Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 16/12/2021: QEMU 6.2 and PAPPL 1.1

Posted in News Roundup at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • FIPS-compliant random numbers for the kernel [LWN.net]

        The Linux random-number generator (RNG) seems to attract an outsized amount of attention (and work) for what is, or seemingly should be, a fairly small component of the kernel. In part that is because random numbers, and their quality, are extremely important to a number of security protections, from unpredictable IP-packet sequence numbers to cryptographic keys. A recent post of version 43 of the Linux Random Number Generator (LRNG) by Stephan Müller is not likely to go any further than its predecessors, but the discussion around it may lead to support for a feature that some distributions need.

        The cover letter for the LRNG patch set is titled “/dev/random – a new approach”, which is true, but also sure to elicit highly skeptical responses or cause the patches to be ignored entirely. As was reiterated in the discussion, kernel development generally does not proceed along the “wholesale replacement” path; features are added slowly, in bite-sized chunks, instead. But LRNG is meant to be a drop-in replacement for the existing kernel RNG, while adding a long list of additional features—some of which would likely be welcome if they were separated out.

      • A reference-count tracking infrastructure [LWN.net]

        Reference counts are a commonly used mechanism for tracking the life cycle of objects in a computing system. As long as every user of an object correctly maintains its references by incrementing and decrementing the reference count, that object will persist for as long as it is needed and will be properly destroyed once the last user is done. The “correctly” in that sentence is important, though; things do not work as well in the presence of reference-counting errors. Networking developer Eric Dumazet is working on a reference-count tracking system that could prove useful for finding these errors in the networking subsystem and, someday, throughout the kernel.

        Bugs in reference-count manipulation can be hard to find because the references themselves are anonymous. It may become clear, for example, that some user of an object has failed to release a reference before forgetting about that object, but there is generally no way to know which user has done this. So the kernel ends up with an unused object that cannot be released, but there is no way to know where the reference-counting mechanism failed, or even which reference was lost. If there were a way to determine which of (say) several dozen references to an object was leaked, the task of finding the erroneous release path would be made considerably easier.

      • A filesystem for namespaces [LWN.net]

        It is natural, when looking at the kernel development process, to focus on patches that find their way to acceptance and become a part of future kernels. But there can be value in looking at work that doesn’t clear the bar; in failing, these patches often reveal things about the kernel and the community that creates it. Such is the case with the proof-of-concept namespacefs patch series recently posted by Yordan Karadzhov. One should not expect to see namespacefs in a future kernel but, in failing, this work showed a real use case and why it is hard to satisfy that use case in the kernel.
        Namespacefs is, as one might expect, a virtual filesystem implemented by the kernel. Its job is to display the hierarchy of namespaces running on the system; this information reflects the hierarchy of containers that are running. By using namespacefs, administrators can more readily see what is happening on their systems; it is also meant to facilitate complicated use cases like tracing multiple containers and watching how they interact.

        The initial implementation was limited to the PID and time namespaces. One can use it to traverse the hierarchy of PID namespaces (time namespaces are not hierarchical) and obtain the list of processes running in each. Other types of namespaces are not supported in this posting, but the intent was seemingly to add that support in a future version if namespacefs looked like the right solution to the problem.

      • Detecting missing memory barriers with KCSAN [LWN.net]

        Writing (correct) concurrent code that uses locking to avoid race conditions is difficult enough. When the objective is to use lockless algorithms, relying on memory barriers instead of locks to eliminate locking overhead, the problem becomes harder still. Bugs are easy to create and hard to find in this type of code. There may be some help on the way, though, in the form of this patch set from Marco Elver that enhances the Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) with the ability to detect some types of missing memory barriers.

        KCSAN works in a statistical manner by watching accesses to specific memory addresses and trying to detect racy patterns; the algorithm used is described in this article. In its current form, though, KCSAN can only catch certain types of race conditions, specifically those that arise from locking errors. Other types of races remain invisible to this tool, including a number that can arise in incorrect lockless code. KCSAN is, by design, blind to the kinds of problems that occur when CPUs and memory controllers reorder the visibility of memory writes.

    • Applications

      • 10 Best Linux Video Players in 2021

        In this new age watching movies or tv shows is easily done through online streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. But not always these streaming sites are available in your region nor everyone can afford a paid subscription.

        In such cases, people prefer free-online sites but those come with the excessive ads pop-ups after every few mins. To avoid such situations and hassle-free watching of your favorite movies and shows users simply download their favorite shows and movies from different online sources and watch them using Video Players.

      • QEMU 6.2 Emulator Released – itsfoss.net

        The presented release of the project is QEMU 6.2 . As an emulator, QEMU allows you to run a program compiled for one hardware platform on a system with a completely different architecture, for example, to run an application for ARM on an x86-compatible PC. In virtualization mode in QEMU, the performance of code execution in an isolated environment is close to the hardware system due to the direct execution of instructions on the CPU and the use of the Xen hypervisor or the KVM module.

        The project was originally created by Fabrice Bellard to enable x86-built Linux binaries to run on non-x86 architectures. Over the years, support for full emulation has been added for 14 hardware architectures, the number of emulated hardware devices has exceeded 400. In the preparation of version 6.2, more than 2300 changes were made from 189 developers.

      • PAPPL 1.1 Open-Source Printer Framework Adds WiFi Configuration, IPP-USB

        While CUPS 2.4 was recently released as the first big update in years and since OpenPrinting took over upstream development, CUPS founder Michael Sweet continues concurrently developing PAPPL as a modern, open-source printer appication framework. Wednesday marked the release of PAPPL 1.1.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to fix Ubuntu apt-get stuck at 0 [Connecting to us.archive.ubuntu.com]
      • How to update GIMP in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS without using Flatpak or Snap – itsfoss.net

        How to update GIMP in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS without using Flatpak or Snap, GIMP is a special application for me, which I use almost daily -for little things in general, but that is another story- and that I like to keep updated, although it has not been easy for me in the last year … because for this specific case, neither Flatpak nor Snap meet what I need.

        My needs, of course, are what they are: I mainly use distributions based on the latest Ubuntu LTS that has come out, and I use several of the plugins that are still packaged in the Ubuntu repositories. This is the basics, and since Ubuntu does not update applications like GIMP in the same version, and that versions like Ubuntu LTS last for me installed for more or less a couple of years, the price to pay is to miss all the news that GIMP is implementing , which for some time now has accelerated its development and leaves us releases as interesting as the recent GIMP 2.10.28.

      • Installing Asterisk on Debian – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        In this guide, we explain how to install and setup Asterisk on a Debian 11.1 server. Connect a soft-phone to an Asterisk server for a great VOIP solution.

      • How to Create and Execute Bash Scripts in Linux

        Shell scripts are a great way to automate repetitive tasks on Linux. You can write Bash scripts that perform system-related tasks such as installing software, adding new users, dynamically configuring the desktop, just to name a few.

        But what’s the prerequisite? You should have in-depth knowledge of the Bash shell and its commands, including how to wrap these commands in a script—and the most important—how to run the script.

        Here’s how you can create and execute Bash scripts on Linux.

      • How to Set Date and Time in Rocky and AlmaLinux

        Whether you are a system administrator, network administrator, or a normal user under a Linux operating system, it is important to ensure your system is set to the correct date and time in regard to your location.

        For instance, your prowess in Linux administration might take you to different time zones and locations. Under such circumstances, you might need to update your Linux system with the correct date and time values so that you are not caught off guard during important activities like project presentations.

        Also, some programs that run under Linux reference the system date and time values as part of their input and output data. The misrepresentation of such values can yield logical consequences.

      • How to Create LVM Partition in Linux (Step by Step)

        LVM (Logical Volume Manager) is the recommended way to manage disk or volume in Linux system. One of the major benefits of LVM partitions is that we can extend their size on the fly without any down time.

        In this post, we will learn how to create LVM partition in linux step by step. For demonstration purpose, I have attached 10 GB disk to my Ubuntu system and will create lvm partition on it. Let’s deep dive into the steps.

      • How to Manage Flatpak Permissions Graphically Using Flatseal

        Flatseal is a GUI utility app that enables you to review and modify all the permissions given to your Flatpak applications. If you are familiar with managing app permissions on an Android device then this will not be a new concept to you.

        If you are a frequent FossMinter, then you must know what Flatpak is – the utility that allows developers to sandbox applications with curated access to network interfaces, system resources, file storage, etc.

        Unlike Android, however, which has native support for tweaking its permissions via the CLI and GUI, Flatpak has these settings available only via the command line as Flatpak commands. Flatseal has stepped into the chat room and given users the ability to control their Flatpak permissions via the convenience of a GUI.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • Blatant Self-Promotion

        Liam Proven’s NixOS and the changing face of Linux operating systems is a very interesting discussion of Linux distros and package management. He starts by discussing radical restructuring of Linux distros, focusing on NixOS and GoboLinux. Then he looks at less radical alternatives:

        So, instead of re-architecting the way distros are built, vendors are reimplementing similar functionality using simpler tools inherited from the server world: containers, squashfs filesystems inside single files, and, for distros that have them, copy-on-write filesystems to provide rollback functionality.

        The goal is to build operating systems as robust as mobile OSes: periodically, the vendor ships a thoroughly tested and integrated image which end users can’t change and don’t need to. In normal use, the root filesystem is mounted read-only, and there’s no package manager.

