10.14.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 14/10/2021: Whisker Menu 2.6.1 and KDE’s Birthday

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why I only have one computer

        Assuming you’re more than just a consumer of online content, you probably have local files for things that are important to you: school work; in-progress projects; creative pursuits; family photos; a personal music collection; source code repos; saved memes–you name it. With more than one computer, you need to figure out a way to keep these files in sync, and good solutions are elusive.

        Cloud services are expensive and may compromise your privacy. Free non-cloud local sync services only work when both machines are on the same network. Any FOSS versions of these are unfortunately buggy and a chore to set up and maintain. Even if your chosen sync solution works perfectly (which it never does), you have to deal with the headaches of…

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Best Spotify Alternatives For Linux

        Spotify is the most popular music streaming service. A Spotify free account grants access to a massive catalogue of songs, podcasts, and internet radio. But, if you’re a big fan of open-source software like me, you’ll want to check out these free and premium Spotify alternatives for Linux.

        These Spotify alternatives not only give us access to a large collection of free music resources, but we can also use some of them to host our own streaming server.
        Spotify does not enable you to host the software on your own server. Furthermore, the Spotify client for Linux is not developed by a dedicated team, so expect bugs and glitches with the official Spotify Linux client. In this case, you can look through the following list to see which music application you prefer for your Linux distribution.

      • Whisker Menu 2.6.1 released

        Fix menu not toggling (Issue #61)
        Fix small icon in multi-row panels (Issue #37)
        Fix missing minimize and maximize buttons in settings dialog
        Replace deprecated code for grab check
        Translation updates: Greek, Slovak, Spanish

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Twenty-Five Years of KDE

          It’s KDE’s birthday today. Twenty-five years ago Matthias Ettrich called for programmers to create a GUI for end users of Linux. They came and did. I wrote about the first Twenty Years of KDE five years ago. What I wrote there is still true, but there is more.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Check File Integrity on Linux the Easy Way With GtkHash

          GtkHash is a simple and lightweight tool for generating checksums on Linux. You can also check for the validity of a given checksum using this tool. Comparing checksums is an excellent way of ensuring data integrity as it can help you be sure whether you’re downloading files from a safe site.

          Let’s see how you can check the integrity of your files on Linux using GtkHash.

        • GtkSourceStyleSchemePreview

          In the past, we had a style scheme chooser widget to help people find style schemes that look useful. It was fairly rudimentary and doesn’t fit how we’d like style scheme selection to work going forward. So in what will become GtkSourceView 5.4, I’ve added the GtkSourceStyleSchemePreview widget which you can use to preview a specific style scheme.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What New Features to Expect in the Coming Release of Fedora 35

          Twice each year, in April and October, the community behind Fedora releases a new major version of the extremely popular Linux distribution. Currently scheduled for October 19, 2021, the release of Fedora 35 is quickly approaching. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you install or upgrade to the 35th incarnation of the world’s most popular bleeding edge Linux distribution.

          [...]

          Fedora 35 is tentatively scheduled to be released on October 19 with a fallback date of October 26 in case of any release-blocking problems. While we’d love to see Fedora 35 released as soon as possible, history shows that it’s more likely that the release will come on the later date.

          You can currently download Fedora 34 or the Fedora 35 Beta release from the Fedora Project’s website. You’ll also find links to both current and beta versions of the many Fedora spins.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky Linux 2021.10 Semi-Rolling Comes with Updated Packages

          Sparky Linux have just released an update to their rolling release version. Sparky 2021.10 features a new kernel of 5.14 as well as some other changes.

          Sparky Linux is a lightweight desktop-based Linux distribution based on Debian. It aims to be easy on system resources and can breathe new life into aging computers.

          Sparky is a unique distribution in the sense that it provides both Debian stable and testing editions. In general, Sparky is not targeted to Linux beginners, but rather users with some amount of Linux knowledge.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Best Free and Open Source Linux Comic Book Viewers

        A comic book is a magazine which consists of narrative artwork in the form of sequential images with text that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Comics are used to tell a story, and are published in a number of different formats including comic strips, comic books, webcomics, Manga, and graphic novels. Some comics have been published in a tabloid form. The largest comic book market is Japan.

