Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 9/7/2021: New in KDE, IBM Crisis, Germany Moving to Free Software



  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: fixing longstanding bugs

          This week a whole bunch of longstanding issues got fixed! If you look through the list, I bet you’ll find one or two things that have annoyed you–and no longer! In addition, we did a lot of high-impact Wayland work.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • Status of Online Conference Software on FreeBSD

          This project marks the introduction to my internship in FreeBSD Foundation.

          Conferencing and online video meeting software has become an increasingly popular choice for remote working and video calling, especially since the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. There are a number of popular platforms floating around, such as Google Hangouts and Skype. However, there are not many online resources available showing how well the different platforms work on FreeBSD desktop environments.

          For FreeBSD desktop users, it is also important that we have a variety of choices on hand when it comes to online meetings. This ensures productivity even when developers are remote from the working site.

          I decided to spend a few days testing how well the web-based online conferencing applications are working. I did not investigate non web-based online conferencing as browsers are supposed to be widely available to different users.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM CEO: The biggest challenge holding back our economy right now

          We're already beginning to see the contours of what our new post-pandemic digital economy will look like.

          Whether it is cloud-based platforms or AI-powered software, businesses across every industry are reshaping their future around the possibilities of these powerful and exciting technologies. In manufacturing, a factory floor operator now relies on AI-powered robots to detect defects in products that are invisible to the human eye. In health care, AI-powered virtual agents can now handle millions of calls at once. And, in telecommunications, cloud-based networks can now quickly adapt to massive shifts in traffic patterns — almost overnight.

          As the world continues to grapple with the effects of the global pandemic and the economic strain it has caused, technology must be part of the solution. Digital technologies such as hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence and eventually, quantum computing, can rewire our economy, unleash more productivity and spur business and societal growth. But to get there, there is one challenge we must overcome: We must take big and bold steps to increase access to digital skills training for workers — regardless of their background — so they can take advantage of this new era.

        • Whitehurst fallout: 'The future IBM we will probably never see'

          Technology columnist Timothy Prickett Morgan is harshly critical of Jim Whitehurst’s departure as president of IBM, writing: “Someone at the company forgot what being named president of the IBM Company means. Or no longer cared.”

          Morgan, the co-editor of tech site The Next Platform and who lives in Boone according to his LinkedIn site, declares that Whitehurst’s departure means what the longtime CEO of Raleigh-based Red Hat would have done to impact IBM is something “we will probably never see.”

          While not being harshly critical of Chair and CEO Arvind Krishna – who prevailed over Whitehurst when IBM’s board selected a CEO to replace the retired Ginni Rometty last year – Morgan makes clear that losing Whitehurst hurts Big Blue.

        • IBM insiders say CEO Arvind Krishna downplayed impact of email troubles, asked for a week to sort things out

          IBM CEO Arvind Krishna on Wednesday addressed the company's ongoing email woes in his monthly video message to employees.

          Krishna, we're told, said the email disruption only lost the company one deal worth about $10,000 and he said the situation would be fully fixed in a week.

          The chief exec's comments appear to address The Register's report last week that IBM's partial email outage might have an impact on company revenue. If the figure Krishna cited is correct, the email disruption's sales impact is immaterial in terms of the Big Blue's overall finances. The possibility of brand damage, however, remains.

          Our first source within IBM described how Krishna likened IBM employees to "shoemaker's kids," a reference to the proverb that shoemaker's children go barefoot and a suggestion that IBM is too busy tending to its customers to provide reliable email to its employees.

          "I took it as 'we are too busy doing other things,'" said the individual who told The Register about the video.

          Krishna, we're told, spent several minutes on the subject, claiming that IBM sent 4.2 billion emails a week and that IBM employees have been experiencing only about 30 minutes per day of downtime. Our source told us that's "just not true."

          On Tuesday, this individual said thousands of people have been affected and described 27,000 people in the company's Slack help channel posting requests for assistance.

        • Ex-IBM whistleblower's suit back in court, 8 years after he alleged irregularities in $265m IRS software deal
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.2 arrives, upgrade path made available too - Neowin

          The Linux Mint team has announced the release of Linux Mint 20.2 ‘Uma’. Surprisingly, the upgrade path has also been opened up today. In the past, users normally had to wait a week or two before upgrades were allowed from older Mint versions but it looks like the team was confident enough to allow upgrades right away.

          We already gave a rundown of the features new to Linux Mint 20.2 in June when the beta was made available so head over to that article to see what’s new. Here, we will look at how you can upgrade your Linux Mint 20 or 20.1 system to 20.2.

        • Linux Release Roundup #21.28: Linux Mint 20.2, KDE Gear 21.04.3, Tor Browser 10.5, and More New Releases

          Linux Mint 20.2 final release is here with significant upgrade and improvements.

          You can learn more about the changes in our news coverage.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Collection of Raspberry Pi retro tech projects
        • The Old Computer Challenge and Why I Need It

          These two concerns have made me often think about what would happen if I just used an old computer. What if the time cost of each interaction with a device was higher? Would I use it less often and more deliberately? There is only one way to find out, which is why I have decided to take part in an Old Computer Challenge proposed by Solene Rapenne.

          The rules are simple: outside of work, use something with 1 core and 512 MB of RAM or less, from 10-July to 17-July. I will be using a DEC AlphaStation and nothing else for the duration of this week, and will do a follow up with my thoughts at the end of that time. If you're interested, why not give it a try too?

        • Biden to Sign Executive Order Granting Farmers Right to Repair Protections

          At the White House press briefing today, Psaki said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Trade Commission, at the direction of Biden, is working on new rules to increase competition in the farming industry, allow for greater competition between small farmers and big businesses, and “give farmers the right to repair their own equipment how they like.” Psaki said this would be part of an executive order that the Biden administration will sign that is focused more broadly on helping farmers. Bloomberg reported the news earlier Tuesday.

        • Apple founder Steve Wozniak backs right-to-repair movement

          And right-to-repair advocates say Apple is one of the fiercest opponents to expanding the legislation to cover consumer electronics.

          It allows repairs by its own authorised technicians only and does not generally provide spare parts or repair information.

          And it has reportedly engaged lobbyists to persuade lawmakers repairing devices can be extremely dangerous.

          But Mr Wozniak, 70, said: "Companies inhibit [the right to repair] because it gives the companies power, control, over everything.

          "It's time to start doing the right things."

        • Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Publicly Backs Right to Repair

          But according to Wozniak, the same repair restrictions are not just bad for consumers, they can also stifle innovation.

