01.22.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

Posted in News Roundup at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on elementary OS 6 – LinuxCapable

        Linux kernel 5.16 has many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new feature, FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for Windows games utilizing Wine.

        Other improvements have seen write include improved write congestion management, task scheduler for CPU clusters sharing L2/L3 cache, amongst many other additions. More information can be found on the Linux 5.16 Kernel release changelog.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest 5.16 Linux Kernel on elementary OS 6.

      • Contribute at the Fedora Linux 36 Test Week for Kernel 5.16 – Fedora Community Blog

        The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.16. This version was just recently released, and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Sunday, January 23, 2022 through Sunday, January 29, 2022. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Linux 5.17 Adds RISC-V sv48 Support For Being Able To Handle More Memory – Phoronix

        In addition to Linux 5.17 bringing support for the low-cost StarFive RISC-V platform among other RISC-V updates, more changes for this royalty-free processor ISA were sent in on Friday.

        Most notable with these latest RISC-V changes for Linux 5.17 is providing sv48 support. RISC-V sv48 is for allowing 48-bit virtual address space support.

        With a fourth level of the page table, RISC-V 64-bit kernels can now address up to 128TB of virtual address space and in turn allows up to 64TB of physical memory. Granted, we haven’t seen any high-end RISC-V server platforms being able to support anything remotely close to existing limits — I haven’t even seen any high capacity RAM RISC-V server at all yet — but this is good for the future.

      • OSS News: SysJoker Backdoor, Linux Firmware, LibreOffice Improves, Distro Hopping Choices – LinuxInsider

        Intel brings a new driver to the 5.17 Linux kernel that will make it possible to update firmware without a reboot. The new firmware feature works only for Linux installations, not Microsoft Windows.

        A new patch from Intel for both BIOS and UEFI updates let users complete kernel updates without forcing a reboot. This action is made possible by changing how desktops and servers process the firmware.

        It changes the process that previously uploaded the firmware from within the operating system prior to requiring a reboot to transfer the new firmware to the motherboard and flashed it to either the BIOS or UEFI. Now, a new API specification, Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry or PFRUT, flashes the firmware without the reboot.

        Intel refined this work in progress along with changing its former name of Seamless Update to reduce downtime for servers. The new driver update method is designed primarily for system firmware updates to patch critical bugs and security issues. This lets admins patch firmware for critical issues without having to suffer downtime.

      • More Intel Raptor Lake Additions Arrive In Time For Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        While the Linux 5.17 merge window is closing this weekend with the debut of 5.17-rc1, managing to come in at the last minute are a few more additions for Intel’s next-generation Raptor Lake processors.

        The Linux 5.17 merge window already brought initial graphics support for Raptor Lake S and Raptor Lake support for the Intel VMD host bridge driver.

        Now for rounding out the initial Raptor Lake additions for Linux 5.17 is adding support for this Alder Lake successor to the int340x and DPTF code.

      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org Foundation May Find A New Organization To Join – Phoronix

          For the past several years the X.Org Foundation has been part of Software in the Public Interest (SPI) but are now considering other possible arrangements moving forward.

          Going back nearly a decade the X.Org Foundation was looking to partner with SPI so they could have an organization to take care of their finances and other regulatory burden so the X.Org Foundation / Board of Directors could have less of those issues to deal with and instead focus on stewarding X.Org / Mesa / Wayland / etc. After lacking enough votes to reach quorum in 2015 among X.Org members, in 2016 going with SPI was approved. In the years since the X.Org Foundation has been part of the SPI non-profit organization. Other SPI projects have included the likes of Arch Linux, Debian, FFmpeg, LibreOffice, OpenMPI, OpenZFS, PostgreSQL, systemd, and many others.

    • Benchmarks

    • Applications

      • Open Source Voice Chat Mumble Releases Version 1.4.230

        Recently, the devs behind Mumble announced the release of version 1.4.230, which introduces a series of updates, improvements, and fixes. For those who are unfamiliar with Mumble, it is one of the top open source voice chat apps available. This newest release came about after two years of development. That is much quicker than the 10 years it took for 1.3.0 to be released.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Books for Learning Ansible – buildVirtual

        There are some really good Ansible books around to help you solidify Ansible concepts and help you on your journey to be an Ansible expert! When studying IT related topics, there are always a lot of great resources available, including Ansible tutorials and blog posts, online training courses, code repositories, ebooks, online documentation, videos and more! But sometimes it’s great just to hold a book in your hands, and get offline for a while. With that in mind, here are some of the great Ansible books around at the moment. I focused the list on new Ansible books, which have been released from 2017 onwards, but in the main have been released in the last two years.

      • How to test Plasma 5.24 beta on Plasma Mobile

        The beta of Plasma 5.24 has been released and as such people running Manjaro ARM with Plasma Mobile might want to test it out.

        So here’s a step by step guide on how add update your system to beta 5.24. Reversing this is not easy and is not covered by this guide.

      • Slackware Cloud Server Series, Episode 1: Managing your Docker infrastructure
      • GNU Linux Debian 11.2 – network stops working networking stops during setup – “bad archive mirror”
      • Keep on eye on your bugs by installing bugzilla on Debian 11

        Hello, friends. In this post, we continue with the bug tracking that is so important in many work teams. So today we will show you how to install Bugzilla on Debian 11.

        Bugzilla is a bug tracking system used by many work teams to manage and fix bugs. It is written in Perl language and uses a MySQL / MariaDB database to manage the daots.

      • Install Liquorix Kernel on elementary OS 6 – LinuxCapable

        Liquorix Kernel is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel with elementary OS. It features custom settings and new features and is built to provide a responsive and smooth desktop experience, especially for new hardware. Liquorix Kernel is popular amongst Linux Gaming, streaming, and ultra-low latency requirements and often boasts the latest Linux Kernels, having multiple branches to choose from the stable, edge, and development.

        For users seeking to have their elementary OS system kernel up to date and not wanting to manually install kernels or use the testing/unstable repositories, installing a third-party kernel that may be for you.

      • Gping to display ping command in graph

        The gping tool takes the functionality of the ping tool and displays its data on a graph. With gping you can track the response time for hosts, and compare the data side by side. If you need to measure the response time of a host over time, gping is a tool for the task. With gping, you can ping multiple hosts simultaneously, making it easy to compare response times. You can customize how your gping graph displays information and it is able to graph the execution time of Linux commands. In this tutorial we will install gping and use it on your Linux system.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Install Wine 7.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 & Linux Mint

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install wine 7.0 in Ubuntu 21.10, Ubuntu 20.04, and Linux Mint 20.3

        Wine team released its new STABLE version 7.0 on 18th JAN,2022 , after a year of development.

        This release has over 9100 changes and large number of improvements.

    • Games

      • NVIDIA Releases Quake II RTX 1.6 With Support For AMD FidelityFX FSR – Phoronix

        It’s been nearly one year since NVIDIA’s last update to Quake II RTX as their port of Quake II to using Vulkan ray-tracing extensions for RTX path-traced global illumination. Fortunately, that changed today as they are out with a big update in the form of Quake II RTX v1.6.

        One of the big new features of Quake II RTX 1.6 is support for AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling. Yep, AMD FSR is now supported in this NVIDIA-maintained open-source project.

      • Mesa 22.0 Gets RADV Ray-Tracing Performance Boost By Using Wave32 Mode – Phoronix

        Landing today for Mesa 22.0 was a fix for Vulkan ray-tracing with the RADV driver in the RDNA Wave32 shader mode and then switching to Wave32 by default for ray-tracing on RDNA/RDNA2 GPUs.

        Rhys Perry’s work on getting RADV ray-tracing working properly for Wave32 mode and using it over Wave64 by default has been merged. With Mesa 22.0, Wave64 is now only used for Vulkan ray-tracing shaders if the RADV_PERFTEST=rtwave64 environment variable is set.

      • Easy Anti-Cheat gets much simpler for Proton and Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        Valve has announced that developers who use Easy Anti-Cheat for their games now have a much easier setup for Proton and the upcoming Steam Deck.

        As we wrote about recently, it turned out that the announcement from Epic Games on supporting Easy Anti-Cheat for Proton was not as easy as expected. It required an SDK update for Epic Online Services, something developers noted was not exactly simple.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • A better toolbar for Thunar

        Welcome to my first Xfce development update for 2022. Happy new year!

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: You wanted stability? Here’s some stability!

          Current number of bugs: 87, down from 99. Current list of bugs

          A few were found to be already fixed recently and will be available in the next release, or caused by upstream or downstream issues (many of which are also already fixed in the next release). The following were fixed in KDE code this week:

          In the Plasma X11 session, the System Settings Touchpad page now shows its two-finger click options properly (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.24)

          In a Plasma Wayland session, KWallet now automatically unlocks as expected when this is configured properly (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

          When using pam_deny PAM module which causes you to get temporarily locked out after a certain number of wrong password attempts, the screen locker now communicates this to you instead of leaving you to wonder why your password isn’t being accepted (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.24)

          Plasma Checkboxes and the tab bars once again react when tapped using a touchscreen (Arjen Hiemstra, Frameworks 5.91)

        • KDE’s Very Busy Week From 15 Minute Bugs To Plasma Wayland Fixes – Phoronix

          It was a very busy and productive week for KDE developers with many new features and fixes landing.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekend recap of all the KDE changes that materialized for the past week. KDE’s 15 minute bug initiative got underway and it ends its first formal week at 87 bugs, which is down from 99 bugs. Among the 15 minute bug initiative issues addressed this week involved the Plasma Wayland session, the system settings area, touchscreen handling. and more.

        • Skrooge 2.27.0 released | Skrooge

          The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.27.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • #27 Borderless · This Week in GNOME

          Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from January 14 to January 21.

          [...]

          Core system user interface for things like launching apps, switching windows, system search, and more.

