aka CS: GO – could be getting a decent performance uplift very soon on Linux when using OpenGL. A few days back an AMD engineer had requested the enablement of OpenGL multi-threading for CS: GO which was accepted today (via Phoronix). Hence, with the next Mesa 21.0 update onwards, the “mesa_glthread=true” value will be enabled by default using the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver.

      • An Overview of Shadow On Linux – Boiling Steam

        Due to the coronavirus, hardware has been hard to come by, particularly for processors and graphics cards. A lot of the time, they’re outrageously expensive. As it stands right now, getting a full Valve Index kit on eBay costs around $1300 new, and $1,100 for used (how can a used VR kit cost more than getting a new one from Valve directly?) This, and also packages generally take longer than usual to arrive at our doorstep, since online shopping has rocketed. My heart goes out to the delivery drivers; thank you for your hard work.

        Anyway, there’s a much cheaper and faster alternative to running a computer with high-end hardware. It’s a streaming service called Shadow. With this, you’re given instant access to a Windows 10 computer that you can remotely control with your Linux desktop. If you have a particular game that you want to run but doesn’t do the job well enough on your local machine, or you have a game that won’t work with Proton, Shadow is a great way to go.

        [...]

        What’s interesting is that, if you have remote streaming enabled in your Steam settings, your Linux machine will be able to stream games from your Windows machine and vice versa. I don’t recommend streaming games from your Windows machine to your local Steam client however, due to the fact that based on my testing, streaming quality was much worse.

        With Shadow, you’re not just limited to streaming games. After all, you have full access to a Windows 10 PC. I don’t see any reason why you would, but you can check your email, browse the web, write up a document, run a proprietary program that isn’t available on Linux (think Adobe products), all that other jazz. Maybe even set it up for machine learning. You could probably do some video editing as well, but since the Linux client currently doesn’t support USB flash drives, I wouldn’t know how to transfer your files to the remote PC other than using a cloud storage medium. After contacting Shadow support, one of the staff members informed me that “We are still working on it at the moment, however, it is not yet ready.”

        In Shadow’s settings menu, you can configure audio quality, prefer UDP or TCP for streaming, set a framerate limit, enable software decoding if your computer doesn’t support hardware encoding, among a few other things. Currently, dual-screen setup is not supported.

      • 10 New Games You Can Play With Proton Since Dec. 2020

        Back to normal which a bunch of new titles after a rather quiet November month with very few new titles tested on ProtonDB.

        As usual, we look at the latest data dumps from ProtonDB to give you a quick list of new games that work (pretty much?) perfectly with Proton since December 2020 – the Median rating indicates that games work either out of the box (5) or well enough with tweaks (4)

      • Proton Glorious Eggroll

        Proton Glorious Eggroll? Behind such an… original name hides a solution that is at the heart of many Linux gamers who like to tinker a little with Windows games on Steam.

        As you all know, Proton is Valve’s official compatibility later for Windows games on Steam, a mix of WINE and other technologies like DXVK. Proton is updated on a regular basis by Valve and their partners (CodeWeavers, Philip Rebhole and more folks) to merge improvements, fixes, and new functionalities as well.

        Yet this is not enough to support all games out there. For example, Resident Evil 2 Remake did not work well with the original Proton build (cutscenes were missing, and there was an infinite loading loop after the petrol station level).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Announcing Season of KDE Selected Projects

          I’m happy to announce the projects selected for Season of KDE. In this post we will look at some of the successful proposals, but there is a full list available here.

        • Kdenlive 20.12 First Point Release Brings More Stability

          The Kdenlive team announced the availability of the first point release (Kdenlive 20.12.1) with 50+ changes. Take a look at what’s changed.

          Kdenlive is a free and open-source professional video editor and very active in development. It is built upon Qt and KDE libraries with support from MLT framework, FFmpeg, etc. Features are continuously being added to Kdenlive and very active being an open-source project.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GTK 4.0.1 Released With Many Bug Fixes, Better Media Acceleration

          Following last month’s release of the big GTK 4.0 toolkit, GTK 4.0.1 is out as the first stable point release for this free software toolkit.

          Naturally following a big release such as GTK4, the first point release is predominantly made up of many little bug fixes throughout the code-base. There is a wide assortment of bug fixes in GTK 4.0.1 as well as updates to the theme and documentations.

        • Matthias Clasen: GTK 4.0.1

          We all took a bit of a break after 4.0 and did some other things, but now it is time for GTK 4.0.1.

          [...]

          Does this mean GtkVideo is now ready to support fully-featured media player applications? Far from it. It still just lets you play media from a file or url, and does not support multi-channel audio, video overlays, device selection, input, and other things that you probably want in a media player.

          It would be really nice if somebody took the code in the GTK media backend and turned it inside out to make a GStreamer plugin with a sink that exposes its video frames as GdkPaintable. That would let you use gstreamer API to get all of the aforementioned features, while still integrating smoothly in GTK.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Facebook, Twitter Proposing CentOS Hyperscale SIG With Newer Packages + Other Changes

          Adding to the changes abound at CentOS beyond CentOS 8 going EOL at year’s end to focus instead on CentOS Stream feeding into the future RHEL, the likes of Facebook and Twitter are now proposing a Hyperscale special interest group for this RHEL-based platform.

          The Hyperscale SIG will be focused on catering the Linux distribution usage to large-scale infrastructures like those used at Facebook, Twitter, and other “hyperscaler” organizations like cloud providers.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.1 is here, with a host of neat new features

          The Linux Mint project’s first release of 2021 is now available for download.

          The Long Term Support (LTS) release of Linux Mint 20.1 is supported until 2025 and is available in three variants, each with different desktop environments, namely Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce.

          Linux Mint 20.1 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and in addition to updated software also brings with it several new updates. However, much like with the previous Linux Mint 20 release, the upstream Snap Store is still disabled in the distro following Mint’s lead-developer Clement “Clem” Lefebvre’s displeasure with Ubuntu’s packaging decisions.

        • Sebastian Schauenburg: Translators, please do not translate everything

          You probably know the feeling of being the IT guy for your family (in this specific case, my mother-in-law). Her Linux laptop needed to be upgraded to the latest LTS, so I did that for her.

          Back when she got the laptop, I installed a non-LTS release. That was required, otherwise her brand spanking new hardware, wouldn’t have worked correctly.

          I tried using the GUI to upgrade the system, but that didn’t work. Usually I live in the terminal, so I quickly went to my comfort zone. I noticed the repositories were not available anymore, of course, this was not an LTS. That meant also that ‘do-release-upgrade’ did not work. Fortunately I was around when that tool did not exist yet, so I knew to manually modify apt sources files and run apt-get manually. The upgrade was a success of course. But, what is that, why am missing icons here? I also run Ubuntu MATE on some of my other systems and the icons never broke before. The upgrade seemed to have been flawless, but still something went wrong? No, that couldn’t be… and it wasn’t.

          Switching her desktop to English, instead of Dutch (Nederlands), “fixed” the icons. That is strange, but is providing the user of the laptop with a workaround. Luckily my mother-in-law is proficient in English, but prefers Dutch. And there are enough people (I know some of them) who can not read/write/speak English and are dependant on translations. So I thought I’d go fix the issue (or at least, so I thought).

        • Jailbroken iPhone 7 runs Ubuntu Linux OS

          Reddit user “newhacker1746” has published a details and a YouTube video of a jailbroken iPhone 7 smartphone running the Linux Ubuntu operating system version 20.04. If you are interested in setting up an old iPhone 7 with the Linux operating system, you can find a comprehensive list of setup instructions over on Reddit via the link below. Check out the video below to learn more about the process of loading Linux on to the iPhone 7 which requires the jailbreak tool checkra1n, which is based on the unpatchable hardware exploit “checkm8”.

          “To be honest, I felt a lot of pride in using Linux for one of its classic purposes: repurposing otherwise-unusable devices. This iPhone would never be able to boot iOS again, as its nvme nand is completely dead. Yet, it boots Linux and mounts a filesystem over USB ethernet no problem!”

        • User successfully runs Ubuntu on a jailbroken iPhone 7

          The jailbreak process lets users run several tweaks and other iOS modifications, but one user recently decided to go further and install the Ubuntu operating system on an iPhone. The experiment was shared by the user identified as “newhacker1746” on Reddit.

          According to the user, the iPhone 7 used during the process was no longer working due to a problem in its internal storage. That’s when the user decided to try installing another operating system on the device through a USB ethernet connection.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 665

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 665 for the week of January 3 – 9, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird [in PCLinuxOS] updated [to] 78.6.1

            Mozilla Thunderbird email client has been updated to 78.6.1 and shipped to go to the software repository. This release is a small bug fix update if you have Thunderbird installed.

