05.28.22

The Popularity of the World Wide Web is Partly Faked (Bots and Scams, Especially in Social Control Media)

Posted in Deception at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum ce04fc38f18242215b166df259b3df15
WWW is Increasingly Fakes and Bots
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Contrary to popular misconceptions surrounding a Web ‘monoculture’ (therein exists a Web browser monoculture too; many used to equate the Internet with the Web and with the “Blue E”… and now Chrome), there’s a lot of fakes, lots of bot activity, and alternatives to the Web are worth exploring

THERE is this seemingly harmless assumption that the Web will be good, but harmless assumptions can become increasingly harmful. For instance, to assume that the Web is the only way to receive recognition (on the Internet or offline) is nonsensical; it also relies on mostly false metrics.

You see, I can tell from experience that a ton of Web traffic is bots; that’s just how it is because of get-rich-fast companies (schemes/scams) that scan millions of sites and have little of actual value to show for it. From Webmasters’ point of view, this is mostly a nuisance and an expensive waste; unless the bots are Google’s, which might in turn send some traffic (search referrals), it’s likely CPU (power) and bandwidth down the drain. This isn’t an endorsement of Google, it’s just that it’s estimated to command over 92% of search traffic. No other company comes even close, unless your site is predominantly Chinese or Russian.

“…unless the bots are Google’s, which might in turn send some traffic (search referrals), it’s likely CPU (power) and bandwidth down the drain.”But there’s an even deeper issue when one considers social control media and ‘attention whores’ — pardon the crude term — who are willing to either pay to boost numbers or to create a clique of clickers — people who help each other fake “popularity” (at great expense to their time; such mutual clicking arrangements — whether implicit or explicit — are utterly pointless and of no benfit to ego). In the animation above (so-called ‘poster’ of the video) I’m showing my long-inactive Twitter account being mysteriously boosted when Elon Musk pretended to be buying it; basically, Twitter was faking numbers [1, 2] to “look big” and similarly in YouTube there are channels that spend money to fake their popularity. I recently gave SPAMnil's example; he is almost certainly deploying or paying to deploy bots to raise the perceived (faked) popularity of his videos. Here’s Mr. “exceptionally well-connected” “filmmaker” where the bots don’t pass:

SPAMnil hits

Imagine that the Linux Foundation wastes its money on this junk while laying off all the actual journalists! Priorities

Gemini might not “look” big, but it is growing quite rapidly. Also, it doesn’t have companies like Gulag (Google) ‘DDoSing’ your platform 24/7 for “over a year”. With the Web, many pages have huge computational overhead, both at the server and client side. That’s bad for the planet. Generating and transmitting primarily textual pages should not be so expensive.

Links 28/05/2022: KDE Eco Sprint and GUADEC 2022 Conference Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 3:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • HackadayLinux And C In The Browser | Hackaday

      There was a time when trying to learn to write low-level driver or kernel code was hard. You really needed two machines: one to work with, and one to screw up over and over again until you got it right. These days you can just spin up a virtual machine and roll it back every time you totally screw up. Much easier! We don’t think it is all that practical, but [nsommer] has an interesting post about loading up a C compiler and compiling Linux for a virtual machine. What’s different? Oh, the virtual machine is in your browser.

      The v86 CPU emulator runs in the browser and looks like a Pentium III computer with the usual hardware. You might think it is slow and it certainly isn’t going to be fast as a rocket, but it does translate machine code into WebAssembly, so performance isn’t as bad as you might think.

    • Make Use OfTimer Mechanisms With C and Linux

      Timer mechanisms let you schedule the OS kernel to notify an application when a predetermined time has elapsed. You’ll typically use them by providing two pieces of information. First, you’ll need to specify how much time the timer should take before notifying. Secondly, you’ll need to prepare a callback function to act when that notification occurs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Plumbers Conference Refereed-Track Deadlines

        The proposal deadline is June 12, which is right around the corner. We have excellent submissions, for which we gratefully thank our submitters! For the rest of you, we do have one problem, namely that we do not yet have your submission. So please point your browser at the call-for-proposals page and submit your proposal. After all, if you don’t submit it, we won’t accept it!

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksBest Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Mail


        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.

        Apple MailApple provides its Mail app free with every Mac.

        But if you move over to Linux, you’ll need a different email client. And let’s make it an open source client.

      • Its FOSSPortmaster: GlassWire Alternative for Linux to Monitor Network

        GlassWire is a popular network monitoring app (with no support for Linux) that helps you track data usage, unusual network activity, malicious access to the network, and more.

        I wish it supports Linux, but for now, it only works on Windows and Android.

        For Linux, we do not have a full-fledged GUI-based application that helps us monitor the network in Linux.

        However, I recently stumbled upon “Portmaster”, an open-source network monitor available for Linux and other platforms. Interestingly, it offers some of the same abilities as seen with Glasswire, with some extras.

        Note that it is not exactly a replacement for “GlassWire” but a potential alternative in the making.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Steinar H GundersonSteinar H. Gunderson – Speeding up Samba AD

        One Weird Trick(TM) for speeding up a slow Samba Active Directory domain controller is seemingly to leave and rejoin the domain. (If you don’t have another domain controller, you’ll need to join one in temporarily.) Seemingly, not only can you switch to LMDB (which has two fsyncs instead of eight on commit—which matters a lot, especially on non-SSDs, as the Kerberos authentication path has a blocking write to update account statistics), but you also get to regenerate the database, giving you the advantage of any new indexes since last upgrade.

      • Make Use OfHow to Change File Extensions on Linux

        File extensions help both operating systems and users distinguish between different file formats and understand the contents stored inside them. When you see a file with the “.txt” extension, you instantly know it contains text data. Similarly, “.exe” file is a Windows executable and “.sh” files are Linux shell scripts.

        But what if you want to change these extensions for some reason? Perhaps you need to rename a text file to a Bash script. Simply writing the code in a text file won’t do the job.

        On Linux, changing file extensions is much easier than you might think.

      • How to Install and Set up PostgreSQL Database on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) – LinuxWizardry

        PostgreSQL is a free and open-source relational database management system that allows both SQL and JSON querying. With over 30 years of active development, it has gained a solid reputation for its reliability, data integrity, extensibility, ACID compliance, and robust features.

        It allows you to create your own data types, define custom functions, and write different programming language codes without recompiling your database. It is compatible with all major operating systems including Windows, Linux/UNIX, Mac OS, IRIX, Solaris, etc.

        This tutorial will teach you how to install and set up PostgreSQL on the Ubuntu system.

      • ID RootHow To Install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PlayOnLinux on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, as well as some extra required packages by PlayOnLinux

      • TecAdminSetting Up Environment Variables on Ubuntu – TecAdmin

        An environment variable contains a value, that is used to change the behaviors of the processes at run time. Similar to the other operating systems, we can also set the environment variables on a Ubuntu system.

      • Ubuntu HandbookHow to Hide Lock Screen option from System Menu in Ubuntu 22.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Want to hide the lock screen option from the upper-right corner system menu? Here’s how to do the trick in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

        For Ubuntu, Fedora and other Linux with GNOME desktop, the screen lock can be disabled either totally or only from the system menu.

      • MakeTech EasierHow to Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Video Conferencing Station – Make Tech Easier

        Post-lockdown, with working and schooling from home as a matter of routine, more people are turning toward video conferencing as a way to keep in touch and get things done. Tools like Google Meet, Skype and Zoom mean we can keep in touch with people outside the confines of our home, across cities, time zones, and even countries, making the world smaller and allowing for remote collaboration. If you’re looking for another great Raspberry Pi project, I urge you to try this one. This tutorial shows you how to turn your Raspberry PI into a video conferencing station.

      • ID RootHow To Install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpMyAdmin with Nginx on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, as well as some extra required by phpMyAdmin

      • ID RootHow To Install GIMP on AlmaLinux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GIMP on AlmaLinux 9, as well as some extra required packages by GIMP

      • OpenSource.comHow I automate plant care using Raspberry Pi and open source tools | Opensource.com

        Automation is a hot topic right now. In my day job as an SRE part of my remit is to automate as many repeating tasks as possible. But how many of us do that in our daily, not-work, lives? This year, I am focused on automating away the toil so that we can focus on the things that are important.

        Home Assistant has so many features and integrations, it can be overwhelming at times. And as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I use it for many things, including monitoring plants.

      • TechRepublicHow to flush the DNS cache on Ubuntu Server | TechRepublic

        Sometimes a network connection doesn’t seem to function how we expect them to. And it doesn’t matter how much you troubleshoot the issue, the problem doesn’t go away. You’ve configured a static IP address, you know that configuration is solid and you can ping your gateway, but something is causing that Linux server from reaching the outside world in the manner you expect.

        One problem could be the DNS cache. DNS is a crucial aspect of networking for all machines, as it translates names to IP addresses. When something goes wrong with DNS, your machine might have trouble reaching the outside world. I have experienced, on a few occasions, a DNS cache to be the problem. When that happens, what do you do? You flush the DNS cache.

      • How to install Minikube on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

        Minikube is a tool that makes it easy to run Kubernetes locally. Minikube runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster inside a VM on your local machine. Kubernetes quickly set up a local Kubernetes cluster on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

        It is always advisable before diving into Kubernetes, you will need a minimal Kubernetes setup. Such a setup should spin up fast and integrate well with other tools.

        In his tutorial, we are going to learn how to install Minikube on Ubuntu 22.04. I am going to use Docker as a containerization platform. You can either VirtualBox, Podman, KVM, etc.

      • UNIX CopHow to install Podman on CentOS 9 Stream?

        Podman is a container engine compatible with the OCI Containers specification. Podman is part of Red Hat Linux, but it can also be installed on other distributions. As you can expect, Podman is open source, and we can install it on almost any Linux distribution without too much trouble.

