12.07.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 07/12/2022: Blender 3.4 and Apple GPU Drivers Now in Asahi Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Fosshost, an Open-Source Project Hosting, Is Closing Down as Its Leader Disappeared

      Volunteers of the open-source project hosting Fosshost, whose services are used by GNOME, Armbian and Debian, and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), have announced the imminent closure.

      The fact is that the head of the project, Thomas Markey, did not get in touch for more than six months, but only he had access to bank accounts and infrastructure

      [...]

      Shortly after this post was posted, YCombinator Hacker News got a clarification from one of the project’s supposed volunteers. He writes that Fosshost’s problems arose due to the sudden disappearance of the head of the project, Thomas Markey. It turned out that Marky had not been in contact for about six months, and he was the only person who had access to the bank accounts necessary for the work of the host.

    • IT Pro Today8 Linux Tools IT Operations Engineers Should Master

      Some are tried-and-true and others are newer, but all eight of these Linux tools should be in IT operations engineers’ tool belt.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Graphics Stack

      • Alyssa RosenzweigRosenzweig – Apple GPU drivers now in Asahi Linux

        We’re excited to announce our first Apple GPU driver release!

        We’ve been working hard over the past two years to bring this new driver to everyone, and we’re really proud to finally be here. This is still an alpha driver, but it’s already good enough to run a smooth desktop experience and some games.

        Read on to find out more about the state of things today, how to install it (it’s an opt-in package), and how to report bugs!

      • GamingOnLinuxNVIDIA talks up RTX IO with GDeflate (used in DirectStorage 1.1) to speed up games

        Vulkan version 1.3.233 was released back in November, and with it came two new extensions from NVIDIA designed to help speed up gaming on Linux and Windows. Their tech is even used in DirectStorage from Microsoft.

    • Applications

      • 9to5LinuxBlender 3.4 Released with Native Wayland Support on Linux, Many Improvements

        The biggest change in Blender 3.4, which comes exactly three months after Blender 3.3 LTS, is the enablement of native support for the next-generation Wayland windowing environment on GNU/Linux systems. Initial Wayland support in Blender landed back in 2020, as a build option, but now it’s finally enabled by default.

        Until now, Blender recommended Linux users use the X11 display server, but now Wayland is fully supported in addition to X11. When Wayland is detected, Blender is using it as the preferred windowing environment.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux HandbookScan Ports With netcat Command in Linux

        Whether you want to use SSH on an alternate port or deploy a web application to a specific port, the first step will always be to check whether the port is being utilized.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install XanMod Kernel on Fedora 37/36/35 – LinuxCapable

        For those looking to upgrade their systems to the latest Linux Kernel, XanMod has proved to be an invaluable resource. A free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative, it is beneficial for users looking to get the newest features and improved performance on more recent hardware to satisfy their gaming, streaming, and ultra-low latency requirements. And for those who don’t have time or patience for manual kernel installation or utilizing the Fedora kernel testing/unstable repository, Third-Party Kernels such as XanMod may be a solid option for your system. For more information on XanMod Kernel before installing, visit the XanMod Kernel features information page.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Liquorix Kernel on Fedora 37/36/35 – LinuxCapable

        The Liquorix Kernel is the go-to alternative to the stock kernel shipped with Fedora Linux. Ideally suited for various tasks, it’s ideal for gamers, streamers, and anyone needing ultra-low latency. It comes with custom settings and numerous new features designed to increase performance and give users access to the latest Linux kernels. Whether you’re after exceptional gaming experiences on your desktop or need an upgrade from your default Fedora kernel, give Liquorix Kernel a try, you may see substantial improvements.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the Liquorix Kernel on your Fedora 37/36/36 workstation or server using the copr rmnscnce/kernel-lqx repository with optional how to re-install the default kernel for users that would like to switch back.

      • TecMintHow to Check Linux OS Name, Kernel Version, and Information [Ed: Updated today]

        There are several ways of knowing the version of Linux you are running on your machine as well as your distribution name and kernel version plus some extra information that you may probably want to have in mind or at your fingertips.

        Therefore, in this simple yet important guide for new Linux users, I will show you how to find out your Linux system OS version from the command line. Doing this may seem to be a relatively easy task.

        However, having a good knowledge of your system is always a recommended practice for a good number of reasons including installing and running the appropriate packages for your Linux version, for easy reporting of bugs coupled with many more.

      • It’s FOSSHow to Access UEFI Settings From Linux

        Want to check the boot order or the power settings at the firmware level? You can access the UEFI settings by pressing the F2, F10 or Del buttons when your system boots.

        The problem with this approach is that you may not know the exact key and must be alert about pressing those keys at the right time.

      • TecAdminSetup DKIM (DomainKeys) with Postfix on Ubuntu – Debian

        DKIM or DomainKeys Identified Mail is an authentication protocol used to validate the identity of a sender. It’s an important tool for preventing email spoofing, which is when a person impersonates another user and sends emails with their name and address. DKIM Key works by using an OpenDKIM or Domain Key to sign each message sent. The key is an encrypted string of characters unique to the sender and is used to verify the message comes from the sender’s domain. This makes it harder for malicious actors to send forged messages. DKIM Key also allows receivers to reject messages that fail authentication. This provides added protection against spoofing and other email-based attacks. It’s a crucial safety measure for any email server and one that can help protect your business and its customers.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Krita on Fedora 37/36/35

        Krita is an incredible tool for anyone looking for a digital painting and image manipulation program. From students to professionals, Krita offers powerful yet easy-to-use features and functions that make creating stunning images much more straightforward. Also, its wide range of supported platforms ensures users have no limitations when turning their creative vision into a reality. The fact that it’s open-source and free makes it even more attractive, making Krita one of the go-to digital painting and image manipulation options.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Krita on Fedora 37/36/35 Linux using the Fedora DNF Repository or the natively installed third-party manager Flatpak using the command line terminal, along with some tips on how to update or remove the software in the future if required.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install VSCodium on Fedora 37/36/35 [Ed: Adopting this helps Microsoft monopoly; better use something that does not help Microsoft push proprietary software]

        VSCodium is the perfect choice for web developers and software engineers looking for an open-source code editor. It leverages the same user experience as Microsoft Visual Studio Code, offering full access to its source code maintained on GitHub and licensed under the MIT License. Though you won’t have to accept extra features via plugins or extensions begrudgingly, it may come with a tiny catch – VSCodium may direct data elsewhere through third-party networks without necessarily asking your permission first, so be aware of this in the future. Nevertheless, there’s still no beating VSCodium open-source power that remains available, and an excellent option for those that may not require as many extensions and plugins with less telemetry.

      • UNIX CopHow to solve “An unexpected error occurred…server’s configuration” on WordPress

        When an error happens on WordPress, it’s a total headache. Something is wrong, and occasionally, we have no idea what could have happened. Today you will learn how to resolve the error “An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration” on WordPress.

      • Linux Shell TipsWhat is the Difference Between ‘apt remove’ and ‘apt purge’?

        This article theoretically and practically looks at the different usage of apt remove and apt purge commands.

        apt remove vs apt purge Commands

        When addressing apt remove vs apt purge commands, there is always some confusion in their applicability. Both commands reside within Debian-based Linux distributions like Ubuntu. Also, both commands seem to perform similar functionality.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 52: declaring multiple layer lists

        On day 46, I’ve explained how you can order layers by defining them in a comma-separated list first. The first layer in the list has the lowest priority and the last layer the highest.

      • AdafruitA 10-minute guide to the Linux applications binary interface #Linux #Programming @opensourceway

        ABI stands for Applications Binary Interface. One way to understand the concept of an ABI is to consider what it is not. Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) are more familiar to many developers. Generally, the headers and documentation of libraries are considered to be their API, as are standards documents like those for HTML5, for example. Programs that call into libraries or exchange string-formatted data must comply with the conventions described in the API or expect unwanted results.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • OpenSource.comWhy I use the Enlightenment file manager on Linux

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

        The Enlightenment desktop is designed to be a modern implementation of what’s considered a traditional UNIX desktop. There are certain elements that are considered to be characteristic of graphical UNIX, most of which were defined in the by early desktops like CDE or twm. Enlightenment implements things like a dock, an on-demand global contextual menu, flexible focus, virtual workspaces, but with an almost hyper-modern flair. Enlightenment is able to combine these elements with effects and animations because it’s also its own compositor, and the EFL libraries that the desktop uses are specific to Enlightenment and maintained by the Enlightenment team. That’s a long way of confessing that in this entry in my file manager series, I’m looking at a file manager that’s mostly inextricable from the desktop it supports. If you want to try Enlightenment’s file manager, you have to try Enlightenment. Luckily, it’s a pleasant experience, and a fun diversion from the usual desktops.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • Bleeping ComputerKali Linux 2022.4 adds 6 new tools, Azure images, and desktop updates

        Offensive Security has released ​Kali Linux 2022.4, the fourth and final version of 2022, with new Azure and QEMU images, six new tools, and improved desktop experiences.

        Kali Linux is a distribution designed for ethical hackers to perform penetration testing, security audits, and cybersecurity research against networks.

      • It’s FOSSKali Linux’s Last Update for the Year Brings a Lot of Early Christmas Gifts

        Kali Linux is an open-source, Debian-based distro focusing on penetration testing and security auditing. It consists of various tools, configurations, and automation to help you achieve that. Dubbed as the final release of this year, Kali Linux 2022.4 promises many improvements over its predecessor. Let me take you through this release.

      • The Register UKDesktop OpenSolaris fork OpenIndiana releases Hipster • The Register

        The OpenIndiana project has opened the gates on “Hipster”, its latest release and the first this year, and it includes MATE 1.26, LibreOffice, and more.

        OpenIndiana is a desktop flavor of illumos, which has been continuing development of OpenSolaris since 2010. In the project’s own words about Version 2022.10:

        Hipster is a codename for rapidly moving development branch of OpenIndiana. Hipster is using rolling-release model and only publishes installation ISOs once in a while.

        Judging by the project’s announcements page, this is the first new release the project has announced since this time last year, although in previous years there were semiannual updates. The 2022.10 release integrates over 2,500 pull requests, and updates multiple components, including version 1.26 of the MATE desktop, 64-bit LibreOffice 7.2.7, and Perl 5.36.

        The distro now includes the latest GCC 10, plus the option of GCC 11 and Clang 13. It also updates the bundled nVidia drivers, but we weren’t able to test that as the Reg FOSS desk lacks any kit with a current nVidia GPU.

    • BSD

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • PCLOS OfficialReact-Explorer 2.3.1 – PCLinuxOS

        React-Explorer is an electron based file manager that provides split-view, tab support, and full keyboard controls. Now available in the PCLinuxOS software repository.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux LinksBrosTrend Linux USB WiFi Adapter AC1200 Review

        This review looks at the BrosTrend Linux USB WiFi Adapter AC1200 (AC1L). This small USB key retails for around £25 ($30.99) and plugs directly into a USB 3 port. BrosTrend provide Linux support for Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros. Their wifi adapter chipsets and drivers are developed by Realtek.

      • The DIY LifeI Made An Only Fans Case For My Raspberry Pi

        Every time I’ve made a new case for my Raspberry Pi, there are always a few comments suggesting adding another fan or making improvements to the cooling, so today I’m going to put these suggestions to the test by building a case that has as many fans as possible to find out if more fans really result in lower CPU temperatures.

        [...]

        Given that we’re now using over 2000% more power just to run the fans and that most Raspberry Pi’s are not running flat out continuously, I’d say a single fan on a decent size heatsink like the Ice Tower or Ice Cube cooler is more than enough – even for overclocking.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Linux GizmosOpen-Source 8-Bit Gaming Console based on Arduino platform

        Kickstarter recently featured the Arduboy Mini which is an 8-bit video game console based on the Arduino platform. The tiny console includes more than 300 games and it can also be used to learn to code games using the tutorials from the Arduboy Community.

        As other Arduboy models released in the past (i.e. Arduboy FX), the Arduboy Mini is also powered by the ATmega32u4 processor (up to 16MHz) often found in Arduino Leonardo boards.

      • CNX SoftwareAdd an ePaper display to Raspberry Pi Pico W with EnkPi 2.9-inch to 7.5-inch displays (Crowdfunding) – CNX Software

        SB Components is running another crowdfunding campaign with the EnkPi ePaper display powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico W board and offered in four different sizes namely 2.9-inch, 4.2-inch 5.83-inch, and 7.5-inch.

        Each mainboard also comes with a USB Type-C port, a microSD card socket, an RTC with a backup battery holder, a buzzer, six user buttons, and a JST connector for expansion with GPIO, I2C, UART, and ADC signals.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Jon UdellMastodon, Steampipe, and RSS

      A first version of the dashboard, having only this data to work with, just listed the names of tags matching the search term along with corresponding URLs. Here was the initial query.

    • Free Software FoundationFree Software Foundation Bulletin, Issue 41 – Fall 2022

      1. Protect your freedom by managing your privacy

      2. GHM 2022 in Turkey: A personal reflection

      3. Copyright assignment with the FSF

      4. Charting a course to a free world

      5. New upcoming release of Trisquel 11, codenamed Aramo

    • Programming/Development

      • Amos WengerDay 6 (Advent of Code 2022)

        Our input is a jumble of letters, and we’re supposed to find the position of the first substring that’s “four different characters”.

      • Doug BrownGetting ChatGPT to write a Linux kernel module for me

        I’ve been doing some Linux kernel development in my spare time over the past 6 months or so. The goal has been to get my old Chumby 8 (stock kernel 2.6.28) running on a modern kernel with custom firmware. It has been going really well and there have been lots of fun problems I’ve needed to solve along the way. I may write some posts about that process if there is any interest. It’s been a blast.

      • Matt RickardStack Overflow Bans ChatGPT

        Stack Overflow is “banning” the use of ChatGPT (post). I know more than a few programmers who sought to farm some free internet points by answering questions with the help of ChatGPT. It’s an obvious and existential question for Stack Overflow, which makes sense why we’re doing the thought experiment here first.

  • Leftovers

    • The NationWill This Ukrainian Town Be Repaired by Winter?

      Halina Egorovna has placed every bucket, pot, and pan she owns around the floor of her one-bedroom apartment. Sheets of plastic line her walls and her couch, but the floor is still soaked. A cold autumn rain drenched Kyiv Oblast the previous night, pouring rain through the holes of her building’s roof, and leaking water into her apartment.

      “Do you see how we live?” she says to me in Ukrainian, beginning to weep. “No one helps us, they only bring promises.”

    • The NationMigrants
    • TruthOutSenators Set to Propose Legislation to Help Dreamers With Pathway to Citizenship
    • HackadayRocket Mounted 3D Printed Camera Wheel Tries, Succeeds, And Also Fails

      [Joe] at BPS.space has a thing for rockets, and his latest quest is to build a rocket that will cross the Kármán Line and launch into the Final Frontier. And being the owner of a YouTube channel, he wants to have excellent on-board video that he can share. The trouble? Spinning. A spinning rocket is a stable rocket, especially as altitude increases. So how would [Joe] get stable video from a rocket spinning at several hundred degrees per second? That’s the question being addressed in the video below the break.

    • HackadaySilicone-Slapping Servos Solve Simon Says

      Most modern computer games have a clearly-defined end, but many classics like Pac-man and Duck Hunt can go on indefinitely, limited only by technical constraints such as memory size. One would think that the classic electronic memory game Simon should fall into that category too, but with most humans struggling even to reach level 20 it’s hard to be sure. [Michael Schubart] was determined to find out if there was in fact an end to the latest incarnation of Simon and built a robot to help him in his quest.

    • The NationThe West’s Broken Approach to Refugees

      Almost anyone would agree that war is horrifying and peaceful countries should do their best to help its victims. The widespread eagerness to welcome fleeing Ukrainians after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded their country last February is a heartening example of such aid. But behind that altruism lies an ugly truth: Most of the countries embracing Ukrainians are simultaneously persecuting equally desperate refugees from elsewhere.

    • The NationA New Kind of Trans Poetics

      Turner’s life revolves around six things: “men, poems, rent, work, disgust, and transit.” Turner writes letters to friends in the interstitial times of commuting or after hook-ups; the reader intercepts them in between Turner’s work and leisure. Turner dilates on all of those themes, which might circumscribe the world of the contemporary educated, urban, queer, millennial misfit. Turner, whose name sounds “fake, like porn-fake,” is our queen of Bucks County.

    • HackadayRestarting The Grid When The Grid Is Off The Grid

      If you watch YouTube long enough, it seems like going “off the grid” is all the rage these days. But what if the thing that goes off the grid is the grid itself? In the video below the break, [Grady] with Practical Engineering explores the question: How do you restart an entire power grid after it’s gone offline? It’s a brilliantly simple deep dive into what it takes to restore power to large amounts of customers without causing major damage to not just the grid, but the power generators themselves.

    • Science

      • ACMThe Legacy of Peer-to-Peer Systems

        Looking at Google trends, we see that the concept almost faded from our lexicon. Nevertheless, the technology is still used; it evolved and became more specialized. A good portion of the fabric beneath modern data centers (web 2.0) and blockchain technology (web 3.0) evolved from early P2P research. Let’s consider some examples.

      • HackadayThe World’s Brightest Laser Pointer?

        The videos from [styropyro] are always amusing and informative. However, ironically for him, he is alarmed that many green laser pointers are more powerful than they are supposed to be. Sure, you often want a powerful laser, but if you think a laser is safe and it isn’t, you could… well… put an eye out. See the video below to see what [styropyro] claims is the brightest laser pointer in the world.

    • Education

      • Times Higher EducationTaking students’ phones away really does help them learn – study

        Researchers deprived students enrolled in two behavioural sciences classes at a New York-based institution of access to their phones for the duration of the courses, while their peers in two other classes were allowed to continue endlessly scrolling as normal.

        All took questionnaires upon completing the experiment, and those who could not access their phones were found to display better understanding of the course material, higher levels of mindfulness and less anxiety.

      • FAIR‘We Need to Transform What It Means to Be an Academic Worker; the Status Quo Is Untenable’

        Janine Jackson interviewed UC Santa Barbara’s Nelson Lichtenstein about the University of California strike for the December 2, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayUSB-C: Introduction For Hackers

        We’ve now had at least five years of USB-C ports in our devices. It’s a standard that many manufacturers and hackers can get behind. Initially, there was plenty of confusion about what we’d actually encounter out there, and manufacturer-induced aberrations have put some people off. However, USB-C is here to stay, and I’d like to show you how USB-C actually gets used out there, what you can expect out of it as a power user, and what you can get out of it as a hobbyist.

      • CNX SoftwareUP Xtreme i12 Alder Lake SBC supports up to four 4K displays @ 60 Hz, Raspberry Pi HATs – CNX Software

        AAEON has just introduced the UP Xtreme i12 single board computer (SBC) with Intel 12th generation Alder Lake-P hybrid SoC with up to 12 cores/16 threads, up to 32GB LPDDR5 memory, support for four 4Kp60 displays, and equipped with high-speed interfaces such as USB 4.0 and 2.5 GbE.

        The board also features four M.2 sockets for NVMe storage, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G cellular connectivity, a SATA III port, several USB 3.2/2.0 Type-A ports, and a 40-pin GPIO header and mounting thread for Raspberry Pi HATs, which should make it especially suitable for IoT, robotics, and smart retail applications, as well as smart manufacturing with a 12 to 36V wide supply voltage range.

      • HackadayPSA: Watch Out For White Filament

        We all know that using 3D printing filament with exotic filament that has metal or carbon fibers in it will tend to wear standard nozzles. That’s why many people who work with filaments like that use something other than conventional brass nozzles like hardened steel. There are even nozzles that have a ruby or diamond surfaces to prevent wear. However, [Slant 3D] asserts something we didn’t know: white filament may be wearing your nozzle, too. You can see his argument in the video below.

      • HackadayHow On-Frequency Are Those Cheap Radar Modules?

        If you’re partial to browsing AliExpress, Banggood, or eBay for unusual hardware, you may have seen the HB100 Doppler Radar modules. These are a PCB with a metal can on board, and their reverse side has a patch antenna array. They work on a frequency of 10.525 GHz, and [OH2FTG] has characterized a few of them to see how close they lie to that figure.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • [Old] Scientific AmericanWhy Social Media Makes People Unhappy—And Simple Ways to Fix It

        Disrupted sleep, lower life satisfaction and poor self-esteem are just a few of the negative mental health consequences that researchers have linked to social media. Somehow the same platforms that can help people feel more connected and knowledgeable also contribute to loneliness and disinformation. What succeeds and fails, scientists say, is a function of how these platforms are designed. Amanda Baughan, a graduate student specializing in human-computer interaction at the University of Washington, studies how social media triggers what psychologists call dissociation, or a state of reduced self-reflection and narrowed attention. She presented results at the 2022 Association for Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Baughan spoke with Mind Matters editor Daisy Yuhas to explain how and why apps need to change to give the people who use them greater power.

      • Ruben SchadeElective Surgery is the “micropayments” of health

        There’s the strict medical definition, but the general public reads it very differently. Elective sounds like voluntary, which leads people to think it’s for vanity, or worse, surgery someone could do without. It permeates discussions on everything from healthcare to politics.

      • NPRSome streets closed during the pandemic to allow pedestrians will remain car-free

        “We kept thinking that it would be, you know, three months, six months — OK, a year,” said Julia Washburn, superintendent of the park. “We just kept extending it because COVID kept going much longer than any of us had ever anticipated. During that time, some people started to say, ‘Well, why don’t we keep it closed?’ “

        “People loved it”

        In fact, people had been asking to close Beach Drive to cars for decades, but it took a global public health crisis to finally make it happen.

      • ScheerpostPatient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

        “As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration’s citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars.”

      • Pro PublicaHow to Research Your Hospice (and Avoid Hospice Fraud)

        Half of all Americans die in hospice. To qualify for the government benefit, two doctors must certify a patient as terminally ill, with a life expectancy of six months or less. When done right, hospice offers Medicare beneficiaries an intimate, holistic and vital service — one that allows them to experience as little pain as possible and to spend meaningful time with loved ones.

        But a ProPublica investigation of the hospice industry, in partnership with The New Yorker, found that the current design of the program enables some profit-seeking providers to exploit seniors with few consequences. Most hospice care takes place out of sight, behind closed doors. Because pinpointing what constitutes a “good death” is nearly as difficult as determining what makes a good life, families do not always realize when hospice is failing them.

      • Pro PublicaHow Prenatal Screenings Have Escaped Regulation

        Amanda wanted to warn someone. In June 2021, her daughter — the one she and her husband had tried for three years to conceive — had died after only 28 hours. With an underdeveloped nose, she had battled for every breath.

        Nobody knew why. Later, an autopsy report revealed their daughter had an extra 13th chromosome. The condition is nearly always fatal.

      • Counter PunchChina’s COVID Uprising

        Western media tended to emphasize the latter agenda, pushing the possibility of regime change to the top of the news when in fact that theme was not the dominant one among the demonstrators.

        It seems that young people, especially students, were mainly the ones calling for Xi to step down, whereas most everyone else focused on easing quarantines and returning to something resembling normal life. Neither in size, breadth of support, geography, or political impact were these protests anything like Tiananmen.

    • Proprietary

      • NPRHertz will pay $168 million to customers it falsely accused of stealing its cars

        Many of the Hertz cases involved customers who had called to extend their rental agreement, but the extensions were not properly reflected in Hertz’s computer systems. Other cases involved Hertz re-renting cars that had previously been reported as stolen without rescinding the police reports, causing unsuspecting customers to be pulled over by police. At other times, stolen cars were accidentally associated with the wrong customer, resulting in an arrest warrant for someone who was out of state entirely.

      • Network WorldRansomware attack knocks Rackspace’s Exchange servers offline [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Cloud services and hosting provider Rackspace Technology acknowledged Tuesday that a recent incident that took most of its Hosted Exchange email server business offline was the product of a ransomware attack. The company shut the service down last Friday.

      • IT WireCyberthreat cases increased by 275% in Australia during Black Friday week: Surfshark

        “Two of the most common cyberthreat categories are malware and riskware. Riskware is a program made without malicious intent but has security vulnerabilities that give it the potential to become malware. Malware is any software, product, or program created or installed onto a computer to cause harm,” notes Surfshark.

      • IT WireMandiant identifies Chinese threat group malware infecting USB drives [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Guest research Google cybersecurity subsidiary Mandiant has published new research on a China-based threat group using three new malware families affecting USB drives to target the Philippines and greater Southeast Asia region, which have been a focus for Chinese espionage for many years.

        Mandiant discovered an espionage campaign of a China-based threat group dating back to April 2022.

        This group, which Mandiant tracks as UNC4191, uses three types of malware families that continue replicating by infecting new removable USB drives that are plugged into a compromised system.

      • MandiantAlways Another Secret: Lifting the Haze on China-nexus Espionage in Southeast Asia [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Following initial infection via USB devices, the threat actor leveraged legitimately signed binaries to side-load malware, including three new families we refer to as MISTCLOAK, DARKDEW, and BLUEHAZE. Successful compromise led to the deployment of a renamed NCAT binary and execution of a reverse shell on the victim’s system, providing backdoor access to the threat actor. The malware self-replicates by infecting new removable drives that are plugged into a compromised system, allowing the malicious payloads to propagate to additional systems and potentially collect data from air-gapped systems.

      • Information Security Media Group CorporationRansomware Attack in New Zealand Has Cascading Effects

        Government health services are running normally but clinicians in some areas of the country cannot access a registry of inherited cardiac diseases or bereavement care services. Approximately 8,500 bereavement records and 5,500 records on the cardiac disease register are unavailable.

        Six other health regulatory authorities whose services are hosted by Mercury IT have also been impacted. They include the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board of New Zealand; the Chiropractic Board; the Podiatrists Board; the New Zealand Psychologists Board; the Dietitians Board; and the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand.

      • OMG UbuntuVivaldi Browser Now Boasts Mastodon Integration

        Folks are flocking to this federated social networking service in droves of late, a trend Vivaldi is well aware of. Such keen supporters of decentralised social media, they even launched their own Mastodon instance “Vivaldi Social” a few weeks back.

        Now they take things a step further by integrating Mastodon inside of the browser itself.

        Don’t panic if you don’t like the sound of this: it’s a discrete implementation that is easy to ignore or not use. Like Vivaldi’s other bells and whistles — spanning everything from arcade games to e-mail client to note taking tool — users won’t notice this feature is there unless they want to use it.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Linux Foundation’s Site/BlogTwo new agricultural technology projects join the Call for Code community at the Linux Foundation [Ed: Openwashing with Microsoft proprietary software]

        OpenTempus provides long-term climate forecasts, and OpenHarvest provides insight into crops, fields, and yields.

        The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced the release of two open source projects that help small-holder farmers use data to make more effective decisions about what, when, and where to plant. These projects join the Call for Code with the Linux Foundation.

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (cgal, ruby-rails-html-sanitizer, and xfce4-settings), Red Hat (dbus, grub2, kernel, pki-core, and usbguard), Scientific Linux (pki-core), SUSE (bcel, LibVNCServer, and xen), and Ubuntu (ca-certificates and u-boot).

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • Terence EdenHow do I revoke a FIDO / WebAuthN token from every service?

          OK, done! My wife and I spend a very boring evening going through every single account we have which supports FIDO tokens with WebAuthN – about a dozen in total. We manually paired two keys each. We put our main key on our keyrings, then drove out to the woods and buried our spares in a a waterproof box in a top secret location1.

          But what if I lost my keys?

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • India TimesMicrosoft mulls building ‘super app’: Report

          Microsoft Corp recently considered building a “super app” that could include shopping, messaging, news and web search services among others, The Information reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

        • India TimesMeta expands AI face-scanning to Facebook dating in US

          Meta announced that it has expanded its Artificial Intelligence (AI) face-scanning tool and ID Upload tool to Facebook Dating in the US, to verify users’ age.

          The tools will make sure that only adults are using the service, preventing minors from accessing it, the company said in a blogpost on Monday.

        • Teen VogueThe China Initiative: How Chinese Academics Like Xiaoxing Xi Were Falsely Charged as Spies

          As it turned out, the US government was the one doing the spying. We found out later that the FBI, using tools designed to pursue foreign agents, had secretly surveilled my dad’s communications and used his emails about unrelated academic research to try to portray him as a criminal. My family went from living a normal, low-key life to facing the weight of our own government coming after us.

          Months later, the government’s accusations fell apart and prosecutors dropped the charges. Yet to this day, the government has refused to explain or apologize for what it did. We have been in court for more than five years seeking answers, but still haven’t found out why the FBI targeted my father with surveillance and false criminal charges, saddling us with huge legal fees and many emotional scars.

        • Computer WorldWhat you need to know about the UK’s Online Safety Bill

          Parts of the legislation closely mimic rules set out in the EU’s recently approved Digital Services Act (DSA), which bans the practice of targeting users online based on their religion, gender or sexual preferences, and requires large online platforms to disclose what steps they are taking to tackle misinformation or propaganda.

        • Common DreamsOpinion | To Hold Powerful to Account, Journalists Must Be Free of Government Intrusion

          For democracy to survive, journalists must be protected from government surveillance and shielded from harassment.

        • The Gray ZoneLeaked files: private spying firm targets global population with illegal spyware
        • TechdirtAmerican Journalist First To Sue NSO Group Directly For Targeting His Phone

          NSO Group is objectively awful. For years — with the assistance of the Israeli government — NSO sold to whoever wanted powerful phone exploits to deploy against targets. Ostensibly sold to investigate violent crimes and acts of terrorism, the less-than-savory customers of NSO flipped the script, deploying zero-click malware that allowed government employees to target journalists, critics, activists, human rights lawyers, and anyone else (INCLUDING EX-WIVES) that made their lives uncomfortable.

        • Democracy NowPegasus Spyware Maker NSO Group Sued in U.S. Court by El Faro Journalists

          A group of journalists working for the award-winning Central American independent news outlet El Faro have filed a lawsuit in U.S. court against NSO Group, the Israeli company that operates the Pegasus spyware used to monitor and track journalists, human rights activists and dissidents across the globe. The journalists of El Faro, which is based in El Salvador, allege that Pegasus software was used to infiltrate their iPhones and track their communications and movements. “We’re of course of the belief that it was the government of El Salvador who engaged in these attacks. This is weapons-grade software that is sold exclusively to governments,” says Roman Gressier, a French American staff reporter with El Faro English and one of 15 plaintiffs in the lawsuit. We also speak with Carrie DeCell, senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the lead lawyer in the lawsuit, who says part of the goal is to force the courts to confirm who NSO Group’s client was. “That would send a signal to other government clients around the world that they can no longer rely on NSO Group’s assurances of secrecy when they … intimidate and persecute journalists, civil rights activists, human rights activists around the world,” says DeCell.

        • AccessNowSurveillance tech: EU Commission failed to protect human rights in Africa – Access Now

          he European Ombudsman has found that the European Commission failed to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of human rights in the transfers of technology with potential surveillance capacity supported by its multi-billion Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

          The decision by the EU’s oversight body follows a year-long inquiry prompted by complaints outlining how EU bodies and agencies are cooperating with governments around the world to increase their surveillance powers filed by Privacy International, Access Now, the Border Violence Monitoring Network, Homo Digitalis, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and Sea-Watch.

          The complainants welcome the decision by the European Ombudsman and call on the Commission to urgently review its support for surveillance in non-EU countries and to immediately implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations in their entirety.

      • Confidentiality

        • Torupcoming directory authority changes

          Later today (Tuesday) we plan to do a synchronized shift where we make two configuration changes on the directory authorities. The goal will be to make these changes while maintaining the right threshold of signatures so relays and users still get a safe network status consensus that they trust.

          For background, Tor uses a threshold consensus design, where as long as a majority of directory authorities are behaving properly, all users get the same accurate view of the Tor network. You can learn more about the design in the bottom half of
          https://support.torproject.org/about/key-management/.

          Specifically, we plan to make these changes: [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Marcy WheelerThe J6 Committee Proves Themselves To Be Suspect Media Whores

        A “criminal referral” from this Committee means absolutely nothing. The DOJ will prosecute individuals and/or entities on their own. “Referrals” from Thompson, Cheney and the J6 Committee mean less than nothing legally.

      • NPRJan. 6 committee is likely to make criminal referrals related to Capitol [insurrection]

        The committee is meeting virtually Tuesday evening to continue discussions on potential criminal referrals. They met on Friday morning behind closed doors to consider a range of topics — including whether to issue potential criminal referrals for former President Trump and others.

        The panel is expected to meet throughout this week and could share its plans on criminal referrals by Friday, Thompson said.

      • TruthOutBennie Thompson: Jan. 6 Panel Will Make Criminal Referrals Based on Its Findings
      • Common DreamsFamily of Officer Who Died After Jan. 6 Won’t Shake Hands With McConnell, McCarthy

        Relatives of the late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick—who died a day after being assaulted by right-wing rioters on January 6, 2021—refused to shake hands with Republican leaders at a Tuesday Congressional Gold Medal ceremony to honor those who defended democracy and the complex during last year’s attack.

        Video footage of Sicknick’s family bypassing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)—who’s aiming to be the next speaker—quickly spread on social media and was called both “amazing” and “awkward.”

      • The NationThe Terminator

        That quote should be emblazoned as a grade-A specimen of insider folly on the walls of newsrooms and journalism schools that profess to take seriously the tacit mandate in the press’s designation as “the fourth estate”—i.e., the social institution tasked with ensuring democracy and public accountability actually function as something more than airless abstractions. Instead, it appears that our organs of public debate are already making the same howling mistake, not even two years after a Trump-led coup effort nearly upended the transfer of power in the wake of a free and fair election.

        The occasion for Trump’s resurgent coup plotting, scarcely any commentator has bothered to note, was Elon Musk’s much-hyped release of “the Twitter files”—a collection of intra-company documents showing the discussions among Twitter higher-ups that led to the ban of a New York Post story on the platform about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. In Trump-ese, this was translated into “MASSIVE, WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION” among tech and “Democrat Party” elites, on a scale that overrides “all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

      • RTLSomalia forces recapture key town from jihadists

        The army and local clan militias known as “Macawisley” have retaken swathes of territory in the central states of Galmudug and Hirshabelle in recent months in an operation backed by US air strikes and an African Union (AU) force, ATMIS.

      • USAA Proclamation on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2022

        This commemoration is also a solemn reminder that our country is capable of achieving great triumphs coming out of dark moments. From the death and destruction at Pearl Harbor came victory over the forces of fascism. Fierce battles with the Axis powers gave way to diplomatic partnerships with strong allies. And from the darkness of World War II came the light of liberty and the establishment of a rules-based international order. Today and every day, we remember that the great and defining truth about our Nation and our people is that there is nothing beyond our capacity — we do not break, we never give in, and we never back down.

      • ScheerpostUS Plans To Build Jerusalem Embassy on Palestinian Land

        “Should the US proceed with this plan, it would not only be complicit with Israel’s illegal confiscation of Palestinian-owned land, but it would also become an active participant in the seizure of the land of U.S. citizens.” — Adalah

      • MeduzaDespite sanctions, Russia still produces cruise missiles with imported components — Meduza

        Despite the Western sanctions, Russia is still producing cruise missiles. This was concluded by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) analysts, based on their study of missile remnants found around Kyiv after the November 23 Russian missile strikes.

      • MeduzaKremlin spokesman Peskov denies plans for new mobilization round, claims no decree needed to end draft — Meduza

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has no plans for signing a new decree to end mobilization, says the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

      • ScheerpostAccess of Evil
      • Counter PunchMacron’s French Nuclear Farce

        I’ve been searching for the equivalent word in French for ‘chutzpah’ but so far ‘insolence’ or ‘audace’ just doesn’t quite cover President Emmanuel Macron’s renewed pitch to sell French nuclear technology to the United States.

        Nevertheless, that was a central purpose of Macron’s state visit to the nation’s capital last week. In a mise-en-scène worthy of a Feydeau farce, he even brought a whole atomic entourage with him including representatives from the state regulator (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire) as well as cabinet members and the (bankrupt) French nuclear power industry.

      • Counter PunchUkraine Strikes Inside Russia … Again

        The latest, including: – Ukraine’s drone strikes on Russian bases inside Russia – What do the latest strikes mean for the war and US-Ukraine relations? – Macron blasted for comments about Russian security interests – European divides on whether and what to negotiate with Putin – EU prepares sanctions on Russian mining sector – Analyzing US polling data about support for Ukraine – Secret Kremlin polling data about Russian attitudes towards the war

      • Counter PunchImperialist Wars—and What Could Be Done About Them

        Mobilizing their military forces, powerful states and, later, nations carved out vast empires at the expense of weaker or less warlike societies. Some of the largest and best-known empires to emerge over the millennia were the Persian, the Chinese, the Mongol, the Ottoman, the Russian, the Spanish, and the British.

        The standard policy for these and other empires was to absorb new, conquered lands into their domains, either as parts of the mother country or as colonies. In the 18th century, the British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese empires used their military muscle to seize substantial portions of the Western Hemisphere from the native inhabitants. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, imperial conquest accelerated rapidly around the world. By 1913 almost all of Africa had been colonized by European powers, while Imperial Russia, having annexed its neighbors, had become the world’s largest nation. Asia, too, had fallen largely under foreign domination. Meanwhile, the United States, established by a thin string of colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America, expanded across the continent to the Pacific, mostly thanks to successful wars against Mexico and Indian nations. Thereafter it moved on to colonize Hawaii, the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

      • Common DreamsSanders Says He Has Enough Support to Pass Yemen War Powers Resolution

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday signaled that he has the votes needed to pass a War Powers Resolution that would block U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, where more than 23 million people are suffering from one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises even amid a cease-fire.

        The Vermont Independent senator told The Intercept that he plans to bring the resolution to the Senate floor for a vote “hopefully next week,” and when asked whether he has enough support for the measure he said, “I think we do, yes.”

      • TruthOutSanders Moves for Senate to Vote on Ending US Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen
      • Site36EU finances defence against „hypersonic threats“

        Russia, China and North Korea have missiles with very high velocities. The EU cannot yet combat such systems.

      • MeduzaIgor Strelkov, sentenced to life in prison by Hague District Court, returns to Moscow — Meduza

        Igor Girkin, sentenced to life in prison by the Hague District Court for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and killing 298 passengers and crew, is in Moscow.

      • Democracy NowJeffrey Sachs: A Negotiated End to Fighting in Ukraine Is the Only Real Way to End the Bloodshed

        With the war in Ukraine now in its 10th month, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden have both expressed openness to peace talks to end the fighting, as have leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere. This comes as millions of Ukrainians brace for a winter without heat or electricity due to Russian strikes on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. “This war needs to end because it’s a disaster for everybody, a threat to the whole world,” says economist and foreign policy scholar Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He says four major issues need to be addressed to end the war: Ukraine’s sovereignty and security, NATO enlargement, the fate of Crimea and the future of the Donbas region.

    • Environment

      • New York TimesIf You Want to Give Something Back to Nature, Give Your Body

        As of today, five states — Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado and, most recently, California — have either legalized or set a date for legalizing human composting as a means of disposition after death. In New York, one such bill has passed the Assembly and Senate. It now awaits Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature.

        Human composting — or, as it’s sometimes referred to, natural organic reduction — fulfills many people’s desire to nurture the earth after dying. It owes much of its present form to Katrina Spade, a Washington-based designer and entrepreneur who told me that her goal is to see “composting overtake cremation as the default American death care in the next couple of decades.”

      • Taiwan News100 university presidents sign Manifesto for Sustainable Future at SATU summit in Taiwan

        Nearly 100 presidents and representatives from the top universities of Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, and Brunei attended the Southeast Asia Higher Education Summit this week. This year, the annual summit addressed several important issues relevant to higher education, including open knowledge sharing in sci-tech fields, cross-border strategic collaboration, and sustainable development.

      • The EconomistQatar’s World Cup will emit more CO2 than any recent sporting event

        It is also likely to be a significant underestimate. A report in May 2022 by Carbon Market Watch, a climate watchdog, found that the official forecast failed to account accurately for the emissions generated from stadiums. FIFA, which insists its methodology is “best in practice”, reckons that the bulk of the emissions (52%) will come from fans and players travelling to Qatar, while less than 25% are from stadium construction. That is because organisers expect these stadiums to be used for years after the World Cup, spreading their carbon footprint way into the future.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Mining Lawsuit in Guatemala Shows System Prioritizes Big Corporations Over People

        A Nevada-based mining firm is suing Guatemala for more than $400 million, the first suit of its kind for the impoverished Central American country.

      • Common DreamsCongressional Progressives, Climate Activists Rally Against Manchin’s ‘Dirty Deal’

        Progressive U.S. lawmakers joined climate activists for a Tuesday rally in Washington, D.C. to oppose to Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposed industry-friendly fossil fuel permitting modifications, the so-called “dirty side deal” the West Virginia Democrat and his party’s leaders want to include in the next military spending bill.

        “I refuse to allow our residents in frontline communities to continue to be sacrificed for the fossil fuel industry’s endless greed.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Congress: Thank You for Rejecting Permitting Reform Bill

        We are grateful. We are grateful that, just one month ago, courageous members of Congress rejected an effort to add Senator Manchin’s destructive permitting reform bill to a continuing budget resolution, an opportunity that Senate leadership had promised him just weeks prior in exchange for a vote on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This legislation would have gutted important environmental protections tirelessly fought for over many years, and fast-tracked fossil fuel projects, including the dangerous and unnecessary Mountain Valley Pipeline.

      • Energy

        • New York TimesOrdinary Investors Who Jumped Into [Cryptocurrency] Are Saying: Now What?

          Just days later, as the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX shook the entire crypto industry, Mr. Butkus asked BlockFi for his money back. But the firm had suspended customer withdrawals, citing its close financial ties to FTX. By late November, BlockFi, too, had filed for bankruptcy.

          Mr. Butkus doesn’t know when — or if — he will see his money again. He is one of millions of individual investors around the world who poured money into digital assets, believing the cryptocurrency industry was a stable financial system. They were cleareyed about the volatility and big price swings of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But what has come as a big surprise to many is that the firms where they deposited their money lacked the basic protections offered by a brokerage or a bank.

        • Information Security Media Group CorporationCybersecurity Analysis of the FTX [Cryptocurrency] Heist: Part One

          Brooks also shares how this incident reflects on the overall security of the web3 industry, what it means for the cybersecurity of exchanges that were exposed to FTX, how new regulations could help curb such cases in the future, the role of decentralization for cybersecurity and best practices for [cryptocurrency] exchanges.

        • WiredTony Fadell Is Trying to Build the iPod of [Cryptocurrency]

          Fadell stops to examine a group of photos of the device: a hardware wallet called Ledger Stax. A hardware wallet is a utilitarian thing. It’s a physical lock for digital secrets. When you own cryptocurrency, your balance is protected solely by a private key that can be devilishly hard to keep safe. Ledger’s wallets, made of steel and silicon (and, OK, plastic), act as tiny vaults, but so far they have been off-putting. Much like crypto itself. Fadell is reinventing this gadget, his first major design project in years. He has come to believe that by giving it the panache of the hottest consumer gadgets, he will redirect the crypto field, just as he helped kick off digital music and the smart home.

        • David RosenthalFoolish Lenders

          From the “no-one could have predicted” department comes David Pan’s Crypto Lenders’ Woes Worsen as Bitcoin Miners Struggle to Repay Debt. The TL;DR is that until recently companies accepted mining rigs as collateral for loans.

          [...]

          These companies did so little due diligence that they didn’t realize the collateral would be worthless in about 18 months, even if Bitcoin continued moonwards. Below the fold, the details.

        • Telex (Hungary)Does the fuel price cap have anything to do with the severe fuel shortage in Hungary?
        • DeSmogA New Era for Germany’s Gas Industry Fuels Climate Fears

          For 150 years, heavy industry has been the lifeblood of the German port of Wilhelmshaven, a hub for shipbuilding, plastics, coal and steel. Now, the city is at the forefront of the country’s dash to break its dependence on Russian gas.

          On Saturday, a newly built jetty is due to welcome the Norwegian-flagged Höegh Esperanza, a 280-metre vessel capable of offloading cargoes of natural gas supercooled into liquid form, then shipped across the ocean in specialised tankers.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchAvi Kwa Ame National Monument

          The monument will protect almost a half million acres of the Mohave Desert between the California border and the Colorado River. Stretching from the Newberry mountains in the east to the New York, South McCullough, Castle, and Piute mountains in the west, the monument encompasses representative landscapes of grasslands, Joshua trees, and in places, even scrub oak. Wildlife native to the area includes desert bighorn sheep, Gila monster, and desert tortoises,

          It would connect other protected landscapes in California, such as Mohave Trails National Monument and Mohave National Preserve, with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada, creating a corridor for wildlife to move more freely across the landscape. The area within the proposed monument also includes and/or borders several designated southern Nevada wildernesses, including Spirit Mountain, Nellis Wash, Wee Thump Joshua Tree, Bridge Canyon, Ireteba Peaks, and South McCullough wilderness areas.

        • Common DreamsGlobal Biodiversity Summit Called ‘Make-or-Break Moment’ for Wildlife

          The day before nearly two weeks of negotiations kick off at the United Nations summit on biodiversity, campaigners warned Tuesday that the talks taking place this month in Montreal may offer humanity its last chance to mitigate the planet’s crisis of rampant species loss, and called on policymakers to adopt an ambitious framework to protect wildlife.

          More than 190 nations will be represented at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), where negotiators will discuss a draft agreement aimed at conservation, slashing levels of toxic pollutants, and mitigating the climate crisis.

        • TruthOutIndigenous Argentineans Resist Becoming “Sacrifice Zone” for Ecocolonialism
      • Overpopulation

        • Counter PunchFacing Ourselves: Hard Truths about Sustainability

          Given the opportunity, I wanted to discuss problems that, while fairly obvious, are too often left out of discussions among liberals because they are hard to hear and hard to solve. They are hard to hear because the problem is with all of us, not just in the evil corporations and Republican voters. They are hard to solve because technological proposals that leave our economic and social systems intact will not succeed. We will need somehow to achieve a drastic alteration to our governmental policies and adjust our social relations accordingly.

          That is not a defense of the existing economic or political systems; it is hard to imagine human survival if we do not transcend the obsession with growth in capitalism and create a more democratic society. Those are necessary but not sufficient conditions. From there, we will have to face ourselves.

    • Finance

      • AxiosTech layoffs push H-1B visa workers into limbo

        Sweeping layoffs in tech are leaving thousands of people holding H-1B work visas stranded and scared.

        Why it matters: In the event of a layoff, H-1B holders have 60 days to find new companies to sponsor their visas. If they can’t, they can try switching to a different kind of work visa or look into non-work visas, such as a self-sponsored green card.

      • Common DreamsOxfam Rebukes EU Over Delayed Deal on Global Minimum Corporate Tax

        Oxfam on Tuesday blasted the European Union for delaying a discussion on a global minimum corporate tax rate due to a battle with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government over military aid for Ukraine and E.U. funding for Hungary.

        “E.U. national interests have prevailed despite the cost-of-living crisis.”

      • ScheerpostNYC Advocates Fear More Police Violence, Homeless Criminalization Amid Forced Hospitalizations

        New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a directive this week that puts police at the center of renewed efforts to remove people exhibiting signs of mental illness from public spaces.

      • ScheerpostTax the Rich? We Did That Once

        A little history might just inspire us to try that taxing again.

      • The NationHow Houston Halved Homelessness—and What California Can Learn From It

        Every year, the regional bodies known as Continuums of Care (CoCs) conduct point-in-time counts, a census of the region’s homeless population at a particular moment. When California published its results earlier this year, it confirmed what most already suspected: Homelessness, already at emergency levels before the Covid-19 pandemic, had grown worse. Adding every regional count together, the nonprofit newsroom CalMatters found that the state’s homeless population had increased by more than 22,000 people—a nearly 15 percent jump—between 2020 and 2022. And that is almost certainly a significant undercount.

      • Common DreamsAs GOP Threats Continue, Dems Told to ‘Raise the Debt Limit Before It’s Too Late!’

        As GOP lawmakers double down on their vow to hold the economy hostage to force cuts to popular federal programs such as Medicare and Social Security, progressives are reiterating their call for Democrats to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and take away Republicans’ leverage before they assume control of the House next month.

        “If the debt ceiling is not raised, our economy will come to a crashing halt.”

      • Pro PublicaHow Do Title Loans Work?

        Consumers across the country pledge the titles to their vehicles in order to obtain quick cash through title loans. The title-lending industry, which caters to people who are often written off as credit risks by traditional lending institutions, maintains that it provides a valuable financial service. But many consumer advocates see title lending as predatory: The loans typically carry high costs and terms that make the debt difficult to pay off. If borrowers default, they can lose their car, causing even more harm.

        ProPublica spent months reporting on how title lending works as part of a project with The Current, a nonprofit newsroom based in Georgia. We found that, even though Georgia banned high-interest payday loans, it carved out a loophole for title lending that puts borrowers at risk.

      • Telex (Hungary)Hungary vetoes joint loan for Ukraine
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Pro PublicaGovernments Call for Reforms to Honorary Consul System

        Authorities in four countries are pressing to correct breakdowns in a troubled system of global diplomacy that has elevated and protected accused terrorist financiers, violent criminals, sanctioned oligarchs and aides to some of the world’s most corrupt regimes.

        The “Shadow Diplomats” investigation, published last month by ProPublica, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and more than 50 international media organizations, chronicled widespread exploitation by honorary consuls and the failure of governments to provide oversight.

      • Counter PunchOnce Again, Democrats Side With the Bosses

        Every Union member and working class man and woman and child in the United States of America should be livid right now. President Joe Biden (a Democrat), the Democratic Party leadership in the House and Senate, and the vast majority of Democratic (& Republican) Party politicians in the Capital just fucked over Rail workers and sided with the billionaire bosses again. The Rail corporations, after years of record profits, shall not be required to pay workers if they have to miss a day of work due to illness. This is bullshit.

        No matter how the Democratic Party apologists try to spin it, Congress had the power to grant Unionized Rail workers paid sick leave, willfully chose to not do so, and then imposed a contract which was voted down by the rank & file of four Unions representing a majority of Rail workers in this country. The Democrats in the House chose to send two bills to the Senate (instead of tying the sick leave to the TA), and it was the Democrats again in the Senate who refused to abolish the filibuster (which takes a simple majority) and instead agreed to a 60 vote threshold to pass the sick leave bill. And even after the sick leave bill failed to get the 60 votes, the great majority Democrats still voted to impose the TA. And in so doing, Congress also effectively outlawed strike activity in the Rail sector for this contract cycle. Thus the betrayal of Labor falls on the Democrats.

      • The NationBarack Obama’s Politics 101: Ridiculing Republicans Works

        If there was any doubt that Barack Obama remains the Democratic Party’s ablest campaigner, it was removed last week when the former president swept into Georgia for the final push of US Senator Raphael Warnock’s reelection bid.

      • Gabriel SiebenNobody agrees what “Right to Repair” actually means

        Right to Repair: Almost everyone supports it, it will make our devices more repairable, but if you look closely: the definition of what Right to Repair actually is and entails constantly changes based on who you talk to.

        Note: This graph is an oversimplification of their definitions of R2R and does not include all necessary nuances to make a point. I apologize for any errors.

      • Michael GeistFrom Bad to Worse: Senate Committee Adds Age Verification Requirement for Online Undertakings to Bill C-11

        The Senate committee studying Bill C-11 has ramped up the hours devoted to clause-by-clause review with amendments related to user generated content currently up for debate. However, earlier today, just prior to addressing the user content issue, the committee shockingly adopted an amendment that adds age verification for online undertakings to the Broadcasting Act. The amendment comes as a policy objective, meaning that it will fall to the CRTC to determine how to implement it. The implications are enormous since broadly defined the policy would require every online service that transmits or retransmits programs over the Internet (broadly defined to include all audio and audiovisual content) to establish age verification requirements to prevent child access to programs with explicit sexual activity. If the CRTC implements, the policy will surely be challenged as unconstitutional.

      • CNBCTim Cook says Apple will use chips built in the U.S. at Arizona factory

        The chip factories will be owned and operated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the biggest foundry company with over half of the global market share.

      • International Center for Law and EconomicsJournalism Competition & Preservation Act: Not What It Says on the Box

        But… This quixotic attempt to prop up flailing media firms will create legally sanctioned cartels that harm consumers, while forcing online platforms to carry and pay for content in ways that violate long-established principles of intellectual [sic] property [sic], economic efficiency, and the U.S. Constitution.

      • [Old] Free PressThe JCPA Is the Wrong Solution to the Crisis in Journalism

        On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA). The controversial legislation would give broadcasters, publishers and other news producers an antitrust exemption to collectively negotiate with online platform companies like Alphabet and Meta. The bill has faced growing opposition from local news guilds as well as social-justice, media-advocacy and digital-rights groups from across the political spectrum.

        Last year, Free Press Action filed written testimony for a hearing in the House of Representatives, explaining that the JCPA is built on a big-media business model that is bad for democracy. Free Press Action urged Congress to instead adopt policies that would “support a robust noncommercial journalism sector that amplifies the voices of people of color and creates new opportunities they were never given in broadcasting, in cable, or in publishing.”

      • TechdirtHow Will Elon Feel When He Realizes Congress Is Trying To Force Him To Throw Free Money At Newspapers He Hates?

        We’ve written many times about the many problems of the JCPA (the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act). As noted, the bill is a really sketchy bit of corruption: creating a link tax to force internet companies to funnel money to news organization owners for… sending them traffic. Everything about the JCPA is wrong and broken. Supporters insist it’s not a link tax nor a change to copyright law, but it is both. The fundamental argument in the bill is that large sites that link to news organizations need to pay for a license for “access.” But access to what? There’s no license for access for content put on the web for free. It’s just… the web.

      • Consumer ReportsOpen Letter to US Senate on JCPA [PDF]

        We write today to express our ongoing concerns with the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act (JCPA), an act that would create an ill-advised antitrust exemption for publishers and broadcasters. The bill remains enormously problematic for reasons we outline below.

        The signatories to this letter represent a broad cross-section of organizations focused on protecting and advancing our democracy and its democratic values. We include civil society organizations; librarians and archivists; creators; technology companies; experts in antitrust, copyright, constitutional and digital rights law; and media and news groups. While we represent a broad range of policy positions, we join in the view that this legislation should not be passed.

      • IndiaFacebook Warns Of Removing News From Platform In US If Congress Passes Journalism Bill

        In essence, he is claiming that Meta does not need these publishers and broadcasters for its bottomline, these publishers and broadcasters need Meta for their own bottomline. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act was introduced last year by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Last year, Facebook took news off its feed when Australia passed a similar law and eventually Australia had to amend its law. The bill says that its goal is “to provide a temporary safe harbor for publishers of online content to collectively negotiate with dominant online platforms regarding the terms on which content may be distributed”.

      • NDTVMeta Threatens To Remove News From Facebook If US Passes Media Bill

        Meta spokesperson Andy Stone in a tweet said the Act fails to recognize that publishers and broadcasters put content on the platform because “it benefits their bottom line – not the other way around.”

      • ReutersFacebook owner Meta may remove news from platform if U.S. Congress passes media bill

        Since the News Media Bargaining Code took effect, various tech firms including Meta and Alphabet have signed more than 30 deals with media outlets, compensating them for content that generated clicks and advertising dollars, the report added.

      • ABCMeta may remove news from Facebook if US Congress passes media bill

        The JCPA would allow small and local news publishers to collectively negotiate with the largest US tech companies for compensation for access to the journalistic content that helps generates ad revenue on those platforms.

      • CNNMeta threatens to remove news content over US journalism bargaining bill

        In a letter Monday to congressional leaders, those groups said the JCPA could make mis- and disinformation worse by allowing news websites to sue tech platforms for reducing a story’s reach and intimidating them into not moderating offensive or misleading content.

        The letter also said the JCPA could end up disproportionately favoring large media companies over the small, local and independent outlets that have been hit the hardest by falling digital ad revenues.

      • The HillBig tech and its critics lash out at journalism measure

        Meanwhile, dozens of civil society organizations including the ACLU, Public Knowledge and Free Press wrote to congressional leaders urging them to keep the JCPA out of the NDAA or any other omnibus legislation.

        The groups said the bill will “compound some of the biggest issues in our information landscape and do little to enable the most promising new models to improve it.”

      • CNETMeta Threatens to Pull News From Facebook if Congress Passes Media Bill

        More than 20 organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, have urged lawmakers to reconsider support for the “problematic” bill, warning (PDF) that it would “create an ill-advised antitrust exemption for publishers and broadcasters.”

      • BBCMeta threatens to remove US news content if new law passes

        The legislation, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was introduced in Congress by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and has bipartisan support.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Senator Raphael Warnock: No Comparison on Climate or Choice in Today’s Runoff Election

        Today is the runoff election in Georgia between Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and his opponent, for a one-vote margin in the U.S. Senate between the Democrats who passed historic climate legislation in the Inflation Reduction Act, and the other party, which mostly denies climate change. Senator Warnock’s Climate Calculation is 81.25 as compared to his opponent’s score of 7.5 out of 100. His support for Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme court decision that legalized abortion sets Warnock apart from his opponent, who not only opposes Roe, but reportedly does so hypocritically while having paid for several abortions himself.

      • Common DreamsOn Election Day, Warnock Supporters Urge Georgians ‘Don’t Walk, Run to the Polls!’

        Leading up to Georgia’s crucial runoff election on Tuesday, progressive advocates, groups, and lawmakers have reiterated the importance of stopping Republican Herschel Walker from ousting incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

        “A Herschel Walker win would be a huge loss for Georgia’s working people.”

      • TruthOutGeorgia Breaks Voting Records in Senate Runoff Election
      • Democracy NowWarnock vs. Walker, Round 2: Georgia Breaks Voting Records in Senate Runoff Election

        Voters in Georgia cast their ballots Tuesday in the closely watched runoff election between Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. A victory for Warnock would give Democrats a 51st seat in the Senate. The election has seen a record number of early votes, especially in communities of color, but Black Voters Matter co-founder and executive director Cliff Albright says that is “partially a function of the voter suppression” in the state. A new voting law passed by Georgia last year, known as SB 202, reduced the early voting period from three weeks to one and introduced a range of other restrictions.

      • Common DreamsWarnock Defeats Walker in Georgia, Giving Democrats 51-49 Senate Majority

        Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock was declared the winner Tuesday night in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff race against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, giving the incumbent’s party a 51-49 advantage in the upper chamber and helping to temper the obstructionist power of the GOP and right-wing Democrats like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

        “Democrats can do a lot more with 51 Senate seats.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Georgia Voters: Fight for Social Security by Re-Electing Senator Warnock!

        Anyone familiar with me & Sha Na Na knows that I love the music of the 1950s and 60s. But despite that, I would never want to return to the time before Medicare was passed in 1965, when half of seniors lacked hospital insurance. And I certainly never want to return to the time before Social Security was passed in 1935, when over 50 percent of American seniors had incomes below the poverty line. Yet that’s exactly what the Republican Party wants to do.

      • Common Dreams‘About Damn Time’: NY Jury Finds Trump Organization Guilty on All Counts of Tax Fraud

        This is a breaking story… Please check back for possible updates…

        A New York jury on Tuesday found two subsidiaries of Trump Organization, former President Donald Trump’s company, guilty on all counts of criminal tax fraud.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Biden’s Push for South Carolina Primary Is Clear Effort to Sabotage Progressive Gains Within Democratic Party

        President Joe Biden has directed the Democratic National Committee to reduce the danger that progressives might effectively challenge him in the 2024 presidential primaries. That’s a key goal of his instructions to the DNC last week, when Biden insisted on dislodging New Hampshire—the longtime first-in-the-nation primary state where he received just 8 percent of the vote and finished fifth in the 2020 Democratic primary. No wonder Biden wants to replace New Hampshire with South Carolina, where he was the big primary winner.

      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: The Trans-Atlantic Rift Grows Wider

        What an occasion, President Biden’s first state dinner. Better late than not at all, given it came last Thursday evening, nearly two years after he took office. Apart from guests of honor Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron, monsieur le président et sa femme, all manner of grand people were […]

      • ScheerpostRep. Adam Smith Says Calls for Ukraine Aid Oversight are ‘Russian Propaganda’

        Smith says concerns for greater oversight make him ‘crazy’

      • The NationSarah Palin Is a Faux Populist. Alaskans Chose the Authentic One.

        Back in the halcyon days of 2010, I wrote my first Washington Post column about a hockey mom from Alaska who seemed, at the time, to have a bright future ahead of her in conservative politics.

      • Counter PunchThe Volatility of US Hegemony in Latin America: Challenges Ahead for the Pink Tide

        However, the countries of the region must of necessity engage in a world financial order dominated by the US, which limits the possibilities of developing their economies successfully.

        Troubled waters

      • Counter PunchIf Zelensky Called Taiwan’s President Tsai After Her Electoral Rout …

        Zelensky: Tsai, how are you doing? We have not spoken in months. Sorry for the delay in answering your call earlier. We were in another photoshoot for Vogue.

        Tsai. (Sobs into the phone). Hello, Voldodya.

      • TruthOutBiden Wants to Block Presidential Primary Challenge From the Left Ahead of 2024
      • ScheerpostOur Democracy’s Future Depends on Political Activists

        Rebecca Gordon, just back from the front lines of the recent midterm elections, shares what she learned from her campaign work.

      • ScheerpostWhy Iran’s National Strike Is a Huge Deal

        Juan Cole writes that the Iranian government has plenty of reasons to fear the staying power of these protests.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • Eesti RahvusringhäälingRussian independent TV Rain (Dozhd) loses license in Latvia

          The NEPLP fined TV Rain €10,000 for displaying a map in which occupied Crimea was marked as Russian territory and for calling the Russian army “our army” in a piece that mentioned how viewers could help provide recruits to the illegal invasion force with supplies and equipment, the Twitter account of the watchdog reported on December 2.

        • NBCMaryland bans state agencies from using TikTok and other Chinese and Russian products after NBC News report

          “There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” said Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican. “Maryland has taken bold and decisive actions to prepare for and address cybersecurity threats. To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Washington PostInternet ‘algospeak’ is changing our language in real time, from ‘nip nops’ to ‘le dollar bean’

        As discussions of major events are filtered through algorithmic content delivery systems, more users are bending their language. Recently, in discussing the invasion of Ukraine, people on YouTube and TikTok have used the sunflower emoji to signify the country. When encouraging fans to follow them elsewhere, users will say “blink in lio” for “link in bio.”

        Euphemisms are especially common in radicalized or harmful communities. Pro-anorexia eating disorder communities have long adopted variations on moderated words to evade restrictions. One paper from the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology found that the complexity of such variants even increased over time. Last year, anti-vaccine groups on Facebook began changing their names to “dance party” or “dinner party” and anti-vaccine influencers on Instagram used similar code words, referring to vaccinated people as “swimmers.”

      • The HillSchumer open to reforming tech liability protections amid rising hate speech on Twitter

        Section 230 grants social media platforms such as Twitter protection from legal liability for offensive, wrongful or damaging content posted on their sites.

        Schumer said he is open to revisiting that legal protection in the wake of new reports by the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Anti-Defamation League that found hate speech on Twitter has grown significantly since entrepreneur Elon Musk bought the company for $44 billion.

      • ABCIndonesia’s Parliament passes law criminalizing adultery

        It also says the promotion of contraception and religious blasphemy are illegal, and it restores a ban on insulting a sitting president and vice president, state institutions and national ideology. Insults to a sitting president must be reported by the president and can lead to up to three years in jail.

        Hiariej said the government provided “the strictest possible explanation that distinguishes between insults and criticism.”

      • BBCIndonesia’s new sex laws and what they could mean for tourism

        “It might be hotels, it might be foreign tourists… that will allow certain police officers to extort bribes or certain politicians to use, let’s say, the blasphemy law, to jail their opponents.”

      • [Old] WixThe Algorithms

        Jeff Horwitz reported on company documents that reveal an elite tier of Instagram users who face an entirely different system that monitors their content here. These ‘white-listed’ users have their content filtered through a seperate program call ‘XCheck’ that “was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists” and now “shields millions of VIP users from the company’s normal enforcement process.” The documents show that high-profile users are “rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.” This elite group of users face an entirely different, more advanced system of checks that regular users don’t have the luxury of.

        This invisible tier of elite Instagram users included at least 5.8 million users in 2020, and unlike normal users, “if Facebook’s systems conclude that one of those accounts might have broken its rules, they don’t remove the content—at least not right away, the documents indicate. They route the complaint into a separate system, staffed by better-trained, full-time employees, for additional layers of review.” In the past Facebook has even contacted VIP users who violated the community guidelines, giving them “a “self-remediation window” of 24 hours to delete violating content on their own before Facebook took it down and applied penalties.”

      • NPRIndonesia criminalizes adultery, but the law may take up to 3 years to take effect

        Once in force, the bans will affect foreign visitors as well as citizens. They’re part of an overhaul of the country’s criminal code that has been in the works for years. The new code also expands an existing blasphemy law and keeps a five-year prison term for deviations from the central tenets of Indonesia’s six recognized religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The code still needs approval from the president, and the government says it will not be fully implemented for several years.

      • VOA NewsIndonesia’s Parliament Votes to Ban Sex Outside of Marriage

        The amended code also expands an existing blasphemy law and maintains a five-year prison term for deviations from the central tenets of Indonesia’s six recognized religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

      • NPRFacebook’s own oversight board slams its special program for VIPs

        The board said Meta appeared to be more concerned with avoiding “provoking” VIPs and evading accusations of censorship than balancing tricky questions of free speech and safety.

        It called for the overhaul of the “flawed” program in a report on Tuesday that included wide-ranging recommendations to bring the program in line with international principles and Meta’s own stated values.

      • New York TimesInside the Face-Off Between Russia and a Small Internet Access Firm

        The digital censorship battle is reaching “an inflection point,” said Grant Baker, a research analyst for technology and democracy at Freedom House, which recently reported that internet censorship globally had reached a new high in 2022. While Russia has spent years working on a more closely controlled, sovereign internet, the controls imposed after the war are “a stark contrast” to anything Moscow had ever done before, Mr. Baker said.

        Companies rarely discuss being targeted by an authoritarian government out of fear of escalating the conflict. But Andy Yen, Proton’s founder and chief executive, said that after a period of trying to keep its “head down,” Proton wanted to raise awareness about the increasing sophistication of governments, in Russia and elsewhere, to block citizens from reaching the open web and the need for technologists, companies and governments to push back.

      • MeduzaTV Rain CEO Natalia Sindeeva asks fired host Alexey Korostelev to re-join network — Meduza

        Natalia Sindeeva, the head executive of the exiled Russian TV Rain network, asked the recently fired host Alexey Korostelev to re-join the media company.

      • Meduza‘We made a lot of stupid mistakes’ TV Rain CEO Natalia Sindeeva on the news that Latvia is stripping the network’s broadcast license — Meduza

        On the morning of December 6, Latvian authorities revoked the broadcast license of the independent Russian news channel TV Rain, which has been banned in Russia since March. Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) said that the network poses a “threat to national security and the public order.” The decision was made against the backdrop of a heated public debate sparked by an ambiguous on-air statement made by TV Rain host Alexey Korostelev about the war in Ukraine. Meduza special correspondent Svetlana Reiter spoke with TV Rain founder and CEO Natalia Sindeeva immediately after the decision was announced.

      • MeduzaMeduza’s statement regarding the revocation of TV Rain’s Latvian broadcasting license — Meduza

        The Latvian National Electronic Media Council has revoked TV Rain’s license. The agency has banned the network from broadcasting on cable and also plans to block access within the country to its YouTube stream. According to the council’s chairman, Ivars Āboliņš, the decision was made “in connection with the threat to national security and public order.”

      • MeduzaDeja vu all over again TV Rain editor-in-chief slams Latvian regulators’ decision to revoke the network’s license as a farcical repeat of Kremlin censorship — Meduza

        In a broadcast on Tuesday, December 6, TV Rain editor-in-chief Tikhon Dzyadko called Latvian officials’ decision to revoke the network’s cable license “absurd and divorced from common sense.” Latvian regulators argue that TV Rain’s content constitutes a “national security” threat, following on-air remarks last week by a news presenter (later fired for the comments) who promoted a hotline to collect information about battlefield conditions for Russian soldiers as assistance for those men. Latvia’s National Electronic Media Council also flagged TV Rain for referring to the Russian military as “our army” and for displaying a map of Russia that included Crimea. Council Chairman Ivars Abolins also accused the network of sending a representative who only spoke Russian, though Dzyadko told journalists that TV Rain had met numerous times with Abolins’ group and used Russian as the working language. When the council met in October, he says, officials suddenly asked to switch to Latvian, leaving TV Rain without enough time to find an interpreter.

      • TechdirtHow KOSA’s ‘Parental Tools’ Mandate Will Almost Certainly Lead To Abuse

        There is a serious problem in the way many tech-focused bills are drafted these days. Whether it’s a lack of trust or simply a desire to punish, those working on tech-bills are not talking to the right industry people about how things actually work in practice. This leads to simple mistakes like requiring something that seems like a good idea but runs counter to how systems are designed and how they function. When these mistakes are bad enough, they can result in serious security and safety problems.

      • TechdirtDevin Nunes Gets Small, Most Likely Temporary, Victory Against MSNBC, While Also Suing CNN Again

        You might have seen some headlines recently suggesting that former congressional representative and current flailing social media CEO (and serial suer of the media) Devin Nunes had some sort of legal victory over Rachel Maddow and MSNBC. And he did get a very, very small victory while piling up more losses at the same time. Law & Crime (which consistently does excellent work) had a much more accurate headline noting that the court actually dismissed all but one claim in his lawsuit. And you could actually go beyond that. There were three separate statements that were claimed to be defamatory, and two were dismissed outright, and the third actually consisted of three separate factual claims, two of which were also dismissed. So it was basically just one-third of one claim that survived.

      • MeduzaFor whom how Russia bans LGBT ‘propaganda,’ the ‘imposition of information’ about homosexuality and ‘sex reassignment.’ Here’s the law broken down. — Meduza

        On November 24, Russia’s State Duma passed the third and final reading of legislation that bans all “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships.” Six days later, the Parliament’s upper chamber also approved the bills, which President Putin signed into law on December 5. The new rules enter into force immediately. LGBT “propaganda” has been banned in Russia since June 2013, but only among minors. The authorities have now significantly expanded the list of restrictions: “propaganda” and “impositions” are now prohibited in the presence of children and adults alike. The law applies to everything, including films, books, advertising, television, and social media. Below, breaks down what’s new in the cornerstone legislation that guides Russia’s state homophobia and transphobia. For a more detailed analysis of these requirements (in Russian), click here.

      • MeduzaFormer Meduza technical director Boris Goryachev faces misdemeanor charges for ‘discrediting’ Russian army — Meduza

        Russian authorities have opened an misdemeanor case against former Meduza technical director Boris Goryachev for “discrediting” the Russian army, he reported on Facebook.

      • EFFThe Supreme Court Must Protect Internet Users’ Rights to Access Controversial Information Online

        In Twitter v. Taamneh, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that online services can be civilly liable under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) based on claims that the platform had generalized awareness that members of a terrorist organization used its service. The Supreme Court agreed to review Taamneh and another case involving similar facts and legal claims (Gonzales v. Google) this fall.

        Although the legal issues in Taamneh primarily center on how federal courts should interpret the ATA’s language,the Ninth Circuit’s broad interpretation would have dangerous implications for the First Amendment rights of internet users and the platforms hosting their speech, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed by EFF, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the ACLU, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and the R Street Institute.

        “These platforms and other intermediaries provide essential fora for speech and have become a primary source of news, information, and discussions across the nation and around the world,” the brief argues. But if the Ninth Circuit’s “startlingly broad construction of the ATA stands, online intermediaries will be forced to suppress protected speech.”

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • NBCU.S. court dismisses suit against Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing

        District of Columbia U.S. District Judge John D. Bates heeded the U.S. government’s motion to shield Prince Mohammed from the lawsuit despite what Bates called “credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.”

        A team of Saudi officials killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had written critically of the harsh ways of Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

      • Michael GeistHow the Government Is Using Bill C-18 to Pick Media Winners and Losers

        In recent weeks, however, the government’s role in picking winners and losers has become even more pronounced. Liberal MP Lisa Hepfner’s ill-advised comment that online news outlets weren’t real news was rightly criticized (leading to an apology and near total silence from Hepfner ever since) but skeptics feared she was merely saying the quiet part out loud since the reality of Bill C-18 is that it is the lobbying product of large media outlets, who are set up as the prime beneficiaries.

      • Common DreamsRevealing New Evidence in Abu Akleh’s Killing, Al Jazeera Sues Israeli Forces at ICC

        Following an investigation that Al Jazeera said uncovered new evidence regarding the fatal shooting of Palestinian-America journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May, the international news network said Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against Israeli military forces at the International Criminal Court.

        “The claim by the Israeli authorities that Shireen was killed by mistake in an exchange of fire is completely unfounded.”

      • TruthOutAl Jazeera Sues Israeli Forces at the International Criminal Court
      • Democracy NowPublishing Is Not a Crime: NYT, The Guardian & More Urge Biden Admin to Drop Charges Against Assange

        The New York Times and four major European newspapers — The Guardian in Britain, Le Monde in France, Der Spiegel in Germany and El País in Spain — recently urged the Biden administration to drop all charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In a joint letter, the newspapers said, “This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.” The letter ends with the words “Publishing is not a crime.” Assange, who is jailed in Britain, faces up to 175 years in a U.S. prison on espionage and hacking charges for exposing U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The five publications had partnered with WikiLeaks in 2010 to report on documents leaked by Chelsea Manning. “The prosecution of Assange … would set a clear and devastating precedent in the United States that could be applied to any of these organizations’ journalists, going forward,” says Carrie DeCell, senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • India TimesUnion says Microsoft will recognise unit of videogame testers

        Voluntarily agreeing to bargain with the union would allow Microsoft to avoid a formal election overseen by the US National Labor Relations Board and the legal battles that often ensue.

      • Copenhagen PostDanish museum awarded prestigious international prize

        Arbejdermuseet (the Workers Museum in English) in Copenhagen has been awarded the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for its achievement in documenting working conditions for Danish wage workers over the past 150 years and for its contributions during the development of the Danish labour movement.

      • ABCSan Francisco cancels plans for ‘killer police robots’

        “The people of San Francisco have spoken loud and clear: There is no place for killer police robots in our city,” supervisor Dean Preston told ABC News in a statement. “There have been more killings at the hands of police than any other year on record nationwide. We should be working on ways to decrease the use of force by local law enforcement, not giving them new tools to kill people.”

      • The NationThe Twitter User Taking on the Chinese Government

        On November 26, a Chinese Twitter user, known to his now more than 825,000 followers as Teacher Li, received a photograph via direct message. It was of a student in Nanjing holding a piece of white A4 paper in front of a bell tower on a university campus. A fire in a locked-down apartment building in Urumqi, Xinjiang, had recently killed at least 10 residents, and commentary on the news had been censored, leading to viral social media posts that were repetitions of a single Chinese character: 好—hao, or “good”—a bitter statement about critical comments being scrubbed from the Internet, leaving “good” the only thing to say. Now, with the university student holding a blank sheet of paper, the online protests had moved to the streets. 南京传媒学院 pic.twitter.com/CPjnSTucqt—李老师不是你老师 (@whyyoutouzhele) November 26, 2022

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Most Effective Altruism? Igniting Positive Social Change

        For many of us, the past few years have been like a series of terrifying mass psychology experiments.

      • The NationThe Supreme Court Has Officially Launched Its War on LGBTQ Rights

        The conservative-controlled Supreme Court has already attacked reproductive rights by means of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. It’s set to revoke affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. Next on its list of things to take away are LGBTQ rights.

      • Common DreamsBiden Admin Takes ‘Urgent and Necessary’ Step to Protect 100,000+ Haitians From Deportation

        Migrant rights advocates welcomed the Biden administration’s Monday extension of legal protections for more than 100,000 Haitian migrants fleeing civil unrest, as well as economic and environmental crises, in their homeland.

        “This move will protect thousands of Haitians already in the U.S. and ensure they have work authorization to live with dignity in their new communities.”

      • TruthOut“Military Intervention Will Birth Military Occupation,” Haitian Activist Warns
      • TruthOutTrump’s PAC Is Paying Legal Fees for Key Witnesses in the Mar-a-Lago Docs Case
      • TruthOutApple Illegally Busted Union Effort in Atlanta Store, Labor Officials Say
      • Counter PunchBlack Robes: White Straight Christian Male Justice

        Domestically, we live in times of all-too convenient self-righteous indignation. With nearly a public whisper, let alone outrage, like in Dobbs, under Haaland v. Brackeen the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) may soon be relegated to mere historical footnote if the Supreme Court signs off on a modern-day residential school system by gutting ICWA, an essential hedge against the intended blanch of indigenous culture, tradition and, ultimately, Tribal sovereignty throughout the United States.

        Haaland has its genesis in a challenge under ICWA by the Navaho Tribe which was subsequently joined by the Cherokee, Oneida and Quinault nations and the Morongo Band of Mission to stop an adoption of a Native child by a white Texas family which moved to have the Act struck down. Arguing that only states have power over child custody, and that “Indian” is but a racial classification and not a protected political status with direct historical roots to treaties and Congressional edicts, the Texas family contends protection of indigenous children alone violates the Equal Protection clause of the federal Constitution.

      • Papers PleaseTSA argues for impunity for checkpoint staff who rape travelers

        [Jonathan Corbett argues on behalf of Michele Leuthauser]

        Two years ago, at least a dozen women on a Qatar Airways flight to Sydney were ordered off the plane at Doha Airport in Qatar and subjected to forced vaginal examinations.

      • MeduzaPolice in Russian border town searching for possible deserter who fired at officers after emerging from forest — Meduza

        Police in Russia’s Rostov region are searching for an armed man wearing camouflage who shot at police in Novoshakhtinsk, a city on the border with Ukraine, TASS reported on Tuesday.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • NPRThe Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has been knocked offline for more than a month [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Vanuatu’s government officials first discovered suspicious activity on their networks, many of which are centrally connected, on Nov. 6. They revealed the breach to local media several days later, but have so far been fairly tight lipped about the extent of the damage, the possible culprits, and what’s being done to recover service.

        Some sources have suggested the attack was ransomware, in which cybercriminals break in and take data hostage in exchange for payment, though the government has not officially confirmed whether that’s the case or addressed whether a ransom payment was made.

        Vanuatu officials did not respond to NPR’s requests for comment.

      • Counter PunchNYC Digital Redlining: a Tale of Woe

        Mayor Adams went on, noting: “Accessible broadband and phone service, it’s just not a luxury, it’s a necessity.  Just as we need electricity and heat and hot water, these same services they plan a vital role in being able to carry out our function – so to Wi-Fi.”

        The 32-foot-high Link5G towers are replacing the previous LinkNYC kiosks that were 9-feet-tall and were introduced to replace the old-fashion payphone booths.

      • TechdirtAdams Administration Finally Gets Around To Admitting They Killed NYC’s Ambitious Broadband Plan

        Back in 2020, New York City officials unveiled an aggressive plan to revolutionize broadband in the city. The centerpiece of this Internet Master Plan involved building a $156 million open access fiber network that competitors could easily join at low cost, driving some much needed competition — and lower rates, faster speeds, and better coverage — to New York City residents.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • NPRThe jazzy ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ soundtrack swings on after 57 years

        “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has aired every year since 1965, although that tradition is about to change.

        The special’s run on broadcast television ends this year. Apple TV+ bought the rights, and will stream it exclusively starting next year. While a recognition of television’s new direction, will that reduce the chances of new generations of children happening upon the story and music?

      • VarietyNetflix Is ‘Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit,’ Ted Sarandos Says

        “We’ve not seen a profit path to renting big sports,” said Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer, speaking Tuesday at the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York City.

    • Monopolies

      • NPRDozens of Taylor Swift fans sue Ticketmaster in the wake of its ticket sale fiasco

        Taylor Swift fans are dressing for revenge — or at least legal damages. More than two dozen disappointed Swifties have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, of fraud, misrepresentation and antitrust violations over its botched Eras Tour ticket sale.

        Lawyers for the 26 plaintiffs, who live in 13 states across the U.S., filed the complaint in L.A. County Superior Court on Friday. It alleges that the ticketing platform has a monopoly on primary and secondary markets and accuses it of engaging in fraudulent practices and various antitrust violations, including price discrimination and price fixing.

      • The EconomistIf Ticketmaster is a greedy capitalist, so is Taylor Swift

        Amid the genuine angst over high-priced tickets, and the overhyped politicisation of the matter (Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat, promotes the “BOSS Act” against ticket-price gouging, named before Mr Springsteen started to behave like any other fat cat), the brouhaha misses two points. The first is that it is mostly the artists, not Ticketmaster, who set the cost of the tickets. They also give the green light to the use of dynamic prices, like those used for airline seats, that allows Ticketmaster to charge more when demand outstrips supply. The second is that a big part of the price inflation comes from secondary resellers (ie, scalpers or touts) who use bots and other means to acquire batches of tickets. As a Brit, your columnist considers these strange oversights. In his home country, Ticketmaster and Live Nation have big market shares, as they do in America, but it is resellers that attract the most flak. In this transatlantic divide lie some interesting lessons about the “gigenomics” of live entertainment.

      • Patents

        • Silcon RepublicIntel ordered to pay $950m in patent trial, with more cases on the way

          A federal jury in Texas agreed with VLSI’s claim that Intel’s Cascade Lake and Skylake microprocessors violated the company’s patent covering data processing improvements, Reuters reports.

          An Intel spokesperson told Reuters that the company plans to appeal the verdict, adding that the case is “one example of many that shows the US patent system is in urgent need of reform”.

        • ReutersIntel hit with $949 mln U.S. verdict in VLSI computer chip patent trial

          A federal jury in Texas on Tuesday said Intel Corp (INTC.O) must pay VLSI Technology LLC $948.8 million for infringing a VLSI patent for computer chips.

          VLSI, a patent-holding company affiliated with the SoftBank Group Corp-owned private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, argued during the six-day trial that Intel’s Cascade Lake and Skylake microprocessors violated its patent covering improvements to data processing.

        • BloombergIntel Hit With $948 Million Verdict in VLSI Patent Trial

          Intel Corp. owes VLSI Technology LLC $948 million after jurors in Austin, Texas, said the chip-maker infringed on a VLSI patent designed to improve computer processor performance—the latest chapter in their sprawling intellectual property feud.

          It was the third trial between VLSI and Intel over different patents related to chip-making technology. VLSI won a $2.18 billion verdict in Waco, Texas, in March 2021. Intel was cleared of infringement in a trial the following month.

          Judge Alan D. Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas presided over all three trials, with the latest held in Austin, which he decided was a more convenient venue.

        • Common Dreams‘Heartbreaking’ and ‘Pathetic’: US Obstructs Patent Waiver for Covid Tests and Treatments

          Global health campaigners denounced U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration for refusing to support a temporary suspension of patents for Covid-19 tests and treatments this year, a move that further delays the possibility of securing a World Trade Organization intellectual property waiver aimed at increasing access to lifesaving medical tools in developing nations.

          In a statement released on Tuesday morning, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that “over the past five months, USTR officials held robust and constructive consultations with Congress, government experts, a wide range of stakeholders, multilateral institutions, and WTO members.”

      • Software Patents

        • [Old] CNETChrome Banishes JPEG XL Photo Format That Could Save Phone Space

          Mozilla helped Google develop AVIF, and it’s built into Chrome and Firefox. Apple has begun supporting AVIF in Safari with MacOS 13 and iOS 16. HEIC, encumbered by patent licensing requirements, isn’t likely to succeed as a format on the web.

        • [Old] Dolphin Publications B VGoogle ends support for JPEG XL in Chromium

          According to The Register, the decision is also legal in nature. In February of this year, Microsoft obtained the patent for the basic technology for JPEG XL, despite the fact that the patent application was in an earlier stage and many industry professionals disagreed with Microsoft’s acquisition of the patent.

        • [Old] The Register UKGoogle kills forthcoming JPEG XL image format in Chromium

          The decision follows long-running legal maneuvering. In February 2022, Microsoft received a patent over a core technology used in JPEG XL, over a year and a half since its previous rejection and despite protests from industry specialists.

      • Copyrights

        • Techdirt‘Nintendo Power’ Scans Disappeared From The Internet Archive

          It was only some weeks back that we were discussing how a group of hobbyists were once again doing the culture preservation work that content creators should be doing in the form of a scan of every single Nintendo Power magazine and uploading it to the Internet Archive. At the time, you could go to the link for the project and view every magazine’s contents in its full antiquated glory. I finished that post off with the following line after ruminating that the view on this by Nintendo should be that this is pure preservation and not some kind of threat to its current business operations:

        • Torrent FreakNetflix and Disney Expand Australia’s Piracy Blocklist With Dozens of Domains

          Netflix and several Hollywood studios continue their crusade against pirate sites Down Under. The companies obtained a new blocking injunction at Australia’s Federal Court today, targeting dozens of websites. The companies also obtained the first cyberlocker blocking order recently, with Mixdrop as the main target.

        • Torrent FreakACE Anti-Piracy Expansion in Europe is More Than Just Another New Member

          The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has revealed United Media as the latest addition to its expanding anti-piracy coalition. United Media is a major broadcaster in Southeast Europe but the company has more to offer. Criminal referrals, membership of a major anti-piracy group, and links to a company with IPTV-blocking skills, make United Media a special type of partner.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Science

        • 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.


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

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

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  2. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

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  3. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  4. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

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  5. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

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  6. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

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  7. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

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  8. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

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  9. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  10. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  11. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

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  13. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

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  14. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

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  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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  16. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

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  17. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

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  18. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

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  19. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  20. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

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  21. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

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  22. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  24. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  25. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  26. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  28. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

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  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  30. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"


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