          • Guest Blog Post: Leaking silhouettes of cross-origin images – Attack & Defense

            This is a writeup of a vulnerability I found in Chromium and Firefox that could allow a malicious page to read some parts of an image located on an origin it is not supposed to be able to access. Although technically interesting, it is quite limited in scope—I am not aware of any major websites it could’ve been used against. As of November 17th, 2020, the vulnerability has been fixed in the most recent versions of both browsers.

            [....]

            I reported this bug to Mozilla on May 29th, 2020 through the Mozilla Security Bug Bounty program and to Google through the Chrome Vulnerability Reward the next day. It took some time to figure out which graphics backend is used in Firefox by default these days. With the help of a Google engineer and some profiling tools, we identified that the same piece of Skia code was responsible for this behavior in both browsers.

            Google updated Skia to remove branching on alpha value in blit_row_s32a_opaque completely on August 29th, 2020 and merged that change into Chromium on the same day. Mozilla merged the change on October 6th, 2020.

            Google has issued CVE-2020-16012 to notify users about this bug.

            Both vendors offered very generous bounties for my reports. It’s been a pleasure working with Mozilla and Google to get this fixed, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Klein from Google and Lee Salzman from Mozilla for their work on diagnosing and fixing the bug. I would also like to thank Tom Ritter and Lee Salzman from Mozilla for their helpful feedback on drafts of this blog post.

      • FSF

        • Watch “Fight to Repair,” demand the right to repair

          “Fight to Repair” is an animated video from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), telling the story of two dedicated free software engineers rushing to fix a life-threatening problem in a vehicle’s autopilot code. Coming up with a fix for the bug is only the first step in their journey, which has them facing off against the malicious proprietary software corporation DeceptiCor, and culminates in a high-speed motorcycle chase.

        • Alex Oliva: another day

          On this day, 8 years ago, Aaron took his own life. I guess he felt the injustice of losing his freedom unbearable. I have little more than a vague idea of how that feels.

          There’s a song by the late Brazilian musician Cazuza that goes “My heroes overdosed to death / My enemies are in power”. I have more than a vague idea of how that feels.

          The forces of the capital empire sometimes feel irresistible. Aaron, Julian, Chelsea, Jacob, Glenn, Laura, Edward, Reality, Richard… Heroes without costumes or superpowers, only courage and determination. Human heroes, with flaws and vulnerabilities that the empire exploits without hesitation, to turn against them the very people they fight to liberate. I have a vague idea of how that feels.

          I guess I am lucky that the empire has barely noticed me so far: I’m alive, free, encouraged and determined to fight another day. I’ve come to appreciate how that feels.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Wikipedia’s future lies in poorer countries

            The number of people actively editing Wikipedia articles in English, its most-used language, peaked in 2007 at 53,000, before starting a decade-long decline. That trend spawned fears that the site would atrophy into irrelevance. Fortunately for Wikipedia’s millions of readers, the bleeding has stopped: since 2015 there have been around 32,000 active English-language editors. This stabilising trend is similar for other languages of European origin.

            Meanwhile, as more people in poorer countries gain [Internet] access, Wikipedia is becoming a truly global resource. The encyclopedia’s sub-sites are organised by language, not by nationality. However, you can estimate the typical wealth of speakers of each language by averaging the GDP per head of the countries they live in, weighted by the number of speakers in each country. (For Portuguese, this would be 80% Brazil, 5% Portugal and 15% other countries; for Icelandic, it is almost entirely Iceland.)

      • Programming/Development

        • 15 favorite programming tutorials and insights

          Happy new year! 2020 was one heck of an unusual year with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing us to stay at home and dramatically transforming our lifestyles. However, a time like this is also the best time to start picking up a new programming language or to level up your existing programming skillset. We begin with some light reading: What is your first programming language? and Why developers like to code at night. Next, we have articles about some specific programming languages like C, D, and Awk.

        • Raspberry Pi 400 for working and learning at home
        • Software is drowning the world

          One of the many upsides I’ve had from working at lots of organisations is that you get to see what’s common. Are things like this everywhere? Frequently, the answer is yes!

          An example of this is tech debt.

          I see organisations which are running to stand still, and I’m not sure they realised they’re doing that.

          What do I mean by this?

          Every time you decide to solve a problem with code, you are committing part of your future capacity to maintaining and operating that code. Software is never done.

          Here’s a few examples of demonstrating what I mean: [...]

        • Extracting the list of O’Reilly Animals

          Now I want to grab the entire list of O’Reilly cover animals, and Mojolicious is going to help me do that.

          O’Reilly Media, who publishes most of my books, is distinctively known by the animals it chooses for their covers. Edie Freedman explains how she came up with the well-known design in A short history of the O’Reilly animals. I think I first saw this design on the cover of sed & awk; those Slender Lorises (Lori?) are a bit creepy, but not creepy enough to keep me away from the command line.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: BH 1.75.0-0: New upstream release, added Beast

          Boost is a very large and comprehensive set of (peer-reviewed) libraries for the C++ programming language, containing well over 100 individual libraries. The BH package provides a sizeable subset of header-only libraries for use by R.

          Version 1.75.0 of Boost was released in December, right on schedule with their April, August and December releases. I now try to follow these releases at a lower (annual) cadence and prepared BH 1.75.0-0 in mid-December. Extensive reverse-depends checks revealed a need for changes in a handful of packages whose maintainers I contacted then. With one exception, everybody responded in kind and brought updated packages to CRAN which permitted us to upload the package there two days ago. And thanks to this planned and coordinated upload, the package is now available on CRAN a mere two days later. My thanks to the maintainers of these packages for helping it along; this prompt responses really are appreciated. The version on CRAN is the same as the one the drat announced in this tweet asking for testing help. If you installed that version, you are still current as no changes were required since December and CRAN now contains same file.

        • Improve your software product delivery process performance using metrics (I)

          As many other graduates in physics, I have passion for Faymann. His explanations of complex concepts made them seem reachable for students like me up to a point where you develop a taste for simplicity. Producing software at scale is complex, but if you have some basic and often simple concepts clear and you keep passionate about simplicity, you not just be able to better understand the management challenges ahead of you but also to communicate them more effectively, as well as the potential solutions.

          [...]

          We have justified the relevance to start simple when evaluating the performance of our delivery process. We have created the simplest possible model to start our analysis from. We described such model as well as a mathematical construct to characterize it. Some considerations were provided about how to perform the measurements and plot the results as part of a quantitative analysis.

          We learned how to move from a quantitative to a qualitative analysis and why. Once the qualitative analysis done, we defined a data driven improve­ment kata to improve the performance of our delivery process iteratively. Such kata is summarized in a simple board.

          In essence, this is a process any organization can follow in order to improve de performance of the delivery process effectively. If you are not able to say out loud what has been your Throughput and Stability the past quarter, last month, yesterday, today… your delivery process is not under control. In such case, it is hard to imagine that you will be able to improve it in a meaningful way.

        • Clang LTO Support Looks Like It Could Land For Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

          The support for Clang LTO of the Linux kernel for link-time optimizations when using that GCC alternative compiler looks like it will land with Linux 5.12.

          For a number of months the Clang LTO wiring to the Linux kernel has been undergoing rounds of review and of interest from multiple parties. Vendors like Google already make use of Clang link-time optimizations as part of their kernel builds on mobile devices. There’s been much interest and it looks like for Linux 5.12 that work will likely land — it’s been queued into a “-next” branch ahead of the Linux 5.12 merge window in February.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2021.01/02 So. Much. New. Stuff. – Rakudo Weekly News

            The past two weeks, while yours truly was taking a little break, have turned out so many new projects that one can only say this is an excellent beginning of 2021 for the Raku Programming Language. Which will hopefully turn out to be better for everybody than 2020 turned out to be.

            [...]

            JJ Atria and James Raspass have unveiled another online Raku ecosystem browser called Raku.land. Still a little rough around the edges, and not complete yet, but good to see something like this being developed in the Raku Programming Language itself (see source on Gitlab and /r/rakulang comments).

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • [Older] Big Data Manipulation for Fun and Profit Part 1 – LinuxConfig.org

            These days everyone seems to be speaking about Big Data – but what does it really mean? The term is used quite ambiguously in a variety of situations. For the purposes of this article, and the series, we will refer to big data whenever we mean ‘a large amount of textual data, in any format (for example plain ASCII text, XML, HTML, or any other human-readable or semi-human-readable format). Some techniques shown may work well for binary data also, when used with care and knowledge.

  • Leftovers

    • Cyber czar to draw on new powers from defense bill

      The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which became law this past week after Congress overrode President Trump’s veto, formally established a cyber czar position at the White House, in addition to granting numerous other cybersecurity powers that could help the incoming Biden administration respond to the Russian [attack].

