Sirius ‘Open Source’ Management Lies to All the Technical Staff to Trap Workers in a New Contract a Month Before Creating a Shell in the US for Bill Gates

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Law, Microsoft at 9:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Note: This article is redacted as well/best as possible to protect people’s identities. It’s important to properly report and inform the public of this. There might be laws being broken herein.

Just a month after we were forced to sign a new contract that we did not see!

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Limited or Inc.) is a truly dodgy company; it has been exceedingly and increasingly dodgy every year since 2019 — a turning point for the worse

AS we noted here yesterday, one must go back to 2019 to properly understand what happened to my employer (since 2011). 4 years ago we were compelled to sign up for a minuscule and dodgy shell valued at one British pound (just a little more than a dollar), initially registered in some poor residential area, maybe the address of the registrar rather than the company’s real (physical) address. Sirius Corporation was “becoming” Sirius ‘Open Source’ Ltd. and nobody told us about it while Sirius ‘Open Source’ Inc. was being created in another continent for Gates Foundation as its “first client” (very shortly after formation).

We don’t know why the company was so secretive about the whole thing, but the CEO did openly admit (verbally, never in writing) that the Gates Foundation had signed some NDA. The Gates Foundation would never ever be mentioned after that; never ever in writing! So what the heck was going on? I’ve long had this theory that they know cannot bribe me for silence (and maybe not threaten the employer either; they tried this already). It’s just too convenient to use a fake ‘charity’ to gain greater control over my employer, getting the company to move to another country based on false promises, all for some work that thousands of American companies (not British) could trivially do. Why choose a Microsoft-hostile firm in another country and continent? It makes no sense.

Was this something to do with me? Impossible to prove? Sure, and moreover there’s an NDA. Why on Earth was an NDA signed?

For those who think Sirius is some ‘small potato’, bear in mind this wasn’t always the case (it is now). For instance, see this 2006 press release from Red Hat. To quote: “Red Hat (NASDAQ: RHAT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that UK based open source consulting firm, Sirius Corporation, has joined its Red Hat Advanced Partner Programme in Europe.”

Back then Sirius Corporation was also a sponsor of the Free Software Foundation. It was a good company.

Today, I’d like to show a chain of correspondence demonstrating what exactly happened in 2019, at least as far as we can tell from our side. The gist of the story is, a colleague was working early that morning (or night) and said he’d likely not attend a meeting. I said the same. The company then escalated the tone and forced us to travel to the meeting, without even once mentioning a contract with a new company would be signed. They use progressively menacing, threatening language to invited people.

While it seems a relative of management was invited*, the CEO was absent entirely. Why? How curious.

In any event, in the correspondence below, do note there’s no mention of contract signing; the training was a bit of a joke too, as it was basically just a cover. The Office Manager initially wrote to the NOC team, with all the “cabal” CC’d**.

Hi Support,

We will be holding a _compulsory_ [emphasis in original] Sirius Workshop to provide you all with the additional training required to carry out your role. During the specified day (list below) you will all be required to come into the office where xxxx will be able to help with any enquires.

xxxx – 24th June
Roy & Rianne – 26th June
xxxx – 28th June

I will organise travel for those of you that require it, I will send these details in a separate email. These dates cannot be changed due to requiring cover for your shifts whilst you are at the workshop.

Can you all confirm that you have read this email.


xxxx & xxxx

Sirius – stress free technology

I politely responded half a day later:

I’ve just spoken with Rianne about this.

Would it please be possible to attend remotely (over Hangouts) for the sake of the environment and also to reduce travel costs? We’re very environmentally-conscientious and believe this can be done remotely in a way that is beneficial to all. We’d be very grateful.

One colleague said: “I’ve read it – but I’ll be on night shift then so would be sleeping during the day time” (same day).

Later we got sent some more:

Sirius Training Workshop – June 2019

Hi All,

Just to reiterate, this is a training workshop not only to help with gaining knowledge but also to collect feedback on what else you need in order to carry out your tasks to the best of your ability and for any concerns you may have. As you are all aware from the fortnightly meetings, Sirius is growing and we’re taking on more and more clients. We want to ensure that each of our clients are getting the same standard of service during the day shifts and overnight/weekend and xxxx will be providing the training to ensure this is the case. It will also be a great opportunity to meet up with the office team.

Please find attached the agenda for the day.

From the attached PDF:

Sirius Workshop Agenda:
W/C: 24th June 2019
Morning Meet-up: 09:00 – 10:00
Brief meeting to discuss what you would like to gain from the training workshop – We will then try to cover all these topics / help answer queries during the training session.
Training session with xxxx
Lunch Break: 13:00 – 14:00
Training session to continue – Task / Trouble shooting with xxxx
Feedback with management – this will give you the opportunity to give any further feedback for anything else that you may need to successfully carry out all tasks during your shifts and receive feedback.
Please feel free to write any notes/questions below that you would like to discuss on
the day.

Notice there is NO mention of new contract signing for a new company.

A day or so later:

Dear All,

As previously discussed, a support workshop has been arranged for each of you between the 24/06/2019 – 28/06/2019 to assist with your role. I have made arrangements for your shifts to be covered and ensured that you will have appropriate rest before returning to your normal working pattern. The training is mandatory training the company are covering all of the costs including the travel and will be providing food. It is not possible for your attendance to be arranged remotely due to the nature of the training so your attendance is required. This shift is regarded as your normal working shift for the day you are attending and failure to attend could result in formal action.

This is direct management instruction and is intended to ensure that there is no issues and that everyone attends this training that the company has gone to expense to arrange.

Kind Regards,


Read “It is not possible for your attendance to be arranged remotely due to the nature of the training so your attendance is required” as “we’re going to (en)trap you into signing a contract you never saw, probably illegally…”

Later came this:

Hi Roy,

To ensure I leave you enough rest period your shift on Tuesday 25th June will be covered by xxxx. Your next shift on the 26th June will also be covered by xxxx and you will need to arrive at the office around 12noon for your training.

You will still be paid your normal salary – no reductions will be made.

Please keep your receipts for your travel as I will need these to process your expenses and I will ensure you’re reimbursed on the day. Lunch will also be provided.

If you can please confirm that you understand this, hopefully it all makes senses. Incase I have missed anything please let me know and I will get any queries answered ASAP.

Kind Regards,


Still no mention of contract. Next E-mail:

Hi Roy,

Please find attached a Self Assessment that I would like you to fill out before your training workshop. This will be used during the feedback meeting in the first part of the workshop in order to see what we can help with during your training with xxxx.

You can either print it off and fill it in OR fill it in online and email me a copy. Please just make sure its done by the day of your training workshop as it will be really useful for everyone taking part in the workshop that day.

Kind Regards,


And to my wife:

Hi xxxx,

xxxx has already mentioned that we will be organising cover for shifts.

Roy – your shifts on the 25th June 2019 and 26th June 2019 will be covered – emails to follow with more details.

Due to the journey, we completely understand that you will not likely arrive by 10am – but we are aware and will be adjusting your agenda times.



The person signing the above messages was likely an “instrument” in doing something illegal, having to “lie to Roy to protect the boss” (by denying the truth). Such spineless, blindly-obedient workers would not last long, as the company would collapse. So even this blind loyalty to reckless bosses would not save them. We will always remember.
* Probably another fine example of overt nepotism (unqualified relatives as staff).
** They knew what they were really doing. They kept the staff in the dark all along.

Links 20/01/2023: Apple Releases Lisa Code Only 40 Years Later, Legacy OS 2023 and Netrunner OS 23 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: pgAdmin 4 v6.19 Released

        The pgAdmin Development Team is pleased to announce pgAdmin 4 version 6.19. This release of pgAdmin 4 includes 20 bug fixes and new features. For more details please see the release notes.

        pgAdmin is the leading Open Source graphical management tool for PostgreSQL. For more information, please see the website. Notable changes in this release include:

      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: JDBC FDW 0.3.0 release

        We have just released version 0.3.0 of the Foreign Data Wrapper for databases with JDBC interface.

        This release can work with PostgreSQL 13, 14 and 15.

        This FDW is implemented in C language with JDK.

    • FSF

      • FSFJoin LibrePlanet 2023 behind the scenes as a volunteer

        LibrePlanet 2023 is coming very soon and we need your help to make the world’s premier gathering of free software enthusiasts a success. LibrePlanet 2023 will be held March 18-19, 2023 both online and in person in Boston, MA. It will be the fifteenth edition of the conference that brings free software advocates together from around the globe, and you can be an important part of this celebration.

    • Programming/Development

      • Perl / Raku

        • PerlOTOBO supports the German Perl/Raku-Workshop

          We are happy to announce that Rother OSS again supports the German Perl/Raku-Workshop as a sponsor.

          Since 2011, Rother OSS GmbH, based in southern Germany and with a team throughout Germany, has relied on the combination of an open source ticket system and business services from experts. Specifically: consulting, development and support for the free OTRS versions.

          Since 2011, Rother OSS GmbH, based in southern Germany and with a team throughout Germany, has relied on the combination of an open source ticket system and business services from experts. Specifically: consulting, development and support for the free OTRS versions.

        • PerlThis Week in PSC (094)
      • Python

      • Rust

        • Rust in 2023: Growing up

          When I started working on Rust in 2011, my daughter was about three months old. She’s now in sixth grade, and she’s started growing rapidly. Sometimes we wake up to find that her clothes don’t quite fit anymore: the sleeves might be a little too short, or the legs come up to her ankles. Rust is experiencing something similar. We’ve been growing tremendously fast over the last few years, and any time you experience growth like that, there are bound to be a few rough patches. Things that don’t work as well as they used to. This holds both in a technical sense — there are parts of the language that don’t seem to scale up to Rust’s current size — and in a social one — some aspects of how the projects runs need to change if we’re going to keep growing the way I think we should. As we head into 2023, with two years to go until the Rust 2024 edition, this is the theme I see for Rust: maturation and scaling.

        • Rust BlogThe Rust Programming Language Blog: Officially announcing the types team

          Oh hey, it’s another new team announcement. But I will admit: if you follow the RFCs repository, the Rust zulip, or were particularly observant on the GATs stabilization announcement post, then this might not be a surprise for you. In fact, this “new” team was officially established at the end of May last year.

          There are a few reasons why we’re sharing this post now (as opposed to months before or…never). First, the team finished a three day in-person/hybrid meetup at the beginning of December and we’d like to share the purpose and outcomes of that meeting. Second, posting this announcement now is just around 7 months of activity and we’d love to share what we’ve accomplished within this time. Lastly, as we enter into the new year of 2023, it’s a great time to share a bit of where we expect to head in this year and beyond.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • The Register UKTales from four decades in the Sinclair aftermarket • The Register

        RWAP Software has been offering parts and upgrades for Sinclair Research computers since the mid-1980s. Owner Rich Mellor talked to El Reg about what got him into the business, what’s kept him interested, as well as his new product – which is a very different beast.

        While Commodore and Atari dominated the US market, in Europe, no other range of home computers still holds so much affection for so many people as Sinclair Research. The original company sold untold millions of units of the ZX80, ZX81, the classic ZX Spectrum and the Sinclair QL. Then founder Sir Clive Sinclair pulled off an impressive second act with the Cambridge Computers Z88, one of the earliest consumer laptops.

        If you are lucky enough to find one in the attic, or for a bargain price at a car-boot sale, there’s a good chance the famously awful rubber-membrane keyboard will have failed – but over three decades later, RWAP can supply you with a replacement.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • VideoThe corruption of evidence based medicine

        Professor Clancy worked with Professor David Sackett, the founder of the modern evidence based medicine movement, for over 4 years. Here we discuss the nature and importance of EBM and how this has been corrupted to the detrement of patient care.

    • Proprietary

      • Tom’s HardwareMicrosoft Will End Sale of Windows 10 Licenses to Consumers This Month | Tom’s Hardware

        Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system has been available on the retail market for over seven years and was superseded by Windows 11 in October 2021. However, despite its age, Windows 10 remains the most popular version of Windows, with a global market share of 67.95% in December 2022 compared to 16.97% for Windows 11, according to StatCounter. But it now looks like Microsoft is ready to put the brakes on issuing new Windows 10 licenses to everyday consumers. Microsoft’s official product pages for Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro now include the following disclaimer: “January 31, 2023 will be the last day this Windows 10 download is offered for sale. Windows 10 will remain supported with security updates that help protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malware until October 14, 2025.”

      • Bleeping ComputerMicrosoft pushes KB5021751 to check for outdated Office installs [Ed: Figuring out how to squeeze money out of people who don't have any left]

        The company says the goal is to determine how many customers are still using outdated Office versions.

    • Linux Foundation

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Friday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (lava and libitext5-java), Oracle (java-11-openjdk, java-17-openjdk, and libreoffice), SUSE (firefox, git, mozilla-nss, postgresql-jdbc, and sudo), and Ubuntu (git, linux-aws-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-oracle, linux-snapdragon, linux-azure, linux-gkeop, linux-intel-iotg, linux-lowlatency, linux-lowlatency-hwe-5.15, linux-oracle-5.15, and linux-bluefield).

      • CISACisco Releases Security Advisory for Unified CM and Unified CM SME | CISA

        Cisco released a security advisory for a vulnerability affecting Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM) and Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition (Unified CM SME). A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause a denial-of-service condition. For updates addressing lower severity vulnerabilities, see the Cisco Security Advisories page.

      • UbuntuUbuntu 18.04 LTS End Of Life – keep your fleet of devices up and running | Ubuntu

        Ubuntu 18.04 ‘Bionic Beaver’ is reaching End of Standard Support this April, also known sometimes as End Of Life (EOL). This distribution of Ubuntu was installed by millions of users and powers up thousands of devices. From kiosks and appliances to IoT devices and robots, 18.04 helped many companies deploy innovations to the world. As with all other Ubuntu LTS releases that reach their end of standard support, Bionic Beaver will transition to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM). This blog post will help developers and companies evaluate their options for devices currently running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. It will also cover how you can enable ESM in case you choose to extend the support window with this service. Before we jump in, let’s cover a burning question: why do Ubuntu releases reach EOL?

