[Meme] Paid-for UPC Echo Chamber: How Disinformation Campaigns or Political Meddling Work Online

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad joke polar bear: When you have no audience, so you start paying to buy some
Remember, kids! Fake it Till You Make it!

Alex Dunphy Facepalm: When you lie to your prospective clients and then pay IAM's parent company to seem legitimate
Backers of the EPO regime of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are of course ecstatic about the possibility of a coup against patent courts, not just the patent office (granting loads of illegal software patents, then approving them in courts)

Summary: Examples from the past 24 hours alone; this is what propaganda campaigns look like (with so-called ‘law’ firms as their perpetrators)

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

[Meme] Planting UPC Fiction in the Media

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is false because it cannot even get started; UPCA is stuck and UK is not rejoining the EU to ratify UPCA
Link omitted, except in Daily Links (many more like this, usually from law firms looking to profit from litigation and EPO media partners which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have paid)

Those pushing the UPC operate in a world where the axiom “Fake it till you make it” is usually successful.
More here

Summary: The comments (not media plugs of Team UPC) say it all — as the above is one of many; people aren’t falling for fake news and there’s an impending punishment for those who are constantly spreading such fake news

Links 29/9/2021: Further Microsoft Declines in Servers, Godot 3.3.4 RC 1

Posted in News Roundup at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Best Linux Distros for Business – LinuxTechLab

      GNU/Linux has become predominantly a business system, flexible, reliable, secure, and above all a free system in most cases, or at least a cheaper one that allows companies to invest in other areas and do without licenses to be more competitive, in addition to the ability to change the source code to create more customized solutions according to their needs.

      Linux has not achieved success on desktops, but it is undoubtedly very important for servers, supercomputers, and at the business level. So, here we are going to present the 6 best Linux distributions for businesses that are currently available. Also, BYOD has spread and is becoming increasingly popular among employees of large and small companies, including SMBs, if you need it.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Wireguard vs OpenVPN on NordVPN with T-Mobile Home Internet on Debian GNU/Linux. Bonus: T-Mobile Home Internet Nokia modem has bad WiFi defaults.

        Before Private Internet Access went to hell, I once spoke to their former tech support people about Windows 10 in their IRC chat room, and “Max-P” told me that writing VPN software for Windows was the worst part of the job. He said that preventing “leakage”, that is, where your kill switch doesn’t work and your traffic spills out onto the open internet, which is what you bought the VPN to avoid, is very difficult to ensure on Windows.

        Furthermore, it’s hard to get any decent sort of throughput on a VPN in Windows, because Windows doesn’t have any sort of usable and secure VPN tech included in the OS. In fact, NordVPN says that if you try using IKEv2 in Windows 10, it will sabotage it by using weak cryptography. (“Note: the Windows system configuration downgrades the cipher to the weaker 3DES-CBC encryption.“)

        Most Windows VPN software use “WinTun” to route traffic around and are essentially rate limited and use a ton of CPU time for overhead. That is, doing nothing important at all and tying up system resources. Creating more bottlenecks due to inherently bad design.

        The VPN situation on Linux is….better. If it doesn’t make your networking stack great again, it’ll at least help make it tolerable. You can set up NetworkManager and bypass VPN software entirely, and use OpenVPN binaries from your Linux distribution, or you can use something like NordVPN’s client which makes things a little bit simpler, hopefully, with commands like “nordvpn c”, “nordvpn d”, “nordvpn set autoconnect on”, “nordvpn set killswitch on” and so on.

        It takes but a few minutes to understand how to use NordVPN’s LInux software, and unlike the Windows version, there isn’t all sorts of nasty stuff going on behind the scenes. The killswitch is just firewall rules. There doesn’t need to be a lot of crazy stuff going on that can make your internet connection unusable if the connection drops out until you reboot the computer, which is what often happens on Windows 10. Also, their client for Linux doesn’t pop up notifications to go read their blog posts.

    • Server

      • How to Handle Data Duplication in Data-Heavy Kubernetes Environments

        It’s convenient to create a copy of your application with a copy of its state for each team. For example, you might want a separate database copy to test some significant schema changes or develop other disruptive operations like bulk insert/delete/update…

      • September 2021 Web Server Survey [Ed: Microsoft’s collapse in the Web servers space continues]

        The number of web-facing computers using nginx has increased once again, whilst both Apache and Microsoft lost both in absolute numbers and market share. This month nginx saw an increase of 40,800 raising its market share to 37.2%. Apache and Microsoft each lost 0.24 percentage points of market share to leave them with 30.8% and 11.9% shares. LiteSpeed gained 4,660 computers (+5.9%).

      • Add Google Analytics To WordPress | WordPress 101 [Ed: Note that this mistreats the users and locally-hosted Free software is preferable]

        Welcome to the WordPress 101 series. So far in this series, we’ve learned how to install a new WordPress theme, plugins, configure the homepage, create navigation menus, and so on. With this information, we should be able to launch our website. It is now time to prepare our website for traffic analysis so that we can make better decisions and have a complete picture of what is going on with our website.

        Search engines will begin delivering visitors to your website once it is operational and has high-quality content. As the amount of material on the website grows, so does the number of visitors and engagement. For understanding where your visitors came from, how much time spent on a particular page, the links they clicked, and a lot more deep information that can help create better user experience and deliver you better results.

        If the website is an eCommerce store, then the analytics system is a extremely useful as it can help increase sales. You can track campaigns on social media and track each of the campaign through analytics system like Google Analytics.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • A kernel of truth: Linux isn’t as foolproof as we may have thought – ManageEngine Blog

        A world without Linux is hard to imagine. Every Google search we run is accomplished on Linux-based servers. Behind the Kindle we enjoy reading, to the social media sites we spend scrolling away every day sits the Linux kernel. Would you believe your ears if I tell you the world’s top 500 supercomputers run on Linux? No wonder Linux has permeated into every aspect of the digital age, not to mention its steadily growing enterprise user base.

        It may be true that Linux makes up only 9% of total enterprise operating systems, but don’t let the numbers fool you; the most high-value systems, including web servers, routers, and contingency machines are often trusted with Linux. One could see why, considering the global consensus on Linux being the most secure OS.

      • Updated Zstd Implementation For The Linux Kernel Coming Soon – Phoronix

        While the Linux kernel is increasingly supporting the use of Zstd for various compression purposes, the current Zstd code within the kernel is out-of-date and efforts so far to re-base it against the closer to upstream Zstd state have been stalled. Fortunately, a new attempt at getting the Zstd code updated for the Linux kernel will be published soon.

        There has been Linux kernel work to support Zstd compressed modules, Zstd compressed firmware, Zstd’ed kernel image, and work like Btrfs Zstd file-system compression. Zstandard is increasingly used throughout the open-source ecosystem for its speedy decompression capabilities and overall great design and performance.

      • Intel Preps Software Defined Xeon CPUs: Buy Now, Add Features Later

        Intel has published a patch (discovered by Phoronix) that enables support for its Intel Software Defined Silicon (SDSi) mechanism in Linux. The technology is meant for upcoming Intel Xeon processors and is designed to activate additional silicon features after a processor has been deployed.

        The patch does not mention any specific features it is meant to unlock or any specific Xeon Scalable processors it is meant to upgrade (we think Sapphire Rapids), yet it gives some general understanding how it is supposed to work. As it turns out, the whole process is purely software, so it does not require any manipulations with hardware. Therefore, it can be done relatively easily.

        Intel’s SDSi initiative seems to be a major one, yet Intel is not new to offering software upgrades to its CPUs. The most recent example of such software upgradeability is Intel’s Virtual RAID on CPU (Intel VROC) technology that relies on the Intel Volume Management Device (VMD) hardware built into the CPU and has to be activated using a special hardware key. The company also once offered its Upgrade Service software upgrade capability for its entry-level client CPUs that would increase their clock speed, unlock a previously unused portion of cache, and activate Hyper-Threading technology.

      • Intel’s new patch update brings its SDS mechanism to Linux
    • Applications

      • OBS Studio 27.1.1 Adds YouTube Integration, 18-scene Multiview

        Free open-source live streaming app, OBS Studio 27.1.1, was released. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Linux Mint 20, and derivatives.

        OBS Studio 27.1.1 is a hot-fix release for version 27.1, which was released yesterday. It introduced YouTube integration, so users can connect YouTube account without using a stream key. And, it features a new “Manage Broadcast” button to create and manage YouTube streams, a chat dock for public and unlisted broadcasts, set settings on per stream base, and bandwidth testing support in the Auto-Configuration wizard.

        Other features include a 18-scene multiview option, a “Mask Only” option to the stinger track matte, an option to draw safe areas in the preview, and a feature to browser sources to allow limited control over OBS.

      • OBS Studio 27.1 Video Streaming System Release

        Available edition package OBS Studio 27.1 for streaming, compositing and video recording. The code is written in C / C ++ and is distributed under the GPLv2 license. Assemblies are generated for Linux, Windows and macOS.

        The development goal of OBS Studio was to create a portable version of the application Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Classic) that is not tied to the Windows platform, supports OpenGL, and is extensible through plugins. The difference is also the use of a modular architecture, which means the separation of the interface and the core of the program. Supports transcoding of original streams, video capture during games and streaming to Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube, DailyMotion, Hitbox and other services. To ensure high performance, it is possible to use hardware acceleration mechanisms (for example, NVENC and VAAPI).

        Provides support for compositing with scene building based on arbitrary video streams, data from web cameras, video capture cards, images, text, content of application windows, or the entire screen. During broadcasting, it is allowed to switch between several predefined scene options (for example, to switch views with an emphasis on the screen content and the image from a web camera). The program also provides tools for sound mixing, filtering with VST plugins, volume leveling and noise suppression.

      • Free Vector Drawing App ‘Inkscape’ 1.1.1 Added Numerous Bug-fixes!

        The free open-source vector drawing app Inkscape 1.1 got its first maintenance update. Users are recommended to upgrade!

        Thanks to the upstream GTK+3 fix, pressure sensitivity works again on Windows ink devices in Inkscape 1.1.1. And, the release includes many other general fixes, such as Stroke to Path works on text again; Saving no longer leaks memory; improve startup time on Windows; Canvas no longer blurred when moving window from HiDPI to a regular display; Click to select objects; Caps lock no longer stops some shortcut keys from working on Windows.

        By clicking on a resizing separator (aka three-dots) of a docked dialog will now toggle dock visibility. The the “Font features” tab now load faster so it don’t freeze. And the transparency is now respected when applying the Fast Crop filter.

      • Install Inkscape 1.1.1 in Ubuntu / LinuxMint / Debian

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Inkscape 1.1.1 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 19.10, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian, and LinuxMint 20.1.

        Inkscape is a free and open-source professional vector graphics editor software that runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows desktop computers.

        It is suitable for illustrators and web designers and it is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It supports many SVG features (markers, alpha blending, clones, etc..) and is easy to use.

      • Graphical package manager in Linux

        Package managers are really easy to use, but it is also true that many people prefer to do operations in a graphical environment. That’s why we present to you some graphical package managers in Linux. We will cover the basic operation of them focusing on the most popular ones.

        What is a graphical package manager?

        In the previous post, we have learned that it is a package manager that helps us to install, uninstall and do many operations with packages. Although these programs are relatively easy to use, they have to be invoked from the console. So, if you are a novice user coming from Windows or macOS, maybe the impact is bigger and some introduction is needed.

        So, to save time and ease the transition to Linux for newbies, the community has developed programs that act as front-ends for these package managers. Of these programs, some are developed by the distribution itself but others are developed by third parties.

        With these graphical package managers we can do the same operations as in the terminal, but of course all from a comfortable graphical interface. Even if you are a novice or an experienced user, you should know these tools because you will be able to save time on the system.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • MySQL 8 Master-Slave replication on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        Sometimes we may need to replicate data from one MySQL DB server to one or more MySQL DB servers automatically. Basically, database administrators perform database-related tasks such as replication, clustering, and auto-failover. Managing MySQL database servers and performing replication tasks are the responsibilities of database experts. In this article, we will learn how to set up master-slave MySQL database replication in Ubuntu 20.04. In this article, we will use MySQL 8 for replication.

      • Snap your Shell scripts !!! | Ogra’s blog

        A colleague recently talked me into buying one of these nifty HDMI to USB video capture dongles that allows me to try out my ARM boards attached to my desktop without the need for a separate monitor. Your video output just ends up in a window on your desktop … this is quite a feature for just 11€

      • Lenovo 510S 07ICB on steroids
      • How to Add Directory to PATH Variable in Linux

        In Linux, executable files reside in many different directories. But you may have noticed that you do not provide a directory path while running your common commands. So you might wonder, how does the Linux system know where the relative executable is.

        That’s where the PATH variable comes in, the PATH variable stores all paths of the directories where the executables are. So when you issue a command, the Linux system traverses the given directories in the PATH variable until it finds the relevant script/executable.

      • Install Varnish Cache for Apache on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        The cache is often the most critical piece of software for a web-based business.

        Varnish Cache is a popular – and powerful – open source HTTP engine/reverse HTTP proxy used by more than 3.4 million websites.

        Varnish Cache is an open-source caching HTTP reverse proxy that can help improve a web server’s performance.

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Varnish Cache and use it.

      • Touch Command in Linux (5 examples)

        Touch command is commonly used to create an empty file in Linux. It can be also used to change file timestamps.

        In this tutorial, we learn about touch command in Linux with useful examples.

