Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 15/11/2020: Linux App Summit 2020, SlackEX Linux Release, and Kodachi 7.6

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux desktop: The one moment in 2020 that is key to its success

        If I reveal the Linux desktop information right from the jump, that would be in poor form. After all, I have to build up tension, add a little drama, and make you work for it. This is open source we're talking about--you're used to waiting for the payoff. You've been using Linux as your desktop operating system for decades, all the while wondering why the masses have yet to adopt the platform you know is ideal for the average user. Let's get to the topic at hand before you revolt. (Hint: Linux has been working toward this moment for a very long time, and it's quite obvious to anyone who has been paying attention.)

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Bspwm: Manual Tiling With Receptacles... Kind Of - YouTube

        Bspwm is normally an automatic tiling window manager, but it doesn't have to be and that's where things like receptacles come into play. These allow you to place your windows exactly where you want them, effectively giving you the first step to manual tiling.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21.0 Adds EGL_EXT_platform_xcb Support - Phoronix

          The newly-opened Mesa 21.0 development window has merged support for EGL_EXT_platform_xcb.

          EGL_EXT_platform_xcb is one of the newest EGL extensions and allows for creating EGL resources from native X11 resources via EGL_EXT_platform_base and without encompassing Xlib.

    • Applications

      • Super Productivity is an extremely powerful To Do app for Linux

        Being productive is not the same as being busy all the time. You can be productive in a smart way by optimizing the scarce time you have in your work. There are lots of theories on how to be productive in a sane and healthy way while still being able to deliver stuff. There are also all kind of supporting ideas to optimize your productivity and balance it with your physical and mental health, like Pomodoro timers and automated breaks. For me the basis for optimized productivity can be found in the Gettings Things Done (GTD) approach, that I already discussed in depth in one of my previous articles “How I manage my productive life in Linux“, which is inspired by the worldwide known and widely appreciated approach of David Allen, which he describes in his book “getting Things Done”.

        To optimize your productivity, one of the things that is important to realize is that it is better not to use your brain to remember things, but to develop new ideas. If you don’t have to remember everything, you have more room in your head to create things. Therefore it is very important to directly bring over your ideas to some kind of storage or second brain, so you can forget them for the time being, and come back to them later to organize, prioritize and plan these ideas into actionable items. You could say that the GTD method supports all of this. David Allen explains in his book five important steps that can help to set up and master your GTD workflow from idea to result, whch are Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect and Engage.

      • Martin Michlmayr: beancount2ledger 1.3 released

        I released version 1.3 of beancount2ledger, the beancount to ledger converter that was moved from bean-report ledger into a standalone tool.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to root a Fairphone 3

        Before installing those kind of ROM (official or not) you must root your phone2.

        And, all the tutorials I found on the web drives me crazy. But I succeeded. There is how I made it, with more details as possible.

      • Hunting for Malicious Packages on PyPI

        About a year ago, the Python Software Foundation opened a Request for Information (RFI) to discuss how we could detect malicious packages being uploaded to PyPI. Whether it’s taking over abandoned packages, typosquatting on popular libraries, or hijacking packages using credential stuffing, it’s clear this is a real issue affecting nearly every package manager.

      • Everyone Talks About Insecure Randomness, But Nobody Does Anything About It

        I think machine learning provides the bridge here. The thought has hung in my mind for a few years, in fact; I've picked the brains of everyone I know remotely related to the field, and I've even hired some people to take a crack at it. So far, I haven't seen any prior literature suggesting that it's been possible or done, and nobody was really sure how to approach it. Finally, thanks to a generous grant from the Phil Brass Weird Ideas FoundationAKA DirectDefense who was happy to sponsor this research while I was not busy bug hunting for them! I was able to take a few weeks to think about it methodically.

        The rest of this blog is structured in a pretty straightforward way: I talk about how numbers are generated at random in a computer, then talk about how to transform that notion of randomness into a learnable problemA basic knowledge of machine learning, and especially gradient descent will be helpful for understanding some of my thought process through this blog.. Not surprisingly, I will then solve that problem, and propose a roadmap for how to continue chipping away at the distance between my current progress and a usable attack.

      • How to play Phasmophobia on Linux

        Phasmophobia is an indie survival horror video game released on Steam for Windows in September of 2020. In the game, the player takes control of one member of a group of ghost hunters as they hunt for ghosts. Here’s how to play it on Linux.

      • How To Install VNC Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VNC Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, VNC (Virtual Network Computing) server is a free and open-source software which is designed for allowing remote access to the Desktop Environment of the server to the VNC Client whereas VNC viewer is used on the remote computer to connect to the server.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of the VNC Server on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install PowerShell 7.1.0 via Apt Repository in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04 [Ed: Very bad idea and hard to see why anybody would wish to do this]
      • How To Remove Docker Images, Containers & Volumes - LinuxBuz

        Docker is an open-source tool that helps you to build, test and deploy the applications in the containerized environments. However, there are lots of unused containers, images, volumes and networks may reside in your system. They consume a significant amount of disk space of the host operating system. Docker does not remove those objects without clean up it manually.

        It is a good habit to clean up these unused disk space regularly and keep your system organized. Docker has several commands to clean up those unused objects.

      • How To Install Gitea on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gitea on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Gitea is a free, open-source, and self-hosted version control system alternative to GitHub and GitLab. Gitea comes with a rich set of features including time tracking, repository branching, issues tracking, file locking, merging, and much more. Gitea can be installed on all popular operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, and ARM.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of GlassFish on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Compress Archives Using All CPU Cores with Tar - Make Tech Easier

        If you’ve ever had to compress large volumes with tar, you’ll know how much of a pain it can be. It often goes very slowly, and you find yourself hitting Ctrl + C to end the task and just forget about it. However, there are some other tools that tar can use, and they’re a great way to make use of today’s heavily multi-threaded CPUs and speed up your tar archiving. This article shows you how to make tar use all cores when compressing archives in Linux.

      • How to install PokeMMO launcher on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install PokeMMO launcher on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • Using mini Switch Button with Raspberry PI and Python
      • How to run graphics (X11) applications in the Kali LXD container – Mi blog lah!

        LXD gives you system containers and virtual machines, usable from the same user interface. You would rather use system containers as they are more lightweight than VMs.

        Previously we have seen how to use the Kali LXD containers (includes how to use a USB network adapter). There is documentation on using graphics applications (X11) in the Kali LXD containers at the Kali website. In this post we see again how to use graphics applications (X11) in the Kali LXD containers. The aim is to simplify and make the instructions more robust.

        The following assume that you have configured LXD on your system.

    • Games

      • Steam Play Proton 5.13-2 compatibility layer is out now with improved Direct3D 12 support | GamingOnLinux

        The Proton compatibility layer used with Steam Play on Linux has a brand new release out with Proton 5.13-2. This release follows on from some Release Candidate builds earlier this week, to clean up some issues after the big initial Proton 5.13-1 release that went up in the middle of October.

      • Proton 5.13-2 Released With A Variety Of Game Fixes, VKD3D-Proton 2.0

        In time for the weekend Linux gamers is an updated Proton release from Valve and CodeWeavers for powering Steam Play to enjoy the latest Windows games on Linux.

        Proton 5.13-2 is the newest version of this Wine 5.13 based software that combined with the likes of DXVK and VKD3D-Proton do a pretty darn good job at allowing modern Windows games to often run rather gracefully on Linux.

        Most notable with Proton 5.13-2 is pulling in VKD3D-Proton 2.0 in offering better Direct3D 12 on Vulkan support. VKD3D-Proton 2.0 should work with games like Death Strandling, Devil May Cry 5, Resident Evil 3, Metro Exodus, and others.

      • Check out Linux porter Ethan Lee show off how Linux games are built and packaged | GamingOnLinux

        You've heard a lot about various packaging systems on Linux from deb to rpm and the next generation with Snap and Flatpak, but what about how games get built and packaged up?

        Well, that's what Linux game porter Ethan Lee wanted to talk about and show off during the Linux App Summit 2020. Interestingly, it sounds like Ethan Lee put in their talk plan after seeing us announce the event. For those who aren't familiar with Ethan Lee you can check out their port portfolio here which shows just how many games they've shipped including the likes of: Streets of Rage 4 which just recently released, VVVVVV, Owlboy, FEZ, TowerFall Ascension, Dust: An Elysian Tail and a vast many more. Ethan Lee also created and maintains FNA, which is a reimplementation of the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh libraries.

      • Collabora give an overview of their work with Valve at the Linux App Summit 2020 | GamingOnLinux

        Interested in all the work the open source consulting firm Collabora are doing with Valve to help improve Linux gaming? We've got you covered.

        We've already been over a few bits of what they're doing together, like their Linux Kernel work that will hopefully be live with Linux 5.11 and also their work on the Steam Linux Runtime Container system. Collabora have been doing a lot of other work in the open source space too that we've been following, like the Monado runtime for VR and AR (XR) and their work on the Panfrost driver for Mali.

        During the Linux App Summit 2020, Collabora developer Vivek Das Mohapatra did a presentation giving a whistle-stop tour of their work to give an overview of all the bits and pieces. It's about 28 minutes, so it won't take you long to go through if you want a nice way to catch up.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Video: KDE Neon with Plasma Mobile on the PinePhone

          One of the things that makes Linux smartphones different from Android or iOS devices is the same thing that makes desktop Linux different from Windows or macOS – support for completely switching the user interface by changing the desktop environment or user interface.

          This week the Plasma Mobile team described some of the progress made during October, so I figured it was time to take Plasma Mobile for a spin on my PinePhone.

          The easiest way to try out Plasma Mobile on a PinePhone is by installing a recent build of Neon, postmarketOS or Manjaro ARM downloaded from the Plasma Mobile install page. I opted for Neon, because it’s the “recommended” option, and because it was the OS with the most recent nightly build available.

        • Jonathan Riddell: Linux App Summit 2020

          For those who don’t follow KDE’s instagram feed, get with the programme chicos!

          Here’s some pics from the Linux App Summit 2020 you’ll find there


          MyGNUHealth is a useful system for health records with an app using Kirigami.

          There’s also talks on Saturday. You can watch the live stream on Youtube. Or register and join in directly.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.76 Released with More Improvements for Plasma Desktop and Apps

          KDE Frameworks 5.76 is packed with numerous improvements and bug fixes designed to make your Plasma desktop experience more enjoyable, as well as more stable, secure and reliable. Highlights include support for 16-bit PSD files for thumbnails and previews throughout KDE apps, full support for the KIO library to preserve extended attributes during common file manipulation operations, as well as the ability for the file Open/Save dialogs to correctly handle file names containing the “#” character and to redirect users to an existing folder instead of showing an error message when they try to create one with the same name.

