Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 4e251da456416f8e8155bd4f356340d3
Cover-up Culture at Sirius Open Source
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities

IT has now been 4 days since I officially left Sirius ‘Open Source’ after disputes with the management. As the above video notes (near the start), we’re dealing with thin-skinned people who lie to staff and then get all “victim-like” because someone used the word “liar”. We’ll come back to this much later in this series.

“The use of the word “allegations” is key here because what management is alleging has historically not been trustworthy (and usually those allegations aren’t shared with staff or constitute mere smears).”The video mostly deal with the latest part of the report, which examines awful events nearly a decade old. There was an actual lawsuit, but it was hidden away from staff. The lawsuit had been filed after suspension/dismissal of someone alleged to have engaged in wrongdoing, along with his partner, who was of course innocent regardless of the merits of these allegations.

The use of the word “allegations” is key here because what management is alleging has historically not been trustworthy (and usually those allegations aren’t shared with staff or constitute mere smears). There’s a culture of dishonesty or a chronic culture of lying at the management. It’s something I was first made aware of about 4 years before joining the company. Someone credible (whom I first knew online, later met in person) told me that the Sirius founder had lied about his credentials (for media attention) and that litigation was considered over those lies; it was not worth pursuing for financial reasons, but the founder of Sirius was taking credit for things not actually one’s own achievement (misrepresentation or lying about one’s role in a British institution).

“I never forgot what I learned down at a local pub before I joined the company; but I only saw it firsthand in more recent years.”The saddest thing is that real people are hurt and even disabled people are harmed. They don’t do anything wrong, but for pseudo-political reasons they get punished regardless.

I never forgot what I learned down at a local pub before I joined the company; but I only saw it firsthand in more recent years. I was conveniently ignoring the lies for years, as they didn’t impact me personally and I didn’t participate in the lying.

[Meme] Guilt by Association

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 5:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sirius Open Source firing blind people who did nothing

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret

That Time Sirius ‘Open Source’ Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sirius shown to the public as women-friendly a decade ago

Sirius 'Open Source' in 2012

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff’s communication server was shut down

THE year was 2011 or thereabouts. Sirius hired a kind German lady, was also completely blind. Colleagues were happy to help, but clients were not being informed that she was blind and management feared that clients might find out that she was blind. A year or two later she was fired and simply ‘vanished’; nobody was allowed to talk about that.

This, among other incidents, is an example of a ruthless company that does not tolerate staff dialogue and relies on secrecy (or clients being blind to what really goes on). The relevant part of the report is below.

Blindness to Criticism

The foundations of the company need to be protected, not the personal agenda of pertinent, individual workers and/or cliques/factions of workers. Lack of communication blinds us to our weaknesses. Over a decade ago when the company-wide Jabber server was disabled (probably to prevent unity and sympathy among staff) workers’ ability to interact with colleagues was curtailed, leaving everyone in a position where supporting clients was a lot harder. The widespread belief at the time was that the server was intentionally offline (nobody wanted to talk about it, let alone lie) because the company faced a lawsuit from a couple wrongly accused/dismissed (at least one of them). Roy and Rianne have supported blind people’s charities for nearly a decade already, so recalling how the company treated a blind colleague, likely an innocent colleague, is a bit of deja vu in light of later sections of this document. Roy and Rianne poured in a portion of their income (received monthly from Sirius) into blind people’s charities after the company, Sirius, had unfairly dismissed a legally blind — and much-liked among her colleagues — vulnerable lady.

Sirius was not always criticised or fearful of criticism, certainly not as a whole (criticising one particular aspect of Sirius is not the same as just rejecting Sirius as a whole). In fact the company used to boast true transparency (also full access to the wiki, which Roy helped manage/install), like telling workers not only which clients were paying but also how much they were paying (so it was possible to understand the commercial side of things). In some sense, workers felt connected to the company, not left out to hang. Internal presentations in the company, or even the habitual workshop, gave all workers a lot of information. The accountant and other people met staff in person, offering good advice on a number of things. Not much was outsourced or left behind walled gardens.

Things have changed a lot since then.

Links 05/12/2022: Gnoppix Linux 22.12 and Armbian 22.11

Posted in News Roundup at 5:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Ubuntu PitBest Linux Desktop Environment: 16 Reviewed and Compared [Ed: Page updated]

        The world of Linux Desktop Environments is vast and ever-evolving. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Whether you need a lightweight and efficient environment for business purposes, want the best gaming experience possible, or require an environment with high levels of privacy and security, there’s a Linux Desktop Environment out there for everyone.

        Another thing to note is that installing a distro comes with a desktop environment already set up. However, so many popular desktop environments are available that it might be difficult for someone new to choose which one fits their needs best. With that in mind, I created this comprehensive guide on the best Linux desktop environments. Regardless of your level of expertise, this tutorial will help you find the perfect one for your needs.

      • Make Use Of6 Reasons Why 2022 Wasn’t the Best Year for Chromebooks

        Chromebooks hit an all-time popularity high in 2020 as billions of people were forced to stay home, and discovered they needed a cheap way of entertaining themselves, working, and engaging with the education system. But 2021 saw sales drop off sharply to 37.3 million units, and it’s estimated that a mere 30 million Chromebooks will have shipped by the end of 2022.

        With 2023 appearing over the horizon, the future looks bleak for Chromebooks. Why is it so?

      • XDACan the HP Envy x360 (2022) run Linux?

        The easiest and safest way to run Linux on the HP Envy x360 (2022) is through virtualization tools. If you’re on Windows 11 Pro, you can use Hyper-V on Windows to install Linux on a virtual machine. Just search for it in the Start Menu and follow the steps on your screen. If you’re on Windows 11 Home, you can also install Linux on a virtual machine through an app like Oracle Virtualbox.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • HackadayHow Realtime Is Your Kernel? Scope A GPIO To Find Out | Hackaday

        When debugging something as involved as kernel scheduler timings, you would typically use one of the software-based debugging mechanisms available. However, in cases when software is close to bare metal, you don’t always need to do that. Instead, you can output a signal to a GPIO, and then use a logic analyzer or a scope to measure signal change timing – which is what [Albert David] did when evaluating Linux kernel’s PREEMPT_RT realtime operation patches.


        What could you use this for? A lot of hobbyists use realtime kernels on Linux when building CNC machine controllers and robots, where things like motor control put tight constraints on how quickly a decision in your software is translated into real-world consequences, and if this sounds up your valley, check out this Linux real-time task tutorial from [Andreas]. If things get way too intense for a multi-tasking system like Linux, you might want to use a RTOS to begin with, and we have a guide on that for you, too.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Ships Vulkan Extensions to Support Accelerated RTX™ IO on Windows and Linux

        NVIDIA RTX™ IO is a suite of technologies that enables rapid GPU-based asset decompression and loading. NVIDIA’s GDeflate GPU decompression format delivers IO-saturating performance on modern NVMe devices. GDeflate is used in Microsoft’s DirectStorage API, and now NVIDIA is contributing the technology for consideration by the Vulkan working group at Khronos. Two new NVIDIA Vulkan extensions to accelerate RTX IO are were released in the Vulkan 1.3.233 update and are supported in the latest NVIDIA drivers on both Linux and Windows. VK_NV_memory_decompression handles decompressing assets on GPU, and VK_NV_copy_memory_indirect handles copying decompressed data to Vulkan buffers/images.

      • MoltenVK Added to Two Switch Emulators

        Two switch emulators have recently added MoltenVK to their back-end for portability and benchmarking…

    • Benchmarks

    • Applications

      • Cockpit 281 — Cockpit Project

        Override your system’s style with Cockpit’s new style switcher. It’s great for the times when you might want a dark Cockpit but your system is in light mode. Or vice versa.

        Additionally, some browsers have issues picking up on the correct system dark mode setting, so this lets you manually set the mode you prefer.

        You can find the style switcher in the session menu.

      • MedevelTermdbs: Manage your Databases and CSVs from the Terminal

        Termdbs is a free open-source lightweight terminal app that allows you to view and edit local database (SQLite) and large CSV files.

        It offers a straightforward terminal interface that you can easily use with many useful shortcuts, or by using your mouse and mouse scroll.

        With Termdbs, you can navigate database tables, simple browse any number of columns or rows, query your database with a query manager, and many other features.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ByteXDHow to Set Up Wireguard VPN Server on Ubuntu 22.04

        WireGuard is an open-source general-purpose VPN that was initially released for the Linux kernel. Now it is used across multiple platforms i.e. Windows, macOS, Android, etc. The WireGuard VPN supports both IPv4 and IPv6 connections.

        WireGuard uses public and private keys to establish encrypted tunnels between peers to ensure security. It is much faster compared to other VPN protocols such as OpenVPN and IPSec.

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to set up WireGuard on a Ubuntu 22.04 Server. First, let’s take a look at the prerequisites needed for this tutorial and make sure you have everything ready before proceeding further.

      • ByteXDHow to Update phpMyAdmin to the Latest Version

        Sometimes the repository response time becomes slow and does not deliver the updates. Or you might be facing compatibility issues with your current version of phpMyAdmin.

        Whatever the reason, this tutorial is going to show how you can update your phpMyAdmin to the latest version manually.

      • Linux HandbookHow to Create Large Files in Linux

        Creating files in Linux is something we do all the time. Mostly you create an empty text file with the touch command and then add content to it.

        But what about creating new files of a certain size?

        When you are troubleshooting something or want to test in some particular scenario, you may require large files bigger than a certain size. Let’s say 500 MB or 2 GB.

        Now, you cannot create an empty file and then start writing garbage text in it. You can never be able to create a file of 1 GB in size this way.