    • Salesforce says it has taken action against the RNC, but won’t say how

      Salesforce confirmed to The Verge that it hasn’t dropped the RNC as a client. “The Republican National Committee has been a long-standing customer, predating the current Administration,” a spokesperson said. “We have taken action to prevent its use of our services in any way that could lead to violence.”

    • Salesforce ‘Takes Action’ to Prevent RNC Emails From Inciting Violence

      “We have the TRUTH,” the Donald Trump campaign emailed its tens of millions of subscribers at 1:24 PM on January 6. “Every single Patriot from across the Country must step up RIGHT NOW if we’re going to successfully DEFEND the integrity of this Election. President Trump is calling on YOU to bolster our Official Defend America Fund.”

      Less than 30 minutes later, the gates of the Capitol were breached by hundreds of Trump supporters in a violent insurrection that left at least five people dead. Since then, the Trump campaign, which normally sends multiple emails a day from the address contact@victory.donaldtrump.com, has been eerily silent.

      To send its emails, the Trump campaign uses infrastructure from a company called ExactTarget, an email marketing firm now owned by Salesforce, according to a Motherboard analysis of the emails. The emails are sent in conjunction with the Republican National Committee, according to the emails themselves. In response to a question about whether the company had taken action to prevent Trump from using the “contact@victory.donaldtrump.com” email infrastructure, Salesforce said it had “taken action” against the RNC to “prevent its use of our services in any way that could lead to violence.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Trump Admin Approves Tennessee’s Plan to Slash Medicaid Amid Pandemic
      • Spouses of Leaders Receive COVID Vaccine While the Vulnerable Wait
      • Even in a deadly pandemic, germ theory denial persists

        If there’s one thing that those of us who have been struggling to counter medical misinformation, quackery, and antivaccine pseudoscience frequently encounter, it’s people, particularly medical professionals and scientists, who have a hard time believing us when we describe just how unscientific, pseudoscientific, and just plain conspiracy-addled various beliefs underlying alternative medicine and antivaccine pseudoscience are. Surely, they seem to think, there’s no way anyone could actually believe that in 2021! How wrong they are! And it’s not as though such beliefs aren’t right there, in plain sight, for anyone who’s willing to take even a little time to look into various questions. Among the alternative medicine beliefs that provoke the most disbelief among my colleagues (and among educated lay people) is germ theory denial. After nearly a year of mass disruption and death caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been caused by a novel coronavirus and resulted in the deaths of 350K people in the US alone (as of yesterday and still rapidly counting), there are still quacks, conspiracy theorists, and denialists who refuse to accept that the pandemic is due to a new virus that spread throughout the world because it was readily transmissible and new, meaning that the entire world was an immunologically naïve population for it. So I thought I’d discuss germ theory denial in the age of the pandemic, basically expanding on a previous post on the topic that only touched on some of the issues I want to discuss.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • State Department Website Briefly Altered to Say Trump’s Presidency Ends Jan. 11

        On Monday, an update to the U.S. State Department site said President Trump’s time in office was ending on Jan. 11, before the page was removed.

        [...]

        BuzzFeed News reported that a “disgruntled employee” had made the changes. Reps for the State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      • Microsoft fixes Windows 10 bug forcing restarts

        Microsoft has finally fixed a troublesome bug in Windows 10 that caused forced reboots on some systems running the October 2020 Update.

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Kaspersky: old malware and SolarWinds attack code similar, but don’t leap to conclusions

            Russian security firm Kaspersky says it has found some similarities in the methods used by the SUNBURST malware, that was used in a supply chain attack on a number of US firms disclosed in December, and long-time attacker, the Turla Group.

          • Why The Latest Cyberattack Was Different

            What sets the SolarWinds attack apart from previous incidents is its sheer scale. The company has over 300,000 customers worldwide, according to filings made to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Throughout 2020, SolarWinds sent out software updates to roughly 18,000 of them. To date, at least 250 networks have reportedly been affected by the booby-trapped file. Shortly after being downloaded, the virus executes commands that create a backdoor in the network to transfer files, disable services, and reboot machines. Targeted institutions include the U.S. departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, Energy, and the Treasury; all five branches of the U.S. military; the National Nuclear Security Administration, and 425 of the Fortune 500 companies, including Cisco, Equifax, MasterCard, and Microsoft. There have been other major cyberattacks in the past, but none has achieved this kind of penetration. By compromising powerful governments and businesses, including some of the most successful technology companies, the SolarWinds exploit shatters the illusion of information security. The [attack] has also spooked the financial services sector.

          • Russia, Reuters and postcards make for a very silly red scare

            The kind of silly claims made by Western news media when it comes to cyber security attacks can be gauged from the latest “exclusive” put out by the British news agency Reuters: a claim that the FBI is investigating a postcard sent to security firm FireEye after it began looking closely at an attack on its own infrastructure.

          • Ransomware Surge Drives 45% Increase in Healthcare Cyber-Attacks [iophk: Windows kills]

            he security vendor’s latest data covers the period from the beginning of November to the end of 2020, and compares it with the previous two months (September-October), a spokesperson confirmed to Infosecurity.

            It revealed a 45% increase in attacks on the healthcare sector, versus less than half this figure (22%) for all other verticals. November was particularly bad, with HCOs suffering 626 weekly attacks on average per organization, compared with 430 in the previous two months.

            Although the attacks span a variety of categories — including ransomware, botnets, remote code execution and DDoS — perhaps unsurprisingly, it is ransomware that displayed the largest increase overall and poses the biggest threat to HCOs, according to Check Point.

            Ryuk and Sodinokibi (REvil) were highlighted as the main culprits.

          • New Year, New Ransomware: Babuk Locker Targets Large Corporations [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The ransomware, which comes in the form of a 32-bit .EXE file, notably lacks obfuscation. It’s also not yet clear how the ransomware is initially spread to victims.

            “So far, we don’t know how the ransomware got into the company, but it’s most likely phishing similar to other ransomware groups’ approaches,” Dong told Threatpost.

          • Ransomware attack forces three-week shutdown of NT Government IT system [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The NT Department of Corporate and Digital Development has told the ABC that an undisclosed perpetrator targeted the unnamed supplier of its web-based corporate software system last year.

          • Staffing firm target of cyber attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The [attackers] did not demand a ransom, though Ehrnrooth speculated that such a request would likely have followed if the company had messaged the addresses specified by the [attackers].

            The attack may have put at risk the personal details of tens of thousands of people whose information was on file with the staffing company.

          • Ubiquiti: Change Your Password, Enable 2FA

            Ubiquiti, a major vendor of cloud-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as routers, network video recorders, security cameras and access control systems, is urging customers to change their passwords and enable multi-factor authentication. The company says an incident at a third-party cloud provider may have exposed customer account information and credentials used to remotely manage Ubiquiti gear.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • WhatsApp Alternatives Signal, Telegram Grow in Popularity after App Updates Privacy Policy

              Chat apps including Signal and Telegram have enjoyed a surge in downloads this week as privacy conscious users seek alternatives to Facebook-owned WhatsApp over an updated policy about data sharing with the social network.

              WhatsApp was acquired by the Mark Zuckerberg led company in 2014 for around $19 billion and has evolved into the world’s most popular end-to-end encrypted messaging service, now used by more than two billion people in more than 180 countries.

              But an incoming update to the company’s terms and privacy policy, set to take effect on February 8, raised alarm on social media this week as an alert warned users they would have to agree to the data-sharing to continue using the chat service.

            • v3 onion services require a “live” consensus to publish or fetch

              This bug got exposed today because the network went several rounds without a consensus due to the ongoing issues of #33018 (closed) and #33072, and thus Tor clients and Tor onion services ended up with a consensus that still worked (it was made within the past 24 hours), but was no longer considered “live”.

            • WhatsApp privacy policy change puts India’s privacy regulations to test

              Whatsapp had set a benchmark for social media companies for providing messaging without any promotions and ads. Billions of users globally prefer Whatsapp because there are no promoted posts or pop-ups, but an integration with its parent company has raised many questions. Will the social media giant lose its authenticity over other applications in the market because of the new privacy update?

              Effective from February 2021, Whatsapp is enforcing a new privacy policy for users globally outside of the EU which allows Facebook, the parent company of Whatsapp to read personal data of users as phone numbers and IP addresses.

            • Big Tech’s attention economy can be reformed. Here’s how.

