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Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE’s 15-Minute Bug Initiative

Posted in News Roundup at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Istio / ISTIO-SECURITY-2022-002

        Istio version 1.12.0 and 1.12.1 are vulnerable to a privilege escalation attack. Users who have CREATE permission for gateways.gateway.networking.k8s.io objects can escalate this privilege to create other resources that they may not have access to, such as Pod.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16 released: Bootlin contributions

        Linux 5.16 has been released on January 9. As usual, our recommended reading to learn more about this release is the corresponding Kernelnewbies.org page and the two articles from LWN covering the 5.16 merge window: part 1 and part 2.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Announcing Kopper – Mike Blumenkrantz – Super. Good. Code.

          The last thing I remember Thursday was trying to get the truth out about Jason Ekstrand’s new role. Days have now passed, and I can’t remember what I was about to say or what I did over the extended weekend.

          But Big Triangle sure has been busy. It’s clear I was on to something, because otherwise they wouldn’t have taken such drastic measures. Look at this: jekstrand is claiming Collabora has hired him. This is clearly part of a larger coverup, and the graphics news media are eating it up.

          Congratulations to him, sure, but it’s obvious this is just another attempt to throw us off the trail. We may never find out what Jason’s real new job is, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop following the hints and clues as they accumulate. Sooner or later, Big Triangle is going to slip up, and then we’ll all know the truth.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Configure Pi-Hole with Ubuntu 20.04 Headless Server

        Today we will discuss Pi-hole configurations and their usability. Though it was not planned, for the last few days, I was writing on firewalls only. Going through different Linux platforms got encountered the server. The service is really interesting. Ads are good for revenue generations, but sometimes it is annoying when considering the production environment. Usually, users have adblockers on their browsers, such add-ons are not so effective sometimes. Either they are required to keep updating all the time or are not able to detect ads in some cases. Here, is the answer Pi-Hole can do all for you. This gateway will get installed on the Network and will start detecting ads and pop-ups across the network and will block them automatically.

      • List All Installed Packages in RHEL and CentOS

        Hi guys, In this small article, we will show you how to list all installed rpm packages on CentOS and RHEL.

      • How to use Cloudformation to create SQS Queues on AWS

        AWS Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a fully managed message queuing service that enables us to decouple and scale microservices, serverless applications, and distributed systems. Using SQS, we can send, store, and receive messages between software components without losing them. AWS SQS offers two types of message queues, Standard queues and FIFO Queues. To understand more about SQS Queues, search for “How to create an SQS Queue on AWS?” article.

        AWS CloudFormation allows us to use programming languages (yaml/json) or a simple text file to model and provision all the resources needed for our applications. This gives us a single source of truth for our AWS resources.

        In this article, we will see the steps to create a Standard and FIFO Queue using Cloudformation Stack.

      • How to schedule system updates in CentOS 8 / RockyLinux 8 and keep the system secure

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to schedule system updates in CentOS / RockyLinux. Thanks to this, you will have an improved way to perform this system task.

        Upgrading the operating system is a basic task to make it a little more secure and stable. Because this process installs the necessary updates to fix bugs and increase the reliability of the system.

        Although it is a quick process to do, it can often be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of work and/or study. So we can always have some tools to help us automate the process.

        If you use CentOS 7 / 8 or any distribution of the RHEL family you may notice that if you go many days without updating the system, it suggests you install dnf-cron or yum-cron according to the version of the system.

        So, I will show you how to use these tools to schedule system updates.

      • How to install PlayOnLinux on a Chromebook in 2022

        Today we are looking at how to install PlayOnLinux on a Chromebook in 2022. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Bash Write to File – ByteXD

        Reading and writing to files are common tasks among Linux command-line users. There are two ways in bash you can use to write to files including the redirection operator (>) and the tee command. You need to have write permission in order to input any data into a file, otherwise, you will end up with a permission denied error.

        In this article, we will discuss the bash write to file operation using the redirection operator and tee command for example.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 7.0 is officially out now bringing better compatibility

        Just over a year since the last major version bump, Alexandre Julliard has announced the final release of Wine 7.0. This is the compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows applications and games on Linux, macOS and other systems.

        For those who have been running the biweekly development releases, the feature list of what has changed won’t be new. As the main releases are just all the work in the development releases, plus a little extra time spent on bug fixing during the Release Candidate stage.

      • Wine 7.0 is a Massive Upgrade with Improved Windows App Support, New Theme, and More Improvements

        Wine is the ultimate tool for Linux users relying on Windows-specific applications and games.

        With every release, we find better support for games and applications. And, anything that uses Wine as its backbone (like Lutris and others) benefits as well.

        And, it gets more exciting with Wine’s first release for 2022!

        Wine 7.0 stable release is here with massive upgrades! Here, I shall mention the key highlights and how to install it.

    • Games

      • dbrand are cooking up something big for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        It’s not entirely clear what dbrand has planned, however their team are clearly cooking up something with a teaser being posted on Twitter.

        Who are dbrand? They’re a company that specialises in creating custom skins, cases, screen protectors and plenty more for various hardware from phones to consoles and stuff in between – they even make face masks. They’re really popular so it’s not surprising to see plenty of excitement around their plans for the Steam Deck.

      • One of the most challenging VR rhythm games releases February 10 | GamingOnLinux

        VR rhythm game Groove Gunner from BitCutter Studios Inc will be leaving Early Access on February 10. If you own a VR kit, this is one you need to try. It will make you sweat – probably a lot.

        Much like other rhythm games, it’s all about speed and accuracy. Instead of cutting through blocks like you do in Beat Saber, you have two coloured guns which you use to shoot and each arm also has a shield that you need to block incoming projectiles with. It’s very different to any other rhythm game and easily stands above some other attempts to make a VR game.

      • RetroArch need your feedback on their Open-Hardware planned for 2022 | GamingOnLinux

        RetroArch announced back in February 2021 their plans for the Open-Hardware project. This was to bring an easy way for you to play your legally owned physical games directly in emulators and they have an update on their plans.

        The idea is a sound one. Giving you open source hardware to plug in various cartridges from retro consoles, with great integration with RetroArch directly. You would no longer need to rely on various hard to come by proprietary solutions. In the new blog post though, plans have changed – and sounds like it’s for the better.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • The 15-Minute Bug Initiative

          In my 2022 roadmap, I mentioned something called the “15-Minute Bug Initiative.” Today I’d like to flesh it out and request participation! This blog post is not only informational, but I really hope any developers reading along will get excited and decide to participate.

          KDE software has historically been accused of being resource-intensive, ugly, and buggy. Over the years we’ve largely resolved the first two, but the issue of bugginess persists.

          Have you ever had that experience where you’re introducing someone to a KDE Plasma system and to your horror, they run into multiple bugs within moments? These are the issues we need to fix first: those that can be easily encountered within 15 minutes of basic usage. They leave a bad taste in people’s mouths and provide the impression that the system is a house of cards. It’s time to remedy this final strategic weakness of KDE, starting with Plasma itself.

        • KDE begin the 15-Minute Bug Initiative to make Plasma great | GamingOnLinux

          KDE Plasma is a pretty frelling great desktop environment – but couldn’t it be better? The KDE team have begun the previously announced 15-Minute Bug Initiative.

          The idea is to clean up issues in Plasma that affect the user experience within the first 15 minutes of booting. Encountering bugs quickly will put people off and gives a bad impression of not just Plasma, but of Linux as a whole. So this is their time to shine, especially with the Steam Deck coming that uses Plasma for the normal desktop mode.

        • KDE’s 15-Minute Bug Initiative Gets Underway – Phoronix

          KDE developer Nate Graham has sorted through plans for the 15-minute bug initiative for focusing on correcting many low-hanging bugs affecting the KDE desktop that should be able to be quickly discovered by users.

          In recent months KDE developer Nate Graham, who is also known for his wonderful KDE weekly development summaries, has been figuring out how to improve KDE’s reliability and one of the main drivers is working on bugs that should take only “15 minutes” or less to be something normal users would encounter.

          Per the now-published list of 15-minute bug criteria, these are bugs that affect KDE’s default setup, are 100% reproducible, something basic that doesn’t work or looks visually broken, may cause a crash, requires a reboot or terminal command to fix, there is no workaround, a recent regression, or a bug report with more than five duplicates.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • ArchLabs 2022.01.18 Release

          Welcome to 2022, along with the arrival New Year there is a new ArchLabs release.

          This is one of the more exciting releases we have put out in quite some time because with the new additions we also have three new team members to join Nate, Dima and myself. So before I get into the changes please welcome, Doug, Will and Piotr.

          It’s been amazing to have these guys with us and they have had a huge impact as you will soon read.

          In brief, we have added Nate’s much loved Window Manager dk, this has been a often requested addition and we are really happy to bring it to you. Any questions surrounding dk can be posted at the forum

          Piotr has brought with him his most excellent additions for the Sway Window Manager, known as nwg-shell. This brings a nice preset panel and other goodies to Sway. You can read more here at the README.md. Again, any issues or questions you may face can be posted at the forum.

          You can grab the latest release here. For any support please post your question or issue in the relevant category at the ArchLabs Forum.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What is the ’Ubuntu Pro’ Banner in Software Sources About?

