[Meme] Lawyers With Their Letters…

Posted in Humour at 6:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You sent a letter, eh?
Disbarring firms that misuse their power is always a possibility, albeit it is time-consuming

Summary: Sending a letter is too easy — especially when you acquire a licence to pointlessly and/or baselessly threaten people

Stupid and Legally-Invalid Threats (Physical Letters)

Posted in Deception, Law at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or: Threatening Letters From Losers, Liars, Perverts and Hypocrites Who Sabotage GNU/Linux and Defame Its Founders

Part I: Video download link | md5sum 3b807595c651995ea2622172293b2998

Part II: Video download link | md5sum 872b7acc595a1b6e595c29d698232970

Summary: The occupation of lawyers — even outside the realms of patents and copyrights (so-called ‘IP’ lawyers) — is a net negative; this 2-part video highlights older and newer examples of that

IN THIS world where “reality hurts” people rush to actions that are senseless and sometimes legally invalid. We saw this in the case of the EPO and Microsoft; they like to ‘lawyer up’ their critics. Sometimes they send letters from lawyers and I’ve lost count of such utterly worthless letters.

“Sometimes they send letters from lawyers and I’ve lost count of such utterly worthless letters.”This month it took some nerve for a law firm to send a COVID-19 ‘infection vector’ through the door (in December when we have like 122,000 cases per day), relegating it to a 3-day quarantine before being opened. This video concerns an American law firm sending a ridiculous letter for Michael Shore. We then deal with a more recent example, which is even more ridiculous than the first.

Michael Shore
Screenshot of Michael Shore’s page, archived by TechDirt

The Car Drives You — Part V — Part of the Coming War on General Computation

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 3:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Speeding Car
Speeding towards dystopia

Summary: General-purpose computing and cars which the owner/driver fully controls are a dying breed that may become extinct unless collective action is undertaken

THIS will quite likely be the last part of this series (see Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV), so it is a bit of an outline. We might continue the series if further findings bubble up to reach the surface.

“Eventually,” as an associate noted, “the supply of old cars will run out and then even those that have succeeded, until then, in avoiding them will have their hand forced. The only way out is to influence the supply chain. Another aspect to cover, one which is as pernicious as the software aspects, is the push to move all aspects of car use and car maintenance over to subscription based models.”

“Another aspect to cover, one which is as pernicious as the software aspects, is the push to move all aspects of car use and car maintenance over to subscription based models.”
“Even roadside service subscriptions have replaced the spare tire + jack. I don’t mean leasing a car or similar to leasing, but the repair contracts in place of being able to choose where and when to do maintenance. Also various functionalties, such as the remote start addressed by Louis in his video. However, whole cars are being pushed as a subscription “service” nowadays. That’s a different matter.”

“You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy. You say you wanna go for a spin…”
“Cory Doctorow, among many others, has also written a lot about the software in cars and other consumer devices.”

See “The Coming War on General Computation” (from 28C3 in 2011)

Our associate said that “software showed up in public consciousness, though briefly” in relation to proprietary software scandals.

When we started the series we called it “Car Drives You”, but MinceR has instead suggested (jokingly) “Car Drives You Crazy”.

“You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy. You say you wanna go for a spin…”

So said another person in IRC.

We’ve meanwhile learned about how computerised cars are further being exploited by dealerships and manufacturers.

As Ryan put it about an hour ago: “I got a letter from KIA saying that the engine might explode and they want to reprogram the ECM. I would tell them I don’t care if it blows up. Hell, if Scumbucket is in it, I’d be eternally grateful.”

“Now they even have brakes that catch fire. They don’t call anything a recall. They say there’s a “Product Improvement Campaign”.”
It’s basically about “[h]ow Hyundai/KIA do the cheapest thing possible. You can’t repair metal shavings in an engine and defective connecting rods with a software patch. So they just reset the ECM to display Check Engine if it detects the condition. Many people with an OLD car just leave the warning light on and keep driving it, if they’re in a state with no smog test, which is like, 90% of the country. They extend the engine warranty a bit, but I’ve heard horror stories about KIA and engine warranties. Like, the dealer will go “We’re just dropping a used engine in here.” You have no idea if that engine is in good shape! It could start doing the same thing 10,000 miles later! It’s not a remanufactured engine where a mechanic has gone through rebuilding it correctly. It’s just one they took out of a car that went to the junkyard. They’re extremely disreputable and pretty much flout the law and then dare their customers and the NHTSA to do anything about it. They basically got a free pass under Trump, so they never fixed anything right. Now they even have brakes that catch fire. They don’t call anything a recall. They say there’s a “Product Improvement Campaign”.”

As it is proprietary, you cannot really check either. Even reverse-engineering is discouraged if not criminalised.

“Just don’t buy anything from Hyundai or KIA,” Ryan said, “I haven’t seen them design anything right, and by the time you compare a 2 year old KIA to a 2 year old Toyota, it’s not much different in price, although statistically you’ll have way more problems out of the KIA because they always seem to have a lot of manufacturing defects and they’re so tight that they don’t repair them properly when they do. To escape the American labor unions, Hyundai and KIA set up their assembly plants in the deep south, and some of those workers on the assembly lines only make about $10 or $11 an hour, which is $6-7 an hour less than what Walmart pays where I live. Most UAW members up north making more reputable brands make way over $20 an hour. Like $28 was typical a couple years ago. So KIA is using the deep south states as sweatshop labor compared to that. It’s how they get the price of the car so cheap and nothing you buy that was made down there hold up. We bought some furniture that was labeled Made in USA. It was made in Mississippi, which is the poorest state in the country. The workers at that plant in 2018 were making $9 an hour. And about 3 months in I sat on the couch and heard “CRUNCH!”. And the same things happened to our chair and loveseat. And The Roomplace was sending their warranty people out to our house constantly to patch it all up again. The Roomplace is about the worst furniture store ever. They make everything look nice in the showroom, charge too much for it, and then it falls apart. I got more durable furniture for a small fraction of the price this time from IKEA and Bob’s Discount Furniture. According to a Google reviewer last year, they now have a 3 day rule. There’s no fixes or replacements or warranty anymore.”

The quality is decreasing, but the prices keep going up.

“So KIA is using the deep south states as sweatshop labor compared to that. It’s how they get the price of the car so cheap and nothing you buy that was made down there hold up.”
“Scotty Kilmer, a mechanic on YouTube that I like to watch,” Ryan concluded, “said don’t buy a KIA unless you don’t plan on keeping it very long. He went over one with (iirc) like 50 or 60,000 miles on the clock (my 2003 Impala has had some work, but closing in on 300,000) and he was going over all of the stuff on the KIA that was broken. He said they just don’t last. If you plan to have the car for ten years, don’t get one. They make it real cheap to buy, but it’s an illusion. On average these days, you buy two cars to last as long as one would from the 90s, and as long as 3 would from the 80s. The later the model year, the crappier they made it. The more they cheaped out on the parts. The more underpaid and disgruntled the labor. Even GM is unbelievably bad now. They used to go over all of their cars before QA signed off on them. It was a very tough inspection process, especially for their higher end brands, like Buick. In fact, mom even bought a 1986 Buick for her third husband and it ran just fine 30 years later. He’s still driving it I think. The carbon emissions of a vehicle are not just the amount of fuel it burns for the miles you get from it. 26% of a car’s LIFETIME CO2 emissions are when it is assembled. If you have to buy three cars to last as long as one, did you really save any emissions? When Congress passed Cash 4 Clunkers, they disabled and crushed cars that were in their prime, and paid for! Then those people got a car payment. The average fleet fuel economy in the US went up by like, some abysmal amount. Less than 1%. And all of those cars that took energy and materials and emissions and lots of water to produce were crushed! As soon as you start driving a car, the fuel economy starts going down for all kinds of reasons, from plugged filters nobody ever changes to worn out or fouled spark plugs. This stuff is cheap to fix, but it will turn any car into a gas guzzler if you aren’t servicing it. These new Gasoline Direct Inject engines are amazing, for a little while anyway. On paper, it rolls out of the dealer with 15% more power generated for the same displacement size as a Multi-Port Fuel Injected engine. But it doesn’t stay that way for long! The EPA has not revised fuel detergent standards at the federal level since 1996 and if you run fuel with the bare minimum of detergent in a GDI engine, you will have severe carbon buildup about 40,000-50,000 miles in and it will be running terribly. And the solution at that point is of course new plugs and having the mechanic tear apart the engine to do “walnut blasting” to get the carbon out. That’s not cheap. If you want to avoid that in a modern engine, you have to pull over at the expensive gas stations that have the “Top Tier” label. Nobody knows this, of course, until it’s too late. Murphy is not Top Tier gas and it’s near most Walmarts and really cheap. I can run my car on it. Don’t try this with a new one! The new technologies backfire, especially on early adopters. Honda was the last major automaker in the US to introduce fuel injection. That got along really bad with US gasoline early on because there were no detergent standards then at all. It was a disaster for everyone who bought a car like that before the mid to late 1980s. But Honda has really conservative engineers. VW was the first one to roll out GDI in the US, and everyone that bought one suffered that too, because their engine got crapped up and VW had to pay to have mechanics clean them out. It’s perfectly fine to run a GDI engine but don’t buy bargain gasoline for it. Hyundai’s THETA II engine was not GDI. In fact, I think it was a fine engine other than the defective connecting rods. The correct repair is tear it down and replace those. But the software patch that doesn’t really do anything is cheap, so they do that. Given every opportunity to make things right with their customers, Hyundai and KIA just screw the customer harder. KIA Motors Finance was even in hot water for violating vehicle repossession laws in almost every state (case here). There’s one about false credit bureau reporting and one about violating repo laws. You’ll probably know if the connecting rod bearings are failing even if you don’t get the patch. Your engine will make a horrible grinding noise while it’s on. You won’t miss it unless you’re deaf. The problem is, once the bearings are bad, it won’t run for very long like that. But whoever has that problem will figure it out. I personally witnessed two KIAs explode last year within a week of each other. The fire department had to come to the motel and to Walmart.”

