Links 28/12/2022: Kraft Version 1.0 and Everyone in LastPass at Risk Now

Posted in News Roundup at 9:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Unix MenThe Benefits of Choosing Linux Over Other Operating Systems

      Linux is a powerful, open-source operating system that is becoming increasingly popular among computer users of all kinds. It is known for its stability, flexibility, and security features.

      Speaking about security, did you know that the average global cost of a data breach is roughly $4 billion? Cyberattacks are more prevalent today and ever, and therefore, every internet user must possess the best VPN to combat the ever-rising cyber threat!

      Coming back to the OS, this article will explore why Linux can be your ideal operating system.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Unix Men6 reasons why Linux is an ideal solution for programming

        Today we will talk with you about Linux, an operating system that is gaining popularity simultaneously with the development of open-source software, and its main advantages. How can such operating systems be of interest to an ordinary user or developer?

        We have collected the most commonly accepted arguments that Linux is favored among developers and cited the top 6 points why many programmers value Linux so much.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HackadayLinux Fu: Miller The Killer Makes CSV No Pest | Hackaday

        Historically, one of the nice things about Unix and Linux is that everything is a file, and files are just sequences of characters. Of course, modern practice is that everything is not a file, and there is a proliferation of files with some imposed structure. However, if you’ve ever worked on old systems where your file access was by the block, you’ll appreciate the Unix-like files. Classic tools like awk, sed, and grep work with this idea. Files are just characters. But this sometimes has its problems. That’s the motivation behind a tool called Miller, and I think it deserves more attention because, for certain tasks, it is a lifesaver.

      • Make Use OfHow to Use the csplit Command to Split Files on Linux

        csplit is a popular Linux command-line utility used to split the contents of a file into two. The file you need to alter must be a text file with a “.txt” extension.

        The command is easy to use and works well on all Linux distributions. With the use of different flags available for csplit, you can also modify the output according to your need.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Stremio on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Stremio on Ubuntu systems.

        Stremio is a modern media center that’s a one-stop solution for your video entertainment. You discover, watch and organize video content from easy to install addons.

        Movies, TV shows, live TV or web channels – find all this on Stremio.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Ubuntu Cleaner on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        Hi, this post is about how to install Ubuntu Cleaner on Ubuntu 20.04/22.04

        Ubuntu Cleaner is a tool that makes it easy to clean your Ubuntu system.

      • TechRepublicHow to track project time using use this OpenProject tool

        Most project management tools include so many great features that it’s easy to overlook a standout feature — that was the case for me with OpenProject’s Time and Cost tool. With this tool, you can easily see how much labor and cost is going into a project; plus, you can add a widget to your dashboard that shows how many hours have gone into a project, so you can quickly glance at those numbers.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Hiri Email Client on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Hiri in Ubuntu systems. Hiri is a linux email client for Exchange and Office 365 Email, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks. All in one.

        Hiri was (now defunct) a business focused desktop e-mail client for sending and receiving e-mails, managing calendars, contacts, and tasks. It was developed as an alternative to existing e-mail clients and calendar applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install MetaTrader 5 with the Vantage Broker on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MetaTrader 5 with the Vantage Broker on a Chromebook.

      • H2S Media2 Ways to Install QOwnNotes on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

        QOwnNotes is an open-source application that we can install on Linux such as Ubuntu. The USP of it is the users can jot down their notes in a plain-text markdown file on a PC or laptop. The best part it not only comes with markdown support but also offers a to-do list manager and can work with Nextcloud and OwnCloud personal clouds for syncing notes across multiple devices. It supports spellchecking as well.

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

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install InfluxDB on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, InfluxDB is a popular open-source time series database that is often used for storing and analyzing time-stamped data, such as performance metrics and sensor data. InfluxDB is written in the Go programming language and is optimized for fast, high-availability storage and retrieval of time series data. It can run on a variety of platforms, including Linux.

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

      • Make Use OfHow to Install and Play GOG Games on Linux

        Gaming on Linux has made great strides in the last few years. Gone are the days when playing Steam or GOG games on Linux was unimaginable. Playing GOG’s huge library of games on your Linux machine is not only possible—it’s also surprisingly easy.

        Thanks to Linux apps like Lutris and the Heroic Games Launcher, you can install and play GOG games in a breeze.

      • TechRepublicHow to deploy a self-hosted instance of the Passbolt password manager

        A password manager can keep your sensitive information in-house. Here’s how to deploy Passbolt to your data center or cloud-hosted service.

        Passbolt is a password manager you can use for team collaboration, and it offers plenty of the features you’ve grown accustomed to having at your fingertips, such as a random password generator, team collaboration, folders, tags and user access control. This password manager is designed specifically for Agile and DevOps teams, and it’s application programming interface-centric and developer-first.

      • FOSS PostInstall Redshift to Get Night Light on Linux

        Looking to the default blue light emitted by computers all the time is not recommended; as it leads to eye strain and other health issues. You will notice this the most if you try to use your computer at night, and you will get blinded by the strong bright blue light coming out of it.

        Night light is a layer that replaces part of the blue light emitted by computer monitors at night with red light, so that they become more comfortable to the human eye to work with, especially at night.

        Redshift is a software that enables night light on Linux. It is free and open source, and works on almost all Linux distributions.

        You can easily install the software and use it on your distribution, which is what we’ll explain in this article.

      • LinuxiacXfce 4.18 Coming to MX Linux in January: How to Install It Early

        However, on December 15, the brand-new version Xfce 4.18 was released as a significant update to the popular Xfce desktop environment, including many improvements.

        For example, the Thunar file manager can now display the count of containing files for directories in the “Size” column in the list view. Moreover, it can now undo and redo basic file operations such as move, rename, trash, link, and create actions.

        Furthermore, Xfce 4.18 brings to the scene a file highlighting, making the user experience more colorful in the literal sense. Under the hood, scaling has been improved with UI scaling support, and there is a newly redesigned Clock plugin which includes a sleep monitor and a new binary time mode.

        MX Linux’s developers announced today that its users would receive Xfce 4.18 as an update in January. Fortunately, for the most impatient, there is a way to install Xfce 4.18 early on MX Linux, and here I’ll show you how to do it.

        However, keep in mind that installing pre-release software can be risky, as it may contain bugs and other issues that still need to be addressed.

      • LaTeX spreadtab cells reference

        When I create LaTeX files containing complex tables with many correlated numbers, I use spreadtab. Overall, I like the package, but it often needs better documentation, not because features are not documented but because it’s hard to find what you are looking for. Cells references are an example of this, but it is a critical topic for this package, so those are the ways I’ve discovered to sum a column of values. To do so, I’ll take the example of page 19 of the package documentation.

      • VideoHow to install Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” Cinnamon – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” Cinnamon.

      • LinuxConfigHow to install Signal on Linux

        Signal is a free and open source messaging application developed by the Signal Foundation: it is available on all the major operating systems such as Linux, Windows, Android and iOS, and supports all the major features one can expect, such as encryption, the ability to send files and make group calls. All the infrastructure behind Signal is open source, including the messaging protocol and the server software: the source code is available on github.

        In this tutorial we learn how to install the Signal desktop application on the major Linux distributions, using native, snap and flatpak packages.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to set up Kodi media center on a Chromebook

        Kodi media center is an excellent, free, and open-source app perfect for managing your media. It can handle movies and TV show files locally, or over a network via NFS, SMB, FTP, etc. If you’d like to set up Kodi on your Chromebook to watch your favorite local media, this guide is for you.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Otter Browser on Manjaro Linux

        Otter Browser is a browser that strives to recreate the best aspects of Opera 12.x using the QT5 framework. The following tutorial will teach you how to install Otter Browser on Manjaro Linux using the command line terminal.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Pinta on Manjaro Linux [Ed: This is a Microsoft Mono injection vector]

        Pinta is an open-source image editing tool available for free, and it has quickly become a favorite among novice and experienced users. The following tutorial will teach you how to install Pinta on Manjaro Linux using cli commands.

      • Daniel Stenbergcurl -w certs | daniel.haxx.se

        When a client connects to a TLS server it gets sent one or more certificates during the handshake.

        Those certificates are verified by the client, to make sure that the server is indeed the right one: the server the client expects it to be; no impostor and no man in the middle etc.

        When such a server certificate is signed by a Certificate Authority (CA), that CA’s certificate is normally not sent by the server but the client is expected to have it already in its CA store.

      • How to Install Blender 3.4 on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Alma Linux

        This beginner tutorial demonstrates how to install Blender 3.4 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Alma Linux 9, Linux Mint 21, and more.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Install Python 3 on Kali Linux – Linux Nightly

        Learn how to install the latest version of Python 3 and pip on Kali Linux.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kraft Version 1.0

          It is a pleasure to announce that Kraft Version 1.0 was released last week.


