Links 08/03/2023: DeaDBeef 1.9.5 and Linux Format Reaches 300

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Format 300

      We celebrate the best in open source ever, the Linux kernel and wonder where we’d be without the free software movement. Discover our top picks for the best free software, what the oldest open source projects are and revel in our retro distro reviews!

    • Applications

      • UbuntubuzzPenpot 1.0 – The New FOSS Design & Prototyping Platform for Teams

        PenPot version 1.0 released on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Released with the slogan “Bring Design Freedom to your Product team”, it is the first official stable release of the new web-based, collaborative design & prototyping platform. Its purpose is to design User Interface (UI) of any computer program. To many people in UI & UX field, PenPot can be viewed as a very good Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) alternative to Figma. In this article we convey to you the news, introduce it, quick guide to use it and some useful information to learn more about it. Finally, we’d love to say congratulations and welcome to PenPot!

      • OMG! LinuxNeed to Edit PDF Metadata on Linux? Try Paper Clip

        Paper Clip is a terrifically simple app for editing PDF metadata on Linux.

      • Ubuntu HandbookDeaDBeef Music Player 1.9.5 Adds PipeWire output Support

        The lightweight DeaDBeef music player got an update recently. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 18.04. Just like Audacious did in v4.3, DeaDBeef 1.9.5 added the low-latency PipeWire sound server support.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ID RootHow To Install Apache Maven on Linux Mint 21

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Maven on Linux Mint 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Maven is a popular build automation tool used in Java-based software development projects.

      • LinuxConfigSetup FTP server on Linux
      • UNIX CopHow to install Telegram Desktop Client on Ubuntu 22.04 | Linux Mint 21

        Hello, friends. Although WhatsApp is incredibly popular in the world, there are those of us who value the privacy and features of other similar applications.

      • LinuxConfigLinux: Setup SSH
      • Linux CapableHow to Install and Enable SSH on Linux Mint 21 or 20

        Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol used to connect and remotely manage systems over a network securely. It is a crucial tool for Linux Mint users who need to access their systems remotely, transfer files securely, and perform administrative tasks.

      • Linux CapableHow to Enable BBR in Debian 12, 11 or 10

        As internet usage continues to grow, it’s crucial to have a fast and reliable network. One way to achieve this is by enabling BBR, a congestion control algorithm developed by Google. BBR (Bottleneck Bandwidth and Round-trip propagation time) optimizes your network’s speed and reliability, ensuring your data gets transmitted faster and more efficiently.

      • Linux CapableWhat is Pamac AUR Helper? Everything You Need to Know

        Pamac AUR Helper is a powerful package manager for Arch-based Linux systems that allows for easy package installation, removal, and updating. It is user-friendly and provides a graphical interface that simplifies the management of software packages.

      • Make Tech EasierHow to Install Windows in VirtualBox in Linux

        There are several reasons a Linux user would want to create a Windows virtual machine, and VirtualBox is easily one of the most popular hypervisors available for Linux. It’s simple to use, easily accessible, and extremely flexible in what it allows you to do with your virtual machines.

      • Linux CapableRemove Packages from Manjaro Linux in Command Terminal

        Removing packages from Manjaro Linux can be done easily from the command terminal using your chosen package manager or AUR helper. Pacman is the default package manager for Manjaro Linux and other Arch Linux-based systems, and it is particularly useful for managing packages from official repositories.

    • Games

      • Godot EngineGodot & Friends at GDC 2023

        We are going to be at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023, which will take place in San Francisco from March 20th to March 24th.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • LinuxConfigMX Linux vs Ubuntu

      MX Linux has quickly risen in popularity in recent years and is one of the most trending Linux distributions currently. Since most Linux users are very familiar with Ubuntu Linux already, it is common to use it as a base for comparison to other distros like MX Linux. Knowing how these two distributions stack up and compare to each other can lead users to a reliable conclusion about which one would be the best for their preferences and workflow.

      The average user can get overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a Linux distribution to use, just because of the sheer number of choices available. It is common to dip a toe into the Linux pool by installing Ubuntu, before graduating to a different distribution that is more tailored to the individual needs of the user. Could MX Linux be the next step for you?

      In this tutorial, we will compare MX Linux and Ubuntu across a few key areas and give a brief review of both distros. Read on to learn more about MX Linux and Ubuntu and how they compare. By the end of this article, you will be armed with enough information to choose the best distro for your needs.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • Ruben SchadeFilter jugs should be rectangular

      I did an episode of my silly show back in 2015 that dealt with the nonsensical application of slanted bottlecaps on shampoo, thus preventing the orientation of the bottle upside down and letting gravity assist in removing the last of its contents. Like an ocean liner of yore, it was riveting. Riveted. River. Water. Foreshadowing.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • RE: Rewilding Music

        To anyone who is not a musician, these days music experience is probably neatly packaged in well-designed products. Listening to recorded music, as opposed to live performances, has become the norm. Before there were any audio recording technologies, the ladies of the bourgoisie learnt to play the piano so that they could entertain family and friends with popular tunes in piano reductions of the full score. Later, in the Hippie era, everyone had an acoustic guitar and were able to find three chords, enough to accompany their singing of most songs they knew. Other instruments have been in widespread use in various geographical areas and times. No doubt, the easy access to digital music technologies have contributed to a decline in attention to traditional instrumental skills.

      • Do You Live in a City or a Town?

        Here in the US cities are weird. Los Angeles is an example of a sprawl with multiple ‘downtowns’ connected with 8-lane highways and suburbia in-between, full of malls and swimming pools. Not what I would call a city personally (more like a vision of hell). But it’s big and largely unwalkable, whatever it is.

        Cities are formed by inflated towns that run into each other. Like that game where small cells are consumed by larger ones, towns are absorbed into larger and politically mightier townships and eventually form cities. But that’s not what I am talking about.

        Look out the window. Do you see electrical wires on a pole? Town.

      • Launching my capsule

        Hey all! I’ve known about gemini for a couple of years now and have looked around in it semi-regularly since then (mostly through Antenna), so I figured now was a good time for me to launch my own capsule and join in.

      • It gets pretty tilty in that house.

        I’ll have some jimbeam, the white label, a double. Maybe it’s just time I got away from that Tax Rd. house. To be sure I’ll be sad to leave those bunch, even though they mostly don’t pay their rent share and I tend to cover. Yeah, I’ll miss their pills, but it’s their companionship I’ll mostly miss. Tinny too, you know, even though the frogness is pretty far along in her by now. She can’t even talk anymore, or maybe even listen. She’s about ready for to move to the pond for good, so our time’s up either way. I got to accept the regress, same as death. Still hard, though.

      • Why do we build robots?

        I’m nearing the end of my PhD in robotics and often wonder what the purpose of robots is. But first let me clarify what I mean by robots. A robot is a machine that can autonomously act on and react to its environment. The key word here is “autonomously”. Different kinds of robots have different degrees of autonomy.

        Surgical robots are on the lower end of the autonomy spectrum, having practically no autonomy. A surgical robot needs to be continuously operated by a surgeon, like any other tool in the surgeon’s disposal. Surgical robots can only act on their environment if commanded to by a human operator. It’s fairly easy to find useful applications for human-operated robots, surgery, search and rescue operations in dangerous environments or safe inspection of difficult to access structures.

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Kraut

          The smol internet (as supported by the current global system) perhaps pairs well with slow food (as supported by the current global system). And unto this age came Cabbage, destined to bear the salty crown of aqualonia upon a troubled brow. Doubtless it is easier to buy jars of the stuff at a store, given how much beating and chopping and weighing and making a general mess of the kitchen is involved. On the other hand such jars can range from being too expensive, too spicy, too salty, or to simply not being available in a food desert. Probably food deserts have neither cabbage nor kraut.

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

Links 08/03/2023: EndeavourOS Cassini Nova

Posted in News Roundup at 12:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Applications

      • DebugPointTop 5 Best EPUB Readers for Linux [Compared]

        Are you an avid Linux user who loves reading ebooks? If yes, you must know that the default document viewer on most of the Linux distros may not meet all your requirements for being a bookworm.

        EPUB is a widely used open ebook format supported by most ebook readers. Thankfully, several EPUB reader apps are available in the Ubuntu software centre and other repositories that you can download for free.

        In this article, we’ll discuss the best EPUB readers for Ubuntu Linux that will enhance your reading experience. We’ll also explore their features and benefits, so you can choose the one that suits your needs.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • 9to5LinuxEndeavourOS Cassini Nova Launches with Linux Kernel 6.2, Bug Fixes

      EndeavourOS Cassini Nova is here less than a month after EndeavourOS Cassini Neo and bumps the kernel packages to the latest and greatest Linux 6.2 series. The ISO image ships with Linux kernel 6.2.2, which is the latest kernel release at the moment of writing.

      Other updated components in the EndeavourOS Cassini Nova release include the Mesa 22.3.6 graphics stack, Xorg Server 21.1.7 display server, NVIDIA 525.89.02 graphics driver, Calamares 3.3.0 Alpha 3 graphical installer, as well as Mozilla Firefox 110.0.1 web browser.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Events

      • HackadayHackaday Berlin: First Round Of Talks

        We’re super excited to announce the first round of speakers for Hackaday Berlin!  We’re set to convene on Friday night, March 24th for an evening warm up before the main show on Saturday, March 25. Featuring the triumphant return of Voja’s 4-bit badge, a crew of awesome speakers, lightning talks, workshops, music, food, badge hacking, and all the best of the Hackaday community, this will be a day to remember. And then we’ll chill out Sunday morning with a Bring-a-Hack brunch.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchThe Ten Essential Powers of Great Literature

      What makes a work of literature great? Why, to name but a few, are Hamlet, The Iliad, The Divine Comedy, War and Peace, The Flowers of Evil, Don Quixote, Faust generally considered outstanding examples of world literature? What makes one work of literature superior to another? Why is some literature read for centuries, even millennia, while others languish in scholarly oblivion? What are the sacred secrets of Calliope?

      It is my contention that there are at least ten essential powers of Great Literature. If a work of literature does not contain all ten; it might be good, even very good, but will not deserve the appellation “Great”.

    • CNNTwo dead, 16 injured in train derailment in Egypt

      At least two people were killed, and 16 others were injured after a train derailed north of Cairo on Tuesday, according to Egypt’s Health Ministry.

    • CS MonitorSouth Korea’s olive branch to Japan

      The president’s plan to compensate wartime Korean victims starts with a recognition that any redress by Japan must be voluntary.

