Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 11/6/2021: A Torvalds COVID Rant and RISC-V Risk of Takeover

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • UYPP: Ben Ruel’s Garage Garden

        Back in March, we announced the winners for our Unleash Your Potential Program, in which six participants got to configure their own System76 computer to use for their awesome projects. This first awesome project is the Garage Garden, helmed by awesome project-er, engineer, and mighty green thumb Ben Ruel. We sat down with Ben to see how his project has been growing on the Meerkat.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #415: Open Research Institute Deep Dive 2

        Welcome to Episode 415 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we welcome back Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, from the Open Research Institute. We had an interview about the ORI and its affiliated projects early after the inception of the institute back in 2018. This update involves some longstanding projects, grants and new affiliations of the ORI including the P4DX project, M17, AmbaSat, Aqua Phage and more. We hope you enjoy this update episode and have a great week.

      • Linux Mint 20.2 Backgrounds Slideshow

        In this video, we are looking at the beautiful backgrounds of the upcoming Linux Mint 20.2. Enjoy!

      • Linux Mint 20.2 Backgrounds
      • Never Sign A Contributor Licence Agreement

        A contributor license agreement is a very dangerous document that any contributor to an open source project could sign, these give the project maintainers far more rights of a project that otherwise would be afforded to them with the software license, some CLAs are better than otehrs but should be generally avoided.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds asks COVID vaccine conspiracy theorist to "SHUT THE HELL UP"

        Clearly unamused by this humanoid conspiracy theory and also on its discussion in a Linux kernel topic thread, Torvalds weighed in quite heavily with some very strong language mixed with some biology lessons for the person. Here are parts of what Linus wrote: [...]

      • Linus Torvalds tells mailing list poster to “SHUT THE HELL UP” for saying COVID-19 vaccines create “new humanoid race”

        Linus Torvalds has used some of his strongest language in years to smack down a Linux Kernel Mailing List poster who made some odd remarks about COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

        The incident started in a Linux Kernel Mailing List thread titled “Maintainers / Kernel Summit 2021 planning kick-off” that commenced in April 2021.

        Event organisers have decided the event should be virtual this year. However, some in the thread have used the thread to ask if increasing vaccination rates mean that decision could be revisited.

        A poster using the name “Enrico Weigelt, metux IT consult” weighed in with the following opinion on COVID-19 vaccinations.

      • Linus Torvalds Encourages Kernel Developers & Everyone To Get Vaccinated

        Linus Torvalds is known primarily in the past for his colorful scripture on the Linux kernel mailing list while today he does have a passionate and important read on the LKML around vaccinations for COVID-19.

        While Linus Torvalds' language has toned down on the kernel mailing list in recent years, which were well known often during very heated technical arguments, today he impassioned plea for everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

      • [Older] Maintainers / Kernel Summit 2021 planning kick-off
        [ Feel free to forward this to other Linux kernel mailing lists as
          appropriate -- Ted ]

        This year, the Maintainers and Kernel Summit is currently planned to be held in Dublin, Ireland, September 27 -- 29th. Of course, this is subject to change depending on how much progress the world makes towards vaccinating the population against the COVID-19 virus, and whether employers are approving conference travel. At this point, there's a fairly good chance that we will need to move to a virtual conference format, either for one or both of the summits.

        As in previous years, the Maintainers Summit is invite-only, where the primary focus will be process issues around Linux Kernel Development. It will be limited to 30 invitees and a handful of sponsored attendees.

        The Kernel Summit is organized as a track which is run in parallel with the other tracks at the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), and is open to all registered attendees of LPC.

        Linus has generated a core list of people to be invited to the Maintainers Summit, and the program committee will be using that list a starting point of people to be considered. People who suggest topics that should be discussed at the Maintainers Summit will also be added to the list for consideration. To make topic suggestions for the Maintainers Summit, please send e-mail to the with a subject prefix of [MAINTAINERS SUMMIT].

      • Re: Maintainers / Kernel Summit 2021 planning kick-off
        Please keep your insane and technically incorrect anti-vax comments to yourself.

        You don't know what you are talking about, you don't know what mRNA is, and you're spreading idiotic lies. Maybe you do so unwittingly, because of bad education. Maybe you do so because you've talked to "experts" or watched youtube videos by charlatans that don't know what they are talking about.

        But dammit, regardless of where you have gotten your mis-information from, any Linux kernel discussion list isn't going to have your idiotic drivel pass uncontested from me.

        Vaccines have saved the lives of literally tens of millions of people.

        Just for your edification in case you are actually willing to be educated: mRNA doesn't change your genetic sequence in any way. It is the exact same intermediate - and temporary - kind of material that your cells generate internally all the time as part of your normal cell processes, and all that the mRNA vaccines do is to add a dose their own specialized sequence that then makes your normal cell machinery generate that spike protein so that your body learns how to recognize it.

        The half-life of mRNA is a few hours. Any injected mRNA will be all gone from your body in a day or two. It doesn't change anything long-term, except for that natural "your body now knows how to recognize and fight off a new foreign protein" (which then tends to fade over time too, but lasts a lot longer than a few days). And yes, while your body learns to fight off that foreign material, you may feel like shit for a while. That's normal, and it's your natural response to your cells spending resources on learning how to deal with the new threat.

        And of the vaccines, the mRNA ones are the most modern, and the most targeted - exactly because they do *not* need to have any of the other genetic material that you traditionally have in a vaccine (ie no need for basically the whole - if weakened - bacterial or virus genetic material). So the mRNA vaccines actually have *less* of that foreign material in them than traditional vaccines do. And a *lot* less than the very real and actual COVID-19 virus that is spreading in your neighborhood.

        Honestly, anybody who has told you differently, and who has told you that it changes your genetic material, is simply uneducated. You need to stop believing the anti-vax lies, and you need to start protecting your family and the people around you. Get vaccinated.

        I think you are in Germany, and COVID-19 numbers are going down. It's spreading a lot less these days, largely because people around you have started getting the vaccine - about half having gotten their first dose around you, and about a quarter being fully vaccinated. If you and your family are more protected these days, it's because of all those other people who made the right choice, but it's worth noting that as you see the disease numbers go down in your neighborhood, those diminishing numbers are going to predominantly be about people like you and your family.

        So don't feel all warm and fuzzy about the fact that covid cases have dropped a lot around you. Yes, all those vaccinated people around you will protect you too, but if there is another wave, possibly due to a more transmissible version - you and your family will be at _much_ higher risk than those vaccinated people because of your ignorance and mis-information.

        Get vaccinated. Stop believing the anti-vax lies.

        And if you insist on believing in the crazy conspiracy theories, at least SHUT THE HELL UP about it on Linux kernel discussion lists.

      • Old Motorola 68000 Systems Can Finally Move Away From Linux's Deprecated IDE Code - Phoronix

        Earlier this year was talk of Linux finally removing its legacy IDE subsystem that has been deprecated for years in favor of just maintaining the still-supported libata code for IDE support. The libata path is much better supported and matured for nearly two decades, but one of the holdouts was some Motorola 68000 series hardware -- like early Macintosh computers -- not being supported outside of the legacy context. That is finally set to change with Linux 5.14 so in turn the legacy IDE code will likely be able to be removed soon.

        The Motorola 68000 "m68k" series is still popular with some enthusiasts and found in early Apple Macintosh computers. Two m68k class drivers not having libata equivalents was one of the rare scenarios where the legacy IDE code within the Linux kernel is still used.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA driver 470 for Linux to include support for async reprojection

          Seems like NVIDIA are going all-out for the upcoming 470 driver series for Linux. As they’ve stated that finally async reprojection will be supported on Linux. Not only then will we be getting hardware accelerated GL and Vulkan rendering with Xwayland, plus DLSS was recently announced for Proton – we’re now going to hopefully see a better VR experience

          This has been a long time coming! Async reprojection works for AMD GPUs on Linux but NVIDIA just left us out. This is the reason why Valve themselves had been recommending an AMD GPU for Half-Life: Alyx on Linux, as it’s a big feature to be missing out on.

        • HW News - Dell Class Action Lawsuit, NVIDIA DLSS on Linux, AMD x Samsung GPUs | GamersNexus - Gaming PC Builds & Hardware Benchmarks

          On top of the RTX 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti announcements, Nvidia also announced expanded DLSS support -- namely that DLSS is coming to Linux. Nvidia’s DLSS will be delivered through Steam’s Proton, a compatibility layer based on Wine, which Linux users have long relied on to play Windows games on Linux distros.

          Previously, Nvidia’s DLSS had two exclusive requirements: An RTX GPU and a Windows OS. It appears as if Nvidia is starting to take Linux gaming a bit more seriously, which also aligns with Valve’s previous declaration to better support Linux. Nvidia claims that DLSS support for Vulcan titles is coming later this month, and that support for DirectX games will come this fall.

        • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver For Open-Source Arm Mali Graphics Now Has OpenGL ES 3.1 - Phoronix

          Merged today into Mesa 21.2-devel is OpenGL ES 3.1 support being exposed for the Panfrost Gallium3D driver that provides open-source Arm Mali graphics.

          Panfrost lead developer Alyssa Rosenzweig landed more than 100 patches today for Panfrost into Mesa Git. These 100+ commits in the single merge request amount to a wide variety of OpenGL conformance fixes.

    • Applications

      • Linux Candy: Fondo – wallpaper tool

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

        Fondo lets you quickly find beautiful wallpapers from Unsplash. With a single click on a picture, wait until the download is complete and enjoy your new wallpaper!

      • Best Windows Apps Alternatives For Linux: Switching Made Easier!

        The unavailability of popular apps is one of the major reasons people refrain from switching to Linux. Although not every software tool for Windows is available on Linux, software support on Linux has got much better over the past few years. Thanks to the alternatives created by the open-source community at large.

        A few months ago, I did an article on how Linux is better than Windows. In this one, let’s look at some of the software alternatives that make Linux a compelling option for people tired of Windows.

      • Petter Reinholdtsen: Nikita version 0.6 released - free software archive API server

        I am very pleased to be able to share with you the announcement of a new version of the archiving system Nikita published by its lead developer Thomas Sødring...

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Quick Guide to Ubuntu Calculator

        This is a quick guide to Ubuntu Calculator app with examples. Calculator is a great application, despite looks simple, as it included by default in Ubuntu, as well as is able to perform simple to advanced calculations including currency and unit conversion. As you may be aware of, actually there is a complete user guide for it already, but we rarely see any practical tutorial of it elsewhere. So let's play with Calculator.

      • [Old] Gemini Capsule in a FreeBSD Jail

        With the recent release of FreeBSD 13, I wanted to test it out on a spare RaspberryPi 3 that was part of my old Kubernetes cluster.

        In particular, FreeBSD Jails have always interested me, although I’ve never used them in practice. Over the years I’ve managed operating system virtualization through Solaris Zones and Docker containers, and Jails seem like and good middle ground between the two - easier to manage than zones and closer to the OS than Docker.

        I also want to run my own Gemini capsule locally to use some of the features that my other hosted capsules don’t have (like SCGI/CGI) and setting up a capsule in a Jail is a good way to learn both at the same time.

      • Ansible tutorial for beginners on Linux

        A system administrator, in the vast majority of cases, has to take care of more than one server, so he often has to perform repetitive tasks on all of them. In these cases automation is a must. Ansible is an open source software owned by Red Hat; it is written in the Python programming lanaguage, and it is a provisioning and configuration management software which help us in the aforementioned cases. In this tutorial we will see how to install it and the basic concepts behind its usage.

      • Using proper FreeIPA certificates on Cockpit

        A couple of years ago, I did a video on Youtube on using FreeIPA / IdM certificates in Cockpit. According to some comments (that I only saw way after the fact…), for some people, my way of doing that didn’t work.

        Therefore, I redid the video for RHEL7 and RHEL8, connected to IdM from RHEL8. This should work with recent Fedora as well, since I’m using that at home :)

      • Support for chdir(2) in posix_spawn(3)

        Processes are the bread and butter of your operating system. The moment you double click an icon, that particular program gets loaded in your Random Access Memory (RAM) and your operating system starts to run it. At this moment the program becomes a process. Though you can only see the execution of your process, the operating system (the Kernel) is always running a lot of processes in the background to facilitate you.

        From the moment you hit that power button, everything that happens on the screen is the result of some or the other process. In this post we are going to talk about one such interface which helps in creation of your programs.

      • How To Use Command Line Newsboat RSS Feed Reader On Linux?

        Do you use a news aggregator (also termed as RSS feed reader) app? Is it still your go-to place for all the latest updates from different sources?

        If so, Newsboat is a lightweight, keyboard-driven, and command-line feed reader that you should check out right now.

        Suppose you’re already familiar with the existing feed reader Newsbeuter, which isn’t maintained consistently. I guess Newsboat would be the right replacement with regular maintenance.

      • Download and install Blender 2.93 LTS on Linux - Linux Shout

        Lately, the Blender Foundation has announced the latest 2.93 LTS version of their Blende software, a 3D graphics creation and rendering solution to provide a new stable framework for production.

        Blender 2.93 LTS comes with interesting features, it offers a total of 22 new nodes added to the geometry node editor to expand the attribute system, texture sampling, and support for volume data, as well as incorporating improved usability, mesh primitives, Cycles support for the attributes and much more.

        Also, it is now possible to create mesh circles, cones, cubes, cylinders, grids, lines, and other shapes without having to leave the geometry node editor. Using the geometry nodes themselves is now easier and the spreadsheet editor is in charge of assisting the user in inspecting meshes, instances, and point clouds.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • elementary OS 6 beta promises great things in the same beautiful package

          Every so often I'm reminded of the Rush song, "Circumstances." Back in my days of high school, I remember first hearing the line, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," ("the more things change, the more they stay the same"), and being absolutely floored by its paradoxical statement. Since then, I've run into so many instances where the idiom applied. Within the realm of open-source, elementary OS is living proof that the saying can have perfect relevance.


          I was not surprised when I fired it up and instantly thought of that Rush song, because elementary 6 looks very, very familiar. If you used elementary OS 5, you might think you've mistakenly installed that release, instead of the beta for 6—that's a good thing.

          You see, so often a group of developers and designers get something so right that their best path forward is one of refinement, not change. That's what Cassidy James Blaede and the gang have done. Instead of making change for change's sake, they simply improve on what they already know works. elementary OS has worked to perfection for a while.

          It should come as little surprise that the Pantheon desktop, which elementary OS uses as its default, remains (on the surface) the same (Figure A). That doesn't mean the developers haven't brought some serious goodness to bear on what lies beneath the surface.

      • New Releases

        • antiX-bullseye-beta1 iso files available. 64 bit only

          We have 2 versions for experienced users to try. One using SysVinit, the other runit.

          antiX-bullseye-b1-x64-full is a beta quality release for experienced testers of antiX to test and provide feedback. Do not use this as your main OS.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • PHP 8.1 as Software Collection

          Version 8.1.0alpha1 is released. It's still in development and will enter soon in the stabilization phase for the developers, and the test phase for the users.

          RPM of this upcoming version of PHP 8.1, are available in remi repository for Fedora 33, 34 and Enterprise Linux 7, 8 (RHEL, CentOS, ...) in a fresh new Software Collection (php81) allowing its installation beside the system version.

          As I strongly believe in SCL potential to provide a simple way to allow installation of various versions simultaneously, and as I think it is useful to offer this feature to allow developers to test their applications, to allow sysadmin to prepare a migration or simply to use this version for some specific application, I decide to create this new SCL.

          I also plan to propose this new version as a Fedora 36 change (as F35 should be released a few weeks before PHP 8.1.0).

        • Making AI a reality: From pilot to production [Ed: Today's Red Hat is all about the fluff and buzzwords]

          The Covid-19 pandemic has advanced digital transformation by three to four years across different areas of business, as leaders have been forced to invest and upgrade digitally.

          As leaders look to build on their digital platforms, says Abhinav Joshi, director of AI strategy and GTM at Red Hat, artificial intelligence (AI) emerges as a great enabler for businesses looking to generate efficiencies, improve customer experience, increase revenue and save costs.

        • [Older] Red Hat brings JBoss Enterprise application platform to Microsoft Azure [Ed: Also watch the second item here. Red Hat attacks Free software and helps Microsoft instead.]
        • Introduce yourself Outreachy

          I’m Manisha Kanyal, a sophomore B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering student from India. I’m passionate about open source and software development. The project for which I’ve been selected as an Outreachy intern is “Improve Fedora QA dashboard” and I’m enthusiastic and grateful for this opportunity. It’s going to be a great learning experience for me.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Off the grid, with a purpose

          So the MAAS blog been off the grid since late January, mostly because, well, lots of meaningful doc work. And we’re taking it up a notch this cycle, trying to make RAD smoother, more transparent, and easier to crowd-source updates. But that’s another story for a later blog, closer to the end of the cycle.

          The other reason for the “long drink of silence” has been a thorough-going review our discourse forum. We’ve been looking at the kinds of questions users have submitted over the last two or three years — and trying to sort out the types of blogs that would most benefit our readers.

          Incidentally, you’ve already indicated (by your reading behaviour) that you, as a MAAS blog reader, much prefer technical explanations of MAAS, the associated tools, and the base technologies upon which MAAS is built.

