[Meme] When Egotistic People Make Egoistic Companies Staff Becomes Disgruntled

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Andrew Bucknor: it's not for the company; it's for me, serving me and my big ego

Summary: Disgruntled staff* at Sirius ‘Open Source’ does not wish to lie and work for unethical people; the company then prefers to think of the staff as the real problem (inversion of narratives)

* This wasn’t limited to my wife and I. There’s evidence of others, including a close colleague. He hated the company’s shift to proprietary stuff (he did resist), he admits he was bullied, he repeatedly antagonised having to lie to clients, and he is very unhappy about not being able to access machines or certain systems just because he’s not literally sleeping with the Support Manager (like some new workers… yes, plural!). Moreover he felt like a task was done intentionally on a weekend off to keep him off the job, using a technology he does not know (they try to keep other staff down, to keep the “bedroom” in control of the company).

When the Employer Becomes a Liar and a Bully

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Big Shot’ boss: You’re accused of doing nothing. You committed an act of “nothingness”. Merry Xmas, Rianne!

I still remember; Andrew Bucknor, Sirius: Hopefully nobody will find out what I did

Summary: A manager at Sirius ‘Open Source’ has accused my wife, Rianne, of basically nothing at all! She did nothing, hence she’s considered “guilty”; she resigned following this unwarranted bollocking, seeing that the company had gone broke and hid its presence in a network of shells, impeding potential lawsuits for compensation; today we reveal the full chain of correspondence and offer related context

THE LIAR AT SIRIUS has not only picked on yours truly; he also picked on my wife. Presumably being married to me means that any accusation against myself is also equally applicable to her.

How does that work? It goes like this:

“Presumably being married to me means that any accusation against myself is also equally applicable to her.”Even the letters to me get reproduced and are then being sent to her (with her name instead of mine) and the only connection the company was able to find is that she wanted to raise money for koalas amid very deadly wildfires in Australia. I re-post her blog post under my name (she has no account in Techrights) several years ago and this astoundingly becomes ‘evidence’ against her. Just wow!

Don’t believe me? Watch…

Accusation #1:

Accusation #1

This is the Bytes Media site, not Techrights. Nothing suggests she runs Techrights. That she runs Tux Machines is nothing new; she has done this for nearly a decade already. This is not even surprising and the company’s own site — even at this very moment — boasts about it:

Rianne schestowitz

Accusation #2:

Accusation #2

Notice the author on the right; this was posted originally in Tux Machines (by Rianne), then merely copied by me.

Accusation #3:

Accusation #3

This is about editorial work in Tux Machines, not Techrights. It’s worth noting that he even stalked the old (now retired) site of Tux Machines to ‘prove’ a connection — a fact that the company boasts about in its very own site! Even right now! They’ve failed to removed our names from the site even more than a month after we had resigned. Maybe they worry clients would find out things had gone really sour at the company.

Accusation #4:

Accusation #4

They failed at basic reading comprehension if they think a blog post in Tux Machines implies Rianne does write Techrights. What is the above even meant to imply???

We’re astounded the company wasted not just time but also physical paper sending us (by post) the above, as if to make some point (the lawyer thought the same upon seeing this). We’ll come back to this later when we cover this travesty some more. It is a cautionary tale to anyone else who gets bullied by bosses, based on nothing at all! It cannot be overstated (nor understated) that she did nothing at all. Nothing!

“They failed at basic reading comprehension if they think a blog post in Tux Machines implies Rianne does write Techrights.”Over a day ago (we saw this hours after it had been posted) Major Hayden wrote about “red flags” (Major Hayden is a sysadmin who worked in a number of well known companies). He said a couple of days ago: “Survival in almost any company requires you to believe that your contributions create value for someone somewhere. You also need a belief that your chance for further opportunities in the company should improve as the product improves. [...] When red flags start to appear, talk to your manager about them as soon as possible! Don’t let them fester and get worse while you’re silently becoming more and more upset and stressed. Try to bring them up with your manager in the context of your experience with them.”

It seems like a common issue; Hayden worries that the company where he worked started lying to clients (or, as he puts it more politely, wasn’t honest with clients). Such pathological liars or gaslighters or bullies are drowning the boat that all of us are in. In this particular case we deal with a sociopath who has no time to read my E-mail but has several weeks to carefully read years’ worth of IRC logs in my site, my wife’s site, and my wife’s old (now retired) site! Some productivity right there…

Amazing, keep up the great work, Mr. CEO! Unless you’re the only person left in ‘your’ company (he hasn’t been in the company as long as we have; he’s fairly new).

“In this particular case we deal with a sociopath who has no time to read my E-mail but has several weeks to carefully read years’ worth of IRC logs in my site, my wife’s site, and my wife’s old (now retired) site! Some productivity right there…”The “big shot” Mr. CEO fails to grasp that the company brought the criticism upon itself by mistreating staff for years, then lying to them and about them. As the Internet meme goes, “you must be new here,” Mr. CEO! Let us tell you a little about the company’s history. The staff can teach you a thing or two.

This is a CEO who has no clue how to manage the Wiki and we need to lecture him, explaining to him that as manager he is the one responsible for adding clients to the Wiki (after a couple of years as CEO he still did not know that!).

Anyway, amid all this self-defeating campaign against my wife came this letter that was folded to save money and still belongs right in the wastebasket. Yes, he didn’t even want to pay for a proper envelope. Must be a budget issue…

Now it’s our turn to show and to explain what a pathetic and likely illegal thing he embarked on. So we decided to take screenshots in December or even do some videos (e.g. show in OBS/Webcamoid just how ridiculous this entire thing was). There’s lots more on the way…

At the end of the day the company left itself bruised badly by bullying staff for years. It made some previously-ambitious and motivated staff less loyal or even disloyal.

“Aside from E-mails, the boss had her put on call; he recorded her (yes, audio and video) while she was baffled over what this thing was all about.”Outsourcing is what’s left of the company now (it’s a middleman, reseller, parasitic firm that’s severely hobbled and unable to contribute). There are almost no geeks with technical skills left, just mostly self-appointed ‘managers’ who don’t do their own job, just pocket the money or surplus off of geeks, some of whom work all night long on shoestring budget. It’s an exploitative relationship; the managers are milking the brand (productive past staff earned reputation like this!) and the remaining staff — not to even surmount the abuse against staff since 2019, i.e. 4 years ago. We covered this before.

In the communications below one can see how it all started and later this month we shall talk about why it’s a kangaroo court, definitely not compliant with British laws. Aside from E-mails, the boss had her put on call; he recorded her (yes, audio and video) while she was baffled over what this thing was all about. She had no clue. Because she did nothing and hadn’t said anything.

It was certainly a waste of recording, but the E-mails that followed showed eagerness to harass and intimidate her. We’re dealing with a barely-trained manager pretending to be a cop, picking on a totally innocent person who has no clue what’s even going on or why.

Here is everything in chronological order and accompanying notes/explanations.

This is how it started:

Dear Rianne,

Could we please have a call urgently to discuss a matter that has been brought to my attention?

Would you be able to join a video call at this link? [redacted]

I will telephone you shortly to discuss timing.

Kind regards,

She wasn’t checking her personal E-mail account in real time, so then he phoned our personal landline at home (not the company’s phone! Perhaps that too was disabled/suspended already) to draw her attention to an E-mail having been sent. Upon logging in and checking Thunderbird she noticed her company account had been suspended (or at least dysfunctional).

She responded quickly regarding another such “weirdness”:

Hi [redacted],

I can’t login to [redacted] it says your account has been disabled.



Notice they failed to actually inform her and never said what had happened. They took action prematurely or shot before asking any questions. We’ll revisit this some other time and explain why it may be a breach of British law.

He responded (still by E-mail, they suspended everything, so they contacted her via personal E-mail):

Hi Rianne,

You don’t need to be logged in to Google to use that link. You can post that link into any browser window and join the meeting.

Could you please re-try?


She said:

I’m in.

He said:

Hi Rianne,

I can’t see you listed as a participant in the meeting attendees?

Let’s try a Zoom call instead.

Would you be able to join a Zoom meeting with the following details? :

This should again just work via any web browser.

To give you time to get it set up, can we please meet at 14:30?

Many thanks,

And she replied:

Hello [redacted],

Ok, I’ll see you at 14:30.



After the call, which revealed absolutely nothing at all, he had the audacity to say “you are formally suspended” without even specifying anything that she had done wrong!

Here’s the E-mail:

Dear Rianne,

Further to our meeting by video conference earlier today, please see attached letter confirming our discussion that you are formally suspended from your role of Support Engineer with Sirius Open Source.

The attached letter provides further information about this action.

Kind regards,

This above-mentioned “letter” provided no evidence at all.

She responded after a couple of visits to lawyers.


I believe I was unfairly treated on several grounds, including relevant protocols.

Here is the gist of the issues:

1. no due process
2. no evidence presented (or claims merely alluded to without context/link)
3. guilt by association (almost identical letter, too)

Roy and I visited lawyers on Friday and on Monday. We spoke about the facts in length.

We don’t yet wish to escalate this matter and would rather settle amicably.


He did not even respond to this E-mail. He just simply ignored anything that did not suit his twisted agenda.

Days later he wrote:

Dear Rianne,

Please see the attached letter regarding your attendance at an investigation meeting tomorrow.

Kind regards,

An “investigation” for nothing basically; they accuse another person and then try to engage in ‘guilt’ by association (the other person isn’t guilty of anything either).

Rianne responded, politely:


Please be patient. My lawyer will respond to you soon. I will not attend any meetings prior to that.



Well, if that wasn’t bad enough he then kept pushing “Reminders” by E-mails, despite having not received any input to the effect he wanted. He kept postponing each time the kangaroo ‘court’ was empty, as it was likely constructed in violation of the law.

Days later Rianne followed up:


The meeting with the lawyer was today. The legal rights are now clearer. Cooperation with your instructions are now possible.



Suddenly the company ‘discovers’ they left something out:

Dear Rianne,

Thanks for your message.

As per our letter, you are entitled to be accompanied by either a work colleague or by a Trades Union representative.

Just to be clear, it is not Sirius’ responsibility to run or operate a Union. Trades Unions are independent bodies that operate separately to employers so that they can work for the benefit of their members.

It is also not Sirius’ responsibility to nominate a suitable Trades Union. It is a right under UK law for each employee to make an individual decision to choose whether or not they wish to join a Union. Sirius is an equal opportunity employer and makes no distinction at all between those who are members of a Trade Union and those who are not.

Kind regards,

That was not good enough:


That does not answer my main question or my main point. The point is, you’ve presented me with a false dichotomy. That also does not follow the protocols, as per my lawyer.



In order to keep this post relatively concise we’ll come back to this at a later date when rights of staff are discussed further.

Some hours later, after seeking legal advice, she noted that she deserved (legally entitled) to be accompanied by someone else:


My lawyers say I can be accompanied not only by a trade union person. Sirius doesn’t have a union.



It was like talking to a wall because they did not facilitate what was allowed and in fact they had hidden those rights until she pointed those out (or after Mr. Boss was belately speaking to a professional at the company’s side). They kept pushing and pushing for another meeting:

Dear Rianne,

Thank you for your reply.

Please see the attached letter regarding your attendance at a re-scheduled investigation meeting.

Kind regards,

They even pushed this until December:

Dear Rianne,

Please see the attached letter regarding attendance at a disciplinary hearing this Friday 2nd December.

Kind regards,

Many “Reminders” followed, but still no compliance with rules. The company wasn’t interested in actual facts, laws etc.

Rianne gave up at this point, seeing the company wasn’t interested in any input about law and protocols. She resigned in December:

Dear [redacted],

I am writing to announce my resignation as a support engineer in Sirius Open source Ltd. effective today, 2nd of December 2022. This was not an easy decision to make; I have been working with Sirius for nine years, but it feels like this has come to an end. The situation recently hasn’t been managed/handled according to laws; this hassle could have been avoided if only the rules and protocols have been followed.



It took the company nearly 10 days to reply to that.

Dear Rianne,

Please see attached letter regarding your resignation.

Yours sincerely,

This was covered here before, as the contents of the letter were truly absurd.

To summarise, Rianne and I wished to send a formal document to the employer as a response to trumped-up accusations. We knew it would help if legal representatives (like someone in his/her capacity as a lawyer) could acknowledge that this is our position and that they’re there to take the matters further upon instruction from the clients. Not to endorse the message (statement) but to assure the company that the clients have legal representatives and are presently considering further action, such as lawsuit or whistle-blowing. At the end we chose the latter, seeing the companies was acting like an eel, hiding behind rocks and shells, especially weeks before the bullying began. The company changed its address 3 times in just 5 weeks, leaving both ‘companies’ with the address of its accountants, i.e. a phony registration (even if technically it’s legal to do so).

“The company changed its address 3 times in just 5 weeks, leaving both ‘companies’ with the address of its accountants, i.e. a phony registration (even if technically it’s legal to do so).”We assume that most readers don’t bother reading the PDF, as it is long, but it might help to have this series at the site (blog posts or wiki) at all times; it might help other people in case — or at the time — of similar incidents. Ever since we resigned we spotted at least 4 blog posts in the FOSS-centric blogosphere that we felt were inspired by us (but could not actually prove the correlation). Geeks like to focus on coding, testing, tickering etc. Sadly this means not many are aware of their legal rights and this leaves them vulnerable to sociopaths who somehow made their way into management positions in companies whose products/services they don’t even understand. Heck, they do not and cannot understand the staff either! Maybe that counts as management, but that’s not actual leadership and it usually ends badly as both clients and staff get fed up with the lies, the threats, the endless (false, baseless etc.) finger-pointing, and mostly cover-up. Charlatans and imposters are toxic to companies where the atmosphere or the work climate can rapidly deteriorate, causing colleagues to leave and creating critical vacuums (e.g. systems nobody can maintain or knows how to patch, extend etc.), begetting unpaid pensions, a lack of payslips (violation of British law by the way!), no actual servers and so on.

For those who want to get a quick roundup of the wrongs and the injustices done to my wife, here is the gist of the issues:

1. no due process
2. no evidence presented (or claims merely alluded to without context/link)
3. gross accusation inflation
4. guilt by association (identical letter, too)
5. the company has a history doing this to couples, e.g. one blind colleague based in Germany; it was very serious and it went to court (cost the company or its Directors — a manager and the CEO — a lot of money, went on for a long time, settled at the end)

Portions of E-mail correspondence prior to the abuse and resignation is now included here along with further context that anyone can judge independently. Attachment of an employee handbook (may not be very similar to the latest version) isn’t possible for confidentiality reasons and PDF versions of the letters sent will likely be shown in the next post, albeit only on camera. Employment contracts (printed for us, to be brought home) don’t say much at all, so staff was basically compelled to sign some “Web pages” online, consenting to largely unknown terms. Later on in this series we’ll show he we were pressured to sign new contracts ‘by surprise’ without any legal advice available.

“Unless this was a case of digital “swatting” (someone who hates us trying to falsely report us to the employer, possibly anonymously), this is the employer manufacturing a ‘case’.”In Rianne’s own words: “I think my employer does not wish to settle amicably, and it seems to boil down to a manager’s ego rather than anything wrong I did.”

Unless this was a case of digital “swatting” (someone who hates us trying to falsely report us to the employer, possibly anonymously), this is the employer manufacturing a ‘case’.

The cheaply-made hatchet job never goes far. It only backfires. The victims always remember.

Links 06/01/2023: risiOS 37.1.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

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        Docker offers many other benefits besides this handy encapsulation, isolation, portability, and control. Docker containers are small (megabytes). They start instantly. They have their own built-in mechanisms for versioning and component reuse. They can be easily shared via the public Docker Hub or private repository.