      • How To Boot A Raspberry Pi 4 From An SSD

        In this tutorial, we’ll work through setting up a Raspberry Pi 4 to boot from a USB connected SSD or other USB storage media. There is quite a bit of information on this online already, but I’ve had a lot of questions recently about how to do this, so I thought I’d share my method.

        I’m going to be doing this on my latest plywood Pi case build with an M.2 NVME drive, but the process is the same for any USB attached solid-state, flash or disk drive. It also doesn’t matter what type of SSD you’ve got, as long as you’ve got an adaptor to convert the SSD interface to a USB interface, then you should be able to get your Raspberry Pi 4 to boot off of it.

      • How To Enable Brotli Compression on Apache – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to enable brotli compression. For those of you who didn’t know, Brotli is a new compression format launched by Google which claims to save 20%-28% over their previous gzip or and mod_deflate compatible implementation, for similar speeds. Brotli has the advantage that for the same amount of CPU work a smaller compressed file is created. This magnifies the advantages of using compression to serve site content. Brotli compression is supported by all the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

        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 enabling Brotli Compression on Apache webserver. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Django on Debian 11

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Django on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Django is a free and open-source web development framework written in Python. It is used for developing complex and database-driven Python applications. It can be run on any operating system that can run Python including, Windows, macOS, Linux, and many more.

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

      • How To Run Multiple Linux Commands at Once in Linux Terminal

        In Linux, you need to run terminal commands simultaneously for installing and executing applications. If you’re a newbie in Linux, the chances are that you might be looking for methods to execute multiple commands at a time on your terminal shell. Especially, system administrators need to perform a bunch of commands like ifconfig and GRIP commands to handle loads. Linux allows users to get a newbie to professionals through commands. Knowing a handful of commands might make you different in the Linux community if you know how to use them and how to run multiple commands at once in the terminal on your Linux machine.

      • How to Install Config Server Firewall (CSF) on Debian 11

        CSF is also known as “Config Server Firewall” is a free and advanced firewall for Linux systems. It comes with some advanced security features such as intrusion, flood, and login detections. It is designed to defend against many attacks, such as port scans, SYN floods, and login brute force attacks. It also provides integration for cPanel, DirectAdmin, and Webmin.

        This tutorial will explain CSF installation, basic configuration, and essential commands for CSF on Debian 11.

      • How to Install Streamlit and deploy a Streamlit application on CentOS 8

        Streamlit is the fastest way to build and share data apps.

        It is an open-source python library designed to create custom web applications for machine learning and data science.

        This guide will explain how to run a Streamlit on a CentOS 8.

      • How I keep my file folders tidy with Ansible | Opensource.com

        I try to use Ansible often, even for tasks that I know how to do with a shell script because I know that Ansible is easy to scale. Even though I might develop an Ansible playbook just for my personal workstation, sometimes it ends up being a lot more useful than intended, and it’s easy to apply that same playbook to all the computers on my network. And besides, sometimes the greatest enemy of getting really good at something is the impression that it’s only meant for serious professionals, or big projects, or whatever you feel that you’re not. I use Ansible because it’s a great open source tool, but I benefit from it the most because it scales.

      • How to Run MySQL in Docker Container: A Simple, Easy to Follow Guide

        This guide explains step-by-step how to set up a new MySQL server running in Docker container in only a few minutes.

        One of the great things about Docker is how you can quickly use it to try out applications without having to install it directly on your machine. You can use Docker to run a database in a container as if it were a remote server, and test how your application interacts with it.

      • How to Setup & Configure Unattended Upgrades on Ubuntu 20.04 [Ed: Newly-updated post]

        Keeping your system up to date is an essential factor for anyone from simple desktop users, developers, sysadmins; well, let’s face it, anyone with a device primarily connected to the Internet. Ubuntu, by default, is not set up for automatic updates. However, with enabling and configuring unattended-upgrades packages, you can easily apply security, package, or even new feature upgrades in an easy, simple, efficient way if you do not always have the time to check or forget. IT is highly recommended to enable this just for security alone.

      • How to boot RHEL 8 into Rescue mode from installation DVD/ISO

        As the name implies, rescue mode is provided to rescue your system when the system unable to boot normally into Red Hat Enterprise Linux with runlevel 3 or 5.

      • GNU Linux how to make bootable usb stick from iso – making usb sticks with GNU Linux and dd
      • How to find mixed Latin+Cyrillic words

        I thought confusions like these were interesting but unimportant oddities until I audited some UTF-8 data files from Russia. Some of the scientific names in those files were made up of mixed Latin and Cyrillic letters. A real-world example was “Aporreсtodea caliginosa caliginosa (Savigny, 1826)”, in which the “c” in Aporrectodea was Cyrillic, not Latin.

        This had the potential to cause data-parsing errors, so I needed a way to find mixed Latin-Cyrillic words in the files I audit, which are all TSVs, UTF-8-encoded and mostly in Latin script.

      • Install Java manually on Linux | Opensource.com

        It is easy to use your Linux distribution’s package management tool to install the Java software packages. However, sometimes you need to do a manual installation of Java. This is of particular importance to administrators of Java-based application servers such as Tomcat or JBoss. Many open source and proprietary software products rely on these services.

      • How to install and use the Megasync client on the Linux desktop – TechRepublic

        If you’re looking for yet another cloud storage provider, one that offers a Linux desktop app, Jack Wallen believes Megasync might be exactly what you need.

      • How to install SLACK on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        Here are the steps to install Slack on Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster Linux using the command line terminal.

        Slack is a popular Online instant messaging service application that stands for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge”, yes, in short, “Slack”. It has been developed by the US-based company “Slack Technologies” mainly used to handle communication processes within workgroups and project teams.

        Slack can also be seen as an alternative to other team messengers and project management tools such as Microsoft Teams, Stackfield, Circuit, or Rocket. Its business model corresponds to the well-known “freemium” model. That means it offers multiple plans including the free one that offers access to 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages; 1:1 voice and video calls between teammates and 10 integrations with other apps like Google Drive, Office 365, and many more.

      • Debian 11 or Kali Linux ‘apt-key is deprecated’ Warning, here is the solution

        Although currently while adding the GPG key on Debian 11 you will get a “Warning: apt-key is deprecated. Manage keyring files in trusted.gpg.d instead (see apt-key(8))“, still we can use this method. However, there is a solution for this. And here in this article, we will see that.

        OpenPGP is an open standard for a cryptographic system (encryption; digital signatures; web of trust), especially for use with e-mails. GnuPG ( Gnu Privacy Guard ) is free and open-source software (available for many operating systems) that implements the OpenPGP standard.

      • Easy Ubuntu Install GPU-Viewer GTK3 easy tool

        GPU-Viewer is graphical tool to show the detailed information about OpenGL, Vulkan, and/or OpenCL graphics libraries.

        Without struggling with glxinfo, vulkaninfo and clinfo command line tools, the GTK+3 tool provides a graphical front-end that shows all the important details.

      • Flatpak Tutorial – Setting up Flatpak and installing Packages – Invidious

        Flatpaks are a universal package type that gives you cross-distribution access to popular Linux apps. In this video, I’ll show you how to configure Ubuntu for Flatpak support, and we’ll install a few apps. In addition, I’ll show you command-line methods as well.

      • Steps to install VS code on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux [Ed: Really terrible idea as it is proprietary software with Microsoft surveillance and it is encouraging people to violate the GPL, which Microsoft hates]
      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.14 on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

        Released at the end of August 2021, Linux 5.14 is the most recent kernel branch available for GNU/Linux distributions, and, now that Linux kernel 5.13 reached end of life, you might want to upgrade your computers to this newer release that brings better hardware support and many other new features.

        Why install Linux kernel 5.14? Because it comes with new and updated drivers, as well as support for new hardware, so if you’re experiencing issues with some of your hardware components when using a previous kernel version that’s available in your Ubuntu or Linux Mint system, why not give it a try.

    • Games

      • Stadia gets Control, Hello Engineer and more in Stadia Pro for October | GamingOnLinux

        Time for another look at what Google are doing with their cloud gaming service Stadia with more new releases and new Stadia Pro games coming to the optional subscription.

        Firstly, a big one. Fifa 22 comes to Stadia on October 1, which includes the brand new next-gen HyperMotion, a feature that’s supposed to make players more realistic with their animations. The interesting thing here is that the Windows version still won’t have it but Stadia and consoles will.

      • Seedlings is a puzzle-platformer that uses real nature footage from New Zealand’s forests | GamingOnLinux

        Made using real photos and videos of various aspects of the great outdoors, Seedlings seems like an absolutely wonderful 2.5D puzzle platformer to keep an eye on and try the demo too.

        Developed by Bardsley Creative with the open source Godot Engine, you assume the role of a sentient seed as you travel through various parts of New Zealand’s native forests. It’s certainly not the first to do something like this but that doesn’t stop how interesting it is.

      • Plane-crash island survival game Stranded Deep gets online multiplayer | GamingOnLinux

        Being alone on a desert island after a plane crash? No thanks. Bringing along a friend? Yes please. Stranded Deep now has online multiplayer for two people. This is in addition to the existing couch co-op feature.

        “Explore underwater and on land as you hunt for supplies to craft the tools, weapons, and shelter you’ll need to stay alive. Stay sharp: hunger, thirst, and exposure conspire against you as you brave treacherous elements and the dangerous creatures of the Pacific. Live long enough, Stay Alive!”

      • New Steam Client Beta adjusts the Vulkan pre-caching system and PipeWire for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Additionally for Linux the recently introduced PipeWire desktop capture for Remote Play has been disabled by default, instead you can launch Steam with “-pipewire” if you wish to use it.

      • Reports: Valve is working on a standalone VR headset (no guarantee it’ll be released though) – Liliputing

        It’s been a few years since Valve released the Index virtual reality headset, which sells for $499 and up (with an emphasis on the “up” if you want wireless controllers and sensors required to get the most out of it).

        Now a couple of reports suggest that Valve is working on new VR headsets, including a model that may be a standalone model that can be used without a PC, much like Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2. But there’s a difference between “working on” and planning to release.

      • ‘Deckard’ is apparently the codename for a possible standalone Valve VR headset | GamingOnLinux

        Back in June we reported on a patent from Valve that indicated work progressing towards their next VR headset and it appears the codename is Deckard. Once again coming from VR reporter “SadlyItsBradley” (Brad Lynch) it a new YouTube video.

        Keep in mind that it’s all still speculation, and from what we know of Valve they do have quite a habit of prototyping a lot of different things at any one time and the majority never see the light of day for consumers. That said, a VR headset from Valve that can go standalone and be hooked up to a PC would be a logical step to enable more people to check it out (and hopefully bring the price down?).

      • GOG celebrates 13 years with Elvira I & II, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and a sale | GamingOnLinux

        Founded 13 years ago, GOG.com is celebrating with the release of more classic games along with a big sale.

        A fan of classic games? Well you’re in luck with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus now available on GOG with Linux packages ready to install (it uses DOSBox). The popular classic Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is also now on GOG but only has a Windows version so you will need to use Wine. Nice to see even more older games getting a new life, which is a big reason why I like GOG when they work with publishers to make it happen.

      • Night School Studio creator of Oxenfree joins Netflix | GamingOnLinux

        How do you feel about Netflix doing gaming? We’ve often seen service compared to a “Netflix of gaming” but now they’re going all-in on it themselves. Games will be included as part of a normal membership so they’re in a pretty good position. Just recently they expanded their offering from just Poland to also include Spain and Italy but it’s Android only right now. It likely won’t be too long before play is possible in your browser.

      • SuperTuxKart 1.3 free racing game Released

        Published release SuperTuxKart 1.3 , free racing game with plenty of go-karts, tracks and features. The game code is distributed under the GPLv3 license. Binaries are available for Linux, Android, Windows, and macOS.

      • SuperTuxKart 1.3 Release: Open Source Game for Linux Adds Switch Support

        One of the most popular open-source games, SuperTuxKart, has finally received a significant update after a gap of almost a year. It is a free and cross-platform 3D kart-racing game available for Linux, macOS, Windows, and Android.

        Just like Mario Kart, you can choose from a vast catalog of characters (based on mascots of open-source projects) racing in unique karts using special items to win races in various arenas. The game also features various racing modes, including a story Mode and an online Mode, to keep you engaged.

        Let us see what’s new with the latest release.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Fedora 34 KDE – Modern but not polished

          As you can imagine, I didn’t really continue with my test. Therefore, no data on battery life, resource usage, or any of the customizations that I often have to undertake to my systems usable and productive. What would be the point really? So many things went wrong. Some of these aren’t Fedora’s fault, but many others are.

          Slow boot time (and boot menu oddities), Wayland scaling problems, crashes, lack of third-party application by default. Fedora 34 KDE just does not feel complete. It’s a distro all right, but it sure doesn’t get as much love and attention as the flagship release. Not that that guarantees quality in the distrospace really, anywhere. All in all, if you want Plasma bleeding edge, Manjaro or neon can do that just as well, while providing their own share of quirks and bugs (albeit smaller). There are some small redeeming points in Fedora 34 KDE, but they are nowhere near enough to compensate for the bad stuff. All in all, sadly, my past impression holds. Oh well.

        • Fedora 35 Beta Released. Download and Test

          Fedora team announced the release of Fedora 35 Beta. Here’s a quick wrap of the features and direction for you to download the copy and test.

