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Links 10/8/2021: Mozilla Firefox 91, Tails 4.21, Russia's Big GNU/Linux Move, Makulu Shift and Septor 2021.4 Released



  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Official Shutter Screenshot Tool Launchpad PPA Revived (For Ubuntu 21.04 And 20.04, Linux Mint 20.x)

        The official Shutter PPA has been revived! Since I was already maintaining a PPA for Shutter screenshot tool, and the tool's developers were looking for someone to maintain the official Shutter PPA, they thought I'd maintain it.

        So from now on I will be updating the official Shutter PPA with new releases. Right now, the official Shutter PPA has the latest Shutter (which has been ported to GTK3) for Ubuntu 21.04 and 20.04 (LTS), and Linux distributions based on these Ubuntu versions, like Pop!_OS 21.04 or 20.04, or Linux Mint 20.x. You may also use the PPA to install the gnome-web-photo package (this depends on old libraries though) which allows Shutter to take website screenshots.

        If you were using the Linux Uprising Shutter PPA, please remove it and add the official Shutter PPA. I will continue to update the Linux Uprising Shutter PPA for some time, though (mirrored from the official PPA), to get the updates to those who don't read this. There are instructions near the end of the article for how to remove the Linux Uprising Shutter PPA and add the official PPA.

      • Mousai is an awesome music identification app for Linux

        Mousai App is the equivalent of Shazam on Linux. While it is possible to install Shazam on Ubuntu the user experience and performance are far from ideal. Mousai is a native Linux app which means you will not have to fiddle emulators or manoeuvre with a mouse around an interface made for touch.

        Shazam a god send but getting it on Linux is a pain

        Shazam is one of the first apps I install on my phone whenever I get a new phone. Before the app came along I often had to memorise a few lines of a given song that I wanted to identify then Google for the song using the memorised words plus the word lyrics at the end and hope for the best.

        With Shazam, all you need to do is launch the app and have it sample a few seconds of the song and more often than not you get a result. The more popular the song the faster the result. The song sample doesn’t even have to include lyrics.

      • Video Trimmer – A Stupid Simple App to Cut a Clip Out of a Video in Linux

        Want to cut a clip out of a video and share with your friends? Try Video Trimmer, a stupid easy way for those working on Linux.

        In Linux there are quite a few ways to cut clips or trim videos either in graphical or using command line tools. While video editors are heavy to do the job, FFmpeg is the most efficient choice. And Video Trimmer offers an intuitive user interface for those hate Linux commands.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Fix “Vagrant failed to initialize at a very early stage” Error

        Today, I started RHEL 8 vagrant machine and got this error - Vagrant failed to initialize at a very early stage. This was the first time I get such error.

      • Install the Raspberry PI Imager on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE - PragmaticLinux

        The relatively new Raspberry PI Imager application is great for downloading, configuring and writing the Raspberry PI operating system to your micro SD card. No more fiddling around with dd command-line parameters in the terminal. There is just one snag if you run Linux: the Raspberry PI Imager application is currently only packaged for Ubuntu. This article explains how you can install the Raspberry PI Imager on other Linux distributions as well, such as Debian, Fedora and openSUSE.

      • What is Localhost

        Like humans, computer machines also have unique names and addresses. Technically, we identify the computers with hostname [name of the host machine] and IP address.

      • How to get the most out of GitOps right now

        GitOps is a great starting point to understand what is running in production, but it may need a little more augmentation to get it working just right for your engineering team.

      • How I use Terraform and Helm to deploy the Kubernetes Dashboard | Opensource.com

        When I'm working on projects that require provisioning cloud infrastructure, my workflow has two disparate components: one is infrastructure orchestration, which includes Terraform to bring up the infrastructure (for instance, new EKS clusters), and the second is the provisioning component, which includes Ansible or Bash scripts to instantiate and initialize that infrastructure to accept new deployments (for instance, installing Cluster Autoscaler, kube-state-metrics, and so on.)

        The reason for this is simple: very few tools can cross over and handle both the orchestration and the provisioning side. When I stumbled on the Helm provider for Terraform, I wanted to explore the possibility of using one tool to handle both sides: using Terraform to bring up a new EKS cluster and provision it with Prometheus, Loki, Grafana, Cluster Autoscaler, and others, all in one neat and clean deployment. But that's not happening until I figure out how to use this thing, so below is my experience using Terraform and Helm for something simple: deploying the Kubernetes Dashboard.

      • 18 Useful Tar Command Examples for Every Linux Sysadmin

        The Linux “tar” stands for tape archive, which is used by a large number of Linux/Unix system administrators to deal with tape drives backup.

        The tar command is used to rip a collection of files and directories into a highly compressed archive file commonly called tarball or tar, gzip and bzip in Linux.

        The tar is the most widely used command to create compressed archive files and that can be moved easily from one disk to another disk or machine to machine.

      • Best way to install Docker on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux - Linux Shout

        Docker doesn’t need any introduction now, it is a popular and free-to-use container solution that has established itself very well in the field of container-based applications. Here we will learn the best way to install Docker on Ubuntu Hirsute 21.04, Ubuntu Groovy 20.10, Ubuntu Focal 20.04 (LTS), and Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 (LTS).

        Being a containerized software solution, Docker offers all functions needed to virtualize applications and operate the containers in an isolated environment from one another, on a host system. A container contains all the resources required to run an application, including the application code, the runtime environment, the system libraries, and the system tools. The system which manages the computer’s resources to the individual containers and ensures their isolation on the host system is called Docker Engine.

      • How To Create Playlist on Invidious

        Remember Invidious? You can watch and download YouTube videos with it without ads and tracking (technically, without JavaScript). There is playlist feature in it and in this tutorial we will discuss how to create one, add videos to it, and play the videos automatically one by one.

      • How to Clone and Restore Linux Partition Using dd Command

        The legacy and standards that drive the Linux operating system make it impeccable and unique among other operating system distributions in terms of achieving certain user-critical functionalities.

        Most of these functionalities like backing up, restoring, and wiping out system files and user data might require the download, installation, and configuration, of certain application packages.

      • How to Find Top Running Processes by Memory and CPU Usage - Unixcop

        Linux is quite popular for its command-line utilities, which not only make any task at hand easier but also saves a lot of time, which is otherwise wasted in graphical UI based utilities.

        This is one of the reasons why Linux is a preferred operating system for servers and administrative machines. Combine the knowledge of Linux commands and shell scripting and you have a proper toolkit of system administration at your disposal.

        You may have noticed that sometimes your system consumes too much of memory, which makes your application’s slow or unresponsive.

        What do you think would be the best approach to identify the processes that are consuming more memory in a Linux machine?

        So This can_be easily identified using the top command and the ps command and we will explain how to use these two commands to identify which processes are eating all the resources on your system.

        Today we will see how to see the top heaviest memory and CPU resource-consuming processes in Linux.

      • How to create a StatefulSet in Kubernetes

        StatefulSets contain a set of Pods with unique, persistent identities and stable hostnames. A pod template is used in a Statefulset, which contains a specification for its pods, pods are created using this specification. We can deploy stateful applications and clustered applications using Statefulsets in Kubernetes. StatefulSet can be updated by making changes to its Pod specification, which includes its container images and volumes.

        StatefulSets can be used when the applications require any of the following properties.

    • Games

      • Open 3D Engine should now run properly on Linux without extras | GamingOnLinux

        Still moving alone quite quickly! The Open 3D Engine (O3DE) from the Open 3D Foundation (headed by The Linux Foundation) is a game engine donated by Amazon based upon Amazon Lumberyard.

        While the initial release came without proper Linux support, work has progressed nicely on that front and most recently developer Fabio Anderegg of Kythera AI had their "ugly Atom renderer hack" merged into the development branch of O3DE. This means that now the O3DE Editor will run on Linux without any changes so we're another step closer. Anderegg mentioned on Twitter that the Editor should work properly on X11/XCB desktops but there's no proper Wayland support yet but it should run with XWayland.

      • Inspired by Hollow Knight, Crowsworn becomes one of the most funded Kickstarter projects | GamingOnLinux

        It's not really surprising that the metroidvania action-platformer Crowsworn got funded but it is a surprise to see just how popular their Kickstarter campaign had become.

        Not surprising it being a success since Hollow Knight is a very clear inspiration and Hollow Knight is a massively popular game. Crowsworn looks a fair bit like it (and that's being kind) and so more of the same is a good thing right? Playing something similar to what you love without being exactly the same. For a lot of people, that's comforting and makes it easy to get into.

        [...]

        You can follow Crowsworn on Steam. The full launch is aimed sometime in 2023 with Linux support.

      • Valve dumped Debian Linux for Arch Linux with SteamOS 3 because surprise - faster updates | GamingOnLinux

        It was likely no secret to most Linux users who know a bit about distributions but Valve has clarified directly that the main reason for dumping Debian Linux for Arch Linux was for faster updates.

