03.04.21

Links 4/3/2021: LibreOffice 7.1.1, Cockpit 239, Many Stable Kernel Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • LinuxLinks – The Home of Linux

      Over the years, we’ve written an enormous range of articles showcasing the finest free and open source Linux software. There’s other computer related areas that we also regularly dive into such as programming, hardware, Android, and more.

      Many of these articles are published in a series. It therefore makes sense to collate all of these series into a central location.

    • Server

      • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in February 2021 [Ed: 9 out of 10 are GNU/Linux-powered]

        Choopa.com took the top spot as the most reliable hosting company site in February. The top five hosting company sites all had no failed requests during the month, with the ranking decided by fastest average connection time. Choopa.com had the fastest connection time out of all of the top 10 hosting company websites, at just 5ms. In the past 12 months Choopa.com appeared in the top 10 nine times. Choopa.com offers a range of services including cloud hosting, dedicated hosting and colocation in its own primary facility in Piscataway, New Jersey as well as other facilities in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Tokyo.

        Spots two and three in February go to Rackspace and Webair. Rackspace provide a wide variety of cloud services from its global network of over 50 locations in five continents, and Webair offer managed and private cloud services, storage and backup solutions from its eight facilities in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Singapore.

        The other two hosting companies to respond to every request during February were Hyve and CWCS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Bad Voltage 3×24: Weaponised Rooster

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and special guest star Alan Pope present Bad Voltage, in which we are large and in charge, there is ancient history about electricians and phones…

      • Cintiq or Intuos? …or both? The tablets I use. – David Revoy

        I’m showing my usage of two different tablets to answer the classic “What tablet are you using?”. I also do that because I’m tired about the numbered videos “Intuos VS Cintiq” as if you had to choose one clan over the other… Both have pros and cons and with a sane operating system (like my Kubuntu Linux 20.04) you can unplug one on the fly and use the other without too much magnetic noises and a get plug’n’play experience. It really helps, I don’t even need to restart Krita. For more information about my tablets, read this blog post where I detail all the one I owned over the last 20 years: https://www.davidrevoy.com/article332/tablet-history-log

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • croc Is A Tool For Resumable, Encrypted File And Folder Transfers Between Computers (Command Line)

        croc is a free and open source command line tool for secure file transfers between computers. It uses relay-assisted peer-to-peer transactions and end-to-end encryption via password-authenticated key exchange. The program is written in Go and is available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux and *BSD.

        The idea behind croc is being able to transfer files and folders between cross-platform computers securely, fast and easy. With support for resumable, peer-to-peer transfers. As a bonus feature, croc is also able to securely transfer a short text or URL directly.

        The data transfer is done using a relay, either using raw TCP sockets or websockets. When the sender and the receiver are on the same LAN, croc uses a local relay, otherwise a public relay is used. Thanks to this, croc can send files between computers in the same LAN, or over the Internet, without having port-forwarding enabled.

        The data going through the relay is encrypted using a PAKE-generated session key. For this, croc uses code phrases, a combination of three random words. By default, a code phrase can only be used once between two parties, so an attacker would have a chance of less than 1 in 4 billion to guess the code phrase correctly to steal the data.

      • Sweet Home 3D 6.5

        Sweet Home 3D 6.5 was released on March 2, 2021 to fix many bugs and bring a few improvements described in version history.

        [...]

        The main change is the Java runtime now bundled with Sweet Home 3D installer under Windows 64 bit and Mac OS X ≥ 10.9. Under Windows, Sweet Home 3D 6.5 is bundled with Azul OpenJDK 11.0.10 when installed with a 64 bit architecture, bringing a better user interface under HiDPI screens. Under Mac OS X ≥ 10.9, Sweet Home 3D is bundled with Azul OpenJDK 15.0.2 which supports notarization and the Apple new M1 processor for applications launched from an .app bundle.
        The Windows 32 bit version of Sweet Home 3D is still bundled with Oracle Java 8u202, mainly to keep the support of old Windows versions like Windows XP. Under Mac OS X ≤ 10.9, you’ll have to use SweetHome3D-6.5-macosx-10.4-10.9.dmg installer which runs with Apple Java 6 and Java 3D 1.5.2 (notice that Mac OS X 10.9 is the only Mac OS X version able to run Sweet Home 3D coming from either installers). Under Linux, the Java runtime bundled with installers were not updated yet.

        Finally, the JOGL library running with Java 3D 1.6.1 was upgraded to version 2.4 RC 20210111 to ensure the compatibility of Sweet Home 3D and Furniture Library Editor with Java 9 and above under Mac OS X.

      • Sweet Home 3D 6.5 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04

        Free interior design software SweetHome3D 6.5 was released a few day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Linux Mint 19.x, and 20.x.

      • 20 Free Video Editing Apps for Beginners [Ed: Several of the programs in this article are also free as in freedom]

        6. Shotcut

        Shotcut is an open source, cross platform video editing software. The tool supports a wide range of video formats. So it’s perfect for those who need to create content for multiple platforms. The video editor offers native timeline editing. So you don’t need to import specialized content to use it. You can also easily capture content from cameras, webcams, online, or audio files.
        Shotcut is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. Since it’s an open source tool, there are no fees. And it’s possible to create customized solutions. But there may be a bit of a learning curve for those who want to use the tool for specific purposes. There are plenty of tutorials available on the website to help you learn the features and abilities.

        7. OpenShot

        OpenShot is an open source video editor that’s 100 percent free. You simply download the video editing software to your computer. Then you can quickly upload content and edit it in a variety of ways. Features include trimming, background editing, titles, unlimited tracks and layers, slow motion, and animation options. It’s also known for its easy to use features and intuitive interface, making it an ideal video editing software for beginners.
        OpenShot is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is distributed under a GNU General Public License. So you can modify and distribute it as well.

      • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.13 (Linux Only)

        Tor Browser 10.0.13 for Linux is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

        This version fixes instability on some Linux distributions.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 6 Ways to check user information in Linux

        Most of us use the id command, and some users filter the user information from the /etc/passwd file.

        If you are a beginner for Linux operating systems and want to know more about the /etc/passwd file, please refer the following article.

        In general, we use the above two commands to obtain user information. You may ask why to discuss this basic topic. People think there are no alternatives other other than these two commands, but we found that there are other ways to gather user information. Hence, we have created this article to guide you.

        In this tutorial, we will discuss all these methods in detail. This is one of the basic commands that help the administrator to find information about a user in Linux.

      • How to create your WordPress developer stack on OpenShift 4 | Enable Sysadmin

        Learn how to deploy your WordPress developer stack on OpenShift 4 by using tools such as Nginx, Php-fpm, Phpmyadmin, Mariadb, Red Hat CodeReady, and Tekton.

      • The Ultimate Docker Cheat Sheet – Quick Reference – LinuxBuz

        A Docker cheat sheet is a set of nodes used for quick reference while using Docker in the real world. I have prepared a Docker cheat sheet that includes an extensive list of Docker commands.

        Here, I am presenting my Docker Cheat Sheet (a one-page guide) with all common terms and useful one-liners commands. You can use it as a quick reference guide when working with Docker. If you want to learn more about Docker with detail information and examples, you can read the rest of the article.

    • Games

      • Torrent of Impurities is a brand new single-player and co-op Quake Episode

        Need more of the classic FPS Quake in your life? Check out the newly released Torrent of Impurities by a bunch of Finnish mappers which serves up another dose to blast through.

        In development for over 9 months it brings over 7 new maps with thousands of monsters spread throughout. Plenty of secrets to find for this will too with over 120 to scout out and find. Using Copper as the base of the pack, which is a “drop-in improvement to stock /id1/ gameplay and an equally suitable basis for new mods” but it tweaks plenty on top of all their unique additions.

      • Might and Delight confirm Shelter 3 to launch on March 30 | GamingOnLinux

        Get ready to become one with nature again, as Shelter 3 from Might and Delight now has an official release date and it’s going up on March 30.

        The Shelter serious is all about exploring nature as an actual animal, Shelter 3 puts you in the shoes of an Elephant and so it’s a bit different to the previous games since you’re part of a bigger community. Might and Delight say it’s their “most emotional journey yet”. You’ll be helping to protect the entire herd, while also trying to protect your own calf as a new mother. It’s shaping up to be a thoroughly unique experience.

