11.16.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 16/11/2021: Rocky Linux 8.5 and Tor Browser 11.0.1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.16 RC1 Unveils New Features and Hardware Support

        Linux Kernel 5.16 RC1 is now available for download and testing. In this article, we touch-up the important features of this Kernel release.

      • All your tracing are belong to BPF

        BPF, a tracing technology in the Linux kernel for network stack tracing, has become popular recently thanks to new extensions that enable novel use-cases outside of BPF’s original scope. Today it can be used to implement program performance analysis tools, system and program dynamic tracing utilities, and much more.

        In this blog post we’ll show you how to use the Linux implementation of BPF to write tools that access system and program events. The excellent tools from IO Visor make it possible for users to easily harness BPF technology without the considerable time investment of writing specialized tools in native code languages.

      • OP-TEE gains a clock framework contributed by Bootlin – Bootlin’s blog

        OP-TEE is a popular open-source reference implementation of a Trusted Execution Environment that relis on the Arm Trustzone technology. While working on the OP-TEE port for an ARM 32-bit system-on-chip, the Microchip SAMA5D2, we needed to add support for the complete clock tree of this SoC. OP-TEE did not have any generic clock support at all and we felt the need to add such a framework. Thanks to this framework, support the 10+ clocks of the Microchip SAMA5D2 was easily imported from Linux with less work than a complete rewrite of the clock tree. Using generic subsystems allows to lower the maintenance cost and easily add new clocks.

      • AMD Releases Updated Zen 3 CPU Microcode (November 2021) – Phoronix

        A new Family 19h microcode binary was merged today into the linux-firmware.git repository that serves as the central source for all of the binary firmware/microcode files for Linux systems.

        The updated AMD Family 19h “Zen 3″ microcode was committed today to linux-firmware.git. Unfortunately, as usual, there isn’t any public change-log to note what has changed with this AMD CPU microcode revision.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Pipe Magic

          Over the past months, I’ve been working with Adam “X Does What I Say” Jackson to try and improve zink’s path through the arcane system of chutes and ladders that comprises Gallium’s loader architecture. The recent victory in getting a Wayland system compositor running is the culmination of those efforts.

          I wanted to write at least a short blog post detailing some of the Gallium changes that were necessary to make this happen, if only so I have something to refer back to when I inevevitably break things later, so let’s dig in.

        • Vulkan Video Support Progressing For Open-Source Intel, AMD Radeon Hardware – Phoronix

          The open-source Vulkan driver support for the video decode (and presumably after that, encode) extensions continues moving along for the Radeon “RADV” and Intel “ANV” Mesa drivers.

          Earlier this month well known open-source Linux graphics driver expert David Airlie (Red Hat) began experimenting with RADV Vulkan Video support and after that was toying around with Vulkan Video for Intel’s Mesa driver too. Those efforts have continued with the latest milestones being hit.

        • Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver To Allow Runtime Power Management Auto-Suspend By Default – Phoronix

          Following a lot of improvements the past few years to the Intel Linux kernel graphics “i915″ driver it looks like it’s ready to enable run-time power management auto-suspend support by default.

          The Intel Linux kernel graphics driver has seen a lot of work in recent time around enabling Intel discrete graphics hardware support and as part of that to be able to support local device memory (dedicated vRAM), transitioning to more GuC/HuC usage, preparing for their high performance discrete graphics hardware supporting many new features, etc.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Chrome may start restricting requests to private networks

        Chrome (and apparently Microsoft Edge) are likely to add new restrictions on allowing things to talk to private network addresses (in a surprisingly broad sense). The reference for this is Feature: Restrict “private network requests” for subresources from public websites to secure contexts (via), which describes the first steps. The first steps Chrome is making is that such “private network requests” may only be made from a public context that is secure, ie from a HTTPS website instead of a HTTP one.

      • What the Web Still Is

        Make no mistake: I feel a lot of what makes the web great is actively being dismantled, either inadvertently or deliberately. But as I mentioned earlier, cynicism is easy. My wish for next year? That all the qualities mentioned here are still present. My New Year’s resolution? To help ensure it.

      • Your CSS is an interface

        Stylus on the Chrome Web Store has more than half a million users. Stylish has over three million. That’s a lot of people modifying the web to get what they want. We can also do a little bit better than an appeal to popularity. I’d like you to consider the ability for an individual to improve their quality of life. Some web experiences you’re forced to use. Think jobs, medical portals, government services, etc. If the bright red of the web app someone is forced to use for their job 8‒10 hours every day gives them tension headaches, shouldn’t they be able to dial it down to something more soothing? Being able to fix something you’re forced to endure creates an immediate and appreciable improvement on your quality of life. And that’s important.

      • Monitoring Linux system resources with bpytop

        The bpytop tool is similar to other performance monitoring tools available for Linux systems like top, iotop, htop, bashtop etc. It’s a terminal-based resource monitor that works efficiently and is visually appealing.

        The tool was ported from bashtop and rewritten in Python, so you need to have Python—version 3.6 or later—installed on your system to use it. (The “bpy” portion of the name undoubtedly stands for “bash Python”.)

      • How to Install Magento 2.4.3 on Ubuntu 20.04 | RoseHosting

        Magento is a highly popular open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. It is completely customizable to every user’s requirements, thus allowing them to create and launch a fully functional online store in minutes, making it an excellent choice for businesses looking to have an online shop set up without hassle.

        Magento offers a community and a commercial version of its platform – the community version is free and is designed primarily for individuals and/or small businesses. On the other hand, the enterprise version is mainly aimed at medium to large businesses and more of an enterprise environment. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Magento 2.4.3 on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Samba nmbd failed to start

        After releasing Easy 3.1.10, Alfons tested ‘smbd’ and that starts, however, ‘nmbd’ daemon fails to start.
        Yeah, it has the same error, cannot create a directory in which to place the pid file. In this case, the log file does not identify what directory it is failing to create.

      • How To Install Magento on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Magento on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Magento is a free and open-source eCommerce platform based on PHP and MariaDB that is used by millions of small businesses to sell and manage their products online. Magento comes with a rich set of features including Website management, SEO, Order management, Customer service tools, Marketing tools, a Checkout system, as well as Payment and Shipping systems.

        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 Magento CMS on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How To Install phpPgAdmin on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpPgAdmin on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, phpPgAdmin is a free web-based administration tool for managing PostgreSQL databases. It allows you to perform activities like creating, modifying, and deleting databases, tables, views, fields. PhpPgAdmin is written in PHP and it makes the administration of PostgreSQL databases easier, not to mention the web-based GUI making everything more user-friendly and easier to use.

        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 phpPgAdmin on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to Install & Configure CyberPanel and Create a WordPress Website – Dracula Servers Tutorials

        In this tutorial we’ll cover installing CyberPanel on an Ubuntu 20.04 remote server, we will configure some of CyberPanel’s options, and we’ll finally use it to set up a WordPress website.

      • How to Install & Configure Postgres 14 on FreeBSD 13

        Postgresql is an open source object-relational database system with over 30 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. Postgres, is a free and open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance.

        It was originally named POSTGRES, referring to its origins as a successor to the Ingres database developed at the University of California, Berkeley. PostgreSQL is used as the primary data store or data warehouse for many web, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications. PostgreSQL can store structured and unstructured data in a single product.

        In this guide we are going to install Postgresql 14 in FreeBSD 13.

      • How to Install Cockpit on Ubuntu 20.04 – ByteXD

        Cockpit is an open-source web-based utility that helps administer or monitor the local or remote servers. It also allows you to configure the multiple remote servers and shows the server components statistics in a graphical form. Cockpit has a user-friendly web-based interface through which you can easily monitor system resources, install applications, manage user accounts, and install necessary security updates. The cockpit utility can be installed on almost all Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, CentOS, Fedora, etc.

      • How to Install Joomla 4.0 on Ubuntu 20.04 | LinuxHostSupport

        Joomla is one of the most popular open-source content management systems (CMS). It is used to publish applications and websites online. It is written in PHP and is commonly configured to use MySQL/MariaDB databases.

      • How to Install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 | LinuxCloudVPS

        In this tutorial, we are going to show you How to Install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04.

        PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce platform written in PHP, that uses MySQL as a database server to store the information. It helps individuals or small business companies to raise their online shop and is very intuitive to use with its simplicity and easy features that you will discover after the installation. In this installation, we are going to explain every step of installing the LAMP stack because it is necessary for the PrestaShop to work properly.

        Installing PrestaShop is a very easy and straightforward process. Let’s get started!

      • How to enable Minimize and Maximize buttons on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to enable Minimize and Maximize buttons on Elementary OS 6.0.

      • How to install Dofus on a Chromebook in 2021

        Today we are looking at how to install Dofus on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install and configure PhPMyAdmin on Ubuntu 21.10 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial guide we will be learning how to install and configure PHPMyAdmin on Ubuntu 21.10 9 (Impish indri).

        PHPMyAdmin is free and open source administration tool for MySQL and Mariadb database server. PHPMyAdmin assist users who are not well conversant with the command line because PHPMyAdmin is user friendly because of its user interface presence. Still you can perform database tasks such as creating users, running transactions, creating databases etc.

      • How to play Risk of Rain 2 on Linux

        Risk of Rain 2 is a rouge-like action game. In it, the player fights through hordes of monsters — either co-op with friends or alone. The game was developed by Hopoo Games and published by Gearbox. Here’s how to play it on Linux.

      • How to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on Linux

        S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is a survival-horror FPS game developed by GSC Game World and published by THQ. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl up and running on Linux.

      • How to run a Google search from the Linux command line – TechRepublic

        The majority of people depend on Google as a search engine. We use it every day to find the necessary information to keep us in the know. When you want to Google something, you either reach for your phone or open a browser.

        But if you’re a Linux user, you might want a faster way of doing so (because efficiency is the name of the game). So what if I told you it’s possible to perform a google search from the command line? It’s not only possible, it’s easy.

        Now, before we get into this, know that the application I’m going to show only presents the search results and requires a default web browser to open the results. So, although you can issue your initial search within the command line, clicking a link will take you out of the command line and into a GUI application. However, having a Google like this around does have implications for bash scripts and other command line utilities.

      • How to use systemctl in Linux – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Unix-based operating systems give you flexible tools to manage your OS and its related services smoothly. And it’s our responsibilities as administrators to monitor our systems and manage it and of course, keep it running by troubleshooting the problems that occur on our system services. So, in this post you will learn how to use systemctl on Linux.

      • How to use terraform targets to run specific resource

        Terraform allows you to target specific resources when you plan, apply, or destroy your infrastructure. You can use Terraform’s -target option to target specific resources, modules, or collections of resources.

        This command Instructs Terraform to focus its initialization, planning, application or destruction efforts only on resource instances which match the given address and on any objects that those instances depend on.

        Terraform target is useful when you have terraform file which contains lots of resources but you only do not want to apply the complete terraform configuration but instead, you just want to run one specific or some specific resource out of your Terraform configuration.

      • Install OwnCloud on CentOS 8 – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        OwnCloud is a software application that provide file hosting service. You can use OwnCloud as your own file server, where you can upload / sync your files from a client machine. It also provides options to sync / share files between different devices. In this tutorial we will learn to install OwnCloud on CentOS 8.

      • Install and Configure Pure FTPd with Mysql on Centos 8 – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Pure FTPd is an open source and secure FTP server. It is one of the widely used FTP server for its security, ease of use and ability to connect to a database.

        In this article we will install and configure FTPd on CentOS 8.

      • Fedora Post Install Setup Util – Security and Linux

        A number of years ago I shared a script to help with getting your system up and running with software and tweaks when you had freshly installed Fedora (F27 I think it was at the time)

        Looking around on the internet I found that a lot of Fedorians were asking the same questions “How do I install this?” “How do I get that?” So I thought to myself I’d create a revamped version to help with this so it’s all in one place.

        I mainly use it for myself but I thought I’d release it to the public with the hope that some of you also find it useful.

      • “Authorization not available”. Check if polkit service is running – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        One of the most irritant issues for system admins that I have encountered this morning on My Redhat/Centos 7.9 Server . let me show you in easy steps how to solve that and check if the Polkit Service is running.