        Previous versions of SteamOS were based on Debian which has a fresh release every 2 years or so, where during that time most of the software stack is frozen in place. For a Linux gaming device, that's obviously not ideal. Gaming on Linux as a whole often needs more up to date packages because everything moves so quickly. Especially for Steam Play Proton, which has at multiple times needed updates to various packages and newer GPU drivers. Arch Linux on the other hand rolls over constantly with updates and so it gives Valve the flexibility they're needing to more easily pull them in.

      • AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Linux Gaming Performance Review - Phoronix

        The Radeon RX 6600 XT was announced at the end of July as AMD's newest RDNA2 graphics card and is optimized for a performant 1080p gaming experience. For those wondering about its performance, this morning the embargo lifts to be able to talk about its performance. Here are the first Linux gaming benchmarks of the Radeon RX 6600 XT against a wide assortment of other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.

      • Syndicate and Ultima Underworld return to GOG, get them free until September 3 | GamingOnLinux

        Love your classics? I sure do! Ultima Underworld 1 & 2 plus Syndicate Plus and Syndicate Wars have returned to GOG and you can get a copy of each free.

        It's a little odd because EA actually requested their removal back in June, when GOG announced they were being delisted at the "publisher's request". It was probable that EA wanted to pull back more of their own stuff from GOG onto Origin.

        About the games comes back to GOG, EA said: "Syndicate and Ultima Underworld are back! It seems that twenty years on there’s still plenty of love for these titles so we’re pleased to confirm that effective immediately they’ll be available again on GOG, and we’ll be keeping them in the store for the foreseeable future. To celebrate this we’re offering these games as a free download for four weeks."

      • Valheim devs tease the new food system in a fresh preview video for Hearth & Home | GamingOnLinux

        With the Valheim update Hearth & Home due later this year it's coming with some major changes to the food system which Iron Gate has shown off in a new video.

        The food system as it stands right now in Valheim is quite good. You eat to gain stamina and health, with difference foods giving different amounts of each. On top of that, some last longer than others. It can be a bit confusing on the details though and that's what Iron Gate are making clearer with some UI changes and mixing up the food categories. In Hearth & Home will split foods into categories that give more health, more stamina and foods that give an even split between them. The food bar has been removed, instead the food icons will have timers which is much clearer.

      • Roguebook from the developer of Faeria is now released for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Abrakam Entertainment SA along with publisher Nacon have released Roguebook their deck-builder roguelike for Linux. The Linux release follows on from the original Kickstarter campaign in 2019 where they raised €66,810. It released on Steam for Windows in June, with macOS following in July and now in August we have a native Linux build too.

        "The ancients speak of a Book written since time immemorial containing all the world's legends. After many fabulous adventures, recounted in Faeria – Chronicles of Gagana, this relic was lost in a well of Faeria. Through contact with this source of magic, the Book developed a wicked free will of its own and became the Roguebook!"

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • I look forward to all the improvements KDE Plasma will get with the Steam Deck

          One thing I am excited about when it comes to the Steam Deck is that it has a full desktop Linux mode, which is powered by KDE Plasma and I don't think that's getting the attention it deserves.

          Sure, it is primarily a handheld Steam gaming machine. That comes with a lot of excitement due to the power, the form factor, Steam Play Proton being able to play a huge amount of Windows games and much more. Emulation is a big one too, it's likely going to be one of the absolute best portable emulation devices around.

          For me though, perhaps just as exciting is the desktop mode. We know the Steam Deck is running a new version of SteamOS, which is based upon Arch Linux with a KDE Plasma desktop mode. Thanks to this, Valve can pull in updates quicker than we would have seen with their older Debian based SteamOS and so upgrades and fixes for the desktop mode can come whenever they're wanted or needed.

          The KDE team are obviously keeping a close eye on it too, and the big thing we all know is that having FOSS used in such a huge way like this will end up being a big boon for Plasma. There's nothing like being available on possibly millions of devices to make work progress to make it an ever better experience - one that will ultimately benefit all "normal" desktop Linux users who choose Plasma as their desktop environment.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Makulu Shift Released !

          MakuluLinux Shift is now Available for Download, This is a MASSIVE, and I mean MASSIVE leap forward for the Project, Make sure to read the release notes properly as Shift is quite a complex Distro which is quite easy to navigate once you get the hang of her, Also Please Keep in Mind that because MakuluLinux Shift is a Transformable Distro that can Transform in 8 Different Styles, there is no more need for Makulu to Host multiple Distro’s. For the Time being Shift will replace every other Distro we would normally host.

        • Septor 2021.4

          System upgrade from Debian Bullseye repos as of August 10, 2021

          Update Linux kernel to 5.10.46 Update Tor Browser to 10.5.4 Update Thunderbird to 78.12.0-1 Update tor to 0.4.5.9-1 Update mat2 to 0.12.1-2 Update apt to 2.2.4 Update firmwares to 20210315-3 Update VLC to 3.0.16-1

      • Arch Family

        • Why Steam Deck’s change of Linux distros could be a winning move

          The Steam Deck will run Steam OS 3.0, and with that new version of the operating system, an important change has been made in terms of the Linux distro that it’s based on – with Valve having clarified exactly why this switch (pun not intended) is crucial in terms of giving its portable PC the best chance of success.

          Steam OS was based on Debian, but Valve decided to move to the Arch distro with version 3.0, with the Steam Deck’s operating system benefiting from the fact that the latter is based on a rolling release model.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Using AI/ML for automated detection of sepsis

          Sepsis is a blood infection, it is life-threatening and can lead to death and thus there are efforts to detect sepsis early. Each hour of delay in sepsis diagnosis increases patient mortality by about seven percent.

          To diagnose sepsis, doctors perform a variety of tests such as: bacteria in your blood or other body fluids, signs of infection on images, a high or low white blood cell count, a low number of platelets in a patient’s blood, low blood pressure, too much acid in your blood, a lack of blood oxygen, problems with blood clots, uneven levels of electrolytes, kidney or liver problems.

          Critical care patients generate huge volumes of data about their current state which is a challenge for clinicians to digest.

          Suppose computers could help clinicians analyze the data and detect diseases like sepsis early, before patients are deathly ill. That's what we're working towards.

        • By the numbers: Getting your team on board with IT automation | Enable Sysadmin

          Automation enthusiasts are often born out of the results that teams achieve through successful automation projects. For many of us, "sleep more" is perhaps the most compelling benefit when updates can be done consistently, correctly, and rapidly across hundreds or more systems, networks, and cloud implementations. No one really enjoys midnight calls to resolve an issue.

          And when it comes to security and compliance needs, we have seen teams face pressures to resolve risks quickly. When you can create the proper fix in an automation playbook, it can be executed across all impacted solutions in the global infrastructure. This solution can be fast and effective, so the risk is remediated quickly, without the human error that can occasionally creep in when you are doing the same things repeatedly.

          But there are other benefits, too, such as allowing for more time to work on key priorities that add value or the ability to advance experience and skills. Here are some statistics we've used when trying to get some of my teammates on board with IT automation.

        • IT leadership: How to find more ways to pay it forward | The Enterprisers Project

          Years ago, when I first started my career, I received an email containing a joke that I found funny. I forwarded it to a coworker, who then forwarded it along to others. One day, following a six-month intensive management training program, I was called into the vice president’s office. He explained that he was forwarded an email with a joke, and while he found the joke funny, he didn’t pass it along.

          “I want you to think about this,” he said. “If this were to fall into the wrong hands and offend someone, would you be willing to be known as the person who perpetuated it?” That coaching moment has stuck with me ever since, and it’s one I think of when I find opportunities of my own to coach others.

          CIOs now have opportunities to coach a wide variety of people across the organization.

          CIOs are in a unique position today. Our roles have been elevated in light of the pandemic, and many of us are enjoying a truly consultative partnership with the organization. Looking across the enterprise, we have opportunities to coach a wide variety of people – from members of our team to our peers and other stakeholders. Let’s take advantage of this.

        • Call for Code Research Spot Challenge for Climate Change [Ed: IBM is greenwashing itself]

          Did you know that by 2050, the global population will reach 9.8 billion people, exerting further pressure on the earth’s resources? And, by the year 2100, global temperatures could increase 3-5 degrees Celsius (5.4-9.0 degrees Fahrenheit).

          Climate change has the potential to impact every living organism on the planet. For humans, its impact is already being felt across the continents. It is changing how we live, how we work, and how we interact with the environments we share with our fellow inhabitants of this planet. The situation is critical: Exhaustive scientific research has confirmed changing weather and temperature patterns, rapidly rising sea levels, and an intensifying proliferation of extreme weather events around the world.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.21 is out

          To upgrade your Tails USB stick and keep your persistent storage

          - Automatic upgrades are available from Tails 4.19 or later to 4.21.

          - If you cannot do an automatic upgrade or if Tails fails to start after an automatic upgrade, please try to do a manual upgrade.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Everything you need to know about open source

        Most outsiders see open source as one of the things they find most hard to come to terms within the IT ecosystem: an open collaboration between individuals to create software that is made available to anyone, not necessarily at no cost.

        As Richard Stallman puts it: “‘Free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech’, not as in ‘free beer’.”