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        Overall: 91.8% of respondents were positive about the event, with 6.3% as neutral and 1.9% were dissatisfied. 80.1% indicated that the discussions they participated in helped resolve problems. The BOF track was popular and we’re looking to include it again in 2023. Due to the fact we were having our first in person since the pandemic started, we did this event as a hybrid event with reduced in person registration compared to prior years, as we were unsure how many would be willing to travel and our venue’s capacity. The conference sold out of regular tickets very quickly after opening up registration though, so we set up a waiting list. With some the travel conditions and cancelations, we were able to work through the daunting waiting list, and offer spots to all of those on the list by the conference date. Venue capacity is something we’re looking closely at for next year and will outline the plan when the CFP opens early this year.


        Events: Our evening events are feeling the pressure from the number of attendees especially with the other factors from the pandemic. The first night event had more issues than the closing event and we appreciate the constructive suggestions in the write-in comments. The survey was still positive about the events overall, so we’ll see what we can do make this part of the “hallway track” more effective for everyone next year.

    • Applications

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        My container infrastructure runs on Fedora CoreOS and it updates itself. It has an immutable layer underneath my containers that updates using ostree.

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        However, providing this information again overtakes time, but there is a way that you can use it to disable the authentication. As a result, this article will show you how to create a password-less sudo on Ubuntu and Linux Mint. So is Linux mint good for beginners? I would say Linux Mint is one of the best Linux distro for Beginners. Linux mint requires the same hardware as Ubuntu, and Installing Linux Mint is easy, have a look here to download it.

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    • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • risiOS 37.1.1 Release Notes

        Hello risiOS users! We hope your new year is off to a great start. We have released a minor update with a few bug fixes for your operating system.

        risiTweaks: Added an option to switch between light/default and dark styling within the risiTweaks tool. This option was already available in the Settings app, but we’ve added it to risiTweaks as well to make it easier to access. This was added after me watching a user in a YouTube video where a user tried to change the gtk3 theme to enable dark mode instead of toggling on dark mode in GNOME Settings. We hope this small change can prevent some confusion.

        risiWelcome: We’ve added mediainfo as a dependency for Kdenlive in the video production script. This fixes a missing dependency Kdenlive complains about.

        rTheme: rTheme has been updated to version 0.3. This update includes a fix for a bug involving GNOME Shell support, as well as backend changes to prepare rTheme for use on other distributions.

        risiOS ISO: This is the first ISO built using a new build system we are creating to make it easier to create Fedora based distributions. More info the come within the next 2 months…

        We’ve also updated a number of packages as part of this release. As always, we recommend keeping your system up to date to ensure that you have the latest features and bug fixes.

        Thank you for using risiOS!

    • BSD

      • The Register UKFancy a quick tour of DragonFly BSD 6.4? • The Register

        DragonFly BSD – or just DragonFly for short – is the youngest and most experimental member of the BSD family. Its latest release came out on the penultimate day of 2022. Although it’s not a major version, here at The Reg FOSS desk we thought it was time to take a look at DragonFly, as we’ve recently looked at the other members of the BSD family – as we describe in the sidebar.

        The big-ticket item in this version is hardware-supported virtualization in the NVMM hypervisor. NVMM (not to be confused with NVMe) appeared in DragonFly version 6.1.

        The name, slightly strangely, is short for the NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor, because this hypervisor was ported over across from that sibling project, as described on the NetBSD blog.

        Project lead Matthew Dillon began Dragonfly BSD in 2003 as a fork of FreeBSD 4.8, the final release of the 4.x series. Unlike the other BSDs, Dragonfly BSD supports just one platform: x86-64. Its designers emphasize performance and scalability. It supports 128 CPU cores, 256 hardware threads, and up to a million processes, and claims multiprocessor scaling to rival Linux – a kernel with far more developers and investment than all of the BSDs put together.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva NewsOpenMandriva ROME – The rolling release – OpenMandriva

        OpenMandriva ROME Platinum candidate has been released a short time ago and we are confident it has been enjoyed by the users.

        To make sure you do not fall behind, we are announcing a new way to keep you up to date: ROME, the OpenMandriva rolling edition.

      • PCLOS OfficialFirefox browser updated to 108.0.2 – PCLinuxOS

        Firefox is a damn good browser, with a very good reputation, and with enough firepower to keep both beginner and more advanced users happy. It’s somewhat sad that even though Firefox does so many things just right, the best thing about it is that it is not Chrome.

      • PCLOS OfficialCider 1.6.0 – PCLinuxOS

        Cider is a new cross-platform Apple Music experience based on Electron and Vue.js written from scratch with performance & visuals in mind. Requires an Apple ID. Access Apple Music from your Linux desktop!

      • PCLOS OfficialKDE applications updated – PCLinuxOS

        The KDE applications suite has updated to 22.12.1 and now available in the PCLinuxOS software repository.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • SUSE’s Corporate BlogWorld’s fastest supercomputer runs SUSE Linux | SUSE Communities

        Looking back at 2022, certainly one of the most dramatic leaps forward in the compute world was a supercomputer breaking the exascale barrier, meaning it can process more than a quintillion calculations per second — making it capable of performing the most complex computing tasks in the world and setting the stage for breakthroughs in climate modeling, astrophysics, genomics, medicine and a more efficient energy grid, just to name a few.


        SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the newer SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro version run “under the covers” as the embedded OS for many other systems and devices of which you may not be aware. My daughter was thrilled to send me a picture of a SUSE Linux Point of Service-powered terminal deployed at a well known grocer where she works saying “You never told me SUSE runs our cash registers!”.

      • Dominique LeuenbergeropenSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2023/01 – Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

        Almost 2% of 2023 is already behind us. Week 1 is, from experience, always a still rather quiet week. Many contributors are still with their families or are just stretching some vacation. But, of course, only ‘many’ and by far not all. Tumbleweed managed to release 7 snapshots since the last review (1230, 1231, 20230101…20230105).

      • Build system statistics – Zoltán’s Blog

        From time to time we should ask ourselves how are we doing. Are we successful, are we on the right track, are we heading to the right direction, are we fast enough, are we accelerating or slowing down?
        This time I am talking about the openSUSE Linux Distribution and about the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

    • Fedora / Red Hat / IBM

    • Debian Family

      • Finally making use of bpftrace

        I am old enough to remember when BPF meant the traditional Berkeley Packet Filter, and was confined to filtering network packets. It’s grown into much, much, more as eBPF and getting familiar with it so that I can add it to the suite of tips and tricks I can call upon has been on my to-do list for a while. To this end I was lucky enough to attend a live walk through of bpftrace last year. bpftrace is a high level tool that allows the easy creation and execution of eBPF tracers under Linux.

        Recently I’ve been working on updating the RetroArch packages in Debian and as I was doing so I realised there was a need to update the quite outdated retroarch-assets package, which contains various icons and images used for the user interface. I wanted to try and re-generate as many of the artefacts as I could, to ensure the proper source was available. However it wasn’t always clear which files were actually needed and which were either ‘source’ or legacy. So I wanted to trace file opens by retroarch and see when it was failing to find files. Traditionally this is something I’d have used strace for, but it seemed like a great opportunity to try out bpftrace.

      • Thorsten AlteholzThorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in December 2022

        This month I accepted 276 and rejected 27 packages. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 288.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Jiri Eischmann: Account Verification: from Mastodon to CzechPoint

      When Twitter’s account verification policy began to change late last year, a debate about how to do identity verification for online accounts stirred. As I found out, the way Mastodon does it is surprisingly elegant.

      Previously, Twitter had a verification process for high-profile accounts (politicians, journalists, etc.). I honestly don’t know what that verification entailed, but after the Twitter takeover, Musk came up with the idea that anyone who pays $8 is eligible for verification. The ironic thing was that the new process didn’t actually include any identity verification at all. You paid $8, got a blue badge, and could impersonate anyone. This unsurprisingly didn’t work, so after a series of bummers over a short period of time, they discontinued this method of verification. They restarted it just recently and it seems to be as flawed as before.

      Not that I have any major need to have my social media accounts verified, but I was wondering if there was any way to verify an account on Mastodon, because there isn’t some central entity that can verify your accounts. I found out that Mastodon goes about it in a pretty elegant way. It outsources the authentication to internet domain administrators.

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUThe Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Comes to Guix Containers — 2023 — Blog — GNU Guix

        GNU Guix is different from most other GNU/Linux distributions and perhaps nowhere is that more obvious than the organization of the filesystem: Guix does not conform to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS). In practical terms, this means there is no global /lib containing libraries, /bin containing binaries,¹ and so on. This is very much at the core of how Guix works and some of the convenient features, like per-user installation of programs (different versions, for instance) and a declarative system configuration where the system is determined from a configuration file.

        However, this also leads to a difference in how many pieces of software expect their world to look like, relying on finding a library in /lib or an external tool in /bin. When these are hard coded and not overcome with appropriate build options, we patch code to refer to absolute paths in the store, like /gnu/store/hrgqa7m498wfavq4awai3xz86ifkjxdr-grep-3.6/bin/grep, to keep everything consistently contained within the store.

        It all works great and is thanks to the hard work of everyone that has contributed to Guix. But what if we need a more FHS-like environment for developing, testing, or running a piece of software?

    • Licensing / Legal

      • FSFSharing knowledge about the GNU family of licenses

        Copyright and licensing associate Craig Topham discusses the work done by the Licensing and Compliance Lab to answer licensing questions via articles, the FAQ, and email.

        I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve a community where sharing is at the core of its purpose. It’s amazing that we can duplicate software so quickly — just a few taps on a keyboard or clicks of a mouse — to such great benefit. In the free software community, there are other elements that can be spread just as easily as computer source code. One of them is knowledge. From helping someone use free software to spreading the understanding of free software, knowledge comes in all shapes and sizes. This includes sharing knowledge of the GNU General Public Licenses (GPL) and free software licensing more generally.

        As the copyright and licensing associate at the Free Software Foundation (FSF), one of my tasks is to coordinate with licensing volunteers of the Licensing and Compliance Lab. As a part of the Lab, the licensing volunteers help the FSF share free software licensing knowledge. We do this together through the combined decades of experience and the plethora of licensing materials available on fsf.org and gnu.org. However, the world we live in constantly generates new curiosities and areas to explore, inevitably leaving people with new questions. When this happens, the Licensing and Compliance Lab is here to provide answers. Your support will help us continue to do so heading into the future. As free software licensing is a complex subject, we’re proud to provide this service to free software developers and other members of the community.

        Much like free software, knowledge requires someone to have it first in order to distribute it. When it comes to free software licensing knowledge, the licensing volunteers have it in abundance. Although a small group, they have answered over 1,300 questions sent in by those hoping to better understand how the family of GNU licenses work since the pandemic started in March 2020. I can honestly say that this work would have been impossible without the licensing volunteers.

    • Programming/Development

      • Setting Up a CI System Part 5: Time-sharing your test machines – mupuf.org

        This article is part of a series on how to setup a bare-metal CI system for Linux driver development.

      • AdafruitAn alternate ESP32 flashing utility

        esputil is a command line tool for managing Espressif devices. It is a replacement for esptool.py.

      • QtCompiling QML to C++: A 4x speedup

        As you may know, you can compile your QML code to C++ these days. There are multiple reasons why you would do this. One of them is that it leads you to better structured code by forcing you to declare the types you’re using. The most important one is that the resulting program will run faster.

        In my previous posts I’ve been rather cautious about the actual performance numbers. This is for a reason. The Qt Quick Compiler cannot translate any old JavaScript you throw at it, and depending on the exact characteristics of your code, the resulting speedup varies greatly. We’re constantly working on increasing the Qt Quick Compiler’s coverage of the QML language, but it’s still a long way to go.

      • QtPermission APIs in Qt 6.5

        Many features of today’s devices and operating systems can have significant privacy, security, and performance implications, if misused. As a result, it’s increasingly common for platforms to require explicit consent from the user before accessing these features.

      • Adafruitlibcpucycles – count CPU cycles on several architectu

        libcpucycles is a public-domain microlibrary for counting CPU cycles. Cycle counts are not as detailed as Falk diagrams but are the most precise timers available to typical software; they are central tools used in understanding and improving software performance.

      • Perl / Raku

      • Python

        • AdafruitJohn Park’s CircuitPython Parsec: Short vs Long Press

          You can use a single button to mean two different things depending on how long you press it! Learn how to use a short duration vs. a long duration button press in CircuitPython.

        • Ross Burton: PySnooper and BitBake

          The biggest catch is remembering that BitBake classes and recipes are not Python, they just have Python blocks in, so you can’t decorate a function inside a class or recipe. In this case you’ll need to use with block.

          This looks like a very useful tool and I look forward to using it next time I’m tearing my increasingly greying hair out.

      • Java

        • Make Use OfHow to Install NetBeans on Linux

          Apache NetBeans is an open-source IDE that lets you create desktop, mobile, and web applications in various programming languages such as C, C++, Java, PHP, etc. It is a popular choice of IDE for developers around the world due to its versatility, ease of use, and range of features.

          NetBeans is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Let’s look at some of the features of NetBeans and ways to install it on Linux.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • CNX SoftwareQualcomm Snapdragon Satellite enables two-way messaging using the Iridium network [Ed: Surveillance that never stops, no matter where you are; quality of life isn't being connected all the time; sometimes it's the opposite]

        You may soon be able to get true global coverage even in remote areas thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite which will offer pole-to-pole coverage and two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS texting, and other messaging applications.

        Qualcomm made this possible through a partnership with Iridium to bring satellite-based connectivity to next-generation premium Android smartphones starting with devices based on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, while emergency messaging support was done in collaboration with Garmin.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • WiredWhatsApp Launches a Tool to Fight Internet Censorship [Ed: Conde Nast (Microsoft et al) refers to WhatsApp as "encrypted messaging app" but it is actually a mass surveillance app; calling it encrypted messaging is misleading... Facebook sees everything and so does the US government]

          Amid internet shutdowns in Iran, the encrypted messaging app is introducing proxy connections that can help people get online.

        • WiredThe Slow Death of Surveillance Capitalism Has Begun | WIRED

          SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM JUST got a kicking. In an ultimatum, the European Union has demanded that Meta reform its approach to personalized advertising—a seemingly unremarkable regulatory ruling that could have profound consequences for a company that has grown impressively rich by, as Mark Zuckerberg once put it, running ads.

          The ruling, which comes with a €390 million ($414 million) fine attached, is targeted specifically at Facebook and Instagram, but it’s a huge blow to Big Tech as a whole. It’s also a sign that GDPR, Europe’s landmark privacy law that was introduced in 2018, actually has teeth. More than 1,400 fines have been introduced since it took effect, but this time the bloc’s regulators have shown they are willing to take on the very business model that makes surveillance capitalism, a term coined by American scholar Shoshana Zuboff, tick. “It is the beginning of the end of the data free-for-all,” says Johnny Ryan, a privacy activist and senior fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

        • France24’Gut punch’: Meta bruised in EU data fight

          European regulators have laid down one of the biggest challenges so far to the multibillion-dollar business model of Facebook owner Meta, analysts said on Thursday.

          The Silicon Valley titan was handed a 390-million-euro ($413-million) fine on Wednesday as part of a years-long tussle with the European Union over data privacy.

          But more significantly, European regulators dismissed the legal basis Meta had used to justify gathering users’ personal data for use in targeted advertising.

          Meta makes its money from highly targeted ads, a system made possible only by understanding the behaviour of its users intimately.