    • Science

      • HackadayPulling Data From HDMI RF Leakage

        A long-running story in the world of electronic security has been the reconstruction of on-screen data using RF interference from monitors or televisions. From British TV detector vans half a century ago to 1980s scare stories about espionage, it was certainly easy enough to detect an analogue CRT with nothing more than an AM broadcast radio receiver. But can this still be done in the digital age? It’s something [Windytan] has looked into, as she reconstructs images using leakage from HDMI cables.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayA Ground Source Heat Pump From An Air Conditioner

        When it comes to lower-energy home heating, it’s accurate in all senses to say that heat pumps are the new hotness. But unless you happen to work with them professionally, it’s fair to say their inner workings are beyond most of us. Help is at hand though courtesy of [petey53], who made his own ground source heat pump for his Toronto house using a pair of window-mounted air conditioning units.

      • HackadayPowercore Aims To Bring The Power Of EDM To Any 3D Printer

        The desktop manufacturing revolution has been incredible, unleashing powerful technologies that once were strictly confined to industrial and institutional users. If you doubt that, just look at 3D printing; with a sub-$200 investment, you can start making parts that have never existed before.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • New York TimesFlorida Republicans Propose 6-Week Abortion Ban

        The bills would tighten the current 15-week limit and offer narrow exceptions. Gov. Ron DeSantis said he welcomed “pro-life legislation.”

      • DeSmogFollowing Ohio Derailment, Concerns Arise Over Expansion of Rail and Pipeline Transport of Hazardous Material

        In the aftermath of last month’s toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, questions and concerns about the adequacy of rail safety regulations have resurfaced. The train, owned by Norfolk Southern, was transporting chemicals and other hazardous materials when an overheated wheel bearing led to a catastrophic derailment on February 3. The subsequent disaster response included a localized evacuation and a controlled burn of hazardous substances contained in the derailed tankers, including the carcinogenic chemical vinyl chloride, fouling the air and leaving residents worried about their health and safety upon return.

        Nearly three years ago to the day, another disaster involving leakage of a hazardous material similarly sickened residents and forced the evacuation of a small town, this time in Mississippi. On February 22, 2020, a 24-inch pipeline transporting highly pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) contaminated with a small amount of hydrogen sulfide ruptured in the town of Satartia, sending a large toxic plume into the surrounding area. Around 300 people were evacuated and nearly 50 hospitalized. More than 100 people were sickened, many of whom have had lingering symptoms like cognitive impairment, reduced lung capacity, PTSD, and chronic fatigue.

      • Common DreamsAn Open Letter to Congressional Sponsors of Medicare for All
      • Common DreamsCountering GOP Attacks, Biden Proposes Tax Hike on the Rich to Strengthen Medicare

        President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a plan to extend Medicare’s solvency into the 2050s by raising taxes on high-income Americans and cutting prescription drug costs, a proposal that Biden presented as an alternative to GOP attacks on the healthcare program used by tens of millions of seniors.

      • Pro PublicaIllinois to Relocate at Least Half of Residents From Choate

        The Illinois Department of Human Services plans to dramatically reduce the number of patients with developmental disabilities who live at the embattled state-run Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center.

        In an exclusive interview before an expected Wednesday announcement, IDHS Secretary Grace Hou outlined a “repurposing and restructuring” of Choate, located in rural Anna, about 120 miles southeast of St. Louis. That process will start with the relocation of 123 residents with developmental disabilities who entered the facility voluntarily — roughly half the current population.

    • Security

      • AxiosHackers are quickly learning how to breach cloud systems

        Hackers are quickly finding flaws in organizations’ cloud infrastructure despite perceptions that the technology is ironclad against cyberattacks.

        The big picture: Organizations have invested billions of dollars in recent years to move their digital data from traditional, on-premise enterprise storage solutions to the cloud.

      • Bruce SchneierPrompt Injection Attacks on Large Language Models

        This is a good survey on prompt injection attacks on large language models (like ChatGPT).

        Abstract: We are currently witnessing dramatic advances in the capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs). They are already being adopted in practice and integrated into many systems, including integrated development environments (IDEs) and search engines. The functionalities of current LLMs can be modulated via natural language prompts, while their exact internal functionality remains implicit and unassessable. This property, which makes them adaptable to even unseen tasks, might also make them susceptible to targeted adversarial prompting. Recently, several ways to misalign LLMs using Prompt Injection (PI) attacks have been introduced. In such attacks, an adversary can prompt the LLM to produce malicious content or override the original instructions and the employed filtering schemes. Recent work showed that these attacks are hard to mitigate, as state-of-the-art LLMs are instruction-following. So far, these attacks assumed that the adversary is directly prompting the LLM…

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Papers PleaseGermany follows US lead in misuse of airline reservation data

          [Florian Gutsche of the VVN-BdA: An embarrassment to Germany’s reputation? Or a credit to it? And does his black shirt prove that he’s dangerous?]

          On Friday, February 24th, Florian Gutsche, a German citizen and the national chair of the German Association of People Persecuted by the Nazi Regime – Association of Anti-Fascists (VVN-BdA), was intercepted by German federal police at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, prevented from boarding a flight he had planned to take to Sofia, Bulgaria, and served with an order prohibiting him from leaving Germany for the duration of the weekend.

          Formal parliamentary questions have already been submitted to the German government by a member of the Bundestag, asking by whom and on what basis the order prohibiting Herr Gutsche from leaving Germany was issued. These are important questions.

        • New York TimesF.T.C. Intensifies Investigation of Twitter’s Privacy Practices

          The commission is seeking an interview with Elon Musk, who has made major cuts at the company since acquiring it last year.

        • New York TimesElon Musk Says Twitter’s Finances Are Improving After Big Cuts [Ed: When Twitter has 0 users, no more losses, just debt to pay (with interest!)]

          On a day Mr. Musk said the company was recovering from a sharp drop in ad sales, he found himself apologizing to a former employee with a disability he had disparaged.

        • New York TimesSpying by Mexico’s Armed Forces Brings Fears of a ‘Military State’

          Mexico’s armed forces are not authorized to spy on civilians, legal experts say, but the military has long wielded spying technology and has grown ever more powerful under Mr. López Obrador.

          In a 2020 Defense Ministry report, unearthed last year in an extensive [breach] of the Mexican armed forces and reviewed by The New York Times, military officers described the details of private conversations between a human rights advocate and three journalists discussing allegations that soldiers just weeks earlier had executed three civilians in a confrontation with a cartel.

        • New York Times2 Americans Found Dead, 2 Found Alive in Mexico Kidnapping

          Four friends crossed the border on Friday, but within hours, they were abducted by gunmen and two of them were killed before the others were rescued Tuesday.

        • Scoop News GroupSurveillance oversight board member explores concerns about Section 702 renewal

          Section 702 was designed to allow intelligence agencies to collect the online communications of foreign intelligence targets. However, the program has drawn concerns over the years for the incidental collection of the data of U.S. persons in the process and how that data is later used by intelligence agencies without a warrant. Advertisement

          LeBlanc, speaking in a personal capacity, expressed serious reservations about renewing the authority without significant reforms. He specifically pointed to concerns with the ongoing incidental collection of data belonging to U.S. persons, something that the National Security Agency currently does not collect data on.

        • Patrick Breyer#ChatControl survey: Children don’t want to be “protected” by scanning or age-restricting messenger and chat apps

          A representative survey reveals that 66% of minors oppose internet providers scanning personal messages for suspect content, measures which are proposed for their protection in the EU’s CSA Regulation (CSAR), also called “ChatControl” proposal. 80% of underage respondents explain they would not feel comfortable to be politically active or explore their sexuality if their conversations were monitored or scanned. For this survey, the public opinion research company Episto polled more than 8,000 teenagers aged 13 to 17 in 13 EU Member States.

        • EFFSection 702’s Unconstitutional Domestic Spying Program Must End

          On its face, Section 702 allows the government to conduct surveillance inside the United States so long as the surveillance is directed at foreigners currently located outside the United States. It also prohibits intentionally targeting Americans. Nevertheless, the NSA routinely (“incidentally”) acquires innocent Americans’ communications without a probable cause warrant. In fact, FISA Court judges who approve Section 702 surveillance never learn about, let alone approve, the targets of surveillance under Section 702, and they rely entirely on certifications from the executive branch that downplay the nature of incidental surveillance of Americans. Then, rather than “minimize” the sharing and retention of Americans’ data, as Congress required, the NSA routinely shares such data with the FBI, CIA, and National Counterterrorism Center, and all agencies retain it for at least five years. Since Section 702 was last reauthorized in 2018, it has only become clearer that this provision is a rich source of warrantless government access to Americans’ phone calls, texts, and emails.

          In this way, Section 702’s mass surveillance of Americans and the availability of that information to law enforcement isn’t just “incidental”—it’s the primary function of the program. What should we do about a program where the byproduct of the program becomes the primary benefit to the government?

          As early as 2011, the FISA Court held that the NSA’s collection of Internet communications violated the Fourth Amendment because, despite targeting foreign communications, the agency was still collecting approximately 56,000 American emails a year. And yet, this collection continued. In 2021 alone, the FBI conducted up to 3.4 million warrantless searches of Section 702 data to find Americans’ communications. Congress and the FISA Court have imposed modest limitations on these “backdoor searches,” but according to several recent FISA Court opinions, the FBI has engaged in “widespread violations” of even these minimal privacy protections.

        • EFFEFF Comments to NTIA on Privacy and Civil Rights

          The submission spotlights how data surveillance practices cause discrimination against vulnerable groups across the entire lifecycle of data processing: at the point of data collection; in the use of data for ad delivery and automated decision-making; and when corporate employees misuse data and thieves steal it. 

          The unifying thread to this pervasive system is the processing of personal information about people from marginalized communities, and the subsequent discriminatory use by corporations and government agencies—exacerbating existing structural inequalities across society. 

          One necessary approach to solving this problem is to reduce the amount of data that these entities can use to discriminate. To resist these civil rights abuses at their source, we need federal comprehensive consumer data privacy legislation.

      • Confidentiality

        • SignalSignal is for everyone, and everyone is different

          As a key component of our commitment to privacy, we don’t collect “user analytics,” or other finely-grained data about how people use Signal. This is a principled choice we make over and over again, and one that makes understanding what people who use Signal want and need, and how they’re using Signal harder. Without in-app tracking on which features are used by whom and when, or data from third-party data brokers, we rely on other sources of information and the expertise and instincts of our team.

          Our in-house User Voice team fields ideas, complaints, and crises experienced by people who use Signal and shares them with our leadership and development teams. Signal developers spend a lot of time working with the User Voice team to better understand issues, often going back and forth with people reporting these issues until we’re able to accurately diagnose and understand what’s going on. We view User Voice as the most valuable source of information about what different people want (and don’t) from Signal, and their work helps fill in some of the gaps that our rejection of user tracking leaves in our understanding. We also read feedback on social media and in our community forum as well as app store reviews and media (while recognizing that much of this feedback is often in English, and often from people who skew Western and technically-literate). And we are beginning to invest more in UX and market research to help deepen our understanding of how people want and need to communicate.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Counter PunchWhose Red Lines?