        Thankfully, you don’t have to manually create large text files. There are various commands that allow you to create large files of predefined size. They won’t have desired tex. Just some random garbage but you’ll get the file of your desired size.

        Let me show how to do that.

      • Writing Single-Line, Inline, and Multi-line Comments in Linux Shell Script

        Like other programming languages, bash provides you with the option to ignore a single line, inline, or a block of lines from execution.

        The comments always received the least attention due to their simplicity but played a very important role while being used in a program or script.

        You can use them to describe the block of lines in your script that can help you understand what you did in the past; others can also benefit from this. Or, you can use the comments to skip the block of lines while debugging your script.

        In this article, you will learn three ways to comment lines in your shell script.

      • What is Exit Status Code ($?) of Last Command in Linux

        The “$?” is a built-in variable that your shell uses to store the exit status code of the last executed command in integer format and remains unchanged unless the next command is executed.

        Using this exit status code, you can debug the problem that occurred while executing the command, which can be extremely beneficial in shell script error handling.

      • ID RootHow To Install phpMyAdmin on Rocky Linux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpMyAdmin on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, phpMyAdmin is a free and open-source tool that enables you to manage MySQL and MariaDB databases from the web browser. It provides a robust and user-friendly interface for managing databases, tables, database users, basic crud operations (create, read, update, delete), and so much more.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the phpMyAdmin on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • DebugPointHow to Create Ubuntu, Linux OS Bootable USB in Windows

        A short tutorial for beginners on creating a bootable USB stick in Windows with Ubuntu/Linux ISO images.

        A bootable Ubuntu USB is handy for multiple reasons. Suppose you are a Windows user and thinking of migrating to Linux. In that case, you can experience Ubuntu desktop/Linux desktops without hampering your PC configuration or installation using a Live USB stick. Also, using this, you can boot from the USB stick directly from an Internet Cafe or any borrowed computer. Not only that, if you have a broken system, you can always use the USB stick to boot from and repair the broken system/recover data. Here are the steps to follow to create a bootable Ubuntu USB from Microsoft Windows.

      • Red Hat OfficialLearn how Unix influenced Linux, understand Ansible lists and dictionaries, and more tips for sysadmin | Enable Sysadmin

        Check out Enable Sysadmin’s top 10 articles from November 2022.

      • Beginners Guide for Set Command in Linux

        The set command is a built-in Linux command that can display or modify the value of shell attributes and positional parameters inside the current shell environment.

        This modification can help to debug your script by finding undefined variables, errors, job control, printing commands as they are executed, and automatically exporting variables and functions in sub-shell.

      • Beginners Guide for Unset Command in Linux

        The set command is a built-in Linux command that can display or modify the value of shell attributes and positional parameters inside the current shell environment.

      • Red HatHow to trace application errors using SystemTap | Red Hat Developer

        Low-level library functions and kernel system calls on Linux report errors by returning a POSIX error code such as ENOENT or EINVAL. With SystemTap, an open source tracing toolkit maintained by Red Hat, it is possible to look inside the Linux kernel to debug the problem. This article demonstrates how to investigate the cause of an error code using SystemTap with the whythefail.stp script.


        This article demonstrated how source code inspection and SystemTap tracing could narrow down the causes of a confusing error code. With the help of whythefail.stp, we utilized the general information provided by an EINVAL error code and traced the Linux kernel’s implementation of the system call to understand which argument was invalid and why. We also illustrated how debugging tools could double as program understanding tools for programmers whose code interacts with an unfamiliar project. When we used whythefail.stp, our goal was not to diagnose a problem within the kernel itself but to understand the kernel’s internals and behavior in more detail than the documentation conveys.

      • CitizixHow to install and configure Redpanda on Debian 11

        Redpanda is a Kafka®-compatible streaming data platform that boasts of being 10x faster and 6x more cost efficient. It is also JVM-free, ZooKeeper®-free, Jepsen-tested and source available. It is distributed as a single binary with everything thus allowing you to deploy in minutes. It works natively with Kafka tools.

      • LinuxiacHow to Add a User in Linux [With Examples]

        This guide shows how to add a user in Linux using the useradd and adduser commands or utilizing the GUI tools that the desktop provides.

      • ID RootHow To Install Docker Compose on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Docker Compose on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Docker Compose is a utility that permits you to run multi-container application setups based on YAML definitions. It creates fully customized environments with multiple containers that have the capability to share data volumes and networks using service definitions. Once you have a Compose file, you can create and start your application with a single command.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Docker Compose on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • Ubuntu HandbookFix TypeCatcher (Google Fonts Installer) does not launch in Ubuntu 22.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to fix the launching issue for TypeCatcher in Ubuntu 22.04 or other Linux with Python 3.9 & higher.

        TypeCatcher is a simple GTK application to download and install Google webfonts for off-line use. The app is available to install in Ubuntu Software for all current Ubuntu releases. However, it does not launch in Ubuntu since 21.10.

      • OSTechNixSetup SFTP Server With SFTPGo In Linux – OSTechNix

        This detailed guide explains what is SFTPGo, how to install SFTPGo in various Linux distributions, and finally how to setup a SFTP server with SFTPGo in Linux.

      • Red Hat Official6 ways to get information about your CPU on Linux

        Getting insight into what CPU you’re running is a useful trick to know.

      • LinuxConfigHow to perform unattended Linux installations with Kickstart

        Kickstart is an automatic installation method natively available on those distributions which uses the Anaconda installer: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and its clones) and Fedora. It can also be used to install Ubuntu, actually, but in that context it acts as a layer of compatibility to the debian-native preseeding method. With Kickstart we can perform unattended, customizable and reproducible installations.

        In this tutorial we learn the basics of Kickstart, and we see how to perform an unattended installation of a Fedora Workstation system.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • My Window Manager Environment Desktop | A Transformed Life

        This is going to be another one of those Linux posts that I put up here for my own reminders. I don’t know if anyone else will ever read or appreciate these, but I’ve found them helpful. To wit:

        The Desktop Environment vs. Window Manager debate. Lots of people who use Linux spend time deciding on which Desktop Environment they want to use. Windows users don’t really have that option: Microsoft chooses your Desktop Environment, and that’s the end of it. That’s why Windows 98 looked so different from Windows XP, which looked different from Windows 7, which looked different from Windows 8, to Windows 10 and 11. (I bought a new computer last month, and I was *shocked* at how much Windows 11 looked like… a Linux desktop called Gnome. I hated it, but I’m not a Gnome fan.)

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDEGuest Post: OpenUK Awards 2022 Sustainability – KDE Eco

          This is a guest post by Jonathan Esk-Riddell for the KDE Eco blog about the OpenUK Awards.

          OpenUK is an advocacy organisation for open tech (software, hardware and data) in the UK. We run various activities and I have had the priviledge of hosting the award ceremony for the last few years.

          Last year at COP26 in Glasgow I announced KDE Eco, the KDE project to measure and certify apps as energy efficient. For those reading this who aren’t familiar, KDE is an open source community making apps for Linux and other platforms. KDE Eco has two parts, FOSS Energy Efficiency Project, developing tools to improve energy efficiency in free and open source software development. And Blauer Engel For FOSS, working with German Environment Agency to create eco-certification with the Blauer Engel label for desktop software.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Timothée RavierCommunity maintained images for toolbox (and distrobox) – Siosm’s blog

      In this post I will discuss how we made community maintained container images for common Linux distributions available for use with toolbox (and distrobox) and why we can not call them “official”.

      What is toolbox (or toolbx)?

      But first, let’s start with a bit of context. On image based Linux distributions (such as Fedora Silverblue, Fedora Kinoite, Fedora CoreOS, etc.), it is not practical to install random packages the way you may be used to do on classic package based Linux distributions. You are expected to run applications in containers, either via Flatpak for graphical applications, or via podman for command line ones.

      While you can directly manage your own custom container images and environment configurations, it is not useful to have everyone rediscover what to do thus a new tool has been created to make that easier: toolbox (or toolbx) (containers/toolbox on GitHub).

      Toolbox lets you easily create a mutable and persistent environments inside containers that are well integrated with your host system.

    • Barry KaulerEasyOS advancing to Kirkstone-series

      That’s the current intention anyway. The Dunfell-series started in early 2020, and I am running into problems with libraries etc. being too old.

    • Reviews

      • Distro WatchReview: CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS

        Last week I took to the DistroWatch waiting list in search of new distributions to try. One which caught my eye was CachyOS. The distribution’s website describes the project as follows:

        “CachyOS is a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. The default Linux kernel is linux-cacule which is the Arch Linux stock kernel plus the CacULE CPU Scheduler.

        The project currently supplies three editions: KDE (2.2GB), GNOME (2.2GB), and a self-described command line edition which is 952MB. The command line (CLI) edition doesn’t appear to be updated as often or as recently as the desktop editions. The CLI edition is eight months old at the time of writing while the two desktop editions are just over a month old.

        The distribution’s website mentions some key features, including the Cachy-Browser which is a web browser forked from LibreWolf. The website also mentions a tool called Firejail Toggle which will enable sandboxing for recognized applications. The CachyOS website also mentions one-click support for installing the operating system on ZFS, an advanced filesystem. Alternatives, XFS, ext4, Btrfs, and F2FS are reportedly supported at install time.

        I decided to download the KDE edition of CachyOS. Booting from the provided media brings up a menu offering to start the live distribution normally or with NVIDIA drivers enabled. The system loads and presents us with the KDE Plasma desktop with a strong blue-on-blue theme. A panel is placed along the bottom of the screen with the desktop’s application menu and system tray. A dock-like set of launchers appears in the middle of the panel.

        Once the live desktop loads, a welcome screen appears. This screen is divided into three columns. In the first column we find buttons which provide us with documentation, release information, and a link to the project’s wiki. The second column includes a link to the forum and a button called “Software” which connects us with the distribution’s repository of custom package builds. The third column links us to source code and tips for getting involved with developing the distribution. At the bottom of the welcome window is a button which launches the Calamares system installer.

        The welcome screen also features a drop-down menu where we can select our preferred language. Strangely, selecting different languages doesn’t do anything. The welcome window and the Plasma desktop remain displaying English, regardless of which language I picked.

    • New Releases

      • Linux Magazine4MLinux 41.0 is Now Stable and Ready for Use

        The developers behind 4MLinux have changed the status of 41.0 to STABLE, which means it’s ready for prime time.

        4MLinux 41 is now available for general use and includes plenty of updates. There are new applications to be had, including FileZilla, XPaint, and GNU Paint, a command-line tool for managing NVM-Express partitions, a small collection of games, LibreOffice 7.4.3, GNOME Office (AbiWord, GIMP, Gnumeric), Dropbox, Firefox, Chromium, Thunderbird, the Audacious music player, VLC, SMPlayer, Wine 7.18, and more.

        With the release of 4MLinux 41.0, it is now possible to install on a BTRFS partition, with the help of Syslinux acting as a boot manager.

        This lightweight Linux distribution ships with kernel 6.0.6 and Mesa 22.1.4, and uses JWM (Joe’s Window Manager) as the desktop interface.

      • Gnoppix 22.12 Release

        Today I’m happy to announce Gnoppix 22.12 Release.

        The update includes bug fixes, security updates, Kernel 6.x , starting with Gnome 43.2 and lot of performance improvements, lot of new security tools!

      • DebugPointGnoppix Linux 22.12 is out with GNOME 43, Kernel 6.0, + More

        The successor of the legacy live-cd Knoppix project, Gnoppix Linux is designed specifically for use in penetration testing and reverse engineering. It is optimized for web application security and for protecting digital rights. In addition to its focus on security, Gnoppix can also be used as a regular desktop operating system. It is a rolling release that receives frequent updates and new features.

        At its core, it is based on Kali Linux and Debian-rolling for some parts. And brings a GNOME desktop in contrast with Xfce for Kali Linux.

      • Armbian 22.11 – Armbian

        - added Bananapi M5, Odroid M1 and Rockpi 4C plus

        - enabled community images with weekly release cycle

        - added ultra minimal images optimized for software deployment

        - added RiscV64 UEFI build support

        - improved support for Rockpi S

        kernel upgrade is frozen by default to improve stability

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • OpenSUSEThe openSUSE forums move from vBulletin to Discourse – openSUSE News

        Maybe you have read this announcement in openSUSE forums and asked yourself what this will mean for the way you use the forums. Even more when you may not understand, or only vaguely understand, what the words vBulletin and Discourse mean.

        You will understand that the website forums.opensuse.org runs software that handles not only the interface with you, but also stores and manages the threads with the posts, and the user administration of the forum members. The software package used is named vBulletin. It is a commercial package and as such brings considerable costs.

        Because all software that stays alive will move to new versions, this is also the case with vBulletin. That will mean that all of the adaptions that were made in the openSUSE instance had to be converted to the new version. At such a moment, it is time to look if a different solution might be better. We will not burden you with all the details, but the result is that vBulletin will be replaced by a different and open-source (which fits into the openSUSE product approach: Discourse.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly Update – Week 48 2022

        This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat.

        We provide you both infographics and text version of the weekly report. If you just want to quickly look at what we did, just look at the infographic. If you are interested in more in depth details look below the infographic.

      • Enterprisers ProjectHow data analysts can help CIOs bridge the tech talent shortfall | The Enterprisers Project

        Digital transformation has increased interest in AI, ML, and DevOps talent to revolutionize the customer experience through automation and personalization.

        While these positions are essential, it may not make sense for every company to prioritize them, especially those that don’t already have a cohesive data strategy. While digital progress and tech investments will continue, leaders must first prioritize how their company manages its data.

      • Enterprisers Project7 AI predictions for 2023 from IT leaders

        December is here, so you know what that means: holiday parties, new year’s resolutions, and a slew of technology predictions. We decided to focus on a trend that matters most urgently to IT leaders—concrete artificial intelligence (AI) insights for your team and business.

        The potential impacts of AI are wide-ranging—as are the related forecasts, on everything from sentient to generative and responsible AI, to collaboration and automation. What will matter to IT leaders in 2023? We talked to AI and IT career experts to ask their opinions.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • The Register UKLinux Mint 21.1 enters beta, should arrive by Christmas • The Register

        The first beta version of Mint 21.1 is now available for download, and the flagship Cinnamon desktop edition contains the biggest change, with a new version of the desktop.

      • UbuntuHigh-performance computing (HPC) technologies: what does the future hold? [part 6] | Ubuntu

        It’s always difficult to predict the future, but we expect to see plenty around easing the deployment of applications and clusters for HPC. Composability is positioned to grow with the advent of new server components. Schedulers continue to advance. Quantum computing is getting closer each year, with new updates expected in the years to come. Alternative architectures are growing in use and becoming more mature. Ubuntu is positioned to work well everywhere, so it will be a great asset for organisations looking to use HPC. Let’s explore technological innovations surrounding:

      • UbuntuJoin Canonical and the financial services open-source community at OSSF NY | Ubuntu

        OSFF is a global conference hosted by the Linux Foundation FINOS that brings together experts across financial services, technology, and open source to engage in stimulating and thought-provoking conversations about leveraging secure open source to solve financial services industry challenges.

        This event showcases recent developments and the direction of open source in financial services. It provides practical knowledge and guidance on best practices, open-source tools and technologies in the industry.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosRugged Edge Mini-PC equipped with i.MX 8M Plus and dual 2.5GbE LAN ports

        The datasheet also mentions that the ISR215 is based on the IBR215-Q316I SBC which also provides access to two HD MIPI-CSI interfaces supporting up to 12MP cameras.

        iBASE also specified that “Standard BSP support for Yocto and Android and design-in services are provided to help customers rapidly develop and deploy their innovations.”

    • Open Hardware/Modding

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Chromium

      • Mozilla

        • ThunderbirdThunderbird For Android Preview: Modern Message Redesign

          The road to bringing you a great Thunderbird email experience on Android devices begins with K-9 Mail, which joined our family earlier this year. And we’ve been busy improving K-9 Mail as we prepare its transition to Thunderbird for Android in Summer 2023. (Check out our roadmap for updates!)

          Last week we showed you the new Swipe actions in K-9 Mail 6.400. Today, it’s something even more exciting: a completely redesigned message view!

        • MozillaHow we’re making Firefox accessible and delightful for everyone

          I joined Mozilla in 2017 as an accessibility engineer and soon became the tech lead for accessibility. But for years prior, I was already deeply involved with the company. I co-created NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) in 2006, a screen reader for blind and vision impaired people like me. We wanted to make Firefox and NVDA work as well as they could together to provide everyone the best possible access to the web.

          With NVDA, I helped change the world for a lot of people through a free and open-source screen reader. Now at Mozilla, I get to do the work from the browser side of things – making sure Firefox continues to work efficiently alongside assistive technology as the internet evolves constantly and rapidly.

          This International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I want to take a moment to share how we’re working to make Firefox not just accessible. We want to make sure the browser is also delightful, efficient and easy to use for everyone, including the more than 1 billion people around the world who live with disabilities.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

    • Programming/Development

      • Perl / Raku

        • Rakulang2022.49 ReleaseMas Again – Rakudo Weekly News

          This week saw a new Rakudo compiler release (2022.12 by Justin DeVuyst) with a nice bunch of new features and bug fixes, a new Cro release (mostly to fix a testing issue that would inhibit installation by default) and a new release of the Podlite editor (0.4.0, with markdown block support, /r/rakulang comments). Nice prezzies!

  • Leftovers

    • Security

      • Bruce SchneierCAPTCHA

        As an actual human and not a bot, I had no idea how to answer. Is this a joke? (Seems not.) Is it a Magritte-like existential question? (It’s not a bicycle. It’s a drawing of a bicycle. Actually, it’s a photograph of a drawing of a bicycle. No, it’s really a computer image of a photograph of a drawing of a bicycle.) Am I overthinking this? (Definitely.) I stared at the screen, paralyzed, for way too long.

      • Bleeping ComputerHackers hijack Linux devices using PRoot isolated filesystems [Ed: This only impacts machines that are already compromised some other way]

        PRoot is an open-source utility that combines the ‘chroot’, ‘mount –bind’, and ‘binfmt_misc’ commands, allowing users to set up an isolated root filesystem within Linux.

      • LinuxSecurityHere’s Why You Should Get Started With Open Source Log Analytics & Monitoring Today!

        One of the biggest benefits of using open source monitoring tools is that they are usually free. This can save organizations a considerable amount of money, especially if they already use other open-source software applications.

        Additionally, many open source applications come with a wide range of features and plugins that can be used to customize the application further to meet an organization’s specific needs.

        Another big benefit of using open source monitoring solutions is that they tend to be more flexible than commercial options. This can give organizations more control over the monitoring tool, giving them a better understanding of how it works and how you can use it to your advantage.

      • LWNSecurity updates for Monday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (awstats, chromium, clamav, g810-led, giflib, http-parser, jhead, libpgjava, node-cached-path-relative, node-fetch, and vlc), Fedora (fastnetmon, kernel, librime, qpress, rr, thunderbird, and wireshark), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, and kpatch-patch), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (cherrytree and chromium), and Ubuntu (libbpf, libxml2, linux-gcp-5.15, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.15, and linux-gke).

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Internet Freedom FoundationDigital Transparency: A Right to Information Report for November 2022

        For the month of November 2022, IFF has filed 5 Right to Information (“RTI”) applications. In significant responses, we obtained submissions made in the public consultations on the consultation paper on Need for a new legal framework governing Telecommunication in India and on the India Digital Ecosystem Architecture 2.0 from the Department of Telecommunications and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, respectively.

      • Internet Freedom FoundationGovernment to reply to petition on search of mobile devices:

        In October 2022, the Foundation for Media Professionals (‘FMP’) approached the Supreme Court seeking regulation of the police’s power to search or seize electronic devices. In the petition, they highlighted that existing laws do not regulate how authorities search or seize electronic devices. The lack of regulation enables them to engage in dubious practices, such as mandating individuals, with or without reasonable suspicion, to grant access to their mobile devices. The Supreme Court has directed the Central Government to reply to the Petition within 8 weeks. FMP was represented by Senior Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal. IFF provided legal support.


        On October 18th, 2022, a bench led by Justice K.M. Joseph issued notice in the petition and tagged it with an ongoing case titled Ram Ramaswamy & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.. In that case, the Union Government has already filed a reply. Today, a bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice A.S. Oka heard FMP’s petition as well as the ongoing case. After hearing submissions from Senior Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, appearing for FMP, the Court observed that the scope FMP’s petition was more extensive than the ongoing case, since it raised issues relating to enforcement and investigation agencies beyond the police and sought comprehensive directions. The Supreme Court directed the Union Government to separately reply to FMP’s petition. The Court also de-tagged FMP’s petition from the ongoing case and listed it for a hearing in February 2022.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Public KnowledgePublic Knowledge Joins 26 Groups Urging Congress To Drop JCPA from Must-Pass Defense Legislation – Public Knowledge

        Today, Public Knowledge joined 26 public interest, consumer advocacy, and civil society groups as well as trade associations, media companies, and others in a letter urging Congressional leadership to exclude the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” (JCPA) from any pending legislation, including the “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA) – a “must-pass” bill funding military activities. The groups argue that the JCPA “contains far too many contradictions, complexities, and problems” for Congress to include it in any omnibus or must-pass legislation.

        Public Knowledge contends that the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” fails to support local news, serving only to worsen some of the biggest problems in journalism. Bundling the bill into must-pass defense legislation is a desperate move that only demonstrates how flawed this so-called journalism bill really is.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • hello from a desk somewhere in St Louis!

        I’m here in Oakville, a place I despise, and I am chomping at the bit to move (soon). Lovely.

        Now, I write things with nothing much *to* write, but I come up with stuff, anyway.

        I like Smol.pub, the updates here. I also LOVE Midnight.pub, the updates/community there. Blog Bless them all! :)

        And yea, I’m still mostly without much to say in this moment. Been watching SBF interviews this evening. Speaks quite similar to Jeffrey Skilling of ENRON during the scant media interactions he had near/after the ENRON meltdown in…2000?

      • 🔤SpellBinding: ATHIRSG Wordo: DYADS
      • Star Log 2022-12-04 Evening (Fairbanks, AK, US)

        Yesterday evening the sky was mostly clear, but the temperature was still reasonably warm at +9 °F (-13 °C). This would have made for a comfortable stargazing evening, but I had a conflict with a family event. I got home too late to go out to the boat launch (it was a work night) but I decided to go out into the yard for a few minutes to do some moon-gazing. I had a good time observing the moon for about 30 minutes with the 60mm refractor, mainly using the Plossl 12.5mm eyepiece.

    • Technical

      • Drowning in AI Generated Garbage : the silent war we are fighting

        All over the web, we are witnessing very spectacular results from statistic algorithms that have been in the work for the last forty years. We gave those algorithms an incredibly catchy name: “Artificial Intelligence”. We now have very popular and direct applications for them: give the algorithm a simple text prompt (don’t get me started on the importance of text) and it generates a beautiful original picture or a very serious-sounding text. It could also generate sounds or videos (we call them “deep fakes”). After all, it generates only a stream of bits, a bunch of 1 and 0 open to interpretation.

      • Finally shifting to my own compan

        I work for hire as a software engineer using my own company for quite sometime, but now I have finally shifted my focus to what I really want to do: game programming.

      • Announcement: todo.txt over Gemini

        For many years I’ve used the wonderful “Tasks” app by Alex Baker^, forked from Astrid Tasks back in 2013. Recently I began switching to the plaintext todo.txt format^^, and I wanted a simple online interface with which I could interact with my list. Since I primarily use Gemini these days, I decided to build a Gemini interface myself.

        Last night I quietly added a link to my todo.txt service to the “Live” section of my capsule. Visitors can create a todo.txt file of their own, download it, and manage it from the page.

      • Still toying

        I’ve been toying with additional smol web and fediverse tools these last weeks. But not one day has passed that I have not thought “I should post a small text on my gemlog”. Here it is.

        Mastodon: I had a couple accounts on big instances since 2017. They’re both dead, their domains bouncing to a gossip news site and a porn site full of placeholders. I’ve since made a new one on a mid-size instance, but still not feeling it. I’ve been entrenched on my usage of twitter for a lot of years: Tweetdeck on the desktop, Talon on the phone, and not touching the official app or web. It’s too comfortable now, and I don’t see any ads whatsoever. There’s a lot of list, filters, and stuff I should build on mastodon to reach a similar level of useful/uselessness.

      • Programming

        • comeback

          With the end of August, i plan a comeback to Geminispace.

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

Unified Patent Court (UPC) is “Real Soon Now!” Since 2014

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC Delayed again; More complaints

Summary: The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is once again forced to admit issues and delays; we’ve seen this time and time again for nearly a decade already

Unified Patent Court (UPC) ‘Delayed’ Again, As Usual, as Unitary Patent Boosters Caught Up in Lies and Scandals

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is what Team UPC said in 2014:

Summary: “UPC [is] delayed by 2 months,” a source has told us, dubbing it “good news” and reaffirming what we’ve said this past year; this litigation lobby's 'wishlist' system isn’t legal, it’s not ready, there are yet more scandals, and journalists have been catching up with these scandals

“Time for more lawsuits,” a reliable source has told us. Expect UPC to face several more obstacles, though Team UPC will never admit that UPC is doomed.

Lately we’ve been briefing reputable journalists on this matter and they will inform the public. Kangaroo courts that are neither legal nor constitutional should never be formed. If they do, they will soon thereafter be abolished. It doesn’t take a genius to see that after Brexit UPC is simply impossible, no matter all the other issues.

About a month ago we asked Germans (or others) to contact their politicians. They can prevent ratification. As a reminder, the UPC harms the reputation of Germany and the EU because if they allow it, then it emboldens critics; it would make the German government and the European Commission look very eager to start an illegal court — all due to heavy lobbying, lies, and distortions.

“…it would make the German government and the European Commission look very eager to start an illegal court — all due to heavy lobbying, lies, and distortions.”“It would help to point to some official EU documentation to that effect,” a reader reminded us. Well, legally speaking, UPC cannot start because a) it strictly requires the UK signing (but it cannot because it left the EU); b) it causes various constitutional issues, some of which confirmed by courts already; c) there was no legitimate economic analysis; it was fabricated a long time ago and those who perpetrated this fraud even said they refuse to allow.

“The European Parliament has a committee dedicated specifically to constitutional matters,” the reader recalled, “so this might be relevant to bring to them.” Germans can use the list in this page (full contacts).

Hungary took this to court as well. It was ruled unconstitutional.

I myself decided to do my part, having contacted my MEP and said:

Commissioner Breton is refusing to properly answer your questions regarding the UPC. He evades these questions on purpose. There is a deep conflict of interest there. It is very well documented.

Now, as per last week, the UPC judges turn out to be exactly how the UPC complaint (FCC in Germany) cautioned. The judges are industry insiders, clearly not impartial, and the prospective president is an avid proponent of software parents.

I’m not an MEP, I’m just a blogger. I need you to help rectify this matter. UPC is clearly institutional injustice and it’s moreover unconstitutional in at least several states. I’m sure you’re aware of this already; you brought this up on the record. I’ve covered this before.

Can we have a discussion about this over the telephone? Do you want me to send you any supportive material?

I need your help as my representative. I spent like 1,000 hours writing about the UPC, but I am not a politician and I have no access to the EP.

Kind regards,

The MEP has since then responded and some journalists also got in touch.

There are also ongoing tensions at the EPO, which is related but not the same. It is what it is. We’ve not been keeping up with UPC, but the lobbyists lied too much and hope they get cold feet. The last thing Team UPC needs right now is an epic controversy like a court run by corporations as ‘judges’.

There are other issues as well, technical aside from the legal.

“They have some delay with the IT system,” one person told us months ago, but “Germany will ratify in December.”

“There are forces of resistance and some of them will be described in a future and perhaps even imminent post.”Well, that’s not going to happen. They told us that in December 2018 the FCC would toss out the UPC complaint. That did not actually happen (the opposite outcome came and only in 2020); it was a commercially and politically motivated false rumour. “I suspect Karlsruhe to also [trying to] protect the [German] patent system,” one person told us, and “that’s why their decisions are ‘political’.”

The main barrier may be the public realising what they’re up to. “Now it’s pretty clear Karlsruhe found an excuse not to escalate to CJEU,” the person added, “because the lobby behind controls the ministry of justice and wants the UPC [to enter] desperately into force.”

There are forces of resistance and some of them will be described in a future and perhaps even imminent post.

Links 05/12/2022: GStreamer 1.21.3

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: December 4th, 2022 – 9to5Linux

      The 114th installment of the 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup is here for the week ending on December 4th, 2022, keeping you guys up to date with the most important things happening in the Linux world. If you missed last week’s 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup, catch up with all the things here.

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNKernel prepatch 6.1-rc8 [LWN.net]

        The eighth and presumably final 6.1 kernel prepatch has been released for testing. “So everything looks good, and while the calming down may have happened later than I wished for, it did happen. Let’s hope this upcoming week is as quiet (or quieter).”

      • The Register UKA brand new Linux DRM display driver – for a 1992 computer

        Uytterhoeven is the maintainer of Linux/m68k, the Motorola port of the Linux kernel, and one of the interesting things about the new driver is that he developed it entirely on emulated hardware, using an interesting virtual machine called ARAnyM by Czech developer Petr Stehlík.

        Even more unexpected is that this isn’t the only 680×0 VM for Linux kernel developers. QEMU 6.0 also has a new target, known as m68k, implemented by Laurent Vivier. This is for a nonexistent Virtual M68k Machine. The new QEMU machine type uses some technology from the Goldfish emulator used in Android development…

    • Applications

      • GStreamer 1.21.3 unstable development release

        The GStreamer team is pleased to announce another development release in the unstable 1.21 release series on the road to the 1.22 stable release.

        The unstable 1.21 release series adds new features on top of the current stable 1.20 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework.

        The unstable 1.21 release series is for testing and development purposes in the lead-up to the stable 1.22 series which is scheduled for release in December 2022. Any newly-added API can still change until that point.

        A feature freeze is now into effect for the 1.21 series, but newly-added API might still change until the final 1.22.0 stable release, and minor features may also still be added until then.

      • GhacksMulti-boot tool Ventoy adds support for 32GB Fat32 and multi-languages

        The multi-boot tool Ventoy is updated regularly with new features. Ventoy 1.0.84 is the latest version, which adds support for 32 gigabyte and larger FAT32 storage devices and multi-language support in the Ventoy boot menu among other improvements.

      • DebugPointTrue Lightweight Notepads for Ubuntu and Other Linux [Compared]

        We highlighted some of the best Notepad++ replacements for Ubuntu and other Linux distros a few days back. Since Notepad++ is an advanced notepad, it may not fit the actual lightweight criteria. For example, if you want to take some quick notes and nothing else, then Notepad++ or code editors can be an overkill.

        Also, a thin resource footprint-based editor can be kept open for longer without worrying about memory and other things.

        In addition, many DebugPoint readers commented about the following editors in the Notepad++ article. Hence this special list.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux CapableHow to Upgrade to Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera”

        The following tutorial will teach you how to upgrade to Linux Mint 21.1, codenamed Vera from Linux Mint 21.0, Vanessa, using the terminal with CLI commands. The Linux Mint team does not recommend this method, but it does work well for your standard Linux Mint system, given it is only a minor upgrade and not a major release.

        Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” is a significant release that includes many new features and improvements. The Cinnamon desktop environment has been updated to version 5.6, bringing numerous performance and stability improvements and introducing a convenient new ISO verification tool – conveniently located in the context menu for easy access when right-clicking on your downloaded ISO images, guaranteeing the authenticity and integrity of every file.

        Some other features include better support for high-resolution displays, an updated look and feel, and improved in-house tools such as the Driver Manager and Software Sources. The Driver Manager is now easier to use and can run in user mode, so it won’t ask for your password when launched. Additionally, the configuration of removed drivers can now be easily purged. Software Sources has also been updated, with better handling of PPA keys. These improvements make Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” a more polished and user-friendly release, making it an excellent choice for newcomers to the Linux world.

      • OpenSource.com6 steps to get verified on Mastodon with encrypted keys

        Mastodon permits its users to self-verify. The easiest method to do this is through a verification link. For advanced verification, though, you can use the power of shared encrypted keys, which Mastodon can link to thanks to the open source project Keyoxide.

    • Games

      • CoRecursiveDOOMed to Fail: A Horror Story

        Today Rebecca Burger Becky Heineman shares the tale of porting Doom to the 3DO console under extreme conditions. There is an engine to tweak, deadlines to hit, hardware acceleration to get working, and dramatic rock anthems to record.

        We also learn about how game piracy led her to game development and what it was like to do game development in the mania of the mid-nineties. Finally, we close with Becky’s advice on learning bare metal development skills.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • OpenSource.comWhy you should try the Nemo file manager on Linux

        Computers are fancy filing cabinets, full of virtual folders and files waiting to be referenced, cross-referenced, edited, updated, saved, copied, moved, renamed, and organized. In this article, I’m taking a look at a file manager for your Linux system.

        The Cinnamon project was formed as a reimplementation of GNOME 2 using the components of GNOME 3. Eventually, it diverged enough to be a true fork, and today the Cinnamon desktop uses GTK3 libraries and forked versions of key GNOME 3 applications to create a “classic” GNOME experience. One of the components contributing to the traditional GNOME experience is Nemo, a file manager based on the GNOME 2 version of Nautilus.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • It’s FOSSLinen is a Google-Searchable Open-Source Alternative to Slack and Discord

      Linen is an interesting open-source project brewing up.

      It aims to be an open alternative to Slack and Discord, focusing on making communities more accessible and helping reduce the support burden.

      It could be worth adding it as an open-source Slack alternative, but it is in its early stages of development when publishing this.

    • Education

      • CNX SoftwareUniHiker education platform teaches STEM with Mind+ and Jupyter (in China)

        DFRobot UniHiker is a STEM education platform with a 2.8-inch touchscreen display, a Rockchip RK3308 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor, a GD32V RISC-V microcontroller, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as various headers for expansion, and a BBC Micro:bit compatible edge connector.

        The UniHiker runs Debian 10 Linux and can be used to teach programming using Mind+ visual programming IDE or Jupyter open-source interface, as well as IoT and AI basics thanks to tutorials and lessons available in Chinese only as the platform clearly targets the education market in mainland China at this point in time.

      • EIN PresswireMoodle enters into acquisition of eAbyas to deliver services in India

        Moodle has announced its acquisition of eAbyas Info Solutions, a Moodle Certified Partner servicing the EdTech sector across India.

    • Programming/Development

      • [Old] Dave DeLongHTTP in Swift

        An 18-part series on building a Swift HTTP framework: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayRocket Switch – Accessibility Done With Elegance

      Quite a few makers try and create devices helpful to others – today’s hack, Rocket Switch, is a lovely example of that. It’s a design by [Neil Squire] of [Makers Making Change], with a PCB that plugs onto an Adafruit Rotary Trinkey, soldering onto its exposed pads, equipping it with two headphone jacks connected to GPIOs. This is a simple design – only two headphone jacks and resistors, complete with a 3D printed case. The value is not as much in its construction, but more in what the Rocket Switch provides to its users.

    • Science

      • HackadayMiracle Of Science: Scotch Tape Improves Generator

        We were always amused that one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the recent past — graphene — was started with pencil lead and Scotch tape. Now, researchers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville have determined that double-sided Scotch tape can improve triboelectric power generators. Triboelectric generation, of course, is nothing new. These energy harvesters take mechanical and thermal energy and turn them into tiny amounts of electricity. What’s new here is that PET plastic, aluminum, and double-sided tape can make an inexpensive generator that works well.

      • New Book: Synthetic Data

        Synthetic data is used more and more to augment real-life datasets, enriching them and allowing black-box systems to correctly classify observations or predict values that are well outside of training and validation sets. In addition, it helps understand decisions made by obscure systems such as deep neural networks, contributing to the development of explainable AI. It also helps with unbalanced data, for instance in fraud detection. Finally, since synthetic data is not directly linked to real people or transactions, it offers protection against data leakage. Synthetic data also contributes to eliminating algorithm biases and privacy issues, and more generally, to increased security.

      • Tom’s HardwareQuantum Computing May be Bolstered by Liquid-Like Electrons | Tom’s Hardware

        The quantum computing field may have just received a coherence and error-prevention boost in the form of parafermions: grouped electrons that behave as liquids in a special state of matter. Scientists with the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (opens in new tab) have demonstrated experimental results they expect to lead to parafermions when electrons maintain temperatures close to absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius). The research achieved a breakthrough by demonstrating that there are conditions in which electrons can have strong interactions – something that scientists merely theorized until now.

    • Education

      • Chicago Sun TimesBob McGrath, ‘Sesame Street’ cast member, dies at 90

        The public television show used the colorful, humorous, fast-paced style of TV commercials to relay lessons on letter and numbers as well as heavier subjects like children’s emotional health. Young viewers even learned about mortality when they were informed, sensitively, of Mr. Hooper’s death.

        “We’ve always looked at children as just short people,” McGrath told the Sun-Times in 1998. “We’ve never talked down to them.”

      • NPRBob McGrath, longtime star of ‘Sesame Street,’ has died at 90

        But after he was shown tapes of Muppets creator Jim Henson’s work, he told a crowd at a 2016 convention in Florida, he was “totally blown away.”

      • Pro PublicaThe Corporation Exploiting Washington’s Special Education System

        Donna Green hit her breaking point last summer, six months into her job as the top administrator at the Northwest School of Innovative Learning.

        She had grudgingly accepted when her request for classroom computers was ignored and a furniture order for what she called an “embarrassingly barren” campus was answered with plastic folding tables. She’d worried that her staff was inexperienced but had figured her decade in special education would help fill that void.

    • Hardware

      • Nanoengineers Develop a Predictive Database for Materials

        Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have developed an AI algorithm that predicts the structure and dynamic properties of any material—whether existing or new—almost instantaneously. Known as M3GNet, the algorithm was used to develop matterverse.ai, a database of more than 31 million yet-to-be-synthesized materials with properties predicted by machine learning algorithms. Matterverse.ai facilitates the discovery of new technological materials with exceptional properties.

      • HackadayThe PalmPilot Returns, This Time In Your Browser

        The PalmPilot doesn’t seem to get much retrocomputing love, but maybe it should. After all, it might not have been the very first handheld, but it was probably the most successful, and that ultimately led to the era of the smartphone. Whether you miss your old Palm applications, or never got to experience them the first time around, fear not. You can now relive them in all their glory in your browser thanks to the Internet Archive project.

      • HackadayDIY Repair Stand Holds Your Bike And Weighs It

        If you’ve ever done maintenance or repair work on your bicycle, you’ll know that positioning a bike in your workshop isn’t trivial. You can use your bike’s kickstand, or lean it against a wall, but then you can’t work on the wheels. You can place it upside-down, but then the shifters and brake levers are hard to reach. You can hang it from the ceiling, but then you first need to install hooks and cables in hard-to-reach places. Ideally you’d want to have one of those standing clamp systems that the pros use, but their price is typically beyond a hobbyist’s budget.

      • HackadayDirty TRS-80 Has A Surprise Hack

        [Adrian] had a TRS-80 model IV that looks like it was stored in a mulch pile. However, it seemed to have some surprises. The first hint that something was up was that the keyboard looks like a model III and there are two mystery knobs in the back.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • The EconomistYoung Americans increasingly end their own lives

        The rise in youth suicide is part of a broader increase in mental-health problems among the young. This preceded the pandemic but was probably accelerated by it. In 2021 nearly half of American high-school students said that they had experienced persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness in the past year, up from 26% in 2009; one in five seriously considered suicide, up from 14%; and 9% attempted to end their life, up from 6% (see chart). Although the rates for 15- to 19-year-olds are not unprecedented (there was a similar peak in the early 1990s), the rates for ten- to 14-year-olds are higher than ever before.

      • NBC4 Navy sailors assigned to same facility die by apparent suicide within weeks, amid growing concerns of mental health crisis

        It is the latest cluster of Navy suicides this year to spark concerns of a fleetwide mental health crisis.

        The four sailors worked for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), which maintains military ships and is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

    • Proprietary

      • France24French hospital suspends operations after cyber attacks [iophk: Windows kills]

        The regional health agency (ARS) said the hospital had cancelled operations, but was doing everything possible to keep walk-in services and consultations running.

        Extra staff had to be called in to the intensive care unit because, while the machines there were still functioning, more people were needed to watch the screens as they were no longer working as part of a network, aid Braun.

      • ABCHospitals warned to guard against cybercrime after Medibank and Optus wake-up calls [iophk: Windows kills]

        The troubling warning is high on the list of predictions offered by cyber security experts heading into 2023 and in the wake of unprecedented [breaches] affecting millions of Medibank and Optus customers.

        Global firm Palo Alto Networks suggests it is time hospitals, government services and businesses start discussing whether they would pay a ransom and how much they would fork out.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • India TimesChina can use TikTok to collect data on users & spy: FBI chief

          Wray said the FBI was concerned that the Chinese had the ability to control the app’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations. ”

        • HackadayBreathe Through Your Ears?

          With all the attention given to heart rate monitoring and step counting, respiratory rate monitoring is often overlooked. Smartwatches are starting to incorporate respiratory rate monitoring more and more these days. However, current devices often simply look at breaths per minute without extracting more interesting features of the respiratory waveform which could give us more insight into our bodies than breaths per minute could alone. [Davies] and his team decided they wanted to change that by making an earbud that can measure respiratory rate.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • CNNTrump calls for the termination of the Constitution in Truth Social post

        Former President Donald Trump called for the termination of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election and reinstate him to power Saturday in a continuation of his election denialism and pushing of fringe conspiracy theories.

      • ME ForumLondon’s Mayor Celebrates Notorious Islamist Group

        The MCB’s “elders,” however, are prominent Islamists with a long history of spouting and encouraging extremism. Most were part of an Islamist network known as Jamaat-e-Islami.

      • FirstpostIn Nitish Kumar’s blatant minority appeasement, local Muslims permitted to offer prayers at Buddhist shrine

        A cavern in Kaimur Hills, nearly 3 km south of Sasaram in Bihar’s Rohtas district, where Lord Buddha is believed to have spent a night after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, has turned into a symbol of the Nitish Kumar-led government’s blatant appeasement of minorities.

        Barely a few days earlier, on 29 November, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), tweeted that it had wrested control of a 2300-year-old Buddhist shrine in Sasaram from Muslim encroachers, who used it to offer prayers.

      • The HillMusk’s ‘free speech’ Twitter vision put to test by Ye

        The decision was made in an ad hoc manner and with special treatment for Ye, Carusone said. Before he was suspended, Ye tweeted a screenshot with a text from Musk saying, “Sorry, but you have gone too far. This is not love.”

      • ScheerpostZelensky Looks to Ban Christian Denomination With Ties to Moscow

        The Ukrainian President called for the Russian Orthodox Church to be outlawed after Kiev’s intelligence agency conducted several raids on Orthodox cathedrals.

      • ScheerpostThe Secret Reason the US is Still in Syria

        It’s tough to overstate how bad things are in Syria. According to the UN, “90 percent of all Syrians today are forced to live below the poverty line with around 12 million grappling with severe food insecurity.”

      • Counter PunchEchoes of Chile’s Past

        Efforts to overthrow the democratically elected president had thus far been unsuccessful. An insurrectionary month-long strike by truck drivers and entrepreneurs in October of 1972 had just been thwarted by the extraordinary mobilization of Chilean workers. But the writing was on the wall. This is not a mere metaphor: On many walls of the country, paramilitary fanatics had scrawled the words “Djakarta, ya viene”—“Jakarta is coming,” referring to the massacre in that city of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians after the coup against the left-wing government of Sukarno in 1967.

        It was this prophecy of death and doom that Allende was trying to prevent. His 1972 trip was meant to explain to the international community what was at stake in Chile and to enlist the sympathy of the nations of the world. The cornerstone of that strategy was a rousing speech that he delivered 50 years ago this Sunday, on December 4, 1972, to the UN General Assembly.

      • MeduzaExplosion in Nizhnevartovsk building kills six, injures four — Meduza

        An explosion occurred in a five-story building in Nizhnevartovsk, in western Siberia, reports TASS, citing local emergency services.

      • MeduzaKremlin ‘recommends’ that Russian regions and TV stations support ‘patriotic’ artists for New Year’s concerts — Meduza

        The Russian presidential administration has sent recommendations on conducting New Year’s events to regional authorities, cultural institutions, and state-owned companies, reports news agency RBC. A source close to one regional administration confirmed the details of the recommendations to the publication.

      • BBCSan Francisco to allow police ‘killer robots’

        San Francisco’s ruling Board of Supervisors has voted to let the city’s police use robots that can kill.

        The measure permits police to deploy robots equipped with explosives in extreme circumstances.
        Dr Catherine Connolly, from the group Stop Killer Robots, said the move was a “slippery slope” that could distance humans from killing.

        The city’s police – the SFPD – told the BBC they do not currently operate any robots equipped with lethal force.

      • Counter PunchThe Cruel, Dishonest and Shameful Story of Britain’s Last Colony may be Coming to an End

        Greenhill, later Lord Greenhill of Harrow, was well aware that this was not the case at the time of writing, but cavalierly asserted that in future there would “be no indigenous population except seagulls who have not yet got a committee”.

        In a tone of nauseating jollity, this senior British diplomat picks up on the seagull reference to explain what was going to happen to the 1,500 people or more who had lived and worked in Chagos for generations. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “along with the Birds go some few Tarzans or Men Fridays whose origins are obscure, and who are being hopefully wished on to Mauritius etc.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Counter PunchWestern Diplomats Offer Rotten Climate Carrot, and Wield Broken Sanctions Stick

        In recent weeks, Western climate deal-makers have, as well, wielded their own carrot and stick, but unless withdrawn and reconsidered, they will provide only a continuation of – rather than break from – a future of rising greenhouse gas emissions, massive loss and damage due to extreme weather, and the polluters’ refusal to acknowledge, much less reimburse, the historic climate debt they owe. The two cases we have seen up close, are the Just Energy Transition Partnership carrot and Carbon Border Adjustment stick. So, what’s rotten and what’s broken?

        Amsterdam revelations

      • Foreign PolicyEurope’s Climate Chief: The 1.5-Degree Goal Is on ‘Life Support’

        Most commentary about COP27 has branded the summit a bit of a letdown. In short, the world agreed to compensate poor countries for climate-related loss and damage, but the money allocated for this was tiny. And there was no agreement to reduce emissions further. Do you agree? How would you grade the outcomes from COP27?

      • NBCToddler Attacked by Coyote Outside Woodland Hills Home

        NBC has chronicled other coyote attacks on children this year.

      • Los Angeles TimesCoyote attacks toddler on front lawn of Woodland Hills home

        The coyote can be seen attacking the child as her father was busy locking up the family’s SUV, the family’s doorbell video showed. The animal knocked the child down, grabbed her left leg and attempted to drag her away as she screamed.

      • The Telegraph UKThe ferocious wild creatures causing chaos in Europe’s cities

        In last couple of years, through little fault of their own, boar have become an utter societal menace. Permanent resident on the frequently updated Global Invasive Species Database’s ‘100 Worst’ list, they have been steadily mincing around the forests of Europe for millennia, breeding enthusiastically, bothering their domesticated porcine kin, and being hunted and eaten by humans with zeal. Since the 1980s, though, their numbers have swollen in connection with two other rises: the proportion of people living in cities, and the average temperature.

      • VOA NewsEU Chief Says Bloc Must Act Over US Climate Plan ‘Distortions’

        The White House touts the IRA as a groundbreaking effort to reignite US manufacturing and promote renewable technologies.

      • RTLUK groups hope creative biodiversity message takes flight

        It is hoped a new global biodiversity framework will be agreed at the Montreal talks, which run from December 7 to 19.

        The UN has said world leaders will not attend the gathering but the RSPB is asking British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to be present.

      • ScheerpostDoes Claiming 1.5° Is Unachievable Serve Fossil Fuel Interests?

        The Energy Mix It’s “factually incorrect and politically very wrong” to say a 1.5°C limit on average global warming is no longer possible, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said this week, pushing back on the “unusual coalition” of scientists, activists, and fossil industry “incumbents” that have been carrying that […]

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchUser Group Pie: The Folly of Collaboration

          Note that these collaborations do not represent groups with a common interest cooperating in an effort to achieve a common goal. Such traditional collaborations used to represent strength in the conservation movement. For example, back in the early 1980’s when I still lived in Wyoming, the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, the Wyoming Wilderness Association, the Wyoming Outdoor Council and Earth First! plus numerous individuals cooperated in an effort that ultimately led to the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984. It wasn’t a great bill, but considering our republican congressional delegation, we did pretty well getting a million acres of Wilderness designated. The groups had their strategic differences, but the goal that everyone shared was to maximize wilderness designations. Contrast that with today’s “collaboratives” in which conservation groups deal away public wildlands to self-interest groups that are in complete opposition to basic conservation goals. Like timber companies and off-road vehicle groups, including organized anti-wilderness mountain bikers. The difference between the two “collaboration” models is night and day. Nowadays when I hear the term I cringe. Because I know that wilderness is going to get the shaft.

          Here in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Gallatin Range is the only major mountain range within and adjacent to Yellowstone National Park with no designated Wilderness. A big chunk of the range is a congressionally designated Wilderness Study Area, but over the years the Forest Service chose to illegally allow off road vehicles including mountain bikes, to proliferate, despite a legal mandate to preserve the area’s wilderness character. In other words, the agency allowed local anti-wilderness constituencies to proliferate; once the door was opened to them, the off road vehicle people felt that they had an established right. And the Forest Service didn’t want to make the hard decision to kick them out and re-establish wilderness character as required by law. Instead, the agency initiated a collaboration process designed to force local citizens to resolve the conflict, or put another way, to do the agency’s job. This pitted citizen versus citizen, exacerbating community polarity.

    • Finance

      • ScheerpostThe Chris Hedges Report: The Fed’s Response to Inflation Is Another Upward Transfer of Wealth (With Richard Wolff )

        Capitalist profiteering is the real driver of the inflation crisis, and raising interest rates only passes the costs onto workers already overwhelmed by personal debt and stagnant wages.

      • TruthOutFinancial Technology Firms Made “Massive Profits” on PPP Loans, Engaged in Fraud
      • Michael West MediaSleeping with the Enemy: ASIC’s case against National Australia Bank’s adversary hits a sex snag – Michael West

        “Hi Babe, always enjoy our romps” is not the type of evidence you’d expect in a corporate regulator’s case against an advocate for bank victims. Callum Foote explores ASIC’s curious prosecution of Geoff Shannon of Unhappy Banking fame, a case which has embroiled the National Australia Bank.

      • Michael West MediaMining lobby tricks government with its big taxpayer fairytale, swaps Deloitte for EY – Michael West

        The Minerals Council of Australia has duped Energy Minister Madeleine King into repeating its highly inflated claims of how much taxes its mostly foreign multinationals members pay. Callum Foote reports on an $85 billion PR scam.

        The Minister for Energy, Madeline King, has repeated claims from mining lobby group, Minerals Council of Australia, that the mining industry made payments of $43.2 billion in company tax and royalties to Australian governments in in a speech given at the ​​NT Resources Week conference. The figures were repeated on ABC Radio without question.

        As revealed here last year, Big Four consulting firm Deloitte used to do the misleading report for the mining lobby. This year it is another Big Four firm, Ernst & Young. The EY report, has – like Deloitte’s previous work – failed to disclose that up to 60% of the tax that they claim the mining industry pays is returned in the form of GST refunds.

      • ScheerpostChris Hedges: Know Thine Enemy

        The expedited legislation passed by Congress to avert a strike by railroad unions dealt one more blow in the decades long war waged by the two ruling parties against the working class.

      • Counter PunchRailway Vote Benefits One of the Least Deserving Industries
      • Counter PunchUS Railroad Workers ‘Under the Thumb’

        Beginning last September, that intervention has ensured that the workers would not be able to strike in order to advance their interests and demands. This past week both the administration and Congress have made a railroad strike illegal by passing legislation to that effect.

        The right of workers to strike has been under attack at least since 1947 when Congress passed what was called the ‘Taft-Hartley’ Act that year. That legislation ensured that government and politicians reserved the right to force workers back to work for 90 days in the event contract negotiations failed and a strike was imminent. During a 90 day ‘cooling off’ period, as it was called, government mediators had the opportunity to join the negotiations, try to browbeat the parties to get them to settle, and to make a recommendation as to the terms of a settlement. During the ‘cooling off’ management of course also had 90 more days to prepare to prepare to defeat a strike once the 90 days was up.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Reformers Win Big in United Auto Workers Election, Reject Entrenched Leadership
      • NPRJapan’s Disney store sells merchandise of Winnie the Pooh supporting China’s protests

        The products are created through Disney’s MADE program, which the product descriptions call “D-MADE” and allows people to customize their own Disney merchandise. The collection includes hoodies, shirts, tote bags and mugs.

      • VOA NewsWorld Cup Host Qatar Seeks to Change Minds on Islam

        Social media posts have claimed that hundreds of fans have changed faith but AFP’s fact-checking service has shown those claims are fake.

      • ScheerpostThe Twitter Files

        Journalist Matt Taibbi reported a massive scoop regarding Twitter’s internal handling of the Hunter Biden laptop story in a long Twitter thread on Dec. 2 after receiving documents from Elon Musk.

      • ScheerpostMatt Taibbi: Munk Debate on Mainstream Media

        Author Douglas Murray and Matt Taibbi take on Malcolm Gladwell of the New Yorker, and Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times.

      • Michael West MediaRex Patrick: “exceptional circumstances” choke National Anti-Corruption Commission – Michael West

        Labor may rue the day it mired the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in secrecy. Transparency warrior Rex Patrick reports on the “exceptional circumstances” provision which weakens corruption watchdog.

        Having passed through the House of Representatives last week, the Senate is set to debate and pass Albanese’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) legislation this week. It won’t be short leashed, blind, toothless, limping corruption watchdog

      • Pro PublicaRussia’s Honorary Consuls Serve Putin’s Political Agenda

        BUDVA, Montenegro — Near a teeming town square along the Adriatic coast, where ancient city walls surround the ruins of bygone empires and shops and churches rise over the sea, Russia’s newly appointed representative to this tiny Balkan nation opened his consulate office.

        Boro Djukic, the first honorary consul named by Russia in Montenegro, was supposed to use his prestigious post to champion cultural ties and the interests of local Russian business owners and tourists — a benevolent bridge between the two countries.

      • Counter PunchGallic Rebuke: France and the US Rules-based Order

        Araud is very much the diplomat establishment figure, having also served as French representative to the United Nations from 2009 to 2014.  But despite his pedigree, he was most keen to fire off a few salvos against such concepts as the “rules-based order” so treasured by the Anglosphere and the “West” more broadly defined.  “To be frank, I’ve always been extremely sceptical about this idea of a ‘rules-based order’.”  Both he and the French in general loved the United Nations, “but the Americans not too much”.

        With unerring frankness, he also noted that the UN and broader international hierarchy was dominated by the US-European bloc.  The undersecretaries to the organisation reflected that fact, as did the stewardship of the World Bank and the IMF.  “So that’s the first element: this order is our order.”

      • Counter PunchThe United Nations Promise of Peace – Also In Ukraine

        It is not only the fault of the Security Council and General Assembly, but also the fault of the mainstream media that continues to disseminate dis-information and pour fuel on the fire, the fault of the war-profiteers worldwide, the fault of the military-industrial-digital-financial complex that drives the process and prevents a sensible compromise to end hostilities.

        Many are asking the question, what good is the United Nations?  Who still believes in it? What good is a Secretary-General who does not take the bull by the horns, does not name a spade a space, does not proactively propose implementable blueprints for peace and mobilizes the entire UN system in support of valid peace initiatives.

      • TruthOutAfter Dinner With Neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, Trump 2024 May Be Dead on Arrival
      • Common DreamsGOP Silence on Trump’s Call to Axe Constitution Reveals ‘Full Embrace of Fascism’: House Dem

        Repeating his thoroughly disproven lie that the 2020 election was stolen, former President Donald Trump called Saturday for discarding the U.S. Constitution to overturn his loss.

        In response, pro-democracy advocates argued that Trump’s comments, other recent actions, and the refusal of GOP lawmakers to denounce them are reflective of the Republican Party’s growing support for right-wing authoritarianism.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Republican War on Democracy Has Spread to Ballot Measures

        In the aftermath of the 2022 midterm elections, analysts are wondering why the seemingly inevitable Republican wave did not materialize. As we sift through the surprising results, there is a common denominator among many of the progressive victories: ballot measures. All five ballot measures on abortion went for the pro-choice side, as Republicans and independents joined Democrats to expand and protect reproductive rights. In Nebraska and Nevada, voters overwhelmingly voted to increase their state’s minimum wage, even as Republicans won big races in both states. And, South Dakota became the most recent Republican-controlled state to pass Medicaid expansion.

      • ScheerpostUS Youth Observe Cuba’s Elections—and Learn About ‘Real Democracy’

        A delegation of youth from the United States observed Cuba’s November 2022 municipal elections and offer an inside look into a true people’s democracy, where workers decide who will govern them, not wealthy oligarchs and corporations.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Telegraph UKIndonesia set to criminalise sex before marriage – even for tourists

        According to a draft seen by Reuters, insulting the president, a charge that can only be reported by the president, carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

      • The EconomistStudents are often at the heart of protests in China

        For the students, it is not all about draconian lockdowns. Some are frustrated by a lack of freedom. Young protesters, on campus and off, have taken to holding up blank sheets of paper to highlight China’s tight controls on expression. In a more cerebral form of defiance, students at Tsinghua held up the Friedmann equations. These are formulae that describe the expansion of the universe. “Friedmann” also happens to sound a lot like “freed man”.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Times Of IsraelIran demolishes family home of climber who competed without a hijab

        Rekabi was later placed under house arrest and according to reports, her brother was also detained for a period of time. The BBC has cited unnamed sources saying that her apology was forced.

        Iran’s official judiciary news agency, Mizan, said the destruction of the home was due to its “unauthorized construction and use of land,” adding that the demolition had taken place months before Rekabi competed.

      • VOA NewsIran Morality Police May Have Been Shut Down, But No Official Word

        The actions of the morality police have been at the center of more than two months of deadly protests in the country after the death in mid-September of Mahsa Amini, 22, while she held in their custody after they detained her for allegedly not covering her hair properly with a hijab.

      • Outlook IndiaAfghanistan: Woman Flogged For Going To Shop Without Male Guardian

        This is the Taliban brutally lashing a woman in Takhar province for going to the shop without a male guardian.

      • [Old] BBCQatar World Cup: Families seek answers over migrant worker deaths

        Qatar has transformed its infrastructure in the run up to the World Cup, which starts on Sunday. Millions of people from South Asia have been employed on building projects, including from Nepal – where families have told the BBC safety failures led to the death of their loved ones.

      • NBCColorado grandmother sues police detective following SWAT raid based on false ‘Find my iPhone’ ping

        The complaint contends that Staab’s affidavit violated Johnson’s right, afforded by the state constitution, to “be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.” The affidavit allegedly “lacked probable cause that evidence of crime could be found” at Johnson’s home, since it was based on an unverified and vague ping by Apple’s “Find My” app, which is used to track Apple devices.

      • Counter PunchOy Ye

        It’s empirically true that Jews are disproportionately represented in Hollywood. The question that matters is what this implies. Dave Chappelle was right to note that there are also plenty of Black people in Ferguson, although Hollywood is above all an industry not a location. Yet even assuming that Jewish people disproportionately control Hollywood — notwithstanding invariable Jewish gofers and the otherwise kicked upon (Harvey Weinstein surely didn’t rape only gentiles and Woody Allen knows full well that abuse starts at home) — what does this imply?

        An antisemite – that is, an anti-Jew — starts and stops with identity, as for him the Jew by nature connives with his brethren to exploit others, and Jewish dominance of Hollywood is therefore a mere means to an end. If only the moguls could be replaced with Christians, the antisemite implies, Hollywood would be fairer, less profit-hungry, and less exploitative.

      • Counter PunchLabor’s Weakness

        The history of the United States includes many, many federal interventions into strikes, boycotts and other labor actions, especially since the industrialization of the nation began in earnest after the Civil War. Given the importance of the railroads to this capitalist episode that not only saw intense industrialization but also an increased concentration of wealth, power and control of the national economy in the hands of a few families, railroad workers experienced this quite intensely. Indeed, two national railroad strikes–in 1877 and 1894–were brutally crushed by US troops and private security groups. Furthermore, the executive branch was the branch that ordered these actions. In 1926, the federal government enacted a law that gave the government permission to intervene before a railroad strike occurred. Like it gave Truman in 1950 and Bush in 1991 the power to act, this is the law that informs the current action by the feds.

        In light of the recent intervention, it seems like a good time to revisit a few realities about labor unions in the United States. Despite the recent upsurge in organizing activity in workplaces like Amazon, Starbucks and Chipotle, the truth is that most (and I mean most) workers in the United States are neither organized or even close to such a move. This is due to many factors, but the two that I consider most important are the federal and state laws that make union organizing very difficult and the lackadaisical effort that the major unions put into organizing unorganized workers. As someone who is just finishing up an almost two-year stint as president of my local, I can verify that the pressure to sign up new workers and organize the unorganized came more from our state AFL-CIO office than through any utterances or funding by the national and international of the union or AFL-CIO. Fortunately, Vermont is currently home to what is perhaps the most radical and democratic AFL-CIO Labor Council in the United States. This has meant that the Council spends money, time and energy on organizing unorganized workers.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Service Workers in the US South Get New Union

        Within minutes of the formation of the Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW) earlier this month, Quadtrell Adams lay helpless on the walkway outside the Levi C. Chavous Conference Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Moments earlier, Adams had stumbled from the building upon sensing the onset of a seizure likely triggered by the flash of cameras and the carnival of shout and song inside. Having assisted Adams through previous episodes, fellow union members went into action. Russell Smalls, a convenience store employee, rubbed his friend’s chest with turquoise stones, while others spoke to Adams softly and watched over him until his fits had passed.

      • Common Dreams‘Intentional Vandalism’ Leaves Thousands Without Power in North Carolina

        Officials in a North Carolina county where more than 40,000 households remain without power amid freezing temperatures declared a state of emergency on Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after multiple electrical substations were damaged by gunfire in an apparent act of criminal vandalism.

        “As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a statement. The massive blackout, which began just after 7:00 pm Saturday night, is “being investigated as a criminal occurrence.” No arrests have been announced.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Grassroots Are Growing—And Reimagining What’s Possible

        Ten years ago, two hundred New York City low-wage workers walked off their jobs at McDonald’s, Burger King, and other fast-food restaurants to demand what most observers thought impossible: 15 bucks an hour and a union.

      • The Expansive Horizons of Antifascism: Interview With Editor Shane Burley
      • Common DreamsOpinion | Why Our Movements Need to Start Singing Again

        Social movements are stronger when they sing. That’s a lesson that has been amply demonstrated throughout history, and it’s one that I have learned personally in working to develop trainings for activists over the past decade and a half. In Momentum, a training program that I co-founded and that many other trainers and organizers have built over the last seven years, song culture is not something we included at the start. And yet, it has since become so indispensable that the trainers I know would never imagine doing without it again.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Bryan LundukePondering on Mastodon and the Fediverse – by Bryan Lunduke

        With so many people jumping from Twitter to Mastodon, let’s take a moment to talk about some of the downsides (and upsides) of Mastodon… and the Fediverse in general. Along with some of my, rather bizarre, history with it.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakCompany ‘Hijacks’ Blender’s CC BY-Licensed Film, YouTube Strikes User

          Blender releases its films under Creative Commons licenses because it wants them to be shared, remixed, and reshared. Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz is the co-founder of an AI driver safety company and a film music composer and producer. When a TV channel in Uzbekistan claimed ownership of a Blender film, YouTube gave Ruiz a copyright strike and rejected every appeal.

        • Torrent FreakNew Pirate Site Blocking Law Allows Intermediaries To File Complaints

          Site-blocking is now so commonplace that when yet another country adds itself to the list of participants, barely an eyebrow is raised in opposition. DNS interference is already in place so if that’s met with a shrug, why should anyone care about Uruguay’s new site-blocking law? Operators of TV services and intermediaries, despite not being copyright holders themselves, can now apply for blocking measures, actionable within four days.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Late to the party

        I’ve been blogging for 23 years as of today. This is also the first day this blog is being served up via `https:`. All I had to do was *just* install the latest version of Apache on my server [1].

        It took several days, but I got the latest version of Apache compiled and installed on my server. Yes, I did it the hard way. What better way of knowing how things work than doing it the hard way. I then spent Saturday updating the configuration. There were a few changes, like `NameVirtualHost [2]` being deprecated, and having to add “`Protocols [3] h2 h2c http/1.1`” and “`Require [4] all granted`”.

    • Technical

      • Trying to do more with less

        There was a time where I obsessively followed roadmaps, extrapolated SPEC results, and tried to get my hands on the latest electronic toys (or even pre-release samples of them.) There’s a certain appeal, after all, to “this is the latest and best” – CPUs, phones, core IP, laptops, whatever.

        Capital likes to see this. They also put significant effort into making it seem “clean” – that the resource extraction, labor exploitation, and e-waste dumping are distant and easy to ignore. The tame tech media often participates in this. In late November, workers at Hon Hai’s plant in Shenzhen – who, due to the PRC’s harsh zero-COVID policies, are required to live at their jobsite – protested against living and working conditions, including a COVID outbreak inside of the bubble. The protest was violently put down by police. The tech media duly noted it, but only for a moment – soon it was forgotten, and a return to breathless speculation about Apple’s incoming AR/VR headset and the performance characteristics of the M2 Max resumed.

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

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 04, 2022

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