          After some delays (which is normal in Fedora releases), the team released the Fedora 35 BETA .iso images for Workstation, Servers, IoT and Desktop flavors. This release brings a very few changes, considering the usual Fedora release. Important changes include the latest GNOME 41, PipeWire and WirePlumber to manage audio, a new flavor Fedora Kinoite based on KDE Plasma and standard version update of packages.

        • Lofi Cyberpunk

          I’ll tell more about them soon). Because I’m beta testing Krita 5.0 beta 1 appimage on GNU/Linux, I could use the Stylise filter of Gmic. It was at first designed to apply the style of a painting (eg. Van Gogh) into a photo.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Manage CentOS Stream with Foreman

          In December 2021, CentOS 8 will reach end of life and be replaced by CentOS Stream. One of the major changes between previous iterations of CentOS and CentOS Stream is the lack of minor versions. Centos Stream has adopted a continuous release cycle. From the beginning of this year, developers in the Foreman community started to see the benefits of earlier bug detection and patching that CentOS Stream offers as a result of the continuous releases. We no longer have to wait for the next release to take advantage of the latest changes and bugfixes. A veteran Linux community enthusiast noted that this move also brings RHEL developers closer than ever to the FOSS community.

        • Why DevSecOps fails: 4 signs of trouble | The Enterprisers Project

          Fail-fast culture can be advantageous for modern systems design and development. But “fail fast” usually connotes learning and improvement. Without that piece, it becomes just “fail” – the speed doesn’t really matter.

          This principle applies to DevSecOps, which like DevOps depends on a culture of continuous learning and improvement. You won’t always get it right and you will learn some lessons by taking missteps along the way.

        • How to manage hybrid teams: 4 priorities | The Enterprisers Project

          To attract and retain top talent these days, organizations need to offer remote or hybrid work options. But flexible work models are not without their challenges.

          A successful hybrid work model requires employees to navigate the blurred lines between work and personal time, to stay connected as a virtual team, and to be productive even while working across time zones.

          For managers, it also requires a shared definition of what flexible work looks like for your team and an understanding of the right skills to help everyone thrive in this new environment.

        • Redefining the possibilities of IT automation across your ecosystem with Red Hat partners

          As the modern IT environment continues to evolve, it continues to grow in complexity. An organization’s technology stack may not look the same as it did five years ago, let alone five months ago. In addition, organizations are expected to scale faster than ever to meet customer demands in a digital world. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is our key for the enterprise to demystify complex systems and innovate at pace with the industry by breaking down bottlenecks caused by repetitive, manual processes. With the introduction of Ansible Automation Platform 2 announced today, IT teams can now take advantage of self-contained automation capabilities to make it even easier to address automation at scale across a range of environments and systems.

          Central to delivering and supporting portable IT automation is the Red Hat partner ecosystem. Three years ago, we launched the Red Hat Ansible Automation Certification Program to equip users with trusted and reliable automation content provided by Red Hat and our partners. Since then, Red Hat has introduced Ansible Content Collections to package certified Ansible content, such as modules, plugins, documentation and playbooks, making it even easier for users to manage, consume and deploy automation solutions.

          Today, we are proud to announce that there are nearly 100 supported partner platforms enabled by Ansible Content Collections, nearly double since this time last year. Red Hat’s growing catalog of ready-to-use, certified Ansible content is a testament to the power of automation and the real results seen by users.

        • Ansible automation around the world

          In the last year, organizations across the globe have operated under dynamically changing business requirements. 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, noted that respondents in its recent Voice of the Enterprise: DevOps, Organizational Dynamics survey indicated “flexibility to quickly respond to changes” (52%) as the top DevOps benefit. While only 36% of respondents described the level of IT automation in their organization as “mostly or all automated processes,” respondents expect it to grow to 47% in 12 months.

        • Extending automation across the organization: How we can create a new culture of automation from legacy IT siloes

          Automation is about empowering people to do more, to focus on bigger picture problems and to use tools to perform the rote tasks that do not require or benefit from manual intervention. When IT automation was first introduced, it began as a task-driven, domain specific initiative; script-based tools were a reaction to address the pain points of a single job function. This original wave of automation was about enabling an individual to do more, faster, generally taking place in small pockets and usually orthogonal to other similar efforts taking place elsewhere in the same organization.

          Technology professionals across various teams often dealt with similar issues, but tackled them separately and thus with less efficiency. As the scale and complexity of technology platforms grow more interdependent and application deployments more frequent, enterprises need to drive business agility and transformation while taking the friction out of the system.

          While IT automation tasks have traditionally been human initiated, the sheer volume of platforms, application components, configurations, deployments and changes associated with digital transformation require a new approach. In order for organizations to meet these challenges, they must break down the siloes that so frequently exist among teams to integrate best practices, tools and processes. They need to adopt a new approach to operations through autonomous automation.

        • From the datacenter to the edge: The open hybrid cloud vision for Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 2

          At AnsibleFest 2021, we introduced a re-architected Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to meet the changing needs of the open hybrid cloud, so teams can create, test and deploy automation with greater speed and scalability in cloud-native and containerized environments. What many customers will notice is that the feature terminology looks unfamiliar; this was done to reflect the cloud-native foundation of Ansible Automation Platform 2.

        • Adam Young: Ampere

          Time for a change, and a big one at that. As of September 20th, I am now a full time Employee of Ampere Computing. I am in the Software Development team, working on Open Source stuff. That means Linux Kernel and Open Stack, among other things.

          I’ll post more on why in the future. Why I left Red Hat, and why I specifically chose Ampere. Both deserve a well formed explanation, as both are very important to me. My head is not there yet, it is in code and machines and processes.

        • How IBM Public Cloud struggled against AWS and Microsoft
        • Secure your Python applications with Thoth recommendations

          This article introduces you to using Thoth’s security recommender to scan for flaws in your Python applications. Security checks were recently added in Project Thoth, a cloud-based resolver for Python applications.

      • Debian Family

        • What’s New in Debian 11 “Bullseye”?

          Debian is a preferred choice of millions of Linux users for some of the most popular and powerful operating systems, like Ubuntu and its derivatives are based on Debian.

          Debian 11 has finally been released, finally, after a long development work of two years. Bullseye – that’s the name given to this latest Debian Linux distro. So what are the updates and upgrades? In this article, let’s check out what’s new in Debian 11.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Deepin Linux 20.2.4 Released with New Global Search Feature and Linux Kernel 5.13

          Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” operating system, Deepin Linux 20.2.4 is here one and a half months after version 20.2.3, which introduced an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature to the Screen Capture and Image Viewer utilities to help users extract text from pictures.

          Now, Deepin Linux 20.2.4 is here with another cool feature, a global search functionality that helps users quickly find all the information they need from the convenience of the Dock. After you update your Deepin Linux installations to version 20.2.4, you’ll be able to see the global search icon in the Dock.

        • Quick Look at Yaru Theme Changes in Ubuntu 21.10

          One change you probably know about: Ubuntu 21.10 uses the Yaru light theme by default. The ‘mixed’ version of the Yaru theme (dark headers but light control) has been jettisoned and is no longer available. Ubuntu’s Appearance settings pane is updated to reflect the change accordingly…

          Notice anything else different about the screenshot above?

          I won’t be surprised if you don’t as it’s a very subtle change. But, the selected row styling no longer has a little orange bar at the start of it. Here’s a comparison pic of Yaru GTK before and after today’s update…

        • Canonical Breathes Longer Life Into Two Ubuntu Aging Releases

          Canonical on Sept. 21 announced the lifecycle extension of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) and 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) to help organizations implement their transition to new applications and technologies.

          This lifecycle extension enables organizations to balance their infrastructure upgrade costs. The support extensions give them additional time to implement their upgrade plan. The lifecycle extensions provide support for a total of 10 years.

          Canonical’s Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) phase of Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 LTS enables a secure and low-maintenance infrastructure with security updates and kernel live patches.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Develop Your Open Source Career Through Mentorship

        Mentoring and internship programs, besides being important to career growth, are also crucial to open source software development. For example, they serve to teach and engage newcomers, lower barriers to entry, and help improve the sustainability of open source projects.

        “Part of starting, or growing, a successful open source community is designing the community to be sustainable,” says Karsten Wade at the Red Hat blog. “This means the project needs to be able to reliably, and repeatedly, bring in new people and help them become ongoing contributors.”

      • Tutanota Offers Free Encrypted Email to Open Source Projects | FOSS Force

        The 10-year old Germany-based open source encrypted email startup Tutanota announced this week that it’s offering free premium subscriptions to open source developers working on qualified open source projects that are at least 30 days old.

        “Open source projects need to use a standard open source license and must be non-commercial,” the company said in its online announcement. “Your project should not have paid support or pay contributors.”

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Lands Initial Code For Qt6 Toolkit Support

          Merged this morning into the LibreOffice code-base is the initial Qt6 VCL plug-in.

          LibreOffice supports multiple Visual Class Library (VCL) plug-ins for different toolkits from the Windows and macOS Quartz user-interface back-ends to the GTK and Qt5 back-ends and more for supporting different user-interface implementations depending upon the platform. Complementing the LibreOffice Qt5 VCL is now an early, work-in-progress Qt6 VCL.

        • Start of list level support in Writer paragraph styles

          Writer now has the start of list level support in Writer paragraph styles. This improves ODT and DOCX compatibility, and it’ll improve the style previews and the UI in the future.

      • Programming/Development

        • JavaScript has utterly ruined the web, so why does Brendan Eich get congratulated? Bonus: Gemini rising.

          For some years now, the web has been getting fatter and fatter. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks it’s doing much more for the user than it did 20 years ago (except maybe for native media codecs instead of Adobe Flash). Overall, it’s turned into less of a decentralized and open domain for the free exchange of ideas and code and people’s web logs, and more into a corporate shithole of Google, Facebook, and Cloudflare.

          In Richard Stallman’s “The JavaScript Trap” essay, he wrote that “web apps” are a danger to computer users because they encourage the use of non-Free software when the user doesn’t consider the problem. That they are applications, that they are written in ways that obscure how they work, that they are copyrighted and proprietary, and…even worse, they run on someone else’s computer, and they can stop you from using them at all after you need them, and spy on you.

          I’ve never, personally, seen anything dumber than an office suite you have to be online to use, and apparently enough people agreed with me even if they won’t just switch to LibreOffice, that Microsoft backpeddled from their previous position that there would be no more desktop program, and announced new versions of the desktop Microsoft Office.

          In fact, Microsoft’s office programs today are a huge regression over even their own products 20 or 30 years ago, when there was no annoying product activator and this web app nonsense that requires you to be online to edit a document, and then be “encouraged” to save them all to your OneDrive account where the government has access to everything. Also, Microsoft is the second largest advertising network on the internet after Google, and now they can parse anything you’re stupid enough to save on their cloud. (Plus, if you want to use MS Office 95 forever because reasons, Wine runs it just fine.)

        • Godot Engine – Release candidate: Godot 3.3.4 RC 1

          While we’re busy working on both the upcoming Godot 4.0 and 3.4 releases (with a dev snapshot for 3.4 beta 5 available now), we still cherry-pick important bug fixes to the 3.3 branch regularly for maintenance releases (see our release policy).

          Godot 3.3.3 was released a month ago, and a handful of important fixes have been queued in the 3.3 branch since then. Most notably, users of the GDScript LSP in Visual Studio Code have been experiencing crashes in 3.3.3, which are fixed in this new Godot 3.3.4 RC 1.

          Note: Version numbers can be confusing with three branches worked on in parallel – this release is 3.3.4, i.e. a maintenance update to the 3.3 branch. This is not the upcoming 3.4 feature release.

          As there is no new feature and only bug fixes, this RC 1 should be as stable as 3.3.3-stable and can be used in production if you need one of the fixes it includes.

          As usual, you can try it live with the online version of the Godot editor updated for this release.

        • An introduction to monitoring using the ELK Stack

          If you need centralized, comprehensive monitoring, putting Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana together can be a useful combination.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Web::PageMeta – a mixed sync/async lazy Perl Moose HTTP-GET module | Jozef [blogs.perl.org]

            Announcing here Web::PageMeta which is lazy build-ed HTTP-GET and web-scrape-data module able to work both in classic code and also to behave non-blocking in async code. More info on my blog or on CPAN or on GitHub.

          • The new MoarVM dispatch mechanism is here! | 6guts

            Around 18 months ago, I set about working on the largest set of architectural changes that Raku runtime MoarVM has seen since its inception. The work was most directly triggered by the realization that we had no good way to fix a certain semantic bug in dispatch without either causing huge performance impacts across the board or increasingly complexity even further in optimizations that were already riding their luck. However, the need for something like this had been apparent for a while: a persistent struggle to optimize certain Raku language features, the pain of a bunch of performance mechanisms that were all solving the same kind of problem but each for a specific situation, and a sense that, with everything learned since I founded MoarVM, it was possible to do better.

            The result is the development of a new generalized dispatch mechanism. An overview can be found in my Raku Conference talk about it (slides, video); in short, it gives us a far more uniform architecture for all kinds of dispatch, allowing us to deliver better performance on a range of language features that have thus far been glacial, as well as opening up opportunities for new optimizations.

            Today, this work has been merged, along with the matching changes in NQP (the Raku subset we use for bootstrapping and to implement the compiler) and Rakudo (the full Raku compiler and standard library implementation). This means that it will ship in the October 2021 releases.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • 10 Very Stupid Linux Ideas

            If you are reading this page then you are like all of us a Linux fan, also you are using the command line every day and absolutely love Linux. But even in love and marriage there are things that make you just a little bit annoyed. Here in this article we are going to show you some of the most stupid Linux commands that a person can find.