        In the conflict-ridden realm of international relations, certain terms are particularly useful, and one of them is “Red Lines.” Derived from the concept of a “line in the sand,” first employed in antiquity, the term “Red Lines” appears to have emerged in the 1970s to denote what one nation regards as unacceptable from other nations. In short, it is an implicit threat.

        Vladimir Putin, self-anointed restorer of the Russian empire, has tossed about the term repeatedly in recent years. “I hope nobody will get it into their heads to cross Russia’s so-called red line,” he warned in April 2021. “Where it will be drawn, we will decide ourselves in each specific case.”

      • FAIRScary Headlines Hype Dangers Rarely Faced by Tourists in Mexico

        Planning a trip to Mexico? If you read the news these days, you would think that Americans ought to be terrified of the popular tourist destination.

      • MeduzaWill the war in Ukraine end in year two? Halting Russia’s invasion before 2024 is possible, but only if the West learns to be bolder and more decisive — Meduza

        Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine is now a protracted war that looks likely to devolve into a stalemate. Given what we know about the conflict’s combat dynamics and force structure, however, it’s unclear if either side would ever admit to being stuck. A definitive military victory looks just as unlikely for Ukraine as for Russia, but ending the war with a relative sense of success is far more probable for Kyiv and its Western partners, though it remains hypothetically possible for Moscow. Meduza explains why this is the case.

      • Counter PunchCan the U.N. Stop the War?

        We in the West watch the slaughter in Eastern Europe as if it were a football game, rooting for an underdog team as it courageously stands up to a stronger adversary.

        Will it stop standing, hopelessly swept to defeat by superior numbers of forces?

      • Meduza‘The gauntlet has been thrown down’: Lukashenko claims Ukraine challenged Belarus, responds by calling Zelensky ‘a nit’ — Meduza

        Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko attacked Volodymyr Zelensky while talking about the airfield explosion that took place in Machulishchy on February 25.

      • MeduzaIndependent survey finds that half of Russians have negative view of people who moved abroad to avoid mobilization — Meduza

        Half (51 percent) of Russians disapprove or take a negative view of their compatriots who have left the country to avoid mobilization, according to new survey data from the independent Levada Center. Only 10 percent of respondents said they view these emigrants positively or “with understanding.”

      • Counter PunchThe Havana Syndrome Case Cracked

        The Havana Syndrome was first reported in Cuba in 2016. The mysterious malady initially afflicted US embassy staff in Havana, especially those attached to intelligence missions. It then spread to Canadian embassy officials. The sudden headaches, debilitating dizziness, and hearing excruciatingly painful sounds struck both at work and at home. Oddly, the Cubans themselves appeared immune to the pathology.

        Soon other cases of what the US Defense Department called “anomalous health incidents” (AHIs) were reported in Russia, China, Colombia, Uzbekistan, and then even in the US. This mass psychogenic illness was experienced mostly by US government spies, diplomats, and military personnel all over the world, according to Wikipedia. A “government-wide response” was precipitated with “support groups” established.

      • The NationThe Country Is Paying for Merrick Garland’s Failure to Prosecute Trump

        Garland has now passed the buck to special counsel Jack Smith, and the same people who told us that Bill Barr was going to be an honorable attorney general, or that Robert Mueller was going to be a dogged investigator, or that Rod Rosenstein was going to stand up to the Trump White House, now tell us that Smith is the perfect “closer” to bring Trump to justice. For what it’s worth, I actually believe that Smith will indict Trump for something, eventually, if only to justify his own existence.

        But we are already in March of 2023. The Iowa caucuses are on February 5, 2024. The New Hampshire primary for Republicans is on February 13. Trump is the presumptive front-runner in both of those contests. Even if indictments come down today, it’s simply unlikely that the wheels of justice will spin fast enough to take us from charges to trial in less than a year. At warp speed, putting together a trial for a former president in under a year is daunting. Such a timeline is functionally impossible when you consider the inundation of motions, appeals, and requests for delays Trump’s legal team will throw up. Trump’s lawyers will try to bring all of those appeals to the Supreme Court, and we already have a mountain of evidence that this Supreme Court, stacked as it is with Republican culture warriors, is willing to go as fast or as slow as it needs to, depending on which speed helps the Republican Party the most. Remember, this Supreme Court ruled that February 2022 was “too close” to the November 2022 midterms to force Alabama to change its racist congressional district maps before the last federal election. The idea that these same people would do anything to hurt the Trump campaign within the penumbra of the 2024 election is magical thinking.

      • SalonNeo-Nazi cyberattacks on the rise: DHS “very concerned” about power grid

        “The primary terrorism threat, the most lethal and persistent terrorism threat that we’re facing now, is not from the al-Qaidas and the al-Shababs and the ISISes, though they remain a serious threat,” he said. “But it’s from the lone actors and the small groups who are ideologically driven here within the United States and motivated out of ideology to foment, conspire to and engage in violence.”

      • ANF NewsCitizens of Manbij: Cutting off Euphrates water aims to decimate people

        Îbrahim noted that the Turkish state is uttering threats and mounting constant attacks against the region and annexing Syrian lands to its territory. She said: “The most dangerous policy is to cut off the water of the Euphrates, because water cut leads to power blackouts and agriculture also needs water.”

      • Jerusalem PostIran may be behind BDS ‘hit list’ targeting Boston Jews – report

        According to a Zachor statement, “more than two-thirds of the 505 ‘targets’ featured on the website are not Jewish institutions, but rather US security institutions, including the exact locations of 271 police stations, 9 US military bases and installations, and offices of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Secret Service, and US government-linked weapons manufacturers, all of which are pinpointed on a single interactive map.”

      • Modern DiplomacyHuman Trafficking: A Global Security Concern

        One of the leading problems of the globalized world that has increased over time is human trafficking. It has increased in all parts of the world specially Africa, Asia and Europe. It involves kidnapping, trapping or sending individuals from one place to another either within state or outside. [...]

      • The North Lines INDefence Intelligence Agencies Raise Alarm Over Threat From Chinese Mobile Phones, Ask Units To Ensure Troops’ Families Don’t Use Them

        India and China have been engaged in a military standoff since March April 2020 and have deployed heavily against each other on the LAC in Eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

      • France24Al Qaeda leader in North Africa grants exclusive interview to FRANCE 24

        Algerian Islamist Abu Obeida Youssef al-Aanabi, the current leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), granted an exclusive interview to FRANCE 24 in which he officially confirmed his group is holding French journalist Olivier Dubois, who was kidnapped in Mali in 2021, and discussed the role of jihadism in the Sahel.

      • CS MonitorTracing the evangelical roots of white nationalism

        The seeds of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol were germinating for decades, posits religion scholar Bradley Onishi in “Preparing for War.”

      • CNNArnold Schwarzenegger says antisemites will ‘die miserably’ in lengthy video

        Arnold Schwarzenegger would like to terminate antisemitism and hate.

      • ADFWeakened Insurgency Still a Threat to Mozambique

        ADF STAFF Mozambican Minister of National Defense Cristóvão Chume was surrounded by a small group of reporters and Soldiers when he delivered a message to the people of Muidumbe village about the resilience of Cabo Delgado’s insurgent forces.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Michael West MediaCarbon credits and offsets – What’s the scam?

        As the Labor Government seeks to get the “Safeguard Mechanism” through Parliament, the opposition to it is getting louder both inside and outside of Parliament. It’s complicated, they say. Or is it? What is the scam behind carbon offsets and credits?

        When wanting to get away with a simple fraud or scam, make it look complicated. And that’s exactly what the Government and the fossil fuel industry want us to believe that it is. Fact is, carbon offsets and credits are not that complicated at all!

      • Energy/Transportation

        • Counter PunchNew Nuclear Plants Have Turned Into Money Pits

          The 13-metre, 500-tonne, reactor pressure vessel arriving last month at Hinkley Point C. It was built at the notorious and scandal-ridden Le Creusot forge. The unfinished nuclear plant is shaping up to be the most expensive in history. (Photo: EDF)

          Oops sorry. That two-reactor nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C you thought would cost $19 billion? It’s going to cost $26 billion now. Actually, make that $35 billion. Wait, sorry, no, the actual number is closer to $40 billion. When will it be ready for operation? Um, well, currently says French contractor, EDF, maybe 2027? Ish?

        • DeSmogLiquid Gas Industry Fights to Weaken EU Climate Plans Ahead of Key Vote

          This story is part of a DeSmog series on the influence wielded by the gas lobby in Europe and was developed with the support of Journalismfund.eu

          Liquid gas companies are casting themselves as champions of rural communities in a bid to weaken proposals to slash the carbon emissions produced by heating Europe’s buildings, according to dozens of lobbyist emails seen by DeSmog. 

        • uni CaliforniaUC San Diego Receives $15M Cryptocurrency Donation, Largest for Research on Airborne Pathogens

          Researchers at the University of California San Diego will have the opportunity to dive deeper into such questions thanks to a $15 million gift made in USD coin (USDC) by the Balvi Filantropic Fund, directed by Vitalik Buterin, founder of one of the world’s leading blockchain networks, Ethereum. The gift establishes the Meta-Institute for Airborne Disease in a Changing Climate (“The Airborne Institute”) at UC San Diego.

        • Common DreamsIndustry Knew—and Hid—Dangers of Gas Stoves Over 50 Years Ago

          Newly uncovered documents published last week by DeSmog reveal that the leading gas industry trade group knew over 50 years ago that cooking with gas stoves could harm human health and tried to cover up the evidence.

        • DeSmogMajor Gas Utility Is Pouring Money Into Reversing an Oregon City’s Electric-only Mandate

          Oregon’s largest gas utility has funneled nearly a million dollars of cash and in-kind contributions into a campaign to overturn a new electrification mandate in the state’s second-largest city. 

          Just days after the Eugene City Council voted on February 6 to ban gas hookups in new low-rise residential construction, a group named Eugene Residents for Energy Choice was registered with the Oregon Secretary of State. 

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchReality Check:  The Yellowstone Bison “Hunt” is a Slaughter

          Our National Mammal — the beloved, sacred American bison — is under attack.  Of course, they have been since the dawn of colonization, yet despite the false narrative of “America’s greatest conservation success story”, the war against wild buffalo rages on along the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park, where the country’s last continuously wild herds still exist.  Once numbering seventy million strong, spanning most of North America, wild, migratory bison today number fewer than 5,000 and occupy less than 1% of their native homelands.  The Yellowstone herds represent the last of their kind and are in such dire straits that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is considering Endangered Species Act protection.  With federal, state, and tribal governments taking actions that are destroying these special herds, ESA listing may be their only chance for survival.

          This war has been going on for decades, with no end in sight.  Though there have been changes, and some small, positive gains in habitat outside of Yellowstone, other elements of bison mismanagement are growing out of control.  In addition to Yellowstone’s senseless capture-for-slaughter operations, state and especially tribal hunts are creating a killing frenzy whenever wild bison attempt to migrate into Montana, particularly in the Gardiner Basin.