              Seeing reality clearly and truthfully is fundamental to our capacity to do anything. By monetizing and commodifying attention, we’ve sold away our ability to see problems and enact collective solutions. This isn’t new. Almost any time we allow the life support systems of our planet or society to be commodified, it drives other breakdowns. When you commodify politics with AI-optimized microtargeted ads, you remove integrity from politics. When you commodify food, you lose touch with the life cycle that makes agriculture sustainable. When you commodify education into digital feeds of content, you lose the interrelatedness of human development, trust, care, and teacherly authority. When you commodify love by turning people into playing cards on Tinder, you sever the complex dance involved in forging new relationships. And when you commodify communication into chunks of posts and comment threads on Facebook, you remove context, nuance, and respect. In all these cases, extractive systems slowly erode the foundations of a healthy society and a healthy planet.

            • Bastian Venthur: Dear Apple,

              In the light of WhatsApp’s recent move to enforce new Privacy Agreements onto its users, alternative messenger services like Signal are currently gaining some more momentum.

              While this sounds good, it is hard to believe that this will be more than a dent in WhatsApp’s user base. WhatsApp is way too ubiquitous, and the whole point of using such a service for most users is to use the one that everyone is using. Unfortunately.

              Convincing WhatsApp users to additionally install Signal is hard: they already have SMS for the few people that are not using WhatsApp, now expecting them to install a third app for the same purpose seems ridiculous.

            • Confidentiality

              • Why are companies moving critical workloads back to on-prem?

                Over the last few years, cloud computing has been a crucial aspect of every organization’s digital transformation journey. The benefits of the cloud, to begin with, were more around cost and agility and then it slowly matured towards cloud driving innovation at scale and powering the business.

                In order to be agile, the enterprises combine public cloud, private cloud and on-premise resources to gain the agility it needs for a competitive advantage and thus hybrid model becomes the first choice of preference.

              • Thinking through why you shouldn’t use plaintext passwords in authentication, even inside TLS

                The consequence of this is that sending a password in plaintext over an encrypted connection has about the worst risk profile for various plausible means of authentication. This is because both ends will see the password and the server side has to directly know it in some form (encrypted and salted, hopefully). Our history is full of accidents where the client, the server, or both wind up doing things like logging the passwords by accident (for example, as part of logging the full conversation for debugging) or exposing it temporarily in some way, and generally the authentication information the server has to store can be directly brute forced to determine those passwords, which can turn a small information disclosure into a password breach.

              • Anti-Secrecy Activists Publish a Trove of Ransomware Victims’ Data [iophk: WIndows TCO]

                Today the transparency collective of data activists known as Distributed Denial of Secrets published a massive new set of data on its website, all collected from dark web sites where the information was originally leaked online by ransomware [attackers]. DDoSecrets has made available about 1 terabyte of that data, including more than 750,000 emails, photos, and documents from five companies. The group is also offering to privately share an additional 1.9 terabytes of data from more than a dozen other firms with selected journalists or academic researchers. In total, the giant data collection spans industries including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, finance, software, retail, real estate, and oil and gas.

                All of that data, along with terabytes more that DDoSecrets says it plans to offer in the coming weeks and months, is sourced from an increasingly common practice among cybercriminal ransomware operations. Beyond just encrypting victim machines and demanding a payment for the decryption keys, ransomware [attackers] now often steal vast collections of victim data and threaten to post it online unless their [cracking] targets pay. In many cases, the victims refuse that extortion, and the cybercriminals follow through on their threat. The result is dozens or even hundreds of terabytes of internal corporate data, spilled out onto dark web servers whose web addresses are passed around among [crackers] and security researchers.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Wanton Cruelty’: Pompeo to Declare Houthis a Terrorist Group, Sparking Fears of Worsening Famine in Yemen

        Oxfam called the designation “a counter-productive and dangerous policy that will put innocent lives at risk.”

      • As ‘Dark Stain’ of Guantánamo Begins 20th Year, Groups Demand Biden Close Offshore Prison

        “Biden must reaffirm his commitment to closure and take the necessary action to accomplish it before we have to mark the 20th anniversary next year,” says the Center for Constitutional Rights.

      • Fools Rush In: Trump, Pardons and the Tyrant’s Cult

        In his 1979 book, the Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations, social critic and historian Christopher Lasch all but predicted the dawn of Trumpian politics, writing:

        The only point that Lasch perhaps missed in his pioneering work is the cultish atmosphere a specimen like Donald Trump is able to cultivate and exploit for his own personal and political gains. It’s this innate narcissism, emboldened by a coterie of abiding fools circling round him, that led to the invasion of the Capitol. His racist minions, not too unlike the conditioned and dutiful helter-skeltering Manson Girls, were more than willing to sacrifice their personal safety for what they believed was the greater good — in this case, a battle against the “injustice” Trump had faced at the hands of some mysterious electoral fraud. The sinister enemies were everywhere. The media. Mitch McConnell. Nancy Pelosi. The Georgia Secretary of State and even that smarmy Mike Pence. The lone truth-teller was Trump, the great defender of the supremacy of white America, and to his energetic fans, the only man able to save our fragile and dying Republic from the brink of collapse.

      • Trump’s Refusal to Attend the Inauguration Doesn’t Bode Well
      • Spain wants to station its gendarmerie in Gibraltar

        Frontex should actually control the new EU external borders at the Rock of Gibraltar. According to an EU paper, however, the Guardia Civil will take over border tasks there for the first time. In addition to maritime surveillance, this concerns queries of the Schengen Information System or the new EU travel register ETIAS and the imposition of entry bans into the British exclave.

      • Trump Has Radicalized His Supporters. Deradicalizing Them Will Be Very Hard.
      • Fascism Scholar: Strongman Trump Radicalized His Supporters; Turning This Back Will Be Very Hard

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is threatening to begin new impeachment hearings against President Trump if Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol. Calls are also growing for Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to be expelled or to resign for supporting Trump’s effort to overturn the election and fanning the flames ahead of last week’s insurrection, and authorities are warning about more right-wing violence ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University historian whose work focuses on fascism, authoritarian leaders and propaganda, says the storming of the Capitol was “a logical result” of Trump’s legitimization and encouragement of right-wing extremism since 2016. “The threat to democracy is not outside our institutions only. It’s coming from inside,” Ben-Ghiat says.

      • Facebook says it’s banning the phrase ‘stop the steal’

        Facebook is cracking down on potentially violent sedition ahead of the January 20th inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, including a widespread temporary ban on phrases associated with the mob that attacked the Capitol building on January 6th. The policy, detailed in a post published Monday by Facebook vice presidents Guy Rosen and Monika Bickert, includes any content containing the words “stop the steal,” an unusually aggressive policy that appears to still be rolling out across the network.

      • Facebook targets “stop the steal” content ahead of Inauguration Day

        Facebook is working “24/7″ to tackle content including “stop the steal” from spreading across the network ahead of the US Inauguration Day.

        [...]

        According to Twitter, in some cases, a single individual would control multiple accounts in order to spread QAnon content.

        “Accounts that have tweeted or retweeted [QAnon] associated content will continue to be subject to limited visibility across search, replies, and on timelines and are prohibited from being recommended to others by Twitter,” the company says.

        Twitter has also stopped tweets issued a warning label for violating civic integrity policies from being replied to, liked, or retweeted, although Quote Tweet is still active.

      • The Right Is Planning More Armed Coup Attempts, According to the FBI
      • Peloton is blocking the #StopTheSteal hashtag from being created or used

        Tags on Peloton function as community identifiers. When people join a tag, it appears under their name on the company’s leaderboard during workouts, and they can socialize with other members of that tag. Anyone can create a tag, and new tags are popping up in response to the #StopTheSteal ban. Groups like #StopTheSteall, #StopTheSteel, #StopTheCensorship, and #StopTheFraud are all marked as “new” in the app.

        This isn’t the first time Peloton has had to ban potentially inciting phrases. Last year, the company banned political talk from its official Facebook groups as well as QAnon-related tags, offering up the same community guidelines message. Although the app doesn’t allow for live chatting with people in a class, the tags still share specific messages. The #BlueLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter tags are still allowed within the app.

      • Twitter Bans Over 70,000 QAnon Accounts in Conspiracy Crackdown

        Many of the affected accounts were run by individuals who were operating several of them at a time, Twitter said in a statement detailing its actions. As part of its latest measures, follower counts for some users may change by as many as thousands. The company had warned against the sharing of QAnon material in the summer and said accounts that tweet or retweet it will continue to have “limited visibility across search, replies, and on timelines and are prohibited from being recommended to others by Twitter.”

      • Facebook says it’s now removing content containing the phrase ‘Stop the Steal’

        The company also said it will continue its pause on ads in the U.S. pertaining to politics or the elections in the meantime. “This means that we aren’t allowing any ads from politicians, including President Trump,” it stated.

