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Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Neptune, GeckoLinux, Slackel, UbuntuDDE & Touch, qBittorrent …

      First PING 2022 and there are already interesting things to collect with this broom, almost everything from this first week of the year … with the inevitable exception of Linux Mint 20.3, whose launch we echoed yesterday.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What makes Linux the sustainable OS

        Battling the pandemic has created a shortage of microchips needed to produce new computers. In addition, some newer proprietary operating systems come with higher minimum standards for those systems. This conundrum has created an opportunity for those of us who use Linux in our daily lives.

        Linux has long been noted for adding life to aging hardware. That ability has been a boon to those folks who use computers every day.
        I have helped many folks refurbish and refit older computers using Linux in the past year. Linux-based computers consume less power and start up much quicker. The Gnome desktop is great, but many older computers are better suited to LXDE or XFCE environments, which require fewer resources to run.

      • Survey Shows 60% Of VFX Designers Are Using Linux

        VES (Visual Effects Society) is an organization that represents visual effects designers, animators, studios, film makers and other related stakeholders from many different countries around the world. They have thousands of members from many different companies specialized in VFX field, some of which have made the most iconic films in the world.

        VES has published the results of a survey they worked on between October-November of 2021 about studio software platforms used by their members. 88 Unique studios have participated in the survey, which collectively own more than 59,000 artist workstations (Or computers).

        The survey aimed to explore which software platforms are most common in the VFX industry, and the key findings could be quite surprising for you.

      • My sunk cost fallacy relationship with my home desktop

        However, this machine dates from early 2018 so it’s only about three years old now. Three years is a pretty aggressive replacement cycle for desktop machines today, especially when I bought it as a relatively good machine that I was expecting to last me for at least five years. And more importantly, there’s the sunk cost fallacy. I want this machine to work, and I want to persuade myself that magically it will work well enough for me not to do anything (or at least anything substantial). Just as I expected back in August of 2020, I’ve done nothing so far and just coasted along, and so far that has actually worked out in the sense that I’ve avoided both total failure and too many issues (although I had one alarming incident). It’s easier to do nothing than to act.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • USB Changes For Linux 5.17: Overdue Xen pvUSB To DWC3 Multi-Stream Transfer – Phoronix

        Landing this week as part of the various subsystems overseen by Linux’s second-in-command Greg Kroah-Hartman were the USB changes for Linux 5.17.

        There were many USB (and Thunderbolt) changes for Linux 5.17 such as Synopsys’ DWC3 “Multi-Stream Transfer” feature, Xen pvUSB making its debut after being out-of-tree since its start in ~2008, various power management changes, and more. Some of the USB subsystem highlights for 5.17 include:

        - Multi-Stream Transfer (MST; not to be confused with DisplayPort’s MST – Multi-Stream Transport) for the Synopsys DesignWare Core SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller. Synopsys added Multi-Stream Transfer to improve bulk streams performance for SuperSpeed and SuperSpeed Plus with their DWC3 controller with this latest Linux kernel driver code. Synopsys has found this Multi-Stream Transfer mode for DWC3 can lead to a “significant performance improvement” for UASP transfers.

      • Linux 5.16 speeds up games and boosts system performance – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation]

        Linux 5.16 took a week longer than originally expected. Linus Torvalds decided to give the kernel a little more time to mature. The triggers were not problems or alarming test results, but simply the concern that testing could be too short due to the holidays and the week “between the years”.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa’s “Copper” Is A Step Closer To Being Brazed – Phoronix

          A draft merge request has been opened for landing “Copper” within Mesa.

          Copper came about over the past year by Red Hat’s Adam Jackson with participation from Mike Blumenkrantz and others. This DRI interface extension can lead to much greater efficiency for Zink, the OpenGL on Vulkan implementation, and native WSI handling for it. Copper would help improve upon the Gallium3D architecture and provide substantial benefits for Zink.

          On Thursday Blumenkrantz opened the draft MR for merging Copper with hopes for getting the code into shape for mainlining but not necessarily in the immediate future. Pushing Copper out as more of a longer-term effort is it depending upon other open merge requests such as Zink external memory support, sparse textures, and other bits.

        • Leaks

          It’s come to my attention that there’s a lot of rumors flying around about what exactly I’m doing aside from posting the latest info about where Jason Ekstrand, who coined the phrase, “If it compiles, we should ship it.” is going to end up.

          Everyone knows that jekstrand’s next career move is big news—the kind of industry-shaking maneuvering that has every BigCo from Alphabet to Meta on tenterhooks. This post is going to debunk a number of the most common nonsense I’ve been hearing as well as give some updates about what else I’ve been doing besides scouring the internet for even the tiniest clue about what’s coming for this man’s career in 2022.


          Unfortunately, this turned out to be bogus, no more than chaff deployed to stop us from getting to the truth because we were too close. Later, while I was pondering how buggy NVIDIA’s sparse image functionality was in the latest beta drivers and attempting to pass what few equally buggy CTS cases there were for ARB_sparse_texture2, I stumbled upon the obvious.

          It’s so obvious, in fact, that everyone overlooked it because of how obvious it is.

          Jason has left Intel and turned in his badge because he’s on vacation.

          As everyone knows, he’s the kind of person who literally does not comprehend time in the same way that the rest of us do. It was his assessment of the HR policy that in order to take time off and leave the office, he had to quit. My latest intel (no pun intended) revealed that managers and executives alike were still scrambling, trying to figure out how to explain the company’s vacation policy using SSA-based compiler terminology, but optimizer passes left their attempts to engage him as no-ops.

    • Applications

      • tickrs – terminal realtime ticker data

        One way of keeping alert regarding your financial position is to use a stock ticker. This is software that provides live updates of stock prices and enables you to easily monitor your investments.

        tickrs is a stock ticker that is written in Rust. It’s published under an open source license.

        Terminal-based software is light on system resources (very useful on low specified machines), can be faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X is restarted, and are great for scripting purposes.

      • QOwnNotes 22.1.6 – Neowin

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.

      • yt-dlp vs youtube-dl

        It’s well known that videos are not nearly as easy to save from a website as things like images or text. Although web browsers do not feature a default way to save videos directly to our hard drive, open source projects like yt-dlp and youtube-dl fill this gap quite nicely.

        As you can tell from the names, these tools work especially for YouTube, where most of the world’s videos are found these days. But they can also work for a variety of other sites – actually, most any site that you come across. And, usually, if there is a site that these tools can’t work with, the developers will work on adding support for it into the next release of their software.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install yt-dlp and youtube-dl on major Linux distros. We will also go over their pros and cons to help you see which one is better.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • SSH Bastion Host Best Practices

        Overall, the core concept of security hardening a bastion host is to run a bastion server with minimal components and reduce the attack surface as much as possible. As you will find below, most of the controls required to secure bastion hosts are, in fact, the same as hardening an operating system. Below, we present a few important things to consider while designing a bastion host.

      • SSH and HTTP to a Raspberry Pi behind CG-NAT

        This modem is on AT&T’s network, but regardless of the provider, unless you’re willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month for a SIM with a public IP address, the Internet connection will be running behind CG-NAT.

        What this means is there’s no publicly routable address for the Pi—you can’t access it from the public Internet, since it’s only visible inside the cell network’s private network.

      • Kali http server setup

        There are multiple ways to set up an HTTP web server in Kali Linux. Apache, NGINX, and Python are a few of the ways this can be accomplished.

        Since you are looking to set up a web server on Kali, it might be safe to assume that you are trying to spoof some other website, or dupe users with some sort of phishing ploy. In that case, all three web server types have their pros and cons, with Python being the quickest one to get up and running.

        Whatever the purpose of your web server may be, nefarious or not, you will learn how to install and configure a simple HTTP server using either Apache, NGINX, or Python in this tutorial. Follow through our step by step instructions below to see how it’s done.

      • How to install Fathom on Debian 11

        Hello, friends. Many admins and website owners use Google Analytics to get advanced statistics of their website. Today, I will show you how to install Fathom Analytics on Debian 11.

      • How to install Kibana Dashboard on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Analyze the data collected by the Elasticsearch search engine software visually by installing Kibana Dashboard on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or 20.04 Focal Fossa.

        Elasticsearch is a popular enterprise search engine software to collect data, index, and analyze it. The software is open-source, hence distributed to use free of cost. The key feature is it can examine and index a wide variety of data types that can be structured or unstructured. For example, it can be text-based data, numerical data, data with time information, or data with geographic information.

        But this Elastic Seach doesn’t offer itself a graphical option to analyze data, hence to get that we use Kibana, an open-source analysis, and visualization platform. Together with Elasticsearch and Logstash, it forms the Elastic Stack and enables the data collected by Elasticsearch to be visualized. Users can have various types of visualizations representation of their data such as line diagrams, pie charts, donut charts, or histograms. And allows the display of time series or geographical data. Kibana can be operated both on-premises and cloud-based.

      • Install CouchDB using Docker and Docker-compose

        CouchDB is an open-source NoSQL document database that stores data in JSON-based format and offers HTTP-ready REST-API out of the box.

        It can be used as a database backend for web, mobile, or even desktop apps. In contrast, it uses JSON for documents, an HTTP API, & JavaScript/declarative indexing.

        Although, CouchDB can be installed on Ubuntu or Linux using Snap, many developers may require to install it using Docker.

      • How to Install MySQL Workbench in RHEL Systems

        This article piece assumes that you already have the famed MySQL software installed on your RHEL-based Linux system and are ready to exploit database administration to the fullest.

        You log in to the MySQL shell and create the needed databases and their associated tables. You create the needed relationships between these database tables and start managing your data.

        However, this approach does not give you the needed dynamic control in managing your data. Also, it takes too much time switching between databases, creating users and data, viewing linked data, and executing other database-related queries.

      • Installing Arch Linux Using archinstall Automated Script [Complete Guide]

        In this guide, we explain the super easy way of installing Arch Linux using automated script archinstall. Intended for beginner to advanced users.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Run (some) Windows apps on Haiku operating system thanks to Wine port

        Haiku is free and open source operating system designed to be compatible with BeOS, a legacy operating system from the 1990s. Haiku itself has been under development for two decades, but it’s still considered beta software (and it only hit that state a few years ago).

        While there’s a relatively limited number of native apps available for the platform, one potential solution to that app gap could be on the horizon: a developer has been porting Wine to Haiku, which makes it possible to run some Windows applications on Haiku.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • I Tried System76’s New Rust-based COSMIC Desktop!

        If you didn’t know already, System76 developers have been working on a new Desktop Environment (dubbed COSMIC) written in Rust: a memory-safe and superfast programming language.

        Creating a desktop environment from scratch is no small feat. That involves creating everything from the compositor, panel, window manager to the APIs for your desktop environment and other back-end tasks.

        It is not an easy task, and maintaining it is another story.

      • Top 10 best Desktop Environments for 2022 Linux and against Linux | systemd-free linux community

        First we should explain the reason for the title, then we should explain why has this become a trendy catchy titling of pseudo-media, what is pseudo-media, who they serve, and how can there be real linux development without this consuming black hole?