        Many users associate desktop Linux with their daily repetitive grind. However, we are always on the look out for applications that help make Linux fun to use. It really is a great platform for entertainment.

      • Programming/Development

        • New features coming in Julia 1.7

          Julia is an open-source programming language and ecosystem for high-performance scientific computing; its development team has made the first release candidate for version 1.7 available for testing on Linux, BSD, macOS, and Windows. Back in May, we looked at the increased performance that arrived with Julia 1.6, its last major release. In this article we describe some of the changes and new features in the language and its libraries that are coming in 1.7.

          Historically, Julia’s release candidates have been close to the finished product, and most users who would like to work with the new features can safely download binaries of version 1.7rc1 from Julia headquarters in the “upcoming release” section. Officially, however, the current version is not “production ready”; the developers welcome bug reports to the GitHub issue tracker.

        • Rust and GCC, two different ways

          Developers working in languages like C or C++ have access to two competing compilers — GCC and LLVM — either of which can usually get the job done. Rust developers, though, are currently limited to the LLVM-based rustc compiler. While rustc works well, there are legitimate reasons for developers to wish for an alternative. As it turns out, there are two different ways to compile Rust using GCC under development, though neither is ready at the moment. Developers of both approaches came to the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference to present the status of their work.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Showdown Time For Non-Standard Chargers In Europe | Hackaday

        It seems that few features of a consumer electronic product will generate as much rancour as a mobile phone charger socket. For those of us with Android phones, the world has slowly been moving over the last few years from micro-USB to USB-C, while iPhone users regard their Lightning connector as the ultimate in connectivity. Get a set of different phone owners together and this can become a full-on feud, as micro-USB owners complain that nobody has a handy charging cable any more, USB-C owners become smug bores, and Apple owners do what they’ve always done and pretend that Steve Jobs invented USB. Throwing a flaming torch into this incendiary mix is the European Union, which is proposing to mandate the use of USB-C on all phones sold in its 27 member nations with the aim of reducing considerably the quantity of e-waste generated.

  • Leftovers

    • Progressive Dems Offer Simple, Brilliant Path Forward for Build Back Better Act
    • “No First Use”: An Empty Gesture That Would Cost Nothing

      Is it really a big deal for the US government to affirm that it will not use nuclear weapons first in any future conflict?

      US Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) says it would signal prospective enemies  “that they can plan an attack and do whatever they want to and not worry.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Study Cited by Antivaxxers Is Retracted After Authors Admit Mathematical Error
      • Opinion | Pandemic Politics: 5 Reasons Why Medicare for All Must Be Part of a Workers’ Recovery

        The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the nation for nearly 20 months now and America’s workers have borne the brunt of the crisis. While the wealth of the country’s 614 billionaires increased by 62%, tens of millions of workers deemed essential have been forced to work under Dickensian conditions while disproportionately exposed to Covid-19 infection. Over 20 million workers lost their jobs at some point during the pandemic. The economy is still experiencing a net job loss and 11 million households face the threat of eviction.

      • Health Expert Urges Congress to ‘Transform People’s Lives’ as Millions Face Persistent Financial Hardship

        “The notion of America being a land of opportunity is a fantasy for millions of people, reserved only for those of privilege.”

      • 2 Airlines Plan to Defy Greg Abbott’s Ban on Vaccine Mandates in Texas
      • Prescription Drug Safety Risks Hidden, Hypochondria Created by Marketing

        Humira marketing is a case study in how drug makers promote expensive, dangerous and often unnecessary prescription drugs risking public safety and at taxpayer expense.

        Before creating AbbVie, Abbott had already lobbied Congress successfully to get Humira covered by Medicare and seeded seniors with “free samples” to create “demand.” Today Humira costs $2,984 per one syringe, pricing which the U.S. Congress is investigating. The cost of the Medicare-reimbursed Humira has been raised 27 times since the drug’s launch.

      • Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation: a Manual for Career Path 2.0

        With Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation, Howard Waitzkin, Alina Pérez, and Matthew Anderson, give us a how-to manual on how to become a social medicine practitioner. They invite all of us involved in health work to re-invent ourselves and adopt social medicine as career path 2.0. It should become, as the British say, the primer on the subject.

