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Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

Posted in News Roundup at 12:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • XDALinux and Android are the future of handheld gaming

      Devices like the Steam Deck, Ayaneo 2, and even the Nintendo Switch have taken the world by storm in recent years. Portable handheld consoles open up a new world of experience. While Nintendo has been making handhelds for years, the first two offer PC gaming on the go, complete with good performance, excellent battery life, and the ability to do so much more with the software.

      However, the Steam Deck has a leg-up over the Ayaneo 2 in one big department: the operating system. It’s so much easier to do whatever you want on SteamOS, a fork of Arch Linux, not to mention the reduced overhead. On the one hand, this decreases the cost since there’s no need to shell out for a software license for its distribution. However, there are disadvantages to using Linux, such as the requirement for the Proton compatibility layer to ensure that games built for Windows are still playable.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • HackadayClassic Calculators Emulated In Browser

        The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, now known simply as MAME, started off as a project to emulate various arcade games. The project is still adding new games to its library, but the framework around MAME makes it capable of emulating pretty much any older computer. The computer doesn’t even need to be a gaming-specific machine as the latest batch of retro hardware they’ve added support for is a number of calculators from the 90s and early 00s including a few classics from Texas Instruments.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • It’s FOSS5 Linux Distros for Visually Impaired People

      If a user is visually impaired or blind, they may rely on sound prompts or other interactions (like Braille) to read and communicate.

      How can they use a Linux distribution?

      Well, in general, accessibility software help make it possible.

      I focus on listing some of the best options here. Before that, there are some essential pointers to note before you try/recommend Linux for visually challenged users.

    • IT WireIIT Madras firm develops Indian mobile operating system

      Called BharOS, the new operating system is an Android open source project, developed by incubated JandK Operations Private Limited.

      Unlike Android, it does not have default Google apps or services and IIT Madras says the operating system can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets.

      According to IIT Madras, BhasrOS provides a secure environment for users and is a significant contribution towards Atmanirbhar Bharat, a phrase coined by by Indian PM Narendra Modi and his government, which translates to ‘self-reliant India’, in relation to the country’s economic development plans.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Unicorn MediaOSI License Review Working Group Seeks Input on Changes

      The Open Source Initiative, the organization that decides what is or is not an open source license, are thinking about making some changes to how it handles its license review process, and they’re looking for community input before putting any new policies in place.

      Back in 2020, OSI established a License Review Working Group which was tasked with the job of examining and improving the organization’s license review process, which is how OSI decides whether a license receives its seal of approval as an OSI approved open source license.

    • The Register UKFOSS could be an unintended victim of EU crusade to make software more secure

      But FOSS is in the most danger. The underlying assumption of the regulation is that cybersecurity exists in the digital market like fire resistance does in that for soft furnishings. Putting regulatory cost burdens on a part of the market with no revenue and no gatekeeping on its distribution channels cannot work; there are no prices to increase to absorb compliance costs and no tap to turn off to keep the stuff off the market.

      And FOSS can’t be outlawed. To re-engineer infrastructure and applications to exclude it would be unthinkably expensive and undoubtedly vastly destabilizing for cybersecurity resilience. To allow grandfathering – allowing pre-regulatory software components to continue to be used but demand compliance if new or updated – would freeze the sector to death. And what “cybersecurity framework” would catch the sort of errors that currently only appear after intensive analysis by the few teams of good and bad hats who are already fully employed for better or worse on a tiny percentage of extant software.s

    • [Old] NLNet FoundationOpen-source software vs. the proposed Cyber Resilience Act

      We feel the current proposal misses a major opportunity. At a high level the ‘essential cybersecurity requirements’ are not unreasonable, but the compliance overhead can range from tough to impossible for small, or cash-strapped developers. The CRA could bring support to open-source developers maintaining the critical foundations of our digital society. But instead of introducing incentives for integrators or financial support via the CRA, the current proposal will overload small developers with compliance work.

      We would love to be wrong about most of our analysis. So if you believe the situation to be less grim than we portray it to be, please talk to me so I can update this overview. However, if you share our concerns, this is what you can do: [...]

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • It’s not you, it’s SQL

        And that something was MongoDB. MongoDB happily took our Python dictionaries, stored them away somewhere, and sometimes even gave them back later. No hand-crafted SQL strings littering our Python codebase, and everything still worked.

        It was like a veil had been lifted. “What was with all the ceremony, SQL? My controllers are so lean now, and my schema is whatever I want it to be.” We paused just long enough to take a sip of our Spicy Maya Mocha from Coupa Cafe. “I mean, so what if none of my writes are ever actually confirmed by my new database? These are just hamster-likes and wristwatch-enthusiast-pokes! We can lose a few and still get to our Series B.”

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

    • Programming/Development

      • A call to action: Think seriously about “safety”; then do something sensible about it

        What might “something sensible to do” be? I suggest making a list of issues that could be considered safety issues (including UB) and finding ways of preventing them within the framework of P2687R0. That’s what I plan to do.

        And anyway, what is “the overarching software community”? To the best of my knowledge, no experts from the ISO C++ standards committee were consulted.

      • UndeadlyGame of Trees 0.83 released

        Version 0.83 of Game of Trees has been released (and the port updated): [...]

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayLet This Minimal Desktop Weather Display Point The Way

      Much of the Northern Hemisphere is currently in the middle of winter, so what better way to brighten a potentially gloomy day than to put this charming, minimalist weather display on your desk.

    • HackadayA Reverse Polish Calculator For Your Keychain

      As the smartphone has eaten ever more of the gadgets with which we once surrounded ourselves, it’s with some sadness that we note the calculator becoming a less common sight. It’s with pleasure then that we bring you [Nekopla]’s keychain calculator, not least because it’s a little more than a conventional model. This is a calculator which uses Reverse Polish Notation, or RPN.