        • Maui 1.2.0 Release

          Today, we are pleased to announce the release of MauiKit and Maui Apps 1.2!. Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram: If you are interested in testing this project and helping out with translations or documentation, you are also more than welcome. The Maui Project is free and open-source software incubated by the KDE Community and developed by Nitrux Latinoamericana S.C.

        • This week in KDE: Tons of improvements to our core apps

          A bunch of KDE apps received many lovely new features, bugfixes, and user interface improvements this week! And Plasma too, of course.

        • KDE Sees A Number Of Fixes To Dolphin, Plasma On Wayland

          It's been another busy week of bug fixing in the KDE space along with other feature work, including on the Plasma Wayland front.

          This past week saw a number of fixes for KDE, including a number of crash fixes, as even with the ongoing pandemic the open-source developers remain as busy as ever.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Linux App Summit 2020 Videos Now Available From Steam/Valve To GNOME Circle

          The 2020 Linux App Summit just concluded as a conference focused on the Linux user-space/applications. Given the pandemic, it was a virtual conference and the video recordings are now available.


          There was also a talk on "GNOME Circle". GNOME Circle is "a new initiative by the GNOME Foundation to support independent developers who are using our technologies and to accelerate the grow of our community and software ecosystem."

        • Patently Obvious: The Year The Lawyers Came To FOSS

          The GNOME foundation was sued by Rothschild Patent Imaging on August 28th, 2019. The lawsuit alleged that the GNOME Shotwell photo manager was infringing on Rothschild patents. The GNOME foundation eventually settled with the Rothschilds in March 2020. Neil McGovern, Executive Director of the GNOME foundation, went through the entire process in a 25 minute presentation at the Seattle GNU/Linux conference this weekend.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kodachi 7.6

          Linux Kodachi operating system is based on Xubuntu 18.04.5 it will provide you with a secure, anti-forensic, and anonymous operating system considering all features that a person who is concerned about privacy would need to have in order to be secure.

          Kodachi is very easy to use all you have to do is boot it up on your PC via USB drive then you should have a fully running operating system with established VPN connection + Connection established + service running. No setup or knowledge is required from your side its all been automated for you. The entire OS is functional from your temporary memory RAM so once you shut it down no trace is left behind all your activities are wiped out.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • MicroOS Is Immutable Linux

          Linux finds a lot of uses in computers that aren’t desktops. But there is a problem. What happens if your mission-critical control computer or retail kiosk gets an update and then fails? Happens all the time with Windows and it can happen with Linux, too. The openSUSE project has an answer: MicroOS which bills itself as immutable. Aimed at container deployment, the operating system promises atomic updates with no disk changes during runtime. If an update does break something, the BTRFS file system allows you to roll back to a previous snapshot. [Tyler] installs the OS and gives it a walkthrough in the video below.

          As [Tyler] found, there are not many applications installed by default. Instead, you are expected to install flatpaks so the applications live in their own containers, isolated from the operating system and each other.

          Of course, this isn’t for everyone. On the other hand, there is something seductive about having a computer that is very reliable even in the face of updates. Of course, you can do snapshots with BTRFS or ZFS anywhere those are supported, but unless you are very careful, you might have problems with dependencies for applications and the wrong update can still ruin your day. The OS supports GNOME or KDE, with system requirements that claim you can run it in 1GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space. We’d imagine you’ll be happier if you have more, of course.

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware-Based SlackEX Linux Now Ships with Latest Enlightenment Desktop

          Based on Slackware 14.2, the new SlackEX Linux release drops the lightweight Xfce desktop environment for the even more lighter and beautiful Enlightenment desktop environment/window manager. In fact, SlackEX appears to be the only live system that uses the latest Enlightenment release, version 0.24.2.

          But that's not all that' new in the latest SlackEX Linux release, which is now powered by the Linux 5.9 kernel series. This not only means better hardware support, but it also means you won't find another Slackware-based live system running Linux kernel 5.9.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What Is the Social Responsibility of Business?

          On September 13, 1970, the NY Times Magazine published an essay by University of Chicago economist and 1976 Nobel Prize recipient Milton Friedman - “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” Friedman’s essay turned out to be one of the most influential ever published in the world of business. To mark its 50th anniversary, the NY Times reached out to 22 business leaders and top economists and asked their opinion on what Friedman got right and wrong in his essay.

          “Friedman, who died in 2006 at the age of 94, was no mere economist; he was a kind of celebrity,” noted Andrew Ross Sorkin, NY Times financial columnist and editor. “He became a regular on the talk-show circuit. PBS even gave him a 10-part series. His economic theories, among the most consequential of the 20th century, still hold sway over large parts of corporate America, maybe none more so than this 1970 manifesto on corporate governance.”

          “In a free-enterprise, private-property system, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business,” wrote Friedman in his 1970 essay. “He has direct responsibility to his employers. That responsibility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.” Business concerns beyond making profit, - such as “promoting desirable social ends,” or “providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else,” - amounted to “preaching pure and unadulterated socialism.”

        • How I channel my inner Star Trek character at work

          In a recent Twitter thread, I self-identified as "some days Deanna, some days Riker." Others shared their own "Star Trek Spectrum," from Worf to O'Brien and McCoy to Neelix. That led me to think more about Deanna Troi: the half-human, half-Betazoid empath who served as Lieutenant Commander and the ship's counselor for most of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

          Ever since my middle school days, I felt a kinship with her as I watched her observe and respond to situations and the people in them. Today, as an open source community manager, I think about how these traits are vital to the role of nurturing and guiding a group of people. Here's how I channel my inner Deanna Troi at work.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-46 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Elections voting begins next week.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 bullseye - Default Theme Revealed

          The Debian project revealed the Debian 11 bullseye default theme.

        • Nyxt

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: Nyxt

          What is Nyxt?

          Nyxt is a keyboard-oriented, extensible web-browser designed for power users. Conceptually inspired by Emacs and Vim, it has familiar key-bindings (Emacs, vi, CUA), is fully configurable and extensible in Lisp, and has powerful features for productivity. Nyxt supports GNU/Linux, macOS, and Guix with engine support for WebKit and WebEngine/Blink. Attention: Nyxt is under active development. Feel free to report bugs, instabilities or feature wishes.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Top 5 Linux Snaps of 2020: Arch, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Manjaro, and Ubuntu

          All Linux users are the same, right? No way, José! Linux users are a diverse bunch, with differing opinions, tastes, and personalities. In fact, that is probably a contributing factor to the fragmentation of the Linux community. Linux users have lots of options between distributions, desktop environments, and more -- they are not stuck in a box like Windows 10 users.

          To highlight how different Linux users can be, Canonical has released some data about the installation of Snaps, categorized by distro. It chose six of the most popular Linux-based operating systems for its analysis -- Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and Manjaro. It then shared the top five most popular snaps for each distribution in 2020.

          "If we look across the six distributions, we can see that people still care a great deal about communication and productivity, without compromising on entertainment. The adoption of Microsoft Visual Code is also quite telling, and it stands out among the other trends we’ve observed here. It points in the direction of greater collaboration and perhaps a need for a more common path between Windows and Linux when it comes to applications," explains Igor Ljubuncic, Canonical.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a3

            Tor Browser 10.5a3 for Desktop platforms is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

          • Preloading Intermediate CA Certificates into Firefox - Mozilla Security Blog

            Throughout 2020, Firefox users have been seeing fewer secure connection errors while browsing the Web. We’ve been improving connection errors overall for some time, and a new feature called Intermediate Certificate Authority (CA) Preloading is our latest innovation. This technique reduces connection errors that users encounter when web servers forget to properly configure their TLS security.

            In essence, Firefox pre-downloads all trusted Web Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) intermediate CA certificates into Firefox via Mozilla’s Remote Settings infrastructure. This way, Firefox users avoid seeing an error page for one of the most common server configuration problems: not specifying proper intermediate CA certificates.

            For Intermediate CA Preloading to work, we need to be able to enumerate every intermediate CA certificate that is part of the trusted Web PKI. As a result of Mozilla’s leadership in the CA community, each CA in Mozilla’s Root Store Policy is required to disclose these intermediate CA certificates to the multi-browser Common CA Database (CCADB). Consequently, all of the relevant intermediate CA certificates are available via the CCADB reporting mechanisms. Given this information, we periodically synthesize a list of these intermediate CA certificates and place them into Remote Settings. Currently the list contains over two thousand entries.

            When Firefox receives the list for the first time (or later receives updates to the list), it enumerates the entries in batches and downloads the corresponding intermediate CA certificates in the background. The list changes slowly, so once a copy of Firefox has completed the initial downloads, it’s easy to keep it up-to-date. The list can be examined directly using your favorite JSON tooling at this URL:

            For details on processing the records, see the Kinto Attachment plugin for Kinto, used by Firefox Remote Settings.

            Certificates provided via Intermediate CA Preloading are added to a local cache and are not imbued with trust. Trust is still derived from the standard Web PKI algorithms.

          • Robert O'Callahan: rr Repository Moved To Independent Organisation

            There have been no changes in intellectual property ownership. rr contributions made by Mozilla employees and contractors remain copyrighted by Mozilla. I will always be extremely grateful for the investment Mozilla made to create rr!

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • insideBIGDATA Latest News – 11/10/2020

          YottaDB Announces Octo 1.0, a YottaDB Plugin for Using SQL to Query Data in YottaDB

          YottaDB, the database for transactional systems where data integrity is paramount, announced production-grade Octo 1.0, a YottaDB plugin to query YottaDB application data using popular SQL tools. YottaDB excels for transactional systems, where data integrity and application robustness are paramount – applications that effect database state change to provide mission-critical functionality, such as electronic health record systems, core banking systems, library systems, and election systems.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • If you updated your mac to macOS Big Sur then you have problems with LibreOffice

          First problem - only LibreOffice 7.0 and newer works on macOS 11 Big Sur. Nobody knows why. So if you use older version you should update your LibreOffice to 7.0.3

        • [LibreOffice] Detecting 0-byte files based on extension in Impress and elsewhere

          We regularly see customers wanting minimal templates, which are language independent and have no content. Such files are handy if your workflow is to first name an empty document (create it) and only then edit it (and not the other way around: first create the document, then save it by giving it a name). This is easy for .txt files: if it’s zero bytes, it’s empty. But then this approach is also expected to work for other file formats as well, where our original approach was more technical: if it’s an empty file, that that can be only plain text, so we (almost) always opened it in Writer, not matching the user expectations.