    • Games

      • Another spin to Gamification: how we used Gather.town to build a (great!) Cyber Security Game

        Let’s recap October. Cyber Security Awareness Month. For a cyber awareness enthusiast, it is hard to conceal the excitement that comes with a full month of initiatives in all shapes and sizes, built around a genuine and strong effort to help keep companies and their people “safe online”. At NVISO also, the buzz is tangible, and everyone is eager to know what great projects we will be launching for this year’s Cyber Security Awareness Month. We’re lucky enough to have a client who will go the extra mile and allowed us to let our imagination run wild. And that is exactly what we did.

      • Forza Horizon 5 multiplayer should work on Linux with Proton Experimental | GamingOnLinux

        A few days ago Forza Horizon 5 became playable on Linux and now Valve / CodeWeavers have upgraded Proton Experimental yet again to try and get multiplayer sorted. Sadly, as it turns out, the game will still not work right on NVIDIA so for now this is one for the AMD GPU crew.

        The one single change noted for Proton Experimental’s update on November 15 is “Fix Forza Horizon 5 multiplayer”. So with that in mind, it might be time to load it back up if you previously had issues. You can continue to report problems on the official Valve GitHub for Forza Horizon 5.

      • Check out some upcoming games made with Godot Engine | GamingOnLinux

        Godot Engine is the feature-filled free and open source game engine. Want to see some games that are being made with it? Well we’ve got good news there, as the team just released their latest showreel.

        Before we get into the video though, here’s a list of all the games featured and a link for where you can find out more to make it easy for you.

      • Lila’s Sky Ark looks trippy in the new trailer and gets a publisher | GamingOnLinux

        Lila’s Sky Ark is the next game from Monolith of Minds (Resolutiion) and it not only has a new trailer but it also now has a publisher too. Announced during The MIX NEXT 2021, it was announced that Graffiti Games will be tackling the publishing on this one.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Just Perfection GNOME Shell Extension v16 Released

          The popular GNOME Shell extension Just Perfection celebrates one year of successes with a brand new version.

          Sometimes you may feel somehow limited by the default GNOME desktop and the few options you have to tweak. No worries. With Just Perfection you can change the visibility of almost all components of GNOME Shell, behavior tweaks and customize panels.

          In other words, the extension allows you to get a super minimal GNOME desktop.

    • Distributions

      • Our new way of waiting for the network to be “up” in systemd’s world

        Systemd has a long standing philosophical objection to waiting until the network is up; they have an entire web page on the subject. Never the less, we need to do this (like many sysadmins). I’ve written before about this, and if you’re using systemd-networkd either directly or through Ubuntu’s netplan, you can in theory use systemd-networkd-wait-online.service. Usually it works, but today we discovered that it didn’t on some of our Ubuntu 18.04 servers (the specifics of this issue are beyond the scope of this entry). Since we needed a way to fix the issue, we opted to solve our problem with a hammer.

      • A linear, sequential boot and startup order is easier to deal with

        A linear order is straightforward to see, understand, reason about, and generally to manipulate. It’s easy to know what order things will happen in and have happened in, which avoids surprises during boot and helps diagnose problems afterward; you’re much less likely to be left trying to sort out what happened when from boot time logs. It’s nice to to understand the dependencies of services when that information is reliable, but we have a great deal of evidence that taxonomy is hard for people, and dependencies are a form of taxonomy. When dependencies are inaccurate, they can be worse than knowing that you don’t know that information in the first place.

      • Report: Assessing the Viability of an Open-Source CHERI Desktop Software Ecosystem

        In September 2021, we released our final report, Assessing the Viability of an Open-Source CHERI Desktop Software Ecosystem, which describes our three-staff-month effort to deploy CHERI within a substantive slice of an open-source desktop environment based on X11, Qt (and supporting libraries), and KDE. We adapted the software stack to run with memory-safe CHERI C/C++, performed a set of software compartmentalisation white boarding experiments, and concluded with a detailed 5-year retrospective vulnerability analysis to explore how memory safety and compartmentalisation would have affected past critical security vulnerabilities for a subset of that.

      • Reviews

        • 4 Ways elementary OS Still Falls Short

          elementary OS has come a long way since its humble beginnings. It’s not only a free and open-source operating system but a full platform. There’s a desktop to use apps, an app store to find them, along with all the tools and instructions you need to make them.

          [...]

          AppCenter is the name of the elementary OS app store. When you launch the app store for the first time, you will only see apps designed specifically for elementary OS.

          In some ways, this is a great experience. It means unlike other Linux app stores, you don’t have to weed through dozens of options that may work but don’t integrate with your desktop environment at all. The downside is that there aren’t yet all that many apps available. Searching for a writing app may only yield a handful of results.

          Plus, many elementary OS apps are small, hyper-focused tools. For more powerful general-purpose software, you will still need to turn to more well-known apps. Think LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC, or Kdenlive. These apps can run on elementary OS just fine, but you will need to turn to third-party sources of Linux apps to get them.

          Does this mean elementary OS should preinstall a third-party resource like Flathub, rather than point users toward it? Not necessarily.

          At the end of the day, people are accustomed to the company providing an app store to perform quality control over the apps inside it, and the elementary team has no influence or control over the software in Flathub. This is one of the reasons elementary has provided for not doing so.

          But until the AppCenter fills up, the initial experience can feel jarring, especially if you’re coming from an older version of elementary OS.

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD and Linux comparison: data transfer benchmark

          I had a high suspicion about something but today I made measurements. My feeling is that downloading data from OpenBSD use more “upload data” than on other OS

          I originally thought about this issue when I found that using OpenVPN on OpenBSD was limiting my download speed because I was reaching the upload limit of my DSL line, but it was fine on Linux. From there, I’ve been thinking since then that OpenBSD was using more out data but I never measured anything before.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Alternative Rocky Linux 8.5 Is Out Now with Secure Boot Support, Updated Components

          Derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5, Rocky Linux 8.5 is here to introduce an important feature for the mass adoption of this CentOS Linux alternative, namely Secure Boot support.

          This is the first release of Rocky Linux to include the official Rocky Linux signed Secure Boot shim, but users need to validated it to ensure that it’s properly activated. As such, the developers ask users to run a few commands after installing Rocky Linux 8.5.

        • Fedora Drafts Plans For Retiring ARMv7 Support – Phoronix

          It’s crazy to think it has already been ten years since Arm disclosed ARMv8 with 64-bit support. Given the success of ARMv8 (and Armv9 now on the way) and there not being much in the way of useful ARMv7 hardware in recent years and the like, Fedora has drafted plans for retiring its ARMv7 support.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How I use data to connect with my open source project’s contributors

        Open source projects need developers to survive, and one of the primary sources of developers is a project’s user base. I’m involved with the openEuler project, where understanding the conversion rate of contributors from user to developer is a key metric. This article takes a look at the open source community from a hierarchical perspective, hoping to provide a new dimension to observe a community’s health through data.

        To gain an operational perspective of how a community works, you often can look to the code hosting platform a project uses, such as Gitlab, Github, or in the case of openEuler gitee.com. This is where your developers work, and probably where many of your users visit to check in with the project’s progress. These platforms leave a digital footprint based on contribution, and it helps you understand the different type of interactions your contributors have with the project’s codebase. For openEuler, the different developer types include those with permission to make commits to the the official openEuler website, those who’ve downloaded and installed the distribution, and those who update software packages daily.

      • The Apache Weekly News Round-up: week ending 12 November 2021

        Hello, everyone –let’s review the Apache community’s activities from over the past week…

      • Web Browsers

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PGroonga 2.3.4 released

          PGroonga 2.3.4 has been released!

          [...]

          PGroonga is a PostgreSQL extension that makes PostgreSQL fast full text search platform for all languages! It’s released under PostgreSQL license.

      • Education

        • Birmingham R talks about the difficulties of socializing in an online space

          AF: We were struggling in the beginning because we didn’t know what to do. It depends on how you deal with it as an organizer and a community builder. I was leaning on face-to-face contact and others to help me out. Online, it was harder to engage with people and to ask for speakers from the local community. We didn’t have a meetup for 4 or 5 months. In the autumn we had a meetup. Then we didn’t have anything until the winter. At the beginning of this year, we decided to do meetings online and jumped on the bandwagon of the Global R community. We advertised their meetings on the Birmingham R page to give the community something to watch. Then we organized a meetup of our own in between their events. There is a lot less interaction with the members this way. People tend to be less interactive in online meetings and spaces. Since you must put a lot of effort into forcing socialization in these online spaces. I am looking forward to being able to go back in person.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • health @ Savannah: Thalamus documentation now at GNU Health portal

            MyGNUHealth (Personal Health Record) and Thalamus have been already migrated and translated to different languages (Spanish, German, French). The GH Hospital Management System component is in the process of migration. This requires quite a bit of work, updating the documentation and images from 40+ packages.

      • Programming/Development

        • Git 2.34.0 released [Ed: LWN and Phoronix act as if Microsoft owns Git now, linking to nothing but Microsoft’s site, which is proprietary software and EEE against Git]

          Version 2.34.0 of the Git source-code management system is out. “It is comprised of 834 non-merge commits since v2.33.0, contributed by 109 people, 29 of which are new faces”.

        • Git 2.34 Released With Sparse-Enabled Index Feature, More Performance Work

          Git 2.34 is out today as the newest feature update to this widely-used, distributed version control system.

          Git 2.34 is another incremental step forward for this leading open-source DVCS software. Git 2.34 adds a sparse-enabled index for helping deal with very large Git repositories for “monorepo” like setups. The index format is able to understand marked directories indicate the bounary between the contents during sparse checkouts.

        • How should we compare neural network representations?

          In the literature, researchers often propose new metrics and justify them based on intuitive desiderata that were missing from previous metrics. For example, Morcos et al. motivate CCA by arguing that similarity metrics should be invariant to invertible linear transformations [5]. Kornblith et al. disagree about which invariances a similarity metric should have, and instead argue that metrics should pass an intuitive test – given two trained networks with the same architecture but different initialization, layers at the same depth should be most similar to each other – and their proposed metric, CKA, performs the best on their test [4].

          Our paper, Grounding Representation Similarity with Statistical Testing, argues against this practice. To start, we show that by choosing different intuitive tests, we can make any method look good. CKA does well on a “specificity test” similar to the one proposed by Kornblith et al., but it does poorly on a “sensitivity test” that CCA shines on.

        • A Novel Way to Optimize Robots

          As they describe in Nature Communications, he and his colleagues have devised a way of testing this idea. In doing so, they have brought to robotics the principles of evolution by natural selection. They have also cast the spotlight on an evolutionary idea that dates from the 1890s, but which has hitherto proved hard to demonstrate.

          There is a wrinkle. The team’s robots, which they dub “unimals”, are not things of metal and plastic. Rather, they are software entities that interact with a virtual environment in the way that metal-and-plastic devices might interact with a real one. Unimals are pretty simple, having spheres for heads and cylinders for limbs (see picture). The environments through which they roamed were also simple, and came in three varieties: flat arenas, arenas filled with hills, steps and rubble, and ones that had the complexities of the second sort, but with added props like cubes that needed to be moved around.

        • Introducing hRPC: a simple RPC system for user-facing APIs – Janet’s Shenanigans

          hRPC is a new RPC system that we, at Harmony, have been developing and using for our decentralized chat protocol. It uses Protocol Buffers (Protobufs) as a wire format, and supports streaming.

          hRPC is primarily made for user-facing APIs and aims to be as simple to use as possible.

          If you would like to learn more, the hRPC specification can be found here.

          [...]

          hRPC uses REST to model plain unary requests, and WebSockets to model streaming requests. As such, it should be easy to write a library for the languages that don’t already support it.

        • Vincent Bernat: Git as a source of truth for network automation

          The first step when automating a network is to build the source of truth. A source of truth is a repository of data that provides the intended state: the list of devices, the IP addresses, the network protocols settings, the time servers, etc.

