08.21.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 21/8/2021: 20 Years of Haiku and Tor Browser 10.5.5

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Student deal alert: Kubuntu Focus XE Linux laptop gets huge back-to-school price cut [Ed: PR disguised as ‘article’?]

        We recently told you about a Linux laptop called Kubuntu Focus XE. This notebook runs the Ubuntu-based Kubuntu and is notable for being affordable. And now, the price is getting even lower! You see, the starting price was previously a tad above $1,000 but it is now just $895. That gets you a very modern 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a speedy 250GB NVMe SSD.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • SuperTuxKart Elite Training Arc + Racing With Viewers – Invidious

        StreamLabs Tip: http://brodierobertson.xyz/streamlabs STK: https://supertuxkart.net/Main_Page People have been asking me to play SuperTuxKart for ages so here we are, we’ll start with a bit of training arc just so the one random elite STK player doesn’t destroy me and then after that we’ll hope into racing with you guys.

      • LIVE Distro Review: Manjaro 21.1 “Pahvo” (GNOME Edition) – Invidious

        Note: Due to technical difficulties at the beginning, the actual review starts at 06:09. Manjaro recently released version 21.1 of the popular Arch-based distribution, and in this video the community and I will review the GNOME edition together, Live!

    • Kernel Space

      • New Linux Syscall Enables Secret Memory Even the Kernel Can’t Read

        After many months of development, the memfd_secret() system call was finally merged for the upcoming 5.14 release of Linux. There have been many changes during this feature’s development, but its core purpose remains the same: allow a user-space process to create a range of memory that is inaccessible to anybody else — kernel included. That memory can be used to store cryptographic keys or any other data that must not be exposed to others. Reportedly, it is even safe from processor vulnerabilities like Spectre because secret memory is uncached mapped.

    • AMD

      • AMD Publishes Latest SEV-SNP Guest + Hypervisor Support For Linux – Phoronix

        AMD has published their fifth revision of SEV-SNP support for the KVM hypervisor and guest VM support for this Secure Encrypted Virtualization Secure Nested Paging functionality found with new EPYC 7003 series server processors.

        SEV-SNP is the latest iteration of Secure Encrypted Virtualization. SEV-SNP provides additional memory integrity protections around replay protection, data corruption, memory aliasing, and memory re-mapping.

      • AMD Launches The Infinity Hub As Its Newest Open-Source Portal – Phoronix

        AMD has launched the Infinity Hub as their newest open-source software portal around HPC software.

        While there is already GPUOpen for open-source AMD Radeon GPU efforts, they primarily revolve around gaming-related features and projects. AMD Infinity Hub is along similar lines but is focused on high performance computing (HPC) with AMD Instinct accelerators. Infinity Hub is also more about porting existing software to the Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) for enjoying Instinct support rather than developing new and original HPC software.

      • AMD To Optimize C3 Entry On Linux By Finally Skipping The Cache Flush – Phoronix

        A minor optimization was posted by an AMD engineer on Wednesday for the Linux kernel.

        The optimization posted is around the ACPI C3 power state handling on Linux for AMD processors. Right now when a CPU core enters the C3 power sleep state, its cache is flushed even though the cache may be shared with CPU cores that are not in the sleep state. As the AMD patch notes, “this will cause performance drop for the cores which share some caches.”

    • Applications

      • Quick App Launcher Ulauncher Has New Beta Release Which Fixes Crashes Due To GTK4 Incompatibility, Improves Fuzzy Matching

        Ulauncher, a fast application launcher for Linux (similar to Alfred for macOS) which can be extended with numerous add-ons, has seen a new beta release (version 5.12.0 beta 4) recently which brings some important changes, including a bugfix which should solve the crashes due to GTK4 library incompatibility, fuzzy matching improvements, and more.

        Ulauncher is an open source application launcher for Linux that can be extended to perform various other tasks through add-ons. The application features fuzzy search, custom color themes, and it can browse through system directories.

        Run it using Ctrl + Space (by default, but this can be changed), type what you want to launch, and as soon as you press the Enter key and launch the application, Ulauncher disappears.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Git on Debian 11

        Keeping track of source code is one of the essential skills that every developer needs to have. Git is one of the DevOps tools that help developers to manage their source code – from small to large projects. Git is an open-source version control tool that allows developers to push their code to host code platforms such as Github, BitBucket, and Gitlab. It helps them to perform code management tasks such as reverting to previous versions, branching, etc.

        In this tutorial, we will install and configure Git on Debian 11 server. There are two approaches to installing Git. You can install from Debian repositories using the APT package manager or install from the source which provides the latest version of Git.

      • How to Install Elasticsearch on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Elasticsearch is a highly scalable open-source full-text search and analytics engine. The software supports RESTful operations that allow you to store, search, and analyze big volumes of data quickly and in near real-time. Elasticsearch is well-liked and popular amongst sysadmins and developers as it is a mighty search engine based on the Lucene library. It is generally the underlying engine/technology that powers applications with complex search features and requirements.

      • How To Install Gnome on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gnome on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, By default, the Debian 11 server was installed as minimal without any Graphical Desktop support. In this guide, we show how easy it is to get one of the most popular GUI’s installed called GNOME Desktop. GNOME Shell 40 Released on 24 March 2021, this version came as a game-changer for the Gnome world. A new concept of horizontal virtual desktop navigation added more fluids to navigate. The panel at the bottom as a dock looks very elegant.

        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 Gnome 40 on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to set up your printer on Linux | Opensource.com

        Even though it’s the future now and we’re all supposed to be using e-ink and AR, there are still times when a printer is useful. Printer manufacturers have yet to standardize how their peripherals communicate with computers, so there’s a necessary maze of printer drivers out there, regardless of what platform you’re on. The IEEE-ISTO Printer Working Group (PWG) and the OpenPrinting.org site are working tirelessly to make printing as easy as possible, though. Today, many printers are autodetected with no interaction from the user.

        In the event that your printer isn’t auto-detected, this article teaches you how to add a printer on Linux manually. This article assumes you’re on the GNOME desktop, but the basic workflow is the same for KDE and most other desktops.

      • 5 Essential Advantages of MySQL to Choose MySQL Database

        In this article, we will take a look at the top 5 essential Advantages of MySQL to choose MySQL Database to drive your business growth. MySQL is one of the world’s most popular databases. If you have a business that is struggling with data security and you want to turn things around, then continue reading to learn how to resolve your business challenges.

        Wondering how best to use MySQL to transform your business growth and successes? Then you are in the right place. MySQL is the world’s leading database management system of all time. MySQL is an open source and free to use database system that helps to facilitate the proper and efficient management of databases. It is also a very reliable and stable way of preferring database management solutions with advanced features.

      • How to Install TeamViewer on Rocky Linux 8 – Linux Shout

        Access your PC/laptop remotely or let others do the same by installing the TeamViewer Remote desktop application on Rocky Linux 8 using the command given here…

        TeamViewer is a popular application to access remote desktops. It enables devices to be controlled and serviced without having to be on site. Well, the software is free to use for personal purposes, however, TeamViewer Meeting allows 10 participants included in all three editions. The program is available in three editions Business, Corporate, and Premium.

      • [Solved] “error: rpmdbNextIterator: skipping” In Fedora Linux – OSTechNix

        The other day, I tried to update my Fedora 34 desktop system using sudo dnf –refresh upgrade command and ended up with this error – error: rpmdbNextIterator: skipping h# 3643 Header V4 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID 45719a39: BAD.

      • Installing the Cloudera CDP Private Cloud Base on IBM Cloud with Ansible – IBM Developer

        In this second blog post in our series, we talk about Cloudera Data Platform for IBM Cloud Pak for Data. Much like IBM Cloud Pak for Data, the Cloudera Data Platform is a data and AI platform that can be installed on-premises. In fact, many IBM customers are also Cloudera customers. IBM Cloud Pak for Data is built on Red Hat OpenShift and breaks down silos to enable all of your data users to collaborate from a single, unified interface.

        Like most modern platforms, installation is much more than just unzipping a file or clicking a “next” button on a wizard. Luckily, the Cloudera team recently announced it would open source Ansible playbooks that we will leverage to make this whole process easier for our own purposes.

        This blog post is intended to share our experience in using Ansible to install Cloudera Data Platform on IBM Cloud. It’s worth mentioning that the automation used is open source and follows the best practices recommended by the Cloudera Professional Services team.

      • How to Install MySQL 8.0 on Rocky Linux 8

        Written in C, MySQL is an open-source, cross-platform, and one of the most widely used Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS). It’s an integral part of the LAMP stack and is a popular database management system in web hosting, data analytics, and eCommerce applications to mention a few.

      • How to install Pencil2D on a Chromebook in 2021

        Today we are looking at how to install Pencil2D 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.

      • 10 Things to Do After Installing elementary OS 6 “Odin”

        A curated list of things to do after installing the latest elementary OS 6 code-named “Odin”.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Proton 6.3-6 Adds Support for Blood of Steel, Guardians VR, and Many Other Games

        With Steam Deck coming to gamers everywhere later this year, Valve is putting a lot of effort on making their Proton compatibility tool for Steam Play support as many Windows games as possible. In fact, Valve said that they plan to make all Windows games in the Steam library compatible with Linux systems before the launch of the Steam Deck.

        Proton 6.3-6 is here less than a month after Proton 6.3-5 to add support for more Windows games, including Blood of Steel, Guardians VR, 3D Aim Trainer, Rez Infinite, Sonic Adventure 2, Elite Dangerous, Homeworld Remastered Collection, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, as well as Tokyo Xanadu eX+.