          “We wouldn’t have an Apple had I not grown in an open technology world. An open electronics world,” he said. “Back then, when you bought electronic things, like TVs and radios, every bit of the circuits and designs were included on paper.”

        • Steve Wozniak Voices Strong Support for the Growing Right to Repair Movement

          In the video, Woz goes on to illustrate how the prevalence of open-source tech was instrumental to many of his and Apple’s early breakthroughs like being able to manipulate video input on TVs back in the day, which eventually helped pave the way for the Apple I. Woz also cited the breakup of Ma Bell as a catalyst that helped open up consumer choice when it came to telephones, allowing people to make better gadgets in a wide range of designs and colors, while Apple even shipped the Apple I with full design specs, allowing home users to more easily understand and tinker with the device.

        • Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak supports right-to-repair movement amid battle over whether you should be able to fix your own iPhone

          “The Apple II was modifiable and extendable to the maximum … this product was the only source of profits for Apple for the first 10 years on the company. This was not a minor product … there were a lot of good things about being so open that everyone could join the party”, he continued.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Meet the open-source software powering NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

        So they turned to F Prime, a reusable, multi-mission flight software framework designed for CubeSats, small spacecraft, and instruments. The program was initially developed in 2013 by a team led by Tim Canham at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California with the aim of creating a low-cost, portable, pliable software architecture option that would allow components written for one application to be reused easily in other applications and run on a range of processors.

      • Public Services/Government

        • German government executes OSS-based vision of digital sovereignty

          The German government is taking the next steps to fulfil its commitment of increasing the level of digital sovereignty of its public sector. In a recent decision, the Conference of the IT Coordinators of the Ministries approved the “Strategy for Strengthening Digital Sovereignty for Public Administration IT”, with a view of creating a Centre for Digital Sovereignty, built on open source.

      • Programming/Development

        • Automated BLE Testing

          Without too much effort, we now have a pretty powerful script for continuously testing our firmware for basic BLE functionality. And as more requirements are added, it's straightforward to update the python script to test those as well.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Could Other Condos Collapse Like Surfside? Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Care to Know.
    • 'Appalling': DeSantis Refuses to Back Calls for Inspection of Aging Florida Buildings After Condo Collapse

      As the known death toll from the collapse of a€ high-rise condo in Surfside near Miami continues to rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' refusal€ on Wednesday to commit to a statewide review of aging buildings provoked€ cries of outrage and fears of repeat disasters.

      "For those who are missing, who have been identified as being deceased, the impact that they've had, not just on Florida but through folks all across the country and the world, has really been profound,"€ DeSantis€ said Wednesday after a briefing on Tropical Storm Elsa at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, according to reporting by the Tampa Bay Times.

    • ‘What Would It Mean to Think That Thought?’: The Era of Lauren Berlant

      Lauren Berlant, a pioneering scholar and cultural theorist, died on June 28 of a rare form of cancer. A professor at the University of Chicago since 1984, Berlant had wide-ranging influence as a scholar: They made contributions to literary studies, queer theory, and political theory, but were best known through their work on affect theory—a way of understanding political and cultural life through the individual and collective experience of mood and feeling. The loss of Berlant is immeasurable, and the effort of remembering and understanding the legacy of their scholarship is just beginning. As a contribution to that project, The Nation has asked four thinkers to share their thoughts on what Berlant’s thinking meant to them.1

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Secrecy and Calamity in Australia’s Vaccine Rollout

        A good deal of this was occasioned by an outbreak in Australia’s largest city in June, which saw the state of New South Wales become the last bastion to yield to the lockdown formula.€  For the duration of the pandemic, the state government saw the blunt approach as unnecessarily harsh to residents, preferring to rely on fabled common sense.€  We, the argument went, were different.€  Business and commerce could be left in peace, bar some tinkering on matters of social distancing.

        But common sense and wily viruses do not necessarily go hand in hand; and the Delta variant of COVID-19 is proving more than a match for public health authorities.€  It began with an airport driver in Sydney, who caught the strain from flight crew from the US.€  Infections ballooned, helped along by a gathering at a birthday party of around 40 people, one of whom had unknowingly crossed paths with the driver. Those not infected turned out to be the ones who were vaccinated.

      • Sugar Companies Said Our Investigation Is Flawed and Biased. Let’s Dive Into Why That’s Not the Case.

        On July 8, The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica published an investigation into harvest practices in the nation’s largest cane sugar-producing region.

        For decades, residents in Florida’s heartland have raised concerns about exposure to pollution from burning cane fields, a technique used to rid the plant of its leaves. In June 2020, The Post partnered with ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network to investigate the topic.

      • 'It Didn't Have to Be This Way': WHO Chief Laments 4 Million Covid-19 Deaths

        The official global death toll from Covid-19 hit 4 million Wednesday—a "tragic milestone," said the World Health Organization chief as he blasted "vaccine nationalism" as a "morally indefensible" position.

        That number of fatalities is likely an underestimate, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-Genereal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his remarks at a press briefing. Also troubling, he said, are "fast moving variants" of the coronavirus and premature dropping by some authorities of public health measures meant to contain the spread of the pandemic.

      • New Study Shows Delta Variant's Threat to the Unvaccinated—And Partially Vaccinated

        A study published in the journal Nature on Thursday found that the Delta variant of the coronavirus has the ability to dodge antibodies produced by vaccines or natural infection, an alarming discovery that comes as the ultra-contagious strain is spreading rapidly across the U.S. and throughout the world.

        "We need to vaccinate the world NOW with an all-out effort led by the United States."—Kristian Andersen, Scripps Research Institute

      • As Delta Runs Rampant, Analysis Pinpoints Five Undervaccinated Clusters Putting Entire US at Risk

        A new data analysis by researchers at Georgetown University pinpoints a number of undervaccinated clusters of the United States that pose a significant threat to the nation's—and potentially the world's—gradual progress against the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly given their potential to serve as "factories" for extremely contagious variants such as the now-dominant Delta strain.

        The five most significant clusters identified by the Georgetown researchers are largely located in the southern U.S., in states such as Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana—all of which are currently experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases as Delta rips through communities concentrated with people who have yet to receive a single vaccine shot. Those clusters include more than 15 million people.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Sophos acquires Intel-backed Linux security vendor Capsule8
      • Proprietary

        • Kaseya Left Customer Portal Vulnerable to 2015 Flaw in its Own Software [Ed: Windows TCO]
        • Cyber Command lawyer calls for military operations against [crackers] [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The disruptions caused by the events “have demonstrated that what initially may be categorized as crime may be better thought of as a national security threat,” and the United States must use its own cyber strength if the threats are to be defeated, Sanger argued.

