07.21.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 21/7/2021: Kaisen Linux Rolling 1.7, PipeWire 0.3.32, GUADEC 2021 Online Conference Starts

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • The What and Why of Cloud-Native Security

        On the road to embracing DevOps, many IT organizations still depend on traditional security practices, policies and tools that were not built to withstand the modern cloud-native approaches of scaling and complexity. With less attention paid to security, organizations fail to transform themselves in this rapidly-changing digital world. For many years, these issues were the security team’s problem; recent surveys and research highlight the importance of security at all stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC).

      • Best Server Security Tools for 2021

        Server security tools used to be focused on safeguarding physical servers. Each box required login credentials, and administrative privileges were required to change anything. Software such as antivirus and malware protection were directly installed on each machine.

        These days, the physical server is just another endpoint — albeit an important one. There are many ways to protect server resources, including backup, antivirus, patching, intrusion detection, and many more. Here are our top picks for the best server protection tools, in no particular order:

      • Siteage, LLC announces release sponsorship of Navy Linux

        Siteage, LLC announces release sponsorship of Navy Linux, Navy Linux is currently the only option for in-place upgrades for CentOS

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Something Sinister Below Deck | LINUX Unplugged 415

        Could the Steam Deck mean fewer native Linux games? We chat with prolific game developer Ethan Lee and get his perspective on the negative impacts of the Deck.

        Plus, our thoughts on how Valve might successfully ship Arch to consumers, a batch of feedback, and more.

      • SteamDeck Is Here: Has Valve Learnt From Last Time

        Valve is trying there hand again at a console this time in the form of a handheld called the SteamDeck but unlike the last time they tried this, Linux gaming is very different in fact Linux gaming for most titles is basically seamless.

      • Forget Microsoft’s App, KDE Connect Comes To WINDOWS

        Do you have an Android device? Do you use Windows? Now there’s a great, open-source, cross-platform app to sync up your phone and your PC. KDE CONNECT

      • Dead Desktop Disco | Coder Radio 423

        Has Microsoft figured out a way to invalidate the GPL? We’re skeptical.

        Plus, the Gnome project says the traditional desktop is dead, and extensions are niche. Do we agree?

    • Kernel Space

      • Let the Linux kernel Rust [Ed: Jack Wallen — like his publisher (mouthpiece of Microsoft and Linux Foundation) — for adding bloat, complexity and Microsoft GitHub/blobs to Linux kernel. Deep inside Torvalds must have reached acceptance of the fact that he’s no longer in charge of Linux because of financial strings of monopolies.]

        Rust has been threatening to creep into Linux in various ways for some time now. We’re talking Rust, the language, not rust the iron oxide. And the creeping shows zero signs of slowing. In fact, Rust has finally (and officially) found its way into the Linux kernel.

      • Linux 5.12 Kernel Reaches End of Life

        Linux 5.12 Kernel has reached “End of Life”. Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has asked users to upgrade their kernel to 5.13 now.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Dave Airlie: llvmpipe/lavapipe: anisotropic texture filtering

          In order to expose OpenGL 4.6 the last missing feature in llvmpipe is anisotropic texture filtering. Adding support for this also allows lavapipe expose the Vulkan samplerAnisotropy feature.

          I started writing anisotropic support > 6 months ago. At the time we were trying to deprecate the classic swrast driver, and someone pointed out it had support for anisotropic filtering. This support had also been ported to the softpipe driver, but never to llvmpipe.

          I had also considered porting swiftshaders anisotropic support, but since I was told the softpipe code was functional and had users I based my llvmpipe port on that.

          Porting the code to llvmpipe means rewriting it to generate LLVM IR using the llvmpipe vector processing code. This is a lot messier than just writing linear processing code, and when I thought I had it working it passes GL CTS, but failed the VK CTS. The results also to my eye looked worse than I’d have thought was acceptable, and softpipe seemed to be as bad.

        • Rosenzweig: Reverse-engineering the Mali G78

          Alyssa Rosenzweig goes into the details of the reverse-engineering of the Mali “Valhall” GPU instruction set.

    • Benchmarks

      • Squeezing More Performance Out Of The Linux Kernel With Clang + LTO

        With the Linux 5.12 kernel bringing support for building the kernel with link-time optimizations (LTO) when using the LLVM Clang compiler, here are some benchmarks looking at that performance impact as well as more generally seeing how the LLVM Clang compiler performance is looking when building the Linux kernel relative to GCC.

        Recently using Linux 5.14-rc1 I was carrying out benchmarks of this latest Linux kernel tree built under GCC 11 and then again with LLVM Clang 12 and lastly with LLVM Clang 12 while enabling the kernel LTO support. Tests were carried out on both an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and Intel Core i9 11900K desktops for this initial testing. The same standard kernel configuration was used when testing these two compilers in their release builds. The benchmarks/software under test were maintained the same when testing the kernel builds and not re-built or any other changes besides the kernel under test.

    • Applications

      • Open-source dev and critic of Beijing claims Audacity owner Muse threatened him with deportation to China in row over copyright

        Audacity’s new owner Muse Group has been accused of threatening to land a developer in legal hot water, a move that could result in the programmer being forced to return to China to face a government of which he has been a vocal critic.

        The developer in question, Wenzheng Tang, has expressed anti-China sentiments on his GitHub profile alongside a flag of Taiwan. He confirmed to The Register he is a Chinese national. We asked Tang for his approval to report on this debate, out of concern for his safety should he be deported from Canada, where he currently resides, as a result of any legal complaints brought against him.

        Tang explicitly acknowledged that risk. “If I am deported back to mainland China, I would at least be jailed,” he said in an email that may well understate the consequences of public political opposition to the Chinese government. Nonetheless, he sees value in publicity as a form of defense.

        “I would rather put myself in the center of public interest,” he explained. “Because of the Streisand effect, I believe a story would indeed help me rather than harm me.”

      • PipeWire 0.3.32 Released With Numerous Fixes

        A new release of PipeWire was made on Tuesday for this audio/video stream management solution for Linux that can replace the likes of JACK and PulseAudio.

        PipeWire continues maturing nicely this year and with PipeWire 0.3.32 takes things one step further. PipeWire 0.3.32 does have some improvements as well as a number of different bug fixes that continue to come about thanks to PipeWire’s use on Fedora Workstation 34 and beginning to appear in more environments too.

      • CLI Cloud Storage Manager Rclone 1.56.0 Adds New Serve Docker Command, Reworked Config, New librclone C Library

        Rclone, a free and open source command line cloud storage sync tool, was updated to version 1.56.0, which includes some important new features. There’s a new backend, new commands including Docker serve, a reworked configuration system, and there’s also a new librclone C library.

        Rclone is a command line cloud storage manager. You can use it to manage multiple cloud storage providers from the command line, which allows using the cloud equivalents of Unix commands like rsync, cp, mv, mount, ls, ncdu, tree, and so on.

        You can use it to sync files and directories from and to cloud storage services (including directly between cloud storages) with optional encryption, mount a remote storage locally using its FUSE support, serve local or remote files over HTTP, WebDav, FTP, SFTP or DLNA, and more.

        As for supported cloud storage providers, Rclone supports over 40 services, including Google Drive, Amazon Drive and S3, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Yandex Disk, NextCloud, Box, pCloud, and more. It runs on Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, *BSD and Solaris.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to encrypt a USB stick on Ubuntu

        Many users often store important documents on a USB stick. However, there is always the risk of losing the device along with the stored data. For this reason and in order not to allow others to access the information, device encryption is the best solution to protect the data. This can be done quickly and easily on Ubuntu.

      • How to Install cPanel-WHM on CentOS 8

        cPanel is a popular, secure, and effective commercial control panel for web hosting services. It includes many features and can be used through a powerful graphical user interface to manage shared, re-seller, business hosting services, and more.

      • How to Install WordPress on Google Cloud Run with SSL

        Google Cloud Run is a server less container architecture which is highly scalable for running WordPress.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install or deploy WordPress to Cloud Run and configure custom domain with SSL.

      • How to Install Syncthing on Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.04 – LinuxCapable.com

        Syncthing is a free, open-source, peer-to-peer file synchronization application. Syncthing can sync files between devices on a local network or between remote devices over the Internet, with all data transmitted between multiple devices are encrypted with TLS. Whenever you create, modify or delete data on one peering node, the application will automatically replicate the changes to other servers. Another popular feature is Syncthing being cross-platform available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Solaris, Darwin, and BSD making it possible to sync across multiple devices.

        For users wanting to try out this great syncing software, at the end of this guide, you will know how to install Syncthing on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The same principle will work for the newer version Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

      • How to Install Portainer Docker Manager in Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        If you are an IT professional and working with Docker then you may need a UI manager for docker. There are different open source tools such as rancher and portainer are available to manage different docker environments such as docker host, containers. Volumes, networks etc. In this article, we will learn how to install and configure Portainer in Ubuntu 20.04 and use it to manage docker environments.

        Portainer is a lightweight UI manager for docker which can be used to manage different docker environments such as docker hosts or docker swarm clusters. Portainer runs in a single container and supports any Docker engine including Linux Container or windows native container and other platforms too. It makes it easy to manage all our Docker resources such as containers, images, volumes, networks, and more.

      • How to Install Kali Linux in VMware Workstation

        If you want to start with your cybersecurity journey, Kali Linux is one of the best operating systems for you as a beginner. It has plenty of tools you can use for ethical hacking or penetration testing purposes.

        Install Kali Linux on VMware, as it is one of the best options to get familiar with this advanced operating system. Even if you mess up or install a feature incorrectly in the virtual environment, it would have no adverse repercussions on the host OS.

        Here’s everything you need to know about installing Kali in VMware’s virtual environment.

      • Upgrade Your File Transfer Security with Encryption Keys

        One of the oldest still-working protocols on the Internet is FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Designed in the net’s earliest days, FTP never concerned itself with security. Later standards addressed this limitation by adding encryption, although insecure FTP remains in widespread use.