        The clinician sees patients one by one, assigns diagnoses, and chooses appropriate therapies (which might be medications, surgical procedures, talk therapy, or rehabilitation). This is the essence of a medical education, refined further during postgraduate training. The focus is on the individual patient, on the biological aspects of the individual human organism. The more reductionist and mechanistic, the better. Simply follow the “best practice” algorithms, approved by the insurance corporation. Blood pressure too high? Reduce the afterload! Or, tamp down the sympathetic nervous system! Even psychiatry has fallen prey to mechanistic paradigms. Feeling sad? Ramp up the synaptic re-uptake of serotonin!

      • Ecological fallacy: When a scientist (inadvertently, I hope) uses a favorite antivax form of study

        Longtime regular readers might remember the various times over the years that I discussed bad epidemiology papers by antivaxxers that claimed to have found associations between various vaccines and bad outcomes. You know the studies, for example, the study ten years ago by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman that claimed to find an association between the vaccination schedules of various countries and infant mortality rates. (Yes, they incorrectly claimed that schedules with more vaccines were associated with higher infant mortality rates.) A couple of years before that, antivaccine activist J.B. Handley had published a report that used a cherry picked group of nations to try to argue not only that nations that require more vaccines have higher rates of infant mortality but higher prevalence of autism in children under five. A year before even that, in 2008, the father-son duo of antivaccine quack activists Mark and David Geier had tried to use a similar technique to “show” (incorrectly) that increased vaccine uptake was associated with and increased prevalence of autism. The flaw at the heart of all of these studies was the ecological fallacy. Sure, there were, as you might imagine, many other problems with these studies, such as failure to control for confounders and cherry picking nations used in the analysis (they were done by antivaxxers after all), but the main problem always came back to the ecological fallacy.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • FontOnLake Malware Can Target Linux Systems [Ed: This isn't really about Linux any more than a security hole in Adobe Photoshop is about Windows]

              Documentation released by internet security company, ESET, on October 7th, has given details to what was lesser known malware family that emerged this past May, including details that are very relevant to the Linux world, especially those using older RedHat Enterprice Linux systems for production servers.

              The malware family given the name FontOnLake, uses custom modules providing remote access to infected systems, using a rootkit to conceal the infection. The malware is able to collect credentials, and also acts as a proxy server by the use of advanced designed components that can be placed into three categories, according to the ESET release:

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • New ‘Stop Facebook’ Campaign Demands Ban on Data Harvesting and Corporate Surveillance

              A new campaign is calling for federal action to “shut down Facebook’s surveillance machine” including passing legislation to ensure strong data privacy protections.

              “The best way to stop Facebook’s harms for the whole world is to cut off the fuel supply for its dangerous machine,” says the How to Stop Facebook campaign, launched Wednesday by a diverse coalition of over 40 organizations.

            • Meet the Alliance for Encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean

              The virtual launch event is October 21, with the participation of member organizations. It is open to the public.

              This regional Alliance seeks to advance a proactive agenda to promote and defend encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to strengthen the use of encryption and generate an ecosystem of trust, security and stability within information and communications technologies (ICTs), particularly the critical infrastructure of the internet and its applications and services.

            • In Latest Black Eye For NSO Group, Dubai’s King Found To Have Used NSO Spyware To Hack His Ex-Wife’s Phone

              NSO Group has endured some particularly bad press lately, what with leaked data pointing to its customers’ targeting of journalists, political figures, religious leaders, and dissidents. That its powerful spyware would be abused by its customers was not surprising. Neither were the findings from the leaked data, which only confirmed what was already known.

            • Big Opportunity! CCI accepts IFF’s expert information in its investigation of WhatsApp’s 2021 Privacy Policy

              In the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) suo moto investigation into potential anti-competitive practices, we have submitted expert information before the Director-General in charge of the investigation. In our information, we have highlighted how WhatsApp has a dominant position in its relevant market, and how WhatsApp’s 2021 Privacy Policy abuses such dominant position. On October 12, 2021, the CCI issued an order tagging the information with the ongoing investigation. As a result, we are now a formal party before the Director-General and will participate as such in the investigation proceedings. This is a huge opportunity to present the user’s point of view to the Commission!

