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Links 16/10/2022: A Lot on Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Applications

      • Linux HintBest Network Monitoring Tools for Linux Mint 21

        System monitoring is a necessary part when you’re a regular user of it as it helps in different circumstances. Similarly, it is compulsory to keep an eye on the system network to prevent your system from the issues that can create problems in the future.

        Monitoring a network allows you to observe network resources, over-usage, and the reason behind slow performance. Hence, monitoring tools can help to display a complete picture of what happens in a system network.

      • FOSSLinuxThe 6 Best Image Editors for Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        Ubuntu users can do everything with their operating systems, including editing images. The truth remains that Ubuntu has so many image editors available to use. However, this post will take you through just a few of the best ones available.

        This article will take you through the six best image editors for Ubuntu, list their features, and, most importantly, take you through their installation processes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • uni TorontoThe pragmatic effects of setting nconnect on NFS v3 mounts on Linux

        After I wrote about how Linux NFS clients normally only make one TCP connection to a given fileserver no matter how many NFS mounts they have, people pointed out the ‘nconnect’ for NFS mounts, as documented in nfs(5). Naturally I wondered what the effects of setting this above one are (so in theory one or more mounts uses multiple TCP connections), and conveniently I have an environment where I can test this.

        Suppose that you have a NFS fileserver that you mount a bunch of filesystems from, and you set ‘nconnect=2′ on all of those NFS mounts. At the level of TCP connections, what you wind up with is two TCP connections to the fileserver instead of one, each with its own local port. If you then set nconnect to 3 for a few of those filesystems but not all of them, you’ll get a surprise; there are still only two connections and /proc/mounts will say that those filesystems are NFS mounted with ‘nconnect=2′ despite you providing ‘nconnect=3′ when they were mounted. In practice, all mounts from a given server use the lowest nconnect setting among all such mounts, with one exception.

      • Linux Hint3 Ways to Find Kernel Version on Raspberry Pi

        Kernel is the backbone of a system that controls the activities of your operating system. It allows the system to connect application software to a system’s hardware. It resides in the main system memory, completely controlling your software and hardware resources like CPU usage, file systems, network usage and many other activities.
        Updating your system Kernel is extremely important for improving your system’s security and fixing the bugs in the previous version. It also adds new features to the system and helps to increase the overall system performance.

        If you are looking for a way to discover the Kernel version of your Raspberry Pi system, follow this guide to find out how you can do it.

      • It’s FOSSInstall and Use Grub Customizer in Fedora Linux – It’s FOSS

        Grub Customizer is a handy tool for customizing the grub configuration and changing its appearance.

        While you can do all this in the command line by modifying the grub config file, Grub Customizer gives you the comfort of a GUI tool.

        In this article, I will walk you through the steps of installing and using the mighty tool GRUB Customizer in Fedora Linux.

      • Linux HandbookPretty Print XML in Linux Command Line

        While XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a human-readable markup language, you’ll more likely find XML files unstructured enough to give you headaches!

      • FOSSLinuxHow to create and call functions in Bash | FOSS Linux

        Since we humans made the fantastic discovery of computers, we have been trying to improve it further and further than the last day. This is done through the challenging work of the millions of programmers across the planet and the hundreds of programming languages. Programming works on several fundamental principles, one of which is the usage of functions. Today, we will see how to create a function in Linux’s most popular scripting language, Bash.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Change a Password on Linux Mint 21 | Mark Ai Code

        A password is used to authenticate any device, whether it be a mobile or desktop system. It is mandatory to create a secure, difficult-to-crack password while dealing with the system. Changing your password after a certain period of time will help you avoid system assaults. It occurs while you are at work and working as a team member. In such a case, some of your team members could know your password. This would cause issues since data might be hacked or assaulted by anyone.

        Resetting passwords on a regular basis might help you avoid these issues. Even if your prior credential (password) is discovered, they will not be able to access the system.

    • Games

      • Aurélien GâteauSeptember 2022 monthly update

        On desktop, Pixel Wheels kind-of supported the XDG Base Directory spec in that it saved its config to $HOME/.config, data to $HOME/.local/share/pixelwheels and logs to $HOME/.cache/pixelwheels. But it did not support the XDG environment variables to override these directories. It does now.

      • [Old] The Interactive Fiction Database

        The Interactive Fiction Database is an IF game catalog and recommendation engine. IFDB is a Wiki-style community project: members can add new game listings, write reviews, exchange game recommendations, and more.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Raspberry PiDetect Starlink satellites with a Pi-powered Tricorder

        The device doesn’t actually get satellite [Internet], but it can pick up Starlink’s beacon signal via Ku-band radio beacons.