        • Further investments in desktop Linux
        • Neil McGovern: Further investments in desktop Linux[Ed: Well, maybe Neil McGovern should spend more time coding instead of slandering the founder of GNU/Linux]

          The GNOME Foundation was supported during 2020-2021 by a grant from Endless Network which funded the Community Engagement Challenge, strategy consultancy with the board, and a contribution towards our general running costs. At the end of last year we had a portion of this grant remaining, and after the success of our work in previous years directly funding developer and infrastructure work on GTK and Flathub, we wanted to see whether we could use these funds to invest in GNOME and the wider Linux desktop platform.

          We’re very pleased to announce that we got approval to launch three parallel contractor engagements, which started over the past few weeks. These projects aim to improve our developer experience, make more applications available on the GNOME platform, and move towards equitable and sustainable revenue models for developers within our ecosystem. Thanks again to Endless Network for their support on these initiatives.

          [...]

          With the release of GTK4 and renewed interest in GTK as a toolkit, we want to continue improving the developer experience and ease of use of GTK and ensure we have a complete and competitive offering for developers considering using our platform. This involves identifying missing functionality or UI elements that applications need to move to GTK4, as well as informing the community about the new widgets and functionality available.

          We have been working on documentation and bug fixes for GTK in preparation for the GNOME 42 release and have also started looking at the missing widgets and API in Libadwaita, in preparation for the next release. The next steps are to work with the Design team and the Libadwaita maintainers and identify and implement missing widgets that did not make the cut for the 1.0 release.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Sending Pics To Grandma, No Smartphone Needed | Hackaday

          A Raspberry Pi Zero 2W runs the show, paired with a HAT that provides cellular internet connectivity. Photos are sent over Telegram with some custom Python code that [palmerabollo] put together. The system uses the Python “thermalprinter” library, with the Floyd-Steinberg dithering algorithm baked in allowing nice quality even on the simple thermal printer.

        • Run Linux games natively on Raspberry Pi

          Here’s how to get classic Linux games like Micropolis, SuperTuxKart, and Pingus running natively on a Raspberry Pi.

        • Robot Nerf Alarm Blasts You Awake With Foam | Hackaday

          Waking up is hard; sometimes you need more than a little chiming alarm to get you out of bed. When [Vinnie Satriale] started unconsciously switching his alarms off, he went all out, deciding to build a Nerf sentry blaster to wake him up instead.

          A Nerf Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K flywheel blaster is the core of the build, with a 100-round capacity of soft foam balls. Stepper motors are used to control a pan and tilt system to aim the blaster. It’s moved under instruction from a Raspberry Pi that uses machine vision algorithms running on a Coral USB accelerator to track targets in the bedroom. A relay board is then used to activate the blaster’s firing action, blasting any targets until they wake up.

        • Santagostino’s predictive maintenance for HVAC uses Nano RP2040 Connect

          Prevention is better than cure is pretty much every respect. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning included. The Arduino Pro team has been working with Italy’s Santagostino to deploy an impressive array of predictive maintenance solutions across the region’s medical sector.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Performance Blog: Performance Sheriff Newsletter (November 2021)

            In November there were 147 alerts generated, resulting in 22 regression bugs being filed on average 3.5 days after the regressing change landed.

            Welcome to the November 2021 edition of the performance sheriffing newsletter. Here you’ll find the usual summary of our sheriffing efficiency metrics. If you’re interested (and if you have access) you can view the full dashboard.

          • Mozilla Performance Blog: Performance Sheriff Newsletter (December 2021)

            In December there were 159 alerts generated, resulting in 22 regression bugs being filed on average 5.1 days after the regressing change landed.

            Welcome to the December 2021 edition of the performance sheriffing newsletter. Here you’ll find the usual summary of our sheriffing efficiency metrics, followed by a review of the year. If you’re interested (and if you have access) you can view the full dashboard.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL: Nordic PGDay 2022 – schedule announced, registration still open

          Nordic PGDay 2022 will be held in Helsinki, Finland, on March 22nd 2022, a the Hilton Helsinki Strand.

          The schedule has now been published. All sessions will be held in English.

          Registration for the event remains open. Early bird registration using the code EARLYBIRD is available until February 22nd as long as supply lasts.

      • FSFE

        • 20 Years FSFE: Interviewing past interns

          In the final publication about 20 Years FSFE, we want to thank everyone who has worked for the organisation in an internship position. We contacted eight former interns and asked them about their time at the FSFE and their current involvement with Free Software.

          [...]

          Thanks Diego, George, Lucile, Ludmila, Martin, Matti, Polina, Stian, and all FSFE interns during these 20 years. Everyone who uses and develops Free Software, everyone who researches and advocates for Free-Software-related issues, everyone who donates and volunteers in the FSFE, is irreplaceable and takes software freedom a step further.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Email blocklisting: A Christmas gift from Microsoft that Linode can’t seem to return

        Microsoft appears to have delivered the unwanted Christmas gift of email blocklisting to Linode IP addresses, and two weeks into 2022 the company does not seem ready to relent.

        Problems started as large chunks of the world began packing up for the festive period. Complaints cropped up on Linode’s support forums when customers began encountering problems sending email to Microsoft 365 accounts from their own email servers.

  • Leftovers

    • Urban Space, Infinite Universe
    • Opinion | A Citizen of the World (Still) Speaks

      I decided to honor Martin Luther King Day this year by reading—and trying to absorb, more fully than ever before—the entirety (nearly 7,000 words) of the iconic speech he gave at Riverside Church a year to the day before his assassination.

    • The Year of the Tiger

      I include here the “benign” and “merciful” forms of dominion that lend their energy to the whole of it. Consider the campaign messages that laud our keeping of animals, as long as we treat them all as pets. “Why love the dog but eat the pig?” “Friends, not food!”

      Or consider the notion that anti-cruelty laws are somehow connected with rights. As though the breeding of other Earth dwellers to suit a human purpose could somehow be uncruel.

    • Hardware

      • Detecting Alpha Particles Using Copper Wire And High Voltage | Hackaday

        If you want to measure radioactivity, nothing really beats a Geiger counter: compact, rugged, and reasonably easy to use, they’re by far the most commonly used tool to detect ionizing radiation. However, several other methods have been used in the past, and while they may not be very practical today, recreating them can make for an interesting experiment.

        [Mirko Pavleski] used easily obtainable components to build one such device known as an alpha radiation spark detector. Invented in 1945, a spark detector contains a strong electric field into which discharges are triggered by ionizing radiation. Unlike a Geiger-Müller tube, it uses regular air, which makes it sensitive only to alpha radiation; beta and gamma rays don’t cause enough ionization at ambient pressure. Fortunately, alpha radiation is the main type emitted by the americium tablets found in old smoke detectors, so a usable source shouldn’t be too hard to find.

      • Biden Pushes Expansion of Domestic Semiconductor Manufacturing

        U.S. President Joe Biden touted a $20 billion investment by American technology company Intel to build a semiconductor factory in Ohio to address a global shortage that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S.-China trade war.

        In a speech from the White House on Friday, Biden said the Intel factory, part of the administration’s effort to work with the private sector, would create thousands of jobs. He urged Congress to pass legislation to further expand domestic chip manufacturing, framing it in the context of strategic competition with China.

      • Pen Plotter From PCB Panels | Hackaday

        Hacker [12344321A] has built a clever open-source pen plotter having a frame made from odd-shaped PCB panels (Chinese). It holds an ordinary drafting pen and draws on a small writing platform 8 x 8 cm square. This is barely enough space to draw a business card, depending on which country you’re from. The motion appears to be provided by DVD stepper motor head positioning assemblies, and the controller is an ESP32-based GRBL 3-axis board. User control is via WiFi and the plotter can be seen in operation being driven from the user’s smartphone (see video on the project page above).

      • Apollo Comms Flight Hardware Deep Dive | Hackaday

        You no doubt recall the incredible Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) reverse engineering and restoration project featured on the CuriousMarc YouTube channel a few years ago. Well, [Marc] and the team are at it again, this time restoring the Apollo Unified S-Band tracking and communication system flight hardware. As always, the project is well documented, carefully explained, full of problems, and is proceeding slowly despite the lack of documentation.

        Like the guidance computer, the Unified S-Band system was pretty innovative for its day — able to track, provide voice communications, receive television signals, and send commands to and monitor the health of the spacecraft via telemetry. The system operates on three frequencies, an uplink containing ranging code, voice and data. There are two downlinks, one providing ranging, voice, and telemetry, the other used for television and the playback of recorded data. All crammed into two hefty boxes totaling 29 kg.

      • Affordable HF Loop Antenna Reviewed | Hackaday

        Modern ham radio operators often face restrictions on antennas. This has made small antennas more popular, despite some limitations. [Tech Minds] reviews the GA-450 indoor active HF loop antenna and finds it better than expected. You can see the video review below.

        You can’t expect a little antenna to perform as well as giant skyhook. However, for such a small loop covering 3 to 30 MHz, the antenna seems to perform very well. We like that the active part of it has a rechargeable battery. Obviously, you will only want to use this antenna for receiving, but it would be a great pairing for an HF-capable software defined radio (SDR). Even just in the window sill with half gain, it was able to pick up quite a bit of signal on the 40 meter and 20 meter ham bands. According to the video, performance below 7 MHz was lackluster, but it worked nicely at higher frequencies.

      • Directional Antenna 3-Way | Hackaday

        If you read old antenna books, you’ll probably see the idea of phased vertical antennas. These use certain lengths of coax to control the phase of a signal going to three verticals in a triangular configuration. Depending on the phasing, you can cause the array of antennas to be directional in one of three directions. [DX Commander] designed a very modern version of this antenna and shows the theory behind it in a recent video that you can see below.

        It seems another ham built the antenna and a control box for it which he’s sent to [DX Commander] although he hasn’t set it up yet to create an 80 meter directional antenna. We’ll be interested in seeing how it works in practice.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • How Much Longer Can We Keep Doing This Without a Vaccine?

        Parents are not OK. No caregivers are, really. But parents of children who are too young to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are most certainly not OK at this point in the pandemic.

