01.19.21

Links 19/1/2021: Krita 4.4.2 Released and JingOS Hype

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Trisquel, Phones, and File Sharing

        This is for Trisquel users who have Android or Apple phones. This tutorial explains how to share files between your desktop and your phone via wireless or cable without using KDE Connect. This ‘magic’ is called Syncthing — a cross platform app. It is an easy and quick app to transfer your photos and everything between devices just like the proprietary software SHAREit but with privacy and security for you. I have made similar guide before (see here) but for Trisquel 9 it is a little different so this is for you. Now let’s start sharing!

      • JingOS Linux release this month, looks a lot like iPadOS

        A new operating system called JingOS was released with a look a lot like an iPad. With JingOS, users are able to run apps, access device features, and navigate with relative ease. This new operating system is just about the most sleek Linux distribution we’ve seen in recent memory, and it’ll be available to the public on January 31, 2021.

      • Linux copies the iPad to capture tablets and hybrids

        It is not possible to see all the ginkgo that Apple has brought to the iPod in recent years. It is a Linux distribution with a very well defined purpose. It is not dedicated to PCs or other devices, but focuses on tablets and hybrids with similar properties.

        Developed and manufactured for touch screen devices, it has an optimal interface. The Chinese programmers who created it guarantee that it is Compatible with any x86 device, But multi-touch support provides a broader experience.

      • Another New Linux Laptop has Arrived

        Slimbook has released a monster of a Linux gaming laptop.

        For anyone looking to up their Linux gaming experience, the Spanish PC manufacturer, Slimbook, has announced a beast of a machine, called the Slimbook Titan. What makes this laptop so special is that it’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (with speeds of up to 4.4 GHz) and includes an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU (with 8GB of memory). That’s a lot of power, which should be able to meet and exceed your gaming needs.

        The base model includes 16GB of 3200 Mhz RAM, but you can up that spec to either 32GB or 64GB. The default storage is a 500GB NVMe SSE, but can be spec’d out to 4TB (even including an optional RAID array).

        The aesthetics should please any gamer looking for a sleek machine. With a black aluminum body, a 15.6″ 2K IPS display (with 165 Hz refresh rate), and a backlit (RGB lighting) opto-mechanical keyboard, infrared facial recognition (that works with Linux out of the box), this machine packs plenty of “wow” factor.

    • Server

      • AWS wants to tempt customers into switching to Linux

        It is seconded by the release of AWS UI, which the company describes as “a collection of React components that help create intuitive, responsive, and accessible user experiences for web applications.”

        While AWS doesn’t create client applications, its embrace of React and this move towards what it describes as a “new open source design system” is perhaps done with the purpose of easing access to its services.

        It’s argued that switching to a new open source, platform-agnostic design methodology will surely make AWS services easier to consume and increase their adoption.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 108

        Will’s questionable network gear recommendations, Wikipedia at 20, terrible BBC educational material, minimising e-waste, VMs vs containers, KDE Korner, and more.

      • Destination Linux 209: The Best Product Doesn’t Always Win

        After last weeks discussion in the after show about Gnome 40 and some of the interface changes being made, we couldn’t help but compare those changes to one of the most beloved operating system of it’s time. In this episode, we’re going to talk about this OS to find out why so many on the show consider it one of the greatest mobile Operating Systems ever. In addition, we’re going to check out some new goals and updates coming to Tails in 2021. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux.

      • A First Look At Manjaro Sway Edition

        I’m going to do a quick installation and first look at Manjaro Sway Edition. This is an unofficial community spin of Manjaro that features Wayland and the Sway compositor/window manager. Sway is a clone of i3 but designed to work with Wayland rather than X11.

      • Gaming On Linux Is Super Comfy – YouTube

        Towards the start and end of every year, linux blogs and channels make posts discussing the best gaming distro for the following year and I’m here to tell you that you’ll never find it because the best linux gaming distro doesn’t exist.

    • Benchmarks

      • XanMod’s Linux 5.10 Kernel Helping Tap Extra Performance With The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

        For those wondering how the likes of the XanMod and Liquorix kernel spins are competing these days with the mainline Linux kernel, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at these popular derivatives of the Linux kernel. XanMod in particular atop Ubuntu can easily help squeeze extra performance out of the system as shown by these benchmarks on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop.

        The Liquorix kernel patches the Linux kernel with the MuQSS scheduler, high resolution scheduling, hard kernel preemption, BFQ I/O scheduler, and other tuning to help with the system responsiveness and throughput. More details on the Liquorix changes can be found at Liquorix.net.

        XanMod is another popular kernel flavor with enthusiasts. XanMod carries some of the same patches as Liquorix along with various networking patches, the CacULE scheduler, and many other additional patches. More details on it can be found at XanMod.org.

    • Applications

      • 23 Best Open Source Text Editors (GUI + CLI) in 2021

        Text editors can be used for writing code, editing text files such as configuration files, creating user instruction files, and many more. In Linux, text editors are of two kinds that is the graphical user interface (GUI) and command-line text editors (console or terminal).

        In this article, I am taking a look at some of the best 21 open-source commonly used text editors in Linux on both servers and desktops.

      • Terminology 1.9 Terminal Emulator Works Better with Debian-Based Systems

        If you’re a fan of terminal emulators, Terminology is one of the most appealing and functional out there. With version 1.9, the app received various under-the-hood improvements to work better with the Debian GNU/Linux operating system and any distribution based on it.

        Terminology 1.9 also introduces the `ability to search fonts in the fonts panel in case you’re not satisfied with the default one, as well as a bunch of new color schemes, including Belafonte Day, Belafonte Night, Cobalt2, Dracula, Fahrenheit, Material, One Dark, PaleNight, Soft Era, Tango Dark, Tango Light, and Tomorrow Night Burns.

      • Best Information Gathering Tools in Kali Linux

        Reconnaissance or Information Gathering is the first step in any penetration test. It is an essential part of the process. Starting a penetration test without a decent recon is like going to a war without knowing where and who you are fighting. As always, there is a world of amazing recon tools apart from the ones above. All thanks to an amazing open-source and cybersecurity community!

      • Sync mpv, VLC, Plex And MPC-BE/MPC-HC With Trakt.tv Using Trakt Scrobbler

        Trakt Scrobbler is a Trakt.tv scrobbler for Linux, macOS and Windows, which supports VLC, MPV, MPC-BE/MPC-HC and Plex (doesn’t require a Plex Pass).

        The tool is controlled from the command line. After the initial setup, Trakt Scrobbler runs in the background, monitoring what’s playing (movies / TV show episodes) in the media players you configure, and sending this information to Trakt.tv. It also displays optional desktop notifications when scrobbling begins and ends

      • [PPA Update] GIMP 2.10.22 with Python Script Support in Ubuntu 18.04

        For Ubuntu 18.04 users sticking to the PPA build of GIMP image editor 2.10.22, now the Python Script support is back.

        Since old GTK2 and Python 2 libraries being removed from Ubuntu universe repositories, the Python script support was excluded due to lack of dependencies when I was uploading the GIMP packages into PPA.

        Ubuntu 18.04 was neglected, though. It meets all the dependencies to build the requested feature. So I added it back. Hope it’s not too late for you :). And the package was totally built via the rules from otto-kesselgulasch’s PPA.

      • Linux Release Roundup: Kdenlive 20.12.1, BleachBit 4.2.0 & LibreOffice 7.1 RC – OMG! Ubuntu!

        I’m keen to get back into the habit of posting Linux release roundups. The last one I wrote was way back in 2019 — so it’s been a while!

        [...]

        Well, open source and Linux-focused development never stops. App, tool, kernel, driver, distro, and framework updates pop out each and every week. Not all of these updates are what you’d call ‘substantial’ or ‘must-read’ news.

        Point releases, for instance, are difficult to “pad out” into a full length article (much less sound like one you’d want to read about). I’m loathe to start firing out 8 short posts a day on thin topics. It clogs up your feed reader and pushes genuinely interesting content off the main page.

        Hence the roundups. I get the satisfaction of being able to cover the “lite” news items I normally skip (and mention distro releases I might not normally be able to), and you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re missing out on even less stuff.

        Keen to see what meaty chunks are threaded on this week’s skewer? Read on…

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 4 ways to hide your identity using linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        Being able to change your IP address and other network information is a useful skill because it will help you access other networks while appearing as a trusted device on those networks. For example, in a denial­-of­-service (DoS) attack, you can spoof your IP so that that the attack appears to come from another source, thus helping you evade IP capture during forensic analysis. This is a relatively simple task in Linux, and it’s done with the ifconfig command.

      • Creating Comfy FreeBSD Jails Using Standard Tools

        Jails in FreeBSD is by no means a new tool (introduced in 4.X), but for a reason or another, I haven’t used them that often, which is a shame since they are so powerful. So I wanted to explore this concept in a concise and summarized manner.

      • Returning to Text

        I’ve been replacing the way I store personal todo lists and notes. Previously I was using Trello. Before that I used Tiddlywiki for a couple years. I used to work with a guy that swore by simply using a text file, so I started giving that a shot.

      • How to disable user accounts and enhance password authentication in Ubuntu

        Instead of deleting a user account in Ubuntu , it is possible to manually disable it (lock it) or unlock it.
        If an account is locked or disabled and someone tries to access it , the following message will show up :”This account is currently not available.”

      • Fedora 33 : Create a simple GUI Button on Unity 3D. [Ed: This is a Mono (Microsoft) issue]

        It is very useful to create applications in the Fedora 33 Linux distribution with the Unity 3D game engine.

      • How to install Flashprint 4.6.0 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Flashprint 4.6.0 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 Flask in Ubuntu 20.04

        Two commonly used open-source Python web frameworks are Django and Flask. Django is a robust Python framework that allows users to rapidly develop and deploy their web applications by providing an MVC framework that aims at simplifying web app development with less code along with reusable components.

        Meanwhile, Flask is a microframework that is lean and devoid of extra libraries or tools. It is minimalistic as it ships with only the basic tools to help you get off the ground with developing your applications.

      • How to install the Screenshot Tool Shutter on Fedora | FOSS Linux

        The Shutter tool is a free and open-source screenshot capturing app essential for Linux. It is feature-rich and, to some extent, can be considered as an alternative to the SnagIt software, which is applicable in Windows operating systems. If you are looking for a screenshot tool better than the default GNOME clipping tool and compliments your Fedora OS’s workaround, we highly recommend that you make acquaintance with the Shutter screenshot tool.

        [...]

        The functional design and architecture of the Fedora Workstation elevate its built-in support for the Shutter screenshot tool. It is quick and seamless in taking one-off screenshots. Users that are constantly working on picture-filled projects that might require thorough documentation or tutorial setup will value what this tool has to offer. A typical Shutter session improves both the OS and the User workflow. Consider an active session where you have started to use the Shutter tool.

        Assume you have taken several screenshots inline with a project target or deadline. The Shutter tool interface will have these screenshots displayed on a session tab. The Shutter session feature lets you keep track of the screenshots you currently have so that you do not have to duplicate them mistakenly. You also have the flexibility of tracking down your previously taken screenshots, which is a plus to your OS or project management. You will then be able to edit, run filters, or delete the already acquired screenshots.

      • Highlighted Text Not Visible in Gedit in Dark Mode? Fix it!

        I love using dark mode in Ubuntu. It’s soothing on the eyes and makes the system look aesthetically more pleasing, in my opinion.

