05.08.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 8/5/2021: GIMP 2.99.6, Wine 6.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • StarLabs StarBook 14 Inch Laptop Will Cost You $929 [Specs]

        Latest Linux laptop from StarLabs is now available for the pre-order and it will cost you $929.

        [...]

        Processor: 2.4GHz dual-core Intel® Core® i3-1110G4/Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, with 6MB Cache or 2.8GHz quad-core Intel® Core® i7-1165G7/Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz, with 12MB Cache.

        Display: 14-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit matte display with IPS technology, 1920×1080 resolution at 157 pixels per inch; 16:9 aspect ratio

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Create Portable Packages With AppImage

        AppImage has become my favorite packaging format since they are simple to download and use. But I’ve never actually packaged anything as an AppImage myself. So today, I’m going to package something (nothing too complicated) as an AppImage.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12.2
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.12.2 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.12 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.12.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.12.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.11.19
      • Linux 5.10.35
      • Linux 5.4.117
      • Linux 4.19.190
      • An Interview With Linus Torvalds: Open Source And Beyond – Part 2

        The Linux kernel is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year. In part two of our interview, we conclude our conversation with Linux creator Linus Torvalds. If you haven’t already, check out part one to learn all about Linux kernel development and the creation of the Git version control system.

        In this second part, Linus offers insight and perspective gained from managing a large open source project for three decades. He also talks about his employment at the Linux Foundation, and describes what he does with his spare time when he’s not focused on kernel development.

        As to what makes an open source project successful, Linus admits, “I don’t really know what the key to success is. Yes, Linux has been very successful, and clearly Git too started on the right foot, but it’s always very hard to really attribute that to some deeper cause. Maybe I’ve just been lucky?” He goes on to offer three practical recommendations he’s followed himself: be there for other developers, be open, and be honest.

      • eBPF for Advanced Linux Infrastructure Monitoring

        A year has passed since the pandemic left us spending the better part of our days sheltering inside our homes. It has been a challenging time for developers, Sysadmins, and entire IT teams for that matter who began to juggle the task of monitoring and troubleshooting an influx of data within their systems and infrastructures as the world was forced online. To do their job properly, free, open-source technologies like Linux have become increasingly attractive, especially amongst Ops professionals and Sysadmins in charge of maintaining growing and complex environments. Engineers, as well, are using more open-source technologies largely due to the flexibility and openness they have to offer, versus commercial offerings that are accompanied by high-cost pricing and stringent feature lock-ins.

        One emerging technology in particular – eBPF – has made its appearance in multiple projects, including commercial and open-source offerings. Before discussing more about the community surrounding eBPF and its growth during the pandemic, it’s important to understand what it is and how it’s being utilized. eBPF, or extended Berkley packet filtering, was originally introduced as BPF back in 1992 in a paper by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory researchers as a rule-based mechanism to filter and capture network packets. Filters would be implemented to run inside a register-based Virtual Machine (VM), which itself would exist inside the Linux Kernel. After several years of non-activity, BPF was extended to eBPF, featuring a full-blown VM to run small programs inside the Linux Kernel. Since these programs run from inside the Kernel, they can be attached to a particular code path and be executed when it is traversed, making them perfect to create applications for packet filtering and performance analysis and monitoring.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Posts Nearly 100 Patches For GuC Submission, Works To Integrate DRM Scheduler

          Intel’s open-source graphics driver developers volleyed an initial set of nearly 100 experimental patches working on GuC submission support as they work towards integrating the DRM scheduler into their graphics driver.

          GuC has been around since Skylake Gen9 graphics work workload scheduling and other tasks. Intel engineers describe the GuC as “a piece of firmware which sits between the i915 [Linux kernel graphics driver] and the GPU. It offloads some of the scheduling of contexts from the i915 and programs the GPU to submit contexts. The i915 communicates with the GuC and the GuC communicates with the GPU.” The GuC (and HuC) work for the Linux driver stack has been going on for years.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 Build 21370 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 Linux On AMD Ryzen 5900X

        Last month when carrying out tests of Windows 10 vs. Linux on the Intel Core i9 11900K “Rocket Lake” processor we were very surprised to see Windows 10 frankly performing so well compared to Ubuntu and picking up more wins than usual. That unexpectedly strong showing for Windows 10 might be due to Intel’s P-State behavior with Rocket Lake or other power management tuning or there the lack of on Linux at this time. But it led me to wondering if the latest Windows 10 updates spelled out anything different on the AMD Ryzen side… So here are some benchmarks of the latest Microsoft Windows 10 against Ubuntu 21.04 on the same AMD Ryzen 9 5900X system.

        Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 21370 was benchmarked as the very newest Windows Insider Preview build for getting the latest software support and also using the latest AMD drivers as of testing. On the Linux side was the recently released Ubuntu 21.04 with the Linux 5.11 kernel.

    • Applications

      • HDR in Linux: Part 1

        In recent months I have been investigating high dynamic range (HDR) support for the Linux desktop, and what needs to be done so that a user could, for example, watch a high dynamic range video.

        The problem with HDR is not so much that there is no material out there covering it, but that there’s a huge amount of material can be rather confusing. I thought it best to add more material that is probably also confusing, but may help me think through HDR better. The following content is likely wrong as I have no background in colorimetry, the human visual system, or graphics generally. I’d love to hear what makes no sense.

        In this post I’ll cover what HDR is and why we care about it. In the next post, I’ll cover the work in specific projects that has been done to support it and what is left to be done.

      • VLC 4.0 Coming This Year With Completely Redesigned UI

        VLC 4.0 will be released later this year with a brand new user interface, making the entire video watching experience more intuitive and full of features for videos of all sorts.

        VLC has been downloaded over 3.5 billion times since it first came out almost 20 years ago. It is one of the world’s most popular open-source apps.

        The gears at VideoLAN are spinning as they prepare for the launch of the next generation of one of the most popular media players available for just about every operating system out there. VLC 4.0 is right around the corner, launching in the coming months.

      • Audacity Telemetry and Why Free Software Means Better Privacy

        Many people accept that free software tends to protect your privacy better than proprietary alternatives, but they may not understand why that is. This week’s news about the Audacity project adding telemetry and the public outcry is a perfect test case to explore why free software means better privacy. If you haven’t been following the story, this piece in The Register provides a good summary. In short, Audacity (audio editing software) published a pull request to add telemetry about their users as an opt-in feature to a future release. The free software community largely balked at this change and started a debate over the change inside the pull request.

        To better understand why free software protects your privacy more than proprietary software, let’s contrast a few key points in this story with how it would play out with a proprietary counterpart.

        [...]

        Another crucial part of this story is that when the Audacity developers were explaining the change, they also pointed out that collecting telemetry is opt in. Defaults are powerful and an application that automatically collects your data without your permission is much different than an application that only does it if you explicitly tell it to do so. The fact that they designed this feature to be opt in further underscores the fact that because this was free software, they had a different obligation to their users. They understood their users would dislike the change and would outright reject it if it were opt out.

      • ‘A massive middle finger’: Open-source audio fans up in arms after Audacity opts to add telemetry capture

        A UUID stored on the local machine would be used to identify sessions and web analytics service Yandex Metrica used to estimate daily active users.

        “Telemetry collection is optional and configurable at any time,” he added.

        The change has not gone down well. At time of writing it had attracted over 2,000 “thumbs down” emojis, while a mere 39 users clicked “thumbs up.” Hardly a ringing endorsement.

        Telemetry collection is an area that causes much gnashing of teeth and twisting of knickers in the open source community. While some see it as a pointless invasion of privacy, others find it invaluable for solving issues or identifying how people use a product.

      • Countdown Timer App for Ubuntu

        If you are looking to manage your time better – whether to set aside a study period or time that pizza you put in the oven – look no further as we have for you the best countdown timer apps you can get on your Ubuntu setup. There are many options out there to choose from, so we will list the best ones and let you decide which strikes your fancy!

        Using GNOME Clocks

        If you prefer using a GUI app to help you keep track of your time, GNOME Clocks is the program. It comes with many convenient features that allow you to set a timer or an alarm and use the stopwatch. The installation process is easy, as you will see since GNOME Clocks is available on SnapStore.

        If your version Ubuntu does not have snap installed by default, run the following command to get it running on your system first.

      • 5 Best Screenshot Tools For Linux In 2021

        Sometime our job might ask us to the take the screenshot of the desktop or the screen of our laptop or the desktop. One of the default method of capturing your screen on Linux is by pressing the PrtScn key on your keyboard. Meanwhile, there are also few key combination to take screenshot on Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to (not) use Docker to share your password with [crackers]

        By default this will copy everything in the current directory into the image. That everything might include a variety of secrets you didn’t intend to copy in: a .env file with password, for example.

        Deleting the file afterwards with RUN rm mysecret won’t help, because of the way Docker layers work. You need to make sure they never get copied in in the first place.

        Once the secret is in the Docker image, anyone who can access that image now has access to the secret. This is extra fun when the image is publicly available, but can still hurt you if the image is in a private repository that gets breached.

        How can you prevent copying in secrets by mistake?

      • How to Set a Time Limit on Linux Commands

        For system administrators who are responsible for controlling Linux servers, resource management is an important task to take care of. Sometimes, Linux commands take up a huge chunk of system resources and need to be stopped.

        Luckily, you can limit the runtime of your commands using utilities like timelimit. In this article, we will discuss why you should add time limits to your commands and how to add a time restriction using commands like timelimit and timeout.

      • How to Recover Deleted Files on Linux Using TestDisk

        Have you ever accidentally deleted a file on your Linux machine? Or maybe some program removed an important folder stored on your system storage. In such situations, data recovery software is the only fix to this issue.

        TestDisk is one such recovery tool developed for the Linux command line. In this article, we will discuss TestDisk and how to install it, along with a detailed guide on recovering deleted files and folders on your Linux system.

      • Protect Your Online Privacy With The Tor Browser Bundle

        For anyone looking to protect their privacy online, Tor is an invaluable tool. It is both one of the most reliable ways to hide your identity and one of the easiest to use on Linux.

        Tor works by routing your computer’s internet traffic through their own network. This way, you can still access online resources as usual, but your network traffic appears to originate from the Tor network, your IP address remains hidden, and your data is encrypted in the process. With Tor, you can also access .onion domain names, and access the infamous dark web.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to download, install, and configure Tor on a Linux system. This will get you up and running in a few steps so you can anonymize your traffic and access Tor-specific websites.

      • How to Install Apache Tomcat on Rocky Linux 8

        Like Apache, Apache Tomcat is an HTTP server that serves HTTP and is also a servlet container. Apache is a general-purpose HTTP server that supports several advanced options that Tomcat does not. The Tomcat functions primarily as a servlet and JSP server for Java technologies for development purposes. Thus can be used to provide your Java servlets and JSPs. So, you can create your WAR file ( Web Application Archive) in your Java project and simply save it in the Tomcat deployment directory.

      • How to remove a directory in Linux

        Performing CRUD Operations in Linux are daily routine tasks like creating, reading, updating, and deleting a file or directory. This post will walk through a detailed guide on how to remove a directory in Linux from the terminal. Removing a directory in lynx is not as easy as removing a file. A directory may be an empty directory or may include multiple files in itself or further subdirectories in it.

        There can be various ways to remove a directory in any Linux Operating system. For example, if you are using a GUI of any Linux Operating system like GNOME or KDE, you can remove any directory by just right-clicking on the directory. But, when you are working with a stand-alone Linux server and only have a terminal to work with the Linux Operating system, this guide will help you remove a directory in the Linux Operating system’s terminal.

      • How to Setup Encryption on Synology NAS

        Protecting your private data is very important. Synology also cares about your data. So, every Synology NAS unit has built-in support for data encryption. Synology supports 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) data encryption. In this encryption method, your data is stored on the shared folders in an encrypted format with a set of encryption keys. 256-bit AES encryption allows the Synology NAS to block all unauthorized access attempts on your encrypted data.
        This article will show you how to create an encrypted shared folder, set up encryption on an existing shared folder, mount and unmount encrypted shared folder, automatically mount encrypted shared folders, and access encrypted shared folders on your Synology NAS. So, let’s get started.

      • How to Set Hostname Using Hostnamectl Command?

        The hostname is an identity of the system and is used by the networks to search the system.

        The “hostnamectl” is a Linux command that is used to set the hostname in the terminal without even opening and editing in the etc/hostname file of a system.

        Using the “hostnamectl” command, the user can edit the static, pretty, and transient hostname as well.

      • How do I add a folder to the sidebar in Ubuntu? – Linux Hint

        In Windows, you can handily add your favorite folders to the sidebar with a simple drag and drop maneuver. At first glance, this may seem impossible to achieve in Ubuntu, as trying to drag a folder to the sidebar for easy accessibility does not work. However, there is a way you can do that, and this guide is devoted to showing you how.