      • Bleeping ComputerNew Boldmove Linux malware used to backdoor Fortinet devices [Ed: The Microsofters are getting nastier. This is a Fortinet problem, not Linux, and there’s no “backdoor”. Vicious FUD campaigns persist.]
      • Hacker NewsChinese Hackers Exploited Recent Fortinet Flaw as 0-Day to Drop Malware

        A suspected China-nexus threat actor exploited a recently patched vulnerability in Fortinet FortiOS SSL-VPN as a zero-day in attacks targeting a European government entity and a managed service provider (MSP) located in Africa.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • VideoHow Is This for Apple Privacy?

          This week in the WeeklyNewsRoundup, Apple scans computers again, FOSS Software Sideloading Malware, and the Linux Foundation creates an Open Source Metaverse

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Comics and Graphic Novels

        I’m not sure exactly what kicked it off but I’ve been more into comic books and graphic novels lately. There was a period in my youth where I was pretty into comic books but it didn’t really stick around for too long. Anyways, my wife gave me Descender Volume One as a gift and it is really good! I tore through it pretty fast and then ordered volumes two and three. I’m a huge fan of sci-fi anything so that’s mostly what I’ve been searching out. I ordered some other volume ones to check out too along with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Authorized Collection” which is a volume of the HHGG comic books that I didn’t even know existed up until this point.

      • Album #150: Cosmo’s Factory

        Creedence Clearwater Revival to me are the band that films or games use when they want you to think ‘Vietnam War’. I’ve just left them in that box as far back as I can remember. So I put today’s record on expecting very little, and was surprised to have a blast.

        I think it was track 1, Ramble Tamble, that softened me up – the long instrumental section in the 7 minute song wasn’t at all what I expected. On some albums, big singles like Up and Around the Bend really stand out as obvious hits, but on this it felt like just another song – one I knew already, but in no way overshadowing the rest.

      • Album #149: The Stooges

        The Stooges is 34 minutes long, including and even that feels like a cheat – “We Will Fall” is an eminently skippable 10 minute drone a few songs in. The album has its moments though. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a great track, sleigh bells, dirgey piano and menacing guitars making for an atmosphere that nothing else on the album quite reaches.

        I guess this makes the list for its influence, or impact, or the sign of things to come. Raw Power is The Stooges album I’ve heard before, and from memory think it’s the better album. I’d check, but might as well wait – I’m sure it’s going to come up later.

    • Technical

      • Why do I keep writing short games?

        I just don’t read the long rule books. The absolute upper limits for me are the 2×64 pages of B/X D&D, or the 160 pages of The Traveller Book, and … I just don’t want to read more than that before I start playing. Maybe, once I’ve played for 12 sessions, I’d be interested in more. If I had to guess, I don’t even read 50 pages before running a game. I might read more, later. But up front? Never.

      • Dungeons & Dragons – OpenGL Controversy

        I really enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons, but Hasbro (which owns Wizards of the Coast) has evidently decided to try break the Open Gaming License, and don’t really care about the players anymore. Below are linked a couple of videos about the controversy, that explains it a lot better than I ever could.

        I’ve played a lot of different systems. In the last several years, D&D has been my main game, with some Alternity (2018 version), and custom systems made by my brother thrown in.

      • Getting efingerd / finger working on Ubuntu with systemd

        Not a lot of folks use the finger command or protocol these days; however, I’ve been delving into the #smallweb / smolweb (i.e., the Gemini Protocol) for the past year and noticed a few people have revived this ancient protocol for status updates. I figured I’d give it a shot, and I thought it would be simple, but the lack of guidance really hindered me for a bit.

        If you’re wondering, efingerd / fingerd (the original) simply enables people outside of your own linux machine to use the finger command, just remotely.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • A Smörgåsbord of Problems

          For the past several days, while combating another flu, I’ve been polishing Lagrange’s dev branch for the v1.15 release. Preparing for a release typically involves solving a series of small(ish) problems. Here’s a sampling of what I encountered this time.

          Operating systems have fundamental differences when it comes to windowing and event processing. I do most of my development on macOS, so a bunch of small issues typically pop up when testing on Windows, Linux, and *BSD.

        • Gopher and Long-Term Interest in Gemini

          My presence on the small Web is almost exclusively on Gemini, and I mostly browse capsules in Geminispace, but every now and then I find myself returning to Gopher. My first experience with small protocols was with Gopher, and while I switch the Gemini almost immediately, I still enjoy exploring phlogs and resources on Gopher.

          Part of the enduring charm of Gopher to me is its long-term stability. It’s been a staple of the Internet for over three decades, receiving an assignment on port 70 by the IANA. The protocol hasn’t evolved significantly since then, meaning any server or client capable of accessing the Internet can still communicate–indeed, several decades-old gopherholes are still online. That stability imbues the community with a rich culture that is easily as accessible as it was in the 1990s.

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

PornHub Insights for 2022 Show Microsoft’s Consumer Division in Shambles

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:26 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

PornHub Insights for 2022 [NSFW] show Microsoft’s Consumer Division in Shambles.

For people who don’t want to click through to PornHub, here are the “SFW” highlights on the technology front.

Normally, I wouldn’t cite them but they collect a large sample of very high quality data about people from all over the world. I feel that they are uniquely, errrm, positioned, to tell us what’s going on.

In light of the 11,000 layoffs just announced at Microsoft, and rumors of a bigger round later this year (the 11,000 were rumors until they weren’t), it’s worth considering why this is happening.

Microsoft’s consumer division is, in a word, collapsing.

Desktop PC usage is down 6% from 2021 to 2022, and Windows is only 64.7% of that.

XBOX fell to only 1/4 of the gaming console market, vs Playstation at nearly 3/4ths, by browser hits. (2021 was 60.6% Playstation and 36.8% XBOX)

Microsoft has no operating system for Mobile, unless you count bribing / threatening Samsung to destroy their brand by preloading crapware that pissed everyone off, and Samsung Internet (the preloaded browser on their phones) has lost over 25% of its mobile marketshare YoY, which I’d suppose is probably a proxy for all of the people ditching annoying buggy Samsung phones with Microsoft garbage, like I did.

Microsoft has been missing the boat on everything, and is a reactive, not proactive, company. Had Windows Mobile been a priority before Android and iPhone, they might have a presence now, but they’ve been reduced to paying off and threatening Spammy Samsung into including their sad “apps”.

Samsung phones are very slow and glitchy, and a lot of that is, you know, not moving in the right direction. It has become a common carrier for malicious software that you can’t get rid of, including hidden Facebook system services that spy on people, even without Facebook accounts. I switched to a Google Pixel last year, and they’re much better. You lie down with dogs, you get fleas. So much for Spamsung.

In Microsoft’s reduced circumstances, they’ve decided to “force the issue” and “discontinue Internet Explorer”.

This Edge thing turned out to be a major strategic blunder that they are now committed to. It’s still there, rotting in the guts of Windows 11 and adding security problems, but they’ve removed all of the convenient ways to launch it.

Despite Internet Explorer falling 69% 🙂 in a single year, Microsoft Edge failed to budge on the desktop. Firefox and Safari actually took a meaningful share on the desktop.

This appears to be because people are buying Macs or not even getting a desktop computer at all and are heading straight to an iPhone.

Since PC sales are in the dumps, (6% drop in hits to PornHub in 2022) and with them Windows license revenues drop even if it remains at 64.7% on the desktop, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a lot of those 11,000 layoffs at Microsoft were in Windows.

We already know that a lot of them happened to the Microsoft Edge team because it leaked out on Twitter.

Teams Impacted by Layoff on 1/18/2023

@tomwarren Twitter is reporting Microsoft’s layoffs today have affected employees in the following divisions:

• HoloLens
• Microsoft Edge
• marketing
• 343 Industries
• Bethesda


This is the second round of Microsoft Edge layoffs.

The first round was last year, when they whacked a bunch of XBOX people at the same time.

There’s really no use for Edge except to route people to their crappy off brand search engine and give them 3 screens of advertisements before any “results” and they scooped out Google’s spyware and put in Microsoft spyware.

They marketed Edge as “saving you money with price comparisons”, and it’s usually offering you the wrong thing on some other site, and that’s an aside anyway because it’s just another way that their browser is obviously spying on you, keylogging, and password stealing. (There was a scandal a while back where Windows gives all your passwords from Firefox or Chrome to Edge anyway even if you said no.)

Things are going so badly for Microsoft right now that they sacked their paid army of “come back to Windows trolls” last year, over 200 of them on their official payroll.

Things aren’t just “getting” bad at Microsoft, this is 1990 in the Soviet Union. The Berlin wall had come down and there was still denial, there were still a lot of people projecting confidence that “reforms” would make the whole thing go on somehow, but it was on borrowed time.

Very soon, they may even have to stop running the welfare programs for their army of unofficial trolls, like ZDNet and “Debian Stabbers”.

The situation in Azure/”Cloud” isn’t very good. They shuffle money around like Ted Beneke’s company on Breaking Bad to obscure where things are good and where things are bad. By shoving everything under “Cloud” they can absorb things that only cost money, including failed acquisitions like Skype, which….when is the last time anyone used that?

But nobody asks questions of these sorts of things until it falls apart and the dam of investor-oriented propaganda busts open.

Stay tuned.

Links 20/01/2023: Red Hat Satellite 6.12.1 is Out, FOSS Weekly Blocked by Google/Gmail

Posted in News Roundup at 12:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HackadayThat Old ThinkPad Needs An Open Source 2.5″ IDE SSD

        So you fancy yourself a FOSS devotee, do you? Running GNU/Linux on your old ThinkPad, avoiding devices that need binary blobs? Got LibreBoot installed too? Not bad, not bad. But what about the hard drive? Can you be sure you aren’t leaking some freedoms out of that spinning rust?

    • Server

      • SDTimesThe perfect SRE doesn’t exist, but the right one might already be in your organization – SD Times

        There’s been an explosion of interest in SRE over the last 18 months and a lot of this has been from companies that are looking at scaling their DevOps or DevSecOps initiatives to look at the reliability concerns of their customers.

      • Linux HintHow to Set Different Kubernetes Restart Policies

        We will talk specifically about the various Kubernetes restart policies in this article. Let us first discuss the various policies that are used when Kubernetes has to be restarted. You can use these Policies to stop a certain workload from being deployed in the cluster. While imposing stringent standards in the cluster is typically done to ensure compliance, cluster administrators should also follow several best practices that have been suggested.

      • Linux HintHow to Use Linux sysctls in Kubernetes

        This post will discuss what Linux sysctl is in Kubernetes and how it can be used within a cluster of Kubernetes. The sysctl is an interface in the Linux operating system which enables the administrator to modify the parameters of the kernel at runtime. Here, we will demonstrate how to use the Linux sysctls in the Kubernetes platform. We will demonstrate a simple example to help you understand what kind of output you can expect while implementing the kubectl commands for using the sysctls in Kubernetes.

      • Linux HintKubernetes HostPath Volumes

        A hostPath volume points to a particular file system socket or directory on the node. In Kubernetes, there are various volume types. Because GitRepo and emptyDir volumes are erased, the hostPath volume is advantageous in Kubernetes applications because it preserves the content of the volumes. The hostPath volume and the Kubernetes volumes type are discussed in this article. You will learn how to launch the Minikube and build a YAML file manifest in this article. You will then be guided step-by-step through the configuration of the hostPath volume and the creation of the pod volume.

      • Kubernetes BlogConsider All Microservices Vulnerable — And Monitor Their Behavior | Kubernetes

        This post warns Devops from a false sense of security. Following security best practices when developing and configuring microservices do not result in non-vulnerable microservices. The post shows that although all deployed microservices are vulnerable, there is much that can be done to ensure microservices are not exploited. It explains how analyzing the behavior of clients and services from a security standpoint, named here “Security-Behavior Analysis”, can protect the deployed vulnerable microservices. It points to Guard, an open source project offering security-behavior monitoring and control of Kubernetes microservices presumed vulnerable.

        As cyber attacks continue to intensify in sophistication, organizations deploying cloud services continue to grow their cyber investments aiming to produce safe and non-vulnerable services. However, the year-by-year growth in cyber investments does not result in a parallel reduction in cyber incidents. Instead, the number of cyber incidents continues to grow annually. Evidently, organizations are doomed to fail in this struggle – no matter how much effort is made to detect and remove cyber weaknesses from deployed services, it seems offenders always have the upper hand.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 84: the @property at-rule

        The @property rule allows you to register custom properties.

        You can already define custom properties, but the difference between defining and registering is that the at-rule allows you to specify the type and other attributes.

      • Linux HandbookBeginner’s Guide to Using Podman Compose

        If you have looked for alternatives to Docker, Podman might have attracted your attention.

      • Trend OceansHow to Install and Use WhatsApp Client in Linux – TREND OCEANS

        Looking for an easy way to install and use WhatsApp on Linux? This how-to guide gives step-by-step instructions on how you can download and set up WhatsApp on your Linux machine.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

        GIMP, also known as GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a widely used and highly versatile image editing software that can be integrated into your Ubuntu desktop. This powerful software can be used for a variety of tasks, including photo editing, graphic design, and creating digital art. It offers many features that can bring many benefits to your workflow, such as the ability to enhance and manipulate images, create custom graphics, and save money on expensive alternatives. Incorporating GIMP into your Ubuntu desktop is a great way to take your image editing skills to the next level.

      • Setting Up an Email Server with Carbonio CE

        This article gives an overview of how to deploy and manage a private email server on Linux using Carbonio Community Edition and its dedicated Admin Panel.