          And our discourse questions back that up. So today, we want to share what we’ve learned, and explain how we’re going to respond to this new understanding going forward.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Groupware: BlueMind 4.5 now with video conferencing

        With versions 4.4 and 4.5, the French company BlueMind is updating its open source groupware with the same name. Users can now integrate video conferences with Jitsi and StarLeaf in 4.5 and also link them to appointments in the calendar.

      • Devices will keep all data when migrating to HarmonyOS 2

        Huawei has already begun the HarmonyOS 2 rollout in China and earlier today we reported the platfoem has reached 10 million devices. In an interview with media representatives in China, company execs revealed an important detail about the upgrade process.

        After flashing the new firmware all user data, games, photos and apps will carry over without losing any data.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: June 2021 Edition

            On June 1st, Mozilla released Firefox 89. That was a major milestone for Firefox, and a lot of work went into this release (internally called MR1, which stands for Major Release 1). If this new update was well received — see for example this recent article from ZDNet — it’s also thanks to the amazing work done by our localization community.

            For the first time in over a decade, we looked at Firefox holistically, making changes across the board to improve messages, establish a more consistent tone, and modernize some dialogs. This inevitably generated a lot of new content to localize.

      • CMS

        • Lists of Tiddlers using Multiple Tags | TiddlyWiki

          One of my big reasons for enjoying to use TiddlyWiki is creating lists based on tags, but as I have used it, the lists sometimes get longer and have made me start to question how I was using it as some of my lists have grown exceptionally long and I should, perhaps, improve how I am tagging my Tiddlers to improve my sorting results. I use TiddlyWiki, primarily, as a quick and efficient method of performing a kind of “brain-dump” to hold information and allow me to easily pick back up where I left off.

          In short, I wanted to be able to better sort my tiddlers based on multiple tags and I couldn’t find an easy way to do it that was well explained. It seems as though most people that use TiddlyWiki communicate at a higher technical level than my little monkey-brain can easily decipher. So, after some searching and testing, here is the knowledge I have gained that will hopefully allow you to improve your usage of TiddlyWiki.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Why only learning code sets you up to fail | Creative Boom

          Learning to code is a gateway to exciting creative opportunities, not to mention helping you earn more money and respect in your career. But the pathway towards coding mastery is not always an easy one. And it's not unusual to reach a point where it seems like you're… stuck.


          So why not approach coding like that? Rather than starting with the code itself, start by thinking of a cool, fun digital project. Then work backwards from there, dipping into as much technical knowledge that you need to create it.

  • Leftovers

    • Riot, Rebellion and Resistance: the Black Struggle Continues

      Biden declared, “Just because history is silent, it does not mean that it did not take place.” He went on, “hell was unleashed, literal hell was unleashed.” And now, he said, the nation must come to grips with the subsequent sin of denial.” He added: “We can’t just choose what we want to know, and not what we should know. … I come here to help fill the silence, because in silence wounds deepen.”

      One year ago, in May 2020, a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, murdered George Floyd. It was yet another unprovoked killing of a Black person by a police officer but, unlike so many others both before and after, it precipitated an estimated 7,750 protests across the country involving 26€ million€ people. Biden would not have visited Tulsa if there had not been the mass protests over Floyd’s killing.

    • The Music of Life

      After dark, last year, we all heard an unforgettable din: the sound of helicopters patrolling the night sky; adrenalized masses chanting in protest against the state’s anti-Blackness; a video, left eerily on loop, of George Floyd’s horrible plea for oxygen and kinship. As a sort of private respite, I turned to gospel. I’d grown up in, and come to reject such Baptist zeal but could not deny that the music in particular would always and forever stir a prayer in me. I recalled my father’s commentary on the nights I self-soothed to Mahalia Jackson or the Staple Singers: “Listen close. Prince, Michael, Chaka Khan, Little Richard—it’s the same beat you hear at church every Sunday.” The greatest contributions our people had made to the world were the devotional songs from which most of American popular music sprang. Now, in its insistence on that beat, Black performance in latter-day America seemed to bear a literal pulse that located its origins not merely in life as such but in the habitual, righteous, and even miraculous defiance of death.

    • George Harrison - Run Of The Mill (Take 36)
    • Thinning or Clearcut?
    • The Impossible Dream: A Review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s "The Ministry for the Future"

      To finish The Ministry for the Future requires no small endeavor. Its 563 pages are contained in more than one hundred chapters that sometimes have no apparent relationship to each other. A disconnected narrative gives Robinson a means to insert opinions about what he considers inchoate attempts to change humanity’s headlong plunge into ecological disaster. Chapter 39 takes place at the annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, where the world’s richest people gather to network and make decisions of global impact. In Robinson’s scenario, swarms of drones suddenly take control of the sky, and in combination with elaborate ground control measures, a mysterious group he surmises must be “Maoists” kidnaps the “tenth of one percent of the human population [that] owned half of humanity’s wealth.” Held captive for a week during which they are reeducated through compulsory PowerPoints and films, plutocrats are compelled to shit in the woods and “hydrate entirely on four-thousand-dollar bottles of wine, of which there were many on hand” (p.161). Robinson belittles the insurgents for their Beatles’ soundtracks (“All You Need Is Love” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”) as well as for their Germanic, Werner Herzog-sounding narrator who castigates the rich for “strip-mining of the life-world.” By the end of the week, the action miraculously ends with none of the 2,500 hostages killed. As he summarizes: “So, effect of this event on the real world: zero! So fuck you!” (p. 164).

      His disdain for radicals is only surpassed by his sympathy for the rich and famous with whom his narrator unabashedly identifies. If we pause a moment to consider the targeted violence of Maoists in Nepal, who routinely killed avaricious money-lenders that had forced thousands of children into horror-filled lives of sexual slavery, we might wonder why Robinson has such a sweet spot for the Davos delegates and not with their antagonists. But wonder not—Davos is one of his character’s “favorite parties.” Rather than trivializing a daring and intricately planned action, might his story have been better served if none of the 2,500 of the world’s wealthiest people survived? Recall the French Revolution, when some 2,000 aristocrats were beheaded (approximately the same number present at Davos). According to distinguished historian Barrington Moore, the guillotine saved France from fascism, unlike Germany and Japan, where rule by the landed nobility in the 20th Century caused dictatorships and World War 2, leading to the death of more than 50 million human beings. In today’s world, where tens of thousands of people starve daily or die unnecessarily from polluted water and lack of medical care, would it be a large sacrifice for 2,500 of the world’s rich to meet their demise if redistribution of their wealth and power could save millions of lives?

    • “I Finally Got to the Mountaintop and I Failed”

      When Dayshawn Carroll graduated from the Milton Hershey School in 2011, his goal of college seemed firmly within his grasp. He had lived for six years at the nation’s wealthiest private school, his days tightly scheduled around studying, sports and chores. The school’s manicured campus, about 15 miles from the impoverished Harrisburg neighborhood where he had grown up, was a world apart — “like Hogwarts,” he said, referring to the boarding school in the Harry Potter novels.

      The school, located in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, requires students to live on campus, and Carroll wondered at first if his mom was punishing him by sending him away. But she told her 11-year-old son that the school, which only admits children from low-income families, was not only free but would pay for his college education too.

    • Science

    • Education

      • Army tuition aid stalled by monthslong tech glitch puts soldiers' futures on hold

        Tuition assistance previously ran through a system called GoArmyEd, but in February it was moved to ArmyIgnitED, which was supposed to become fully operational on March 8. That system failed almost immediately, according to the Army. In the ensuing months, the service branch has depended on a mixture of manual payments and IOUs to colleges and universities where soldiers have taken classes.

        "The biggest glitch” [sic] preventing the launch came when the Army was unable to transfer student data stored from previous years on GoArmyEd to the new program, Bain said, adding that “limited user testing” revealed numerous items leading to glitches [sic] throughout the system.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Most Used Electric Car Buyers Have No Way To Confirm Vehicle Battery Health

        As we make the shift from gas to electric vehicles, there are a few issues we still haven't really paved the way for. One is the fact that, with gas taxes being the primary way we fund highway infrastructure, we need to develop alternative infrastructure funding (not a topic that tends to get priority in a hype and flash-obsessed culture, as John Oliver has been quick to remind everyone). The 18.4 cents a gallon federal gas tax hasn't been raised since 1993, and the Congressional Budget Office says that if the funding system doesn’t evolve by 2030, federal transportation funding will exceed its budget by a cool $188 billion.