      • How to check cron logs in Linux – Linux Hint

        In a Linux environment, the most common word ‘cron jobs’ is mostly used. For those who don’t know about that. A cron job is a task scheduler that automates all repetitive tasks in a Linux distribution. Cron jobs are executed at a specified date and time, which is scheduled by the system administrator. So, cron jobs logs or history are maintained in a log file that helps the system administrator to verify that either the cron jobs are executed at a specified time or not.

        We will discuss in this article how a user can view the cron logs files in a Linux environment. We have performed all tasks on the Ubuntu 20.04 system that will give you a better understanding of the cron logs.

        Open the terminal by pressing the keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl+Alt+t’.

      • How to checkout remote branch in Git

        The branch is an essential part of any git repository. Multiple branches help manage the code properly. Any new feature can be tested without affecting the other code of the repository by keeping the files separately by using the branch. All commits are done by switching into the particular branch that contains new or updated files. The changes made in the local branch can be pushed into the remote branch, and the updated remote branch can be pulled into the local branch. `git checkout` command is mainly used to switch between the branches of the local repository and create a new branch locally. But this command can be used to check out the remote repository branch and how this command can be used for the branches of a remote repository, as shown in this tutorial.

      • How to execute multiple curl requests in parallel – Linux Hint

        Suppose you want to run multiple curl requests concurrently for whatever reason, say 10 requests at the same time. How would you go about it? In this tutorial, we demonstrate how you can execute multiple curly requests concurrently.

      • How to Mount ISO Images Files in Linux – Linux Hint

        This article will list a few methods using which you can mount ISO image files in Linux. After mounting these ISO image files, you will be able to browse their contents and copy / extract data from the mount point to your local file system.

      • How to Use md5sum Command? – Linux Hint

        We have already discussed in another tutorial about the Linux sha1sum command to check the file’s integrity. Similarly, on Linux systems, there are multiple checksums for the verification of messages, files, and data integrity.
        It is good to verify the operations when performed, like if you’re installing anything from the website, then to verify if it is installed correctly, there must be some checksums.

        A popular tool among Linux users is “md5sum” which comes from “MD5” known as the message-digest algorithm. The Md5 consists of a 128-bit cryptographic hash value that is used for the authentication of files and data integrity.

        The “md5sum” checksum is a well-suited tool that helps calculate and verify the 128-bit hashes. It is a built-in program in most of the UNIX systems to compute and generate input files for a 128-bit message digest.

      • How to Stash Untracked Files in Git? – Linux Hint

        Git stash is a useful feature of git when the git user needs to switch from one working directory to another working directory for fixing any issue and the modified files of the current working directory are required to store before switching. Git slash stores all modified tracked, untracked, and ignored files and helps the user to retrieve the modified content when requires. It allows the git user to save changes that can be required in the future and helps the user to clean the current working directory quickly. It stores the uncommitted changes of the tracked files by default and omits the untracked and ignored files. But sometimes, it requires saving the untracked files. The untracked files can be slashed in by using –include-untracked option of git stash command and git add command. How these commands can be used to save untracked files in git has shown in this tutorial.

      • How to Run “script” Command in Linux? – Linux Hint

        The script command is used to typescript or record all terminal processes. After running the script command, it begins recording everything that appears on the screen, including inputs and outputs, until it exits.

        If you don’t specify any argument, the “typescript file” will be created in the directory to save the terminal record.

        The script command records both standard input/output and time of execution.

        This post describes what the “script” command is and how it works with various options.

      • How to Use Linux Journalctl Command?

        Linux-based systems provide multiple tools that help record and analyze system logs. Just like the “systemd”, which is a powerful tool used to collect logs from the sources in a binary format and allows the user to get the logs using command-line.
        The logs we discussed in the above section are the “Journal logs”.

        The “Journald” is a system program from the systemd tool that collects data from multiple logs in a binary format. It works the same way as syslog but gives a more efficient way to manage logs.

        The Linux system has an effective tool termed “journalctl” that helps the user read and communicate with the “journal logs”. This utility is a standard way to display log messages provided by journald and monitor them.

      • Install Strimio Radio on Ubuntu

        Strimio is a free streaming service that allows you to access and enjoy thousands of live streams from all around the world. It is a cloud-based app equipped with many useful features available on several platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS. In this article, we will go into depth about Strimio’s functionality, features, and how you can install it on Ubuntu.

      • How to Run “patch” Command in Linux? – Linux Hint

        The “patch” is a command for adding patch files to source code or text files. It takes input as a patch file and applies differences to original files. We use the “diff” tool to get the difference.
        The “diff” is abbreviated as “differences” and is used to compare the content of two files and list the changes in standard output.

        A set of source codes makes up a piece of software. Developers build the source code that evolves over time. Getting a new file for each update is unrealistic or time-consuming. Therefore, the safest method is to distribute improvements only. The modifications are made to the old file, and then a new or patched file is created for the new software version.

        This guide shows you how to use the “diff” command to generate a patch file and then apply it with the “patch” command.

      • What is the Meaning of chmod 755, and How to execute and Verify It? – Linux Hint

        In Linux, chmod is a built-in command that manages the access permission of file objects (files and directories). It can assign groups, users, and others to have permission for executing, reading, and writing permission on a certain file or directory.

        The number defined after chmod represents the permissions. The chmod 775 is an essential command that assigns read, write, and execute permission to a specific user, group, or others.

        In this guide, check out how to use chmod 755.

      • Set Upstream Branch in Git – Linux Hint

        When a new feature is added to any git repository or the user wants to clone a git repository through a branch, then the upstream branch is used. The git user can select the location of the local branch and modify the default remote branch by setting the git upstream branch. Normally, the names of the local branch and remote branch are kept the same by the git user. After updating the local branch locally, the changes made are pushed to the remote branch. Sometimes, it is required to push the modified content of the local branch to the remote branch. These tasks can be done using the –set-upstream option of the git command. How this git option can be used in different ways has been shown in this tutorial.

      • Linux for freshers: How to Install XAMPP on linux h

        XAMPP is the most popular PHP development environment.
        XAMPP is a completely free, easy to install Apache distribution containing MariaDB, PHP, and Perl.

      • Linux for freshers: how to send broadcast messages to all currently logged on users in linux h

        Wall displays the contents of a file or, by default, its standard input, on the terminals of all currently logged-in users. The command will cut over 79 character long lines to new lines. Short lines are white space padded to have 79 characters. The command will always put the carriage return and new line at the end of each line.

        Only the super-user can write on the terminals of users who have chosen to deny messages or are using a program that automatically denies messages.

        Reading from a file is refused when the invoker is not a superuser and the program is suid or sgid.

      • Linux for freshers: How to Install innotop in linux?

        Innotop is an efficient command-line monitoring tool for local and remote MySQL servers running under Innodb. It helps to monitoring several operations like MySQL replication status, user statistics, query list, InnoDB buffers, InnoDB I/O information etc.

      • Linux for freshers: How to find the file size of a remote HTTP object?

        There are times when you need to know the file size of an HTTP object without actually downloading the file. This little trick comes in very handy when web servers respond with the Content-Length of an object in the HEAD request itself.

      • How To Install HAProxy on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install HAProxy on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, HAProxy is an open-source, reliable, and High-Performance TCP/HTTP Load Balancer and Proxy server which runs on Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris. HAProxy is written in C and it provides a high availability load balancer for TCP and HTTP-based applications that run on multiple servers. The best thing is that it has a free community edition, and it is an open-source application. The enterprise edition is also there, but it has a price tag.

        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 HAProxy load balancer on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to install IMVU on a Chromebook

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

      • Configuring Ansible Tower with the Tower Configuration Collection

        One of the goals of Red Hat Services is to bring a standardized and collaboratively created toolkit and approach to customers to speed up and improve automation practices. Red Hat’s Automation Community of Practice–a part of Red Hat Services–has created a new collection that acts as a wrapper for the ansible.tower collection, creating a powerful toolkit to help speed up the automation of an Ansible Tower environment. This post will provide an overview of what’s in the collection and show you how to install and use the tower_configuration.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.8 Released

        The Wine development release 6.8 is now available.

        What’s new in this release (see below for details):
        – Libraries installed into architecture-specific subdirectories.
        – Secur32 library converted to PE.
        – Support for Map object in JavaScript.
        – Various bug fixes.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.8.tar.xz

        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.8.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 6.8 Released With Support For Loading Libraries From Arch-Specific Subdirectories – Phoronix

        Wine 6.8 isn’t the most exciting development release but one interesting low-level note is there is now support for loading libraries from architecture-specific subdirectories. Alexandre Julliard worked out the support so the likes of NTDLL, SETUPAPI and other components can load libraries from architecture-specific PE directories. The build system has also been updated for installing the PE files, fake DLLs, and related bits into architecture-specific directories. Similar to the architecture-specific subdirectories common to many Linux distributions for library handling, this can help out some workflows primarily for Wine developers as well.

    • Games

      • Best Steam Games That Work on Linux

        When someone thinks about gaming on a PC, most people believe that you have to have a Windows OS. Well, while that might be true for the vast majority of games, some of them offer full Linux compatibility. Steam’s push to include Linux games in the past few years has resulted in a long list of playable titles, including major games.

        Moreover, Steam keeps adding new titles and optimizing existing ones to provide a better experience for all Linux users. Now, let’s take a look at the most popular titles you can play on Linux.

      • Free and Open Source Game Engines for Developing Linux Games

        This article will cover a list of free and open source game engines that can be used for developing 2D and 3D games on Linux. There are numerous such game engines, some of them have been in development for decades. This article, however, will cover only those that are currently active in development. This article will also exclude game engines that allow you to create a specific type of game only (FPS only game engines for example) and ports of commercial game engines that require you to have original game files. In short, the article will feature those game engines that allow you to create a variety of different games with flexibility.

        Godot

        Godot is a free and open source game engine that allows you to create 2D and 3D games for a number of different platforms including game consoles, personal computers and mobile devices. It comes with a liberal license that allows you to monetize your game in numerous ways without much restrictions. It is one of the fastest growing open source game engines available out there today, with good documentation and ever growing community. Some people also term it as the best open source alternative for the proprietary Unity game engine.

        Godot comes with a visual game editor having a built-in scene, code and script editor. Other main features of Godot include predefined and user defined nodes, live editing, pipelines, custom tools, shader editor, post-processing effects, advanced lighting, tile based map editor, predefined and user made animations, advanced debugging tools, built-in profiler, multiple scripting languages and so on.

        You can download the latest version of Godot game engine for all major Linux distributions from here. Official documentation is available here.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: UI improvements abound

          Plasma 5.22 is just around the corner, and we put the finishing touches on some UI improvements to it, as well as our apps! Check it out…

          Ark now shows a “welcome screen” of sorts if you open it without an archive, and also opens to a saner window size (Jiří Wolker and me: Nate Graham, Ark 21.08)…

        • KDE Developers Polish The Desktop Ahead Of Next Month’s Plasma 5.22

          KDE developers remain very active polishing up the KDE desktop and addressing various bugs ahead of next month’s Plasma 5.22 feature release.

          KDE Plasma 5.22 remains on track for releasing on 8 June but for that to happen they will be shipping the Plasma 5.22 Beta next week that also marks the hard feature freeze and strings freeze.

          Ahead of next week’s beta release, there has been a lot of polishing, UI enhancements, and fixes to Plasma and related components.

        • Investigating Library Dependencies with ELF Dissector

          With the upcoming KF6 transition we have the chance again to further untangle and clean up dependencies between KDE Frameworks. There’s a number of tools that help us with analyzing the current state of dependencies, one that we didn’t have when KF5 was started is ELF Dissector.

          Library-level Dependencies

          When looking at dependencies we usually start at the module or library level, with something as simple and widely available like ldd. For nicer visualization, script like KDE’s draw_lib_dependencies exist to visualize the result. CMake also provides a similar option to produce a built-time dependency graph.

        • Latte Dock HowTo Session #1 | The Basics

          Hello everyone, this is the first episode from Latte HowTo Sessions. For all these episodes, upcoming Latte v0.10 will be used to demonstrate different options and areas of Latte Dock applicaiton.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Julian Sparber: The internals of Fractal-next

          As you probably know already we are in the process of rewriting Fractal. Since my previous blogpost about Fractal-Next a lot has happened. We are now at the point where the bare minimum is working, including login, the sidebar, and the room history. These things are not totally complete yet, but it’s already possible to run Fractal-Next, and read and send messages.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux Distros for Small Businesses

        There’s a wide variety of Linux distros out there —built for all kinds of purposes and user types. The top ones are made to appeal to a wide range of users but can be tailored per individual needs, while there are also many specialized distributions built from the ground up for a particular purpose.

        If people in your organization are used to Windows, there’s a particular Linux distro that can help ease the transition. If you want to run a firewall to protect your network, there’s one made with that in mind, too.

        Regardless of your specific set of requirements, the open-source Linux community is almost guaranteed to have a solution. Therefore, we got in touch with a group of Atlanta software developers and came up with a list of Linux distros best-suited for small businesses.

        This post will outline the best small-business Linux distros out there, covering a few options depending on the specific tasks they have been built to accomplish. Let’s begin!