        One minor annoyance I noticed is with gedit text editor and if you use it with the dark mode in your system, you might have encountered it too.

        By default, gedit highlights the line where your cursor is. That’s a useful feature but it becomes a pain if you are using dark mode in your Linux system.

      • How to install Signal Messaging App on latest Ubuntu

        Signal messaging app is a high quality new entrant for person to person internet messaging with web based and phone based applications for communications around the world. It is known for privacy and has custom encryption techniques to keep all your messages for your eyes only. It is a secure application that uses an end-to-end encryption protocol and does not share data with any other app. You may be wondering if it is available for Linux or not? The answer is yes! it is a multi-platform application and available for mobile phones and desktops as well.

      • cPanel Tutorial

        cPanel is one of the most widely used web hosting control panel. It has a vast number of utilities and tools for website and server management. For example, you can manage and publish your websites, create email and FTP accounts, install applications like WordPress, secure your website with SSL certificates.

        cPanel is based on the Linux operating system, and it currently supports Centos 7, Cloud Linux 6 and 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 7. Amazon Linux 1 was previously supported but has now been abandoned.

        cPanel requires a new server for installation. It may be because it requires different services running on a different port; thus, it tries to avoid any port conflict with previously installed services.

      • Ubuntu Blog: What is PostgreSQL and why do enterprise developers and start-ups love it?

        PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system that is known for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. PostgreSQL is becoming the preferred database for more and more enterprises. It is currently ranked #4 in popularity amongst hundreds of databases worldwide according to the DB-Engines Ranking. An enterprise class database, PostgreSQL boasts sophisticated features such as Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC), point in time recovery, tablespaces, asynchronous replication, nested transactions, online/hot backups, a sophisticated query planner/optimiser, and write ahead logging for fault tolerance.

      • Install CMake on Debian 10 – Linux Hint

        CMake is a free and easily available open-source tool that is designed to build and then test the software. It is the compiler independent method used for generating the build files. CMake is a tool created by Kitware for a much powerful environment that is used as an open-source project like VTK, ITK, etc. In this tutorial, we are making use of this powerful tool and are going to walk users through the method of installation of CMake on Debian 10.

      • How To Install Squid Proxy on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Squid Proxy on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Squid is a caching proxy for the Web supporting HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and many more. It can be used to improve the web server’s performance by caching repeated requests, filter web traffic, and access geo-restricted content.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Squid Proxy Server on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Copy a Docker Image

        I recently had the need to copy a docker image I had created locally to another docker host.
        If you need to move a Docker image to another system, or if you’d like to back up an image then you can do so by using the docker save and docker load commands.

      • How to Defragment a Btrfs Filesystem – Linux Hint

        Btrfs is an extent-based Copy-on-Write (CoW) filesystem. Large files are stored in multiple data extents; and when these large files are modified, the extents to be modified are copied to new, empty extents in another location of the storage device and are modified in the new location. Then, the extents of the large files are re-linked to point to the updated extents. The old extents are never removed instantly.

        This is how the Copy-on-Write (CoW) feature of the Btrfs filesystem causes fragmentation. Fragmentation means that the data extents of large files are scattered around the entire storage device. They are not instantaneous. So, the performance (read/write speed) of the filesystem may be reduced.

        To solve this problem, it is necessary to defragment the Btrfs filesystem every once in a while. This article shows you how to defragment the Btrfs filesystem.

      • How to Edit PDF Files in Linux Desktop

        PDF (Portable Document Format) is popular file system used specially for documentation. In all the Linux distribution you can find PDF viewer but not PDF editor. PDF editor allow you to edit, annotate, highlight and remove the content in PDF file. Not only editing it also allows you to merge, split the PDF files.

        In this article, I’m going to show how to install and use some popular PDF editor in Linux desktop environment. In this article, I have used Ubuntu 20.0 LTS desktop environment for the demonstration of these PDF editors.

      • How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 18.04/20.04

        GIMP is a free and open-source cross-platform image editing software tool that comes with numerous sets of tools that enable you to edit and manipulate images to your own preference.

        You can perform almost any image editing task, from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation technique. Gimp can be used for photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring.

      • How to Install Latest Vim Editor in Linux Systems

        Vim is a powerful, highly configurable, popular, and cross-platform text editor that runs on Unix-like systems such as Linux, OS X, Solaris, BSD, and Windows.

      • How to Install Python on Debian 10 – Linux Hint

        Python programming language is one of the most widely used high level and object-oriented languages. Python is becoming famous for beginners and experienced programmers due to its simplicity and easy to learn syntax. Python is a versatile and open-source programming language for a large community. You can use this language to build almost all kinds of applications, from a small, simple script to complex machine learning-based problems. The old version of python 3.7, you can install directly by using the apt package manager. Python 3.9, a stable version, has been launched with many other improvements and security updates. The company added multiple new modules and extended the existing modules with some extra features in this version.

        You can’t install Python 3.9 from the standard Debian 10 repositories. However, you can install it from the python source.

        This tutorial will cover the installation procedure Python 3.9 on the Linux system Debian 10 through the command line. All commands we will implement in the Debian 10 Terminal application. Therefore. Open the terminal application by pressing ‘Ctrl+Alt+t’ or open it directly from the Debian 10 installed applications and start the installation!

      • How to View or List Cron Jobs in Linux – TecAdmin

        Cron name originates from a Greek word Chronos, which is used for time. It is a daemon for the Linux systems to automate the execution of commands or scripts at a specified time intervals.

        This tutorial will show you the several options to list all scheduled cron jobs for users on Linux systems.

      • How to install Couchpotato on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux – Linux Shout

        Couchpotato is an open-source platform to install on Linux such as Ubuntu and others to download and view various movies and Tv shows via Usenet and torrents. Here we will learn how to install on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 LTS Linux distros.

        This streaming platform allows the users to search various entertainment content directly on its web Graphical User Interface without actually visiting the Torrent websites. This saves you from unwanted ads and pop-up we usually see on Torrent related websites.

      • How to install Python 2.7 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        As we know Ubuntu 20.04 LTS which is the Long term version of Canonical has dropped the previous version of Python that is 2, to give space to the latest version of Python 3. Therefore, if there is some application that required Python 2.7 then you would not find it on Ubuntu 20.04 by default. However, there is a way to install it using the command line terminal.

      • Use vim in a production Red Hat OpenShift container in 6 easy steps – Red Hat Developer

        In this article, I present a quick demo on how to install and run vim in a production Red Hat OpenShift container, when vim was not installed in the container image. I also describe the method to use to overcome an event where the local operating system and container base image diverge.

      • How to create .desktop shortcut Icon to App Manager in Linux

        Before starting the guide, I’ll like to share my scenario with you when I was a neophyte in Linux.

        One day I have installed a telegram application from the archive file. The problem was that whenever I need to open the telegram, I need to go to the directory where I have kept the telegram file and start the applications that were too frustrating every time I need to that.

        Thanks to the Beloved Linux community, I have solved the so-called problem, not exactly the problem.

      • How to Install Wine 6.0 on Ubuntu 20.04

        Wine is an open-source application that acts as a compatibility layer to run Windows programs in Unix-like operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, etc. It is capable of converting the Windows system calls to POSIX calls used by Linux systems. This guide explains how to install Wine 6.0 on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS focal fossa.

      • What is Login Shell in Linux?

        The login shell is the first process that is executed with your user ID when you log into an interactive session.

        This may seem simple at the surface but if you dig deep, it could get confusing a bit. To understand, let’s see revisit the login process in Linux systems.

        Linux is a multi-user system where multiple users can log in and use the system at the same time.

        The first process in a Linux system, be it init or systemd, starts a getty program. This getty, short for ‘get tty’ (tty denotes physical or virtual terminals), is responsible for protecting the system from unauthorized access.

      • Easily Create a Multiboot USB with Ventoy

        Ventoy is a top-rated free and open-source utility to create a multiboot USB stick from ISO files. I use it regularly, and highly recommend you to use.

        Recently I covered on how you can create a bootable USB stick using Baleno Etcher. This time I will guide you how easily you can create a multiboot USB stick by just doing copy-paste ISO file to your USB device.

    • Games

      • Möbius Front ’83 from Zachtronics now has online and AI multiplayer | GamingOnLinux

        Möbius Front ’83, the difficult turn-based strategy game from puzzle masters Zachtronics has seen a big free expansion adding in quite a lot.

        So far, it seems like possibly the only Zachtronics title that hasn’t become some kind of instant classic. However, they’re clearly trying to make big improvements to it. Personally, I enjoyed it though and it is good but the challenge was tough and that’s what put a fair amount of people off. This update is a nice step towards making it more approachable since you can dive in for a battle against the AI whenever you want to learn more, or against others online.

      • Gaming Like It’s 1925: Less Than Two Weeks Left To Join The Public Domain Game Jam!

        Sign up for the Public Domain Game Jam on itch.io »

      • Steamworks gets Denuvo Anti-Cheat, here’s what Irdeto say about Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Irdeto, the company behind Denuvo and the newer Denuvo Anti-Cheat have announced that developers on Steam can now get direct anti-cheat integration through Steamworks. Denuvo is one of the most popular DRM solutions, with it often appearing in Windows releases of popular AAA games. Now with it easily available in Anti-Cheat form direct through Steam no doubt many developers will look to use it.

        The question is: how will this affect Linux compatibility of games both native Linux builds and Windows games run through the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer? Back in May, we reported that the Denuvo team did mention they were aiming for support of Proton.

      • GOG has a huge sale on RPGs and sees the return of the classic Moonstone | GamingOnLinux

        Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight is something of a classic, a game from my childhood and it has returned to GOG to give you an easy way to grab it and GOG are running a huge sale on RPGs.

        Created by Rob Anderson and originally released in 1991 for the Amiga (my first gaming love) and Moonstone was later ported over to DOS in 1992. If you’re interested, GOG also did an interview with the creator. I have fond memories of it, playing both solo and in co-op with my brother, back then it was probably one of the goriest games we had and the real-time battles were great.

      • With turn-based strategy and time management the VN Lotus Reverie: First Nexus is out now

        After a brand new visual novel that does a little more than walk you through a story? Lotus Reverie: First Nexus looks like a good option taking inspiration from Devil Survivor and Persona. From the same developer who also created the positively rated One Thousand Lies, early user reviews of it seem pretty good overall.

        Quite an intriguing story too which should make for interesting reading involving “the Incident” where nearly everyone vanished. During these time the “tulpas” appeared which look Human enough but “they are born through the subconscious mind of another human called the host, and their lives are linked in several different ways”. Sounds like things got pretty wild.

      • Open source PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 Remote Play client Chiaki has a final release

        The developer of Chiaki, a free and open source Remote Play client that supports both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 has gone out with a bit of a bang.

        Chiaki 2.1.0 was just released as the “final release of Chiaki for the time being”, with it now going into maintenance mode. So they might return to it at some point but for now the feature support is done. The last release wasn’t just bug fixes either though, it pulled in some nice new features.

        [...]

        As long as your home network is good, Chiaki can give you a really nice experience to stream games from your console hardware to your Linux box. Nice to have as many options as possible, especially when Sony don’t support their official bits for it on Linux directly.

      • NERTS! Online from Zachtronics gets expanded public multiplayer | GamingOnLinux

        NERTS! Online is the free to play card game from the clever people at Zachtronics (Eliza, Opus Magnum, Infinifactory) that was created to help them play together that they released free to the public.