        • Maryland town knocked offline as part of massive ransomware attack

          A Maryland town was taken offline last week during the massive ransomware attack on through Miami-based technology firm Kaseya.

          The Washington Post reported Thursday that Leonardtown in Southern Maryland fell victim to the cyberattack, with town administrator Laschelle McKay first learning of the problem when she logged on Friday.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Advocacy groups urge school administrators to ban eproctoring

              In an open letter published Thursday, the groups liken the tracking software to "spyware" and argue it raises significant issues that perpetuate racism and ableism while failing to serve its purpose to prevent academic dishonesty.

              “They also treat students as if they are guilty until proven innocent, which is a disrespectful and harmful stance for any academic institution to take,” the letter reads.

              The 19 signatories include human rights and youth advocacy organizations including Fight For the Future, AccessNow, Encode Justice, Parents Together and Media Alliance.

            • Facebook accidentally lost a piece of its moderation policy for three years

              The user appealed to the Oversight Board, which agreed to examine the case. As it did, Facebook apparently “found that a piece of internal guidance on the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy was ‘inadvertently not transferred’ to a new review system in 2018.” The policy had been developed in 2017 partly because of the debate over Öcalan’s living conditions, and it “allows discussion on the conditions of confinement for individuals designated as dangerous.” But the internal guidance was never made public to Facebook or Instagram users — and Facebook only realized it had dropped out of the moderation guidelines altogether when the user appealed.

            • YouTube’s algorithm recommends videos that violate its own policies

              YouTube’s algorithm recommends videos that violate the company’s own policies on inappropriate content, according to a crowdsourced study.

              Not-for-profit company Mozilla asked users of its Firefox web browser to install a browser extension called RegretsReporter, which tracked the YouTube videos they watched, and asked them whether they regretted watching each video.

              Between July 2020 and May 2021, 37,380 users flagged 3362 videos they viewed as regrettable – a fraction of 1 per cent of all those they watched. Reports of these videos were highest in Brazil, with about 22 videos out of every 10,000 viewed being logged as regrettable.

            • Tencent Uses Facial Recognition to Ban Kids Gaming Past Bedtime

              In the latest bid to curb video-game addiction in China, tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has launched a facial recognition system to stop minors gaming into the night. The initiative will prevent people under 18 from playing between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

              The system, dubbed Midnight Patrol, is in place in more than 60 of Tencent’s games and includes popular titles like “Honor of Kings” and “Peacekeeper Elite,” the company said in a press release Tuesday.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Confronting America's Obscene Military Budget

        An end to war? It's certainly necessary, but is it politically possible?

      • France's "New" Nukes: Another Industrial and Financial Disaster

        Despite being fiercely pro-nuclear, President Macron has declared on several occasions that the EPR at Flamanville would need to be operational before any decision to build other reactors could be made.€ However, it’s very likely that Mr. Macron is perfectly well aware of — and complicit in — this decision by EDF management to move forward with a new project.

        Just as it has often done in the past, in its contempt for democracy and the interests of the French public, the leadership of EDF intends to use the politics of fait accompli: it proposes to spend hundreds of billions to start one or several “EPR2” reactor construction projects in order to then proclaim that the ship has sailed so the program cannot be stopped…. under threat of wasting hundreds of billions.

      • “Police State Without the State”: Palestinian Authority Faces Protests over Critic’s Death in Custody

        We look at growing opposition to the Palestinian Authority after the killing of a prominent activist, Nizar Banat, a vocal critic of the ruling body who died in PA custody after security forces violently arrested him at his home. Banat’s killing has sparked protests calling for President Mahmoud Abbas to step down. “The Palestinian Authority now is acting like a police state without the state,” says Palestinian writer Mariam Barghouti. “The Palestinian Authority has often collaborated with Israel at the expense of Palestinians.”

      • The People vs. Mahmoud Abbas: Are the Palestinian Authority’s Days Numbered?

        "The Palestinian Authority's days are numbered." This assertion has been oft repeated recently, especially after the torture to death on June 24 of a popular Palestinian activist, Nizar Banat, 42, at the hands of PA security goons in Hebron (Al-Khalil).

      • As U.S. Troops Withdraw from Afghanistan, Gov’t Turns to Armed Volunteers to Fight Taliban

        Taliban fighters are escalating their offensive across much of Afghanistan, attacking major cities and seizing more territory as the U.S. military withdrawal from the country nears completion after nearly 20 years of war. The Taliban now reportedly control a third of all 421 districts and district centers in Afghanistan. Taliban representatives met with the Afghan government in Iran for high-level peace talks and said in a joint statement that “war is not the solution” to the country’s problems. We go to Kabul to speak with reporter Ali Latifi, who says Afghan security forces are arming local groups across the country to oppose the Taliban. “They’re really putting a lot of weight behind these uprising movements,” says Latifi. “It’s really a big gamble at this moment.” We also speak with Sima Samar, longtime Afghan women’s and human rights defender who previously served as the country’s minister of women’s affairs, who says the U.S. should have waited until a firm ceasefire was in place between warring factions before removing troops. “The withdrawal was not in the right time,” she says. “Afghanistan should not be abandoned.”

      • 45+ Groups Say 'Future of Our Planet Depends on Ending New Cold War' Between US and China

        A coalition of nearly 50 environmental€ and other advocacy groups critical of the U.S. government's increasingly hostile approach to China sent a letter Thursday to President Joe Biden and members of Congress€ to€ remind€ them that the existentially threatening climate emergency is a "global crisis," which€ can only be solved through "global cooperation."

        "To combat the climate crisis and build a global economy that works for everyday working people—in the U.S. and China alike—we must shift from competition to cooperation."—Coalition letter

      • Carlos Lazo: The Cuban American Leading the Charge to Transform US-Cuba Policy

        Carlos Lazo and a small band of Cuban Americans are on a 1,300-mile pilgrimage from Miami to Washington, D.C., to end the U.S. blockade of Cuba. Despite the blistering summer heat and occasional death threats (including a trucker who tried to run them off the road), the marchers persist. Lazo's group is called Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love, and this grueling walkathon is certainly a labor of love.

      • Carlos Lazo: The Cuban American Leading the Charge to Transform US-Cuba Policy

        Carlos Lazo and a small band of Cuban Americans are on a 1,300-mile pilgrimage from Miami to Washington, D.C., to end the U.S. blockade of Cuba. Despite the blistering summer heat and occasional death threats (including a trucker who tried to run them off the road), the marchers persist. Lazo’s group is called Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love, and this grueling walkathon is certainly a labor of love.

