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Links 23/6/2021: TeXmacs 2.1 and Blender LTS Support

  • GNU/Linux

    • Emulate the Atari ST home computer with Linux

      Emulation is the practice of using a program (called an emulator) on a PC to mimic the behaviour of a home computer or a video game console, in order to play (usually retro) games on a computer.

      Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single non-technical user.

      Back in the 1980s, home computers came to the forefront of teenagers’ minds. Specifically, the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Atari ST were extremely popular. They were hugely popular home computers targeted heavily towards games, but they also ran other types of software.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Slimbook Executive is a Reasonably High-End Linux Powered Laptop

        Slimbook Executive is the new premium equipment of the Spanish brand, a laptop that comes to improve what has already been seen with the ProX series.

        The Slimbook Executive is one of the brand’s latest hardware offerings that’s targeted towards professional who required a powerful piece of equipment to handle their everyday workflow. It aims to compete in the segment of high-end ultrabook laptops, such as the Microsoft Surface or the ASUS ZenBook Ultralight, both in performance as well as in design and dimensions.

        This laptop comes as a new member of the family with enhanced features versus the Slimbook ProX. The Slimbook Executive has greater lightness, a more robust construction, higher screen resolution, a battery with more capacity for greater autonomy, and improvements in connectivity.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 363.5 – Incremental Improvements

        In our Innards section, we updated the livestream setup, so we’ll chat about that and the accessories to go along with

        And finally, the feedback and a couple suggestions

        Twitter. Discord. Telegram. Matrix. Reddit.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12.13
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.12.13 kernel.

        All users of the 5.12 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.12.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.12.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.46
      • Linux 5.4.128
      • Habana Labs Driver Drops Default Memory Scrubbing For Better Performance, Other Changes

        Intel-owned Habana Labs has submitted their set of driver updates to char/misc ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.14 merge window.

        Habana Labs driver continues to support their Gaudi accelerator for AI training workloads and Goya as their accelerator optimized for AI inference. Plus this open-source kernel driver continues to prepare for future Habana Labs hardware.

      • Linux 5.14 To Support The OpenPOWER Microwatt Soft CPU Core - Phoronix

        Announced two years ago was the OpenPOWER Microwatt as an FPGA-based soft CPU core.

        This open-source soft processor core complies with the Power ISA 3.0 instruction set and can be run on various FPGA hardware. Microwatt marks the first processor written from scratch using the open Power ISA 3.0 specification and serves as one of the organization's reference designs. While a basic design and catered for FPGA usage, it's going to see 130nm chip fabrication this year if all goes well.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Crocus Gallium3D Adds Experimental Intel Gen8 Graphics, Overlapping With Iris Driver - Phoronix

          Landing in mainline Mesa 21.2 development code last week was the "Crocus" Gallium3D driver for old Intel hardware spanning from the Intel 965 chipset days "Gen4" up through Crocus supporting Haswell "Gen7" graphics. The i965 to Haswell span has been the focus since the official Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver already in Mesa supports the Broadwell "Gen8" up through all current Intel UHD/Xe Graphics. But now Crocus with the latest Mesa code has added Gen8 support.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Different Again

          It’s a screenshot of Portal 2 with the Gallium HUD activated and VSync disabled.

          But what driver is that underneath?

          Well, for today’s blog it’s RadeonSI, the reference implementation of a Gallium driver.

          And why is this, I can hear you all asking.

        • Work-In-Progress RadeonSI+Nine Showing Big Performance Win For Source Engine Games - Phoronix

          While Valve has been working on Vulkan-based rendering for Source Engine games by making use of DXVK for translating the game engine's native Direct3D calls to the Vulkan API, with some yet-to-be-merged Mesa patches around Gallium Nine there is much better performance to see with Gallium Nine at least for the RadeonSI driver.

          Mike Blumenkrantz as the Valve contractor who has been working heavily on the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan has been hacking on some Gallium Nine related patches on and off the past week along with others involved with Mesa and Valve's Linux graphics driver work.

        • Left 4 Dead 2 Vulkan Performance With Radeon Graphics On Linux - Phoronix

          Last week Valve introduced Vulkan rendering support for Left 4 Dead 2. The L4D2 Vulkan support is similar to that of Portal 2 where DXVK is being leveraged for translating the Direct3D calls to Vulkan rather than relying on their OpenGL translations. For those wondering what this means for L4D2 performance on Linux with modern GPUs, here are some benchmarks of Left 4 Dead 2 when testing the OpenGL and Vulkan rendering options.

        • More Vulkan goodness arrives in Mesa with the PanVK driver for Arm Mali Midgard & Bifrost | GamingOnLinux

          Collabora has given word that another exciting development has been made for Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPUs, as the new PanVK Vulkan driver has landed in Mesa.

          The work from Collabora (and others) has been a long road, getting basic OpenGL up to scratch on these Arm GPUs which they've blogged about quite a lot. Most recently their Alyssa Rosenzweig wrote about achieving OpenGL ES 3.1 on Mali GPUs with Panfrost.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking TinyML with MLPerf Tiny Inference Benchmark - CNX Software

        As machine learning moves to microcontrollers, something referred to as TinyML, new tools are needed to compare different solutions. We’ve previously posted some Tensorflow Lite for Microcontroller benchmarks (for single board computers), but a benchmarking tool specifically designed for AI inference on resources-constrained embedded systems could prove to be useful for consistent results and cover a wider range of use cases.

        That’s exactly what MLCommons, an open engineering consortium, has done with MLPerf Tiny Inference benchmarks designed to measure how quickly a trained neural network can process new data for tiny, low-power devices, and it also includes an optional power measurement option.

    • Applications

      • Replace find with fd on Linux

        Many Linux programmers use the find command every single day of their career. But find gives a limited set of filesystem entries, and if you have to do a large set of find operations, it's not even very fast. So instead, I prefer to use the Rust fd command because it provides sensible defaults that work for most use cases.

        As its README says, "fd is a program to find entries in your filesystem. It is a simple, fast, and user-friendly alternative to find." It features parallelized directory traversal, so it can search multiple directories at once. It supports regular expressions (regex) and glob-based patterns.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Migrating away from apt-key

        This is an edited copy of an email I sent to provide guidance to users of apt-key as to how to handle things in a post apt-key world.

      • What's a UUID?

        These names are almost certainly "Universally Unique Identifiers," or "UUIDs".

        There are RFC4122 and non-RFC4122 UUIDs. The four main types of RFC4122 UUIDs are: [...]

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

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Parse Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Parse is an open-source Backend as a Service (BaaS) platform commonly used over the last few years. It is written in Node.js and can be used for any application running Node.js. Parse Server comes with a simple and easy-to-use web interface that can be used for data manipulation, to view analytics, and to schedule and send push notifications.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Parse Server on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Controlling access to rootless Podman for users | Enable Sysadmin

        Recently the Podman team received a Bugzilla report claiming that there was no way to stop rootless Podman from running containers. The reporter set up a user account with no entries in /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid and reported that rootless Podman could still run the hello-world container.

      • How to Add User to Group in Linux Ubuntu 20.04 Complete Tutorial

        Do You have added a user in wrong group, and want to add in right group? or Add new user in group, or want to add a user in multiple group?

        You will get reply of all questions from this article.

        Only reading full article gives you the complete guide on how to Add User to Group in Linux, I am using Ubuntu 20.04 Operating system but this operation will be the same on other Linux. You can perform this task on CentOS, RHEL, etc.

      • How to Customize Ubuntu Touchpad Gestures | Technastic

        If you’ve ever used any modern Windows 10 laptop with a decent touchpad, or a MacBook, you know how touchpad gestures make using the laptop so much easier. In many ways, they make the touchpad even better than using a Bluetooth mouse. Unfortunately, Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu haven’t really caught up in that department. But Ubuntu is still Linux so, if you want something, you can have it with a little effort. Today we’ll see how you can customize Ubuntu touchpad gestures.

      • How to Install Anaconda in Linux

        Anaconda is a popular tool among data analysts/scientists and machine learning engineers. Why is it so popular? If you are working as a data scientist or machine learning engineer you will be working with Python.

        Python is a battery-included language so when you install python it will have a set of packages available to be used. These are basic packages and you will need a lot more packages when you work for data science like numpy, pandas, etc.

      • How to Install Kid3 Audio Tag Editor 3.8.7 in Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Kid3 3.8.7 was released as the latest version of the KDE’s audio tag editor. You can install it easily in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Linux Mint 20 via PPA.

        Kid3 is a free open-source tool to edit tags in MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, MP4/AAC, MP2, Opus, Speex, TrueAudio, WavPack, WMA, WAV and AIFF files.

        It can edit ID3v1.1 tags, all ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 frames, and edit tags for multiple files. As well it can convert between ID3v1.1, ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 tags.

      • How to Install Rocky Linux 8.4 Step by Step with Screenshots

        Hello Techies, Rocky Linux 8.4 has been released officially by Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF). It is considered as the replacement of CentOS Linux. Rock Linux is community-based enterprise level operating system and compatible with RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). As CentOS 8 updates will not be available the after end of Dec 2021 and if you are looking for production grade operating system then Rocky Linux can be considered.

        In this guide, we will cover the installation steps of Rocky Linux 8.4. Before jump into the installation steps, let’s see the minimum system requirements for Rocky Linux.

      • How to Install SSH Server in Ubuntu 20.04

        SSH is a network protocol that allows you to connect to your Linux machine. If you are someone working in IT you know servers are present in data centers and to connect with the server you need to use SSH protocol. It is the responsibility of the administrator to install an SSH server and secure it from external intrusion.

        In this article, I will walk you through how to install the OpenSSH server in Ubuntu 20.04.

        Every Linux machine has an SSH client installed by default. You will connect to any remote server using this SSH client. I am having a fresh copy of the Ubuntu 20.04 machine, which is I am using for demonstration purposes. It is running with IP If I have to connect to this machine from my host machine SSH server should be running. The SSH server will listen at port 22.

      • How to Use Port Knocking To Secure SSH Service in Linux

        Port Knocking is a nifty technique of controlling access to a port by only allowing legitimate users access to the service running on a server. It works in such a way that when the right sequence of connection attempts is made, the firewall gladly opens the port that was closed.

        The logic behind port knocking is to safeguard your Linux system from automated port scanners which prowl for open ports. In this guide, we examine how you can install port knocking and how you can configure it to secure SSH service. For demonstration purposes, we will use Ubuntu 18.04.

      • How to get system configuration alerts on RHEL from Red Hat Insights using Drift

        Drift, a set of capabilities within Red Hat Insights, can help manage and troubleshoot issues across many systems. In this post, we will explore how you can set up configuration alerts and better use the features available to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscribers.

        Red Hat Insights is a configuration analysis service available as part of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription. System administrators can use Drift with RHEL to compare configurations, define baselines, and ultimately perform root-cause analysis of issues during troubleshooting.

        Since system configurations tend to vary and drift away from initially defined standard operating environments, operators need to be able to check quickly to determine if a problem can be related to any differences from the recommended configuration.

      • How to install vtop on Linux - Unixcop

        Vtop is a Linux Process and Memory Activity Monitoring Tool. A Command-line tools like “top” make it hard to monitor CPU usage and memory usage. That’s why we today introduce you to vtop – is a free and open-source, simple yet powerful and extendable terminal activity monitoring tool written in Node.js.