    • Counter PunchNEPA: Sunshine in Government
    • Counter PunchLetter from London: Words and Pictures

      I used to love the way words clinked together to make sense. Images didn’t really get a look-in once I’d learned how to read. It was like I’d cracked the code and was in. I liked reading both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. And if information wasn’t enough, I also liked cadence. Life in my early teens was ‘dreich’ — Scots for dreary or bleak — and overripe language was fun. Hard news, of course, didn’t like it, but some documentaries that I watched did. As a result, I began to play around with cameras as well as words. Not quite with the same application as some people I knew — I wasn’t a technician — and the first ever camera I took abroad, a small vintage 8mm cine camera, was stolen. (Years later, I was robbed of a larger one on Ibiza but vowed not to leave the island until I got it back, which, thanks to the admirable efforts of others, I got back.) I wrote occasional features and the odd play but grew to see cameras not just as artful expressions but also as very useful portals through which to grab information and analyse it. In time, I felt, one slow pan in a conflict zone, or even a gallery or sitting room, was worth more than a page of notes.

      Today I find myself writing again, as if attempting to complete a full-circle. It’s not what I was expecting. At a time when everyone now is filming, I am headed back in the opposite direction. Even in the deliberately discursive style of this Letter, I feel writing more direct today. I don’t even have to spend a whole year trying to raise funds for the damned thing, not like I did with documentaries. Writing cuts to the chase, which is ironic. I have one good friend who regularly sends me long articles from small journals and I like to devour each one. This is written information from the fringes. As for me, I used to say I wrote with a camera. Well, now I am filming with a pen. I also like what Gloria Steinem said: ‘As a profession, freelance writing is notoriously insecure. That’s the first argument in its favour. For many reasons, a few of them rational, the thought of knowing exactly what next year’s accomplishments, routine, income, and vacation will be — or even what time I have to get up tomorrow morning — has always depressed me.’ Just as Orson Welles wasn’t so wrong when he said filmmaking was two per cent moviemaking and ninety-eight per cent hustling for money.

    • Counter PunchEncounters with Tom Verlaine

      Everyone knows that Television was instrumental in creating New York’s punk scene —  that CBGB’s would not have existed as a venue without their intervention — but ever since their debut Marquee Moon came out in 1977, critics wondered if there was anything punk about the band at all. Maybe that’s why, for all the classic punk records released in the late seventies, this is the one that seems as relevant and modern today as it was then; it is not dated by slogans, fashions or sounds.

      If we back up a couple of years to the Neon Boys (the pre-Television trio consisting of Verlaine, Richard Hell and Billy Ficca), well, yes, it sure sounds like they were inventing punk rock. But they soon evolved. Punk bands played short and played fast. Television’s first single, “Little Johnny Jewel,” recorded while Richard Hell was still in the band, runs nine minutes and was broken up over two sides of a 7” single.

    • TechdirtDoNotPay’s CEO Appears To Modify Donation Receipt After Being Called Out On Unfulfilled Promise

      We’ve written a few stories lately about DoNotPay, the “robot lawyer” service whose gimmick of an automated AI-driven tool that would help users deal with challenges like getting out of parking tickets or cancelling subscription services that are difficult to get out of sounds like a really enticing idea. But there have long been questions about the service. While we’ve seen a bunch of truly impressive AI-generation tools in the last year or so, for years many companies claiming to offer AI-powered services often seemed to be doing little more than finding someone to hack together a complicated spreadsheet that the marketing folks would labels as “artificial intelligence.” It’s unclear how sophisticated DoNotPay’s technology actually is, though as guest poster Kathryn Tewson discovered last week, it sure seemed sketchy.

    • New York TimesAustralians Scour Desert for Dangerous Radioactive Capsule Smaller Than a Penny

      The truck carrying the sensor arrived in Perth on Jan. 16. On Friday, nearly two weeks later, the authorities called an emergency news conference to alert the public that the capsule had disappeared somewhere along the 1,400-kilometer, or 870-mile, journey.

    • Science

      • Pro Publica2 Key Examples of Junk Science in Forensics and Criminal Justice

        It’s been decades since the intersection of forensic science and criminal justice first became a pop culture phenomenon, popularized by countless TV shows, movies and books. But the public’s growing awareness of forensic techniques obscures a far more complex field that’s chock full of bogus science — and the people who champion it, often for profit.

        For years, ProPublica has reported on these dubious techniques as they’ve wormed their way into every corner of our real-life criminal justice system.

      • Jeff GeerlingIs AM Radio Dead?

        …that was the question I asked my Dad, a radio engineer for many decades, who worked at the biggest AM station in St. Louis, KMOX. The station is approaching its centennial in 2025, as are—some YouTube commenters argue—its primary audience!

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Hackaday1000 Aluminium Cans Cast Into A Guitar

        Aluminium cans are all around us, and are one of readily recyclable. While you can turn them into more cans, [Burls Art] had other ideas. Instead, he turned roughly 1000 cans into a custom aluminium guitar.

      • HackadayConverting A Sink To An Ultrasonic Cleaner

        While ultrasonic cleaning might sound a bit like the “sonic shower” from Star Trek, this is actually one case where the futuristic-sounding technology predates its use in Sci-Fi. Ultrasonic cleaners have been around since the 50s and are used to clean all sorts of oddly-shaped or specialty objects by creating cavitation within a liquid that allows the surface of the object to be scoured. With the right equipment, these cleaning devices are fairly straightforward to build as well.

      • HackadayRF Spectrometer Sees Inside

        Spectrometry is a well-known technique or, more correctly, a set of techniques. We usually think of it as the analysis of light to determine what chemicals are producing it. For example, you can tell what elements are in a star or an incandescent based on the spectrum of light they emit. But you can also do spectroscopy with other ranges of electromagnetic radiation. [Applied Science] shows how to make an RF spectroscope. You can see the video below.

      • HackadayRetro Computer Enclosure Without The Sacrifice

        The unique look of early desktop computer systems remains popular with a certain segment of geekdom, so it’s no great surprise when we occasionally see a modern hacker or maker unceremoniously chuck 40+ year old electronics from a vintage machine just to reuse its plastic carcass. We try not to pass judgement, but it does sting to see literal museum pieces turned into glorified Raspberry Pi enclosures.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Counter PunchVenting About Ventilation in the Time of Covid

        I need to vent, because we need better ventilation.