        • Python

          • Why Python needs to be paused during profiling – but Ruby doesn’t always

            One of the cool things about the rbspy profiler is that it can profile any running Ruby program, without even pausing the Ruby program that is being profiled. Rbspy is a sampling profiler, and when the –nonblocking argument is passed to it, it will collect each stack trace from the profiled program without pausing it or doing any synchronization. This has the advantage of not slowing down the profiled program at all, but has the disadvantage of leading to a data race between the rbspy profiler and the Ruby program being profiled. In the nonblocking mode, rbspy tries to get an accurate stack trace from the Ruby program while the Ruby program is actively changing the stack by running the code – and since there is no locking happening there is potential for a data race. Amazingly, rbspy still manages to get good results even without doing any synchronization.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • With A Linux Shell Comes Great Power… And Great Responsibility

            But its what happens next that really forces me to put a lions share of the blame for this on Linus. See up until this point, he just couldn’t install Steam. That was the actual bug. However Linus decided to give the system permission to do whatever it decided it needed to do to fix the issue, consequences be damned. Oh sure he didn’t read any of the warnings in the terminal where apt informed him that proceeding might result in catastrophe, but that doesn’t absolve him of responsibility for authorizing it.

            So yeah, he “bricked” his system. While it was fixable, I don’t blame any new Linux user for cutting lose of the distro and trying something else at this point. But I do blame them when they open a shell, run a command with root privileges and utterly ignore the warnings its plastering across the screen about very bad consequences and tell it to proceed anyway.

            It turns out however that a large percentage of the Linux community disagrees with this assessment, especially the Tech Linux YouTube contingent who have thus far universally expressed sympathy for what happened to Linus. Oh sure it sucks… but he made it a thousand times worse by treating the system like a black box which produces output and warnings that can be safely ignored.

            Linux isn’t Windows. It’s not a black box. While the apt tool could’ve just opted to not do this stupid thing (note: System 76 has already patched their version to ensure this and is attempting to get the patch upstreamed with Debian), it instead opted to provide the user with a transparent accounting of everything that would happen if he chose to proceed. The user made the decision to proceed. Then it did exactly what it told the user it would do.

          • Testing shell commands in Go

            A standard way of running shell commands in Go is via exec.Command. However, calling this function directly within your business logic makes the code hard to test.

            This post demonstrates an approach I developed when I had to adapt my code for running shell commands both locally and remote over SSH, while also keeping it testable.

            TL;DR: extract exec.Command into an interface and create a mock implementation for testing. Implement it for your SSH client too, if needed. See example code here.

            The code below assumes it is executed in a unix-like operating system where sh shell is available. This simplifies the whole enterprise quite a bit, but also brings some limitations.

        • Java

          • LWJGL 3.3 Released For This Popular Java Library – OpenCL 3.0 Added, New Bindings – Phoronix

            The Lightweight Java Game Library “LWJGL” has seen its first release in more than two years for this library that provides bindings for a number of different native APIs. With not seeing a release since before the pandemic, there is a lot in store with today’s LWJGL 3.3 release.

            LWJGL 3.3 has many changes with the last v3.2 point release being back in September 2019 or the introduction of v3.2.0 since July 2018. There are some new bindings but mostly a ton of updates for various libraries targeted by this widely-used Java library for high performance access to native APIs.

  • Leftovers

    • Mort Sahl, 1927–2021: The Comic as Social Critic

      Mort Sahl died on October 26, and the news brought back memories of the 1960s and early ’70s and what it was like to grow up in Los Angeles, where he lived and worked. Sahl’s career was unpredictable and vagrant from the start; he joined the ROTC at 15 to escape the boredom of high school and eventually went into the Army Air Forces.

    • Write like a human

      Given that I have been writing three decades, including eighteen-plus years a blogger, I am hardly surprised that I am repeatedly asked: how should I write? And my answer is always the same — write like a human.

      We are getting buried under freeze-dried news reports and hot takes that make supermarket baloney feel like a prime cut. Everything feels like a faded facsimile of everything else. It is the [Internet] equivalent of the same strip mall mediocrity.

      So that is why I say. Be real. Write like a person. That is how your words will be unique because only you can be you.

    • Beg Bounties

      When someone passed me hundreds of thousands of records on kids taken from CloudPets a few years ago, I had a nightmare of a time getting in touch with the company. They’d left a MongoDB instance exposed to the public without a password and someone had snagged all their data. Within the data were references that granted access to voice recordings made by children, stored in an S3 bucket that also had no auth. So, why didn’t CloudPets respond to attempts to contact them? Their CEO later explained it very succinctly: [...]

    • A Reality Where CSS And JavaScript Don’t Exist…?

      A similar look would be trivial to achieve with just a few lines of CSS, which would really improve the reading experience, I think.

    • Teensy MIDI Air Harp Sounds Huge | Hackaday

      Some of the coolest sounds come from wild instruments like orchestra strings, fretless basses, and theremins — instruments that aren’t tied down by the constraints of frets and other kinds of note boundaries. [XenonJohn]’s air harp is definitely among this class of music makers, all of which require a certain level of manual finesse to play well.

      Although inspired by Jean-Michel Jarre’s laser harp, there are no lasers here. This is a MIDI aetherharp, aka an air harp, and it is played by interrupting the signals from a set of eight infrared distance sensors. These sensors can be played at three different heights for a total of 24 notes, plus there’s a little joystick for doing pitch bends.

    • Science

      • Uncovering the Secrets Behind Earth’s First Major Mass Extinction

        A team of scientists from Syracuse University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Riverside, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, the University of New Mexico, the University of Ottawa, the University of Science and Technology of China and Stanford University recently co-authored a paper exploring the Late Ordovician mass extinction (LOME), which is the first, or oldest of the “big five (~445 million years ago).” Around 85% of marine species, most of which lived in shallow oceans near continents, disappeared during that time.

    • Education

      • LUT University appoints former MythBuster Hyneman as Professor of Practice

        Hyneman’s five-year term begins on Monday, and he is scheduled to visit LUT’s Lappeenranta campus on Tuesday. He is to give his first lecture, “Peeling the Onion: How to Start Prototyping,” on Thursday.

      • MythBuster’s Jamie Hyneman appointed Professor of Practice at LUT University of Finland

        Inventor and product developer Jamie Hyneman, also known for his work on the TV show MythBusters, has been appointed as LUT University’s Professor of Practice for a five-year term from November 15, 2021 to November 14, 2026.

        “I’m truly honored by the appointment. I am happy to help LUT by contributing what I know about technology and business and am looking forward to future projects and challenges,” Hyneman says.

        Hyneman was awarded an honorary doctorate at LUT University in 2017. In addition, LUT named its prototype lab in Lappeenranta after him: the J. Hyneman Center (JHC) is a workshop where students can develop new ideas and solutions to problems and build and test prototypes. It is open to all students and staff members of the university group LUT Universities.

    • Hardware

      • 50 years since Intel’s groundbreaking 4004 processor arrived – wow!

        The Intel 4004 was “the first commercially available microprocessor,” and while it is extremely primitive by today’s standards, it “paved the way” for the modern microprocessor computing revolution and changed the world as we know it.

      • The hardware behind my old mail filtering server

        In writing about my dumb little “mailserv” project this past weekend, I purposely avoided mentioning some of the parameters lest they distract from the message I was trying to convey. My attempted message was something along the lines of “everyone starts somewhere, ignorance is the default state until changed, and look at some of the shit I have inflicted upon the world as proof”.

      • Hexagonal Mirror Array Hides Hidden Message | Hackaday

        [Ben Bartlett] recently got engaged, and the proposal had a unique bit of help in the form of a 3D-printed hexagonal mirror array, whose mirrors are angled just right to spell out a message with the reflections. A small test is shown above projecting a heart, but the real deal was a bigger version reflecting the message “MARRY ME?” into sand at sunset. Who could say no to something like that? Luckily for all of us, [Ben] shared all the details of what went into designing and building such a thoughtful and fascinating device.

      • Vacuum “Tube” Might Replace GPS One Day | Hackaday

        GPS and similar satellite navigation systems changed everything. The modern generation is far less likely to have had to fold a service station map or ask someone for directions on the side of the road. But GPS isn’t perfect. You need to see the sky, for one thing. For another, an adversary could jam or take down your satellites. Even a natural disaster could temporarily or permanently knock out your access to the satellites.

        The people at Sandia National Labs worry about things like that and they want to replace GPS with quantum accelerometers and gyroscopes. The problem: those things take expensive and bulky vacuum systems and lasers. Sandia, however, has had a sealed device about the size of an avocado that weighs about a pound that could possibly do the job. Their goal is to see it work without maintenance for four more years.

      • Treasure Hunting With A Handful Of Common Components | Hackaday

        Sometimes simpler is better — when you don’t need the the computational power of an onboard microcontroller, it’s often best to rely on a simple circuit to get the job done. With cheap Raspberry Pis and ESP32s all over the place, it can be easy to forget that many simpler projects can be completed without a single line of code (and with the ongoing chip shortage, it may be more important now than ever to remember that).

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Big Ag Furious After EPA Determines Top Herbicides Driving Vulnerable Species Toward Extinction

        As Big Ag fumed Monday over a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determination that herbicides including the endocrine-disrupting atrazine and carcinogenic glyphosate are likely to harm more than 1,600 protected plant and animal species, environmentalists pointed to the agency’s findings as proof of the need for stricter limits on the use of the dangerous poisons.

        “Without real conservation action, these pesticides will continue to push our most endangered wildlife closer to extinction.”

      • ‘Unconscionable’: Despite Outcry Over Lead Poisoning, New Asphalt Plant Approved in Flint, Michigan

        Less than a week after a federal judge approved a $626 million settlement for thousands of lead poisoning victims in Flint, Michigan, state officials on Monday rubber-stamped an air permit for a new asphalt plant in the city despite strong opposition from residents and advocates, who denounced the decision as another manifestation of environmental injustice.

        “The plant will be an additional source of air pollution in a community of color that already has one of the highest rates of asthma hospitalizations in the state.”

      • ‘Just Scandalous’: UK Threw Out 600,000+ Covid Vaccine Doses in August

        The government of the United Kingdom threw out more than 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in August after they expired unused, a revelation that came as billions of people in low-income countries still lack access to a single dose more than a year and a half into the global pandemic.

        “When vaccines are scarce and some countries have inoculated less than 1% of their population, this level of wastage is painful to see.”

      • GOP, Big Pharma Plotting to Convince Senate Parliamentarian to Help Kill Drug Price Reforms

        The pharmaceutical industry and its allies in the Republican Party are reportedly teaming up to craft challenges to congressional Democrats’ drug price reform plan in the hopes of convincing the Senate parliamentarian—an unelected functionary—to help tank the proposal.

        Earlier this month, Democrats struck a deal on a scaled-back plan that would allow Medicare to directly negotiate prices for a more limited subset of prescription medicines and penalize companies that raise drug prices more rapidly than inflation. The proposed fines for violating the inflation cap would apply to both Medicare and private plans, threatening the pharmaceutical industry’s virtually unchecked power to set prices as they please.

      • Concerning New Covid Variant Spotlights Dangers of Vaccine Apartheid

        The detection of an unusual—and potentially more contagious—Covid-19 variant is intensifying fears that denying vaccines to large swaths of the world’s population could allow the coronavirus to mutate unabated, prolonging the pandemic indefinitely and adding to the staggering global death toll.

        “Every day, there are six times more boosters administered globally than primary doses in low-income countries. This is a scandal.”

      • Big Pharma, GOP Plot to Use Senate Parliamentarian to Stop Drug Price Reforms
      • Some Observations On The NZ CovidPass System

        The main idea is very simple. You ask the Ministry (probably via the My Covid Record Web site, but possibly in other ways) to generate a statement of the form “<full-name>, <date-of-birth> is considered fully vaccinated”. The Ministry computer system checks your records to ensure that they agree you’re fully vaccinated, then generates that statement, digitally signs it with the Ministry’s private key, and encodes the statement and the signature as a QR code. You can store that code on your phone, or print it out on a piece of paper. Later, you show that QR code to a gatekeeper who wants to check your vaccination status. They scan it with their own app, which decodes the statement, checks that the statement has a valid signature from the Ministry, and if it does, tells the gatekeeper “<full-name>, <date-of-birth> is considered fully vaccinated”. To confirm that you’re the person the statement is talking about, the gatekeeper will need to check your driver’s license or other ID.