        Sending and receiving confidential information is a normal part of any business. Many companies send this information through public email servers, which means they have little control over who can run, use and manage the email system. This exposes them to spam, phishing, and data breaches. Having a private server is a big step towards email security; plus, it keeps those creepy online ads away. Here is an easy way to deploy and manage your own private email server on Linux using Carbonio Community Edition and its dedicated Admin Panel.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install PHP Composer on Debian 11 or 10

        PHP Composer is a powerful tool that helps manage dependencies in PHP projects. It works by specifying the dependencies in a file called composer.json and then running the composer command to install or update them. Incorporating PHP Composer into your Debian system can bring numerous advantages to your development process.

      • Linux CapableHow to Upgrade from Debian 11 Bullseye to Debian 12 Bookworm

        Debian is a widespread Linux distribution known for its stability and security. The upcoming version of Debian 11 Bookworm is an exciting release that looks to feature Linux Kernel 6.1 and GNOME 43. The Debian Release Team has proposed the following schedule for the release of Debian 12.0: transition and toolchain freeze around January 12, 2023, soft freeze around February 12, 2023, and complete hard freeze around March 12, 2023. The release of Debian 12.0 is expected to take place a few months after that, depending on the progress of bug fixes. A mid-2023 release is expected.

        People eager to upgrade to Debian 12 Bookworm can do so from Debian 11 Bullseye, but it’s important to note that some bugs may be present. However, for those who are comfortable with testing software or are not bothered by potential issues, upgrading from Debian 11 Bullseye to Debian 12 Bookworm is possible with a few simple steps.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Monitor RAM Usage on Linux – Linux Nightly

        This tutorial shows how to monitor RAM usage on Linux by using commands like top, htop, free, vmstart, and a GUI method.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Use Snap Package Manager on Linux – Linux Nightly

        This tutorial shows how to install Snap package manager on all Linux distros, and use it to install, remove, and update software packages.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Install Discord on Manjaro – Linux Nightly

        See how to install Discord on Manjaro Linux using Pacman command or Snap package manager.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install PHP 8.2, 8.1, 8.0, or 7.4 on Debian 11 or 10

        PHP is a programming language executed on the server and is mainly used for creating websites and web applications. It can be easily incorporated into a Debian server to create dynamic websites and content management systems (CMS). PHP is also a popular language for web developers as it can be integrated with various databases and frameworks to create powerful, dynamic web applications.

      • Linux HintHow to Import the Favorites/Bookmarks into Google Chrome

        If you’re switching to Google Chrome from another web browser, you will want to import the favorites/bookmarks from that browser to Google Chrome.

        Google Chrome can import the favorites/bookmarks from other browsers very easily.

        To import the favorites/bookmarks into Google Chrome, open the Google Chrome and click on ⋮ > Bookmarks > Import bookmarks and settings… from the top-right corner of Google Chrome.

      • Linux HintHow to Create Local Persistent Volume in Kubernetes

        In this guide, we will learn about local persistent volumes in Kubernetes and how we create local persistent volume files in Kubernetes. Persistent volumes are similar to host Path volumes but they allow only a few specifications, like point-to-point pining to specific nodes.

      • Linux HintHow to Create Kubernetes Network Policies

        In this article, we will discuss network policies in Kubernetes. Network policies are very important in Kubernetes. With the help of network policies, we specify how pods communicate with each other and how we make connections between pods. If you are new to this concept, this article is for you. Let us start the article with a detailed definition of network policies in Kubernetes.

      • Linux HintHow to Configure Event Rate Limit in Kubernetes

        Kubernetes provides various ways to control the number of resources individual containers can consume. One important way to limit the number of resources used by individual containers is through event rate limits. This article describes event rate limits and how to use this feature to limit resource consumption for your applications running on Kubernetes.

      • Linux HintHow to Configure Deny Service External IPs in Kubernetes

        You may run into a problem while setting up a Kubernetes cluster when you only know how to use NodePort to make your Kubernetes service accessible over the Internet. When employing the NodePort service type, a high port number will be assigned and you must allow connections to those ports in your firewall rule. It is detrimental to your infrastructure particularly if the server is accessible via the open Internet. You can assign a block of IP addresses outside the cluster as a cluster administrator who can transmit traffic to services there. This is exactly what we are going to talk about in this article: to find all the critical information on how to configure deny service external IPs in Kubernetes.

      • UNIX CopHow to rename the volume group for root and swap on Alma Linux 9?

        In this post, you will learn how to rename the volume group for root and swap using Alma Linux 9

    • Games

      • TechdirtDevelopers Of Stadia Exclusive Hide Game Inside Other Steam Game To Preserve It

        This is one of those interesting times when multiple topics we regularly cover here at Techdirt converge. Readers here will recall all the posts we did on the rollout and eventual demise of Google’s Stadia product. Stadia was primarily to be a game streaming service for existing games. That being said, the service also signed up some exclusive games for release. With Stadia’s eventual demise, one of the open questions was how that art and culture in the form of the game would be preserved, another regular topic of conversation here.

      • GamingOnLinuxGet some gems like Streets of Rogue, Hellpoint, Chasm and more in this bundle

        Fanatical seem to be putting out some really great bundles lately, with the Vanquish Bundle offering up some pretty nice indie gems for you. I’ll go over what to expect on Steam Deck, and for Linux desktop listing either Native Linux status or ProtonDB rating (which goes Platinum – Gold – Silver – Bronze – Broken) to save you clicking around for info on each one.

      • GamingOnLinuxGE-Proton removes the dxvk-async patch in version 7-45

        There’s another release of the community-made compatibility layer GE-Proton with version 7-45 out now, and this one removes a popular patch to help game performance but there’s a good reason for that.

      • GamingOnLinuxHyper Gunsport saves the original from the closure of Stadia

        Hyper Gunsport released on Steam and itch.io with Native Linux support back in December 2022, and now the developer has sort-of rescued the original Stadia exclusive Gunsport with it.

      • GamingOnLinuxThe Wandering Village gets gamepad and Steam Deck support

        The Wandering Village, a very unique city-builder set on the back of a giant creature recently had a major update that added in gamepad support which also helps Steam Deck too. I was a pretty big fan of the initial release.

      • Gizmo ChinaAyaneo Confirms the Release of Their Linux-based Ayaneo OS

        Ayaneo announced that it will release Ayaneo OS, a Linux-based operating system for its devices later this year. The move is similar to Valve’s decision to release SteamOS 3, which powers the Steam Deck, as a way to have more control over the user experience. Here are the details…

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Red Hat OfficialRed Hat Announces Intent to Reach Net-Zero Operational Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030 [Ed: Shallow and meaningless greenwashing, citing some very distant future date]

        Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced its ambition to achieve net-zero operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 to address the global climate crisis.

        Red Hat’s 2030 operational net-zero goal follows a science-aligned pathway to limit global warming to 1.5-degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and includes scope 1 and 2 emissions, and scope 3 emissions associated with Red Hat’s electricity consumption in third-party colocation data centers. The company has been through a rigorous exercise to develop an emissions accounting profile which establishes a baseline year of 2019.

      • Red Hat OfficialClevis performance improvements

        This blog post showcases the performance improvements achieved in the process of booting unlock for Clevis LUKS-bound devices. By removing a single function from the boot process, boot time was shortened by 20% to 47%, depending on the scenario.

        Clevis is a software framework that allows booting encrypted LUKS devices without manual intervention. This tool is part of Network-Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE). Clevis is the “client” side, although it is not strictly necessary to work against a server, and can be configured to read keys in different ways.

      • Red Hat OfficialRed Hat Satellite 6.12.1 has been released

        We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.12.1 is generally available as of January 18, 2023.

        Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

      • Red Hat OfficialTaking patch management to the next level with automation

        The term “patching” dates back to the days of punch cards when a programmer would literally patch a hole in a punch card to correct a bug. This allowed the programmer to correct mistakes without re-punching the entire card. What a painfully manual process that would have been to scale!

        We have come a long way since the mid-twentieth century when this technique was used, but patching is as prevalent—if not significantly more so—today as ever as the threat landscape is evolving more rapidly and software release cycles shorten.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Linux GizmosMSI Cubi 5 12M Mini PC available for pre-order

        MSI presented their Cubi 5 12M mini PC at CES 2023 earlier this month. This mini-PC integrates Alder-Lake-U processors and it provides dual 4K displays, dual 2.5GbE LAN ports, 1x M.2 slot , Wi-Fi 6E/Bluetooth 5.2, etc.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Tom’s HardwareRadxa Taco Turns a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Into a NAS

        As it uses a Compute Module, the carrier board has to supply all the ports, and this one has been neatly designed for network storage use with five SATA interfaces, each capable of taking a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD up to 15mm (0.6in) thick. If you want to use 3.5in drives, that’s possible too with an extension cable. You can arrange the drives using software RAID in RAID 0, 1 or 5 configurations (with the last one requiring at least three disks). There’s no mention of a maximum drive capacity.

        In addition to this you get an M.2 M Key 2280 socket for an NVMe SSD, and a Micro SD card slot. There’s another M.2 socket too, an E Key for a Wi-Fi module or a Google Coral (opens in new tab) AI accelerator. There’s an optional OLED status screen too, and activity LEDs for all the drives.

      • Computer HistoryThe Lisa: Apple’s Most Influential Failure

        Happy 40th Birthday to Lisa! The Apple Lisa computer, that is. In celebration of this milestone, CHM has received permission from Apple to release the source code to the Lisa software, including its system and applications software.

        Access the code here.

        What is the Apple Lisa computer, and why was its release on January 19, 1983, an important date in computer history? Apple’s Macintosh line of computers today, known for bringing mouse-driven graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to the masses and transforming the way we use our computers, owes its existence to its immediate predecessor at Apple, the Lisa. Without the Lisa, there would have been no Macintosh—at least in the form we have it today—and perhaps there would have been no Microsoft Windows either.

      • CubicleNateRaspberry Pi OctoPrint Powered by Ender3 3D Printer – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        After almost a year of having my Ender3, it has received a lot of new parts, fixes and upgrades. The great thing about the Ender3 is that you can do so much with it and truly personalize it for your use case. One area that needed to be addressed was the power supply situation that powers the Raspberry Pi running OctoPrint. Having a single switch to shut the station down is a far more elegant solution to power down this 3D printing station.

      • CNX SoftwareQuiet, ultrathin AirJet solid state active cooling chips could replace fans – CNX Software

        Frore Systems Airjet Mini and Airjet Pro are active cooling chips that are just 2.8mm thick and quietly suck cool air in from the top of the chip before pushing it out the sides with the aim to replace traditional fan-based solutions in ultrabooks, or be integrated into VR headsets and smartphones for improved cooling.

        Yesterday we saw that cameras could clean themselves with micro-vibrations, and it happens that processors can be cooled with vibrations too as the Airjet chips are comprised of tiny membranes that vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies to generate a flow of air that enters through inlet vents in the top and transformed into high-velocity pulsating jets exiting from one side of the chip.

      • CNX SoftwareLILYGO T-RSC3 ESP32-C3 board features isolated RS232 – RS485 interfaces, 5 to 24V DC input – CNX Software

        LILYGO T-RSC3 is a relatively compact ESP32-C3 board with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth LE 5.0 connectivity, support for RS232 and RS485 communication protocols through a DB9 connector and a terminal connector respectively, and a wide 5V to 24V DC power input.

        LILYGO had already made an ESP32 board with CAN Bus and RS485 interfaces called the T-CAN485, but without any isolation. The new T-RSC3 offers both RS232 and RS485 interfaces, but no CAN Bus, protected by isolated transceiver modules that should make it safer to use in industrial environments.

      • ArduinoThis DIY Apple Pencil writes with gestures

        Released in 2015, the Apple Pencil is a technology-packed stylus that allows users to write on iPad screens with variations in pressure and angle — all while communicating with very low latencies. Nekhil Ravi and Shebin Jose Jacob of Coders Café were inspired by this piece of handheld tech to come up with their own pencil concept, except this one wouldn’t need a screen in order to function.

        The pair’s writing utensil relies on recognizing certain gestures as letters, and once one has been detected, outputs the result over USB or Bluetooth® to the host device. They started by first gathering many samples of different letters and how they correlate to the change in motion on the Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense’s built-in accelerometer. From here, they designed an impulse in the Edge Impulse Studio to extract spectral features from the time series accelerometer data and pass it to a classification Keras neural network. The resulting model could accurately determine the correct letter from each gesture, making it suitable for deployment back to the Nano 33 BLE Sense.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • [Old] MailpileRebooting Mailpile

      The main reason for these changes, is that Python 2 is no longer maintained or supported by the community, and I decided that rewriting the whole thing in Python 3 made more sense than attempting to port the old code.

    • It’s FOSSFOSS Weekly #23.03: Unknown Linux Shells, Terminals, Code Editors and More

      Google is tightening its noose around what emails it wants to show you instead of what you want to see.

      Several readers notified me that FOSS Weekly emails are going to the spam directly and they have to retrieve the mail from spam manually.

      If you are using Gmail, please add my email to your contacts list otherwise Google may start hiding it from your inbox. Don’t fall prey to Google’s tactics.


      The FBI managed to trace a Tor user’s real IP address, they wouldn’t divulge how. We wonder how they were able to accomplish that.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • Chromium

      • Mozilla

        • GhacksThunderbird 102.7.0 requires manual updating due to a bug [Ed: Microsoft is breaking Thunderbird]

          Thunderbird 102.7.0 is the first version of the email client that handles OAuth2 authentication for Microsoft accounts differently. The team had to make the change, according to a blog post on the official Thunderbird website, to meet Microsoft’s publisher verification requirements.

          The project switched to a new Azure application and ID. Some users who use Thunderbird may receive a notification prompt on first run of Thunderbird 102.7.0 that prompts for administrative approval.

