03.13.21

Links 13/3/2021: Wine 6.4, FreeBSD 13.0 RC2, KDE Frameworks 5.80.0, Lampone Pi, and GRUB 2.06 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Computers Unveil The First RTX 30 Series Powered Linux Laptop Lineup

        TUXEDO Computers is a German-based manufacturer of Linux-based Desktops and Notebooks. Some of their popular offerings include their range of Linux-based mini PCs and the Polaris series of gaming laptops.

        Recently, they have announced the launch of two new Linux gaming laptops that will feature the Nvidia RTX 30 series of graphics cards.

        The two new offerings are the TUXEDO Book XP15 and TUXEDO Book XP17, both laptops will offer up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 Max-Q with different configurations possible across the display, memory, storage and operating systems.

      • The marvels of modern operating systems!

        Sometimes I feel like an extra in a C-quality production of Les Miserables or perhaps Planet of the Apes. I look at this sordid state of affairs and try to figure out the best way out. On one hand, I think, this is good, because I can invest in the companies that make money off morons, and then some day in the future, I can use that money to make my own life as comfortable and idiots-free as possible. On the other, I live in here and now, and I have to contend with stupidity all the time, and live with this expectation that software that worked just fine yesterday may stop working tomorrow, just because.

        I also know that the words written in this article will resonate with a tiny, tiny percentage of the overall population. The world is changing. The change is inevitable by the virtue of how things are and have always been. But no one can convince me that mediocre is anything else than what it is, and I will never accept subpar quality. In fact, mediocrity is the worst state to be in. Those on the low end know they are on the low end. Those on the high end know they are on the high end. It’s the middle (class) that is deluding themselves they are better off than they really are. The same with software. Bye bye now.

        P.S. The images of the firemen (article thumbnail), The Charge of the Light Bridage, and Charles Darwin are in the public domain.

        [...]

        Specifically, I did some work and testing on my IdeaPad 3 box. Here, I encountered a brand new problem I’ve not seen before. Going from windowed mode to full-screen mode would result in the video playback flickering once or twice before settling – almost like scanning for optimal resolution or whatnot. Best of all, it wasn’t there when I first configured the box, but here we had some updates, too!

        And then, we go back to Linux and hardware compatibility in general. Pretty much any device I owned had this or that (small or large) hardware issue running this or that distro. Always something. T400 had mouse issues. G50 had Wireless issues. EeePC had fan control and screen brightness issues. Now, the IdeaPad 3 has video issues. Not tearing, but this odd new artifact.

        Every single time, “someone” is to blame – other than the distro and the overall bad state of QA across Linux. We could blame AMD now (the graphics on this laptop), the same way people always blame Nvidia. Or we could blame VLC. Except … there’s no playback problem in Windows, with VLC.

        Then, let’s not forget the missing PulseAudio problem in Kubuntu – no simultaneous audio in/out profile. Then, let’s not forget the wildly varying Samba performance, with distros reporting between 7 and 17 MB/s, while Windows does roughly ~35 MB/s – same box, same physical location, same test as always. Speaking of Samba, in Plasma, across multiple distros, you can’t print to, yes, you guessed it, Samba-connected printers, because the functionality isn’t there, in Year 2021. I mean why have the option listed in the applet then? Remove it altogether. Better not to list Samba at all than have it listed and then slap the user with a grayed-out Browse button.

    • Server

      • What Is Headless Server

        You may have heard of the headless server. A headless server is simply an operating system installed on a computer without a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals. One can make a server a headless server just by connecting it to a network, removing the monitor, mouse, keyboard, and peripherals.

        The only way to access a headless server is to use networking tools such as ssh and vnc server. You may ask why somebody needs to create a headless server. It must be so difficult to perform simple tasks such as editing a spreadsheet, playing favorite games, and watching YouTube videos. Well, you’re right. As I said the headless server can only be accessed through the network hence performing tasks through networking tools ssh or vnc server is not as smooth as a normal computer.

        You must be thinking if headless servers are not easily manageable, then who is having those. Short answer, every tech company.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • End of Life Distributions: Setting up Extended Lifecycle Support to keep them patched – YouTube

        If your Linux distribution of choice has reached end of life, it’s important to migrate to a supported version in order to continue to receive security updates. However, sometimes migrations suffer scope creep, get stalled, or perhaps your organization isn’t fully prepared. In this video, I show off Extended Lifecycle Support, a service which can keep several distributions patched for up to four years after their EOL date.

      • LHS Episode #399: OpenRTX Deep Dive

        Welcome to the 399th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts sit down with 75% of the creators and developers of OpenRTX: Niccolo, IU2KIN, Federico, IU2NUO and Sylvano, IU2KWO. We discuss the origins of the OpenRTX project, what it is, what it does and how anyone can participate in its development and use. We also touch on audio codecs, the Open Source philosophy, open hardware, engineering skulduggery and much more. We hope you enjoy this informative, in-depth look at OpenRTX. Have a great week.

      • Password Shaming | Self-Hosted 40

        We react to Home Assistant password shaming us and then reflect on the OVH fire while attempting to solve a “growing” cloud problem.

      • Back In The Studio

        Last month I mentioned that myself, Mark and Martin have decided to come back for Season 14 of the Ubuntu Podcast. Well, we’re back today with S14E01, titled “Navy Chefs Remit”.

        Over the thirteen years, the episode titles have had a theme in each season. We don’t reveal the theme, but let our listeners figure that out, for fun. Sometimes it has a bearing on the content of the episode, but often not.

        Season One used Elvis Presley singles as titles, which I think was a nod to the fact that people used to tell me I look like Elvis. In Season Two we used Tony’s love of Doctor Who to give us episode titles.

    • Kernel Space

      • Pi Day through time: From Linux to Einstein to Steph Curry

        Linux operating system creator Linus Torvalds first introduced his young open-source creation to the world in 1991, but the Linux kernel 1.0.0 release arrived on March 14, 1994. Think of the kernel as the core of the operating system. This release signaled a groundswell of development support from programmers.

        Linux kernel 1.0.0 involved 176,250 lines of code. Compare that with 1991′s version 0.01 with its 10,239 lines of code.

      • Three Flaws in the Linux Kernel Since 2006 Could Grant Root Privileges
      • 15-year-old Linux kernel bugs let attackers gain root privileges

        Three vulnerabilities found in the iSCSI subsystem of the Linux kernel could allow local attackers with basic user privileges to gain root privileges on unpatched Linux systems.

      • Three flaws that sat in Linux kernel since 2006 could deliver root privileges to attackers

        Three recently unearthed vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel, located in the iSCSI module used for accessing shared data storage facilities, could allow root privileges to anyone with a user account.

        The trio of flaws – CVE-2021-27363, CVE-2021-27364 and CVE-2021-27365 – have lurked in Linux code since 2006 without detection until GRIMM researchers discovered them.

      • Researcher finds 5 privilege escalation vulnerabilities in Linux kernel
      • Linux Kernel Found With High Severity Privilege Escalation Bugs
      • What Is Personal Data And Where Is it Stored?

        We’re all hearing a lot about how important it is to protect our personal data. But just what is personal data? This article comes from my Linux Security Fundamentals book – which happens to be about much more than just Linux.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21 Is Released With Many Improvements For AMD Graphics Users

          Mesa is a large collection of graphics-related libraries that handle all the free software graphics drivers, OpenGL support, Vulkan support and much more. It is a fundamental part of GNU/Linux desktop systems.

          The release-cycle for Mesa 21 was a bit hectic with quite a few hiccups and delays along the way. The shiny new Mesa version is finally out and on its way to the more bleeding-edge GNU/Linux distributions thanks to the hard work of release-manager Dylan Baker and a whole lot of other hard-working developers.

          Marek Olšák is one of them. He was pretty much alone on team AMD this release-cycle, but he managed to make up for it with a whopping 278 commits. That makes him the single largest contributor to Mesa 21, outperforming Collaboras Alyssa Rosenzweig by a whopping 108 commits. Olšák contributed a whole lot to the various AMD drivers, but he is not the sole reason there is so many improvements on the AMD side in this release. Valves Daniel Schürmann and Googles Bas Nieuwenhuizen are also notable for their many contributions to the AMD RADV Vulkan driver and the ACO shader compiler in this Mesa release.

        • Basis Universal GPU Texture Codec 1.13 Encoder Is Now Even Faster

          Binomial’s Basis Universal GPU texture codec for highly-compressed textures is now even faster when ETC1S encoding to this intermediate format.

          Binomial LLC collaborated with mapping firm Esri to further enhance the abilities of Basis Universal. Esri is known for their geographic information system and were after better performance out of this GPU texture codec.

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q1.5 Released With Synchronization2, Another Extension To Help DXVK – Phoronix

          In addition to yesterday marking the release of Mesa 21.0 that includes the likes of the RADV driver, today AMD released AMDVLK 2021.Q1.5 as their latest official open-source Vulkan driver derived from their cross-platform driver sources.

          With AMDVLK 2021.Q1.5 they have updated against the Vulkan 1.2.170 header files, are now using the upstream VMID support, and the GPU debug path has surface capture functionality enabled. There are also three new Vulkan extensions enabled by AMDVLK 2021.Q1.5: VK_KHR_sampler_ycbcr_conversion, VK_KHR_synchronization2, and VK_EXT_4444_formats.

        • Intel Alder Lake P Linux Graphics Support Sent Out – Gen12 Xe + XE_LPD Display – Phoronix

          While for months already Intel has been volleying Linux driver patches around Alder Lake S, today they began publishing their graphics driver support patches for Alder Lake P.

          Alder Lake P is a hybrid CPU architecture like Alder Lake S while S is for the desktop parts and P is for mobile. The most striking difference with the Alder Lake P enablement is indicating that these processors feature the new “XE_LPD” display block, version 13 of Intel’s display capabilities.

    • Benchmarks

      • Software-Defined Radio Benchmarks, Other Updates This Week

        Per reader requests, several software-defined radio (SDR) benchmarks have been added alongside the 640+ other distinct workloads available for benchmarking via the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org.

        For those interested in evaluating CPUs for software-defined radio or signal processing purposes, some of the latest test additions may be of interest to you. GNU Radio, LuaRadio, srsLTE, and Liquid DSP are now all available for benchmarking via the Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org.

    • Applications

      • 7-Zip Developer Releases the First Official Linux Version

        An official version of the popular 7-zip archiving program has been released for Linux for the first time.

      • 7-Zip, the open source file archiver, is now available for Linux

        An official build of 7-Zip is now available for Linux x86, x86-64, ARMv7, and ARM64 architectures, extending the popular open source file compression program from PCs running Microsoft Windows to thousands of Linux-powered devices, including Chromebooks and the Raspberry Pi.

        Linux users have been able to use the 7-Zip archive (*.7z) for a while using applications like p7zip, thanks to the open architecture of the file format. But since the release of 7-Zip 21.01 alpha, developers, system-admins, and Linux enthusiasts can get the Linux binary of the program directly from 7-Zip’s website and enjoy the native support. You can invoke it under a container, a remote machine, or even under Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL.

      • Czkawka – Find & Remove Duplicates, Empty, Broken Files in Linux

        Czkawka is a simple, fast and easy to use software to remove unnecessary files from your machine.

        Czkawka is a free and open-source software written in memory safe Rust. It works on Linux, Mac, and Windows. Due to advanced algorithms and multi-threading, it is amazingly fast!

      • Find And Remove Duplicate Files, Similar Images And More With Czkawka (FSlint Alternative)

        Czkawka is a fast (multi-threaded) application to find and remove duplicate files, invalid symlinks, similar images, and more. It’s similar in both user interface and functionality to FSlint, a duplicate file finder for Linux which has not been updated from Python2 and thus, is no longer available for many Linux distributions.

        The application is written in Rust, it comes with both GUI (GTK3) and CLI frontends, and is available for Linux, macOS and Microsoft Windows.

      • 7-Zip developer releases the first official Linux version
      • 4 Best Free and Open Source Web-Based MPD Clients

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database.

        The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network.

        There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 4 best web-based MPD clients. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to use MPD.

      • How to follow your favorite websites with the NewsFlash RSS Feed Reader for Linux

        We all have our favorite websites and blogs, of which we like to stay informed about new publications. When you follow a lot of websites and you want to know about updates frequently, it is almost impossible to stay up-to-date for all of them manually. If you visit these websites frequently to look for updates, you probably find that only a small number of them have been updated, but most of them not. This will cost you a lot of time that you could use in a better way. Ideally, you want to be automatically notified when there is an update on the websites you follow. This is possible with an RSS feed reader. In this article I will explain how to follow your favorite websites with the NewsFlash RSS Feed Reader for Linux.

        [...]

        RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a standardized content distribution method that makes it possible, via what we call a news aggregation application, functionality or service, to aggregate these update signals from different sources and then offer them to the user via one dedicated application. An RSS Feed Reader application can, based on time intervals, automatically check the websites specified by the user for updates.

        The technology enabling RSS Feeds is based on the XML file format, a standardized language that can be downloaded and interpreted by many applications. Because of this standard, there are many RSS Feed reader applications, services and browser solutions available that each offer their own unique possibilities, but basically offer about the same.

      • 3 Best Podcast App for Ubuntu Linux in 2021

        There’s been a renewed interest in podcasts over the past few years. We recently shared our top picks for Podcasts, a list of content that will no doubt appeal to anyone in the tech space. We shall keep updating that list so be on the lookout for that and more.

        We know that Linux is not a niche ecosystem compared to Windows and macOS in terms of functionality while remaining untouched in terms of versatility. However, you can still get things done on the operating system.

        So you’re into Podcasts but you’re a proud Linuxer. What options do you have at your disposal to take advantage of all the audio goodness? In this post, we shall take a look at a few of our top picks.

      • Resistance Is Futile, So I’m Back In Qtile

        In the last few days, I have been living in Qtile again. Qtile is a tiling window manager written and configured entirely in Python. It’s always been one of my favorite window managers. I’ve used it for probably 7 or 8 years, but I haven’t spent much time in it in recent weeks.

      • UwUfetch 1.0 Is Released

        UwUfetch is a simple tool similar to Screenfetch and Neofetch that gathers and displays some basic system information. The initial public version can show you your systems “OWOS”, kernel, “CPUWU”, “WAM” and, most importantly, “UWUPTIME”.

        Developer “TheDarkBug” and nine other contributors have worked hard to bring you the first release of the terminal-based system information utility UwUfetch.

        UwUfetch will show you your systems “OWOS”, KERNEL, “CPUWU”, “WAM”, SHELL, PKGS and “UWUPTIME” next to some ASCII art that may or may not reflect your distribution in a terminal. That’s what it does and that is all it does.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • BSidesSF 2021 CTF: Net Matroyshka (Author Writeup)

        Net Matroyshka was one of our “1337” tagged challenges for the 2021 BSidesSF CTF. This indicated it was particularly hard, and our players can probably confirm that.

        If you haven’t played our CTF in the past, you might not be familiar with the Matryoshka name. (Yep, I misspelled Matryoshka this year and didn’t catch it before we launched.) It refers to the nesting Matryoshka dolls, and we’ve been doing a series of challenges where they contain layers to be solved, often by different encodings, formats, etc. This year, it was layers of PCAPs for some network forensics challenges.

      • How To Install Telegram on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Telegram on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Telegram is a free and open-source instant messaging app that values user’s privacy and data encryption, which means as compared to Whatsapp all your messages will be on the company’s secure cloud in an encrypted form rather than on a local device. it is available for every mobile platform, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Ubuntu Touch. Earlier it was not officially available for Desktop but recently developers have released it for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS desktop.

        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 Telegram on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How To Install Piwigo on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Piwigo on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Piwigo is a free, open-source, and photo gallery software built on the LAMP stack. It supports multiple media formats, integrated blogs, and custom pages. Piwigo is an ideal CMS tool for photographers, designers, filmmakers, and musicians.

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

      • How to Install the IonCube Loader on Ubuntu Linux

        If you have your own PHP server and know that it is on Linux, you can install the ionCube loader extension on your server to decrypt (previously, it worked as an encryptor) the scriptings of your PHP server. Suppose you are a server administrator or involved e-commerce dropshipping business. In that case, you probably already know that sometimes big e-commerce sites don’t allow dropshipping products without having the ionCube loader on your PHP server. Moreover, if you are a PHP developer, you can use ionCube to hide your own code from your clients. It won’t take much time to install the ionCube loader extension on a Ubuntu Linux system.

      • How to Install Cacher Code Snippet Library in Fedora – Linux Hint

        Code snippets are an important time-saver and productivity enhancer for programmers. Snippets can help programmers to avoid writing repetitive code again and again. They also help in organizing code and providing a clean workspace. Snippets help to speed up the development process, reducing the time and effort of programmers in managing large blocks of code. There are many great snippet tools available, including Brackets, CodePen, JSFiddle, Cacher, and more to boost the workflow. This article shows you how to install Cacher, a code snippet library tool for organizing code snippets.

      • How to install KDE NEON 20210304 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install KDE NEON 20210304.

      • How to Install Shutter Screenshot Tool on Ubuntu 20.04 (LTS) and 20.10 – Linux Hint

        The Shutter is a Linux-based program for screenshots that is open-source and full of features. Screenshots of a window, desktop, menus, or any specific area can be taken with ease. Apart from that, there is a fully-featured editor to edit the captured screenshots. The editor’s most notable features are adding text, highlighting areas, putting in arrows, cropping the image, and adding different effects.

        Moreover, Shutter allows to share images through FTP and comes with multiple plugins to enhance productivity and change the appearance.

      • How to Use Nmap Command on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        The Network Mapper, also known as “Nmap,” is a versatile, flexible, and famous tool used to manage and secure networks. It helps administrators to map their networks and security scans.

        Through command-line prompt Nmap, the tool provides multiple features such as exploring networks, finding open ports, ping sweeps, OS detection, and many more.

      • How to Update and Upgrade CentOS 8 – Linux Hint

        It is a better practice to keep your system’s packages up to date so that you can have the latest features and security updates in time. As we all know, the Red Hat Enterprise releases a new version of CentOS every year, and with the passage of time and rapid growth of software updates, we must have to update our CentOS Operating system.

        The update process varies based on the Operating system version, and in this article, we will learn how to update and upgrade CentOS 8 Operating system. The CentOS 8 Operating system uses the DNF package manager. Before CentOS 8, the default package manager was YUM, so if you are using some older version of CentOS, you can replace the dnf with yum. All the commands in this article would work perfectly fine for the older version of the CentOS Operating System.