      • Caring, confident dads have structurally different brains – new research

        The study, which surveyed 2,045 UK fathers, found that many reported spending more time than usual on childcare and education during the lockdown. Dads also predominantly indicated that they emerged from this experience more confident as parents and in better relationships with their children. Now our own new research, published in the journals Child Development and Social Neuroscience, unveils just how deeply this confidence can be traced. We found that dads who have more positive attitudes about their parenting abilities, and about fatherhood in general, show differences in their brains to those who don’t.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • This is The End of The Beginning

        It happens sometimes when a company is acquired that the Founder/CEO chooses not to continue with the combined entity, and so it is for me. I am indescribably proud of what we’ve accomplished and what those accomplishments can mean for the course of human history, but I am also aware that the company’s need for me is more in the past than in the future. This is my fifth startup, and I expect it to be my last. I will continue as a Strategic Advisor to my friend Tim Chen (CEO of DomainTools), assisting with the integration of two companies into one, and helping with outreach. I will also continue as a Director at SIE Europe U.G., and as a technical advisor to Fuxi Institute where SIE China will be built.

      • Decentralization may be key to protecting our digital identities

        It raises a serious question of trust. With more and more devices getting connected to the internet, virtually all of our data is still centrally stored: on our computers or other devices, or in the cloud. Can we trust the businesses, organizations, and institutions that store and manage our data against any form of corruption – either internally or externally, on purpose or by accident?

      • Proprietary

        • [Old] Capturing and Archiving MiniDV Tapes on macOS

          Even though it took some time, I now have a solid process for archiving MiniDV tapes and adding them to my Photos library. There are so many precious moments on there and I’m happy that I invested the time to transfer and catalog them.

          If I could talk to my 12-year-old self, I would tell him to not re-use those tapes. It degrades their quality and overwriting means losing the old material. Still, I’m happy with the results.

          In the next article I’ll be writing about the process of cataloging photos from old hard drives in macOS’ Photos app.

        • Endpoints are turning into biggest security nightmare for enterprises

          Businesses generally have followed the model of protecting their business critical servers from possible cyber attacks over the years. They never really envisioned regular devices such as user endpoints and operational systems as a possible avenue for such attacks. But as the industries and technologies evolve and with the COVID-19 forced digital transformation and remote work culture, it has become clear that endpoints are more favored by attackers and considered easier attack targets, yet somehow companies are still oblivious to this fact.

          So, it is essential for organisations to plan their IT security strategy with active focus on safeguarding the endpoints that are widespread. Experts suggest that as a company grows, the attack surface also grows with the increase of endpoints. For any organization be is a small or big enterprise, one way to shut out this danger is to secure the endpoints by building strong detection and response systems.

        • OneDrive will stop syncing files for users on Windows 7 & 8 in March 2022

          This is all makes sense because it will push the subset of users who are on OneDrive (who are also affected) to upgrade to the newer version of Windows rather than trundle along on Windows 7 and 8. Moreover, users will be better protected from viruses and malware because they will be closer to the newer release software and security upgrades.

        • Interpol issues arrest warrants for members of Clop ransomware gang
        • Biden signs $1 trillion infrastructure package into law [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The infrastructure package also includes $50 billion to combat the effects of climate change and cyberattacks on national infrastructure and another $73 billion to improve the power grid.

        • U.S. President Biden signs into law $65 billion for more accessible and affordable internet – Access Now

          Today, President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, which includes $65 billion to close the digital divide by bringing broadband to those who lack it and addressing broadband affordability.

          The law allocates approximately $42 billion for high-speed broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas. It also provides roughly $14 billion for a $30-per-month Affordable Connectivity Program to help ensure low-income communities can afford broadband access, replacing the $50-per-month Emergency Broadband Benefit program supported temporarily through the COVID-19 relief package.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Opinion | Why We Should Reject Mark Zuckerberg’s Dehumanizing Vision of a “Metaverse”

              The deeper implications of this apparent “technology coup” are troubling for the dealing with the looming climate crisis and urgent need to restore the environment

            • After Facebook Leaks, Here Is What Should Come Next

              It’s not for lack of trying, of course—much like Facebook, Congress is a many-headed beast, and its members rarely agree on the specific problems besetting American life, let alone the solutions. But this year may be different.

              Many of the problems highlighted by these documents are not particularly new. Regardless, we may finally be at a tipping point.

              For the last month, Facebook has been at the center of a lengthy, damaging news cycle brought on by the release of thousands of pages of leaked documents, sent to both Congress and news outlets by former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen. The documents show the company struggling internally with the negative impacts of both Facebook and its former-rival, now-partner platform, Instagram. (Facebook’s attempt to rebrand as Meta should not distract from the takeaways of these documents, so we will continue to call the company Facebook here.)

            • Want your Grindr data? Show your ID and take a selfie!

              Today, noyb filed a GDPR complaint against Grindr – a dating app for gay, bi, trans and queer people, where many users share very personal and even explicit sexual details. Instead of authenticating against the data that users have provided, like the email and password – Grindr requires users to identify in maybe the most grotesque way imaginable: Users have to hold up a piece of paper with their email address, as well as their passport – all while balancing their phone to take a selfie. This is not just absurd, but also a violation of the GDPR.

            • EU interior ministers welcome mandatory chat control for all smartphones

              At the meeting of EU interior ministers in Brdo, Slovenia, the government representatives today spoke out in favour of mandatory screening of our private communications. In the final declaration of the two-day conference convened by the Slovenian Council Presidency, the participants welcome the EU Commission’s intention to present draft legislation early 2022. It would oblige providers of messenger services such as Whatsapp and email services to automatically search encrypted and unencrypted communications, private messages and attached photos for suspected content and report it to the police.

            • Confidentiality

              • Hacker Tricked Robinhood Support Into Revealing Data Of 5 Million Users

                When it comes to privacy and security, the weakest link continues to be of the human variety.

              • Rollercoaster: Communicating Efficiently and Anonymously in Large Groups

                End-to-end (E2E) encryption is now widely deployed in messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Signal and billions of people around the world have the contents of their message protected against strong adversaries. However, while the message contents are encrypted, their metadata still leaks sensitive information. For example, it is easy for an infrastructure provider to tell which customers are communicating, with whom and when.

                Anonymous communication hides this metadata. This is crucial for the protection of individuals such as whistleblowers who expose criminal wrongdoing, activists organising a protest, or embassies coordinating a response to a diplomatic incident. All these face powerful adversaries for whom the communication metadata alone (without knowing the specific message text) can result in harm for the individuals concerned.

              • Maxim Healthcare notifies patients of breach that occurred in October, 2020

                On November 4, Maxim Healthcare Group, including Maxim Healthcare Services and Maxim Healthcare Staffing (collectively “Maxim Healthcare”) issued a press release about a breach — a press release they describe as issued “out of an abundance of caution.” That sounds like they had an option not to disclose. I would think that they were required to make notification as a matter of law, but their lawyers might disagree with my non-lawyerly opinion.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Yemenis Remain Unbowed as Saudis Intensify Bombing in Wake of Renewed International Pressure

        This week, dozens of people were killed and injured near the Yemen-Saudi border when U.S.-made warplanes and French-made howitzer cannons fired unabated on many populated border areas in Sadaa and Hajjah — including the Monabeh, Sahar, alSafra, al-Dhaher and Sheda areas. Samer Manea Ali Hussein, a 15-year-old Yemeni boy, was killed along with others on Monday when a French-made howitzer cannon hit a village in the Monabeh region, one of Yemen’s border areas that are subjected to daily bombardment. Shrapnel from an artillery shell penetrated Samer`s body when he was walking to a school, local witnesses told MintPress. Unrelenting Saudi airstrikes have also deepened the crisis and tragedy afflicting the poorest country in the Middle East since 2015.

      • Novel Appeal Filed with the European Court of Human Rights in Nuclear Weapons Protest Case

        On November 11, 2021, Stefanie Augustin of Dortmund and Marion Küpker of Hamburg submitted the appeal through their lawyer Anna Busl. The ECHR will now decide whether to review the case and issue a ruling, or to deny it further consideration.

        Background: On Sunday, July 15, 2018, Augustin and Küpker were among eighteen people from four different countries who entered Germany’s Büchel air base, near Cochem, where approximately 20 US nuclear bombs are kept at the ready by the US Air Force’s 702nd Munitions Support Squadron. Seven of the activists came from the United States, six from Germany, four from The Netherlands, and one from England. In five groups, they clipped fences to enter the base and once inside some climbed onto a hangar where nuclear weapons may have been stored, and others read aloud to soldiers a warning about military and civilian laws that prohibit planning and preparing attacks using nuclear weapons.

      • Why is the U.S. Fueling the November 15 Cuba Protests?

        Almost two months have passed since these letters were sent, but there are few indications that the march will take place in Cuba. Florida’s propaganda machine assures the opposite and adds that similar marches will take place across more than a hundred cities in the world, a third of them in the United States.

        On November 10, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez warned the diplomatic corps accredited in Havana that the Cuban government “will not tolerate an opposition march” and further said that “Cuba will never allow actions of a foreign government in our territory, trying to destabilize the country,” while referring to the U.S.’s support of these marches. The provocation follows the plot seen many times before. Meanwhile, this march, which has been scheduled for November 15, is not what many hope it will be: a movement for change in Cuba.

      • [UPDATED]: Myanmar’s Military Junta Sentences American Journalist To Eleven Years In Prison

        [UPDATE]: Well, that was quick. Fenster has been released, which hopefully indicates Myanmar’s unelected government is discovering it’s a bad idea to pick fights with most of the rest of the world. However, I’m sure it will continue to brutalize its own citizens because those advocating for their rights on a local level won’t have the leverage of the US State Department. Here’s the statement by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken celebrating Fenster’s unexpected release:

      • Pistols and ammunition: Frontex chooses weapons manufacturer from Austria

        With a „Standing Corps“, the European Union has a uniformed and armed police unit for the first time. Whether Frontex is allowed to buy, store and transport weapons at all, however, is controversial. A planned loan agreement with Greece has not yet materialised.

      • At General Assembly, OAS Role in Bolivia Coup Remains Major Concern

        In the last few weeks, several events have brought the coup back to the forefront of regional politics. In August, an interdisciplinary group of independent human rights experts, known as the GIEI for its initials in Spanish, released its report on human rights violations committed during the crisis surrounding Bolivia’s 2019 elections. Among its many findings, the 468-page document clearly establishes that Bolivian state security forces perpetrated “massacres” following the coup. The report outlines a number of recommendations regarding the treatment of victims, calls for the perpetrators of human rights violations to be held accountable, and denounces the prevalence of pervasive racism in the Bolivian state and society.

        The GIEI report has been well received by the international community. It was welcomed by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, which highlighted its conclusion “that serious human rights violations, including systematic torture, summary executions and sexual and gender-based violence, took place in the Plurinational State of Bolivia during the post-electoral crisis in 2019.” The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which is formally an appendage of the OAS but enjoys autonomy from the OAS Secretary General’s office, has also been highly supportive of the GIEI’s work, findings, and recommendations. It was the IACHR, under the leadership of former Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão, that pressured the Áñez government to agree to the creation of the independent group of experts to investigate human rights violations.

      • What Are the Prospects For Peace? An Interview With Lee Camp

        Lee is the head writer and host of the national TV show Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp on RT America. He’s a former contributor to The Onion, former staff humor writer for the Huffington Post, and his web series Moment of Clarity has been viewed by millions. He’s toured the country and the world with his fierce brand of standup comedy and hard-hitting political commentary. His book, Bullet Points & Punch Lines has earned enormous praise. RadMediaNews is his most recent project, an alternative to the propaganda of mainstream media and a vehicle for speaking truth to power. His responses below are exactly as he provided.

        The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.

      • Groups to US: Take Money for ‘Dangerous and Outdated’ Nuclear Bomb and Vaccinate the World Instead

        Dozens of organizations on Monday urged U.S. lawmakers to stop sustaining a “dangerous and outdated” nuclear bomb program and instead reallocate $98 million to life-saving global Covid-19 vaccine production efforts.

        “The pandemic has made abundantly clear that our most urgent threats can not be solved by pouring more money into weapons of war,” the groups, including Public Citizen and Council for a Livable World, wrote in a letter to senators.