        • [Old] Apple airtags as stalker tools | Stop at Zona-M

          Making everything, people included, easily trackable with no other skill than owning an iPhone and a few Euros to spare is obviously such a harmless idea that nobody could ever conceive abusing it. Except they do, of course. The Guardian recently reported that a woman discovered her ex-boyfriend was stalking her, thanks to an AirTag he had placed in the trunk of her car the last time they had met.

        • Help Net Security3 important changes in how data will be used and treated

          Regula has presented their vision of the developments that will shape the industry’s landscape in 2023. Deepfakes, new cyber-hygiene norms, and demand for mature ID verification platforms are among some of the predictions for the next year.

          While more and more industries move their customer experiences to digital, online identity verification is becoming an essential part of our life. It lets people cope with all sorts of mission-critical activities online: opening bank accounts, applying for benefits, getting insurance payouts, and even getting medical advice.

          Still, the security of the digital IDV process is the number one concern that is forming the industry’s landscape and driving the majority of significant changes.

    • Environment

      • Energy/Transportation

        • There are 10 Biggest Problems With Electric Cars… | Stop at Zona-M

          post on Medium describes ten fundamental problems with battery electric vehicle (BEVs) as a leading climate change mitigation option.

          Here, I argue that the first problem is the biggest, and that it should be too much for the industry, even if it were the only one.


          To begin with, it makes no sense to expect that BEVs could replace cars as quickly as “normal” cars replaced carts and horses.

          That happened because cars were objectively better than horses in many ways. But BEVs are still just cars. In any REAL WORLD scenario, cars will never eliminate traffic, save you money, move you faster or find parking spots more quickly just by being electric.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Monopolies

      • CCIAAICOA’s Failure and the Future of Competition Policy in Congress – Disruptive Competition Project

        As the 118th Congress gets underway, it is useful to examine why the previous session’s “antitrust” efforts failed, and to consider how the House and Senate should proceed with competition and internet policy that would actually encourage innovation and competition while protecting America’s global edge in the technology sector.

        Despite much fanfare and promises by lawmakers and proponents, misguided antitrust legislation designed to weaken some of America’s most prominent technology companies was not even brought to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives or the Senate. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (“AICOA”)(S.2992 / H.R.3816) failed to pass because of serious privacy, security, and content moderation problems that were identified early on but never adequately addressed by sponsors and supporters.

        The collapse of AICOA illuminates the fundamental problem with current antitrust efforts in Congress. For decades courts and antitrust agencies have put consumers first in their evaluation of competition in the economy. This attention to the consumer welfare standard has led to tremendous benefits for innovation and the broader economy. Current lawmakers are instead obsessed with the size or conduct of specific companies and how to exert pressure on them or break them up. It is time for Congress to return to basic economics and promote antitrust efforts from a grounded, evidence-driven perspective or the failures of this legislative approach will be repeated in the new Congress.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

    • Politics

      • Antitheism

        I’m an atheist. In this post I’ll clarify why I think antitheism is a flawed position.

    • Technical

      • Thinkpad thermal paste replacement

        I live in a refurbished Thinkpad household. I use an X220 as my “daily driver” (lately it’s sometimes been more like a “weekly driver”, but whatever), while my wife has an X230. The X230 has been struggling against pretty severe overheating issues for a long time now. It doesn’t get hot enough to cross any alarm thresholds, triggering a shutdown or anything like that, but it routinely gets way too hot to comfortably use on a lap. So, I finally took advantage of recent holiday downtime to replace the thermal paste on both CPUs and clean the fans out with compressed air. This was by far the most substantial laptop maintenance work I’ve done. Back in the Good Old Days (TM) of IDE and ISA and PCI, when RAM capacity and CPU clocks were strictly Megaunit affairs, I knew pretty well what I was doing when it came to PC internals, and my teenage bedroom often resembled one of those iconic scenes from Serial Experiments: Lain, but it’s been a looong time and I’m well and truly out of the loop, hardware-wise. I didn’t become a laptop user until quite late in life, and so I’ve just never done anything other than replace hard disks or RAM.

      • Pocket Ereader and Austria

        I’ve had this little Eink “development” device, the M5Paper, for a while now and it has mostly been relegated to the fridge as a weather forecast dashboard and lately it’s just been in the drawer. I had high hopes that someone (not me, I’m not that smart) would develop some sort of multipurpose firmware that could do various useful things like reading text of different sorts and maybe some other PIM type stuff. That has not happened unfortunately and I was starting to consider selling it on to someone that can actually you know, develop things. Then I was going through my github stars and looking at the recently updated repos to see if anything interesting had happend with any of the projects I follow there when I saw this diy-esp32-epub-reader project. I have no recollection of finding this before or starring it. Maybe it was not very far along when I first discovered it so it left my brain rather quickly? Well I flashed it and it turns out it is quite serviceable as a super basic ereader! I mean really, really basic but it does get the primary job done of reading epubs and it fits in a pocket very nicely.

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

Links 06/01/2023: GNOME 44 Schedule is Ready

Posted in News Roundup at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Make Use Of9 Reasons Why Linux Might Catch Up to Windows and macOS in 2023

        Linux distros already dominate the server world. But can Linux catch up to and surpass Windows and macOS in the desktop market?

        Linux may not get as much attention as other tech fields, but its future looks brighter in 2023 and beyond thanks to several trends that have been going on through 2022.

        Let’s take a look at them and see why Linux may finally catch up to Windows and macOS in the new year.

      • University of TorontoThe different sorts of ‘iconification’ of windows in X

        In X, application windows can be in a variety of states. They can be on the screen, they can not have been ‘mapped’ yet, they can be mapped but located off the currently visible area of the screen (many of my windows spend a lot of time in other pages of my virtual desktop), and pretty much since the beginning they can be what was originally called ‘iconified’ but which these days is often called ‘minimized’ in documentation that ordinary people read.

      • [Old] Trashware, a practice whose time has passed? | Stop at Zona-M

        Back in 2010, I explained that “trashware” is the practice of saving “old” computers from the trash bin, and successfully reusing them, thanks to Free Software like Linux. Today, I share, with permission from the author, a reformatted translation of this email about the serious limits and hurdles of doing trashware today.


        Giomba’s own, final observations were that, when compared with the huge effort madem, 40 computers are a really small number, that make it hard to expect that trashware may be regularly practiced. But if asked again to do it, they will certainly accept, as knowing they can help someone is always a great reward!

      • My own thoughts on why trashware’s time has passed | Stop at Zona-M

        Two months ago I posted here the thoughts of a Linux user on why, and how, the practice of trashware, that is saving “old” computers from the trash bin, and successfully reusing them, thanks to Free Software like Linux, has passed its time.

      • My own thoughts on why trashware’s time has passed, part 2 | Stop at Zona-M

        and so on. All things for which there is no intrinsic need to know how to program or do system administration. In short, and always without belittling those who still want to focus on trashware and succeed: if we talk about digital competence and awareness, at the point we have reached there is a much more urgent need for people who know and do and ask for things like those , and when I manage to meet people willing to learn more at that level, I don’t even get to talk to them about trashware, and there’s almost never time.

    • Server

      • TechdirtYou No Longer Own What You Buy: Arlo Cameras Lose Updates, Cloud Storage

        One of the common themes here at Techdirt over the last decade is how the very meaning of “ownership” and “property” has changed — often for the worse. In the broadband connected era, firmware updates can often eliminate functionality promised to you at launch, as we saw with the Sony PlayStation 3. And with everything now relying on internet connectivity, companies can often give up on supporting devices entirely, often leaving users with very expensive paperweights as we saw after Google acquired Revolv.

      • Unix MenTranscription Services on Linux: A Guide to Enhancing Productivity and Efficiency

        In conclusion, Linux provides a powerful platform for transcription services. It offers many advantages over other operating systems, including its open-source nature and excellent security features. Additionally, AI-powered transcription services can help to improve accuracy and reduce the amount of time needed for manual editing. With the right hardware and software setup, businesses can take advantage of transcription services on Linux to streamline their workflows and improve efficiency.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Graphics Stack

      • Who-T: X servers no longer allow byte-swapped clients

        In the beginning, there was the egg. Then fictional people started eating that from different ends, and the terms of “little endians” and “Big Endians” was born.

        Computer architectures (mostly) come with one of either byte order: MSB first or LSB first. The two are incompatible of course, and many a bug was introduced trying to convert between the two (or, more common: failing to do so). The two byte orders were termed Big Endian and little endian, because that hilarious naming scheme at least gives us something to laugh about while contemplating throwing it all away and considering a future as, I don’t know, a strawberry plant.

        Back in the mullet-infested 80s when the X11 protocol was designed both little endian and big endian were common enough. And back then running the X server on a different host than the client was common too – the X terminals back then had less processing power than a smart toilet seat today so the cpu-intensive clients were running on some mainfraime. To avoid overtaxing the poor mainframe already running dozens of clients for multiple users, the job of converting between the two byte orders was punted to the X server. So to this day whenever a client connects, the first byte it sends is a literal “l” or “B” to inform the server of the client’s byte order. Where the byte order doesn’t match the X server’s byte order, the client is a “swapped client” in X server terminology and all 16, 32, and 64-bit values must be “byte-swapped” into the server’s byte order. All of those values in all requests, and then again back to the client’s byte order in all outgoing replies and events. Forever, till a crash do them part.

        If you get one of those wrong, the number is no longer correct. And it’s properly wrong too, the difference between 0×1 and 0×01000000 is rather significant. [0] Which has the hilarious side-effect of… well, pretty much anything. But usually it ranges from crashing the server (thus taking all other clients down in commiseration) to leaking random memory locations. The list of security issues affecting the various SProcFoo implementations (X server naming scheme for Swapped Procedure for request Foo) is so long that I’m too lazy to pull out the various security advisories and link to them. Just believe me, ok? *jedi handwave*

      • LWNHutterer: X servers no longer allow byte-swapped clients [LWN.net]

        Peter Hutterer writes about the disabling of support for byte-swapped clients in the X.org server and the reasons why this was done.

      • GamingOnLinuxNVIDIA driver v525.78.01 out fixing bugs and supports RTX 4070 Ti

        NVIDIA has today released driver version 525.78.01 for Linux which includes support for the new RTX 4070 Ti, along with a few select bug fixes. Not that you would want to buy an RTX 4070 Ti, since it’s ridiculous for the price.

    • Applications

      • Trend OceansFirewallD released the first update of 2023. Let’s see what the new features are

        Let’s take a look at the latest version of FirewallD, which was released at the start of 2023.

      • Trend OceansPinta Installation Instructions for all Major Linux Distributions and Microsoft Windows

        Who doesn’t have a memory when it comes to painting? Every painting has a memory, especially if it was created by you at some point in your life. So let’s download the software and make the memory

      • Medevel17 Open Source Free API Testing And Development Apps

        API or Application Programming Interface is a set of protocols, definitions that allow different programs or systems to talk or message with each other.

        Companies develop API software in order to deliver their services quicker, integrate their service with third-party, or even create scalable mobile, desktop, and web apps using the same API endpoints.

        API testing and debugging is an essential part of API development workflow, no matter what type of API service you are building.

      • It’s FOSSFOSS Weekly #23.01: New Year, New FOSS, New Distros, Recommended Tools and More Linux Stuff

        Happy new year

        What’s new in the new year 2023? It’s FOSS :)

        If you have visited the website, you might have already noticed that it has changed drastically.

        We worked on moving the website from WordPress to Ghost during the winter holidays. It was supposed to be your Christmas gift but things took longer than expected.

        The new platform provides a lean, clean and faster website. You’ll notice the speed boost while browsing the site, especially on mobile devices.

        A new commenting system is in place that allows adding images and gifs. The dark theme blends well with your system preference.

        More pleasant changes will be added in the coming weeks. I’ll create a separate page detailing how you can get more out of your experience with It’s FOSS.

        Meanwhile, please send me your feedback on the new design, if things are working as expected or if you notice strange behavior.

      • TecMint10 Top Open Source Caching Tools for Linux in 2023

        Reliable distributed computing systems and applications have become the cornerstone of prominent businesses, especially in automating and managing mission-critical business processes and delivering services to customers.

        As developers and system administrators of these systems and applications, you are expected to provide all kinds of information technology (IT) solutions that will ensure that you have the most efficient systems available.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 74: using !important in cascade layers

        In order to understand how !important works in cascade layers, you have to understand how !important works generally. The conclusion of this post might not be what you expect.

      • RachelAnother look at the steps for issuing a cert

        How about we give that a shot now? Let’s just go through the steps for getting a secure web site going, and ignore the specifics of the protocol for the moment.

        First, the baseline assumptions: there’s a key. There’s a certificate signing request which references that key. Then there’s the certificate itself with a signature which attaches it to the “web of trust” (ehhh…) that is largely accepted by most clients. Okay?

      • Jim NielsenJustify Space Between Individual Items in Flexbox

        This is a seemingly trivial thing but I’ve probably looked it up at least three times now, so it’s time to write a blog post about it in hopes that I’ll finally remember the solution.

        tl;dr when aligning a flat hierarchy of items with flexbox, you can use margin: auto to get the effect of justification between individual items.

      • RachelS p a m m y s y s c a l l s in strace dumps

        The problem comes when you have a program that has a bunch of stuff to put on the wire, and yet it does it with individual calls to write(). Instead of pushing (say) ~2 KB at the network with a single call, it instead spins through the buffer, writing each one individually. Now you have 2000 packets flying around, all with their headers and everything else as overhead. Having the kernel batch this up is basically saving the world from broken code.

      • Data SwampHow to boot on a BTRFS snapshot

        I always wanted to have a simple rollback method on Linux systems, NixOS gave me a full featured one, but it wasn’t easy to find a solution for other distributions.

        Fortunately, with BTRFS, it’s really simple thanks to snapshots being mountable volumes.

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

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CoreFreq on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, CoreFreq is a useful tool for monitoring the performance of x86 CPUs and identifying potential issues or bottlenecks. Its real-time monitoring capabilities and support for multiple CPUs make it a valuable tool for system administrators and developers.

        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 CoreFreq to display real-time information about your CPU performance on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • Beginners Guide for Ping Command in Linux

        PING, also known as “Packet Internet Groper,” is the most common networking tool used in Windows, Linux, and macOS to test the connection between the source and the destination.

        The destination, or remote system, could be a web server, your router, or a computer on your local network; you will specify them with their domain or IP address.

        When you specify the destination (domain or IP address), the ping command will send a series of ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) packets to the remote system and wait for the response.

        In the response output, you will get different pieces of information using which you can determine whether the remote system is alive or not, the latency of the network, and how many packets are dropped.

        Although you might already be aware of the basic usage of this command, stick with this article to learn several variations and options for the ping command (with examples).

      • Beginners Guide for Hash Command in Linux

        You might already be aware of the Linux shell’s default behavior of capturing each user’s executed commands and storing them in the “~/.bash_history” file, so later you can view the history list using the history command.

        Although, history is not the only location where your executed commands are stored, a Linux shell like Bash, Ksh, or Zsh also stores the user’s executed commands in a list known as a hash list.

        In this article, you will learn what the hash list is, the differences between it and the history list, and how to use its command-line tool to manage records in the hash list in Linux.

      • TechRepublicHow to deploy Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu Server

        Need to serve your java apps from a user-friend web app? Look no further than Tomcat. Find out how to install Tomcat on Ubuntu Linux.

      • DebugPointLearn w Command in Linux & BSD with Examples

        The w command is a utility in Linux that displays information about the users currently logged into the system and their processes. It shows who is logged on and what activities they are doing. That means it can show what processes they are running in their system.

        Here’s some examples.

      • UNIX CopHow to install VIM text editor on Ubuntu 22.04?