        How were desktop environments conceived and developed, and why were they developed? Many technical reasons:

        1 as hardware became quickly more able to display more complex graphics than the old text terminals, it became possible to display graphical images that weren’t drawn by grouping alphanumeric symbols together in lines, then digital drawings (CAD), then low resolution photographs that kept climbing in higher and higher levels, then video and high-fidelity audio.

        2 the competitive conditioning developed through living in capitalism, elevates marketablility as an unquestionable value, and since operating systems with higher graphic capabilities became popular, coders engaged in a rat race to outscore large corporate graphic projects.

        3 MS-win became nearly a global monopoly in computer systems, so the (conditioned) goal was clear, to provide “cheaper” “less binding” software that were equally pretty and offered similar utility. Those who argued the system is not its graphical abilities but its ability to perform other tasks without much graphical feedback, and just provide adequate information and control for those tasks, became less and less popular themselves, to the extent people called them hopeless romantics.

      • In practice, there are two types of window managers in modern X

        As part of its nominal mantra of “mechanism, not policy”, the X Window System uses a user provided window manager. As far as most X programs are concerned, all window managers are supposed to be equal (assuming that they implement some standards for interoperability, such as EWMH and ICCM). The various Unix desktops (GNOME, KDE, etc) have some extra stuff between their own programs and their own desktop window manager, but theoretically all ‘foreign’ window managers are about the same.

        Unfortunately, this is not the practical reality in modern X. In practice the world of window manager environments has split into two types, one of which is not equal to the other. There are compositing window manager environments, which are found in pretty much every significant X desktop, and also non-compositing window managers. Many stand alone X window managers, such as fvwm, are non-compositing, as you can see in Wikipedia’s comparison of X window managers.

      • Exploring System76′s New Rust Based Desktop Environment

        System76’s objective is to create something that is faster, more customizable, and free of the limitations of the GNOME desktop environment, and let’s face it, we’re all curious as to how this desktop will look like.

        This post will explore how this new desktop environment is shaping up.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Norbert Preining: Future of “my” packages in Debian

          After having been (again) demoted (timed perfectly to my round birthday!) based on flimsy arguments, I have been forced to rethink the level of contribution I want to do for Debian. Considering in particular that I have switched my main desktop to dual-boot into Arch Linux (all on the same btrfs fs with subvolumes, great!) and have run Arch now for several days exclusively, I think it is time to review the packages I am somehow responsible for (full list of packages).

          After about 20 years in Debian, time to send off quite some stuff that has accumulated over time.

          KDE/Plasma, frameworks, Gears, and related packages

          All these packages are group maintained, so there is not much to worry about. Furthermore, a few new faces have joined the team and are actively working on the packages, although mostly on Qt6. I guess that with me not taking action, frameworks, gears, and plasma will fall back over time (frameworks: Debian 5.88 versus current 5.90, gears: Debian 21.08 versus current 21.12, plasma uptodate at the moment).

          With respect to my packages on OBS, they will probably also go stale over time. Using Arch nowadays I lack the development tools necessary to build Debian packages, and above all, the motivation.

          I am sorry for all those who have learned to rely on my OBS packages over the last years, bringing modern and uptodate KDE/Plasma to Debian/stable, please direct your complaints at the responsible entities in Debian.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • First Look at Some of the GTK4 Apps in GNOME 42

          For this first look, I want to focus on three important apps, namely the Nautilus (Files) file manager, GNOME Text Editor (a.k.a. the Gedit replacement), and the GNOME Software graphical package manager.

          Nautilus 42, which is probably the most important app in the GNOME desktop environment, is shaping up to be one of the best file managers on the Linux desktop. The GTK4 look and feel is very modern, and, if you’re coming from GTK3, you’ll immediately notice the differences.

    • Distributions

      • The 9 Best Linux Distros for Privacy-Focused Users

        The proliferation of cyberattacks and increasing security breaches is a matter of great concern in the open-source community. However, there is still hope to overcome these breaches, considering the ongoing stress on privacy-focused Linux distros.

        These open-source Linux OSes combine best-in-class tools, encryption, and virtualization tactics to counter threats. If privacy ranks high on your agenda, and you need to switch to a high-end security-oriented Linux OS, then you should check out the nine Linux distros listed below.

      • EndeavourOS and Manjaro: An in-depth Comparison Between Two of the Best Arch Linux Based Distros

        If you have ever tried using Arch Linux, you know it is almost impossible to install it without proper documentation and Linux knowledge. That’s the charm of Arch Linux, actually.

        But since Arch Linux lies on the expert end of the Linux distros spectrum, there exists several Arch-based distributions that try to make things easier for the common folks.

        Manjaro and EndeavourOS are two of the most popular choices when it comes to an ‘Arch-based Arch alternative’.

        So let’s take a look at the differences between these two. Why should you choose one Linux distribution over another?

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE 15.2 Reached End-of-Life – openSUSE News

          Users of openSUSE Leap 15.2 will not be receiving security and maintenance updates as the version is now EOL (end of life) as of Jan. 4, 2022.

          EOL ends updates for the operating system minor version. Those who continue to use EOL versions will be exposed to vulnerabilities because these discontinued versions no longer receive security and maintenance updates. This is why users need to upgrade to the newer minor release; openSUSE Leap 15.3!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora plans to redesign the Anaconda installer

          The community of Fedora It has been proposed to redesign and modernize the graphical user interface of Anaconda, the installer used primarily by Red Hat Spectrum and RHEL clones.

          As can be read in an entry published in the Fedora community blog, The intention is rewrite the Anaconda graphical interface with web technologies and employing Cockpit. Until now (and it will surely continue to be the case in future versions of Fedora) the graphical interface of the installer has been built with GTK, but some members of the community have begun to see that it is time to modernize and improve it.

          From Fedora they believe that Cockpit is a mature solution with great support for the installer backend: Anaconda DBus. In addition, it seems that there is understanding with those responsible for Cockpit, since they have provided their support and have knowledge of what Anaconda managers might need, something to which is added the increasing support that Cockpit has according to words published in the blog post.

        • Extracting dependencies from Python packages | Red Hat Developer

          Python’s easy-to-learn syntax and rich standard library, combined with the large number of open source software packages available on the Python Package Index (PyPI), make it a common programming language of choice for quick prototyping leading to production systems. Python is a good fit for many use cases, and is particularly popular in the data science domain for data exploration and analysis.

          Thus, Python’s rapid rise on the TIOBE Index of the most popular programming languages shouldn’t be a surprise. PyPI hosts more than 3 million releases of Python packages. Each package release has metadata associated with it, which makes the packages themselves an interesting dataset to explore and experiment with.

          In this article, you’ll learn how to extract metadata and dependency information from Python package releases. You’ll also see how this process works in Project Thoth, which provides Python programmers with information about support for the packages they use, along with the dependencies, performance, and security of those packages.

        • How to ward off the Great Resignation in financial services IT | The Enterprisers Project

          The fight for talent is real: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in September 2021, 4.4 million U.S. workers quit their jobs. That is 6 times the population of Luxembourg.

          Globally, the “Great Resignation” has led to increased challenges and potential growth delays, with 73 percent of CEOs citing labor shortage as their biggest external concern that is most likely to disrupt their business in the next 12 months, according to research by Fortune and Deloitte.

          Financial services CIOs should build a culture that retains industry-leading talent.
          The upshot for CIOs in financial services: You must adapt to recruit and keep talent – and build a culture that retains industry-leading talent. After recently interviewing more than 20 former financial services IT leaders who departed for other companies, I learned that it isn’t about a bad boss or poor pay. They all fondly remembered their time at the firms, yet that wasn’t enough to keep them.

        • Red Hat Statement on White House Open Source Security Summit

          Matt Hicks, executive vice president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat, Chris Wright, senior vice president and chief technology officer (CTO), and Mark Bohannon, vice president of Global Public Policy at Red Hat, along with representatives from other technology industry leaders, today attended a meeting hosted by the White House National Security Council focused on cybersecurity and efforts to advance open source security. Red Hat is the industry’s leading provider of open source software solutions.

        • The Red Hat ecosystem: Then vs. now

          Once upon a time, the Red Hat ecosystem was oriented around one platform: Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          Those days are gone.

          While RHEL remains one pillar of Red Hat’s offerings, the Red Hat ecosystem evolved to include a variety of other products and services through acquisitions and new development. Concurrently, key facets of the relationship between Red Hat, Linux and open source have changed in important ways.

          Let’s examine the state of the Red Hat ecosystem in the 2020s and its relationship to the larger software market. We’ll look at the major products and services Red Hat offers — and how those services interact with third-party tools and software, such as Linux distributions based on RHEL.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Shapes the Future of Snapcraft (and Snap Packs) – itsfoss.net

          There has been some controversy surrounding Snapcraft in recent months that was not looking good for Canonical’s packaging system, but nothing from official sources, but discussions in the community. Now, however, reliable information about the future of Snapcraft and Snap, the package format created by the Ubuntu developer not only for Ubuntu, but for the entire GNU / Linux ecosystem.

          Quickly commenting on what has nothing to do with this news, let’s say that if two or three years ago the support for Snap was more prominent, especially from commercial developers, while Flatpak grew and settled in the community, the Tables have turned and it is now when the second seems to be establishing itself as the most widespread and appreciated alternative, at least among the main Linux distributions.

          Thus, Flatpak has been improving a lot in recent times, while it is increasingly possible to find more applications in this format, in Flathub at least. Snap is not bad either, but it has been dragging problems for years that have not been solved, beyond its centralized model, which is not going to change (Flatpak falls into the same practice, since almost everything is in Flathub). For example, the slow startup of Snap applications.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition: Linux-based smartphone launches for US$399 with the Rockchip RK3399S

        Additionally, the 160.8 x 76.6 x 11.1 mm device has a 6-inch and 720p display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition has relatively thick bezels by modern smartphone standards, along with an 8 MP front-facing camera and a 12 MP rear-facing one, specifically the Sony IMX258. A 3,000 mAh battery powers the device, which supports up to 15 W charging.

        Currently, the PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition supports fewer operating systems than the original PinePhone, which works with over 20 OSes. Still, the Explorer Edition can run Arch Linux ARM and Manjaro ARM, among others. The PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition is pre-orderable now for US$399.

        For reference, PINE64 states that all orders placed before January 18 will ship later this month. Please note that the company will ship the smartphone from Hong Kong, so you may incur customs duties and taxes, depending on where you live.

      • Compact industrial computer builds on Raspberry Pi CM4

        Edatec’s compact, $113-and-up “CM4 Nano” industrial box is built around the RPi CM4 with HDMI, MIPI-DSI/CSI, GbE, WiFi/BT, 3x USB 3.0, 40-pin GPIO, a 12-18VDC input, and -25 to 60°C support.

        Edatech has launched a 103 x 62 x 21.5mm industrial system that runs Linux on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. The company compares the box, which offers access to the CM4 Nano carrier board, with the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC. Touted advantages include a full-size HDMI port with USB-based touchscreen support, a wide-range 12-18VDC input, and an RTC. There is also a wider operating range, which is variably listed at -25 to 50°C and -25 to 60°C.

      • Slimbook 4K grabber, a good choice for Linux

        Today we are going to present a device that can be of great help to those who are dedicated to making screencasting from Linux: Slimbook 4K grabber.