          If that is the case, an IT administrator needs to approve the client. The team provides the following information on the procedure:

          “If you encounter a screen saying “Need admin approval” during the login process, please contact your IT administrators to approve the client ID 9e5f94bc-e8a4-4e73-b8be-63364c29d753 for Mozilla Thunderbird (it previously appeared to non-admins as “Mzla Technologies Corporation”).

    • Programming/Development

      • Linux HintHow to Connect MongoDB with Golang

        Just like the C language, the Golang language is also an open-source language that can be executed on many tools on Windows and Linux/Unix systems to create records. Like C++ and Java, we can make a connection between a MongoDB client system and Go language using any golang tool. To do this, we will be performing several very important and necessary steps in Ubuntu 22.04 by utilizing the Visual Studio code tool for a program. Before making a connection with MongoDB compass, we tend to install MongoDB and Visual Studio Code along with “go” and required extensions in the guide to help you out in the Go language.

      • Java

        • OpenSource.comA guide to Java for loops

          In programming, you often need your code to iterate over a set of data to process each item individually. You use control structures to direct the flow of a program, and the way you tell your code what to do is by defining a condition that it can test. For instance, you might write code to resize an image until all images have been resized once. But how do you know how many images there are? One user might have five images, and another might have 100. How do you write code that can adapt to unique use cases? In many languages, Java included, one option is the for loop. Another option for Java is the Stream method. This article covers both.

  • Leftovers

    • Kev QuirkTen Years of Blogging

      Ten years ago today, I started this blog. I can’t believe it’s been a decade already! Here’s some stats from the last 10 years, as well as some lessons I’ve learned along the way…

      When I started drafting up this post, I thought it would be a good idea to have some stats, so I went away and typed up some liquid (as this blog is based on Jekyll) to show those stats.

      Then, I decided it would be cool to have ongoing stats as the blog grows, so I’ve added a stats page for us all to enjoy. To save you the trouble of navigating away from this page, here’s some high level stats…

    • GreeceMetro riders to get 5G services

      The first phase of the project is set to last until March of this year and aims to find the best technical solution, which will then be applied to the entire network.

    • The NationHic et Nunc

      A.E. Stallings is the author of four collections of poetry: Archaic Smile (1999), Hapax (2006), Olives (2012), and Like (2018). Born in Decatur, Ga., in 1968, Stallings studied classics at the University of Georgia and at Oxford before decamping in 1999 to Athens, Greece, where she lives with her husband and two children. One of America’s leading poets, Stallings is also a translator of Hesiod and Lucretius as well as a book critic. Her body of work—which has drawn comparisons to Edna St. Vincent Millay and Elizabeth Bishop, but which also recalls the urbane style of her fellow American expatriate in Athens, James Merrill—is notable for two things: its sustained engagement with the literature and material culture of antiquity, and its use of rhyme, meter, and fixed verse forms. In her work, traditional forms like the Sapphic stanza, the sonnet, the villanelle, the sestina, the haiku, the triolet, and the ballad stanza can be found alongside forms of a newer vintage, like the multiple-choice poem, the poem whose syllabics are determined by the Fibonacci sequence, and the poem whose words are composed exclusively of a fixed series of letters. 

    • Counter PunchBarbara Walters in Real Life: Icon and ‘Pushy Cookie’

      Barbara Walters, who died on December 30, 2022, received many accolades during the days that followed. She was rightly hailed as a TV journalist who shattered glass ceilings and fused hard news with gossip-style entertainment and an interview style that led even famous world leaders and others, accustomed to formality and social distancing, to relish the aura of intimacy she created. She was admired, particularly by her female colleagues, who extolled Barbara Walters as ‘pioneer,’ ‘trailblazer,’ and ‘legendary.’ She was most frequently celebrated as an ‘iconic trailblazer’ who permanently elevated the role and impact of women in TV journalism. I share the view that her drive and style resulted in an extraordinary career that makes it plausible to eulogize her death with words of extreme praise, tempered in some assessments by her own self-deprecating image of herself as ‘a pushy cookie,’ and that she was, and probably needed to be, to climb to the heights of media stardom in the patriarchal kingdom from which she emerged.

      In the close aftermath of such a public death, I felt hesitant to share my own less flattering experience with Barbara. Yet as the days pass, I became convinced that this idealized portrayal of Walters needed to be balanced by off-camera encounters, which admittedly seem trivial if compared to the experience of countless others, but they were important for me and  accompanied by intriguing asides.

    • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: The Specter of Equity and Other Evils

      + Having saved Christmas, FoxNews’ Greg Gutfeld, another man who failed at comedy and took up political commentary, has now declared war on “equity,” calling it an “evil word…a word that causes communism…and leads to (class?) war.” It’s like the movie Candyman. Say “Equity” three times in the mirror and presto: You’ll be forever haunted by the specter of … Communism!

    • MeduzaTwilight borders Cross-cultural ties and historical tensions at a tripoint in Central Europe — Meduza
    • Science

      • HackadayQ Meter Measures… Q, Of Course

        If you’ve ever dealt with RF circuits, you probably have run into Q — a dimensionless number that indicates the ratio of reactance to resistance. If you ever wanted to measure Q, you could do worse than pick up a vintage Booton 160A Q meter. [Mikrowave1] did just that and shows us how it works in the video below.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • HackadayDomesticating Plasma With A Gorgeous Live Edge Table

        If you’ve been reading Hackaday for any length of time, you’ll know we don’t often cover woodworking projects here. It’s not because we aren’t impressed with the skill and effort that folks put into them, and truth be told, we occasionally we even feel a pang of envy when looking at the final result. It’s just that, you know…they’re made of wood.

      • HackadayHigh-Speed Sled Adds Bicycle Suspension

        While you might have bought the best pair of skis in the 90s or 00s, as parts on boots and bindings start to fail and safety standards for ski equipment improve, even the highest-quality skis more than 15 or 20 years old will eventually become unsafe or otherwise obsolete. There are plenty of things that can be done with a pair of old skis, but if you already have a shot ski and an Adirondack chair made of old skis, you can put another pair to use building one of the fastest sleds we’ve ever seen.

      • HackadayWhat Else Is An M.2 WiFi Slot Good For?

        Many mainboards and laptops these days come with a range of M.2 slots, with only a subset capable of NVME SSDs, and often a stubby one keyed for ‘WiFi’ cards. Or that’s what those are generally intended to be used for, but as [Peter Brockie] found out when pilfering sites like AliExpress, is that you can get a lot of alternate expansion cards for those slots that have nothing to do with WiFi.

      • HackadayAutomated Drip Watering Device Keeps Plants Happy

        Plants tend to need a regular supply of water to stay happy. If you’re a green thumb, it’s one of the primary things you should take care of before you go on holiday. This DIY plant watering system from [Jaychouu] offers to handle just that.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Pro PublicaWatchdog Seeks Harsher Penalties in Wake of Abuse at Illinois Mental Health Center

        The watchdog for the Illinois Department of Human Services is seeking harsher penalties against health care workers who obstruct abuse and neglect investigations.

        IDHS Inspector General Peter Neumer’s call to action comes on the heels of extensive reporting by Lee Enterprises, Capitol News Illinois and ProPublica last year that revealed a culture of abuse and cover-ups at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in rural southern Illinois. The news organizations detailed how uncooperative staff stymied the state’s ability to hold employees facing serious abuse allegations to account.

      • The NationUnredacted NIH E-mails Show Efforts to Rule Out a Lab Origin of Covid

        As Covid-19 was spreading fear and spurring lockdowns across the United States in March 2020, the scientific journal Nature Medicine published a paper titled “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2.” Written by five renowned academic scientists, it played an important early role in shaping the debate about a fiercely controversial topic: the origin of the virus that has killed millions since it emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Did it spill from animals to humans in nature, on a farm, in a market? Or did it leak from a lab like the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a leading center of coronavirus research in China? Drawing on “comparative analysis of genomic data,” the paper’s authors wrote that “our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated construct.” Toward the end of the paper, they added, “We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible” in explaining the origin of the virus. Instead, the scientists strongly favored a natural origin, arguing that the virus likely spilled from bats into humans, possibly by way of an intermediate animal host.1This article was produced in partnership with The Intercept.

      • Counter PunchFukushima’s Toxic Dumping Flashpoint

        “We must remind Japan that if the radioactive nuclear wastewater is safe, just dump it in Tokyo, test it in Paris and store it in Washington, but keep our Pacific nuclear-free.” (Vanuatu’s celebrated former ‘Turaga Chief’ Motarilavoa Hilda Lini)

        In the face of considerable worldwide criticism, TEPCO is moving ahead with its well-advertised plans to dump contaminated water from storage tanks at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster zone into the Pacific Ocean. They are running out of storage space and the Pacific Ocean is conveniently right next door.

      • The NationThe Supreme Court’s Big Investigation Into the Dobbs Leak Is a Big Bust

        Last May, about six weeks before the Supreme Court released its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, in which conservative justices overturned Roe v. Wade, a leaked version of that opinion appeared in Politico. The Politico draft turned out to be almost exactly what Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his final majority opinion. Whoever gave the opinion to Politico had access to the court’s deliberations at the highest level.

      • ScheerpostAbortion Bans Are Part of GOP Plan to Disempower Working Class: Analysis

        The Economic Policy Institute details how “abortion restrictions constitute an additional piece in a sustained project of economic subjugation.”

      • Common Dreams‘Cancel This Failed Experiment’: Physicians Tell Biden HHS to End Medicare Privatization Pilot

        A national physician group this week called for the complete termination of a Medicare privatization scheme that the Biden White House inherited from the Trump administration and later rebranded—while keeping intact its most dangerous components.

    • Proprietary

      • Dark ReadingAttackers Crafted Custom Malware for Fortinet Zero-Day
      • NBCThe lights have been on at a Massachusetts school for over a year because no one can turn them off

        The lighting system was installed at Minnechaug Regional High School when it was built over a decade ago and was intended to save money and energy. But ever since the software that runs it failed on Aug. 24, 2021, the lights in the Springfield suburbs school have been on continuously, costing taxpayers a small fortune.

      • [Old] Minnechaug Regional High SchoolWhat’s Wrong With The Lights?

        When the high school was rebuilt in 2012, an energy conservation software was added which relied on a daylight harvesting system for the lights to use daylight to equalize the light in the room. Cenedella estimates that there are about 7,000 lights in the building, all of which individually send information through wires to a computer which determines how much light to keep that particular one on. This system is owned by a company called 5th Light.

        “On occasion, the software would go down and it would somehow get corrupted. We would try to recycle it and eventually everything would come back on,” Cenedella said. “Unfortunately the last time it got corrupted it was unfixable.”

        Gaining access to the software that runs the lights is one of the main reasons why the lights can’t be adjusted correctly. “[5th Light] no longer has any of that information. They don’t have the software,” Cenedella said. “The old information is proprietary, so they wouldn’t originally give it to us. Now, they say that they don’t have it and that it’s unavailable.”

      • CBCWant a job? You’ll have to convince our AI bot first

        While AI hiring tools can save time and money for businesses when all they want to do is fill a job, experts caution that the platforms can overlook qualified candidates — and even introduce new biases into hiring processes if they’re not carefully used.

        Meanwhile, human job seekers are usually in the dark about exactly which AI tools are being used and how their algorithms work, prompting frustrated searches for advice on how to “beat” recruitment software — much of it only scratching the surface.

      • IT WireBeyondTrust enhances Linux and Active Directory support [Ed: Stephen Withers (Microsofter) pushing Microsoftism in “Linux” clothing; see this on Azure and “Trust”]
      • The Wall Street JournalMicrosoft Hosted Sting Performance in Davos on Night Before Announcing Layoffs [Ed: At least Sting did not dance and perform for Saudi 'Royals'. Bill Gates and Microsoft are a near second in Davos.]

        On Tuesday evening, Microsoft hosted an event. It was an intimate gathering of 50 or so people, including the company’s top executives, who got to while away the evening listening to a performance by the musical artist Sting, said people familiar with the event.

        The concert would end up sounding a sour note to some employees at Microsoft the next morning. On Wednesday—while much of the company’s leadership team was halfway around the world from its Redmond, Wash. headquarters—it announced plans to lay off 10,000 people. It was the largest round of layoffs Microsoft has had since 2014, and as CEO Satya Nadella would explain in a blog post, reflected the need for the company to adapt to a global economic slowdown.

        Top Microsoft executives have been a major presence at this year’s World Economic Forum. On Tuesday Mr. Nadella was interviewed on stage for a Wall Street Journal panel and he spoke about the promise of artificial intelligence. On Wednesday, he was on stage again, discussing the headwinds for the tech industry, and the need to do more with less.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • News AUPTJ Muay Thai trainer’s shock as 15 cops turn up after Apple Watch calls police

          Jamie was yelling out the combinations “1-1-2” – while also telling his client “good shot” – and that’s when he and the officers realised what had possibly happened.

          “The button is on the side of the watch and if it is pressed down for long enough, Siri is activated and in that time I must have yelled out ‘1-1-2’, it called emergency and they heard the impact of the pads and me saying ‘good shot’ or ‘nice shot’.”

        • Krebs On SecurityNew T-Mobile Breach Affects 37 Million Accounts

          T-Mobile today disclosed a data breach affecting tens of millions of customer accounts, its second major data exposure in as many years. In a filing with federal regulators, T-Mobile said an investigation determined that someone abused its systems to harvest subscriber data tied to approximately 37 million current customer accounts.

        • TorNew Release: Tor Browser 12.0.2

          Tor Browser 12.0.2 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

          This release updates Firefox to 102.7, including bug fixes, stability improvements and important security updates. There were no Android-specific security updates to backport from the Firefox 109 release.