          • Infinite loop ssh (Using echo, sleep, ssh)
          • Infinite loop ssh
          • 8 Useful and Interesting Bash Prompts

            Many people don’t think of the command line prompt as a useful element, or even pay it much attention. However, a useful prompt can change the way you use the command line, and by extension, your system. This article shows you a number of useful and interesting Bash prompts with examples. Note that we begin with the prompts themselves, then offer some further instructions on how to work with them.

            Here we offer a few Bash prompts, and not all will be serious. For example, our first entry on the list could bring a little joy to you when using the command line!

        • Rust

          • Mozilla Attack & Defense: Fixing a Security Bug by Changing a Function Signature

            This post is aimed at people who are developers but who do not know C or low-level details about things like sign extension. In other words, if you’re a seasoned pro and you eat memory safety vulnerabilities for lunch, then this will all be familiar territory for you; our goal here is to dive deep into how integer overflows can happen in real code, and to break the topic down in detail for people who aren’t as familiar with this aspect of security.

          • diziet | Rust for the Polyglot Programmer

            Rust is definitely in the news. I’m definitely on the bandwagon. (To me it feels like I’ve been wanting something like Rust for many years.) There’re a huge number of intro tutorials, and of course there’s the Rust Book.

            A friend observed to me, though, that while there’s a lot of “write your first simple Rust program” there’s a dearth of material aimed at the programmer who already knows a dozen diverse languages, and is familiar with computer architecture, basic type theory, and so on. Or indeed, for the impatient and confident reader more generally. I thought I would have a go.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Cable Converter Box History: A Quietly Groundbreaking Device

        So, how did I get this pair of boxes, covered in woodgrain and connected by a wire?

        The short answer is because they were invented, and they eventually found their way to people around the country, connecting to cable systems for the first time.

        The longer answer is because there was a need for such boxes. And Phil Hamlin, Sr. was there—both for the formation of the original industry that led to their use, and the creation of the devices. There was a separation of a couple of decades along the way, and by the time he invented the device, he was already a legend in the cable industry, having literally put up some of the earliest wires.

        Hamlin’s early work led to a role with an important formative company in the cable industry, Jerrold, which manufactured some of the earliest electronics used in the cable industry and was a brand name in the space for decades in the pre-digital era.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (iaito, libssh, radare2, and squashfs-tools), openSUSE (hivex, shibboleth-sp, and transfig), SUSE (python-urllib3 and shibboleth-sp), and Ubuntu (apache2, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-snapdragon, and linux-hwe-5.11, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-oracle-5.11).

          • What computers and smartphones will not be able to connect to the Internet on September 30?

            As the security certificate on all connected objects expires, millions of smartphones, game consoles and PCs may be deprived of the Internet on September 30, 2021. This concerns all devices marketed before 2017 that have not been updated.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • U.S. plans projects in Latin America countering China’s Belt and Road [Ed: Colonialism in 'gift' clothing]

        U.S. officials are set to tour Latin America this week to scout infrastructure projects as they prepare a counter to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

        A delegation of diplomatic and development officials led by President Joe Biden’s Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh is in Colombia, where they plan to meet President Ivan Duque, before stops later in the week to Ecuador and Panama, U.S. officials said.

        The group is tasked with turning Build Back Better World (B3W), the international infrastructure investment initiative announced by the Group of Seven richest democracies in June, into reality. It’s the first of several planned “listening tours.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Access Now to ECOWAS Court: overturn Nigeria’s Twitter ban

        Civil society’s fight to restore Twitter access continued in Nigeria today, as the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Court) held a hearing in the consolidated case of SERAP & Others v. Nigeria. While the Nigerian government attempted to delay the proceedings, the attorneys for the applicants successfully argued to go forward. As the government is still blocking Twitter, any delay in proceedings would have extended the online censorship.

        “We’re proud to see the ECOWAS Court push through with the hearing on Nigeria’s Twitter ban,” said Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now. “These proceedings are justifying civil society’s outrage at online censorship, and hopefully act as a deterrent to other governments looking to pull the same oppressive move.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Digital Patrakar Defence Clinic is back again for October!

        When journalists are under threat, truth is under threat. With the growth and facility of digital tools the press in India are facing legal threats more than ever before. IFF in collaboration with the Foundation for Media Professionals (FMP) launched the Digital Patrakar Defence Clinic (DPDC) in September to provide pro bono legal assistance to journalists. DPDC will continue to provide pro bono legal assistance throughout the year. We have described the need for DPDC in our previous post here. In this post we highlight who can apply for the Clinic and how (quick tip: fill this form), and the pro bono legal services offered.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Civil society to EU: don’t derail the Digital Services Act

        The European Parliament must block the suggestions to the Digital Services Act currently being negotiated among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that jeopardize a human rights-centric model of platform governance. Through an open letter to MEPs, Access Now, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and European Digital Rights network are calling for fundamental rights safeguards that are crucial to a free and democratic society.

    • Monopolies

Why Gemini is So Awesome

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b84cd1794d45a8516693451f3b4a03d8

Summary: Gemini protocol is being quickly embraced by thousands of people who set up their own Gemini capsule (like a Web site, typically self-hosted and self-signed) and even more people who access the Gemini space (sometimes known as Geminispace) for high signal-to-noise ratio (something which today’s World Wide Web increasingly lacks, never mind the bloat and the spying)

THE article we published this morning was a culmination of a decent amount of work that we had done, trying to show the extent to which Gemini grew in popularity (and very rapidly so far this year; we expect it to have quadrupled by year’s end).

“Gemini is good for the mind (less noise for the ears and eyes), beneficial to the environment (both the client and server side work a lot less on presenting and delivering content), and sooner or later it’ll be more than just geeks adopting it.”The video above discusses the data we’ve used and it shows that Gemini actually does work with images and videos, just not in the same way traditional Web browsers do. Simplicity is very important and we’d rather avoid bloat, even at the expense of ‘innovation’ (code for complexity). There are security and privacy aspects and ease of setup may rely on conservatism, especially for low-powered devices that are affordable and scale gracefully on residential broadband. Gemini is good for the mind (less noise for the ears and eyes), beneficial to the environment (both the client and server side work a lot less on presenting and delivering content), and sooner or later it’ll be more than just geeks adopting it.

I personally get some of my daily news (general news, not technology-centric) from Gemini. All I really need is text. It helps me focus better on the stories.

Links 29/9/2021: Oryx Pro GNU/Linux Laptop and Lots of Politics

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft OneDrive

      Our first recommendation is NextCloud, an open source service that lets you store files, photos, videos, calendar, contacts, and more. You can host it on your own server or use a recommended provider.

      What makes NextCloud really stand out is that it’s expandable with hundreds of apps, offers good security with two-factor authentication, and makes it easy to access, sync, and share your data.

      Another option that gets our firm recommendation is CryptPad. This is a realtime collaborative editor, spreadsheet and presentation creator alongside encrypted storage. CryptPad is an open technology that you can run on your own machines. It doesn’t rely on a central point of authority.

    • Web Browsers

      • Chromium

        • Google Chrome 94 is out with security fixes, a 4-week release cycle, and Extended Stable channel

          Google Chrome 94 is available. The new version of Google Chrome fixes security issues and the first version of the browser that is released in the new 4-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome Stable was released every 6-weeks, but Google announced in March 2021 that it would switch to a faster release cycle. Enterprise customers may switch to the Extended Stable channel to get new stable updates every 8 weeks, but security updates more frequently.

          The Extended Stable channel is available for Windows and Mac devices only. Enterprise users find information about the new channel and how to switch to it on this Google Chrome Enterprise Help page. Basically, what needs to be done is set the TargetChannel policy to Extended. Google recommends that customers use the roll back to target policy to go back to the previous version of Chrome when the switch to the Extended Stable channel is made.

    • Programming/Development

      • R Data Types

        In R, there are 6 basic data types:







        Let’s discuss each of these R data types one by one.

  • Leftovers

    • The Consolation of Words
    • The 24-Hour Outrage Cycle

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

    • One Small Step for Man…

      The men behind the flights on 11 and 20 July are Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos respectively.  From an early age both have wanted to go into space. Bezos says he’s longed for it since he was six years old.  Branson watched the moon landing with this father and sister and has dreamed of travelling into space ever since.  Being a multi-billionaire, he didn’t just dream about doing it; he made it a reality.  Branson established his aerospace company, Virgin Galactic, in 2004 and is estimated to have spent at least $1 billion since then developing VSS Unity, his space plane.  Blue Origin, which built the New Shepard space shuttle, was founded in 2000 by Bezos and sets him back around $1 billion a year.  The 11 and 20 July flights are the latest achievements of both companies.

      It has to be said that footage of the flights was about as exciting as watching two flies crawl up a wall.

    • The Lord’s Instrument
    • Intuit’s $12B Mailchimp Purchase Breathes New Life Into Email Marketing

      Intuit on Monday announced an agreement to acquire Mailchimp, a global customer engagement and marketing platform for small and mid-market businesses, for $12 billion in cash and stock advances. The purchase could be the linchpin that thrusts the mostly financial software company into solving more fertile mid-market business challenges for its customers.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Lessons From Cambodia on How to Respond to COVID

        But one country appears to be bucking the global trend. The Kingdom of Cambodia is pushing back against the COVID-19 fourth wave and is seemingly on the brink of an economic turnaround to near pre-pandemic levels. Despite a per-capita GDP of one-tenth of the EU’s, Cambodia has achieved a similar rate of vaccination and a death rate 20 times lower.

        This success has not come without a price. The country’s authoritarian government has forced vaccines on its citizens and used the pandemic to crackdown on opponents and critical voices.

      • Senate Urged to ‘Finish the Job’ After House Votes to End Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
      • Florida State Workers Are “Very Scared” Over COVID-Related Working Conditions
      • ‘Sickening Betrayal’: Panel Finds 83 Cases of Alleged Abuse During WHO’s Ebola Work in Congo

        An investigation into sexual abuse related to United Nations efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Congo found over 80 alleged perpetrators, a quarter of whom were employed by the U.N.’s public health agency, according to a report released Tuesday.

        The findings come from a panel commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to media reports about abuse claims during the 2018-2020 mission in the African country.

      • Instagram Kids put on hold after mental health backlash

        The reasons for the concern have much been the same, stating that young folks don’t need to be even more connected than they are already at a time when they need to be physically interacting with their peers. Such groups have cited research into how Instagram and other social media apps can lead to depression, bullying and self-harm.

      • Half Of American Kids Have Lead In Their Blood, Doctors Say

        Half of the children in the U.S. appear to have the toxic heavy metal lead in their blood, according to alarming new research. After analyzing blood tests conducted on 1.14 million children younger than the age of six, scientists saw observable levels of the toxic metal in about half, according to a massive study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday. And that number, compared to previous generations, is on the rise.

      • How Covid Misinformation Created a Run on Animal Medicine

        These experiences underscore the real-world effects of misinformation and how far the fallout can spread, said Kolina Koltai, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies online conspiracy theories.

        “It doesn’t just affect the communities that believe in misinformation,” she said. “This is something that’s affecting even people who don’t have a stake in the vaccine — it’s affecting horses.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • SSH host identity certification

        Using an SSH CA to certify SSH host keys means the user’s SSH client can trust it without asking the user to verify it. The client is configured to trust any host certificate that can be verified using the SSH CA public key. The CA public key still needs to be communicated to the user in a secure way, but the CA key is only one key and rarely changes, so the tiresome risky situation happens very rarely. After the user has the CA key, an attacker can’t trick the user into accepting a false host key.

        With host certificates, the SSH client never needs to ask its user if the host key of a new host is valid, and the user never needs to try to verify it. If the host’s host key changes, the client doesn’t need to bother the user about it, as long as the new host key gets a new certificate.

        Overall, this leads to a much smoother and more secure experience for people using SSH.

      • [Old] OpenSSH/Cookbook/Certificate-based Authentication

        Two of the main advantages of certificates over keys are that they can use an expiration date, or even a date range of validity, and that they eliminate need for trust-on-first-use or complicated key verification methods. Mostly they facilitate large scale deployments by easing the processes of key approval and distribution and provide a better option than copying the same host keys across multiple destinations.

        User certificates authenticate users to their accounts on the servers. Host certificates authenticate servers to the clients, proving that the clients are connecting to the right system. The use of a principals field to designate users versus hosts is the main difference between host and user certificates. In host certificates, the principals field refers to the server names represented by the certificate. In user certificates that field refers to the accounts which are allowed to use the certificate for logging in. Additional limitations just as specific source addresses and forced commands are available for user certificates. Date and time of validity are possible for both. Host certificates and user certificates should use separate certificate authorities. For a more authoritative resource, see the “CERTIFICATES” section of ssh-keygen(1).

      • Proprietary

        • Apple AirTag Bug Enables ‘Good Samaritan’ Attack

          The new $30 AirTag tracking device from Apple has a feature that allows anyone who finds one of these tiny location beacons to scan it with a mobile phone and discover its owner’s phone number if the AirTag has been set to lost mode. But according to new research, this same feature can be abused to redirect the Good Samaritan to an iCloud phishing page — or to any other malicious website.