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Get involved with Mageia, become a Packager

          With Mageia 8 just released and development for Mageia 9 getting underway in Cauldron, the unstable branch of Mageia, now is a great time to get involved with packaging.

          We are starting to look at the features that we want to include for Mageia 9, and as it is so early in the development cycle, now is the time for major developments, or big updates to key pieces of software. This is a great time to join the project as you can propose features you would like to see, help to implement large changes or see how a distribution evolves through development, stabilisation and then is released.

          If there is an application that you are interested in, if you want to help maintain part of the distribution, or if you want to learn something new, there are many opportunities to do so with the packaging team.
          Those who have knowledge of rpm packaging that want to jump straight in might want to skip the next section and head over to the Becoming a Mageia Packager page here on the Mageia wiki.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/18

          Week 18 was a regular one with almost daily snapshots being published. A total of six snapshots went out to the users (0429, 0430, 0502, 0503, 0504, and 0506).

        • SUSE HA Automation Project – Fast Start Documentation for AWS.

          For those, not familiar with the project goal, the aim is to reduce the complexity of deploying an SAP High Availability solution by using Terraform and Salt to perform and automated deployment and configuration of an SAP landscape, from the CSP infrastructure through to the OS configuration, SAP Software install and HA Cluster configuration. The deployments follow SUSE and CSP Best practice and are possible across multiple CSP frameworks.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Inside the mind of Jim Whitehurst: Former Red Hat CEO talks tech, social innovation, IBM

          Former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst—now a number 2 as president at IBM—opened up about the past, present, and future of IBM in a two-part profile of Whitehurst written by Robert Brennan Hart for C-Suite Quarterly (CSQ).

          According to Hart’s reporting, Whitehurst is—possibly—the most influential proponent of open-source computing in history, and an incredibly qualified person to speak to the prescience of this moment in the relationship between humanity and computing. In the second part of the series and in a podcast conversation held between Whitehurst and reporter Michelle Dennedy, Whitehurst indicated that he’s still trying to advance open-source principles, including leading discussions with general counsels to argue that giving away intellectual property can be a good thing and isn’t inherently a bad thing to consider or to do.

          That’s because, according to Whitehurst, technology can be brought to bear to address many of the world’s most pressing challenges, referencing how the use of technology is playing a central role in IBM’s commitment to carbon neutrality by the year 2030 as one example.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-18

          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)! Fedora Linux 32 will reach end of life on Tuesday 25 May.

          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.

      • Debian Family

        • Run ScPup 21.04 in a container in EasyOS

          Now, ScPup has been converted to run in a container. This is another “official Puppy”, built from woof-CE, with Slackware-current binary packages. Note that Slackware-current will eventually become Slackware version 15.0.

          ScPup was created and is maintained by forum member ‘peebee’, who has a very long history of creating interesting pups. The one that I have “containerized” is the ROX-JWM build. He has another, LxPupSc, that has LXDE instead of ROX-JWM.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 7 May 2021

        Welcome, May –we’re opening the month with another great week. Here’s what the Apache community has been up to:

      • 7-Zip 21.02 Alpha Released With Sources, More Linux Improvements

        Earlier this year with v21.02 Alpha, 7-Zip added initial Linux support upstream at long last. Out this week is now version 21.02 alpha that continues to refine the Linux support while also now punctually publishing the source code too.

        7-Zip 21.01 Alpha added official Linux support where as up to now Linux users mainly have been left to the p7zip alternative.

      • Events

        • Embedded Linux conferences announce plans

          The virtual Embedded Online Conference is scheduled for May 17-20 with a keynote on the Mars Perseverance rover. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation has a call for proposals for the Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference to be held in Seattle, Sept 27 to Oct. 1.

          Beningo Embedded Group and EmbeddedRelated.com announced a schedule and open registration for their second annual Embedded Online Conference, scheduled for May 17-20. There are over 60 virtual events compared to 16 last year, including keynotes, workshops, presentations, and Q&A sessions.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Study shows two-thirds of Americans don’t trust their internet service providers

            Mozilla, the tech company behind the Firefox browser and long-time supporter of net neutrality rules, released a survey this week that found that a majority of people don’t think internet service providers are looking out for them.

            The survey was framed by Mozilla as an example of why net neutrality rules should come back.

            Net neutrality rules—which prohibited ISPs from blocking, throttling, or using paid prioritization of internet traffic—were repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2017 when it was controlled by Republicans. Now, the FCC can have a Democratic majority once President Joe Biden fills out the agency.

            The 3-2 Democratic votes would allow the FCC to move forward with net neutrality restoration, among numerous other things. That’s why numerous advocacy groups have been pressuring Biden to nominate a fifth and final commissioner.

      • FSF

        • Concluding my FSF internship, and the BTCPay extension

          My internship with the Free Software Foundation has come to an end, and it’s been an amazing experience.

          I was able to build, test, and publish a CiviCRM extension that will help the FSF receive Bitcoin and Litecoin payments on their platform by integrating with a self-hosted BTCPay Server.

          I am very grateful to the FSF tech team — Ian, Andrew, Ruben, and Michael — for supporting me and encouraging me to go as far as I did with the extension. After building and testing the extension, I honestly never imagined I’d be able to get it listed on the CiviCRM extensions directory, and I would not have bothered submitting the extension for a formal review if I didn’t get that push from the team. I am also grateful to all the FSF staff that I got to interact with during my internship, for making me feel welcome in the FSF community.

          In the blog I wrote at the beginning of my internship, I mentioned that I’d be busy coming up with ways to tangibly support the Free Software movement beyond my internship. So here’s some of the things I came up with.

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP 2.99.6 Released But Still No Idea When GIMP 3.0 Will Be Ready

            GIMP 2.99.6 is out today as the latest development release of this popular open-source image manipulation program.

            GIMP 2.99.6 is another step in the long and winding journey towards the much anticipated and arguably long overdue GIMP 3.0. Besides porting to the GTK3 toolkit, GIMP 2.99.x continues working on new/improved features too. With this week’s GIMP 2.99.6 some of the latest feature work includes:

            - Off-canvas guides are now supported.

            - Template selector within the Canvas Size dialog.

          • Development version: GIMP 2.99.6 Released

            GIMP 2.99 releases are development snapshots. There are known bugs, sometimes crashes and definitely unfinished features; that’s why it’s not yet a final release. Use at your own risk! ☣️

            GIMP 2.99.6 contains quite a few visible and interesting improvements, yet the biggest changes are hidden from the public eye into the quite steadily evolving API (Application Programming Interface for plug-in developers).

            ⚠️ Many of the third-party plug-ins already ported for GIMP 2.99.2 or 2.99.4 will end up broken, and there is a high chance they will break again in further development releases until we stabilize the API. We apologize for this, though this is the price of making plug-ins for a program in-development. We figured it’s better to do this now rather than ending up stuck with a bad interface for the years to come (as stability will be ensured once GIMP 3 will be out).

      • Programming/Development

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.4.19 and 8.0.5

          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.6 are available in remi-php80 repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.19 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-34 and remi-php74 repository Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Beat imposter syndrome by developing ‘true confidence’ as a software engineer

          Let me start this post off by saying that impostor syndrome has already been covered profusely and at length, and there’s probably nothing new I can add to the discussion, so let me stop here, thanks for reading, and sorry for wasting your time.

          [...]

          “But I don’t know anything about Flask or Django or how to author a pip package, and I don’t know the difference between Python 3 and Python 2, and I’ve never used the collections package, and sometimes when I laugh too hard, I pee myself a little bit.”

        • Colin Walters: tar::Builder isn’t Send

          I recently made a new project in Rust that is generating multiple bootable operating system disk image types from a “pristine” image with the goal of deduplicating storage.

          At one point I decided to speed it up using rayon. Each thread here is basically taking a pristine base (read-only), doing some nontrivial computation and writing a new version derived from it. The code is using .par_iter().try_for_each(); here the rayon crate handles spinning up worker threads, etc.

          That all worked fine.

        • Perl/Raku

          • [Old] Why I wrote Net::Google::CivicInformation

            Before I became a computer programmer, I tried my hand at being a human programmer, in the form of a wordsmith, as I called myself then. I had various jobs as a writer, editor, translator and journalist, but I met with little success, for two main reasons. In those days you needed a publisher to find your work interesting enough to publish before anyone could read it, and that was a pretty high bar. And in the second place, it was difficult to get the humans to react to the content I wrote (I’m still exercised that the movie reviewer would get more letters to the editor than I did after a political exposé that took a month to produce).

            I still remember the moment of awe and inspiration in early 1994 or so, when after acquiring a sparkly new i286 PC at Circuit City, I discovered the World Wide Web and its promise of a world free of publishers and constraining editors. I jumped right in and became one of the first “webmasters,” which led to a job where I needed to learn Perl. Over a short time I began to thrill more at the construction of the engine to publish the content than at the creating of it. I still had the barrier-free entry point, and as to my second gripe … well, I found that computers respond much more predictably to my writing than humans ever did.

          • [Older] Interview: Trying to Catch Paul “LeoNerd” Evans

            Paul “LeoNerd” Evans is a CPAN author, blogger, and core Perl contributor. He introduced the experimental isa operator in Perl 5.32 and the try/catch syntax in an upcoming version.

          • Downloading and Installing Perl in 2021

            If you’re reading this article, you’re likely looking for a simple way to download and install the Perl programming language. Or you already have Perl installed as part of your operating system, but it’s older than the currently-supported versions (5.32.1 or 5.30.3) and you’d like to use the latest and greatest features. The download options may seem daunting, especially if you’re new to computers or programming. We’ll take things step by step, and soon you’ll be on your way to writing your first Perl program.

            A word of warning, though: Several of these steps (and usually Perl itself) require using your computer’s command-line or terminal interface.

        • Python

          • How to change python default version in ubuntu?

            In ubuntu By default python version was 2.7. We need to use python3 to run the python files with the latest version.

          • Logistic Regression in Python – Linux Hint

            Logistic regression is a machine learning classification algorithm. Logistic regression is also similar to linear regression. But the main difference between logistic regression and linear regression is that the logistic regression output values are always binary (0, 1) and not numeric. The logistic regression basically creates a relationship between independent variables (one or more than one) and dependent variables.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • A Prophet at the Barbecue: Larry McMurtry, 1936–2021

      When I was in my early 20s, I got an e-mail from Barbara Epstein, the cofounder of The New York Review of Books, asking me to write about a series of novels by Larry McMurtry. I don’t remember how Barbara knew of my existence. And I don’t know what qualifications I had for this work—besides being, like nearly 30 million other people, from Texas. But it was my dream to write for the Review, and I was determined to do my very best.1

    • Opinion | How Barbie Changed a Black Girl’s Life

      Holly’s mother made sure that Barbie, a doll her daughter adored, would not convey the persistent sexist and racist messages of the time. She turned Barbie into the key to empowering her impressionable daughter.

    • About That “Rules-Based International Order”

      What is this supposed “order?” What obligations does it impose, and upon whom? Which governments meet those obligations. Which don’t?

      Google returns about 197,000 results on the phrase “rules-based international order.” The top result leads to a paper from the United Nations Association of Australia, which defines it as ” a shared commitment by all countries to conduct their activities in accordance with agreed rules that evolve over time, such as international law, regional security arrangements, trade agreements, immigration protocols, and cultural arrangements.”

    • Infrastructure Wars

      First let’s go behind the definitions to reality, and return later to humbly offer words that may hopefully be adequate to our real challenges. We face transformational post-pandemic & economic depression imperatives for:

      The corporate media’s tempest-in-teacup “infrastructure” debate coincides with new explosions of novel coronavirus infections & death, concentrated in huge, populous developing countries like India, Brazil & Turkey, governed by Rump soul brothers Modi, Bolsonaro & Erdogan. The dialectical contradictions & dynamics of capitalism have only occasionally been more horrifyingly complex or deadly. It takes an Arundhati Roy to speak truthfully and powerfully about the hatred and greed of the public heart that has enabled such monsters.

    • Art and Outrage are Inseparable! Making Culture in the Ruins

      Imagine! An entire thoughtworld predicated on denial of the extent of evil, of dark reality, of fearful and pending calamity, rot and decay, sadness and defeat, failure and death. Since the liberal class generally has been educated to value culture and thinks of itself as cultured, perhaps the most potent of bourgeois devices is that which functions to keep art, art-making and the Humanities tradition “safe,” i.e., never reminding us we live within an illusion! At best, the Humanities are regarded as benign, at worst superfluous and unnecessary, compared to a more utilitarian, job-aimed, education. (No wonder the poet Robert Bly, in his workshops building the 1980’s men’s movement, used fairy tales to assist bottom-up revolution. In them, dark reality is integral, not Disneyized out!)

      Central to this massive deception is the illusion that we have a culture when we do not participate in its making, i.e., as if the existence of the Met or MOMA (or, Utica version, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and the Stanley Performing Arts Center) are evidence we have a culture, or else as if the mass-produced, consumer one will do. Many of our artists deceive themselves too, but differently.