          The banner isn’t a nag screen; you have to open the Software & Updates tool (which is often referred to as the ‘software sources’ utility) and click on the Livepatch tab to see it…

          Livepatch is Ubuntu’s LTS-only reboot-free kernel update mechanism which is especially handy in situations where rebooting a system (or a fleet of systems) to apply a security update is …unideal. Chances are those looking to enable Livepatch are the kinds of people who might want to make use of Ubuntu Pro for desktop too.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to IBM SPSS

        International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York. They sell computer hardware, middleware and software employing over 370,000 people.

        IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019. But you can trace IBM’s history of open source far further back. They were one of the earliest champions of open source, backing influential communities like Linux, Apache, and Eclipse, advocating open licenses, open governance, and open standards.

      • Apache Hop Hops To Top-Level Project Status – Phoronix

        After starting off in development more than two decades ago as Kettle, Apache Hop in its current form has now made it to being an Apache Software Foundation top-level project.

        Apache Hop is an orchestration platform for facilitating both data and metadata orchestration. Apache Hop supports visual development, is lightweight in nature, metadata driven, offers hundreds of plug-ins, and has built-in lifecycle management. Apache Hop originally started out more than two decades ago as Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) platform Kettle.

      • Programming/Development

        • Loose Coupling with Signals & Slots – KDAB

          Here at KDAB, we recently published a library called KDBindings, which aims to reimplement both Qt signals and slots and data binding in pure C++17.

          To get an introduction to the KDBindings implementation of signals and slots, I recommend that you take a look at the KDBindings Getting Started Guide. It will give you an overview of what signals and slots are, as well as how our implementation of them is used. Alternatively, take a look at our introductory blog post.

        • Qt Creator 6.0.2 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 6.0.2!

          We fixed a performance regression of code completion on Windows and macOS, and that commercial plugins on Linux linked against the non-standard GLX and OpenGL libraries. Check our change log for more improvements.

        • What is the ‘range’ of a number type?

          In programming, we often represent numbers using types that have specific ranges. For example, 64-bit signed integer types can represent all integers between -9223372036854775808 and 9223372036854775807, inclusively. All integers inside this range are valid, all integers outside are “out of range”. It is simple.

        • One of the First Steps to Become a Data Scientist

          One of the First Steps to Become a Data Scientist, You’re not alone in your desire to become a data scientist.

          Many people aspire to work in this sector since it is such an exciting and innovative field in which you can truly leave your mark on the world as a data specialist who can solve problems and inform decision-making processes.

          Before you take that first step, though, here are some important things to keep in mind.

        • Python

          • How to Initialize a Dictionary in Python

            Dictionaries are quite diverse when it comes to their creation in python code. There are a lot of methods one can find to initialize the dictionary and make use of other data structures in those methods. This article will discuss how to initialize a dictionary data structure in Python language. We have been using Spyder3 for implementations. Let’s start.

          • How to Make an HTTP Client Program in Python

            The HTTP protocol sends a client request to the webserver, retrieving specific data and information if the transaction is legitimate. Using many methods provided in the python request package, you could examine the server’s answer. Therefore, within this guide today, we will discuss some HTTP client’s programs in python. The implemented python scripts execute mostly on the client-side and show the results of the server’s reply in this guide. So, let’s get started with our first example in Spyder 3.

        • Rust

          • Rust Compiler January 2022 Steering Cycle

            On Friday, January 14th, the Rust Compiler team had a planning meeting for the January steering cycle.

            Every fourth Friday, the Rust compiler team decides how it is going to use its scheduled steering and design meeting time over the next three Fridays.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | No Good Comes From the Valorization of Parenthood and the Denigration of Adopting Animals

      On January 5, 2022, Pope Francis spoke in Rome and described people who have pets instead of children as selfish. He went on to say that pet keeping was “a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity.”

    • Democrats in Name Only
    • The Radical Vision of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes

      The cost of labor rights in the United States has always been paid in workers’ blood. Many of the labor movement’s most critical moments are scented with gunpowder and dynamite and punctuated by funerals. Many of the movement’s greatest heroes have been beaten or imprisoned, and cops and assassins have murdered rank-and-file leaders like IWW organizer Frank Little, strike balladeer Ella May Wiggins, Laborers head Joseph Caleb, United Farmworkers strike leader Nagi Daifullah, and United Mineworkers reformer Jock Yablonski. But even against that backdrop, the story of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes sounds more like a 1980s action movie than the real, horrific tragedy that it was. In 1981, a foreign despot organized the gangland execution of two young Filipino union organizers, with guns furnished by their own union president.

    • Ominous History in Real Time: Where We Are Now in the USA

      Dollar figures can look abstract on a screen, but they indicate the extent of the mania. Biden had asked for “only” $12 billion more than President Trump’s bloated military budget of the previous year — but that wasn’t enough for the bipartisan hawkery in the House and Senate, which provided a boost of $37 billion instead.

      Overall, military spending accounts for about half of the federal government’s total discretionary spending — while programs for helping instead of killing are on short rations at many local, state, and national government agencies. It’s a nonstop trend of reinforcing the warfare state in sync with warped neoliberal priorities. While outsized profits keep benefiting the upper class and enriching the already obscenely rich, the cascading effects of extreme income inequality are drowning the hopes of the many.

    • Toward Bakersfield

      Because the road comes without calling it, head low like it doesn’t want trouble but really does,

    • Court Says That Travel Company Can’t Tell Others How Much Southwest Flights Cost

      A few months back, we wrote about Southwest Airlines’ ridiculously antagonistic legal strategy against aggregators that would scrape information on flights and prices from Southwest.com and help people find flights and prices. The case we covered was the one against Skiplagged, but it was related to a separate case against Kiwi.com. Skiplagged had argued that it didn’t violate Southwest’s terms of service since it wasn’t scraping info from Southwest… but rather had scraped it from a different site, Kiwi.com, which in turn had scraped it from Southwest.com.

    • Thoughts for the End of Days: a Morning Star, Insatiability, DishBrain, Xenobots
    • Columbia University Has Lost Its Way

      When Columbia University celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2003, President Lee Bollinger honored Columbia’s history and special place in society as “one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the world.” He noted that a university’s purpose in cultivating “democratic personalities” in our students and the wider society is grounded in “a spirited curiosity coupled with a caring about others (the essence of what we call humanism).” A great university, he observed, serves as a humanistic counterpoint to “more often cited interests in property and power, around which we organize the economic and political systems.”     

    • Trans activists will not be charged for sharing J.K. Rowling’s address on Twitter

      On the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance in November, comedian Holly Stars, actor Georgia Frost and drag star Richard Energy staged a demonstration in front of Rowling’s home near Edinburgh, Scotland, to protest her views on the trans community.

      The trio were criticized for posting a now-deleted photo on Twitter with Rowling’s home address visible in the background.

    • Why do American airlines say 5G networks will ground their planes?

      The airlines are worried about supposed interference between 5G transmitters near airports and radar altimeters, instruments on planes that use radio waves to determine an aircraft’s altitude. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates commercial use of the radio spectrum in America, studied the question in 2020 and concluded the two systems could work together. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is responsible for air travel, disagreed, and said that flying could be unsafe. After months of arguments the two agencies hammered out a compromise this month, in which mobile networks would implement “exclusion zones” around certain airports while more studies were carried out. The airlines’ last-minute announcement suggests that deal is now off, though on January 18th Verizon and AT&T, two telecoms companies, agreed to pause turning on some wireless towers. On the same day several international airlines—including Air India, Emirates, and Air Japan—cancelled flights to several American cities, citing concerns about 5G.

    • YouTube will stop making most original shows

      YouTube will scale back a significant portion of YouTube Originals, which produced original content including scripted series, educational videos, and music and celebrity programming. Chief business officer for YouTube Robert Kyncl announced the changes today in a statement on Twitter.

      Going forward, the company will only fund originals in the YouTube Kids Fund and the Black Voices Fund, a program created in 2020 that committed $100 million to “amplify” Black creators on the platform.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Broken Healthcare Promises Could Spell Midterm Disaster: Jayapal

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal warned Monday that the upcoming midterm elections could be painful for Democrats if they fail to substantively deliver on their healthcare-related campaign promises, which ranged from tackling sky-high drug prices to lowering the Medicare eligibility age.

        “It has been a concern for us,” Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and lead sponsor of the Medicare for All Act of 2021, told the Washington Post. “You can see it with the number of Democrats in vulnerable districts across the country who want to be able to go back and tell people that we’ve lowered their costs for child care, for pre-K, for elder care, for drug pricing, for healthcare.”

      • Pennsylvania Says Legal Medical Marijuana Means Cops Can’t Just Sniff Their Way Into Warrantless Searches

        The legalization of marijuana is changing the probable cause equation all over the nation. What used to be an easy bust and/or a great way to engage in warrantless searches is no longer guaranteed. Probable cause on four legs — police drug dogs — can’t automatically justify further intrusion by police officers. A drug dog trained to detect the odor of now-legal drugs is now more a hindrance than an enabler of warrantless searches.

      • How the Pandemic Threw Fuel on a Growing Housing Movement

        As you drive onto a college campus in the up-and-coming Midtown neighborhood in Santa Fe, N.M., you run into a security gate where you might expect to be asked for some identification. But no one is manning the gate under the wide, wan blue sky of a mid-November day. The College of Santa Fe, which relocated to the Midtown property in 1947, closed in 2009, succumbing to the financial pressures of the last big recession. What’s left is a city-owned plot of 64 acres that’s almost entirely empty, save for some space leased by the Santa Fe Art Institute’s artist residency program and a few other businesses.1

      • How a Powerful Company Convinced Georgia to Let It Bury Toxic Waste in Groundwater

        For the past several years, Georgia Power has gone to great lengths to skirt the federal rule requiring coal-fired power plants to safely dispose of massive amounts of toxic waste they produced.