        It’s not an original game though, as Nerts has been around in some form since the late 1890s. It has also been called Pounce or Racing Demon. Zachtronics mentioned they “learned about it from our artist Kyle, who has played it for years, and started playing it after lunch in the Zachtronics office. Over time we added more to it, including house rules, longer tournaments, and even a theme song”.

      • Stellaris will get more mysterious with Intel gathering and Espionage systems | GamingOnLinux

        Stellaris from Paradox Development Studios gets a lot right in how it deals with grand space strategy but some parts of it are still being expanded.

        Paradox have continued their regular development diaries on Stellaris for the next big upcoming update. Looks like things are again about to get more interesting, especially when it comes to communication and information gathering on other space civilizations.

        Spread across three development diaries (#1, #2, #3) they go over changes to First Contact, Fog of War, Intelligence Gathering and Espionage systems that will all see a revamp and expansion. I’m excited for all of this, because Stellaris a good story-teller and expanding on that is a great idea to invite more playthroughs.

        For First Contact, there’s going to be more options to make it a more engaging process with new First Contact Protocols to pick how you deal with such a huge situation that previous Stellaris made pretty normal. The whole system expands from there, with it being a longer process and much more like the dig site system for relics as it goes through stages. Exciting!

      • Silly comedy adventure Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac gets a permanent price drop | GamingOnLinux

        Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac, a comedy point and click adventure by La Poule Noire that released in early 2020 has been given a big permanent price cut.

        A delightfully silly adventure involved a strange old hermit and his pet chicken, who go on an adventure to save their prized squash crops and end up exploring the bright lights of the big city, Boulzac, where an 800 year old fire rages beneath the surface, and weird things are afoot.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.4.2 Released with New Tools, Brushes, and Halftone Filter
        • Krita 4.4.2 Released

          Today, the Krita team ihas released Krita 4.4.2. With over 300 changes, this is mainly a bugfix release, though some key new features, too!

          Sharaf Zaman’s Google Summer of Code project has landed in this release! Compatible with Inkscape, Krita now provides the second independent implementation of SVG Mesh Gradients. Mesh gradients are used on vector objects and can deliver really natural looking results…

        • Krita 4.4.2 Released with Mesh Gradients and Transforms, over 300 Changes

          Packed with more than 300 changes that includes numerous bug fixes and improvements, Krita 4.4.2 is here to make your digital painting experience more enjoyable by also introducing some key new features, such as support for SVG-based Mesh gradients that’s also compatibility with the popular Inkscape SVG editor.

          In addition to Mesh gradients, which can be used on vector objects, Krita 4.4.2 also introduces support for Mesh transforms, which supports complex transformations to give a speed boost to your concept. The Mesh transform feature can also be used to create precise transforms and it appears to be very useful for rounded objects.

        • Cutelyst 2.14.2 and ASql 0.27 released!

          Cutelyst a Qt Web Framework and ASql an asyncronous SQL library for Qt got new releases.

          The Cutelyst version 2.14.0 was made in December but was a silent one, I had some issues in production but weren’t related to Cutelyst, the .1 release included some contributions by Adriaan de Groot, I also did some changes for Qt 5.15 and Qt6 but for Qt6 a new major version is needed.

          Besides a bunch of fixes, a major regression on the plaintext benchmarks got fixed, unfourtunately not in time for round 20, but thanks to ASql you will Cutelyst got a better scoring on SQL related benchmarks.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Librewolf updated to 84.0.2 » PCLinuxOS

          LibreWolf browser is designed to minimize data collection and telemetry as much as possible. This is achieved through hundreds of privacy/security/performance settings and patches. Intrusive integrated addons including updater, crashreporter, and pocket are removed too. LibreWolf is NOT associated with Mozilla or its products.

        • Inkscape updated to 1.0.2 » PCLinuxOS

          Inkscape is a SVG based generic vector-drawing program. Inkscape uses W3C SVG as its native file format. It is therefore a very useful tool for web designers and as an interchange format for desktop publishing.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CMS

        • 8 Must-Try Open Source ERP Systems

          An open source ERP is a software system that is available under one of the open source licenses, such as GPL or MIT. It allows you to host your own instance of that software, and modify it and use it however you like, according to the terms of that license.

          Almost all solutions in the market offer two versions: A managed SaaS (software-as-a-service) that you pay for on monthly basis according to the services and the number of users you have in your organization, or a self-hosted open source version that you can download for free with no support.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Not So Open Any More: Elasticsearch Relicensing and Implications for Open Source Search

            Elastic, the company founded by the creators of the Elasticsearch search server, recently announced a change to the license of its core product. Previously under the permissive Apache 2 license, future versions of the software will be dual-licensed allowing users to choose between Elastic’s own license or the Server Side Public License (SSPL) created by MongoDB.

            What does this change mean for users of the software? At this point I should note that although I am very familiar with open source search engines, I am not a lawyer — so please do take your own legal advice!

          • The SSPL is Not an Open Source License

            We’ve seen that several companies have abandoned their original dedication to the open source community by switching their core products from an open source license, one approved by the Open Source Initiative, to a “fauxpen” source license. The hallmark of a fauxpen source license is that those who made the switch claim that their product continues to remain “open” under the new license, but the new license actually has taken away user rights.

            The license du jour is the Server Side Public License. This license was submitted to the Open Source Initiative for approval but later withdrawn by the license steward when it became clear that the license would not be approved.

            Open source licenses are the foundation for the open source software ecosystem, a system that fosters and facilitates the collaborative development of software. Fauxpen source licenses allow a user to view the source code but do not allow other highly important rights protected by the Open Source Definition, such as the right to make use of the program for any field of endeavor. By design, and as explained by the most recent adopter, Elastic, in a post it unironically titled “Doubling Down on Open,” Elastic says that it now can “restrict cloud service providers from offering our software as a service” in violation of OSD6. Elastic didn’t double down, it threw its cards in.

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn PureScript – LinuxLinks

          PureScript is a small strongly, statically typed programming language with expressive types, written in and inspired by Haskell, and compiling to Javascript. It can be used to develop web applications, server side apps, and also desktop applications with use of Electron.

        • C++ Operator Overloading – Linux Hint

          This article provides a guide to operator overloading in C++. Operator overloading is a useful and powerful feature of the C++ programming language. C++ allows overloading of most built-in operators. In this tutorial, we will use several examples to demonstrate the operator overloading mechanism.

          [...]

          The C++ language allows programmers to give special meanings to operators. This means that you can redefine the operator for user-defined data types in C++. For example, “+” is used to add built-in data types, such as int, float, etc. To add two types of user-defined data, it is necessary to overload the “+” operator.

        • Lua, a misunderstood language

          Lua is one of my favourite programming languages. I’ve used it to build a CMS for my old educational website, for creating cool IoT hardware projects, for building little games, and experimenting with network decentralisation. Still, I don’t consider myself an expert on it at all, I am at most a somewhat competent user. This is to say that I have had exposure to it in various contexts and through many years but I am not deep into its implementation or ecosystem. Because of that, it kinda pains me when I read blog posts and articles about Lua that appear to completely miss the objective and context of the language. Usually these posts read like a rant or a list of demands. Most recently, I saw a post about Lua’s Lack of Batteries on LWN and a discussion about that post on Hacker News that made me want to write back. In this post I’ll address some of the comments I’ve seen on that original article and on Hacker News.

        • Perl/Raku

          • A Complete Course of the Raku programming language

            This course covers all the main aspects of the language that you need to use in your daily practice. The course consists of five parts that explain the theory and offer many practical assignments. It is assumed that you try solving the tasks yourself before looking to the solution.

            If you’re only starting to learn Raku, you are advised to go through all the parts in the order they are listed in the table of contents. If you have some practice and you want to have some specific training, you are welcome to start with the desired section.

        • Python

          • Indexing and Slicing in Python Tutorial – Linux Hint

            List is considered to be a useful feature of Python. It is handy and can be accessed using the index value of the list. Moreover, it is written inside the squared brackets. In this article, we will illustrate and check these methods of slicing and indexing in Python using Python 3.8 version.

          • Python xrange vs. range – Linux Hint

            Till the Python version 2.x, there were a total of two underlying methods used in this language to generate the list of integers within a provided range. The two methods are listed below:
            range ()
            xrange ()

            Moving forward, with the latest version of Python (3 onwards), range () was withdrawn, and xrange () was then changed into range (). Now in Python 3, there is only one function for this method, i.e., range (). In Python 3, the range () function is just another way of implementing the older version of xrange() of python 2.x. Here, we will relate the two.

          • Python File Handling – Linux Hint

            In Python, a file is a location on disk used to store information, which some names are associated with it. It is used to store data permanently in a non-volatile (non-volatile means retains data even if power loss) memory (Ex: hard disk).

          • Python Traceback Tutorial
          • Python Closures Tutorial
          • Python Descriptors Tutorial
    • Standards/Consortia

      • the tragedy of gemini

        While everything I have seen served via Gemini is friendly and sociable, the technical barriers of what-is-a-command-line and how-do-I-use-one are a fence put up that keep out the riffraff. Certainly, you can walk around the corner and go through the gate, but ultimately the geminiverse is lovely because it is underpopulated, slower-paced, and literate. It is difficult enough to access that those who can use it can be welcoming without worrying its smallness will be compromised.

        The tragedy is that I don’t think many of its denizens would claim that they only want to hear from technical, educated people, but in order to use a small [Internet], an August [Internet], they have let the fence keep out anyone else.

  • Leftovers

    • Telepresence robot keeps man connected to family during lockdown

      One resident of a retirement village in Wollongong has been testing out a robot as a means of telepresence in his home during the pandemic.

    • BugTraq Shutdown

      The SecurityFocus assets, including the BugTraq mailing list, has a long history of providing timely information on the latest vulnerabilities, security vendor announcements, and exploit information. We are forever grateful to those who created, maintained, and contributed to the archive – many of us have connected and learned from each other through these lists. The history of the list and the sharing of the information has contributed to ensuring that we are building the information security community to be something stronger. Community contribution is one of the foundations to building a stronger Information Security force.

      At this time, resources for the BugTraq mailing list have not been prioritized, and this will be the last message to the list. The archive will be shut down January 31st, 2021.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Palestine Refugees Are Forced to the Back of the COVID Vaccine Line
      • Time for a Pandemic Pivot

        Congratulations on your victory in the US presidential election in November, President-elect Biden. You will be taking office at a critical moment in US and world history. You have an enormous task just to repair the damage done by your predecessor.

      • Warning World Is on ‘Brink of a Catastrophic Moral Failure,’ WHO Chief Denounces Vaccine-Hoarding by Rich Nations

        “The price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”

      • Antivaccine organizations got $850,000 in COVID-19 bailout money from the Paycheck Protection Program

        As if the last couple of weeks couldn’t get any more frustrating, imagine my reaction when I came across this story bubbling up on social media late yesterday morning, courtesy of The Washington Post about grifting antivaxxers taking advantage of the flaws in the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

      • Did the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine cause Dr. Gregory Michael’s fatal ITP?

        Three weeks ago, I wrote about how the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna RNA-based vaccines would very likely result in a tsunami of confusion of correlation with causation to blame the vaccines on all manner of seeming “adverse events,” whether the adverse events were caused by the vaccine or not. I used the specific examples of syncope and Bell’s palsy, the former of which is a common reaction to needlesticks of many kinds (including all vaccinations) and the latter of which was almost certainly not related to vaccination against COVID-19, also explaining how the law of large numbers will mean that there will certainly be a lot of health issues manifesting themselves sometime soon after vaccination just by coincidence alone, up to and including death. (The same principle applies to claims that vaccines cause autism.) Elsewhere, I predicted:

      • Free COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

        On Sunday, scientist and COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones tweeted that the state of Florida had issued a warrant for her arrest in a flagrant effort to intimidate the outspoken and courageous scientist.