    • The Fascinating Memoir of a “Citizen Pilgrim”: Q&A with Richard Falk

      Daniel Falcone: Public Intellectual: The Life of a Citizen Pilgrim is considered both an autobiography and a book about international relations. I like how you provide the reader, with a narrative-analysis. In other words, it seems that you are interested in explaining a great deal of your (and others) analytical frameworks by unpacking your own life in the pursuits of these intellectual developments. Can you comment on this?

      Richard Falk: From the beginning I was seeking to understand the interfaces connecting the personal, professional, and political that seemed to have dominated the adult portions of my life journey. In doing this, I realized that it was an exercise in self-scrutiny that is comparable with self-administered post-Freudian therapy. I was, in part, motivated by the goal of understanding why I had chosen several less traveled paths in shaping life experience, as well as narrating my journey guided in its last stages by a progressive imaginary. I decided, also, to risk recalling my past totally on the basis of memory, without recourse to such materials as journals and books in my possession. Of course, this was hazardous at any age, but particularly on a project that did not get fully underway until my late 80s. I doubt that it would have been more selective in distorting ways than if I had checked my recollections against the records I kept over the years.

    • My (Your) University is Still Racist and Equity Training Won’t Change That

      When I began teaching almost 40 years ago, Ronald Reagan was president. Denouncing affirmative action and “welfare queens,” and endorsing “states’ rights” and Apartheid South Africa, Reagan described the America of Jim Crow as a golden age, the “shining city on a hill.” Racism increasingly appeared to be woven into the fabric of national and international politics with no way to unravel it.

      At that time, progressive scholars at universities across the country began to discuss “structural” – also called “institutional” or “systemic” — racism. In fact, the argument went, all racism was structural. Whereas bias, prejudice, chauvinism and ethnocentrism were individual failings, racism was a legal and extra-legal system that favored white subjects while condemning non-whites (Blacks, Latinx and Native Americans), to social and economic ostracism and early death. The function of racism was to divide the low-wage workforce against itself, encouraging poor whites to disparage Black and Latinx workers, and make alliances with wealthy, white capitalists and conservative politicians. Structural racism is why Reagan got elected and why Democrats put up so little effective resistance.

    • An Urgent Call for Action by Nobel Laureates

      The opening paragraph of the Noble Laureate declaration implicitly calls for immediate unified worldwide action: “The first Nobel Prize Summit comes amid a global pandemic, amid a crisis of inequality, amid an ecological crisis, amid a climate crisis, and amid an information crisis. These supranational crises are interlinked and threaten the enormous gains we have made in human progress.”

      The context and content of that prestigious summit is well worth analysis and contemplation. The Nobel Laureates identified looming risks to “the enormous gains we have made in human progress.” In other words, the Nobel Laureates foresee a distinct possibility that human progress may be on a path of diminishment if the world does not join together to take care of and fix the biosphere, our planet Earth. In that regard, President Biden’s infrastructure plan is merely a big blip.

    • Lady Day and the Feds

      Lee Daniels, whose body of work includes Precious (2009), directs The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.  If you watched the former film, you know that he pulls no punches. In the current film under review, Daniels grabs viewers with his unflinching depictions of the anti-blackness that Holiday experienced, and in part, facilitated her drug addiction. Some scribes have criticized Daniels on the latter score. I do not, and this is why.

      Daniels socially contextualizes Holiday’s addiction to heroin. He does this via flashbacks and characters’ dialogue. I think that approach works. Some critics disagree.

    • The Robot Was Born a Hundred Years Ago

      This scene took place exactly one hundred years ago. The play was called RUR or Rossum’s Universal Robots. The name Rossum means ‘intelligence’ in Slavic languages, so that the title already made clear that the play was about artificial intelligence, which was supposed to be at the service of mankind. That said, Čapek always recalled the horror he had felt when, a few years earlier, military technology had turned against mankind in the First World War. The writer was always fearful of the developments in artificial technology that he had observed over time, and in his play he described a rebellion of robots who end up dominating and defying mankind. The play was premiered in 1921, and had plenty of success in both European and American theatres, and was translated into thirty languages.

      But above all, it gave the world the word ‘robot’. A word which would form the basis of a whole range of novels and films which, also after the Second World War Two, continued to uneasily follow the latest developments in robotics. Perhaps the best known is 2001, A Space Odyssey from 1968, which Stanley Kubrick adapted from some short stories by Arthur Clarke, which then became a novel of the same name. Here too, Hal the computer takes on human attributes and, when it feels threatened, rebels and becomes a murderer.

    • Feats of Klee

      In their new biographical survey, Paul Klee: Life and Work (Hatje Cantz, € 48.00), Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner liken Klee’s productivity to Picasso’s late flourish. “Klee’s creative intensity was wrung from his illness, and represented the tangible result of his persistent will to live,” they write. “Like Picasso, whose artistic activity increased in a final surge, Klee too worked ceaselessly against the clock, and his drive to visually express himself grew steadily until shortly before his death.” He wouldn’t let the blank canvas have its way with him.

      From 1937 to 1940, when he died, Klee created hundreds of works — mixed media paintings, watercolors, drawings — gradually increasing, after a year away from work to deal with newly diagnosed illness, from 489 works in 1937 to 1253 works in 1939. While most of these works were drawings, the “impressive” lot included, “Revolution of the Viaduct,” thought to be a middle finger salute to Hitler and his miens; “Harmonized Region,” a black and white interweaving of shades reminiscent of his early fugal period; “Conch-Still Life II,” a delightful rendering of his surrealist pseudo-symbolism; and, his final expressionist painting,”Death and Fire.”

    • My weird jobs before tech

      Delivering sodas was my last summer job during university. I graduated the next year with a degree in mathematics and a lot of computer courses, especially numerical analysis, under my belt. My first job in tech was working for a small computer services consultant. I used SPSS to do a bunch of analysis on some sport fishing surveys, wrote a few hundred lines of PL/1 to print concert tickets on the IBM 3800 laser printer in the service bureau where we rented time, and started working on some programs to analyze forest statistics. I eventually went to work for the client needing forestry statistics, becoming a partner in the mid-1980s. By then we were doing a lot more than measuring trees and no longer using a timesharing bureau to do our computations. We bought a Unix minicomputer, which we upgraded in the late 1980s to a network of Sun workstations.

      I spent some time working on a big development project headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Then we bought our first geographic information system, and I spent most of my time in the late 1980s and 1990s working with our customers who needed to customize that software to meet their business needs. By the early 2000s, my three older partners were getting ready to retire, and I was trying to understand how I fit into the long-term picture of our no-longer-small company of 200 or so employees. Our new employee-owners couldn’t really figure that one out either, and in 2002, I found myself in Chile, looking to see if the Chile-Canada Free Trade Agreement provided a reasonable opportunity to move some of our business to Latin America.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Tens of Millions of Displaced People Excluded From Vaccine Programs

        “No one is safe until everyone is safe, and that is absolutely the same for vaccination programs.” 

      • The Centner Academy: A private school run by wealthy COVID-19 conspiracy theorists

        Last week, there was a story that, one would think, would be custom made for a heaping helping of not-so-Respectful Insolence. Unfortunately, life being life and with all the other affronts to science going on at the time, somehow I never got around to looking into the story, other than a brief mention in another post in my not-so-secret other blog. I must admit that it bothered me. Then a reader emailed me with information that adds background to the story and shows the harm prominent quacks, antimaskers, and antivaxxers can do behind the scenes, thus giving me an excuse to discuss the story, even if I’m over a week late doing it. I’m referring to the Centner Academy in Miami, which was in the news a lot a week and a half ago:

      • As India Gasps to Breathe, Modi Government Abdicates Responsibility

        India’s daily numbers of COVID-19 cases have outstripped infection rates in other countries like the United States and Brazil. The end of the surge is nowhere in sight as more states and cities slip into the grip of the pandemic. The new confirmed cases are rising quite steeply in states like Karnataka, Bihar and West Bengal even as numbers in cities like Mumbai and Delhi are beginning to flatten. What is more worrying is that the positivity rates are rising quite steeply, indicating that the actual number of infected people is even higher.

        After the first wave subsided in December 2020, the BJP-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory against the pandemic. Perhaps it truly believed in its own propaganda. At any rate, it was busy, chest-thumping on its great success. At the World Economic Forum in January, Modi said, “In a country which is home to 18 percent of the world population, that country has saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively.” The BJP’s National Office Bearers meeting in February applauded the Modi government’s performance in keeping the first wave of the virus under check. “The party unequivocally hails its leadership for introducing India to the world as a proud and victorious nation in the fight against COVID,” said a press release issued by the BJP. This pyrrhic victory and these vainglorious claims are doubly painful as India grapples with a second wave that makes the first wave seem like a trailer.

      • COVID-19: Bosses Lie. Workers Suffer and Die.

        Key to Judge Gibson’s April 21 decision is disallowing access to farms by community workers. This decision was hailed by Vegetable Growers News, which claimed that “elected officials” and “labor organizers” were “risking farm worker safety.”

        Thanks to David Bacon for reporting on this story in his aptly-named Capital & Main article, Guest Worker COVID Protections Abandoned – A Taste of Things to Come:

      • Does Big PhRma Know No Shame? Profiteering While People Die by the Hundreds of Thousands

        As Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik has recently observed about India’s large population “trapped and condemned” to live with COVID, “The world needs a global logistical exercise, a sort of Marshall plan that would provide financial support, expert manpower, and medical technology …By the time the real numbers of deaths and infections become clear, it will be far too late for many people.” 1

        The United States has had a reputation since World War II of stepping forward to help under these kinds of circumstances, but where are we now? We’re embroiled in yet another battle by Big PhRMA over patent rights to its vaccines. This is a far cry from the early 1950s, when the first effective vaccine for polio was developed here in the U. S. by Dr. Jonas Salk, with some support from the March of Dimes. When released to the public in 1955, he refused to patent his invention. Questioned by Edward R. Murrow about who would own the patent, he replied: “The American people, I guess. Could you patent the sun?” 2

      • Opinion | Fascism’s Global Spread Is as Real as the Pandemic’s

        In the world’s largest democracies, far-right movements that embrace violence, reject democracy, and target the vulnerable are on the rise.

      • Opinion | Biden’s Plan to Waive Vaccine Patents Is Good News, but Not Enough to Beat the Pandemic Within a Privatized Pharmaceutical System

        The best thing that may come out of the patent waiver debate could be a fresh look at how pharmaceutical research and development is funded, and how its benefits should be distributed.

      • Opinion | Crucial Next Steps for a Successful People’s Vaccine

        The world desperately needs the TRIPS waiver and stronger measures to ensure the transfer of knowledge and technology to produce Covid-19 vaccines.

      • Big Pharma Stocks Rebound After Germany’s Merkel Speaks Out Against Vaccine Patent Waiver

        “By blocking wider vaccine production globally, the E.U., U.K., and a few other laggards are boosting pharma companies’ profits while people are suffering and dying.”

      • Opinion | Big Pharma Greed Will Prolong Pandemic—If We Don’t Fight Back

        The Covid-19 vaccines have been developed by scientists from all over the world, thanks to basic science supported by numerous governments. We must not let drug companies put profits ahead of lives.

      • Biden’s Big Steps on TRIPS: Getting the World Vaccinated

        The United States had previously been leading wealthy countries in opposition to the resolution. With Biden now reversing the position of the Trump administration, the resolution is likely to be approved.

        However, the approval is not necessarily a foregone conclusion. In reversing the U.S. position, Biden went against a major lobbying campaign by the pharmaceutical industry.  Many European countries also have large pharmaceutical companies. They are being every bit as vigorous in lobbying their own countries’ governments to get them to maintain their opposition to the resolution.

      • Ahmad Abuznaid on Israel/Palestine Apartheid, James Love on Bill Gates & Vaccine Politics
      • Roaming Charges: We Who Are About to Get Shot, Salute You

        I didn’t sleep much the night before. Did I mention I have a palpable fear of needles? I spent an hour online filling out the pre-check-in, which allegedly was meant to speed my way through the maze at the convention center, where they were mass-jabbing people at the rate of 1,100 an hour. The rest of the night I spent worrying about the much-dreaded side effects of the Second Shot. (The most prevalent side-effect of the vaccines is almost certainly the creeping anxiety about the side-effects.)

        On Monday morning, I suffered a minor panic attack searching for my vaccine card, which I’d stashed away two weeks earlier so as not to lose it prior to today’s main event, without having the foresight to put a post-it note on the fridge reminding me precisely where that secure hiding place was. After some frantic scrambling, it came to me: Ah, yes, inside the copy of Dubliners in the back of the sock drawer! I was halfway to Portland before I remembered that I had forgotten the most vital document of all.

      • Hope for Critically Ill Covid-19 Patients Within Reach

        To confirm the finding, CytoDyn will need to perform another trial that will take months to complete. In the meantime, the company asked FDA to approve access to leronlimab for critically ill patients now, under an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA.

