08.11.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 11/8/2021: OBS Studio Growth and More on elementary OS 6

Posted in News Roundup at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • How to install Linux for gaming, creativity and professional applications

      If you aren’t yet using a Linux operating system on any of your devices and would like to try out an easy to install version designed for gaming, creativity and professional applications. You may be interested in a video created this month showing how to install Linux from scratch using the well-established Pop!_OS created by the development team over at System 76. The Pop!_OS is an operating system designed for STEM and creative professionals who are planning to use their computer as a tool to “discover and create” say the development team behind the Linux Pop!_OS.

      The Pop!_OS Linux operating system has been specifically designed to provide users with fast navigation, easy workspace organization, and fluid, convenient workflow. “Your operating system should encourage discovery, not obstruct it” writes System76. Check out the video below to learn how you can install Linux on your computer either on your main drive or a separate SSD or flash drive to start with to test it out with your current setup and applications. Anthony from LTT guides you through the entire process of installing Linux on your laptop or desktop PC allowing you to experience the freedom and versatility Linux has to offer users.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 367 – What’s Old Is New Again – mintCast

        2:17 The News
        27:55 Security Update
        42:15 Bi-Weekly Wanderings
        1:05:45 Announcements & Outro

        First up in the news, Linux Mint working on the website, more on the SteamDeck, Ubuntu debuts its new installer, and some release dates

        In security, Open Source Security has a big problem!

        Then in our Wanderings, I’ve been arching, Tony has been watching Cricket, Joe has been working on games consoles.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Graphics Driver Queues More DG2 Code For Linux While Removing Cannon Lake – Phoronix

        Intel has another big batch of open-source kernel graphics driver updates it sent out to DRM-Next for queuing ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.15 cycle. The DG2 graphics card is getting wired up while this pull request does also finally remove the Cannon Lake “Gen 10″ graphics that never materialized in commercial products.

        In early July Intel began posting DG2 graphics driver support as well as XeHP SDV support. This second Intel graphics card is getting brought up on Linux now with DG1 getting squared away finally with all the changes around device local memory, transitioning to TTM memory management, GuC handling, making use of the DRM scheduler, and much more that has been ongoing for months while various patch series are still working their way to mainline.

      • Intel Preparing Linux Kernel Support For “Unaccepted Memory” – Phoronix

        The latest patch series from Intel engineers worth noting for the Linux kernel is around implementing support for on-demand “unaccepted memory”. Unaccepted memory is supported by the latest-generation AMD EPYC processors but not yet supported under Linux for on-demand/as-needed handling while Intel is preparing the kernel support for their next-gen Xeon CPUs having this capability.

        What’s unaccepted memory? With the UEFI v2.9 specification update from earlier this year, it introduces the notion of unaccepted memory / memory acceptance. Principally it’s focused on virtual machines and that the memory must first be “accepted” by the guest before it can be allocated and used within the guest’s confines. The actual accepting handling process is dependent upon the specific VM hypervisor.

    • Applications

      • Essential System Tools: dust – more intuitive version of du

        This is the latest in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table in the Summary section. article.

        The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively. While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.

      • OBS Studio gets another developer, launches a Project Bounty Program

        The excellent free and open source video / audio recording and livestreaming application OBS Studio appears to be doing really well and they’ve made some fun announcements recently. We use it here for all of our podcasts and livestreaming, it’s pretty much the gold standard.

        On August 3 the team announced that developer Dillon Pentz has joined full-time, after being part of the community since 2017 working on various features already. Technically, according to what they said, Pentz has been working fully already since 2017 and only now they’re announcing that it’s a done deal for Pentz to be a properly paid developer alongside Hugh “Jim” Bailey. Seems like funding is going well with approximately £3,301per month from their Open Collective and a further £2,001 a month from Patreon.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install OpenProject on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        Open Project is an open-source application for project management that is completely web-based written in Ruby on Rails and Angular js. It provides agile as well as classical management for the entire project life-cycle. Generally, the open project is distributed in three versions: community, cloud, and enterprise edition. In this article, we will install a community version of the open project that is released under the General Public License Version 3. To demonstrate the example I have used the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • How to check deployment health on Red Hat OpenShift

        When deploying applications to Red Hat OpenShift, it’s useful to check the status and health of the components. First, I’ll show you how deployments work, and then you can check out some health reports.

      • Dealing With Spaces in Filenames in Linux

        The one thing you’ll notice that files in Linux usually do not contain names. Your teacher or colleague use underscore instead of spaces in file and directory names.

        It’s not that you cannot use spaces in file names in Linux terminal. It’s just that it creates additional pain and that’s why you should avoid it wherever possible.

      • How to Kill Running Linux Process on Particular Port

        In Linux, processes and ports have a symbiotic relationship. One cannot exist nor function without the other. Processes tend to share ports and some processes rely on a specific port to meet an operating system objective.

        This article guide gives you a walkthrough on how to free a port used by one process in order to use it on another process.

      • How to Install Metasploit Framework on Ubuntu 20.04

        Metasploit is an open-source framework used to identify threats and vulnerabilities, offensive security testing, and research. It is designed for security researchers to find and exploit vulnerabilities in various systems, networks, and software. By default, Metasploit comes with a lot of exploits, it also allows you to create your own exploits and add to them.

        In this post, we will show you how to install Metasploit Framework on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install ModSecurity with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        ModSecurity or often referred to as Modsec is a free, open-source web application firewall (WAF). ModSecurity was created as a module for the Apache HTTP Server. However, since its early days, the WAF has grown and now covers an array of HyperText Transfer Protocol request and response filtering capabilities for various platforms such as Microsoft IIS, Nginx, and of course, Apache.

        How the WAF works, the ModSecurity engine is deployed in front of the web application, allowing the engine to scan the incoming and outgoing HTTP connections. ModSecurity is most commonly used in conjunction with the OWASP Core Rule Set (CRS), an open-source set of rules written in ModSecurity’s SecRules language and is highly regarded among the security industry.

      • Install and use Grub customizer on Ubuntu 20.04 or Linux Mint 20.02

        The Grub Customizer is a graphical tool that allows users to customize the bootloader GRUB 2 or Burg on Linux Mint, 20.01, Ubuntu, and other similar operating systems. This GUI tool helps to change simple things such as the boot sequence (sequence of menu entries) to be made or the waiting time for the standard entry to start automatically. The Grub Customizer does not provide a complete graphical user interface for configuring all the subtleties of GRUB 2.

      • How to Install FileRun on Ubuntu 20.04 with Apache/Nginx

        fThis tutorial will be showing you how to install FileRun on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with Apache/Nginx web server. FileRun is a self-hosted Google Drive/Photos/Music alternative.

      • How To Take Screenshot in Ubuntu – TecAdmin

        A screenshot is a digital picture that depicts the information of a computer screen. Screenshots allow you to capture exactly what is on your screen, so you may share it with others or refer to it later. You may either take a screenshot of your screen or capture a video of what is occurring on it (screencast). This is important if you want to show someone how to use a computer.

      • How To Find Vagrant Machine IP Address From Host – OSTechNix

        Generally, we can find the IP address of a Linux machine using ip command or ifconfig command in the older Linux distributions. It doesn’t matter whether it is a physical or a virtual machine. If we have access to the system, we could easily view its IP address with ip or ifconfig commands. How do you find a Vagrant machine IP address, without logging into it?

      • How to Check Linux Filesystem Disk Space Utilization

        On the internet, you will find plenty of tools for checking disk space utilization in Linux. However, Linux has a strong built-in utility called ‘df‘.

        The ‘df‘ command stands for “disk filesystem“, it is used to get a full summary of available and used disk space usage of the file system on the Linux system.

      • 10 SCP Commands to Transfer Files/Folders in Linux

        Linux administrators should be familiar with the CLI environment. Since GUI mode in Linux servers is not common to be installed. SSH may be the most popular protocol to enable Linux administrators to manage the servers via remote secure way. Built-in with SSH command there is SCP command. SCP is used to copy file(s) between servers in a secure way.

      • Build your own Fedora IoT Remix – Fedora Magazine

        Fedora IoT Edition is aimed at the Internet of Things. It was introduced in the article How to turn on an LED with Fedora IoT in 2018. It is based on RPM-OSTree as a core technology to gain some nifty properties and features which will be covered in a moment.

        RPM-OSTree is a high-level tool built on libostree which is a set of tools establishing a “git-like” model for committing and exchanging filesystem trees, deployment of said trees, bootloader configuration and layered RPM package management.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • CodeWeavers CrossOver 21 for Linux Mac and Chrome OS

        CrossOver 21 includes an update to Wine 6.0, bringing with it thousands of improvements to a variety of applications. One of the more exciting features of Wine 6.0 is the Vulkan backend for wined3d. This feature is on by default on macOS for 64-bit Direct3D 10/11 games if DXVK is not enabled. Our testing results have largely been positive, but we know of a few games that run with DXVK but do not currently run with wined3d. We also have found a few games that work with wined3d but not DXVK. Notably, NieR:Automata should run on all platforms with wined3d on CrossOver 21, and Skyrim Special Edition should be newly playable on M1 Macs with wined3d.

    • Games

      • Valve breaks the curse! – Invidious
      • Which Linux Distro For Gaming? Q2 2021 Survey Results – Boiling Steam

        Here is yet another post about the survey we have conducted back in Q2 2021 (April to be precise) with close to 2000 Linux Gamers. This time we will focus on the Linux distro of choice of respondents in the survey. Before we jump to the results, keep in mind this is probably not representative of Linux users at large in the whole wide world, but rather of the Linux Gaming demographic found on places like r/linux and r/linux_gaming for example (as well as our readership). How should we describe them? Typically younger audience, well connected and following the news of the Linux gaming world? That’s probably one way to put it.

      • Polychromatic 0.7 Released With Improved UI For Configuring Gaming Keyboards, Mice – Phoronix

        Polychromatic as the long-running, third-party, open-source project to allow Razer’s gaming peripherals like mice and keyboard to be configured under Linux is out with a major update.

        Polychromatic 0.7.0 is out this week with a overhauled user-interface and improving support for newer peripherals supported by OpenRazer. The Polychromatic UI has been rewritten now in PyQt5 rather than leveraging WebKitGTK. With the transition of the underlying interface also comes a new tab and sidebar interface, new dialogs, and other enhancements. Polychromatic also now features an effect editor for creating your own RGB animated effects.

      • Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck will be based on Arch Linux—not Debian | Ars Technica

        SteamOS and Debian

        When it comes to the features that define a given Linux distribution, Arch and Debian are just about diametrically opposed. Debian aims to provide a relatively generic base and strives for maximal stability via a conservative approach—current stable releases are composed of software that sysadmins tend to describe as “proven” but enthusiasts are more likely to describe as “stale.”

        In the quest for predictable stability, Debian relies on intermittent major releases, which require fairly heavy-duty upgrade procedures when migrating from one to the next. This trade-off enhances predictability—although your major release upgrade might encounter problems, it can be scheduled for a time when you’re ready to deal with those problems. In the meantime, the software you use on a daily basis changes as little as possible.

        Debian is an excellent base for a distribution aiming to provide a simple, stable desktop with a minimum of development work—but SteamOS isn’t intended to be any of those things.

        SteamOS and Arch Linux

        Arch Linux, by contrast, provides neither a generic base experience nor a release cycle. Arch is a rolling release of what might be described as a “build your own distribution kit.”

        A brand-new Arch installation doesn’t give the user a graphical interface at all—because there are myriad options ranging from back-end graphics server (e.g., Xorg or Wayland) to window manager (e.g., Metacity or Compiz) to desktop environment (e.g., Gnome or KDE). Arch doesn’t want to assume how the user wishes their system to work, so it makes very few choices for the user in the first place.

        Arch Linux is also big on providing the user with the freshest software possible—so rather than provide periodic cohesive releases with a known configuration of known versions of the same software, Arch just updates all its components to newer versions as frequently as possible.

        Going with a rolling release means breakage happens much more frequently on Arch than it does on stable distributions—but occasional breakage is an expected part of the Arch ecosystem, which means that resolving breakages is equally expected and planned for.

      • Stadia tries to appeal to a younger audience with new family-friendly games | GamingOnLinux

        One thing all stores need is a healthy selection of games of all genres and it seems Google have started to expand the types of games they’re now offering with Stadia. There’s also some free play days coming for Rainbow Six Siege.

      • [PATCH 0/4] futex2: Add wait on multiple futexes syscall
        Hi,
        
        As opposed to previous futex2 patchsets, this one adds only one syscall:
        futex_waitv(). This way we can focus on this operation that already have
        a well defined use case and has been tested for months now.
        
        The patchset reuses as much as possible of original futex code for the new
        operation, so the first commit move some stuff to futex header to make
        accessible for futex2.
        
        Ideally, I would completely replace futex_wait_setup() with
        futex_wait_multiple(): it is basic the same logic, but for n futexes,
        so for existing operations it was a matter of calling it with nr_futexes=1.
        This worked pretty well for futex_wait(): I tested with glibc tests,
        tested with a complete distro running on top of it and perf benchs
        presented no performance difference. However, it didn't work for
        futex_wait_requeue_pi(), since the wait path for it is slightly different
        of the normal wait, that would require some refactor to get it in a way to
        be easily replaced. So I decided to not replace it at all.
        
         Use case
        
        The use case of this syscall is to allow low level locking libraries to
        wait for multiple locks at the same time. This is specially useful for
        emulating Windows' WaitForMultipleObjects. A futex_waitv()-based solution
        has been used for some time at Proton's Wine (a compatibility layer to
        run Windows games on Linux). Compared to a solution that uses eventfd(),
        futex was able to reduce CPU utilization for games, and even increase
        frames per second for some games. This happens because eventfd doesn't
        scale very well for a huge number of read, write and poll calls compared
        to futex. Native game engines will benefit of this as well, given that
        this wait pattern is common for games.
        
         Testing
        
        Selftest is provided as part of this patchset. As stated above, I used
        the futex_wait_multiple() in FUTEX_WAIT path and it worked fine in a
        full distro. Throught Proton, I've tested futex_waitv() with modern games
        that issue more than 40k futex calls per second.
        
        André Almeida (4):
          futex: Prepare for futex_wait_multiple()
          futex2: Implement vectorized wait
          selftests: futex2: Add waitv test
          futex2: Documentation: Document futex_waitv() uAPI
        
         Documentation/userspace-api/futex2.rst        |  79 ++++++
         Documentation/userspace-api/index.rst         |   1 +
         arch/x86/entry/syscalls/syscall_32.tbl        |   1 +
         arch/x86/entry/syscalls/syscall_64.tbl        |   1 +
         include/linux/compat.h                        |   9 +
         include/linux/futex.h                         |  75 ++++++
         include/uapi/asm-generic/unistd.h             |   5 +-
         include/uapi/linux/futex.h                    |  17 ++
         init/Kconfig                                  |   7 +
         kernel/Makefile                               |   1 +
         kernel/futex.c                                | 224 ++++++++++++++----
         kernel/futex2.c                               | 198 ++++++++++++++++
         kernel/sys_ni.c                               |   4 +
         .../selftests/futex/functional/.gitignore     |   1 +
         .../selftests/futex/functional/Makefile       |   3 +-
         .../selftests/futex/functional/futex2_waitv.c | 154 ++++++++++++
         .../testing/selftests/futex/functional/run.sh |   3 +
         .../selftests/futex/include/futex2test.h      |  72 ++++++
         18 files changed, 812 insertions(+), 43 deletions(-)
         create mode 100644 Documentation/userspace-api/futex2.rst
         create mode 100644 kernel/futex2.c
         create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/futex/functional/futex2_waitv.c
         create mode 100644 tools/testing/selftests/futex/include/futex2test.h
        
        -- 
        2.32.0
        
      • Collabora cut down futex2 patches for the Linux Kernel to help Steam Play Proton | GamingOnLinux

        After attempting for some time now to get their futex2 work into the Linux Kernel, Collabora have cut it all down to focus on one part that has seen thorough testing to help Windows games on Linux with Steam Play Proton.

        The work, funded by Valve, is to help Windows game compatibility when they’re run through Wine and Steam Play Proton to ensure they actually work and perform well. The current implementations in the Linux Kernel aren’t ideal and so they’ve tried rewriting them. Now they’re focusing on adding one specific syscall with “futex_waitv()” so that they “can focus on this operation that already have a well defined use case and has been tested for months now”.

      • DXVK Native gets an official release to help Linux ports with Vulkan | GamingOnLinux

        For developers looking to bring their games to Linux officially, DXVK Native can be a good option to help reduce the time and complexity involved in doing so. Developed by Joshua Ashton who has been involved in DXVK, VKD3D-Proton, updating a few Valve games and more. Be sure to check out our interview!

        Built against the Steam Runtime, the idea is that developers would use DXVK Native to get Vulkan support in their native Linux builds of games cutting out a chunk of the work needed on bringing up a whole new graphics API. It’s the native version of DXVK, which does not need the Wine compatibility layer to work.

      • Historical adventure Svoboda 1945: Liberation to release for Linux soon | GamingOnLinux

        Charles Games announced recently that their historical adventure Svoboda 1945: Liberation, the follow up to their hit Attentat 1942, will be releasing officially for Linux soon. They didn’t have an exact date to share other than around a month but they confirmed it is coming.

        Svoboda 1945: Liberation is a game full of rare historical material, footage, and memorabilia for you to explore. Featuring a mix of adventure gameplay, full-motion video interviews with real actors, and historically accurate interactive memories of people who lived through the chaos of the aftermath of World War 2.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Let’s Download elementary OS 6

          Finally, elementary OS 6 released at 10 August 2021. It is the continuation of elementary OS 5 released three years ago. Here’s a very short glimpse of it with the official links, torrents, and how to download it for everyone plus a web store to buy a laptop with elementary OS. We’re happy with this release and now let’s try it together!

        • Elementary OS 6 Odin Released! Here’s What’s New

          Windows 11 was released recently, and fans are pretty happy about its new features and UI redesign. However, something more massive has been cooking in the Linux community, the elementary OS 6 “Odin.”

          The OS is now available on the official elementary OS website, and it’s one of the colossal releases of 2021. In this article, let’s look at the new features and how to upgrade from older elementary OS versions.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD Experiment Rethinks The OS Install

          Now that alone wouldn’t be particularly groundbreaking. After all, Google has implemented an entire operating system with web frameworks in Chrome OS, so is making the installer a web app really that much of a stretch? But what makes [Yang]’s installer so interesting is that the web interface isn’t limited to just the local machine, it can be accessed by any browser on the network.

          That means you can put the install disc for FreeBSD into a headless machine on your network, and use the browser on your laptop or even smartphone to access the installer. The Graybeards will point out that savvy users have always been able to access the text installer from another computer over SSH, but even the most staunch Luddite has to admit that simply opening a browser on whatever device you have handy and pointing it to the target machine’s IP address is a big usability improvement.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • thunderbird updated to 78.13.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Thunderbird the standalone email client from Mozilla Corp. has been updated to 78.13.0 and shipped to the PCLinuxOS Software Repository.

        • superpaper updated to 2.1.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Superpaper is an advanced multi monitor wallpaper manager for Linux and Windows operating systems. Features include setting a single or multiple image wallpaper, pixel per inch and bezel corrections,

          manual pixel offsets for tuning, slideshow with configurable file order, multiple path support and more.

        • firefox updated to 91.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Firefox browser has been updated to version 91.0 and now available in the PCLinuxOS Software Repository. Firefox now includes extra privacy protections that can block super cookies that track your activity on the web.

        • filezilla updated to 3.55.1 » PCLinuxOS

          FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • The Hidden Face of Animal Research

      The 2005 book, “Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory,” exposed biological meltdowns, infected workers and virus outbreaks at the facility including lab leaks that were seriously underreported by mainstream media.

      Recently, a French laboratory worker was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) leading to an immediate moratorium on the prion research the worker and others conduct at five public research institutions in France.  Prions, misfolded infectious proteins, cause the fatal brain diseases of scrapie in sheep, mad cow disease in cattle (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE), chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk and CJD in humans. The prion-caused CJD brain-based fatal has been confused with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in humans because of the severe cognitive and mobility impairments it causes.

    • Ordinary People

      Seated on an armless mustard-green chair, Margaret Evans is nude and pregnant. The evidence of pregnancy’s toll appears throughout her body: in the blue vein that ripples along one breast, her mottled legs, her flushed face. She looks out at us, confident and calm, but also carries some tension, as her arms seem to grip the seat, perhaps to hold herself upright in the pose.1

    • Hardware

      • I bought a new nvme drive – or did I?

        Eh, is is this a used device? The static bag it arrived in was sealed.

      • Cincoze GP-3000 review – An expandable Xeon-based GPU computer

        Cincoze GP-3000 is an expandable high-performance GPU computer. It consists of either a 9th or 8th generation Intel processor-powered embedded computer which can be expanded with Cincoze’s proprietary GPU Expansion Box (GEB) capable of housing up to dual 250W full-length graphic cards. Additional I/O expansion is also possible through the use of various modules. With a total 720W power budget the GP-3000’s additional GPU performance massively accelerates complex industrial AI and machine vision tasks.

        As a rugged computer, the GP-3000 has passed a series of stringent quality assurance tests and industry standards including MIL-STD-810G military standard, E-mark for in-vehicle applications, and EN50155 (EN 50121-3-2 only) for rolling stock environments. It can withstand hot and cold temperature extremes, shock and vibration, and high electromagnetic radiation.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Groups to Congress: Include $34 Billion for Global Vaccine Production in $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan

        A coalition of global health justice organizations on Monday urged Congress to ensure that the $3.5 trillion budget resolution recently introduced by the Senate Democratic Caucus includes $34 billion in funding to ramp up the worldwide manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines.

        “The significant funding needed is paltry compared to the staggering cost of continued inaction, in lives and livelihoods.”—Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen

      • Supreme Court Hearing Likely as ‘Reckless’ Bayer Loses Third Appeal Over Glyphosate Use

        “Monsanto’s conduct evidenced reckless disregard of the health and safety of the multitude of unsuspecting consumers it kept in the dark.”—1st Appellate District in the Court of Appeal for California

      • The Use of Toxic Pesticides in Farming is the Biggest Problem for Bees … and Us!

        According to the analysis of 90 studies, it also found that agricultural pesticides sold to farmers ready-mixed into “cocktails” can kill twice as many bees, and that regulators underestimate the dangers of pesticides in combination, including the synergistic effects.

        This is because both the health and environmental risk assessments undertaken prior to the approval of pesticides have, to date, been based on exposure to just one individual pesticide at a time which of course is not the reality of farm pesticide use.

      • Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten on Why She Now Supports Vaccine Mandates for Teachers

        We continue to look at the state of school reopenings amid a surge in COVID-19 infections among children in the U.S. with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Weingarten, who had favored voluntary vaccinations for teachers, now backs a vaccine mandate for educators because the Delta variant “significantly changes the circumstances.” Weingarten notes that almost 90% of teachers represented by the American Federation of Teachers are already vaccinated, saying it’s time to stop “scapegoating” teachers for the challenges in reopening schools. “The teachers in the country understand the importance of being back in school and the importance of vaccinations,” she says.

      • If a Vaccine Resistant Strain of COVID Develops in Africa, Will Dr. Fauci Lose His Job?

        I have gone on at length before about the need to vaccinate the world. The spread of the Delta variant should make the point obvious to everyone. The more the virus spreads, the more it has opportunities to mutate.

        We are actually fortunate with the Delta variant since it seems our vaccines are still effective in reducing the risk of infection and very effective in reducing the risk of severe illness or death. But this is just luck. If the pandemic spreads enough, we will see more mutations. It is entirely possible that a new strain will develop against which our vaccines provide us little or no protection.

      • US Telcos Continue To Embrace Apathy As A Business Model

        For more than a decade we’ve noted how the US broadband industry’s biggest problem is a lack of healthy competition. In countless markets consumers either have the choice of a terrible phone company or a cable giant. The nation’s phone companies have spent the last decade refusing to upgrade (or in some cases even repair) their aging DSL lines, because they don’t see residential broadband as worth their while. That, in turn, is giving giants like Comcast and Spectrum an ever greater monopoly in many markets, reducing the already muted incentive to compete on price or shore up comically terrible customer service.

      • Pandemic Advice From a Patriot

        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!

      • Missouri’s GOP Governor Forced to Expand Medicaid Access Following Court Ruling
      • Eleven coronavirus patients die after oxygen malfunction at North Ossetian hospital

        Eleven coronavirus patients died in a hospital in Russia’s North Ossetia after the intensive care unit lost its oxygen supply on Monday, August 9. According to the region’s acting head, the oxygen supply was cut off after an oxygen pipe burst underground. The 11 patients who died were reportedly in serious condition and on ventilators. The regional health authorities have mobilized additional intensive care physicians to monitor the surviving ICU patients, and oxygen supplies are being sent to the hospital from other regions. The head of Russia’s Investigative Committee has taken personal control of the criminal investigation into the incident, which was launched on charges of failure to meet safety standards.

      • Unintended Consequences

        Republicans object to masks While going about their daily tasks. To rule that folks must vaccinate, They say, makes this a Nazi state. The surges now are all located Among those proud unvaccinated. And counties voting red have two Times Covid cases more than blue. If leadership maintains this pace, They may someday kill off their base.

      • COVID Tests Are in Short Supply, Especially in Hot Spots
      • Texas Governor’s Ban on School Mask Mandates Is a “Direct Threat” to Kids
      • Judge Rules Local Texas Officials Can Impose Mask Mandates in Defiance of Governor

        A district judge in Bexar County, Texas ruled Tuesday that local officials can impose mask mandates in schools in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order barring local governments from requiring face coverings.

        Judge Toni Arteaga granted a temporary restraining order to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who sued the governor on Tuesday over his directive, arguing he does not have the authority to “suspend state laws that give local officials the needed authority to cope with an emergency.”

      • Gov. Abbott Is a “Direct Threat” to the Children of Texas: Houston Doctor on Mask Bans, Kids & COVID

        As the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread, many hospitals are reporting record numbers of children being hospitalized, especially in areas with low vaccination rates, including Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and Texas. Dr. Christina Propst, a pediatrician in Houston, says children under 12 who are still ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines are at risk. “They are currently our most vulnerable population, just as this highly transmissible variant is surging across the country,” Propst says. She says Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order banning mask mandates in schools is a purely political decision that ignores science. ”What he is doing is a direct threat to the health and well-being of the children of Texas,” says Propst.

      • The Shame of the Sacklers

        Purdue will be bankrupt, but members of the multi-billionaire Sackler family – who were responsible for the decisions that led to these deaths and profited the most from Purdue’s opioid dealings – will gain near-total immunity from future litigation. By the time the settlement is paid out they most likely will be as wealthy as they ever were.

      • Louisiana Attorney General Fights School Mask Mandate as COVID Spikes Among Kids
      • Making Life-or-Death Health Care Decisions

        ProPublica reporter Neil Bedi published a disturbing story recently about a heart pump called the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, or HVAD. HeartWare is for patients who are suffering from heart failure. Surgeons implant it on patients’ hearts, and it helps pump blood, often until a patient can receive a transplant. But there’s a problem: The device itself comes with serious risks. Risks that the Food and Drug Administration was aware of but most patients did not know about.

        Here are Neil’s findings:

      • Jailhouse Lawyers Take On COVID-19 Where Prisons Won’t

        This article was funded by the Marvel Cooke Fellowship. Read more about this reporting project and make a contribution to fund our fellowship budget.

        Jailhouse lawyers are no strangers to the enormous challenges brought about by waging legal battles on behalf of themselves and other incarcerated people. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have worked through even greater challenges stemming from a lack of safety measures, and increased restrictions on privileges and mobility.

      • CoLive Voice: diagnosing serious illnesses using the voice

        “A vocal biomarker is a feature or combination of features of the voice that can be associated with a particular clinical outcome and is therefore a valuable tool for monitoring patients, making a clinical diagnosis, assessing the severity of a disease and even assisting in the development of new drugs.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, August 2021 Edition

          Microsoft today released software updates to plug at least 44 security vulnerabilities in its Windows operating systems and related products. The software giant warned that attackers already are pouncing on one of the flaws, which ironically enough involves an easy-to-exploit bug in the software component responsible for patching Windows 10 PCs and Windows Server 2019 machines.

        • Amazon awarded secret $10B NSA cloud computing contract: report

          A spokesperson for the agency confirmed to The Hill that it “recently awarded a contract for cloud computing services to support the Agency” and that another company bidding for the contract has filed a protest.

        • NSA Awards Secret $10 Billion Contract to Amazon

          The contract is already being challenged. Tech giant Microsoft filed a bid protest on July 21 with the Government Accountability Office two weeks after being notified by the NSA that it had selected AWS for the contract.

          The contract’s code name is “WildandStormy,” according to protest filings, and it represents the second multibillion-dollar cloud contract the U.S. intelligence community—made up of 17 agencies, including the NSA—has awarded in the past year.