          Instead of explaining the problem to people again and again (that a literally empty PPTX file is not a PPTX template), there is value in just adapting the code instead to "do what I mean".

      • FSF/Freedom

        • macOS 11 - Big Sur

          Jeffrey Paul wrote an excellent article on the day of Big Sur release: Your Computer Isn’t Yours. It’s scary. Please read the whole article.

          This seems like a pretty big deal. Even on Catalina I noticed how until my desktop/laptop connects to network, a lot of apps from startup list won’t work. I assumed it’s some weird local hostname/DNS dependency I introduced myself - but it seems related to OCSP and trustd daemon.

          Big Sur launch caused slowdown on Apple infrastructure and this made the scale of this issue apparent: every app launch must dial back into Apple servers before it proceeds with the start. It doesn’t look to be anything like app blocking just yet, but privacy concerns are real enough to think twice before upgrading to Big Sure - apparently you can’t easily disable trustd/OCSP there.

        • Macs are a privacy nightmare – OSnews

          Almost nine years ago, I wrote an article titled “Richard Stallman was right all along“, still one of the most popular, if not the most popular, articles ever posted on OSNews.


          Yesterday, every Mac user got a taste of what happens when you don’t actually own the computers you pay a lot of money for. Because Apple wants to control everything you do with the computer you rent from them, and because Apple wants to know everything you do while using the computer you rent from them, a random server somewhere going down meant Mac users couldn’t open their applications anymore.

        • Apple Users Got Owned

          You’ll often hear hackers say that they “owned” (or sometimes “pwned”) a computer. They don’t mean that they have the computer in their physical possession, what they mean is that they have compromised the computer and have such deep remote control that they can do whatever they want to it. When hackers own a computer they can prevent software from running, install whatever software they choose, and remotely control the hardware–even against the actual owner’s wishes and usually without their knowledge.


          Applications often use code-signing as a way for the user to detect tampering. The developer signs the software with their private key and the user can test that signature against a public key. Only software that hasn’t been changed will match the signature. In the free software world, distributions including PureOS include public keys on the local computer and software updates automatically test whether the signatures match before the update is applied. When used in this way, you can test an application for tampering before you install it and the user has full control over the process.

          Apple has taken code-signing a step further with the inclusion of this notary service. Any signed applications–even those not from Apple–must get permission from the remote notary service to run. This means that Apple not only knows which applications you have installed, it knows each time you run them. While in the past this was an optional service, now it’s mandatory and starting with Big Sur, you can no longer use a tool like Little Snitch to block this service, or route it through Tor for some privacy. Apple (and anyone who can sniff this plaintext communication) can know when you launched Tor browser or other privacy tools, or how often you use competitors’ applications.

          While I imagine most people were surprised to discover this feature, I also suspect many accept it in the name of security. Yet like with so many Apple features, security is a marketing term when the real motivation is control. While code signing already gave Apple control over whether you could install or upgrade software, this feature grants Apple control over whether you can run applications. Apple already has used code signing on iOS to remove competitor’s applications from the App Store and also remotely disable apps in the name of security or privacy. There’s no reason to think they won’t use the same power on macOS now that it can no longer be bypassed. Apple’s ultimate goal with code signing, their secure enclave, and their proprietary silicon is to ensure full control–full ownership–of the hardware they sell.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.14.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.14.0.

            This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.13.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.13.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in issues. 0.13.x peers will be able to communicate with Git master or 0.13.x peers, but some services - in particular GNS - will not be compatible. In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.14.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

          • 8 tech freebies and goodies you can try out online without paying

            GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a professional-grade photo editor that looks and works like Adobe Photoshop. Unlike the real Photoshop, it doesn’t cost $9.99 per month to use. It’s the closest thing to Adobe’s software you can get without a subscription.

            GIMP has almost every tool Photoshop does, including advanced filters, layer masks and text settings. All of the tools are found in pop-up boxes that surround the image. If you’re new to image-editing software, there may be a learning curve when you start using GIMP. Thankfully, the online instructions are easy to follow. You’ll be an expert in no time.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • What is the value of Open Source? Preliminary results of the Commission's study

            The first results of the study on the impact of Open Source Software and Open Source Hardware conducted for the European Commission were presented. It found that increasing the number of commits to Open Source projects would translate to a boost of over €95 billion per year to the EU’s GDP.

            The final report will be available at the beginning of 2021, but the consortium consisting of Fraunhofer ISI and OpenForum Europe presented preliminary takeaways on the economic impact of Open Source in Europe at the “Europe’s Digital Decade: Empowered by Open Source” event on 5 November. As Manuel Mateo Goyet, the Deputy Head of Unit - Cloud and Software at the European Commission highlighted during the event, Open Source together with reinforcing Europe’s cloud computing capacity can significantly contribute to increasing competition and innovation in the European Union and this research is a significant step towards finding the best path to achieve these goals. All presented data is available here. The research methodology uses data available on GitHub, the largest Open Source Software platform with over 260.000 European contributors.

      • Programming/Development

        • PGP::Sign 1.04 (2020-11-14)

          The refactor of PGP::Sign in the 1.00 release to use IPC::Run instead of hand-rolled process management code broke signing large files, which I discovered when trying to use the new module to sign checkgroups for the Big Eight Usenet hierarchies.

          There were two problems: IPC::Run sets sockets to talk to the child process to non-blocking, and when you pass a scalar in as the data to pass to a child socket, IPC::Run expects to use it as a queue and thus doesn't send EOF to the child process when the input is exhausted.

        • LLVM Has Fleshed Out Its Plan For Replacing "Master" With "Main" - Phoronix

          Back during the summer LLVM developers began devising plans for a new default branch name in Git for fostering the development of the open-source compiler stack. Like a growing number of open-source software projects, they have been working to move away from Git's current default of "master" as the main development branch. Beginning next month, that should now be a reality.

          While back in June some were calling for "immediate" action in LLVM ceasing use of the "master" Git branch name, the LLVM Foundation and other stakeholders have been spending the past few months not only deciding on the new branch name but how to make the transition as painless as possible.

        • 100 Useful Vim Commands That You'll Need Every day

          No matter whether you’re a sysadmin by profession or just an old school tech enthusiast like me, if you ever find yourself in love with the awe-inspiring Unix OS, chances are you’re gonna feel the need for a versatile terminal-based Linux text editor at one point or another. For today’s guide, we’ll keep our focus on Vim, considered the best by many, if not all, as the best Linux code editor ever. So, let’s just skip on all those holy wars among you Vim vs. Emacs pundits and just keep our eye’s on the 100 best Vim commands, today’s topic. Emacs fanatics, however, please don’t get upset; we’ll cover that extensible editor of yours definitely in some time future.

        • OpenMP 5.1 Released With Better Interoperability For CUDA / AMD HIP / OpenCL

          For the Supercomputing SC20 week there is the release of the OpenMP 5.1 specification with some exciting additions.

        • 10 JavaScript Console Methods – TecAdmin

          A JavaScript method is a property containing a function definition. A Console method is an object used to access browsers debugging console. With the help of console methods, we can print messages, warning, and errors to browser console, which is helpful for debugging purpose.

          The developer console in a web browser is a tool which logs the information associated with a web page, such as JavaScript, network requests, and security errors etc. To open the developer console window on Google Chrome, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + J (on Windows) or Ctrl + Option + J (on macOS).

        • Python

          • Python swallows Java to become second-most popular programming language... according to this index

            Python has surpassed Java to become the second-most popular programming language in the TIOBE index, one of several imprecise yardsticks used to rank what's in vogue among coders.

          • 19 Best Free and Open Source Python Visualization Packages - LinuxLinks

            Python is a very popular general purpose programming language — with good reason. It’s object oriented, semantically structured, extremely versatile, and well supported. Programmers and data scientists favour Python because it’s easy to use and learn, offers a good set of built-in features, and is highly extensible. Python’s readability makes it an excellent first programming language.

            Data visualization is an important method of exploring data and sharing results with others. When it comes to this field, Python is rubbing shoulders with R as the language of choice. Unfortunately, Python’s visualization landscape is pretty difficult to fathom without some serious digging. In part, this is because there are so many good open source Python visualization libraries available. Some of the packages are suitable for any field, others excel at a specific task.

            If you wish to visualize some data in Python, you’ll want to choose an appropriate package. Python has a fantastic range of packages to produce mesmerizing visualizations. Popularity inevitably brings lots of decisions and choices to make. Don’t be bamboozled by that choice!

            matplotlib emerged as the main data visualization library. It’s been in development for 17 years and is definitely the most mature library recommended here. However, it’s not necessarily the ideal solution, given that the best library is often determined by your own specific requirements.

            For example, let’s say you wish to analyze and visualize big data. In this scenario, VisPy and Datashader are my recommended Python solutions. When working with large datasets, visualizations are often the only way available to understand the properties of that dataset — there are way too many data points to examine each one.

            This article focuses on the finest Python visualization packages. All of them are released under an open source license. Some of them are in a fairly early stage of development. Each recommended package is given a thorough breakdown.

  • Leftovers

    • On Losing and Winning

      This isn’t meant to be the doom and gloom opening to a lugubrious reflection on living through the Sixth Mass Extinction and anthropogenic climate crises. While it may be true that spending too much time mired in reports of species die-off events, catastrophic wildfires, and ever-increasing CO2 emissions doesn’t necessarily breed optimism nor hope, there are some important lessons to be learned and practices to be implemented from living as a loser. And the results of these lessons and practices seem to be, at least in my experience thus far, generative of tremendous gains. In some strange Zen-like twist, I am winning through losing.

      I started losing the fall semester of my senior year at the University of New Mexico. I was finally on track to wrap up my undergraduate degree nearly 17 years after graduating high school. I had enrolled in an introductory class in the Art and Ecology Department on the Sixth Mass Extinction, which, for those not familiar, is currently unfolding before our very eyes, and for the first time in global history, humans are driving the extinction bus. Our end-of-year project was to create an artistically-inspired work about something locally related to the Sixth Mass Extinction. I ended up using story mapping software to develop a narrative about a geographic feature just west of where I grew up, called the Pajarito Plateau. Pajarito is the Spanish word for “little bird”, and the plateau, which lies at the foot of the Jemez Mountains, had long been known for its diverse and abundant bird populations.