        We could say that Docker is Podman’s main rival. And it is that Podman pretends, with its philosophy, to be a reliable alternative to Docker which is one of the most important container solutions out there.

      • HowTo ForgeUse Tag Editor to tag resources across regions on AWS
      • TecAdminBackup MySQL Databases to Amazon S3 (Shell Script)

        A shell script is a collection of commands to perform a specific job. MySQL is a relational database management system widely used on Linux systems. Amazon S3 is a cloud storage device provided by Amazon Web Services. It’s a good practice for the system administrator to back up databases at regular intervals and store them in a remote location like Amazon S3.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Eco Sprint May 2022

          A week ago I attended the KDE Eco Sprint in Berlin for some experiments around power consumption measurements and tools for that. It has been the first in-person KDE sprint for me since the start of the pandemic, and even happened to be in exactly the same place as the last pre-pandemic one I have been to.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 9to5LinuxGUADEC 2022 Conference Takes Place July 20–25 in Guadalajara, Mexico, for GNOME 43

          GUADEC 2022 is the first in-person GUADEC event in the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated traveling restrictions and health safety measures, and it also marks GNOME’s 25th anniversary.

        • Voice 0.0.4 for GNOME 42

          Voice will let you listen to and share short, personal and enjoyable Voicegrams via electronic mail and on the World Wide Web by GNOME executives, employees and volunteers. Xiph.org Ogg Vorbis is a patent-free audio codec that more and more Free Software programs, including GNOME Voice (https://www.gnomevoice.org/) have implemented, so that you can listen to Voicegram recordings with good/fair recording quality by accessing the Voicegram file $HOME/Music/GNOME.ogg in the G_USER_DIRECTORY_MUSIC folder in Evolution or Nautilus.

        • Radio 16.0.43 for GNOME 42 (gnome-radio) – Ole Aamot

          New stations in GNOME Radio version 16.0.43 is NRK Folkemusikk (Oslo, Norway), NRK P1+ (Oslo, Norway), NRK P3X (Oslo, Norway), NRK Super (Oslo, Norway), Radio Nordfjord (Nordfjord, Norway), and Radio Ålesund (Ålesund, Norway).

        • Gingerblue 6.0.1 with Immediate Ogg Vorbis Audio Encoding

          Gingerblue 6.0.1 is Free Music Recording Software for GNOME available under GNU General Public License version 3 (or later) that now supports immediate Ogg Vorbis audio recordings in compressed Ogg Vorbis encoded audio files stored in the $HOME/Music/ folder. https://download.gnome.org/sources/gingerblue/6.0/gingerblue-6.0.1.tar.xz

        • Builder GTK 4 Porting, Part V – Happenings in GNOME

          Small changes here and there for template-glib to cover more cases for us in our keybindings effort. Improved type comparisons, fixed some embarrassing bugs, improved both GObject Introspection and GType method resolution.

          Had some interesting talks with Benjamin about expression language needs within GTK and what things I’ve learned from Template-GLib that could be extracted/rewritten with a particular focus on continuously-evaluating-expressions.

        • Aman Kumar: Beginning my GSoC’22 journey with GNOME

          It was the late night of the 20th of May. My eyes were glued to the email, waiting for the results of the GSoC’22 when I finally received an email that started with a Congratulations message rather than a Thank You for applying message. I was overjoyed when I read the message “Congratulations, your proposal with GNOME Foundation has been accepted!”. This post describes my GSoC project and my journey so far with the GSoC, GNOME Foundation, and Open Source.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Barry KaulerSave session at any time

      In that scenario, could only save the session at shutdown. Which I was not entirely happy with. If doing some important work that don’t want to lose, having to reboot just to save the session, is not satisfactory.

    • Debian Family

      • Bitcoin Core

        There is a new application available for Sparkers: Bitcoin Core

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • 9to5LinuxUbuntu Core 22 Released for Public Beta Testing with PiBoot Support, Remodeling

        Ubuntu Core 22 aims to be a minimal and containerized version of the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) operating system series but designed for IoT (Internet of Things) and embedded devices.

        Coming almost a year and a half after Ubuntu Core 20, the Ubuntu Core 22 builds on the already existing security standards of the Ubuntu Core operating system and promises new features like remodeling capabilities to allow users to change device IDs so that they can be rebranded, remodeled or assigned to a different Snap Store.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosCoffee Lake based rugged PC offers flexible display support and extensive storage capacity

        Taiwan based Cincoze, released a compact and robust PC that is powered by 9/8th Gen Intel Core CPUs (i7, i5, i3) and up to 128GB of DDR4 memory. The company claims the DV-1000 PC has a footprint of half a sheet of an A4 paper but it packs several interfaces to meet demands in industrial, robotics, in-vehicle computing and many other applications.

        For storage options, the DV-1000 includes one SATA tray, two mSATA slots, one M.2 Key M 2280 slot for NVMe SSD. In addition to supporting legacy displays such as two VGA ports, the rugged PC provides one DisplayPort and one HDMI port.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUGNU Chinese Translators Team – News: Happy 20th Birthday GNU CTT [Savannah]

        20 Year ago, May the 28th, GNU Chinese Translators Team was registered at Savannah.

        I joined the project from Help GNU. My original intention was to support this project and maybe help myself to understand more of GNU. At that time it was only me who worked actively in translating the GNU web pages into Simplified Chinese. I had even had to approve my own translation which was not the correct approach. I really wanted some other people to join the project like the project creators, and I started to really understand that to be a volunteer in a Free Software project means to be persistent and stubborn.

        Gradually we had some newcomers joining the project, like hagb, hahawang, psiace, shankangke, shi, wind, etc. I am very excited whenever there is a newcomer because I know I am the person to let them know the project and I am the person to encourage them contributing their time and talent in this project.

    • Programming/Development

      • I can’t stand developer interviews with algorithms (Or, why I’m learning APL)

        I’ve been contacted by several HR people who are looking for a software engineer. It’s good. I’m always looking for new challenges. What I can’t stand is a large portion of the company decides that they should test the candidate’s algorithm skill. Sorry, what? You just said you want to hire a senior GPU developer. Instead of interviewing with actual related domain knowledge and writing code that runs on the GPU. You decided if I want the potision, I should spend time on LeetCode and write algorithm questions. You are waisting my time. And so I’ll have my revenge.

      • Re Error Handling

        And I’m glad the Zig was among the languages pointed out as having a good system for error handling. I would go one step further and look at the implementation level to see what is actually going on “under the hood” here, and shine a light on Algabraic Data Types.

      • Perl / Raku

        • raku & rust: a romance? – Physics::Journey

          Rust is blazingly fast and memory-efficient: with no runtime or garbage collector, it can power performance-critical services, run on embedded devices, and easily integrate with other languages. Rust continues the spirit of C with emphasis on code safety and performance with a compiled approach.

          Raku is an open source, gradually typed, Unicode-ready, concurrency friendly programming language made for at least the next hundred years. Raku continues the spirit of Perl with interpreter-like code generation (actually on MoarVM), one-liners, shell-centric, lightweight objects and expressiveness to get code up and running fast.

  • Leftovers

    • How roads shaped my life

      A few months ago I mused at how there are many people who like trains (anoraks), roads (odologists), cars (petrol-heads) and even buses (just “bus fans”, it seems like). Soon I will write another article about how these compare in general, but in this entry I want to discuss how I end up taking some properties of all of these, and how in general, much of my outside interests lie in the roads.

      [...]

      Of course, it’s not just the signs that do this. Everyone knows that cars exist, and they are essentially designed to appeal to human recognition and understanding, so being human, it worked on me. Later on, I would realise that essentially a car is a funny-shaped horse that come in many colours and has a face in front that, again, is basically pre-programmed to appeal to humans. Also you can collect them and I have, in spades.

      But it’s not just cars, obviously, because there’s also buses, and they are almost always the same, except they have numbers written on them that show where they go, and indeed, just like signs, you can learn what all the numbers mean and where they go to. What’s more, the place names themselves are made up of words that you know about, and you can discover these places too, on a map specifically (a paper map, because the Internet was not popular at the time and offline maps did not work so well).

    • Hardware

      • Tired of Your Old Laptop Problems

        I want to become a technician and make myself great again. I know it is going to take
        some time. Last week I handed my father a hard disk removed from his old Acer laptop
        after I had fixed some permission issues there. Unfortunately, he has decided to format the
        system partition, so recovering the system can be challenging.
        He has a newer laptop, but the laptop
        He has a newer laptop, but the laptop does not have a VGA port and he wants to connect it to an
        external monitor which only has an HDMI input socket.

    • Security

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Petrolheads and anoraks – the mentality of transport

          A few weeks ago now I was in a conversation about how cars are bad, lad, and we should have sent them all to the scrapyard a hundred and one years ago (however, see n.b.s below). As with all conversations that I tend to have, it went into very different places very quickly, and the result was something that confused everyone and so it ultimately went back to some other topic at some time. However, along the way I noticed that there was an interesting point that I made independent on anything else and I want to write a bit about it.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • IT WireiTWire – ABC presenter who maintained anti-Labor Twitter lists is back

        ABC news presenter Fauziah Ibrahim has surfaced on the 24-hour channel’s Saturday morning show, her regular slot before she was taken off after having found to have hosted public Twitter lists on her personal account of those she categorised as Labor Trolls and Lobotomised Shitheads.

        iTWire had predicted this would happen, writing on 5 May, two weekends after Ibrahim disappeared from the show, that she was unlikely to be reinstated before the federal election was over.

When 50% of Slashdot’s ‘Linux’ Section is Microsoft Marketing, EEE, and FUD (Updated)

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 1:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I seem to recall Slashdot being a pro-Linux site, but that was a very long time ago. Also notice the Microsoft/GitHub shilling (showing at the top of the page).