      • Michigan Bans Open Carry of Guns in Capitol Building as Threats of Violence Increase

        The move also comes after federal law enforcement officials issued a December 29th, 2020, warning to state and local officials that far-right individuals were planning violence specifically in Michigan and Minnesota’s state capitols. More recently the FBI issued another bulletin, obtained by ABC News, that warns armed protests are planned for all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol starting January 16th. The agency also said there is a group planning “storming” of state, local, and federal courthouses and administrative buildings should Trump be removed from office before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

      • Beijing’s approach to business grows increasingly muscular

        The measures are part of a broader trend, as the Communist regime led by Xi Jinping adopts an increasingly muscular stance towards the private sector. In November it halted the $37bn initial public offering of Ant Group, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce empire, two days before the firm was due to debut in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The same month the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), created in 2018 from three regulators, issued rules to rein in e-commerce giants and, in December, it opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba. On January 10th the Communist Party’s main body for political and legal affairs vowed to take trust-busting more seriously.

      • Following Capitol Attack, Pentagon Asked to Evaluate Biden’s Inauguration Security for Sympathy with Far-Right Extremists

        Wednesday’s attack has been widely referred to as domestic terrorism, though some worry the use of the word “terrorism” could be dangerous given what it means in U.S. law. A 2018 analysis from Mike German, a former FBI special agent, in Just Security, a legal forum based in NYU’s law school, argued new domestic terror laws are unnecessary, as law enforcement has the laws they need, but lacks the will. As reporter Robert Evans argued in Business Insider last week, law enforcement has long ignored the growing threat of right-wing extremism within the United States.

        The fact remains that, among the ranks of law enforcement, it appears there are sympathizers with or supporters of the actions taken by pro-Trump forces at the U.S. Capitol. More broadly, years of warnings about far-right infiltration of law enforcement are more prescient than ever.

      • No, We Do Not Need New Anti-Terrorism Laws to Combat Right-Wing Extremists

        In other words, a terrorism double standard exists. And the double standard is deeply entrenched both in our laws and in our broader culture. Left unexamined, this same double standard feeds off of its own bigoted limitations and assumptions and grows like yeast in a warm oven. One result of this is the discourse we’re now all familiar with: White guy shooters get labeled as angry or desperate or losers, while Muslim shooters are defined as terrorists. The former are examined as troubled individuals. The latter no longer belong to humanity.

      • Southern Thai Province Moves to Implement Sharia Law

        The enforcement of Sharia law in Yala is noteworthy, since most Muslims in the predominantly Buddhist Thailand are religiously moderate. Some are concerned that along with the growing radicalism in Islam in the South, implementation of Sharia law could lead to constant rights violations.

      • Indonesia outlaws one of the world’s largest vigilante groups

        In the last week of 2020, the Islamic Defenders Front was outlawed. Its acolytes, no sticklers for obeying the law, have shrugged off the ban, insisting they’ll simply rename the group and start anew.

        It was long assumed by many that a group this obnoxious would never last that long in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country — but also one where “moderate Islam” is something of a national brand.

        Yet, the Islamic Defenders Front has chugged along for two decades now and are relevant as ever.

        Most Indonesians are put off by puritanical mobs, Jahroni says. But the vigilantes don’t need majority support. They just need enough followers to scare their enemies into silence — causing enough Indonesians to feel that any public expression outside the bounds of Sharia law is better kept in the shadows.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Republicans Can Say What They Want, But They Created This Monster
      • Opinion | Impeach Trump. Then Arrest Trump. Then Prosecute Him for Sedition

        Unless all who participated in or abetted the attempted overthrow of the United States government are held accountable, it will happen again. Next time it may succeed.

      • PASP Decrees: massive registration of political activists

        Following the global security law and the separatism law, the government continues its generalized offensive aiming at silencing all political opposition. Last Wednesday, the three “public security” files (PASP, GIPASP and EASP) were largely extended by three decrees (here, here, and there). They will allow the massive registration of political activists, their entourage (including their underage children), their health or their activities on social networks. Despite its limited resources, La Quadrature du Net does not intend to be overtaken by this widespread offensive. They will contest these decrees not only in the street, every Saturday within the coordination against the general security law, but also in court, before the Conseil D’État (French highest administrative autority).

      • Democrats Introduce Articles of Impeachment After Republicans Block 25th
      • ‘A Game Changer’: Ilan Pappe and Awad Abdelfattah on the One Democratic State Campaign

        As the US ruling elites have fully succumbed to Israel’s political discourse on Palestine, the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may feel that it, alone, is capable of determining the future of the Palestinian people. 

      • Pompeo feud with US global media agency intensifies

        The speech, which was first announced last week, drew pushback from VOA employees who filed a whistleblower complaint saying the event “endangers public health and safety, violates law, rule and regulation and grossly wastes government resources,” according to a letter sent by the Government Accountability Project on behalf of the whistleblowers and reported by NPR.

        It also criticized hosting Pompeo as violating the VOA firewall by using the broadcast to “disseminate political propaganda in the waning days of the Trump administration.”

      • Shadowy PAC once funded by Trump ally Mercer promoted Capitol Hill march that led to riot

        The Mercer family has deep ties to Trump. Robert and his daughter Rebekah spent millions backing his first run for president. The two funded Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct data gathering site that was used by Trump’s 2016 campaign. It was later discovered that the company was collecting people’s personal Facebook data.

        Rebekah Mercer recently announced that she co-founded Parler, a social media site that featured pro-Trump leaders encouraging the march on the U.S. Capitol. Parler is currently offline after Amazon, Google and Apple withdrew their support.

      • MAGA-approved social media platform Parler is taken down — but its demise may be short-lived

        Amazon, Apple and Google all cited the same reason for their decisions to ban Parler — namely, that the company was not doing enough to police language that incites violence. The recent riot inside the US Capitol incited by Trump supporters and QAnon conspirators, many of whom had Parler presences, appears to have been a tipping point for the big tech companies to unify against the site.

        Parler is now suing Amazon, claiming that Amazon breached their contract in terminating their service and engaged in anticompetitive behavior. In a statement responding to Parler’s announcement that it plans on suing, a spokesperson for Amazon said: “It is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service.”

      • Parler Is Down. What Will Happen to the Far-Right Media Ecosystem?

        Whether Parler returns in its original incarnation or not, Carusone predicts that in the grand scheme of things, the disruption in Parler’s servers will likely be only a small hiccup in its overall trajectory, and it will likely return in some form. “People won’t be able to reconsolidate as quickly around Parler and that means those people remain somewhat atomized. [Removing it] will have an immediate temperature dialing-down effect, but ultimately there are bigger questions here,” he says.

        One potential issue is whether people on Parler will gravitate to platforms that also have a strong extremist presence, such as Telegram or MeWe, thus radicalizing them further; another potential consequence is that focusing too much on Parler will take the focus off of other, larger platforms where organizing for large-scale events is still occurring in private groups, ostensibly unseen by moderators. Perhaps most worryingly, a free-speech app being taken off the Apple and Google Play stores further bolsters the right-wing narrative that Big Tech is trying to suppress and censor conservatives, which could have lasting effects on right-wing rhetoric as it heats up.

      • Parler’s Suit Against Amazon Web Services Furthers Fight Between Conservatives and Big Tech

        In the latest round of an ongoing feud between conservatives and the tech industry’s biggest companies, Parler claims Amazon Web Services is conspiring with Twitter to quash potential competitors and that’s why the web giant decided to terminate the right-wing social media platform’s cloud service.

        The move came after a mob on Jan. 6 stormed and vandalized the Capitol and threatened government officials, including members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence. It’s been widely reported that individuals involved in the incident used Parler, along with other message boards and social media sites, to coordinate their efforts. Twitter responded to the events by removing scores of accounts that pushed QAnon conspiracy theories, including president Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

      • Facebook Has No Plans to Reinstate Trump Accounts, Bans Phrase ‘Stop the Steal’

        Facebook currently has no plans to allow Donald Trump to regain access to his accounts, after the social giant suspended him indefinitely following the Jan. 6 deadly insurrection in the nation’s capital, COO Sheryl Sandberg said Monday.

        In addition, Facebook said it has begun removing content with the phrase “stop the steal,” which has become a rallying cry among pro-Trump conspiracy theorists who refuse to accept that Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the 2020 election.

        Last week, Facebook said it would freeze Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg citing the risk of ongoing violence for that decision. Trump was banned permanently by Twitter last Friday.

      • Facebook, YouTube and Twitter Delete Trump’s Video Message to Rioters

        YouTube also pulled down the video from Trump’s channel, citing a violation of its ban on election misinformation.

      • Facebook shuts down accounts of Ugandan officials ahead of elections

        Facebook has shut a slew of accounts belonging to Ugandan government officials accused of seeking to manipulate public debate ahead of elections Thursday, the [Internet] giant told AFP on Monday.

        The East African nation is holding presidential and parliamentary elections after a tense and bloody campaign, with incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, 76, facing a stiff challenge from the popstar-turned-politician Bobi Wine, 38.