      • 'Anti-Democratic Zealots': US Abortion Opponents Seen as Growing, Wider Threat

        An international reproductive rights group on Thursday warned that the anti-choice movement has grown increasingly dangerous in recent years, with violent extremist groups gaining influence in state legislatures—resulting in some of the most extreme anti-choice laws being passed since Roe vs. Wade affirmed in 1973 that women in the U.S. have the right to abortion care.

      • Lee Camp: America’s Impressive History of Bioweapons Attacks Against Its Own People

        The Biden Administration, the mainstream media and pretty much all the politicians in our country continue to throw fuel on the Sinophobia fire initially stoked by former President and current Mar-a-lago “fungineer” Donald Trump. (Word to the wise, “Sinophobia” means anti-China hatred, not anti-cinema hatred as I had thought. So I apologize to all the people who posted a movie review for Fast And Furious 27 and noticed a response comment from me reading “GODDAMN SINOPHOBE!” Under the circumstances, that was an odd thing to yell.)

      • What's Behind The Assassination Of Haitian President Moïses?
      • Haiti Assassination Raises Red Flags Among Observers Fluent in History of US Intervention

        In the wake of Wednesday's assassination of Jovenel Moïse, the unpopular, corrupt, and increasingly authoritarian U.S.-backed Haitian president, observers fluent in the history of foreign interference in the hemisphere's first truly free republic sounded the alarm over the same sort of calls for intervention in the name of "stability" that preceded so many previous American invasions of Haiti.

        On Wednesday, the editors of the Miami Herald responded to Moïse's murder by asserting that the "U.S. must get off the sidelines and act."

      • Foreign Governments and NGOs Will Try to Exploit Moïse's Assassination
      • Biden Urged to Stop Deportations to Haiti Following President's Assassination
      • Haiti in Chaos After President’s Assassination as Activists in U.S. Urge Biden to Stop Deportations

        The interim prime minister of Haiti has declared a state of siege and imposed martial law following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, who died in an armed attack on his home. The first lady of Haiti was injured in the attack and airlifted to a hospital in Miami, where she is reportedly in stable but critical condition. Haitian authorities say police have killed four suspects and detained two others, but the individuals have not been identified. No evidence linking them to the assassination has been made public. It is unclear who is now in charge of Haiti, which was already facing a political, security and economic crisis prior to the assassination of the president. Haitians are “in mourning,” whether they supported Moïse or not, says Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Today the streets of Haiti are empty because people are trying to make sense of what just happened.” She calls on the Biden administration to stop deporting Haitians and to allow more people who fled to the U.S. to apply for temporary protected status.

      • US Citizen Arrested as Suspect in Assassination of Haitian President

        This is a breaking€ news story... Check back for possible updates...

        A U.S. citizen of Haitian descent has been arrested as a suspect in the assassination of Haiti's president, Jovenel Moïse, a senior government official said Thursday.

      • Biden Turns His Back on Yemen

        In his first major foreign policy€ address€ on February 4, President Joe Biden announced that he was "ending all support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales." If only. Five months later, US assistance to the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen continues, even though some observers don't realize it.€  In an otherwise perceptive article on President Biden's foreign policy in the May 27, 2021€ New York Review of Books, Jessica T. Matthews writes that President Biden "withdrew American support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen that has produced little more than an atrocious level of human suffering."

      • Hundreds of Women, Girls Brutalized by Soldiers in Tigray War

        The Ethiopian government has acknowledged rapes allegedly perpetrated by its troops and allied fighters. Three soldiers were convicted in May and dozens of others have been indicted.

      • America’s longest war is ending in crushing defeat

        More likely than any deal, however, is that the Taliban try to use their victories on the battlefield to topple the government by force. They have already overrun much of the countryside, with government units mostly restricted to cities and towns. Demoralised government troops are abandoning their posts. This week over 1,000 of them fled from the north-eastern province of Badakhshan to neighbouring Tajikistan. The Taliban have not yet managed to capture and hold any cities, and may lack the manpower to do so in lots of places at once. They may prefer to throttle the government slowly rather than attack it head on. But the momentum is clearly on their side.

    • Environment

      • ‘Heat dome’ probably killed 1bn marine animals on Canada coast, experts say

        The “heat dome” that settled over western Canada and the north-western US for five days pushed temperatures in communities along the coast to 40C (104F) – shattering longstanding records and offering little respite for days.

      • Family Farms Can Help Solve Climate Change

        Solving the climate crisis is one of our generation's most important responsibilities, and as independent family farmers from four Midwestern states, we're willing to do our part. But it will require a major shift away from policies that prop up a highly polluting corporate factory farm system that has been gutting rural communities for decades.

      • Fossil Fuel Industry Given Billions in EU Hydrogen Support, Report Finds

        Over €8 billion is being invested in hydrogen and “renewable gas” projects in southern Europe using EU Covid-19 recovery funds, thanks to extensive lobbying by the fossil fuel industry, a new report has found.€ 

        The research warns that backing for the supposedly green developments has “thrown a lifeline” to fossil fuel companies, despite pledges by the European Commission to pursue a low-carbon transition.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • 'This Is What Bipartisanship Looks Like': Vicious Fire Tornado Caught on Film in California

        Responding to dramatic footage that went viral Thursday of a so-called "fire tornado" unleashed recently in North California, a longtime aid of Sen. Bernie Sanders said the event—viewed through a political prism—could be seen symbolically as the destructive result of corporate-friendly policies in Washington, D.C. masquerading as bipartisanship while the world burns amid an intensifying climate emergency.

        "This is what bipartisanship looks like," tweeted Warren Gunnels, currently the staff director for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Sanders.

      • Environmental Justice Concerns Raised at a Hearing on Louisiana’s Bid For Authority to Permit Carbon Capture and Storage Projects

        “Our state is addicted to fossil fuels and, like many addicts, instead of seeking to break our addiction. We seek ways to become functional addicts,”€ said Jesse George, with the consumer nonprofit group, the Alliance for Affordable Energy, at a July 6 public hearing held by the€ Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR)€ in Baton Rouge.€ 

        George was speaking against the regulatory agency’s request to the€ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)€ to lead on issuing permits for carbon capture and storage projects in Louisiana, and against such projects in general: “The pipe dream of carbon capture and sequestration is a prime example of this. False promises about carbon capture and sequestration abound, propagated purposely by those with a vested interest in perpetuating our addiction.”€ 

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Is AltE Truly the Best Solution to Climate Catastrophe?