Slashdot's 'Linux' Section
Whose section is this?

Summary: As this minutes-old screenshot shows, Slashdot is not what many of us “geeks” remember it for

Update: Only one day has passed and here’s that pattern again.

VMware FUD

Do Not Become (or Remain) Enslaved and Exploited by Microsoft GitHub

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 12:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 854d6ac923c704ee6358d32e1703d002
GitHub Makes You a Slave
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Slavery isn’t a dirty word but a strong word — or a disturbing concept — used to convey or describe an abusive relationship between organisms — typically human beings — or between corporations and humans, e.g. the way Microsoft treats GitHub projects/users

HAVING just published Part 21 in the GitHub series (Microsoft GitHub Exposé), we now have a video to express thoughts and interpretations left out of the text.

“If you’re looking for alternatives to GitHub, consider self-hosting first, then Free software.”The short story is that people who start a project in GitHub or stay there in spite of Microsoft’s takeover play a game of Russian roulette. Microsoft is looking for ways to ‘monetise’ everything, if not in subtle ways then in increasingly overt ways. Microsoft already became a censorship engine for a lot of Free software and it controls far too much of the so-called ‘supply chain’, which in turn gives Microsoft (and the NSA) incredible super-powers for sabotage.

If you’re looking for alternatives to GitHub, consider self-hosting first, then Free software. The former is likely more important than the latter due to the threat surface/landscape. Almost everything that is self-hosting is also Free-as-in-freedom and it puts you in control of your project, as Linus Torvalds explained a long time ago (after he had learned from his mistakes; then he made Git).

Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XXI — Rumours About How Microsoft Plans to Actually Make Money (Not Losses) From GitHub

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft, Rumour at 10:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists
  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement
  3. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud
  4. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IV — Mr. MobileCoin: From Mono to Plagiarism… and to Unprecedented GPL Violations at GitHub (Microsoft)
  5. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part V — Why Nat Friedman is Leaving GitHub
  6. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VI — The Media Has Mischaracterised Nat Friedman’s Departure (Effective Now)
  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VII — Nat Friedman, as GitHub CEO, Had a Plan of Defrauding Microsoft Shareholders
  8. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley’s Long Career Serving Microsoft’s Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub’s GPL Violations Machine)
  9. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him
  10. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part X — Connections to the Mass Surveillance Industry (and the Surveillance State)
  11. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XI — Violence Against Women
  12. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XII — Life of Disorderly Conduct and Lust
  13. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XIII — Nihilistic Death Cults With Substance Abuse and Sick Kinks
  14. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XIV — Gaslighting Victims of Sexual Abuse and Violence
  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation
  16. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XVI — The Attack on the Autonomy of Free Software Carries on
  17. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XVII — Backsliding Into 1990s-Style Digital Slavery by Microsoft
  18. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XVIII — The Story of NPM
  19. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XIX — The Collapse of Team Mono
  20. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XX — Entering Phase II
  21. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Rumours About How Microsoft Plans to Actually Make Money (Not Losses) From GitHub

GitHub: Where everything comes to die

Summary: GitHub is not ‘free hosting’ but a ticking time bomb, a proprietary platform looking to entrap its users (serfs) inside yet more proprietary platforms (for Microsoft to become their oppressive master)

TWO years ago we published a guest article by Thomas Grzybowski, showing that Microsoft had been losing moneynot just momentum and relative share — in GitHub. It’s like Skype all over again; Skype was dominant when Microsoft took over the company (Skype was then entered into NSA PRISM) and a decade later it’s just one of many, not even the market leader in terms of share.

“Remember who took over after Nat Friedman.”Today’s relatively short part deals with unsubstantiated hearsay and rumours surrounding the exit of key people. While we cannot verify the accuracy, we can assure readers those sentiments, speculations and guesses are (or were at one point) common inside the company.

We probably should note that this isn’t about the criminal Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley, whom we’ll get back to later in the series. Copilot hasn’t been mentioned in the media lately (even Microsoft/GitHub seems reluctant to push it) and I only saw it mentioned yesterday for the first time in months. It’s safe to say that Microsoft does anything it can to distract the public from what happened there. Microsoft has many resources at its disposal for shaping the media (or bombarding the media to change the news cycle). For those who missed it or for anyone who hasn’t paid attention, Mr. Graveley, who is behind Copilot (later behind bars, too), repeatedly strangled not just one but multiple partners. He has many other issues — even crimes — but those aren’t as serious. “Basically half of all men murder their partners previously strangled their partner,” one person reminded us. So he’s not far. He moreover encouraged partners to kill themselves. We covered this before.

Going back on topic now…

“VS Code is proprietary software, contrary to what many people were led to believe.”Sources recently told us: “The rumor is that Azure is taking over GitHub..”

“And once GitHub [becomes more internalized it becomes a “game of thrones” for tenured Microsoft execs…”

Remember who took over after Nat Friedman. Will Microsoft try to herd GitHub projects into Microsoft hosting, in a sort of vertical integration vendor lock-in kind of gameplan?

Time will tell. We can already see instances of Azure and VS Code integration, or VS Code and GitHub. It has been long in the making, but it is risky for Microsoft as some developers publicly rant about such vertical integration. They thought GitHub was just “free hosting”, but over time they see the gotchas and caveats. Remember that Copilot is only for VS Code. Copilot misuses code on GitHub (e.g. GPL violations), so get off that platform. VS Code is proprietary software, contrary to what many people were led to believe. It also spies on the user. Not many people know that. Microsoft is trying to make it inconvenient or less convenient to avoid proprietary development tools.

Interesting, so Microsoft is integrating VSCode into GitHub. Press dot (.) on any GitHub repo while signed in to see. PS. Seems to have issues with service workers on Firefox

Links 28/05/2022: KDE Weekly Summary, RZBoard V2L

Posted in News Roundup at 8:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux LinksLinuxLinks – The Home of Linux

      We’ve crafted an enormous range of articles showcasing the finest free and open source Linux software. We cover games, graphics, education, multimedia, security, and tons more. And there’s other computer related areas that we also regularly dive into such as programming, hardware, Android, and more.

      Many of these articles are published in a series. It therefore makes sense to collate all of these series into a central location. This helps you to quickly find what you are looking for, as well as introducing you to a profusion of interesting and informative material.

      We’ll first showcase our on-going series. We frequently publish new articles in these series.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Resizable Plasma panel pop-ups


          We are busy working on the bug reports folks are filing about the Plasma 5.25 beta, and as of right now, we’re down to 15. Working on these is a great way to make a difference quickly!

          In addition, features that didn’t make it into Plasma 5.25 are starting to land in 5.26. There’s some very cool stuff this week, so let’s jump in…

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Leftovers

    • Hackaday3D Print A Colour TV

      The oldest form of television used a spinning disk with a progression of holes — a Nipkow disk — to slice the image into lines for display. They’re surprisingly simple machines and capable of unexpectedly high-quality images despite their relatively low resolution. Even better, in an age of microcontrollers and bright LEDs, making one that works is not the chore it might once have been. [James Provost] has created one that uses an Arduino Mega and a set of 3D printed parts, so there’s no excuse for not having a spinning disk TV on your shelf.

    • HackadayCityscape Multi-Level Keyboard Really Stacks Up

      Keyboards with wells like the Maltron, the Kinesis Advantage family, and everything dactyl-esque out there are great. Trust us, we know this firsthand. But if you want to build your own curvy girl, how the heck can you implement that shape without 3D printing, clever woodworking, or access to tooling and plastic molding equipment? Well, there is another way. Over on twitter (translated) (Threadreader: Japanese, English), [tsukasa_metam] has achieved the key well effect by stacking up PCBs to create a skyline of vertically-staggered keys.

    • Re: Analog World: My Fountain Pen

      I don’t know exactly what happened, maybe it’s just the summer, but my pens started failing one after another around September ’21. I used a Jinhao 51A as a daily driver for a very long time, and these pens are extremely durable if you replace the soon-to-be-rusty screw early on. For some unknown reason, my beloved 51A became a super dry and unreliable writer, and nothing worked: I tried to flush the pen, switch to a syringe-filled cartridge and use a wetter ink. I even tried other fountain pens I have, and they had similar issues.

    • The NationStrong Voices
    • HackadayVintage Pro Audio Hack Chat Gets In The Groove

      Despite the fact that we’ve been doing them for years now, it’s still hard to predict how a Hack Chat will go. There’s no question it will be an hour of interesting discussion of course, that much is a given. But the dynamics of the conversation can range from a rigid Q&A, which isn’t exactly unexpected when you’ve only got a limited amount of time with a subject matter expert, to a freewheeling hangout with a group of people who all happen to be interested in the same thing.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayHackaday Prize 2022: PewPew LCD Plays With Python

        [deshipu] aka [Radomir Dopieralski] has been building educational handhelds for a good part of a decade now, and knows how to design hardware that makes for effective teaching. Today, we are graced with the PewPew LCD project, latest in the PewPew student-friendly handheld series, powered by CircuitPython.

      • HackadayToothbrush Goes From Mouth-Whitening To Room-Brightening

        Some of the hacks we see make us wonder why they aren’t already a commercial product, and this electric toothbrush turned rechargeable flashlight is one of them. Sure, these things exist, but we haven’t seen one with a dedicated charging stand. They usually just take micro USB or whatever, so it’s on you to remember to plug it in. How great would it be to have a fully-charged flashlight always at the ready, especially one in a position to illuminate the room? Although [wannabemadsci] makes it look easy, this conversion took quite a bit of doing.