        Unfortunately, the FDA rejected that request. The consequences of that decision, both here and abroad, where regulatory agencies generally follow the FDA’s lead, will likely be devastating as new strains of mutant virus sweep the globe.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Stadia Exodus Continues As Product Head For Stadia Exits

          The troubling signs for Google’s video game streaming platform Stadia continue. While I have to admit that I had really high hopes for Stadia, nothing about this has been smooth from launch to its current state of, well, who the hell knows what is going to happen to it. From a poor initial reception to questions about failed promises on performance, the conversation about Stadia quickly focused on the platform not offering much in the way of an actual game catalogue to play. Less than a year later, Google made this problem even worse by disbanding its own in-house game developers, leading to more fallout when Stadia could suddenly not support its own internally developed game.

        • A Very British Case: Postmasters and Miscarriages of Justice

          There were figures such as Seema Misra, convicted for stealing £74,000 in cash from the Post Office branch under her stewardship in West Byfleet in 2010.  At the time, the press delighted in calling her the “pregnant thief”.  Her husband was assaulted by locals.  Della Robinson, who ran the Dukinfield, Greater Manchester Post Office, could not account for £17,000 by 2012.  She was suspended, reported to the police and faced a community service sentence.

          The reason for their convictions lay in the accounting nightmare produced by the Horizon system.  It had ominous beginnings, growing up from a contract between the computer company ICL, the Post Office and the Benefits Agency, all part of what were termed private finance initiatives (PFI).  Developed by Japanese company Fujitsu, Horizon featured a swipe card system for paying pensions and benefits via the counters of Post Office branches.  The venture proved calamitous, ailed by chronic mismanagement, weaknesses in the technology and general human incompetence.  The cost of that endeavour to the British taxpayer: £700 million.

        • UK Court Overturns 39 Convictions Of Post Office Workers Caused By Buggy Software

          Never underestimate the power of technology to destroy lives. Flawed software used for the last 20 years by the UK postal service resulted in dozens of wrongful criminal convictions which are only just now being overturned.

        • BT Smart Hub 2 router ‘disrupting’ home networks

          Users are complaining that any devices not linked to the same frequency, such as a phone and a speaker, are refusing to communicate with each other.

          BT is offering firmware updates to those affected.

        • U.S., U.K. Reveal Code Flaws Abused by SolarWinds [Crackers]

          The report contains technical resources about the group’s tactics, including breaching email in order to find passwords and other information to further infiltrate organizations, in addition to providing software flaws commonly exploited by the [crackers]. It also offers details about how network administrators can counter the attackers’ tactics.

        • In Epic v Apple, everybody is losing at the game of defining games

          What is the difference between an “app” and a “game?” This sounds like a stoner question but instead occupied a fair amount of the morning in Epic v. Apple. Roblox, explained Apple’s marketing manager Trystan Kosmynka, was an app. See, games have a beginning, an end, and challenges. “There’s experiences within Roblox that we did not look at as a game,” Kosmynka said. We did establish that Minecraft is a game, though, so that’s nice for Microsoft.

          Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers did not understand this distinction and neither did I. But here’s the problem for Apple: if Roblox is a game, then it’s fairly easy for Epic to compare Fortnite to it. Also, looking up Roblox in the App Store after Kosmynka testified, it is categorized as a “game.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • An IEEE statement on the UMN paper

                The IEEE, whose Symposium on Security and Privacy conference had accepted the “hypocrite commits” paper for publication, has posted a statement [PDF] on the episode.

                [...]

                The statement concludes with some actions to be taken by IEEE to ensure that ethically questionable papers are not accepted again.

              • Linux Foundation Issues Frosty Final Judgment in UMN Scandal

                The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board has released its findings regarding the University of Minnesota’s (UMN) contributions to the Linux kernel—including those related to the research projects that got the university banned from working on that kernel. The group also explained how the school might be able to earn some forgiveness, but it won’t be easy.

                A quick refresher: In mid-April, the Linux developer who oversees the kernel’s stable channel, Greg Kroah-Hartman, banned the entire UMN system from contributing to the Linux kernel in response to a couple of the university’s research projects that centered on purposefully introducing faulty code to the kernel. The situation quickly became a point of contention to many in the Linux developer community.

                UMN’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering apologized for the research, as did the assistant professor and the graduate students who conducted it, in the days following Kroah-Hartman’s announcement. But the Technical Advisory Board still had to double-check every UMN-related contribution to the Linux kernel.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Github Restores Reverse-Engineered GTA Code Following DMCA Counter Notice [Ed: Microsoft was never supposed to take it down in the first place, but therein lies the risk of outsourcing to Microsoft's proprietary software with trigger-happy censors]

              GitHub has restored a fork of the fan-made “Re3” project that published reverse-engineered code of the popular GTA 3 and Vice City games. The action follows a counter-notice sent by a third-party developer in response to Take-Two Interactive’s takedown. Github followed the DMCA procedure and isn’t publicly taking sides.

        • Security

          • This Week In Security: BYOVD, Spectre Vx, More Octal Headaches, And ExifTool | Hackaday

            I learned a new acronym while reading about a set of flaws in the Dell BIOS update system. Because Dell has patched their driver, but hasn’t yet revoked the signing keys from the previous driver version, it is open to a BYOVD attack.

            BYOVD, Bring Your Own Vulnerable Driver, is an interesting approach to Windows privilege escalation. 64-bit versions of Windows have a security feature that blocks unsigned kernel drivers from the kernel. The exploit is to load an older, known-vulnerable driver that still has valid signatures into the kernel, and use the old vulnerabilities to exploit the system. The caveat is that even when a driver is signed, it still takes an admin account to load a driver. So what use is the BYOVD attack, when it takes administrative access to pull off?

            [...]

            The Exim mail server was started in 1995 as a Mail Transfer Agent for Unix machines. Qualys audited Exim, and the results weren’t pretty. Qualys calls the result 21Nails, as there are 21 serious vulnerabilities found in the effort, many of which existing as far back as the git history of the project. While the report doesn’t include PoC code, they will likely be quickly developed independently, so if you run Exim, go update your servers now.

          • Investment Scammer John Davies Reinvents Himself?
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • McKinsey & Company agrees that the time is up for the current model of online advertising: here’s what it thinks comes next

              Although there’s no major insight there, the fact that McKinsey is saying it will probably convince many companies finally to accept the fact that the current use of micro-targeted ads purchased through real-time bidding is definitively on the way out. That’s great news for privacy, since this form of surveillance advertising is antithetical to the protection of personal data. However, the demise of advertising based on massive databases of personal data poses something of a challenge to advertisers, publishers, and the platforms that support them. What makes the new McKinsey article of interest is that it goes further than simply identifying the by-now obvious problem, and offers practical solutions for moving forward based in part on research it has carried out in the real world. For example, it notes that advertisers that already enjoy a strong consumer engagement will find it easier to gather data from customers on a voluntary basis, because the companies are trusted, and there is value in providing this information:

            • WhatsApp scraps May 15 deadline for accepting privacy policy terms

              However, the company did not clarify the reason behind the decision and did not divulge the number of users who have accepted the terms so far.

            • Texas Attorney General unblocks nine Twitter accounts amid lawsuit, attorneys say

              Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) unblocked nine Twitter accounts that had been critical of him amid a lawsuit, attorneys representing the users said Thursday.

              The users behind the nine previously blocked accounts, including students, a journalist, a leader of a progressive political group and a veteran, were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in the lawsuit arguing Paxton violated First and 14th Amendment rights by allegedly blocking critics on Twitter.

              Kate Huddlesteon, an attorney for the ACLU of Texas, said the unblocking “is a step in the right direction.”

            • From Twitter to Palantir, Losses in Technology Stocks Stack Up

              The losses weren’t limited to the shares of companies with disappointing earnings like financial software maker Appian Corp., which ended the week 27% lower after its revenue forecast trailed expectations. Zoom Video Communications Inc. rival RingCentral Inc. sank 19% even after an earnings report that Wall Street analysts broadly praised. Palantir Technologies Inc., the data mining company due to report results next week, tumbled 14%.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Can Guantánamo Ever Be Shut Down?

        The Guantánamo conundrum never seems to end.

      • Castigating Its Competitors: Western Hypocrisy and China

        This info war is creating a divide – those pro-Western ‘values’ arguing China has to be brought to heel, and those that criticise Western hypocrisy for banging on about human rights abuses. If you fall in the latter camp, you are seen as an appeaser, a defender of China – and Russia – devoid of criticial reflection and guilty of ‘whataboutism’.

        The situation is making discussion, and argument, difficult, to say the least.

      • Medical Apartheid: From Israel/Palestine to Canada

        Canada has a long history of humanitarian hypocrisy with regard to racial and ethnic discrimination. During World War II, “none is too many” referred to European Jewish refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany who were refused admission and sent back to Germany. Yet on April 15, 2021, Israel Independence Day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated “For over 70 years, Canada and Israel have been close friends, steadfast allies, and partners in many international organizations. Our personal ties and common values unite us, including our commitment to freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.“ Leaders of all Canada’s political parties unequivocally support Israel: Canada was the only country on the UN Human Rights Council to vote against a ceasefire in Israel’s illegal, disproportionate attack on Gaza in 2008/09; former Liberal Party leader and renowned ethicist Michael Ignatieff stated that he did not lose sleep over Israel’s massacre of a Canadian family fleeing Israeli bombardment and went on to defend the use of torture in international law if it prevented a greater evil; Canada has extensive weapons/surveillance and security agreements with Israel.

        *On Feb 16 2021, Democracy Now reported that Israel has halted the shipment of 2,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Gaza Strip, where they were due for medical workers. The besieged territory is home to more than two million people but has yet to receive any vaccine. This comes as Israeli health officials reported a nearly 95% drop in symptomatic coronavirus infections among 600,000 Israelis who received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. About 30% of Israeli citizens have received at least one vaccine dose — the highest rate of any major nation — but that figure excludes Palestinians in the Occupied Territories who remain largely unvaccinated.

      • ‘This Was a Massacre’: Brazilian Police Kill Two Dozen in Deadliest Favela Raid in Rio’s History

        “It’s extermination—there’s no other way to describe it,” said one Brazilian researcher.

      • Federal Grand Jury Indicts Chauvin, 3 Officers Present at George Floyd’s Murder
      • Opinion | The Deep Work to Humanize the People Killed by Police

        The standard, often unreliable reporting on police killings dehumanizes victims—a fact my own family knows too well.

      • Humanizing the People Police Kill

        When my local paper “reported” on Jose’s death, it was more a regurgitation of a police report than journalism. There were no interviews with Jose’s family, who were on the scene when police used tear gas and “less lethal munitions” to kill him.

        Jose could have been taken into custody. Instead, police transported his lifeless body to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

      • The “Kill a Leftist” Law

        According to the Des Moines Register, a new law in Iowa would “grant civil immunity to drivers of vehicles who injure someone who is blocking traffic while engaging in disorderly conduct or participating in a protest, demonstration, riot or unlawful assembly without a permit.” The Washington Post reports that Florida governor Ron “Who Needs Masks?” DeSantis signed a similar law. “That legislation is already a target of a federal civil rights lawsuit,” the Post reports. Oklahoma also passed such a measure.

        So these states want to enshrine in our jurisprudence the right to run over protestors. Will that encourage more such homicidal behavior? The Post doesn’t think such incitement is needed, noting USA Today’s report of “at least 104 incidents of people driving vehicles into protests from May 27 through September 5.” Black Lives Matter was the target of choice. And police do it too – eight times last year. Really, we should just rewrite the first amendment to mandate that freedom of assembly only applies to certain people. If you’re not in that select group of patriotic Amuricans, you’re fair game for someone who uses their vehicle as a murder weapon.

      • White Helmets corruption scandal deepens: Dutch gov’t investigated parent org for fraud, but covered it up
      • United States Withdraws From Afghanistan? Not Really

        On October 11, 2001, journalist Anatol Lieven interviewed the Afghan leader Abdul Haq in Peshawar, Pakistan. Haq, who led part of the resistance against the Taliban, was getting ready to return to Afghanistan under the cover of the U.S. aerial bombardments. He was, however, not pleased with the way the United States had decided to prosecute the war. “Military action by itself in the present circumstances is only making things more difficult—especially if this war goes on a long time and many civilians are killed,” Abdul Haq told Lieven. The war would go on for 20 years, and at least 71,344 civilians would lose their lives during this period.

        Abdul Haq told Lieven that “the best thing would be for the U.S. to work for a united political solution involving all the Afghan groups. Otherwise, there will be an encouragement of deep divisions between different groups, backed by different countries and badly affecting the whole region.” These are prescient words, but Haq knew no one was listening to him. “Probably,” he told Lieven, “the U.S. has already made up its mind what to do, and any recommendations by me will be too late.”

      • Ocasio-Cortez Expresses Solidarity With Colombia’s Working Class Facing Off Against Right-Wing Government

        “These citizens were protesting against anti-working class reforms and, for that, they lost their lives,” said the congresswoman.