        • Counter PunchFish Killing Mania: Australia’s War Against the Common Carp

          The scene is unforgettable and unforgivable: an elected official, the deputy prime minister of Australia, cutting loose about a fish species introduced into the country by his ancestors, and demanding their annihilation.  During the near-lunatic display by Barnaby Joyce, even his own colleagues betrayed embarrassment and alarm at the full-throated shrieks of “carp, carp”.  With crazed eyes and crimson face, Joyce went on to assure fellow parliamentarians that viral weapons will be deployed against the common carp, otherwise known as Cyprinus carpio.  The cannonade of ecological warfare had been announced, though preparations for the war had long been in progress.

          In 2017, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a piece befitting the great terror pieces that fret and agitate at the unknown and unseen.  “Today no one really knows how many are in the rivers of our eastern states and particularly the Murray-Darling, but if you were to say 10 million, few aquatic scientists would contradict you.”

      • Overpopulation

        • ABCSkyrocketing bills the latest concern in Jackson water crisis

          Jackson residents have been reporting irregularly high water bills, with multiple households telling ABC Jackson affiliate WAPT that their bills are doubling, even quadrupling, in any given month.

          Officials are aiming to establish a rate structure that enables the utility to run solely on local revenue sources and no longer require assistance from the federal government, Ted Henifin, the Department of Justice-appointed interim manager of the Jackson Water System, told community members during a town hall on Tuesday.

          Rate setting in the U.S. is a challenge because utility companies around the country don’t necessarily “charge what water’s worth,” rather setting prices for what is affordable for the lower 20% of socioeconomic demographics, Henifin said, adding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers a household “stressed” if it is spending more than 4.5% of its income on its water and sewer bill.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • TruthOutGeorgia GOP Bill Would Create Panels to Remove Elected County DAs
      • Democracy Now“Pure, Unadulterated Fascism”: Mehdi Hasan on Trump, Fox News, Jan. 6, GOP & 20th Anniversary of the Iraq War

        We examine the state of U.S. politics, Trumpism, journalism and more with Mehdi Hasan, host of The Mehdi Hasan Show on MSNBC and Peacock. His new book is titled Win Every Argument: The Art of Debating, Persuading, and Public Speaking.

      • Counter PunchBe Obi-dient?

        Peter Obi, a candidate for Nigeria’s Presidential election, is by no definition a radical. Bernie Sanders, who was a candidate for the United States Presidency, was only a radical by his own definition. The issue I always had with Bernie was that he wasn’t radical enough (what does this even mean?) but more so that he never tried to win and therefore was not a relevant force in politics.

        There is an argument that American politics are higher stakes than Nigerian politics. Marxists have attempted to make the argument that socialism must start in the most developed bourgeois democracies. But there are a couple of problems for the United States. The US is what I call the last second-world country. It has unchecked access to markets and can spend without consequence thanks to the supremacy of its military and therefore its currency. However it has no functioning government and any crisis whether that be toxic trains, guns, police murder, drug prices, college prices or polluted water, cannot and will not be solved by the government. The solution is to buy and work more and turn away from politics because there is no left represented.

      • TechdirtElon Musk’s Vision Of Trust & Safety: Neither Safe Nor Trustworthy

        Even as Elon first made his bid for Twitter, we highlighted just how little he understood about content moderation and trust & safety. And, that really matters, because, as Nilay Patel pointed out, managing trust & safety basically is the core business of a social media company: “The essential truth of every social network is that the product is content moderation.” But, Elon had such a naïve and simplistic understanding (“delete wrong and bad content, but leave the rest”) of trust & safety that it’s no wonder advertisers (who keep the site in business) have abandoned the site in droves.

      • TruthOutWatchdog Files FEC Complaint That Fox News Broke Election Laws, Lied for Trump
      • AxiosThe Senate is entering the chat on TikTok

        Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced a bipartisan bill Tuesday giving President Biden greater power to regulate and sanction China-affiliated companies, including social media giant TikTok.

      • Common DreamsIf You’re Worried About President Trump Part 2, Fear the Electoral College

        A simplistic 18th century math formula, not the latest complex Big Tech algorithm, is the greatest growing threat to our democracy. This formula got scratched out using a quill pen in 1787. Then it was used in 1789 to elect George Washington as our first president. This enduring presidential algo is found in Article II, Section I, of the U.S. Constitution.

      • MeduzaStallion reputedly owned by Ramzan Kadyrov stolen from Czech stable — Meduza

        A stallion purportedly owned by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was stolen from a private stable in the Czech Republic’s Krabčice municipality.

      • India TimesIntel wants $5 bln more in German subsidies for chip plant: Report

        Intel was expecting roughly 40% of its Germany project to be subsidized, under the EU’s Chips Act, but is now also open to other sources of government aid including tax breaks or energy subsidies, the report added.

      • The EconomistHow China Inc is tackling the TikTok problem

        The latest wave of global Chinese brands have taken a different approach. Many initially eyed the domestic market, before the covid-19 pandemic and China’s draconian response to it forced them to look abroad for growth, says Jim Fields, a marketer who works with Chinese brands in America. Companies such as Shein, Temu and TikTok may grab the headlines but hundreds of Chinese firms have been making similar inroads in America, Europe and Japan—using similar strategies.

      • ABCWhat to do if you’re concerned you might be laid off

        The job market in the U.S. remains strong overall, but recent high-profile layoffs at technology and media companies and predictions of a recession later this year have raised concerns about job security

      • The Telegraph UKMinisters activating auto-delete on their WhatsApp messages

        Move raises concerns that policy could be being made behind the scenes with no public record and against transparency rules

      • The Register UKEx-Tweep mocked by Musk for asking if he’d actually been fired

        Haraldur Thorleifsson (a.k.a., Halli), said in a tweet yesterday that his work computer was locked nine days ago with the group of roughly 200 Twitter employees laid off at the end of February. He said he received no confirmation of his lay-off, and reckoned even HR didn’t know the answer.

      • Jon UdellVisualizing Mastodon server moderation

        In Mapping the wider fediverse I showed how a new table added to the Mastodon plugin — mastodon_domain_block — enables queries that find which servers are moderating which other servers. For example, here are servers on nerdculture.de‘s list of offenders.

      • Deccan ChronicleMeta plans to cut thousands of jobs as soon as this week

        The November cuts were a surprise, but another round of firings has been widely anticipated by the Meta workforce. Zuckerberg has dubbed 2023 Meta’s “year of efficiency,” and the company has been communicating that theme to employees during performance reviews, which were completed last week, the people said.

      • India TimesTwitter employee seeks clarification from Elon Musk on employment status, finds out he’s been sacked

        Hours later, Thorleifsson said he was formally told that he had been fired.

      • The NationBiden Has Gotten a Lot Done. Have Voters Noticed?

        Fresh off a surprisingly successful and confrontational State of the Union address that doubled as a preview of his reelection campaign, President Joe Biden launched a national tour to tout some signature projects in his landmark infrastructure bill. He presided over ribbon-cutting ceremonies for multimillion-dollar initiatives to restore bridges and highways and to phase in fleets of electric buses. All the while, he chided Republican political leaders for blocking progress on these key arenas of national economic renewal.

      • Site36Schengen Information System launched in new version

        The EU Commission today launched the updated Schengen Information System (SIS). Following a renewal of the Regulation, this largest European security and border management database will be expanded to include new categories of alerts. In the fight against crime and terrorism, it will be possible to search for „unknown wanted persons“ on the basis of their fingerprints.

      • Scoop News GroupBipartisan Senate proposal sets stage for banning TikTok, other foreign tech

        A bipartisan group of 12 senators unveiled a proposal Tuesday to grant the Commerce Department wide-ranging powers to review and potentially ban the U.S. operations of tech companies such as TikTok and others that officials deem a national security threat.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • Frontpage MagazineHamas-linked CAIR Says No One Should Take it Seriously

          CAIR had TV station WSB mischaracterize a court transcript in order to reverse a legal decision. In the second of two broadcasts about Sharon Dickson, WSB credits itself with influencing the city of Sandy Springs, Georgia to reverse the ruling of Municipal Court Judge Sharon Dickson. After Dickson went to take another job in a different city, WSB broadcast CAIR’s demand that she be pushed out of that position as well.

          CAIR was not voicing an opinion; it was trying to get Dickson fired.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ScheerpostIs Twitter Only Biased Against the RIGHT? (w/ Matt Taibbi)

        Is it fair to characterize Twitter’s bias as against the right and indifferent to the left given how little we know about which documents have been turned over by Elon Musk and why?

      • Torrent FreakTwitter Suspends Copyright Holder as Musk Outlaws ‘Weaponization’ of DMCA (Updated)

        In the midst of a fierce copyright dispute last evening, Twitter CEO Elon Musk intervened. He declared that accounts engaging in “repeated, egregious weaponization of DMCA on Twitter” will receive temporary suspensions. The problems began when a popular user tweeted a stunning video owned by a professional photographer, who responded by sending a DMCA takedown notice. That sounds straightforward, but this dispute is a lot more complex than that.

      • TechdirtElon’s (Good?) New DMCA Policy Appears To Be The Result Of Lots Of Confusion & Misunderstanding

        On Monday, I saw Elon Musk tweet the following, and initially thought that he might have actually made a good policy decision for once, and planned to write up something about Elon doing something right (contrary to the opinion of some, I’m happy to give him credit when it’s due):

      • MeduzaMass protests break out in Georgia after parliament approves first version of ‘foreign agents’ bill — Meduza

        On March 7, Georgia’s parliament passed in the first reading a bill to establish a “foreign agents” registry. The bill, titled “On transparency of foreign influence,” received votes from 76 deputies and was opposed by 13, according to the news site Novosti-Gruzia. The proposed legislation would require all non-commercial legal entities and media agencies that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents.”

      • Counter PunchDrug Use, Harm Reduction, and YouTube Hyperventilators

        Any criticism of left-leaning YouTube commentators should begin with a basic endorsement of civil liberties. Many people now get much of their news and views from social media, and not from the older legacy media of newspapers and TV broadcasts. Since the barriers to participation in new media are less restrictive, the YouTube shows and platforms (ranging across a wide political spectrum) can be considered as a real extension of free speech and democracy.

        Left commentators on YouTube periodically raise alarms about the algorithmic bias on YouTube that favors right wing outlets and broadcasters. The algorithm is not a mysterious ghost in the machine, but is instead an outcome of dominant corporate interests and investments. Indeed, the left leaning YouTubers often criticize right wing disinformation campaigns, offering their own commentary as a more truly informative counterbalance. They encourage viewers to press the Like button, of course, and to become not just subscribers but financial donors.