        Jones is one of the most outspoken public opponents of the “herd immunity” policy being carried out by both the Trump White House and the Democratic governors. It has resulted in the premature reopening of schools and businesses even as the pandemic surges throughout the country.

        Jones has repeatedly warned of the dangers of reopening schools, countering the false narrative peddled in much of the establishment media that schools are not major sources of transmission for COVID-19.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Blacks In Technology and The Linux Foundation Partner to Offer up to $100,000 in Training & Certification to Deserving Individuals [Ed: Linux Foundation exploits blacks for PR, even though it does just about nothing for blacks [1, 2]]

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and The Blacks In Technology Foundation, the largest community of Black technologists globally, today announced the launch of a new scholarship program to help more Black individuals get started with an IT career.

                Blacks in Technology will award 50 scholarships per quarter to promising individuals. The Linux Foundation will provide each of these recipients with a voucher to register for any Linux Foundation administered certification exam at no charge, such as the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate, Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator and more. Associated online training courses will also be provided at no cost when available for the exam selected. Each recipient will additionally receive one-on-one coaching with a Blacks In Technology mentor each month to help them stay on track in preparing for their exam.

        • Security

          • Joker’s Stash Carding Market to Call it Quits

            Joker’s Stash, by some accounts the largest underground shop for selling stolen credit card and identity data, says it’s closing up shop effective mid-February 2021. The announcement came on the heels of a turbulent year for the major cybercrime store, and just weeks after U.S. and European authorities seized a number of its servers.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (gst-plugins-bad1.0), Fedora (flatpak), Red Hat (dnsmasq, kernel, kpatch-patch, libpq, linux-firmware, postgresql:10, postgresql:9.6, and thunderbird), SUSE (dnsmasq), and Ubuntu (dnsmasq, htmldoc, log4net, and pillow).

          • Flaws in widely used dnsmasq software leave millions of Linux-based devices exposed [Ed: They mention "Linux" but the issue is not Linux; that's like blaming "Windows" for Photoshop back doors]

            Security researchers have found several serious vulnerabilities in dnsmasq, a utility used in many Linux-based systems, especially routers and other IoT devices, to provide DNS services. Attackers can exploit the flaws to redirect users to rogue websites when trying to access legitimate ones or to execute malicious code on vulnerable devices.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • WhatsApp Pay doubles its UPI transactions volume month-on-month

              Despite a delayed entry into the fast-growing Unified Payments Interface (UPI) ecosystem, WhatsApp Pay processed 0.81 million UPI transactions worth Rs 29.72 crore, an over 100% increase in both volume and value compared to November, data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) showed.

              Rivals PhonePe and Google Pay processed 902.03 million and 854.49 million transactions, respectively.

            • Discussing Differential Privacy

              “..As privacy violations have become rampant, and calls for better measures to protect sensitive, personally identifiable information have primarily resulted in bureaucratic policies satisfying almost no one, differential privacy is emerging as a potential solution.

              In “Differential Privacy: The Pursuit of Protections by Default,” https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=3439229 Case Study in ACM Queue, Google’s Damien Desfontaines and Miguel Guevara reflect with Jim Waldo and Terry Coatta on the engineering challenges that lie ahead for differential privacy, as well as what remains to be done to achieve their ultimate goal of providing privacy protection by default.

            • Selena Gomez Explains Why She’s Calling Out Tech Companies

              In a recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Selena further explained why this issue has grown increasingly important to her, and why she decided to speak out herself.

            • End-to-end encryption must be easy to use

              The shift to remote working raised lots of questions about security. Many of these questions were centred on Zoom. The company claimed its service provided end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for conference communications, but this was soon revealed to not be strictly accurate.

              [...]

              Signal and Telegram are useful, but they are not a complete solution. Businesses and government agencies communicate and collaborate now more than ever. They are making more use of outsourcing, software-as-a-service and distributed teams, which is generating a huge increase in the sharing and transfer of sensitive data.

              There is plenty of technology available to beef up security, but users often complain that it makes collaboration and communication more difficult, and they tend to avoid using it.

              Good security technology needs to combine robust safety with ease of use. It needs features such as seamless encryption and management of encryption keys, data sovereignty and system certification. And it needs to cater for all forms of communications: collaboration, messaging, document sharing, conferencing, and offer tools like document approval to make workflow management easier.

            • Public Key Vs Private Key In Cryptography

              Previously we talked about End to End Encryption, this time we will talk about Public Key vs Private Key in Cryptography. Before we start discussing their difference. We need to understand what they are and how they are used. Public and Private keys are the pair of two keys that are related to each other. These keys have a special purpose to serve, If you encrypt a packet of data with one key, that encrypted data packet can be decrypted with the other key of this pair.

              [..]

              In order to communicate secretly, we both need to generate a pair of public-private keys. You can use Putty to generate the keys. We will share the public keys over the internet. We don’t need to worry if a hacker steals the public key. If a hacker somehow manages to steal the public key, it is useless for him. I know you are wondering how you will understand it by the end of this article.

              Now you have my public key and I have yours. You want to send me a file secretly. You need to make use of my public key and encrypt that file.

              After encryption, the file becomes unreadable. The only key that can decrypt this file and make it readable is my private key.

              You can send this file to me, the file is completely safe because it is encrypted. Once I receive the file, I will use my private key and decrypt it. This is how you can send me a file in a secure way and forget about someone stealing it.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • An Ordinary German Neo-Nazi

        Beating the candidate of the progressive left by just 1%, the AfD candidate – Kay Nerstheimer – Kay Nerstheimer (b. 1964) became a parliamentarian in Berlin. Nerstheimer departed from Germany’s semi Neo-Nazi party to join the real Neo-Nazi part, the NPD or National Democratic Party. Over the last few years, many commentators have seen the Alternativ fur Deutschland soft-image AfD as the natural successor to the hard core Neo-Nazis of the NPD.

        Since the electoral successes of the AfD, the NPD had sunk further into insignificance, and there has been a marked movement of party apparatchiks, supporters and voters from the NPD to the AfD. As a result, the NPD rarely attracts attention. It did so when it had to face the prospect of disappearing altogether in 2016. Twice the NPD managed to avoid this largely because of the incompetency of Germany’s secret police.

      • Encircling China and Praising India: The US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific

        Washington’s errand boys and girls in Canberra tend to get excited by this sort of thing.  Rather than seeing it as a blueprint for imminent conflict with China, a more benign reading is given: how to handle “strategic rivalry with China.”  Looming in the text of the National Security Council’s US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific (SFIP) is a generous doffing of the cap to Australia’s reckless, self-harming approach towards China.  As an unnamed senior US official (of course) told Axios, the Australians “were pioneers and we have to give a lot of credit to Australia.”  Australian senior intelligence advisor John Garnaut is given high praise for his guiding hand.  When war breaks out between Beijing and Washington, we know a few people to thank.

        The SFIP, declassified on January 5, is very much a case of business as usual and unlikely to shift views in the forthcoming Biden presidency.  The timing of the release suggests that the Trump administration would like to box its predecessor on certain matters, notably on China.

      • Opinion | Veteran Celebrates Nuclear Ban Treaty

        The United States can be a leader in the peace race, but only if our leaders hear a loud message from the people: nuclear weapons are an unacceptable threat to all of humanity and they are also now illegal.

      • Lessons From the 6 January Insurrection

        Upgrading the physical security around the country’s political institutions is of little long-term value, especially if the activities that occur within them continue to manifest ongoing dysfunction worthy of a banana republic.

        Let this be our wake-up call, America’s “Beirut blast.” The bomb explosion that devastated large parts of Beirut last summer was not an isolated, unfortunate occurrence, but the profound manifestation of decades of incompetence, complacency, and corruption in the Lebanese government—an outcome of the ruling classes’ criminal neglect of essential public needs.

      • Trump’s Failed Coup

        Trump and his Republican enablers refused to accept the verdict of the American people and lied constantly about the outcome, reinforced by right-wing media and social media. Attacking cities (Detroit and Philadelphia) and states (Georgia) with large Black electorates, Trump drilled the dog-whistle message that he had been denied the presidency because of “illegal” voting. This message resonated with the resentful white base that made up the vast majority of his supporters. So began the concerted legal and extra-legal appeals to challenge the votes and electors from the so-called battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona. (Ironically, had there been a switch of around 100,000 votes in the last four states Trump would have been re-elected even in the face of a 7 million-vote difference. Another damning indictment of the undemocratic Electoral College that actually is biased towards Republicans.)

        When state and federal courts turned back these baseless allegations of “illegality,” Trump and his Republican allies sought to enact a variety of extra-legal attacks on electors. Pushing alternative elector slates in numerous states before and up to the December 14th state certification of electors, this effort also failed. This left the January 6 certification of the vote by Congress. Trying still to lobby secretaries-of-state in various battleground states, Trump wheedled and threatened even those Republican secretaries-of-state in places like Georgia before the January 6th Congressional vote to change the state outcomes.

      • Coup, Coup, Kachoo

        See Websters, Coup d’Etat: “A sudden, decisive action in politics effecting a change of government illegally or by force”.

        The precise definition, likely unfamiliar to most Americans, is not a subject of confusion to our government.  Coups, it can be said, are us.  Our government runs them all the time.  They are, with unilateral and undeclared war, its favorite ‘diplomatic’ endeavor.  It was late to adopt the tactic but strove to perfect subversion and destruction of regimes beyond what was thought possible.

      • UN Experts Urge US to Respond to Capitol Attack With ‘Renewed Commitment to Peaceful Pluralism,’ Strengthened Democracy

        “We maintain our hope that the U.S. democracy will emerge strengthened from this crisis without damage to its institutions.”

      • ‘No One Can Censor Reality’: Human Rights Group Pushes Back After Israel Retaliates Against ‘Apartheid’ Label

        “Israel cannot be considered a democracy, for it works to advance and perpetuate the supremacy of one group of people, Jews, over another, Palestinians.”

      • Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh Remains Fragile, With Key Issues Unresolved

        The Nagorno-Karabakh region, or Artsakh to Armenians, lies within Azerbaijan’s international border. However, up until last year, when Azerbaijan took control of most of the region by force, Nagorno-Karabakh had been ruled by an ethnic Armenian government.

        Last year’s fighting was the most recent outbreak of violence in a conflict that has simmered for decades between Armenia and neighbouring Azerbaijan. The six weeks of fighting between the two countries largely ended in November 2020 with a peace deal brokered by Moscow that resulted in 2,000 Russian troops being deployed to the region as peacekeepers.

      • The Execution of Dustin Higgs and the Tradition of Capital Punishment

        Dustin Higgs, an African American man from Poughkeepsie, New York, became the thirteenth federal inmate to meet his end at the hands of the state in the span of one year since Trump’s Department of Justice directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to resume federal executions in the summer of 2019.