        • TechdirtExperian’s Treasure Trove Of PII Breached By Simply Altering URLs

          Data brokers like Experian and Equifax pose tempting targets for malicious hackers looking to find another source for personal info they can hawk online to other malicious people. The sad thing is, no one really needs to hack their databases. They’re more than willing to just leave them exposed.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The NationWhen It Comes to the US Military, Nothing Succeeds Like Failure

        More than two millennia ago, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides recounted a disastrous conflict Athens waged against Sparta. A masterwork on strategy and war, the book is still taught at the US Army War College and many other military institutions across the world. A passage from it describing an ultimatum Athens gave a weaker power has stayed with me all these years. And here it is, loosely translated from the Greek: “The strong do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.”

      • The NationInsurrection
      • Common DreamsMedvedev Threatens Nuclear War If Russia Loses in Ukraine

        Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of current Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Thursday that a Russian loss in Ukraine could lead to nuclear war.

      • Common DreamsPrince Harry’s PR Firestorm Creates Opportunity to Rethink Militarism

        In the wake of Prince Harry’s new book Spare, leaked excerpts that he had killed 25 people in the war in Afghanistan shocked readers. He reflected on what it’s like to take a life in war: “You can’t kill people if you think of them as people. You can’t really harm people if you think of them as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board. Bads taken away before they could kill Goods. I’d been trained to ‘other-ize’ them, trained well. On some level I recognized this learned detachment as problematic. But I also saw it as an unavoidable part of soldiering.”

      • Counter PunchDid Washington Boost Another South American Coup?

        The U.S. tyranny of monopoly capital has long preferred to deal with fascist governments abroad, specifically in the Global South. American oligarchs’ foreign fascist sycophants are so much more malleable than democratic representatives; they don’t even have to be told what to do because they know. It’s in their DNA. From murdering peasants to tossing leftists out of helicopters during flight, to privatizing anything in the public domain to stuffing their offshore bank accounts with cash, to financing death squads to doing the bidding, whatever it may be, of Washington bigwigs, foreign fascists all read from the same script, and nowhere is their chorus more uniform than in Latin America. That’s because despite the southern continent’s repeated and determined lurch toward socialism over the past century, the U.S. has intervened with coups so often that by now Latino fascists have loads of experience. They know exactly what to do.

        And of course it’s elementary that what to do does not include a basic income, state-subsidized housing, medical care and education, improving basic infrastructure, including mass transit, providing food to the poor, putting the military on a funding diet or exiting the extractivist and cash crop economic model imposed by those financial totalitarians, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. All such moves smack of communism, of staving off destitution for the already impoverished, of concern for public welfare rather than private profit. And Latino fascists know that will never do, just as they know that unions, students, liberation theologians and left intellectuals are their natural enemies.

      • Counter PunchIs “Authoritarianism” Really “Being Revealed to be Weak” Around World?

        Beware of elite academics who tell you that things are better for democracy and the common good than they really are.

        Commenting last week on connections between (a) the US-American fascists Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, (b) the January 6the Capitol Riot, (c) the Brazilian fascist Bolsonaro family, and (d) the fascist attack on Brazil’s national government buildings twelve days ago, the liberal media-acclaimed “fascism expert” and 20th Century European historian (at NYU) Ruth Ben-Ghiat said something rather odd.

      • Counter PunchPolice Violence Reached an All-Time High Last Yea, Are We Ready to Shrink Police Budgets?

        The year 2022 was the deadliest year on record in the United States for fatalities at the hands of law enforcement. According to the Washington Post’s police shootings database, law enforcement officers shot and killed 1,096 people last year. In comparison, there were 1,048 shooting fatalities at the hands of police the year before, 1,019 the year before that, 997 the year before that, and so on.

        These numbers are most likely underestimated. According to Abdul Nasser Rad, managing director of research and data at Mapping Police Violence, the Post “only captures incidents where a police officer discharges their firearm and the victim is killed.” This means that it doesn’t count events like the 2014 killing of Eric Garner in New York and the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, as both deaths resulted from asphyxiation.

      • TruthOutActivists Demand Independent Investigation After Cops Kill Protester in Atlanta
      • Common DreamsIndependent Probe Demanded After Police Kill Forest Defender “Tortuguita” in Atlanta

        Police accountability advocates on Thursday called for an independent investigation after an activist was shot and killed during a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement raid on a forest encampment blocking the construction of a massive police training center just outside Atlanta popularly known as Cop City.

      • ScheerpostBiden’s Safer America Plan Will Harm Already Hyper-Policed Communities

        A safer plan for America would invest in its people by promoting alternative deterrents to violence.

      • Counter PunchPlutonium Pit Bomb Plans Excoriated by General Accounting Office

        The independent General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a scathing report last week about the plan underway to refurbish plutonium pit triggers for nuclear weapons decades into the future. The GAO gave the National Nuclear Safety Administration a failing grade for its master plan to build “pit” factories in Los Alamos N.M. and Savannah River Site S.C., warning that costs, safety and quality controls could not be confidently verified by NNSA’s  current management strategies.

        NNSA is a semiautonomous branch of the Department of Energy tasked with maintaining the potency of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. NNSA is also described by the GAO as an agency “at high risk of fraud, financial waste, abuse, and mismanagement”.

      • Counter PunchIt Has Always Been a ‘Religious War’: On Ben Gvir and the Adaptability of Zionism

        In a self-congratulatory article published in the Atlantic in 2017, Yossi Klein Halevi describes Israeli behavior at the just-conquered holy Muslim shrines in Occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 as “an astonishing moment of religious restraint”.

        “The Jewish people had just returned to its holiest site, from which it had been denied access for centuries, only to effectively yield sovereignty at its moment of triumph,” Halevi wrote with a lingering sense of pride, as if the world owes Israel a ton of gratitude in the way it conducted itself during one of the most egregious acts of violence in the modern history of the Middle East.

      • Counter PunchA Picture of Global Complicity: Aiding Myanmar’s Military Regime

        International relations remains the sum game of vast hypocrisies, a patchwork of compromises and the compromised. Every moral condemnation of a regime’s conduct is bound to be shown up as an exercise in double standards, often implicating the accusers. In the case of the military regime in Myanmar, double standards are not only modish but expected.

        A number of international declarations and measures have targeted Myanmar’s regime for its blood-soaked brutality, its genocidal practices against the Rohingya, and its general contempt for the human rights of its citizenry. In a statement last November, US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken took note of the military’s “brutal campaign of violence against the people of Burma, carrying out lethal air strikes against the political opposition and the broader civilian population.”

      • The NationTony Dungy Is a Right-Wing Zealot and the NFL and NBC Don’t Care

        I’ve covered the March for Life in Washington, D.C., for years. It is a madhouse of right-wing gadflies, disinformation addicts, Qanon adherents, and, most disturbingly, class after class of teenage and tween-age children dragged there by teachers who abuse their authority in ways that would make Ron DeSantis smirk. (He only outlaws the speech of some teachers.)

      • The NationHarvard Reverses Course After a Nation Exposé

        On January 5, The Nation reported that Ken Roth, who headed Human Rights Watch for over two decades, had been rejected for a resident fellowship at the Kennedy School’s Carr Center on Human Rights.

      • Counter PunchIs There a World Beyond War?
      • ScheerpostUS May Help Ukraine Launch An Offensive On Crimea

        By Caitlin Johnstone / Substack In a new article titled “U.S. Warms to Helping Ukraine Target Crimea,” the New York Times reports that the Biden administration now believes Kyiv may need to launch an offensive on the territory that Moscow has considered a part of the Russian Federation since 2014, “even if such a move […]

      • ScheerpostDirect From Western Sahara: Learn About the Struggle of the Last Colony in Africa

        After 30 years of peace, the Polisario Front holds its 16th Congress amidst the war against Morocco’s invasion.

      • MeduzaRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov compares U.S. Ukraine aid to Holocaust — Meduza

        Speaking at an annual press conference on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov likened U.S. efforts to assist Ukraine to Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” to eradicate Europe’s Jewish population.

      • MeduzaPrigozhin says Wagner forces have captured key village near Bakhmut — Meduza

        Wagner mercenary group founder Evgeny Prigozhin said Thursday that his troops have taken control of Klishchiivka, a village located about five kilometers (three miles) south of Bakhmut.

      • MeduzaZelensky on ‘peace talks’ with Putin: ‘I cannot make out if he’s really alive’ — Meduza

        At the remote Ukrainian Breakfast hosted as part of the Davos 2023 forum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed doubt about the possibility of peace talks with Russia — and whether Vladimir Putin is still “alive.” “I don’t quite understand,” he said,

      • MeduzaPodolyak: banker Denys Kireyev, who warned of Russia’s plans to attack Kyiv, was killed because of lack of ‘unified coordination’ among law enforcement — Meduza

        Former banker and Ukrainian intelligence officer Denys Kireyev was killed because, in the first days of the war, there was “no unified coordination” between Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in an interview with Baltic news website Delfi. Podolyak is also a member of the Ukrainian delegation to talks with Russia.

      • Counter PunchIt Comes Down to Political Practice, It Comes Down to Weapons

        The deep divisions in the US left over the Ukraine war can be reduced to a single practical question: Do you support sending weapons to Ukraine?

        The answer to that question depends on whether or not you accept the idea that we’re the cops of the world. The two parties accept this without question but the pro-weapons left? Behind a facade of left-sounding words, political practice tells the tale.

      • Democracy NowAzerbaijan Blockades Nagorno-Karabakh Region, Angering Armenia & Raising Specter of a New War

        We get an update on Azerbaijan’s month-long blockade of the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to ethnic Armenians in the South Caucasus. Russia, which brokered a ceasefire between the two countries in 2020 following six weeks of intense fighting, says it’s ready to send troops to the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, but with the Russian military bogged down in a costly war in Ukraine, the country’s capacity to enforce a settlement may have changed. We speak with journalist Roubina Margossian, managing editor of the independent news site EVN Report in Armenia, who reported from Nagorno-Karabakh during the 2020 war.

      • MeduzaJailed Russian student activist Dmitry Ivanov beaten and threatened with rape by prison guard — Meduza

        Dmitry Ivanov, a student activist who was jailed last year for anti-war posts he made on his Telegram channel, has been severely beaten by a prison guard, according to his lawyer, Maria Eismont.

      • Meduza‘Expected to serve in any conditions’: How Russia is using new, stricter laws to prosecute soldiers who leave the front — Meduza

        In September 2022, on the day before Vladimir Putin announced mobilization in Russia, the Russian State Duma passed multiple amendments to the country’s Criminal Code at an emergency session. Among other changes, lawmakers introduced harsher penalties for “crimes against military service,” including insubordination, resistance to superiors, unauthorized absence from one’s unit, and desertion. BBC News Russia examined which charges are being applied most often to soldiers who refuse to fight in Ukraine.

      • MeduzaUnexplained photos and videos showing military equipment on Moscow roofs appear online — Meduza

        On January 19, videos and photographs appeared on social media, allegedly showing Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems mounted on the roofs of several buildings in Moscow. The authenticity of the videos and photos has not been confirmed.

      • Meduza‘A military defeat is the only cure’: Sociologist Dina Khapaeva on how Russia’s ‘death cult’ led to the war in Ukraine — Meduza

        In late November, at a meeting with “soldiers’ mothers,” Vladimir Putin told a woman whose son had purportedly died in Ukraine that “we all leave this world sooner or later,” and that her son “didn’t leave this life in vain” because he “accomplished his mission” rather than “dying from vodka or something.”

      • MeduzaEuropean Parliament moves to establish a tribunal for Russian and Belarusian leadership’s war crimes against Ukraine — Meduza

        With a majority vote, members of the European Parliament have adopted a resolution to establish a tribunal for the war crimes committed in Ukraine by the Russian and Belarusian leadership. A press release noted the MEP’s joint conviction that

    • Environment

      • teleSUROnly Social Pressure Will Contain the Climate Crisis: Greta

        “The changes will not come from the inside but from the outside. They will go as far as they can for their own benefits,” Thunberg said, referring to fossil fuel companies.

        “We need to create a critical mass of people who demand change and justice,” she emphasized at a high-profile meeting in Davos (Switzerland) with the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), as reported by Reuters.

      • TruthOutThis Scientist Was Fired by the US Government After Engaging in Climate Protests
      • TechdirtWyoming ‘Bans’ Electric Cars In Dumb Performative Oil Industry Ass Kissing

        While some states work on how best to phase out traditional gas cars to help mitigate the climate’s steady collapse, Wyoming is busy showcasing how far its head is lodged up the ass of the oil and gas industry.

      • Democracy Now“Out of the Lab and Into the Streets”: Meet Earth Scientist Fired After Engaging in Climate Protests

        It was a dramatic scene when scientist and climate activist Rose Abramoff joined fellow scientist Peter Kalmus in December to disrupt the world’s biggest meeting of scientists who study Earth and space: the American Geophysical Union. The nonviolent protest was meant as a call to action to address the climate crisis. She and Kalmus went up on stage and unfurled a banner that read, “Out of the lab & into the streets.” This was not Abramoff’s first protest. She previously chained herself to a White House gate and to a fence at Charlotte Douglas International Airport as part of a series of global protests coordinated by a group called Scientist Rebellion to raise awareness of how luxury air travel contributes to the climate crisis. Until earlier this month, Abramoff worked as an Earth scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. But in a New York Times opinion piece this month, she announced, “I’m a Scientist Who Spoke Up About Climate Change. My Employer Fired Me.”

      • Common DreamsGreta Thunberg Warns Davos Elite Will Throw Humanity ‘Under the Bus’ for Profits

        Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg took aim at those profiting off of the climate emergency Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland.

      • Counter PunchRapacious Industrial Capitalism and its Apocalyptic Consequences

        Christian apocalypse

        Is climate apocalypse possible? But what does apocalypse mean? Apocalypse in Greek means revelation, pulling the cover off something. But with Christians, apocalypse took a new violent meaning. At the end of the first century of our era, the Roman imperial government exiled John, a Jesus follower, to the Greek island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation in which he unleashed a storm of harm, blasphemies, and hatred against non-Christians, and the Roman Emperor Domitian, 81 – 96. This terrible book took the name of apocalypse.