        Yet environmentalists have known for decades that reduction of useless and harmful energy is the “greenest” form of energy available.€  Over 50 years ago, the first Earth Day recognized this with the slogan “Reduce; Reuse; Recycle.”€  Today, corporate “environmentalism” chants “Recycle; Occasionally Reuse; and, Never Utter ‘Reduce.’”€  Even mentioning the word “reduce” can be met with howls of derision that “Reduction means ‘austerity,’” as if any type of collective self-control would plunge the world into depths of suffering.

        This can lead to a belief that supporting “alternative energy” (AltE) allows everyone on Earth to pursue a lifestyle of endless consumerism.€  It avoids the real problem, which is capitalism’s uncontrollable drive for economic growth.

      • Northwest Heat Wave Would've Been “Virtually Impossible” Without Climate Crisis
      • Biden Mocks Sen. Ron Johnson for Saying Climate Crisis Is "Bullshit"
      • Elon Musk's Pointless, Subsidized Tunnels Head To Flood-Prone Florida

        If you hadn't noticed by now -- and if you're part of his rabid fanbase you haven't -- there's often a bit of a chasm between what Elon Musk promises and what usually gets delivered. For every notable innovation his companies deliver, there always seem to be a handful of other side products that promise the moon and deliver something more akin to a Styrofoam ball slathered in grey paint.

      • Study Shows Deadly Northwest Heatwave Would've Been 'Virtually Impossible' Without Climate Crisis

        A rapid-response scientific analysis of the Pacific Northwest heatwave that has killed hundreds of people—and more than a billion intertidal animals—indicates that the extreme temperature event "would have been virtually impossible" in the absence of the human-caused climate crisis.

        "Our results provide a strong warning: our rapidly warming climate is bringing us into uncharted territory that has significant consequences for health, well-being, and livelihoods," reads the analysis, which was conducted by a team of more than two dozen scientists as part of the World Weather Attribution initiative.

      • Energy

        • 'This Is Huge': Schumer Commits to Creating Civilian Climate Corps

          After being targeted by progressive climate campaigners, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made clear on Wednesday that he will work to include the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps in evolving federal infrastructure legislation.

          "We must go big and bold with a Civilian Climate Corps."—Sen. Ed Markey

        • Sales of electric cars outnumbered diesel cars for first time in Finland in June

          Statistics Finland has published data revealing that fully electric cars outnumbered diesel cars for the first time ever in first registrations, albeit only narrowly, with 1,055 registrations compared to 1,029 registrations. The registrations of electric cars increased by over 780 from the previous year, whereas those of diesel cars decreased by almost 310.

      • Overpopulation

        • Gov. Newsom asks Californians to cut water use, expands emergency as drought worsens

          California Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents Thursday to voluntarily cut back on their water consumption by 15 percent as the state dives further into drought and temperatures continue to soar past seasonal averages.

          Newsom, a Democrat who faces a recall election in September, expanded a regional drought state of emergency to 50 of California's 58 counties, home to about 42 percent of the population.

        • From food surplus to famine?

          I would like to ask all those who have held the reins of power in this country for the last 20 years a question: why have the links between a large and rapidly growing population and all our present crises (excepting governance) remained unmentioned, unrecognised and therefore unaddressed? There is an obvious link between population growth and per capita availability of both food and water — the latter was highlighted at the Islamabad Security Dialogue and is of critical importance in dealing with climate change. Child malnutrition, a national and international community priority, is also linked to inadequate birth spacing. We see increased land and housing shortages, displacement and above all the lack of jobs, all linked to the numbers of people chasing opportunities which remain static.

          It’s simple: population increases geometrically, and unless supply does the same, demand will outstrip it

        • [Old] Overpopulation

          We can hope that innovation may further lower resource use per capita, but it is not as if the new additions to our population will not consume resources. And, with more of us, the impact on the environment will grow. Talk of sustainability is hollow when the human population on the planet is growing at 1% each year—doubling every 67 years. Only with a population growth rate of zero might we have some hope for planetary stability.

        • [Old] ‘It’s a massive injustice’: inside a film on the dangers of overpopulation

          In 8 Billion Angels, the entelechy of overpopulation ultimately results in harmful pollution and depletion of reserves. It depicts a global growing population reliant on capitalism and industrialization which harms the present and future of the planet, reaping a miscellany of dramatic adverse effects. Overfishing and ocean acidification have made the waters less hospitable for fish, conclude scientists in Japan. In the United States, industrial agriculture degrades the soil so much, the farmers must put nutrients into the ground which harm the water supply downstream. In India, the Yamuna river is so polluted, it releases bubbles of methane. While the rich and the middle class are able to buy filters, the poor must drink the blackened waters and bathe in it.

        • [Old] Column: Overpopulation should not be a controversial topic or just a women’s issue

          Overpopulation is one of the biggest threats of our generation and the generations that will follow us. It is unfair to blame it solely on certain countries that have a higher population growth rate. We need to look at the issue holistically; it is not a coincidence that in affluent countries resource distribution is more equal and the rate of growth is much lower than in countries that have high unequal resource distribution. This imbalance creates higher rates of social problems which in turn creates unequal rates of population growth. In more developed countries, the rate of population growth is less than in developing countries. To blame certain countries for a problem that affects every single continent will prove useless.

        • [Old] Overpopulation and human greed, the two enemies of biodiversity

          In recent years, the human population has grown exponentially, yet the landmass available to us remains the same.

          By some estimates in the last 50 years itself, our species population has doubled. The growing number of humans has led to a growing demand for resources, which has led to overexploitation of the earth’s natural resources. Our demands have mostly been achieved at the expense of forests, wetlands & marine ecosystems worldwide.

    • Finance

      • The US Economy: Progress, But Not Home Yet

        We also are looking at a situation in which an extraordinarily large share of the unemployed are long-term unemployed (more than twenty-six weeks). Historically, it has been harder for this group of workers to find new jobs.

        For these reasons, it didn’t seem likely that we could have the sort of million plus monthly job growth that we saw last summer. In that context, adding 850,000 jobs in a month is probably about as good as we could hope for.

      • Right-Wing Groups Mobilize Against Effort to Counter Tax Dodging by the Rich
      • The Billionaire Playbook: How Sports Owners Use Their Teams to Avoid Millions in Taxes

        At a concession stand at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Adelaide Avila was pingponging between pouring beers, wiping down counters and taking out the trash. Her Los Angeles Lakers were playing their hometown rival, the Clippers, but Avila was working too hard to follow the March 2019 game.

        When she filed taxes for her previous year’s labors at the arena and her second job driving for Uber, the 50-year-old Avila reported making $44,810. The federal government took a 14.1% cut.