        The World Health Organization now recommends masking “for anyone in a crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated space.”  But few of us know the quality of ventilation in our spaces.

      • Counter PunchMedical Aid in Dying and Knowing the Mind of God

        Once again, the GOP supermajority/Freedom Caucus is taking a run at criminalizing doctors who provide medical aid to a dying patient, enabling that person to end his or her own suffering, and life, with a self-administered medication prescribed by the physician. SB 210 is the bullet that ends the statutory approach to medical aid in dying set out in the Montana Supreme Court’s 2009 Baxterdecision.

        Despite its detractors, we know that over the intervening 14 years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Baxter v. State,[1] Montanans suffering from horrible and debilitating life-ending illnesses have successfully sought and have obtained medical aid in dying from various compassionate physicians in this State.

      • CNNSurgeon General says 13 is ‘too early’ to join social media

        US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms, because although sites allow children of that age to join, kids are still “developing their identity.”

        Meta, Twitter, and a host of other social media giants currently allow 13-year-olds to join their platforms.

        “I, personally, based on the data I’ve seen, believe that 13 is too early … It’s a time where it’s really important for us to be thoughtful about what’s going into how they think about their own self-worth and their relationships and the skewed and often distorted environment of social media often does a disservice to many of those children,” Murthy said on “CNN Newsroom.”

      • CNNFor adolescents, social media might be a brain-changer, researchers say

        Over a three-year period, the students — who were all 12 or 13 years old when the research began — reported their social media behavior and underwent annual fMRI imaging of their brains to see their neural responses to an onscreen display of positive and negative social feedback, such as a happy or angry face.

        During that period, the students who reported checking their social media more regularly showed greater neural sensitivity in parts of the brain like the amygdala, Telzer said. Those who checked their social media less frequently saw less sensitivity in those areas on the fMRI.

        It is not clear whether the neural changes resulted in behavioral changes, like increased anxiety or addictive behaviors, Telzer said.

      • Counter PunchAmericans Want Government-Run Health Care, What’s Standing in the Way?

        Here’s one of many indicators about how broken the United States health care system is: Guns seem to be easier and cheaper to access than treatment for the wounds they cause. A survivor of the recent mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, California, reportedly said to Gov. Gavin Newsom that he needed to keep his hospital stay as short as possible in order to avoid a massive medical bill. Meanwhile, the suspected perpetrator seemed to have had few obstacles in his quest to legally obtain a semi-automatic weapon to commit deadly violence.

        Americans are at the whim of a bewildering patchwork of employer-based private insurance plans, individual health plans via a government-run online marketplace, or government-run health care (for those lucky enough to be eligible). The coverage and costs of plans vary dramatically so that even if one has health insurance there is rarely a guarantee that there will be no out-of-pocket costs associated with accessing care.

    • Security

      • Bruce SchneierRansomware Payments Are Down

        Chainalysis reports that worldwide ransomware payments were down in 2022.

        Ransomware attackers extorted at least $456.8 million from victims in 2022, down from $765.6 million the year before.

        As always, we have to caveat these findings by noting that the true totals are much higher, as there are cryptocurrency addresses controlled by ransomware attackers that have yet to be identified on the blockchain and incorporated into our data.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • EFFCalifornia Law Says Electronic Search Data Must Be Posted Online. So Where Is It?

          When it was passed in 2015, the California Electronic Communications Act (CalECPA) was heralded as a major achievement for digital privacy, because it required law enforcement to obtain a warrant in most cases before searching a suspect’s data, be it on a personal device or on the cloud. But the law also contained a landmark transparency measure: the legislature ordered the California  Department of Justice (CADOJ) to publish a regularly updated dataset of these search warrants on its website.

          Up until last year, CADOJ was doing a pretty good job at uploading this data to its OpenJustice website, where it hosts a number of public datasets related to criminal justice. Advocacy groups and journalists used it to better understand the digital search landscape and hold law enforcement accountable. For example, the Palm Springs Desert Sun analyzed the data and found that San Bernardino County law enforcement agencies were by a large margin filing more electronic search warrants than any other jurisdiction in the state. The Markup also published a piece highlighting a troubling discrepancy between the number of search warrants based on geolocation (a.k.a.geofence warrants) self-reported by Google and the number of search warrants disclosed by agencies to the California Department of Justice.

          But then, last summer, CADOJ accidentally exposed the personal data of 192,000 people who had applied for a concealed carry weapons permit. Among the various actions it took in response, CADOJ suspended its OpenJustice website. Over the next several months, other datasets–such as data about use of force, jail deaths, complaints against officers, and threats to reproductive health providers–returned to the website.

        • TechdirtMore Mass Surveillance: FOIA Docs Reveal Illegal Snooping On US Residents’ Financial Transactions

          If it can conceivably be considered a “third party record,” the government is going to seek warrantless access to it. The Third Party Doctrine — ushered into existence by the Supreme Court in 1979 — says there’s no expectation of privacy in information shared with third parties. That case dealt with phone records. People may prefer the government stay out of their personal conversations, but the Smith v. Maryland ruling said that if people shared this info with phone companies (an involuntary “sharing” since this information was needed to connect calls and bill phone users), the government could obtain this information without a warrant.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Energy/Transportation

        • MIT Technology ReviewYes, we have enough materials to power the world with renewable energy

          Powering the world with renewable energy will take a lot of raw materials. The good news is, when it comes to aluminum, steel, and rare-earth metals, there’s plenty to go around, according to a new analysis.

        • Renewable Energy WorldDuke Energy’s N.C. coal plants more expensive to run than building new solar farms, report finds

          Duke Energy could save customers money by swiftly shutting down its coal plants and replacing them with a mix of solar and energy storage, a report found.