          Kraft is free software to create office documents like offers and invoices in an efficient way. It runs on the Linux desktop and suits small businesses of all kinds.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • OMG UbuntuCoverflowAltTab Extension for GNOME Shell Gets a Major Update

          The updated CoverflowAltTab extension debuts a redesigned Preferences panel using libadwaita. The extension’s settings are now organised by relevance and divided into pages to make navigation easier. This GUI rejig is necessary as there are more features and settings to play with.

          For instance, you can now choose to highlight the window under the mouse, and optionally raise the app window under mouse to the top, so you can tell which one you’re about to focus.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Linux LinksBest Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Contacts

      Google has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

      What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

      In this series we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We recommend open source solutions.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • DebugPointDeleting All Types of Contents from Calc Range using Macro

        This tutorial explains how to delete contents from cells or ranges in LibreOffice Calc using macro.

        Using a macro, you can clear everything that contains in a cell or in a range of cells. In this tutorial we will clear every type of contents from a range. Before clearing out contents from ranges, the macro needs to determine the type of cell contents. Because if you want to delete everything from cells, you need to consider the value, the formatting styles, etc.

      • DebugPointDate and Time Processing in LibreOffice Calc using Macro

        This tutorial explains the basic date and time processing in basic macro in LibreOffice Calc.

        In basic, a Date is a datatype that stores date and time values. By default, it holds Jan 1 year 0001 midnight. We will pick any date and process it in different ways. Let’s explain the concept using some examples.

    • Programming/Development

      • Kubernetes BlogKubernetes 1.26: Job Tracking, to Support Massively Parallel Batch Workloads, Is Generally Available | Kubernetes

        The Kubernetes 1.26 release includes a stable implementation of the Job controller that can reliably track a large amount of Jobs with high levels of parallelism. SIG Apps and WG Batch have worked on this foundational improvement since Kubernetes 1.22. After multiple iterations and scale verifications, this is now the default implementation of the Job controller.

        Paired with the Indexed completion mode, the Job controller can handle massively parallel batch Jobs, supporting up to 100k concurrent Pods.

        The new implementation also made possible the development of Pod failure policy, which is in beta in the 1.26 release.

      • Shell Programming Secrets Nobody Talks About

        Most tutorials about shell programming are often part of larger guides on Linux. They gloss over the numerous ways that your code might work but still fail under certain circumstances. Given that shell scripts are used to manage billions of dollars of assets, it is important to learn how to write clean and safe code with them.

        Last year, I wrote a book on Linux command-line tips and tricks, and made several updates to it. Annoyingly, I continue to discover something new and important about the Bash shell program almost every week. I did not want this happening after I had ordered my author copy. The discoveries made me wonder what I have been doing all these years without knowing these bash secrets.

      • Python

        • TecAdminHow to Read Text Files in Python

          While working with the Python application, you would be required to read and write text files in Python. You can refer to our other tutorial to write a text file in Python. Reading a text file in Python is a simple process that can be accomplished using a few different methods.

      • Rust

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Jonathan DowlandJonathan Dowland: dark mode

        I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crux of the technical side was to define “alternate stylesheets”, something I was playing around with 20 years ago. If your browser supports it (Firefox does at least: View → Page Style) you can select one of “dark”, “light” or “default”, the last of which follows what your OS settings/preferences are.

        The last puzzle piece was a CSS media type query prefers-color-scheme to activate stanzas of CSS depending on the browser/OS light/dark preference. There is some awkwardness around this which is mitigated in my case by using a CSS pre-processor, in my case Sass.

  • Leftovers

    • TediumA Genuine Link To The Past

      2022 was not a great year for my family. We lost my father in mid-April (on Easter Sunday). That itself was unexpected and devastating. He’d been dealing with some health issues, but we didn’t see it coming. In the aftermath, we had to sort through his life and find a way to move on. When things finally started to seem like they were improving, my father-in-law—who was like a second father to me—also passed. And my aunt passed away about a week ago. In the face of all this, I found solace in family, friends, writing, therapy, and (much to my surprise) video games. I began revisiting the Legend of Zelda series because it has a special meaning to me. And although it wasn’t something over which my father and I bonded much, it still managed to help me cope with some of my grief (so much so that my therapist actually recommended I play Breath of the Wild more frequently). Today’s Tedium is going in a slightly different direction. It’s a story about how three different Legend of Zelda games somehow managed to help me process and understand my own grief. But more than that, it’s a story about my life and some things I haven’t thought about for a very long time.

    • [Old] Blockchain has no place in Land Registries | Stop at Zona-M

      I had already covered another application of this particular snake oil last year, but now there is a recent post on Medium that gives even more excellent explanation why the whole general idea is crap, no matter what use case you dump it on.


      Conflicts about the property of a house “require a central party (acting on behalf of the state and the rule of law) to update the register without the owners’ consent forcefully”. But that does not require a blockchain at all to happen. Quite the contrary actually. Throwing a blockchain into the handling of house property disputes would be just “technical convolution for no reason”.

      Inside this domain or, again, any other kind of property “the blockchain offers absolutely nothing over traditional databases”. As I said, further details are here, and I repeat the invitation to read them all.

    • Favourite books of 2022: Classics – Chris Lamb

      As a follow-up to yesterday’s post detailing my favourite works of fiction from 2022, today I’ll be listing my favourite fictional works that are typically filed under classics.

    • Hardware

      • CubicleNateBuilding a New Retro Styled Computer – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        Computers are a lot more fun when they are personal and have a bit of personaltity to them. You can’t get much more personalized than 3D printing your very own retro styled computer. This was all inspired by watching an episode on the YouTube channel, Retro Recipes, where LadyFractic built herself a retro computer, my daughter wanted to build a computer for herself. I wasn’t sure how serious she was on it but she kept watching the two part series over and over again which indicated to me that this was a project that had to be completed. When I asked what color she wanted, her face lit up and she said “pink” that cemented the deal for me. We are making one of these in pink and I think it is going to look pretty darn cool.

    • Proprietary

    • Linux Foundation

      • Geospatial Media and CommunicationsLinux’s AgStack Project will build dataset of field boundaries

        The Linux Foundation announced its AgStack Project, which will host an open-source code base, along with a fully automated, continuous computation engine that will maintain a global dataset of boundaries for agricultural fields. The AgStack Asset Registry dataset will aid food traceability, carbon tracking, crop production, and other field-level analytics.

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (curl) and SUSE (curl, freeradius-server, sqlite3, systemd, and vim).

      • Wladimir PalantLastPass breach: The significance of these password iterations | Almost Secure

        LastPass has been breached, data has been stolen. I already pointed out that their official statement is misleading. I also explained that decrypting passwords in the stolen data is possible which doesn’t mean however that everybody is at risk now. For assessing whether you are at risk, a fairly hidden setting turned out critical: password iterations.

        LastPass provides an instruction to check this setting. One would expect it to be 100,100 (the LastPass default) for almost everyone. But plenty of people report having 5,000 configured there, some 500 and occasionally it’s even 1 (in words: one) iteration.

      • Bruce SchneierQR Code Scam – Schneier on Security

        An enterprising individual made fake parking tickets with a QR code for easy payment.

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Sofa repair

        This is the second time I’ve grabbed my sons and repaired the sofa in the basement movie room. I’m

        stubborn, I think. The thing is, the kids have loved to launch themselves onto the sofa, which has

        caused considerable damage. I’ve tried to explain it to them…

      • Meeting the Luthier

        I play the violin (for pleasure; I took lessons for 10yrs as a kid, but those skills have long since

        gathered dust), and recently noticed that my sound post seemed a little askew. Without much hope of

        finding anyone to help closer than 1.5hrs away in the big city, I hopped on Google to see if I could

        locate a luthier who could make an ajustment.

        To my utter amazement, I found that there is a luthier a couple miles from my house, right here in

        my little mid-Missouri city! I have no idea what the odds are of this happening, but I’m fairly

        certain they’re small. After some digging around, I sent him an email.


        My bridge was not quite right either, I learned.

      • 🔤SpellBinding: ACMOPTU Wordo: LIVED
    • Politics

      • Identity

        Identity can be complicated; consider the humble tomato, which, in certain jurisdictions, has the honor of being both a fruit, according to Botany, and a vegetable, according to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The court relied on the so-called ordinary meaning, presumably that a majority of the human population use the plant part as they do some plant parts, but not other plant parts. The no-so-humble tomato got drunk and set the hotel room on fire.

    • Technical

      • Pump the brakes!