      • Colombia on the Brink

        In the last week, Colombia has experienced the most widespread civil unrest of its modern history. Since Wednesday, April 28th, millions of people have taken to the streets to fight back against a regressive national tax reform bill. The bill, farcically called the “law of sustainable solidarity,” aimed to cover budgetary shortfalls resulting from the paralysis of the economy brought on by COVID. In fact, the legislation was a cynical attempt by right-wing President Ivan Duque to shift the burden of the economic crisis onto those who can least afford it.

        The Reforma Tributaria, as the bill was called, aimed to raise US $ 6.3 billion (about 23 billion Colombian pesos), through regressive sales taxes of 19% on essential products such as cereal, milk, sugar, and coffee. It also threatened to impose 19% taxes on utilities (water, electricity, and gas).[1] Meanwhile, the financial sector and oil and mining corporations enjoy substantial tax benefits that were granted as part of Duque’s last tax reform in 2019.[2]

      • Napoleon Between War and Revolution

        The first stage was “1789”, the moderate revolution. It put an end to the “Ancien Régime” with its royal absolutism and feudalism, the power monopoly of the monarch and privileges of the nobility and the Church. The important achievements of “1789” also included the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the equality of all Frenchmen before the law, the separation of Church and state, a parliamentary system based on a limited franchise, and, last but not least, the creation of an “indivisible”, centralized, and modern French state. These achievements, amounting to a major step forward in the history of France, were enshrined in a new constitution that was officially promulgated in 1791.

        France’s pre-1789 Ancien Régime had been intimately associated with the absolute monarchy. Under the revolutionary system of “1789”, on the other hand, the king was supposed to find a comfortable role within a constitutional and parliamentary monarchy. But that did not work out because of intrigues by Louis XVI, and thus arose a radically new type of French state in 1792, a republic. “1789” was made possible by the violent interventions of the Parisian “mob”, the so-called “sans-culottes”, but its outcome was essentially the handiwork of a moderate class of people, virtually exclusively members of the haute bourgeoisie, the upper-middle class. On the ruins of the Ancien Régime, which had served the interests of the nobility and the Church, these gentlemen erected a state that was supposed to be in the service of the well-to-do burghers. Politically, these solid gentlemen initially found a home in the “club” or embryonic political party of the Feuillants, subsequently in that of the Girondins. The latter name reflected the place of origin of its leading element, a contingent of members of the bourgeoisie of Bordeaux, the great harbour on the banks of the Gironde estuary, whose wealth was based not only on trade in wine but also, and primarily, in slaves. In Paris, the den of the revolutionary lions, the sans-culottes, and more respectable but still radical revolutionaries known as the Jacobins, these provincial gentlemen never felt at home.

      • Trump Loyalist Who Attacked the Capitol Blames Fox News
      • Police in Brazil Kill Two Dozen in Deadliest Favela Raid in Rio’s History
      • Mahmoud Abbas: a Puppet on a String

        This opportunity has now been snatched from them by their president, the Palestinian traitor Mahmoud Abbas. His excuse is that Palestinians in East Jerusalem must be able to participate, and Israel has made no assurances that it will allow them to do so. While the need for Palestinians throughout Palestine to participate in the vote is legitimate, the number of voters in Jerusalem who would need Israeli permission is not significant.

        So what is truly behind Abbas’s move? His party, Fatah, is extremely unpopular among Palestinians who see it, rightly, as simply a tool of Israel. Under Abbas and his party, ‘security cooperation’ between Israel and Palestine only means that Fatah helps Israel oppress Palestinians, with Palestinian ‘forces’ disappearing in advance when night raids by Israel are scheduled in a Palestinian neighborhood, and generally easing the way for the continued and ever-growing occupation. Resistance to an occupation is successful when the occupied people make it as difficult as possible for the oppressing nation to maintain the occupation; Abbas and Fatah make it easy for Israel.

      • In Wake of HRW Apartheid Report, Israeli Propagandists Launch Global PR Offensive

        A recently released bombshell Human Rights Watch (HRW) report has made waves around the world. For the first time, the New York-based non-governmental organization has categorized Israel as an apartheid state guilty of “crimes against humanity.”

      • Channel Islands Fisheries and Abuse by Tory Jingoism

        Exactly thirty years ago I was Head of Maritime Section at the FCO and negotiating the voisinage agreement on mutual fishing rights in territorial waters between France and the Channel Islands. Memory dims with age, but it is hard to forget the evening in Cherbourg where a meeting with French fishermen became so heated we found ourselves diving into an alley to escape a pursuing group who wished to remonstrate further. In fact, the same fishermen in the same town three years later took hostage, for a day or so, British fisheries enforcement officers, which helped obtain some changes to the agreement in France’s favour in 1994. In 1991, the ire was directed not so much at me, as at the head of the French government delegation, an Enarque from the Quai D’Orsay of superb aristocratic demeanour and French Vietnamese ancestry, who was perhaps not the best choice to explain things to the fleet.

      • France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen acquitted of hate speech charges

        French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was acquitted on Tuesday of breaking hate speech laws in late 2015 when she posted images of Islamic State atrocities on Twitter.

      • Taliban regain of power threatens Afghan women’s rights: US Intelligence

        The U.S National Intelligence report raises concerns that the Taliban would likely resume harsh treatment of women just like they have prevailed government authority during the ’90s and 2000.

      • Islamic State Cites ‘Grievances,’ Claims Victim Status against Slaughtered Christians

        Nor is this blame-the-victim strategy limited to Egypt. Speaking two days after a series of bombings rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 2017, killing 359 people, a junior defense minister said that the attack “was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” where a New Zealand man killed around 50 Muslims in two mosques.

        Two points give the lie to all such claims of Islamic “retaliation” due to “grievances”: [...]

    • Environment

      • Mother Earth
      • Climate and Indigenous Protesters Across 4 Continents Pressure Banks to #DefundLine3

        “Those who financially back Enbridge are directly implicated in its crimes,” says a Red Lake Anishinaabe citizen and organizer. “To put it bluntly, blood is on their hands.”

      • 2°C more heat may mean catastrophic sea level rise

        The Paris Agreement to limit global heat could prevent catastrophic sea level rise, if states keep their promises to cut carbon.

      • Climate Justice Is About More Than Just Fossil Fuels

        In the fight for a better world, universities are becoming critical sites of conflict. In the past year, graduate student unions from New York University to the University of California–Santa Cruz have gone on strike to demand basic cost-of-living adjustments in cities where skyrocketing rent is pushing working-class people to the fringes. Shortly after the murder of George Floyd last May, after intense pressure from the student body, the University of Minnesota cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. And at an ever-increasing clip, student organizers are successfully pushing their university administrations to divest from fossil fuels.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • As Hiring Undershoots Expectations, Biden Urged to Go Big With $10 Trillion Jobs Plan

        “Millions of people are out of work, and the unemployment rate is rising. The real risk isn’t doing too much—it’s doing too little.”

      • Capitalism, Borders and the Damage They Do

        Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders, is a new book from Miller. In it he utilizes his understanding of the US border regimes to inform a collection of encounters with those affected by that infrastructure. This includes border patrol agents, border abolitionists, academics and most importantly, migrants themselves. The reader meets Miller as he drives in the Sonora Desert about twenty miles from the US-Mexico border. He sees a man on the side of the road hoping for a ride. Although Miller gives the man a ride, taking him to a shelter run by a group established to assist immigrants without question, he acknowledges his hesitancy in doing so. The reason for Miller’s hesitation is the fear he could get stopped by law enforcement and charged with a felony for helping an undocumented migrant. The reader is barely five pages in when the question which propels this text becomes obvious: “what happens to our collective humanity when the impulse to help another is criminalized?”

        The answers to this are hinted at throughout this slender book. Many of them are manifestations of something I would call evil; the evil of intention and the banality of bureaucratic evil. Sometimes the two find a home in one individual—a sadistic guard in a private immigration detention camp. Most of the time, however, it is an evil defined by its lack of passion or personal delight. It is the uniformed official doing their job or the bureaucrat issuing citations on their keyboard. Or it is the egocentric and sycophantic politician voting yes on laws that criminalize kindness and demonize children. It is this evil which informs the actions of a society with little self-reflection and an outsized sense of entitlement. It is a society so removed from its kinder impulses that locking up battered and abused people because their papers are not in order is justified by almost all those in control.

      • Postal Service Reform: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

        There is also a new plan from the USPS and its Board of Governors that has won grudging approval from one of the two principal postal workers unions – the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). However, the plan has received a more equivocal reaction from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and some activists. The NALC represents letter carriers, as the name suggests; the APWU represents workers in the vast mail sorting facilities.

        The USPS plan cannot be celebrated for its vision, which as the Bible says, we sorely need, and the urgency of keeping the mail moving has given rise to some problematic compromises. Above I have linked to the union statements. Another source is the rank-and-file oriented Communities and Postal Workers United organization.

      • Pay a Living Wage or ‘Flip Your Own Damn Burgers’: Progressives Blast Right-Wing Narrative on Jobs

        “If one in four recipients are making more off unemployment than they did working, that’s not an indictment of $300 a week in UI benefits. It’s an indictment of corporations paying starvation wages.”

      • Cashing in on the Housing Crisis

        Mobile home parks represent the least expensive housing in the country outside of government subsidized housing. Since reading the article, I’ve learned that equity companies are busy investing in that market as well. In those cases, it’s HUD that pays the new higher rents.

        The practice of targeting the poor for further gain raises the specter of Ferguson, Mo., where the costs of city government were supported by outsized fees levied on poor Black residents.

      • Less-Educated Workers Were Hardest Hit in Recession. That Hasn’t Changed.
      • Death by Neoliberalism

        This isn’t a line of reasoning that has a grip on the public imagination at present. The press is busy proclaiming upheavals and social clarity that haven’t yet come to pass. Theories from both the political right and left have it that moral depravity— social injustices from one side, and the economic dependencies created through social-welfare policies on the other, are motivating social decline. That these ideas have long histories in the U.S., both through their facts and as points of political contestation, begs the question of timing: why now? That both critiques emerge from neoliberal premises illustrates its totalizing character.

        This latter point will seem counterintuitive to readers on what is now called the ‘cultural’ left, which apparently constitutes much of the American left. How can social justice concerns emerge from the logic of the political right? The answer comes through proposed solutions. Trying to solve social problems through changing individual behavior has been the purview of the patrician right for a century or more. Doing so is a base conceit of neoliberalism. It is hardly incidental that the dominant neoliberal institutions all claim to support racial justice while doing what is in their power to head off redistributive policies.

      • GDP versus Lasting Growth Rooted in Love

        After over a year of utter turmoil, death, illness, heartache, social and economic lockdowns, some nations – the wealthy nations who, unlike poor countries, have been able to stock-pile vaccinations and immunize there populations, are opening up. The impact Covid has had on their coffers has been measured and, as the twisted wheels of consumerism begin to churn again, they are evaluating their short term financial prospects and working out how much richer they can become.

        In the UK, the head of Barclays Bank recently announced, “The UK economy is on course for its biggest economic boom since 1948” – whoopee! In the midst of the pandemic, the bank, which is Europe’s largest financier of fossil fuels (£20bn in 2020 alone), made record profits in the first three months of 2021 of £2.4 billion, due, to quote the nauseating jargon, to “strong growth in its corporate and investment banking division and an improved mortgage book.” Lending money to ailing businesses mainly, loans that have been guaranteed by the government, so another win-win for the banks.

      • The Hamptons: Where Wealth and Poverty Clash

        Consider the angst of the swells who summer in the Hamptons, an ultra-tony seaside enclave of New York City’s old-wealth families and Wall Street elites on the eastern tip of Long Island. For generations they’ve used local ordinances to keep us riffraff out of their exclusive communities.

        But now they find themselves besieged.

      • The Tories face an inconvenient truth about austerity – whatever the election results

        Conservative governments are suddenly boisterous about local government at election time, but they have been managing its decline for more than a decade. 

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ten Things to Understand about Latin America

        1. Threat of a good example. That is the main reason countries get on the “bad lists” of the US, not oil since not all maligned countries even have oil. The reason is that the countries do not “have the interest of the United States at heart” as CIA director George Tenet said during the US-backed 2002 coup against Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. The bad lists include Trump’s “Troika of Tyranny” — Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela — and the 30-plus countries around the globe suffering from the deadly effects of US sanctions. The US justifies sanctions by saying they are based on matters people care about deeply, such as human rights abuses and trafficking. Meanwhile, the United Nations charter clearly prohibits “unilateral coercive measures” taken by one country against another.

        2. Sovereignty YES, Sanctions NO. Latin American countries are sovereign nations. They are not a “backyard” requiring US protection or interference. They have many leaders, in government and not in government, who are very intelligent with in-depth knowledge of history. They are not, as the US government and media call them, dictators, regimes, strong-men, or tyrants. To repeat, they are sovereign nations capable of choosing their own leaders. Certainly anyone familiar with US elections can believe it is possible to find better, more easily verified electoral systems outside the US, for example, Venezuela’s system, which is computerized and has paper ballots that allow for audits.