      • Facebook has taken down hundreds of political accounts in Uganda days ahead of a tense election

        On Jan. 9 reports emerged that Facebook had disappeared hundreds of accounts associated with president Yoweri Museveni supporters in Uganda. Some of the accounts belong to pro-government online publications while others belong to civil servants and socialites turned Museveni advisers.

        Facebook has confirmed in a statement to Quartz Africa that it carried out the purge because the affected individuals and groups where using the platform to manipulate voters ahead of the elections. The tech giant says it is constantly working to find and put an end to coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate on the platform through what it calls “coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB).”

      • Payment processor Stripe bans Trump campaign

        Why it matters: This is the latest escalation in Big Tech’s revulsed reaction to last Wednesday’s insurrection in D.C., and the first to directly target money flows.

      • Stripe Stops Processing Payments for Trump Campaign Website

        Stripe Inc. will no longer process payments for President Trump’s campaign website following last week’s riot at the Capitol, according to people familiar with the matter.

        The financial-technology company handles card payments for millions of online businesses and e-commerce platforms, including Mr. Trump’s campaign website and online fundraising apparatus. Stripe is cutting off the president’s campaign account for violating its policies against encouraging violence, the people said.

        Spokespeople for the Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

      • US Capitol Hill siege: Google pulls Parler from app shop for ‘egregious content’

        The shift has boosted right-wing favorites like Parler, Newsmax and Rumble, which have rejected Facebook and Twitter’s approach of labeling and limiting the reach of conspiracy theories.

        Facebook and Twitter banned Trump accounts Friday due to fear he would use them to instigate another attack such as the one in the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

        Sites like Parler have attracted Republican lawmakers as well as the Trump campaign.

        As they have become increasingly important to the political conversation, Twitter and Facebook have struggled with manipulation and misinformation, while at the same time seeking to keep their platforms open to a variety of viewpoints.

      • A Silicon Curtain Descends

        Both Beijing and Washington are now pursuing what Evan Feigenbaum, vice president for Asian studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, calls “technonationalism.” That is, they view private-sector technological developments through the lens of national security. A cellphone isn’t just a cellphone; it’s a potential weakness that could be exploited by an enemy. The supply chains for semiconductors and other bits of equipment are sprawling and multinational, but governments on both sides of the Pacific are eyeing each other warily and threatening to choke off innovation for fear of losing the so-called “race to 5G.”

      • Parler Will Be Shut Down for ‘Longer Than Expected,’ Says CEO John Matze

        Parler CEO John Matze conceded on Monday that the website will likely be down longer than expected after the platform was ousted by the two main mobile app stores and web hosting giant Amazon Web Services (AWS).

      • Donald Trump Has Joined Parler According to Fox News’ Sean Hannity

        Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Thursday that President Donald Trump has an account on Parler, a social media platform pitched as an alternative to Twitter that has become a popular destination for conservatives.

        Hannity said the president had signed up to the platform during a segment that featured former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders alongside right-wing commentator and radio host Dan Bongino—an investor in the app.

      • Everything pundits are getting wrong about this current moment in content moderation: An ongoing list

        First of all, the only “precedent” set here is that this is indeed the first time a sitting US president has been deplatformed by a tech company. I suppose that if your entire worldview is what happens in the United States, you might be surprised. But were you took outside that narrow lens, you would see that Facebook has booted off Lebanese politicians, Burmese generals, and even other right-wing US politicians…nevermind the millions of others who have been booted by these platforms, often without cause, often while engaging in protected speech under any definition.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Small Idaho ISP ‘Punishes’ Twitter And Facebook’s ‘Censorship’…By Blocking Access To Them Entirely

        A small Idaho ISP by the name of Your T1 WIFI has decided to punish Twitter and Facebook for perceived “censorship”…by censoring them. In an email to subscribers posted to Twitter, the company claims it will be blocking customer access to both websites by default moving forward. To access the websites, users apparently will need to contact the company to be added to a whitelist:

      • The Slope Gets More Slippery As You Expect Content Moderation To Happen At The Infrastructure Layer

        What a week the first week of January has been! As democracy and its institutions were tested in the United States, so were the Internet and its actors.

      • Is Big Tech Too Powerful? Chris Hedges & Ramesh Srinivasan Debate Twitter & Facebook Banning Trump

        Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies have removed President Trump from their platforms, after years of debate about the disinformation he shared to millions of followers from his accounts. While many are applauding the bans, author Chris Hedges warns they could backfire. “To allow these companies to essentially function as de facto platforms for censorship and manipulation … harkens back to the way civil liberties were eviscerated in the wake of 9/11,” says Hedges. “It’s always, in the end, the left that pays for this kind of censorship.” We also speak with UCLA professor Ramesh Srinivasan, director of the Digital Cultures Lab, who says Big Tech allowed right-wing extremism to flourish for years before acting and that lawmakers need to enact robust regulation. “All of these technology platforms, powered by their hidden algorithms that are indeed opaque, thrive on the amplification of polarization,” says Srinivasan. “It is incredible how much power we have given to a very small number of people who are essentially mediating pretty much every aspect of our lives.”

      • Why Big Tech, U.S. Conservatives Battle Over Speech

        When Twitter banned President Donald Trump after a mob he had encouraged stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the White House fell into an unusual social media silence. But the company’s move, followed by actions by Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon to cut off individual users or social media platforms they saw as inciting violence, turned a simmering feud with conservatives into a full-throated battle. Trump supporters complained their free speech rights were being limited, but many liberals applauded what they saw as overdue steps to limit misinformation and prevent bloodshed.

      • We need more than deplatforming [Ed: Reposted]

        But as reprehensible as the actions of Donald Trump are, the rampant use of the [Internet] to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy is about more than any one personality. Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the [Internet] in this way, and he won’t be the last. We need solutions that don’t start after untold damage has been done.

      • The Line Between Choosing Your Own Customers and Censorship

        You can read the whole thread above, but Rob was basically arguing that any influence—private or government—to limit speech is censorship. Which I just don’t agree with.

      • ‘TikTok’s decision enables expansion of censorship regime in Turkey’

        Article 19 and Freedom of Expression Association (İFÖD) have released a statement regarding the TikTok’s decision to open a local representative in Turkey in compliance with its new social media law.

        As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), China-based video-sharing app TikTok, on January 8, agreed to appoint a formal representative in Turkey, according to a statement by Turkey’s Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Minister Ömer Fatih Sayan.

        [...]

        Releasing a statement within the context of TikTok’s decision, the freedom of expression organizations have warned that “TikTok’s compliance with social media law enables expansion of censorship regime.”

      • US group appeals for Pakistani woman jailed on blasphemy

        The Pakistani prime minister’s special adviser on religious affairs and religious harmony, Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, said he was not aware of the case but would investigate and promised “justice“ for the woman.

      • Pakistan court sentences three to death for blasphemy

        An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has handed death sentences to three people for social media posts deemed insulting to Prophet Muhammad under the country’s blasphemy laws.

        A fourth accused, a college teacher, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for a “blasphemous” lecture he had delivered in the classroom, court official Istifamul Haq told DPA news agency on Friday.

      • Pakistan: Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy

        Fr Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap, Executive Secretary of the Commission for Social Communications of the Catholic Bishops of Pakistan, said: “The Christian community of Pakistan is deeply saddened by the death sentence for Asif Pervaiz. We strongly appeal to the Government of Pakistan to ensure that the Court’s decision can be reconsidered so that justice is done,” Fr. Qaisar added: “Cases of blasphemy are increasing day by day in Pakistan, which is by no means a good sign in building a tolerant society. We strongly recommend Prime Minister Imran Khan to launch a video awareness campaign to promote minority rights and human dignity.”

      • Blasphemy case: 3 accused awarded death sentence

        Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) has awarded death penalty to three persons for sharing blasphemous content on social media.

      • Banned From Mastodon? #MeToo

        In this backyard boomer rant, I wander around through the snow (an unusual occurrence in this part of the world) looking for my cat, Mr. Barack Obama. I also talk about being banned from mastodon.technology and moving to a new instance of Mastodon.

      • John Goerzen: The Good, Bad, and Scary of the Banning of Donald Trump, and How Decentralization Makes It All Better

        It is undeniable that banning Donald Trump from Facebook, Twitter, and similar sites is a benefit for the moment. It may well save lives, perhaps lots of lives. But it raises quite a few troubling issues.