Cars have become a lot more troublesome or troubling than they used to be. I myself have stopped driving and have not shopped for a car in 10 years, so I don’t yet know all the nasty bits in the cars to be sold in 2022; the meters/odometers have become all electronic by now (they won’t last 20 years like the old generation and ‘repairing’ them would basically mean swapping components). For a car 20 years old (or more) they would not have those parts manufactured anymore, which may lead to planned (digital) obsolescence. This, in turn, is terrible for the environment.

“If your [odometer] stops working you can still drive the car,” Ryan said, “and sell it, but you’d have to mark “exceeds mechanical limits” for the odometer. Then it gets a new title saying “WARNING – ODOMETER READING NOT ACCURATE”. It’ll be a major pain in the ass because age and mileage are how you determine the value. So you’ll have to sell it to them at a high mileage price or they won’t take a risk on it.”

There are many other ‘moving parts’ you cannot quite repair, at least not in the long run. “What happens when you get a single source for parts is exactly the same thing as prescription drugs,” Ryan noted. “BMW has a monopoly on brake pads, rotors, and calipers, so a simple brake job that might cost you $199 at a independent mechanic on a Chevy could run you $600-700 on a BMW. Because he has to run down and buy the pads from BMW. A used BMW might be cheap to buy, but it won’t be cheap to keep.”

The “infotainment” bit is not essential for driving, but more critical components are nowadays becoming computerised and we know that the shelf life and reliability of electronic devices is far shorter than analogue equivalents. All the “infotainment” is typically not connected to the rest of the car or does not pose a security threat although in the case of planes it has been reported that “infotainment” panels are capable of taking over the whole plane. I once read and heard that in planes they changed this, so now, as a passenger, you could leverage “infotainment” to take over the main computer and steer/crash the plane etc. Not a comforting thought…

“…you can probably get parts for a 1984 Land Cruiser J70…”
MinceR said that in is car “the infotainment thing doesn’t even seem to be connected to the MID”. That’s about security, never mind economic and environmental factors, which may merit another part. The shameful thing is that cars are made to depend on things more complex than they really need to be and for a car 20 years old they would not have those parts manufactured anymore.

“You can still get parts for a 2003 Impala,” Ryan said, but that’s a car almost 20 years old.

MinceR said “you can probably get parts for a 1984 Land Cruiser J70…”

“If you’re going to buy an old car, buy one that they built millions of,” Ryan concluded. “Parts for a 2003 Impala are pretty cheap and they tend to have multiple sources.” As Ryan noted earlier, more “modern” cars aren’t like this anymore.

We might do a Part 6 about environmental impact, but if we do, that would take some time.

Links 25/12/2021: Ruby 3.1 Released and Ubuntu vs Arch Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 2:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Etnaviv DRM Driver Will Now Work On IOMMU-Enabled Systems – Phoronix

        It’s been a while since last having anything major to report on the Etnaviv Linux driver stack reporting open-source support Vivante graphics IP. With Linux 5.17 is an important step forward with the driver now behaving properly for IOMMU-enabled systems.

        While an IOMMU is important for security reasons and other purposes, the Etnaviv Direct Rendering Manager driver at present hasn’t properly dealt with the DMA configuration of the virtual device and that running into issues with an IOMMU.

      • AMD P-State v7 Driver Posted For Delivering Better Ryzen Efficiency In 2022 – Phoronix

        AMD on Christmas Eve posted their seventh iteration of the AMD P-State Linux driver as their new CPU frequency scaling solution for Zen 2+ to make use of ACPI CPPC for ultimately striving toward optimal power efficiency with a focus on mobile and desktop systems.

        This driver was developed in cooperation with Valve and has been out for review since September. Now as we end out the calendar year they are up to the seventh revision of this driver and is appearing that it may be ready for mainline soon.

        The amd-pstate driver has been evolving nicely and now working across more Zen 2 and Zen 3 systems (older processors won’t be supported due to needing ACPI Collaborative Processor Performance Controls, the CPPC support must also be enabled from the system BIOS). This driver can make more informed CPU frequency scaling decisions than the much more basic ACPI CPUFreq driver currently used by Ryzen and EPYC systems.

    • Applications

      • Darktable 3.8 Raw Photo Editing Tool Is Out With a Lot of Changes

        The open-source photo workflow and RAW editing Darktable has been updated to version 3.8. Here’s what’s new!

        If you’re sick of paying for photo editing software and are looking for an alternative to Adobe Lightroom, then the new Darktable 3.8 may be for you. It’s a free, open-source RAW photo file editor software for photo editing and file management. Darktable has unique features such as virtual lighttable and darkroom clubbed with complete RAW image editing workflow for complex photography projects.

        The Darktable team has announced its winter feature release just in time for dealing with any holiday photos, bringing Darktable to version 3.8. Here’s a quick update.

      • darktable 3.8.0 released | darktable

        We’re proud to announce the new feature release of darktable, 3.8.0!

      • Krita 5.0 released! | Krita

        This is a huge release, with a lot of new features and improvements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Make MIDI loops on Linux with this open source tool | Opensource.com

        There are many great synthesizers for Linux, and like synthesizers in real life, most of them can be controlled using the MIDI protocol. Digital audio workstations like Ardour, Qtractor, and Rosegarden can send and receive MIDI, and they have a plugin structure that permits loading most synthesizers as a component of the application. I’m a fan of modularity, though, and sometimes a big all-in-one audio workstation is more than what I need. Thanks to the combination of JACK, ALSA, and MIDI, it’s entirely possible to open a synth as a stand-alone application and use a stand-alone sequencer to play and record that synth. There aren’t many modular sequencers out there, but I use Seq24.

      • How To Find Installation Date and Time of Linux OS – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hi guys, In this tutorial, We will illustrate a few ways to find Linux OS’s installation date and time.

      • How to Build My Version of Linux – Invidious
      • How To Fix Lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock Error [Solved] | Itsubuntu.com

        Ubuntu is one of the most popular and widely used Linux-based operating systems. It is often considered the most preferred operating system among first-time users. In this particular post, we are going to show you the steps to solve the issue “Lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock Error” while using Ubuntu. It is really frustrating sometimes when you are doing something and you are stuck.

      • How To Install Discord on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Discord on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Discord is an app for voice calling, video calling, and text messaging like WhatsApp and Telegram. It is a boon to several communities, which helps them to expand their projects, reach out to more people, and maintain a community of fans and followers.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Discord on a Fedora 35.