            • Google Analytics: the gold standard?

              Ever since I started this personal blog site, I was curious if people actually read what I write. Luckily, based on the responses I received on Twitter, LinkedIn and in private, there is no problem with that. Next I wanted to see numbers. I was told, that Google Analytics is the gold standard of measurement. Well…

              [...]

              Last week I asked around what should I use to replace Google Analytics. Quite a few people suggested that I keep using GA, as even if it is not much use, it is still the gold standard. However it is a personal blog without any ads. It is not a business site and I am more curious about real usage than how many ads I can serve.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘No Tech for Apartheid’: 40+ Groups Demand Amazon and Google Ditch Israeli Military

        A day after hundreds of Amazon and Google workers condemned their employers for complicity in Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians, over 40 grassroots groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to amplify the efforts of activists around the world working to stop apartheid profiteers.

        “As the Israeli military bombed homes, clinics, and schools in Gaza and threatened to push Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem this past May, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military,” the campaign noted. “By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.”

      • CIA Creates a Mission Center to Counter China

        President Joe Biden has been slow getting out of the blocks on various foreign policy and national security issues, particularly when it comes to China. He has continued the bombastic policies of Donald Trump, leaving tariffs in place over the opposition of American business leaders and concluding a treaty with Australia to provide nuclear submarine technology. The United States hasn’t provided such technology to any nation since the late 1950s, and the Australian treaty violates the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of the late 1960s.  Meanwhile, there are bipartisan majorities in the Congress supporting increased defense spending and modernization of nuclear weapons in order to counter Brennan’s description of the Chinese threat to “international order,”

        China’s response to the surprising submarine deal was quick and forceful. Last week, nearly 150 Chinese warplanes were flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, placing military tensions between China and Taiwan at their worst level in four decades. China’s President Xi Jinping didn’t mention the flights in his speech commemorating the 1911 revolution that overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty. But he did vow to achieve a peaceful “unification” with Taiwan.

    • Environment

      • Fossil Fuel CEOs Will Testify About Role in Climate Denial Before Congress
      • 90 More Arrested as Victims of Climate Chaos Descend on White House

        Another 90 people were arrested outside the White House on Wednesday as residents and supporters of communities on the frontlines of climate chaos joined a week of action ramping up pressure on President Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises.

        “How much longer will the future of our communities be on the shoulders of citizens without the backing of our elected officials?”

      • Opinion | Why Nature-Based Solutions Won’t Solve the Climate Crisis—They’ll Just Make Rich People Even Richer

        Imagine you’re a Baka, a hunter gatherer in the Congo Basin forest. That land has been your home for generations. You know every stone and every tree there. Your grandparents are buried on that land. You and your people have nourished it, taken care of it and loved it. Now imagine that you’re evicted and your house destroyed because, as someone explains to you, a white man living very far away, thinks that your forest has to become a Protected Area where only elephants are allowed to live. He likes elephants, they tell you. White men like elephants. Apparently he went up to space and realized that he likes your forest, and he is worried about climate change. That man created a company that produced 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year—the equivalent of burning through 140 million barrels of oil. But, they tell you, if your forest is protected, he can feel better about his emissions of CO2. You might wonder why he doesn’t stop his emissions instead of destroying your life. The answer to that is money. You might also wonder how anyone can believe he’s doing good. And the answer to that is the topic of this article.

      • Nature Defenders Warn Global Biodiversity ‘Kunming Declaration’ Lacks Urgency

        More than 100 countries on Wednesday concluded a round of negotiations on global efforts to restore and protect the variety of life on Earth by pledging “urgent and integrated action” to achieve “transformative change, across all sectors of the economy and all parts of society.”

        “Ambition urgently needs to ramp up from here before the spring 2022 session.”

      • Opinion | Climate Movement Vs. the Industry

        Global movements see young people utilising their power by voicing their grievances, organising in different youth-run climate change organisations, and using all available platforms to make their demands heard and spread.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • ‘Historic Showdown’ Coming as Fossil Fuel CEOs Agree to Testify on Climate Deception

        Proponents of holding the fossil fuel industry to account for its role in climate deception welcomed confirmation Wednesday that top oil and gas CEOs will testify before House lawmakers later this month.