        First, as EFF points out, these platforms have privileged speakers with power, especially politicians, over regular users. For years now, it has been obvious to everyone that Donald Trump has been violating policies on both platforms, and yet they did little or nothing about it. The result we saw last week was entirely forseeable — and indeed, WAS forseen, including by elements in those companies themselves. (ACLU also raises some good points)

        Contrast that with how others get treated. Facebook, two days after the coup attempt, banned Benjamin Wittes, apparently because he mentioned an Atlantic article opposed to nutcase conspiracy theories. The EFF has also documented many more egregious examples: taking down documentation of war crimes, childbirth images, black activists showing the racist messages they received, women discussing online harassment, etc. The list goes on; YouTube, for instance, has often been promoting far-right violent videos while removing peaceful LGBTQ ones.

        In short, have we simply achieved legal censorship by outsourcing it to dominant corporations?

        It is worth pausing at this point to recognize two important princples:

        First, that we do not see it as right to compel speech.

        Secondly, that there exist communications channels and other services that nobody is calling on to suspend Donald Trump.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • What Assange’s Victory Really Means
      • Russian Man Gets 10-Year Jail Term in Sweden for Hammer Attack on Chechen Blogger

        A hammer-wielding Russian man who tried to beat to death a well-known blogger and critic of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Sweden last year was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison by a Swedish court.

        Tumso Abdurakhmanov survived the Feb. 26 attack in the town of Gavle. The court did not give the convicted defendant’s name, in keeping with Swedish practice.

        A woman who helped the assailant by letting him into Abdurachmanov’s apartment, was given an 8-year term. Both will be expelled from Sweden, Swedish news agency TT said. Foreign convicts are normally expelled after serving their sentence.

      • Capitol rioter to CNN: We could absolutely f***ing destroy you

        The mob at the Capitol outwardly bashed the media as a whole Wednesday, verbally harassing journalists and, in some cases, destroying media equipment. Associated Press crews were forced away from the area outside the Senate, where they had set up equipment to report on the scene.

      • Uganda’s police chief: beating of reporters for their own good

        Campaigning ahead of the 14 January election, which pits President Yoweri Museveni against 10 other candidates including popstar-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine, has been marked by brutal crackdowns on opposition rallies.

        b Wine has been arrested multiple times and security personnel routinely break up his rallies. In November, 54 people were killed as security forces quelled protests after Wine was detained. Reporters have also been attacked by police.

        At a pre-election news conference with senior security officials, Uganda’s police chief Martin Okoth Ochola refused to apologise, saying reporters would be stopped from trying to go to areas where their lives could be at risk.

        “You are insisting you must go where there is danger. Yes, we shall beat you for your own sake to help you understand that you do not go there. Yes, we shall use reasonable force to ensure that you don’t go where there is a risk. Actually, I have no apology,” he said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Trump Administration Says the Inconvenience of Rescheduling Executions Outweighs the “Harm” to Prisoners Set to Die

        The Trump administration is charging ahead with plans for three back-to-back executions this week, even though two of the condemned prisoners are sick with COVID-19 and multiple courts have objected to the government’s aggressive maneuvers.

        Despite outstanding legal obstacles in all three cases, the executions remain on the calendar. The three prisoners’ fate will ultimately be decided by President Donald Trump and the Supreme Court. Neither has intervened to stop the 10 executions carried out since July.

      • Russian state investigators open criminal case over kidnapping of Chechen teen last seen in humiliation video

        The Gelendzhik branch of the Russian Investigative Committee in Krasnodar Krai has launched a criminal investigation into the reported kidnapping of Salman Tepsurkayev. The 19-year-old moderator of the Chechen opposition Telegram channel 1ADAT was last seen being tortured and humiliated in a video circulated online in September 2020.

      • She Photographed Police Abuse at a 2014 BLM March Then Watched the Image Go Viral During Capitol Riot

        In the midst of Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol, Twitter user @thejuliacarter gave voice to the outrage many felt at the stark difference between what appeared to be the accommodating treatment of the rioters by the Capitol Police and the brutal treatment of peaceful protesters by armor-clad officers in cities like Ferguson, Missouri, and Minneapolis in the past few years.

        The tweet included two photos. On the left was a photograph of a Black man being tackled by riot police. It was made by photojournalist Natalie Keyssar at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Ferguson in 2014. On the right was a photograph of several white men, one of whom is carrying a Confederate battle flag, roaming freely around the Capitol. It was made by New York Times staff photographer Erin Schaff. Schaff later told a harrowing story of being trapped in the Capitol as rioters broke in.

      • The facial-recognition app Clearview sees a spike in use after Capitol attack.

        Two detectives in the department’s Real Time Crime Center are using Clearview to try to identify rioters and are sending the potential matches to the F.B.I.’s Joint Terrorism Task Force office in Miami. They made one potential match within their first hour of searching.

      • The Horror: No Justice For Coptic Grandmother Assaulted In Egypt

        So that’s it. An inoffensive 70-year-old Coptic grandmother is assaulted by a Muslim mob because they could not find her grandson, whom they believed, solely on the testimony of an 11-year-old girl, had committed adultery with a Muslim woman. As he was unavailable to be beaten to a pulp, or perhaps murdered, they made do with punishing her, Suad Thabet, dragging her from her house and, in full view of the village, they stripped her naked, and then burned down her house. She is left with nothing. And the Egyptian judiciary finally acquitted all three of her Muslim tormentors because, as Coptic Christian activist Beshoy Tamry said, “stripping an old woman in the street is not a crime because she is a woman and a Christian.”

      • US group appeals for Pakistani woman jailed on blasphemy charges

        Bibi was jailed after a dispute over a donation she tried to make to a non-Ahmadi mosque in her village in Punjab province. The donation was rejected and when she sought an explanation from her non-Ahmadi relatives, a quarrel erupted followed by an assault on Bibi, according to members of her community.

        Mainstream Muslim clerics later alleged she was blasphemous and brought out an alleged witness to corroborate their allegations.

        “She is facing imprisonment simply because of her Ahmadi faith,” said the US commission.

      • Muslim Supervisors Kill Two Christian Women in Pakistan

        Police in Lahore, Pakistan on Monday (Jan. 4) recovered the bodies of two Christian sisters whose Muslim supervisors pressured them to convert to Islam before killing them, sources said.

      • The New Humanitarian | Death on the Central Mediterranean: 2013-2020

        On 31 December, as people around the world were gearing up to celebrate the New Year, the Spanish search and rescue NGO Open Arms rescued 169 people adrift in international waters off the coast of Libya.

        Along with other people rescued on 2 January, they were eventually disembarked in Italy. But many never complete the treacherous journey. Since 2013, more than 17,000 asylum seekers and migrants are known to have disappeared or died in the Central Mediterranean. Already in the first week of this year, at least 15 people disappeared and were presumed dead.

        The more than 36,400 asylum seekers and migrants known to have crossed the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe last year is a far cry from more than 180,000 in 2016, but the continually high death rate still makes the sea the world’s deadliest borderzone.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • A Few Reminders Before The Tired Net Neutrality Debate Is Rekindled

        Bad news for folks “worn out” by the longstanding debate over net neutrality: it’s about to be rekindled in a major way. But for those who are a bit too easily annoyed by having to revisit this well tread path, it’s worth remembering that the debate about net neutrality is really about competition, policing monopolization, and having regulators and antitrust enforcers that aren’t feckless cowards in dutiful sway to powerful natural monopolies. And either you care about these very real problems, or you don’t.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Spending on Streaming Services and Software Could Reach $112 Billion in 2021

        Total spending on streaming services and software is projected to reach a record $112 billion in 2021, an 11 percent growth over 2020, according to Consumer Technology Association projections announced on Monday, as its virtual CES Show began. This follows 31 percent growth in 2020 over 2019, reports CTA.

        The CTA research suggests that overall retail sales revenue for the technology industry will climb to $461 billion in the U.S. in 2021 – a 4.3 percent increase year-over-year–with streaming services, 5G connectivity and digital health devices (including health monitoring and sanitizing technology) as leading drivers due to Americans staying home during the pandemic.

    • Monopolies

      • Free Speech Tuesday: Regulating Internet “Tyranny”

        My Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley grabs hold of this rhetoric in his new book – Tyranny of Big Tech. Although Hawley’s publishing contract has been publicly cancelled, I’m sure he’ll find a way to publish it — even if it means he receives less money. Hawley is way-off the mark. As a person-in-power, he should have taken care to avoid revolutionary rhetoric for what is really a regulatory issue. He unfortunately raised tensions, raised them again, and then again.

        BUT, the power of big tech is real. This week, Trump’s soap-box (twitter account) was been removed; Stripe stopped processing his donations; Parler was removed from major app stores (Google + Apple) and its web host denied (Amazon AWS) until the company complies with moderation policies. Parler says it won’t comply. You could imagine the owners of the internet backbone (Tier-1 ISPs) and as direct-to-customer-providers blocking communications from these services as well. This is the most public flexing of US internet might, but lower-key actions have been going on for years — especially toward traditional vices such as sex-workers, pornography, gambling, and marijuana sales. You could imagine next-level ramping up of tensions with pro-Trump shipping companies refusing to deliver for these companies. Ahh, but the legality of all of this may depend upon regulatory controls on speech and on common carriers.