      • BSD

        • Persistency management of memory based filesystem on OpenBSD

          For saving my SSD and also speeding up my system, I store some cache files into memory using the mfs filesystem on OpenBSD. But that would be nice to save the content upon shutdown and restore it at start, wouldn’t it?

          I found that storing the web browser cache in a memory filesystem drastically improve its responsiveness, but it’s hard to make measurements of it.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Secure your Kubernetes deployments with eBPF | Red Hat Developer

          Numerous adaptations of the Linux kernel—notably seccomp, SELinux, and AppArmor—bolster its security through runtime checks on sensitive activities such as file access and system calls (syscalls). In particular, seccomp denies access to system calls that don’t match rebuild profiles of allowed calls. But the creation of seccomp profiles for Kubernetes workloads can be a major obstacle to deploying containerized applications. Those profiles have to be maintained over the complete life cycle of the application because changing the code might require changes to the seccomp rules as well.

          To overcome this burden, it would be absolutely stunning if developers could record seccomp profiles by running a test suite against the application and automatically deploy the results together with the application manifest. But how to record seccomp profiles? Well, the Security Profiles Operator in Kubernetes offers several ways to record activity. This article shows how to use the Operator to secure your applications and how the recorder that uses extended Berkeley Packet, eBPF (or just BPF) does the job.

        • An elegant way to performance test microservices on Kubernetes

          Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the core system of most services. Client, web, and mobile applications are all built from APIs. They sit on the critical path between an end-user and a service, and they’re also used for intra-service communication.

          Because APIs are so critical, API performance is also essential. It doesn’t matter how well-built your front-end application is if the API data sources it accesses take several seconds to respond. This is especially true in a world of microservices, where services depend on each other to provide data. In my opinion, the best feature your API can offer is great performance.

          To measure API performance, you need to benchmark your APIs as reliably as possible, which can be challenging. The optimal approach depends on your performance objectives. In this article, I’ll guide you through an elegant process for measuring the performance of backend applications running on Red Hat OpenShift or Kubernetes. You’ll also learn how to use Vegeta, a versatile HTTP load testing and benchmarking tool written in Golang. We will deploy Vegeta on OpenShift and run performance tests in both standalone and distributed modes.

      • Debian Family

        • The Raspberry Pi A+, and Pi-Hole

          Installation of Pi-Hole was as easy as any console-based tool I’ve ever used. I didn’t think I needed the web-based GUI, and wasn’t sure how well it’d run with the A+’s limited resources, but I opted to install it anyway.

          It’s been a month or so now, and the A+ has been sitting on top of my bhyve box with just a USB power lead and the Wi-Pi module, filtering our DNS. It works a treat, and the GUI uses very little memory. I suspect these were the sorts of use cases the A+ was designed for.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Pop! _OS 21.10 Released, developing the COSMIC desktop – LinuxStoney

          Pop! _OS 21.10 Released, developing the COSMIC desktop, company System76 , a specializing in the production of laptops, PCs and servers shipped with Linux, has released the distribution Pop! _OS 21.10 . Pop! _OS is based on the package base Ubuntu 21.10 and comes with its own desktop environment COSMIC . The developments of the project are distributed under the GPLv3 license. ISO images are generated for x86_64 and ARM64 architectures in variants for NVIDIA ( graphics chips 2.9 GB ) and Intel / AMD ( 2.5 GB ) , as well as for boards Raspberry Pi 4 ( 2.4 GB )

          The distribution is primarily aimed at people who use a computer to create something new, such as developing content, software products, 3D models, graphics, music, or scientific work. The idea of developing its own edition of the Ubuntu distribution came after Canonical’s decision to transfer Ubuntu from Unity to GNOME Shell – the developers of System76 started creating a new theme based on GNOME, but then realized that they were ready to offer users a different desktop environment, providing flexible tools for customizing for the current desktop process.

        • Canonical Kubernetes 1.23 hits GA

          The Kubernetes crew at Canonical is delighted to announce that Canonical Kubernetes 1.23 is now generally available. The team is committed to releasing in tandem with upstream so our users and customers can benefit from the latest features and improvements as soon as they become available. This blog is a quick introduction to Canonical Kubernetes and the top features available in release 1.23.

        • How we designed Ubuntu Pro for Confidential Computing on Azure [Ed: Canonical is working for Microsoft instead of competing with Microsoft]
        • Finding Ubuntu (and Debian) packages that are in odd state

          The other day, we discovered that an important package on one of our Ubuntu servers had wound up in what the package system considered an odd state. The only relatively obvious sign of this was that ‘apt-get -u upgrade’ reported that there was work to do despite not having any packages to install or upgrade (unfortunately I didn’t save the specific output). This state was sticky because for reasons beyond the scope of this entry, the package’s postinstall script was reporting an error.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • People Should Really Be Thankful For Open Source Software Developers

        Users don’t usually realize the value of open source software they get for free. Things like Linux, LibreOffice, Firefox and basically every programming library may be essential in the daily life of each of us. However, we may not actually feel “pleasure” for those software developers who provided us with all of this. They may not feel the value of what they have.

        Although we are talking about open source software, it is rightful to note that “free” as in “free coffee” is an inevitable conclusion of “free” as in “freedom”.

        If you ask an engineer, a doctor, a professor, a teacher or a farmer to give you one of the products they do for free, probably they will just refuse. You won’t find a professor working full time in a university for free. You won’t find a civil engineer working on building houses for free. You won’t find a farmer giving you vegetables for free. However, you do find software developers giving it for you for free.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Controlling Chrome from the CLI

            Here’s how I used the chrome-cli tool to help me open up URLs in different tabs in a new Chrome window. From the command line.

            In analysing various GitHub issues and pull requests recently, I needed to be able to open up a number of them in my browser, one in each tab. The GitHub issue and pull request URLs are determined from a script, and I wanted to be able to open up a new Chrome window on the screen with all of the URLs loaded.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • [Old] Meet MUMPS, the Archaic Health-Care Programming Language That Predicted Big Data

          In 1966, when MUMPS was first developed by a pair of researchers working in an animal laboratory, the data that would even come pouring in from high-resolution sky mapping projects and social media platforms with hundreds of millions of users would have been unimaginable. But our bodies and their limitless data points were already there.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • New user guide for Base

          Another user guide was published by the LibreOffice documentation team on December 8: the LibreOffice 7.2 Base Guide, for the database component. It is available in free PDF or ODT from the LibreOffice website, or in a low-cost printed copy from Lulu.com.

          Given the very few changes in Base since LibreOffice 6.4, the team decided to just rebrand the previous book, as part of an effort to produce a complete set of books for v7.2. If you want printed copies and already have the Base 6.4 book, you could choose to save some money by not buying this one.

      • Programming/Development

        • Sublime ❤︎ Clojure

          REPL is Clojure’s superpower. For a long time, I’ve been enjoying Sublime Text but was unable to match it with Clojure. This ends today: I’m happy to present my new Sublime Text plugin, Sublime Clojure.

        • Python

          • Python discusses deprecations [LWN.net]

            Feature deprecations are often controversial, but many projects find it necessary, or desirable, to lose some of the baggage that has accreted over time. A mid-November request to get rid of three Python standard library modules provides a case in point. It was initially greeted as a good idea since the modules had been officially deprecated starting with Python 3.6; there are better ways to accomplish their tasks now. But, of course, removing a module breaks any project that uses it, at least without the project making some, perhaps even trivial, changes. The cost of that is not insignificant, and the value in doing so is not always clear, which led to higher-level conversation about deprecations.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • The Senate’s Finsta Problem

      Earlier this year we wrote about Senator Richard Blumenthal’s viral “finsta” debacle in which he asked a Facebook executive to “end Finsta” as if (1) it was a product, or (2) it was “endable.” Some people pushed back on the mocking of Blumenthal, noting that he (or at least his staffers) actually understood what “finsta” meant, since he had given an accurate description earlier, and his staff had set up a fake Instagram account, pretending to be a young girl to see what happened. However, as we and others noted, if he actually understood “finsta” that made his demand to “end Finsta” even worse, because it meant he was calling for an end to anonymity on Instagram, which would have huge problems — especially for more marginalized people or those at risk, who have very good reasons for not using their real names on social media.

    • ‘My child was there, all alone — that’s all I could think about’: In a heart-wrenching excerpt from her book, Russian activist Anastasia Shevchenko recalls losing her daughter while under house arrest

      Anastasia Shevchenko was the first person in Russia to be charged with the criminal offense of taking part in the activities of an “undesirable” organization. At the time, she was a member of the federal board of the human rights group Open Russia. A criminal case was launched against her for organizing a political debate and publishing a post about a lecture. Shevchenko was placed under house arrest on January 23, 2019, and on February 18, 2021, she was sentenced to four years’ probation. While under house arrest, Shevchenko was initially denied permission to visit her eldest daughter Alina, who was in the hospital in critical condition. A judge eventually allowed Shevchenko to go to her daughter’s side the night before she passed away. Earlier this year, Anastasia Shevchenko published a book titled “Undesirable” (edited by Olga Borisova). Meduza shares a translated excerpt from her memoir here.

    • Why Should I Change the Way I Talk?