        News that the executives of BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell Oil—as well as the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—would testify was reported by the Washington Post.

      • US Intervention and Capitalism Have Created a Monster in Honduras

        The Honduran government headed by president Juan Orlando Hernández does have excellent relations with the United States. The alliance is toxic, however, what with the continued hold of capitalism on an already unjust, dysfunctional society. Hondurans will choose a new president on November 28.

        Honduras, a dependent nation, is subject to U.S. expectations. These center on free rein for businesses and multi-national corporations, large foreign investment, low-cost export goods, low wages, foreigners’ access to land holdings and sub-soil resources, and a weakened popular resistance.

      • Top 1 Percent in US Now Have More Wealth Than Entire Middle Class Combined
      • ‘There’s a Lot the Postal Service Can Do to Be Present in the 21st Century’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Lisa Graves about the fight for the Postal Service for the October 8, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Charter Spectrum Threatens To Ruin Potential Customers Over Debt They Don’t Owe

        There’s a reason U.S. cable and broadband companies have some of the worst customer satisfaction ratings of any companies, in any industry in America. The one/two punch of lagging broadband competition and captured regulators generally mean there’s little to no meaningful penalty for overcharging users, providing lackluster services and support, and generally just being an obnoxious ass.

      • How Coinbase Phishers Steal One-Time Passwords

        A recent phishing campaign targeting Coinbase users shows thieves are getting smarter about phishing one-time passwords (OTPs) needed to complete the login process. It also shows that phishers are attempting to sign up for new Coinbase accounts by the millions as part of an effort to identify email addresses that are already associated with active accounts.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | We Must Force Politicians to Recognize the Stakes of This Moment

        In Washington, the big debate over President Biden’s Building Back Better program is coming to a head. It will soon be settled—one way or another.

      • Opinion | Means Testing Is Inhumane, Divisive, and Very Bad Politics

        It’s ‘popularism’ week in the commentariat, as pundits across the ideological spectrum discuss recent remarks by pollster David Shor. This problematic and imprecise term reflects a way of thinking about politics that is poised to reshape the Build Back Better debate, and other debates yet to come. That’s potentially disastrous. Shor has written and spoken extensively on the need for Democrats to back away from talking about unpopular ideas and listen more to pollsters like… well, like David Shor. Ezra Klein covered his ideas well, but the headline for his piece gets it wrong. Shor isn’t “telling Democrats what they don’t want to hear.” Shor’s words are music to the ears of Democratic centrists. Shor seems like an engaging, bright guy. His ‘popularism’ concept is interesting, if not very well defined, and his framework makes the most sense when he’s talking about phrases that poll badly in core Democratic demographics. “Defund the police” performs poorly among communities of color, for example, and it’s easy to see why it’s a problem. The problem arises, as it always does, when Democrats craft tomorrow’s policies on today’s poll readings. That’s like prescribing medication today based on what your temperature was last week. Poll results are transient and reflect the biases of the pollster. Most importantly, they fail to consider the political impact of policies that sound convincing when asked by a pollster, but which are infuriating and unfair once they’re enacted. Shor emphasized his own leftism in interviews and, to be fair, he doesn’t say politicians should shape their policies on what polls well. He says they should talk about things that poll well and play down the things that don’t. In the real world, however, there’s not much difference between the two. You can’t pass a law in Congress without talking about it. Even if you try, if it’s unpopular you can bet your opponents will.

      • Broken Britannia’s Conservative Party Conference

        Unlike the fairly contentious Labour party conference the week before, where its leader Keir Starmer left behind him a slew of broken promises and betrayals of ordinary members and the unions as he pushed the party rightwards into the arms of a played-out Blairism, Boris “BoJo” Johnson encountered nothing to threaten his childhood dream of becoming “king of the world” (or the Tory party at any rate).

        This Tory conference was stage-managed in the manner of the meaningless jamborees held by the US Republicans and Democrats every 4 years in which a candidate from each party is anointed to contest the forthcoming presidential election.