      • How to install Rstudio Desktop or server in Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        R is an open-source programming language for statistical analysis and graphics whereas RStudio is an IDE for it. Here we will learn the commands to install RStudio along with R Programming language on Debian 11 Bullseye.

        With RStudio integrated development environment the user can use the GUI to start coding in the R language. This means that the IDE can only work if you have R already installed. Although the IDE can only function alongside R, the programming language can function on its own. Therefore it is not possible to replace one with the other.

      • Snowfall on your Linux Desktop this Christmas – TREND OCEANS

        Let us make this Christmas special for you and more of your Linux desktop. Xsnow is a tiny application that lets you experience cold snowfall just like in winter. To be honest, I am feeling cold while staring at my own desktop screen.

      • How to Install and Configure MariaDB 10.7 on Fedora 35 – NextGenTips

        MariaDB Server is one of the most popular open-source relational databases. It’s made by the original developers of MySQL and guaranteed to stay open source. It is part of most cloud offerings and the default in most Linux distributions.

        It is built upon the values of performance, stability, and openness, and MariaDB Foundation ensures contributions will be accepted on technical merit. Recent new functionality includes advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, compatibility features with Oracle Database and Temporal Data Tables, allowing one to query the data as it stood at any point in the past.

        Welcome to today’s topic on how to install MariaDB 10.08 on Fedora 35 distribution.

      • How to install the SuiteCRM Customer Resource Manager on Ubuntu Server – TechRepublic

        As your business grows, you’ll probably find yourself needing to manage customer relations. With such a platform available to your business, your staff can better manage their clients, customers, opportunities, leads and much more.

      • Flatcar Container Linux on Raspberry Pi |

        Flatcar Container Linux recently announced the Stable support for ARM64.

        Perfectly timed! I had a Raspberry Pi 4 lying around and had just ordered a few more to set up a home lab during the holidays. The newer Pis are yet to arrive, so better utilize the time writing a walkthrough on how to use Flatcar Container Linux on your Pis.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Samba printer browsing and more

          Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

        • KDE’s Bug Fixes & Other Desktop Enhancements For Christmas
        • Krita 5.0 improves resource management and includes storyboards

          Krita 5.0 You are here to continue the evolution of this popular drawing application that is also part of KDE. Without making much noise, little by little it has been making a niche in a sector that becomes demanding, and it has also done so by being published as free software.

          Krita 5.0 is a very powerful release, which is good news because it means that the project is alive and well. When it comes to what’s new, we start with the fact that the way the app handles things like brushes, gradients, palettes, and labeling has been completely revamped.

          Those responsible have explained that before they used a fragile model system to manage the resources, so Krita uses a SQLite database from this version as the nucleus to carry out this task. As a result, a large number of labeling bugs and user interface issues should have been fixed, as well as allowing faster application startup and a 200 megabyte reduction in RAM usage.

        • KDE e.V. is looking for an event organiser | KDE e.V.

          KDE e.V., the non-profit organisation supporting the KDE community, is looking for someone to help organise KDE’s event, including our annual global conference Akademy. Please see the call for proposals for more details about this contracting opportunity.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • World-famous GTK themes for Linux – LinuxH2O

          This guide is based on the statistics of GTK themes, the themes that are world-famous among Linux users. The list you’re about to go through is a compilation of the 5 most popular themes. These themes work on all the distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, POP OS, Manjaro, Kali Linux, Zorin OS, Debian, etc.

          Have you ever wondered about the most popular GTK themes for Linux? The themes, that are famous around the world. The themes that people use no matter where they live. Users can be from India, The United States, Russia, Brazil, France, Spain, Japan, or from some other country.

          So don’t you wanna know what are the famous Linux GTK themes among them!

          To answer that curiosity, I have written this article. Below you will find the top 5 GTK themes for Linux which are being used by users around the earth. So let’s get started!

    • Distributions

      • Merry Christmas from OSMC – OSMC

        The OSMC team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. We hope you’re enjoying the festive break and watching lots of TV with OSMC.

        We hope you and your loved ones are safe.

        While you may be relaxing, we’ve worked hard on delivering a new OSMC update. We’ve kept the changes light to ensure a stable experience during an important break.

      • Arch Family

        • Ubuntu vs. Arch Linux: Which Linux Distro Should You Choose?

          Arch Linux and Ubuntu are both top contenders when it comes to being the best Linux distro. Here’s a detailed comparison of both these OSes.

          Open-source Linux distros are always fighting it out for the top spot. Nonetheless, there is an ongoing discussion about the clear winner, considering that some of the best distros are aiming to reach the pinnacles of success in the world of open-source distributions.

          Various surveys have rated Arch Linux and Ubuntu as two of the best distros for getting the job done. Nevertheless, it is not suitable to assume why engineers and coders vary in their views about these two distros.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Cascade is a new promising image editor

        Cascade is released under GPL-3.0 License.

      • Open source advent calendar: Android without Google – Market Research Telecast

        This is an advent calendar for techies. In the fully commercialized digital world, almost everything belongs to a large Internet corporation. Their software is neither open nor free. As an alternative, there is this small island of the open source world: software whose code is publicly visible and can be independently checked for possible security gaps and backdoors. Software that can be freely used, distributed and improved. Often the drive for work is simply the joy of providing something useful to society.

        Short portraits of open source projects will be published on heise online from December 1st to December 24th. These are about the functions of the respective software, the pitfalls, the history, the background and the financing. Some projects are backed by an individual, others by a loosely organized community, a tightly managed foundation with full-time employees or a consortium. The work is entirely voluntary, or it is financed through donations, cooperation with Internet companies, government funding or an open source business model. Regardless of whether it is a single application or a complex ecosystem, whether a PC program, app or operating system – the diversity of open source is overwhelming.

      • 4 conscious steps to engage people in your open source community

        Getting people involved in your open source project is important for its health and its growth, but telling people about it isn’t enough. You need to take conscious steps to increase involvement and ensure that initial contributions to a project are followed up, tying people in to the project and making them part of the community.

        If you find this post interesting, you’ll find a lot more about how community and open source are important in my book Trust in Computer Systems and the Cloud, published by Wiley.

        1 – I’m going to be honest: I wouldn’t know where to start with TikTok. My kids will probably be appalled that I even mentioned it, but hey, why not? The chances are that you, dear reader, are younger and (almost certainly) cooler than I am.

        2 – I’m guessing the take-up will be a bit lower here.

        3 – In Real Life. It seems odd to be re-using this term, which had all but disappeared from what I could tell, but which seems to need to re-popularised.

      • CryptPad is an open-source, free collaborative web-based office system

        CryptPad is released as an open-source under the AGPLv3 License.

      • Waistline is a free, privacy-first calorie counter and weight tracker

        Waistline application and source code are licensed under the GPLv3.

      • MintHCM is an open-source Human Capital Management for enterprise

        Human Capital Management or HCM for short, stands for human resources and employee workflow management for the enterprise.

        MintHCM is an open-source human resources management system for enterprises.


        MintHCM is released under terms of the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3.

      • Please use me as a resource

        Some of these ideas stick, and many readers have attempted to put them into practice, taking on challenges like starting a business in FOSS or stepping up to be leaders in their communities. It makes me proud to see the difference you’re making, and I’m honored to have inspired many of you.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ruby 3.1.0 Released

          We are pleased to announce the release of Ruby 3.1.0. Ruby 3.1 keeps compatibility with Ruby 3.0 and also adds many features.


          Since Ruby 2.6 introduced MJIT in 2018, its performance greatly improved, and finally we achieved Ruby3x3 last year. But even though Optcarrot has shown impressive speedups, the JIT hasn’t benefited real world business applications.

          Recently Shopify contributed many Ruby improvements to speed up their Rails application. YJIT is an important contribution, and aims to improve the performance of Rails applications.

          Though MJIT is a method-based JIT compiler and uses an external C compiler, YJIT uses Basic Block Versioning and includes JIT compiler inside it. With Lazy Basic Block Versioning (LBBV) it first compiles the beginning of a method, and incrementally compiles the rest when the type of arguments and variables are dynamically determined. See YJIT: a basic block versioning JIT compiler for CRuby for a detailed introduction.