        In this post, you will learn how to install VIM on Ubuntu 22.04 VIM is a very popular text editor, so it is always convenient to have it at hand.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Install Chrony NTP to Synchronize Time in RHEL9/8

        Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a networking protocol that synchronizes time and date settings across computer systems in a network. It is responsible for maintaining accurate time and date settings in computer systems in order for them to run critical tasks such as cron jobs, shell scripts, and real-time applications.

        NTP has since been replaced by chronyd, a networking daemon that is an implementation of the Network Time Protocol. The Chronyd service synchronizes the system clock with online NTP servers or an on-premise NTP server.

        Chronyd is tailored to function in unfavorable networking environments such as in heavily congested networks and intermittent network connections. It records impressive time accuracy within a few milliseconds for systems synchronized over the internet and tens of microseconds for computers on a LAN.

      • markaicode by MarkGeany Installation on Linux Mint 21 | Mark Ai Code

        Geany is the most widely used, lightweight, quick, and open-source text editor for programming. It is a multi-platform program that operates on a variety of platforms including NetBSD, Solaris, Windows, and Linux.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Upgrade Fedora in Easy Steps | Mark Ai Code

        If you are a new Fedora user, you may not be aware that it is available in many versions. The most recent version of Fedora is the “main” version, also known as the “Current” version. This indicates that developers have previously issued versions that consumers may upgrade from a lower version. This article examines how to update your Fedora distribution.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Install VirtualBox 7.0 on RHEL 9 | Mark Ai Code

        Oracle VM VirtualBox is a prominent free and open-source virtualization software extensively used by desktop enthusiasts, system administrators, and programmers to construct virtual machines for testing operating systems, among other things.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Install CakePHP Framework on Ubuntu 22.04 | Mark Ai Code

        This guide examines how to install VirtualBox 7.0 on RHEL 9 editions in order to construct guest virtual machines from an ISO image file.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Install Telegram on Fedora Linux 37 | Mark Ai Code

        Telegram is a free smartphone messenger similar to WhatsApp. Users connect using their phone numbers and can quickly talk, exchange photographs, videos, documents, and files, and download them. In addition, video and phone conversations may be conducted, and polls, groups, and channels can be formed to network with one another. Telegram is especially popular because of the latter capability.

        Installing software on Windows and macOS is quite straightforward, but Linux users are less acquainted with the process. As a result, if you’re running Fedora Linux and wish to install the Telegram client, follow the instructions below.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Redirect 404 Error to Home Page in WordPress | Mark Ai Code

        The 404 error code indicates that the requested page does not exist on the server. If you’re receiving repeated 404 errors on your WordPress site and don’t have a 404 page. In this case, simply redirect all 404 requests to your website’s home page with a 301 redirect. You do not need to install any additional plugins on your site to do this, instead, a little PHP code will do it for you.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Linux LinksBest Free Android Apps: KOReader – document viewer

          KOReader is a document viewer for a wide variety of file formats. It’s available for Linux, Android, and E Ink devices.

          The software has 2 interfaces consisting of a reading screen and a file browser. The image below shows the file browser.

          The most important thing to learn about the reading screen is where to tap/click. This is neatly illustrated in the software’ user guide.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 9to5LinuxGNOME 44 Desktop Environment Is Slated for Release on March 22nd, 2023

          While you are probably enjoying your GNOME 43 desktop environment, the GNOME devs are already working hard on the next major release, GNOME 44, due out in late March 2023 with more new features and enhancements.

          That’s right, GNOME 44 is coming in a few months as yet another major update in the GNOME 40 series of this popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions. The release schedule was published a while ago, suggesting a final release date of March 22nd, 2023.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • DebugPointTop 10 Linux Distributions for Programmers in 2023 [Featured]

      We review the top 10 best Linux distributions for programmers and developers to help with their work and personal projects.

      Developers or programmers use various tools and applications for their job or projects. It includes code editors, programming language compilers, add-ons, databases, etc.

    • It’s FOSSBudgie’s Upcoming 10.7 Release Promises These 3 Key Improvements for Linux Users

      Budgie is a desktop environment designed to keep clutter to a minimum and provide users with a clean/minimal experience.

      Back in January 2022, the former-co-lead of Solus, Joshua Strobl left Solus to work on SerpentOS, but he continued to work on Budgie.

      So, he forked the project into a new repository and formed the Buddies Of Budgie organization. Three months after that, they released Budgie 10.6.

      It was a good release, if not extraordinary.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Pointless tribalism in FOSS | AksDev

      I’m not talking about critique. Assholes of the world love to pretend their behavior is “critique” but rest of us know that’s not how it works. If it uses inflammatory language and insults, it’s not critique.

      I for sure ignore any complaints about my games and projects that start with telling me off, either directly or indirectly. I do not care at that point. Seethe.

      Sure this is more an internet/human problem in general, but there’s nothing to gain from this, especially in FOSS world. We’re a small community, trying to survive against big money corporations. FOSS projects don’t suddenly get more money if people go “X is better and Y users are dumby smelly.” There just is no reason to be an ass about any of this.

      Why jeopardise all these years of survival for some shit-talk?

      The usual one is the GNOME vs KDE “debate”, that is so pointless I don’t even understand why it exists.

      The answer to these “debates” is simple: Try all desktop environments that interest you. Stick with the one that you like best.

      No need to bring flamewars into this. Completely pointless.

    • OpenSource.comUse time-series data to power your edge projects with open source tools

      Gathering data as it changes over the passage of time is known as time-series data. Today, it has become a part of every industry and ecosystem. It is a large part of the growing IoT sector and will become a larger part of everyday people’s lives. But time-series data and its requirements are hard to work with. This is because there are no tools that are purpose-built to work with time-series data. In this article, I go into detail about those problems and how InfluxData has been working to solve them for the past 10 years.

      InfluxData is an open source time-series database platform. You may know about the company through InfluxDB, but you may not have known that it specialized in time-series databases. This is significant, because when managing time-series data, you deal with two issues — storage lifecycle and queries.

    • NVISO LabsDeTT&CT: Automate your detection coverage with dettectinator

      Dettectinator is a tool developed by Martijn Veken and Ruben Bouman of Sirius Security that enables the automation of DeTT&CT data source and technique administration YAML files needed to create visibility and detection layers in the ATT&CK Navigator. This tool can be integrated as a Python library within your security operations center (SOC) automation tools or used via the command line.

    • Remy Van ElstLeaf Node Monitoring v2023.01 released, major performance improvements, new layout and new checks!

      I’m pleased to announce the next version of Leaf Node Monitoring, the simple and easy to use open source site and server monitoring tool. Major new features include a responsive and adjustable layout, massive performance improvements and a new check type, allowing you to execute external processes, for example, the nagios/monitoring plugins. This post goes over everything that is new in this release.

    • Programming/Development

      • How to make your application support Input method under Linux | CS Slayer

        As an Linux application developer, one might not aware that there could be certain effort required to support Input Method (or Input Method Editor, usually referred as IME) under Linux.


        Even if you are not aware, you are probably already using it in daily life. For example, the virtual keyboard on your smart phone is a form of input method. You may noticed that the virtual keyboard allows you to type something, and gives you a list of words based on what you already partially typed. That is a very simple use case of input method. But for CJKV (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese) users, Input method is necessary for them to type their own language properly. Basically imagine this: you only have 26 English key on the keyboard, how could you type thousands of different Chinese characters by a physical keyboard with only limited keys? The answers, using a mapping that maps a sequence of key into certain characters. In order to make it easy to memorize, usually such mapping is similar to what is called Transliteration , or directly use an existing Romanization system.

      • D LangMemory Safety in a Systems Programming Language Part 3

        The first entry in this series shows how to use the new DIP1000 rules to have slices and pointers refer to the stack, all while being memory safe. The second entry in this series teaches about the ref storage class and how DIP1000 works with aggregate types (classes, structs, and unions).

        So far the series has deliberately avoided templates and auto functions. This kept the first two posts simpler in that they did not have to deal with function attribute inference, which I have referred to as “attribute auto inference” in earlier posts. However, both auto functions and templates are very common in D code, so a series on DIP1000 can’t be complete without explaining how those features work with the language changes. Function attribute inference is our most important tool in avoiding so-called “attribute soup”, where a function is decorated with several attributes, which arguably decreases readability.

        We will also dig deeper into unsafe code. The previous two posts in this series focused on the scope attribute, but this post is more focused on attributes and memory safety in general. Since DIP1000 is ultimately about memory safety, we can’t get around discussing those topics.

      • RlangLollipop chart

        According to modern recommendations in data viz, lollipop charts are generally a better alternative to bar charts, as they reduce the visual distortion caused by the length of the bars, making it easier to compare the values. So, in the next versions of the ‘modEvA‘ and ‘fuzzySim‘ packages, functions that produce bar plots will instead (by default) produce lollipop charts, using the new ‘lollipop’ function which will be included in ‘modEvA‘. I know ‘ggplot2‘ produces great lollipop charts already, but I like to keep my package dependencies to a minimum, or else they become much harder to maintain… So here’s the new function: [...]

      • RlangCombining R and Python with {reticulate} and Quarto

        The R versus Python debate has been going on for as long as both languages have existed. I’m not one to takes sides – I think you need to use the best tool for the job. Sometimes R will be better. Sometimes Python will be better. But what happens if you need both languages in the same workflow? Do you need to choose? No, is the simple answer. You can use both. This blog post will show you how you can combine R and Python code in the same analysis using {reticulate} and output the results using Quarto.

      • Daniel LemireTranscoding Unicode with AVX-512: AMD Zen 4 vs. Intel Ice Lake

        Most systems today rely on Unicode strings. However, we have two popular Unicode formats: UTF-8 and UTF-16. We often need to convert from one format to the other. For example, you might have a database formatted with UTF-16, but you need to produce JSON documents using UTF-8. This conversion is often called ‘transcoding’.

        In the last few years, we wrote a specialized library that process Unicode strings, with a focus on performance: the simdutf library. The library is used JavaScript runtimes (Node JS and bun).

      • Barry KaulerStarted developing automatic language translation

        The trick in the script is that it forces certain strings to not be translated. In the above example, that is “EasyOS”, “${VER}” and “http://from.here.com/subdir”

      • OpenSource.comAn introduction to DocArray, an open source AI library

        DocArray is a library for nested, unstructured, multimodal data in transit, including text, image, audio, video, 3D mesh, and so on. It allows deep-learning engineers to efficiently process, embed, search, store, recommend, and transfer multi-modal data with a Pythonic API. Starting in November of 2022, DocArray is open source and hosted by the Linux Foundation AI & Data initiative so that there’s a neutral home for building and supporting an open AI and data community. This is the start of a new day for DocArray.

        In the ten months since DocArray’s first release, its developers at Jina AI have seen more and more adoption and contributions from the open source community. Today, DocArray powers hundreds of multimodal AI applications.

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayReplace Your Automatic Transmission With A Bunch Of Relays

      A “Check Engine” light on your dashboard could mean anything from a loose gas cap to a wallet-destroying repair in the offing. For [Dean Segovis], his CEL was indicating a fairly serious condition: a missing transmission. So naturally, he built this electronic transmission emulator to solve the problem.

    • Counter PunchThe King and the Champ: More Than Just Sports Icons

      The recent death of Pelé has elicited universal admiration for him as a player and person. Considered the greatest soccer player of all time, he was eulogized well beyond his native Brazil. (Pelé was declared an “official national treasure” in 1961 by the Brazilian government  to prevent him from being transferred to a foreign club.) Pelé’s enchanting smile and legendary soccer accomplishments endeared him to millions around the world. The president of the world’s soccer association, FIFA, told journalists: “We’re going to ask every country in the world to name one of their football stadiums with the name of Pelé.” Not since the heyday of Muhammad Ali had the world seen such a sports legend who became a larger-than-life figure capturing global popularity and veneration.

      What is it about Pelé and Ali that led so many people to admire them?

    • Counter PunchNepo Babies and the Myth of the Meritocracy

      There is a common feeling that many of us have experienced in professional or academic environments, especially when we struggle against gender or racial bias. It’s called “imposter syndrome”—the feeling that one doesn’t deserve one’s position and that others will discover this lack of competence at any moment. I felt this way as a female graduate student in a science field in the 1990s. I felt it as a young journalist of color in a white-dominated industry.

      The rich and the elite among us appear to feel the opposite—that they are deserving of unearned privilege. A recent series of stories in New York Magazine headlined “The Year of the Nepo Baby” has struck a chord among those who are being outed for having benefited from insider status. Nepo babies are the children of the rich and famous, the ones who are borne of naked nepotism and whose ubiquity exposes the myth of American meritocracy. Nepo babies can be found everywhere there is power.

    • The NationWhy the Godfather of Human Rights Is Not Welcome at Harvard

      Soon after Kenneth Roth announced in April that he planned to step down as the head of Human Rights Watch, he was contacted by Sushma Raman, the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Raman asked Roth if he would be interested in joining the center as a senior fellow. It seemed like a natural fit. In Roth’s nearly 30 years as the executive director of HRW, its budget had grown from $7 million to nearly $100 million, and its staff had gone from 60 to 550 people monitoring more than 100 countries. The “godfather” of human rights, The New York Times called him in a long, admiring overview of his career, noting that Roth “has been an unrelenting irritant to authoritarian governments, exposing human rights abuses with documented research reports that have become the group’s specialty.” HRW played a prominent role in establishing the International Criminal Court, and it helped secure the convictions of Charles Taylor of Liberia, Alberto Fujimori of Peru, and (in a tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) the Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.1

    • Common DreamsIsraeli Government Accused of ‘Assassinating Democracy’ With Proposed Judiciary Overhaul

      Israeli liberals and critics around the world sounded the alarm Thursday over a plan by Israel’s new far-right government to dramatically limit the power of the country’s judiciary, in part by allowing a simple parliamentary majority to overturn Supreme Court rulings.

    • Counter PunchDecoding Israeli ‘Extremism’

      Anyone with but half eye open during the last several decades should by now realize that undisclosed Zionist Long Game preceded the establishment of Israel in 1948, and aims at extending Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Occupied Palestine, with the possible exception of Gaza. The significance of Netanyahu’s public affirmation of this previously secretive long game is that it may be reaching its final phase and the far right governing coalition is poised to pursue closure.

      Netanyahu claim of exclusive Israel’s supremacy on behalf of the Jewish people over the whole of the promised land is in direct defiance of international law. Additionally, Netanyahu’s statement is at direct odds with Biden’s stubborn insistence, however farfetched, on reaffirming support for two-state solution. This zombie approach to resolving the Israel/Palestine struggle has dominated international diplomacy for years, usefully allowing the UN and its Western members to maintain their embrace of Israel without seeming to throw the Palestinian people under the bus.

    • ScheerpostNetanyahu Ushers in the Most Anti-Palestinian Government in Israel’s History

      The new government will annex the West Bank, expand illegal Jewish settlements and discriminate against LGBTQ people.

    • Democracy NowDiana Buttu & Gideon Levy: Israel’s New Far-Right Gov’t Entrenches Apartheid System with U.S. Support

      Far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Tuesday visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem is being roundly condemned across the Middle East. Ben-Gvir is a key part of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new far-right government, which includes ultranationalist and ultraorthodox parties that are calling openly for the annexation of the West Bank. “The international community has to speak with one voice in rejecting this extremism and rejecting those terrorists and those elements of fascists in the Israeli government,” Palestine’s ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, urged Wednesday. In 2007, Ben-Gvir was convicted in an Israeli court of incitement to racism and supporting a terrorist organization. In 2021, he relocated his parliamentary office to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, where settlers have attempted to violently evict Palestinian residents from their homes. As the newly sworn-in minister of national security, Ben-Gvir will now be responsible for border police in the West Bank. We speak to Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist and author, and Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization, about Ben-Gvir’s visit, Netanyahu’s new government and surging violence against Palestinians.