        I brought out the enTourage pocket eDGe (ebook reader) this evening
        from the archives. It has been awhile since I used this device. I
        try to keep some charge in it, and it still seems to be handling well
        for its age. This was a quirky device when it came out, having 2
        screens, one resistive LCD and the other an eink display. There
        seemed to be more odd-ball kinds of devices before than now. These
        days, they all seem basically the same. I think the world needs a
        better selection of odd-ball devices.

      • Overpass

        Overpass is an interface used to query OSM data. Overpass Turbo is an Overpass web client you can use to query OSM data, export it, &c.

      • Merry Christmas!

        Merry Christmas! Hristos se naște! С Рождеством! Feliĉan Kristnaskon! Веселого Родженја!

        Hey Gemini! Hoping your holidays have been merry and bright. I’m at another conference, this time as staff of a sort. I’m helping with post-lecture small group discussions, kinda like a TA. The first session I ran went well, and the bishop joined the group too. He’s a great guy.

      • Thoughts on Privacy Exploits in Gemini

        For the purpose of this post, I’m going to ignore the possible ways companies could add their own “extensions” to the Gemini protocol to get around privacy and surveillance limitations. I’ll only look at ways existing standards and practices could be abused.

        Yesterday Sean responded^ to a older post by Ainent about a potential security issues in Gemini. Specifically, big tech could use marketing and PR campaigns to push their own browsers, browsers that auto-generate client certificates and attach them to every request the browser makes. Sean pointed out that such a practice might be more correctly considered a privacy issue, and that there are other, simpler ways to track users, such as analyzing IP logs and page requests.

      • Project and Study Updates

        I haven’t posted here for a while, so here are a few updates on what I’ve been working on:

        Stargazing and astronomy studies have been a big one. Details on that are pretty well covered by my Star Log gemlog.

      • sudo make install

        But when I was trying to compile some documents, the neatpdf PDF postprocessor couldn’t find the requested fonts and it looked all wrong with weird or no fonts. Everything was installed in $(BASE) correctly. I could compile the same document in the git source directory and get the right results, so it had to be something to do with the way in which contents of files are changed for being used from $(BASE).

      • Science

        • More binocular astronomy

          Compared to just a few months ago when I made my last post, night time now comes a lot sooner and gets a lot darker, which means I don’t need to be content with looking at the moon or tremendously bright things like Jupiter. I have spent a lot more time with my binoculars outside at night.

        • Binocular observation of Jupiter and the moon

          When I was young, I used to be quite into astronomy (I was into a lot of things before computing came along and hypnotised me to the exclusion of much else for a big chunk of my life which I’ll never get back). I never owned a telescope or even, as far as I recall, binoculars, and to be honest I’m not sure I even felt the need. I grew up somewhere moderately remote, where light pollution wasn’t really an issue, so you could just go outside and look up on a clear night and behold the Milky Way whenever you felt like it. Shooting stars and satellites were things you could easily spot multiple times on any given night. I had one of those little rotating cardboard wheel star chart things, and I learned my way around the sky pretty well and spotted plenty of planets. I guess maybe all of this is more what you would call “stargazing” rather than amateur astronomy per se, although maybe that’s a bogus and snobbish distinction to draw. I guess it took a while even after the internet and computing appeared in my life for this interest to completely wane, I remember taking a degree of geeky pride in making the objectively unwise decision to interrupt my sleep at some ungodly hour the night before my final high school physics exam in order to watch a meteor shower (I still did fine). And I was even in my university’s astronomy club, although to be honest that was mostly just a social club for hypernerds and any kind of genuine astronomy-based event was outnumbered more than ten to one by quiz nights, video nights, fundraising BBQs, etc. Good times, to be sure, but I spent more time staring at the skies by myself as a kid. Until very recently, it had been definitely over a decade since I’d done *anything* like any of the above.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • introducing booji.mutated.net

          OK, and we’re back! I had a bunch of sysadmin stuff I needed to do
          with my gopherspace and that’s the reason why it’s been “Under
          Construction.” I basically offloaded my past phlog phosts and
          projects over to my own server, which I have been meaning to do for
          quite some time. My current phlog updates will remain as part of the
          sdf hosted gopher.club / Internet Gopher Club Underground Syndicate.
          There probably won’t be much noticable difference, aside from the
          server name for the older stuff.

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

Remember Who Biden’s Administration Put in Charge of the US Patent Office

Posted in America, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RIAA Biden

Summary: It is important not to forget that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is still run by a former Microsoft legal representative who is shilling software patents and Microsoft’s proprietary document formats

The Only Solution Would be Abolition of All Software Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Patents at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 17c30d5b36ce3d46e81e5ebc015f63fb
Patents Likely the Biggest Barrier
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The goals of software freedom still heavily depend on our collective ability to eternally demolish all software patents, contrary to what OIN and LOT are trying to do along with the Linux Foundation

SOFTWARE patents are a big problem. They remain a massive barrier to software freedom, including GNU/Linux distributions. At risk of repeating ourselves, it is important to constantly highlight the problem with software patents because many people misframe the issue, as we recently saw when Google removed an image format from Chrome, retracting it due solely to software patents.

Back in October we wrote about Fedora's conflict/dilemma with software patents and this issue returns due to other distros facing similar problems/fears. When someone says that “debian doesn’t care” one misses the point that Debian actually does care but takes certain scenarios into account. As an associate put it today, software “patents [are] misunderstood, there is no hurry to sue until the codecs are widespread enough to make it profitable to do so; they can wait until the last day of the patent to do so” (like ‘submarine patents’).

“At risk of repeating ourselves, it is important to constantly highlight the problem with software patents because many people misframe the issue, as we recently saw when Google removed an image format from Chrome, retracting it due solely to software patents.”The associate asserted that people who post online about this issues are “totally confusing patents with copyright and vice versa”. The “Manjaro link,” for example, “shows some persistent misunderstandings, misinformation about the very nature of sodrware patents. Same for the latest Brodie video in the [above]. Submarine patents are a threat for their entire life cycle and unlike trademarks don’t have to be enforced to be kept valid. Like with GIF / LZW a standards-essential patent can be allowed and even encouraged to spread far and wide so as to maximize the amount of money harvested in the shakedown when the patent is enforced for the first time.”

The associate wanted to revisit the issue, asserting that misconceptions are spreading “and RMS is right about “IPR” being not only a misnomer but intentionally confusing people on the separate topics…”

Psydruid has meanwhile asked, “how do these (Western) patents hold up in countries like India, China and Russia?”

“We’ve not been covering software patents lately and neither did most sites that used to cover the topic.”I told him that Western monopolists are lobbying and shaming those countries, forcing them to assimilate using IAM and other rags that shame those countries into “compliance”.

“I would declare those companies “compania non grata“,” Psydruid said, as “they don’t do anything for India, but obey their US masters instead.”

We’ve not been covering software patents lately and neither did most sites that used to cover the topic. The EFF has been mostly silent on that front. Recently someone complained online that Microsoft-sponsored media was celebrating and promoting software patents, remarking on one particular example as follows:

The summary and the article are missing the link to the actual patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) lists “US 20220362677 A1″, which was published recently on 2022-11-17. Outrageously the USPTO does not have a viable search interface and even for known items where one has the patent number it is only possible to find a rendering of the document in their web “app” after a lot of time and effort. Even then it is not possible to link to the actual patent either let alone bookmark it. That is reprehensible.

Anyway, that rant aside, it is important to rant about the apparent fraud being perpetrated by EA there and by the parties reporting on the patent, or more specifically on the pretend patent

That is because software is no longer eligible for patenting in the US and has never been eligible in Europe. In fact, there was only a relatively short period when it was sort of allowed. Nowadays, in the US, protection from patents has been restored to software just as it had been back during the period of exponential growth. This change is the result of the court case “Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International” aka “Alice”. See also the case “In re Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw” aka “Bilski”.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sometimes grants invalid patents. It has also in the past rubber stamped many software patents. Win or lose software patents means a drawn out, protracted fight in the courts and the accompanying legal fees, so it’s rare to find a lawyer who doesn’t promote them even though they are invalid. If I recall correctly each such case costs the defending company an average of $4M USD. East Texas is a jurisdiction infamous for such activities. The traditional defense of cross-licensing is completely ineffective against NPEs in jurisdictions where software patents are used. The only defense is to operate in jurisdictions where they are not allowed. The way it works is that non-practicing entities (NPEs) create shell companies with no assets and sue companies over software patents in such jurisdictions: With an empty shell there are no assets to confiscate should, after great expense of both time and money, a company win in court against one. Instead of collecting in the case of a win, the NPE and the money both disappear in a greasy cloud of smoke while at the same instant, in the same East Texas suite, at the same East Texas PO Box, a new non-practicing entity spins up with an analog patent.