        • RSF opens a new room for Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit on in its digital library against censorship

          To mark the 20th anniversary of Dawit Isaak’s arrest in Eritrea, RSF has opened a new room dedicated to the journalist in its digital library against censorship, a project that allows the public to access censored articles via the computer game Minecraft. Articles, texts and poems from the Swedish Eritrean journalist are now available thanks to a collaboration between RSF and the Dawit Isaak Library. The texts are part of the book “Hope: The Tale of Moses and Manna’s Love”, a translation of Isaak’s texts which was published in 2010 by an alliance of Swedish publishing houses.

        • Amazon brings global computer science education initiative to India

          Amazon is working with its global knowledge partner Code.org, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to computer science education, to bring high quality and mobile interactive CS content to Indian students.

          “We look forward to working closely with AFE’s network of partners in India to provide our high-quality CS curriculum and best practices as they enable students across the country to learn this foundational 21st-century subject,” Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of Code.org, said.

        • Security

          • Portpass app may have exposed hundreds of thousands of users’ personal data

            Private proof-of-vaccination app Portpass exposed personal information, including the driver’s licences, of what could be as many as hundreds of thousands of users by leaving its website unsecured.

            On Monday evening, CBC News received a tip that the user profiles on the app’s website could be accessed by members of the public.

            CBC is not sharing how to access those profiles, in order to protect users’ personal information, but has verified that email addresses, names, blood types, phone numbers, birthdays, as well as photos of identification like driver’s licences and passports can easily be viewed by reviewing dozens of users’ profiles.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • In U.S. v Wilson, the Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Fourth Amendment Protection for Electronic Communications

              How We Got Here

              Federal law prohibits the possession and distribution of child sexual assault material (also known as child pornography or CSAM). It also requires anyone who knows another possesses or is engaged in distributing CSAM to report to a quasi-governmental organization called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

              Although federal law does not require private parties to proactively search for CSAM, most, if not all major ISPs do, including Google, the ISP at issue in Wilson’s case. Once one of Google’s employees identifies an image as CSAM, the company uses a proprietary technology to assign a unique hash value to the image. Google retains the hash value (but not the image itself), and its system automatically scans all content passing through Google’s servers and flags any images with hash values that match it. Once an image is flagged, Goggle’s system automatically classifies and labels the image based on what it has previously determined the image depicts and sends the image with its label to NCMEC, along with the user’s email address and IP addresses. NCMEC then sends the images and identifying information to local law enforcement, based on the IP address.

            • Cross Border Police Surveillance Treaty Must Have Clear, Enforceable Privacy Safeguards, Not a Patchwork of Weak Provisions

              To this end, the Protocol recognizes many mandatory and intrusive police powers, coupled with relatively weak safeguards that are largely optional in nature. The result is a net dilution of privacy and human rights on a global scale. But the right to privacy is a universal right. Incorporating strong safeguards alongside law enforcement  powers will not impede cross-border law enforcement, but will ensure human rights are respected, Rodriguez added. The hearing confirmed some of gravest concerns regarding the treaty. For example, while Article 13 states the Protocol’s investigative powers should be applied in a manner that is proportionate and subject to adequate privacy and human rights safeguards, we have argued that each Party is left to decide for themselves what meets this standard and many anticipated signatories have very weak safeguards. T-CY confirmed that Article 13 provides Parties with substantial flexibility, but saw this as a feature, not a bug, because it allows countries to sign on despite lacking meaningful and robust human rights protection.Even worse, Article 14, which sets out the Protocol’s central privacy protections, can be easily bypassed. Any two more Parties can simply agree to use weaker safeguards when relying on the Protocol’s policing powers. Also, while T-CY officials claimed that the Protocol’s safeguards are “particularly” strong, this is sadly not the case. Article 14’s provisions fail to reflect privacy safeguards in modern data protection regimes (such as the CoE’s own marquee privacy treaty—Convention 108+) and in many instances even work to undermine emerging global standards. To begin with, Article 14 fails to require that all processing of personal data be adequate, fair, and proportionate to its objectives. The absence of these terms in the Protocol is troubling, as it indicates fewer and weaker conditions to access data will be allowed and tolerated.The Protocol’s treatment of biometric data is even more troubling. Recognizing the sensitive nature of biometric data (and its substantial potential as a highly intrusive surveillance capability), legal regimes and courts around the world are increasingly requiring additional safeguards. But Article 14 prevents Parties from treating biometric data as sensitive (and, as a result, applying stronger safeguards) unless it can be shown that heightened risks are involved. At the hearing, T-CY officials acknowledged the weaker standard adopted for biometric data, but indicated the negotiated compromise was necessary to accommodate the range of protection afforded to biometric data amongst some of the Protocol’s would-be signatories. Once again, privacy is taking a back seat. PACE will issue a report with their recommendations in the coming weeks. The assembly  has an opportunity to substantially improve human rights protections in the Protocol by recommending to the Council of Ministers—CoE’s decision-making body—amendments that will fix  technical mistakes in the Protocol and strengthen its privacy and data protection safeguards. We have also suggested that accession to the Protocol should be made conditional upon signing Convention 108+. Without that, the Protocol, and the CoE’s efforts to modernize cross border data access and provide strong, enforceable human rights protections, risk being left behind.

            • Research Shows Apple’s New Do Not Track App Button Is Privacy Theater

              While Apple may be attempting to make being marginally competent at privacy a marketing advantage in recent years, that hasn’t always gone particularly smoothly. Case in point: the company’s new “ask app not to track” button included in iOS 14.5 is supposed to provide iOS users with some protection from apps that get a little too aggressive in hoovering up your usage, location, and other data. In short, the button functions as a more obvious opt out mechanism that’s supposed to let you avoid the tangled web of privacy abuses that is the adtech behavioral ad ecosystem.

            • Drones are back, so are we

              On 20 July 2021, the government proposed a new security bill which will, among other things, authorize police drones, the same drones that our collective efforts managed to reject four times last year. The government is rushing to undermine our precious victories against police surveillance.

            • Travel authorisations: Carriers must query new EU database

              A new information system is supposed to screen travellers for risks at the EU’s external borders. Of interest is, among other things, whether there is an irregular migration history or an „epidemic risk“. The agencies Europol and Frontex will receive new tasks for this.

            • Facebook’s research on kids even considered turning playdates into growth drivers

              The company’s child research is primarily motivated by the success of apps like TikTok and Snapchat in attracting younger users. “With the ubiquity of tablets and phones, kids are getting on the internet as young as six years old. We can’t ignore this and we have a responsibility to figure it out,” a confidential Facebook document viewed by The Wall Street Journal reads. Another possible cause for concern: the WSJ writes that the number of teenagers using Facebook daily has fallen 19 percent in the last two years and could drop an additional 45 percent by 2023, according to a document the publication saw. Suddenly, the directive to “imagine a Facebook experience designed for youth” makes more sense.

            • Democrats ask FTC to fix data privacy ‘crisis’ | TheHill

              A group of Senate Democrats is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to develop new rules to protect data privacy amid stalled progress on a national framework.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Droning on in This Hellfire World

        What a way to end a war! Apologies all around! We’re so damn sorry—or actually, maybe not!

      • Viking/British Colonialism, Che and Colleague Bonding

        Of twenty Irish folk we asked for directions or other assistance, only one ignored us. In that same period, ten people approached to ask if we needed help. Seldom can one find such consideration anywhere!

        On the streets can be found everyman’s poet, song-writer, musician. Many common people still embrace working class consciousness. Several Irishmen we met knew of and respected Che (my ideal “new man”) for his solidarity values. They are proud that Che had Irish family roots, and of his one brief visit to their country for which they fought so long and hard to retake from marauding Scandinavian Vikings and British colonizer-slavers. (1)

      • Following Nationwide Police Brutality Protests, DOJ Steps Up To Issue Incremental Updates To Its Chokehold/No-Knock Warrant Policies

        The Department of Justice is the nominal leader of US law enforcement, even if it really only has direct control of federal officers. That being said, it would have been nice to see the DOJ take the lead on law enforcement issues, rather than gently coast into the police reform driveway late in the proverbial night to add itself to the bottom of the list of reform efforts springing up all over the nation in response to, you guessed it, violence committed by police officers.

      • Australia’s Man in Washington: Morrison’s Tour of Deception

        Besides, a security compact with the United States and the United Kingdom had just been cemented, one promising Canberra eight submarines with nuclear propulsion.  That these promised to be eye-wateringly expensive and available sometime in the 2040s, were they to ever make it to water, was a point not even worth considering.

        In the US press, Morrison was careful to toe the line of the partner made supplicant.  On CBS’s Face the Nation, he was asked whether the US and its allies were moving towards conflict with Beijing.  “I don’t think it’s inevitable at all,” he chirped, claiming that it was “in everybody’s interest” that we all co-exist. But this “happy co-existence” was premised on keeping China in the box or, as he preferred to put it, a committed role of “free nations like Australia” and others in the Indo-Pacific region to stay vigilant.

      • Stranded Afghans Who Fled the Taliban Say the US Left Them Behind
      • In Shabwa, Yemen, Saudis Give Ground but Kill from the Air as War Rages On

        “A warplane killed them,” a shocked man in his seventies, draped in Shabwian traditional folk costume, said as he stood over the remains of the burning bodies of a family in Markhah district in Shabwa province, the third-largest governorate by area in Yemen. On Sunday, Saudi warplanes dropped Western-made bombs on the family of Muhammad Hussain Ahmad Lsudi in Nagil Maqwaa, killing him along with his wife and two children. Muhammad, when his vehicle was targeted, was driving home loaded with flour and canned goods, an occasion that the family — who live in a country where most struggle against starvation — planned to celebrate. “Nothing will appease us except that Saudi Arabia and the UAE leave our home,” a grandfather toting an old Kalashnikov on his shoulder told local Yemeni media.

      • War Is a Racket: Ex-State Department Official Matthew Hoh Speaks Out
      • How the Pentagon Leaned on Hollywood to Sell the War in Afghanistan

        The (official) 20-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan has come to a close, with the military beating a hasty and ignominious retreat. The puppet Afghan government NATO installed lasted fewer than two weeks on its own, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing for the UAE, allegedly with around $169 million in cash.

      • UN Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Denying Monitoring Access At ‘Indispensable’ Site

        The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was denied access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran, the agency said in a statement on September 26.

        IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi “reiterates that all of the agency’s activities referred to in the joint statement for all identified agency equipment and Iranian facilities and locations are indispensable in order to maintain continuity of knowledge,” it said.

      • The demographic oblivion of Europe

        An Italian think tank, the “Fondazione Fare Futuro”, has predicted that due to mass migrations and the different birth rates between Italians and immigrants, by the end of the century half of the Italian population will be Islamic.

      • The International Water Forum in North and East Syria begins today

        According to the organizing committee, the aim of the workshop is to draw attention to international law and states’ use of water as a tool of war. At the same time, the role of water in national security and its contribution to the development of the region will be discussed.

        The forum of course will also discuss the crimes committed by the invading Turkish state which uses water as a tool of war thus damaging both the economy and environment of the region.

        As it is known, the Turkish state aims at forcing people of the region to leave their lands by preventing them access to water. Experts will discuss and seek a solution to the water problem in Northern and Eastern Syria, said the organisers of the forum.

      • Mali Seeking ‘Better Ways’ to Contain Terrorism

        “We want the return of the Malian state, not the arrival of Russian mercenaries,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted last week. “We are for the sovereignty of Mali, not for its weakening.”

        Another official with knowledge of the matter called the potential deployment of Wagner mercenaries “a real concern.”

        “Such a perspective is not a viable and reasonable solution for Mali and the Sahel,” the official told VOA on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation, adding that Malian officials need only to look at developments in the Central African Republic to see the dangers.

      • Nigeria jihadist infighting kills scores in Lake Chad

        Infighting between Nigeria’s two major jihadist factions has left scores dead, raising the possibility of a prolonged internecine conflict between the two forces, civilian and security sources told AFP Tuesday.

        Islamic State West Africa Province or ISWAP has emerged as the dominant faction in Nigeria’s conflict, especially after the death of rival Boko Haram commander Abubakar Shekau in May during infighting between the groups.

      • Iran fails to fully honour agreement on monitoring equipment, IAEA says

        The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Sunday Iran had failed to fully honour the terms of a deal struck two weeks ago to allow the watchdog’s inspectors to service monitoring equipment in the country.

        “The (IAEA) Director General (Rafael Grossi) stresses that Iran’s decision not to allow agency access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop is contrary to the agreed terms of the joint statement issued on 12 September,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Infrastructure and Budget Bills Contain Very Bad Logging Provisions Which Will Make Climate Change Worse

        The budget reconciliation bill adds an astonishing $16 billion dollars to the Forest Service’s current budget, most of which would go for logging – removing nature’s best, cheapest and most effective mechanism for filtering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This ignores that the Forest Service already has a billion dollars in its existing budget to subsidize commercial logging. The infrastructure bill not only gives the Forest Service an additional $3 billion, it mandates logging 30 million acres of national forests over the next 15 years – an area larger than the entire state of Pennsylvania! Even worse, it also exempts many new logging projects and oil and gas pipeline expansion over public lands from environmental analysis, public review and comment, and the ability for citizens – who own these lands – to legally object to the projects. Logging Makes Forest Fires Worse

        Contrary to the myth held by many politicians, logging doesn’t stop large wildfires – it actually increases the threat. In 2016 the largest wildfire analysis ever done found that forests with the most logging and the fewest environmental protections actually had the highest levels of fire intensity. Why? Because logging opens up the forest allowing more sunlight and wind which dries out forests and makes them more flammable. Dense, mature forests burn less intensely than those that have been logged because they have higher canopy cover and more shade, which creates a cooler, more moist forest. The biggest fires in the West this year were in heavily logged “managed” forests.