        • uni MichiganU-M startup joins White House partnership to remove lead pipes

          U-M startup BlueConduit, which helped accelerate the removal of dangerous lead pipes in Flint has joined a White House partnership aimed at replacing all of the nation’s lead service lines in a decade.

        • The NationNuclear Fusion Isn’t the Silver Bullet We Want It to Be

          I awoke on December 13 to news about what could be the most significant scientific breakthrough since the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first Covid vaccine for emergency use two years ago. This time, however, the achievement had nothing to do with that ongoing public health crisis. Instead, as The New York Times and CNN alerted me that morning, at stake was a new technology that could potentially solve the worst dilemma humanity faces: climate change and the desperate overheating of our planet. Net-energy-gain fusion, a long-sought-after panacea for all that’s wrong with traditional nuclear-fission energy (read accidents, radioactive waste), had finally been achieved at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

        • Copenhagen PostBillion kroner project could send cars underground in Copenhagen

          Now the city is inching closer to a decision regarding one of its primary car-related eyesores in the city: Bispeengbuen, the six-lane road that slices through the heart of the city from Nørrebro past the Lakes to Ørestads Boulevard in Amager.

          A majority of City Hall is in favour of plans to submerge parts of the contentious stretch of road underground and replace the current concrete monstrosity with green areas on the surface.

        • DeSmogCanada’s New Oil And Gas Strategy: Green Promises at Home and More Exports Abroad

          Top Canadian oil and gas companies are moving “aggressively” to cut their greenhouse gas emissions domestically so that they can sell more of their climate-warming products abroad.

          That was the message delivered by the sector’s most powerful trade and lobby group at a recent resources industry conference in British Columbia, that achieving “net-zero” at home is crucial for opening up foreign markets.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • MIT Technology ReviewA de-extinction company is trying to resurrect the dodo

          The dodo bird was big, flightless, and pretty good eating. All that helps explain why it went extinct around 1662, just 150 years after European sailing ships found Mauritius, the island in the Indian Ocean where the bird once lived.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Counter PunchMcCarthy’s 15-Round Victory: Capitalism’s Politicians Perform in Public

        After 15 raucous votes spanning almost two weeks, Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, R-California, was elected House Speaker on January 7. The vote was 216-212, a party-line vote with six Republicans voting present. From the beginning, former President Donald Trump pressured his 20 super-supporters, mostly in the Republicans’ “rightwing” Freedom Caucus, to back McCarthy. They refused until several behind-the-scenes deals, and a new “rules package” governing House operations, were negotiated.

        Perish the thought! The Republican dissenters won the right to actually see future proposed legislation packages a number of days before they are put to a vote! Imagine that! Members of the U.S. Congress will now have the right to read and review the legislation they are voting on! Readers here might think that my words are exaggerated. Not so. Contrary to popular belief, the often multi-thousand page pre-packaged legislation traditionally put together by the House Speaker is often quickly rammed through without most House members having seen it or having time to read it. Regardless, they follow their leader.

      • Counter PunchLies, Damned Lies, and George Santos

        “Of course,” the late P.J. O’Rourke wrote in Parliament of Whores, by way of explaining why government is boring, “politicians don’t tell the truth …. But neither do politicians tell huge, entertaining whoppers: ‘Why, send yours truly to Capitol Hill, and I’ll ship the swag home in boxcar lots. … There’ll be government jobs for your dog.  … Social Security checks will come in the mail not just when you retire at sixty-five but when you retire each night to bed. Vote for me, folks, and you’ll be farting through silk.’”

        O’Rourke seems to have actually preferred a more prosaic style of political falsehood: In 2016, the long-time Republican endorsed Hillary Clinton for president over whopper-prone Donald Trump, citing her “lies and empty promises.” She’s “wrong about absolutely everything,” he said, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

      • Counter PunchThe Winter Coup Season in Latin America

        Coup attempts have gone viral this winter season in Latin America. The contagion spread first to Argentina, then Peru, and finally Brazil on January 8. In addition, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua continue to suffer from long-term US regime-change efforts.

        Coverage of this political pandemic by the US liberal press (i.e., the preponderance of mainstream media that endorse a Democrat for the presidency) reflects politically motivated agendas. Its spin on Brazil in particular reflects a trend among Democrats to greater acceptance of the security state.

      • TruthOutSome States Eye New Protections for Election Workers Ahead of 2024
      • Telex (Hungary)Hungary would award the Nobel Peace Prize to Turkish President Erdoğan – Szijjártó
      • MeduzaState media speculate about date of Putin’s anticipated annual address to Russia’s legislature — Meduza

        The address delivered annually by Russia’s president before the parliament may take place in late February, report both TASS and Ria Novosti, citing sources in the State Duma.

      • TechdirtNew Report: Twitter’s Ad Revenue Woes Are Even Worse Than Expected

        We knew that Elon Musk had driven away tons of top advertisers, which is kind of a big deal, as the company has been desperate for revenue, if only to cover the interest payments Elon loaded the company with by using a $13 billion loan as part of his $44 billion purchase. Elon keeps talking about how much he’s cut costs, but killing off the revenue isn’t particularly helpful either. Earlier, we had noted that both Elon directly, and other internal reports, had suggested that ad revenue at the company had been sliced by a somewhat astounding 40%. Since then, we’ve seen that the company is desperately offering to give advertisers a $250k match if they promise to spend $250k.

      • TruthOutMcCarthy May Not Have the Votes to Unseat Omar From Committees
      • Counter PunchOvercoming Social Fragmentation

        Fragmentation is a particular curse of the modern world. We live in a bewildering array of systems and networks, of groupings and cultures. In market society we are continually being sold one thing or another. The grabs for our attention and focus are seemingly infinite. There is not much to bring us together as people, especially around concepts about how we might create a better society.

        There seems to be some design in this. The very idea we might create a better society stands in challenge to business as usual. Since the 1980s, we have lived with the neoliberal ideas that the market rules, there is no alternative, and, as neoliberal icon and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, there is no such thing as society, only individuals and families.