There is a lot of money riding on this from a small herd of lawyers, including Microsoft’s own lawyers and many apparently corrupt politicians on both sides of the pond. However, those with the largest stake and the most money to lose, computer users, are in the dark.

Microsoft has extensive history arming/weaponising trolls against GNU/Linux. Don’t ever forget that.

What Happens When Flunkies Who Really Work for Google and Microsoft End Up Working ‘for’ (at the Expense of) Universities’ IT Departments

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Site News at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum ebac88a1014e13df9980a23c925b196a
Universities Gone Astray
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: When institutions of higher education (colleges/universities) are occupied by people who cannot build and maintain systems the whole institutions are likely to be hijacked by ‘surveillance capitalism’ companies that work for the American government

EARLIER today we published part one (of four parts) from 'Digital Vegan' Andy Farnell (visiting professor specialising in sound and security), who bemoans the situation at universities’ IT departments. These used to be specialised and well-trained/highly-skilled departments, but nowadays they’re dumbed-down bureaucracy which became increasingly about selecting vendors to outsource to, i.e. not about technology at all. This is getting worse really fast, owing in part to the exodus of geeks and the influx of buzzword slingers (e.g. “Clown Computing”).

“Today’s universities seem to attract the very worst sysadmins, maybe those who could not find employment elsewhere.”“FOSS is useful in mitigating or even reversing the dystopian trends,” an associate has said to us after we published part one, adding that the culprits are “corporate flunkies working against the university, and double handful of resellers too.”

In the video above I tell my personal experiences, dealing with IT departments at universities from 2000 until 2012. I can still recall (from a decade back) some truly embarrassing stories. Today’s universities seem to attract the very worst sysadmins, maybe those who could not find employment elsewhere.

When Companies Are Kinship Cliques That Refuse to Listen to Technical Staff

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum cfd19bcb3213d2172eaf3999500f03b5
Sirius Closed Minded
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: This year’s Sirius ‘Open Source’ (or Sirius Corporation, the fake former company) isn’t run by geeks but by people who view geeks as a threat; this dooms the company irreversibly

THE management at Sirius ‘Open Source’ is almost the majority of staff now (yes, more administrators than cooks inside the kitchen!) and it has brought an element to the company that the company cannot leave behind. It is beyond redemption. The video above deals with the latest part of the report, which generally explains how a family of three adults (don’t say “threesome”, it’s a sensitive term) suggested lowering the already-low salary of long-serving technical workers. The more shocking revelations about Sirius are yet to come (mostly next month). We assume there are other companies out there that act similarly, so it is important to identify and meticulously explain the patterns.

Links 28/12/2022: An ESP32 Uptake, ProtonUp-Qt v2.7.7 Available

Posted in News Roundup at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • OMG UbuntuEar Tag (GTK Audio Tag Editor) Gets a Major Performance Boost – OMG! Ubuntu!

        Significant performance improvements and additional editing capabilities are included in the latest version of Ear Tag.

        Ear Tag is GTK4/libadwaita app designed for simple editing of audio file metadata. While designed for editing individual tracks you can use it to batch edit fields for multiple audio files at the same time. During the festive period a new version of of the app was released that enhances the focused feature-set further.

        The Github description for the Ear Tag 0.3.0 release touts “greatly improved performance“, with faster loading times when working with and/or switching between audio files and, for the impatient, a loading indicator to reassure you the app is still functioning! Devs say they’ve also resolved several memory leaks.

        Additionally, it’s now possible to edit more tag fields in Ear Tag v0.3.0, including less-common and niche tags like arranger, BPM, composer, copyright, ISRC, language, mood, and more. Audio files with existing metadata for these tags show editable fields, or you can use the new “select a tag” menu to add these tags individually.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux HintEnable the SSH Server On Pop!_OS

        Secure Shell (SSH) works as the secure network protocol to make a secured connection between clients and a server. SSH is a popular approach nowadays to establish secure connections easily.

        You can securely transfer files from one system to another by activating SSH. However, many users always need clarification about enabling the SSH server in Linux. So, in this tutorial, we will give you a brief about a simple process to enable SSH on a Pop!_OS system.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Convert Hexadecimal to Decimal Numbers in Linux

        This guide explores various ways that you can use to convert hexadecimal to decimal values in Linux bash scripting.

        In computing, there are four types of numbers and they are Decimal, Binary, Octal, and Hexadecimal.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install NVIDIA Drivers on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        The Nvidia Graphics Card Drivers can often improve the performance of Ubuntu systems and often improve performance for gaming or digital editing. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install NVIDIA Graphic Drivers on 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish LTS or 20.04 Focal Fossa using four methods that should suit most user requirements.

      • Linux HintHow to Find Your IP Address on Pop!_OS

        An IP address is a codename on a network of computers which stands for ‘Internet Protocol.’ It acts as a mailing address and ensures that the sent network is received on the correct system. Before proceeding further, we will learn about the IP address.

      • Linux CapableEnable or Disable Firewall on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        Regarding firewall protection for your system, the default Ubuntu UFW program is a great option. For newer users of Ubuntu and Linux, UFW is short for “uncomplicated firewall.” UFW allows users with little knowledge of how Linux IPTABLES can secure their home network or server without the need to learn complicated long-tail commands that are more for the sysadmin side of things, where most users want to add and remove rules. The UFW program was designed with the home user in mind but can be used by any user for a home network or server and can be easily extended if more advanced features are needed.

        The following tutorial will teach you how to check, enable and disable the UFW firewall and, for desktop users, install the firewall GUI to better control UFW for users that do not want to use the terminal in the future.

      • Redirecting webfinger requests with Apache

        If you have a personal domain, it is nice if you can redirect webfinger requests so you can be easily found via your email. This is hardly a new idea, but the growth of Mastodon recently has made this more prominent.

        I wanted to redirect webfinger endpoints to a Mastondon host I am using, but only my email and only standard Apache rewrites. Below, replace xxx@yyy\.com with your email and zzz.social with the account to be redirected to. There are a couple of tricks in being able to inspect the query-string and quoting, but the end result that works for me is

      • UNIX CopHow to Install NetBSD?

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will see how to install NetBSD. The exercise will be done on a virtual machine.

      • Linux HintOracle Create Database Link

        In Oracle, a database link refers to a database object that allows a user to access data on a remote database. It essentially acts as a “link” between two databases, allowing a user to execute a SQL query on one database and access data from another.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 6.1 on Rocky Linux, Alma Linux

        This beginner tutorial will show you how to install Linux kernel 6.1 on AlmaLinux 9 and Rocky Linux 9 systems.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • DebugPointXfce 4.18 is Arriving in MX Linux: Ready for Testing

        MX Linux is the famous lightweight Linux distribution which is perfect for older hardware and brings Xfce, KDE Plasma and Fluxbox flavours for its users. Based on Debian’s stable branch, the current MX Linux 21 series features Xfce 4.16 desktop environment. Because Debian stable still has the Xfce 4.16.

        MX Linux team is preparing for Xfce 4.18 updates and is now available to test drive.

        Here’s how to install it.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • HackadayDietPi Releases 8.12 With Support For The Rockchip RK3588 SoC

      This month DietPi released version 8.12 of this SBC-oriented Linux distribution. Most notable is the addition of support for the NanoPi R6S and the Radxa ROCK 5B SBCs. The ROCK 5B features the new flagship Rockchip RK3588 SoC with quad Cortex-A76 and quad Cortex-A55. What makes DietPi interesting as an operating system for not just higher end SBCs but also lower-end SBCs compared to options like Debian, Raspberry Pi OS and Armbian is that it has a strong focus on being the most optimized. This translates in a smaller binary size, lower RAM usage and more optimized performance.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • India Times‘Home Assistant’ to get its own voice separate from Siri or Alexa

      Schoutsen’s blog post highlighted the platform’s priority to make ‘Home Assistant’ accessible in multiple languages.

    • OpenSource.com5 open source ideas for being more inclusive through accessibility

      As the internet opens the planet into a world stage, inclusion should be at the forefront of how we design, build, and implement our ideas. With 15% of people self-identifying as disabled worldwide, that is far too many people to leave behind due to lack of accessibility. This includes permanent, temporary, episodic, and situational disabilities.

      In 2022, we published some great articles about making digital assets more accessible. Here are a few of the top picks.

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Programming/Development

      • Perl / Raku

      • Python

        • [Old] LWNThe return of lazy imports for Python

          Back in September, we looked at a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) to add “lazy” imports to the language; the execution of such an import would be deferred until its symbols were needed in order to save program-startup time. While the problem of startup time for short-running, often command-line-oriented, tools is widely acknowledged in the Python community, and the idea of deferring imports is generally popular, there are concerns about the effect of the feature on the ecosystem as a whole. Since our article, the PEP has been revised and discussed further, but the feature was recently rejected by the steering council (SC) because of those concerns; that has not completely ended the quest for lazy imports, however.