      • Proton 6.3-6 Released With More Games Running, Optional NVIDIA DLSS Support – Phoronix

        It’s been nearly two months since Proton 6.3-5 released for powering Valve’s Steam Play for enjoying Windows games on Linux. The latest Proton update was just released with many improvements.

        Proton 6.3-6 gets more Windows games running nicely on Linux. The latest games known now to be playable with Proton / Steam Play include Sonic Adventure 2, Rez Infinite, Elite Dangerous, Blood of Steel, Homeworld Remastered Collection, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Guardians VR, and more.

    • Games

      • Epic wants Fortnite to be the last game standing — so it’s stealing ideas

        Just as Netflix sees its key rivals as things like Fortnite and TikTok, it appears that Epic now views Fortnite as competing with anything else that can command your time. To succeed against everything, the game has to become everything — an impostor through and through.

      • Computer Space and beyond: 50 years of gaming

        After working on it for several years, they joined forces with Nutting Associates, an arcade company. Their game, Computer Space, was released for the first time for a physical test run in August 1971.

        Built in a fibreglass cabinet, the simplistic space shooter game was hailed a success. The first arcade video game had been made.

        But how did we get from the bleeps and bloops of the arcade to an industry that’s worth more than music and film combined?

        Let’s chart its history.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Way More Than A Week In Tok

          Tok has had many changes since the last time I made one of these blog posts, the biggest one being that code blocks are syntax highlighted!

          Tok uses KSyntaxHighlighting, the same syntax highlighting engine that powers Kate, KWrite, and other KDE applications that feature syntax highlighting.

          Additionally, messages containing codeblocks are able to grow horizontally in width beyond the usual message size, letting you read horizontally wide code easier.

        • This week in KDE: some cool new stuff!

          I have exciting news: this week the long-awaited new QML-based Overview effect has been merged! Currently it shows you all your open windows, just like the existing Present Windows effect–which it will eventually replace. And it does not dim the inactive/un-hovered windows. :)The visuals are not final, but here’s what it looks like so far…

          Vlad Zahorodnii has been doing this work and it is still in the latter stages of development, but will eventually replace the existing Present Windows effect and probably the Desktop Grid effect as well, unifying them both into a full-screen overview of windows, Virtual Desktops and perhaps Activities too! The idea is to show you all your relevant window-related functionality in one place, similar to the popular 3rd-party Parachute KWin script, or macOS’s Mission Control overlay. It will ship in Plasma 5.23 and will need plenty of testing! So I would encourage everyone to try it out!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Nishal Kulkarni: GSoC 2021 · Part IV – Final Review

          For the past 10 weeks, I have been working on implementing active resource management in GNOME as a part of Google Summer of Code 2021. On the surface level, this entailed setting up mechanisms to track states of different applications and then making allocation decisions based on this information. To give a brief idea about my contributions throughout this period I have presented them in the form of tasks along with relevant code and their current status.

        • GNOME’s Magnifier Will Now Avoid Double Painting The Desktop

          Canonical’s Daniel Van Vugt continues working on some important performance fixes for the GNOME desktop.

          Nine months ago he discovered that the GNOME Shell “magnifier” is rather inefficient with its full-screen zoom mode. If making use of this desktop magnifier, it’s still painting the unmagnified version to the screen and then the magnified copy over it. That painting of the unmagnified version is a waste of resources given the magnified version covers the entire desktop. Plus in some cases the unmagnified version can glitch with elements appearing with the overlay.

    • Distributions

      • 20 Years of Haiku

        Haiku remains one of the few remaining non-Unix open-source operating systems available today. It has gone beyond just maintaining binary compatibility with old BeOS code to becoming a powerful, workable operating system of its own.

      • New Releases

        • MX-21 Fluxbox beta 1 iso images for testing

          MX-21 Fluxbox is built from Debian-bullseye and MX repositories. The Fluxbox edition is new to the MX-21 series. On more limited equipment it may be a good choice because of the desktop’s lower resource requirements. It is also a features a more limited set of applications installed by default than our flagship release, as well as a customized fluxbox “desktop” experience.

      • BSD

        • Announce: OpenSSH 8.7 released

          Note that the deactivation of “ssh-rsa” signatures does not necessarily require cessation of use for RSA keys. In the SSH protocol, keys may be capable of signing using multiple algorithms. In particular, “ssh-rsa” keys are capable of signing using “rsa-sha2-256″ (RSA/SHA256), “rsa-sha2-512″ (RSA/SHA512) and “ssh-rsa” (RSA/SHA1). Only the last of these is being turned off by default.

          This algorithm is unfortunately still used widely despite the existence of better alternatives, being the only remaining public key signature algorithm specified by the original SSH RFCs that is still enabled by default.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of Weeks 2021/32 & 33

          Dominique has been enjoying a vacation these last two weeks and left Tumbleweed in my hands. It’s been quite an interesting fortnight.

          These two weeks have only seen 3 snapshots released, numbered 0807, 0810 and 0817. Snapshots 0811, 0812, 0816 and 0818 were all produced but discarded for a number of reasons including…

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-33

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

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

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 Best Free and Open Source Ruby Static Site Generators

        LinuxLinks, like most modern websites, is dynamic in that content is stored in a database and converted into presentation-ready HTML when readers access the site.

        While we employ built-in server caching which creates static versions of the site, we don’t generate a full, static HTML website based on raw data and a set of templates. However, sometimes a full, static HTML website is desirable. Because HTML pages are all prebuilt, they load extremely quickly in web browsers.

        There are lots of other advantages of running a full, static HTML website.

      • Best 12 Open-source social media management tools for Business

        Social media can be a time suck and overwhelming. Luckily, there are lots of social media tools and apps that will help make your life a little easier.

        Creating and managing social media takes time and creating great social media content while making sure that your content delivers the highest ROI takes even more time, but the good news is with the right tools you can save a bunch of time create an epic piece of content in minutes and ultimately making your life as a social media manager much easier.

        In this article, we are going to share with you our favorite open source, social media tools for brands that will help you get a big result and look like a rock star to your boss.

      • Focalboard: OS Trello Alternative with full desktop support for Windows, Linux and macOS

        Focalboard is a kanban-based app for server and desktops. It is totally free open-source app which team and individuals can install and use without any charge.

        The app works smoothly on macOS (M1 edition), and we start using it on regular basis. It also does not require a steep learning curve, everything is self-explanatory, which makes it a productive tool for developers.

        Focalboard supports multiple board, multiple languages and comes with import and export options for boards and tasks, making it easy to migrate.

        [...]

        Focalboard is released as an open-source project under MIT license.

      • Events

        • Should we stop flying to our free software conferences?

          Whelp, the latest IPCC report doesn’t beat about the bush. It whacks right into it. And, yes, while governments and companies need to take responsibility and finally start to DO something, we all still have a personal responsibility.

          As KDE we’re working on the energy consumption of our applications (which already has shown something we, the Krita developers, can do right away), I changed to buying the electricity I use for building Krita (and everything else) from the local windmill coop… I don’t drive, never have, and that pile of wood next to the stove dates back to 2018, and we’re not going to burn it any more. (Why would we — it’s too warm in winter, when we came to live here in 2007, we needed that stove because it was too cold otherwise!)

          All of that is peanuts.

          But there is one place where we, as a free software community, have to take responsibility (that word again) and stop doing something we absolutely love to do, and for which we’ve been pining.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5.5

            Tor Browser 10.5.5 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version updates Tor to 0.4.5.10 that includes a fix for a security issue. On Android, this version updates Firefox to 91.2.0 and includes important security updates.

          • Join Tor Project’s Documentation Hackathon: August 30 – September 3

            Between August 30 and September 3, the Tor Project will host the third edition of our user documentation hackathon, the DocsHackathon. If you’ve never volunteered with us before, this is a great opportunity for you to become involved in the community, get closer to our work, and make meaningful contributions. The DocsHackathon is a totally remote and online event.

            Documentation is extremely valuable to the health of open source software projects, but it is often overlooked. We are a small team at the Tor Project, and as a nonprofit organization with a big mission, we rely on volunteer contributions around the world to keep up with an ever-changing internet freedom landscape with the appropriate tools to navigate it. Keeping Tor’s documentation up-to-date, organized, and accessible is a way to potentially help millions of people access a private, secure, and uncensored internet by using our tools.

          • Dennis Schubert: WebCompat Tale: Touching Clickable Things

            Did you know your finger is larger than one pixel? I mean, sure, your physical finger should always be larger than one pixel, unless your screen has a really low resolution. But did you know that when using Firefox for Android, your finger is actually 6×7 millimeters large? Now you do!

            Unlike a pixel-perfect input device like a mouse or even a laptop’s trackpad, your finger is weird. Not only is it all soft and squishy, it also actively obstructs your view when touching things on the screen. When you use a web browser and want to click on a link, it is surprisingly difficult to hit it accurately with the center of your fingertip, which is what your touchscreen driver sends to the browser. To help you out, your friendly Firefox for Android helps you out by slightly enlarging the “touch point”.

          • Cybersecurity, Facebook data, OnlyFans update and more are on this week’s Top Shelf

            At Mozilla, we believe part of making the internet we want is celebrating the best of the internet, and that can be as simple as sharing a tweet that made us pause in our feed. Twitter isn’t perfect, but there are individual tweets that come pretty close.

      • FSF

        • Meeting every Friday: Help us update the Free Software Directory

          Volunteers are an essential part of the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) work, and we’re so grateful for every minute that so many of you have put in to endorse and expand free software. If you’ve been looking for another opportunity to chip in, here’s an easy way to make a difference: every Friday, we host an IRC meeting to improve and add to the Free Software Directory!

