02.03.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 3/2/2022: Peppermint 11 and KDE Gear 21.12.2

Posted in News Roundup at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Pop!_OS Linux gets better game performance and desktop responsiveness

        System76 have done something very interesting with Pop!_OS lately, a change that should give you better performance in games and get a more responsive desktop overall on Linux.

        It comes in the form of their new System76 Scheduler, which they describe as…

      • System76 reveals Kudu AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX high-performance laptop Running Ubuntu Linux

        System76 announced the company’s next-gen AMD laptop, the System76 Kudu, decked with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and up to 64GB of DDR4 memory.

        The new System76 Kudu is a premium laptop with the incredible Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, 15.6-inch display with 1080p FHD screen resolution, 144Hz refresh rates, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, dual NVMe SSD support, built-in 2.5G Ethernet, and a slick matte finish.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS Reaches End of Life After Six Years of Support

        Linux kernel 4.4 LTS saw the light of day on January 10th, 2016, and it was supported with a total of 302 maintenance updates for 2216 days, during which it received a total of 18,712 changes from 3532 developers and 503 companies.

        Greg Kroah-Hartman remembers that this was one of the good kernel branches, which powered millions, maybe a few billion devices. But, as with all good things, Linux kernel 4.4 has now reached end of life with today’s release of the Linux 4.4.302 update.

      • The kernel radar: folios, multi-generational LRU, and Rust [LWN.net]

        The kernel community is a busy place, so it is not even remotely possible to write full-length articles about everything that is going on. Other topics may be of interest, but not require a longer treatment. The answer is a collection of short topics covering developments that are on the radar; the selection this time around includes folios, the multi-generational LRU, and Rust in the kernel.

      • The rest of the 5.17 merge window [LWN.net]

        Linus Torvalds released 5.17-rc1 and closed the 5.17 merge window on January 23 after having pulled just over 11,000 non-merge changesets into the mainline repository. A little over 4,000 of those changesets arrived after our first-half merge-window summary was written. Activity thus slowed down, as expected, in the second half of the merge window, but there still a number of significant changes that made it in for the next kernel release.

      • Supporting PGP keys and signatures in the kernel

        A few weeks back, we looked at a proposal to add an integrity-management feature to Fedora. One of the selling points was that the integrity checking could be done using the PGP signatures that are already embedded into the RPM package files that Fedora uses. But the kernel needs to be able to verify PGP signatures in order for the Fedora feature to work. That addition to the kernel has been proposed, but some in the kernel-development community seem less than completely enthusiastic about bringing PGP support into the kernel itself.

        Roberto Sassu proposed the addition of support for PGP keys and signatures based on earlier work by David Howells. Sassu is also proposing the Digest Lists Integrity Module (DIGLIM) for the kernel and is the owner of the Fedora change proposal to support DIGLIM in the distribution. That proposal was originally targeting Fedora 36, but it is not likely to be adopted for any Fedora release until both DIGLIM and PGP support are upstream.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 22.0.0-rc1
          Hi list,
          
          I'd like to announce mesa 22.0.0-rc1, the first release candidate of
          2022! We're releasing on our scheduled pushed back by three weeks, and
          we've seen some great work go into mesa in that time.
          
          Radv, Anv, and Venus have all gained Vulkan 1.3 support, which is huge.
          So look forward to that.
          
          Plan on regluar releases over the coming weeks as we move toward the
          22.0 final release.
          
          Cheers,
          Dylan
          
    • Applications

      • Raw photo development with darktable

        Digital cameras normally produce their photographs in a convenient and compressed image format, most often JPEG. But, just as our brains perform a great deal of invisible processing to make our eyes work as well as they do, digital cameras do a lot of work between the sensor and the storage device. The data recorded by the sensor does not make for a particularly satisfying image until it has been through exposure compensation, white-balance adjustment, noise removal, sharpness adjustment, and even, with some devices, advanced manipulation like high-dynamic-range processing. The results from today’s cameras can be amazingly good, but they invariably encapsulate a set of processing decisions and loses information from the original image.

        Professional photographers — and hobbyists with an inflated sense of the quality of their snapshots — often choose to do that post-processing themselves. For such people, cameras can be convinced to write the raw data from the sensor (or something close to it) directly to a file in a format that is [Flatirons] normally referred to as “raw” (or “RAW” even though it is not an acronym). Photographers can work with raw files to take full advantage of all of the data collected by the sensor and apply their own preferences — if they can get at that data. Naturally, every camera produces raw data in its own special, proprietary format. Fortunately, the free-software community has proved skilled at understanding these formats and writing decoders for them, so there is support for raw images from most available cameras.

        Taking photographs in raw format implies a commitment to put some time into “developing” them into a more useful form; that is what a raw image editor is for. There are several of these editors available, including darktable, which is where your editor chose to start. In the name of “research”, an afternoon was taken off work to wander in the local parks in search of a suitable raw image to process with darktable; the result is shown on the right. This image is a JPEG thumbnail created by the camera and stored with the raw image, extracted with dcraw. It is not a great work of art by any means, but it is useful to experiment with: there is a lot of contrast, and the rock formation (known as the “Second Flatiron”) is somewhat lost in the haze that was present that day. This picture might just benefit from the sort of manipulation a raw editor can perform.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • The likely long-term result of good on-host (host-based) firewalls

        A while back I read j. b. crawford’s host firewalls, which invokes a bright alternate future where we had good, smart host based firewalls on our machines that acted to (try to) limit nasty programs and their bad habits. One problem with this vision is the “why” problem, where you really want to know not just what a program is connecting to but why. You can imagine a future where programs have to tell you something about this, and there is social pressure for programs to limit what connections they make and so on. Unfortunately, I don’t think this would work or come to pass.

      • I took down Starlink (but I haven’t cancelled)

        Today’s video is about Starlink—I’ve had an active subscription since last February, and as it’s been a year, I figured I should post an update.

        The tl;dr: when I had a new roof put on late last summer, I took down ‘Dishy McFlatface’, but I haven’t put the dish back up. I have been holding out hope I could transfer my hardware to my cousin, who lives on a farm 70 miles away, and only gets 300 Kbps upload on her DSL, but so far that seems to be a pipe dream.

      • Install Avidemux on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        Avidemux is a free and open-source software application for non-linear video editing and transcoding multimedia files. It is trendy as it allows a user to cut, join, split, rotate videos, adds filters, and support many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4, and ASF, using a variety of codecs.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to Install the latest Avidemux on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

      • Your own Forum? Sure Just Learn how to Install Flarum Forum on Ubuntu 20.04

        Hello, friends. Have you ever thought about creating your own forum? Well, there are tools with which we can do it without many problems. So in this post, you will learn how to create your own forum and install Flarum Forum in Ubuntu 20.04.

        Quickly and as an introduction, we can say that Flarum Forum is a tool created in PHP with which we can deploy our forum without too many issues.

        Created with PHP and using open-source tools, we will have an efficient, fast and very dynamic way to create our forum. All this also being free without advertising or subscriptions, making it ideal for personal or educational projects.

      • Install CMake on Fedora Linux 35 – LinuxCapable

        CMake is a free, open-source, and cross-platform compiler designed to build native environments, generate wrappers, build executables in arbitrary combinations. CMake is popular due to its cross-platform so that developers using the build system work the way they’re used to.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install CMake on Fedora Linux 35 Workstation or Server.