    • Common DreamsHow Do You Mourn the Death of an Israeli Democracy That Never Was?

      Even before the new Israeli government was officially sworn in on December 29, angry reactions began emerging, not only among Palestinians and other Middle Eastern governments, but also among Israel’s historic allies in the West.

    • Counter PunchIsrael Was Never a Democracy: So why is the West Lamenting End of ‘Liberal’ Israel?

      Even before the new Israeli government was officially sworn in on December 29, angry reactions began emerging, not only among Palestinians and other Middle Eastern governments, but also among Israel’s historic allies in the West.

      As early as November 2, top US officials conveyed to Axios that the Joe Biden Administration is “unlikely to engage with Jewish supremacist politician, Itamar Ben-Gvir”.

    • AdafruitIf The Lord of the Rings Was an 80s Dark Fantasy Film

      This is pretty fun. It’s digital concept art of what Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films might have looked like if they were 80s dark fantasy.

    • Jamie Brandon0031: 2022, systems distributed, [...]

      I gave up on twitter, so this log is now only posted via atom or email. [...]

    • Adriaan ZhangSomething Meaningful to Me

      I remember when I first learned that once the Sun had depleted its supplies of hydrogen over the span of five billion years, it would swell in size, consuming Earth as it entered the penultimate stage of its life. For ten year old me, this was one of the most pressing threats that I faced, second only to death by black hole. I cursed the duplicitous nature of the star that gave us warmth and light, furious that it would destroy my home planet long before I got a chance to observe the many cosmic events that were set to transpire after its untimely incineration.

    • Meduza‘Spare us the hypocrisy’ Ukraine doesn’t want Putin’s Orthodox Christmas ceasefire — Meduza

      Orthodox Christians in both Ukraine and Russia celebrate Christmas on its Julian date, January 7. Making yet another offensively “unifying” gesture, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, proposed that Russia and Ukraine cease their “infighting” for 36 hours, to let Orthodox believers attend Christmas church services. Despite Kyiv’s immediate criticism of the “truce” as nothing but a “cynical trap” and a “piece of propaganda,” Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the patriarch’s proposal, instructing the Defense Ministry to implement a temporary ceasefire on Orthodox Christmas.

    • Common Dreams‘Keep Hypocrisy to Yourself,’ Says Ukraine Official After Putin Orders Christmas Truce

      Under pressure from a key religious leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a 36-hour cease-fire for the war on Ukraine launched last February—a move swiftly criticized by an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

    • Telex (Hungary)Hungarian professor who taught lecture from trenches receives mini-sculpture in Ukraine
    • Counter PunchNeo-Zapatismo and Me

      I was a first-hand witness and then an active participant in a socio-political phenomenon that erupted out of Mexico, went global and became known as Neo-Zapatismo.

      As a witness, I just happened to be there when it started, on day one, when no one had a clue what was going on, including, and especially, the Mexican Army, not to mention the Mexican government, Washington, the CIA and any number of international journalists who started to pour into town on day two. Which is when I became an active participant, because the first journalists to arrive found me, and pretty soon all the others started to look me up, too. Meanwhile, the CIA moved into my home, or rather, where I lived and worked at the time, and my life shifted into any number of unknown new gears.

    • Counter PunchThe French Baguette

      The French baguette is a generic word for things long and thin – stick, rod, etc. Hence une baguette magique – the stuff of children’s stories and adult illusions.

      The most important baguette, of course, is the one we eat. The French consume them in their billions each year.

    • Counter PunchA Genuine Working Class Hero

      I had barely finished reading Robert W. Cherny’s new biography of International Longshore Workers’ Union (ILWU) longtime leader titled Harry Bridges: Labor Radical, Labor Legend when an email popped in my box with a statement from a group of retired and current ILWU members calling for the union to “oppose the US/NATO-provoked war in Ukraine.” This call, signed by a couple of dozen folks, is a welcome reminder that organized labor can make a difference beyond the contracts it helps its members hammer out. It is also a confirmation of the radical nature of the ILWU. Unlike so many other unions, the ILWU has generally rejected identifying with the numerous imperial adventures the United States has engaged in since the early twentieth century. Instead, it has decried these actions in word and deed, often staging one-day strikes against certain military actions and even refusing to load munitions bound for another US-created war. Likewise, it was ILWU that joined together with Occupy Wall Street in Oakland, CA. to organize a one-day city-wide strike and shut down the Port of Oakland in 2011.

      Cherny’s text is about as complete a biography of Bridges as one will find. Politically astute and with a deep understanding of the complexities of labor organizing and union work, the text presents a portrait of a man, his politics, and his steadfast belief in the necessity and potential power of an organized working class. Simultaneously, the reader is provided a detailed history of laborers on the docks of the United States’ west coast. There is little to nothing left out of this history; the conflicts with the magnates of the shipping industry and the conflicts with other unions over turf and politics. Also included are detailed explorations of the conflicts within the union Bridges presided over for decades–conflicts over politics, overt racism, and over worker solidarity. To his credit, the picture the reader ultimately sees by the time they have finished the book is one of the best pictures of labor unionism ever written down. In this reviewer’s opinion, it ranks with the various volumes of the classic The Industrial Workers of the World by Fred Thompson and Jon Bekken or Philip Foner’s multivolume classic History of the US Labor Movement.

    • Counter PunchThe Slippery Slope: Jacobin and Downhill Skiing

      Jacobin is a publication that is described by those responsible for it as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.”

      Would you expect those responsible for what Jacobin publishes to include an article with the title Nationalize the Ski Slopes (which is referring to downhill ski resorts) calling for “powder to the people” by a writer who sees himself as “exploring and explaining socialism with simple words and real examples” as being anything other than a joke?

    • Counter PunchThe Greatest Depression of All?

      Let me start 2023 with a glance back at a December news moment that caught my eye. To do so, however, I have to offer a bit of explanation.

      First, the obvious: I’m an old guy and, though I spend significant parts of any day scrolling through endless websites covering aspects of our ever-changing world, I have a subscription — yes, it’s still possible! — to the New York Times. That’s the paper New York Times. For those of you too young to know, once long ago, in an era when TVs were still black and white and the Internet, at best, a figment of some sci-fi novelist’s imagination, all papers and magazines were printed and sold on actual paper. Hence, of course, the graphically descriptive and definitional name “newspaper.”

    • Science

      • HackadayRetrotechtacular: Critical Code Reading, 70s Style

        Anyone who has ever made a living writing code has probably had some version of the following drilled into their head: “Always write your code so the next person can understand it.” Every single coder has then gone on to do exactly the opposite, using cryptic variables and bizarre structures that nobody else could possibly follow. And every single coder has also forgotten the next part of that saying — “Because the next person could be you” — and gone on to curse out an often anonymous predecessor when equally inscrutable code is thrust upon them to maintain. Cognitive dissonance be damned!

    • Education

      • Mark NottinghamWhat I Learned in Law School

        In the last decade or so, it’s become increasingly apparent that the Internet is going to be subject to more legal regulation. Because it’s a global network, this is tricky; fragmentation risk grows if regulation isn’t consistent between jurisdictions. And of course, there are all the other pitfalls of regulation — it’s difficult to agree on societal goals, much less change working systems to meet those goals without ill effect.

        When I saw this happening from the perspective of a technical contributor to the Internet and Web, as well as one who’s held leadership positions such as on the W3C TAG and Internet Architecture Board, I frequently observed a gap — well-meaning technical people who didn’t understand policy issues (or worse, made naïve assumptions about how that world works), and well-intentioned policy people who didn’t have a deep understanding about how tech works.

        So I decided to educate myself. Looking around, I saw several social science-based programs that focus on the Internet, but I wanted to understand the other sort of ‘code’ — the law. I didn’t want a JD; just an education in how the law works, with a focus on the Internet.

    • Hardware

      • GamingOnLinuxAMD reveal Ryzen 7000 X3D processors, desktop 65W CPUs and new mobile chips

        AMD came out with a bang at CES with a whole bunch of new products, including some impressive looking X3D processors added to the Ryzen 7000 lineup.

      • The Next PlatformPaving The Way For 800 Gb/sec Ethernet In The Enterprise

        There are exceptions to every rule, but in general, when it comes to datacenter networks, enterprise customers are doing now what the hyperscalers and cloud builders were doing six or seven years ago. Each set of customers have very precise needs, which is why switch ASIC makers have different chips aimed at different parts of the market and why the major Ethernet switch makers – both OEMs and ODMs – have a wide portfolio of devices.

        Enterprises have much smaller Ethernet networks linking their systems – by several orders of magnitude – and they tend to run at lower bandwidth networks as well – by maybe a factor of 2X to 20X, depending on the use case. It is tough to say if servers have lower Ethernet network interface speeds because they network has lower bandwidth or if the network speed drives the NIC speed. But what is definitely true is that enterprises are in different places in the evolution of their networks compared to the hyperscalers and cloud builders.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Counter PunchThe Salton Sump and the Virtual Sea

        The Salton Sea, its glory days long gone, is now a 35-mile- long growing hazard to public health for miles around, a mortal danger to the water fowl migrating on the Pacific Flyway, death to the fish that once inhabited it, but a boon to all who hustle public funds in the name of  positive solutions.

        One of the largest hustlers, for example, the Salton Sea Management Program, consists of three state agencies, The California Natural Resources Agency, the California Department of Water Resources, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, so the funds stay among friends. The state has pledged about $400 million for its efforts at habitat rehabilitation over the next decade.

      • James GTaking a break from personal projects: Mental health and coding

        Compounded with other factors, writing more personal projects has added to my anxiety. I wanted to write this post to say one thing: if you feel anxious or worried about progress on personal projects, don’t feel that you have to continue. If you always feel in the middle of something and say you’ll stop when you are done, ask whether that is true or whether you’re going to keep starting new things and get stressed. This regularly happens with me and I end up needing to take an indefinite break, like I am doing now.

      • The NationBiden & Co. Are Finally Bringing Some Firepower to the Abortion Fight

        The Biden administration has finally taken steps to make abortion pills at least as accessible as erectile dysfunction pills. All it took was the Supreme Court’s revocation of an established constitutional right for the first time in US history—in the form of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health—and the culmination of the Republicans’ decades-long war on reproductive freedom to get them to do what Democrats should have done years ago. This week, the Food & Drug Administration made a small legal change in its classification of the drug mifepristone, and the Department of Justice confirmed that the drug can be sent through the mail.

      • Counter PunchChina Ditched Zero Covid–Maybe It Shouldn’t Have

        For years China beat the U.S. on covid. While millions died of the disease in the western world and over a million in the U.S., China instituted a supposedly authoritarian zero covid policy, which smacked fatalities down into the mere thousands. This was all the more remarkable, given the gigantic size of China’s population. But then, in late November, protests erupted. The Chinese – or some of them – were sick of lockdowns, constant tests, travel restrictions and quarantines. Next, in a shock to western elites salivating at the delusion that these protests would topple the government, China eliminated zero covid in early December, ending quarantine measures starting January 8. And the protesters got what they wanted. Two-hundred and fifty million Chinese were infected within weeks of ditching zero covid. Millions will now die, and the health care system is overwhelmed. Remember, even the vaccinated sicken in large numbers. It turns out that emulating the west, when it comes to public health, is a very, very bad idea.

        That’s because the west, epitomized by the United States, has no public health system. It has a criminal health care racket, as befits a government that behaves similarly in its adventures all over the world. What makes you think it would conduct itself any differently here at home? It doesn’t. But that didn’t stop it from gleefully proclaiming it will now test for covid only arrivals from China. It would be far more effective from a public health perspective to require masks on planes, in airports and other enclosed public spaces. But God forbid the geniuses in Washington should do anything actually helpful. Besides, they’re too busy preening over their supposed victory over China, and vaunting it by testing those who travel there.

      • HackadayThe Dawn Of Synthetic Milk: When Milk Becomes More Like Beer

        What would we do without milk in modern day society? Although lactation originally evolved as a way to provide a newborn mammal with nutrients and the other essentials during the first weeks of their life, milk has for thousands of years now been a staple food in human cultures. Whether from cows, camels, sheep or other mammals, each year humans consume many liters of this mythical substance, with our galaxy’s name – the Milky Way –  coming courtesy of Greek mythology and a spilled milk incident.

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Friday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (libetpan and smarty3), SUSE (libksba, rpmlint-mini, tcl, and xrdp), and Ubuntu (curl, firefox, and linux-oem-5.14).

      • The New Stack4 Ways to Use Kernel Security Features for Process Monitoring – The New Stack

        The large attack surface of Kubernetes’ default pod provisioning is susceptible to critical security vulnerabilities, some of which include malicious exploits and container breakouts. I believe one of the most effective workload runtime security measures to prevent such exploits is layer-by-layer process monitoring within the container.

        It may sound like a daunting task that requires additional resources, but in reality, it is actually the opposite. In this article, I will walk you through how to use existing Linux kernel security features to implement layer-by-layer process monitoring and prevent threats.

      • Unicorn MediaMalware Effects at Least 30 WordPress Plugins – Update Now

        If you publish a website using WordPress as your platform, right now would be a good time to go to the back end and see if any of your installed plugins need updating. If there are any, you might want to click on the “update now” button.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • TechdirtIrish Data Protection Authority, Under Pressure From Other EU Officials, Says Meta’s Clickwrap Agreement Is No Legal Basis For Targeted Ads

          Some big news out of the EU this week as the Irish data protection authority has fined Meta over $400 million, claiming it violated the GDPR. The full details of the ruling are not yet out (apparently, the officials are working with Meta over what needs to be redacted — which is not out of the ordinary in the EU, but still feels sketchy), but the basic idea is that Meta sought to get around some of the GDPR’s consent rules regarding using data for customization / targeting by including “consent” directly in the terms of service. The Irish regulator overseeing the case had initially indicated that this was legitimate, but apparently changed their minds.

        • TechdirtApple’s Encryption Plan Is Good, But Still Leaves Some Questions Unanswered

          Recently, Apple announced some quality of life updates for services and devices used by millions. The company opted to give its users more privacy and security by offering them the option to fully encrypt data stored in its cloud service. For years, iCloud accounts have been the endaround for encrypted devices, allowing law enforcement (and malicious hackers) to access content and communications inaccessible through the device that created them.

        • NPRLooking to watch porn in Louisiana? Expect to hand over your ID

          As of Jan. 1, 2023, people in Louisiana will need to present proof of their age, such as a government-issued ID, to visit and view pornographic websites like Pornhub, YouPorn and Redtube.

          The controversial law, known as Act 440, requires adult websites to screen their visitors using “reasonable age verification.” The new law applies to any websites whose content is at least 33.3% pornographic material that is “harmful to minors,” according to the bill signed last June. The law doesn’t specify how the 33.3% would be calculated.

        • Dhole MomentsHindsight is 2022: A recap of this blog and its author in 2022

          One of the things that came out of my decision to shitcan Twitter was an increased focused on the Fediverse.

          One of the more pronounced problems with federated social media, which is also true of traditional social media, is that server operators can read any messages you send. This problem is abstracted away by large tech companies and centralized platforms, but it’s a very obvious threat when anyone can run their own server.

          The obvious solution to this problem is end-to-end encryption! But it’s not trivial, and the prior efforts of the Mastodon community left a lot to be desired.

        • Michael West MediaTwitter [breach] ‘exposed 200 million emails’

          Twitter has not commented on the report, which Gal first posted about on social media on December 24, nor responded to inquiries about the breach since that date.

          It was not clear what action, if any, Twitter has taken to investigate or remediate the issue.

          Reuters could not independently verify the data on the forum was authentic and came from Twitter.