      • Anti-Vaxxers Maintain Persistent Presence in New York’s Hudson Valley

        Still, the future remains uncertain, particularly with a major winter surge in cases well underway. The statewide 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases currently stands at 371 per 100,000, nearly five times higher than at this time last year. Statewide hospitalizations have tripled since Thanksgiving, suggesting that the Omicron variant, waning immunity, and other impediments have upended some of the progress that has been made in addressing the pandemic.

        One enduring obstacle is opposition to COVID-19 vaccines. Resistance to both vaccination and mitigation measures, like masks, is stronger than it might appear in the region, where in the Upper Hudson Valley, anti-vaxxers have a persistent voice in the group Do We Need This? The Columbia County coalition, which appears to operate more as a loose network than an actual organization, is at the center of regional opposition to COVID-19 vaccines, spreading misleading and often false information on vaccines and COVID mitigation measures, and exhibiting disturbing ties to extreme right movements and trends.

      • COVID Shows It’s Time to End the Pharmaceutical Industry
      • New York Times Equates China’s Health Care Workers to Adolph Eichmann

        The anti-Covid campaign in Xi’an, a city of 13 million has now terminated the spread of Covid-19 without a single death and limited its spread to about 2000 cases.  The Nazi Holocaust designed and managed by Eichmann resulted in the extermination of millions of Jews.

        The piece takes aim at the millions of Chinese who have worked tirelessly to do the rapid mass testing, tracing, quarantining and vaccinations and to staffing the lockdowns including ensuring those under lockdown were supplied with necessities of life. As a result of their work China has had about 100,000 cases Covid-19  and fewer than 5000 deaths.  The mortality count has been verified by a count of excess deaths in a peer reviewed article by a team from Oxford University and the Chinese CDC in the prestigious BMJ (British Medical Journal) ; it is summarized here for the layman.

      • Afghanistan Faces “Tsunami of Hunger” as U.S. Sanctions Crash Country’s Economy

        The World Food Program has warned Afghanistan faces a “tsunami of hunger” as the economy continues to collapse, due in part to U.S. sanctions and the freezing of Afghan assets following the Taliban takeover of Kabul. Meanwhile, President Biden once again defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday without acknowledging the humanitarian crisis that followed his exit. We speak with journalist Jane Ferguson, who recently traveled to Afghanistan to report on the collapse of basic government services and the various factors that led to the collapse of the economy, which she says was “completely reliant on international aid.” She also speaks about the “massive pressure” the White House is under to respond to the humanitarian crisis, as well as the Taliban’s handling of the growing women’s rights movement. “What these women really need is more eyes on their movement, more of them on air, more of their voices being put on television and in the newspapers,” she says. Her most recent New Yorker piece is titled “Afghanistan Has Become the World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis.”

      • Have We Learned Nothing From the COVID-19 Pandemic? New Animal Epidemics Ignored

        Since the new year, millions of birds have been killed in Israel, Spain, France (notable for its foie gras), the UK, the Netherlands, Hungary, Nigeria, India, Japan and other countries to stop the spread of avian influenza. Yet depopulating and “repopulating the global poultry stock” doesn’t work and just keeps “reloading the gun” of avian influenza say Dr. Michael Greger in his excellent book, “Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching.”

        While the HPAI/H5N1 “bird flu” virus does not easily transmit to humans, when it does it is often fatal. Moreover, since bird and swine viruses are both Type A influenzas, a bigger worry is reassortment as we saw with the 2009 H1N1 virus (called “swine flu” until pork industry pressure). This virus was an eerie mix of five swine and bird flu influenzas. The 1918 flu epidemic was also from a bird influenza virus.

      • The Unspoken Victims of COVID-19

        The Challenge of Omicron

        The appearance in November 2021 of the Omicron variant of COVID 19 set off a global chase. Scientists everywhere sought to discover the nature of the mutated disease and its likely impact on the course of the pandemic. Researchers in South Africa and Botswana, where Omicron initially appeared, were the first to identify its approximately 50 genetic mutations and describe its morbidity and mortality. They quickly determined that the variant was more contagious but less dangerous than previous versions. Case numbers skyrocketed but hospitalizations and deaths did not. They also found that the duration of the disease appeared to be short; patients generally recovered after three to four days.

      • Defeat The Mandates: Green Our Vaccines reconstituted for COVID-19

        In the two decades that I’ve been following and deconstructing antivaccine propaganda, one thing that’s always struck me is how much antivaxxers love a rally. The first one that I took note of in a big way was organized by Jenny McCarthy and her then-boyfriend Jim Carrey in 2008. At the time, she had become the biggest name in the antivaccine movement on the strength of her “mother warrior” schtick in which her autistic son was her “science” and her connections with Oprah Winfrey. The result was a rally called Green Our Vaccines, a slogan that I had first noticed bubbling up in the darker corners of the antivaccine Internet four months before the rally. The result was the biggest antivax rally that I’ve yet seen, although, truth be told, even then it wasn’t that big. Without the star power of Hollywood celebrities, subsequent attempts to “recreate the magic” foundered into rather pathetic displays. Memories of these “rallies” were in my head as I learned of another rally, announced on The Joe Rogan Experience a month ago by Dr. Robert “inventor of mRNA vaccines” Malone, who’s turned full antivax conspiracy theorists, called Defeat the Mandates:

      • [Old] We Must Treat Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis. These 4 Steps Will Help Us Reduce Deaths

        COVID-19 has taught us many deadly lessons, among them how dangerous it is to approach a health problem as a political problem. We have lost lives, jobs, hope, and an imagined future, all because scoring political points became more important than following the science.

      • [Old] The key to stopping mass shootings? Treat them like a public health disaster, this scientist says

        Wintemute writes about his solutions to gun violence in an opinion piece published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine. Science chatted with him about the unique factors behind mass shootings and which policy interventions are most effective. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

      • [Old] Gun Violence, a Public Health Epidemic

        Research shows that different types of violence tend to occur together. Places where you have higher rates of gun violence are also places where you have higher rates of domestic violence, child abuse, and other types of assaults. our approach is to focus on the root causes of violence overall. We have been increasingly focused on protecting families with young children because that represents our best hope for creating lasting change.

        In connection with programs focused on preventing violence, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has supported numerous studies examining this issue. The below articles provide a sampling of analysis and research findings stemming from these efforts.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Crime Shop Sells Hacked Logins to Other Crime Shops

          Up for the “Most Meta Cybercrime Offering” award this year is Accountz Club, a new cybercrime store that sells access to purloined accounts at services built for cybercriminals, including shops peddling stolen payment cards and identities, spamming tools, email and phone bombing services, and those selling authentication cookies for a slew of popular websites.

        • What America’s largest technology firms are investing in

          When corporate bosses want to impress investors they increasingly reach for the i-word. Mentions of “innovation” during the earnings calls of S&P500 firms have almost doubled in the past decade. And no other sector talks about it as much as the technology companies do. For Hewlett-Packard, a printer and personal-computer maker, innovation has on occasion become what location is to estate agents and education to Tony Blair: so important it has to be said three times in quick succession.

          Do they protest too much? Throughout that decade some critics held that the technology sector was not delivering as much innovation as it should. When Tim Cook, the boss of Apple, said that 2020 was the firm’s “top year of innovation, ever” thanks to the release of the new iPhone, Mac and other devices and services it was possible to feel he might be going some way towards making the critics’ case for them. The things the products could do and the ease with which they did them represented a remarkable achievement. Yes, computing power kept increasing, and software kept doing more. But where were the flying cars, robot footmen and headsets through which to meld minds?

        • Security

          • The Governor Who Thinks Examining HTML Is Criminal Hacking Is Now Working To Make Missouri’s Public Records Laws Worse

            Missouri Governor Mike Parson is perhaps best known these days for trying to convert a right-click menu option into criminal hacking with his relentless (and relentlessly uninformed) desire to turn the people who exposed a security flaw in the state’s Department of Education website into nefarious criminals.

          • TuxCare Providing Critical Security Patches for ULA Rocket Launch for U.S. Space Force
          • [Old] Are LibreSSL and BoringSSL safe OpenSSL alternatives? [Ed: Google, a spying company, wants you to believe that it cares more about security than a community does]

            Google is coming out with its own OpenSSL fork called BoringSSL, and OpenBSD has done the same with LibreSSL. How do these compare to other cryptography libraries available? Are they safe OpenSSL alternatives? Is there anything new enterprises should know about them?

            Every Internet user relies on the quality and security of the cryptography software libraries used to protect their online data and communications. However, confidence in the most widely used cryptography library OpenSSL has been severely dented following the exposure of the Heartbleed flaw and revelations about the poor state of funding for the development team that maintain its code.

          • [Old] Google Tool Joins Ferocious Hunt for Log4j Bug [Ed: This is the same company that put NSA-weakened 'encryption' inside Linux for about 6 months before it was revoked and removed]
          • Critical Bugs in Control Web Panel Expose Linux Servers to RCE Attacks

            Researchers have disclosed details of two critical security vulnerabilities in Control Web Panel that could be abused as part of an exploit chain to achieve pre-authenticated remote code execution on affected servers.

            [...]

            Control Web Panel, previously CentOS Web Panel, is an open-source Linux control panel software used for deploying web hosting environments.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • German Police Caught Using COVID-Tracing Data To Search For Crime Witnesses

              Multiple governments have been relying on contact-tracing apps to limit the spread of COVID. This has gone on nearly uninterrupted for the last couple of years in more than a few countries. Given the type of data collected — contact information and location data — it was only a matter of time before some government decided to abuse this new information source for reasons unrelated to tracking COVID infections.

            • New Bill Claims To Ban ‘Surveillance Advertising,’ But Doesn’t Actually Do It

              This week Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jan Schakowsky, and Senator Cory Booker introduced the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, which the trio proclaim will dismantle the snoopvertising industry and make everybody immeasurably safer:

            • Interview With Nick Terkay – Cobalt

              Nick Terkay: Cobalt was founded in 2013 by Jacob Hansen, Esben Friis-Jensen, Jakob Storm, and Christian Hansen to bring pentesting into the 21st century and meet the demands of modern security and development teams.