      • Eight Takeaways From ProPublica’s Investigation of How Sports Owners Use Their Teams to Avoid Taxes

        In the latest installment of “The Secret IRS Files,” ProPublica delved deep into tax information for dozens of team owners across the four largest American pro sports leagues. Here’s what we found:

        Take Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and former CEO of Microsoft. For 2018, Ballmer reported making $656 million to the IRS. His federal income tax rate was just 12%. Compare that with Lakers star LeBron James, who reported making way less than Ballmer, $124 million, but whose tax rate was significantly higher than Ballmer’s: 35.9%. Ballmer’s tax rate was lower even than that of Adelaide Avila, a concession stand worker at Staples Center. Her rate was 14.1% — higher than Ballmer’s even though his income was almost 15,000 times greater than hers. (A Ballmer spokesperson told ProPublica that he “has always paid the taxes he owes, and has publicly noted that he would personally be fine with paying more.”)

      • How Labor Can Win at the Bargaining Table

        The state of the American labor movement has, since the mid-1970s, been dispiriting. There have, of course, been moments of creative and inspiring resistance, but the predominant story has been a chronicle of decline: private-sector unionization rates below where they were a century ago, the abject failure to make breakthroughs in key emerging sectors, defensive stagnation in bargaining achievements, and—election-year rhetoric aside—the political marginalization of working-class concerns.

      • The Failure of the Obama-Duncan "School Improvement Grants" and Its Lessons for Today

        A while back, I read a vitriolic article in a rightwing publication that expressed contempt for the public schools and congratulated Betsy DeVos for trying to cut federal funding for schools.

      • Visa says spending on crypto[currency]-linked cards topped $1 bn in first half this year

        The company said it was partnering with 50 cryptocurrency platforms to make it easier for customers to convert and spend digital currencies at 70 million merchants worldwide.

      • Right-Wing Groups Mobilize Against Effort to Crack Down on Tax Dodging by the Rich

        Right-wing political advocacy organizations bankrolled by wealthy Americans and large corporations are reportedly mobilizing against a bipartisan agreement to boost IRS funding by $40 billion, money that would go toward cracking down on rich tax cheats who have benefited from the Republican Party's gutting of the agency in recent years.

        The proposed increase in the IRS budget—which was cut by an estimated 20% between 2010 and 2018—is part of an infrastructure package negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators and President Joe Biden, who had originally pushed for $80 billion in additional IRS funding over the next decade.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Charged Taxpayers Over $50,000 in Rent for Secret Service This Year Alone
      • America's Accountability Problem

        America has an accountability problem. In fact, if the Covid-19 disaster, the January 6th Capitol attack, and the Trump years are any indication, the American lexicon has essentially dispensed with the term "accountability."

      • In Latest Bid to Blunt Progressive Power, Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Nina Turner's Opponent

        Progressive political observers on Thursday registered the Congressional Black Caucus's political€ arm's endorsement of Shontel Brown in the Democratic primary in Ohio's 11th district as the latest effort by the caucus—long a defender of corporate power—to stop leftist candidates€ from making inroads in Congress.

        The CBC Political Action Committee announced it was endorsing Brown, chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, over former state Sen. Nina Turner as the former's campaign€ surged in fundraising and support.

      • In 18 Months, Republicans Are Very Likely to Control Congress. Being in Denial Makes It Worse.

        Since the Civil War, midterm elections have enabled the president’s party to gain ground in the House of Representatives only three times, and those were in single digits. The last few midterms have been typical: In 2006, with Republican George W. Bush in the White House, his party lost 31 House seats. Under Democrat Barack Obama, his party lost 63 seats in 2010 and then 13 seats in 2014. Under Donald Trump, in 2018, Republicans lost 41 seats. Overall, since World War II, losses have averaged 27 seats in the House.

      • Hedges: Kucinich Memoir Is a Moving Account of a Battle Against Corporate Power

        “The Division of Light and Power,” by Dennis Kucinich, like Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” is a gripping, moving and lucidly written account of the hidden mechanisms of corporate power in the United States and what happens when these corporate interests are challenged.€ It is essential reading, especially as we face an intensified corporate assault, done in the name of fiscal necessity following the financial wounds imposed by the pandemic, to seize total control of all public assets.

      • Harlem Is Sending a Black Lesbian Democratic Socialist to the City Council

        Kristin Richardson Jordan, the Black democratic socialist who just won the Democratic nomination for a New York City Council seat on a platform of “Radical Love,” can tell you the exact number of garbage cans—223—her Harlem district has lost in recent years. It’s that attention to detail—block by block, apartment by apartment, empty storefront by empty storefront—that helped Jordan shock the city, as well as incumbent Bill Perkins, a Harlem fixture who’s served in both the council and the state Senate. Perkins, 71, has been plagued by health issues for years and essentially ran no campaign. He lost to the 34-year-old poet, educator, and committed mutual aid activist by an estimated 100 votes, outside the margin that triggers a recount. (The count will be certified July 12.)

      • Noam Chomsky: To Retain Power, Democrats Must Stop Abandoning the Working Class
      • Arizona Secretary of State Probes Alleged Trump Calls to Election Officials
      • Former Tut.by journalists launch new media outlet — Zerkalo.io

        In the aftermath of Tut.by — Belarus’s most prominent independent news outlet —€ suspending its operations due to pressure from the authorities, its former editorial staff have announced the launch of a new media outlet: Zerkalo.io.€ 

      • Another blow to the press Belarusian authorities raid Nasha Niva newsroom, block website, and arrest journalists

        The crackdown on independent media in Belarus is showing no signs of stopping. On July 8, Belarusian law enforcement raided the editorial office of the prominent online newspaper Nasha Niva, as well as the homes of its journalists. Editor-in-chief Yahor Martsinovich has been detained and Nasha Niva journalists have been unable to reach some of their colleagues. Earlier in the day, the Belarusian Information Ministry said the news outlet’s website had been blocked — it’s currently inaccessible to readers in both Belarus and abroad.€ 

      • Election officials in Perm bar former Navalny staffer from running for City Duma

        Election officials in Perm have barred Sergey Ukhov, the former head of Navalny’s regional campaign office, from running in the upcoming City Duma elections, reports the business newspaper Kommersant.