      The first time I realized I was code-switching, I was making an appointment over the phone while sitting on the couch with my 14-year-old niece. My voice became higher and more gentle, and I purposely avoided saying certain words that would emphasize my accent. This story was produced for Student Nation, a program of the Nation Fund for Independent Journalism, which is dedicated to highlighting the best of student journalism. For more Student Nation, check out our archive or learn more about the program here. StudentNation is made possible through generous funding from The Puffin Foundation. If you’re a student and you have an article idea, please send pitches and questions to [email protected].

    • The Last Days of the Beatles

      Which version is right?

    • An ‘Incalculable’ Loss: Acclaimed Feminist Author bell hooks Dies at 69

      The influential feminist author, critic, and public intellectual bell hooks died on Wednesday at age 69 in Berea, Kentucky.

      hooks was the author of more than 40 books, including volumes of poetry, essay collections, and children’s stories. Born Gloria Jean Watkins, she chose the pen name bell hooks after her great-grandmother and declined to capitalize the name to encourage readers to focus on the “substance of books, not who I am.”

    • Revolutionary Reconstitution or Common Ruin

      Our job on the actual Left (not to be confused with the corporate and imperial Democratic Party) is to change the fracturing equation. Without ignoring the need to defeat of lethal enemies to our “red” (how ironic) right, we need at the same time to move the nation (and world) beyond bourgeois democracy, fascism, and capitalism towards socialism by polarizing the population vertically between the majority populace on one hand and the parasitic capitalist and imperial system on the other.

      In explaining why, just to pick one area in recent headlines, with extreme weather, which has just wreaked murderous havoc across “flyover” zones in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Why did a record-setting wave of high-powered night-time tornadoes kill many dozens of people and level thousands of structures across a 200 mile-plus stretch of the nation’s rural heartland in the second week of December? This was no random act of God. Intimately related to the fact that local weather broadcasters in Chicago are telling me to (idiotically) look forward to 60 degrees tomorrow, ten days out from Christmas (as if this is a good thing), it is a product and symptom of escalating climate change. And that (catastrophic) climate change is the outcome of a capitalist system that is driven to relentlessly expand while hopelessly and lethally addicted to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

    • Education

      • The Greatest Teacher of America’s Great Art Form

        Harmony is the art of resolution, but not all resolutions are equally artful. A story circulates about how Franz Joseph Haydn’s son, returning drunk from late-night partying, loudly played a single dominant chord on the living room piano before going to bed. Startled awake, the great composer got up, went to the keyboard, and resolved the son’s argument with single soft tonic before returning to peaceful slumber.

      • Academic Publishing – Market Or Collectivization?

        Last week’s podium on the commodification of open science entitled “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product?” was surprisingly unanimous on the need to radically modernize academic publishing and abolish the current publishing system relying mainly on corporate publishers with monopoly status. It appeared as if the present funders, librarians, scientists and other experts essentially only argued about how and when this replacement for corporate publishers should be brought abut, not if.

        It was also unexpected that this was probably the first time I was not representing the most radical position on the panel. The proposals to remove usage rights from publicly funded research papers, or to ban for-profit publishers altogether, prompted the moderator, Jan-Martin Wiarda, to ask if these were calls for an expropriation of the publishers. Julia Reda was quick to point out that the goal was not to expropriate anybody, but that the accurate technical term for what she was proposing was “collectivization”.

    • Hardware

      • RC Sub Built With A Water Bottle | Hackaday

        Submarines are one of the harder modes of transport to build in radio-controlled form. Doing so involves tangling with sealing electronics from water ingress and finding a way to control the thing underwater. It’s a challenge, but one relished by [Project Air] in his latest build.

        The body of the sub was built from a drink bottle, serving as a stout container upon which could be mounted all the necessary hardware. Filling the bottle with water allowed buoyancy to be adjusted to a neutral level. Twin brushless motors were used for drive, while servos were waterproofed using a combination of rubber gaskets, olive oil, and sealing spray.

      • Intel thinks the metaverse will need a thousand-fold increase in computing capability

        As Koduri notes in his editorial, we can’t even put two people in a truly detailed virtual environment with today’s technology. “Consider what is required to put two individuals in a social setting in an entirely virtual environment: convincing and detailed avatars with realistic clothing, hair and skin tones – all rendered in real time and based on sensor data capturing real world 3D objects, gestures, audio and much more; data transfer at super high bandwidths and extremely low latencies; and a persistent model of the environment, which may contain both real and simulated elements.”

        And that’s just for two people — scaling up to the hundreds of millions of users that a Ready Player One, Snow Crash, or Matrix-style metaverse concept would require much, much more computing infrastructure.

      • Best USB microphones for streaming: Upgrade your stream with high-quality audio

        When selecting our picks for the best USB microphones, we look for models that offer easy setup, great quality, and a fair price, as well as flexibility with voice types and volumes. If you want to learn more about how to pick the best microphone for your particular needs, scroll down to our section below on the key features and what to look for in a USB microphone.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • US Passes Another Unfathomable COVID Milestone, Reaching 800,000 Deaths
      • Public Health Advocates Demand Public Ownership of mRNA Manufacturing in US

        A coalition of public health advocates is urging the Biden administration to retain public ownership over “any new domestic manufacturing capacity that is established” as a result of the White House’s plan to increase the global supply of Covid-19 vaccines, which remain out of reach for billions of impoverished people worldwide due to dose hoarding by rich countries and knowledge hoarding by Big Pharma.

        “Publicly financed vaccine production should be publicly controlled.”

      • Warning of Omicron Wave, WHO Chief Says ‘If We End Inequity, We End the Pandemic’

        The head of the World Health Organization warned Tuesday that the new Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate and reiterated his assessment that ending the coronavirus pandemic requires ending global vaccine inequity.

        “If we allow inequity to continue, we allow the pandemic to continue.”

      • Debunking Pharma Lies, Experts Identify 100+ Firms Ready to Make mRNA Vaccines

        Public health experts on Wednesday unveiled a report spotlighting more than 100 firms in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that have the potential to produce mRNA vaccines for Covid-19, putting the lie to the Big Pharma narrative that developing countries lack manufacturing capacity to make the lifesaving shots.

        “People are dying for corporate profit—it’s that simple.”

      • The Roots of Vaccine Hesitancy in Polygamous Communities

        Fundamentalist branches of Mormonism, however – groups who began separating from the LDS church after it ended the institutionally sanctioned practice of polygamy in 1904 – took a different route. Many fundamentalists have refused to take the vaccine and have sought alternative therapies, including the controversial use of Ivermectin, a drug commonly prescribed to treat intestinal parasites.

        Nationwide, about 30% of Americans have not received any vaccine dose against COVID-19. Many express skepticism about government intervention in their families’ health, opinions that are sometimes rooted in misinformation or conspiracy theories.

      • Why I Oppose Dr. Robert Califf’s Nomination to Run the FDA

        Not only have the drug companies spent over $4.5 billion on lobbying and hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions over the past 20 years, they also have created a revolving door between the FDA and the industry. Shockingly, nine out of the last ten FDA Commissioners went on to work for the pharmaceutical industry or to serve on a prescription drug company’s board of directors.

        Unfortunately, Dr. Califf is not the exception to that rule. After leaving the FDA in 2017, he received consulting fees from Merck, Biogen and Eli Lilly. According to his financial disclosure form, he owns up to $8 million in the stocks of major drug companies. That is exactly the close relationship Big Pharma has exploited to regulate the FDA, instead of the FDA regulating them.

      • Boris Johnson: “It’s My Party, and I’ll Cry If I Want to, Lie If I Want To”

        Last Christmas the UK was in a government-ordained second pandemic lockdown, during which all indoor social gatherings were prohibited (though on 16 December indoor gatherings confined to household bubbles were permitted).

        At the end of last month the Daily Mirror newspaper revealed that BoJo’s prime ministerial residence at Downing Street was the venue for 2 parties in the lead-up to Christmas 2020, the lockdown notwithstanding,

      • When Home Is a Toxic Hot Spot

        When the Environmental Protection Agency hosted a meeting last week to discuss hazardous air pollution in Verona, Missouri, Mayor Joseph Heck came armed with demands for round-the-clock air monitoring and a study of local cancer rates. “We’re here to find out more about the ethylene oxide pollution,” Heck said, referring to a potent chemical that can cause cancer by mutating DNA. “We know it is here. We know it’s dangerous, and we want answers.”

        The EPA had announced the event a few weeks after ProPublica published a unique, detailed analysis showing hot spots across the country where cancer risk is elevated by pollution from nearby industrial facilities, and after TV station KY3 aired a segment highlighting our analysis’s implications for the city’s 620 residents. One of Verona’s largest employers, the BCP Ingredients manufacturing facility, was substantially increasing the cancer risk in the area with its ethylene oxide emissions, our analysis showed. In some places, including the post office and city hall, the industrial cancer risk was an estimated 27 times the level that the EPA considers acceptable. The company said in a statement that the facility “is in full compliance” with federal and state regulations.

      • RFK Jr. then vs. RFK Jr. now: Still fiercely antivaccine after all these years

        There are times when I feel as though I’m in some sort of endless loop, in which certain things keep happening and certain people keep popping up again and again. I’m going through just such a time now with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., or RFK Jr., as he’s most commonly called. Although he has repeatedly claimed to be “fiercely pro-vaccine,” in reality his activities over the last 16 years have definitively shown him to be fiercely antivaccine. The reason is that RFK Jr. has been popping up in the news lately and has a best selling conspiracy-mongering book about Anthony Fauci out that he’s promoting, as are his fellow antivaxxers, like Del Bigtree:

      • Thousands displaced from Oahu military base due to contamination in Navy water system

        We’ve since learned that samples from the Red Hill Shaft contained petroleum levels that were 350 times the level considered safe, and that some 3,000 military members and their families have been relocated to temporary housing.

        The Navy says it’s found the source of the gas leak, but state officials and environmental activists are still calling for the facility to be permanently shut down.

        Here’s a look at the context and latest developments: [...]

      • Benton Harbor, Michigan sees decreasing levels of lead in drinking water

        From the same data, 1 in 4 of America’s poorest ZIP codes, where median household income is less than $35,000, has at least one water district with excessive lead contamination.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Ransomware attack threatens paychecks just before Christmas [iophk: Windows TCO]
        • Opening of email attachment led to HSE cyber attack, report finds [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The opening of a malicious Microsoft Excel file attached to a phishing email led to the cyber attack that crippled the national health service earlier this year, according to a report on the incident published on Friday.

          The file was opened at a HSE workstation on March 18th, with the email having been sent to the “patient zero workstation” two days earlier.

        • Weak defenses made cyberattack on Irish hospitals easy, experts find [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The HSE’s failure meant that, until mid-September, many doctors nationwide lost access to patient information, clinical care and laboratory systems. With email and networked phones turned off, hospitals were reduced to using pen and paper, faxes, personal mobile phones and face-to-face planning — in the midst of a national rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. Tens of thousands of appointments and procedures, particularly for cancer patients, were cancelled.

        • HSE publishes independent report on Conti cyber attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          On 14th May 2021, the HSE was subjected to a serious criminal cyberattack, through the infiltration of IT systems using Conti Ransomware. With over 80% of IT infrastructure impacted and the loss of key patient information and diagnostics, this resulted in severe impacts on the health service and the provision of care. The HSE employed the assistance of An Garda Síochána, the National Cyber Security Centre, Interpol and the Irish Defence Forces.

        • Inside Ireland’s Public Healthcare Ransomware Scare – Krebs on Security [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Ireland Health service manager (HSE), which operates the country’s public health system, was hit by Conti ransomware on May 14, 2021. A timeline in the report (above) states that the first infection of the “patient zero” workstation occurred on March 18, 2021, when a employee on a Windows computer opened a Microsoft Excel document in a phishing email that had been sent two days earlier.

          Less than a week later, the attacker had established a reliable backdoor connection to the employee’s infected workstation. After infecting the system, “the attacker continued to operate in the environment for a period of eight weeks until the detonation of Conti ransomware on May 14, 2021,” the report states.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Vision 2022: Open Networking & Edge Predictions – Linux.com

                As we wrap up the second year of living through a global pandemic, I wanted to take a moment to both look ahead to next year, as well as recognize how the open networking and edge industry has shifted over the past year. Read below for a list of what we can expect in 2022, as well as a brief “report card” on where my industry predictions from last year landed.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Apple’s Android App to Scan for AirTags is a Necessary Step Forward, But More Anti-Stalking Mitigations Are Needed
            • EXCLUSIVE Zoom has joined tech industry counterterrorism group

              GIFCT’s founding members were Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter (TWTR.N) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube.

              Its membership has risen to 18 companies with five new platforms joining this year including home-rental firm Airbnb (ABNB.O), social network Tumblr and online publishing platform WordPress. It said it plans for more in 2022.

            • Zoom joins counterterrorism tech group

              Video conferencing platform Zoom has joined an independent counterterrorism group that shares information among major tech companies to combat violence and extremism.

              The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) announced Wednesday that Zoom had joined the group. The forum was founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube in 2017 and now has 18 members.

            • Instagram hits 2 billion users but won’t disclose it to the world

              Meta-owned Instagram has reportedly hit two billion monthly active users, but the photo-sharing platform may not officially disclose these figures as it faces intense scrutiny over its alleged role in damaging the mental health of kids and teenagers.

              According to a CNBC report, anonymous employees broke this news, saying Instagram reached the 2-billion users’ figure about a week before Facebook changed its name to Meta in October.

            • At Europe’s newest multipurpose arena, Nokia Arena, doors open with mobile phones

              “We have introduced a wide range of keys. Access permits can be sent to smart devices, in which case the door opens with the help of a mobile phone or smartwatch in the blink of an eye. This way, for example, an ice hockey team training in the rink does not have to worry about losing the keys or returning them to the right place when the access rights expire at the end of the game shift. When granting access, it is also possible to determine which premises can and cannot be accessed,” says Jani Helenius, Property and Security Manager at Nokia Arena.

            • Press briefing: Transparency complaint against secret EU surveillance research “iBorderCtrl”

              The EU is funding the development of a supposed “video lie detector” that would be used on travellers before entering the EU. Member of the European Parliament and civil liberties activist Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party) filed a lawsuit on 15 March 2019 for the release of classified documents on the ethical justifiability and legality of the technology.

              The European Court of Justice will deliver its judgment in public in Luxembourg on 15 December 2021 at 11 am (Case T-158/19). A landmark ruling could shed light on EU-funded “security research” in general.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Demanding ‘Global Peace Dividend,’ Nobel Laureates Call for 2% Cut in World’s Military Spending

        In a move they say will save $1 trillion over five years “to fight planetary emergencies” like “pandemics, climate change, and extreme poverty,” a group of over 50 Nobel laureates this week published an open letter calling on countries to generate a “global peace dividend” by reducing their military spending by 2%.

        “Humankind faces risks that can only be averted through cooperation. Let us cooperate, instead of fighting among ourselves.”

      • Opinion | Current Dispute Over ICBMs Is a Quarrel Over How to Fine-Tune the Doomsday Machinery

        Nuclear weapons are at the pinnacle of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.” If you’d rather not think about them, that’s understandable. But such a coping strategy has limited value. And those who are making vast profits from preparations for global annihilation are further empowered by our avoidance.

      • Was the Attack at Pearl Harbor Inevitable?

        But there was at least some solace to be taken in one’s heroes. And I think the ideal embodied in the policies and persons of one’s heroes is important. For decades, Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been one such hero, and when a hero is from among the elite, well, doesn’t that contribute to the sense that at least some things in this system of government and larger society do work for the common good?

        There are some elements of the New Deal that were among the best accomplishments of the federal government during the Great Depression. There were serious blemishes in some of those programs, like racism. The government worked for some ordinary people.

      • The U.S. Military Budget as a Mushroom Cloud

        Final approval of the latest military budget, formally known as the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, may slip into January as Congress wrangles over various side issues. Unlike so much crucial funding for the direct care of Americans, however, don’t for a second imagine it won’t pass with supermajorities. (Yes, the government could indeed be shut down one of these days, but not — never! — the U.S. military.)

        Some favorites of mine among “defense” budget side issues now being wrangled over include whether military members should be able to refuse Covid-19 vaccines without being punished, whether young women should be required to register for the selective service system when they turn 18 (even though this country hasn’t had a draft in almost half a century and isn’t likely to have one in the foreseeable future), or whether the Iraq War AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force), passed by Congress to disastrous effect in 2002, should be repealed after nearly two decades of calamity and futility.

      • There’s Always More Money for the Pentagon

        Where are you going to get the money? That question haunts congressional proposals to help the poor, the unhoused, and those struggling to pay the mortgage or rent or medical bills, among so many other critical domestic matters. And yet—big surprise!—there’s always plenty of money for the Pentagon. In fiscal year 2022, in fact, Congress is being especially generous with $778 billion in funding, roughly $25 billion more than the Biden administration initially asked for. Even that staggering sum seriously undercounts government funding for America’s vast national security state, which, since it gobbles up more than half of federal discretionary spending, is truly this country’s primary, if unofficial, fourth branch of government.

      • Kyle Rittenhouse and the Hierarchies of Rights and Fire

        It registers the white man’s right to bear arms, feel threatened by his others (Blacks, crowds, opposition groups, etc.), and shoot with impunity. It is also a reminder of how this right is not extended to others (including the dissident, multi-ethnic, crowd Rittenhouse shot at, and his individual white victims who were part of that crowd). As former NAACP chair Cornell William Brooks said in an interview with Politico: “I don’t have to tell you this, there is no set of circumstances, no reading of the law, no rendering of the imagination, in which a Black person could get away with this.”

        All this should be perfectly clear (even if the right wing tries to cloud it, and even as some liberals want to act confused). What remains is to explain the culture of the white shooter, the white master of fire, and his threatening, incendiary, subhuman others, against whom he enjoys the privilege of feeling threatened and the privilege of shooting. As the right wing attempts to paint the gun-teen as both a hero and a victim, and as many liberals are playing the same both-side-ism they have played since the shooting, it is important for the left to look at the conditions that made the crime, and the acquittal, possible.

