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Links 17/12/2020: Qt Creator 4.14 is Out and New Debian Site Imminent

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 2020 at System76: A Quick Jaunt Down Memory Lane

        As the year draws to a close, we—

        Holy bonkers. The year is drawing to a close. The year is drawing to a close! THE YEAR IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE!


        *Ahem.* Anywho, we’ve managed to accomplish some really fantastic things that when all summed up together…well…let’s just say we got a bit misty-eyed ourselves when we ran down this list. Won’t you join us for a quick jaunt down memory lane?


        The production floor has also grown with new, better machinery. To ensure our machines are built with only the best quality, we’ve acquired a new bender, a new sander, and a new etching machine. With high-grade equipment like this, we could host a limbo tournament and inscribe the winner’s name on the pole!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Bad Voltage 3×19: We Have A Bit Of A Point

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we look back at 2×62, our predictions show from a year ago and see whether we correctly foresaw what happened in 2020, or… not. Also features SHAMELESS grovelling for points.

      • BSD Now #381: Shell origins

        The Origin of the Shell, Return to Plan 9, ArisbluBSD: Why a new BSD?, OPNsense 20.7.5 released, Midnight BSD 2.0 Release Status, HardenedBSD November 2020 Status Report, and more.

      • S13E39 – Walking backwards | Ubuntu Podcast

        This week we’ve been playing Cyberpunk 2077 and applying for Ubuntu Membership. We round up the goings on in the Ubuntu community and also bring you our favourite news picks from the wider tech world.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 39 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Alder Lake Sound, Other New Audio Hardware Support In Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        The latest hardware enablement around Intel's Alder Lake for the Linux kernel is audio support.

        SUSE's Takashi Iwai already sent in the sound hardware changes for the ongoing Linux 5.11 merge window and that successfully landed. There are some low-level changes like the Intel DSP support now making use of the new Auxiliary Bus, various code clean-ups, fixes thanks to the Undefined Behavior Sanitizer and Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer spotting problems, better USB audio implicit feedback support, new audio quirks, continued work on Intel Sound Open Firmware, and also some HDMI audio fixes.

      • Linux 5.11 Supports The OUYA Game Console, Other New ARM Hardware Support - Phoronix

        The ARM64 architecture updates were sent in already for Linux 5.11 along with the various ARM SoC additions, DeviceTree additions for new hardware support, and similar changes. There is a lot of new hardware support as always being brought up by the mainline kernel.

      • USB4 / Thunderbolt Improvements Head Into Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        As part of the areas of the kernel overseen by Greg Kroah-Hartman is the USB subsystem. The USB (and Thunderbolt) updates are now in mainline as part of the ongoing Linux 5.11 merge window.

      • Intel Alder Lake Sound, Other New Audio Hardware Support In Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        The latest hardware enablement around Intel's Alder Lake for the Linux kernel is audio support.

        SUSE's Takashi Iwai already sent in the sound hardware changes for the ongoing Linux 5.11 merge window and that successfully landed. There are some low-level changes like the Intel DSP support now making use of the new Auxiliary Bus, various code clean-ups, fixes thanks to the Undefined Behavior Sanitizer and Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer spotting problems, better USB audio implicit feedback support, new audio quirks, continued work on Intel Sound Open Firmware, and also some HDMI audio fixes.

      • Linux 5.11 Brings Intel WiFi 6GHz Band Support (Wi-Fi 6E)

        The networking subsystem updates have landed for the in-development Linux 5.11 kernel.

      • WiMAX Support Officially Demoted In Linux 5.11

        The Linux 5.11 merge window continues being very active this week with Linus Torvalds hoping kernel maintainers will get in all of their new feature code well before Christmas.

        As reported a few months ago, the Linux kernel is looking to drop its WiMAX support. For phasing out their WiMAX support, with Linux 5.11 they have now moved the code into the "staging" area of the kernel. This is intended as a temporary measure while seeing if any actual users remain of this code and any objections occur or anyone takes over maintaining the code. Otherwise in a later kernel release, the WiMAX support will be stripped out entirely from the mainline kernel.

      • Graphics Stack

        • [ANNOUNCE] Wayland 1.19.0 release schedule
          Hi all,

          It's been a while since the last Wayland release. Wayland is pretty mature now and its release cycle is independent from Weston's. No new major feature has been accepted, but smaller changes and fixes have been merged. A new release will allow us to roll these out.

          Here is the release schedule for Wayland 1.19.0:

          - Alpha: December 18th, at the end of the week - Beta: January 6th - RC1: January 20th - First potential final release date: January 27th

          Package maintainers are encouraged to pick up the pre-releases to make sure packaging can be tested (and fixed) before the stable release. The autotools build is still supported for this release, but will be dropped in the next release. Please use Meson instead and feel free to open an issue if you run into a bug.

          Let me know if you'd like a pending patch to make it in the release.


        • Wayland 1.19 Is Set To Come Soon As First Update In Nearly One Year - Phoronix

          Wayland 1.18 came back in February while until now there wasn't much talk about a "Wayland 1.19" since at this stage the core functionality of Wayland is quite mature and stable. But now work is underway on Wayland 1.19 with aims to likely ship it in January.

          Wayland 1.19 doesn't have any pressing work but given various additions have accumulated over the past ten months, Simon Ser is stepping up again as release manager and looking to get it released.

        • NVIDIA has a small update to their Vulkan Beta Driver, plus naming changes to mainline | GamingOnLinux

          NVIDIA have released a small and sweet update to their developer focused Vulkan Beta driver series with 455.46.04 out now for Linux.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Alpha First

          Closer examination revealed that this was due to the app using ARGB formats for its PBOs. Referencing that against VkFormat led to a further problem: ARGB and ABGR are not explicitly supported by Vulkan.

          This wasn’t exactly going to be an easy fix, but it wouldn’t prove too challenging either.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD AOCC 2.3 Squeezing Out Extra Performance For EPYC Over GCC 10, Clang 11

        At the start of the month AMD released AOCC 2.3 as the newest version of the AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler. AOCC is one of several LLVM/Clang downstream versions maintained by the company with this one being about delivering flagship AMD Zen family compiler support. From an AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" series processor I recently wrapped up fresh benchmarks of AOCC 2.3 against the current GCC 10 and Clang 11 compiler releases.

        AOCC 2.3 remains focused on optimized Zen / Zen 2 compiler support at least until the EPYC 7003 "Milan" series processors ship. At that point we imagine it will be AOCC 3.0 just as the shift to AOCC 2.0 happened with EPYC Rome. AOCC 2.3 is based on the LLVM/Clang 11 upstream code-base while continuing to carry various Zen-optimized patches that haven't yet been upstreamed.

    • Applications

      • Explore the exciting features of the Howl text editor

        Howl is a general-purpose text editor written in Moonscript and Lua. It’s not focused on a specific programming language, and instead features support for many different languages and formats. In fact, it takes inspiration from "traditional" Unix editors like Emacs and Vim, so it feels familiar to anyone accustomed to that style of editing. It’s primarily a text-oriented interface, without dialogue boxes, toolbars, or a menu, and yet, it has many exciting features that make it feel a little like an IDE for authors, regardless of whether you write code or prose.

      • Syncthing, A Friendly Linux Mint Laptop & Android Phone File Sharing

        For you wanting a simple way to send/receive files from Mint computer to Android phone, like KDE Connect, you can use Syncthing. To share files, simply copy files into a selected folder on one device they will automatically sent to the other device. It works offline, that is, without internet access. Syncthing is free software available on both Software Manager and F-Droid for both operating systems. This easy to understand tutorial will show how to install and use it for you. Let's start sharing!

      • My 40 most favorite applications for Linux in 2020

        It is that time of the year again. December is a reflective month for a lot of us to look back at all that happened and look forward to what will come. For a lot of bloggers, vloggers, news channels and magazines, it’s time to start creating their yearly lists to look back on what happened, what was best or what was the most memorable in their past year. As a Linux blogger I look at and try out a lot of different software solutions and I always do my best to write useful and valuable articles that hopefully help others in their decision making on software selection or just help to explain how applications work, how problems can be solved, or how software can improve your life. Out of all the applications I tried in 2020, a substantial list of applications have my real preference over other applications and I therefore regularly use them for my personal work. So in this article I will share my 40 most favorite applications for Linux in 2020.

      • Ksnip Screenshot Tool 1.8.0 Released as Good Alternative to Shutter

        Ksnip screenshot tool released version 1.8.0 a few days ago with many great new features and improvements, making it more powerful.

        Ksnip is a free open-source Qt based screenshot tool with editing features. It runs in Window, Mac OS, and Linux (both X and Wayland). As Shutter is not in active development, it’s getting more and more issues due to old Gnome dependency libraries. And Ksnip is a great alternative.

        Ksnip 1.8.0 added ability to pin screenshots in frameless windows that stay in foreground. The feature was ported from Flameshot. Without saving a screenshot, the app “Options” menu offers “Pin” option to set it in foreground, and it will disappear with a double click on it.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Monitor CPU and RAM usage in Python with PsUtil - PragmaticLinux

        Want to monitor the CPU and RAM usage of your Linux system from your own Python program? Then you came to the right place! This article teaches you how to install the PsUtil package into your Python virtual environment and how you can use it to monitor the CPU and RAM usage from your own Python program. PsUtil is a Python package with functionality to easily obtain system utilization information.

      • 7 Linux commands to help you with disk management - TechRepublic

        This TechRepublic Premium article introduces users to some of the more useful disk management command line tools found on just about every Linux distribution. Once you have even a basic understanding of these commands, disk management in Linux will be considerably easier.

      • Start learning Kubernetes from your local machine | Enable Sysadmin

        Kubernetes is a global technology but this article prompts you to act locally.

      • How to install UVdesk on Ubuntu Server 20.04 - TechRepublic

        A user-friendly help desk solution can make your company work more efficiently. Jack Wallen shows you how to install UVdesk for just that purpose.

      • How to install RetroArch on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install RetroArch 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.

      • Build embedded cache clusters with Quarkus and Red Hat Data Grid - Red Hat Developer

        There are many ways to configure the cache in a microservices system. As a rule of thumb, you should use caching only in one place; for example, you should not use the cache in both the HTTP and application layers. Distributed caching both increases cloud-native application performance and minimizes the overhead of creating new microservices.

        Infinispan is an open source, in-memory data grid that can run as a distributed cache or a NoSQL datastore. You could use it as a cache, such as for session clustering, or as a data grid in front of the database. Red Hat Data Grid builds on Infinispan with additional features and support for enterprise production environments.

        Data Grid lets you access a distributed cache via an embedded Java library or a language-independent remote service. The remote service works with protocols such as Hot Rod, REST, and Memcached. In this article, you will learn how to build a distributed cache system with Quarkus and Data Grid. We’ll use Quarkus to integrate two clustered, embedded Data Grid caches deployed to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (RHOCP). Figure 1 shows the distributed cache architecture for this example.

      • How To Undo Git Add Command

        When using Git, it is quite common for developers to add new files to their repositories during development.

        Most of the time, files are associated with commits. Developers often start by adding files to their staging area just before committing them to the Git repository.

        However, in some cases, you may want to undo a “git add” operation that you just performed.