      • The GoD Unit is a brain-tickling first-person physics puzzle game out now

        With the recent updates to Portal 2 I got a needy feeling for more first-person puzzle goodness and thankfully The GoD Unit seems to deliver on that. Note: key provided by the developer.

        The idea here is that you’re going to be playing with mass. Using the tried and tested weighted cubes from Portal and other puzzle games, you run around rooms moving cubes around to press down buttons. However, there’s quite a bit more than meets the eye here. You’re constantly messing around with the mass of these cubes, making them weigh more or less using the special tech in the facility.

        [...]

        Cat Floor Studio, the developer, is a solo studio too which is surprising given how much thought went into this i would have expected at least 3-4 people on it. Always surprises me what tiny teams and solo developers can do.

      • Super charming 3D burrowing platformer Mail Mole is out now

        Love 3D platformers? Mail Mole from Talpa Games and Undercoders is out now with its sweet family friendly setting that sees you fire a mole around various different lands. Note: key provided by the developer.

        In Mail Mole, someone has sabotaged and hacked into all the power stations and so it’s your job to burrow through all these magical lands to deliver a special password to each of them and bring them all back online. Not a particularly challenging game but still a wonderful addition to the 3D platformer genre, one that a younger audience will definitely enjoy a lot.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Apps Update for March 2021 Improves Spectacle, Gwenview, and More

          KDE Applications 20.12.3 comes a month after KDE’s Apps update for February 2021 to fix even more bugs in several of the included apps and components, most of which are needed or ship by default with the latest KDE Plasma desktop environment series.

          Among the improvements implemented in the KDE Applications 20.12.3 update, there’s the ability to set the compression quality in the Spectacle screenshot utility to 100%, support for a newer OpenGL drawing view to support hardware-accelerated transitions on Wayland and a working JPEG quality chooser in the Gwenview image viewer.

    • Distributions

      • Linux distributions: All the talent and hard work that goes into building a good one

        I regularly read the Linux Mint Blog, not only because it is useful to keep up with what is happening with the Linux Mint distribution but also because it occasionally gives very interesting insights into the development and maintenance of a Linux distribution in general, and the Linux Mint distribution(s) in particular.

        To be honest, I was disappointed some years ago when Clem (Clement Lefebvre) discontinued his Segfault blog, because it always contained good technical information and interesting insights.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Phillips 66 reduces costs and increases agility with SUSE

          How does one of the largest oil producers in the world mitigate a global pandemic that completely wipes out global demand? That was precisely the situation American oil giant Phillips 66 was faced with when Coronavirus first emerged in late 2019.

          For the first time in history, crude oil prices fell below zero, throwing this often volatile market into a new level of uncertainty. Oil production facilities, unable to cease operations, were filling up storage tanks faster than expected demand, forcing them pay buyers to take oil off their hands.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – February 2021

          This is the 37th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest! In this edition, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in February 2021.

        • 5 ways Red Hat Insights can improve your sysadmin Life

          The way we do things is changing fast. This has become a necessity as our systems get more complex, our workloads evolve, and our deployments rapidly grow in size. Thanks to the innovations brought about by openness and collaboration, we can develop tools and services to cope with these quickly evolving times. For us to reap the benefits of these advancements, we should open ourselves to carefully exploring how various tools suit our requirements and fit into or change our norms. By doing so, we may simplify a lot of our mundane tasks, reduce overhead, and address the major pain points in our operations.

          Having worked as a sysadmin in the past, I’ve discovered many automation tools and services that have made my life easier. One of the most recent is Red Hat Insights. In this article, I share five ways this service that is included with your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription can improve your life as an admin.

        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 239

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

          Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 239.

        • Security Seen As Top Benefit of Enterprise Open Source Software

          The latest State of Enterprise Open Source report from Red Hat indicates that “IT leaders widely view enterprise open source software as a superior form of software with higher quality, more innovation, and even better security than the alternatives,” says Gordon Haff.

          In a recent Red Hat blog summarizing the report’s finding, Haff notes that respondents cite higher quality and security among the top benefits of enterprise open source software. In fact, 87% of respondents see enterprise open source as “more secure” or “as secure” as proprietary software.

        • Harvard Business Analytic Services: Banking transformation originates from a strong core

          Banking leaders surveyed in a Harvard Business Analytic Services report, sponsored by Red Hat, say they can’t rely on more and more layers of customization to legacy core systems to provide the data and adaptability they now need.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Looks Like Ubuntu 21.04 Will Offer a Hybrid GNOME 3.38 Desktop with GNOME 40 Apps

          As you already know, the Ubuntu Desktop team announced last month that their upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release breaks the tradition of shipping with the latest GNOME desktop environment release, due to the fact that forthcoming GNOME 40 desktop will have a major design change affecting how Ubuntu Desktop works and looks.

          Therefore, Ubuntu 21.04 will stick with the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series that’s already being used in the current stable release, Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla). But that good news I want to share with you today is the fact that Ubuntu 21.04 will also offer several apps from the GNOME 40 stack.

        • Unbreaking Unbootable Ubuntu

          I run Ubuntu Hirsute – the development release which will become 21.04 – on a bunch of systems. It’s a trade-off though, getting the latest crack each and every day. Being at the bleeding edge of new packages landing means I can experience brand new shiny bugs on my systems. Bugs like 1915579 which rendered my system unbootable.

        • Honey, I Shrunk the Snap! | Ubuntu

          The year is 1989. I bought a computer game called F-16: Combat Pilot, a flight simulator featuring free-flight, five types of single-player missions, a full campaign mode, serial-port multiplayer, and then some. Gloriously wrapped in four colors and magnetized on two single-density 5.25-inch floppy disks. Total size: 680 KB.

          Nowadays, it is not uncommon for individual applications to weigh dozens if not hundreds of megabytes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In Linux, you can save some space by using libraries that are shared across multiple applications (hence their name, shared libraries). When it comes to self-contained application formats like snaps, the tables are turned once again, as snaps bundle all the necessary dependencies inside, and thus take more disk space. If you want to make your snapped applications as small and lean as possible, we have a few neat suggestions.

          [...]

          The final artifact of the snap build process is a compressed squashFS file, with the .snap suffix. Originally, snaps were compressed using the xz algorithm, for highest compatibility with the widest range of devices. More recently, in order to help speed us snap launch times, we also introduced the use of the lzo algorithm, which results in 2-3x application startup times improvements. The main reason for this is the lesser compression used in lzo compared to xz, meaning the system needs fewer CPU cycles, and thus less time, to uncompress the snap on the system. However, it also introduces size inflation.

          [...]

          Disk utilization matters less now than it did a decade or two ago, but you can still try to make your applications small and tidy. This also helps reduce bandwidth usage, improves portability, and if you’re using system backups, reduces the time needed to copy all the relevant data.

          With snaps, there are many ways you can trim down on the digital excess, including the use of extensions, sparing use of necessary runtime dependencies, and pruning the extras from the prime directory. Not only will your snaps be smaller in size, you will also ensure higher consistency, better system integration and improve the application startup time. All these are important, highly noticeable elements of the user experience. If you have any other suggestions or ideas on how to conserve space or optimize snap creation, please join our forum and share your thoughts.

        • Canonical keynote at Embedded World 2021: Bosch Rexroth achieves complete IoT automation with Ubuntu Core

          series that’s already being used in the current stable release, Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla). But that good news I want to share with you today is the fact that Ubuntu 21.04 will also offer several apps from the GNOME 40 stack.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Where My Projects Stand Now

          Any community-related works on my part within the Ubuntu context are scrapped at the moment. Apologies have already been given.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Daffodil™ as a Top-Level Project

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache® Daffodil™ as a Top-Level Project (TLP).

      Apache Daffodil is an Open Source implementation of the Data Format Description Language 1.0 specification (DFDL; the Open Grid Forum open standard framework for describing the attributes of any data format [1]) to enable universal data interchange. The project was first created at the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in 2009, and entered the Apache Incubator in August 2017.

      “We’re extremely excited that Apache Daffodil has achieved this important milestone in its development. The Daffodil DFDL implementation is a game changer in complex text and binary data interfaces and creates massive opportunities for organizations to easily implement highly sophisticated processes like data decomposition, inspection, and reassembly,” said Michael Beckerle, Vice President of Apache Daffodil. “Instead of spending a lot of time worrying about how to deal with so many kinds of data that you need to take in, from day one you can convert all sorts of data into XML, or JSON, or your preferred data structure, and convert back if you need to write data out in its original format.”