        We will learn to update and upgrade the whole Operating system as well as the individual package using both command line and GUI methods, so without any further ado, let’s begin with the updating process.

      • Create Rust Virtual Environments Using Conda In Linux – OSTechNix

        As you may already know, Anaconda distribution ships with a command line package and virtual environment manager called Conda. Even though it is mainly developed for Python, it is actually language-agnostic and not tied to any specific programming language. Using Conda, we can install many programming languages in multiple different environments. We already have shown you how to create NodeJS environment using Conda. Today, we will see how to create Rust virtual environments using Conda in Linux.

      • How to install Apache, MySQL and PHP on AlmaLinux 8 – Linux Shout

        LAMP is a stack of open-source software to provide a fully functional web server environment for various PHP and other web applications. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python, and here we learn how to install them on CentOS alternative AmlaLinux 8.x server.

        The basic function of a web server is to deliver HTML and image content via the HTTP or HTTPS protocol. Whenever we type some web address in our browser, it requests the webserver for the delivery of called web page available on Web server suing either port 80 (“HTTP: //”) or port 443 (“HTTPS: //”).

        The Apache HTTP server is one of the most widely used web servers. It has been around for a good 20 years and powering millions of web servers. However, there are a couple of good alternatives such as the Nginx Web server that uses PC resources more sparingly and is often better suited for less powerful hardware and servers with a large number of accesses. In some cases, the combination of Apache with Nginx as a reverse proxy can also be useful.

      • Understanding Linux File Timestamps: mtime, ctime, and atime

        The Linux operating system keeps track of three timestamps for each file on your system. These timestamps enable you to discover when was a file last updated. But what do they all mean? And how do you find out these times for a file? Is there a difference when it comes to directories?

        An understanding of atime, ctime, and mtime can answer all of these questions. These are the three timestamps that Unix filesystems track. If you ever need to find out details about what changed and when, read on.

      • Migrate from WordPress to Jekyll in 3 Steps

        So, you are here because you need to migrate from WordPress to Jekyll. You are at the right place! I’ll explain to you how to do just that in 3 steps (this takes approximately 30 mins).

      • [Old] From WordPress To Jekyll

        This method of maintaining a blog appeals mainly to coders, so I’m assuming you’re comfortable with command line operations, already have Git installed, and have a basic working knowledge of HTML and CSS. Jekyll is written in Ruby, so you’ll need Ruby and Bundler installed.

        Your first step is to install Jekyll Exporter on your WordPress site, which will add an “Export to Jekyll” command to your “Tools” menu. This converts all your WordPress posts and drafts to Markdown, organizes them into the Jekyll directory structure, generates a _config.yml, and saves it all in a .zip archive. It also includes your wp-content directory with all your site’s images. It does not, however, attempt to convert your design theme. More on that later.

      • [Old] How To: WordPress to Jekyll

        After I was sure that I wanted to embark on this journey I had to think about how this would all work and what sacrifices I would have to make. I would need to implement some custom stuff to get some features and pages I was used to with WordPress. It was also important that I kept the exact same URL structure.

        Here was the initial list of tasks that had to be completed/built:

        Import WordPress database and retain tags

        [...]

      • [Old] Moving From WordPress to Jekyll

        When I first started this blog back in 2008 I hosted it myself using an Arch Linux instance with Linode. For the blogging platform I used WordPress MU because it was, and still is, one of the most popular blogging platforms. At that time the MU version was how multiple domains (subdomains) were supported on a single installation. Later it was merged into standard WordPress. It was easy to use and Administer. For a long time I was happy with this setup but at a certain point upkeep was taking to much of my time.

        In December 2017 I decided to move to WordPress.com and let them handle all of the system maintenance. The idea was it would give me more free time and I wouldn’t have to worry about security issues. Also, If I ran into a problem they have people on staff to help.

        The only plugins I was using were ones provided by JetPack so I wasn’t going to lose any functionality. I made the switch moved off of my Arch Linux instance and shut it down.

      • [Old] Why WordPress to Jekyll Migration?

        WordPress to Jekyll migration is really simple for a small blog. But when there are too many posts, you might encounter a lot of errors.

        I cannot cover everything under the sun but I have tried to present all the issues I have faced while migrating.

        We have to export all the pages, posts and media. Pages and posts will be converted to markdown while exporting. So we can directly put these things inside any Jekyll theme. It should work as expected with some troubleshooting.

        Jekyll Export plugin is not so compatible with other WordPress plugins. So try to deactivate all other plugins before performing the export. Try to achieve a plugin-free WordPress site and then run Jekyll Export.

        Here is how you can Migrate from WordPress to Jekyll.

      • A look at search engines with their own indexes

        This is a cursory review of all the indexing search engines I have been able to find.

        The three dominant English search engines with their own indexes1 are Google, Bing, and Yandex (GBY). Many alternatives to GBY exist, but almost none of them have their own results; instead, they just source their results from GBY.

        With that in mind, I decided to test and catalog all the different indexing search engines I could find. I prioritized breadth over depth, and encourage readers to try the engines out themselves if they’d like more information.

      • What OpenSSH sshd logs when a session disconnects (on Linux)

        There are many reasons you might care about the causes of SSH session disconnections, including that you’re trying to troubleshoot potential network or firewall problems and you want to see if people are getting abruptly disconnected from their SSH sessions or if the sessions are ending normally.

      • Easy spamAssassin with OpenSMTPD

        Today I will explain how to setup very easily the anti-spam SpamAssassin and make it work with the OpenSMTPD mail server (OpenBSD default mail server). I will suppose you are already familiar with mail servers.

      • Record system audio output with ALSA

        This was written & tested on an Archlinux system, but I believe it applies to most Linux/ALSA systems.

      • CSRF Attack Examples and Mitigations

        Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks allow an attacker to forge and submit requests as a logged-in user to a web application. CSRF exploits the fact that HTML elements send ambient credentials (like cookies) with requests, even cross-origin.

        Like XSS, to launch a CSRF attack the attacker has to convince the victim to either click on or navigate to a link. Unlike XSS, CSRF only allows an attacker to make requests to the victim’s origin and does not give the attacker code execution within that origin. This does not mean CSRF attacks are any less important to defend against. As we’ll see in the examples, CSRF can be as dangerous as XSS.

      • Ubuntu: ping computers on the network [Guide]

        Do you need to ping a computer on your local network from your Ubuntu PC? Can’t figure out how to do a ping on Ubuntu? We can help! Follow along as we show you how to ping computers on the local network in Ubuntu!

      • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Preventing an OpenPGP Smartcard from caching the PIN eternally

        While I’m overall very happy about my migration to an OpenPGP hardware token, the process wasn’t entirely seamless and I had to hack around some issues, for example the PIN caching behavior in GnuPG.

        As described in this bug the cache-ttl parameter in GnuPG is not implemented and thus does nothing. This means once you type in your PIN, it is cached for as long as the token is plugged.

        Security-wise, this is not great. Instead of manually disconnecting the token frequently, I’ve come up with a script that restarts scdameon if the token hasn’t been used during the last X minutes.

      • Paint faster repetitive patterns in perspective, step by step. – David Revoy

        Painting complex patterns for background in perspective can really be tedious and a long task. Over the years, I came up with my own technique, using the cool features of Krita to spice up my background while lowering the time budget spent on this areas. In this video I’m sharing this technique! I’m detailing the process so this video is very beginner friendly.

      • Create a KDE Plasma Theme with No Code! Part 4

        Create a KDE Plasma Theme with No Code! Part 4

      • Install Plex Server on Raspberry PI – peppe8o

        Being one of most famous media server, Plex brings your media on a single app available for any device and from everywhere. Raspberry PI computer boards fits perfectly plex server needs and are a good option to run your server from your home

        In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to install Plex server in your Raspberry PI.

        Plex has a huge number of followers. It is really flexible and makes your media together, accessible in simple way from any device. Moreover, it allows you to reach a number of new services, so discovering web TVs, Shows, channels, podcasts and so on.

      • Creating a Kodi media PC using a Raspberry Pi 4

        Here’s how I set up a media PC using Kodi (formerly XMBC) and a Raspberry Pi 4.

      • How to share files between Android and Linux wirelessly | FOSS Linux

        Are you looking for a way to wirelessly transfer files between your Android phone/tablet and your Linux PC? If so, then you have come to the right place. Now there are no native solutions for sharing files between the two platforms. You need to make use of third-party solutions, of which there are plenty. However, for this tutorial, we will be using the KDE Connect app to transfer the files.

        But before we get started, let’s get a quick idea of KDE Connect and the features it brings to the table.

      • How To Install Erlang on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Erlang on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Erlang is a programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements for high availability. The Erlang runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution, and fault tolerance.

        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 Erlang on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to use bridged networking with libvirt and KVM – LinuxConfig.org

        Libvirt is a free and open source software which provides API to manage various aspects of virtual machines. On Linux it is commonly used in conjunction with KVM and Qemu. Among other things, libvirt is used to create and manage virtual networks. The default network created when libvirt is used is called “default” and uses NAT (Network Address Translation) and packet forwarding to connect the emulated systems with the “outside” world (both the host system and the internet). In this tutorial we will see how to create a different setup using Bridged networking.

      • How to install AlmaLinux 8 Image in Docker Container – Linux Shout

        Do you want to install and try AlmaLinux 8 on a Docker container running on Windows, Linux, or macOS? Then here are the steps to follow.

        Docker provides containerized virtualization to run various applications or services instantly using the images available on Docker Hub. Even we can create our own Images. Apart from the lightweight and strong isolation, Containers also make it possible to split applications into many small microservices, that can be communicated with each other. It makes us or developers’ jobs less messy if we are planning to install multiple services but don’t want them to interfere while programming or making some changes to them. For example, we can install Apache and Nginx in separate containers while the MySQL in some other, so that while doing some change in one container, let’s say Apache and something goes wrong rest of the two will be unaffected.

      • Install WordPress With Apache, MySQL, and SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Nightly

        This guide shows the step by step instructions to install WordPress on Ubuntu 20.04 with Apache HTTP server, MySQL database, and an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

        1. Get started by installing all of the required packages on your Ubuntu 20.04 system. This will include Apache, PHP, MySQL, Let’s Encrypt certification bot, and all of the extra Apache modules that WordPress requires in order to run properly.

      • How To Install FTP Server on Manjaro 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FTP Server on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files to and from a remote network. The most common FTP server software for Manjaro is the vsftpd package, which stands for “very secure FTP daemon.” It’s the default FTP package for Manjaro, and most other Linux distributions as well.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the FTP Server on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • How To Install Arch Linux: A Step by Step Installation Guide – Front Page Linux

        The installation of Arch has been and continues to be a rite-of-passage within the Linux community. Although there are many guides that discuss the steps needed to install Arch Linux, I couldn’t resist writing my very own guide. This guide promises to be different by being a narrative-style approach to the topic. The goals of this guide are to be educational, informative, and to make & keep it simple (in the spirit of the Arch philosophy). The guide assumes that you have some proficiency with the command line and have a basic understanding of Linux. I hope that this guide can help you succeed with this rite and put you in control of a system that you have built from the ground-up.

        As an Arch user, the Arch Wiki will be an extremely valuable resource to you. This resource is so well-composed and maintained that even non-Arch users glean knowledge, wisdom, and solutions from it daily.

      • 2 Ways to Encrypt Dropbox Files on Ubuntu Desktop & Server

        If you are wondering “is Dropbox safe for confidential files”, you have come to the right place. This tutorial shows you 2 ways to encrypt files in your Dropbox account to protect your confidential files from prying eyes. This will be very helpful for those who are worried about privacy and security when storing files on cloud storage providers. Experienced Linux users can set up their own cloud storage using NextCloud, but not everyone has the skill or time to manage self-hosted cloud storage. When your Dropbox files are encrypted, no one can read them without the encryption password.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine [6.4] Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.4 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Support for the DTLS protocol.
          - Fontset support in DirectWrite.
          - Dialog for editing Access Control entries.
          - Theming support for a few more common controls.
          - Support for Korean Wansung encoding.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.4.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.4.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 6.4 Released With DTLS Protocol Support, 38 Bug Fixes

        Wine 6.4 brings initial DTLS (Datagram Transport Layer Security ) support to the Secur32 code. DTLS provides similar security to TLS while being designed for datagram-based software with UDP. DTLS on Windows is used by software like Cisco AnyConnect, OpenConnect, NetScaler, and can also be used by browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox for WebRTC.

      • Wine 6.4 Is Released

        The popular Wine Windows-API re-implementation for running Windows software on non-Windows machines has had a severe lack of support for Korean Unified Hangul Code (UHC), also known as extended Wansung, encoding for too long. Wine finally gained support for the UHC codepage 20949 with the release of Wine 6.4 thanks to a valuable contribution from Sanghoon Park (박상훈).

        There’s also new support for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) in Wine 6.4. DTLS is not that widely used today due to problems like packet reordering and other issues DTLS has as a consequence of it being based on the UDP protocol. There are some use-cases, so it is quite nice that Wine is now properly able to handle Windows-applications using DTLS.

      • Wine 6.4 Released with DTLS Protocol Support

        The Wine team announced the new development release Wine 6.4 with new features and various bug-fixes.

        Wine 6.4 added support for the DTLS protocol. Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) is a protocol designed to secure data over UDP and is used for applications such as media streaming, VOIP, and online gaming for communication.

        [...]

        The new release package will be available in next a few days for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 20.10.

        Open terminal either by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard, or by searching for ‘terminal’ from system application menu. When it opens, run following steps one by one.

        Install Wine Development version via following commands will replace the latest stable Wine release package if installed.

      • Windows ‘not an emulator’ compatibility tool Wine 6.4 out now

        Not an emulator but a compatibility tool that translates Windows calls into language Linux can understand, Wine 6.4 is officially out now as the latest development release.

        For newer readers and Linux users here’s a refresher – Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It’s also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, all the development is bundled into a stable release.

    • Games

      • Tactical zombie survival action game Dead Age 2 exits Early Access

        Offering up a mix of character building RPG mechanics, survival features, turn-based battles and much more – Dead Age 2 is officially out now as it has left Early Access. Developed by Silent Dreams and published by Headup, it’s a much expanded version compared to the original which build upon what players enjoyed from the original.

        Playing quite a bit like a party-based RPG, Dead Age 2 has plenty of quests to follow with various outcomes as you deal with the different factions and try to improve your standing with them. Lots of decisions need to be taken everywhere throughout the game with paths you take leading to one of six possible endings.

        [...]

        Seems like users on Steam have been positively receiving it overall, with the more recent reviews seeming to show it has improved during the Early Access time.

      • Release candidate: Godot 3.2.4 RC 5

        Godot 3.2.4 is going to be incredibly feature-packed, and we’re taking the time necessary to ensure that it will also be stable. We had a fourth Release Candidate a few days ago which got good testing and helped surface various bugs, many of which have been fixed. So we’re now making a RC 5 build to keep iterating fast and make sure that the bug fixes work as expected. Thanks to all pre-release testers who help us find and debug regressions!

        Things should now be in a pretty good shape and we hope to be able to release 3.2.4 stable soon™.

        For macOS, both the standard and Mono editor builds are now signed and notarized! Thanks to Prehensile Tales for the certificate and the work on the infrastructure.

      • Catch over 1,200 creatures in Siralim Ultimate out now in Early Access

        It might not be the prettiest around but the Siralim series is quite popular because of the incredible depth and the latest Siralim Ultimate is now in Early Access.

        A game that blends together the collectathon found in monster catching games, with dungeon-crawling and RPG elements that sees you travel the lands and battle through randomly generated dungeons to acquire resources, new creatures, and loot. The developer says to think of it like “Pokemon meets Diablo, or more accurately, Dragon Warrior Monsters meets Path of Exile” – in other words it’s a really big game.

      • Lazy Chess a new open source game that gives you the best moves | GamingOnLinux

        I do always love to see new takes on classic games and Lazy Chess has a fun idea. It compresses Chess down into a game of only a few possible moves each turn. The idea is that it’s trying to make Chess a little less intimidating. By providing you with a few choices of the best moves, you still get a choice but not so much.

        “Lazy Chess is a non-profit chess puzzle that aims to innovate the game and reduce the intimidation factor for new or self-conscious players. On average, there are more than 30 legal chess moves available to a player in a turn, creating vigintillions (that’s 10 followed by 63 zeros) of possibilities throughout a game. Lazy Chess compresses all those possibilities. Every turn, it offers you the best 2, 3 or 4 moves you could make. The only catch? You won’t know which move is the best!”

      • Monolith of Minds announced Lila’s Sky Ark, a prequel story to Resolutiion | GamingOnLinux

        Resolutiion was one of the most striking games visually from 2020 and Monolith of Minds are coming back this year with a prequel named Lila’s Sky Ark.

        It seems to continue their wonderful visual design which I absolutely adore, with Monolith of Minds saying it’s “where cyber-thriller meets Alice in Wonderland: the first Cradle, the original Dreamer, and the birth of the Red Code Universe”. I have to admit my intense curiosity on what the heck is going on. Someone called The Conductor has launched an army at their sky island to take “all that is magical and musical” and so you need to “unite the spirits of the forest, the mountain, the sky, and the core, to fight back”.

      • Out of The Top 50 Games, 70% Work on Linux Now

        7000 titles confirmed working out of the box on Proton? That’s all very fine, yes sir, but what if you don’t care about quantity? What if one considers ONLY the most desirable Top 50 games (based on popularity) out there, how good is Linux? That’s the real question, isn’t it ?

        Well, I took a look very recently at the top 50 games on Steam with the highest number of concurrent players over the past 2 weeks.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.4.3: Second Beta Release

          We’re releasing the second beta for Krita 4.4.3 today. This version only fixes regressions found in the first beta, but it still needs testing!

          [...]

          The Linux appimages and the source .tar.gz and .tar.xz tarballs are signed. You can retrieve the public key with gpg: “gpg –recv-key 7468332F”. The signatures are here (filenames ending in .sig).

        • This week in KDE: Elisa grows up

          This week I want to highlight something big: Elisa now has a full mobile interface, making it a first-class citizen on Plasma Mobile and Android! A ton of of the code is shared, thanks to KDE’s Kirigami user interface toolkit. Thanks very much to Devin Lin for this enormously impactful contribution that makes Elisa a fully convergent music player!