        But previously unreported documents obtained by ProPublica show that the company’s efforts were more extensive than publicly known. Thousands of pages of internal government correspondence and corporate filings show how Georgia Power made an elaborate argument as to why it should be allowed to store waste produced before 2020 in a way that wouldn’t fully protect surrounding communities’ water supplies from contamination — and that would save the company potentially billions of dollars in cleanup costs.

      • Nursing Unions Say For-Profit Health Care Is Driving Omicron Staffing Crisis
      • People Are Hiding That Their Unvaccinated Loved Ones Died of COVID

        Now the majority of COVID deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated, and many deaths are likely preventable. The compassion extended to the virus’s victims is no longer universal. Sometimes, in place of condolences, loved ones receive scorn.

      • A fourth vaccine dose doesn’t seem to fully stop omicron, study finds

        Hence, two weeks ago, a group of Israeli scientists studied whether the existing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can protect against omicron infections if patients are given four doses of vaccine, meaning a two-shot vaccine and two boosters.

        Now, they have an early answer: The booster shot helps somewhat, but not enough to prevent infections. The findings speak to the unique and squirrelly nature of the omicron variant.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • DNS records of 1% .fi domains exposed through Zone Transfers

        DNS Zone Transfer is a mechanism for administrators to replicate DNS datasets across DNS servers. If it is enabled for a DNS nameserver, the nameserver will gladly give all DNS data regarding a domain to anyone who asks. Enabling Zone Transfers will cause an information disclosure and can thus be considered misconfiguration.

        I decided to investigate how common this nameserver misconfiguration is by doing a zone transfer query on all .fi domains I know of (in total 330k domains). This post describes the experiment.

      • DHL displaces Microsoft from top of Check Point’s brand phishing list

        A statement from the company said Microsoft was the second most imitated (20% of emails tracked), while WhatsApp was a distant third (11%). Microsoft has been at the top of this list for quite some time.

        The other companies in the top 10 were Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, FedEx, Roblox, Paypal and Apple.

        Check Point said in a brand phishing attack attackers attempted to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and web-page design to the genuine site.

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft addresses last week’s buggy Windows Updates that broke VPNs and rebooted servers [Ed: Windows is unmaintainable, so no wonder users are fleeing]

          Microsoft released an out-of-band (OOB) update yesterday to fix some Windows issues caused by last week’s monthly patching cycle on Patch Tuesday.

          The January 2022 updates that shipped last week included security patches and a fix for Japanese text appearance issues in Windows 11 (KB5009566) and Windows 10 (KB5009543) — along with a secret payload of issues, including unexpected restarting of Domain Controllers and VPN connections using L2TP failing.

          One of the major issues that came up during the week for IT admins included finding that Windows Server 2012 became stuck in a boot loop, while other versions suffered broken Windows VPN clients, and some hard drives appeared as RAW format (and unusable). Many IT Admins were forced to roll back the updates — leaving many servers vulnerable with none of last week’s security patches.

        • Cyberattacks surge amid accelerating pace of Covid-driven digitalisation: WEF study [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022′, released during its online Davos Agenda summit, further said that each successful cyber breach cost a company $3.6 million (nearly Rs 27 crore) last year, while the average share price of the hacked company underperformed NASDAQ by nearly 3% even six months after the event in case of the breach becoming public.

          The WEF said the global digital economy surged on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, but so has cybercrime and nearly 80% of cyber leaders now consider ransomware a ‘danger’ and ‘threat’ to public safety.

        • US Windows ransomware attacks in 2021 little changed from 2020 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The break-up was 77 state and municipal governments and agencies, 1043 schools and 1203 healthcare providers. During 2020, the total was 2354, with the break-up for the same categories being 113, 1681 and 560 respectively.

          At least 118 data breaches resulted from these attacks, with sensitive information posted online in one case.

          The Emsisoft report said in 2021, smaller municipalities and counties were hit, compared to earlier years when big cities like Baltimore and Atlanta were affected.

        • Ransomware isn’t always about gangs making money. Sometimes it’s about nations manufacturing mayhem. [iophk: Windows TCO]

          If the tactic spreads, it could lead to even more companies and other targets fending off ransomware in the line of nation-state cyberwarfare and cyber-espionage. Like any other malware, ransomware is built to break things.

        • Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion

          Microsoft doesn’t detail exactly how it will approach solving these issues, and the company says Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard for now. It looks like Kotick won’t remain once the deal is fully closed and after the transition period to Microsoft, though. Spencer, formerly head of gaming at Microsoft, is now CEO of Microsoft Gaming, and the company says the Activision Blizzard business will report directly to Spencer.

        • Five Reasons Microsoft Is Making Activision Blizzard Its Biggest Deal Ever [Ed: Microsoft's booster Dina Bass is still covering Microsoft at Bloomberg; it's more like media operatives of companies nowadays call themselves "journalists"...]
        • Microsoft to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7B

          In a buyout that dwarfs others, Microsoft announced plans today to purchase digital game development company Activision Blizzard in an all-cash [sic] deal worth $68.7 billion.

          If the acquisition goes through, it would significantly add to Microsoft’s already sizeable video game operation, which includes “Minecraft” and “Doom.” Activision’s stable of popular video games includes “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Candy Crush” — all of which are already available through Microsoft’s Xbox console business.

          The deal would give Microsoft a solid foothold in the emerging metaverse industry, which blends the traditional online world with that of the virtual through augmented reality headsets.

        • Why Microsoft is splashing $69bn on video games

          In the short term, the deal gives Microsoft more of a foothold in the smartphone-gaming market, to which it has had little exposure. King, a mobile-focused subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, boasts around 245m monthly players of its smartphone games, most of whom tap away at “Candy Crush”. It is also a strike against Sony. If Microsoft controls the rights to “Call of Duty”, it can decide whether or not to allow the games to appear on Sony’s rival PlayStation machine. When Microsoft bought ZeniMax Media, another games developer, for $7.5bn in 2020, it said it would honour the terms of ZeniMax’s existing publishing agreements with Sony, but that Sony’s access to new games would be considered “on a case-by-case basis”.

        • Microsoft to Buy Activision Blizzard in Mega-Deal Worth $68.7 Billion

          Activision Blizzard, in addition to its core games development and publishing business, runs a global esports network through its Major League Gaming division. The company has nearly 10,000 employees worldwide.

        • Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard, publisher of Call of Duty, for $68.7 billion

          The announcement follows reports in November that Microsoft was evaluating its relationship with the video game publisher amid allegations Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had known about sexual misconduct claims at the company for years.

        • Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard, a bet on the next generation of the [Internet].

          The acquisition, Microsoft’s largest ever, would catapult the company into a leading spot in both the video game industry and could strengthen its hand in the nascent world of virtual and augmented reality.

          It is also a challenge to regulators in Washington, as Democrats and Republicans alike have pushed to limit the power of technology giants. Microsoft, which makes Xbox consoles and owns studios that produce hits like Minecraft, has expanded its gaming business to surpass $10 billion in annual revenue. In anticipation of a longer review, Microsoft said it did not expect the Activision deal to close until the next fiscal year, which ends in June 2023.

        • Vote on Digital Services Act: Civil Liberties Committee pushes for digital privacy and free speech online

          This Thursday (20 January, subject to change), Members of the European Parliament will vote on their position on the EU Digital Services Act. The Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) will put a series of amendments to the vote that propose, among other things, to introduce a right to use digital services anonymously, to restrict government surveillance online, to better protect personal and media content against error-prone upload filters and removal orders, and to disable surveillance-based timeline algorithms by default. The amendments are expected to be voted on Thursday morning. However, the largest political groups seek to avoid amendments to the proposed bill.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Podcast Episode: How Private is Your Bank Account?
            • Pegasus Used Against Activist Women in Middle East

              DOZENS OF women journalists and human rights defenders in Bahrain and Jordan have had their phones hacked using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, according to a report by Front Line Defenders and Access Now.

              The report adds to a growing public record of Pegasus misuse globally, including against dissidents, reporters, diplomats, and members of the clergy. It also threatens to increase pressure on the Israel-based NSO Group, which in November was placed on a U.S. trade blacklist.

            • Israeli Police Used Pegasus Spyware Against Own Citizens: Report

              Digital privacy advocates were alarmed but not surprised Tuesday by a report alleging that police in Israel used NSO’s Pegasus spyware against Israeli citizens, including opponents of former right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

              “When it comes to [Netanyahu] and NSO’s business model, is any of this surprising?”

            • Fake COVID-19 Testing Sites Are Scamming Vulnerable Communities Across the US
            • Are Fake COVID Testing Sites Harvesting Data?

              Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a bunch of writing about what seems to be fake COVID-19 testing sites. They take your name and info, and do a nose swab, but you never get test results. Speculation centered around data harvesting, but that didn’t make sense because it was far too labor intensive for that and — sorry to break it to you — your data isn’t worth all that much.

            • COVID-19 Testing Chain Opened Pop-Ups Across The US. Now, It’s Temporarily Closing Amid Federal Investigation And Mounting Complaints

              The Center for COVID Control is a management company to Doctors Clinical Laboratory. It provides tests and testing supplies, software, personal protective equipment and marketing services — online and printed — to testing sites, said a person who was formerly associated with the Center for COVID Control. Some of the sites are owned independently but operate in partnership with the chain under its name and with its guidance.