        There are most definitely costed open source software solutions available. But it is perhaps one of the last bastions of the ideals that animated the early days of the internet, when people thought that a new economic model based not solely on profit was emerging. However, it's an approach that predates the internet.

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source Mastodon Clients

        Mastodon is a free and open source microblogging platform similar to Twitter, but with user privacy and decentralization in mind. It’s one of many protocols that interacts with the Fediverse of protocols like Pleroma, GNU Social, and others. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon is not one social network.

        Getting started with Mastodon can be confusing for newcomers. Mastodon is a federated service. This means its similar to email. You can create an email account with many different providers. And that’s the same with Mastodon. The service lets you sign up to one of many sites that run Mastodon software, called instances. A user can communicate with other Mastodon users on different instances.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 91 Arrives as the New ESR Series, Brings Back Simplified Printing

            It’s been a little less than a month since Firefox 90 landed with FTP support completely removed, and now Firefox 91 is already here with various improvements and bug fixes, including the simplified printing feature for a clutter-free print preview page (available under More settings > Format > Simplified in the Print Preview dialog). However, it should be noted that this feature doesn’t work on all pages.

            Firefox 91 also improves the HTTPS-First policy for Private Browsing windows to allow them to make all connections to a website secure (HTTPS), as well as to fallback to insecure (HTTP) connections only when a website doesn’t support secure connections.

          • Firefox 91 Released As New ESR Base, HTTPS First Policy For Private Mode

            Firefox 91 is the newest "Extended Support Release" (ESR) meaning that it's maintained longer than the normal release cycle and thus a popular target for enterprises and other organizations. Firefox 78 is the current ESR release to this point, thus many changes between then and now for those that stick only to such releases.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Firefox 91 introduces HTTPS by Default in Private Browsing

            We are excited to announce that, starting in Firefox 91, Private Browsing Windows will favor secure connections to the web by default. For every website you visit, Firefox will automatically establish a secure, encrypted connection over HTTPS whenever possible.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Firefox 91 Introduces Enhanced Cookie Clearing

            We are pleased to announce a new, major privacy enhancement to Firefox’s cookie handling that lets you fully erase your browser history for any website. Today’s new version of Firefox Strict Mode lets you easily delete all cookies and supercookies that were stored on your computer by a website or by any trackers embedded in it.

            Building on Total Cookie Protection, Firefox 91’s new approach to deleting cookies prevents hidden privacy violations and makes it easy for you to see which websites are storing information on your computer.

            When you decide to tell Firefox to forget about a website, Firefox will automatically throw away all cookies, supercookies and other data stored in that website’s “cookie jar”. This “Enhanced Cookie Clearing” makes it easy to delete all traces of a website in your browser without the possibility of sneaky third-party cookies sticking around.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • A conversation with Petteri Kivimäki on X-Road€®

            X-Road is a decentralised data-exchange layer that provides a secure and unified way to exchange data between organisations. X-Road is published as open source under the MIT licence, so it is free for any individual or organisation. Originally, X-Road was developed in Estonia twenty years ago, in December this year it will be its 20th birthday. Since then, X-Road has spread all over the world. In Europe, Estonia, Finland and Iceland are using X-Road, whereas outside of Europe we have 20 additional countries using it. Currently, X-Road has been deployed in South America (e.g. Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) as well as in Asia (e.g. Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia). During the last 20 years X-Road has really grown from an Estonian solution to a truly international open source solution and open source community.

  • Leftovers

    • Is a United World Possible?

      I get lost — tangled in doubt and cynicism — when I try to pose the question in a more specific way. What if . . . a collective human voice could be heard, crying out across the borders as the pandemic surges, as the fires rage, as the planet’s life-sustaining climate collapses: “We are one”?

      What if nationalism’s time has come and gone?

    • Opinion | OMG WTF: We Told You So
    • Fatal Crash Renews Concerns About Safety of Alaska Aviation

      A fatal crash involving a sightseeing flight near Ketchikan, Alaska, last week renewed concerns about aviation safety in a state that accounts for more deaths in small commercial aircraft crashes than anywhere else in the nation.

      Six people — a pilot and five passengers — died Thursday when a de Havilland Beaver float plane went down eight miles northeast of the Southeast Alaska city of 8,000 that is a cruise ship hot spot. The passengers had been aboard the Holland America Line cruise ship the Nieuw Amsterdam, which only recently resumed operations in the state after a pause related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • On the Film Registry: “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978): An Interview with Tim Matheson

      While each character has their own storyline and point-of-view, Otter is seen as the unofficial leader steering and instigating much of the outrageous Delta House behavior. The Library of Congress spoke with Tim Matheson in February 2021 about his behind-the-scenes experiences, the film’s legacy, and its induction into the National Film Registry.

    • Science

      • Remembering the Great Scientific Crusader Who Showed That No Biological Basis for Race Exists: Richard Lewontin

        Lewontin always harked back to what being radical means: going back to fundamentals in deriving a viewpoint. This method is important, as it makes radical inquiry a powerful tool in science, compared to lazier ways of relating positions to certain class viewpoints. What is the relation between genes and race, class, or gender? Does social superiority spring from superior genes, or from biological differences between the sexes? As a Marxist and activist, Lewontin believed that we need to fight at both levels: to expose class, race and gender stereotypes as a reflection of power within society, and also at the level of radical science, meaning from the fundamentals of scientific theory and data.

        Richard Lewontin and the population geneticist and mathematical ecologist Richard Levins shared a passion for biology, social activism and Marxism. It is not so well known that Lewontin’s close friend Stephen Jay Gould—the paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer—was also a fellow Marxist. All three of them fought a lifelong battle against the racializing of biology and, later, sociobiology, which sought to ‘explain’ every social phenomenon as derived from our genes. Evolutionary biologists E.O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins—and many others—believed that humans are programmed so that society merely expresses what is already embedded in our genes. Through their eyes, white races are superior because of their genetic superiority; as are the rich. In India, there is also a genetic theory of caste to explain the supposed differences between caste groups. And as long as there are significant differences between groups of people—based on class, race, gender or caste—biological ‘explanations’ for these differences will be offered.

    • Education

      • ​​What to Do When Schools Use Canvas or Blackboard Logs to Allege Cheating

        Online learning platforms provide a variety of digital logs to teachers and administrators, but those same logs are not always made available to the accused students. This is unfair. True due process for cheating allegations requires that students see the evidence against them, whether that’s videos from proctoring tools, or logs from test-taking or learning management platforms like Canvas or Blackboard.

        Schools should use technology to serve students, rather than using it as a tool to discipline them.

        It can be difficult to know what logs to ask for, because different online learning platforms call this data by different names. In the case of Canvas, there may be multiple types of logs, depending on whether a student used the platform to take a test or access course materials while studying for it.€ 

      • The Company Behind Online Learning Platform Canvas Should Commit to Transparency, Due Process for Students

        Schools use Canvas in two ways, both of which result in digital logs being generated by the software. First, schools can use Canvas to administer tests, and the platform provides logs of the test-taking activity. Second, schools can use Canvas to host learning materials such as course lectures and notes, and the platform provides logs of when specific course material was accessed by a student’s device. Neither of these logs are accurate for disciplinary use, and Canvas knows this.€ 

        Since January, the Canvas instructor guide has explicitly stated: “Quiz logs should not be used to validate academic integrity or identify occurrences of cheating.” In February, an employee of Instructure commented in a community forum that “weirdness in Canvas Quiz Logs may appear because of various end-user [student] activities or because Canvas prioritizes saving student's quiz data ahead of logging events. Also, there is a known issue with logging of ‘multiple answer’ questions” (emphasis original). The employee concluded that “unfortunately, I can’t definitively predict what happened on the users’ end in that particular case.”€ 

        And as we have previously written, along with the New York Times, course material access logs also do not accurately reflect student activity—they could either indicate that a student was actively engaging with the course material, or that a student’s device was passively logged in to the website, but the student was not actively accessing the course material. Canvas’ API documentation states that access logs should not be used for “high-stakes analysis” of student behavior.

      • ‘Tortured phrases’ give away fabricated research papers

        In April 2021, a series of strange phrases in journal articles piqued the interest of a group of computer scientists. The group, led by Guillaume Cabanac at the University of Toulouse in France, could not understand why researchers would use the terms ‘counterfeit consciousness’, ‘profound neural organization’ and ‘colossal information’ in place of the more widely recognized terms ‘artificial intelligence’, ‘deep neural network’ and ‘big data’.

        Further investigation revealed that these strange terms — which they dub “tortured phrases” — are probably the result of automated translation or software that attempts to disguise plagiarism. And they seem to be rife in computer-science papers.

        Research-integrity sleuths say that Cabanac and his colleagues have uncovered a new type of fabricated research paper, and that their work, posted in a preprint on arXiv on 12 July1, might expose only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the literature affected.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Pentagon Will Require Military Personnel to Get COVID Vaccinations by Next Month
      • We Reopened Too Soon, and Children Are Paying the Price
      • Students at Risk as Battle Erupts Over Masks in US Schools

        As in-person instruction begins, or will soon begin, in school districts across the country amid surging Covid-19 cases fueled by the extremely transmissible Delta variant, battles have erupted over mask mandates—or the lack thereof.