      • Misinformation and Mythology and the Mainstream Media

        The CIA’s Intelligence Failure Regarding 9/11.€  For the past 20 years, oped writers have indulged the myth that the Central Intelligence Agency provided genuine warning to President George W. Bush for al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11.€  The most recent example appeared in the€ Washington Post€ in an oped by James Hohmann titled “An Insurrection hiding in plain sight.” Hohmann wrote that on August 6, 2001, the CIA’s Presidential Daily Brief “cautioned” Bush that Osama bin Laden was “determined to strike in the U.S.” and that CIA director George Tenet warned that the “system was blinking red” during the summer.

        The CIA warnings were formulaic and very general, and not very helpful.€  In actual fact, the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General prepared an authoritative account of the 9/11 intelligence failure, which pointed to the failures of Tenet and CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, but the Obama administration failed to release of the report.€  The public still lacks a comprehensive understanding of the intelligence failure that contributed to the tragedy of 9/11.

      • Twitter will comply with India’s new rules to keep its legal immunity

        Twitter has outlined how it intends to “fully comply” with India’s new social media rules after the government said its lack of compliance meant it could be held legally liable for its user’s posts, Bloomberg reports. In response to the government’s filing, a lawyer for the company said it has already appointed an interim chief compliance officer and that it would soon have a grievance officer and an employee to respond to law enforcement requests, Reuters notes. Twitter is required to fill each of the roles under new regulations introduced this year. The company also said it would be setting up an India liaison office in the next eight weeks.

        Had Twitter not pledged to comply with the rules, it faced being made legally liable for users’ posts on its platform, potentially allowing its executives to face criminal charges over user-generated content. Social media platforms often take down content in response to legal challenges, but they’re generally not considered liable for it in the first place.

      • Michael Avenatti: Celebrity lawyer sentenced to 30 months in prison for extortion

        Disgraced US lawyer Michael Avenatti has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for attempting to extort up to $25m (€£17.4m) from Nike.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Inconvenient numbers: How Rosstat manipulates data to accommodate federal and regional officials

        The Russian authorities are “fighting statistics instead of problems,” says the investigative outlet Proekt in a€ new report. Under pressure from the Kremlin, the government, and regional leaders, the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) has bent over backward to correct “bad” numbers and bury unflattering statistics. According to Proekt’s sources, the Kremlin and the Cabinet also made a conscious decision to publish official data not only as rarely as possible, but also at the most inconvenient times. Meduza summarizes the story here.€ 

      • Resistance is Not Futile: Fighting Back in an Age of Manufactured Ignorance

        For many Republicans, racial hatred takes on the ludicrous claim of protecting students from learning about the diverse ways in which racism persists in American society. For instance, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida stated that “There is no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory. Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.” In this updated version of historical and racial cleansing, the call for racial justice is equated to a form of racial hatred, leaving intact the refusal to acknowledge, condemn and confront in the public imagination the history and tenacity of racism in American society.

        Across the globe, democratic institutions such as the independent media, schools, the legal system, certain financial institutions and higher education are under siege. The promise, if not ideals, of democracy recede as the barbarians who breathe new life into a fascist past are once again on the move, subverting language, values, courage, vision and critical consciousness. Education has increasingly become a tool of domination as right-wing pedagogical apparatuses controlled by the entrepreneurs of hate attack workers, the poor, people of color, refugees, immigrants from the south and others considered disposable.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Texas Legislature Sees Florida's Social Media Bill Go Down In Unconstitutional Flames; Decides 'We Can Do That Too!'

        The Republican grievance culture wars about the internet are never ending. The Grand Old Party -- which once presented itself as believing in private property rights, keeping government out of business, and mocking "snowflakes" for playing victim all the time -- has shown its true colors as being for everything it previously insisted it was against. As we noted earlier this year, a bunch of states with Republican controlled legislatures and governors have been proposing blatantly unconstitutional bills to try to prevent social media companies from moderating disinformation and propaganda. Utah was the first state to pass such a bill, but Governor Spencer Cox wisely vetoed it, noting the Constitutional concerns.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Dealing With 'Cheap Fake' Modified Political Videos (2020)

        Summary: For years now there have been concerns raised about the possibility of “deep fake” videos impacting an election. Deep fakes are videos that have been digitally altered, often to insert someone’s face onto another person’s body, to make it appear that they were somewhere they were not or did something they did not. To date, most of the more sophisticated deep fake videos have been mainly for entertainment purposes but there has been a concern that they could lead to faked accusations against politicians or other public figures. However, so far, there has been little evidence of deep fake videos being used in elections. This may be because the technology is not yet good enough or because such videos have been easy to debunk through other evidence.

      • Olympic Athletes Deserve Freedom of Speech

        The International Olympic Committee is one of those organizations that always says it’s changing so that it never has to actually change all that much. The IOC tinkers around the edges of reform and then trumpets this tinkering as if it has shaken up the Olympic world, when in reality, the only tremors come from their thunderous sense of self-satisfaction.

      • TikTok Fixes “Significant Error” in Creator Marketplace After Phrases “Erroneously” Flagged as Hate Speech

        The video, posted on July 6 by the comedian Ziggi Tyler, showed Tyler attempting to edit his bio on the Creator Marketplace, a platform that connects creators and brands together for collaborations. (Creator Marketplace is currently in beta mode and is invite-only.) After numerous attempts, Tyler was unable to include phrases on his bio like “supporting Black Lives Matter,” “Black people,” “pro-Black,” “Black voices” and “Black success” — all of which appeared to be flagged as “inappropriate content,” according to a screen recording he shared on TikTok. But when Tyler replaced those phrases with “white,” as in “supporting white success,” “pro white” and “white voices,” his bio was accepted by the platform, according to his video. Other phrases like “supporting white supremacy” and “I am a neo nazi” were similarly accepted by the platform and not flagged as “inappropriate.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Watchdog Group Calls for Term Limits and Increasing Size of the Supreme Court
      • Miserere for the Land of the Free

        In social and political constructs and, in fact, in all relating to the tangled, confusing labyrinth of human affairs, absolute precision can never be attained.€  The best that can be said of them is that the sounder the foundation on which a social or political premise is based, the more likely it is that forecast of its evolution and€  prediction of its future state may be possible.

        Countries are, and have always been, accidents.€  The myriad random events and historic freaks and anomalies that coalesce to form them in their historically malleable plasticity are uncountable, often lost in time, mysterious or untraceable.

      • May in€ Stitches
      • South Florida Cops Ran Images Of Protesters Through State's Facial Recognition Database

        Thanks to some well-targeted public records requests, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has discovered local law enforcement deployed facial recognition tech against people engaged in protected First Amendment activity.