              Doctors Clinical Lab, the lab Center for COVID Control uses to process tests, makes money by billing patients’ insurance companies or seeking reimbursement from the federal government for testing. Insurance statements reviewed by Block Club show the lab has, in multiple instances, billed insurance companies $325 for a PCR test, $50 for a rapid test, $50 for collecting a person’s sample and $80 for a “supplemental fee.”

              In turn, the testing sites are paid for providing samples to the lab to be processed, said a person formerly associated with the Center for COVID Control.

              In a January video talking to testing site operators, Syed said the Center for COVID Control will no longer provide them with PCR tests, but it will continue supplying them with rapid tests at a cost of $5 per test. The companies will keep making money for the rapid tests they collect, he said.

              “You guys will continue making the $28.50 you’re making for the rapid test,” Syed said in the video.

            • India’s Supreme Court Opens Investigation Into Targeting Of Indian Citizens’ Phones By NSO Malware

              NSO Group’s terrible 2021 is flowing seamlessly into an equally terrible 2022. The leak of a list of alleged targets for its malware — a list that included journalists, activists, government critics, political officials, and religious leaders — led to an outpouring of discoveries linking the company to abusive deployments of malware by a number of questionable governments.

            • Akwasi Frimpong’s Struggle to Represent Africa at the Winter Olympics

              The International Olympic Committee is quick to tout its commitment to inclusion and diversity as “integral components” to creating “a better world through sport.” And yet the IOC is undermining these principles by denying Akwasi Frimpong, a Black skeleton athlete from Ghana, the opportunity to compete at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. (Skeleton is a winter sport like luge, except athletes lie on their stomachs, face forward.) The incident spotlights the chasm between Olympic word and deed. But there is still time to change course and allow Frimpong to realize his Olympic dream.

            • Internet watchdog warns Olympic Games app has security, censorship flaws

              Internet watchdog Citizen Lab is sounding the alarm over security and censorship issues with a smartphone application mandated for use by all attendees of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

              The University of Toronto-based research laboratory published a report Tuesday, stating the MY2022 app contains numerous issues from a “simple but devastating flaw” permitting access to encrypted voice audio and file transfers to a keyword list that targets nearly 2,500 words for censorship.

            • Are you ready for the Data Protection Bill?

              “The major challenge, what we’re going to get, once we collect a lot of data for decision-making is going to be the erasure of that data. So, based on the guidelines, if the customer says, ‘The process is over, or the project is over, please erase my information’, that time, it’s going to be a major challenge,” Deshpande said.

            • #PrivacyofthePeople: Alexa, Google, Siri, we hear for you?

              Voice-enabled AI assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri reside not only on our smartphones but also in millions of bedrooms. The intimacy they enjoy presents a range of privacy risks that can be mitigated by a user-centric, rights focussed, data protection law. In this #PrivacyOfThePeople series, we discuss concerns on consent (when and how are such devices collecting data), data retention (storage of parts of audio recordings for undefined periods), cyber security audits (malicious attacks), and data sharing and surveillance (exposure of voice recordings to Voice Assistance training personnel and law enforcement).


              The first privacy concern is regarding data retention. All three VAs store a part of user data including audio recordings for an undefined period even when retention of data indefinitely is against the internationally accepted principle of storage limitation.


              The second privacy concern is the processing and storage of data without user knowledge and consent. VAs work based on users’ voices – it is their main feature. All the above-mentioned VAs activate upon hearing a particular activation keyword. Although some of the policies claim that the cloud servers do not store data/voice unless the activation word is detected, there is constant exchange of voice & related data between their cloud servers and the VA device. This is especially concerning in cases of false activation when data may be getting stored without actual knowledge.

            • Confidentiality

              • HTTPS is still optional, at least sort of

                I was recently reading this article (via). I have a number of reactions to it, but today’s reaction is to the small portion of its argument that the need for HTTPS certificate renewal (and HTTPS certificates) makes modern websites somewhat dynamic in practice in that you can’t just abandon them and necessarily have everything keep on working. My counterpoint is that HTTPS is still optional for certain sorts of sites, even here in early 2022.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Untangling Ourselves From the Dark Side

        “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”

        The words are those of Albert Einstein, in a letter to a congressman 75 years ago. He adds, pointing out a truth that is still waiting to resonate culturally and politically: “The very prevention of war requires more faith, courage and resolution than are needed to prepare for war.”

      • From Aerial Strikes to Starvation, Afghanistan’s People Bear the Brunt of the West’s Failed Taliban Tactics

        At the last moment, this Isis suicide bomber detonated his device, killing 13 American soldiers and between 170 and 200 Afghans who were desperately trying to get a flight out of the country.

        Three days later the US fired its last missile in its 20-year-war in Afghanistan at what it said was a car near the airport into which it believed Isis members had loaded a bomb.

      • Civilians Reportedly Among 20 Yemenis Killed in Saudi Airstrike

        Human rights defenders on Tuesday decried Saudi-led airstrikes that killed at least 20 people in Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa, the U.S.-backed coalition’s deadliest attacks since 2019.

        “The increase in fighting in Yemen is having a deadly impact and once again it is civilians that are paying the price.”

      • Opinion | An Epochal Decline in American Global Power

        Throughout 2021, Americans were absorbed in arguments over mask mandates, school closings, and the meaning of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Meanwhile, geopolitical hot spots were erupting across Eurasia, forming a veritable ring of fire around that vast land mass.

      • Opinion | In South Africa as in Palestine: Why We Must Protect the Legacy of Desmond Tutu

        Long before intersectionality became a prevailing concept which helped delineate the relationship between various marginalized and oppressed groups, late South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu said it all in a few words and in a most inimitable style. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together,” he said.

      • Seditious Conspiracy Charge Against Oath Keepers Founder and Others in J6 Riot Faces First Amendment Hurdle

        Many observers have noted the absence of “seditious conspiracy” charges in connection with prosecutions of those who took part in the Capitol riot. Participants in the riot have been charged with minor crimes such as trespassing or other lower-level offenses. Others have been charged with more serious offenses, such as obstructing a congressional proceeding or bringing a weapon inside the U.S. Capitol.

        But the seditious conspiracy charges announced on Jan. 13, 2022 by the Department of Justice raise the stakes and political temperature of the Jan. 6 investigation. As a First Amendment scholar, I believe they may also give rise to serious concerns about the rights of others protesting government actions down the road.

      • UN aviation agency releases fact-finding report on Ryanair incident in Belarus

        The UN’s civil aviation agency has released its fact-finding report on the May 2021 diversion of a Ryanair passenger plane to Belarus. The Athens to Vilnius flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Minsk after Belarusian dispatchers warned of an alleged bomb threat. Once the plane touched down, the Belarusian authorities promptly detained two of its passengers: Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and Russian national Sofia Sapega, his girlfriend. The arrests prompted an international scandal that resulted in European countries banning airlines from traveling through Belarusian airspace. According to the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which obtained a copy of the fact-finding report, the investigation documents inconsistencies in the Belarusian authorities’ version of events, as well as their failure to comply with standard aviation procedures.

      • Texas Rabbi: Despite False Media Narratives, Synagogue Attack Brought Jewish & Muslim Communities Together

        On Saturday, an armed British man named Malik Faisal Akram took a rabbi and three congregants hostage at a synagogue outside of Fort Worth, Texas, resulting in an 11-hour standoff that ended once the rabbi threw a chair at Akram, who was later shot dead by the police. The standoff — which left all four hostages unharmed — has been identified by President Biden and federal authorities as an antisemitic act of terror. We speak with Rabbi Nancy Kasten, who says despite false media narratives painting the hostage crisis as an outgrowth of hostility between Muslims and Jews, the local Muslim community mobilized in support of the Jewish community this weekend. She also notes Muslim communities are less protected under federal and state law, which “creates a lot of opportunity for very misguided and false information to be perpetrated about the Muslim community.”

      • Aafia Siddiqui, Political Prisoner

        Pakistani-born Boston graduate student Aafia Siddiqui’s crime was to be caught in America’s post 9/11 anti-Muslim hysteria.  She had come to America in 1990 to study, earning a biology degree and then a Ph.D in neuroscience from MIT.  Her colleagues called her quiet and religious (but not a fundamentalist).  Her marriage to Mohammed Amjad Khan ended in divorce when he proved to be violent and more fundamentalist than Siddiqui.  She was mistakenly accused of anti-American Muslim activism initially (partially because of mistaken identity), but the accusations ballooned. In the early War On Terror days, “associations” became much more significant and damning.  Siddiqui ended up on Attorney General John Ashcroft’s “Watchlist.” As the Big Lies of government grew, soon the New York Post was calling her “Lady Al Queda.”

        Once the government labeled her a “terrorist,” she had no chance of escaping the Empire’s punishment. When her true story began to emerge, it was necessary to take action.  While visiting in Pakistan, helped by Pakistani American operatives, she was “disappeared.”  Her youngest child was killed when she was taken, and her other two children imprisoned separately for years. She was beaten, raped, tortured and kept in solitary in black site prisons of the American Empire, particularly in Afghanistan. Other prisoners have testified that they saw her at Bagram, a prison from which the Obama administration prevented prisoners’ court appearances because they might talk about the conditions of their imprisonment. Eventually Aafia Siddiqui would be set up for final punishment and disposal.