          The Free Software Directory is a catalog of free software online. Co-founded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the directory currently contains over 16,500 packages, and is in constant usage by visitors eager to discover free software, explore information about version control, documentation, and licensing, and to study trends in free software. So far this year, as of this writing, the Directory has welcomed 486,510 unique visitors, with an average of 69,501 each month!

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Major U.K. science funder to require grantees to make papers immediately free to all
          • UKRI just released its open access policy

            As part of our work supporting efforts in the creation, adoption and implementation of open access policies with various institutions, Creative Commons (CC) was pleased to lend its knowledge to assist UKRI in developing its open access policy as part of the Open Access Review last year. Generally, CC is committed to the goal of ensuring that the public is able to access immediately, free of charge, and without restriction, the peer-reviewed research articles and academic books resulting from publicly funded research. We are pleased to see that the comments we provided back in May 2020 have been taken into account in the review process. We are especially glad to see that key requirements of the new policy include immediate open access for research articles and the release of publications under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY) (CC BY ND by exception only*).

      • Programming/Development

        • Fun with regular expressions: part I

          Some years ago, when i struggled to understand regular expressions, I found these experiments useful. The following is like my student’s notes. I hope, someone will find it useful too.

          TL;DR: Regular expressions usually used for finding patterns in a string/text and also simple parsing tasks.

        • Fun with regular expressions: part II

          Important note: using the standard RE, it’s impossible to match only DD-MM-YYYY or DDMMYYYY strings without matching DD-MMYYYY or DDMM-YYYY, because it’s impossible to represent this in DFA form.

        • Fun with regular expressions: part III

          Like I stated before, RE often used for parsing. Here are more practical examples

        • Fun with regular expressions and verification using CBMC: part IV

          This is the most practically useful example in this series of blog posts. It can be used to parse config files in form option=number, but whitespaces are also handled — around input string and around the ‘equal’ sign.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Rust

          • SixtyFPS 0.1 Released As A Rust-Focused Graphical Toolkit

            For passionate Phoronix readers around the Rust programming language, SixtyFPS is a new graphical toolkit offering focused on Rust but also supporting C++ and JavaScript.

            SixtyFPS has seen prior development releases but the first time we’ve been pointed out to it and the v0.1 milestone happens to mark the project’s graduation from “lab mode” to something that can be “reasonably used to start development of a product.”

  • Leftovers

    • Ambrose Bierce’s Pro-Freedom Cynicism

      The political establishment and its media allies are continually abusing the English language to lull people into submission. From pupils being required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school day to adults being endlessly hectored to vote, Americans are injected with demands for obedience almost from womb to tomb. It is not enough to obey: Americans are supposedly obliged to view the current regime as the incarnation of “the will of the people.”

      Journalist and author Ambrose Bierce offered a barrage of antidotes to this servile claptrap. Many people are familiar with Bierce’s definition of cynic — “a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.” But Bierce’s writing had a much sharper political edge than is usually recognized nowadays.

    • Goodbye, Utopia

      The possibility of utopias dazzled Fourier and no matter how much Marx ridiculed the man, he must have felt a nagging suspicion that the grizzled dreamer meant only that no one can live without hope. Hope is a terrible mistress, by turns sentimental and cruel—both the innocent and the corrupt drown in her tears. Charles Fourier hoped that plumbers would one day be the richest of men, that society would be composed of massive hotel-like structures, that everyone would have casual sex and that all work would be “attractive labor” (literally). He also predicted that desalinated seas would become lemonade and that climate change would make the North Pole tropic. Fourier’s revenge is sublime. He has inserted himself into thought and history like a hideous shag carpet. Austere science even proves him out.

      Hope stings eternal. The Audacity of Hope is the audacity of bombing a distant wedding while promising justice to the damned back home—those tender mercies of power dressed up as the mysteries of chance. Hope for a cessation of civil hostilities. Hope for another cessation after the return to status quo. Hope that the future dystopia satisfies the will to extinction long enough to make a blasted world romantic again.

    • Edvard Eriksen Estate Goes After Another Danish City For Having A Mermaid Statue

      Who knew that a bronze statue of a mermaid could cause so much trouble. If you’re not aware, there is a statue of the Little Mermaid on the shores of the Danish capital Copenhagen. It was created by Edvard Eriksen, who died decades ago. Eriksen’s estate, however, is well known to try to claim copyright infringement on any other statues of mermaids that pop up in cities around the world, including in Michigan. Notably in that case, the estate ran away when a public backlash began to emerge. This is also, by the way, the same statue that Facebook has previously removed images of for showing too much “skin”, or bronze in this case, as the mermaid is topless, because… mermaids.

    • Robinson Can Still Do the Socialist Thing at Current Affairs

      Online commentators have dumped a fair amount of ridicule onto Robinson, because he had previously lambasted liberals for their flakiness on worker organizing (Current Affairs, 9/9/19). And Substackwriter Glenn Greenwald, a libertarian who has bashed media unions (Intercept, 10/11/20), showed Robinson some boss-class solidarity by painting the revolting workers as a restless mob (Twitter, 8/18/21). But it’s no laughing matter. Robinson must reverse course by hiring back the staff, and coming to some sort of agreement on how the estimable magazine should be restructured.

      When Robinson, a former New Orleans public defender, founded the magazine in 2015, it was largely seen as a refreshing departure from the often stale design of socialist publishing. Much of far-left print journalism is either tied to the minimalist black-and-white newsprint days of yore, or based so much in academia that it leans heavily on text without much anchor in real art. Current Affairs, with its base in New Orleans, sought to bring a flamboyant color that represented its home city. It was, at first glance, a welcome intervention into socialist journalism.

    • a tail of two bunnies

      As many people know, I collect stuffed animals. Accordingly, I get a lot of questions about what to look for in a quality stuffed animal which will last a long time. While there are a lot of factors to consider when evaluating a design, I hope the two examples I present here in contrast to each other will help most people get the basic idea.

    • Lawmakers Question California Cap and Trade Policies, Citing ProPublica Report

      California’s Senate majority leader and two other legislators have urged the state’s Air Resources Board to review its forest offset program, citing reports from ProPublica and MIT Technology Review that showed it issued tens of millions of carbon credits that may not have provided real climate benefits.

      The chief concern in the legislators’ Aug. 6 letter is that the landmark cap-and-trade program, which the board oversees as California’s top climate regulator, isn’t doing enough to drive down emissions as the state strives to meet ambitious climate goals by 2030. Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg, a Van Nuys Democrat, as well as Sens. Josh Becker, a Democrat from Menlo Park, and Bob Wieckowski, a Democrat from Fremont, signed the letter. It was addressed to Liane Randolph, who was appointed chair of the board late last year.

    • Education

      • As US Schools Prioritize Diversity Over Merit, China Is Becoming the World’s STEM Leader

        First, and most obvious, is the deplorable state of our K-12 math education system. Far too few American public-school children are prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This leaves us increasingly dependent on a constant inflow of foreign talent, especially from mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, and India. In a 2015 survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Record Examinations Board, about 55 percent of all participating graduate students in mathematics, computer sciences, and engineering at US schools were found to be foreign nationals. In 2017, the National Foundation for American Policy estimated that international students accounted for 81 percent of full-time graduate students in electrical engineering at U.S. universities; and 79 percent of full-time graduate students in computer science.

        That report also concluded that many programs in these fields couldn’t even be maintained without international students. In our field, mathematics, we find that at most top departments in the United States, at least two-thirds of the faculty are foreign born. (And even among those faculty born in the United States, a large portion are first-generation Americans.) Similar patterns may be observed in other STEM disciplines.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Baby Teeth Collected Six Decades Ago Will Reveal the Damage to Americans’ Health Caused by U.S. Nuclear Weapons Tests

        The centerpiece of the study is a collection of nearly 100,000 baby teeth, gathered in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information.

        The collection of these teeth occurred during a time of intense public agitation over the escalating nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Soviet governments that featured the new hydrogen bomb (H-bomb), more than a thousand times as powerful as the weapon that had annihilated Hiroshima. Preparing themselves for nuclear war, the two Cold War rivals conducted well-publicized, sometimes televised nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere—434 of them between 1945 and 1963. These tests sent vast clouds of radioactive debris aloft where, carried along by the winds, it often traveled substantial distances before it fell to earth and was absorbed by the soil, plants, animals, and human beings.

      • Cut Military Spending to Deliver Covid Vaccines to the World

        Understandably, there is a lot of discussion this week about how the United States should operate as a global power. Political leaders and pundits recognize that the chaotic end of America’s longest war represents a critical juncture for foreign policy. But the increasingly crude, and often clueless, wrangling over the withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan is making it clear that Americans do not agree—even within the major parties and ideological camps of the country—on a direction forward.

      • Opinion | We Need to Urgently Regulate Global Meat and Dairy Companies to Cut Methane and Avoid Climate Breakdown

        Stringent methane reductions in the near term are vital to curbing global warming, state hundreds of scientists through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report on the physical understanding of the climate system and climate change. The report’s crucial findings for agriculture and food production: the planet is certain to warm by 1.5°C sometime in the next 10-20 years accompanied by severe weather extremes, as in clearly discernible increases in the intensity and frequency of hot extremes, including heatwaves, heavy rainfall (therefore floods) and droughts. The last year of fires, floods and droughts can be expected to worsen and occur with greater frequency. Agriculture production in many regions of the world, particularly in Africa and Asia, but also the grain belt of North America and Central Europe, will be hard hit. With every additional .5°C rise in warming, “extremes” will be larger—we are already at 1°C.