    • Tweaking the NFL’s Rooney Rule Is Not Enough

      The Rooney Rule has always been a case study in the NFL “telling on itself.” In a league that is made up of roughly 75 percent Black Americans, this multibillion-dollar operation has needed to have a special rule just to get its almost entirely all-white franchise owners to interview candidates of color for head coaching positions. (Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars is the only majority NFL owner who is not white. Given that the Jaguars are barely an NFL team, this almost doesn’t count.)

    • Science

      • History and Science as Candles in the Dark

        Then again, on Fox News they are promoting President Trump’s lies about the election is “not” over?! Moreover, Trump is tweeting: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” All in caps. It is at this point difficult to imagine how President Trump will gain the electoral votes he needs to win the presidential election. But millions of those who voted for Trump believe the election was somehow stolen and made illegitimate by the Democrats, a true political fantasy created by the president himself and perpetuated by his followers. As if the Democrat donkey symbol also grew a unicorn horn on the day of election and Biden and Harris became fantastical figures out of a Harry Potter novel and magically stole the election because of their secret magic powers and because of the magic cabal they are part of. Such are the conspiracy theories of Trump and his supporters.

        For many, Biden/Harris may not have been their first choices, especially many on the liberal left. Of course, we must consider half the country who voted for Trump as well and we must somehow reconcile with these Americans too. More than 70 million Americans voted for Trump and because of this we must hope Biden/Harris bring the country together and bring the Trump voters into the fold of American democracy and treat them as our fellow Americans, which they are.

      • “Censorship!”: The common bogus complaint of science deniers

        One of the interesting (and, to some extent, satisfying) things about having followed the antivaccine movement and other science denialist movements for so long is that, when COVID-19 came along, to some extent I knew what to expect. I knew that the conspiracy theories would come flying fast and furious about the virus, and so they did, with my taking note of them as early as January in the form of a conspiracy theory that the influenza vaccine was responsible for the initial outbreak of the then-novel coronavirus that has since been named SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China. There were many other such conspiracy theories, of course, such as that the rollout of 5G was somehow causing COVID-19 (or at least facilitating its spread) to blaming glyphosate (because, you know, GMOs somehow have to be involved) to calling the pandemic a “plandemic,” that was planned and due to the release of a bioengineered coronavirus from a lab near Wuhan, all while launching a pre-emptive disinformation war against any COVID-19 vaccine. Predictably, the “plandemic” narrative took on bizarre forms, such as when über-quack Mike Adams updated his previous “vaccine holocaust” conspiracy theory to become the “oblivion agenda,” in the world’s “elite” (e.g., Bill Gates and others) were conspiring with aliens—yes, aliens!—to introduce a binary bioweapon, of which SARS-CoV-2 was the first stage and a putative coronavirus vaccine will be the second stage, all to depopulate the earth by 94% (he was very precise about this) so that the aliens and the elite could enslave the survivors and exploit the earth’s resources. Of course, at the time, he was, as all cranks do, crying “censorship!” or that he was being somehow “censored” for revealing “The Truth.” I will, admit, however, that even I was surprised at how fast antivaxxers teamed up with QAnon, along with the COVID-19 cranks.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Alito Attacks Marriage Equality, COVID Orders, and Reproductive Rights in Speech
      • COVID Horror: The Holiday Edition

        On November 11th, 142,856 Americans tested positive for COVID-19, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. A month ago, on October 11th, that number was 44,783. According to the COVID Tracking Project, “Hospitalizations in the country also topped records for the second day in a row. On Wednesday, 65,368 people were hospitalized, up from Tuesday’s record of 61,964,” doubling the total number of hospitalizations from one month ago and 5,000+ more than the previous peak hospitalization day, April, 15th (59,940).

        Lauren Sauer, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University, recently told NPR, “We have legitimate reason to be very, very concerned about our health system at a national level,” noting that many states have reached a “tipping point” when it comes to hospitalizations. In fact, 18 states are “at or nearing capacity.”

      • With Covid-19 Infections at All-Time High, Azar Thanks Trump for His "Leadership That's Gotten Us Where We Are Today"

        There were over 177,000 new cases reported in the U.S. on Friday.

      • 'Pathetic': Sanders, Khanna Slam Trump and GOP for Spreading Election Lies as Pandemic Surges

        "Every day without a new Covid relief bill is an outrage beyond words."

      • Campus Pandemics, Then and Now

        After today the university goes into ten days of “semi-finals” during which no classes meet, but many courses (mostly in the sciences) conduct exams. After this period the students head back home before Thanksgiving and stay away from Cornell until February, thus minimizing travel to and from campus and therefore inhibiting the spread of the virus. The remaining two-and-half weeks of this semester’s classes will be conducted on Zoom: for the first time all term we’ll be able to see each other’s faces.

        We’ve been posting some of our work on our blog called Ezra’s Ear with longer pieces (profiles, obituaries, book reviews) still to be filed after the semi-finals caesura. The blog’s banner image is a panoramic photo that I took by climbing up the imposing bronze statue of the university’s founder, Ezra Cornell. Wearing frock coat, sporting an Abe Lincoln beard, wielding a walking stick (a reference to Hercules’ club?) and hat in one hand, and resting the other on a conveniently placed bronze stump, Ezra gazes possessively out over his Arts Quad. Though my clinging pose—one arm straining around the founder’s neck and shoulders the other operating an iPhone—was the opposite of socially-distanced, at least some health-conscious wag had kitted out the Great Man in a surgical mask.

      • Covid Ignoramuses

        It’s also a good bet that most of those Trump voters would guffaw in belligerent disbelief at the news that countries like left-governed New Zealand, semi-socialist Vietnam, vaguely communist China and other non-white countries like South Korea and Taiwan eradicated this plague and that people in those lands get to lead normal lives. Their children go to school, they go to work, they frequent bars and restaurants, their hospitals are not swamped by critically ill patients, nor do they run the risk of contracting a potentially lethal, chronic and disabling disease every time they visit the supermarket. How to account for such American ignorance, stupidity and insularity? Well, back in the early twentieth century, H. L. Mencken dubbed the U.S. a boobocracy. He was right then, and his verdict holds up today. American morons are everywhere. Their views on covid prove it.

        On November 4, while all eyes were riveted on election results, this plague killed over 1600 Americans, and there were over 100, 000 new cases. Two days later, there were 121,000 new cases. Later, over 135,000 new cases in one day. And new infections and deaths zoomed up and up at that pace, or faster, thereafter. At this rate, according to one medical expert, we could have one million dead by late February. For that you can thank Trump’s mass murdering policy of herd immunity, and the one third of voters who told pollsters that they believed the economy’s urgency drubbed the pandemic’s. Roughly 50 percent of Americans wear masks; that’s not enough to stop the virus. But those unmasked multitudes don’t care, so long as their God-given right to infect others is not infringed.

      • Fighting the Pandemic Can’t Wait for Inauguration Day

        A nation could not have been more poorly positioned to fight COVID-19 than by the Trump administration.

      • Roaming Charges: After/Math

        + Even the FoxNews poll this week showed 70% support for Medicare for All. But Biden continued to distance himself from it as the campaign went on. Now, the most likely scenario is that the Barrett-Kavanaugh Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare and Biden negotiates something even worse with McConnell as its replacement.

      • The Enraging Deja Vu of a Third Coronavirus Wave

        There’s a joke I’ve seen circulating online, over and over during this pandemic, that goes along the lines of, “Months this year: January, February, March, March, March, March, March…”

        My lips pull into a smile, but my heart’s not in it.

      • Mink Strains of Covid Show the Potential Folly of a Vaccine

        Even WHO wants to ignore the cruel, unsanitary wet wildlife instant slaughter markets. According to the Hill, WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek says the live animal markets “play a key role in providing food and jobs to millions of people.” So do opium and heroin markets.

        Walden Bello, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, wrote in Counterpunch that China is the center of the wildlife trade and that “scores of both licensed and illegal commercial breeding centers supply tigers, porcupines, pangolins, bears, snakes and rats.” In 2016, the industry employed 14 million people and made $74 billion, he notes.

      • Trump attacks N.Y. gov, says he'll withhold Covid vaccine from state until Cuomo approves

        He was referring to comments Cuomo made in September, where he said he planned to have a panel of experts review a vaccine because he was concerned that Trump was trying to rush one out ahead of the presidential election.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Siebel’s Files for IPO on Heels of Microsoft Partnership

 last month formed a partnership with Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Inc. for a new customer-relationship management software seeking to combat Inc.

        • M1 Memory and Performance

          So Apple's focus on keeping memory consumption under control, which includes but is not limited to going all-in on reference counting where pretty much the rest of the industry has adopted tracing garbage collection, is now paying off in a majory way ("bigly"? Too soon?). They can get away with putting less memory in the system, which makes it possible to make that memory really fast. And that locks in an advantage that'll be hard to duplicate.

          It also means that native development will have a bigger advantage compared to web technologies, because native apps benefit from the speed and don't have a problem with the memory limitations, whereas web-/electron apps will fill up that memory much more quickly.

        • Software vendor says data breach exposed nearly 28 million Texas driver's license records [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The company, Vertafore, said in a statement posted on a website set up to address the breach that the data was exposed between March and August and affected licenses issued before February 2019.

          Exposed data included driver’s license numbers, addresses, dates of birth and vehicle registration history, according to the company. The group said that no Social Security numbers or financial account information were compromised.

          The breach happened after three files were accessed by an unauthorized user after the files were “inadvertently stored in an unsecured external storage service,” Vertafore said in its statement.

        • [Old] Vertafore to be Acquired by Roper Technologies

          Vertafore, the leader in modern insurance technology, today announced that it will be acquired by Roper Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ROP), a leading diversified technology company. Roper will acquire Vertafore from Bain Capital Private Equity and Vista Equity Partners with the acquisition expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

        • [Old] Vertafore and Microsoft Partner for Insurance Solutions

          Vertafore, a provider of insurance technology, today launched Vertafore Agency SalesTrack, a customer relationship management (CRM) system built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

        • Security

          • US Cybersecurity Director Expecting To Be Fired After Refusing To Edit Page Debunking Election Hacking Myths

            One of the few parts of the federal government that hasn't dissolved into a complete partisan trash heap was the newly created Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of Homeland Security that was created as part of the problematic CISA bill five years ago. While we were disappointed in many aspects of the bill itself, as an organization CISA has done some pretty good work in coordinating and dealing with cybersecurity threats. Throughout the tech industry I've heard nothing but good things about CISA as a government organization, and its director Chris Krebs (as well as the staff of CISA). Indeed, I've heard from many companies preparing for this year's election how useful CISA has been in providing clear and useful information regarding potential cybersecurity threats.