      • HackadayElectronic Catan Game Board Is Modular

        Plenty of gamers around these parts require an expensive PC to play games, often spending thousands of dollars for a gaming machine. Believe it or not, though, there are entire classes of games that don’t require any electronics at all, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t benefit from the addition of some neat gadgets. This Settlers of Catan game uses custom LCD tiles with a built-in custom mesh network.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Counter PunchHow Small Farms Are Reclaiming Culture in Palestine

        “In a century of Palestinian struggle against colonialism, land, in all of its forms and meanings, has constituted the ethos of our struggle and culture,” said Soheir Asaad in a recent webinar held in honor of Palestinian Land Day that Palestinians commemorate on March 30 every year. Asaad works as an advocacy team member for the Rawa Fund that supports local, community-led solutions to the issues Palestinians face. She was the moderator of a free online webinar on April 5 titled, Blossoming in Palestine: Community Organizing Around Land.

        “The Zionist dispossession of our land, theft of natural resources, and ethnic cleansing have been part and parcel of a systematic, holistic targeting of the very existence of a Palestinian society,” she said during the webinar.

      • The NationDrought Conditions
      • OracRadical COVID-19 antivax sentiment is metastasizing to childhood vaccines

        Ever since the antivaccine movement rose to previously unattained prominence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resistance to COVID-19 vaccine mandates (not to mention to all public health mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus, such as masks and “lockdowns”), and the increasing affinity between antivaxxers and fascists, those of us who have been following the antivaccine movement have become increasingly concerned that anti-COVID-19 vaccination has been metastasizing to cover all vaccines. Unsurprisingly, it’s been doing exactly that. The endgame of the antivaccine movement has always been the elimination of all vaccine mandates of any kind, and increasingly right wing politicians are pushing for laws and policies that bring us closer to such a world.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • TechdirtTwitter Hit With $150 Million Fine For Using Two-Factor Authentication Data For Marketing

          While a lot of the scandals surrounding “big tech” have been overblown, one that hasn’t been discussed enough is Silicon Valley companies’ abuse of user two-factor authentication data. If you’ve been napping, two-factor authentication (preferably of the email variety) helps protect your accounts from being compromised by hackers.

        • EFFMassachusetts’ Highest Court Upholds Cell Tower Dump Warrant

          Massachusetts’ highest court has upheld the collection of mass cell tower data, despite recognizing that this data not only provides investigators with “highly personal and private” information but also has the potential to reveal “the locations, identities, and associations of tens of thousands of individuals.”

          The case is Commonwealth v. Perry, and in it the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) addressed the constitutionality of “tower dumps” of cell site location information (CSLI).

          A “tower dump” occurs when a phone company provides law enforcement with data on all devices that connected with a specific cell tower during a specified period of time. Because each cell tower covers a particular geographic area, police can infer from the data that the device owners were in that area at the time. Tower dumps can identify hundreds or thousands of phones—or, in this case, “more than 50,000 individuals . . . without any one of them ever knowing that he or she was the target of police surveillance.”

        • TorProjects from Google Summer of Code 2022 [Ed: Tor takes money from espionage, mass spying and surveillance capitalism giant (it also takes bribes from Microsoft via DDG)]

          We are happy that the Tor Project is again participating in Google Summer of Code. Mentorship programs are very important for open source projects as they help us have one more way of bringing new contributors to our projects. Starting in June this year we will have the following mentors and their projects working with a contributor from Google Summer of Code:

          This project will bring back Tor Weather. It is an email notification service that relay operators can subscribe to and choose which notifications they want to receive about their relay.

        • TechdirtICE Facial Recognition Contractor Leaks A Whole Bunch Of Personal Data

          It’s not just the private sector leaking data at alarming rates! Well, it is still the private sector, but it’s leaking data on behalf of the government! So… somewhat different. But still alarming.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Problem Is the Guns. The Guns. The Guns. The Guns.

        If there’s one lesson we should draw from the horror at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tx, it’s that we cannot rely just on school guards, calling 911, or tepid “solutions” by extremist politicians to safeguard our school children. Or to protect people in supermarkets, houses of worship, or any other public settings targeted for mass carnage.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Corporate Media Obsess About Trump, But Ignore Broad GOP Attack on Democracy

        The country’s centrist corporate media have decided what this year’s primaries are mainly about: Donald Trump.

      • Common Dreams‘This Is Bullsh*t’: Instead of Canceling, Abbott Will Deliver Video Speech to NRA

        Texas Gov. Greg Abbott garnered headlines late Thursday indicating that he plans to “skip” the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston on Friday and instead travel to Uvalde, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school earlier this week.

        But a look beyond the headlines reveals that Abbott is not actually skipping the event. In an apparent attempt to have it both ways, the governor recorded video remarks that will be played at the gun lobby’s convention as he holds a press conference with local officials and grieving residents in Uvalde.

      • Common DreamsScience Journal Editorial Says ‘Minions’ of NRA ‘Must Be Defeated’ to Save Nation

        A new Science editorial calls on scientists to get up from “the sidelines” of the national gun control debate and debunks arguments frequently used by right-wing politicians and media personalities to reject tightening limits on firearm access.

        “A nation of children threatened by gun violence does not have a future,” it states.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Gun Massacres Are the Grotesque Pinnacle of ‘American Exceptionalism’

        “Together we rise,” reads the motto on a wall of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The school serves about 600 students in the second thru fourth grades. Over ninety percent are Latinx. Nineteen children between the ages of nine and eleven and two of their teachers were murdered there Tuesday, by an 18-year-old gunman armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle. The shooter, Salvador Ramos, was killed at the school by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. At a news conference on Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who consistently rejects gun control, blamed the shortage of mental health services for the atrocity.

      • Counter Punch‘Brave’ SWAT Squad Races to School, Then Waits 40 Minutes as Parents Scream for Action

        The SWAT squad got to the school in force quite promptly, but then, to the consternation and fury of neighbors and parents — who were screaming at them to “Stop it! and “What are you doing — get inside the building!” — they stayed safely back. (In fact, if they did anything at all it was fight off and tackle frantic  parents trying to get to the school!)

        An unarmed Amadou Diallo was slaughtered 47 years ago while standing on his front stoop, hit by 40 bullets fired by four frightened police undercover officers.

      • Counter PunchThe Return

        My father was proud of my service. Somehow my mother knew that my last months in Vietnam were awful. She knew at a glance I was changed, but was thrilled that her only son had returned home. A few weeks later, when the last of my army pay was gone, I applied for unemployment, filling out the forms as best I could. What was my last job? US Army, Vietnam. Why did I leave? Rotten pay. Hazardous conditions. What did that previous job qualify me to do? I read maps and plotted artillery fire on people trying to kill me.

        Would my answers offend those who read them? I hoped so, but the clerk was not amused. My Army skills were not suited to civilian life, she said. Silently, I screamed,  “No shit, Sherlock!” I was officially categorized as “miscellaneous.”

      • Counter PunchLove Supremacy Beats White Supremacy

        In his essay, Mr. Patel harkens back to his personal awakening to America’s systemic racism in college. With consciousness raised, he saw his father’s purchase of a Subway sandwich franchise – instead of starting his own shop – as a justified response to “the wound…of American racism, ” since, as his father knew, white people are not “going to buy sandwiches from a brown guy from India named Sadruddin.” Some 29 years later the writer now sees the other side of his father’s franchise choice: though an acknowledgment of racism, it had allowed his father to achieve the financial basis that among other things, got his children their college educations. The writer, whose children in turn face not only racism, but also anti-Muslim attitudes, concludes, ”I want [my children] to derive their identity from loving Islam, not hating Islamophobia.”

        I overwhelmingly agree with him. But perhaps because I’m not a vulnerable brown, Muslim person, but white, middle class, liberal-raised, I fear I must say, “Yes…but.” On behalf of liberal brethren who may read in the father’s story a blessing of the bourgeois melting pot, I must hold out for a little more “noticing what’s bad.” For isn’t the danger in disguising one’s brownness and strange name in the corporate blandness of the Subway franchise, suburban schools, etc., how brown immigrants become white, leaving racism fairly well intact? By no means do I critique the choices made by people who must navigate their lives in the capitalist, racist, Islamophobic context. But now, with fascism on the rise, don’t we have to submit the pragmatic choices we make to live according to what we can afford, to a higher standard? The targets of racist hate can hardly be faulted, but how do we deal with the fact that achieving affluence and “whiteness” will not change the pre-conditions for racism, the petri dish for intolerance, that are structural and systemic in America?

      • Counter PunchBan the Damn Guns

        I mention the above to show that I am not unfamiliar with guns. Indeed, back when I was nineteen and thought the revolution was coming, I would go into the woods in Howard County, MD. and shoot beer cans lined up on a log—the same thing I did when my father first introduced me to shooting. Never in my life did I even think about shooting people, which is why I realized that my role in that revolution that never came would most likely involve unarmed situations.

        It’s obviously a damning statement that killing children in their schoolhouses, churchgoers in their churches and Black and Latino people in the places where they shop is something that happens with relative frequency in the United States. What’s even more damning, however, is that so many politicians essentially support this sociopathic behavior. Sure, they may make statements deploring the bloodshed and tragedy, but they sure as hell don’t do a damn thing about ending it. In their minds, there is nothing to be done about men (yes, it’s usually men) walking into a school wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an arsenal more suitable to an invading soldier and murdering a couple dozen people. Then again, politicians claim there is also nothing to be done about hiring young men, arming them to the teeth and sending them off to kick in the doors of innocent families and killing everyone inside. It’s American democracy, goddammit. Take it in the face or we’ll kill you.

      • Meduza‘Bye, Dad’: Alexander Kudryashov’s play about his father (a veteran of the Second Chechen War) is also a portrait of Russian masculinity

        Moscow’s Alexander Kudryashov Theater Company is an independent troupe staging low-cost plays for intimate audiences. Inside the company, Alexander Kudryashov plays the “roles” of playwright, director, and actor. His new play, “Bye, Dad,” tells the story of his late father, a veteran of the Second Chechen War. And it’s a rare example of theater that feels appropriate in wartime. It’s also a remarkably candid work, even though the author himself avoids speaking of his feelings. Theater critic Anton Khitrov shares his thoughts about the play.