    • Web Browsers

      • Chromium

        • Privacy-Focused Brave Browser Plans to Challenge Google With A Private Search Engine

          Brave Browser has been quite impressive with its constant developments for privacy-focused users as a Google Chrome alternative.

          No wonder why Google could be locking down Chrome to resist the rise of Chromium-based browsers.

          Recently, they announced their acquisition of an open-source search engine ‘Tailcat’ by the ex-Devs of Cliqz and shared plans to utilize it to introduce a private Google search alternative.

          Yes, we may have several privacy-focused Google search alternatives already. However, with Brave Search, it could be a proper alternative to the offering of Google Chrome + Google Search.

          Let me highlight a few details that you might want to know about Brave Search.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • LibreOffice 7.1.1 Community available for download

        LibreOffice 7.1.1 Community, the first minor release of the LibreOffice 7.1 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice 7.1.1 includes over 90 bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

        For enterprise-class deployments, TDF strongly recommends the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners, with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and Service Level Agreements: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

        LibreOffice Community and the LibreOffice Enterprise family of products are based on the LibreOffice Technology platform, the result of years of development efforts with the objective of providing a state of the art office suite not only for the desktop but also for mobile and the cloud.

        Products based on LibreOffice Technology are available for major desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS), mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and the cloud. They may have a different name, according to each company brand strategy, but they share the same LibreOffice unique advantages, robustness and flexibility.

      • LibreOffice 7.1 Office Suite Gets First Point Release, over 90 Bugs Were Fixed

        Released a month ago, the LibreOffice 7.1 office suite introduces numerous new features and improvements, such as a new dialog that lets you select the User Interface flavor of your choice at first start, a new Additions Dialog that lets you search, download, and install extensions with a single click, and improved interoperability with proprietary documents formats like DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX.

        Now, LibreOffice 7.1.1 is here as the first point release in the series, addressing more than 90 bugs in all of the office suite’s core components.

    • Programming/Development

      • Google released an exciting upgrade to a resource most people won’t even recognize

        When Google released Flutter a few years ago, I wondered whether Google was quietly laying the groundwork for Android’s demise. That’s because we already knew at the time that Google was quietly working on its next-gen operating system that would one day replace Android and Chrome OS. Called Fuchsia, the new OS would supposedly have many advantages over Android and Chrome, including a dynamic user interface that would adapt to any device, regardless of screen or interface. Fuchsia could power smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart gadgets, or that’s what we’ve been hearing.

        But forcing the jump from Android to Fuchsia required another key piece of software, and that’s Flutter comes in. Fuchsia would have to run all of the apps available in Google Play, so users and developers could easily transition to a new operating system. Flutter is Google’s own development kit that allows developers to code an app once and then release it across platforms, whether it’s Android, iPhone, or desktop operating system. And Google just made a significant upgrade to Flutter, releasing version 2.0 that targets developers across all possible platforms.

      • Commercial LTS Qt 5.15.3 Released

        We announced a bit over one year ago that the long-term supported releases of Qt 5.15 will be available only for commercial license holders. Today we have released Qt 5.15.3 LTS, the first commercial only patch release to Qt 5.15 LTS series. As a patch release, Qt 5.15.3 does not add any new functionality but provides bug fixes and other improvements.

      • Qt 5.15.3 LTS Released With 200+ Bug Fixes, But Only For Commercial Customers – Phoronix

        Qt 5.15.3 is out today with nearly 250 fixes as the latest point release for this last Qt5 long-term support series. However, as reported previously, new Qt 5.15 LTS point releases are restricted to The Qt Company’s commercial customers.

        The Qt Company went ahead and released Qt 5.15.3 LTS today under their change where this and the future LTS point releases in this series are limited to their commercial customers whether it be for binaries or source form. While there was a lot of initial backlash from the community and threats of new “free” forks, The Qt Company has moved ahead with this commercial-only phase.

      • Perl/Raku

        • Perl weekly challenge 102
        • Perl is dead … when I’m dead!

          Yes, I’m well on-trend, by a couple of months. As you see, lockdown has made a hot mess of my blogging schedule. I count myself very fortunate that is the worst effect it’s had on me, alongside the gaining of some mass.

          WfH WARNING! Watch out for those caramel waffles! A single Stroopwaffle has enough calories to feed a hungry village for a day and are not a sustainable treatment for anxiety. Two kWh per packet, not a word of a lie.

  • Leftovers

    • Not OK, Zoomer: Here’s Why You Hate Videoconference Meetings — And What To Do About It

      With much of the world in various states of lockdown, the videoconference meeting has become a routine part of many people’s day, and a hated one. A fascinating paper by Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, suggests that there are specific problems with videoconference meetings that have led to what has been called “Zoom fatigue”, although the issues are not limited to that platform. Bailenson believes this is caused by “nonverbal overload”, present in at least four different forms. The first involves eye gaze at a close distance:

    • I Would Not, Could Not, Read Those Books to Kids!

      Most parents I know love reading to their children. They like the ritual or the quality time or just the rare parenting experience of knowing what you are “supposed” to do. Most parents can’t screw up “bedtime story”: pick book, read book, collect “good parent” points, the end. 

    • Kelly Loeffler Just Lost Her WNBA Team to a Player She Refused to Meet

      By any measure, it should be the biggest story in sports: A franchise owner runs a racist Senate campaign, throwing their own Black players under the bus in the process. Meanwhile, one of those players takes the year off from playing ball to dedicate themselves to social justice concerns. That player asks to meet with the aforementioned franchise owner to discuss those concerns and is denied. The franchise owner refuses to meet and respectfully engage with someone who disagrees with them for political reasons. After the franchise owner faceplants their election campaign, ending in ignominious defeat, the players, the union, fans, and eventually even the league pressures them to sell the club.

    • What you don’t see on Chaturbate: A former model turned studio recruiter explains St. Petersburg’s adult webcam industry

      Last month, the news outlet Baza published “the confessions of a calculating guy from St. Petersburg” — a brief memoir by a man who runs an adult webcam studio, recruiting models and living off a percentage of their earnings. Called “Arthur” in the story, he describes how he got his start in the industry, initially working as a cam model himself, before helming his own studio. Baza’s story describes the economics behind the adult streaming in St. Petersburg and the industry’s personal impact on those who sell images of their flesh to lonely Internet users on the other side of the planet.

    • The World Lawrence Ferlinghetti Built

      It’s hard to escape the feeling that when Lawrence Ferlinghetti succumbed to interstitial lung disease last month, in San Francisco, something more than a single human being had passed. With him, a whole period of cultural upheaval passed into history: His 101-year-long life was a period when it made sense to hope that a dissident avant-garde, freed of the self-regarding elitism that ordinarily fuels avant-gardism, and free as well both of the complacencies of bourgeois liberalism and the puritanism of much of the old left, could change culture and politics for the better by making what his friend Allen Ginsberg called “a social place for the soul to exist manifested in this world.”

    • Woke
    • Screenshots suck. But they’re about to get a lot smarter

      Screenshots are ubiquitous. From shopping references to memes and from saving cat photos to serious research, they’re a routine and important quality-of-life feature on computers and mobile devices everywhere.

      Android 12 should finally get full-page website screenshots, if Google can iron the bugs out before release. Samsung and Apple have had that feature for a while, but their recent patents show an interest in capturing metadata, from live links to site-specific information like street addresses and song titles.

      Tap Scroll Capture when you screenshot a Samsung Galaxy, and the phone’s screenshot tool will stitch together a long screenshot to capture an entire website. Browse your screenshots in the Gallery, and you’ll see a Go To Website shortcut, a feature introduced in 2017.

    • Education

      • Policing Universities by Neoliberal Governments in the UK And France

        In the UK this gives a potential pulpit to “maverick” speakers on the right, such as Steve Bannon, who (facetiously?) approved the delivery of pipe bombs to critics of Trump, and who lost his book deal for having a favourable view of underage sex.

        In France, the incoherent neologism “Islamo-leftism/ islamo-gauchisme” is applied to a fantasized political alliance between leftists and Islamists. The aim here of France’s centre-right (led by president Macron) is to steal the wind from its far-right (led by Marine Le Pen), by showing that Macron’s credentials on Islamophobia are just as impeccable as Le Pen’s.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • New York City Shifting Mental Health Calls From NYPD To Actual Mental Health Professionals

        In all honesty, we’ve been asking the police to do too much for years. If we really care about the most vulnerable members of our community, we would stop calling cops to handle it. But for years, that’s been pretty much our only option. We call 911 and 911 tends to send cops to deal with people in the throes of mental health crises.