      • Raspberry PiControl temperature and humidity with Raspberry Pi Pico

        Hesam’s creation can read freezing temperatures from −40°C all the way up to a worryingly toasty +125°C. Admittedly, I generally lend little attention to how we scientifically measure humidity. I rely on a range that spans from “hair looks a little frizzy” through to “air feels like it’s stuck to my face”. Happily, the project post describes how the sensor provides proper measurements from 0–100% relative humidity, with a tolerance of ±2%RH.

      • Temperature & Humidity Control Unit Using a Raspberry Pi Pico

        To design the schematic and PCB, I used Altium designer 22 and installed the missing component libraries using Altium’s manufacturer part search. By using the Octopart website, I was able to quickly gather the necessary component information and generate the BOM. Finally, to get high-quality fabricated boards, I sent the Gerber files to PCBWay.

      • Linux HintHow to Use Arduino Serial.read() and Serial.write() Functions

        Arduino uses serial communication to send and receive data from different devices. Serial communication allows the Arduino board to receive and send instructions or commands to sensors that can act accordingly. Like other functions, Arduino also has two main functions that can accommodate users while writing or reading data from devices.

      • Linux HintCeramic Resonator in Arduino

        Arduino is a microcontroller board that can execute instructions and generate output according to it. Microcontrollers are dependent upon clock sources. These clock sources determine how fast Arduino can execute commands and generate output. So, clock source is fundamental to performance. Generally, two types of clock sources are used in Arduino boards named as crystal oscillator and ceramic resonator. Today we will cover the ceramic resonator and its purpose in an Arduino board.

      • Linux Hint3 Ways to Comment out Arduino Code

        Arduino is a development platform consisting of hardware known as Arduino boards and the software which is used to program these boards is known as IDE. Arduino uses an extension of C/C++ language to program Arduino boards.
        As a beginner in Arduino programming lots of people face difficulty in writing code. So, to make sure users understand the code, comments are generally used. Comments can also help to terminate specific parts of code and can disable any lines of code if not needed.

        Let’s discuss how we can add comments in Arduino programming using different ways.

      • Linux GizmosESP32 dev kit includes touchscreen and optional thermal imaging

        GroupGets recently featured the gCore development kit designed for portable GUI-based applications. The dev kit is also compatible with an expansion board and a Teledyne FLIR Lepton FS to obtain thermal imaging capabilities.

        The MCU found on the gCore is the ESP32 WRover-B from Expressif Systems. This ESP32 module features two cores with an adjustable clock frequency ranging from 80-240MHz along with 16MB of PSRAM and 16MB of Flash. For external storage, the dev kit includes a MicroSD slot with 4-bit mode data interface for high data transfer.

      • SparkFun ElectronicsUnbox Machinechat With Us!
      • SparkFun ElectronicsMachinechat JEDI: What Can It Do?
  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • Nicholas Tietz-SokolskyRC Week 2: Pairing is Awesome

        The second week of my batch at Recurse Center (RC) is a wrap, and it already feels like it’s going too quickly. My batch is twelve weeks long, so I’m 17% through.

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayWhy Learn Ancient Tech?

      The inner orbits of the Hackaday solar system have been vibrating with the announcement of the 2022 Hackaday Supercon badge. The short version of the story is that it’s a “retrocomputer”. But I think that’s somehow selling it short a little bit. The badge really is an introduction to machine language or maybe a programming puzzle, a ton of sweet blinky lights and clicky buttons, and what I think of as a full-stack hacking invitation.

    • Counter PunchSee If You Are Really Real
    • HackadayPrinted Axial Generator Is Turned By Hand

      While desktop 3D printing is an incredible technology, it’s got some pretty clear limitations. Plastic parts can be produced quickly in a 3D printer but can be more expensive or take longer to make than parts from materials like wood. Plastic parts can also be weaker than materials like metal. If a 3D printer is all you have on hand, though, you can often make some design choices that improve the performance of a plastic part over other materials. That’s what [1970sWizard] did to make this axial hand-cranked generator.

    • OMAATAmerican Airlines CEO Doesn’t Know About JetBlue Mint – One Mile at a Time

      American Airlines CEO Robert Isom appeared in court yesterday as part of the current Department of Justice case. While being questioned, the topic of JetBlue Mint came up, which is JetBlue’s business class product. Isom claimed that he has never flown JetBlue Mint, and doesn’t know if JetBlue Mint is lie-flat. He then clarified that he understands that Mint is JetBlue’s domestic first class, but “can’t speak to all the amenities they include.”