      • Install and Configure UFW on Debian 11 or 10

        If after installing Debian 10 or 11 Bullseye you get an error in UFW firewall usage- “The command is not found” then you have to install it. And in this tutorial, we will learn that.

        UFW (uncomplicated firewall) is an interface to IPTables, which is supposed to simplify the process of configuring a firewall. The aim of UFW is a straightforward command-line-based front-end for the very powerful, but not exactly easy to configure IPTables to offer. UFW supports both IPv4 and IPv6. If you want to secure the network or want to monitor the incoming and outgoing connections of your server, there is no way around a firewall. UFW is a practical tool that can be controlled and configured via the terminal.

      • How to zip files in Linux

        Unlike other systems, you’ll need to use the command line to zip files on a Linux computer.

      • [Older] How to Install Duf Disk Usage Utility Ubuntu 20.04 and 21.04

        No, it is no Duff beer if that rings a bell. Today, we are talking about Duf disk utility, an open-source, free “Disk Usage Free Utility” written in Goland and released under MIT license. The disk utility supports multi-platforms such as BSD, Linux, macOS and Windows operating systems.

      • How to install Krita on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Krita on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • How to install Funkin’ Salty’s Sunday Night on a Chromebook

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

      • How to Install Arduino IDE on Ubuntu 20.04

        Arduino IDE is an open-source application to write and upload code to Arduino compatible boards. It is a cross-platform application that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Arduino is a hardware programming language, basically written in C and C++.

        This tutorial will show you how to install Arduino IDE on Ubuntu 20.04. There are three different ways to install Arduino on Ubuntu – using the official installer script, using the snap package, and apt.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • The Wine 6.13 development release is out now

        The Wine hackers have released the latest development build with Wine 6.13 with plenty of new features and the usual assortment of bug fixes.

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

    • Games

      • Steam Next Fest returns on October 1 with developers able to submit now | GamingOnLinux

        Another big Steam event is coming up with the Steam Next Fest due to be live once again on October 1.

        This is the event where for a limited time, developers put up fresh demos of their upcoming games. Not only that, you’re able to watch various livestreams of talks directly from developers and watch them play their games directly on Steam pages.

        For developers, they have until August 15 to submit their game for review, along with a demo.

      • RimWorld 1.3 and the Ideology DLC are officially out now | GamingOnLinux

        A big new expansion and a big free update for everyone, RimWorld has expanded once again and so it might be time to dive back in to build just one more colony.

        Calling Ideology a DLC probably isn’t doing it justice. It’s a pretty deep expansion, opening up tons of new ways on how you build your colony and manage your people. With a full customizable belief system based on “memes” which are the core ideas the belief is based upon including the likes of giving animals the same rights as humans, nudism that speak for itself, cannibalism, transhumanism and many more than can be combined together. These memes can have different rules, people can be converted to different beliefs and more. Sounds awesome.

      • Google Jumps Into The Game Revenue Split Wars With Stadia

        It’s no secret that the launch of Google’s video game streaming platform Stadia has not exactly been smooth. From access issues to performance problems, up to and including a low adoption rate and stunted catalogue of games, this appeared for all the world to be Google’s video game equivalent of Google Plus. In other words, one of those projects Google launches half way and then abandons. Part of the issue with the catalogue was reports that Google wasn’t going to be shelling out cash to bring in more games to the platform last year.

      • Valve corrects the RAM specs for the Steam Deck, games should run nicely from SD Card | GamingOnLinux

        It seems that Valve had incorrect details on the specification sheet for the Steam Deck, and as a result we now know the RAM is more impressive.

        Originally (as seen on the Web Archive), Valve listed the Steam Deck as having “5500 MT/s dual-channel” which they’ve now adjusted to say it’s actually “5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels”. Thanks to that, we know that the Steam Deck should perform even better than we originally thought it would. The speed may not have changed, but dual to quad is still a pretty nice boost.

      • Is Valve CANCELING native games?
      • Ryan Gordon and Ethan Lee on Proton and the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        For anyone who has been around Linux gaming for a while, the names Ryan “Icculus” Gordon and Ethan Lee will be well known as developers who port games to Linux and work on the tech behind tons of games.

        Recently, our friends at Nuclear Monster spoke to both about Proton and the upcoming Steam Deck. Both giving a very different outlook on the future of Linux gaming, so it’s interesting to see their perspectives on this considering how respected they both are for their work. For those who don’t know Ryan Gordon maintains a lot of SDL, the MojoSetup installer (used by GOG), MojoShader, and ports to various platforms (not just Linux). Ethan Lee created FNA, the reimplementation of Microsoft’s XNA, and Lee has probably ported more to Linux than anyone else (along with macOS too).

        In the post with Ryan Gordon, it starts off with a little personal thought from the writer (who is sceptical of relying on Wine/Proton) but Gordon sees it differently. Gordon mentions it’s no longer a case of talking about how many people directly use Linux of the desktop or how many install SteamOS but the focus will be on sales number for what’s basically a type of games console. It is an interesting point, as eventually it could lead to millions of people with a Linux-powered handheld:

      • Looks like Splitgate will be the next ‘big thing’ FPS supported on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Splitgate released official native Linux support recently when the Open Beta went live, and it seems to be hitting it big pulling in plenty of regular players.

        It’s been so popular in fact, that their servers have repeatedly struggled to cope with the demand. We’ve done a few livestreams of it on our Twitch Channel, and we’ve seen how overloaded it has become a few times. The game even got the attention of Amazon AWS, who thought their servers were under some form of DDoS attack and ended up limiting them to “help”.

        On Steam alone, they’ve managed to hit a high of 8,980 just recently. Not quite the all-time high of 11,901 two years ago (when it first released) but right now during the Open Beta it’s not even properly released either so it’s looking good. Considering the repeated server issues too, it’s a real show of strength. It does of course help that’s it’s free to play and fully cross platform between PC and consoles. When you take into account all players together, the Splitgate team announced they had seen over 50,000 concurrent players.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GUADEC 2021 Online Conference Kicks Off for the GNOME 41 Desktop Environment

          GUADEC 2021 is the second conference to take place online as a virtual event instead of a physical venue, and that’s because the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting us. However, the best part about virtual conferences is that it won’t cost you a dime and you can join from the comfort of your living room.

          GUADEC 2021 is for shaping up the future of the GNOME desktop environment, especially the upcoming GNOME 41 release, as GNOME users and developers from all over the world will gather together to share their knowledge and discuss the new features and changes.

        • Nautilus 40 Arrives in Ubuntu 21.10 Daily Builds

          While it’s arrival isn’t the most newsworthy event set to occur this cycle, Nautilus 40 carries a small crop of improvements and features that Impish daily testers will want to have a play about with.

          Such as?

          Well, this update to the famed file manager finally lets you sort files by creation date in the list view; is said to relay ‘more accurate’ file transfer and copy estimates; and improves tab completion in the location entry bar…

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kaisen Linux Rolling 1.7 Release Notes

          After 4 months of work, I am proud to present you the final version of the 1.x series!
          This is the final release because Debian has now frozen Bullseye and Kaisen has reached a real stability and positive feedback from almost all users, which is a good indicator of quality for me!
          The next release will be the 2.x series, based on the future Debian 12!

          This release also marks the arrival of Kaisen on Distrowatch! It’s a real pleasure and honor to be part of the official Distrowatch lists, it will hopefully allow us to get more feedback on the distribution!

          I also put 2 new ISOS online, after several candidate releases.
          The ISO CONSOLE and NETINST.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • Fedora and IBM/Red Hat

        • Sigstore: An open answer to software supply chain trust and security [Ed: IBM and Google uses the so-called 'Linux' Foundation to centralise control over what you can and cannot install on your own system]

          Everything starts from somewhere, and software is no different – just as physical goods have a point of origin and an associated supply chain, so does code. In today’s world, the origin story for most software applications starts, at least partially if not entirely, in an open source community. So how do you secure a supply chain for a product that has no physical form, no box to lock and is created in an environment where anyone can contribute to it?

        • Kasten K10 Certified Red Hat OpenShift Operator Now Available Through Red Hat Marketplace

          Kasten by Veeam announced that the Kasten K10 data management platform is now available through Red Hat Marketplace. Enterprises will now be able to more seamlessly try the fully featured, free edition of Kasten K10 built and tested to exacting standards directly through the OpenShift environment.

          The Kasten K10 data management platform is purpose-built for Kubernetes. The platform’s application-centric approach and deep integrations with relational and NoSQL databases, storage systems, and Kubernetes distributions provide backup/restore and mobility of Kubernetes applications.

        • A framebuffer hidden in plain sight

          Soon after I set up my Rockpro64 board, Peter Robinson told me about an annoying bug that happened on machines with a Rockchip SoC.

          The problem was that the framebuffer console just went away after GRUB booted the Linux kernel.

        • Kushal Das: Trouble of zoom and participant name [Ed: Planet Fedora becomes inherently satirical, pushing Microsoft's proprietary software and anti-Linux things; "Tips on how journalists can avoid getting snooped" over at... yes, proprietary software with surveillance and backdoors]
        • Run GitHub Actions on Fedora CoreOS [Ed: This has got to be a joke. Fedora Magazine is promoting Microsoft's proprietary software monopoly and GPL violations.]
        • Encrypting and decrypting archives with 7-Zip

          7-Zip is a free, open source, cross-platform compression and encryption utility that neither requires registration or any kind of payment to use, even in a commercial environment. It’s licensed under the GNU LPGL and other licenses. It’s likely that you’ve at least heard of 7-Zip somewhere in your travels because it’s been around since 1999. I think you’ll like its many features, and I’m happy to bring this little gem to light, especially if you’ve never used it and you’re looking for an encryption solution for your backups.