      • Meduza‘I’m a military man, a simple man’: A contract soldier captured by Ukrainian troops and traded back to Russia says he plans to return to the frontlines

        Twenty-four-year-old Dmitry Paramoshkin signed a contract with the Russian army in 2020, near the end of his conscription term. “It just sort of happened that way. They said there’d be exercises, [parachute] jumps, we’d ride around, and do that kind of stuff. So, I went ahead and did it,” he told the news website Fontanka. On February 25, 2022, Dmitry and his fellow soldiers were told that they were headed to Crimea to join planned military drills. When they arrived, they were given new orders: go to Kherson and then Mykolaiv. Paramoshkin was later captured after invading Ukraine, held prisoner for several weeks, and returned home to St. Petersburg in a prisoner exchange. Now he says he plans to return to the fight, confident that Russia will prevail.

      • Meduza‘A small way for me to channel my pain and rage’: The St. Petersburg resident on a personal mission to get pro-war symbols removed from the city

        Since the start of the war, St. Petersburg resident Alexey Lakhov has been sending complaints to various government agencies requesting that they remove pro-war symbols from public spaces. St. Petersburg news outlet Bumaga recently published a story about Lakhov and his small acts of protest. With their permission, Meduza is publishing a translation below.

      • Meduza‘We’ll grind them down in the end’: Sources tell Meduza that the Kremlin is considering another assault on Kyiv and planning victory in Ukraine by the fall

        Despite failing to capture Kyiv at the outset of the war, the Kremlin is reportedly considering a second assault on Ukraine’s capital, as Russian troops appear to be on the verge of seizing the entire Donbas region. Sources tell Meduza that advances in the east and expectations that Moscow can win a war of attrition against Kyiv and its Western allies have revived hopes in the Putin administration that a full-scale victory is possible in Ukraine before the end of the year.

      • Meduza‘My mom says the town is in ruins’: Relatives fear for Lyman’s remaining residents as Russia claims control of strategic Donbas hub

        For several days now, Russian forces have been trying to capture Lyman — a strategic railway hub in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Russia is seeking to gain a foothold in Lyman in the hopes of pushing its offensive towards the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. Russian troops began storming Lyman on May 24, and Denis Pushilin — the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) — claimed full control of the town on the morning of May 27. In turn, Ukrainian officials said that Lyman is “mostly controlled” by Russian troops and fighting is ongoing. To find out what life is like for Lyman’s remaining residents, Meduza spoke to their relatives who left the town before it came under occupation. 

      • ScheerpostUS Special Forces in Kyiv: Much Ado About Nothing?

        The possible move is raising questions about whether it’s a first step toward inserting troops into direct combat in Ukraine.

      • Democracy Now“Trigger Points”: Author Mark Follman on How to Stop Mass Shootings Through Community Prevention

        Shortly before the massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, we spoke with author and journalist Mark Follman about the epidemic of mass shootings in the United States. Follman is the author of the new book “Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America,” in which he closely examines how a community-based prevention method called “behavior threat assessment” can help prevent mass shootings. The method “brings together collaborative expertise, primarily in mental health and law enforcement” to recognize behavioral signs in perpetrators that often lead to shootings. Follman also discusses the “copycat” issue among mass shooters and explains why he thinks it’s harmful for the media to sensationalize perpetrators of mass shootings.

      • Counter PunchWhen the Old Repeat Their Stories

        My father was stationed with a PT boat squadron in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. He’d been drafted at thirty-seven years old (such things happened in that war) and found himself a petty officer in charge of supply. He was gone by the time I was six so I only saw him at intervals as per the custody agreement, particularly later in life. He’d tell the same two stories as if I’d never heard them before. One was losing his shaving kit in the snow and being unable to find it because of a blizzard. The other was the day a survivor of a sunk Japanese mini-sub found an American Navy uniform and slipped into to the line in the base chow hall. He was starving. They captured him immediately, of course. For some reason, those two stories had to be told over and over again.

        I’ve never understood the story with the shaving kit. Was it about something lost and irretrievable in his life? Was it about his fear of the danger of blizzards where a man can be as easily lost?

      • Counter PunchThe U.S.’s Unilateral Sanctions Against Russia Will Produce a Global Food Disaster

        As the U.S. and the G7 (comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) insist that cutting off food exports from Ukraine poses the biggest threat to world food security, rather than admitting the far more powerful negative effect of Western sanctions against Russia, their propaganda does immense damage to the world’s understanding and capability of avoiding a looming global food disaster.

        The G7 and the Approaching Food Disaster

      • Counter PunchU.S. Pressure on India Forces New Delhi to Reassess Its Options

        Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the White House has attempted to rally support for sanctions against Russia and isolate it diplomatically. While the Biden administration had little hope that India would adhere to imposing these sanctions, New Delhi has openly explored ways to circumvent them and has also refrained from condemning Russia at the United Nations.

        But India has trodden carefully, refusing to show any support for the Russian invasion and, instead, has been calling for dialogue between Russia and Ukraine to resolve the conflict. In addition to not wanting to offend Ukraine, a country that India also has good relations with, New Delhi does not want to be seen as endorsing Russia’s actions or straying from India’s traditional foreign policy of nonalignment.

      • Meduza‘We treat the Russian dead better than they treat living Ukrainians’: An interview with the head of Ukrainian Railways, the backbone of Ukraine’s evacuation efforts

        Before Russia launched its full-scale war against Ukraine, Ukraine’s state railroad company, Ukrainian Railways, was often criticized for being ineffective and suspected of corruption. Now, Ukrainian Railways is providing shelter for millions of refugees, transporting foreign leaders on official visits to Kyiv, and delivering humanitarian and military cargo to towns throughout Ukraine. Even Russian propagandists have marveled at the efficiency with which the company has mobilized its railroads. Meduza spoke to Ukrainian Railways head Oleksandr Kamyshin about the changes the company has made since the start of the war, the fight against Russian collaborators in the company, and the task of storing Russian soldiers’ bodies in refrigerator cars.

      • Common DreamsTexas Democrat Demands Federal Probe of Police Response to Uvalde Shooting

        U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas urged the FBI on Thursday to investigate law enforcement’s response to the deadly elementary school shooting in Uvalde, a demand that came as local police officers faced growing scrutiny and anger over their actions during the massacre and contradictory statements in its wake.

        “The people of Uvalde, of Texas, and of the nation deserve an accurate account of what transpired,” Castro, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “However, state officials have provided conflicting accounts that are at odds with those provided by witnesses.”

      • Counter PunchThe Economy of Tolerable Massacres: The Uvalde Shootings

        Just as prison reform tends to keep pace with the expansion of the bloated system, the gun argument in the US keeps pace, barely, with each massacre.  With each round of killings, a script is activated: initial horror, hot tears of indignation of never again, and then, the stalemate on reform till the next round of killings can be duly accommodated. “It isn’t enough to reiterate the plain truth that the assault weapons used in mass shootings must be banned and confiscated,” observes Benjamin Kunkel.  “Instead, every fresh atrocity must be recruited into everyone’s preferred single-factor sociological narrative.”

        In Uvalde, Texas, a teenage gunman (they do get younger) made his way into an elementary school and delivered an unforgettable May 24 lesson.  When he had finished at Robb Elementary School, 19 children and 2 adults had perished.  But even this effort, in the premier league ranking of school killings, failed to top the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.  On that occasion, 26 lost their lives.

      • Counter PunchA Gun Message For Woke Corporations

        When it comes to gun massacres in the U.S., the public often anticipates — and wants— a “tipping point” in which bloodshed would be so shocking and intolerable, anti-gun violence laws would be enacted. At the top of the list for most gun safety advocates would be better background checks and the banning of military-style weapons such as “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines.

        But if the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in which 26 were killed, 20 children, the 2016 Orlando nightclub killing in which 49 people were killed and the 2017 Las Vegan massacre in which 60 were killed and 411 were wounded, weren’t tipping points, what are? Many thought when a member of Congress itself, Gabby Giffords, an Arizona representative, was shot in 2011, Congress would realize gun violence had come home to roost in their own nest but nothing happened. Despite the years and even decades-long efforts of anti-gun violence advocates writing in “From Bullet to Bullhorn,” massacres like that at Robb Elementary School are quickly forgotten and no gun safety laws are passed.

      • Pro PublicaHow the U.S. Has Struggled to Stop the Growth of a Shadowy Russian Private Army

        For nearly a decade, U.S. officials watched with alarm as a shadowy network of Russian mercenaries connected to the Kremlin wreaked havoc in Africa, the Middle East and most recently Ukraine.

        A number of them now say they wish the U.S. government had done more.

      • Counter PunchThe Rise of NATO in Africa

        NATO’s war in Libya was its first major military operation in Africa, but it was not the first European military footprint on the continent. After centuries of European colonial wars in Africa, new states emerged in the aftermath of World War II to assert their sovereignty. Many of these states—from Ghana to Tanzania—refused to allow the European military forces to reenter the continent, which is why these European powers had to resort to assassinations and military coups to anoint pro-Western governments in the region. This allowed for the creation of Western military bases in Africa and gave Western firms freedom to exploit the continent’s natural resources.