      • Counter PunchWealth, Power and Climate Change

        I like clarity. On the question of the politics of climate change under capitalism, David Canfield’s new book Future on Fire: Capitalism and the Politics of Climate Change provides exactly that. In addition, the book is brief and very much to the point. The topic is climate change, the target is the system of capitalism and the point is that the issue is a political issue and that political power is what will halt humanity’s quickening race to self-destruction. Not the political power of politicians and bureaucrats who suckle on capitalism’s teat, but the political power of social movements; social movements that are slowly but surely being built. Social movements that require tenacity, a political and economic understanding of how the powerful see the planet and its residents, and reject corporate and other non-solutions to the crisis.

        Camfield begins this text with a reminder of where the planet is at the current moment. He discusses heat rise and the need to curtail CO2 emissions. Reasons why the planet is experiencing rapid increases in both are looked at and placed in perspective: population growth, economic growth, fossil fuels. Naturally, each of the reasons he presents are elements that contribute to the crisis. Addressing one or the other of them might help but, as Camfield makes abundantly clear, the primary culprit in the demise of the planet as we know it is the economic system of capitalism; its exploitation of the environment, of human labor and, most importantly, its need to constantly expand in order to survive. The metaphor of cancer is an appropriate and oft-used one when it comes to acknowledging capitalism’s destruction. What cancer cells do to the human body is what capitalism is doing to the planet and the multiple environmental systems it requires to exist as a healthy entity.

      • Energy/Transportation

        • Lusaka ZMZambia and UAE Sign Landmark Agreement for $2 Billion Renewable Energy Investment

          In a significant move towards sustainable energy, Zambia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to facilitate massive investment in renewable energy in Zambia. The MoU and JDA will see ZESCO, the country’s state-owned electricity company, partner with MASDAR, a key investment funding entity of the UAE, to form a joint venture in developing and deploying large-scale solar projects across the country, estimated at US$2 billion.

        • Lusaka ZMZambia President seeks modern rail network, promises to open Embassy in UAE, at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

          One of the key topics discussed during the meeting was the development of Zambia’s railway network. President Hichilema highlighted the need for a lasting solution to the country’s rundown and outdated railway network and emphasized the need for a modern rail network that can carry the bulk of Zambia’s cargo and reduce pressure on the country’s roads. He said, “Our rundown and outdated Railway Network needs a lasting solution that meets the aspirations of our envisaged Economic Transformation Agenda. Zambia needs a modern Rail Network that will carry the bulk of our cargo and also reduce pressure on our roads where we are currently spending enormous amounts of money on construction and maintenance. Our ultimate goal is not only to rehabilitate the existing network, but to also add more rail tracks to augment usage and optimise capacity in cargo and passenger freight.”

        • NL TimesSchiphol cuts 14,500 flights as permanent contraction begins

          The Cabinet wants to reduce the flight movements at Schiphol from 500,000 per year to 440,000 per year. The goal was to do this by the end of this year, but as it has to follow an EU procedure, that target will likely not be reached, State Secretary Mark Harbers (Infrastructure) informed parliament late last year.

        • Red Pixels Ventures LtdCCI Denies Google Allegations That It ‘Copy-Pasted’ EU’s Antitrust Order on Android

          The CCI has fined Alphabet Inc-owned Google $161 million (roughly Rs. 1300 crore) for exploiting its dominant position in Android, which powers 97 percent of smartphones in India, and asked it to change restrictions imposed on smartphone makers related to pre-installing apps.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Pro PublicaInside the Sales Practices of the Nation’s Biggest Title Lender

        In her mid-20s, Cordelius Brown thought she had found the perfect job. She was thriving as a store manager at TitleMax, a Savannah, Georgia-based company that dominates a segment of the state’s subprime lending industry known as title lending.

        Brown’s easy rapport and hustle made her a natural in convincing Georgians with few credit options to sign up for TitleMax’s lending product. She was earning more than she ever had, thanks to bonuses she received based on a percentage of her store’s profits made from the company’s targeted consumers — people like her own family who were struggling to make ends meet in low-wage service industry jobs, living on a fixed income or out of work because of poor health.

      • The NationWhy You Don’t Need to Fear the Taxman

        House Republicans’ first official act—or 16th, if you include all the failed votes for Speaker Kevin McCarthy—was to introduce legislation that would cut new IRS funding allocated by the Inflation Reduction Act.

      • Common DreamsOSHA Fines Amazon ‘Roughly 0.000013%’ of Annual Earnings for Worker Safety Hazards

        A paltry $60,000 fine for failing to keep employees safe at one of the world’s richest companies offered the latest evidence, according to one critic, that the system ostensibly meant to protect workers “is so broken.”

      • Common DreamsFTC Urged to Crack Down on Egg Industry’s ‘Organized Theft’

        As U.S. egg producers rake in record profits amid soaring prices, a farmer-led advocacy group focused on building a just and sustainable food system on Thursday implored the Federal Trade Commission to “promptly open an investigation into the egg industry, prosecute any violations of the antitrust laws it finds within, and ultimately, get the American people their money back.”

      • The NationThe Debt Ceiling Explained. Once More, With Feeling…

        It is in the nature of articles about the debt ceiling that no matter how often one tries to set the record straight, nothing ever gets through. Noting this after reading my most recent effort, a physicist friend chided me for using “facts and logic” against “what everyone knows.” This states the problem precisely. So here I go again, once more, with feeling.

      • Counter PunchCivics 1.1: Structures of Feeling

        Republicans have since Reagan marched in step behind Market Rule which after all is a Rule and not chaos. More accurately it demands an order of business in which debts are paid, interests protected as an order of law as well as conscience, and capital trickles down to the wage earner. The whole hocus pocus must be treated with an air of fair and just distribution. It’s all in Econ 101.

        But of course, the play of the market is itself stochastic. It has no order. So, you could say chaos is on the scene in a way. A very big way.

      • Counter PunchNeed for Greed: Payback

        The opening credits of the new four-part Netflix series, Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street, features at one point cash raining down from the heavens on Wall Street. You picture bankers smiling inside knowingly on their way to work, say JPMorgan Chase. But, being an aging hippie nearing the extinction of my subspecies, I recalled the happier, spliffier days of street theater and its master practitioner, Abbie Hoffman, and one of his signature gags in August 1967 where he rained dollar bills down on Wall Street brokers from the balcony of the Exchange and watched them drop everything to snorkleporkle for the cash. Larry Sloman, author of the marvelous Steal This Dream, an oral history of the Sixties and the counterculture days, reported on Abbie’s shenanigans at Wall Street this way:

      • Counter PunchThe Wealthy Took a Hit in 2022, Who Lost the Most?

        The latest Federal Reserve Board figures on the distribution of wealth in the United States show that since the survey started in the third quarter of 1989, as of the fourth quarter of 2021, the size of the holdings of the wealthiest .1% reached their highest point, $18.42 trillion. Nine months later, as of the third quarter of 2022, the value of their holdings had declined over 8% (not factoring in the further erosion in the value of their wealth from inflation) to $16.93 trillion.

        For the “poorest” .9% of the 1%, the value of their holdings as of the third quarter of 2022 was $24.45 trillion, down over 10.3% from its peak in the fourth quarter of 2021 when it was $27.28 trillion.

      • Counter PunchAmerica’s Inequality Problem in One Statistic

        If you work for a big corporation, there’s a very good chance your boss has already raked in more cash than you will all year.

        If the typical CEO of a large U.S. corporation clocked in at 9 am on January 2, by 3:37 pm that afternoon he’d made$58,260 — the average annual salary for all U.S. occupations. In less than seven hours on the first workday of the year, that CEO made as much as the average U.S. worker will make all year long.

      • Counter PunchKrugman, China’s Demographic Crisis, and the Which Way Is Up Problem in Economics
      • TruthOutMass Strikes and Protests Sweep France After Attack on Pension System
      • Common DreamsMass Protests Across France Condemn Macron Attack on Pension System

        The streets of France filled with outraged workers on Thursday as rail employees, teachers, and others walked off the job to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s deeply unpopular plan to overhaul the nation’s pension system by raising the official retirement age from 62 to 64.

      • TruthOutLawmakers in 7 States Are Working Together to Tax the Rich
      • TruthOutIranian Labor Unions Have Led Inspiring Solidarity Strikes Amid the Uprising
      • TruthOutDemocrats Lambast GOP Plan to Abolish Income Tax and Impose 30 Percent Sales Tax
      • ScheerpostRichest 1% Took 2/3rds of Global Wealth Since 2020 – Twice as Much as 99% of Population Earned

        In 2020 and 2021, the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population took nearly two-thirds of all new wealth – six times greater than the wealth made by the poorest 90% of workers. And while billionaires get richer, global poverty is increasing, Oxfam warns.

      • Counter PunchA Civic Investment for the Ages in a Just Society [Ed: "Buffett is a generous philanthropist"???? It connects him to the enabler of Jeffrey Epstein. What sort of philanthropist is this???]

        The super successful mega-investor, Warren Buffett, CEO of the giant conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, was heard to say: There are only 535 members of Congress, why can’t 300 million Americans control them? That’s a pretty fundamental question since our senators and representatives are given their sovereign power by the people. Remember the preamble to our Constitution?

        Buffett is a generous philanthropist. Among his contributions, he has given the Gates Foundation (public health projects) about $3 billion each year for over a decade. That’s over $30 billion dollars! Just one $3 billion contribution, devoted to establishing systemic-focused Congress Watchdog locals in every congressional district, would fund such groups for more than thirty years. Their objective would be to organize up to one-half of one percent of adults to volunteer in each congressional district to make sure our elected officials do the general public’s bidding under honest election procedures. The American people and their children have far more commonly desired necessities and wants than the hyped divide-and-rule tactics imposed by the present ruling powers imply. (See, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State by Ralph Nader, April 2014).

      • Common DreamsIf You Work for a Major Corporation, Your Boss Has Probably Already Made More in 2023 Than You Will

        If you work for a big corporation, there’s a very good chance your boss has already raked in more cash than you will all year.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Common Dreams‘Democracy for All’: House Dems Introduce Bill to Overturn Citizens United

        To end an era in which wealthy corporations have been given free rein to spend nearly unlimited money on political campaigns, Democrats in the U.S. House on Thursday proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the hugely consequential Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision by U.S. Supreme Court, saying the ruling “has dangerously eroded” the government’s ability to serve the public interest.

      • Counter PunchA Corrupt and Clueless Supreme Court

        As many of its own members privately admit, Congress has become a pay-to-play lawmaking casino — closed to commoners, but offering full-service access to corporate powers.

        But there’s another government entity that’s even more aloof from workaday people: the Supreme Court. And it has become a handmaiden to the corporate elites trying to increase their dominance over us.

      • TruthOutShare of Workers in Unions Hit Low in 2022, But Number of Unionized Workers Grew
      • MeduzaThe rise and fall of Ukraine’s ‘therapist-in-chief’ Zelensky adviser Oleksiy Arestovych is out of a job, but likely not for long — Meduza

        Oleksiy Arestovych, now-former advisor to Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak, has resigned from his job. It couldn’t have been otherwise, following the scandal precipitated by his remark that the Russian missile that killed 45 in Dnipro may have been shot down by the Ukrainian air defense. That narrative was instantly picked up by the Kremlin and its propagandists, while officials back in Ukraine accused the presidential advisor of treasonous egotism. But, if the President’s Office made no effort to bail out its publicity advisor, it was probably because his propaganda skills no longer matched Kyiv’s sense of what kind of publicity it needed in wartime Ukraine. Arestovych had spent the early days of the invasion assuring Ukrainians that victory was no further than “a couple of weeks” away, but as the war dragged on and grew grimly routinized, Arestovych’s reputation as Ukraine’s “therapist-in-chief” began to work against him.

      • Common DreamsLow Union Numbers Amid Organizing Wave Spark Calls for US Labor Law Fixes

        Labor advocates renewed calls for boosting U.S. worker rights and protections on Thursday as federal data revealed that despite union membership rising by 273,000 from 2021 to 2022, a jump in nonunion jobs meant the unionization rate fell from 10.3% to a record low of 10.1%.

      • Common DreamsScholars, Lawmakers Outraged Over DeSantis’ Rejection of AP African-American Curriculum

        Academics and Democratic lawmakers reacted angrily Thursday after the administration of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected a new high school Advanced Placement African-American studies course—without even seeing its syllabus—claiming it violates the state’s ban on “woke” education and “lacks educational value.”

      • The NationTrump vs. DeSantis Death Match? Bring It On!

        Florida Governor Ron DeSantis committed to fight “woke ideology” at his inauguration last week. It’s part of his crusade against “woke capitalism,” by which he means companies that see LGBT people as part of their market (Disney) or make noises about building environmental concerns into their investment strategies (BlackRock), and pharmacy chains that peddle what he now insists is a dangerous Covid vaccine (CVS and Walgreens). On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that DeSantis’s inaugural committee took money from lobbyists who work for those very same companies.

      • Counter PunchThe Great Santos

        As I grew up in the district that George Santos now represents in Congress, I can claim him as one of our own, even if not many college counsellors on the ambitious north shore of Long Island would ever recommend Baruch as the best college from which to fake a degree. Had George at least gone to Faber, he could now being saying to his many Democratic accusers: “Christ, seven years of college, down the drain.”

      • TruthOutInventing Santos: How a Far Right Con Man Lied His Way Into Congress
      • MeduzaFormer Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev undergoes heart surgery — Meduza

        Former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev was reportedly hospitalized and underwent heart surgery in Astana on Friday. According to an official spokesperson, the operation was successful and the 82-year-old’s life is not in danger.

      • MeduzaKazakh president calls snap parliamentary elections — Meduza

        Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has dismissed the lower chamber of the country’s parliament and called snap parliamentary elections for March 19. He said the move was “dictated by the logic of constitutional reform.”