          In addition we got a lot of work done on the new Plasma System monitor app, which is going to replace the venerable KSysguard by default in Plasma 5.22. It’s currently optional, so we’re very thankful for the amount of testing that adventurous people have done with it. This promises to make the full-roll out in Plasma 5.22 much smoother. Thank you everyone!

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Will Better Warn You If Your Disk Might Be Failing

          One year into the pandemic the KDE developers remain as busy as ever advancing their free software desktop solution.

          It was another busy week improving KDE by all the developers involved both with fixes to KDE Plasma 5.21 and related applications as well as looking ahead with feature work to Plasma 5.22 and the next round of app releases.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.80 Adds Support for HEIF and HEIC Image Formats to All KDE Apps

          KDE Frameworks 5.80 is yet another hefty update to the collection of more than 80 add-on libraries to Qt, which provide a wide range of commonly needed functionality to the KDE Plasma desktop environment and apps.

          The biggest changes in this release include the implementation of support for HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) and HEIC (High Efficiency Image Coding) image formats in all KDE apps, launch speed improvements for all Kirigami-based apps, and better support for Windows apps when installed via Wine.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.80.0

          KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.80.0.

          KDE Frameworks are 83 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks release announcement.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Adrien Plazas: What’s New in Libhandy 1.2

          Libhandy 1.2 just got released in time for GNOME 40, we recommend you to use this adaptive GTK widgets library in your apps targeting that GNOME version.

          This article presents the most newsworthy changes, you can check the full list of fixes and improvements in the changelog.

    • Distributions

      • How to Choose a Linux Distro Without Trying All of Them

        With many hundreds of Linux distros available, it’s often a challenge for a new user to find the distro that best suits their needs. Which one is best for gaming? Office and productivity? Hardware compatibility? Servers? Homemade routers? Well today, we’ll be walking through some important considerations and discussing how to choose a Linux distro without trying them all.

        [...]

        If your computer is more powerful and has newer hardware, then you can run almost any distro you like. However, if it is old, this could limit your choices. Depending on its age and specs, your choice may boil down to just a dozen distros made especially for old computers. Typically, these distros for old computers are lightweight and don’t offer everything you can think of but are still a decent choice for most everyday tasks and beyond.

        [...]

        There are a few constants across different communities, but each community has something different. For example, if you’re looking for a boostraps, rugged, do-it-yourself kind of community, you might look at Arch Linux. If you’re looking for fierce pragmatism, I’d suggest Ubuntu. If you’re looking for a small-but-mighty free software community, you might look at Fedora. It’s fairly simple to find out what kind of community a distro has surrounding it by going to its respective Subreddit and reading through posts and comments. Every community is helpful, but they’re all helpful in different ways.

      • Lampone Pi

        Lampone Pi is a live Debian GNU/Linux Buster arm64 operating system for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer boards. It’s the only live ISO 9660 operating system for the Pi which can also perform kernel updates. Although it is not affiliated or derived from Raspbian, it’s the homologous of Raspbian Lite (they both derive from Debian), but differently it’s a 64bit live OS. Lampone Pi is at the moment compatible with the Raspberry Pi 3 family.

        :: resilient

        A Debian GNU/Linux (Buster) derivative with a unique partitioning scheme crafted for maximizing the strength against filesystem corruption: the ISO9660 system partition is read-only by design at filesystem-level.

        :: ductile

        Persistence partition contains only the diffs from the stock installation; system updates and your data lay there – you can do system backups/snapshots by just copying the files contained within the 4th partition (rw folder).

      • First Steps with elementary Development

        Nearly two weeks have passed since I announced that I would be exploring development on elementary OS. I had more positive feedback than I expected, so thanks everybody for your awesome support! Since the announcement, I’ve been getting my feet wet with a few different elementary-related projects, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of things.

        Wingpanel Ayatana Indicator

        I’ve long been a fan of indicators, the modern replacement for Systray icons. Fewer apps are using Systray these days, and it has been deprecated across several desktops and toolkits. Replacing the Systray are AppIndicators (of the Ubuntu and Ayatana variety) and StatusNotifierItems. These have pretty wide support and are commonly used by messaging apps (Discord, Slack, Telegram) and cloud syncing apps (Dropbox, pCloud, SyncThing).

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD switches to git

          The FreeBSD project is in the process of switching its version-control system to git. Having passed through RCS, CVS and SVN, the project is now ending up with the same tools as (most) everyone else.

          FreeBSD has three main repositories: src (the source code of the operating system itself and its supporting tools and the whole base userland), doc (all the documentation, handbooks, guides, etc) and ports (the descriptions of how to build third-party software like KDE Frameworks).

        • Linux Release Roundup #21.11: Photoflare 1.6.7, FreeBSD 13.0, SparkyLinux 2021.03 and More New Releases [Ed: ItsFoss is wrong. #FreeBSD 13.0 is out out. Only RC2 today.]

          FreeBSD is a popular multiplatform BSD-derived UNIX-like operating system.

          Recently, FreeBSD 13.0 has been released with a host of improvements that include better Intel CPU performance, improvements to the FreeBSD Update utility, new features for efibootmgr and more.

        • FreeBSD 13.0-RC2 Now Available
          The second RC build of the 13.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          
          Installation images are available for:
          
          o 13.0-RC2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 13.0-RC2 i386 GENERIC
          o 13.0-RC2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 13.0-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 13.0-RC2 powerpc64le GENERIC64LE
          o 13.0-RC2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 13.0-RC2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 13.0-RC2 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 RPI
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 PINE64
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 PINEBOOK
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 ROCK64
          o 13.0-RC2 aarch64 ROCKPRO64
          o 13.0-RC2 riscv64 GENERIC
          o 13.0-RC2 riscv64 GENERICSD
          
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          system.
          
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/13.0/
          
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          
          If you would like to use Git to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/13.0" branch.
          
          A summary of changes since 13.0-RC1 includes:
          
          o Miscellaneous loader fixes.
          
          o Fixes to if_wg(4) have been added.
          
          o The growfs(8) utility has been updated to allow operating on
            read/write filesystems.
          
          o Several ZFS fixes.
          
          o Several TCP fixes.
          
          o The bc(1) utility has been updated to version 3.3.3.
          
          o An arm64 AES-XTS regression has been fixed.
          
          o A fix for VLAN hardware filtering in ixl(4) has been fixed.
          
          o The ice(4) driver has been updated to version 0.28.1-k.
          
          A list of changes since 12.2-RELEASE is available in the releng/13.0
          release notes:
          
          https://www.freebsd.org/releases/13.0R/relnotes.html
          
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 13.0-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          
        • FreeBSD 13.0-RC2 Released With ZFS Fixes, WireGuard Interface Fixes

          If all goes well FreeBSD 13.0 will be officially released before the end of the month while out this weekend is the second release candidate for testing.

          FreeBSD 13.0-RC2 ships the latest fixes in preparing for this big FreeBSD operating system update.

          With FreeBSD 13.0-RC2 the growfs utility can now work on read/write file-systems for growing their size, fixes to the WireGuard interface (if_wg), ZFS file-system fixes, TCP network fixes, an ARM64 AES-XTS regression fix, updated Intel ICE network driver, and various other fixes.

        • Port of the week: pmenu

          This Port of the week will introduce you to a Pie-menu for X11, available on OpenBSD since 6.9 (not released yet). A pie menu is a circle with items spread in the circle, allowing to open other circle with other items in it. I find it very effective for me because I am more comfortable with information spatially organized (my memory is based on spatialization). I think pmenu was designed for a tablet input device using a pen to trigger pmenu.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Solus 4.2 Overview Promo #Shorts

          A promo for the Solus 4.2 Overview video For the full video https://youtu.be/4J1Ea5IpTpY Solus is a Linux distribution built from scratch. It uses a forked version of the PiSi package manager, maintained as “eopkg” within Solus, and a custom desktop environment called “Budgie”, developed in-house. The Budgie desktop, which can be set to emulate the look and feel of the GNOME 2 desktop, is tightly integrated with the GNOME stack. The distribution is available for 64-bit computers only.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Bluefish HTML editor updated to 2.2.12 » PCLinuxOS

          Bluefish is a programmer’s HTML editor, designed to save the experienced webmaster some keystrokes. It features a multiple file editor, multiple toolbars, custom menus, image and thumbnail dialogs, open from the web, HTML validation and lots of wizards.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • German Linux Power SUSE Planning A Pre-Summer IPO

          Linux software giant SUSE is planning a pre-summer initial public offering (IPO) in a deal that could value the company at €7-8 billion ($8.3-9.5 billion), as reported by Reuters.

          SUSE was purchased by EQT from Micro Focus in a $2.5 billion deal in early 2019, marking a new era in the history of the company.

          EQT, a Swedish-based private equity firm with €52 billion in raised capital, has reportedly stepped up preparations to spin SUSE out in an IPO.

        • Linux software giant SUSE files for an IPO in Europe

          Open-source enterprise software company SUSE Group is readying itself for an initial public offering in Europe in the summer as it seeks new backing to try to achieve its ambitious revenue goals.

          The IPO, which has been in the works for some time, could be worth as much as 7 billion to 8 billion euros ($8.3 billion to $9.5 billion), sources told Reuters Wednesday.

          SUSE, based in Germany, is the maker of a popular enterprise Linux distribution of the same name. The open-source SUSE Linux platform runs in enterprise public cloud deployments, on-premises data centers and at the network edge. SUSE offers a range of software products further up the stack too.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/10

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          This week, we were finally getting some fixes together for the glibc/i586 issues that plagued us for a while. Unfortunately, also for the x86_64 users, this meant once again a full rebuild of the distribution (which was published just recently with snapshot 0311). But the 4 snapshots published during this week (0305, 0306, 0307, and 0311) also had something for everybody anyway.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33 | Review from an openSUSE User

          Keeping inline with my general theme of being late to the party, I have finally given Fedora 33 a spin. I have previously reviewed Fedora 31 and really enjoyed it very much. In fact, every time I have used Fedora, it has indeed been a great experience. I am again trying out Plasma because I have heard nothing but good things.

          Bottom Line Up Front: Fedora with a Plasma spin is a fantastic distribution. DNF seems to be getting better and better with every release. I am impressed with the improvements in readability using the terminal interactions. The speed of updates has greatly improved and truly am impressed with the overall performance of the system. The world of Fedora is not standing still and in the last year, seems to have made great strides. I am quite impressed and find my time using it very worth while.

        • Using RHEL with your no-cost Red Hat Developer Subscription for Individuals with KVM [Ed: IBM is reallt feeling the pinch after killing off CentOS and it's still trying to make "sweet deals" to get people back or keep them "on board"]

          In January 2021, Red Hat announced simplifications to our existing, no-cost individual developer subscription which includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Since the announcement about the updated Red Hat Developer Subscription for Individuals, I’ve seen some confusion among people who are new to the Red Hat ecosystem. This includes questions about subscriptions and subscription-manager. Read on to learn more about this subscription to clear up any confusion!

          Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux is not much different than many other Linux distributions. The typical installation scenario is to download an installation DVD, attach or physically insert it, and boot the installer.

        • James Bottomley: Papering Over our TPM 2.0 TSS Divisions

          For years I’ve been hoping that the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) based IBM and Intel TSS (TCG Software Stack) would simply integrate with one another into a single package. The rationale is pretty simple: the Intel TSS is already quite a large collection of libraries so adding one more (the IBM TSS has a single library) wouldn’t be too much of a burden. Both TSSs are based on TCG specifications, except that the IBM TSS is based on the TPM 2.0 Library Specification and the Intel TSS is based on the TPM Software Stack (also, not at all confusingly, abbreviated TSS). There’s actually very little overlap between these specifications so co-existence seems very reasonable. Before we get into the stories of these two stacks and what they do, I should confess my biases: while I’ve worked with the TCG over the years, I’ve always harboured the view that the complete lack of adoption of TPM 2.0’s predecessor (TPM 1.2) was because of the hugely complicated nature of the TCG mandated software stack which was implemented in Linux by trousers. It is my firm belief that the complexity of the API lead to the lack of uptake, even though I made several efforts over the years to make use of it.

          My primary interest in the TPM has been as a secure laptop keystore (since I already paid for a TPM, I didn’t see the need to fork out again for one of the new security dongles; plus the TPM is infinitely scalable in the number of keys, unlike most dongles). The key to making the TPM usable in this form is integration with existing Cryptographic systems (via plugins if they do them). Since openssl has an engine plugin, I’ve already produced an openssl TPM2 engine, patches for gnupg and engine integration patches for openvpn (upstream in 2.5) and openssh as well as a PKC11 exporter (to make file based engine keys exportable as PKCS11 tokens). Note a lot of the patches aren’t strictly TPM patches, they’re actually making openssl engines work in places they previously didn’t. However, the one thing most of the patches that actually touch the TPM have in common is that they have to pick one or other of the available TSSs to operate with. Before describing the TSS agnostic solution, lets look at why these two TSSs exist and what the difference is between them and why you might choose one over the other.

          [...]

          Even though the IBM TSS is based on a solid and easily comprehensible and detailed specification, that specification itself suffers from a couple of defects. The first being it assumes you’re submitting to a physical TPM, so the specification has no functional (library based) submission API for TPM commands, so the IBM TSS had to invent API it called TSS_Execute() which is a way of sending TPM commands directly to the physical TPM over the kernel’s device interfaces. Secondly, the standard contains no routing interfaces (telling it what destination the TPM is on: should it open the /dev/tpmrm0 device or send the commands to the TPM over an IP socket), so this is controlled in the IBM TSS by several environment variables (TPM_INTERFACE_TYPE, which can be either “dev” or “socsim” for either a physical device or a network socket. The endpoints being controlled by TPM_DEVICE for “dev” type, which specifies which device to use, defaulting to /dev/tpmrm0 or TPM_SERVER_NAME and TPM_PLAFORM_PORT for “socsim”).

          The invented TSS_Execute() API also does all the encryption and HMAC parts necessary for secure and integrity verified communication with the TPM, so it acts as a fully functional TSS. The main drawback of the IBM TSS is that it stores essential information about the sessions and handles in files which will, by default, be dropped into the local directory. Most users of the IBM TSS have to set TPM_DATA_DIR to be a specially created directory under /tmp to avoid leaving messy artifacts in users home directories.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-10

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)! The Beta freeze is underway. F34 Beta release candidate 1 was declared no-go. The Fedora Linux 34 Beta Go/No-Go meeting is Thursday. We will target the “target date #1” milestone of 23 March.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • No more Java in vscode-xml 0.15.0

          Among other improvements and bug fixes in the vscode-xml extension 0.15.0 release, you can now run the extension without needing Java. We know the Java requirement discouraged many people from trying the extension. We have included a new setting, Prefer Binary (xml.server.preferBinary) that lets you choose between the Java server and the new binary server. We’re excited to remove the Java restriction from Red Hat’s XML extension for Visual Studio Code in vscode-xml 0.15.0. Keep reading to find out how we did it.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Electronic Engineering Tools

          Continuing Ubuntu Electronics article, this is Debian with full electronic engineering tools installed. I installed the special ‘Science Electronic’ section of software packages on Debian and I got many a lot of tools such as circuits, schematics, and PCBs designers as well as the simulators. By this, you can just install the software you need instead of install the whole OS. Here I report it in this article several of them with screenshots and valuable information.

        • Sparky 2021.03 Special Editions

          Special editions of Sparky 2021.03 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released.
          The release is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

          Changes:
          – system upgraded from Debian testing repos as of March 12, 2021
          – Linux kernel 5.10.19 (5.11.6 & 5.12-rc2 in Sparky unstable repos)
          – Calamares 3.2.37 + kpmcore 20.12.3
          – Sparky APTus AppCenter 20210312
          – added extra keyboard shortcuts to Xfce and Openbox
          – removed packages: bleachbit

        • Meet TeLOS Linux, a Sleek New Debian-Based Distro with a Modern Approach on the Linux Desktop

          Meet TeLOS, a GNU/Linux distribution based on the Debian Testing software repositories and built on top of the modern KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment. In ancient Greek, TeLOS was a term used by philosopher Aristotle to refer to the full potential/objective of a person or thing, similar to the notion of an ‘end goal’ or ‘ambition’.

          So you can think of TeLOS Linux as an ambitious project that aims to provide the GNU/Linux community with a different and modern approach on the Linux desktop by offering you a fully customized KDE Plasma desktop environment that feels “alive” thanks to the animated wallpaper and comes with a minimal and careful selection of pre-installed apps from both the KDE and GNOME stacks.

        • MultiOS-USB

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: MultiOS-USB

          What is MultiOS-USB?

          Create a bootable USB flash drive, external HDD or SSD and boot operating systems directly from ISO files (open source). USB disk with multiple ISO files. Easy to use: install, copy ISO files and boot from USB. Display a list of currently supported operating systems.

        • OSD32MP1-RED full-featured STM32MP1 development board launched for $265

          The board ships with a USB cable and a camera gender converter. Since the goal is to promote the company’s SiP, they’ve made available the PDF and EAGLE hardware design files for the board. “Trusted Debian” and “Trusted OpenSTLinux” MicroSD card images are also been made available and can be found together with the device tree files for Linux 4.19 and U-boot 2018.11, and a getting started guide on the product page.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Says Ubuntu 16.04 Enters Extended Security Maintenance on April 30th, 2021

          Released five years ago on April 16th, 2016, the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series will reach end of life on April 30th, 2021, when it will enter the Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) support, which is offered by Canonical to companies who want to continue using the OS but need it to remain secure.

          Following on the success of the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) operating systems, Canonical is kicking off the transition to its Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) commercial package for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) on April 30th, 2021.

        • The Old Desktop Switcheroo

          In August 2019, I tweeted about how I’d been running KDE Neon for eighteen months, since February 2018, and how I was switching back to GNOME Shell on my primary laptop. In that thread I also suggested I might switch back!

          [...]

          A quick reboot and I’m back on KDE Plasma – A.K.A. “Kubuntu”, from the Ubuntu Hirsute (to be 21.04, soon) archives.
          One thing I really love about Ubuntu, is the diversity of packages in the archive. I didn’t need to wipe and re-install, just tell apt to install one package (or task in this case), go and grab a coffee and it’s mostly done. I think I had one question to answer during the install about whether I wanted to keep gdm3 or switch to sddm, I chose the latter.