        • TecAdminHow to Connect MySQL Database in Python – TecAdmin

          Python is a popular programming language that is widely used for web development, data analysis, scientific computing, and many other tasks. It is known for its simplicity and ease of use, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. One of the key features of Python is its ability to interact with databases, which makes it easy to store, retrieve, and manipulate data.

          In this article, we will look at how to connect to a MySQL database in Python using the `mysql-connector-python` library, which is a MySQL driver for Python. We will also cover some basic operations such as creating tables, inserting data, and querying the database.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • TecAdminChecking If a Command Succeeded in Bash Using the `$?` Special Variable

          In Bash, it is often necessary to check if a command succeeded or failed. For example, you may want to execute different commands based on the success or failure of a command, or you may want to perform error handling in a script. To check if a command succeeded or failed in Bash, you can examine the exit status of the command. The exit status of a command is a numerical value that indicates the success or failure of the command. A command with an exit status of 0 indicates success, and a command with a non-zero exit status indicates failure.

  • Leftovers

    • Telex (Hungary)The secret Budapest eatery that even the New York Times raved about
    • HackadayESPHome Powers Festive Lego Train Set

      While the basic concept of LEGO bricks might have changed little since the mid-20th century, some components such as motors and sensors are still affected by technological progress and end up obsolete and unsupported. [Travis] ran into this problem when he was building a festive train setup and realized he didn’t have the speed controller to match his train engine. Without that part, the engine would only run at full speed and derail as soon as it hit a curve. The official speed controller had been discontinued and was hard to find, so [Travis] had to resort to building his own.

    • The NationBraying Through History

      Is it a paradox that the flashiest, wildest, most heedless—in short, the most youthful—movie I saw this past year would be EO, written and directed by Polish octogenarian Jerzy Skolimowski? Perhaps not. Skolimowski was a junior member of the Polish new wave, which broke in the mid-1950s with Andrzej Wajda’s Kanal and Andrzej Munk’s Eroica. Drafted at age 22 to doctor the script of Wajda’s 1960 “youth film” Innocent Sorcerers, he initiated his career as Polish cinema’s designated new-generation spokesman. Now, at age 84 and still as willful as a toddler, he has reworked one of the most revered movies ever made, Robert Bresson’s 1966 Au Hasard Balthazar.

    • Counter PunchCinema Beyond Cinemas: the Best Films of 2022

      I came to Godard late, at least for him. By the time I saw Band of Outsiders (in a double-bill with Breathless) in 1977, JLG had already proclaimed the death of cinema in the closing frames of Week-End. I had watched a lot of movies by then and was smug enough to think I could discern the difference between a “movie” and a “film.” Watching Band of Outsiders, which came out 13 years before I saw it for the first time, was like getting an electric shock to the eyeballs. It had all the elements of a familiar Hollywood movie, chopped apart, sped up, slowed down and reassembled in a new, exhilarating order.  Godard opened the door to Renoir, Bergman, Fassbinder, Rivette, Fellini, Kurosawa, Fuller, Wajda, Varda, Nick Ray and Lang. (Still my own Pantheon, along with Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges.)

      I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to watch every film these directors made and all the films by the directors who influenced and were influenced by them. From 1977 to 1981, I watched 10 to 12 films a week (while carrying a heavy reading load in my lit and history classes). I raced from theater to theater, from DC to Baltimore. I snuck into screenings for film studies classes at AU, Georgetown, GW and Hopkins. I was obsessed. These weren’t date nights–or when they were, there usually wasn’t a second. Certainly not after sitting through 7.5 hours of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s Hitler: a Film From Germany or the 5-hour version of Bertolucci’s 1900.  Who could blame them, really?

    • Education

      • [Old] Current AffairsThe Dangerous Academic is an Extinct Species

        Furthermore, the academics who produce those ideas aren’t exactly at liberty to think and do as they please. The overwhelming “adjunctification” of the university has meant that approximately 76% of professors… aren’t professors at all, but underpaid and overworked adjuncts, lecturers, and assistants. And while conditions for adjuncts are slowly improving, especially through more widespread unionization, their place in the university is permanently unstable. This means that no adjunct can afford to seriously offend. To make matters worse, adjuncts rely heavily on student evaluations to keep their positions, meaning that their classrooms cannot be places to heavily contest or challenge students’ politics. Instructors could literally lose their jobs over even the appearance of impropriety. One false step—a video seen as too salacious, or a political opinion held as oppressive—could be the end of a career. An adjunct must always be docile and polite.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayMouse Enjoys Its Freedom

        Although it took a little while to standardize on the two-button-with-scroll-wheel setup, most computers have used a mouse or mouse-like device to point at objects on the screen since the 80s. But beyond the standard “point and click” features of the mouse, there have been very few ground-breaking innovations beyond creature comforts. At least, until the “Space Mushroom” mouse from [Shinsaku Hiura] hit our tips line.

      • HackadaySpinning Holographic POV Christmas Tree Of Death

        [Sean Hodgins] really harnessed the holiday spirit to create his very own Giant Spinning Holographic Christmas Tree (of Death). It’s a three-dimensional persistence-of-vision (POV) masterpiece, but as a collection of rapidly spinning metal elements, it’s potentially quite dangerous as well. As [Sean] demonstrates, the system can display other images and animations well beyond the realm of mere holiday trees.

      • HackadayFlexible, Thin-Film Biosensors

        We like to keep a pulse on the latest biosensor research going on around the world. One class of biosensors that have really caught our attention is the so-called thin-film sensors, pioneered by the Rogers Research Group at Northwestern University.

      • HackadayLo-Fi Fun: Beer Can Microphones

        Sometimes, you just need an easy win, right? This is one of those projects. A couple months back, I was looking at my guitars and guitar accessories and thought, it is finally time to do something with the neck I’ve had lying around for years. In trying to decide a suitable body for the slapdash guitar I was about to build, I found myself at a tractor supply store for LEGO-related reasons. (Where else are you going to get a bunch of egg cartons without eating a bunch of eggs?) I  noticed that they happened to also stock ammo boxes. Bam! It’s sturdy, it opens easily, and it’s (very) roughly guitar body shaped. I happily picked one up and started scheming on the way home.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • India TimesUS House bans TikTok on all House-managed devices over ‘security risks’

        TikTok has faced growing concerns over national security due to Chinese parent company ByteDance, as per the CBS News report. US officials have repeatedly said that the Chinese government could ask the company to share the data it gathers on its users.

        Earlier in November, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray said that they have national security concerns, including the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection.

      • Vice Media GroupTikTok Is Flooding Vulnerable Teenage Girls With Self-Harm Content: Report

        TikTok’s algorithm is inundating vulnerable children as young as 13 with self-harm and eating disorder videos minutes after they join the platform and the company appears to be doing nothing to stop it, according to new research published Thursday.

      • CNNTikTok may push potentially harmful content to teens within minutes, study finds

        In a report published Wednesday, the non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) found that it can take less than three minutes after signing up for a TikTok account to see content related to suicide and about five more minutes to find a community promoting eating disorder content.

        The researchers said they set up eight new accounts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia at TikTok’s minimum user age of 13. These accounts briefly paused on and liked content about body image and mental health. The CCDH said the app recommended videos about body image and mental health about every 39 seconds within a 30-minute period.

      • Copenhagen PostPFAS found in ground water in every fifth municipality

        The water in the polluted borings must not be used as drinking water without being diluted or cleansed.

      • Common DreamsGroups Sue to Stop Company’s  ‘Forever Chemical’ Contamination of Plastic Containers
      • Counter PunchOn Football, Opium and Popular Resistance: Not All Sports Are Created Equal

        The reference, which summons a famous Marxist maxim about religion written in a specific historical context, suggested that governments use mass sports events to distract from political problems or social conflicts.

        He is partly right. Not only do governments invest in sports as a form of distraction, but they also often turn sports into a form of political legitimization. While all governments play this game, the US excels in it.

      • Pro PublicaShe Says Doctors Ignored Her Concerns About Her Pregnancy. For Many Black Women, It’s a Familiar Story.

        Lying on her living room sofa, her head cradled just under her husband’s shoulder, Brooke Smith pulled out a pen and began marking up her medical records.

        Paging through the documents, she read a narrative that did not match her experience, one in which she said doctors failed to heed her concerns and nurses misrepresented what she told them. In anticipation of giving birth to her first child in the spring of 2014, Brooke had twice gone to the hospital in the weeks leading up to her due date because she hadn’t felt the baby kick, her medical records show. And twice doctors had sent her back home.

      • TechdirtAppeals Court Tosses Stupid Lawsuit Filed By Anti-Vaxxer Claiming Federal Government Made Twitter Ban Her Account

        Colleen Huber M.D. thinks she can cure cancer by altering patients’ sugar intake. She also believes baking soda is better than chemotherapy when it comes to fighting this disease. Rational people think she’s endangering people’s lives and have said as much. Repeatedly.

      • The NationThe Question

        Ten doctors, a lawyer, a historian, and a theologian walk into a Harvard conference room. This isn’t the start of a bad joke, but the beginning of a consequential decision—an attempt to define death itself. Or at least to formulate a new definition that reflected the advances in medicine during the 1960s. For much of medical history before then, “cardio-respiratory failure was the only way to die.” But now ventilators could keep someone’s heart beating even if they had no other outward signs of life. This new medical technology helped pave the way for innovations in organ preservation and donation. It also meant that a new way to understand death, legally and medically, was needed. This is how the concept of “brain death” entered the public record.

    • Proprietary

      • Mexico News DailyMexico is one of the top victims of cyberattacks in Latin America [iophk: Windows TCO]

        The global cybersecurity company Fortinet said that from January to June, Mexico suffered more cyberattacks than some of the biggest targets in Latin America, including Brazil (at 31.5 billion) and Colombia (6.3 billion). Fortinet noted that many attacks used sophisticated and targeted strategies such as ransomware.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • EFFUsers Worldwide Said “Stop Scanning Us”: 2022 in Review

          In 2022, we fought back against large-scale attempts by governments to undermine secure and private online speech. The U.S. Senate introduced a new version of the toxically unpopular EARN IT Act. This bill would push companies to drop strong encryption by threatening the removal of key legal protections for websites and apps. EFF supporters spoke up and this bill was stopped in the Senate, again, although not before an unfortunate committee vote that endorsed the bill. 

          In the U.K., Parliament debated an Online Safety Bill that would mandate tech providers use “accredited software” to constantly scan users for illegal material. And an even larger threat emerged in the European Union, where the European Parliament is debating a regulation that could lead to mandatory government scanning of every private message, photo, and video.

          All three of these proposals are pushed by law enforcement agencies in their respective jurisdictions, and they all have the same reasoning: preventing child abuse. But constant surveillance doesn’t keep adults or kids safer. Minors also need to have private conversations with trusted adults, not devices with built-in backdoors.

        • Common DreamsHuman Rights Expert Sounds Alarm Over Israeli Firm’s ‘Dystopian’ Video-Altering Tech
        • TruthOutIsraeli Firm Plans Expanding Its Deployment of Video-Altering Tech
    • Defence/Aggression

      • NPRThe co-leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor gets 16 years in prison

        Jonker said there was nothing that made him think of Fox as a “natural leader,” but said conspiracies like the plot to kidnap Whitmer take “a lot of fuel” and that Fox “provided it.”

      • MeduzaFamily of 8, including 3 children, murdered in Russian-annexed Donetsk region — Meduza

        Russian military investigators opened a criminal case in connection with the violent murder of a family of eight in Makiivka, a city in the Russian-annexed Donetsk region of Ukraine. Three of the victims were children, the youngest being a one-year-old toddler, as reported by local authorities.

      • MeduzaRetired married couple in Podolsk try set fire to a military enlistment office — Meduza

        In Podolsk, a married couple of pensioners tried to set fire to a military enlistment office.

      • Meduza‘My soul is in my own hands’ The case of the first Russian officer charged with a felony for refusing to kill in Ukraine — Meduza

        When 27-year-old Senior Lieutenant Dmitry Vasilets was sent to Ukraine last February, his superiors only told him that he was going to take part in some training maneuvers. He says he was shocked to learn the truth — that Russia was launching a full-scale invasion — but it would take five months for him to get a 15-day leave of absence. Deeply satisfied that he hadn’t killed anyone in his months of service, Vasilets considered his future and refused to return to the combat zone. “I had a choice,” he says, “and I made it.” He now faces felony charges and the prospect of prison time in Russia under a new law that criminalizes disobedience in the Russian military. Meduza summarizes the case against Dmitry Vasilets, based on a longer story published by Novaya Gazeta.

      • Counter PunchPlanning for War Crimes Trials Post-Nuclear War

        The Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes trials give some historical precedent for framing the process of trying the War Criminals responsible for any nuclear war, be they Presidents, Captains of Nuclear Weapons Industries, Congresses, Dumas, or even Judges enabling the crimes (the Justice Trials). Taking the Ukraine conflict solely as a “thought experiment” for considering a nuclear war, assuming nuclear weapons were to be used where does that leave the law?

        In his book Einstein on Peace, Albert Einstein opined on the Nuremberg Trials February 20, 1954:

      • Counter PunchThe Ukraine Crisis Is a Classic “Security Dilemma”

        Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba proposed a “peace summit” in February to be chaired by UN Secretary General Guterres, but with the precondition that Russia must first face prosecution for war crimes in an international court. On the other side, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov issued a chilling ultimatum that Ukraine must accept Russia’s terms for peace or “the issue will be decided by the Russian Army.”

        But what if there were a way of understanding this conflict and possible solutions that encompassed the views of all sides and could take us beyond one-sided narratives and proposals that serve only to fuel and escalate the war? The crisis in Ukraine is in fact a classic case of what International Relations scholars call a “security dilemma,” and this provides a more objective way of looking at it.

      • ScheerpostThe Ukraine Crisis Is a Classic ‘Security Dilemma’

        Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies argue there’s a single solution to a security dilemma like the war in Ukraine.

      • Common Dreams‘An Absolute F**king Disgrace’: Record 6,036 US Kids Killed, Injured by Gunfire in 2022
      • Counter PunchNations of the World Unite!

        Over thousands of years, wars have brought immense suffering to people around the globe. In addition to the widespread annihilation of human life, wars have produced vast material losses, including the destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, entire cities, the environment, and much of what people value as civilization. They have also channeled enormous financial resources into military buildups that, even if not employed in battle, deprive other public and private programs of adequate attention and funding. Also, since World War II, when nuclear weapons were first developed and used with terrible effect, the means of waging war have entered a new dimension, giving it the power to destroy virtually all life on earth.

        Although, in recent centuries, many people have lamented war’s squandering of blood and treasure, as well as the suicidal nature of modern war, they have not yet found an effective way to stop it.

      • Common DreamsThe Ukraine Crisis Is a Classic ‘Security Dilemma’
      • MeduzaFSB general linked to Navalny poisoning forced to retire, presumably for leaks — Meduza

        Colonel General Eduard Chernovoltsev, the former head of the FSB’s science-and-tech service NTS, has been sent into retirement. Chernovoltsev oversaw the work of the FSB Forensic Science Institute (FSB NII-2), which developed the nerve agents used to poison the opposition leaders Alexey Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza, as well as the Russian writer Dmitry Bykov.

      • The NationBrittney Griner Faced Brutal Conditions in Jail—but So Did Viktor Bout

        Shortly after WNBA superstar Brittney Griner headed home following a prison swap for the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, media outlets from The New York Times to Politico to Time delved into Bout’s life, publishing sordid tales of his gun-running and alleged history selling arms to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Liberia’s Charles Taylor.

      • MeduzaKamchatka man sentenced to nearly two years in open prison for refusing to go to war — Meduza

        A military court in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of Russia’s Kamchatka Krai, has sentenced a soldier named Alexey Breusov to a year and eight months in an open prison after finding him guilty of failing to carry out an order during wartime and refusing to participate in combat.

      • MeduzaPutin gives golden ‘rings of power’ to eight CIS leaders, keeping another for himself — Meduza

        At the informal Commonwealth of Independent States summit in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the CIS leaders with club rings that look like they are made of yellow and white gold. Each ring’s design incorporates the CIS emblem and the words “Happy New Year 2023.”

      • TechdirtTexas Cop Sentenced To More Than 11 Years In Jail For Killing A Woman During A Welfare Check

        It’s not often a cop gets criminally charged for killing someone. In most cases, cops are cleared of wrongdoing. Even when they aren’t, their employers and overseers aren’t interested in establishing deterrents to bad police behavior or holding bad cops accountable for their wrongdoing.

    • Environment

      • NPRHow Hollywood gets wildfires all wrong — much to the frustration of firefighters

        Instead, Bolten said, Hollywood should share messages about things like the usefulness of controlled burns to clear out overgrown brush, the public’s role in wildfire prevention, and how climate change is turning wildlands across the world into tinderboxes.

        “Introducing the complexity of the conversation that’s actually happening in fire and climate change and fuels management would be a huge help,” Bolten said.

      • Common DreamsThis Year’s Top 10 Global Climate Disasters Each Cost Over $3 Billion
      • ScheerpostMarkets and Technology Won’t Solve Climate Crisis. We Must End Capitalism.

        It’s the accumulation of capital that’s destroying the Earth System as a place of human habitability.

      • Counter PunchMother Nature Still Calls the Shots

        While headlines proclaim the “deadly cold,” the reality is these temperatures were not particularly considered out of the ordinary in Montana’s past. And despite the inconvenience to our human endeavors, one silver lining in the frigid cloud is the demise of pine bark beetles that have rapidly multiplied in the shorter, warmer winters and early springs.

        As reported in a recent article on Canada’s Jasper National Park, Mother Nature has pretty much wiped out the pine beetle populations by sending her Arctic fingers south. Dave Argument, the resource conservation officer for Parks Canada put it this way: “It’s probably been in the last three winters where we’ve had really good winter conditions that have killed those overwintering larvae to the point where now, this year’s survey — no larvae found whatsoever. Not a single living larva was found.”

      • Common DreamsExtreme Cold Is Caused by Global Warming
      • Counter PunchSpreading Awareness About Climate Chaos

        I enjoy walking and biking the streets of Claremont, California, my hometown since 2008. On Christmas day, 2022, the streets were exceptionally quiet. With a temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and a refreshing breeze, I was in heavens. My bike sliced through that delightful combination of heat and modestly cold air.

        This dream bike ride remained a pleasure for its duration. Yet reality intervened. Nature was in trouble. This was the heart of winter, December 25, 2022. Shouldn’t winter be winter? What happened to cold, nay snow or rain? My white roses were out in their summer best, their aroma delicious. My fig tree, having failed to give me any of its divine figs, was now starting new leaves. My pumpkin seeds had become an interlocking network of connecting stems and green leaves in the shape of spheres. Soon, I noticed tiny fruit being formed with exuberant pink blossoms.

      • TruthOutThe Climate Crisis Drove the US’s “Bomb Cyclone,” Record-Breaking Temperatures
      • TruthOutPoll Finds Sinema Gets Only 13 Percent Support in 3-Way Race With Gallego, Lake
      • Energy

        • MeduzaPutin bans sale of oil to buyers who comply with price cap — Meduza

          Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on measures responding to a recently adopted price cap on Russian oil.

        • Counter PunchNuclear Fusion:  Don’t Believe the Hype!

          While most honest writers have at least acknowledged the obstacles to commercially-scaled fusion, they typically still underestimate them – as much so today as back in the 1980s. We are told that a fusion reaction would have to occur “many times a second” to produce usable amounts of energy. But the blast of energy from the LBL fusion reactor actually only lasted one tenth of a nanosecond – that’s a ten-billionth of a second. Apparently other fusion reactions (with a net energy loss) have operated for a few nanoseconds, but reproducing this reaction over a billion times every second is far beyond what researchers are even contemplating.

          We are told that the reactor produced about 1.5 times the amount of energy that was input, but this only counts the laser energy that actually struck the reactor vessel.  That energy, which is necessary to generate temperatures over a hundred million degrees, was the product of an array of 192 high-powered lasers, which required well over 100 times as much energy to operate. Third, we are told that nuclear fusion will someday free up vast areas of land that are currently needed to operate solar and wind power installations. But the entire facility needed to house the 192 lasers and all the other necessary control equipment was large enough to contain three football fields, even though the actual fusion reaction takes place in a gold or diamond vessel smaller than a pea.  All this just to generate the equivalent of about 10-20 minutes of energy that is used by a typical small home. Clearly, even the most inexpensive rooftop solar systems can already do far more. And Prof. Mark Jacobson’s group at Stanford University has calculated that a total conversion to wind, water and solar power might use about as much land as is currently occupied by the world’s fossil fuel infrastructure.

        • Common DreamsNuclear Fusion: Don’t Believe the Hype!​
        • DeSmog2022 in Photos: Gaslighting by the Fossil Fuel Industry and Its Supporters

          Photos I shot in 2022 for DeSmog capture damage from extreme weather events and the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry — the dominant industry causing global warming. In recent years, the industry shifted from persistent science denial to presenting itself as a leader of climate solutions, embodying Merriam-Webster’s word of the year “gaslighting.”

          I covered developments related to the rapidly expanding petrochemical and LNG export industries, like new facilities that came online this year and rely on fracking new wells to supply the growing demand for natural gas, which is mostly methane. I also documented the construction of projects related to these industries and the public meetings for polluting projects proposed but not yet built — that if approved will contribute to global warming and intensify the climate crisis. Industries reliant on methane gas continue to expand their footprint, despite bipartisan discussions about the need to develop climate solutions.

        • Counter PunchSam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Companies Bilked a Potential 10.3 Million User Accounts–That’s 250 Times More than Madoff

          While Ray acknowledged that some FTX users had multiple accounts, even if you cut the 10.3 million user accounts by as much as two-thirds, 3.4 million accounts is still 85 times the number of Madoff victims.

          If you throw into the mix that Madoff acquired his victims over more than four decadesand Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX has been in operation for less than four years, the scope of the number of people impacted is stunning. The quantity of people lured into the FTX scheme was no doubt aided and abetted by the paid celebrity endorsers of FTX and its star-studded TV commercials.

        • Common DreamsBP Faces Backlash Over Plans to Spend Much More on Fossil Fuels Than Green Energy
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchWildlife Wishes and Resolutions
        • Pro PublicaFire Scientists Determined to Learn from Marshall Fire

          Among the tens of thousands of Coloradans who fled the state’s most destructive blaze a year ago were some of the nation’s foremost experts on fire behavior and natural disaster recovery.

          Brad Wham, a disaster reconnaissance specialist, watched in horror on Dec. 30, 2021, as the Marshall Fire chewed through mulch on medians around him as he drove away from his Louisville home.

        • Pro PublicaColorado Officials Have Ignored Lessons From Marshall Fire

          Sheriff’s deputies driving 45 mph couldn’t outpace the flames. Dense smoke, swirling dust and flying plywood obscured the firestorm’s growth and direction, delaying evacuations.

          Within minutes, landscaped islands in a Costco parking lot in Superior, Colorado, caught fire as structures became the inferno’s primary fuel. It consumed the Element Hotel, as well as part of a Tesla service center, a Target and the entire Sagamore neighborhood. Across a six-lane freeway, in the town of Louisville, flames rocketed through parks and climbed wooden fences, setting homes ablaze. They spread from one residence to the next in a mere eight minutes, reaching temperatures as high as 1,650 degrees.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • teleSURCuba Denounces Twitter’s Ties With the US Government

        Likewise, Rodriguez explained that Taibbi revealed that Washington has control over actions of this type on Twitter and on Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, Reddit and even Pinterest.

        The foreign minister demanded answers from the U.S. government and took the opportunity to recall the millions that the federal budget of that nation allocates, year after year, to carry out subversive programs against the Caribbean country.

      • The Gray ZoneZelensky appoints sexologist pyramid schemer as ambassador to Bulgaria
      • Common DreamsDems Say GOP Rep-Elect George Santos Should Face Expulsion as He Admits to Lying About His Background
      • TruthOutGOP Representative-Elect Santos Admits He Lied About College, Work History
      • Counter PunchThe Future of Korean Democracy

        In the United States, the Republican Party did well enough in the mid-term elections to take over one chamber of Congress. The Party is still dominated by supporters of Donald Trump who believe that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” as well as many of the congressional races that Republicans lost in 2022.

        A failed coup has landed Peruvian President Pedro Castillo in jail, and the country is now convulsed with protests by his supporters who continue to believe that he is a voice of the poor and powerless.

      • TruthOutJan. 6 Committee Member Says He’d Be Surprised If DOJ Doesn’t Indict Trump
      • The NationExit Trump?

        Some Washington types say that Trump’s here for good; He’ll handle those setbacks just fine. But some say they’re certain that soon he may go, And not with a bang but a whine.

      • ScheerpostTop 8 Political and Geopolitical Shifts in the Middle East in 2022

        Juan Cole lists the pivotal developments in the Middle East this year, including realignments of interests that affect the U.S.