      • Manchin and Sinema Obstruct Reconciliation With No Proposal of Their Own
      • In Dead of Night, Texas House Approves GOP’s Gerrymandered Map

        In the early hours of Wednesday morning, while much of the country slept, the Republican-dominated Texas House approved a heavily gerrymandered district map that critics have denounced as part of an anti-democratic and racist GOP power grab—one that right-wing lawmakers could try to replicate across the United States.

        “Democrats… could soon be powerless to stop the GOP’s takeover of the U.S. House and state capitols for the next decade.”

      • Opinion | Heroes or Parasites: Europe’s Self-Serving Politics on Refugees

        Language is politics and politics is power. This is why the misuse of language is particularly disturbing, especially when the innocent and vulnerable pay the price. 

      • Opinion | Manchin’s Means-Testing and Work Requirements Are a Recipe for Building Back Worse

        President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation would bring the United States into the 21st century, finally enacting programs that other industrialized nations have had for a very long time. These include children’s allowances in the form of tax credits, paid family and medical leave, free post-secondary education, expanded Medicare, home and community-based services, and so much more.

      • Chomsky, Pollin and Lapavitsas: Are We Witnessing the Demise of Neoliberalism?
      • Progressives Push Democrats to Reject ‘Outdated Austerity Policies’ and Pass Bold Agenda

        The leaders of dozens of grassroots progressive advocacy groups joined their congressional allies late Tuesday in calling on Democrats to reject “false choices” posed by right-wing lawmakers and ensure that all of the party’s key priorities—from child care to Medicare expansion to climate action—remain in the final budget reconciliation package.

        “What we are talking about is not simply a laundry list, a wish list. It is the needs of the American people.”

      • Governors Can Run Away to Texas, But They Can’t Hide From the Problems Back Home
      • Cheney Says Trump Aides That Ignore Subpoena Orders Could Face Criminal Charges
      • Come Back with a Warrant: Congress Should Pass the Protecting Data at the Border Act

        CBP as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been conducting intrusive warrantless border device searches since at least 2009, when CBP and ICE first published their device search policies (CBP’s currently operative policy was published in 2018). The number of device searches at the border has been steadily increasing, affecting tens of thousands of international travelers each year. Our electronic devices contain intimate information about our personal preferences and daily routines, as well as private communications with friends and family. They contain data revealing health conditions, financial standing, and religious and political beliefs. A search that reveals this information to anyone, let alone law enforcement, is a gross violation of our privacy and free speech rights. 

        EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—believing that any warrantless search of electronic devices at the border violates travelers’ rights to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, and freedom of speech and press, private association, and anonymity under the First Amendment—filed suit in 2017 on behalf of 11 individuals whose devices were searched without a warrant at the border. Where the U.S. Supreme Court in Riley v. California (2014) acknowledged electronic devices contain “the sum of an individual’s private life” and thus ruled that a warrant must be obtained before searching the cell phone of an arrestee, EFF/ACLU’s suit sought to extend this warrant requirement to border searches of electronic devices. Unfortunately, our path in the courts is currently stalled. The Supreme Court this summer declined to take our case, and despite making some progress in the appellate courts, no circuit court has required a warrant for border device searches in all circumstances.

        The Protecting Data at the Border Act takes the fight to Congress (Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is expected to introduce the House bill). Along with requiring government officials to obtain a probable cause warrant before accessing the contents of an electronic device, the bill would also protect our digital privacy and free speech rights in the following ways: 

      • The Unsure State of Asian America

        People have strong feelings about Jay Caspian Kang. He is one of the few writers currently working in America who filters many disparate subjects through a singular intelligence—sometimes brusque, but always thoughtful. His most recent endeavor, a newsletter for the New York Times Opinion section, has tackled an incredibly wide range of subjects: NFTs, YIMBYs in California, and Chinese immigrants in the Mississippi Delta. He began his career writing about basketball, gambling, high school debating and identity politics, and, memorably, a highly controversial ranking of pop divas. He is also the cohost of a podcast, Time to Say Goodbye (with journalist E. Tammy Kim and historian Andrew Liu), that discusses current events and politics in Asia and Asian America with a distinctively left-internationalist lens.