      • Install/Enable & Connect to SSH on Fedora Linux 35 – LinuxCapable

        SSH or known by its full name Secure Shell Protocol, is a cryptographic network communication protocol that enables two computers to communicate securely over an unsecured network. SSH is highly used for remote login applications and command-line executables such as terminal applications.

        For users wishing to connect to servers or other computers with SSH, the client and the remote connection need to both have SSH installed and enabled for this to be possible.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install and enable SSH on Fedora Linux 35, along with how to connect to a remote PC.

      • Install osTicket Ticketing system on Debian 11/Debian 10 – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install osTicket Ticketing system on Debian 11/Debian 10. osTicket is an opensource ticketing system.

        Read more about osTicket and its capabilities on the osTicket Features page.

      • Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11 – kifarunix.com

        Welcome to our tutorial on how to install Zammad ticketing system on Debian 11. According to Zammad documentation page, “Zammad is a web based open source helpdesk/customer support system with many features to manage customer communication via several channels like telephone, facebook, twitter, chat and emails”.

      • Install/Enable & Connect to SSH on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        SSH or known by its full name Secure Shell Protocol, is a cryptographic network communication protocol that enables two computers to communicate securely over an unsecured network. SSH is highly used for remote login applications and command-line executables such as terminal applications.

        For users wishing to connect to servers or other computers with SSH, the client and the remote connection need to both have SSH installed and enabled for this to be possible.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install and enable SSH on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish Desktop or Server and connect to a remote PC.

      • Install LibreOffice on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        LibreOffice is a free open-source office productivitiy suite that is used by millions of users around the world. The office suite software uses a native file format ODF or otherwise known as Open Document Format that is being an accepted and almost required format in multiple organisations across the globe.

        LibreOffice includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install LibreOffice current, pre-release and backports (LibreOffice Still) on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

      • Install Unity Desktop on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        Unity Desktop Environment is a graphical shell for the GNOME desktop environment created and maintained by Canonical for Ubuntu operating systems. As time has passed and Ubuntu is now officially using GNOME as the default desktop environment, it is maintained and developed by the Unity7 Maintainers and UBports.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Unity on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • Install OpenRGB on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        OpenRGB is free and open-source software used to control RGB lighting control that does not require manufacturer software. The software allows for RGB amber lighting, game integrations, music visualization, and much more. OpenRGB also comes with a plugin interface that can extend the software’s functionality even further.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install OpenRGB on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to Install FileRun on Debian 11

        FileRun is a free, open-source, and self-hosted file-sharing application for Linux. It is a very good alternative to Google Drive and dropbox. It allows you to share and sync files, access via WebDAV and even connect to it with the Nextcloud mobile app. It is written in PHP and uses MariaDB as a database backend. It allows you to access your files anywhere via secure cloud storage, and also offers backup and sharing of your photos, videos, files, and more.

        In this article, I will explain how to install FileRun with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Debian 11.

      • How To Install AbanteCart on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install AbanteCart on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, AbanteCart is an open-source e-commerce platform based on PHP. It is an ideal e-commerce solution for small to medium businesses. The fast and secure solution allows you to design, list products, attach prices, set up delivery methods, and accept payments on your eCommerce website.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the AbanteCart open-source e-commerce platform on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install LEMP Stack Nginx, MySQL, PHP on Debian 11

        How to Install LEMP Stack Nginx, MySQL, PHP on Debian 11. In this guide you will learn how to install Nginx, MySQL 8.0 and PHP 8.1.

        You will also install some common PHP extensions and adjust the PHP configurations. Finally you will secure your setup with Let’s Encrypt SSL and configure HTTPS redirection.

        This setup is tested on Google cloud, so it will work on all cloud hosting services like AWS, Azure or any VPS or any dedicated servers running Debian 11.

      • How to install Oracle Java 8 64-bit Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Learn the commands to download & install Oracle Jave 8 64-bit on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal fossa or Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish using the terminal.

        A programming language, in general, allows you to formulate programs and specify their behavior. For example, you can program your own pocket calculator with a few lines of text code.

      • How To Install Linux Kernel 5.16.5 On Ubuntu / Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX

        Linus Torvalds announced the Linux Kernel 5.16 a few weeks back and is available for general usage.

        A new updated version has been released in the 5.16 series and it is the 5 th release and it makes the branch more stable.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Linux kernel 5.16.5 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.10, and LinuxMint 20.3.

    • Games

      • Play the Viral Wordle Game in Linux

        You might have heard of the viral game Wordle. It’s a game where you have to guess a five letter word in six attempts. The color codes help you with your guessing game.

        NY Times recently bought this popular word game but you don’t have to be that rich to play it on Linux.

        There are a few open source games inspired by Wordle. Warble is one of them and it is specially developed for desktop Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.12.2

          Over 120 individual programs plus dozens of programmer libraries and feature plugins are released simultaneously as part of KDE Gear.

          Today they all get new bugfix source releases with updated translations. Distro and app store packagers should update their application packages.

        • KDE Gear 21.12.2 Released with GCC 12 Support, More Improvements for Your Favorite Apps

          KDE Gear 21.12.2 is here almost a month after the first KDE Gear 21.12 point release to add compilation support with GCC 12 for most of the components included in this open-source software suite for the KDE Plasma desktop environment and other platforms.

          In addition to GCC 12 support, KDE Gear 21.12.2 also improves the Elisa music player’s search functionality by normalizing non-Latin characters, and fixing a crash that occurred when attempting to enqueue audio files.

    • Distributions

      • gio-querymodules fix

        Script ’3buildeasydistro’ in woofQ is supposed to create a symlink /usr/bin/gio-querymodules, to wherever ‘gio-querymodules’ is located. In the case of OE, that location is /usr/libexec/gio-querymodules, and 3buildeasydistro didn’t look there, so the symlink didn’t get created.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Code of Conduct Report 2021 [Ed: Now with the community all gone, Fedora has become about social engineering instead of technical engineering]

          Fedora Project’s Code of Conduct and reports are managed by the Fedora Project Leader, Matthew Miller, and the Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator, Marie Nordin, and the Red Hat legal team, as appropriate. With feedback from the community the Fedora Council approved a new Code of Conduct that went into effect in May of 2021.

        • Pete Zaitcev: Cura on Fedora is dead, use Slic3r

          Was enjoying my Prusa i3S for a few months, but had to use my Lulzbot Mini today, and it was something else.

          In the past, I used the cura-lulzbot package. It went through difficult times, with a Russian take-over and Qtfication. But I persisted in suffering, because, well, it was turnkey and I was a complete novice.

          So, I went to install Cura on Fedora 35, and found that package cura-lulzbot is gone. Probably failed to build, and with spot no longer at Red Hat, nobody was motivated enough to keep it going.

      • Debian Family

        • Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit officially released

          The Raspberry Pi Foundation has now officially released Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit about two years after the first beta version was released.

          Despite some potential performance benefits from using 64-bit code instead of 32-bit, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has resisted moving too quickly to a 64-bit OS because if it would create two separate worlds for their earlier 32-bit boards like Raspberry Pi 2 or Raspberry Pi Zero, and the newer 64-bit boards starting with Raspberry Pi 3 onwards and may confuse users besides the extra workloads.

        • Linux Distro Peppermint 11 Out Now, Ditches Ubuntu For Debian

          After Peppermint OS founder Mark Greaves tragically passed away, the dedicated developer community of Peppermint OS Linux vowed to continue work on the stylish, fast and lightweight Linux distribution. True to their word, a private release candidate was sent to forum members last week, and today marks the official public release of the brand new Peppermint OS 11.