      • Iran Nuclear Talks Falter as Biden Administration Squanders Window for Diplomacy
      • Iran Nuclear Talks Falter as Biden Admin Threatens “Alternatives” After Squandering Window for Diplomacy

        The United States is continuing talks with Iran over its nuclear program after President Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015. With a new Iranian administration after April’s controversial election, many worry that if talks fail, tensions between the two countries could turn into military escalation fueled by pressure from Israel. “The new hard-line team has been coming in to the negotiation table with more demands than the previous administration,” says Iranian American journalist Negar Mortazavi. “They want sanctions relief from the U.S. in exchange for them scaling back part of their nuclear program.”

      • Germany expels two Russian diplomats following alleged FSB officer’s murder conviction

        After convicting an alleged FSB officer of the murder of former Chechen field commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, Germany has expelled two diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Berlin.

      • The Chaotic Evacuation From Afghanistan Has Distracted From the UK’s Deeper Failures During the War

        Among those abandoned “in sight of help” was a man whose nine-year-old child was no longer breathing after being crushed in the crowd of 25,000 desperate people trying to escape the Taliban. A senior military officer friendly to the British returned to Kabul expecting to be murdered because he would otherwise have had to leave behind several of his children who did not have the right documents. Even if they had received them, they might have failed to get inside the airport through the milling crowds because no buses had been arranged by the Foreign Office.

        As for the “slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew”, what better exemplar could there be of these two lethal qualities than the then foreign secretary Dominic Raab? He extended his holiday in Crete at the height of the crisis, and was culpably out of his depth when he finally returned. Raphael Marshall, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office whistle-blower, told the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee how Raab had said “he would need all the cases [for evacuation] set out in a well-presented table to make decisions”.

      • Austria: Islamic “guardians of public morals” beat up women and children in Vienna – for religious reasons

        It is not the first attack by so-called ” guardians of public morals” on women who have not behaved according to “the religious rules”. This time, however, the attack was particularly brutal. In previous years, it had always been Chechen gangs and clans who were responsible. In the latest case, it is known: The men come from the “Russian Federation”.

      • The Guy Behind the Anti-Democracy PowerPoint Is Now Giving Election Reform Advice at the State Level

        Phil Waldron, the retired Army colonel who promoted an anti-democracy PowerPoint referenced in the material Mark Meadows turned over to the committee investigating Jan. 6, addressed a Louisiana voting commission this week. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the election fraud conspiracy theorist was welcomed as an “expert,” and that his 90-minute address to the body included a suggestion that the commission should start counting paper ballots by hand.

      • The Meadows Texts May Be the Watergate Tapes of the 1/6 Inquiry
    • Environment

      • Antarctic ice shelf could crack, raise seas by feet within decade, scientists warn

        A dramatic chain reaction in the ice could occur by 2031, starting with the Thwaites Glacier, said Erin Pettit, a professor at Oregon State University who studies glacier and ice sheet dynamics.

        The glacier, a river of flowing ice, is blocked from falling into the sea by the eastern ice shelf, which sits atop an underwater mountain and is disintegrating.

      • If Build Back Better Fails, Warns Climate Group, Democrats ‘Will Lose and They Will Deserve It’

        The youth-led Sunrise Movement warned Wednesday that Democrats will get wiped out in the upcoming midterm elections—and potentially beyond—if they fail to pass the Build Back Better Act, which is on the verge of collapse as right-wing Sen. Joe Manchin continues to withhold his support from the party’s agenda.

        “If Democrats come to the midterm elections with a message of ‘we tried, please vote for us,’ they will lose and they will deserve it,” Varshini Prakash, Sunrise’s executive director,  said in a statement. “This is why people feel neglected and disillusioned by our government, and this is why an entire generation of young people are losing hope in the political process.”

      • House Progressives, Climate Coalition Demand End to ‘Fossil Fuel Handouts’

        Progressives in the U.S. House of Representatives and a coalition of 140 advocacy groups this week ramped up pressure on Senate Democrats to serve people and the planet, not polluters, with the climate provisions of the Build Back Better Act.

        “Congress members, senators, and the president are negotiating with people’s lives.”

      • These 10 Imperiled Species in US Are Hanging by a Thread in Face of Climate Threat

        A new report released Wednesday by the Endangered Species Coalition details the plight of 10 rapidly vanishing species in the United States that are already suffering the destructive consequences of the global climate emergency—characterized by rising temperatures that bring increasingly frequent, prolonged, and intense heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.

        “Without sufficient and vibrant biodiversity, we lose the resources… to support life.”

      • EPA Sued Over Refusal to Close Deadly Pesticide Loophole Decimating Honey Bees

        After waiting nearly five years for the Environmental Protection Agency to respond to a petition calling for the closing of a regulatory loophole which has proven deadly for honey bee colonies—spelling disaster for farmers’ crops, food security, and biodiversity—two advocacy groups are suing the agency and demanding officials take immediate action to end the use of harmful pesticides known as neonics.

        Joined by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed the lawsuit saying the petition it sent to the EPA in April 2017 regarding the continued use of neonics, or neonicotinoids, provided “the legal blueprint to solve this problem and the legal impetus to do it.”

      • Energy

        • What the Campaign Against a North London Waste Incinerator Teaches Us About the Green Movement’s Diversity Problem

          By Rachel Parsons, London-based multimedia journalist.The drizzle thickened over a working-class neighbourhood in northeast London on a cold June evening, as activist Delia Mattis stood waiting for friends, parka hood pulled up against the biting mist, clutching a sack full of campaign leaflets. 

          For the next two hours, the small group walked door to door distributing anti-waste incineration fliers in a community that was largely unaware it sits within the radius of a smokestack plume of a municipal waste incinerator, or MWI, one of five across the city. 

        • Bitcoin mining consumes 0.5% of all electricity used globally and 7 times Google’s total usage, new report says

          Bitcoin’s negative environmental impact is expected to become a bigger issue as cryptocurrency gains more popularity.

        • Crypto Mining in Texas May Demand 5 Times More Electricity by 2023, ERCOT Predicts

          With Bitcoin mining picking up steam in Texas, US, its grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has foreseen a five-fold increment in energy loads. In the next two years, by 2023, ERCOT predicts that it would have to produce at least up to 5,000MW more electricity to support [cryptocurrency] mining and data centres. The [cryptocurrency] industry is already consuming up to 1,000MW of electricity in Texas, ERCOT officials have revealed to the media during a recent interaction.

          Texas emerged as a Bitcoin mining hub after the Chinese government criminalised all [cryptocurrency]-related activities earlier this year. Excessive power consumption in [cryptocurrency] mining was one of the important reasons why China took the drastic measure.

          The state offers a 10-year tax abatement, sales tax credits, and state-sponsored workforce training to [cryptocurrency] miners, attracting more of them, a report by Data Center Dynamics said.

        • Texas pipeline company charged in California oil spill

          Amplify Energy Corp. and its companies that operate several oil rigs and a pipeline off Long Beach were charged by a federal grand jury with a single misdemeanor count of illegally discharging oil.

        • Why stocks and [cryptocurrency] are the hottest holiday gift this year

          Apps like PayPal, Venmo and Cash App have made it simple for people to send cryptocurrency to anyone with an account. Some platforms charge a fee, but otherwise it moves from account to account like cash. But stocks are more difficult to give because most brokerage firms require a receiver to have an account and the gift giver must know that account information, Wang said. Stockpile and Cash App are currently the only platforms that sell gift cards for stocks, with Cash App announcing this week that users can gift Bitcoin even if the account owner does not own any cryptocurrency or stocks. Robinhood’s Tenev told investors in October that gifting stocks is “definitely something that we’ll consider for the future.”

        • Kazakhstan’s Power Shortages: [Cryptocurrency] Miners and Geopolitics

          “The 8 percent increase in consumption is largely due to mining data centers operating in the country. The main suppliers of electricity for mining data centers are coal and gas power plants,” the note said.

        • Bitcoin Sucks Up More Electricity than Many Countries — How Is That Possible?

          The process of creating Bitcoins consumes 91 terrawatt-hours of electricity annually, and that’s more than the yearly consumption of the full country Finland (population: 5.5M).

          If Bitcoin were a country, it would rank 33ʳᵈ in the world’s energy consumption.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Project Animalia: A Year in 365 Animal Paintings
        • Big Victory for Grizzly Bears and Wild, Free-Roaming Elk in Montana

          Back in the 1980’s, the Forest Service implemented a land management plan, called a “forest plan,” which set out certain mandatory protections for wildlife habitat on the Helena National Forest.  One mandatory protection requires conservation of unlogged forested areas as “hiding cover” for wildlife.  Another mandatory protection sets a limit on road-building in the forest.  There is a scientific consensus that logging and road-building are two of the most harmful activities in elk and grizzly habitat because both activities disturb and displace wildlife from its preferred habitat.

          Despite the mandatory protections for wildlife in the forest plan, over the past decade, the Forest Service has adopted a practice of exempting logging and road-building projects from compliance with these protections.  In short, if a logging project will violate the protections, the Forest Service simply issues a “site-specific forest plan amendment” to exempt the project from compliance.  By repeatedly issuing these successive “site-specific” exemptions for every project where the protections apply, the Forest Service was in effect rendering the protections completely useless.  Conservationists filed their lawsuit to hold the government accountable for this end-run around critical habitat protections for grizzly bears and free-roaming wild elk herds.