        • Counter PunchTowards an Anthropology of Surveillance

          With the rapid growth of metadata and political and corporate surveillance in America during the last two decades, anthropologists Roberto J. González and David H. Price—long-time contributors to CounterPunch—have been studying the impacts and implications of these developments. Both Price and González recently published books that critically examine surveillance in the United States (Price’s The American Surveillance State: How the U.S. Spies on Dissent and González’s War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future). Below are excerpts from an extended conversation between the two on the cultural, military, and political dimensions of surveillance, technology, culture, and power.

        • TechdirtGovernment Continues To Rely On Private Contractors To Bypass Privacy Protections

          There’s only so much domestic surveillance the government can engage in before it starts running into problems. The Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision strongly suggested gathering data in bulk to track people might run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. Lower courts have delivered a variety of opinions on the subject. Meanwhile, a few privacy-oriented legislators are trying to codify privacy protections that would limit the government’s ability to abuse the Third Party Doctrine to obtain massive amounts of data.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • MeduzaFirst group of Russian prisoners who fought in Ukraine with PMC Wagner granted amnesty — Meduza

        For the first time, a group of Russian prisoners that fought in the war against Ukraine as part of the Wagner private military company has been granted amnesty, the mercenary group’s founder, Evgeny Prigozhin, said on Thursday.

      • Counter PunchThe Tragedy of Ukraine

        Written mostly before Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the book The Tragedy of Ukraine: What Classical Greek Tragedy Can Teach Us About Conflict Resolution is an illuminating read for anyone wishing to know how we arrived at the existential crossroads that threatens WWIII. This is the book for those hungry for an historical understanding of Ukraine’s seething internal conflict—western hypernationalism versus eastern cultural diversity —that made Ukraine vulnerable to a geopolitical power struggle, a pawn in the cruel hands of both Russia and the United States.

      • Counter PunchThe Latest on the War in Ukraine
      • Counter PunchWhy History Matters: the Left and Ukraine

        When US President, racist, segregationist, eugenicist, and liberal Democrat Woodrow Wilson sent soldiers from the American Expeditionary Force to ‘negotiate’ the aftermath of the October Revolution in the USSR in 1919, the Indian Wars in the US were still underway, slavery had only recently been abolished, and the inconclusive end of the first global imperialist war—WWI, was setting up a sequel—WWII, to be fought. That Wilson’s worldview in 1919 formed the basis of German fascist ideology a decade later provides insight into how ruling-class ideas take root.

        In contrast to liberal political theory where people develop opinions in isolation, Wilson was very much a person of his economic class and time. American capital had close to a billion dollars invested in Russia when the Bolsheviks turned the world upside down by launching a revolution to govern themselves. American (and German) industrialists, having convinced themselves that were rich because they were genetically / racially / morally superior to workers, imagined that a successful workers revolution would place inferiors in charge of their superiors (went the logic).

      • MeduzaPutin instructs Russian Defense Minister to declare ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas — Meduza

        Vladimir Putin has instructed Russian Defense Ministry Sergey Shoigu to declare a temporary ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the Russian and Ukrainian armies for Orthodox Christmas, the Kremlin reported on Monday.

      • MeduzaZelensky’s office criticizes Orthodox Patriarch Kirill’s Christmas truce proposal — Meduza

        Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, called for a two-day cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine during the Eastern Orthodox Christmas celebration on January 6–7, so that Orthodox believers could attend Christmas church services.

      • MeduzaMain cathedral of Kyiv Pechersk Monastery repossessed by state — Meduza

        The Dormition Cathedral and Feast Church of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, a historic Kyiv monastery also known as the Monastery of the Caves, have been repossessed by the state, following the expiration of a lease that gave the Ukrainian Orthodox Church temporary rights over the two cultural monuments.

      • Pro PublicaWhat We Know About U.S.-Backed Zero Units in Afghanistan

        In 2019, reporter Lynzy Billing returned to Afghanistan to research the murders of her mother and sister nearly 30 years earlier. Instead, in the country’s remote reaches, she stumbled upon the CIA-backed Zero Units, who conducted night raids — quick, brutal operations designed to have resounding psychological impacts while ostensibly removing high-priority enemy targets.

      • Common DreamsJan. 6 Rallies to Demand Accountability for Trump, ‘Urgent Action to Protect Our Democracy’

        Democracy defenders will mark the second anniversary of the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol with nationwide rallies to demand accountability for former U.S. President Donald Trump and push for “reforms to protect our freedom to vote.”

      • TruthOutFar Right Extremists Flex Political Muscle Ahead of January 6 Anniversary
      • TruthOutIs This Just the Beginning of Far Right Attempt to Make Congress Dysfunctional?
      • TruthOutAmid House Chaos, Watchdogs Urge GOP to Abandon Plans to Gut Ethics Commission
      • Common DreamsWatchdogs to House Republicans: Don’t Gut Congressional Ethics Office

        Watchdogs are urging House Republicans to revise language in the chamber’s proposed rules package that would undermine an independent congressional ethics body’s ability to function at precisely the moment when it is expected to launch probes of several GOP lawmakers.

      • ScheerpostSpeaker of the House Faces Political Peril From Member Deaths and Resignations—Especially With a Narrow Majority

        The Congress that ended on Jan. 3, 2023, had 15 vacancies, a rate unmatched since the 1950s. If that rate continues, whoever leads the now-closely divided House will face trouble.

      • Common DreamsUS House Adjourns—Again—After 11 Failed Votes to Select a Speaker

        For the first time since before the U.S. Civil War, the House of Representatives on Thursday surpassed 10 rounds of voting for speaker and the narrow GOP majority still failed to rally behind one candidate, ultimately voting to adjourn until Friday afternoon.

      • Common DreamsBefore the Bombs Drop, the Platitudes Fall

        What is democracy but platitudes and dog whistles? The national direction is quietly predetermined — it’s not up for debate. The president’s role is to sell it to the public; you might say he’s the public-relations director in chief:

      • Counter PunchThe New Cold War Could Be Worse

        More than one-third of the U.S. population was born after 1970, and thus has no personal memories of the Cold War, particularly the Berlin crises or the Cuban missile crisis.  Since we are in the early stages of a new Cold War, it’s a good time to review the tensions that we will confront.  Spoiler alert: Cold War 2.0 will be more costly and risky than its predecessor.

        The soaring defense budget, which is woefully understated in the mainstream media, is the Congress’ pet rock and its only genuine bipartisan undertaking.  The media consistently refers to the record defense budget ($858 billion), but ignore an additional $300 billion that is devoted to the military.  The latter figure would include important elements of spending by the intelligence community, which primarily serves the military; the Department of Energy, which stores our nuclear inventory; the Veterans’ Administration; and important agencies of the Department of Homeland Security, which include the Coast Guard, the world’s seventh largest navy.  The roughly $1.2 trillion devoted to defense equals the sum that the rest of the global community allocates to the military!

      • Counter PunchAmerica’s Unknown, Looming Nuclear Disaster
      • Counter PunchBefore the Bombs Come the Platitudes

        What is democracy but platitudes and dog whistles? The national direction is quietly predetermined — it’s not up for debate. The president’s role is to sell it to the public; you might say he’s the public-relations director in chief:

        These are the words of President Biden, in his introduction to the National Security Strategy, which lays out America’s geopolitical plans for the coming decade. Sounds almost plausible, until you ponder the stuff that isn’t up for public discussion, such as, for instance:

      • Scheerpost101st Airborne Still Deployed in Romania Simulating War With Russia

        Members of the division told CBS in October that they were prepared to enter Ukraine if given the order.

      • Scheerpost26 Dems in Congress Urge DOJ to Continue Moratorium on Federal Executions

        The lawmakers asserted that “there are serious concerns about arbitrariness in the application of the death penalty, the disparate impact of the death penalty on people of color, and the alarming number of exonerations of individuals previously sentenced to death.”

      • Site36More or less Frontex? Its FRO wants reinforced presence in EU problem states

        Because of human rights violations, non-governmental organisations are demanding the withdrawal of Frontex from Greece. Their Fundamental Rights Officer, on the other hand, wants to increase the number of EU border guards deployed in the event of violations.

    • Environment

      • ScheerpostWas 2022 the Year the World Turned a Corner on Climate Change?

        Mitchell Beer reports on U.S. climate analyst Dr. Leah Stokes’ recent comments on last year’s global realizations.

      • Common DreamsWorld Could Lose Half of Glaciers This Century Even If Warming Is Kept to 1.5°C

        In a study that scientists say gathered “an unprecedented amount of data” to determine the fate of the world’s ice sheets with more precision than ever before, researchers revealed Thursday that even if humans manage to limit planetary heating to 1.5°C above preindustrial temperatures, half of the planet’s glaciers are expected to melt by 2100.

      • Common DreamsUK Saw Hottest Year on Record in 2022—Made 160 Times More Likely by Climate Crisis

        Last year was the hottest year on record in the United Kingdom, the national meteorological service reported Thursday, emphasizing that the human-caused climate emergency was what drove the country to see record-breaking heat last summer and an annual average temperature of 50°F, or 10.03°C.

      • Common DreamsWhere Oh Where Are the Screaming Headlines About Planetary Destruction?

        Let me start 2023 with a glance back at a December news moment that caught my eye. To do so, however, I have to offer a bit of explanation.

      • Common DreamsOxford Study Warns Extreme Heat and Drought to Hit 90% of World Population

        As interlinked extreme heat and drought events grow in intensity and frequency amid the ruling class’ ongoing failure to adequately slash planet-heating fossil fuel pollution, over 90% of the global population is projected to suffer the consequences in the coming decades, according to peer-reviewed research published Thursday in Nature Sustainability.

      • Counter Punch“Public Trust:” a Key Legal Tool to Preserve Our Natural Resources

        With the reality of climate change becoming more apparent in the form of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, and floods, it is clear that the future of all life on the planet is in peril. To stress the immediacy and seriousness of human-caused climate change and its effects, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the leaders and representatives of nearly 200 countries at COP27 in November 2022.

        “Our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” said Guterres at the conference. “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”

      • Energy/Transportation

        • Common Dreams‘An Issue of Legacy’: Groups Demand TVA Drop Plans to Build New Gas Plant and Pipeline

          A coalition of more than 100 environmental advocacy groups on Wednesday urged the Biden administration to take executive action to stop the Tennessee Valley Authority from building a new fossil gas plant and pipeline to replace a key coal-fired facility.

        • Counter PunchWhy The Brooklyn Rail Matters

          Right now, when the art world, like the larger culture within which it is embedded, is stressed beyond belief, this is the right moment for radical innovation. For what history shows sometimes is that traumatic crises open up the possibilities for dramatic change. For a long time, theorists have classified contemporary art in terms of mutually exclusive binary oppositions. Early modernists set the advanced avant-garde against aesthetically reactionary Salon painting. Clement Greenberg presented self-critical modernism versus the uncritical kitsch of mass culture. Rosalind Krauss and her Octoberists opposed politically progressive post-modernists to their aesthetically reactionary contemporaries. And of course, other theorists proposed various other oppositions. Over time the examples have changed, but the governing principle always remains the same: there is the good progressive work and the opposite, the bad conformist art. But now it’s possible to drastically change that way of thinking.

          The Brooklyn Rail, a free monthly journal founded in October 2000, publishes ten issues per year, both 20,000 in hard copy and online with 3 million in readership worldwide. It includes art reviews, interviews with artists and also coverage of books, music, dance, poetry, theater, and politics. Phong H. Bui, the publisher and artistic-director, who has up-to-date curated nearly 100 exhibitions since The Rail‘s conception, has undertaken, at the arrival of the Trump Presidency 2016, a series of exhibitions since under the slogan Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, a neon work by Lauren Bon, which can be used as a title or a subtitle. For example, Occupy Mana: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy at Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, and Occupy Colby: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy in 2017, or Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum as collateral project, co-curated with Francesca Pietropaolo, at Venice Biennale in 2019. And starting in May 2022, working with Cal McKeever, he organized seven exhibitions in New York City collectively entitled Singing in Unison: Artists Need to Create On the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy.

        • Counter PunchAmtraks Across America: the Many Adlai Stevensons

          This is the ninth part in a series about Amtrak travels during summer 2022.

          The semester was ending at Champaign-Urbana, as the train filled up with students dragging large duffel bags and backpacks, not to mention iced coffees topped with straws.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The NationReflections on Vienna’s Social Housing Model From Tenant Advocates

        Rents are reaching unimaginable heights and homeownership is increasingly out of reach for many people in the United States. As housing organizers, legislators, and everyday people debate paths forward, there is growing interest in a radical transformation of the housing market through the expansion of social housing. While this is a relatively new term in the US, it is common parlance in other parts of the world that have a stronger social safety net and a tenant organizing history.

      • Common DreamsBiden Signs Bill to End Profiteering From Prisoners’ Calls to Loved Ones

        Justice campaigners celebrated Thursday after U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill empowering federal regulators to ensure that charges for video and audio calls from correctional and detention facilities are “just and reasonable.”

      • Counter PunchBlame the Wealthy Not the Weather: Inside Southwest’s Horrible Holidays
      • Counter PunchFed Will Cause Unnecessary Harm to the US and World Economy Next Year

        Here are eight predictions for the coming year, in accordance with a hallowed tradition that I have previously not honored. If some of the supporting facts below seem unfamiliar, it could be because they have not received the attention they deserve. But they are real, and links to sources are provided. First, some good news about the US economy:

        Inflation will likely continue to fall until it becomes obvious that it is no longer a serious concern. Inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) has already fallen precipitously over the past five months: annualized inflation has been 2.5 percent (July through November), as compared with 11.8 percent for the preceding five months (February through June). If this looks surprising, it’s because the number most reported in the media is for November 2021-November 2022, which is 7.1 percent. This is true, but not as informative about what’s been happening more recently.

      • Common DreamsOne Upside to House GOP Chaos: Delay of Their Effort to Reward Wealthy Tax Cheats

        Republicans’ inability to agree on a new Speaker of the House of Representatives is dangerous for a variety of reasons and an embarrassment to the country. But no one should shed any tears over the delay this creates for the House Republicans in passing their first legislative priority, a bill to facilitate tax crimes by the wealthy.

      • Common DreamsProgressive Senators Sound Alarm Over Rise of ‘Predatory’ Medical Credit Cards

        A group of progressive senators raised alarm this week over a pernicious outgrowth of the United States’ for-profit healthcare system: medical credit cards.

      • ScheerpostThe Inflation and Deflation Stories of Our Lifetime (and No, They’re Not the Ones You Think!)

        Tom Engelhardt starts off the new year wondering why about the most crucial inflationary and deflationary stories of our time.

      • ScheerpostUS Child Care Deficit Impacts Multiple Sectors of the Country

        With funds from the American Rescue Plan drying up, there are fewer workers in the child care industry, higher tuition for child care providers and fewer Americans participating in the workforce.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • NPRAmazon CEO says company will lay off more than 18,000 workers

        In a blog post, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote that the staff reductions were set off by the uncertain economy and the company’s rapid hiring over the last several years.

        The cuts will primarily hit the company’s corporate workforce and will not affect hourly warehouse workers. In November, Amazon had reportedly been planning to lay off around 10,000 employees but on Wednesday, Jassy pegged the number of jobs to be shed by the company to be higher than that, as he put it, “just over 18,000.”

      • [Repost] Daniel PocockDebian Conflict of Interest Register

        Does Debian need a Conflict of Interest register?

        People have asked for it several times. Cabal members have always refused.

        Over the last few years, I’ve had various questions from people about how much they can really trust certain people in Debian.