    • HackadayOrganizational Inspiration From The Discount Tool Company

      When in need of any tool to get a job done quickly, or only for a small number of times, it’s great to have a local “discount tool” company locally for some working, yet often low-quality solution to whatever problem might arise. While there are some gems, most of these tools won’t last through heavy, sustained use like their more expensive counterparts will. On the other hand, there are other things to be had at these discount shops, such as inspiration for tackling a storage problem.

    • Education

      • [Old] Sumana HarihareswaraIf You Give A Speech You Care About, Post A Transcript

        When I give a keynote address at a conference, I sometimes commission* and post a transcript or a near-transcript afterwards (example). And sometimes I do this for non-keynote speeches (example); this year I decided to get and post a transcript for the recent GitHub OCTO talk I gave, on what it would look like if open source were healthy.

        If you give speeches that you’re proud of, that you want people to think about and pass along so they can keep influencing people, you should do the same thing. Get transcripts up as soon as possible.

    • Hardware

      • New ScientistSensory trick makes objects seem heavy or light in virtual reality | New Scientist

        Vibrating pads placed on people’s arms can make the illusion of holding light or heavy objects in virtual reality more convincing by making us disregard some inputs from our senses.

      • HackadayA 3D Printed Ratchet That Can Really Take The Torque

        Printed tools aren’t exactly known for their durability, but [Gladius] shows us that with some thoughtful design, it’s possible to print a ratcheting wrench that can handle surprising amounts of torque.

      • HackadayAqua PCB Is A Big Upgrade For The Mattel Aquarius

        In case you weren’t around in the 80s, or you happened to blink, you may have missed the Mattel Aquarius computer. [Nick Bild] has a soft spot in his heart for the machine though and built the Aqua cartridge to make the Aquarius into a more usable machine.

      • HackadayReverse-Engineering A Display Protocol To Repair A Roland Synthesizer

        Repairing electronic devices isn’t as hard as it used to be. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find datasheets and application notes for any standard component inside your gadget, and once you’ve found the faulty one, you simply buy a replacement from one of a million web shops — assuming you don’t end up with a fake, of course. When it comes to non-standard components, however, things get more difficult, as [dpeddi] found out when a friend asked him for help in repairing a Roland Juno-G synthesizer with a broken display.

      • HackadayLaser Engraving, Up Close

        You know you aren’t supposed to watch your laser while it is cutting or engraving. But [Alex] hosted Wired in his studio and showed them how lasers engrave metal with a fiber laser. You can see the video below.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • CoryDoctorowHow Palantir will steal the NHS

        Britons are divided on many matters, but one uniting force that cuts across regional, party and class lines is jealous pride for the NHS and fierce resistance to its privatisation and the importation of America’s grisly omnishambolic health care “system.”

        But while the British people oppose privatisation, the British investor class are slavering for it. Oligarchs love to loot public services, which is why the IMF is so adamant that the countries it “helps” sell off their public water, housing, even their roads and schools and museums.

        Normally, the corrupting, immiserating effects of privatisation happen so slowly that they can feel like a natural phenomenon, a gradual change in the weather that makes everyone a little colder, a little more uncomfortable every day, until one day, the situation is unbearable.

        But there have been moments of “big bang” privatisation where governments and oligarchs speed-ran the process of looting the public coffers and transferring them to private hands – think of the sell-off of ex-Soviet state industries to connected insiders.

        Or think of Thatcher’s sell-off of council homes, an airdrop that converted shelter from a human right to an asset, in which “market forces” were allowed to “optimise” the housing system, with the result that everyday people can’t afford a home, while wealthy speculators trousered billions.

      • TruthOutReport Shows Toxic PFAS Pollution Is Likely at More Than 57,000 US Locations
    • Proprietary

      • New York TimesLufthansa Says Apple AirTags Are Once Again Allowed in Checked Bags

        In the United States, that was confirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said that its regulation did “not in itself ban or allow” the trackers, but that operators had the right to determine which devices were safe to use in flight.

        It appears Lufthansa sought advice from German aviation authorities. Martin Leutke, a spokesman for the airline, said Wednesday that he had no further comment about the company’s statement, first released on Twitter.

        Lufthansa found its policy under fire when reports surfaced in the German news media that it had prohibited the devices, amid speculation that the airline had been embarrassed by reports of passengers using the devices to find baggage it had lost.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • WiredKids Are Back in Classrooms and Laptops Are Still Spying on Them

          Student-monitoring software has come under renewed scrutiny over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. When students in the US were forced to continue their schooling virtually, many brought home school-issued devices. Baked into these machines was software that can allow teachers to view and control students’ screens, use AI to scan text from student emails and cloud-based documents, and, in severe cases, send alerts of potential violent threats or mental health harms to educators and local law enforcement after school hours.