        Advocates of face coverings in schools say they're a crucial tool to protect kids, especially primary school students—as vaccines have not yet been authorized for those under 12—who cannot yet receive doses. Vaccination rates for those older than 12 remains low, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data as of Aug. 2 showing those aged 12-15 with a 39.5% rate. That rate climbs to about 50% for 16- and 17-year-olds.

      • Experts Warn Viral Police Video and Media Coverage of Fentanyl Could Cause More Harm

        Drug policy and medical experts on Monday continued to criticize a "public safety" video released last week—featuring a patrol deputy who collapsed after being exposed to what the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said was the synthetic opioid fentanyl—and raise concerns about misinformation spread by law enforcement and news media.

        The video focuses on Deputy David Faiivae, who collapsed at the scene of an arrest on July 3. Cpl. Scott Crane gave Faiivae Narcan, a nasal spray containing the drug naloxone, which is used as an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses. Faiivae was later taken to the hospital. The sheriff's department hasn't yet released a report confirming what he encountered.

      • Opinion | Rumsfeld Then, DeSantis Now: The Lies That Bind

        Given the horrific toll of the Iraq War, that disastrous misadventure hardly seems like a good template for combating COVID-19. Yet in key ways, recent pronouncements from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—whose state is experiencing an overwhelming surge in cases and hospitalizations amid his prohibition on mask requirements—should remind us of the propaganda we once heard from Donald Rumsfeld, the late former Secretary of Defense. The deadly consequences are reminiscent too.

      • Corporate Polluters and DeSantis Face Ire as Hundreds of Tons of Sea Life Dead in Florida

        Experts are linking Florida officials' decision to pump wastewater from the Piney Point fertilizer plant into the Tampa€ Bay€ earlier this year to the deaths of hundreds of tons of marine life which have piled up along Florida's coastline—threatening the region's€ biodiversity as well as its crucial fishing and tourism industries.

        The wildlife has washed up along the Tampa€ Bay area's€ popular€ beaches in recent weeks, where local officials and scientists are€ linking€ the mass deaths to a red tide€ bloom that's€ been spotted near the shore in several areas.€ 

      • Antivaxxers invoke segregation and Jim Crow to attack COVID-19 vaccination requirements

        Whenever I come back from vacation, particularly when it’s been more than a week, I always wonder how to get my blogging juices flowing again and what to write about. Often I’ll choose a relatively simple topic, just to get things moving again. So when I sat down to write this post I was a bit conflicted. Perusing antivax social media while on vacation, I had noticed a theme bubbling up more and more. As usual, the most overblown, ridiculously off-base version of this theme came from Mike Adams who likened vaccine requirements for jobs, school, and various public events in which lots of people are present to segregation and Jim Crow in a post he entitled YOUR KIND aren’t welcome here: Unvaccinated people now treated worse than Blacks in the Jim Crow era as vaccine pushers turn to bigotry and segregation.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Phishing Sites Targeting Scammers and Thieves

          I was preparing to knock off work for the week on a recent Friday evening when a curious and annoying email came in via the contact form on this site:

        • [Crackers] might exploit bug in Amazon Kindle, company issues fix

          A team of cyber-security researchers has discovered security flaws in popular e-reading device Amazon Kindle that might have led [crackers] to take full control of a Kindle device, opening a path to stealing information stored.

        • Apps Getting Worse

          Too often, a popular consumer app unexpectedly gets worse: Some combination of harder to use, missing features, and slower. At a time in history where software is significantly eating the world, this is nonsensical. It’s also damaging to the lives of the people who depend on these products.

          First, a few examples to clarify the kind of thing I’m talking about. These are just the ones I’ve had personal experience with.

        • Is Apple’s NeuralMatch searching for abuse, or for people?

          So what will happen when someone’s iPhone flags ten pictures as suspect, and the Apple contractor who looks at them sees an adult with their clothes on? There’s a real chance that they’re either a criminal or a witness, so they’ll have to be reported to the police. In the case of a survivor who was victimised ten or twenty years ago, and whose pictures still circulate in the underground, this could mean traumatic secondary victimisation. It might even be their twin sibling, or a genuine false positive in the form of someone who just looks very much like them. What processes will Apple use to manage this? Not all US police forces are known for their sensitivity, particularly towards minority suspects.

          But that’s just the beginning. Apple’s algorithm, NeuralMatch, stores a fingerprint of each image in its training set as a short string called a NeuralHash, so new pictures can easily be added to the list. Once the tech is built into your iPhone, your MacBook and your Apple Watch, and can scan billions of photos a day, there will be pressure to use it for other purposes. The other part of NCMEC’s mission is missing children. Can Apple resist demands to help find runaways? Could Tim Cook possibly be so cold-hearted as to refuse at add Madeleine McCann to the watch list?

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (flatpak and microcode_ctl), Debian (c-ares, lynx, openjdk-8, and tomcat9), Fedora (kernel), openSUSE (apache-commons-compress, aria2, djvulibre, fastjar, kernel, libvirt, linuxptp, mysql-connector-java, nodejs8, virtualbox, webkit2gtk3, and wireshark), Oracle (kernel, kernel-container, and microcode_ctl), Red Hat (glib2, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, and rust-toolset-1.52 and rust-toolset-1.52-rust), Scientific Linux (microcode_ctl), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (c-ares, gpsd, and perl).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of Hardware, Sets a Global Standard with China’s Toughest Local Privacy La

              Likely to be of more interest to readers of Privacy News Online is China’s first local data protection law. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it comes from the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, often called the “Silicon Valley of hardware”. Leading digital companies such as Tencent, Huawei, and the drone company DJI all have their headquarters there. At the other end of the business scale, Shenzhen is also famous for its vast electronics market in Huaqiangbei, generally regarded as the world’s largest. An excellent 2016 video from Wired captures well the extraordinary energy and entrepreneurial activity of Shenzhen in the digital sphere. Given the growing importance of personal data for digital products developed in Shenzhen, it was natural for the city to be authorized to draw up China’s first local privacy law, and this was passed in June 2021; it is due to come into force at the beginning of 2022. An article in the South China Morning Post summarizes the law’s main thrust:

            • Facebook Pressed by U.S. Lawmakers on Disabling NYU Research Accounts

              Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner and Chris Coons pressed Facebook in a letter to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to answer a series of questions. These include how many researchers or journalists have had their accounts disabled this year, why, and how was Facebook changing its terms of service to better accommodate research.

            • Facebook updates its data transfer tool: All you need to know

              Facebook has also added two new destinations for information associated with your Facebook account – Photobucket and Google Calendar. So, users will now be able to export events data to their calendar.

            • Jack Dorsey says Bitcoin will unite the world, but doesn’t say how

              This isn’t the first time Dorsey has touted Bitcoin as a vague solution to big problems. At a Bitcoin conference in July, he said that “my hope is that [Bitcoin] creates world peace.” He elaborated: [...]

            • Thousands sign open letter arguing against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images

              “While child exploitation is a serious problem, and while efforts to combat it are almost unquestionably well-intentioned, Apple's proposal introduces a backdoor that threatens to undermine fundamental privacy protections for all users of Apple products,” the letter reads.

              They specifically raised concerns around end-to-end encryption being bypassed and user privacy being compromised through the use of the checks Apple will use on devices to scan for child abuse imagery.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Commission on Capitol Attack Contemplates Requesting Jan. 6 Trump Call Logs
      • America Loves Guns
      • As the US Leaves Afghanistan, Anti-War Feminists Push a New Approach to Foreign Policy

        Although the US war in Afghanistan is now widely seen as a waste of lives, money, and time, in the fall of 2001 it was defended by the Bush administration and heralded by a number of prominent American feminists as a crusade for women’s rights. “The Taliban must go. The terrorists must go. The rights of women must be restored,” Feminist Majority Foundation founder Eleanor Smeal said that September. Two months later, on the radio, Laura Bush celebrated: “Because of our recent military gains, in much of Afghanistan women are no longer imprisoned in their homes.”

      • Twilight of the 20-Year Occupation of Afghanistan: U.S. Soldiers Sent to Kill and Die—For What?

        Davis’ experience is typical of what critics of U.S. foreign policy refer to as the “economic draft.” He explained, “I have a lot of friends who are broken in the sense that they drink too much or their bodies [have been left broken from excruciating work]. Sometimes on the farm you work 15 hours a day, and there’s no overtime… Opiates were definitely a part of [what people turned to] in Franklin County where I grew up. You work hard and go home and you hurt, so you drink or do whatever.” Davis recalled, “My dad was in the military before me, and to his credit, my dad told me, ‘don’t do it’—and he’s a super conservative individual. But my thought process was, ‘my life isn’t going anywhere, and the military is a way out.’”

        Military recruiters are well aware of this dilemma facing so many young people. “I was sent to a troubled youth school when I was 17,” said Davis. “It was super right-wing and religious. [In school,] I initially talked to a Marine recruiter who [spoke with]… people who are on the ‘wrong track.’”