        • Peppermint 11 Debuts With Debian Linux, Drops Ubuntu and LXDE Components

          Peppermint OS 11 was one of the most anticipated releases for 2022, and it has finally arrived!

          Not to forget the tragic loss of its lead developer Mark Greaves in 2020, Peppermint OS lost one of its most significant contributors.

          Now, after almost two years, Peppermint 11 is here! It is not just an ordinary upgrade, but it looks like Peppermint 11 is the first release with Debian as its base, ditching Ubuntu.

          Let me highlight all the key details of the release below.

        • Peppermint OS 11 Released After 3 Years in Development, Now Based on Debian and Xfce

          The biggest change in Peppermint OS 11 is the fact that the distribution is no longer based on Ubuntu, but on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system. More specifically, this release is built on top of the Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” release and ships with the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series.

          Another major change in Peppermint OS 11 is the switch to the lightweight Xfce 4.16 desktop environment instead of LXDE, which was the default desktop environment of previous Peppermint OS releases.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Unable to login to HN from Firefox, a lovecraftian tale.

          I love an epic tale of debugging. You know, those fantastic stories in which an ingenious person goes on a quest to solve a problem and end up in triumph and glory. Sherlock-Holmes-of-debugging kind of stories. Well, this is not one of those tales. This is a very personal problem, not an epic quest. Apparently it is only affecting me. This is also a Lovecraftian tale because I’m slowly getting mad because of it.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MariaDB announces intentions to list on New York Stock Exchange via SPAC and a EUR 92 million Series D round

          Maria DB, known for the open-source database software it develops and provides, has announced it intends to list on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by merging with Angel Pond Holdings, a listing method also referred as a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). By doing so, MariaDB becomes the first Finnish company to list on the NYSE through SPAC.

          MariaDB also announced it has raised a EUR 92 million Series D funding round wherein the buyer Angel Pond and some of the existing investors invested.

        • Open-source database software maker MariaDB announces intentions to list on NYSE via SPAC

          Finland’s MariaDB has closed a $104 million Series D private placement round and announced its intention to become a publicly-traded entity on the New York Stock Exchange via a merger with Angel Pond Holdings, a method more commonly known as a SPAC. As is typical with this type of listing, when all is said and done, the merged companies will be known as MariaDB plc and headed by MariaDB’s current CEO Michael Howard.

      • Programming/Development

        • Guidelines for writing good R code

          These guidelines are recommendations and are not meant to be obligatory. Many of the principles are useful and help working and collaborating more efficiently with R. Feel free to add your recommendations or remarks in the discussion section below.

        • Part 2: Improving crypto code in Rust using LLVM’s optnone

          Welcome to the second part of our posts on the challenges of implementing constant-time Rust code. Part 1 discussed challenges with constant-time implementations in Rust and WebAssembly and how optimization barriers can mitigate risk. The Rust crypto community has responded with several approaches, and in this post, we will explore one such approach: the implementation of a feature in the Rust compiler (rustc) that provides users greater control over generated code. We will also explore the intermediate representation (IR) generated when this feature is implemented and consider problems that arise in later phases of code generation, such as instruction selection.

        • Making a package from base R files

          Part of the difficulty in carrying out such development of alternative versions is that one needs to be able to execute the new variants in parallel with the existing ones. A heavy-effort approach would be to have separate full sets of R code and build each system and run them separately. That is, we want to have two or more versions of R in the same computing system.

          There are several ways to do this: [...]

        • Python

          • [Old] Hosting multiple Flask apps using Apache/mod_wsgi

            A common way of deploying a Flask web application in a production environment is to use an Apache server with the mod_wsgi module, which allows Apache to host any application that supports Python’s Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI), making it quick and easy to get an application up and running. In this post, we’ll go through configuring your Apache server to host multiple Python apps in a stable manner, including how to run apps in daemon mode and avoiding hanging processes due to Python C extensions not working well with Python sub-interpreters (I’m looking at you, numpy).

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Thought’s on the Freedom Convoy

      But the most important feature of this “movement” are its founders. The leaders of this convoy (and profiteers) include Tamara Lich (Alberta separatist, Wexit Party), Benjamin Dichter (far right People’s Party of Canada), Patrick King (white nationalist). Grifter and peddler of nonsense JP Sears and the weepy chauvinist Jordan Peterson have also thrown in their support. One important thing to note here: not ONE of them is a trucker.

      Without a doubt, the far-right has been effective at harnessing the frustrations of the masses. Drumming up support and raising money thanks to a social media ecosystem which often rewards propaganda and disinformation, while disappearing voices of rational discourse. It gives the facade of solidarity, but relishes in manipulating people’s base fears and prejudices which usually leads to scapegoating or worse. We have seen this kind of thing before. In Australia, and Germany, and the UK. And at the US Capitol in Washington a year ago. Is it any surprise, then, that Donald Trump has come out to endorse it?

    • “All Boys Aren’t Blue” Has Been Targeted for Removal in at Least 15 States
    • Will the Gates Foundation’s Board Ever Hold Bill Accountable?

      Last November, in a stunning shareholder resolution, Microsoft stock owners overwhelmingly voted to push the tech giant to publicly report on any investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by its founder, Bill Gates.

    • Education

      • Undocumented Students Still Need Support

        It took Farah Said almost seven years to complete her undergraduate studies as an undocumented student in New York City. After enrolling in CUNY City College’s Childhood Education Program and completing 113 credits, Said was told she could not graduate. Even though she had applied and was accepted to the program as an undocumented student, administration later informed her that she would not be able to complete the last, required part of the curriculum—student teaching. “Student teaching requires finger printing and finger printing requires a social security number, which I did not have,” says Said. This story was produced for Student Nation, a program of the Nation Fund for Independent Journalism, which is dedicated to highlighting the best of student journalism. For more Student Nation, check out our archive or learn more about the program here. StudentNation is made possible through generous funding from The Puffin Foundation. If you’re a student and you have an article idea, please send pitches and questions to [email protected].

    • Hardware

      • Mechanical keyboards: Pulsar PCMK | There and back again

        With the final keyboard assembled (see top photo), I connected it to my Linux system and started typing around. And first of all, the typing experience was nice. The Kailh Box Brown switches have a bit stronger actuation point then the switches I have in the Blademaster Pro (which are Cherry MX Brown ones), but above all the sound is a bit deeper and “thumbier”, which really gives a nice feeling.

        The keyboard also allows changing the RGB lightening via the keyboard (color, pattern, speed, brightness etc). There is a configuration software for macros etc, unfortunately it only works on Windows (and I couldn’t get it to work with Wine, either), a sour point … One more negative point is that the LED backlight doesn’t have a timeout, that is, it stays on all the time. The Drevo I have turns off after a configured number of seconds, and turns completely black – something I really like and miss on the Pulsar.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Opinion | American ‘Exceptionalism?’ Yes, but Not in a Good Way

        Americans’ long-held view of ourselves as the world’s “best everything” stands in the way of progress. So, here’s my question: Can we absorb our true standing and be motivated—rather than demoralized—by learning from nations that are doing better?