            • The U.K. Paid $724,000 For A Creepy Campaign To Convince People That Encryption is Bad. It Won’t Work.

              The explicit goal of the “No Place to Hide” campaign, launched on Tuesday, is to prevent Facebook from expanding its use of end-to-end encryption. Currently, Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging system uses end-to-end encryption, but other communications systems, including Facebook Messenger, are scanned and checked against a US government database, run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which identifies child abuse images.

              Over the weekend, Rolling Stone magazine revealed details of how the M&C Saatchi ad agency pitched this campaign to the U.K. government’s Home Office. The Home Office is paying the advertising agency £534,000, or $724,000 in U.S. currency, to promote the messages on social media and seek placement on popular British television shows.

              The ad agency has also proposed a “visual PR stunt,” in which it will install a glass box in a public space where an adult actor will sit next to a child actor, each using smartphones. Gradually the box will become opaque. The point of this bizarre display, according to M&C Saatchi, is to make watchers uncomfortable—apparently because they can’t constantly keep tabs on the actors in the box—and “force Facebook to evaluate their sense of responsibility.”

            • Chat control: Schengen states should promote decryption of messengers

              The EU Commission is collecting outstanding cases with which it can promote the interception of messengers. Great Britain is going even further.

            • Preserving Community Control of Police Surveillance is Essential to Protect Privacy

              One of the fundamental principles that underlies EPIC’s work (and the work of many other groups) on surveillance oversight is that individuals should have the power to decide whether surveillance tools are used in their communities and to impose limits on their use. We have fought for years to shed light on the development, procurement, and deployment of such technologies and have worked to ensure that they are subject to independent oversight through hearings, legal challenges, petitions, and other public forums. The CCOPS model, which was developed by ACLU affiliates and other coalition partners in California and implemented through the San Francisco ordinance, is a powerful mechanism to enable public oversight of dangerous surveillance tools. The access, retention, and use policies put in place by the neighborhood business associations operating these networks provide necessary, but not sufficient, protections against abuse. Strict oversight is essential to promote both privacy and community safety, which includes freedom from arbitrary police action and the freedom to assemble.

              Ubiquitous cameras and other forms of mass surveillance are dangerous tools that demand close public scrutiny and oversight. There is a long and sordid history in this country of surveillance being used as a tool of Black oppression and directed against important social justice movements. As Professor Simone Browne details in her book Dark Matters, the “surveillance of Blackness” has long been a social and political norm. That context and understanding are essential to inform key decisions about when and how surveillance technologies are used.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Doomsday and Hope

        On this 75th anniversary of their Nuclear Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists unveiled their 2022 setting, keeping the time steady for the past 2 years at 100 seconds until midnight. The graphic representation of apocalyptic global catastrophe is the closest point since the introduction of the clock.

      • Why Do Men Keep Making War? An Interview with Michael Klare

        I met Klare when we were both undergraduates at Columbia in the early 1960. We were members of Action, a campus political party that aimed to overturn apathy and that called for the end of the Cold War and an end to the paternalism of the college administration which aimed to treat us as children. These days I hear him on the radio and read what he has to say in magazines like The Nation, and in books such as The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources and All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change.

        Michael Klare is currently the secretary for the Arms Control Association board of directors and a senior visiting fellow working on emerging military technologies and how arms control strategies can mitigate their adverse impacts.

      • An Abyss of Human Wickedness, You Can’t Get Much Worse Than Threatening Nuclear War

        Fortunately, the five most impressively nuclear-armed nations moved quickly to throw cold water on those who advocate an atomic apocalypse, and that included drenching senator Wicker. China, Russia, France, the U.K. and the United States issued a joint statement on January 3 that avoiding nuclear war is a paramount goal. “We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” agreed the five countries. “We each intend to maintain and further strengthen our national measures to prevent unauthorized or unintended use of nuclear weapons.” The statement also calls for progress on disarmament. It could not be more apposite.

        That’s because the Western Russophobic propaganda machine – the biggest and most deafening of its kind in world history, cranked up to full volume at all corporate news outlets, drowning the world in cuckoo-bird ravings about treacherous Slavs – now would have us believe that the Russians are planning false flag attacks in Ukraine. False flags are pretty much a U.S. military/media specialty, in fact, Washington owns the patent on them, but most U.S. Americans, blissfully ignorant of this fact, are thus easy marks for such hysteria. So now, this rubbish, regurgitated by credulous newspaper scribes and repeated by government officials, screams at us daily from the headlines. There is practically nothing, zilch, to counter it. The most preposterous prevarications abound (vide Ukraine’s president, in November, breathlessly announcing that Moscow intended to overthrow him “next week”). Among these fabrications lurk tales about Washington’s and NATO’s supposedly benign and even altruistic motives.

      • We Don’t Need Better Missiles—We Need Disarmament

        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.

      • Morocco Drives a War in Western Sahara for Its Phosphates

        In mid-January 2022, the United Nations sent its Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Staffan de Mistura to Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania to begin a new dialogue “toward a constructive resumption of the political process on Western Sahara.” De Mistura was previously deputed to solve the crises of U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; none of his missions have ended well and have mostly been lost causes. The UN has appointed five personal envoys for Western Sahara so far—including Mistura—beginning with former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III, who served from 1997 to 2004. De Mistura, meanwhile, succeeded former German President Horst Köhler, who resigned in 2019. Köhler’s main achievement was to bring the four main parties—Morocco, the Polisario Front, Algeria, and Mauritania—to a first roundtable discussion in Geneva in December 2018: this roundtable process resulted in a few gains, where all participants agreed on “cooperation and regional integration,” but no further progress seems to have been made to resolve the issues in the region since then. When the UN initially put forward De Mistura’s nomination to this post, Morocco had initially resisted his appointment, but under pressure from the West, Morocco finally accepted his appointment in October 2021, with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita welcoming him to Rabat on January 14. De Mistura also met the Polisario Front representative to the UN in New York on November 6, 2021, before meeting other representatives in Tindouf, Algeria, at Sahrawi refugee camps in January. There is very little expectation that these meetings will result in any productive solution in the region.

        Abraham Accords

      • After a Year of Biden, Why Do We Still Have Trump’s Foreign Policy?

        Tragically for America and the world, Biden has failed to restore Obama’s progressive initiatives, and has instead doubled down on many of Trump’s most dangerous and destabilizing policies. It is especially ironic and sad that a president who ran so stridently on being different from Trump has been so reluctant to reverse his regressive policies. Now the Democrats’ failure to deliver on their promises with respect to both domestic and foreign policy is undermining their prospects in November’s midterm election.

        Here is our assessment of Biden’s handling of ten critical foreign policy issues:

      • US Risked Killing Thousands by Bombing Syria Dam on ‘No-Strike List’

        Syria’s largest dam was supposed to be off-limits during the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State, but nearly five years ago, the Pentagon bombed it anyway, jeopardizing tens of thousands of civilians’ lives, the New York Times reported Thursday.

        “The number of casualties would have exceeded the number of Syrians who have died throughout the war.”

      • Saudi Bombings Kill Scores of Civilians—Including Children—in Yemen

        A series of Saudi-led airstrikes were blamed Friday for killing scores of people in Yemen as civilians, including children, continue to suffer deadly consequences of the U.S.-backed conflict that has lasted for years.

        “It seems to have been a horrific act of violence.”

      • Bin Laden and Trump: Two Bookends for America’s Imperial Decline

        This past year saw both Washington’s inglorious exit from Afghanistan after 20 years in the country that had served as the launching pad for its direct military intervention in the Middle East and an historic insurrection at the very heart of the empire. Add to this the absolute lack of traction for President Biden’s recent “Democracy Summit” in contrast to Beijing’s surefooted diplomacy, the erosion of an already weak U.S. economy by COVID-19 followed by uncontrolled inflation, and the deepening of the country’s informal but very real civil war — and it is hard to avoid the sense that we are indeed at the end of an era.

        Serving as the bookends of this era were two individuals that stamped their personalities on it: Osama bin Laden at the beginning and Donald Trump at the end.

      • January 22: Nuclear Weapons Illegal One Year

        Everyone knows that a nuclear war cannot be won, that the weapons are strategically useless, and that they are a catastrophic world-ending accident waiting to happen.

        Everyone knows that the trillions spent on these weapons along with boondoggles like the F-35 Strike Fighter are heartlessly siphoned away from the fight against Covid, acute hunger in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the climate emergency—let alone decent pay for day-care workers.

      • The War in Afghanistan and Canadian Media Propaganda

        The American-led invasion of Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of nearly six million people. Rather than criticizing the consequences of withdrawal, the war itself should be the subject of criticism. It was an imperialist endeavor ever-marked by atrocity and bloodshed.

        On November 11, amidst a wave of propaganda pieces, CBC published an article titled ‘We Did Our Best’: Canadian veterans of Afghanistan reflect on a year of loss. This article opens by stating that: “The rapid and shocking fall of Afghanistan to Taliban forces this summer has forced Canadian soldiers who served and sacrificed there during Canada’s 13-year involvement in the conflict to re-confront the meaning of their role in the country.” One soldier quoted states that “We did our best to provide the space for a possible future to emerge, and that just didn’t pan out.”

      • Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling ‘New Cold War’ With China

        Ahead of congressional negotiations on a key technology bill, 32 global justice groups on Friday demanded revisions to the pending legislation that will encourage the United States and China to “resolve bilateral and global challenges through dialogue and cooperation, rather than conflict and one-upmanship.”

        “In its current form USICA is one-sidedly confrontational.”

      • Report: U.S. Marines Returned Fire After Suicide Bombing, but No Enemies Were Shooting at Them

        During the final days of the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan in August, a suicide bomber killed 13 American service members guarding an entrance to Kabul’s airport and scores of Afghan civilians huddled outside its walls.