      • Ukraine: the Key to Unlocking the Russian-American Stalemate

        U.S. policy toward East Europe for the past quarter-century has been counter-productive.€  President Bill Clinton started down the wrong road in the mid-1990s with the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).€  President George W. Bush widened the expansion to include former republics of the Soviet Union and even flirted with bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO.€  The flirtation with Georgia led to the short war in the summer of 2008 between Russia and Georgia.€  The flirtation with Ukraine provided the context for the Russian-American clash over Ukraine that culminated with Moscow’s seizure of Crimea in 2014 and its intervention in the Donbass, the industrial center of eastern Ukraine, which is ongoing.€  German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Bush not to challenge these Russian “red lines” on its borders, but U.S. policy makers have been deaf to the dangers for too long.

        Vindman’s new book, “Here, Right Matters: An American Story,” focuses on Ukraine as a strategic partner for the United States, which Russian President Vladimir Putin and presumably his successors would never accept.€  Vindman sees Ukraine as a “U.S. partner crucial to our Russian strategy,” and a “bulwark against Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.”

      • The Media’s Lies, and Lies by Omission, About Migration Out of Nicaragua

        A day after the publication of the AP piece, a strikingly similar article appeared in Vice News, that pseudo-alternative zine which promotes what Ben Norton has astutely dubbed “hipster imperialism.” The article is even more tendentiously headlined A Brutal Crackdown in Nicaragua Is Fueling A New Wave of Migrants to the US. It claims that “the number of people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border from the Central American nation is now surging.” Like the AP report, it starts off with an emotive anecdote that doesn’t just set the scene but gets to the Sandinista-bashing from the outset. Its first sentence reads: “His parents fought for the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua four decades ago, but when Lenin Salablanca protested its continued rule, he was imprisoned for ten months.” It focuses specifically on the arrest of several opposition figures in the last few months as the major cause of increased migration from Nicaragua, claiming that this itself purportedly stems from a “crackdown on dissent that began with an uprising in 2018.” It points in particular to the arrest of “numerous political opponents, including seven potential presidential candidates in the coming November election.”

        The latter claim is, of course, a complete lie. Not a single one of those arrested was ever a candidate of a legally registered political party, so they weren’t even in contention for the upcoming presidential election. As for the insinuation that their arrests were a cynical political calculation on the part of President Daniel Ortega, the reality is that all of them have received funding from Washington, usually via one of its CIA front groups such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). They were therefore arrested under the terms of two new laws to protect national sovereignty: the ‘Foreign Agents Law’ and the ‘Law to Defend the Rights of the People to Independence, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination for Peace.’ Far from being cynical ad hoc mechanisms for crushing political dissent, these laws were based in large part on the US’s own FARA Act. They rightly criminalize the promotion of foreign interference such as the solicitation of military intervention, the organization of terrorism, and the abetting of coercive economic measures.

      • Recently released ‘Network’ case defendant says he confessed under torture

        Igor Shishkin, a former defendant in the “Network” (“Set”) terrorism case who was released from prison in July 2021, claims he was tortured following his arrest in January 2018 and gave a forced confession.

      • Cities Looking To Dump ShotSpotter Since It's Barely More Useful Than Doing Nothing At All

        Tech that supposedly detects gunshots has been deployed in multiple cities across the nation with the intent of providing faster response times to possible violence and to give investigators heads up where illegal activity may have occurred. The tech has some pretty serious problems, though.

      • NY Times, WaPo national security reporters serve at pro-war Pentagon-funded think tank
      • Mozambique: 40% spike in children fleeing violence — report

        Mozambique is battling an Islamist insurgency being carried out by a group known locally as al-Shabab. It is not connected to the Somali militant group of the same name. It is is widely reported to have links with the so-called Islamic State.

        Since 2017, al-Shabab has been waging a campaign in northern Mozambique during which massacres have been carried out targeting civilians living in remote villages.

      • Food Aid Only Reaching Half of Tigrayans in Need

        The United Nations has estimated that 5.2 million people — a shocking 90% of the population of Tigray — is in need of food assistance.

      • Over 100 Children Killed in Attacks Amid 'Disastrous' Tigray Conflict: UNICEF

        The United Nations children's agency expressed alarm Monday in response to reported attacks that killed over 100 children in Ethiopia's Afar region amid a humanitarian catastrophe fueled by the spreading and ongoing Tigray conflict.

        "The intensification of fighting in Afar and other areas neighboring Tigray is disastrous for children," UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said in statement that put the death toll of Thursday's attack on families sheltering at a health facility and a school at over 200.

    • Environment

      • The Solutions to the Climate Crisis No One is Talking About

        Fourth, require the fossil fuel companies that have profited from environmental injustice to compensate the communities they’ve harmed. As if buying off our democracy wasn’t enough, these corporations have also deliberately misled the public for years on the amount of damage their products have been causing. If these solutions sound drastic to you, it’s because they are. They have to be if we have any hope of keeping our planet habitable. The climate crisis is not a far-off apocalyptic nightmare — it is our present day.

      • Opinion | We Have Reached Our Climate Tipping Point: It's Up to Us to Tip It Back
      • Climate Chaos: Is Biden Up to the Challenge?

        In the heat of the election, he made sensible climate promises. Yet he must have known he would break his public trust by not keeping those promises. Nevertheless, the danger of climate is not going to be swept under the rug.

        Climate chaos changes everything

      • The Civilian Climate Corps Could Be Transformative. Will Democrats Meet the Moment?
      • 'Not a Report to Despair Over': IPCC Gives Humanity Clear Directive to Act Boldly and Urgently

        As the climate movement vowed Monday to "rise up" after a new United Nations report signaled a "code red for humanity," activists and experts highlighted the specific policies and actions that decision-makers must now take to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of "unprecedented" global heating—particularly a prompt end to fossil fuels.

        "The exigency of this situation must not lead us to despair, rather it should propel us into action."—Mary Robinson, The Elders

      • Opinion | With Earth on Edge, Climate Crisis Must Be Treated Like Outbreak of a World War

        The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today, August 9, 2021—the first of four that make up the IPCC's Sixth Assessment report—reiterates in scientific language (it deals with the physical science basis of global warming) what we have already known for quite some time from scores of previous studies: humanity faces a climate emergency, global warming is human driven, major climate changes are irreversible, and time is running out to avoid a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

      • “A Code Red for Humanity”: Major U.N. Report Warns of Climate Catastrophe If Urgent Action Not Taken

        In its first major report in nearly a decade, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned the Earth could face runaway global temperature changes unless drastic efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gases. The IPCC says humans are “unequivocally” to blame for the climate crisis, which has already caused “widespread and rapid changes.” Scientists conclude average global temperatures will likely rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels by 2040 based on carbon emissions already in the atmosphere. The report also warns temperatures will continue to rapidly warm after 2040 unless immediate action is taken now. For more, we speak with two lead authors of the new IPCC report: Kim Cobb, professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Tech, and Bob Kopp, professor and director of the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Rutgers University. “The changes we’re seeing now are widespread. They’re rapid. They’re intensifying. They’re unprecedented in thousands of years,” says Kopp. “It’s indisputable that these changes are linked to human activities.”

      • “This Was Avoidable,” Climate Activists Say About Grim New Science

        This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration cofounded by The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

      • Released IPCC Report Says Window Is Rapidly Closing for Climate Action
      • From Fires to Floods to Sea Level Rise, Human-Induced Climate Crisis Is Severely Disrupting Earth

        We continue to discuss the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which details the damage of climate change already underway around the world and warns that much worse is yet to come unless governments drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The report tallies the losses from human-induced climate change “in an absolutely scientifically verifiable and attributable manner,” says climate scientist Saleemul Huq, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh. “The path to keeping it below 1.5 degrees is diminishing by the hour.” We also continue with Kim Cobb and Bob Kopp, two lead authors of the new IPCC report.

      • Greta Thunberg: New IPCC Report Is a Wake-Up Call for All About the Escalating Climate Emergency

        Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg says the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should serve as a “wake-up call” for governments to do more to lower emissions. In its first major report in nearly a decade, the IPCC says the Earth could face runaway global warming unless drastic efforts are made to eliminate greenhouse gases and that humans are “unequivocally to blame for the climate crisis,” which is already causing widespread and rapid changes. “The climate crisis is not going away,” Thunberg said. “It’s only escalating, and it’s only growing more intense by the hour.”

      • To Address Climate Emergency, Group Says Biden Must Slash Methane Emissions 65% by 2025

        In response to Monday's publication of the first part of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report, which United Nations Secretary General António Guterres called a "code red for humanity," environmental justice advocates demanded that U.S. President Joe Biden use his executive authority to immediately slash methane pollution as a key step in life-saving climate action.

        "Biden must use all the powers available to him, including using the full power of the Clean Air Act, to cut oil and gas methane pollution 65% by 2025, and declaring a national emergency on climate to stop fossil fuel expansion," Lauren Pagel, policy director at Earthworks, said in a statement.