        It is designed to make it easy for users to view CPU usage across multi-process applications (those that have a master process and child processes, for example, NGINX, Apache, Chrome, etc.). vtop also makes it easy to see spikes over time as well as memory usage.

        vtop uses Unicode braille characters to draw and display CPU and Memory usage charts, helping you visualize spikes. Additionally, it group processes with the same name (master and all child processes) together.

      • How to use thc-hydra for Dictionary attack beginner's guide

        thc-hydra A very fast network logon cracker with a dictionary attack tool which support many different services. You can use thc-hydra tool for cracking the password. Many hackers love this tool due to its GUI and Cmdline interface.

        If you are new in ethical hacking and don’t know how to use thc-hydra, still you can use it easily due to the GUI interface.

      • sudo add-apt-repository command not found error in Linux Guide

        Are you facing the problem at the time of adding a new PPA repository? I have seen the error “sudo add-apt-repository command not found” in Ubuntu or other Debian based operating system? This article has a solution of fixing error “sudo add-apt-repository command not found”.

      • Parsing config files with Lua |

        Not all applications need configuration files; many applications benefit from starting fresh each time they are launched. Simple utilities, for instance, rarely require preferences or settings that persist across uses. However, when you write a complex application, it's nice for users to be able to configure how they interact with it and how it interacts with their system. That's what configuration files are for, and this article discusses some of the ways you can implement persistent settings with the Lua programming language.

      • Tuning systemd services, logging, and device management in Linux - Linux Concept

        systemd is a core component of many Linux distributions. Since its birth in 2010, many distributions have gradually adopted systemd as the core init system, responsible for handling services and boot-up operations.

    • Games

      • Magical comedy point & click adventure Plot of the Druid is up on Kickstarter | GamingOnLinux

        After a promising prologue demo a while ago with Plot of the Druid: Nightwatch, the full experience with Plot of the Druid that will support Linux is up on Kickstarter.

        Inspired, as many are, by classic LucasArts and Sierra games you can expect a modernised adventure that the developer says will be full of humour, magic and shapeshifting. The developer says to think of it like "Simon the Sorcerer meets Rincewind with a Monkey Island vibe". Instead of the usual push, pull and pick up options Plot of the Druid is a little on the weirder side with shapeshifting, opening up more optionals like sniff, scratch and climb and according to the plan some areas will need animals that can see better in the dark or have better hearing.

      • The Summer Sale is now live

        Ready to pick up something weird and a little unknown? Or a couple of the top indie gems available on Now is your chance as their Summer Sale has gone live.

        itch might not have some of the most popular games around, or AA/AAA games but it is easily one of the most developer-friendly stores around. You can find some really fantastic stuff on there and they even have a cross-platform open source client to keep it all up to date.

      • Hello Engineer is out as a Stadia exclusive with State Share, Madden NFL 22 pre-order | GamingOnLinux

        It's been a little while since we talked about Stadia so it's time for another round-up of things happening for Google's cloud gaming service.

        Firstly, we did mention earlier this month that Stadia was getting the popular Rainbow Six Siege was launching on Stadia. We also know now that it's going to be cross-platform between Stadia, Windows and Amazon Luna which is good news for Stadia players since they will actually be plenty of people to join up with.

        Recently it was also announced that Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm will be arriving on Stadia on September 30, plus both titles will be free to claim for subscribers of the optional Stadia Pro subscription. Even before that though, Life is Strange: True Colors will be launching for Stadia on September 10.

      • Valve releases a Team Fortress 2 update that helps somewhat against bots

        It seems Valve has not forgotten Team Fortress 2 exists and a fresh update is out now, which pulls in some new security measures and the Summer 2021 Cosmetic Case.

        TF2 has struggled for a long time now against bots. They've been going wild, ruining games, putting vulgar things in text and voice chat, changing their names to terrible things and plenty more. At times Valve has slowed them down but it's never long before the bots are updated to overcome the new measures.

      • Rail network management sim Rail Route is now out in Early Access | GamingOnLinux

        If you think you have what it takes to build and manage a connect network of rail tracks, Rail Route is a game you might want to go and take a look at.

        Unlike the much bigger and more graphically impressive tycoon sims like Transport Network and Railway Empire, here it's not about getting resources around. Rail Route pulls things back to the basic level of working with railway network lines and the management that comes along with it - the art of dispatching trains and getting them around on time. It's almost like the Factorio of rail simulation. You constantly expand as you accept new contracts and build up an ever more complicated series of lines along with plenty of automation.

      • The absolutely wonderful shape-building factory game '' has a Puzzle DLC out

        Out now is the Puzzle DLC for, a wonderful Factorio-like game about slicing up shapes to make new shapes.

      • Run Prop, Run! is a fresh take on the Prop Hunt idea now in Early Access | GamingOnLinux

        Prop Hunt is a game mode that has been popularised in many mods for many games and now it's a whole game. Run Prop, Run! from PlayTogether Studio has entered Early Access.

        Have you played the classic kids game hide and seek? Okay, so you know the basics. One person is "it", the others hide. When caught, you help find everyone else. Here though, the hiders disguise themselves as various objects around the world. Run Prop, Run! takes it a little step further adding in platforming, ability skills and some pretty wacky game rules.

      • Left 4 Dead 2 Vulkan Performance With Radeon Graphics On Linux

        Last week Valve introduced Vulkan rendering support for Left 4 Dead 2. The L4D2 Vulkan support is similar to that of Portal 2 where DXVK is being leveraged for translating the Direct3D calls to Vulkan rather than relying on their OpenGL translations. For those wondering what this means for L4D2 performance on Linux with modern GPUs, here are some benchmarks of Left 4 Dead 2 when testing the OpenGL and Vulkan rendering options.

        For those curious about the Left 4 Dead 2 Vulkan performance I ran some benchmarks on Ubuntu 21.04 with a few Radeon GPUs (RX Vega 56, RX 5500 XT, RX 5600 XT, RX 6700 XT, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT) when using the game's OpenGL and Vulkan rendering options. Mesa 21.2-devel via the Oibaf PPA and Linux 5.13 Git provided the very latest open-source AMD Radeon graphics driver support.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma desktop, HD scaling & snaps

          I like the topic of HD scaling in Linux desktops. Like fonts, it's one of the most neglected areas of user experience in the Tux space. By and large, Plasma is the only environment that does scaling well. The other desktops sort of get along with full-integer scaling, font DPI tweaks, and, if you're lucky, some fractional scaling, with 25% increments and such.

          Things get extra interesting when you use Plasma with non-native applications, i.e., stuff that goes beyond the default Plasma set. I talked about this in my first article on HD scaling in Plasma, where I showed you a whole bunch of tweaks for software like Firefox, Chrome, old GTK2 stuff, and such. Now, I want to elaborate and show you how to scale snaps, in those scenarios where the scaling does not work well out of the box. Follow me.


          While HD displays have been around for quite some time, the true problems of HD usage is still ahead of us. For example, if you have a sufficiently large monitor, you might never really feel that interface elements are too small to bother tweaking the scaling factor. But in those situations where you do need it, things sort of fall apart. It's not just Linux - I had plenty of trouble with HD scaling in Windows, too. In this regard, Plasma is really ahead in this game.

          So far, when it comes to HD stuff, we covered a variety of browsers, we touched on several GTK2 and GTK3 apps. Hey, I even showed you how to change scaling and/or DPI for WINE applications, yup, yup. Now, we've covered snaps, too. At first glance, things may feel alien or complicated, but they aren't really. Next on the list? Gnome, and then 4K devices. And also, this is where you come in. If you have any requests or questions or suggestions, do tell. There are tons of other frameworks and tools in the Linux world, and we gotta explore them all. Anyway, hopefully, this was a useful and fun exercise. See you around.

        • KDE plasma desktop updated to in PCLinuxOS

          KDE plasma desktop packages have been updated to and shipped to the software repository. This update provides small but important bug fixes for the KDE desktop.

        • Week 1 & 2 GSoC-Krita

          After the coding period officialy began. I started the basic implementation for Pin Reference Image & Integrate Crop in Krita.

          I started addting the options in the UI file for both of these features . And then integrated the options with current reference image and layer .So the UI options will switch the visibility and the crop decorations with the active selections and vice versa too . These were implemented in Krita for some tools so i could take inspiration from them . After these Dmitry suggested to use the shape clipping functionality for cropping reference so the rendering part is already taken care of. That’s a huge help .

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Piotr BrzeziÅ„ski: GSoC 2021: Beat detection testing

          The first thing I need to implement music-syncing functionality in Pitivi is a piece of software capable of analysing a given audio track and returning some kind of information about its beat timing.

        • Tobias Bernard: Community Power Part 3: Just Do It!

          In parts 1 and 2 of the series we looked at how different groups inside the GNOME community work together to get things done. In this post we’ll look at what that means for people wanting to push for their personal agenda, e.g. getting a specific feature implemented or bug fixed.

          Implicit in the theoretical question how power works in GNOME is often a more practical one: How can I get access to it? How can I exercise power to get something I want?

          At a high level that’s very easy to answer: You either do the work yourself, or you convince someone else to do it.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • [Old] OpenBSD: the proactive Security operating system

          I will be talking about the OpenBSD operating system. OpenBSD is a Unix-like operating system and aims to be the number one in the industry for security. INFN CSIRT has based it's core services such as Incident management and incident response, mail services over encrypted storage. More in general OpenBSD is used at INFN for implementing VPN solutions.

        • TrueCommand 2.0 Features TrueNAS SCALE Cluster UI

          iXsystems has announced the general availability of TrueCommand 2.0, the second major release of the single-pane-of-glass management system that simplifies the monitoring and control of fleets of systems running TrueNAS CORE, Enterprise, or SCALE.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Rocky Linux 8.4 is here As First Stable Version. Release Recap and Download Details.

          The Rocky Linux team announced the general availability of Rocky Linux 8.4 (Green Obsidian) stable as a CentOS replacement. We wrap up this very first release in this post.

        • CentOS replacement Rocky Linux 8.4 arrives, and proves instantly popular

          The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) has announced general availability (GA) of Rocky Linux 8.4. It's an important milestone because it's the first Rocky Linux GA release ever.

        • Josef Strzibny: CentOS 8 free alternatives

          CentOS 8 EOL is around the corner, so it’s time to evaluate and try the alternatives. I prepared a small table for everybody with the basic overview.

        • 5 IT leadership principles to live by: Miami CIO of the Year winners share

          A phrase or philosophy, passed down from a mentor or learned from experience, can help shape your actions and guide your decisions as a leader - and also serve as a helpful touchstone in times of uncertainty. We wanted to know - what are the useful pieces of advice that helped leading CIOs get to where they are today and sustained them over the challenges of the last year?

          We caught up with CIOs who recently won the 2021 Miami CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards to learn about the best advice they have ever received – the words of wisdom they lead by, and why they've been so impactful. The awards were presented by the Miami CIO Leadership Association, a professional community that annually recognizes CIOs for their excellence in technology leadership.

        • Hybrid work: 4 roles to assign in every meeting

          Have your remote meetings become stale and ineffective?