        Although Linux has seen a great improvement as a desktop operating system over the last decade, there are still areas where it is almost useless, and sometimes not because of you. Captors are one of those segments because few of the manufacturers mainstream they support the system, not even through Android or ChromeOS (which would bounce back to GNU / Linux thanks to the kernel).

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Pico Does PID | Hackaday

          If you wanted to, say, control a temperature you might think you could just turn on a heater until you reach the desired temperature and then turn the heater off. That sort of works, but it is suboptimal — you’ll tend to overshoot the goal and then as the system cools down, you’ll have to catch up and the result is often a system that oscillates around the desired value but never really settles on the correct temperature. To solve that, you can use a PID — proportional integral derivative — loop and that’s what [veebch] has done with a Rasberry Pi PICO and Micropython.

          The idea is to control an output signal based on the amount of difference between the actual temperature and the desired temperature (the proportional error). In addition, the amount is adjusted based on the long term error (integral) and any short term change (the derivative). You can also see a video about using the control loop to make a better sous vide burger, below.

        • New free resources for young people to create 3D worlds with code in Unity
        • Network interface routing priority on a Raspberry Pi

          As I start using Raspberry Pis for more and more network routing activities—especially as the Compute Module 4 routers based on Debian, OpenWRT, and VyOS have started appearing—I’ve been struggling with one particular problem: how can I set routing priorities for network interfaces?

        • Ghost in the ethernet optic

          You see, Smart SFP’s are a bit of a terrifying concept. SFP’s are (until now apparently) actually quite simple devices that “simply” take input electrical signals and turn them into optical signalling, or carry them down a Direct Attach Cable (DAC)

          The proposed smart SFP said, “Hey there is plenty of space in this thing! Why not also put a little FPGA, and an ARM core that can share the ethernet link, that way we can do more things!”

        • Throwback to 2021, More from Librem 5 in 2022 – Purism

          We’ve had a really good year of not only adding more functionality for the phone to the Linux kernel and the mainline.

          We have continued to ship out more Librem 5s each month and continued to communicate more reliable shipping estimates.

          The Librem 5 phone has become quite usable in 2021 and will get much better in 2022. Here is a complete run-down from our team.

        • This clock counts down to retirement | Arduino Blog

          For most people, the idea of retiring is a very exciting thought. Finally, after decades of hard work, you can clock out for the last time and spend the rest of your life relaxing and enjoying your leisure years. RdRnr318’s coworker updates her whiteboard every day to countdown the number of days until she gets to retire. To save Martha some effort and reduce the office’s marker budget, RdRnr318 built this “Nearly-Autonomous Retirement Countdown Display” to replace the whiteboard.

          This device does exactly what it says on the tin: it shows a countdown timer with the number of days until Martha reaches her retirement. It also displays the countdown in seconds, minutes, and hours, so Martha can get granular with her retirement daydreams. This device needs no buttons for setting the time, because RdRnr318 programmed it specifically for Martha. Her retirement date is hardcoded and there is a real-time clock with a battery backup, so it can automatically calculate the countdown even after losing power.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source maintainer threatens to throw in the towel if companies won’t ante up

        Yet another developer of open source software has tired of companies utilizing the code he helps maintain without giving anything back to support the project.

        On Tuesday, Christofer Dutz, creator of Apache PLC4X, said he will stop providing community support for the software if corporate users fail to step up and open their wallets.


        “This is my final attempt,” he wrote. “If this also doesn’t help with getting at least some form of financial attribution for my hard work, I will close down my business and there will be no further form of support from my side.”

        This lack of financial support is particularly remarkable given his claims about the potential value that can be accrued by running Apache PLC4X. In a previous blog post he describes prototyping a data collection system using the software that would have saved the unnamed customer €20m.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla and Mint

          • Available Linux Mint 20.3 with the pragmatism and ease of always – itsfoss.net [Ed: Late one, might be plagiarised]

            Linux Mint 20.3, whose code name is Una, is already among us to continue the path of the most popular Ubuntu derivative, which is mainly responsible for facilitating the transition from Windows to Linux thanks to the fact that in its three editions it offers desktops of the style that has generally spent the Redmond giant.

            We start with what is the most visible face of this distribution: the desktop environment Cinnamon. This time we find the version 5.2.5 along with certain aesthetic changes and accompanied by a large number of graphical tools that make life easier for the user, among which are TimeShift for the creation and management of snapshots and the driver manager.

            Seeing that the desktop is essentially more of the same, applications end up having more prominence. In the first place it has been mentioned Hypnotix IPTV, the streaming application that supports TV channels, movies and series. According to distributors, Linux Mint 20.3 looks better than ever thanks to the addition of support for dark mode. In addition, it supports the Xtream API, has incorporated M3U support and local playlists and included a search function to find TV channels, series and movies.

          • Linux Mint and Mozilla join forces to standardize the Firefox package

            Clement lefebvre has announced a agreement between Linux Mint and Mozilla that will affect how Firefox is served to users of the well-known derivative of Ubuntu. The project leader has made it clear that this alliance is both commercial and technical.

            The core part of the agreement is that the Firefox build supplied through the Linux Mint repositories will start using the default settings used by Mozilla and not the Linux Mint one. This means that the default page will no longer be ‘https://www.linuxmint.com/start/‘and the default search engines will be those of Mozilla’s partners (Google, Amazon, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc) rather than those used by the distribution (Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc). Another issue affected is that the code changes from Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Debian will no longer be incorporated, although the package format will remain Deb.

            For Mozilla, the goal of its alliance with Mint is to make Firefox work as equally as possible across distributions to facilitate maintenance and simplify development and bug fixes. This strategy is by no means new on the part of the foundation, but it is a path that it began to follow many months ago to improve the development of Firefox for Linux, since most of the users of the open source system do not use the browser builds provided by Mozilla, but rather those offered by distributions. That, for many years, made the resolution of bugs extremely difficult.

          • Firefox is the most popular web browser of 2021 – itsfoss.net

            Surprise! Notice what you expected, right? In short, it doesn’t matter how many years we’ve been doing our year-end survey, because in the browser section Firefox always wins… and the 2021 survey is no exception. Do we leave it like this? No, because although we know how squared we are for many things Linux users, in the nuances is the interest.

            Thus, it does not matter that Firefox has won the majority favor of the public for another year, because what is really interesting is to see how much support it maintains in relation to previous years, as well as to see the rest of the table and the movements that may have occurred in the same. And is that the world of browsers is not the most changing, but it evolves, even when it may seem otherwise.

            On the other hand, and with regard to the survey in general, this year there were not as many votes as the previous ones, but there was not as much time to vote either. In any case, with more or less votes, what is relevant in the results of the survey is not the raw participation, but rather the percentages that are distributed among the different options and on which we are going to influence to assess the whole.

          • Personalize Firefox with Colorways

            New users will similarly have the choice to opt into this new experience and they will be guided through the customization process. An additional notification for colorway selection will be integrated into the welcome experience. This notification will be visible only after downloading Firefox 94 for the first time.

          • [Old] Introducing new Colorways for Firefox 94

            Today, Firefox is launching Colorways, a new feature that allows our users to express their most authentic selves and to bring them joy while browsing the web. As we challenge what the browser has been, and expand and define the vision of what Firefox browser is and can be, part of that challenge is to ask ourselves “who is it for and who can use it easily and feel included in the experience?”

            We caught up with Mikal Lewis, Senior Director, Product Management for Firefox, to hear more about his vision for Firefox and the impetus for launching Colorways.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Fuzz Testing YottaDB

          Every day, we find fault with our software, so that you don’t!

          Robustness in software is a mark of quality that’s often easy to lose in development.

          Thanks to Zachary Minneker of Security Innovation, Inc., we are implementing fuzz testing to make our software even more robust. Fuzz testing provides us with one more way to generate test cases to test that the software does not do what it is not supposed to do. As expected from a new form of testing, we have discovered bugs that we did not know existed, and which no user has reported to us.

        • How To Connect R Shiny to Postgres Database – The Definite Guide

          Today you’ll learn how to connect R and R Shiny to the Postgres database – one of the most well-known open-source databases. There’s no better way to learn than through a hands-on example, so you’ll also create a fully-working interactive dashboard with R Shiny.

          We assume you already have the Postgres database installed, as well as a GUI management tool like pgAdmin. Installation is OS-specific, so we won’t go through that today. You can Google the installation steps – it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • You’ll be able to write your next Klingon opera in LibreOffice

          Star Trek’s fictional species of space vikings have technically had their own language since The Trouble with Tribbles way back in the original TV series, but the film series started expanding Klingon into a semi-functional language during the 1980s. With a combination of canon works and the help of enthusiastic fans, Klingon has become a somewhat “real” language over the few decades, complete with its own promotional institute and official translations of such works as Hamlet, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and A Christmas Carol.

      • Programming/Development

        • Open Source Sabotage Incident Hits Software Supply Chain | eSecurityPlanet

          An astonishing incident in recent days highlights the risks of widespread dependence on open source software – while also highlighting the free labor corporations benefit from by using open source software.

          Marak Squires, an open source coder and maintainer, sabotaged his repository to protest against unpaid work and his failed attempts to monetize faker.js and color.js, two major NPM packages used by a huge range of other packages and projects.

          The software industry relies on various interdependent ecosystems and resources. This incident shows a well-known and unsolved issue for the software supply chain: the dependency hell. It’s especially true in the world of Nodes.js and JavaScript, but it’s also a common concern with open source software in general.

          Hackers try to infect legitimate apps during a supply chain attack to distribute malware. In the case of faker.js and color.js, we have a pretty rare variant that leverages the highest privileged access.

        • When open-source developers go bad | ZDNet

          Chances are unless you’re a JavaScript programmer, you’ve never heard of the open-source Javascript libraries ‘colors.js’ and ‘faker.js.” They’re simple programs that respectively let you use colored text on your node.js, a popular JavaScript runtime, console, and create fake data for testing. Faker.js is used with more than 2,500 other Node Package Manager (NPM) programs and is downloaded 2.4 million times per week. Colors.js is built into almost 19,000 other NPM packages and is downloaded 23 million times a week. In short, they’re everywhere. And, when their creator, JavaScript developer Marak Squires, fouled them up, tens of thousands of JavaScript programs blew up.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp 1.0.8: Updated, Strict Headers

          The Rcpp team is thrilled to share the news of the newest release 1.0.8 of Rcpp which hit CRAN today, and has already been uploaded to Debian as well. Windows and macOS builds should appear at CRAN in the next few days. This release continues with the six-months cycle started with release 1.0.5 in July 2020. As a reminder, interim ‘dev’ or ‘rc’ releases will alwasys be available in the Rcpp drat repo; this cycle there were once again seven (!!) – times two as we also tested the modified header (more below). These rolling release tend to work just as well, and are also fully tested against all reverse-dependencies.

          Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing R with C or C++ code. Right now, around 2478 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with 242 in BioConductor.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Etel Adnan’s Missing Arab Companions

      Etel Adnan, whose work is being celebrated in an exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, was Arab American. Although she lived in Paris for the past three decades, before that Adnan lived in Sausalito, California. I am an Arab American; so are Ralph Nader, Leila Ahmed, Rashida Tlaib and Naomi Shihab Nye. You’ll find us engaged in all fields—education, industry, medicine, journalism, community service, sports, politics and the arts– and practicing many faiths.