      • Who Is Aafia Siddiqui? Synagogue Attack Renews Focus on Pakistani Neuroscientist Imprisoned in Texas

        During Saturday’s synagogue attack in Colleyville, Texas, the gunman Malik Faisal Akram repeatedly called for the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison located just miles from the synagogue. Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 on charges that she intended to kill U.S. military officers while being detained in Afghanistan two years earlier. However, many questions remain unanswered about her time in U.S. custody, and her conviction was secured without physical evidence and on U.S. officials’ testimony alone, says Siddiqui’s lawyer, Marwa Elbially. Elbially says there’s a false impression of Siddiqui in the U.S. as a terrorist, even though terrorist charges were never brought against her, and Pakistan officials have voiced concern about her arrest and detention. We also speak with Mauri’ Saalakhan, director of operations for The Aafia Foundation, who calls Siddiqui’s case an unprecedented miscarriage of justice.

      • Enduring Stain: The Guantánamo Military Prison Turns Twenty

        On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners of the absurdly named “War on Terror”, declared with such confused understanding by US President George W. Bush, began arriving at the newly constructed Camp X-Ray prison at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay.  Structurally crude, it was intended as a temporary facility, remote and out of sight.  Instead, it became a permanent and singular contribution of US political and legal practice, withering due process and civil liberties along the way.

        After two decades, 779 prisoners have spent time there, many of whom were low level operatives of minimal importance.  Prior to being sent to the camp, the detainees endured abductions, disappearances, and torture in US-operated centres in allied countries.  The previous director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Aspel, had more than a nodding acquaintance with this process, having overseen operations at a black site in Thailand specialising in interrogating al-Qaeda suspects.

      • Opinion | Dr. King’s 1967 Anti-War Speech Was Unpopular, But Prophetic
      • 2014 vs. 2022 Ukraine’s improved but still longshot odds of withstanding a full-fledged Russian invasion

        After last week’s talks between Russia, the United States, and NATO led to no apparent breakthroughs on European security, speculation has resumed in the West that Moscow is preparing an expanded invasion of Ukraine that could begin at any time. The Kremlin denies any plans to attack Ukraine, but policymakers in Kyiv and Washington say the Russian military’s buildup near Ukraine’s borders suggests otherwise. Some experts in the West, including several former senior U.S. military personnel, now argue that the Ukrainian Army might be able to withstand a Russian onslaught, if it receives all feasible support from NATO. Hoping that is purely a thought experiment, Meduza reviews some of the theories about how a larger war between Russia and Ukraine could unfold.

      • Bill Clinton’s Role in the Crisis Over Ukraine

        Bill Clinton was initially responsible for the militarization.  He abolished the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and began the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  Barack Obama believed that war in Afghanistan was a “good war,” and reappointed Robert Gates as secretary of defense to appease the uniformed military.  President Joe Biden even appointed a retired four-star general to the position of secretary of defense, and has given diplomacy a back seat in the twin struggles with Russia and China.  The postwar presidents understood the need to divide Moscow and Beijing, but Biden has taken actions that have inspired Russia and China to grow closer.

        But it all started with Clinton, whose relations with the Pentagon were tenuous from the outset.  Clinton came into office with a reputation for manipulating the draft laws in 1969 to avoid service in Vietnam.  Clinton, moreover, alienated the military shortly after his inauguration when he suggested that he would allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military.  Of course, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and William Cohen avoided Vietnam, but Republicans typically get a pass from the Pentagon and the press when avoiding service.  Former senator John Kerry was a Vietnam War hero, but his ultimate criticism of the war was highlighted by the mainstream media and his Republican opposition.

      • Stop the Stumble Toward War With Russia

        In the technical argot of diplomacy, what’s going on in the Ukraine crisis is nuts.

      • Opinion | Only Cold-War Fools Hit Replay on Doomsday

        In the early 1960s, at the height of America’s original Cold War with the Soviet Union, my old service branch, the Air Force, sought to build 10,000 land-based nuclear missiles. These were intended to augment the hundreds of nuclear bombers it already had, like the B-52s featured so memorably in the movie Dr. Strangelove. Predictably, massive future overkill was justified in the name of “deterrence,” though the nuclear war plan in force back then was more about obliteration. It featured a devastating attack on the Soviet Union and communist China that would kill an estimated 600 million people in six months (the equivalent of 100 Holocausts, notes Daniel Ellsberg in his book, The Doomsday Machine). Slightly saner heads finally prevailed—in the sense that the Air Force eventually got “only” 1,000 of those Minuteman nuclear missiles.

      • Vladimir Putin is Not the Neville Chamberlain the US/NATO is Looking For

        That’s the pot calling the kettle black. More than 30 years after the Warsaw Pact’s dissolution, 77 years after the end of World War Two, the US still keeps 40,000 troops in Germany.

        For 45 years, the justification was to defend Germany from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. As Germany moved toward reunification, US Secretary of State James Baker assured Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization wouldn’t expand so much as “one inch eastward” into the former Soviet sphere of influence it was created to contain.

      • Republicans, Aided by Manchin and Sinema, Are Stonewalling Voting Rights Bill
      • Why voters don’t blame Republicans for the Capitol riot — no GOP leaders have been arrested yet

        The implicit and sometimes explicit support for the insurrection by Republicans is obvious to the politically aware. Not only does the Republican Party continue to cover up Donald Trump’s role in inciting the riot, but the party nationwide is acting on Trump’s demands to help him steal the 2024 election through voter suppression and election interference. Meanwhile, prominent Republican figures continue to promote political violence, while Trump is the strong favorite for the GOP nomination 2024, with an overtly insurrectionist campaign built around his Big Lie.

        The problem is that the voters who are swinging hard to the GOP know basically none of this. Instead, they assume that the Republicans are a normal political party. There are lots of people to blame for this, of course. Biden and Democrats didn’t do themselves any favors by spending the past year talking up “unity” and “bipartisanship,” instead of focusing like a laser on the fact that the GOP is actively conspiring with Trump to cover up for January 6 and perpetuate his war on democracy. The media also plays a role, exhibiting an unwillingness to challenge Republicans directly about their anti-democratic ideology.

        But, ultimately, the biggest problem is the utter lack of accountability for any of the prominent Republicans involved in Jan. 6. Neither Trump nor any Republican leader has been arrested for their efforts to steal the election that led up to the Capitol riot. So far, the only people who have been arrested for the Capitol insurrection have been the people who actually stormed the building or far-right militia types who coordinated their actions that day. So that ends up reinforcing the impression, especially with people who don’t follow the news very closely, that the riot was a result of a bunch of self-directed fringe characters, and has nothing to do with the mainstream Republican Party. Unless the cuffs start coming out for Trump and his fellow elite Republicans, it will be hard to convince these voters to see the insurrection as anything but an anomalous event, instead of part of a larger anti-democratic conspiracy.

      • What Does It Mean If Republicans Won’t Debate?

        The possibility, though, that the RNC tells its 2024 presidential candidate to boycott the official debates is still a remarkable prospect — perhaps no more striking than the RNC’s decision not to write a 2020 party platform. It seems like a significant norm violation since presidential debates have been a part of the general election campaign for more than 40 years. But then again, presidential debates never were one of the most consequential parts of the presidential campaign process. What should we think about this development?

      • R.N.C. Signals a Pullout From Presidential Debates

        Republican committee officials alerted the debate commission to their plans in a letter sent on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. If the change goes forward, it would be one of the most substantial shifts in how presidential and vice-presidential debates have been conducted since the commission began organizing debates more than 30 years ago.

      • Yle: Russian civilian plane flies mystery route over Finland

        A civilian Russian cargo plane flying between Moscow and Leipzig, Germany, took a rather circuitous route through Finnish airspace Saturday evening, public broadcaster Yle reports, leading to the scrambling of Finnish air force jets in response and prompting speculation over the rationale behind the excursion.

    • Environment

      • Global Plastic Pollution Is a ‘Deadly Ticking Clock’: Report

        “There is a deadly ticking clock counting swiftly down.”

        So says Tom Gammage, an ocean campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a United Kingdom-based group whose new report warns that only a muscular global treaty can turn the tide against the life-threatening crisis of plastic pollution. 

      • Rising Chemical Pollution Crosses Crucial ‘Planetary Boundary’

        The level of chemical pollution on Earth has crossed a “planetary boundary” and now threatens global ecosystems that support all life, according to a new study on human-made substances whose production has rapidly increased in recent decades.

        Researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC) examined the levels of 350,000 plastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals, and other chemicals and found that human activity is releasing so many of these substances each year that their production has altered “the remarkably stable state Earth has remained within for 10,000 years—since the dawn of civilization.”

      • The Civil War on Yellowstone’s Wolves
      • It’s Time to Stop Rolling the Dice on Chemical Disasters
      • Opinion | America’s Climate Forest Must be Protected Now and for Future Generations

        The snow builds up at this time of year in the far northern forests of the Tongass in Alaska, blanketing this often lush green landscape. The bears that travel across the ravines during summer are now resting, hibernating until spring. The buzzing that comes from a forest teeming with life is now a peaceful hush, save for the calls of a raven or the soft dampened steps of the elk and deer. Every season we see the Tongass in a new light, offering points of wisdom and ways of being that stretch back farther than humanity.  However, as we recognize the beauty of the season, we are also alarmed at how unpredictable the weather has become throughout the year as communities in Alaska are challenged with climate-related extreme weather events—from record breaking snowfall to wind and ice storms to unusually high temperatures.