      • Democrats Are Ready to Abandon Black Voters, Again

        We have come to a familiar crossroads of American politics. Democrats, who cannot win national office without the overwhelming support of Black people, are facing rejection from perpetually aggrieved, poorly educated whites. These whites are poised to vote to defeat Democrats in upcoming elections. In response, a chorus of powerful Democrats has risen up inside the Beltway to tell Democrats that abandoning Black people—the very people who put them in power in the first place—and making performative efforts to win the support of racists, is the only way to stay in power.

      • Indigenous Peoples, Like Mine, Are Fighting for Their Homelands

        Latin American and Caribbean communities like ours are rarely noticed in U.S. media — except when we migrate.

        In summer 2021, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris came to Central America and told would-be migrants: “Do not come.” More recently, photos of U.S. Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian refugees in the Texas desertbrutally drove that message home.

      • Primary Kyrsten Sinema

        In light of Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s actions repeatedly obstructing progress on policies that would foster greater economic, and racial justice, momentum is gathering for an effort to back a Democratic challenge to her in the 2024 primary when she comes up for reelection. Key state leaders and groups including Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) have launched PrimarySinema, an effort to lay the foundation now for defeating her in 2024. Such an effort makes eminent sense for several political, policy, and moral reasons.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Prudish Mastercard About To Make Life Difficult For Tons Of Websites

        For all the attention that OnlyFans got for its shortlived plan to ban sexually explicit content in response to “pressures” from financial partners, as we’ve discussed, it was hardly the only website to face such moderation pressures from financial intermediaries. You can easily find articles from years back highlighting how payment processors were getting deeply involved in forcing website to moderate content.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Progressives to Put US War Crimes on Trial and Demand Freedom for Julian Assange

        A group of prominent global progressives on Wednesday announced a return of the Belmarsh Tribunal, where participants will put the United States government on informal trial for war crimes and demand freedom for jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

        “At the Belmarsh Tribunal, we will turn the world the right way up, placing crimes of war, torture, kidnapping, and a litany of other gross human rights abuses on trial.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Family Searches for Father Missing in Texas Desert as Border Deaths Peak
      • Opinion | Collapse, Fascism, or Progressive Renewal?

        While there’s apparently “nothing to see here” when it comes to conservative media outlets and even, in many ways, mainstream media, it’s worth asking the question: “How far down the road toward authoritarian oligarchy, or even outright fascism, have we gone?”

      • ‘Striketober’ in Full Swing as Nearly 100,000 Workers Authorize Work Stoppages

        “The so-called ‘labor shortage’—which we know is really just a shortage of jobs that pay us enough to live on—is a powerful bit of leverage workers have over employers right now.”

      • Why Is Stalking Legal?

        Now that they’re beleaguered, this may be the perfect time to convince lawmakers to act to protect Americans’ most personal information: their home address and phone number.

        Type your name into a search engine. Odds are, a few of the results will include private companies that reveal your home address or part thereof, your phone number or part thereof, employment and education history, along with information about “known associates” like your friends and family members. For a fee, these personal search services offer to fill in the gaps with data culled from public records such as those of the Department of Motor Vehicles, marriage records, voter registration rolls and consumer credit reports.

      • Women Activists to World Bank: ‘Unfreeze’ Funds to Pay Afghan Teachers, Health Workers

        As the World Bank held its annual meeting on Wednesday, women’s rights advocates gathered outside the powerful institution’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to demand the release of frozen Afghan funds so that teachers and healthcare workers trying to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan can be paid.

        “After 20 years of military operations that killed tens of thousands of Afghans, the U.S. should not retaliate against the people of Afghanistan.”

      • Family Searching for Migrant Father Who Went Missing in Texas Desert as Border Deaths Hit Record

        Armando Alejo Hernández went missing in the desert after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in May of 2021, but not before sending several last audio messages to his eldest son describing the difficult terrain and asking for help. “He wasn’t feeling so good, and he was out of water and food,” says Hernández’s 17-year-old son Derek. “The group got ahead, and then he lost the group.” Hernández was an undocumented worker in the United States for more than a decade before being deported in 2016. His wife and two sons, who are U.S citizens by birth, have pleaded with Border Patrol and the Mexican Consulate for help, without any luck so far. “This year we are going to break the record of migrants dying at the border,” warns Fernando García of the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights, one of many organizations demanding that the Biden administration “fulfill their promise to change the inhumane policies at the border.”