        Early NATO operations stayed at the edge of Africa, with the Mediterranean Sea being the major frontline. NATO set up the Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH) in Naples in 1951, and then the Allied Forces Mediterranean (AFMED) in Malta in 1952. Western governments established these military formations to garrison the Mediterranean Sea against the Soviet navy and to create platforms from where they could militarily intervene in the African continent. After the Six-Day War in 1967, NATO’s Defense Planning Committee, which was dissolved in 2010, created the Naval On-Call Force Mediterranean(NOCFORMED) to put pressure on pro-Soviet states—such as Egypt—and to defend the monarchies of northern Africa (NATO was unable to prevent the anti-imperialist coup of 1969 that overthrew the monarchy in Libya and brought Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to power; Gaddafi’s government ejected U.S. military bases from the country soon thereafter).

      • MeduzaHarder, crueler, longer Lawmakers draft new penalties for assisting Russia’s ‘enemies’ on and off the battlefield
      • Counter PunchThe Danger of Worsening Relations With Both Russia and China

        It wasn’t difficult to assess China in the past because Beijing has had to deal with a hostile Soviet presence along a long international border since WWII, which required extensive military deployments and resources.  This is no longer the case.  While Biden was in Japan last week, Russia and China conducted a major exercise in the Pacific, flying strategic bombers over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea.  The joint exercise demonstrates the success that Beijing and Moscow are having in coordinating military policy against the interests of the United States.

        The United States was particularly fortunate that, despite its full-scale warfare against North Vietnam in the 1960s, the Sino-Soviet dispute provided the Johnson and Nixon administration with a free hand in Southeast Asia. The dispute led to a bloody confrontation along the Amur and Ussuri rivers in 1969.  The Johnson administration was slow to understand the nature and intensity of the Sino-Soviet dispute, but the Nixon administration moved adroitly to ensure that Washington would have better relations with both Beijing and Moscow than the two leading communist powers had with each other.

      • Pro PublicaA Republican Tried to Introduce a Commonsense Gun Law. Then the Gun Lobby Got Involved.

        Cole Wist was a Republican state House member in Colorado with an A grade from the NRA. Then, in 2018, he supported a red flag law, sponsoring a bill to allow guns to be taken away — temporarily — from people who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.

        Wist lost his seat in the legislature that year in the face of an intense backlash from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a gun rights organization in Colorado that boasts it accepts “no compromise” as it battles “the gun grabbers.” The group campaigned against him, distributing flyers and referring to him on social media as “Cole the Mole.”

      • Democracy NowReport from the Donbas: Shelling Intensifies in Severodonetsk as Russia Moves to Capture Key City

        Heavy fighting is continuing in eastern Ukraine as Russia attempts to seize the entire Donbas region, where fighting began in 2014. We speak to independent journalist Billy Nessen, who just left the city of Severodonetsk, where Russian shelling has exponentially increased. He says a possible Russian capture of Severodonetsk would be a “big propaganda victory for Russia,” but predicts that Ukrainians are not yet at the point where they are willing to concede.

      • ScheerpostTaibbi: Bush is Biden is Bush

        George W. Bush returns to the news with a tad too much honesty, lifting a veil on Washington’s dirtiest open secret: the Biden Democrats have become the Bush Republicans.

      • ScheerpostHow Do You Sheep?

        “How Do You Sheep?,” a new original cartoon by the inimitable Mr. Fish, takes a closer look at the inaction of those with whom we rely upon for guidance in these troubled and bloody times.

      • The NationWaging Proxy War in Ukraine Won’t Save Us From Ourselves

        America has been involved in a crisis of conscience for some time. Most of our recent political controversies have ended in denunciations and upheavals that seem off the charts by the standard of all previous American experience outside war. Consider the right-wing birther movement, which questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s citizenship, and the left-liberal Russiagate scandal, which accused President Trump of being a Russian agent. The loudest voices leveling these charges came from people with no interest in evidence. Rather, the accusations served their purpose within the factions that constitute the “base” of the major parties.1

      • The Nation“Let Beto Speak”: Texans Desperately Need an Alternative to NRA Republicans

        Texas gubernatorial contests have been unbalanced for decades, as increasingly reactionary Republicans have elbowed their way onto center stage—drawing all the energy and attention to themselves—while Democrats have struggled to get off the sidelines. Even when they have had dynamic candidates, like Wendy Davis in 2014, Democrats have had a hard time building the coalitions that are necessary to compete with a Republican machine that has so dominated the ballot that no Democratic gubernatorial contender since 1994 has won more than 43 percent of the vote.

      • The NationCalifornia Offers a Rare Alternative to the Pro-Gun Free-for-All
      • Counter PunchWhat to Do About the Alt-Right and White Supremacy: Hate Speech and Hate Crimes as a Failed Rubric

        In the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s A Policymaker’s Guide to Hate Crimes (1997), the government tried to pare down the definition and reporting of hate crimes, relying on watchdog groups like the ADL to a large extent, and also resorting to the ACLU’s moderated position, whereby the latter organization opposed the St. Paul ordinance challenged in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul but supported the Supreme Court decision upholding the law in Wisconsin v. Mitchell (both to be discussed later). As the BJA’s manual summarizes, the ACLU draws a distinction between constitutionally protected speech and that intended to harm or threaten, so that penalty-enhancing hate crime statutes, “If properly drawn…do not punish protected speech or associations; rather, they reflect the heightened seriousness with which society treats criminal acts that also constitute invidious discrimination and are intended to or have the effect of depriving persons of legal rights or the opportunity to participate in their community’s political or social life simply because of their race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or other group characteristics.” As discussed later, I do not subscribe to this distinction, which appears to me unsustainable, but aside from my philosophical disagreement there is also the question of the degree to which censoring the alt-right or any supremacist movement is likely to have the opposite of the intended effect, by giving more power to the movements than they would otherwise have.

        The new criminal category of hate crimes is problematic because it ventures into the area of thought as well as conduct, since a hate crime, in order to be so constituted, must have the element of premeditation in terms of prejudice, without which it would be an ordinary crime. To separate thought from action becomes especially difficult when a person may be allied with a “hate group,” which presumes that he or she no longer has the independence of mind to choose his or her own course of action and is instead blindly swayed by the group. Verbal salvos by alt-righters online quickly lead to conclusions about the general state of prejudice, manifesting in violent action, in the United States as a whole. To the extent that hate crimes statistics are collected, reported on, and magnified in the general perception, they may actually be leading to the ossification of the very prejudices it was their ostensible intent to prevent. Rather than seeking to dissolve economic and class barriers, as has been true of liberal democracy at its best throughout its history, if the focus turns to removing prejudice from minds (as a way of forestalling the odious category of hate crimes), then society’s attention might well have shifted from procuring the attainable to tilting after the impossible. The alt-right’s recent demise is best seen in this perspective. Following the ADL’s model, many states have adopted the doubling of the normal punishment of a crime if ethnic intimidation is in play, and increased penalties are also at stake if institutional vandalism can be shown, again as per the ADL’s model statutes.

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: The End of the Innocents

        + I understand why gun sales go up after mass killings in the US. No matter how much $$, arms and gear is poured into police agencies, they won’t be there to protect you or your kids. They’ll wait outside until the shooting stops, then outline the bodies in chalk & mop up the blood We are on our own inside one of the most violent societies that’s ever existed, a society whose cultural & economic structures pit us against each other for survival. The tragedy is that being armed makes it more likely that you or someone in your family will die from a gunshot.

        + Many of the same politicians who just sent $40 billion in weapons to Ukraine are lamenting the domestic slaughter from military-style assault weapons at home without pausing for a second to contemplate any possible connection between the two…

      • Counter PunchDebt, Coups & Colonialism in Haiti
      • Counter PunchThis Happened Here: A Draft Dystopian Movie Script

        An orange-hued ex-United States president who was accurately described as “the most dangerous criminal in human history” by the world’s leading intellectual runs free, with no serious threat of meaningful prosecution after he tried to overthrow the government and cancel an election he clearly lost. His election cancellation efforts included an attempted putsch – an assault on the legislative branch as it prepared to certify the ex-president’s defeat – was coordinated with fascist paramilitaries and thugs and elected members of the president’s party inside Congress. The attempted coup was easily predicted by observers who had paid attention to the wannabe dictator’s open contempt for democracy and the rule of law and to his recurrent embrace of political violence as a legitimate tool for staying in power.

        The aspiring fascist strongman sat atop the most powerful and dangerous state in world history for four years, his tiny fingers on a giant nuclear arsenal, causing no small anxiety for his top generals. In his last year in power, he actively opposed medical science and public health recommendations to criminally deny and spread a deadly pandemic. He tried to enlist the national U.S. military in the suppression of a Black civil rights protest he absurdly called “Marxist” and accused of trying to “destroy our nation.” He embraced the symbols and legacy of an earlier national secession and Civil War sparked by slaveowners to preserve the life of a vast regional social system based on the enslavement of Black people.

      • Counter PunchApologist for Tucker Carlson’s Racism: Glenn Greenwald

        Since Greenwald—a former Salon columnist, and after that a Pulitzer-winning reporter for the Guardian — departed from The Intercept in September 2020, he’s become a stalwart defender of Fox, and Carlson in particular. As Carlson has gained in viewership and impact—he’s the most widely watched cable news host in the US—his commentary and political positions have come under increased scrutiny. With that attention has come intense criticism. But he has Greenwald in his corner, who has let forth a flood of pro-Carlson arguments, primarily delivered on Twitter, his medium of choice.

        Shortly before the May 14 massacre in Buffalo that left 10 dead, the alleged shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, published a 180-page manifesto online. The post explained that he targeted the Tops Market grocery store because the neighborhood was majority Black, in an act of political violence aimed at striking fear into nonwhite US residents. Gendron’s ideological outlook was highly influenced by the racist conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement” which holds that whites in the US are being systematically replaced by people of color in a demographic change that’s being masterminded by a cabal of elites.