      • Energy

        • How Exxon Is Leveraging Texas Courts to Silence Its Climate Critics
        • How Exxon Is Using an Unusual Law to Intimidate Critics Over its Climate Denial

          By Chris McGreal, The Guardian. This story was originally published by The Guardian, and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate crisis.

          xxonMobil is attempting to use an unusual Texas law to target and intimidate its critics, claiming that lawsuits against the company over its long history of downplaying and denying the climate crisis violate the US constitution’s guarantees of free speech.

        • Exxon Net-Zero Plan Called Greenwashing From ‘Climate Liar’

          Climate action campaigners on Tuesday were eager to explain why a net-zero carbon plan released by oil giant ExxonMobil is an example of “more greenwashing” from the company that’s expected to increase its emissions by 17% in the coming years.

          “I don’t give a damn if Exxon is changing the lightbulbs at their office: It’s the millions of barrels of oil they’re producing that are the problem.”

        • Rising US Renewables Expected to Spur Decline in Fracked Gas

          Over the next two years, renewable energy sources are projected to generate a growing share of electricity in the U.S., according to a forecast shared Tuesday by the federal government, which expects a related decrease in production at fossil fuel-fired power plants.

          “Most of the growth in U.S. electricity generation in 2022 and 2023 will come from new renewable energy sources.”

        • UK Oil Regulator Has ‘No Duty’ to Consider North Sea Tax Breaks or Indirect Emissions, Court Rules

          The UK government is not legally required to consider tax breaks to oil and gas companies or emissions from burning fossil fuels when regulating the North Sea sector, a court has ruled today, rejecting a complaint by climate campaigners. 

          At a judicial review hearing in December at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, campaigners argued that the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) strategy was “unlawful” because it fails to take into account tax breaks for oil and gas companies when approving new projects.

      • Overpopulation

        • Scientists Decry Human Indifference to ‘Probable Sixth Mass Extinction’

          There’s a human-caused extinction crisis underway—probably the start of the Sixth Mass Extinction—and denial or indifference to this planetary crisis is “an abrogation of moral responsibility,” according to scientists behind a new study.

          “We cannot help but feel that humanity is allowing a probable Sixth Mass Extinction to unfold.”

    • Finance

      • Tax on Global Mega-Rich Could Help Lift 2.3 Billion Out of Poverty

        A new analysis released Tuesday estimates that an annual wealth tax targeting the world’s millionaires and billionaires would raise enough revenue to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, provide universal healthcare to the people of low- and middle-income nations, and produce enough coronavirus vaccines to meet global demand.

        “During 2021, we witnessed the epidemic of Covid-19 and wealth-hiding, and it’s time to reverse course.”

      • Where Greed is a Virtue and Poverty Your Own Damn Fault

        It’s amazing what having a personal shelter to go home to means to a person. Those who have always had one don’t understand. The instability of living in the rough—as the Brits say—creates a level of insecurity and fear even among the most weathered of us all. Soldiers who slept in the jungles of Vietnam, snakes in the trees, jungle rot, the uncertainty of being the invader in another’s land; even these men can feel uneasy when sleeping in the rough. Cops, vigilantes, teenage punks, criminals hiding among the houseless—it’s not easy or pretty. Those with homes have little to no knowledge of this and those who enlist the police to harass the houseless seem to actually hate the men and women without a roof over the head, a mortgage or a landlord. As someone who was houseless for a while in the 1970s and who until recently worked in public libraries where the houseless are most often welcome, the fact that housing is part of a market angers me as much as a cop beating an innocent person. My late and politically conservative father decried the circumstances that made homes investments instead of places to live. Unfortunately, he never understood how this reality was an essential part of capitalism.

        I have a friend I run into a couple of times a week. His name is Albert. He’s a retired RN who was in the air force for a brief time in 1969 or 1970 but was kicked out after a rapid political radicalization occurred. He attributes that radicalization to his attendance at a rally called by the Black Panthers. I believe it was soon after Fred Hampton was murdered by the police in Chicago. Within a couple of months, my friend was kicked out, in large part because of his political views and new outspokenness. Naturally, he was relieved and happy that the military was behind him. Most of us would be.

      • Student Debt Cancellation is a Racial Justice Issue

        In a recent House floor speech, Rep. Ayanna Pressley pointed out that the student debt crisis disproportionately impacts the Black community.

        “But for too long,” Pressley said, “the narrative has excluded us and the unique ways in which this debt is exacerbating racial and economic inequities, compounding our gender and racial wealth gap.”

      • Is Europe’s Inflation Joe Biden’s Fault?

        We got some interesting news on inflation elsewhere today in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release of data on import prices. It turns out that the price of imports has been rising even faster than domestic prices, with inflation of 10.4 percent over the last year.

        A big part of this increase is higher energy prices, but the data do allow for an important comparison. BLS has a category for imports of manufactured goods from industrialized countries. This would be a wide range of items like cars, car parts, electronics, and other things we would import from Europe, Japan, Canada, and other wealthy countries. In other words, this is a cross-section of goods from countries we think of as similar to the United States.

      • Three More Starbucks Locations in Buffalo Will Soon Vote on Unionization
      • Chris Hedges: America’s New Class War

        There is one last hope for the United States. It does not lie in the ballot box. It lies in the union organizing and strikes by workers at Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, Lyft, John Deere, Kellogg, the Special Metals plant in Huntington, West Virginia, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the Northwest Carpenters Union, Kroger, teachers in Chicago, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, fast-food workers, hundreds of nurses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Dems Urged to Hold Senate Floor for ‘As Long As It Takes’

        As the U.S. Senate on Tuesday began debating voting rights legislation intended to combat GOP attacks on democracy, progressive groups urged Democratic senators to hold the floor however long it takes to send a House-approved package to President Joe Biden’s desk.

        “Tens of thousands of people have mobilized for voting rights this year,” Megan Hatcher-Mays, director of democracy policy for Indivisible, said in a statement. “They deserve to see Democratic senators fighting for them and for our democracy by taking to the floor and making the case.”

      • Saving Democracy

        It may come in last unless enough people care enough about one goal so that both moderate Democratic and Republican lawmakers could successfully create legislation that would pass both houses of Congress. The goal: Keeping our democracy intact.

        The Democrats appear to be giving up on changing or deleting the Senate’s filibuster rule because Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona object to monkeying with the political tool that requires 60 votes instead of a majority to pass legislation, budget bills aside.

      • Lessons From Louise Glück

        “Who can speak of the future?” Louise Glück asks in her new book of poems, Winter Recipes From the Collective. “Nobody knows anything about the future.” In its apparent rebuke to both writer and reader, the line might seem exemplary of the stark, unsentimental lyric voice for which Glück is best known. The poem it appears in, less so: “A Children’s Story” imagines a royal family driving back to the city after a pastoral sojourn, “all the little princesses / rattling in the back of the car.” The tone suits the genre invoked by its title; the scene is at once mundane and surreal. (“Outside the car, the cows and pastures are drifting away.”) But unlike other children’s stories, this one is in no rush to console. “All hope is lost,” the poem concludes. “We must return to where it was lost / if we want to find it again.” Wavering between melancholy and resolve, “A Children’s Story” speaks to our national mood better than most overtly political poems of the past few years. It also speaks of somewhere else entirely. All of Winter Recipes walks this line between a shared social world and a parallel world of dreams, symbols, and obscure but profound instruction—a realm often ceded to the young and the old.

      • Eurasia’s Ring of Fire: the Epic Struggle Over the Epicenter of U.S. Global Power

        Let’s circle that continent to visit just a few of those flashpoints, each one suffused with significance for the future of U.S. global power.

        On the border with Ukraine, 100,000 Russian troops were massing with tanks and rocket launchers, ready for a possible invasion. Meanwhile, Beijing signed a $400 billion agreement with Tehran to swap infrastructure-building for Iranian oil. Such an exchange might help make that country the future rail hub of Central Asia, while projecting China’s military power into the Persian Gulf. Just across the Iranian border in Afghanistan, Taliban guerrillas swept into Kabul ending a 20-year American occupation in a frantic flurry of shuttle flights for more than 100,000 defeated Afghan allies.

      • Corresimo in Ecuador: An Interview with David Chavez

        Joe Emersberger: Could you please talk a bit about the political persecution that Correismo has been put through since 2017? What are the main cases people should know about?

        David Chavez: The case of [former Vice President] Jorge Glas is the most significant because Glas has been in prison for over 4 years now (he was convicted of illicit association) but it has not been possible to prove that he was involved in the Odebrecht case in which he was accused. But there are obviously more cases. Correa himself has about 48 court cases as far as I know. Several leaders of the movement are exiled in Mexico, some because of court cases against them, others because they were harassed by the previous government as a result of the October 2019 protests [against the elimination of fuel subsidies by decree of former President Lenin Moreno]. And there are other people who have also been sentenced in the last trial in which Correa was sentenced, the so-called “Bribery Case”, as is the case with María Duarte, the former Minister of Transportation and Public Works, who is living in the embassy of Argentina. The government has not given her safe passage to go to Argentina, whose government has granted her asylum.

      • Redistricting, Restrictions
      • Secure Our Right to Vote

        Did this new law further protect our elections when a more secure process of registering voters in person on Election Day is now banned? Why prevent Montanans from having the same access to voting rights as the previous 68,000 Montanans over the last 15 years who could register and vote on Election Day if it does not crack down on voter fraud or provide more election security?