        Initial reports said a vicious firefight followed the blast, as surviving Marines defended themselves from militants who unleashed a fusillade of gunfire. One Marine officer told CBS News that his subordinate shot an “opposing gunman” after taking a bullet to the shoulder.

      • Opinion | On Nuclear Annihilation and Other Topics: A Talk With Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg

        The Zero Hour recently interviewed whistleblower, activist, and author Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers more than half a century ago and has remained a voice of conscience ever since. A national security analyst in the 1960s, Ellsberg’s most recent book is “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”

      • Emma Watson, J.K. Rowling, and the Connections Between Hollywood and the National Security State, with Alan MacLeod
      • Social Media NOT Censoring Muslim Hate Speech and Incitement to Murder

        This matter is significantly worse when one looks at Facebook in Arabic and other Muslim languages. In the last few years, I’ve seen countless Arabic-language content on Facebook and other social media giants that amounts to nothing less than terroristic incitement. Usually, these posts remain on the social media platforms for years—until, of course, I or others draw attention to them in English-language articles, at which point they are conveniently removed. In other words, as long as only Muslims see—and are radicalized by—these posts full of hatred and incitement for violence against non-Muslims, social media leave them up; once Western “infidels” get wind of these posts, which further stand to make Islam look bad, social media take them down.

      • Still Breach on Svalbard Fiber Cable: “We Will Not Speculate about Cause”

        In addition to supplying the town of Longyearbyen with [Internet], the fiberoptic cables serve Svalbard Satellite Station, a ground station for satellite communication in Svalbard, with its more than 100 satellite antennas on a nearby mountain plateau. These download data from satellites orbiting over the poles.

      • Arctic Circle Undersea Cable Connecting Satellites to Norway Disrupted [...]

        One of the two cables has been out of service since Friday and Space Norwayconfirmed that repairs using an ocean-going cable-laying vessel would be required.

      • Something (or Someone) Broke Svalbard’s Internet; Authorities Seek Answers

        Believe it or not, Svalbard, Norway has famously reliable internet — and has since 2003. The remote arctic archipelago sits almost 2,000km away from the mainland, at about 80˚N, but its nearly 3,000 residents have surfed the web for years, thanks to a network of fiber-optic cables that cover the distance underwater.

        But sometime prior to the wee hours on January 7, something — or someone — cut one of the links. Now, Svalbard authorities undertake what could be a drawn-out investigation to find out what or who did it. According to Norway’s intelligence agency, blame could land on Russia.

      • Svalbard cable update: repairs to start in February, weather and ship availability depending

        “This failure does not in any way change the ability to communicate effectively with Svalbard in the same manner as before, but it represents a temporary lack of redundancy.”

        Svarlbard is the world’s northernmost settlement with a permanent civilan popuilation, and is connected by a cable system almost-1,400 km (~840mi), made up of two lines,. one of which is damaged. The second fiber line runs almost parallel some five to 10 kilometers away and is fully operational, but there is currently no redundancy should any more iss

      • Svalbard is looking to find out who broke its [Internet]

        Since 2003, a set of parallel fibre-optic cables known as the Svalbard Undersea Cable System has delivered high-speed internet to the Norwegian-administered archipelago from the country’s mainland. Installed with the support of the American and European space agencies to give satellite-receiving stations in Svalbard the bandwith needed to keep up with the increasing amounts of data they were transmitting to the mainland, the connection has also been a boon for Svalbard’s residents and its business: they were among the first in the world to have access to a 4G mobile telephone network. In 2019, a 5G network was set up.

    • Environment

      • Climate scientists: Ban solar geoengineering

        The following open letter was issued by an international coalition of prominent scientists and governance scholars on January 17, 2022. It calls for an international treaty to outlaw attempts to reduce global heating by blocking sunlight from reaching earth.

        Sixteen of the signatories are co-authors of Solar geoengineering: The case for an international non-use agreement, published simultaneously in the journal WIREs Climate Change. That paper concludes: [...]

      • Over 450 Climate Scientists Say Advertising Industry Must End ‘Complicity’ in Climate Crisis

        On Wednesday, a group of more than 450 scientists called on advertising agencies to cut off their fossil fuel clients and to end their ties with an ongoing misinformation campaign that has time and again killed progress on addressing the climate crisis. 

        In a joint letter, the scientists say that they are “consistently faced with a major and needless challenge” of having to correct false information and rebut the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to downplay the severity of climate change. The expensive and glossy ad campaigns “represent one of the biggest barriers to the government action science shows is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency,” the letter stated.

      • Energy

        • Biden Outpaced Trump on Drilling Permits in First Year

          Despite President Joe Biden’s promise to phase out federal leasing for fossil fuel extraction, his administration approved more permits for oil and gas drilling on public lands in its first year than the Trump administration did in 2017.

          “Biden’s runaway drilling approvals are a spectacular failure of climate leadership.”

        • House Calls Big Oil Board Members to Testify on ‘Phony’ Net-Zero Pledges

          After grilling fossil fuel chief executives on climate disinformation at a historic hearing last year, Democratic leaders sent letters late Thursday calling for board members at the same four major oil and gas giants to testify next month before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

          “The companies now pretend to be part of the solution through phony ‘net-zero’ pledges that distract from their continued pollution and lobbying to kill efforts that address the climate crisis.”

        • Corporate Media Spin in Defence of Transnational Mining Operations in Ecuador

          These claims from Hanrine Holdings come in the face its own operations in the small town of La Merced de Buenos Aires, against which the residents of the area have been organised in ardent opposition for the best part of five years. More than 300 residents spent over a month blockading access roads for Hanrine machinery, trucks and employees when they first arrived, and have now set up a permanent camp around the new copper mine in protest at its destructive effects on their local community and ecology.

          Hanrine’s allegations are of particular interest and concern insofar as the actual chronology of events associated with the discovery of copper deposits around Buenos Aires sits conspicuously at adds with the claims published in the mainstream Australian corporate media at the beginning of the year—claims that have neither been upheld with any evidence, nor withdrawn for lack of any. The best lies, as political propagandists have long understood, are those spun from partial truths, not those cut from whole cloth. In this case, the claims from Hanrine are brazen distortions of half-truths.

        • Viljandi municipality turns off street lights to save money

          Viljandi rural municipality mayor Alar Karu said the local government buys electricity at the stock exchange price which has shot up in recent months.

          In December 2020, the bill for street lighting totaled 8,734 but it more than doubled in December 2021 to 19,925.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • How a Battle for a Piece of Forest in Nova Scotia Echoes the Global War for Our Biosphere

          In Nova Scotia, where I live, vital ecosystems have been under attack by extractive or exploitative industries for decades. We recently won a hard-fought battle to stop the development of a precious piece of land on the eastern shore of the province. Owl’s Head is a small, but biodiverse sanctuary that was slated for decimation to make way for a golf course. A deal was set in motion behind closed doors between the Liberal government at the time and a wealthy American couple who own land adjacent to the reserve. After massive public outcry, organising, protests and an election, the proposal was withdrawn.

          Unlike most of Canada with its vast boreal range, Nova Scotia is primarily dominated by Acadian forests. These woodlands are home to endangered animals like moose, wood turtles, and pine martens. They are also coveted by forest industries for their pulp. Westfor, a billion-dollar consortium that represents the interests of 13 logging mills, has been responsible for a stepped-up effort at extracting and clearcutting on crown lands. These lands, that should belong first to the Indigenous Mi’kmaq and the people who live in these important and ever threatened places, have been intimidated by this influential and powerful company. Following centuries of colonial settler expropriation, they have carved up enormous sections of the province for the profit of a few and at the expense of rural communities and countless species, many of which are critically endangered.

    • Finance

      • Vaccine Profits Minted 9 New Billionaires While Vaccine Apartheid Drove Omicron
      • Opinion | Global Wealth Inequality Is Deadly
      • Concrete Actions Toward Worker Power

        Six weeks ago, several hundred union workers in Seattle called for an industry-wide work stoppage that has since expanded its picket line into nearby communities, disrupted a variety of businesses, and left building sites across the city vacant. The Teamsters have labeled it a general strike, which is typically defined as a work stoppage in which a substantial proportion of the labor force in a specific location participates to achieve an economic or political objective. As labor’s “nuclear option,” such actions are vanishingly rare, and technically illegal; those who wish to replicate the massive general strikes of old are now stymied by the federal ban on sympathy strikes, which prohibits workers from joining other strikes in solidarity. This strike began with 34 drivers at Gary Merlino Construction, but now includes over 300 members of Teamsters Local 174 at six different companies in the Seattle area, and is made up of cement mixer drivers, concrete plant workers, mechanics, lab workers, terminal attendants, quality control workers, and yard workers in the concrete and sand industries. “We are calling this a general strike, because it is not limited to one sector of workers, but many—from concrete pourers, drivers, mixers, safety and quality control, and more—covering the entire concrete industry,” explained Jamie Fleming, director of communications and research at Teamsters Local 174 in an e-mail. “The workers on strike are from multiple different companies, and covered under different contracts, but they are all fighting together toward the same goal of being treated and compensated fairly.”

      • Biden Praised for $15 Minimum Wage Hike for All Federal Workers

        As a record number of U.S. states and cities raise their minimum wages following a decade of grassroots organizing by the #FightFor15 movement, the Biden administration on Friday directed federal agencies to pay government employees at least $15 an hour.

        “How the federal government treats its workforce has real impact.”

      • ‘Time for Citizens United to Go’: US Oligarchs Poured $1.2 Billion Into 2020 Elections

        Marking the 12th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision, the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness on Friday published a report showing that U.S. billionaires dumped a staggering $1.2 billion into the 2020 elections—a 39-fold increase compared to 2010.

        “Billionaires shouldn’t get to use their enormous wealth to pick and choose who they want in office.”