      • Intellectual property joint ownership — land of unintended consequences [Ed: This is the typical nonsense about so-called "intellectual property (“IP”)" and "ownership" where there's no actual ownership at all. This is propaganda in advice clothing.]

        When collaborating with others, at first blush, intellectual property (“IP”) joint ownership seems like a really good idea. After all, it seems fundamentally fair for collaborators in a joint development effort to share the fruits of their labor equally. Fifty-fifty. However, what seems ultimately fair at first results in many unintended consequences, almost always leaving one party sorely disappointed.

        There are three oft-repeated scenarios at the heart of disputes over IP ownership. One occurs when collaborators plunge into their project with no agreement. Another occurs when they have a “hand-shake deal” over how ownership, profits and expenses will be divided. And, a third arises when the parties actually do execute a written agreement, but it falls short in ways that can only be transmogrified in fierce litigation. What unites these scenarios is an unclear division about who owns what, leading to needless expense, protracted litigation, opportunity for mayhem and uncertain outcomes – none of which the parties intended when they heartily entered into their joint ownership arrangement.

        Joint ownership is a complicated subject that could fill volumes. This article offers a bird’s-eye view explaining why most IP lawyers when confronted with the prospect of joint IP ownership say, “Don’t do it.”

      • Social-Media Oligopolists Are the New Railroad Barons. It’s Time for Washington to Treat Them Accordingly

        What has changed is the technological environment in which inflammatory speech is communicated. The Brandenburg court rendered its judgment at a time when extreme forms of hate speech typically were spread in books, self-published pamphlets, or, as with Brandenburg himself, old-fashioned in-person meet-ups. By contrast, when Donald Trump urged his supporters to descend on the Capitol last Wednesday, members of his audience already had spent years firing one another up over social media, while creating, consuming, and recirculating reams of extremist propaganda. Even as they stormed the Capitol, some of them continued to extol the cause in real time, posting photos of themselves pillaging America’s national legislature. Violent mobs have been a feature of political life since the dawn of humanity. But to members of the Brandenburg court, the digital tools that allow every one of us to act as our own newspaper editor, radio host, and TV reality show would have been unimaginable.

        It isn’t just the technology itself that has drastically altered the debate about the limits of inflammatory speech, but also the consequent shift in decision-making power from public to private hands. Just a few decades ago, it was taken for granted that government policymakers and Supreme Court justices were the most important decision makers when it came to setting the ground rules on free speech. That’s no longer the case, because the entities that control mass-market peer-to-peer content, software, and monetization—including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, PayPal, GoFundMe, and Patreon—are largely unconstrained by any kind of government oversight. These are privately run companies that have aggressively leveraged network effects—the phenomenon by which the value of a user’s network engagement increases in tandem with the participation of other users—to create a communications oligopoly. As a result, crucial decisions about what can and cannot be said in the public sphere are now being made by small groups of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In some cases, it really just comes down the up-or-down vote of a single person.

      • FOSS Patents: Podcast on developments relating to component-level SEP licensing, particularly the referral of a set of questions to the CJEU by a German court

        I’m so grateful all four of them (in alphabetical order of last name: Professor Christian Donle of Preu Bohlig, Jay Jurata of Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe, Paul Lugard of Baker Botts, and Pat Treacy of Bristows) accepted. They rocked again! Never change a winning team. So rather than talk much more about this podcast, here’s the recording (total duration: approx. 69 minutes):

      • KOL311 | Nate the Voluntaryist Livestream #194: IP, the CDA, DMCA, Argumentation Ethics, and More

        We discussed intellectual property, section 230 of the CDA and the DMCA, argumentation ethics, and Q&A from the audience.

      • Patents

        • How will Brexit impact UK IP Rights? Introduction [Ed: No, UPC will never be “in force”; this is bad, false advice]

          When in force, UK businesses may face litigation within the new EU Unified Patent Court, if their actions within EU countries infringe existing rights

        • Supreme Court success for Brinkhof and Cooler Master over cooling systems

          Based on Article 87 of the European Patent Convention, the District Court of the Hague argued the priority date for the US patent was invalid. Furthermore, the court also decided that claim 1 is not novel over Lin. It also decided that claim 2 of EP 771 is invalid. Thus, the first-instance court found the Dutch part of EP 771 invalid.

          In May 2019, the Court of Appeal of The Hague upheld the first instance decision. Asetek then appealed the judgment to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. However, in December 2020 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and ordered Asetek to pay the cost of proceedings.

          The Netherlands and Germany have also seen further litigation on EP 771, although not against Cooler Master. In September 2017, the Dutch courts stayed the case against German company Coolergiant, pending the outcome of the case against Cooler Master. Proceedings are also pending on the same patent in Germany against Coolergiant.

        • UPC: Jurisdiction and “opt-out” [Ed: This ‘article’ (marketing spam of litigation firm) did not age well because UPC is dead.]

          Once the Unified Patent Court (UPC) comes into effect, and after the transitional period of 7 years (at least), the court system will have exclusive jurisdiction over UPs and all EPs designated to participating EU Member States (unless these EPs have been opted out of its jurisdiction). The UPC will also have jurisdiction over supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), unless they have been opted out or are an SPC originating from an opted out EP (which are automatically deemed to be opted out). However, during the transitional period, there will be a dual jurisdiction arrangement in relation to non-opted out European patents whereby cases can be brought in either the UPC or a national court in relation to particular actions.

        • FOSS Patents: Judge grants in part Ericsson’s motion for preliminary anti-antisuit injunction against Samsung’s Chinese action

          In my last post of the year 2020, I criticized rather harshly the overreaching nature of Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s temporary restraining order (TRO) in Ericsson v. Samsung (Eastern District of Texas). The TRO has just been converted into a preliminary injunction (PI), but not in its entirety. A couple of elements of the TRO that I thought went too far have been dropped: Ericsson can’t use the U.S. court to force Samsung to provide documents from the Chinese litigation, and should Ericsson seek any indemnification for fines the Chinese court may impose as a result of Samsung’s antisuit injunction, it can do so only to the extent that such fines relate to the impact of the Chinese antisuit injunction on Ericsson’s action in the Eastern District of Texas, but not with respect to cases in other jurisdictions.

          [...]

          Judge Gilstrap also notes a USITC complaint Samsung brought against Ericsson on January 7, 2021. Bloomberg reported on it. There’s recently been a flurry of filings, mostly by Ericsson, which is presently suing Samsung over 12 patents in the Eastern District and brought a number of cases in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. I’ll try to find out more about all those filings and will comment on them on another occasion.

        • Software Patents and Patents on Life

          • IP Edge sub, Karetek Holdings, settles with Unified Patents

            On January 8, 2021, the Board issued an order terminating IPR2020-01550 pursuant to a joint settlement request filed by Unified Patents and Karetek Holdings LLC, an NPE and subsidiary of IP Edge. U.S. Patent 7,373,515, related to a multi-factor authentication system, had been asserted against RetailMeNot, Golds Gym, HelloFresh, PetSmart, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, and others.

          • Next Steps in Eligibility.

            Two competing patent eligibility petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court. In American Axle, the patentee argues that the Federal Circuit has gone too-far in finding its claimed method of manufacturing a frequency-tuned vehicle drive-shaft to be directed to a natural law (namely Hooke’s law). In Ariosa Diagnostics, the petition goes the other way and argues that the Federal Circuit has unduly narrowed its conception of a product-of-nature under Myriad. It would be interesting for the Supreme Court to take these cases as a pair in order to reconcile the law and explain the extent that product-of-nature analysis fits within the Mayo framework.

      • Copyrights

        • The 2020 CC Global Summit Keynotes Are Here!

          In addition to the 170+ sessions hosted at last year’s virtual event, we hosted three keynotes that helped us think through how to connect the events of 2020 with our work—and find a path forward in hope and optimism. We’re excited to share these recordings of the keynotes with you today!

        • Band Shares Torrents of Master Recordings and Invites Fans to Create Bootlegs

          Australian ‘rock’ band ‘King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’ are using BitTorrent to share their master recordings with anyone who’s interested. “Feel free to get creative with it if you like – it’s yours,” they say. The band invites everyone to create ‘bootleg’ releases, some of which will be sold in the official store.

        • Former RapidShare Operators & Lawyer Acquitted of Copyright Infringement

          After becoming one of the Internet’s most popular file-hosting sites, RapidShare shut down in 2015 under pressure from copyright holders. Three years later its operators and their lawyer faced criminal prosecution in Switzerland, accused of facilitating mass copyright infringement. All three have now been acquitted.

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