      • Latinx Farmworkers Risk Their Lives During Pandemic. Many Now Struggle to Access Vaccines

        There are about 2.5 million farmworkers around the U.S., many of them undocumented immigrants working under dangerous and exploitive circumstances without sick leave or healthcare. Despite their status as essential workers, however, many farmworkers are facing an uphill battle to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Estella Cisneros, legal director of the Agricultural Worker Program for California Rural Legal Assistance, says an uneven rollout in California as well as technical barriers have left many farmworkers unvaccinated. “There’s been a lot of inequities that we’ve seen,” she says. We also speak with Mary Jo Dudley, director of the Cornell Farmworker Program, who says it’s “puzzling” that farmworkers in New York state were left out of the current phase of vaccine distribution “at a time when we’ve seen an increasing number of COVID cases among the farmworker population.”

      • Russia labels ‘Doctors’ Alliance’ union a ‘foreign agent’

        The Russian Justice Ministry has added the medical workers’ union “Alyans Vrachey” (Doctors’ Alliance) to the registry of “foreign agents.” 

      • ‘Endangers the Entire Country and Beyond’: Grave Warnings as Texas Gov. Abbott Lifts Covid Restrictions

        “Make no mistake: opening Texas prematurely will only lead to faster Covid spread, more sickness and overcrowding in our hospitals, and unnecessary deaths.”

      • St. Petersburg governor unveils memorial to medical workers who died during the coronavirus pandemic in secret ceremony

        St. Petersburg has unveiled a memorial to the medical workers who have died during the coronavirus pandemic on the embankment of the Karpovka River in the city’s Petrogradsky District.

      • Children’s Hospitals Grapple With Young COVID Long Haulers
      • ‘Utterly Damning ‘Docs Reveal Meatpacking Industry Fought Feeble Covid-19 Safeguards Under Trump

        “These documents show that the industry actively pushed back against the few steps the Trump administration took to try to ensure the safety of meatpacking workers and federal inspectors.”

      • The Bits and Bytes of The Great Reset: COVID-19 and the Scaling Up of Data-Capitalism

        According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, an economy is “the system of trade and industry by which the wealth of a country is made and used.” For the last few centuries, this system has been dominated by the paradigm of capitalism, in which the private owners of capital, and not the state, control the trade of goods and services.

      • Molly de Blanc: Vaccination

        Vaccinations are key to fighting COVID. I am not an epidemiologist (though I did once consider become an epistemologist). I’m not going to pretend to be one. But they tell me that vaccines are really important, and the Intro to Public Health class I took agrees. We need to vaccinate everyone we can, everywhere in the world, in order to create the best outcomes. We don’t want some vaccine-resistant COVID variant to show up somewhere because we were jerkfaces and prevented people from getting vaccinated. Medical professionals and experts I talked with told me to get vaccinated as soon as the opportunity arose. Maybe they said this because they like me, but I think they’re also concerned about public health.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (389-ds-base, dogtag-pki, freeipa, isync, pki-core, and screen), Mageia (firefox, kernel, kernel-linus, libtiff, nonfree-firmware, and thunderbird), Red Hat (bind and java-1.8.0-ibm), Scientific Linux (grub2), and SUSE (kernel-firmware, openldap2, postgresql12, and python-cryptography).

          • Positive Technologies Researcher Discovers And Fixes Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities

            Positive Technologies security researcher Alexander Popov has discovered and fixed five similar issues in the virtual socket implementation of the Linux kernel.

            These vulnerabilities could be exploited for local privilege escalation, as confirmed by Popov in experiments on Fedora 33 Server. The vulnerabilities, known together as CVE-2021-26708, have received a CVSS v3 base score of 7.0 (high severity).

            [...]

            Popov said: “I successfully developed a prototype exploit for local privilege escalation on Fedora 33 Server, bypassing x86_64 platform protections such as SMEP and SMAP. This research will lead to new ideas on how to improve Linux kernel security.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea

              No one should mourn the death of the cookie as we know it. For more than two decades, the third-party cookie has been the lynchpin in a shadowy, seedy, multi-billion dollar advertising-surveillance industry on the Web; phasing out tracking cookies and other persistent third-party identifiers is long overdue. However, as the foundations shift beneath the advertising industry, its biggest players are determined to land on their feet. 

              Google is leading the charge to replace third-party cookies with a new suite of technologies to target ads on the Web. And some of its proposals show that it hasn’t learned the right lessons from the ongoing backlash to the surveillance business model. This post will focus on one of those proposals, FLoC, which is perhaps the most ambitious—and potentially the most harmful. 

              FLoC is meant to be a new way to make your browser do the profiling that third-party trackers used to do themselves: in this case, boiling down your recent browsing activity into a behavioral label, and then sharing it with websites and advertisers. The technology will avoid the privacy risks of third-party cookies, but it will create new ones in the process. It may also exacerbate many of the worst non-privacy problems with behavioral ads, including discrimination and predatory targeting. 

            • Misplaced Priorities: Why Has Canada’s Privacy Bill Disappeared from the Government’s Legislative Agenda?

              Government priorities are about action, not words. This government’s decision to pick a narrow issue such as broadcast regulation over the privacy protection of millions of Canadians is hard to fathom. For those seeking modernized privacy rules, the abandonment of Bill C-11 is unlikely to be something they will soon forget.

            • Google Promises to Stop Tracking Users But Will Track Groups

              First, we should perhaps give credit where it’s due. Apple may be behind this, at least in part. Its recent App Store change that forces apps to disclose data collecting caused Google to delay updating its apps. After a few months, it finally updated its apps, disclosed the data it was collecting, then made this stunning announcement, though it had also floated the idea a few months back.

              Many people are left asking, if Google ends its practice of tracking users, how will it support itself? It seemed like that was the majority of the company’s business model. Is Google simply replacing this practice with another way to track users?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why ‘Burma’ Should Remain the Country’s Name

        In a statement published in The New Light of Myanmar, the electoral commission had chided Suu Kyi, “As it is prescribed in the constitution that ‘the state shall be known as The Republic of the Union of Myanmar,’ no one has the right to call the country Burma.”

        Aung San Suu Kyi is in her right to do so, and should continue doing so, in light of worldwide condemnation of the country’s military regime. The electoral commission informed the National League for Democracy (NLD) “to address the name of the state as prescribed in the constitution … and respect the constitution.”

      • Opinion | Biden Is Bending Rules to Drop Bombs But Not to Raise Wages—That’s a Mistake

        People overcame great challenges to put this administration, and this Senate, in power. We shouldn’t be bombing people abroad while families at home struggle to survive.

        Domenica Ghanem is a communications assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies.

      • Human Rights Advocates Applaud Confirmed ICC War Crimes Probe in Palestinian Territories as Step Toward Justice

        “The #cycleofimpunity—and reoccurrence—must be #broken,” tweeted one human rights attorney.

      • After Airstrikes in Syria, Senators Introduce Resolution to Repeal Some Presidential War Powers

        The measure takes aim at 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars but not the 2001 AUMF that passed after the 9/11 attacks.

      • After a Wave of Violent Threats Against Election Workers, Georgia Sees Few Arrests

        On Nov. 30, 2020, as Georgia slogged through the second recount of its presidential election results, a man in Ohio perusing Twitter came across what he later described as a “call for action” to protect polling locations across the country. His response was to drive more than 500 miles to Gwinnett County in the Atlanta suburbs. He began surveilling the Gwinnett County elections office — and livestreaming his vigil on Twitter.

        At around 11 a.m. on Dec. 1, the Ohio man zeroed in on two workers — both Gwinnett County IT employees — who he decided, absent any evidence, were illegally removing “Chinese servers” used for voting tabulation. He “felt he needed to be a patriot and take action,” according to a Gwinnett County police report of the incident. From his black pickup truck, he recorded video of the two men putting equipment in their car. When they drove off, he followed them.

      • Opinion | Biden Is Following a Failed Blueprint for Forever War

        Bombing Syria and excusing the crimes of the Saudi crown prince won’t bring us any closer to a withdrawal from the Middle East.