          With this technology, YJIT achieves both fast warmup time and performance improvements on most real-world software, up to 22% on railsbench, 39% on liquid-render.

        • Ruby 3.1 Released With Speedy, Experimental In-Process JIT Compiler

          Ruby 3.1 is out this Christmas day as a big feature release for this programming language while retaining compatibility with Ruby 3.0.

          Most exciting with Ruby 3.1 is “YJIT” as a new, experimental in-process just-in-time (JIT) Compiler. Ruby 3.1′s new JIT compiler was developed by Spotify for improving the performance of their Ruby on Rails application. YJIT should be very beneficial in improving Rails real-world application performance.

        • The 10 Best IDEs and Code Editors for Linux [Ed: Starting this list with Microsoft proprietary software that spies on everybody is poor taste and misunderstanding of GNU/Linux]

          A code editor provides a text editing interface to write and edit code. It offers basic editing and formatting features to enhance the readability and management of your code. These apps usually lack advanced features and configurations.

          A notable benefit of using a code editor is that it is much lighter than an IDE. Many code editors also provide features like compiling, debugging, and support for most programming languages.

          An IDE is a software development environment that provides tools to develop complex software. It offers various tools like an editor, debugger, and compiler needed in the development cycle.

          Different IDEs provide different features and configurations suitable for specific projects. IDEs are much more advanced than editors and offer features you won’t find in a code editor.

        • Paul E. Mc Kenney: Parallel Programming: December 2021 Update

          It is past time for another release of Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It?. But first, what is the difference between an edition and a release?

          The main difference is the level of validation. For example, during the several months leading up to the second edition, I read the entire book, fixing issues as I found them. So where an edition is a completed work, a release is primarily for the benefit of people who would like to see a recent snapshot of this book, but without having to install and run LaTeX and its dependencies.

        • Upgrade Node.js for your Ghost

          When upgrading Node.js, you need to run the update for Node and then also re-install Ghost’s dependencies. This is because Ghost has several binary dependencies which are compiled for the specific Node.js version. Without reinstalling dependencies, Ghost will fail to start with strange error messages.

        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Novelty Christmas Songs You Definitely Need Under Your Christmas Tree

      It’s that time of year again, folks! As the weather changes and the calendar pages start falling off rapidly, another holiday season is upon us. In 2019, we embarked on a somewhat ambitious project: The Twelve Things of Tedium. Ernie, Andrew, and I all contributed four items apiece to create a wonderful holiday project of which we’re all quite proud. The interdisciplinary yuletide extravaganza was fun, but was conspicuously absent in 2020 (we talked about The Gingerbread Man instead). With 2021 wrapping up as yet another unspeakable nightmare, we thought it might be a good time to revisit one of our favorite topics: Christmas novelty songs. So pour yourself a glass of eggnog, gather around the holiday ornamentation of your choice, and crank up the volume as we welcome you, dear readers, to the Tedium Christmas Novelty Song Spectacular.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Finance

      • How to Buy Monero in Australia – Tech Guide

        Monero is an open-source, decentralized cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy and decentralization. It runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and FreeBSD.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Winter Session 2021: A Digital Rights Review

        The Winter session of Parliament saw frequent disruptions over the suspension of 12 members of Rajya Sabha, demanding the resignation of the Minister over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident and later the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. In this post, we take a look at these disruptions and analyse how the Parliament fared with respect to digital rights.

        A look back

        The winter session of the Indian Parliament this year was quite extraordinary. Once again, we saw several days washed out, as the protests about the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members over their misconduct on the last day of the monsoon session and the Lakhimpur Kheri incident where 8 farmers lost their lives led to multiple adjournments of both the houses.

        The Winter Session saw 12 Bills, including the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 was passed on the first day itself in both Houses in less than 10 minutes without discussion. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed within three hours of its introduction in Lok Sabha and within two hours of its introduction in Rajya Sabha. Further disruptions continued, however, with the completion of “essential government business” with the passing of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the house was adjourned sine die a day ahead of schedule.

Links 25/12/2021: Rescuezilla 2.3 and Growing Backlash Against COVID-19 Patents

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • A First Look At Elementary OS “Jolnir” – Invidious

        Elementary OS had a new release a few days ago, version 6.1 which is codenamed “Jolnir”. I’ve always loved the great work that the Elementary team is doing, but the previous version of Elementary had some issues. I’m hoping some of those issues are addressed in this release.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.16 Has A Nice Performance Gift For AMD Ryzen Laptops With Radeon Graphics – Phoronix

        For those making use of integrated Radeon Vega-based graphics with modern Ryzen laptops at least, the Linux 5.16 kernel is offering some nice performance gains noticed recently as part of the Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U benchmarking with the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen2. Here is a look at the AMD Radeon Graphics performance for that Zen 3 laptop across varying Mesa and Linux kernel versions while then expanding the comparison to multiple devices given the Linux 5.16 performance boost.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Automatic login with startx and systemd

        If your workstation is using full-disk encryption, you may want to jump directly to your desktop environment after entering the passphrase to decrypt the disk. Many display managers like GDM and LightDM have an autologin feature. However, only GDM can run Xorg with standard user privileges.

      • Add a lightbox viewer for your Ghost blog in no time

        I have been using Ghost as my primary blogging system for some years now. Although it does not have a rich ecosystem like WordPress or other open-source CMS, it does the job.

        In Ghost, You will get used to doing everything manually, creating a search functionality using jQuery them Vue, trying out some embedded web widgets for messaging I built with Vue and CouchDB.

      • How to play Crab Game on Linux

        Crab Game is an FPS multiplayer game where players compete through minigames until one player remains. It is based upon the popular Netflix series “Squid Game.” Here’s how to play it on Linux.

      • How to play Super Flight on Linux

        Superflight is a wingsuit adventure game. It was developed and published by GrizzlyGames. The game was released on Windows. However, it is possible to it working on Linux. Here’s how to set it up on your Linux computer.

      • How To Reverse a String In Unix / Linux Shell?
      • How to configure static IP Address on FreeBSD

        his page explains setting up a static IP address on the FreeBSD Unix system using the command-line options.

      • How to install the Brave Beta Browser on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Brave Beta Browser on Elementary OS 6.0.

      • How to enable GPU acceleration for your Linux applications (Crostini) only on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to enable GPU acceleration for your Linux applications (Crostini) only on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Check and Repair XFS Filesystem in RHEL/Centos – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In this post, we will explain a trick that can save a lot of work and even an entire system. So, today you will learn How to Check and Repair XFS Filesystem in RHEL/RockyLinux/CentOS.

        Before we start, we need to talk a little about XFS.

        XFS is a high-performance 64-bit journaling file system. Its virtues such as maturity, and debugged code, make it a preferred candidate for use on GNU/Linux servers.

      • 2 Ways to Install Homebrew on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux – Linux Shout

        Learn the commands to install Homebrew on Debian 11 Bullseye to install and manage various packages via “formulas” and “casks” on your Linux.

        Homebrew is an open-source project for providing a package manager to macOS because there is no default package manager, unlike Linux systems. However, the Homebrew is also present for Linux, popularly known as Linux brew.

        The homebrew was started by Max Howell. In 2009 the first version of Homebrew was released. To use it the user either has to be on Linux or Mac. However, using homebrew on Linux doesn’t make sense because all of them almost come with their package manager.

        Nevertheless, Homebrew does several things, it can be used to install, uninstall and update software.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 5.0 is Here As a Last-Minute Christmas Gift From KDE

          Alongside GIMP, Krita is among the most powerful graphics creation applications for Linux. While most well-known for its digital painting features, it is also a capable image editor and piece of animation software. Now, with its brand-new 5.0 release, many of these various aspects of Krita have been improved.

          Let’s take a closer look!


          Using a technique called dithering, it is now possible to give the illusion of a smooth gradient in the same bit depth. In simple terms, it means combining the colors of surrounding pixels that the eye interprets as a color out of the range of the bit depth.

    • Distributions

      • 11 Most Popular Linux distros of the year 2021- To use in 2022

        Well, the year 2021 is about to end in a few days, of course, let’s welcome 2022 with a warm heart. However, before stepping into it, let’s have a glimpse of the best Linux distributions in 2021, downloaded most so far.