      • Inequalities are Shaping How the Pandemic is Being Fought
      • Vaccine Hesitancy, Even by Healthcare Workers, Means Shots Expire, Variants Emerge, Pandemic Drags On

        As President Biden pledges to buy half of a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to give to the world, many Americans are refusing to get vaccinated, and thousands of Johnson & Johnson shots will expire soon. This week, Houston Methodist Hospital suspended 178 staff members who refused to abide by its mandate that employees be fully vaccinated. We speak with infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Syra Madad, who heads the largest public healthcare system in the United States and says we must counter vaccine hesitancy. She also describes her own struggle to encourage health aides in her own household to get the shot. “It’s been an uncomfortable reality to see that we are now in June and nearly 50% of healthcare workers remain unvaccinated and unprotected.”

      • Biden to Buy 500 Million Vaccine Doses for Other Countries, But Billions More Needed to End Pandemic

        President Biden’s plan to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine and donate them to 92 countries comes as health experts warn vaccination inequity could prolong the pandemic for everyone if the coronavirus continues to mutate, possibly making it more infectious and resistant to vaccines. Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong has said people on the continent are watching in “amazement” as Americans turn down vaccines, many of which are now expiring instead of being sent elsewhere. “Right now the game plan should be providing the surplus vaccines to countries around the world, because the pandemic is happening right now,” says Dr. Syra Madad, infectious disease epidemiologist who leads the Special Pathogens Program for NYC Health and Hospitals, the largest public healthcare system in the United States.

      • 'Shameful Failure': Biden's OSHA Excludes Most Workers From Covid Protections

        "This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families. Vaccines have not reached all workers, and Covid-19 is not over." —Jessica Martinez,€ National Council of Occupational Safety and Health

      • On Eve of G7, Poll Finds US Voters Want Biden to Lead on Vaccinating World

        The vast majority of U.S.€ voters support€ the Biden administration's plan to send hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to other countries to help end the coronavirus pandemic, according€ to a new survey€ that was released ahead of a global summit where leaders will discuss the need to vaccinate the world.

        The poll,€ (pdf) conducted by progressive think tank Data for Progress and David Binder Research and commissioned by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), showed that 76% of Americans want the Biden administration to lead other countries including the G7, which begins the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England Friday, in ensuring vaccine doses get to countries that need them, and 79% support the U.S. taking part in global vaccination efforts.

      • Big Data Profits If We Deregulate HIPAA

        Recently proposed modifications to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) would invade your most personal and intimate health data. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), proposes loosening our health privacy protections to address misunderstandings by health professionals about currently permissible disclosures.

        EFF recently filed objections to the proposed modifications. The most troubling change would expand the sharing of your health data without your permission, by enlarging the definition of “health care operations” to include “case management” and “care coordination,” which is particularly troubling since these broad terms are not defined. Additionally, the modifications seek to lower the standard of disclosure for emergencies. They also will require covered entities to disclose personal health information (PHI) to uncovered health mobile applications upon patient request. Individually, the changes are troublesome enough. When combined, the impact on the release of PHI, with and without consent, is a threat to patient health and privacy.

        Trust in Healthcare is Crucial

      • Hospital Bosses Recruit Replacements for Striking Nurses

        Worcester, Mass.—The strike here by the members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association has just entered its 14th week. At nearly 100 days on the picket line, this is the longest nursing strike in over 30 years. The key issue? Safe staffing levels at the for-profit Tenet St. Vincent’s Hospital.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple, it's OK. Seriously. You don't need to blind your iOS 15 engineers to prevent leaks

          During the development of iOS 15, Apple reportedly limited the extent to which engineers could see features being worked on by other colleagues to prevent potential leaks.

          As spotted by 9to5Mac, each new feature introduced with the beta version of iOS 15 is accompanied with a unique flag associated with a "disclosure requirement". Internal versions of the operating system check the unique profile of each engineer and tester against this flag, limiting access to certain features as a result.

          Apple has historically clouded its operations through a thick shroud of secrecy. Part of this has something to do with protecting the firm's intellectual property, and ensuring it remains in full control over how information about its upcoming products is distributed.

        • How to install the Opera Browser on a Chromebook in 2021

          Today we are looking at how to install the Opera Browser 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.

        • Vivaldi browser now runs your email and calendar, too

          The latest version of the browser also includes a beta calendar app to manage your schedule and tap into online calendar services.

          Chances are good that you rely on Google's Gmail, Apple's Mail or Microsoft's Outlook to handle your email and calendar today. By handling that in its own software now, Vivaldi has become "a real alternative to big tech," the Norwegian company announced in a blog post.

        • TrustInSoft Offers Free Application Security Testing Program for Google Summer of Code Projects [Ed: Pushing proprietary software as if it is some of 'charity']

          TrustInSoft, a cybersecurity software company, today announced a free offer for an Application Security Test (AST) specifically designed for students who are preparing their Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project submissions. This AST for Googlers is based on TrustInSoft's Analyzer to provide static code analysis of C/C++ source code using Formal Methods testing to guarantee bug free code.

        • The Trump administration forced Apple to secretly reveal at least two Democrats’ data

          By now, you may have heard that Trump’s Department of Justice secretly seized the phone records of journalists working for The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post, in the hopes of revealing their sources and stopping leaks to the press. But the NYT is now reporting that Trump didn’t stop at journalists — in 2017 and 2018, it forced Apple to cough up metadata on at least two Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, including current chairman Adam Schiff and representative Eric Swalwell, and as many as a dozen people tied to that committee in total, including family members and at least one child.

          Like the media outlets, Apple was under a gag order and unable to tell anyone until it expired this year — the only reason we’re learning about this now is because the new administration’s Justice Department decided to reveal the subpoenas and gag orders to the press.

        • Kaspersky trio spots Vista-era zero-days exploited through Chrome

          Global security firm Kaspersky has revealed that targeted attacks against a number of companies, which it noticed in April, initially used a vulnerability in Google's Chrome browser and then linked this to two zero-days in the Microsoft Windows 10 kernel.

        • EA got hit by a data breach, and hackers are selling source code

          Source code is a big deal in programing, so it’s a big deal when companies lose control over it, and the gaming industry has seen some huge thefts recently: hackers stole CD Projekt Red’s source code for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 in February and in July of 2020, Nintendo saw the source code for many SNES and Nintendo 64 games, including Super Mario Kart and an unreleased Zelda game, released into the wild in what’s been dubbed the “Nintendo Gigaleak.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Liquid Avatar Joins Linux Foundation Public Health Cardea Project [Ed: This has nothing to do with actual health]
              • Liquid Avatar Joins Linux Foundation Public Health Cardea Project [Ed: I can no longer call myself "Linux advocate" seeing what Linux Foundation has reduced this label or brand to. They're clearly killing it, overusing and diluting it for a shilling.]
              • Learn Magma, A New Open Source Project Bringing High Speed Internet To Remote Areas [Ed: Linux Foundation promoting and openwashing mass surveillance as if it's some sort of 'charity']

                Linux Foundation Training & Certification and the Magma Core Foundation have partnered to develop a free, ten-week self-paced online training course to help technology strategists and decision makers at telcos; as well as, rural ISP operators and systems integrators learn the fundamentals of Magma.

              • TODO Group Announces 2021 State of OSPO Survey [Ed: Linux Foundation now bribing the media under the guise of 'research']

                The TODO Group, together with Linux Foundation Research and The New Stack, is conducting a survey as part of a research project on the prevalence and outcomes of open source programs among different organizations across the globe.

                Open source program offices (OSPOs) help set open source strategies and improve an organization’s software development practices. Since 2018, the TODO Group has conducted surveys to assess the state of open source programs across the industry. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of the 2021 edition featuring additional questions to add value to the community.

              • FINOS Announces 2021 State of Open Source in Financial Services Survey [Ed: Linux Foundation in partnership with Microsoft and its Indian 'proxy', Wipro]

                FINOS, the fintech open source foundation, and its research partners, Linux Foundation Research, Scott Logic, WIPRO, and GitHub, are conducting a survey as part of a research project on the state of open source adoption, contribution, and readiness in the financial services industry.

                The increased prevalence, importance, and value of open source is well understood and widely reported by many industry surveys and studies. However, the rate at which different industries are acknowledging this shift and adapting their own working practices to capitalize on the new world of open source-first differs considerably.

              • Build and Deploy Hyperledger Fabric on Azure Cloud Platform- Part 3 [Ed: So-called 'Linux' Foundation is shilling Microsoft's proprietary software again]
        • Security

          • Privilege escalation with polkit: How to get root on Linux with a seven-year-old bug [Ed: Microsoft says it found a bug in some piece of non-essential software that some bloated distros of GNU/Linux have; and just like Microsoft proxy Black Duck they'll make it sound like the sky is falling (hint: GitHub is in NSA PRISM and all Microsoft software has back doors). Notice how every now and then Microsoft's GitHub will badmouth "Linux" but never ever remark about Microsoft's cooperation with the NSA on back doors; therein lies a powerful propaganda vendor and bribed media will oblige, e.g. blaming "Linux" for malware that comes from Microsoft servers (e.g. NPM and GitHub). Microsoft absolutely loves concern-trolling Linux, but bribed spokespeople of Microsoft (e.g. Jim Zemlin) will always make excuses and PR for them.]
          • Privilege escalation with polkit: How to get root on Linux with a seven-year-ol
          • ‘Being serious about security is a must’ – Apache Software Foundation custodians on fulfilling its founding mission

            The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is fulfilling its founding mission – developing software that serves the public well – at colossal scale.

          • Patch now: Attackers are hunting for this critical VMware vCentre flaw
          • Chief Operating Officer of Network Security Company Charged with Cyberattack on Medical Center

            Note: It seems possible that the incident described in DOJ’s press release below is the incident reported by Salted Hash and in 2018...

          • Germany: Trojans for all

            The German Bundestag passed new wiretapping laws for secret services and the Federal Police

          • Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux kernel patched

            In a blog post on Thursday, GitHub security researcher Kevin Backhouse recounted how he found the bug (CVE-2021-3560) in a service called polkit that is used in systemd, a common Linux system and service manager component.

          • CISA Addresses the Rise in Ransomware Targeting Operational Technology Assets [Ed: Funny how they fail to mention a particular OS]
          • Mysterious Custom [Windows] Malware Collects Billions of Stolen Data Points

            Researchers have uncovered a 1.2-terabyte database of stolen data, lifted from 3.2 million Windows-based computers over the course of two years by an unknown, custom malware. The heisted info includes 6.6 million files and 26 million credentials, and 2 billion web login cookies – with 400 million of the latter still valid at the time of the database’s discovery.

          • Billions of Compromised Records and Counting: Why the Application Layer is Still the Front Door for Data Breaches

            Each year, the number of data breaches grows by 30% while the number of records compromised increases by an average of 224%. 2021 is far from over, but we’re already on pace for another record-setting year. In fact, Imperva research finds that more records were compromised in January alone than in all of 2017.

          • Microsoft: Big Cryptomining Attacks Hit Kubeflow

            Misconfigured dashboards are yet again at the heart of a widespread, ongoing cryptocurrency campaign squeezing Monero and Ethereum from Kubernetes clusters.

            Microsoft has spotted a new, widespread, ongoing attack targeting Kubernetes clusters running Kubeflow instances, in order to plant malicious TensorFlow pods that are used to mine for cryptocurrency.

            The Kubeflow open-source project is a popular framework for running machine learning (ML) tasks in Kubernetes, while TensorFlow is an end-to-end, open-source ML platform.

            Given that the attack is still active, any new Kubernetes clusters that run Kubeflow could be compromised, according to Microsoft.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Instagram's Big Experiment With De-Prioritizing 'Likes' Fizzles As Some People Apparently Really Like 'Likes'

              Back in the fall of 2019, we wrote about how Instagram was experimenting with hiding "likes" from US users, to try to cut down on the awkward incentives it created -- such as people obsessing over who and how many people liked the pictures they posted. It was an interesting move, and we appreciated the willingness to experiment with making sure the platform wasn't just encouraging socially problematic behavior. However, now the company has announced that some people really got upset without their likes.

            • New Campaign to Fight Amazon's Push for World 'Dominated by Total Corporate Surveillance'

              To mark the one year anniversary of Amazon's extended temporary moratorium on sales of its controversial Rekognition facial identification software to law enforcement agencies, over 20 advocacy groups and more than 10,000 supporters on Thursday launched Protest Amazon, a digital demonstration that's part of the #EyesOnAmazon week of action.

              "Amazon must make their moratorium on keeping Rekognition out of the hands of law enforcement permanent and extend that policy to all of their surveillance products." —Myaisha Hayes, MediaJustice

            • State Court Confirms The Obvious: There's No Expectation Of Privacy In Text Messages Sent To Other People

              A Massachusetts court recently sent out the useful reminder that a person's reasonable expectation of privacy does not extend to other people. In other words, there's an expectation of privacy in sent communications, but only up to the point that someone receives them. (via

            • FBI, Australian Police Ran A Backdoored Encrypted Chat Service For Three Years

              Recently unsealed documents have revealed the FBI and the Australian Federal Police ran a backdoored encrypted communications service for more than three years, resulting in dozens of arrests and several large drug busts. Here's a brief summary via Joseph Cox for Motherboard.

            • EU privacy regulator proposes $425M fine against Amazon

              A European Union privacy regulator has reportedly proposed issuing a more than $425 million fine against Amazon over alleged violations to European data privacy laws.

              The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that people familiar with the matter said that Luxembourg’s National Data Protection Commission, or the CNPD, had circulated a draft petition for fines to be imposed on Amazon across the EU’s 27 countries.

            • Why you should never use a free Proxy on Internet - LinuxTechLab

              A proxy server is one of the tools that still keeps the fight for internet privacy alive. The exponential growth of efficiency and convenience that we enjoy thanks to the web has quietly stripped us of precious internet anonymity. Without proper governmental interference, companies feed on our personal information and constantly look for other ways to fuel progress and profit from sensitive data.

              Big concerns about tracking and the future of the web have accelerated the growth of the internet privacy industry. The demand for virtual private networks (VPN), Adblockers, private browsers, proxy servers, and other privacy tools is at an all-time high. The convenience disguise no longer works because users see a stagnation in progress but a massive increase in digital footprint tracking and surveillance. Some people feel scared creating posts on social media and even making purchases because every move gets sent to third-party advertisers.

            • Google ad biz shenanigans smacked down by French competition regulators ● The Register
            • McDonald's AI drive-thru bot accused of breaking biometrics privacy law ● The Register

              McDonald’s has been accused of illegally collecting and processing customers' voice recordings without their consent in the US state of Illinois.

              Like so many giant corporations, McDonald’s has turned to AI technology to use computers in place of people. In 2019, it announced it had snapped up a voice-recognition company in Silicon Valley, previously known as Apprente and now McD Tech Labs, to build a voice-controlled chatbot for its drive-thrus.

              Earlier this month, McDonald’s said ten of its restaurants in Chicago, Illinois, are testing this chatbot, and it may permanently replace human workers. As you'd expect, you yell your order at the system from your car, and it takes care of it. The software apparently has an 85 per cent accuracy rate.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden Must Lift Trump's Harsh Restrictions on Cuba Now

        Silvia from Miami, Eduardo from Hialeah, Abel from Lakeland. The names pour in on the donations page for "Syringes to Cuba" as Carlos Lazo promotes the campaign on his popular Facebook livestream.

      • A True Biden Withdrawal From Afghanistan? Don't Bet on It

        Next September, when the last C-130 cargo aircraft and Chinook transport helicopters take off from the infamous Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan that has doubled as a CIA torture center for suspected jihadists, they will not only be leaving behind the site of a military defeat. Their departure will also mark the dismal end of a strategy of direct military engagement to drastically reshape the Middle East that resulted instead in upending the global strategic balance.

      • Biden Is Going “Full Steam Ahead” on Trump’s Nuclear Weapons Spending Plans
      • U.S. Led 2020 Nuclear Weapons Spending; Now Biden Going “Full Steam Ahead” on Trump’s Nuclear Plans

        As President Biden prepares for the G7 and NATO summits and a meeting with Vladimir Putin, we look at how the United States, Russia and other nuclear-armed nations continue to spend billions on nuclear weapons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite President Biden’s criticisms of the Trump administration’s nuclear policies during his candidacy, his administration is continuing initiatives to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal and is seeking $43 billion for nuclear weapons in his new budget. This comes as a new report from the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons reveals global spending on nuclear weapons increased during the pandemic, and found the world’s nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons in 2020, with the United States alone spending $37 billion. “We’ve been seeing, from year to year, the spending on nuclear weapons has been increasing,” says Alicia Sanders-Zakre, ICAN’s policy and research coordinator. “Despite Biden’s campaign promises of wanting to work for arms control, wanting to work for disarmament, we’re seeing that in reality he’s going full steam ahead with Trump’s legacy nuclear weapons programs and continuing to spend more money on these weapons of mass destruction.”

      • Social media are turbocharging the export of America’s political culture

        According to Whitney Phillips, a media researcher at Syracuse University in New York, America’s role in shaping political debates comes not just from the norms it promotes. It also “flows from its cultural production—the actual stuff of media and memes”, she writes in “You Are Here”, a new book examining global information flows. One reason America’s influence is greater now, she says, is that “social media is global. And there are way more people outside the United States who use Facebook than in the United States.”

      • Taliban Map Out Future Vision for Afghanistan

        Postwar Afghanistan, in the eyes of the Taliban, will be a law-abiding country, a member of the community of nations, open for business, and at peace with itself, its neighbors, and the rest of the world. But the sexes will be strictly segregated, women will be forced to wear hijabs, and freedom of speech and expression will become memories. This is the Taliban’s vision for a post-conflict Afghanistan, as explained by the group’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. In the meantime, he said in an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy, the insurgents will continue to fight to establish what he calls an “Islamic government.”

      • MoD launches digital strategy

        The Ministry of Defence aims to invest an additional €£1.6bn in digital over the next 10 years, and plans to establish a federated ecosystem of digital innovators and developers to ensure continuous progress

    • Environment

      • Labor Unions Rally Behind California's Zero-Emissions Climate Plan
      • Progressives Tell Biden "No Climate, No Deal" on Infrastructure Plan
      • U.S. Southwest, Already Parched, Sees ‘Virtual Water’ Drain Abroad | naked capitalis

        As the Colorado River Basin enters yet another year of drought, global companies are worsening the water crisis.

      • In Brazil, Environmental Crimes Can Be Traced to the Top

        In the past couple of months, the United States has intensified talks with the minister. In fact, Salles attended President Joe Biden’s Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April where he insisted that Brazil would need $10 billion annually in foreign aid to stop deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

        Now, the U.S. may need to reevaluate its relationship and possible aid to the country. That’s because in the past month, Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) has authorized two unrelated probes into Salles’ alleged involvement with the illegal logging industry.

      • Energy

        • 'Keystone XL Is Dead!': After 10-Year Battle, Climate Movement Victory Is Complete

          After more than a decade of grassroots organizing, agitation, and tireless opposition by the international climate movement, the final nail was slammed into the Keystone XL's coffin Wednesday afternoon when the company behind the transnational tar sands pipeline officially pulled the plug on its plans.

          "This victory is thanks to Indigenous land defenders who fought the Keystone XL pipeline for over a decade." —Clayton Thomas Muller,

        • Exxon is Telling Investors its Permian Fracking Projects are ‘World Class’. The Data Says Otherwise.

          ExxonMobil’s production numbers in the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico appear to have deteriorated in 2019, according to new analysis, calling into question the company’s claims that it is an industry leader and that its operations are steadily becoming more efficient over time.

          Chastened by years of poor returns and rising angst among its own shareholders, ExxonMobil narrowed its priorities in 2020 to just a few overarching areas of interest, focusing on its massive offshore oil discoveries in Guyana and its Permian basin assets, two areas positioned as the very core of the company’s growth strategy.

        • 'Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy' Shows Transition to Renewable Future Totally Doable

          Ditching fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy in order to keep warming below the 1.5ۼC threshold is both "necessary and technically feasible."

          That's the conclusion of an analysis released Thursday entitled Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy. Produced by the University of Technology Sydney's€ Institute for Sustainable Futures in cooperation with the€ Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, the report states clearly that "there is no need for more fossil fuels" because the world is overflowing with renewable energy capacity.

        • How a Grassroots Campaign Defeated a Big Mining Company in El Salvador

          Authors Robin Broad and John Cavanagh have brought us this amazing David versus Goliath story in their new book, The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved A Country from Corporate Greed. Their first-hand accounts of working with front-line communities, both in El Salvador and in the United States. provide lessons along the way about how to fight an immensely powerful entity and win, whether the enemy be Big Gold, Big Oil or Big Pharma (to name a few). As they write in their introduction, “You may find yourselves surprised to find the relevance of the strategies of the water defenders in El Salvador, whether your focus is on a Walmart in Washington DC; a fracking company trying to expand in Texas or Pennsylvania, or petrochemical companies outside New Orleans.” By the end of the book, they added relevant struggles in countries like Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, as well as in South Africa, South Korea, and India.

          In an interview with John Cavanagh, I asked if he and Broad had an inkling of the huge ramifications of their story right from the beginning, and his answer was decidedly no. In fact, when they first got involved, back in 2009, they never expected to win. They knew what they were up against and had no illusions. As they wrote about the ensuing years of twist-and-turn battles lost and won, the authors described a combination of events that made the water defenders’ decades-long struggle unusual… Yet now, with lessons learned, replicable.

        • Keystone XL’s Death Is a Huge Climate Win -- and a Sign of Oil’s Decline
        • Line 3 Water Protectors Launch Occupation at Mississippi River Pipeline Easement
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • It's Time to Stop Advertising Montana

          It’s not hyperbole to say many long-time Montanans are alarmed at what is happening to our state. Suddenly, home prices are so far out of reach for Montanans it’s almost impossible for young couples to buy a home and raise a family. And while Montana’s average home price now soars upward, the per capita income for working Montana jobs has remained seriously behind skyrocketing home and land prices.

          It’s really no mystery how this happened. Montana still has what most states lost long ago. Nearly all the native species that were here when Lewis and Clark rolled through more than 200 years ago are still here. While many of those species are fighting extinction due to habitat fragmentation, resource extraction, development and pollution, they’re still here —€ like long-time Montanans, hanging on despite tremendous pressure from what is facetiously termed “progress.”

        • A Massive Fish Kill Continues on Klamath River

          “This emergency declaration acknowledges the reality that climate change is upon us, and the dangers that it poses to rivers, forests, wildlife and communities,”€ according to the Tribe in their€ “Resolution Declaring a State of Emergency Due to Climate Change.”

          The resolution points out “there has been a consensus among 97% of Climate scientists that Climate Change is a reality.”

        • Fish supplies face rising threat from algal blooms

          Fish farms, and the protein supply of over three billion people, are at increasing risk from algal blooms.

      • Overpopulation

        • The Hoover Dam reservoir is at an all-time low

          Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the Hoover Dam, that feeds water to 25 million people across Western states, is historically low. On June 9th, the water level dipped to 1,071.57 feet above sea level, narrowly beating a record low last set in 2016.

          The lake surface has dropped 140 feet since 2000, leaving the reservoir just 37 percent full. With such a dramatic drop, officials expect to declare an official water shortage for the first time ever. That could affect water and energy that Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam deliver to Arizona, California, and Nevada.

    • Finance

      • Are Crazed Commies Running American Corporations?

        For a previous generation it would be unimaginable. The chief executives of America's largest corporations are being publicly vilified for their politics. This time it's not anti-globalisation protestors or Occupy Wall Streeters of the past who've got beef.

      • There Is No Crisis of Laziness

        Republican governors are done sympathizing with the millions of unemployed Americans. In March 2020, Congress expanded unemployment benefits to offset the steep, sudden loss of jobs caused by Covid-19. But as of late May, more than three-quarters of GOP-led states said they would prematurely end the extra $300 payments, broadened eligibility, and longer benefit period.

      • Consumerism, Another Inheritance From the Slavery System

        Strategy and dogma

      • The Pitfalls of US-South Korea Economic Cooperation

        The summit featured the obligatory affirmation of the bilateral military alliance and the joint determination to denuclearize North Korea.

        But the real motivation behind the summit was economic. As they rebound from last year’s COVID-19 downturn, the United States and South Korea are increasingly relying on each other to stabilize supply chains and grow their respective economies.

      • Can We Bemoan Inequality as We Push Policies to Increase It?

        Anyhow, for those of us who do have some memory, it was rather striking to see the first paragraph of an article reporting on the expected Senate approval of measures that are explicitly protectionist:

        “Faced with an urgent competitive threat from China, the Senate is poised to pass the most expansive industrial policy legislation in U.S. history, blowing past partisan divisions over government support for private industry to embrace a nearly quarter-trillion-dollar investment in building up America’s manufacturing and technological edge.”

      • WaPo Obscures Republican Role in Killing Equal Pay

        “Democrats Hit Major Political Wall in Efforts to Close Gender Pay Gap, Raise Minimum Wage,” announced a Washington Post headline (6/9/21) yesterday.

      • Corporations That Paid Zero Federal Income Tax Spent $400 Million in Lobbying
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 'The Truth Can't Be Hidden': Omar Hits Back at Dems Upset by Critique of US-Israel Atrocities

        Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota hit back Wednesday at the dozen fellow House Democrats who accused her of "equating" the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban after she pointed out that the U.S. and Israeli governments have committed human rights atrocities—an uncontroversial statement that the right-wing media and Republican lawmakers rushed to warp and sensationalize.

        "She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That's better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics."—Rep. Rashida Tlaib

      • Conservationists Applaud Biden's Reversal of Trump Attack on Endangered Species

        Conservation groups applauded the Biden administration on Friday—and urged officials to act quickly—after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service announced plans to undo former President Donald Trump's weakening of the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

        Officials said the administration will restore protections that were loosened in 2019 at the behest of developers and other business interests—an action that led several environmental groups to sue Trump's Interior Department.

      • Can Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Peel-Off Blue-Collar Workers from the Republicans?

        The R’s do fear that Biden is aiming to cleave blue-collar employees off from the Republican’s base by framing the debate as one of creating jobs versus padding the profits of corporations. His infrastructure legislation is cleverly titled the American Jobs Plan to address their primary concern, keeping and getting jobs.

        Focusing on the economy is the pathway that Biden is taking to deliver that message to the Trump voters. A€ Pew Research survey€ of 12 issues asked voters to rank them by importance. It showed that 88 percent of Trump voters considered the economy the number one issue; the next closest issue was immigration at 74 percent. Meanwhile, Biden supporters ranked the economy as fourth at 72 percent; the number one issue was health care at 84 percent.

      • Manchin Family Values

        The EpiPen is the product of US taxpayer-funded research conducted in the 1970s for the Pentagon —which wanted an auto-injector device for soldiers facing exposure to nerve gas— by a company called Survival Technology. € The rights to market a civilian version to prevent anaphylaxis were then sold and re-sold. Survival merged with Brunswick, which sold the rights to Dey, a subsidiary of Merck, which in 2007 sold the rights to Mylan, which made a production deal with King, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer.

        After some superficial improvements (a stronger spring, clearer instructions) that supposedly justified raising prices, Mylan began its big marketing push in 2009. With almost 90% of the market, their key goal was to get every school in the US to keep EpiPens on hand. Children face the highest risk of a fatal response because many never been exposed to the substance they’re allergic to. Adults generally know what they’re allergic to and try to avoid exposure or carry the antidote.

      • Manchin Moving
      • Here in Israel, the Perils of a Government of ‘No Politics’

        Jerusalem—Israel is currently passing through its Trumpian moment. Indeed, staunch Trump ally Benjamin Netanyahu is out-trumping Trump, calling the results of the March 23 “the greatest election fraud in the history of the country, in my opinion in the history of any democracy…. [The new government represents] a scam against the public. The biggest election scam, maybe, in history.”

      • Maya Wiley Consolidates Progressive Support in New York City Mayoral Race

        New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley is seeing her poll numbers surge after netting high-profile endorsements in recent days from progressive lawmakers and organizations, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and the Working Families Party.

        After previously struggling to crack the top three in the crowded Democratic primary field, Wiley jumped to second place in the first major poll conducted in the wake of Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement this past weekend, which came just over two weeks before the June 22 election.

      • Why Is Garland’s DOJ Taking Trump’s Side Against E. Jean Carroll?

        I can’t believe I have to write this, but: Slandering alleged rape victims is not one of the official duties of the president of the United States. This is apparently a confusing and controversial proposition to some. But rest assured, there is nothing in Article II of the US Constitution, and nothing in any part of the US statutory code, not even the footnotes, that lists “defaming alleged rape victims” as one of the privileges or responsibilities of the office of the president. We could, and in fact do, have a fully functioning Executive Branch without granting civil immunity to presidents who decide to call rape victims “ugly” “liars” in their personal capacity as edgelord bully on Twitter.

      • Not As Surprising As You May Think: Garland DOJ Says That Trump Denying Raping E. Jean Carroll Was Official Presidential Business

        Late last year, we covered the story of the DOJ stepping in to take over a defamation case for President Trump. As we noted at the time, the defamation case itself was pretty weak, though it's similar to a series of other defamation cases we've seen in recent times. E. Jean Carroll claimed that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her many years ago. Trump later denied the claim, saying that it was "totally false" and saying (incorrectly, as it turns out) that he "never met this person in my life." Carroll then sued for defamation based on the denials. As noted, this kind of defamation case has popped up a few times, including a high profile one against Bill Cosby by one of his accusers as well.

      • For Trump, Cruelty Was the Point. Now It's a Major GOP Fundraising Strategy.
      • 75% of Foreign Public Confident Biden Will 'Do the Right Thing,' Up From Just 17% Under Trump

        A new Pew Research Center report reveals a dramatic shift in the international community's view of the United States and its president over the past year, with a clear improvement since former President Donald Trump left office.

        Stark contrasts were revealed in a survey of a dozen nations this year and last. At the end of Trump's presidency, a median of just 17% had confidence in him to do the right thing regarding world affairs. At the start of President Joe Biden's term in 2021, however, 75% expressed such confidence. And while a median of only 34% had a favorable view of the U.S. at the end of Trump's presidency, 62% had a favorable view at the start of Biden's presidency.

      • Progressives Rally to Defend Ilhan Omar After 'Bad Faith' Attack by House Democratic Leadership

        As Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday afternoon clarified earlier remarks about "unthinkable atrocities" committed by the United States and Israel following a rebuke from her own party's House leadership, many of the Minnesota Democrat's progressive colleagues joined peace and human rights advocates in rallying to her defense.

        Omar first came under fire from fellow Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday, when a dozen moderate representatives issued a statement accusing her of "equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban," displaying "deep-seated prejudice," and giving "cover to terrorist groups."

      • How Nigerian Musicians Are Responding to the Country’s Twitter Ban

        While the explosion of Afrobeats worldwide is a seemingly positive development, the contrast between Nigeria’s cultural output and its internal politics couldn’t be starker. “Back in 2019, someone on Twitter joked about Nigeria having nothing working in it except jollof rice and Afrobeats and it was funny back then,” King Perryy says. “Problem is, that joke is our reality right now.”

      • State Department urges Nigeria to reverse Twitter ban

        The showdown between Twitter and the Nigerian government comes amid a broader trend of government intervention in social media from places such as China and Iran.

      • India’s Democracy Is the World’s Problem

        When the G7 group of rich democracies assembles this weekend in southwest England, it will discuss issues including COVID-19, taxes, and climate change. One item overhanging the formal agenda, however, will be the global deterioration of democracy itself, and the nation on which this question may hinge won’t be any of the hosts, but a guest invited to this year’s confab: India. Democracy’s fate there may determine its fate throughout the world. At the moment, the signs aren’t looking good—and that should be a flashing-red warning beacon for the rest of us.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Pastor battles human smugglers on Facebook

        Banda is a pastor who runs a shelter in a church in Tijuana, Mexico, where migrants end up after being deported from the U.S. Many of them gave their life savings to human smugglers, known as coyotes, whom they met on Facebook and its encrypted messaging app WhatsApp, and who promised them safe passage to America. When people arrive at his shelter, they’ve often spent all the money they have, and many have experienced rape, violence and further extortion along the way.

      • Texas AG could be disbarred over bogus push to overturn 2020 election: report

        The original complaint against Paxton, filed by a Texas Democratic Party insider, was initially dismissed by the State Bar of Texas, but an independent tribunal reversed that decision last month, according to the Associated Press. At issue is whether or not his unsuccessful push to overturn election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin amounted to professional misconduct.

        If the accusations are substantiated, Paxton would become the highest profile official to face consequences for his role in President Donald Trump's attempt to invalidate legitimate election results.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Tracking Global Online Censorship: What EFF Is Doing Next

        Tracking Global Online Censorship is a new project to record and combat international speech restrictions, especially where censorship policies are exported from Europe and the United States to the rest of the world. Headed by EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian York, the project will seek accountability for powerful online censors—in particular, social media platforms such as Facebook and Google—and hold them to just, inclusive standards of expressive discourse, transparency, and due process in a way that protects marginalized voices, dissent, and disparate communities.

        “Social media companies make mistakes at scale that catch a range of vital expression in their content moderation net. And as companies grapple with moderating new types of content during a pandemic, these error rates will have new, dangerous consequences,” said Jillian York. “Misapplication of content moderation systems results in the systemic silencing of marginalized communities. It is vital that we protect the free flow of information online and ensure that platforms provide users with transparency and a path to remedy.”

        Support for Tracking Global Online Censorship is provided by the Swedish Postcode Foundation (Svenska Postkodstiftelsen). Established in 2003, the Swedish Postcode Foundation receives part of the Swedish Postcode Lottery’s surplus, which it then uses to provide financial support to non-governmental organizations creating positive changes through concrete efforts. The Foundation’s goal is to create a better world through projects that challenge, inspire, and promote change.

      • Book Review: "Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives" | naked capitalism

        Maxims for ownership, because markets.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Protecting Borders, Not Life

        Remember the Space Force?

      • 'Unequivocally Deadly': Cop Flips Over Car of Pregnant Woman Who Didn't Pull Over Fast Enough

        Police dash cam footage€ that began to go viral Wednesday has sparked outrage as it showed a state trooper in Arkansas forcing the SUV of a pregnant woman driver—who claims she was was trying to find a safer place to pull over—to crash and roll over during an attempted highway€ traffic stop in July of last year.

        "A person who was obeying the law could have been killed along with her unborn child, all thanks to a veteran police officer not knowing the law he is meant to enforce, or being unable to resist performing a dangerous and unnecessary maneuver." —Erin Marquis, Jalopnik

      • Labor Advocates Rebuke Amazon for Latest 'Smoke and Mirrors' on Worker Safety

        Labor advocates on Thursday responded with disdain and derision to news that Amazon and the National Safety Council are partnering to find "innovative solutions" to prevent the workplace injuries that disproportionately plague the retail giant's warehouse employees.

        "The root cause of this issue is Amazon's business model of expecting workers to perform like robots at an unbearable and often unattainable pace of work." —Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU

      • Denmark Offshores the Right to Asylum

        The government of Mette Frederiksen has now secured amendments to the Danish Aliens Act that authorises the transfer of asylum seekers to other countries as their applications are being processed.€  The measure was secured on June 3 by a vote of 70 to 24, though critics must surely look at the absence of 85 MPs as telling.€  The measure is not automatic: the Danish government will have to secure (or bribe) the trust of third party states to assume their share.

        Government spokesman Rasmus Stoklund left few doubts as to what the new law entailed.€  “If you apply for asylum in Denmark, you know that you will be sent back to a country outside Europe, and therefore we hope that people stop seeking asylum in Denmark.”

      • Zahid Quraishi Becomes First Muslim-American Federal Judge in US History
      • Skepticism Mounts Over IG's Report on Lafayette Park Attack on Protesters
      • Victory! Dartmouth Ends Unfounded Cheating Investigation After Students, Rights Groups Speak Out

        The investigation at Dartmouth began when the administration conducted a flawed review of an entire year’s worth of student log data from Canvas, the online learning platform that contains class lectures and other substantive information. After a technical review, EFF determined that the logs easily could have been generated by the automated syncing of course material to devices logged into Canvas but not being used during an exam. It’s simply impossible to know from the logs alone if a student intentionally accessed any of the files, or if the pings exist due to automatic refresh processes that are commonplace in most websites and online services. In this case, many of the logs related to Canvas content that wasn’t even relevant to the tests being taken, raising serious questions about Dartmouth’s allegations.

        It’s unclear how many other schools have combed through Canvas logs for evidence of cheating, but the Dartmouth debacle provides clear evidence that its logging system is not meant to be used—and should not be used—as evidence in such investigations.

        Along with FIRE, EFF sent a letter to Dartmouth in€ March laying out our concerns, including the fact that Canvas' own documentation explicitly states that the data in these logs is not intended to be used "in isolation for auditing or other high-stakes analysis involving examining single users or small samples." According to the latest email sent to the student body from the Dean of the School of Medicine, the allegations have been dropped “upon further review and based on new information received from our learning management system provider.” While Instructure, the company behind Canvas, has not responded to numerous requests we’ve sent asking them to comment on Dartmouth’s use of these logs,€  we are heartened to hear that it is taking misuses of its system seriously. We urge the company to take a more public stand against these sorts of investigations. It’s unclear how many other schools have combed through Canvas logs for evidence of cheating, but the Dartmouth debacle provides clear evidence that its logging system is not meant to be used—and should not be used—as evidence in such investigations.

      • The Jihad against the Yazidis Continues

        The UN team focused on an August 2014 attack in Sinjar in Northern Iraq against the Yazidi community, as well as a mass killing of military personnel at Tikrit Air Academy in June 2014. “I am able to announce that based upon independent and impartial investigations, complying with international standards and UN best practice, there is clear and convincing evidence that the crimes against the Yazidi people clearly constituted genocide,” the team lead said.

        Many people, specifically in the West, have mistakenly been led to believe that the threat to Yazidis has receded in Kurdistan (Iraq) and Syria.

      • What Is Juneteenth, How Is It Celebrated, and Why Does It Matter?

        Its impact bears that out. Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." This meant that the proclamation only applied to states that had seceded from the United States, leaving slavery intact in border states and Southern states under Northern control. In addition, the promise of abolition that Juneteenth celebrates today was contingent on the Union army winning the Civil War, which didn’t happen until April 1865.

        But here’s where Juneteenth’s meaning comes into play: Even after the end of slavery was declared, the Union had to enforce emancipation. In Texas, approximately 250,000 people were still being held in slavery when, on June 19, 1865, Union troops led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to announce that the war had ended and that all of the enslaved were now free.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Detroit The Latest City Forced To Cobble Together Working Internet Thanks To Telecom Market Failure

        Frustrated by slow speeds, high prices, and spotty broadband availability (read: market failure) more than 750 US towns and cities have explored some kind of home-grown broadband option. Sometimes that's a local cooperative. Sometimes it's an extension of the locally owned power utility. Sometimes it's a public/private partnership with an existing internet provider. And sometimes it involves building an entire local broadband network from scratch. But always it's motivated by one thing: an ever growing, multi-decade frustration at the lack of competition and options in the US broadband market.

      • Rock Bottom: Bill C-10 Gag Order and No-Notice Meetings Means the End of Committee Review is Near

        As the committee work comes to an end, it is important to recognize that there was no full study for Bill C-10 and that many witnesses – including digital first creators – were excluded altogether. However, given that the Liberals, Bloc and now effectively the NDP have supported this approach, the outcome of the vote on Bill C-10 in the House of Commons is not in doubt. The Canadian Heritage committee did not do its job. It will fall to the Senate to do theirs.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • 15 Universities Have Formed A Company That Looks A Lot Like A Patent Troll

          That sounds an awful lot like a patent troll. That’s the kind of entity that EFF criticizes because they use flimsy patents to squeeze money from operating companies, rather than making their own products. Unfortunately, this description also applies to a company that has just been formed by a consortium of 15 large research universities.€ 

          This patent commercialization company has been secretly under discussion since 2018. In September 2020, it quietly went public, when the University of California Regents authorized making UC Berkeley and UCLA two of its founding members. In January, the DOJ said it wouldn’t challenge the program on antitrust grounds.€ 

          It’s good news when universities share technology with the private sector, and when startup companies get formed based on university research. That’s part of why so much university research is publicly funded. But there’s not much evidence that university patenting helps technology reach the public, and there’s a growing body of evidence that patents hinder it. Patents in this context are legal tools that allow someone to monopolize publicly-funded research and capture its promise for a private end.

        • [Older] Filing A Divisional Application In Europe – Part 15

          When an application contains a reference to a previously filed application, a certified copy of the previously filed application must be filed within 2 months of the filing of a divisional application, unless the reference application was originally filed with the EPO. If the previously filed application is not in an official language of the EPO (namely, in English, French or German), a translation into one of the official languages will be required within 2 months of the filing of the divisional application.

          The filing and search fee for a divisional application must be paid within one month after filing. The designation fee must be paid within 6 months of the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report for the divisional application.

        • As European Parliament Endorses Vaccine Patent Waiver, EU Urged to Stop Putting Pharma Profits Over Human Life

          The European Parliament voted Wednesday to endorse a temporary patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines, bucking an intense lobbying campaign by the pharmaceutical industry and heightening pressure on E.U. member nations to end their opposition to the proposal at the World Trade Organization.

          "This vote sends a strong signal that Europeans stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of the world in the fight against the pandemic."—Evelien van Roemburg, Oxfam

        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • The Decades-Long Trademark Dispute Over 'Pretzel Crisps' Comes To Its Obvious End

          It's quite incredible how often the unfortunate growth of ownership culture in America produces silly trademark disputes over terms that obviously shouldn't be valid trademarks. While examples of this are legion, let's get right into what has become a decade-plus long dispute over "pretzel crisps". Snyder's, acquired by Princeton Vanguard, has long made a "pretzel crisp" product. In 2004, the USPTO registered the company's "pretzel crisp" mark, but as a supplemental to an earlier registration, deeming it "descriptive". If you want to argue that the term "pretzel crisp" is not descriptive, well, don't because you're wrong. Even Princeton Vanguard didn't argue differently until 2009, when it attempted to argue that the term had acquired distinctiveness in the public, associated with the company's brand and product. The USPTO remained unconvinced when Frito-Lay opposed the registration as it had its own similar product, with that opposition going so far as to actually seek to have any registration for the term canceled as generic.

      • Copyrights

        • Free Music App TREBEL Files For IPO, Hoping To Attract Millions of Pirates

          For those who are currently pirating music on torrent sites, downloading tracks from YouTube-ripping services, or are simply unhappy with the playback restrictions of Spotify's free tier, TREBEL may be of interest. The company has filed for an IPO in the United States and is specifically targeting users who can't (or won't) pay for music.

        • Blizzard DMCA Notice Wipes 'Diablo II: Resurrected' Offline Patches from GitHub

          Blizzard Entertainment is continuing its quest to wipe offline patches for the upcoming "Diablo II: Resurrected" game off the Internet. After targeting the main developer with a cease and desist order, the game company has now asked GitHub to remove dozens of forks that were still floating around.

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