        • 5 IT leadership mistakes to avoid: Alabama CIO of the Year winners share

          One of the most rewarding roles CIOs play is nurturing the next generation of IT leadership. It’s an opportunity to pass along the wisdom and, importantly, lessons learned from a career navigating the complexities and constantly evolving priorities of IT.

          We caught up with CIOs who recently won the 2021 Alabama CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards to learn more about what it takes to be a strong IT leader today. The awards were presented by the Alabama CIO Leadership Association, a professional community that annually recognizes CIOs for their excellence in technology leadership.

          Your people are essential to your success as a leader.

          One theme each of these award-winning CIOs could agree on: Your people are essential to your success as a leader. How you empower, support, include, and invest in them can make the difference between good and great leadership. Read on for five mistakes rising IT leaders and seasoned CIOs alike should avoid.

        • Bootstrap GitOps with Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines and kam CLI | Red Hat Developer

          See for yourself how deploying applications with the kam command-line interface simplifies GitOps adoption and streamlines application delivery.

        • 5 more CI/CD misconceptions, explained

          A successful DevOps transformation requires an efficient and effective continuous integration and continuous delivery/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. One step toward establishing effective CI/CD is to rule out common misconceptions that can delay progress or cause toil. Part one of this two-part series featured the top CI/CD misconceptions from the perspective of DevOps Institute ambassadors. Part two continues to explore these misperceptions.

          Any organization moving toward DevOps maturity should consider whether it is being misled by some of these common assumptions. A misconception that I frequently encounter is the view that CI/CD is a potential replacement for the need for skilled humans. However, the purpose of CI/CD automation is to perform consistent, redundant tasks so that humans can be free to do work that requires unique skills and critical thinking.

        • IBM’s 3% sales growth may not seem like much but it’s the biggest it’s had in three years [Ed: For IBM to take 'growth' it needed to compare performance to a disastrous pandemic years and not count expenses like takeovers]

          IBM on Monday reported better than anticipated revenue for Q2 2021, sending its shares up in after-hours trading.

          Big Blue, evidently unfazed by a multi-week email disruption that’s still not entirely resolved, delivered sales totaling $18.7bn for the quarter, an increase of three per cent year over year. It’s the strongest revenue growth for the biz in three years. Net income, however, fell by three per cent to $1.3bn for the quarter.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 8 Best Icon Themes for Ubuntu (2021 Edition)

          Feast your eyes on the following set of exceptional icon themes that you can use on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and pretty much every Linux distro out there.

        • Canonical Pushes New Ubuntu Kernel Updates to All Supported Releases

          The new Ubuntu kernel security updates are available for Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo), Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla), Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), as well as as for the ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) branches of Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 14.04.

          Patched in these kernel updates is CVE-2021-33909, a 7-years-old privilege escalation flaw discovered by Qualys Research Labs in Linux kernel’s file system layer, which could allow an unprivileged user to create, mount, and then delete a large directory structure of over 1GB in size. This flaw affected all supported Ubuntu releases.

        • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Files and Permissions – Part 10

          This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

          In the previous article in this series we presented an introduction to the Bash shell. We explained the 4 types of commands that are available in the shell: Builtins, Aliases, External commands, and Functions.

          In this article we’ll take you through the basics of files and permissions. We’ll use the ls command. It’s an external command provided the GNU core utilities, a package that is present on your Ubuntu installation. The package provides the basic file, shell, and text manipulation utilities (96 separate commands).

        • Ubuntu Games for Kids

          This list collects video games, which are fun and educational, available on Ubuntu for kids including how to install and play them. This features Frozen Bubble and Tux Math among the others. Let’s play!

          Colorful, easy to play game of bubbles shooting with a Penguin. You can play this either in single or two player mode.

          Kids, let’s play math! With this game, your kids will play by answering math problems and save the Penguins inside the Iglos.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 7-Zip 21.03 Beta

        7-Zip is a open source file archiver with a high compression ratio. The program supports 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP, WIM, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z. Most of the source code is under the GNU LGPL license. The unRAR code is under a mixed license: GNU LGPL + unRAR restrictions. Check license information here: 7-Zip license.

      • Adobe Joins the Blender Development Fund as a Corporate Gold Member [Ed: Blender has been racking up lots of money from enemies of software freedom lately, Microsoft included]

        Adobe joins a list of other high-profile companies to contribute significant funds to the development of Blender.

        Today, Blender announced that Adobe has become a Corporate Gold Member level donor in the Blender development fund.

      • curl 7.78.0 five in one

        Welcome to another release! We did more bug-fixes than in any previous release (176). We paid more in bug-bounties than during any previous release cycle (4,200 USD) and we thank more contributors in the RELEASE-NOTES than ever before (83).

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Stable Channel Update for Desktop

            The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 92 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.

            Chrome 92.0.4515.107 contains a number of fixes and improvements — a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 92.

          • Chrome 92 Released With crypto.randomUUID, Security Fixes

            Google today released Chrome 92 as their newest release on the browser’s four-week release regiment.

            Chrome 92 has a number of security changes as well as some new developer additions. Among the changes with Google Chrome 92 include…

        • Mozilla

          • Mark Mayo: How we airdropped 4700 MeebitsDAO “Red Ticket” NFTs

            So what happened was that the 6th most rare Meebit was fractionalized into 1M pieces, and 30,000 (3%) of those fragments were graciously donated to MeebitsDAO by Divergence.VC. Kai proposed that a fun way to re-distribute those fractions would be to do a giveaway contest. Earn tickets for a raffle, have a shot at a chunk of a famous Meebit. Cool! There’s 3 different kinds of tickets, but for the 1st lottery Kai wanted to airdrop a raffle ticket in the form of an NFT — aka the “Red Ticket” — to every current Meebit holder so they could have a chance to win. Hype up the MeebitsDAO and have some fun!

            [...]

            If you’re new to Ethereum and NFTs, the first thing you need to do know is that you 1st deploy your smart contract to the blockchain, at which point it will get an address, and then you call that smart contract on that address to mint NFT tokens. As you mint the tokens you need to supply a URI that contains the metadata for that particular token (almost everything we think of as “the NFT” — the description, image, etc. — actually lives in the metadata file off-chain). We generate a JSON file for each ticket and upload it to IPFS via a Pinata gateway, and then pin the file with the Pinata SDK. (pinning is the mechanism where you entice IPFS nodes to not discard your files.. ah, IPFS..)

          • New Release: Tor Browser 11.0a2

            Tor Browser 11.0a2 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable Windows/macOS/Linux or Android release instead.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5.3 (Android)

            Tor Browser 10.5.3 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version updates Firefox to 90.1.1. This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

          • Introducing Joseph Cuevas – The Mozilla Support Blog

            Please join me to welcome Joseph Cuevas (Joe) as part of the Customer Experience team and the broader SUMO family. Joe is going to be working as an Operations Manager specifically to build a premium customer experience for current and future Mozilla’s paid products.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.8 “Tatum” Released with Some Amazing New Features

          Today is an exciting day for the WordPress community because the release of WordPress 5.8 “Tatum”. So let’s see what’s new.

          WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world, which makes it a top-drawer consideration when building a new site. It is used by 41% of the top 10 million websites.

          WordPress 5.8 is finally here and there are a lot of great changes for its users. The new version include many small under the hood improvements and significant changes that will change the way we all work with it. Named in honor of Art Tatum, the legendary Jazz pianist, WordPress 5.8 is the second significant release of the year for this popular CMS.

      • FSFE

        • FSFE: 20 years of empowering people to control technology

          Marking twenty years of the FSFE, we highlight the importance of software freedom in Europe and important accomplishments since 2001. We shed light on our community with a birthday page where you can find community interviews and videos. People are invited to celebrate with us and share their own stories.

          Long before the first smartphone was introduced, it was evident to the FSFE’s founders that it is the people who should be in control of technology and not vice versa. In 2001, Free Software experts around Europe therefore created the Free Software Foundation Europe. 20 years later, we successfully concentrate our daily work on three main pillars to help software freedom thrive in Europe: public awareness, policy advocacy, and legal support.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • Long Live, Socko! Radical Reflections on Bo Burnham’s Inside
    • Jeremy Cooper’s Art of Ambiguities

      “These letters are letters, not literature,” insists Lynn Gallagher, the narrator of Jeremy Cooper’s epistolary novel, Bolt From the Blue. Gallagher tells us, in a brief introduction, that she has transcribed every postcard, letter, and e-mail that she and her mother sent to each other over a period of more than 30 years. She found many of these while cleaning out her mother’s apartment after her death, the letters in a jumbled pile in the back of a drawer and the e-mails in a file on her computer called GIRL.

    • A Nighttime Walk Without Bugs or Bats

      It was totally quiet as I walked the paved streets past the houses on one-acre lots with their neatly mowed lawns and sculpted flower patches.

      At first I enjoyed the peaceful stillness of the windless evening and the lack of traffic or even other walkers, but then it dawned on me what made it seem to uniquely calm. As I passed streetlight after streetlight, I realized there was not a moth, beetle or other miscellaneous bug flying around any of the lights.   

    • When Football Did Not Come Home

      In English footballing history, the penalty shootout has been responsible for a string of famous defeats.  In 1990, the national side lost to the West German juggernaut in the semi-final of the World Cup.  In the European Championship in 1996, the result was repeated, with the Germans again winning.  Southgate will have particularly vivid memories of that: he was one of the players who missed.  The shelf of defeat was beginning to sag.

      Then came the European Championships of 2020, delayed by the global pandemic.  England were fortunate in their draw and, unlike many of their opponents, played most of their matches on home soil.  But their record proved impressive, with Southgate’s side keeping a clean sheet till the semi-final against Denmark.  It became clear that Southgate had created a team unit as opposed to a team of stars bristling with contesting egos.   Previous footballing practices extolled celebrity within the team, with predictable consequences.  “Beckhamisation”, named after the recognisable former England captain and Manchester United player David Beckham, did much to create estrangement within the ranks between the celebrities and the foot soldiers.