      • TruthOutRNC Passes Resolution Urging GOP to Make Abortion Bans a Top Priority for 2024
      • TruthOutMinnesota Becomes First State to Pass Abortion Protections Bill After “Dobbs”
      • TechdirtTwitter Tumbleweed Watch

        I just want to share some back-of-the-envelope math. I’m increasingly convinced that Twitter (or at least the network neighborhoods that comprise my Twitter experience) is becoming a ghost town. Here’s why:

      • TechdirtTwitter Sued For Not Paying Rent On Its SF Headquarters And Its London Offices

        There have been a bunch of stories about how one of Elon’s big “cost saving” techniques was to stop paying for basically anything, including rent.

      • Common Dreams20 House Dems Push Biden to Cut Off Security Aid to Peru Over ‘Violent Repression’ of Protesters

        Twenty House Democrats on Monday pressed the Biden administration to immediately halt the flow of security funding to the Peruvian government over its vicious crackdown on protests against unelected President Dina Boluarte, who rose to power following the arrest of leftist President Pedro Castillo last month.

      • The NationKathy Hochul Can’t Govern Like Andrew Cuomo. Why Would She Want To?

        Profiling New York Governor Kathy Hochul last year, I labeled her the “un-Cuomo.” Admirers and detractors alike gave her credit for a collegial approach to decision-making, pulling in legislators, sometimes even opponents, to confer about her next moves, in a way her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo never did.

      • ScheerpostRalph Nader: Drug Price Showdown Time for Chairman Bernie Sanders

        By Ralph Nader It is showdown time. Senator Bernie Sanders, new chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee versus Big Pharma. The self-described “democratic socialist” from a safe seat in Vermont has long been a Big Pharma nemesis.

      • India TimesTrai calls for overhaul of existing norms around entertainment apps, tech convergence

        Trai observed in the paper that while in the past telecommunications and broadcasting served two distinct purposes, and as such were government by separate regulatory and licensing framework, it is no longer the case.

        “Today’s evolving digital technologies and ongoing deregulation are beginning to blur the boundaries that once separated these two functions, at least from the perspective of carriage of these services,” the sector regulator further observed.

      • Broadband BreakfastMust Internet Platforms Host Objectionable Content? Appeals Courts Consider ‘Must Carry’ Rules

        As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a pair of cases about online platform liability, it is also considering a separate pair of social media lawsuits that aim to push content moderation practices in the opposite direction, adding additional questions about the First Amendment and common carrier status to an already complicated issue.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Straits TimesViral video puts spotlight on issues faced by breastfeeding mums in China

        China had just 2,600 nursing rooms in 2019, when 14.6 million babies were born that year.

      • Gannett3 charged in plot to assassinate activist Masih Alinejad, who is critical of Iran regime

        Since July, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the criminal group had been planning the assassination of New York-based journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, who just two years ago had been the target of a foiled kidnapping attempt linked to Iranian intelligence operatives.

      • YLEPolice: Koran burning would not be allowed in Finland

        An Yle poll in 2021 found that a majority of Finnish MPs did not want to change Finland’s law on the sanctity of religion, which includes the possibility of a six-month prison sentence for blasphemy.

        However, some MPs called for changes to the law based on freedom of speech concerns.

        The UN Human Rights Committee has urged Finland to change the criminal provision, arguing that it restricts freedom of expression.

      • NDTVPakistan Tightens Blasphemy Laws That Already Carry Death Penalty

        The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said that these amendments are likely to exacerbate the persecution of the beleaguered religious minorities and minority sects.

        The HRCP Chairperson, Hina Jilani, in a statement issued from Lahore on Friday, said the enactment would further increase persecutions of the minorities.

      • India TodayPakistan’s new blasphemy laws may be ‘weaponised’ against minorities, says rights group

        The Pakistan National Assembly unanimously passed the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act 2023 last week, enhancing the minimum punishment for those who insult the revered personalities of Islam from three to 10 years along with a fine of Rs 1 million. It also makes the charge of blasphemy an offence for which bail is not possible.

        This latest piece of legislation has left human rights activists alarmed, as they fear the laws would be misused to settle scores and further persecute religious minorities like Hindus and Christians in Pakistan.

      • New York TimesPakistan Strengthens Already Harsh Laws Against Blasphemy

        The move this week by Parliament to further strengthen the nation’s strict blasphemy laws, which are often used to settle personal scores or persecute minorities, has raised concerns among rights activists about the prospect of an increase in such persecution, particularly of religious minorities, including Christians.

        As Pakistani society has turned more conservative and religious in the past several decades, religion and display of religiosity in public life have become ever more pronounced.

      • Gatestone Institute‘The Shame of Pakistan’: Blasphemy Accusers: Courageous Christian Woman Stands Up to Them

        “Pakistan was to review its harsh blasphemy laws. It has made them even harsher…The National Assembly has unanimously passed an amendment to the laws that widens the net and makes punishment more stringent under these laws…. The blasphemy laws are often misused in Pakistan to settle personal scores. It is also used to persecute its small minorities.”

        Recently in Pakistan, however, an encouraging sign emerged: an interesting uproar on social media about a Christian female security officer who bravely stood up to a Muslim colleague threatening her with a false accusation of blasphemy.

      • IAMC writes to Elon Musk seeking censorship reversal of BBC documentary on Modi

        Indian American Muslim Council writes to Twitter CEO Elon Musk seeking the reversal of censorship of the BBC documentary critical of the Indian Prime Minister titled “India: The Modi Question”.

        In a two-page letter, the IAMC also sought Twitter to refuse all future compliance with media censorship requests from the Indian Government.

      • The VergeElon Musk’s Twitter is caving to government censorship, just like he promised

        Over the weekend, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting senior advisor Kanchan Gupta tweeted that both Twitter and YouTube had complied with orders passed down by the government, which has labeled the BBC documentary “hateful propaganda.” The documentary has also been apparently removed by the Internet Archive, although it’s not clear whether this was following a demand from the government or a copyright complaint from the original owner, and the Internet Archive didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.