      • US Covid Death Rate Marks ‘Dark Side of American Exceptionalism’

        A new data analysis out Tuesday demonstrates that Covid-19 is now killing people at a significantly higher rate in the United States than in other rich countries, a grim reality that analysts have attributed to the nation’s lagging vaccination campaign and—more broadly—its fragmented for-profit healthcare system.

        Citing figures from Johns Hopkins University, the World Bank, and the U.S. government, the New York Times reports that the country’s deaths during the ongoing Omicron wave “have now surpassed the worst days of the autumn surge of the Delta variant, and are more than two-thirds as high as the record tolls of last winter, when vaccines were largely unavailable.”

      • Are public health responses to COVID-19 like the Cultural Revolution?

        If there’s one historical event to which antivaxxers and COVID-19 cranks and contrarians love to compare public health interventions to mitigate the harms of the current pandemic, it’s the Holocaust, which, of course, makes public health officials, governments, and the medial professionals Nazis promoting incipient fascism. Conveniently, such analogies also allow cranks to falsely don the mantle of oppressed people, like Jews during the Holocaust, Blacks during slavery and Jim Crow, and all manner of other oppressed people, even other victims of genocide, letting them believe themselves in their minds to be heroic freedom fighters standing up for the oppressed people who are required to mask up indoors or show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to go to a restaurant, and only then in vanishing small parts of the country. Given the far rightward shift of the antivaccine movement politically, which facilitated its merger it with the always right wing contingent of COVID-19 antimaskers and “anti-lockdown” protesters, I had always wondered why one particular incident of oppression from history had been left out, particularly given that the same group has likened COVID-19 science to a cult, a classic antiscience crank move! Well, I wonder no more. Now antivaxxers are co-opting the Communist Chinese Cultural Revolution, because of course they are!

      • US Has the Highest COVID Death Rate Among Wealthy Countries
      • COVID Cases in Youth Prisons Are Cutting Vulnerable Kids Off From Their Parents
      • Opinion | The Pandemic Proves the Benefits of Universal Health Care

        There has been a Jekyll and Hyde quality to American health care over the past two years.

      • ADHD in Girls Often Underdiagnosed – Validated Independent News

        Leonard highlights the case of Kyrie Speer, who wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until she was 20 years old, although her brother was diagnosed during childhood. Speer says, “For myself, I was able to do my schoolwork, I wasn’t as energized as my brother, and I was able to control myself more. In my parents’ eyes, that meant I didn’t have ADHD. For many years I didn’t think I did either.” Girls and young women often remain undiagnosed until their twenties, due partly to their ability to mask their ADHD symptoms during childhood.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Hackers steal more than $320 million in crypto through DeFi breach

            Hackers stole more than $320 million in cryptocurrency by breaking into an online communications bridge called Wormhole which links different DeFi blockchain networks.

            Wormhole said thieves “exploited” the network and managed to steal 120,000 wrapped ether, the company said on Twitter. Wormhole is one of the popular communications bridges connecting the Ethereum and Solana blockchains.

            Ronghui Gu, co-founder of CertiK, a blockchain security company which analyzed the breach, said the attack highlights the “growing concern around blockchain security.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Spying Begins At Home: Israel’s Government Used NSO Group Malware To Surveill Its Own Citizens

              Israeli malware purveyor NSO Group may want to consider changing its company motto to “No News Is Good News.” The problem is there’s always more news.

            • Cross-Border Police Surveillance Treaty Undermines Privacy Rights – Validated Independent News

              EFF maintains this treaty does not contain all the necessary guidelines to preserve digital privacy and prevent unwarranted data collection. However, the authors of the treaty—prosecutors, law enforcement, and public safety officials—argue the text provides adequate safeguards for individuals, while considering the needs and goals of multiple law enforcement agencies across several states.

            • How a decades-old database became a hugely profitable dossier on the health of 270 million Americans

              Since he founded MarketScan, sources and uses of data have changed dramatically. Google, Facebook and Twitter were formed, creating impossibly deep wells of ancillary demographic and health information from internet searches, geolocation tracking, and unguarded social media posts. Medical data mining companies have made a business of scraping the details of consumers’ daily lives into medical dossiers that, if combined with MarketScan’s de-identified information, could be used to re-identify the individuals within its databases.

              “I don’t believe there’s nearly enough governance around how people can use personal information, whether it’s health care (data) or not,” Ludy said in the interview. He added that consumers are not only owed better transparency and disclosure, but a portion of the wealth — through royalties or another vehicle — that is generated from their data.

            • Agreement reached on new Europol mandate: Illegal activities must not be legalised!

              After several trilogues, negotiations on the revision of Europol’s mandate were concluded yesterday and more powers for the EU police agency were agreed to. Despite serious concerns from civil society and a reprimand from the European Data Protection Supervisor last year, Europol is to be allowed to collect and analyse masses of data about non-suspected people, such as mobile phone movement and air travel data.

            • [Old] EU: Europol: “Significant progress” on legalising illegal data practices

              There has been “significant progress” in negotiations on new powers for EU police agency Europol, according to a document circulated by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council in December. The police agency was recently ordered to delete vast amounts of personal data that it was processing illegally – but the new rules would allow those practices to continue. Member states may be hoping to approve the new rules before the agency has to implement the deletion order.

            • [Old] The EU’s own ‘Snowden Scandal’: Europol’s Data Mining

              On 3 January 2022, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), which supervises the processing of personal data by the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol, ordered Europol to delete data held in its databases on individuals with no established link to criminal activity.

            • [Old] Europol: Council Presidency proposes workaround for illegal data processing

              The EDPS ruled that Europol was illegally processing data on a vast scale – but found a ‘fudge’ to give it some leeway to process data already in its possession, before requiring deletion after a certain time period.

            • Secret negotiations about Europol: the big rule of law scandal

              On 3 January 2022, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), responsible for overseeing the compliance of European Union (EU) institutions and agencies with data protection law, notified Europol, the EU agency for police cooperation, of an order to delete data it has illegally retained and processed for years. The decision aimed at bringing back Europol’s data practices in line with its mandate currently in force. It revealed “the EU’s very own ‘Snowden Scandal’”, in which Europol plays an increasingly important role in the mass collection of personal data and the use of data mining techniques to analyse these huge amounts of data. Unfortunately, EU policymakers want to remove any remaining legal barriers to this mass surveillance complex.

            • Goodbye FLoC, hello Topics

              Back in May, we looked at a Google proposal to replace third-party cookies with something called the “Federated Learning of Cohorts” (FLoC). Third-party cookies were once used to track users all over the web so that advertisers could, supposedly, target their ads better, but, of the major browsers, only Google’s Chrome browser fails to block them today. Google took a fair amount of flak for FLoC, since it was not perceived to be much of a win for users’ privacy—and was mostly a sop to the (Google-dominated) web-advertising industry. Now the company is back with a different proposal that could, eventually, replace third-party cookies in Chrome: Topics.

              FLoC would effectively pigeonhole users into “opaque” categories (cohorts), so that a given cohort ID would reflect a common set of interests those users have based on their recent browsing history. But exactly what information was being communicated is unclear, and was only opaque to browser users. Advertisers would presumably have been given some information about what a given cohort ID represented (so that they can target their ads) and web-site owners could potentially correlate additional information (e.g. account information) as well as track cohort ID changes over time.

              No one, other than Google and web advertisers apparently, was lamenting the loss of third-party cookies, nor really looking for another “more limited” mechanism to track users’ browsing habits. But Google sits in the catbird seat with respect to the web; the company is the dominant web-advertising player while also developing and distributing the most popular browser. That has allowed it to dictate, at least to a certain extent, how user tracking will (or will not) be done.