          Once rebooted I was able to fiddle around a bit with defaults like the theme – Breeze Dark – default terminal font in Konsole – IBM Plex Mono, and move the launcher to the correct location on the left. I also fiddled around with some of the default keyboard shortcuts, as that muscle memory is well ingrained. That’s mostly it!

        • Ubuntu Blog: All About That Base

          Snapcraft is our delightful tool for building snaps. It’s not the only way to build them, but it’s certainly a popular one.

          A benefit of Snapcraft is that typically a developer can configure the packaging definition once, and not have to update it for a long time. Snapcraft will keep cranking out releases, via CI or another build system.

          Software moves on though. It pays to re-visit snaps which were developed and published a while back, to see what improvements can be incorporated. Let’s take a look at one update which can reap benefits.

          In the beginning

          Snapcraft was originally conceived and built around Ubuntu 15.04 and stablised during the time of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Term Support). Some assumptions are made at build-time that software would compile on an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system. At runtime, the core snap would be leveraged as a lean base on which to execute.

          When Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was released, a newer core18 base was published, and the base keyword introduced into the snapcraft.yaml syntax. Snap publishers could now specify the following in their yaml:

          base: core18

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Build an open source theremin

        Even if you haven’t heard of a theremin, you’re probably familiar with the eerie electronic sound it makes from watching TV shows and movies like the 1951 science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Theremins have also appeared in popular music, although often in the form of a theremin variant. For example, the “theremin” in the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” was actually an electro-theremin, an instrument played with a slider invented by trombonist Paul Tanner and amateur inventor Bob Whitsell and designed to be easier to play.

        Soviet physicist Leon Theremin invented the theremin in 1920. It was one of the first electronic instruments, and Theremin introduced it to the world through his concerts in Europe and the US in the late 1920s. He patented his invention in 1928 and sold the rights to RCA. However, in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, RCA’s expensive product flopped. Theremin returned to the Soviet Union under somewhat mysterious circumstances in the late 1930s. The instrument remained relatively unknown until Robert Moog, of synthesizer fame, became interested in them as a high school student in the 1950s and started writing articles and selling kits. RA Moog, the company he founded, remains the best-known maker of commercial theremins today.

      • This Open-Source Tool Helps Encourage Your WhatsApp Contacts to Switch to Signal

        The year 2021 is truly the time for privacy-friendly apps and services to get the limelight. It all started with the wave to switch from WhatsApp to Signal to protect your privacy.

        No matter how many new active users migrated away from WhatsApp, chances are – most of them still haven’t uninstalled WhatsApp.

        Of course, I don’t blame them, I have it installed on my device as well (just in case someone tries to reach out for anything).

      • systemd 248 RC3 Released With Extension Images Support, New Security Capabilities

        It looks like the official release of systemd 248 is quite imminent but for now a third release candidate has been issued to help facilitate last minute testing.

        Systemd 248 reached its release candidate phase at the end of February and now it looks like in the near future the stable release will be christened.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 12 March 2021
      • QOwnNotes 21.3.1

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud).

      • Apache Daffodil advancing Data Format Description Language

        Apache Daffodil graduated to Top-Level Project status within the Apache Software Foundation, signifying the stability of the technology, as well as the maturity of the project.

        Understanding the attributes of the format of given data set to help with data interchange is a task that the Data Format Description Language (DFDL) helps to enable.

        The DFDL specification is defined by the Open Grid Forum and enabled with software implementations, including the open source Apache Daffodil project. Daffodil was created in 2009 at the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the project joined the Apache Incubator in 2017.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 90 Beta: AV1 Encoder for WebRTC, New Origin Trials, and More

            Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 90 is beta as of March 11, 2021.

          • Chrome 90 Beta Released With New Origin Trials, AV1 Encode

            Pushed back from Chrome 89, the Chrome 90 browser release is now shipping with the previously mentioned AV1 encode support for WebRTC usage. Chrome is shipping the libaom implementation for providing AV1 encode support within the web browser focused on real-time video conferencing. The AOMedia reference encoder performance remains quite low but is a step towards improving WebRTC support moving forward.

          • Google Says Chrome Now Uses Less Memory on Windows, macOS, Android …But Not Linux?

            At least that’s the case if you use the browser on Windows, macOS, or Android. The search giant has a new blog post up to big up claims that Chrome now uses less memory, opens faster, and feels more responsive in use.

            On Windows Google says Chrome makes better use of foreground tab memory, reducing consumption on some site by up to 22 percent.

            MacOS tweaks see the browser to use 8 percent less memory for handling background tabs. Lower memory usages means lower power draw; Chrome’s Energy Impact score on macOS has reduced by as much 65 percent.

        • Mozilla

          • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR31b1 available (now with site-specific user agent UI and Auto Reader View)

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 31 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). I didn’t get everything done here that I wanted to, though thanks to Chris T I do have a reproducing local test version of the infamous issue 621; at least I am able now to see that it’s clearly a problem in the JavaScript parser generating something incorrectly, but I’m still not able to tell where the specific deficiency lies.

            However, there’s still new stuff in this release. Olga T Park contributed a backport from later Firefox versions to fix saving passwords in private browsing, and I also finished fully exposing support for site specific user agents. This was quietly reimplemented in FPR17 for interested users, but now that it’s getting more and more necessary on more and more sites, I have made the feature a visible and supported part of the browser interface.

          • How to contribute to the Tor metrics timeline
          • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 89

            For contributions made from February 23, 2021 to March 9, 2021, inclusive.

          • Mozilla Firefox v. 86.0.1 Releases Fix for Linux, Windows OS—When is the Apple M1 Mac Version Coming?

            Mozilla proves to be one of the most popular internet browser of 2021, featuring its technology being an anticipated for an update for various of its users, and some having to wait for its version for the Apple M1 Mac. The Firefox has been upgraded with its crashes and bug fixes for the Linux OS and Windows OS, particularly with version 86.0.1.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice in the Google Summer of Code 2021

          New features in LibreOffice are made by volunteers, certified developers, and – during the summer – participants in the Google Summer of Code programme. This is focused on introducing students to open source software development, and last year LibreOffice received a bunch of new features thanks to the work of several students.

          Well, we’re happy to announce that LibreOffice is part of this year’s Summer of Code (GSoC). If you’re a student, want to improve your programming skills and receive a financial stipend to implement new features in LibreOffice, take a look. Get in contact with us, show us that you’ve learnt the basics by working on an Easy Hack, and then propose your project(s). We look forward to meeting you!

        • The Do’s and Dont’s of Impress Templates – LibreOffice Design Team

          Templates contain generic content and structure, and are meant to create multiple documents. In contrast, a document is intended for a single use. While both types are more or less the same, the advantage of templates is the handling within the program (→Template Manager). Furthermore, you probably focus more on the essential aspects of your presentations when you create a template. If you load the sample document from last year and modify it, the cleaning-up takes some time- and you will probably not remove all the styling and formatting mistakes made in the past. Not to speak about the danger to overwrite the source document.

      • CMS

        • Ryan Kavanagh: Static Comments in Hugo

          I switched from Jekyll to Hugo last week for a variety of reasons. One thing that was missing was a port of the “jekyll-static-comments” plugin that I used to use. I liked it because it saved readers from being tracked by Disqus or other comments solutions, and it required no javascript.

          To comment, users would email me their comment following a template attached to the bottom of each post. I then piped their email through a script to add it to the right post. As an added benefit, I could delegate comment spam detection to my mail server.

          I’ve managed to reimplement this setup using Hugo. For those who are interested in a similar setup, here is what you need to do.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • The GNU Project Won’t Be Participating In This Years GSOC

            The GNU Project has been a Google Summer Of Code (GSOC) participant the last 12 years. Google rejected the GNU projects application to be a mentoring organization this year. None of the GNU software projects, with GCC being a possible exception, will be participating in this years GSOC.

          • GRUB 2.06~rc1 released
            Hi all,
            
            The GRUB maintainers are proud to announce the GRUB 2.06~rc1 that has
            been just released.
            
            We would like to thank all the people who have contributed to the project.
            
            The tarball is available at https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1.tar.xz
            and its signature at https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1.tar.xz.sig
            
            Release is signed with the following fingerprint:
              BE5C 2320 9ACD DACE B20D  B0A2 8C81 89F1 988C 2166
            
            It's also available as a signed grub-2.06-rc1 tag in official git repository.
            
            If you do not have xz support alternatively you may consider file
            https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1.tar.gz and its signature at
            
            https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1.tar.gz.sig
            
            If you want a binary version for Windows (i386-pc, i386-efi and x86_64-efi
            flavors) it is available under 
            
            https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1-for-windows.zip
            
            and its signature at 
            
            https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1-for-windows.zip.sig
            
            Translators can use http://alpha.gnu.org/pub/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1.pot for 
            translation.
            The pot signature is available at 
            
            http://alpha.gnu.org/pub/gnu/grub/grub-2.06~rc1.pot.sig
            
            Please test this release candidate. If we do not spot major issues we are going
            to release 2.06 in a month or so.
            
            In the meantime we will be looking mostly at the patches fixing tests and
            documentation posted on grub-devel up until now. If time allows we will also be
            looking at the patches which introduces new interesting features which should be
            merged after 2.06 official release.
            
            Have a nice weekend,
            
            Daniel
            
          • GRUB 2.06 Release Candidate Available For Testing

            GRUB 2.06 was originally anticipated for release in 2020 but then the BootHole security vulnerability foiled those plans. This long awaited bootloader update though is near with GRUB 2.06-RC1 being issued on Friday and plans to formally release it in about one month’s time.

        • Licensing/Legal

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • Letters From Minsk: Leaving Home

      Before boarding the train to Minsk, I first had to fix a flat tire on my Brompton bicycle. Mercifully, it lost its air just before I left home, although it was after I had mounted my saddle bag and briefcase on to the frame of the bike.

    • More on H.R.1/S.1: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

      The Good

      The good in the bill are the many voting rights and election integrity standards that will federally pre-empt the Republicans’ state-level onslaught of racist voter suppression legislation. Now totaling at least 253 bills in 43 states, this Republican offensive is the biggest assault on voting rights since the Jim Crow era.

    • Opinion | The On The Ground Organizing Behind the American Rescue Plan

      Our Recovery Squad is just getting started on pushing for an economic recovery that doesn’t leave anyone behind.

    • The Way Things are in Colorado, and the Latino Led Effort to Change Them

      More usefully, the tonnage of pollution from the Suncor refinery raining down on the citizens of the Denver metro area each and every year is more than two and one-half times greater than the static weight of the Empire State Building. It doesn’t come down as bricks, and mortar, and steel, but it is deadly. The massive pollution spewing from the stacks of the refinery in northeast Denver mixes with the air we breath as gasses, many of which are poisonous, and as particulates, small particles that irritate and lodge in the lungs and can lead to heart and lung disease.

      Greenhouse Gasses

    • Fecal Bacteria Poisons Point Reyes Beaches

      But humans are not the only life forms splashing in the pools.

      It turns out that microscopic fecal bacteria known as E. Coli are at home in the brackish waters. And they just live to burrow deep into mammalian guts, cow, elk, or human. It’s dark and warm there, steaming with delicious foods, and an exit for traveling E. Coli cells surfing waves of gaseous excrement in search of new guts to inhabit.

    • Fool Us Twice? Book Review: American Kompromat

      Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

      The Mueller Report had one objective: To find out if the Trump for President Campaign colluded with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The report was inconclusive. Attorney General William Barr didn’t think it mattered since the chief executive can’t be prosecuted. Donald J. Trump called it “complete and total exoneration.”

    • Atlantic Council Hawks Enraged as Think Tank Publishes Slightly Less Anti-Russia Article

      WASHINGTON — Serious strife has broken out in the halls of power this week, after NATO-cutout organization The Atlantic Council published an opinion piece that was slightly less anti-Russian than usual. Some 22 Atlantic Council staffers revolted against it, claiming that it “missed the mark” and its argument was beneath contempt.

    • Accusations Of EA Employee Side-Selling ‘FIFA’ Rare In-Game Items Is A Problem If True

      With so many online video games moving to models that involve selling rare items or other aspects of gameplay after the purchase of a game, it’s worth noting that this concept of selling manufactured rarity isn’t exactly new. In fact, one notable analogue version of this can be found in the trading card industry. And if you’re looking for parallels of danger, the baseball trading card industry has that covered specifically.

    • Jim Crow Revisisted

      Ever since its founding, the United States has been attempting to build a society around those wounds, on the belief that hyped-up language — “all men are created equal,” and so forth — can paper over deep wrongs. If you put the ideal in writing, you can ignore its absence in real life.

      The quote above is from Deborah Scott, writing for a publication of St. Joseph’s Parish in Wilmington, Del. She goes on to note that, except for Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, 

    • The Devil’s Playbook Concerning Our Dystopian Future as the Playground Goes Transhumanist. Introducing ‘Metapolitics’.

      Agnes Obel ‘The Curse’ from the Album ‘Oventine’ (PIAS Recordings, 2013)

      This small article seeks to make ‘sense ‘ of what is going on in the early 21st C. as manifestly as austerely constituting an ‘Age of Endarkenment’.?

    • Remote work is here to stay – and it’s changing our lives

      It might be the largest natural experiment in the history of work. This past year, instead of commuting in cars or by rail, a vast swath of the workforce has found that going to work can mean simply logging in from home. For business consultant Kenny D’Evelyn, it means visiting clients via Zoom rather than airplane trips.

      Remote work has its challenges, for sure, but it’s been working well enough that experts see a permanent shift.

    • Father of the cassette tape dies at 94

      Created by Ottens while working for electrical giant Philips, cassettes made music truly portable for the first time and allowed a generation of music fans to make mix-tapes of their favourite songs.

      Versatile if infuriatingly easy to unspool, more than 100 billion cassette tapes were produced worldwide in their heyday from the 1960s to the 1980s and have even enjoyed a recent retro resurgence.

    • The Changing Nature of the Liberal Arts in the Digital Economy

      What is meant by the liberal arts? Here is a succinct dictionary definition: “The academic course of instruction intended to provide general knowledge and usually comprising the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, as opposed to professional or technical subjects.” And, here is a more thorough explanation: “A liberal arts education is by nature broad and diverse, rather than narrow and specialized… [it] is not intended to train you for a specific job, though it does prepare you for the world of work by providing you with an invaluable set of employability skills, including the ability to think for yourself, the skills to communicate effectively, and the capacity for lifelong learning.”

      Over the past few decades, business, engineering, and other professions not previously associated with the liberal arts have embraced a number of its attributes. A few years ago, for example, I came across an article about the efforts of Roger Martin to transform business education. At the time, Martin was the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He had long been advocating “that students needed to learn how to think critically and creatively every bit as much as they needed to learn finance or accounting. More specifically, they needed to learn how to approach problems from many perspectives and to combine various approaches to find innovative solutions.” Such a transformation would require business schools to move into territory more traditionally associated with the liberal arts.

    • Science

      • [Old] Massively parallel ultrafast random bit generation with a chip-scale laser

        Random numbers are widely used for information security, cryptography, stochastic modeling, and quantum simulations. Key technical challenges for physical random number generation are speed and scalability. We demonstrate a method for ultrafast generation of hundreds of random bit streams in parallel with a single laser diode. Spatiotemporal interference of many lasing modes in a specially designed cavity is introduced as a scheme for greatly accelerated random bit generation. Spontaneous emission, caused by quantum fluctuations, produces stochastic noise that makes the bit streams unpredictable. We achieve a total bit rate of 250 terabits per second with off-line postprocessing, which is more than two orders of magnitude higher than the current postprocessing record. Our approach is robust, compact, and energy-efficient, with potential applications in secure communication and high-performance computation.

    • Hardware

      • 5 Things We Didn’t Know About Hasselblad, The Camera Giant Collaborating With OnePlus

        After 81 super-successful years in the world of photography, Hasselblad is now entering the arena of mobile photography with OnePlus. The tech company announced a three-year partnership with Hasselblad to co-develop the next generation of smartphone camera systems for future OnePlus flagship devices.

        The two companies have already worked together to provide a revamped camera system in the upcoming OnePlus 9 series. The partnership will continuously develop over the next three years, starting with software improvements including colour tuning and sensor calibration, and extending to more dimensions in the future with Hasselblad Camera for Mobile.

      • Jonathan Dowland: Internal Gotek

        It’s still mostly all quiet on the Amiga project front. The last few months with both my kids at home have been too difficult and busy with no time for side projects. Primary Schools in the UK went back this week, and I’ve finally got around to installing the Gotek floppy emulator inside the Amiga A500′s chassis.

        I followed A short “Internal Gotek Floppy” Installation Guide , which explains that you don’t need to print (or buy) a special mount for it: Simply removing the Gotek’s top plastic case is enough for it to fit inside, and you can support it with some nuts and bolts.

        [...]

        In that guide, the author has an OLED display for their Gotek that they wanted on the top of the Amiga case, so they fed the four tiny wires through the grill. I had a go at that, but I’ve got the OLED display and a rotary encoder, so that’s 8 wires total, and damn fiddly. Instead for now I’ve just routed them all out through the hole left behind by the floppy drive’s Button. I’m going to try and tidy it up with some heat shrink or similar.

      • The IoT Graveyard: Device Obsolescence and the Right to Repair – IoT Tech Trends

        Like most tech journalists, I have a graveyard of obsolete IoT devices. There are fitness trackers, earbuds, a drone, homemade connected clothing, smart home light switches, devices for retrofits, and pet toys, to name a few. Overall, at least 95 percent of these products fell victim to planned obsolescence, or the company went bust or withdrew from the product from service. The rest suffer from an absence of “right to repair” options.

        [...]

        So far, the litmus test for obsolescence has been iPhones. Earlier this month, Marketeer reported that Apple faces a new lawsuit from Portuguese privacy consumer organizer Deco Proteste. The lawsuit alleges that Apple has programmed the iPhones 6, Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus to become obsolete, forcing consumers to invest in new equipment earlier than expected.

      • Ryzen-based AI signage player features Google’s Edge TPU

        The Nuvo-2700DS stands out with its expansion options, including triple M.2 slots and a pair of half-size mini-PCIe slots that can be optionally loaded with one or two Google Coral Edge TPU AI acceleration cards for up to 8-TOPS AI performance. The AI capability can track anonymous analytic data such as the number of exposures of each advertisement, interaction rate, and number of views and unique viewers, says Neousys.