        Maybe you added too many files to your staging area or you may feel that a file needs more work because committing it to the repository.

      • How to Install Calibre Content Server in Raspberry Pi - Make Tech Easier

        Calibre is an excellent software for managing your ebook collection. Apart from being a desktop app, do you know that you can also install it as a server so you can store your books in a central location and then access them from various devices? Here we show you how to install the Calibre content server on a Raspberry Pi.

      • How to Install RPM Files on Fedora and Red Hat Linux

        When you start using Fedora Linux in the Red Hat domain, sooner or later, you’ll come across .rpm files. Like .exe files in Windows and .deb files in Ubuntu and Debian, .rpm files enable you to quickly install a software from it on Fedora.

        You could find and install plenty of software from the software center, specially if you enable additional repositories in Fedora. But sometimes you’ll find software available on their website in RPM format.

      • How to create a Samba share on Ubuntu Server 20.04 - TechRepublic

        Samba is one of the many ways to share files and directories across a network on Linux. With a Samba share up and running, any machine within your LAN can access the contents of the shared directory--so long as the user has access. Samba also happens to be one of the easiest to set up for this task.

        I want to walk you through the process of installing and configuring Samba on Ubuntu Server 20.04. With this taken care of, your end users will have easy access to anything you want to share out from that server.

      • How to secure your AWS account by enabling Multi-Factor Authentication

        To improve the security of your AWS account it is recommended to enable Multi-factor Authentication(MFA). We can enable Multi-factor Authentication for IAM users or for the root user. Multi-factor Authentication adds a layer of security as it requires users to enter a security code while logging into the account. MFA helps you keep your account safe and secure even when the user credentials are compromised. If you are using an Android phone you can use "Google Authenticator" as a virtual device. If you want to know other MFA applications, visit the AWS official page here.

      • How to hack Android Auto to display custom content |

        Google's Android Auto application casts content from a smartphone to a car's head unit display. Officially, that content includes navigation (e.g., Google Maps and Waze), media players (e.g., VLC, Spotify), and messaging apps. The application is useful, but it would be even better if you could show a film on your head unit's display or use it as an interface to a custom onboard computer that manages multiple cameras, GPS, and so on.

        This article will demonstrate Android Auto Client-Server (AACS), an early-stage application I'm developing to do these tasks.

    • Games

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Twisted & The Twilight now available on Linux

        Two weeks after the original Windows supported release, Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Twisted & The Twilight is now available for the Linux port. With this latest expansion introducing two new Legendary lords for the Skaven and the Wood Elves, each with new units, gameplay mechanics and unique narrative objectives.

        "With a rift torn open in the Dreaming Woods, Queen Ariel of Athel Loren and her trusted emissaries, the Sisters of Twilight, move to secure it for the Wood Elves. Throt the Unclean has other ideas however, and rallies his monstrous Skaven horde against the Sisters and their Elven queen."

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Twisted & The Twilight DLC Is Out Now for Linux

        The Twisted & The Twilight DLC for the Total War: WARHAMMER II turn-based strategy and real-time tactics video game comes seven months after The Warden & The Paunch DLC to new lords, new units, new gameplay mechanics, new unique narrative objectives, as well as an old world update for the Wood Elves.

        The Twisted & The Twilight DLC includes two unique Legendary Lords who lead their own faction, objectives, play style, mechanics, and units. These are Throt the Unclean, Master Mutator of Clan Moulder and one of the nine Lords of Hell Pit, as well as The Sisters of Twilight Naestra and Arahan, Emissaries of Queen Ariel.

      • Free and open source space sim 'Naev' has a big overhaul update out now | GamingOnLinux

        Naev returns! This classic free and open source 2D space exploration, trading and combat sim release version 0.8.0 and it's quite a big change for it. What is it? Taking inspiration from the likes of the Escape Velocity series, you travel around space and pretty much do whatever you want. There's various story missions, lots of different ships and encounters and it's now bigger than ever.

      • Story-based casual life sim Everafter Falls is fully funded and on the way to Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Developer SquareHusky has managed to have their upcoming casual life sim Everafter Falls funded on Kickstarter, so that's another wonderful looking game coming our way.

        Inspired by the likes of Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing blended with some action-RPG element it seems like it's going to be quite an interesting one. If 2020 has shown me anything, it's that we can never have enough of these games to keep us going. The Kickstarter campaign has now finished on December 10 with it pulling in AU$ 52,536 thanks to over 1,000 backers.

      • Sublime indie racer art of rally has a big content update out with ghost cars | GamingOnLinux

        art of rally is an astonishingly good racing game from the creator of Absolute Drift, and it just recently had a first major content upgrade that's available now.

      • WWII fantasy tactical-battler Broken Lines has an undead invasion in a free expansion | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to face the horde? WWII fantasy tactics battler Broken Lines has a big free update out now focusing on the rising dead giving you an all-new way to play.

        If you missed this one, it released along with native Linux support back in February 2020 and it was surprisingly great. On their two month launch anniversary, they noted how "macOS and Linux gamers really appreciated having native versions of the game to play". As for the gameplay it uses a WeGo style of both sides planning at the same time, and then executing and it works well here.

        In the brand new 'The Dead and the Drunk' free expansion, it adds in a "bizarre new challenge awaits the surviving squad members. The mysterious fog released by the masked enemies is causing the dead to rise once again" that sees you face off against various undead enemies.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • KDE Frameworks, VirtualBox, systemd update in Tumbleweed

          Snapshot 20201215 is the latest update to arrive in the rolling release. The snapshot updated KDE Frameworks 5.77.0 and offered a significant amount of bug fixes and additions for the 83 addon libraries; the Breeze Icon package added an edit-move action icon, the Attica package fixed a crash and KDeclarative relicenses files to the LGPL v2 or later. Both the KIO and Kirigami packages had extensive work done; KIO cleaned up dead code and now requires Qt 5.13. Kirigami fixed rendering borders to the proper size and also made a fix for low power mode. openSUSE’s autoyast2 4.3.64 package added support for Btrfs quotas. The default window sizing was fixed in an update of gnome-tweaks 3.34.1. Location-aware applications will notice a fix for Wifi crashes in the 2.5.6 geoclue2 package. Some obsolete settings were removed from the 4.3.6 yast2-security package and text editor vim fixed the CTRL-Z behavior.

        • Goodbye 2020. Here’s What Our Partners Can Look Forward To In 2021! | SUSE Communities

          This is the end of a very memorable year for all of us. Despite the challenges of 2020, we have continued to make it simpler for partners to do business with us. How?

        • An ASPICE Overview

          Now that you’re well-versed in the Waterfall Model and V-Model, it’s time to take the step up into a wider world of ASPICE.

        • Suse: Linux Management And Beyond

          The number of Hana users is steadily increasing, meaning the number of SAP customers using Linux is increasing as well. System management software plays a central role.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat’s crime against CentOS

          Yes, some people will bolt for Debian, steadfastly against the idea of paying for their operating system. Fine. Others will realize that the cost of paying for RHEL is relatively low compared to the software they might be running on top (Oracle?). Everything will sort itself out. The fact that it even needs sorting may well be Red Hat’s own fault, creating a one-way door by acquiring CentOS. But Red Hat has done this once before, with the creation of RHEL. It should be able to manage the transition again.

          While it does, CentOS users might want to remember Red Hat’s well-earned reputation for being open source friendly. There were many reasons for outrage in 2020. This isn’t one of them.

      • Debian Family

        • The Debian web updates its homepage and prepares for a major renewal

          Today, the Debian website displays a new homepage. Since the most recent web team sprint in March 2019, we have been working on renewing the structure, content, layout and scripts that build the site. There has been work mainly in two areas: removing or updating obsolete content, and creating a new homepage which is more attractive to newcomers, and which also highlights the social aspect of the Debian project in addition to the operating system we develop.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.1 Beta MATE

          Today we are looking at LinuxMint 20.1 Beta, the MATE Edtion It comes with Linux Kernel 5.8 (upgradeable to 5.8), MATE 1.24, and uses about 800MB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Linux Mint 20.1 Beta MATE Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Linux Mint 20.1 Beta MATE Edition.

        • Linux Mint 20.1 beta arrives

          The next long-term support version of Linux Mint is getting close to release.

        • Linux Mint 20.1 Beta Released With New IPTV App And WebApp Manager

          After six months of development, Linux Mint founder Clem Lefebvre has officially announced a beta version of the new and upcoming Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa.”

          As you know, Linux Mint 20.1 is a long term support (LTS) version, which will receive security updates until 2025. The beta release comes with updated software, new features and available in Cinnamon, Xfce, and MATE editions.

        • Linux Mint 20.1 'Ulyssa' gets a first Beta release for their upcoming LTS
          Linux Mint, the beginner friendly Linux distribution is getting ready to release a big new upgrade with Linux Mint 20.1 'Ulyssa' that will be their new Long Term Support version.

          Coming across three official flavours that had their Beta release with the Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce desktop environments so you can pick what you're more familiar with. Each with their own special theming from the Mint team, along with plenty of other tweaks.

        • Telco and Ubuntu: 2020 roundup

          2021 is around the corner and we had such a tremendous journey this year. Like many others, at Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, we lived different times and maybe more than ever we saw how important it was to stay connected. Therefore, Canonical continued to innovate in the telco world and brought Ubuntu closer to it, by offering open source systems and supporting the deployment of various applications. From 5G to network function virtualisation (NFV), from virtual events to webinars for our users, we spread energy around and gathered enterprise feedback.


          In November, MTS, Russia’s largest mobile operator and a leading provider of media and digital services, announced the selection of Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack to power the company’s next-generation cloud infrastructure. The company mentioned that this is the foundation of the 5G rollout that would come in the following months, enhancing their network’s edge compute capabilities.

        • Migrating to Ubuntu LTS: six facts for CentOS users | Ubuntu

          Considering migrating to Ubuntu from other Linux platforms, such as CentOS?

          Think Ubuntu- the most popular Linux distribution on public clouds, data centre and the edge. Since its inception, Ubuntu consistently gains market share, as of today reaching almost 50%.

          Wondering why Ubuntu is so popular?

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 Best Free and Open Source X10 Home Automation Software

        The issue of whether proprietary software is a necessary evil crops up on a frequent basis. Supporters of proprietary software contend that there will always be an unwillingness in the open source community to write detail-laden code designed for certain niche markets. For example, a dental practice will certainly have a need for specialist software, and code developed for that practice may be difficult, or impossible, to adapt for other fields. Proprietary software advocates argue that open source developers would be unwilling to design a customized system for a particular dentist’s practice. Whilst there may be circumstances where proprietary software is more attractive, it ultimately causes more problems than it solves. This also applies to proprietary protocols.

      • curl supports NASA

        Not everyone understands how open source is made. I received the following email from NASA a while ago.


        Okay, I first considered going with strong sarcasm in my reply due to the complete lack of understanding, and the implied threat in that last line. What would happen if I wouldn’t respond in time?

        Then it struck me that this could be my chance to once and for all get a confirmation if curl is already actually used in space or not. So I went with informative and a friendly tone.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • moz://gfx newsletter #54 – Mozilla Gfx Team Blog

            Hey all, Jim Mathies here, the new Mozilla Graphics Team manager. We haven’t had a Graphics Newsletter since July, so there’s lots to catch up on. TL/DR – We’re shipping our Rust based WebRender backend to a very wide audience as of Firefox 84. Read on for more detail on our progress.

          • Improving Cross-Browser Testing, Part 1: Web Application Testing Today - Mozilla Hacks - the Web developer blog

            Testing web applications can be a challenge. Unlike most other kinds of software, they run across a multitude of platforms and devices. They have to be robust regardless of form factor or choice of browser.

            We know this is a problem developers feel: when the MDN Developer Needs Assessment asked web developers for their top pain points, cross-browser testing was in the top five in both 2019 and 2020.

            Analysis of the 2020 results revealed a subgroup, comprising 13% of respondents, for whom difficulties writing and running tests were their overall biggest pain point with the web platform.

            At Mozilla, we see that as a call to action. With our commitment to building a better Internet, we want to provide web developers the tools they need to build great web experiences – including great tools for testing.

            In this series of posts we will explore the current web-application testing landscape and explain what Firefox is doing today to allow developers to run more kinds of tests in Firefox.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Friend of Add-ons: Andrei Petcu

            Please meet our newest Friend of Add-ons, Andrei Petcu! Andrei is a developer and a free software enthusiast. Over the last four years, he has developed several extensions and themes for Firefox, assisted users with troubleshooting browser issues, and helped improve Mozilla products by filing issues and contributing code.

            Andrei made a significant contribution to the add-ons community earlier this year by expanding Firefox Color’s ability to customize the browser. He hadn’t originally planned to make changes to Firefox Color, but he became interested in, an open-source project that lets users create custom themes for their development environments. After seeing another user ask if themer could create a custom Firefox theme, Andrei quickly investigated implementation options and set to work.

            Once a user creates a Firefox theme using, they can install it in one of two ways: they can submit the theme through (AMO) and then install the signed .xpi file, or they can apply it as a custom theme through Firefox Color without requiring a signature.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Rethinking Storage for Longer Retention

          David Morris, Vice President of Product and Global Marketing at FalconStor, had been thinking a lot about the future of storage. He wondered what it would take to retain data for more than a century. After all, most electronic media die long before that. It quickly became apparent that the existing system-centric approach would demand the copying of information to new systems ten to twenty-five times over the data retention lifecycle. That opens the door to human error, data and operating system incompatibilities, and hardware incompatibility.

          Further challenges include data accessibility and application availability. Will the application or database needed to access the data still exist in 50 years? Probably not. Even if the application vendor is still going in 50 or 100 years, the application and its architecture will almost certainly have shifted sufficiently to be incompatible with 50-year-old data, much less 100-year-old data.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0.4 Office Suite Released with More Than 110 Bug Fixes

          Coming about two months after LibreOffice 7.0.3, the LibreOffice 7.0.4 update is packed with a total of 114 bug fixes across all core components of the office suite in an attempt to further improve its stability, reliability and document compatibility.

          The Document Foundation urges all users to update to LibreOffice 7.0.4, even if you’re still using the LibreOffice 6.4 series, which reached end of life on November 30th, 2020, and will no longer receive updates.

        • The Document Foundation releases LibreOffice 7.0.4
          LibreOffice 7.0.4, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 7.0 family, is available from All users are invited to update to this version, as the LibreOffice 6.4 family won’t be updated, having reached end-of-life. LibreOffice 7.0.4 includes over 110 bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

          LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite arena, starting from native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) – with better security and interoperability features – to wide support for proprietary formats. End user support is provided by volunteers via email and online resources: On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

        • Install LibreOffice 7.0.4 on Ubuntu 20.04 / LinuxMint

          LibreOffice 7.0.4 is the 5th minor update and comes with a fix of 110 bug fixes and this version contains new features and program enhancements

          All users are requested to update to this version as soon as possible.

          This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install LibreOffice 7.0.4 on Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04 / 16.04, and LinuxMint 19.3.

      • CMS

        • Aloia CMS: Next Generation Flat-file CMS for Laravel developers

          Laravel is a trending PHP7 development framework. It gained popularity among PHP developers especially newcomers and old-school developers who are migrating from other legacy frameworks.

          Many PHP companies and enterprise prefer Laravel for in-house and client projects. As example at, we used it for several projects (Automation, content management, and eCommerce).

          Today's topic about a great tool for Laravel developers that boost the development for creating flat-file CMS.

          Aloia CMS is a flat-file content management system (CMS) component for Laravel.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Mapbox GL JS Is No Longer Open Source

            Mapbox GL JS, formerly an open source JavaScript library for interactive, customizable vector maps, has adopted a proprietary license in its recent version 2 update: [...]

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Creator 4.14 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.14!

          Qt Creator 4.14 fixes many issues when using Qt 6 for your application. The project wizards now generate CMake projects compatible with Qt 6. The pretty printers for Qt types needed adaptations to the internal changes to types. We fixed issues with new features in the QML language in our QML code model.

          If you plan to use or test Qt 6 for your applications, make sure to use Qt Creator 4.14 for the best experience.

        • Welcome to our 2020 Qt Champions!

          We have now handled the nominations with the current lifetime champions we have now come to a consensus on the Qt Champions of 2020! A special thank you to @SGaist, @mrjj, @aha_1980 and Orgad Shaneh for your help in this regard!

          Firstly, I would like to make a special mention for one of the nominations this year which isn't a nomination for a person but for a whole project. The KDE project. As I am sure a lot of you will already be aware but the KDE project is very much involved with the Qt project and has its contributors have contributed a lot Qt over the years as well. So although as a project it is not eligable to be a Qt Champion, we were unanimous in the fact that we wanted to highlight the fact that the KDE project has contributed a lot to the success of Qt and as such warrant being mentioned as part of the Qt Champions.

        • Adlink sponsors vision AI hackathon with $10K prize and Avnet launches contests and Pi giveaways

          Adlink announced a “20/20 Vision Hack” competition for the best vision AI concepts based on its Vizi-AI SBC and Intel’s OpenVINO, with prizes up to $10,000. Avnet’s Newark is launching a “Winter Games” circuit board design competition.

        • 6 top content trends on IBM Developer for 2020

          We crunched the numbers for 2020 to see what you, our readers, found to be the most interesting content of the year. This blog post highlights a few of the trends we noticed with the content we created — and that you liked! — in 2020.

        • POCL 1.6 Released For Portable OpenCL Atop CPUs, Other Accelerators - Phoronix

          A new feature release of POCL is now available that is the "Portable Computing Language" offering OpenCL execution atop CPUs and other devices like NVIDIA CUDA that have an LLVM back-end.

          POCL 1.6 is out as the latest feature release and continues providing OpenCL 1.2 support and a subset of OpenCL 2.0 functionality. POCL is most well known for OpenCL on CPUs but thanks to LLVM also allows targeting NVIDIA GPUs with CUDA, AMD GPUs with HSA, and other possible accelerator targets. POCL makes use of LLVM's Clang OpenCL front-end.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Mojibake bonanza

            Dozens of gibberished words! New mojibake puzzles! That's what I found recently in a UTF-8 dataset from the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University. Below are my attempts at reconstructing a few of the mojibake histories.

  • Leftovers

    • Godfather Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone—Coppola’s Finale?

      Contrasting other writers, I don’t have a definite answer.

      Some critics have been reappraising Sofia Coppola’s performance as Michael’s daughter Mary and saying that it was a hidden masterwork, unjustly derided owing to the unmerited claims of nepotism and bad press the movie was given in a pivotal onset report by Vanity Fair’s Peter Boyer.

    • The Most Vital Transition Is Ours

      Ann Arbor, Mich.—We’re at a historical pause far deeper than the interregnum between Trump and Biden. Amid planetary warming, the pandemic has forced us to slow down if not to stop in our tracks.

    • Everything Is the Music

      Darting through these poems is an answer to a question, posed by multiple and overlapping waves of Black artists: How do you account for the dynamism at the heart of Black expression, and its centrality to the wider culture it’s been forced to resist? To phrase the question this way invokes the figure of the fighter: not the pedant or the philistine, but the militant, advancing swiftly across a field of possibilities. As a writer, Thulani Davis has adopted an array of canny tactics. Journalist, librettist, novelist, historian, performer, memoirist, poet: these are her many roles, gathered over a lifetime of collaboration and productive flux. In this book the identities are braided into a single ethos; Nothing but the Music marries poetry and struggle, and presents their reciprocity as essential to style: “That’s just like Angola,” Terri chimed, “Sometimes it’s not who but what, sometimes not what but who.” I’m trying to talk to these people about this race riot— someone is walking on the bar and everyone of us belongs even now to Miami, to people we have never seen.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Tested: How badly Windows on Arm compares to the new Mac M1s

        After Apple released its impressive M1 Arm chip on its new Macs, and Microsoft followed with its long-awaited 64-bit X86 emulator, we had just one question: How does Windows on Arm compare to MacOS on Arm? The answer: badly. Very, very badly.

      • Google buys Neverware to turn old PCs into Chromebooks

        Google has quietly acquired Neverware, a developer that can take an old Mac or PC and essentially retrofit it into a Chromebook via its CloudReady technology. The technology will be folded into the ChromeOS team, Neverware said.

        Neverware quietly announced the acquisition in a blog post on Monday night and said that more details would be revealed over the coming months.

      • [Old] How to turn an old laptop into a Chromebook

        Not everyone needs a computer with a full set of bells and whistles. A Chromebook’s simplified interface makes it popular with schools—and those of us who serve as IT support for less tech-savvy relatives. You don’t need to worry about managing irritating updates or avoiding malware on a Chromebook, like you do if you simply install Chrome on an old Windows laptop, and the lightweight operating system feels much snappier than Windows on modest hardware. Chromebooks can cost less than a budget PC, too.

        You might not even need to spend anything if you have an older laptop already lying about. Installing the equivalent of Chrome OS onto aged hardware takes less than an hour’s worth of elbow grease, and the final result often feels snappier than today’s dirt-cheap Chromebooks. Woot

        Here’s how to do it.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Pandemic Lessons for the Rest of Us

        “The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent.”

        King concluded that American society was degrading human life by clinging to old thinking rather than turning to bold, visionary solutions — words that (sadly enough) ring even truer in our day than in his.

      • Fish Wars and Brexit

        A key contention between the parties is the issue of fishing. Access to British waters by European nations is a long affair that prompted the late diplomat Sir Con O’Neill to remark that, “The question of fisheries was economic peanuts, but political dynamite.” Eight European member states who fish in British waters are demanding that Britain, despite Brexit, maintain the status quo on fishing arrangements.

        Non-UK boats have certainly been very happy to avail themselves of waters within the UK’s 200-nautical mile economic zone. Between 2012 and 2014, it was estimated that 58% of fish and shellfish landed from the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone were caught by non-UK boats. This comprised 650,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish worth €£408 million each year. UK fishing boats, in contrast, landed 90,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish, worth €£103 million.