      • NBCElon Musk’s Twitter faces censorship allegations in India free speech battle

        Elon Musk is facing allegations of being complicit with state censorship after Twitter appeared to take sides with India’s government in a turbulent free speech fight over a documentary critical of the country’s prime minister.

        The fight revolves around a new documentary from the BBC that focuses on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delving into accusations that the politician allowed religious-based violence against Muslims. India is majority Hindu with a Muslim minority.

      • The Independent UKElon Musk shrugs off criticism that he has helped India censor BBC’s Modi documentary

        Google-owned YouTube and Mr Musk’s Twitter have been receiving flak for complying with the Indian government’s demand to prevent users from sharing the documentary. It reports for the first time a British intelligence report that held Mr Modi “directly responsible” for the Gujarat riots in 2002, where potentially thousands of Muslims were massacred, when he was the state’s chief minister.

      • Foreign PolicyModi Is Muzzling Big Tech

        This week, India made global headlines by banning a BBC documentary on its prime minister, Narendra Modi, which focused on his role in religious riots in the state of Gujarat in 2002 when he was the state’s chief minister. The broadcast ban included a directive to YouTube and Twitter under the country’s technology laws, demanding they take down links to the documentary, which a government advisor said the companies complied with.

      • MeduzaOnlyFans stops working in Russia — Meduza

        The adult content sharing platform OnlyFans is no longer accessible in Russia, according to multiple Russian Telegram channels and media outlets. The site is showing a 403 error, which suggests that it’s been blocked by its owners.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • ScheerpostAssange Visitors Renew Request for CIA to ‘Purge and Destroy’ Files on Them

        Attorneys and journalists, who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living under political asylum in the Ecuador embassy, amended their lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for allegedly spying on them.

      • Don’t Extradite AssangeAssange Odysseia, 23 January 2023, Strasbourg, France

        Inspired by the narrative form of Homer’s Odyssey, Assange Odysseia tells the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and, with the help of witnesses, experts as well as political and cultural figures, sheds light on facts and events that are little known by the general public.

      • The HillTrump sues journalist Bob Woodward

        Trump concedes that he consented to Woodward recording their conversations for the purpose of a book, and gave 19 interviews to the veteran journalist in 2019 and 2020, which Woodward included in his 2020 book “Rage.”

        But the former president is arguing the agreement doesn’t cover the inclusion of those audio files in “The Trump Tapes,” an audiobook collection of the recordings published by Simon & Schuster Inc. last year.

      • VOA NewsWith Media on Trial or in Exile, Belarusian Journalists Strive to Keep Reporting

        Tut.by drew the government’s ire for its coverage of the August 2020 contested presidential elections, when Lukashenko claimed victory and opposition candidates were detained or forced to flee. When demonstrations broke out across the country, authorities arrested scores of protesters and journalists.

        The government later branded Tut.by and other independent outlets as “extremist.” In May 2021, officials raided the newsroom, blocked access to its website and detained staff, including the editor-in chief Marina Zolatova and general director Lyudmila Chekina. A few months later, Tut.by was declared “extremist” and banned.

      • Eesti RahvusringhäälingTop court: Prosecution must give credible reasons for fining journalists

        The Supreme Court agreed with the circuit court in that while Eesti Ekspress journalists Sulev Vedler and Tarmo Vahter and their employer Delfi Meedia AS did disclose criminal investigation details without permissions from the prosecution, fining them was not justified in this case.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Denmark rated world’s least corrupt country in index

        Denmark has been named the least corrupt country in the world for the fifth time in an annual index – but that does not mean the Nordic country is corruption free, according to a representative from the organisation behind the ranking.

      • MeduzaIzyum’s petal mines Human Rights Watch documents the Ukrainian military’s apparent use of thousands of banned rocket-fired landmines during the city’s Russian occupation — Meduza

        In a new report, the monitoring group Human Rights Watch calls on Kyiv to investigate the Ukrainian military’s “apparent use of thousands of [banned] rocket-fired antipersonnel landmines” in and around the city of Izyum. The findings are based on interviews with more than 100 people, including “witnesses to landmine use, victims of landmines, first responders, doctors, and Ukrainian deminers.” HRW also found copious physical evidence in and around Izyum showing the use of PFMs (anti-infantry high-explosive mines) — colloquially known as “butterfly mines” or “petal mines” — and observed blast signatures consistent with these weapons, which have reportedly maimed dozens of local civilians. Meduza summarizes the report’s key findings.

      • Telex (Hungary)Transparency International: Hungary is the most corrupt country in the EU
      • ShadowproofDelays And Obstacles Disrupt Communications For Georgia Prisoners

        Incarcerated Georgians and their loved ones have struggled to stay in touch after the Georgia Department of Corrections began switching communications services from JPay to Securus, as the former merges its systems with the latter. This change was accompanied by the emergence of a more stringent and increasingly punitive prison communications policy.

        While the Georgia Department of Corrections’ (GDC) policy was written in 2018, it is only now being enforced, according to incarcerated people and their loved ones. Under the policy, people who wish to communicate with someone inside must submit an application and submit to government screening. Additionally, a prisoner may only have 12 people on this approved communications list.

      • BBCAfghan women share what their lives are really like under the Taliban

        Women from across Afghanistan have been telling us about their daily lives under Taliban rule.