        Although there are no camera inputs aside from Ethernet or USB, the system is touted for leveraging real-time camera input and AI computer vision models such as YOLO-lite or PoseNet “to offer audiences an interactive and personalized experience.” Anonymous data collection can include people counting, body gesture recognition, facial recognition, attention measurement, and emotion analysis.

      • Eduponics Mini is an ESP32-powered Smart Agriculture kit (crowdfunding)

        The full kit includes the board, a short (~102mm) STEMinds soil-moisture sensor, a contactless water quantity sensor with dual-sided attachment sticker, a screwdriver for adjusting the potentiometer on the water-quantity sensor, a 12V submersible water pump, a 12V/2 A DC power supply, a USB Type-C data cable, a water hose for the pump, and a water regulator to regulate the flow. A longer, 155mm, soil moisture sensor is available as an option, and the company also developed an extension board for Eduponics Mini with ADS1115 ADC, MCP23017 IO extension IC, four relays and four analog inputs for extra sensors, such as pH, EC, and water temperature sensors that the company plans to support in the future.

        [...]

        The project has just launched on Crowd Supply with a symbolic $1 funding goal. Rewards start at $29 for Eduponics Mini board only, while the complete ESP32-based Smart Agriculture kit is offered for $59, and the expansion board adds $19. Shipping is $8 to the US, and $18 to the rest of the world. The kit and expansion board are scheduled to ship in June, but the board-only reward is slated to ship in August.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • No Matter How Bad, COVID Makes It Worse

        “A motorcycle!–wait,”—it’s making a right from First Street onto a traffic lane in the village lot–behind stores and restaurants and the abandoned five-and-ten. But ignoring my warning, my husband starts backing out of a diagonal parking space and somehow hits the accelerator. “Stop, stop!” I hear a thump as he tries to get his foot on the break.

        Fortunately the motorcyclist is uninjured. Sixtyish and outfitted in black with heavy protective leg gear extending up his thighs–nevermind the August heat.

      • ‘Total Hypocrisy!’ Sanders Rips GOP for Pushing Estate Tax Repeal While Rejecting Covid Relief as Too Costly

        “While Senate Republicans told us we cannot afford to provide $1,400 direct payments to the working class, they had no problem introducing a bill this week to repeal the estate tax.”

      • Opinion | Sustainable Agriculture in the Face of the Climate Crisis: Farmers Leading the Battle in Asia

        They must become a road map—in Asia and the rest of the world—to get us all out of the terrible mess created by industrial agriculture and corporate greed. 

      • Coverage of Texas’ Declaration of Covid Victory Left Out Rapidly Rising Toll

        Texas lifted its mask mandate on March 10, allowing all businesses to open at full capacity, one week after Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 2 announcement that “it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”

      • Omar Leads Bill to Cancel Rent and Mortgage Payments During Pandemic

        “This isn’t a radical idea. It’s what is needed to prevent an even bigger crisis.”

      • Opinion | Arkansas Passing Near-Total Ban on Abortions Is Part of Larger Plan to Hurt Reproductive Rights Nationally

        As the courts have become more conservative, state legislatures have focused more attention on total and early abortion bans, with the hope that eventually the Supreme Court will allow such sweeping laws to take effect.  

      • Covid-19 Death Rates Higher in States With GOP Governors: Study

        “These findings underscore the need for state policy actions that are guided by public health considerations rather than by partisan politics.”

      • Life expectancy in Russia drops for the first time since 2003 due to excess deaths during the pandemic

        Life expectancy at birth in Russia dropped to 71.1 years in 2020 from 73.3 years in 2019, RBC reports, citing the most recent draft of the government’s plan for achieving national development goals. 

      • Why the COVID Relief Package is a Big Win for Workers

        Provisions in the package, like expanding the Child Tax Credit alone, will bring nearly 4 million kids out of poverty, cutting child poverty nearly in half. Combined with $1,400 relief payments, $300 in extra unemployment insurance, and other provisions, the Urban Institute estimates the package will reduce poverty in this country by over a third.

        And, of course, the package will speed vaccine distribution, hopefully bringing this pandemic to an end. All of this is good news after a year of devastation.

      • Is Pot Really More Potent These Days? Does It Matter?

        For instance, former Drug Czar William Bennett claimed in 1990 that if people from the late 1960s “suck on one of today’s marijuana cigarettes, they’d fall down backwards.”

        His successor Lee Brown claimed in 1995 that “marijuana is 40 times more potent today” than it was decades ago. Not to be outdone, then-Senator Joe Biden opined in 1996: “It’s like comparing buckshot in a shotgun shell to a laser-guided missile.”

      • Share the Vaccines, Erase the Debt: Joseph Stiglitz on How the U.S. Can Help Developing Countries

        Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says wealthy countries have a responsibility to help the developing world in overcoming the pandemic. He says the response must include vaccine equity as well as economic aid, including debt relief. “America won’t be free from the pandemic until the world is,” says Stiglitz.

      • AstraZeneca says ‘no evidence’ of blood clot risk from vaccine as countries suspend its use
      • A Man Accidentally Got Two COVID Vaccines On The Same Day And It Was Not Good

        “His blood pressure at [one] point was 86 over 47 and so they could not administer Lasix which would help the fluid around the lungs because his blood pressure was too low,” daughter Dawn Smith Theodore told WLWT5. “They pretty much told me he was not going to make it.” According to Theodore, Smith felt extremely tired and fell after his first dose of the vaccine on January 22. While at the rehab recovering from the fall, he was scheduled to get another shot on February 25.

      • Republicans are trying to sabotage Biden’s COVID vaccine plan to “own the libs.” We must ditch them

        They aren’t being driven by ignorance but out of what has turned into a chronic, now deadly willingness to put “owning the liberals” before every other goal — including apparently surviving. That was evident in the way so many conservatives refused to wear masks and now is evident in the hardening opposition to getting vaccinated. Being willing to die for one’s values is often an admirable thing, but in this case, it’s just a recklessly dangerous unwillingness to admit that liberals might be right about something.

      • Politics still drives how Americans feel about COVID response, one year in

        But 30 percent of Americans said they do not plan to get vaccinated, including 41 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Republican men. Trusted messengers will need to relay the urgency of getting vaccinated, Wen said, and that could be a role for former President Donald Trump, who urged people to get vaccinated during his Feb. 28 address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Miami.

        If people don’t get vaccinated, those pockets could give a place for the virus to hide and cause future outbreaks that spill over into bigger communities, said Lawrence Gostin, who serves as a director for both the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National & Global Health Law.

      • Is lockdown wrecking our eyesight?

        He identified two immediate problems. First, because screens flicker, though often imperceptibly, and we are worried about missing important information, most of us aren’t blinking properly. Rather than fully closing our eyes we are only half-shutting them, which causes dry eyes. Second, though our eyes are adapted to constantly focus and refocus as we observe our surroundings, we are spending most of the time focusing on a fixed spot not too far from our noses. This is causing eye strain. “It’s like if you were holding 2 kilo dumb-bells; you could do it for a while but after eight hours your muscles would start to get very fatigued and sore,” he said.

        There is also a bigger, longer-term problem, which is that our modern lifestyles seem to be causing people to become ever more short-sighted. In the UK, the rate of short-sightedness among children has doubled in the past 50 years. In parts of east Asia the situation is worse and around 90 per cent of school leavers are short-sighted. The reason why any one person becomes short-sighted are complex, but some of the risk factors are stark: university graduates are twice as likely to be short-sighted as people who leave school at 16, presumably because the former spend more time with their eyes trained on books and computer screens.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Lithuanian railway operator to use Estonian company’s ticketing system

          Under the €7 million contract, all existing and new ticketing channels will be assembled into a single omnichannel platform. Additionally, for the first time, Lithuanian train passengers will have the opportunity to buy tickets using a mobile application.

          Turnit beat five competitors, including the technical giant Siemens, in the public procurement process which lasted for almost 18 months. The new solution will be launched by the end of 2021.

        • Chinese cyber-espionage unit on US [cracking] spree: report [iophk: Windows TCO]

          At least 30,000 US organizations including local governments have been [cracked] in recent days by an “unusually aggressive” Chinese cyber-espionage campaign, according to a computer security specialist.

          The campaign has exploited recently discovered flaws in Microsoft Exchange software, stealing email and infecting computer servers with tools that let attackers take control remotely, Brian Krebs said in a post at his cyber security news website.

        • Windows ransomware adds to Microsoft Exchange Server woes

          New Windows ransomware, which has been given the name DearCry, has started affecting systems to which access has been gained by exploiting the Microsoft Exchange Server flaws that were announced by Microsoft on 2 March.

        • Ransomware Attack Strikes Spain’s Employment Agency

          The Spanish State Employment Service (SEPE) in Spain has been hit by a cyberattack, suspending its communications systems across hundreds of offices and delaying thousands of appointments.

          SEPE is an “autonomous body” in Spain that manages and controls unemployment benefits. The cyberattack hit during an already strenuous time for the agency, which is dealing with an overflow of requests for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus pandemic has forced companies globally to make cuts to their workforces.

          According to Spanish trade union Central Sindical Independiente y de Funcionarios (CSIF), the attack has has affected the organization’s 710 offices. The labor union claimed that the cyberattack stemmed from ransomware – however, further details about the attack, including its origin and the ransom demand, are unknown.

        • Windows 10 KB5000802 (March) update is crashing PCs with BSOD

          To make matters worse, KB5000802 is an automatic security update, which means it has been downloaded and installed automatically for some customers. Users didn’t have a say in whether or not Microsoft should install the update and break their computers with BSOD.

        • Some Printers Caused a BSOD After Windows 10 Update

          If you installed the latest Windows 10 update, you might be very frustrated right now. Are you staring at a BSOD (blue screen of death) right now? There are reports that some printers caused a BSOD after the Windows 10 update was installed.

          [...]

          Windows Latest was the first to report the issue. Kyocera, Ricoh, and Zebra printers are causing these crashes. When a file is sent to one of the printers, the PC will crash, and the user will get a BSOD. The error code of “APC_INDEX_MISMATCH for win32kfull.sys” will show up.

          Usually, this particular code is indicative of hardware or drivers not being compatible. But you know your printer is compatible, and if there hasn’t been a new driver, it may leave you perplexed.

        • GitHub users forcibly logged out of accounts to patch ‘potentially serious’ security bug

          The maintainers of GitHub explained that they invalidated all authenticated sessions “out of an abundance of caution to protect users from an extremely rare, but potentially serious, security vulnerability”, which it said affected a “small number” of users.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Texas: a Story of Private Gain at Public Expense

              We only cooked once a day. We couldn’t bathe or do laundry. Unlike many families, we had water — but it looked almost like milk coming out of the tap.

              It was the Texas freeze, and we were cold and dirty and hungry and parched.

            • Linux Foundation

              • The TARS Foundation Celebrates its First Anniversary [Ed: Of course, as it’s the Linux Foundation we’re talking about, development and communications have been outsourced to proprietary software like Microsoft’s GitHub and Slack]

                The TARS Foundation, an open source microservices foundation under the Linux Foundation, celebrated its first anniversary on March 10, 2021. As we all know, 2020 was a strange year, and we are all adjusting to the new normal. Meanwhile, despite being unable to meet in person, the TARS Foundation community is connected, sharing and working together virtually toward our goals.

                This year, four new projects have joined the TARS Foundation, expanding our technical community. The TARS Foundation launched TARS Landscape in July 2020, presenting an ideal and complete microservice ecosystem, which is the vision that the TARS open source community works to achieve. Furthermore, we welcome more open source projects to join the TARS community and go through our incubation process.

              • [Older] Free RISC-V Training Courses Now Available from Linux Foundation and RISC-V International
        • Security

          • Google Publishes “Leaky.Page” Showing Spectre In Action Within Web Browsers

            Google has published their proof-of-concept code showing the practicality of Spectre exploits within modern web browsers’ JavaScript engines. The code is out there and you can even try it for yourself on the leaky.page web-site.

            Google’s Leaky.Page code shows its possible to leak data at around 1kB/s when running their Chrome web browser on a Skylake CPU. The proof-of-concept code is catering to Intel Skylake CPUs while it should also work for other processors and browsers with minor modifications to the JavaScript. Google was also successful in running this Leaky.Page attack on Apple M1 ARM CPUs without any major changes.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (mupdf and pygments), Fedora (arm-none-eabi-newlib, nodejs, python3.10, and suricata), Mageia (ansible, ceph, firejail, glib2.0, gnuplot, libcaca, mumble, openssh, postgresql, python-cryptography, python-httplib2, python-yaml, roundcubemail, and ruby-mechanize), Scientific Linux (wpa_supplicant), Slackware (git), SUSE (crmsh, libsolv, libzypp, yast2-installation, zypper, openssl-1_0_0, python, and stunnel), and Ubuntu (pillow).

          • Scope of Exchange Vulnerability Continues to Expand

            If your data center has an Exchange server accessible via the public internet, you should assume it’s been compromised.

          • Microsoft Exchange Vulnerability Could Be Worse Than SolarWinds | IT Pro

            The massive hack’s scope keeps growing. Unlike the SolarWinds exploit, this one can be automated.

          • Hackers Are Swarming Microsoft Exchange [Ed: Crackers, not "hackers"]

            Those Microsoft Exchange security flaws you may have heard about are really getting pummeled. If ever there was a time for cybersecurity reporters to trot out metaphors involving phrases like “blood in the water” and maybe “deranged swarm of piranhas,” it might be right now.

            [...]

            Instead, ESET reports that Exchange is basically getting pillaged by close to a dozen different groups, all of which have names that sound like bad gamertags, including Tick, LuckyMouse, Calypso, Websiic, Winnti, TontoTeam, Mikroceen and DLTMiner. There are also apparently two other hacker groups that have not yet been identified. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big mess.

            The hacking seems to have picked up directly after Microsoft released its patches, too, as ESET’s report states that “the day after the release of the patch” security researchers “started to see many more threat actors (including Tonto Team and Mikroceen) scanning and compromising Exchange servers en masse.”

          • Critics fume after Github removes exploit code for Exchange vulnerabilities

            Github has ignited a firestorm after the Microsoft-owned code-sharing repository removed a proof-of-concept exploit for critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange that have led to as many as 100,000 server infections in recent weeks.

            ProxyLogon is the name that researchers have given both to the four Exchange vulnerabilities under attack in the wild and the code that exploits them. Researchers say that Hafnium, a state-sponsored hacking group based in China, started exploiting ProxyLogon in January, and within a few weeks, five other APTs—short for advanced persistent threat groups—followed suit. To date, no fewer than 10 APTs have used ProxyLogon to target servers around the world.

          • Microsoft confirms Windows 10 crash issue due to March updates [Ed: Even dedicated Microsoft boosters point out these issues]

            Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 devices might crash with a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) when printing under certain conditions after applying the March cumulative updates.

          • Microsoft March 2021 Patch Tuesday fixes 82 flaws, 2 zero-days

            Today is Microsoft’s March 2021 Patch Tuesday, and with admins already struggling with Microsoft Exchange updates and hacked servers, please be nice to your IT staff today.

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 169 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 169.

          • Git vulnerability could enable remote code execution attacks during clone process

            The bug – tracked as CVE-2021-21300 – is present in several versions of the open source code management system, and could allow a hostile remote repository to execute code locally during a clone operation.

            Crucially, the vulnerability only affects users with case-insensitive filesystems that enable support for symbolic links. Files using a clean/smudge filter such as Git LFS must also be enabled for the attack to work.

            [...]

            A security advisory reads: “In affected versions of Git, a specially crafted repository that contains symbolic links as well as files using a clean/smudge filter such as Git LFS, may cause just-checked out script to be executed while cloning onto a case-insensitive file system such as NTFS, HFS+ or APFS (i.e., the default file systems on Windows and macOS).

          • What Stevie Ray Vaughan Can Teach Us About Security Design

            The SolarWind intrusion, with the revelation that part of the architecture included, at least for a while, a really weak default password, and the hack of the water treatment plant with a similar password reuse problem, reminded me of this story I heard not long ago about another instance of poor security design.

          • Microsoft’s GitHub under fire after disappearing proof-of-concept exploit for critical Microsoft Exchange vuln

            On Wednesday, shortly after security researcher Nguyen Jang posted a proof-of-concept exploit on GitHub that abuses a Microsoft Exchange vulnerability revealed earlier this month, GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, removed code, to the alarm of security researchers.

            The PoC code, something short of an actual functioning exploit, consisted of a 169-line Python file. It took advantage of CVE-2021-26855, a Microsoft Exchange Server flaw that allows an attacker to bypass authentication and act with administrative privileges.

            The bug, referred to as ProxyLogon, was one of four Microsoft Exchange zero-days that Microsoft patched in an out-of-band release on March 3, 2021. It’s part of the “Hafnium” attack that prompted a US government warning last week.

          • Microsoft Exchange exploits now used by cryptomining malware
          • Tens of thousands of US organizations hit in ongoing Microsoft Exchange hack | Ars Technica

            Multiple hacking groups are exploiting vulnerabilities to backdoor unpatched servers.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Seattle and Portland: Say No to Public-Private Surveillance Networks

              In San Francisco, the organization SF Safe connects semi-private Business Improvement Districts (BID) and Community Benefit Districts (CBD) with the police by funding large-scale camera networks that blanket entire neighborhoods. BIDs and CBDS, also known as special assessment districts, are quasi-government agencies that act with state authority to levy taxes in exchange for supplemental city services. While they are run by non-city organizations, they are funded with public money and carry out public services. 

              These camera networks are managed by staff within the neighborhood and streamed to a local control room, but footage can be shared with other entities, including individuals and law enforcement, with little oversight. At least six special assessment districts in San Francisco have installed these camera networks, the largest of which belongs to the Union Square BID. The camera networks now blanket a handful of neighborhoods and cover 135 blocks, according to a recent New York Times report.

              In October 2020, EFF and ACLU of Northern California sued San Francisco after emails between the San Francisco Police Department and the Union Square BID revealed that police were granted live access to over 400 cameras and a dump of hours of footage in order to monitor Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020. By gaining access, the SFPD violated San Francisco’s Surveillance Technology Ordinance, which prohibits city agencies like the SFPD from acquiring, borrowing, or using surveillance technology without prior approval from the city’s Board of Supervisors. 

            • Pakistan Senate election: Row over ‘spy cameras’ in polling booth

              In the chamber, senators chanted “shame” as opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani said the cameras were “against the constitution” and demanded an investigation.

              Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, also with the PPP, posted photos on Twitter of the cameras he said he had found, saying they were “right over the polling booth”.