      • Michael GeistA Tax on Freedom Of Expression: Report Suggests Bill C-18 Could Be Expanded Even Beyond Mandated Payment for Links

        Google was scheduled to appear before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage yesterday to discuss Bill C-18 and its test of the removal of links to Canadian news services for a small percentage of its users, but the meeting was postponed due to technical difficulties. That ensured that the big Bill C-18 news of the day did not come from the hearing, but rather from an exceptional Ricochet Media article featuring comments from Senator Paula Simons that should heighten concern about the government’s intent with Bill C-18. Senator Simons, a longtime journalist and Trudeau appointee to the Senate, raises many concerns with the bill (and a great line that “honest to god, I feel that this is written by people who have never used the Internet”), but I think this is the key passage, which opens the door to targets beyond Google and Facebook: [...]

      • Vice Media GroupTwitter’s Most Important Anti-Censorship Tool Is Currently Dead

        “​​As of yesterday, March 6th, 2023, the certificate has expired – meaning that the onion site is no longer available seemingly with no plans to renew,” Pavel Zoneff, director of strategic communications at the Tor Project told Motherboard in an email. The Tor Project is the non-profit that helps maintain the Tor anonymity network. Users can route their internet activity through Tor to bypass censorship, such as when domestic internet service providers block access to certain websites. Website administrators can also create Tor onion services—also generally known as sites on the dark web—which provide extra protections to Tor users. Facebook launched its own Tor onion service in 2014.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • CNNWhy El Salvador’s president wants everyone to know about his new prison

        Last week, El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele posted a typically divisive video on Twitter. To the sound of thrilling fast-paced music, it showed hundreds of detainees being transferred to a new “megaprison” officially named the Center for Confining Terrorism. Constructed last year to host the Central American country’s burgeoning prison population, it is the largest prison in the Americas, with capacity for 40,000 inmates.

      • ShadowproofOn The Long Road To Organizing A Starbucks Union

        In a word, the ongoing union organizing drive that has swept the coffee giant Starbucks can be described as ‘unprecedented.’ Never before has a mass unionization effort of this magnitude gripped a fast food company in the United States. The humble origins of the barista-led Starbucks Workers United can be found in the Rust Belt city of Buffalo. It is there where the nation-wide unionization effort was publicly launched in August 2021. 

        As Starbucks Workers United (SBWU) expands from shop to shop, workers face an onslaught of union busting tactics from the company. But union fever is spreading rapidly nonetheless as Starbucks workers at over 400 locations have filed petitions for union elections, with more planning to do so. 

      • Common DreamsUnder Subpoena Threat, Starbucks CEO Finally Agrees to Testify Before Sanders’ Committee

        Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Thursday that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has relented to pressure and agreed to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee later this month, news that came just 24 hours before the panel was set to vote on whether to subpoena the billionaire executive.

      • TruthOutStarbucks CEO Caves, Agrees to Testify in Senate After Sanders Subpoena Threat
      • CS MonitorWhere women athletic directors outnumber men

        Three of every four athletic directors across the NCAA are male. But in one conference, women are the majority.

      • CNNWhat ‘Everything Everywhere’ has taught us about racism in Hollywood

        “Everything Everywhere All at Once” features a dizzying array of plot twists as failing laundromat owner Evelyn Wang learns she’s actually a superhero fighting to save her family and the world.

      • New York TimesN.T.S.B. Will Investigate Norfolk Southern’s Safety Practices

        The agency said it was opening a special investigation because the railway has had several significant accidents since late 2021.

      • New York TimesU.K. Plans to Expel Asylum Seekers Arriving on Small Boats

        The proposal from the Conservative government particularly targets those arriving by irregular means across the English Channel, most of whom are asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution.

      • teleSURUN Official Says Status of Women “Under Siege”

        Women’s rights continue to be seriously violated and they continue to be marginalized and excluded from decision-making in matters of peace and security, said a document.

      • Rolling StoneGang Members Hold Positions at ‘Highest Levels’ of LA Sheriff’s Department, Investigation Reveals

        The report identifies at “least a half dozen” active gangs and cliques — and names them: the Executioners, the Banditos, the Regulators, the Spartans, the Gladiators, the Cowboys, and the Reapers.

        These groups pose a threat to the general public — deputies hoping to prove themselves worthy of gang membership routinely seek out violent encounters with the public, the investigation reports — as well as to the internal command-and-control structure of LASD. The gangs “undermine supervision, destroy public trust, are discriminatory, disruptive, and act contrary to … professional policing,” the report concludes.

      • NBCHundreds of sexual deepfake ads using Emma Watson’s face ran on Facebook and Instagram in the last two days

        In a Facebook ad, a woman with a face identical to actor Emma Watson’s face smiles coyly and bends down in front of the camera, appearing to initiate a sexual act. But the woman isn’t Watson, the “Harry Potter” star. The ad was part of a massive campaign this week for a deepfake app, which allows users to swap any face into any video of their choosing.

      • The Washington PostAfghan women who were divorced under prior government fear for their status

        A headline and a blurb on earlier versions of this article mischaracterized the status of some remarried women in Afghanistan by saying that Taliban law had voided thousands of divorces and that they had become outlaws as alleged adulterers. The new headline and blurb correct this error to specify that these remarried women fear arrest for adultery because their divorce proceedings under the previous Afghan government do not comply with the version of Islamic law adopted by the Taliban. The article has been revised to clarify that the Taliban has not declared that these prior divorces are void or that women who have remarried are committing adultery. Additional changes to the article modify a reference to potential imprisonment, making clear that a woman from western Afghanistan feared she could be jailed, and provide more detail on how judges and lawyers have quantified these cases.

      • TruthOutDomestic Terrorism Charges Against Cop City Demonstrators Spur Further Protests
      • TruthOutFlorida’s Proposed 6-Week Abortion Ban Could Threaten Access for Entire South
      • TruthOutWashington State Lawmakers Push Bills to Protect Out-of-State Abortion Seekers
      • Common DreamsIn First-of-Its Kind Legal Challenge, Texas Women Say State Abortion Ban Endangered Their Lives

        Five Texas women are scheduled to speak on the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday about the life-threatening risks posed by the state’s abortion ban and their struggles to obtain necessary healthcare since it went into effect, a day after filing an unprecedented lawsuit challenging the law.

      • TruthOut5 Texas Women Sue State, Saying Abortion Ban Nearly Killed Them
      • CNNTexas sued by women who say state’s abortion bans put their health at risk

        Several women who say Texas’ abortion bans posed significant risks to their health have sued the state this week, opening a new front in the legal battles that have emerged since the Supreme Court overturned national abortion rights protections last year.

      • The NationWomen’s History Month Is Every Month
      • Ruben SchadeA four-day work week

        But I think even this is still too rigid under some circumstances. Customer-facing roles like mine will necessarily be constrained to regular business hours, and people working in teams will need dedicated times to collaborate and pool ideas. But otherwise it should be sufficient to deliver projects not track time. Creative people especially don’t get bursts of inspiration on a predictable schedule.

      • Scientific AmericanA Four-Day Workweek Reduces Stress without Hurting Productivity

        Working four days instead of five—with the same pay—leads to improved well-being among employees without damaging the company’s productivity. That’s the recently reported result of a four-day workweek test that ran for six months, from June to December 2022, and involved a total of 61 U.K. companies with a combined workforce of about 2,900 employees.

      • ANF NewsChain poisoning kills four more school kids in Iran

        As there is no reliable information about who carried out the attacks and the chemicals used, it is reported that at least a thousand students have been poisoned in the attacks. Most recently, a new chemical attack killed 4 more children, including a student named Karin Alamdari.

      • The Express TribuneShariat Court dismisses petition against Sindh child marriage act

        The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) has dismissed a petition challenging the vires of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013, which set the minimum age of marriage for both girls and boys at 18 years in the province.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtTelecom Monopolies Win Again: Gigi Sohn Forced To Withdraw From FCC Nomination

        Telecom and media giants (News Corporation, AT&T, and Comcast, mostly) have spent big bucks to scuttle the FCC nomination of popular reformer Gigi Sohn. That’s involved seeding all kinds of bullshit claims in the press (with the GOP’s help) about how Sohn hates rural America, police, puppies, and freedom. Some of the most recent attacks have been grotesquely homophobic.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

      • Trademarks

        • EFFEFF Tells Supreme Court: Trademark Law Doesn’t Trump the First Amendment

          In Jack Daniel’s Properties v. VIP Products, Jack Daniels claims that a company infringed and diluted its trademarks by selling a parody dog toy that looks like a Jack Daniels whiskey bottle and has punny text like “BAD SPANIELS – 43% POO BY VOL.” The Ninth Circuit held that the defendant’s use of Jack Daniels’s trademarks was “expressive,” requiring application of what’s known as the Rogers test. Jack Daniels is now asking the Supreme Court to take the extreme position that no special test should apply to expressive uses of trademarks at all, essentially arguing that there’s no need to consider whether forbidding a trademark use would deprive someone of their First Amendment rights. We filed an amicus brief urging the Court to reject that argument, explaining why and how the law must protect our ability to use trademarks to critique and comment on their owners and the things they represent.

          In most trademark cases, courts apply a set of six to ten factors meant to assess the likelihood that consumers will be confused—things like how well-known the plaintiff’s trademark is and how similar the plaintiff’s and defendant’s uses are. That’s consistent with the consumer protection purpose of trademark law: trademarks provide information about goods and services, so the law polices their use to prevent people from thinking they’re buying one thing but actually getting another.

          But there are a few problems with applying this standard test to parodies or other expressive uses of trademarks—i.e., cases where a trademark is being used to communicate something other than the source of a product. First, the test treats avoiding confusion as the only goal, without recognizing a competing interest in free expression. Second, certain factors may be unhelpful or awkward to apply to expressive uses, or lead to counterintuitive results. And third, the many subjective factors make the outcome unpredictable and difficult to resolve early in the case, which translates to uncertainty about your legal rights and expensive litigation.

      • Copyrights

        • TechdirtCopyright Fraud Deployed To Silence Journalists In Equatorial Guinea

          The DMCA lends itself to abuse. The intent of the law was to limit copyright infringement on services hosting user-generated content by providing safe harbors for service providers who made good faith efforts to respond to DMCA complaints.

        • Torrent FreakTensions Between Filmmakers and Reddit Grow in Piracy Dispute

          The legal dispute between a group of filmmakers and Reddit is heating up. The movie companies want Reddit to identify several users so they can provide evidence for a lawsuit against Internet provider RCN. Reddit refuses to do so, citing the right to anonymous speech, but the filmmakers suggest that’s a disingenuous defense.

        • TechdirtReddit Pushes Back On Idiotic Unmasking Fishing Expedition By Movie Studios

          Bear with me here, because this is going to take some explaining as a matter of throat-clearing for this post, which is actually the entire problem.