      • MedforthFrance: Muslim convert beats former partner into a coma because the Qur’an allows him to do so

        On that December 13, 2022, the young woman was nevertheless determined to press charges against the man she had just separated from, and even to have an abortion. After staying with her mother in the Vienne department for a few days, she spoke out about the fear he caused her: harassment by text message, threats, an attempt to strangle her. Since she converted to Islam, Marvin J. has also been spreading the idea that the Qur’an allows a man to beat his wife…

      • Sara Khadem: ‘I’m not me when I’m wearing a hijab’

        On December 26, the Iranian chess player participated in the World Rapid Chess Championship in Kazakhstan with her head uncovered, a silent protest that is a very serious offense in her native country. After the photos circled the world, she announced her intention to settle in Spain. Her story represents the cause of freedom that so many Iranian women are fighting for

      • TruthOutWe Must Refuse “Normal Life” After Police Violence Like Killing of Tyre Nichols
      • The NationThe Killing of Tyre Nichols Is an Indictment of the Entire Political System

        The five Memphis police officers charged on Thursday with murdering Tyre Nichols after he was stopped for an alleged traffic violation were not ordinary cops on the beat. They were members of an elite unit bearing the type of name usually given to a villainous secret society in a James Bond movie: SCORPION. As journalist Radley Balko, who specializes in writing about police abuse, noted in The New York Times, “The SCORPION program has all the markings of similar ‘elite’ police teams around the country, assembled for the broad purpose of fighting crime, which operate with far more leeway and less oversight than do regular police.” (The SCORPION unit was disbanded on Saturday).

      • NPRPolice statements tell the first version of an incident. Then video footage comes out

        Video footage released Friday, taken from officers’ body cameras and a street surveillance camera, shows a different story. In the videos, police quickly yank Nichols from his car, shout obscenities and threats, and then pepper spray him. Nichols flees, and when police finally catch him a second time, officers kick him, hit him with a baton and repeatedly punch him in the head while he’s being restrained.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hollywood ReporterNBCUniversal Shakes Up Ad Sales Division For Streaming-First Restructure

        The changes include new or reworked roles for a variety of top executives, including Maggy Chan, who joined from the BBC last month and will oversee global ad sales and partnerships; Mark Marshall, who will lead a centralized national sales team; Frank Comerford, who will lead local ad strategy; and Dan Lovinger, who leads a sales team dedicated to the Olympics.

    • Monopolies

      • Dennis Crouch/Patently-ORep. Issa – House IP Leader

        Ryan Davis at IP360 is reporting that Rep. Darryl Issa is the new chair of the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. He was previously Chair 2015-2019.

      • Patents

      • Software Patents

        • Unified Patents$1,500 awarded for IP Edge entity AdaptFlow Technologies video data patent prior art

          The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests.

        • EFFStupid Patent of the Month: Digital Verification Systems Patents E-Signatures

          This month’s Stupid Patent of the Month is a great example of that. U.S. Patent No. 9,054,860 has been used by a company called Digital Verification Services, LLC, (DVS) to sue more than 50 companies that provide different types of e-signature software.

          There’s no evidence that the inventor of this patent, Leigh Rothschild, ever created his own e-signature software. But in patent law, that doesn’t matter. He acquired this patent in 2015, by adding a trivial, almost meaningless limitation to an application that the U.S. Patent Office had spent the previous seven years rejecting.

          You can’t learn much about how to verify digital identities from the patent owned by Digital Verification Services. But the breadth of work on actual digital verification can be gleaned by looking at the long list of companies and products that DVS has sued. In fact, DVS has sued more than 50 different companies. Some are large, like NASDAQ-listed DocuSign, but many more of its targets are small companies with less than 50 or even less than 10 employees. They stand accused of offering “hardware and/or software for digital signature services.”

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakPirate IPTV Owners Liable For $100m in Damages Fight House Seizure

          In June 2022, the operators of pirate IPTV service Nitro TV were ordered to pay $100 million in damages to broadcaster DISH Network. To recover at least some of the millions made by the service, DISH obtained permission to seize and sell a house worth almost $1 million. After failing to participate in the original lawsuit, the defendants are now trying to defend their house.

        • Torrent FreakCourt: Accused Pirate Can Use the Term ‘Copyright Troll’ at Trial

          Online piracy lawsuits against individual file-sharers rarely make it to trial, but a case in Florida between Strike 3 Holdings and an alleged pirate is moving strongly in that direction. A recent order provides positive news for the rightsholder but that won’t prevent the defense from being able to use the term “copyright troll” in court.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Re: This is Bananas!

        I always peeled from the stalk end until I visited Thrigby Hall, a zoo in Norfolk. A keeper gave a talk as she fed the gibbons, and said that it’s only humans who start at the stalk. We watched the gibbons start at the other end, and later I tried it. I’ve never gone back to the stalk end.

      • Fecking Bahamas

        It’s been a really long time since I last was this excited about an album! I’m about halfway and it’s pretty good. But there’s this little something in Ireland and Australasia, even in France, missing here…

        At first I was planning only a quick mention in the tinylog, but that doesn’t make justice to how much I appreciate these compilations. So let’s make a short summary of my favorite compilations and songs.

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Better Availability or I Begrudgingly Switched My Gemini Server Back to ECDSA

          When I setup my Gemini server in the beginning of December of 2022, I used Agate with Ed25519 certificates. They are more modern than the ECDSA ones and are the ones you should use.

          But judging from my Agate log, a lot of requests fail, apparently because they don’t support this newer algorithm. While from a security standpoint this is not a big deal, because no sensitive data will be transfered, but I prefer current technology and don’t like abandonware.

          I’m not sure about my general feelings here. Do I want to be more inclusive or am I thinking about reaching more people too much and therefor emphasizing the performative aspect of publishing on the internet. I despise this.

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

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. [Meme] Sirius 'Open Source' Pensions: Schemes or Scams? Giving a Bad Name to Open Source...

    What Sirius ‘Open Source’ did to its staff is rightly treated as a criminal matter; we know who the perpetrators are

  2. Sirius 'Open Source' Under Investigation for Pension Fraud, Several Pension Providers Examine the Facts

    2 pension providers are looking into Sirius ‘Open Source’, a company that defrauded its own staff; stay tuned as there’s lots more to come. Is this good representation for “Open Source”? From a company that had many high-profile clients in the public sector?

  3. Links 23/03/2023: Sparky 2023.03 Special Editions and SUSE Changes CEO (Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen)

    Links for the day

  4. Links 23/03/2023: Linux 6.2.8 and XWayland 23.1.0

    Links for the day

  5. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 22, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 22, 2023

  6. Apple 'Porn' Filter

    Guest post by Ryan Farmer: Apple and US State Governments Developing System to Require People to Report Themselves for Watching Porn.