            • A [cracker] who exposed Verkada’s surveillance camera snafu has been raided

              The raid doesn’t have anything to do with Verkada, according to Bloomberg, but instead an “alleged [crack] that took place last year,” and interestingly, a Swiss authority pointed Bloomberg to the US Department of Justice for further questions. (The DOJ declined to comment.)

            • Swiss Police Raid Apartment of Verkada [Cracker], Seize Devices

              After being notified of the breach by Bloomberg News, Verkada referred the matter to the FBI. The breach exposed live camera feeds of companies like Tesla Inc., as well as hospitals, jails, and schools.

              According to a copy of the search warrant provided to Bloomberg News, the search was conducted as part of a U.S criminal case against Kottmann in the Western District of Washington. The warrant requested documents related to [cracking] as well as information on cryptocurrency holdings. Kottmann has been accused of unauthorized access to protected computers, identify theft, and fraud.

            • Facebook even snoops on you using your camera’s scratches

              Facebook filed a patent for their “people you might know” feature, the thing that recommends someone that you might want to become friends with.

              The way that it works is this: Imagine we’re at an event and I’m taking pictures. I take a photo of you that you really like. We don’t know each other but I show it to you, I send it to you and you post it on your Facebook page. I od the same thing with someone else.

              So none of us are in the pictures, none of us know each other, I’ve just taken a picture of you and someone else and you both posted them on your Facebook pages.

              Facebook can then analyze the dust and lens scratches that were on my camera and find the invisible artifacts that those left in the photo to determine that you both had your pictures taken by me at the same time and then recommend that you become friends.

              When reporters found this patent, Facebook denied that they were using it in their system but there’s no way to know if they’ve started using it since or if they’ve put it in something like Instagram and WhatsApp.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden Urged to Force End to US-Backed Saudi Blockade After Chilling Report on Starving Yemeni Children

        “President Biden should demand: ‘MBS, lift the blockade’… This is a moment for moral clarity and bold leadership.”

      • The Necessity of Dismantling the U.S.—A conversation with Ajamu Baraka

        Baraka has taught political science at various universities and has been a guest lecturer at academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He has appeared on a wide-range of media outlets including CNN, BBC, Telemundo, ABC, RT, the Black Commentator, the Washington Post and the New York Times. He is currently an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and a writer for Counterpunch.

        What follows are excerpts from our conversation, edited for clarity. You can listen to the entire interview here.

      • Opinion | UN Rebuke of Crushing US Sanctions on Venezuela Met With Stunning Silence

        By omitting the devastating impact of sanctions, corporate media attribute sole responsibility for economic and humanitarian conditions to the Venezuelan government.

      • UN Expert Warns Myanmar Coup Regime Likely Perpetrating ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

        “The people of Myanmar need not only words of support but supportive action. They need the help of the international community, now.”

      • Leaving Afghanistan by May 1? Alas, Not Likely

        Trump left office with plans in place for the remaining 2500 U.S. troops to depart Afghanistan by May 1. Not a word about the 18,000 contractors, aka mercenaries, who have long outnumbered U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Like those soldiers, these mercenaries’ lives are at risk. They are also a geopolitical liability. If one gets killed, as happened not too long ago in Iraq, the U.S. retaliates. That could ignite war at any time.

        Trump’s attempt to remove U.S. commandos from Afghanistan was a grudging concession to reality: the Taliban control most of the country and, if things continue on their current trajectory, will sooner rather than later rule all of it. They are a battle-hardened force, regard Americans as invaders and certainly don’t need the much ballyhooed and likely phony bounties from Russia as an incentive to attack U.S. troops. (Western media also accused the Chinese, those copy-cats, of putting bounties on U.S. soldiers, but somehow that frenzied fabulation never caused the hullaballoo that the Russian one did.) The Trump team therefore negotiated with the Taliban, who did not cease harassing U.S.-backed and financed Afghan government forces throughout this process. Biden quickly applied the brakes to the Trump disengagement vehicle.

      • Vanessa Beeley on Biden’s Escalation of War Against on Syria

        Welcome to MintCast — an interview series featuring dissenting voices the establishment would rather silence. I’m your host Mnar Muhawesh Adley.

      • EU law: No one can stop Frontex

        For the first time, the EU border agency commands and arms its own police force. Because its director is „fully independent“, this reinforces a glaring control deficit.

      • The Iraq-UnIraq in the American Imagination

        What remains, what might endure, what might rise and be restored–is unspeakable for Americans. A blast of yellow dust obscures the present, replaced by a soft image of robed clerics wandering through ancient Mesopotamia.

        Among old timers familiar with Middle East archeology, Iraq was simple: an exotic Mesopotamian desert. It yielded scientific discoveries and allowed the removal of unparalleled creations to distant museums; it inspired novels by Agatha Christie. Oil, a collateral benefit of intellectual explorations, emerged from Mesopotamia.

      • Yemen’s Marib Offensive Born of Desperation, with No Sign Saudis/US Will Cease Their War

        Overcoming a rugged and Sahara-like desert climate and under the constant fire of Saudi warplanes, Tawfiq Hassan, a third-term Sufi law school student, along with a cadre of other young Yemeni fighters, partook in the recent liberation of the Nakhla Valley near the western gate of the city of Marib.

      • Human Rights Watch Watches Out for US’ Bolivian Friends, Condemns Amnesty for Political Prisoners

        Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned a general amnesty for over a thousand Bolivians persecuted under the one-year dictatorship of Jeanine Añez. Yesterday, the Washington-based human rights organization decried the plan to drop all charges against people resisting the government as “opening the door to impunity.” Its Americas director, Jose Miguel Vivanco, said that the new law “undermines victims’ access to justice and violates the fundamental principle of equality before the law.” HRW alleges that a handful of anti-coup demonstrators carried out serious crimes, such as arson or kidnapping, while opposing the regime, thus making general amnesty seriously problematic.

      • Is China Committing Genocide? Behind the US Government’s Propaganda Campaign
      • Imperial Suicide by Taliban

        But nothing changes. If anything, that hole just grows deeper. Soon every powerful state in the world has been sucked into this vacuum and no one can remember why or how to get out. The citizens of these nations, every nation, begin to become painfully aware, not just of the utter madness of this war, but the madness of every war and the madness of every state that must fight them to retain the legitimacy of their stranglehold over their own people. Revolution breaks out across the globe and the empire becomes unmoored and simply evaporates down the deep dark abyss in the mountains that they never should have stepped foot in. I have this wonderful terrible dream a lot lately. Sometimes I wake up screaming. Other times, I wake up cheering.

        I wake up to 2021. I wake up to Joe Biden inching ever closer to undoing the only positive accomplishment of the failed Trump regime; a last minute attempt to pull every last American soldier from our deep dark hole in Afghanistan. Almost twenty years into this mess and the elites in both the mainstream press and the military industrial complex seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that they are following in Gorbachev and Alexander the Great’s footsteps to another imperial suicide in the Hindu Kush. Suicide by Taliban. As the May 1rst deadline for the Trump peace deal rapidly approaches, all the momentum seems to be moving towards doom, and not just for the American Empire. Our first world flunkies from Germany to France to NATO are all already pledging their support for mass suicide. They seem utterly convinced that they are just one drone strike away from taming the Pashtun beast and curing its wilderness with the decadent elixir of liberal democracy. They are all so fucked. Then why am I not happy.

      • “Hell on Earth”: Yemeni Children Starve to Death as U.S.-Backed Saudi Blockade Devastates Nation

        The World Food Programme is warning Yemen is headed toward the biggest famine in modern history, with the U.N. agency projecting around 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 could die from acute malnutrition this year as the Saudi war and blockade continues. CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir says Yemen is accurately described as “hell on Earth.” Her latest report from inside Yemen details the devastating impact of the conflict on civilians, including widespread fuel shortages affecting all aspects of life. “We were utterly unprepared for what we found when we got there,” says Elbagir.

      • Press Release: Leading International Voices and Chemical Weapons Experts Call for Accountability and Transparency at the OPCW
      • Eyes on China: the Quad Takes Scattered Aim

        The evolution of such a forum typically begins at senior official level, followed by a ministerial upgrade. Levels of seniority get roped in until the leaders of the countries take the reins. But at its inception, brows creased in Beijing.  These were not, however, meant to reach the level of full blown frowns.

        The prospect of this somewhat misnamed “Asian NATO” was not to be taken too seriously, though officials in the Trump administration did contemplate a collective with teeth and persuasiveness.  In October 2020, then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was all about using the grouping to combat China.  “This is for the soul of the world.  This is about whether this will be a world that operates … on a rules-based international order system, or one that’s dominated by a coercive totalitarian regime like the one in China.”  At the time, Pompeo had to settle for a more mild-mannered proposal – that of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific – an idea advanced by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2016.

      • Still a mystery: Was the Capitol [insurrection] planned far in advance?

        Kathryn Rakoczy, a prosecutor in the Oath Keepers conspiracy case, said during Friday’s hearing that the reference in court documents to a plan to enter the Capitol was contained “in a background section,” while the actual charge is a conspiracy to obstruct the congressional proceeding.

      • Hungry, angry and fleeing the horrors of war in northern Mozambique

        Al-Shabab is how Mozambicans now refer to a shadowy Islamist insurgency that began four years ago in the province – an insurgency that was initially dismissed as a minor distraction in a region that is rich in minerals and focused on reaping the benefits of an international $15bn (£11bn) off-shore gas project.

        Today things look very different, with a third of the province’s population forced to flee. The US state department has designated the insurgents as a terrorist organisation dubbed “Isis-Mozambique” – a reference to the franchise arrangement that the Islamic State group (IS) is believed to have set up with the local faction.

      • US blacklists deadly militias in DR Congo, Mozambique linked to IS group

        The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Congo and its leader Seka Musa Baluku and Mozambique’s Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama and its leader Abu Yasir Hassan were also named “specially designated global terrorists.”

        The designations prevent travel by members to the United States, freeze any U.S.-related assets, ban Americans from doing business with them and make it a crime to provide support or resources to the movements.

        The United States dubbed the groups ISIS-DRC and ISIS-Mozambique.

      • U.S. blacklists groups in Congo, Mozambique over Islamic State links

        Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, known in Mozambique as Al-Shabaab, staged its first attack in 2017. First known mainly for beheadings, the fighters declared allegiance to Islamic State in 2019 and have since increased attacks in scale and frequency.

      • Iraq in Shock After Islamic State Massacres Family of Seven

        Officials in Iraq say Islamic State (IS) fighters killed all seven members of a family in northern Salahuddin province on Friday, promoting widespread shock and anger among locals.

        The outraged relatives of the victims refused to bury the remains until they would get answers from the country’s top leadership over what they called “continued security breaches” in the predominately Sunni area.

      • Prosecutors Expect at Least 100 More Arrests in US Capitol Attack

        U.S. prosecutors say they expect at least 100 more people to be charged in connection with the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, bringing to more than 400 the number of people potentially facing prosecution in the attack.

        The disclosure was made in court papers filed Friday in a wide-ranging case against nine members of the anti-government Oath Keepers who are facing conspiracy charges in the attack. Three other members of the group have been arrested separately.

        Of an estimated 800 supporters of former President Donald Trump who breached the complex to try to overturn Trump’s defeat in the November presidential election, more than 300 have been charged, with new charges brought nearly every day.

    • Environment

      • This Billionaire Governor’s Coal Companies Owe Millions More in Environmental Fines

        The federal government is seeking to collect nearly $3.2 million in fines from coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice after the firms violated the terms of a major water pollution settlement, according to documents filed Thursday in federal court.

        U.S. Department of Justice attorneys said in their filing that Southern Coal Corp. and two related companies failed to renew required water pollution permits, leading to unauthorized discharges at three mining sites in Tennessee and one in Alabama. Those permits are required so regulators can limit the runoff of everything from mud to toxic metals from coal operations.

      • Indonesian President Joko warns of forest fires as hot spots detected

        State news agency Antara, citing a meteorology official, reported that the number of hot spots in Riau province on Sumatra island has jumped to 63 as at Monday, from nine a day earlier.

        “Ninety-nine per cent of forest fires are perpetrated by humans, whether intentional or out of negligence,” Mr Joko said in a virtual meeting with officials.

      • Indonesia President Warns of Forest Fires as Hot Spots Detected

        Jokowi said Sumatra is facing a rising risk of forest fires this month and warned that the Kalimantan region on Borneo island, as well as Sulawesi island, could also start seeing forest fires in May to July, with the peak expected in the August to September period.

        The president said the fires could cause considerable financial losses and “not to mention the damage to our ecology and ecosystem.”

        Fires, sometimes set to clear land for palm oil plantations in the world’s top producer of the commodity, were the most damaging in years in 2015, with the World Bank estimating they caused $16.1 billion of damage.

      • Wales goes green with Welsh national forest plan

        Wales has pledged to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. So it plans a Welsh national forest with thousands more trees.

      • Help Protect an Amazing Ecosystem and Free Carbon Sink

        NREPA was written by scientists and citizens from the Northern Rockies including Dr. John Craighead. Dr. Craighead was named by National Geographic as one of the top 100 scientists of the 20th century. 23 Million Acres of New Wilderness

        The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act would: designate all of the inventoried roadless areas in the Northern Rockies as wilderness, protecting approximately 23 million acres of land that is home to a vital ecosystem and watersheds in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Eastern Washington, and Oregon.

      • Maine Farm Girl & Kansas Grain Farmer Talk Climate on The Train

        We were passing under the towering windmills that dot the rolling farmlands in Iowa when I mentioned the climate crisis. He was a Christian conservative. I was a chip off the ole block of my Vietnam War-resisting father. I told him I was worried about the climate, that I had seen the snow pack shrink in Northern Maine throughout my 28 years of life. It hurt the crops. It made farming even more risky than it always was.

        He surprised me with his reply.

      • Energy

        • Direct Air Capture and Big Oil

          By implication, the oil giants are clearly aware of what’s at stake (a) the planet is stressed almost beyond limits (b) there’s some money to be made trying to fix it (c) it’s a great PR gig. But, the problem is much bigger and more complex than oil and gas betting on early stage development of technology to capture the same emissions they created in the first instance. Direct air capture is complex and expensive with sizeable infrastructure requirements, explained in further detail hereinafter, a real eye-opener.

          Ironically, expectantly, without doubt, big oil is bellying up to this task with eyes wide open. They have a lot to gain and very little to lose. In point of fact, it’s a win-win for these provocateurs of insane atmospheric levels of CO2 emissions, the highest of the Holocene Epoch, our unique Goldilocks Era, not too hot, not to cold suddenly coming to a crescendo of excessive exploitation within only a couple hundred years of the entire 12,000-year history.

        • Analysis: Canceled Keystone XL Pipeline Driving Major Safety Changes in Canadian Oil-by-Rail

          Without the KXL pipeline to help transport tar sands bitumen from Alberta to refineries in the United States, Canadian oil producers are turning to trains. And using a new technology to help make it more affordable — and less flammable.

        • Fukushima at Ten: Aftershocks, Lies, and Failed Decontamination

          There is news of the shortage of Fukushima health studies, big earthquakes (aftershocks) and typhoons rattling nerves, reactors and waste systems, novel radioactive particles dispersed, and corporate and government dishonesty about decontamination.

          Very few health studies

        • Finnish state energy group Fortum in €800 million sale of Baltic businesses

          The news is not unexpected; Fortum announced in 2019 that it was considering selling its Estonian businesses, reiterating this for all its Baltic States’ concerns last year.

          The company says it intends to finalize the transaction in the second quarter of this year.

          Fortum owns remote heating businesses – meaning hot water piped into residences and businesses during winter, to meet their heating needs – in Tartu and Parnu, as well as in Daugavpils and Jelgava (Latvia) and Klaipeda, Lithuania.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wolf Killing and the Legacy of Conquest

          In 1974, the gray wolf was one of the first imperiled species to receive federal protections under the newly-passed Endangered Species Act, As wolves were subsequently reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid 1990s, and thus began migrating to regain their historic range, they slowly began to recover.

          A series of recent events across the country make clear this work of wolf recovery has never been in greater jeopardy. In January, the Trump administration finalized the removal of gray wolves from the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act and, within a matter of weeks, we witnessed a disturbing new chapter in the nation’s history of needless and irresponsible wolf killing.

        • Livestock and Deforestation in the American West

          Action to address climate change has been announced as a central policy priority with the Biden administration, putting the significant role of domestic livestock in climate disruption in the spotlight. Methane emissions (both from the four-chambered digestion system that allows ruminants to digest cellulose, and from the breakdown of manure) get the lion’s share of the attention, in keeping with America’s end-of-tailpipe fixation on measuring pollution. But the carbon cycle is circular, and livestock exacerbate climate disruption at many points in the cycle. One key effect is by bankrupting soil carbon reserves by eliminating deep-rooted perennial plants and replacing them with annual weeds, and another is through deforestation to create cattle pasture. While deforestation for livestock is widely-recognized as a major climate problem in the Amazonian rainforests, deforestation of pinyon-juniper woodlands is ramping up across the American West, and similarly contributes to the climate catastrophe.

          The real reason that pinyon-juniper woodlands are so aggressively targeted for “control” and “treatment,” even though they are an ecologically important and natural component of western ecosystems, comes down to the almighty dollar. A recent survey of Bureau of Land Management employees by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility contains this clue: “with ranchers, one employee noted that the current excuse to cut pinyon juniper and sagebrush to prevent wildfire, which have been the native species for thousands of years, has no scientific reasoning. Instead, it’s to benefit cattle.”

        • The Lost Lizard of La Désirade: An Extinction We Almost Forgot About
        • ‘We’re Destroying Our Life-Support Systems’: Study Suggests the Amazon Now Contributes to Warming

          “CO2 is not a lone actor. When you consider the whole cast of other characters, the outlook in the Amazon is that the impacts of human activities will be worse than we realize.”

        • Duo’s images of Mexico’s biodiversity aim to encourage conservation

          Iliana — or Ilo as she is often known — is part of a wife-and-husband team (alongside partner Mike Alcalde) working across the entire range of Mexico’s deep landscapes since the early 2000s, studying and understanding the very vivid and present challenges faced by land and life in Mexico while at the same time making exquisite, old-school coffee table books. They’re the kind of books you could sit on the couch with for days at a time, looking at a single page.