      • Texas Schools Allowed to Defy Abbott’s Ban on Mask Mandates — for Now
      • An Open Letter to Bill Gates About his Wyoming Atomic Reactor

        I am writing this open letter to you because I believe you have crossed the line by leveraging your fortune maneuvering State Governments and indeed the US Government to syphon precious taxpayer funds in support your latest atomic contrivance in Wyoming. How you spend your personal fortune is your decision and yours alone, but I question your zeal to leverage that fortune by securing additional public funds for an unproductive techno-solution[1] that claims to solve the climate crisis! Your latest technofix is the scheme to have taxpayers fund your new nuclear power concept in Wyoming, claiming that it will mitigate the climate crisis. It won’t!

        Atomic power generation is not part of your skillset, but it is mine. The many facets of nuclear energy have been areas of my professional focus for the last 50 years. Beginning in 1971 with two nuclear engineering degrees, a Reactor Operator’s license, a corporate Senior Vice President position for an atomic licensee, a nuclear safety patent, two peer reviewed papers on radiation, and a best-selling book on Fukushima, nuclear power is in my wheelhouse, not yours.

      • The violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement, antimask COVID-19 update

        Whenever anyone expresses surprise or dismay at the increasingly unhinged violent rhetoric coming from the antivaccine and antimask movement in the era of COVID-19, I like to point out that I noticed this trend among antivaxxers and first wrote about it in 2015 in the context of antivax resistance to SB 277, the California law passed that year that eliminated nonmedical “personal belief” exemptions to school vaccine mandates. However, perusing my blog last night, I noticed that the violent rhetoric goes back long before that. Indeed, my first ban on this blog occurred in 2006 due to a commenter advocating taking an autism advocate out and horsewhipping her. Then, in 2011, I noted a man named Mark Sircus, who is an acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner as well as a practitioner of “pastoral medicine,” advocating hanging scientists at the CDC over vaccines in a post entitled String the Bastards Up. Here’s a taste:

      • The CDC Only Tracks a Fraction of Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections, Even as Cases Surge

        Meggan Ingram was fully vaccinated when she tested positive for COVID-19 early this month. The 37-year-old’s fever had spiked to 103 and her breath was coming in ragged bursts when an ambulance rushed her to an emergency room in Pasco, Washington, on Aug. 10. For three hours she was given oxygen and intravenous steroids, but she was ultimately sent home without being admitted.

        Seven people in her house have now tested positive. Five were fully vaccinated and two of the children are too young to get a vaccine.

      • Amid Pandemic-Driven Liquid Oxygen Shortage, Orlando Asks Residents to Slash Water Use or Face Boil Alert

        As Florida’s Republican-led Board of Education warned school districts they would face fines for not complying with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates, leaders in the state’s fourth-largest city issued a plea that vividly illustrated the consequences of the governor’s refusal to follow public health guidance.

        “This is another unfortunate impact of the pandemic continuing to surge in our community.”—Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

      • The Topic Of Masks In Schools Is Polarizing Some Parents To The Point Of Violence
      • Despite Delta Threat, Biden Admin Supports Letting Critical Jobless Aid Expire

        With nearly eight million people set to lose federal unemployment benefits in just over two weeks, the Biden administration on Thursday made clear that it supports allowing the pandemic-related jobless aid programs to expire, even as the highly transmissible Delta variant wreaks havoc across the United States.

        In a letter to congressional leaders, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged that the Delta mutation of the coronavirus may “pose short-term challenges to local economies and labor markets.” Nevertheless, they argued it is “appropriate” for the $300-per-week federal unemployment insurance (UI) supplement to expire on September 6, which happens to be Labor Day.

      • Facebook suppressed report that made it look bad

        The New York Times, which obtained a copy of the report, says that the most-viewed link in the first quarter had a headline that could promote COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, which has been an issue on the social media platform. The headline read, “A ‘healthy’ doctor died two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine; CDC is investigating why.” The article was published by The South Florida Sun Sentinel and republished by The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times says.

      • Facebook, Fearing Public Outcry, Shelved Earlier Report on Popular Posts

        But Brian Boland, a former vice president of product marketing at Facebook, said there was plenty of reason to be skeptical about data collected and released by a company that has had a history of protecting its own interests.

        “You can’t trust a report that is curated by a company and designed to combat a press narrative rather than real meaningful transparency,” Mr. Boland said. “It’s up to regulators and government officials to bring us that transparency.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

    • Defence/Aggression

      • America’s Global Imperialist Footprint

        It was the spring of 2003 during the American-led invasion of Iraq. I was in second grade, living on a US military base in Germany, attending one of the Pentagon’s many schools for families of service members 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.”

      • Invitation to a Fiasco: U.S. Policy toward China and Iran

        That expectation has proved correct, except for the military withdrawal from Afghanistan, which paints a slightly more ambiguous picture of U.S. global relations. That retreat was a principled though painful diversion from the generally bellicose and dreadful trend. And even that became an unnecessary debacle – especially for the tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. Many observers warned that the Taliban were poised to sweep the country. The Biden team did not listen. It could have expedited the U.S. departure and the exodus of its Afghan employees back in winter. But it didn’t for one simple reason: fatal, imperial hubris. This flaw scars all of Washington’s awful policies. And that is the only way to describe Biden’s seamless continuation of Trump’s policies: abysmal. Just take China and Iran.

        Sometime during the Trump administration, U.S. politicians and military honchos discovered to their horror that China is a communist country. Chinese commissars lifted over 850 million people out of poverty – how dare they! China takes pride in its centralized economic planning – anathema! Chinese leaders promote anti-colonialism by investing in infrastructure in the Global South, which they then hand off to the local governments – those brazen show-offs! China’s robust public health effort contained covid while it flamed out of control in the U.S. – they must be lying!

      • Sensitive Data On Afghan Allies Collected By The US Military Is Now In The Hands Of The Taliban

        The problem with harvesting reams of sensitive data is that it presents a very tempting target for malicious hackers, enemy governments, and other wrongdoers. That hasn’t prevented anyone from collecting and storing all of this data, secure only in the knowledge this security will ultimately be breached.

      • Roaming Charges: When the Empire of Graveyards Falls in the Graveyard of Empires

        + The best thing Biden has done in his life is to pull the US out of Afghanistan. He did it in the sloppy way Biden does everything and that–when combined with the Pentagon’s usual incompetence (some of it, perhaps, even deliberate)–presents the images of chaos the neocons and their press lackeys are now histrionic about. But getting out of this 40-year entanglement, a progressive knotting into as Thomas Pynchon might say, was always going to be messy, bloody and slammed with recriminations from those who had a stake in the war going on forever.

        + It took three months, thousands of airstrikes, hundreds of special ops raids and thousands of civilian casualties for the US to drive the Taliban from power in the fall of 2001. Twenty years later, the Taliban retook control in less than two weeks with, so far at least, a minimum of bloodshed.

      • Opinion | The War Party Still Runs Washington

        Although President Biden has held fast on his commitment to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, he has thrown a few bones to advocates of U.S. power projection. One, in particular, stands out, and that is Biden’s promise to use our “counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability” in Afghanistan and the wider region if necessary.

      • Afghanistan: the Longest US War Continues to a New Stage

        Puppeteer departs – puppet forces collapse

        In recent weeks, the Taliban military rapidly advanced, taking provincial capitals in Afghanistan and then the capital city of Kabul on August 15. The US-backed former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in a helicopter packed with cash, the US embassy took down the stars-and-stripes, and Western governments evacuated personnel.

      • If Congress is Yemen’s Only Hope, Yemen is Doomed

        The writers of these articles are a lot more optimistic than I am.  Should Congress end US support for the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Will Congress do so?  I have doubts.

        Peace activists have turned to Congress out of frustration with President Joe Biden.  Biden has only partially fulfilled his February 4 pledge to end all US support for the Saudi-led coalition’s “offensive operations” (a slippery phrase which gives the administration room to argue that any operation it supports is defensive).  A few projected arms sales to the coalition have been canceled.  Others, including a $23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates, are being allowed by the Biden Administration to go forward.  The Biden Administration continues to allow US companies to maintain and service coalition warplanes.  Without US assistance, the coalition would not be able to keep its planes in the air.  The coalition would be forced to end its massively destructive bombing campaign against Yemen.

      • Diplomatic Blackmail: Biden, Iran and the Nuclear Agreement

        It is time, once again, for us all to take a deep breath, step back, and look at reality.

        In 2015, the U.S., Iran and several other nations signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran curtailed its nuclear program, and the U.S. and other nations dropped sanctions against Iran.

      • The Bases are Loaded: 750 US Military Bases Still Surround the Planet

        “What are freedom fries?” we demanded to know.

        Our teacher quickly reassured us by saying something like: “Freedom fries are the exact same thing as French fries, just better.” Since France, she explained, was not supporting “our” war in Iraq, “we just changed the name, because who needs France anyway?” Hungry for lunch, we saw little reason to disagree. After all, our most coveted side dish would still be there, even if relabeled.

      • Wounded Paternalism: Biden and the US Imperial Complex

        The results of such unsolicited gifts are there to be seen by the proclaimed civilisers who eventually leave, of which Afghanistan is simply another example.  They create classes and groups of citizens who risk being compromised by the forces that seize power. They cause discord and disruption to local conditions.

        When the paternalism of civilisation’s builders goes wrong, the only ones blamed are those who either did not understand it, or ignored its beneficent properties.  This was the implication in the August 16 speech by President Joseph Biden.  To be fair, Biden had never believed in a “counsterinsurgency or nation building” mission to begin with.  Being in Afghanistan had, in his mind, only one purpose: counterterrorism.  And the threat had changed, “metastasized” to include a global consortium of challenges: al-Shabaab in Somalia, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Nusra in Syria, the efforts of ISIS.

      • Why Are We Minimizing the Story of the Would-Be Capitol Bomber?

        All Thursday I watched cable news toggle back and forth between criticizing President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal and not knowing how to cover a weird bomb threat by a man named Floyd Ray Roseberry from Grover, N.C., in a pickup truck parked outside the Library of Congress and near several congressional office buildings.

      • Afghanistan: a Complex Scenario

        It may be recalled, United States literally jumped in the region when the then USSR failed to mark its stamp in Afghanistan. USSR had to retreat and be witness to its own collapse and the phase of two superpowers ending with only one (United States) basking in its glory. Developments were also marked by Pakistan, owing to its geographical proximity to Afghanistan, being used as an ally (or a pawn) by US to facilitate its operations in the country. At this point, the Afghan-war may be briefly referred to. Troops from Soviet Union entered Afghanistan in late December 1979. The aim of this Superpower was to keep a friendly regime in power in this country. However, it also met strong opposition anti-communist factions. These anti-government rebels were equipped with war materials supplied by United States and its allies via Pakistan, What is known as an “internal” Afghan-war roughly last from 1978 to 1992.

        United States, Soviet Union, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed an agreement in 1988 by which the former superpower agreed to withdraw its troops (completed in 1989). Clearly, the eighties spelled a gradually disintegration of USSR, with it being replaced by 15 Soviet Republics in December 1991.

      • Right-Leaning Columnist Calls Forever War a “Myth”
      • Afghanistan and the American Imperial Project

        Biden glossed over the real answer to the first point why the US is now pulling out. The second he never really answered.

        The real answer to the first point is simple: the USA as global hegemon can no longer afford the financial cost of remaining in that country, so it is pulling out.  New projected costs of maintaining US global empire in the decade ahead have risen dramatically since the Afghan war began in fall of 2001.  US elites now realize they can longer afford the new rising costs of Empire elsewhere, while simultaneously keep throwing money down the 20 year financial black hole called Afghanistan. The US is pulling out because, for the first time since 1945, it has decided to cut its costs in less strategic areas in order to be able to finance the growing costs of empire elsewhere.

      • Opinion | Will Americans Who Were Right on Afghanistan Still Be Ignored?
      • Phyllis Bennis and Matthew Hoh on Afghanistan Withdrawal

        This week on CounterSpin: US news media are full of armchair generals who talk about weapons of war like they’re Hot Wheels, and have lots of thoughts about how “we coulda got ’em” here and “we shoulda got ’em” there. The price of admission to elite media debate is acceptance that the US, alone among nations, has the right to force change in other countries’ governments; and when this results, as it always does, in death and destruction, elite media’s job entails telling the public that that’s not just necessary but somehow good. Not to put too fine a point on it.

      • Afghan-Led Coalition Gives Biden Admin a Blueprint to ‘Prevent Further Harm’ to People of Afghanistan

        A coalition of more than 60 progressive advocacy organizations, led by Afghans For a Better Tomorrow, on Thursday released a letter detailing what the Biden administration can do “to save Afghan lives and prevent further harm to the Afghan people.”

        “Given the two decades of U.S. involvement in this devastating conflict, the United States’ moral obligations do not end with its exit from the military theater in Afghanistan.”—Coalition letter

      • Five Ways the U.S. Created and Prolonged the Afghan Crisis

        Far from standing in the way of an Islamist takeover, a series of U.S. interventions helped create, arm, and facilitate the mujahedin (jihadist fighters) that took the country away from the more secular direction it had been taking in the 1960s-‘80s. Afghan women and girls had rights  until 1992, when the U.S.-backed mujahedin defeated the communists, and that was four years before the first Taliban takeover. I had followed Afghan politics with morbid fascination for decades, and although the Pentagon drove the Taliban out of Kabul in 2001, I was hardly alone in predicting that the Taliban insurgents would eventually return, as they have two decades later.

        What Afghanistan has in common with both Vietnam and Iraq is its long history of resistance to foreign occupiers, long before the Americans ever arrived. This resistance to foreign rule is the only factor that has united Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and sectarian groups in the past two centuries. The fall of Kabul, like the fall of Saigon, demonstrates again that imperialism often doesn’t work, even to meet the goals of the imperial power.

      • Why Did the Afghan Army Fold So Fast? Because They had Nothing to Fight For

        It’s been almost laughable watching the scramble in the US for an explanation. Gen. David Petraeus, who largely had the job of creating that military during his time heading up the Afghanistan War in the Obama administration, in an NPR interview, blamed President Biden for not sending in troops to defend against the Taliban drive, claiming that a (puppet) army will always fold if it doesn’t have backup. Probably true, but what was the alternative — another 20 years of US military “backup”? And shouldn’t Petraeus at least have taken a few minutes away from cavorting with his admiring female biographer Paula Broadwell to have warned Obama that an Afghan army wouldn’t fight in the clutch? Nixon after all tried the same thing — “Vietnamization” of the Vietnam War — and got the same result more than four decades ago when the so-called Army of the Republic of South Vietnam crumbled.

        Other armchair warriors claim, as if sagely, that it was a “failure of leadership” in Afghanistan, as though more motivated Afghani generals and senior officers would have given the Afghan troops “a reason to stay and fight.”

      • Afghan Women and Girls Are Caught in the Cross Fire

        “The US put 38 million people on a silver platter and delivered it to the Taliban,” Fahima Gaheez told me angrily, as horrific scenes from Kabul airport flashed round the world. Fahima is the head of the Afghan Women’s Fund, a small NGO that works in rural Afghanistan—building girls’ schools, delivering school supplies and other material aid, teaching women how to read and skills to earn a living. I’ve been a supporter for many years and count Fahima as a friend.

      • The US’s “War on Terror” Fueled and Excused Right-Wing Extremism at Home
      • Mo Brooks Criticized for Sympathizing With DC Bomb Threat Suspect’s “Anger”
      • Spencer Ackerman on How the U.S. War on Terror Fueled and Excused Right-Wing Extremism at Home

        As Republicans raise concerns that Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops will turn Afghanistan “back to a pre-9/11 state — a breeding ground for terrorism,” Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter Spencer Ackerman lays out how the U.S. war on terror after the September 2001 attacks actually fueled white, right-wing extremism. Ackerman says U.S. elites consciously chose to ignore “the kind of terrorism that is the oldest, most resilient, most violent and most historically rooted in American history.” His new book is “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump.”

      • Spencer Ackerman: Today’s Crisis in Kabul Is Direct Result of Decades of U.S. War & Destabilization

        As thousands of Afghans try to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control, we look at the roots of the longest U.S. war in history and spend the hour with Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter Spencer Ackerman. “This is not the alternative to fighting in Afghanistan; this is the result of fighting in Afghanistan,” says Ackerman, whose new book, “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump,” is based in part on his reporting from Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo.

      • Africa’s jihadists: What Taliban takeover of Afghanistan means

        If a wake-up call was needed for African governments heavily reliant on foreign support in their fight against Islamist insurgents, then the Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan is likely to be it.

      • Afghanistan: Taliban ‘tortured and massacred’ men from Hazara minority

        Witnesses have given harrowing accounts of the killings, which took place in early July in Ghazni province.

        Since taking over the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, the Taliban has tried to portray a more restrained image.

      • Afghanistan: Taliban carrying out door-to-door manhunt, report says

        “There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Christian Nellemann, who heads the group behind the report, told the BBC.

        “It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”

        He warned that anyone on the Taliban’s blacklist was in severe danger, and that there could be mass executions.

      • The Taliban Seized Her City. Now America’s Red Tape Stops Her From Fleeing

        Noting accounts of the Taliban going door to door to identify individuals who have worked with the U.S., Khan said, “Every second that [the email from the State Department] doesn’t come she is risking” her life.

      • Strangled, muscles sliced off: Nine men of Hazara minority killed by Taliban in Afghanistan

        Amnesty International spoke to several people who were witnesses to the brutal killings that took place between July 4 and July 5 in the village of Mundarakht, Malistan district. The report said six Hazara men were shot while three of them were tortured to death.

        The Hazara community is Afghanistan’s third largest ethnic group, which mainly practises Shia Islam. It has long faced discrimination and persecution in predominantly Sunni Afghanistan and Pakistan, reports BBC.

      • 2021 Afghanistan is not 1975 Vietnam

        In 1975, the United States was involved in a civil war in Vietnam. It faced a choice: fight in the Vietnam trenches, or disengage. In 2021, the United States faces only the choice of whether to confront Islamic terrorists on their own territory or shift the war to American soil.

      • Researchers identify key QAnon influencer ‘GhostEzra’

        Researchers at the intelligence firm Logically have identified a key member of the QAnon community who has used his significant platform to spread antisemitic conspiracies.

      • Can the West be honest about the Islamist threat?

        And given that these forces are also waging war on the rights of women and gay people—rights that liberal democracies are sworn to protect at home and to encourage abroad—one would think that honesty about recognizing that Islamism is incompatible with modernity and equality would also be a must.

        Yet almost from the moment that the planes hit the World Trade Center nearly 20 years ago, U.S. leaders have been loath to acknowledge these facts.

      • Streatham attack: Jihadist could have been sent back to prison before stabbing frenzy, inquest rules

        After embarking on his stabbing spree, Amman was shot dead by armed undercover officers who had been monitoring him closely following his release from prison.

        An inquest jury on Friday concluded that the terrorist had been lawfully killed, but questioned why he had not been recalled to prison in the days before the attack, describing it as a “missed opportunity”.

    • Environment

      • This Is the World Being Left to Us by Adults

        The Children’s Climate Risk Index provides the first comprehensive view of where and how this crisis affects children. It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, as well as their underlying vulnerability to those shocks.

        It finds that virtually every child on the planet is exposed to at least one climate or environmental hazard right now. A staggering 850 million, about a third of all the world’s children, are exposed to four or more climate or environmental hazards, including heat waves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding or water scarcity. A billion children, nearly half the children in the world, live in “extremely high risk” countries, the UNICEF researchers report.

        This is the world being left to us. But there is still time to change our climate future. Around the world, our movement of young activists continues to grow.

      • For First Time on Record, Rainfall Observed at Peak of Greenland Ice Sheet
      • Why the race for the Earth needs sport’s help

        In the green race for all life on the planet, the Earth needs sport’s help. It has plenty to give, not least sheer spirit.

      • Game of Thieves in the Amazon

        The report represents the combined wisdom of hundreds of the world’s best climatologists. It is virtually inevitable, the report says, that the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels within the next two decades, largely due to burning of fossil fuels. We all know what that heating means for weather patterns, economic dislocations, and public health.

        In short, the IPCC underscores, with a strong sense of immediacy and certainty, what we have been hearing from the global scientific community for several years. But some people in high places just aren’t listening.

      • Rainfall Observed at Peak of Greenland Ice Sheet for First Time on Record

        This past weekend, researchers at the National Science Foundation’s Summit Station observed rainfall at the peak of Greenland’s rapidly melting ice sheet for the first time on record—an event driven by warming temperatures.

        “It’s something that’s hard to imagine without the influence of global climate change.”—Ted Scambos, University of Colorado at Boulder

      • Patriotism and Pollution: Making Environmental Protection a Priority in Vietnam

        I am a global citizen without national affiliation who sees the goodness and even greatness, past, present, and future, of every country.

        I also care deeply about those issues and areas – sometimes openly discussed, other times lurking just beneath the rhetorical surface, and still others not something to be spoken of in public – that are in desperate need of improvement.

      • Korea and the Climate Crisis

        The report also tells us what we perhaps don’t know: that even if countries uphold their current pledges to reduce carbon emissions, it will only result in a one percent decrease in global emissions by 2030 (from 2010 levels). To make sure that the planet doesn’t go past the point of no return, climate-wise, those global emissions must be cut by 50 percent before the end of this decade.

        As UN chief António Guterres says, the new UN report is a “code red for humanity.”

      • The Eye of Nature Upon Us
      • Keepers of the Flame: Climate Chaos and Creeping Authoritarianism

        Kyber was born in Ohio, where my wife and I grew up. While my wife was pregnant, we took an anxiety-ridden journey from California back to Ohio because we hoped to improve our odds of avoiding COVID-19 by staying with family. Given all that effort and concern, you can see why I was so insulted and dismayed when an Ohio senate candidate retweeted the following sentiments in support of his mission to ensure a “healthy ruling class”:

        “The Democrat party is a party of childless people and I think that affects their view of the future…You don’t think about your investment in your community the same way if you know your children aren’t going to inherit it.”

      • On the IPCC’s Latest Climate Report: What Does It Tell Us?

        The report affirms much of what we already knew about the state of the global climate, but does so with considerably more clarity and precision than earlier reports. It removes several elements of uncertainty from the climate picture, including some that have wrongly served to reassure powerful interests and the wider public that things may not be as bad as we thought. The IPCC’s latest conclusions reinforce and significantly strengthen all the most urgent warnings that have emerged from the past 30 to 40 years of climate science.  It deserves to be understood much more fully than most media outlets have let on, both for what it says, and also what it doesn’t say about the future of the climate and its prospects for the integrity of all life on earth.

        First some background.  Since 1990, the IPCC has released a series of comprehensive assessments of the state of the earth’s climate, typically every 5 – 6 years.  The reports have hundreds of authors, run for many hundreds of pages (this one has over 3000), and represent the international scientific consensus that has emerged from the period since the prior report. Instead of releasing a comprehensive report in 2019, as originally scheduled, the IPCC followed a mandate from the UN to issue three special reports: on the implications of warming above 1.5 degrees (all temperatures here are in Celsius except where otherwise noted), and on the particular implications of climate change for the earth’s lands and oceans. Thus the sixth comprehensive Assessment Report (dubbed AR6) is being released during 2021-22 instead of two years prior. Also the report released last week only presents the work of the first IPCC working group (WGI), focused on the physical science of climate change. The other two reports, on climate impacts (including implications for health, agriculture, forests, biodiversity, etc.) and on climate mitigation – including proposed policy measures – are scheduled for release next February and March, respectively. While the basic science report typically receives far more press coverage, the second report on climate impacts and vulnerabilities is often the most revealing, describing in detail how both ecosystems and human communities will experience the impacts of climate changes.

      • Nearly Half the World’s Children at ‘Extremely High Risk’ for Facing Effects of Climate Crisis, Report Finds

        On Friday, the third anniversary of climate campaigner Greta Thunberg’s lone protest outside the Swedish Parliament, a global report revealed the scale of risks posed by the climate emergency for the world’s children.

        “Our futures are being destroyed, our rights violated, and our pleas ignored.”—climate activists Greta Thunberg, Adriana Calderón, Farzana Faruk Jhumu, and Eric Njuguna

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Clearcut Kings: the Forest Service’s Obsession With Supersized Clearcuts in the Northern Rockies

          Congress, through the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA), directed the US Forest Service to limit the acres opened from such intensive logging. The Forest Service set regulatory acreage limits depending upon region and tree species. For many places, including the Northern Region and national forests of Montana and northern Idaho, clearcut and related logging is limited to 40 acres per logging unit. NFMA allows exceptions to exceed this opening size, however. For example, a national forest manager may request that the regional office review and authorize logging-unit openings that will exceed NFMA’s limit. For ease of reference, this report calls these larger openings “supersized clearcuts.”

          Friends of the Clearwater (FOC) investigated how often the Forest Service invoked this particular exception. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, FOC asked four regional offices (Regions 1, 3, 4, and 6) for requests received from 2013 until March of 2021 (the date of our FOIA request) where national forest managers requested that the regional office grant exceptions for supersized clearcuts. FOC also asked for the regional office’s response. Regions 3, 4, and 6 disclosed that they could not find supersized clearcut requests from national forests within their jurisdiction during this time period and thus did not authorize exceptions. Region 1, the Northern Region, stood out remarkably.

        • ‘Out of Control’: Brazilian Amazon Deforestation Hits Highest Level in a Decade

          Encouraged by President Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest surged to its highest annual level in a decade over the past year, with researchers warning that the accelerated destruction of the critical carbon sink is imperiling the ability to keep planetary heating below the Paris climate agreement’s 1.5ºC target.

          “Brazil is going against the global climate agenda that is seeking to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”—Carlos Souza, Imazon

        • Vanishing: An Augury of Antlers
      • Overpopulation

        • Opinion | How We Can Eliminate Food Insecurity in the US

          The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to permanently increase the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by 25% above pre-pandemic levels in October 2021.

        • Opinion | A Viable Human Future Depends on Living With Less

          Science tells us that we now have fewer than 10 years to reduce the human burden on Earth or trigger tipping points in Earth’s natural systems from which there is no return. Most discussion centers on the climate emergency, but we also have crises related to air, water, soil, species extinction, and more.

    • Finance

      • Biden Forgiving Student Debt of Disabled People, Totaling $5.8 Billion
      • No Solutions Under Capitalism: Revolution is Required

        Still, it is impossible to properly understand race and racism’s evolution in the U.S. (and elsewhere) without grasping how it developed in accord with the economic and political imperatives of capital and class rule. Racial othering, the dehumanizing consignment of Black (along with Native American) people to the realm of Nature, beyond the sphere of human Society and the social contract, permitted the southern US ruling class and the broader American capitalist system to profit and expand on the basis of the ruthless class-race exploitation and torture of Black labor – as chattel slaves, sharecroppers, debt peons, prison laborers, and poorly paid wage-earners. It also fueled working class divisions that undermine the popular solidarity required for mass opposition to the American capitalist class. The great Black scholar W.E.B. DuBois wrote brilliantly about what he called “the psychological wage” of whiteness, whereby ordinary white working people cling to the notion that their skin color confers special power and privileges that compensate for their subordination (wage-enslavement) to capital.

        At the same time, it is inconceivable that the nation’s savage inequalities of race, intimately related to and overlapping with its ferocious disparities of class, will ever be properly addressed, much less overcome, under capitalism. The bourgeois system, caught up in a continuous global intra-capitalist struggle for markets, materials, labor supplies, and share of the surplus value and profit pie, does not have a socially responsible surplus at hand to even begin to remotely redress the massive racial disparity created by the genocidal oppression and wealth extraction imposed on Black people since even before the nation was founded. At the same time, the ruling class remains deeply invested in racial divide-and-rule. Like economic/class inequality, racial inequality and oppression will never be overcome under the capitalist mode of production, something that is most particularly evident and true in a deeply racist nation whose original and pivotal accumulation of capital was achieved through Black chattel slavery.

      • Debt and Disillusionment: the College Game

        Airplane Games

        Sometime in the late 1980s, the Airplane Game roared through the San Francisco Bay Area lesbian community. It was a classic pyramid scheme, even if cleverly dressed up in language about women’s natural ability to generate abundance, just as we gestate children in our miraculous wombs. If the connection between feminism and airplanes was a little murky — well, we could always think of ourselves as modern-day Amelia Earharts. (As long as we didn’t think too hard about how she ended up.)

      • New Bill Proposes Cutting Pentagon Spending to Fund Vaccines for Poor Nations

        Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin introduced legislation this week that would cut billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s massive budget and invest those funds in global coronavirus vaccination efforts, which are badly lagging as rich countries continue to hoard doses and rush ahead with booster shots.

        “Shifting funds from weaponry and military contractors to producing Covid vaccines will save hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of lives around the world.”—Rep. Mark Pocan

      • The $26 an Hour Minimum Wage?

        Furthermore, a minimum wage that grew in step with the rapid rises in productivity in these decades did not lead to mass unemployment. The year-round average for the unemployment rate in 1968 was 3.6 percent, a lower average than for any year in the last half century.

      • Sanders Traveling to GOP Districts to Pitch $3.5T Plan Ahead of 2022 Elections
      • Facebook teams up with Indifi to help provide loans to small businesses

        Facebook is partnering with an online lending firm Indifi to help provide loans to small domestic businesses, its country head said on Friday, as part of a push to bring more businesses to advertise on its platform.

        The social media giant is joining hands with Indifi to help provide loans ranging from Rs 500,000 to Rs 5,000,000 ($6,719-$67,191) at annual interest rates of up to 20%, Ajit Mohan, Facebook India’s managing director, told a virtual news conference.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | False Equivalence: The Media’s Dangerous Bias

        The mainstream media has historically tried to balance left and right in its political coverage, and present what it views as a reasonable center.

      • The New Ozymandias: Twilight Reflections on the Obama Presidential Center

        As I’ve noted in a past CounterPunch article, the project itself is pointless, a hollow non-library without authentic administration files or artifacts, due to the Obama Foundation’s refusal to abide by federal limitations on the size and activities of a real presidential library. Hence, the monstrous centerpiece of the planned complex – a 235-foot tall tower that, in published plans, vaguely resembles a giant upraised cell phone – is in truth a Great Tower of Nothing, a monument to hubris, chutzpah and Chicago-style clout. This content- and function-free building, which rivals the Pyramid of Khufu in its brutal, enigmatic grandiosity, is set to be built on 20 acres torn from a 19th-century park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture. The vast monolith (plus side buildings and a 400-car parking garage) will be plunked down in the midst of a major flyway and crossing point for migrating birds. Its shopping-mall-sized concrete footprint will occupy land where once stood athletic fields, as well as hundreds of bird-sheltering, carbon-sequestering – and in some cases, awe-inspiring – old trees.

        If all goes as planned – and here’s hoping it does not – a green and open space will be converted into a crowded and smog-laden tourist trap whose outstanding attraction, considering the absence of genuine presidential stuff, is bound to be its gift shop, selling facsimiles of facsimiles to slack-jawed consumers. Taxpayer money, and lots of it, will be used to tear up and replace Olmsted’s curving, graceful network of parkways, apparently in order to shoehorn in a PGA-caliber golf course on the site, which is located in a neighborhood where golf is not the pastime of choice for most residents. Or at least most residents now, before the OPC – which a witty friend of mine has dubbed “the Obamination” – is built, and the ugly and all-too-familiar process of neighborhood disruption and displacement begins in earnest.

      • Listen to Haitians, Not to Those Promising to “Save” Them From Disaster
      • Can Making Politics Boring Save American Democracy?

        The master Democratic strategy for the 2022 midterm elections is coming into focus. After four years of the Trump show, President Joe Biden and congressional leaders will make a case that echoes Warren G. Harding’s 1920 campaign promise of a “return to normalcy.”

      • Larry Elder is Trump’s Black Face

        When accused of Racism in the 50s and 60s, those whose politics leaned rightward would deflect from the charge with the dubious cliche of “ some of my best friends are Black” which became a gag on late night shows.

        Today’s right has gone beyond  euphemisms and clichés. Theyare original, and most of all well funded. Today’s right boasts of a more intimate connection to those whom they scapegoat.

      • Have Democrats Become the Party of the Rich?

        Some recent US figures on the distribution of income by party: 65 percent of taxpayer households that earn more than $500,000 per year are now in Democratic districts; 74 percent of the households in Republican districts earn less than $100,00 per year. Add to this what we knew already, namely that the 10 richest congressional districts in the country all have Democratic representatives in Congress. The above numbers incidentally come from the Internal Revenue Service, via Bloomberg, and are likely to be more reliable than if they came from Project Veritas via theblaze.com.

      • The American Dream of Secession

        While the numbers are highest where you’d expect them, with 66% of Southerners, including 50% of Southern Republicans, ready to see the South rise again after the mythic Big Steal, the national numbers suggest something way bigger than post-electoral partisan animosity. The second-highest numbers in support of breaking up were found on the progressive Pacific Coast, with 39%, including 47% of supposedly happy Democrats. Another recent poll by Reuters found shockingly similar numbers. I think it’s finally happening. People are beginning to recognize that we live on a continental sinking ship and, in rapidly growing numbers, they’re ready to get off. As far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t happen soon enough.

        A nation divided needn’t be a bad thing, especially when that nation is a colossal murder machine feasting on the planet’s resources and the corpses of the very poor. America was born an empire. It began as a European colonial experiment and rapidly grew into a slave-trading, genocidal Frankenstein. Why the fuck are we trying to save this thing? Any of us? There was never a benevolent American Empire. The idea that somehow, through some kind of progressive social therapy, we can reform this beast into anything that’s not an existential threat to humanity is a fanciful farce. There is a reason America has never not been at war since the time of its inception and that’s because war is all it is. The entire country was taken by force and all 50 states have only been united in waging endless war against the rest of the planet since they were old enough to pick up a smart bomb. The idea of avoiding the Balkanization of this infernal project because it could lead to violence would be laughable if it wasn’t so goddamn offensive. Any internal squabble will pale in comparison to what we do to the third world every day, let alone what the neocons have planned for a final showdown with Eurasia.

      • Red Heat in a Blue State
      • The Media Bias No One is Talking About

        This is misleading, dangerous, and morally wrong. Don’t fall for it.

      • As Texas House Reaches Quorum, GOP Poised to Advance Voter Suppression Package

        For the first time since more than 50 Democrats left Austin last month to prevent the state GOP from passing its sweeping voter suppression package, the Texas House reached a quorum on Thursday night, paving the way for the Republican-led chamber to advance its assault on voting rights.

        “The governor and his allies have forgotten Texans’ needs, but we won’t forget their priorities.”—Matt Simpson, ACLU of Texas

      • For bank regulators across the world, tech giants are now too big to fail

        More than a decade on from the financial crisis, regulators are spooked once again that some companies at the heart of the financial system are too big to fail. But they’re not banks.

        This time it’s the tech giants including Google, Amazon and Microsoft that host a growing mass of bank, insurance and market operations on their vast cloud internet platforms that are keeping watchdogs awake at night.

        Central bank sources told Reuters the speed and scale at which financial institutions are moving critical operations such as payment systems and online banking to the cloud constituted a step change in potential risks.

      • For bank regulators, tech giants are now too big to fail

        Banks and technology companies say greater use of cloud computing is a win-win as it results in faster and cheaper services that are more resilient to [crackers] and outages.

        But regulatory sources say they fear a glitch at one cloud company could bring down key services across multiple banks and countries, leaving customers unable to make payments or access services, and undermine confidence in the financial system.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Chinese Government Censors Back On Their Karoake Song Banlist Bullshit

        The perpetual motion machine that is the Chinese government’s censorship arm rolls on. While China has embraced a particularly state-focused form of capitalism, it still engages in the sort of stuff long associated with the Chinese government, like mass censorship, government corruption, and the mass incarceration of undesirable citizens.

      • High School Is Accused Of Censorship As Officials Rip Out Yearbook Pages On The News

        Before delivering the keepsakes to students earlier this month, school administrators ripped out a two-page spread depicting a timeline of events from the academic year. Among the high/lowlights included were the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, former President Donald Trump’s claims of a rigged election, the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        It is unclear exactly who was behind the decision to excise the pages from the student-designed yearbook, but East End School District Superintendent Heidi Wilson justified the move by citing “community backlash.”

        Wilson did not reply to NPR’s requests for comment.

      • Russian watchdog tells Google, Apple to remove Navalny app – report

        Roskomnadzor cited a Russian court ruling that found jailed Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation an extremist organisation and banned it. Navalny’s allies have published news and blogs through the app after Roskomnadzor blocked their websites.

      • OnlyPrudes: OnlyFans, The Platform For Sexually Explicit Content, Says No More Sexually Explicit Content (Except For Nudes)

        To some extent, it was only a matter of time until this issue came up. OnlyFans has grown massively over the last year (demonstrating, yet again, that the idea that the internet ecosystem is “settled” and that Facebook/Google control all is not necessarily true). However, as most people know, OnlyFans’ success is built on basically creating a paywall for adult content from fans willing to subscribe to certain individuals in order to gain access to paid-only pictures and videos. It has had a tremendous impact especially for sex workers who had their careers shattered by FOSTA a few years ago, which forced a bunch of platforms sex workers relied on to shut down.

      • OnlyFans shares its new policy banning sexually explicit content

        OnlyFans has largely built its billion-dollar business and brand on sex workers providing exactly the kind of content that’s being banned. Now those content creators have until December 1st to wipe any traces of the suddenly unacceptable content from their profiles.

      • “Am I Going to Lose My House?”: OnlyFans’ Pivot Leaves Adult Content Creators With Fewer Options

        It’s a similar situation to when Tumblr banned porn and the crowdfunding site Patreon started suspending the pages of adult content creators in 2018, citing pressure from payment processors. MasterCard, Visa and PayPal have also cut ties with PornHub, forcing performers to find alternative payment options for their work.

        When OnlyFans first arrived on the scene in 2016, the platform was praised for being a safe haven for adult content creators — especially those from underrepresented backgrounds who may have struggled to get work in the traditional adult film industry — to monetize their work, even though they had to give up a 20 percent cut to the platform.

      • Web Censorship Systems Can Facilitate Massive DDoS Attacks

        Netscout, which detailed the attack vector, dubbed the type of DDoS attack a Middlebox HTTP Reflection/Amplification (MBHTTP) misconfiguration vulnerability. They say attacks can produce DDoS volumes as high as a 700,000 to 1 amplification factor.

        The type of attack is a HTTP Reflection/Amplification, meaning an attacker can both magnify the amount of malicious traffic they generate while obscuring the sources of the attack traffic. An HTTP-based DDoS attack sends junk HTTP requests to a target’s server tying up resources and locking out users from using a particular site or service.

      • OnlyFans porn ban a ‘kick in the teeth’ for creators

        OnlyFans makes its money by taking 20% of all payments made to people like Tezza.

        It reported a 75% increase in new creators in May last year – when we were all stuck at home during lockdown. A report into porn by Ofcom also found OnlyFans’ site has grown in popularity during the pandemic.

        OnlyFans will hope that banning porn will make it more attractive to investors, and that it’ll therefore be able to build on its base of 130 million users.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalist shot and killed in attack by commando in Veracruz

        In early March of this year, Romero said he had received threats after covering abuses committed by local police. The case in question involved an officer who shot a horseback rider at a 15th birthday party in Texhuacan. The officer turned out to have political connections: his aunt was the Texhuacan chief administrator.

        After his coverage, he received WhatsApp messages tell him to “stop writing bullshit,” and “don’t mess with my people,” threatening to “come for him.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Groundbreaking Decision That Just Struck a Blow to Our Racist Immigration Laws

        At some level, I have learned to accept that US immigration policy is racist. And at some level, I’ve learned to accept that it is “legal” for US immigration policy to be racist, at least from a Hobbesian perspective, which holds that the state can do whatever it wants in whatever lands it controls by force.

      • Report: Trump Admin Deployed Feds to Bring Harsher Charges on BLM Protesters
      • ‘No Contracts, No Snacks’: Nabisco Workers on Strike Across US

        Employees at Nabisco’s flagship plant in Chicago walked off the job Thursday, joining workers at three of the leading snack maker’s other U.S. plants who are demanding better working conditions, an end to foreign outsourcing, and the withdrawal of a company plan that would scrap the company’s current guaranteed overtime pay system.

        “They don’t care about frontline workers. They only care about the almighty dollar. We’re tired of getting stepped on and treated like trash. We’ve had enough.”—Rusty Lewis, Nabisco worker

      • New Writing and Management Role on EFF’s Fundraising Team

        EFF has amazing benefits and offers a flexible work environment. We also prioritize diversity of life experience and perspective, and intentionally seek applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. 

        If you’re a storyteller and strategist who loves to roll up your sleeves on grant applications and you thrive in collaborative environments, this could be the perfect role for you.

        If you’re interested, please apply today! We’re asking for applicants to get their applications in by September 4, 2021. Want to learn more about the role? Send questions to rainey@eff.org.

      • Twitter Faces Claim It Benefited From Child Sex Trafficking

        The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act’s requirements for civil claims, including knowledge requirements, are less strict than those for criminal charges brought under the Act, Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero said Thursday for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, allowing the benefit claim.

      • The Taliban Swore To Kill An Afghan Doctor For Giving Birth Control To A Child Bride

        Akbari says the medical guidance in this situation was clear: “She is a child. It’s risky for any child to get pregnant. And this girl was also physically very weak.”

        What’s more, the girl did not want to get pregnant. “She begged me for help,” says Akbari.

      • What is Shariah law, and what does it mean for Afghan women?

        Hosna Jalil, the former deputy minister for women’s affairs in Afghanistan, told Deutsche Welle, a network in Germany, that she had little faith the Taliban would interpret Shariah differently now.

        “Shariah law for them meant lack of access to education, restricted access to health services, no access to justice, no shelter, no food security, no employment, literally nothing,” she said.

      • Uber’s California Ballot Win on Driver Pay Voided by Judge

        Proposition 22, which passed in a statewide vote in November, exempts the so-called gig economy businesses from a state labor law requiring more companies to hire workers as employees and provide them benefits.

      • Chicago Teachers to the Mayor: Put Human Needs Ahead of Banks

        The Right to Recovery campaign operates on a simple philosophy: People know best what they need. As such, the campaign has been first and foremost a listening one. Organizers see their role not as telling people what they need, but helping them find their voice to demand for it themselves. As neighbor after neighbor told Smith of their dreams of housing security, food security, quality child care, and safe neighborhoods, Smith and his fellow organizers handed them postcards to send their thoughts to the mayor. They invited them to join town halls to further strategize on achieving their vision for affordable housing, utility bill relief, safe neighborhoods. They distributed surveys to thousands of Chicagoans to gauge priorities. They organized pickets at the Board of Education to demand that relief funds be used to hire more social workers and nurses, and to provide well-ventilated classrooms. The campaign has drawn in throngs of multiracial, working-class people who together articulated the budget they needed. It has forged alliances with movement-minded members of the City Council, who have translated these desires into a visionary ordinance known as the Chicago Rescue Act.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Deere lifts earnings forecast, but sees no let-up in inflationary pressure

        Illinois-based Deere revised up the outlook for industry sales of agricultural equipment in Europe and Asia, though it left estimates for sales in the United States, Canada and South America unchanged.

        “It appears demand is going to be above the industry’s ability to supply, given the supply constraints that we’re facing,” Josh Jepsen, head of investor relations, told analysts on an earnings call.

    • Monopolies

      • FTC Tries Tries Again With An Antitrust Case Against Facebook

        As you’ll recall, back in December, the FTC filed an antitrust case against Facebook, arguing that Facebook abused a dominant market position to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp for anticompetitive reasons, and that it puts in place anti-competitive polices that harm other companies that it is unable to acquire. At the end of June, the court dismissed the case, saying that the FTC never actually showed any evidence that Facebook is a monopoly — which is a key part of any antitrust case. However, the judge gave the FTC a chance to amend. Yesterday (the deadline to file the amended complaint), the FTC took another shot at it and filed its amended complaint.

      • Google Has Been Paying Wireless Carriers Billions To Not Develop Competing App Stores

        To be clear, wireless carrier app stores have always kind of sucked. Verizon’s efforts to create its own app store were shut down in 2012, after underwhelming consumers for years. At the time, the narrative was that Verizon just didn’t find it worth the trouble in the face of Google domination and innovation. And while that’s still largely true (wireless carriers are utterly unfamiliar with competition and therefore historically suck at innovation and adaptation), it turns out there was another reason.

      • The FTC has refiled its case against Facebook

        The amended suit includes new evidence about how the company allegedly engages in monopolistic behavior to crush its competitors and keep its users hooked on its platform without adequate pressure to improve the quality of its products. The crux of the FTC’s argument is that Facebook has failed to make meaningful innovations on its mobile app on its own in the past several years. Instead, it resorted to what the FTC says is an illegal “buy-or-bury” strategy in which it either shut out outside apps by limiting their access to the Facebook platform or acquired apps like Instagram and WhatsApp that were successful competitors.

      • FTC Complaint Against Facebook, Amazon Warns of Antitrust Reforms, Tesla Under Investigation

        The FTC submitted an amended complaint for relief against Facebook for alleged anticompetitive behavior, arguing that Facebook “holds monopoly power” and engaged in “anticompetitive acquisitions [strategies] with anticompetitive conditional dealing policies.”

        Though the FTC had their original complaint against the company thrown out, this renewed argument is focused on a “buy or bury” scheme.

      • Hillicon Valley: Feds expected to reveal new strategy in Facebook antitrust fight

        The Federal Trade Commission is running up on its deadline to file an amended complaint in its antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, and whatever choice the commission makes could offer some insight into how Chair Lina Khan will push forward in cracking down on other tech giants.

        Speaking of Facebook, the social media giant is also pushing back on narratives that right-wing news outlets are behind some of the most popular content on the site through a new report that details the most “widely viewed” content, rather than measuring engagement.

      • Copyrights

        • Meet the CC Summit Presenter: Primavera De Filippi

          With exactly one month to go until the 2021 CC Global Summit (September 20-24), we are launching our ‘Meet the CC Summit Presenter’ series to introduce the CC community to some of our amazing presenters from this year’s event. First up, we have Primavera De Filippi. Primavera is a Researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris, and Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. Her research focuses on the legal challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, with specific focus on governance and trust. She is the co-author of the book “Blockchain and the Law,” published in 2018 by Harvard University Press, and she was recently awarded a €2M grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to investigate how blockchain technology can help improve institutional governance through greater confidence and trust.

        • Promoting Popcorn Time Piracy Costs Phone Store Employee Her Job and $6,250

          A federal court in Texas has ordered a former employee of a local phone store to pay $6,250 in piracy damages. The woman, who was fired, promoted the piracy app Popcorn Time to customers and also downloaded pirated content herself. The damages award is substantially lower than the $162,500 that was claimed by several movie studios.

        • Bungie Sues Elite Tech Boss, Lavicheats & VeteranCheats For Copyright Infringement

          Bungie has filed three new lawsuits against business entities and individuals that allegedly developed and distributed cheat software for the popular multiplayer game Destiny 2. The developer says that the defendants’ copyright infringements, including those under the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, undermine its business and the experiences of customers.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  2. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  4. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  5. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  6. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

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  7. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  8. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  9. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  10. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  12. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  13. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  14. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  15. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  16. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  17. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  18. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  20. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  21. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  22. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  23. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  24. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  25. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  27. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  29. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021


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