      • America’s Drug Wars: Fifty Years of Reinforcing Racism

        While the president was declaring his war on drugs, I was stepping off a trans-Pacific flight into the searing tropical heat of Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, to report on the sources of supply for the drug abuse that was indeed sweeping through the ranks of American soldiers fighting this country’s war in Vietnam.

        As I would soon discover, the situation was far worse than anything Nixon could have conveyed in his sparse words. Heroin vials littered the floors of Army barracks. Units legendary for their heroism in World War II like the 82nd Airborne were now knownas the “jumping junkies.” A later survey found that more than a third of all GIs fighting the Vietnam War “commonly used” heroin. Desperate to defeat this invisible enemy, the White House was now about to throw millions of dollars at this overseas drug war, funding mass urinalysis screening for every homeward-bound GI and mandatory treatment for any who tested positive for drugs.

      • A New Progressive Era?

        The dance over political identity is playing out in the New York City mayoral election in which three candidates were identified as progressives — Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer and Maya Wiley; Wiley received the endorsement of€ Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified Democratic Socialists of America (SPA) member.

        Over the last century, the U.S. has witnessed three critical periods of “progressive” insurgency that set in motion fundamental changes that helped transform the nation.€  The first period was known as the Progressive era and occurred during the late-19th and early-20th centuries.€  The second period was Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression.€  And the third grew out of the post-WW-II recovery and culminated in the social upheaval of the 1960s-‘70s.€  In the midst of the current political turmoil, is a new progressive insurgency taking shape in the U.S.?

      • Can Catalan Pardons Pave a Way Out of Spain’s Territorial Crisis?

        “We should look joyous, no?” asked Jordi Sànchez as he stood in the lobby of the Lledoners prison on June 23, about to walk out a free man. The Spanish government pardoned the Catalan activist and eight others who had been convicted for their role in the 2017 referendum on Catalan independence. The political leaders strode across the patio, stopping to pose for the global media gathered outside the prison gate. Smiling and cheering, they held up a banner that read, in English, “Freedom for Catalonia.” Trailing behind, Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the Catalan Left Republican party (ERC), looked somber. Still, he waved his right hand and then, almost out of habit, closed it into a raised fist.

      • A White Teen Was Killed by Cops. Working Class Lives Need to Matter, Too

        Like George Floyd before him and Eric Garner before him and Michael Brown before him, Hunter Brittain was killed in cold blood by the police who ostensibly were there to protect him. Like Floyd and Garner and Brown, he was unarmed. Unlike Floyd, Garner, and Brown though, you probably haven't heard Hunter Brittain's name. That's because Hunter Brittain was white.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Internet Loses a Champion with the Passing of Sherwin Siy
      • Community Broadband Dominates List Of Fastest US ISPs

        For years, a growing number of US towns and cities have been forced into the broadband business thanks to US telecom market failure. Frustrated by high prices, lack of competition, spotty coverage, and terrible customer service, some 750 US towns and cities have explored some kind of community broadband option. And while the telecom industry (and the lawmakers, regulators, and policy wonks paid to love them) routinely tries to paint such projects as radical socialist boondoggles that always end in failure, that's never actually been true.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Does Amazon even know what it’s buying with the MGM acquisition?

        Any division among company executives for how an MGM and Amazon merger should look moving forward is its own can of worms. The deal also still requires government approval, and it’s reportedly being reviewed by a Federal Trade Commission run by one of Amazon’s biggest antitrust critics, Lina Khan. The merger has also won the ire of several lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who in a recent letter to Khan said the acquisition “could harm consumers and workers and reduce innovation by inhibiting competition in numerous markets.”

        Should the deal secure government approval and move forward unscathed, Amazon may face new challenges in tapping the rich library of legacy franchises unchecked. Unlike AT&T, it will almost certainly be forced to find common ground with the current creative heads of the studio it’s attempting to buy, at least where MGM’s most valuable IP [sic] is concerned.

      • They Resurrected MGM. Amazon Bought the Studio. Now What?

        And being that the two men can’t resist the pull of old Hollywood, Mr. De Luca made sure to amp up the nostalgia associated with his efforts to reinvigorate MGM, the once mighty studio that in recent decades has been reduced to a financial Ping-Pong ball, volleyed back and forth by various investors eager to turn the company’s 4,000-film library into a cash cow.

    • Monopolies

      • Google Facing Yet Another Antitrust Lawsuit Over Its App Store Practices, Even Though Android Is Quite Permissive

        Another day, another antitrust lawsuit against Google. This one, filed by 36 states and Washington DC, says that the company's practices regarding its Android app store violate antitrust law. This is now the fourth antitrust lawsuit filed by various governments in the US against Google. There's the DOJ lawsuit, one from nine state AGs, another from 10 state AGs, and now this new one. I get that everyone wants to hate on the big tech companies these days, and they also want to throw a bunch of things at the wall, but would it really have been that difficult to go through all of this in one single lawsuit?

      • U.S. states allege Google 'unlawfully' preserves Play Store monopoly

        Thirty-seven U.S. state and district attorneys general sued Alphabet Inc's Google on Wednesday, alleging that it bought off competitors and used restrictive contracts to unlawfully maintain a monopoly for its app store on Android phones.

        The allegations about Google's Play Store stem from an investigation involving nearly every U.S. state that began in September 2019 and have already resulted in three other lawsuits against the company. The cases threaten to force major changes to how it generates billions of dollars in revenue across its businesses, including advertising, in-app purchases and smart home gadgets.

      • Patents

        • The USMCA shifts into high gear, but still needs testing

          The USMCA modernized trade provisions and added important commitments going beyond NAFTA, which won it bipartisan support in Washington. The new agreement offers businesses, farmers and workers the certainty of agreed rules that will govern North America’s commerce for at least 16 years. The USMCA has provisions for resolving disputes; incorporates new enforceable commitments regarding labor and the environment; includes new sectors such as the digital economy; and has ways to improve three-way cooperation to keep up with economic changes and global competition, including from China, in the years ahead.

      • Copyrights

        • IPTV Operator Jailed For 16 Months For Selling & Watching Pirate Streams

          A UK man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for operating a pirate IPTV service. Paul Faulkner appeared before Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to multiple copyright infringement and fraud offenses. According to the Premier League, Faulkner was also found guilty of watching his own service, an offense which netted him four months in prison.

        • Fans Donate $110K to Anime Tube But Piracy Alternative is Already On Life Support

          Eager anime fans looking for a free alternative to pirate sites have donated more than $110K to Anime Tube, a project that's soaring on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, the fledgling business is already on life support, with at least one major backer withdrawing and offering to personally pay investors any money they can't recover. Apparently, licensing is a major unsolved issue.



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[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters