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Links 22/5/2021: Lakka 3.0, Stable RHEL Release

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 17 true stories about switching to Linux

        It's been 30 years since Linus Torvalds created Linux, way back in 1991, as a free alternative to Unix. In that time, it's grown from a niche project to a powerful, widely used operating system that sustains much of what's essential in modern computing?the cloud, the Internet of Things, supercomputers, the devices that kept students learning during a global pandemic, and much, much more. The Linux community is a passionate, dedicated, and effective advocate for the operating system in all its iterations, and that enthusiasm has translated into steadily increasing adoption.

        There are many reasons and ways people come to Linux, but once they get here, most never turn back to the proprietary systems where they started. So we asked contributors to tell us how they began their tech journey with Linux. Their responses are a diverse and powerful testament about why Linux has withstood the test of time, continuously improving and gaining fans around the world.

      • This could be the most powerful Linux laptop yet
        German hardware vendor Tuxedo computer has launched a new line of Linux laptops with some eye-popping features.

        One of the standout features of the sixth generation of the InfinityBook Pro 14 laptop series is its 3K resolution 14-inch display in a 16:10 aspect ratio.

        The laptop is available in two processors from Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake series, the i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1165G7. The base model ships with 8GB of 3200Mhz RAM, but can take upgrades of upto 64GB.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • It took 'over 80 different developers' to review and fix 'mess' made by students who sneaked bad code into Linux

        Phoronix noted that out of the 150 or so patches submitted by developers over the years, only 37 ended up being reverted in this pull request. Most were either unneeded or "incorrect."

        The request brings to an end the reviewing and cleaning up of the patches to the kernel, and we're sure the time of those "over 80 different developers" could have better been used elsewhere.

        However, questions remain over processes behind the scenes, such as those posed by Filipo Valsorda, a cryptographer and software engineer, over making trust decisions based on email domains.

      • Linux Kernel 5.11 Reaches End of Life, Users Urged to Upgrade to Linux 5.12

        Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of Linux kernel 5.11.22 as the last maintenance update in the Linux 5.11 kernel series, urging all users to move to the recently released Linux 5.12 kernel series as soon as possible.

        Linux kernel 5.11 was released about four months ago, but it's now marked as EOL (End of Life) on the website. Therefore, if you're using a GNU/Linux distribution powered by Linux 5.11, you should upgrade to Linux kernel 5.12.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to play American Truck Simulator on Linux

        American Truck Simulator is a truck simulator game developed by SCS Software. It’s a sequel to Euro Truck Simulator 2 and puts the player in charge of running an 18-wheeler truck across America. In this guide, we’ll show you how to play it on Linux.

      • How To Install Firefly III on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Firefly III on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Firefly III is a free, open-source personal finance management software written in PHP. It helps you keep track of your expenses, income, budgets, and others aspect of your finances from a self-hosted server in your own home and environment. Firefly III supports the use of budgets, categories, and tags. It can import data from external sources and it has many neat financial reports available.

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

      • How to set up ZFS ARC size on FreeBSD

        When working with FreeBSD and ZFS, you will run into ZFS cache size problems. Not all FreeBSD servers are file servers. Some servers act as backup servers. Others might run Linux and Windows VM where you want those guest VMs to manage their own caching. It would help if you had tons of RAM for ZFS, but you may not have that luxury in real life. This page explains how to set up ZFS arc size on FreeBSD to work with less RAM to avoid the computer running out of memory in the kernel.

      • How to install OSU! Lazer on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install OSU! Lazer 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.

      • How to Install Spotify on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distros | Technastic

        Spotify is the largest music streaming platform if you go by the number of monthly users. Even though competitors such as Apple Music have caught up, it was Spotify that made music streaming popular. These days it is the preferred way of listening to music for many. Moreover, Spotify, unlike competitors, has its apps available on pretty much every platform that would let them build apps for it. Unlike Apple Music or YouTube Music, you can install Spotify on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. If you love music. you must not miss these best music players for Ubuntu or other Linux distros.

      • Install Debian 11 Bullseye on VirtualBox - Linux Shout

        Debian GNU / Linux version 11 (“Bullseye”) is the upcoming Distro that is already available in the form of releasee candidates while writing this article. Bullseye features Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS with long-term support up to at least its EOL (“End of Life “) In December 2022.

        Apart from the Gnome 3.38 in the standard desktop, Debian 11 (“Bullseye”) also has KDE Plasma 5.20.5 to install with as well as KDE Applications 20.12.1 and KDE Frameworks 5.78. Apart from Version 11, other upcoming versions of Debian are Debian 12 (“Bookworm”) and Debian 13 which would be released in summer 2023 and 2025 respectively, just like the Bullseye in 2021 summer.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.9 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 21.04, 20.04

        Wine, free and open-source implementation to run Windows apps on Linux, released version 6.9 last night. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 18.04.

      • Get ready for a busy weekend testing as Wine 6.9 is out now - nice

        The latest and greatest from the Wine hackers is out now with the nice Wine 6.9 development release going out.

        For newer readers and Linux users here's a refresher - Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It's also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

    • Games

      • Notable developer from The Dark Mod team passes away

        We have frequently covered many open source projects like The Dark Mod in the past, but beyond the eventual announcement of a new project milestone and the descriptive work of compiled lists of features, bug fixes and release dates, I feel that writing about video games also means writing about the people who put their life’s work in them.

        The community behind the excellent open source freeware stealth game is now in mourning, as it recently announced the passing of Grayman, a key dev team contributor, and one of the most well-known fan mission designers for the project.

      • Days Gone makes with the working on Linux with Proton Experimental | GamingOnLinux

        Proton Experimental does it again! Want to play the new Windows release of the previously PlayStation exclusive Days Gone right on your Linux box? Now you can.

        "Days Gone is an open-world action-adventure game set in a harsh wilderness two years after a devastating global pandemic. Step into the dirt flecked shoes of former outlaw biker Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter trying to find a reason to live in a land surrounded by death. Scavenge through abandoned settlements for equipment to craft valuable items and weapons, or take your chances with other survivors trying to eke out a living through fair trade… or more violent means."

      • What Is Steam Big Picture Mode and How Do You Use It?

        Big Picture mode currently runs on Windows 7 or newer, Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer, Linux Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, and SteamOS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: KCommandBar delivers ludicrous-mode productivity

          This week I have another exciting new UI element to present: KCommandBar! You might have gotten the impression by my fawning over KHamburgerMenu that we care more about casual or novice users today… not so! KCommandBar is an expert-focused UI element implementing a HUD-style popup that aggregates all of the actions in a KDE app’s full menu structure, so that you can quickly activate features at the speed of thought! It’s like a KRunner inside your apps. You can also use it as a search, if you think a feature may exist somewhere but you don’t know where.

          Hmm, does kate have a Block Selection mode? How do I activate it?

        • Major Productivity Boost! KDE Brings KCommandBar for KDE Applications

          Want KRunner type search inside KDE Apps? KCommandBar Arrives!

        • KDE Introduces KCommandBar For HUD-Style Popups

          Following the introduction of KHamburgerMenu, the latest KDE user-interface element being introduced is KCommandBar for expert-focused, HUD-style pop-ups.

          KCommandBar is used for providing HUD-style pop-ups that aggregates all of the actions of a KDE application's full menu structure inside the searchable command bar. This is along similar lines to LibreOffice's recent command pop-up / HUD feature.

        • ISO Codes API for KDE Frameworks

          As mentioned in a previous post I’m looking into collecting, extending and unifying various APIs we have for dealing with countries, country subdivisions, timezones, languages, etc in a single library in KDE Frameworks. While a lot of this is still work in progress, at least some features are ready for a closer look.

          What is this about?

          A number of our applications rely on knowledge about geospatial features (ie. properties of a location). In some cases that is fairly obvious, like KDE Itinerary needing to know the timezone of your travel destination to accurately show times. More often this is more indirect though, e.g. the initial device setup suggesting the most likely language and timezone, to avoid the user having to search through lists with possibly hundreds of entries. And of course we want to have all this properly translated.

          Qt provides some of this via QLocale and in the 4 era there were additional features in KLocale and its associated classes in kdelibs. On top of that various libraries and applications carrying own code for this.

          There’s a KF6 Phabricator task for the goals and requirements, and there’s now a Gitlab work branch with the ongoing work, aiming at integration in the KI18n framework. A lot of this isn’t even new code but merely another iteration of things that already exist in other Frameworks, Plasma or applications.

          I’ll try to present the features in there in a few blog posts, as they become ready for testing.

        • A Week In Tok

          Tok now has a “slim mode”, for those who prefer a denser layout that follows IRC clients closer than it does mainstream messaging clients.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Human Interface Guidelines Being Updated For GTK4, Other Modern Features

          GNOME's Human Interface Guidelines "HIG" are in the process of being updated around the GTK4 tool-kit and new components like libadwaita and libhandy.

          Besides new software components like GTK 4 and libhandy, compared to the current guidelines, GNOME has since introduced new design apps and other improvements along with GNOME design conventions fundamentally maturing in recent years.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Lakka 3.0 release

          It has been over a year since our latest release, therefore there are many changes in this update. During this time we were working hard to bring you the new and updated Lakka. Thanks to our nightly build infrastructure many of you helped us test this release and gave us precious feedback.

          As usual the release includes the latest RetroArch version at the time, which is currently 1.9.3, as well as updates to all the supported cores to the most recent versions, even some new cores were added. This time we recommend doing a clean install to avoid any incompatibility issues, as significant changes to the underlaying operating system and RetroArch were made. The size of the boot partition was increased to 2 GB, which is not compatible with previous installations.

      • Gentoo Family

        • From build-dir to venv — testing Python packages in Gentoo

          A lot of Python packages assume that their tests will be run after installing the package. This is quite a reasonable assumption if you take that the tests are primarily run in dedicated testing environments such as CI deployments or test runners such as tox. However, this does not necessarily fit the Gentoo packaging model where packages are installed system-wide, and the tests are run between compile and install phases.

          In great many cases, things work out of the box (because the modules are found relatively to the current directory), or require only minimal PYTHONPATH adjustments. In others, we found it necessary to put a varying amount of effort to create a local installation of the package that is suitable for testing.

          In this post, I would like to shortly explore the various solutions to the problem we’ve used over the years, from simple uses of build directory to the newest ideas based on virtual environments.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Released with Improved Edge Computing Capabilities

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 comes about six months after RHEL 8.3 and introduces improvements to the edge computing capabilities by simplifying updates, adding the ability to use the OSTree repositories with OCI container images, and providing extra options for installing to disconnected systems.

          This release also simplifies Red Hat’s Cloud Access program to make it easier for users to consume content when deploying cloud-based systems, as well as to manage these systems using the Red Hat Insights ecosystem, which has been recently expended to to help provide a holistic view across your IT environments.

        • Everything You Need to Know About CentOS Stream

          Recently, CentOS was killed, which existed as a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). You will still find the availability of CentOS Linux 8 and 7 but their support will end at the end of 2021 and 2024 (maintenance updates) respectively.

          CentOS Stream will completely replace CentOS Linux as we know it. But, what is it? Is it meant to replace CentOS? Is it reliable enough?

          In this article, we shall discuss everything briefly that you need to know about CentOS Stream.

      • Debian Family

        • Mobian begins porting its Debian-based OS to more smartphones and tablets

          Mobian is a mobile Linux distribution based on Debian. Designed to run on phones and tablets compatible with mainline Linux kernels, the operating system originally supported just three devices: the PinePhone, Librem 5, and PineTab.

          But now the team has announced initial support for a few more devices: the OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, Pocophone F1 smartphones and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet.

        • Mike Gabriel: Upcoming brainstorming discussion about Debian for the Enterprise

          Recently, Raphael Hertzog published ideas [1] about how to make Debian more attractive for big enterprises. One missing key stone here is the possibility to sign up for an enterprise support subscription scheme. Another question tackles how to provide such a support scheme within Debian, without disturbing the current flow of how Debian is developed these days.

          And, there are likely more questions to asks, riddles to solve, and hurdles to overcome.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

      • Programming/Development

        • Setting Up a Secure Webapp - RESEARCHUT

          As a person who prefers full access to data in the simplest format, while at the same time having it useful with latest technologies, my quest for trying things out is an ongoing activity. Earlier, I blogged about my needs of collating news feeds in a simple format, readily accessible offline, while still being useful and aligned with the modern paradigm. In today’s age, the other common aspect of our life, is digitization of moments. With the advent of great technology and affordable economics, the world now has access to great devices to capture moments in digital form. Most people, these days, are equipped with smart devices, like mobile phones, that come with pretty good image capturing devices. Our lives, our societies, how we interact; a lot of it is now built around the assumption of smart devices and digital services. A lot of good things have happened of it. We are now able to send messages to people, securely, in a matter of seconds. We are now able to capture moments, which otherwise we’d often miss; all thanks to devices like smart mobile phones that most of all carry almost all along with us.

        • Installation of Jenkins on Ubuntu

          Jenkins is a Java-built open-source Steady Integration (CI) and CD platform. Principally, Jenkins builds software program initiatives, checks and deploys them. This is likely one of the most sensible programming instruments you possibly can grasp, and immediately we will present you the way Jenkins is put in on Ubuntu 18.04. Use this highly effective tool to activate your VPS server!

          Jenkins is cherished by groups of all sizes, for various language initiatives like Java, Ruby, Dot Internet, PHP and so forth. Jenkins is a platform that’s autonomous, and can be utilized on Home windows, Linux or every other working system.

        • 3 Excellent Free Books to Learn LabVIEW - LinuxLinks

          LabVIEW is a graphical programming language used by professional scientists and engineers as well as students, hobbyists and makers. It was designed to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly without getting bogged down in subsystem minutia.

          LabVIEW has powerful features for simulation, control and DAQ applications.

          Programs are called virtual instruments, or VIs, because their appearance and operation often imitate physical instruments, such as oscilloscopes and multimeters. LabVIEW contains a comprehensive set of tools for acquiring, analyzing, displaying, and storing data, as well as tools to help you troubleshoot the code you write.

          LabVIEW is a proprietary product of National Instruments. Unlike other programming languages like C or Fortran, LabVIEW is not managed or specified by a third party standards committee such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and others.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Boost your productivity with ZSH and Alacritty

            In today’s article I would like to shine some light on my local terminal setup. My setup consists of ZSH and Alacritty. ZSH or the Z shell is an extended variant of the Bourne shell (bash). It comes with a few useful features and extensions. Many people use the ZSH mostly for nice shell prompts or tab completion. This article will be about more advanced features, like custom shortcuts. Alacritty is a terminal emulator written in Rust. It has native GPU support. GPU support alone is a dealbreaker (there are not so many GPU supported terminals in the Linux world besides Alacritty). The other feature I would like to focus on today is Alacritty’s new regex hints.

  • Leftovers

    • Five Fables (Inspired by Aesop and Antonio Gramsci)

      Straddling the fence may be the best way to avoid an unwinnable conflict.

      Once, many years ago, I became trapped between a buffalo and an alligator. It happened in Payne’s Prairie Preserve near Micanopy, Florida, while running along the eight-mile Cones Dike Trail. At about the three-mile marker, I saw a buffalo (Bison bison) blocking my way. The animal was huge and wooly, with tufts of matted fur hanging from both sides of his face like payos. He was grazing on fresh, green grass growing in the middle of the trail. Though inexperienced with bison, I loved all animals and was committed to their liberation. If I strode toward the buffalo with revolution in my heart, I believed, he would surely move away. But when I got to within about 25 feet, he raised his head and looked at me. Then he scraped the ground with his front hooves – first one, then the other — just like raging bulls do before they charge.

    • Opinion | Remembering Christopher D. Stone, An Early Scholar for Legal Rights for Nature Concept

      Stone passed away on May 14.

    • Fat Ham: To Be Or Not To Be Tragic

      You’re also Hamlet. In Western literature, there’s probably no greater existentialist chump than Shakespeare’s damned-if-he-be; damned-if-he-NOT-to-be Hamlet. Over the centuries, the renowned straight-white-male Prince of Denmark has been played by actors of various races and genders. In fact, in early 2020, just before COVID set in, two Black women, Cush Jumbo (Lucca in The Good Wife) at London’s Young Vic, and Ruth Negga (Mildred in Loving) at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse, portrayed the doomed prince, to fair amounts of acclaim.

      But what if your inability to take action in the world didn’t automatically mean that your world must end? Forget innovative casting; what if you made this tragedy into a comedy, where people without a lot of choices – who’ve already endured hard times, death, and crappy plot twists – choose to go ahead and live?

    • They’re Crazy Down in Florida

      Fittingly, Florida is home to a school that, the New York Times reported May 2, “became a beacon for anti-vaxxers.” Centner Academy apparently prohibited recently vaccinated teachers from coming near students. “A fifth-grade math and science teacher, peddled a bogus conspiracy theory,” the Times reported, warning students “that they should not hug parents who had been vaccinated against the coronavirus for more than five seconds because they might be exposed to harmful vaccine shedding.” Earlier the school had threatened to fire teachers who got vaccinated.

      But these overt anti-vax hallucinations did not harm the school. Oh no! Remember, this is Florida we’re talking about. Home to a former president who bellows the shameless lie to any who will listen and tons who won’t that he, not Joe Biden, won last election, despite scads of recounts contradicting this prevarication and numerous lawsuits tossed out, many by judges Trump himself appointed.

    • Princes William And Harry Say BBC Interview Led To Princess Diana's Divorce And Death

      Prince William's comments follow the release of a scathing independent report that concluded Bashir, then a little-known reporter, "deceived and induced" Diana's brother Earl Spencer into arranging a meeting with the princess. According to the 127-page report, the journalist paid a graphic designer to falsify bank statements and checks to make it look as if members of the Spencer household and the royal household were being paid to spy on Diana.

      The investigation also examined the BBC's own internal probe after complaints surfaced in 1996, finding it "woefully ineffective." It also said that BBC executives, including former Director-General Tony Hall, who was the BBC's news chief at the time, engaged in a "cover-up."

    • Princes William and Harry respond to BBC investigation, say lies contributed to Princess Diana's 'paranoia'

      William, Duke of Cambridge, said it brought him “indescribable sadness” to know that lies presented to his mother contributed to the “fear, paranoia and isolation” that plagued her in the years prior to her death.

      “But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived,” he said.

    • 88% of employees favour making working from home a permanent feature: Survey1

      According to the survey by staffing company Genius Consultants, titled ‘Work from Home: Effect on Employee’s Productivity’, over 88 per cent of employees favour making working from home a permanent feature going forward. While 11 per cent disagreed stating the importance of physical operations in corporations.

      The study has further indicated that around 78 per cent of employees think that the work from home model has helped companies yield better performances with the gradual increase in employee efficiency and productivity. However, close to 21 per cent of the respondents believed work from home provision had very little effect on increasing employee productivity and performance.

    • Hardware

      • [Old] Steganography: decoding Pico-8 cartridges

        The most common use case for steganography is hiding secret data within an ordinary non-secret file in order to avoid detection. For example, you could insert a secret message in one of your pictures, publish it on Instagram and as long as inserting the message did not alter the original image that much, it would be quite hard to detect.

        However, in this case, steganography is being used in a very creative way for convenience reasons: you just need to share an image that looks like an actual cartridge and that’s it, everything is self-contained in that single file.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Factory Farms are a Deadly Nuisance

        New research finds that air pollution from agriculture causes more than 17,000 deaths every year. That’s even more than the deaths from pollution generated by coal plants.

        The study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, attributes the vast majority of these deaths to factory farm livestock production — mostly due to the toxic ammonia in the vast quantities of manure these farms produce.

      • COVID-19 Has Unleashed Death and Dehumanization in India’s Capital

        I witnessed these scenes on the early morning of May 5 with 20-year-old Arjun, whose father had succumbed to death due to COVID-19 hours earlier. Arjun and his cousin stayed outside the hospital building the entire night, unable to muster the strength to inform Arjun’s mother and younger brother about the death of their loved one. One of the five bodies that were piled into the van-turned-ambulance outside the mortuary of the hospital was that of Arjun’s father.

        Arjun’s 61-year-old father, Sreedharan, was employed in a private publishing firm in Delhi and lost his job during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis approximately a year ago, which hit the working population of India hard. According to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, about 21 million salaried jobs were lost between April and August in 2020.

      • Why is Peter Doshi still an editor at The BMJ? (RFK Jr. and COVID-19 vaccine edition)

        I last asked this question in January, but I’ll ask it again now: Why is Peter Doshi still an editor at The BMJ?

      • WHO Says Covid Has Killed 6 to 8 Million People—Two to Three Times More Than Officially Reported

        "Achieving equal global vaccination is imperative, or the risk of a more virulent or transmissible variant remains high," the agency said. "No one is safe until everyone is safe."

      • How America Got Hooked on Opiods

        One of his personal quotes on IMDB will give you a sense of what motivated him to take aim at a fictionalized version of the Sackler family of Purdue Pharma infamy in “Crisis” as well as a billionaire arbitrageur who kept his role in the death of his mistress a secret a la Ted Kennedy/Chappaquiddick in the earlier work. “I think that people need to become more educated about money. We need to stop creating systems that benefit only the most-cutthroat sharks.”

        “Crisis” is the first narrative film to tell the story of how both criminal gangs and prestigious philanthropist families worked to extract blood money from American families in recent years through the sale of opioids like Oxycodone. Set in Detroit and Montreal, it begins with the arrest of a man in a white camouflage suit dragging a sled full of pain-killers across the Canadian border.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Colonial Pipeline CEO to testify on Capitol Hill in June following cyberattack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount will testify in June before the House Homeland Security Committee at a hearing one month after the company was forced to shut down operations due to a devastating ransomware attack.

          The hearing, which will take place June 9, will focus on the pipeline attack, which resulted in gas shortages in several U.S. states, as well as how to strengthen critical infrastructure.

          The pipeline provides around 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel. Operations were disrupted after the ransomware attack on the company’s IT system forced the company to shut down the pipeline for almost a week to protect operational controls.

        • The Full Story of the Stunning RSA [Crack] Can Finally Be Told

          The RSA breach, when it became public days later, would redefine the cybersecurity landscape. The company’s nightmare was a wake-up call not only for the information security industry—the worst-ever [crack] of a cybersecurity firm to date—but also a warning to the rest of the world. Timo Hirvonen, a researcher at security firm F-Secure, which published an outside analysis of the breach, saw it as a disturbing demonstration of the growing threat posed by a new class of state-sponsored [attackers]. “If a security company like RSA cannot protect itself,” Hirvonen remembers thinking at the time, “how can the rest of the world?”

          The question was quite literal. The theft of the company's seed values meant that a critical safeguard had been removed from thousands of its customers’ networks. RSA's SecurID tokens were designed so that institutions from banks to the Pentagon could demand a second form of authentication from their employees and customers beyond a username and password—something physical in their pocket that they could prove they possessed, thus proving their identity. Only after typing in the code that appeared on their SecurID token (a code that typically changed every 60 seconds) could they gain access to their account.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux 5.13 Reverts and Fixes Problematic University of Minnesota Patches

                One month ago the University of Minnesota was banned from contributing to the Linux kernel when it was revealed the university researchers were trying to intentionally submit bugs into the kernel via new patches as "hypocrite commits" as part of a questionable research paper. Linux kernel developers have finally finished reviewing all patches to address problematic merges to the kernel and also cleaning up / fixing their questionable patches. Sent in on Thursday by Greg Kroah-Hartman was char/misc fixes for 5.13-rc3. While char/misc fixes at this mid-stage of the kernel cycle tend to not be too exciting, this pull request has the changes for addressing the patches from University of Minnesota researchers. [...] Going by the Git activity that puts 37 patches as having been reverted with this pull request. The reverts span from ALSA to the media subsystem, networking, and other areas. That is 37 reverts out of 150+ patches from developers over the years.

        • Security

          • How to Tell a Job Offer from an ID Theft Trap

            One of the oldest scams around — the fake job interview that seeks only to harvest your personal and financial data — is on the rise, the FBI warns. Here’s the story of a recent LinkedIn impersonation scam that led to more than 100 people getting duped, and one almost-victim who decided the job offer was too-good-to-be-true.

          • Fork Brute Force Attack Detection/Mitigation Still Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel

            A security module continues to be worked on for being able to detect and mitigate against fork/execute brute force attacks to Linux systems.

            The latest iteration of patches to be able to provide brute force attack mitigation against fork/exec abuse was sent out on Friday. This seventh spin on the patches reworks some of its tracking of statistical data and other improvements. See the earlier work on this Linux Security Module (LSM) covered in Linux Patches Aim To Provide Fork'ing Brute Force Attack Mitigation.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Finland joins EU Covid digital passport deal

              The EU’s digital Covid pass is expected to launch on 1 July and will be a QR code on a smartphone or paper. It will provide border control information on a visitor's status drawn from records in their home EU country. The certificate would indicate if a person has received a vaccine, had a recent negative test or has immunity based on recovery.

              In Finland, the EU’s Covid pass will appear in the online health record system Omakanta. But before this happens, every resident will receive a domestic Covid certificate certifying that the individual has received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

            • Vaccine passports: The answer to re-opening the UK economy?

              Separate from the beleaguered Test and Trace app the UK government developed in 2020 — one estimate for the overall effort is €£37 billion over two years — the NHS app allows users to request repeat prescriptions; book doctor’s appointments; and view their medical records. It is available to all UK citizens aged 13 and over registered with a GP in England.

              As of Monday, the app will also provide proof of users’ Covid-19 vaccination status to help satisfy the requirements of international travel.

            • Shoshana Zuboff Explains Why You Should Care About Privacy

              In a recent episode of The Daily, Mike Issac, a technology correspondent for The New York Times, asked a question at the heart of this conflict: “Do people care about privacy?” The answer, as he explained, will determine the conflict’s trajectory — and the limitations on Big Tech’s power in a largely unregulated, hypercompetitive fight for market dominance.

              After the episode aired, we called someone who thinks deeply about both privacy and the economic forces behind this competition: Shoshana Zuboff, author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.” In the following interview, we ask Ms. Zuboff about the significance of this update in regards to privacy protections long term, the prospect of platform regulation and her vision for a less-extractive digital future.

              Our conversation has been condensed and lightly edited.

            • Twitter drop photo-cropping function after racial bias complaints

              Twitter says it is deactivating an automatic photo-cropping function after an investigation into claims the tool trended toward removing Black faces from photographs.

              Twitter's director of software engineering Rumman Chowdhury wrote in a blog post this week that the company is removing the tool after reviewing the complaints, saying it would leave cropping decisions to its users.

            • Pirates: Deal On COVID Certificate Guarantees Privacy

              After weeks of negotiations, the EU Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on COVID-19 travel certificates, aiming at restoring freedom of movement in the EU during the pandemic. Significant data protection safeguards, advocated by the European Pirates delegation in the Greens/EFA group, were accepted in the talks. However, Member States will have the option to impose quarantine on travelers, and they may still need to pay for coronavirus tests.

            • Tesla Cars Said to Be Barred From Some China Government Compounds Due to Security Concerns Over In-Car Cameras

              Staff at some Chinese government offices have been told not to park their Tesla cars inside government compounds due to security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

              The people said officials of at least two government agencies in Beijing and Shanghai have been instructed verbally by supervisors not to park their Tesla electric cars at work. It wasn't clear how many cars were affected, the people said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

              It wasn't immediately clear whether all government offices in Beijing have imposed such restrictions, nor whether the measure was a formal government injunction or a step adopted by agency officials. It was also unclear whether curbs applied to state agencies nationwide.

            • [Old] Apple AirTag Review: A Humble Tracker With Next-Generation Tech

              If your phone can’t find a Tile because it is outside its range, you can put it in “lost mode.” The tracker will search for other Tile owners who have granted the Tile app access to their location to help find other people’s lost items. If a Tile-owning Samaritan is near your Tile, that person’s device will share its location with the Tile network, which will show where the item was last spotted on a map.


              Similar to Tile, when an AirTag is lost and outside the range of your phone, you can put it in lost mode and allow other Apple phones to find the AirTag to help you see where the item was last spotted on a map.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Of Class Rings, Bone Fragments and Fish Ponds: the Interminable Search for US MIAs in Vietnam

        The enemy was the pilot of the RF-8A reconnaissance jet who, like many others before and after him, found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before the US, it was the French in the 1st Indochina War. Some of these soldiers had spent most of their adult lives, including their late teenage years, engaged in combat instead of doing what most young men do: find a job, pursue higher education, fall in love, and start a family.

        What was left of Lt. Cmdr. Frederick Crosby at the bottom of that pond located 73 miles south of Hanoi? Not much after more than 50 years in a tropical climate and an area with acidic soil.€  His wedding ring, lighter, pieces of his uniform, and some bone fragments, according to the report.

      • China, the U.S., and the Idea of National Competition

        The motive for this screed was the non-sequitur with a purpose in Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Mr. Biden offered his social welfare proposals in terms of ‘competing with China.’ The implication— that China provides social welfare, therefore, to compete with China the U.S. must offer social welfare, suggests skin-deep understanding of both the need for social welfare programs in the U.S. and the nature of the Chinese economy. The Chinese government lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of deep poverty by building out the Chinese economy with the purpose of doing so. It didn’t send them checks for a few months and then ‘let the market take over.’

        This problem of interpretation is profound. Mr. Biden is old enough to remember a time when the Federal government was capable of more than just bombing another nation back to the stone-age. And possibly the Chinese government doesn’t see the U.S. as a competitor in the way that Mr. Biden means. Possibly it sees the U.S. as a backwater menace. Either way, the economic and political problems that plague the U.S. are entirely home-grown. The use of the framework of national competition— for whatever reason, is nationalistic. Implied is that special dispensations must be made, or ‘our’ capitalist class will suffer. Lest this come as a shock, the entire point of NAFTA was to lower working class wages in the U.S.

      • Congress Urged to Divert Pentagon Dollars After Afghan Withdrawal Towards Social Uplift, Climate Emergency

        "The real security challenges of today—from the climate crisis to global inequality—demand that we cut the Pentagon budget and invest instead in human needs," said one peace advocate who backed a letter to U.S. lawmakers.

      • Is Biden Ghosting Yemen?

        Biden’s announcement sounded too good to be true. A Saudi Arabian-led coalition has been at war with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015. Since 2015, the US has provided the coalition with intelligence, targeting assistance, spare parts for coalition aircraft, arms sales, and (until November 2018) in-flight refueling of coalition warplanes. Yemenis speak of the “Saudi-American war.”

        The UN calls Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” Two hundred thirty-three thousand Yemenis have died since the Saudi-led intervention began. The country is on the brink of famine; twenty-four million Yemenis rely on humanitarian aid to survive. Two million children are acutely malnourished.

      • ‘The conscience of mankind’: Photographs from the life of Andrei Sakharov, the nuclear physicist and human rights advocate who fought to make the Soviet Union a free country

        One hundred years ago today, on May 21, 1921, Andrei Sakharov was born in Moscow. He went on to become a renowned nuclear physicist and one of the Soviet Union’s top developers of thermonuclear weapons — then he joined the fight against nuclear weapons, advocating for disarmament in the midst of the Cold War. Later still, he became one of the main opponents of the Soviet Union’s communist dictatorship. After a decades-long confrontation with the Soviet authorities, which included living in exile and going on several hunger strikes, the physicist ultimately won — albeit at the expense of his health. Indeed, Sakharov only lived to see the early signs of a new era. Meduza looks back on the life of the Soviet Union’s most famous scientist, human rights activist, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize winner — in photographs.

      • Chernobyl Alert and The Doomsday Clock

        A recent… “Surge in fission reactions in an inaccessible chamber within the complex” is alarming scientists that monitor the ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. (Source: Nuclear Reactions at Chernobyl are Spiking in an Inaccessible Chamber, NewScientist, May 11, 2021).

        It is known that this significant renewal of fission activity is located in Sub-Reactor Room 305/2, which contains large amounts of fissile material from the initial meltdown. The explosion brought down walls of the facility amongst tons of fissile material within the reactor as extreme heat melted reactor wall concrete and steel combined with sand used to control the explosion to form a lava-like intensely radioactive substance that oozed into lower floors, e.g., Room 305/2. That room is so deadly radioactive that it is inaccessible by humans or robots for the past 35 years.

      • Massacres Remembered
      • 'An Absolute Nightmare': Video Shows Tennessee Officers Taunted Hogtied Man Before He Died

        "You shouldn't be able to breathe," one officer replied to William Jennette's plea moments before the man's death at the Marshall County Jail in Lewisburg last May.

      • Pivoting to the East Maxim Trudolyubov on why Russia considers China its ally in а new cold war with the West — and why the feelings aren’t mutual

        When it comes to analyzing the state of international affairs today, people in both Russia and the West often rush to use Cold War rhetoric (and, in the process, make accusations that stoke conflict). Both sides obstinately refuse to acknowledge that for the residents of much of the planet, the real story of the past 100 years isn’t world wars or the battle of communism against capitalism, but the rise of independent nations from the ruins of Asian and European empires. If a new cold war has in fact begun, it’s not one of liberalism versus authoritarianism, but rather a struggle of former colonies against former colonizers. Meduza’s€ Ideas€ section editor Maxim Trudolyubov argues that the dramatic tension surrounding Russia’s position today stems from its history as a colonizer; while it’s main contemporary ally, China, is among those nations most affected by imperialism.

      • "The Palestinian Sharpeville" - Dr Haidar Eid on the Global Implications of the Gaza Massacre
      • Chris Hedges, Alan MacLeod on Media Bias and the Christian Right’s Obsession with Israel
      • Above the Law? Review of Police Killing of Andrew Brown Jr. Demanded After DA Calls It Justified

        We speak with Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and former head of the North Carolina NAACP, who is in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to call for an expedited independent investigation into the police killing of Andrew Brown Jr., the 42-year-old Black father who was killed there last month by a bullet in the back of his head after seven deputies blocked him in his driveway while serving an arrest warrant. On Tuesday, the Pasquotank County district attorney announced a state investigation had found the officers who shot Brown were justified and will not face criminal charges. Barber says the district attorney “represented a kind Southern arrogance that we’ve seen in Southern judicial systems, where these Southern DAs and officers think they’re above the law.”

      • Historical failure to defend Tibet as an independent nation has left India with a failed conscience

        Reuters news agency, in its report, said that it was unable to ascertain the conditions of the transferred Tibetan workers. Foreign journalists are not permitted to enter the Tibet region, and other foreign citizens are only permitted on government-approved tours.

        Some of the policy documents and state media reports reviewed by Reuters make reference to unspecified punishments for officials who fail to meet the quotas (for the mass transfer of rural labourers within Tibet and to other parts of China) assigned to them.

      • Ida-Viru EOD team disposes of 533 World War Two-era explosives in 24 hours

        The Rescue Board's (Päästeamet) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams have safely defused over 500 pieces of World War Two-era explosives in Estonia's easternmost county, Ida-Viru, in the past 24 hours alone, Baltic News Service reports.

        The previous 24 hours saw over 40 similar items disposed of, while the latest figure stands at 533.

    • Environment

      • Farming
      • Biden Signs Executive Order to Examine Financial Impact of Climate Change

        The order also calls on Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to reverse or change rules put in place by the Trump administration that barred investment firms from considering environmental, social and governance factors, including climate-related risks, in their investment decisions with worker pensions.

      • Net Zero by 2050: What it will take to get there

        Many countries say they will reach Net Zero by 2050, a huge cut in greenhouse gases by mid-century. Here’s how they can do it.

      • Aussie Youth Target PM Morrison at Climate Strikes Because 'He Only Serves the Fossil Fuels Industry'

        "We're doubtful that there might not be a future in store for the generations after us, and even our own generation."

      • ‘Brexit Hardman’ Steve Baker MP Joins Climate Denial Group

        Conservative MP Steve Baker has joined the UK’s principal climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

        Announcing his appointment to the GWPF’s board of trustees on Twitter, Baker said he was “delighted” to accept the invitation from the group’s founder, Lord Nigel Lawson. Lawson, who was previously the Group’s chair, announced he was stepping back from its activities in 2019.€ 

      • Study Warns That Arctic Has Been Warming 3 Times Faster Than Rest of Earth
      • Opinion | Racism, Capitalism, and the Climate Crisis

        As we tried to connect the dots between the murder of George Floyd and our work to end the burning of fossil fuels, the connecting thread, without our naming it explicitly, was clearly capitalism.

      • Energy

        • Lithium, Cobalt, and Rare Earths: the Post-Petroleum Resource Race

          With other nations moving in a similar direction, it’s tempting to conclude that the days when competition over finite supplies of energy was a recurring source of conflict will soon draw to a close. Unfortunately, think again: while the sun and wind are indeed infinitely renewable, the materials needed to convert those resources into electricity — minerals like cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, and the rare-earth elements, or REEs — are anything but. Some of them, in fact, are far scarcer than petroleum, suggesting that global strife over vital resources may not, in fact, disappear in the Age of Renewables.

          To appreciate this unexpected paradox, it’s necessary to explore how wind and solar power are converted into usable forms of electricity and propulsion. Solar power is largely collected by photovoltaic cells, often deployed in vast arrays, while the wind is harvested by giant turbines, typically deployed in extensive wind farms. To use electricity in transportation, cars and trucks must be equipped with advanced batteries capable of holding a charge over long distances. Each one of these devices usessubstantial amounts of copper for electrical transmission, as well as a variety of other non-renewable minerals. Those wind turbines, for instance, require manganese, molybdenum, nickel, zinc, and rare-earth elements for their electrical generators, while electric vehicles (EVs) need cobalt, graphite, lithium, manganese, and rare earths for their engines and batteries.

        • Indigenous, Climate Leaders Launch National Effort to Demand Biden 'Stop Trump Pipelines'

          "Decision-makers in Washington, D.C. and across the country now have a choice—stand with the Trump pipelines that prop up big oil and gas profits and cronyism or the approach Biden established when he canceled KXL."

        • Fossil Fuel Companies in UK Awarded €£150 Million of Public Money ‘to Find New Ways to Extract Oil, Coal and Gas’

          The UK government gave over €£150 million in tax breaks to fossil fuel companies in the space of three years, new research has found.€ 

          A new paper out today reveals that tax credits for fossil fuel extractive companies to conduct research and development (R&D) increased by around €£20 million year on year between 2014 and 2016.

        • Copenhagen ranked the world’s fifth most sustainable city

          Unsurprisingly, Copenhagen’s green energy score was high at 83 percent. That’s thanks to initiatives like Copenhill, which converts waste to energy, and the fact the city is largely powered by Denmark’s world-class wind sector.

          Transport infrastructure was another high scorer. Copenhagen’s buses are electric, and much of the leisure and tourism industry – GoBoat canal tours for example – is entirely electric and solar-powered.

          Due to restrictions on highly polluting vehicles and the famous Danish cycling culture, the excellent air quality was another metric that pushed Copenhagen up the leaderboard.

        • [Old] Saudi Arabia – Ranked 161st in the Global Sustainability Index

          The Kingdom’s environmental mark on the world is grim- the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco has been named as the company most responsible for carbon dioxide emissions since the 1960s.A potential light in the tunnel is Saudi Arabia’s pledge to develop 58.7GW of clean energy by 2030 as part of its “Vision 2030” plan, a revision of the 2013 renewables programme that aimed to develop 54GW of clean energy by 2030. Also part of the plan is its phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, however in December 2017, the government announced that it would slow this phase-out down to enhance the economy.

        • The world’s most sustainable cities

          Pollution is one of the most common contributors to climate change, with the fumes emitted from our homes and cars leading to environmental and health problems across the globe. However, in Wellington, that problem seems to be well under control.

          The city scores 13.66 on the pollution index, meaning out of every 100 particles of air, only 13.66 are polluted.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Humanity Must Embark on 'New Relationship With the Natural World,' Says Jane Goodall

          The acclaimed conservationist, just awarded the Templeton Prize, says that without hope, "we sink into apathy, do nothing—and that will be the end."

        • Species Snapshot: The Gentle and Quirky White-Bellied Pangolin
        • Opinion | This Endangered Species Day, Let's Reconnect with Our Natural World

          With our very existence at stake, biodiversity loss must be a national priority on the same level as climate change.

        • The Crisis of the Natural World

          The rapid decline in species has occurred in recent years: 60 percent of the planet’s wildlife populations have been lost in just the last 50 years. Scientists warn that in the coming decades, if we don’t take action, more than 1 million species may vanish from the Earth forever.

          Our fellow Earthlings are being overhunted, overfished and overharvested for our food, clothing and medicines. And the ones that we don’t kill are losing their homes as we destroy their natural habitats to make space for our farms and cities and to extract fuels, minerals, timber and other resources for human society. And the habitats that we don’t completely eradicate we pollute with a vast array of toxic elements, from pesticides and plastics to carbon dioxide, fracking chemicals and invasive species. We are even polluting wildlife habitats with our light and noise. And scientists fear that the worst is yet to come. As the International Union for Conservation of Nature warns, the worldwide extinction crisis is “expected to worsen as the human population grows.” According to the Population Reference Bureau, the world’s human population is expected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050. That’s more than 25 percent more people on the planet than the 7.9 billion people currently living on the Earth. Other species will certainly be squeezed out.

        • Whipsnade Zoo: Brown bears shot dead after enclosure escape - BBC News

          The two animals made their way into a neighbouring enclosure across a tree that fell in high winds.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Progressives to Biden: 'You Are Making a Huge Mistake' by Weakening Infrastructure Proposal

        "If Democrats learned anything from the past ten years, it has to be that negotiating against ourselves doesn't work," said one climate justice advocate.

      • Russian lawmakers to consider bill on making foreign IT companies open local offices

        A draft law has been submitted to the Russian State Duma that will oblige foreign IT companies to open full-fledged representative offices in Russia, lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein told Interfax on May 21.

      • Which Side Are You On? The Answer is Clear for Today’s Useful Idiots for the Right

        If you’re addicted to Twitter you may have noticed something awfully curious going on with a number of famous “progressive” journalists. Have you seen that people like, say, Matt Taibbi, are increasingly concerned with the goings on at college campuses? Have you seen him vomit Rush Limbaugh-style talking points about pointy-headed, elitist academics in their ivory towers or compare “cancel culture” to€ One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich?

        How about Glenn Greenwald? Have you noticed the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and sworn enemy of the Brazilian right never misses an opportunity to defend Trump and the American right? You’ve given him the benefit of the doubt, but you can’t help but notice that he lies shamelessly and without remorse — like when he claimed that no Parler users invaded the US Capitol, a lie that was demonstrably false even at the time he made it.

      • Dark Money Groups Are Pouring Untold Millions Into 2021 Redistricting Efforts
      • Larry Summers, the Man Who Won't Shut Up, No Matter How Wrong He's Been

        A couple of days ago, Axios ran another story fueled by Larry. Axios is a shallower knockoff of POLITICO– a publication so gossipy and unserious that it has been nicknamed TIGER BEAT ON THE POTOMAC. It said that some Democrats feel the economy is overheating due to Biden’s bill.

        This was not difficult to trace, given that nobody except Larry thinks this. Even the DINOs who thought the bill contained way too much money don’t feel the economy is overheating. Only one person does.

      • ‘Anti-FBK law’ will apply to Russian elections at all levels, reports TASS

        The bill the Russian media has dubbed the “Anti-FBK law” has been amended ahead of its second reading — if adopted, it will now ban anyone linked to an outlawed extremist or terrorist organization from running in elections at all levels, reports the Russian state news agency TASS.

      • Trump Charged the Secret Service More Than $40,000 "Rent" Since Leaving Office
      • Amid All the GOP’s Profiles in Political Cowardice, None Is More Stark Than That of Mike Gallagher

        When House impeachment managers made the case for convicting former president Donald Trump on charges of inciting the January 6 insurrection, some of the most compelling arguments came from Republicans. “Current and former officials immediately recognized that the president had incited the crowd, that he alone was capable of stopping the violence, that he did this and he had to call it off because he was the only one who could,” explained one of the managers, Representative Joe Neguse (D-Col.) as he showed members of the Senate clips of prominent Republicans pleading with Trump to call off the violent mob that stormed the Capitol after the president urged them to “fight like hell” against certification of 2020 election results.

      • The Blue Welfare State
      • Will New York Join the List of Cities With Progressive DAs?

        New York City—One of the more consequential political races in America will be decided here on June 22. And it has nothing to do with Andrew Yang.

      • Belarusian law enforcement carry out detentions at Belsat studio in Minsk

        On the afternoon of May 21, the independent television channel Belsat reported that security officers had broken into their studio in Minsk.€ 

      • A Victory for Democracy in Chile

        The final tally dealt a severe blow to the followers of General Pinochet, many of whom make up the center-right and right-wing coalition Chile Vamos,€ backed by the current president, Sebastián Piñera, which won just 37 of the 155 seats for the Constitutional Convention. Chileans, especially the young, also rejected the traditional center-left parties as insufficiently responsive to people’s craving for a more egalitarian society and overly compromised with the status quo.

        The victors were a group of parties of a new-left coalition, Apruebo Dignidad (I Approve Dignity), which elected 28 representatives, and numerous independent candidates who had been active in the ongoing protests calling for reforms in education, health and pensions, and an end to the neoliberal economic model that has dominated Chile for almost half a century. The€ independent, left and center-left candidates secured a combined 101 seats, more than two-thirds of the Constitutional Convention. They would have enough power to propose broad economic reforms to land and water rights, the pensions system and the exploitation of natural resources. Chile is€ one of the most unequal countries among advanced economies.

      • Marjorie Taylor Greene Appeared in a Super PAC Ad Asking for Money. That Might Break the Rules.

        Not long after her election to Congress, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., helped raise money for a super PAC by appearing in a video ad that tests the boundaries of rules limiting fundraising by elected officials.

        The ad explicitly asks for money for the Stop Socialism Now PAC, an entity that can accept unlimited donations. But candidates and elected officials are not allowed to solicit contributions greater than $5,000, according to campaign finance experts.

      • Chilling – Not In a Good Way

        Dave Llewellyn sat next to me in the public gallery of the Salmond trial as we witnessed the defence witnesses – largely female – who shredded the prosecution case. A few weeks ago, seven detectives of the Serious Crime Squad raided Dave’s home at 5am, handcuffed him and questioned him over conspiracy to murder – in relation to a public Facebook post. Dave has now been charged with a lesser but still imprisonable offence.

      • The Fight for Independent, Non-Corporate Radio Flares Up Again

        Having lost last year’s referendum by a 2-to-1 margin — losing by lopsided majorities in both staff and listener balloting — that should have been the end of it. Especially as the 2019/2020 escapades cost Pacifica and its five stations hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and other expenses and in lost fundraising.

        Instead of accepting that listeners of Pacifica’s five stations were not interested in a corporate-style takeover that would have placed uncontested power in the hands of coupsters, the same people are attempting another takeover. The tactics are different this time and they’ve adopted a new name (“New Day Pacifica”) but make no mistake, the goal is the same. Listeners didn’t fall for it last time and we shouldn’t this time, either.

      • From What to Why on the Trump Proletarian Narrative

        Those who have habitually called the backers of Trump and his white nationalist party “working class” have tended to badly conflate education level and region of residence with class. They have fallen for the foolish notion that someone is working class and economically anxious simply because one does not possess a college degree and/or lives in a region that does not contribute much to the national gross domestic product.

        They ignore evidence available in social science and everyday observation showing that the main thing driving the right-wing and frankly (though they won’t say so and indeed often recoil against the description) fascist (not “populist”) sentiments of the Amerikaner Trumpenvolk is racist patriarchal authoritarian nationalism, not “economic anxiety.”

      • Opinion | Biden and Moon Are on a Collision Course with North Korea and China

        With one year remaining in Moon’s presidency, 2021 may be the last chance for the US and South Korea to shift direction toward peace.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Kik Tries To Get Abuse Under Control (2017)

        Summary: The messaging service Kik was founded in 2009 and has gone through multiple iterations over the years. However, it seemed to build a large following for mostly anonymous communication, allowing users to create many new usernames not linked to a phone number, and to establish private connections via those usernames. This privacy feature has been applauded by some as being important for journalists, activists and at-risk populations.

      • Panel Discussion: Israeli Intelligence Colludes with Facebook, Google to Censor Palestinian Voices
      • Coco’s Choice: A Charlie Hebdo Cartoonist’s Road Back From Hell

        The beheading last October of Samuel Paty, a history teacher in a Paris suburb who showed images of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on free speech, affected Ms. Rey deeply — proof that the battle for which her friends’ lives were lost continues in France.

        “Paty is somehow a member of Charlie, almost a colleague,” she said. “He wanted to explain what freedom of expression is. Explain that blasphemy is not a crime in France.” Explain freedom of opinion and thought, too. Explain freedom itself.

        A middle school in France refused to be named for Mr. Paty for fear of being attacked, she said. “I, too, am sometimes afraid, but I transcend that fear.”

        I asked Mr. Fieschi whether Ms. Rey had changed since the devastating day known simply as “7,” much as 9/11 became an American shorthand. “More than change her, I think it revealed her,” he said. “It deepened her. Her simplicity lost its naïveté. She always fought for freedom. She does so even more now.”

      • Element/Matrix, Reddit, and IRC. Does Federation give more freedom or different masters?

        As a long time user of IRC on many different operating systems, servers, and client programs, I can say with complete confidence that it was a liberating technology that enabled differing communities to thrive.

        With the Matrix protocol (and Element as the de facto implementation), what does this mean for the future of online chat communities?

        Don’t bother us with politics, some people say. Unfortunately, someone else’s politics always land on your front door, and often like a flaming bag of dog poop.’s moderators have far-left progressive politics and anyone else is becoming unacceptable and disappearing from their network quietly. One day, you basically just wake up and your entire account is erased. Long before that happens, you’ll probably notice that chat rooms you’re on are disappearing. In economics, there’s a term called the Invisible Hand, but I would like to use this term in a new context. Online communities. When nobody wants to take accountability for censorship, the fairy godmother did it. It was the Invisible Hand. It’s very passive-aggressive. You didn’t toss people out for doing anything wrong. You didn’t even confront them to discuss why they’re being banished. You just knife them in the back and then disappear into the crowd.

        This is how “Matthew” and “Travis” operate in, and I must say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it on any of the major IRC networks. IRC makes it impossible for this level of cowardice to exist. Matrix is more like Reddit where it was just “The Moderators” who did everything.

      • Freenode IRC operators now engaging in routine abuses of power [Ed: This is clearly an exaggeration of what actually happened]
    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Penpa Tsering Officially Named Tibet’s Next Exile Leader

        Formerly an independent nation, Tibet was invaded and incorporated into China by force 70 years ago, and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers later fled into exile in India and other countries around the world following a failed 1959 national uprising against China’s rule.

        Chinese authorities maintain a tight grip on the region, restricting Tibetans’ political activities and peaceful expression of cultural and religious identity, and subjecting Tibetans to persecution, torture, imprisonment, and extrajudicial killings.

      • 'You shouldn't be able to breathe,' officer tells man before he dies

        "There's approximately a three-minute, 43-second period after officers have applied handcuffs where they keep the individual in the prone position, and that's not acceptable," Stoughton said.

      • Homeland Security Tells ICE to Cut Ties With Jail That Sicced Dogs on Migrants
      • National Strike in Colombia is Massive, Meets Violent Repression

        A National Strike Committee coordinates the actions of “26 social sectors at the national level” plus regional, departmental, and municipal strike committees. The demonstrations, unprecedented in size and scope, follow the student uprising of 2011, the agrarian strike of 2013, marches in September 2020 against police abuses, and a large strike in November 2020 against pension and education reforms.

        One stimulus for the uprising is the rise in poverty in Colombia from 37.5% of the population in 2019 to almost 50% in 2020; 15% live in extreme poverty. Another is widespread disapproval of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Young people are enraged. Their futures are blunted, claims commentator Germán Muñoz González. Often regarded as “expendable,” they are being killed, he asserts. Polling shows that 75% of Colombians support the National Strike.

      • Ignore Starmer’s Moral Posturing. He’s the One We Should Blame for Stoking Antisemitism

        Nor should we be surprised that Johnson has had nothing to say about the fact that Israel is using British weapons to bombard Gaza, killing families and blowing up media centres.

      • Remembering Lee Evans, Athlete-Activist Legend

        Lee Evans was world-class, on the track and off, with an emphasis on the word “world.” The onetime record holder in the 400-meters passed away this week at the age of 74 in Nigeria, where he had coached on and off for decades. It was in 1968 at the Olympics in Mexico City that, at the tender age of 21, Evans ran a scorching 400 meters in 43.86 seconds, a world record that stood for 20 years. His second gold at those games came anchoring the United States team in the 1,600-meter relay, which the team ran in a mind-boggling two minutes and 56.16 seconds, a record that lasted for a remarkable 24 years.

      • Brett Kavanaugh Remains As Incorrigible as Ever

        In 2005, Brett Jones, a 15-year-old white kid from Mississippi, was convicted of murder. Jones claimed self-defense, but a jury found him guilty of murdering his 67-year-old grandfather, with whom he lived. Jones was sentenced to life without parole, the mandatory sentence in Mississippi at that time. Later, in the 2012 case Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional. Jones appealed his sentence, but the judge again sent him away for life without parole, this time noting he was doing so despite the option of offering a lighter sentence.

      • Preston Mitchum on Roe and Reproductive Justice, Steven Rosenfeld on Arizona Audit
      • Boy Who Fled Boko Haram Becomes American Chess Master

        Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a once-homeless refugee who in 2017 fled Nigeria with his family to escape Christian persecution, has become America’s newest chess master at the age of 10.

      • EFF Sues Police Standards Agency to Obtain Use of Force Training Materials

        But SB 978 mandates that POST must publish training manuals if the materials would be available to the public under the PRA, which does not contain any exception for copyrighted material. What’s more, the PRA says state agencies can’t allow “other parties” to control whether information subject to the law can be disclosed.“Copyright law is not a valid excuse for POST to evade its obligation under the law to make training materials public,” said Gagliano. “Police and the organizations that create their training manuals are not above the law."For the complaint:

        For more on digital rights and the Black-led movement against police violence:

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • If There's A Defamatory Review On Yelp, Is It Google's Job To Hide It?

        One point that we keep trying to make in the various debates about content moderation and Section 230 in particular is that the second you give people a legal method through which they can seek to remove unflattering information from the internet, they will use it... and abuse it. We've seen it for decades with the DMCA, certainly, which is regularly abused to try to remove unflattering information even if it has nothing whatsoever to do with copyright. We've also seen it in the context of fake defamation lawsuits.

      • Biden’s Broadband Plan Is a Good Start—but America Needs Guaranteed Broadband for All

        During the past year, Covid-19 drove much of our lives online—from remote working to telehealth appointments, virtual classrooms to Zooming with friends and loved ones—making us more aware than ever of how vital Internet access is to almost every facet of our daily lives. It is a core infrastructure and an essential utility—on par with water and electricity—upon which our basic ability to communicate depends.

      • Frontier Communications Sued Yet Again For Lying About Its Pathetic Broadband Speeds

        For a long time we've talked about the fact that if you really want to understand why U.S. broadband is expensive and mediocre, you should take a good hard look at Frontier Communications. The regional phone company in 25 states has, for years, been accused of neglecting to adequately upgrade or repair its network, despite millions in wasted taxpayer subsidies. Protected from both competition and accountability thanks to state and federal corruption, the company has happily price gouged captive customers without facing real penalties.

      • Two New Broadband Bills, Including One Aimed at Rural America, Introduced in Congress

        The bipartisan Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act introduced on Tuesday by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., aims at helping states, cities and town spur investment in rural broadband projects. The bill would provide state and local governments with new financing options for broadband projects, giving states and localities access to additional tools to invest in rural broadband.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Apple, Google & Microsoft Have Teamed up to Block the Right-to-Repair Law

        Bloomberg today released a report on how companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are working together to put a stop to laws that would make it necessary for companies to provide device schematics, genuine repair parts, and repair manuals to independent repair technicians.

      • Microsoft and Apple Wage War on Gadget Right-to-Repair Laws

        For years, technology companies have imposed strict limits on who can fix chipped iPhones, broken game consoles and a wealth of other non-working (or defective) gadgets. Components are kept in short supply or simply not shared with independent shops to mend things like USB ports and batteries. After seeing these restrictions firsthand, Millman joined a cadre of small business owners, hobbyists and activists pushing right-to-repair bills across the country. These measures are designed to undo rules businesses set to restrict repairs to authorized providers for a vast range of products from a Kindle to a wheelchair.

      • Apple's Efforts to Block 'Right to Repair' Laws Highlighted in New Report

        Apple has opposed bills in other states that include Colorado and Nevada. Independent repair shop owner Justin Millman said that he has a difficult time sourcing iPad screens, which are repairs that school kids often need. He claims that Apple opposes repair programs to get people to buy new devices.

    • Monopolies

      • The New Podcast Oligopoly

        In the past couple of years, two high-profile acquisitions of podcast companies have produced a whirlwind of think pieces from the media press. Forbes (12/4/20) prophesied that Amazon’s 2020 purchase of podcast publisher Wondery put the industry “on a Path to a Crossroads.” And a Poynter headline (2/7/19) proclaimed Spotify’s 2019 purchase of celebrated commercial podcast network Gimlet Media “could change podcasting’s future.”

      • Microsoft vs Indian Farmers: Agri-Stacking the System

        Based on press reports and government statements, Microsoft would help farmers with post- harvest management solutions by building a collaborative platform and capturing agriculture datasets such as crop yields, weather data, market demand and prices. In turn, this would create a farmer interface for ‘smart’ agriculture, including post-harvest management and distribution.

        CropData will be granted access to a government database of 50 million farmers and their land records. As the database is developed, it will include farmers’ personal details, profile of land held (cadastral maps, farm size, land titles, local climatic and geographical conditions), production details (crops grown, production history, input history, quality of output, machinery in possession) and financial details (input costs, average return, credit history).

      • Patents

        • De Boufflers Collective Position Paper – The waiving of intellectual property : a poor response to a real problem [Ed: A bunch of patent profiteers and sociopaths condemn decisions to let poor people too have access to medicines (or vaccines). For the sake of their profits (greed) they want to kill millions of people, just to keep prices artificially high. These are also Team UPC (here).]

          All these philosophical discussions seem to be far behind us: what had to happen happened, India and South Africa introduced at the WTO a proposal for an IP Waiver for the Covid-19 pandemic and they are now followed notably by France, but especially by the United States.

        • How A Camera Patent Was Used To Sue Non-Profits, Cities, And Public Schools

          Patent trolls are everyone’s problem. A study from 2019 showed that 32% of patent troll lawsuits are directed at small and medium-sized businesses. We told the stories of some of those small businesses in our Saved by Alice project.

        • Software Patents

          • Washington State Has Sued a Patent Troll For Violating Consumer Protection Laws

            Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit claiming that Landmark Technology has violated the state’s Patent Troll Protection Act, which bans “bad faith” assertions of patent infringement. Following a widespread campaign of patent demand letters, more than 30 states passed some kind of law placing limits on bad-faith patent assertions.

            These laws face an uphill battle to be enforced. First of all, the Constitution places important limits on the government’s ability to penalize the act of seeking legal redress. Second, the Federal Circuit has specifically held that a high bar of bad faith must be established for laws that would penalize patent assertion.

            Washington’s case against Landmark could be a major test of state anti-troll laws, and whether state anti-trolling and consumer protection laws can dissuade some worst-of-the-worst patent troll behavior.

      • Trademarks

        • Makers Of 'Peaky Blinders' Show Fail To Get Injunction Against Distillery For 'Peaky Blinders' Whiskey

          When you cover as many trademark disputes centered around the alcohol industry as I have, you really do start to realize just how many other industries don't seem to understand that their products are not the same as adult libations. Alcohol, you see, is not the same as a major metropolitan city. Alcohol is also not the same thing as fruit juice. Beer, as well, is not the same thing as wine. Alcohol is also not the same thing as a famous movie franchise.

      • Copyrights

        • Facebook and Instagram Reveal How Much 'Pirated' Content is Removed Proactively

          Facebook and Instagram have published new data that reveal for the first time how many pieces of 'pirated' content are removed proactively. The new and updated transparency report shows that these automated removals run in the millions, exceeding the number of DMCA takedown notices copyright holders send.

        • Njalla Takes 'Pirate' Site Domains Offline Following Legal Pressure

          Njalla is a privacy-focused domain name service founded by Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde. The company helps to keep domain name owners anonymous and is generally skeptical of legal threats. Over the past weeks, however, Njalla found itself in a position where it had to take several accused 'pirate' sites offline, to keep other customers safe.

        • Rachel Dolezal's Copyright Follies: Sues CBS For Copyright Infringement In Case That Won't End Well

          A little over a year ago, we wrote about a copyright dispute involving Rachel Dolezal, who now also goes by the name Nkechi Amare Diallo. As you may recall, there was a fair bit of attention paid to her years ago because while calling herself a black woman, it turned out that she was actually white. Whatever you think of that controversy, our focus was on the fact that she was a client of notoriously inept copyright troll Richard Liebowitz, who had filed a lawsuit over the copyright on a photo in Paper Magazine.

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