          Whether your organization is planning to implement a hybrid work model or some other post-pandemic strategy, remote meetings are here to stay.

        • How Red Hat is helping drive telco’s RAN revolution

          As 5G begins to weave its way into every industry across the globe, service providers are under more pressure than ever to evolve and scale with increased efficiency. At the heart of this transformation lies cloud-native, open source innovation that helps form the foundation for future connectivity from the core, all the way out to the edge - leveraging a ubiquitous, secure, common infrastructure platform.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Community News: Lucas Kanashiro & Debian/Canonical/Ubuntu female GSoC intern relationship

          At least once every week we are reminded about the false accusations against one of Debian's former administrators in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC). It is time to look at the facts.

          The allegations relate to the Debian GSoC 2018 program. The list of selected interns is here. There are three women on the list. All three women are from Kosova. All three women were invited to DebConf18 in Taiwan. They were all invited back again for DebConf19 in Brazil. They received cash from Google, training, significant travel and accommodation benefits, references and improvements to their career prospects.

          The administrator/mentor who was wrongly accused received an email on 13 June 2018 denying his request for travel funding to attend DebConf 18. He did not attend DebConf18. He did not attend DebConf19. As he was not there, it is impossible for him to be implicated in some of the allegations. The refusal to fund his travel appears unreasonable given the effort mentors put into GSoC every year.

          Let's look at the stories of the three women.

          Elena Gjevukaj was married during GSoC 2018. The wedding was shortly before her travel to Taiwan. It seems unlikely that she had a romantic interest in any of the mentors. Here is a wedding photo. It is incredibly cruel to this woman and her husband to suggest that she might have been party to any other relationship. We congratulate them on their marriage and wish them a happy future together.

        • Ditching OpenPGP, a new approach to signing APT repositories

          Over the past few years, it has become clear that OpenPGP is a major disappointment for repository signing, the interfaces around being the cause for multiple security vulnerabilities; and limited development speed and deprecation of algorithms and key sizes causing uncertainty about long term safety of LTS releases.

          This document outlines a new approach to signing repositories. For the time being, one algorithm is being used: Ed25519 with SHA512, also used by signify-openbsd, minisign, and OpenSSH (ssh-ed25519).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Users Get Major Kernel Security Update, 17 Vulnerabilities Patched

          The new Linux kernel security patch is here about a month and a half after Ubuntu 21.04’s first kernel update and fixes no less than seven security vulnerabilities (CVE-2020-24586, CVE-2020-24587, CVE-2020-24588, CVE-2020-26139, CVE-2020-26141, CVE-2020-26145, CVE-2020-26147) discovered by Mathy Vanhoef in Linux kernel’s Wi-Fi implementation, which could allow a physically proximate attacker to inject packets, decrypt fragments, exfiltrate selected fragments, expose sensitive information or cause a denial of service (system crash).

          The new Ubuntu 21.04 kernel update also patches a race condition (CVE-2021-32399) and a use-after-free flaw (CVE-2021-33034) discovered in Linux kernel’s Bluetooth subsystem and Bluetooth HCI driver respectively. These issues could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) or execute arbitrary code.

        • Canonical launches Blender LTS support

          Blender has partnered with Canonical to offer enterprise-grade support for the Blender LTS application suite.

          Blender is the free and open-source 3D creation suite for artists and media production experts. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, provides professional enterprise support and long term security maintenance for open-source software. Working together, the two organizations now offer a support path for teams and studios as Blender rolls out their LTS model focused on users at the enterprise level.

          “It’s a privilege to support Blender and the fantastic work of this remarkable community, its founders and leaders. Today’s announcement strengthens Blender with full-service Canonical support and long term security maintenance, and delivers the level of assurance that professional Blender content creators need, in partnership with the Blender Foundation” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical.

        • Canonical Partners With Blender Around Paid LTS Application Support
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How the Netherlands group grew in Covid times

        And than Covid came to the Netherlands, and we were forced to change our ways. We could no longer meet at the physical NLLGG location. There was an online NLLGG session we joined, but as expected the main focus was on the Linux users there and not on our overlapping FSFE group. Eventually in the autumn we just tried our luck with an online session of our own. Luckily the FSFE had just launched their conference server based on BigBlueButton, so the required freedom-respecting infrastructure was already in place. We held our first meeting on the 28th of October 2020, which we announced on the FSFE website, on our XMPP group and on the Netherlands mailinglist (contact details on our BNL wiki page).

        The first meeting was a bit rough. As can be expected with the hotchpotch of computer setups, there were various issues with audio and webcams. Still we had a nice meeting of about 1,5 hours to discuss various topics that were keeping our minds occupied. With everybody locked up at home, it was a welcome change to chat to the people with similar interest you would normally only meet by going to a conference or other community event. The format of the meeting was very much the same as at the booth, just to have a relaxed group conversation on free software related issues.

        We kept on doing the online meetings by just scheduling another one at the end of the meeting. We recently had our 9th online get-together already. The attendance varies somewhere between the 5 and 9 persons. In the mean time we have settled on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, so it has be come a regular thing with a regular attendance. Every meeting is somewhat of a surprise, because you just don’t know exactly what it will bring. Some new people might join, there might be some new and interesting subjects being tabled, and there could be a strong collaboration on an opportunity. The last meeting we started compiling a list of topics beforehand on an etherpad, so we can make an explicit decision which topics to spend time discussing.

      • What’s an Open Source Software Maintainer?

        According to Mike Dolan, GM and Senior Vice President of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation, “the Linux kernel follows a model where Linus [Torvalds] oversees the final release details, but nearly all decisions are actually made by the respective subsystem maintainers, or subsystem group maintainers. All projects are inclusive, meaning anyone can contribute and participate in the technical community.”

      • FOSS for the Future: Welcoming Teckids as an Affiliate Member | Open Source Initiative

        We're excited to announce that Teckids e.V. is joining OSI as an Affiliate Member. Teckids is an educational organisation based in Germany that focuses on providing Free Software resources and tools for students and educators. Teckids involves children and young people at all levels — from workshop preparation to website management, social media and the charity’s board. Teckids also holds events and workshops to raise awareness for teamwork and democracy.


        Dominik George from Teckids e.V. says, “We look forward to continuing to raise the profile of Free Software in education and hope to make more connections with the international FOSS community through our Affiliate relationship with OSI.” Benedict Suska from Teckids e.V. says, "Our goal is to create a network of stakeholders, companies, teachers and studenta that bring Free Software into education under common standards. Through our membership in OSI, we hope to have strong partners in the FOSS community at our side to help us fulfil our mission."

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave Search Engine Opens For Beta Testing

          Search engines are the front page of the Internet. This is where internet users get most of the content including articles, tutorials, courses, and videos. You probably landed on this article from one of many search engines as well.

        • Brave Introduces Private Brave Search Engine

          The Brave browser has been promising privacy to its users for a number of years. Now it’s expanding its product line – and its privacy. It was revealed this week that the Brave search engine is now in beta. It’s not relegated to just the Brave browser either – you can use it in other browsers as well.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • ODF 1.3 is an OASIS Standard

          The Document Foundation is pleased to announce that LibreOffice native document format – Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) 1.3 – has been approved as OASIS Standard with 14 affirmative consents and no objections. ODF is a free, open XML-based document file format for office applications, to be used for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts and graphical elements. ODF 1.3 is an update to the international standard Version 1.2, which was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ISO/IEC 26300 (2015).

          The OpenDocument Format specifies the characteristics of an open XML-based application-independent and platform-independent digital document file format, as well as the characteristics of software applications which read, write and process such documents. It is applicable to document authoring, editing, viewing, exchange and archiving, including text documents, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, drawings, charts and similar documents commonly used by personal productivity software applications.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • TeXmacs 2.1 released

            This version of TeXmacs consolidates many developments that took place in the last decade. Most importantly, the interface is now based on Qt, which allowed us develop native versions for Linux, MacOS, and Windows. TeXmacs has evolved from a scientific text editor into a scientific office suite, with an integrated presentation mode, technical drawing editor, versioning tools, bibliography tool, etc. The typesetting quality has continued to improve with a better support of microtypography and a large variety of fonts. The converters for LaTeX and Html have also been further perfected and TeXmacs now comes with a native support for Pdf.

      • Programming/Development

        • On the Removal of toSet(), toList() and Others

          (Apologies for the clickbait in the post title! But I’d really like people who are searching for solutions to read this.)

          Between Qt 5.14 and Qt 5.15, my colleague, Marc Mutz, and I submitted a series of patches to Qt that added “range constructors” to the Qt containers. This brought Qt containers one step closer to…C++98 feature parity!

        • Qt for MCUs 1.9 released

          A new feature update of Qt for MCUs is now available. Download version 1.9 to create your applications on Linux systems and for new target platforms, get access to the new PaintedItem and font quality APIs, discover new demos and examples, and more.

        • Qt 6 Reaches Feature Parity with Qt 5 - the Qt 6.2 Alpha Released

          We have released Qt 6.2 Alpha today. The Qt 6.2 is the first Qt 6 release which includes all widely used Qt add-on modules previously available in the Qt 5.15 release. Compared to Qt 6.1 the upcoming Qt 6.2 brings support to 13 additional modules totaling to over 50 modules supported with Qt 6.2. On top of this, Qt 6.2 is also the first release in the Qt 6 series to provide Long Term Support for commercial licensees.

        • Qt 6.2 Alpha Released With Many More Modules Ported From Qt5 - Phoronix

          The Qt Company has announced the debut of Qt 6.2 Alpha as it prepares for its September release with many more modules finally making the transition from Qt5 to Qt6.

          Qt 6.2 as the first Qt6 Long-Term Support release is aiming to be quite a worthy successor to Qt 5.15 LTS. But with Qt 6.0 and 6.1 having lacked many Qt5 modules, this was one of the big focuses for this cycle. New modules to Qt 6.2 include Qt Bluetooth, Qt Multimedia, Qt NFC, Qt Positioning, Qt Quick Dialogs, Qt Remote Objects, Qt Sensors, Qt Serialbus, Qt Serialport, Qt Webchannel, Qt Webengine, Qt Websockets, and Qt Webview.

        • Program on FreeDOS with Bywater BASIC

          In the early days of personal computing—from the late 1970s and through the 1980s—many people got their start with BASIC programming. BASIC was a universal programming language that came built into most personal computers, from Apple to IBM PCs.


          The Bywater BASIC website reminds us that Bywater BASIC implements a large superset of the ANSI Standard for Minimal BASIC (X3.60-1978) and a significant subset of the ANSI Standard for Full BASIC (X3.113-1987). It's also distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2, which means it's open source software. We only want to include open source programs in FreeDOS, so Bywater BASIC was a great addition to FreeDOS in our early days.

        • Python

          • Miro Hrončok: Python 3.10 beta in Fedora Linux

            The Python developers have already released three beta versions of Python 3.10.0. You can try the latest one in Fedora Linux today! Test your Python code with 3.10 early to be ready for the final 3.10.0 release in October.

        • Rust

          • Rust Bringing Greater Safety To Linux [Ed: Loaded and promotional headline. There are caveats like these and these]

            Google is providing financial support to the Rust for Linux project which aims to increase Linux security by writing parts of the Linux kernel in Rust. This seems to be a worthwhile attempt to bolster the security of the internet and every device that uses it.