      • Yemen’s Leningrad: The Unforeseen Consequences of the State Department’s Houthi Designation

        The war-torn country of Yemen is in the midst of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world thanks in large part to a Saudi-led war fueled by American weapons. Now, as the war nears its six-year anniversary in March, any hopes for a diplomatic resolution have faded faster than the presidency of Donald Trump, whose outgoing administration recently announced plans to designate the Houthi rebels, the principal force battling both the Saudi-led Coalition and al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, as a foreign terrorist organization. The move effectively eliminates any ray of hope for the more than 24 million people struggling for survival amid war, siege, famine, and countless diseases and epidemics, according to the United Nations.  

      • At least 12 people arrested near police station where Navalny was being held

        On Monday, January 18, law enforcement officers arrested at least 12 people outside of Khimki’s Second Police Station, where Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was being held after he was taken into custody at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Sunday night.

      • ‘A particularly valuable agent’ Pro-Kremlin TV channel airs segment claiming Navalny is a German spy

        Russia’s state television has all but ignored Alexey Navalny’s return from Germany. But that hasn’t stopped the pro-Kremlin channel “NTV” from offering its own take. On Monday, January 18, the network ran a seven-minute segment on its program “Emergency” (“Chrezvychaynoe Proisshestvie” in Russia, or “ChP” for short), which included claims that Navalny is a German intelligence agent and that Berlin wanted to get rid of him. Here’s what “NTV” had to say about Navalny’s return to Moscow, in brief.

      • Moscow court postpones Alexey Navalny’s hearing until February

        Moscow’s Simonovsky Court has changed the date of the hearing on revoking Navalny’s probation, his lawyer Olga Mikhailova told Interfax, on the evening of Monday, January 18.

      • Alexey Navalny calls on his supporters to take to the streets as his team announces protests on Saturday

        After being remanded in custody for 30 days pending trial, Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has released a video message on his popular YouTube channel “Navalny Live,” calling on his supporters to take to the streets.

      • Alexey Navalny remanded in custody for 30 days pending trial

        Following a hearing inside a police station in the town of Khimki, near Moscow, a judge has placed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny under arrest for 30 days pending trial. Navalny, who stands accused of violating the terms of his probation in the Yves Rocher case, will remain in custody until February 15.

      • Bringing the court to him Here’s everything that’s happened since police detained Alexey Navalny in Moscow last night

        Nearly five months after he was poisoned, opposition figure Alexey Navalny returned to Russia on Sunday, January 17, where he was taken into custody after he landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport. For more than four hours after his arrest, Navalny’s location was unknown — and he had no contact with his lawyers from nearly 15 hours. At the time of this writing, Navalny is being held at a police station in the town of Khimki, near Moscow, where a court hearing is taking place to determine if he will be remanded in custody pending a court ruling on revoking his probation. Here’s everything that’s happened since police officers detained Navalny last night.

      • Greece to the US: So You’ve Experienced a Coup…

        During the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, prominent Greek journalist Petros Papaconstantinou quipped on Twitter that it’s “unlikely” for a coup d’état to happen in the United States “because there is no American embassy in Washington.” The ironic comment made perfect sense in Greece, where it is common knowledge that the 1967–74 junta served US interests in the context of the Cold War. It was an anti-communist junta—and as in earlier “troubling” moments in Greek politics, its objective was to halt the left’s ascent to power.

      • Capitol [attacker] planned to sell Nancy Pelosi’s laptop to Russian spies, witness told FBI

        A capitol [attacker] may have stolen Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop with plans to sell it to the Russian government, according to an FBI affidavit filed on Sunday. The affidavit charges Riley June Williams with unlawful entry and impeding government functions, based on extensive video record placing her at the scene of the Capitol [insurrection]. But the affidavit also uncovers an apparent plan to steal Speaker Pelosi’s laptop and convey it to a contact in Russia, who would then make contact with the country’s government.

      • Hundreds of Parler videos from Capitol [insurrection] republished in chronological timeline

        ProPublica has published a new interactive resource of over 500 videos taken in Washington, DC on January 6th, the day of the Capitol [attack], offering an unfiltered look at the day’s events. The videos were sourced from Parler, the social network popular with Trump’s supporters, whose database of over one million videos was archived before the service was taken offline.

      • Why Martin Luther King Didn’t Run for President

        This is not an uncommon position. But King had a very different perspective, one consistent with the field now known as “civil resistance.” Drawing from the work of theorists such as Gene Sharp, scholars in this field argue that power is more widely distributed than is typically believed — and that CEOs, generals and senators do not hold all the cards. Even entrenched dictators rely on the compliance of the people in order to maintain power. If a sufficient number of people choose not to cooperate with an existing order, the standing of these leaders crumbles.

        Civil resistance movements can look beyond a “transactional” model of politics that attempts to exact small gains based on conventional wisdom about what is feasible within Washington. Instead, through disruptive and dramatic protest, they alter the political climate and create new possibilities for change – turning impractical demands into urgent priorities.

      • Impeachment Manager: Trump Watched Storming of Capitol on TV

        The lead Democratic impeachment manager on Sunday accused President Donald Trump of doing nothing on January 6 to stop his supporters from storming the U.S. Capitol to try to upend his defeat for reelection.

        “He was watching it on TV, an insurrection tailgate party,” Congressman Jamie Raskin told CNN.

      • Capitol [attackers] included highly trained ex-military and cops

        A close examination of the group marching up the steps to help breach the Capitol shows they wore military-style patches that read “MILITIA” and “OATHKEEPER.” Others were wearing patches and insignias representing far-right militant groups, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and various self-styled state militias.

        The Oath Keepers, which claims to count thousands of current and former law enforcement officials and military veterans as members, have become fixtures at protests and counter-protests across the country, often heavily armed with semi-automatic carbines and tactical shotguns.

      • Workers Are Standing Up to Far-Right Violence

        In industries across the economy — from airlines to tech — the past two weeks have seen workers and their unions take the lead in combating Donald Trump’s far-right base.

      • Calls to Stop Trump Intel Briefings Grow, Citing ‘Grave Danger’

        “There is no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing — not now, not in the future,” the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said

      • The New Humanitarian | Nigeria’s growing bandit industry, and a bid to curtail it

        The scale of Boko Haram’s insurgency in northeastern Nigeria has long been clear. But it took the abduction last month of more than 340 schoolboys for many people – even within Nigeria – to appreciate just how bad the insecurity has become in the country’s neglected northwest.

        The abductors pulled up on motorbikes at the all-boys secondary school in Kankara, in Katsina State, spent an hour rounding up the students who didn’t manage to bolt, and then marched them into Rugu forest in neighbouring Zamfara State.

        [...]

        The Kankara raid was out of the ordinary only because of its scale and audaciousness. But it was no aberration. Across the under-policed northwest, there has been an alarming erosion of government authority that organised crime has exploited.
        The crisis in resource-rich but developmentally-starved Zamfara has been at least a decade in the making, but analysts warn the window is rapidly closing to finding a solution.

        No peace will mean more criminality, more sexual violence, further recruitment of children, the accelerated spread of insecurity south, and potentially formal links established with the jihadists in the northeast.

        “I’m travelling to Katsina tomorrow. It’s just a two-hour journey, but still you have to fear,” academic and Zamfara banditry researcher Murtala Rufa’i told TNH. “Kidnapping can happen at any point at any time.” What’s worse, he added, it can be your greedy friends or relatives that sell you out.
        Kidnapping is now an established criminal industry in Zamfara, overtaking cattle rustling – an earlier but riskier money-spinner. Criminal gangs inhabit the vast forests that fringe the state – where there is little to no government presence and clandestine paths criss-cross the region.

    • Environment

      • A new city rises in the desert, under a fake moon

        The world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, is planing a new city entirely dependent on clean energy.

      • Energy

        • Biden Plans to Rescind Keystone XL in “Huge Victory” for Indigenous-Led Movement
        • Bitcoin network average energy consumption per transaction compared to VISA network as of 2020
        • Indigenous-Led Movement Credited With ‘Huge Victory’ as Biden Plans to Rescind Keystone XL Permit on Day One

          “Our communities have been fighting KXL for over a decade, tooth and nail, in the dirt and in the courts.”

        • Biden May Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline Permit as Soon as His First Day in Office: Source

          The words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on a list of executive actions likely scheduled for the first day of Biden’s presidency, according to an earlier report https://bit.ly/3nP4993 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC).

          Biden, a Democrat, had earlier vowed to scrap the oil pipeline’s presidential permit if he became president.

        • Biden to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline in Inauguration Day Executive Order

          Economists generally estimate that the production of petroleum from Canadian tar sands is only profitable when global oil prices range between $65 and $100. But oil prices averaged only about $40 a barrel over the course of 2020 and are expected to remain below $50 a barrel through 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration, the statistics office of the Energy Department.

        • Biden indicates plans to cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit on 1st day in office, sources confirm

          Biden foreshadowed such a cancellation months ago, announcing in a U.S. TV interview and through statements from his campaign team that he intended to cancel the $8-billion, cross-border pipeline.

        • [Old] People Shouldn’t Buy the Right to Steal Your Land

          Alberta’s Athabasca tar sands represents the largest reservoir of tar sands in the world that is suitable for large-scale surface mining — and is a major boon to the Canadian economy. But some First Nations communities and environmentalists say they are concerned about toxic chemicals that could hurt their health and the environment that many indigenous groups still depend on. Further complicating the matter, critics have said regulators responsible for ensuring the safety of oil sands development are too closely tied with the industry.The study, conducted by University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan researchers and First Nations in Alberta, is the first of its kind to draw an association between tar sands and declines in community health in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. A January survey had suggested that Alberta residents’ illnesses may be linked to the development but noted that most area doctors were afraid to speak out about any such connection. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam criticized the government and tar sands industry for failing to conduct such a study in the past. “It’s frustrating to be constantly filling the gaps in research and studies that should have already been done,” Adam said. “This demonstrates the lack of respect by industry and government to effectively address First Nations’ concerns.” Many participants in the study said they had already decided not to eat locally caught fish because of concerns over heavy metals, which the government has issued advisories on. Their increased consumption of store-bought foods means their diets include much higher amounts of fats, sugars and salts than is deemed healthy. The report said that trend is expected to continue as tar sands development expands and the availability of safe-to-consume wildlife declines.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • ‘Absolutely Amazing’ – How Namibia Cut Seabird Deaths by 98%

          Namibia’s fishing fleet, working along the country’s 1,500 kilometre-long coastline, was until recently considered among the most deadly in the world for seabirds. But in 2015 Namibia adopted new regulations that require all hake fishing vessels to use bird-scaring lines and other measures to protect birds from fatal encounters with fishing gear. The result? The accidental deaths of seabirds, including endangered albatrosses, has been reduced from up to 30,000 per year more than a decade ago to just 215 at the last count.

        • Dead orangutans and burnt forests: Nature lovers see the ravages of climate change up close

          Diane Vukovic loves newts, and is devastated that they are dying off.

          The owner and author of the blog Mom Goes Camping told Salon by email that she spends a lot of time in nature, backpacking and camping, and particularly enjoys a glacier lake in the mountains of Kosovo perched 6,500 feet above sea level.

          “The lake used to be full of newts as well as cool water beetles and other animals,” Vukovic reports. “You’ve got to understand that newts are very sensitive to pollution, so seeing newts in the wild is always a thrill: I know I’ve found an unspoiled place in nature. But, over the past few years, I started seeing fewer and fewer newts on our trips to the lake.”