      • “Missing in Brooks County”: Thousands of Migrants Denied Due Process at Border Have Died in Desert

        We continue to look at the humanitarian crisis along the border, where more people are dying trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border than ever before, as President Biden has increased funding for border enforcement and militarization even as he vowed not to expand Trump’s border wall. We go to Brooks County in South Texas, which has recorded at least 98 migrant deaths so far this year, nearly triple the number from 2020. “People are being expelled without any due process regarding their asylum claim,” says Eddie Canales, director of the South Texas Human Rights Center. “There really hasn’t been a change in policy,” said Canales, when asked about Biden’s approach to asylum seekers. We also speak with filmmaker Lisa Molomot, co-director of the new documentary “Missing in Brooks County,” which follows the story of two families searching for lost loved ones who went missing there after crossing the border, driven further into the desert by inland checkpoints and the policy in place since 1994 called “prevention through deterrence.”

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘No Jesus Piece’ By Snotty Nose Rez Kids

        The following was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music.The Canadian Indigenous hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids recently released “No Jesus Piece,”the fourth single off their upcoming album “Life After,” which will drop on October 22. It is the follow-up to their excellent 2019 album, “Trapline” (one of the best protest albums of 2019).

        The duo says of the track: “‘No Jesus Piece’ is a reference to embracing our own spiritual symbols. The Catholic church and the government of Canada used Catholicism as a tool of annihilation of Indigenous culture, practice, teachings and ways of being.”“We want to identify the connections between the importance of putting our faith in a sacred metal. While we respect people for having their own religions and religious symbols, we’d rather rock our copper shield.”

      • The Great Strike of 2021

        We are witnessing the ‘Great Strike of 2021’ and it’s composed mostly of millions low paid non-unionized workers!

        Workers returned to jobs at a rate of 889,000 a month during the 2nd quarter 2021 (April-June) as the economy reopened. That average fell to only 280,000 per month in the just completed 3rd quarter 2021 (July-Sept), according to the Economic Policy Institute.

      • George Floyd, Born This Day in 1973
      • Breaking Glass: Curriculum “Diversity” and Its Discontents

        Between the first time I read Tennessee Williams’s play The Glass Menagerie and my current round of teaching it in Hungary, some 40 years and scores of readings have gone by, but I still look forward to its language and atmosphere. This dreamlike memory-play has no heroes or villains; its four characters weave through bravery and folly, through obsession and practicality.

      • Indigenous Leaders Deliver Petitions to Army Corps DC Headquarters, After 155 Activists Arrested at The White House

        On the second day of ‘People vs. Fossil Fuels’ demonstrations in Washington, D.C., hundreds marched to the White House, again calling on President Biden to recognize  the world is in a climate emergency and to halt approvals of new fossil fuel projects. More than 150 people were arrested for refusing to clear the sidewalk in front of the White House, just a day after similar arrests of 136 people. After the U.S. Park Police escorted the last protesters away, a second rally was held in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters. There, over a hundred environmental activists showed their ongoing resistance to the recently completed construction of Enbridge’s expanded Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

        Pipeline opponents have been battling against the Line 3 project in northern Minnesota since it was first proposed in 2014. Enbridge, the project owner, described the pipeline as a replacement of an older, corroding pipe built in the 1960s, but opponents dismiss the company’s claim. They argue it is a new pipeline rather than a replacement, saying Line 3 is larger and has portions that traverse a different area than the older pipeline, including traditional Anishinaabe lands.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ‘Unacceptable’: Congressional Democrats Slam Biden’s Refusal to Round Out FCC

        Congressional Democrats are reiterating their warning that President Joe Biden’s glaring failure to fully staff the five-person board of the Federal Communications Commission could result in a 2-1 Republican majority on the panel by year’s end, jeopardizing efforts to secure high-speed internet for all and restore net neutrality.

        “The fact that the Biden administration hasn’t done this, when broadband is such a massive priority for them, is vexing.”

    • Monopolies

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