      • Common DreamsAdvocates Say ‘Hell No’ as Manchin Pitches Social Security Deal With GOP

        Sen. Joe Manchin provoked outrage Wednesday by suggesting congressional Democrats should agree to pursue changes to Social Security as part of a debt ceiling agreement with Republicans, an idea one advocacy group condemned as “negotiating with legislative terrorists.”

      • Robert ReichThe Republican Party’s Worst Nightmare
      • The NationDid Twitter Let Trump Post His Way Into a Coup?

        The House select committee on January 6 drove many a news cycle over the summer, as its televised hearings documented the imminent threat that hard-right political initiatives pose to American democracy. But the committee’s final report was strikingly silent on the role of the news itself in fomenting the insurrection at the US Capitol—especially as that news was filtered, customized, and willfully distorted by social media platforms catering to the militant wing of the Trumpian right.

      • TechdirtDesperation Sets In: Twitter Offers To Match $250,000 In Ad Spending To Lure Pissed Off Advertisers Back

        Things are going great in Twitterland, apparently. The company has been facing lawsuits, tech outages, government investigations, bailing partners, not to mention departing users and advertisers. We had noted that 40% of advertising had gone away last month, and this week reporters are noting that an internal Twitter presentation confirms that number, while noting that 500 of the company’s top advertisers have left. Musk claims he’s cut enough costs to take the company away from the threat of bankruptcy, but all those other issues aren’t going to help (especially the lawsuits and the government investigations). It doesn’t sound like his “pay me $8” plan is going all that well either. Selling off the furniture seems unlikely to make that big of a dent, so Twitter needs to woo back the advertisers who left.

      • TechdirtUT Austin’s Ban Of TikTok Is A Dumb Performance That Fixes Nothing

        For decades, U.S. policymakers have utterly refused to support any meaningful privacy protections for consumers. They opposed any new Internet privacy laws, however straightforward. They opposed privacy rules for broadband ISPs. They also fought tooth and nail to ensure the nation’s top privacy enforcement agency, the FTC, lacked the authority, staff, funds, or resources to actually do its job.

      • ScheerpostDEBATE: Leftist vs. Liberal Critiques of the Twitter Files

        Glenn Greenwald and Briahna Joy Gray engage in a rare substantive debate regarding their critiques of the Twitter Files.

      • Common DreamsThousands Descend on Lima Demanding Resignation of Unelected Peruvian President

        Thousands of Indigenous and other Peruvians descended on the capital Lima on Wednesday to demand the resignation of unelected President Dina Boluarte, show support for imprisoned former leftist leader Pedro Castillo, and condemn government forces for killing dozens of protesters over the past six weeks.

      • Counter PunchBiden’s Carelessness is More Than Embarrassing

        At the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, the Republican Party and its titular leader Donald Trump were in meltdown. In addition to poor midterm elections results: the former president was under special counsel investigation for his role in January 6 insurrection and his refusal to turn over classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home; the Trump Organization was fined $1.6 million for tax fraud; the newly-elected Congress opened with the nationally televised chaotic selection of Kevin McCarthy as House speaker; freshman Congressman George Santos’ multiple lies about his background had members of his own party calling for him to resign. By contrast, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party were riding the crest of a wave. The Economist and YouGov showed him with a positive job approval rating of 50 percent among registered voters. Biden and the Democrats could not have asked for a better start to the New Year.

        Then came the revelations about the president’s own possession of classified documents in a former office in Washington D.C. and at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. At the same time Biden and the Democrats were preening and pointing to all the Republicans faux pas, the revelations about mishandled classified material in Biden’s possession saw Biden and the Democrats going from offense to defense as fast as my basketball New York Knicks back peddling to defend against the opponent’s fast break after scoring a basket.

      • Counter PunchDon’t Bring Back Pot Bans

        From the onset of marijuana prohibition, criminalization advocates have sought to advance their position — and unduly influence the public — by greatly exaggerating the supposed strength of the cannabis flower.

        Modern prohibitionists are continuing to engage in this tactic by claiming that today’s cannabis is uniquely more potent, and therefore allegedly more dangerous, than ever before. Increasingly, they are also advocating for the imposition of arbitrary THC potency caps on state-legal products.

      • Telex (Hungary)Hungary requested removal of nine names from list of sanctioned Russians – Politico
      • Telex (Hungary)Slovak FM: The majority of the European Parliament do not consider Hungary a Western-style democracy
      • FAIRIsrael’s Hard-Right Turn Fails to Raise Alarm in US Media

        There is a political crisis in Israel—particularly for Palestinians, minorities and anyone who believes in secular democracy. But US press coverage has had trouble recognizing that the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu is anything other than business as usual.

      • TruthOutTrump Pleads With Meta to Allow Him Back on Facebook for 2024 Campaign
      • Counter PunchThe Velvet Divorce of the Czech Republic and Slovakia

        Thirty years ago, I was in Prague and Bratislava to cover the “velvet divorce” between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Slovaks were celebrating their separation from the Czech Republic in the squares og Bratislave, even though it was 0 Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius). The snowy streets of Prague, on the other hand, were deserted. The Czechs had no reason to celebrate, and stayed at home pondering the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. While the world admired this peaceful divorce, which contrasted so sharply with the war being waged at the same time by Serbian nationalist politicians in the former Yugoslavia, many Czechs were saying, with a gloomy sigh: “If they want to leave, let them leave.”

        The Slovaks, with their hangover from the day after the party, found themselves in an abyss. They were facing a test of their ability to survive as an independent state, to complete the hard task of adapting the Marxist-run economy to a market economy and to finish establishing a democratic system after four decades of totalitarianism which they had shared with the Czechs and other peoples of Central and Eastern Europe.

      • Counter PunchAre We on the Verge of Civil War II?

        “Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

        The words — actually a 2019 Facebook post — are those of then-Iowa Republican congressman Steve King, loosing a puerile smirk as he stirred the pot of violence on the American political right. The politics of stupid has intensified since then, as white supremacy and fear of the Great Replacement Theory take over the GOP.

      • Common DreamsIs the United States on the Verge of Civil War II?

        “Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

      • Democracy NowDefeated GOP Candidate in New Mexico Arrested over Shootings at Homes of 4 Democratic Officials

        As election violence fueled by lies about “rigged” elections escalates, we go to New Mexico to look at how a former far-right Republican candidate and election denier faces charges of orchestrating shootings at the homes of four Democratic officials following his landslide election loss. We speak with Debbie O’Malley, former Bernalillo County commissioner, whose home was attacked, and with New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

      • Common DreamsWill Peace Ever Get Its Chance?

        I like to sing and what I like best is to do so at the top of my lungs when I’m all alone. Last summer, taking a walk through the corn fields in New York’s Hudson River Valley with no one around but the barn swallows, I found myself belting out a medley of tunes about peace from my long-ago, summer-camp years. That was the late 1950s, when the miseries of World War II were still relatively fresh, the U.N. looked like a promising development, and folk music was just oh-so-cool.

      • Counter PunchPowell Memo: Start of the Counterrevolution

        It was good seeing CounterPunch publish an article on what is known as the “Powell Memo” by Brad Wolf.  He rightfully notes, “Powell expressed his grave concern that American business and free enterprise were under full-scale attack from “leftists” and might altogether collapse unless drastic steps were taken.”  However, far more was at stake.

        Lewis Powell was a Virginia attorney, tobacco-industry lobbyist and future Supreme Court Judge.  He can be credited with helping launch the conservative social wars of the last half-century.  In 1971 he delivered a secret study for the Chamber of Commerce entitled, “Attack on the American Free Enterprise System.”  His advice to the business community was simple:

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • New York TimesSupreme Court Poised to Reconsider Key Tenets of Online Speech

        Now the Supreme Court is poised to reconsider those rules, potentially leading to the most significant reset of the doctrines governing online speech since U.S. officials and courts decided to apply few regulations to the web in the 1990s.

        On Friday, the Supreme Court is expected to discuss whether to hear two cases that challenge laws in Texas and Florida barring online platforms from taking down certain political content. Next month, the court is scheduled to hear a case that questions Section 230, a 1996 statute that protects the platforms from liability for the content posted by their users.

      • Canada TodayThe Supreme Court is poised to reconsider key tenets of online speech

        The Supreme Court case challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is likely to have many repercussions. While newspapers and magazines can be sued for their publication, Section 230 protects online platforms from lawsuits over most of the content published by their users. It also protects platforms from lawsuits when they remove posts.

        For years, judges dismissed lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, citing the law and making sure the companies didn’t incur new legal liability with every status update, post and viral video. Critics said the law was a “get out of jail free” card for the tech giants.

      • TechdirtDear Supreme Court: Judicial Curtailing Of Section 230 Will Make The Internet Worse

        Every amicus brief the Copia Institute has filed has been important. But the brief filed today is one where all the marbles are at stake. Up before the Supreme Court is Gonzalez v. Google, a case that puts Section 230 squarely in the sights of the Court, including its justices who have previously expressed serious misunderstandings about the operation and merit of the law.

      • CNNGoogle claims a Supreme Court defeat would transform the internet — for the worse

        Google, which owns YouTube, is fighting a high-stakes court battle over whether algorithmically generated YouTube recommendations are exempt from Big Tech’s signature liability shield, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

        Section 230 broadly protects tech platforms from lawsuits over the companies’ content moderation decisions. But a Supreme Court decision that says AI-based recommendations do not qualify for those protections could “threaten the internet’s core functions,” Google wrote in its brief.

      • BarronsGoogle Warns Pending Supreme Court Case Could Wreck the Internet

        The case has attracted widespread interest not only from the internet industry but across the political landscape. In an amicus brief, for instance, just over half the U.S. states—including both left-leaning states such as California and New York, and more conservative states such as Alaska and Alabama—jointly recommend the court rule against Google in the Gonzalez case.

      • The HillGoogle warns Supreme Court against ‘gutting’ controversial tech provision

        Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for reforms to Section 230, but for different reasons, meaning there is likely to be little consensus by way of policy reform.

      • ANF NewsWave of arrests spreads across Iran and East Kurdistan

        Nearly 20,000 people have been detained since the beginning of the mass anti-government demonstrations in Iran and East Kurdistan. At least 16 demonstrators died due to torture and lack of treatment in prisons. 112 demonstrators have been sentenced to death.

      • TechdirtAs Expected, FEC Easily Tosses Out GOP’s Whiny Complaint About Google Classifying Their Spam As Spam

        Over the last year, we’ve been covering a whiny, victim-playing, bit of nonsense, inspired and pushed by a firm whose main business seems to be running spam email campaigns for Republican politicians, that Google is “unfairly” putting their campaign emails into the spam folder. This was all kicked off when some of these Republican spammer consultants noticed that they weren’t raising as much money from email blasts leading up to the 2022 midterms. Then, they misread a study from some computer scientists, saying that Gmail put a higher percentage of GOP campaign emails into spam than Democrats. They ignored that the opposite was true for other popular email systems (Outlook and Yahoo put more Dem emails into spam) and that the impact went away as soon as a user did minimal “training” on what they wanted in their inbox.

      • MeduzaRussian censorship authority issues anti-LGBTQ Internet guidelines — Meduza

        The Russian censorship authority Roskomnadzor has developed a list of criteria for blocking online content as “LGBT propaganda.” According to the Russian news outlet Vedomosti, websites can be blocked if their content

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Deutsche WelleGerman parliament recognizes Yazidi ‘genocide’ in Iraq

        The Bundestag “recognizes the crimes against the Yazidi community as genocide, following the legal evaluations of investigators from the United Nations,” the resolution said, after similar moves by countries including Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

      • NPRNPR uncovered secret execution tapes from Virginia. More remain hidden

        An NPR investigation can now reveal the tapes show the prison neglected to record key evidence during what was considered one of Virginia’s worst executions, and staff appeared unprepared for some of the jobs they were tasked to do in the death chamber.

        Before Virginia abolished capital punishment in 2021, the state executed more people than any other in America. This is the first time audio recorded during any of those executions has ever been published.

      • The NationDoes Kathy Hochul Really Want to Go Down With Hector LaSalle’s Sinking Ship?

        Hector LaSalle, Governor Kathy Hochul’s conservative pick to become chief justice of the New York Court of Appeals (the highest court in New York State), went before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for what was meant to be the first stage of his judicial confirmation hearing. LaSalle has faced significant pushback from liberals and progressives, and significant support from Republicans, for his anti-choice, anti-union, anti-Black-jurors but pro-cop judicial record. At the hearing, LaSalle seemed to be the only person in the room unfamiliar with his own rulings. He told the committee that he supports unions and abortions, despite the fact that his judicial opinions say otherwise. The Senate Judiciary Committee wasn’t buying it: LaSalle lost the vote, 10-9. All six Republicans and three Democrats voted for him, but it wasn’t enough. This is the first time in New York’s history that the Senate has voted down a governor’s pick for chief judge.

      • Counter PunchIs SCOTUS on the Verge of Dismantling Labor and the Administrative State in One Blow?
      • Counter PunchBeyond the Border Crisis

        Most of us agree that the U.S. immigration system is in dire need of reform. But inflammatory rhetoric and policies designed to keep immigrants away won’t get us there.

        When I was in law school, I witnessed firsthand the difficulties faced by asylum seekers.

      • Counter PunchHow the US Economic War on Venezuela Fueled the Migrant Crisis

        The U.S. economic war on Venezuela is one of the main reasons for the record number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, where there has been a surge in migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

        Years of U.S. efforts to destroy the Venezuelan oil industry and overthrow the Venezuelan government has fueled the humanitarian catastrophe. As U.S. sanctions have pushed Venezuela into one of the worst crises in the hemisphere’s history, more than 7 million people have fled the country. Hundreds of thousands more have fled Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua, poor countries that have lost access to low-cost Venezuelan energy.