      • ‘Code Red for Humanity’: IPCC Report Warns Window for Climate Action Is Closing Fast

        By Jake Johnson at Common Dreams

        A panel of leading scientists convened by the United Nations issued a comprehensive report Monday that contains a stark warning for humanity: The climate crisis is here, some of its most destructive consequences are now inevitable, and only massive and speedy reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit the coming disaster.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Climate Movement Says 'Apocalyptic' IPCC Report Signals 'Moment to Rise Up'

        Climate activists didn't need yet another report to tell them that continued inaction in the face of accelerating global warming would be catastrophic—the evidence is plain for all to see.

        But the Monday release of a U.N. panel's detailed assessment of the latest science offered a fresh opportunity for climate campaigners to ramp up pressure on world governments to completely end their reliance on and devotion to fossil fuels before it's too late. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that moment is fast approaching.

      • 'Code Red for Humanity': IPCC Report Warns Window for Climate Action Is Closing Fast

        A panel of leading scientists convened by the United Nations issued a comprehensive report Monday that contains a stark warning for humanity: The climate crisis is here, some of its most destructive consequences are now inevitable, and only massive and speedy reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit the coming disaster.

        "Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion—such as continued sea level rise—are irreversible."—IPCC

      • Greta Thunberg Is in Vogue Scandinavia, Talking Fast Fashion and Sustainability

        The International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest climate report delivers a sharp warning: Some level of climate catastrophe is unavoidable, and it’s coming sooner than we think. But the report, released Monday, also issues a message of hope — there’s still time to prevent making things worse, if we take action now. As Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist and cover star for Vogue Scandinavia's inaugural issue, put it on Twitter, the report “confirms what we already know.”

        “It is up to us to be brave and take decisions based on the scientific evidence provided in these reports,” she continued. “We can still avoid the worst consequences, but not if we continue like today, and not without treating the crisis like a crisis.”

      • To Save the Planet, Focus on Cutting Methane - U.N. Climate Report

        Countries must make "strong, rapid and sustained reductions" in methane emissions in addition to slashing CO2 emissions, scientists warn in a landmark report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1 released Monday.

        The plea could cause consternation in countries opting for natural gas as a cleaner alternative to CO2-belching coal. It also could pose challenges for countries where agriculture and livestock, especially cattle, are important industries.

      • Major Report Warns Climate Change Is Accelerating And Humans Must Cut Emissions Now

        "It is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change," says Ko Barrett, the vice-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the senior adviser for climate at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Each of the last four decades has been the warmest on record since pre-industrial times."

        The authors — nearly 200 leading climate scientists — hope the report's findings will be front and center when world leaders meet for a major climate conference in November.

      • 'Code red for humanity': UN report gives stark warning on climate change, warns wild weather events will worsen

        Hundreds of top scientists released a devastating report Monday on the danger that human-caused climate change poses to the world.

        Calling it "code red for humanity," the landmark report was released in Geneva, Switzerland, by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

        Many of the changes seen in the world's climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion – such as continued sea-level rise – are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years, according to the report.

      • Earth is warming faster than previously thought, scientists say, and the window is closing to avoid catastrophic outcomes

        "Bottom line is that we have zero years left to avoid dangerous climate change, because it's here," Michael E. Mann, a lead author of the IPCC's 2001 report, told CNN.

        Unlike previous assessments, Monday's report concludes it is "unequivocal" that humans have caused the climate crisis and confirms that "widespread and rapid changes" have already occurred, some of them irreversibly.

      • Climate change: At-risk nations fear extinction after IPCC report

        Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, more than 190 governments agreed the world should limit global warming to 2C or ideally 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

        But the new report says that under all scenarios, both targets will be broken this century unless huge cuts in carbon take place.

        US Climate Envoy John Kerry said that to reach the targets, countries urgently needed to change their economies.

      • Earth will hit 1.5€°C climate limit within 20 years, says IPCC report

        Researchers said each of the past four decades has been successively warmer than any decade since 1850, and warned of more extreme weather if emissions aren’t checked. This year has already seen deadly floods and heatwaves, from Canada to China. “Climate change is not a problem of the future, it’s here and now, and affecting every region of the world,” says Friederike Otto at the University of Oxford, a lead IPCC author.

        In the worst of five scenarios detailing how future global emissions may play out, the world faces a catastrophic 4.4€°C average temperature rise by 2100, the IPCC concluded. Under all five scenarios, in the next two decades warming reaches or exceeds the 1.5€°C goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which also set a weaker goal of holding warming to 2€°C.

      • A Hotter Future

        The panel concludes that the average global temperature is very likely to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels by 2040, and to continue to warm for another 10 years. At that threshold, nearly 1 billion people could face life-threatening heat waves at least once every five years, the report finds.

        We will confront more record-breaking heat (as in the Pacific Northwest in July and southern Europe last week); more frequent floods (as in India, Germany, and China); more frequent droughts (as in the U.S. West); and rising sea levels that will threaten coastal cities (as in Miami).

        Those changes are baked in, and it’s imperative to prepare.

      • Finnish WMO Secretary-General: IPCC report shows world heading towards 2-3 degrees of warming

        According to the Finnish meteorologist, current global efforts are far from achieving the goals set by the Paris Climate Accord of keeping warming to between 1 and 2 degrees, regarded as the level at which humanity can adapt and mitigate climate change.

        One scenario in the report predicts warming of up to 8 degrees Celsius if limitations on emissions remain low.

        "At the UN our aim is to reach a 1.5 degrees-warming level which would be best for the welfare of mankind and the biosphere. Now we are heading towards 2 to 3 degrees warming instead," Taalas said. "The report underlines the urgency to enhance the ambition level of climate change mitigation."

      • UN Chief: Climate Change Report 'Code Red for Humanity'

        The IPCC report warns that global average temperatures will hit 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2030 on current trajectories, the limit agreed at the Paris climate summit in 2015 — and seen as a tipping point by many scientists. That’s 10 years earlier than previous forecasts.

        U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the findings as "code red for humanity.”

      • Gulf Stream puzzles science − but don’t panic yet

        Could an ocean circulation system − the Gulf Stream, say − sort of€  shut down? And what would that do to the world’s climate?

      • Atlas in the John, Flushing

        Gideon Defoe’s book, An Atlas of Extinct Countries: The Remarkable (and Occasionally Ridiculous) Stories of 48 Nations That Fell Off the Map, is very much like the paragraph above, full of crazy historical characters, offbeat places, unusual shituations*, and wildass things that only happen to the human species (as far as we know, there are no torture Gimps among the wildebeests, say) and that the rest of the Animal Kingdom must look on with wonderment applied and not a little terror, and in no hurry to evolve, if that’s what it comes to.

        Atlas has four sections: Chancers and Crackpots; Mistakes and Micronations; Lies and Lost Kingdoms; and, Puppets & Political Footballs.€  Each of the 48 entries is headed by

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Extinction Crisis in Watercolor and Oils: Using Art to Save Plants
        • With Trout Dying Across the Northern Rockies, Why is Poisoning More Trout in the Scapegoat Wilderness Area a Top Priority?

          To start with, the project is already being challenged in federal court over at least 67 helicopter trips into the Scapegoat Wilderness Area, to haul in and operate a motor boat, generator, and the poison. So if you were planning on entering the “untrammeled by man” Wilderness where all mechanized use is prohibited, your experience might be diminished by the choppers whack, whack, whacking overhead.

          Then there’s the reality that poisoning entire water bodies – and especially flowing streams — severely alters biodiversity and causes a broad loss of taxa and species from those ecosystems. Basically, the rotenone kills not just the target trout, but also the aquatic insects upon which the stream’s ecosystem relies, as well as any gilled amphibians unfortunate enough to be there when the poison is applied.

    • Finance

      • The Tents of Venice Beach

        Venice is Los Angeles’s bohemia. For decades it has been the stomping ground of the eccentric, the quirky, the artistic, and the stoned. It’s home to the fabled boardwalk and the weightlifting spectacle known as Muscle Beach. Many of its beachfront buildings feature ornate arched entranceways, expansive windows, and murals of long-departed movie stars. The airy, light-filled houses along the canals, a few blocks from the ocean, are as beautiful—and these days as expensive—as any homes on earth.1

      • After a Decade of Activism, $15 Wage Becoming New Average in Some Industries
      • McConnell Is Now Promising "Enormous" Debate Over Deficit Which He Helped Create
      • As Landlord Groups Fight Eviction Moratorium, Federal Aid Slow To Reach Tenants

        Tenants across the United States, who have fallen behind on rent during the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of losing their job or reduced work hours, received a sign of hope as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued another extension of the eviction moratorium. But landlord groups are pushing in federal court to block enforcement of the moratorium.€ 

        The eviction moratorium was extended until October 3 for most communities in the U.S. and in spite of millions of dollars in donations to Democrats from real estate interests. Yet, despite the moratorium, relief still has been slow to reach tenants.Dawn Foust of Indianapolis, Indiana, has been unemployed through the pandemic from her paralegal job. She applied for rental assistance in October 2020, and more recently in May 2021, but Foust still fell behind in rent. Her landlord refused to complete their side of the paperwork for the funds to be distributed.€ 

      • Housing Advocates Welcome CDC Eviction Moratorium But Say It’s Not Enough
      • “Band-Aid Over a Bullet Wound”: Housing Advocates Welcome CDC Eviction Moratorium But Say It’s Not Enough

        Despite a new two-month moratorium on evictions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people in the U.S. are still at risk of losing their homes as landlords in some states fight back against the measure. The new CDC moratorium is “a band-aid over a bullet wound,” says Tara Raghuveer, director of KC Tenants, a tenants’ rights organization in Kansas City. “This is a very small step. It’s the bare minimum. And for many tenants … this will actually not offer the protections that are needed to keep them in their homes.”