          Vukovic cannot prove definitively that their population decline is due to global warming, but there is plenty of evidence that global warming is hurting newt and salamander communities. She suspects that is the cause.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Katie Porter Is a Politician Progressives Should Fight For

        This past week, Representative Katie Porter (D-Calif.) lost her seat on the House Financial Services Committee. As Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith observed, this brought “joy and gratitude to every crooked bankster on Wall Street.” According to The Hill, House Democratic leaders rejected Porter’s request to serve on the Financial Services panel and two other committees simultaneously. Porter apparently asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about rejoining Financial Services on a waiver. She was denied, even while, as Porter tweeted, “others in same situ got waivers. I did not. I play by the rules.” Porter will hold onto her seat on the Oversight Committee and join the Natural Resources Committee; she is also deputy of the House Progressive Caucus.

      • Lynching Political Correctness

        “No matter how all this plays out, it’s only the beginning,” wrote a user on The Donald message board, according to the Associated Press.

        Actually, it’s anything but the beginning — though I get what the writer means, that there’s more to come. All 50 state capitals are now in the crosshairs of the armed protest movement, apparently, not to mention, once again, the national capitol, where Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

      • Like Lincoln, Biden Will Be Inaugurated Under the Shadow of Violence

        One of Joe Biden’s endearing traits is his love of trains. His regular use of rail travel to shuttle back and forth between Wilmington, Dela., and Washington, D.C., earned him the moniker “Amtrak Joe.” But as a direct result of the failed insurrection at the Capitol, Biden had to abandon the planned final train trip from Wilmington to Washington he was going to make this week before being sworn in as president.

      • Opinion | By ‘Force and Fraud’: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?

        The storming of US Congress will have global repercussions, not least among them the weakening of US hegemonic and self-serving definition of what constitutes a democracy.

      • Dear Republicans, Was Your Deal With Trump Worth It?

        But as soon as Trump won the Electoral College and was declared the winner of the 2016 race, McConnell set to work to ensure he could make full use of the newly elected president regardless of Trump’s continued spouting off of dangerous lies and hateful claims. The Senate majority leader was happy to see the seating of ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and most recently Amy Coney Barrett. He went on an unprecedented spree to remake the federal judiciary into one that is dominated by white conservative men, young enough to reshape legal decisions for a generation. He pushed through a massive tax reform bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy, allowing almost no room for debate over it. He ensured the Senate turned into a “legislative graveyard,” refusing to even consider hundreds of bills passed by the House of Representatives, thereby ensuring that most policy changes during the past four years were shaped by the president’s executive action.

        Three years into Trump’s term, McConnell still had not had enough, relishing the power that his position in the Senate gave him to enact his conservative agenda. When the House impeached Trump in late 2019 over a clear case of corruption and abuse of power, McConnell led the 2020 Senate acquittal of Donald Trump. It matters little whether McConnell admits Trump is unfit for office a mere handful of days before the president’s term ends. He used Trump for four years, subjecting the nation to a mad, would-be-dictator, unhinged and unrepentant in his relentless abuses. Senator McConnell owes the nation an explanation. Was it worth it?

      • By ‘Force and Fraud’: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?

        In an interview with the British newspaper, The Times, in 2015, former US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, vehemently denied that exporting democracy to Iraq was the main motive behind the US invasion of that Arab country 12 years earlier.

      • Feds Are Vetting 25,000 National Guard Troops Ahead of Biden Inauguration
      • Opinion | When Trump’s Out the Door, Biden Tackles the Winter of Our Discontent

        He and America’s “better angels” have their work cut out for them.

      • Biden Inauguration Soundtrack Includes MF DOOM, an Immigrant Rapper Deported Under Obama

        With President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration fast approaching, the finishing touches to the carefully planned ceremony are being finalized. Among them is the soundtrack, which will feature a range of hip hop music from artists such as MF Doom and Kendrick Lamar. No doubt the intention is to present the future president as progressive and an ally to people of color. There is one problem, however: MF Doom was denied re-entry to the United States by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2010 when Biden was vice-president, and, as a result, spent the last ten years of his life in exile. 

      • Even After January 6, Some in Media Can’t Kick Their Addiction to False Balance

        In the wake of the unprecedented events of January 6, many in corporate media—on both the editorial and reporting sides—have displayed a new and refreshing ability to apply accurate labels to people and their behaviors (“sedition,” “incitement,” “white nationalists,” etc.) and to apportion blame based on reality, not a wished-for fantasy of balance.

      • Why Biden Can’t Govern from the Center

        Rubbish. I’ve served several Democratic presidents who have needed Republican votes. But the Republicans now in Congress are nothing like those I’ve dealt with. Most of today’s GOP live in a parallel universe. There’s no “center” between the reality-based world and theirs.

      • Political Ineptitude Tempered Trump’s Fascist Behavior

        In contrast to his multiple business failures, Donald Trump’s presidency spurred at least one growth industry: commentary on fascism. Academics, public intellectuals, and influencers on sites from Twitter to TikTok have been laser-focused on Trump’s resemblance to a host of past and present unsavory leaders with a weak attachment to democracy.

      • N.S.A. Installs Trump Loyalist as Top Lawyer Days Before Biden Takes Office

        Mr. Ellis’s allies had pushed for him to be installed before President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is inaugurated. While it will be difficult to fire Mr. Ellis under Civil Service rules, the Biden administration could easily reassign him to another, less important post.

      • Fearing Possible ‘Insider Attack,’ Feds Vetting 25,000 National Guard Troops Ahead of Biden Inauguration

        “The very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president.”

      • The Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump: Can He be Convicted?

        Why should the GOP obeisance to Trump, the Mobster in Chief, this recidivist criminal, a violator of many provisions of the Constitution, obstructor of justice “as a daily way of life” according to his former national security advisor John Bolton, and hourly lying sociopath, surprise anyone?

        Congressional Republicans have aided and abetted, for four years, Trump’s assertion that “With Article II, I can do whatever I want as president.” Dangerous Donald did just that. He finally incited a massive, homicidal street crime against the very Congress that let him get away with everything, day after day, as if there were no laws and no Constitution to be observed whatsoever.

      • Opinion | After Four Years, Accountability Is Long Overdue

        There must be a reckoning for Trump and for all those who were complicit with Trump.

      • Moving Forward with Accountability and Justice

        The complexity of these confrontations, and the intensity of the underlying global/local emergencies, defy short term, simplistic solutions. They also demand urgently implemented answers from the grassroots. In a sequence conceived to address big and emergent crisis dangers first, hopefully working to long term systemic solutions and effectively using more People power options, including those opened up before us by leaderful accomplishments of Stacey Abrams and the Movement for Black Lives, here are some offered suggestions:

        Dealing with Systemic Racism in the Law & in Crisis

      • The way the wind blows

        The top tycoons of Pakistan find Corporate America’s support to President-elect Joe Biden and open hostility towards President Trump perfectly logical as it aligned with shareholders’ and customers’ interest in defending democracy.

        Why the same wise men chose not to side with their shareholders and customer to defend democracy back in the 1980s when Gen Ziaul Haq was sowing seeds of militant extremism in Pakistan?

        “What shareholders? All board seats are occupied by siblings, spouses and children. No one cared about the customers’ base till the arrival of social media. With limited choices and no easy recourse available, consumers were almost captive. Thanks to protection and collusion, companies can get away with next to anything. Nobody cared about the government and public sentiments as long profits were guaranteed?” commented a cynic.

      • The same system that often rendered Trump harmless fails most Americans.

        It is undeniable that Donald Trump’s presidency gave the notion of fascism cultural prominence in American politics. In the last 15 years, the term had entered public discourse only three times before this past summer: when Trump’s candidacy broke through among Republicans in March 2016; after he beat Hillary Clinton and took office in January 2017; and when the disgusting Unite the Right rally was held in Charlottesville, Va., in August of the same year.

        This shows that nothing Trump actually did sparked the discourse—unless one counts the rhetorical fuel he added to the fire of outrage and violence set off in Virginia by several hundred punks. The fascism frame was a choice that activists, commentators, and politicians made, and June 2020 proved it again and conclusively. No comparable talk—especially about Barack Obama—happened in response to the police slaying of Michael Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014. So the real questions are: Why did we make that choice? And are there better ones now?

      • Interview: Howie Hawkins discusses Ecosocialism and the Green New Deal

        I recently had the privilege of meeting with Green Party co-founder and 2020 presidential candidate Howie Hawkins on behalf of Done Waiting. Our discussion on green activism and the Party itself took us in many directions, ranging from the nascent Movement for A People’s Party to critiques of the Biden administration. The transcript below has been edited for brevity and clarity.

        Andrew Okay, so just starting off, what would you say, is your pitch for ecosocialism? Why should Americans embrace ecosocialism as the way forward?
        Howie Hawkins Well, a capitalist economy is structured to grow endlessly. And you can’t balance it with nature, so we’re busting through these planetary boundaries. Everybody knows about climate change, ocean acidification, mass species extinctions. We’re consuming the planet. We’re cooking the planet. And so we need a system, we call it ecological socialism, where we can plan the major parts of the economy to meet everybody’s basic needs within ecological limits. So that’s the first thing. I mean, it’s just a matter of survival, really. Secondly, we have a growing and extreme inequality. And capitalism produces that because working people get a fixed wage, all the surplus value they create goes to the owners of these enterprises and they get richer and richer and we struggle to get by. And then there are two other big issues that we can’t solve under capitalism. One is peace.

        The whole world is capitalist countries now and all their big companies get their military industrial complexes to try to protect their foreign interests. And so there’s conflict over cheap labor resources, markets, geopolitical military positions, and it leads to conflict and war. And with everybody nuclear armed, it could lead to nuclear annihilation. And then the last thing is, if we really want democracy, we can’t allow there to be a class of oligarchs whose concentrated wealth translates into concentrated political power. So even if we begin to reform things, they have the power. It’s campaign financing, it’s lobbyists, it’s their ability to invest or not, finance the government or not. That enables them to resist and roll back any progressive reforms. So we don’t really have political equality. We have a group of oligarchs, plutocrats, whatever you want to call them, that have much more power than the rest of us. So democracy needs socialism.

        [...]

        Andrew So on that note, do you think it’s even possible to achieve such a significant transition into a green new deal purely through electoral means, even if that were the Green Party? Given your affiliation with the IWW and the Teamsters,do you think it’s the job of organized labor to build that power that will push us toward an ecosocialist future and toward things like the Green New Deal and energy sustainability?

        Howie Hawkins Well, it’s both. We have to have reform within the labor movement, we have to get the left organizing there. My union, the Teamsters, they’re all down for these pipelines because there’s some jobs in it for them, even though there are a lot more jobs in renewables. But that’s not what’s on the table. So they go for what they can possibly get in the immediate future. But if you don’t put this into the elections and give people the opportunity to say this is what we want, you can do all the demonstrations you want, all the petitions you want, all the lobbying you want, but because you’re not threatening the vote of the Democrats, who you’re really lobbying, they can just ignore you, which is what we see now. The left in this last election, for the most part, completely lined up behind Biden, unconditionally. Made no demands. And now he’s stuffing his cabinet with deficit hawks, war hawks and, his climate people, we can go into it, but, you know, it’s pretty bleak when you look at the people he’s appointed and what they’ve done in the past with regard to climate.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook says starts process of appointing Turkey representative

        Facebook Inc said on Monday it had started the process of appointing a legal entity as a local representative in Turkey in compliance with a new social media law which critics have said will muzzle dissent.

        The law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past. The move has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media.