          Now that the majority of American students are finally going back to school in-person, the surveillance software that proliferated during the pandemic will stay on their school-issued devices, where it will continue to watch them. According to a report published today from the Center for Democracy and Technology, 89 percent of teachers have said that their schools will continue using student-monitoring software, up 5 percentage points from last year. At the same time, the overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to new concerns about digital surveillance in states that have made abortion care illegal. Proposals targeting LGBTQ youth, such as the Texas governor’s calls to investigate the families of kids seeking gender-affirming care, raise additional worries about how data collected through school-issued devices might be weaponized in September.

        • Lipstick on a Pig — Pixel Envy

          It is plausible that Meta’s virtual reality efforts do not demo well and must be experienced for them to make sense. It would be utterly foolish of me to proclaim any of these efforts dead on arrival, and I do not think it is helpful to dump on things I do not understand.

          But I am going to do a little bit of that because I watched Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote in full and found myself unconvinced and uncompelled by much of anything I saw. The company triumphantly said that legs were coming to in-world avatars, but it later admitted the appendages shown were motion capture animations. The best moments were in the last moments of the presentation when Meta showed off products that would help people with disabilities. But the company admitted those were still research prototypes, nowhere near finished. Whether these products ever will be released — and whether we should be offloading home health supports to private businesses prone to moving fast and breaking things — is another matter.

        • John GruberWhere’s the VR Beef?

          I quipped to my Dithering cohost Ben Thompson a few days ago that it sort of feels like Facebook is building the BlackBerry of VR. The obvious low-hanging fruit platform, just waiting to be disrupted by some actual breakthrough platform — by Apple, perhaps, again — at some point in the future. But the more I think about it, I think that’s unfair to BlackBerry. BlackBerry was, for its time, a sensation. It wasn’t a mainstream hit, but the people who used BlackBerrys loved their BlackBerrys. They called them “CrackBerrys”.

        • MeduzaMoscow authorities demand that hotel and hostel operators hand over information on male guests — Meduza

          The administrative head of the Filyovsky Park district demanded that Moscow hotel and hostel owners provide information on male guests between the ages of 18 and 55. Evgeny Stupin, lawyer for the Moscow City Duma, posted a photo of the document.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • New York TimesElon Musk Foments More Geopolitical Controversy With Ukraine Internet Dispute

        The situation, which spurred an outcry for how it might hobble Ukrainian forces, was yet another controversy fomented by Mr. Musk, 51, who has become an unlikely provocateur in international geopolitics. The billionaire, who oversees the electric carmaker Tesla and other companies, is already embroiled in public brouhahas on many other fronts, including a will-he-won’t-he $44 billion deal to buy the social media service Twitter.

        Last week, Mr. Musk drew a fierce rebuke from Ukrainian officials for proposing a peace plan — which included ceding territory to Russia — to end the war. He also suggested in an interview with The Financial Times that tensions between China and Taiwan could be resolved by handing over some control of Taiwan to Beijing.

      • New York TimesNew Generation of Combat Vets, Eyeing House, Strike From the Right

        But their pivots to the far right have confounded other veterans, especially those who have long pressed former service members to run for office as problem-solving moderates less vulnerable to shifting partisan winds. Organizations like New Politics, and With Honor Action were founded in the past decade on the notion that records of service would promote cooperation in government. That ideal is under assault.

        “When you think about the faith of the mission, listen, this is hard,” said Rye Barcott, founder and chief executive officer of With Honor Action. “I mean, the trends have certainly gotten worse.”

        Democratic veterans, however, see the newer veteran candidates’ willingness to embrace Mr. Trump’s lies as a precursor to totalitarianism, and in contravention of their service. “We all took the same oath,” said Representative Ruben Gallego, a former Marine who saw some of the worst combat of the Iraq war. “We all understand the Constitution of United States, and some of these men are really leaning into outright fascism.”

      • The DiplomatNew Islamist Militant Outfit Emerges in Bangladesh

        Bangladesh has three streams of Islamic militant organizations. While the AAI, which came to the fore in 2013 with the killing of atheist blogger Rajib Haider, is an al-Qaida affiliated group, Neo-JMB, which was responsible for the 2016 Holey Artisan Café attack is an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS). The third stream is the JMB, which was founded in 1998 by Afghan war veterans.

      • ABCAssailants fatally shoot Hindu man in Kashmir

        Kashmir’s minority Hindus, who are locally known as Pandits, have long fretted over their place in the region. Most of an estimated 200,000 of them fled Kashmir in the 1990s, when an armed rebellion against Indian rule began. Some 4,000 returned after 2010 as part of a government resettlement plan that provided them with jobs and housing.

      • ABCProminent mosque in Germany sounds 1st public call to prayer

        Until now, the call to prayer was heard only inside the building. Early Friday afternoon, it was broadcast through two loudspeakers, though authorities stipulated that it should be limited to 60 decibels for nearby residents.

      • TruthOutChomsky: 20 Years After Iraq War Vote, US Continues to Flout International Law
      • Common DreamsOpinion | ‘Little Amal,’ the Syrian Refugee

        I was completely taken in by her as she gently tried to turn the great cube at Astor Place on her way to Washington Square park. Surrounded by many others, she had all of us mesmerized by her big eyes, expressive gestures, bending toward and, somehow, embracing each person. She does this with a grace that is impossible to articulate. One forgets that she is a puppet.

      • New YorkerDonald Trump, January 6th, and the Elusive Search for Accountability | The New Yorker

        Susan B. Glasser writes about the final hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, and asks whether all of the panel’s work will result in Donald Trump facing any accountability.

      • Michael West MediaIt’s the same guy: the PR guy, the Murdoch scribe and the bouncer at the weapons fair!

        It’s Australia’s annual weapons fair and Michael West Media has been banned from entry. Friendly media only. Land Forces 2022. What’s the scam?
        The scam is that this fair is showcasing the biggest public money expenditures there are, the whole thing is funded by governments and attended by their suppliers, the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers. Yet they are barring entry to media which they deem may not be good for the show.
        You know there’s a problem in media in this country when the same guy, Philip Smart, doing the PR for weapons charity AMDA is the same guy blocking our reporter Callum Foote from attending the weapons fair and the very same guy writing the big splash for Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian (unpaywalled) about how Land Forces is bigger and better than ever!

      • MeduzaElon Musk says Russia is ‘trying to kill’ Starlink — Meduza

        Head of SpaceX Elon Musk says that the Starlink satellite Internet system is the only communications system still functioning in the combat zone in Ukraine. According to him, the Russian military is “trying to kill” Starlink at the front.

      • MeduzaShelling in Belgorod causes fire in oil depot — Meduza

        An oil depot in the Belgorod region is on fire following shelling, reports regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

      • Meduza11 are shot at Belgorod training ground — Meduza

        The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that “two citizens of another CIS country” committed “an act of terrorism” at a Belgorod military training ground, killing 11 and injuring another 15. The attackers were killed. According to the official report, cited by Interfax, the incident occurred during shooting lessons for volunteers who had decided to go to war.

      • MeduzaFour conscripts from Krasnoyarsk killed in Ukraine — Meduza

        Three conscripts from the city of Minusinsk and one from the nearby village of Zelyony Bor were killed in Ukraine. Vlast Truda, the region’s official publication, reported the deaths, and the Taiga.info Telegram channel called attention to the report.

      • MeduzaA military commissar in Primorye has died in a possible suicide — Meduza

        Roman Malyk, military commissar for the city of Partizansk in the Russian Far East, who was responsible for mobilization and enlistment in the region, died in the evening of October 14. The Partizansk city administration reported the death on Russian social media network VKontakte.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Interesting EngineeringWorld’s first fusion reactor will be open in UK by 2040

          The UK Government has committed to operationalizing the world’s first commercial nuclear fusion reactor by 2040. Once complete, the facility (which in theory could offer virtually infinite clean energy) will be constructed in West Burton, Nottinghamshire.

          If successful, this would be very fitting for a nation that produced the world’s first commercial nuclear fission reactor in the 1950s.

          The announcement comes after the UK’s Business secretary Jacob Rees Mogg disclosed the location at the UK Conservative Party Conference on Monday.

          “The plant will be the first of its kind, built by 2040 and capable of putting energy on the grid,” he announced.

        • Common DreamsOpinion | The Myth of ‘Clean Coal’: Power for Southern People Not Southern Company

          The project was an ambitious one: in 2010, construction began on the Kemper Power Plant, touted as the pinnacle of the movement to bring “clean coal” to America. The plant, which was intended to be the largest of its kind, and to serve as a proof-of-concept for future plants to follow, would spend the next eleven years trying and failing to become operational, while the monopoly that owned it, Southern Power, fobbed the costs of its ill-conceived venture off on the residents of Kemper County. Despite the fact that the plant never provided clean-coal power to a single person, local people saw their utility bills go up and up as the years wore on–until one day, the plant itself went down.