      • Vaccine Passports: A Stamp of Inequity

        We must make sure that, in our scramble to reopen the economy, we do not overlook inequity of access to the vaccine; how personal health data in newly minted digital systems operate as gatekeepers to workplaces, schools, and other spaces; and the potential that today’s vaccine passport will act as a catalyst toward tomorrow’s system of national digital identification that can be used to systematically collect and store our personal information.

        We have already witnessed problems with COVID-19 testing and its intersection with digital rights. Some individuals weren’t able to access testing simply because they did not have access to a vehicle. The digital divide emerged in places like San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where many weren't able to access testing because they did not have a smartphone. The danger of further social inequity is just one reason why we opposed a since-vetoed bill in California that proposed to create a blockchain-based system of verifiable credentials for medical test results, including COVID-19 antibody tests. We must draw on the lessons from the recent past and earlier vaccination efforts as we go forward.

        EFF is focused on proposals to distribute these vaccination credentials digitally. While paper-based credentials are possible, too, most proposed plans involve digital implementations. In fact, some companies already have digital passport systems. CLEAR is rolling out a HealthPass that logs testing or vaccination status. This company provides pre-flight screening in major airports around the country. Ticketmaster has considered partnering with CLEAR for another “Health Pass.” Such partnerships could lead to another intertwined network of unprecedented sharing of personal information, similar to issues we have currently with data brokers and advertising information.

      • The second time around Latest mortality statistics reveal that the fall coronavirus wave was worse for Russia

        Last week, the Russian Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) published new data on mortality in all of the country’s regions, revealing that 30 percent more people died in October 2020 than in that same month last year. This data shows that the coronavirus pandemic’s second wave in Russia this fall was in fact more serious than the first wave in the spring: it appears that in September and October the number of deaths linked to the coronavirus was nearly the same as during the period from April to August. In addition, Russia remains ranked among the top-five countries with the highest death tolls from the coronavirus in the world.€ 

      • A Public Option Won’t Save Us. The Sick and Disabled Need Medicare-for-All

        Medicare and Medicaid are rife with complicated formulas for exclusions, exceptions, and limitations. The cruelty that is imposed by the constraints of these programs cannot be overstated.

      • HHS Aide Pushed Herd Immunity to Trump COVID Officials: "We Want Them Infected"
      • COVID Cases in Prisons and ICE Immigration Jails Surpass 250,000
      • UN Warns New Wave of Locust Swarms Threatens Food Security of Millions in East Africa

        "We must not waiver. Locusts keep growing day and night and risks are exacerbating food insecurity for vulnerable families across the affected region."

      • A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance for Liberian Immigrants Has Been “Hamstrung” by COVID — and Trump’s Dysfunctional Immigration Bureaucracy

        In late August — over halfway through the one-year application window for a little-known program allowing thousands of Liberian immigrants to get green cards — a group of Minnesota lawyers held a webinar to share updates on their cases. The takeaway: No one was sure what evidence the U.S. government was accepting to prove that an applicant was actually Liberian.

        Birth certificates, which the federal government had accepted from these immigrants when they had applied for temporary legal status under past presidents, were now deemed insufficient. So were expired Liberian passports — even though they were being offered as proof of nationality, which doesn’t expire.

      • Four months that will decide America's future

        Yes, vaccines are coming, and the first vaccinations may begin next week. But their cumulative effect on the nation’s health will not be felt until well into 2021. If Americans do not change their behavior quickly, experts warn, the weeks and months ahead will be filled with more death and despair, packed hospitals and unemployment lines, and further political polarization and alienation.

        The time to change our path is now.

      • Trump Official Reportedly Pushed for COVID-19 "Herd Immunity" by Letting Young People Get Infected

        Herd immunity is an important epidemiological concept that basically just means enough people have been infected and developed immunity for the larger population to suppress the spread of an infectious disease. But turning that concept into a political strategy for managing the virus, especially in the early days of the global outbreak, has caused controversy. As Nature reported last month, despite its possible eventual efficacy, many experts say herd immunity as a strategy is tantamount to surrendering to the virus, a strategy that experts say has never succeeded before. As Kristian Andersen, a Scripps Research Institute immunologist put it, “It will lead to unacceptable and unnecessary untold human death and suffering.”

      • In 'Landmark' Moment, London Coroner Lists Air Pollution as a Cause of Young Girl's Death

        London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the coroner's report must mark "a turning point so that other families do not have to suffer the same heartbreak."

      • In a First, Air Pollution Listed as Among Causes of Death of British Girl

        Air pollution has been listed as a contributing factor in the death of a nine-year-old British girl in 2013.

        After a two-week inquest, coroner Philip Barlow determined that Ella Kissi-Debrah of South London died of acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and exposure to air pollution.

        It is the first time that air pollution has been listed as a contributing cause of death in Britain, the BBC reported.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • LF Energy Announces SEAPATH Power Grid Virtualization Project

                LF Energy, along with Alliander, RTE and its new member, Savoir-faire Linux, announced the second project in its Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) initiative——SEAPATH or Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts.

                As part of DSAS’ objective to create the next-gen digital substation technology, SEAPATH will provide a reference design and a real-time, open-source platform for grid operators to run virtualized automation and protection applications.

              • Open Mainframe Project Welcomes New Project Tessia, HCL Technologies and Red Hat to its Ecosystem
              • Open Mainframe Project Welcomes New Project Tessia, HCL Technologies and Red Hat to its Ecosystem

                The Open Mainframe Project (OMP), an open source initiative that enables collaboration across the mainframe community to develop shared tool sets and resources, today welcomes Tessia, a tool that automates and simplifies the installation, configuration and testing of Linux systems running on the Z platform, to its ecosystem. Additionally, HCL Technologies and Red Hat join the project to strengthen their commitment to open source mainframe technologies.

                “Open Mainframe Project has experienced record growth this year in terms of membership and projects,” said John Mertic, Director of Program Management at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to strengthening our role as the number one resource for programs that advance the technology and training for the mainframe, especially with new members HCL and Red Hat who will expand our leadership and expertise.”

              • Linux Foundation’s DENT Switch OS Gets Galactic Debut

                The Linux Foundation’s disaggregated enterprise edge and campus switching platform, DENT, is now available.

                The first release of network operating system (NOS) is called Arthur, named of course after the protagonist of Douglas Adam’s seminal novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Arthur Dent.

                “Arthur Dent is kind of that everyman character in ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide,’ and we’ve really taken that to heart,” said Trishan de Lanerolle, technical program manager and architect at The Linux Foundation. “DENT is everyman’s, every operator’s sort of NOS.”

              • Dent Introduces Industry’s First End-to-End Networking Stack Designed for the Modern Distributed Enterprise Edge and Powered by Linux
              • Dent Introduces Industry's First End-to-End Networking Stack Designed for the Modern Distributed Enterprise Edge and Powered by Linux

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced Arthur -- the first code release of Dent, a project to enable the creation of a Network Operating System (NOS) for Disaggregated Network Switches in campus and remote enterprise locations. Since its December 2019 launch, several companies have joined DENT as general members, including Innovium, Arcadyan, Aviz Networks, and Alpha Networks who are joined by Dent premier members Amazon, Delta Electronics Inc, Marvell, NVIDIA, Edgecore Networks, and Wistron NeWeb (WNC).

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Google Develops Scoring Tool to Identify Critical Open Source Projects

              We need new ways to connect critical open source projects with organizations that can provide support, Google said in a recent blog post.

              “Most organizations, large and small, make use of open source software every day to build modern products, but many OSS projects are struggling for the time, resources and attention they need. This is a resource allocation problem and Google, as part of Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF), can help solve it together,” Google said.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, sympa, thunderbird, tomcat8, and xerces-c), Fedora (fprintd, kernel, libfprint, and synergy), Mageia (bitcoin, dpic, firefox, jasper, jupyter-notebook, sam2p, thunderbird, and x11-server), Oracle (firefox, gd, kernel, net-snmp, openssl, python-rtslib, samba, and targetcli), Red Hat (fapolicyd, openshift, Red Hat Virtualization, and web-admin-build), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (unzip).

          • US Says Recent [Cracking] Campaign Hit Government Networks

            Technology company SolarWinds Corp., which was the key stepping-stone used by the [attackers], said up to 18,000 of its customers had downloaded a compromised software update that allowed [attackers] to spy unnoticed on businesses and agencies for almost nine months.

          • Security Researcher Reveals Solarwinds' Update Server Was 'Secured' With The Password 'solarwinds123'

            As was noted here earlier, up to 18,000 customers of globally-dominant network infrastructure vendor SolarWinds may have been compromised by malicious hackers. The hackers -- presumed to be operating on behalf of the Russian government -- deployed tainted updates (served up by SolarWinds) that gave them backdoors to snoop on internal communications and exfiltrate sensitive data.

          • Windows backdoor SystemBC being used by RaaS affiliates: Sophos

            One of the many tools used by multiple ransomware groups in a similar way — suggesting that they are being used by ransomware-as-a-service affiliates — is the Windows backdoor SystemBC, global cyber security vendor Sophos claims.

          • Cryptographically secure 32-bit RNG in strict ZSH

            ZSH ships a couple random number generators via the $RANDOM environment variable and rand48() via zsh/mathfunc, but neither are cryptographically secure. This code produces a 32-bit random number suitable for cryptography. It's only dependency is /dev/urandom and it does not rely on any shell commands or 3rd party utilities. It assumes ZSH was compiled with 64-bit integer support.

          • Xiphera contributes to Linux kernel

            Xiphera's Linux driver for the XIP8001B TRNG (True Random Number Generator) Intellectual Property (IP) core has been added to the Linux kernel source tree.

            The ability to create true random numbers is an essential requirement for modern cryptographic algorithms. One of the many applications of cryptography is Operating System (OS) security, which naturally creates a need for random numbers within the OS software. Linux has implemented its random number generation by using pseudorandom number generators, which need to be regularly seeded with entropy (randomness) to work properly and securely. Especially in embedded systems, the task of collecting sufficient amounts of entropy can be complicated. This is why Linux developers have created a mechanism for hardware random number generators to fill the kernel's entropy pool. Xiphera's Linux driver has been designed for this purpose.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Germany opens door to Huawei, with strict conditions: report

              German Chancellor Angela Merkel has snubbed US demands to exclude Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies from Germany's 5G networks, with legislation, that sets strict conditions for its participation, being sent to the Bundestag.

            • ACLU sues Baltimore PD for lying about aerial mass surveillance program

              When the AIR pilot program was first revealed, BPD told official courts and the court of public opinion that the surveillance images captured by AIR would only be stored for 45 days. Additionally, BPD claimed that the AIR program was only for tracking suspects to and from confirmed crime scenes and that the department lacked the ability to gather identifying information like license plate numbers from the surveillance.

            • Twitter says it will start removing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

              Any tweets claiming that vaccines “intentionally cause harm to control populations” or invoke conspiracy theories will be subject to removal, according to Twitter’s blog post. Tweets falsely suggesting that COVID-19 doesn’t exist or espouse “widely debunked” claims may also be removed. Enforcement of the new policy will begin next week.

              Twitter may also label or place warnings on tweets pushing vaccine conspiracy theories starting early next year. These labeled tweets could link out to authoritative public health information, similar to how Twitter directed users to verified voting information throughout the 2020 election.