      • The “Seam Zone”: Israeli Officials Are Barring Thousands of Palestinian Farmers from Their Land

        Taysir Amarneh, a farmer whose land is located west of Israel’s notorious apartheid wall, has been waiting 30 minutes for Israeli soldiers to open Gate 408 so he can enter his fields. The military is supposed to open the checkpoint at 11:15 a.m. but they’re often late, Amarneh explained. The army finally arrives a little after noon so that Amarneh can prune his olive trees.

      • Trapped Between The Taliban And US Empire: Afghan Women Mobilize For A Democratic Afghanistan

        Sana, a 26-year-old Afghan asylum seeker living in the United States, received a phone call from her mother in Afghanistan, which she long dreaded would come. Her mother calmly told Sana: “I’m going to tell you something. It happened yesterday.”

        After over a year of begging her family to leave Afghanistan, Sana’s younger sister was arrested by the Taliban while walking on the streets of Jalalabad to go shopping with her friend. Unaccompanied by a man, the two young women caught the attention of Taliban security forces on patrol. They were taken into custody, questioned for hours, and falsely accused of prostitution. 

      • Rittenhouse Judge Drops Illegal Gun Possession Charges Ahead of Final Arguments
      • The Rittenhouse Trial and Two Sides in Contention: A Beautiful Rising or Rising Fascism

        On the evening of August 25, 2020, the Trump-loving 17-year old carried an illegally obtained AR-15 across state lines to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he shot three protesters, killing two of them. He immediately became a hero to the fascist movement led by Trump. Not only did fascists quickly raise $2 million for Rittenhouse’s defense, he was photographed after his release hanging out with Proud Boys wearing a tee-shirt that said “Free as Fuck”. All this was backed by Trump, who said Rittenhouse was in “very big trouble” that night and probably would have been killed. The Trump regime even released talking points to federal law enforcement on how to sympathetically frame Rittenhouse’s murders, and championed other racist vigilantes at the full-on fascist Republican National Convention. 

        The protests in Kenosha were a righteous response to an incident two days earlier in which police shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, in the back at close range seven times, leaving him partially paralyzed. This was at the end of a summer that saw massive protests against the torturous police murder of George Floyd. This beautiful rising filled the streets across the country, bringing together Black people who’d had enough of the knee of white supremacy on their necks and people from different races and backgrounds who refused to stand on the sidelines. The uprising became a repudiation and rejection of the deep-rooted white supremacy of America, and was a real crisis for the Trump regime. After almost four years of a president who came to power on the basis of his racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, these months of protest opened up and reset the terms of debate on race in this country. For much of that summer, the fascists were on the defensive. Confederate statues were being torn down, Trump hid in his bunker, and even the amped-up repression brought down on protesters by the National Guard and a Gestapo-like force of secret federal agents could not contain the protests. People all over the country, and all over the world, saw and felt our power in the streets.

      • In Guns We Trust
      • As Damning New Memo Shakes Trump’s Defense, January 6 Committee Turns Up Heat
      • What’s Behind the Latest Violence in Kashmir?

        Both India and Pakistan continue to claim Kashmir in its entirety and have had several wars over the territory. As each acquired nuclear arms, their rivalry has become a major security concern for peace and stability in the world.

        While Pakistan-administered Kashmir has become religiously homogeneous over the past decades, Indian-administered Kashmir is home to several religious groups. Pakistan-administered Kashmir is 99 percent Muslim, with negligible numbers of Hindus and Buddhists registering at 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, according to the 2017 census. In Indian-administered Kashmir, 68.3 percent of inhabitants are Muslim, 28.4 percent are Hindus, 1.9 percent are Sikhs, 0.9 percent are Buddhists, and 0.3 percent are Christians, according to the 2011 census.

      • “A grim outlook”: How cyber surveillance is booming on a global scale

        The research, from the American think tank the Atlantic Council, offers one of the most thorough accountings ever assembled of a booming, cross-continental surveillance industry that makes billions of dollars and yet mostly manages to stay out of the limelight. After years of rising demand for [cracker]-for-hire products and an increase in reported abuses by companies like NSO Group, countries around the world are now trying to deal with this largely hidden industry.

        The report is based on 20 years of data collected from the cyber surveillance trade show ISS World and arms fairs like France’s Milipol, where [cracking] is the fastest-growing business segment alongside more traditional wares like guns and tanks. Its authors examined 224 surveillance companies present at these shows, looked at their marketing material, examined where in the world they advertised their products, and detailed the known sales of surveillance and [cracking] tools.

      • Sandy Hook families win legal victory against Alex Jones in defamation case

        Jones and entities owned by him were found liable by default Monday in a defamation case against them.

        Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis cited the defendants’ “willful noncompliance” with the discovery process as her core reasoning behind the ruling. She specifically noted that they had not turned over financial and analytics data requested multiple times by the Sandy Hook family plaintiffs.

      • Erdoğan’s Quest for a New Sharia-Based Alliance

        Afghanistan is not Erdoğan’s only pro-sharia ambition after the U.S. withdrawal… Turkey ramped up its drone attacks on Yazidis in Iraq’s Sinjar district….. “The Turkish drone strikes increasingly threaten to undercut refugee repatriation inside Iraq and create space for the Islamic State to regroup, as the most effective Kurdish groups fighting ISIS are Sinjar’s grassroots Kurdish and Yazidi militias,” warned Michael Rubin in the Washington Examiner.

        Erdoğan’s Islamist, neo-Ottoman ambitions are now taking a pro-sharia turn. That is bad news for the region to Turkey’s south and east. Worse, it is a slow-fuse time bomb for the West.

      • Taxi Blast Outside U.K. Hospital Is Declared a Terrorist Act

        Mr. Jackson, the police official, described how the blast had unfolded shortly before 11 a.m., when the taxi driver, identified by local news media as David Perry, picked up a man who asked to be taken to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. As the taxi approached the drop-off point at the hospital, an explosion went off inside the vehicle and engulfed it in flames. Remarkably, the driver escaped with minor injuries.

        An initial investigation determined that the passenger had taken an explosive device into the cab. The passenger’s identity is known to the police but has not yet been released publicly.

      • Liverpool Women’s Hospital explosion: Police name suspect killed in blast

        Al Swealmeen is believed to have manufactured and brought the device into the taxi.

      • What Should Be Done With Those ISIS Brides?

        Why should Germany have allowed Stephanie A. back into the country? If it was to punish her with a very long prison term, and then to expel her from Germany so that she would have to live out the rest of her days in some Muslim hellhole, that is understandable. But that is not what has been happening to ISIS brides. If recent history is any guide, she will be given at most only a few years In prison, and then allowed to remain in Germany. She joined two terrorist groups – Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, and allowed, indeed encouraged, her young son to become a terrorist, but there is no evidence that she herself committed a terrorist act. Another German woman who joined ISIS, and helped her husband to murder a five-year-old Yazidi girl whom they had enslaved, and whom, as punishment for wetting her bed, they chained to a post, and then left her to die of thirst under a blazing sun, received only ten years, and that sentence can be reduced even further if she behaves herself in prison.

    • Environment

      • The US finally adopts a national recycling strategy

        The recycling plans the EPA announced today are just the first piece in “a series” of forthcoming documents the agency plans to release to work towards a “circular economy,” or an economy where resources are recovered and reused to make new products rather than allowed to wind up in landfills. It’s a sort of tacit acknowledgement that recycling alone doesn’t make a huge dent in the world’s trash problems.

      • Two environmentalists sabotaged an oil pipeline in America. Are they terrorists or heroes?

        That day, the judge had to decide whether Reznicek, a few weeks shy of her 40th birthday, was a domestic terrorist under the law. The Patriot Act, passed after 9/11, included its definition of domestic terrorism any illegal activity “dangerous to human life” that “appears to be intended to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion”. The question of whether this definition of terrorism includes direct action motivated by the climate crisis has so far been little tested.

        Reznicek told herself that she was no terrorist. She’d taken a blow torch to a private company’s property, not the government’s, and only when sites were deserted. No one had been injured. Not only that, none of the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6th 2021 had thus far been charged with domestic terrorism. Reznicek couldn’t imagine how she could be classified this way. Then again, she’d never really imagined that Montoya would one day turn against her.

      • Russia blows up a satellite, creating a dangerous debris cloud in space

        This morning, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites with a ground-based missile, creating thousands of pieces of debris that have spread out into Earth orbit, according to the US State Department. The US has identified more than 1,500 trackable pieces of debris from the event, and many thousands of smaller ones that cannot be traced, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, said during a briefing.

      • Kessler Syndrome and the space debris problem

        The Kessler Syndrome describes, and warns of, a cascade of orbital debris that could potentially hinder humanity’s space ambitions and activities down the road. The original paper predicted that satellite collisions would become a source of space junk by the year 2000, if not sooner, unless humanity changed how it lofted payloads to orbit. But a timeline is not essential to the core idea.

      • Astronauts shelter from debris: Kessler syndrome coming to life?

        On Monday, November 15, 2021, the astronauts on the International Space Station took shelter from debris in their return vehicles. The United Kingdom’s Seradata, which produces a launch and satellite database, suspected the debris is the result of a Russian anti-satellite missile test that may have destroyed the Kosmos 1408 satellite. While the crew has returned to the space station for now, they closed off some modules as a precaution. The cloud of debris has a 90-minute orbital period, so additional close encounters are possible. The U.S. Space Command is working to learn more and will notify countries to maneuver their satellites out of harm’s way if necessary.

      • Russia Conducts Destructive Anti-Satellite Missile Test

        The events of November 15, 2021, clearly demonstrate that Russia, despite its claims of opposing the weaponization of outer space, is willing to jeopardize the long-term sustainability of outer space and imperil the exploration and use of outer space by all nations through its reckless and irresponsible behavior.

      • Shell ditches the Dutch, seeks move to London in overhaul

        Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Monday it would scrap its dual share structure and move its head office to Britain from the Netherlands, pushed away by Dutch taxes and facing climate pressure in court as the energy giant shifts from oil and gas.

      • Glasgow Pact Denounced for Betraying the Global Poor Hurt Most by Climate Crisis
      • Kids and Climate Change: New Book Exposes Why Some Schools Fail to Teach the Science
      • The COP26 President Fights Back Tears as the Summit Comes to a Close

        This column is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration cofounded by Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation to strengthen coverage of the climate story. The author is CCNow’s co-founder and executive director.

      • COP26 Ends With Promises, but Not Nearly Enough Progress

        This column is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration cofounded by Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

      • Indigenous Amazonian Leader: We Must End Fossil Fuel Extraction to Protect the “Lungs of the Earth”

        Among the unprecedented moments for Indigenous participation in the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow were the protests to protect the Amazon rainforest, the largest remaining rainforest on the planet, that activists argue is on the brink of ecological collapse. “We cannot win the battle against climate unless we protect the world’s remaining rainforests,” Atossa Soltani, founder of Amazon Watch, tells Democracy Now! We also speak with Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai, Indigenous Achuar Nation leader from the Ecuadorian Amazon, who is demanding an end to logging, mining and oil drilling. “We don’t want more extraction,” says Nampichkai.

      • Glasgow Pact Slammed for Betraying the Global Poor Who Suffer Most from the Climate Emergency

        The U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, ended Saturday with over 190 nations agreeing to the Glasgow Climate Pact, which calls on governments to return next year in Egypt with stronger plans to curb their emissions and urges wealthy nations to provide more funds to vulnerable countries in the Global South. It also pushes countries to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and reduce the use of coal, but activists say the final language of the agreement is too weak to meaningfully reduce emissions and limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists say is needed in order to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis. “There has been no real progress,” says Mitzi Jonelle Tan, a youth climate justice activist from the Philippines. “Once again, the U.N. climate summit just prioritized the voices of the privileged and not those that are most affected by the climate crisis.” We also speak with Brandon Wu, director of policy and campaigns at ActionAid USA, who says rich countries are scapegoating India and China for blocking stronger action on phasing out fossil fuels, while still growing their own oil and gas projects. “The real climate criminals are the wealthy countries,” says Wu.