        It is not too hard to predict who this new law will impact, like senior citizens, disabled veterans, and college students whose voter registration addresses were not updated when they moved to the assisted living centers or colleges and only learned of this error at the polling location on the day of the election. Or Montanans who are busy with work and family and forget to update their voter registration and get an hour off of work to vote on Election Day, only to find out their voter registration is not active. Do we really think having these Montanans not voting in our elections makes our elections more secure with less voter fraud?

      • Say It Ain’t So, Joe, Again

        The political system in the US is run by, and operates for, the economic elite here, just as it has since the founding of the nation in the late 18th century. Just as the founders allowed for a horrific system of slavery to become the bedrock of the economy, so does today’s racism and mass incarceration result from the same forces of the power elite. It is no cliché to say that they, the elite, run this nation for their interests as the military-industrial-financial monied class. Joe Biden is a figurehead for the elite and they, the elite, are tipping their hands more and more toward opening the door for complete corporate fascism here.

        When I wrote “Say It Ain’t So, Joe” (CounterPunch, March 20, 2019) many months before the 2020 election, I enumerated the really bad policies that Biden stood for, from kowtowing to the banking class in Delaware and beyond, to his support for immoral wars such as the war in Iraq that he wholeheartedly supported. His disgusting behavior toward Anita Hill during the Senate hearings to confirm Clarence Thomas speaks for itself.

      • “There Must Be a Moral Shift”: Bishop Barber Calls on Democrats to Pass Voting Rights, Protect Poor

        Senate Democratic leadership insists they will debate two critical voting rights bills even though Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have publicly denounced their party’s plan to make changes to Senate filibuster rules that would give Democrats the votes needed to pass the landmark legislation. Meanwhile, thousands marched in support of the legislation and the necessary filibuster rule changes in Washington, D.C., on Monday, the federal holiday marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We speak with movement leader William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, who criticizes the Democrats for bifurcating the Build Back Better economic legislation from voting rights and says movements must plan sustained, nonviolent direct action to ensure politicians pass legislation that benefits poor and low-wealth people.

      • On Eve of Key Fight, Sanders Asks: ‘Will Manchin and Sinema Vote With GOP?’

        Just hours ahead of a pivotal Senate showdown over voting rights and the legislative filibuster, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday focused his attention on the two primary internal obstacles to the Democratic Party’s success on both fronts: right-wing Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

        “As the voting rights bill finally comes to the floor of the Senate, there is only one vote which will really matter,” Sanders (I-Vt.) argued in a Twitter post. “Will 50 Democrats vote to override the filibuster, protect American democracy, and pass the bill, or will Manchin and Sinema vote with the GOP and let the bill die?”

      • How Media Reports of Their Own Polls Can Mislead

        A new media poll last week by Investor’s Business Daily (1/10/22), conducted with the polling firm TIPP, announced that “Biden Approval Rating Relapses as Omicron Surges, Stock Market Slumps.”

      • Senate Dems Propose Talking Filibuster for Voting Rights

        U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed Tuesday evening that if Republicans continue to obstruct a long-delayed voting rights package, he will move to bring back the talking filibuster for just that legislation.

        “Now that they have found a way to open debate, under the current rules, Democrats can and must force a public debate that ends with a majority vote.”

      • WATCH LIVE: Senate Debates Voting Rights

        The U.S. Senate on Tuesday kicked off debate on voting rights legislation and moved closer to a potential floor battle over the filibuster rule, which Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have vowed to uphold despite the dire implications for U.S. democracy.

        Watch the Senate debate voting rights live:

      • If Dems Don’t Deliver on Health Care, They May Suffer in Midterms, Jayapal Warns
      • 94% of AZ Progressives Support Primary Challenge if Sinema Kills Voting Rights

        As U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema continues to stymie voting rights legislation by refusing to support filibuster reform, an overwhelming majority of respondents to a Tuesday survey by Indivisible said they would back a 2024 primary challenger to the Arizona Democrat if she does not change course.

        “Since 2021, Arizonans have been calling on Sinema to eliminate the filibuster and pass democracy reform.”

      • MLK Family Blasts Manchin & Sinema for Protecting Filibuster Over Voting Rights
      • Voting Rights Cannot Be Separated From Economic Justice, Says William Barber
      • Activision Stock Gets Analyst Upgrade on “Win-Win” Microsoft Deal; Is Electronic Arts Next?

        This year is off to a quick and game-changing start for the video gaming sector. After all, it is now two weeks, two mega-deals in the space as technology giant Microsoft unveiled a $68.7 billion takeover of powerhouse Activision Blizzard on Tuesday, eight days after Take-Two Interactive’s $12.7 billion deal to acquire Zynga.

      • Federal Communications Commissioner Starks Seeks to Encourage Democratic Principles Online

        With increasing challenges to democracy around the world and citizen surveillance efforts by several international governments, as well as domestic concerns over privacy on social media platforms, Starks says private sector entities should work to set standards which promote democratic principles and privacy for citizens.

      • White House Meeting Puts Spotlight on OSS Sustainability

        A recent meeting between IT industry leaders and White House officials highlighted open source software sustainability concerns as high-profile breaches and zero-day attacks have many organizations reviewing their software supply chains.

        The White House published a statement describing, among other things, how participants had a “substantive and constructive” discussion on how to make a difference in the security of open source software while continuing to effectively engage and support the open source community.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Remembering The Fight Against SOPA 10 Years Later… And What It Means For Today

        Register now for our online event featuring Rep. Zoe Lofgren »

      • Russian Artist Arrested For Giant Poop Snow Sculpture

        A Russian artist has been arrested for creating a snow sculpture in the form of a giant turd near a burial site in St. Petersburg.

        Police and local media on January 17 said that Ivan Volkov was criminally charged for desecrating the burial place of the dead when he created the 5-meter-long sculpture.

      • China’s App for Olympians Has Security Flaw, Censors Sensitive Words, Says Canadian Report

        An app mandated for use by all attendees of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics has a flaw that allows encryption of sensitive data to be sidestepped, a new study by Canadian researchers says. The app also censors words related to the Chinese authorities’ human rights abuses of ethnic and religious minority groups, according to the study.

        The Citizen Lab, a global security research institute at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, published the study on Jan. 18, analyzing the app, called MY2022.

        All attendees of the Beijing Winter Olympics, including athletes, audience members, and journalists are required to install the app to attend the Games.

      • Mandatory Chinese Olympics app has ‘devastating’ encryption flaw: analyst

        WASHINGTON: An app all attendees of the upcoming Beijing Olympics must use has encryption flaws that could allow personal information to leak, a cyber security watchdog said Tuesday.

        The “simple but devastating flaw” in the encryption of the MY2022 app, which is used to monitor Covid and is mandatory for athletes, journalists and other attendees of the games in China’s capital, could allow health information, voice messages and other data to leak, warned Jeffrey Knockel, author of the report for Citizen Lab.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Your Man in Saughton Jail Part 1

        In fact I was only half an hour in St Leonards before being put in a police car and taken to Saughton. This was pretty well unique – the police do not conduct people to prison in Scotland. At no stage was I manacled or handled and the police officers were very friendly. Reception at Saughton prison – where prisoners are not usually admitted on a Sunday – were also very polite, even courteous. None of this is what happens to an ordinary prisoner, and gives the lie to the Scottish government’s claim that I was treated as one.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why U.S. Robocall Hell Seemingly Never Ends

        According to the YouMail Robocall Index, there were 3.6 billion U.S. robocalls placed last December, or 115 million robocalls placed every single day. That’s 4.8 million calls placed every hour. Despite the periodic grumble, it’s wholly bizarre that we’ve just come to accept the fact that essential communications platforms have been hijacked by conmen, salesmen, and debt collectors, and we’re somehow incapable of doing anything about it.

      • Tonga undersea cable needs ‘at least’ four weeks to repair: NZ

        A key undersea cable that was destroyed in a volcano eruption in Tonga may take at least four weeks to be repaired, said New Zealand’s foreign ministry.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Daniel Radcliffe to Play ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic in Roku’s First Original Biopic Movie

        Colin Davis, Roku’s Head of Original Scripted Programming, added, “There clearly aren’t enough biopic movies about famous musicians and we were excited to shine a light on the incredibly true, unexaggerated story of Weird Al. This is sincerely the ultimate combination of talent, creativity, and friends, coming together to make something genuinely funny and we could not be prouder to call this film a Roku Original.”

    • Monopolies

      • New Project Launched as ‘Direct Counterweight’ to Big Tech

        The Tech Oversight Project launched Tuesday in an effort to push back against major technology companies’ lobbying on Capitol Hill and advocate for greater regulation of the industry.

        The project is beginning with a focus on federal antitrust legislation, employing a “campaign-style” strategy to fight for passage of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (H.R. 3816/S. 2992), which would outlaw certain anti-competitive conduct by major platforms.