    • Remothering the Land
    • Beatriz Bracher’s Family Histories

      With his wife expecting a child, a young graphic designer named Benjamim Kremz returns to his hometown of São Paolo to try to uncover the details of his family’s murky past. He never knew his mother—she died in childbirth—and his father, Teodoro, was committed to a mental hospital when he was young. Scarcely has Benjamim’s quest to understand their relationship begun when Raul, one of Teodoro’s oldest friends, drops a bombshell. “Your mother, Elenir, was married to your grandfather and had a child by him,” Raul tells Benjamim, before explaining that his half-brother (which is to say, uncle) died before leaving the hospital, a trauma that abruptly ended Elenir’s relationship with Benjamim’s grandfather Xavier.

    • Don’t preorder ebooks from Packt Publishing

      Two months, I preordered an interesting-looking ebook title from Packt Publishing. Neither the post-purchase experience nor the final product lived up to my expectations.

      The ebook’s product page said it was due for release in the second week of June. However, I didn’t receive any information about the book availability after I’d placed my order. Both the order confirmation page and the receipt email told me to visit my downloads page. I didn’t find any ebooks listed in my account and no information about my purchase.

      I knew I had preordered the book, and I expected to see it listed in my account. The purchase experience was confusing and unclear overall. The PayPal receipt email made it clear that I’d paid for something, but Packt dropped the ball on the delivery. Packt didn’t ask me to set up an account or do anything other than providing an email address. All I’d want to see was one sentence saying something like “[Book Title] will be delivered to your email inbox by July 2020.”

      I didn’t receive an email from Packt when the book was supposed to be released. I had created a reminder in my calendar for the following day, though. I logged back into my Packt account, but it still didn’t list any books. I found my way back to the book’s product page where it said the release date got delayed by a month. Which is okay; stuff happens.

    • I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

      Google Cloud’s veep of developer relations abruptly left the web giant late last week after sharing a lengthy essay on how he no longer hated “all the Jewish people.”

      One month ago, Egyptian-American Amr Awadallah, who joined Google in 2019, had posted on LinkedIn a 10,000-word missive, with an accompanying two-hour YouTube video, declaring: “I hated the Jewish people, all the Jewish people, and emphasis here is on the past tense.

      “Yes, I was anti-Semitic, even though I am a Semite, as this term broadly refers to the peoples who speak Semitic languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, among others.”

    • Microsoft’s “CBL-Mariner” Linux distro installation and overview [Ed: Some 'Linux' sites still foolishly promote a Microsoft PR stunt that's a Microsoft 'distro' of Linux; they used several similar stunts in the past]
    • Science

      • 319 terabits – great Scott! Boffins in Japan speed along information superhighway at new world record

        Japanese researchers have broken the world record for the fastest internet speed by transmitting data at 319 terabits per second (Tbps) using modern day compatible fibre optical cable, according to the country’s primary comms research institute.

        The 3,001km (1,864 miles) optical fibre was designed by engineers at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Network Research Institute.

    • Education

      • Putting the social back into social media

        That is the argument of Mark Carrigan, a research associate in the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education. Many scholars, he claimed, were “ill-equipped to deal with the pitfalls of platforms which effectively seek to manipulate their users…We may think we are countering falsehoods or introducing seriousness into the debate, but if we do so in a scattergun, disorganised fashion, we are just adding to the cacophony of platforms [such as Twitter].” Far better was to “find ways for academics to collectively use platforms rather than individually be used by them”.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Power Structure for Deadly Lag and the Prophetic Work of Unsung Heroes

        Fifty years ago, medical research warned about the overuse of antibiotics creating mutations of resistant bacterium, making these drugs less effective. Dr. Sidney Wolfe warned about this criminal negligence again and again, along with other colleagues. But the drug companies kept over-promoting to get physicians to over-prescribe. Today, antibiotic resistance takes over 100,000 lives a year just in the U.S. Some bacterium are mutating beyond the ability of medical science to catch up with new more powerful antibiotics to curb new antibiotic resistance bacterium.

        Deadly Lag Time.

      • FL Newspaper Tells DeSantis to Stop “Auditioning” for Fox News as COVID Spikes
      • ‘Profiteering Healthcare System’ Blamed as US Medical Debt Surges to $140 Billion

        A new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that people in the United States now owe collection agencies a staggering $140 billion due to unpaid medical bills—making healthcare the nation’s largest source of debt in collections.

        The researchers estimate that in June 2020, roughly one in five people in the U.S. had medical debt in collections—meaning their debt had been sold to a third-party tasked with retrieving the money, often by harassing low-income people who are unable to pay.

      • The “Nuremberg Code” gambit

        If there’s one thing antivaxxers love, it’s citing the Nuremberg Code. We’ve seen it (and I’ve discussed it here) many times before, coming from antivaxxers as diverse in their level of fanaticism as Mike Adams, who has all but called for “Nuremberg-style” trials for pro-vaccine physicians and scientists; washed up comedian Rob Schneider; the grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher; our recent acquaintance, “holistic” cardiologist Joel Kahn; Phil Valentine; VAXXED “documentarian” Del Bigtree; and disgraced antivax physician from the Cleveland Clinic, Daniel Neides. The examples go on and on and on. Antivaxxers invoke the Nuremberg Code so often that I’ve started calling their doing so the “Nuremberg Code gambit.” That’s why, every so often, I feel the need to revisit this topic and explain why the way antivaxxers invoke the Nuremberg Code against vaccines reveals a poor understanding of history and is a thinly disguised (actually undisguised) Godwin.

      • Marjorie Taylor Greene Suspended From Twitter for Posting False COVID Claims
      • Safe Olympic Events
      • Russia’s vaccination certificates reveal COVID-19 numbers up to five times higher than official statistics

        For the past three weeks, Moscow residents could be refused dine-in service at restaurants unless they presented an official QR code proving vaccination, recovery from COVID-19, or a recent, negative PCR test. These QR codes were issued along with certificates, which, as it turns out, are numbered based on encrypted statistics from the Russian Health Ministry’s official coronavirus registry. As part of a joint investigation with Holod Media and Mediazona, Meduza’s journalists studied these certificate numbers, which are issued by the government services portal Gosuslugi, and uncovered that Russia has registered as many as 29 million suspected cases of COVID-19 — a number that’s five times higher than the official statistics reported by the country’s operational headquarters for the fight against the coronavirus.

      • The cost of stability New research suggests that Russian officials could have prevented 220,000 deaths by imposing a second lockdown and committing to more relief spending

        On July 19, the Liberal Mission Foundation published an assessment of how Russia has handled the coronavirus pandemic, analyzing the government’s actions and the public’s response. Most controversially, the report’s authors argue that Russia could have avoided roughly 220,000 deaths if officials imposed a second lockdown. Meduza reviews how researchers came to this alarming conclusion.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Spam Kingpin Peter Levashov Gets Time Served

          A federal judge in Connecticut today handed down a sentence of time served to spam kingpin Peter “Severa” Levashov, a prolific purveyor of malicious and junk email, and the creator of malware strains that infected millions of Microsoft computers globally. Levashov has been in federal custody since his extradition to the United States and guilty plea in 2018, and was facing up to 12 more years in prison. Instead, he will go free under three years of supervised release and a possible fine.

        • Cyber attackers ‘weaponising’ Operational Technology to harm, kill humans: study

          According to Gartner’s research on operational technology, security incidents in OT and other cyber-physical systems (CPS) have three main motivations – actual harm, commercial vandalism (reduced output) and reputational vandalism (making a manufacturer untrusted or unreliable).

          Gartner predicts that the financial impact of CPS attacks resulting in fatal casualties will reach over $50 billion by 2023, and even without taking the value of human life into account, the costs for organisations in terms of compensation, litigation, insurance, regulatory fines and reputation loss will be significant.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Two-for-Tuesday vulnerabilities send Windows and Linux users scrambling [Ed: Dan Goodin interjecting extra drama, comparing an OS with back doors to this systemd bug]

            The world woke up on Tuesday to two new vulnerabilities—one in Windows and the other in Linux—that allow hackers with a toehold in a vulnerable system to bypass OS security restrictions and access sensitive resources.

          • Authentication in an Enterprise

            I’d like to shed some light at the process of Authentication since it’s a fundamental building block in creating secure tools that need to communicate with other actors over the network. When tools and/or users interact with one another – e.g., through a web browser – both ends of the interactions need a way to make sure, they’re communicating with the right party. Some bad actor might for example create a web page that looks like your bank’s online banking portal. With additional DNS spoofing you might be connecting to the wrong website. When you’d be trying to log in you’d be prompted for username and password. If you entered them on that phony web page, you’d provide them to the attacker. It’s imperative for your browser to be able to make sure, that this is not the case here.

          • Dealing with security vulnerabilities on data center servers requires more skilled staff

            There is a lot of attention being paid to continuously updating servers to patch security vulnerabilities on Linux servers running in data centers – a basic step underpinning technology infrastructure in every industry. Yet, staff resources to deal with maintaining servers are not sufficient to meet the workload, said 55% of respondents in a worldwide survey by CloudLinux.

          • Journo who went to prison for 2 years for breaking US cyber-security law is jailed again

            Former journalist Matthew Keys, who served two years in prison for posting his Tribune Company content management system credentials online a decade ago in violation of America’s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, has been ordered back to prison for violating the terms of his supervised release.

            On Monday, Keys, 34, a resident of Vacaville, California, received an additional six-month sentence and 18 months of supervision with computer monitoring requirements, according to the US Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of California. The sentence follows from a judge’s finding that Keyes intentionally deleted a YouTube account he was managing on behalf of his then employer, Comstock’s Magazine.

          • Authorization Basics

            In this article, we explained what authorization is and how it differs from authentication. We gave examples for authorization processes and explained the two different access control models: capability-based access control and access control lists.