      • At the Bottom of the Empire: Homelessness, Housing Injustice, and Jesse Jackson’s Call to “Eradicate Poverty”

        The Great Migration occurred when Black Americans fled the state sanctioned terrorism and apartheid of Jim Crow and mass lynching, hoping to find freedom and opportunity outside the Confederacy. While cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit certainly offered marginal legal and economic improvements, they also introduced new networks of oppression – the loan officer eager to deny every Black applicant, the hiring manager evaluating every job seeker according to skin pigmentation, and the armed defender of Empire prepared to punish any Black dissenter with the nightstick or smoking gun. If a Black family managed to overcome the odds of oppression, and seriously consider moving into a “white” neighborhood, they would receive a visit from a community representative. As Lorraine Hansberry brilliantly captured in her classic play about a Black family attempting to integrate a Chicago block, A Raisin in the Sun, the white representative would smile as he makes the nature of his threat clear: You are not wanted, and if you try to move here, we will make your life uncomfortable.

        In late 1965, Martin Luther King, acting on the advice of Jackson and the Chicago Freedom Movement, a coalition of organizations fighting for fair housing, decided to spotlight the Union variety of white supremacy by temporarily staying in a slum tenement in one of Chicago’s most neglected and exploited neighborhoods. King and his family found, and introduced a formerly disinterested media, to housing units with asbestos, no running water, appliances that did not work, stairs that collapse, rats running through the hallways and sneaking into the furniture, and a rancid and infectious colony of insects.

      • COVID-19 and Privatization in Germany

        Health privatization follows one of neoliberalism’s key ideologies: the Privatization of Everything. This is supported by the simple but effective hallucination that the private does it better than the public system. There is less bureaucracy, no red tape, no nanny state, etc. Meanwhile in the UK, the impact of neoliberalism has become clear on Britain’s NHS.

        Sometimes, one gets the impression that Germany’s public healthcare system has been reduced to such an extent that there are no significant capacities left to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic. Today, public health is measured in available ICU beds – no longer on the health of the people.

      • Pelosi Changes Course, Says She’s Open to Stock Trading Ban for Congress Members
      • Colorado Workers’ Strike Ends as Union Reaches Tentative Agreement With Kroger
      • Sanders Backs Kroger Workers Striking Over ‘Corporate Greed’

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday threw his support behind thousands of striking Kroger workers and slammed the company’s management for offering low-wage employees “insulting” raises while paying CEO Rodney McMullen over $20 million during the pandemic.

        “This is precisely the type of corporate greed that the American people are sick and tired of.”

      • “Davos Man”: How Billionaires Devour the World & Fuel Global Inequality, Prolonging the Pandemic

        As many of the world’s wealthiest people wrap up virtual talks today at the World Economic Forum based in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam reports the incomes of 99% of the world’s population dropped during the pandemic while the world’s 10 richest men saw their wealth double. Meanwhile, vaccine profits have minted at least nine new billionaires at Moderna, BioNTech and China’s CanSino, amassing a combined new wealth of over $19 billion. To discuss the rise of billionaires and the policies that got us here, we speak with New York Times global correspondent Peter Goodman, author of the new book “Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World.” Goodman says billionaires’ championing of “stakeholder capitalism” is ruining U.S. democracy, and attributes the Omicron variant to “our unwillingness to challenge patents.”

      • Is the US Economy Operating Above Its Capacity?

        However, there is an alternative view, pushed by economists like Larry Summers and Jason Furman, that the stimulus provided by the American Recovery Act, and the prior CARES Acts passed in 2020, provided too large a boost to the economy. They pushed the economy beyond its ability to produce goods and services. In this view, the inflation problem is not temporary; we are likely to see continuing problems with inflation unless the Fed takes steps to clamp down on demand and slow the economy.

        The basic logic of this argument is that GDP in the last quarter of 2021 will be well above the level of output in the fourth quarter in 2019 (the last pre-pandemic quarter), even though employment is still well below the 2019 level. Since we also saw a drop in investment, the capital stock will be below its trend growth path. This should mean that productivity should be lower than its pre-pandemic trend path. And, the pandemic has raised costs in many areas, putting further pressure on prices.

      • Lawmakers Propose $600 Million to Fix Housing Program for Native Hawaiians

        Legislative leaders in Hawaii are calling for the appropriation of $600 million to help house Native Hawaiians through a chronically underfunded homesteading program that has fallen short of its promise to return native people to their ancestral lands.

        As the state government faces what is expected to be a budget surplus, House Speaker Scott Saiki on Wednesday proposed what he called historic legislation to provide the so-called Hawaiian Homes program with funding to address a huge demand for affordable housing among Native Hawaiians. The appropriation would be more than seven times the amount the legislature provided the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the state agency that administers the program, for construction last year.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Vice Publishes Bullshit Nonsense Article Blaming DEFCON Voting Village For ‘Stop The Steal’ Idiots

        Vice News has some really great reporters on tech issues who work for its Motherboard publication. For reasons that don’t make sense, last week they had some other reporter write an absolutely ridiculously bad story trying to argue that the “stop the steal” idiots were helped along by the amazingly important work done by folks in the famed “Voting Village” at the DEFCON conference. The full article is long and bad and has the ridiculous and misleading title: How an “Ethical” Hacker Convention Is Fueling Trump’s Big Lie. But the very premise of this story is not just wrong, but dangerously stupid. It’s shameful that anyone at Vice thought this was an appropriate story to publish.

      • Radical Change
      • Welcome Madam Ambassador, But Please Not the Best and Brightest 2.0

        Welcome Mme. Ambassador. While the Biden administration proclaimed it was back in the multilateral circuit, the lack of a U.N. ambassador – because certain Republican senators held up confirmations – has weakened the American position in International Geneva. The previous ambassador, Andrew Bremberg, was certainly no fan of international cooperation. Nominated by President Trump, Bremberg was best known as a buddy of the firebrand, coatless MAGA representative from Ohio, Jim Jordan. Bremberg had no previous international experience. He was sent to Geneva to push a conservative social agenda. He had been a special assistant to Trump and director of the Domestic Policy Council. Bremberg’s current position is President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

        Ambassador Crocker’s credentials are far different from Bremberg’s. She has considerable experience in foreign affairs and the State Department, including serving as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 2014 to 2017. She also has experience with philanthropy – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – and the United Nations – the UN Peacebuilding Support Office.

      • Trump Says Georgia Election Call Was More “Perfect” Than His Ukraine One
      • Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

        One of the pieces of evidence that Donald Trump unsuccessfully fought to keep out of the hands of the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol shows that the former Republican president considered ordering soldiers to seize voting machines across the nation following his 2020 election loss, a document published Friday by Politico revealed.

        “Every single Trump seditionist must be prosecuted.”

      • GOP Suppression Efforts Escalate as Voting Rights Bill Fails in Senate
      • The Cruel, Petty Killing of an Anti-Occupation Activist

        On Monday, January 17, a crowd of hundreds of mourners marched through the hills above the Bedouin community of Umm al-Kheir, in the occupied West Bank. At the front of the procession lay the corpse of the village patriarch, Hajj Suleiman Eid al-Hathaleen, struck down two weeks earlier by Israeli police, now wrapped in a Palestinian flag. In death he looked almost unbearably small. In life, though he couldn’t have been more than a couple of inches over five feet tall, his presence was large enough to fill the sky above the South Hebron Hills and the valleys that stretch off into the desert beneath it. At protests in the area and in confrontations with the Israeli military or police, Hajj Suleiman was a constant presence. He was always out in front, unintimidated by the soldiers and settlers with their guns, standing up for his people’s right to live on their land. He died the way he lived, fearlessly.

      • To ‘Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,’ Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

        As outrage grows this week over U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s obstruction of her own party’s pro-democracy agenda, a movement to back a 2024 primary challenger to the right-wing Arizona Democrat is gaining momentum.

        “At this point, Krusty the Clown could beat Sinema in a Democratic primary.”

      • Democracy ‘On the Line’ Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

        Warning that the U.S. Senate this week left “our democracy in peril” when two right-wing Democrats joined the Republican Party to block voting rights legislation, Rep. Jamaal Bowman said Friday that disruptive direct action is now necessary to “ensure our democracy functions in a manner that represents the people.”

        The New York Democrat released his statement a day after being arrested outside the U.S. Capitol, along with more than two dozen other voting rights campaigners.

      • Democrats Failed Forward on Voting Rights

        Pundits depicted it as a textbook example of their favorite story line, “Democrats in Disarray.” But the tension between Georgia voting rights groups and Joe Biden’s administration over the president’s belated trip to Atlanta on January 11 to tout federal voting rights legislation was a case study in the synergy of an inside/outside political strategy. Though the bills ultimately failed, Democratic leaders’ decision to force a vote represents progress nonetheless.

      • My Top 2021 Stories

        2. Media view Joe Manchin as a man of principles. They can’t say that he is a cash puppet for the fossil fuels industry, because they receive money from the same sources. His personal investment is in Enersystems Coal Brokerage Company. He earned half-million dollars last year from coal production. Though the mainstream and even the left portray Krysten Sinema as a political Garbo, she’s getting paid too. Sinema’s getting paid too.

        3. Percentage of speaking of all speaking characters on screen in 2019: White 65.7%, Black 15.7%; Latino 4.9%, Asian 7.2%

      • Some US Companies Decry Voter Suppression Laws While Funding Their Sponsors
      • Under New TX Law, Number of Rejected Mail-In Ballot Applications Is Skyrocketing
      • Who the Hell is Henry Olsen?

        Mr. Olsen expressed these views in an opinion essay published in the Washington Post and other newspapers across the country. The essay appeared on January 9, 2022, in the News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), where I saw it. In the News & Observer, the piece (see p. 14B) ran with the byline “By Henry Olsen, Special to the Washington Post.” No author bio was included, so I wondered, Who the hell is Henry Olsen?

        The Washington Post provides a brief resume. Mr. Olsen, I learned, is a “columnist focusing on politics, populism, and American conservative thought.” He has a BA in political science from Claremont McKenna College and a law degree from the University of Chicago. He is now a “senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.” Previously, he was president of the Commonwealth Foundation, a vice president at the Manhattan Institute, and vice president and director of the National Research Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Olsen has also been a regular contributor to National Review Online.