      • Chile’s Neoliberal Nightmare, New Constitution, and Daniel Jadue

        Chileans will vote on May15-16 to select 155 members of a constitutional convention. They will also choose city council members, mayors and governors. The vote comes after months of political turbulence. Repeating anti-government demonstrations on a massive scale beginning in October 2019 persuaded the rightwing government of billionaire President Sabastian Pinero, and military leaders, that for the sake of peace in the streets they had better plan for a new Constitution.

        After pandemic-related delay, the process started in October 2020 with a plebiscite for approving the convention. The next step, again delayed by the pandemic, is voting in May to select the convention delegates.

      • ‘We Cannot Go Backwards’: Sanders, Omar Lead Push for Free School Meals Bill

        “Every child deserves a quality education free of hunger,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “A universal approach to school meals works.” 

      • “They Were Tortured”: 4 Families Torn Apart by Trump Are Reunited. 1,000+ Still Separated, Missing.

        This week, four parents from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico were reunited with their children in the United States after being separated under former President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. They were the first families to be reunited on U.S. soil since the Biden administration began its reunification process. “Although we love to see the reunifications and they’re very moving, we have to keep in mind what led to that and that it should never have happened in the first place,” says Carol Anne Donohoe, managing attorney for the Family Reunification Project at Al Otro Lado. We also speak with Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, who leads the ACLU’s lawsuit over family separations. He notes more than 1,000 children are still separated from their parents, and adds, “We have not even found the parents of 455 children.”

      • Greens expecting record number of council seats

        The Greens have already won a total of 71 seats, including 56 new seats, and gained representation on nine new councils for the first time in this year’s local elections so far [1].

      • DOJ Called to Go After Trump for Stormy Daniels’ Hush Money After ‘Outrageous’ FEC Decision

        The Justice Department, said Common Cause, must “make clear that no one is above the law.”

      • Would Anyone Care to Defend American Radicals?

        A bit of excessively paranoid dark humor? Maybe. But maybe not entirely. Consider. As President of the United States, Donald Trump:

        + Made repeated fascist-style conflations of corporate and moderate Democrats with the “radical” and “socialist Left.” Trump (and his allies) did this continuously through the summer and fall of 2020, routinely calling the Democrats “the radical left Democrats” and “the socialist Democrats,” preposterously claiming that Kamala Harris was a “communist,” and absurdly calling Wall Street ally Joe Biden “a trojan horse of socialism.”

      • Opinion | In the United States, Democratic Socialism Can Win

        The DSA’s legislative proposals—rent control, free college and reproductive rights—are classic socialist issues, updated for the 21st century.

      • The Arizona GOP’s Attack on Democracy
      • Under New Leadership, Britain’s Labour Party Loses Again

        London—In the four years that Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour party, the center right worked tirelessly to “take their party back.” After Corbyn was elected by party members with a greater mandate than Tony Blair’s, the parliamentary party lead a coup against him; party members then elected him again with an even greater mandate.

      • Watchdog Demands Records on DeSantis’ Voter Suppression ‘Publicity Stunt’ on Fox News

        “Depriving people of their voting rights is a deeply vile attack on civil rights, and DeSantis turned it into a sleazy publicity grab,” said Ben Jealous. 

      • Liberalism’s Last Legs?
      • GOP-Led Texas House Passes ‘Straight-Up Assault on Voting Rights’ in Dead of Night

        “Every day the Republican Party is working to strip Americans of their right to vote.”

      • GOP Lawmakers Are Trying to Overrule Voters on Everything From Medicaid to Weed
      • Why Biden Must Do More

        He had two choices: Govern from a mythical middle and risking failing to structurally address any one of these overlapping crises, or step boldly into the moment and reassert a role for effective government.

        On the pandemic and the economy, Biden largely chose to boldly meet the moment.

      • Texas Democrats Fought GOP Voter Suppression Bill Through the Night
      • Gone But Not Forgotten…by Pop

        In 2011 then-Vice President Biden advised Obama against the mission because he was nervous about potential failure. This past Sunday the now-President folded his statement about the anniversary into the larger message: the killing of bin Laden symbolized the “success” of the American adventure Afghanistan and was adduced again by the current Commander-in-Chief to legitimize his declaration of American victory and the withdrawal of the troops: “Al Qaeda is greatly degraded,” intoned Biden. Mission Accomplished!

        Far more greatly degraded than Al Qaeda, which has been issuing ominous threats since Biden announced the American military departure from Afghanistan, is presidential rhetoric.

      • Response to Ann Garrison Article on Pacifica

        Regarding democracy at Pacifica, Ann Garrison wrote: “In early June, listener subscribers and staff of the Pacifica Radio Network, which includes five nonprofit metropolitan stations, KPFA-Berkeley, KPFK-Los Angeles, KPFT-Houston, WBAI-New York City, WPFW-Washington D.C., and over 200 smaller affiliate stations across the U.S., will receive ballots to vote on yet another new set of bylaws that would largely do away with its democratic governance structure. “

        The New Day Pacifica bylaws do not do away with democratic governance. The new bylaws have 15 Directors on the Board: 4 officers are directly elected by the full membership, and are accountable to the members; 8 stakeholders (5 stations’ listeners, the paid staff, the unpaid staff and the affiliates) have their representative Directors directly elected by the respective constituencies; and 3 at-large Directors are elected by the 12 elected Directors to bring experience and expertise that the elected Board members might not have but the Board needs. The New Day Pacifica bylaws actually have more direct democracy than the current bylaws.

      • The U.S. Owes Hawaiians Millions of Dollars Worth of Land. Congress Helped Make Sure the Debt Wasn’t Paid.

        In the 1990s, Hawaii’s two elder statesmen — U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka — were at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the U.S. compensated Native Hawaiians for ancestral lands taken from them over the years.

        “Dan Inouye believed that a promise made should be a promise kept,” Akaka, a Native Hawaiian, said in 2012 upon the death of his longtime Senate colleague.

      • How the Deals Approved by Congress Bypassed Thousands of Hawaiians Waiting for Homes

        The private land deals upset Native Hawaiians desperate for land.

        An investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica found that the U.S. government over the past decade has transferred nearly 40 parcels of land in Hawaii to private parties, bypassing a process that normally would give Hawaiians priority access to those lands.

      • Rand Paul and ALEC Are Working Together to Suppress the Vote
      • Senators of the Lost Cause

        The two Senators are Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Josh Hawley of Missouri. Great minds can differ on which of the two men is the dumbest man in the Senate.  NBC’s Joe Scarborough bestowed the label on Josh, calling him the dumbest guy in the Senate, but I prefer to bestow that honor on Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson.  Ron does not have the academic credentials of Josh. Josh attended Stanford, and Yale law school.  The lack of those credentials does not, however,   deprive him of the right to being first, not second, in the  competition.

        Ron has served in the Senate since 2010.  During that time ample opportunities for him to show his stupidity have presented themselves, and he has rarely failed to take advantage of them.  In 2021, however, he has taken positions that in the opinion of this writer give him an insurmountable lead over Josh Hawley.  Among his most memorable demonstrations were his comments on the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol as Ron and his colleague took refuge in a safe space in the Capitol building. Ron said of his time being sequestered in a safe space in the Capitol that:  “I never felt threatenened  I didn’t foresee this.  They made up their own standards in terms of incitement.  The first question was ‘Was this predictable? Was it foreseeable? And the answer was no, it wasn’t.  I don’t know any Trump supporters  who would do that.”  In an interview in March he said of the rioters that:  “I know those were people who love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned.” He went on to say that had the rioters been members of the Black Lives Matter crowd he would have been more concerned for his safety.  He did not explain why he joined his colleagues in being taken to a refuge where they were protected from the people showing their love for the country by storming its capitol nor has he explained why more than 400 of them have been criminally indicted for trying to prove their love of country.

      • Ron DeSantis got caught lying at his bill signing. He blocked all media but Fox News at his next one

        Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, supposedly the “Sunshine State,” blocked members of the press from covering a new election reform bill he signed into law on Thursday. The move comes on the heels of DeSantis spreading misleading claims about the last bill he signed into law which increased penalties for rioting.

        The latest bill DeSantis signed, championed by the far-right, seeks to impose additional limited third-party voter registration and reduce the overall access to voting throughout the state. Local CBS12 reporter Jay O’Brien and Sun-Sentinel columnist Steve Bousquet confirmed the news about blocking access to the media via Twitter.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Trump’s “Big Lie” Could Hurt Republicans in 2022, GOP Pollster Says
      • Most Republicans Still Won’t Accept That Biden Won

        President Biden took office more than three months ago, but Republicans are not any closer to accepting his victory now than they were then. The latest CNN/SSRS survey, released on April 30, found that 70 percent of Republicans believed the false allegation that Biden did not legitimately defeat former President Trump; just 23 percent said Biden legitimately won. Meanwhile, Democrats (97-3 percent) and independents (69-27 percent) said Biden had won fairly. These numbers are very similar to what CNN/SSRS found in mid-January, just before Biden’s inauguration.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Last Laugh
      • Richard Wright’s Novel About Racist Police Violence Was Rejected in 1941; It Has Just Been Published

        Nearly 80 years ago, Richard Wright became one of the most famous Black writers in the United States with the publication of “Native Son,” a novel whose searing critique of systemic racism made it a best-seller and inspired a generation of Black writers. In 1941, Wright wrote a new novel titled “The Man Who Lived Underground,” but publishers refused to release it, in part because the book was filled with graphic descriptions of police brutality by white officers against a Black man. His manuscript was largely forgotten until his daughter Julia Wright unearthed it at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. “The Man Who Lived Underground” was not published in the 1940s because white publishers did not want to highlight “white supremacist police violence upon a Black man because it was too close to home,” says Julia Wright. “It’s a bit like lifting the stone and not wanting the worms, the racist worms underneath, to be seen.”

      • Tamál Húye: Coast Miwoks Fight for Recognition of Point Reyes’ Indigenous History

        Kenkel spent the rest of his talk advocating for a Park Service proposal to increase the terms of ranching leases from five to 20 years. This, despite the findings of an Environmental Impact Statement released by the National Park Service last year which revealed multiple harms caused by 150 years of bovine-centric agriculture at the seashore. The ongoing damage includes water pollution by cow urine and feces, atmospheric pollution by carbon and methane gas emissions, and the extinction of native plant and animal species. [See “Apocalypse Cow,” Dec. 9, 2020]

        Kenkel said that extending the leases is necessary to “preserve multi-generational ranches” that are protected by the National Register of Historic Places. He did not mention that in 2015 the Park Service terminated a proposal to protect the archeological remains of Coast Miwok habitation using the National Register.

      • Challenging the Bias of the Refugee as “Other”: Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains

        With so many stigmas working against the image of the refugee, it can be difficult to overcome the predetermined notions of the refugee being more than the unfounded speculations. The splicing of the refugee into isolation and a human category of their own, propagates the belief that they are an “other.” This overtly racist and discriminatory designation denies the refugee their socially prescribed normality and instead sets them apart as something that is not entirely human. Therefore, the importance of refugee narratives resides in their ability to close the gap between the polarized images projected between those outside of the camps and the humans trapped inside of them. Specifically, No Friend but the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani acts as an opportunity for a refugee narrative, told both from a biographical and an activist angle, to uncover the nonexistent gap between refugees and the rest of the world. Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains candidly shares his own firsthand experience of being imprisoned in a refugee camp surrounded by the reality that escape is not possible. However wretched the conditions, Boochani finds ways of sharing beauty and hope. His constant connection to nature and elevated prose brings light to the narrative of the refugee. This light then defies the claim of the refugee being the “other.”

        To begin, one must consider the stigmatization and dehumanization of the individuals who are strapped to the label and identity of “refugee.” It has long since been a burdensome reality for refugees to carry the weight of a label that has been categorized outside of the normal social order. The images portrayed of refugees and the selective space provided for their stories to be told are often isolated to the frequency of lost causes. Sadly, many people who enter the migrant categorization of “refugee” may never leave the position of being considered stateless, even after having gained entry and settling. Thus, the social stratification of refugees works to eliminate their belonging to the shared global community. Just as Julie McDougall and Don Fletcher state in their article discussing the dehumanization of refugees, “[S]tigma and normalcy produce each other: stigmatization places a group outside the bounds of what is considered ordinary, acceptable, and expected by others; members of stigmatized groups are deprived of […] being normal.” The distancing tactics employed in national immigration policies across the globe create a plot that poses the refugee as undeserving of defining and speaking to their own identity or experiences. The “self-protective” strategies of national borders seek to highlight the security risks of migrants; however, McDougall and Fletcher further state that such accusations are meant to generate fear and insecurity of a national identity.

      • Russian LGBTQ activist and artist Yulia Tsvetkova ends hunger strike

        Yulia Tsvetkova, a LGBTQ activist and artist from Russia’s Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, has announced the end of her hunger strike, which began on May 1. 

      • Amnesty International reinstates Navalny’s ‘prisoner of conscience’ status

        Amnesty International has decided to re-designated jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny as a “prisoner of conscience.”