            • Massachusetts governor won’t sign facial recognition ban

              Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has refused to sign a law banning most government use of facial recognition. The Boston Globe reported last week that Baker sent an omnibus police reform bill back to state lawmakers, asking for changes that included striking the facial recognition rules.

              Massachusetts legislators passed the first major state-level facial recognition ban, following a model set by individual cities like Boston and San Francisco. The bill says public agencies, including police departments, can’t use or acquire biometric surveillance systems. It makes exceptions for running facial recognition searches against a motor vehicles registration database, as long as police obtain a warrant or demonstrate “immediate danger” that requires a search. It would help fill a gap left by federal lawmakers, who haven’t passed a nationwide framework for using potentially invasive facial recognition technologies.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • JatiIndia: Atrocities Caste, Present and Future

        In 1818, members of the Mahar (Dalit) community of Maharashtra had fought in the victorious battle of Bhima Koregaon on the side of the British against the upper-caste Peshwas, bringing an end to their rule. Thirty-three years later, a victory pillar (Vijay Sthamb) was constructed in Bhima Koregaon at the battle site. It included the names of the fallen Mahar soldiers. The first commemoration event was held on January 1, 1928 and was led by India’s father of the Constitution, the Dalit-rights leader B.R. Ambedkar. Every year since, “Ambedkarite Dalits” from all across the state have gathered there to celebrate Mahar “valor and pride.”

        On January 1st, 2018, thousands of Dalits had gathered at the Vijay Sthamb to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon when violence broke out. The celebrants were attacked by Hindutva (Hindu nationalists) activists waving saffron flags, torching vehicles and pelting stones, killing one person and injuring many others.

      • We Have a Fascism Problem

        * Ruth Ben-Ghiat, July 23, 2020

        We have a Nazi problem in this country…They don’t, for the most part, wave swastikas and salute Hitler, but we have a Nazi problem in this country …They carry the torch of slavery, genocide, and Jim Crow terror. Gunned up and mask-less, they exalt above all the right to kill

      • St. Petersburg deputies call on Russian FSB to investigate operatives implicated in Navalny poisoning

        Three deputies from St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly have sent an appeal to Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov, demanding that his office look into the information outlined in a recent journalistic investigation about the August 2020 poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

      • As Trump Continues Killing Spree, Pressley Leads Call for Biden to Immediately Abolish Death Penalty

        "Your historic election with record turnout represents a national mandate to make meaningful progress in reforming our unjust and inhumane criminal legal system," wrote the lawmakers to Biden.

      • Russia’s foreign minister dismisses investigation implicating FSB in Navalny poisoning

        Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed a recent investigative report connecting the August 2020 poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Lavrov commented on the investigation during a press conference in Zagreb on Wednesday, December 16, which was reported on by Interfax.

      • Jesus Was a Victim of Empire. Acknowledging This Should Transform Christianity.
      • A CIA Officer Has a Headache. Media Blame Russia.

        A 9,000-word story for GQ (10/20/20) about the mystery ailment of a CIA officer in Moscow has become the unlikely subject of a weeks-long media storm.

      • Suspected Al-Shabab Operative Brought to US to Face Terror Charges

        An al-Shabab terror group operative accused of conspiring to carry out a 9/11-style attack in the United States has been brought to New York to face terrorism charges, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.

        Kenyan national Cholo Abdi Abdullah was transferred on Tuesday from the Philippines where he had been in local custody since his arrest in July 2019. The Philippines handed him over to U.S. authorities on Tuesday.

        Abdullah is accused of conspiring to hijack a commercial airliner and crash it into a building in the United States. As part of the plot directed by senior al-Shabab leaders, Abdullah allegedly obtained pilot training in the Philippines.

      • Boko Haram: Terrorists attack Nigerian refugees in Timur, kill 51

        Reports reaching DAILY POST from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital in the northeast region have it that insurgents have attacked Tumur Town, a community in Niger Republic, which houses more than 40,000 refugees from Nigeria.

      • Texas Ex-Cop Arrested for Allegedly Threatening an Innocent Repairman in a Right-Wing Ballot Fraud Investigation

        A former Texas cop was arrested after authorities allege he threatened an air-conditioner repairman while investigating voter fraud, the Texas Tribune reported. According to the paper, former Houston police captain Mark Aguirre was arrested in connection to an October 19 incident when he allegedly ran another person off the road and threatened him with a gun. Prosecutors say it was part of a scheme to find evidence of the alleged voter fraud President Donald Trump and his allies have centered on in their efforts to overturn the election.

      • Former Houston police captain accused of violent attempt to prove election conspiracy was hired by GOP activist's group

        Mark Aguirre was working on behalf of a powerful Republican megadonor’s group to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud when, in October, he allegedly pulled a gun on a man described by the Harris County district attorney’s office as an “innocent and ordinary” air conditioner repairman.

      • The New Humanitarian | The African migrants stuck in a Yemen limbo

        The people smuggler spreads his arms wide over nine oblong piles of grey rocks, each representing one dead migrant. A tenth hole waits to be filled. “I buried them here myself,” Ahmed al-Awlaqi says proudly. The rock towers surround forlorn, makeshift graves, which are linked by strings of brightly patterned garbage. This is where al-Awlaqi says he buried 70 of the thousands of people he has brought to the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa. Al-Awlaqi insists those he buried here drowned on their way to Yemen. Others blame the deaths mostly on fighting, or on poor conditions in the buildings where smugglers like al-Awlaqi house them. Either way, the eerily silent desert valley 10 kilometres outside Ataq, Shabwa’s provincial capital, is not the final stop the graves’ occupants had hoped for. Nearly six years into Yemen’s war, migrants continue to arrive in the country, although numbers are significantly lower in 2020 thanks to COVID-19-related border restrictions. According to the UN’s migration agency, IOM, just over 35,000 migrants have made it to Yemen so far this year, down from 138,000 in 2019. Most hope to continue north through Yemen, eventually crossing the border into Saudi Arabia where there has long been plentiful work for day labourers.

      • The New Humanitarian | A Nigerian community looks to forge its own peace

        Solomon Magaji can still see what’s left of his home from the opposite bank of the Kaduna River, but he can also see the men who torched it grazing their cattle untroubled on the abandoned fields around his village in northwestern Nigeria. Magaji, a quietly spoken single father, lost everything in the attack one night in May – so sudden all he had time to do was grab his eight-year-old son and run. “Two of my cousins were killed,” he told The New Humanitarian. “My house, my grain: It was all burnt to ashes.” No help has come for the roughly 1,500 people scattered by the attack. Instead, survivors are being looked after by friends, relatives, and private charities. They have zero plans to return home: That would require the help of the police to guarantee their safety. Overstretched, the police justify their inaction by blaming the remoteness of the village, Unguwar Haraha Gofe, and the difficulty of the terrain. “The government is not doing anything,” said Magaji – a not-so-subtle suggestion that the authorities have little sympathy for opposition-supporting communities in the Southern Kaduna region. “Even if we could go back, all our houses are destroyed. Where would we stay?”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Doxxing: Tips To Protect Yourself Online & How to Minimize Harm

        By itself, being doxxed can be dangerous, as it may reveal information about you that could harm you if it were publicly known. More often it is used to escalate to greater harm such as mass online harassment, in-person violence, or targeting other members of your community. Your political beliefs or status as a member of a marginalized community can amplify these threats.

        Although you aren’t always faced with the option, taking control of your data and considering precautionary steps to advance your personal security are best done before you’re threatened with a potential doxxing. Privacy does not work retroactively. A great place to start is to develop your personal threat model. After you’ve done that, you can take specific measures to advance your data hygiene.

        First: Take a look at the information that is already publicly available about you online. This is as simple as opening up a search engine and entering your name/nickname/handle/avatar and seeing what comes up. It’s common to be overwhelmed by what you find: there can be much more data about you than you expected readily available online to anyone that cares to do a little digging. Remind yourself that this is normal, and that you are on your way to reducing that information and taking the necessary steps to protecting yourself. Take note of any pieces that strike you as high priority to deal with. Keep track both of what the information is and where you found it.

    • Environment

      • 'Two Powerhouse Leaders': Environmentalists Applaud Biden Selections of Granholm, McCarthy for Key Climate Posts

        "Joe Biden's entire government must be dedicated to mobilizing for an end to the fossil fuel era, and these announcements are a step in the right direction."

      • Earth may be even closer to 1.5€°C of global warming than we thought

        The finding means governments may have less time to curb carbon emissions to hold the temperature rise to 1.5€°C or 2€°C under the Paris deal, and current estimates of future warming may rise too.

      • Watchdog calls out Finnish firms for "unsustainable" cinnamon sourcing

        Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of cinnamon tree. The easiest way to collect the bark is by logging trees, but the method has been reported to cause a loss of biodiversity, erosion and deforestation in the region.

        Clearcutting entire plantations is not necessary, and Finnwatch has made recommendations looking at more sustainable harvesting methods.

        Cinnamon can also be harvested by peeling the tree bark without logging entire trees. When an individual tree would be logged, it should be done high enough and leave the bark unpeeled in order to allow it to sprout into a new cinnamon tree.

      • [Old] Introducing the World’s First Rainforest Alliance Certified Cinnamon Farms

        In order to help farmers earn certification, Cassia Co-op implemented a robust internal management and organization system that brings benefits to both farmers and the local environment.

        They have, for example, carefully mapped every farmer’s individual plot of land to ensure that, as other farmers join the group, the farm clusters form wildlife corridors to protect Sumatran tiger habitat.

      • The Big Thaw: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World

        IT WAS ONLY November, but the chill already cut to the bone in the small village of Dimitrovo, which sits just 35 miles north of the Chinese border in a remote part of eastern Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region. Behind a row of sagging cabins and decades-old farm equipment, flat fields ran into the brambly branches of a leafless forest before fading into the oblivion of a dreary squall. Several villagers walked the single-lane dirt road, their shoulders rounded against the cold, their ghostly footprints marking the dry white snow.

        A few miles down the road, a rusting old John Deere combine growled on through the flurries, its blade churning through dead-brown stalks of soybeans. The tractor lurched to a halt, and a good-humored man named Dima climbed down from the cockpit. Dima, an entrepreneur who farms nearly 6,500 acres of these fields, was born in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China — his birth name is Xin Jie — one of a wave of Chinese to migrate north in pursuit of opportunity in recent years. After Dima’s mostly Chinese laborers returned home this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been forced to do much of the work himself. Bundled against the wind in a camouflage parka, he bent to pick a handful of slender pods from the ground, opening one to reveal a glimpse at Russia’s future.

      • Groups Provide Biden With Draft Climate Emergency Order to Help Put Out 'Fire Fanned by Trump'

        The president-elect "must take bold action the moment he steps into the Oval Office, without punting to a dysfunctional Congress."

      • Campaigners Outraged After Top UK Court Overturns Ban on 'Climate-Wrecking' Third Runway at Heathrow

        "It's time to take our demand straight to the government—it can still change its plans for Heathrow expansion," says Friends of the Earth.

      • As 2020 Ends, It’s Time for News Outlets to Declare a "Climate Emergency"

        Let 2021 be the year that we declare, in accordance with science, that humanity is facing a climate emergency—an emergency we promise to illuminate and, we hope, help humanity overcome.

      • Amazon Must Stop Flooding Our Oceans With Plastic Waste

        Amazon’s apparent embrace of plastic packaging is hindering its commitment to help the fight against climate change.

        Matt Littlejohn isSenior Vice President at Oceana.

      • Tree planting slows climate heating − and is costly

        Tree planting to restore natural foliage can help to ease the climate crisis. So someone has to pay its massive price.

      • Energy

        • Major US pension fund plans fossil-free future

          Goodbye to fossil fuels, says one major US pension fund: they’re no good for either the climate or the economy.

        • Progressives Denounce Trump SEC's "Gift to the Oil Industry" as Anti-Corruption Rule Gets Neutered

          Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank requires fossil fuel companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, but outgoing SEC chairman Jay Clayton just weakened the anti-corruption rule.

        • 'The Fossil Fuel Industry Is Terrified': Gas Company Sues to Destroy Small Town's Rights of Nature Law

          In a clear signal of how the fossil fuel industry feels about efforts to enact€ Rights of Nature€ protections that safeguard communities and the environment from the impacts of coal, gas, and oil development, an energy company has — yet again — filed a federal lawsuit challenging a local law in Grant Township,€ Pennsylvania.

        • How to Defeat the Fossil Fuel Industry

          As Donald Trump gave in to the demand that the transition process to the Biden years officially begin, the administration and its fossil-fuel allies doubled down on their efforts to implement destructive environmental policies that President Biden might try to reverse. Those initiatives have included a campaign to jump-start oil drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers of the long-delayed Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota; and a push by utility companies to obtain funding and permits for the construction of 235 gas-fired power plants, each with a 30-year life expectancy.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Massive Logging and Burning Project Next to Yellowstone National Park Challenged Over Threats to Old-Growth Forest

          The proposed Middle€ Henry’s Aspen Enhancement logging and burning project is in the Ashton/Island Park Ranger District of the Caribou/Targhee National Forest south of Island Park, Idaho, and west of Yellowstone National Park. The Middle€ Henry’s Fork Watershed is a remote, rural area located within€ Henry’s Fork caldera that sits within the Island Park Caldera of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

          Trump’s Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by not conducting any environmental impact analysis or allowing public review and comment, misrepresented the presence of endangered species in the project area, and ignored the requirements of the Targhee Forest Plan.€  Simply put, the Middle€ Henry’s Aspen Enhancement Project violates a host of federal laws, threatens the€ Henry’s Fork, will harm grizzly bears and lynx, and log much of what little remains of old-growth forest in the Targhee National Forest.

        • Conservation Groups Challenge Blackfoot River Timber Sale That Threatens Elk, Grizzly Bear, Bull Trout, and Lynx Habitat

          The proposed changes to the Forest Plan to eliminate Big Game Security and Thermal Cover standards in the project violate a number of federal laws and threaten the area’s elk herd as well as grizzly bears, bull trout and lynx. When the project was originally proposed, the Forest Service used its normal fear tactic — claiming the area needed large-scale logging and burning to avoid ‘catastrophic’ wildfire. However, when a wildfire did start in the project area prior to the implementation of the project the results were dramatically different than the Forest Service’s dire predictions.

          What happened, in reality, is that the Forest Service found the vast majority of the area within the Park Creek fire perimeter – 70 percent – was unburned or burned in a natural mosaic pattern at low to very low severity with low tree mortality.€  Only a very small portion of the area – 8 percent – burned at high severity.€ € The fire mainly burned where the Forest Service planned a prescribed fire, so the wildfire accomplished the Forest Service’s goals but the wildfire did it for free.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Dear Joe Biden: Back-to-Normal Complacency Would Be Deadly

        Fighting these systemic problems is not a matter of ideology. It’s a matter of morality and common sense.

      • The Five Allegiances

        Family connection is the emblem of conformity with nepotism.

        Group identity is the emblem of conformity with tribalism. That emblem can be: race, religion, language, ethnicity, cult bondage.

      • Down Trump's Rabbit Hole

        Ken Paxton, the Texas AG who is€ under FBI investigation€ for bribery and abuse of office, filed a€ lawsuit€ in the U.S. Supreme Court last week seeking to overturn Trump’s loss in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin despite the fact that the results have been certified after numerous recounts.

        Simply put, there has been no evidence of widespread election fraud and at least 55 other Trump lawsuits seeking to invalidate the election’s result have been summarily dismissed.

      • Timeless Truths for Trying Times

        We progressives have far more potential than generally realized to build our majority in politics, the workplace, legislation and social programs. We ought to be ardently appealing to the public's innate preference for a society that's equitable and cooperative.€ 

      • Justice Under Trump: a Triptych


        On May 29, 2019, Robert Mueller announced his resignation as Special Counsel, and made a public statement about his already published report, in which he said: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” adding that under DOJ guidelines, it was never an option to charge Trump with a crime.

      • Troll wars Facebook takes down rival networks from Russia and France for attempted interference in African countries

        Facebook has removed three networks originating in Russia and France for violating its policy against foreign interference, the company reported on Tuesday, December 15. According to Facebook, these networks were responsible for carrying out “coordinated inauthentic behavior” targeting multiple countries in North Africa and the Middle East. While Facebook has removed Russian “troll factories” for similar activities in the past, the company says this case is unique due to the apparent rivalry that developed between the French and the Russian campaigns.

      • Obama and the Search for Audacity

        Less than one year into his presidency, Obama came to the conclusion that his key national security advisors, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and CIA director Leon Panetta would not be supportive of his foreign policy goals.€  Obama was more realist and less “starry-eyed idealist” than his critics contend. In realizing that Afghanistan was not the “good” or “essential war” that he described in his presidential campaign, Obama understood that Clinton and Panetta’s “hawkish instincts” would not help him with the withdrawal from the Afghan War. He understood that Bob Gates would not challenge the military commanders who supported the war and had captured their secretary of defense.

        Obama needed to pay more attention to Ronald Reagan’s dictum that “personnel is policy.”€  Instead of appointing serious managers of national security policy who could think outside the box—perhaps audaciously—he filled his national security team with tired veterans of Cold War thinking.€  Obama’s national security adviser, moreover, was a retired Marine general who lacked the skill set to both coordinate policy and make sure his president had a choice of serious policy options, particularly regarding Russia and China.

      • Biden's Cabinet: a Return to Ruling Class Politics

        Not so with engaging in the periodic electoral games orchestrated by the twin parties of U.S. capitalism. There the result is always 100 percent fatal. All chambers are fully loaded in advance by the ruling rich. Without exception, human needs are subordinated to capitalist profits.

        Capitalism’s horses of the apocalypse

      • Why Make the Dogs Bark: a Tale from Communist Bulgaria

        The Times points the finger at the same Russians they say were behind the attack on double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. It appears they targeted Gebrev for supplying ammunition to Ukrainian forces in Donbass.

        In the midst of a boycott of Parliament by the Socialist Party and mass protests calling for the resignation of populist Prime Minister Boris Boykov; however, Bulgarian authorities suspended the probe into Gebrev’s case in 2020.

      • Talk Radio: Democrats Can’t Win if They Don’t Play

        “Why Did So Many Americans Vote for Donald Trump?” asks the headline in The New York Times shortly after the election. Weirdly, that article—and hundreds like it purporting to explain the previous 2016 election—lacked even a single mention of the roughly 1,500 right-wing talk-radio stations that saturate every corner, no matter how remote or rural, of America.

      • The Brexit Blame Game

        The stakes are higher for the UK.

        The prime minister Boris “BoJo” Johnson said to voters in 2019 he had an “oven-ready” Brexit deal to submit to the EU. This turned out be one of his customary lies.

      • Biden’s Risky Peace Offering to Republicans

        On Tuesday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged for the first time that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential race. This was far from a hasty decision, taking place a full 38 days after the election—and a month after most news outlets had called Biden’s victory. The New York Times describes McConnell’s actions as “a clear bid by the majority leader, who is the most powerful Republican in Congress, to put an end to his party’s attempts to sow doubt about the election.”

      • Bernie Sanders and Progressives in Our Winter of Discontent

        After a summer and fall dominated by the imperative of defeating Donald Trump, progressive forces are entering a winter of discontent. Joe Biden has offered them little on the list of€ top personnel€ being named to his administration. While Sanders wants to maintain a cordial relationship with the incoming president, he doesn’t like what he’s seeing.

        “The progressive movement deserves a number of seats — important seats — in the Biden administration,” Sanders€ said€ last week. “Have I seen that at this point? I have not.”

      • A Notable Death in 2020: American Democracy

        America has two political parties. When one no longer believes in counting the votes, it’s not a democracy.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Warns Biden That War and Wall Street Appointees Are a 'Huge Reason We Got Trump'

        The congresswoman attributed the rise of Trump partly to "extreme disdain for this moneyed political establishment that rules Washington."

      • The Biden Inaugural Committee Tells Americans: Don’t Come to DC to Celebrate
      • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Neighbors Are Trying to Block His Return
      • From Cult to Culture

        Yes, there are many to choose from

        Few, though, have the answer To the question (for one)

      • Trump’s Lies About Immigrants Should End With His Presidency

        New data confirms what’s been true all along: Trump built his brand selling fear-mongering lies about immigrants and crime.

      • Months After AOC Demand and Federal Suit, USPS Releases DeJoy Calendar That Is 'Almost Entirely Redacted'

        "Haul Louis DeJoy in front of a criminal grand jury for his postal sabotage and subversion of our elections," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.

      • Months After AOC Demand and Federal Suit, USPS Releases Redacted DeJoy Calendar
      • Nina Turner Pledges "No Honeymoon" for Biden as She Launches Bid for Congress
      • Nina Turner Launches Bid for Congress, Pledging “No Honeymoon” for Biden Administration

        We speak with Nina Turner, one of Bernie Sanders’s top allies, the day after she announced she is running for Congress in Ohio to fill the seat of Congressmember Marcia Fudge, who Biden tapped to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Turner has promised to hold the Biden team accountable and pressure the incoming administration to enact a progressive agenda. “I’m running in service of the people,” says Turner. “We need more, not just bold voices, but people who will take action and will be fearless when it comes to standing up for what is just, for what is right and for what is good.” Turner is a former state senator from Ohio who served as president of Our Revolution, the progressive organization spun out of the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, and national co-chair of Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign. If elected, she will join the growing progressive wing of the Democratic Party in Congress.

      • Survey Shows Americans—Regardless of Partisan Affiliation—Don't Want Biden to Appoint a Corporate Cabinet

        "People across party lines want an administration that is run by people who care about the public interest—not by corporate executives, lobbyists, and consultants."

      • Civil Rights Groups Urge Biden to Nominate Attorney General Dedicated to 'Bedrock Principle of Equal Justice'

        "We need an attorney general... committed to ending discrimination; addressing white supremacy and hate violence; and advancing racial, gender, disability, ethnic, religious, immigrant, and LGBTQ justice."