        • Now Microsoft is protesting after Amazon won a $10 billion NSA cloud contract

          The NSA is pursuing a “Hybrid Compute Initiative” to meet its processing and analytical requirements while also holding onto intelligence data (although it might not need as much storage as it used to). AWS already holds many government cloud contracts, but the JEDI process revealed Microsoft as a formidable competitor. Last year the CIA split up its Commercial Cloud Enterprise contract between five companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, and IBM. Last year, a Microsoft blog post said it was pursuing US government accreditation for its Azure Government Top Secret regions to “meet the demand for greater agility in the classified space.”

        • Apple’s controversial new child protection features, explained

          The final new feature scans iCloud Photos images to find child sexual abuse material, or CSAM, and reports it to Apple moderators — who can pass it on to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC. Apple says it’s designed this feature specifically to protect user privacy while finding illegal content. Critics say that same designs amounts to a security backdoor.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • noyb files 422 formal GDPR complaints on nerve-wrecking “Cookie Banners”

              As part of a one-year project on “deceptive designs” and “dark patterns”, noyb aims to scan, warn and enforce the GDPR on up to 10.000 websites in Europe. After sending a written warning and a “draft complaint” to more than 500 companies on May 31st, 42% of all violations were remedied within 30 days. However, 82% of all companies have not fully stopped violating the GDPR. Accordingly, noyb filed 422 complaints with ten data protection authorities today.

            • Facebook’s accountability bind

              Why it matters: Since the 2018 Cambridge Analytica affair, Facebook has moved to provide more transparency and oversight, but its programs are limited, selective and slow, leaving journalists and scholars as the de facto whistleblowers for problems on its platform.

              Driving the news: Last week Facebook shut down the accounts of New York University researchers whose tools for studying political advertising on the social network, the company said, violated its rules.

            • Confidentiality

              • Why TLS is better without STARTTLS: A Security Analysis of STARTTLS in the Email Context

                TLS is one of today’s most widely used and best-analyzed encryption technologies. However, for historical reasons, TLS for email protocols is often not used directly but negotiated via STARTTLS. This additional negotiation adds complexity and was prone to security vulnerabilities such as naive STARTTLS stripping or command injection attacks in the past.

                We perform the first structured analysis of STARTTLS in SMTP, POP3, and IMA P and introduce EAST, a semi-automatic testing toolkit with more than 100 test cases covering a wide range of variants of STARTTLS stripping, command and response injections, tampering attacks, and UI spoofing attacks for email protocols. Our analysis focuses on the confidentiality and integrity of email submission (email client to SMTP server) and email retrieval (email client to POP3 or IMAP server). While some of our findings are also relevant for email transport (from one SMTP server to another), the security implications in email submission and retrieval are more critical because these connections involve not only individual email messages but also user credentials that allow access to a user’s email archive.

                We used EAST to analyze 28 email clients and 23 servers. In total, we reported over 40 STARTTLS issues, some of which allow mailbox spoofing, credential stealing, and even the hosting of HTTPS with a cross-protocol attack on IMAP. We conducted an Internet-wide scan for the particularly dangerous command injection attack and found that 320.000 email servers (2% of all email servers) are affected. Surprisingly, several clients were vulnerable to STARTTLS stripping attacks. In total, only 3 out of 28 clients did not show any STARTTLS-specific security issues. Even though the command injection attack received multiple CVEs in the past, EAST detected eight new instances of this problem. In total, only 7 out of 23 tested servers were never affected by this issue. We conclude that STARTTLS is error-prone to implement, under-specified in the standards, and should be avoided.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Toward Preventing a Catastrophic US-China War

        That the United States has enforced an Asia-Pacific empire since 1898, that human rights do not exist in Guantanamo, that racist Republicans – like Modi, Washington’s new partner in India – are disenfranchising minority voters, and that the United States is deeply allied with repressive governments around the world are inconvenient truths consigned to an Orwellian memory hole.

        At root are the inevitable tensions between rising and declining powers, the Thucydides Trap, that many times in history has climaxed in catastrophic wars. Compounding the Cold War analogy, there are disturbing parallels to the years before World War I:  tensions between rising and declining powers and complex alliance structures that now include the QUAD,  intense nationalism with attendant hatreds, territorial disputes, arms races with new technologies, international economic integration and competition, autocracies, and wild-card actors.

      • Opinion | On Painting Daniel Hale: His Exquisite Burden

        “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”                                                                  —Amelia Earhart

      • ‘Economic Warfare [Is] Designed to Starve the Cuban People Into Rebellion’

        Janine Jackson interviewed IPS’s James Early about the Cuban blockade for the August 6, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • In Pursuit of Clarity: the Intellect and Intellectual Integrity of Pierre Sprey

        His creative brilliance is certainly evident in aspects both large and small of those aircraft, not only in the overall concept of “brilliant simplicity” but in such apparently mundane features such as his insistence on the separation of the A-10’s engines from the combustible fuel tank (contrary to traditional, deeply unsafe, design practice) or his suggestion of a under-fuselage air intake on the F-16, which cut the plane’s weight and boosted its maneuverability. His battles to develop and produce the planes, and, in the case of the A-10, save it from the air force’s untiring efforts to consign the entire force to the boneyard, were powered by his ironclad intellectual honesty.   He believed fiercely that form must follow function; any attempts to deviate from that course, such as by freighting a machine with unnecessary and inevitably costly electronic features, was dismissed as rank intellectual corruption.  He deemed such dishonesty unforgiveable. Anyone, however formerly close, whom he detected trimming their beliefs in furtherance of career or other earthly rewards were deemed “sellouts”–his harshest criticism, and rarely if ever regained his trust.

        That theme ran through his work, from weapons design to the music recording he turned to after dropping out of defense consulting (because, he told me at the time, the Pentagon was now “completely overrun with crooks and thieves.”)  Just as he ensured that an A-10 pilot should be able to fly low in safety and observe potential targets with his own eyes, rather than relying on some complex electronic interface, so he crafted a recorder that captured live music with extraordinary fidelity by dispensing with multi-track mixing boards and other artificial barriers to truth in recorded sound. (He was certainly no Luddite; his creations, whether airplanes or the wires he developed for enhancing audio device quality, were masterpieces of technological ingenuity.)

      • Taliban seize provincial capitals in blitz across northern Afghanistan

        The Taliban seized a sixth Afghan provincial capital on Monday following a weekend blitz across the north that saw urban centres fall in quick succession and the government struggle to keep the militants at bay.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Brooklyn DA Releases 10,000 Police Misconduct Records To Gothamist, Exposing Cops Prosecutors Don’t Want In Their Courtrooms

        Nearly two years ago — prior to the 2020 repeal of 50-a, the statute that codified law enforcement opacity in the state of New York — the Brooklyn DA’s office released part of its “Brady list” to Gothamist. The “Brady” (or “Giglio,” depending on who’s naming it) list tells prosecutors (and [supposedly] defense attorneys) which cops aren’t to be trusted, thanks to previous perjury/severe misconduct/evidence-planting/etc. This keeps prosecutors from calling witnesses who can be easily impeached. And it helps defense lawyers know which government witnesses are ripe for undermining.

      • On Eve of Hearing, Amnesty Again Demands US End Effort to Extradite Assange

        Amnesty International on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden to drop the U.S. government’s extradition request for Julian Assange and end its “farcical prosecution” of the WikiLeaks founder.

        “President Obama opened the investigation into Julian Assange. President Trump brought the charges against him. It is now time for President Biden to do the right thing,” Nils Muižnieks, Amnesty’s Europe director, said in a statement.

    • Environment

      • The ocean is about to flip a switch that could permanently disrupt life on Earth: study

        The series of currents in question is known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC for short. The current system is sometimes likened to a series of conveyer belts: one “belt” flows north with warm water that, upon reaching the northern Atlantic, cools and evaporates, in the process increasing the salinity of water in that region. The saltier water becomes colder and heavier, sinking and flowing south to create a second “belt.” Those two currents are in turn connected by other oceanic features in the Southern Ocean, the Labrador Sea and the Nordic Sea.

        The study reinforces earlier scientific studies which found the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system to be at its weakest in 1,600 years.

      • Real cost of net zero carbon could be mass hunger

        Governments and companies are happy to make net zero carbon pledges. Their real cost could be ruinous for the poor.

      • Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Rebuked for Funding False Climate Solutions

        As the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to approve a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups denounced the measure for funding “false” solutions to the climate emergency, while underscoring what they say is the critical need for a filibuster-proof reconciliation package that centers human needs, including bold climate action.

        “Instead of facing the climate crisis, the Senate has chosen to invest billions into propping up the fossil fuel industry.”—Natalie Mebane, 350.org

      • Groups Issue Bold Demands for Biden Officials Crafting New Climate Finance Strategy

        In the wake of a highly anticipated United Nations report about humanity’s ongoing destruction of the planet, scores of advocacy groups on Tuesday detailed their demands for the forthcoming climate finance plans that President Joe Biden ordered top U.S. officials to develop by next month.

        “The administration has a suite of existing authorities that allow it to take the decisive and necessary steps to mitigate further climate chaos and support the most vulnerable communities.”—STMP letter

      • Opinion | Congress Dithers as the World Burns

        While Republicans dependent on fossil fuel and other billionaires in the “Koch Network” continue to deny even the existence of man-made global warming, the IPCC just came out with their first report to say that there’s absolute certainty that much of the extreme weather our planet is experiencing is caused by our burning fossil fuels into the atmosphere.

      • Opinion | The U.N.’s Ominous Climate Report Confirms We Are Out of Time
      • Canadian Official Says Trans Mountain Pipeline Revenue Needed to Fight Climate Crisis

        Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson attracted fury and ridicule when he said Monday—just hours after the United Nations warned in no uncertain terms that continuing to burn fossil fuels will result in catastrophic consequences—that the country needs to secure more revenue from the Trans Mountain pipeline to achieve its long-term decarbonization goals.

        “The IPCC was clear yesterday: we must accelerate our transition off fossil fuels. Millions of lives are at stake. Knowing this, and still sinking billions into expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline, is criminal.”—350 Canada

      • Energy

        • Fossil Fuel Companies Turn to “Green” Pipelines to Qualify for New Subsidies
        • Opinion | The Problems With Deep Sea Mining

          On July 29, the two-day Wokisok Shark Calling Festival began at Kono village, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. It’s not a new gimmick to capitalize on Shark Week or Sharknado movies—although foreign visitors are welcome. Nor do people stand on the beach and yell, Shark!

        • Fracking’s ‘New Religion’ Offers False Hope

          After the shale oil and gas industry lost a half trillion dollars in what the Wall Street Journal recently called the “unprofitable American oil boom” and investors started fleeing, the U.S. shale industry is now telling investors that industry consolidation is the answer to its financial troubles — but this old adage is being disguised as a new approach, even though it didn’t solve anything in the past. 

          In February, the Financial Times wrote about the U.S. shale industry’s “new religion,” which is supposed to convince investors to have faith in shale. 

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Mass Death on Butte Creek: Record Spring Salmon Run on Sacramento River Tributary Turns into Disaster as Most Fish Die Before Spawning

          But it didn’t stay that way.

          A record run of over 18,000 spring Chinook has returned to Butte Creek, a Sacramento River tributary, the second largest since 20,000 fish ascended the creek in 1998, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW. Allen Harthorn, Executive Director of Friends of Butte Creek, estimates the size of this year’s run to be even larger, around 25,000 fish.

        • Defending Forests in a Time of Climate Chaos

          Determined to lead honorable lives, they sprang into action.

          Three decades later, young people all over the world are rising to defend their inheritance. New Zealand, India, Pakistan, elsewhere, children are surveying a future of fire and floods with sinking hearts, and reacting.

        • Indigenous Group Accuses Bolsonaro of ‘Genocide’ and ‘Ecocide’ at The Hague

          A coalition of Indigenous organizations filed a complaint at The Hague on Monday accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of carrying out an “explicit, systematic, and intentional” assault on native peoples, pointing specifically to his systematic dismantling of environmental protections and aggressive campaign of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

          “We believe that there are ongoing acts in Brazil that constitute crimes against humanity, genocide, and ecocide,” Eloy Terena, the legal director of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), said in a statement. Global climate activists and legal experts are currently in the middle of a push to make ecocide an officially recognized crime under international criminal law.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Undermining Democracy

        “In ‘the greatness of the lie there is always a certain element of credibility because the broad masses of the people can be more easily corrupted in the deeper reaches of their hearts’ than consciously or deliberately.

        ‘In the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves sometimes lie about small things but were too ashamed of lies that were too big.’”

      • ‘Our Caucus Is Clear’: House Progressives Say No Bipartisan Deal Without Reconciliation Bill

        Shortly after the Senate passed a $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure package on Tuesday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus said a survey of its nearly 100 members showed that a majority of respondents are prepared to withhold their votes for the newly approved legislation until the upper chamber also greenlights a sweeping reconciliation bill.

        “CPC members won’t support a bipartisan bill without a bold reconciliation bill to advance our priorities.”—Congressional Progressive Caucus

      • Fallacies of Political Labelism

        Words to describe Democratic politicians as “moderate,” “centrist,” “center-left,” “center-right,” “leftist,” or House Democratic Caucus Chair, Hakeem Jeffries’ recent denunciatory nomenclature of “extreme left” Democratic candidates – are often recklessly bandied about.

        Let’s start with the positions that invite journalists to describe politicians as “moderate” Democrats. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. His first statement on taking over as committee chair in January 2019 was that he was not in any way going to take up Donald Trump’s massive giveaway tax cuts to the super-wealthy and the giant corporations. He was OK with no hearings and no agenda to end those $1.7 trillion bonanzas, over ten years, and with revenue losses, which could have been put to good use rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

      • Britain is Sleazier and More Corrupt, But the Pandemic is Only Partly to Blame

        “It sometimes felt,” he writes in his memoir Spike, “as if I had strayed on a set for The Third Man, that fantastic Carol Reed film of a Graham Greene novel, which features a black market for penicillin.”

        The analogy is telling because Greene’s post-war Vienna and the Johnson government convey the same sense of pervasive sleaze. Furthermore, Johnson’s personality has much in common with that of Harry Lime, the anti-hero played by Orson Welles, who exudes bonhomie but is entirely egocentric and dangerous to anybody who gets in his way.

      • Russian investigators open criminal case against Navalny’s associates for ‘financing extremists’

        Russian investigators have opened yet another criminal case against two of Alexey Navalny’s closest associates. His chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, and the head of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK), Ivan Zhdanov, are facing charges for raising funds to finance “extremist organizations” — the FBK and “Team Navalny.”

      • Russia’s state financial watchdog officially blacklists Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation as ‘extremist’

        Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) has added Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) and Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation to its blacklist of groups accused of extremist activities or terrorism. This information appeared on Rosfinmonitoring’s website on Tuesday, August 10. 

      • Moscow court rejects Alexey Navalny’s libel suit against the Kremlin’s spokesman

        Moscow’s Presnensky District Court rejected Alexey Navalny’s libel lawsuit against Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Interfax reported on August 10, citing the court’s press service.

      • Opinion | The Anti-Democratic Chaos Democrats Are Sowing

        My father, Athan G. Theoharis, passed away on July 3rd. A leading expert on the FBI, he was responsible for exposing the bureau’s widespread abuses of power. He was a loyal husband, dedicated father, scholar, civil libertarian, and voting-rights advocate with an indefatigable commitment to defending democracy. He schooled his children (and anyone who would listen, including scholars, journalists, and activists from a striking variety of political perspectives) to understand one thing above all: how hard the powers-that-be will work to maintain that power and how willing they are to subvert democracy in the process. His life is a reminder that much of American politics in 2021 is, in so many ways, nothing new.

      • ‘Democrats Should Leave the State Immediately’: Texas Supreme Court OKs Lawmaker Arrests

        Democratic legislators were urged to leave Texas on Tuesday after the state’s all-Republican Supreme Court voided a Travis County district judge’s order preventing the arrest of quorum-busters who fled Austin last month to prevent GOP anti-voter legislation.

        Following the high court’s decision, present members of the GOP-controlled Texas House voted 80-12 to direct state authorities to track down absent members and return them to the state Capitol, “under warrant of arrest, if necessary.”

      • “Democrats Need to Vote Like Democrats”

        There has been a lot of talk about bipartisanship over the past several days, as the US Senate plods through the process of approving a narrowly drawn $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which the Senate is expected to pass today. It represents a massive compromise by Democrats whose president had, in the spring, proposed a far more ambitious and socially responsible $2.3 trillion package. While there certainly are good items in the so-called “BIF” (bipartisan infrastructure) bill that was cobbled together by centrist Democrats and right-wing Republicans, much of what made Biden’s initial plan so appealing—especially its ambitious climate proposals and visionary investment in caregiving—was dialed back or eliminated altogether.

      • The Capitol Insurrection Was a… “Love Fest”?
      • Cuomo Resigns!

        Andrew Cuomo’s resignation marks the end of an era of political dominance such as we may never know again. Not since Nelson Rockefeller, the grandson of perhaps the richest man in history, has one governor so determined the affairs of New York. And not since Robert Moses, the original power broker, has one man lusted for such influence.

      • Cuomo Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

        This is a developing news story… Check back for possible updates…

        New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will resign from office in 14 days as he faces an accelerating impeachment push over allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former government employees.

      • “Unfit to Lead”: NY State Sen. Biaggi Says Gov. Cuomo Impeachment Proceedings Should Start Now

        Lawmakers in New York are preparing impeachment proceedings against Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo after the state attorney general found Cuomo harassed at least 11 women in violation of the law — including unwanted touching and kissing, and inappropriate remarks. Cuomo’s former executive assistant, Brittany Commisso, has filed a criminal complaint against him, and other cases are expected to follow. “The governor is unfit to lead,” says New York state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who first called on Cuomo to resign in February. She says the damage Cuomo has inflicted goes beyond sexual harassment and includes the state’s COVID relief programs, nursing homes deaths, transit funding and more. “It is very important that we act with a serious sense of urgency.”

      • Andrew Cuomo Resigns as Governor of New York Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal
      • The Unbearable Narcissism of Andrew Cuomo

        Minutes before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo belatedly but still shockingly resigned Tuesday, his lawyer Rita Glavin spent 45 minutes spewing ever more unbelievable excuses for the 11 credible accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him, attacking at least three of his accusers by name. “The complainants need to be scrutinized just as much as the governor, and that didn’t happen here,” she said. When Cuomo appeared, it looked like he was prepared to continue the pathetic defense he began a week ago. Instead, he resigned—a move both unavoidable and unexpected.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook stonewalls Biden on stopping vaccine disinformation — because right-wing lies are enriching

        The latest piece, which was published Tuesday morning, is a frustrating read. Mike Gwin, a White House spokesperson, accuses Facebook of not living “up to our, or their own, standards and have actively elevated content on their platforms that misleads the American people.” For example, sources tell the New York Times that the White House “asked for data on how often misinformation was viewed and spread,” but “the company said it couldn’t provide that kind of data.” There is also the widespread problem of “content that wasn’t explicitly false, such as posts that cast doubt about vaccines but don’t clearly violate the social network’s rules on health misinformation.” For instance, many vaccine misinformers — Tucker Carlson at Fox News is a prominent example — skirt the line with the “just asking questions” gambit (i.e. JAQ-ing off), where lies about vaccine safety and efficacy are framed as “questions” so that they can spread rapidly while giving the anti-vaccine liars cover to say they weren’t lying exactly, just “asking questions” about it.

      • How Misinformation Spreads Online

        As we now know, the [I]nternet has also delivered a deluge of garbage that’s both unintentionally inaccurate (misinformation) and deliberately false or misleading (disinformation). Access to information is well and good; access to information without having the skills or inclination to distinguish truth from fiction can easily result in a situation where whatever appears at the top of Google’s search results or the Facebook news feed is regarded as gospel. But recognizing that misinformation is a grave problem isn’t enough to combat its spread — you have to understand how false and deceptive campaigns take root.

      • Facebook shuts down anti-vaccine influencer campaign

        Influencers who caught onto the sham turned out to be the undoing of a deceitful influence campaign orchestrated by marketing firm Fazze in Russia, according to Facebook.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • YouTuber Yuri Khovansky added to Russia’s terrorism blacklist

        Rosfinmonitoring (Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service) has added video blogger Yuri Khovansky to its list of organizations and individuals accused of involvement in terrorism or extremist activities.

      • Despite the Ban, Protest Emerges at the Olympics

        The Olympics tend to bring out the best in athletes and the worst in the Games’ organizers. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were no exception, with athletes rising up and thriving under the extraordinarily difficult conditions thrust upon them when the International Olympic Committee opted to host the Games amid the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention the sweltering Tokyo heat.

      • Not-So-Anonymous Cop Continues To Argue Courts Should Violate The First Amendment To Protect Him From The Consequences Of His Actions

        I went back to Ohio/but my First Amendment was gone

      • Instagram removes poster for new Almodovar film

        An image of a poster for Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s new film, which shows a nipple with a drop of milk, was briefly removed from Instagram, sparking controversy.

      • Instagram removes poster for new Almodovar film

        He accompanied the text with a screen grab of a message he received from Instagram on Monday stating that the image had been taken down because it violated the network’s rules.

        The poster for “Parallel Mothers” shows a black and white close-up image of a nipple with a drop of milk that simulates a crying eye and is set against a red backdrop.