      • Copyrights

        • Humane Society. For the recovery of persons apparently dead by drowning. : Instituted in the year 1774

          To bring the deceased back to life, especially those taken before their time, has long been a dream of legends and myth. In the case of the “apparently drowned”, however, it is possible to perform the seemingly miraculous and restore a limp body to full animation before lethal asphyxiation occurs. Yet despite the relatively simple techniques needed to perform this operation, they have taken millenia to develop. Early representations of resuscitation are shallow in information. Some scholars point to the Battle of Kadesh, as depicted at the Egyptian Ramesseum, where the drowned Hittite Emperor is held upside down by his men; others to the Hebrew Book of Kings, where Elisha revives a dead child with his “mouth upon his mouth” as an example of artificial ventilation. The idiom “over a barrel” may point to a practice, possibly medieval in origins, for rolling an unconscious body on a cask until they cough up water (or it might equally suggest flogging). The history of modern resuscitation in Europe conjures, though did not coin, another idiom: “to blow smoke up your”. . . well, we all know where that leads. Driven by an Enlightenment humanitarianism, social reformers and physicians began addressing a leading cause of preventable expiration that had rarely been treated on a national scale — death by water.

          In the 1730s, René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur popularized a recent discovery: the seemingly lifeless could be revived with a wealth of strategies. This “Pliny of the Eighteenth Century” (Réaumur invented a precursor to the Celsius scale, influenced methods of silk production in China, and pioneered the process of metallic tinning still used today) wrote a pamphlet titled Avis pour donner du secours à ceux que l’on croit noyez (Advice to aid those believed drowned). After debating the pros and cons of tickling the nose with feathers and filling a drowning man’s mouth with warm urine, Réaumur reveals what he believes to be the best technique: using a pipe stem to blow stimulating tobacco smoke into the intestines through the rectum. Louis XV found the pamphlet dazzling and encouraged its wide distribution. Startlingly, as Anton Serdeczny discusses in his recent book on reanimation, soon riverbanks across Europe were lined with “resuscitation kits”, as close-by as a contemporary defibrillator, which contained all the necessary supplies for giving a nicotine enema (and later, thankfully, included bellows as a substitute for breath).

        • How The SOPA Blackout Happened

          “[Historical knowledge] gives understanding of how the present world came to be, and maybe more importantly, an appreciation that everything that is, never necessarily had to be” -from “History as Freedom” —Joe Costello, longtime political organizer, writer

        • The EU Wants Its Own DNS Resolver that Can Block ‘Unlawful’ Traffic

          The EU is planning to develop its own government-run DNS resolver. The project dubbed DNS4EU is meant to offer a counterweight to the popular resolvers that are mostly based in the U.S. Aside from offering privacy and security to users, the DNS solution will also be able to block “illegal” websites, including pirate sites.

        • ‘Criminal’ VPN Shut Down By Europol and International Law Enforcement

          Joint action by Europol and law enforcement authorities in ten countries has shut down VPNLab, a VPN service said to have been used to commit cybercrimes including malware distribution and ransomware campaigns. The service’s domain now displays a seizure banner claiming the service’s involvement in major international cyber attacks.

        • Adblocking Does Not Constitute Copyright Infringement, Court Rules

          Axel Springer has lost its copyright infringement lawsuit against Eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus. The German publishing house, which owns the Bild and Die Welt brands, among others, claimed that adblockers interfere with the presentation of websites in browsers, thus breaching copyright. In a victory for Eyeo, the Hamburg District Court has dismissed the case.

        • Better Internet Series: Access to Information and Knowledge

          See our article introducing this series.

        • Copyright Shouldn’t Stand in the Way of Your Right to Repair

          If you bought it, you own it and you can do what you want with it. That should be the end of the story—whether we’re talking about a car, a tractor, a smartphone, a computer, or really anything you buy.

          Yet product manufacturers have chipped away for years at the very idea of ownership, using the growing presence of software on devices to make nonsense arguments about why your tinkering with the things you own violates their copyright. It’s gotten so bad that there’s a booming market for 40-year-old tractors that don’t rely on software. We’ve worked for years with advocates with the Repair Coalition, iFixit, U.S. PIRG, and countless others, to get lawmakers to make it crystal clear that people have the right to tinker with their own stuff.

          It’s working. The wind is at our backs right now. In just the past two years, the right to repair has won at the ballot box in Massachusetts, received a supportive directive from the Biden Administration, and made some gains at the Library of Congress to expand repair permissions.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 22/05/2022: Rock64 and Peppermint OS Release

    Links for the day

  2. [Meme] UPC is Always Next Year (and Next Year It'll Surely be the Year After That)

    The UPC will come “next year”, just like every year (since almost a decade ago) just because the lunatic promises so and crushes the law, quite frankly as usual, cusioned and protected by the UPC lobby

  3. UPC: Turning Patent Lawyers Into Liars and the Media Into Their Money-Grabbing Megaphone (Platform for Fake News)

    The above 26 screenshots (with necessary annotation added) hopefully illuminate the degree of deceit, manipulation, bribery and distortion of public discourse (fake news and advocacy of patently unlawful activities)

  4. Number of Working/Online Gemini Capsules, Known to Totally Legit Gemini Search (TLGS) and to Lupa, Exceeds 2,500

    Assuming that Lupa reduced its crawling capacity (this graph seems to confirm this), we’ve decided to aggregate data from 3 sources and assess the size of Geminispace; Lupa says it can see 1,947 active capsules, but there are many more it has not kept track of

  5. [Meme] Monopoly Tony

    The gentlest, kindest president the EPO ever had

  6. It Took Campinos Three or More Years to Undo Illegal Battistelli Actions on Boards of Appeal and Strike Regulations (Only After Losing at ILO-AT!), But He Does Not Mention That

    Let’s all remember that as the EPO‘s so-called ‘President’ António Campinos (Monopoly Tony) vigorously defended completely unlawful actions of Benoît Battistelli until courts compelled him to stop doing that (Strike Regulations); notice how, in the video above — a portion of this full clip from several months ago — he did not bother mentioning that for 3.5 years that he had “led” the Office the Boards of Appeal were in exile, in direct violation of the EPC, yet nobody is being held accountable for it

  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 21, 2022

  8. Links 22/05/2022: Free Software Developments in Bratislava

    Links for the day

  9. Gemini is the Direction the Paginated Internet Should Have Taken (Not Bloated Web With JavaScript and DRM)

    An update on Gemini and why you might wish to explore it (if you aren't using it already)

  10. EPO.org Now Openly Brags About Making Illegal Patents a Welcomed Part of the Examination Guidelines

    The EPO persists in illegal, unlawful agenda; it's even finding the audacity to advertise this in the official Web site

  11. Links 21/05/2022: Security Blunders and Microsoft Posturing

    Links for the day

  12. Links 21/05/2022: GitLab at Fedora and Pipewire in Next Ubuntu

    Links for the day

  13. Links 21/05/2022: HP Teams up with System76

    Links for the day

  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 20, 2022

  15. Links 20/05/2022: Thunderbird Revenue Rising

    Links for the day

  16. Outsourcing Sites to Social Control Media is an Outdated Mindset in 2022

    Centralised or federated censorship/filtering platforms (also known as "social [control] media" [sic]) aren't the way forward; we're therefore a little surprised that Linux Weekly News (LWN) bothers with that languishing bandwagon all of a sudden

  17. Links 20/05/2022: Plasma's Latest Beta in Kubuntu 22.04, Kapow 1.6.0 Released

    Links for the day

  18. Turkey's Migration to Pardus Linux and LibreOffice Explained 2 Months Ago in LibrePlanet

    This talk by Hüseyin GÜÇ was uploaded under the title “Real world GNU/Linux story from Istanbul”

  19. In Turkey, Windows Market Share is Down to Almost Nothing, 'Linux' is About Two Thirds of the Connected Devices

    Watch this graph of Windows going down from around 99.5% to just 11.55% this month

  20. The Lies and Delusions of António Campinos

    Monopolies and American corporations (and their lawyers) are a priority for today's EPO, Europe's second-largest institution

  21. Links 20/05/2022: Fedora BIOS Boot SIG

    Links for the day

  22. Links 20/05/2022: Oracle Linux 8.6 and VMware Security Crisis

    Links for the day

  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 19, 2022

  24. Links 19/05/2022: Rust 1.61.0 and Lots of Security FUD

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Eating Its Own (and Robbing Its Own)

    António Campinos is lying to his staff and losing his temper when challenged about it; Like Benoît Battistelli, who ‘fixed’ this job for his banker buddy (despite a clear lack of qualifications and relevant experience), he’s just robbing the EPO’s staff (even pensioners!) and scrubbing the EPC for ill-gotten money, which is in turn illegally funneled into financialization schemes

  26. [Meme] EPO Budget Tanking?

    While the EPO‘s António Campinos incites people (and politicians) to break the law he’s also attacking, robbing, and lying to his own staff; thankfully, his staff isn’t gullible enough and some MEPs are sympathetic; soon to follow is a video and publication about the EPO’s systematic plunder (ETA midnight GMT)

  27. EPO.org (Official EPO Site) Continues to Promote Illegal Agenda and Exploit Ukraine for PR Stunts That Help Unaccountable Crooks

    epo.org has been turned into a non-stop propaganda machine of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because the EPO routinely breaks the law; it’s rather tasteless that while Ukrainians are dying the EPO’s mob exploits Ukraine for PR purposes

  28. [Meme] EPO Applicants Unwittingly Fund the War on Ukraine

    As we’ve just shown, António Campinos is desperately trying to hide a massive EPO scandal

  29. EPO Virtue-Signalling on the Ukrainian Front

    António Campinos persists in attention-shifting dross and photo ops; none of that can change the verifiable facts about the EPO’s connections to Lukashenko’s 'science park' in Minsk

  30. Links 19/05/2022: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 and Plasma 5.25 Beta

    Links for the day

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