    • Finance

      • DecryptNew Tool Shows Just How Much Users Lost in Celsius Bankruptcy – Decrypt

        A new tool now lets anyone see just how much money some users have lost after the troubled crypto lender filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.

      • John GruberCelsius Bankruptcy Leaderboard

        I’ve been telling everyone for years that Celsius is no good, but this cryptocurrency scam makes the temperature scale seem OK.

      • John GruberLayoffs at Sketch

        That’s about one-third of their headcount, from my understanding. I sure am rooting for Sketch — it’s a such a great product. But it’s obviously tough right now in an ever more Figma-dominated world.

      • ACMFSOC Warns Crypto is Possible Systemic Risk

        Top U.S. banking and markets regulators on Monday warned that the crypto industry could pose a major risk to the financial system if lawmakers and agencies don’t act soon to set ground rules.

        The Financial Stability Oversight Council — a Treasury-led panel of top officials from the Federal Reserve, SEC and other agencies — released a 120-page reportthat identified a wide range of regulatory gaps and market risks affecting everything from Bitcoin trading platforms and stablecoins to consumer protection and cyberattacks.

      • Pro PublicaHow a Secret Rent Algorithm Pushes Rents Higher

        “Never before have we seen these numbers,” said Jay Parsons, a vice president of RealPage, as conventiongoers wandered by. Apartment rents had recently shot up by as much as 14.5%, he said in a video touting the company’s services. Turning to his colleague, Parsons asked: What role had the software played?

      • Common DreamsOpinion | ‘The Rent Is Too Damn High’: Activists Respond to the US Housing Crisis

        Apryl Lewis is in a housing fight—again. This time, she is pushing to keep dozens of families from being put out of a Charlotte extended-stay motel that is scheduled to be shut down in a matter of weeks. Such motels cost as much as $500 each week, expensive compared to long-term housing. But many of these families are living paycheck-to-paycheck or on fixed incomes, and have no other option.

      • MeduzaPutin authorizes the Central Bank to permit foreign currency exports — Meduza

        The Central Bank of Russia is now allowed to authorize the export of foreign currency in amounts greater than $10,000, according to a decree signed by President Putin.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Washington TimesChinese police post U.S. sites to coerce nationals

        The Justice Department is prosecuting several cases of Chinese officials charged with illegal harassment of dissidents in the United States.

        “These operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity in third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods,” the report states.

        The Chinese call their overseas police operations “110 Overseas” after the national emergency telephone number. At least 54 of the police “overseas service stations” were identified in 30 nations on five continents. Most are in Europe.

        The report identifies one Chinese service station in New York and three in Canada that the report says are used to support Chinese activities targeting overseas Chinese under the euphemism “persuasion to return.”

      • TechdirtKentucky Judge Streisands Story About Him Failing To Wear Pants At Work Into Wide Coverage

        For obvious reasons, we’ve covered a metric ton of Streisand Effect stories here at Techdirt over the years, but I honestly didn’t think we’d get to one about a judge not wearing pants. Yet, unfortunately, here we are.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • BBCIran protests: Fury over police sex assault video

        A video of anti-riot forces in Iran sexually assaulting a female protester whilst trying to arrest her has provoked fury on social media.

        Users voiced outrage, with many calling for “justice” and the resignation of the police chief. Some pro-government users also condemned the perpetrators.

        Despite blocks on some social media tools, Iranians are still managing to share powerful images of the protests.

      • BBCIran: Video shows forces shooting fleeing people from truck

        The number of fatalities or casualties is hard to verify since the BBC and other independent media are banned from reporting from inside Iran. Authorities have also heavily disrupted the internet.

        Norway-based Iran Human Rights organisation put the death toll at 201, including 23 children, as of Wednesday, though the true figure is believed to be higher.

        The protests are the biggest since the inception of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and are seen as a major challenge to the regime.

      • New York Times‘It Was a Massacre’: How Security Forces Cracked Down in Southeastern Iran

        Some of the wounded tried to crawl away to escape the gunfire. Others bled to death on prayer mats as people tried to drag them to safety.

        But the snipers and officers kept pulling their triggers, firing bullet after bullet into men and young boys at a worship area where Friday Prayer had been underway.