      • Facebook to appoint local rep in Turkey to comply with social media law

        Critics have expressed concern that the new law could shut down dissenters, the outlet noted. Companies that do not follow the regulation could have their bandwidth cut down by 90 percent, blocking access to their sites.

      • Should Social Media Platforms Lose Legal Protection?

        But a growing number of European leaders sees a third way to reduce fake news, hate speech, disinformation and poisonous personal attacks — by treating social media providers not as owners of neutral platforms connecting consumers with digital content creators but as publishers in their own right.

        This would help sidestep fears over state censorship of speech, they say.

        Amending laws to make them legally responsible, just as traditional newspapers and broadcasters are for the content they carry, would render the social media companies liable for defamation and slander lawsuits. By blocking content and banning some users, social media companies have unwittingly boosted the argument that they are content providers, as they are now in practice taking on a greater role as editors of opinion.

      • Sex, Communism, Race, and Creative Freedom in Hollywood

        In 1934, the creative freedom of unconstrained Hollywood came to a halt, setting the stage for decades of self-serving attempts at internal censorship and creative control.

        Until then, filmmakers went about their business more or less unchecked, pushing the era’s moral limits with bawdy humor, violent crime, and sexual provocation. There was James Cagney swaggering and shooting his way through The Public Enemy (1931), a portrait of a bootlegging gangster who built an empire out of “beer and blood” (and famously assaulted his nagging girlfriend at the breakfast table with a grapefruit to the face). There was Barbara Stanwyck sleeping her way to success in Baby Face (1933), leaving a trail of heartbroken (and sometimes dead) lovers in her lusty wake. There was adultery! Abortion! Profanity! Visible undergarments! At the end, righteousness would usually prevail—the antihero would repent and reform or die trying—but this was strictly perfunctory. Then, as now, audiences loved a story that made being bad look good. And then, as now, the popularity of sensational and sexy movies began to raise questions about their effect on impressionable viewers.

        Amid a climate of concern that edgy films might spark immoral behavior, and with the threat of government censorship close behind, Hollywood set out to get ahead of the game. In 1927, a committee of studio execs, at the behest of a freshly anointed industry honcho named Will H. Hays, had already collaborated to publish a now-infamous list of “don’ts and be carefuls,” a 37-item litany of topics that filmmakers agreed would be either approached with caution or avoided entirely.

      • Interference Forces BBC to Stop Airing Show on Pakistani TV

        Insiders from across the Pakistani media landscape say the pressure to censor content comes from multiple fronts, including government officials or institutions filing cases against journalists to intimidate them, Islamist extremists who threaten violence, and the judiciary that threatens contempt-of-court notices.

        However, the most intense pressure comes from Pakistan’s powerful military that has either directly or indirectly ruled the country for most of its 70-year existence and continues to wield immense control.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Pamela Anderson says Donald Trump is ‘debating’ pardoning Julian Assange
      • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov cancels daily press briefing

        Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov was supposed to get back to work after the New Year’s holidays on Monday, January 18. But instead, he has cancelled his daily press briefing just hours after Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days following his return to Moscow on Sunday.

      • Pamela Anderson Leads Diverse Left-Right Coalition Pushing Trump to Pardon Assange

        Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson is the latest in a long line of public figures pushing for a last-minute pardon for Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. In a TV interview with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on “Good Morning Britain” earlier today, the Canadian-American actress claimed that she was in the president’s ear, and that, “It would be a perfect way” for Trump to go out. “I hope he makes that decision because I think that will add a positive to his legacy,” she added, appealing directly to the president’s emotions.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Why Trumpism Will Live On

        Democrats in the House of Representatives — as did 10 brave Republicans, none of whom voted in favour of Trump’s first impeachment a year ago — made a compelling case for removing the president in the final days of his administration.

        During Trump’s four years in office, lies, ignorance and a thirst for violence have desensitized America to the point where a right-wing mob could attack police in broad daylight, break into the U.S. Capitol and occupy the Senate chamber.

      • Opinion | Israel Was Designated an Apartheid State by B’Tselem. What Martin Luther King Jr. Would of Thought of That.

        Those who argue that Dr. King would have had no problem with Israel’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank after 1967 are being illogical.

      • Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a Fierce Critic of US Foreign Policy
      • Misusing King’s Message

        On the holiday to celebrate King’s birth the whitewashing of his message has become an annual tradition. While Donald Trump will no longer be able to tweet a favorite quote (since his account has been permanently banned due to inciting violence, insurrection, and his constant disinformation) many of his enablers will. Leading Republicans who have not condemned the racist rhetoric need to leave MLK out of their platitudes and pronouncements. Any politician supporting caging children cannot quote King with any shred of integrity.

        House minority leader Kevin McCarthy has stood by Trump’s side, and defended remarks dehumanizing refugees from Latin American violence as “animals.” He was silent when Trump called the entire continent of Africa “sh_thole countries.” He was complicit in the big lie that the election was stolen, and he voted to disenfranchise millions of people from their lawful votes. But when the violence actually came to him, on January 6, it was not those people of color. And it was not from the dreaded left.

      • MLK
      • Poor People’s Campaign MLK Day Message to Biden: Act on Bold Agenda to Heal Nation

        “In 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King called out the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism. In 2021, his words are no less relevant.”

      • Progressives Push Back as Trump, Pentagon, and ICE ‘Hijack’ MLK’s Message

        “Dr. King was an anti-war, anti-capitalist justice seeker who rejected poverty, racism, militarism, and the death penalty,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley reminded those who would co-opt the slain human rights leader’s words.

      • The New No Fly List: More Dangerous than the Capitol Rioters

        In hindsight, it will hopefully (and hopefully quickly) shrink to its real-life proportions: A few thousand hysterical Donald Trump supporters, and likely at most a few dozen truly dangerous thugs, protested against what they claimed was a stolen election. Then they stormed and vandalized a building, scared some politicians, and killed a cop (who turned out to be a Trump supporter himself).

        No, it wasn’t pretty. Neither was the March 1, 1954 attack on the Capitol in which Puerto Rican nationalists shot and wounded five members of Congress, or Frank Eugene Corder’s September 12, 1994 suicide by plane on the White House’s south lawn. Last time I checked, those dates were no more occasions of somber remembrance than January 6 is likely to become. In the grand scheme of things, they were all teapot tempests.

      • Time to Trash the Terrorist Watch List, a Police-State Frankenstein Gone Off the Rails

        No, I’m not a brownshirt fascist. I’m a politically leftist professional journalist, a former Business Week correspondent, winner of a 2019 “Izzy” award for Outstanding Independent Journalism, a Graduate of the Columbia Grad School of Journalism and a two-time Fulbright Scholar in Shanghai and Taiwan. 

        What I have in common with some of the thugs who engaged in an act of insurrection or sedition in a violent assault on Congress on Jan. 6 that led to the deaths of five people and brought Congress to a halt and had its members holed up in safe rooms in the Capitol basement is that like reportedly dozens of these white nationalist fascists, I am and have since at least March 2019, been on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List.

      • Martin Luther King Jr. Defended Democracy Against Racism and So Must We
      • Moscow court sentences grad student Azat Miftakhov to six years in prison

        Moscow’s Golovinsky District Court sentenced graduate student and anarchist activist Azat Miftakhov to six years in prison on Monday, January 18, after finding him guilty of attacking a United Russia office in 2018.

      • After MLK, Unlearning Hate

        Why should the country be held hostage to white supremacy? Moreover, the behavior of President Donald J. Trump after the 2020 presidential election has been appalling and has played into the narrative of white hegemony.

        Every year around this time, the third Monday in January, many try to reflect upon the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and what he meant to the nation. This year is different though. In a presidential election year, and a year when one party is taking power from another, in this case, Democrats from Republicans, the transition has not been peaceful, and far from it.

      • MLK Day Special: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words

        Today is the federal holiday that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was born January 15, 1929. He was assassinated April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam War. We play his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, which he delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, as well as his last speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” that he gave on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated.

      • King on the Brooklyn Bridge

        The Façade of the Kings County Courthouse on Court Street’s adorned with a frieze of Moses Upholding two stones — the tablets, The law, the code — as though He sees the golden bull on Broadway to the west and is just about to dash them down to the bed of the East River Then, a little further, on the Brooklyn Bridge, you see them again the Gothic stone-clad arches

        Cathedral — to the Nomos Principle of force; striving to capture, and master The universe With its justifications, its sovereign laws, Unchecked by the just

      • Honoring Dr. King

        The stories I have heard of grandfathers, brothers, fathers, lovers, priests who rape and abuse and then manage to coerce into keeping it secret have long ago ceased to shock me. I help my patients, both women and men, come to terms with the families that were not able to protect them, who actually harmed them, and then in some cases even told them that they were the “crazy ones.” The same thing is happening to us now.

        But we are not crazy, our eyes do not deceive us. What the white supremacists now threatening the national security of our nation have in common with the ghosts in my office is toxic masculinity. This hyper-aggressive, violent version of manhood will be countered in the coming days with an even more aggressive show of force. There is likely to be armed conflict in our streets. We must stand by and watch, fearful and afraid. Or is there another alternative?

      • Dr. Martin Luther King’s Challenge to the Movement, as the Fascists Storm the Capital

        Right now, the central challenge to standing up to the armed right, in the midst of COVID and police occupation of Black communities is a sober re-assessment of the present period and reconstruction of a revolutionary alternative. Contrary to the reactionary and ridiculous counter-position of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, it was their mutual leadership of the Black united front and the larger anti-imperialist united front that made them so dangerous to the system, a political perspective that is painfully missing today.

        I have no immediate proposal as to what “we” should do in the hours and days before the Inauguration, except to pray for the safety of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and to call for a massive round-up of all fascists and white racist groups immediately. While there is little chance that will happen, as our government practices “civil liberties” for the whites and mass round ups of the Blacks I urge readers from veterans of the civil rights movement to the young, gifted, and Black, Latinx, Indigenous leaders, to drill deep into Black revolutionary history to shape our present choices. As you engage the lives of Toussaint L’Ouverture, Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Frederick Douglass, Claudia Jones, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Kwame Nkrumah, Huey P. Newton, and other great Black revolutionaries, study Dr. King carefully for he was among the greatest Black revolutionaries of them all.

      • Opinion | The Nation Must Have the Moral Courage To Carry on the Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

        The Earth does not belong to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, or the white supremacists of the world. 

      • HR is not your friend, and other things I think you should know

        Let me say this another way: I have empirically determined that very few company situations actually give a shit about whether someone is bad at their job. It doesn’t matter how much data you produce or stories you can come up with. If it doesn’t fit the narrative someone else wants to push, nothing will happen to them. Also, if *you* push hard enough to “fix” the situation, guess what? YOU become the problem.

        One exception to this that I’ve found is when someone already has plans for getting rid of someone and just needs the “ammo”. At that point, they will quickly become your “friend” in order to get all of the dirt on that person, and then once the deed is done, it’ll be like you never existed to them.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Apple Mulls Podcast Subscription Push Amid Spotify’s Land Grab

        The talks, first reported by The Information, have been ongoing since at least last fall, sources tell to The Hollywood Reporter, and ultimately could end up taking several different forms. Regardless, it’s clear that Tim Cook-led Apple — after spending the last two years watching rival-in-music-streaming Spotify invest hundreds of millions of dollars to align itself with some of the most prolific producers and most popular personalities in podcasting — is no longer content sitting on the sideline. “There’s a huge opportunity sitting under their nose with 1.4 million iOS devices globally,” says Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, “and they don’t want to lose out.” Apple declined to comment about its podcasting plans.