      • Biden’s Eviction Moratorium Is a Rare Act of Presidential Civil Disobedience

        The Centers for Disease Control, at the behest of President Joe Biden, has issued a new eviction moratorium to help keep people in their homes as the Delta variant spreads across the country. The order will almost certainly be struck down by the conservative-controlled Supreme Court. In a ruling on the previous moratorium in June, alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh indicated that the CDC wildly overstepped its statutory authority by issuing a ban on evictions. Kavanaugh provided a fifth vote to uphold the old moratorium, but only because it was set to expire soon, and he wanted to give Congress time to pass a law allowing it to freeze evictions during a public health crisis.

      • Sanders Unveils Final $3.5T Reconciliation Package Alongside Infrastructure Bill
      • Sanders Hails $3.5 Trillion Resolution as Most 'Consequential' Proposal Since the New Deal

        Sen. Bernie Sanders described the $3.5 trillion budget resolution that he and Senate Democrats unveiled Monday as the starting point for the most impactful social spending legislation introduced in the U.S. since the 1930s, when then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed New Deal reforms to combat the Great Depression, empower workers, and provide sustained relief to the vulnerable.

        "We need to rebuild our roads and bridges, but more important is the need to address the crises facing working families all over this country."—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Unemployment Record Now Far Ahead of Recovery from Great Recession

        The 0.5 percentage point drop in the household survey was also impressive. We didn’t get down to 5.4 percent unemployment following the Great Recession (GR) until March of 2015. The Black unemployment rate fell 1.0 percentage points to 8.2 percent, a level not reached following the GR until May of 2016. The unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped 0.8 percentage points to 6.6 percent.

        Not all the news in the household survey was positive. The unemployment rate for Black teens rose from its record low level of 9.3 percent to 13.3 percent, but this is still lower than any pre-pandemic level.

      • Does perishable e-money represent the future of fiscal stimulus?

        This week the same city began another experiment: not merely leaving people free to pursue their own objectives, but giving them free money to pursue their own purchases. On August 1st Hong Kongers received the first instalment of the government’s consumption voucher, an effort to revive the city’s hard-hit retail industry. The amounts are generous (HK$5,000 or $640) and the distribution is slick. The money is added to a person’s Octopus card (widely used in shops and on public transport) or paid into e-payment apps, such as Alipay. Shops are now vying for their customers’ unearned dollars. The Mira hotel, where Edward Snowden revealed America’s secrets to the world, is offering 75% off a romantic “staycay”. Unlike ordinary cash handouts, these e-vouchers must be spent within a few months. Otherwise they will “expire”.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • More Foe Than Friend

        Many people who came of age between, say, 1940 and 1970 have become accustomed to seeing the Supreme Court as a force for good when it comes to race. They have developed a faith in the justices’ claim, voiced in 1940 in a decision overturning the convictions of Black defendants in a death-penalty case, that “under our constitutional system, courts stand against any winds that blow as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helpless, weak, outnumbered, or because they are noncomforming victims of prejudice.” Nothing nourished this sense of the court as savior more than its invalidation of the retrograde laws that helped prop up Jim Crow segregation. Some progressives have even come to view the court as an inherently enlightened branch of government, or at least more enlightened than the executive and legislative branches.1

      • Buffalo Democratic Machine Considers Axing Mayorship to Evade India Walton
      • Lawmakers Aren’t “Progressive” If They Ignore Palestinian Rights
      • Trump’s Shadow Cabinet is Part of His Ongoing Attempted Coup

        Now, in the Trump shadow-universe he’s created a shadow-government for his shadow-fans. It’s not as wacky an idea as it seems and suggests Trump’s solidifying his control over the GOP going toward 2022 and 2024.

        Last November, on election day, I€ suggested€ on my radio program that if the Biden ticket were to lose (something we did not expect, but after 2016 who knows what can happen) they should set up a “shadow government” to be a visible and ongoing opposition and alternative to Trump’s second term.

      • Democrats Pressure US Justice Department to Stop Seeking Death Penalty

        Just over a month after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland suspended federal executions, four congressional Democrats on Monday urged the Biden administration to formally direct Department of Justice prosecutors to no longer seek the death penalty.

        "We must work to build a criminal-legal system that is deeply rooted in a love for humanity, which begins with ending the federal death penalty in our country."—Rep. Cori Bush

      • Opinion | Truth Be Told—Saving Our Endangered Democracy

        How can a democracy committed to freedom of speech protect itself against damaging lies? That's a tough and urgent question with which our nation must now grapple.

      • Kevin McCarthy is Not a Moron

        Recently, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, brought it to light. After House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy demeaned the House’s new face mask requirement, Pelosi commented, “He is such a moron.” Unsuspected to her, Pelosi started a discussion on the appropriate use of the word moron.

        Poor Kevin McCarthy. One cannot but feel sorry for him. What has he done to deserve the wrath of our Lady of Fire, Terror of Republicans? In an article on the Washington Post, “Fact check: Is Kevin McCarthy a ‘moron’?” opinion writer Dana Milbank tries to provide an answer to this question.

      • Opinion | Corporate Liberalism Is No Match for Trumpism

        Jane Mayer's article in The New Yorker last week, "The Big Money Behind the Big Lie," starkly illuminates how forces aligned with Donald Trump have been upping the ante all year with hyperactive strategies that could enable Republican leaders to choke off democracy, ensuring that Trump or another GOP candidate captures the presidency in 2024. The piece runs close to 10,000 words, but the main takeaway could be summed up in just a few: Wake up! Core elements of U.S. democracy really could disappear soon.

      • Contractors who powered US war in Afghanistan stuck in Dubai

        In the rushed evacuation, scores of these foreign workers trying to get home to the Philippines and other countries that restricted international travel because of the pandemic have become stuck in limbo at hotels across Dubai.

        As the U.S. brings home its remaining troops and abandons its bases, experts say the chaotic departure of the Pentagon’s logistics army lays bare an uncomfortable truth about a privatized system long susceptible to mismanagement — one largely funded by American taxpayers but outside the purview of American law.

      • The Propaganda War Intensifies in Afghanistan as the Taliban Gain Ground

        With cities falling and the American military campaign mostly finished, the propaganda war in Afghanistan has taken on outsize importance. For the Taliban, it is an effort to communicate a drumbeat of victories, large or small, and to create an air of inevitability about their return to power. For the government, it is an all-out effort to stave off panic, boost morale and minimize losses.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Survival of the Fibbest? Study Suggests BS Conspiracy Theories Have Roots in Human Evolution

        A new paper by two political scientist€ and an anthropologist aims to explain how humans have evolved to spread conspiracy theories, misinformation, and other falsehoods through communities as a way of gaining an advantage over opposing factions—maintaining the upper hand in a society by mobilizing large groups of people and securing their loyalty, as former President Donald Trump and other demagogues€ throughout history.

        "Belief in information and content that€ other people would say is€ blatantly false is becoming more widespread. It can have€ some pretty dire consequences, as we could see€ for example€ with the storming of the Capitol on January€ 6."—Michael€ Bang Petersen

      • The Arizona “audit” finally seems to be wrapping up. Prepare for a blizzard of disinformation.

        That’s because the “audit,” which began in April at the behest of the state’s GOP-controlled Senate and is being paid for by a variety of far-right, pro-Trump sources, was never intended to be a good-faith investigation of election practices. On the contrary, it’s always been about bolstering Donald Trump’s lies about the election with false and misleading claims, then using them as a pretext to impose new voting restrictions aimed at giving Republicans an edge in future elections, including a possible Trump 2024 presidential run.

        Inevitably, that means Cyber Ninjas will make claims just plausible enough to get credulous coverage from pro-Trump media, even if the claims can’t withstand scrutiny from impartial fact-checkers. Those claims can then be amplified by elected Republicans who won’t let facts get in the way of their narrative. Consider the dynamic at work in Tucker Carlson’s recent attempts to blame the FBI for the January 6 insurrection — a claim that was quickly debunked but was nonetheless touted by members of Congress like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Susan Zakin and Steve Erickson - The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Susan Zakin, a journalist and author, is the founder of Journal of the Plague Years. Her previous works include Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! And the Environmental Movement. Steve Erickson is a prolific novelist and writer, and teaches at the University of California, Riverside. His latest work, American Stutter is published at Journal of the Plague Years.

      • Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible To Do Well: Series About Antisemitism Removed By Instagram For Being Antisemetic

        I've written a lot about the impossibility of doing content moderation well at scale, and there are lots of reasons for that. But one of the most common is the difficulty both AI and human beings have in distinguishing hateful/trollish/harassing behavior from those reporting on that behavior. We've pointed this out over and over again in a variety of contexts. One classic example is social media websites pulling down human rights activists highlighting war crimes by saying it's "terrorist content." Another were the many examples of people on social media talking about racism and how they're victims of racist attacks having their accounts and posts shut down over claims of racism.

      • New IT Rules 'draconian', will have chilling effect on free speech: Petitioners tell HC

        New IT Rules 'draconian', will have chilling effect on free speech: Petitioners tell HCTwo petitions filed in the Bombay High Court challenging provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2021, on Monday contended that the rules were "vague" and "draconian". The petitioners, digital news portal The Leafland journalist Nikhil Wagle, told the HC that the IT Rules will have a "chilling effect" on the freedom of press and a citizen's right to free speech guaranteed by the Constitution.

        Senior counsel Darius Khambata, who appeared for The Leaflet, urged a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni to immediately stay the implementation of the new rules.

      • Pakistan a democracy only in name: Hamid Mir

        The anchor and host of the now-off air primetime show Capital Talk on Geo, Hamid Mir, in a wide-ranging interview to the BBC World Service, criticised the shrinking space for press freedom and the growing “climate of fear” for journalists in Pakistan.

        Hamid Mir spoke from Islamabad with Stephen Sackur, the host of the BBC show HardTalk.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Jailed journalist Ivan Safronov is facing harsher conditions since Vedomosti op-ed, lawyer says

        Former journalist Ivan Safronov, who stands accused of treason, is facing harsher conditions in jail since publishing an op-ed in the newspaper Vedomosti last month, his lawyer says.

      • Jalisco cartel issues threats against journalist over Michoacán coverage

        In reaction to the threats, the president’s spokesperson, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, wrote on Twitter to guarantee protection for journalists. “In the face of threats to the media by the CJNG, the @GobiernoMX will take appropriate measures to protect threatened journalists and media outlets. Democratic freedoms are guaranteed along with the right to information for citizens,” the Tweet read.

      • A Year Under Attack for Belarusian Media

        For more than a year, the independent media in Belarus have been under assault, with a far-reaching campaign of arrests and legal pressure that has made it nearly impossible for journalists to operate.

        In addition to headline-grabbing actions like diverting a plane to arrest activist blogger Raman Pratasevich, which resulted in a series of European Union sanctions, authorities have detained nearly 500 journalists in the past year. Of those, 29 remain behind bars, data from the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) shows.

      • New UK sanctions against Belarus also target Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev

        The UK, U.S., and Canada imposed new economic sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko’s regime on Monday, August 9, to mark the one year anniversary of the “fraudulent election in Belarus.”

      • ‘You can choke on those sanctions’ Lukashenko holds a press conference on the anniversary of Belarus’s contested presidential vote

        On August 9, the anniversary of Belarus’s contested presidential election, Alexander Lukashenko held a press conference that lasted for more than eight hours. Responding to questions from journalists, the Belarusian dictator downplayed the scale of the opposition demonstrations that erupted last year, denied evidence that Belarusian police tortured protesters in custody, and said the UK could “choke” on its latest package of sanctions against Belarus. Lukashenko also claimed that he’s going to step down “very soon.” Meduza summarizes Lukashenko’s statements here.

      • The year that changed Belarus Meduza looks back on how Lukashenko’s regime crushed the opposition movement

        August 9th marks the one year anniversary of the presidential election that sparked a mass opposition movement in Belarus. Since last summer, Alexander Lukashenko’s regime has been carrying out a campaign of repression that has wiped out street protests, forced opposition leaders to flee the country, and all but destroyed the country’s independent media. In total, at least seven opposition demonstrators were killed over the past year and the authorities launched 4,691 criminal cases in connection with the protests. According to the human rights group Viasna, there are currently more than 600 political prisoners in Belarus. Nevertheless, there is no indication that the persecutions are coming to an end: some opposition leaders are only now going to trial and there’s an ongoing campaign to liquidate independent civil society organizations. Meduza looks back on the events of this pivotal year for Belarus.€ 

      • Report analyses Lukashenko’s year-old crackdown on Belarusian journalists

        A joint report published today by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) examines the Belarusian government’s year-old crackdown on journalists, especially those who covered the unprecedented and massive peaceful street demonstrations calling for fair and transparent elections in the wake of the disputed presidential election on 9 August 2020.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Anti-Asian Roots of Today’s Anti-Immigrant Politics

        On Sunday, December 16, 1877, most likely after darkness set in, a man named Hing Kee was murdered in his bed in the lumber mill town of Port Madison in the Washington Territory. His assailant slit his throat and slashed his face and fingers “with some sharp instrument,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer surmised, “like an ax or a cleaver.” One blow was so forceful it hacked through his skull.

      • Misogynistic Hate Will Not Stop Korean Feminism

        On July 28, dozens of South Korean men posted hundreds of complaints on the Korean Archery Association’s online bulletin board. They were demanding that the organization revoke the two Olympic gold medals that the 20-year-old archer An San had thus far won at the Tokyo Games. Why? She allegedly looked like a feminist. As one man complained, “She has short hair and goes to a women’s only college—she reeks of feminism.”

      • NY Legislators Offer Up Bill That Would Allow Cops To Sue People For Not Doing Enough Bootlicking

        I'm not sure what's happening in the New York legislature, but a whole lot of NY politicians appear to believe law enforcement officers -- some of the most powerful public servants in the nation -- are some ultra-rare species of easily frightened lagomorphs, incapable of performing their jobs without being protected from the people they serve.

      • NYPD Sued Over Its Illegal Use Of Sealed Arrest Records

        When police officers kill someone, the kneejerk reaction is to publicly disparage the dead, in hopes of making the deceased appear to have "deserved" to be killed, even if their actions during the incident didn't appear to justify the killing. To do this, officers dig into their databases and dredge up every arrest, citation, and documented interaction with law enforcement to make it appear as though the officers have (permanently) removed a threat from the streets, rather than simply applied excessive force until the person was dead.

      • 'Our Moment to Win Citizenship': Budget Package Provides Hope to Millions of Undocumented People

        The $3.5 trillion budget resolution introduced Monday by Senate Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders includes billions of dollars for Congress to establish a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, giving progressives a reason to cheer.

        "Democrats should keep their eyes on what America wants, not what Republicans want Americans to fear."—Frank Sharry, America's Voice

      • Nigerian student shocked to see friend's body in anatomy class

        "Most of the cadavers we used in school had bullets in them. I felt so bad when I realised that some of the people may not be real criminals," Ms Ana said.

        She added that early one morning she had seen a police van loaded with bloodied bodies at their medical school, which had a mortuary attached to it.

        Mr Egbe sent a message to Divine's family who, it turned out, had been going to different police stations in search of their relative after he and three friends were arrested by security agents on their way back from a night out.

        The family eventually managed to reclaim his body.

      • Apple keeps shutting down employee-run surveys on pay equity — and labor lawyers say it’s illegal

        Apple insists it does not have a problem with pay inequality. Skeptical Apple employees have been trying to verify that claim by sending out informal surveys on how much people make, particularly as it relates to women and underrepresented minorities. But the company has shut down three of those surveys, citing stringent rules on how employees can collect data. Now, multiple labor lawyers tell The Verge the company may be violating worker protections: the surveys can be considered a form of labor organizing — under US law, employees have the right to discuss pay.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • In-N-Out Burger Continues Suing Australian Burger Slingers Despite Having No Presence In The Country Other Than Popups

          For this post, we're going to need to provide some context when it comes to In-N-Out's fraught relationship with the entire country of Australia. The famous burger chain based here in America has made a habit of suing Australian entities that sell burgers using the same or similar names over trademark rights. If you're not familiar with the history here, that may not strike you as particularly noteworthy, especially given that some of the sued entities in question very much do use names and branding that serve as at least an homage to In-N-Out. The problem here is that In-N-Out has basically no presence in Australia. The company has no storefronts or brick and mortar businesses in Australia. As in... at all. Instead, the company has made a habit of doing pop-up restaurants in the country once every three years or so. Why? Well, because of a provision in Australian trademark law that allows this to satisfy the use-it-or-lose-it nature of trademark protection.

      • Copyrights

        • Sci-Hub Pledges Open Source & AI Alongside Crypto Donation Drive

          Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan has launched a donation drive to ensure the operations and development of the popular academic research platform. For safety reasons, donations can only be made in cryptocurrencies but the pledges include a drive to open source the project and the introduction of artificial intelligence to discover new hypotheses.

        • The Pirate Bay Switches to a Brand New V3 Onion Domain

          The Pirate Bay has moved to a new onion domain as the old one will cease to be supported by the official Tor client in a few weeks. The new v3 domain is more secure and the TPB-team encourages users to make the switch. Bookmarking the domain may be wise as well, as v3 onion domains have 56 characters.



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