      I offer this as context for the splendid exhibition featuring Etel Adnan at New York City’s prestigious showplace, The Guggenheim. Although contrary to what some claim, recognition of her talent did not arrive late in Adnan’s life. For years, her work has been widely exhibited and celebrated in Europe. Moreover, while she surpassed any specific religious identity, Adnan was an unequivocally proud Arab woman.

    • The Future Of Sports Can Be Changed By NFTs, Virtual Reality, And DAOs

      One of the hottest gifts in Wisconsin over the holiday season was Packers “common stock,” allowing fans who buy in to hold a small percentage of ownership in the NFL franchise. The Packers are selling 300,000 shares of the stock priced at $300 to raise money for stadium improvements at Lambeau Field and sold more than 100,000 in the first week alone. Many are skeptical of why fans are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on shares that, by rule, cannot provide them with any financial benefit. You can find an explanation by looking at a seemingly unrelated technology: non-fungible tokens. An examination of the market for NFTs not only provides insight into the “common stock” phenomenon, but may also provide a glimpse at a different future for how we support and even participate in the decision-making process of our favorite sports teams.

    • Natalie Eilbert, by User 4357

      There’s there there. A sweet empty vacuum bag smells of industry, its provenance. I try a xylophone note, a sound like burnt yellow. Approximations don’t mimic; they stand in a room full of doors. My legs are hungry for money, hang over a man’s ribs. I argue I am trying to be myself when I sever a cucumber. Each object presents its presiding objects. An elbow grinds into a caramelizing thigh bruise. I remove an article, an article too particular to understand. A kitten sleeps, shaped as a pair of slumped lungs. I must laugh at my brain fog, seran wrap over my eyes. Is authorship anything? I am a single combination of cells, dander under a god nail, duplicating. I press my thumb to my femoral nerve until a white light blinks myself open. You enter me, a door warped. In the crease, there.

    • Strange and Intimate Encounters With Kathy Acker

      McKenzie Wark met Kathy Acker in Sydney in 1995 at a reading for 21C Magazine, a publication both wrote for at the time. That evening, they ended up sitting next to each other at a dinner party. Kathy began talking to McKenzie and, just like that, the rest of the room fell away. At the end of the night, McKenzie drove Kathy back to her hotel, idling momentarily at the entrance until Kathy asked impatiently, “Well, are you coming up or not?” Quickly and unceremoniously, their clothes came off and they found their way to the futon. There was a lot of sex and then some talking about the sex. As in her writing, Kathy invited sexual frankness.

    • IndieWeb Search results are also feeds

      I decided to write feeds to accompany search result pages so that I could subscribe to content that matches a particular query. For example, I currently subscribe to the search page for my domain name and “coffee.” This lets me monitor changes in the search results. If new content makes its way onto the first page, that content will show in my feed reader, no matter when it was published. This is a whole new way to discover content. If a page has managed to make its way to page one on a term I care about, the content is probably going to be at least somewhat interesting to me (assuming the term is competitive).

    • Microwave Sampler Is Like Time Domain Mixer | Hackaday

      [Gregory] is building some microwave gear and wanted to convert a 3.3 GHz signal to a 12 MHz intermediate frequency. You might think of using a mixer, but you’d need a local oscillator of nearly 3.3 GHz which is not only hard to build, but also will be very close to the signal of interest which is not a great idea. Instead, [Gregory] opted for a sampler, which uses an effect you usually try to avoid — aliasing — to allow downconversion with a much smaller local oscillator. You can see the design in the video below.

      In the case of converting 3.3 GHz to 12 MHz, the local oscillator is around 100 MHz. How does that work? Watch the video and find out. The final project will triple the 3.3 GHz signal and we presume the 12 MHz downconvert is to easily phase lock the frequency using a PLL (phase-locked loop).

      The circuit is little more than an electronic switch and a capacitor. The first part of the video covers the theory of operation. About 7 minutes in, the whiteboard talk gets more practical, using diodes as switching elements. At the very end, we see he has a PC board design but it isn’t generally available. Still, the theory explanation is well worth the 20 minute watch.

    • Science

    • Education

      • The Monster in the Academic Room

        The Lyle Center and the computer university 

        For 16 weeks I met 8 students at the Lyle Center / Department of Regenerative Studies, College of Environmental Design. The Lyle Center stands on a hill, overlooking the main campus. Yet there’s very little it shares with the university. The two institutions differ in location, architecture, and mission.

      • The Supreme Court Is Poised to Make Critical Decisions in School “Culture War”
      • Second-hand English-language bookstore opens in Tallinn Old Town

        While not the first second-hand bookstore to have opened in the heart of Tallinn’s UNESCO-listed Old Town in recent years, Rüütel & Matilda is currently the only one of its kind in business.

        The founders say it is run as an NGO, with the express aim of encouraging the art of reading, in the traditional way.

      • Stop Using Pie-Charts

        This article shows failures of pie charts, and provides some alternative plots (and matplotlib code) to use in their place.

    • Hardware

      • Soviet-Era Auto Dialler Uses Magnetic Rope Core Memory | Hackaday

        We’ve seen a few interesting magnetic core memories on these fine pages over the years, but we don’t recall seeing too many user programmable magnetic core memory devices. This interesting Russian telephone auto dialer in its day would have been a very useful device, capable of storing and dialing forty user programmable 7-digit numbers. [mikeselectricstuff] tore into one (video, embedded below), and found some very interesting tech. For its era, this is high technology stuff. Older Russian tech has a reputation for incredibly ingenious use of older parts, that can’t be denied. After all, if it works, then there’s no need to change it. But anyway, what’s interesting here is how the designers decided to solve the problem of programming and recalling of numbers, without using a microprocessor, by using discrete logic and core rope memory.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • ‘Tragically Wrong’: Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

        Blocking an executive order from the White House that public health experts said would prevent hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, the right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large private employers, claiming the Labor Department does not have the congressional authority to impose such a requirement.

        The court ruled 6-3 against the mandate, which would have applied to employers with 100 or more workers. Liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer dissented.

      • Long term exposure to air pollution may heighten COVID-19 risk: Study

        The association was strongest for particulate matter, with an average annual raise of 1 ug/m3 linked to a 5 per cent increase in the infection rate. This equates to an extra 294 cases/100,000 people a year, indicating the findings, which focus on the inhabitants of one Northern Italian city.

        While further research is needed to confirm cause and effect, the findings should reinforce efforts to cut air pollution, say the researchers.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • AWS is Not a Dumb Pipe

          The telcos didn’t go down without a fight. They successfully got so many regulations passed against VoIP that it served a serious barrier to entry for more than a decade. The hyperscalers have an even better card to play than regulation: open source. By bringing the cost of software down to zero, they can commoditize their complement. If AWS open sourced all higher-level services, they would still be a “dumb pipe”, but with fewer competitors.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open Source Litmus Chaos Engineering Moves Up Cloud-Native Stack

                The open source Litmus chaos engineering project has reached a new level of maturity in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation as usage and features grow.

              • The Linux Foundation Energy & EVerest Join Forces To Create An Open Sourced EV Charging Software [Ed: More ‘greenwashing’ from the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation not staying in its lane]

                Yesterday, I met with Marco Möller, CEO and cofounder of Pionix, and Dr. Shuli Goodman, executive director of Linux Foundation Energy (LF Energy), who shared some details and insights about a major problem in electric vehicle charging and how their project, EVerest, is designed to solve that problem. EVerest is an open-source software stack designed for EV charging infrastructure and LF Energy just announced the project partnership on its website.

                In a nutshell, EVerest is a stack of several software packages run on most Linux distributors. The goal is an open-source software stack for EV charging infrastructure that runs on any device, from AC home chargers to public DC charging stations. Marco told me that the problem the software is solving is a critical issue of EV owners having trouble finding a working EV charger.

              • The OpenSSF and the Linux Foundation Address Software Supply Chain Security Challenges at White House Summit – Linux Foundation

                Today marks an important moment in the Linux Foundation’s history of engagement with public sector organizations. The White House convened an important cross-section of the Open Source developer and commercial ecosystem along with leaders and experts of many U.S. federal agencies to identify the challenges present in the open source software supply chain and share ideas on ways to mitigate risk and enhance resilience.

                At the meeting, the Linux Foundation and the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) represented their hundreds of communities and projects by highlighting collective cybersecurity efforts and sharing their intent to work with the administration across public and private sectors.

        • Security

          • Human Rights Groups Warn UN Cybercrime Treaty Must Avoid ‘Chilling Effect’

            Ahead of a United Nations session next week, nearly 130 academics and advocacy groups asserted that “it is vitally important to apply a human rights-based approach” to drafting a potential cybercrime treaty.

            “A convention without such safeguards or that dilutes states’ human rights obligations would place individuals at risk and make our digital presence even more insecure.”

          • Nearly 130 Public Interest Organizations and Experts Urge the United Nations to Include Human Rights Safeguards in Proposed UN Cybercrime Treaty

            The proposed treaty will likely deal with cybercrime, international cooperation, and access to potential digital evidence by law enforcement authorities, as well as human rights and procedural safeguards. UN member states have already written opinions discussing the scope of the treaty, and their proposals vary widely. In a letter to the committee chair, EFF and Human Rights Watch along with partners across the world asked that members include human rights considerations at every step in the drafting process. We also recommended  that cross-border investigative powers include strong human rights safeguards, and that global civil society be provided opportunities to participate robustly in the development and drafting of any potential convention.

            Failing to prioritize human rights and procedural safeguards in criminal investigations can have dire consequences.  As many countries have already abused their existing cybercrime laws to undermine human rights and freedoms and punish peaceful dissent, we have grave concerns that this Convention might become a powerful weapon for oppression. We also worry that cross-border investigative powers without strong human rights safeguards will sweep away progress on protecting people’s privacy rights, creating a race to the bottom among jurisdictions with the weakest human rights protections.

            We hope the Member States participating in the development and drafting of the treaty will recognize the urgency of the risks we mention, commit to include civil society in their upcoming discussions, and take our recommendations to heart.

          • EFF Asks Appeals Court to Rule DMCA Anti-Circumvention Provisions Violate First Amendment
          • EFF Threat Lab’s “apkeep” APK Downloader, Now More Capable and Available in More Places

            In addition to the ability to download Android packages from the Google Play Store and APKPure, we’ve added support for downloading from the free and open source app repository F-Droid. Packages downloaded from F-Droid are checked against the repository maintainers’ signing key, just like in the F-Droid app itself. The package index is also cached, which makes it easy to run multiple subsequent requests for downloads.

            You can now download specific versions of apps from either the apk-pure app store, which mirrors the Google Play Store, or from f-droid. To try it, issue the following command to see which versions are available:

            Once you’ve picked a desired version, download it with this command:

          • Microsoft touts first PCs to ship natively with secure Pluton chip [Ed: This is not about security at all]

            Asked why the chip is initially disabled, the spokesperson said enterprise customers “have told us they extensively test and evaluate any new security-related software or feature that will be introduced into their network and can choose to enable Pluton on their devices as they see fit. As Pluton rolls out into market and we have time to assess the customer demand for factory enablement, we will review enabling [it].”