      • Commenting on sanctions, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry urges U.S. and EU ‘not to play with fire’

        “The US Administration, teamed up with the EU, has made a hostile move towards Russia by announcing new sanctions ‘to punish Moscow’,” said Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the night of Tuesday, March 2. 

      • Whitewashing the Russian intelligence services GRU veteran and former separatist leader Igor Bezler is suing ‘Bellingcat.’ If he wins, it could prompt Russia to block their site.

        Igor Bezler — the former commander of a separatist militia in eastern Ukraine, who the Ukrainian Security Service has identified as a retired GRU lieutenant colonel — has filed a lawsuit in St. Petersburg against the investigative outlet Bellingcat, demanding that any and all mention of his name be scrubbed from their investigations. This coincides with another claim submitted to the Russian Investigative Committee in late 2020, seeking the launch of a criminal case against journalist Roman Dobrokhotov — the editor-in-chief of The Insider, Bellingcat’s investigative partner in Russia. According to The Insider, the complainant, Dutch blogger Max van der Werff, also has links to the GRU. Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova investigates how these legal actions came about and what they might actually achieve, both in Russia and abroad.

      • Biden’s Quandary: Proxy Wars and Endless Wars

        Last week, President Joe Biden punctuated his charge that “America is back” by authorizing a military strike along the Syrian-Iraqi border against two Iranian-backed militias and Iranian convoys of military equipment destined for delivery to Hezbollah forces in Syria and Lebanon.  The military action, though modest and probably justifiable, demonstrates the unfortunate position the United States has put itself in.  Such a tit-for-tat sequence of attacks is inevitable because we have stationed our military throughout the region, creating confrontations where none need exist.  If President Biden cannot find a way to move beyond military and security policy in the greater Middle East, he will join the long list of recent presidents who have ignored our overly militarized presence in the region and have paid insufficient attention to diplomatic and economic initiatives.

        Since the early 1980s, the United States has conducted a series of interventions and wars in the Middle East that have essentially evolved into one long war.  The Reagan administration deployed Marines in Lebanon to pull Israeli chestnuts out of a fire that the Israeli government of Menachem Begin had lit.  The tragic consequences that ensued included loss of life in the bombing of the U.S. embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut.  There was sufficient intelligence identifying the roles of Syria and Iran in the attacks, but the Reagan administration chose to walk away from Lebanon and create a distraction with the invasion of Grenada in the Caribbean.

      • I’m a Military Spouse. The Capitol Attack Reminded Me of a War Zone.

        “Are you okay?” asked a friend and military spouse in the voicemail she left for me on the afternoon the mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol so violently. At home with a new baby, and with her Navy reservist husband stationed in Germany, the thoughts running through her head that day would prove remarkably similar to mine. As she said when we spoke, “It’s as if the US has become a war zone.”

      • Defend the Guard Act Stirs Debate in West Virginia Over Military Industrial Complex

        The debate was kicked off in the West Virginia legislature again this year by Patrick McGeehan, a Republican member of the House of Delegates from the northern panhandle.

        McGeehan has introduced House Bill 2138 – the Defend the Guard Act.

      • 80 House Democrats Urge Biden to Repeal Trump’s ‘Cruel’ Sanctions on Cuba, Reverse US Hostility

        “With the stroke of a pen, you can assist struggling Cuban families and promote a more constructive approach,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the president.

      • Opinion | My Long-Lost Conversation With John Lewis on His Vision of Nonviolence

        In this never-before-released interview, the late civil rights leader and congressman talks systemic racism, permanent warfare, extreme poverty and nonviolence as a way of life.

      • American Carnage

        Oakland, Calif.—On January 20, 2017, in a chilling inaugural address, Donald Trump declared, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” As white supremacists stormed the Capitol on January 6, it struck me that the exact opposite had transpired during his term as president. A large proportion of the 500,000 Covid deaths in the United States can be attributed to his executive negligence and incompetence. It is horrific; the coronavirus, though, is a pathogen, in the realm of science and medicine. The effects of rising violence and vitriol represent a carnage of Trump’s, his allies’, and enablers’ own making. These too are matters of public health, but there is no medical vaccine for the white-supremacist and fascist ideology that festers in our body politic.

      • US ‘virtual ambassador’ to Venezuela hosts insurrectionist summit ahead of Biden’s Guaidó recognition
      • The scalpel and the pencil After years of treating the victims of domestic violence, this Russian surgeon is sketching patients’ injuries and collecting their stories

        Ruslan Mellin has a talent for reconstructing people’s faces with both the scalpel and his pencil. For the past nine years, he’s worked as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the Belyaev Regional Clinical Hospital in Kemerovo, often treating patients who have suffered violence at home — usually women. Mellin also listens to his patients’ stories and sketches portraits of their wounds (to protect the victims’ identity, he models the drawings on consenting colleagues, but the injuries depicted are quite real). Additionally, Mellin sketches portraits of the abusers themselves. His work will appear later this summer as part of the “Violence in the Flesh” exhibition opening at the Kemerovo Medical University. Meduza takes a closer look at Dr. Mellin’s work in the operating room and on paper. 

      • Humanitarian Imperialism

        Aversion to military intervention has been the default position of the left for at least half a century—certainly since the huge protests against the Vietnam War. Washington planners lamented the development of the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome”—a widespread progressive hostility towards US interventions (invasions, bombings, coups or economic warfare) around the world. A 2018 survey found the public still infected, with over two-thirds in support of limiting military action overseas, including 78% of Democratic voters.

      • SpaceX’s SpaceShip StarShip SN10 – THE EAGLE HAS LANDED – almost – 20min later BocaChicaBoomBoom – Why settling on Mars is critical for mankind to survive in the universe

        what is currently called “StarShip” is actually only the upper (2nd) stage what will be the full StarShip, a 5000t 120m StarShip with two stages, capable to bring significant amount of tonnage to LEO (Low Earth Orbit… the point where transport mass has become “weightless” and thus escaped the beloved planet Earth’s massive gravity).

        From LEO the StarShip will need less propellant (thus the upper stage is smaller than the first stage) to it’s journey to Moon and Mars and maybe even Moons of Saturn.

    • Environment

      • Could ecological interest rates help the Earth?

        The global economy doesn’t reflect the Earth’s crisis and its warming climate. Might ecological interest rates help link them?

      • Energy

        • Opinion | John Kerry Tells Big Oil to Stop Resisting Energy Transition or “You’re Going to End up on the Wrong Side of This Battle.”

          The pandemic has “accelerated the energy transition,” from which “oil demand may never recover.”

        • Cancel All Coal Projects to Have ‘Fighting Chance’ Against Climate Crisis, Says UN Chief

          “Phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to get in line with the 1.5 degree goal.”

        • UN Human Rights Experts Condemn Expanding Petrochemical Industry in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley as ‘Environmental Racism’

          “This form of environmental racism poses serious and disproportionate threats to the enjoyment of several human rights of its largely African American residents, including the right to equality and non-discrimination, the right to life, the right to health, right to an adequate standard of living and cultural rights,” the experts said. The statement calls for U.S. officials to reconsider allowing FG LA LLC, a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group, to build its proposed “Sunshine Project” in St. James Parish, in the middle of the region. That development, one of several new petrochemical projects slated for the region, would be a massive complex. Its 14 units would produce two types of plastic and the petrochemical ethylene glycol, which is used to make polyester fabrics and antifreeze. It is a development that Sharon Lavigne, founder of the faith-based grassroots organization RISE St. James, has been trying to stop ever since learning in 2018 that the company planned to build its complex less than two miles from her home.

        • Pennsylvania Families Exposed to Unusually High Levels of Oil and Gas Industry Chemicals, Report Finds

          The two-year EHN investigation sought to fill in a gap in the scientific understanding of fracking and chemical exposures by undertaking some research themselves, under the guidance of scientific advisors and with approval from an Independent Review Board. They collected air, water, and urine samples from five Pennsylvania families and sent the samples off to researchers at the University of Missouri for analysis. Those tested also wore personal air monitors for up to eight hours on most days samples were collected. The testing cost the publication an average of $12,000 per family, reporter Kristina Marusic said. Researchers also collected data about the families’ activities and other potential sources of chemical exposure before and during the sampling.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • I Know Why the Caged Songbird Goes Extinct
        • Wolf Slaughter in Wisconsin Spurs Call for Biden to Reinstate Federal Protection for Iconic Species

          “Wisconsin’s actions offer a tragic glimpse of a future without federal wolf protections.”

        • Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Massive Logging and Burning Project in Montana’s Castle Mountains

          However, a massive deforestation project, approved by the Forest Service during the Trump Administration, calls for cutting and burning trees on 22,500 acres — including in the Castle Mountains Inventoried Roadless Area.  The project would also bulldoze in 45.1 miles of roads including 9.7 miles of new “temporary” roads, 25.7 miles of “re-constructed” roads, and 9.7 miles of new roads on existing trails.

          The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Natives Ecosystems Council recently filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop this falsely-named Castle Mountains “Restoration” Project in the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

          The huge 35-square mile project includes:
           * 1,144 acres of commercial logging in Douglas fir forest, which will remove 40-60% of the trees, and is referred to euphemistically in the Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as “thinning,”
          * 1,155 acres of clearcutting of lodgepole pine forest, referred to as “regeneration,”
           * 928 acres of modified clearcutting with whitebark pine as the “leave trees,” potentially includes burning, referred to as “whitebark pine restoration,”
          * 1,799 acres of modified clearcutting, which will remove trees around designated “leave trees,” and is referred to as “stand improvement thinning,”
          * 419 acres of pre-commercial logging, referred to as “pre-commercial thinning,”
          * 287 acres of commercial and non-commercial logging of all conifer trees in aspen groves, and potentially including post-logging burning, referred to as “aspen restoration,”
          * 8,778 acres of clearcutting and possible burning to create “meadows,” referred to as “meadow restoration,”
          * 8,063 acres of prescribed burning, and *7 acres of shrub planting.

    • Finance

      • Public Sector Unions Mean Middle-Class Jobs for Black Workers

        The public sector is also an important source of union jobs for Black workers. Our analysis of 2020 data from the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group indicates that the unionization rate for Black workers in the public sector is quadruple the unionization rate for Black workers in the private sector, and unionized public sector workers account for a larger share of the Black workforce than they do of the white workforce. This matters because research has shown that Black workers who are members of a union or covered by a union contract enjoy considerable earnings and benefit advantages compared to their nonunion counterparts.

        As with white workers, Black workers in the public sector are more likely to be unionized than their counterparts in the private sector, but the difference in unionization rates is actually smaller for Blacks than whites. In fact, the public sector unionization rate for Black workers has lagged the public sector unionization rate for white workers for almost two decades; the situation is reversed in the private sector. The overrepresentation of both white and Black workers in public sector employment comes primarily at the expense of Hispanics and Asians, who are underrepresented. White workers make up a larger share of unionized public sector workers than they do of the public sector workforce as a whole; the opposite is true for Black workers.

      • Time for the Warren-Jayapal Wealth Tax

        According to an analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies/Inequality.org (IPS) and the Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), America’s billionaires alone would have paid about $114 billion in wealth taxes in 2020 if the wealth tax had been in effect. The top 15 billionaires would have paid $40 billion, had the tax been in place.  See the Americans for Tax Fairness special resource page to support the Wealth Tax.

        Over the next ten years, U.S. billionaires would pay an estimated $1.4 trillion of the over a third of the estimated $3 trillion in new revenue that would be raised by the wealth tax.

      • Opinion | To Restore American Democracy, We Need to Tax the Ultra-Wealthy
      • Opinion | The Joy of Tax: An Economy for the Common Good

        Taxation—including a carbon tax—can incentivise the transition to a low carbon economy, while reducing inequality and supporting vital services.

      • Indivisible Launches For The People Project to ‘Unrig Our Democracy and Make it Work for All’

        “We’re holding nothing back as we work to make D.C. the 51st state, protect the rights of voters, and root out corruption in our government.”

      • To Renew Our Democracy, We Need to Tax the Ultrarich
      • AOC Warns Biden That Giving Relief Checks to Fewer People Than Trump Would Be Nonsensical ‘Own-Goal’

        “If anything we should be more generous, not more stingy,” the New York lawmaker said to her fellow Democrats.

      • Joe Manchin, Worth $7.6 Million, Wants to Cut Unemployment Checks by $100 a Week
      • US Journalists Form Unions To Survive ‘Hedge Fund Vampires’ And COVID-19 Pandemic

        From national media giants to small local newspapers, journalists are unionizing across the United States.Many of these unions have sought representation from the NewsGuild, a branch of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). They include editorial staff, who recognize the shared working conditions of an industry in crisis. 

        By forming regional guilds, workers are able to form a network separate from their publications’ overly corporate culture, allowing them to establish shared demands and speak candidly about dwindling job opportunities, racist hiring practices, shrinking newsrooms, and scarcity myths promoted by fat-cat executives. 

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • When Legislatures Go on Break, It’s Time to Give Them an Earful

        While Republicans, who hold the majorities in both chambers of the Legislature as well as the Governor’s Office, will heartily crow that “elections have consequences,” the simple truth is that legislators in every legislative session, no matter who holds which majorities, benefits from the feedback of the populace they take an oath to serve.

        No one, no matter how intelligent, well-versed or experienced, can possibly know everything about the vast number of issues that come before the legislature each session. There’s no doubt that individual legislators may know a great deal about the issues with which they are familiar. But in the broader scope of society’s concerns, those are actually tiny niches and only a foolish and headstrong legislator would discount feedback from those knowledgeable in specific issue areas.

      • Opinion | ‘Pathetic and Disgraceful’: The GOP’s Shameful War on Voters

        The theft of our democracy doesn’t happen in a violent coup but in a thousand legalistic cuts by crooks like Ted Cruz. 

      • ‘Madness’: In Cave to Right-Wing Dems, Biden Agrees to Further Limit Eligibility for Direct Payments

        “Some people who got checks when Trump was president won’t get them now that Biden is president. There is no upside to this, only the massive downside of handing Congress to the Republicans next year.”

      • Back to the Future

        “We began it together four years ago and it is far from being over,” Donald Trump told cheering supporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla. That’s too bad. “Let there be no doubt we will be victorious and America will be greater and stronger than ever before.”

        Sure, just as it was for the past four tumultuous years, tax cut for the wealthy included. And topped by a siege at the Capitol that killed five people for which he was impeached by the House for inciting it but acquitted by a divided Senate.

      • Ruling Class Joe and the Essence of American Politics

        Status Quo Joe

        Biden is showing us that he is what many of us who paid attention knew and warned he was: the Weimarian Third Way/Door. Biden has the full legal authority to cancel all federal student debt. He pledged to use that power if he became president. Now he is refusing to honor the promise. As leading student debt abolitionist Astra Taylor notes:

      • What We Got in Biden

        The Biden administration’s actions of the past few days have borne out the fears of those of us who knew better. Biden’s antipathy to healthcare for all is well known, as is his law and order rhetoric.

        Biden’s attack in Syria, a war in which the US is involved as a proxy against the government of Assad and his Russian supporters was also a blow struck against Iranian-backed fighters who are fighting the most radical elements of right-wing jihad that can be imagined. All of this is a rubber stamp for Israeli power in the Middle East that seeks to weaken both the governments of Syria and Iran. While Iran is no model for democracy in the Middle East, it is a sovereign nation that needs to remain secure within its borders. When one of its generals was assassinated by the US, and Israel assassinated one of its top nuclear scientists, those who care to pay attention could see where all of this was going. The Biblical writing was on the wall, so to speak. The refusal of Biden to sanction Mohammed bin Salman for his leadership in the Khashoggi assassination is yet another nail in the coffin of force and the support of military force around the world in place of diplomacy. Joseph Biden’s administration sides with those who assassinated a journalist, while protecting his murderers. Again, the hand of Israel and US realpolitik is obvious here.

      • Cuomo Must Go: Calls Grow to Remove NY Governor over COVID Nursing Home Cover-up & Sexual Harassment

        New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing mounting calls from fellow Democrats and progressive organizations to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation after three women — two former aides and a woman who met Cuomo at a friend’s wedding reception — accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. “Credible accusations of sexual harassment made by these courageous women coming forward show a clear pattern of Cuomo’s abuse of power,” says New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is calling for Cuomo’s resignation. Kim also discusses a threatening phone call he says he received from Cuomo after he spoke out against the cover-up of nursing home deaths. “He personally got on the phone to threaten my career to suppress the truth,” Kim says.