      • This Happened Here: The Fascist Trump Presidency as Living American History

        In my writing and interviews, I have consistently referred to Donald Trump as a fascist. I have received a great deal of resistance to that claim.

      • We Wouldn’t Be in This Mess if D.C. Were a State

        Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is a shameful excuse for a Democrat. Her adamant refusal to take even the most basic procedural step to defend voting rights should mean that, as the president of Emily’s List suggested, she “[finds] herself standing alone in the next election.” The same goes for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who ought not be forgiven for failing to support a filibuster workaround that would have allowed for enactment of legislation to address extreme gerrymandering, voter suppression, and other attempts to overturn the will of the people.

      • To Nuclear-Armed States: Nice Talk, Now Walk the Walk

        As the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists stands at 100 seconds to midnight – “the closest it has ever been to civilization-ending apocalypse” – this statement would appear to be good news for the world.

        However, all five of the signatories to the statement are currently engaged in maintaining powerful nuclear arsenals. Not only are these far larger than what would be required to destroy human civilization, and possibly most life on earth, but also these nations are planning huge expenditures to upgrade the “usability” and lethality of those arsenals.

      • ‘Atrocious’: Biden Renominates Chevron Lawyer First Chosen by Trump

        President Joe Biden this week quietly renominated a Trump-selected federal judge whose law firm represented the oil behemoth Chevron in its yearslong legal assault on environmental and human rights attorney Steven Donziger.

        Biden’s renomination of Jennifer Rearden to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York—announced on the White House website Wednesday—garnered little attention in the corporate press, but it didn’t escape the notice of watchdog groups, climate campaigners, or Donziger himself, who said Thursday that he was “outraged” by the news.

      • Opinion | Authoritarian RNC Renounces Corporate Debate System It Helped Create

        The New York Times (1/13/21) reported that the Commission on Presidential Debates was “founded by the two parties in 1987 to codify the debates as a permanent part of presidential elections.” But the League of Women Voters had run independent debates in the previous three election cycles.

      • Another Nail in the Coffin of American Democracy

        In his Wednesday night press conference President Biden took a swipe at Bernie Sanders instead of Manchin-Sinema, revealing the Democrat party’s spin to cover up the two historic defeats has already begun; That spin and new messaging is to blame Sanders, progressives, and the so-called Democrat party ‘left’ for Biden’s debacle instead of laying blame where it accurately belongs: with those corporate interests and lobbyists who, behind the scenes for months, have been backing Manchin and Sinema.

        Biden’s remarks about Sanders (“I am not Bernie Sanders, I’m not a Socialist’) will now open the door to a crescendo of ‘me too’ commentary from Democrat politicians, operatives, talking head pundits in the media, and other opportunists who’ll echo the claim the party moved ‘too far left’ in proposing Build Back Better and Voting Rights. That will be the mantra of the corporate wing in the party who’ll now take further control of legislative proposals and other initiatives. The Democrats will now move even further to the right. Their single proposal will be ‘vote for more of us in November and then we’ll get the job done’.

      • Giuliani, Trump Campaign Coordinated Fake Electors Scheme to Overturn Election
      • First Stop for Cuellar After FBI Raid? An Anti-Choice Event

        Embattled U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar came under fire Friday following revelations that the right-wing Texas Democrat spoke before an anti-choice group just one day after FBI agents raided his home and campaign offices—and a day before the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s imperiled Roe v. Wade reproductive rights ruling.

        “South Texans deserve better than a corrupt politician that stands in the way of protecting and expanding reproductive health care.”

      • AOC Backs Primary Challenger Facing Off Against Anti-Abortion Democrat
      • AOC Endorses Cisneros Primary Challenge Against Cuellar

        Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday endorsed Jessica Cisneros’ campaign to oust Rep. Henry Cuellar, a right-wing Democrat whose Texas home and office were raided this week as part of a sweeping federal investigation related to Azerbaijan and U.S. businessmen.

        In an email, Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) team pointed to reporting that “the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity unit is involved with the investigation—a unit that handles cases involving elected officials including campaign finance and corruption cases.”

      • Roaming Charges: Is This Tomorrow or Just the End of Time?

        The Democrats reflexively blame the filibuster for preventing them from doing good things. But the filibuster hasn’t stopped the few good things their political ancestors did from being undone before our eyes. Maybe the problem isn’t just the filibuster but the people now running the Democratic Party?

        Of course, the neoliberal transformation of the Democratic Party has been a long-time coming. It began under Jimmy Carter and reached its apotheosis under Bill Clinton, who boldly declared the end to the era of “Big Government” and began the systematic dismantling of the FDR/LBJ welfare state from the inside, including the welfare system itself.

      • Che’s Last Soldier: Chato Peredo’s Legacy Comes to the United States

        We live in very difficult times for democracy. In the United States, hordes animated by former President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol exactly one year ago. The Republican Party is in the hands of anti-democratic groups that are almost personal instruments of Trump, a right-wing populist caudillo.

        In Bolivia, since 2019 there have been very difficult times for democracy, which only now with the advances of President Luis Arce, stabilizes little by little. Democracy is fragile, and sometimes it is on the verge of collapse because violence is always a threat. This violence can come with coups d’état or with mercenaries, as it happened between June and November 2020.

      • Jordan Chariton on Flint Water Crisis, Maurice Carney on Lumumba Assassination
      • New Legal Filing Reveals Startling Details of Possible Fraud by Trump Organization

        A new legal filing by New York’s attorney general this week accused former President Donald Trump’s company of misleading lenders about the financial health of its landmark downtown Manhattan skyscraper, 40 Wall Street, while seeking to renew the building’s mortgage.

        Though the Trump Organization called 40 Wall Street “one of the great success stories post 2008,” lender Capital One found the company’s estimates of the building’s worth so unbelievable that the bank declined to refinance the tower’s loan in 2015, the filing alleges.

      • American Innovation and Choice Online Act Advances to Senate Floor With Bipartisan Alliance

        During a Thursday markup, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-6 to send the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, S. 2992, to the Senate floor. The bill would prohibit certain companies with online platforms from engaging in behavior that discriminates against their competitors.

        There is a laundry list of violations and unlawful behaviors enumerated in the bill, including unfairly preferencing products, limiting another business’ ability to operate on a platform, or discriminating against competing products and services.

      • Twitter shakes up its security team.

        Twitter shook up the top ranks of its security team this week with the termination of the head of security and the exit of the chief information security officer, the company told employees on Wednesday, as its new chief executive reorganizes the social media service.

        Peiter Zatko, the head of security who is better known within the security community as “Mudge,” is no longer at the company, Twitter confirmed. Rinki Sethi, the chief information security officer, will depart in the coming weeks.

      • UK: For Telling the Truth About Islam, Jewish Board of Deputies Vice President is Compelled to Resign

        Was Gary Mond wrong? Isn’t “all [non-Islamic] civilisation” at “war with Islam”? Or, to put it more clearly, isn’t Islam “at war with all” of the non-Islamic world? Don’t the texts and teachings of Islam tell Muslims that they are the “best of peoples”(3:110), while non-Muslims are the “most vile of created beings” (98:6)? Aren’t Muslims instructed “to fight” and “to kill” and “to smite at the necks of” and “to strike terror in the hearts of” all non-Muslims? What do those who pressured Gary Mond to resign know of the Qur’an, and in particular, of such blood-curdling verses as 2:191-193, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, and 47:4? Perhaps they have never bothered to read the Qur’an. Or, still worse, perhaps they have done so, but remain unwilling to recognize the uncompromising war on Infidels that it prescribes.

      • Miracle Winner of New Jersey State Senate Race Forced to Endure Lecture from Islamist Group

        Yet, while Durr has a history of offensive tweets, his hosts were in no position to pass judgement. For starters, CAIR-NJ, which organized Durr’s re-education, is part of a nationwide nonprofit with a long and notorious history of unchecked anti-Semitism and extremism.

      • Efforts to Rein In Big Tech May Be Running Out of Time

        Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are readying a major push on bills aimed at restraining the power of the country’s biggest tech companies, as they see the window of opportunity closing quickly ahead of the midterm elections.

        In a significant step forward, a Senate committee voted on Thursday to advance a bill that would prohibit companies like Amazon, Apple and Google from promoting their own products over those of competitors. Many House lawmakers are pressing a suite of antitrust bills that would make it easier to break up tech giants. And some are making last-ditch efforts to pass bills meant to strengthen privacy, protect children online, curb misinformation, restrain targeted advertising and regulate artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • How Chinese propaganda films became watchable

        But the film is important for another reason. It was made in close co-operation with the Communist Party’s propaganda organs. All films in China must pass party censors, but until recently, it has been market-driven comedies and dramas that have been most popular. Films specifically aimed at drumming up support for the party have been notable for their dullness. In 2009 “The Founding of a Republic” was the first of a trilogy released for the 60th anniversary of the founding of Communist China. It was such a flop that Douban, a film-rating website, disabled voting. Now, after a decade of collaborating with serious film-makers, the party has worked out how to make propaganda more like entertainment that people actually want to watch.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Uzbekistan Court Refuses to Release Blogger From House Arrest During Trial

        The Mirobod district court in the Uzbek capital Tashkent rejected a motion by Bazarov’s lawyer to free the blogger during his trial, which started on January 20.

        Journalists say they were not allowed to be present at the trial because they did not provide PCR tests to prove they did not have the coronavirus, adding that they had not been told that such tests were required.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The UK High Court will deliver its decision on Monday morning on the Assange case

        The judgment will either:1) Certify that the point(s) of law raised by Julian Assange are of general public importance–thus giving him permission to lodge an application with the UK Supreme Court; or2) Deny such certification, in which case the extradition order will pass to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to authorise or deny Assange’s extradition.The judges making the decision about whether to permit the appeal to proceed to the UK Supreme Court are the same ones who heard the High Court appeal, LCJ Ian Burnett and LJ Tim Holroyde, and who reversed the magistrate’s decision refusing Julian’s extradition to the US.The judgment will be read out at 10.45am, London time at Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand WC2A 2LL (Opposite Australia House).

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A Citizen of the World (Still) Speaks

        The speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” is remembered and celebrated (or not) as MLK’s official condemnation of LBJ’s war, inappropriately “mixing peace and civil rights” and shattering ties with the country’s pro-war liberals. My takeaway after reading it: The speech is a lot more than that.

        Not only is it a detailed analysis of the politics of colonialism and the cruel absurdity of war, but it’s a deep plunge into the human future, pulsating with complex sanity and more relevant than ever 50-plus years later — so relevant I could scream.

      • In Coimbatore: Death, Disease and Divinity
      • How to Cope With the Deep State

        One cannot rely entirely on deductive reasoning (top-down logic) or inductive logic (bottom-up), because in a world ofgovernmental secrecy, “fake news” and “fake law”, our very premises are uncertain.  We can try inductive reasoning and base ourselves on our own observations and other empirical data, but we must acknowledge that our sample is woefully incomplete.

        Some persons tend to dismiss narratives about the “deep state” as a kind of « conspiracy theory ». Out of sight, out of mind.  We perceive the day to day functioning of our institutions as a normal routine operation, more or less following the “laws” of the marketplace or the anonymous forces of nature, not visualizing that the deep state can very well influence and manage these forces.  What is the “deep state” then?  We can recognize it on the faces of our corporate boardrooms.

      • On Hunger Strike for Voting Rights
      • Opinion | Lives of People With Disabilities, Including Mine, Are Just as Worthy as Others

        Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been a disturbing caveat to the casualty reports. Many of the dead, the reports say, had “comorbidities”—other conditions that left them especially vulnerable to the virus.

      • Yes, It’s Easier to Get Birth Control Than It Was in the 1970s, But Women Still Need Abortion Care

        The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenges the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that protects women’s right to abortion. Meanwhile, Texas enacted its own restrictive abortion law in September – and other states are working to follow suit.

        Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart argued before the Supreme Court in December that abortion is not necessary.

      • Opinion | The Supreme Court Deals Another Body Blow to Women in Texas

        For those who closely follow the Supreme Court, Thursday was a particularly somber day in its history. Advocates for women’s rights argue that, given the opportunity to protect the rights and lives of women, this Court once again chose to take the wrong fork in the road.

      • Sotomayor Excoriates Majority for ‘Egregious’ Attack on Texas Women

        U.S Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an outraged dissent Thursday as the high court permitted a right-wing three-judge panel to delay proceedings regarding Texas’ extreme abortion ban—a tactic the conservative court has openly admitted may allow the law to stay in place indefinitely.

        “This court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights.”

      • Johnson Does Downing Street: Booze, Lies and Playacting

        Partygate may fill the airwaves and front pages, but the prohibited gatherings are simply the latest in a line of lies and illegal acts undertaken by Johnson and his cronies since they took office in July 2019. They appear to believe they are above and beyond laws, international agreements and parliamentary conventions.

        The Prime Minster and the Tories have presided over a Covid Catastrophe, with 150,154 deaths (at time of writing), the seventh highest in the world; he is a laughing stock around the world and his government an incompetent backward looking gaggle.

      • ACLU Lawyer: Biden Is “Hiding Behind CDC” to Keep Pushing Trump-Era Anti-Immigrant Title 42 Policy

        As the Biden administration marks its first year in office this week, we look at the president’s ongoing defense of Trump-era anti-immigration policies. Department of Justice lawyers were in court Wednesday to defend the Trump-era order known as Title 42, which has been used to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants at the border without screening them for asylum. The policy was touted as a way to control the spread of COVID-19, even though top CDC officials say it’s not needed to contain the virus. We speak with the ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, who is the lead lawyer challenging the Biden administration’s use of Title 42. He accuses the Biden administration of “trying to hide behind CDC” to play politics and says the policy violates international law and is inhumane, as it forces migrants back into dangerous situations they fled from. “The U.S. government is pushing them back over the border,” he says. “The cartels are sitting there at the end of the bridge waiting for them, and yet we continue to push them over.” Gelernt discusses how he was also a part of negotiations to financially compensate migrant parents separated from their children under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, but Biden cut off the talks after facing Republican criticism.

      • Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

        “This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died… Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye.”

        Thích Nhất Hạnh shared that lullaby for “the person who is nearing their last breath” in his 2002 book No Death, No Fear. The Vietnamese Buddhist monk died early Saturday at the age of 95.

      • Austria: Afghan man stabs mother of 4 to death because he suspected she was exchanging SMS messages with another man

        Later investigations revealed that the woman had never been in contact with the alleged rival. “I did not intend to kill her. I regret it very much,” the Afghan confessed to the stabbings. At the time of going to press, the verdict was pending.

      • British man killed in ‘reckless’ Georgia shooting

        Brookhaven Police said the shooting of Dr Willson, from Chertsey, was “random” and involved the “reckless discharge of firearms”.

      • UK doctor killed by stray bullet while visiting family outside Atlanta

        Matthew Willson, 31, was struck in the head by the errant bullet as he was sleeping at a relative’s apartment in Brookhaven, WXIA-TV reported, citing authorities.

      • British astrophysicist killed by stray bullet as he lay in bed

        A British astrophysicist visiting his girlfriend in Atlanta was killed as he lay in bed by a bullet “recklessly” fired from a building 500 metres away that broke through a wall.

      • Mitch McConnell’s Klanian Slip

        You can hear this worldview when you listen very closely to some white people, but every now and again one of them drops all pretenses and says the quiet part aloud. Yesterday, reporter Pablo Manriquez asked Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell about concerns “voters of color” have over voting rights. McConnell said the concern was misplaced, because: “If you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Cinia and Far North Digital Sign MoU for Pan-Arctic fiber cable

        The Finnish networks, cybersecurity and software solutions provider Cinia and Far North Digital, a North American company focused on telecommunications infrastructure development, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a submarine fiber optic cable. The planned cable system will run from Japan, via the Northwest Passage, to Europe with landings in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. European landings are planned in Norway, Finland and Ireland.

        The 14,000 kilometer cable system greatly reduces the optical distance between Asia and Europe, thus minimizing signal latency.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix Hits Users With Another Round Of Price Hikes

        It’s been obvious for a while that the future of internet television is starting to look increasingly like traditional cable. Initially, the streaming sector was all about innovation, choice, and lower costs to drive subscriber interest. But as the market has matured and become dominated by bigger players, some familiar patterns have emerged, including giant companies trying to lock down as much content as possible in exclusives, and a steady parade of price hikes that slowly, surely, start to erode the value proposition.

      • ‘Diablo 2 Resurrection’ Includes 30 Day Online Check In For Reasons Nobody Can Figure Out

        When we’ve talked about any plans to put in online DRM pings when it comes to console gaming, we’ve typically centered that discussion around the console makers themselves. For older Xbox consoles and, well, all things Nintendo, this has been a particularly annoying problem. Nintendo wanting online checks is just so on brand so as to be only mildly annoying. If you buy Nintendo, you know what you’re getting. Microsoft’s plan to have online checks for the Xbox made less sense. Piracy of console games isn’t nonexistent, but it isn’t exactly a massively huge problem given the technical know-how needed in order to use pirated games on modern consoles. Even for game publishers like Activision Blizzard, which has found itself in the headlines for entirely more significant reasons as of late, DRM was typically only included on PC ports of games, not on the console versions themselves.

      • Digital Rights Updates with EFFector 34.1

        EFFECTOR 34.01 - Ten years after the “Internet Blackout”

        Make sure you never miss an issue by signing up by email to receive EFFector as soon as it’s posted! Since 1990 EFF has published EFFector to help keep readers on the bleeding edge of their digital rights. We know that the intersection of technology, civil liberties, human rights, and the law can be complicated, so EFFector is a great way to stay on top of things. The newsletter is chock full of links to updates, announcements, blog posts, and other stories to help keep readers—and now listeners—up to date on the movement to protect online privacy and free expression. 

    • Monopolies

      • Are We Entering A Period In The Video Game Industry Of Hyper-Consolidation?

        You will recall that we had several posts covering when Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media for $7 billion, as well as some of the potential fallout from that acquisition. Much of the focus was on what the purchase of Zenimax and its child studios, such as Bethesda, would mean for long-running game franchises from those studios going exclusive to PC and/or Xbox. Microsoft made a bunch of vague, lightly-conflicting statements on the topic before ripping the bandaid off by making the next Elder Scrolls game an Xbox/PC exclusive.

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Cheat Makers ‘Troll’ Activision Lawyer, Brag They Will Never Be Found

          Activision sued Call of Duty cheat maker EngineOwning this month, alleging breaches of the DMCA. According to new filings, an Activision lawyer was trolled by the defendants online with one claiming he would never be found. That will remain to be seen after the court granted a request to compel Google, Reddit, Steam, PayPal, Trustpilot and more to hand over the details of the defendants.

        • EU Parliament Adopts DSA Without Banning ‘Dumb’ Upload Filters and Site Blocking

          The European Parliament has approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), including several key changes. The proposed legislation adds a right for people to use and pay for online services anonymously. However, the amendments to ban site blocking and ‘dumb’ upload filters were voted down by the majority.

        • Some Lessons Learned From The Fight Against SOPA/PIPA: Beware Crony Capitalism

          Crony capitalism is alive and well, and can only be contained (if at all) by sustained popular action. SOPA/PIPA were broadly bipartisan bills designed to adapt techniques developed from the financial arm of the war on terror to pad the pockets of one of the most powerful business lobbies in Washington DC.

        • The SOPA Fight Reminds Us Of The Internet’s Power And Usefulness

          Ten years ago this week, I watched my computer screen as much of the Internet slowly switched off. Over a hundred thousand websites, including that of our predecessor organization CEA, were going dark in a last-ditch protest of a House bill called the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the “Protect IP Act” (PIPA).

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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

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  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

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  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 20, 2022



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

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  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

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  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

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

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  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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