            The Pluton processor is aimed at delivering greater protection than the existing Trusted Platform Module (TPM) as it’s a dedicated security chip that handles security features such as BitLocker, Windows Hello, and System Guard.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • San Francisco Police Illegally Used Surveillance Cameras at the George Floyd Protests. The Courts Must Stop Them

              By Hope Williams, Nathan Sheard, and Nestor Reyes

              The authors are community activists who helped organize and participated in protests against police violence in San Francisco after the murder of George Floyd. A hearing in their lawsuit against the San Francisco Police Department over surveillance of Union Square protests is scheduled for Friday. This article was first published in the San Francisco Standard.

              A year and a half ago, the San Francisco Police Department illegally spied on us and thousands of other Bay Area residents as we marched against racist police violence and the murder of George Floyd. Aided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU of Northern California, we have taken the SFPD to court.

            • Survey on the Digital Services Act: EU citizens want the right to use digital services anonymously

              Internet users should be given the right to use digital services anonymously, i.e. without having their personal data collected. According to a representative opinion poll conducted by YouGov among 10,064 EU citizens in December 2021 64% of respondents are in favour of such a right (with 21% opposed).

              Next week, Members of the European Parliament will vote on their final position on the Digital Services Act. At the request of the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), an amendment on introducing a right to use digital services anonymously will be voted.

            • Apple to allow alternative payment system for 1st time in S. Korea

              The move came as a new law went into effect in the country in September last year, restricting app store operators, such as Google and Apple, from forcing their in-app payment systems on developers.

              In November, Google pledged to provide an alternative payment system on its app store in South Korea at a slightly reduced service charge in an apparent move to abide by the country’s new law.

            • [Reposted] Using Foreign Nationals to Bypass US Surveillance Restrictions

              What’s most interesting to me about this new information is how the US used the Australians to get around domestic spying laws: [...]

            • FBI Honeypot Phone Company Anom Shipped Over 100 Phones to the United States

              Anom, the encrypted phone company secretly commandeered by the FBI and which surreptitiously provided all of its users’ messages to the authorities, shipped many more devices into the U.S. than previously understood, according to multiple files obtained by Motherboard.

              The news highlights that although much of the Anom operation focused on devices overseas, Anom phones were still present in the U.S., raising questions about how many total devices were in the country during the years-long undercover operation.

            • The FCC proposes new data breach rules for phone companies

              The current rules give telecommunication providers seven business days to notify the FBI and Secret Service of data breaches that leak customer proprietary network information, or CPNI. In most cases, the company cannot notify customers about the breach until seven business days after information has been relayed to federal law enforcement. The proposal suggests doing away with that mandatory waiting period and adds the FCC to the list of agencies that companies will have to notify in the case of a data breach. It also says that they would have to send out notifications even in the case of inadvertent breaches.

            • Meta sued for $3.2 billion in UK class action lawsuit alleging Facebook exploited data

              Meta, the parent company for Facebook, is being sued for £2.3 billion ($3.2 billion) in a class action lawsuit in the United Kingdom for allegedly exploiting user data.

              The senior adviser to British watchdog group Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, is suing Meta on behalf of people who used Facebook in the U.K. between 2015 to 2019 for allegedly making users give personal data in order to get on the platform and earning billions of dollars from the tactic, Reuters reported.

            • Facebook faces $3.2 bln UK class action over market dominance

              Social media giant Facebook (FB.O), now known as Meta Platforms, faces a 2.3 billion pound plus ($3.2 billion plus) class action in Britain over allegations it abused its market dominance by exploiting the personal data of 44 million users.

              Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a senior adviser to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog and a competition law academic, said she was bringing the case on behalf of people in Britain who had used Facebook between 2015 and 2019.

            • Unsafe anywhere: women human rights defenders speak out about Pegasus attacks – Access Now

              A new investigation led by Front Line Defenders reveals the hacking of two women human rights defenders (WHRDs) from Bahrain and Jordan using NSO Group’s notorious Pegasus spyware. The hacking discovery comes on the heels of the Pegasus Project revelations of governments in the MENA region and beyond using the spyware to perpetrate human rights abuses and repress activists and journalists.

              The impact of surveillance on women is particularly egregious and traumatizing given how governments have weaponized personal information extracted through spyware to intimidate, harass, and publicly smear the targets’ reputations. As a result, women targets of surveillance live in a perpetual state of fear, become socially isolated and restricted in their social lives, work, and activism. As expressed by one of the victims, Ebtisam Al-Saegh, “personal freedoms are over for me, they no longer exist. I am not safe at home, on the street, or anywhere.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Language of Violence

        That day, Brooks hit Sumner as he sat writing at a desk. The blows held such force that it snapped his cane into several pieces. He continued to beat him with the part of the cane that had a golden head. Sumner was nearly killed in the attack and the Senate floor was drenched in his blood. He would not be able to return to the Senate for three years due to debilitating injuries and chronic pain that would be with him for the rest of his life. Brooks was arrested and tried, but he only had to pay $300 and received no jail time. Many historians and scholars believe that this incident played a large role in the lead up to the American Civil War.

        There were several other incidents like this one in the Capitol over the years. Several attempts at assassination. Some coup attempts, most notably the one that targeted Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the notorious “Business Plot.” And some might say that these attacks were examples of threats to “American democracy.” But one would have to accept that the United States was a democracy in the first place.

      • Hey, Hey, USA! How Many Bombs Did You Drop Today?

        Over the past 20 years, as documented in the table below, U.S. and allied air forces have dropped over 337,000 bombs and missiles on other countries. That is an average of 46 strikes per day for 20 years. This endless bombardment has not only been deadly and devastating for its victims but is broadly recognized as seriously undermining international peace and security and diminishing America’s standing in the world.

        The U.S. government and political establishment have been remarkably successful at keeping the American public in the dark about the horrific consequences of these long-term campaigns of mass destruction, allowing them to maintain the illusion of U.S. militarism as a force for good in the world in their domestic political rhetoric.

      • Yemenis See U-15 Football Victory Over Saudi Arabia as Sign of Things To Come

        SANA’A, YEMEN – As the Saudi war against Yemen enters 2022, Yemenis seem more determined than ever to hold victory ceremonies and forge ahead into another year of struggle against the Saudi onslaught – notwithstanding a new scorched-earth campaign launched by the oil-rich kingdom, dubbed Operation Happy Yemen Freedom. “As we did before, surely nothing will prevent us from achieving more victories during 2022, until the eventual liberation of all our homeland,” a fresh-faced teenager said during a sporting event at Althawra Sports City Stadium in Sana’a, where damaged stands could be seen, the result of a recent airstrike.

      • Treaties, Constitutions, and Laws Against War

        Of course, what counts as legal is not just what’s written down, but also what gets treated as legal, what is never prosecuted as a crime. But that’s precisely the point of knowing and making more widely known the illegal status of war: to advance the cause of treating war as the crime that, according to written law, it is. Treating something as a crime means more than just prosecuting it. There may be better institutions in some cases than courts of law for achieving reconciliation or restitution, but such strategies are not assisted by maintaining the pretense of war’s legality, war’s acceptability.

      • Abolish NATO

        Unfortunately, the article misses the point. The point is that NATO should have been abolished when the Cold War ended, which would, needless to say, have meant that it would not have absorbed those former Warsaw Pact countries and would not have moved U.S. bases, missiles, and troops inexorably closer to Russia’s borders. 

        The ostensible purpose of NATO was to protect Western Europe from an invasion by the Soviet Union, which, ironically, had been America’s partner and ally in World War II. At the end of the Cold War, the threat of such an invasion was non-existent. Therefore, NATO’s ostensible mission was over. NATO should have been disbanded immediately.

      • Opinion | The Very Dangerous New Cold War in Asia That Nobody Should Want

        The word “encirclement” does not appear in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Joe Biden on December 27th, or in other recent administration statements about its foreign and military policies. Nor does that classic Cold War era term “containment” ever come up. Still, America’s top leaders have reached a consensus on a strategy to encircle and contain the latest great power, China, with hostile military alliances, thereby thwarting its rise to full superpower status.

      • Why Do We Let Psychopaths In Suits Get Away With Murder?

        I don’t know the names of the men who poisoned and killed my father and my brother Stan, who died last Thursday, but I know where they worked and why they did it: just like Ruf, Dennis, Hunsucker and Pettis, they intentionally and knowingly took actions they knew would result in death when they sold asbestos to my dad’s employer and got my brother addicted to tobacco.

        The asbestos industry knew as early as the 1890s, and got definite confirmation in the 1940s that their product caused mesothelioma, a particularly brutal lung cancer that killed my father. Even today, their executives are trying to avoid responsibility for it: Johnson & Johnson is playing bankruptcy games to avoid paying for cancers caused by their asbestos-laced talcum powder, and not a single executive is even slightly worried about going to jail for all these dead people.

      • Automated Warfare Is Nothing New

        Here’s a scenario to consider: A military force has purchased a million cheap, disposable flying drones each the size of a deck of cards, each capable of carrying three grams of explosives—enough to kill a single person or, in a “shaped charge,” pierce a steel wall. They’ve been programmed to seek out and “engage” (kill) certain human beings, based on specific “signature” characteristics like carrying a weapon, say, or having a particular skin color. They fit in a single shipping container and can be deployed remotely. Once launched, they will fly and kill autonomously without any further human action.

      • Two reasons why “The Big Lie” is a bad name

        Now, while I think “The Big Lie” is a bad name, I don’t think it’s bad enough to change it retroactively. I’m just asking if we please can take more care next time we come up with names like this.

      • Madison Cawthorn’s Incitement of Insurrection Should Knock Him Off the Ballot

        On January 3, 2021, Madison Cawthorn was sworn in as the youngest member of the US House of Representatives. The 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina pledged in his oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

      • Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube

        The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol subpoenaed some of the country’s largest social media and tech companies on Thursday, arguing they had not been forthcoming following an August request for information.

        The four subpoenas were sent to Facebook parent company Meta, Twitter, Reddit and Alphabet’s YouTube.

      • Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy for Jan. 6 role

        The founder and current leader of the right-wing militia group Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, was arrested Thursday for seditious conspiracy along with 10 of the group’s members — the first charges of sedition leveled against those who allegedly planned and executed the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

        It’s a significant moment that breaks down a key argument leveled by Trump allies — argued most prominently in the Wall Street Journal last week — that the breach was not truly an insurrection because no one had been charged with sedition.

      • FBI arrests Oath Keepers leader on Jan. 6 charges

        Federal prosecutors have charged the founder of the Oath Keepers and 10 other members of the far-right militia group with seditious conspiracy for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

        Stewart Rhodes, 56, was arrested Thursday in Little Elm, Texas, and also faces charges for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol.

        The Oath Keepers leader and founder has said he was present at the riot but never entered the Capitol. But members of the group were seen donning paramilitary gear and using a military formation to pass through crowds and enter the Capitol.

      • FBI arrests Oath Keepers leader on charge of seditious conspiracy involving Jan. 6 attack

        The Justice Department has unsealed a major indictment charging the leader of the Oath Keepers militia group along with multiple other members with seditious conspiracy related to their alleged coordination in advance of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

        The three indictments mark the Justice Department’s first Jan. 6 use of the seditious conspiracy charge, which accuses Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and other members of the group of conspiring to “oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power” from outgoing President Donald Trump to incoming President Joe Biden.

      • Republicans Seem Like They’re Pretty Much Done with Presidential Debates

        The RNC will vote on whether to officially adopt the change prohibiting candidates from participating in commission debates next month during its winter meeting in Salt Lake City.

      • RNC threatens to bar candidates from participating in official presidential debates

        The party also requested that the commission make its moderator selection process transparent, as well as adopt a code of conduct for debate moderators.

      • RNC moves to require presidential candidates to skip traditional commission debates

        The Republican National Committee (RNC) alerted the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Thursday that it plans to require GOP presidential nominees not to attend debates run by the commission going forward.

        “The RNC will initiate the process of amending the Rules of the Republican Party at our upcoming Winter Meeting to prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates,” wrote Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill.

      • Democracy in America

        Countries all over the world think of themselves as democratic. There are places with a much higher percentage of voting among the people than in the United States. Are they more democratic? In some places voting is mandatory. Some countries have one party rule, but the people vote. Some countries like Iran have a select group of people who decide who can and cannot run for office yet they think of themselves as democratic. In this case, many people are voting but not for their preferred candidates. In the United States, for most members of Congress and the President, it is Wall Street that decides who’s in and who’s out.

        The United States thinks of itself as the world leader in democracy. So let’s look at it closely. It now costs literally billions of dollars to run for president, and of the two who are given any chance to win, one of them is going to lose. They can lose by 1 percentage point or less, but nearly 50 percent of those who voted will not have any representation at the executive level. And with a low voting turnout, compared to other democracies, tens of millions who are eligible but don’t vote are in no way represented by the victor. We do not build coalitions with other parties; we do not even permit other parties to be in the running. In so many ways, we do not have a two-party system but more like one and one half, as both parties represent the interests of Wall Street, not Main Street. A Princeton/Northwestern study in 2014 identified the US as an oligarchy, not a democracy. It concludes that what the donors want is what is usually promoted and voted on in Congress, even if that does coincide with public opinion. Big Money rules and gains more and more power with each successive election to Congress or the White House and neither party objects to the point of trying to reverse that, especially with Citizens United. (Individual Democratic senators have pushed to repeal it but it steadfastly remains part of our electoral landscape.)

      • Will Democracy Die Before Our Eyes?
      • Destroying Democracy: China in Hong Kong

        That same year, students and professors at the University of Hong Kong erected a statue, called “Pillar of Shame,” to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. The tall sculpture by a Danish artist lasted until the end of 2021 when, in the dead of night, it was carved in half and removed. Two other sculptures of the same event at two other Hong Kong universities were also removed. The ongoing eclipse of civil society by the PRC authorities could not have been more starkly demonstrated.

        It Can Happen Here

      • Overthrow Democracy?

        In post-insurrection America today, one party has quit governing and sounds like a 24/7 talk radio station. A new book by the leading scholar on civil wars—How Civil Wars Start, by Barbara F. Walter—warns that the growing normalization of violent language, threats, and acts can become self-fulfilling. Timothy Snyder, author of the best-selling On Tyranny, thinks it “pathetically naive” to assume that the GOP won’t try to overturn the results if it loses the 2024 presidential election.

        Can we erect stronger levees to hold back the red tide of creeping fascism… before Trump, Manchin, and GOP governors entrench minority rule? Here’s a scorecard of 10 key variables that might answer that question, labeled either with a + (plausible) or a—(uphill): [...]

      • Germany convicts Syrian ex-colonel in ‘historic’ torture trial

        A German court on Thursday sentenced a former Syrian colonel to life in jail for crimes against humanity in a “historic” verdict hailed by victims as a victory for justice, as the first global trial over state-sponsored torture in Syria drew to an end.

        Anwar Raslan, 58, was found guilty of overseeing the murder of 27 people and the torture of 4,000 others at the Al-Khatib detention centre in Damascus, also known as “Branch 251″, in 2011 and 2012.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Julian Assange: A Thousand Days in Belmarsh

        Alison Mason of the Julian Assange Defence Committee reiterated those observations long made about the imprisonment at a gathering outside the Australian High Commission in London on that day.  The WikiLeaks founder was wrongfully confined “for publishing the war crimes of the US military leaked to him by whistleblower Chelsea Manning.”  She, along with supporters, had gathered before the High Commission “because Julian’s country could save him with a simple phone call.”   Mason’s admirably simple reasoning: that Australia had “a bargaining chip with AUKUS and trade deals.”  If only that were true.

        The continued detention of Assange in Belmarsh remains a scandal of kaleidoscopic cruelty.  It continues to imperil his frail health, further impaired by a stroke suffered in October last year and the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19.  It maintains a state of indefinite incarceration without bail, deputising the United Kingdom as committed gaolers for US interests. “Julian,” stated his fiancée Stella Moris, “is simply held at the request of the US government while they continue to abuse the US-UK extradition treaty for political ends.”

    • Environment

      • Environmental Justice Advocates Raise Alarm After White House Exits

        The Biden administration’s commitment to the advancement of environmental justice is the target of fresh doubt Thursday following departures in recent days of two key officials focused on the issue.

        The administration’s top environmental justice official, Cecilia Martinez—who served as senior director for environmental justice at the Council for Environmental Quality—announced her resignation last week.

      • Reversing the Chicago River

        Today, there’s still some remnants of Chicago’s trouble with waste water. On the South Branch of the Chicago River, there’s a section called Bubbly Creek. It literally bubbles with gases that are emitted from the decomposition of blood and guts from the meatpacking businesses that dumped their waste there in the early 1900s (the same meatpacking businesses chronicled in Upton Sinclar’s The Jungle).

      • General distribution of postal ads to be prohibited

        A new bill could regulate that people will have to indicate they do want ads, rather than having to indicate the opposite. If passed, it will mark the end of the yellow “no advertisement” stickers.

        Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Carole Dieschbourg is working on a draft bill, expected to be filed in the not too distant future.

      • ‘Terrifying’ Hot Streak Continues as NOAA Says 2021 6th Warmest Year on Record

        Amid rising public alarm about human-caused global heating, U.S. government scientists announced Thursday that 2021 was the sixth hottest year since records began in 1880.

        “Failure to act together with the global community will all but ensure more devastating impacts and even irreversible climate tipping points.”

      • 2021 was hot as hell, NASA confirms

        The last eight years have been the eight hottest years on record, NASA and the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) confirmed today. 2021 ranks as the sixth hottest year on record, the agencies said, as global average temperatures trend upward. Rankings aside, there were plenty of red flags throughout 2021 to show us how remarkable the year was for temperature extremes.

      • Big Bank, Corporate Destruction of Forests Worsening Climate Crisis: Report

        A new report published Thursday details how some of the world’s biggest corporations and banks are exacerbating the global climate emergency by fueling the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests.

        “Halting agriculture-driven deforestation to halve emissions and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 is not an option but a necessity.”

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Historic Offshore Wind Farm Is a Very Good Thing

          The Biden-Harris White House announced Wednesday that The Department of the Interior is offering a lease sale for offshore wind in the New York Bight, off the coast of New York and New Jersey. The sale will allow companies to put in enough wind turbines to generate 7 gigawatts (GW) of green energy, or possibly more. That would power 2 million homes.

        • With Billions in Fines, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Ranks Are ‘Packed With Rogues’

          The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an ultra-powerful business lobby, does not disclose its members, but it represents the interests of America’s largest corporations — some of which have a long record of breaking state and federal laws.

          A new report from consumer watchdog group Public Citizen details how 111 known members of the Chamber — including major polluters and banks that back fossil fuels — have violated state and federal laws at least 15,896 times since 2000, totaling more than $156 billion in fines and penalties.

        • Jack Dorsey’s Block to build an open bitcoin mining system

          In a tweet thread on Thursday, Block’s general manager for hardware, Thomas Templeton, laid out the company’s plans about building the mining system.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Top Global Brands and Asset Managers Still Lack Adequate Anti-Deforestation Policies, Report Finds

          Heinz, Jimmy Choo and BlackRock are among hundreds of household names doing “little or nothing” to end deforestation, a major new report has found.

          The new Forest 500 report, published today by environmental group Global Canopy, assessed 350 top companies and 150 financial institutions that fund them, finding that a third of companies have no policies in place at all to ensure their products are not driving deforestation. 

    • Finance

      • Crypto’s Heavy Carbon Footprint

        But the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency has environmentalists on edge, as the digital “mining” of it creates a massive carbon footprint due to the staggering amount of energy it requires. Based on data from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Indexfrom Digiconomist, an online tool created by data scientist Alex de Vries, the carbon footprint of Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is equivalent to that of New Zealand, with both emitting nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, according to a February 2021 CNBC article.

        To understand why this is a problem, it’s important to explain what goes into creating a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Unlike fiat money, which is regulated through central banks, transactions in Bitcoin are tracked through a public ledger consisting of a network of computers around the world: the blockchain. “Mining”—a process in which computational puzzles are solved in order to verify transactions between users, which are then added to the blockchain—allows this validation to take place, which is an energy-intensive process.

      • Ossoff Unveils Bill to Ban Stock Trading by Lawmakers, Immediate Family

        Two Democratic senators on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would prevent congressional lawmakers and their immediate families from trading stocks while in office, as new polling shows that an overwhelming majority of voters across the political spectrum support such a reform—something that Republicans putting forward competing proposals are trying to capitalize on.

        “Members of Congress should not be playing the stock market while we make federal policy.”

      • The Great Resignation, Perhaps Not as Great as We’ve Been Led to Believe?

        The latest figures came out on Jan. 4, 2022, and showed that 4.5 million people voluntarily left their positions in November – an “all-time high,” according to the agency responsible for collecting the data. That’s 3% of the nonfarm workforce, which headlinesalso proclaimed a record level.

        But is it?

      • ‘Workers Are the Best Guarantors of Their Own Safety When They’re Organized’

        The January 7, 2022, episode of CounterSpin included an archival interview with Barbara Briggs that originally aired June 5, 2015. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Jon Ossoff Introduces Legislation to Ban Members of Congress from Trading Stock
      • Senate Finance Chair to Billionaire Developers: Explain How Opportunity Zone Tax Break Is Helping the Poor

        The chair of the Senate Finance Committee is demanding information from several billionaire developers to determine whether they are abusing a Trump tax break that was supposed to benefit poor communities.

      • Reps for Casino Developer Defend the Destruction of Nearly 600 Housing Units in Reno

        Representatives for a prominent casino developer this week defended his decision to raze nearly 600 housing units to redevelop part of Reno’s downtown into an entertainment district and floated his “vision” to contribute land for a publicly funded affordable housing project.

        Many of the several hundred people at a virtual town hall Monday welcomed the idea of better affordable housing in the area but met the proposal by Jacobs Entertainment with skepticism. The idea floated by Jeff Jacobs, who has demolished 15 motels that were used as last resort housing, includes 850 “affordable and workforce housing units” built above public parking garages that would ostensibly provide parking for his nearby planned entertainment venues. Jacobs wouldn’t build the housing; rather, he would contribute land for a project to be built and operated by the Reno Housing Authority.

      • Chronic Underfunding of Public Housing Is Putting 1.2 Million Families at Risk
      • After Navient Forgives $1.7B, Progressive Say Cancel All Student Debt

        As one of the largest U.S. educational lenders on Thursday agreed to pay $1.85 billion to 39 states to resolve predatory lending claims, progressive lawmakers and advocates renewed calls for the cancellation of all outstanding student loan debt.

        “All student loans are predatory because no one should have to go into debt to get an education.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Political Representation Doesn’t Represent

        The brand name emblazoned on our system of governance is “the republic.” It is a system of periodic elections for legislators and top administrators who, once elected, are said to represent their electorate. There have been times when the elected have actually represented the people who elected them. But not many.

        Why is that failure so familiar? Why is it so normal to see elected representatives go their own way, regardless of the needs to their constituents? Sometimes, there is real corruption, involving backroom deals and money changing hands. But most often, the failure is owing to a mythological structure called “representationism.” It requires that people see what officials do as “representing” the people, though they clearly do not. It is an ideological disguise that hides the ethical pollution (rather than corruption) to which political proposals or actions fall prey. The notion of ethical “pollution” signifies that each enactment includes counteractions that neutralize it. That happens, for instance, when proposals get bogged down in procedures so that the means prevent themselves from arriving at their proposed ends.

      • Missouri Governor Mike Parson Tries to Stick it Where the Sun Don’t Shine

        Note to Missouri governor Mike Parson: You’re getting this “Show-Me State” business all wrong.

        Parson tried to charge Elad Gross, a  candidate for state attorney general,  $3,618 for documents Gross requested under the state’s Sunshine Law, claiming more than 90 hours of required “research and processing” at $40 per hour. The “processing” involved having attorneys redact information from the requested documents. The state’s Supreme Court ruled against Parson last June.

      • Opinion | Justice Roberts Is Wrong: Federal Judges’ Conflicts of Interest Threaten the Entire Judiciary
      • Opinion | Bin Laden, Trump, and the American Empire

        The end of 2021 and the beginning of a new year is a convenient time to take stock of the causes of America’s decline.

      • Opinion | Now’s Our Chance—We Can Reverse Democracy’s Decline

        Seven out ten of Americans believe the U.S. democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.” And in this moment is our chance not only to pull back from the brink but to leap forward—aware that democracy is our “tap root” trouble: For progress on any of the crises weighing on us—whether climate, economic inequity, or lagging public health—depends on governance accountable to the American people.

      • Jayapal Warns ‘Our Democracy Doesn’t Survive’ Without Action on Voting Rights

        Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal stressed Thursday that the stakes couldn’t be higher for U.S. democracy as House and Senate Democrats pushed ahead with their last-ditch effort to pass voting rights legislation in the face of relentless GOP opposition.

        “Our democracy doesn’t survive without this,” Japayal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CDC), said during a morning press call with fellow lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the House Democratic Caucus.

      • Ohio Supreme Court Rules That GOP-Drawn District Maps Are Unconstitutional
      • Schumer Announces Procedural Plan That Will Lead to Vote on Filibuster Changes
      • Schumer Unveils Last-Ditch Plan to Force Floor Battle Over Voting Rights

        In a last-ditch push to overcome GOP obstruction, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer late Wednesday unveiled a plan to temporarily evade the filibuster and bring voting rights legislation to the floor of the upper chamber for debate.

        Outlined in an internal memo distributed to congressional Democrats, Schumer’s strategy involves several obscure procedural maneuvers that began Wednesday night in the House, which moved just before midnight to replace the text of an unrelated NASA bill with language from the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

      • Trump Is Still Casting Himself as the Victim to Keep Political Control
      • Manchin Joins Sinema in Destroying Democratic Hopes to Pass Voting Rights

        As conservative U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday joined his right-wing Democratic colleague Kyrsten Sinema in announcing his opposition to abolishing the Senate filibuster, progressive observers excoriated the pair—who recently supported a filibuster carve-out to raise the debt ceiling—for obstructing their party’s landmark voting rights legislation.

        “Sinema and Manchin voted last month to abolish the filibuster for the debt ceiling—but won’t vote to abolish the filibuster for voting rights.”

      • ‘Shame on Her’: Sinema Sparks Fury by Choosing Filibuster Over Democracy

        Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was met with a torrent of outrage on Thursday after she delivered a floor speech reiterating her opposition to weakening the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, striking a major blow to her party’s plan to finally overcome Republican obstruction of voting rights legislation.

        “If Democrats re-elect her in Arizona in 2024, shame on them.”

      • Critics Lambaste Sinema’s Opposition to Filibuster Changes
      • “The Coming Coup”: Ari Berman on Republican Efforts to Steal Future Elections

        Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman warns the Republican Party is laying the groundwork to steal the 2022 midterms and future elections through a combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression and election subversion, that together pose a mortal threat to voting rights in the United States. Republicans, many of whom are election deniers, are campaigning for positions that hold immense oversight over the election process. “What’s really new here are these efforts to take over how votes are counted,” says Berman. “That is the ultimate voter suppression method, because if you’re not able to rig the election on the front end, you can throw out votes on that back end.”

      • There Are Many Ways to Steal a Midterm — and the GOP Is Laying the Groundwork
      • Fake GOP Elector Refuses to Explain Involvement in Electoral College Plot
      • “Biggest cyber breach in history” as techs scramble to be heard above Omicron din [Ed: A bit of a distraction from the greater perils]

        The devil child of the moment, if you want to call it that, is the very technically named Log4j computer vulnerability, which has left governments and corporations world wide open to attack and scrambling to patch, or repair, their systems. It is being called the biggest cyber security breach in history.

        With the news bandwidth consumed by Omicron and the public immured to cyber scare stories, the scale of the recent Log4j story and the implications it has for the secure operation of government services and infrastructure is only just becoming more broadly understood.

      • Google calls for new government action to protect open-source software projects [Ed: Meeting stacked by the worst culprits, as usual]

        Following a summit on open-source security hosted at the White House Thursday, Google has called for increasing government involvement in identifying and securing critical open-source software projects.

        In a blog post published shortly after the summit, Kent Walker, president for global affairs and chief legal officer at Google and Alphabet, said that collaboration between governmen

      • White House Convenes Open-Source Security Summit Amid Log4j Risks

        The virtual summit, led by deputy national security adviser Anne Neuberger, included executives from Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp. , among others, along with specialist open-source software organizations such as GitHub Inc., the Apache Software Foundation and the Linux Open Source Foundation.

        The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Commerce Department, the Defense Department and the Energy Department were among the federal agencies present.

      • Twitter, Meta among tech giants subpoenaed by Jan. 6 panel

        Months after requesting documents from more than a dozen social platforms, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas targeting Twitter, Meta, Reddit and YouTube after lawmakers said the companies’ initial responses were inadequate.

        The committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, demanded records Thursday from the companies relating to their role in allegedly spreading misinformation about the 2020 election and promoting domestic violent extremism on their platforms in the lead-up to the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

      • Congress subpoenas Meta, Alphabet, Twitter, and Reddit over January 6th Capitol attack

        The committee requested records from dozens of companies on a voluntary basis last year, but it says the response from the aforementioned four has been “inadequate” so far. “Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence. It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) in a statement.

      • CSTO troops to complete withdrawal from Kazakhstan by January 19, Russian Defense Minister says

        The withdrawal from Kazakhstan Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping forces, which began on Thursday, January 13, will end by next Wednesday, January 19, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • ‘Menace to Public Health’: 270+ Doctors Denounce Covid Misinformation on Joe Rogan

        Doctors, healthcare workers, and scientists from around the world warned streaming company Spotify that its most listened-to podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” is endangering millions of people by giving a platform to guests who spread misinformation about Covid-19—without the company making an effort to correct false statements.

        “Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

      • ‘A Menace to Public Health’: Doctors Demand Spotify Puts an End to Covid Lies on ‘Joe Rogan Experience’

        Yet Rivera was even more horrified to discover that people in her life, whom she considered to be “quite wise and discerning,” were hoodwinked by Malone’s patina of academic credibility, considering his views on the vaccine legitimate. “When I saw they were falling victim to this, I spoke to some colleagues and we said something has to be done at this point,” she says.

        Rivera is one of 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators who signed an open letter calling on Spotify, which obtained exclusively streaming rights to the Joe Rogan Experience in a reported $100 million deal, to take action against misinformation on the platform, such as that contained in the interview with Malone. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” the letter reads. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

      • Oath Keepers Founder Arrested on January 6 Sedition Charge
      • 11 Right-Wing Oath Keepers Charged With Seditious Acts Over Jan. 6 Plot

        Eleven members of the so-called “Oath Keepers”—including the right-wing extremist group’s leader—have been charged with seditious conspiracy for actions related to the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

        The Department of Justice unsealed the indictment Thursday a day after it was handed down by a grand jury.

      • ‘Fuck Em’: Indictment Reveals Top Oath Keeper’s Reaction to Endangered Lawmakers on Jan. 6

        The indictment charges that Rhodes and 10 other co-conspirators “coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’s call to take up arms at Rhodes’s direction.” While painting Rhodes as the ringleader, the indictment alleges that “some co-conspirators also amassed firearms on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., distributed them among ‘quick reaction force’ (‘QRF’) teams, and planned to use the firearms in support of their plot to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power.” (Read the full indictment embedded below.)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Pennsylvania Court Reverses Student’s Expulsion Over A Snapchat Post, Reminds School Students Still Have Rights

        Do you want cheer fucked? Because this is how you get cheer fucked.

      • REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act) and amending Directive 2000/31/EC : (COM(2020)0825 – C9-0418/2020 – 2020/0361(COD))

        The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s proposal on a Digital Services Act. Digital services are an important backbone of our economy, bringing new opportunities for both consumers and businesses, using the various digital services on a daily basis.

        At the same time digital services have created serious challenges and risks. The nature, scale and importance of digital services for the economy and society have changed dramatically since the current legislation was put into place. An updated regulatory framework on digital services, establishing clear responsibilities is necessary to address these challenges and to ensure a level playing field in the digital Single Market and a safer digital space for the users.

        The Rapporteur acknowledges the horizontal nature of this Regulation, but at the same time considers that the one size fits all approach fails to tackle the problems with illegal products and services sold through online marketplaces. The Rapporteur is of the opinion that stricter rules on online marketplaces must be introduced in order to create a level playing field and ensure the principle of “what is illegal offline should also be illegal online”.

        The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s aim to increase the transparency of online advertisement and recommender systems, but is of the view that the Commission’s proposal lacks concrete obligations to ensure accountability and to prevent the amplification of illegal content. The Rapporteur thus sees a need to propose further transparency measures and requirements in order to ensure user protection by design and by default.

        Lastly, the Rapporteur welcomes the focus on the implementation and enforcement provisions and believes that given the cross-border nature of digital services, the hybrid enforcement model suggested by the Commission could ensure an effective and efficient enforcement of this Regulation. However, the Rapporteur finds it necessary to strengthen some provisions to ensure that no Member State becomes a safe haven for online platforms.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | After Decades of Delay, Canada’s National Child-Care Plan Proves Strong Public Systems Are Possible

        After decades of contentiousness, it’s surprising how quickly Canada’s new national child-care program has become as familiar and comfortable as your dog’s favourite squeeze-toy.

      • 200 Inmates Hunger Strike Over ‘Inhumane’ Rikers Island

        A hunger strike by around 200 prisoners at New York City’s Rikers Island jail entered its sixth day Thursday, as demonstrators continued to protest “deplorable” and dangerous conditions including lack of medical care during a surging Covid-19 outbreak at the notorious lockup, where 15 inmates died last year.

        “There’s no safety for us. There’s no one to help us. It’s scary in here.”

      • Confronting Christian Nationalism in the Spirit of Desmond Tutu

        In the wake of one visit, he sent a small postcard that my mom framed and placed on the bookcase near our front door. Every morning before school I would grab my glasses resting on that same bookcase and catch a glimpse of the archbishop’s handwritten note. This wasn’t inadvertent on my mom’s part. It was meant as a visual reminder that, if I was to call myself a Christian — which I did, serving as a Sunday school teacher from the age of 13 and a deacon at 16 — my responsibility was to advocate for policies that welcomed immigrants, freed those held captive by racism and injustice, and lifted the load of poverty.

        Given our present context, the timing of his death is all too resonant. Just over a year ago, the world watched as a mob besieged the U.S. Capitol, urged on by still-President Donald Trump and undergirded by decades of white racism and Christian nationalism. January 6th should have reminded us all that far from being a light to all nations, American democracy remains, at best, a remarkably fragile and unfinished project. On the first anniversary of that nightmare, the world is truly in need of moral leaders and defenders of democracy like Tutu.

      • Opinion | To Honor MLK’s Birthday, Senate Must Override Jim Crow Filibuster

        U.S. democracy is in crisis, as Republican supporters of the January 6th Capitol insurrection restrict or even eliminate democracy’s core tenet of one person, one vote. Former President Donald Trump is driving democracy’s demise, spouting the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him through massive voter fraud. Countless audits, over 60 court cases and both Democratic and Republican state Secretaries of State confirmed President Joe Biden trounced Trump by over seven million votes.

      • The Texas Abortion Ban Could Usher in a Wave of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

        Since Texas the Senate bill banning abortion (SB 8) went into effect in September, the three full-spectrum doulas that work with the Dallas-based based Afiya Center have seen a troubling rise in the number of women forced to continue their pregnancies after being blocked from accessing abortion care. Women at 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, some of whom are victims of domestic violence, are having parenthood imposed upon them with little choice.

      • Lyra Mckee and the Truth That Breathes Beyond Borders

        To know Lyra McKee, you must first know something about the Troubles. They began in 1968 when Northern Ireland’s government – pro-British, mostly Protestant – started crushing the civil rights protests of the minority Catholic population, which had been shut out of jobs and political power. The resulting partisan fury between Catholic “Republicans” who wanted a free Ireland, and Protestant “Unionists,” proud to remain in the UK, metastasized into paramilitary groups led at one extremity by the Irish Republican Army [IRA], and the other by the Ulster Volunteer Force [UVF]. Their bombings and killings lasted 30 years until 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

        Lyra was a “Ceasefire Baby,” one of thousands of children meant to thrive, free from violence and factional terror. But with “peace,” and the assurance that Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom, the UK Government settled into a policy of imperial neglect, further impoverishing the six northern Irish counties still under its control.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • America’s Struggling Satellite TV Companies Once Again Propose A Terrible MegaMerger

        For decades, like clockwork, somebody at Dish or DirecTV will try and float the idea that the two satellite TV companies should merge. Usually they’ll do this by seeding the idea at trusted news outlets that additional consolidation is just what the U.S. media sector needs. Granted regulators have always balked at the idea of a Dish and DirecTV merger, given that it would only reduce competition in the pay TV space, leading to more layoffs, more price hikes, and even worse customer service (cable TV customer service is among the worst in any industry anywhere thanks to this “growth for growth’s sake” mindset).

      • New Washington Law Requires Home Sellers Disclose Lack Of Broadband Access

        For decades the U.S. newswires have been peppered with stories where somebody bought a house after being told by their ISP it had broadband access, only to realize the ISP didn’t actually serve that address. Generally, the homeowner then realizes they have to spend a stupid amount of money to pay the local telecom monopoly to extend service.. or move again. Time after time, local ISPs are found to be flat out lying when they claim they can offer an essential utility (broadband), and the home buyer has little recourse thanks to the slow, steady erosion of U.S. state and federal telecom regulatory oversight.

      • Another Layer Of Centralization

        Moxie Marlinspike tried building “web3″ apps and reports on the experience in his must-read My first impressions of web3. The whole post is very perceptive, but the most interesting part reveals yet another way the allegedly decentralized world of cryptocurrencies is centralized.

        Below the fold, I explain the details of yet another failure of decentralization.

      • IFF releases the second edition of the Connectivity Tracker #MapTheDigitalDivide

        IFF’s #connectivitytracker for Jan 2022 is here! Our report provides an overview of the state of internet access from Jan 2020 to Oct 2021. In this edition of the report, we analyze the data on telecom and internet connectivity, the digital divide in the context of access to online education, and the progress of government schemes aimed at improving internet access. We also aim to collect data on internet shutdowns (for which we need your help).

    • Monopolies

      • Josh Hawley Was The Democrats’ Partner In Trying To Regulate Big Tech; Then The Public Realized He Was A Fascist

        Karl recently wrote about how Congress’ antitrust efforts are flailing (even with the plan to hold a hearing on Senators Klobuchar & Grassley’s antitrust bill) and one reason why the efforts have stumbled may be Senator Josh Hawley’s decision to really show off his fascist side.

      • It’s Deja Vu for Yet Another Misguided Tech Regulation Proposal – Disruptive Competition Project

        Substantive and procedural concerns in tech regulation bills in the House and Senate are starting to feel like deja vu for yet another misguided anti-tech proposal.

        On June 11, 2021, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Chairman Cicilline introduced H.R. 3816, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, along with a number of other anti-tech bills. Despite concerns raised by the New Democratic Caucus to House Leadership and the Judiciary Committee requesting that a legislative hearing be held on these bills, these bills were rushed to a marathon 48-hour markup, less than two weeks after introduction. During the markup, on June 23-24, 2021, many members of the House Judiciary Committee complained about the process and not having time to understand the bills before being forced to vote. Nevertheless, all six bills were voted out by House members of both parties and are waiting for floor consideration.


        The prohibition on treating products, services, and lines of businesses differently in S. 2992, as discussed previously on DisCo, could bring an abrupt end to the digital conveniences that Americans have come to know, enjoy, and rely upon during the pandemic. There is a disjunct between the small faction in the Congress that is leading members down the primrose path that ultimately will make its members walk the plank and kill these tech services as we know them by voting for this bill and the U.S. voters, who value these services. Voters will be the bellwether as to which course was correct.

        But the problems surrounding this bill listed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the untold consequences that can result from its passage. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is futile, among other things. Rather than have a repeat of the 28-hour markup over two days that played out in June 2021, why not hold a hearing to allow the public and other interested stakeholders to provide input? If Senators believe the bill is in the best interest of the American people, it need not be the subject of another rush job.

      • Patents

        • BRAIN Biotech AG: BRAIN-Engineered-Cas (BEC) Considered a Patentable Technology
        • BRAIN Biotech AG: BRAIN-Engineered-Cas (BEC) Considered a Patentable Technology [Ed: EPO pretends that life and nature are “inventions” meriting a patent monopoly]

          Zwingenberg, Germany, January 11th, 2022. BRAIN Biotech AG (“BRAIN”) received an international search report and a written opinion from the European Patent Office (EPO) as international searching authority (ISA). The favorable written opinion states that the BRAIN-Engineered-Cas (BEC) nucleases for which patent protection is sought under the Patent Corporation Treaty (PCT) are – with regard to the BEC nuclease sequences – inventive, are industrially applicable and are also not otherwise excluded from patent protection. Hence, the respective sequences of the BEC nucleases are considered patentable by the EPO.

        • Profits Over People: Why Weren’t the Vaccine Manufacturers Nationalized?

          On January 20, 2021, the day Trump left office, 392,641 people had died of Covid; as of December 18, 2021, 411,359 people died during the first 11 months of Biden presidency – and Biden has another three years in office.

          Often forgot, during the seven years of World War II (1939-1945), 407,316 U.S. military personnel were killed.

        • John Nichols on How “Coronavirus Criminals & Pandemic Profiteers” Hurt World’s Response to COVID-19

          We speak with The Nation’s national affairs correspondent John Nichols on the occasion of his new book, “Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis,” which takes aim at the CEOs and political figures who put profits over people during the coronavirus pandemic. The chapters cover notorious figures such as former President Trump, Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner and Jeff Bezos. “In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of deaths occurred that did not have to occur,” says Nichols. “Globally it’s in the millions, and the U.S. could have played a huge role in addressing that.”

        • Confessions of a “Human Guinea Pig”: Professor Quits Vaccine Trial over Moderna’s Corporate Greed

          Jeremy Menchik, a self-described “human guinea pig” who volunteered for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trials, dropped out to protest the company’s greed in reaping profits from the ongoing pandemic while doing little to resolve global vaccine inequity. Menchik is launching a new website — mrna4all.org — where other vaccine trial participants can join the effort to pressure vaccine makers to scale up production to vaccinate the world. “That they have to be accountable to their guinea pigs and they have to advance policies for public health not just private profit … I think that must be unnerving to them,” says Menchik, an associate professor at Boston University. “We have to treat this pandemic as a global crisis, as a global public health emergency.”

        • After Year of Vaccine Profiteering, Pfizer Hikes Prices on 125 Drugs

          After raking in enormous profits from its coronavirus vaccine in 2021, the U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has kicked off the new year by hiking the prices of more than 120 of its drugs, resulting in significantly higher costs for patients amid a deadly pandemic.

          That’s according to a new report released Thursday by Patients for Affordable Drugs (P4AD), which found that pharmaceutical companies have raised the prices of 554 medicines this month alone. Pfizer led the way with 125 price hikes to start 2022, leading P4AD to label the company the industry’s “poster child for greed.”

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Major Online Services Help Identify Pirate Streaming Site Operators

          DISH Network and Sling TV are homing in on the alleged operators of SportsBay.org, SportsBay.tv, Live-NBA.stream, and Freefeds.com. In an amended complaint filed this week, the companies now name two defendants who were unmasked after Google, Cloudflare, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, domain companies and others complied with subpoenas.

        • Google ‘Censors’ The Pirate Bay and Other Pirate Domains in Several Countries

          For several years Google refused to completely remove pirate site domain names from its search results, but that is no longer the case. After removing The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands, similar measures were taken for France, Brazil, and Norway. These removals, which are rooted in ISP blocking orders, also affect many other pirate sites. Meanwhile, law firms in Sweden and the UK have submitted similar requests.

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