        Vigilantes claim to have a Code of Conduct for Debian. But a Code of Conduct is worthless without any process for managing Conflict of Interest. Last weekend the DebConf8 room allocation data was published somewhere on the internet and this gives some scary insights into Conflict of Interest.

      • TruthOutDonald Trump Gets 1 Vote for Speaker As McCarthy Loses for 7th and 8th Time
      • Democracy NowChaos in the House: Is This Just the Beginning of a Far-Right Attempt to Make Congress Dysfunctional?

        The U.S House of Representatives still has no speaker after Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy failed to get the full backing of his party over the course of two days and six rounds of voting. A contingent of about 20 far-right lawmakers opposes McCarthy’s elevation to the top job, but no other candidate has emerged so far who can garner the 218 votes necessary to claim the speaker’s gavel. The impasse has ground all congressional business to a halt, including the swearing-in of new members like Texas Democrat Greg Casar, who says the dysfunction in Congress is no accident. “This is part of their goal. They don’t want a functioning federal government that can pass legislation and support working people,” Casar says of the Republican Party. We also speak with The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who says much of the press has missed the substance of the fight over the speakership, which is about the far right’s drive to slash social spending, even if it means refusing to raise the debt ceiling and triggering a U.S. default that would crash the economy.

      • The NationIt’s Not the Job of Democrats to Save the GOP

        Oscar Wilde reportedly dismissed Charles Dickens’s mawkish novel The Old Curiosity Shop by quipping, “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.” In the spirit of Wilde, we can survey the disarray among congressional Republicans and conclude that it would take a heart of stone not to gleefully chortle at the misery of would-be House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Like a Dickensian orphan, McCarthy has undergone humiliation after humiliation, repeatedly abasing himself before the likes of Donald Trump and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene in a desperate quest to be crowned head of the House.

      • TruthOutKevin McCarthy Has Won His Own Race to the Bottom
      • Common DreamsDems Raise Concerns Over ‘Creepy’ Role of McCarthy Super PAC in Speaker Talks

        Why is a billionaire-funded super PAC aligned with Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy playing a role in talks over who will become the next speaker of the House?

      • TruthOutBiden Calls GOP’s Inability to Select Speaker of the House “Embarrassing”
      • Common DreamsIf Biden Runs in 2024, Who—If Anyone—Will Represent Progressives?

        With 2023 underway, Democrats in office are still dodging the key fact that most of their party’s voters don’t want President Biden to run for re-election. Among prominent Democratic politicians, deference is routine while genuine enthusiasm is sparse. Many of the endorsements sound rote. Late last month, retiring senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont came up with this gem: “I want him to do whatever he wants. If he does, I’ll support him.”

      • TechdirtCongressman Moonlighting As A Master’s Degree Student In AI

        We’ve spent years criticizing many politicians, especially in Congress, for trying to regulate technology that they don’t seem to understand and often falling prey to wild moral panics about the technology. That’s why it’s quite refreshing to see this story that the Washington Post had in the waning days of 2022 about Rep. Don Beyer, who has represented a district in Northern Virginia since 2015, and whose hobby is… to be getting a masters degree in artificial intelligence from George Mason University.

      • MeduzaErdogan tells Putin that Russia’s calls for peace should be supported by ‘unilateral ceasefire’ — Meduza

        Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke by phone on Thursday, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported, citing the Erdoğan administration.

      • The NationKathy Hochul’s Nomination of Hector LaSalle Is a Self-Inflicted Wound

        If there’s been one worthwhile consequence of the Trump years, it’s been the realization that local politics matter. After years of Republicans’ dominating state legislative and judicial contests, Democrats fought back in the midterms, taking precious ground in statehouses and minimizing GOP pick-up opportunities in Congress. One outlier was New York: Lee Zeldin, an unapologetic Trump supporter, was nearly elected governor and Democrats were crushed in competitive House races.1

      • The NationLanding Gear
      • TruthOutCuba Says Biden Applies Blockade Even More Aggressively Than His Predecessors
      • Counter PunchCuban Teachers and Students Make the Revolution

        Schools in Cuba are places where doors opened up for all Cuban young people to learn and for students, even of oppressed classes, to prepare for one or another kind of work that would contribute to Cuba’s development as an independent nation. Cuban education has been ground zero, we suggest, for ending inequalities.

        Cuban literacy teachers, 123 of them, arrived in Honduras on December 20. With Honduran colleagues, they would be utilizing Cuba’s special method “Yo se puedo” (Yes I can) to teach literacy. It’s found worldwide application.

      • TruthOutOcasio-Cortez Says Democrats Can Take Advantage of GOP’s “Chaos” to Gain Power
      • Common DreamsBiden Rebuked for Doubling Down on ‘Poisonous Anti-Immigrant Policies of the Trump Era’

        The Biden administration has called the Trump-era Title 42 policy “obsolete” and urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike it down, but on Thursday President Joe Biden announced a significant expansion of the migrant expulsion program in an effort to deny entry to Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

      • Counter PunchKeep Down the Fascism Detectors: Elise Stefanik, the New York Times, and the Appeasement-by-Deletion of Fascism

        Never underestimate the often subtle, smooth, and sophisticated complicity of liberal journalists in normalizing and appeasing the fascisation and the related lethal farceification (I apologize for making up words) of US American politics.

        Take New York Times’ “Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter” Nicholas Confessore’s recent 8100 word-plus Times report on the “MAGA transformation” of Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the number three Republican (Republifascist) in the US House of Representatives.

      • Counter PunchShakeup At CNN! A Fly on the Wall
      • Common Dreams100+ Groups Call on North American Leaders to Act on Guns, Climate, and Immigrant Justice

        Three days before U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are set to meet in Mexico City, more than 100 grassroots groups from all three countries called on the leaders on Thursday to take action together to help solve the climate crisis, end gun violence, and address injustices facing migrants across North America.

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: No Speaker, No Cry

        + There are 100 members of the “Progressive Caucus,” who capitulated within seconds to nearly every demand Pelosi made, and 40 members of the Freedom Caucus who don’t mind waterboarding their own leader in public to get their way & ditching him if they don’t.

        + Sartre’s No Exit, starring Kevin McCarthy, in a limited engagement: “Hell is other people in your own party.”

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Counter PunchWoke, PC, and Cancel Culture

        The obsession with woke/PC language has gotten farcical, and cost people their jobs and careers. Yes, people should not use hard, explicit racist language. The n-word is off limits, just as it should be. But it’s gotten slightly out of hand. We’re not supposed to use the term “brown bag”? A family member gave me a report entitled “Elimination of Harmful Language,” a study by Stanford. They say:

        “The goal of the Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative is to eliminate many forms of harmful language, including racist, violent, and biased (e.g., disability bias, ethnic bias, ethnic slurs, gender bias, implicit bias, sexual bias) language in Stanford websites and code.”

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Craig MurrayTrains (Mostly) Planes and Automobiles Part 5

        I was able to discuss with them the international law aspects of Julian’s case, and particularly the judgment in Julian’s case affirming that the UK is not bound in law by international agreements or treaties not incorporated into UK domestic law.

        In Julian’s case, political extradition is specifically forbidden by Article 4 of the 2007 UK/US Extradition Treaty. However the courts have ruled that the Treaty has no effect in UK law as it has not been incorporated in UK domestic legislation.


        The British courts argue that the Treaty depends for its force on the 2003 Extradition Act, which does not exclude political extradition. But the 2003 Act is an enabling act on which subsequent treaties depend. It does not dictate the provisions of those treaties and it most assuredly does not say those treaties may not exclude political extradition.

        The argument is extraordinary that the extradition is only taking place at all under the UK/US Extradition Treaty, but that Article 4 of the Treaty is not operative – but all the other articles are.

        The rest of the Treaty is no more incorporated in UK domestic law than Article 4 is. It is a nonsensical argument, tying knots of legal sophistry to justify the extradition.

        What interested the German students even more than the individual instance was the extraordinary general claim that the UK is not bound by provisions of international law in treaties it has ratified.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • TruthOutOklahoma Lawmaker Pens Bill to Ban Gender-Affirming Care for Anyone Under Age 26
      • MeduzaRussian ex-prisoners granted amnesty for mercenary service reportedly include convicted murderer — Meduza

        The first group of Russian ex-prisoners to be granted amnesty for their participation in the war in Ukraine with PMC Wagner includes people who were convicted of murder, robbery, organized crime, and amphetamine production, according to the independent outlet Agentstvo and the BBC’s Russia Service.

      • The NationHyperdrive

        The embers of the Los Angeles uprising were still burning, in 1992, when Will Alexander published his short essay “Los Angeles: The Explosive Cimmerian Fish” in the pages of Sulfur. Run by the poet Clayton Eshleman, the small magazine had acquired a considerable reputation for upending the country’s “official verse culture.” The fall 1992 issue also featured poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik, Jayne Cortez, Jackson Mac Low, Barbara Guest, Allen Ginsberg, Xavier Villaurrutia, and Charles Olson, among others. Compared to these luminaries of the inter-American avant-garde, Alexander was an obscure outsider. Aged 44 and with a lone pamphlet to his name (Vertical Rainbow Climber, 1987), he had been selling tickets at the LA Lakers box office for a living. His essay, fusing experimental poetry and political revolt with a singular vision, marked his explosive debut in the wider world of American letters.

      • Common Dreams‘A Win for Freedom’: South Carolina Supreme Court Permanently Blocks Abortion Ban

        Reproductive rights supporters in South Carolina and across the country celebrated Thursday once the state Supreme Court permanently struck down a law banning abortion after around six weeks, or before many people even know they are pregnant.

      • Counter PunchPolicing and the structure of racialization

        (The Militarization of the Police– Part 3)

        This series of articles on police militarization was initiated in response to the government (Dept. of Defense) policy of providing military equipment to local police departments. We have evaluated this policy in the context of social violence, under which term we have included both civilian violence against persons and property and police violence against civilians. Though a false separation between these two forms of violence has been created by labeling only one of them “criminality,” that is a distinction that has been rejected here. It is false insofar as police violence serves as a role model for civilian violence. And police deployment of military equipment (assault rifles, tear gas, armored vehicles, etc.) implies or even admits to a comparability of enactment.

      • Counter PunchReading Žižek Seriously

        Slavoj Zizek complains that he is not taken seriously as a theorist and this is just one more way to silence him. He admits this is partly of his own doing.

        A recent piece here on CounterPunch which I very much enjoyed criticized Zizek for saying Hitler was not violent enough. Like him or not this is a misleading characterization. Again perhaps by Zizek’s own doing. But this is intentional. He is assuming a certain intelligence on the part of his reader. He is assuming that most people when they hear “Hitler was not violent enough” will not immediately say “kill more Jews” but rather will interrogate violence and fascism in general.

      • ScheerpostMore Women Are Being Detained as Jail Populations Near Pre-COVID Levels

        A look at incarceration trends shows that as jails fill back up, women are being booked at a faster rate.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Common Dreams‘Victory for American Workers’: FTC Proposes Ban on Noncompete Clauses

        Progressive advocacy groups and lawmakers celebrated Thursday after the Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule that, if finalized, would prohibit employers from including noncompete clauses in employment contracts, which the agency described as “a widespread and often exploitative practice that suppresses wages, hampers innovation, and blocks entrepreneurs from starting new businesses.”

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakMPA & RIAA Deployed 60+ Lobbyists in 2022, Piracy Top of The Agenda

          When ensuring the profitability of multi-billion dollar industries, engaging governments at the highest level is the way to get things done. The MPA and RIAA spent almost $8 million on lobbying in 2022, with copyright and piracy at the top of the agenda. Most of the 60+ lobbyists deployed are products of the government/private sector ‘revolving door’.

        • Torrent Freak25 Private Torrent Trackers Went Offline After BREIN Tracked Down ‘Scripter’

          The Dutch private torrent tracker scene has been decimated by BREIN. The anti-piracy group tracked down a man who coded and maintained the scripts these sites were using. The same person also arranged hosting and sold seedboxes and VPN services. Meanwhile, actions against other people involved are underway.

        • TechdirtDidYouKnowGaming Gets Video Nintendo DMCA’d Restored

          Back in December we discussed how Nintendo got a video on the DidYouKnowGaming YouTube channel taken down via a DMCA notice. While Nintendo is notorious for being an intellectual property bully and enforcing what it thinks are its rights in as draconian a manner as possible, what stood out about this particular story is that the video in question was a journalistic effort to document a game pitched to Nintendo that never came out, included no gameplay footage, and therefore didn’t reproduce any actual game assets. It appears for all the world that Nintendo used the DMCA system to take down a video comprised of pure gaming journalism, which is not how any of this is supposed to work.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 🔤SpellBinding: BYHLOSC Wordo: FONDU
      • I roam here again

        I have returned to this place once again. I need an outlet to properly word my thoughts and record them somewhere. As a prove that I am not going insane and in fact this is all is real. I am real. He is real. He is keeping me safe, he handles things from now.

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • My Writing PC

          A quick gemlog. I have setup my spare laptop as a writing PC. I installed a barebones archlinux (minimal profile). Because I couldn’t be bothered I used the archinstall script. It’s seriously stupid easy when using the script!

        • Re: Gemini mentions

          Ok, I will not spend a lot of time on this. I just want to say I agree with Sandra. The Gemini mentions proposal just feels like another stepping stone to something overly complex and the whole beauty of Gemini was simplicity.

        • In which I slag on the Gemini mentions proposal for half an hour

          I don’t wanna implement mentions. It’s breaking something that already worked. We already had aggregators or email or just the faith that people are reading their friends’ capsules (or just skimming it, when it comes to firehoses like mine).

          This is what’s been so teeth-pulling about Gemini. Always getting more homework dumped in our laps. Specs upon specs upon specs for their own sake. Not into it. I’ve said many times that Gemini is enworsening, not ameliorating, the reckless, infinite scope of web browsers. We were drowning in specs so please don’t thrown us an anchor made of even more specs to save us. We’ll only drown even more.

      • Programming

        • feed me content

          I have created something. Well, it is the same feed for midnight pub, but it contains the content of posts as well, so I can read it easily from my feedreader.

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

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 05, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:13 am by Needs Sunlight

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Enter the IRC channels now

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When the ‘Issue’ is People Who Speak About the Real Issue

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 78ce96faf8912afd2ac377912e79bd6c
Sirius Kangaroos
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Unable to justify its business practices, Sirius ‘Open Source’ starts a witch-hunt against people who found the courage to discuss the matter, both internally and in private (not naming the culprits)

THE above video covers what was published earlier today because verbal clarifications may help those with severe reading comprehension and/or a sinister agenda (that’s Matthew Garrett).

The real chronology here is, I spoke about things wrong with the company (confidentially and internally). When that failed to work, repeatedly even, I consulted other people on the matter. Then started a campaign of retaliation against me — an effort to silence me and cover things up, as usual. This is the new management style.

“There has been other petty stuff like going after staff for saying lies are lies, but never handling the actual lies or the liar.”Among the many scandals (we still have many left to mention) Sirius staff members have a manager who brought 3 women (one former wife) into the company despite lack of relevant experience/skills, resulting in mistakes that clients noticed (for instance, pasting an entire handover into the command line!). An insider or outsider might joke that it looks like giving them jobs in exchange for sex. Apparently pointing this out is the issue, whereas the real issue remains unaddressed. But the main issue here has nothing to do with sex; the issue is lack of qualifications, overt nepotism, and special access given in exchange for bedroom stuff/favours. This is a well-known yet under-reported problem in the tech industry. Last year a whistleblower told us that she was compelled to have sex or even orgies in order to get/keep a job.

There has been other petty stuff like going after staff for saying lies are lies, but never handling the actual lies or the liar. CEOs won’t hold themselves accountable. They won't investigate or fire themselves either, despite making ridiculous assertions to that effect.