        Over the past few years, Linux distros have gained quite popularity, and users are now switching to them; as more and more applications are now available for it. Also, due to partly restriction because of the pandemic, many people have been busy learning or relearning the unfamiliar features of Linux; or simply jumping from one distribution to another to test new features.

        Well, if you are finally thinking to experience some other Linux operating system apart from the one you have right now on your PC or Laptop, then here are some best distributions for 2021 to look forward to in 2022.

      • 7 Reasons Why I Use Pop!_OS Linux Distro as My Daily Driver – It’s FOSS

        Pop!_OS is a popular recommendation for Linux beginners and gamers alike. But, what are some of the reasons that Pop!_OS stands out from other Ubuntu-based distros available? Why should you consider it as a daily driver for your computer?

        I switched to Pop OS from Ubuntu three years ago and it has been my daily driver since then.

        Let me point out the benefits of choosing it as the operating system of your choice.

      • New Releases

        • Rescuezilla 2.3 “Swiss Army Knife of System Recovery” Is Here, Based on Ubuntu 21.10

          Based on Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) and powered by Linux kernel 5.13, Rescuezilla 2.3 is here seven months after Rescuezilla 2.2 to implement several new features, such as basic image verification and a new “Rescue” option to ignore file system inconsistencies and bad sectors.

          Rescuezilla 2.3 also adds the ability to restore and explore images created by theApart GTK graphical user interface for partclone, improves the image scanning feature to fix incomplete restore image lists, and improves restoring of images created by FSArchiver or the qt-fsarchiver GUI.

        • Rescuezilla 2.3 Released

          Rescuezilla 2.2 is the latest version for the operating system that is popular for system recovery. Powered by Linux kernel 5.13 and based on Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri). Rescuezilla can create backups that are fully compatible with the Clonezilla tool.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Raspberry Pi Mega Cluster Costs More Than $5,000 to Build | Tom’s Hardware

          Just when you thought one Raspberry Pi was enough, Skynet Network stepped up with this awesome Raspberry Pi cluster project. According to Skynet Network, it’s dubbed the Raspberry Pi Mega Cluster and costs more than £4,000 (approximately $5,372) to build.

          The best Raspberry Pi projects typically have at least one Pi but this one has 83. As impressive as that sounds, the original plan was to pack it full of 100 Raspberry Pis. However, network latency had too much impact on performance for that many to be practical.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Cerebro: Your Desktop Search Assistant for Windows, macOS, and Linux

        Searching your local machine for files is no fun, especially when the built-in search tools are not useful to look deeper into file types, locations, and content.

        But with Cerebro it is different. So, what is Cerebro?

        Cerebro is a multi-platform desktop app that helps the user to search their machine or the internet with no more than a few clicks.

        The app is created by Alexandr Subbotin a Russian developer, who also created several useful plugins. Later then, the app attracted many developers who supply it with more plugins and support.

      • InvoiceLion: your self-hosted open-source invoice manager

        InvoiceLion is a free, open-source invoicing software for freelancers or anyone who is issuing invoices for customers.

        Self-hosted means you can download, host, install, and use it on your server.

        InvoiceLion is created by twin freelance developers, who created it out of their need to automate invoice creation and production.

      • 10+ Open-source Single-Sign On (SSO) Solutions

        Single Sign-On (SSO) is a login service layer that allows users to sign in to multiple apps with a single login. Using SSO service to improve security, save the user from having to deal with multiple passwords, login sessions, and losing time.

        In contrast, SSO “Single-Sign-On” is an authentication and authorization process through one login interface, designed to increase security issues, increase employee productivity, and improve customer experience.

        It is the user first engagement layer for many FIM as IAM services.

      • 11 Best free, open-source personal information organizer and personal CRM systems.

        Unlike business-oriented CRM solutions, personal CRM applications are minimal versions of CRM aimed to help individual users organize their contacts.

        It is challenging to keep track or manually organize your contacts, events, and notes.

        A Personal CRM system is a minimal CRM app that helps you organize your contact, events, journals, and appointments in one software package.

        Some personal CRM solutions took it further by managing family members, tasks, chores, shopping lists, and more.

        Some may disagree with the term CRM “Customer Relationship Management”, and they prefer to call it PRM “Personal Relationship Management”, a solution.

      • AMIDE: Open-source, free DICOM viewer for volumetric imaging

        AMIDE is a feature-rich free, open-source program for viewing, analyzing, and registering volumetric medical imaging data sets.

        It is one of the oldest open-source, free DICOM software. It provided aid to doctors, and researchers on platforms like Linux and macOS since 2003.

      • 17 free, open-source Bullet Journal apps to boost your productivity

        Bullet Journal is a multipurpose productivity booster journal-taking method, The journal can be anything from a calendar, a goal tracker, a project manager, activity tracker, to a to-do list.

        Originally created by designer Ryder Carroll, Bullet Journal, or as some may refer to as BuJo or Bujo, became the favorite tool for creative people.

        In contrast, it is up to you to figure out what and how will you use it.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 2021 Retrospection – The Mozilla Support Blog

            This is probably a moment where we usually say to ourselves how time flies so fast. Despite the pandemic and the uncertainty that lingers this year, I’m proud and grateful that this community managed to keep being awesome and accomplished many things this year. Through this post, I’d like us to take a moment to flashback and celebrate what we’ve accomplished this year.

      • Programming/Development

        • Java

          • Open-source software holds the key to solving Log4Shell-like problems

            Earlier this month, the existence of a critical vulnerability in Apache Log4j 2 was revealed and a PoC for it published. Dubbed Log4Shell, it’s an issue in a logging library for Java applications that is widely used across popular open-source projects and enterprise-grade back-end applications. Log4Shell introduced a critical security risk, scoring 10 out of 10 in severity.

  • Leftovers

    • Blues Resurrected: the Second Coming of T-99 Nelson

      But on this Independence Day evening at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Allen wisely chose to tone down (for him anyway) his attire. Even the flamboyant Allen knew there was no way he could compete with the splendor of the Cannonballs’ guest singer for the night, the Jimmy T99 Nelson, the greatest living blues shouter and one of the true progenitors of rock and roll.

      Midway through the Cannonballs’ rollicking set Nelson strolled onto the stage in a cerulean-colored suit that shimmered so brightly it looked as if it had just been painted by Raphael. Adorned with a captain’s cap and fighter pilot shades, T99 looked like he was ready to rock all night. And damned if he didn’t! Indeed, the 83-year old blues shouter dominated the stage not only with the Cannonballs, but with a host of other top-notch acts, including guitarist Duke Robillard, piano player Marcia Ball and harp master Paul DeLay, stealing the show at what has become one of the nation’s biggest blues festivals.

    • Anthropocene Joyride

      That evidence was the signature of radioactivity (Carbon-14) from nuclear bomb test fallout incorporated into tree rings for the year 1965 (within October to December) at all latitudes and longitudes. Atmospheric nuclear bomb explosions were set off from 1945 to, primarily, 1963. The peak of such activity was an orgy of bomb tests by the U.S. and USSR in 1962. [1]

      Prior to 1965 many species had had geographically limited impact on altering environments, like pre-columbian humans in North American making pastures out of forests in Appalachian valleys, herd animals making permanent migration trails, and grazing animals nibbling bush down to grasslands.

    • Macedonian Ramble: To Lord Byron’s Hellespont

      This is the eleventh part in a series about a journey across what used to be called Macedonia, which is now divided among Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey.

      About 19:30 the train ended its day at the station in Drama, where the remaining passengers huddled in the cold and then were assigned to one of two replacement buses, depending on their destination. I was on the bus for Alexandroupolis, now a forgotten northern Greek port but once fought over by Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

    • The Best Albums of 2021

      If we all felt lost at times this year, uncertain in the face of tentative hopes and looming unknowns, it was good to know we could call Tyler, the Creator. His lush and multifarious album Call Me If You Get Lost offers comfort, escape, inspiration, and pretty much everything else anyone living in 2021 could use. In music as in the rest of life, the high points of the past year came in smaller numbers and with less impact than we might have expected. Still, they came with impressive persistence in every style of work or genre. Here are my picks for the 10 best albums of 2021. (The listing is alphabetical by album title, not a ranking by descending order of quality, though the top project happens to be my top choice of the year, too.)