      • How We Lost It All: Labor Unions and Taft-Hartley

        Even acknowledging that some of those expressing an interest were fooling themselves and misleading the pollster, there is still a huge number of working people out there who would like to become union members but either don’t quite know how to proceed or, frankly, are too frightened to make their feelings known, fearing management retaliation.

        This discrepancy (between the number of those who’d like to join and actual membership) reflects brutal two truths: management has the statutory ability to limit organized labor’s power; and companies are still dedicated to the point of obsession to keeping non-union workers away from union organizers.

      • ‘If we start playing games like this, historians won’t write anything’: Russian historian Mikhail Meltyukhov on the proposed ban on ‘equating’ the goals of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany

        Russian lawmakers have proposed legislation banning publicly “equating the goals, decisions, and actions” of the USSR and Nazi Germany. In addition, the bill prohibits denying the “decisive role of the Soviet people in defeating Nazi Germany or the humanitarian mission of the USSR in liberating the countries of Europe.” To find out more about how this new law might affect the work of historians studying the Second World War, Meduza turned to Russian military historian Mikhail Meltyukhov.

      • The Global Spread of Fascism is as Real as the Spread of COVID-19

        For purposes of academic analysis, it might be legitimate to distinguish between a “fascist-leaning” movement and a truly fascist one, or a far-right regime and fascist regime, or an authoritarian populist and a fascist. But I am a former member of the Philippine parliament and a street activist. While I have great respect for academics, those of us who operate in the realm of practical politics cannot afford to act as academics.

        For me a movement or person must be regarded as fascist when they fuse the following five features: 1) they show a disdain or hatred for democratic principles and procedures; 2) they tolerate or promote violence; 3) they have a heated mass base that supports their anti-democratic thinking and behavior; 4) they scapegoat and support the persecution of certain social groups; and 5) they are led by a charismatic individual who exhibits and normalizes all of the above.

      • A Novel About Racist Police Violence, Rejected in 1941, Has Just Been Published
      • US-Made Border Crisis Persists Despite Biden’s About-Face on Refugee Cap
      • Four Minneapolis Cops Charged With Federal Civil Rights Crimes in George Floyd Case

        A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng of willfully depriving the unarmed Black man of his constitutional rights. 

      • The ‘smart and cheeky’ Aboriginal boy teaching Australia a lesson

        Although the policy of assimilation is no longer explicit, William says, the draconian rules governing education and welfare mean the system is still set against indigenous children. He sees many parallels between his story and Dujuan’s.

      • Jihadist magazine offered $60,000 bounty for the killing of Western police officer

        Based on an analysis of the killer’s cellphone as well as his social media postings, “his radicalisation appears little in doubt,” Jean-Francois Ricard said at a press conference.

      • Safe Sweden faces up to wave of women’s killings

        In 2020, 16,461 assault cases were reported against women in a close relationship in Sweden. That is a 15.4% rise on the 2019 figure of 14,261, reported by the National Council for Crime Prevention.

      • How Turkey and Israel treat minorities

        And its treatment of its ethnic and religious minorities has been anything but democratic or equal. The indigenous non-Muslims in Turkey are on the verge of extinction as a result of 1913-23 Christian genocide, forced deportations, pogroms, as well as other crimes and discrimination throughout the past decades.

      • ‘It Is Inhumane’: Ocasio-Cortez Slams Israeli Eviction Effort in Sheikh Jarrah

        The U.S. government, she said, “must show more leadership in safeguarding Palestinian rights.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Wired’s Big 230 Piece Has A Narrative To Tell

        I remember when Wired was the key magazine for understanding the potential of innovation. I subscribed all the way back in 1993 (not the first issue, but soon afterward, after a friend gave me a copy of their launch issue). Over the years, the magazine has gone through many changes, but I’m surprised at how much its outlook has changed. The latest example is a big cover story by reporter Gilad Edelman, basically arguing that people who support Section 230 are “wrong” and holding the law up as a “false idol.” The piece is behind a paywall, because of course it is.

      • Big Telecom Sues New York State For Trying To Bring Cheap Broadband To Poor People

        If there’s one thing that the U.S. broadband industry is terrified of, it’s price regulation. The idea that the government might eventually cap the rates regional monopolies can charge in the absence of meaningful competition keeps a lot of executives up late at night. But despite a lot of fear mongering by telecom industry folks on this front, the U.S. has never really gotten even close to that reality. Repeatedly, even the most modest of non-price related regulatory telecom oversight efforts (from net neutrality to privacy) are routinely and easily dismantled by powerful lobbyists either before they can take effect or not long after.

      • Thanks To Section 230, I Can Correct Wired’s Portrayal Of My Section 230 Advocacy

        I always thought it would be a great honor to be referenced in the hallowed pages of WIRED magazine. Like Mike, I’ve been reading it since its beginning, as a then student studying information technology and watching the Internet take hold in the world.

      • Uganda Said It Would Ban VPNs To Prevent Users From Dodging Its Absurd New Social Media Tax: Guess How That Worked Out?

        Three years ago we wrote about African countries that thought taxing blogs and social media was an easy way to raise money — and to muzzle inconvenient voices. A year later, Techdirt was reporting on a sudden boom in VPN use among Ugandans keen to avoid that country’s levy on social media use. As Karl Bode reported, back then the authorities were pressuring ISPs to ban the use of VPNs. A post on the Rest of the World site has a useful update on how things have worked out since then. First, the money:

      • Why the Guilbeault Amendment to Bill C-10 Makes CRTC Regulation of User Generated Content “Crystal Clear”

        Guilbeault and the government promised to remove regulation of user generated content by the CRTC. Instead, yesterday it effectively confirmed that denials about the effects of the bill were inaccurate and left a regulatory framework in place. As Navneet Alang notes in the Toronto Star in a column critical of Facebook, on social media the right to speak also includes a right to be amplified and free to have an audience. That means we should be requiring greater algorithmic transparency from Internet companies, not substituting their choices for those crafted through government regulation.

      • New report sheds additional light on US vs. EU broadband policy

        A new USTelecom report sheds some new light on this old debate. Using data gathered by government regulators, it shows that between 2012 and 2018, US broadband networks consistently outperformed European ones in both network deployment and adoption, culminating in Americans receiving faster speeds and consuming far more data monthly than Europeans. These findings should give pause to those currently arguing for dramatic shifts in US broadband policy toward the European government-managed model.

    • Monopolies

      • Is the Shine Starting to Come Off Bill Gates’s Halo?

        The announcement earlier this week of Bill and Melinda Gates’s divorce was a bombshell headline, but it shouldn’t distract us from an even more interesting development in the news media in recent weeks. Bill Gates, long heralded as a global hero in the pandemic response, is becoming an increasingly popular target of criticism for his role in the unfolding vaccine apartheid around the world.

      • Patents

        • Ro Khanna: It’s Vital That the US Drop Barriers to Vaccine Production and Aid Covid-Ravaged India

          There are several things that went wrong. One, a complete disregard for social distancing, and this idea of returning to normal [before widespread vaccination programs could be implemented], which obviously was a disaster.

          Second, a lack of having the capacity on vaccines. Partly, that was because the TRIPS waiver should have been granted months earlier. There should have been more of a global manufacturing commitment. The last administration [under former president Donald Trump] did nothing on that. There should have been a greater effort in general, in these countries, to assist them with the development of the vaccine.

          Third, I think this has exposed the failures of the Indian health care system. The health care system has a long way to go to be able to take care of the needs of people in crisis, and it shows the massive need for development.

        • How the next Patent Office director could shape the patent system

          In the next few weeks, President Joe Biden is expected to choose a new director for the US Patent and Trademark Office. In recent days, I’ve talked to a dozen people who are deeply involved in the patent system. During these conversations, three names came up over and over again as leading candidates.

          One is patent lawyer Ellisen Turner. Over an 18-year career, Turner has represented a wide range of clients, from big tech companies to companies that do little more than collect patent-licensing revenue. Included in this latter category is a firm that might sound familiar to longtime Ars readers: Intellectual Ventures. Back in 2014, my colleague Joe Mullin described Intellectual Ventures as the “world’s biggest troll.” Instead of developing products to sell to customers, Intellectual Ventures has mostly focused on accumulating a massive patent portfolio and then threatening to sue companies that refuse to license its patents.

          Another leading candidate is Jannie Lau, a patent attorney who spent 11 years as the general counsel (and before that, associate general counsel) at InterDigital. This is another company that makes almost all its money from patent-licensing fees—97 percent in 2020. While some critics have labeled InterDigital a patent troll, a spokesman for the company told me that the label doesn’t fit. He said the firm employs hundreds of engineers who have helped to develop some key technical standards, especially in the wireless industry.

          The third frontrunner, Colleen Chien, offers a sharp contrast to the others. After practicing patent law for several years, Chien became a law professor at Santa Clara University in 2007. From 2013 to 2015, she advised the Obama administration on patent reform. Chien’s academic writing makes it clear that she’s concerned about problems with low-quality patents and the way non-practicing entities can abuse the patent system.

          Turner and Lau don’t have much of a paper trail, but it seems likely that they have a more benign view of non-practicing entities like their former employers (in Lau’s case) or clients (in Turner’s).

          I don’t know if these are the only names under consideration by the Biden administration. It’s possible that the president will choose to go in a different direction altogether. But these names illustrate the wide range of perspectives inside the Democratic camp. Unlike a lot of issues, patent concerns don’t break down cleanly along partisan lines, which means that a lot rides on Biden’s choice.

        • Prisoners Enforcing their Rights [Ed: Dennis Crouch spreads numerous falsehoods in one fell swoop. Patents are not rights and they have no owners either. Those are misnomers and part of the propaganda of patent law firms that fund Crouch.]

          Here is the outcome of a twitter poll on prisoner lawsuits. The poll was prompted by the pending lawsuit of Tormasi v. Western Digital. Tormasi is a patentee and has sued Western Digital for patent infringement. The district court dismissed his case and that finding was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Both courts held that as a prisoner in N.J. state prison, Tormasi has lost his right to conduct any business, including enforce his patent rights. The case is pending on a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court.

        • Covestro: CO₂ technology competes as one of top three inventions [Ed: EPO is doing greenwashing and reputation laundering again]

          Covestro’s CO₂ technology continues to write its success story. The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced the nomination of the two German chemists, Dr. Christoph Gürtler (Covestro AG) and Prof. Walter Leitner (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and RWTH Aachen University), as finalists in the “Industry” category of the 2021 European Inventor Award for their role in developing a new technology for using carbon dioxide (CO₂). This technology enables the harmful climate gas CO₂ to be used as a valuable raw material for sustainable plastics. Their process deploys chemical catalysts to drive reactions between CO₂ and a conventional raw material. This process creates so-called polymers in a more sustainable and economically viable way. CO₂ is firmly incorporated in the process.

        • Indian-American chemist Sumita bags Europe nomination [Ed: This is not news or reporting; it's a paid-for puff piece that helps corrupt EPO management distract from the crimes. While the rich and powerful buy the media we're left to 'consume' it, thinking we get news when in fact being deceived.]
        • Restoring Smiles with Nanomaterials: US Based Chemist Sumita Mitra Named European Inventor Award 2021 Finalist [Ed: EPO misuses funds, paying media for puff pieces]
        • Restoring Smiles with Nanomaterials: U.S. Based Chemist Sumita Mitra Named European Inventor Award 2021 Finalist
        • UK court rules Sisvel patent non-essential to 4G standard

          The UK High Court has found Sisvel patent EP 19 25 142 not essential to the 3GPP Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G standard, and not infringed by defendants Xiaomi and Oppo (case ID: HP-2019-000014). Presiding judge James Mellor based his findings of non-infringement and non-essentiality on literal construction and the doctrine of equivalents.

          In March 2021, the UK High Court heard the technical trial, known by the parties as Trial 2. The current judgment relates to the first half of the trial, which was split into two parts. However, Trial 2 covered both EP 142, and EP 22 54 259 and EP 19 03 689. The former is a divisional patent, while EP 689 is a parent patent. Parties await the court’s upcoming judgment on EP 259 and EP 689.

          Mitsubishi and Sisvel also sought to amend the granted claims of EP 142 by introducing two unconditional claim amendment requests, to exclude the ‘single SDU embodiment’ from the patent’s scope.

          However, in his decision, James Mellor noted that the amendments failed to achieve their purpose. Mellor notes that, even if the claims were to be amended, the claimants’ argument of infringement still fails.

      • Copyrights

        • Jetflicks & iStreamitAll: U.S. Seeks 57 Months Prison For Pirate Site Operator

          Before they were shut down by law enforcement, Jetflicks and iStreamitAll were said to be two of the largest pirate streaming services in the United States. After pleading guilty, a man who was deeply involved in both is now facing a lengthy prison sentence. The US Government is demanding 57 months behind bars but the defendant believes that 36 months will be adequate.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  2. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  3. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  4. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  5. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  6. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  8. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  10. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  11. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  12. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  13. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  15. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  17. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  18. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  19. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  20. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  22. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  24. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  25. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  26. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  27. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021


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