        • TechdirtTechdirt Podcast Episode 346: Gaming Like It’s 1927

          Last week, we announced the winners of the fifth annual public domain game jam, Gaming Like It’s 1927! We strongly encourage everyone to go check out all the submissions, but as in past years, I sat down with Mike and our game design partner Randy Lubin for an episode of the podcast all about the winning games in all six categories, and some of our other favorite entries.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 🔤SpellBinding: ADFISYT Wordo: PAPAL
      • Interesting Clouds 2023-03-07 Noon (Fairbanks, AK, USA)
      • Our “Twenty Questions” houserules

        Twenty questions is a game where one person things of something secret and the other person has twenty yes-or-no questions to narrow down who it can be and finally guess it. “Is the person alive today?” “Yes.” That sort of thing.

        The way we play it these days, it’s almost more like a puzzle or co-op experience because of the first rule, which is that the person who came up with the secret should aim for something that will be discovered by question number 17 or thereabouts. If they find the secret a lot sooner, you came up with a too easy secret, and if they don’t find the answer within 20 questions, you came up with a too difficult secret. For that reason, you obviously should pick something that you believe they are aware of.

      • Prototyping a personal search engine

        With the current state of brokenness in commercial search engines, especially with the implosion of the commercial social media platforms we have an opportunity to re-think search on a more personal level.

      • in which I ponder

        My favourite library from childhood still exists but has been refurbished so many times there’s almost nothing left that child-me would recognise. The shape of the building silhouetted against orange sunset clouds, perhaps, but the sounds and the smells are all modern and entirely without soul.

        My old high school just got a new science building. To achieve that they leveled the old science building, the canteen (aka cafeteria), the hall, half the language department, and swallowed a huge chunk of the remaining green space. It took two years to put the new building in. Where did the kids do assembly or get their sausage rolls in the meantime?

      • The Tomb Itself Will Erode With Time

        The desiccating corpse below the ground is slowly emptied of water. It no longer needs its water or water from elsewhere. It’s DONE, vole! Watering the grave with the sun’s rays is a method of display, though also of outer decay, as the tomb itself will erode with time. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but when I kick it, just dump me in the river. Which river? Well, the closest will do.

    • Technical

      • Re: The Joy of Contained Systems

        I tried the first incarnation of this chip. I do like a few things. It featured 8 cores, each had access to all external pins. Each had a set of clock/counter registers. There were no interrupts — one core would be dedicated to react to a specific event (edge on a pin). The assembly language I found nice. Someone even built a Forth for it. However, the software to assemble code was buried behind a proprietary software tool box, so I abandonded it at some point.
        It seems that the second incarnation does feature Forth and Assembly language, and open source tools, but I haven’t checked for quite some time.

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

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: It’s Beginning to Look Like a Criminal Matter and Sirius is in Serious Trouble

Posted in Deception, Fraud, Free/Libre Software at 11:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  1. Sirius ‘Open Source’ and the Money Missing From the Pension
  2. Sirius Finished
  3. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: An Introduction
  4. When the Pension Vanishes
  5. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate (Sirius Financial Crisis): Company May Have Squandered/Plundered the Pensions of Many People
  6. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: Pension Providers That Repeatedly Lie to the Clients and Don’t Respond to Messages
  7. NOW: Pensions Lies to Its Customers and Protects Abusers

Summary: Sirius ‘Open Source’ is likely to have committed very serious fraud and criminally stolen money from its workers; today we expose some of the more preliminary findings from a 3-month investigation

THIS part of the series is “long in the making”, so to speak. It took many long calls, distant contacts, meticulous correspondence and subsequent analysis to prepare. Today we present more of an overview and some time soon — likely later this week — we’ll release a lot of audio. It’s hard to tell how long this sub-series will be as that’s highly dependent on numerous leads. The short story is, Sirius isn’t denying the allegations. These allegations are very serious and the consequences profound (like several years in prison). Sirius is now existing on “borrowed time”; the CEO left very recently and the so-called ‘founder’ is in hiding. He works double shifts, trying to salvage what’s left of the company he claims to have founded (we doubt this, based on documents presented here before).

“So far we’ve involved close to 10 people in three pension providers.”The index at the top explains how this relates to a pension provider, which we had no choice but to publicly name (and shame). I sent them about 10 E-mail messages, but I never received a reply or a phonecall as I asked (I said this was very urgent — not a lie by the way!). It seems they’re rather afraid of this case, fearing perhaps that it’s a major liability in light of various scandals (which I explained to them in very clear terms several times so far this year).

So far we’ve involved close to 10 people in three pension providers. Many people are aware of this case, including a pension provider that has some past as a client of Sirius. We decided to make complaints only after all other avenues had been exhausted and advised people to transfer pensions in order to secure them from future fraud.

In the process we did manage to get numerous letters, including formal documentation. We started chasing the pension providers, insisting that they need to cooperate (get reply or shame them, unfortunately, for basically covering up fraud). After several pension checks (not the Tracker) we could finally see disparities; where the money vanished is less of a mystery over time, as we assume that the company might as well have used pension payments in payslips to deceive staff. That’s a very serious crime. And to compare to statements, as per the formal balance, means that the discrepancies become evident.

“Some of them are too slow to act and we cannot wait for too long because Sirius will be bankrupt soon.”As it turns out, others experienced the same thing. “I emailed the office a few years ago, xxxxxxx responded,” to quote one former colleague, and xxxxxxx “said xxxxxxx would try and find out but never did.”

“If you saw the other stories,” I responded, “you’ll see that a lack of response in Sirius says a great deal. That says a lot and [is] so very typical!”

When it comes to the pension lapses, I had to escalate 4 times before even receiving any response at all (a face-saving reply). This is covered in detail. The same is true for paylips that stopped coming.

“xxxxxxx is employed to cover up for xxxxxxx,” I said. “That’s xxxxxxx actual job. Lots of examples of that.”

New material will emerge while we prepare future parts of the series, but the cat is out of the bag and we’ll report any progress with the ongoing inquiry, which has been preliminarily escalated to the police. If it’s not progressing, we should open a case and report to the Pension Regulator as well. Some of them are too slow to act and we cannot wait for too long because Sirius will be bankrupt soon.

“In the process we did manage to get numerous letters, including formal documentation.”The company itself is trying to hide. The CEO of Sirius has just left, so time is at the essence. Just before he left, or one month ago, I sent the following message: “Please provide the full address to send legal papers to. Not the address of the accountant of Sirius or the address of your accountant (which you also registered your business with). Failing to provide the full, real address will result in further escalation and potentially class action lawsuit, with former employees involved and clients fully informed. I shall expect a reply by Tuesday, February 7th.”

Sometimes they pretend that the E-mails they don’t like to receive simply got “lost in the mail”, so I asked later on: “Any response? Did my message get lost in your ‘spam box’? Again? I’ll give you until end of Tuesday.”

He left the company some time later, without uttering a single word. If they are still not answering very simple E-mails, we should consider a class action lawsuit. They know they did something, so they try to keep quiet, hoping not to give away any clues.

Half a day ago I asked the last remaining chief if what the pension provider tells me is true. I wrote:

Dear xxxxxx,

I spoke to numerous managers at xxxxxx for 3 months. They reached the conclusion that myself and colleagues never had any money deposited there — money taken for “Pension” off of our salary, as per the payslips for 5+ years. This suggests pension fraud and an actual crime. I assume, moreover, that yyyyy (as Director and spouse) was fully aware of this. In the name of journalistic integrity I must first ask you if this is patently false — a chance for you to comment in your defence. A lack of reply can be interpreted as implicit admission of guilt.

To paraphrase what you said in a call back in November, “it doesn’t look good.”

This message was received but not answered; it’s not a “no comment” per se but a refusal to even comment or issue a self-defending statement. Due to the nature of the job, he certainly saw that message and chose to hide. E-mails to the address of the departing CEO are bouncing (from Google oddly enough! Is it outsourced as well?), so they’re not even routing E-mails to the former CEO. Is anyone left to run the ship?

“The last CEO, who bullied my wife, left very recently.”In the above message it is noted that yyyyy was a spouse of the ‘founder’ and a Director at the time, so she knew what was going on and she, unlike her former husband, is based in the UK and isn’t a fugitive in the US. Can she too be held accountable?

The last CEO, who bullied my wife, left very recently. He probably knew nothing about this (or wasn’t complicit) because he was not inside the company at the time, but maybe he could see paperwork or was given verbal memos about this taboo subject. Maybe the inquest has, in its own right, motivated the departure (fear of being held accountable when a real address was pursued).

In the above, the main point is, they hide and they do not reply to any email that doesn’t serve their interests — a years-old issue.

In the next few parts we shall present hard evidence (audio also) of the crime. Unless managers at a very large and reputable pension provider lied to me (which is improbable; too risk for them to do this), the mini-series may become rather long (already close to 10 parts). It should be noted that so far we’ve only scratched the surface. We have a lot of recorded material to publish and we shall work with British authorities on this matter.

Links 08/03/2023: FEX 2303 Tagged and Investing in RSS

Posted in News Roundup at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • OpenSource.comThe power of sisterhood and allyship in open source

      We are used to the term “career change” as if it were a break in a trajectory. But in my experience, that’s never really the case. A person cannot erase themselves from what they consist of, and this richness of diverse backgrounds resulted in several breaking points. Individual journeys, often far from computer science, hold accountability for the social implication of technology and bring richness and creativity to the technology industry.

      Being an artist has always given me freedom and opened doors to explore several fields, from architecture to sciences. A great part of my artistic experience took place in hackerspaces in Brazil, surrounded by the Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) ideology, the open free/libre culture of sharing. Nowadays, for several ideological and practical reasons that do not fall within the scope of this article, the most common term is “open source”. And lucky for me, my career switch started with an internship in an Open Source Program Office (OSPO), which made this switch feel — almost — like home.

    • OpenSource.com8 examples of influential women in tech

      A journey through open source is rarely something you do alone. Your hobby, career, and your life has been affected by others in the tech space, and statistically some of those people have been women. That’s one of the many reasons International Women’s Day exists, and it’s a good excuse to reflect upon the women who have inspired your career in tech. We asked Opensource.com contributors for their thoughts.

    • Events

      • PostgreSQL2023-03-07 Swiss PGDay 2023 Announcement
      • Joe BrockmeierJoe Brockmeier: Why your talk was rejected (or maybe accepted)

        I had a few snarky opening lines for this post, but decided that was a bit unfair. Let’s just say that people get very impassioned about tech events and getting talks accepted. If you’re on the conference committee, it can be… intense, sometimes, managing the needs of an event versus people’s deep interest in being one of the speakers. I thought it’d be helpful to give some insights into why talks are and aren’t accepted.

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUa2ps @ Savannah: a2ps 4.15 released [stable]

        I am delighted to announce the first stable release of GNU a2ps since 2007!

        This release contains few user-visible changes. It does however contain a
        lot of changes “under the hood”: code clean-up, etc. Therefore, it’s likely
        that there are new bugs. Do report them to Savannah[1], or the mailing list

        A big thank-you to all those who tested pre-releases, and especially to
        Bruno Haible’s tireless work to promote portability: he both tested a2ps on
        many systems and found lots of minor portability problems, and advised on
        their solution (often, gnulib code that he wrote). Remaining problems are of
        course mine!