    • “I Think of Myself as Attached to California:” Interviewing Joan Didion

      Q: Your book, Where I Was From (2003), was recently reviewed in The New York Times Book Review. The title was “Giving Up On California.” Have you given up on your native state?

      A: No, I haven’t. Their title was far broader than any intention I ever had. But people in New York often hope that Californians give up on California.

    • The Best to You Each Morning
    • Holiday Season Top Reading Recommendations

      Major book awards and prizes rarely select books addressing corporate crimes and what to do about them.

      Not surprisingly, you rarely read about these books or see or hear about them on television and radio shows, including PBS and NPR. Corporate funders prefer convenient alternatives such as art, culture, history, and entertainment.

    • Why Christopher Hitchens Still Matters

      Christopher Hitchens died 10 years ago this month. Many young leftists remember “Hitch,” if at all, as a militant atheist who alternated between debating pastors on the existence of God and defending the war in Iraq.

    • Life Meets Fiction

      And it mirrors a striking resemblance to American politics today.

      I am re-reading “Lord of the Flies” for the first time since high school. It’s a better, more meaningful read as an adult.

    • A Christmas Story

      Jenny was awakened about ten o’clock on Christmas Eve by a noise coming from the living room downstairs. She knew that it was her mother and father putting the Christmas gifts under the tree and filling the stockings, so that in the morning they could claim it was all the work of Santa Claus. For a moment she laid in bed listening, huddling under the covers as the street light cast a cool glow through the window, illuminating a bedroom filled with dolls.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • In October, White House Dismissed Proposal for ‘Free Rapid Tests for the Holidays’: Report

        As the highly transmissible and now-dominant Omicron variant drives a nationwide surge in coronavirus infections amid a period of widespread air travel, President Joe Biden said earlier this week that he wishes he “had thought about ordering” 500 million at-home tests “two months ago.”

        But new reporting reveals that his administration in October was presented with—and rejected—a plan to scale up rapid testing before the holidays.

      • ‘A Huge Deal’: Biden Rebuffs Georgia’s Medicaid Work Requirement—Last in US

        After the White House on Thursday rejected a proposal to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients in Georgia—the last state with a federal waiver permitting such restrictions—President Joe Biden received praise for “quietly erasing” one of his predecessor’s “cruelest legacies.”

        “The announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, delivered in a 79-page letter to Georgia’s health agency, also reversed a federal waiver allowing the state to charge premiums for the health insurance program for the poor,” according to the New York Times.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Log4j vulnerability now used to install Dridex banking malware

            When executed, the VBS file will check if the user is part of a Windows domain by checking various environment variables. If the user is part of a domain, the VBS file will download the Dridex DLL and execute it using Rundll32.exe, as shown below.

          • Investigation Shows Egyptian Government Hacked A Dissident’s Phone Twice, Using Two Different Companies’ Malware

            Citizen Lab has uncovered more state-level spying targeting political opponents and journalists. There’s a twist to this one, though. One of those targeted had his phone infected by two forms of malware produced by two different companies. And yet another twist: both companies have their roots in Israel, which is home to at least 19 entities that develop phone exploits. Here’s the summary from Citizen Lab:

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Pushing Back on Police Surveillance: 2021 Year in Review

              The San Francisco Board of Supervisors kicked off the year by voting unanimously in favor of special business districts—such as the Union Square Business Improvement District (USBID)—disclosing any new surveillance plans to the Board. The Board acted in the wake of an EFF investigation and lawsuit that exposed the San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD) spying on last year’s Black-led protests against police violence. The SFPD monitored the demonstrations by using the USBID’s camera network.

              EFF welcomes the Board’s small step toward transparency, but the city continues to defend the SFPD’s unlawful surveillance. In October 2020, EFF sued the SFPD on behalf of three activists who helped organize last year’s protests in the city. This fall, EFF asked the court to rule that the SFPD violated the city’s landmark surveillance technology ordinance and to prohibit the SFPD from using the USBID cameras without prior Board approval. While the SFPD initially claimed it did not monitor the camera feed, an SFPD officer admitted during a deposition that she repeatedly looked at the camera feed during the eight days that the department had access.

              EFF is also in court to protect your privacy from Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs), which police use to amass large databases of location and other sensitive information on millions of drivers. In October, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of immigrant rights activists to stop the Marin County Sheriff in California from sharing its ALPR data with over 400 out-of-state agencies and 18 federal agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which violates two state laws.

            • Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & Chris Hedges on NSA Leaks, Assange & Protecting a Free Internet

              NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges discuss mass surveillance, government secrecy, internet freedom and U.S. attempts to extradite and prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. They spoke together on a panel moderated by Amy Goodman at the virtual War on Terror Film Festival after a screening of “Citizenfour” — the Oscar-winning documentary about Snowden by Laura Poitras.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Great Myth of the ”Great“ American Military

        Professional sports is a cutthroat business. Succeed and the people running the show reap rich rewards. Fail to meet expectations and you get handed your walking papers. American-style war in the 21st century is quite a different matter.

      • Few Surprises for the Serious as January 6 “Commemoration” Nears

        Thanks in no small part to the investigation being carried out by the US House January 6 Commission, we will continue to learn new details about the specifics of the Capitol Riot that Donald Trump and his cronies instigated in a last-ditch effort to prevent the Congressional certification and inauguration of Joe Biden as the United States’ 46th president. Still, no serious political observer should have been surprised by the Attack on the Capitol. In May of 2016, the liberal New Yorker commentator Adam Gopnik issued what turned out to be a prophetic warning seven months before Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton:

        There is a simple formula for descriptions of Donald Trump: add together a qualification, a hyphen, and the word “fascist” …his personality and his program belong exclusively to the same dark strain of modern politics: an incoherent program of national revenge led by a strongman; a contempt for parliamentary government and procedures; an insistence that the existing, democratically elected government…is in league with evil outsiders and has been secretly trying to undermine the nation; a hysterical militarism designed to no particular end other than the sheer spectacle of strength; an equally hysterical sense of beleaguerment and victimization; and a supposed suspicion of big capitalism entirely reconciled to the worship of wealth and ‘success.’… The idea that it can be bounded in by honest conservatives in a Cabinet or restrained by normal constitutional limits is, to put it mildly, unsupported by history (emphasis added).

      • US and NATO Nuclear Lunacy Still Raving

        Before the Joint Chiefs took it down, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists managed to preserve a copy. The manual relies on abstractions and euphemism to depict the unthinkable. It says, “The employment of nuclear weapons could have a significant influence on ground operations.” Of course “employment” means detonation, and “significant influence” means searing fireballs, vaporized victims, blast and shock-wave devastation, demolished hospitals and schools, vast firestorms, and permanent radioactive contamination of water, soil, and the food chain.

        The manual explains that nuclear attacks create “conditions” without describing them. It says, “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability.” Then, as if US presidents had never said, “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the report pretends it can and should. “[T]he use of a nuclear weapon will…create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

      • The Dead and the Living: Britain’s Dirty War in Northern Ireland

        Stephen Travers talked to me of that summer’s night in July 1975 and how everything he saw around him, paradoxically and surreally, seemed more vivid and silent, even momentarily beautiful, as he lay wounded in a field surrounded by the aftermath of violent death in Ulster’s very own heart of darkness.

        “They all died…I spent about forty-five minutes crawling around reassuring them that everything would be alright…we’d get back to the music…I remember whispering into Fran’s ear…But you don’t accept that type of – it’s… the horror.”

      • Republicans With Gun-Themed Xmas Photos Are Usual Recipients of Gun Lobby Cash
    • Environment

      • Climate Change Brings Health Risks

        The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that global warming and rainfall changes cause the loss of at least 150,000 lives every year. This figure could increase significantly if current trends of climate change continue. The WHO also states that the risk of death and disease from climate change will at least double in the next 20 years. Paradoxically, the countries that have least contributed to global warming are the most vulnerable to its negative consequences.

        Global warming can affect the health of populations both directly and indirectly. Direct effects can result from heat-related deaths or weather-caused disasters such as hurricanes and drought-related wildfires. Indirect effects can result from alterations in complex ecological processes such as changes in the patterns of infectious diseases, in the quantity and quality of domestic food production, and altered potable water supplies. Experts predict that receding waters in the Ganges River could affect the lives of 400 million people.