      • Opinion | Why It’s Impossible to Be Happy About the Outcome of COP26

        GLASGOW, SCOTLAND—COP26 president Alok Sharma held back tears as he accepted India’s last-minute motion to weaken the summit’s pledge to “phase out” coal. Sharma had been saying for months that he wanted COP26 to “consign coal to history.” And until India insisted otherwise at the eleventh hour, it looked like the summit might achieve that scientifically imperative task. 

      • Opinion | COP26: ‘Walking Inches When We Must Move Miles’
      • Opinion | Ending Global Conflict: We Need Far More Than COP26 to Save the Planet

        Three issues arise directly from COP26. Firstly, the architects of the COP21 Paris agreement, Christiana Figueres and Laurence Tubiana, believe that yet more negotiations will have to follow COP26 next year. Secondly, the respected Climate Action Tracker put the consequences of what had so far been agreed, both before and during the summit, at a 2.4°C rise in temperature. Thirdly, and perhaps most daunting of all, even if a firm agreement is reached to keep the increase to 1.5°C, we are already experiencing the severity of climate change at the present 1.2° level.

      • European Green Deal: a Step Forward, Backward or Sideways?

        These commitments are all the more serious because European countries have some of the worst carbon footprints in the world. In terms of per-capita emissions, Germany is number seven at 10.4 metric tons per person while France clocks in at number 14 with 6.6 tons (which is also roughly the EU average). As a whole, the European Union is the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the United States.

        The carbon neutrality pledges are also within the realm of the possible. After all, the EU has been fairly successful at cutting emissions, having reduced levels by nearly 20 percent from 1990 to 2017.  The United States, by contrast, increased emissions over that time by 0.4 percent while China’s ballooned by over 350 percent.

      • Energy

        • The [Cryptocurrency] Capital of the World

          “In this country, you can kill a person and you will not go to jail, if you have enough money and you’re connected,” he said, sipping tea on a plush leather sofa. “If you are not connected, it will cost you more.”

          The anything-goes ethos has dogged Ukraine for years, and now the government is hoping to bury it, with an assist from cryptocurrency. In early September, the Parliament here passed a law legalizing and regulating Bitcoin, step one in an ambitious campaign to both mainstream the nation’s thriving trade in crypto and to rebrand the entire country.

        • Money Man Receives His Entire $1 Million Advance In Bitcoin Ahead of ‘Blockchain’ Album Release

          San Francisco-headquartered Empire just recently took to social media to announce the all-Bitcoin advance that it had forwarded to Money Man. The “100% independent” label, distributor, and publisher included with the message a 45-second-long clip that appears to show the advance being sent to Money Man via Cash App.

          As an aside, this isn’t the first time that the latter platform has spearheaded promotional initiatives and advertising campaigns in the music industry. To be sure, Cash App yesterday unveiled a contest for two floor tickets (as well as flights and accommodations) to BTS’s November 27th concert in Los Angeles. At the time of this piece’s publishing, north of 52,000 BTS ARMY diehards had responded to the corresponding tweet.

        • Europe must ban Bitcoin mining to hit the 1.5C Paris climate goal, say Swedish regulators

          Between April and August this year, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in the Nordic country rose “several hundred per cent,” and now consumes the equivalent electricity of 200,000 households, Thedéen and Risinger said.

          In an open letter, the directors of Sweden’s top financial and environmental regulators called for an EU-wide ban on “proof of work” cryptocurrency mining, for Sweden to “halt the establishment” of new crypto mining operations and for companies that trade and invest in crypto assets to be prohibited from describing their business activities as environmentally sustainable.

        • [Cryptocurrency] boom strains Kazakhstan’s coal-powered energy grid

          Kazakhstan is struggling to meet the energy needs of its booming cryptocurrency mining industry, which is flourishing thanks to cheap power and an exodus of [cryptocurrency] miners from neighbouring China.

          The Central Asian nation of 19 million has become the world’s second-biggest bitcoin mining location after the United States in recent months, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

        • Florida City Announces [Cryptocurrency] Giveaway To All Residents: Miami and NYC Are Betting Big On [Cryptocurrency]. But Should They?

          Miami mayor Francis Suarez has announced on Twitter that he plans to give out cryptocurrency funds to city residents. The funds are earnings the city has made through MiamiCoin, a “CityCoin.” In simple terms, the return came from the city investing some of its funds in MiamiCoin, earning over $21 million in the past three months, CoinDesk reports. That’s on track to earn roughly one fifth of what Miami makes through taxes in a year.

          “We’re going to be the first city in America to give a bitcoin yield as a dividend directly to its residents,” Suarez told CoinDesk on Thursday. Residents are also able to mine or buy the coin directly from the city — a simple way for cities to make an extra buck using blockchain technology. But critics see it as a needless cash grab and an investment in highly volatile assets that could end up leaving a big hole in the city’s budget.

        • The weekend read: Crypto’s energy conundrum

          The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is close to using around 0.5% of all the electricity consumed in the world. Bitcoin was estimated to have consumed around 67 TWh in 2020, with nearly 60% of that total supplied by fossil fuels. Bitcoin’s current annualized energy production in 2021 is as high as 170 TWh, although the exact figures are rubbery, given its decentralized operation. Bitcoin is sometimes called “electric money,” due to the continuous use of energy to maintain its network.

          By comparison, the country of Argentina’s total electricity consumption in 2019 was 125 TWh, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with 26.5% coming from renewables. Aluminum, known as solid electricity, used as much as 846 TWh in primary smelting in 2020, with nearly 60% of that total from coal sources.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Woody Biomass Blunder

          The term carbon neutral (which is not the same as zero carbon and not a scientific term) when used to distinguish a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions really means this: “Someone else, at some other time, removes carbon, so I can emit more.” (Quote by Dr. William Moomaw, IPCC co-author of several reports)

          Wood pellet manufacturing listed as carbon neutral has become a huge growth business throughout the world. Yet, it qualifies as one of the stupidest moments in human history. Chopping down trees, burning trees for “carbon neutral” status is like draining the swimming pool and refilling it each time you swim.

    • Finance

      • New Report on ‘Grocery Cartels’ Details Exploitive Retailer Monopolies

        “Grocery cartels” comprised of corporate monopolies controlling most of what Americans eat and drink—and the supermarkets in which they shop—have created a false illusion of consumer choice in a system that’s also draining local communities and enriching corporate executives, according to a new report published Monday by Food & Water Watch, which offers steps to rebuild the broken U.S. food system.

        “The Covid-19 pandemic pulled back the curtain on the idea that the current food system offers abundance, efficiency, and resilience.”

      • New Book Shines Ways to Rebound Our Historic Postal Service

        While DeJoy triggered a crisis that threatened the presidential election process, attacks on the Postal Service have been ongoing for decades. The anti-postal campaigns by corporate interests have remained a continuing source of frustration to those of us who have observed the Postal Service’s decline due to unimaginative management, a deck stacked to favor for-profit rivals such as FedEx and UPS, and unfair financial obligations and delivery prohibitions (for example, on wine and beer) imposed by Congress.

        The Postal Service is facing a manufactured financial crisis that is primarily the result of a congressional mandate dating back to 2006 that required the agency to pre-fund the next seventy-five years of retiree health benefits in one decade. This pre-payment requirement is something that no other federal government agency or private corporation attempts to do—not to mention that there is no actuarial justification for such an accelerated payment schedule. The pre-funding requirement effectively forces the Postal Service to finance a $72 billion retiree health benefits fund for future employees who have not even been born yet. Despite these facts, Congress has refused to correct the host of problems resulting from its requirements.

      • The Media Discovers Real Wages

        While that is unfortunate, it is also the case that this is not unusual. Here’s the picture over the last four decades.

        As can be seen, there are many periods in which wage growth has not kept with inflation. Starting in the 1980s, wages lagged inflation through most of the decade. This is the period that was known in the media as the “Reagan Boom,” or “morning in America.” Wages did exceed inflation from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. They then fell behind inflation just before President Bush’s reelection campaign, although the media generally didn’t prominently highlight falling real wages in that election.

      • Chaos and Uncertainty as Developer Plans to Demolish Motel That Serves as Housing Lifeline

        Life at the Castaway Inn had never been quiet, exactly. Sitting among dive bars and liquor stores on the western edge of downtown Reno, the 46-room motel that rented by the week had become a permanent home for dozens of residents who had nowhere else to go.

        But on a hot afternoon in September, a different kind of bustle had taken over the parking lot. Tenants carried trash and old furniture out of their rooms. Their belongings were stacked in the walkways: a broken refrigerator, old mattresses, a toaster oven, a curio cabinet.

      • Wall Street Is Not Only Rigging Markets, It’s Also Rigging the Outcome of its Private Trials

        Wall Street’s private justice system effectively locks the nation’s courthouse doors to both its workers and customers, sending the claims before conflicted arbitrators who do not have to follow legal precedent, case law or write legally-reasoned decisions.

        One of Wall Street’s serial toadies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was quick to release a statement on March 8 when it learned that the House of Representatives was likely to vote on and pass H.R. 963, the “Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act.” (Last week the House Judiciary Committee voted favorably to move the bill out of Committee and on to the full House for a vote. The bill currently has 201 co-sponsors.)

      • The Politics of Crypto

        Let’s dispense with the latter charge first: There’s no merit to it whatsoever.

        Cryptocurrency came into existence years before Trumpism was so much as a gleam in the Republican Party’s eye, and was conceived in large part as a method of separating money and state.

      • House Democrats Plan to Pass $1.75 Trillion Reconciliation Bill This Week
      • After Biden Signs Bipartisan Bill, Progressives Demand Swift Passage of Build Back Better

        “In partnership, the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make critical investments we need to boost our economy and rebuild our communities.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Progressive International Launches Global Observatory to Defend Democracy

        Stressing that the institutions designed to ensure fair elections are failing—and have even been complicit in right-wing coups—Progressive International on Monday launched a new global observatory with the goal of protecting democracy amid a worldwide assault on popular rule by authoritarian forces.

        “Around the world, democratic institutions are under attack,” David Adler, Progressive International (PI) secretariat, said in a video promoting the coalition’s new effort. “From Narendra Modi in India, to Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, authoritarian leaders are getting organized to rig the rules, capture the courts, and criminalize dissent.”

      • Revealed: Documents Show Bill Gates Has Given $319 Million to Media Outlets

        Up until his recent messy divorce, Bill Gates enjoyed something of a free pass in corporate media. Generally presented as a kindly nerd who wants to save the world, the Microsoft co-founder was even unironically christened “Saint Bill” by The Guardian.

      • Opinion | The GOP’s Next Coordinated Attempt to Steal an Election Won’t Be So Amateurish
      • Ning-Nong Diplomacy, China and Paul Keating

        The Labor side of politics has Paul Keating, the last, dare one use the word, visionary, in the prime ministerial pack. With his electoral defeat in 1996 at the hands of the undistinguished, anti-Asian John Howard, Australia returned, in large measure, to the reassuring protections of the US military alliance.  The Asia-Pacific region was less one to accommodate than seek armour against.  Ever risky, ever dangerous, they remained the swarthy barbarians of alien tongues and troublesome ambition.  There were threats nearby and everywhere, and it would require a lengthy alliance without qualifications to protect Canberra.

        This sort of foolishness is yielding its grim results.  Not a day goes by that does not see Australian politicians sign themselves up to the next suicidal conflict that might take place over Taiwan or over the South China Sea.  On November 10, Keating, at the Australian National Press Club, was bursting to speak to the audience about his taking of the geopolitical temperature.  It was his modest effort to try to arrest this seemingly imminent move.

      • Opinion | Joe Biden and Illusions of ‘Normalcy’

        In a provocative recent essay in the New York Times, the political historian Jon Grinspan places the distemper currently afflicting American politics in a broader context. In essence, he contends that we’ve been here before.

      • ‘Inexcusable’: Manchin Leads Charge Against Biden’s Pro-Union Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

        “Our climate is running out of time—yet Manchin wants to stand in the way of affordable and sustainable solutions.”

      • Stuck in the Middle

        George Packer is one of the most successful long-form journalists of his generation. For more than two decades, he has been among this country’s leading liberal commentators. Offering a political and often personal chronicle of the vicissitudes of American liberalism over the past century, he has sought at once to reclaim and repurpose a political tradition he knows is in crisis.1

      • How Saudi State Media Feeds Fake News to Israeli, Western Audiences

        Saudi state media outlets have been found to repeatedly report information, lacking sources or supporting evidence, in order to attack their political opposition in the Middle East. This can range from stories about deserters from Hamas to the utterly absurd fictions regarding alleged assassinations of high-ranking Iranian officials, which, taken together, constitute a pro-Israel, pro-Washington psyop.

      • Ukraine: The Most Dangerous Problem in the World

        Amid the public storm in America over the fall of Kabul, it is important not to lose sight of other looming crises around the world—some of them potentially much more dangerous than Afghanistan. For if the US political elites were so surprised by the speed of the Afghan state’s collapse, that was largely because the US media stopped paying attention to developments on the ground in Afghanistan once most US forces withdrew and Americans stopped dying there in large numbers.1A version of this essay appeared as a report for the Quincy Institute in June 2021.

      • Corporate Media Harms Not Only Through Omission, But Also by Distortion
      • Manchin Lashes Out Against Biden’s Pro-Union Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
      • Steve Bannon Surrenders to FBI, But Maintains He’s “Taking Down” Biden
      • Beto O’Rourke Officially Announces Run to Unseat Gov. Greg Abbott
      • International Round-Up: Danish artist launches legal action to safeguard statue

        Every student at Hong Kong University knows ‘Pillar of Shame’, Danish artist Jens Galschiøt’s imposing eight-metre-high, two-tonne orange sculpture of bodies deformed by pain and despair.

        And now Galschiøt – who sculpted it in 1997 in memory of the victims of the massacre of 4 June 1989, when the Chinese army repressed pro-democracy student demonstrations in a bloodbath in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square – has reacted angrily to plans to move it from its current home outside the university.

      • America’s Real ‘Wokeness’ Divide

        For the poll, Leger surveyed a representative sample of 1,002 American adults from October 22 to October 24. We asked for respondents’ agreements with various statements, shown in the chart below, that are often invoked by conservatives and moderates as being associated with people who are “woke.” The results showed that there was no significant difference between people with college degrees and those without them on the question of whether America is becoming too politically correct (slight majorities of both groups agreed somewhat or strongly). The same was true for believing “cancel culture is a big problem in society”—51 percent of degree holders agreed, as did 45 percent of those without degrees.

      • Experts call for ‘Geneva Convention’ for cybersecurity at Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate

        “Data is the next oil, and private companies own a lot of the infrastructure and they play with this data, therefore rules need to be laid down. No one nation can deal with cybersecurity ambiguity, it needs collaboration.”

      • Ecofriendly biking comes to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

        Over the last few years, Zihuatanejo has spent considerable time and effort creating a phenomenal bicycle and walking path that connects Zihuatanejo to Ixtapa, two tourist destinations. At nearly 65 kilometers of trails, fitness enthusiasts can enjoy the ease of use on its paved deep red asphalt.

        Luis Pelayo (Poto) and his partner Julita Trzaska, the owners of Zihuatanejo Dive Center for the last 11 years, saw this as a business opportunity to expand into the rental of electric bikes, or e-bikes, and bring them to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Brazil’s Fake News Legislation Moves Forward, Gets Slightly Better And Way Worse

        Taking a cue from the then Demagogue-in-Chief of the United States, Brazil’s government decided something must be done to control the spread of “fake news” to give the government more control of the narrative. “Fake news” continues to be a handy concept to abuse by governments seeking to limit their constituents’ ability to consume or create content. That was Donald Trump’s rationale as well, even if it was never articulated with any clarity or cohesiveness.

      • Trudeau must hit reset on censorship

        Rather than consulting Canadians and taking time to thoughtfully listen to the responses, former heritage minister Steven Guilbeault ignored critics and tried to rush through legislation that ultimately died on the order paper when Parliament dissolved for an election.

        Now, newly appointed Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has a fresh Parliament and the government has an opportunity to change course. Rodriguez needs to listen to Canadians and rethink the government’s heavy-handed approach to internet regulation.

      • France: Municipality hides statues of the famous sculptor Volti, which stand near a mosque, because they depict naked women

        We researched and interviewed local residents who come into daily contact with this statue given to the town of Montereau by the great sculptor Volti. The work has been installed in Surville for a long time and symbolises the Seine and the Yonne.The testimonies collected are surprising, to say the least: “The statue has been covered for more than a month. We saw workers who were busy with it. They were just at work. We asked and they explained that some children had thrown stones at the artwork and it had been damaged, which is why it is now being restored,” says a resident who walks along the esplanade every day.

      • Creative Palestinian Arab terror – now into stifling free speech

        This latest outrage against Ambassador Hotovely was hardly the first time that a mob prevented an Israeli diplomat from speaking. In 2002, in Montreal, at Concordia University, former Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was similarly unable to speak; even with 100 police officers, the anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian mob could not be contained or dispersed. (I wrote about this way back in 2003, in The New Anti-Semitism.) A good friend, a Talmudic scholar, and her rabbi-husband were caught up in the melee and beaten.

        Yes, beaten. Pummeled. Bruised.

      • Bangladesh: 17-year-old Hindu Girl in Jail for Over a Year for Allegedly Hurting Muslim Sentiments

        A 17-year-old Hindu girl, Dipti Rani Das, a resident of Dinajpur’s Parbatipur Upazila, has been in a jail in Bangladesh for over a year for allegedly insulting the Quran in a Facebook post. She has been denied bail 4 times.

        It is the same old story that has been done to death in the South Asian Islamic nation: a rumor begins spreading about a Hindu committing “blasphemy” and “hurting the Muslim feelings,” and the Hindu quickly finds himself or herself in hot water. The story of Dipti Rani Das is just one among hundreds of such cases, but it needs to be told and widely known, because a minor girl’s future is at stake. What’s worse? No one is talking about this.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Justice For Julian Assange Is Justice For All

        Following the final High Court hearing to decide whether or not Julian Assange is to be extradited to the United States – for the ‘crime’ of revealing a landscape of government crimes and lies — John Pilger looks back on the decade Assange has been fighting for his freedom, and the implications for independent journalists and the very notion of justice.

      • Germany’s PEN Centre nominates Julian Assange as honorary member

        “We call upon the relevant authorities in England not to extradite our honorary member Julian Assange to the United States of America, where he faces up to 175 years in prison, but instead release him from prison immediately and unconditionally.”

        These words are part of a statement issued by the international writers group PEN Centre Germany on November 2, in which the organisation announced it had appointed the founder and spokesperson of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, as an honorary member.

      • Assange, the movie: his father and brother expose the human behind public enemy No. 1

        Ithaka is a new film currently premiering at the Sydney Film Festival. Because Assange has been held incommunicado for almost two years, his father John Shipton and his brother Gabriel Shipton are compelled to speak for him. John talks, rather shyly, to camera while Gabriel produces. The film is their story; their Julian story, a very personal tale of a very public figure.

      • Last throw of the dice for Julian Assange

        During the extradition trial, the U.S. Government lawyers won all the legal arguments, save one, itself not strictly a matter of law — the threat of suicide.

      • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Why All People Who Wish to Live Free Should Care About Julian Assange’s Plight

        And for a brief period, the establishment press devoured and leveraged the troves of data Wikileaks provided. Along the way they lauded themselves for their temporary virtue of speaking truth to power with industry awards and accolades. A decade later, these same organizations are no where to be found in coming to Assange’s rescue. They’ve been absorbed like the Borg by a predator class of technocratic billionaire oligarchs. If the U.S. Government succeeds at extraditing Assange (who is not even a U.S. citizen) under the guise of the Espionage Act of 1917, then the censorship and suppression of the free press worldwide will be a permanent fixture in our lifetime.

        The River Cities’ Reader has been publishing stories about Wikileaks and Julian Assange’s subsequent persecution for more than ten years. These include debunking Assange smears, summaries of the Afghanistan and Iraq War Logs and coverage proving no Wikileaks disclosures have ever put any U.S. government or personnel in harm’s way. See all the articles at RCReader.com/tags/assange.

        Yet as long as Assange remains imprisoned inside the maximum-security Belmarsh prison in London, his and the free press’ plight continues to be “out of sight, out of mind” for most Americans.

      • Car bomb targets two married journalists in Aden

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the decline in the environment for media personnel in Aden, in southern Yemen, where a targeted car bomb attack this week killed a journalist and badly injured her husband, also a journalist. Yemen’s provisional capital, Aden is controlled by the Southern Transitional Council (STC).

      • His Reasons for Opposing Trump Were Biblical. Now a Top Christian Editor Is Out.

        At one level, Mr. Olasky’s departure is just another example of the American news media sinking deeper into polarization, as one more conservative news outlet, which had almost miraculously retained its independence, is conquered by Mr. Trump.

        It also marks the end of a remarkable era at a publication that has shaken evangelical churches and related institutions with its deeply reported articles. The far-right writer Dinesh D’Souza resigned in 2012 as president of the King’s College after World reported that he had attended a Christian conference with “a woman not his wife.” In 2020, World reported that several young women had complained that a North Carolina Republican running for Congress, Madison Cawthorn, had exhibited “sexually or verbally aggressive behavior toward them when they were teenagers.” At a time when hot takes get the clicks, these articles offered something old-fashioned and hard for any community to take: accountability reporting.

      • Kabul Bomb Blast Wounds Two As Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Earlier Explosion

        The Afghan Journalists’ Center said a well-known television journalist, Hamid Seighani, was killed in the November 13 blast in Dasht-e Barchi district. Seighani worked for the Ariana television network.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Lawsuit Claims A Zoom Call Was Unlawful Imprisonment

        We’ve all spent more than our fair share of time on excessively long Zoom calls over the past two years of pandemic land. However, it’s difficult to believe that any Zoom call can reach the level of “unlawful imprisonment,” as is alleged in a recent lawsuit. Now, it should be noted that there is a tragic story behind this lawsuit — a man killed himself in front of his wife and children, after having a self-admitted breakdown following what he felt were accusations of criminal activity from his long-term employer. That said, the actual complaint from the grieving widow… seems unlikely to succeed in court.

      • Indigenous Leaders Hail Biden’s Proposed Chaco Canyon Drilling Ban as ‘Important First Step’

        A coalition of Southwestern Indigenous leaders on Monday applauded President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland following the announcement of a proposed 20-year fossil fuel drilling ban around the sacred Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico—even as the administration prepares to auction off tens of millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas extraction later this week.

        “While there is still work to be done, these efforts to safeguard tribes and communities will be essential to protect the region from the disastrous effects of oil and gas development.”

      • Build Bikes, Not Walls: a Reflection on Open Borders

        On the sand, about 20 feet from the border wall, William had questions. Why couldn’t we talk to the people waving at us from the other side of the wall? Why was the wall even there? After I explained, he told me with decisively, “We’re going to smash the border wall.” Then, after a celebratory pause: “And after we smash the wall, we are going to turn it into bikes.”

        A few months later, I would think about what William had said and realize that his questions and defiance would become the soul of my next book, Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World without Borders, published earlier this year.

      • Setting the Record Straight About Citizens’ Rights

        Our Constitution’s First Amendment not only guarantees freedom of speech but also guarantees citizens the right to sue the federal government for very good reasons. If someone throws a brick through a window, the police enforce the law. But when the federal government breaks the law, citizens are often the only “enforcers,” and they have to hire attorneys to represent them in court.

        When logging proposals fail to protect our land, water quality, and native wildlife as required by law, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies goes to court to force the federal agencies to follow the law. And because the Forest Service is a serial lawbreaker and our claims are valid, we win those court challenges about 80 percent of the time.

      • Homer Plessy, of Plessy v. Ferguson, Receives Posthumous Pardon From State Board
      • The Face of the New French Right

        “What progressives fail to understand is that the future is not ruled by economic curves but by demographic curves,” Éric Zemmour postulated, visibly nervous before the audience of conservative activists assembled at the September 2019 Convention of the Right in Paris.

      • “Blackness Itself Is the Crime”: Bishop William Barber on Racism in the Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial

        We speak with Bishop William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign, who was one of the Black pastors who visited the trial of the three white men who hunted down and shot dead Ahmaud Arbery, where last week a defense attorney claimed Black pastors sitting with the Arbery family in the courtroom could be “intimidating” for the jury, which is almost all white. Barber says Arbery’s killing and the trial proceedings expose that for many, “Blackness itself is the crime.” This Thursday, more than 100 Black pastors plan to march in front of the Glynn County Superior Courthouse. Barber joins us from Washington, D.C., where he is planning a protest call for Congress to pass the $2 trillion social spending and climate package known as the Build Back Better plan.

      • The Elders Rebuke ‘Historically Shameful Dereliction of Duty’ by World Leaders at Climate Summit

        An independent group of former leaders and human rights champions known as The Elders expressed concern Monday that humanity could be “on course for a 2.4°C world” in response to the paltry agreement reached by nearly 200 countries over the weekend at the COP26 climate summit.

        “While millions around the world are already in crisis, not enough leaders were in crisis mode.”

      • White People Explain Racism to Me

        Most days, I turn on my computer and ask the country if today is the day that white people will feel like holding a white man accountable for violence. Most days, the answer is “no.” We live in an age when the ubiquity of white violence is plain for all to see, thanks to the camera phone. When I’m not covering white domestic threats directed at people of color, I’m often covering state-sponsored terrorism against those same targets. When I’m not covering agents of the state behaving violently, I’m covering appellate and Supreme Court rulings, many of which will lead to more violence against people of color, women, or the LGBTQ community. And the whole time, I’m asking if anybody will be held accountable for the killings or beatings or the permissiveness that enables those killings and beatings.

      • Equity Concerns Lead to a Mass-Firing of Museum Volunteers

        Notwithstanding the ostensible beneficence of Stein’s bureaucratic jargon, its brutal meaning in plain English was that the existing docents, some of whom had worked at the museum for decades, were too white and too affluent to deserve continued employment. “Staff,” Stein enthused, “will design models for educator recruitment, training, and assessment, identifying and dismantling barriers that have historically limited participation.” The outgoing employees would therefore be replaced by a smaller but more diverse staff of professionals who would be paid $25 an hour. “All current volunteer educators,” Stein wrote, adding insult to injury as she ushered them through the exit, “are invited to apply for the paid museum educator positions” and would be provided with “complimentary memberships through 2023” as well as “exclusive access to two annual lectures presented at the museum.”

      • Group of women to sue Qatari authorities over invasive airport searches

        Women on 10 Qatar Airways flights from Doha, including 13 Australians, were subjected to the examinations late last year as authorities searched for the mother of a newborn found abandoned in an airport bathroom.

        The incident caused outrage, and fuelled concerns about Qatar’s treatment of women as the Gulf state prepares to receive thousands of foreign visitors for the 2022 football World Cup.

      • Man Bursts Into Flames After Being Tased by Police

        A New York man is in critical condition after dousing himself with hand sanitizer and being set ablaze when a police officer used a Taser on him, Albany’s Times-Union newspaper reports — a grisly incident that raises deep questions about law enforcement’s wielding of high tech weaponry against the public.

      • Twitter Vigilantes Are Hunting Down [Cryptocurrency] Scammers

        Gabagool is among an emerging breed of sleuths bent on spotting, tracking down, and exposing questionable practices in the budding DeFi world. Cryptocurrency is intended as electronic money that users can exchange anonymously and without intermediaries. But that anonymity comes with transparency: Cryptocurrency transactions are inscribed in an open digital ledger, the blockchain, which provides a record of how assets flow through the system. Companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic have created software to aid law enforcement investigations into illicit activities involving cryptocurrency. In contrast, these new amateur detectives rely on their hunches and tips from others, use free tools to examine blockchain activity, and broadcast their findings from pseudonymous Twitter accounts like Gabagool, Zach, and Sisyphus. Gabagool says he noticed the questionable Ribbon activity while poring over Etherscan, a tool to keep track of blockchain transactions. He and other sleuths say they are animated by a penchant for investigative work, resentment, or frustration with the brazenness of some people in the space. They say they are trying to save DeFi from itself—by becoming its sheriffs.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 108: Scott Benzie on How Bill C-10 Ignored Canada’s Thriving Digital First Creators

        Pokimane Too, Watching PewDiePie’s Rewind

      • Federal Agencies Need to Be Staffed to Advance Broadband and Tech Competition

        The new infrastructure package gives the FCC and the NTIA a lot of new work to do, including deciding how to allocate a large amount of funds to update our lagging internet infrastructure. In the meantime, we are relying on the FTC to police bad acts on the part of technology companies of all levels. When the FCC under Ajit Pai repealed net neutrality protections, they and the ISPs claimed that the FTC could police any abuse—even though the FTC already has big jobs, like safeguarding user privacy and advancing tech sector competition.

        However, none of these agencies can do their jobs unless they are fully staffed. And that means that the Senate must confirm President Biden’s nominees. The consequences of sitting back are significant. These agencies have been given once-in-a-generation responsibilities. Senate leadership should commit itself to fully staffing each of these agencies before they leave for the holidays this December, so that the work on behalf of the public can begin. 

        Congress must act on four critical nominations at these agencies, by the end of the year, or the agenda for better internet will fall by the wayside. Jessica Rosenworcel should be confirmed to another term on the FCC, as its chair. Gigi Sohn should be nominated to a term on the FCC, as well. At the FTC, the Senate should confirm Prof. Alvaro Bedoya. And the NTIA’s work should be supported by confirming Biden’s nominee Alan Davidson. 

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Hey North Face! Our Story About You Flipping Out Over ‘Hey Fuck Face’ Is Not Trademark Infringement

          The “brand protection” industry is endlessly fascinating to me, in that it seems to be a near total scam that preys on gullible big company execs who believe that if anyone uses their brand or logos in a way they don’t approve of, it’ll mean the end of the world. That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate “brand protection” steps that large companies need to take, but so much of it is overblown fluff and nonsense, and all of the various “brand protection” companies out there feel the need to justify whatever bizarrely lucrative contracts these giant companies hand out. So they completely overreact to the smallest of things — and the end result is not brand protection, so much as brand destruction for demonstrating just how over aggressive you are as a company.

        • Universal Music Sues Investment Platform Over Alleged Republic Records Trademark Infringement

          DMN obtained an exclusive copy of the straightforward action, which Universal Music Group just recently submitted to a New York federal court. According to the clear-cut filing, the Republic defendant formally announced (via a release) in early October that it would add a selection of music investments to its existing offerings.

      • Copyrights

        • The Hidden Costs of Requiring Accounts

          In a new paper published in Communication Research, I worked with Aaron Shaw provide an answer. We analyze data from “natural experiments” that occurred when 136 wikis on Fandom.com started requiring user accounts. Although we find strong evidence that the account requirements deterred low quality contributions, this came at a substantial (and usually hidden) cost: a much larger decrease in high quality contributions. Surprisingly, the cost includes “lost” contributions from community members who had accounts already, but whose activity appears to have been catalyzed by the (often low quality) contributions from those without accounts.

        • Why Songwriter Royalty Rates Won’t Be Changing Much — No Matter How Many Copyright Hearings Take Place

          The rate hearings for “streaming mechanicals” are in progress right now. As always, the proposals proffered by the streaming services and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), on behalf of publishers, are incomprehensible to anyone other than the lawyers and economists who are paid to prepare the lengthy filings that contain “expert” opinions about justifiable new rates.

          Achieving equitable streaming rates for recordings and songs is not a complex mathematical conundrum. It does not require convoluted price modeling. It is purely a business fight among private stakeholders. Yet, every five years, due to legacy US copyright laws that have not kept pace with technology, certain stakeholders are locked in rooms with copyright tribunals and forced to become gladiators on a royalty hamster wheel.

        • Copying is not theft

          Unauthorized copying is forbidden by copyright law in many circumstances (not all!), but being forbidden doesn’t make it wrong. In general, laws don’t define right and wrong. Laws, at their best, attempt to implement justice. If the laws (the implementation) don’t fit our ideas of right and wrong (the spec), the laws are what should change.

          People should have right to copy and share what they own. When you purchase something you should be able to do whatever you want with it and that means you should be able to copy it, share it, keep it secret, use it as you wish, burn or destroy it, or even throw it away without using it. If it’s yours, it should work as you wish, not as someone else says.

        • I Confess To Right-Clicker-Mentality

          Both Cory Doctorow and Matthew Gault and Jordan Pearson have fun with the latest meme about NFTs, “Right-Clicker-Mentality”. (Tip of the hat to Barry Ritholtz)

          Gault and Pearson explain the meme:

          what is the “right-clicker mentality”? Quite literally, it is referring to one’s ability to right-click on any image they see online to bring up a menu and select the “save” option in order to save a copy of the image to their device. In this term we have a microcosm of the entire philosophical debate surrounding NFTs.

        • What the Hell Is ‘Right-Clicker Mentality’?

          So, what is the “right-clicker mentality”? Quite literally, it is referring to one’s ability to right-click on any image they see online to bring up a menu and select the “save” option in order to save a copy of the image to their device. In this term we have a microcosm of the entire philosophical debate surrounding NFTs. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique tokens on the blockchain ostensibly representing a receipt of ownership pointing to some (usually) digital thing, like a JPEG hosted on a server somewhere. To be an NFT collector is to philosophically buy into the idea that owning this string of numbers means you “own” a JPEG that lesser people simply right-click to save on their machines at any time.

          Indeed, right-clicking initially emerged as trolling praxis as the NFT market took off in 2021, and the term “right-clicker” went viral in September: the comments under a post of someone showing off their new multimillion-dollar ape cartoon JPEG are reliably filled with people saving and reposting the image and claiming that, hey, they own it now too!

        • [Old] NFTs and Web Archiving

          One might have thought that academic journals were a relatively stable part of the Web, but research showed that their references decayed too, just somewhat less rapidly. A 2013 study found a half-life of 9.3 years. See my 2015 post The Evanescent Web.

          I expect you have noticed the latest outbreak of blockchain-enabled insanity, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Someone “paying $69M for a JPEG” or $560K for a New York Times column attracted a lot of attention. Follow me below the fold for the connection between NFTs, “link rot” and Web archiving.

        • UK Court Hands Down Suspended Jail Sentence to eBay Seller of Pirate IPTV Boxes

          A 57-year-old man who sold hundreds of pirate IPTV boxes through eBay in the UK has received a two-year suspended prison sentence. The prosecution, brought by Westminster City Council’s Trading Standards team with help from FACT, revealed that the Westminster resident generated more than £82,000 in proceeds over the years.

        • Applinked: Cyber Threat Researcher Reveals What’s Inside The Latest Update

          Applinked had a reputation as a trusted app but after being transferred to a third party, now finds itself labeled as a malicious tool after inexplicably growing in size. To find out once and for all what is going here, we asked an expert in cyber security threats to conduct a detailed analysis. In common with other vendors, he agrees that the app has the potential to conduct malicious activities.

        • Open Minds Podcast: Yana Buhrer Tavanier and Pavel Kounchev of Fine Acts

          On this episode, we’re joined by two guests, Yana Buhrer Tavanier and Pavel Kounchev, two of three co-founders of Fine Acts, a global creative studio that encourages experimentation and collaboration across disciplines to inspire social change. Fine Acts brings together multidisciplinary teams of artists, activists and technologists to prototype compelling works of art aligned with specific human rights campaigns. They publish all completed works on TheGreats.co, their free platform filled with socially engaged visual content, open to anyone to use or adapt non-commercially under CC licenses. 

        • Does Copyright Give Companies The Right To Search Your Home And Computer?

          One reason why copyright has become so important in the digital age is that it applies to the software that many of us use routinely on our smartphones, tablets and computers. In order to run those programs, you must have a license of some kind (unless the software is in the public domain, which rarely applies to modern code). The need for a license is why we must agree to terms and conditions when we install new software. On Twitter, Alvar C.H. Freude noticed something interesting in the software licence agreement for Capture One: “world-class tools for editing, organizing and working with photos” according to the Danish company that makes it (found via Wolfie Christl). The license begins by warning:

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  3. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  5. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  6. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  7. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  8. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  9. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  10. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  12. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  13. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  14. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  15. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  16. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  17. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  18. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  19. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  21. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  22. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  23. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  24. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  26. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  27. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  28. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  29. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  30. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying


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