        Much of the growth of the podcasting industry over the last decade can be traced back to Apple and its former CEO Steve Jobs, who in 2005 declared that he was “bringing podcasting mainstream” by adding support for the medium to iTunes. A few years later, the company introduced a separate Podcasts app that quickly became the leading distribution platform for the medium. But Apple, which netted $275 billion in sales in fiscal 2020, has refrained from turning podcasting — still a relatively small industry that the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimated would bring in nearly $1 billion in U.S. advertising revenue last year — into a moneymaking venture.

    • Monopolies

      • Parler Tricks: Making Software Disappear

        Much has been written and broadcast about the recent actions from Google and Apple to remove the Parler app from their app stores. Apps get removed from these app stores all the time, but more than almost any past move by these companies, this one has brought the power Big Tech companies wield over everyone’s lives to the minds of every day people. Journalists have done a good job overall in presenting the challenges and concerns with this move, as well as addressing the censorship and anti-trust issues at play. If you want a good summary of the issues, I found Cory Doctorow’s post on the subject a great primer.

        [...]

        This is part of the article where Android users feel smug. After all, while much more of their data gets captured and sold than on iOS, in exchange they still (sometimes) have the option of rooting their phones and (sometimes) “sideloading” applications (installing applications outside of Google’s App Store). If Google bans an app, all a user has to do is follow a list of complicated (and often sketchy) procedures, sometimes involving disabling protections or installing sketchy software on another computer, and they can wrench back a bit of control over their phones. Of course in doing so they are disabling security features that are the foundation for the rest of Android security, at which point many Android security experts will throw up their hands and say “you’re on your own.”

        [...]

        The Librem 5 phone runs the same PureOS operating system as Librem laptops, and it features the PureOS Store which provides a curated list of applications known to work well on the phone’s screen. Even so, you can use the search function to find the full list of all available software in PureOS. After all, you might want that software to be available when you dock your Librem 5 to a larger screen.

        We aim to provide software in the PureOS store that respects people’s freedom, security, and privacy and will audit software that’s included in the store with that in mind. That way people have a convenient way to discover software that not only works well on the phone but also respects them. Yet you are still free to install any third-party software outside of the PureOS Store that works on the phone, even if it’s proprietary software we don’t approve of.

      • US asks Australia to scrap news media code law

        The US Government has asked Australia to drop its move for a news media code to make it compulsory for digital platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay local news organisations for using material from their publications.

      • Upcoming ERA conferences and courses with special IPKat readers’ 25% discount [Ed: Spammy posts from IP Kat]

        Our friends at ERA are always very busy and are already planning several exciting conferences and courses in the fields of IP and media law in 2021.

      • Tuesday Thingies [Ed: Yet more spammy posts from IP Kat]

        The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has published a Copyright Notice giving an overview of copyright duration, of interest to anyone wishing to find out more about how long copyright lasts in both existing and new works.

        The IPO has also announced that any saved trade mark applications must be submitted by Wednesday 27 January 2021, as technical updates taking place on 28 January 2021 to the online trade mark application form (eTM3) will result in any saved changes to in-progress applications being lost.

      • Patents

        • Kit Crack Commandments

          After having us recently hummed the Beatles’ Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da song with the TRUVADA case (see here), French case law is now flirting with New York gangs with a decision about a “Kit Crack” (not to be confused with the “Kit Kat”), reminding us the Notorious Big’s Ten Crack Commandments rap (listen here). In short: a new opportunity for the commentator to combine business with pleasure!

          The judgment, rendered by the Paris High Court (“Tribunal Judiciaire”) on February 6, 2020, involved the company TERPAN, which was the holder of a French patent filed under priority on March 4, 2013, and granted on January 22, 2016, entitled “Kit for consumption by inhalation” (FR3002724 hereinafter the “FR 724 Patent”). The invention relates to a kit for crack smokers to prevent the transmission of blood-borne infections – such as HIV and Hepatitis C – consisting of a tube and a filtering element.

          Having learned that the SAFE association and the company ASD were distributing a kit called “Kit Crack”, that seemed to reproduce the characteristics of FR 724 Patent, TERPAN brought an action before the Paris High Court against the company both for patent infringement and unfair competition. The defendants brought a nullity counterclaim, in particular for contrariety to the public order and lack of novelty.

        • Bundestag’s response to the UPC constitutional complaints [Ed: The UPC lobby is becoming ever more desperate now]

          The Bundestag’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection has reported here the following from its meeting on the two constitutional complaints filed in the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht – BVerfG) against the draft legislation enabling Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application:

        • Intellectual property after Brexit [Ed: “The impact of Brexit on patents will be felt only in respect to the unitary European patent,” it says, but there’s no such thing. UPC is just dead. They propagate this spin.]

          The existing procedure for obtaining a European patent and then validating it in countries selected by the applicant will remain unchanged. This is because the grant of European patents is governed by the European Patent Convention, to which the UK is a party. Despite leaving the EU, the UK has not renounced this convention, and thus European patents validated in the UK will remain in force. Entities from the UK will still be able to apply for the grant of a European patent and seek validation of the patent in any country that has signed the convention. Similarly, entities from outside the UK will be able to follow the same procedure to seek validation of patents in British territory.

          The impact of Brexit on patents will be felt only in respect to the unitary European patent. The UK has announced that it will not take part in this system, which means that a unitary European patent will not exert effects in British territory. To obtain protection there, it will thus be necessary to validate the European patent in the UK or obtain national registration there.

          [...]

          Brexit will have an impact on most businesses in the EU and the UK. Owners of filed or registered EU trademarks and Community designs must soon decide on obtaining or maintaining their rights in the UK. In this respect, they should examine their portfolio, the scope of use, and plans for the future, so that they can base their decisions on business realities. Businesses should also—ideally with the help of counsel—analyse their strategy for intellectual property and commercial contracts, so that after 31 December 2020 they continue to effectively protect their exclusive rights in both the EU and the UK, and exercise their rights without risk.

        • “A drawn-out UPC process would damage democracy” [Ed: JUVE quit being a news site and chose to be propaganda lobby for Team UPC. The horrendous logic of JUVE’s Mathieu Klos is, we need to rush courts to force-feed Europe something that is not legal (for fear that time will make more people aware of it).]

          Federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has once again halted the ratification process at the request of the Constitutional Court. This too is a normal process. It does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about how the court will assess the complaints.

          JUVE Patent is aware that the German government intends to quickly deposit the instrument of ratification for the protocol on the provisional applicability of the UPC with Brussels. This should set in motion the preparatory work for the UPC. The government plans to send the instrument for the actual agreement to Brussels once UPC preparations are complete.

          This is what the government has agreed with the other UPC member states. Four months after Germany takes this step, the court must actually open its doors.

          [...]

          The UPC must not ultimately fail due to a time problem. That would be constitutionally worrying.

        • UK Supreme Court Decisions in Unwired Planet V Huawei and Hauwei V. Conversant [Ed: Patent trolls of Microsoft/Nokia and Ericsson]

          On August 26, 2020, the United Kingdom Supreme Court handed down its unanimous combined decision in the cases of Unwired Planet v. Huawei and Huawei v. Conversant.

          [...]

          The first three of these had been fully litigated in the lower courts in the Unwired Planet case, but had been pleaded, but stayed, in the Conversant case pending the decision in the Unwired Planet case. The fourth issue was newly raised in the Supreme Court. Additionally, Huawei had argued in the Conversant case that the English courts were forum non conviens for deciding the dispute.

          The Supreme Court decided in favor of Unwired Planet and Conversant on all issues, affirming the judgments of the lower courts on the issues that had been litigated before them.

          Unwired Planet is a patent assertion entity (PAE) which had bought many of the patents involved in the proceedings from Ericsson. Between 2009 and 2012, Huawei had a license from Ericsson which included the SEPs which were assigned to Unwired in 2013. In 2013, there was brief discussion between Unwired and Huawei about the possibility of Huawei buying some of the SEPs, but Huawei did not do so. In September 2013, Unwired wrote to Huawei proposing discussion with a view to concluding a license, but received no reply. Unwired then wrote, in November 2013, to Huawei’s IP department which replied very promptly. Unwired Planet started infringement proceedings against Huawei in March 2014. In 2015 and 2016 three trials were held to determine whether the UK patents in suit were valid and infringed. Two patents were found valid and essential. Two were found to be invalid. Unwired Planet had similar mixed results in patent infringement trials with respect to patents claimed to be SEPs in Germany and China. Following the three English trials on validity (the “technical trials”) a further trial was held to determine the appropriate remedy. The judge concluded that the appropriate remedy was to determine a global license on FRAND terms and to issue an injunction against infringement of the UK patents that had been found to be valid and essential until Huawei agreed to such a global license. The Supreme Court decision derived from that trial to determine the appropriate remedy.

          [...]

          As with the recent U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in FTC v. Qualcomm, and recent decisions in Germany, this decision again shows the courts concerns that originators of technical advances that come to be used widely by others should be entitled to obtain a proper reward for their contributions.

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA: Not Even Improper YouTube ‘Rolling Cipher’ Complaints Can Be Countered

          In response to a lawsuit filed by YouTube-ripping service Yout, the RIAA is doubling down on its assertion that YouTube’s rolling cipher is indeed an “effective technological measure” under the DMCA. The music industry group also states that seeking remedy for improper takedown notices under the DMCA is not possible since the relevant law does not penalize anti-circumvention complaints.

        • Danish Torrent Tracker Crackdown Leads to Six New Arrests

          Law enforcement officers in Denmark have arrested six people on suspicion of being involved with defunct Danish torrent tracker Asgaard. The suspects have been charged with copyright infringement offenses. There have now been seven arrests in the case which is part of a broader crackdown on torrent sites. Several release groups, meanwhile, are now reconsidering their future.

        • Sony, Warner & Universal (mostly don’t) answer questions at the UK Music Streaming Inquiry [Ed: Copyright law for and by the copyright cartel or few monopolies, even those that are foreign to the country where they meddle in law-making]

          The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee is examining the impact of music streaming in the Economics of Music Streaming Inquiry. An overview of the inquiry was provided here, and my reflections on some of the issues here.

          As part of my podcast series Whose Song is it Anyway? We interviewed Tom Gray, the founder of the #brokenrecord campaign, who talked about how the campaign started, the motivation and goals of the movement, and how that led to him and other’s giving evidence at the Streaming Inquiry. The episode will be published on Monday 25th January on all podcast platforms and YouTube.

          Today was the latest oral evidence session where MPs asked the top record labels – Sony, Warner and Universal – about the benefit to market-dominant labels from the production and licensing of streamed music, and the underlying issues which have led to calls for a review of the distribution of streaming revenues in a more equitable way.

          [...]

          Some of the questions from MPs in this session demonstrated their concern for the compelling evidence provided by the artists, citing Nadine Shah and picking up on specific points raised in the previous sessions. There was a suggestion that the next people to face questions will be the streaming services.

          Although we cannot say what will happen at this stage, it does seem that the committee is sympathetic to the artists’ complaints. And, after the performance from the executives today, particularly their resistance against answering the questions, less than impressed with the record labels. Closing the session, Julian Knight MP remarked that ““I think the performance today has been a bit more Hufflepuff…”

          Overall, the impression so far is that the current streaming landscape does not fairly remunerate musicians and artists, and copyright law may very well be updated to accurately reflect the nature of a stream to try to remedy this.

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