              Apparently, the uproar over FLoC succeeded in diverting that particular plan, so Topics was born. Overall, Topics is more privacy-friendly than FLoC, though it still “leaks” more information than many will be comfortable with—that is the point, after all. But it is less opaque than its predecessor, with more controls for the user, though it is still an opt-out feature, so it will be on by default unless users take action.

            • How a decades-old database became a hugely profitable dossier on the health of 270 million Americans

              As a repository of sensitive patient information, the company’s databases churn silently behind the scenes of their medical care, scooping up their most guarded secrets: the diseases they have, the drugs they’re taking, the places their bodies are broken that they haven’t told anyone but their doctor. The family of databases that make up MarketScan now include the records of a stunning 270 million Americans, or 82% of the population.

            • Confidentiality

              • Wrapping up Run a Tor bridge campaign

                Today, we’re wrapping up the “Run a Tor bridge” campaign. If you missed our previous blog post, the Tor Project launched a campaign to get more bridges last November. The campaign goal was to increase the Tor network size and get 200 new obfs4 bridges. Since then, we have seen new bridges joining the network every day.

                Here is the good news: not only did we achieve our modest goal, but we also reverted the trend of declining bridges in the network! The Tor network now has 2470 running bridges, i.e., the number of Tor bridges has almost doubled! Over the past two months, we have been helping new bridge operators to set up their bridges, updating our documentation, and testing new bridges.

              • Looking for sq stakeholders

                A crucial factor in developing good software is knowing what it needs to do, and how. This means talking to people who use it, or would like to use it. That is, talking to people who have an interest in the software doing what they need it to do, doing it well, and being comfortable for them to use.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Federal Probe Demanded After ‘Ominous’ Bomb Threats at HBCUs

        As the FBI announced Wednesday it had identified six persons of interest in connection with bomb threats at historically Black universities and colleges this week, progressives called on the federal government to thoroughly investigate the latest wave of threats against the institutions.

        “We urge the Department of Justice to prioritize investigation of this sudden increase of bomb threats at HBCUs in multiple states, and the states’ attorneys general in each state to investigate incidents within their state, looking for leads indicating coordination of these threats,” said Alyssa Canty, director of youth programs at Common Cause.

      • Biden’s Campaign Donors Don’t Want Him to End US Support for the Yemen War
      • ‘We will pursue you until we cut off your heads’ Chechnya reports massive protest against the family of anti-torture activist

        On Wednesday, February 2, the Chechen authorities reported that 400,000 people had joined a rally in Grozny to protest the family of prominent anti-torture activist Abubakar Yangulbayev. The demonstration came a day after Russian lawmaker Adam Delimkhanov threatened to decapitate members of the Yangulbayev family. The activist’s father, retired judge Saidi Yangulbayev, fled Russia along with his daughter on January 23 — three days after his wife, Zarema Musayeva, was forcibly taken to Chechnya. The threats against the Yangulbayev family echo menacing remarks made by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has also been leveling accusations against Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina (who is known for her investigative work in Chechnya) and human rights activist Igor Kalyapin (who, like Abubakar Yangulbayev, works for the Committee for the Prevention of Torture). 

      • British American Tobacco Funding War in West Africa by Oversupplying Region with Cigarettes – Validated Independent News

        BAT is not responding to a shortage in product. In fact, Dunhill cigarettes are readily available in Mali. Dunhill cigarettes produced by BAT are already sold in 38 African countries, and the company has a 90 percent market share in 11 countries, including Sierra Leone and South Africa. Additionally, cigarettes are regularly smuggled into rebel-held areas throughout the country and parts of North Africa, funding a long, brutal war in the West African region. Since 2012, more than two million people have been displaced in the conflicts, according to an extensive February 2021 report by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

      • Escalating Ukraine Tensions, Pentagon Deploys 3,000 Troops to Eastern Europe

        The Pentagon announced that it would send 3,000 troops to three NATO nations in Eastern Europe amid accusations by Russian and Ukrainian officials as well as anti-war advocates that the U.S. is escalating tensions in the region.

        According to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, President Joe Biden directed the Department of Defense to send troops to Poland, Germany, and Romania after meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley on Tuesday.

      • The U.S. Government Will Be Responsible for Ukraine Deaths

        If the U.S. government had not kept NATO in existence at the ostensible end of the Cold War in 1989, Russia would not be feeling the need to invade Ukraine today. Or if the U.S. government had not had NATO absorb former Warsaw Pact countries and then threaten to absorb Ukraine, Russia would not be feeling the need to invade Ukraine today. The only reason that Russia feels the need to invade Ukraine today is because the Pentagon and the CIA kept NATO in existence and then had NATO move its forces eastward toward Russia’s borders by gobbling up former Warsaw Pact countries and by then threatening to do the same with Ukraine.

        It should be noted that Congress has never specifically approved any of this NATO absorption. Ultimately, it’s the Pentagon and the CIA who make the determination as to who NATO will absorb and not absorb, notwithstanding the fact that the lives of America’s young people are being pledged to the defense of these countries. 

      • U.S. to Russia: Do as We Say, Not as We Do

        Aiding and abetting a potentially catastrophic — and I do mean catastrophic — confrontation between the world’s two nuclear superpowers are lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Like the media they echo and vice versa, members of Congress, including highly touted progressives, can scarcely manage more than vague comments that they want diplomacy rather than war.

        Imagine if a powerful Russian-led military alliance were asserting the right to be joined by its ally Mexico — and in the meantime was shipping big batches of weapons to that country — can you imagine the response from Washington? Yet we’re supposed to believe that it’s fine for the U.S.-led NATO alliance to assert that it has the prerogative to grant membership to Ukraine — and in the meantime is now shipping large quantities of weaponry to that country.

      • America Is Reaping What It Sowed in Ukraine

        U.S. allies do not all support the current U.S. policy. Germany is wisely refusing to funnel more weapons into Ukraine, in keeping with its long-standing policy of not sending weapons into conflict zones. Ralf Stegner, a senior Member of Parliament for Germany’s ruling Social Democrats, told the BBC on January 25th that the Minsk-Normandy process agreed to by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in 2015 is still the right framework for ending the civil war.

        “The Minsk Agreement hasn’t been applied by both sides,” Stegner explained, “and it just doesn’t make any sense to think that forcing up the military possibilities would make it better. Rather, I think it’s the hour of diplomacy.”

      • In the Line of Eternal Fire: Ukraine’s Nuclear Reactors

        It’s yet one more reminder of just how much an already perilous situation can become orders of magnitude worse, once you introduce the risk of major radioactive releases into the equation.

        There are 15 reactors in Ukraine providing about 50% of the country’s electricity. Hooper’s article speculates not only on what could happen if any one of these nuclear sites — such as the six-reactor VVER-1000 complex at Zaporizhzhia  — should find itself in the midst of armed conflict or bombardment. He also postulates intentional sabotage by Russia as a strategic measure — “allowing reactors to deliberately melt down and potentially contaminate wide portions of Europe.”

      • Omar Warns Democrats’ Ukraine Proposal Only ‘Escalates the Conflict’

        Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Wednesday delivered a detailed rebuke of congressional Democrats’ proposed legislative response to the escalating crisis involving Ukraine and Russia, declaring that “when the United States says it champions human rights, democracy, and peace, we should mean it.”

        “Instead of spending $500 million on weapons, we should be centering civilian needs with refugee and humanitarian assistance.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Starbucks Profits Soar by 31%—But It’s Raising Prices Anyway

        Starbucks on Tuesday reported a 31% increase in profits during the final three months of 2021, but the massive Seattle-based coffee chain nevertheless announced plans to further hike prices this year, drawing outrage from critics who say the company is pushing higher costs onto consumers to pad its bottom line.

        “Corporations are jacking up prices on consumers and using concerns about inflation as cover to do so.”

      • Opinion | The Fed’s War on Inflation Is Really an Attack on Workers

        US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has now committed to putting US monetary policy on a course of rising interest rates, which could boost the short-term rate (on federal funds and treasury bills) by at least 200 basis points by the end of 2024. Thus, Powell yielded to pressure from economists and financiers, resurrecting a playbook that the Fed has followed for 50 years—and that should have remained in its vault.

      • Reno Seeks to Purchase Motels as Affordable Housing Instead of Letting Developers Demolish Them

        For more than five years, the mayor of Reno, Nevada, has supported the demolition of dozens of dilapidated motels that provided shelter for thousands of residents squeezed by the city’s housing crisis, rather than rehabilitate the buildings to provide affordable housing. Now she’s changing course.

        Mayor Hillary Schieve is proposing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire and rehabilitate motels in downtown through the Reno Housing Authority. In fact, the agency has already moved quietly to buy two shuttered buildings. Last week, the agency submitted an offer to buy the Bonanza Inn, a closed 58-unit motel with a history of code violations that is now part of an estate sale. It also submitted a letter of intent to make an offer on a much larger property — the 19-story former Sundowner casino-hotel.

      • Tax-Dodging Billionaire Dynasties Could Cost US $8.4 Trillion: Report

        Over the next few decades, the richest American families could avoid paying about $8.4 trillion in taxes, or more than four times the cost of the stalled Build Back Better package, according to a report released Wednesday.

        “We can fix our broken estate and gift tax system… or we can trust our democracy to a handful of trillionaire trust fund babies.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Meet the Trio Who May Have Figured Out How to Save American Democracy

        Led by battleground state legislators, the Trumpers have rewritten voting laws, threatened election administrators, begun purges of county election boards, created new gerrymanders, and more. The worst of these power grabs limit access to a ballot, which is the starting line of voting, for anti-Trump blocs and would disqualify ballots and nullify votes before the finish line.

        This playbook is not new. But modern voting systems, from voter registration to tallying paper ballots, contain numerous stages and respective data sets, many of which are public records and are quite detailed. If smartly used after Election Day, these records could provide an easily understood evidence trail that would make it much harder for the Trump faction to proclaim victory prematurely or falsely.

      • Moar Consolidation: Sony Acquires Bungie, But Appears To Be More Hands Off Than Microsoft

        A couple of weeks back we asked the question: is the video game industry experiencing an age of hyper-consolidation? The answer to that increasingly looks to be “yes”. That post was built off of a pair of Microsoft acquisitions of Zenimax for $7 billion and then a bonkers acquisition of Activision Blizzard King for roughly $69 billion. Whereas consolidations in industries are a somewhat regular thing, what caused my eyes to narrow was all of the confused communications coming out of Microsoft as to how the company would handle these properties when it came to exclusivity on Microsoft platforms. It all went from vague suggestions that the status quo would be the path forward to, eventually, the announcement that some (many?) titles would in fact be Microsoft exclusives.

      • Opinion | Time for the DOJ to Get Much More Aggressive on Voting Rights

        The right to vote is under attack in states across the country. A Republican filibuster has blocked legislation that would protect that right. President Biden can still act right now to help defend that right, by ramping up the Justice Department’s efforts to challenge those measures designed to suppress the vote.

      • His Prime Ministership In Tatters, Boris Johnson Now Displays Amazing Energy

        At the first stage of the Covid-19 outbreak he skipped 5 successive meetings of the UK’s emergency management committee (COBRA), and while BoJo managed to put in appearances afterwards (especially when it came to photo ops in hospitals and vaccination centres), it was clear that the lack of diligence over detail and attention to process– missing in all his previous jobs– had carried over wholesale into his premiership.

        Flunkeys, including nannies from his childhood, had always picked up the slack for BoJo.

      • ‘Dangerously Out of Touch’: Menendez Under Fire for Attacking Iran Diplomacy

        Advocates for a peaceful U.S. foreign policy denounced Sen. Bob Menendez on Wednesday after the New Jersey Democrat gave a speech that criticized the White House’s effort to revive the Iran nuclear deal jettisoned by former President Donald Trump, demanded “stricter” enforcement of sanctions, and endorsed the possible use of “military force.”

        “Menendez offers the exact same proposals as the previous administration that got us into this mess.”

      • Alarm Grows as Florida GOP Advances Plan to Gut Ballot Initiative Process

        The citizen initiative process that gave Floridians the power to raise the minimum wage and restore voting rights is under grave threat after the state’s House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday advanced a Republican proposal to dramatically limit the scope of future ballot measures.

        Led by state Rep. Mike Beltran (R-57), House Joint Resolution 1127 would alter Florida’s constitution to limit citizen initiatives to “matters relating to procedural subjects or to structure” of the government—a restriction that likely would have blocked $15 minimum wage, voting rights, medical marijuana, and conservation amendments.

      • Historical Pact Coalition Heads for Elections in Violence-Ridden Colombia

        A former urban guerrilla, congressional representative, mayor of Bogota, and now senator, Petro ran for president in 2010 and in 2018, when he lost to current president Iván Duque in second-round voting. Duque is not running for re-election.

        Petro led the opposition against former president and extreme right-winger Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) who is accused of corruption, narcotrafficking, and ties with paramilitaries. Duque is Uribe’s protégé.  As president, Uribe prioritized war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and later opposed the government’s peace agreement with the FARC.

      • New York Amazon Workers File to Unionize Just Before Election Rerun in Bessemer
      • Truth, Knowledge… ACTION!
      • Ocasio-Cortez Pans Manchin for Feigning Ignorance on Build Back Better
      • Abrams Has Out-Fundraised Kemp by $2 Million Since December in Georgia Race
      • Will New York’s Redistricting Be Enough to Save the Democrats?

        During an otherwise dismal winter for Democrats, good news arrived suddenly on Sunday night: The New York State Legislature released its draft maps of new House districts.

      • Progressives Alarmed by Florida GOP Plan to Gut Ballot Initiative Process
      • ABC News/Ipsos Poll: More About a Soundbite Than Public Opinion

        A new ABC News/Ipsos poll (1/30/22) is a poster child for what is wrong with many media-sponsored polls these days. Instead of a serious effort to measure what the public is thinking about any specific issue, the poll glides superficially across a whole range of subjects, never stopping long enough to provide understanding of any one of them—creating an illusion of public opinion that is either misleading, biased or simply inaccurate.

      • US bans telecom giant China Unicom over spying concerns
      • Brown University Faculty Reject Push for Koch-Funded Scholarship

        More than 60% of Brown University faculty members voted Tuesday to postpone a vote on the creation of a new academic center until next month, giving professors more time to assess whether administrators have adequately strengthened the institution’s gift policy to ensure that wealthy right-wing donors are not bankrolling science-denying, corporate-friendly research.