        [1] https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/a2ps

        Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature:

        Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

        Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:

        807667f838c29bde73bb91fae60ef98826bd460e a2ps-4.15.tar.gz
        pa3FqSIvmESKV8a162lItydD6vmjDGehNN8ILpnHZlI a2ps-4.15.tar.gz

        The SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the
        hexadecimal encoding that most checksum tools default to.

        Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
        .sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file
        and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this:

        gpg –verify a2ps-4.15.tar.gz.sig

        The signature should match the fingerprint of the following key:

        pub rsa2048 2013-12-11 [SC]
        2409 3F01 6FFE 8602 EF44 9BB8 4C8E F3DA 3FD3 7230
        uid Reuben Thomas <rrt@sc3d.org>
        uid keybase.io/rrt <rrt@keybase.io>

        If that command fails because you don’t have the required public key,
        or that public key has expired, try the following commands to retrieve
        or refresh it, and then rerun the ‘gpg –verify’ command.

        gpg –locate-external-key rrt@sc3d.org

        gpg –recv-keys 4C8EF3DA3FD37230

        wget -q -O- ‘https://savannah.gnu.org/project/release-gpgkeys.php?group=a2ps&download=1′ | gpg –import -

        As a last resort to find the key, you can try the official GNU

        wget -q https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-keyring.gpg
        gpg –keyring gnu-keyring.gpg –verify a2ps-4.15.tar.gz.sig

        This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
        Autoconf 2.71
        Automake 1.16.5
        Gnulib v0.1-5857-gf17d397771


        * Noteworthy changes in release 4.15 (2023-03-07) [stable]
        * New maintainer, Reuben Thomas.
        * Features:
        – Replace the ‘psmandup’ utility with simpler ‘lp2′ to directly print
        documents to a simplex printer.
        – Remove the outdated ‘psset’ and ‘fixnt’, and simplify ‘fixps’ to
        always process its input with Ghostscript.
        – Use libpaper’s paper sizes. This includes user-defined paper sizes
        when using libpaper 2. It is still possible to define custom margins
        using “Medium:” specifications in the configuration file, and the
        one size defined by a2ps that libpaper does not know about, Quarto, is
        retained for backwards compatiblity, and as an example.
        * Documentation
        – Remove some obsolete explanations.
        – Reformat –help output consistently to 80 columns.
        – Some English fixes.
        * Bug fixes:
        – Avoid a crash when a medium is not specified; instead, use the default
        libpaper size (configured by the user or sysadmin, or the locale
        – Fix some other potential crashes and compiler warnings.
        – Fixes for security bugs CVE-2001-1593, CVE-2015-8107 and CVE-2014-0466.
        – Minor bugs fixed.
        * Predefined delegations:
        – Remove support for defunct Netscape and proprietary Acrobat Reader.
        – Add lpr wrapper for automatic detection of different printing systems,
        including CUPS support.
        * Encodings:
        – Use libre fonts for KOI-8.
        – Composite fonts support.
        * Build
        – Update build system to more recent autotools and gettext versions.
        – Build man pages in a simpler and more robust way.
        – Document runtime dependencies.
        – Minor code quality improvements.
        – Minor tidy up and removal of obsolete code.
        – Require libpaper.
        – Remove OS/2 support.

    • Licensing / Legal

      • Slashdot article with some new news about Daryl

        Last reply by swmech on Mon, 06 Mar 2023 20:36:13 +0000

      • David RosenthalOn Trusting Trustlessness

        The basic problem here is that an “upgradable smart contract” isn’t worth the bits it is printed on, because the terms of the “contract” can be changed after the parties agreed to it by the owner of the “contract”, or by the owners of any “upgradable smart contracts” used by the “contract” in question, who may or may not be one of the parties.

    • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Tim KadlecInvesting in RSS

        Opening up my RSS reader, a cup of coffee in hand, still feels calm and peaceful in a way that trying to keep up with happenings in other ways just never has. There’s more room for nuance and thoughtfulness, and I feel more in control of what I choose to read, and what I don’t.

        The act of spending that time in those feeds still feels like a very deliberate, intentional act. Curating a set of feeds I find interesting and making the time to read them feels like an investment in myself.

      • IdiomdrottningRFC 2646’s Format=Flowed and inline quoting

        Format=Flowed is otherwise a fantastic format. It solves a lot of email’s problems. The next section (4.2) in the RFC is still great. Non–space-stuffed lines starting with a > are marked as quoted. Perfect, that’s exactly what we want. In other words, I am not suggesting changing the format or the on-the-wire protocol. I’m only talking about a way to make generating this format more palatable for text area based interfaces.

        Email is a text format and having to reach for a formatting menu or toolbar just to mark some text as quoted falls apart pretty quickly, as does trying to interleave your own responses in between the quoted lines. Those interfaces work for top-posting and bottom-posting, and that’s great, but they make inline-posting impossible.

  • Leftovers

    • YLECatalytic converter theft skyrockets in Finland

      Where the stolen catalytic converters end up is unclear.

    • Monday NoteCEOs Writing Three Envelopes

      There are many other examples of easy money toxicity, but we need to turn to something even more poisonous: large organizations’ loss of meaning. And the resulting hardening of corporate blood vessels. We can illustrate loss of meaning as follows: in a healthy organization, everyone from the friendly receptionist to the CEO can concisely say what the company’s mission is. Even drunk at three am under the rain, the person can utter words such as “we organize the world’s information” or “we make personal computers”. Once a group of people loses that ability, that cohesive force, psychic energy is rerouted towards individual power acquisition and preservation. Now, compound this with easy money and grandiose projects and you get dangerously inward-looking organizations. There, the rules are clear: advancing one’s rank and compensation demands getting more staff on one’s project. A sad and unfortunately not completely obsolete story of organization toxicity is aptly told in a Vanity Fair article titled Microsoft’s Lost Decade. To be fair to Microsoft’s current leadership, company culture has considerably evolved and the Vanity Fair piece should just be seen as more generally describing ailments that threaten large rich organizations.

    • The Register UKIDC gets even more pessimistic about PC sales

      IDC now predicts 403.1 million units will be shipped this year instead of the 429.5 million it forecast at the end of 2022. Tablets are expected to make up 142.3 million of these shipments and traditional form factors will account for the rest.

    • Sumana HarihareswaraThe Memex Mirage

      And I’d add: here, be your own librarian and archivist for a dizzying variety of formats, media, interpersonal communications platforms, etc. so you can immediately re-find that resource you ran across yesterday or ten years ago. Argh!

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Dennis Crouch/Patently-OCHIPS and Science Act [Ed: Misleading names for bailouts. Taxpayers again being robbed to save failing billionaires.]

        The $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act is designed to use federal grants and investments to encourage domestic production of advanced semiconductors and will also fund research into further advanced technologies, including further improved microchips; quantum computing; and artificial intelligence (AI).  Although many advanced chips are still primarily designed in the US, almost all of them are currently manufactured abroad (primarily in Taiwan and Korea). And, China is rapidly developing its own capabilities for advanced chip manufacture.

      • OpenSource.comWhat clown developers need to know about hardware

        It’s easy to forget the progress that people in tech have made. In the early 2000s, most local user groups held regular install fests. Back then, to configure a single machine to run Linux well, we had to know intimate details about hardware and how to configure it. Now, almost twenty years later, we represent a project whose core ideal is to make getting a single computer to run Linux as easy as an API call. In this new world, operators and developers alike no longer have to worry about the hardware in their servers. This change has had a profound impact on the next generation of operators and developers.

        In the early days of computer technology, you had to put your hands on the hardware frequently. If a computer needed more memory, you just added it. As time passed, technology also evolved in big ways. This ended up moving the operator further from the hardware. What used to be a trip to the data center is now a support ticket to have remote hands on the hardware. Eventually, hardware was disposed of altogether. Instead, you now summon and destroy “servers” with simple commands and no longer have to worry about hardware.

        Here is the real truth: hardware exists because it is needed to power clouds. But what is a cloud, really?

      • HackadayThis Retro Game Console Puts Vacuum Fluorescent Display To Good Use

        Small in size, low-resolution, blocky segments, and a limited color palette — all characteristics of the typical vacuum fluorescent display, any of which would seem to disqualify them as the display of choice for a lot of applications. But this is Hackaday, and we don’t really pay much attention to what we’re supposed to do, but rather to what’s fun and cool to do. So when we see something like a VFD game console, we just have to sit up and take notice.

      • Michael UrspringerLenovo ThinkPad X1: USB-C ports no longer working

        I then did a battery reset (there is a small hole at the bottom of the ThinkPad which you need to press with a small pin) and voila: Everything worked again …

      • HackadayProbably The World’s Most Expensive Bar Bot

        Bar bots, or robotized bartenders, are a fun feature of events in our community, because there’s nothing like a cocktail untouched by human hand. Usually they have a row of bottles and a slide on which you put the glass, but [SecurityWriter] relates a tale of an altogether much grander affair. Given a weekend with a group of friends and an enterprise-grade IBM tape library robot, they did what any sensible engineer would do. They turned it into a bar bot.

      • HackadayHacking A €15 8051-Based Portable Soldering Iron With Custom Firmware

        With soldering irons being so incredibly useful, and coming on the heels of the success of a range of portable, all-in-one soldering irons from the likes of Waveshare and Pine64, it’s little wonder that you can get such devices for as little as 10 – 15 Euro from websites like AliExpress. Making for both a great impulse buy and reverse-engineering target, [Aaron Christophel] got his mittens on one and set to work on figuring out its secrets.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • The Scientist2023-03-06 Meningitis Bacteria Trigger Headaches, Then Sneak Into the Brain
      • CNNUS to relax Covid testing restrictions for travelers from China as soon as Friday

        The US is planning to relax Covid-19 testing restrictions for travelers from China as soon as Friday, a source familiar told CNN Tuesday, citing a decline in Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths and more data surrounding the variants that were circulating in China.

      • Vice Media Group‘We Had All the Issues That Town Has:’ East Palestine Is Not the First or Last Derailment Disaster

        In many ways, Sibley was a preview of East Palestine, Ohio, the train derailment that sparked an evacuation and widespread concerns about air, water, and soil contamination. Less than two years before international media focused its attention on the small Ohio town, Sibley experienced many of the same hardships: forced evacuations, contaminated soil and water, physical symptoms among some residents, and an uncertain future. But the biggest difference, as Huls tells it, was not anything to do with the derailment itself, but the attention it got. The only news crews that showed up in Sibley were local outlets.

      • Rolling Stone‘Sick and Twisted’: Women Describe Losing Pregnancies, Nearly Dying Because of Texas Laws

        The case marks the first time that pregnant women themselves have challenged the state’s three abortion bans: a criminal ban that pre-dates Roe v. Wade, a trigger ban passed in anticipation of Roe being overturned, and Senate Bill 8, an effective ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. All three bans have exceptions for medical “emergencies,” but advocates say they are unclear and have resulted in “widespread confusion” over who and what qualifies.