      • Individuals are not to blame for climate change

        To be more exact, around 71% of global emissions are put out by just 100 different companies. This number makes one thing very clear: it is up to these corporations and the governments that regulate them, not individuals, to curb climate change.

      • Thunberg slams 30 years of climate ‘empty words’

        Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg opened a youth climate summit on Tuesday by lambasting three decades of government inaction, accusing world leaders of having “drowned” future generations with “empty words and promises”.

      • For the First Time, Most Americans Say Global Warming Is Currently Harming US
      • UK Climate Denial Group ‘Slides Further Into Obscurity’ With Latest Appointment, Say Academics

        The UK’s main climate science denial group is “sliding further into obscurity”, academics have claimed, following its latest appointment of a “contrarian” professor.

        Professor Ray Bates, an Emeritus Professor at University College Dublin, has been appointed to the academic advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

      • Heathrow Found to be World’s Second Most Polluting Airport in New Report

        London Heathrow is the second highest-emitting airport in the world, with its passengers contributing as much to climate change as four coal-fired power plants, new research shows.

        The UK capital’s six airports make it the most polluting city by aviation emissions, responsible for 23.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019, the report found.

      • If We Don’t Get Climate Justice, Shut it Down

        “Shut it down!”

        Call and response when we took a downtown Seattle street in front of the Canadian Consulate and Chase and Bank of America branches and shut it down for 1-1/2 hours last Friday.  Our 350 Seattle activists took petitions signed by tens of thousands into all three locations, demanding an end to funding fossil fuel infrastructure, especially tar sands pipelines Line 3 in Minnesota and the Trans Mountain Pipeline in British Columbia, both of which cut through native lands. Outside, the crowd held signs, strung “CLIMATE CRIME SCENE” tape, worked props such as a Biden-Trudeau puppet, did street theater, and made noise.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Congress Needs to End This $20 Billion Year Giveaway to Big Oil

          Each year, Big Oil receives more than $20.5 billion a year in federal and state subsidies. Many of these subsidies are holdovers from another century, enacted when the industry was first getting on its feet. One of the largest, a tax deduction for drilling oil wells, dates to 1913. Then there’s the tar sands loophole, which gives a tax break to companies that import or produce tar sands oil, which is one of the dirtiest fuels on Earth.

        • Progressive Groups Warn Congress Against Including Carbon Tax in Reconciliation Package

          Five progressive organizations on Tuesday urged top congressional Democrats to exclude a carbon tax from the sweeping budget reconciliation package they aim to pass this week following reports that the policy is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

          “Carbon taxes… do not reduce emissions, they put a squeeze on working families, and they are embraced by polluters.”—Mitch Jones, Food & Water Watch

        • Labour to Produce Net Zero Transition Plan for Each Sector, Hints Ed Miliband

          Labour’s shadow business and energy minister Ed Miliband has hinted the party will produce a net zero transition plan to cover every sector based on the newly announced £224 billion spending pledge. 

          Miliband, who led the party from 2010 to 2015, was speaking on a panel at Labour’s conference in Brighton today co-organised by SERA: Labour’s Environment Campaign and Labour Business.

        • Texas Oil Regulators Profit from the Companies They Oversee

          The top oil and gas regulators in Texas are not only too cozy with the industry, but they personally profit from the companies they are supposed to oversee, according to a new report.

          Vague ethics laws, lack of enforcement, and a campaign finance system soaked in fossil fuel cash all combine to make the Texas Railroad Commission a “captive agency,” argue Commission Shift and Texans for Public Justice, two watchdog groups, in their new report.

        • Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate Excoriate World Leaders for ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’ Climate Failures

          Noted young climate activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate on Tuesday excoriated global leaders’ response to the planetary crisis, with Thunberg calling it “a betrayal of all present and future generations.”

          “Our leaders are lost,” said Nakate of Uganda, “and our planet is damaged.”

        • Why Xi’s Coal Pledge Is a Big Deal

          Beijing’s new stance will make countries that are still planning for new coal and rely on international financing—such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Turkey—seriously rethink their power development plans. And now that both China and the United States are pledging support for green energy in developing countries, the move also sets the stage for an even more competitive race to build clean energy.

        • We are now Solar Powered

          What’s more, this is a system that runs off completely renewable energy. All the while providing a fairly speedy (yes, around 50Mbps down is speedy to a rural Australian!) wireless broadband service for a household, streaming video and hosting a couple of servers, all in one little efficient solar powered bundle.

          It also has to be said hosting any sort of website on a wireless internet service is rather unconventional, especially one that averages between 5-8Mbps upload. This is why keeping transfers as small as possible and resource usage low makes sense just beyond keeping power usage down. The other downside is relying on an external server (the VPS) to even get this whole thing public facing. That’s not ideal, but then again there isn’t any other choice that I’m aware of when your ISP blocks port forwarding. At least the VPS was already getting used for other things, so it’s not a major additional component.

        • Africa’s cryptocurrency economy grew by over 1200% in a year

          The study also found that Africans are using cryptocurrencies as a form of savings because of local currencies losing their value. Chainalysis noted that in Nigeria, P2P trading increased when the value of the local currency took a tumble.

        • China’s central bank bans cryptocurrency transactions to avoid ‘risks’

          Friday’s announcement is the culmination of an ongoing crackdown on crypto in the country; the Chinese government began issuing warnings about trading in mining cryptocurrencies in May, and in June, the bank told financial institutions to stop processing digital currency transactions. Bloomberg reports that one major reason for the Chinese crackdown on cryptocurrencies is the amount of energy needed to mine cryptocurrency transactions. China is in the midst of an energy crisis that has already affected many other industries.

        • Why Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Other Cryptocurrencies Plunged Today

          Earlier this year, China banned cryptocurrency mining, an energy-intensive process that has drawn criticism from environmentalists for its potential to contribute to climate change. Chinese regulators also forbid the country’s financial institutions from providing services to crypto[currency]-focused companies.

        • Bitcoin takes a hit as China declares all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

          The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it was launching a thorough, nationwide cleanup of cryptocurrency mining. Such activities contribute little to China’s economic growth, spawn risks, consume a huge amount of energy and hamper carbon neutrality goals, it said.

          It’s an “imperative” to wipe out cryptocurrency mining, a task key to promoting high-quality growth of China’s economy, the NDRC said in a notice to local governments.

        • China Vows to Stop Building Coal Plants Overseas, But What Does That Mean?

          Not all climate experts are so confident. That’s because Xi’s promise, made during a speech Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly, was brief and has not yet been translated into concrete policy.

          Here are some of the biggest questions about Xi’s announcement: [...]

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bridge the North-South Divide for a UN Biodiversity Framework That is More Just

          Since the turn of this century, I have been involved in biodiversity conservation in several places in North America and India, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S.–Canada borderlands; the desert in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands; and the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans in the India–Bangladesh borderlands. Such biodiversity conservation efforts also take into account environmental justice and rights of Indigenous peoples, a form of collective engagement I call, ‘multispecies justice’. Drawing from these experiences, I offer my humble assessments in this moment of entangled crises and great cultural and political divides for all to consider.

          I was born and lived the first twenty-two years of my life in the global South, in India. And the past thirty-one years, I have lived in the global North, in the United States. I consider myself a bridge between North and the South. And even though I do not have a degree in civil engineering, I like to say that professionally, I’m always “Building Bridges” across and among varieties of differences—places and peoples, human and nonhuman kin, academic disciplinary silos and archipelagoes, and academia and the communities in which we live and work.

        • Opinion | Despite Our Despair, There’s a Reality Worth Fighting For

          In late July, I set out to find baby gray tree frogs. They’re emerald green and (I’ll just say it) incredibly adorable. They are also very difficult to find because they’re well-camouflaged, sitting as they do on green leaves. But because I’m looking for them, I often find them. I see what I’m attending to.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Insuring Heaven or Hell on Earth?

        For almost 75 years, GuideOne has been an insurance firm whose primary business has been insuring places of worship, faith organizations, and religious schools. The firm has consistently projected a wholesome image suitable for an insurer focused on safety. “Every product and service GuideOne offers protects organizations dedicated to making our communities better places to live”, Jessica Clark, GuideOne’s CEO at the time, said in 2018.

      • Sanders Demands House Dems Vote Down Bipartisan Bill if Reconciliation Package Not Secured

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday implored his colleagues in the House to vote against a Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress approves a far-reaching reconciliation package that includes anti-poverty measures and climate action.

        “I strongly urge my House colleagues to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.

      • Child Labor: Which Side are Democracies On?

        According to the International Labor Organization’s latest report last fall, despite years of declining rates worldwide, child labor is indeed on the rise again. And the increase began before COVID exacerbated the situation.

        Shortly before Bolsonaro issued his statement, more than a dozen anti-child labor organizations from Central and South America came together in Costa Rica to take stock of the struggle and make plans for 2021, the UN-designated Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. One challenge had become clear: the surge in right-wing authoritarian governments across Latin America has threatened years of progress.

      • Danny Glover Under Cover for Big Pharma and Insurance Companies

        They will say – superstar actor featured in the Lethal Weapon film series.

        Civil rights activist.

      • Rep. Jerry Nadler Pushing New Bill That Will Destroy Online Commerce; Make Sure Only Amazon Can Afford The Liability

        ‘Tis the season for terrible, horrible, no good bills to destroy the open internet. First up, we’ve got Rep. Jerry Nadler, a close friend of the always anti-internet lobbying force that is the legacy copyright industries. Earlier this year he introduced the SHOP SAFE Act, which is due for a markup tomorrow, and has an unfortunately high likelihood of passing out of committee. The principle behind the Act (which Nadler has now updated with a manager’s amendment) is that “something must be done” about people buying counterfeit goods online.

      • Close the Carried Interest Loophole and End Private Equity Abuse
      • Our Crowdfund For Our Paper Exploring NFTs Will Be Ending Soon

        Last week we announced that we wanted to write a paper exploring the NFT phenomenon, and specifically what it meant with regards to the economics around scarce and infinitely available goods. To run this crowdfund, we’re testing out a cool platform called Mirror that lets us mix crowdfunding and NFTs as part of the process (similarly, we’re now experimenting with NFTs with our Plagiarism by Techdirt collection).

      • Opinion | Democrat’s Inept Messaging: It’s Not a $3.5 Trillion Bill But $350 Billion a Year

        Why are the Democrats so inept at framing their messages in a way that appeals to people instead of scaring them off? They’re busy declaring that they want to pass $3.5 trillion in new federal spending for important and goals like child care, paid family leave, fighting climate change, increased Medicare benefits, lower prescription drug prices, and child tax credits, mostly paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Most of these individual programs are popular with voters, as is taxing the rich. 

      • GOP Threatens Economic Disaster by Refusing to Raise Debt Limit Before Shutdown
      • Sinema Will Hold Fundraiser With Groups Lobbying Against Reconciliation Bill
      • Progressives Warn Democrats Against Means-Testing Reconciliation Bill to Death

        Progressives are once again sounding the alarm about the pitfalls of means-testing amid new reports suggesting that—in order to reduce the size of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill—congressional Democrats may impose stricter income caps on several proposed programs.

        Discussions about potentially placing additional income limits on items in the Build Back Better Act, first reported Monday by Reuters, come as Democrats—who can afford no defections in the evenly split Senate and just three in the House—are attempting to appease Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and other right-wing Democrats, some of whom have pushed for a smaller safety net and climate package after receiving a flood of campaign cash from Big Pharma and Big Oil.

      • After Pelosi Breaks Dual-Bill Promise, Progressives Are Now in the Driver’s Seat
      • Sunrise Movement Warns of ‘Betrayal’ as Pelosi Bends Toward Corporate Democrats

        The youth-led Sunrise Movement on Tuesday accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “betrayal” after she walked back her promise to ensure that Democrats’ reconciliation package passes Congress before the House votes on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

        “Any Democrat who votes for the bipartisan bill ahead of reconciliation is doing it at the expense of our generation and we will not forget.”

      • ‘We Aren’t Bluffing’: Progressives Hold the Line as Pelosi Moves Ahead With Bipartisan Bill

        House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled during a private caucus meeting late Monday that she is willing to proceed to a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week even if work on Democrats’ broader reconciliation package is not finished, breaking with progressive lawmakers who say the latter measure must be done first.

        “Our demands have not changed: The Build Back Better Act must pass both chambers before the House passes the BIF.”—Indivisible

      • Activists Confront Pelosi at Fundraiser, Demanding She ‘Hold the Line’ on $3.5 Trillion Package

        As the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Tuesday accused Rep. Nancy Pelosi of “betrayal” for retreating from a promise to prioritize passage of the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill ahead of a planned vote on bipartisan infrastructure legislation, progressive activists confronted the House speaker in Washington, D.C. to demand that she “hold the line” on the Democrats’ flagship reconciliation package.

        “Democrats must seize this moment to pass the first pieces of federal climate policy to give us a real chance to combat this massive crisis.”—Nikayla Jefferson,Sunrise Movement

      • El Milagro Tortilla Workers Walk Out to Demand Fair Wages Amid Staff Shortage
      • El Milagro Tortilla Workers Walk Out to Demand Fair Wages & Workload Amid Staff Shortage, COVID Deaths

        We go to Chicago for an update on workers at El Milagro tortilla plants who staged a temporary walkout last week to protest low pay, staff shortages and abusive working conditions, including intimidation and sexual harassment. El Milagro claims an ongoing tortilla shortage is due to supply chain issues, but organizers say the company has lost staff due to their poor treatment of workers, including their mishandling of the pandemic, resulting in dozens of infections and five deaths. Workers gave El Milagro management until this Wednesday to respond to their demands. “The company, instead of offering better wages and hiring more people, is just cranking up the machines,” says Jorge Mújica, strategic campaigns organizer at Arise Chicago, a community group that helps people fight workplace exploitation.