  7. 3.5 Years Later Gemini Protocol and Geminispace Are Still 100% Community-Controlled

    Community-centric alternatives to the World Wide Web have gained traction; one of them, Gemini Protocol, continues to grow in 2023 and we're pleased to report progress and expansion

  8. Windows Falls to 16% Market Share in India (It was 97% in 2009), Microsoft Layoffs Reach India Too

    This month’s picture from the world’s most populous nation does not look good for Microsoft (it looks good for GNU/Linux); anonymous rumour mills online say that Microsoft isn’t moving to India but is actually firing staff based in India, so it’s a case of shrinking, not offshoring. When even low-paid (much lower salaries) staff is discarded it means things are very gloomy.

  9. Links 22/03/2023: GNOME 44 “Kuala Lumpur”

    Links for the day

  10. Microsoft Has Also Infiltrated the OSI's Board of Directors After Rigged Elections

    Weeks ago we warned that this would happen and for the third or fourth time in 2 years the OSI’s election process broke down; today the Open Source Initiative (OSI) writes: “The polls just closed, the results are in. Congratulations to the returning directors Aeva Black…” (Microsoft employee)

  11. Links 22/03/2023: Official Thunderbird Podcast Starts

    Links for the day

  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 21, 2023

  13. Many More Microsoft Layoffs Later Today

    Yesterday we shared rumours about Microsoft layoffs being planned for later today (there were 3 waves of layoffs so far this year). There are several more people here who say the same. How much noise will Microsoft make in the “media” in order to distract? Will the chaffbot "ChatGPT" help create enough chaff?

  14. Links 21/03/2023: JDK 20 and GNOME 43.5

    Links for the day

  15. Germany's Lobbyists-Infested Government Sponsors the War on Ukraine via the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The chief UPC ‘judge’ is basically seeking to break the law (and violate constitutions, conventions etc.) to start a kangaroo court while dodging real courts, just like Vladimir Putin does

  16. [Meme] The Meme That Team UPC (the Collusion to Break the European Laws, for Profit) Threats to Sue Us For

    António Campinos and Team UPC are intimidating people who simply point out that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is illegal and Klaus Grabinksi, shown above, strives to head a de facto kangaroo court in violation of constitutions and conventions (the UK does not and cannot ratify; Ireland hasn’t even held a referendum on the matter)

  17. Microsoft is Sacking People Every Month This Year, Even Managers (While Sponsored Media Produces Endless Chatbot Chaff)

    Lots of Microsoft layoffs lately and so-called ‘journalists’ aren’t reporting these; they’re too busy running sponsored puff pieces for Microsoft, usually fluff along the “hey hi” (AI) theme

  18. 3 Months Late Sirius 'Open Source' Finally Deletes Us From the Fraudulent 'Meet the Team' Page (But Still Lists Many People Who Left Years Ago!)

    Amid fraud investigations the management of Sirius ‘Open Source’ finally removed our names from its “Meet the Team” page (months late); but it left in the page about half a dozen people who left the company years ago, so it’s just lying to its clients about the current situation

  19. Amid Fraud at Sirius 'Open Source' CEO Deletes His Recent (This Month) Past With the Company

    Not only did the Sirius ‘Open Source’ CEO purge all mentions of Sirius from his Microsoft LinkedIn account; he’s racing against the clock as crimes quickly become a legal liability

  20. Web Survey Shows Microsoft Falling Below 15% Market Share in Africa, Only One Minuscule African Nation Has Windows Majority

    A Web survey that measured Microsoft Windows at 97% in Africa (back in 2010) says that Windows has become rather small and insignificant; the Microsoft-sponsored mainstream media seems to be ignoring this completely, quite likely by intention...

  21. Rumours of More Microsoft Layoffs Tomorrow (Including Managers!), Probably Azure Again (Many Azure Layoffs Every Year Since 2020)

    Amazon is laying off AWS staff and Microsoft has been laying off Azure staff for 3 years already, including this year, so it seems like the “clown computing” bubble is finally bursting

  22. [Meme] EPO's Management Brainstorm

    The story behind a misleading slogan told above

  23. The Photo Ops Festival of the Funky President António Campinos and Revolt From the Patent Examiners Whom He Perpetually Oppresses

    European Patents are being granted for no reason other than application and renewal fees, awarding European monopolies to companies that aren't even European (only about a third are actually European); staff of the EPO is fed up as it regards or views all this as an extreme departure from the EPO's mission (and it's also outright illegal)

  24. Links 21/03/2023: Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0 LTS

    Links for the day

  25. Back Doors Proponent Microsoft Infiltrates Panels That Write the Security Regulations, Press Fails to Point Out the Obvious

    Cult tactics and classic entryism serve Microsoft again, stacking the panels and basically writing policy (CISA). As an associate explained it, citing this new example, Stanford “neglects to point out the obvious fact that Microsoft is writing its own regulations.”

  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 20, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 20, 2023

  27. Links 20/03/2023: Curl 8.0.0/1 and CloudStack LTS

    Links for the day

  28. Standard Life (Phoenix Group Holdings): Three Weeks to Merely Start Investigating Pension Fraud (and Only After Repeated Reminders From the Fraud's Victims)

    As the phonecall above hopefully shows (or further elucidates), Standard Life leaves customers in a Kafkaesque situation, bouncing them from one person to another person without actually progressing on a fraud investigation

  29. Standard Life Paper Mills in Edinburgh

    Standard Life is issuing official-looking financial papers for companies that then use that paperwork to embezzle staff

  30. Pension Fraud Investigation Not a High Priority in Standard Life (Phoenix Group Holdings)

    The 'Open Source' company where I worked for nearly 12 years embezzled its staff; despite knowing that employees were subjected to fraud in Standard Life's name, it doesn't seem like Standard Life has bothered to investigate (it has been a fortnight already; no progress is reported by management at Standard Life)

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