            Rust is certainly attracting a lot of attention at the moment. Last month we reported Facebook Open Source Joins Rust Foundation and the month before came news that both Google and Microsoft were jumping on the bandwagon with Rust For Android OS Development and Rust for Windows. All this good news and more, such as Amazon AWS Invests In Rust came in the wake of the layoffs at Mozilla where the language originated. Now we have news from from the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), which is also the organization behind Let's Encrypt, that Rust is being added as a second language for the Linux kernel in order to improve its memory safety.

            While the Rust for Linux project might seem to be the latest Rust story to emerge it in fact has been ongoing for several months and was first publicized at the Linux Plumbers Conference in August 2020 in a talk by John Baublitz, Nick Desaulniers, Alex Gaynor, Miguel Ojeda, Geoffrey Thomas, Josh Triplett.

        • Java

          • How the JIT compiler boosts Java performance in OpenJDK | Red Hat Developer

            Just-in-time (JIT) compilation is central to peak performance in modern virtual machines, but it comes with trade-offs. This article introduces you to JIT compilation in HotSpot, OpenJDK's Java virtual machine. After reading the article, you will have an overview of HotSpot's multi-tiered execution model and how it balances the resources required by your Java applications and by the compiler itself. You'll also see two examples that demonstrate how a JIT compiler uses advanced techniques—deoptimization and speculation—to boost application performance.

  • Leftovers

    • How We Are Treated and the Feedback Loop of Our Dreams

      For two days, I was treated like royalty. I had a young man as my personal assistant who kept offering to carry my backpack and get me anything I wanted. I had a hair and make-up artist by my side. Everywhere I went, I had a bathroom with a sign that indicated it was just for me. And if I was hungry, vegan food was special-ordered at the drop of a hat.

    • Opinion | Planet Earth To Outer Space: When Bezos Blasts Off, Please Keep Him There
    • Lift Up From the Bottom and Raise Everyone Up

      West Virginia, a state first established in defiance of slavery, has recently become ground zero in the fight for voting rights. In an early June op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin vowed to maintain the Senate filibuster, while opposing the For the People Act, a bill to expand voting rights. Last week, after mounting€ pressure€ and a€ leaked€ Zoom recording with billionaire donors, he showed potential willingness to move on the filibuster and proposed a “compromise” on voting rights. Nonetheless, his claim that the filibuster had been critical to protecting the “rights of Democrats in the past” and his pushback on important voting-rights protections requires scrutiny.

    • Janet Malcolm’s Provocations

      This past spring, halfway through a course on writing biographies, I gave my students an excerpt from Janet Malcolm’s The Silent Woman, her study of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath’s marriage and the challenges it posed to Plath biographers. During our discussion of the excerpt, we all paused on Malcolm’s description of the biographer, a description very different from anything we’d read previously in the course: “The biographer at work, indeed, is like the professional burglar, breaking into a house, rifling through certain drawers that he has good reason to think contain the jewelry and money, and triumphantly bearing his loot away.” The “transgressive nature of biography is rarely acknowledged,” Malcolm explained, “but it is the only explanation for biography’s status as a popular genre.”

    • Education

      • Culture War in the K-12 Classroom

        When New Hampshire teacher Misty Crompton learned that she had become campaign fodder for a local school board race, she says, “I immediately thought of the California privilege teacher.” Crompton is referring to a third-grade teacher in Cupertino, Calif., who became a right-wing-media punching bag after a lesson she’d taught about white privilege went public. “I thought, ‘They’re going to try to tar me with that same brush.’”1

      • How I got fired from my first tech job

        When I was 14 I had to deliver gold to a partner workshop, on the way, right at the beginning of Sulaymaniyah Street I noticed a large computer shop. Very beautiful, a lot of computers, laptops, hell, there was a gaming PC with 3 screens (That was the first time I saw a desktop with 3 screens!). After I delivered the gold, on my way back, I entered the shop, I got introduced to the owner. Turns out they were an official representative of companies like Dell, HP, Asus, etc.

      • Do Zoom classes confirm our worst fears about human nature?

        Here is where Gyges becomes visible. At times, my frustration with the Zoom class led me to pop questions to those invisible students – who, I assumed, were at least present. But there was often no reply. I later discovered that those black rectangles on my screen obscured students who were variously at work, on exercise bikes, in bed – or on Google trying to find answers to my questions.

        Unsurprisingly, the papers they handed in were unsatisfactory, but since the administration urged faculty to show compassion, I assigned D minuses rather than Fs. But it made me wonder: was Glaucon right?

      • Universities Are Slashing Faculties and Blaming Covid

        In May of 2020, the University of Vermont’s president, Suresh Garimella, issued an update on the school’s finances. Citing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Garimella put forth a bleak prognosis of lower enrollment, higher costs, and stagnant tuition rates necessitating reductions in salaries, benefits, and staff. In December of 2020, the dean of UVM’s College of Arts and Sciences, William Falls, followed up with his recommendation of terminating 12 majors, 11 minors, and four master’s programs, in order to close a $8.6 million deficit. But Helen Scott, a professor of English at UVM, points out that the school’s administrators have alternatives to such “draconian measures.”

    • Hardware

      • Intel has formed a new graphics team with Raja Koduri leading | GamingOnLinux

        It seems Intel are going to be betting big on their upcoming standalone graphics cards powered by the new Intel Xe architecture with the formation of a new dedicated team.

        Announced yesterday, amongst other typical organizational changes with people moving around and other groups forming, the one that caught our eye is the new "Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group". This will be lead by Raja Koduri, who is a huge name in graphics having worked for S3, AMD, Apple, and AMD again where Koduri lead the Radeon Technology Group with through the Polaris, Vega and Navi architectures.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Sweden Abruptly Decides Esports Are Not Sports When It Comes To COVID-19 Exemptions

        We've marked an awful lot of progress markers when it comes to the emergence of esports into the popular lexicon throughout the world. If there were a general theme to those posts, it certainly would be the progress esports has made in being considered a real, established sport, and not just a hobby that borrows that word with no validity. Progress, as I enjoy saying, is not linear, however.

      • Key Senate Democrat Applauded for Manifesto on Reducing Drug Costs

        Progressives pushing Congress and President Joe Biden to enact drug pricing reforms that lower costs applauded a two-page principles document published Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden.

        "It's time for Congress to hold Big Pharma accountable for price-gouging at the pharmacy counter."—Sen. Ron Wyden

      • Big Pharma Companies Have All the Power With Families Like Mine at Their Mercy

        We moved from the East Coast to San Diego for work when our kids were young. But insulin is expensive no matter where you live in the United States, even if you have insurance coverage like we do. Our sons’ insulin cost us about $200 per month, even with our employer-sponsored health insurance. Our insurance plan requires us to meet our deductible, $2,900 per person, before coverage kicks in.

      • Congressperson's Town Hall Disrupted by Angry Anti-Vaxxers

        The town hall was a carefully planned effort to control not only the possibility of Covid infection, but the content of questions and the media presence. Shortly before the event, Huffman aides barred a television reporter from EnviroNews from entering, according to EnviroNews. They allowed a cameraman from Fox News KTVU to enter, however.

        This reporter had scored a seat online, and submitted a question asking Huffman to explain why he has banked more campaign funds from weapons manufacturers and agribusiness corporations than from environmental groups. But half of the spaced seats were empty and most of the attendees appeared to be eligible for Medicare. It looked to be a dull event.

      • Florida Governor Signs Law Reforming Program for Brain-Damaged Infants

        Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation overhauling a controversial state program that provides lifelong care for children born with catastrophic brain damage, approving the most far-reaching reform in the program’s 33-year history.

        With DeSantis’ signature Monday night, parents who participate in the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA, will get an immediate $150,000 cash benefit and the pledge of Florida lawmakers that they will no longer have to fight with administrators for wheelchairs, medication, therapy and other services for their severely disabled children.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Call Center Software Firm Aircall Tops $1 Billion Valuation

          Aircall operates in Europe and the U.S., and also now has an office in Sydney. About half of the company’s revenue is generated in Europe.

        • [Attacker] allegedly tried to poison San Francisco Bay Area water supply [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The attack took place on Jan. 15 and involved the person gaining access to the water treatment plant network by using a former employee’s TeamViewer account credentials. Having gained access to the plant, the person then deleted programs that the water plant uses to treat drinking water.

          According to a confidential report compiled by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center and seen by NBC, the [crack] was not discovered until the following day. The facility subsequently changed its passwords and reinstalled the programs. “No failures were reported as a result of this incident and no individuals in the city reported illness from water-related failures,” the report noted.

        • Nokia to deploy 5G SA Core for DISH in public cloud with AWS

          As per an official statement, Nokia is providing its voice core, cloud packet core, subscriber data management, device management, and NetGuard network security, as well as end-to-end security services for DISH to help the latter deliver new 5G-era services while enabling it to manage its network with near zero-touch automation, and ensuring adherence to Service Level Agreements compliant to DISH Service-Based Architecture (SBA).

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel and linux-4.19), Fedora (tor), Oracle (rh-postgresql10-postgresql), Red Hat (kernel), SUSE (ansible, apache2, dovecot23, OpenEXR, ovmf, and wireshark), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.8, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.8, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.8, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.8, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux-hwe, linux-gke-5.3, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux-oem-5.10, and thunderbird).

          • Success at Apache: Security in Practice

            This post is about the Apache Software Foundation's Security process and security mindset of the Apache Software project’s PMC put to the best use in practice. From this post you can learn why security practices we apply at our projects are important and how they work when they are applied correctly and when the right security-driven mindset is applied by the PMCs but also how important it is for the users of the Apache Software Foundation projects to keep their software updated - including latest security fixes.

            The idea of this article was triggered by a recent blog post of the security researcher Ian Caroll that has earned USD 13.000 on bug bounties by simply following up the results of Apache Security process applied by the Apache Airflow PMC. This saved quite a few businesses a lot of trouble, but it was only possible due to the foundations laid down by the ASF and the PMC of the project.

            Here is what Ian Caroll has to say about it: “This issue was a great example of how ASF's transparent way of fixing and disclosing vulnerabilities worked to protect users of their software, and gave many organizations a wake-up call on ensuring they upgrade and protect their open-source software.”

          • The 10 best IP scanner tools for network management

            When talking about network scanning tools, we refer to software that identifies and tries to solve various loopholes in our networks. Furthermore, it plays a significant role by safeguarding you from dangerous habits that may threaten the entire system. These devices provide the user with a diverse way to help secure their computer networks.

            Regarding safeguarding we talked about earlier, it denotes preventing someone who manages a wide range of computers and other devices from network vulnerability. When handling a lot of stuff, you probably have many IP addresses to keep track of, making it critical to have reliable IP address scanning and network management tools.

            With the help of these IP scanner tools, you can keep track of all the addresses on your network. In addition to that, you will have an easy time ensuring that all your devices are connected successfully. This also makes it easy for you to troubleshoot any arising conflicts in the network.

            There are various types of IP scanning tools that aid in providing a database of your IPs. This is a vital aspect to IP address managers as they ease their tracking job.

          • Unpatched Linux Marketplace Bugs Allow Wormable Attacks, Drive-By RCE [Ed: Overstating risk and blaming on "Linux" something that has nothing whatsoever to do with it. How typical...]

            A pair of zero-days affecting Pling-based marketplaces could allow for some ugly attacks on unsuspecting Linux enthusiasts — with no patches in sight.

            An unpatched stored cross-site-scripting (XSS) security vulnerability affecting Linux marketplaces could allow unchecked, wormable supply-chain attacks, researchers have found.

          • DarkRadiation Ransomware: Linux, Docker Cloud Containers Are At Risk of Being Infected--What Exactly Happens in Your System? [Ed: Blaming "Linux" for people installing malicious stuff on their systems]

            The strain which is known as "DarkRadiation" has been seen as well on the popular chatting app Telegram.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Conviction and Sentencing of Witness K

              For those familiar with the case, there was nothing merciful in the finding.€  A punishment had been levelled for exposing an unlawful operation against a friendly and fledgling state.€  In 2004, Australia’s then foreign minister Alexander Downer authorised the bugging of the cabinet offices of Timor-Leste by officers of the Australian Secret Intelligence Services (ASIS).

              The surveillance of Timor-Leste’s negotiators was an act of economic espionage and fraud, intended to give the Australians the upper hand in discussions between the countries over their maritime boundary.€  At stake were the oil and gas-rich deposits in the Timor Sea.€  Unaware of the surveillance operation, the East Timorese went ahead to sign a treaty which distinctly favoured Australia: a 50-50 division of the Greater Sunrise fields.

            • Please Welcome The Los Angeles Police Department (Brought To You In Part By A Generous Grant From Ring)

              Amazon's doorbell-camera acquisition, Ring, has captured a large segment of the home security market. Part of its growth is due to its long list of law enforcement partnerships. Coupled with the rollout of its companion app, Neighbors, Ring has been handing out cameras to cops… who then hand out these complimentary cameras to local homeowners.

            • Understanding Amazon Sidewalk

              Much of the press about Amazon Sidewalk has said that it will force you to share your internet or WiFi network. It won’t. It’s a network to connect home automation devices like smart light switches together in more flexible ways.€ Amazon€ is opening the network up to partners, the first of which is the Tile tracker.

              Sidewalk can use the internet for some features, but won’t in general. If it does, Amazon is limiting its rate to 80 kilobits per second -- or 8 kilobytes per second, which is only about 50% more than the modems we used in the old days. It is also capped at 500 MB per month, which is less than two hours of 80 kbps over the whole month. To be clear: it isn’t going to interfere with your streaming, video calls, or anything else. The average web page is over two megabytes in size, which would take over four minutes to download at that speed.

              Sidewalk is primarily a mesh network for home automation devices, like Alexa’s smart device features, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. This mesh network can provide coverage where your home network is flaky. To build the ecosystem, people incorporate their devices into this mesh network.€ 

            • A Long Overdue Reckoning For Online Proctoring Companies May Finally Be Here

              Over the past year, the use of online proctoring apps has skyrocketed. But while companies have seen upwards of a 500% increase in their usage, legitimate concerns about their invasiveness, potential bias, and efficacy are also on the rise. These concerns even led to a U.S. Senate inquiry letter requesting detailed information from three of the top proctoring companies—Proctorio, ProctorU, and ExamSoft—which combined have proctored at least 30 million tests over the course of the pandemic.1 Unfortunately, the companies mostly dismissed the senators’ concerns, in some cases stretching the truth about how the proctoring apps work, and in other cases downplaying the damage this software inflicts on vulnerable students.€ 

              In one instance, though, these criticisms seem to have been effective: ProctorU announced in May that it will no longer sell fully-automated proctoring services. This is a good step toward eliminating some of the issues that have concerned EFF with ProctorU and other proctoring apps. The artificial intelligence used by these tools to detect academic dishonesty has been roundly attacked for its bias and accessibility impacts, and the clear evidence that it leads to significant false positives, particularly for vulnerable students. While this is not a complete solution to the problems that online proctoring creates—the surveillance is, after all, the product—we hope other online proctoring companies will also seriously consider the danger that these automated systems present.€ 

              This reckoning has been a long time coming. For years, online proctoring companies have played fast and loose when talking about their ability to “automatically” detect cheating. On the one hand, they’ve advertised their ability to “flag cheating” with artificial intelligence: ProctorU has claimed to offer “fully automated online proctoring”; Proctorio has touted the automated “suspicion ratings” it assigns test takers; and ExamSoft has claimed to use “Advanced A.I. software” to “detect abnormal student behavior that may signal academic dishonesty.” On the other hand, they’ve all been quick to downplay their use of automation, claiming that they don’t make any final decisions—educators do—and pointing out that their more expensive options include live proctors during exams or video review by a company employee afterward, if you really want top-tier service.

            • Tackling data privacy in healthcare

              HCOs handle a wide range of personally identifiable information (PII) and sensitive personal information), including electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records (EHRs), electronic patient health information (ePHI), clinical research patient information, clinical trial records, birthdates, current/past addresses and medical coverage information. The recent trend towards digitising these information has brought an enormous change in the healthcare industry.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Building the World Back Better

        Why the sudden bipartisanship?


      • Time to Stop Modernizing America’s Nukes and to Start Negotiating Peace

        In his record-breaking $753-billion National Security Budget, $715 billion of which is for the Pentagon, is another $38 billion for the portion of the Energy Department budget that is devoted to nuclear weapons and weapons production. It’s a figure that is higher than what the proposed 2022 military budget of the outgoing Trump administration would have been and is a record in constant dollars that exceeds any year of the Vietnam or Korean Wars and is only topped by World War II spending when the US was fully mobilized in a global conflict.

        Bad enough that this obscene amount of spending — greater than what the next 10 nations of the world, many of whom are this country’s NATO allies, are spending on their militaries — is occurring at a time when the US is not actually fighting any wars, and that it includes money for expensive programs that are totally useless like the F-35 nuclear-capable fighter bomber, the world’s most expensive weapons system in history. But this humongous sum of money also includes almost $1.5 billion for ramping up the production of plutonium “pits.”

      • Biden’s New Normal Seems Ominously Heading Toward a Revival of Cold War Politics

        “America is back” was President Biden’s mantra as he met earlier this month with the Group of Seven in Cornwall, NATO allies in Brussels and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Biden earned widespread praise for leading a return to normality after Donald Trump’s reign of error. The question is, though, America is back for what? Biden’s emphasis in the European meetings was bolstering NATO allies for a new global face-off with Russia—and increasingly China. Despite existential threats posed by catastrophic climate change and a global pandemic, Biden’s new normal seems ominously leaning to a revival of Cold War politics.

      • The Missing and the Dead in El Salvador

        Meanwhile, the government refuses to treat the issue of disappearances as a problem and its officials prefer to say that the country is a “cool” place to visit. “At last people no longer see El Salvador as the kingdom of war or gangs. Today they see us as the coolest country in Latin America,” said the head of the ruling party’s deputies Cristian Guevara in one of the sessions of the Legislative Assembly.

        “Given these delusions of progress and success by the government, it is likely that there will be no thorough or technical investigations to find missing persons in the country and new guidelines will be set up soon, in light of the actions by this ex-cop, to set up a criteria for witnesses and legal benefits. That’s why they have their own prosecutor, to hide the truth and support a permanent propaganda campaign”, said human rights expert Celia Medrano to the Americas Program.

      • Disproving The Nonsense About The FBI & Jan. 6th Would Be Easier If The FBI Didn't Have A History Of Entrapping People In Made Up Plots

        There's a very, very dumb conspiracy theory making the rounds -- and I want to be very clear on this -- that has zero evidence to support it, that the FBI was actually behind the January 6th invasion of the Capitol. It was originally reported by a wacky extremist news organization that I won't even bother naming here, and then got a lot more attention when Fox News made it a story via Tucker Carlson's show. The underlying confusion is that a (former Trump admin official who was let go after attending a conference with white nationalists but then later appointed to a new job within the Trump White House) reporter completely misunderstood what "unindicted co-conspirator" means in various charging documents.

      • How the Second World War was won

        These wars about the war of 1939-45 revolve around technology as much as geography. In a conflict waged on land, sea and in the air – one that opened new frontiers in nuclear weapons, guided missiles and signals intelligence – there are many candidates for “the winning weapon”. Equally contentious is the question of what the war was really about. Answers have varied according to time and place. The defeat of fascism? The victory of communism? The triumph of American capitalist democracy? The start of China’s road to world power? Perhaps the deepest problem is that all-embracing label “the Second World War”. Does it foster a spurious sense of global and ideological unity? And does it blind us to the political and moral complexities of those years – with which we still wrestle today?

      • Hitler’s ‘war of annihilation’: Operation Barbarossa, 80 years on

        One of the most striking eyewitness testimonies from this extraordinary outburst of militarised violence – in which some five million people were killed in 200 days – comes from German soldier Alexander Cohrs: “Two villages were burning in front of us. Civilians were completely taken by surprise; they didn’t have time to flee. The most horrific images was a three-year-old child lying in the middle of the road with half its head missing.” *

        Barbarossa shattered the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the USSR signed in August 1939. Stalin was shocked; he had received a plethora of warnings of an imminent invasion – notably from Winston Churchill, informed by British intelligence briefings. The communist dictator had refused to believe them.

      • UN Afghan envoy Deborah Lyons alarmed at Taliban gains

        The insurgents have taken more than 50 of 370 districts since May, UN special envoy Deborah Lyons told the Security Council, warning of "dire scenarios".

        She said increased conflict "means increased insecurity for many other countries, near and far".

        The US and Nato are still aiming for a complete troop pullout by 11 September.

      • Taliban insurgents take key Afghan district amid US troop withdrawal

        Taliban fighters took control of a key district in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province Monday and encircled the provincial capital, police said, as the insurgent group added to its recent battlefield victories while peace talks have stalemated.

      • Afghanistan: Taliban touts 'Islamic system' as part of peace deal

        The Taliban on Sunday touted "a genuine Islamic system" as the best way to end the war in Afghanistan and ensure rights, including for women.

        The Islamic militants made the comments in a statement that reaffirmed their commitment to peace talks with representatives from the Afghan government.

      • Afghan carnage as Taliban storm two cities after Biden withdrew troops- ‘Panic everywhere’

        Fighting has been intensifying across Afghanistan, raising fears of a Taliban return when US troops leave.

      • Taliban capture Afghanistan's main Tajikistan border crossing

        “Our Mujahideen are in full control of Shir Khan Bandar and all the border crossings with Tajikistan in Kunduz,” he told AFP.

        Amruddin Wali, another provincial council member, said officials “lost contact” with the area on Monday night.

      • U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran's new president takes power

        Driving the news: Conservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, a close ally to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is the clear favorite to win Friday's presidential election in Iran. No prominent members of the reformist camp were permitted to run, meaning the more moderate President Hassan Rouhani will almost certainly hand power to a hardliner.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • 40 Years After the Pentagon Papers Decision, Press Freedom Still Threatened
      • ‘Insulting ErdoÄŸan’: Investigation for asking ‘missing’ Central Bank reserves

        Underlining that "every citizen has the freedom to question the money at the Central Bank", Başarır has said, "Every citizen has the right to criticize the current 'One Man' regie in our country. Enough is enough. The prosecutor must put aside being the prosecutor of the Palace and be the Prosecutor of the people. Those who govern the state must be open to criticism. There is no curse, no public insult. But the AKP Chair is so intolerant that we can understand it from the number of investigations opened for 'insulting the President' since he took office as the President."

      • Inside the Shadowy Industry Where the Uber-Rich Pay Millions to Hide Trillions

        In a recent interview, Collins told Rolling Stone that there’s a bigger problem than untaxed wealth. That problem is the trillions of dollars that don’t show up on any tax return or financial statement, the “hidden” wealth of world’s wealthiest people. Helping those people hiding their fortunes is an army of lawyers, consultants, accountants, and more who get paid millions to help their clients hide trillions. Social scientists call this the “wealth defense industry,” and it’s a focus of Collins’ latest book, titled The Wealth Hoarders.

        Collins spoke by phone about the hidden trillions stashed on- and offshore around the world, the lack of transparency or oversight of all that dark capital and the people who get paid to hide, and why a wealth tax like the one proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren isn’t enough to crack down on the wealth defense industry and drag all those trillions back into the sunlight.

    • Environment

      • Berta Caceres's Murder Trial Will Test Biden's Central America Policy

        On her recent trip to Guatemala and Mexico, Vice President Kamala Harris drove home two points: that potential immigrants to the U.S. should "stay home," and that the Biden administration will not tolerate corruption, which it sees as a major barrier to development in the region.

      • US farming: Lessons in sustainability from the Meskwaki Nation

        When it comes to sustainable farming, Shadden believes a lot could be learned from Red Earth Gardens, which carries forward the regenerative approaches of their ancestors. The farm — which is situated on the Meskwaki Nation's Settlement, an unincorporated community on land the tribe purchased from the government in 1857 — focuses on resilience and has adaptation to the climate crisis as a core concept.

        The farm combines a grounding in Meskwaki land use ethics with permaculture methods.

      • Why the Arctic matters

        The Arctic is on the frontlines of a changing climate and is fundamentally essential to the regulation of the Earth’s fragile ecosystem. It even provides researchers with the means to almost predict the effects of climate change through polar amplification—the phenomenon where changes to our climate tend to produce more extensive changes near the poles than the planetary average—showing what the future will hold. The increased melting of Arctic sea ice and snow allows the darker ocean and land surface to be increasingly exposed, making it less reflective of the sun’s light, causing the Earth to warm further and faster. The continued loss of ice from Arctic landmasses compounds sea level rise and could affect the currents of the oceans and atmosphere on a global scale, with potentially devastating consequences, even to populations living far away from the Arctic.

      • Let nature restore itself on its own for best results

        Don’t meddle: let nature restore itself on its own. Old forest will spread over nearby farmland. It’s cheap, and often best.

      • GOP Rejects Green Infrastructure Funding in Face of Historic Drought and Heat
      • Planet Earth is Heating Up Faster

        In my article here, I will first quote the abstract of this paper (“Satellite and Ocean Data Reveal Marked Increase in Earth’s Heating Rate,” by Norman G. Loeb, Gregory C. Johnson, Tyler J. Thorsen, John M. Lyman, Fred G. Rose, Seiji Kato, 15 June 2021;, and then give my interpretation of the overall scientific conclusion, in plain English.

        Abstract from the AGU paper.

      • 'Moral Red Line': Legal Definition Unveiled to Put Ecocide on Par With War Crimes

        A panel of international lawyers on Tuesday published an official legal definition of the term "ecocide," which for decades has been condemned by conservationists and climate action campaigners but which until now has not been recognized as a crime.€ 

        "This conversation is no longer falling on deaf ears and, indeed, it is actually gathering momentum at quite a pace." —Jojo Mehta, Stop Ecocide

      • 'Should Ring Alarm Bells': Study Warns of Severe Drying for Amazon Rainforest

        Researchers at the University of Leeds in Britain published new research Tuesday—World Rainforest Day—showing that massive swaths of the eastern Amazon are at risk of severe drying by the end of this century if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced.

        "Protecting and expanding existing forests—which absorb and store carbon—is of paramount importance to combating climate change."—Jessica Baker, Leeds University

      • Western States Face Record Heat & Historic Drought, But GOP Rejects Green Infrastructure Funding

        As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over an infrastructure bill that Democrats say needs to include major new funding to address the climate crisis, much of the U.S. is experiencing record heat, with many western states seeing record temperatures, drought and water shortages. “The climate crisis is here now,” says climate and energy researcher Leah Stokes, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The climate crisis is really happening right now, and every single year we delay on passing a climate bill, the worse the crisis gets.”

      • Social Cost of Emissions: 'One of the Most Important Numbers That No One Has Ever Heard Of'

        A new analysis shared with the Biden administration on behalf of the advocacy group Friends of the Earth highlights concerns about how the U.S. government will calculate the social cost of planet-heating emissions—official figures that can notably impact policy and spending decisions.

        The comment (pdf) sent to the Office of Management and Budget—authored by experts at the Applied Economics Clinic (AEC), a Massachusetts-based nonprofit consulting group—comes as the administration seeks input on determining the social cost of greenhouse gases (SC-GHG).

      • Energy

        • From Black Lung to BlackRock: Striking Alabama Coal Miners Protest Wall St. Financiers of Warrior Met

          More than a thousand coal miners at Warrior Met Coal are now in the third month of their strike in the right-to-work state of Alabama. The miners walked off the job on April 1 after their union, the United Mine Workers of America, called the first strike to hit the state’s coal mining industry in four decades. Workers are fighting for improvements to wages and benefits after they agreed to drastic cutbacks in 2016, when Warrior Met Coal took control of the mines after the previous company went bankrupt. Today a group of striking mine workers traveled from Alabama to Wall Street to protest the investment firms backing Warrior Met. “These are the companies that fund Warrior Met and allow Warrior Met to pay their executives millions of dollars a year, while the miners, the workers themselves who are creating that value, are struggling to get by on sometimes as little as $22 an hour,” says labor journalist and organizer Kim Kelly.

        • More people are flying — so why are airlines slashing flights and hiking prices?

          The airline industry received $48 billion in payroll support from coronavirus relief legislation. Airlines warned of steep layoffs if more support wasn’t forthcoming. They also issued layoff notices and then canceled them after receiving more support. At the time, the industry said it needed the relief in part to maintain employees so they could meet domestic flying demand after passengers came back. Despite these efforts, the industry is still scrambling.

        • Helsinki to shut down coal-fired power plant 2 years ahead of schedule

          Hanasaari's closure is expected to have a significant impact on Finland's carbon footprint, as it is the country's third largest source of carbon emissions.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Australia's Great Barrier Reef 'In Danger,' Says UNESCO

          The Great Barrier Reef has deteriorated so rapidly it should be listed as a World Heritage Site "in danger," a United Nations committee said Monday, echoing scientists' warnings that climate change is destroying the world's largest coral reef system.

          UNESCO, the world body's educational, scientific, and cultural agency, said its recommendation to downgrade the status of the site is due to the ongoing impacts of unusually warm ocean temperatures along the reef that have left large swaths of the coral endangered or already dead.

        • Australia opposes Great Barrier Reef 'in danger' listing

          The Australian government said on Tuesday that it would oppose a plan by UNESCO to downgrade the status of the Great Barrier Reef following years of damage caused by climate change.

          The UN cultural body wants to lower the World Heritage status of the natural site after warming waters led to the loss of half of its corals since 1995.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Sinema Op-Ed Defending Senate Filibuster Slammed as 'Delusional'

        On the eve of Tuesday's vote to begin debate on the For the People Act, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona published an op-ed defending the archaic procedural rule that Senate Republicans are expected to wield to tank the popular voting rights legislation.

        "Sinema's argument amounts to an argument against the exercise of power at all since, if you use it, what happens when the other side does too?"—Jamelle Bouie, New York Times

      • Liberal Media Propaganda€ Tells the World:€ America is First

        To give just one example: On Sunday,€ CNN€ anchor Dana Bash€ grilled€ Biden€ National Security Adviser€ Jake Sullivan€ on why the White House is not imposing€ yet€ more€ sanctions€ on Russia (and China)€ and€ why Team Biden was€ “giving in€ to€ Russia” on the gas pipeline to Western Europe. Sullivan was emphatic in insisting€ that€ sanctions had been imposed€ and€ more were€ on the way — boasting that Biden had grabbed even more presidential power to€ sanction Russia through an executive order.

        I’m old enough to remember€ the superiority complex behind the€ liberal media propaganda during the Cold War with€ the Soviet€ Union – while U.S. foreign policy, in the name of democracy, massacred millions of people€ of color, mostly civilians,€ across the globe . . .€ from Asia to€ Southern Africa to Latin America.

      • 'His Silence Is Breathtaking': Biden Under Fire for Going Quiet on Voting Rights

        With Senate Republicans expected to successfully filibuster the For the People Act on Tuesday, progressive activists, lawmakers, and some prominent figures within the Democratic mainstream are criticizing President Joe Biden for failing to use his bully pulpit to publicly fight for the popular bill as the GOP assault on ballot access intensifies nationwide.

        "Our democracy is in crisis and we need the president to act like it."—Rep. Mondaire Jones

      • 'The Filibuster Must Go': Senate GOP Blocks Debate on Voting Rights Bill

        Voting rights advocates on Tuesday condemned Senate Republicans for blocking debate on the For the People Act, a sweeping pro-democracy bill, in a widely anticipated 50-50 vote that bolstered progressives' arguments for combating GOP obstruction by killing the filibuster.

        "Our democracy is under daily attack from Republican forces seeking to destroy it for their own political gain."—Rahna Epting, MoveOn

      • It’s the Iron Collar of the Corporate State Until the People Collar the Congress

        Around the same time, the savvy corporate lawyer/author, Adolf Berle developed his concept of “pension fund capitalism.” That is, fast-expanding worker pension funds would own large amounts of the shares of large corporations as investments and thereby have commensurate influence over them and over Congress.

        As the years passed, these two scholars came to realize that the stamina, resilience, and single-minded cohesiveness for maximizing sales, profits, and executive pay by corporate bosses overwhelmed the countervailing forces, including corporate shareholder-owners, not so singularly motivated.

      • The Real Danger of Israel's New Government

        One, they want to get rid of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Check — that’s done. Two, given the unlikeliness of reaching agreement on any major policy changes, they all agree that the current situation of occupation and apartheid for Palestinians is quite sustainable for Jewish Israelis.

        For now, the status quo will prevail. And that’s a problem.

      • Democrats Introduce Bill to Combat Republican Voter Suppression Efforts
      • The Republican Party has Turned Fascist and is Now the Most Dangerous Threat in the World

        When Donald Trump was in the White House there was much debate about whether or not he could be called a fascist in the full sense of the word, and not merely as a political insult. His presidency showed many of the characteristics of a fascist dictatorship, except the crucial one of automatic re-election.

        But Trump or Trump-like leaders may not have to face this democratic impediment in the future. It was only this year that the final building blocks have been put in place by Republicans as they replicate the structure of fascist movements in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.

      • 20 Attorneys General Urge Postal Commission to Reject DeJoy’s Plan to Slow Mail
      • Former Trump Lawyer Facing Sanctions In Michigan Now Saying The Things She Said Were Opinions Are Actually Facts

        The Kraken is on the move!

      • Majority of Americans Say GOP "Election Audits" Are Effort to Undermine Results
      • Want to Increase Election Turnout? Lower the Voting Age to 16.

        New Yorkers were headed to the polls Tuesday to cast votes in a Democratic primary that’s all but certain to determine the identity of the next mayor of the nation’s largest city. The turnout should be up from 2013, when less than 24 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the city’s last vigorously contested Democratic mayoral primary. But the safe bet is that most eligible voters won’t participate in what is widely seen as a definitional contest for the future of not just of New York but urban centers nationwide, as they wrestle with issues of equity, policing, housing affordability, and post-pandemic renewal.

      • How Ranked-Choice Voting Can (Partially) Fix Democracy

        Here’s how it typically works: Instead of voters picking only one candidate, they will, as the name implies, rank (usually up to five) candidates in order of preference. If a candidate receives a majority of first-place votes, they’re the winner. Done deal. But if no candidate surpasses the 50-percent threshold, an automatic recount is triggered, in which the last-place candidate is eliminated, with all of their votes reallocated to whichever candidates those voters ranked second. The votes are then counted again. This process continues until one candidate surpasses 50 percent and wins.

        The impact can be significant. If the Floridians who voted for Ralph Nader had been able to make Al Gore their second choice in 2000, the Bush era may never have happened. We may have avoided Trump, too, if Jill Stein voters in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were able to give Hillary Clinton a second-place nod in 2016. Those are just the big ones. There’s no telling how many state- and city-wide primaries RCV could have swung to better reflect the interests of the people.

      • Appointing Lina Khan May Be the Best Thing Joe Biden Has Done

        Unlike the ideological and abstract leaders of the Reagan revolution, Khan’s analysis is deeply fact-based. Often ignored in her profiles is the fact that she was a journalist for several years before she went to law school, and she always starts with the facts on the ground—an approach that echoes the work of Louis Brandeis, one of the most important anti-monopolists our country has ever known. We expect to see that same fact-based approach to define her work in the FTC.

      • ‘Ferocious Kitten’: the cyberspies preying on Iranian web users

        The gimmick is just one of many ruses used by a previously unknown group of cyberspies to ensnare Iranian web users. Its secretive activities were revealed by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky in a report published on Wednesday and seen by FRANCE 24.

        Dubbed “Ferocious Kitten” by Kaspersky, the group has operated under the radar since at least 2015, deploying a host of techniques to implant its malware on targeted mobile devices and personal computers.

        Lures include pictures of anti-regime rallies which, once opened, allow the spyware to sneak into victims’ machines. “Ferocious Kitten” also designed copies of popular websites, such as Aparat, the Iranian YouTube, using them as vehicles for infection. It even circulated modified – and infected – versions of software typically used by Iranians to bypass the country’s internet censors.

        Once installed, the group's MarkiRAT malware gives the cyberspies ample access to victims’ personal data.

      • Erdogan is infiltrating Europe via political parties

        Much has been written about how Turkey uses mosques, imams and associations to influence religious and cultural life in Europe. Not enough has been written on Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan's plan to support emerging political parties in Europe.

      • Bennett’s Fragile Hookup with the Zionist Left Offers Little Promise for a Post-Apartheid Israel

        Jumaa Alzbarqa served as a member of the Israeli Knesset for two years. He heads the office of the National Democratic Alliance, or Balad, in the southern city of Bir Al-Saba in the Naqab. We met at his office and talked about current events and what was until recently the remote possibility of the so-called “Zionist Left” parties like Meretz going into a coalition with the leader of the neo-fascist “Right” party, Naftali Bennett.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump Wanted Justice Department to Stop TV Hosts, "SNL" From Making Fun of Him
      • Coalition of 200+ Groups Call for Permanent End to 'Neocolonialist' Global Gag Rule

        More than 200 international healthcare€ advocacy and civil society organizations on Tuesday issued a call for a permanent elimination€ of the global gag rule,€ the executive branch€ guidance which Republican U.S. presidents have used for nearly four decades to cut off access to reproductive healthcare around the world.

        Planned Parenthood Global and the International Planned Parenthood Federation organized the call by groups representing 88 countries and released the statement in€ Arabic, English, French, and Spanish to signify just some of the global communities which have been harmed by the rule since former€ President Ronald Reagan first announced it in 1984.

      • Gag clauses ‘becoming the norm’ in Australian redundancies

        Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are becoming the norm rather than the exception in Australian university employment contracts, after making the jump from dispute resolution to standard termination arrangements.

        Times Higher Education has obtained copies of gag and non-disparagement clauses in employment termination documents, including a settlement agreement for a pandemic-related redundancy. The clauses forbid dismissed staff and their employers from disclosing the terms or the discussions leading to them.

      • LinkedIn Censors Tiananmen Content, Again

        When Microsoft’s LinkedIn launched a simplified Chinese webpage for Chinese users in 2014, it admitted it would follow Beijing’s censorship directives. It did so with a gusto that surprised even those who had engineered the policy—blocking content deemed illegal by Chinese authorities, much of it related to the anniversary of the Tiananmen protests, worldwide. Although it later backtracked from global censorship, LinkedIn has continued to block users’ profiles in China. In recent weeks, a number of academics, journalists, researchers, and others have received notices that their profiles have been censored—suggesting the company is stepping up content controls after being rebuked by China’s internet regulator in March. From Liza Lin at The Wall Street Journal, a report on LinkedIn’s latest censorship drive: [...]

      • How China is Shaping American Minds

        The United States spends about $700 billion a year on military and defense to keep the country safe. For a fraction of that amount, China has been fighting a different war with great success: a war to change American minds from within.

        Today, media and entertainment are two major forces that shape the spirit of a society. They not only decide what we know but also how we think. In a sense, media and entertainment determine who we are as Americans and as America.

        But we have very little or no defense in these areas. In fact, if you look closely enough, you’ll find the deep infiltration of the Chinese communist regime. Through media and Hollywood, China has injected its standards and filters into the unsuspecting American minds and the minds of our children.

      • Changing Section 230 Won't Make The Internet A Kinder, Gentler Place

        Tech platforms, especially the largest ones, have a problem—there’s a lot of offensive junk online. Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill keep coming back to the same solution: blaming Section 230.

      • NRB Hosts Forum on Platform Censorship, Section 230, and the Future of Social Media at NRB 2021

        In other words, Section 230 says that any online service provider that hosts third party speech cannot be held liable for statements that are made on the provider’s platform. This has allowed individuals to express their opinions on social media platforms.

        Section 230(b) expresses Congress’s intent to “preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation.”

        French explained the history of Section 230 and described it as “the rocket fuel for free speech online.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Press Freedom Advocates Condemn 'Reckless' US Shutdown of Iranian News Sites

        Press freedom advocates fumed Tuesday as U.S. authorities without immediate explanation reportedly blocked stateside access to numerous news websites owned by or linked to the Iranian government.

        "If a country did this to U.S. media outlets it would be seen as an act of war."—Rania Khalek, journalist

      • Algeria Revokes France 24 Accreditation as Pressure on Media Mounts

        The move against the French state-owned news outlet earlier this month comes amid tensions between the government and press over coverage of the pro-democracy Hirak Movement. The announcement came the day after legislative elections in which 70% of the electorate did not vote, according to data from the Algerian electoral authority.

      • Saudi Arabia: “It’s high time to free Raif Badawi”

        On the nine-year anniversary of blogger Raif Badawi’s imprisonment, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Saudi authorities to release him without further delay and to lift the ban on leaving Saudi Arabia to which he was also sentenced. Badawi has completed nine of the 10 years in prison he was sentenced to for “insulting Islam.”

      • ‘No Money, No News’: Asset Freeze, Arrests Signal End for Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Paper

        Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy newspaper appeared one step nearer to closing Monday, as Apple Daily announced it was airing its last nightly news show and dozens of staff resigned.

        The announcements came as Apple Daily’s board members met to discuss the paper’s viability after police last week raided its offices and arrested five executives, and authorities froze the parent company’s assets.

        The Hong Kong government’s decision to freeze Next Digital’s assets, totaling a reported $HK18m ($2.3 million), has left the publisher unable to pay staff or vendors.

      • Attack on journalist who reported on deficiencies of a public hospital

        Journalist İbrahim Akkuş, who reported on the deficiencies of a recently constructed public hospital in 19 Mayıs district of Samsun province, has been attacked inside the municipality building by the employees of the contractor company which undertook the construction.

      • Story of the last tamarind leaf

        One is inclined to see the journalists under assault from the government as crucial to democracy, like the last remaining tamarind leaf was to Prem Rani. These journalists speak for all the troubled features of India’s democracy that Mr Modi didn’t tell the G7 about.

      • Three Indian journalists could be jailed for nine years for tweets about video

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the police of northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state to immediately withdraw the absurd charges, including “criminal conspiracy,” that they brought against three journalists for tweeting about a video of an elderly man being beaten up by other men. The accusation clearly borders on harassment, RSF says.

      • Oaxaca journalist murdered despite protective measures

        Oaxaca journalist Gustavo Sánchez was murdered Thursday morning despite having protective measures that had been provided by the state’s Office for the Defense of Human Rights.

        Sánchez was killed in the community of Morros de Mazatán, located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec municipality of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec. He had protective measures in place after he said he had been threatened by the Mayor Vilma Martínez.

      • Saudis who participated in Khashoggi killing received paramilitary training in US: report

        According to the Times, an Arkansas-based security company called Tier 1 Group provided training to some of the operatives, though the training was reportedly “defensive” and “devised to better protect Saudi leaders.”

        At the time, the unit was beginning a series of kidnappings, detentions and torture of Saudi citizens to crush dissent.

      • Saudi Operatives Who Killed Khashoggi Received Paramilitary Training in U.S.

        Four Saudis who participated in the 2018 killing of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training in the United States the previous year under a contract approved by the State Department, according to documents and people familiar with the arrangement.

        The instruction occurred as the secret unit responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s killing was beginning an extensive campaign of kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudi citizens ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, to crush dissent inside the kingdom.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 'The Zapatistas Have Invaded': Indigenous Activists Sail From Mexico to Spain

        Five hundreds years after an army led by the genocidal Spanish invader Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, a group of Indigenous-led members of Mexico's Zapatista movement disembarked in Spain on Tuesday following a seven-week sailing journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

        "The Zapatistas have invaded Europe."—Subcomandante Galeano, EZLN

      • The Law of Enlightenment
      • Report Shows How DC Statehood Would Be Step Toward Racial and Gender Justice

        "Lack of D.C. statehood creates healthcare disparities—worsening the twin pandemics of Covid-19 and systemic racism, denying residents reproductive freedom, and creating real harm."—Dr. Laura Meyers, Planned Parenthood

      • In Reply to Tim Cook’s “Speaking Up On Racism.”

        We, the black community, thank you for your feeling response.

        I began writing this letter —my own Open Letter to you—in spring, 2019, when you gave the Commencement speech at Stanford University.

      • ACLU Warns Ruling by Trump-Appointed Judge Gives Feds 'Green Light' to Attack Protesters

        The ACLU reacted with outrage—and warned of potentially major implications for the right to protest—after a Trump-appointed federal judge on Monday largely dismissed lawsuits accusing the former president and his attorney general of illegally authorizing a violent assault on peaceful demonstrators in the nation's capital last year.

        "The blitzkrieg unleashed against civil rights demonstrators in Lafayette Square is a stain on our nation's commitment to the Constitution."—Scott Michelman, ACLU

      • Supreme Court Ruled Against Enslaved Children Even as US Celebrated Juneteenth
      • Sinema's Op-Ed Defending the Filibuster Is a Triumph for Republican Obstruction
      • Amazon’s Investments in Israel Reveal Complicity in Settlements and Military Operations

        On Prime Day, Amazon’s largest online shopping event, the company will be looking to beat its previous sales record of $10.4 billion. Increasingly, customers have grown critical of Amazon’s treatment of workers, union-busting activities, and partnerships with police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leading some to call for a boycott of Prime Day. What Amazon Prime members may not realize, however, is that Amazon is also aiding in the spread of military occupation abroad.

      • Attack of the Critical Race Theory

        Support independent cartooning: join€ Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s€ Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • Filibuster "Conversation" to Happen If GOP Blocks Voting Rights Bill, Psaki Says
      • Republicans Won’t Even Debate “For the People Act” as They Flood States with Voter Suppression Bills

        Senate Republicans are expected to use the filibuster to block debate on the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that would protect voting rights across the United States and improve ballot access. The Senate vote comes as Republican state lawmakers are passing sweeping measures to suppress the vote. According to the Voting Rights Lab, 18 states have enacted more than 30 laws to restrict voting since the November election. The For the People Act is “the most important voting rights bill since the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” says Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman. “It just goes to show you how afraid the Republican Party is of democracy that they won’t even debate legislation to make it easier to vote, let alone vote on the actual bill.”

      • Pakistan Leader Imran Khan Blames Rise in Sexual Violence on Women Wearing Small Clothes

        akistan Prime Minister Imran Khan doubled down in an interview aired Sunday on his recent statements blaming sexual assault on the way women dress.

        Khan told Jonathan Swan on Axios on HBO that it was "common sense" that provocative clothing would provoke sexual violence.

      • Turkey is radicalizing extremists to attack Kurdish women

        Women have become key targets of Turkey’s extremist government in recent years. Videos increasingly show violence against women in the streets of cities, including women being beaten by men. Turkey, once a candidate for European Union membership, now stands accused of sending assassins to target women activists from Syria to France.

        Turkey’s pro-government media often portrays women as “terrorists” despite no evidence of them ever being armed or doing any “terrorist” activist. For the state and the ruling AKP party, women who struggle for LGBT rights, or student or environmental activists are “terrorists”; men who pose with weapons and support actual terrorists in Syria, are celebrated as heroes in Ankara.

        This confusing Orwellian situation has turned unarmed women activists, often on the Left, into a threat, whereas men linked to ISIS are seen as relatable in far-right media.

      • Islamic Migrants Surveyed: Westernized Muslim Women 'Must Die - Stone Them, Use a Knife' (Video)

        Italian news channel LA7 interviewed members of the Islamic community in Rome to find out what they thought of the young Pakistani woman killed by her family. Many men were asked how they would act if their family member did not obey their commands or was “westernized.” The Islamic male migrant called for the women to be brutally murdered. The men justified their death threat by citing commands in their Qur’ans.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Ohio Republicans Are Using State Budget Battle To Kill Community Broadband

        Frustrated by high prices, a lack of competition, spotty coverage, and terrible customer service, some 750 US towns and cities have built some form of community owned and operated broadband network. While not some silver bullet, studies have shown these networks often provider faster, cheaper, better service than most apathetic regional telecom monopolies. They also tend to put money back into the local community, as well as being somewhat more accountable given they're run by folks with a vested interest in the community they live in.

      • Midnight Madness: As Canadians Slept, the Liberals, Bloc and NDP Combined to Pass Bill C-10 in the House of Commons

        Given the woefully inadequate Canadian Heritage committee hearings with the exclusion of digital-first Canadian creators, technology companies, consumer groups, and numerous independent experts as well as the passage of amendments without debate, discussion or experts, Bill C-10 desperately needs a comprehensive review. If Parliament resumes in the fall, there will be an opportunity for that review in the Senate. If, as most expect, there is an election, Bill C-10 will die, providing a much-needed opportunity to start from scratch by developing forward-looking, balanced legislation that supports the creative sector, safeguards freedom of expression, and recognizes the risks of over-broad regulations overseen by the CRTC.

      • How the Next Layer of the Internet is Going to be Standardised

        For a while now, it’s been apparent that Internet and Web standards have stagnated at the ‘top’ of the stack. While the IETF has been busy revising HTTP and replacing TCP down below, a tremendous amount of innovation is going on up top, and it’s all in private hands. This is where most of the apparent value in the Internet now resides: when you ask people what is the Internet? they don’t say anything about end-to-end, reliable delivery, stateful resources, or the browser platform; they say ‘social networking, search and shopping’, or more likely, ‘Facebook, Google and Amazon.’

      • No news is... a sign of a stagnating Internet

        So, as the ACCC, Parliament and many other authorities around the world try to figure out what to do about Facebook and other big platforms, it’s important for them to remember that the Internet itself is not a child of competition alone – it’s much more the product of cooperation on a global scale. By carefully harnessing those mechanisms and using their powers to require dominant undertakings to come to the party, we could kick-start innovation on the Internet that doesn’t place the rewards – or control – into a few privileged hands.

    • Monopolies

      • Tim Cook called Nancy Pelosi to warn her against disrupting the iPhone with impending antitrust bills

        Tech giants have repeatedly said they would welcome government regulation — if it’s the right regulation, of course. But faced with five antitrust bills that could unwind what the House Judiciary Committee described as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook’s “monopoly power,” Big Tech is bringing out the big lobbying guns.

      • Tech Giants, Fearful of Proposals to Curb Them, Blitz Washington With Lobbying

        The calls by Mr. Cook are part of a forceful and wide-ranging pushback by the tech industry since the proposals were announced this month. Executives, lobbyists, and more than a dozen think tanks and advocacy groups paid by tech companies have swarmed Capitol offices, called and emailed lawmakers and their staff members, and written letters arguing there will be dire consequences for the industry and the country if the ideas become law.

      • Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation

        The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is coming under pressure to hit the brakes on a legislative package targeting tech giants.

        Industry groups, major tech companies and centrist Democrats have called for additional time and hearings to weigh the five proposals before the panel moves ahead with Wednesday’s scheduled markup.

        The bills focus on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and build off the investigation the House subcommittee conducted last year that led to a blockbuster report alleging abuse of market power by the companies, who have all pushed back on the report’s findings.

      • Congress Wants to Put the Brakes on Runaway Acquisitions by Big Tech

        We’ve said before that increased scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions is the first step in addressing the lack of competition for Big Tech. Restraining internet giants’ power to squash new competitors can help new services and platforms arise, including ones that are not based on a surveillance business model. It would also encourage those giants to innovate and offer better services, rather than relying on being the only game in town.

        Big Tech’s acquisitiveness is well-known and has been on the rise. Analysis of Apple’s finances, for example, revealed that over the last 6 years, the company was buying a new company every three to four weeks. Not only do these sales keep startups from ever competing with incumbent powers, they also bring more data under the control of companies that already have too much information on us. This is especially true when one of the draws of a startup’s€  service was that it provided an alternative to Big Tech’s offering, as we saw when Google bought Fitbit.

        The acquisition practices of the largest tech firms have distorted the marketplace. Mergers and acquisitions are now seen as a primary driving force to securing initial investment to launch a startup. In other words, how attractive your company is to a big tech acquisition is now arguably the primary reason a startup gets funded. This makes sense because ultimately the venture capital firms that fund startups are interested in making money, and if the main source of profit in the technology sector is derived from mergers with big tech, as opposed to competing with them, the investment dollars will flow that way.

      • Patents

        • Bad Patents Getting In The Way Of A Fun Toy; Or Why I Had To Teach My Kids About How Patents Ruin Everything

          Last year I backed a very cool looking crowdfunding project for my kids. It's called Makeway, and seems like the coolest ever possible marble run setup. Marble runs are already cool, but since basically everyone in my family will spend hours just staring at some of the more advanced marble run setups in museums (or building them in the more hands on museums, or much simpler ones with just home kits), this seemed like a really amazing project to be able to create a museum-level marble run in your own home. The project launched right before the pandemic went into full swing, and, like tons of crowdfunding projects, it's had some difficulties along the way. Of course, unlike many such projects in which the creators go quiet and hide behind silence as they deal with the difficulties, the guy behind Makeway sends out incredibly and intricately detailed novella length updates, going deep into the challenges and (usually!) the solutions.

        • Biden Urged to Pressure EU to End 'Outrageous' Opposition to Vaccine Patent Waiver

          A diverse coalition of more than 130 labor, public health, and human rights organizations sent a letter Tuesday calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to pressure European nations to end their opposition to a temporary patent waiver for Covid-19 vaccines as the deadly virus ravages South America, Africa, and other regions that have struggled to obtain shots.

          "It is outrageous that the European Union and a very few other WTO members continue to oppose a TRIPS waiver even as more transmissible variants are fueling new waves of death and devastation."—Letter

      • Copyrights

        • EU Court: YouTube and Uploaded Are, In Principle, Not Liable For Pirating Users

          The Court of Justice of the European Union has handed down a long-awaited copyright ruling that clarifies if and when online services such as YouTube and Uploaded are liable for pirating users. The Court finds that, in principle, these services are not liable under EU law. However, that changes when the services are aware of specific infringements.

        • YouTube Prevails in EU Copyright Suit As Regulators Reveal New Google Ad Probe

          In the EU, authors have the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the “communication to the public” of their works, with some exceptions. While the court acknowledges that YouTube is “indispensable” when it comes to the illegal sharing of copyrighted content, that’s not enough to classify it as a communicator under the law. YouTube doesn’t screen content before it’s posted, warns its users to comply with copyright laws and has procedures in place to report content that violates its terms of use.

        • Filelinked Made 'Banned' Piracy Apps Easier to Find But Has Now Disappeared

          An app that allowed users to find and install Android apps unavailable on official stores has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The innovative 'Filelinked' tool allowed users to set up their own app stores, accessible by anyone with the relevant code. This made it a haven for people looking to download and share piracy apps, which could explain its apparent demise.

        • Anti-Piracy Lawyer Officially Secures RARBG Trademark

          Anti-piracy lawyer Kerry Culpepper has officially secured the RARBG trademark, a name that's commonly associated with a popular torrent site. The move is linked to an anti-piracy initiative, where the lawyer uses brands of pirate sites and services against themselves. Culpepper says he plans to enforce the trademark, but what this will look like is unknown.

        • SDG Academy - Creative Commons

          Open access to knowledge has never been more important than it is today. The promise of connectivity and the democratization of knowledge has made it possible for anyone, anywhere, to learn. In an increasingly connected and complex world, society faces deep challenges across economic, environmental, and social spheres that require new ways of thinking.€ 

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