      • Activists Are Using the “Climate Necessity Defense” in Court — and Winning
      • Opinion | Climate Change Brings Serious Health Risks

        Much attention has been devoted in recent times to the environmental and economic effects of climate change. Much less attention, however, has been given to the possible effects of climate change, particularly global warming, on the health of the populations, particularly those from the poorest countries. This is a trend that requires prompt attention if the negative effects of climate change on health are to be avoided or minimized. According to some estimates, at least 1 in 6 people worldwide will suffer the consequences of climate change.

      • Opinion | Climate Justice Is Reproductive Justice

        More than ever, people of childbearing age are choosing not to have children. There are a variety of factors that go into this choice — wage stagnation, the housing market, civil unrest, COVID-19. But a common denominator heard among many in their 20s and beyond is grave concern over our climate trajectory. They’re not wrong to be worried about what kind of climate and resources would be available for their potential kids. Climate justice is a crucial part of reproductive justice.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • What is a Wilderness Without Its Wolves?

          The Wilderness Act defines Wilderness as a place where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by humankind, retains its primeval character and where natural conditions are preserved. Simply stated, Wilderness is meant to exist with minimal human interference. Yet within the vast majority of Wilderness areas, the wolf, the apex species with profound ecosystem influence, is now absent—an absence due entirely to the relentless killing by humankind.

          We need look no farther than Yellowstone National Park to witness the influence wolves have on an ecosystem. The park’s wolves were exterminated by the early 1900s, ostensibly to protect the park’s favored elk herds. What followed was not surprising—an overabundance of elk which led to deleterious impacts to vegetation, particularly lower elevation riparian and willow communities.

        • A Dark Day in Montana as Wildlife Officials Sink to New Lows

          This decision is sickening and yet it doesn’t even begin to tell the whole horrific situation that imperiled wolves and grizzly bears have faced all year in Montana. And the stakes are only getting more dangerous as a long, cold winter descends.

          This year’s start of the wolf trapping season was delayed in parts of western Montana to give threatened grizzly bears more time to safely reach their dens. Despite this, threatened species like grizzlies were not spared from the brutality of indiscriminate trapping.

        • Watch: Yle launches ‘Bird table’ live stream

          While the human hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas rush has subsided, and a Christmas peace descends, a hustle and bustle of a different kind continues in yards and gardens across the country – especially if it contains a bird feeding table.

          “Finns are very active feeders of birds,” Chief Curator of the Finnish Museum of Natural History Aleksi Lehikoinen told Yle.

          Although the exact numbers of bird feeders is difficult to gauge, an estimate can be deduced from the amount of bird food imported into Finland. The latest report from the Food Agency is from 2019.

          “More than ten million kilos of sunflower seeds and more than two million kilos of nuts are imported into Finland every year for the purpose of feeding wildlife,” Lehikoinen said.

      • Overpopulation

        • Do We Dare Stop Being Afraid of Ourselves?

          We tell stories, which evolve into myths — and myths are what hold us together. They create the collective entity known as the human race.

          And myths evolve.

        • There’s Only One Essential Role Humans Have on Earth: a Humbler Perspective Could Save the World

          This is a planet of water in continuous circulation moving through many phases, with each phase intimately linked at every stage. It is the water in the sea, the lakes, the rivers, and the streams. It is the water flowing underground and deep, deep down inside the planet, locked in rock. It is the water in the atmosphere or encased in ice.

          And it is the water moving through each and every living cell of every plant and animal on the planet.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Don’t Let the Deeper Meaning of Christmas Be Lost in Materialism

        On Saturday, millions of people across the world will celebrate Christmas. Even with COVID-19 still plaguing the world, families will gather; bells will ring; music will be in the air. Each year, I use this column to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

      • How Public Workers Can Stop The Privatization of Everything

        With no VA union members present, and only a few veterans or VA patients in the crowd to present an alternative view, the initial consensus of the group was that public provision of veterans’ healthcare was inferior to private sector treatment—a perspective clearly shaped by corporate media coverage of the VA and an ongoing conservative push for its partial privatization. Before the end of the session, participants had a far better understanding of the inter-relatedness of political attacks on public services and jobs, at all levels of government, and the need for greater labor-community solidarity to fend them off. As Cohen and his co-author Allen Mikaelian make clear in The Privatization of Everything: How The Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back (New Press), any private sector incursion into the public sector is not just somebody else’s problem, it’s an injury to all.

        In their new book, Cohen and Mikaelian, describe and debunk the vast array of privatization schemes that now litter the landscape, from private prisons and charter schools to for-profit water treatment and trash collection. “Corporations entrusted with public goods have been given the power to lock people up, force them into a parallel justice system, deny them life-saving treatments, place vital information behind paywalls, divert money from poverty programs to wealthy investors, tie the hands of governments, and undermine our constitutional rights.” There are now 2.6 times as many federal contract employees as there are direct employees of federal agencies.

      • Opinion | What I’m Getting the American Oligarchs This Year for Christmas

        Ho-ho-ho, wait till you hear about the gifts I gave to some of America’s power elites for Christmas.

      • Investing In Our Destruction
      • Retail Workers Are Organizing for Safety and Dignified Pay Amid Holiday Rush
      • Special Privilege in Admission to Elite U.S. Colleges

        Consider the fact that, according to a recent study, only about 57 percent of Harvard’s white students were admitted on the basis of academic merit. The other 43 percent received special treatment because their parents had made large donations to Harvard, or they had parents who had graduated from the school (“legacy admissions”) or taught there, or were recruited as athletes. Without this preferential status, some three-quarters of them would have been rejected in the intense competition for admission.

        Actually, a preferential status for the privileged has long been a tradition in the top ranks of American higher education. During their first decades, elite colleges considered only wealthy white students as worthy of admission. Even by the end of the nineteenth century, their campuses were populated primarily by graduates of private high schools. In the early twentieth century, worried administrators, anxious to limit the number of Jews and other new immigrants, leaned increasingly upon legacy status, family donations, and athletic recruiting.

      • Organizers Are Building Solidarity Through Holiday Mutual Aid Work
      • The Good News in 2022 Will Be the Economy

        In recent weeks, inflation has been front and center in people’s minds as the media have given us endless stories about higher prices for gasoline, milk, and other items. Many have been convinced that inflation will only get higher, outstripping wages and leaving most workers worse off. This is not going to be the case.

        We now see inflation driven by supply chain problems associated with reopening. This is demonstrated by the fact that we see big jumps in inflation almost everywhere.  The United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and many other countries have all seen a rise in prices similar to what we see in the United States.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | It’s Not Too Late To Save Democracy. Senate Showdown On Voting Rights Coming In January

        2021 has been a very difficult year for the country, starting with the devastating impact of the coronavirus.

      • Report Spotlights Massive GOP Push to ‘Hijack Elections in This Country’

        A detailed analysis published Thursday shines further light on the Republican Party’s sprawling assault on voting rights and the democratic process nationwide, an effort that includes legislation that would “politicize, criminalize, and interfere” with elections.

        Compiled by the States United Democracy Center, Protect Democracy, and Law Forward, the new report identifies at least 262 bills in 41 states that—if enacted—would “interfere with election administration.” More than 30 such measures have become law in 17 Republican-led states.

      • Fighting the Power From Inside the Belly of the Beast: an Interview With Dennis Kucinich

        Bernstein:  Welcome Congressman Kucinich.  It is good to talk with you again. Let’s start here. You saw the corporate muscles flexed at the national level as a member of Congress and running for President.  Would you say that what we’ve just seen—some would say we were just Manchined, but what we’ve just seen in terms of Manchin, a right-wing Democrat controlling, essentially the flow of policy in the United States, is this about corporate power?  Is that still the problem?

        Kucinich:   Well, you know,  that’s one level of analysis, but I’d like to kind of expand the discussion.  What we’re seeing here with the deadlock over Build Back Better is truly a symptom of a nation that is sharply divided among political and ideological lines.  I mean, the basic requirement of a nation is that there be an underlying consensus.  So, unity and purpose and that’s been severely eroded and the consequences are catastrophic, because you have these kinds of divisions that we have right now. This puts the country on a decline.  We have a hyper-partisanship that doesn’t serve any purpose and it’s not just about one party. It’s about both.  They’ve both been sidetracked by campaign financing laws, which make the government an auction to the highest bidder. You cited corporations, but that’s kinda the way it is.

      • ‘Not True’: Sanders Counters Manchin’s Bogus Inflation Argument Against Build Back Better

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday countered fellow Sen. Joe Manchin’s recent Fox News appearance with an op-ed on the right-wing outlet’s website aimed at rebutting the West Virginia Democrat’s falsehood-laden talking points against the Build Back Better Act.

        “Manchin, the Republicans, and corporate America say this bill will add to our national debt and make inflation worse. Not true,” wrote Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “Unlike the bloated military budget that Manchin recently voted for, which adds $778 billion to the deficit this year alone and costs four times more than the Build Back Better Act over a 10-year period, the White House has said this bill is fully paid for” with tax hikes on the wealthy.

      • Sanders Takes Aim at Manchin’s Argument Against Build Back Better: “Not True”
      • 30 Years Ago, the Soviet Union Collapsed, But Socialism Was Worth Saving

        Yet Soviet socialism had more economic successes than failures. The US-USSR comparison used to demonstrate “capitalism good, socialism bad” was apples-to-oranges, and should never have been accepted.

        British economist Angus Maddison estimates that in 1913 the US’ Gross Domestic Product per capita was the highest in the world at $5,301 (in 1990 dollars). That of the Russian Empire—the future USSR—was only $1,488–17th in world, less than Mexico. Sixty years later, the US figure had risen to $16,689 and the USSR’s to $6,059, the USSR narrowing the gap by 23%–a considerable achievement considering the extremely different circumstances faced by each nation.

      • Trump’s True North: President for Life

        Trump also publicly asked Russia in 2016 for campaign help, a request he soon dropped. This was no secret conspiracy, no hidden collusion. As his son said, they were too stupid for that. Instead, this was an open pitch for intervention. Which doesn’t mean Russians were so cretinous as to comply in any big way. But promoters of the phony Russiagate claptrap mysteriously lost sight of all that, priming the populace for an election fraud narrative and eroding faith in the electoral process.

        In his hegira from winner to loser, Trump snapped up whatever weapons were at hand along the way, and this disillusionment, caused by the Russiagate fraud, proved most useful. Trump consiglieri like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani turned it on its head, claiming Venezuela and China tampered with voting machines, helping to steal Trump’s crown, while chief of staff Mark Meadows pursued more arcane charges of Italian meddling via space satellites. The Russiagate ruse turned out to be a can of worms.

      • Trump Thinks He’s Still President: What Is the Evidence?

        +The Obama-Biden union card check proposal was not on Mr. Trump’s political horizon, nor is it on that of the current occupant in the White House.

        +The current occupant is ramping up Trump’s unhinged Sino-phobic hallucinations, sanctioning 34 Chinese entities for development of “brain-control weaponry.” Not that the Chinese have been angels. In an egregious suppression of freedom of information, the inscrutable Orientals have made it more difficult for US spies to operate in their country.

      • Leftist Presidential Candidate’s Landslide Promises Clean Sweep of Pinochet’s Fascist Legacy

        Now we have a shining example of what needs to be done, in a country that had its own 9-11, but has finally turned things around.

        Chile, in fact, was the scene of a far more brutal and deadly 9-11 event that occurred on September 11, 1973, when the country’s military, under the direction of a fascist military leader named Augusto Pinochet, in a coup backed if not orchestrated by the US under President Richard Nixon and his then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, overthrew the democratically elected and hugely popular Marxist President Salvador Allende Gossens, murdering him in the presidential palace and launching a reign of terror that saw thousands of Allende supporters murdered or disappeared.

      • The Greatest Honor of a Star: an Unforgettable Goal Against Pinochet

        An Unforgettable Goal Against Pinochet

        Among the images that come to us from September 11, 1973, the day of the military coup against Salvador Allende, among so many vivid images, one could rightly be of President Allende resisting in a helmet as a last resort, with some loyal militants at the gates of La Moneda palace. This image speaks of a democratic socialist, who by the strength of the ballot box thought he had the power, who is destroyed in the end, defeated with the greatest eloquence of bombs and crime.

      • Leaked files expose Syria psyops veteran astroturfing BreadTube star to counter Covid restriction critics
      • Democratic Progress in Honduras, Set Backs in El Salvador

        The two countries have taken a 180-degree turn and are now immersed in very different political trends.

        During the past decade, El Salvador and Honduras went in opposite directions.

      • Suyapa Portillo Villeda on Honduran Election
      • Wisconsin Republican Vote Fraud

        They should each spend time in a witness stand explaining how and why they tried to bamboozle America. Criminal charges are possible, but no charges have been filed, yet.

        Throughout the history of America there have been occasions of lowly in-the-gutter personality types that cheat the American public by rigging an election, but in this particular case 10 low-lifes acted in concert to deceive America. They’re considered pillars of the Wisconsin Republican Party.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • The Future is in Interoperability Not Big Tech: 2021 in Review

        We’ve been here before. EFF’s been fighting tech abuses for 30 years, and we’re used to real tech problems giving rise to nonsensical legal “solutions,” that don’t address the problem – or make it worse. There’s been some of that (okay, there’s been a lot of that).

        But this year, something new happened: lawmakers, technologists, public interest groups, and regulators around the world converged on an idea we’re very fond of around here: interoperability.

        There’s a burgeoning, global understanding that the internet doesn’t have to be five giant websites, each filled with text from the other four. Sure, tech platforms have “network effects” on their side – meaning that the more they grow, the more useful they are. Every iPhone app is a reason to buy an iPhone; every person who buys an iPhone is a reason to create a new iPhone app. Likewise, every Facebook user is a reason to join Facebook (in order to socialize with them) and every time someone joins Facebook, they become a reason for more people to join.

      • ‘Don’t Cross the Picket Line’: Apple Workers Organize Christmas Eve Walkout

        A group of Apple employees organized a Christmas Eve walkout, demanding better working conditions and calling on customers to not shop in the tech giant’s retail or online stores.

        “We are Apple,” Apple Together, the group organizing the walkout, tweeted Thursday. “We deserve a respectful workplace. We deserve paid sick time. We deserve protection on the frontlines. We deserve proper mental healthcare.”

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Nintendo Wins High Court Injunction to Block Access to Pirated Switch ROMs

          In an effort to restrict access to pirated ROMs illegally made available for its Switch console, Nintendo has obtained a UK High Court injunction against six internet service providers. Targeted against ROM portals with NSW2U and NSWROM branding, the two-year blocking order requires BT, Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk and others to block the sites after they failed to respond to infringement complaints.

        • “Strike 3″ Filed Over 1,900 Online Piracy Lawsuits in the U.S. in 2021

          Strike 3 Holdings is continuing its quest against alleged BitTorrent pirates in U.S. courts. The adult entertainment company is the only prolific ‘copyright troll’ still left in the country and over the past months has filed over 1,900 lawsuits. Most cases have already been closed, with many being settled outside of court.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 24, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:32 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

Over HTTP:

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmacZANdVbnvbBKiuTNTRKwhJMUw2DkdSqZ5bRKrVjmk5a IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmUUpWf4xMWtGYu5aUkYbSDMM9ADHH4gwS1i66CFT6iqqE IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 Qmb4ppemFnJ7fezAHRYYr2JhdDoGc9dsVCK7xKv6S1mbCp IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmehKSybEjnY9VDsD5TpWKMwALR4YgBbHTMUXUCKRkYv83 IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmNfN8L5DRprpcoLgbvAU7CRQ7M1eS5cA7hgSsaYuWJRHB IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmVEzxTasi2u2kshZSkJ2YBCPnZQ2Eqem2WxsDK5FPXvB7 IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmQT3groARyBQfsMyZvmwSSQaac45tMJpHPrBgXRyjohit IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmRH1B9GVpbVJpw2BDa1idbKcAjxWrpX4f377qAcCe9VEs IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs

IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmVjqVfy1bLLkjPbYtUagNsq6vfXCToNocEPu1s2Cvo3ab

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts