McCoy Smith on What Software Patents Mean to Free Software (2020)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: To quote the original summary: “For many years, the existence of software patents, and the threat that certain entities would use them against free software, was an issue of significant concern to the free software community. Since then, there have been many court decisions that have altered the landscape of what may be patented, procedures allowing challenges to patents outside of the court system, industry initiatives to create “patent peace” around parts of the free software world, and changes in the behaviors of certain patent holders once thought to present the greatest threat to free software. This presentation will give an overview, designed for a non-legal audience, of the latest developments, and suggest where the future of patents and free software may be headed.”

Licence: CC BY 4.0

2 More Days Until EPO Strike, Examiners Unwilling to Become Another Brick in the Wall

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Rubber Stamp

Summary: Techrights warmly supports and understands EPO staff that wishes to do the job properly, and becoming a semi-automatic machine isn’t the job

Life After Social Control Media: A Fortnight Later

Posted in Deception at 8:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

After Twitter

Summary: Social Control Media is a fad and a bubble; it gives a wrong/false sense of its importance; in the long run, the world won’t be shaped by it (even Donald Trump has had all of his ‘tweets’ permanently purged), it’ll just become more divisive, at least temporarily (it helps drive “engagement” and sell ads, but even Twitter can’t make a profit)

THIS month was the first month since early 2009 that I didn’t do Social Control Media at all (no Diaspora, no Fediverse, no Twitter, no WordPress.com, no MINDS, no Tumblr). What I said about a week ago is still true; the sole regret was that I hadn’t left sooner. While sites like Twitter get optimised for hate it’s difficult to reconcile any participation. If you’re there, you’re helping “the machine”…

“The short story is, I don’t miss anything about Social Control Media.”The Twitter account did not get deleted, just abandoned. As can be seen above, the moment you stop participating is the moment you realise 951,000 past “tweets” aren’t seen much, unlike proper, long-form articles. The ‘shelf life’ of “tweets” is incredibly short and I can imagine the same is true for Facebook (maybe due to the way the information is organised, with infinite scrolling and poor searching capabilities, no cross-referencing etc.), so it helps reaffirm what I’ve said repeatedly for years. When I was last abroad (that was an unusually long time ago, Christmas 2018 in Germany, 10 months before COVID-19) I didn’t post anything in Social Control Media and the effect was similar. When you leave Social Control Media nobody really “misses” you (or barely anyone). People carry on bickering and “engaging”, just not with you. And so you can spend more time reading proper literature and proper journalism, not “tweets”…

In a couple of days the EPO goes on strike, so we’ll probably have a lot to say and publish. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos aren’t hurt by a bunch of ‘tweets’; in fact, they’d probably prefer it if all the criticism they got was in some ‘tweets’, whose ‘shelf life’ is the same as a pierced apple’s.

The short story is, I don’t miss anything about Social Control Media. I lost 13 years on that thing… Social Control Media may give you the feeling that you accomplish something, but once you leave you realise it was mostly an illusion. Heck, even IRC is a much better use of time and communication is a lot easier in IRC (better UI and rapid exchanges). A third of my life was spent/wasted on Social Control Media. I am not going back there.

Links 19/3/2022: Raspberry Pi Project Ideas

Posted in News Roundup at 3:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • TechTargetNeed a replacement? Try these 5 Docker alternatives

        After more than a decade in use, Docker remains the de facto container standard because of its ability to integrate with a broad array of tools and platforms, such as Kubernetes. However, business changes at Docker and market forces have prompted organizations to search for new containerization options.

    • Kernel Space

      • LinuxiacAsahi Linux Reaches Alpha Milestone, Brings Linux to M1 Macs

        The development of Asahi Linux for Macs equipped with Apple chips is in full swing. For those of you unaware, Asahi Linux is a project and community dedicated to bringing Linux to Apple Silicon Macs, beginning with the 2020 M1 Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.

        As you know, the M1 is Apple’s custom Arm-based SoC which started showing on Macs in 2020 after ditching Intel’s x86 silicon chip. Because the M1 is Apple’s most powerful chip, it’s easy to see why developers are interested in porting Linux to it and running programs like Proton, which would turn the Mac into a powerful gaming PC.

      • LWNLinux 5.16.16
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.16.16 kernel.
        All users of the 5.16 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.16.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.16.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • LWNLinux 5.15.30
      • LWNLinux 5.10.107
      • LWNLinux 5.4.186
    • Applications

      • Linux LinksBest Free and Open Source Alternative to Apple Bonjour – LinuxLinks

        Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

        There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

        Mac OS X is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

        In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

      • Make Use OfSnap vs. AppImage vs. Flatpak: What Is the Difference and Which Is Best for You?

        Linux systems are popular for many reasons, but installing applications is not one of them. Apps in Linux are delivered as packages and come in all sorts of flavors. Packaging systems differ in terms of installation, usability, and update mechanisms.

        Below, we’ll look at and compare three prominent package formats: Snap, AppImage, and Flatpak, all distro independent.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Make Use OfA Guide to MySQL for Beginners

        MySQL is an open-source relational database management system with support for Structured Query Language (SQL). It helps in the development of a wide range of web-based applications and online content. MySQL runs on all OS platforms like Linux/UNIX, macOS, Windows and is an important component of the LAMP stack.

        MySQL is one of the most popular database systems and many cloud providers offer it as part of their service. It uses commands with queries and data to perform tasks and functions by communicating with the database. This article covers the most commonly used MySQL statements that allow users to efficiently work with databases.

      • How to Run Grafana In a Docker Container – CloudSavvy IT

        Grafana is a leading observability platform for metrics visualization. It lets you build bespoke dashboards to surface meaningful insights from your application’s real-time data streams.

        Grafana’s a cloud-native application that’s ready to be launched on popular infrastructure providers, installed on your own hardware, or deployed as a standalone container. In this guide we’ll focus on the latter choice by using the official Grafana image to start an instance that runs in Docker.

      • ID RootHow To Install MariaDB on Manjaro 21 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MariaDB on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, MariaDB is a free and open-source relational database management system (DBMS) that is considered as a successor and replacement of MySQL DBMS. MariaDB is fully compatible with the MySQL database and is widely used as a database server in the LAMP and LEMP stack.

        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 MariaDB database on a Manjaro 21 (Ornara).

      • GNU Linux Debian 11 – how to upgrade php7 to php8.1 – logo
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • The Register UKThis browser-in-the-browser attack is perfect for phishing • The Register

          A novel way of tricking people out of their passwords has left us wondering if there’s a need to rethink how much we trust our web browsers to protect us and to accelerate efforts to close web security gaps.

          Earlier this week, an infosec researcher known as mr.d0x described a browser-in-the-browser (BitB) attack. It’s a way to steal login credentials by simulating the little browser windows that Google, Microsoft, and other authentication service providers pop up that ask you for your username and password to continue. You’ve probably seen these windows: you click on something like a “Sign in with Microsoft” button on a website, and popup appears asking for your credentials to access your account or profile.

          Services like Google Sign-In will display a Google URL in the popup window navigation bar, which offers some reassurance that the login service is actually coming from a trusted company and not an unknown one. And bypassing defenses built into the user’s browser to fool them into trusting a malicious page tends to be difficult in the absence of an exploitable vulnerability, thanks to browser security mechanisms including Content Security Policy settings and the Same-origin policy security model.

        • The Register UKBrave takes the spring out of creepy bounce tracking [Ed: Brave is not privacy but a belief system]

          Browser maker Brave has developed a new way to ground “bounce tracking,” a sneaky technique for bypassing privacy defenses in order to track people across different websites.

          Bounce tracking, also known as redirect tracking, dates back at least to 2014 when ad companies were looking for ways to avoid third-party cookie blocking defenses.

          “Bounce tracking is a way for trackers to track you even if browser-level privacy protections are in place,” explained Peter Snyder, senior director of privacy at Brave, on Tuesday.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • The Register UKIBM Cloudant ends backing of FoundationDB version of CouchDB • The Register

          The IBM Cloudant software team has decided to pull the plug on its push to create a new database engine underlying Apache CouchDB, the NoSQL document store used by the BBC, Apple and atomic research facility CERN.

          In a post on the Apache list, Robert Newson, former IBM Cloudant employee and Apache CouchDB Project Management Committee member, explained that IBM Cloudant had supported a plan to “build a next-generation version of CouchDB using the FoundationDB database engine as its new base.”

        • The Register UKMongoDB to terminate Russian SaaS accounts [Ed: It probably has no Russian customers or barely any (but this is a PR stunt)]

          NoSQL database challenger MongoDB has decided it won’t sell its wares in Russia – not even its software-as-a-service offering.

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • Make Use OfWordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What’s the Difference?

          Starting a new website? From writing raw code to using content management systems like WordPress or website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly, there are tons of ways to get your website up and running.

          The most popular tool these days, however, is WordPress. Once you’ve settled on using WordPress, you’ll have another choice to make. Should you use WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

          There isn’t a yes or no answer to this—but once you’ve read through this article, you’ll have the information you need to make an informed choice.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • NatureDataset of first appearances of the scholarly bibliographic references on Wikipedia articles

            Referencing scholarly documents as information sources on Wikipedia is important because it supports or improves the quality of Wikipedia content. Several studies have been conducted regarding scholarly references on Wikipedia; however, little is known of the editors and their edits contributing to add the scholarly references on Wikipedia. In this study, we develop a methodology to detect the oldest scholarly reference added to Wikipedia articles by which a certain paper is uniquely identifiable as the “first appearance of the scholarly reference.” We identified the first appearances of 923,894 scholarly references (611,119 unique DOIs) in 180,795 unique pages on English Wikipedia as of March 1, 2017 and stored them in the dataset. Moreover, we assessed the precision of the dataset, which was highly precise regardless of the research field. Finally, we demonstrate the potential of our dataset. This dataset is unique and attracts those who are interested in how the scholarly references on Wikipedia grew and which editors added them.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The Register UKAre we springing into a Y2K-class nightmare? [Ed: No, DST itself was the cause of many bugs and troubles. Throwing it out the window will, in due course, fix many issues and woes.]

        The US Senate has passed legislation aimed at making Daylight Saving Time permanent, leaving the country in the “spring forward” state from 2023.

        The practice of changing the clocks twice a year in the US dates back to the agrarian heyday of the early 1900s and has endured, despite regular grumbling. Clocks go forward an hour at the start of the year (“Spring forward”) and go back towards the end (“Fall back”),a process that creates its own biannual chaos.

      • The Register UKITAM Forum launches standard for IT asset management • The Register

        The ITAM Forum, the professional body for IT asset management, is in the final validation stage of an independent, globally recognized standard for understanding business technology assets.

        In a move designed to put admins in a stronger position when it comes to software license audits, the launch of the ISO/IEC 19770-1 certification scheme was developed by around 100 volunteering ITAM professionals and NEN, the Royal Netherlands Standardisation Institute.

      • uni HarvardStandardized APIs Could Finally Make It Easy to Exchange Health Records [Ed: As it stands at the moment, a lot of very sensitive data is being passed through nototrous espionage entities. Standards alone won't fix that.]

        Trying to access personal medical information has been an intermittent annoyance for most people in the United States — until Covid-19 came along with a reminder of what a mess it can be.

      • Quang Ninh, Vietnam Applies Electronic ISO-Standard Governance System
  • Leftovers

    • The Register UKDriver in Uber’s self-driving car death goes on trial, says she feels ‘betrayed’

      The name Rafaela Vasquez may not immediately be recogniseable, but the accident that ties her to the first-ever fatal self-driving car crash accident will be.

      Vasquez was the driver when one of Uber’s autonomous test cars crashed into a woman walking her bike across the road at night in March 2018. Now nearly three years later, she is due to go on trial for negligent homicide, denies wrongdoing, and has spoken out for the first time.

    • IOTA Coordicide: Developer Hans Moog sees “breakthrough” on the way to decentralization – TheGWW.com

      In the official archive of IOTA, the term of “coordicide” was coined in November 2018 probably for the first time in a blog post . Under this working title, the IOTA Foundation has thus been working for years to abolish the central coordinator in Tanglenet and thus implement the iron principle of decentralization for cryptocurrencies in IOTA as well. Progress on Coordicide (IOTA 2.0) was announced at least as often as setbacks. Investors, meanwhile, increasingly understood that without decentralization, IOTA cannot stand a real chance with growth sectors of the crypto industry such as DeFi and smart contracts/DApps. Hans Moog, publicly perceived as the chief developer at IOTA, has now raised hopes for a happy ending via Twitter.

    • The Register UKAI drug algorithms can be flipped to invent bioweapons [Ed: Stop calling everything "Hey Hi"; some companies do so only to get patents on algorithms (it's a loophole by buzzwords)]

      AI algorithms designed to generate therapeutic drugs can be easily repurposed to invent lethal biochemical weapons, a US startup has warned.

      Experts have sounded alarm bells over the potential for machine-learning systems to be used for good and bad. Computer-vision tools can create digital art or deepfakes. Language models can produce poetry or toxic misinformation.

    • The AI beauty startup that champions transparency and inclusion [Ed: Buzzwords out of control.]
    • Public Schools in Telangana, India to Deploy AI [Ed: HEY HI nonsense again]
    • Science

      • Developing design tools for outer space structures – Purdue University News

        Achieving affordable space exploration will require lightweight structures for vehicles, solar arrays and antennas. Lightweight materials also will be used for components of structures like pressurized habitats, cryogenic tanks, landing gears and truss cages.

        The problem is that NASA envisions that many of those structures will be made from tailorable composite materials, but no design tool has been able to fully exploit the materials’ full potential. AnalySwift LLC, a Purdue University-affiliated commercial software provider, and Wenbin Yu, a professor in Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, are conducting research to create one. Yu is the principal investigator. Liang Zhang of AnalySwift and Xin Liu of the University of Texas at Arlington are co-investigators.

    • Hardware

      • The Register UKIf you want to connect GPUs direct to SSDs for a speed boost, this could be it

        Nvidia, IBM, and university collaborators have a developed an architecture they say will provide fast fine-grain access to large amounts of data storage for GPU-accelerated applications, such as analytics and machine-learning training.

        Dubbed Big accelerator Memory, aka BaM, this is an interesting attempt to reduce the reliance of Nvidia graphics processors and similar hardware accelerators on general-purpose chips when it comes to accessing storage, which could improve capacity and performance.

      • The Register UKFord to sell unfinished Explorers as chip shortage bites

        Good news for those kept out of the seat of a new Ford Explorer by the chip shortage: you can get one now, with a slight catch.

        Speaking at a meeting of the National Automotive Dealers Association, Ford VP of sales Andrew Frick said his automaker was planning to ship Ford Explorers without rear seat HVAC controls. Luckily for children and pets, heat and air conditioning for the rear of the vehicle can still be controlled from the front.

        Buyers who decide to skip the wait will get an unspecified price break on a new Explorer, where they’ll find a flat panel installed in place of the regular rear seat heating and cooling knobs.

      • The Register UKArm to drop up to 15 percent of staff – about 1,000 people [Ed: When you over-speculate about future success]

        Chip designer and licensor to the stars, Arm, has reportedly dropped around 1,000 workers onto unemployment queues.

        An email to staff from Arm CEO Rene Haas, seen and reported by the UK’s Daily Telegraph, states: “To stay competitive, we need to remove duplication of work now that we are one Arm; stop work that is no longer critical to our future success; and think about how we get work done.”

        Haas, who has been in the chief exec’s chair for about a month, added Arm needs “to be more disciplined about our costs and where we’re investing.”

        “I write this knowing that although it is the right thing to do for Arm’s future, this is not going to be easy,” he added.

        Between 12 and 15 per cent of staff will be let go as a result globally. The biz employs 6,400 worldwide.

      • The Register UKChina’s top tech city, Shenzhen, locks down completely for at least a week

        The Chinese city of Shenzhen – the nation’s tech hub – has gone into a week-long lockdown intended to slow an outbreak of COVID-19, and sent the world’s tech-dependent industries into a whirlwind of worry about the impact on supply chains.


        This matters because Shenzhen is a hub for China’s technology and logistics industries. The city is home to Huawei, Tencent, and many other large tech companies – including Taiwan’s Foxconn which has reportedly shut a pair factories at which iPhones are made. The famed Huaqiang Electronics World – a sprawling mall specializing in electronics components and accompanying online marketplace – is a top-tier sourcing option for any manufacturer. And plenty of manufacturers can be found in and around Shenzhen.

      • The Register UKStartups bag billions to fill gaps left by chip world giants

        Venture capitalists funneled billions into semiconductor startups in 2021, we’re told, targeting designers of machine-learning technologies that fulfill specific or niche needs.

      • The Register UKChina’s chip-making ambitions face setbacks • The Register

        Trade restrictions, sanctions, and other challenges are putting a dampener on China’s ambition to become a chip manufacturing hot spot.

        Research firm IC Insights is projecting the Chinese semiconductor foundry market share to remain flat through 2026, while rival manufacturers in the US, Taiwan, Korea, and other countries grow.

        Chip makers in China held an 8.5 percent market share in 2021 by revenue, and that will grow to just 8.8 percent in 2026.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • ‘We took it to the real world and it worked’: Rapid Zika testing platform clears hurdle with Brazil trial

        An international team of researchers, led by experts from the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, has conducted one of the first field trials for a synthetic biology-based diagnostic platform that could provide rapid, de-centralized and low-cost patient testing for infectious diseases such as the Zika virus.

        The work, conducted on-site in Latin America, revealed the potential for the cell-free synthetic biology tools and companion hardware. Published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the study’s results show that the novel diagnostic platform has analytical specificity and sensitivity equivalent to a U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) PCR test for Zika and a diagnostic accuracy of 98.5 per cent with 268 patient samples collected in Recife, Brazil.

        The platform is also programmable and can be similarly applied to detect any pathogen sequence. In addition to validating highly accurate diagnostic results for Zika, the team also achieved similar diagnostic performance for chikungunya virus, another mosquito-borne arbovirus.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The Register UKOpenness of Oracle licensing and audit tools questioned [Ed: Proprietary software has nothing to do with "openness"]

          Oracle customers can only use its licensing tools after the company has started to talk to them about software audits or offered license advice. Meanwhile, third-party tools that have been verified by Oracle do not help users in terms of license compliance.

        • The Register UKCISOs face ‘perfect storm’ of ransomware and state-supported cybercrime [Ed: This is primarily a Microsoft issue; ransomware affects Windows over 90% or over 95% of the time, depending on which companies surveys that]

          With not just ransomware gangs raiding network after network, but nation states consciously turning a blind eye to it, today’s chief information security officers are caught in a “perfect storm,” says Cybereason CSO Sam Curry.

        • The Register UKAMD confirms Ryzen chips’ stuttering performance on Windows 10, 11 [Ed: Windows is technically worse than GNU/Linux, but Microsoft makes up for it by bribing everyone and resorting to other forms of corruption]

          AMD has confirmed there is a performance problem with some of its Zen-family processors and Microsoft’s operating systems.

          Reports of stuttering performance under Windows 10 and 11 on some Ryzen systems have been rumbling for a while now and it appears the problem is lurking within Firmware Trusted Platform Module (fTPM) used in a number of AMD’s chips.

        • The Register UKSingapore uncovers four critical vulnerabilities in Riverbed software

          Specifically, the insecure code is in Dynamic Sampling Agent, which is the collection component of AppInternals. Versions affected, according to a CVE record, include 10.x, versions prior to 12.13.0, and versions prior to 11.8.8. Aternity’s advisory about the security holes is locked behind a customer login page. We’ve asked the vendor for more information.

        • Perfect Dark director leaves The Initiative [Ed: Microsoft kills everything it touches]
        • The Register UKSAP community website leaks member data to savvy users [Ed: SAP is not a community but a malicious proprietary software company that leaks out details of its serfs]

          A website for SAP’s Customer Influence programs is exposing member data, creating the possibility for targeted social-engineering attacks.

          At the time of publication, the website is no longer accessible.

          The programs are designed to help customers and long-standing users make suggestions to SAP about how it can improve its products and add new features. Ideas for future development can be submitted, debated, and voted on before being taken up by the German software giant.

        • The Register UKGoogle Maps stopped working properly for hours • The Register

          Google Maps Platform services went missing for a few hours on Friday as various APIs fell over.

          Around 0847 am PDT (1347 UTC), users of Google Maps Platform services began reporting problems. These surfaced on crowdsourced reporting sites like DownDetector.com and on the Maps Platform Status Page.

        • The Register UKUK criminal defense lawyer hadn’t patched when ransomware hit [Ed: Microsoft TCO in action]

          Criminal defense law firm Tuckers Solicitors is facing a fine from the UK’s data watchdog for failing to properly secure data that included information on case proceedings which was scooped up in a ransomware attack in 2020.


          The Microsoft Exchange server was out of action and two days’ worth of emails were lost, as detailed by the company blog at the time.

        • IT WireKaspersky CEO says no evidence for German warning about his firm [Ed: With proprietary software there is never evidence because it is secret and thus, by default, untrustworthy. Germany should be banning all software software, no matter its nationality.]

          A warning by the German Federal Office of Information Security against the use of Kaspersky products had no technical advice or objective evidence to back it up, the chief executive of the Russian security firm says.

        • The Register UKNew US law: Cyberattacks to be reported within 72 hours [Ed: They wrongly assume that each attack means a breach; this is the Microsoft mindset because its software is unsafe by design.]

          A US bill that would require critical infrastructure operators to report cyberattacks within 72 hours is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

        • The Register UKCafePress fined for covering up 2019 customer info leak [Ed: When you outsource your shop]

          The FTC wants the former owner of CafePress to cough up $500,000 after the customizable merch bazaar not only tried to cover up a major computer security breach involving millions of netizens, it failed to safeguard customers’ personal information.

          In a complaint [PDF] filed against CafePress former owner Residual Pumpkin Entity and PlanetArt, which bought the platform in 2020, the FTC alleges multiple instances of shoddy security practices at the online biz. In a settlement proposed by the US watchdog, Residual Pumpkin will pay up the half-million dollars.

        • The Register UKAzure flaw allowed users to control others’ accounts [Ed: Only fools use clown computing. The biggest of fools choose Microsoft for that.]

          Microsoft has acknowledged the existence of a flaw in its Azure cloud computing service that allowed users full access to other users’ accounts.

          The flaw was dubbed “AutoWarp” by Orca Security, which discovered and reported it.

          The vulnerability only impacted users of the Azure Automation Service. That service allows Azure users to use PowerShell or Python to write runbooks that automate many actions within Azure. “Trigger automation from ITSM, DevOps and monitoring systems to fulfil requests and ensure continuous delivery and management,” suggests Microsoft’s product info page.

          The Automation Service doesn’t let just anyone initiate actions on your Azure rig: you need to link it to a managed identity that has the relevant permissions.

        • The Register UKMicrosoft patches critical remote-code-exec hole in Exchange Server and others [Ed: Far more coverage about local privilege escalation in Linux than “remote-code-exec” in Microsoft (yes, remote; you don’t need a user account)]
        • The Register UKMicrosoft slides ads into Windows Insiders’ File Explorer [Ed: How to make Windows users even more brainwashed and dumber]

          Microsoft appears to be experimenting with more adverts in Windows 11 after eagle-eyed Insider users spotted helpful hints turning up in File Explorer.

          Windows Insider Florian posted a screenshot of the ads, and other unpaid testers said they noticed similar hints lurking in the Dev Channel build, with one ad suggesting users visit Microsoft’s Office website to look at PowerPoint templates.

          Our sacrificial Dev Channel machine (currently running 22572.201 – yet another servicing pipeline test) does not show the messages, suggesting that Microsoft is performing some sort of A/B testing and we’re simply not on the list.

        • The Register UKMicrosoft fixes OneDrive file reset bug on Windows • The Register

          Lurking within this month’s Patch Tuesday batch of updates is a fix for a Windows issue in which locally synchronized OneDrive data was not always deleted during a reset.

          The bug, which turned up in the Windows release health dashboard in February, is an ironic one, considering the disastrous October 2018 roll out of Windows 10, which infamously gave users extra disk space by quietly wiping their data.

          This latest issue, which hit both Windows 10 and 11, manifested for some users by letting locally synced OneDrive data linger even when a user selected the “remove everything” option during a reset. More seriously for administrators, the issue could also occur after a remote reset initiated by a Mobile Device Management (MDM) application (such as Intune, itself the subject of some news this week), thus defeating the point of the function.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • InfoQSecuring the Open-Source Software Supply Chain [Ed: Brian Fox never talks about actual back doors in proprietary software; his company is basing its existence on spreading fear of Free software]

            Recent findings by security researchers at SonarSource showed multiple security vulnerabilities in popular package managers, including Pip, Yarn, Composer, and others. Package managers, though, are not the only weak link in the open source security chain. InfoQ has spoken with Sonatype CTO Brian Fox.

          • The HinduCareer in Ethical Hacking – The Hindu

            When we hear the term “hacking”, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is criminal. However, ethical or white hat hackers employ their expertise to discover and fix vulnerabilities and security hazards in a computer system. Today, it is critical to safeguard vital data held on electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and so on. Ethical hacking may be an effective tool against cyber attackers in this regard. Ethical hacking is defined as hacking done with the authorisation of the network’s owners.

          • Hindustan TimesCyberattack on Israel! Government websites crash [Ed: The article mentions Shadow Brokers; it's the cost of using Microsoft Windows]
          • The Register UKNASA in ‘serious jeopardy’ due to big black hole in security • The Register

            And that’s a worry, because in 2021 NASA’s auditor found “incidents of improper use of NASA IT systems had increased from 249 in 2017 to 1,103 in 2020 – a 343 per cent growth; the most prevalent error was failing to protect Sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information.”

          • The Register UKChina thrilled it captured already-leaked NSA cyber-weapon [Ed: NSA and its partners, like Microsoft, are the world's biggest threat to security because they actively undermine it]

            China claims it has obtained malware used by the NSA to steal files, monitor and redirect network traffic, and remotely control computers to spy on foreign targets.

            The software nasty, dubbed NOPEN, is built to commandeer selected Unix and Linux systems, according to Chinese Communist Party tabloid Global Times, which today cited a report it got exclusively from China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center.

            Trouble is, NOPEN was among the files publicly leaked in 2016 by the Shadow Brokers. If you can recall back that far, the Shadow Brokers stole and dumped online malware developed by the NSA’s Equation Group.

          • Exclusive: China captures powerful US NSA cyberspy tool [Ed: By undermining the security of everything the US has weaponised all of technology and other countries can take advantage]

            China captured a spy tool deployed by the US National Security Agency, which is capable of lurking in a victim’s computer to access sensitive information and was found to have controlled global internet equipment and stole large amounts of users’ information, according to a report the Global Times obtained from the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center exclusively on Monday.

            According to the report, the Trojan horse, “NOPEN,” is a remote control tool for Unix/Linux computer systems. It is mainly used for stealing files, accessing systems, redirecting network communication, and viewing a target device’s information.

          • A first look at threat intelligence and threat hunting tools | WeLiveSecurity

            An overview of some of the most popular open-source tools for threat intelligence and threat hunting

          • The Register UKAnother data-leaking Spectre bug found, smashes Intel, Arm defenses

            Intel this month published an advisory to address a novel Spectre v2 vulnerability in its processors that can be exploited by malware to steal data from memory that should otherwise be off limits.

            Arm said a number of its processor cores are also affected by this security flaw, and like Intel, its hardware defenses can’t block it outright, leaving developers to implement software-level mitigations.

          • CSODeveloper sabotages own npm module prompting open-source supply chain security questions [Ed: Misses the point that Microsoft was shipping this malware]

            The node-ipc developer attempt to protest Russia’s attack on Ukraine has the unintended consequence of casting more doubt in software supply chain integrity.

          • The Register UKExotic Lily is a business-like access broker for ransomware gangs [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]

            TAG initially detected Exotic Lily – which the researchers describe as a “resourceful, financially motivated threat actor” – in September 2021 exploiting a zero-day flaw in Microsoft MSHTML (tracked as CVE-2021-40444). Further investigation discovered that the group was acting as an IAB working with a Russian gang known as FIN12 by cybersecurity vendors Mandiant and FireEye, Wizard Spider by CrowdStrike, and DEV-0193 by Microsoft.

          • The Register UKLinux botnet exploits Log4j flaw to hijack Arm, x86 systems [Ed: If you refused to patch your system for over 3 months]

            Researchers at Chinese internet security company Qihoo’s 360′s Network Security Research Lab discovered the botnet family, which they dubbed B1txor20, as it was infecting hosts via the Log4j vulnerability. It primarily targets Linux Arm and 64-bit x86 systems. Compromised devices are commandeered, and brought into the network as remote-control bots, hence the term botnet.

          • The Register UKCyclops Blink malware sets up shop in ASUS routers • The Register

            It’s not clear exactly right now how the malware gets onto a device, though it probably involves exploiting a default admin password to gain access via an enabled remote management service. According to Trend Micro’s Cyclops Blink technical analysis, once the modular malware, written in C, has been injected into the gateway and is running, it sets itself up and renames its process to “[ktest]” presumably to appear as a Linux kernel thread.

          • The Register UKOpenSSL patches crash-me bug triggered by rogue certs

            A bug in OpenSSL certificate parsing leaves systems open to denial-of-service attacks from anyone wielding an explicit curve.

            The vulnerability stems from a bug in the BN_mod_sqrt() function, which the OpenSSL team said is used to parse certificates that “contain elliptic curve public keys in compressed form or explicit elliptic curve parameters with a base point encoded in compressed form.” As it turns out, all you need to do to trigger an infinite loop in BN_mod_sqrt() is hand an OpenSSL-based application or service a certificate with invalid explicit curve parameters.

            This parsing happens prior to verification of the certificate’s signature. Slip a bad certificate to any app or server using BN_mod_sqrt() to parse certs, and the software will get caught in the loop and stop working.

          • The Register UKReg reader blasts Virgin Media’s email password policy • The Register

            A Register reader has raised concerns over UK ISP Virgin Media’s password policies after discovering he couldn’t set a password longer than 10 characters or one that includes non-alphanumeric characters.

            Our reader Nick told us he was facing repeated attempts to take control of an @virgin.net email account he owns – adding that the company’s password policy left him vulnerable to what he described as a sustained brute-forcing attack.

          • The Register UKQuantum computing cybersecurity research gets $715k grant • The Register

            America’s National Science Foundation has signaled yet again how important it thinks quantum computing is with a six-figure grant to Penn State.

            The $715,000 grant is heading to Swaroop Ghosh, associate professor at Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Ghosh plans to use the funding to close gaps in quantum computing security and create a post-secondary quantum computing curriculum.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • IT WireOpen slather as ABC leaks data to Google, Facebook, Tealium et al

              The ABC’s claim to being the most trusted news site in Australia has come under serious doubt following the release of a video that shows how the data of users, logged in or not, is being leaked to a number of commercial outlets.

              Researcher Vanessa Teague, one of the few technical experts to raise objections to the ABC’s imposition of logins for iview users, pointed out on Wednesday that the ABC news website was also leaking data to the likes of Google, Facebook, Chartbeat and Tealium.

            • The Register UKRussia labels Meta an ‘extremist’ organization, bans Instagram

              Russia’s Investigative Committee, the nation’s peak criminal and anti-corruption investigation body, has opened a probe into whether Meta is an extremist organization.

              The move follows Meta’s decision last week to relax rules about exhortations to commit violence posted to its Facebook and Instagram properties – but only within Ukraine.

            • The Register UKHear us out: Smartphone lidar can test blood, milk

              Could the light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors in your future smartphone take the place of laboratory equipment in health and food safety applications? It’s looking like a possibility.

              Researchers at the University of Washington reckon handset lidar can determine fluid properties, sparing you from having to use expensive lab gear. The amount of liquid needed for a smartphone lidar test is significantly less than that for a medical lab, too, they said.

            • Five fascinating inventions by schoolchildren [Ed: Surveillance creeps in. See photo.]

              The Aliartos Vocational Night School employs a central system designed by its students that makes sure physical distancing rules are being observed.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Orcas’ Scars Tell a Story

          When southern resident killer whales off the coast of British Columbia and Washington state surface for breath, they show off pointy dorsal fins and their iconic black-and-white colouration. But a closer inspection can reveal white scars scratched onto their otherwise sleek backs. These scars are from bite marks — “tooth rakes” — inflicted during skirmishes with other killer whales.

    • Finance

      • The Register UKFujitsu: Dumping older workers will wipe out quarter of forecast profit

        Fujitsu has warned investors its full-year profits will fall 23.6 per cent below previous forecasts because it’s extended an offer for older workers to leave in favor of youngsters more likely to deliver the DX, or “digital experience,” customers demand.

        A Tuesday announcement was uncommonly blunt about the Japanese giant’s intentions, stating: “As part of its human resources initiatives to strengthen its status as a DX company, Fujitsu will temporarily expand its ‘Self-Produce Support System’ to support employees seeking career course redirection outside of the Fujitsu Group.”

        Only staffers aged 50 or over are eligible for the offer of “career course redirection.” Fujitsu says 3,031 people have already applied for the scheme as of February 28. Most are executives or workers who have been rehired after already retiring once.

      • Chronicle Of Higher EducationThe Money Pit [Ed: There's more money in misleading people than in educating them properly]

        Nothing seemed amiss to McKenna Schramm when Ohio Valley University recruited her to run track. The campus tour had all the standard trappings: a walk-through of the dorms, a stop at the cafeteria, and a visit to the campus chapel. The admissions letter, dated January 8, 2020, looked a lot like the ones she’d received from other colleges.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • NewYorkTimesFirst Amendment Scholars Want to See the Media Lose These Cases – The New York Times

        The lawyers and First Amendment scholars who have made it their life’s work to defend the well-established but newly threatened constitutional protections for journalists don’t usually root for the media to lose in court.

        But that’s what is happening with a series of recent defamation lawsuits against right-wing outlets that legal experts say could be the most significant libel litigation in recent memory.

        The suits, which are being argued in several state and federal courts, accuse Project Veritas, Fox News, The Gateway Pundit, One America News and others of intentionally promoting and profiting from false claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election, and of smearing innocent civil servants and businesses in the process.

      • TechRadarThe Russian exile who found a way past Putin’s internet firewall | TechRadar

        Aleksandr Litreev wants to preserve access to the free and open internet for people living under authoritarian rule.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • NewYorkTimesCourt Declares Isaiah Andrews Wrongfully Imprisoned for 45 Years – The New York Times

        The official declaration this week means that Isaiah Andrews, 84, can seek damages from the State of Ohio for spending more than half his life in prison after being wrongly convicted of killing his wife.

      • The Register UKChina declares a new era of digitization has begun [Ed: Oppression is going digital, and not just in China]

        A document posted by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) quotes Xi as saying “informatization has brought a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the Chinese nation” and outlines a range of digital transformation tasks that must be achieved under the 14th five year plan (2021–2026) to achieve the desired level of digitization.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Register UKInternet backbone Cogent cuts Russia connectivity

        Cogent Communications will pull the plug on its connectivity to customers in Russia in response to President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

        The US-based biz is one of the planet’s largest internet backbones – the freeways of the internet – and says it carries roughly a quarter of global ‘net traffic.

        Its clients range from small businesses to mobile carriers and broadband ISPs. Cogent’s role is to pipe hundreds of terabits of your internet data around the world every second. Russian state-owned Rostelecom is among the dozens of customers Cogent has in the country.

      • The Register UKNominet suspends ‘single digit’ number of Russian dot-UK domain registrars [Ed: The integrity of the Internet is under attack]

        Nominet, the dot-UK domain registry, has announced that it will suspend services for Russian web domain registrars – and the British government says it “welcomes” the action.

        Suspension will prevent the registrars from managing or renewing dot-UK domains they own or control.

        “We are not accepting registrations from registrars in Russia – we are suspending the relevant tags. To avoid compromising outlets for expression outside the control of the regime, the very small number of domains with Russian address details will continue to operate as normal,” said the organisation in a statement on its website.

      • The Register UKRussia hasn’t yet enabled its splinternet amid Ukraine war • The Register

        Russia has reportedly blocked access to Western media outlets including the BBC to netizens within its borders, as suspicions rise that the country has begun implementing a “splinternet” plan to seal itself off from the wider internet.

        This morning the British state broadcaster declared it had been blocked from inside Russia, using also-blocked Twitter to spread the news among Westerners, and signposted web users to a long-forgotten Tor mirror of itself. The BBC launched two new shortwave frequencies in the region earlier this week to broadcast four hours of World Service English news a day. These frequencies can be received clearly in Kyiv and parts of Russia.

        The Beeb is not alone; other Western news outlets including Germany’s Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, US-sponsored Radio Free Europe and others have also been blocked.

        Although the Reuters financial newswire cited an order of Roskomnadzor, the Russian equivalent of Britain’s Ofcom media regulator, the Roskomnadzor blocked site checker returned no information about BBC.com when checked by The Register at the time of writing.


        Tor is designed to frustrate censorship by bouncing user traffic through a number of relay nodes, disguising its true origins and destinations. Should the Russians try and shut down Western Tor-hosted websites, they’re likely to fail – but previous efforts to arrest local exit node operators have borne some fruit.

        Tor exit relays have long been a target, not only for law enforcement agencies in the West as well as authoritarian countries, but also those who would log and track exit node users – and, inevitably, cryptocurrency scammers.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • The Register UKDeere unlawfully withholds repair tools and info, FTC told • The Register

        Twelve farm labor, advocacy, and repair groups filed a complaint last week with the US Federal Trade Commission claiming that agricultural equipment maker Deere & Company has unlawfully refused to provide the software and technical data necessary to repair its machinery.

        The groups include National Farmers Union, Iowa Farmers Union, Missouri Farmers Union, Montana Farmers Union, Nebraska Farmers Union, Ohio Farmers Union, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Farm Action, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, the Digital Right to Repair Coalition, and iFixit.

    • Monopolies

      • The Register UKTaiwan rounds up 60 Chinese tech workers on suspicion of poaching tech and people

        Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice has tasked its Investigation Bureau to conduct a series of raids around the island and hauled in 60 Chinese nationals suspected of lifting trade secrets or poaching talent from China-owned firms.

        The raids took place on Wednesday March 9, with over 100 investigators dispatched to 14 locations in four Taiwanese cities. Some of the companies searched include Advanced Manufacturing EDA Co., Bouson International, Vimicro, Beijing Yinxing Technology, VeriSilicon, Analogix Semiconductor, Key Technology, and GLC Semiconductor.

      • The Register UKITC judge recommends banning toner imports that infringe Canon’s IP [Ed: Canon has no "IP"; the media uses propaganda terms]

        A bunch of toner manufacturers and sellers have infringed on Japanese electronics outfit Canon’s patents, according to an initial finding from the US International Trade Commission (ITC), with a judge recommending imports of their products be banned.

        The notice [PDF] from an administrative law judge this week said an Initial Determination (ID) was made on Tuesday 15 March, finding that “certain toner supply containers” violated Section 337.

Links 19/3/2022: Tor Browser 11.0.9 and LibreSSL 3.5.1/3.4.3/3.3.6

Posted in News Roundup at 10:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • LiliputingAsahi Linux Alpha lets you run Linux on Apple Silicon – Liliputing

        Apple’s Macs with M1 series processors offer the best performance-per-watt of any laptop or desktop computers available at the moment. But the transition from using Intel chips to custom-made ARM processors limits your options for running software other than macOS.

        You can no longer dual boot Windows on a Mac (although you can run it in a virtual machine using software like Parallels). And most Linux distributions that were compatible with older Macs won’t work on new models with Apple Silicon. But the folks at the Asahi Project have been working on bringing Linux to Apple Silicon, and now they’ve released the first public Alpha of Asahai Linux for Macs with M1 chips.

    • Applications

      • TorNew Release: Tor Browser 11.0.9 (Windows, macOS, Linux)

        Tor Browser 11.0.9 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

        This releases fixes bug tor-browser#40802 which caused some users to be unable to access client authorized onion services.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • uni TorontoI need to remember to check for ZFS filesystems being mounted

        We have a variety of management scripts on our fileservers that do things on ‘all ZFS filesystems on this fileserver’ or ‘a specific ZFS filesystem if it’s hosted on this fileserver’. Generally they get their list of ZFS filesystems and their locations by looking at the mountpoint property (we set an explicit mount location for all of our ZFS filesystems, instead of using the default locations). Most of the time this works fine, but every so often one of the scripts has blown up and we’ve quietly fixed it to do better.

      • Jeff GeerlingThree DDoS attacks on my personal website

        Update: After posting the video yesterday, the site was hit by more low-complexity DDoS attacks, mostly just spamming one URL at a time. After I cleaned those up, the attacker finally switched to a more intelligent offense, posting actual comments to the site overnight. This morning I noticed that, and the fact the attacker found I left my edit domain un-proxied, so I switched to a different IP on DigitalOcean and shored up the Cloudflare configuration a bit more.

        It was a good thing I did that, because about the same time, I got an email from DigitalOcean support saying they had to blackhole the other IP for getting 2,279,743 packets/sec of inbound traffic. Sheesh.

        After cleaning up a few bits of fallout, the site should be running a bit better at this point, DDoS or no.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • HackadayThe Open Source ASICs Hack Chat Redefines Possible

          There was a time when all that was available to the electronics hobbyist were passive components and vacuum tubes. Then along comes the integrated circuit, and it changed everything. Fast forward a bit, and affordable programmable microcontrollers arrived on the scene. Getting started in electronics became far easier, and the line between hardware and software started to blur. Much more recently, the hobbyist community was introduced to field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and the tools necessary to work with them. While not as widely applicable as the IC or MCU, the proliferation of FPGAs among hardware hackers once again opened doors that were previously locked tight.

        • Jay LittleFinally… some Peace and Quiet

          So that led me into my current hybrid phase in which I’m relying entirely on low powered computer devices for the server-like infrastructure of my house (two Raspberry Pi 400s do most of the heavy lifting for file, backup and media services at home). I’m running a OPNSense router built around one of the ODroid H2 boards that I was using as my primary workstation(s) through most of last year. While I was running a generic Chinese Mini PC as my single Ryzen powered workstation for awhile, I ended up switching to something earlier this week that was a bit more suited to my tastes, the MinisForum HM90 (Review Video Here).

          So what makes the HM90 better than what I had before? Well the actual hardware and performance specs are pretty close, with the HM90 having a slight edge because it has a Ryzen 4900H processor instead of the Ryzen 4800H in the generic unit and power usage between the two is roughly equivalent, which is to say far less than even the most basic desktop as these are both mobile processors. But that’s not what made me fall in love with it. Rather its the fact that no matter what workload I throw at the HM90, it runs dead silent.

        • Frederic CambusGBA nostalgia and the Flash Advance Linker

          During this period, I acquired a pre-owned Flash Advance Linker, a device manufactured by Visoly in 2001. Because the previous owner was also selling his GBA, I ended up owning two of them. As my plan back then was to pursue the idea of developing a multiplayer puzzle game, on the hardware side at least, I had everything I ever needed.

          Life happened though, things didn’t exactly go as planned and I had to sell the two GBAs temporarily, or so I thought. I kept the linker though, and when I acquired the HP t5570e and HP t510 thin clients back in 2017, it meant that I finally had some devices with a parallel port again.

        • Low Tech MagHow to Build a Bike Generator with Control Panel

          Many people have built pedal power generators and published the manuals online and in books. However, when we set out to make a pedal power generator ourselves, we found that these manuals are incomplete when making the bike generator practical to use. The focus is on building the power source itself, with comparatively little attention to what happens with the power that comes out of it.

          To try and make human power production more useful, we built not just a pedal power generator but also a control panel in the form of a “dashboard” attached to the handlebars. The dashboard allows powering or charging a wide diversity of devices – no matter what voltage they run on. Furthermore, multiple devices can be powered simultaneously, allowing the cyclist to adjust the resistance on the pedals for an optimal workout.

          We also tried to improve the bike generator itself. Although there are good manuals available, we wanted a power source that is easy to build (no welding or complex tools required), comfortable to pedal, as compact as possible, and not an eyesore. The bike generator is set up in a small living room and used regularly. We found the solution in a vintage exercise bike with a flywheel, an approach we have not seen before.

        • Andrew HutchingsReview: Framework Laptop

          For many years I have been known as the “ThinkPad guy”. I’ve always used IBM / Lenovo ThinkPad laptops where possible. To the extent that a few years ago I had a lengthy chat with JFK airport security about why I had four ThinkPads in my hand luggage. I’ve been using a high-spec ThinkPad T495 for a few years and I’m getting more and more dissatisfied with the newer ThinkPads in general. So, I figured it was time for a change. I’ve seen a lot of talk of Framework laptops and added myself to the wait list for UK shipping. Many people have asked me for a review of the laptop (which arrived today) so I figured I would write my thoughts.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Android Alpha 7 (Lagrange v1.12 Preview)

          Compared to iOS betas, which go through TestFlight and have 0-24 hours of delay for some sort of review by Apple, I can just post APKs whenever I want. Yay for sideloading?

          The Alpha phase still continues as I haven’t added any new Android-specific features. For v1.12 I am still planning to add an export/import feature, though, and that will require a file picker on mobile platforms. Perhaps that will be the first Beta feature — we shall see.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchOther Than Tacos, Tequila and Mariachis: The Estrada Doctrine

      Two current Mexican American L.A councilmen have (or forced since both are up for re-election in June 2022) sided in favor of war without any thorough historical geo-political investigation toward the origin of conflict in that part of the world.[2]

      Should we pride our heritage only on tacos, arepas, pupusas, tequila or Mariachis? Or should we pride ourselves as a community to have the first Latin@/Chican@ astronaut, the first Supreme Court judge, the first of this and that? Can we go beyond the being first individualized syndrome?

    • Counter PunchSaving San Bruno Mountain: Saints, Sinners, Saviors and the Saved

      When de Heceta saw a mountain on the horizon, he named it “Saint Bruno,” though he did not consult with any of the Ohlone, the original inhabitants, who lived in the villages they created and who roamed about the bay. Perhaps Bruno de Heceta was an egotist and named the mountain after himself. Maybe, like most colonialists, he wanted to leave his mark on the place he thought he had discovered. Or maybe he was a child of the Catholic Church into which he was born and raised and whose saints he revered. In any case, genocide and destruction, not saintliness or godliness, followed in Bruno de Heceta’s footsteps.

      Today, sprawling, hulking San Bruno Mountain—whose slopes touch several Northern California counties—is one of the last largely undeveloped and untamed areas of any size in the San Francisco Bay Area. Granted, there are some houses and some neighborhoods, but they are largely invisible to drivers and passengers going north and south on highway 101. The forests and the wildlife are also invisible from 101. Indeed, San Bruno Mountain is a secret that’s hiding in plain sight.

    • Counter PunchTao Te Ching & the Uncarved Block of Apocalyptic, Revolutionary Education

      ‘What the hell am I talking about?’ I thought at one point. Here’s some Taoist sort-of answers I got thru further study of Tao Te Ching, and attempted overstanding / meditation deep in the heart.

      Noted SNCC historian Peniel Joseph’s engaging double biographical sketches of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, The Sword and the Shield, sent me back to Grace Lee Boggs’ seminal essay Let’s Talk about Martin and Malcolm.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • HackadayWelcome To The Future, Where Your Microwave Thinks It’s A Steam Oven

        It’s fair to say that many of us will have at some time inadvertently bricked a device by applying the wrong firmware by mistake. If we’re lucky then firing up some low-level reflashing tools can save the day and return the item in question to health, but we’re guessing that among you will be plenty of people who’ve had to discard a PCB or replace an inaccessible microcontroller chip as a result.

      • HackadayGreat Computer Hacks Make Hackers Hacker Computers

        In the year 1995, computers were, well… boring. The future wasn’t here yet, and computers were drab, chunky beige boxes. Sure, there were some cool-ish computers being sold, but the landscape was still relatively barren. But as you’ll see in the video below the break, it doesn’t have to be that way, and the [Hackers Curator] shows us the way by recreating Johnny Lee Miller’s computer from the 1995 movie Hackers.

      • HackadayThrottle Your Solid Rocket Motors With This One Simple Trick!

        For decades, mankind was content to launch payloads into orbit and then watch hundreds of thousands of hours of blood sweat and tears just crash into the ocean. Then, partially because of huge advancements in being able to throttle rocket engines, we started landing our first stage boosters. [Joe] over at the BPS.space YouTube channel is tired of watching SpaceX have all the booster landing fun, but he’s not quite at the throttled liquid engine stage yet. So in the video below the break he asked the question: Can you throttle solid rocket motors? Yes. No. Sort of.

      • HackadayHigh Tech Pancake Tesla Coil Brings The Lightning

        For several years now we’ve been following [Jay Bowles] as he brings high-voltage down to Earth on his Plasma Channel YouTube channel. From spark gaps made of bits of copper pipe to automotive ignition coils driven by the stalwart 555 timer, he’s got a real knack for keeping his builds affordable and approachable. But once in a while you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone, and although the dedicated DIY’er could still replicate the solid state “pancake” Tesla coil he documents in his latest video, we’d say this one is better left for the professionals.

      • HackadayPower Cycling Museum Computers On The Cheap

        Flicking a circuit breaker to power cycle hundreds of desktop computers inside interactive museum exhibits is hardly ideal. Computers tend to get cranky when improperly shutdown, and there’s an non-zero risk of data loss. However, financial concerns ruled out commercial computer management solutions, and manually shutting down each exhibit at the end of the day is not practical. Tasked with finding a solution, [Jeff Glass] mixed off-the-shelf UPS (uninterruptible power supply) hardware, a Featherwing and some Python to give the museum’s computer-run exhibits a fighting chance.

      • HackadayHackaday Podcast 160: Pedal Power, OpenSCAD In The Browser, Tasmanian Tigers, And The Coolest Knob

        Join Hackaday Editor-in-Chief Elliot Williams and Managing Editor Tom Nardi as they tackle all the hacks that were fit to print this last week. Things start off with some troubling news from Shenzhen (spoilers: those parts you ordered are going to be late), and lead into a What’s That Sound challenge that’s sure to split the community right down the center. From there we’ll talk about human powered machines, bringing OpenSCAD to as many devices as humanly possible, and the finer points of installing your own hardware into a Pelican case. There’s a quick detour to muse on laser-powered interstellar probes, a Pi-calculating Arduino, and a surprisingly relevant advertisement from Sony Pictures. Finally, stay tuned to hear the latest developments in de-extinction technology, and a seriously deep dive into the lowly nail.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • TruthOutAmid War in Ukraine, Global South Faces Brunt of Rising Food Prices
      • TruthOutGOP Is Sabotaging COVID Funding Even as Experts Warn New Surge May Be Coming
      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Expendable Americans in a Pandemic

        On March 14, 2022, seven million Americans and their families became victims again. I’m one of them.

      • Common DreamsFears of New Covid Wave Grow as GOP Is ‘Actively Sabotaging’ Aid Effort

        With experts warning that a new Covid-19 surge in the U.S. may be imminent as an Omicron subvariant spreads in Europe and Asia, congressional leaders are making little progress toward a deal to approve funding needed for the continuation of key pandemic response programs—including free vaccines and therapeutics for the uninsured.

        Hampered by obstruction from Republican lawmakers who have questioned the need for any new coronavirus funding, Democratic leaders are scrambling to find a path forward for a roughly $16 billion aid package that was yanked from an omnibus spending measure last week.

      • OracJay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff want to hold “lockdowners” accountable

        I’ve been writing about the violent rhetoric coming from the antivaccine movement for many years now. One strain of such rhetoric has been the call for Nuremberg-style tribunals for physicians, public health officials, and politicians advocating science-based mitigations against COVID-19, such as mask and vaccine mandates, for their “crimes,” to the point that I even coined a term for this antivax trope, the “Nuremberg gambit.” With disturbing frequency, too, along with this call for “Nuremberg 2.0” there is often the implication (or the outright statement) that the “justice” or “accountability” meted out after these tribunals will include hanging, just as some of the doctors convicted at the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial were hanged for their crimes. There are even a number of hashtags on Twitter for the idea—although it can get confusing because in some of them calls for “Nuremberg 2.0” are mixed with calls for a war crimes tribunal for Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine—some quite threatening sounding, such as #NurembergCode, #NurembergTribunal, #Nuremberg2, #NurembergTrialsForCovid, and #Nuremberg2ticktock, among others. Unfortunately, sanitized versions of what was once a sentiment restricted to the deepest, darkest, most bonkers antivax underground are appearing from people like Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) author Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who, fresh off his having parroted other old antivax talking points, recently Tweeted this:

      • Copenhagen PostScience Round-Up: Study unearths mysterious health benefits of eating Nordic fats

        A Nordic diet consisting of berries, vegetables, fish, whole grains, dairy products and rapeseed oil has been found to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to a study by the University of Copenhagen.

        Additional benefits include a reduced risk of being overweight, having cardiovascular disease and developing type two diabetes.

      • Matt RickardProblems with Daylight Saving Time

        Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed The Sunshine Protection Act, which is a bill that makes Daylight Saving Time permanent in the U.S.

      • Daniel MiesslerA Quick Thought on Removing Daylight Saving(s)

        Maybe we got it right on this one. Cool. I prefer the consistent model as well.

        But I really hope we don’t start changing highly researched policy due to TikTok-ish outcry. That’s how you lose things like truancy laws and other public goods because they’re too collectivist vs. individualist.

      • ADFFish Factories Drive Food Insecurity In West Africa

        Rampant overfishing, driven by the demands of the global fishmeal and fish oil industry, is leading to food insecurity in West Africa.

        Artisanal fishermen around the region have angrily denounced the presence of fish oil and fishmeal factories, which they blame for decimating fish stocks, damaging ecosystems and reducing tourism revenue. The factories, mostly Chinese-owned and -operated, press sardinella, bonga and other species for oil and grind them into powder that is exported to feed livestock and farmed fish around the world.

      • ADFOverfishing Leaves Ghanaian Fishermen With ‘No Means For Survival’

        Due to illegal overfishing by foreign industrial trawlers, mostly from China, Ghana’s fish stocks are in steep decline. Its small pelagic fish populations, such as sardinella, have dropped 80% in the past two decades. One species, sardinella aurita, already is fully collapsed.

        Kwentsiar, who has been fishing since age 13, told DW that it’s hard to stay in business.

        “Feeding the crew and fueling the canoe has become a debt for me,” Kwentsiar said. “We sometimes go fishing for two weeks, and we don’t catch anything. But because it’s our profession we can’t stop. The main problem facing the fishing industry is the activities of Chinese vessels.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Cert Change

        Last in an attempt to do Gemini the right way, I created a self-signed cert for TOFU, which was configured to expire after one year. I thought this would be more convenient than simply using my LetsEncrypt cert. In a way it was, but now that the expiry date of that cert was nearing and having just renewed my LetsEncrypt cert for my domain recently, I realized that I might as well just use that given the fact that I have it already and all other services on my domain use it.

        So, this is kind of not really the TOFU way, but it’s simply less work for me. Also, I noted some Gemini browsers like Lagrange will tell you if the cert if verified by an authority. Although, now that I’m checking it on Lagrange, it still says “Not verified by CA”. That can’t be right…

      • TeleportMost Common Authorization Vulnerabilities

        Authorization vulnerabilities allow malicious users to perform unwanted actions or access resources that are deemed protected otherwise. Authorization vulnerabilities are one of the most widely found vulnerabilities in web applications. The OWASP top 10 list of web application security risks listed broken access control vulnerabilities as the number one risk in 2021, so understanding authorization vulnerabilities is an important topic for application security engineers.

      • Valtteri LehtinenGoIP-1 GSM gateway could be harnessed for phone fraud by hackers

        The relatively cheap GoIP-1 GSM gateway device I bought specifically for my wardialing project has the functionality to send SMS messages and to make calls on the PSTN network. Thus, compromising it would grant a hacker not only the possibility to send smishing messages, but also to make (scam) calls. The device also did not come across as too secure by default so the time investment into hacking one might be small. A device that powerful and easily hackable would be an ideal target for the SMS messaging service operators.

      • The Register UKHow CAPTCHA puzzles cloak phishing page URLs in emails • The Register

        CAPTCHA puzzles, designed to distinguish people from computer code, are being used to separate people from their login credentials.

        Security firm Avanan on Thursday published its latest analysis of a phishing technique that builds on the internet community’s familiarity with CAPTCHA challenges to amplify the effectiveness of deceptions designed to capture sensitive data.

        Many companies employ secure email gateways (SEGs) to filter messages to prevent bad stuff, such as suspicious executables in attachments and links to phishing sites, from reaching users. Avanan, which sells an AI-based service that competes with traditional SEGs, unsurprisingly doesn’t think much of these gateways and says it has new evidence to support its claims.

      • Proprietary

        • The VergeMicrosoft might make it harder to share Xbox clips to Twitter

          Microsoft may be making it more difficult to share your gameplay captures to Twitter, based on changes to Xbox Insider builds reported by Windows Central. Right now, on my Xbox Series X, I can post a screenshot or video directly to Twitter through the Xbox’s interface, but according to Windows Central, Insider builds have removed that option and instead direct you to share from your phone.

        • IT WireWar fallout: software sabotaged to wipe files from some PCs [Ed: Microsoft delivering malware again]

          Liran Tal, a researcher with the security firm Snyk, said the two dependencies that were sabotaged were node-ipc and a module known as peacenotwar. The code was added apparently as a protest against the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the subsequent conflict; Belarus was targeted as it has been a supporter of Russia.

          This act led to users of the Vue.js frontend JavaScript framework experiencing issues which Tal described as a supply chain attack affecting the NPM ecosystem.

        • ZimbabwePeople please, you don’t need RAM cleaners/optimisers, phone boosters on your phones

          That sucks for a couple of reasons:

          One, the experience is terrible. You can’t be waiting for the same few apps to reload every time you tap on them. It’s even worse when you have a flagship phone with 8GB RAM which would be perfectly capable of keeping over 10 apps in memory.

          Two, opening apps is taxing on the battery. The phone’s processor is called into action hard when an app needs to be opened. So the phone uses more power and drains the battery faster when you constantly have to open apps from scratch, as opposed to just switching back to them.

        • India TimesHow this software is being used to target Apple users with malware

          The Apple TestFlight software pre-release testing system is being used by CryptoRom scammers to send malicious apps to iPhone users, as per a report by Sophos. The scam first came to light last year, with the CryptoRom attacks being used to pilfer about $1.4 million from Apple users. The scammers then used a combination of social media platforms, dating apps, Apple’s Enterprise Developer program and cryptocurrency to target people. As per the report, now the scam has evolved and is abusing the TestFlight platform of Apple which allows the users to test a beta version of the app before it makes its way to the App Store.

          Since the beta apps for testing purposes are under no strict surveillance — they are not being screened for the App Store — this gives fraudsters a chance to send malware directly to the victim’s device via the beta app versions. As per the report, victims are instructed to install Testflight and click on a link which then installs the malicious app on their device. The average Apple user thinks that the platform they are using is one of the most secure in the world, oblivious to the possibility that a beta version of an app meant for the App Store could come with a threat.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • TechdirtClearview’s World Tour Continues With A $21 Million Fine From The Italian Government

              Clearview AI has been disinvited from yet another country. This unrolling of the unwelcome mat also includes a hefty exit fee. (h/t Michael Vario)

            • The VergeFacebook is locking out people who didn’t activate Facebook Protect

              Unfortunately, the email that Facebook sent from the address security@facebookmail.com resembled a rather common form of spam, and so it’s probable that many people ignored it.

            • India TimesIrish consumer watchdog fines Meta $18.6 mn for 12 data breaches

              London, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has fined Meta, Facebook’s parent company, 17 million euros ($18.6 million) for several data breaches that affected up to 30 million users.

              The decision followed an inquiry by the DPC into a series of 12 data breach notifications it received in the six-month period between June 7, 2018 and December 4, 2018.

              As a result of its inquiry, the DPC found that Meta Platforms infringed Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

            • ReutersYour connected car knows you. The tussle for that data’s hitting high gear

              The contest is entering a pivotal phase as EU regulators look to hammer out the world’s first laws for the ballooning industry around web-enabled vehicles, pitting carmakers against a coalition of insurers, leasing companies and repair shops.

              European Commission sources said the EU executive should launch an industry consultation on in-vehicle data this week which could lead to legislation later this year – the first of its kind globally.

            • MIT Technology ReviewThe secret police: After protests around George Floyd’s murder ended, a police system for watching protesters kept going

              Despite public assertions that it had gone dormant, a multi-agency task force consisting of federal, state, and local police that was created to monitor protests in Minnesota during the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin continued to operate in secret after the trial’s conclusion, according to emails and documents examined by MIT Technology Review. The program, known as Operation Safety Net (OSN), held regular meetings, conducted policing operations, continued close coordination, and updated intelligence documents until at least October 2021, far past its publicly announced “demobilization” in April 2021.

            • Confidentiality

    • Defence/Aggression

      • TruthOutRepublicans Supporting a No-Fly Zone Are Putting Us at Risk of Nuclear War
      • TruthOutWomen Are Leading Russia’s Antiwar Protests — and They’re in Putin’s Crosshairs
      • Common DreamsNearly 10 Million Ukrainians Now Displaced by War, Says UN

        Russia’s devastating and deadly assault over the past three weeks has forced nearly 10 million people in Ukraine to flee their homes, according to figures released Friday by United Nations organizations.

        “Over 12 million people are estimated to be stranded in affected areas or unable to leave.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Iraq War Lesson: When the Media Seduces US Into War
      • Common DreamsOpinion | Anger Towards Russians In US—A Reminder Of Post-9/11 Insanity
      • Common DreamsOpinion | All War Criminals Must Be Held Accountable: In Russia, the US, and Elsewhere

        “I think he is a war criminal,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden was responding to a reporter’s question following a White House event. Earlier, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, ruling on a complaint filed by Ukraine, directed Russia to “immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine.” The vote on the court was thirteen in favor, with Russia and China against. On the same day, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan visited Poland and Ukraine as part of his investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine. His investigation bypassed the usual months-long authorization process at The Hague after 39 member nations of the ICC requested expedited action.

      • Common DreamsCorporate Media Accused of ‘Cheerleading’ for US Escalation in Ukraine

        In the run-up to and during the Bush administration’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq, corporate media outlets were accused of acting as stenographers for the White House, amplifying official justifications for the attack—which were lies—while stifling dissenting voices.

        Today, having apparently learned no lessons—or the wrong ones—from Iraq, reporters for corporate newspapers and cable TV programs are yet again facing criticism for their coverage of a war, this time one in which the White House has vowed not to involve U.S. troops.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | After the Ukraine Invasion: Sobering New Global Energy-Economic-Political Terrain

        Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the West’s response, are ushering the world into a new energy, economic, and political era. In broad outline, this new era will have less-globally-integrated energy markets, and less-secure supplies of fossil fuels. Since energy is the irreducible basis of all economic activity, this translates to a precarious global economy and a likely reordering of national alliances. We are, in short, living through a moment that may be as politically and economically transformative as the World Wars of the 20th century, though with little likelihood of an outcome anywhere near as desirable as the boom decades of the 1920s or 1950s.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Cold War II or World War III?

        He’s our very own emperor from hell, an updated version of Nero who, in legend, burned down Rome on a whim, though ours prefers drowning Washington.  Why, just the other day, Donald Trump—and you knew perfectly well who I meant—bent the ears of 250 top Republican donors for 84 minutes. Among other things, he assured those all-American (not Russian) oligarchs—and let me quote him in the Washington Post on this—that “‘the global warming hoax, it just never ends…’ He mocked the concept of sea levels rising, disputing widely held science. ‘To which I say, great, we have more waterfront property.’”

      • The NationThe Loathsome Hypocrisy of Republicans Who Now Applaud Volodymyr Zelensky

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky got a hero’s welcome from the US Congress this week, with Republicans joining Democrats in applauding for the embattled leader of a country that is resisting a brutal Russian invasion. But a lot of the people who were applauding failed Zelensky and the Ukrainian cause when it might have mattered most. That was when former President Donald Trump was impeached and tried for seeking to blackmail Zelensky for political purposes.

      • The NationPoles Have Opened Their Arms to Ukrainians—but Will It Last?

        Lublin, Poland—More than 3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded three weeks ago, making this Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. More than 60 percent—about 1.9 million—have escaped to Poland. “I didn’t even think about it,” said Hanna Samoviuk, an osteopath from Sumy, Ukraine, who recently arrived in Lublin with her 7-year-old daughter, Teresa. “I was in Europe before, so I was 100 percent sure that [Polish] people would help us.”

      • The NationThe Dawn of an Even More Dangerous Cold War

        On March 3, Senator Lindsey Graham went on Hannity on Fox News and called for the assassination of Vladimir Putin. To make clear this was no slip of the tongue. Graham tweeted the same day, “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out.”

      • Counter PunchStand With the Peace Movement

        There are some signs of life and a coalition is emerging. CodePink, Black Alliance for Peace, ANSWER, Veterans for Peace, United National Antiwar Coalition, and others are leading the way. Yet, we’re a long way from a mass movement against war. How can we engage the millions? How do we wade through the many conflicting viewpoints? 

        Follow the Action/Follow the Power

      • Counter PunchCovering War Without Prejudice

        No matter where it happens, war’s tragedy is the same. You wouldn’t always get that sense, however, from the prejudiced way some reporters talk about it.

        In an already notorious example, CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata mused on air that Ukraine “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades.”

      • Counter PunchLet Us Not Talk Falsely Now: Reflections on War, Peace, and Ukraine

        Thanks to the war in Ukraine, we are now closer to nuclear holocaust than any time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. To quote Bob Dylan, “let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

        In what follows below, I will dig into four core United States and related “pro-Ukraine” media and political class narratives that increase the odds for annihilation. First, however, let’s establish six basic principles on how to approach the Ukraine Crisis from the radical anti-imperialist, anti-fascist, and peace and justice-loving livable ecology left.

      • Counter PunchWar, Generations, and Historical Memory

        Philosopher George Santayana is famous for declaring that “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.” Similarly philosopher Georg Hegel declared that “The only lesson of history is that we do not learn from history.” These aphorisms speak to the fading of memory as experience of events turn from first-hand to second-hand accounts. Historical memory is generational.

        Each new generation comes of age in its adolescence coming to experience some major event or events that form a collective identity. These are the events that those in that generation refer to when they say: “Where were you when?” or they become shorthand markers or referents for emotions or assumptions about the world that influence how they think and perceive the world. There is a generational set of values, grounded in a set of historical memories and experiences.

      • Counter PunchEconomic Sanctions Kill

        The international community is also bound to advance the foundational purposes of the UN, namely the promotion of local, regional and international peace and development. In order to achieve these goals strategies should be developed, so that a democratic and equitable international order can emerge that brings prosperity and stability while respecting the sovereignty of states, their right to choose their socio-economic systems and modalities, and the right of self-determination of peoples.

        The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has shown that its Advisory Services and Technical Assistance are effective in strengthening democracy, the rule of law and state institutions. One example: The opening of an OHCHR bureau in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2019, which I strongly advocated when I was the first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela in 21 years, represents a significant step in coordinating the assistance of UN agencies including UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, ILO and FAO.

      • Counter PunchHomicidal Drives: US Dreams of Killing Putin

        The idea of forcing Putin into the grave certainly tickled South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Liberated by more generous rules regarding hate speech (freedom in Silicon Valley is fickle), Graham took to Twitter to ask whether Russia had its own calculating Brutus willing to take the murderous initiative. Moving forward almost two millennia for a historical reference, the Senator pinched an example from the Second World War (when else?). “Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” The only way to conclude the conflict was “for somebody in Russia to take this guy out.”

        In support of the proposition came Fox News host Sean Hannity, using long discredited logic in dealing with the leaders of a country. “You cut off the head of the snake and you kill the snake. Right now, the snake is Vladimir Putin.”

      • Counter PunchThe US Military Budget is More Lopsided Than Ever

        Even after America’s longest war in Afghanistan ended last year, military spending isn’t going down. In fact, it’s skyrocketing upwards — from $740 billion in the last budget set under Trump to $782 billion in this deal.

        The same new budget offers just $730 billion to meet urgent domestic needs at home.

      • Common DreamsAs Ukrainians Suffer, Tens of Thousands Attend Pro-War Rally in Moscow Stadium

        As the Russian military continued its bombardment of Ukrainian cities Friday, President Vladimir Putin’s government reportedly bussed state employees to a pro-Kremlin rally in Moscow marking the eighth anniversary of the country’s internationally-condemned annexation of Crimea and supporting the war that began nearly a month ago.

        Moscow authorities claimed 200,000 people gathered “in and around” Luzhniki Stadium, with Reuters reporting that government employees were told they would be fired if they didn’t attend the rally. The Kyiv Independent reported that at least 81,000 people were in attendance.

      • Counter PunchVladimir Putin and the Grand Question

        Those who believe that Putin’s rule has been a continuation point to infamously cruel Russian leaders going back to Ivan the Terrible, the Grand Duke of Muscovy from 1533 to 1547. History books recount how he burned people in frying pans, impaled people to scare his enemies, and killed his unborn grandson by beating the pregnant mother until she miscarried, and then killed his son when he complained about it

        Those who say that Putin is an anomaly in Russian history point to two eighteenth-century rulers, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Both introduced western Enlightenment ideas of modernization into Russia. Mikhail Gorbachev must also be added to the short list of progressive leaders. His perestroika and glasnost led to the end of the Soviet Union.

      • Counter PunchJournalism and Truth Telling in Wartime

        Renaud’s senseless killing one day and Ovsyannikova’s brave action the next, unintentionally have forged a link between journalism and wartime truth telling that cannot be overstated.

        An award-winning social issue documentarian, Renaud was noted for blending “compassion and reportorial legwork.” He and his brother Craig made emotionally layered films about people’s big struggles and small triumphs. Until March 14, Ovsyannikova was a pawn in Russia’s propaganda war against reality.

      • Counter PunchWhat the Ukraine War Means for China: a View From Beijing

        Nor can China, for all its economic clout, step in and ease the pain of Western economic sanctions. Russia is China’s third-largest supplier of gas, behind Australia and Turkmenistan. About one-third of Russian exports of crude oil went to China in 2020. But China imported only 10bn cubic meters of natural gas from Russia in 2021 via the only pipeline from Siberia that links the two countries. This pales in comparison to the 175bn cubic meters imported by Europe. The pipeline infrastructure for fossil-fuel exports between China and Russia is woefully inadequate.

        The West wants China to use its influence over Russia. But intervening too early risks, in Beijing’s view, weakening the Russian president. Better wait, to see if he can take Kiev, before stepping in. But the obvious consequence of this approach is that Xi will be tarnished as a cynical opportunist who lacks the leadership qualities needed by a leader on the world stage.

      • Counter PunchStefan & Me: Lessons In Exile from Reality

        No one ever pointed out that this was a lesson from military school, or explained why our physical education included it. (Nor was it ever explained why each morning we must stand, put our hand over our heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.) Reading George Prochnik’s book about Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, whose WWII period of exile in America, along with many other exiled European intellectuals, brought them face to face with American public education, I learned how perceptive outsiders saw the system critically. Their criticisms did not become common knowledge; likely they never intended them to become public, but also, critiques of our “free public education” like critiques of American “justice for all,” come up against well-defended popular myth.

        The exiles’ perspective helps me see the system that raised me; though school closings due to shrinking numbers became a hot issue in Utica, I never heard the system questioned or even evaluated by my parents or anyone else in my conservative upstate NY social world. No light made it into this seamless opacity until high school when I befriended three natural iconoclasts, one female, two males, who became my friends purely because I delighted in their – to me – unexpected allusions, their knowing references to history and current culture, their audacious humor. All three of these individualities carried stigmas of otherness: for one it was poverty and a huge family, one had had Perthes disease that kept him out of school for a year, the third was, though we had no word for it then, gay, and the object of bullying.

      • HungaryRallies on March 15, Orbán misses train to Kyiv, fuel shortage and a stealthy drone flies over Hungary

        Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his challenger Péter Márki-Zay both showed confidence as they rallied supporters less than three weeks before the general elections.

        “We have to win these elections, and we will triumph, and at that point: we will have peace, security and calm in Hungary,” Orbán said before the crowd gathered on Kossuth square.

      • The Gray ZoneVIDEO: Former top Pentagon advisor Col. Doug Macgregor on Russia-Ukraine war
      • The NationDancing With the Czars
      • Meduza‘They’re already on their way’: After three weeks of war, Kyiv and its residents have changed irrevocably. A dispatch from Meduza’s Liliya Yapparova.

        The war arrived in Kyiv on February 24, the day Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Three weeks later, what’s happening on the front lines indicates that Moscow still hopes to take the Ukrainian capital — Russian forces are still trying to encircle Kyiv (albeit unsuccessfully). Many of the city’s residents have fled. Mayor Vitali Klitschko says “one in two” have left, which means the local population has dwindled to less than two million people. All of Kyiv’s remaining residents — and not only those who are taking part in the defense — are bracing themselves for encirclement and siege. After spending a week and a half in Kyiv, Meduza special correspondent Liliya Yapparova reports on how the war has changed this previously vibrant city beyond recognition. 

      • Meduza‘The traitors will disappear on their own’: Dmitry Peskov on the coming ‘purification of Russian society’

        Almost every weekday, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov holds a briefing where he responds to questions from journalists, including those reporting from abroad like Meduza. Below is an excerpt from Peskov’s briefing on March 17.

      • Meduza‘The purification of society will only strengthen the country’: Meduza’s brief retelling of Putin’s darkest speech yet

        On March 16, Vladimir Putin held a meeting on “socioeconomic support measures for Russia’s regions.” At the beginning of the meeting, he gave a speech dedicated not just to the war but to a “fifth column” within Russian society — “traitors” who have a “slavish mentality.” Read Meduza’s brief retelling of Putin’s speech below.

      • MeduzaWhat’s going on in Russian-occupied Ukraine? Meduza sorts out the facts.

        On March 16, both RT and Radio Sputnik reported that a “founding congress” for “a new governing body” called the “Rescue Committee for Peace and Order” had been held in Ukraine’s Kherson region. RT’s reporting included a video that shows several people sitting at a table in the regional administration building; one man says that the “current regional authority has effectively ceased to exist” and that the region needs a structure “that can take responsibility for restoring order.” He then adds that “for him personally,” “the Russian Federation is a priority.” Both RT and Sputnik’s articles are titled “Kherson’s new regional authorities call for establishing ties with Russia.”

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: The Thoughts That Pulled the Trigger

        + Is it really possible to stand for Ukraine and nuclear war at the same time? Too bad Wittgenstein isn’t around to puzzle that one out…

        + #JeSuisNukraine!

      • Counter PunchIs Putin Heading Toward a Partition of Ukraine?

        This is the same fundamental error that accompanied early reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which often overlooked internal ethnic and religious territoriality in those countries, and used top-down political and military analysis that treated them only as unitary states. It wasn’t until later in those wars that maps of ethnic and sectarian divisions began to explain the patterns of resistance to U.S. occupation. Like those two countries, Ukraine is not just a piece on a geopolitical chess board, but a place, with its own rich diversity and relationships among peoples.

        Moreover, western media tends to treat the Ukraine conflict only in the light of the 20th-century Cold War, assuming that the former KGB agent Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union. Yet Putin has said the exact opposite, in a flourish of anti-Communist rhetoric that preceded the invasion. His vision is clearly of a renewed Russian Empire, but analysts from recent settler-colonial states have difficulty understanding that memories can extend many centuries earlier than the mere 74-year life of the Soviet Union.

      • Counter PunchHistory is Not Bunk: the Ukraine War and a Cautionary Tale

        This is a problem. Some knowledge of the history of Ukraine, Russia and Europe is necessary to understand how those opposed to the invasion should respond, no matter whether you are Joe Biden, a European leader, the head of NATO or—well, the rest of us.

        By far the most common parallel with the Russian invasion cited in the media is with Hitler and Munich and World War II. The next event commonly mentioned is the Russian role in the Syrian civil war. Except to explain Russian tactics in Ukraine, that is of no help in understanding the causes of its invasion or any outcome. Russia was in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and the initial uprising there soon became a multi-sided civil war in which however there were only two possible victors, Assad or ISIS. What makes it even more dubious is that two nominal allies of the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, were aiding ISIS though with as much subterfuge as possible. Not much was needed as far as the coverage of the Syrian civil war since complications like that did not fit well with simplistic coverage of good guys and bad guys that is the norm in the mainstream media for nearly all events outside the borders of the US.

      • Counter PunchStarving a People, Committing a Genocide: Biden’s Sanctions on Afghanistan

        Biden’s shocking action makes all Americans complicit in sickening atrocities. According to UNICEF, “more than 23 million Afghans face acute hunger, including 9 million who are nearly famished.” By the middle of this year, 97 percent of Afghans will be in poverty, the UN estimates. To say these people need every penny of their $7 billion is an understatement. To say those who steal half of it from them are monsters is the only moral assessment of such larceny. (The other half will supposedly be returned to them at some unspecified future date.) Biden has done highway robbers one better: “Your money AND your life” is the new American message, delivered in ringing tones of mendacious self-righteousness.

        This particular heist equals roughly 40 percent of the Afghan economy and approximately 14 months of Afghan imports, according to Mark Weisbrot in the February 4 Sacramento Bee. But Biden earlier slapped other sanctions on the country, as a parting gift when U.S. troops finally left after 20 years of wrecking the place. Overall Biden’s sanctions mean “more people will die…over the next year than the number who died in 20 years of war,” Weisbrot wrote in the March 15 CounterPunch. That’s because Biden’s gratuitous sanctions kill funding for the Afghan government along with money for desperately needed food imports. So between the multi-decade U.S. war on this poor nation, drought, covid and frozen currency reserves – frozen by the Biden administration, just to be clear – it’s no wonder millions of pauperized Afghans hover over the abyss of starvation.

      • FAIRHow Much Less Newsworthy Are Civilians in Other Conflicts?

        As US news media covered the first shocking weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some media observers—like FAIR founder Jeff Cohen (Common Dreams, 2/28/22)—have noted their impressions of how coverage differed from wars past, particularly in terms of a new focus on the impact on civilians.

      • Counter PunchMutiny on the Kyiv

        Keep in mind, however, that Western reports of the fighting are at best fragmentary, based on video uplinks from this or that besieged city, and that the campaign could well end with the Russian army controlling half of what is now Ukraine.

        At the same time, the Russian request to China for economic and military aid, and the report that President Vladimir Putin plans to send a brigade of Syrian jihadis to fight the holy war in Donbas, would indicate that Russian morale among its attacking troops is dissipating, as the one thing you rarely see in any satellite or drone videos of the fighting is Russian ground forces “jumping the bags” of their trenches and closing with the bayonet.

      • Meduza‘They don’t know Ukraine’: Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak on Kyiv’s ‘cautious optimism’ about the negotiations with Russia

        After three weeks of all-out war, Ukrainian officials have begun to show “a degree of cautious optimism” about the talks underway with Russia. On March 16, Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych even suggested that Kyiv “should reach an agreement with Russia now or within a week or two.” In a special interview for Meduza, Kit journalist Elizaveta Antonova spoke with Mykhailo Podolyak — an advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, who has been taking part in the negotiations. Here’s how he assessed the prospects of a peace deal.

      • MeduzaThree weeks in: How the invasion of Ukraine has turned deadly for reporters covering the war and upended Russian state journalism

        On Tuesday, March 15, the world learned of the deaths of two more journalists in Ukraine. Their car was shot at on March 14 in the village of Horenka, near Hostomel.

      • Mint Press NewsA History of NATO and Nazis, with Asa Winstanley
      • Democracy Now“Who Does the West Consider Worthy of Saving?” Asks Matthieu Aikins, After Journey with Afghan Refugees

        Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last year, the country has faced a humanitarian crisis with half of the population experiencing acute hunger. The U.N. Refugee Agency says 3.4 million Afghans are internally displaced due to conflict, the country’s healthcare system is experiencing severe shortages, and workers in schools and hospitals are going without salaries while facing rising food and energy costs — which many attribute to economic restrictions the Biden administration implemented. We look at the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan with journalist Matthieu Aikins, formerly based in Kabul, who went undercover with Afghan refugees to write his book, “The Naked Don’t Fear the Water,” following their journey crossing borders to the West. “It’s very stark, the difference in treatment between the vast majority of refugees who need smugglers to escape and what’s happening in Ukraine right now,” says Aikins. He is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, where in his latest piece he raises the question: Who does the West consider worthy of saving?

      • Democracy NowRaj Patel: Global South Faces Brunt of Soaring Food Prices Amid War in Ukraine, World’s “Breadbasket”

        The United Nations is warning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to a “hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system” that would be especially devastating for the Global South. Wheat and fertilizer prices have soared since the war began three weeks ago. Global food prices could jump by as much as 22% this year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupts exports from two of the world’s largest producers of wheat and fertilizer. Rising fuel prices will also contribute to higher food prices. To talk more about how Russia’s war in Ukraine is leading to a global food crisis, we are joined by Raj Patel, author of “Stuffed and Starved” and a research professor at the University of Texas at Austin, who explains how farmers and working-class people around the world will face the brunt of the impact of growing food prices. He notes the coronavirus, climate change, conflict and capitalism are working to compound one another and underscore the necessity to transition to sustainable, agroecological farming.

      • The HillIntel chair ‘amazed’ Russia hasn’t launched full-scale cyberwarfare

        Many cyber experts and U.S. intelligence officials predicted that Russia would launch massive cyberattacks, especially following crippling economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe, but so far those predictions haven’t materialized.

      • ReasonIslamic Prenuptial Agreements in American Courts

        The key is that they are agreements, enforceable under American law as non-religious agreements are.

      • ViceWhy We Haven’t Seen Debilitating Cyberwar in Ukraine

        One key reason is that, despite all the attention that cyber attacks get during times of relative peace, kinetic weapons such as the missiles that Russian troops are firing onto civilian areas are a higher priority once conventional war breaks out.

      • Rolling StoneOhio Republicans Would Rather Impeach a Judge than Stop Cheating at Elections

        Now, rather than take the court’s advice and “retain an independent map drawer…to draft a plan through a transparent process,” some Republican legislators are discussing invoking their power to impeach the judge, who will step down at the end of the year due to the court’s age limits.

        According to an email from a Republican state central committee member that was obtained by the Dispatch, an unnamed lawmaker intends onto file an impeachment charge against the judge. A statehouse insider told the outlet that this could come in the next few days.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The NationThe “State Secrets” Privilege Is a Tool of Injustice

        Suppose the United States government is guilty of assassination, torture, kidnapping, or other comparably appalling crimes in the name of national security—do we have the right to know about it? According to twin decisions of the United States Supreme Court issued this month, the answer is more often than not a resounding “No.”

    • Environment

      • The NationTurn That Down!
      • Rolling StoneJoe Manchin and Marco Rubio Want to Roast the Planet to Stop Putin’s War

        Rubio was talking about boosting drilling and mining for oil and gas as a way to stop importing Russian oil and gas and, thus, stop financing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. But it was more than that. Rubio’s tweet is an unintentionally revealing expression of the lizard brain of fossil fuel boosters, aligning America’s fight for freedom and democracy with the muscle and profit of the oil and gas industry and the power and glory of God. For a Republican senator like Rubio, who loves to think of himself as a shrewd international player, this a perfect tweet.

        But the remark was weird and alarming for precisely the same reasons: it fused freedom and democracy with fossil fuels, while suggesting that the Big Guy in The Sky has been looking out for us by stashing great reservoirs of black goop and fossilized algae for America to use in our quest to save the world from evil dictators like Putin. Russia, of course, also has lots of oil and gas. But presumably Putin’s fossil fuels were provided by the devil.

      • ABCGreat Barrier Reef suffers widespread coral bleaching

        Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering widespread and severe coral bleaching due to high ocean temperatures two years after a mass bleaching event, a government agency said on Friday.

        The report by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority, which manages the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, comes three days before a United Nations delegation is due to assess whether the reef’s World Heritage listing should be downgraded due to the ravages of climate change.

      • FAIRShireen Al-Adeimi on Yemen, David Arkush on Fed Climate Veto
      • Common Dreams‘Disastrous News’: Widespread Bleaching of Great Barrier Reef Underway

        An assessment of the Great Barrier Reef’s health released Friday reveals widespread bleaching of the world’s largest coral organism, sparking fresh demands for the Australian government to ditch fossil fuels and finally commit to protecting both the UNESCO site and planetary health.

        “Corals on the Great Barrier Reef are not supposed to bleach in cooler La Niña summers. 2022 is a first, thanks to anthropogenic heating.”

      • Counter PunchArming Scientists and Society for the Climate Crisis

        Hundreds of IPCC scientists provide the United Nations periodically with reports on adverse impacts of climate change. The most recent report, issued in February, details rising seas, terrible droughts, atypical weather events, thawing permafrost, dying forests, and massive displacement of populations.

        Once atmospheric warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius over 19th century levels, changes will be irreversible. The increase so far is 1.1 degrees Celsius. Surveyed, 60 percent of scientists working on an earlier IPCC report agreed that temperatures would rise almost three percent by the end of the present century.

      • Counter PunchBig Oil, Big Opera:  Handel at the Met

        Shorn of those two Teutonic dots, Handel’s name changed its meaning. If read by German eyes it now meant “trade” or “commerce”—an apt rebranding for a musical entrepreneur engaged in the risky business of opera. Indeed, the venture, whether funded by kings or robber barons, is notoriously costly, not to say bankrupting. Handel knew this all too well. His operatic obsessions nearly drove him to physical and financial ruin.

        Back in the first half of the eighteenth century, as opera established itself as Europe’s blockbuster entertainment from Naples to London to St. Petersburg, the Hamburg musician and man of letters (especially, but by no means exclusively, on matters musical) Johann Mattheson rightly observed that “where the best banks are found, so, too, are found the best opera houses.” Those words might have been echoing through the cavernous, curvaceous lobby of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House last Friday before the opening night of a revival of stage director Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Handel’s Rodelinda.

      • Common DreamsUN Food Aid Official Warns Ukraine Supply Chain ‘Falling Apart’

        Russia’s war is devastating food supply chains across Ukraine, leaving barren shelves at the grocery stores and warehouses that are still standing, a United Nations hunger official told reporters Friday.

        “Movements of goods have slowed down due to insecurity and the reluctance of drivers.”

      • Common DreamsFonda Launches Climate PAC to Break Big Oil’s ‘Stranglehold’ on US Politicians

        Vowing to “do whatever it takes to defeat the political allies of the fossil fuel industry, no matter which side of the aisle they’re on,” actress and activist Jane Fonda this week launched a political action committee with the goal of spurring meaningful action to tackle the climate emergency.

        “There is no question that the obstacle between saving the planet and not is the money that has a stranglehold on our politicians.”

      • Energy

        • Common DreamsOcean Defenders Reject Deep-Sea Mining Effort by Lockheed Martin

          A leading conservation group on Friday sounded the alarm after military-industrial complex giant Lockheed Martin filed an application with the U.S. government to renew licenses allowing deep seabed mining exploration in the Pacific Ocean. 

          “The areas of the deep sea where mining contracts have been issued support some of the most biodiverse and scientifically important ecosystems on Earth.”

        • Common Dreams‘Big News’ for Climate as Global Insurance Giant Shifts Away From Fossil Fuels

          After Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, announced Thursday that it is moving to end coverage for most new oil and gas projects, climate justice campaigners who have long pushed for the insurance industry to shift away from fossil fuels offered cautious praise.

          “Swiss Re is one of the world’s ultimate risk managers and the policy which it published today sends a strong message to fossil fuel companies, investors, and governments: oil and gas operations need to be phased out in accordance with climate science or they may become uninsurable by the end of the decade,” Peter Bosshard, global coordinator of Insure Our Future, said in a statement.

        • Common DreamsClimate Groups Blast Biden Energy Dept for Approving LNG Export Increase

          Climate action advocates this week sharply criticized the Biden administration for signing off on increasing gas exports from the United States as Europe faces supply problems exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

          “Putin’s actions underscore the need to electrify everything.”

        • DeSmogDecades of Lobbying Weakened Americans’ Gas Mileage and Turbocharged Pain at the Pump

          For roughly a decade, the U.S. oil industry and its backers touted American oil abundance and “energy dominance.” But in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions, gasoline prices immediately spiked 79 cents a gallon in the span of two weeks, briefly touching a record high of $4.43 a gallon and the market’s been in turmoil ever since.

          Domestic oil drillers have proved unable or unwilling to offer drivers rapid relief, with one oil executive warning that shale companies were already struggling and would not be able to increase production. Indeed, weekly crude oil production in the United States hovered at 11.6 million barrels a day through February and into mid-March, federal data shows — down from pre-pandemic heights of over 13 million.

        • DeSmogCoverage of Tory MP’s Fuel Duty Letter Ignores Ties to Climate Denier Motoring Lobbyist

          Media coverage of a letter from MPs calling for fuel duty to be cut in the Spring budget has failed to mention its author is closely allied to a climate science denier and haulage industry lobbyist with an undeclared interest in fossil fuel-powered cars.

          Robert Halfon MP wrote a letter to the prime minister and Treasury today urging them to cut fuel duty and VAT on fuel. The letter, signed by 53 MPs, was covered in The Sun and the Daily Mail newspapers, the former with the headline: “Over 50 Tory MPs break cover and demand Rishi Sunak slashes fuel duty to help struggling Brits.” 

        • DeSmogMapped: How the Net Zero Backlash is Tied to Climate Denial – and Brexit

          “Go for gas with all the vigour of a national war effort…” That was the take from Steve Baker on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Baker, the leading light of the backbench Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), has seized on the war to push for the UK’s ban on fracking to be scrapped. 

          Ukraine is just their latest tactic. A few weeks ago it was the cost-of-living crisis, which they tried to pin on green policies. The NZSG has been active in influencing the climate debate, gaining widespread media coverage and some support from former ministers. 

        • Common DreamsPoll Shows ‘Incredible’ 80% of US Voters Support Windfall Tax on Big Oil

          New survey data out this week shows that U.S. voters—regardless of party affiliation—overwhelmingly support a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil corporations that are using Russia’s war on Ukraine to hike prices at the pump.

          “GOP and industry disinformation is failing to convince people—voters know Big Oil is to blame.”

        • Counter PunchFossil Fuel Extraction Threatens Africa’s Remaining Elephants

          In the Namibian headwaters of the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the country’s flag flutters beneath Canada’s, flying above a new oil well. This violation of the Namibian Constitution—which requires that the national flag should be “hoisted first” and “flown on separate staffs” when flown with other nations’ flags—is a blatant symbol of neocolonialism, embodied further by an oil rig standing in the midst of a magnificent landscape, rich in biodiversity and a refuge for the wildlife and communities alike, their home for millennia.

          The Canadian flag marks the land where a destructive and controversial project is being carried out by the Canadian oil company called ReconAfrica, which currently holds a license to explore for oil in an area extending over 13,200 square miles in both Namibia and Botswana. Local communities and environmental groups point out that the massive pool of oil that the company hopes to access and extract oil and gas from will represent one-sixth of the world’s remaining carbon budget when these products are finally used. The oil and gas also lie under wild and beautiful lands that are critical for providing millions of people access to drinking water, and are also home to wildlife that is crucial for the survival of global biodiversity.

        • Pro PublicaLights Out: Profitable Utility Company Shut Off Electricity to Homes Hundreds of Thousands of Times

          During the early stages of the pandemic, Michigan’s largest power company leaned in to a chance to show its charitable side, helping buy laptops for Detroit’s public school children and publicizing that it would not disconnect the gas and electric service of people who could not pay their bills. DTE Energy said it was on “high alert to help those customers whose lives are being disrupted.”

          But the relief from the threat of a shut-off ended quickly for DTE’s customers, who pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country. DTE’s moratorium on disconnections lasted just over three months.

        • Pro PublicaWhat to Do If Your Electricity Is Shut Off in Michigan

          Michigan has some of the highest electricity rates in the nation. In fact, only 10 states have rates that are more expensive, based on federal data from 2021. Here’s what Michigan residents need to know if you find yourself facing a shut-off because you can’t afford your bill.

        • The RevelatorGas Flaring Can Harm People 60 Miles Away, Study Finds
        • The EconomistData point: The power of cryptocurrency

          To put this into perspective, if bitcoin were a country it would be the 23rd-largest energy consumer in the world.

          According to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, bitcoin’s annual carbon footprint is comparable to that of the Czech Republic, at 114.06 Mt CO2. Meanwhile, its estimated annual power consumption is comparable to the electrical energy used in a year by Thailand, at 204.50 TWh.

        • NasdaqBarbra Streisand And Bitcoin: How Political Missteps, Censorship And War Are An Opportunity For The U.S.

          Many governments are purposefully or accidentally introducing their citizens to Bitcoin and sovereign theory through their decisions.

        • [Old] MediumMay 29: Why I still believe cryptocurrency is a slow-motion catastrophe

          Blind trust in cryptography is a dangerously dim view of human nature. Cryptography is only ever as secure as the human beings who employ it — and history shows that the humans using [cryptocurrencies] are often hilariously naïve and incompetent.

        • NewYorkTimesHow the War in Ukraine Could Slow the Sales of Electric Cars

          The price of nickel doubled in one day last week, prompting the London Metal Exchange to freeze trading and effectively bring the global nickel market to a standstill. After two years of supply chain chaos caused by the pandemic, the episode provided more evidence of how geopolitical tensions are destroying trading relationships that companies once took for granted, forcing them to rethink where they get the parts and metals they use to make cars and many other products.

        • CNETIs Bitcoin Really Anonymous?

          No. Bitcoin transactions can be traced, as demonstrated by the recent bust in Manhattan as well as last year’s Colonial Pipeline hack, in which authorities were able to recoup some of the ransom payment from the attackers.

        • BloombergCrypto Mania in Texas Risks New Costs and Strains on Shaky Grid
        • IndiaWhy Bitcoin’s Environmental Problems Are So Hard to Fix

          Bitcoin’s estimated power consumption soared from an annual rate of 6.6 terawatt-hours at the start of 2017 to 138 terawatt hours in early 2022 — more than a country like Norway — according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, which keeps a running estimate. As for its carbon footprint, Digiconomist puts annualized emissions from Bitcoin mining at 114 million tons of carbon dioxide, comparable to those of Belgium.

        • ADFAs World Turns Away From Russian Energy, Africa Sees Opportunity

          Together, the three countries control more than half of Africa’s 18 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. As Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria already exports liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. In 2019, European countries bought 12 billion cubic meters of Nigerian gas, according to the German-African Business Association.

    • Finance

      • Common DreamsReport Rings Alarm Over Private Equity’s Grip on Home Health, Hospice Industries

        The private equity industry’s business model of buying up companies and extracting as much profit as possible over a short period of time has made it a notorious force in the United States, where it has gained a solid foothold in a range of sectors—often with disastrous consequences.

        In recent years, according to a new report, private equity firms have increasingly sunk their teeth into the fast-growing home healthcare and hospice industries, alarming advocates and researchers who say private equity’s pursuit of maximal returns over all else is hurting vulnerable patients and workers.

      • Common DreamsSocial Democracy Lands Finland Atop World Happiness Ranking

        Finland is the happiest country in the world, followed by Denmark and Iceland, with other Scandinavian social democracies Sweden and Norway not far behind.

        “Social support, generosity to one another, and honesty in government are crucial for well-being.”

      • Counter PunchPrices Spiking: Options Shrinking. We’re at a Tipping Point for Oil & Gas

        Let’s be clear. The US barely uses Russian oil (most of which goes to Europe and Asia). Still, it’s true that without buying from Russia, the world’s available supply of oil and gas is smaller and reduced supplies tend to result in higher prices.  But do they have to?

        Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Big Oil was posting record profits. According to the US government watchdog group Accountable US, Chevron, Shell, Exxon and BP made over $75 billion in 2021, a record sum.  The oil companies are awash in wealth. They could at any point choose to lower prices for a beleaguered public in wartime. Instead, their executives are choosing to puff up dividends and CEO salaries and buying back their own shares; stock buy-backs being win-wins for shareholders.

      • Counter PunchHow to Fix America’s Badly Broken System for Taxing Its Richest
      • Common DreamsOpinion | How to Fix America’s Badly Broken System for Taxing the Ultra-Rich

        Would you walk around the block to get to your next-door neighbor’s house? Of course not. Yet America’s system for taxing the ultra-rich, especially billionaires, works that same exact roundabout way.

      • Counter PunchThe Inflation Hawks are Running Wild

        Okay, let’s get back to Planet Earth. The large stimulus package that President Biden pushed through last year undoubtedly added to inflation in the economy, but it also quickly got the economy back to something close to full employment. If we had not had a big package, maybe the inflation rate would be a couple points lower, but the unemployment rate might be closer to 5.8 percent, rather than the 3.8 percent reported for February.

        The point that many of us keep making is that most of the inflation we have seen over the last year was due to the reopening from the pandemic, not the stimulus package. A simple picture makes this point well. Inflation jumped pretty much everywhere across the OECD.

      • Robert ReichThe Hidden Link Between Corporate Greed and Inflation

        So don’t fall for the fear mongering about inflation. The real culprit here is corporate power.

      • The VergeInstacart says it’s adding a fuel surcharge to help drivers paying high gas prices

        In a blog post on its website, the company said it would implement the $.40 per order charge “over the next month,” but not when it takes effect. The post states that “every cent of the new, temporary fuel surcharge will be passed directly onto the shopper” and that it will launch “in the coming days.” Company spokesperson Charlotte Healow said in an email to The Verge that the policy would be in effect for one month after implementation. Asked if the charge would apply to electric or hybrid vehicles as well, Healow said the shopper’s vehicle was not a factor.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • TruthOutIn Wrongful Termination Complaint, Chris Cuomo Claims CNN Also Advised Brother
      • TruthOutFormer Trump Chief of Staff Being Investigated for Using False Address to Vote
      • Common DreamsAOC Hits AIPAC for Supporting Republicans Who Voted to Overturn 2020 Election

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on Friday blasted the most powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby for endorsing dozens of congressional Republicans who attempted to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.

        “AIPAC’s support for these candidates endangers American democracy.”

      • Counter PunchRight-wingers: ‘Don’t Tread on Me’

        Republican conservatives in state legislatures, pushed by far-right ideologues, are taking apart liberal democracy little by little, looting the future for millions of Americans. They’re destroying our freedoms.

        Undoubtedly inspired by racist Donald Trump’s denigration of everything that is not Donald Trump, particularly the Other, the bashing of progressive gains intended to pursue equality for all manifests itself in suppressing voting rights, restricting abortions, curbing teaching about race and identity, banning books in schools and libraries and picking on one of the most vulnerable in society – LGBTQ youths.

      • Counter PunchDéjà Vu All Over Again

        Admittedly, he’s talking about flooded property, including possibly whole cities going underwater in the decades to come, but what the hell! Yes, indeed, he was the president of the United States not so long ago and, if all goes well (for him, not us), he or some doppelganger, could win the Oval Office again in 2024, ensuring the arrival of that new, all-too-wet waterfront property.  And yes, he offered up that little gem — about the 9,000th time he’s called climate change a “hoax” (sometimes blaming it on China) — just as a new scientific report came out suggesting that, if things don’t improve in fossil-fuel-burning terms, up to half of the Amazon rain forest, one of the great carbon sinks on Earth, could be transformed into savanna. To quote the Washington Post again:

        Hey, Donald, what could possibly go wrong on this all-too-embattled planet of ours?

      • Counter PunchGarrincha and Elza Soares

        But make no mistake. The ad is more than simple, it is simplistic, because the documentary series is more. The images show the suffering of brilliant people in interviews and films of the time. A stingy, conservative, stupid Brazil that persecuted Garrincha and Elza for defending with deeds the legitimate field of love stands out.  The soccer star allegedly abandoned seven daughters to live with Elza Soares. From my childhood, I remember hearing on the radios the hit “Volte pra casa” in the voice of Noite Ilustrada:

      • India TimesTech leaders face threat of prison under new UK online bill

        Tech bosses face criminal prosecution if they fail to comply with proposed British rules aimed at ensuring people are safe online, the U.K. government said Thursday as it unveiled the draft legislation in Parliament.

        The ambitious but controversial online safety bill would give regulators wide-ranging powers to crack down on digital and social media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

        Authorities in the United Kingdom are the vanguard of a global movement to rein in the power of tech platforms and make them more responsible for harmful material such as child sex abuse, racist content, bullying, fraud and other harmful material that proliferates on their platforms. Similar efforts are underway in the European Union and United States.

      • New ScientistOnline Safety Bill: Will UK’s new law protect people from harm online?

        Online platforms will also have to proactively remove anything that is deemed “harmful content” – details of what this includes remain unclear, but the announcement today mentioned the examples “self-harm, harassment and eating disorders”.

        A preview of the bill in February mentioned that “illegal search terms” would also be banned. New Scientist asked at the time what would be included in the list of illegal searches, and was told no such list yet existed, and that “companies will need to design and operate their services to be safe by design and prevent users encountering illegal content. It will be for individual platforms to design their own systems and processes to protect their users from illegal content.”

        The bill also gives stronger powers to regulators and watchdogs to investigate breaches: a new criminal offence will be introduced to tackle employees of firms covered by the legislation from tampering with data before handing it over, and another for stopping or obstructing raids or investigations. The regulator Ofcom will have the power to fine companies up to 10 per cent of their annual global turnover.

      • Foreign PolicyPutin’s Thousand-Year War

        By his own account, Putin sees himself not as the heir to the Soviets but as a champion of Russian civilization and Moscow’s Eurasian empire, whose roots extend back to a much earlier Vladimir—St. Vladimir, the Grand Prince of Kyiv from about 980 to 1015. St. Vladimir was ruler of what the Russians consider their first empire, the Slavic state known as Kievan Rus—based, of course, in Kyiv, the capital of what is now Ukraine. St. Vladimir’s conversion to Christianity in 988 later gave rise to the idea that Russia would be the “third Rome”—the heir to the fallen Roman and Byzantine Empires following the surrender of Constantinople to the Ottomans. It is why, like Putin, many Russians refer to Kievan Rus as “the cradle of Russian civilization” and Kyiv as “the mother of Russian cities.”

        All this history is key to understanding Putin’s delusional view that Ukraine is not, and can never be, a separate country and “never had a tradition of genuine statehood.” Putin made this plain in a Feb. 21 speech, three days before the invasion, and in a 6,800-word essay from July 2021 titled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” In that essay, he reached back more than 10 centuries to explain why he was convinced that “Russians and Ukrainians were one people—a single whole.” He claimed it was important to understand that Russians and Ukrainians, along with Belarusians, “are all descendants of Ancient Rus, which was the largest state in Europe.” Putin wrote: “The spiritual choice made by St. Vladimir … still largely determines our affinity today.”

        Some scholars believe this obsession with long-ago history is why Putin, who during his two decades in power was often thought to be a wily and restrained tactician, made the biggest miscalculation of his career in invading Ukraine. In doing so, he united, in one reckless move, the Ukrainians and the Europeans as well as the rest of the world against him. “He didn’t realize that even most of the Russian-language speakers in eastern Ukraine see themselves now as Ukrainian—that over the past 30 years, the Ukrainians had formed their own country. He didn’t realize that their sense of identity had changed,” said Peter Eltsov, a professor at National Defense University and author of the new book The Long Telegram 2.0: A Neo-Kennanite Approach to Russia. “He also killed all the progress he was making in dividing Europe. Even Finland and Sweden, which had been neutral, are now talking about joining NATO. He achieved the 100 percent opposite result of what he wanted.”

      • RFERLBritish Media Regulator Revokes Russian RT’s Broadcasting License In U.K.

        Ofcom said it took the decision as it investigates 29 cases looking into the impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

      • EDRIOpen letter: Protecting digital rights and freedoms in the Legislation to effectively tackle child abuse

        As the shocking events of past weeks have emphasised, privacy and safety are mutually reinforcing rights. People under attack depend on privacy-preserving technologies to communicate with journalists, to coordinate protection for their families, and to fight for their safety and rights. Equally in peacetime, people’s ability to communicate without unjustified intrusion – whether online or offline – is vital for their rights and freedoms, as well as for the development of vibrant and secure communities, civil society and industry.

      • QuartzWhy it matters if Saudi Arabia sells oil in Chinese yuan instead of US dollars

        If the yuan displaces the dollar to a sufficient degree in the annual $14 trillion global oil trade—although what that sufficient degree would be is difficult to say—countries will have to maintain yuan reserves instead. (At the moment, 2.48% of the world’s reserves are held in yuan, compared to 55% for the dollar, according to IMF data.) Oil producers receiving yuan would have to spend it on Chinese debt and imports, further strengthening China’s economy, but if the world was particularly awash in yuan, other trade might start to be yuan-denominated: metals, say, or soybeans.

        The effect on both China and the US would be profound. To preserve the yuan’s new role, China would have to ensure political stability and financial transparency, of the kind the US promised in the 20th century. The US’ abilities to issue dollar debt and earn dollars for exports would decline, so its economy would shrink. In this situation, the dollar’s weakening may trigger a vicious cycle: capital flight away from the dollar and towards the yuan, debilitating the dollar further.

      • XeTechnical Solutions Poorly Solve Social Problems

        Technology is the cornerstone of our society. As a people we have seen the catalytic things that technology has enabled us to do. Through technology and new and innovative ways of applying it, we can help solve many problems. This leads some to envision technology as a panacea, a mythical cure-all that will make all our problems go away with the right use of it.

        This does not extend to social problems. Technical fixes for social problems are how we end up with an inadequate mess that can make the problem a lot worse than it was before. You’ve almost certainly been able to see this in action with social media (under the belief that allowing people to connect is so morally correct that it will bring in a new age of humanity that will be objectively good for everyone). The example I want to focus on today is the Devops philosophy. Devops is a technical solution (creating a new department) that helps work around social problems in workplaces (fundamental differences in priorities and end goals), and in the process it doesn’t solve either very well.

      • Tom’s HardwareIntel Subsidies for Ohio, Magedeburg Fabs Measure in Billions of Dollars

        Earlier this year Intel established its next major manufacturing site in Ohio. Intel intends to invest about $20 billion in two fabs at the site initially with the first fab coming online in 2025. When the site is fully built out, it can house as many as eight fabs that will cost about $100 billion. The site will be Ohio’s biggest economic development project in history, but to get the fab, the state had to provide Intel about $2.1 billion in various incentives. In addition, Intel is expected to get funding from the federal government as part of the CHIPS act. Overall, a significant portion of Intel’s $20 billion investment will come from government coffers.

        But that sums look insignificant when compared to subsidies that Intel is getting from Germany for its $18.7 billion fab project near Magdeburg. The company is reportedly getting about $5.5 billion in state aid, according to officials familiar with the matter cited by Bloomberg. $5.5 billion is about 29.4% of the project’s cost.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • CNNArnold Schwarzenegger’s video message urges Russians to overcome government disinformation

        Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made an impassioned appeal to the Russian people in a video posted on social media, asking them to resist their country’s disinformation as the devastating invasion of Ukraine continues.

        Schwarzenegger said he was “sending this message through various different channels” for Russian citizens and soldiers, and hoped his message about the atrocities committed by its government and military would break through. The video posted on Twitter has more than 15 million views.

        “Ukraine did not start this war. Neither did nationalists or Nazis,” he said. “Those in power in the Kremlin started this war.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • TechdirtConspiracy Channel OAN Pouts More, Sues DirecTV For Kicking It To The Curb

        Back in January DirecTV finally decided to axe OAN, the conspiracy and fantasy channel, from its cable lineup. The decision came just three months or so after a blockbuster report showed that AT&T not only helped fund and set up the “news” outlet, but it came up with the idea. OAN has been notorious for spreading false claims ranging from non-existent election fraud to the false claim that COVID was developed in a North Carolina lab as part of a government plot.

      • ReasonHow Corporate Criticism Threatened Online Anonymous Speech

        In the late 1990s, most publicly traded companies were the subjects of Yahoo! Finance bulletin boards. Yahoo! allowed users to post message under pseudonyms, so its bulletin boards quickly became a virtual water cooler for rumors about companies nationwide.

        Corporate executives and public relations departments routinely monitored the bulletin boards, keenly aware that one negative post could affect employee morale and, more importantly, stock prices. While companies were accustomed to handling negative press coverage, the pseudonymous criticism on Yahoo! Finance was an entirely different world. Executives knew to whom they could complain if a newspaper’s business columnist wrote about inflated share prices or pending layoffs. Yahoo! Finance’s commenters, on the other hand, typically were not easily identifiable.

      • Ish SookunHindi film « The Kashmir Files » has been rejected by the Film Classification Board of Mauritius — an appeal has been made by mCine

        At the time of writing this blog post, no further update was published by mCine and The Kashmir Files remains banned in Mauritius.

      • NewYorkTimesChina’s Information Dark Age Could Be Russia’s Future

        By blocking online platforms, shutting down the last vestige of Russia’s independent media and making it a crime to refer to the fighting in Ukraine as a war, the Kremlin has made it nearly impossible for the Russian people to get independent or international news after its invasion. Most Russians are taking in an alternative reality.

        That’s exactly what China has been doing to its 1.4 billion people for years. Nearly all major Western websites are blocked in the country. A generation of Chinese have grown up in a very different information environment from the rest of the world. Mostly, they are left to believe in what Beijing tells them.

      • VOA NewsRussia Says YouTube Users Spreading ‘Terrorist’ Threats

        Roskomnadzor did not identify the users broadcasting the alleged threats.

        While the statement did not mention blocking YouTube in Russia, an unnamed official told Russian state media outlet Sputnik that YouTube could be blocked “by the end of next week,” or as early as Friday.

      • SalonWhat the New York Times doesn’t get about free speech and “cancel culture”

        One can only hope that Friday, March 18, 2022 will mark the nadir of the moral panic over “cancel culture” that has gripped not just the American right, but also the upper echelons of elite journalism upset by the hoi polloi commenting aloud about their writing. Because that is the day the New York Times editorial board published an editorial equating actual government censorship with the “fear of being shamed or shunned” for expressing an opinion in public.

        Really, “equating” is an overstatement. The editorial makes it quite clear that the board sees shaming-and-shunning as exponentially worse than actual government censorship.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Common DreamsProtests After Peru Court Approves Release of Ex-Dictator Alberto Fujimori

        Protests erupted in Lima on Thursday night after Peru’s top court ordered the early release of neoliberal former dictator Alberto Fujimori, who has been serving a 25-year prison term for crimes against humanity.

        With its decision on Thursday, the Constitutional Tribunal—whose makeup has become more friendly to Fujimori in recent years as a result of new appointments—reinstated an earlier pardon that had been struck down.

      • Common DreamsCritics Blast Murphy for Helping Drive Dems ‘Into a Ditch’ and Then Blaming Progressives

        Progressive political observers on Friday scoffed at comments from corporate Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, who tried to blame progressives in the party for her retirement from Congress, despite the fact that right-leaning members have gotten much of what they wanted—including blockage of President Joe Biden’s agenda—over the past year.

        The congresswoman, who has represented Florida’s 7th Congressional District since 2017 and announced her plan to retire in December, told Politico that the Democratic Party does not give conservative members of the party “leeway” to cast right-leaning votes—despite the fact that many lawmakers have spent their careers doing just that and have successfully damaged Biden’s chances of passing his domestic agenda.

      • Counter PunchThere’s No Sugarcoating Hershey’s Union Busting

        Workers at the Hershey Company’s second-largest factory are seeking to unionize. In response, the candy manufacturing giant is throwing the full force of the corporate union-busting playbook at them.

        The Virginia plant employs about 1,300 people, none of whom are sharing in the record profits reaped during a pandemic when Americans ate their weight in candy.

      • The NationOn Principle: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Profile in Courage

        When she was but a young woman, a law student, Ketanji Brown Jackson did something few serving jurists have found themselves brave enough or principled enough to do. The year was 1996. The country was in one of its serial spasms over crime. A year earlier, a Princeton professor, working off what turned out to be junk science, pronounced that the country was destined to be overrun by a generation of soulless youth—vicious beasts whom he, and hundreds of media reports, called superpredators. Americans had become accustomed by then to seeing monsters, and accustomed to regarding punishment as a social good.

      • TechdirtCops Who Sued Journalist For Reporting On Their Poor Handling Of A Rape Case Lose Their Defamation Lawsuit

        As Omar (RIP, Michael K. Williams) pointed out, using only his whistling and his sawed-off shotgun, “If you come at the king, you’d best not miss.”

      • TechdirtRe-Funding The Police: Taxpayers On The Hook For Billions of Dollars Of Law Enforcement Lawsuit Settlements

        Apparently, it’s not enough that we pay their salaries and buy their uniforms, vehicles, and weapons. We’re also expected to foot the bill when law enforcement officers fuck up so badly they can’t even avail themselves of qualified immunity, a Supreme Court-created legal doctrine that has been watered down for decades, allowing all but the most egregious violators of rights to walk away from their misconduct.

      • The NationSouth Korean Feminists Brace for a “Long, Hard Winter” Under a Right-Wing Leader

        Feminism is a cause of South Korea’s rock-bottom birthrate. The gender-equality ministry should be dismantled. There’s no structural discrimination against women.

      • The VergeWorkers at another NYC Amazon warehouse now have a union election date

        Workers at Amazon’s LDJ5 facility in Staten Island in New York City will be voting on whether to unionize with the Amazon Labor Union starting April 25th, according to a report from CNBC. It’s the second Staten Island Amazon warehouse to have a union election scheduled; workers at the company’s JFK8 facility — also seeking to be represented by the ALU— will begin voting on March 25th.

        According to CNBC, the LDJ5 vote will be in person, and the National Labor Relations Board will tally the results beginning May 2nd.

      • NBCSaudi Arabia executes 81 people in show of force by an emboldened Mohammed bin Salman

        On Saturday, the Saudi government killed 81 people in a single mass execution despite recent assurances from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that Saudi Arabia was making important legal reforms. The deaths provide a glimpse at what Saudi justice looks like now that MBS has been emboldened by Western governments that have failed to hold him accountable for the killing of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as numerous other crimes and abuses.

      • IT WireGoogle hit with lawsuit over alleged discrimination against black employees

        The suit claims Curley was hired for an entry-level position though she held a master’s degree and had five years of experience. It said she alleged that her recruitment was actually a public relations move and she experienced discrimination and hostility because of her colour.

      • ReasonPolice Officer Kills Dog for Walking Toward Him With Tail Wagging

        Brock says, and video appears to show, the dog wagging its tail as it trots toward the officer. Brock has now filed a federal civil rights lawsuit arguing that the shooting was an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

        The shooting is another alleged instance of an officer misreading dog behavior and slaying a pet—a sadly common occurrence that continues to devastate families, generate public outrage, lead to officers being fired, and cost police departments hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuit settlements.

      • Middle East EyeBritish spies who helped CIA torturers subject to English law, court rules

        British spies who allegedly provided the CIA with questions to put to detainees being tortured at “black sites” are subject to the law of England and Wales, not the laws of the countries in which the prisoner was held, a court in London has ruled.

        The three judges at the Court of Appeal were asked to decide whether Abu Zubaydah, who was subjected to extreme mistreatment and torture at secret CIA “black sites” in six countries, has the right to sue the UK government in the courts of England and Wales.

      • NBCBlack man grabbing tea from car shot by New Jersey police and paralyzed, lawsuit says

        “This group of men, appearing as any other group of dangerous criminals from a horror movie, turned out to be from the Trenton Police Department,” the lawsuit said.

        “A Black man sitting in a car at midnight while on a cell phone was all the unidentified police needed to smash the driver’s side window. Despite being unarmed, nonthreatening, and minding his own business, the police proceeded to use lethal force and shoot Jajuan in the neck. It is a miracle Jajuan survived.”

        Henderson is now paralyzed from the chest down, the suit said.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Counter PunchWeathering the Global Storm: Why Neutrality is Not an Option for Palestinians

        Despite repeated calls on the Palestinian Authority by the US Biden Administration and some EU countries to condemn Russia following its military intervention in Ukraine on February 24, the PA has refrained from doing so. Analyst Hani al-Masri was quoted in Axios as saying that the Palestinian leadership understands that condemning Russia “means that the Palestinians would lose a major ally and supporter of their political positions.” Indeed, joining the anti-Russia western chorus would further isolate an already isolated Palestine, desperate for allies who are capable of balancing out the pro-Israel agenda at US-controlled international institutions, like the UN Security Council.

        Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dismantling of its Eastern Bloc in the late 1980s, Russia was allowed to play a role, however minor, in the US political agenda in Palestine and Israel. It participated, as a co-sponsor, in the Madrid peace talks in 1991, and in the 1993 Oslo accords. Since then a Russian representative took part in every major agreement related to the ‘peace process,’ to the extent that Russia was one of the main parties in the so-called Middle East Quartet which, in 2016, purportedly attempted to negotiate a political breakthrough between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership.

      • MIT Technology ReviewRussia is risking the creation of a “splinternet”—and it could be irreversible

        But all these are just services that use the [Internet], rather than the technologies or agreements that power it. Facebook being blocked in a country is basically no different than Facebook withdrawing from a country, or simply going bust or shutting down.

        But more profound splits are on the cards—provoked by action on both sides. Russia has declared Meta (owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) to be an “extremist organization” and is withdrawing from international governance bodies such as the Council of Europe and has been suspended from the European Broadcasting Union. If such moves were replicated with the [Internet]’s governing bodies, the results could be seismic.

        The moves have raised fears of a “splinternet” (or Balkanized internet), in which instead of the single global [Internet] we have today, we have a number of national or regional networks that don’t speak to one another and perhaps even operate using incompatible technologies.

      • Re: What do you self host?

        Server sounds like a big word for a small single board computer, more specifically a APU2 board by pcengines.ch[a]. This board features 3 ethernet interfaces and therefore is used as a gateway, directing all outbound traffic towards the internet connection (Fritz!Box), while providing a number of services to the home network. Regular backup is done using borgbackup to a different system.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • TeleportTPM vs HSM – What’s the Difference?

        Hardware security modules (HSM) and trusted platform modules (TPM) seemingly do the same thing: they manage secret keys and enable data protection.

        But what does “managing secrets” mean, and what’s the difference between the two? Before diving deeper, let’s explore why computers need help with managing their secrets.

    • Monopolies

      • TechdirtBig Tech Pay-Outs To European ISPs Would Just Concentrate Their Power

        As the debate about how to rein in Big Tech and its anti-competitive practices continues, news publishers and telecommunications providers are increasingly calling for large pay-outs from major platforms. However, these proposals risk restricting users into ever-smaller walled gardens and cementing the dominance of a few big players.

      • IT WireThree European cloud providers file anti-trust complaint against Microsoft

        The three companies claim the licences the American software giant issues for its cloud-based products like the Office productivity suite favour its own Azure cloud product over those of others.

        The complaint was filed with the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, last summer.

        In some ways, the complaint is similar to that made by companies against Microsoft’s Windows in its early years, with the claims being that applications from the same stable worked much better with the operating system than with products from third parties.

      • Broadband BreakfastProgressives’ Anti-Merger Bill, New Facebook Parental Controls, Verizon Helps Defense Department

        Under the proposed law, the government would also be able to retroactively break up deals that result in a market share above 50% or that are considered to “materially harm” competition, workers, consumers, or small or minority-owned businesses.

      • Trademarks

        • TechdirtUkrainian Soldier Moves To Trademark ‘Russian Warship, Go Fuck Yourself” Because Of Course

          Thanks to Vladimir Putin and his one-man show designed to educate the world on just what can happen when a murderous dictator decides to throw a fit, the news is chock full of Ukraine. This has included Techdirt’s pages, which really shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Still, I will admit that I didn’t see the possibility of trademark-related stories coming out of the war.

      • Copyrights

        • Creative CommonsBlueprint on open access to UK’s digital cultural heritage collections welcomed

          A new blueprint on open access to digital cultural heritage collections in the United Kingdom (UK) has been hailed as a significant opportunity to prevent historical works from being “locked down” behind copyright walls.

        • Torrent FreakAnti-Piracy Company Asks Court to Keep Filings Secret as TorrentFreak Might Report On Them

          Anti-piracy company MarkMonitor is a trusted partner of the major record labels. Among other things, the company provided evidence and testimony for the ongoing piracy lawsuit against Internet provider Bright House. This week, MarkMonitor asked the court to keep this information confidential, fearing that TorrentFreak will share it with the broader public, which could include pirates.

        • Torrent FreakTriller Abandons Multi-Million ‘Jake Paul’ Fight Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

          In 2021, social media company Triller launched an aggressive $100m legal campaign against entities that allegedly streamed the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren boxing match without permission. It hasn’t really gone to plan. In fact, Triller has now dismissed all of its claims against its main target and in other cases, most of the bangs have turned into whimpers.

        • TechdirtJehovah’s Witnesses Abusing Copyright Subpoena Process To Unmask Critics

          A year ago, the wonderful podcast, 99% Invisible, had a great episode exploring the history of state slogans and other statements ending up on license plates. It’s very entertaining and worth listening to. As part of it, it highlights an important free speech lawsuit, brought by George Maynard, a Jehovah’s Witness, to argue that New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die!” motto on all license plates violated his own 1st Amendment rights in compelling him to advertise a slogan he felt went against his own religious beliefs.

        • Bad Faith Litigator’s Defamation/Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Shot Down By Appeals Court

          To talk about game developer/serial litigant Jonathan Monsarrat is to open up several cans of hilarious and repulsive worms. Mike Masnick played catch up on Monsarrat’s past and present legal problems in this lengthy 2013 post, where Monsarrat — founder of video game company, Turbine — was slapped around by Booth Sweet LLP (of Prenda fame) after Monsarrat sent a letter threatening people who wrote about his clearly bogus defamation/copyright infringement lawsuit he had filed in Massachusetts.

Links 19/3/2022: EasyOS 3.4.3 and Linux Mint Debian Edition 5

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Kerala CM releases KITE’s new FOSS based Operating System suite
      • TechRadarChrome OS: “A better Linux than Linux” so you can forget about Windows | TechRadar

        Moving between operating systems is akin to moving to a new city or a different country: it takes a while for your mind to adjust to the new environment. Here is my experience of the surprises, annoyances and culture shock of moving to Google’s Chrome OS and how quickly I overcame it all.

        About a month ago, I decided to get rid of my trusty old laptop I had been using for years for writing articles. Since I wanted to play it safe and not spend too much in case the experiment failed, I switched from Windows 10 to the cheapest Chromebook I could find, the Asus C523NA.

        Weeks later, my Windows computer sits in a drawer and I’m typing on a Chromebook, which I intend to use for writing, editing images, and tinkering. Can we say goodbye to Windows? If so, at what cost? Follow along to hear my story.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • The first Asahi Linux Alpha Release is here! – Asahi Linux

        It’s been a long while since we updated the blog! Truth be told, we wanted to write a couple more progress reports, but there was always “one more thing”… So, instead, we decided to take the plunge and publish the first public alpha release of the Asahi Linux reference distribution!

        We’re really excited to finally take this step and start bringing Linux on Apple Silicon to everyone. This is only the beginning, and things will move even more quickly going forward!

        Keep in mind that this is still a very early, alpha release. It is intended for developers and power users; if you decide to install it, we hope you will be able to help us out by filing detailed bug reports and helping debug issues. That said, we welcome everyone to give it a try – just expect things to be a bit rough.

    • Applications

      • Linux Links8 Best Free and Open Source Ray Tracing Software – LinuxLinks

        Ray tracing is a technique for modeling light transport for use in a wide variety of rendering algorithms for generating digital images. This allows computers to accurately render things like shadows, reflections, highlights, and bounced light. The result is a scene that looks more realistic with less work.

        Shadows are softer, certain surfaces are more reflective and detailed, neon lights pop with more intensity. There are a wide variety of lighting effects ray tracing can handle: reflection, refraction, soft shadows, scattering, depth of field, motion blur, caustics, ambient occlusion, and dispersion phenomena.

        On a spectrum of computational cost and visual fidelity, ray tracing-based rendering techniques from ray casting, recursive ray tracing, distribution ray tracing, photon mapping to path tracing are generally slower and higher fidelity than scanline rendering methods. Ray tracing was therefore first deployed in applications where taking a relatively long time to render could be tolerated, such as in still computer-generated images, and film and television visual effects (VFX), but was less suited to real-time applications such as video games, where speed is critical in rendering each frame. A good graphics card can use ray tracing to enhance immersion, but not all GPUs can handle this technique.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux CapableHow to Install OpenRGB on Manjaro 21 Linux

        OpenRGB, better known as OPEN SOURCE RGB LIGHTING CONTROL, 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, etc. 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 Manjaro 21 Linux. The tutorial will use the command line terminal with yay AUR helper, ideally most users may be using some wrapper for Pacman, for new users, it is essential to install one to keep your packages up-to-date while you learn Arch/Manjaro.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Slack on Manjaro 21 Linux

        Slack is one of the most popular collaboration communication platforms in the world. From it was initial launch in 2013, it has grown. It is now favored amongst development teams and corporations to integrate many services, run groups, meetings, etc. The way Slack works is to create channels for your teams, topics, customers, or co-workers. Slack also features voice and video calls, file sharing when face-to-face meetings are not possible.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Slack on Manjaro 21 Linux. The tutorial will use the command line terminal with yay AUR helper, ideally most users may be using some wrapper for Pacman, for new users, it is essential to install one to keep your packages up-to-date while you learn Arch/Manjaro.

      • How to Install Jitsi Meet desktop on Debian 11

        In the times in which we live, teleworking and distance learning has become very relevant. That is why many tools have emerged to help us with remote communications. However, not all of them are new, but they have now become relevant. Well, one of them is the Jitsi Meet desktop. Hot you will learn how to install it.

      • Market ScreenerInsightVM Scanning: Demystifying SSH Credential Elevation | MarketScreener

        The credentials to log into the assets on the network are one of the most critical inputs that can be provided to a vulnerability assessment. In order to capture and report on the full risk of an asset, the scan engine must be able to access the asset so that it can collect vital pieces of information, such as what software is installed and how the system is configured. For UNIX and UNIX-like systems, access to a target is primarily achieved through the Secure Shell Protocol (SSH). Thus, scan engines accessing these systems should have access to the appropriate SSH credentials.

      • 4 Essential NoSQL Interview Questions and Answers to Know

        NoSQL encompasses a wide variety of different database technologies that were developed in response to a rise in the volume of data stored about users, objects, and products. NoSQL databases are great at taking into account the frequency in which this data is accessed, and performance and processing needs. Relational databases, on the other hand, were not designed to cope with the scale and agility challenges that face modern applications, nor were they built to take advantage of the cheap storage and processing power available today.

      • H2S MediaHow to install Anydesk on Almalinux 8 – Linux Shout

        AnyDesk is a Teamviewer alternative that we can install on Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, ChromeOS, and Raspberry Pi. It helps us to easily and quickly establish a connection between computers to remotely access and share the screen. Just like Teamviewer, the content can also be transferred between computers via screen transmission and you can interact with the connected computer as if the computer were at home.

        For Security, Anydesk uses the TLS 1.2 protocol, which is also used for online banking. 2-factor authentication is also possible using some authenticator apps, a code that is generated by the app is required for remote access. If you want to operate your own network of devices, you can Anydesk without access to the server from Anydesk or even the Internet. Also, in case a user requires unattended access to some PC, for example, a home PC from the office, he can do that as well by just configuring and setting a password for it.

      • Trend OceansHow to fix VMware Modconfig can not continue

        Recently, I installed a VMware workstation on a fresh Debian installation. After that, when I ran the VMware workstation to create a new virtual machine, I got the error message: Build environment error! A required application is missing, and Modconfig can not continue. XZ Check the log for more details.

      • ByteXDHow to Install XFCE Desktop or Xubuntu in Ubuntu 20.04/22.04

        While it is lightweight and fast, it also aims at being easy to use and visually appealing. XFCE also has a large number of plugins available.

        XFCE is a popular choice for remote desktops and older hardware, thanks to its low resource usage. However, thanks to its customizability, it is also a popular choice for Linux enthusiasts who prefer a lightweight desktop and a great amount of themes and configurations.

        At first glance it may not seem all that aesthetic, however some of the most beautiful Linux desktops use XFCE. You can find customization options at xfce-look.org.

        To find out more info on XFCE you can visit the official website xfce.org.

        In this tutorial we’ll cover how to install XFCE desktop environment or Xubuntu, which is an Ubuntu flavor, on Ubuntu 20.04/22.04.

        This is how the XFCE desktop environment looks like on my fresh Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish machine.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Envoy Proxy on CentOS – Unix / Linux the admins Tutorials

        This post is about How to install Envoy Proxy on CentOS

        Envoy is a high-performance C++ distributed proxy designed for single services and applications.

        Envoy Proxy is a modern, high performance, small footprint edge and service proxy.Envoy is most comparable to software load balancers such as Nginx and HAProxy. Originally written and deployed at Lyft, Envoy now has a vibrant contributor base and is an official Cloud Native Computing Foundation project.

      • Deploy Elasticsearch and Kibana on Kubernetes with Helm

        We will install Elasticsearch and Kibana as well as set up basic security for the Elastic Stack plus secured HTTPS traffic.

      • UNIX CopHow to visualize disk usage on Linux using Baobab

        Disk Usage Analyzer, formerly known as Baobab, is a graphical disk usage analyzer for the GNOME desktop environment. It was part of gnome-utils, but has been a standalone application since GNOME 3.4.

        Disk Usage Analyzer (also known as baobab) scans folders, devices or remote locations and and reports on the disk space consumed by each element. It provides both a tree-like and a graphical representation.

        So, Baobab is a GNOME disk usage analyzer. Its biggest advantage is the intuitive visualization interface. Baobab can analyze the whole file system tree, a particular directory tree or even remote folders over network.

      • UNIX CopInstall Splunk 8 on CentOS

        In this article we will learn How to install Splunk 8 on CentOS 8. Splunk is a software platform to search, analyze and visualize the machine-generated data gathered from the websites, applications, sensors, devices etc. which make up your IT infrastructure and business.

      • UNIX CopEnvoy Proxy on Ubuntu 20.04 – How to install it

        Thanks to this post, you will learn How To Install Envoy Proxy on Ubuntu 20.04

        Envoy is an open source edge and service proxy, designed for cloud native Applications.

      • UNIX CopHow to install Firebird on Ubuntu 20.04.

        Today you will learn How To Install Envoy Proxy on Ubuntu 20.04. Hope you enjoy this post and enjoy it. Welcome.

    • Games

      • WCCF Tech[Older] Steam Deck Review – A Portable Console For Power Users

        Valve is no stranger to experimenting with different hardware to operate its extensive library of computer titles. From the Steam Link to the Steam Machine, there have been a variety of hardware products to bring the PC experience to a different platform. However, neither Valve (nor have most PC hardware manufacturers) attempted to breach the portable market, at least not at the price point that Valve is pushing their first generation of Steam Deck devices. Imagine being able to have an entire back catalog of Bethesda or Square Enix titles at your fingertips at cheaper than an Xbox Series S and monitor, but with the bonus of being able to take it on the go. Valve sent over a 256GB Steam Deck unit for our review, putting a $529 piece of hardware in our hands and allowing us free reign to play around with it as we see fit.


        To keep the heat down and increase battery life on the go, Valve has implemented system-wide limiters to limit the TDP from 3-15W at a push of a button as well as the option to set a manual fixed GPU clock or even artificially limit the frame rate to 30 FPS across the board. These options are all as simple as pressing the Quick Access button (located below the right trackpad) to bring up the Performance and quick menu overlay.

      • Is building your own PC worth it for non-gamers? | CHOICE

        A free alternative is installing a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu, Manjaro or others.

      • GamingOnLinuxHumble have a Stand with Ukraine Bundle with 100% going to charity | GamingOnLinux

        Humble Bundle has jumped in to help Ukraine now too, with a pretty amazing bundle full of games and 100% goes to charity. Launched late last night, it’s already hit over $3 million.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Back to those 15-minute bugs

          This week we got two good 15-minute bugs fixed, with a few more in progress that have a target merge date of next week! And of course there’s a good smattering of other positive changes as well…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Its FOSSWhat’s the Fuss About GNOME’s Libadwaita Library in Linux World?

          Back in March 2020, the GNOME project announced a new library called Libadwaita. This promised to fix numerous fundamental issues with GTK, the library GNOME uses to build its desktop environment.

          Unfortunately, this announcement also resulted in some significant community backlash. While this hasn’t really slowed the adoption of Libadwaita, it seems that some users are now starting to boycott GNOME because of it.

        • GNOME Radio 16 for GNOME 42 – Ole Aamot

          GNOME Radio 16 is the successor to GNOME Internet Radio Locator built for GNOME 42 with Cairo, Clutter, Champlain, Maps, GStreamer, and GTK+.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 3.4.3

          EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.

          Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.

          EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.

          The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.

        • Barry KaulerEasyOS version 3.4.3 released

          Version 3.4.1 is the previous release, on February 22, 2022, see announcement…

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • FedoraFedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2022-11

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

      • Debian Family

        • The Register UKLinux Mint Debian Edition 5 is here • The Register

          The Linux Mint project has announced version 5 of its Debian edition, code-named Elsie.

          Linux Mint is one of the longest-running and most polished distros downstream of Ubuntu, and really took off after Ubuntu switched to the controversial Unity desktop with 11.04. Around that time, Mint 12 retained a Windows-like look and feel that later evolved into the Cinnamon desktop.

          This won it a lot of converts who didn’t care for Ubuntu’s more Mac-like look. Even thought Ubuntu killed Unity and switched back to GNOME, it’s GNOME 3 – still very unlike Windows. Mint provides familiarity for the many people who feel more comfy with a taskbar, a start menu, and so on.

          We looked at Mint 20 when it came out a couple of years ago, and last January, the latest 20.3 release, too – which includes a natively packaged version of Firefox, direct from Mozilla, instead of Ubuntu’s Snap version. In fact it’s notable that Mint eschews Ubuntu’s Snap apps altogether. Instead, you get Red Hat-style Flatpaks.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosModule, SBC, and mini-PC tap Rockchip RK3568

        Mixtile’s “Core 3568” module runs the hybrid Android/Linux Mixtile OS on a quad -A55 RK3568. The module powers a 3.5-inch “Edge 2” SBC with M.2, mini-PCIe, and PCie 2.0 plus an optional enclosure (Edge 2 Kit).

        Earlier this month while covering the cluster-oriented, octa-core RK3588 based Mixtile Blade 3 Pico-ITX SBC, we saw that Mixtile had product and shopping pages for a recently introduced Mixtile Edge 2 SBC powered by a Core 3568 with a Rockchip RK3568. There is also a Mixtile Edge 2 Kit mini-PC based on the Edge 2 SBC.

        Although like the Blade 3, the $229-and-up Edge 2 has a U.2 connector with PCIe support, it is not designed to connect SBCs for stacking in cluster applications, as is the Blade 3. Like the Blade 3, the Core 3568 and Edge 2 products ship with a Mixtile OS BSP, which runs Linux in a container within Android 11.

      • Tom’s HardwarePine64 Announce Rockchip RK3588 Powered QuartzPro64 Development Board | Tom’s Hardware

        Pine64’s announcement also delved into the vexed issue of pricing, with the board likely to retail “north of $300”, putting it out of Raspberry Pi competitor territory. The manufacturer hasn’t yet settled on a price-point, but it is likely to be sold at cost or even subsidized. “Here’s the take-away,” the announcement concludes. “This is an amazing platform, but it will take time for it to mature.”

      • Russell CokerRussell Coker: More About the Librem 5

        I concluded my previous post about the Purism Librem 5 [1] with the phone working as a Debian/GNOME system with SSH access over the LAN. Before I published that post I managed to render it unbootable, making a new computer unbootable on the first day of owning it isn’t uncommon for me. In this case I tried to get SE Linux running on it and changing the kernel commandline parameter “security=apparmor” to “security=selinux” caused it to fail the checksum on kernel parameters and halt the boot. That seems to require a fresh install, it seems possible that I could setup my Librem5 to boot a recovery image from a SD card in such situations but that doesn’t seem to be well documented and I didn’t have any important data to lose. If I do figure out how to recover data by booting from a micro SD card I’ll document it.

        Here’s the documentation for reflashing the phone [2], you have to use the “–variant luks” option for the flashing tool to have an encrypted root filesystem (should default to on to match the default shipping configuration). There is an option –skip-cleanup to allow you to use the same image multiple times, but that probably isn’t useful. The image that is available for download today has the latest kernel update that I installed yesterday so it seems that they quickly update the image which makes it convenient to get the latest (dpkg is slow on low power ARM systems). Overall the flash tool is nicely written, does the download and install and instructs you how to get the phone in flashing mode. It is a minor annoyance that the battery has to be removed as part of the flashing process, I will probably end up flashing my phone more often than I want to take the back off the case. A mitigating factor is that the back is well designed and doesn’t appear prone to having it’s plastic tabs breaking off when removed (as has happened to several other phones I’ve owned).

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • InfoQJava News Roundup: JDK 19 and Jakarta EE 10 Updates, Ansynch and Buffered Logging by Amazon Corretto

          JEP 422, Linux/RISC-V Port, has been promoted from Candidate to Proposed to Target for JDK 19. This JEP proposes to port the JDK to Linux/RISC-V, a free and open-source RISC instruction set architecture. The template interpreter, C1 and C2 JIT compilers, and all current mainline GCs, including ZGC and Shenandoah, will be supported. The main focus of this JEP is to integrate the port into the JDK main-line repository. The review is scheduled to conclude on March 17, 2022.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OpenSource.comWhy academia chooses open source

        Open source software provides a concrete way for academic institutions to share the burden of common problems. Frequently, the quickest way to find a solution is to see what worked for somebody else, and humans naturally look at how others have handled a specific challenge. Successful open source solutions are visible because they have dynamic communities behind them. They represent a lower risk because transparency shows us how others solved issues.

        Even where communities focus on end-users rather than contributions, there can be immense value in the act of participation, sharing experiences, and targeting common goals. The way in which open source software can act as a catalyst for broader collaboration typically delivers value far beyond the software itself. Consider your own role in building and participating in open source initiatives, whether as a developer, user, or motivator.

      • Programming/Development

        • Document FoundationJoin the Indian LibreOffice community! – The Document Foundation Blog

          Across the globe, LibreOffice communities help to improve the software, translate the user interface, update documentation and spread the word. You can see a list of international projects on this page, and today we’re announcing communication channels for the Indian LibreOffice community!

        • KDE Frameworks 6 Android CI and Plasma 6 Sprint

          Time for another KDE Frameworks 6 update! Since the last post we got Android CI coverage and had the Plasma 6 sprint, among other things.


          With Android we now have a second platform covered for continuous integration for KF6. This also gives us coverage for a second CPU architecture and, more importantly, cross-compilation.

          Android specific API in Qt as well as build system support required a number of changes, but fortunately there are only a few affected areas in KDE Frameworks.

        • Market ScreenerJFrog : Diving into CVE-2022-23943 – a new Apache memory corruption vulnerability

          mod_sed is an Apache module that provides the same functionality as GNU’s stream editor tool, sed, allowing the manipulation of streams. It can be used as an input filter in order to modify HTTP POST requests’ bodies, or alternatively as an output filter that modifies the server’s responses before they’re sent to the client.

        • The Register UKJavaScript library updated to wipe files from Russian computers [Ed: Incitement leads to sabotage; this one shipped by Microsoft]

          The developer of JavaScript library node-ipc, which is used by the popular vue.js framework, deliberately introduced a critical security vulnerability that, for some netizens, would destroy their computers’ files.

          Brandon Nozaki Miller, aka RIAEvangelist on GitHub, created node-ipc, which is fetched about a million times a week from the NPM registry, and is described as an “inter-process communication module for Node, supporting Unix sockets, TCP, TLS, and UDP.”

          It appears Miller intentionally changed his code to overwrite the host system’s data, then changed the code to display a message calling for world peace, as a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. GitHub on Wednesday declared this a critical vulnerability tracked as CVE-2022-23812.

        • IT News AU“Peacenotwar” npm module protests Russian invasion of Ukraine. [Ed: Microsoft shipping malware again; media blames everyone but Microsoft]

          Miller intended the module to be “protestware”, to reflect people’s opposition to war.

        • Dark ReadingCode-Sabotage Incident in Protest of Ukraine War Exposed Open Source Risks [Ed: No, Microsoft shipping malware does not "Expose Open Source Risks"; Microsoft and GitHub are proprietary software]
        • VideoBook Review: Machine Learning with PyTorch and Scikit-Learn – Invidious

          Packt recently sent me a review copy of their new machine learning book, Machine Learning with PyTorch and Scikit-Learn…

        • The Register UKMATLAB expands to reach self-driving, wireless biz [Ed: It is proprietary software bloat. Do not develop in it.]

          MathWorks, maker of the long-standing MATLAB suite, is focusing its latest software updates on reaching beyond its traditional scientific base – and eyeing up autonomous vehicle developers, makers of devices with wireless communications, and others.

  • Leftovers

    • The Register UKChinese Go Association suspends player ‘for using AI’ [Ed: Quit calling every computer program "Hey Hi"]

      The Chinese Go Association – the body that oversees professional and high-level amateur play of the board game – has suspended a player for apparently using artificial intelligence during a tournament.

      An announcement from the body states the cheating happened during online play in preliminary rounds of the Advocate Cup China Professional Go Championship – a top-tier tournament at which the winner goes home with ¥450,000 (about $70,000).

    • The Register UKGoogle uses deep learning to design faster, smaller AI chips [Ed: Even hardware is being marketed as "Hey Hi"]

      Googlers and UC Berkeley academics say they have devised a way to use artificial intelligence to design faster and smaller chips that accelerate artificial intelligence.

    • The Register UKCerebras brings wafer-size AI chips to medical data analysis
    • The Register UKUS biz to blow $120bn on AI by 2025, says IDC [Ed: In order to fake 'growth' more things get classified as "Hey Hi"]
    • The AtlanticTrolls Aren’t Like the Rest of Us

      Online jerks and offline jerks are largely one and the same. Here’s how to keep them from affecting your happiness.

    • Science

      • NatureResearch on integrated simulation platform for urban traffic control connecting simulation and practice [Ed: Privacy lapses and loophole for EPO to grant software patents]

        Though effective in theoretical simulation, the established traffic control models and optimization algorithms will result in model mismatch or even control strategy failure in actual application. However, they are commonly adopted in traffic signal control research, resulting in the unavailability of many exceptional control algorithms in practice. Simulation should function as a bridge between theoretical research and actual application, allowing the gap between the two to be communicated and made up for. However, an effective connection between the two has yet to be established to enable simulation methods in existing traffic control research. To this end, we designed and developed a simulation platform for “Online Application—HILS (Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation)—Practice” integration over traffic signal control. In this paper, the architecture and characteristics of the integrated simulation platform were described. Besides, the function of each module of the platform was detailed, followed by listing simulation examples for six complex scenarios, with the active control scenario being selected for simulation comparison analysis. The findings demonstrated extensive road network simulation with the integrated simulation platform, multidimensional control variables, control strategies with support, as well as stable and reliable operation. It can be used to verify several sorts of traffic control simulation with variable dimensions.

      • The Register UKData poisoning can’t beat facial recognition – research • The Register

        If there was ever a reason to think data poisoning could fool facial-recognition software, a recently published paper showed that reasoning is bunk.

    • Hardware

      • as the tech joy rushes in

        Makes me think modern tech is massively narcissistic, essentially unhappy unless the star for better, or for much, MUCH worse….

      • A brief tour of the PDP-11, the most influential minicomputer of all time | Ars Technica

        The history of computing could arguably be divided into three eras: that of mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers. Minicomputers provided an important bridge between the first mainframes and the ubiquitous micros of today. This is the story of the PDP-11, the most influential and successful minicomputer ever.

        In their moment, minicomputers were used in a variety of applications. They served as communications controllers, instrument controllers, large system pre-processors, desk calculators, and real-time data acquisition handlers. But they also laid the foundation for significant hardware architecture advances and contributed greatly to modern operating systems, programming languages, and interactive computing as we know them today.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • 9to5MacApple @ Work: Windows file shares are still buggy on macOS; it’s time to fix it once and for all

          Apple @ Work is brought to you by Kandji, the MDM solution built exclusively for organizations that run on Apple.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • LateWebSimple Ways to Generate a Random Password on Linux Shell

            Having a strong password when authenticating to a service by username and password is very important. Sometimes, you need to protect your account or server, and try to keep your data safe and secure. It is often said that a strong password must have a minimum of 14 characters with variations like you may have lowercases/uppercases in the characters and alphabets. Mostly the long password is considered to be much more secure than a short one since it is hard to get. In this tutorial, we will see many ways to generate a strong password from Linux command line. We will have a look at many different means to create a stronger password that is secure enough, using the Linux command line. You need to generate a stronger password from the command line so, it has various different methods and utilities that are already available. We will be discussing many of the methods and you may choose any of the ways for generation of a password as per your need.

          • Computing UKSecurity bug in Linux kernel netfilter lets attackers gain root access [Ed: So Linux has some privilege escalation flaws; meanwhile, Microsoft has remotely-exploitable flaws that require no account on the target]

            Sophos researcher Nick Gregory has uncovered a dangerous security bug in Linux’s netfilter application which could enable a local attacker to escalate privileges…

          • CNX SoftwareGas pumps happen to be about as insecure as your typical router – CNX Software

            Gas pumps have a lot more in common with routers than I initially thought, as reported by FOX 8, many models come with a default passcode that may not always be changed by the gas station’s manager, and using a special remote it’s possible to change the price and other parameters. Some gas stations are also part of the Internet of Things with all gas pumps connected to the Cloud through gateways (called “embedded box” below) to enable remote monitoring, but that also introduces security vulnerabilities as noted in a Kaspersky study in 2018.

          • IndiaNOPEN Season: China Once Again Accuses US NSA of Cyber Espionage, Says Found Spying Tool

            When it comes to cybersecurity issues, hackers from China, Russia, and North Korea take the maximum attention due to their notorious activities over the years. But now some latest analyses are highlighting that another country may also be behind such data safety issues.

            According to a new report by the Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center in China stated that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had deployed a spy tool capable of lurking in a victim’s computer and accessing sensitive information, as well as controlling global internet equipment and stealing large amounts of data from users.

            It was reported that NOPEN—a remote-controlled tool for Trojan horse for Unix/Linux computer systems—has been found. It is mostly used to steal files, get access to systems, divert network communication and examine information on a target device.

          • China detects spy virus developed by the US – Prensa Latina

            According to the Global Times newspaper, a specialized institution in the country discovered the Trojan, called Nopen, a tool operated remotely. The Trojan mainly attacks machines with Unix/Linux operating systems.

            It is capable of controlling Internet traffic on computers, stealing large amounts of user information and monitoring user activities.

          • The Register UKChina: Attacks from US IP addresses hit us, moved on to Russia and Ukraine

            China’s Cyberspace Administration has claimed that “since late February” it has observed continuous attacks on the Chinese internet and computers in the nation by people who used the resources to also target Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

            The allegation, the title of which translates as, “My country’s internet suffers from overseas cyber attacks,” was posted on Friday and includes a list of IP addresses China’s Cyberspace Administration (CAC) claims is the source or target of the attacks.

          • The Register UKViasat, Rosneft hit by cyberattacks • The Register

            Until last week, when it emerged that Western spy agencies were investigating a large-scale satellite broadband outage affecting satellite communications provider Viasat, which began on 24 February – the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

          • The Register UKRussia’s invasion of Ukraine tears open political rift between cybercriminals [Ed: The cost of using Microsoft in Ukraine; this article uses Microsoft proxies to distract from the role played by Windows]

            These political divides played out in the Conti leak. After the notorious ransomware group announced its unwavering support for President Vladimir Putin and his occupation of Ukraine, plus its intent to use “all possible resources to strike back” should anyone launch a cyberattack against Russia, the crew suffered a security breach of its own.

          • Bleeping ComputerNew Unix rootkit used to steal ATM banking data [Ed: ATMs are typically compromised due to Windows, so Microsoft boosting sites issue headlines like these, instead]

            LightBasin’s new rootkit is a Unix kernel module named “Caketap” that is deployed on servers running the Oracle Solaris operating system.

          • The Register UKRussia-linked attackers breach NGO by exploiting MFA, PrintNightmare vuln [Ed: Microsoft Windows helps Russia attack nations digitally]

            State-sponsored threat actors from Russia over the last year breached a non-governmental organization (NGO) by leveraging multifactor authentication (MFA) defaults and exploiting the PrintNightmare vulnerability in Windows Print Spooler.

            The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and FBI issued a joint alert on March 15 warning organizations that state-backed criminals could use the MFA defaults and flaw to access networks.

            In this case, the unnamed cybercriminal gang took advantage of a misconfigured account to set default MFA protocols at the NGO.

            The bad actors enrolled a new device for MFA and accessed the NGO’s network and then exploited the PrintNightmare flaw – tracked as CVE-2021-34527 – to run malicious code and gain system privileges, giving them access to email accounts and enabling them to move laterally to the organization’s cloud environment and to steal documents.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Register UKControversial Clearview AI tech used by Ukraine, says CEO • The Register

              The Ukrainian government is using facial recognition technology from startup Clearview AI to help them identify the dead, reveal Russian assailants, and combat misinformation from the Russian government and its allies.

              Reuters reported yesterday that the country’s Ministry of Defense began using Clearview’s search engine for faces over the weekend.

              The vendor offered free access to the search engine, which Ukraine is using for such tasks as identifying people of interest at checkpoints and identifying people killed during Russia’s invasion, the news organization wrote, citing Lee Wolosky, who currently advises Clearview and formerly worked as a US diplomat under Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

              The newswire reported the company was one of a number of US-based artificial intelligence companies offering its aid in the wake of Russia’s invasion, which began February 24. Speaking to both Wolosky and Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That, the news site said the CEO had sent a letter to officials in Kyiv.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NewYorkTimesOpinion | ‘We Live in a Different World Now’: Dispatch From a Changed Germany – The New York Times

        Nils Schmid, a member of Germany’s Parliament and a foreign policy spokesman for the Social Democratic Party, was explaining to me what a minor role the military plays in his country’s politics.

      • NewYorkTimesUkraine’s Architectural Treasures Face Destruction – The New York Times

        Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought searing images of human tragedy to witnesses around the world: thousands of civilians killed and injured; broken families, as mothers and children leave in search of refuge while fathers and other men stay behind to defend their country; and millions of refugees having already fled to neighboring countries, after just two weeks of war.

        In addition to that human suffering, a second tragedy comes into focus: the destruction of a country’s very culture. Across Ukraine, scores of historic buildings, priceless artworks and public squares are being reduced to rubble by Russian rockets, missiles, bombs and gunfire.

    • Monopolies

      • The Register UKMicrosoft faces EU antitrust complaint from OVHcloud

        Microsoft is facing an antitrust complaint in Europe from France’s OVHcloud.

        The French data centre provider, which sells web hosting, cloud computing and dedicated server instances, filed the complaint with the European Commission’s (EC) antitrust arm in the summer of 2021.

      • The Register UKApple, Google urge UK antitrust watchdog to leave them alone • The Register

        Apple and Google have defended their business practices in letters to the UK Competition & Markets Authority, while rival companies and third-party developers continue to push for mobile market reforms.

      • Patents

        • MondaqChina: AFD China Newsletter – March 2022

          The CNIPA on February 23 confirmed companies’ subsidiaries as ineligible to be respondents to answer petitions in administrative patent cases, in the country’s top IP authority’s reply to the Zhejiang Intellectual Property Administration published on its official website.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 18, 2022

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