      • 500+ Groups Call on President-Elect Biden To Order Fossil Fuel Lease Ban

        Hundreds of conservation, Native American, religious, and business groups today sent President-elect Joe Biden text for a proposed€ executive order€ to ban new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on federal public lands and waters.

        “For our health and prosperity, President-elect Biden needs to make transitioning from fossil fuels a number one priority,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director for WildEarth Guardians. “That starts by taking bold action to get our federal government out of the business of selling coal, oil, and gas, and instead put public lands and waters to work for the climate.”

      • Don’t Fawn Over Biden. Fight Neoliberalism.
      • Facebook, Twitter Reverse Changes Meant to Curb Vote Misinformation

        Twitter had made it harder to retweet others’ posts, encouraging people to add commentary before posting something. The company said it will return to one-click retweets, after seeing a 20% decrease in sharing following the change. After the election, Facebook boosted news sources it considered authoritative on its social network, to make sure users were getting high-quality information on the outcome, but that problem isn’t as urgent anymore. “This was a temporary change we made,” the company said in a statement.

      • Casting a Historic Vote in Georgia

        On Sunday night, Deborah González began to sense the gravity of what she was about to do on Monday at noon. She had been asked to stay at a hotel in the state capitol, along with five other of the state’s electors to the Electoral College who live outside Atlanta. Security was provided—“They did not want to take any chances, with all the protests.”

      • Georgia's Senate Runoffs Set New Record for In-Person Voting on First Day
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Signs Law Banning Sale Of Confederate Flags That Will Absolutely Get Nullified

        Let's be clear: that fact that there are people all over America that for any reason would want to display the Confederate battle flag is monumentally stupid. For starters, the flag is the symbol of a rebellion launched over southern states' desire to own other people. Don't give me the "states rights" argument; it's entirely invalid, unless the states right you're talking about is slavery. On top of that, the Confederacy, you know... lost. Proudly displaying the symbol of loserdom is both hilarious and befuddling.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Vimeo Moderates Uploads Of 'Commercial-Use' Videos Using Unclear Guidelines (2009)

        Summary: Vimeo, the video-hosting website created by CollegeHumor's parent company in 2004, has always presented itself as a destination for creators who wished to free themselves from YouTube's limitations and aggressive monetization. Vimeo remains ad-free, supporting itself with subscription fees.

      • Lindsey Graham's Latest Attack On Section 230: Reform It By 2023, Or We Take It Away

        I still am perplexed at why so many politicians hate Section 230. They've yet to provide any compelling reason at all. But, hate it, they do. Lindsey Graham, who has been at the forefront of senators wrongly attacking Section 230, has now decided to introduce yet another bill to attack Section 230. This comes just days after Graham tried to move forward on one of his many anti-230 bills, the Frankenstein's monster bill called the Online Content Policy Modernization Act, that simply grafted together two bad bills: the dangerous and unconstitutional copyright CASE Act with the Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act, that would basically force websites to host any hate speech.

      • Smaller Internet Companies Say They're Open To 230 Reform... To Keep Facebook From Being The Only Voice In The Room

        Earlier this fall, Facebook was (not surprisingly) the first big internet company to cave and to tell Congress that it was open to Section 230 reform. I say not surprisingly, because it's done this before. Facebook was the company that caved in and supported FOSTA, which was the first major reform of 230. We heard from multiple people who said that Facebook recognized that it could weather the storm much better than its smaller competitors.

      • Antisemitism Claims Mask a Reign of Political and Cultural Terror Across Europe

        The article concerns Germany but anyone reading it will see very strong parallels with what is happening in other European countries, especially the UK and France.

        The same European leaders who a few years ago marched in Paris shouting “Je suis Charlie” – upholding the inalienable free speech rights of white Europeans to€ offend€ Muslims by insulting and ridiculing their Prophet – are now queuing up to outlaw free speech when it is directed against Israel, a state that refuses to end its belligerent occupation of Palestinian land. European leaders have repeatedly shown they are all too ready to crush the free speech of Palestinians, and those in solidarity with them, to avoid offending sections of the Jewish community.

      • Iran Transfers Another Jailed Female Dissident to Harsher Prison

        Iran has transferred a women’s rights activist from Tehran’s main prison to a notorious women’s jail on the capital city’s outskirts, according to a relative, making her the latest detained female dissident to face harsher treatment from Iranian authorities in recent months.

        Saba Kord Afshari, a campaigner against Iran’s compulsory hijab or veil for women in public, was transferred from Evin prison to the quarantine section of Qarchak women’s prison on Dec. 9, her sister, Sogand Kord Afshari, said in a series of recent tweets.

      • French court delivers guilty verdicts in Charlie Hebdo terror trial

        A French court found guilty on Wednesday 14 accomplices of the French Islamist militants behind the January 2015 attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

        Among the 14 was Hayat Boumeddiene, former partner of Amedy Coulibaly who killed a policewoman and then four people in a Jewish supermarket.

      • French Court Finds 14 People Guilty of Aiding Charlie Hebdo and Anti-Semitic Attacks

        Régis de Jorna, the presiding magistrate, wearing a mask and a red robe, read the verdict to a hushed wood-paneled courtroom in northern Paris, where the masked defendants sat boxed in a glass enclosure. Six of the eleven accused who were present in court were acquitted of the charge of terrorist association but found guilty of lesser crimes.

      • French Court Finds Accomplices to Charlie Hebdo Attackers Guilty

        The attacks, claimed by al Qaeda and Islamic State, laid bare France’s struggle to counter the threat of militants brought up in the country and of foreign jihadists.

        “The fact of choosing victims precisely because they were journalists, or a member of the security forces, or of Jewish faith, clearly demonstrates in itself their desire to sow terror in Western countries,” the presiding judge told the court.

        Terrorism-related charges were dropped for six of the defendants who were found guilty of lesser crimes.

      • French court jails 13 accomplices over Charlie Hebdo attack

        That attack was followed by the murder of a French policewoman and the hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher market in which four Jewish men were killed.

        Over three months long, the trial was repeatedly held up due to the Covid-19 pandemic but has again highlighted the horror of the attacks, during a period when France has faced new killings blamed on Islamist radicals.

        Christophe Deloire, the head of press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said he welcomed the verdict.

      • ISIS widow convicted in Charlie Hebdo attacks

        In all, investigators sifted through 37 million bits of phone data, according to video testimony by judicial police. Among the men cuffed behind the courtroom's enclosed stands, flanked by masked and armed officers, were several who had exchanged texts or calls with Coulibaly in the days leading up to the attack. They described any contacts as normal communications among acquaintances.

        Among those testifying were the widows of Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, the brothers who stormed Charlie Hebdo's offices on Jan. 7, 2015, decimating the newspaper's editorial staff in what they said was an act of vengeance for its publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad years before. The offices had been firebombed before and were unmarked, and editors had round-the-clock protection. But it wasn't enough.

      • Julie Burchill’s cancellation and laughable definitions of freedom

        This sort of thing is becoming really tiresome now. I recognise I sound like a broken record but, it seems, it keeps happening again and again.

        This time, the miscreant is columnist and writer Julie Burchill. The offended party in question is Ash Sarkar. The misdemeanour is a reference to the age of Mohammad’s first wife and a claim that he is a paedophile. The consequence is Burchill’s forthcoming book on mob mentality, cancel culture and wokeism was dropped by the publisher who, nevertheless, insist they are committed to freedom of speech but that she definitely crossed a line and isn’t free to say that.

        But ultimately, the situation is always the same. Somebody says something that someone else doesn’t like. A big flap takes place. Eventually, the person who said it is dropped and calls are made for their head. In this case, their book that was due to be published gets dropped.

      • Julie Burchill’s book is ditched by publisher after her comments on Islam

        Little, Brown, the publisher, announced it would not be publishing the book in April next year, as planned, after Burchill “crossed a line” by accusing Ash Sarkar, a left-wing commentator, of “worshipping a paedophile” because [...]

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Audio shows Assange asked State Dept to help contain damage from 2011 leak

        The raw audio of a 75-minute phone call between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Obama era State Department attorney Cliff Johnson in August 2011 gives credence to claims made by the whistleblower organisation that a rogue former employee was behind the leak of unredacted classified State Department cables.

      • Police arrested more than 117 journalists in the US in 2020

        At least 117 journalists were arrested in the United States in 2020, setting a new record for arrests of journalists by a significant margin, according to a report released this week by the Freedom of the Press Foundation based on data compiled by the US Press Freedom Tracker. The number is expected to rise as more than a dozen cases are still under investigation.

        From 2017 to 2019, 68 journalists were arrested: 9 in 2019, 11 in 2018 and 48 in 2017. In the week from May 29 to June 4 alone, more arrests of journalists were conducted than in these three years combined.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Mutual Aid Can’t Do It Alone

        Since arriving on our shores this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has eroded Americans’ confidence in the ability of the government to perform its most basic functions. This loss of faith in the state has been accompanied by a renewed belief in the voluntary and reciprocal care of others, commonly referred to as mutual aid. Once relegated to pamphlets strewn about folding tables at a Food Not Bombs potluck, celebrations of mutual aid are now everywhere. Even the pages of The New York Times are adorned with endorsements of its transformative political potential, the idea that society might be redesigned bottom-up by such practices of magnanimity.

      • Dean Spade on the Promise of Mutual Aid

        Whether it’s the climate crisis, wage theft, housing costs, police brutality, deportation, corporate health care, or plain ol’ political malfeasance, it’s easy to look at the United States and see nothing but catastrophe ahead.1

      • How Portland Radicalized Me

        But the movement I am serving is no longer serving my community. In Portland, we are tired, and we are afraid. I have had a front seat to witnessing the change in the movement from robust and mostly nonviolent protest to more radical extreme protest in the form of property damage, graffiti, thrown frozen water bottles, street brawling, arson, and even Molotov cocktails. A radicalized number of Portland activists are attacking alt-right, police, and even neutral free press journalists.

        In the last weeks, I have born witness to the dramatic increase of armed protester protection groups and have personally been on the ground in direct action with weapons present, something which in my previous life experience had only occurred when visiting developing countries or the Middle East.

      • A Cure?
      • Rights Groups Demand Biden Reverse Trump Immigration Changes as COVID Surges in ICE Jails

        President-elect Joe Biden promised to reverse Donald Trump’s most restrictive immigration policies during his 2020 campaign, but since he was elected, Biden has not included immigration among his top four priorities. Hundreds of immigrant activists and their allies caravaned through Biden’s home city of Wilmington, Delaware, demanding he issue a moratorium on deportations and advance a path to citizenship for undocumented people within his first 100 days in office. This comes as more than half of ICE’s immigration detention centers are currently reporting coronavirus outbreaks. Protesters are also mobilizing at the Northwest Detention Center run by GEO Group in Tacoma, Washington, where another detainee has tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number up to at least 22. ICE has punished many who protest conditions and call for release by putting them in solitary confinement. “Guards and employees of ICE are bringing in the virus. They’re testing positive and yet coming in to work,” says Maru Mora-Villalpando, an undocumented immigrant activist and co-founder of La Resistencia. We also speak with Manuel Abrego, head of La Resistencia’s phone support system for people detained in Tacoma, who describes how he spent eight months in solitary confinement at the jail after going on hunger strike to protest conditions.

      • Ogun fleeing ‘baby factory operator’ arrested

        Police said a woman had accused Ogbonna of selling her baby and giving her N100,000.

        The Ogun State police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi earlier disclosed that the suspect, who was presently standing trial for human trafficking, allegedly jumped bail and absconded when the new baby factories were discovered.

        However, after about two weeks of manhunt, the police succeeded in apprehending the suspect.

      • New York Lawmakers Demand NYPD Halt Undercover Sex Trade Stings

        A group of New York lawmakers are calling on the New York Police Department to stop all undercover operations that aim to arrest sex workers or their clients, after a ProPublica investigation revealed that the busts have led to numerous allegations of false arrest and sexual misconduct, and that almost everyone arrested was nonwhite.

        Assemblyman Ron Kim and four other elected officials made that recommendation in a letter this week to leaders of the City Council and the state Assembly and Senate. The letter also asks for an oversight hearing to examine misconduct allegations against the NYPD vice unit, the primary division that polices the sex trade.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • A National Solution To The Digital Divide Starts With States

        Although the digital divide didn’t start with COVID-19, the pandemic has put into stark relief the need to bridge this divide once and for all. The solution—providing tens of millions of Americans with high-speed, reliable broadband—might seem like a daunting task. But our research has found that Colorado and other states are leading the way in connecting communities to high-speed, reliable internet.

      • FCC Accused Of Falsely Inflating U.S. Gigabit Broadband Availability

        However spotty and uncompetitive U.S. broadband is, it's particularly bad when it comes to faster speeds. Why? Because in many areas regional telcos simply refused to upgrade their aging DSL lines since doing so wasn't profitable enough, quickly enough for Wall Street's liking. As a result we've literally let these networks fall apart with no regulatory attention. That, in turn, has given cable giants like Comcast massive monopolies that cover huge swaths of the U.S., resulting in spotty coverage, higher prices, slower speeds, and routinely poor customer service.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • HBO Max Is Launching on Roku, After Device Maker and WarnerMedia Finally Bury the Hatchet

        HBO Max will be live on Roku effective tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 17, the companies announced. The deal gives the streaming service coverage on all major over-the-top platforms. Its absence on Roku was a big hole: Roku counted 46 million active user accounts as of the end of September.

      • Netflix Adds African Telecom Mogul Strive Masiyiwa to Board of Directors

        Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Global, the South Africa-based telecom group with business across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His appointment signals the importance of international markets, including Africa, for Netflix as it looks to grow its subscriber base beyond the U.S. and Europe. "I'm thrilled to have Strive join our board as we expand more across Africa and the world," co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

        He replaces Susan Rice on the Netflix board. Rice, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and national security advisor to President Barack Obama, stepped down from the streamer's board on Dec. 10 after more than two years to accept a position as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council in the administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

        Born in Zimbabwe and educated in the U.K., Masiyiwa, 59, founded Econet Global in 1998 to provide mobile phone services in Botswana and Zimbabwe. He sits on several other boards, including Unilever, National Geographic Society and Stanford University.x

      • Netflix Names African Telecom Exec Strive Masiyiwa to Board With Susan Rice Set to Exit

        Netflix named Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of telecom and tech company Econet Group, to its board of directors.

        Masiyiwa’s appointment to the streamer’s board comes a week after Susan Rice, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said she was relinquishing her Netflix board seat to join president-elect Joe Biden’s administration as of Jan. 20, 2021.

        Masiyiwa, who has an estimated current net worth of $1 billion, heads up Econet, which has operations and investments in 29 countries in Africa and Europe. He launched mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, in his native country, in 1998 after a years-long fight with Zimbabwe’s state-owned telecommunications operator.

      • Netflix Is Testing Out an Audio-Only Option for Mobile

        Netflix is toying with giving customers a podcast-like experience for its streaming content: It has launched a test of an audio-only option for mobile devices, initially for Android, that lets users disable video and listen to the audio of a TV show or movie in the background.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Inventor vs Scientist [Ed: The patent maximalists are, as usual, conflating science with patents]

          The chart above comes from Google’s NGram viewer that counts the frequency of appearance of words in Google’s corpus of scanned English language books.

        • FOSS Patents: BREAKING: Munich appeals court raises security amount in Nokia v. Daimler patent case from $22 million to more than $2 billion

          Just as I predicted on Tuesday, the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court) once again proved that the lower court's patent judges can't be trusted to hand down reasonable and responsible decisions. They're out of control and stop at pretty much nothing to please patentees, but at least there is an appellate process.

          On October 30, the Landgericht München I (Munich I Regional Court) had granted Nokia a standard-essential patent (SEP) injunction against Daimler, and allowed it to be enforced during the appellate proceedings if Nokia had posted collateral to the amount of €18 million (a little over $20 million), which is a laughable amount when the nationwide sales (which effectively even includes exports going out of the country) of Mercedes vehicles are at stake. While Nokia, for purely tactical reasons, carved out Mercedes cars that come with a telematics control unit (TCU) made by Samsung subsidiary Harman Becker, the percentage of Daimler's sales that would be affected by the enforcement of this injunction is still very high. (And Nokia expressly reserved the right to bring a follow-on case to go after the remaining portion of Daimler's sales as well.)

          The appeals court has raised the security amount by a factor of almost 100 to €1.673 billion for the enforcement of the injunction itself, and to €11 million for the costs incurred by Daimler to provide the accounting that would enable Nokia to quantify its damages claim.

          It appears very unlikely that Nokia can afford making a $2B+ deposit. Nokia could also post a bond, but presumably a bank would require Nokia to put the amount at stake into an escrow-style account.

        • Software Patents

          • NavBlazer (Joao) patent determined likely invalid

            On December 16, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,885,782, owned by NavBlazer LLC, an NPE. NavBlazer is associated with patent attorney and prolific inventor, Raymond Anthony Joao. Along with Caselas, GreatGigz Solutions, Joao Control and Monitoring Systems, and Joao Bock Transaction Systems, his companies have launched dozens of lawsuits against technologies ranging from streaming video to financial transactions. The ’782 patent is directed to vehicle navigation systems that provide information about a route and has been asserted against TomTom, Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola Mobility, and Hyundai for their devices that provide vehicle navigation.

      • Trademarks

        • Africa IP highlights 2020 #2: The trademarks arena

          In September, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal judgement in Milestone Beverage CC and Others v The Scotch Whisky Association and Other was handed down electronically. The court dismissed the appeal and interdicted the companies from selling products, namely ROYAL DOUGLAS and KING ARTHUR, purporting to be whisky or whisky flavoured. The subject of the appeal, concerns the manufacture and distribution by the appellants, who are related entities, of two alcoholic beverages. But for the differing get-up, the products, which have been produced in the same production process, are in all respects identical. Also in September, Mauritius became the 20th country to join the ARIPO. However, even though Mauritius acceded to the Lusaka Agreement, it has yet to sign any of the protocols, including the Harare Protocol for Patents, Utility Models and Designs, the Banjul Protocol for Marks, the Swakopmund Protocol for Indigenous Biological Resources and Traditional Knowledge and the Arusha Protocol for Plant Breeders' Rights. In order to implement these treaties, Mauritius will need to amend its existing legislation adopted in 2019.

          In November, certain annexes to the revised Bangui Agreement (i.e. the Agreement Relating to the Creation of an African Intellectual Property Organization [OAPI], done at Bangui) came into force. These Annexes are Annex VI on Geographical indications; Annex VII on Literary and Artistic property, Annex VIII on Protection against unfair competition and Annex X on Plant varieties. Also in November, the federal government of Nigeria ratified Nigeria's membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). IP is one of the 3 items currently under negotiation in Phase II of the AfCFTA Agreement. Wend Wendland, adjunct professor at University of Cape Town's IP Unit shares initial thoughts on the Draft IP Protocol here. Even though the AfCFTA Agreement aims inter alia to promote intra-African trade, Nigeria’s land borders closed in 2019 as part of government’s efforts to check smuggling and other illicit cross-border activities have remained closed until recently. The President of Nigeria on 16 December 2020 approved the reopening of four land borders, namely: Seme in the South-west part of the country, Ilela in the North-west part of the country, Maitagari in the North-west part of the country and Mfun in the South-south part of the country. The remaining borders are to be reopened on or before 31 December 2020.

      • Copyrights

        • Announcing Our New Strategy: What's Next for CC

          This strategy is the result of over three months of stakeholder engagement, dozens of consultations, and hundreds of conversations held among Creative Commons’ multiple collaborators, including staff, funders, the CC Board of directors, as well as a wide range of individuals within the CC community, particularly members of the Creative Commons Global Network (CCGN). The strategy development process was designed to be inclusive and transparent with the aim of co-creating a strategy that is ambitious, nuanced, and relevant to the people that make up Creative Commons around the globe.

        • Copyright Trolling/SEO Scam, Changing The Photo Credits On Wikimedia Commons

          Want to know yet another reason why the CASE Act is so dangerous? It will inspire ever more new attempts at fraud in the copyright trolling space. Giving people the ability to shake down others leads to... lots of attempts to shake down or scam others. The latest scam we've heard of comes to us from photographer Kyle Cassidy, who posted this wonderful photo of NPR host Peter Sagal running to Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY-SA 3.0 (attribution, sharealike) license:

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 18: The USMCA Trade Threat That Could Lead to Billions in Retaliatory Tariffs

          (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10, Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling out Tech Tax Policies?, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required, Broadcast Reform Bill Could Spell the End of Canadian Ownership Requirements, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services, Day 14: The Risk to Canadian Ownership of Intellectual Property, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada, Day 16: Mandated Payments and a Reality Check on Guilbeault’s Billion Dollar Claim, The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 73: The Broadcasting Act Blunder – Why Minister Guilbeault is Wrong, Day 17: The Uncertain Policy Directive)

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 19: The Misleading Comparison to the European Union

          (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10, Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling out Tech Tax Policies?, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required, Broadcast Reform Bill Could Spell the End of Canadian Ownership Requirements, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services, Day 14: The Risk to Canadian Ownership of Intellectual Property, Day 15: Mandated Confidential Data Disclosures May Keep Companies Out of Canada, Day 16: Mandated Payments and a Reality Check on Guilbeault’s Billion Dollar Claim, The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 73: The Broadcasting Act Blunder – Why Minister Guilbeault is Wrong, Day 17: The Uncertain Policy Directive)

        • RIAA: Twitter Does Nothing to Stop the Industrial Scale Piracy on Its Service

          Facebook and YouTube detailed their anti-piracy measures during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property hearing yesterday. To the frustration of lawmakers, Twitter was noticeably absent. The RIAA had little positive to say about the social media platform either, accusing it of doing nothing to stop "industrial-scale" piracy on its network. At the same time, domain registrars were accused of protecting pirates.

        • Music Mission Anti-Piracy Campaign "Keeps Tracks in Charts For Longer"

          This May, anti-piracy company AudioLock and music distributor Label Worx, later joined by more than 800 supporters made up of labels and distributor platforms, announced a new campaign to crack down on pay-piracy sites that emulate legitimate music distribution platforms. The results of the first wave of action are now in with some interesting results.

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