            The Linux/UNIX file permissions were used to show an example of how ACLs could be used. Note that, although Linux/UNIX file permissions are a type of ACL, they are not to be confused with the POSIX ACL, which are also available on Linux platforms. S acl(5) in the man pages for more information.

            We learned that authorization is used to determine what actions a subject is allowed to perform on an object. Besides the examples from this article, other methods can be used to implement access control, including Discretionary Access Control (DAC), Mandatory Access Control (MAC) or Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), to name the most common ones.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ant, code, dino, firefox-ublock-origin, go, libuv, nextcloud-app-mail, nodejs-lts-erbium, nodejs-lts-fermium, openvswitch, putty, racket, telegram-desktop, and wireshark-cli), Debian (kernel, linux-4.19, and systemd), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, and krb5), Gentoo (systemd), Mageia (perl-Convert-ASN1 and wireshark), openSUSE (caribou, containerd, crmsh, fossil, icinga2, kernel, nextcloud, and systemd), Red Hat (389-ds:1.4, glibc, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, libldb, perl, RHV-H, rpm, shim and fwupd, and systemd), Slackware (kernel), SUSE (caribou, containerd, crmsh, curl, dbus-1, kernel, qemu, and systemd), and Ubuntu (binutils, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.8, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.8, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.8, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.8, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-lts-xenial, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux-oem-5.10, nvidia-graphics-drivers-390, nvidia-graphics-drivers-418-server, nvidia-graphics-drivers-450-server, nvidia-graphics-drivers-460, nvidia-graphics-drivers-460-server, nvidia-graphics-drivers-470, and systemd).

          • NVIDIA announce new security issues, make sure you have updated drivers

            Here we are again. NVIDIA has today sent out a security bulletin to inform users on Linux and Windows to ensure your GPU drivers are up to date to do freshly revealed security problems.

            The issues can result in information disclosure, data tampering, and denial of service. As always, even if you think you’re not vulnerable for whatever reason, upgrading is highly recommended now.

          • Defending Against Spyware Like Pegasus

            This has been a busy week for security news, but perhaps the most significant security and privacy story to break this week (if not this year), is about how NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used by a number of governments to infect and spy on journalists and activists and even heads of state by sending an invisible, silent attack to their iPhone that requires no user interaction. This attack works even on new, fully-patched phones, and once the phone is compromised, the attacker has full remote control over the phone including access to the file system, location, and microphone and cameras.

            What’s particularly scary about spyware in general, and is true for Pegasus as well, is that victims have no indication they’ve been compromised. Due to how locked down the iPhone is from the end user, detecting Pegasus in particular requires expert forensics techniques. This has left many at-risk iPhone users wondering whether they too are compromised and if so, what do they do?

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • MAGA ‘Freedom Phone’ Targets Rubes With Dubious Promises Of Privacy

              If you hadn’t noticed, there’s been no shortage of dodgy folks attempting to cash in on the MAGA craze. There’s also been no shortage of folks eager to cash in on the generalized animosity against “big tech” driven by bogus claims of “Conservative censorship” (aka: people being held vaguely accountable for being racist assholes on the internet via clumsy Silicon Valley moderation practices that don’t work well at scale).

            • India’s Draconian Rules for Internet Platforms Threaten User Privacy and Undermine Encryption

              Three UN Special Rapporteurs—the Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression, Privacy, and Association—heard and in large part affirmed civil society’s criticism of the 2021 Rules, acknowledging that they did “not conform with international human rights norms.” Indeed, the Rapporteurs raised serious concerns that Rule 4 of the guidelines may compromise the right to privacy of every internet user, and called on the Indian government to carry out a detailed review of the Rules and to consult with all relevant stakeholders, including NGOs specializing in privacy and freedom of expression.

              2021 Rules contain two provisions that are particularly pernicious: the Rule 4(4) Content Filtering Mandate and the Rule 4(2) Traceability Mandate.

              Rule 4(4) compels content filtering, requiring that providers are able to review the content of communications, which not only fundamentally breaks end-to-end encryption, but creates a system for censorship. Significant social media intermediaries (i.e. Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc.) must “endeavor to deploy technology-based measures,” including automated tools or other mechanisms, to “proactively identify information” that has been forbidden under the Rules. This cannot be done without breaking the higher-level promises of secure end-to-end encrypted messaging. 

            • How Do You Solve a Privacy Problem Like Facebook? Two New Ways Emerge

              That’s very much what this blog has been advocating for the last few years now. The trouble is, even with the GDPR, progress has been slow. One important recent development has been the increasing interest in using the GDPR at a national level to police privacy infringements. That’s not how the GDPR was originally envisaged: instead, the “one-stop shop” approach was meant to encourage a “lead supervisory authority” in one EU country to handle the case in conjunction with data protection authorities in the other EU nations. Germany in particular seems keen to go it alone. Alongside that move by a national data protection authority, we now have another local action by Dutch citizens against Facebook claiming damages for allegedly infringing on their privacy. As a press release from the Dutch Consumentenbond (Consumers Association) explains (translation by DeepL):

            • Calls Grow for Moratorium on Private Spyware After Pegasus Revelations
            • Pegasus Project Shows the Need for Real Device Security, Accountability and Redress for those Facing State-Sponsored Malware

              So it is no surprise that people around the world are angry to learn that surveillance  software sold by NSO Group to governments has been found on cellphones worldwide. Thousands of NGOs, human rights and democracy activists, along with government employees and many others have been targeted and spied upon. We agree and we are thankful for the work done by Amnesty International, the countless journalists at Forbidden Stories, along with Citizen Lab, to bring this awful situation to light.

              “A commitment to giving their own citizens strong security is the true test of a country’s commitment to cybersecurity.”

              Like many others, EFF has warned for years of the danger of the misuse of powerful state-sponsored malware. Yet the stories just keep coming about malware being used to surveil and track journalists and human rights defenders who are then murdered —including the murders of Jamal Khashoggi or Cecilio Pineda-Birto. Yet we have failed to ensure real accountability for the governments and companies responsible. 

            • ‘No One Is Safe’: Phone Numbers of 14 World Leaders on Pegasus List

              The Washington Post on Tuesday revealed that three presidents, 10 prime ministers, and a king are among the more than 50,000 individuals whose phone numbers appeared on a leaked list of potential targets of Pegasus, the military-grade spyware licensed by Israeli firm NSO Group, prompting human rights defenders to call for a global crackdown on the surveillance industry’s invasive technologies.

              According to the Post, the phone numbers of hundreds of public officials, including 14 heads of state and government, appeared on the list. It was not possible to confirm if the world leaders’ smartphones had been infected with Pegasus, however, because none agreed to a forensic analysis of their iPhones or Android devices.

            • Mexico Used Private Israeli Spyware Pegasus to Surveil President’s Family & a Murdered Journalist

              Mexico appears to have submitted more phone numbers for potential surveillance to the Israeli cybersurveillance company NSO Group than any other client country, according to an investigation of the company by an international collaboration of media outlets called The Pegasus Project. The Guardian found the mobile phone number of Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto was selected as a possible target for surveillance by a Mexican NSO Group client just weeks before Pineda’s assassination in Guerrero in 2017. Nina Lakhani, senior reporter at The Guardian, says Mexico was NSO Group’s first client and authorities there have a long record of “dire human rights abuses.” She notes Mexico’s use of Pegasus proves the technology is not only used to go after criminality. “The line between good and bad in Mexico is blurred,” Lakhani says.

            • Amnesty Int’l Calls for Moratorium on Private Spyware After Israeli NSO Group Pegasus Revelations

              Calls are growing for stricter regulations on the use of surveillance technology after revelations that countries have used the powerful Pegasus spyware against politicians, journalists and activists around the world. The Pegasus software, sold by the Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group, can secretly infect a mobile phone and harvest its information. While the company touts Pegasus as intended for criminals and terrorists, leaked data suggests the tool is widely abused by governments to go after political opponents and dissidents, according to reporting from The Pegasus Project, an international consortium of 17 media organizations. We feature a PBS “Frontline” report on the shocking findings that the Israeli government allowed NSO to continue to do business with Saudi Arabia even after the Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and allegedly used Pegasus to surveil Khashoggi’s fiancée. “Contrary to what NSO is claiming, the spyware Pegasus is used to target people absolutely unrelated to criminal activities or terrorism,” says Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International. She adds that The Pegasus Project has exposed that abuse of powerful surveillance technology “is systematic, and it is global.”

            • Pegasus row continues; Govt officials, Oppn politicians, activists part of snooping list in India [details]

              Wahington Post said the numbers on the list are unattributed, but reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents: several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and more than 600 politicians and government officials — including cabinet ministers, diplomats, and military and security officers. The numbers of several heads of state and Prime Ministers also appeared on the list.

            • Public CDNs Are Useless and Dangerous

              Host your own dependencies, put a cache directly in front of your application, and make your application resilient to missing resources.

              By hosting your own dependencies, you have control over everything your application needs, and you don’t have to depend on public infrastructure. By using a cache directly in front of your site, you gain the same caching, content distribution and performance benefits of public CDNs, while keeping mitigations available for the possible downsides.

              When talking about caches, I’m primarily suggesting a paid caching reverse-proxy service, like Cloudflare, Fastly, Cloudfront, Akamai, etc (although these are paid, most do have generous free tiers where you can get started or host small sites). In addition to the caching, these each offer various features on top, like DDoS protections, serverless edge workers, server-side analytics, automatic content optimization, and so on.

            • Verified: UK.gov launching plans for yet another digital identity scheme

              The UK government is launching proposals to boost the legal status of digital identities, something it claims will ensure they are trusted as much as physical documents such as passports.

              The blueprint suggests the technology could take a number of forms such as a phone app or a web-based service.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Moral Intelligence or Nuclear War

        This won’t mean that life suddenly becomes simple — anything but! The politics of today, nationally and internationally, is simple: somebody wins, somebody loses; war is inevitable, there are always several on the horizon, and the primary consequence of every war that is waged is that it spurs more wars, a fact that remains officially unnoticed; only some lives matter, those that don’t are collateral damage, illegal aliens or simply the enemy; nuclear weapons  (ours, only ours) are justified, necessary and must be continually upgraded; national borders, however arbitrary, are sacred (the only thing that’s sacred); if these norms are challenged, the best response is mockery and cynicism.

        Transcending this mindset requires facing life in all its complexity, which is a necessary part of our personal lives. But could it be that facing the endless complexity of life is also politically possible? This seems to be the question I’ve been given to ponder — and cherish — as I step into my elder years. Come on! Politics requires simplistic public herding, does it not? You can’t steer a country without an enemy.

      • Senators Introduce Legislation to Curb Endless US Wars, Lethal Arms Sales

        A trio of senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would beef up congressional authority in national security with provisions to narrow presidential power to launch hostilities, make it easier to block certain weapons sales, and sunset authorizations of the use of military force including the 2001 AUMF that paved the way for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

        “The founders envisioned a balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of government on national security matters. But over time, Congress has acquiesced to the growing, often unchecked power of the executive to determine the outline of America’s footprint in the world,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who introduced the National Security Powers Act (pdf) along with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

      • How to Prevent a New Cold War with China

        One crucial area the EAGLE Act fails is its very namesake: by focusing almost exclusively on foreign affairs, the EAGLE Act ignores the United States’ most pressing domestic issues like COVID-19, climate change, poverty, hunger, and inequality. How can America project global leadership when we appear incapable of addressing most of our citizens’ most basic needs? U.S. politicians like Gregory Meeks should focus legislation on solving problems in the U.S. before seeking to weigh in on issues in other parts of the world.

        Instead, Meeks’ promotion of the bill performs classic American Exceptionalism, seeking to address human rights abuse accusations in China while ignoring the very same issues of forced sterilization and forced labor in U.S. prisons, ICE concentration camps that target people for their ethnic origins, and extralegal detention facilities like Guantanamo Bay that have previously detained and interrogated Uyghur Muslims. Beyond that, the EAGLE Act’s rhetoric continues the Sinophobic demonization of China that began under the Trump administration while claiming to rebuke overt racism and the former President.

      • Blaming BLM for Homicide Rise—and Excusing Massive Spike in Gun Sales

        Media musings on a spike in homicides and shootings over the past year focus on how “defund the police” and other civil rights movement calls to action are affecting public safety—while largely ignoring any policy proposals that could keep guns off the street.

      • Biden Tried to Absolve Himself for Afghanistan Aftermath — But He Voted for War
      • The Taliban’s Dramatic Military Victory

        It’s been two decades. There was no legal or moral justification for the war to begin with. They’ve had too much time as it is.

        For those of us who have been closely connected to America’s longest war last week’s abandonment of Bagram airbase, the biggest U.S. facility in occupied Afghanistan, makes the long-promised withdrawal feel real.

      • Majority of McCarthy’s January 6 Commission Picks Voted to Overturn Election
      • Robotic Killing Machines and Our Future: Chris Pratt, Aliens and Drones

        By no means is The Tomorrow War a masterpiece; I would give it 5 stars out of 10. It is what you would expect from a summer action-adventure blockbuster. However, one thing that stuck with me regarding this film about humans fighting aliens 30 years in the future is that there is little to be seen of drone warfare. In only a couple of scenes do we see drones fighting the aliens. The absence of drones is because Hollywood makes money off of its stars and not robots. The reality, though, is that based upon where we are in the present with robotic killing machines and the predictive course of technological progress and adaption, in 30 years from now, humans will not be present on the battlefront. The likely scenario is that the fictional aliens in The Tomorrow War would not stand a chance against the automatized warfare of the present, let alone the future. What needs to be asked is: what chance do we as non-fictional humans have?

        The idea that machines may kill on their own is older than I am. Science fiction writers and futurists crafted laws in their novels and predictions that humans would program robots with constitutional instructions not to harm humans. When I was a boy in the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger shot to stardom as he played the role of the assassin robot in The Terminator. At about the same time, Matthew Broderick starred in Wargames, a movie about the consequences of putting the decision to kill in the hands of computers. Frighteningly, what was once considered gist and speculation for science fiction novels and movies is now existent.

      • Don’t Use Cuba Protests to Justify US Intervention, Say Activists in Mexico
      • Cuba and the US: The Difference Between Dictatorship and Tyranny

        In 1997 a Cuban friend told me “Fidel is a dictator, but not a tyrant.” We were in a province of Mozambique where he worked as a doctor and I as an architect. That afternoon, in a courtyard of African red ground, I did not understand his idea. It seemed contradictory. For some reason I never forgot it until a few years later, reviewing declassified documents, I thought that Washington was not a dictatorship, but a tyranny.

      • If You Grew Up With the U.S. Blockade as a Cuban, You Might Understand the Recent Protests Differently

        The social problems, Tablada told us, derive from the U.S. blockade of Cuba that began in the 1960s but has been deepened by former U.S. President Donald Trump’s 243 coercive measures. “The United States has criminalized Cuban public services,” she said, “including our public health system and our public education system.” These sanctions make it impossible for Cubans to visit their families in the United States. They make it impossible for remittances to be sent into Cuba, and they make it impossible for Cuba to access essential goods and services (including fuel). On top of everything else, Trump designated Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” a decision which U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy called“frivolous.” The U.S. government claims that the blockade and these coercive measures are to punish the government, but—says Tablada—they “criminalize the country.”

        The Miami Mafia

      • Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires

        The US-led war in Afghanistan looks to be ending, and not a day too soon. America’s father, Benjamin Franklin, wisely wrote: ‘No good war; no bad peace.’

      • “Gulag of Our Time”: Amnesty International Calls on Biden Admin to Shut Down Guantánamo Bay Prison

        Fifty-six-year-old Abdul Latif Nasser is the first Guantánamo Bay prisoner to be released under the Biden administration. He was imprisoned for nearly two decades without charge and had been cleared for release since 2016. Thirty-nine prisoners remain at Guantánamo. “Legally speaking, morally speaking, that space that has been created has no significance other than the harm it is placing on people,” says Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International.

      • How Far Will the US Take Intervention in Cuba?

        When hundreds of protesters in Cuba rallied last week against food and medical shortages, American policy-makers responded the only way they know how. Though the deteriorating economic situation is largely the result of purposeful US sanctions, worsened by the pandemic, lawmakers from both parties seized on the protests to agitate for regime change, calling on the US government to intervene.

      • Whistleblower Daniel Hale Sentencing Hearing: July 27th

        The files were the basis for the 2015 series “The Drone Papers” and the 2016 book “The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program.”

      • US Strikes Al-Shabab in Somalia for First Time in Six Months

        The Pentagon late Tuesday confirmed U.S. forces were behind the single strike near Galkayo, about 580 kilometers north of the capital of Mogadishu, which was first announced by Somali officials earlier in the day.

      • Nigeria secures release of 100 kidnapped mothers and children

        The authorities in north-west Nigeria say they have freed 100 women and children – mainly mothers nursing infants – who were seized by bandits.

    • Environment

      • Leaving Parts of Trump’s Pro-Polluter Legacy Intact, Biden Gets C- on Environmental Report Card

        Expressing alarm over President Joe Biden’s support for a number of pipeline projects and his failure to reverse the vast majority of environmental regulatory rollbacks introduced by his predecessor, the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund on Tuesday gave the president a grade of C-minus and said he “needs improvement” on its Environmental Report Card.

        “Biden’s bold vision during the campaign won’t be met if his administration leaves large chunks of Trump’s pro-polluter legacy intact.”—Brett Hartl, CBD Action Fund

      • CO2 Emissions to Reach “All-Time High” as Rich Nations Skimp on Clean Energy
      • Are We Prepared for Pandora’s Box of Climate Catastrophes?

        Will this be the summer we all remember what we were doing? A monstrous landslide after record rainfall in Japan left fifteen dead and dozens missing. Biblical flooding in Germany has caused hundreds of deaths with many more unaccounted for. More than a million acres of the west coast of North America are on fire after temperatures soared to 122°F (49.9°C). Will this be the moment we woke up and demanded action? Or will it be the coolest summer of the rest of our lives?

      • Drastic Measures Needed to Curb Plastic Pollution in Oceans by 2050
      • ‘Deadline Glasgow’: As Climate Summit Looms, Campaign Targets Complicity of Banks and Biden

        More than 160 organizations launched a new campaign Tuesday, ahead of a United Nations climate summit this fall, demanding that Wall Street and U.S. President Joe Biden cut off funding for companies and projects fueling the climate emergency.

        The “Deadline Glasgow—Defund Climate Chaos” campaign is spearheaded by the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition, which targets asset managers, banks, and insurers for their roles in climate destruction.

      • 84 Democrats Sign Letter Demanding Civilian Climate Corps in Reconciliation Bill
      • Energy

        • IEA Warns CO2 Emissions Set to Climb to ‘All-Time High’ as Rich Nations Skimp on Clean Energy

          The International Energy Agency warned Tuesday that global carbon dioxide emissions are on track to soar to record levels in 2023—and continue rising thereafter—as governments fail to make adequate investments in green energy and end their dedication to planet-warming fossil fuels.

          In a new report, IEA estimates that of the $16 trillion world governments have spent to prop up their economies during the coronavirus crisis, just 2% of that total has gone toward clean energy development.

        • Fossil Fuel Giants Ignoring IEA ‘Net Zero’ Report Despite Pledges, Analysis Finds

          Fossil fuel companies are pressing ahead with new oil and gas developments, despite a recent warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that this will make the Paris Agreement goals impossible to meet, an analysis has found.

          According to the author of the analysis, the companies and industry bodies, most of which have made public statements in support of the world reaching “net zero” emissions by 2050, are “cherry-picking” IEA reports to suit their arguments.

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bootleg Fire Has Burned Over 364,000 Acres and Is Making Its Own Weather

          As of Tuesday morning, the Bootleg Fire had burned up more than 364,000 acres across Southern Oregon—becoming so big that not only has it bolstered the case for bold climate action, the fire is also creating its own weather.

          “The fire is so large and generating so much energy and extreme heat that it’s changing the weather,” Marcus Kauffman, a spokesperson for the Oregon forestry department, told The New York Times. “Normally the weather predicts what the fire will do. In this case, the fire is predicting what the weather will do.”

    • Finance

      • The Fake Heroism of Space Billionaires

        Once upon a time, long long ago, people with names like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Buzz Aldrin, and Sally Ride blasted into space. None was selected on the basis of income or wealth, but on skill and rigorous training. Their heroism – and we regarded them as national heroes – symbolized America’s technological prowess and egalitarianism.

      • One of the First Things Bezos Says After Returning From Space: Humanity Should Pollute It

        Just minutes after touching down following his successful and brief suborbital flight on Tuesday, billionaire Jeff Bezos expressed hope that humankind will ultimately develop the capacity to move the industries that have heavily polluted and warmed the Earth into space—a vision that one critic slammed as “delusional, toxic nonsense.”

        Speaking to MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle in one of his first interviews after the flight, Bezos—the richest person on Earth—said that “you can’t imagine how thin the atmosphere is when you see it from space.”

      • ‘Nothing Says Tax the Rich Like a Recreational Billionaire Space Race’: Critics Denounce Bezos Flight

        Economic justice advocates recoiled on Tuesday at the sight of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, launching himself into space—momentarily leaving behind a planetary emergency; a global pandemic that’s disproportionately affecting poor countries without access to vaccines; and rampant wealth inequality in the U.S. and around the world—all of which could be eradicated or mitigated with a wealth tax imposed on Bezos and other billionaires.

        The New Shepard launch came days after business magnate Richard Branson launched his own spacecraft, beginning what the news media has called a “billionaire space race.”

    • Lobbying/Politics

      • Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Prevent Trump Becoming Unelected Speaker of House
      • St. Petersburg deputy Maxim Reznik calls off re-election campaign due to house arrest

        Maxim Reznik, a prominent opposition politician in St. Petersburg, who is currently under house arrest, has announced that he will not be running for re-election to the city’s legislative assembly in the fall. 

      • The Greatest Threat to Britain Isn’t China or Russia, It’s Boris Johnson

        He spoke of threats from states such as Russia, China and Iran; from far-right activists, Islamic terrorists, and the resurgence of violence in Northern Ireland. Alongside these were the more amorphous threats posed by encrypted messaging, online spying, and cyber attacks.

        Many of these developments are less threatening than they look. Russia may engage in gangster-type assassinations, such as the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury, but the very crudity of its attacks on its critics underlines the limitations of Russian capabilities. President Putin may relish the fact that his country is treated like a superpower – albeit a demonic one – but it has nothing like the power of the Soviet Union. The idea, for instance, that the Kremlin determined the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election was always a myth. Hillary Clinton’s dire campaign is sufficient explanation for Donald Trump’s election.

      • Exercise in Futility

        Moreover, he is playing hardball while Biden is weakening the presidential bully pulpit by lobbing softballs urging Republicans to pass his For the People Act and the Voting Rights Advancement Act to make voting state suppression laws null and void.

        McConnell cannot be expected to vote for something against the wishes of state-level Republicans who insist on trying to prevent as many votes as possible for Democratic candidates. For him, the big picture is his party, not the country.

      • ‘Change Is Coming’: Leftist Pedro Castillo Confirmed President-Elect in Peru

        Officials on Monday night declared socialist candidate Pedro Castillo the winner of last month’s presidential election in Peru, following weeks of delays caused by far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori’s baseless allegations of electoral fraud.

        Castillo, the son of illiterate peasant farmers from a poor Andean region, defeated Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori and symbol of the South American nation’s wealthy elite, by a margin of more than 44,000 votes in the June 6th runoff election. But the official results were postponed for over a month due to appeals made by Fujimori’s campaign.

      • Campaign Spending at Trump Properties Down, but Not Out

        The number of federal political committees that have spent money in the first half of 2021 at Trump Organization properties has dropped dramatically from the same period two years ago, Federal Election Commission filings show. Those continuing to spend: a smaller circle of loyal supporters of former President Donald Trump and candidates jockeying for his favor in contested Republican primaries.

        During the first six months of 2021, 27 federal committees have reported spending $348,000 at Trump Organization properties, with the Republican National Committee accounting for more than half the total. That’s a steep decline from the 177 committees that did so during the 2019-2020 election cycle or the 78 committees that spent more than $1.6 million at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump International Hotel in Washington and other company sites in the first half of 2019, filings show.

      • Trump? I Haven’t Heard That Name in Years

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

    • Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Nothing to see here: Journalists uncover secret construction site near Putin’s official residence outside Moscow

        Journalists from MBX Media have published an investigation into a major construction site near Novo-Ogaryovo, Vladimir Putin’s official residence on the outskirts of Moscow. Work on the project, which experts estimate could cost 20–50 billion rubles (about $269–672 million), reportedly began in the summer of 2020. The property in question is now home to two massive guest houses, as well as a wellness center and a sports complex, which allegedly includes an underground tunnel that connects directly to Putin’s estate. Journalists uncovered the site after construction began on a bridge across the Moskva River, just a stone’s throw away from the presidential residence. According to MBX Media, the Russian Secret Service (the FSO) is responsible for both the construction site and the bridge. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says “there are no construction projects at Novo-Ogaryovo.”

      • Critics Note Blinken’s Vow to Support ‘Independent Journalists’ Does Not Apply to Julian Assange

        Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed Monday that the United States “will always support the indispensable work of independent journalists around the world”—a commitment that the Biden administration has refused to apply to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom the U.S. government is attempting to prosecute for releasing classified information that exposed war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere.

        “The United States believes all journalists, whatever their nationality, wherever they are, have a legal duty to keep the U.S. government’s dirty secrets. Now I’m sorry, but that’s not ‘supporting’ journalists.”—Clare Daly, European Parliament

      • Amnesty International: Julian Assange’s “Arbitrary” Detention Must End. Release Him Now.

        As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if he is extradited to the U.S. under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes, Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard says his detention since 2010 “is arbitrary and that he should be released.” She adds that allegations made against him by the U.S. authorities “raise a large number of problems and red flags in relation to freedom of the press.”

      • Journalist Maria Ressa: ‘We’re Losing the Battle for Our Rights’ in Philippines

        Despite the prospect of lengthy prison sentences, Ressa is more focused on social media manipulation and how it’s affecting the “retreat of democracy.”

        Ressa has regularly come under attack from online trolls since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016, using Facebook to directly reach supporters. At one point, she was the target of an average 90 hate messages an hour, according to analysis by the International Center for Journalists.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘They Treat Us Horribly’: Striking Frito-Lay Worker Speaks Out About Conditions In Topeka Facility

        Frito-Lay workers in Topeka, Kansas are entering their 12th day of striking today over poor working conditions, outrageous schedules, and poor treatment. 

        Samuel Huntsman, 23, is one of those workers. He has been with the company for three years and in that time has seen conditions at the plant go from bad to worse. 

      • How Harper’s Magazine Undermines the Struggle Against White Supremacy

        The article argues that it is futile to dwell on the racist history of the USA and to instead look forward to breakthroughs like the Civil War, the civil rights movement, etc. Essentially, Karp aligns himself with the cadre of historians that complained bitterly about all the falsehoods they supposedly saw in the 1619 Project. Among them, his Princeton colleague Sean Wilentz barked the loudest at Hannah-Jones. Mostly, the complaints were about her introductory article that stated that the colonists fought for independence in order to maintain slavery and that racism was in America’s DNA. Except for Wilentz, the historians took their case to the World Socialist Website (WSWS), an outlet distinguished by its hysterical Henny-Penny warnings that WWIII was always about to break out and that Socialist Workers Party leader Joe Hansen was a GPU agent.

        Karp summed up opinion on the 1619 Project from the right and the left. There were only a “handful” of Republican legislators hoping to keep it out of classrooms. Somehow, he had not noticed the UNC’s egregious attack on Hannah-Jones’s right to tenure. As for the left, the Communist Party supported the project and the WSWS’s Socialist Equality Party did not. If these two sects were meant to represent the left, it would seem that Karp has tunnel vision. Jacobin, which has a far greater reach, published four articles pushing back on attacks on the 1619 Project, including two by Marxist historian Timothy Messer-Kruse. It might come as a surprise to Karp but most younger historians, especially those aligned with the new history of capitalism, identify with Hannah-Jones. Unlike Sean Wilentz, they see slavery as living on through white supremacy, a problem that Karp sweeps under the rug.

      • Migration Is Not the Crisis

        Earlier this month, a Honduran court found David Castillo, a U.S.-trained former Army intelligence officer and the head of an internationally financed hydroelectric company, guilty of the 2016 murder of celebrated Indigenous activist Berta Cáceres. His company was building a dam that threatened the traditional lands and water sources of the Indigenous Lenca people.  For years, Cáceres and her organization, the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH, had led the struggle to halt that project. It turned out, however, that Cáceres’s international recognition—she won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015—couldn’t protect her from becoming one of the dozens of Latin American Indigenous and environmental activists killed annually.

      • Why Did Netanyahu Vote Against a Racist Law He Wholly Embraces?

        On July 6, the Israeli Knesset failed to renew the Citizenship and Entry Law that prohibits family unification among Palestinians. This is good news. But the suspension of the law was accomplished for all of the wrong reasons.

      • Court To Cop: You Need More Than ‘Odor Of Marijuana’ And Inconsistent Testimony To Justify A Warrantless Search

        When cops are looking to perform warrantless searches, the only thing more useful than drug dogs is officers’ own noses. The invocation of the phrase “smell of marijuana” magically dissipates the protective shield of the Fourth Amendment, allowing officers to engage in searches that often seem to resemble “general rummaging.”

      • Policing Won’t Stop Anti-Asian Violence—Solidarity Will

        The mass shooting of massage parlor workers on March 16 in Atlanta was not the first time that Asian migrants were the targets of racial violence. Nor was it the first time that some Asian Americans and many politicians called for what always seems to be the solution to attacks: more police. CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities (formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence), a grassroots organization composed mostly of working-class migrants from China, Bangladesh, and Korea, has seen the reaction before. Amid apparent upticks in anti-Asian violence, people feel afraid, and bringing a well-funded police force to one’s neighborhood is often presented as the only response. But CAAAV insists that law enforcement doesn’t exist to protect its membership. The group’s executive director, Sasha Wijeyeratne, told us, “They can’t call the police when their boss pays them half their paycheck. But their landlord can call the police to evict them.”

      • “Heartbreaking”: Judge’s Suspension of DACA Renews Push for Comprehensive Immigration Bill

        After a federal judge struck down DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, we look at what may come next with Cesar Espinosa, a DACA recipient and executive director of the Houston, Texas-based, immigrant-led civil rights organization FIEL. He says the latest ruling is “heartbreaking,” and urges lawmakers to create a legislative solution for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. “We want to see Congress and the president take action.”

      • Norwegian women’s beach handball team fined for not playing in bikinis

        The team wore thigh-length elastic shorts during their bronze medal match against Spain in Bulgaria on Sunday to protest against the regulation bikini-bottom design that the sport’s Norwegian federation president called “embarrassing.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Final Days: Connect to a Brighter Internet ☀️

        Through Wednesday, anyone can join EFF or renew their membership for as little as $20 and get a pack of issue-focused Digital Freedom Analog Postcards. Each one represents part of the fight for our digital future, from releasing free expression chokepoints to opposing biometric surveillance to compelling officials to be more transparent. We made this special-edition snail mail set to further connect you with friends or family, and to help boost the signal for a better future online—it’s a team effort!

        New and renewing members at the Copper level and above can also choose our Stay Golden t-shirt. It highlights your resilience through darkness and our power when we work together. And it’s pretty darn fashionable, too.

      • Victory! Californians Can Now Choose Their Broadband Destiny

        Today, Governor Newsom signed into law one of the largest state investments in public fiber in the history of the United States. No longer will the state of California simply defer to the whims of AT&T and cable for broadband access, now every community is being given their shot to choose their broadband destiny.

        California’s new broadband infrastructure program was made possible through a combination of persistent statewide activism from all corners, political leadership by people such as Senator Lena Gonzalez, and investment funding from the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress. All of these things were part of what led up to the moment when Governor Newsom introduced his multi-billion broadband budget that is being signed into law today. Make no mistake, every single time you picked up the phone or emailed to tell your legislator to vote for affordable, high-speed access to all people, it made a difference because it set the stage for today.

        Arguably, what pushed us to this moment was the image of kids doing homework in fast-food parking lots during the pandemic. It made it undeniable that internet access was neither universal nor adequate in speed and capacity. That moment, captured and highlighted by Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, a former member of the Sacramento Assembly, forced a reckoning with the failures of the current broadband ecosystem. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic also forcing schools to burn countless millions of public dollars renting out inferior mobile hotspots, Sacramento finally had enough and voted unanimously to change course.

      • Australian government in talks to buy Pacific Islands’ top telco

        Australia’s dominant telco, Telstra, has revealed the nation’s government has asked it to consider a partnership to acquire Digicel Pacific – the largest mobile carrier in the Pacific Islands – in a move seemingly designed to contain China’s influence in the region.

    • Monopolies

      • The Eternal October: Bringing Back Tech Optimism, Without The Naivety

        For many reasons, it seems we’re deep in the mire of the techlash: everywhere you look, there are stories about the evils of technology. And while it is important to explore the risks and downsides of technology — especially after a few decades dominated by boosterism and PR-pretending-to-be-news — there’s a real danger of throwing out all the good (and potential good) while trying to deal with everything bad.

      • South Korea tables law to remove app stores’ in-app purchase monopolies • The Register

        South Korea will attempt to pass a law that gives app developers the right to use in-app payment services other than those offered by app stores.

        The nation’s Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee yesterday recommended amendments to the relevant telecoms legislation after more than a year of debate.

        [...]

        Google yesterday posted an update that said it has heard developer feedback that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it hard to complete remediation work, so will accept applications for extensions to March 2022.

        Members of the main opposition party in the Committee did not vote to advance the law to a vote in the National Assembly, because they felt the USA would be upset by the implications for Apple and Google. As the governing Democratic Party – which does support the bill – has a majority on the floor, the proposal has very good prospects of becoming law.

      • Patents

        • Further Updates on Patent Linkage and Patent Term Extension in China [Ed: Patent systems as a total waste of human capacity]

          On 1 June 2021, the Amended Patent Law took effect and introduced patent term extension (“PTE“) and patent linkage (“PL“), which are closely related to the pharmaceutical industry. The legislative amendment reflects China’s determination to promote the research and development of innovative drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. The China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA“), the National Medical Products Administration (“NMPA“) and the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC“) recently issued further rules to complete the establishment of PL system. As for PTE, as the amended Implementing Rules of the Patent Law (“Amended Implementing Rules“) have not been issued yet, the CNIPA issued some temporary measures to address the issue.

        • Notes on Ex Parte Appeals of Patent Cases

          The vast majority of ex parte patent appeals (92%) are focused on obviousness, with 2/3 of those only addressing obviousness questions.

          [...]

          Applicants rarely win appeals based upon Section 101 — Eligibility rejections are affirmed in 90%+ of cases.

        • 2nd Firdapse Patent Secured in US by Catalyst with 3 Still Pending [Ed: Hoarding patents in place of products]

          Catalyst Pharmaceuticals has secured a second U.S. patent covering Firdapse (amifampridine), an approved oral treatment for Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS).

        • Legal Alert: New Hatch-Waxman-Style Patent Law Formally Adopted by China’s National People’s Congress; to Take Effect June 1, 2021

          On October 17, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) formally adopted a revised patent law that makes significant changes to that country’s legal framework for pharmaceutical patents. The regulation, promulgated by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), is the result of a preliminary trade deal with the U.S. signed in January that aimed to incorporate aspects of American patent law into the Chinese legal system. Principally, the NMPA law protects pharmaceutical patent rights and encourages competition by establishing a Hatch-Waxman-style litigation scheme for branded pharmaceutical companies and generics.

          [...]

          The new NMPA law is a significant departure from prior Chinese law and should strengthen the rights of patent holders in one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical markets.

        • Is Access Advanced Really Checking Essentiality? — An HEVC Case Study

          In most standards-setting organizations, including the ones involved with High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) (H.265), participants designate their intellectual property as relevant or essential to practice a portion of the standard without scrutiny. This has led to widespread inflation of unmerited licensing demands even from well-respected companies.

          This has only been exacerbated by the current patent pool ecosystem, whereby multiple pools purport to each license a single standard. These pools claim to offer thousands or tens of thousands of allegedly-essential patents, both without providing evidence that the patents are, in fact, essential, and generally without evidence of what percentage of the patent landscape the pool actually has power to license. But even a cursory review of many of the patents can lead to a quick conclusion that it should not be designated essential, as the following analysis of U.S. Patent 10,250,913 (part of the Access Advance patent pool) demonstrates. As such, it is important to perform truly objective analyses of standard-essential patents.

        • Techdirt Podcast Episode 290: Patent Quality Week

          Although it’s taken a bit of a back seat lately, the topic of patents has long been important here at Techdirt. Now that we’re in the first ever Patent Quality Week, it’s time to dig back in and talk about changing the patent system and turning it into something that enables good patents without allowing so many bad ones. So for this week’s episode, we’re joined by Engine’s IP Counsel Abby Rives to talk about the inception and goals of Patent Quality Week, and how to fix our broken approach to patents.

      • Trademarks

        • WIPO Says Johnson & Johnson Can’t Seize Parody Website Suggesting Band Aids With Corporate Sponsors

          Danielle Baskin is something of a brilliant creative force who constantly comes up with hilarious art projects/commentary/satire — some of which end up turning into actual businesses. This included, somewhat recently, her Maskalike business that would print yours (or someone else’s?) face on a mask. That operation just closed up shop, but was quite popular in the midst of the pandemic. She’s also created satirical services such as one that puts blue checks on your home (a la being “verified” on Twitter or Facebook) or stained glass film over airplane windows, or a “Decruiter” service to help you figure out when to quit your job, or a hoodie that will let you replace corporate logos with velcro. There’s also the website that runs obituaries for expired domain names.

      • Copyrights

        • Google Delisted Hundreds of Thousands of URLs to Comply with Russian ‘VPN Law’

          Week in and week out, the Russian telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor orders Google to remove hundreds of URLs. The requests, which are sent under the country’s VPN law, target sites and services that allow access to pirated content. Over the past two years, more than half a million links were targeted through these requests.

        • UEFA Wins Two-Year Extension to Streaming Piracy Blocking Order

          UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe, has obtained an extension to a High Court injunction that requires major ISPs to block consumer access to pirated streams in Ireland. The plan is to continue blocking measures so that pirating customers of Eir, Sky, Virgin Media, and Vodafone can less easily watch UEFA Champions League and Europa Conference League matches.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

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  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  5. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

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  6. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  8. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

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  9. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

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  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

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  11. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

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  12. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  14. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  16. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

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  17. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  19. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  20. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  21. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  23. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  24. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  25. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  26. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  27. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  29. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021


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