      • It Happened Again: Antipiracy Outfit Asks Google To Delist 127.0.0.1 On Behalf Of Ukrainian TV Station

        We’ve made this point before, but the moment you attempt to scale up copyright enforcement, you run into problems. Collateral damage from automated systems mistaking non-infringing content for infringing, the possibility of fraud and abuse, the blind eye towards Fair Use all become problems. But sometimes those problems are so silly that they expose what a pure fiasco this has become. Several years back, we discussed Universal Pictures asking Google to delist a bunch of supposedly infringing sites, listing one of them as 127.0.0.1. Depending on how computer savvy you are, you may recognize that this IP address is how a computer or system refers to itself. In other words, it essentially means “home.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Jailing of a British Blogger Should Worry Journalists on Both Sides of the Atlantic

        Lamb asked Hitchens, a British expatriate living in Washington, DC, if American journalists were freer than the ones in his home country. “Infinitely,” Hitchens replied, noting that Americans “have a constitution” that protects the freedom of the press.

      • Hong Kong: Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, accused under the national security law for one year, faces a life sentence

        Jimmy Lai , 73, founder of Next Digital media group and its now defunct flagship newspaper , Apple Daily, was arrested on 10th of August, 2020 under the accusation of “collusion with foreign forces” following the Chinese regime’s imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong and later released on bail. Lai, who was arrested again in December, currently serves a 20-month prison sentence for “organizing” and “taking part” in three “unauthorized” pro-democracy protests in 2019 and risks a life sentence under six other procedures.

        “The relentless harassment against Jimmy Lai, a symbolic figure of press freedom in Hong Kong, has not diminished since the forced closure of the media he founded and reflects the Chinese regime’s determination to permanently bury freedom of the press in Hong Kong”, says director of RSF’s East Asia office, Cédric Alviani, who calls for “all charges against the defendant to be dropped and to immediately release him and all other detained journalists and press freedom defenders”.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 75 Groups Ask DOJ to Oppose ‘Racist’ Anti-Protest Laws

        Noting the often punitive and discriminatory nature of GOP-sponsored state anti-protest laws, over 75 advocacy groups on Tuesday sent an open letter to top U.S. Justice Department officials asking them to condemn such measures and to support legal action against states that pass “legislation that censors and disrupts our First Amendment right to protest racial injustice.”

        “These racist ‘anti-protests’ bills are inseparable from the wider political backlash against our movements fighting for Black liberation and freedom.”—Groups’ letter

      • Tenth Circuit Says Pretextual Inventory Searches Need To Be A Whole Lot Less Pretextual

        One of the great warrant exceptions is the “inventory search.” Stop a car in a high-traffic or “high crime” area, and officers will feel compelled to tow it away. But before it’s towed, they’ll make a list of everything in the car to ensure the vehicle’s owner gets all of their possessions back when they retrieve it from the impound lot. If there happens to be contraband in the car, it’s a win for the cops. The “discovery” (even if derived from a mostly-pretextual search) will be called “inevitable” and can be used against the person to deprive them of their freedom along with their car.

      • Sanctions May Impoverish Nicaraguans, But is Unlikely to Change Their Votes

        Sanctions, called “unilateral coercive measures” by the United Nations, are illegal in international law, yet are deployed by the United States against 39 countries. The Reagan administration used them against Nicaragua in the 1980s in their most drastic form, even mining the country’s ports—for which Nicaragua successfully took action against the United States in the International Court of Justice. When the Sandinistas lost power in 1990, sanctions ceased. But then Daniel Ortega won reelection in 2006 and again in 2011, so his opponents began to lobby the United States to reimpose them. To give one of many examples, Ana Margarita Vijil, then leader of the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista (MRS)—a party that broke away from the Sandinistas in 1995 and later aligned with right-wing parties—met Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) several times from 2015 onwards to push for sanctions. In 2016, Ros-Lehtinen introduced the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, known as the NICA Act, in response to alleged fraud in the 2016 election process and the ending of presidential term limits, which had enabled Ortega to seek reelection. He was elected for a third consecutive term in November 2016 with 72 percent of the vote while Congress was still considering the Act.

        The legislation fell in the Senate but was reintroduced in 2017 by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who argued that “Nicaragua and all freedom-loving people in Central America depend on U.S. leadership.” It was passed in December 2018 as the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anticorruption Act. By then a violent attempt to overthrow the Nicaraguan government between April and July 2018 had failed, spurring on the Act’s proponents. The legislation allowed targeted sanctions against Nicaraguan officials and required U.S. officials to oppose loans to Nicaragua from international financial institutions (IFIs), excluding those to address “human needs” or “promote democracy.” Sanctions apply until Nicaragua is “certified” as meeting various requirements, including having “free and fair” elections.

      • The Arrest of Dora María Téllez Marks a New Low for Nicaragua

        The news from Nicaragua is bad. More than 30 opposition figures were arrested in June—a crackdown designed to nullify any resistance ahead of the November presidential elections. Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo had long ago left behind their roles as leaders of a revolutionary movement, and even former allies were now targets. Still, when I saw that Dora María Téllez had been arrested, I thought: It’s all over. If they have arrested her, then Ortega and Murillo are at their end point, and the only question is how long the dictatorship will bulldoze ahead before it crashes into pieces.

      • While Complaining About “Woke Politics,” Hawley Offers Critical Race Theory Ban
      • A cell with a view Belarusian artist Anastasiya Mirontsava shares poignant drawings and letters from prison

        There are six sisters in the Mirontsava family. In August 2020, three of them — Viktoriya, Aliaksandra, and Anastasiya — were detained during the opposition protests in Minsk. Aliaksandra managed to flee Belarus, but Viktoriya and Anastasiya were found guilty of “breaching public order” and “using violence against police officers” and sentenced to time in prison. The two sisters, who are now in a prison colony, are considered political prisoners. Prior to her arrest, Anastasiya was a student at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts in Minsk. She continued drawing even while in custody — first in a detention center and now inside the camp. Anastasiya passes her drawings and letters to close friends, who publish them on an Instagram account dedicated to her artwork. Despite the difficult conditions in which she lives and works, Anastasiya’s texts and drawings are full of curiosity and tenderness toward the world. With the artist’s permission, Meduza shares some of Anastasiya Mirontsava’s works and excerpts from her letters here.

      • Former premier of Russia’s North Ossetia arrested on embezzlement charges

        State investigators in Russia’s North Ossetia have arrested the republic’s former premier, Sergey Takoev, on charges of embezzlement on an especially large scale.

      • Oversight Unable To Discover Which FBI Agents Leaked Clinton Investigation Info Because Goddamn Everyone Was Leaking Stuff

        Selective leaking has always been a part of the federal government’s day-to-day business. When there are narratives to massage, controlled leaking is tolerated. Leaks that make the government look bad tend to result in prosecutions, but leaks that act as highly unofficial PR or align with the motivations of the agencies they’re leaked from are largely ignored.

      • The Red Nation Wants Its Land Back

        Unable to gather in-person for workshops, book launches, or meetings, the Red Nation turned to media production. The aim, Yazzie says, was not only “to fill the gap in Indigenous people actually talking about our own issues in the media” but also “to bolster and to cultivate and to nourish movements themselves.” In March of this year, it announced the launch of Red Media—an Indigenous press by and for Indigenous peoples. And in April, the group published its first book, The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth. In the introduction, the collective argues that the prospect of giving land back to Indigenous people “strikes fear in the heart of the settler” but that “it’s the soundest environmental policy for a planet teetering on the brink of total ecological collapse. The path forward is simple: it’s decolonization or extinction.”

      • Twitter Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene for 1 Week Over False Vaccine Claims
    • Monopolies

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DecorWhat Else is New


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