      • Counter PunchEthnic Terrorism Continues to Stalk Ethiopia

        Where there is division there will be conflict. In a country such as Ethiopia with dozens of ethnic/tribal groups, the need for tolerance, cooperation and unity is essential if there is to be peace and social harmony. Where these are absent, where differences and historic grievances are enflamed by ideologically ambitious individuals/groups, fear hate, and violence flourish.

        Ethiopia is a large country divided into 11 regions. Covering over a third of the total land mass Oromia is the largest and, with an estimated 35% of the total population (approximately 122 million), the Oromo constitute the largest ethnic group, followed by the Amhara (28%).

      • Common DreamsDitched by Biden, Railway Workers Continue Battle for Sick Leave and Safer Conditions

        While the high-stakes labor dispute on U.S. freight railroads has receded from headlines since President Joe Biden and Congress imposed a new contract last month, rail workers are continuing their fight for dignity and better conditions — albeit without the threat of a national strike on the table.

    • Monopolies

      • Red Pixels Ventures LtdApple Faces Investigation Into MercadoLibre Complaint Over App Store Monopoly in Brazil

        Brazil’s antitrust watchdog CADE has begun investigating a complaint by e-commerce retailer MercadoLibre Inc against Apple Inc for alleged abuse of a monopoly in the distribution of apps for its devices, the regulator said on Wednesday.

      • EFFHave You Tried Turning It Off and On Again: Rethinking Tech Regulation and Creative Labor

        The Internet Copyright Wars are in their third decade, and despite the billions of dollars and trillions of phosphors spilled on its battlegrounds around the world, precious little progress has been made. A quarter of a century after Napster’s founding, we’re still haunted by the same false binaries that have deadlocked us since the era of 56k modems:

        There is nothing especially virtuous or wicked about either tech companies or entertainment companies. Indeed, in an era in which Google owns the world’s most popular video site; where Amazon and Apple both own movie and television studios; where Microsoft owns multiple game production studios, and where the Big Three music labels own substantial stakes in Spotify, there is no longer a meaningful distinction between “a giant tech company” and “a giant entertainment company.” Both are simply: “a giant company.”

        And giant companies are gonna giant company. As paperclip-maximizing artificial life-forms, limited liability corporations are on a remorseless, ceaseless quest for ways of reducing the cost of their inputs, and if payments to creative workers can be squeezed, they will be.

      • Copyrights

        • Creative CommonsMark Your Calendars: The 2023 CC Global Summit Is Coming to Mexico City

          We are thrilled to announce that the Creative Commons Global Summit will return to an in-person event in 2023, and this time we are heading to one of the most vibrant and culturally rich cities in the world — Mexico City! During 3-6 October 2023, we will be gathering at the Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco to unite, share ideas, and create a brighter future for open sharing. We are thrilled to be organizing the event in collaboration with CC Mexico, and hope you will be able to join in what will be an unforgettable experience.

        • Torrent FreakPirate Bay Proxy Site Challenges Police DMCA Takedown at GitHub

          A few days ago, GitHub disabled the domain of a Pirate Bay Proxy information portal following a DMCA notice sent by City of London Police. The operator of the site is unhappy with the removal. In a DMCA counternotice, GitHub is asked to reinstate the domain since it doesn’t link to any infringing material. According to the counternotice, the police don’t seem to understand how the site works.

        • Torrent FreakFrench ISPs and Sports Organizations Sign Anti-Piracy Agreement

          French national anti-piracy agency Arcom has announced that sports organizations and Internet providers have signed a new anti-piracy agreement. Blocking measures are already cemented in law, but the new agreement establishes ‘good practices’ while also addressing costs. The ISPs, meanwhile, call on search engines and hosting companies to follow suit.

        • EFFFair Use Creep Is A Feature, Not a Bug

          Lawyers, scholars, and activists, including EFF, often highlight Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Section 230 (originally of the Communications Decency Act) as the legal foundations of the internet. But there’s another, much older, doctrine that’s at least as important: Fair use, which dates back many decades and it codified in law as Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is, in essence, the right of the public to use a copyrighted work in a variety of circumstances, without the rightsholder’s permission. It’s why a reviewer can quote from the book they’re reviewing, a parody video can include excerpts from a movie, and security researchers can copy a software program in order to test it for malware.

          Fair use is essential to internet for at least two reasons. First, the vast majority of what we do online, from email to texting to viewing images and making TikToks, involves creating, replicating, and/or repurposing copyrighted works. Since copyright is a limited but lengthy monopoly over those works, in theory, using or even viewing them might require a license; now, and for many decades in the future.

          Second, technological innovation rarely means starting from scratch. Instead, developers build on existing technologies, hopefully improving them. But if the technology in question involves code, it is likely copyrightable. If so, that add-on innovation might require a license from the rightsholder, giving them a veto right on technological development.

        • EFFOpen Data and the AI Black Box

          Artificial Intelligence (AI) grabs headlines with new tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2, but it is already here and having major impacts on our lives. Increasingly we see law enforcement, medical care, schools and workplaces all turning to the black box of AI to make life-altering decisions—a trend we should challenge at every turn. 

          The vast and often secretive data sets behind this technology, used to train AI with machine learning, come with baggage. Data collected through surveillance and exploitation will reflect systemic biases and be “learned” in the process. In their worst form, the buzzwords of AI and machine learning are used to “tech wash” this bias, allowing the powerful to buttress oppressive practices behind the supposed objectivity of code.

          It’s time to break open these black boxes. Embracing collaboratively maintained Open Data sets in the development of AI would not only be a boon to transparency and accountability for these tools, but makes it possible for the would-be subjects to create their own innovative and empowering work and research. We need to reclaim this data and harness the power of a democratic and open science to build better tools and a better world.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Ghosts of Southern Colorado

        I miss the little ghost towns – CF&I company towns, fragments of Colorado’s industrial past – that dot the south and central regions. I’d like to do a whole post about this at some point – with my usual degrowth and anti-capitalist slant, and focused on Ludlow – but right now I just feel tired and homesick. With that in mind, here’s some photos of places I love. Note that these are fairly large files.

      • No problem there

        Gee, wouldn’t it be fuckin’ A if we didn’t need to trust any one single entity to interact with a distributed network?!

      • 🔤SpellBinding: BUHILTG Wordo: BETAS
      • Suggesting adventures but not writing them

        I’m trying to write a section with adventure ideas. @Judd@dice.camp has been saying that he would like a setting described using questions. Perhaps this can be done here? Ask leading questions, keeping it open, set expectations and don’t close off open ends. Perhaps it’d be interesting?

        Here’s what I have under the section “seasonal adventures”. Other sections include “community building”, “love and marriage”, and “misfortune”. I hope there are more. Something about war. Something about the plague. Something about a dancing madness. Something about intolerant madmen coming and poisoning the community with their divisive talking. Things to deal with that aren’t dungeons.

    • Technical

      • The good news? Somebody wants to use my blogging engine. The bad news? Somebody wants to use my blogging engine

        Over the 23 year history of `mod_blog [1]`, I’ve given up on the notion of anyone other than me using it. There was only one other person who used it for just a few months before deciding blogging wasn’t for him and that was way back in 2002. So it was completely by surprise that I recently received a bug report [2] on it.

      • Commodore 64 is calling my name

        I’ve been inexplicably drawn to the Commodore 64 — the one computer I have no nostalgic connection to. I cut my teeth on an Atari 800 (I saved up my entire summer job earnings to buy it) and an Apple ][. I didn't know anyone with a C64, and got my hands on one a few years ago.

        It's kind of a terrible thing, but it has a 6502 (6510), colors, sprites, sound, and the demo people keep pushing the limits making it do amazingly impressive yet tasteless and annoying things.

        I am kind of fed up with modern tech.

        The problem is the rate at which everything becomes obsolete. It is obsene. Apple ][ was around for two decades, until that phychopath Jobs killed it for an inferior 68000 machine. C64, well over a decade.

      • Permacomputing II
      • Permacomputing II

        Today I was looking for a terminal font which could display various esoteric Unicode blocks, and stumbled upon the UNSCII fontset. Reading the webpage, I noticed that the domain, viznut.fi, was strangely familiar. I went to the homepage, and, yes, indeed! These fonts are by the same person who coined the term “Permacomputing”. As if that weren’t serendipitous enough, the *same* person is responsible for the “Robotic Liberation” VIC-20 demoscene production that I enjoyed watching ten years ago or so! A prolific fellow, to be sure.


        The term permacomputing is coined in analogy to permaculture. Permaculture is, in turn, a portmanteau from “permanent agriculture”. It’s been retconned to mean “permanent culture”, but I think it still retains a strong connotation of being concerned with food production (which, sure, is not the exclusive domain of agriculture). I have no beef with permaculture at all (ha ha). It is basically the question of “how do we feed ourselves long term without destroying the planet”. Human beings need to eat. Always have, always will. It’s a question of existential importance. And we managed to successfully stop ourselves from starving out of existence for hundreds of thousands of years before the advent of intensive mechanised agriculture. So there’s very good reason to believe the question can be solved.

        But computing is not existentially important. Not even close. I still believe the quote below, which I wrote in late 2020 in my “radically sustainable computing” post. And not only is computing not existentially important, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that anything like what most people today would recognise as computing can be made sustainable on a timescale measured in millennia. Sure, some kind of hand-cranked Babbage engine might fit the bill, but that’s not the kind of thing the permacomputing community is, for the most part, talking about.

      • Pangamebook 1.5.1

        Another minor Pangamebook update. Shuffling sections in the gamebook now uses a fixed random seed (that can be configured using the gamebook-randomseed metadata, although I can’t think of a use-case for that). This mostly happened because I saw Pandoc 3.0 was released yesterday, and when I ran some tests to see if pangamebook still works it was annoying that the section numbers were different each time. It should probably always have been like this anyway.

        It seems like Pangamebook works as expected in both Pandoc 3.0 and Those are the only two versions I have installed right now. There is something new in Pandoc 3.0 about Lua-support being split out into its own Haskell package, making it possible to have Pandoc installed without Lua. Running without the Lua support would break Pangamebook. Hopefully very few installations will be like that. The binary DEB I downloaded to try 3.0 had Lua included anyway.

      • Science

        • We Are A Special Case

          A while back, I noticed a significant statement, or rather misstatement, in an earthsky.org article[1]. The article was describing research (or rather, computer modeling) which supposedly supports the pebble accretion theory, and which also suggested that earth was originally formed with its water, rather than having the water deposited later by comets.


          The idea that “we should never presume we’re a special case” may be a tenet of modern philosophy and cosmology, but it is certainly not a key tenet of science. This statement sounds deceptively similar to another concept, which is a key tenet of science, namely the idea that any experiment, conducted under the exact same conditions, will yield the same result anywhere in the universe. That is, the laws of physics operate the same everywhere in the universe. We can’t empirically verify that, of course, since it would require running an infinite number of experiments everywhere in the universe, but you can’t do science unless you make that assumption. Incidentally, that idea only makes sense if you assume there is one Lawgiver, that is, one Creator who decides all the laws of physics and is also in control of the whole universe.

        • Creation Stories

          Except for the fact that all the evidence points to us not necessarily being a special case. Let’s stay right here on Earth before making any claims about what is “out there”. Even if we limit ourselves to just Earth, there’s pretty solid evidence that we aren’t the only sentient species on this planet. The dolphins are excellent candidates for “other intelligent beings sharing our world.” They call one another by name. They can communicate with us using language. They also experience erotic love in a way not much different from humans. I’m pretty sure I can find citations to back up all of those 3 assertions. For that matter, there is at least one known case of a dolphin willfully ending his own life due to heartbreak. So even right here on Earth, I wouldn’t conclude definitively that humans are a special case.

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

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 19, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:18 am by Needs Sunlight

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[Meme] Slush Funds or Pocket Change From Bill Gates (Under NDA)

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 1:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UK and US Language differences: My staff is all here; Bill Gates bribes me here

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ was never the same after the desperate CEO agreed to take Gates Foundation money under an NDA (probably the first NDA of this kind in the company’s 24-year history, with almost immediate consequences)

Everything Went to **** When Sirius Moved to the Same State as Microsoft (After Bill Gates Had Paid Sirius CEO)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 2b60450ff9ce377204714c6121d4e3a6
Sirius Adopts Contract-by-Surprise Policy
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Further commentary on the way Sirius got all staff to ‘relocate’ to a newly-minted shell while another shell was about to be created in another continent to facilitate Bill Gates, who apparently promised to pay under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) while Techrights wrote about his MIT/Jeffrey Epstein scandals (before this became a mainstream issue, causing the collapse of his marriage and unprecedented exodus in the Gates Foundation)

IN THE part just published (one of two; the latter part will also present some hard albeit suitably redacted evidence) I explained how the company compelled my wife and I to separately sign some “paperwork” (new contract) without even telling us in advance. We didn’t get to even examine what we were signing. That was around the time a person unknown to us registered a company in the US — a company whose first client would be the Gates Foundation. There was an NDA, so nothing was said to us. The name “Gates Foundation” was never put in writing, either (ever!), so it was merely a verbal mention by the CEO, insisting to me it would not jeopardise my freedom of expression. The video above explains why that was extremely suspicious, especially the timing. We also explained this before, even as memes.

“Sirius operates like a cryptic, secretive cabal while maintaining that same old audacity to use the term “Open Source”.”Months ago the CEO accused me of saying things I never said. He told my wife that I had claimed Microsoft bribed Sirius managers, only much later to correct himself and actually show what I said (with context included). What I said was not false; it’s not convenient to the CEO. But he’s the one who got himself into this mess. He only told me about it after he had signed some mysterious contract and an NDA. How could he be so naive? Did he not know Microsofters were trying to silence me in all sorts of sinisters and nefarious ways?

The video above takes the example of the Microsoft layoffs (lots of cuts expected throughout this year), mentions the enigma around pensions, and then explains some of the “side stories”. Sirius operates like a cryptic, secretive cabal while maintaining that same old audacity to use the term “Open Source”.

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