    • Environment

      • Counter PunchClimate Change Wows the Polls

        The incumbent PM Scott Morrison led the Coalition opposed by the Labor party behind the candidacy of Anthony Albanese. At the end of the day, Labor overwhelmed by capturing the two most significant burning issues: (1) climate change (2) political integrity (What a gorgeous setup for US Dems).

        According to NBC News, polling in the lead-up to the election showed that 8 out of 10 Australians wanted significant climate policies from the government. Seventy percent (70%) said climate change was already impacting the country. The environment was the prevailing issue on social media; it captured more interests than the economy or corruption. (Source: Australia’s ‘Climate Election’ Shows Shifting Priority For Voters, NBC News, May 23, 2022)

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Climate Movement Must Wake up Senate Democrats Before Last Chance Is Gone

        “Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.” —IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Feb. 2022

      • Common DreamsG7 Fossil Fuel Funding Pledge a ‘Massive Win,’ Say Climate Groups

        Stressing that concrete action—not just lofty rhetoric—is still needed, climate groups cautiously applauded G7 climate ministers on Friday for vowing to cut off new public financing for fossil fuels by the end of the year, a move that would help tackle a major source of oil and gas industry funding.

        A 39-page communique issued Friday by the environment ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States pledges to end “new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022, except in limited circumstances clearly defined by each country that are consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

      • Energy

        • The NationHere in Poland, “Going Green” Means Burning Even More Coal

          Warsaw, Poland—A few weeks ago, I watched in amazement as my country’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced that Poland was implementing Europe’s “most radical plan” to “move away from Russian hydrocarbons.” He said that while other European countries had seen Russia “as a business partner,” Poland had long understood that Russia was using gas “as an instrument of blackmail.” In response to its invasion of Ukraine, Poland would no longer import any Russian fossil fuels: We would find our energy sources elsewhere.

        • Common DreamsParents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty ‘For the Sake of the Children’

          Ahead of next week’s 50th annual United Nations Stockholm environmental conference in Sweden, a global coalition of parents, grandparents, and caregivers on Friday joined thousands of worldwide advocates calling on countries to back a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to “give children a liveable planet.”

          “Our children deserve to live in a world that is safe. A world in which they have opportunities and choices and are not struggling from one disaster to the next.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The RevelatorWhy It’s Time to Include Fungi in Global Conservation Goals
        • Counter PunchThe Human Mania for Roadbuilding Is a Threat to the Great Apex Predator Species

          A new study I coauthored confirms that apex predators in Asia currently face the greatest threat from roads, likely due to the region’s high road density and the numerous apex predators found there. Eight out of the 10 species most impacted by roads were found in Asia, with the sloth bear, tiger, dhole, Asiatic black bear and clouded leopard leading the list.

          The outlook for the next 30 years is even more dire. More than 90 percent of the 25 million kilometers of new global road construction expected between now and 2050 will be built in developing nations that host critical ecosystems and rich biodiversity areas. Proposed road developments across Africa, the Brazilian Amazon and Nepal are expected to intersect roughly 500 protected areas. This development directly threatens the core habitats of apex predators found in these regions and will potentially disrupt the functioning and stability of their ecosystems. This is particularly concerning where road developments will impact areas of rich biodiversity and where conservation gains have been so painstakingly achieved.

    • Finance

      • Common DreamsRapid Response Protests Planned to Stop Biden From ‘Screwing Up’ Student Debt Relief

        Organizers with the Debt Collective are planning a rapid response demonstration at the White House Friday following reports that President Joe Biden has reached a decision to cancel $10,000 of student debt for some borrowers—a plan that doesn’t go as far as his campaign promise, which critics had already denounced as inadequate.

        “$10K, no way,” tweeted the Debt Collective, the nation’s first union of people who owe debt. “Don’t go small, cancel it all!”

      • Common Dreams‘We Can Do Better’ Than Biden’s Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday joined economic justice advocates in rebuking President Joe Biden’s reported plan to cancel just $10,000 in federal student loan debt for a means-tested selection of borrowers, warning the proposal is too little for those who need it most while excluding many desperate for relief.

        “$10,000 [of] means-tested forgiveness is just enough to anger the people against it and the people who need forgiveness the most,” the New York Democrat said. “We can do better.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Biden’s Means-Tested, Try-to-Please-Everyone Student Debt Plan Will Please No One

        The Washington Post reported on Friday morning that the Biden administration is finally considering a concrete policy of student debt cancellation, but not the one for which activists have been fighting for years. The Post reports that the White House is considering canceling just $10,000 per person in student debt, under a means-tested regime which would limit forgiveness to Americans who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year, or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly. 

      • Counter PunchCancel Student Loan Debt; Bail Out Regular People

        My generation was sold a pipe dream about what a degree could mean for our future. I wanted so badly for this dream to come true that I leapt at the opportunity to take out loans.

        What I didn’t know then was just how much the cost of higher education was soaring — and that colleges were hiking prices to take advantage of the federal government’s willingness to help poor and low-income students like me cover tuition.

      • Counter PunchBiden and Inflation

        This fall, Dems bank on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, something they have done zero to stop, over decades, to electrify their base and keep them in their congressional offices. In short, Democrats and Biden hope their failure to protect women’s rights will sidetrack voters’ attention from the gigantic, super-duper menace of inflation. It threatens their base more than anybody, being, as many of them are, on fixed or low incomes, but these politicos’ only plan is distraction, so these people forget about being robbed by the soaring cost of living. Good luck. And what a lousy program! One that’ll probably flop, as all eyes, Democrat and Republican, fixate on rising prices. Nowhere are those more evident than at the pump.

        Recent months have seen gas prices in the $7 a gallon range in some places. Generally, however, they hover at about $4.50 per gallon for regular gas. If affordable electric cars had flooded the market along with the infrastructure for charging them and if consumers had the spare cash to purchase them, these astronomical gas prices would be great for the environment. But that’s still a dream world, and these prices instead merely emaciate the wallets of people who can’t afford them. Because they exploded in the supermarket, too. It’s not just meat – it’s fruits, vegetables, bread, all the essentials.

      • Pro PublicaNative Hawaiians Are Split Over How to Spend $600 Million to Help Those Who Need Housing

        When Hawaii lawmakers moved this month to pump $600 million into the state’s Native Hawaiian homesteading program, they said they wanted to help those who are most in need. The problem: They didn’t say whom, exactly, they had in mind.

        Now, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the agency that oversees the long-troubled program, faces the difficult task of setting priorities and crafting a plan for how to spend the single largest injection of funds in the history of the century-old initiative. Under the program, anyone who is at least 50% Native Hawaiian is entitled to lease land for $1 a year and to either build or buy a home there. DHHL officials could use the new appropriation for a variety of measures, from developing residential lots to acquiring land to offering mortgage and rental subsidies.

      • TruthOutCritics Call Biden’s $10,000 Student Debt Forgiveness Plan “Woefully Inadequate”
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Common Dreams‘Wildly Lawless’: Ohio Set to Use Map Deemed Unconstitutional by State Supreme Court

        When Ohio voters head to the polls on August 2 for a special primary election, the state legislative candidates on the ballot will be running under districts deemed unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

        Ohio’s high court struck down proposed state legislative districts as illegal Republican gerrymanders on five separate occasions, but a federal court is poised to implement a previously rejected set of maps as its Saturday deadline is expected to pass without action from right-wing lawmakers in charge of the redistricting process.

      • Common Dreams‘Manchin of the House’ Kurt Schrader Officially Defeated in Oregon Primary

        Progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner was officially declared the winner Friday in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, ousting right-wing incumbent and Blue Dog Coalition member Rep. Kurt Schrader, a leading obstructionist in the U.S. House.

        In interviews throughout the primary campaign, McLeod-Skinner dubbed Schrader the “Joe Manchin of the House,” pointing to his initial vote against the American Rescue Plan and his opposition to congressional Democrats’ efforts to lower sky-high prescription drug prices.

      • HungaryOpposition voters do not share their parties’ pro-Ukraine stance

        A survey done by CEU’s Democracy Institute following April’s elections found that while the EU finished first among the countries which are most liked by Hungarians, Russia is the least likable, and Ukraine the second least likable country among Hungarians. Fidesz voters tend to be more critical towards the EU, while those in favour of the opposition feel this way about Russia. Those whose vote in the April ‘22 elections was influenced by the Russia-Ukraine war tend to lean towards Russia. Hungary seems to be unique in Europe in that the more one identifies as a right-winger, the more they support Russia’s politics.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The GOP’s Way of Doing Things Was Given a Chance—and the Results Were Catastrophic

        The 1970s were a pivotal decade, and not just because it saw the end of the Vietnam War, the resignation of Nixon, and the death of both the psychedelic hippie movement and the very political (and sometimes violent) SDS.  Most consequentially, the 1970s were when the modern-day Republican Party was birthed.

      • Counter PunchThoughts and Prayers and Guns

        Three senators, when asked why the U.S. is the world’s gun violence capital, were puzzled:

        Perhaps this writer can enlighten Senators Hawley, Romney and Braun.

      • TechdirtSocial Media Is The Easy Scapegoat For Politicians Who Don’t Want To Deal With Actual Problems

        The recent mass murders in Buffalo and Uvalde are sickening, horrifying, and extraordinarily frustrating. And part of that is because, as The Onion keeps having to point out, we live in a world where the underlying message is: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.

      • The NationThe DCCC and the DSCC Are Not On Our Side

        After the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s venomous draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, activists took to the streets and money flooded into Democratic Party coffers, as the party’s leaders vowed to make Republican extremism on abortion a defining issue in this fall’s critical congressional elections.

      • The NationThe Latest Act in New York’s Redistricting Circus Is a Killer

        No redistricting year in modern times, in New York at least, has ever been like this one. A quasi-independent commission deadlocked, supposedly allowing the Democrat-run legislature to draw new congressional and state legislative districts. A Republican legal challenge led to all of those lines’ getting tossed in late April when the court appointed Jonathan Cervas, a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on electoral politics, as special master to draw maps that didn’t violate the state Constitution’s anti-gerrymandering clause.