      • More Than Half of US’s 100 Richest People Dodge Estate Taxes Via Special Trusts
      • More Than Half of America’s 100 Richest People Exploit Special Trusts to Avoid Estate Taxes

        It’s well known, at least among tax lawyers and accountants for the ultrawealthy: The estate tax can be easily avoided by exploiting a loophole unwittingly created by Congress three decades ago. By using special trusts, a rarefied group of Americans has taken advantage of this loophole, reducing government revenues and fueling inequality.

        There is no way for the public to know who uses these special trusts aside from when they’ve been disclosed in lawsuits or securities filings. There’s also been no way to quantify just how much in estate tax has been lost to them, though, in 2013, the lawyer who pioneered the use of the most common one — known as the grantor retained annuity trust, or GRAT — estimated they may have cost the U.S. Treasury about $100 billion over the prior 13 years.

      • Protest at Manchin’s Yacht Demands End to His Obstruction of Reconciliation Bill
      • Flotilla Protest at Manchin’s Yacht Tells Right-Wing Democrat: ‘Don’t Sink Our Bill’

        West Virginia activists in kayaks and electric boats converged on Sen. Joe Manchin’s yacht in Washington, D.C. on Monday to protest the right-wing Democrat’s continued obstruction of his own party’s reconciliation package, a central component of President Joe Biden’s climate and safety net agenda.

        “Manchin needs to realize that the fossil fuel industry is about to keel over and we refuse to let it drag the rest of us down with it.”

      • ‘Manchin Has Taken the Lead in Diluting Ethics Provisions’

        Janine Jackson interviewed David Moore about Joe Manchin’s conflicts of interest on climate change for the September 24, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Berliners vote to expropriate large landlords in non-binding referendum

        - A majority of voters in Berlin wants city hall to expropriate major landlords such as Vonovia (VNAn.DE) and Deutsche Wohnen (DWNG.DE) to help reduce rents in the German capital, provisional referendum results showed on Monday.

        Around 56% cast a ballot in favour of the non-binding initiative, compared to 39% against, Berlin government said following Sunday’s vote, which was held alongside elections for the city government and the national parliament.

        The results come as Vonovia, the largest German residential rental company, said it had reached the 50% threshold needed to buy smaller rival Deutsche Wohnen, creating a housing behemoth with some 550,000 apartments worth more than 80 billion euros ($93.7 billion).

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Week of Two High-Stakes Games of Chicken

        The first is between Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans over raising the debt ceiling and extending funding the government beyond Thursday.

      • Opposing His Renomination, Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell ‘A Dangerous Man’

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Tuesday that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s record of weakening post-2008 Wall Street regulations makes him “a dangerous man” to lead the U.S. central bank—and should disqualify him from serving a second term.

        “Renominating you means gambling that for the next five years, a Republican majority at the Federal Reserve with a Republican chair who has regularly voted to deregulate Wall Street won’t drive this economy over a financial cliff again,” Warren said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “With so many qualified candidates for this job, I just don’t think that’s a risk worth taking.”

      • Will Corporate Democrats Derail Biden’s Agenda?

        This week, Americans will get a very clear view of the two political parties in high-stakes showdowns—and possibly a sobering insight into how corrupted our politics has become.

      • Why Are Party Leaders Still Propping Up Henry Cuellar as a Democrat?

        When the US House of Representatives voted Friday for the Women’s Health Protection Act—in response to assaults on reproductive rights like the Texas law that bans abortion before many people know they are pregnant—the partisan divide was unmistakable. The bill passed 218-211, with every “yes” vote coming from Democrats and 210 “no” votes coming from Republicans.

      • Why the Media No Longer Cares About Nicaragua

        If someone interested in the priorities of the US media, government, and foreign policy establishment had gone to sleep, say, 35 years ago and woke up today, they would be surprised to learn that former Sandinista comandante Daniel Ortega was, once again, running things in Nicaragua. According to Human Rights Watch, the country’s November 7 election campaign has already been tarnished by “high-profile arrests and other serious human rights violations against critics appear to be part of a broader strategy to eliminate political competition, stifle dissent, and pave the way for President Daniel Ortega’s re-election to a fourth consecutive term.” This time, in contrast to the heavily covered elections that sent Ortega and the Sandinistas packing in 1990, hardly anyone in the US mainstream media appears to care.

      • All Voters in California Will Be Mailed Ballots Automatically, Thanks to New Law
      • Britain Will Never be Taken Seriously with a Genuine Charlatan as Prime Minister

        For a proportion of the public, the fact that their prime minister is a charlatan (or a mountebank – a useful word that has largely gone out of fashion) is an accepted if regrettable feature of the political landscape. But dismissive contempt and furious hostility both serve to prevent proper analysis of the real-life consequences of having somebody as frivolous as Johnson, along with his lightweight appointees, in charge of the country.

        The result is not automatically negative, since their very incapacity may undermine their ability to do real harm. But of course one should not bet on a happy outcome. As Cummings showed, giving chapter and verse, Johnson’s chaotically poor judgement over the Covid-19 pandemic last year led to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of people.

      • Facebook asks Oversight Board for guidance on ‘cross-check’ system

        “To address this, we asked Facebook to explain how its cross-check system works and urged the company to share the criteria for adding pages and accounts to cross-check as well as to report on relative error rates of determinations made through cross-check, compared with its ordinary enforcement procedures. In its response, Facebook provided an explanation of cross-check but did not elaborate criteria for adding pages and accounts to the system, and declined to provide reporting on error rates,” the board wrote.

        The scrutiny on Facebook’s cross-check program is only part of the backlash the social media giant has faced after the Journal published a series of reports about Facebook, raising questions about content moderation practices and Facebook products’ impact on teen mental health.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 299: The Misinformation About Disinformation

        Disinformation continues to be a major topic of discussion across many fields, but a lot of what people believe about the subject is… questionable at best. One of the more thoughtful writers on the subject is Joe Bernstein from Buzzfeed News, whose recent cover story in Harper’s brings a very different and valuable perspective to the debate. This week, he joins us on the podcast to discuss the glut of misconceptions and misinformation about disinformation.

      • Facebook groups promoting ivermectin as a Covid-19 treatment continue to flourish.

        Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, found 60 public and private Facebook groups dedicated to ivermectin discussion, with tens of thousands of members in total. After the organization flagged the groups to Facebook, 25 of them closed down. The remaining groups, which were reviewed by The New York Times, had nearly 70,000 members. Data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned social network analytics tool, showed that the groups generate thousands of interactions daily.

      • How internet pioneer Vint Cerf illuminated Google’s misinformation mess

        While Google employees are very well compensated financially, these 10,000 evaluators are hourly contract workers who work from home and earn around $13.50 per hour. One such worker profiled in the Wall Street Journal article said he was required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, that he had zero contact with anyone at Google, and that he was never told what his work would be used for (and remember these are the people Cerf referred to as “part of our Google family”). The contractor said he was “given hundreds of real search results and told to use his judgment to rate them according to quality, reputation, and usefulness, among other factors.” The main task these workers perform, it seems, is rating individual sites as well as evaluating the rankings for various searches returned by Google. These tasks are closely guided by the 168-page document these workers are provided. Sometimes, the workers also received notes, through their contract work agencies, from Google telling them the “correct” results for certain searches. For instance, at one point, the search phrase “best way to kill myself” was turning up how-to manuals, and the contract workers were sent a note saying that all searches related to suicide should return the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as the top result.

      • Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians, Forces report says

        The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau.

        But military commanders believed they didn’t need to get approval from higher authorities to develop and proceed with their plan, retired Maj.-Gen. Daniel Gosselin, who was brought in to investigate the scheme, concluded in his report.

        The propaganda plan was developed and put in place in April 2020 even though the Canadian Forces had already acknowledged that “information operations and targeting policies and doctrines are aimed at adversaries and have a limited application in a domestic concept.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Area Free Market Proponent Sues Facebook For Defaming Him By Moderating His Personal Marketplace Of Climate Change Ideas

        Being consistent is hard. Just ask John Stossel, libertarian news commentator and self-proclaimed supporter of free markets and deregulation.

      • Failure to Balance Freedom of Expression and Protection from Online Harms: My Submission to the Government’s Consultation on Addressing Harmful Content Online

        8.    During the last election campaign, the government promised to move forward within 100 days of its mandate. Given that commitment – as well as the structure of the consultation that reads more like a legislative outline rather than a genuine attempt to solicit feedback – there are considerable doubts about this consultative process. Consultations should not be a box-ticking exercise in which the actual responses are not fully factored into policy decisions. The challenge of reading, processing, analyzing and ultimately incorporating consultation responses within a three month period appears entirely unrealistic. The government should provide assurances that there will be no legislation without taking the consultation responses fully into account.

      • YouTube Is Refusing to Promote NBA Youngboy – Manager Alleges

        At least, that’s what his manager Alex Junnier says. “YouTube told us they can’t promote YB because of his image,” Junnier writes on Instagram in a post that has since been deleted. “Weak ass platform. Your #1 artist three years in a row.”

      • Media Groups Voice Concern about Turkey’s Planned Social Media Law

        Journalists and media groups have voiced concern about the proposal, calling for authorities to make the plans public and warning that broadly worded regulations could be used to persecute critical reporting. Others cited the large number of lawsuits already filed against social media users.

        “The government has a strange habit,” said Turgay Olcayto, adding that everyone who criticizes it is viewed as “an enemy.”

        The president of the Turkish Journalists’ Association was speaking at a press conference Monday alongside four other media unions and rights groups to voice opposition to the proposed law.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Press Freedom Groups to Convene People’s Tribunal on Murders of Journalists

        “The frequency of grave violations committed against journalists coupled with prevailing high levels of impunity is alarming.”—Almudena Bernabeu, prosecutor

        “Since 1992, more than 1400 journalists have been killed, and in eight out of 10 cases where a journalist is murdered, the killers go free,” the three organizations said in a statement. “The persistently high level of impunity perpetuates a cycle of violence against journalists, posing a threat to freedom of expression.”

      • Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo Was Reportedly Obsessed With Killing Assange

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

      • Press Freedom Groups React to reports of CIA plots to kidnap, assassinate Assange
      • The Plot to Kill Julian Assange: Report Reveals CIA’s Plan to Kidnap, Assassinate WikiLeaks Founder

        Did the CIA under the Trump administration plan to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a shootout in London? That is one of the explosive findings in a new exposé by Yahoo News that details how the CIA considered abducting and possibly murdering Assange while he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden for rape allegations, charges that were dropped in 2017. More than 30 former officials say former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was apparently motivated to get even with WikiLeaks following its publication of sensitive CIA hacking tools, which the agency considered “the largest data loss in CIA history.” Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, lays out the plans and describes how the abduction plan “was one of the most contentious intelligence debates of the entire Trump era,” noting it ultimately spurred the Justice Department to fast-track its legal case against Assange. We also speak with Assange’s legal adviser Jennifer Robinson, who says the latest revelations should alarm American citizens, as well as journalists around the world. “This is the CIA talking about conspiracy to kidnap and murder an Australian citizen and an award-winning journalist and editor who has done nothing but publish truthful information.”

      • The Plot to Kill Julian Assange
      • Eritrea : RSF demands that Swedish Prosecutors assume their responsibility for Dawit Isaak

        As Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak is now detained for 20 years in Eritrea, Reporters without Borders (RSF) has submitted a request to the Prosecutor-General in Sweden to reverse a decision not to investigate crimes against humanity in Isaak’s case. RSF is asking the Prosecutor-General to fulfill her international obligation.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • What I Learned From the Women in Detroit

        Politics govern how much of our public resources we are willing to invest in challenging gender-based violence. And the politics of gender‐based violence is fraught with victim blaming. When public officials categorize intimate partner violence as a private matter, the victim blaming becomes built into our structures. It also shows in our calculation of the cost of the behavior to individuals and the greater society. Classifying gendered violence as a private rather than a public issue has many effects. It reduces the significance of the problem and serves as an excuse for lack of public funding for solutions. We tell ourselves that it’s not so bad. And then we ignore the costs in lives and human resources it causes. Personalizing the impact of gender‐based violence is a kind of denial that allows us to tell ourselves “it’s not our problem.” Why should government funding be spent on individual personal problems? Labeling intimate partner violence a private matter has a social effect—stigmatizing victims and marginalizing them in our communities. All of the above reductive approaches to gender‐based violence devalue women who experience abuse, silencing the witnesses preemptively.

      • Opinion | Three Lessons to Chart a Path Forward in Solidarity With Afghan Women

        While the Taliban would have us believe their promises to uphold women’s rights, reality paints a much different picture. Public protests by women against the Taliban have been violently quashed. A shelter for women fleeing domestic violence was burned to the ground by the Taliban. Other women’s safe houses across Afghanistan have closed, and the directors and occupants are in hiding. In rural villages, girls have been dragged off into sex slavery as Taliban “brides.” Thousands of women and their children displaced from rural areas by these threats and by ongoing armed violence have sought refuge in Kabul, congregating outdoors without shelter, food, or water.