          • That first CVE was a fun find, for sure.

            In the late 90s, hackers who discovered vulnerabilities would sometimes send an email to Bugtraq with details. Bugtraq was a notification system used by people with an interest in network security. It was also a place that might have been monitored by employees of software companies looking for reports of vulnerabilities pertaining to their software. The problem was - there wasn't an easy way to track specific vulnerabilities in specific products.

            It was May 1999. Larry Cashdollar was working as a system administrator for Bath Iron Works under contract by Computer Sciences Corporation. Specifically, he was a UNIX Systems Administrator, level one. His team managed over 3,000 UNIX systems across BIW's campuses. Most of these were CAD systems used for designing AEGIS class destroyers. This position gave me access to over 3,000 various flavors of UNIX ranging from Sun Solaris to IBM AIX.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • TikTok Is Granted 15-Day Extension on Forced-Sale Deadline

              The sale deadline was one element of an array of threats aimed at TikTok by the Trump administration. For months, the app faced the prospect of a U.S. ban that was also set to go into effect on Nov. 12. But federal judges in Washington and Pennsylvania have blocked those prohibitions. The Commerce Department said on Thursday that it would comply with those orders, even as the government appeals the decisions.

            • Alphabet’s Google Is Planning a New Campus Near Seattle

              Google bought a 10-acre plot close to its existing campus in Kirkland, Washington, and plans to use it to expand in the area, according to a memo sent to employees earlier this week that was seen by Bloomberg. Business Insider reported earlier on Friday that the company had bought an old car dealership in the area, citing property records. In July, Google paid $40 million for another piece of land nearby.

            • TikTok Survives For Now as Commerce Department Holds Off on Shutdown

              The Department of Commerce announced that it would not seek to shut down TikTok on Thursday, and would abide by a court order blocking the move.

              The shutdown had been scheduled to go into effect on Thursday. But a U.S. district judge in Philadelphia issued an injunction on Oct. 30, granting a request from three TikTok creators who argued that the shutdown would infringe their First Amendment rights.

            • As Governments Seek Encryption Backdoors, Bitcoin Becomes Critical

              It goes on to call for a “better balance” between communication encryption and lawful access of that communication, both ensuring the continued implementation of strong encryption technology while also ensuring that “competent authorities must be able to access data in a lawful and targeted manner.”

            • CNAME Cloaking and Bounce Tracking Defense

              ITP now detects third-party CNAME cloaking requests and caps the expiry of any cookies set in the HTTP response to 7 days. This cap is aligned with ITP’s expiry cap on all cookies created through JavaScript.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Moves to Involve U.S. Businesses and Academics in the Occupation of Palestine

        For the past several decades, U.S. businesses and academic institutions have been able to apply for grants from the U.S. government, but they have not been able to use the money for work in illegal Israeli settlements. Under the new policy, U.S. institutions will now be able to receive funding for work in the settlements.

        Several U.S. and Israeli officials have praised the move, insisting that it will accelerate growing U.S.-Israeli cooperation in science and technology. During a signing ceremony last month, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that he “couldn’t be happier or more proud” to approve the new policy on behalf of the United States.

      • Hey Joe: a Memo to Biden on Palestine

        Through ages long of war and strife, Of rapine and of woe, We fought the bitter fight of life, Against the Saxon foe, Our fairst hopes to break thy chains, Have died in vain regret, But still the glorious truth remains, Though art not conquered yet.

        Thou art not conquered yet, dear land, Thy sons must not forget, The day will be when all can see, Thou art not conquered yet

      • As Trump rejects US election, Biden signals continued regime change abroad
      • Donald Trump Has Never Understood the Military—and He’s Not Going to Be Able to Co-opt It for a Coup

        Every Veterans Day, my social media feeds fill with military content—photos of men and women I served with, decked out in various uniforms and reflecting on their pride in service and love of country. On Wednesday, those posts were interrupted by another kind of military content: news that Trump had installed loyalists in several top Pentagon positions, in an apparent bid to consolidate control of the armed forces. The irony—selfless service and service to self, juxtaposed—was palpable.

      • America in Transition: Why I’m Not Worried About the Biden/Harris "Gun Control" Talk

        “Panic buying” before a big election, just in case, is the norm. That means booming business for gun dealers, but there’s just not much reason for gun owners or would-be gun owners to worry. Other than some ineffectual tinkering around the edges for propaganda purposes, “gun control” just ain’t gonna happen in America.

        Not because the right to self-defense (and the corollary right to possess the means of self-defense) is an unalienable and non-negotiable human right, though it is.

      • Pakistani-Indian Military Clashes Kill 13 in Kashmir

        Pakistan and rival India say fierce military clashes across their frontier in disputed Kashmir have killed at least 13 people and wounded many more on both sides, with each country accusing the other of initiating the fight.

        The two nuclear-armed South Asian nations routinely trade fire across the cease-fire boundary, known as the Line of Control (LoC), which splits the Indian- and Pakistani-administered parts of the Himalayan region.

        Officials and Kashmiri villagers reported that Friday's skirmishes, however, were among the worst and most widespread they had witnessed in recent months.

      • Delusional Trump Staffers Threw Victory Party: ‘Enjoyed Drinks, Clinked Glasses to a Second Term,’ Report Says

        Last week while Joe Biden whittled away Donald Trump’s initial electoral-college lead, staff members of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel “threw a victory party in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,” serving drinks and making toasts in honor of a fantasy second Trump term, according to a Thursday report by CNN.

        The report goes on to say that Trump feels “dejected” over his loss to President-elect Biden, so his staff “feel obliged to continue their work and even celebrate Trump’s perceived victory.” Staff are acting as though a second Trump term is an actual thing, budget plans for federal agencies are ongoing, and staffers were told “to stay put, even though nearly everyone knows the gig will end eventually.”

      • Trump Appointee Stonewalls Congress on Transition Progress

        After GSA Administrator Emily Murphy refused to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory last week, a move that typically takes place immediately after a winner is declared, three House Democrats, Reps. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, Gerry Connolly of Virginia, and Dina Titus of Nevada, requested answers by Wednesday as to why the outcome was not apparent, what actions the agency had taken to ascertain the victor, and whether President Donald Trump or the White House had directed the agency to block a potential transition.

        But Murphy failed to respond to the letter, sent on Monday, or to provide an immediate briefing to Congress on efforts made to initiate the transition, a silence that could prompt further questions from Capitol Hill. “If the GSA does not recognize President-elect Biden’s victory, the House is looking at its options to stop GSA’s dangerous games,” a House aide said. The aide did not respond to follow-up questions.

      • Far-right groups plan DC rallies for Trump as tensions grow

        The only group to receive a permit by the city was Women for America First. The permit was issued for 10,000 people at Freedom Plaza on Saturday at noon. The group, spearheaded by former Tea Party activist Amy Kremer, was one of the first to promote the March for Trump.

        Kremer told USA Today that her organization is not coordinating with any groups planning activities in D.C. on Saturday.

      • The far right is cracking up, as their violent fantasies of Trump's fascist takeover evaporate

        But even though Trump is half-heartedly still trying to steal the election, he has so far disappointed the Proud Boys by not calling on them to commit violence against his enemies in a glorious coup. (Mostly, Trump is hiding from public view, tweeting out articles from fringe right-wing sites and playing golf.) So, as often happens with marginal subcultures full of deeply unpleasant people, the Proud Boys are breaking apart, torn asunder by infighting.

        At heart is a fight between two figureheads, Kyle Chapman and Enrique Tarrio, over whether the Proud Boys should stick by their dubious claim that there is nothing racist about the ideology of "Western chauvinism," or should openly embrace white nationalism and anti-Semitism. Chapman is representing the blatant-racism side, declaring himself the new president of the splinter group calling themselves, no kidding, the "Proud Goys." Tarrio is insisting that Chapman is a flunkey, failing to understand that the same can be said of anyone associated with the Proud Boys. ~

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Dissenter Weekly: The Biden Transition And The War On Whistleblowers

        On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights some of the individuals on President-elect Joe Biden’s agency review teams, which he appointed for his transition to the White House who previously participated in the war on whistleblowers when Barack Obama was president.

        Later in the show, Gosztola covers the closing argument that was submitted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team. He obtained a copy and covered it earlier in the week.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Can Multinationals be Responsible?

        Before deciding on the pros and cons of what’s on the ballot, we should consider the nature of corporate responsibility. Responsibility is both a legal and moral term that we use for individuals or groups. But in the case of multinationals, which more often than not hold the legal status of a Société Anonyme (S.A.), or corporation, we are being asked to judge the behaviour of an anonymous legal entity.

        Is this possible? We know there are people in the corporations who make decisions. There are organisational charts depicting the corporate hierarchy that help us understand how decisions are made. When we talk about corporate social responsibility, however, we are not talking about individuals being held responsible; we are talking about the entire legal entity. Although we refer to the legal fiction in human terms – called methodological individualism – we cannot forget that a multinational is more than the totality of its employees and stockholders.

      • Julie Hollar on Moving Democrats to the Right, Josh Bivens on Pandemic Unemployment

        This week on CounterSpin: After a historic election turnout, driven by mobilizations like Black Lives Matter, that signaled the longed-for end of the Trump presidency, it’s sad to see corporate Democrats leap to blame the left, including activists, for denying the party a landslide—and call for immediate, compensatory overtures to the right. Sad, but not surprising, as that’s been the practice of elite Democrats and their media abettors for decades.

      • 14 Successful Ballot Initiatives to Reduce Inequality
      • The New Elite: Dark Nights Rising

        The old elite was defined by what Thorstein Veblen called leisure and conspicuous consumption (1899). The new elite is a working elite. It has to work – mostly in elite professions – to earn money. The new elite’s employment is located in a relatively narrow spectrum of occupations separating the new elite from non-elite, i.e. white-collar workers in middle-class employment. The new elite finds employment mainly in three main categories: in management – CEOs (cf. JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon got $31.5 million in 2020), CFOs, top-management, etc.; in finance (hedge fund managers such as Jim Simons with a net worth of $23.5bn – not million – billion!); and in elite law firms like Wachtell, for example.

        Having gone to elite day-care centres, elite kindergartens, elite pre-schools, elite primary schools and elite high-schools, the new elite arrives at elite colleges as a jumping-board to elite postgraduate universities. For example, at Harvard and Yale, more students come from households in the top 1% of the income distribution than from the entire bottom half, writes Daniel Markovits in The Meritocracy Trap. Markovits also sees the new elite as being trapped because of its constant exposure to elite training, prep-schools, private tutors, etc.; the relentlessness of examinations and assessments; and eventually, the harshness of stressful burn-out jobs at the top of the income pyramid.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Blame the Democrats, Not Socialism

        In the wake of disappointing Democratic down-ballot losses in both the House and the Senate last Thursday, ex-CIA spy and current Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger unloaded on the progressive wing of the party, pitting the loss of the House supermajority squarely on them and their constituents.

        “We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again,” Spanberger screamed on a caucus call. “Because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of it.”

      • Airports and Rallies

        Countless Germans also waited, full of angst, for final numbers from distant Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona – while many puzzled over the mysteries of the Electoral College. (Does it have dormitories or offer a degree?) Or why, until January 20th, a weird fowl called a lame duck can keep squawking about foundless, featherless “Fouls”! But as the figures rolled in from Pennsylvania there was a collective German sigh of relief (and a few may have wondered whether Germantown, PA also played a part).

        The media here are full of speculation: How much friendlier will Biden be toward Germany and Europe? There will certainly be far less friction. Is that good or bad? Federal Germany was a compliant buddy of every US government – until 2016. Its growing independence since then was partly due to dictatorial White House insistence that Germany buy American fracking gas instead of cheaper Russian pipeline gas. Also due to pressure because Germany never spent quite the giant sum on armaments demanded by NATO, also largely imported from the USA. Nor did it join heartily in provoking trouble with Iran. Will Germany now revert to its long, cosy relationship with the Pentagon, Langley and the billionaire transatlantic gang? Or will it prefer to build up its own strength as the biggest bully in its European playground, with heavy-muscled domination of a new European army and the European economy, now free of British competition – plus growing power in other continents? With the witch gone, will Germany again be caught between the devil and the deep blue (Baltic) Sea?

      • In Detroit; In America

        It was a disgrace, ugly as sin, redeemed only by the everyday s/heroism of the poll workers who implemented the essential administrative function of our supposedly democratic republic in the face of vile, racist opposition that they refused to allow intimidate them.

        Some incidents from recent history involving racialized violations of citizenship and death help frame this event with clarity...

      • Trump Campaign Gets Laughed Out Of Court For Claiming A Bunch Of Unvetted Webform Submissions Is 'Evidence' Of Voter Fraud

        The Trump Campaign is back in court, hoping to reclaim a presidency Donald Trump has lost. It spent plenty of time in court prior to the election, hoping to prevent as many people as possible from voting. Now, it's doing the same thing, insisting (without evidence) there's voter fraud everywhere.

      • America Rejoins the World?

        The soon-to-be-former president has gotten high marks in the Philippines and Israel, a passing grade in a couple African countries and India, and dismal reviews pretty much everywhere else. U.S. allies in Europe and Asia are particularly relieved that Joe Biden will be taking the helm in January. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo summed up world sentiment with a pithy tweet: “Welcome back, America.”

        The international community is happy that the American people have taken down the world’s biggest bully. The heads of international organizations – from the World Health Organization to Human Rights Watch – are delighted that soon Trump won’t be undermining their missions. Perhaps the 2020 presidential election will inspire people elsewhere to dethrone their lesser bullies – Viktor Orban in Hungary, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Narendra Modi in India, even Vladimir Putin in Russia. Short of that, however, the removal of Trump from the international scene will restore a measure of decorum and predictability to global affairs.

      • Against Populism ?

        Indeed Donald Trump has captured the American media precisely because he has shifted discourse completely out of politics and completely into culture. The end result of such a game is the media calling Donald Trump a populist while he refuses to engage in democracy.

        One of the problems with populism is that unlike democracy it does not rely on direct representation by law but rather with a loose definition of class interests. In just about all analysis of populism the interests of “working people” are confused with the interests of the anti-intellectual. Donald Trump is a good case study of how populism is too loose to be held down by facts, much like Trump himself.

      • Massive Protests in Peru Against 'Legislative Coup' That Ousted President Martín Vizcarra

        "All of Peru is fired up, we're all very angry," said one protester.€ 

      • Absolving Trump Means Erasing the Harm Done to Millions

        Disturbing as it is to see politicians and pundits advising a Biden administration to vehemently reject progressive policy goals, there’s more. As Eoin Higgins notes in a piece for Business Insider (10/30/20), a concurrent strain of argument is that Trump himself should face no real public reckoning. Higgins cites a column by historian Jill Lepore in the Washington Post (10/16/20)—heralded as “eloquent” by the New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof (Twitter, 10/18/20):€  “Let History, Not Partisans, Prosecute Trump.”

      • Welcome to Trump's Last Act, the Most Dangerous Show on Earth
      • The 77/72* Phenomenal World Divide

        About 72 million voters would accept these leading sentences as fake or corrupted, even as to the vote count. Once that count goes through the courts and maybe as far as the Supreme Court when all the “legal” votes are counted and the “illegal” ones thrown out, Trump wins. But what about the description of the man and what he’s about? Some or perhaps all who voted for Trump perceive him as pushing hard against those who oppose their own personal freedom, who relegate American interests to foreign interests and foreign migration, who wish to replace free enterprise with a socialist domination by Big Government, who push to replace God with a Liberal’s atheism and secular values, who obstruct Trump in his effort to bring back a former middle class prosperity, and who seek to muzzle Americans with standards of political correctness and force them to accept those who live in ways alien to American values.

        Trump’s confrontation of all this requires him not to assume the traditional role of the president but rather to upend the habits of heart and mind of an established order, created by Liberals, which has destroyed the economic, social and personal well being of some 72 million Americans, not counting those too defeated in mind and heart to vote.

      • President-Elect Biden’s New COVID-19 Task Force Gives the US a Fresh Chance to Turn Around a Public Health Disaster

        As an infectious disease epidemiologist, I’m looking forward to research-based guidance at the federal level that I hope will help get the coronavirus under control.

      • Progressive Coalition Demands 'No Corporate Nominees' for Biden Cabinet

        "Biden will need to appoint high-energy, creative officials who wake up every morning determined to do all they can to advance the public interest, not those who remain beholden to corporations and private profit."

      • Biden Given Roadmap to Revitalize Rural America

        The plan "lays a foundation for bringing economic vitality to rural communities in the face of racial injustice, economic decline, climate change, and a devastating pandemic."

      • ‘Playing for Time’: The Non-Strategy of Mahmoud Abbas

        These were the words of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, during a virtual meeting with European legislators on November 3. While some may agree with Shtayyeh’s assessment, such utterances by a top Palestinian official are hardly reassuring.

        This was not the first time that Shtayyeh used the phrase, “May God help us,” with reference to US President, Donald Trump. Nor were these the only instances in which the Palestinian leadership employed such inconsequential political discourse to counter Trump’s pro-Israel bias throughout his first term, allowing Tel Aviv to entrench its military occupation in Palestine, while denying Palestinians the meager financial handouts secured under previous political agreements.

      • Biden Should Shake Hands With Nicolás Maduro

        The United States—under Republican and Democratic administrations—has tried to use anti-democratic means to overthrow the governments in Venezuela since the election victory of Hugo Chávez in 1998. In January 2019, Idriss Jazairy, the UN special rapporteur on the impact of sanctions, said that he was “concerned to hear reports that these sanctions are aimed at changing the government of Venezuela”; this, Ambassador Jazairy said, “is in violation of all norms of international law.” None of this seems to matter to Biden, whose loose language echoes Trump’s worse phrase—“shithole countries.”

        The UN has called for all sanctions to be rescinded during this crisis. These sanctions, the UN has said, “are in fact killing people and depriving them of fundamental rights, including the rights to health, to food and to life itself.”

      • Billionaire GOP Donors Positive for Covid-19 After White House Election Watch Party

        The Uihleins, who have opposed public health guidelines, tested positive after attending the White House election eve watch party.

      • Damn Moderates

        Needless to say, this is not how liberal media see it. As soon as the election was called, they went on the offense. Within a day or two, watching MSNBC and CNN became unbearable, worse even than listening to NPR or reading the drivel of most New York Times and Washington Post columnists.

        Stephanie Rule, Claire McCaskill, Dana Bush and a few others were among the first to go on the attack, but within hours and with very few exceptions, they all followed suit – blaming not themselves and their politics, but the politics of leftists within the Democratic fold for the fact that the “blue tsunami” they were all expecting failed to materialize.

      • How to Combat Trumpism (Even After Trump Is Gone)

        This story—that a few extreme-libertarian billionaires like the Murdoch family use media like Fox News to enrich themselves at viewers’ expense—needs to be told over and over again, in every possible venue.

      • Biden Further Solidifies Victory With Arizona as Election Officials Counter Trump's Fraud Lies in Joint Declaration

        "In an extraordinary rebuke, a federal agency releases statement from federal, state, and local officials saying Trump is totally full of it when he claims large-scale election fraud."

      • Revisiting “Seven Days in May”

        Let’s start with a president (Donald Trump) who suffered an unexpected election loss and decided to use his political party (the GOP) to contest the results, thus far without any sign of success.€  The president then brings the power of the government into his scheme.€  He orders his enabler-in-chief (Attorney General William Barr), who happens to be the country’s senior law enforcement officer, to have his Election Crimes Division search for (non-existent) evidence of crimes in the electoral process.

        The veteran head of the division (Richard Pilger) immediately resigns his post to protest the unprecedented use of the Department of Justice to search for evidence rather than respond to charges based on evidence.€  State officials—both Democrats and Republicans—emphasize there is no substantiation for such charges.€  Federal judges—appointed by both Democrats and Republicans—have rejected all cases that have come forward.

      • Trump’s Reichstag Fire

        An urban legend is beginning to spin: come January 20, 2021, President Donald Trump will wall himself into the White House, with a few of those gilded sofas wedged up against the Oval Office door, and refuse to come out when the Joe Bidens come calling for the ceremonial ride to the Capitol and the presidential inauguration.

        Remember the scene four years ago, when Don and Melania showed up gripping that egg-shell blue box from Tiffany & Co. (“Can’t we just give them that platter we got last year?”), with Trump leaving his wife behind to struggle with the limousine door while he did his bear-walk toward the waiting Obamas and, more to the point, White House power?

      • The Problem of Capitalist Politics, Nukes and Climate Change Edition

        The stakes— the continued existence of the species, was the background chatter in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s when the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation was taught from pre-school through working life. The push-pull of capitalist democracy was the fear of imminent annihilation tied to the promise of a better future through shared prosperity and technological advances. Capitalism was to provide the shared prosperity. Politics was to assure that the accumulated technological and military might of the U.S. would go toward productive uses. That it didn’t illustrates the nature of the problem still unfolding.

        Both MAGA (Make America Great Again) and the ‘restoration of decency’ relied on this image of a steady-state that never was. The industrial economy of MAGA was given away three or more decades ago. China made the investment in industrial infrastructure, and now has an insurmountable cost advantage in industrial production within the capitalist frame that MAGA references. And the restoration of decency has a hollow ring for children of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. The façade of gentility from the architects of genocidal carnage was perfected by the Brits two centuries ago, rendering the current version downright Trumpian.

      • F*#k the Trumpenleft and Obama Too

        I’m not referring to liberals, moderates, and progressives who have taken umbrage at my radical Left criticism of Clinton-Obama-Pelosi Democrats (hereafter “COP Dems”)’ nauseating fealty and service to capital and empire. I never had friends, real or virtual, among such folks. Any chance that I would have disappeared when I started writing about and against their beloved Obama in the summer of 2004.

        I mean people on “the left” so sickened by the fake-progressive COP Dems as to become de facto supporters and in some cases even open backers of Obama’s fascistic and malignant-narcissist successor Donald J. Trump, “the most dangerous criminal in human history.”

      • Biden Will Fail to Bring Back 'Normal' Politics. What’s Needed Now Is a Populism of the Left

        The neoliberal "normal" isn’t coming back because the economic circumstances that generated it—the post-war boom of seemingly endless growth—have disappeared.

      • What Biden’s election means for Venezuela
      • Eat the 2020 Election

        An article€ by Rachel Sugar that appeared in New York magazine proclaimed, “This election makes meal€ planning impossible.” That wasn’t the story I heard from friends and family, some of whom, like my brother Daniel, dined alone. He served himself boneless, skinless chicken thighs and bok choy.

        “ST,” my long time girlfriend, who comes from a Libertarian family in California’s Central Valley, told me that her father wrote the name “Mike Pence” on his ballot because, as she explained, “he felt the Vice President would do a better job than Trump himself.” My girlfriend had dinner at the home of a hippie caterer whose food usually looks better than it tastes. ST explained that the caterer made “a pumpkin stuffed with an exotic African grain.” I’m glad I wasn’t invited.

      • Trumpty Dumpty Falls

        Yes indeed, Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall… complete with egg on his spray-tanned face.

        The predatory Trumpus has had America in a chokehold for four long years. Now finally, we are free (or so it seems)—on Max’s birthday!

      • Evicting Trump From the White House

        As this is written, the trump’s € Republican minions who are not encumbered by convictions of any sort, have mostly refused to contradict the trump’s insistence that he has won the election, fearing such admissions would incur his wrath.€  By their subservience, they have helped the trump take steps that make this the first transition from one administration to another that was deliberately made difficult by the outgoing administration.

        Pursuant to the Presidential Transition Act that was signed in 1963, the administrator of the General Services Administration€  is supposed to take all the necessary steps to enable the new administration to smoothly transition into running the government. That includes signing the necessary documents to give the incoming administration access to government officials, office space, equipment, € and millions of dollars, all to help insure a smooth transition. € When the transition from the Bush to the Obama administration was made, for€ example,€ € at one in the morning on the day following the election, € the Bush transition director notified the incoming Obama transition director that he € had signed all the necessary documents to enable the Obama administration to begin its work.

      • Marijuana Was the Clear Winner on Election Night

        On Election Day, voters in states across the country approved a series of ballot proposals legalizing the use and distribution of marijuana for either medical or adult-use purposes.

        Their voices were unmistakable and emphatic. Majorities of Americans decided in favor of every marijuana-related proposition placed before them — a clean sweep — and they did so by record margins.

      • Living in Borat’s America

        When Sacha Baron Cohen sprang Borat on the American public in 2006, a midterm election year, I thought I was clever to observe that nimble, improvisational, disrespectful laughter had won a landslide victory over the deep emotions and classical filmmaking of Clint Eastwood’s World War II diptych, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Like a blind seer, I had no idea how horribly right I was.

      • Low Income Voters Turned Out for Biden, Now They Need Relief

        While higher-income voters swung further towards Donald Trump compared to four years ago, increased support from poor and low-income voters helped push the former vice president over the top.

        According to early polls, voters with household incomes of less than $50,000 in 2019 broke for Biden by 55 to 43 percent — a 12 point margin, compared to 8 four years ago. This helped overcome Trump’s gains among households with incomes above $100,000 — from 45 percent in 2016 to just over half in 2020.

      • Two Face America: 73 Million Trump Party Apparatchiks Guarantee Turmoil Over the Coming Years

        The soul of America is like the character Two Face in the Batman movie series.

        One defeat of the Party of Trump and its 73 million apparatchiks is not enough. In Trump, the United States has bred its own dictator in waiting and he’s got an army of servile apostles willing to fight and die for him. Vigilance by his opponents has never been more important.

      • 2020 Was the ‘Precarity Election’

        While Joe Biden will be America’s next president, the Democrats’ narrow election victory hardly represented the vaunted “blue wave” predicted by many pollsters. Indeed, the most striking takeaway from the 2020 result is how much it mirrored the profound splits of the 2016 election—literally, give or take the shift of a hundred thousand votes or so in a few key Rust Belt and Sun Belt states. And despite charges of racism, more than a quarter of Donald Trump’s votes came from nonwhite Americans, the highest percentage for a GOP presidential candidate since 1960.

      • Joe Biden’s Presidency Depends on Georgia

        As he prepared to claim the presidential victory he secured by more than 4 million votes, Joe Biden said, “What is becoming clearer each hour is that record numbers of Americans—from all races, faiths, regions—chose change over more of the same.” But his ability to deliver that change is still to be determined by the voters of Georgia.

      • Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Fantasy Island: An Imagined Conversation

        Interview with owner of Fantasy Island, adult bookstore and sex shop in Philadelphia, down the street from Four Seasons Landscaping

        What follows is a fictitious transcript of the conversation between Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in the immediate aftermath of the Philadelphia press conference:

      • That ' Waterfront Mail In' to Donald You'll Never See

        This small article is as would be to some parallel, though not nearly as funny.

        It merely reflects these small quarters trying to make sense of what just happened in the USA by way of Election 2020, and a striving to quantify the lesser of two evils. To be clear; one does not admire either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. That both are heavily compromised as creatures of the swamp go, and that the election equivalent to some professional wrestling match as some tragicomic parallel to Arnold Rothsteins infamous fixing of the 1919 World Series is taken for granted, alas.

      • Where’s Plan B?
      • Why the Florida Polls Were So Wrong (Hint: It Wasn’t the “Shy” Voters)

        The explanation for the failure in 2016 – an overcount of college educated voters – doesn’t work this time, because all the major pollsters made the necessary corrections. Another reason frequently given is that Trump voters were shy about their allegiances (or more accurately ashamed) and told polling organizations they weren’t going to vote for the president when they were. But given the obvious vociferousness of Trump’s base, especially in rural areas and red states like Florida, this explanation doesn’t wash either. When Republican voters arrive at rallies dressed in camouflage, and carrying semi-automatic weapons, the only voters likely to be shy are Democratic ones. The reason for the failure of polling organizations to accurately predict the result in Florida isn’t the undercounted shy voters, or the overcounted educated voters. It’s another, overlooked demographic: old male grumpy voters (OMGs). To better understand them, I need first to tell you a little about the small town where I live in north-central Florida and my experience with OMGs.

        Micanopy is a village of 600 located about 20 miles south of Gainesville, home of the University of Florida. The population is about 75 percent white, 20 percent Black and 4 percent Latinx. With a median age of 47, we are about six years older than average in Florida, which is four years older than the nation as a whole. My wife and I moved to Micanopy for the weather and the natural beauty, and for its proximity to many of the Gulf and Atlantic Coast communities we support with our climate justice non-profit, Anthropocene Alliance.

      • GOP leaders in 4 states quash dubious Trump bid on electors
      • Election Day Problems, Newark: Delayed Openings, Confusion Forced Potential Voters Away From Polls
      • You Say DivÄ­sive, I Say Divīsive

        Voice 1: You say divÄ­sive, I say divīsive. Voice 2: You say derīsive, I say derÄ­sive. Voice 1: Divīsive Voice 2: DivÄ­sive. Voice 1: Derīsive. Voice 2: DerÄ­sive. Both voices, loudly: Asshole.

      • The Trump Campaign Can’t Find a Judge Who Will Ignore Facts — but It’s Trying

        The reelection campaign of President Donald Trump, having failed to persuade the majority of American voters, is now making its case to the American courts. The campaign and its allies aren’t doing much better in the latter quest than they did in the former. Close to half of the two dozen or so cases brought since Election Day in key swing states have already been withdrawn or tossed by judges, with many of the rest seemingly destined for a similar fate. American politics may be notoriously divided, but inside the halls of justice, at least one example of unanimity seems to be prevailing: Whether the judges are liberal or conservative, working for state or federal courts, they’ve overwhelmingly demanded that the Trump and Republican plaintiffs deliver evidence to back their claims and they’ve been quick to reject what they consider baseless lawsuits.

        One pattern has emerged in the fusillade of lawsuits: a frenzied search for a sympathetic judge. In each of four states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona — the Trump campaign and its allies have filed a succession of suits that make essentially the same claims before several different state and federal judges.

      • Trump’s Final Dereliction of Duty

        Many liberals are afraid Donald Trump is planning a coup. The reality is much stranger. Trump is daydreaming about a coup. All the bizarre machinations since Election Day, the repeated airing of conspiracy theories about vote rigging, and the spate of poorly supported lawsuits spring not from a mastermind plotting to destroy democracy but rather a delusional and self-obsessed man who cannot come to grips with the reality of rejection. As The New York Times reports, Trump, while conversing with his advisers, has been “floating one improbable scenario after another for staying in office while he contemplates his uncertain post-presidency future.”

      • Can Trump Pardon Himself? Jane Mayer on Trump’s Desperate Bid to Stay in Power & Avoid Prosecution

        President Trump has only made one brief public appearance since the election was called for Joe Biden, and his Twitter feed is filled with conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud, which state elections officials have repeatedly rejected. His refusal to concede has complicated President-elect Biden’s transition, and senior Republicans have mostly aligned behind Trump or stayed silent as he continues his desperate legal campaign to overturn the election results in several key states that won Biden the presidency. New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer says Trump has a lot at stake due to the litany of lawsuits and criminal investigations he faces. “He has many reasons to be concerned,” she says. “If he leaves the White House, he’s going to lose the immunity that goes along with being president.”

      • The Trump-Shaped Stain on American Life

        My Uncle Harry has seen it all, and he has the years to prove it: He turned 100 on November 1. (In case you were wondering, he attributes his longevity to family, love, curiosity, and ice cream every day.) When Donald Trump was elected, Uncle Harry predicted that the next four years would be awful but there would be only two things that couldn’t be undone even if the Democrats won in 2020: the destruction Trump would wreak on the environment and the justices he would put on the Supreme Court.

      • Mark Zuckerberg defends decision to keep Steve Bannon on Facebook after violent post

        In the video in question, which Facebook removed, Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon suggested that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray be decapitated for their supposed disloyalty to Trump.

      • Zuckerberg defends decision to not suspend Bannon after Twitter move: report

        After the video, Twitter suspended Bannon’s account over violating the platform’s policy on the “glorification of violence.” The video was removed from Facebook, but his page is still active.

        Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told Reuters that the company would take additional action against Bannon “if there are additional violations.”
      • Zuckerberg defends not suspending ex-Trump aide Bannon from Facebook: recording

        Zuckerberg acknowledged criticism of Facebook by President-elect Joe Biden but said the company shared some of the Biden team’s same concerns about social media. He urged employees not to jump to conclusions about how the new administration might approach regulation of social media companies.

      • QAnon's Dominion voter fraud conspiracy theory reaches the president

        But QAnon is far from done. The movement's recent evolution and activity around the Dominion conspiracy theory highlight how even Joe Biden's election win and the disintegration of the broader QAnon narrative do not spell the end of the broader conspiracy ecosystem it has built.

      • How One Firm Drove Influence Campaigns Nationwide for Big Oil

        All three appeared to be separate efforts to amplify local voices or speak up for regular people.

        On closer look, however, the groups had something in common: They were part of a network of corporate influence campaigns designed, staffed and at times run by FTI Consulting, which had been hired by some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world to help them promote fossil fuels.

        An examination of FTI’s work provides an anatomy of the oil industry’s efforts to influence public opinion in the face of increasing political pressure over climate change, an issue likely to grow in prominence, given President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s pledge to pursue bolder climate regulations. The campaigns often obscure the industry’s role, portraying pro-petroleum groups as grass-roots movements.

      • New EU drive to remove extremist web content

        Both German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson called for an agreement by Christmas on the new "regulation on terrorist content online (TCO)".

        The ministers' joint statement called for a "rapid and effective instrument to counter terrorist content online within an hour or less of its being reported".

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook is now using AI to sort content for quicker moderation

        Facebook has always made it clear it wants artificial intelligence to handle more moderation duties on its platforms. Today, it announced its latest step toward that goal: putting machine learning in charge of its moderation queue.

      • Federal judge moves E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against Trump forward

        A federal judge on Thursday signaled columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against President Trump can move forward, scheduling a telephone conference in the case for Dec. 11.

        Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he accused her of lying when she alleged he sexually assaulted her in her 2019 book “What Do We Need Men For?”

        The Justice Department sought to take over the case in September, claiming Trump called Carroll a liar in his capacity as president. Judge Lewis Kaplan denied the motion to intervene in October.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • About to Have His Day in Court, This American Journalist Wants to Know If He's on the US 'Kill List'

        Award-winning war reporter Bilal Abdul Kareem, who says he has been the target of numerous U.S.-led airstrikes, was also wounded by Syrian tank fire while covering the country's civil war.

      • Farcical Coverage of Julian Assange’s Farcical Hearing

        US corporate media have buried coverage of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in the UK, despite its being the media “Trial of the Century” (, 9/25/20). But even in the scarce coverage that does exist of this unprecedented case with immense implications for freedom of expression, one would hardly get the impression that the US and British governments are involved in an illegal conspiracy—in violation of their own laws—to punish Assange for the “crime” of journalism.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A Hole in One
      • From Fear and Anger to Collective Purpose

        What greater purpose and meaning is there than working together to create a world that secures the health of Earth and the well-being of families and communities?

      • Advocacy Groups Slam 'Shameful' Deportation of ICE Medical Abuse Survivors

        "Congress must investigate and immediately put an end to this injustice," said one attorney.€ 

      • Voting Activist Desmond Meade on Re-enfranchising People & Why “Ex-Felon” Is a Dehumanizing Label

        In Florida, tens of thousands of newly eligible voters who were previously disenfranchised due to their criminal records turned out to the polls for the 2020 election. Amendment 4, a measure that in 2018 overturned a Jim Crow-era law aimed at keeping African Americans from voting, restored voting rights to people with nonviolent felonies who have completed their sentences and was hailed as the biggest win for voting rights in decades. However, hundreds of thousands of people in Florida remain disenfranchised due to a modern-day poll tax that requires formerly incarcerated voters to pay all fees and fines to courts before they can cast a ballot. We speak with Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, about the ongoing fight to re-enfranchise people. He voted for president for the first time ever this year. “That act of voting gave me a deeper appreciation for what I was engaged in,” Meade says. “The right to vote is sacred.”

      • Child Emergency: Souls in ICE

        These are many years of reeling about the treatment of children: Madeline Albright’s justifying the killing of €½ million Iraqi children, Obama’s paying the Mexican government to keep refugee children from the U.S. border at the exact time of the Ayotzinapa disappeared children, residential schools for indigenous children, Israel’s hugely disproportionate killing and intentional maiming of Palestinian children. And now, “Report Finds 25,000+ Migrant Children Locked Up for More Than 100 Days over Past 6 Years”. The United States is sterilizing women who are in refugee detention centers, robbing them of being able to bear children. [1]

        From a 2018 report: “….at least 250 migrant infants, children and teenagers have been locked up for nearly a month without adequate food, water or sanitation at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, near the city of El Paso. Lawyers who visited the facility described a scene of chaos and sickness, with children unable to shower or change into clean clothes for weeks on end. The AP report came the same week that the Trump administration argued in federal court that the government is not required to provide toothbrushes, soap or beds to children detained at the border, and as other reports found similarly squalid conditions at a number of immigration jails.€ “ A worker who found the treatment of children unbearable spoke about rules that prohibited distraught siblings from hugging each other for solace.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • How Our Biggest ISPs Are Failing Students During COVID-19

        Early in the pandemic, one of our MediaJustice Network members reached out to us in hopes we could support a group of high school students in Baltimore who were trying to amplify their campaign. The students are leaders in a Latinx and immigrant student organization called Students Organizing for a Multicultural and Open Society (SOMOS), and this was their first time organizing for digital equity.

      • Govt accepts less than half of 5G inquiry recommendations

        The Australian Government has accepted six of the 14 recommendations made by the 5G inquiry conducted by the House Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts, assessing the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia.

      • FCC Boss Pai Urged To Accept Trump Loss, Pause Dumb Attack On Social Media

        With the Biden victory, FCC boss Ajit Pai is being urged to pause all controversial rulemaking, including the agency's absurd and now likely doomed attempt to regulate social media and undermine Section 230 via the FCC. With a Biden win, Pai's guaranteed to lose his spot as top commissioner, and is likely to exit the agency altogether.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Google Takes Down Repositories That Circumvent its Widevine DRM

        GitHub has removed several repositories that helped to bypass Google's Widevine DRM, which is used by popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. Google requested the code to be removed as it would violate the DMCA. The company also sent a sensitive data takedown request for the associated RSA key which, ironically, remains easy to find through Google.

      • Why Netflix Is Experimenting With Linear Programming in France

        The linear channel, named Direct, will offer a mix of French, international and U.S. feature films and TV series that are available on the streaming service.

        Dixon says that Netflix’s measurement of Direct’s impact will likely examine total view time (does it increase for the people using it?); dwell time (how long do users of Direct spend with it?); churn (do users stay with Netflix longer?) and usage rate (on the content featured on Direct, do they see an increase in viewership of those shows outside of Direct?).

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: Google brings motion to dispose of Epic Games' antitrust complaint over Android app distribution terms at earliest procedural stage

        On Friday evening (Pacific Time), Google brought a motion it had already announced more than two months ago: a motion to dismiss Epic Games' antitrust complaint in the Northern District of California over Google's Android app distribution terms. At the same time, Google seeks to shot down a consolidated class action complaint brought on behalf of some smaller app developers.

        Google also faces class actions by consumers. In fact, the latest one of them, Gamble v. Google, was filed on Thursday. But yesterday's motion relates only to claims brought by Epic and other developers.

        Unlike Google, Apple decided not seek the outright dismissal of Epic's claims. Part of the reason might have been that a motion to dismiss causes considerable delay, but Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (who is presiding over all those Apple App Store antitrust cases, while Judge James Donato is in charge of the Google Play cases) wanted to put Epic's August 2020 case on a schedule that was basically dictated by the decade-old Pepper v. Apple class action, which had meanwhile already reached the Supreme Court. The Pepper opinion is at the heart of one part of Google's attack on the developer class actions it's facing, as I'll discuss further below.

      • Copyrights

        • Meet CC India, Our Next Feature for CC Network Fridays!

          The Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN) consists of 45 CC Country Chapters spread across the globe. They’re the home for a community of advocates, activists, educators, artists, lawyers, and users who share CC’s vision and values. They implement and strengthen open access policies, copyright reform, open education, and open culture in the communities in which they live.

        • Hollywood, Netflix & Amazon Agree $40m Judgment With Pirate IPTV Provider Crystal Clear Media

          During the summer, members of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment which include Hollywood studios, Netflix and Amazon, sued pirate IPTV service Crystal Clear Media for mass copyright infringement. According to documents now filed with the court, two Florida residents have agreed to pay the entertainment companies $40 million to end the lawsuit.

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