[Meme] EPO Privacy Please, But Only for EPO Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A little privacy... PLEASE! This is the EPO, the people who break the law deserve secrecy

Summary: When Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos speak of EPO “privacy” they don’t speak of staff whose privacy they violate; they misuse the concept of 'privacy' to cover up corruption and misconduct

Privacy Law Isn’t Meant to Protect EPO Management From Prosecution/Accountability

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 93aae076d331e004afa0e3191e017157
EPO Hiding Abuse Under Guise of Privacy
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The big EPO scandal of the year — namely denying communication between staff and the representatives — is far from resolved and it seems like it’ll be dragged on for another year, reaffirming accusations that the EPO not only breaks the law but also refuses to obey court orders when the actions are deemed illegal

THE subject of the above video and of this post may seem old as the problem has been going on for months already. The “f**king president” António Campinos (he is calling himself “the f**king president”) won’t budge; he ignores the court’s ruling and tries to spin his strategy as a compliance with the ruling, in effect covering up for Benoît Battistelli, who gave him the job.

As promised when recording the above video (always done prior to writing the text), here are the previously-unseen communications on the matter. The staff representatives added some more documents for context. The Central Staff Committee wrote:

Execution of Judgment No. 4551 (mass emails): Additional constraints without legal basis

Dear colleagues,

In a letter of 30 September 2022, the President alleges that the Office is committed to executing Judgment No. 4551 of the Tribunal as swiftly and comprehensively as possible. Almost four months after the judgment, the Staff Committees are still waiting for its execution. The President has decided to maintain the limit of the number of email recipients to 50 and to add a “new feature” as a precondition for executing the judgment, i.e. to introduce a right for staff to unsubscribe from the CSC mailing lists. He tries to justify the additional constraint imposed on the CSC (and the LSCs) with the right to privacy and data protection.

The Data Protection Officer supports the “new feature” in her opinion of 15 September. For our part, we regret that her independence has led her to ignore the judgment and depart from the letter and spirit of the Service Regulations and the Data Protection Rules.

With this open letter, we hope that the President will finally understand why a right for staff to freely unsubscribe from job-related emails has no legal basis or justification whatsoever and we reiterate the demand made in two previous letters (letter of 28 July and letter of 6 September) for the immediate execution of Judgment No. 4551. Our standpoint was also expressed in this letter of 21 October following a meeting with the administration on the topic.

6 documents are referenced there.

First of all, it seems clear that the so-called ‘privacy’ expert of the Office uses Microsoft Office — in itself part of the EPO's surveillance blunder. This was written using Microsoft Word (likely GDPR violation) by “Data Protection Officer” (so-called) and “Digitally signed by” Microsoft “Mariya KOLEVA”. It’s the person whose job is to cover up the EPO’s severe privacy abuses, which we covered before (it led to legal challenges and investigations, then a bunch of PR charades from the EPO). They work very hard to avoid compliance rather than attain compliance.

The September letter from staff was covered in this video at the time. An additional letter (from July) had been covered in this video back in August.

That leaves us with just 3 letters to share, starting with Campinos in September:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr Alain Dumont
Chair of the Central Staff Committee

By email to: centalstcom@epo.org

Date: 30.09.2022

Your letters dated 28 July and 6 September 2022

Dear Mr Chair,

Reference is made to your letters dated 28 July and 06 September 2022 regarding the execution of ILOAT J. No. 4551 on mass emails. In this letter, you demand the judgment to be immediately executed and contend that there are no legal or technical requirements preventing such immediate execution.

As you know, the Office is committed to executing the judgments of the Tribunal as swifly and comprehensively as possible, and to draw all consequences from its findings. In the case at hand, this concretely means that the ban on mass emails is to be lifted and that the Staff Committees will now have the possibility to send emails to more than 50 recipients without prior authorisation.

However, as already explained in a letter dated 22 July 2022 and during our meeting on 25 July 2022, there are aspects which need to be addressed before this possibility becomes feasible. The formal opinion of the DPO was therefore sought in relation to the option for staff to unsubscribe from the relevant mailing lists and the changes needed to the Staff Committee’s data protection statement.

First, on the possibility for staff to unsubscribe, there was indeed no such requirement under the previous rules. However, and as explained by the DPO in a formal opinion dated 15 September 2022 (enclosed to this letter), with the adoption of the DPR and the inclusion of Art. 1b in the Service Regulations on 1 January 2022, additional safeguards and rules have been put in place to protect the employees’ right to privacy and the processing of their personal data.

The possibility to unsubscribe will guarantee that staff remain in control of their personal data without limiting the right to free communication and speech of the Staff Committees. In other words, the Staff Committees and other entities will be able to send mass emails, while employees will be given the possibility not to have their email address used for this purpose if they do not wish to, in accordance with the right to privacy and data protection.

This new feature means that separate mailing lists will have to be administered for each entity concerned and it is foreseen that a third-party application will be procured, in order for the maintenance of these lists to be fully automated. The necessary tool will be put in place by 1 November 2022 and staff representatives will be offered training on the use of the tool within this timeframe, should they wish to.

Second, although the Staff Committes will not collect and store personal data while using the mailing lists to send mass emails, using that data for the specific purpose of sending emails constitutes processing. The Data Protection Statement which the Chairs of the CSC and LSCs are currently preparing with the support of the DPO should therefore include the use of the relevant mailing lists for the purpose of sending emails.

Finally, it should be noted that Communiqué No. 10 of 29 March 2006 has been superseded by Circular No. 382 and its contents integrated therein. Both this Circular and the general guidelines on mass emails will have to be slightly amended notably to reflect data protection requirements.

The Office trusts the above will shed some light on the steps which still need to be taken before the Staff Committees can effectively start sending mass emails to the staff. A meeting will in any case be organised with PD08 and DPO to keep you updated on the matter and address any question you may have.

Yours sincerely,

António Campinos

Encl.: Formal opinion of the DPO dated 15 September 2022

“Formal opinion of the DPO” as in wasting EPO money coming up with excuses to not obey court rulings. A friend of Campinos gets that money. Quite frankly as usual…

Here are two replies from the staff representatives, starting with the 21st of October:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr Laurent Germond (PD Employment
Law and Social Dialogue)
Mr Diego Eguidazu Alonso (CIO)
Ms Mariya Koleva (DPO)

By email

Reference: sc22129cl
Date: 21/10/2022

Meeting of 19-10-2022 titled “Meeting on the implementation of J. 4551”

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for the meeting of 19 October 2022.

Our participants sat together to summarise the main points as they were understood in the meeting. According to our understanding:

On data protection

- The Data Protection Officer confirmed her position that staff representation is considered as performing “direct marketing” (Article 37(2) DPR) when sending emails, from which staff members must be given the possibility to unsubscribe.
- The solution chosen by the administration will involve a third-party provider using a commercial software tool;
- The CSC and each LSC will be the delegated controller for using the third-party provider. Each committee needs to have an agreed data protection statement governing its use of the third-party provider. This documentation needs to be finalised and approved before using the third-party provider;
- The third-party provider will be the processor responsible for sending a requested mass email;
- BIT staff – the same team currently handling the EPO email system – will also be processor by providing the third-party provider with the email addresses of new colleagues joining the EPO in order to have them added to the list(s). Similarly, BIT staff will communicate the email addresses of colleagues terminating service at the EPO to have them removed from these lists;
- No benchmark was carried out by the administration towards other International Organisation (IO), as their Data Protection rules are different. The administration stated that some IOs have an ‘unsubscribe’ option, some do not; that some do permit mass email to staff and some do not (no specific names of other IOs were mentioned in either cases);
- The same system may be applied to all statutory bodies and the Amicale whenever they desire to make use of the third-party mass-email provider. Discussions to this effect are taking place with the Amicale;
- The administration aims to have this system in place by the 1st of November;
- The administration confirmed that the 50-recipient limit will remain in the EPO email system;

On the technicalities

- The handling of staff actively unsubscribing or resubscribing is done by the third-party provider.
- Neither staff representation nor the administration shall be aware of the content of the mailing-lists stored by the third-party provider;
- Specific aliases will be set up for the CSC and each LSC.
- Only whitelisted email accounts can send an email request for mass email distribution to this(ese) specific alias(es). The CSC and each respective LSC will decide which (individual) email accounts and/or the (xxx)stcom email account shall be whitelisted;
- The format and content of the email shall remain unmodified by the third-party provider and are entirely the responsibility of the staff committee/staff representative sending;
- The third-party provider automatically injects a footer containing a link to the data protection statement governing the use of the third-party provider and a link permitting staff to unsubscribe;
- Communications from staff representation could include a link to re-subscribe for staff that unsubscribed from the mass mails;
- The administration has decided to limit the number of authorised attachments to one only. The system will not allow multiple attachments; links to documents/publications should be used instead.
- Inline images (e.g. logos) may be possible, details on size limitations will be communicated once the tool is known;
- It is still not yet clear if and how staff committees will be able to receive single identifiable answers from EPO employees who received an email from the third-party provider;
- There is no final agreement yet on the third-party provider, so the details of the system that will be put in place are not entirely known yet and shall be communicated as soon as the agreement with the provider is concluded;
- At present, it is foreseen to have a central list (all staff), and then a list per place of employment (Munich, The Hague, Vienna and Berlin). Further segmentation (e.g. staff per DG, or staff in Haar or Brussels) is presently not foreseen. Requests to this effect should be brought forward to the DPO but staff representation is asked to take care not to have too many different lists setup;
- Rather than segmenting, the administration suggested to e.g. start an email with a sentence to this effect “This email is specifically relevant for staff in xxx” – which would allow other staff to decide whether or not to read further;
- There is currently no provision for a ‘mail merge’ system – not in place at the EPO for any service at present. Should this be needed (e.g. for setting up a survey which sends an individualised email to each account), then a specific request to this effect needs to be made. This is considered as falling outside of the remit of mass emails;


- The Service Regulations including Circular 382 will be adapted. It is in preparation for the agenda for the GCC of 22 November, and shall be in place before the end of 2022. Principles of the necessary amendments are known and should not be blocking the implementation of the chosen solution;
- Once the provider has been chosen, the details and limitations of the system shall be shared on e.g. handling of answers, limitations to (inline) images, technical documentation;
- The possibility to segment/target emails needs to be elaborated upon;
- Each committee is requested to have an approved data protection statement in place before the system can be put in operation;
- The PowerPoint presentation that was given at the start of the meeting will be shared with the participants.

The CSC standpoint

The Office has obviously not yet finalised its proposal for a solution. However, we fail to see how it could be considered an implementation of Judgment 4551, in which the Tribunal recalled (considerations 10 and 12) that freedom of communication implies the right to freely choose the means by which communications are sent to all staff.

The meeting was nevertheless useful in that it reveals some concrete features of the “solution” that the Office contemplates to implement the Judgment, as announced in the President’s letter of 30 September 2022. It is our duty to stress that it relies on the wrong assumption that the CSC would send emails to staff “for marketing purposes”. On the contrary, the CSC insists that sending emails is a task carried out in the exercise of the official activities of a statutory body of the EPO, which is therefore lawful without any need for an “unsubscribe” constraint imposed by the administration.

In conclusion, the implementation presented in the meeting is incompatible with the ruling of the Tribunal.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont

Chairman of the Central Staff Committee
.cc Mr António Campinos, President of the EPO

About a week later another letter was sent:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

By email


Reference: sc22130cl
Date: 28/10/2022

Demand for immediate execution of Judgment No.4551 (emails)

Dear Mr President,

In your letter of 30 September 2022, you allege that the Office is committed to executing Judgment No. 4551 of the Tribunal as swiftly and comprehensively as possible. Almost four months after the judgment, the Staff Committees are still waiting for its execution, i.e. restauration of the status quo ante as in Communiqué No. 10 of 29 March 2006, as ruled by the Tribunal.

It appears that you decided to maintain the limit of the number of email recipients to 50 and to add a “new feature” as a precondition for executing the judgment, i.e. to introduce a right for staff to unsubscribe from the relevant mailing lists. You try to justify the additional constraint imposed on the CSC with the right to privacy and data protection.

Official activities and the right to object

We note that you obviously chose to not invoke data protection and respect for private life before the ILOAT, so that there is actually no place for additional privacy pleadings at this stage. Nevertheless, we note the following:

• The CSC1 is not just an entity “like other entities”: it is a statutory body2 performing the functions assigned to it in Chapter of the Service Regulations3. They mainly consist in representing the interests of all staff and contributing to the smooth running of the service by providing a channel for the expression of opinion by the staff. The duties undertaken by its members are deemed to be part of their normal service and you must grant them the resources and facilities required to exercise their functions. Consequently, there can be no doubt that using official email addresses (…@epo.org) of employees for communicating with them is a processing for an official activity4.

1 The same applies to the four Local Staff Committees.
2 See Article 2(1) ServRegs.
3 See in particular Article 34 ServRegs.
4 The Data Protection Officer admits to this in her opinion, on page 5.

• The Service Regulations already contain provisions to protect fundamental rights and freedoms as well as personal data of employees in the course of their official activities, by giving them the right to object to the processing of any personal data relating to their particular situation5. This right, as currently codified, guarantees the balance of fundamental rights, including the right to privacy. We are committed to respecting this essential right like any other statutory body. However, obliging us to give employees an additional right not to have their official email address (…@epo.org) used if “they do not wish” to receive our emails (regardless of any particular individual situation) is an additional right different from the statutory right to object. It imposes on us an unnecessary and abusive precondition and therefore violates our right to freely choose the means by which communications are sent to all staff, as confirmed in the judgment6. In short, there is no need and no legal basis for any additional limitation on our right to communicate.

On 19 October, your administration has convened us to a meeting and disclosed their proposal, which is essentially to hire an external service provider managing distribution lists without us knowing how the lists will look like. Again, they mispresented the right to unsubscribe as subsumed under the right to object. We have already informed them that the implementation presented in the meeting was incompatible with the ruling of the Tribunal7.

The Data Protection Officer’s opinion
You have sought the formal opinion of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) on two questions. We regret that her independence has led her to ignore the judgment and depart from the letter and spirit of the Service Regulations and the Data Protection Rules (DPR):

Question a: would a mass email sent to staff without any possibility for them
to unsubscribe comply with the EPO data protection framework?

The DPO does not answer the question with a clear “no”. Instead, she recommends that the way to balance the fundamental rights of data subjects to privacy and data protection with the fundamental right of freedom of speech would be to foresee an opt-out alternative because “the purpose and objective to inform the data subjects can be effectively accomplished using another less intrusive option (a different channel to

5 See Article 1b(5) ServRegs: “Where personal data might lawfully be processed because processing is necessary to carry out tasks in the exercise of the official activities of the European Patent Organisation…, a data subject shall nevertheless be entitled to object to the processing of any personal data relating to his or her particular situation. It should be for the controller to demonstrate that its compelling legitimate interest overrides the interests or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject.” [emphasis added]. See also its implementing Article 23(1) DPR.
6 See considerations 10 and 12 in the judgment.
7 See our letter (sc22129cl) of 21 October 2022.

inform), namely by publishing the communications on a dedicated page on intranet.” This is in clear contradiction with the judgment8.

Question b: would a mass email sent to staff with an unsubscription option made available to them comply with the EPO data protection framework?
In her three-line answer, the DPO associates an additional right to unsubscribe to the right to object. This contradicts the letter and the spirit of Article 1b(5) ServRegs and Article 5.a. DPR, according to which processing of email addresses for official activities is a priori lawful without that additional right comparable to free consent in accordance with Article 5.d.DPR. It also makes communication by email entirely dependent on the wish of employees.

Wider-ranging consequences

For reasons of equal treatment, the DPO recommends extending the additional right to unsubscribe also to communications coming from other statutory bodies9. Since a right to unsubscribe would belong to every employee as a data subject, there would be no legal basis for refusing this right to any recipient of any email sent for an official purpose, regardless of the number of simultaneous recipients. This would make job-related communication by email dysfunctional.


We therefore reiterate the demand made in two previous letters for the immediate execution of Judgment No. 4551, in its entirety and without any additional obstacles, which have no legal basis or justification whatsoever.

Sincerely yours,


Yours sincerely,
Alain Dumont

Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

8 See consideration 12 in the judgment: “… In the present case, the alternative means offered by the Organisation consisted in an intranet webpage on the Organisation’s website. This is, manifestly, a less viable means of communication and, moreover, it is under the supervision and the management of the Organisation, and not under the complete control by and availability for the staff representatives”.
9 As in Article 2 ServRegs: for instance the GCC, the Appeals Committee, the Data Protection Board…

As a quick recap, this “data protection” charade of the EPO was introduced to cover up severe privacy violations by the EPO and that same charade is now being used to cover up the abuse. They try to have it both ways.

Don’t Move From Twitter and Facebook to Something Similar — Even If Free/Decentralised/Federated — When You Can Just Dump All Social Control Media (Altogether)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 52002037f73bde37b6bacd15d76640da
Quit the Unsocial Mess
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The demise of Twitter and Facebook (the “big two”, predating TikTok from China) is truly great news; but if there’s a lesson to be learned, it is that this very modality — or the general paradigm — is flawed because it favours misinformation and is designed to waste people’s time (so-called ‘engagement’), forming unhealthy behaviour over time (e.g. addictions through ‘gamification’ if not mild OCD)

THE latest Daily Links contain lots about the fast demise of Twitter (and Mastodon’s growth) — a subject covered by Ryan as well. The same happens in Facebook, where layoffs are about to be announced, so the subject is very current and relevant. I correctly predicted this earlier this year, focusing more on Twitter than Facebook. The latter had more of a business model.

In the video above I compare Muskville to 'Leenode' and speaking from my own personal experience, I strongly suggest abandoning all those so-called ‘social’ media [sic] sites. None of them are worth the trouble, even if they’re self-hosted (better to just self-host a Gemini capsule). I’m feeling vastly more liberated (the health and the mind improve a lot) since leaving all that behind and it seems like others do the same. Our Gemini capsule is attracting many visits this month. It’s far more rewarding a better use of time than any of that “social” nonsense.

Links 07/11/2022: Mastodon Growing Very Fast

Posted in News Roundup at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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        No, I’m talking about major attacks on knowledge work within 5 years, with something like 50% to 80% of knowledge work is doable by AI within 8-15 years. Whether it will be done by AI that’s another story, but the capabilities will be there.

      • [Old] MediumEmbedded ML for All Developers

        Now the age of tinyML has come — we can already run meaningful ML inference on Cortex-M equivalent hardware. Rapid improvements in modern 32-bit MCU compute power efficiency and math capabilities (FPU, vector extensions), together with advancements in neural operators, architecture and quantization along with better open source tooling like TensorFlow Lite Micro are making this possible. For example, we recently built a complete DSP, Anomaly Detection and NN classifier for complex events on real-time 3-axis accelerometer data in software on a standard Cortex-M4 in just 6.6 kB of RAM and 20 kB of Flash. We are experiencing the start of what I call the “3rd wave of embedded compute.”

      • AntirezIn defense of linked lists

        So, get ready to read a sentimental post about a data structure, and don’t tell I didn’t warn you.

        Linked lists are educational. When your teacher, or the page of a book, or anything that exposes you for the first time to linked lists shows you this little circle with an arrow pointing to another circle, something immense happens in your mind. Similar to what happens when you understand recursion for the first time. You get what data structures made of links truly are: the triviality of a single node that becomes a lot more powerful and complex once it references another one. Linked lists show the new programmer fundamental things about space and time in computation: how it is possible to add elements in a constant time, and how order is fundamentally costly, because if you want to insert an element “in place” you have to go from one node to the other. You immediately start thinking of ways to speed up the process (preparing you for the next things), and at the same time you understand, deeply, what O(1) and O(N) really mean.

      • [Old] Stargirl FlowersWe need to talk about GitHub

        Have a seat and make yourself comfortable, we’re gonna talk about GitHub. Yes, GitHub. And I’m not referring to the ICE Contract, the performative activism, the fleeing of their women senior engineers, or the other litany of accusations against the company. I want to talk about the idea of GitHub.

        And for that matter – I want to talk about the idea of SourceForge, Google Code, BitBucket, GitLab, etc. The entire concept of a single, centralized project & repository hosting service is fundamentally at odds with the health and longevity of the open source community.

      • Francesco MazzoliThe essence of Reed-Solomon coding

        Reed-Solmon coding gives us much more flexibility, allowing us to store our data over n = k + t drives, so that any t drives can fail while still not losing data.2

      • JoinupInterview: Dr Luis Falcon, GNU Health, free software in healthcare

        Dr Luis Falcon is a medical doctor and computer scientist. He combines these skills to work on GNU Health to bring free software / open source to the healthcare sector. He spoke with us about progress, ongoing problems and an upcoming event.

        Ciarán O’Riordan: You’re working on free software / open source for the health sector. Is the health sector lagging behind?

      • Python

        • [Old] Stargirl FlowersUsing Python to vectorize artwork for PCBs

          In this article, I want to talk about just one approach for converting artwork for PCBs- Image tracing, sometimes called raster-to-vector conversion. This process takes a raster image (such a png) and converts it into a list of polygons. This article will show how I used Python to glue together a few clever libraries to build gingerbread.trace, a tool for converting images into KiCAD footprints.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchThe Hollow People

      The gold aside, what a horror to read that the thorny symbol of a God’s defilement had almost been lost in a fire caused by a carelessly flicked Gauloise. I had to hold my heart to think. Here, in the form and function of Our Lady, was an example of the true Gothic, now in flames, her Towers almost falling, but miraculously stayed and steadied and fortified.  O all the sighs, farts, benedictions, liturgies, vows and eulogies — all the suspirations gathered in its chambers of awe-inspiring horror married to beauty, released to the outer, unshriven atmosphere of Nature, lost forever.

      John Ruskin, with eye of a god and the expression of an archangel, captured the essence of its aesthetic in The Nature of Gothic from The Stones of Venice, when he wrote:

    • Telex (Hungary)Several more Hungarian restaurants receive Michelin stars
    • HackadayMini Ultrasonic Levitation Kit Is An Exercise In Sound Minimalist Design

      For those that haven’t heard, ultrasonic levitation is a process by which two or more ultrasonic transducers are set opposite to each other and excited in such a way as to create a standing wave between them. The sound is, as the name implies, ultrasonic — so outside the range of human hearing — but strong enough so that the small, light objects can be positioned and held fixed in mid-air where there’s a pressure minimum in the standing wave. [Olimex] has created a small ultrasonic levitation kit that exemplifies this phenomena.

    • ScheerpostThe Burden of Proof
    • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: Why Is The New York Times Still Hyping ‘Russiagate’?

      Veteran foreign correspondent Patrick Lawrence takes issue with this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.

    • HackadayRope Core Drum Machine

      One of our favorite musical hackers, [Look Mum No Computer] is getting dangerously close to building a computer. His quest was to create a unique drum machine, inspired by a Soviet auto-dialer that used rope core memory for number storage. Rope memory is the read-only sibling to magnetic core memory, the memory technology used to build some beloved computers back in the 60s and early 70s. Rope core isn’t programmed by magnetizing the ceramic donuts, but by weaving a wire through them. And when [Look Mum] saw the auto-dialer using the technology for a user-programmable interface, naturally, he just had to build a synth sequencer.

    • Science

      • Eesti RahvusringhäälingFour new seismic stations to be placed across Estonia

        The equipment will be used to record and analyze seismic events in Estonia and surrounding regions.

        In addition to the Särghaua Earth Science Center in the village of Kurgja, Pärnu County, three more stations will be set up across Estonia.

    • Hardware

      • Didier StevensQuickpost: Testing A USB Fridge

        I used a power meter to measure the electric energy consumption, and a multimeter with a thermocouple (type K) to measure the water temperature. The thermocouple was at the bottom of the water, not touching the bottom of the can.

        The USB fridge consumed 60.717 Wh over that period, and the water temperature (at the bottom) was around 14.7 °C when I stopped the test. After the test, I moved the thermocouple to the top of the water, and there the temperature was 16.9 °C.

      • [Old] uni CambridgeCapability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions (CHERI)

        CHERI (Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions) is a joint research project of SRI International and the University of Cambridge to revisit fundamental design choices in hardware and software to dramatically improve system security. CHERI has been supported by the DARPA CRASH, MRC, and SSITH programs since 2010, as well as other DARPA research and transition funding. Since 2019, development of Arm’s experimental CHERI-enabled Morello processor, SoC, and board has been supported by UKRI. We gratefully acknowledge DARPA, UKRI, and our other supporters including EPSRC, ERC, Google, and Arm.

      • HackadayRecycled Chairs Bring The Subway To Your Living Room

        Public transit seats have a rough life. Enduring a number of wear cycles that would make your sofa weep, they take a beating and have to keep looking presentable. When trains and buses are retired, where do the old seats go? A team from the MIT Hobby Shop investigated what was happening to the seats from retiring MBTA Red Line cars and recycled them into stylish chairs.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • [Old] International Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Foundation11 Systematic Government Access to Private-Sector Data in China

          In accordance with facilitating Chinese e-government construction, many laws made for the purpose of state security, public security, censorship, and taxation have granted the Chinese government extensive power of access to private-sector data generated in such businesses as information, finance, trade, travel, entertainment, and so on, operated in China. There are no laws or practices related to governmental systematic access currently found in China. However, this kind of systematic data access will certainly find itself any time in the future enforcement and ensuing legislation once the Chinese government realizes it is necessary with the evolution of e-government strategy.

        • IdiomdrottningThe Analog Guideline

          That’s why I’m a huge fan of encrypted email but a lot more indifferent on or even reluctant towards encrypted anonymous publishing. People were able to speak freely and try out ideas fearlessly when talking to their own friends, but you didn’t have to fear a dog-pile of two hundred anonymous sealions everytime you left your house.

        • India TimesOracle wants to put your health history on cloud

          The other big venture Ellison is pushing for is connected clouds. Microsoft’s Azure and Oracle clouds are already connected. Ellison believes that customers will increasingly opt for multi-cloud platforms, forcing AWS and Google to also link up their clouds with Oracle and Azure.

        • Counter PunchAmerica’s Immigration Surveillance State

          The primary reason is moral: People have the fundamental, God-given rights of freedom of travel, freedom of movement, freedom of association, liberty of contract, and economic liberty. No government, including the U.S. government, wields the legitimate authority to infringe rights that preexist government, as the U.S. Declaration of Independence points out.

          The secondary reason is utilitarian: America’s system of immigration controls is a socialist institution, one that is based on the core socialist principle of central planning, and has come with death, suffering, violence, and the adoption of an immigration police state in the American Southwest. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Counter PunchThe Militarism and Mechanics of the National Security State

        In addition to excessive spending on defense, there has been an increased operational tempo that takes advantage of 700 military bases and facilities the world over.  The United States, moreover, has consistently underestimated its power and influence, and consistently overestimated the power and influence of its adversaries.  The current policy of dual containment of China and Russia as a major mission of the national security state is being used to justify more military spending and influence.

        Last month’s release of the National Security Strategy (NSS) was the latest step in the process to convince the American people that we are devoting insufficient resources to our defense.  There is nothing in the report that points to new diplomatic initiatives by the Biden administration; instead, it highlights the need for increased military power to advance our international interests.  The NSS presents no alternatives for curbing our military deployments in more than 100 countries or for returning arms control and disarmament to the national security dialogue.  Clearly, the Biden national security team has forgotten that the disarmament dialogue with the Soviet Union was central to improving bilateral relations with Moscow and ending the Cold War.

      • NPRElection deniers could oversee voting in key swing states. Here are races to watch

        Voters in a number of states this midterm cycle are being presented with a stark choice: Do they want someone who denies the legitimacy of the 2020 election to oversee voting in their state?

        In a different political universe, that might seem outlandish, considering hand-count audits of paper ballots and court challenges found the 2020 election to have been one of the most accurate and accessible in American history.

      • SpectatorFrench Town Experiences Turmoil Over Public Islamic Religious Tributes

        Like in the town of Stains, just north of Paris, where the mayor, Azzédine Taïba, and alderman, Maïmouna Haïdara, back the initiative of community activist Houria Seddiki to name a street after the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad. There was no opposition to speak of, at least in local politics, as all 12 members of the left-wing city council are of Arabic and African origin — not a single one carries a traditional French name.

      • Counter PunchHorrifying “Small” Talk about Nuclear Weapons

        Rachman’s use of the phrases “might kill hundreds” and “just a few square miles” is outrageous in its callous trivialization of what would occur in the kill zone.

        The crude, “small” atomic bomb the United States used to smash and burn Hiroshima was a 15-kiloton device. This “small” atom bomb incinerated five square miles and “…turned into powder and ash the flesh and bones of 140,000 men, women and children,” as historian Howard Zinn noted in his essay The Bomb. Likewise, in Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial, Robert Lifton and Greg Mitchell reported that the bomb’s detonation resulted in “killing 100,000 people immediately, and fatally injuring at least 50,000 others.”

      • Counter PunchThe Aim and Purpose of Life

        The fourth century BCE was a time of trouble and Enlightenment. The Peloponnesian War in the last quarter of the fifth century BCE wrecked Greece, blotting the golden age of Athens. The Parthenon remained as a permanent symbol of genius and greatness – if only the Greeks worked together.

        Plato, 427 – 347 BCE, grew up during the dark days of the Peloponnesian War. His teacher, the stone mason Socrates, fought during the Peloponnesian War. Alcibiades, student of Socrates, undermined Athenian democracy. He joined Athens’ enemy, Sparta. Then he conspired with the Persian enemies of Greece to fund Greeks killing Greeks.

      • Counter PunchLetter From London on Russia and Ukraine

        In New York in my twenties, I needed extra money and served free drinks at a pop-up art exhibition hosted by Russians on Avenue C. (I am not sure they called them pop-ups back then.) The previous Sunday I had dined with a Ukrainian-American family on 6th or 7th Street in Little Ukraine, where I was shocked to discover — over a plate of holubtsi cooked from boiled cabbage — that the host felt real violence at times towards Russians. Back at the Russian pop-up art exhibition, meanwhile, one of the guests had been a soldier in Afghanistan, and I only determined this as he was walking out the door. I chased after him, down East 10th Street, careful not to slip on the ice, because I wanted to hear his stories, especially as I had been there on the other side, filming with the mujahideen. When the Russian saw me running, however, he began running too. It was one of those truly comic Manhattan moments. A yellow cab at one point may even have screeched to a halt. Anyway, still panting, I returned, empty-handed, so to say, to serve more drinks to thirsty Russians, and to chat with sculptor Leonid Sokov who got me the job in the first place. Leonid was a Russian non-conformist who made large Russian dolls based on what he saw as contentious characters from Soviet history, including Stalin. One of his fellow exiles kept interrupting. My response was just to pour him more vodka. He had a serious bee in his ushanka about the murder of Pushkin, the ‘Russian Shakespeare’, and shouted in English across the bar that he hoped the man who killed him was boiling in hell. ‘No,’ he corrected himself, trying his hardest to stand up straight. ‘I hope the man is BROILING in hell!’ Important distinction, I was thinking.

        I see that the US and UK — in the face of continued Russian assaults, withdrawals, assaults again — are the two largest western contributors towards the defence of Ukraine. Only those fighting on the ground will know what it is really like but here in London people are increasingly worried. Forget the socks, forget the succinct and important dark-blue public UK defence intelligence reporting, there was a fresh admission from the UK last week that British spies were giving Ukraine serious cyber support. They said they were revealing this on the basis that Moscow already knew about it. Slowly, the iron bars inside the boxing gloves are being revealed. I would have thought going public only obliges a public response. Is this what Russian accusations that the UK carried out the recent Nord Stream gas pipe attacks are about? I know of one diligent Brit who doesn’t enjoy business trips to London anymore on the grounds he believes we are now making ourselves a legitimate target. I myself wouldn’t want to rely solely on soldiers and spooks to choose what to do. That’s what politicians are supposed to be for, though ours are presently good only at chaos and occasional appearances on ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’, as in former health minister Matt Hancock, the man who once criticised people for saying politics was about individualism and egos. I also note that far across the vexed English Channel is growing dissent in cities like Prague about the war in Ukraine. Again, is anyone thinking outside the box here? The establishment seems set on one course of action only.

      • MeduzaMarines from the Far East fighting in Donetsk complain to their governor about hundreds of casualties — Meduza

        Service members from the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet sent a letter to Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of the Primorye region, complaining that their commanders’ actions had allowed for heavy losses.

      • MeduzaLights go out in Kherson, Russia calls it ‘terrorist attack’ on a transmission line — Meduza

        Ukrainian Telegram channels report that the power was out in Russian-controlled Kherson on November 6.

      • Meduza‘There are many losing sides in this war, Germany among them’ A new poll suggests that Russian propaganda has swayed German public opinion — Meduza

        New research shows that the share of Germans who believe Russia “had to” invade Ukraine in response to “NATO provocation” has risen by 20 percent in the past six months. German media picked up the story, reporting that anti-government, pro-Russian propaganda is spreading quickly in German society. However, some analysts believe that the change in opinion has more to do with German domestic politics than with Russian influence.

      • MeduzaZelensky: Ukraine shoots down 10 Iranian-made drones daily — Meduza

        Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said that Iranian authorities “lied” in a report, which says they supplied Russia with only a small number of drones, and only before the start of the war.

      • MeduzaPrigozhin will finance ‘militia training centers’ in Kursk and Belgorod regions — Meduza

        Businessman Evgeny Prigozhin says he will finance the creation of “militia training centers” in the Kursk and Belogorod regions, both of which lie on Russia’s border with Ukraine, according to a post by the press of his for his company, Concord.

      • Telex (Hungary)Hungary reacts to Putin’s remarks suggesting it might have territorial claims in Ukraine
      • ScheerpostBiden’s Foreign Policy Is Sinking the Congressional Dems—and Ukraine

        The proxy war between the U.S. and Russia is devastating Ukraine, ironically in the name of saving Ukraine.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • SrhtSourceHut terms of service updates, cryptocurrency-related projects to be removed

          SourceHut is planning to roll out updates to our terms of service, effective in 2023. The changes most likely to impact users is the prohibition of cryptocurrency- or blockchain-related projects on SourceHut.

          These domains are strongly associated with fraudulent activities and high-risk investments which take advantage of people who are suffering from economic hardship and growing global wealth inequality. Few to no legitimate use-cases for this technology have been found; instead it is mostly used for fraudulent “get rich quick” schemes and to facilitate criminal activity, such as ransomware, illicit trade, and sanctions evasion. These projects often encourage large-scale energy waste and electronics waste, which contributes to the declining health of Earth’s environment. The presence of these projects on SourceHut exposes new victims to these scams and is harmful to the reputation of SourceHut and its community.

          We recognize that the basic idea of a blockchain, as it were, may be generally useful. However, most projects which market themselves with blockchain technology are subject to the same social ills as cryptocurrency. Consequently, we have chosen to include “blockchain” related projects in this ban for the time being.

          We will exercise discretion when applying this rule. If you believe that your use-case for cryptocurrency or blockchain is not plagued by these social problems, you may ask for permission to host it on SourceHut, or appeal its removal, by contacting support.

          Projects which seek out cryptocurrency donations are strongly discouraged from doing so, but will not be affected by this change.

        • New York TimesBritish Soccer, Brought to You by American [Cryptocurrency] Optimism

          As digital currencies gained widespread popularity last year, [crypto] advertisements became ubiquitous in the world of sports. A Coinbase commercial aired during the Super Bowl. The [crypto] exchange FTX, run by the billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, bought the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena. In Europe, a company called Socios markets soccer-centric “fan tokens,” special digital currencies associated with teams like Barcelona and Manchester City. To critics, the [crypto] industry’s flood of sports marketing looked like an opportunistic strategy to lure young men into speculative investments; when the [crypto] market cratered this spring, wiping away $2 trillion in value, many of those amateur traders lost everything.

          Mr. Johnson insists that his soccer project is different. Rather than selling [crypto] to Crawley fans, he said, the ownership group is trying to sell Crawley to [crypto] fans and thus create new sources of revenue for the club. With skepticism about the industry spiking in the wake of the crash, the project is a quixotic effort to prove that [crypto] technology has real-world utility, as a vehicle for raising money and engaging fans in a communal project.

        • Counter PunchTime to Reset Military Relations with Saudi Arabia

          Saudi Arabia and OPEC have decided to cut oil production by two million barrels a day. The President is miffed, and has signaled that he’s fed up with the Saudis who, according to a New York Times report, “duped” the administration into believing OPEC would not be cutting oil production—and in fact would significantly increase it.

          If the episode amounts to Saudi duplicity and Russian influence, as opposed to an honest Saudi cost-benefit calculation on oil pricing, the question is: What will Biden do about relations with Saudi Arabia?

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • ABCMonarch butterflies return to Mexico on annual migration

          The first butterflies have been seen exploring the mountaintop reserves in th states of Mexico and Michoacan, apparently trying to decide where to settle this year.

          The monarchs have shown up a few days late this year. Normally they arrive for the Day of the Dead observances on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. Mountainside communities long associated the orange-and-black butterflies with the returning souls of the dead.

        • Mexico News DailyVisiting Mexico’s monarch butterflies? Here’s how to make the most positive impact

          After years of concerns about its viability, this past July, the migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was officially declared endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The organization blames habitat loss and climate change for reducing numbers so much that there may not be enough of a population to reproduce.

          Those that winter in California are nearly extinct now, but there are serious concerns about those who fly up to 4,500 km from Canada and the United States to wintering grounds located in the high pine forests at the México state–Michoacán border.

    • Finance

      • Arjen WiersmaShould We Pay For Open Source Software?

        As the world is processing the Twitter deal the open source project Mastodon is gaining a lot of traction. The instance that I am on, fosstodon, is run by a small team and is fully funded by donations.

        Now this may sound somewhat strange; as the twitterverse is blowing up about $8/month for a blue checkmark I would argue that the $8 is better spent supporting open source projects. As developers, security people, and users we rely on a lot of free time and effort from open source contributors.

      • Counter PunchThe Flat Income Tax: the Worst of Many Bad GOP Proposals on the Docket in Wisconsin

        Well, that’s exactly what many Republican gubernatorial candidates are suggesting. Most egregiously, the idea is being floated in Wisconsin by GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels who proposes resuscitating the idea of a “Flat Tax” for Wisconsin. Much US government policy since Ronald Reagan has waterboarded the rich with money in hopes of it leading to their investing it, thus creating more growth for all. At least, that has been the supply-side argument in its favor. A flat income tax is one more failed policy step in that direction. A flat income tax is used in neighboring Illinois, which is perpetually in fiscal trouble and has a higher sales tax (inherently regressive) than Wisconsin. Yet, Wisconsin’s wealthy want another pass at the all you can buffet that comes at the expense of the state’s working people.

        The flat income tax in fact is a “Republican In Name Only” (RINO) plan. The Republican Party’s first President, Abraham Lincoln, certainly knew this. In 1862, Lincoln needed revenue to develop the nation’s infrastructure and pay for the Civil War against the Confederacy. So, he and Congress jettisoned the US flat tax, which he considered an unfair burden on the nation’s workers and insufficient for raising needed revenue, passed the Revenue Act of 1862.

      • Counter PunchJob Growth Remains Strong as Wage Growth Settles Within Inflation Target

        Job Growth Led by Health Care and Manufacturing

        Job growth was strong across sectors, but it was especially strong in health care and manufacturing. Health care added 52,600 workers in October, and it has added 298,800 workers since May. This is largely catch-up since the sector’s employment had lagged earlier in the recovery. It is now 0.5 percent above the pre-pandemic level.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Final Doubling: On the Growth Ahead

        This essay is dedicated to the memory of Herman Daly, the father of ecological economics, who began writing about the absurdity of perpetual economic growth in the 1970s; Herman died on October 28 at age 84.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Daniel MiesslerMy Prediction For Twitter

        As for my take on things, I will just say that Elon miscalculated a number of things in his handling of the transition. I think he thought his actions would be better received. But he fired a lot of people, all at once, so he should have anticipated the blowback.

      • NPRTwitter begins advertising a paid verification plan for $8 per month

        The once-free blue check mark given to verified accounts on Twitter will soon available to any Twitter Blue user who pays $7.99 per month. Since 2009, blue-checked accounts had been distributed to users through a verification process as a way to separate authentic accounts from impersonators.

      • New York TimesRussia Reactivates Its [Astroturfers] and Bots Ahead of Tuesday’s Midterms

        The campaign — using accounts that pose as enraged Americans like Nora Berka — have added fuel to the most divisive political and cultural issues in the country today.

        It has specifically targeted Democratic candidates in the most contested races, including the Senate seats up for grabs in Ohio, Arizona and Pennsylvania, calculating that a Republican majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives could help the Russian war effort.

        The campaigns show not only how vulnerable the American political system remains to foreign manipulation but also how purveyors of disinformation have evolved and adapted to efforts by the major social media platforms to remove or play down false or deceptive content.

      • DaemonFC (Ryan Farmer)“Mainstream” media, such as CNN and BBC, mention Mastodon as Elon Musk drives users (and advertisers) away in droves. Bonus: Facebook was also a fever dream that traded as a valuable stock.

        CNN failed to mention that while Twitter has more “users”, many millions of them are just spammers, bots, advertising accounts, and dormant accounts, some of which haven’t been logged into in years.

      • The National AEWhat is Mastodon? Twitter users are switching social network

        Decentralised, free-to-all microblogging sites are not new. Mastodon was created in 2016 by Eugen Rochko after he shared a gripe similar to that made by Mr Musk: corporations that own a social media platform take independent business-driven decisions that have an effect on users, who have no say in the matter most of the time.

        The welcome note on the desktop version of the site says: “Your home feed should be filled with what matters to you most, not what a corporation thinks you should see. Radically different social media, back in the hands of the people.”

      • FirstpostTwitter users are switching to Mastodon: What is this social network?

        Mastodon is an open-source microblogging alternative to Twitter. Rather than a centralised platform, Mastodon consists of independent, user-managed servers. Users are based on one server but can interact freely with others.

        Decentralised in nature, Mastodon was launched by Eugen Rochko, a once-avid and later disillusioned user of Twitter. Rochko was supported by Patreon in the launch of Mastodon in 2016.

      • Gray Media GroupElon Musk threatens to boot Twitter account impersonators

        The platform’s new owner issued the warning after some celebrities changed their Twitter display names — not their account names — and tweeted as ‘Elon Musk’ in reaction to the billionaire’s decision to offer verified accounts to all comers for $8 month as he simultaneously laid off a big chunk of the workforce.

      • The Telegraph INA few alternatives if you’re quitting Twitter because of the musky virtual smell

        It’s a version of Twitter. Instead of joining a platform, you join a server run by an organisation, individual, or group of individuals. The “decentralised social network” consists of different “communities” and is “built with a focus on privacy and safety”, allowing users to decide who they want to share their posts with and offer content warnings. There is a chronological timeline, custom emojis and a 500-character limit.

      • Yahoo NewsKrugman unveils account on Twitter alternative

        “I have no idea what will replace Twitter if and when that happens. But I’m doing what I can to retain an alternative social media foothold,” Krugman added.

      • DTraceTwitter, when the wall came down

        Perhaps this shouldn’t have been surprising, but Musk has absolutely no idea what he’s doing, having screwed up the most basic element of the business: he doesn’t even know who the customer is! (It’s, um, the ad buyer, stupid.) Instead of doing what any sane new CEO of a troubled entity would do (namely, determining what changes need to be made by spending a bunch of time listening to customers, users, and employees — and then carefully plotting and executing those changes) he seems to be just… making it up as he’s going along. (Who knew that Stephen King is such an effective price negotiator?!) Maybe this would work where customers don’t have a choice or are locked into long contracts, but that isn’t the case here: customers can walk immediately. And advertisers themselves don’t want to be anywhere near controversy, which is why — as Josh Marshall points out — the Drudge Report never had mainstream advertisers, despite having plenty of eyeballs on it. Add to this that Twitter isn’t essential for advertisers and that the macroeconomic environment sucks, and it’s very easy to see how ad buyers would take a wait-and-see approach — reticence which, in the instant world of ad buys, means an immediate decline in revenue.

      • New York TimesTwitter Is Said to Delay Changes to Check Mark Badges Until After Midterms

        Twitter is delaying the rollout of verification check marks to subscribers of its new $7.99 a month subscription service until after Tuesday’s midterm elections, according to an internal post viewed by The New York Times and two people with knowledge of the decision.

        The company made the call a day after announcing that it was rolling out the program for people to receive a verification check mark on their profile for the monthly fee. On Saturday, the company had said in notes accompanying a new update to the Twitter app that the paid verification system was now a feature of the website’s subscription service, Twitter Blue.

      • New York TimesMeta Is Said to Plan Significant Job Cuts This Week

        It was unclear how many people would be cut and in which departments, said the people, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The layoffs were expected by the end of the week. Meta had 87,314 employees at the end of September, up 28 percent from a year ago.

        Meta has been struggling financially for months and has been increasingly clamping down on costs. The Silicon Valley company, which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, has spent billions of dollars on the emerging technology of the metaverse, an immersive online world, just as the global economy has slowed and inflation has soared.

      • Yahoo NewsHalf a million users move to decentralized alternative Mastodon following Elon Musk Twitter grab

        Amid uncertainty and criticism following Elon Musk’s takeover of social media giant Twitter, nearly half a million users have flocked to Mastodon, a decentralized alternative.

        Mastodon, created by the German-based non-profit Mastodon gGmbH in 2016, is an open-source network of thousands of servers that act as individual social media platforms.

      • BBCTwitter users jump to Mastodon – but what is it?

        The social network says it now has over 655,000 users – with over 230,000 having joined in the last week.

      • NDTVMastodon: All You Need To Know About Platform Emerging As Twitter’s Alternative

        These servers are themed according to location, city or interest – like UK, social, technology etc – according to the BBC. However, users can interact with freely with others.

        It works similar to Twitter, which means that users can tag other users, share media and even follow other accounts. Independent servers is the only distinguishing feature between the two microblogging platforms.

      • Hubbard BroadcastingMusk threatens to boot Twitter account impersonators

        Comedian Kathy Griffin had her account suspended Sunday after she switched her screen name to Musk. She told a Bloomberg reporter that she had also used his profile photo.

        “I guess not ALL the content moderators were let go? Lol,” Griffin joked afterward on Mastodon, an alternative social media platform where she set up an account last week.

        Actor Valerie Bertinelli had similarly appropriated Musk’s screen name — posting a series of tweets in support of Democratic candidates on Saturday before switching back to her true name. “Okey-dokey. I’ve had fun and I think I made my point,” she tweeted afterwards.

        Before the stunt, Bertinelli noted the original purpose of the blue verification checkmark. It was granted free of charge to people whose identity Twitter employees had confirmed; with journalists accounting for a big portion of recipients. “It simply meant your identity was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you,” Bertinelli noted.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Make America Truly Great…For the Very First Time

        Political violence is on a bloody and disturbing rise in the United States. Early Friday morning, an intruder broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home, attacking her 82-year-old husband Paul with a hammer, fracturing his skull. The intruder, David DePape, 42, was arrested. DePape’s online presence is a horrifying mix of conspiracy theories, racism, election denial and antisemitism. “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” DePape screamed at Paul Pelosi, using a phrase chanted in the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Pelosi managed to call 911, leaving the call connected so the dispatcher could hear as he tried to negotiate with the intruder. The dispatcher called on the San Francisco Police to conduct a wellness check. DePape attacked Pelosi as the police arrived, and was quickly arrested. Pelosi was rushed to the hospital. DePape has been jailed, charged with multiple state and federal crimes.

      • Counter PunchThe Sleeper Issue of the Midterms: Rank Choice Voting

        However, in the last ten years, RCV has emerged again as an alternative to voting candidates into office. For example, in June of 2021, New York City used RCV for the largest election in RCV’s history. This year, 32 cities in seven states used the voting procedure to determine winners.

        Nationwide, 50 jurisdictions employ some form of ranked choice voting. The number of states using RCV could go from two to three if Nevada voters approve it on November 8. At the same time, Seattle voters could add their city to the list of bigger cities, New York, San Francisco, and Austin, using RCV.

      • TruthOutTrumpists Are Testing Out New Voter Suppression Tactics in the 2022 Election
      • TruthOutAbortion Bans Are a Direct Threat to Economic Security
      • Common DreamsOpinion | As Corporatists Angle for Election-Day Disaster, Do Your Duty: Vote!

        Voter grumbling, rage and cynicism is rampant heading into the mid-term elections on November 8th. Add the flattering, flummoxing and fooling of voters by many corporatist politicians to the mix and we have the makings of an election-day disaster.

      • Counter PunchIs Democracy Under Attack?

        For whatever faith we can put in national polling data, Republicans are favored to gain the majority in both the House and the Senate. Given the Republican efforts to suppress voter turnout across the country, engage in voter intimidation and knowing that there are voters who see little point in voting, it does appear that those polls may be accurate.

        Without a strong turnout of those discouraged voters and young voters, we should expect Republican victories and another two years of deadlock and inter-party hostility. Of course, with the near total lack of respect and cooperation amongst politicians of both parties, regardless of who wins we can still expect more of the same, little progress, more hostility and continuing disregard for physical violence in the name of MAGA.

      • Craig MurrayRampant Deprofessionalisation

        It is not controversial to say that the UK’s immigration system is utterly broken. The reason is very plain but seldom noted – decades of cuts in which the cheapness of the system is crazily prioritised over the system working.

      • ScheerpostWhat Worries the US Most About Lula

        Steve Ellner says opposition to NATO’s stance on Ukraine has created fertile ground for the expansion of a bloc of non-aligned nations, now with a progressive possibly at the helm.

      • ScheerpostThe Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them To Save It

        We should have walked out on the Democratic Party and mounted a serious opposition movement while we still had a chance.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Right-Wing Ballot Measure in Arizona Another Effort to Hamstring Democracy

        Freedom requires that people are able to influence decisions about policies that affect their lives. In many states, ballot initiatives offer a way for residents to make certain policy choices directly, from the voting booth. In one of those states, Arizona, voters this November will consider a constitutional amendment that joins a growing, worrisome trend of state efforts to simultaneously erode state tax systems and weaken democratic norms. If approved, the measure would both hamstring the state’s ability to raise adequate revenues for vital services and empower a minority to thwart policies that a majority of Arizonans support.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • SalonHow TikTok is helping spread diet culture myths

          A new study reveals that TikTok diet gurus almost always give scientifically inaccurate advice

        • New York TimesHow Republicans Fed a Misinformation Loop About the Pelosi Attack

          It is not clear whether the elected officials and media personalities who have trafficked in falsehoods believe the conspiracy theories they are elevating, or simply want to be rewarded by their right-wing base. According to public polling, as many as 70 percent of Republicans still believe that Mr. Trump was the true winner of the 2020 election.

        • New York TimesYouTube May Have Misinformation Blind Spots, Researchers Say

          Ahead of the midterm elections, disinformation watchdogs say they are concerned that what has been described as an aggressive effort by YouTube to confront misinformation on the Google-owned platform has developed blind spots. In particular, they are worried about YouTube’s TikTok-like service that offers very short videos, and about the platform’s Spanish-language videos.

          But the situation is difficult to understand clearly, more than a dozen researchers said in interviews with The New York Times, because they have limited access to data and because examining videos is time-intensive work.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The DissenterJury Orders FedEx To Pay Black Manager $366 Million For Retaliation Over Discrimination Complaint
      • Counter PunchThe Migrant Humanitarian Crisis Deepens on the Rio Grande

        An October 31 demonstration in the drying out river bed  by migrants seeking entrance into the U.S. turned sour when, according to accounts published in the Ciudad Juárez and El Paso press, a Central American migrant allegedly tossed a rock at deploying U.S. Border Patrol agents who responded by attempting to arrest some protesters and firing pepper spray projectiles. At least two migrants were reportedly injured in the altercation before matters deescalated.

        A visit to the encampment by this reporter about a week earlier found a tens and exhausted mood among hundreds of migrants and refugees, who include numerous children.  “People are getting desperate,” summed up Venezuelan asylum seeker Albert Silva.

      • Counter PunchThe Non-Existence of Human Rights in Egypt Today: The case of Alaa Abd el-Fattah

        Abd el-Fattah’s book “You Have Not Yet Been Defeated,” brings forth personal essays, theories on technology, notes, poems and deeply heartfelt reflections on prison life, all combined to give an essence of urgency, defiance and an air of resistance that refuses to budge in-spite of all the incredible injustices. His ideas and his utter veracity make him a symbol of hope in an Egypt that has suffered incredible misery and political shenanigans after a disheartening militaristic takeover following the popular overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and his 30 years dictatorship. Alaa is the not only a symbol of hope but also the symbol of change for Egypt itself and the evolution of civil society in the larger Arab world.

        Since most of his texts were smuggled out during his numerous detentions in Egyptian prisons, the collection gives us a sense of an awakening to the militarism, torturous barbarity of a post-Arab Spring Egypt. They are no delusions of grandeur. The work brings together the fraught conditions he and many are dealing with. The sequence of events and experiences are dizzying to say the least. Abd El-Fattah supported initiatives that advanced citizen’s awareness, citizen’s participation, real investigative journalism on social media against the political apathy that was and is so dire across Egypt.

      • Common DreamsEgypt Accused of Using ‘Cartoon Super-Villain of an App’ to Spy on COP27 Attendees

        Climate campaigners and digital privacy advocates expressed alarm Sunday over revelations that the official app being used at the COP27 could be exploited by the Egyptian government hosting the global climate summit to spy on those using it, including domestic dissidents and outside critics of the regime’s brutal human rights record.

        As the Guardian reports:

      • The Telegraph UKPolice accused of ‘harassing’ youths who were found to be carrying machetes

        They went on to find two sheathed blades, each about 30cm long.

        The Homerton Policing Team issued a photograph of the curved machetes to explain why they considered their actions necessary.

        Officers wrote on Twitter: “To the two members of the public who tried to obstruct us whilst we were dealing with a group of youths in Retreat Place E9 tonight, shouting at us & accusing us of harassing the youths, if you tried to listen to us we may have been able to show you what we found.”

        Earlier in the night, the team had also used the social media site to highlight that they were conducting high visibility reassurance patrols, intelligence-led weapon sweeps, and block sweeps.

      • ABCMassachusetts museum returns sacred items to Sioux tribes

        Members of the Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes traveled from South Dakota to take custody of the weapons, pipes, moccasins and clothing, including several items thought to have a direct link to the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota.

      • Taiwan NewsEuropean Court of Human Rights blocks extradition of Taiwanese suspect to China

        A decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to block Poland from extraditing a Taiwanese online fraud suspect to China could set a precedent, human rights organization Safeguard Defenders said Thursday (Nov. 3).

        The Polish court system, including its Supreme Court, had ruled in favor of extradition, but the Oct. 6 ruling by the ECtHR said Liu Hongtao would be “placed at significant risk of ill-treatment and torture” in China.

      • ReutersFIFA pleads with World Cup nations to ‘focus on football’ in Qatar

        “If Gianni Infantino wants the world to ‘focus on the football’ there is a simple solution: FIFA could finally start tackling the serious human rights issues rather than brushing them under the carpet,” Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice, said in a statement.

      • HRWSweden’s New Government Abandons Feminist Foreign Policy

        While the government of newly elected prime minister Ulf Kristersson might no longer carry the feminist torch, it still needs to live up to its obligations on gender equality and the rights of women and girls everywhere.

        Sweden’s landmark feminist foreign policy set a precedent for the entire international community. Its abandonment is a step in the wrong direction.

      • CNBCThere’s a major shift underway in manufacturing for U.S. companies

        Less hiring and lower wages are top ways the majority of companies say they plan to recoup the lost business margin.

      • ABCPope calls female genital mutilation a crime that must stop

        “How is it that today in the world we cannot stop the tragedy of infibulation of young girls?” he asked, referring to the ritual cutting of a girls’ external genitalia. “This is terrible that today there is a practice that humanity isn’t able to stop. It’s a crime. It’s a criminal act!”

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Old VCRRunning a pinball game from a disk image doesn’t make me a pirate

        I’m making a point of saying I own these and showing you I do, because none of the Pro Pinball titles will play without the CD mounted. For The Web, which I have here as part of the 10 Tons Of Fun compilation pack released by StarPlay, and Timeshock this makes sense because the music tracks are regular redbook audio and play directly from the CD. But this was not the case for Big Race USA nor my personal favourite Fantastic Journey: near as I could determine, the CD requirement was only to make sure you owned the disc. I could certainly dupe it and play from a burned copy, and that’s what I did, but I ought to be able to install the game and not need the disc at all. As always copy protection only inconveniences legal owners and never deters the pirates.

      • VarietyAmazon’s Silence on ‘The Rings of Power’ Audience Size Is Deafening

        In the course of the fantasy series’ entire six-week run, Amazon released just one figure quantifying its performance, claiming the first two episodes were streamed by 25 million global viewers in their first 24 hours of availability.

        And in the three weeks since the first-season finale, the company has been just as quiet, with only a line in its Q3 earnings report noting “The Rings of Power” is “closing in on 100 million viewers to date” — a vague figure previously revealed by Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke in an interview with Variety.

    • Monopolies

      • India TimesAfter Google, Apple reportedly facing huge penalties in India: Here’s why

        Citing sources close to the matter, The Hindu Business Line has reported that CCI Apple is likely to face antitrust heat for its Google-like payment processing policies on the App Store. The report says that “the investigation report in the App Store matter is likely to be submitted soon whereupon the same would be forwarded to the complainant and Apple for their response.”

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakMovie Piracy Conviction For Torrent Site Co-Founder: Five Down, Two To Go…

          A man from Denmark has been convicted for playing a key role at Asgaard, a private torrent site that shut down in 2020 following intense legal pressure. In addition to co-founding Asgaard, the 47-year-old was associated with NordicBits, DanishBits and ShareUniversity. His criminal conviction marks the fifth in this investigation, with the fate of two other men yet to be decided.

        • Torrent FreakHollywood Anti-Piracy Units Become Stars in MPA Media Charm Offensive

          Despite its world-famous ability to tell fantastic stories, Hollywood hasn’t always been able to polish the media’s presentation of piracy news in ways that really benefit Hollywood. Through a new program targeting journalists, influencers, and other media figures, the MPA hopes to transform the negativities of piracy into beneficial, reputation-building opportunities.

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

Links 07/11/2022: Linux 6.1 RC4 and GNU sed 4.9

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 3:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Hacker NoonHow Linux Became So Popular | HackerNoon

      Linus Torvalds made the first version of the Linux kernel available in 1991. Once it was released, it was picked up by the community and got notable traction from the developers working on the GNU Operating system who already had all the components of building an operating system ready but did not have a kernel. From 1991 to 1993, Linux was still in its beta phase where it was not ready to go out as a complete operating system. During its initial years, Linux was still an operating system used mainly by enthusiasts, but something was about to change.

    • Linux Made SimpleLinux Weekly Roundup #208

      Welcome to this week’s Linux Weekly Roundup. We had a good week in the world of Linux releases with Linux Lite 6.2, Peppermint OS 11-06-2022, and Nitrux 20221101.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Open Source Security (Audio Show)Episode 348 – OpenSSL is the new lead paint

        Josh and Kurt talk about the recent OpenSSL nothingburger. OpenSSL got everyone whipped into a frenzy over a critical vulnerability, then changed the severity to high. The correct solution to this whole problem is to stop using a TLS library written in C, we need to be using memory safe languages. Don’t migrate from OpenSSL 1 to 3, migrate from OpenSSL 1 to Rustls.

      • JupiterMediaChris Is Done With Raspberry Pi | LINUX Unplugged 483

        We surprise each other with three different topics, and Chris has a big update on the ODROID H3+.

      • VideoFreedom Toaster: The Weirdest FOSS Invention – Invidious

        Have you ever wondered how you might distribute foss to people with no or a terrible internet connection, well maybe you could try out a freedom toaster an invention from the early 2000′s to solve exactly this problem

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux mailing listsLinux 6.1-rc4
        So as hoped for (and expected), things seem to be starting to calm
        down, and rc4 is a pretty normal size for this stage in the process.
        The diffstat looks fairly normal too - mostly nice and flat (so small
        changes spread out), with a spike for a FW update for drm/amdkfd. The
        other thing that stands out is some stricter xfs refcount checking and
        related fixes (. And some new clx tests. But even those aren't huge,
        they just do show up in the stats.
        The shortlog (appended) doesn't look scary either. It's all the usual
        stuff - drivers, filesystems, architecture updates, some networking,
        and random small things elsewhere.
        So hey, please jump right in, the water is fine. But more testing
        always appreciated,
      • LWNKernel prepatch 6.1-rc4 [LWN.net]

        The 6.1-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “So as hoped for (and expected), things seem to be starting to calm down, and rc4 is a pretty normal size for this stage in the process”.

    • Applications

      • TecMintBest Linux RDP (Remote Desktop) Clients for Desktop Access

        Sometimes, you might be required to remotely access your PC in order to carry out a few tasks. You may want to view a few files, make a few tweaks or run any other tasks.

        In most cases, remote desktop connections are used by IT support to provide technical support to far-flung staff members and even by regular desktop users to connect to their remote PCs or share their desktops with their friends.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • DebugPointHow to Boost Speaker Volume in Ubuntu and Other Linux [Tutorial]

        Have you ever felt that your Ubuntu Laptop’s volume is too low, despite you selected the volume to 100%? I’m sure you had. The primary reason is – obviously, laptop speaker output intensity is lower than large speakers.

        Here’s how you can boost your Laptop and desktop’s volume more in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

      • DebugPointHow to Install OpenOffice in Arch Linux [Beginner’s G DebugPoint

        OpenOffice is the oldest free and open-source office productivity suite which has been under maintenance for some time. It was developed by Apache and is still a sought-after suite, although it has been forked as LibreOffice.

        This tutorial is for those who want to install OpenOffice for their work and other needs.

      • LinuxTechiHow to Install Node.js on RHEL 9

        In this post, we will explain how to install Node.js on RHEL 9 system step-by-step.

        Built on Google’s V8 Javascript engine, Node.js is a free and opensource, cross-platform JavaScript runtime that is mostly used for building server-side applications. It uses an event-driven and asynchronous model that helps developers build highly scalable, data-intensive real-time applications (RTAs ). You can use NodeJS to build both front-end and back-end applications.

      • UNIX CopHow to install ODBC on Debian 11?

        ODBC is a specification for a database API. This API is independent of any DBMS or operating system; although this manual uses C, the ODBC API is language-independent.

        By using ODBC statements in a program, it is possible to access files from different databases, including Access, dBase, DB2, Excel and Text.

        The main sponsor and promoter of ODBC is Microsoft, who uses it to access SQL server. One of the advantages is that we can include it in Linux and get the benefits of it.

      • VideoHow to install MEGASync on Linux Mint 21 – Invidious
      • Linux CapableHow to Upgrade to Fedora 37 Linux

        Fedora is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and Fedora 37 is set to be another great release. For Workstation users, GNOME 43 and Linux Kernel 6.0 are featured. The tutorial below will teach you how to successfully upgrade Fedora 36 to Fedora 37 using the command line terminal.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Skype on Fedora 37/36/35 [Ed: This is Microsoft eavesdropping, not end to end. Look into Mumble instead.]

        Skype is a proprietary telecommunications application software owned and developed by Microsoft. Skype is one of the most known and recognized software for video, audio, and text communication app available across multiple platforms. For the most part, free to use and is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with friends or working remotely with colleagues.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Skype on a Fedora workstation desktop using the command line terminal and optional version builds of stable and unstable, along with how to maintain and remove from your system altogether or switch to an alternative Skype version.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Vivaldi Browser on Fedora 37/36/35

        Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. It has become one of the most popular alternative Internet Browsers amongst the big three Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Vivaldi promotes itself as a leading browser with faster navigation, clever bookmarking, more intelligent browsing, extensive tab management, easy to select themes such as dark, pink, orange, and more.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Vivaldi on the Fedora workstation desktop using the command line terminal with tips about maintaining and removing the browser versions if required.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install MakeMKV on Debian 11/10

        MakeMKV is a powerful tool for converting video files from one format to another. It is especially useful for converting files from disc formats such as DVD and Blu-ray, to the MKV format. MKV is a flexible format that can store multiple video or audio tracks with all meta-information intact. This makes it ideal for archiving and sharing video files. In addition, the MKV format preserves chapters, which is essential for long videos such as movies and TV shows and it is an essential tool for anyone who needs to convert video files on a regular basis.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MakeMKV on Debian Linux desktop using a recommended repository by the MakeMKV team to provide the most up-to-date version.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Steam on Debian 11/10/Sid

        Steam is a video game cross-platform that Valve created. It was launched as a standalone software client in September 2003 as a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games and expanded to include games from third-party publishers. It now boasts a library filled with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of games across all gaming consoles.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Steam Launcher on your Debian 11 Bullseye desktop using the command line terminal and APT package manager utilizing importing the official steam repository, which you can then install the stable branch, or for users that want to see the next version release of Steam’s launcher, you can install the beta branch.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install RPG Maker MV on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install RPG Maker MV on a Chromebook.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Norbert PreiningNorbert Preining: KDE/Plasma for Debian – Update 2022/11

          Short summary of recent changes and updates:

          Frameworks updated to 5.99.0
          Plasma 5.24 LTS (repo plasma524) has been updated to the latest patch level 5.24.7
          Plasma 5.25 updated to the latest patch level 5.25.5
          KDE Gears 22.08 updated to latest patch level 22.08.3
          Krita updated to 5.1.3
          (hopefully) everything recompiled against new Qt from Debian

          If you see some strange behavior, please report.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Reviews

      • Distro WatchReview: Static Linux

        While it is possible to work with this manual approach to persistence, I feel it worth noting Static Linux does not appear to be intended to be used across reboots. It’s not an operating system which we install or on which we set up users. Static Linux is specifically geared toward accessing and rescuing data from local disks. Typically without many tools or conveniences. It’s super light, highly portable, and (despite a weird setup process) is pretty easy to get started using.

        The distribution offers virtually no documentation, no package manager, and on the Wayland edition there is no web browser. This makes the distribution quite limited. However, its small size and performance are appealing and I’m intrigued by the idea of the entire operating system booting from a single file. This is an unusual approach, but it seems to be working. While I had a few issues with the X.Org session, the Wayland edition worked well and, if the project would add a web browser (even a text-based one) to the Wayland session I could see it being a handy rescue tool that can be dropped on any thumb drive.

    • Red Hat

      • Red HatBuild reactive apps on Kubernetes using Camel K | Red Hat Developer

        A reactive application meets modern requirements for customer-facing services. Reactive applications are message-driven, elastic, responsive, and resilient.

      • VideoTechnically Speaking (E16): Composable infrastructure – the CPUs new groove – Invidious
      • Introducing the New Red Hat Device Edge

        Red Hat just announced Red Hat Device Edge, which delivers an enterprise-ready and supported distribution of Kubernetes named MicroShift, combined with an edge-optimized OS built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It expands where users of Red Hat’s platforms can run edge computing workloads to the space of field-deployed devices such as IoT gateways, point-of-sales terminals, robots, and drones. Let me unbox that for you.

      • The (open) source of cutting-edge innovation

        One possible answer is the corporate research lab. More long-term focused than most company product development efforts, corporate labs have a long history, going back to Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory in New Jersey. Perhaps most famous of all was Bell Labs for its invention of the transistor—although software folks may associate it more with Unix and the C programming language.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwareGiveaway Week – NanoPi R5S router – CNX Software

        We’ll start the giveaway with NanoPi R5S router based on Rockchip RK3568 SoC with 2 GB DDR4 RAM, 8GB eMMC flash plus an M.2 socket for NVMe SSD, two 2.5GbE Ethernet ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as HDMI 2.0 video output and two USB 3.0 ports.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

      • Linux On MobileLINMOB.net – Weekly GNU-like Mobile Linux Update (44/2022): RISCy Experiments

        Also: A bug in VVMd, text prediction for phosh-osk-stub, and Maemo Leste has phones for you!

      • Android PoliceThere’s a good chance Android 14 will support a new file format

        The format wars are nearly over — no, it’s probably not the one you’re thinking about. For as long as they could, Android phone owners have been plugging in external drives to move files about for one reason or another. But if your disk was formatted in anything other than FAT32, they were most likely out of luck. Nowadays, Google is helping Android make a determined comeback to tablets and other large form factors that might get hooked up to those external drives with those difficult formats. Part of that comeback means getting over the NTFS hump.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUGNU sed – News: sed-4.9 released [stable] [Savannah]
        This is to announce sed-4.9, a stable release.
        There have been 51 commits by 9 people in the nearly three years since 4.8.
        See the NEWS below for a brief summary.
        Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
        The following people contributed changes to this release:
          Antonio Diaz Diaz (1)
          Assaf Gordon (5)
          Chris Marusich (1)
          Jim Meyering (28)
          Marvin Schmidt (1)
          Oğuz (1)
          Paul Eggert (11)
          Renaud Pacalet (1)
          Tobias Stoeckmann (2)
        Jim [on behalf of the sed maintainers]
        Here is the GNU sed home page:
        For a summary of changes and contributors, see:
        or run this command from a git-cloned sed directory:
          git shortlog v4.8..v4.9
        To summarize the 2383 gnulib-related changes, run these commands
        from a git-cloned sed directory:
          git checkout v4.9
          git submodule summary v4.8
        Here are the compressed sources:
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/sed/sed-4.9.tar.gz   (2.2MB)
          https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/sed/sed-4.9.tar.xz   (1.4MB)
        Here are the GPG detached signatures:
        Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
        Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:
        69ad1f6be316fff4b23594287f16dfd14cd88093  sed-4.9.tar.gz
        0UeKGPAzpzrBaCKQH2Uz0wtr5WG8vORv/Xq86TYCKC4  sed-4.9.tar.gz
        8ded1b543f1f558cbd5d7b713602f6a8ee84bde4  sed-4.9.tar.xz
        biJrcy4c1zlGStaGK9Ghq6QteYKSLaelNRljHSSXUYE  sed-4.9.tar.xz
        The SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the
        hexadecimal encoding that most checksum tools default to.
        Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
        .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
        and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:
          gpg --verify sed-4.9.tar.gz.sig
        The signature should match the fingerprint of the following key:
          pub   rsa4096/0x7FD9FCCB000BEEEE 2010-06-14 [SCEA]
                Key fingerprint = 155D 3FC5 00C8 3448 6D1E  EA67 7FD9 FCCB 000B EEEE
          uid                   [ unknown] Jim Meyering <jim@meyering.net>
          uid                   [ unknown] Jim Meyering <meyering@fb.com>
          uid                   [ unknown] Jim Meyering <meyering@gnu.org>
        If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
        or that public key has expired, try the following commands to retrieve
        or refresh it, and then rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.
          gpg --locate-external-key jim@meyering.net
          gpg --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE
          wget -q -O- 'https://savannah.gnu.org/project/release-gpgkeys.php?group=sed&download=1' | gpg --import -
        As a last resort to find the key, you can try the official GNU
          wget -q https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-keyring.gpg
          gpg --keyring gnu-keyring.gpg --verify sed-4.9.tar.gz.sig
        This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
          Autoconf 2.72a.65-d081
          Automake 1.16i
          Gnulib v0.1-5550-g0524746392
        * Noteworthy changes in release 4.9 (2022-11-06) [stable]
        ** Bug fixes
          'sed --follow-symlinks -i' no longer loops forever when its operand
          is a symbolic link cycle.
          [bug introduced in sed 4.2]
          a program with an execution line longer than 2GB can no longer trigger
          an out-of-bounds memory write.
          using the R command to read an input line of length longer than 2GB
          can no longer trigger an out-of-bounds memory read.
          In locales using UTF-8 encoding, the regular expression '.' no
          longer sometimes fails to match Unicode characters U+D400 through
          U+D7FF (some Hangul Syllables, and Hangul Jamo Extended-B) and
          Unicode characters U+108000 through U+10FFFF (half of Supplemental
          Private Use Area plane B).
          [bug introduced in sed 4.8]
          I/O errors involving temp files no longer confuse sed into using a
          FILE * pointer after fclosing it, which has undefined behavior in C.
        ** New Features
          The 'r' command now accepts address 0, allowing inserting a file before
          the first line.
        ** Changes in behavior
           Sed now prints the less-surprising variant in a corner case of
           POSIX-unspecified behavior.  Before, this would print "n".
           Now, it prints "X":
            printf n | sed 'sn\nnXn'; echo
    • Programming/Development

      • MedevelYuranPad: An Advanced Text Editor for Developers

        YuranPad is a free text editor, for Windows and Unix/Linux platforms. It was released on 2020 as an alternative for Notepad.

      • MedevelNext Generation Programming: Free NoCode Cross-Platform Programming System
      • MedevelBio7: A Free IDE for Ecological Modelling

        he application Bio7 is a free and open-source integrated development environment for ecological modeling, scientific image analysis and statistical analysis

        It contains powerful tools for model creation, scientific image analysis and statistical analysis.

        The application itself is based on an RCP-Eclipse-Environment (Rich-Client-Platform) which offers a huge flexibility in configuration and extensibility because of its plug-in structure and the possibility of customization.

      • MedevelmemLab: An open source Framework for finding JavaScript memory leaks

        memlab is an E2E testing and analysis framework for finding JavaScript memory leaks and optimization opportunities.

      • Dirk EddelbuettelDirk Eddelbuettel: RcppCCTZ 0.2.12 on CRAN: Maintenance

        RcppCCTZ uses Rcpp to bring CCTZ to R. CCTZ is a C++ library for translating between absolute and civil times using the rules of a time zone. In fact, it is two libraries. One for dealing with civil time: human-readable dates and times, and one for converting between between absolute and civil times via time zones. And while CCTZ is made by Google(rs), it is not an official Google product. The RcppCCTZ page has a few usage examples and details. This package was the first CRAN package to use CCTZ; by now several others packages (four the last time we counted) include its sources too. Not ideal, but beyond our control.

  • Leftovers

    • IT JungleAs I See It: Second Responder – IT Jungle

      If a thousand people were asked to complete the sentence: “The world could sure use more …” they would doubtless come up with a variety of thoughtful and compelling answers. But I’m willing to bet not one in a thousand would say “cockroaches.”

      Nonetheless, advances in technology and miniaturization all but guarantee robotic roaches will be part of our supporting cast in what is rapidly becoming a sci-fi-esque future. Apparently, researchers have long had a keen interest in what insects do and how they do it, although one would think what roaches do shouldn’t be much of a mystery. They hide out during the day and spread disease by night. If food poisoning, diarrhea, and aggravated asthma are your thing, you’ll love cockroaches. Happily, robotic roaches will provide none of those benefits.

    • Hardware

      • GSM ArenaFlashback: a look back at Intel-powered smartphones and tablets – GSMArena.com news

        Intel is completely out of the mobile game now, but it had bigger issues to worry about in the recent years (its foundry progress had stalled, giving TSMC the lead). Android still supports x86, though you are unlikely to see this in action. Windows 11 can run Android apps, even ones meant for ARM devices, but that is enabled by emulation – the Intel Bridge Technology, which was developed by (you guessed it) Intel.

    • Security

      • IT WireOptus denies breach data led to user losing money from bank

        Telecommunications provider Singtel Optus has denied that data which was leaked during a massive breach of its network is in any responsible for a cafe owner losing about $10,000 from his ANZ bank account.

        The company told iTWire, in response to a query, that “No customer payment details, including any direct debit or credit card information, nor passwords, including My Optus app logins, have been compromised in the cyber attack on Optus customers.”

        The Age had claimed in an article published on 6 November that a cafe owner in Elsternwick, a Melbourne suburb, had close to $10,000 withdrawn from his ANZ account. Jim Marinis was one of those affected by the Optus leak. Additional withdrawals had brought his losses up to $40,000, the newspaper alleged.

      • IT WireMedibank now says data of 9.7m current, former customers accessed

        Medical insurer Medibank Group has increased its estimate of the number of customers who could be affected by the theft of data from its networks, saying the attacker(s) accessed data of some 9.7 million current and former subscribers.

        In a statement issued to the ASX on Monday, the company said the attacker(s) had “accessed the name, date of birth, address, phone number and email address for around 9.7 million current and former customers and some of their authorised representatives. This figure represents around 5.1 million Medibank customers, around 2.8 million ahm customers and around 1.8 million international customers”.

        When it first announced its systems had been breached, Medibank said there was no indication of any sensitive data having leaked. Later, it said the data stolen was limited to ahm and international students. Even later, it said data of all its 3.9 million customers could have been taken.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • IT WireABC’s Trioli wants to know if IT systems can do without admin users

        Given the spate of data breaches that have been affecting Australian companies in recent times, one would think that journalists, who often have to query officials about these incidents, would be brushing up a bit on their tech knowledge in order to avoid looking foolish.

        Alas, that does not seem to be the case. On Monday morning, the ABC’s Virginia Trioli, who hosts the morning program, actually asked the chief executive of Medibank, David Koczkar, whether it was necessary to have an admin user on an IT network.

        Her question followed Koczkar’s statement that whoever attacked Medibank’s systems had gained access by using credentials belonging to an admin user.

        And so, in all seriousness, Trioli wanted to know if it was possible to avoid having these pesky admin users on IT systems. She followed up with a vague question about two-factor authentication.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Pro Tip: Easy optimizing PDF files

        I’m buyng the 2600 Magazine in a digital format. It’s a simple PDF with few images and fancy frames. But for some reasons it is super heavy to render for slow devices.

        I tried to convert it to diffrent formats like ePUB and MOBI. But due to the hacky way that PDF is created makes it impossible to convert. The text is all mixed.

        Searching online got me nowhere in terms of a simple application. All I wanted was a big button to push and get smaller file. And in some way I found the solution!

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Mental Barrier and Culture of Gemini

          I’ve saw may posts on Cosmos replying to the “Mayan and Gemini priests” post in the past week. And I want to add a points to the discussion. Hopefully not disrupting the flow of the conversation. I mostly want to add points from a (non-tech) user and user support perspective.

          Also, to avoid further claims of this is us Gemini user’s bubble. My capsule has a HTML renderer (that I wrote my self, I’m proud of that). So this post is also accessible from the common Web. There’s a link on the home page that will take you there. With that out of the way..

        • Public Capsule

          I’ve finally finished the capsule setup. As with all spaces it’s never done but mature enough to show the world!

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

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 06, 2022

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Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmWe4ZcUCXb7gFxjGDk3PjF7HNHjTbgcquYd9u9jD5g5ge

The Rapid Collapse of Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Deception at 1:30 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

The “mainstream” media is mentioning Mastodon as an alternative to Twitter.

CNN notes today that Mastodon gained 230,000 users since October 27, when Elon Musk officially took over Twitter. For a total of 655,000 active users. BBC also mentions it.

CNN failed to mention that while Twitter has more “users”, many millions of them are just spammers, bots, advertising accounts, and dormant accounts, some of which haven’t been logged into in years.

I also saw an account that monitors Mastodon activity which, as of around 1 AM last night was showing about 6 million total accounts, with approximately 6,000 new accounts being created per _hour_ in the past day, but now I’m having trouble locating that to link to.

At any rate, it’s impossible to deny that the Fediverse is growing and that Elon Musk is the reason why.

When Andrew Lee took over and ruined Freenode, he ultimately chased out 91% of the users, and dealt with the problem of people abandoning their channels and saying the new room was on OFTC or Libera.Chat by taking over and resetting channels.

So far, many Twitter users are saying their last post will be to advise people where to follow them on Mastodon. How long until Musk has someone detect this and ban the account for talking about leaving and where they’re going?

Musk has been furious at the pace at which Twitter’s largest advertisers have been bailing on him. He “threatened” a “Thermonuclear Name and Shame” if “it doesn’t stop”, so apparently “freedom of speech” means being extorted by Musk into propping up his company which loses “$5 million a day” and rising, “or else” he’ll put your company on a “boycott list” for his followers.

Musk is not a very smart man. Like most rich people, he was born into generational wealth.

Worse, the generational wealth in the Musk family was generated by slave labor in South African emerald mines.

When people are rich they can buy media coverage and cover up for the fact that they’re not smart, they just “have people” for everything.

TED Talks are a joke. When they have people like Musk, they don’t ask him hard questions. They ask softball questions, and he even has to flub his way through these.

Like saying that the biggest threat to humanity is “malignant AI”. Like, he almost recalls watching The Terminator or something. In reality, we have nothing close to “AI” at the present time.

We unfortunately have “voice assistants”, which are different. They “fake” AI by having a wide range of pre-programmed responses, and if it very nearly does sound like someone is sitting in your phone answering your questions, it’s because of this and the fact that a voice actor sat down for hours on end recording speech samples so that “Siri” could have a voice.

But it’s not AI. Not even close. It’s unfortunate that they can fake it well enough to have lonely and depressed people form emotional attachments to a phone, but it’s not AI.

“Siri” is a product of marketing scum and psychiatrists knowing how you’re wired and creating a product to exploit you.

(These voice assistants are “always on” spyware that can be a wiretap.)

Elon Musk is a clown. He gets away with faking “intelligence” because nobody ever forces him into a corner and asks him anything hard. He’s just really rich and he’s an attention whore with personality traits that are very much not unlike Donald Trump.

When Musk wants attention, he shows up in a bad cowboy costume smoking dope and saying “something something Mars” and people listen to him.

Back to Musk’s empty threats….Boycott lists almost never work. They just don’t.

People might say they’re mad at Coca-Cola and GM, but they all keep buying Coke and Chevy trucks, so what difference does it make?

Fox News is portraying this as-if Musk has the upper hand by making these absurd threats, and he doesn’t.

There’s better deals for advertisers out there. Even FM radio, because people still listen in their cars.

He’s also busy pissing off people with millions of followers who made Twitter popular as an advertising platform by claiming he’s going to get them to pay him $20 or maybe $8, depending on what mood he’s in, for a blue check-mark.

Stephen King said he’d leave if he had to pay Musk anything for a blue check-mark, and King has a lot of money. He’s offended by the idea he should pay Musk to make Musk’s platform more popular for advertisers.

What’s driving away all of the advertisers and users is Musk’s increasingly erratic behavior.

Literally the second day he owned the company, he tweeted a bizarre anti-LGBT conspiracy theory about the attack on House Speaker Pelosi’s husband, and then deleted it.

Then he’s allowed hate speech to swell by over 500% without doing any sort of content moderation. Why would brands want to be associated with this? Twitter is becoming the official platform of right-wing cranks and Klansmen.

He defended laying off 3,750 people, in the middle of the night in some cases, by claiming the company is losing too much money to let them remain employed, without mentioning that his bid of $54.20 per share, a weed joke, was probably an over-payment of at least $4.20 per share, and would have allowed him to spare everyone who got laid off.

Not that he wanted to spare the people he let go. His first targets were the ethics team and the people who police misinformation, voting scams, and hate speech.

Put it all together, and not only is Twitter basically finished, but Musk has put on full display that he’s so incompetent that it didn’t even take him half a month to make it unsalvageable.

Proprietary “social media” with advertising, Russian (and other) troll farms, and government back doors are finally on the way out.

On top of Musk ruining Twitter (such that it was anywhere close to acceptable before) and leaving people scrambling to adopt Mastodon, Facebook has been losing advertising revenue while burning all of its cash on “Metaverse”, which is turning into a bigger joke every day, with investors more or less powerless to oust Mark Zuckerberg or stop him from burning cash.

(He controls 90% of the B Shares, which have 10 votes for each publicly traded A share.)

“Meta” (Facebook) stock is currently worth about a fifth of what it was just last year, and most analysts see a Long Term Negative outlook.

I notice whenever I do look at who is using Facebook these days, that it’s old people. People like my dad and Aunt (dad’s sister) who re-share their own posts because they don’t know how posts work, or make 8-9 accounts because they keep getting taken over by spammers.

Facebook hasn’t had anyone interesting on it for years, but the “mainstream” media says it’s “growing”.

It has every reason to want to be in denial. Billionaires and the governments (not just “your” government) have put a lot of money into these platforms.

They have back doors set up. If they fail, then the government is less effective at spying on you. They also let these companies into the major stock markets using fake valuations.

Facebook being in the S&P 500 in the first place was like the stock market version of allowing Greece into the European Union and Eurozone, and now the price tag is beginning to become known.

The losses won’t stop piling up at _only_ ~80% of what the company was said to be worth last year.

The people holding Twitter stock were lucky that a billionaire idiot came along to rescue them, because it wasn’t worth 10% of what he paid.

Had Twitter actually been worth anything like what he had paid on its own, there’s no way that the people running it would have sued him to force him to buy it, knowing they would all be fired. They got a good deal for their investors and themselves (as their shares vested upon being fired at the price Musk paid for them), and got out quickly.

Now Musk is furious because he’s such a narcissist that he thought he’d come in and fix everything because he knows everything, of course, and it’s just another failing Musk cash furnace. Already losing money, and now losing their advertisers and the people who would have been seeing the ads had the advertisers stayed.

Musk thinks he’ll charge people $7.99 a month for Twitter in the middle of the worst recession in global history.

If they don’t pay it, I think they’ll see “fewer” ads anyway until it’s down to the point the company is disbanded.

Now, Musk apparently thinks that he can _also_ turn Twitter into a YouTube competitor.

I can only speak for myself, but I don’t even use YouTube that much anymore. The drive to monetize everything has led to a lot of non-genuine content that you can only sort of roll your eyes at.

When Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips deliberately broke Pop_OS! to get “likes” and “views”, he knew what he was doing. No actual user is stupid enough that, when presented with a warning from a package manager that something’s not right and proceeding will most likely break the operating system, there’s no way they would type “Yes, do as I say.” and hit ENTER. But it generated a lot of attention, and attention (for advertisers) is all most people uploading YouTube videos are after.

So Musk says he’ll make Twitter an even more fake/synthetic form of “social” network than it is now, to drive “engagement”.

But Facebook is finding out that you can’t engage like this, even with “algorithms” except to a very stupid part of the population, and they’ve lost 4/5ths of their stock price to get to where they are today.

Similarly, YouTube (Google), responded to negative reactions to fake/synthetic “content” by neutering the Dislike button so you couldn’t look at it and see what real people thought.

It’s a way of gaslighting. You can still see “Likes”, but are they even people that are “Liking” the video? Who is clicking on this crap? Bots?

I don’t think there’s a future in the fake Social Network business.

Was it all just a meme that went on for a couple decades only to crash because they got too greedy and started squeezing too hard? It certainly appears that way to me.

I believe, and hope, that we’re witnessing the people swiftly rejecting this madness and forming actual communities, using open standards.

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