      • MEMRIPalestinian Islamic Scholar Sheikh Yousef Makharzah: In Islam, A Rebellious Wife May Be Beaten By Her Husband; If You Don’t Beat Your Wife, She May End Up Beating You

        Palestinian Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousef Makharzah, who is affiliated with Hizb ut-Tahrir, said in a sermon that was aired on Al-Waqiyah TV (Hizb ut-Tahrir) on September 28, 2022, that wives who rebel against their husbands should be “disciplined” by being beaten in a “deterring” fashion. He gave the example of a woman who leaves her home in a forbidden fashion without notifying her husband, explaining that her husband must first lecture her about what she did wrong, and then sleep separately from her if she does not listen, but that if this is not effective, he should beat her. He bemoaned the fact that Muslims have been “borrowing” from Western culture, and he criticized America for claiming to champion women’s rights and human rights even though it deliberately annihilated millions of Native Americans. In addition, in a reference to the recent civil unrest in Iran after an Iranian woman died after being beaten by Iran’s morality police for improperly wearing her headscarf, he criticized the U.S. for “punishing” Iran for killing a woman who went out in public “naked.” Moreover, Sheikh Makharzah warned that if men do not beat their wives, they may end up being beaten by their wives.

      • ME ForumGermany Refuses Asylum for Muslim Apostate who Faces Death in Iran

        The same Germany that took in over a million Muslim migrants in 2015 and ten thousand non-vetted Afghans in 2021 — all people who, by definition, could not be experiencing religious persecution back home as they themselves are Muslim — has refused asylum to a Muslim convert to Christianity, even though one of his relatives was tortured and murdered for the same “crime” of apostasy in his native Iran.

      • New York TimesApple Store in Oklahoma City Becomes Second to Unionize

        Apple employees at a store in Oklahoma City have voted to unionize, becoming the second of the company’s roughly 270 U.S. retail stores to do so.

        The result, announced by the National Labor Relations Board on Friday night, suggests that an initial victory by a union at a store in Towson, Md., in June was not an isolated development in an organizing campaign that dates back to last year.

      • Common Dreams‘We Won!’: Workers Vote to Become Second Unionized US Apple Store

        Citing a preliminary tally from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), CNN reported that 88 of 95 workers at the Penn Square Mall store weighed in, and 56 of them—or 64%—voted to be represented by Communication Workers of America (CWA).

      • TruthOutApple Workers in Oklahoma City Vote to Unionize Second US Store
      • TruthOutRailroad Workers Reject Deal: “Our Demands Have Not Been Met”
      • TruthOutVoter ID Laws Will Make It Harder for Trans People to Vote in the Midterms
    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakPirate Sites That Rip-Off Other Pirate Sites’ Branding Are About to Regret It

          Sites like The Pirate Bay are recognized for their unique branding but in today’s pirate streaming sector, individuality can mean copying a successful site and buying the closest possible domain. Countering ISP blocking is a driving force but opportunists are also putting Coke labels on cheap, generic cola. Thanks to the High Court in London, pirating other pirates ends in site blocking.

        • Torrent FreakFilmmakers’ Repeat Infringer Lawsuit Against ISP RCN Can Move Forward

          RCN’s request to dismiss a piracy liability lawsuit filed by several filmmakers has been denied by a New Jersey federal court. The movie companies accuse the ISP, operating under the Astound brand, of turning a blind eye to copyright infringers. The plaintiffs’ application for a dedicated site-blocking injunction was also denied.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Niemann sucks, but Chess.com and Magnus are the real villains

        This is belated and somewhat untimely since this is weeks-old news at this point, but I’ve been meaning to post more here and I’ve been thinking about this as I try to improve at chess.

        The whole controversy over Hans Niemann’s cheating is ridiculous. Niemann is a little shit, but the true villains here are Chess.com and to a lesser degree, Magnus.

    • Technical

      • Science

        • Rare Electrical Recordings of the Human Brain Give Detailed Picture of Neural Activity

          An international research team of scientists has captured human neural activity in unprecedented detail by using medical data in ways to better understand how the brain works in the processing of visuals.
          “Because what we see, and our responses to it, are continuously changing, it is challenging to understand how the brain works when taking in new information and then in processing it,” says Jonathan Winawer, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at New York University and the senior author of the paper, which appears in the Journal of Neuroscience. “This work helps us more deeply appreciate the dynamics of our neural responses to visual images and in ways that can inform future research.”
          The human brain is a vastly complex organ that is dynamic in ways beyond our current understanding. This is especially true when it comes to its activity in the processing of visuals— viewing a simple, static image on a screen unleashes a vast network of neural activity in our brains.
          However, developing a robust understanding of these processes requires invasive techniques not typically used with human subjects. Rather, such studies typically measure brain activity using fMRI, MEG, or EEG scanners—methods that only scratch the surface of the complexity of neural operations.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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  • email

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Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. All of Microsoft's Strategic Areas Have Layoffs This Year

    Microsoft’s supposedly strategic/future areas — gaming (trying to debt-load or offload debt to other companies), so-called ‘security’, “clown computing” (Azure), and “Hey Hi” (chaffbots etc.) — have all had layoffs this year; it’s clear that the company is having a serious existential crisis in spite of Trump’s and Biden’s bailouts (a wave of layoffs every month this year) and is just bluffing/stuffing the media with chaffbots cruft (puff pieces/misinformation) to keep shareholders distracted, asking them for patience and faking demand for the chaffbots (whilst laying off Bing staff, too)

  2. Links 28/03/2023: Pitivi 2023.03 is Out, Yet More Microsoft Layoffs (Now in Israel)

    Links for the day

  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 27, 2023

  4. Links 27/03/2023: GnuCash 5.0 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Phones

    Links for the day

  5. Links 27/03/2023: Twitter Source Code Published (But Not Intentionally)

    Links for the day

  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 26, 2023

  7. Links 26/03/2023: OpenMandriva ROME 23.03, Texinfo 7.0.3, and KBibTeX 0.10.0

    Links for the day

  8. The World Wide Web is a Cesspit of Misinformation. Let's Do Something About It.

    It would be nice to make the Web a safer space for information and accuracy (actual facts) rather than a “Safe Space” for oversensitive companies and powerful people who cannot tolerate criticism; The Web needs to become more like today's Gemini, free of corporate influence and all other forms of covert nuisance

  9. Ryan Farmer: I’m Back After WordPress.com Deleted My Blog Over the Weekend

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  10. Civil Liberties Threatened Online and Offline

    A “society of sheeple” (a term used by Richard Stallman last week in his speech) is being “herded” online and offline; the video covers examples both online and offline, the latter being absence of ATMs or lack of properly-functioning ATMs (a growing problem lately, at least where I live)

  11. Techrights Develops Free Software to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff

    In order to separate the wheat from the chaff we’ve been working on simple, modular tools that process news and help curate the Web, basically removing the noise to squeeze out the signal

  12. Links 26/03/2023: MidnightBSD 3.0 and FreeBSD 13.2 RC4

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 25, 2023

  14. Links 26/03/2023: More TikTok Bans

    Links for the day

  15. Links 25/03/2023: Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law) is Dead

    Links for the day

  16. Links 25/03/2023: Decade of Docker, Azure Broken Again

    Links for the day

  17. [Meme] Money Deducted in Payslips, But Nothing in Pensions

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has stolen money from staff (in secret)

  18. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

    IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

  19. The Corporate Media is Not Reporting Large-Scale Microsoft Layoffs (Too Busy With Chaffbot Puff Pieces), Leaks Required to Prove That More Layoffs Are Happening

    Just as we noted days ago, there are yet more Microsoft layoffs, but the mainstream media gets bribed to go “gaga” over vapourware and chaffbots (making chaff like “Bill Gates Says” pieces) instead of reporting actual news about Microsoft

  20. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: Time to Issue a Warrant of Arrest and Extradite the Fake 'Founder' of Sirius

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is collapsing, but that does not mean that it can dodge accountability for crimes (e.g. money that it silently stole from its staff since at least 12 years ago)

  21. Links 24/03/2023: Microsoft's Fall on the Web and Many New Videos

    Links for the day

  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 23, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 23, 2023

  23. Links 24/03/2023: Social Control Media Bans Advancing

    Links for the day

  24. Links 24/03/2023: GNU Grep 3.10 and Microsoft Accenture in a Freefall

    Links for the day

  25. Links 23/03/2023: RSS Guard 4.3.3 and OpenBSD Webzine

    Links for the day

  26. Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 - Charting the Course

    Article by Marcia K Wilbur

  27. [Meme] Grabinski the Opportunity

    Reports of European Patents being invalidated (judges do not tolerate fake patents) have become so common that a kangaroo court becomes a matter of urgency for the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; will the EU and the EPO’s Administrative Council go along with it, helping to cover up more than a decade of profound corruption?

  28. Union Syndicale Fédérale Cautions the EPO's Administrative Council About Initiating an Illegal Kangaroo Court System for Patents (UPC) While EPO Breaks Laws and Sponsors the Ukraine Invasion

    Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF) is once again speaking out in support of the staff union of Europe's second-largest institution, which lacks oversight and governance because of profound corruption and regulatory capture

  29. Investigation Underway: Sirius 'Open Source' Embezzled/Stole Money, Robbed Its Own Staff

    In light of new developments and some progress in an investigation of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (for fraud!) we take stock of where things stand

  30. [Meme] Sirius 'Open Source' Pensions: Schemes or Scams? Giving a Bad Name to Open Source...

    What Sirius ‘Open Source’ did to its staff is rightly treated as a criminal matter; we know who the perpetrators are

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