    • Finance

      • More Universal Programs Would Drastically Improve Financial Stability for US Families: Analysis

        Calling on the U.S. Senate to improve the wellbeing of families across the country whose working hours and incomes are unpredictable or unstable, a new analysis published Tuesday details how universal programs have helped these families in the past—and how millions of Americans will benefit if these provisions are included and expanded in the Build Back Better Act.

        Economic justice advocates say the Democratic Party currently has an historic opportunity to pass universal benefits as part of the Build Back Better Act, which has been passed by the House and is being negotiated by the White House and the Senate ahead of a Christmas deadline for passage.

      • Opinion | The Plan to Tax Stock Buybacks From Corporations With Record Breaking Profits

        While Black, white, and Brown working people are struggling to recover from the pandemic, C-suite executives are using legalized self-dealing to take an ever-growing share of profits.  According to the Commerce Department, the last time margins were this large was 1950. Even Morgan Stanley economists are raising the alarm about the widening mismatch between what workers get paid and the profits the C-suite takes home.

      • Will We See Deflation in the Next 12 Months?
      • Opinion | The Ongoing Humiliation of Underpaid Teachers Is a National Disgrace

        Comedian Rodney Dangerfield used to joke that he got no respect. For this punchline to work today he’d probably have to be a teacher. Because few other professions are less appreciated. A viral video making the rounds on social media shows South Dakota educators scrambling to pick up $1 bills in a hockey game sideshow.   This was an opportunity for them to grab a few hundred dollars to buy school supplies for their classrooms.  Can you imagine any other professional doing that? 

      • The Bankers of the Round Table

        There’s no way that just one person could rule the world, right? That would take an absurd, comic-book-supervillain amount of money. But at COP26 earlier this year, former Bank of England governor Mark Carney said, “Hold my beer.”

      • Not Just Billionaires — the Average Rich Person’s Pay Has Risen During COVID
      • Bowman Blasts ‘False Choice’ Between Senate Action on Build Back Better Act or Voting Rights

        Congressman Jamaal Bowman on Wednesday called out his U.S. Senate colleagues following reports that Democrats may put off a vote on the Build Back Better Act until the new year and instead turn their attention to advancing voting rights legislation.

        “We can pass both bills and must do so immediately.”

      • Study Confirms How Citizens United Made ‘Mockery’ of Campaign Finance Rules

        As a report published Wednesday revealed that political consulting firms raked in $1.4 billion while simultaneously working for campaign committees and purportedly independent groups during the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, progressives renewed calls for Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act to protect and strengthen democracy.

        “The findings in this study add to the overwhelming evidence that campaign committees and outside groups frequently are not truly independent of one another.”

      • Opinion | This Outrageous Global Inequality Is a Political Choice

        The World Inequality Report 2022, produced by the Paris-based World Inequality Lab, is a remarkable document for many reasons—starting with its demonstration of the immense power of patient collective research.

      • ‘We Need to Do Better to Deserve Victory’: Khanna Implores Biden to Act on Student Loan Debt

        Rep. Ro Khanna warned Tuesday that the Biden administration’s plan to restart federal student loan payments in February could hurt Democrats’ chances in the upcoming midterm elections by placing an additional financial burden on millions of people, right in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

        “There’s no excuse for the choice to resume payments, especially during an election year.”

      • Rep. Ro Khanna Implores Biden to Act on Student Loan Debt
      • Striking Kellogg’s Workers Need the PRO Act

        President Biden issued a suitably blunt statement last week in support of striking Kellogg’s workers, who faced the threat of being permanently replaced by the cereal company that has decided to ditch its cheerful Frosted Flakes image and play union-busting hardball. Unfortunately, corporations are going to need more than a push from the president to clear the way for workers to organize unions and negotiate for fair pay and workforce protections.

      • Reno May Use Federal Funds to Address Housing Crisis

        Reno officials are preparing initiatives to address the city’s affordable housing crisis, including potentially spending their entire allotment of federal pandemic recovery funds on housing, according to a city council member speaking at a recent forum organized by ProPublica.

        Council member Devon Reese declined to provide details on plans that he described as “not fully baked” yet, but said conversations have included remodeling existing hotels or motels into housing, taxing property owners who hold vacant land and reopening a recently closed shelter to alleviate overcrowding at a new campus for the unhoused. He said about $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding could be brought to bear on the crisis.

      • The Great Inheritors: How Three Families Shielded Their Fortunes From Taxes for Generations

        President Franklin D. Roosevelt pounded on his desk and swore.

        His treasury secretary had handed him a series of memos detailing the many ways the wealthy were avoiding taxes. Enraged by a rich businessman’s schemes, Roosevelt asked his treasury secretary to publicly denounce the man as a “son of a bitch.”

      • Reddit Lays Groundwork for Public Offering With Confidential SEC Filing

        Co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and currently led by CEO Steve Huffman, Reddit was most recently valued at $10 billion in an August fundraising round led by Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC. At the time, Reddit said it had hit the $100 million mark in advertising revenue during its second quarter and sought out the funding to help boost the company’s international expansion and advertising offerings.

      • Reddit files to take the company public

        In the August announcement, Reddit said it had made $100 million in ad revenue for the second quarter of 2021, a nearly 200 percent increase from the previous year.

        The company said earlier this year that it planned to double its staff by the end of 2021 to around 1,400 employees.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Against Plutocrats, Platitudes — About Democracy — Will Always Be Pitiful
      • The Working Class is Not Voting Against Its Interests

        In truth the Democrats are the misguided fools; the working class knows exactly what it is doing. It is voting for anyone—whether Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders—who promises to blow up the current system, a system which favors billionaires and corporations. And when the choice is between a bomb thrower and someone representing the party of Goldman Sachs and free trade, that choice is a no-brainer.

        If Democrats were to actually listen to working class voters—especially those Rust Belt and Coal Belt voters whose good paying union jobs were made obsolete by Clintonian policies like NAFTA—they would find that these voters believe they are voting for the party of the working class. Or the party that at least pretends to be pro-working class.

      • Mark Meadows Held in Contempt of Congress as Jan. 6 Probe Expands. How Long Can Trump Hold Out?

        The U.S. House voted to recommend the Department of Justice charge former President Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack. The vote came after the committee released a series of text messages from Republican lawmakers and Fox News hosts to Meadows on January 6 that begged him to convince Trump to tell his followers to leave the Capitol. The messages show that Trump and his inner circle were “in the know” in the plot to overturn the election, says Daily Beast reporter Jose Pagliery.

      • Chile’s Future at Stake: Runoff Election Pits Leftist Student Leader Against Far-Right Pinochet Defender

        In Chile, voters this weekend will determine a close runoff election between far-right candidate José Antonio Kast and leftist Gabriel Boric, a former student leader. If Boric, who holds a narrow lead, wins the race, he would become Chile’s youngest and most progressive president in years. Meanwhile, Kast’s win would make him “an authoritarian taking power with anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, nationalistic and very hateful rhetoric in relation to everything that is progressive,” says Chilean American author Ariel Dorfman.

      • Senate Slammed for Passing ‘Bloated’ NDAA But Delaying Build Back Better Act

        As a bill authorizing $778 billion in military spending breezed through the U.S. Senate Wednesday amid darkening prospects for the Build Back Better social and climate investment package, peace and civil society groups decried what they called the misplaced priorities that place the military-industrial complex and corporate greed above dire human and planetary needs.

        “Where is all the hand-wringing over the $778 billion military bill that we’ve seen over Build Back Better, which costs less than a quarter as much annually?”

      • Warren Says Expand Supreme Court to Counter ‘Powerful Threat to Our Democracy’

        Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts announced Wednesday her support for expanding the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, warning that without such reform the court’s right-wing majority would “continue to threaten basic liberties for decades to come.”

        “When a court consistently shows that it no longer is bound by the rule of law, Congress must exercise its constitutional authority to fix that court,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote in a Wednesday op-ed in the Boston Globe.

      • Texas Is Winnable. Beto’s the Candidate to Do It.

        Just as Stacey Abrams’s 2018 Georgia gubernatorial campaign laid the foundation for the transformation of US politics in 2020 and 201, Beto O’Rourke’s 2022 Texas gubernatorial candidacy has the potential to bring about similar long-term revolutionary changes in American politics and public policy priorities for decades to come.

      • Not a Single Republican Votes for Ilhan Omar’s Bill to Combat Islamophobia

        Not one single Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives joined with Democrats on Tuesday night to pass Rep. Ilhan Omar’s legislation intended to address rising Islamophobia worldwide.

        “As Americans, we should stand united against all forms of bigotry.”

      • ‘Are They Trying to Lose?’ Critics Ask After Pelosi Defends Stock Trading by Lawmakers

        Progressives and government watchdog groups on Wednesday condemned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of individual stock trading by members of Congress, days after an extensive report revealed dozens of conflicts of interest by lawmakers who own stocks related to the healthcare industry and other sectors Congress is supposed to regulate.

        After being asked by Business Insider at her weekly press conference whether members of Congress and their spouses should be barred from trading stocks, Pelosi said the practice should be permitted to continue because “we are a free market economy.”

      • How China Uses Western Influencers As Pawns In Its Propaganda War

        China’s efforts to subdue the turkic-speaking Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region will be familiar to Techdirt readers. International awareness is increasing, too, not least thanks to the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics that the US and other countries have announced. That presents an interesting challenge to the Chinese authorities: how to counter the growing evidence of pervasive surveillance and large-scale arrests of the Uyghurs. Using official outlets like China’s Global Times is one way, but its articles are easily dismissed as crude propaganda. Much more interesting is the approach described by the New York Times, which looks at how China is helping Western YouTubers to report on the country:

      • ‘Democracy Is Under Attack’: 200+ State Lawmakers Tell Senate to Delay Recess to Pass Voting Rights

        More than 200 state lawmakers from across the nation on Tuesday urged the U.S. Senate to postpone its upcoming holiday recess for as long as necessary to pass voting rights legislation, warning that failure to do so would enable the GOP’s “unparalleled” assault on democracy.

        “State lawmakers have done everything we can to defend our democracy and protect the voices of our constituents, but we are out of options,” reads a new letter the coalition of lawmakers delivered to Senate leaders. “While we’ve tried to work with our Republican colleagues to set policies that safely and securely protect ballot access, they refuse to act in good faith to uphold the sanctity of our elections.”

      • Opinion | The Class War—Waged and Being Won by the Rich—Is Destroying US Democracy

        Almost a year after Joe Biden’s narrow election victory over Donald Trump, the United States remains on a knife-edge. Many political outcomes are possible. These range from the gradual economic and political reform that Biden is seeking to the subversion of elections and constitutional rule that Trump attempted last January—and that he and the Republican Party are still intent on pursuing.

      • Federal Judge Rules Against Trump, Gives Congress Access to His Taxes
      • America Besieged

        That’s precisely what’s happening in several Republican-led battleground states. The goal is to ensure that if Donald Trump loses another presidential election, if he runs, he still may be able to be declared the winner by subverting the balloting, disenfranchising the voters – to do in 2024 what the Trumpists couldn’t accomplish in 2020. Elections could wind up being thrown to the courts.

        More than 60 percent of Republicans believe Trump’s biggest, boldest lie — that he defeated Joe Biden for the presidency, that the election was stolen from him, according to a May Reuters/Ipsos poll. It’s very difficult to believe so many people can be duped.

      • Contrasting Crackdowns: Media Coverage of 2021 Elections in Ecuador and Nicaragua

        (By “enemy,” I mean a government that poses no threat to the U.S.,  but still gets hit with  crippling sanctions, or worse, that it endures as best it can.)

        A search of the Nexis news database for the word “crackdown” in articles about Ecuador and Nicaragua in newspapers in the U.S.,  Canada, and the UK for a five-month period before the election in each country reveals a significant contrast between reporting on Nicaragua and Ecuador. In the case of Ecuador, not a single headline alleged any kind of  crackdown on opposition to the government. In the case of Nicaragua, 55 headlines alleged an unjustifiable crackdown. Some examples:

      • Could GDPR policy erase your games? It happened to an Ubisoft customer

        Reached for comment, Ubisoft officials said their policy is necessary to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.

      • Opinion | Will Multimillionaire Joe Manchin Help Kids Stay Out of Poverty?

        I work hard to make ends meet for my family. But as an educator in West Virginia, that’s hard sometimes—especially with child care to pay for.

      • Build Back Better Verges on Collapse as Manchin Attempts to Kill Child Tax Credit

        The Build Back Better Act is teetering on the brink of collapse following reports Wednesday that right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin wants to eliminate the boosted child tax credit, a move that would push millions of kids across the U.S. back into poverty.

        Meanwhile, Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday voted in favor of a sprawling $778 billion military spending bill—the 11th consecutive Pentagon budget he’s supported without complaining about the cost. The legislation easily passed in bipartisan fashion, 88-11.

      • Manchin yells at reporter: ‘You’re bull—-’

        Democratic senators say frustration with Manchin is rising, and many of them are fed up with his refusal to sign off on Biden’s signature domestic social spending proposal.

      • Democratic talks with Manchin show signs of melting down

        Manchin lost his temper when Arthur Delaney, a reporter for HuffPost Politics, asked Manchin if he opposed providing the expanded child tax credit in monthly installments of $300 to families with young kids.

      • Everything you need to know about Zim’s new e-passport

        Old type passport holders have until the end of December 2023 to make the switch and the new e-passport which to be honest is kind of inconvenient if you spent a day plus in a queue for a conventional passport and the government wakes up and decides to make this change.

        What is an e-passport and what are its advantages?

        An electronic passport or e-passport is a conventional passport with the addition of a readable electronic chip that carries the same information that is printed on the physical document. On top of the conventional information, some e-passports also have on their digital record, biometric data, the bearer’s photograph and in some cases the holder’s iris pattern.

      • US House approves proposed State Dept anti-Islamophobia office

        The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to approve a Democratic proposal for a US State Department office to address anti-Muslim bias after a Republican congresswoman used an Islamophobic slur against a Democratic colleague. The House backed the bill in a party-line vote of 219-212.

      • Ilhan Omar Bill to Require State Department to Monitor ‘Islamophobia’ Moves Forward

        Islamic advocacy groups and their leftist allies have been insisting for years that such analysis, too, constituted “Islamophobia.” Omar and Schakowsky speak of Islamophobic violence, but if this Special Envoy is created, he or she will without any doubt crack down on any honest discussion of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and oppression, because for years such discussion has been labeled “Islamophobia” along with real acts of anti-Muslim bigotry.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Fox News passes Trump’s loyalty test: It’s about more than lying — it’s about teaching how to lie

        Privately, the network’s biggest stars were freaked out by the Capitol insurrection. They clearly, and correctly, saw it as something Donald Trump purposefully instigated. Publicly, however, they were willing to deflect blame from Trump, defend the rioters and minimize the violence. But rather than apologize to their viewers for spending 11 months lying to them, the hydra-headed Fox News monster just threw out a bunch of contradictory and not even remotely persuasive excuses.

        Laura Ingraham whined about “left wing media hacks” who are in “spin and defame mode.” Tucker Carlson flatly claimed that the texts were “exculpatory” and “a tribute to the people who wrote them.” Sean Hannity sneered that the release of his text messages was “a weak attempt to smear yours truly and presumably I guess President Trump.” In reality, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — who is a hardcore conservative, but is just an outlier in finding fascist insurrections distasteful — simply read the texts verbatim, no garnish needed to expose these two as sleazy liars.


        While good faith actors are busy picking apart Excuse A, Fox News hosts are busy churning out Excuses B, C, D, and E. There’s no keeping up with the firehose of bullshit. This is gaslighting and not just garden variety lying. There’s no intent here to fool anyone — not the media, not liberals, and certainly not Fox News viewers. Instead, the intent is to flood the zone with so much nonsense that the opposition becomes exhausted and gives up fighting for truth. Most importantly, Fox is training their audiences to embrace the same approach to politics.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Nintendo Blocks Players From Discussing COVID, Other Subjects (2020)

        Summary: Nintendo has long striven to be the most family-friendly of game consoles. Its user base tends to skew younger and its attempts to ensure its offerings are welcoming and non-offensive have produced a long string of moderation decisions that have mostly, to this point, only affected game content. Many of these changes were made to make games less offensive to users outside of Nintendo’s native Japan. 

      • School Library Journal Starts a Library Censorship Tips Hotline

        In response to this wave of censorship attempts, the School Library Journal has opened a library censorship tips hotline, which allows library professionals to report censorship attempts anonymously. Hopefully, this will give a more complete picture than the ALA numbers and shed light on censorship happening that is not getting covered on the news. The censorship tips hotline form asks for name and email (both optional); the library/school district, and state; and a comments field: “Tell us who is behind the objection—parents, school board members, or other parties—and how the district/library responded. Was challenge policy followed? Let us know anything else relevant.”

      • The Communist Party thinks China’s prolific censors are not censoring enough

        Chinese [Internet] companies have long been subject to government crackdowns, with their executives frequently summoned by the CAC for “criticism and rectification.” But it is rare for government regulators to openly admonish platforms for doing a botch job on censorship, analysts say.

      • Censor Trouble for Hindi Version of Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna’s Pushpa: The Rise

        Part 1 of Allu Arjun and Rashmika Mandanna-starrer ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ will hit the theatres worldwide on December 17. The film will be released in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi. Ahead of its release, the Hindi version of Sukumar directorial has landed in censor trouble. The makers of the film are yet to obtain the censor certificate for the Hindi version. The film has managed to maintain the hype and fans are eager to find if Allu Arjun-starrer is up to the mark.

        The makers of Pushpa could not send the final print of the film’s Hindi version on time to the censor board. The board officials reportedly refused to watch the “unfinished” film. Later, the team sent the final print of Pushpa’s Hindi version, and now it will likely get clearance before its scheduled release on December 17.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • WI AG Says He Won’t Enforce 172-Year-Old Abortion Statute If Roe Is Upended
      • ‘Why couldn’t you save me?’ How a teenager in Perm who dreamed of being a chemist built and ran a drug lab in a rented apartment

        In January 2021, police officers in Perm detained a 16-year-old high school student and his “twin assistants.” According to officials, they had been dealing illegal substances. The official police press release claimed the teenager had rented an apartment separate from his parents in a typical Russian high-rise building to “grow strawberries there,” but ended up setting up a meth lab instead. The media has reported how the detainee was a great student, especially when it came to biology. According to his friends and teachers, he was interested in science; nobody had any idea there was anything untoward going on. Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova traveled to Perm to find out what really happened.

      • bell hooks, Black Feminist Scholar and Intellectual Giant, Has Died
      • More Info Leaks About The CBP’s Counter-Terrorism Division’s Targeting Of Journalists

        For a few years now, information has come to light showing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been engaged in the sort of activity that’s gotten other federal law enforcement agencies in trouble in the past: the targeting of journalists.

      • Kentucky to Investigate Termination Threats to Workers at Factory That Collapsed
      • Portraits in Minneapolis
      • Opinion | Why Expanding the US Supreme Court Is More Urgent Than Ever

        Since John Roberts’s appointment as Chief Justice in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a spate of transformational ultra-right decisions on a dizzying array of subjects, including voting rights, gerrymandering, union organizing, the death penalty, qualified immunity for police, gun control, campaign finance, and most recently, abortion.

      • Rising Citizen Backlash to Bad Policies and Poor Governance

        What’s worth noting is that unlike the rest of the superheated political arena where everything seems to be painted in terms of R vs D, red vs blue, the uprising against the Republican officeholders has everything to do with the policies they are enacting, not the letter behind their name.

        The list is long and growing, but last week saw public school superintendents from the state’s largest school districts take the unprecedented step of sending a letter of no confidence to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen, due to a number of actions, policies, and complications from a vast 90% turnover in staff at the Office of Public Instruction. They were joined by a similar letter from superintendents from four county school districts only days later saying “it’s time we voice our dissent.”

      • What’s behind suicides by thousands of Indian housewives?

        Housewives accounted for 14.6% of the total 153,052 recorded suicides in India in 2020 and more than 50% of the total number of women who killed themselves.

        And last year was not an exception. Since 1997 when the NCRB started compiling suicide data based on occupation, more than 20,000 housewives have been killing themselves every year. In 2009, their numbers rose to 25,092.

      • Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to federal charges in George Floyd’s death – CSMonitor
      • How Amazon warehouse policies put workers at risk

        But crucially, there was no legal obligation for how the Edwardsville warehouse needed to respond to the warnings. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most businesses to have Emergency Action Plans, which include evacuation procedures, but US law leaves it up to employers to make the call on whether to send employees home ahead of a natural disaster. A spokesperson for OSHA wrote in an email to The Verge that they were “not aware of any policy or requirement of a business to shut down and send people home.”

      • Man exonerated in Malcolm X murder sues New York state

        One of two men wrongfully imprisoned for decades over the 1965 assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X sued New York state for at least $20 million in damages Tuesday.

      • Nicola Sturgeon’s Motivation

        It is a simple fact that, to get any senior international job, be it at the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, NATO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or any other intergovernmental organisation, you must have the endorsement of your own government. In the case of Nicola Sturgeon, that means the endorsement of the state recognised by those organisations, which is the United Kingdom.

      • Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty on Wednesday to violating George Floyd’s civil rights when he killed the man by kneeling on his neck during an arrest. Three other former officers, indicted alongside Mr. Chauvin, are scheduled for trial early next year.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • How Attacks On Section 230 Could Put Addiction Recovery Efforts At Risk

      We keep trying to highlight the pitfalls and dangers of attacking the problems seen on social media as if Section 230 is the cause of them, rather than the mirror highlighting societal problems that other policies have failed to fix or have exacerbated. We already have one strong example of how attacking 230 only makes societal problems worse with FOSTA, which has put sex workers’ lives at risk, made it much harder for law enforcement to track down sex traffickers, and has done absolutely none of the things the backers of the law promised in terms of solving societal problems.

    • The (Still Secret) Online Harms Consultation: What the Government Heard, Part One

      Finally, many focused on the inadequacy of the consultation process, noting that it took place during an election period. That may have limited public participation and raised questions about a caretaker government dealing with such controversial subject matter. The consultation materials themselves were also viewed insufficient because they did not ask open-ended questions or provide justification for the problems addressed and solutions proposed.

    • FAA Ignores FCC, Limits U.S. 5G Over Unsubstantiated Safety Concerns

      We’d already noted that the FAA had been pushing to impose limits on 5G deployments in certain bands due to safety concerns. The problem: the FCC, the agency with the expertise in spectrum interference, has repeatedly stated those concerns are unfounded based on the FCC’s own research. Worse, the FAA has proven a bit intractable in providing the FCC with data proving their claims of harm. The FAA claims that deploying 5G in the 3.7 to 3.98 GHz “C-Band” will cause interference with certain radio altimeters. But the FCC has shown that more than 40 countries have deployed 5G in this band with no evidence of harm.

    • Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently

      The growing scepticism around web3 can be summed up by the titles of a few recent blog posts. Web3 is B*llsh*t. Web3? I have my DAOts. Web3 is not decentralization.

      Or how about: Web3 is not Decentralisation — it’s a Ploy to put Crypto Bros in Charge. Or Keep the web free, say no to Web3.

      For balance, let’s look at what some of the advocates say: Is Web3… anything? And Web3 is a stupid idea.

      What is this clearly controversial technology? Web 1 was simple HTML, later on with a bit of JavaScript for some interactivity. Web 2.0, as The Reg explained in 2008, turned websites into apps running in the browser. Web3 refers to the addition of the power of blockchain to the web, which, among other things, would enable smart contracts via distributed identities. The idea is that you enforce trust using cryptographically signed tokens, allowing world+dog to decentralise the web via federation.

      It’s confusing. We asked some experts in the area, such as London-based developer and web entrepreneur Stephen Diehl. He said: “Unlike previous iterations on web technology (AJAX in web2, JavaScript, etc), web3 offers nothing but an attempt to turn every site into a gambling portal to trade cryptocurrency. There is no technical benefit to end users other than to seduce them into trading more crypto coins.”

  • Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • The Papas and the Pappas: Burger Joint Rebrands Over Trademark Dispute

        We’re going to keep repeating this until it becomes common knowledge: trademark law is designed to keep the public from being confused as to the source of a good or service, not as some mechanism for businesses to lock up language in a competitive marketplace. In other words, if there is no risk of customer confusion, trademark laws very rarely come into play in terms of disputes or infringement.

    • Copyrights

      • Report: Bruce Springsteen Sells Publishing Catalog to Sony for $500 Million

        The musician has sold his masters to Sony Music and his publishing to Sony Music Publishing in a combined deal, according Billboard sources. A rep for Sony declined to comment on the deal. Springsteen has remained with Sony’s Columbia Records since he launched his career, and was given ownership of his earlier albums. According the the RIAA, his album catalog has sold 65.5 million in the U.S., which includes his 15-times platinum Born in the U.S.A. and five-times platinum The River. A rep for Springsteen did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

      • YouTube’s New Copyright Transparency Report Leaves a Lot Out

        The major thrust of this report is to calm the major studios and music labels. Those huge conglomerates have consistently pushed for more and more restrictions on the use of copyrighted material, at the expense of fair use and, as a result, free expression. YouTube has plenty of incentives to try to avoid the wrath of these deep-pocketed companies by showing how it polices allege copyright infringement and generates money for creators.

        The secondary goal of the report is to claim that YouTube is adequately protecting its creators. That rings hollow, since every user knows what it’s like to actually live in this ecosystem. And they have neither the time nor money to lobby YouTube for improvements. Worse, as a practical matter, YouTube is the only game in town, so they can’t make their anger heard by leaving.

        Here are the big numbers YouTube just released for the first half of 2021:

      • Reddit Bans ‘No Way Home Leaks’ For Excessive Copyright Complaints

        Reddit’s patience with a subreddit dedicated to leaks and spoilers relating to the expected blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home has been stretched to breaking point. A few minutes ago /r/nowayhomeleaks was banned from the platform for excessive copyright complaints, with reports suggesting that a link to the entire movie was posted to the forum.

      • “The Witcher” Season 2 Premiere Leaks Early on Pirate Sites

        Fans of the popular fantasy TV series “The Witcher” had to wait nearly two years for the second season to arrive on Netflix. The official premiere is scheduled for this Friday but, due to an early leak, online pirates already have access to it.

      • UEFA DMCA Blitz Has Kept A Traditional TV Station Delisted In Google For Months

        There are two ways to go about using the DMCA as a content provider in order to keep copyright infringement at bay: the right and good way, or the bad and lazy way. The right and good way is to use DMCA takedown requests sparingly, to be very targeted in their use, and to do some minor legwork to ensure that the target is in fact an infringing actor. The wrong way is how most large companies go about it instead, which is to go on a DMCA blitz on multiple targets all at once, often timed around some big event or product release, and in a way that nearly always results in at least some collateral damage. These here Techdirt pages are littered with examples of the latter.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023

  3. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day

  4. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

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  5. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

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  6. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

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  7. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’

  8. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active

  9. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”

  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023

  11. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort

  12. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that

  13. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

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  14. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”

  15. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day

  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

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  17. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"

  18. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

  19. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software

  20. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.

  21. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work

  22. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it

  23. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

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  24. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype

  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023

  26. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell

  27. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage

  28. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

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  29. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

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  30. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)

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