        The proposed Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) would absorb and expand programs from the Political Theory Project (PTP), which has received funding from the Koch Foundation led by fossil fuel billionaire and GOP mega-donor Charles Koch, The Brown Daily Herald reported this week.

      • Facebook: Daily active users fall for first time in 18-year history
    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Norman Mailer Wasn’t Canceled

        The first “cancel culture” episode of 2022 began just three days into the new year, when the journalist Michael Wolff reported that Random House would not be going ahead with a planned collection of political writings by the late Norman Mailer. According to Wolff, the publishing house cited “a junior staffer’s objection to the title of Mailer’s 1957 essay, ‘The White Negro,’” as “the proximate cause” for the book’s being pulled. Wolff, while acknowledging that Mailer was always a controversial figure—among other things, in 1960 he stabbed his wife with a penknife—made clear in the piece that he regarded Random House’s decision as a representative and regrettable development in a publishing industry that lives in constant fear of running afoul of a younger generation of easily offended staffers and readers.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Taliban Free 2 Afghan Journalists After International Outcry

        The Taliban on Wednesday released two journalists working for a local news channel in Afghanistan two days after their arrests, which drew domestic and international denunciation of the Islamist group over its crackdown on dissent.

        Sharif Hassanyar, the head of the private Ariana News TV, confirmed via a tweet the release of reporters Waris Hasrat and Aslam Hijab from Taliban custody.

        The journalists were picked up Monday by Taliban forces while they were leaving their office for lunch in the capital, Kabul. The reason behind their arrest was not known, and Taliban authorities released them without accepting responsibility.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | This Black History Month Its More Important Than Ever to Teach Our History

        When President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, he urged all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

      • Israel’s Hasbara in Sheikh Jarrah: On Gilad Erdan’s ‘Terrorist’ Rock and Faulty Logic

        “Would you consider it a terror attack if a rock like this was thrown at your car while driving with your children?” Erdan asked the United Nations Security Council members, while holding the rock in his hands. “Would you, at the very least, condemn these brutal terror attacks carried out against Israeli civilians by Palestinians?”

        This Israeli logic is quite typical, where oppressed Palestinians are depicted to be the aggressor, and oppressive Israel – a racist apartheid state by any standard – presents itself as a victim merely engaging in defending its own citizens.

      • What’s the Matter with Mandates?

        It is easy to miss the significance of that parenthetical qualification, but it is actually hugely important. To thwart people’s desires for their own good is paternalistic. It is generally believed that a certain degree of paternalism is morally all right for parents. Children can be assumed to need a certain amount of paternalism in that they are, arguably, not yet fully rational, or at least have not yet sufficiently developed their ability to delay gratification and hence are prone to self-destructive behavior. 

        It is also generally believed, however, that there should be an inverse relation between a child’s age and the degree of paternalism to which they are subjected. That is, the younger the child, the more morally acceptable it is for parents to thwart their desires, or to make decisions for them. As children age, however, they need to learn to make decisions for themselves. Parents who continue to make their children’s decisions for them as they mature in fact retard the process of their maturation. They may begin to resemble adults physically, but if they have not been allowed to make important decisions for themselves, even at the risk of their making bad decisions, then they will effectively continue to be children. 

      • With Intent to Harm: The CIA, Schizophrenia and Denmark’s Children

        A Danish Radio documentary series, The Search for Myself, did not hold back in leveling claims against the US Central Intelligence Agency that it had financially aided experiments on 311 Danish children in the early 1960s.  A good number of them were orphans or adopted.

        One such victim was the documentary maker Per Wennick, who claims that he was subjected to tests with no knowledge of their background in the basement of the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen.  These were supposedly designed to investigate links between heredity and environmental factors in engendering schizophrenia, work inspired by the psychologist Sarnoff A. Mednick.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘The Overload’ By Yard Act

        We all feel the malaise of what has become normal, whether it is life under a global pandemic and/or the expansion of austerity measures that impact everyone. “The Overload,” Yard Act’s single from their debut album, is an anthem for those struggling to keep their head above water.Yard Act is a post-punk band that hails from Leeds, England, and the influence of the Arctic Monkeys is pretty evident. They also count the Gorillaz’ “Plastic Beach” album as inspiration. The chorus is a concise expression of the present:

      • Trump Impeachment Witness Vindman Sues Loyalists Over Intimidation Tactics
      • New York Times Managers Are Waging Anti-Union Campaign During Tech Unit Election
      • A Landmark Environmental Precedent Was Just Set in Virginia

        I recognized the older woman immediately as she stood up to address the six members of the Virginia Air Pollution Board gathered in the Pittsylvania County Hall in Chatham, Va., on December 3 last year. A month before, she’d attended a story-telling workshop I ran, where we trained members of the community how to resist the laying of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) Southgate through our lands by telling the stories of their own lives. She had sat quietly, taking it all in, and now here she was at the hearing, dressed in that way of Southern women when they go to church.

      • Queens, New York Women Sue Celebrity Doctor for Serial Sexual Abuse – Validated Independent News

        In an interview with Molly Crane-Newman for the New York Daily News, a plaintiff identified as Bea in the court filings recalls her first and only appointment with Khandker in 2011 when she was just a teenager

      • Opinion | Biden Should Free Peltier Right Now

        The long and sad imprisonment of Leonard Peltier (Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation) took on a new complication on Friday when it was reported he tested positive for COVID-19 while incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Coleman, Fla. (USP Coleman 1).

      • Texas Town To Start Issuing Traffic Tickets By Text Message

        Way back in 2014, Oklahoma state senator (and former police officer) Al McAffrey had an idea: what if cops could issue traffic tickets electronically, without ever having to leave the safety and comfort of their patrol cars?

      • Brian Flores Levels a Lawsuit Against the NFL for Discriminatory Practices

        Inside the owners’ boxes of the National Football League, the emperors have been walking around naked for decades. And Brian Flores is done pretending they’re wearing clothes. The former Miami Dolphins head coach has issued a thunderclap of a lawsuit, on the first day of Black History Month, accusing the National Football League of systemic racism in the hiring of coaches and executives. He also calls out the Rooney Rule, the league directive by which NFL owners are compelled to sit down with one “minority” candidate per hiring cycle, as a performative sham that has produced nothing except unconvincing window dressing.

      • With Stephen Breyer’s Retirement, The Supreme Court Has Lost A Justice Who Was Wary Of Overly Burdensome Copyright

        Whatever the (I’d argue unfortunate) politics behind Stephen Breyer’s decision to retire as a Supreme Court Justice at the conclusion of this term, it is notable around here for his views on copyright. Breyer has generally been seen as the one Justice on the court most open to the idea that overly aggressive copyright policy was dangerous and potentially unconstitutional. Perhaps ironically, given that they are often lumped together on the overly simplistic “left/right” spectrum — Justices Breyer and Ginsburg — presented somewhat opposite ends of the copyright spectrum. Ginsburg consistently was a voice in favor of expanding copyright law to extreme degrees, while Breyer seemed much more willing to recognize that the rights of users — including fair use — were extremely important.

      • Erasing History: Holocaust Graphic Novelist Art Spiegelman on “Maus” & Wave of Book Bans Sweeping U.S.