      • Andrew Cuomo: Legend of a Fall

        Due to a long bout of corporate cronyism involving Motorola, of which Giuliani’s administration was smack in the middle of, firefighters were equipped with inadequate, outdated radios that likely contributed to dozens of them unable to hear evacuation orders. Still the mythology survived for a few years, enough for a failed run at the White House (Fox News continues at times pathetically to refer to Giuliani as ‘America’s Mayor’). Yet in the long run Giuliani has loudly revealed himself to be the blabbering cretin he was all along. His ‘trial by combat’ speech to the rabble on January 6th in DC was the perfect coda to his speech to a drunken police mob outside City Hall in New York in 1992 protesting the establishment of an all-civilian review board.

        After the 2004 presidential election, Democrat campaign managers lamented the difficulty in defeating George W Bush, at that moment a ‘war time’ presidential incumbent. In the weeks after 9/11, as the bombing of Afghanistan kicked off, Bush’s approval ratings were astronomical. Only a year prior to the election Bush performed his infamous ‘Mission Accomplished’ stunt on the USS Abraham Lincoln. By the time he left office the approval rating was in the tank along with the economy. In 2016, he was so unpopular he was a liability to his brother’s fleeting campaign.

      • Democrats Need to Hold Andrew Cuomo Accountable

        Less than a year ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was touted as the golden boy of American politics. Amid the terror of the initial outbreak of the Covid pandemic, Cuomo’s seeming hands-on competence and commanding presence was often contrasted with Trump’s clownishness. Cuomo’s press conferences and regular appearances on CNN, where he was frequently interviewed by brother Chris Cuomo, exuded confidence and toughness. There was talk that the Democrats would be wise to replace Joe Biden on the presidential ticket with the self-assured governor. Cuomo even had the unbridled chutzpah to write a book offering leadership lessons he learned during the pandemic—as if he were the Winston Churchill of virus-fighting.

      • 119 Democrats Join With GOP to Block Restoration of Voting Rights for Incarcerated People

        Rep. Cori Bush, the amendment’s author, noted that “97 Democrats stood up for our community members who are incarcerated” and vowed to “keep up this fight.”

      • Blaring Quiet Part Out Loud, GOP Lawyer Admits to Supreme Court That Easier Voting Puts Republicans at ‘Competitive Disadvantage’

        “The mask is off. Republicans want to steal your right to vote and pulverize democracy because they don’t think they can win elections on ideas or humanity.”

      • Send in the clowns Political strategists working for Moscow’s mayor and Russia’s president clash over the right response to the authorities’ declining popularity and the opposition’s growing organization

        The Moscow Mayor’s office and the Putin administration don’t see eye to eye about who should represent the nation’s capital in Russia’s upcoming State Duma elections. They need a candidate with enough popularity to win back votes from candidates supporting Navalny’s “Smart Vote” campaign. Meduza learned that powers in the Moscow city government wanted to run with “creative types,” namely the film director Alexey Uchitel and the actors Dmitry Pevtsov and Vladimir Mashkov. Sergey Kapkov, the former director of Gorky Park, also made the list. The Kremlin wasn’t impressed, however, arguing that television news anchors, pundits, and pro-government public personas would be a better fit. The Putin administration will likely prevail: Meduza’s sources say TV anchors Timofei Bazhenov and Evgeny Popov will compete in single-mandate races in the capital.

      • The Big Reset To Zero

        The popular conception of an election campaign in the United States is that it revolves heavily around scheming strategists, deals cut in smoke-filled backrooms, and carefully measured soundbites for consumption by the media.

      • France’s New Culture Warriors

        Ever since Emmanuel Macron’s improbable ascent to the French presidency in 2017, admirers have sought to portray him as a defender of Europe’s liberal values—a rampart against the temptations of populism in an increasingly unstable world. That narrative was always debatable, but never before in the course of his presidency has it appeared as empty as it does now. Over the past few months, Macron and his party have been trampling all over basic liberal values as they seek to make political gains.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Breaching Digital Rights: India’s Platform and Media Ethics Code

        Such responsibility and accountability will purportedly be achieved through the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.  They are part of a program that has been incubating for some years.  An IT industry consultant advising the government expressed the sentiment to Wired in 2018.  “The government’s message is: If you want to do business in India, do it on our terms and conditions or you are free to leave.”  Previously, the Indian approach has been more timorous.  It had “always been ‘Do it the Apple way, do it the Facebook way, do it the Amazon way.”

        Behind such rules is a crude, self-vested interest at work.  The primary role of social media lies in the sharing of information.  Governments tend to be happy with material they can finesse, curate and control on such platforms.  When the platforms become home for material that challenges the official version, stirring the blood of the citizenry or encouraging misrule, problems emerge.

      • Rosneft files lawsuits against ‘Novaya Gazeta,’ ‘Istories,’ and ‘Bloomberg’ for unknown reasons

        Russian oil giant Rosneft has filed lawsuits with the Moscow Arbitration Court against the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, the investigative outlet IStories, and the media company Bloomberg, according to three separate case cards on the court’s website.

      • Opinion | With Biden Refusing to Act, It’s Time to Take Mohammed bin Salman to Court

        With Biden’s inaction, courts are the best chance of achieving justice for Jamal Khashoggi and holding Mohammed bin Salman to account for his many human rights abuses.

      • ‘A Test of Our Humanity’: Ilhan Omar Unveils Bill to Sanction Saudi Crown Prince Over Khashoggi Murder

        “Every minute Mohammed bin Salman escapes punishment is a moment where U.S. interests, human rights, and the lives of Saudi dissenters are at risk.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Judge Presiding Over Arizona Prosecution Of Backpage Denies Discovery Requests Targeting Her Husband, Who Happens To Be State Attorney General

        Here’s one more horrifying postscript to the still-ongoing criminal prosecution(s) of Backpage’s executives. Courts and attorneys general (including newly installed VP Kamala Harris) tried to run the company in on prostitution charges but often found their efforts rebuffed by courts who didn’t see how hosting third-party ads was the same thing as aiding and abetting sex trafficking.

      • The Justice in Policing Act Does Not Do Enough to Rein in Body-Worn Cameras

        While it takes some useful steps toward curbing nefarious ways that police use body-worn cameras, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, H.R. 1280, does not do enough. It places important limits on how federal law enforcement officials use BWCs. And it is a step forward compared to last year’s version: it bans federal officials from applying face surveillance technology to any BWC footage. However, H.R. 1280 still falls short: it funds BWCs for state and local police, but does not apply the same safeguards that the bill applies to federal officials. We urge amendments to this bill as detailed below. Otherwise, these federally-funded BWCs will augment law enforcement’s already excessive surveillance capabilities. 

        At a minimum, H.R. 1280 must be amended to extend the face surveillance ban it mandates for federal BWCs, to federally-funded BWCs employed by state and local law enforcement agencies. 

      • The Prophet of Police

        Retailers in Albuquerque work closely with police and some are quick to ‘trespass’ people, as it’s called. If you’re unsheltered or look unsheltered or you’re caught shoplifting from a store or store security suspects you of shoplifting or the cops “know” you or you’re hanging out in front of a store, particularly a convenience store or a big box retailer, you’re bound to be permanently banned from the store. Cops keep a file of people “trespassed” and when these folks return to the store, or even to a different location of the same store, a clerk or a security guard will call APD and the cops will arrive, and they will arrest the person for criminal trespass. In the Prophet’s case, no one needs to call the cops on him. The cops are always nearby.

        Porlas took the Prophet to jail. “Due to [the Prophet’s] behavior and past refusals by the Metropolitan Detention Center, he was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital for Evaluation. After [he] was cleared he was transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center for booking.” The cops booked him on December 26, 2019 on a misdemeanor. The Prophet spent eight days in a cage. The jail released him on January 4, 2020. That’s how the holidays go for the Prophet, year after year.

      • Court Tells Government It Can’t Hide Behind Its Third-Party DNA Analysis Vendor To Withhold Evidence

        The government says we have no right to access information about its law enforcement “means and methods.” To give these secrets away is to instigate a criminal apocalypse.

      • Opinion | 30 Years After Rodney King, LAPD Still Corrupt and Violent and Brutal
      • Alexey Navalny confirms that he’s in custody at a pre-trial detention center in Kolchugino, Vladimir region

        Opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for alleged parole violations, is in custody at Pre-trial Detention Center Number 3 (SIZO-3) in the city of Kolchugino in Russia’s Vladimir region.