This is what happens when pathological liars run a company, sometimes like a tightly-knit family in the “club” sense, not pseudo kinship that makes a better work atmosphere (companies acting like a family isn’t the same as companies being actual families or sex partners).

Truth Hurts: Colleagues Sleeping With the Support Manager at Sirius Open Source Inc.

Posted in Deception at 12:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Notice that neither the company nor people are named in this two-person chat

Sirius sleeping with the boss

Summary: In its muck-raking, Sirius management complains not about things that are false but are embarrassing (but the company and its people aren’t even mentioned in this very informal chat)

When the Employer Becomes an Egoistic Stalker

Posted in Deception at 12:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It was always about protecting his ego

Andrew Bucknor: I spent weeks reading IRC logs; Only to discover I'm a liar

Summary: After years of bullying and persistent lying by Sirius management (it had done this to colleagues, too) came a fabricated ploy/plot to remove dissenting workers

IT has now been over a month since I left my job and started writing about what had happened (not for 12 years but particularly the past 4 years, especially after Gates Foundation had passed money to the CEO under an NDA!).

It has since then been apparent that the company, Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Sirius now tries to get rid of these articles), is trying to gag me and censor me. That won’t work. It’ll only embolden me further.

As it turns out, Sirius is run by stalkers. Yes, what on earth do they even do all day? Spy on people. They should do their job, but they don’t (we’ve provided ample evidence of their failings and inability to do very basic stuff like payslips — a legal requirement!).

So while workers stay up all night (fixing flaws, incidents etc.) they go behind their backs reading years-old IRC logs, fishing for ‘dirt’ so as to avoid paying compensation or separation fees. Yes, the company was broke, so it decided to take this route.

Today I wish to share full communications (albeit redacted) about what happened in November. There was an account suspension, without any due process, as one insecure and insincere manager failed to follow protocols. The manager then did the equivalent of not just refusing entry to the building but handing a box with belongings from the desk. It is unjust and likely not legal (dubious as per British law given the circumstance). It is mean-spirited and vindictive. To be clear, I did nothing wrong, but the company was broke and wanted to deflect. In weeks that followed the manager was once again relying on truly poor legal advice, if any at all!

We assume they did the same to some colleagues, so we show their process for ‘ousting’ technical staff, based on lies, while moving their ‘shells’ into secret addresses (and instead placing the address of an accountant, impeding possible litigation against the company).

Here’s how it all started:

Dear Roy,

Would we please have a call urgently to discuss a matter that has been brought to my attention?

Would you be able to join a video call at this link? [redacted]

I will telephone you shortly to discuss timing.

Kind regards,

He wanted me to use Google.

I then responded:

Can we do the discussion over email instead?



He then suggested Zoom.

Hello Roy,

No. I’m afraid not. We are required to have a call.

Please see the meeting details below.

The meeting will be brief.

Many thanks,


Hello again Roy,

We are waiting for you in the call now as soon as you are ready please.

Thank you,


Hi Roy,

We have successfully been able to use the technology to have a call with your household this afternoon, so we understand that it is not a technical issue that would prevent you from taking a Zoom call. I have also just tried to ring the landline which has now rung out.

It is very important that we speak as the matter is serious and urgent.

Can you please let me know if you are free to join a Zoom call now. Otherwise, you are due on shift at 17:30 and we will speak then.

Can I remind you that a failure to attend for work without a satisfactory explanation would potentially lead to disciplinary action under the terms of your employment contract.

Kind regards,

Notice they use my impending shift to make it seem like “disciplinary action”; they didn’t even let me in (to carry out work).

Then he (there are two people above, only one talking though) suggested other proprietary things (yes, everything this “Open Source” company nowadays uses for communications is proprietary!), but that’s not the main issue. As it turned out, they had blocked me from Slack too, so I wrote:

I cannot access Slack. I tried from several PCs.



Then he said:

Hi Roy,

Thank you for your reply. I wasn’t asking you to join via Slack, I sent you a link to a Zoom call.

Can you please join a Zoom Call now with the following details.

Many thanks,

I also said:

> Hi Roy,
> Thank you for your reply. I wasn’t asking you to join via Slack, I sent you a link to a Zoom call.
> Can you please join a Zoom Call now with the following details.


I think it must be done in writing so that things can be presented and checked within context.



By this point I had already realised what it was about. He was reading years’ worth of IRC logs and trying to build (frame) a ‘case’ against me. To be clear, simply talking (mostly in private) about the issues with the company is seen as unacceptable as if the company is a religion or cult. Even if nobody (not even the company) is named!

Then he escalated (the mask fell) and showed his real intentions:

Hi Roy,

This call is not itself part of an investigation and is not in itself a disciplinary hearing.

We are simply trying to inform you of a matter that has been brought to our attention so that we have properly communicated with you and to confirm your working status.

Nothing needs to be presented or checked in this call, there will be time for anything like that later.

It really is in your interests to hear what we have to say and we can take matters from there.

As it is currently your formal work shift time, the management instruction that I am giving you is to join us on this call now, nothing else.

If you could please join the Zoom call now we can have a short call.


And what is this “investigation” about? We’ll come to that later. The short story, it’s based on a lie.

I responded as follows:

> Hi Roy,
> This call is not itself part of an investigation and is not in itself a disciplinary hearing.
> We are simply trying to inform you of a matter that has been brought to our attention so that we have properly communicated with you and to confirm your working status.

By suspending my account I think you pre-judged my “working status” before we even had a chance to communicate or clarify.

> Nothing needs to be presented or checked in this call, there will be time for anything like that later.
> It really is in your interests to hear what we have to say and we can take matters from there.

I prefer to do this by E-mail or text, as it is more suitable a medium and ‘paper trail’ is needed.

> As it is currently your formal work shift time, the management instruction that I am giving you is to join us on this call now, nothing else.

I cannot even access my account. I think you pre-judged my status.



Now the other manager got angry and fired off this E-mail with all caps and typos:


You are employed by this company, and it is current your work shift.

The perfectly reasonable management instruction is that you join Andrew and me in the Zoom cal NOWl: [sic]

Failure to do so will be a clear breach of your employment contract and company policies.

Sirius Founder and Group CEO

I responded as follows:

> Roy,
> You are employed by this company, and it is current your work shift.

My account is currently suspended. You took action before speaking to me.



They knew I was right. It upset them. Then came this:

Hi Roy,

We have acted entirely within our rights as your employer and within the strict terms of your Employment contract and as communicated in our company Employee Handbook.

Nothing has been pre-judged, and no findings have been reached as the investigation process has not yet been carried out.

Indeed by failing to attend even a call and refusing to answer the phone, you are preventing yourself from receiving precisely the information that we are trying to provide.

Again, we are not at the stage where findings will be assessed, we are simply attempting to carry out the very first step of a process which is to communicate with you.

We have now been waiting in a call for nearly an hour, are you able to join us now?

If you do not join us on the call by 17:30 we will take this as a failure to comply with a properly issued management instruction, we will close the call and we will investigate this incident as a potential disciplinary issue too.


He got the time wrong.

Correction, if you don’t join us on the call by 18:30

They wanted me to dance to their music, which was lies and distortion of what I had actually said. I responded as follows:

> We have acted entirely within our rights as your employer and within the strict terms of your Employment contract and as communicated in our company Employee Handbook.

The contract is a ‘two-edged sword’ that also protects my rights as an employee. At the moment I see myself as prejudged with account suspension (without me even being made aware of anything).



It had already become very obvious that they were trying to engineer ‘departure’ of people based on a construction of lies.

I later on the same day received what they had planned all along:

Dear Roy,

Despite our repeated requests, you have failed to follow a properly issued management instruction to attend a call to enable us to inform you of an alleged breach of company policy by you that may amount to gross misconduct.

You have therefore also potentially further breached company policy by failing to attend work for your designated support shift in the manner requested, despite very clear, written management instruction requiring you to do so.

Given your refusal to take a call that would allow us to inform you of the alleged misconduct, you have therefore left us no choice other than to act by email.

You are formally suspended from your role of Support Engineer with Sirius Open Source with immediate effect.

The attached letter provides further information about this action.


To be very clear, what they allege to be “misconduct” is me wanting a proper conversation based on facts. They did not want that. Then they alleged that me not being able to cover my shift (before they had suspended the account) was “misconduct”. They basically set up the whole thing like this.

There was no due process as severe/drastic action had been taken before even hearing the ‘accused’.

So of course I consulted an employment lawyer about this. I spoke to a couple of people, who were rather shocked by the way Sirius had handled it. It seemed like it about one man’s ego (the manager) and he was stalking staff outside work, looking to ‘punish’ people who didn’t tolerate lies.

Even two weeks later the management was still desperate to arrange a ‘kangaroo court’ session:

Dear Roy,

Please see the attached letter regarding your attendance at an investigation meeting tomorrow.

Kind regards,

It was getting so pathetic that he even stalked out some personal YouTube account of mine to sniff out an E-mail address and add an appointment to something called “Google Calendar”. That’s sad… he was so desperate to ‘interrogate’ for his ego’s sake.

Then he kept sending reminders again… and again… and again. There were like 5 reminders sent in total, followed by these assertions:

Dear Roy,

Thank you for your reply.

Please see the attached letter regarding your attendance at a re-scheduled investigation meeting.

Kind regards,

It was a PDF made with proprietary software, asserting that for failing to face a kangaroo court after I had already been prematurely ‘judged’. It clearly wasn’t about fact-finding.

The same letter would later be sent by post, along with screenshots that are taken out of context and lack URLs.

Days later he once again sent a message via “Google Calendar”, clearly (and increasingly) desperate to get me to dance to his tune. It would be a sham “investigation”; it was meant to be this way.

He then sent yet more letters trying to get me to submit myself, despite having already received messaged explaining why it was not possible. All those .ics files (he uses Apple stuff, not “Open Source”) were piling up, maybe 12 of them in total, all in vain. It was getting rather embarrassing at this point. He was starting to frame this as “disciplinary hearing” (as was the case all along; they were engaged in posturing).

Either way, from my own end I sent a clear message, based on consultation from lawyers. Of course the company chose to ignore that.

The same day I spoke to lawyers I sent the following:

Dear all,

I believe I was unfairly treated on several grounds, including relevant protocols pertaining to several aspects. I will spare you the details but can elaborate if needed.

Here is the gist of the issues:

1. No due process
2. Verbal/oral distortion of claims
3. You misrepresented alleged evidence, but conveniently presented it as facts to my wife
4. No hard evidence presented (just a reference to a handbook we lack a copy of)
5. Rather gross accusation inflation against a person whom you did not even speak to

There are more point, but I shall keep this brief.

The company has a history doing this to couples, e.g. one blind colleague based in Germany; it was very serious and it went to court, based on a trusted source (it cost the company and/or its Directors — xxxxx and xxxxx — a lot of money, as went on for a long time; allegedly got settled at the end but injured the company).

We visited lawyers on Friday and on Monday. We spoke about the facts in length and have a good understanding of our rights.

We agreed that we don’t yet wish to escalate this matter and would rather settle amicably.



[Your longest-serving employee (aside from the founder)]

Of course the company more or less ignored this reality.

When they kept inviting me to things they knew would not qualify as a proper hearing (explanation of this point due tomorrow) I sent:


Under the European Convention on Human Rights Article 6 (England is in the European Court of Human Rights) I am entitled to have a representative and access an objective tribunal. You will hear from my lawyer soon.

At this stage it was abundantly clear, also to lawyers, that there was merely a malicious witch-hunt.

On December first I sent the following:


I’ve been receiving some relatively solid and professional legal advice for several weeks already. To put it quite bluntly, the impression legal professionals get is that the company cannot afford lawyers and thus makes wild guesses, based on a gut feeling at best.

In Rianne’s case, the allegations are shockingly weak. This, in turn, makes the trail of correspondence work very strongly in our favour. We’re not impulsive, we just follow the law. We’ve both followed the law all along. We know our rights and we have people to assess the law.

The latest invitation is legally problematic for several distinct reasons. It would not constitute a fair ‘trial’, on a number of different grounds. What you’re trying to apply here is the controversial Reid method, which isn’t just notorious but also unlawful in some jurisdictions. No proper protocols and procedures were followed until (probably due to a lack of legal advice) more recently. In fact, “Investigation Meeting” suddenly and disingenuously became “Disciplinary Hearing”. The process embarked upon did not respect the employee’s right to privacy (setting out the importance of confidentiality) and it seems to be more of a personal vendetta than a real, justifiable case.

Regarding any such hearing, where possible the employer should get somebody who’s not involved in the case to carry out the investigation, for example another manager or someone from HR. HR does not exist in Sirius per se, so the company needs to contract outwards, just like several years ago where HR sided with us, not with the harasser in chief. We never received an apology after that incident. And moreover, I wish to make it known that I am referring to a single example of many such incidents. I can elaborate later.

The sudden and very much unprovoked-for suspension is problematic on a number of legal grounds. There’s consensus among legal professionals (visited or spoke to several) that it was inappropriate and over the top. Perhaps the purpose of it was to obstruct the accused from accessing defensive/supportive evidence. There’s no reason for a suspension of someone who for 12 years never ever did something “dodgy” to company or client assets; quite the contrary. Unless the employer thinks there is a risk that the employee might tamper with evidence or influence witnesses, a suspension is entirely unnecessary. I have no history of tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses. In fact, the “evidence” presented (only a fortnight later!) is actually controlled by me rather than the company. The IRC logs are very informal and have nothing to do with Sirius.

There is also consensus that what’s proposed constitutes a kangaroo court and the reason you don’t want an independent HR agency to handle this (like before) is that the case will be thrown out with prejudice and the company may be held accountable for a lot more than just frivolous accusations and moral damages (twofold).

On deciding whether to suspend an employee, there are also clear legal guidelines. If there’s a serious issue or situation, an employer might consider suspending someone while they investigate. But in this case, the nature of the accusations makes it abundantly frivolous. An employer should consider each situation carefully. Suspension will only be needed in some rather rare situations. This is why, right from the very beginning, the letters and demands sent were legally invalid. If an employer feels they need to suspend someone, it’s important to consider alternative options to suspension and the wellbeing of the person they’re thinking of suspending (unless the intention is to shock and seek reprisal). The employer should think about who will handle matters if further action is needed, but in this case it seems like one or two person control the process from beginning to end. Where possible, a different person should handle each step of the disciplinary procedures: the investigation, the disciplinary hearing and outcome, and the appeal hearing (if an appeal is raised).

It might moreover be useful to document (e.g. write in great length) and to show a clear, systematic pattern; I can prove and neatly present a pattern of evidence which points to the actions by the CEO being vindictive. It would not be unprecedented either. Expect a 50-page report quite soon. A legal team is looking into it.

The process has in general been a travesty and a potential source of disgrace to the company. In this particular case, someone acting as a judge for oneself is not looking good. In principle, recusing oneself is one option, but the process is already tarnished by irregularities that hamper any perception of objectivity and fairness.

This is not a good way to end a relationship with the company. It didn’t have to end like this.

A good company values its workers, listens to workers, instead of treating them like enemies to be deceived and marginalised. Apropos, only minutes ago:


If only someone kept warning that LastPass was trouble…

Twelve hours later I sent the report:

The report is now ready.

See [Att].

I resigned the following day. It was abundantly clear, as noted in the report, that this was just part of the ongoing bullying, which had gone on for years.

In the next part there will be focus on what was done to my wife, who had worked in the same company since 2013. In her case, it’s even far worse. It’s far worse that they picked on her after she had done absolutely nothing.

After the weekend we’ll show that this whole witch-hunt was in fact initiated based on a Big Lie.

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