[Meme] Companies Don’t Get to Define What They Are (We Need to Check and Verify)

Posted in Deception, Marketing at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Judges actions of companies; Reads corporate press releases
Beware passive-aggressive corporate trolling with 'isms'

Summary: In the age of ‘slush funds’-level PR (marketing budget set aside, or money that buys puff pieces in the cheap/corruptible media) ordinary people need to be careful and actually check if we're told the truth about the companies (many media sites blatantly offer “sponsored narratives” as products/services — as a form of perception management)

Imperialistic Blacklist Machines: Racist IBM and Red Hat — Just Like Donald Trump — Have Turned Fedora Into an Utterly Racist Project That Blacklists, Shuns and Permanently Bans People Based on Their Nationality Alone

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d1aa183b4adca3c55c50942e11d982fd

Summary: The ethnic-cleansing IBM has brought overt racism to Free software, showing that nothing has truly changed since its dark past with Nazi Germany (or the Nazi Party) as its second-largest client; all that changed — however slightly — is the dictator (or Fuhrer), the communications/PR strategy, and the subjects of scapegoating

THE Free software community needs to shun racism. I agree with IBM on that. As such, we might need to shun IBM. Because IBM isn’t just historically racist but also presently racist — just like Microsoft is racist for that matter (it’s very profitable at the state level). Ignore the projection tactics or the façade they pay for, e.g. by Linux Foundation PR campaigns (the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is itself spreading racism).

Those who fail to see how 'Big Tech' promotes racism may have been cheaply indoctrinated (brainwashed on the cheap with ‘slush funds’), mostly by manipulative deflection tactics. It helps distract from their own actions. It’s a very old playbook (not in the Ansible sense). You constantly accuse others, e.g. the Free software community, of what you yourself are deeply culpable of. What they refer to as “community” (they never speak about freedom, it’s not economic to them) is in fact a fake ‘community’; they’ve redefined community as “our staff” or people whose efforts (as unpaid volunteers) they ‘farm’ using malicious sites like GitHub, where they promote non-reciprocal licences, i.e. not copyleft. GitHub actively attacks copyleft.

“This is a dark day for the Fedora project, but those who run the project are mostly IBM employees, so don’t expect anybody from Fedora to condemn this.”Those who have been following Planet Fedora for years (as I have) will have noticed — or can certainly still notice — that, as a project, Fedora is almost as dead as CentOS and the months-old Fedora statement on RMS showed that Fedora is nowadays little but a mouthpiece of IBM. They’ve put much of Fedora on Github (not accessible to people from particular nations) and AWS, which works for the US Army and discriminates against many millions of people. When induction, deduction, and stigma/stereotypes intersect, the racism becomes institutional and in turn ‘normalised’. We can become insensitive to it. But it is still there, lurking behind the curtain of corporate PR and creative story-telling. They paint themselves with rainbows while constantly reinforcing exclusion, bigotry, and privilege.

IBM is not BLMIt’s sad to say this but IBM has brought overt racism to Free software, including Fedora. This is why hours ago we saw this blog post entitled Free Software NOT as in `free speech,` NOR as in `free beer` (resembling similar posts about GitHub) in “We Build Fedora”. The very people who actually built Fedora and volunteered for the project are being shunned for no reason other than nationality, which in this case is tightly connected to an ethnicity or race. This is a dark day for the Fedora project, but those who run the project are mostly IBM employees, so don’t expect anybody from Fedora to condemn this. IBM is known to be surgically removing dissenting voices (escorting people out by surprise), so it’s likely to not even get noticed. You’d get sacked by the fake ‘community’… while IBM is in a very layoff-y mood. Not that the media bothered mentioning it; maybe it expects journalism to just be repetition of a bunch of press releases from IBM rather than investigation of what many insiders say this week. Including last month’s E-mail catastrophe at IBM.

IBM recently published a dataset for facial recognition AI made up of images...
The present

Links 20/8/2021: Reasons to Switch From Windows to GNU/Linux, Release of OpenSSH 8.7

Posted in News Roundup at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 8 Reasons to Switch from Windows to Linux

        As Windows 10 started to show a new face with a number of policy decisions that Microsoft made regarding its product, there’s been an observable upsurge in the number of people switching to Linux. This isn’t surprising as Linux has always been the perfect tool for privacy. If you are still on the fence, here are eight reasons why you should make the switch from Windows to Linux.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Check file status on Linux with the stat command

        The stat command, included in the GNU coreutils package, provides a variety of metadata, including file size, inode location, access permissions and SELinux context, and creation and modification times, about files and filesystems. It’s a convenient way to gather information that you usually need several different commands to acquire.

      • Gitea installation on Ubuntu 20.04

        Gitea is one of the most well-known self-hosted Git servers and is written in the Go programming language. Gitea includes a file editor for the repository, user management, wiki, project issue tracking, and so on.

        Besides the many pros of Gitea, it’s also a lightweight application that doesn’t require much of the resources of your computer.

        This article will show you the steps to install Gitea on your Ubuntu 20.04 machine.

      • How To Install Budgie Desktop on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Budgie Desktop on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, the Budgie Desktop environment is popular because of its simplicity yet user-friendly and easy to use. Budgie uses GNOME technologies at its core and is integrated very well with the GNOME stack. Initially, developed as an individual desktop environment for Solus distribution (the then Evolve OS), the Budgie desktop gained popularity, and the Linux community embraced its simplicity.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Budgie desktop environment on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to Install GNOME 40 on Ubuntu 21.04 – LinuxCapable

        GNOME 40 introduces many changes from visual changes, new apps, and overhaul back-end changes to improve performance. Overall, it is vastly different from what previous Gnome versions have looked before.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the new GNOME 40 on your Ubuntu 21.04 operating system.

      • How to Install LibreOffice 7.2 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        The LibreOffice office suite 7.2 was released with many new features and improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Ubuntu 21.10.

        LibreOffice is the default office suite available in Ubuntu as well as many other Linux Distributions out-of-the-box. It’s made up of a Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and database management tools, and supports the file formats of MicroSoft Office.

      • How to Upgrade Debian 10 (Buster) to Debian 11 (Bullseye)

        Debian 11, codenamed ‘bullseye’ was released on August 10th after nearly two years of development. This is a stable release and will receive support for the next 5 years just like any other Debian stable version.

      • How to set/play with the ArcoLinux Logout application, the ArcoLinux Betterlockscreen and the lock screen | ArcoLinux

        Our ArcoLinux Logout and ArcoLinux Betterlockscreen application have been around for a while. But every now and again the developers of betterlockscreen and i3lock will change their application. Then we adapt the code.

        We provide you a means to lock your system in several ways. You can choose your own wallpaper in the process.

        You can also choose the icons you like. Create new ones if you want. Another example to be creative with the logout application.

        Change font size, opacticy, size of the icons and more.

      • Install Flectra on Ubuntu 20.04 – Unixcop

        Flectra is a free and open-source CRM and ERP software that provides a lot of flexibility and customization that lets you meet the unique needs of your business.

        Also Flectra is the next generation business information system helps you grow your business, with powerful modular design covering all essential aspects of a busines.

        Flectra is a fork of Odoo Community and its main goal was to implement many features from Odoo Enterprise while still keeping it open for everyone to use.

      • Install and Configure Elasticsearch on Rocky Linux 8

        Elasticsearch is a free and open-source analytics engine used for storing, searching, and analyzing big volumes of data in real-time. It is written in Java and based on Apache Lucene. It is known for its speed, scalability, and powerful set of features. You can use it to monitor application performance, logging, and log analytics.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ElasticSearch on Rocky Linux 8.

      • Linux Essentials – The sed Command – Invidious [Ed: No, sed is not Linux, it’s GNU]

        In this episode of Linux Essentials, we explore the sed command. sed, aka the “stream editor” is an underused command, and that’s a shame because it’s extremely useful for manipulating text.

      • Best Way to Install Node.js and NPM on Rocky Linux 8 or AlmaLinux

        Here we learn the commands to install Nodejs and its package manager NPM on Rocky Linux 8 or AlmaLinux…

        Node.js is a framework based on the fastest JavaScript compiler currently available, Google V8. The focus is on high efficiency since asynchronous I/O, i.e. the connection of external resources such as the network or the file system. Since Node.js is based on JavaScript, the entry barrier is correspondingly low, at least for web developers. Node.js is an extremely interesting technology that allows you to develop complex and very scalable web applications with just a few lines of code.

        Whereas to download and install various packages & dependencies, Node.js comes with an official package manager called NPM (Node Package Manager).

      • openqa-cli Cheatsheet – openQA bites

        Checkout the new openqa-cli cheat sheet page where I start to collect some useful “how do I do …” snippets for the openQA CLI utility openqa-cli.

        The page aims at being a quick ready-to-be-use reference cheat sheet and not a complimentary documentation. Feel free to send me further suggestions via email or chat.

      • openqa-cli cheat sheet – openQA bites

        openqa-cli is a command-line utility for interacting with openQA. The tool is versatile and allows you to control and interact with an arbitrary openQA instance from the comfort of your command line. While the internal help is quiet comprehensive, I list some of the most basic tasks in the form of a tutorial or knowledge base here.

        Within this page the hostname duck-norris.host refers to a custom openQA instance. Replace it with your own hostname.

    • Games

      • Chess with lasers, Deflection confirmed for release on September 14

        Developed by the two-person studio Coreffect Interactive, the strategy game Deflection is set to release with native Linux support on September 14.

        It’s not exactly chess, although it does take some basic elements from it with gameplay inspired by both the classic Laser Chess and Khet. You face off against another player one on one, with you each trying to destroy the enemy’s king with your laser. Through the game you will move and rotate mirrors to bounce it around, use portals to move it across the board and more. Deflection looks like it will make your mind spin a little and quite a nice looking board-game styled strategy game. You’ll be able to fight against others online, fight the AI and create levels with the built in editor too.

      • Don’t sleep on the 2D action-RPG Chronicon with a big upgrade out now and DLC coming

        Chronicon is a game that I keep on coming back to because it’s just so good. A 2D action-RPG in the vein of Diablo made with GameMaker Studio 2 and it works great on Linux. Developer Subworld has managed to carve out something really quite special here, with over five thousand user reviews on Steam giving it an Overwhelmingly Positive score it’s easy to see why.

      • Is Proton an emulator? – Invidious
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • MATE Desktop 1.26 Released After 18 Month of Development

          MATE Desktop 1.26 adds new functions and some more Wayland support to various parts of the stack while maintaining the look and feel.

          The MATE desktop environment, as you probably know, is the continuation of the GNOME 2 desktop. When GNOME 3 came along, some folks weren’t happy with it and yearned for a continuation of their beloved GNOME 2 interface. The void created by the demise of GNOME 2 was filled by MATE, a fork that tries to keep the old alive and running.

          A few days ago, the official account of the project published the news of the launch of MATE 1.26 desktop environment. MATE release their stable release with even minor numbers. So the 1.24 and the 1.26 are stable releases, while 1.25 was the development branch in between.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • OpenSSH 8.7 released

          OpenSSH 8.7 has been released. Changes include steps toward deprecating scp and using the SFTP protocol for file transfers instead, changes to remote-to-remote copies (they go through the local host by default now), a stricter configuration-file parser, and more.

        • OpenSSH 8.7 Released With Experimental SFTP Support For SCP – Phoronix

          OpenSSH 8.7 is out today as the newest feature release for this widely-used SSH server/client software.

          With OpenSSH 8.7 the prominent changes primarily revolve around SCP work and preparing for future changes. OpenSSH 8.7 highlights include:

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Free Software NOT as in `free speech,` NOR as in `free beer`

          I don’t have any access to my Email ([email protected]) and my other FP resources (e.g. Fedora Ambassadors, Fedora People space, Git repo, etc.). My account was completely removed from Ask Fedora (I was an admin), all my posts in Ask Fedora (including the Welcome page for Farsi section) were removed, and…

          My purpose of writing this post is not to describe my situation in a personal matter. This offensive deletion was not the only case, for example, some time ago GitLab deleted the profiles of numerous Iranians (GitLab blocked Iranians’ access) and blocked Iran IP range, and it is still not possible to access GitLab from Iran. Before GitLab This was done by GitHub (although the problem has now been fixed).

          As for GitHub, we said to ourselves “yeah, This was expected from the new owner of GitHub (Microsoft)”, but my problem today is not about big proprietary commercial corporations, I am talking about free and open source projects that are increasingly restricting the access of Iranian users and in the most ridiculous case, they are blocking all Iranian IPs! which, as far as I know, is not mandatory, and US law does not force companies to block IPs, but only prohibits them from providing services and trading with Iran, which goes back to politics, but my current argument is not commercial or political.

        • Composable software catalogs on Kubernetes: An easier way to update containerized applications | Red Hat Developer

          Recently, I’ve been experimenting with how to build and use composable software catalogs on Kubernetes. Similar to Red Hat Software Collections for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but adapted for a container context, composable software catalogs let developers add tooling without building a new container image.

          This article explains how composable software catalogs use existing container technologies to build on the Software Collections model, and how they can potentially make more options available to container users, simplify builds, and reduce container image sizes.

        • Understanding garbage collection in Java, Part 1: Stages and levels of garbage collection

          Garbage collection is one of the great benefits of a high-level language. Garbage collection saves programmers from doing a lot of housekeeping, and it helps prevent the very serious errors that can arise from that housekeeping. However, garbage collection is performed by a background thread running at unpredictable times and can force the application to slow down or pause.