      • Justice for Black Women & Girls: R. Kelly Found Guilty in Sex Crimes Case After Decades of Abuse

        R&B singer R. Kelly is guilty of a series of charges, including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and transporting people across state lines for sex. Jurors in the federal trial returned their verdict Monday after 11 accusers — nine women and two men — and 34 other witnesses detailed Kelly’s pattern of sexual and other abuse against dozens of women and underage girls for nearly two decades. “He just became more egregious, more bold, with the kind of crimes that he was committing against Black girls and women,” says dream hampton, executive producer of the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which helped publicize Kelly’s predations and fueled demands for accountability. “It was time for it to end.”

      • Pakistani Women Are Leading the Struggle for Human Rights

        Islamabad—When the journalist Asma Shirazi landed in Lahore on the night of July 13, 2018, she found her Twitter feed awash with insults. She had just been aboard the flight that had brought former prime minister Nawaz Sharif back from London after the courts convicted him, in absentia, of corruption. Her crime—for which she was called a prostitute, threatened with rape, and accused of taking bribes—was that she had interviewed Sharif about the verdict delivered against him.

      • Open Letter to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Chris Revis

        I write on behalf of my former client, Christopher “Chris” Revis, whose case is scheduled for consideration before the Board on October 1, 2021. Chris is serving a sentence of life with the possibility of parole at Ventress Correctional Facility for the murder of Gerald “Jerry” Stidham, a well-known dealer of prescription pain pills in Marion County, on February 22, 2004. I represented Chris as an Assistant Federal Defender in the capital habeas unit of the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Alabama between 2012 and 2015.

        I request the Board parole “Chris” Revis for the following reasons:

      • Opinion | The US Needs a Deep Reassessment of Its Immigration Policies

        Today, the makeshift migrant border camp in Del Rio, Texas, is virtually empty, cleared of thousands of Haitian refugees who came there seeking asylum in America. State troopers now line the border area to discourage others from gathering.

      • Frustrated Tribal Leaders Urge Biden to Immediately Restore Bears Ears Monument

        Amid increasing frustration, leaders of two Native American tribes are calling on President Joe Biden to “take immediate action” to restore and enlarge Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, according to a letter published Tuesday by The Washington Post.

        In the letter, Hopi Tribal Vice Chair Clark W. Tenakhongva and Navajo Nation representative Henry Stevens Jr. note that eight months have passed since Biden, on his first day in office, signed an executive order directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to conduct a comprehensive review of former President Donald Trump’s 85% reduction of the 1.35 million-acre reserve, the result of a December 2017 presidential proclamation.

      • ACLU Calls On Federal Prosecutors to Investigate the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office

        The ACLU of Louisiana is calling on federal prosecutors to launch an investigation into the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office following a report by WWNO/WRKF and ProPublica that revealed stark racial disparities in shootings by deputies and systemic transparency problems.

        The news organizations’ ongoing investigation into the Sheriff’s Office found that more than 70% of people who deputies shot at during the past eight years were Black; that figure is more than double the 27% of the Black population in this suburb west of New Orleans. In addition, 12 of the 16 people who died after being shot or restrained by deputies during that time were Black men.

      • The name of the lawyer who advocates for the parents of 13-year-old Leonie, who was murdered and raped by Afghans, appears on a death list

        The German security authorities are already aware of the list and several of those affected are taking legal action against it. In the eXXpressTV interview, TE editor-in-chief Roland Tichy (he is also on the list) reported that many are also afraid because of this.

      • Two teenage Christian sisters in Punjab, Pakistan forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslims

        Both girls are now in a safe place, and the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement have filed to have the marriages annulled.

      • Muslim Mob Allegedly Kills Pastor For Converting Man To Christian In Kano, Razes House, Church, Mission School

        “The late Reverend Shuaibu noticed that the tension was dowsed and he thought he could stay with his family and people, but the Moslems gathered their mob and descended on him, macheted him badly, burnt down his house, the church, and the school in the night.

      • Nazis Exposed After Their Web Host Gets Hacked

        Epik announced the breach earlier this month and said that about 110,000 people had their financial information, credit card numbers, passwords, and other supposedly private information exposed. Given Epik’s popularity among hate groups for taking their business regardless of ideology, that means a whole lot of white supremacists and Nazis suddenly found their hidden online personas were out in the open.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Should Information Flows Be Controlled By The Internet Plumbers?

        Content moderation is a can of worms. For Internet infrastructure intermediaries, it’s a can of worms that they are particularly poorly positioned to tackle. And yet Internet infrastructure elements are increasingly being called on to moderate content—content they may have very little insight into as it passes through their systems. 

    • Monopolies

      • Big Pharma Corporate Lobby vs. Everyday Americans

        The 12-foot cardboard PhRMA executive pulled strings to control activists portraying three Congressional “puppets” — Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Scott Peters (D-CA). These three House members all recently threatened to tank a provision in the $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription prices.

        Attendees delivered a letter to PhRMA, signed by a growing coalition of national and local progressive organizations, demanding they halt all lobbying efforts.

      • Patents

        • UK: Too Cool For School [Ed: Patent litigation firms striving to bring their patent indoctrination (akin to a religion, hostile towards science) into classrooms]

          After a summer of lie-ins, simply getting up for school can be a challenge and waking to shrill, annoying alarm clocks doesn’t make it any easier! US patent application US2010177597A1 describes an alarm clock that uses smell to wake the user as a nifty alternative. At a pre-set time, the clock releases an aroma as the alarm signal instead of the conventional buzzing sounds. The patent claims that people wakened by an aroma have a better and more peaceful mood. That, however, seems very dependent on the aroma – perhaps the aroma of pancakes would wake most children, but for those more stubborn maybe an aroma of rotten eggs would be more motivating!

      • Trademarks

        • All Eyes on Lil Nas X

          The forces of authority loom over the promotional material for rapper and singer Lil Nas X’s debut album, Montero. In one clip, the viral star appears before a fictional Supreme Court, a defendant in a lawsuit by Nike, which earlier this year, in a real court, sued a company for which Lil Nas had codesigned a shoe. The trial is brief and draconian; the court sentences him to prison for homosexuality. In a subsequent advertisement, a reproving newscaster reporting Lil Nas’s escape from said prison identifies him as a “power bottom ‘rapper,’” encasing that final word in questioning air quotes. And then, of course, there’s the music video for the lead single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” in which Lil Nas faces off against divine authority and is damned to hell—where he rescues himself by taming Satan with a glorious lap dance.

        • European Union: Extending EU TM And Design Protection To The UK (Grace Period Ending: 30 September 2021)

          At the end of the Brexit transition period, owners of registered EU trade marks and designs were automatically awarded a comparable UK trade mark or design right to fill the gap in protection following Brexit. However, for EU trade mark and design applications that were pending on the 31 December 2020 such rights were not created automatically. As such, owners of such pending applications now have a non-extendible deadline of 30 September 2021, to file a corresponding UK TM or Design application extending protection to the UK.

      • Copyrights

        • MPA Launches Law and Policy Fellowship for HBCU Grads

          The MPA-EICOP Entertainment & Law Policy Fellowship is a yearlong paid program that will give two recent college or law school graduates from HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) the opportunity to work in the legal and government affairs departments of the MPA and one of its six member studios: Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros.

        • Italian Soccer League Obtains Dynamic Pirate IPTV Blocking Order

          Italian soccer league Serie B has obtained an injunction aimed at preventing the illegal transmission of its soccer matches by illegal IPTV providers during the 21/22 season. The court order is ‘dynamic’, meaning that ISP blocking can be updated to address shifting IPTV infrastructure and emerging threats.

        • U.S. Copyright Holders Want Russia to Criminally Prosecute Pirate sites

          Russia has implemented a wide variety of anti-piracy laws and procedures in recent years. Thousands of copyright-infringing sites have been blocked and even app stores and search engines have to take action. However, according to the IIPA, which includes the MPA, RIAA, and other entertainment industry groups, Russia should do more.

        • Yet Another Move To Funnel Money To Big Copyright Companies, Not Struggling Creators

          When modern copyright came into existence in 1710, it gave a monopoly to authors for just 14 years, with the option to extend it for another 14. Today, in most parts of the world, copyright term is the life of the creator, plus 70 years. That’s typically over a hundred years. The main rationale for this copyright ratchet – always increasing the duration of the monopoly, never reducing it – is that creators deserve to receive more benefit from their work. Of course, when copyright extends beyond their death, that argument is pretty ridiculous, since they don’t receive any benefit personally.

Slovenia and Germany (or Austria) Are Not Called “United Kingdom”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UK cannot ratify UPC

Summary: They don’t always lie to clients; but when they do, it's about the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

“NEXT YEAR” it will arrive

According to the beehive
Team UPC’s decades-long dive
Failure after failure, but they still strive

SMEs rejoice!
Lawyers have your voice!
Working for the Big Boys
Making lots of noise

Forgot Bergot
Retired Margot
What have we got?
Patents for a bot

Get on DABUS
Patent maximalism is us
What’s all that fuss?
We shout, scream, and cuss

Brexit “old news”
Workarounds we muse
How can we lose?
Supplying politicians with booze

2021: The Year of Gemini on the Internet (From Around 500 Known Capsules to 2,000 or More, With Over 3 Months Left)

Posted in Site News at 6:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Along with or along the lines of “Linux on the desktop” (PC Magazine claims 2021 Is the Year of Linux on the Desktop)

Gemini Lupa
Gemini Lupa stats as OpenDocument Format (ODF)

Summary: We’ve decided to chart or produce a graph with some of the publicly-available numbers from Lupa, the Gemini protocol spider of Stéphane Bortzmeyer (bortzmeyer.org)

THE investment we’ve put into Gemini paid off; more so than IPFS for reasons that we explained yesterday.

The numbers shown in the graph (and spreadsheet) above are not complete, but they’re the closest approximation we currently have because Geminispace (or Gemini space) is not centralised. The raw data comes from past stats and present stats. These do stress upfront: “There are several reasons why many URIs are not in the database: * the capsule may forbid retrieval, through robots.txt, * we do not know all the URIs and some cannot be found from the ones we know [...] 1186 (87.1 %) capsules are self-signed, 139 (10.2 %) use the Certificate Authority Let’s Encrypt, 37 (2.7 %) are signed by another CA (may be not a trusted one).”

CAs are part of the centralisation trap we’ve often spoken about. Web browsers actively encourage this centralisation if not monopolisation by issuing exceptionally nasty warnings to people (if not outright blocking access).

Here is what the monthly reports say or said.

Today (29th of September): “There are 1679 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 1362 of them.”

Start of September: “There are 1538 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 1289 of them.”

Start of August: “There are 1503 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 1210 of them.”

Start of July: “There are 1342 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 1149 of them.”

Start of June: “There are 1263 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 1062 of them.”

Start of May: “There are 1093 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 926 of them.”

Start of April: “There are 1028 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 850 of them.”

Start of March: “There are 825 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 712 of them.”

Start of February: “There are 606 capsules. We successfully connected recently to 519 of them.”

Start of January: “There are 531 capsules. We successfully connected to 441 of them.”

December 22nd: “There are 506 capsules. We successfully connected to 415 of them.”

We’ve been feeling this phenomenal growth ourselves, as traffic doubles every 2 months or so. In the month of September: (so far)

  21236 requests on September 1                  
  20951 requests on September 2                  
   8955 requests on September 3                  
   8087 requests on September 4                  
   7986 requests on September 5                  
   8876 requests on September 6                  
  29780 requests on September 7                  
  41844 requests on September 8                  
   8853 requests on September 9                  
   9048 requests on September 10                  
   9206 requests on September 11
  10052 requests on September 12                  
  13739 requests on September 13                  
   9981 requests on September 14 
  12974 requests on September 15                  
  10816 requests on September 16                  
  10497 requests on September 17 
  10056 requests on September 18                  
  12172 requests on September 19                  
  11829 requests on September 20                  
   8993 requests on September 21                  
  20090 requests on September 22                  
  11978 requests on September 23                  
  10986 requests on September 24 
  10649 requests on September 25                  
  15293 requests on September 26                  
  14994 requests on September 27                  
  13672 requests on September 28   

That’s about 13.8k page requests per day (0.16 per second) or more than double what we got last month. Most accessed URLs for the given day (or a prior day) can be seen here. Over the Web we average about 4.7 per second, i.e. 34 times higher than the above rate. But currently a lot more people use the Web than Gemini; that can change in the more distant future.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Posted in Site News at 3:36 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

Over HTTP:

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmRt7RH5hXRP5T7J9DE1zD9TCHKyKVUKtTrvCmgKHTHSsQ IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmZGkBKaZv5oYmf4dnGVjKat9yrP2ej1mb2rAuyNMQ64XR IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmS811ARk5dAGQuzLFSJBBRpRSMGpXU6Qd9RQv5k1b7znZ IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmYqGN2gPtWJb9AtzXA3DbNBzoiSx1B8Lr7XXZ61TjG4oC IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmceB7KqW5XneysYfbtRDMCq9hkapCBGQwM4ws6TGgqvLG IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmRLWWsrGhnHWPXzcoStvtUJYjzWDbdYYXK8muugzE8Gze IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmYQ9mf2Va6YzCkj3BuXUJigs4V4hq7rrNxy8xT7gRN9uY IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmU6nTC3Cm1UyXUa3danhvipt4LvmqHL5XTQydZQk39HYc IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs

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Bulletin for Yesterday

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