      • TruthOutGOP Senator Ron Johnson Used Taxpayer Money for Vacation Travel Expenses
      • Common DreamsWall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib: Report

        A new political action committee backed by a major New York hedge fund and Democratic politician turned cable news commentator Bakari Sellers plans to spend more than $1 million in a bid to oust progressive second-term Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib from the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections.

        “It’s flattering that billionaires who know nothing about our district are so scared of our movement.”

      • Counter PunchWill Biden Accept a Leftist President of Colombia?

        Colombia has never had a Leftist president. For over 200 years since independence Colombia has been ruled with an iron fist by a small oligarchy, whose interests are necessarily expressed through far-right politics: security (for property), religion, anti-socialism, ultra-individualism and dependence on the United States to stay in power.

        The US-funded Colombian military/police protects the couple dozen wealthy families that have dominated the country, who have been referred to as the “narco-oligarchy.” For decades Colombia has received far more foreign aid than any other country in the hemisphere. Because of this “special relationship” and the regional role it plays for the US, Colombia has often been referred to as “the Israel of Latin America.”

      • Misinformation/Disinformation

        • ScheerpostMatt Taibbi: Shouldn’t Hillary Clinton Be Banned From Twitter Now?

          Trial testimony reveals Hillary Clinton personally approved serious election misinformation. Is there an anti-Trump exception to content moderation?

        • The NationAnother Terrible Choice for Biden’s “Disinformation Board”

          Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was temporarily deactivating its Disinformation Governance Board, a “working group” ostensibly designed to help the government develop strategies to combat fake news. Around the same time, the board’s head, Nina Jankowicz, whose troubling past has been highlighted by many, including me in The Nation, tendered her resignation.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Techdirt10th Circuit Appeals Court Asked To Recognize A First Amendment Right To Record Cops

        It’s 2022 and yet we still haven’t received a nationwide blessing from the country’s top court that recognizes a First Amendment right to record public officials carrying out their public duties. In most cases, this involves cops, whose public activities are far more public than those of most other public servants.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Counter PunchHe Fought For truth and the Freedom to Publish — Now We Must Fight to Save Him

        Julian is a pioneering journalist, publisher, author. As a journalist he has received some of the highest awards in the field; as a publisher he devised an ingenious system whereby whistleblowers could anonymously submit information about war crimes, crimes against humanity, corruption, and much more, that WikiLeaks published for all to read and use; as an author he wrote books, blogs, essays that reveal his perspicacity and prescience, his polymathic interests, and his humanism. He is also an ardent crusader for peace and justice who has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

        If an Australian journalist who was never under US jurisdiction can be dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had been granted asylum and locked up in a British prison awaiting a decision as to whether he will be extradited to the US to face charges under the specious Espionage Act, then can anyone whose words may displease the status quo be safe anywhere in the world?

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ScheerpostEconomists Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan: Immigrants Are Still Building America, No Matter What Our Lawmakers Say

        The economists join Robert Scheer on “Scheer Intelligence” to discuss how their new book documents the extent to which American prosperity is founded on immigration—and raises questions about how we treat immigrants today.

      • Democracy Now“Doubling Down”: How Minneapolis Elites Worked to Stop Police Reform After George Floyd’s Murder

        Wednesday marked two years since George Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, setting off worldwide protests against police violence. But has anything in Minneapolis changed? We spoke with longtime local activist Robin Wonsley Worlobah, who is also now Minneapolis’s first Black democratic socialist city councilmember. Wonsley Worlobah says the mayor has “not enacted any meaningful and effective oversight over one of the most dysfunctional, racist and violent policing departments in the country right now.” She says a big-business, pro-police coalition worked with politicians to build a multimillion-dollar campaign against the Black Lives Matter movement, successfully preventing any changes to the city’s police budget and public safety system. “If there was a way to go backwards, we’ve done it.”

      • ScheerpostTwo Years Since George Floyd’s Death, Has Anything Changed in the US?

        The gains and setbacks in the movement for Black lives prove how racism is woven deeply into the fabric of capitalism and US society.

      • TruthOutIn a Different World, Mark Meadows’s Evidence-Burning Would Be Shocking
      • The NationColin Kaepernick Gets His Chance—and It’s Tough to Care

        For five years now, I’ve covered Colin Kaepernick’s exile from the National Football League. For five years, I’ve bayed at the moon about how the NFL chose to “blackball” a quality quarterback because he had the temerity to care enough to protest police violence during the national anthem. For five years, I’ve written about the terrible quarterbacks finding job after job while Kaepernick had his nose pressed up against the window. For five years, I’ve written about how Kaepernick has been training six days a week for a possible shot at returning, even when so-called experts said that day would never come.

      • The NationThe Anti-Abortion Movement Weaponizes Women Against Women

        There are staggering numbers of women helping to drive the anti-abortion fight. Currently at the center of the action is Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch. She petitioned the Supreme Court to review Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which, according to the recently leaked court opinion, will result in Roe v. Wade being overturned. Fitch uses her own story of raising three children as a divorced, single working mother to justify her anti-abortion position: that overturning Roe will “empower” women, giving them a chance to “redirect their lives.” Fitch disregards the fact that the majority of women who seek abortions are already mothers and that working parents in the United States are disadvantaged by the lack of government-mandated parental leave and subsidized child care.

      • HungaryOrban declares state of emergency

        Starting his fourth consecutive term, Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban has declared a “state of emergency” in the Central European country. The measures are allowing Orban to expand his powers originally claimed over the coronavirus pandemic.

        In a video posted to the prime minister’s Facebook page, the nationalist leader explains that the war next door poses a constant threat to Hungary and it is putting the Hungarian people’s “physical security at risk”, and “threatens the energy and financial security of the economy and families.” As a “result of the events in Ukraine,” Orban announced that a “state of danger” would come into effect allowing his right-wing government to “protect Hungary and families”. The move came after Fidesz passed a constitutional amendment on Tuesday allowing a state of emergency to be declared when wars or other humanitarian catastrophes are taking place in neighboring states.

    • Monopolies

      • Software Patents

        • EFFPatent Troll Uses Ridiculous “People Finder” Patent to Sue Small Dating Companies

          The technologies we humans use to do these things are ever-changing, but the basic concepts aren’t. Software that promotes new types of social networking is a terrible fit for the patent system, which hands out hundreds of thousands of 20-year monopolies each year on inventions that are supposedly new, but often aren’t. No one should be able to patent an “invention” that simply describes a method of finding like-minded people. 

          Unfortunately, that seems to be just what happened with a patent we looked at recently. A patent troll called Wireless Discovery LLC sued eight different social and dating apps for patent infringement, claiming that they infringe U.S. Patent No. 9,264,875, which claims “location-based discovery” based on people’s “personal attributes.” Wireless Discovery, which was created just before its patent was granted in 2016, sued eight different online dating apps in April—most of them small apps. 

          Wireless Discovery lawyers say that a simple combination of basic computing services is enough to infringe their patent. Its claim chart makes it explicit what is required to infringe the ‘875 patent. For its lawsuit against the dating network Zoosk, the claim chart describes how: 

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakHow a Former Radio DJ Became a ‘VIP’ Music Uploader on The Pirate Bay

          There are millions of people consuming pirated content but the supply side is much more limited. A lot of content originates from The Scene and organized P2P release groups. In addition, there are also solo ‘hobbyist’ uploaders. Today we speak with a Pirate Bay VIP music uploader with more than 3,000 releases under his belt.

        • Torrent FreakTor Project Unblocked But Russia Demands Censorship, Embroils Google

          After the main domain of privacy-focused anti-censorship tool Tor was blocked by Russian authorities last December, digital rights activists stepped in with a successful legal challenge. TorProject.org is now unblocked but as part of a new legal process, prosecutors are restating and broadening their case. Tor Browser must be banned and deleted from Google Play, they insist.

        • TechdirtYet Another Game Studio Chooses To Mess With Pirates As A Strategy

          There are lots of ways content makers can respond to copyright infringement. From going fully legal and suing, to attempting to threaten to sue to scare the hell out of the “pirates”, to seeking government intervention that would negatively impact all kinds of innocent folks, to trying (and failing) to curb piracy using DRM, none of these are particularly good strategies.

[Meme] Fluffy Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stop listening to my f***ing staff

Summary: EPO President António Campinos is failing to ‘contain’ the media after less than 4 years at the Office, just like Benoît Battistelli around 2014

Kluwer Patent Blog Belatedly Gives EPO Staff a Voice

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e9e20db9314f3fb4a6a1943ad4c7520f
EPO Crisis Gaining Visibility
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: There are at least 2 bloggers — if not 3 people — at Kluwer Patent Blog who air grievances of EPO staff; in addition, many of the comments there blast EPO management and Team UPC and it helps change the perceptions long shaped by bribes and blackmail from EPO management

THE EPO‘s Web site is a propaganda outlet of António Campinos — i.e. the same thing it was under Benoît Battistelli. Illegal actions are glamourised, crimes are used for political purposes, and software patents get spun as a bunch of meaningless buzzwords.

“It’s good to see that, at long last, there’s a pair of gutsy people at Kluwer Patent Blog who are willing to give EPO workers a voice — the same sort of thing that existed in IP Kat around 2014-16.”In the above video I go through a pair of posts from yesterday/this morning, the latest couple of puff pieces from the EPO’s Web site, and then some comments posted in Kluwer Patent Blog. It’s good to see that, at long last, there’s a pair of gutsy people at Kluwer Patent Blog who are willing to give EPO workers a voice — the same sort of thing that existed in IP Kat around 2014-16.

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