          One of the most important aspects of performance in a production application is choosing the right garbage collector and configuring it optimally. Optimal choices depend on each application’s behavior and requirements. Therefore, every Java developer should understand and follow recommended best practices for garbage collection.

          This article is the beginning of a four-part series about garbage collection in Java. The article describes the process and different levels of garbage collection and offers a few ways to view garbage collection in action. Subsequent articles will delve into more detail, help you choose your garbage collector, and show you how to track its effects.

        • MAKE MORE with Inkscape – G-Code Tools – Fedora Magazine

          Inkscape, the most used and loved tool of Fedora’s Design Team, is not just a program for doing nice vector graphics. With vector graphics (in our case SVG) a lot more can be done. Many programs can import this format. Inkscape can also do a lot more than just graphics. This series will show you some things you can do besides graphics with Inkscape. This first article of the series will show how Inkscape’s G-Code Tools extension can be used to produce G-Code. G-Code , in turn, is useful for programming machines such as plotters and laser engravers.

        • How cloud-native architectures can help cable operators prepare for DOCSIS 4.0

          With cable operators looking for ways to simplify their infrastructure for services, including fast data and voice transfer, critical transformation in the cable access network is taking shape. Multiple service operators (MSOs) are moving to a new generation of access network as they shift to digital optical solutions. MSOs are gradually migrating from centralized access architecture to distributed access architecture (DAA).

          Fortunately, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) 3.1 technology is available—and DOCSIS 4.0 is on the horizon—to support the growth of hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network symmetry both upstream and downstream (upload speed and download speed, respectively).

        • Build a lab in five minutes with three simple commands | Enable Sysadmin

          As sysadmins, we live at a frenetic day-to-day pace, maintaining and creating new systems, resolving issues and requirements as they are encountered, and inventing solutions to problems nobody knew existed the day before. With that kind of busy schedule, studying to learn new technologies can seem like a monumental challenge.

          Being able to study and test new technologies and software versions implies the risk of losing information. The risk increases if you do not have your own computer or one dedicated to this exclusive purpose and you instead have to use the same machine for both work and study (as in my case).

        • Artificial Intelligence (AI): 4 characteristics of successful teams

          Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly seen as a must-have technology that enables businesses to become agile and innovate at scale. IDC predicts global spending on artificial intelligence (AI) systems will increase from US $50 billion in 2020 to US $110 billion in 2024.

          But Gartner research estimates that 50 percent of AI implementations are struggling to get past the proof-of-concept stage and be implemented at scale. The reasons vary from overhyped expectations and lack of vision to inadequate data infrastructure and lack of skilled resources.

          Another important factor is the team that’s working on the AI programs. While AI teams may have the requisite tools and technologies, many lack other key capabilities – like mining for the right use cases and optimizing decision-making – that are essential for success.

        • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 251

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

          Here are the release notes from Cockpit 251 and cockpit-machines 250:

          Certificate and smart card authentication for ssh and sudo

          Once you’ve logged into Cockpit with a client certificate, you’ll likely need to switch to administative mode, or connect to remote machines through SSH. If your machine is part of a FreeIPA domain, you can now set up constrained delegation rules so that the Cockpit certificate authentication gets forwarded to sudo and/or ssh. This is particularly useful if your user account does not have a password. Please see the Client certification documentation for details.

      • Debian Family

        • parkyLinux 6.0 Release is based on Debian 11 and Includes a Built-in VPN

          SparkyLinux 6.0 is a major stable update that utilizes Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ as its base now.

          While you can go through the features of Debian 11, SparkyLinux 6.0 should reflect some of the perks associated with it.

          Here, we shall take a quick look at what SparkyLinux 6.0 has to offer.


          To enhance privacy and security, SparkyLinux has decided to include the non-profit RiseUp VPN application pre-installed.

          It is a VPN service that relies on donations to keep the network alive and comes with cross-platform support. You can also find it available for Android devices.

          So, this makes it an interesting addition to the distribution. If you are not using any VPN service, this should make things easy.

          The FirstRun app has been replaced with an improved welcome app that guides you through some basic pointers.

        • Tails 4.22 Is Coming Soon! Contribute to Tails by Testing 4.22~rc1

          Tails, or “The Amnesic Incognito Live System”, recently released the latest version of its privacy-focused secure Linux distro, Tails 4.21, with various changes, bug fixes and improvements including an update to Tor Browser 10.5.4, an update to Thunderbird 78.12 and a fix for a bug in Tails Installer that enabled the deletion of Persistent Storage when doing a manual upgrade. With Tails 4.22 scheduled for release on September 7, the Tails team is asking users to contribute to Tails by testing the release candidate for Tails 4.22 by the end of August.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Vote in the Ubuntu 21.10 wallpaper competition

          The time has come. It’s time to vote for the 10 images you would like included in the official Ubuntu 21.10 release as optional wallpapers.


          We would like to apologise to the artists and photographers and designers who participated. Especially those with high resolution, beautifully detailed images. Google forms simply do not do them justice. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a better platform to host the competition in the short amount of time we had to organise everything.

        • Snap usage metrics now available on the command line

          For years now, developers and publishers could view how well their snaps are performing in terms of usage and popularity through the Snap Store Web interface, using the metrics tab. This functionality allows people to examine the cause and effect of their work, like software updates, marketing campaigns, or other events. But it requires manual intervention.

          A new capability, currently under development and available in the edge channel of snapcraft, allows developers and publishers to check the usage metrics for their snaps from the command line. This means that actions can be scripted, and it is possible to establish trends based on collected data.

        • Learn How to Install Npm and Node.js on Ubuntu

          Node.js is effectively an open-source cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment. With Node.js enabled, you can run JavaScript on your Ubuntu machine without having to worry about opening any browsers. It’s built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine and it can be installed in multiple ways on Linux.

          Node.js is essential for building server-side and networking applications. This platform runs efficiently on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and macOS. Npm is the default package manager and is often tagged as the world’s largest software registry.

        • How To Install Reveal.js on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

          In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Reveal.js on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Reveal.js is an open-source HTML presentation framework. It’s a tool that enables anyone with a web browser to create fully-featured and beautiful presentations for free. It is built on open web technologies. It has a rich set of features including, Markdown content, nested slides, PDF export, and JavaScript APIs for controlling the slide navigation.

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

        • How to connect to an SFTP server in Ubuntu

          SFTP is a built-in feature of SSH, and once SSH is installed on a system, SFTP can be used to transfer files back and forth with a GUI or terminal. SFTP is especially useful with servers.

          In this guide, we’ll show you how to connect to SFTP servers on Ubuntu, as well as how to configure your own server to host. To get started, ensure you use the latest Ubuntu desktop, Server, or an OS based on Ubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 20 August 2021

        Happy Friday! We’ve had another great week –let’s review the Apache community’s activities…

      • CMS

        • Joomla 4 is Here with Bootstrap 5 Integration and More Friendly UI

          Joomla 4 core is built with modern technologies to become a more powerful and easy-to-use CMS platform. So let’s see what’s new.

          Joomla is an open source Content Management System (CMS) for publishing web content. It allows you to build web sites and powerful online applications. That and its zero price tag makes it a favorite option among many businesses and non-profit organizations.

          At 3.7% Joomla is the third most popular CMS system, with WordPress and Drupal ahead of it. With over 9% of all business websites, Joomla’s emphasis on accessibility, speed, security and SEO out of the box make it the CMS of choice for sites that want to expand and grow.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • How To Read, Write & Parse CSV in Python – TecAdmin

            Have you ever needed to exchange information between the programs except using the variables? Have you ever thought or felt the need to have a text file to exchange data between the programs? Do you know about the idea of storing data/information into an external file and later extracting it when needed? Yes, we can store and transfer data between the programs using the file format known as CSV.

  • Leftovers

    • Why Does the Physical Universe Exist?

      The total energy of the universe exploded out of an infinitesimal pinpoint of reality erupting into the void of nonexistence, to cool and diffuse as the wake behind the expanding bow wave of the Event Horizon, precipitating into the swelling space-time of intergalactic, interstellar and interplanetary emptiness, and granulating into matter-energy that expresses gravitational potential by its mass distribution; that itself slowly contracts into accumulative material bodies, and ultimately into light-void centers of matter extinction that in their turn evaporate their confined energy by quantum flickering between existence and nonexistence, until those singularities of space-time pop back into nonexistence once voided of any reality.

      Will that cycling between existence and nonexistence also be enacted by the Event Horizon? Will it just diffuse away into the void of nonexistence?, or will it rebound into a new universal contraction?, or will it oscillate in some as yet unknown Limit Cycle alternating existences and nonexistences? Could we guess that such a coiling and uncoiling was inherent in the Totality, as reflected in the eddies of reality shed behind the Event Horizon and which we see as the cycles of birth, life, death and rebirth?, down to the coiling and uncoiling of the very molecules that convey the persistent genetic patterns of which we each are momentary expressions and disposable links of Life’s transmission?

    • Education

      • Biden Education Dept Threatens GOP Leaders With Legal Action, Federal Probes Over Mask Mandate Bans

        President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona warned Republican governors across the country on Wednesday that they could face federal investigations and legal action over their attempts to “block and intimidate” school districts into abandoning mask mandates.

        The president said he had ordered Cardona to use “all of his oversight authorities and legal action if appropriate” against governors including Greg Abbott in Texas, Doug Ducey in Arizona, and Ron DeSantis in Florida. Through executive action and legislation, several Republican governors have threatened to pull state and federal funding from school districts if they enforce mask requirements for students and teachers as the school year begins. School districts across the country are requiring universal masking in accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Wanted: Disgruntled Employees to Deploy Ransomware

          Criminal hackers will try almost anything to get inside a profitable enterprise and secure a million-dollar payday from a ransomware infection. Apparently now that includes emailing employees directly and asking them to unleash the malware inside their employer’s network in exchange for a percentage of any ransom amount paid by the victim company.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libtpms and mingw-exiv2), openSUSE (389-ds, aspell, c-ares, fetchmail, firefox, go1.15, go1.16, haproxy, java-1_8_0-openjdk, krb5, libass, libmspack, libsndfile, openexr, php7, qemu, and tor), Oracle (compat-exiv2-023 and compat-exiv2-026), and SUSE (389-ds, aspell, djvulibre, fetchmail, firefox, go1.15, go1.16, java-1_8_0-openjdk, krb5, libass, libmspack, nodejs8, openexr, postgresql10, qemu, and spice-vdagent).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 181 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 181. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * New features and bug fixes:
              - Don't require apksigner in order to compare .apk files using apktool.
              - Add a special-case to squshfs image extraction to not fail if we aren't
                root/superuser. (Closes: #991059)
              - Reduce the maximum line length to avoid O(n^2) Wagner-Fischer algorithm,
                which meant that diff generation took an inordinate amount of time.
                (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#272)
              - Include profiling information in --debug output if --profile is not set.
              - Don't print an orphan newline when the Black source code formatter
                self-test passes.
            * Tests:
              - Update test to check specific contents of squashfs listing, otherwise it
                fails depending on the test systems uid-to-username mapping in passwd(5).
              - Assign "seen" and "expected" values to local variables to improve
                contextual information in/around failed tests.
            * Misc changes:
              - Print the size of generated HTML, text (etc.) reports.
              - Profile calls to specialize and diffoscope.diff.linediff.
              - Update various copyright years.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EFF Joins Global Coalition Asking Apple CEO Tim Cook to Stop Phone-Scanning

              “Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children,” the letter states. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • More Than 750 US Military Bases Remain Around the World
      • Opinion | The All-American Base World

        It was the spring of 2003 during the American-led invasion of Iraq. I was in second grade, living on a U.S. military base in Germany, attending one of the Pentagon’s many schools for families of servicemen stationed abroad. One Friday morning, my class was on the verge of an uproar. Gathered around our homeroom lunch menu, we were horrified to find that the golden, perfectly crisped French fries we adored had been replaced with something called “freedom fries.”

      • 30 Years Ago, the Tanks Rolled Into Moscow—but We Refused to Be Silent

        On the morning of August 19, 1991, my husband called the dacha where I was with our son and said that tanks were approaching Moscow. I left the baby with the grandmothers, got in the car, and went to the magazine office. I worked at the weekly Ogonyok, which together with two other weeklies, Moscow News and Literary Gazette, formed the media vanguard of Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika reforms. Tanks were already at our office. The organizers of the anti-Gorbachev coup had stopped the publication of the magazine, along with other “democratic” media.

      • DC Bomb Threat Suspect Expressed Belief in Trump Reinstatement Conspiracy Theory
      • Celebrate the Heroes Who Warned Us That Afghanistan Would Be a Disaster

        Antiwar heroes deserve recognition and respect for telling us not to go into Afghanistan and, after we did, to get out despite being marginalized and ridiculed. They were lonely. Despite widespread reports of casualties among Afghan civilians and the glaring fact that the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11, 88% of Americans—Democrats and Republicans alike—supported George W. Bush’s war three weeks after U.S. bombs began raining down on Kabul.

        Let’s celebrate the good guys.