    • Finance

      • Roaming Charges: Fear of a Black Prince

        + A CNBC survey shows that CEO’s are more strongly in favor of Biden’s COVID stimulus plan than the public at large. Could it be because there’s a lot more buried in it for CEOs than the public? That certainly appears to be the case for the health insurance lobby, which securing tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to put people on subpar health plans, as well as the industries state-based operations, which can now tap into forgivable, taxpayer-backed COVID relief loans.

        + Biden has been repeating this same insipid line for the past two years in nearly every speech he gives, regardless of the subject or occasion. I don’t know who he lifted it from (probably Jon Meacham, a one-man factory of patriotic banalities), but I wish they’d take it back …

      • ‘Fire This Guy’: DeJoy Gives Himself an ‘A,’ Asks Congress for Money to Further Slow Mail

        “Frankly, your leadership of the Postal Service has been an utter disgrace,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro told DeJoy during a hearing Thursday.

      • Sanders Invites Amazon Worker to Testify About Inequality Alongside Jeff Bezos

        “Bezos has become a symbol of the unfettered capitalism that we are living under right now,” said the Vermont senator.

      • Unless the Power of the People Asserts Itself

        Left, center, or right, you have to be a serious shit-head to be opposed to Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid bill, which is backed by 70% of the U.S. populace.

        It takes no small cognitive stubbornness these days to retain the timeworn foolish refrain that there’s “no difference” between the two dominant political parties in the U.S. Look at the lockstep partisan breakdown of the Congressional votes on covid relief, accompanied by sickening Republifascist screeching about how elementarily decent government protections raise the specter of “communist tyranny. “

      • Damn the Filibuster, Full Speed Ahead

        And he has so much to do, so much of it good.

        Not one single Republican in the House or Senate voted in favor of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed Wednesday. Not one. It’s as if Republican constituents, many of whom may be in the hardest hit industries, wouldn’t benefit from receiving $1,400 payments plus tax, child support, unemployment insurance and other help.

      • Opinion | The American Rescue Plan Does Not Address the Deep-Rooted Inequality Killing Us

        Biden’s bailout will not alter the structural inequities and other fundamental underpinnings of America’s death spiral.

      • $15 Minimum Wage Would Lift Millions Out of Poverty, Says… Wall Street Giant Morgan Stanley

        “The social benefits to lifting real wages of lower-income earners and millions out of poverty are substantial.”

      • World Digital Divide Gapes as JPMorgan Peddles Cryptocurrency Gateway Drug

        NEW YORK — Per SEC filings, JPMorgan is set to offer a new kind of derivative stock that will allow its clients to invest in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets through a special vehicle that circumvents current federal restrictions on cryptocurrency investing. The finance giant will bundle the stock of a select number of companies, whose recent sizable investments in Bitcoin will represent the underlying derivative value of the novel stock types, much like subprime mortgages represented the underlying value of the instruments that brought the financial system crashing down in 2008.

      • The End of Trickle-Down Economics? Joe Stiglitz on the “Transformational” $1.9T American Rescue Plan

        President Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which Democrats are hailing as the largest anti-poverty bill in a generation. It includes stimulus checks to most adults, expanded unemployment benefits and an overhaul of the child tax credit. One study projects the law will lift almost 14 million Americans out of poverty, including 5.7 million children. “This is transformational,” says economist Joseph Stiglitz. “It says, ‘We are actually going to live up — try to live up — to our aspirations.’”

      • Chris Hedges: Bandaging the Corpse

        The established ruling elites know there is a crisis. They agreed, at least temporarily, to throw money at it with the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 bill known as American Rescue Plan (ARP). But the ARP will not alter the structural inequities, either by raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour or imposing taxes and regulations on corporations or the billionaire class that saw its wealth increase by a staggering $1.1 trillion since the start of the pandemic. The health system will remain privatized, meaning the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations will reap a windfall of tens of billions of dollars with the ARP, and this when they are already making record profits. The endless wars in the Middle East, and the bloated military budget that funds them, will remain sacrosanct. Wall Street and the predatory global speculators that profit from the massive levels of debt peonage imposed on an underpaid working class and loot the U.S. Treasury in our casino capitalism will continue to funnel money upwards into the hands of a tiny, oligarchic cabal. There will be no campaign finance reform to end our system of legalized bribery. The giant tech monopolies will remain intact. The fossil fuel companies will continue to ravage the ecosystem. The militarized police, censorship imposed by digital media platforms, vast prison system, harsher and harsher laws aimed at curbing domestic terrorism and dissent and wholesale government surveillance will be, as they were before, the primary instruments of state control.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Brazil in the World

        I wish political movements could overcome the need for single celebrity leaders who’ve spent decades developing name recognition and compromising with oligarchs. I wish when the people of Arizona overwhelmingly want a higher minimum wage, they could just vote for it instead of waiting years and then choosing between some horrendous plutocrat and a woman who physically cannot contain her glee at denying most of the people she “represents” their wishes. But I don’t usually get stuff just by wishing for it, and we’d all be better off if Lula gives Bolsonaro the boot next year.

        Some great background on what’s happened in Brazil in recent years can be found in Glenn Greenwald’s new book, Securing Democracy: My Fight for Press Freedom and Justice in Bolsonaro’s Brazil. This is not just a cogent summary and analysis of public events, but also an inside report of how some of those events came to be. Brazilians do not, of course, have direct democracy, but taking “democracy” to mean some semblance of representative government, somewhat open and credible elections, the rudiments of a balance of independent and accountable powers, and respect for political rights, including freedom of speech and of the press, Brazil has democracy more securely now than it did a few years ago, in no small part because of the work of Greenwald and his colleagues recounted in this book, work also principally responsible for freeing Lula from prison.

      • Opinion | 10 Problems With Biden’s Foreign Policy—and One Solution

        Biden is following in the footsteps of Obama and Trump, who both promised fresh approaches to foreign policy but for the most part delivered more endless war.

      • ‘There was a spirit of absolute freedom’: Meduza talks to one of the organizers behind the March 10, 1991 opposition protest in Moscow

        Exactly 30 years ago this week, on March 10, 1991, one of the biggest opposition rallies in the history of the USSR and the Russian Federation took place on Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square. According to some estimates, up to 500,000 people came out in protest, demanding the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev, showing their support for Boris Yeltsin, and calling on Soviet citizens to vote “no” in the upcoming All-Union Referendum on Preserving the USSR. To find out more about this historic event, Meduza spoke to one of the protest organizers, Mikhail Shneider.

      • Biden Defers to the Blob

        The boss shows them how it’s done.

        Just two weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden visited the State Department to give American diplomats their marching orders. In his formal remarks, the president committed his administration to “diplomacy rooted in America’s most cherished democratic values: defending freedom, championing opportunity, upholding universal rights, respecting the rule of law, and treating every person with dignity.”

      • Opinion | Biden’s American Rescue Plan Is a Huge Victory for Workers

        It’s one of the largest antipoverty programs ever passed—and will save worker pensions throughout the country.

      • One Shot of Springsteen Is More Than Enough

        Many people may think of Bruce Springsteen as anti-war because his hit song “Born in the USA” was sympathetic to American veterans who fought in Vietnam. But there’s a reason no one understood that song. It was because the chorus and sound is patriotic and it is in this way Springsteen still hides his content behind his form. There’s a difference between a Springsteen who is reflecting on the state of American soldiers after the fact and a figure like Noam Chomsky who opposed the war at the time and was willing to go to jail for it. More on Chomsky soon, who is far more charismatic than either Springsteen or Obama.

        The reason politicians consistently played “Born In The USA” at their rallies was because it sounded like a pro-American, pro-war song. Bruce’s music was the part of the subject of a University of Minnesota study: “Students were told they were taking part in a study of how funds should be distributed in college – and offered a range of ethnic-based groups to share money between. After listening to Bruce Springsteen and the White Stripes, the students handed most of the money to white people.” Anyone who has listened to Springsteen gets this, in one way or another.

      • Ari Berman on the Attack on Voting Rights
      • Murdoch Paper Gives Away the Game: Cuomo Is on Their Side

        There is certainly a tad of glee in the right-wing media over multiple scandals surrounding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz (3/7/21; The Wrap, 3/7/21), who spent years attacking the media for being too tough on the Trump administration (CNN, 1/23/18), lashed out at networks like CNN and MSNBC for coming late to both the sexual harassment allegations and nursing home scandal. He summed up centrist journalists’ supposed attitude: “‘Nothing to see here, let’s move right along, and hmm, I wonder what Donald Trump is up to.” The National Review (3/6/21) used the Cuomo scandals to paint a picture of a corrupt state ruined by Democratic governance.

      • The Fraught Politics of Wolf Hunts

        The hunt occurred during wolves’ breeding season. It’s likely some of the wolves were pregnant, but we don’t know how many. As a result, the effect on Wisconsin’s wolf population could be even greater.

        Why did this happen? Because a right-wing group sued and forced the hunt to go forward ahead of schedule.

      • The Appalling Prospect of Rahm Emanuel as an Ambassador

        One thing Emanuel can’t be accused of is inconsistency. During his political career, he has steadily served elite corporate interests, and rarely the interests of the broad public or the causes of racial justice or peace.

        Emanuel rose to prominence as the finance director for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. He excelled at pulling in large checks from super-wealthy individuals. As a high-level Clinton administration aide, he played a major role — and bragged about it — in the passage of the disastrous NAFTA trade bill, which was strongly opposed by unions, environmentalists and most Democrats in Congress. He also was a sparkplug for passage of the mass incarceration-oriented 1994 Crime Bill, with prison term-lengthening provisions like “three strikes.”

      • House Progressives Implore Biden State Dept. to Center Palestinian Rights

        “The conversation is shifting, public sentiment is changing, and it’s time the Biden administration listened to the people and spoke up for Palestinian rights.”

      • The ICC and Israel’s Charge of Anti-Semitism

        Target List

        The ICC is on Israel’s target list. This becomes clear when searching for the terms “ICC ruling” and “Israel” together; instantaneously, an ad pops up at the very top of Google’s list of 1,390,000 results: “ICC & Israel: No Standing. No Jurisdiction. No Case.” Clicking the ad, will take you to a slick blue and white website (i.e., the colour of Israel’s flag) called “ICC Jurisdiction” with the large “No Standing….”  slogan at the centre of the page.

      • Elections under Fire: Palestine’s Impossible Democracy Dilemma

        The long-awaited decree by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last January to hold legislative and presidential elections in the coming months was widely welcomed,  not as a triumph for democracy but as the first tangible positive outcome of dialogue between rival Palestinian factions, mainly Abbas’ Fatah party and Hamas.

        As far as inner Palestinian dialogue is concerned, the elections, if held unobstructed, could present a ray of hope that, finally, Palestinians in the Occupied Territories will enjoy a degree of democratic representation, a first step towards a more comprehensive representation that could include millions of Palestinians outside the Occupied Territories.

      • Judge Tosses Laughably Stupid SLAPP Lawsuit The Trump Campaign Filed Against The NY Times

        A little over a year ago we wrote about a laughably stupid SLAPP suit that the Trump campaign, represented by Charles Harder, filed against the NY Times. As we noted at the time, the lawsuit appeared to have no intention of succeeding — it was purely performative nonsense. The lawsuit claimed that an opinion piece by Max Frankel was defamatory because it noted that whether or not there was any explicit collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia, it didn’t matter, since both sides seemed to expect certain outcomes and allowed them to act accordingly.

      • The Golden Baal of CPAC

        According to reports, the model for the sculpture was not the trump himself but a likeness of him that can be found online in what is known as a “Trump Bobblehead.”  The trump bobbleheads have various incarnations but are amazing replicas of the trump himself.  They are called bobbleheads because the head of the figure is loosely attached to the model itself so that it can move in almost any direction when the figure is moved, movement that is described as “boggling.” That could easily have been the word used to described the trump’s actions during the time he lived in the White House.

        When the sculpture first entered our consciousness we were told it had been created by Tommy Zegan.  Tommy describes himself as a long-time trump fan and told reporters that he began working on the sculpture in 2018. He said that the actual sculpture was made in Rosarito, Mexico.  Notwithstanding Tommy’s statement that the sculpture was made in Mexico, we soon learned that it had in fact not been made in Mexico, but had been made in China.  Zegan  resisted initially disclosing that fact because of the trump’s dislike of China and his attribution to China of the Corona virus.

      • Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman Say Cuomo ‘Can No Longer Effectively Lead’

        A majority of New York lawmakers and over half of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation are demanding the governor’s resignation.

      • McCollum Calls Israeli Troops’ Arrest of Palestinian Children ‘Extremely Disturbing’

        “Using Israeli soldiers to capture little boys who were reportedly gathering wild vegetables in occupied Palestinian land is wrong,” said the Minnesota Democrat.

      • Biden Doesn’t Need More Time, He Needs Progressives to Demand an Ambitious Agenda

        “He just got there.”

        “Trump left him a hell of a mess. It’s unreasonable to expect him to turn things around in a month or two.”

      • A Fragile Democracy

        The import of the insurrection of January 6 and the events that preceded it, have not yet been properly assessed. The country was at risk of collapse and we were not fully aware of it. It is as if part of the citizenry continues to suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, one of whose symptoms is trouble recalling an event too stressful to bear.

        Who can blame those that want to ignore or forget? Something totally unprecedented had happened in the country. The president himself had staged a coup to overturn the election results and remain in power. In the process, the unruly mob threatened the lives of Mike Pence, his loyal-to-a-fault vice president, and scores of lawmakers who had to run and hide to avoid being maimed or killed by the mobsters. And while these events were happening the President himself and his entourage were following with glee the riots in the Capitol. It cannot get any sicker than this.

      • Why the GameStop story is far from over

        Some say Reddit – and WallStreetBets in particular – is the perfect place to generate hysteria around a stock.

        “Reddit is like the definition of confirmation bias,” Matt Kimbro, from PR company NowADays Media, told me.

        “The way the platform works is the content gets served to you based on how many upvotes it has.

        “So that means you are only going to hear from the people who are saying what people want to hear.”

      • One Day After the Senate Hearing on GameStop Manipulation, Its Stock Puts on a Wild Show of Manipulation

        GameStop is not some penny stock operating out of a boiler room in some grimy backwater of Wall Street. GameStop is a New York Stock Exchange listed stock. It has a market capitalization of $18.48 billion. But the brazen manipulation of its stock, as both the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee conduct investigative hearings into who’s behind the manipulations, speaks volumes about how little these actors think they have to fear from Congress, the SEC and the new U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland, whom the Senate confirmed yesterday.

        GameStop opened for trading yesterday morning at $269.43. It then began an ascent that took it to $348.50 by approximately 12:17 p.m. Then, as if someone had rung a bell, heavy volume selling came in and the stock plunged 176.5 points in the span of 23 minutes, touching its low of the day of $172. By the closing bell, GameStop shares had climbed their way back to $265.00.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Google’s Ad Policies Inadvertently Block Religious Organizations From Advertising On YouTube (2019)

        Summary: Google’s ad service offers purchasers access to millions of users, including those viewing videos on YouTube. But its policies — meant to prevent abuse, fraud, harassment, or targeting of certain demographics — sometimes appear to prevent legitimate organizations from doing something as simple as informing others of their existence.

      • Opinion | Reflecting on a Lifetime of Progressive Victories at 90-Years-Old

        Social Security pensions, the right of workers to organize, the 40-hour week, halting child labor, racial integration, separation of church and state, ending censorship, one man, one vote, Medicare, Medicaid, the great civil rights movement, women’s equality, acceptance of gays—a liberal tsunami occurred in a single lifetime.

      • Microsoft and newspapers join forces to fight Google

        Over the last decade, hundreds of newspapers have disappeared largely due to Big Tech’s disruption of the ad market. Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on much when it comes to tech reform, whether it be content moderation or spinning off acquisitions, but they do seem to agree that local journalism needs saving.

        On Friday, a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing focused on the way Google and Facebook distribute news, and a new bill introduced earlier this week has already found Republican support. It’s one of the biggest legislative threats to tech that’s come out of the years-long antitrust debate, and much of its political force comes from the precarious state of local journalism.

      • Google slams Microsoft for trying ‘to break the way the open web works’

        Google is upset about what it believes is an attack by Microsoft to undermine the company’s efforts to support journalism and publishers. In January, Google threatened to remove its search engine from Australia, in response to a law that would force Google to pay news publishers for their content. Australia passed the law in February, just days after Google caved and cut a deal with News Corp. and other publishers that ensured its services continue to be available in Australia. (Facebook, on the other hand, did remove the ability for users and publishers to share news content in the country, which earned some concessions from the Australian government.)

      • Google, Microsoft take swings at each other over news law

        Google has taken a swing at Microsoft over its statements on the recent media stoushes, accusing the Redmond behemoth of “making self-serving claims”, and being “willing to break the way the open web works in an effort to undercut a rival.

      • Google slams Microsoft for trying ‘to break the way the open web works’ – The Verge
      • Microsoft and Google openly feuding amid [attacks], competition inquiries

        Driven in part by pressure from lawmakers and regulators over the extraordinary power the two technology companies wield over American life, the California-based search engine giant and Washington-based software firm are wrestling to throw each other under the bus.

      • The Threat to Academic Freedom: From Anecdotes to Data

        I could rely on painful and outrageous anecdotes of the Bret Weinstein, Charles Murray, or Kathleen Stock variety. However, as a social scientist, I think it’s also important to cite reliable and valid survey data which can lay the “just a few anecdotes” canard to rest. The report distinguishes between two forms of coercion: punishment and discrimination. The first represents what I term “hard authoritarianism” and consists of everything from a university firing an academic to a department head warning them through to colleagues bullying them. The second prong, “soft authoritarianism,” involves political discrimination, whether during hiring and promotion, or when refereeing a grant application or journal article.

      • Pakistan bans TikTok again

        According to a court order, judges argued that the app was “detrimental to the youth” of Pakistan. They also claimed that “videos being uploaded [were] against the set norms and values” of the country.

        The platform was first blocked last October, after the telecommunication authority accused it of of hosting “immoral” and “indecent” content.

      • Pakistan bans TikTok again for ‘immoral content’

        The regulator didn’t provide details on whether the ban was temporary or permanent. The Peshawar high court said that some videos uploaded on the platform were “unacceptable” for Pakistani society.