      • ScheerpostIsrael’s New ‘Government of Darkness’: The Most Underreported Story in the Middle East

        If a prize was to be awarded for the most important yet least reported story in the media in 2022, it might well go to the news outlets that failed to report on the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians…

      • Counter PunchPraying We Learn from Each Other

        Oh, the smug ignorance of Tucker Carlson! Sometimes, in his certainty of rectitude, he asks questions that actually matter — or would matter if they were asked with any sort of honesty. The above quote, blathered on his news show, recently started flickering again in my brain, when I read about a Florida teacher who was fired after sarcastically interrupting the prayer session of some Muslim students at their school, declaring (as per a Tik Tok video): “I believe in Jesus, so I’m interrupting the floor.”

        Uh, how exactly is diversity our strength? Or is it just an infuriating nuisance?

      • Common Dreams2022 Was a Year of Right-Wing Attacks—What’s Next for US Democracy?
      • Common DreamsCori Bush, Emanuel Cleaver Implore Missouri Gov. to Prevent Execution of Amber McLaughlin
      • TruthOutFlorida GOP Leader Says She’s Open to Expanding “Don’t Say Gay” Law
      • The NationLetters From the January 9/16, 2023, Issue

        Here We Go Again

        Re “Russia Hating,” by David Bromwich [November 14/21]: We are once more, in the name of democracy, supporting a leadership that suppresses dissent. Even worse, it prevents public workers from speaking Russian in Donetsk and Luhansk and ignores the history of the Azov Battalion and the assassination of questioning mayors. I am ashamed of my fellow progressives and a liberal media that almost unanimously censures all less-than-eager support of Ukraine as another multibillion dollars goes mostly to our own defense contractors. The publication of Bromwich’s critique of the media’s uncritical support for the war in Ukraine is the beginning, I hope, of a needed reappraisal of exactly what we are doing, again, in another war on the far side of the world. I hope The Nation leads the way.Richard Boettger key west, fla.

      • The NationHow the West Failed Bosnia

        Just minutes after the polls closed on October 2, a German diplomat named Christian Schmidt changed the election laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He did so unilaterally and without public input, as he is empowered to do as the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The vote had been going smoothly; international election monitors reported that it was peaceful and lawful. Then Schmidt’s decision suddenly pushed the country into crisis.1

      • MeduzaRauf Arashukov, a former senator, sentenced to life in prison on charges of organizing two murders — Meduza

        A Moscow municipal court has sentenced Rauf Arashukov, a former Russian senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, to life in prison for organizing two contract killings and participating in organized crime.

      • The NationThe “Faces” of Black Conservatism Tell Us Everything—About the GOP

        I don’t agree with Black Republicans. I think they are wrong on their policy prescriptions for America. I think many of them are entirely too tolerant of the systemic racism that plagues our society, even to the point of complicity. I think, when pressed, they too often resort to the victim blaming that runs through that core Republican ethos of “I got mine, why can’t you get yours?”

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • The NationWhat I Learned From the Darkest Corners of the Internet

          We all do it. Make little snap judgments about everyday strangers as we go about our lives. Without giving it a second’s thought, we sketch minibiographies of the people we pass on the sidewalk, the guy seated across from us on the train, or the woman in line in front of us at the grocery store. We wonder: Who are they? Where are they from? How do they make a living? Lately, though, such passing encounters tend to leave me with a sense of suspicion, a wariness tinged with grim curiosity. I think to myself: Is he or she one of them?

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • VOA NewsDozens of Iran Protesters Risk Death Penalty: Rights Group

        At least 100 Iranians arrested in more than 100 days of nationwide protests face charges punishable by death, Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said Tuesday.

        Protests have gripped Iran since the September 16 death in custody of Iranian-Kurdish Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women.

      • EFFThe State of Online Free Expression Worldwide: 2022 in Review

        EFF is deeply engaged in the global fight for free expression online. In 2022, we worked with the DSA Human Rights Alliance to ensure that EU lawmakers consider the global impacts of European legislation. We also joined the Arab Alliance for Digital Rights, a newly-formed coalition that brings together groups across the MENA region and international partners to protect civic space online. We continued our work as long-term members of the IFEX network. And with (cautious) travel back on the table, we participated in a number of international fora, including the Balkans-based POINT conference, FIFAfrica, Bread and Net in Lebanon, and the OSCE.

        Working with international partners, we launched Protect the Stack, an initiative supported by more than 55 organizations worldwide aimed at ensuring infrastructure providers don’t become speech police. We also launched Tracking Global Online Censorship to monitor the impact of content moderation on free expression worldwide.

        In addition to these joint efforts, there were quite a few places that warranted extra attention. Here are five ongoing threats that we will be watching in the year to come:

      • MeduzaRussian government grants federal censor ability to ban sites with information about LGBTQ people — Meduza

        A new decree issued by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday grants Roskomnadzor, the country’s federal censor, the ability to ban websites that contain information about LGBTQ+ people.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • TechdirtAd-Based Netflix Arrives With A Thud

        As a publicly traded company, it’s simply not good enough to provide an affordable service that people genuinely like. The pressure to deliver quarter over quarter growth often takes on a tendency toward auto-cannibalism; price hikes, customer support cuts, dumb ideas justified through greed, all designed to goose short-term growth, but often at the cost of brand reputation and long term service quality.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • TechdirtITC Blocks Import Of Apple Watches Based On Claimed Infringement… But The Patents Have Already Been Declared Invalid

          It’s been many, many years since we were regularly covering what we referred to as the ITC loophole in patent enforcement. The issue was that patent holders could get two totally separate at bats to try to force a company that was actually innovating to pay up over dubious patents. They could go to court, of course, by filing a patent lawsuit. But they could also go to the International Trade Commission, claiming infringement, and if the ITC agreed, it could ban the import of products it claimed was covered by that patent. While the ITC couldn’t force a company to pay fees for infringement like a federal court could, it was effectively just as bad, because once an import ban was in place (since most products are manufactured outside the US), the companies would be forced to negotiate a huge settlement just to keep their business going.

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakAnalysis of U.S. Pirate Site Domain Seizures During FIFA World Cup 2022

          After the FIFA World Cup 2022 got underway early this month, United States law enforcement agencies began seizing live sports streaming domains at an unusually fast rate. Pirate site domain seizures of this type are relatively uncommon, especially against so many targets all at once. Did something make these domains especially vulnerable or are seizures like this the new reality?

        • Torrent FreakU.S. Marshals Will Sell Pirate IPTV Owner’s House, ‘Only’ $99m Still to Pay

          In June 2022, a court in the United States awarded DISH Network, Sling, and NagraStar, more than $100m in damages against pirate IPTV service, Nitro TV. While the plaintiffs are unlikely to recover the full amount, they are determined to get what they can. The U.S. Marshals Service has just announced the upcoming sale of a house worth around a million dollars, just 1% of the overall debt.

        • Torrent Freak‘Strike 3′ Filed a Record Number of Piracy Lawsuits This Year

          Strike 3 Holdings filed a record-breaking 2,788+ lawsuits against alleged BitTorrent pirates in U.S. courts this year. The adult entertainment company has little ‘competition’ from other rightsholders and is responsible for the vast majority of all U.S. piracy lawsuits filed this year.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • The quest for basic telephony

        The last few days’ weather was caused by a “bomb

        cyclone.” Sudden polar cold descended across the

        continent. The first day I bundled first daughter

        against my body and we walked in the -18C outdoors,

        across snowy golf-course steppes where frigid wind

        gusted loud and dramatic, down to the frozen creek.

        Second day she walked partway, tromping in snow up

        to her knees in her rubber boots. She fell and dug

        in snow. We skated on the creek. Third day we went

        again, with Evy. Today the temperature rose above

        freezing. Evy at work, daughter and I ventured out

        to do commerce.

      • Science

        • Beyond Neolithic Life: This is geoengineering

          When I was a kid in elementary school, maybe kindergarten or first grade, we had a lesson on cooking. All we really did was heat up some pre-made soup and add some seasoning. Mine was a little bland, so I added some salt, and it was pretty good so I added some more. And before long, I had some very salty soup. I looked at the pepper and thought “Surely this pepper is the opposite of salt. That oughta take care of it,” and proceeded to add pepper into my soup until I had some very peppery soup. So I tried again to balance it out with some salt, and then balanced that out with some pepper, and again, etc., until I had some extremely disgusting soup.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • And in another timeline, Google sold out to Yahoo for $10,000,000 …

          I’m not quite sure what to make of “eπc 2014 [1]” (or “Epic 2014”). It’s a “what-if” story that diverges from our own timeline in 2004 and goes to some really weird places (Googlezon anyone?). It’s a history that never happened, and yet, it still feels like we’ve just a few years short of it actually happening.

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

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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[Meme] What’s Worse? Monopoly or Polygamy?

Posted in Site News at 1:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Quite the “living arrangement”…

Friend brings a friend at Sirius

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a polygamy problem and people aren’t allowed to speak about the professional and technical issues that leads to

Three's Company

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