      • UK Navy’s Public Brawl over Responsibility for Nuclear Mass Destruction

        The very public brawl — between Rear Admiral John Gower, a former submarine commander and retired leading ministry official, and the retired submarine Commander Robert Forsyth — appeared on the website of The Nautilus Institute, a British military think tank, in an exchange of six lengthy letters last year. And the open quarrel spotlighted the global debate over the legal status of nuclear weapons threats, politely known as “deterrence,” especially since the entry into force of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

        What caused the online uproar was Adm. Gower’s claim that British ballistic missile submarine captains do not have any right to even question, much less refuse an order to launch their nuclear weapons. The headline in a report on the clash in The Ferret of Scotland was, “Trident commanders ‘not legally responsible’ for nuclear attack.”

      • How Sexual Assaults are Treated in the Military

        “‘A Poison in the System’: The Epidemic of Military Sexual Assault” (August 3, 2021) is comprehensive in its coverage of the issues related to sexual assault in the military, but it is missing the big questions that need to be raised about women, who make up the vast majority of sexual assault cases in the military, and how they are treated by the military following an assault(s), how the chain of military command treats sexual assault, and how the VA deals with veterans who have been victims of assault. Not surprising within the Times article is the revelation that some victims of sexual assault have been assaulted again, that both enlisted men, officers, and commanders are perpetrators of sexual assault, and that women, who have been assaulted and brutalized, can often expect to be brutalized and traumatized again following the actual assault by the system of rules and adjudication of their claims within the military and the VA.

        In May 2019, the New York Times reported that the Defense Department noted a 50% increase in sexual assaults against women over two years.

    • Environment

      • ‘Resounding’ Climate Win as Judge Blocks Alaska Drilling Project Defended by Biden

        A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out construction permits for a sprawling, multibillion-dollar Alaska oil drilling project that the Trump administration approved and the Biden Interior Department defended in court earlier this year, infuriating Indigenous groups, climate advocates, and scientists.

        In a 110-page decision (pdf), Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court for Alaska ruled that the Trump administration failed to adequately consider the climate impacts of the Willow project, which—if completed—would produce up to 160,000 barrels of oil a day over a 30-year period.

      • ‘Victory for Environmental Justice’: Review Ordered for Proposed Cancer Alley Plastics Complex

        Environmental justice and climate campaigners celebrated after a federal official on Wednesday ordered a detailed review of the impacts of a massive Formosa Plastics complex set to be built on over 2,000 acres in an area of Louisiana long known as “Cancer Alley.”

        “Today’s announcement is the ultimate David v. Goliath victory.”—Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | How California’s Top Democrats Paved the Way for a Republican Governor This Fall

        Four weeks from now, a right-wing Republican could win the governor’s office in California. Some polling indicates that Democrat Gavin Newsom is likely to lose his job via the recall election set for Sept. 14. When CBS News released a poll on Sunday, Gov. Newsom’s razor-thin edge among likely voters was within the margin of error. How this could be happening in a state where Republicans are only 24 percent of registered voters is largely a tale of corporate-friendly elitism and tone-deaf egotism at the top of the California Democratic Party.

      • Anti-Vaxxers and the Unvaccinated: False Consciousness in a Time of Pandemic

        On Twitter, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) claimed that neither vaccines nor masks reduce Covid transmission.  On her Facebook page, she insisted, “You’re going to be arrested if you don’t wear a mask that, guess what, doesn’t work.”  Adding, “It’s likely a little piece of cloth covering your face, or a napkin, like a paper mask – those don’t stop Covid from spreading, either.”

        In response, YouTube and Twitter suspended both pols and YouTube removed Paul’s video for promoting disinformation about the pandemic.  And Facebook has done nothing.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Feds Targeted BLM Activists to Foil Racial Justice Protests: Report

        As Black Lives Matter protests grew across the U.S. following the police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, so did the federal government’s persecution of activists who marched in support of racial justice.

        “Everyday Americans are now facing prison sentences in more distant locations, higher maximums and mandatory minimums, and no chance of parole as a result of exercising their First Amendment rights.”—Princess Masilungan, CLEAR

      • Documents Show NYPD Has A Secret Surveillance Tech Slush Fund

        About a half-decade ago, public records requesters discovered the Chicago Police Department had been spending seized funds on surveillance equipment like Stingray devices. The forfeiture fund was apparently completely discretionary and the PD used this steady supply of cash to make purchases not specifically approved by the city. It also allowed the department to elude direct oversight of surveillance activities and ensure the public was unable to interrupt the procurement process with pesky comments and questions.

      • Why The EU Needs To Get Audits For Tech Companies Right

        Discussions over the right – or at least a good – way to regulate big tech companies are heating up in the European Union (EU). Several legislative proposals are set to be negotiated, with public and behind-the-scenes lobbying in full swing already. As with any regulation, a key question is how to hold corporate decisionmakers accountable for their actions and how to create transparency. Some of the ways this has typically been done in other industries include legally mandated corporate compliance regimes, rules for financial or supply chain transparency and mandatory risk assessments and audits. These ideas are coming to the tech sector now, too, especially with the draft “Digital Services Act” (DSA). The DSA suggests new due diligence rules for platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, for example, regarding what processes are in place for content moderation and how they deal with potential infringements on users’ fundamental rights. Audits are introduced to check whether companies comply with the DSA’s due diligence rules.

    • Monopolies

      • Antitrust Experts Welcome FTC’s Revised Suit Against Facebook as ‘Huge and Promising Step’

        In a move celebrated by progressives, the Federal Trade Commission filed a revised antitrust lawsuit against Facebook on Thursday, providing additional data and stronger details to back up its allegations that the corporation has maintained a monopoly on social media services for the past decade by “illegally acquiring innovative competitors and burying successful app developers.”

        “While Facebook could buy or bury competitors, it can neither buy nor bury the revitalized FTC under new Chairperson Lina Khan.”—Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG

      • Most Americans Favor Investing in Global Covid-19 Vaccine Production: Poll

        As the Delta variant drives a worrying surge in Covid-19 cases around the world, over three-quarters of American voters say they’re concerned about global vaccine inequality, while nearly 70% want the U.S. government to invest in a global vaccine manufacturing program.

        “Americans understand that ending the pandemic anywhere means ending it everywhere.”—Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi

      • Copyrights

Using Web-based IRC for Your Communities, Projects and Professional/Personal Circles, Using Free/Libre Software at Every Level (From Server to Client)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum f74008f7cf1e47ae7c5263f0c19cad82

Kiwi IRC logoSummary: The entry barrier of IRC is extremely low thanks in part to Web-based clients; in this spontaneous video I explain some of the work I did last night, some of the work our sysadmin has been doing lately, and how anybody can leverage IRC to create online communities (or “chatrooms”) that are based entirely around Free software and will hopefully (some time soon) be more decentralised, which means less/lowered risk of getting cut off for business reasons, unpopular opinions and so on

IRC is widely misunderstood because of its age. One journalist mocked us some months ago for using IRC — a shallow ad hominem attack relying on a shallow “appeal to novelty” (like all this “smart” and “clown” stuff). IRC is IRC. It’s still evolving (e.g. IRCv3). It’s a protocol, not a company or an application. There are many IRC implementations (same for Gemini) and they generally are compatible owing to the protocols, both at the server side and the client side. Think of E-mail for an analogy! IRC has been around for so long because it is robust to disruption (no single point of failure) and geeks can appreciate that. They have a better understanding of why IRC is better. One needn’t be a geek to know how to use it. We think that lots of people out there are missing out if they don’t adopt IRC; a lot of IRC’s rejection boils down to misconception or a lack of awareness. So we intend to do a lot more videos on the subject and emphasise the strengths of IRC. Not just strengths on a technical level but also freedom aspects of IRC. There’s nobody controlling the thing! No masters, no slaves. Sure, within a given network there can be a hierarchy, but there are lots of independent networks and many projects/implementations, so no single developer can act like a dictator (in Mastodon they have been having issues to that effect, but Fediverse has other compatible implementations, such as Pleroma).

“…a lot of IRC’s rejection boils down to misconception or a lack of awareness.”The video above focuses on Kiwi IRC, which unfortunately outsourced the code to Microsoft’s prison (GitHub). Kiwi IRC can be installed locally or accessed through a third party (including Kiwi IRC itself) and it can be turned into a widget, accessible in a variety of ways. The level of control over the Web end and the back end is up to the configurator. It’s always possible to change as one goes along. I like Kiwi IRC for reasons explained in the video and it is still improving every day (daily commits and bugfixes). I tried several of its counterparts and they’re nowhere near as good. Mibbit isn’t too bad, but the licence isn’t on par (Apache-2.0 licensed for Kiwi IRC and KiwiChat NextClient is licensed GPLv3 or later; it’s still active, last commit 28 days ago). I tried a number of alternatives, even at code level, but nothing comes even close to Kiwi IRC. In terms of features and looks (themes are nice, but the functionality is a lot more important than just gloss).

The governments told me to take down that user; The governments told me to take down that channel; The governments told me to take down the whole network; But I control the whole network, so I told them where to go...Suffice to say, many who watch the video already know IRC and many people have already used native (locally installed) IRC clients, so the video does not cover any of that. If the goal is to make IRC more widely accessible to a lot more people, Kiwi IRC isn’t a bad way. It can be embedded in one’s site, even hosted in one’s own server.

When it comes to IRC, so far one main barrier to entry was laziness, e.g. being too lazy to install something (Slack has a Web client). An obstacle being the client/user-end application having to be installed, configured, and generally understood (for the settings to be put in place correctly) can be gradually removed with Web-based interfaces; the client is the browser itself. Yes, widgets make access a lot easier as one needs to supply nothing but a Web address.

To set up channels, no technical knowledge is required either. There are already many open networks — networks that welcome additional channels. Here’s a list of the top 100 IRC networks (by number of online/simultaneous users). Imagine a world where we have millions of channels, spread across thousands/millions of servers with billions of users (who can communicate across networks). It would certainly liberate communications and communities from thought-policing oligopolies. It’s definitely something to strive for. It’s a technical problem as much as it is a political/policy problem.

Links 20/8/2021: GNOME 40.4 and Many Games Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • What Twitter’s Chirp taught us about the importance of web font type design

      Twitter’s new user experience with its Chirp font has netizens making memes, fuming about an unpleasant experience, and complaining about headaches. We speak to a few UX designers about why typography in online spaces matter

    • [Old] Social media influencer guidelines out!

      In view of the growing collaboration between social media influencers and companies for the advertisement of the latter’s products, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Friday came up with a set of guidelines for advertising in the said domain. Underlining that it is ‘critical’ that consumers be able to distinguish when something is being promoted with an intention to influence their opinion or behaviour for an immediate or eventual commercial gain, the self-regulatory voluntary organization listed down the said guidelines.

    • The owner of Politico is said to be seeking $1 billion in a deal with Axel Springer.

      Politico, the Washington news site popular with Beltway power brokers, is seeking as much as $1 billion in a potential deal with the German publishing giant Axel Springer.

      Led by its owner, Robert Allbritton, Politico has been in talks with Springer about a potential investment or an outright sale, two people familiar with the matter said. Such a deal would amount to a hefty premium for Politico, which generates about $200 million a year in revenue, they said.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “Half of the Family Just Disappeared Overnight”

        HOUSTON — It was 9:08 p.m. when Michael Negussie’s phone rang. Twenty minutes had passed since he called 911 asking for emergency crews to check on his cousins and their two children, fearing that they had fainted from carbon monoxide poisoning in their Houston home during a massive winter storm.

        A fire captain at the dispatch center told Negussie that an emergency crew had arrived at the two-story town house. But, he said, no one was answering the door.

      • Facebook purges accounts linked to anti-vax “disinformation dozen”: report

        Facebook has frequently been criticized for a lack of initiative in removing disinformation from its social network. In recent weeks, the company has sought to crack down, including removing a Russia-based anti-vax propaganda network. Some anti-vax activists, however, are going underground, using code words to continue to spread falsehoods and evade content moderation.

      • Facebook takes action against ‘disinformation dozen’ after White House pressure

        In making the announcement, Monika Bickert, vice president of content policy at Facebook, pushed back against the narrative that the twelve accounts were primarily responsible for the spread of vaccine misinformation, writing that focusing on them “misses the forest for the trees.”

      • Unvaccinated terror: Proud Boys push the anti-vaccination movement into a violent threat

        The anti-vaccine movement (or, as it really should be known, the pro-COVID movement ) appears to be getting increasingly nasty and violent. Worse yet, the same groups of people, specifically the Proud Boys, a right-wing group who fueled the violence in D.C., are now turning their attentions towards undermining any effort to mitigate people’s risks of getting sick

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Kerberos Authentication Spoofing: Don’t Bypass the Spec

        One might think – if the client and server are the same, why do I need the client/server exchange? The password is verified during the Authentication Service exchange, so that should be enough. This thought process sounds legit, only they forgot the first rule of fight club: Don’t deviate from the spec.

      • Proprietary

        • T-Mobile Confirms Major Hack, Social Security Numbers And Drivers License Data Exposed

          Earlier this week reports emerged that T-Mobile was investigating a massive hack of the company’s internal systems, resulting in hackers gaining access to a massive trove of consumer information they were selling access to in underground forums. Initial estimates were that the personal details of 100 million customers had been accessed (aka all T-Mobile customers). After maintaining radio silence as it investigated the hack, T-Mobile has since released a statement detailing the scale of the intrusion. In short, it was smaller than initial claims, but still massive and terrible:

        • BlackBerry goes where no security vendor has gone before [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Security vendor BlackBerry has gone where no other firm in its space has, by providing links to ransomware leaks on the dark web, something that is studiously avoided by both infosec outfits and journalists.

          In a post published last month, the company provided a link to the leak site of the Hive ransomware, another Windows-only malware group. The link provided at that time is still valid on Friday morning AEST.

        • Ransomware attack knocks out systems at Ohio and W. Virginia healthcare provider [iophk: Windows kills]

          The ransomware attack, detected on Aug. 15, was described by Memorial as an information technology security incident. As a result, user access to IT applications was suspended and temporary disruptions to aspects of clinical applications occurred.

          Further, the hospital was forced to cancel all urgent surgical cases and radiology exams on Monday. Primary care appointments went ahead as scheduled.

        • Malware attacks in Africa are increasing, reaching 85 million in 6 months – Kaspersky

          Malware is rife across Africa, with various countries exhibiting strong growth in all malware types in the first half of 2021. This is a 5% increase in the region, as cybercriminals and [crackers] continue to focus on African countries considering digital transformation advancements and the increase in remote working resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber security company Kaspersky has said.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Illinois Bought Invasive Phone Location Data From Banned Broker Safegraph

              In an agreement signed in January 2019, IDOT paid $49,500 for access to two years’ worth of raw location data. The dataset consisted of over 50 million “pings” per day from over 5 million monthly-active users. Each data point contained precise latitude and longitude, a timestamp, a device type, and a so-called “anonymized” device identifier.

              Excerpt from agreement describing data provided by Safegraph to IDOT

              Taken together, these data points can easily be used to trace the precise movements of millions of identifiable people. Although Safegraph claimed its device identifiers were “anonymized,” in practice, location data traces are trivially easy to link to real-world identities.

            • US-built biometrics equipment is falling into the hands of the Taliban

              The US first established a programme to collect the fingerprints, iris scans and facial images of Afghan national security forces after testing prototypes of the system in 2002. The programme’s initial goal was to keep criminals and Taliban insurgents from infiltrating the army and police force. To collect and store this data, the US Department of Defense launched its Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) in 2004.

              Over the years, the biometrics initiative has had both coalition and Afghan troops from multiple biometric task forces collecting fingerprint, iris and genetic biometric data from as much of the population as possible, now in the millions. In 2020, the Afghan government launched a biometric system for licensing businesses in order to improve the ease and efficiency with which licences are processed. In January, The Afghan government shared its plans to conduct biometric registration of students and staff at 5000 madrassas around the country.

            • Policy groups request Apple abandon plans to scan devices for child abuse imagery

              Much of the pushback against the new measures has been focused on the device-scanning feature, but the civil rights and privacy groups said the plan to blur nudity in children’s iMessages could potentially put children in danger and will break iMessage’s end-to-end encryption.

              “Once this backdoor feature is built in, governments could compel Apple to extend notification to other accounts, and to detect images that are objectionable for reasons other than being sexually explicit,” the letter states.

            • Twitter makes small changes to direct messages

              Twitter on Thursday said it’s introducing several new updates to its direct messages, which will roll out to some users in the next few weeks. The changes include the ability to send a direct message to multiple people in separate conversations because who among us has not accidentally started a group chat that way. Now, you can share a tweet in up to 20 separate DM conversations, if the goss is hot enough to share with that many individual tweeters at once.

            • UN experts join growing calls for moratorium on surveillance technology

              United Nations experts on Thursday called for a halt to the sale and transfer of surveillance technology until countries introduce a regulatory framework to address the human rights impact of its abuse.

            • Deleting unethical data sets isn’t good enough

              In 2016, hoping to spur advancements in facial recognition, Microsoft released the largest face database in the world. Called MS-Celeb-1M, it contained 10 million images of 100,000 celebrities’ faces. “Celebrity” was loosely defined, though.

              Three years later, researchers Adam Harvey and Jules LaPlace scoured the data set and found many ordinary individuals, like journalists, artists, activists, and academics, who maintain an online presence for their professional lives. None had given consent to be included, and yet their faces had found their way into the database and beyond; research using the collection of faces was conducted by companies including Facebook, IBM, Baidu, and SenseTime, one of China’s largest facial recognition giants, which sells its technology to the Chinese police.

            • Tinder Will Soon Require Users To Verify Their Account Using Local ID For Added Security Online

              In the initial stages, the ID Verification will be a voluntary process except in case the local law makes it mandatory. It also understands that some users might not be comfortable sharing their IDs online.

            • Apple’s NeuralHash Algorithm Has Been Reverse-Engineered

              We also have the first collision: two images that hash to the same value.

              The next step is to generate innocuous images that NeuralHash classifies as prohibited content.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Before 2001 Invasion, Bush Admin Declared Taliban an Ally in the War on Drugs
      • Bush, Obama and Trump Deceived the Public About the Reality of Afghanistan War
      • Post-US Afghanistan: Can China Navigate a Way Through the Tombstones?

        Another name has been chiseled on the tombstone in the graveyard of empires.

        The United States of America. 2001-2021.

      • Kabul’s Victors and the Vanquished

        I think the predictions of a terrible life under the Taliban are premature. In addition, they are also based on what we have been told about the Taliban. They are mostly ignorant of the region’s history, either as the British-created nation of Afghanistan or the land of various tribes/clans, with the Pashtu being perhaps the most powerful and certainly the best known in the west. Does this mean I support the Taliban’s misogyny? Of course not, but pretending like majority of the people in Afghanistan were better under the occupation is hubristic as can be. There were elements of Afghan society who fared well. Most of them were those with whom the US felt most comfortable with. The vast majority lived outside of that sphere and faced US bombing, Taliban and other militia attacks, and US Marines kicking in their doors at two in the morning, taking away the males in the family, beating them and then destroying homes if the spirit moved them. As I wrote in a 2010 piece re-published in the newsletter of the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan (RAWA), “there will never be real progress toward a genuine peace in Afghanistan until the US and other members of the International Security Armed Force (ISAF) withdraw their forces.”

        Now that the Taliban forces are apparently in charge, they have to lead.  It is this transition from a warmaking entity to a governing one which will be their test.  Like most every war, there will most likely be some instances of retribution by the victors against the vanquished.  One hopes these are few and far between.  If not, that retribution could easily become the rationale for another invasion of the land by another army intent on having its way there.  Despite their portrayal as such in the Western media, the Taliban are much more than an armed militia with beards and big guns.  Their version of Afghan nationalism and religious belief incorporates Afghans from all walks of life.  As they move into the empty seats of power in Kabul they will be watched closely by those inside the nation, those in Islamabad, Delhi and those in Beijing.  They will also be watched very closely by US military forces stationed a few hours away and ready to attack at any moment.

      • The Distortions of Pinochet

        On August 27, 1984, a man named Andrés Valenzuela walked into a magazine’s offices in Santiago, Chile, and asked to speak with a journalist. The magazine, Cauce, had been founded during a brief thaw in Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship, then entering its 11th year. Valenzuela surprised the journalist when he told her he was an intelligence agent in the Chilean Air Force. But he surprised her even more when he told her that he wanted to sit for an interview and talk about his role in the disappearance, torture, and murder of left-wing dissidents.

      • Afghan Journalist Who Fled Kabul: Women Are “Hopeless” After U.S. War Ends with Taliban Takeover

        Protests have broken out against the Taliban in Kabul and other cities across Afghanistan as the militant group, at war for 20 years, now finds itself in power. Evacuation flights are continuing from Kabul, but the Taliban is preventing many Afghans from reaching the airport, with some being shot or whipped as they attempt to flee the country amid fears that the Taliban will impose draconian restrictions on everyday life as they did during their last time in power. Women especially are terrified of the future, says journalist Nasrin Nawa, who fled the capital Friday and whose sister is still in the country. “They are totally hopeless and stuck at their houses,” Nawa says.

      • In Afghanistan, We Have Never Tasted True Independence

        Kabul—Today marks the 102nd anniversary of “independence” in Afghanistan.

      • “The Afghanistan Papers”: Docs Show How Bush, Obama, Trump Lied About Brutality & Corruption of War

        We speak with Washington Post investigative reporter Craig Whitlock, author of the new book “The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War,” which reveals how multiple U.S. presidents deceived the public about progress in the war despite widespread skepticism among defense and diplomatic officials about the mission. “The public narrative was that the U.S. was always making progress. All these presidents said we were going to win the war, and yet, in private, these officials were extremely pessimistic,” says Whitlock. He also discusses miscalculations in the initial invasion of Afghanistan, the collapse of the Afghan security forces and how U.S. defense contractors have benefited from the last two decades of war.

      • What the US Didn’t Learn in Afghanistan, According to the Government’s Own Inspector General

        The chaotic collapse of the Afghan military in recent months made starkly clear that the $83 billion U.S. taxpayers spent to create and fund those security forces achieved little. But a new report this week by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction also reveals the depths of failure of the United States’ entire 20-year, $145 billion effort to reconstruct (or construct, in some cases) Afghanistan’s civil society.

        John Sopko, the special inspector general since 2012, has long chronicled the government’s miscalculations. In his latest lacerating assessment, he concluded that “the U.S. government continuously struggled to develop and implement a coherent strategy for what it hoped to achieve.” The U.S. effort was clumsy and ignorant, the report says, calling out the hubris of a superpower thinking it could reshape a country it didn’t understand by tossing gobs of money around.

      • “Uncertainty, Fear”: How Afghan Women & Ethnic Minorities Feel About Taliban Takeover & U.S. War

        We look at how the rights of women and ethnic minorities will be impacted by the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan with two Afghan women who fled their country. Mariam Safi, who left Kabul last month and is founding director of the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies, says the Taliban’s rapid advance across the country surprised many people who had been hoping for a negotiated end to the war. “We had felt that there would be some space for a political settlement,” says Safi. “What has happened has certainly caught everyone by surprise.” We also speak with journalist Zahra Nader, a member of the Hazara minority who says the community risks losing its rights under Taliban rule. “There is lots of discrimination, systematic discrimination, against Hazara people in Afghanistan,” says Nader. “But now it’s going to get even worse.”

      • Taliban Creates A New Content Moderation Challenge For Social Media

        The news out of Afghanistan is distressing on many levels, and it’s bizarre to think that there’s a Techdirt relevant story there, but (unfortunately) it seems like every story these days has some element of content moderation questions baked in. As the Taliban took over the country, it seems that they had a bone to pick… with Facebook. Facebook has banned the Taliban for a while, and has said that it will continue to do so, even as it takes over running the country of Afghanistan. And, the Taliban seem… pretty upset about it.

      • US Leery as Talks Proceed Between Venezuela Govt and Opposition

        The government of Venezuela is engaged in negotiations with the country’s Western-backed opposition. The preliminary talks, which took place in Mexico City, are the first of their kind since Venezuela’s diplomatic team withdrew from previous dialogues, which took place in Barbados and Norway in 2019 after U.S. sanctions were tightened.

      • As Kabul Is Retaken, Papers Look Back in Erasure

        Corporate media coverage of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the collapse of the country’s US-backed government has offered audiences more mystification than illumination. I looked at editorials in five major US dailies following the Taliban’s retaking of Kabul: the Boston Globe, LA Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The editorial boards of these papers consistently trivialized South Asian lives, erased US responsibility for lethal violence, and made untenable assertions about Washington’s supposedly righteous motives in the war.

      • Adding to US Failures in Afghanistan, Taliban Have Grabbed Billions in Weaponry

        The Taliban are now in effective control of billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry—from thousands of grenades and machine guns to Black Hawk helicopters—American forces poured into Afghanistan over the past two decades.

        The equipment amassment follows months of surrenders by U.S.-backed Afghan security forces that “failed to defend district centers,” the Associated Press reported.

      • Opinion | The Crimes of the West in Afghanistan and the Suffering That Remains

        The headless flight of NATO troops from Afghanistan and the havoc they leave behind are only the last chapter in a devastating story that began in October 2001. At that time, the US government, supported by allies including the German administration, announced that the terror attacks of September 11 should be answered by a war in Afghanistan. None of the assassins were Afghan. And the Taliban government at the time even offered the US to extradite Osama bin Laden—an offer the US did not even respond to. Virtually no word was said about the country of origin of 15 of the 19 terrorists—Saudi Arabia. On the contrary: members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of the USA in a night-and-fog operation so that they could not be interrogated. After classified parts of the 9/11 commission report were released in 2016, it emerged that high-ranking members of the Saudi embassy in Washington had been in contact with the terrorists before the attacks. Consequences? None. They are our allies.

      • Opinion | Don’t Use Girls as Justification for Bombing Afghanistan, Again

        The chilling reports coming out of Afghanistan right now are more than enough to anger any feminist. As hundreds cling to US planes, scrambling to leave the country, women and girls predict a violent backlash and LGBTIQ people fear for their lives. I can understand why you might want our world leaders to act urgently.

      • Sean Hannity Uses Afghanistan Crisis to Advertise MyPillow Products
      • Iran Confirms IAEA Report Saying It Has Accelerated Production Of Highly Enriched Uranium

        Iran has confirmed a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluding that the country has expanded its production of weapons-grade uranium to 60 percent purity.

        Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on August 18 that the actions are in response to the “non-implementation” of the nuclear agreement and U.S. sanctions.

      • The FBI Keeps Using Clues From Volunteer Sleuths To Find The Jan. 6 Capitol [Insurrectionists]

        As [insurrectionists] made their way through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, many of them livestreamed their actions and posted photos and videos on social media. That steady stream of content created an enormous record of evidence that law enforcement needed to sift through to build cases against the accused.

        Now, more than 575 federal criminal complaints have been filed, and a striking pattern has emerged: Time and time again, the FBI is relying on crowdsourced tips from an ad hoc community of amateur investigators sifting through that pile of content for clues.

      • What is Sharia Law? Taliban admits possible return to amputations in Afghanistan

        Many British Muslims will use Sharia law as a guidebook, informing them on every day things including family problems and financial decisions – however some countries adopt Sharia law in their courts and have the authority to punish offenders in extreme ways.

      • The Taliban knocked on her door 3 times. The fourth time, they killed her

        The deadly July 12 attack on Najia’s home in Faryab province was a chilling preview of the threat now facing women across Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of the capital Kabul. CNN is using aliases for Najia and Manizha to protect their identity for safety reasons.

      • ‘Use Headless Mannequins To Advertise Clothes, Cover Their Breast, Bottom Shapes, They Look Like Human Beings’— Kano Islamic Police Announces Ban

        But a senior Muslim cleric, Halliru Maraya of the Islamic Council of Nigeria, says the position of the Hisbah on the mannequins is correct as “Islam is against carving human statues, whatever name you want to call it”.

        While the announcement in Kano is the first in Nigeria, there have been attempts in other mainly Muslim countries to restrict the use of mannequins.

      • Taliban bursts out laughing when asked if they would be willing to accept democratic governance that voted in female politicians.

        They tell the camera to stop filming, explaining that the question “made me laugh.”

      • A new trend on the video platform TikTok aims to make the headscarf attractive to girls in Germany and Austria

        It is doubtful that the videos are all authentic. Rather, the scenes seem staged, which is not unusual on TikTok. The problem is that the platform is particularly popular with children and young people who have not yet acquired sufficient media competence to be able to judge content for its authenticity.

      • Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in northern Burkina Faso

        Gorgadji is in the notorious “three-border” zone where Burkina Faso meets Mali and Niger, a focus of the jihadist violence that plagues the wider Sahel region.

    • Environment

      • It rained for the first time at the summit of Greenland’s ice sheet

        Rain fell for several hours at the highest point on the Greenland ice sheet last week — the first rainfall event in recorded history at a location that rarely creeps above freezing temperatures.

        Scientists confirmed Wednesday that rain was observed Saturday at Summit Station, a research facility that sits atop the Greenland ice sheet and is operated year-round by the National Science Foundation. It was the first report of rain at the normally frigid summit, and it marks only the third time in less than a decade that above-freezing temperatures were recorded at the Arctic research station, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

      • Austerity Helped Fuel Greece’s Wildfires

        Wildfires are devastating Greek forests in the worst heat wave in 30 years. Thanks to years of austerity and a right-wing government pushing through further privatizations under cover of the pandemic, even the basic services required to fight the fires are desperately lacking.

      • New study: many obstacles stand in the way of Finland’s climate action – major course correction needed towards the 1.5°C target

        Finland is in a good position to succeed in climate action under the Paris Agreement, according to Sitra’s new study “Course correction – Finland towards 1.5-degree compatible measures”. But there are many obstacles to overcome. They include the uncertain long-term outlook, inadequate economic incentives and deficiencies in infrastructure.

      • View: India could save billions by cancelling new coal projects

        Two thirds of the global economy, including several major Asian coal users, including Japan, South Korea and China, have announced net zero ambitions which will require material declines in the use of fossil fuels, especially coal. However, India has yet to commit to a net zero target. According to data from Global Energy Monitor (GEM), since 2010 India has cancelled or retired 590 GW of coal plants. Nevertheless, India has a coal power plant pipeline of almost 60 GW, which represents 15% of the global development pipeline.

        This is uneconomic and risks shouldering Indian consumers and taxpayers with much of the financial and environmental burden further down the line by linking the grid into higher cost thermal energy and potentially leaving a swathe of unprofitable coal plants to become stranded assets.

      • Towards a Dark Sky Standard: A Lighting Guide to Protect Dark Skies from Local Need to Landscape Impact

        Fundamentally “Towards a Dark Sky Standard” is a general signposting guide to introduce the mindset of dark sky protection by ensuring the right considerations are included in lighting design. It is intended to sit as a precursor to the planning phase and to direct users to more detailed design and planning policies, such as those created for managing IDA places.

      • 13 New Books About Pollution — and How to Fight It
      • Energy

        • Everyday Climate Catastrophe: Only Mass Action Will Save Us

          I went to the upper deck of our common house yesterday evening to look at the red ball sun slowly sinking into the smoky horizon. Across Lake Union, Queen Anne Hill was veiled in haze. The lake was dotted with a multitude of sailboats and motorboats. Of course, people were escaping the heat. But it seemed incongruous, a picture of enjoyment through a dull gray filter. Another vista of our schizoid world.

          How many tragic pictures do we have to see? How many announcements? Climate Code Red, say the world’s authoritative climate science group. July the hottest month in history. Shutdown of the Atlantic currents that drive the world’s climate a real prospect. Fires ravaging Southern Europe, Siberia, Western North America.

        • Judge Rules Against Alaskan Oil Pipeline Approved by Trump and Defended by Biden
        • Tory MP Who Argued China’s Emissions Made Net Zero a ‘Hard Sell’ Took Donation From Car Importer Active in China

          A “Red Wall” Conservative MP who said persuading Brits to cut their emissions was a “hard sell” because of inaction by China took a £3,000 donation in 2019 from a major Brexit-backing car import business operating in the country. 

          In a WhatsApp chat with fellow Tory MPs following the release of a poll that found petrol and diesel drivers are more likely to vote Tory, reported in The Sun last week, Brendan Clarke-Smith said: “It’s a hard sell asking people to make sacrifices when the rest of the world, China/Russia etc, are carrying on as usual.”

        • Extinction Rebellion to Target London’s Financial District Over Fossil Fuel Funding

          The environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion (XR) is planning a series of protests targeting the City of London to demand an end to investments in fossil fuels around the world. 

          The campaign group’s “Impossible Rebellion” is expected to see thousands from across the country travel to London’s financial district for at least two weeks of marches and occupations, starting on Monday 23 August in Trafalgar Square. 

        • When the EU wanted to crank up solar

          In the news today that EU using record amounts of solar-generated power expressed as a percentage of total power used, now 10% of all power used.

          The article started out celebratory but switched to a pessimistic tone, saying that we’re still lagging behind coal, which is 14% of all power used, and behind our 2030 goal, which is that solar should be 40% of all power used. “To reach that, we need to use 30 TWh solar-generated power yearly.”

          That is completely cart-before-horse backwards wrong. What we need is to use less coal and other fossils. Lithosphere-originated greenhouse gasses needs to go down as an absolute number, not as a percentage of power used. We can’t outrace it.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Why Bump Stocks Aren’t a Priority…Even in Montana
        • As Wildfires Ravage British Columbia, Wall Street Tells Investors to Buy Stock in Canada’s Tar Sands

          Wall Street analysts are advising their clients to invest in Canadian tar sands companies on the expectation that the highly controversial Line 3 and Trans Mountain Expansion pipelines overcome Indigenous-led public opposition and reach completion. 

          Singling out a handful of Canadian oil companies as investment ideas, Goldman Sachs wrote in a report to its clients on August 16: “We recognize, in the near-term, that the group is facing three negative equity narratives.” This includes: investor concerns about the environmental impact of Canada’s oil sands; more oil supply from OPEC, which would compete with Canadian oil; and the long-term uncertainty about oil demand amid a global shift away from fossil fuels. 

        • Nine things you don’t know about seahorses

          The life history and ecology of seahorses make them particularly vulnerable to overfishing and environmental disturbance, including climate change. Their exoskeleton allows them to be dried and preserved easily. Many cultures believe seahorses to hold medicinal properties, especially traditional Chinese medicine, in which their dried bodies are believed to cure or prevent skin infections, asthma, and impotence, despite no evidence to support these claims. At least 25 million are traded annually for Chinese medicine. Fisheries harvest them faster than they can replenish their populations, leading to alarming declines in seahorse numbers.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • How the Trump Tax Law Created a Loophole That Lets Top Executives Net Millions by Slashing Their Own Salaries

        In the months after President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, some tax professionals grew giddy as they discovered opportunities for their clients inside a law that already slashed rates for corporations and wealthy individuals.

      • Activists Rally Across US Urging Congress to #SealTheDeal on $3.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

        With both chambers of Congress in recess following a pair of key U.S. Senate votes on infrastructure legislation, activists with the Green New Deal Network coalition on Thursday hosted a “Seal the Deal” national day of action pressuring Democrats to keep fighting for a bold $3.5 trillion package.

        “Members of Congress must listen to their constituents and pass an infrastructure and jobs plan that prioritizes climate justice investments, expanding the care economy, and good jobs for all.”—Adrien Salazar, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

      • Ethereum founder is skeptical of Dorsey’s and Zuckerberg’s plans

        The engineer widely recognized as the inventor of Ethereum, the world’s most-used blockchain, cast doubt on Square Inc. chief executive officer Dorsey’s plan for the company to create a new business focused on decentralized financial services that uses Bitcoin. The largest cryptocurrency, Buterin said in an interview on Bloomberg Television, doesn’t really have the functionality to do that as it was designed largely to be a “currency of the house.”

      • Facebook says it wants a ‘fair shot’ in the [cryptocurrency] payments sphere.

        Some $100 billion in payments have been enabled by Facebook over the past year, said David Marcus, who runs the company’s financial services unit. But that’s just the start of the social network’s ambitions in the finance industry, Mr. Marcus writes in a new memo about the country’s “broken” payments system, reported in the DealBook newsletter.

        At the center of Facebook’s push into payments is Novi, a digital wallet intended for users to move money around the world quickly and cheaply (free, in many cases). The company had a plan to pair it with a “stablecoin” cryptocurrency called Libra, but that was shelved amid regulatory scrutiny, and now the scaled-back project, known as Diem, is overseen by an outside nonprofit group seeking the necessary government approvals.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • UKania is a Rudderless Ship

        It seems increasingly likely that BoJo won’t seek a second term as prime minister.

        The next general election is due in 2024, though many political commentators are suggesting a snap election could be called a year earlier. In that case, the Tories may want BoJo’s successor to be in place a year or so before this projected election, so this person can shape the election campaign from the outset.

      • Life at the Bottom in Joe Biden’s America

        Here’s the picture in retail for production and non-supervisory workers. Note that real wages were actually somewhat lower in 2018 than they had been in 2002. (These numbers are 1982-1984 dollars, so multiply by about 2.6 to get current dollars.) They did rise in 2018 and 2019, due to a tightening of the labor market, as well as minimum wage hikes at the state and local  level. The impact of the pandemic and the recovery has been a big net positive. Real wages in the sector are roughly 4.6 percent higher than the level of two years ago, a 2.3 percent annual real wage gain.

        Average Hourly Earnings for Production and non-Supervisory Workers in Retail , 1982-84 dollars

      • Twitter Pauses Blue Tick Verification For Profiles After It Verified Fake Accounts

        Off lately, Twitter has been accidentally adding its trust blue badge of verification on several fake accounts online — most of which have been reportedly a part of a botnet.

      • Social media platforms in a limbo as Taliban takes over Afghanistan

        While none of the social media platforms have publicly changed their policies on the Taliban, “moderation practices have come under close scrutiny, and many are shifting resources to ensure the policies are appropriately enforced”.

        A report in The Washington Post raised a question whether the Taliban will be allowed to wrest control of the official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the government of Afghanistan.

        YouTube said it terminates all Taliban-linked accounts based on its interpretation of US sanctions law.

      • Social media companies face new challenges with the Taliban

        Following the Taliban’s taking of Kabul and effectively gaining control of Afghanistan, social media companies are having to deal with a novel problem: Should they allow the Islamist group to post content on their platforms?

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Algeria: Man wrongly accused of starting wildfires killed by mob

        A 38-year-old artist, known as Djamel Ben Ismail, was killed by a group of people on Wednesday, after it was wrongly suspected that he had started several wildfires in the Kabyle region of Algeria.

        The fires started in the mountainous Berber region of the country. A total of 47 civilians and 28 soldiers have died in the blaze, with olive groves and livestock destroyed.

        Mr Ben Ismail had actually travelled to the area to help, when he was wrongly accused of having started several of the fires and swarmed by a mob, the head of the judicial police said on Sunday.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Legally dubious’: Arkansas high school officials tear out yearbook pages referencing COVID-19, George Floyd

        Officials at an Arkansas high school physically tore out pages from the school’s published yearbook that included references to the U.S. Capitol riot, George Floyd and COVID-19, claiming “community backlash,” an action the Student Press Law Center condemned as censorship.

      • Chinese Communist Party Increasingly Looking to Tighten Grip on Its Tech Industry, Experts Say

        This is an ongoing effort however, as for many years, China left
        its tech companies to their own devices—allowing them to compete and engage with American companies and practices as they saw fit.

        Now, China is attempting to reel them in, as Lu observes: “They are trying to domesticate this wild animal,” he said. “Sometimes with a slap on the wrist, sometimes a punch to the face.”

      • Apple Engraving Censorship Explained

        We analyzed Apple’s filtering of product engravings in six regions, discovering 1,105 keyword filtering rules used to moderate their content. We found that Apple’s content moderation practices pertaining to derogatory, racist, or sexual content are inconsistently applied across these regions. Within mainland China, we found that Apple censors political content including broad references to Chinese leadership and China’s political system, names of dissidents and independent news organizations, and general terms relating to religions, democracy, and human rights and that part of this politically motivated censorship is applied to users in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We present evidence that Apple does not fully understand what content they censor and that, rather than each censored keyword being born of careful consideration, many seem to have been thoughtlessly reappropriated from other sources. In one case, Apple censored ten Chinese names surnamed “Zhang” with generally unclear political significance. These names appear to have been copied from a list we found also used to censor products from a Chinese company.

      • Reflections on Kurt Westergaard and Sharia Speech Suppression

        Among 12 caricatures of Islam’s prophet Muhammad published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on September 30, 2005, “it was Westergaard’s image that would change my life,” the paper’s cultural editor Flemming Rose wrote. As he detailed in his 2014 book, The Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech, Kurt Westergaard, who died July 14, ignited a firestorm over the right to criticize Islam.

      • Rihanna’s Company Is Being Sued For $10M After Playing The Wrong Version Of A Song Containing Islamic Sayings At A Fenty Fashion Show, Which Allegedly Led To The Singer Being “Bombarded With Death Threats”

        The artist claimed that she’d been afraid for her safety following the incident, alleging that she’d been sent abusive death threats that were so extreme that she’d had to “go into hiding.”

      • Rihanna’s Fenty Corp. Sued

        Despite a public apology from Rihanna following the immediate backlash, the artist claims she was forced into hiding after receiving a barrage of death threats over the song. She claims the constant threat of being decapitated and murdered led to anxiety and depression. The artist also tweeted an apology for unknowingly including the sample in her song.

      • This Old Scandal

        Funding challenges like this, often common for public television outlets during conservative presidential administrations, created a natural tension between television created as a public service and the commercial realities of how the bills needed to be paid. So often, public broadcasting would turn to underwriting, allowing corporations to pick up the bills in a way that wasn’t directly advertising but served much the same purpose.

        In the 1997 book Made Possible By …: The Death of Public Broadcasting in the United States, author James Ledbetter makes a compelling case that this kind of underwriting threatened the very mission of the public television, because of the way that financial pressures could directly or indirectly influence what gets on the air.

        “Today, corporate underwriting represents more than 16 percent of PBS’ overall budget—up from 10 percent a decade go—and 27 percent of its national programming costs,” Ledbetter wrote at the time. “Though that may appear to be far from a controlling interest, there are virtually no programs on the PBS dial that are not in some way beholden to private, commercial firms.”

      • OnlyFans, a site built on sex, will ban ‘sexually explicit’ content

        OnlyFans is popular with some celebrities, adult performers and models who have used it to bolster their incomes and profiles. Adult performers, in particular, have gravitated to OnlyFans as the adult video industry has been geographically decentralized and taken over by free video sites.

      • OnlyFans to Ban Pornographic Videos After Pressure From Business Partners

        In a striking change for a company best known for its sexually explicit content, OnlyFans will begin banning users from posting content containing “sexually explicit conduct” this October due to requests from banking partners and payment providers, the company said Thursday.

      • OnlyFans will ban ‘sexually explicit’ content, but keep nudity

        OnlyFans, a website known for its racy content and which gained popularity during coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, said Thursday it would ban “sexually explicit” content in a new policy starting in October.

      • OnlyFans to prohibit sexually explicit content beginning in October

        Despite its ability to draw eyeballs, and the safer environment it provides sex workers, online porn is a hard sell for investors. Recall that as Verizon prepared to sell Tumblr to Automattic, the blogging site permanently banned adult content in 2018, a highly controversial move at the time.

      • OnlyFans has tons of users, but can’t find investors

        Between the lines: Sex sells, based on company financials leaked to Axios, but it also scares off venture capitalists.

      • OnlyFans to ban sexually explicit content

        OnlyFans said the change had come after pressure from banking partners.

      • OnlyFans Will Ban Pornography Starting in October, Citing Need to Comply With Financial Partners

        The U.K.-based company said it is making the changes “to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers,” in a statement provided to Variety.

        Effective Oct. 1, 2021, “OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually explicit conduct,” the company said in a statement. “In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.”

        According to OnlyFans, creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity “as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy.” The site’s terms currently allow nudity except in the case of content featuring public nudity recorded in or broadcast from a jurisdiction where public nudity is illegal.

      • OnlyFans to ban ‘sexually-explicit conduct’ in October

        Mastercard recently updated its requirements for banks that process payments for websites that sell adult content as well.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘The Media Are an Arena for Struggle’

        Janine Jackson interviewed FAIR founder Jeff Cohen about FAIR’s beginnings for the August 13, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Double the Risk for Iranian Kurdish Journalists

        Solitary confinement, torture and harsh punishments are an ever-present risk for those reporting on allegations of discrimination against Iran’s Kurdish residents. Even fleeing to nearby Iraqi Kurdistan is no guarantee of safety.

        In the case of Sharam Amjadian and Morteza Haq-Bayan, a court in the city of Sanandaj sentenced both to two and half years in prison and 90 lashes for spreading false news.

        The conviction is related to a Telegram channel they ran that had nearly 10,000 followers.

      • Afghan female journalist: I may not be alive by the time US can evacuate me

        Many Afghan journalists told CPJ they are too afraid to speak on the record. To get a picture of what’s happening on the ground, CPJ features editor Naomi Zeveloff spoke to Butler and Dhawan via video about what they have learned. Their interview has been edited for length and clarity.

      • The Return of the Taliban 20 Years Later

        The Taliban’s Entry in Kabul Is a Defeat for the United States

        In recent years, the United States has failed to accomplish any of the objectives of its wars. The U.S. entered Afghanistan with horrendous bombing and a lawless campaign of extraordinary rendition in October 2001 with the objective of ejecting the Taliban from the country; now, 20 years later, the Taliban is back. In 2003, two years after the U.S. unleashed a war in Afghanistan, it opened an illegal war against Iraq, which ultimately resulted in an unconditional withdrawal of the United States in 2011 after the refusal by the Iraqi parliament to allow U.S. troops extralegal protections. As the U.S. withdrew from Iraq, it opened a terrible war against Libya in 2011, which resulted in the creation of chaos in the region.

      • Malta: Businessman could face life in prison for journalist’s murder

        After Attorney General Buttigieg presented the bill of indictment against Fenech on Wednesday, the businessman will now stand trial.

        He could face life imprisonment for the murder charge and 20 to 30 years for criminal conspiracy, if convicted. A date has not yet been set for the trial.

      • Taliban tell RSF they will respect press freedom, but how can we believe them?

        As RSF said in a report in 2009, “The reign of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001 was a dark period in Afghanistan’s history.” All media were banned except one, Voice of Sharia, which broadcast nothing but propaganda and religious programmes.

        RSF nonetheless thinks that some attention should be paid to the terms that the Taliban spokesman used in this unprecedented statement.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Why Are We Still Using Trump’s Broken Census?

        The final 2020 Census numbers were disseminated to the states last week, and it caused a bit of a freak-out among those pining for a white ethnostate. The absolute number of white people declined for the first time in US history, and that made white nationalist spokesperson Tucker Carlson scream into his Fox bullhorn and warn his dangerous viewers that the Democratic Party is engaged in an alleged plot to replace them. Carlson sounded the same note that inspired the Klan in Charlottesville and the mob of white insurrectionists on January 6, because rallying viewers to engage in ethnic cleansing is just standard fare for the white-wing media these days.

      • How the Eviction Moratorium Got Through

        The Biden administration and congressional Democrats had months to figure out what to do about the eviction moratorium. The federal ban on evictions, enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last September, has prevented millions of people who are unable to pay rent from losing their homes during the pandemic. But it lapsed on July 31, after the administration refused to renew it and a last-minute attempt by the House Democrats fizzled out.

      • 5 Years After Colin Kaepernick Refused to Stand, We Still Get the Story Wrong

        I have a book about to drop called The Kaepernick Effect, in which I interview dozens upon dozens of these youth athletes. What I found is that they didn’t take a knee during the anthem to support or mimic Kaepernick and his efforts to get back into the league. They didn’t do it to follow a trend. If anything, as high school students, they were putting themselves out there to be bullied, mocked, and even threatened with losing their spot on the team, not to mention violence. But still they took that knee. They did it because they, like so many other young people across this country, are fed up with white supremacy and police violence. You cannot understand why 2020’s police murder of Floyd caused some of the largest protests in the history of the United States without understanding the righteous impatience of these young people. You can’t understand why 2021 has seen this conjoined political backlash against anti-racist teaching and Black people voting without understanding that at its root is a fear of a generation more diverse and less tolerant of intolerance than any other in US history.

      • Tibetan Man Arrested in Sichuan for Failure to Attend Chinese Propaganda Lecture

        Dorje, a graduate of the Machu County Middle School in Gansu province’s Kanlho (Gannan) prefecture, may also have come to the attention of police by joining with students in submitting a petition opposing county government orders to give classroom instruction only in Chinese when schools reopen at the end of this year’s summer vacation, sources said.

        Language rights have become a particular focus for Tibetan efforts to assert national identity in recent years, with Tibetan schools including kindergartens and elementary schools now teaching almost entirely in Chinese.

      • After 604 days in Saudi prison for a Facebook post he didn’t make, 34-year-old is home

        An air-conditioning technician belonging to Udupi district in Karnataka returned home Wednesday after spending 604 days in a prison in Saudi Arabia on charges of defaming the Crown Prince and a community on social media. Harish Begera, 34, faced life in prison or the death penalty, before a probe by the Udupi police found that impersonators were behind the post that landed him in jail.

      • Women throw their babies over barbed wire at Kabul airport in desperate bid to escape

        A senior British army official told the reporter how his troops have been crying at night after seeing women throwing their children over the barbed wires, asking the soldiers to catch them on the other side.

        “It was terrible, women were throwing their babies over the razor wire, asking the soldiers to take them, some got caught in the wire,” narrated the British soldier.

      • 18-Year-Old Muslim Girl Executed by Family in ‘Honor Killing’

        An 18-year-old Syrian Arab girl, Aida Hamoudi Saeedo, was recently executed by firing squad for refusing to marry her cousin. She lived with her parents and brother in the al-Hasaka region in northeastern Syria.

        Ostensibly, she lived under her family’s protection — but the firing squad that executed her consisted of her own relatives.

      • Forced Conversions and Child Marriage in Pakistan: An Everyday Event

        By stating this, they transfer all blame to the victims and discharge themselves of any responsibility. They also accuse minorities and NGOs of making it a problem and claim it is a false allegation to enhance their own prominence.

      • Taliban ramp up on social media, defying bans by the platforms

        As the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday, a spokesperson for the group uploaded five videos to his official YouTube page. The videos, each between two and three minutes long, showed Taliban leaders congratulating fighters on their victories.

        “Now is the time to serve the nation and to give them peace and security,” Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban, said in one video in Pashtun as he sat in front of senior officials in a curtained office.

        ` Dozens of new pro-Taliban accounts that had sprung up on Twitter in recent days then shared the five videos. Within 24 hours, they had together racked up more than 500,000 views.

      • Taliban Ramp Up on Social Media, Defying Bans by the Platforms

        More than 100 new official or pro-Taliban accounts and pages have surfaced on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, despite a ban on the group by the sites.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Google And Facebook’s New Undersea Cable Will Connect Japan And Southeast Asia

        The project has been named Apricot and the creation of this subsea cable is expected to connect Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Indonesia to quench the thirst for broadband access and 5G wireless connectivity

        In case you remember, in March this year, Facebook had announced two new transpacific subsea cables bringing Singapore, Guam, Indonesia and the US west coast together via Bifrost (developed by Facebook) and Echo (developed by Google)

        The newer Apricot cable along with Echo are complementary submarine systems that, according to Google, will allow benefits with multiple paths in and out of Asia.

        This includes newer routes through southern Asia, that’ll enable a considerably higher degree of resilience for Google Cloud and digital services.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • AT&T TV will officially become DirecTV Stream next week

        DirecTV began updating AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now customers of the change on August 14th. On the welcome screens of both services’ mobile apps informing them that the change would officially take place on August 26th, a spokesperson confirmed to The Verge. DirectTV Stream rebrands AT&T’s services acquired in the TPG Capital deal, which did not include HBO Max. (WarnerMedia, home to HBO Max, is set to merge with Discovery in mid-2022.)

    • Monopolies

      • FTC revamps Facebook antitrust lawsuit after initial setback

        The new complaint makes the same central argument that Facebook has maintained a monopoly on “personal social networking” by gobbling up potential competitors and enforcing unfair agreements, while offering new evidence and analysis.

        It uses Facebook’s data on daily active users to counter those concerns from Judge James E. Boasberg, an Obama-era nominee. The FTC noted that Facebook has “tens of millions” more monthly users than the next largest personal social networking provider, Snapchat.

      • Facebook Engaged in “Buy-or-Bury” Scheme to Beat Competition, FTC Says

        The Federal Trade Commission filed an amended complaint against Facebook on Thursday that accused the social media giant of engaging in an illegal “buy-or-bury” scheme to beat out competition after failing to innovate on their own.

      • Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Unilever Sends Letter To Firm In Israel Over Use Of ‘Ben & Jerry’s’ Trademark

          A couple of weeks back, we discussed 2021′s thus-far dumbest controversy: Ben & Jerry’s ceasing to sell ice cream in “occupied Palestinian territory”. The ice cream maker is owned by Unilver and found itself in intellectual property news after a law firm in Israel seized upon Ben & Jerry’s announcement to not sell its wares in a few sections of Israel to suggest that meant it was relinquishing its trademark. To that end, the firm sought to register a company it named “Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream of Judea and Samaria.” This action was part of a possibly coordinated attack response on the company, which included action in the States such as Florida Man Governor Ron DeSantis suggesting this meant B&J’s was “boycotting Israel” and should be scrutinized for that, and Jewish leaders indicating that B&J’s ice cream may lose its kosher rating.

      • Copyrights

        • Charter Patents Technology That Can Ban Piracy Devices on Its Network

          Charter Communications has filed a patent application for a technology that can detect and ban rogue devices on its network. This can help to block orphan and cloned modems, which connect without permission. However, the ISP notes that the same technology can also be used to ban piracy-linked devices, such as illicit streaming boxes.

        • Publishers: Internet Archive’s Sales Data Demand is “Burdensome and Irrelevant”

          Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House are asking a court to reject Internet Archive’s request to access huge volumes of data regarding the sales performance of books. IA wants to counter the publishers’ lawsuit by showing that its lending library did no harm but the publishers describe the request as not only “burdensome in the extreme” but also “irrelevant”.

        • Apple reopens legal fight against security firm Corellium, raising concerns for ethical hackers

          Apple has reignited a legal battle with Corelluim days after settling with the security firm over an ongoing lawsuit against the company for providing a virtual environment for security researchers that recreates its operating system.

          Apple on Tuesday filed an appeal of a December ruling in which a judge dismissed an argument that Corellium had infringed Apple’s copyright by offering researchers a simulated environment that emulates Apple’s iOS software. The environment allows researchers to hunt for bugs via a controllable browser that can be rebooted, instead of jailbreaking an actual iPhone.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 19, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmdaMvvCfdGVDvKYkUsukSBMTtUpPxkekJpwQUoRt316bc IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmcNJwwHtAF9xdZdgMGAJJxF4Pg7tqvqkpRbDQg2bTo585 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmezkaCrtnTxygg6ze8iRRZkgx8XJ3KHeEA8mH5f8419g2 IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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Links 20/8/2021: IBM Layoffs and RHEL Clone EuroLinux 8.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #425: Crunch ‘n Munch

        Hello and welcome to the 425th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss internal policing of the amateur radio airwaves, NASA grants for amateur radio research, OnlyOffice, code poisoning in the AI and ML worlds, FT4 via satellite, SDR++ and much more. Thank you for listening and have a great week.

      • Ubuntu Podcast S14E24 – Send Intruded Rhino

        This week we have been being your eyes and contributing to Common Voice. We discuss the Ubuntu Community Team with Rhys Davies, bring you a command line love and reply to all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 24 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Rhys Davies are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • elementary OS 6 Quick overview #Shorts – Invidious

        A Quick overview of elementary OS 6

      • A Beginner’s Guide To Gimp – Invidious

        One of the most popular pieces of free and open source software is Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program). It is the free and open source alternative to things like Adobe Photoshop.

      • FM Awk: Terminal File Manager In Pure AWK??? – Invidious

        Today we’re looking at a bizarre file manager, it’s not like this is an amazing tool that everybody should use but fm awk demonstrates how insanely power awk can be if you’re insane enough to actually write an entire program in it.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference

        Creating diverse communities requires effort and commitment to creating inclusive and welcoming spaces. Recognizing that communities which adopt inclusive language and actions attract and retain more individuals from diverse backgrounds, the Linux kernel community adopted inclusive language in Linux 5.8 release. Understanding if this sort of change has been effective is a topic of active research. This MC will take a pulse of the Linux kernel community as it turns 30 this year and discuss some next steps. Experts from the DEI research community will share their perspectives, together with the perspectives from the Linux community members. This microconference will build on what was started at the LPC 2020 BoF session on Improving Diversity.

      • Linux at 30 – Extending Agility in the Era of Blockchain, IoT & Supercomputing

        Linux is entering its 3rd decade of existence. And, it will be a glorious celebration around the world in the Web3.0 era. Research revealed Linux systems would soon outpace and outperform many of the existing super-powers of OS industry, including Microsoft. What started out of frustration on working with traditional operating systems (OS) for Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel steadily became a ubiquitous part of the fast-growing open-source DevOps economy. Linux’s popular distribution versions include Fedora and Ubuntu, both of which are now strong components of the internet of things, driving value in the cloud computing setups and robotics. From NASA to Mercedes Benz, there is a streak of Linux visible in the IT and programming world, which needs to be highlighted widely, even as other OS makers shift focus to delivering licensed products that need massive up-hauling every 6 months.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21.2.1 Released With “Nice Changes For Almost Everyone

          For those that prefer to hold off on upgrading to a new Mesa stable release series until the first point release is out, Mesa 21.2.1 is now available as the first update to this quarter’s Mesa 21.2 series.

          Mesa 21.2 introduced the Intel “Crocus” Gallium3D driver for i965 through Haswell graphics hardware support, PanVK was merged for starting on Vulkan for Arm Mali GPUs, support for alternate GBM back-ends contributed by NVIDIA, continued work on Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics across the board, various RADV Vulkan driver improvements, and much more. It was quite a busy quarter in the open-source graphics world.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Google Chrome on Debian 11 – LinuxCapable

        Google Chrome is the most used Internet Explorer software on the earth, with a recent update in 2021 that Chrome is currently the primary browser of more than 2.65 billion internet users as you would know, installing Debian 11, like most Linux distributions, only install Mozilla Firefox. However, installing Google Chrome on Debian is a straightforward task.

      • How to Find and Replace Text, Word, or String in File

        If you manage to take a deeper glimpse inside the ecosystem of the Linux operating system environment, you will discover that its built-in commands are sufficient enough to solve most of our computing problems.

        One such problem is the need to find and replace text, word, or string in a file especially when you are in a server environment. A solution to this problem lets you handle nagging issues like updating the “/etc/apt/sources.list” file after a successful Linux system upgrade.

      • How to Set Static IP Address in Rocky Linux

        The binary compatibility that associates Rocky Linux with RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) has made this free operating system software a perfect alternative for users that still want to reap the server benefits found in the RHEL ecosystem. It has made Rocky Linux an ideal candidate for server management and networking.

        This article seeks to explore how to associate network configurations with IP addresses on the Rocky Linux environment to successfully set up a static IP address.

      • Introduction to Piping in Linux – ByteXD

        Piping is a method of taking the output of one command and using it as the input to the second command.

        In this tutorial we’ll cover some of the basics of piping in Linux.

      • Upgrade Debian 10 Buster to Debian 11 Bullseye From Command Line – LinuxBabe

        Debian 11, codenamed Bullseye, was released on August 14, 2021. This tutorial is going to show you how to upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11 from the command line. You can follow this tutorial on a Debian 10 desktop, or Debian 10 server. As with every Debian release, Debian 11 will be supported for 5 years. The codename “Bullseye” is named after the toy horse in the Toy Story movie.

      • How to install Funkin’ vs Bob and Bosip Mod on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Funkin’ vs Bob and Bosip Mod 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 VLC Media Player on Fedora Linux – LinuxCapable

        The VLC media player is an open-source, free portable, cross-platform media player software and streaming media server developed by the VideoLAN project. VLC can play nearly all known multimedia files and DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols and can be extended and customized with various plugins.

        By default, Fedora Linux does not include VLC, so users wanting to use the software will need to install it manually. However, this is a straightforward process. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install VLC Media Player on your Fedora Linux operating system:

      • How To Install pgAdmin 4 on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install pgAdmin 4 on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, pgAdmin is the leading open-source feature-rich PostgreSQL administration and development platform that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows. It provides all the features you need to manage your PostgreSQL databases from a web UI. PgAdmin 4 replaces PgAdmin III which was developed in the C++ language and supports PostgreSQL 9.2 and later releases. If you are not a fan of managing databases on the PostgreSQL shell, then PgAdmin4 is the go-to management tool.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the pgAdmin 4 open source administration and development platform for PostgreSQL on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

      • How To Check OS Version with Linux Command Line – TecAdmin

        Most people think of Linux as an operating system but it is actually a kernel; A kernel is a bridge between the software and hardware of a computer. Linux-based operating systems are actually called Linux distributions which usually include the Linux kernel along with software package managers, software, and graphical user interface.

        It is important to always know the kernel and OS version of your system, especially if you’re an administrator. Knowing the version of your kernel and OS can help you determine which package manager to use to install new software and whether that software is supported by your system or not. It can also help in installing security patches and identifying the features available in your system.

        The OS version of a Linux distribution can be determined by using the command-line interface as well as a graphical user interface. In Linux, CLI is preferred over GUI as it provides more control over the OS. In this article, we will mostly focus on the command line methods which can be used to check the OS version of a Linux distribution.

        There are a number of different methods which can be used to determine the version of a Linux-based OS using the command-line interface.

      • How to install Fedora Cinnamon

        Fedora Cinnamon is an alternative version of Fedora that uses the Cinnamon Desktop environment from Linux Mint. It is an elegant operating system and very popular with those who like modern features but dislike Gnome Shell. Here’s how to install it on your computer.

      • How to Install Kdenlive 21.08 in Ubuntu 21.10 via PPA | UbuntuHandbook

        KDE’s Kdenlive Video editor 21.08 was released. The official PPA added Ubuntu 21.10 “Impish Indri” support.

        Kdenlive, stands for KDE Non-Linear Video Editor, is a free and open-source video editor for KDE though it also works on other desktop environment. And version 21.08 was finally released a few days later than other KDE Gear 21.08 apps.

        The new release based on MLT 7 framework which has removed the Automask effect, along with many other legacy and buggy modules. The region module is also removed and replaced with new Effect Masking feature. As well, the old and unmaintained tools like the DVD Wizard and the Preview Compositing mode has been removed.

      • How to Install Kuma – Self-hosted Uptime Robot Alternative on Ubuntu 20.04

        Uptime-Kuma is an open source monitoring tool like “Uptime Robot” written in Nodejs. It’s a self-hosted monitoring tool with a fancy beautiful dashboard and supports multiple notifications methods. The Uptime-Kuma will monitor the uptime of hosts or servers via protocol HTTP(s), TCP, and Ping. If hosts cannot be rach through these protocols in such interval times, the uptime hosts will send notifications via Webhooks, Telegram, Discord, Gotify, Slack, Pushover, Email (SMTP), etc.

        In this guide, you will learn how to install Uptime-Kuma on an Ubuntu server and using the Apache web server as a reverse proxy with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate in front of it. During the installation, you will also learn about the nodejs installation through nvm (node version manager).

      • How to Disable the Root Account in Linux

        Although su and sudo both grant administrative privileges, using the latter is advisable. Here’s how to disable the root account and use sudo instead.

        Depending on how you installed it, your Linux system might be set up to log in to the root account via su instead of sudo. However, you can disable the root account and use sudo instead. Here’s how.

      • How to install Zorin OS 16 on VirtualBox Virtual Machine – Linux Shout

        ownload Zorin 16 ISO and install it on Virtualbox Virtual machine to experience this latest launched Linux operating system features.

        The newly launched Zorin OS 16 is based on Ubuntu 20.04, uses Gnome desktop software and software can be installed from the Ubuntu repository, the snap store, and Flathub. The user can switch between light and dark themes to match the time of day and the pre-installed active wallpaper subtly changes its color tones during the day, similar to what is known from macOS.

        With Zorin Connect you can connect Android smartphones to the PC using the appropriate app. You can view cell phone photos on your PC, reply to SMS via the desktop, or exchange files and websites between the devices.

        In addition to the paid “Pro” and the free “Core” version, there is also a “lite” version with Xfce as a desktop. With the help of pre-installed Wine, the user can install compatible Windows applications with few clicks.

      • Patterns in confusing explanations

        I practically always write in a positive way (“X is a good practice!”) instead of in a negative way (“Y is a bad practice!”). So why am I writing about confusing patterns instead of writing about positive patterns?

        Writing clearly is a LOT of work. A big part of what motivates me to put in the work to write clearly is my frustration with confusing technical explanations (“ugh, everything I read about Linux containers was SO confusing, I wish someone had just told me X Y Z…“).

        But, if I’m not careful, it’s easy to reproduce the exact same confusing patterns in my own writing! And the problem with positive patterns (like “avoid introducing unnecessary jargon”) is that they seem so obvious that I trick myself into thinking I’m following them, even when I’m not! So I’m writing these down to try to keep myself honest and hopefully help you avoid some of these patterns as well.

      • The Linux Schools Project: Web Management One Time Passwords – The Linux Schools Project

        The Web Management for the LinuxSchools project has had two factor authentication for a long time. However this uses client authentication which can be awkward to set up as it involves importing client keys into any devices that you want to access the Web Management from. This may have put users off setting up two factor authentication. An alternative method using one time passwords was seen as a good way to improve on this situation.

    • Games

      • Godot Engine – Maintenance release: Godot 3.3.3

        While we’re busy working on both the upcoming Godot 4.0 and 3.4 releases (with a dev snapshot for 3.4 beta 4 available now), we still cherry-pick important bug fixes to the 3.3 branch regularly for maintenance releases (see our release policy).

        Since the release of Godot 3.3.2 in May, there have been a number of bug fixes which are worth including in a new stable release for all Godot users.

        Additionally, this release fulfills a new Google Play requirement for Android to target the API level 30 (Android 11). This includes partial support for Android scoped storage, which will be expanded in future releases.

        Godot 3.3.3, like all future 3.3.x releases, focuses purely on bug fixes, and aims to preserve compatibility. It is a recommended upgrade for all Godot 3.3 users.

      • The Legendary Keeper Update is out for monster taming metroidvania Monster Sanctuary | GamingOnLinux

        Monster Sanctuary from Moi Rai Games and Team17 grows again, with the 1.2 Legendary Keeper Update out now.

        Adding in some more end-game content there’s now the Hall of Legendary Keepers to find deep within the Magma Chamber. It presents statues of their biggest Kickstarter backers, who each contributed a team of Monsters that gives players fourteen unique fights – and some of the most challenging in the game. Tough but it has rewards to earn too.

        Want to look flashy? There’s now player customization too. Different costumes are available, with more to come in future upgrades and you can find them throughout the game or as a reward for “epic accomplishments”.

      • Parkitect gains cross-platform online co-op in the latest update | GamingOnLinux

        Parkitect, the magnificent theme-park building game from Texel Raptor added online co-op, after being in Beta since April. This follows on from the original multiplayer update that was locked per-platform back in December 2020.

        This is great and at times a technical challenge due to the way different platforms handle things, which we’ve seen before in other games. Crossplay is becoming (thankfully) a much bigger focus in recent years with many more games, and consoles, properly sorting it out so you can play together regardless of your choice platform. For a game like Parkitect, building cooperatively is such a wonderful idea for an already great game.

      • The free creative Mario Maker-like platformer MakerKing is out now on Steam | GamingOnLinux

        After having regular early public releases available for around 4 years now MakerKing (previously called Jumpaï), has formally entered Early Access on Steam and it’s free to play.

        From the various builds we played through, MakerKing has come a very long way and has actually turned into one of the better creator platformers overall. Giving you the ability to create entire levels, play through levels from others and to play online with others too. If you’ve been looking for something a bit like Mario Maker on PC this is a good choice.

      • The GOG Games Festival is live with new games and lots on sale | GamingOnLinux

        It seems GOG have been watching what Valve are doing with Steam and they’ve announced the GOG Games Festival.

        Today they’ve announced a bunch of new game releases, more upcoming games, games you can try a demo of and of course there’s lots of titles currently on sale. From the press email, GOG mentioned they will be revealing and adding games on a daily basis, so you’ll want to check back often to see them all.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Norbert Preining: Krita 5.0-beta for Debian

          As there came out the first beta of Krita 5, I decided to throw it into my KDE/Plasma OBS builds to try it out. To get it working, add my OBS key say in /usr/local/share/keyrings/obs-npreining.asc and add a file /etc/apt/sources.lists.d/obs-npreining-krita-beta.list, containing the following line:

          deb [signed-by=/usr/local/share/keyrings/obs-npreining.asc] https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/npreining:/debian-kde:/krita-beta/Debian_Unstable/ ./

        • Google Summer of Code 2021 final report

          While current testing suite of KIO-FUSE tests individual operations pretty aptly, it lacks the support to put KIO-FUSE through regression tests. KIO-FUSE has not been through regression tests and chances are, doing so would uncover bugs that previously went undetected. KIO-FUSE is updated fairly frequently and new features are still being added, making regression testing a necessity to prevent new bugs from creeping in.

          The lack of regression tests in KIO-FUSE’s current testing suite can be fixed by integrating XFSTESTS with it. XFSTESTS is considered as the quintessential file system regression testing suite and KIO-FUSE would benefit greatly from it. A more rigorous testing regime would translate to an even more robust and reliable filesystem. Testing KIO-FUSE would mean we’re testing KIO slaves as well. As of now, XFSTESTS doesn’t support FUSE, and that’ll have to be added as a part of this project. FUSE support for XFSTESTS would be a major plus since it’d allow hundreds of file systems written using FUSE to be tested.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • MATE Desktop 1.26 Released with Initial Wayland Support + More

          Some 18 months of development have gone into crafting the latest stable release of this popular desktop environment.

          “The theme for this release has been adding new functionality to the MATE Desktop while maintaining the look and feel that we all know and love,” writes MATE’s Johannes Unruh in the release announcement.

          “While all the added features are surely quite exciting we also did not forget to do tons of bugfixing, modernising the code base and optimizing the performance.”

        • Emmanuele Bassi: The GTK Documentation

          As you may have noticed, there have been various changes in the GNOME developer documentation website, as of late. These changes also affected the API references for GTK and its core dependencies.

          What has changed

          The main change is that GTK moved to a new documentation tool for its API reference and ancillary documentation, called gi-docgen. Unlike the previous documentation tool, gtk-doc, gi-docgen uses the introspection data that is generated by GObject-based libraries to build the API reference.

        • Porting GNOME Design tools to GTK 4

          As described in a previous post, the goal in this GSoC was to port Icon Library and App Icon Preview to the GTK 4 toolkit, with a corresponding port from libhandy to libadwaita.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Zorin 16 Core Run Through – Invidious

          In this video, we are looking at Zorin 16 Core. Enjoy!

        • Zorin 16 Core

          Today we are looking at Zorin 16 Core. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.11, based on Ubuntu 2004, Gnome 3.36, and uses about 1.8GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • EuroLinux 8.4 released

          On August 16, 2021 we released version 8.4 of the EuroLinux operating system. It adds a few important technology highlights. The new release is compatible with the latest version of RHEL. As we already indicated, EuroLinux 8 is a distribution based directly on the Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® system source code.

        • What Can Video Games Teach Us About Edge Computing?

          From button-mashing brawlers to massive battle royales, there’s a lot of fun to be had in online gaming. That is, if players’ connections are reliable. If you’ve ever dealt with input delay, or wrestled with lag, you know how important a quality connection is in online gaming. But with edge computing on the horizon, what impact might there be on how we play?

          The internet, as we’ve explored in past seasons of Command Line Heroes, is a patchwork of international agreements and varying infrastructure. But there’s something coming to change the ways we connect. In this episode of Compiler, we explore what edge computing could mean for people who enjoy video games, and what this form of entertainment could teach us about the technology.

        • OpenShift and the NSA-CISA ‘Kubernetes Hardening Guidance’

          Red Hat applauds the recent release of Kubernetes hardening guidance from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) to improve the nation’s cybersecurity through their collaborative efforts. Cybersecurity is a team sport and Red Hat is pleased to help foster government and industry collaboration. This guidance will be especially useful to security practitioners in both public and private sectors who can benefit from the experience of leading cybersecurity experts.

        • Operating in a hybrid architecture and managing complexity

          As more organizations move to hybrid architectures, operating in one or more clouds as well as on-premises, application development and operations teams have had to adapt. According to our research, 57% of organizations are running their IT infrastructure in heterogeneous environments. Containers – lightweight code/configuration bundles that run without regard to the underlying hardware – have been a key enabler and driver of this transformation. But achieving an efficient outcome from this shift means workloads must be able to run anywhere without being hampered by complex container management issues.

        • IBM Research, Red Hat Team Up To Add Load-Aware Resource Management To Kubernetes

          Engineers at IBM Research and Red Hat OpenShift recently joined hands to help researchers tackle two fundamental challenges in today’s constantly changing hybrid cloud field: the first being able to back up their ideas with deep research and the second about assuring the open source community that their idea is important and how it enhances existing software frameworks.

        • IBM Closes New York City Offices Amid Rising Covid-19 Cases
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 19 Best Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop

          With your fresh Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa installation, especially coming from an entirely different operating system, setting things up to your taste can be a daunting and expensive endeavor.

          This tutorial has curated a handful of things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Canonical officially moved from Unity to GNOME, thus we explain based Gnome Desktop.

        • Ubuntu Blog: About MAAS 3.0 and LXD

          With the release of MAAS 3.0, we moved LXD virtual machines out of Beta. Several articles in the MAAS documentation address LXD. Since no document ties all these features together, though, it’s time for a topical blog about LXD.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Community Is Now Available for Download

          LibreOffice continues to be considered the main alternative to Microsoft Office, and the open-source license makes it one very cost-effective product for both home users and businesses.

          But on the other hand, one concern when transitioning from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice is document compatibility and interoperability, something that The Document Foundation has been working around the clock on resolving.

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Community released [LWN.net]

          The Document Foundation has announced the latest release of LibreOffice…

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Mess of vulnerabilities expose Windows, Linux servers to attack [Ed: Seems like a recent FUD pattern seeking to say that Windows and Linux are somehow “equally” unsafe]

            A cryptomining malware that exploits over twenty known vulnerabilities has been dubbed the “King of Vulnerability Exploitation” by cybersecurity experts.

          • New Google Chrome Security Warning: 7 Serious Flaws Confirmed [Ed: You can tell Microsoft is very nervous about Google when its media operatives -- like Davey Winder in this case -- try hard to shift attention]

            Google has confirmed a whole new bunch of alarmingly serious security vulnerabilities in Chrome 92, just two weeks after the last batch of flaws was fixed. These new security threats mean that “an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system,” the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has stated.

          • Call for testing [Tails] 4.22~rc1

            Contribute to Tails by testing our release candidate for Tails 4.22 by the end of August!

          • Netfilter Releases Nftables 1.0

            The Netfilter project has announced the release of Nftables 1.0.0 for their user-space code for interfacing with the Linux kernel’s Nftables subsystem for network filtering and classification.

            With Nftables 1.0 there is catch-all set element support, support for defining variables from the command-line, simplified syntax for NAT mappings, and a wide range of other nft command improvements. There are also bug fixes and documentation updates.

          • nftables 1.0.0 release
    • Monopolies

      • Lunduke condemns LBRY & Odysee

        A few days ago, the official Odysee company channel made a post promoting a creator channel. The first such promotion, of any channel, in many months. What channel did they choose to promote? One of the hundreds of high quality channels that currently publish to the platform? One of the exciting, popular channels that have joined recently?


        The official Odysee company channel made this post, promoting one of the most low quality, vile, vulgar, degenerate channels on the platform. A channel with only a couple dozen subscribers, no less.

        That post — again, posted by Odysee, itself — contained such text as “You want to F* my TWO HOT GIRLFRIENDS in the A???” and “F*ING breaking my F*ING AHOLE!!”**.

        Signing off with the text: “Odysee is his yard now!”

        Seriously. Not a joke. Someone at Odysee thought this was a great idea.

        It’s almost so over the top, it’s hard to believe a company (any company) would do such a stupid thing.


        I simply will not associate myself with filth, garbage, degeneracy, and low-quality.

        To reiterate: I am not leaving because some degenerate makes vulgar content. I am leaving because the leadership of the company running the platform has made a decision to promote that type of content above all others — and force creators to associate with it… and end users to see it (with executives screaming obscenities at anyone who disapproves of those actions).

      • Patents

        • PharmAbcine Announces Submission of PCT for an Anti-ANG2 Antibody for the Treatment of Ocular Diseases
        • Utility Patents Granted per Calendar Year, 1840-2020 [Ed: Pace of innovation is not increasing, it's just the patent system sliding out of control and being taken over by patent litigation firms, monopolies, and their ruinous joint agenda]

          I’m getting ready to teach my Fall 2021 Patent Law class, and that means doing an updated patent grant graph. This year’s version shows U.S. utility patents granted per year from 1840-2020:

        • Software Patents

          • Apple Patents Complicating W3C’s Open Screen Protocol

            The W3C has been working on the “Open Screen Protocol” as part of their Second Screen Working Group. This effort has been about having a web standard so web pages can drive secondary screens to display web content. Unfortunately, the plans are currently being complicated by a number of software patents issued to Apple.

            The Open Screen Protocol was published as a working draft earlier this year and is intended to allow web content / web-sites to interact with secondary screens such as for controlling Internet-connected TVs, HDMI dongles, smart speakers, and other secondary Internet-connected devices.

      • Trademarks

        • General Court considers ‘PANTA RHEI’ confusingly similar to ‘PANTA RHEI’ despite low similarity of goods

          In September 2017, Stefan Makk (the Applicant) obtained an international trade mark registration designating the EU for the word mark “PANTA RHEI”. Registration would be for goods in Class 5 (pharmaceuticals, dietetic food supplements for medicinal purposes, nutritional supplements, non-alcoholic beverages adapted for medical purposes for the prevention and curative treatment of eye diseases, and non-alcoholic dietetic beverages for medical purposes) of the Nice Classification.

          In April 2019, Ubati Cosmetics, SL (the Intervener) filed an opposition, pursuant to Article 8(1)(b) of the EU Trade Mark Regulation (EUTMR) based on its earlier word mark “PANTA RHEI”, covering goods and services in Classes 3 (perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotion, soap), 35 (‘advertising, business management, business administration, clerical services’) and 44 (‘hygienic and beauty care, and cosmetic treatment’).

          In August 2019, the Opposition Division partially upheld the opposition in respect of the goods referred to the above. The Applicant appealed to the EUIPO Fourth Board of Appeal (the board) which subsequently dismissed the appeal.

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