        As a wave of book bans sweeps schools and libraries across the United States, we speak with the celebrated graphic novelist Art Spiegelman on a Tennessee school district’s recent vote to ban his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus” from its eighth grade language arts curriculum. The novel, which was targeted for profanity and nudity, tells the story of Spiegelman’s parents who survived the Holocaust. Spiegelman says the bills put forth by conservatives are just a “displacement of their own anxieties” and warns of taking away “access to understanding a genocidal system built by fascists and authoritarians” for youth and adults alike. He also comments on ABC’s recent suspension of Whoopi Goldberg for her comments that the Holocaust was “not about race,” saying Goldberg deserves to stay on air in light of her apology.

      • The Silencing of Black & Queer Voices: George M. Johnson on 15-State Ban of “All Boys Aren’t Blue”

        School districts and Republican-controlled state legislatures are rapidly intensifying efforts to ban certain books about race, colonialism, sex and gender identity from public classrooms and libraries. The wave of book bans — with more than 70 educational gag order bills being introduced in legislatures over the past month alone — have been largely led by right-wing groups funded by Charles Koch. We’re joined by author George M. Johnson to talk about their award-winning memoir-manifesto “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” which deals with homophobia, transphobia and racism and has been targeted for removal in at least 15 states. “Black storytelling has often been banned,” says Johnson. “My book is a tool so that Black queer kids and LGBTQ teens can see themselves and read about themselves and learn about themselves.” Johnson also says the bans have only given youth more access points to their book and argues the recent bills imposed by conservatives are “all about the fear of losing the control of the minds that they have had in this country since its early foundings.”

      • It’s been a busy start of the year for open culture at CC! Here’s an update

        Since June 2021, thanks to a grant by the Arcadia Fund, Creative Commons has been developing our Open Culture / Open GLAM program to help transform institutions and support them as they embrace open culture and all the benefits it creates for themselves and their communities. Our core task is to enable galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) to share their collections online as freely and openly as possible in participatory, interactive, sustainable, ethical, and equitable ways.

        Here’s an overview of what we have been up to in recent months.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Hollywood, Media, And Telecom Giants Are Clearly Terrified Gigi Sohn Will Do Her Job At The FCC

        Media and telecom giants have been desperately trying to stall the nomination of Gigi Sohn to the FCC. Both desperately want to keep the Biden FCC gridlocked at 2-2 Commissioners thanks to the rushed late 2020 Trump appointment of Nathan Simington to the Commission. Both industries most assuredly don’t want the Biden FCC to do popular things like restore the FCC’s consumer protection authority, net neutrality, or media consolidation rules. But because Sohn is so popular, they’ve had a hell of a time coming up with any criticisms that make any coherent sense.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Congress Introduces New Agricultural ‘Right to Repair’ Bill With Massive Farmer Support

        Back in 2015, frustration at John Deere’s draconian tractor DRM helped birth a grassroots tech movement dubbed “right to repair.” The company’s crackdown on “unauthorized repairs” turned countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists, after DRM (and the company’s EULA) prohibited the lion’s share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned. These restrictions only worked to drive up costs for owners, who faced either paying significantly more money for “authorized” repair (which for many owners involved hauling tractors hundreds of miles and shelling out thousands of additional dollars), or toying around with pirated firmware just to ensure the products they owned actually worked.

    • Monopolies

      • Can We At Least Make Sure Antitrust Isn’t Deliberately Designed To Make Everyone Worse Off?

        For decades here on Techdirt I’ve argued that competition is the biggest driver of innovation, and so I’m very interested in policies designed to drive more competition. Historically this has been antitrust policy, but over the past decade or so it feels like antitrust policy has become less and less about competition, and more and more about punishing companies that politicians dislike. We can debate whether or not consumer welfare is the right standard for antitrust — I think there are people on both sides of that debate who make valid points — but I have significant concerns about any antitrust policy that seems deliberately designed to make consumers worse off.

      • Copyrights

        • A Renaissance Riddle: The Sola Busca Tarot Deck (1491) – The Public Domain Review

          The Latin motto TRAHO FATIS (I am drawn by Fate) appears but four times in the Tarot masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, the Sola Busca deck, and yet it hangs unmistakably over the cards’ entire colorful procession of ancient Greek and Roman heroes. Armored in the style of late-fifteenth century northern Italy, they bear bagpipes, shields, lyres, pennants, staffs, and torches, while accompanied by basilisks, crows, falcons, doves, and eagles. Every single card is a miniature drama — the expressions of the highly individualized figures inviting us to speculate, like the Tarot itself, on the past and future of this cryptic world.

          When the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage in Milan purchased the Sola Busca tarot deck in 2009, it had existed for five hundred years, and yet had barely ever been seen — a very strange thing for a deck of playing cards. Before a spate of studies appeared in Italian after 1990, it had only been written about three times: by Count Leopold Cicognara in Memoirs to Serve the History of Intaglio Printing (1831); by William Hughes Willshire in A Description of Playing and Other Cards (1876); and in 1935, when British Museum art historian Arthur Mayger Hind’s Early Italian Engravings advanced the first hypothesis about the origin of the deck and its author. Although still hotly debated, the contemporary scholarly consensus is that the Sola Busca deck — now housed at the Pinacoteca de Brera — was engraved in 1491, most likely in Ferrara, and was colored by hand about a decade later, in Venice. (Other versions of this deck exist in fragmented, unpainted form, preserved by the Albertina in Vienna, the British Museum, and elsewhere.)

        • iTunes DRM Removal Could Come Back to Haunt Record Labels in Piracy Liability Lawsuit

          In 2009, the major record labels decided to remove DRM from music in the iTunes store. More than a decade has passed since but the issue could now make a comeback in a piracy liability lawsuit. Internet provider RCN plans to use it as a defense, while the labels claim that the DRM issue is old and irrelevant.

        • Manga Publishers’ Lawsuit: Cloudflare Fails to Terminate Pirates or Verify Identities

          Manga publishers Shueisha, Kodansha, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa have now filed their promised lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court, demanding an injunction and damages against Cloudflare for copyright infringement. They say that Cloudflare has become an indispensable tool for many pirate sites and accuse the company of being uncooperative while failing to conduct due diligence.

        • Open Minds Podcast: Brigitte Vézina of Creative Commons

          Brigitte Vézina (Photo by Victoria Heath, CC BY)

        • Tell the Copyright Office Who Is Really Affected by Filters

          The Copyright Office is also holding a plenary session on February 22, to hear from the public. It will then engage in a  series of  “industry-sector specific consultations.” Given how often “industry” is seen as equivalent to Big Tech and Big Content, it is vital that the Copyright Office properly consider all of those who would be affected.

          We want to make sure that the Copyright Office hears the real problems with technical approaches to infringement, especially automated filters, so that it understands the dangers of allowing robots to shape online expression. Automated filters are expensive, don’t work very well in many instances, and routinely suppress lawful expression. Facebook routinely removes classical musicians because of its filter. YouTube’s filter takes money from independent creators and gives them to giant corporations. Experts in copyright law talking about what counts as infringement find that video removed and can’t figure out how to respond. Twitch removes a channel owned by its parent company. And on and on.

          One sadly ironic result: independent internet creators face even more challenges reaching an audience just as new technologies and platforms should be making it easier. “Big Content” cannot be the sole voice of internet creators, who are also copyright holders with a right to be included in this process. And it’s hard to imagine which “industry sectors” can adequately represent the users who would be affected by any new technical measures, much less the multiple public interests in play. If you agree, you can submit comments to remind the Copyright Office of these facts and emphasize the dangers requiring filters would create.

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