        What happened to each of them sounds like, as Zurawski put it, the “sick and twisted plot to a dystopian novel — but it’s not.”

      • Hollywood ReporterTikTok Under Fire From Bill Backed by White House

        The effort — led by Mark Warner, D-Va., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and John Thune, R-SD, the Senate Republican whip — comes after Republicans on a House committee rammed through a bill on Wednesday that would effectively ban TikTok on mobile devices in the U.S over opposition from Democrats, who said that it could ensnare U.S. businesses that don’t pose a national security risk. The bipartisan bill introduced on Tuesday represents what could be the most achievable legislative solution to address concerns that the data TikTok collects on more than 100 million American users can be leveraged by the Chinese government to advance its interests.

      • Vanity FairBillie Eilish Says She Deleted All Social Media Apps Off of Her Phone

        The pop star recently revealed that she’s deleted all social media apps off of her phone as a way to protect her mental health. “I don’t look at it anymore,” she explained on an upcoming episode of the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast. “I deleted it all off my phone, which is such a huge deal for me. Cause, dude, you didn’t have the [Internet] to grow up with.” Eilish went on to explain in the preview clip, published Thursday, “For me, it was such a big part of–not my childhood, I wasn’t like an iPad baby, thank god–but honestly, I feel like I grew up in the perfect time of the [Internet] that it wasn’t so [Internet]-y that I didn’t have a childhood. I really had such a childhood, and I was doing stuff all the time.”

      • Hearst Magazine Media, IncBillie Eilish Says She Deleted All Social Media From Her Phone: ‘I Don’t Look at It Anymore’

        Eilish, by the way, isn’t the only celebrity who has recently discussed removing social media apps from her phone. Selena Gomez spoke to Vanity Fair about why TikTok is the only platform she has on her phone and how she has had her assistant post to her other platforms for years now.

    • Proprietary

      • Jason ScottDiscord, or the Death of Lore

        I chose the life, it didn’t choose me. I could have walked away from it a long time ago, and I’ve certainly shifted my focus over the years. But I still hold the heft and halter, the one standing at the death of all things, and while it means a lot of moments of rescue and recovery, it also means knowing, looking across at that which thrives and bustles, the desiccation and destruction to come. The only part of the fog of the future that’s guaranteed is the moment it switches from theory to a wall of iron and then darkness.

        All this to say: Discord.

      • Papers With CodeMore than you’ve asked for: A Comprehensive Analysis of Novel Prompt Injection Threats to Application-Integrated Large Language Models

        We are currently witnessing dramatic advances in the capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs). They are already being adopted in practice and integrated into many systems, including integrated development environments (IDEs) and search engines. The functionalities of current LLMs can be modulated via natural language prompts, while their exact internal functionality remains implicit and unassessable. This property, which makes them adaptable to even unseen tasks, might also make them susceptible to targeted adversarial prompting. Recently, several ways to misalign LLMs using Prompt Injection (PI) attacks have been introduced. In such attacks, an adversary can prompt the LLM to produce malicious content or override the original instructions and the employed filtering schemes. Recent work showed that these attacks are hard to mitigate, as state-of-the-art LLMs are instruction-following. So far, these attacks assumed that the adversary is directly prompting the LLM. In this work, we show that augmenting LLMs with retrieval and API calling capabilities (so-called Application-Integrated LLMs) induces a whole new set of attack vectors. These LLMs might process poisoned content retrieved from the Web that contains malicious prompts pre-injected and selected by adversaries. We demonstrate that an attacker can indirectly perform such PI attacks. Based on this key insight, we systematically analyze the resulting threat landscape of Application-Integrated LLMs and discuss a variety of new attack vectors. To demonstrate the practical viability of our attacks, we implemented specific demonstrations of the proposed attacks within synthetic applications. In summary, our work calls for an urgent evaluation of current mitigation techniques and an investigation of whether new techniques are needed to defend LLMs against these threats.

      • DiscordHow Discord Stores Trillions of Messages

        Our requirements for our migration are quite straightforward: we need to migrate trillions of messages with no downtime, and we need to do it quickly because while the Cassandra situation has somewhat improved, we’re frequently firefighting.

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (kopanocore), Fedora (golang-github-projectdiscovery-chaos-client, rust-sequoia-octopus-librnp, rust-sequoia-sop, rust-sequoia-sq, and usd), Oracle (libjpeg-turbo and pesign), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, osp-director-downloader-container, pesign, rh-mysql80-mysql, samba, and zlib), SUSE (mariadb), and Ubuntu (fribidi, gmp, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-raspi, nss, python3.6, rsync, systemd, and tiff).

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • [Repeat EarthlyRemote Code Execution as a Service

          We anticipated this type of workload when creating the initial version of Earthly compute. However, there was one issue that made container orchestration frameworks unsuitable: the workload. Earthly compute needs to execute customer-submitted Earthfiles, which are not dissimilar to Makefiles. Anything you can do on Linux, you can do in an Earthfile. This meant – from a security point of view – we were building remote code execution as a service (RCEAS).

        • APNICThe SSL certificate issuer field is a lie

          Not so fast! A certificate’s issuer field is frequently a lie that tells you nothing about the organization that really issued the certificate. Just look at the certificate chain currently served by doordash.com: [...]

        • Krebs On SecuritySued by Meta, Freenom Halts Domain Registrations

          The domain name registrar Freenom, whose free domain names have long been a draw for spammers and phishers, has stopped allowing new domain name registrations. The move comes just days after the Dutch registrar was sued by Meta, which alleges the company ignores abuse complaints about phishing websites while monetizing traffic to those abusive domains.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • YLEHelsinki Airport to toss out travel-sized bottle requirements by summer [Ed: Abandoning security theatre at long last? Little by little?]

        New security screening equipment will allow travellers to keep liquids and electronics in their carry-on luggage when departing from Helsinki Airport.

      • Marcy WheelerProud Boys seditious conspiracy trial enters 32nd day

        An overview of the “tools” theory of the Proud Boy prosecution.

      • CNNWatch Wolf Blitzer press Zelensky on Bakhmut strategy

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about his military strategy as Russian forces continue to make gradual gains in the city of Bakhmut. Watch the full exclusive interview on Wednesday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET.

      • CNNXi Jinping hits out at US as he urges China’s private firms to ‘fight’ alongside Communist Party [Ed: Xi Jinping is saying exactly what American corporations and the US government say and do. Nothing different.]

        China’s leader Xi Jinping hit out at the United States with unusually direct comments as he called on the country’s private companies to “fight” alongside the Communist Party at a time of mounting challenges at home and abroad.

      • The NationThe Devastating Consequences of a War Over Taiwan

        While the world has been distracted, even amused, by the diplomatic tussle around China’s recent high-altitude balloon flights across North America, there are signs that Beijing and Washington are preparing for something so much more serious: armed conflict over Taiwan. Reviewing recent developments in the Asia-Pacific region raises a tried-and-true historical lesson that bears repeating at this dangerous moment in history: When nations prepare for war, they are far more likely to go to war.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Common Dreams‘A Very Dark Day’: FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn Withdraws After Relentless Attack by Telecom Lobby

        “I could not have imagined that legions of cable and media industry lobbyists, their bought-and-paid-for surrogates, and dark money political groups with bottomless pockets would distort my over 30-year history as a consumer advocate into an absurd caricature of blatant lies,” Sohn said in a statement. “The unrelenting, dishonest, and cruel attacks on my character and my career as an advocate for the public interest have taken an enormous toll on me and my family.”

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • February 2023

        February started great with a small-honeymoon trip to the Archena Spa. This was our first trip without Bernat, who stayed with my sister for a couple of nights. Everything went well on both sides and we had a nice relaxing time in this beautiful location, including a fancy lunch near Murcia.

      • Unfuck you and unfuck your unfucking ‘manifesto’

        A spectre is haunting the left: the spectre of ‘manifestos’.

        Do we really need another ‘manifesto’? Particularly if, as is likely, it’s pretentious and totalising and unable to survive contact with the enemy, i.e. the real world?

        The world is a complex mess. Specific aspects of the world are a complex mess. There usually aren’t straightforward solutions.

        If you’re dogmatically pushing a specific Understanding and a specific Solution, you’re actually part of the problem. It’s not all basically reducible to biology, but nor is it all basically reducible to social constructs.

    • Technical

      • So frustrated that I have no one to scream at, which may be the point why it’s so hard to get ahold of customer representatives at tech companies these days

        I’m so frustrated right now.

        Bunny can’t receive email, and we have no idea why that is. All we get is that there have been too many attempts to log into her account and she needs to reset the password. Now, her account is with `bellsouth.net` which is now owned by AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) but email for customers is handled by Yahoo, but trying to track down a human being to talk to is a Herculean effort these days, and even *if* we get ahold of someone, can they even help? Forget the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, it appears these days that the left hand doesn’t even know it has fingers!

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

CoC Extremism Has Cost Debian (and Its Derivatives) the Main KDE Maintainer

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, KDE at 2:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LaTeX and many other packages as well (orphaned due to people who don't even code)

As already mentioned in some comments to various blog posts here, I will not invest more work into the current repositories. I invite anyone with interest in continuing the work to contact me. I will also write up a short howto guide on what I generally did and how I worked with this amount of packages. I feel sad about leaving this behind, but also relieved from the amount of work, not to speak of the insults (“You are a Nazi” etc) I often get from the Debian side. I also feel sorry for all of you who have relied on these packages for long time, have given valuable feedback and helpful comments.

Summary: As explained here many times before [1, 2, 3], people who contribute nothing (or very little, a minuscule/negligible amount) are driving out some of the most active and most important contributors; this leaves users in a tough place (maintainership waning)

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:01 am by Needs Sunlight

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#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

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 QmdA9947qX2Qru6CvPkaCk2dSn8vxJQX6JL6Wvi6WrvMF9 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmZxbCohsSesGDNAyLDEWQtEtcX6bLsejBbpRnGtG8SEg4 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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Microsoft Employees Run for Board of the OSI, ‘Forget’ to Disclose Working Full Time for Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, OSI at 12:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not even the first time. Later they write official blog posts ‘on behalf’ of the OSI. Entryism defined.

Two of them are Linux Foundation, i.e. an openwashing front group of proprietary software companies (the OSI is also a front group of Microsoft since taking money from Microsoft)

No disclosure
Microsoft not mentioned even once

Aeva Black
Overt conflict of interest (Microsoft is attacking Open Source)

Summary: As noted in the last batch of Daily Links, “OSI is a lost cause because it attacks the concept of Open Source in exchange for bribes from Microsoft. It even helps Microsoft in a lawsuit where Microsoft’s GPL violations are tackled.”

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