      • Asian American Communities Organize Against Rise in Hate Crimes, Say More Policing Is Not the Answer

        Anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked across the U.S. over the past year, fueled in part by Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric about the coronavirus. One recent study found a 150% increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in 2020, even though overall hate crimes fell last year. Ron Kim, member of the New York State Assembly representing the 40th District in Queens, New York, says anti-Asian sentiment tends to flare up during times of crisis. “There’s a long history of Asian Americans in this country feeling targeted and scapegoated whenever we experience economic downturns,” says Kim. We also speak with Kim Tran, an antiracist writer and organizer based in the Bay Area, who says anti-Asian violence is “diffuse,” affecting people in different ethnic and cultural communities in various ways, “but there is a common sense of racial scapegoating.”

      • Cornel West – “My Ridiculous Situation at Harvard”
      • House Rejects Cori Bush’s Amendment on Voting Rights for Incarcerated People
      • In Bid to Force SCOTUS Review, Arkansas Lawmakers Pass ‘Plainly Unconstitutional’ Near-Total Ban on Abortion

        Amid public health and financial crises, said the ACLU of Arkansas, “it is especially reprehensible that so many lawmakers remain hellbent on a harmful crusade to intrude on people’s personal autonomy.”

      • Equality Act Coverage Provides a Platform for Hate—but Not for Trans Voices

        Despite the increased societal acceptance of people in the LGBTQ community, 29 states have failed to pass anti-discrimination laws to protect them. To address this, the Equality Act—a federal bill to provide national protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system—passed the House of Representatives for the second time on February 25. However, the media coverage of the bill has underrepresented LGBTQ people and propagated narratives that are harmful for the same people the Equality Act seeks to protect.

      • Steve Cobble Was an Architect of Hope

        When Steve Cobble unexpectedly passed away last week at the age of 69, we lost a giant and a dearly beloved brother. Cobble devoted his life to engaging the civilizing movements of our time with electoral politics. He combined qualities seldom seen together. He was brilliant and modest, strategic and generous, analytical and funny. He was a gifted political organizer, quiet leader, and creative visionary. He had both a radical will and a gentle soul.

      • Help! Italy has too many types of digital trials

        This is a huge waste of public money, as well as of energy and time for lawyers: each kind of trial must be used, maintained and (paying, of course) regularly upgraded independently from all the others. Inefficiency rules.

        Each of those platforms for digital management of trials has its own rules and defects, usually because designed by people for whom “digital” means nothing more that “let’s do exactly the same things as before, with exactly the same workflows, just using like a typewriter some computer connected to a printer”. This creates a so-called “telematic trial litigation”, that slows down the work of judges and worsens the state of justice in Italy.

        “Thanks” to this sort of digitization, both lawyers and judges still struggle: authentic copies, executive copies, certificates of conformity, electronic envelopes, matching between documents and their master digital “file”. All stuff that is nothing but outdated vestiges of a wrong way of conceiving public trials.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • After Hyping 5G For Years, Verizon Advises Users To Turn It Off To Avoid Battery Drain

        If you listen to Verizon marketing, it goes something like this: fifth generation (5G) wireless is going to absolutely transform the world by building the smart cities of tomorrow, revolutionizing medicine, and driving an ocean of innovation.

      • Broadband ISP Frontier Just Keeps Happily Ripping People Off With Bogus Fees, And Zero Real Repurcussions

        When you’re a natural monopoly in America you get away with a lot. Take for example Frontier Communications, which has spent the last few years stumbling in and out of bankruptcy while dodging no shortage of scandals, including allegations of subsidy fraud. Last year, Frontier got a light wrist slap for fraudulently charging its customers a “rental” fee for modems they already owned. The company also paid a tiny $900,000 fine last year to Washington State AG Bob Ferguson for using bogus fees to rip off the company’s captive subscriber base.

    • Monopolies

      • Silicon Valley’s Offer of Sectoral Bargaining Is a Trick

        Any objective power structure analysis of the United States today reveals that we are teetering closer to the 1920s than during any decade since. In the 1920s and early ’30s, extreme racism was firmly entrenched thanks to Jim Crow laws, Southern plantation economies, and nonfunctioning voting “rights”; the US Supreme Court was wildly pro-big business; and the biggest employers of the era—auto, steel, coal, and their associated production industries—tolerated few to no unions. These companies were effectively killing workers without worry and terrorizing those who were attempting to unionize. Everyday occupational hazards frequently led to death and dismemberment, and regular employment for many was hard to find.

      • Patents

        • MIP International Patent Forum: Why straight white men should help diversity drive [Ed: Blackmail artists and extortion artists are utilising or exploiting causes like those of actual activists to make their unethical operations seem of feel well-meaning]

          This assertion may seem incongruous in a discussion on how to improve diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the IP profession.

        • Envipco and DPG settle dispute over bottle deposit system

          Dutch Envipco Holding and DPG Deutsche Pfandsystem jointly announced a settlement agreement in February. Both parties agreed on a resolution of all pending legal disputes in Germany. The two parties did not face each other in court in other countries.

          DPG will make a onetime lump sum payment of € 1.85 million to Envipco. The Dutch company withdrew the appeal against the revocation of patent DE 10 2006 011 143 B4 and three related infringement actions.

          In 2017, Envipco filed suits against the beverage manufacturer Gerolsteiner at the Regional Court Mannheim (case ID: 2 O 80/17), the retail company Netto at the Regional Court Düsseldorf (case ID: 4b O 48/17) and the manufacturer of bottle labels Rako at the Regional Court Hamburg (case ID: 327 O 152/17).

        • The curious case of Crown use – and what it means for COVID [Ed: The patent troll IPCom uses Managing IP as megaphone, piggybacking pandemic for self-serving spin]

          Counsel from IPCom, the pharma industry and others reflect on the lessons learned from a recent case on Crown use, and what it could mean for the pandemic

        • Software Patents

          • How counsel balance USPTO and court edicts on Section 101 [Ed: The think tank of patent extremists is trying to distort what's happening with software patents after SCOTUS pretty much eliminated all of them (or those judged in a court)]

            Courts don’t consider USPTO subject matter guidance binding, and lawyers have mixed feelings about whether that matters for prosecution strategies

          • Discretionary Transfer out of Waco

            This petition for writ of certiorari fits nicely into my Civil Procedure teaching calendar because we are now arriving at the topic of discretionary transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404.

            SynKloud sued Adobe for patent infringement in Waco (W.D. Tex.). Adobe requested a transfer of venue to its home venue of N.D. Cal., but Judge Albright denied that motion. The Federal Circuit granted mandamus and ordered the case transferred.

            [...]

            Id. As the Supreme Court petition proceeds, the N.D. Cal. case is also moving forward. In one of the questions SynKloud notes the personal jurisdiction problem which was not addressed by the Federal Circuit mandamus judgment. When the case is transferred, SynKloud remains the plaintiff and thus cannot directly challenge personal jurisdiction — other than by simply dismissing its case and forfeiting its patent rights.

            Folks who read this petition will recognize that it was not drafted by traditional Supreme Court council. I expect that its style may reduce its odds of being granted certiorari. However, it is also setting up a potential follow-on petition in Uniloc v. Apple that will be coming soon.

      • Copyrights

        • Canada Court Asked to Ban Staples & Best Buy From Selling ‘Pirate’ Boxes

          The operator of Canada’s Super Channel has asked Alberta’s superior court to issue an order preventing Staples, Best Buy and other retailers from selling ‘pirate’ set-top boxes in their stores. Allarco Entertainment seeks an immediate injunction, claiming that the retailers’ staff offer advice on how to use the devices for infringing purposes.

        • ICANN Refuses to Accredit Pirate Bay Founder Peter Sunde Due to His ‘Background’

          Peter Sunde is one of the original Pirate Bay founders, but in recent years he’s mostly known for his role in various Internet-related startups. This includes domain registrar Sarek, for which Sunde tried to get ICANN accreditation. However, this request was denied, apparently due to Sunde’s ‘uncomfortable’ background.

        • Another Game Developer DMCAs Its Own Game In Dispute With Publisher

          Way back in early 2019, we wrote about an odd story with a game developer DMCAing its own game on Valve’s Steam platform over a dispute with its publisher. The short version of the story is that the developer accused the publisher of ghosting out on royalty payments, so the takedown allowed the developer to wrestle back control of the game and put it back up themselves. Steam, which has a reputation of being far more friendly to publishers than developers, in this case actually helped the developer wade through getting control of its game.

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