        Two lawyers sought the ban for videos “contrary to ethical standards and moral values of Pakistan.” They requested the court to block TikTok until it complied with the guidelines offered by the PTA last year.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘He’s quite lucky they brought him to us’: Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solpov reports from Kolchugino, where Alexey Navalny was in custody until just recently

        After being transferred from a Moscow remand prison in late February, opposition politician Alexey Navalny was sent to a detention center known as SIZO-3 in the city of Kolchugino (Vladimir region), northeast of Moscow. There, he was kept in “quarantine” along with other newly-arrived prisoners, until reports emerged on Friday, March 12, that he had been moved once again. Earlier, Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solopov traveled to Kolchugino and spoke to former prison employees, the people who built the detention center, and prisoners’ relatives, as well as local residents, activists, and politicians. Here’s what they told him about this town, where SIZO-3 and the police department’s brand-new complex are the most modern, public buildings.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Recurring Political Crisis in Haiti Connects with US Racism

        Mass demonstrations have continued intermittently since mid-2018, when two millionHaitians were in the streets. At various times, protesters have called for: (1) relief from high prices for oil and gas, the result of IMF austerity decrees; (2) relief from shortages of basic supplies; (3) punishment of government officials who embezzled billions in funds from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe program of low-cost oil for Caribbean peoples (President Jovenel Moïse stole $700,000); (4) Moïse’s resignation.

        Demonstrators targeted Moïse aggressively after he closed down Haiti’s parliament in January 2020. He’s ruled since by decree.  A general strike took place prior to February 7, 2021, which, according to lawyers and judges, marked the end of Moïse’s presidential term. He remains.

      • Alexey Navalny has been moved from the detention center in Kolchugino

        On Friday, March 12, Alexey Navalny’s lawyers reported that the opposition politician had been moved from the detention center in Kolchugino (Vladimir region), where he had been in custody since late February. Navalny’s whereabouts remain unknown at the time of this writing. 

      • Police, Police Supporters: Ending Qualified Immunity Makes Being A Cop Too Hard, Somehow ‘Defunds’ The Police

        Last Wednesday, the House passed the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” a bill that targets a number of aspects of law enforcement that need improvement, including two that have caused a considerable amount of collateral damage.

      • Dr. Seuss Monetizes the Culture Wars

        Cue woke approval, deplorable outrage, investor interest, and low-information reader fear, all of which are good for business.

        As I write this on March 9, Dr. Seuss titles constitute ten of Amazon’s top 25 “Best Sellers in Children’s Books.”

      • To Hold the Government Accountable, We Need to Know What It’s Doing. That’s Why We’re Tracking PPP Data.

        On March 16, 2020, our world, like everyone else’s, was falling apart. We were suddenly homebound. Our incredible staff was juggling pandemic fears, upended home lives and uncertainty. But one thing was immediately clear: We would not stop reporting.

        Our reporters and editors immediately scheduled a Zoom meeting with me, their newly minted general counsel. They were interested in public records requests. They needed a strategy. Now. This was an unprecedented health crisis that would require action at every level of local and federal government. It is the press’ responsibility to hold them accountable, but to figure out how effective the government response was, we’d need information.

      • Dissenter Weekly: In Attack On Freedom Of Expression, Congolese Whistleblowers Face Death Sentences

        In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola shares a disturbing update involving death sentences that were issued in absentia against two Congolese whistleblowers who exposed an international money laundering network.

        Kevin also highlights bank whistleblowers who urge the United States Justice Department to further prosecute Credit Suisse for helping the rich dodge taxes. The show concludes with news of a settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit brought against Amazon in New Jersey and coverage of whistleblowers who have called attention to improper staff hiring that took place at the Justice Department during Donald Trump’s last days in the White House. For the overtime segment, Shadowproof publishing editor Brian Sonenstein highlights a report from Ella Fassler on a journalist who exposed a COVID-19 outbreak at the GEO Group halfway house where he was being held and faced retaliation.

      • Like the Diana Story, Meghan’s Fight with the Royals will Ensure Nothing Really Changes

        As so often, a focus on identity risks not only blunting our capacity for critical thinking but can be all too readily weaponised: in this case, as the media’s main take-away from the Oprah interview illustrates, by providing an implicit defence of class privilege.

        The racism directed at Markle – sorry, the Duchess of Sussex – and baby Archie is ugly, it goes without saying (but maybe more to the point, must be stated to avoid being accused of ignoring or trivialising racism).

      • Meghan Markle Racism Revelations Are “Shocking, But Not Surprising” to People of Color in U.K.

        The British royal family is facing intense criticism over its treatment of Meghan Markle, who revealed shocking details about life as a royal in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, including mistreatment and bullying from other royals, relentless harassment by the British press, and racist comments about Markle, who was born in the United States to a Black mother and a white father. One member of the royal family, according to Markle, even speculated how dark her child’s skin would be. Markle and her husband Prince Harry stepped down as senior members of Britain’s royal family last year. Pioneering British journalist Trisha Goddard says Markle’s revelations were “shocking, but not surprising,” and that coverage of Markle in the U.K. has always carried an “undercurrent” of racism. We also speak with Novara Media’s Ash Sarkar, who says the monarchy is a “feudal institution” that entrenches class inequality in British society. “You can’t have an institution which is premised on the superiority of bloodline and have it not be racist.”

      • Royalty Racist? Really?

        In what’s being called a “hand grenade” interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex let rip about the misery they’d endured as the royal family’s first mixed-race couple and alleged that someone — not Queen Elizabeth or her husband — even questioned the likely skin tone of their yet-to-be born baby.

        Now the who-said-what-to-whom racism chase has started. This was always going to be a clickbait cash cow for commercial media, and so it has been. Even as much of the world tried to mark International Women’s Day, March 8th, the media closed in on one woman, Queen Elizabeth, and her entourage.

      • Sarah Everard: Serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens charged with murder

        The serving police officer, 49, who works in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command had been arrested on suspicion of Ms Everard’s kidnap on Tuesday night.

        He was subsequently re-arrested on suspicion of murder and a separate allegation of indecent exposure on Wednesday.

      • Police Violence, Racial Justice and Class

        When called upon to answer for New York City’s stop-and-frisk program, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered that black and brown youth were targeted because ‘that is where the crime is.’ This idea of racial disparity in criminality has a long, inglorious history in the U.S. Of current relevance is the twentieth century Progressive effort to explain social outcomes like ‘crime’ using racist premises. With more detail provided below, when race is used to organize arrest data in order to explain crime, then by construction, race ‘explains’ crime. However, the same is true when race is used to explain police killing of citizens. The answer one gets is a product of the structure of the question.

        Graph: in the U.S., far more blacks than whites are poor, while far more whites than blacks are rich. The racial frame suggests that poor blacks have more in common with rich blacks than with poor whites. In fact, this is the frame used by BLM that produced much hand-wringing by white liberals, but nothing more in terms of redistributing political or economic power. If the New York Times is to believed, hand-wringing by white liberals evaporated as quickly as it emerged. This suggests that redistributing power is the only indicator of political progress that matters. Source: Statista.

      • Pakistan: How poverty and exploitation drive child marriages

        Citing data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-18, Qamar Naseem, a rights activist from the city of Peshawar, says 3.3% of girls are married off under the age of 15 while 18.3% of girls married off are under the age of 18.

        Across the country, about 4.7% of boys are married off under the age of 18, he added.

        Naseem saidchild marriage is notably higher in Pakistan’s newly merged tribal areas, where around 35% of all child marriages in the country take place.

      • Endemic violence against women cannot be stopped with a vaccine

        An estimated 37 per cent of women in the poorest countries have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lives – with some countries as high as half, according to the study.   

        Broken down by region, the highest rates of intimate partner violence among women aged 15-49 are in Oceania, Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, ranging from 33 to 51 per cent.

        At 16 to 23 per cent, Europe had the lowest rate, followed by Central Asia at 18 per cent, East Asia at 20 per cent and South East Asia at 21 per cent.

      • Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul’s appeal rejected by court

        The 31-year-old was sentenced in December to five years and eight months in prison on what critics have described as politically motivated charges, but was released in February after serving more than 1,000 days behind bars. She was appealing for her sentence to be overturned and a five-year travel ban lifted.

        On her way into the appeals hearing Wednesday, Hathloul told reporters she hoped Riyadh’s Specialized Criminal Court would change her sentence — her first public comments since her arrest in 2018. The court, however, ruled that the original sentence should stand.

      • British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is released from house arrest but her ordeal at the hands of the Iranian regime is far from over

        She has been released from house arrest and had her ankle tag removed after completing a five-year sentence, Reuters reported.

        “She was pardoned by Iran’s supreme leader last year but spent the last year of her term under house arrest with electronic shackles tied to her feet. Now they’re cast off,” her attorney, Hojjat Kerjmani, told an Iranian website. “She has been freed.”

        However, the former charity worker has been summoned to court to face another set of charges on March 14, The Guardian said.

      • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be released ‘permanently’, says PM

        Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said there had been “an increasing use of this totally unacceptable hostage diplomacy from Iran”, and that the government was right to condemn the use of individuals such as Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe “as a bargaining chip in this wider political game”.

      • 3 Iranian Arab Dissidents Showed Signs of Torture Before Execution, Activist Says

        An exiled Iranian Arab rights activist has revealed that three minority Arab dissidents executed by Iran’s Islamist authorities last month showed signs of torture before their death sentences were carried out.

        In a Wednesday interview with VOA Persian from London, researcher Karim Dahimi said dissidents Jasem Heidary, Ali Khasraji and Hossein Silawi had bruises when relatives were given a brief chance to see the men shortly before their Feb. 28 executions at Sepidar prison in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. The rights activist cited information he got from the relatives, whom he did not name.

        Dahimi has a reputation as a credible source on the human rights situation of his ethnic Ahwazi Arab minority group that lives mainly in Iran’s Khuzestan province, of which Ahvaz is the capital. His research is cited by international human rights organizations such as the Washington-based Abdorrahman Boroumand Center and the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights group.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Inventor Of The Cell Phone Marvels At Entirely Avoidable US Broadband Gaps

        One the one hand, you have wireless carriers telling anybody who’ll listen that 5G will soon create the incredible, smart cities of tomorrow and no limit of incredible innovation. On the other hand, you have 42 million Americans without access to broadband during a plague, and tens of millions more stuck paying high prices for slow services thanks to monopolization and a lack of competition. It’s a discordant reality gap that isn’t lost on Martin Cooper, who invented the first cell phone (the Motorola Dynatac 8000x) in 1973. In an interview at CNET, Cooper pointed out how despite a history of innovation, the United States still somehow can’t make broadband both universal and affordable, which is why 40% of US students struggle to get online:

      • $3.2 Billion FCC Program Helps The Poor Afford Broadband, But…

        Last week the FCC took the wraps off a new $3.2 billion program designed to help struggling Americans afford broadband during the pandemic. The program was required by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and will, once fully operational, dole out $50 a month for broadband service to lower-income American families that qualify. That number jumps to $75 on Tribal lands (a stark reversal from the Trump/Pai era, where the FCC was interested in pulling back on tribal broadband subsidies). The program also doles out up to $100 for a tablet or computer.

      • Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Argues Internet Access Must Be a ‘Basic Right’

        “We must work to make sure all young people can connect to a web that gives them the power to shape their world.”

      • Web inventor Berners-Lee says “fad” of [Internet] giants will pass

        Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has said the dominance of [Internet] giants is a “fad” that does not have to endure, adding that urgent change was needed to improve a digital divide in young people’s online access.

        Berners-Lee, who invented the [Internet] navigation system known as the World Wide Web in 1989, said he sensed “a feeling out there of restlessness, a feeling that we need to tip things over to change them”.

        High-profile incidents such as a dispute between Facebook and Australia that led to the social network blocking news feeds in the country has led many citizens and governments to re-examine their relationships with giant [Internet] and social media companies.

      • Web As We Know it Ending?

        Changing yes, but ending now. We are too dependent on it for too many things. No doubt using it is getting trickier. Need to look closer at risks and Threats.

      • [Old] The Worldwide Web As We Know It May Be Ending

        But if such territorial agreements become more common, the globally-connected internet we know will become more like what some have dubbed the “splinternet,” or a collection of different internets whose limits are determined by national or regional borders.

        A combination of rising nationalism, trade disputes and concerns about the market dominance of certain global tech companies has prompted threats of regulatory crackdowns all over the world. In the process, these forces are not just upending the tech companies that built massive businesses on the promise of a global internet, but also the very idea of building platforms that can be accessed and used the same way by anyone anywhere in the world.

        And the cracks only appear to be getting deeper.

        “I do think there is a global tendency towards fragmenting the internet much more than it has been fragmented in the past,” Daphne Keller, director of the program on platform regulation at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center, told CNN Business.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Nobel Economists: Suspend Vaccine Patents to Halt Pandemic

        A new paper from the scholars also calls for restructuring of poor nations’ debt and rejection of austerity policies.

      • Patents

        • What is the Level of Contribution for Joint Inventorship? [Ed: People throwing more and more names into patents to game the system and make it seem like there's real innovation going on, not merely mass patenting of junk]

          Note here that the 4th Circuit decision referenced here is an Levin v. Septodont Inc., 34 Fed. Appx. 65 (4th Cir. 2002)(unpublished). In that case, Levin sued Septodent for breach of contract associated with payments on a patent sale agreement. The district court, found no breach because the patent was invalid for failing to properly list Donald Kilday as an inventor. In its decision the 4th Circuit explained the “significant contribution” requirement of a joint inventor should focus on patentability — “asking whether the contribution helped to make the invention patentable.” Note that in that case, 4th Circuit was purporting to follow the Federal Circuit’s decision in Pannu v. Iolab Corp., 155 F.3d 1344 (Fed. Cir. 1998). Pannu remains good law and was extensively cited and quoted in the Federal Circuit’s Ono opinion.

          The petition cites one 19th century case – O’Reilly v. Morse, 56 U.S. (15 How.) 62 (1853). In its decision, the Supreme Court wrote that Morse should still be considered the inventor, even though he had received information and advice from various “men of science.”


        • Patent Claims as Elements rather than Boundaries

          I teach Introduction to Intellectual Property Law every spring semester, an experience that often causes me to reflect on some of the fundamental premises of intellectual property law in a way that advanced courses don’t necessarily always invite. When you’re deep in the nuances of the effective date provision for post-AIA § 102, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the big questions. This post is one of a few half-baked ideas from that return-to-basics reflection.

          ***

          I grew up steeped in the world of property law. My father’s law office was in rural New York, and his core practice involved representing farmers, villages, and small businesses on land transactions, estate planning, and probate matters. Some of my first memories are of photocopying property abstracts: voluminous documents that contained the transaction history for a property, often going back a hundred years or more. We’d copy these abstracts and then affix the new deed or mortgage associated with the transaction. Later, I learned to type up property descriptions for deeds, writing out the metes and bounds of the land being transferred. These descriptions used points and lines to articulate the land for which the property rights applied.

          For me, the language of patent claims as boundaries resonated early and easily. After all, patent cases routinely refer to claims in boundary-like terms. One example is the likening of claims to “metes and bounds,” as Judge Rich did in footnote 5 of In re Vamco Machine and Tool, Inc., 752 F.2d 1564, 1577 (Fed. Cir. 1985).

          [...]

          So how should patent claims be conceptualized, if not as establishing a boundary? My first answer goes back to how litigants and courts often actually approach them: as discrete legal elements akin to the elements of any other legal claim. The limitations in patent claims aren’t like the boundaries defined in a deed; instead, they are like the elements of a tort. Each of these elements must be met in order for the claim to be infringed, invalidated, or adequately supported by the disclosure.

          Consider, for example, patent law’s novelty requirement. In order for a prior art reference to anticipate a patent claim, each and every element of the claim must be present in the prior art reference. Or the analysis for infringement: for there to be infringement, each and every element of the claim must be present in the accused product or process, either literally or as an equivalent. In both cases, patent claims are treated as if they are a series of elements–not as boundary lines that are crossed or not. They are, in the words of Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, “the component parts of a legal claim.”

        • Applicants who are the Obligated Assignee

          About 10% of the patent applicants file their patent application as an “obligated assignee” rather than the actual “assignee.” Those 10% have apparently not yet received a assignment of rights from the human inventors but are still allowed to walk through the patenting process under 37 CFR 1.46, which allows patent applications to be filed “by an assignee, an obligated assignee, or a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter.”

          [...]

          For the ‘170 patent, the ADS marked the ‘obligated to assign’ category and moved forward. The application published in 2018 and issued as a patent in 2019. US Patent No. 10,514,582. The named applicant is View, Inc., and the patent includes four listed inventors. The prosecution history includes a declaration filed by the inventors claiming to be the joint inventors. View had also used the patent application to secure a loan, and that security interest (and its released) was filed with the USPTO?

      • Copyrights

        • Wrong Direction: Months After Bill C-10 is Tabled, Canadian Heritage Releases Draft Policy Direction Still Short on Details

          Anyone who has done anything involving the CRTC knows this is a completely unrealistic time frame. But Guilbeault and the government clearly aren’t interested in actual results. The amateurish release of the bill, the steady stream of blunders, and the absence of details all speak to a Minister and department that want a George W. Bush-like “Mission Accomplished” moment and then to quickly move onto the other issues, leaving the CRTC to clean up the mess. The opposition parties know this bill hurts consumers, competition, and the little money it might generate for creators years from now requires eliminating Canada from Canadian broadcast policy. It is time to take stand and demand a re-write.

        • Meet CC Nepal, Our Next Feature for CC Network Fridays!

          The Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN) consists of 48 CC Country Chapters spread across the globe. They’re the home for a community of advocates, activists, educators, artists, lawyers, and users who share CC’s vision and values. They implement and strengthen open access policies, copyright reform, open education, and open culture in the communities in which they live.

        • GitHub Wants to Get Rid Of the DMCA’s Anti-Circumvention FUD

          GitHub is urging the US Copyright Office to expand the DMCA anti-circumvention exemptions to eliminate FUD. The developer platform backs a proposal from Professor Halderman which opts to broaden exemptions for security researchers. GitHub is not the only party that backs elements of this proposal, the US Department of Justice does too.

        • ZLibrary Domains Were ‘Temporarily’ Suspended Over Copyright Infringement Claims

          A few days ago, several domains of the popular ebook repository ZLibrary became inaccessible. The ‘suspensions’ were handed down by the site’s Chinese registrar, following copyright complaints from Harvard. The ‘shadow library’, which also allows researchers to bypass academic paywalls, remained available through backup domains. To its surprise, the suspensions were soon lifted as well.

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