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Links 12/8/2021: Firefox 92 Beta, Elive 3.8.22 Beta, and KDE Gear 21.08



  • GNU/Linux

    • How Linux has changed the business landscape: It's more than you think [Ed: GNU/Linux is 38. It didn't start in 1991, so this is a distorted and self-serving narrative of LF-funded sites.]

      Linux is 30 years old. I was just starting graduate school by the time Linus Torvalds began working on the project. I remember so well, back at Purdue, the first time I used email. I felt like I'd entered a magical realm where anything was possible. It was all text-based (probably Elm or Mutt) and once you knew the keyboard commands you were ready to communicate with everyone.

      Little did I know, at the same time I was learning the ins and outs of email, somewhere across the globe another student was learning how to build an entire operating system.

      Perspective is fun.

      Back then, I had no idea how businesses ran. I didn't really care, because the field I was studying had absolutely nothing to do with business, computers, networking, security or tech in general. Little did I know how things would change.

      Back in my early days of using and covering the Linux operating system, it was a very different beast. The first Linux convention I attended was all trenchcoat-wearing hackers in fedoras and fingerless gloves. I felt as though I'd stepped into one of William Gibson's worlds and the keyboard cowboys were doing their best to take down the giant companies that would someday trademark our brains and commodify our every thought. They'd be pushing ads directly into our brains, and we'd upload new thoughts and memories via a stem port on the back of our skulls. Those hackers were our saviors, and big business was the enemy of all humankind.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 917

        3d printing, soldering, arcade games, google maps

      • Linux Kernel Security and Beyond

        Linux kernel security done right—by Google, no less—kicks. Doc Searls, Jonathan Bennett and Shawn Powers have a three-way roundtable discussion on FLOSS Weekly discussing recent open source news items. Is Microsoft making it easier than ever to run all your Windows apps and more on Linux? How's the new Steam Deck affecting gaming on Linux? Apple says privacy advocates are "screaming" about the company's CSAM moves. Open source in medical datasets, all of us running our own AI, Comcast fighting bufferbloat, and more are the topics this week.

      • Brave Search Is Surprisingly Good, But... - Invidious

        I've been trying out Brave Search recently and it's actually really good, I didn't expect it but it's actually a really good search engine and I'd highly recommend checking it out for yourself.

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel topics on the radar

        The kernel-development community is a busy place, with thousands of emails flying by every day and many different projects under development at any given time. Much of that work ends up inspiring articles at LWN, but there is no way to ever cover all of it, or even all of the most interesting parts. What follows is a first attempt at what may become a semi-regular LWN feature: a quick look at some of the work that your editor is tracking that may or may not show up as the topic of a full article in the future. The first set of topics includes memory folios, task isolation, and a lightweight threading framework from Google.

        [...]

        While the memory-management community is still not fully sold on this concept (it looks like a lot of change for a small benefit to some developers), it looks increasingly likely that it will be merged in the near future. Or, at least, the merging process will start; one does not swallow a 138-part (at last count) memory-management patch series in a single step. In mid-July, Wilcox presented his plan, which involves getting the first 89 patches merged for 5.15; the rest of the series would be merged during the following two development cycles. Nobody seems to be contesting that schedule at this point.

        Later in July, though, Wilcox stumbled across the inevitable Phoronix benchmarking article which purported to show an 80% performance improvement for PostgreSQL with the folio patches applied to the kernel. He said that the result was "plausibly real" and suggested that, perhaps, the merging of folios should be accelerated. Other developers responded more skeptically, though. PostgreSQL developer Andres Freund looked at how the results were generated and concluded that the test "doesn't end up measuring something particularly interesting". His own test showed a 7% improvement, though, which is (as he noted) still a nice improvement.

      • Strict memcpy() bounds checking for the kernel

        The C programming language is famously prone to memory-safety problems that lead to buffer overflows and a seemingly endless stream of security vulnerabilities. But, even in C, it is possible to improve the situation in many cases. One of those is the memcpy() family of functions, which are used to efficiently copy or overwrite blocks of memory; with a bit of help from the compiler, those functions can be prevented from writing past the end of the destination object they are passed. Enforcing that condition in the kernel is harder than one might expect, though, as this massive patch set from Kees Cook shows.

        Buffer overflows never seem to go away, and they are a constant source of bugs and security problems in the kernel. That said, hardening techniques have become good enough that many types of stack-based overflows can be detected and defended against (by killing the system if nothing else). It is hard to overwrite the stack without running over boundaries (which may contain a canary value) in ways that make the problem evident. Heap-based data lacks such boundaries, though, making overflows in the heap space harder to detect; as a result, attackers tend to find such vulnerabilities attractive.

      • Hole-punching races against page-cache filling

        Filesystem developers tend to disagree with each other about many things, but they are nearly unanimous in their dislike for the truncate() system call, which chops data off the end of a file. Implementing truncate() tends to be full of traps for the unwary — the kind of traps that can lead to lost data. But it turns out that a similar operation, called "hole punching", may be worse. This operation has been subject to difficult-to-hit but real race conditions in many filesystems for years; this patch set from Jan Kara may finally be at a point where it can fill the hole in hole punching.

        Hole punching, as its name suggests, is the act of creating a hole in the middle of a file; it is performed using the FALLOC_FL_PUNCH_HOLE option to the fallocate() system call. The caller provides an offset and a length; the kernel then erases the given number of bytes in the file, starting at the provided offset. The associated blocks on the underlying storage device are freed for other uses. The length of the file does not change, though; this operation creates a hole that, if read, will return zeroes. It is, essentially, an efficient way of writing zeroes to the specified range within the file.

        Note that neither the offset nor the length must be page-aligned. The kernel will write zeroes to the partial pages at the beginning and end of the hole, should they exist; this edge work is essentially just a couple of write() calls. The efficiency gains of hole punching, though, come from its ability to simply drop entire pages from the file without writing anything; that, naturally, is also where the challenges lie.

      • A GPSD time warp

        The GPSD project provides a daemon for communicating with various GPS devices in order to retrieve the location information that those sensors provide. But the GPS satellites also provide highly accurate time information that GPSD can extract for use by Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers. A bug in the GPSD code will cause time to go backward in October, though, which may well cause some havoc if affected NTP servers do not get an update before then.

        At some level, the root cause of the problem is the GPS week-number rollover that occurs because only ten bits were used to represent week numbers in the original GPS protocol. Ten bits overflows after 1023, so only 19.6 (and change) years can be represented. Since the GPS epoch starts at the beginning of 1980, there have already been two rollover events (in 1999 and 2019); there is not supposed to be another until 2038, but a bug in some sanity checking code in GPSD will cause it to subtract 1024 from the week number on October 24, 2021. The effect will be a return to March 2002, which is not what anyone wants—or expects.

        The problem was reported by Stephen Williams on July 21. It affects GPSD versions 3.20‑3.22, which is all of the releases since the last day of 2019. The upcoming 3.23 release—due as soon as August 4—will fix the problem, but it needs to be installed on all of the relevant servers. There are concerns that if the word does not get out to NTP server administrators, there could be a rather unpleasant October surprise.

      • Btrfs Set To Land Support For IDMAPPED Mounts In Linux 5.15

        Introduced to the Linux kernel earlier this year with Linux 5.12 was IDMAPPED mounts that allow for different mounts to expose the same file or directory with different ownership. IDMAPPED mounts was designed with use-cases ranging from containers to systemd-homed and more as outlined in the earlier article. Btrfs is now ready to begin supporting IDMAPPED mounts.

    • Applications

      • New features in Neovim 0.5

        Neovim 0.5, the fifth major version of the Neovim editor, which descends from the venerable vi editor by way of Vim, was released on July 2. This release is the culmination of almost two years of work, and it comes with some major features that aim to modernize the editing experience significantly. Highlights include native support for the Language Server Protocol (LSP), which enables advanced editing features for a wide variety of languages, improvements to its Lua APIs for configuration and plugins, and better syntax highlighting using Tree-sitter. Overall, the 0.5 release is a solid upgrade for the editor; the improvements should please the existing fan base and potentially draw in new users and contributors to the project.

        The Neovim project was started by Thiago Padilha in 2014 shortly after his patch to introduce multi-threading capabilities to Vim was rejected without much in the way of feedback. This event was the major trigger that led Padilha to create this fork, with the explicit aim of improving the usability, maintainability, and extensibility of Vim while facilitating a more open and welcoming environment.

      • 24 Best Free Linux Terminal Emulators (Updated 2021)

        A terminal emulator is computer software which emulates a dumb video terminal within some other display architecture.

        The terminal window allows the user to access a console and all its applications such as command line interfaces (CLI) and text user interface software. Even with the sophistication of modern desktop environments packed with administrative tools, other utilities, and productivity software all sporting attractive graphical user interfaces, it remains the case that some tasks are still best undertaken with the command line.

        

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Oh No, My Archcraft Linux Gets XFCE PolicyKit Agent Error Notification! - Fosslicious

        I'm getting an Error on XFCE PolicyKit Agent when it finishes updating and upgrading on Archcraft Linux. And this makes me confused and frustrated. Below is a screenshot of the notification:

      • Join Fedora Linux Desktop to an Active Directory domain: Here's how
      • How To Install PIP in Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        Pip is a package installation tool that is used to get packages from the Python Package Index and various repositories.

        Pip, which stands for “Preferred Installer Program”, is a Python-based package management application that streamlines the package installation and management process. Pip is a multi-platform package manager for Python projects which assists in managing libraries and dependencies. Pip installation on Ubuntu Linux is a quick and straightforward procedure.

        The latest Python 3 is included in the standard system installation starting with Ubuntu 20.04. The source code for Python 2 may be found in the general source repository. However, users are encouraged to upgrade to Python 3. When there isn’t a corresponding package for a module, use pip to install it globally. Instead of installing Python modules globally, the Python virtual environment allows you to install them in a separate place beneath each project. You won’t have to worry about impacting other Python programs this way.

      • How to Configure and Manage a Remote Git Repo on Linux – VITUX

        Today we are going to discuss how to configure and manage a Bitbucket repo on our Linux system. I am using Ubuntu 20.04 for this guide, and I’ll make sure that all commands are readily available for all related systems except Debian. The main reason is that you should not implement instructions on a Debian system to avoid any dependency issues.

      • How to Find the Total Size of a Directory in Linux

        For Linux users and administrators in a server-like environment, knowing the exact size of a directory tree through the system terminal is important. It will help you compare file directory properties and determine their storage allocation when you want to copy or move these directories to a different location.

      • How to Fix the WordPress White Screen of Death

        If you have a WordPress website, one of the most common errors that you might come across is the White Screen of Death(WSOD). However, experiencing it can be scary as you might be wondering about the root cause of WSOD and have no clue about the next step.

        WSOD can have several possible causes, and determining them is not that easy, especially if you are not acquainted with the technical side of WordPress. Here, we have collated some of the most effective ways to resolve WSOD for your WordPress websites. But, first, let’s understand WordPress White Screen of Death.

      • How to Install Brave Web Browser Rocky Linux 8 - LinuxCapable

        Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. Brave is a privacy-focused Internet web browser, which distinguishes itself from other browsers by automatically blocking online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings. Brave has claimed its browser puts less strain on your computer’s performance than Google Chrome, regardless of how much you ask of it. Even with multiple tabs open at once, Brave uses less memory than Google Chrome-like, up to 66% less.

      • How to Install Mongodb Compass GUI in Ubuntu 20.04

        MongoDB is a free, open-source, and leading No-SQL database system written in C++. By default, MongoDB does not provide any web-based interface to interact with a database. It is very difficult for any developer to manage MongoDB through a command-line interface. This is the place where the MongoDB Compass comes into the picture. MongoDB Compass is a graphical tool for MongoDB that helps you to create, delete, read and update the database graphically. It is very similar to phpMyAdmin which allows you to explore your data, run the queries, and interact with the database.

        In this post, we will show you how to install and use MongoDB Compass on Ubuntu 20.04 desktop.

      • How to Install and Update Latest Git on Ubuntu 20.04 - LinuxCapable

        Today we will look at how to install and update to the latest version of Git. Ubuntu 20.04 comes shipped with Git in their principal repository; however, with Ubuntu 20.04 being an LTS system, the software packages are designed for being stable and do not typically include new releases with upgraded features that could break stability. Ubuntu will only ship security updates for the current LTS version of Git.

        So, the issue sometimes with LTS systems is that software packages fall far behind with non-security bugs occurring. Luckily with Ubuntu, we can add custom PPA’s from developers of such software that are trustworthy and typically are the ones to address security issues in the first place. Hence, in the case of Git, the chances of your system being vulnerable are very slim considering the benefits of updating for new features, improvements to non-security related issues and bugs.

      • How to copy files from host to Docker container

        To copy files from your current to a Docker container, follow the steps below. One given file can be copied using the cp command to the Docker container. This can be achieved using the command below...

      • How to create Bash scripts using external variables and embedded scripts | Enable Sysadmin

        There are times when a script must ask for information that can't be stored in a configuration file or when the number of choices won't allow you to specify every possibility. Bash is pretty good at making interactive scripts to address these kinds of issues.

      • How to dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu [Ed: Microsoft is trying to perpetuate the idea that vapourware is already here, is usable, is great, and you must use it with GNU/Linux; Googlebombing "Ubuntu" for the mention of the vapourware/PR?]

        Do you want to dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu? Keep reading to learn to boot both operating systems on your PC with ease.

      • How to install Webmin Server manager on AlmaLinux 8 - Linux Shout

        To manage our command line AlmaLinux 8 server running without any graphical interface we can use Webmin. It is an open-source tool that can be installed easily using few commands. It offers remote management of server network, hardware, backup, and more. The users can install various modules to extend its functionality such as adding LAMP support, Heartbeat Monitor, Squid Proxy Server, DHCP server, and more.

        Here we learn the steps to install Webmin on AlmaLinux 8 using command terminal and official repository.

      • How to rename a branch in Git

        If you haven’t pushed your local branch to a remote branch in Git and you would like to rename your current local branch, you should proceed as follows...

      • 15 Useful "ifconfig" Commands to Configure Network in Linux

        ifconfig in short “interface configuration” utility for system/network administration in Unix/Linux operating systems to configure, manage and query network interface parameters via command-line interface or in a system configuration scripts.

      • A beginner's guide to the Linux terminal

        There's a café a few streets away from where I live, and I go there every Sunday for a regularly scheduled game of D&D. They have a menu, and the first few times I ordered, I looked over the menu for several minutes to see what my choices were. Being a creature of habit, I eventually stopped referring to the menu because I knew exactly what they have for sale, and I know exactly what I want. Ordering food for the table is now as easy as saying "the usual" and waiting for the cups of coffee and bowls of chips and scones to be delivered (usually inconveniently at just the moment we've rolled for initiative, but that's hardly the staff's fault or problem).

      • Find the largest files and directories in Linux - Unixcop

        Sometimes it is necessary to know what file(s) or directories are eating up all your disk space. Further, it may be required to find out it at the particular directory location on filesystem such as /tmp/ or /var/ or /home/.

        Also it is very necessary to find the unnecessary junks and free up them from your hard disk.

        This tutorial describes how to find the largest files and folders in the Linux using find and du commands.

      • Linux Traceroute Command, Explained with Examples

        In this article, we will discuss everything you want to know about the Linux traceroute command and how to use it in your daily practice.

        Traceroute is a command line utility that prints the route (or hops) that a packet takes to reach another host. It is used for network diagnostics. As its name suggests, the main purpose of a traceroute is to trace the IP route from a source to a destination inside an IP network, allowing administrators to better resolve connectivity issues. Traceroute will not only tell whether you have connectivity, but it will point out where is the problem precisely and why would that be happening.

        Traceroute gives you complete information about the path that your data will take to reach its destination. For example, if the your computer (source) is in Los Angeles, California and the server in New York (destination), traceroute will identify the complete path, each hop (the computers, routers, or any devices that comes in between the source and the destination) on the path, and the time it takes to go and come back.

      • How to install MetaTrader 4 with the IG Broker on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MetaTrader 4 with the IG Broker on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to set up Redis sentinel cluster on Ubuntu or Debian Linux

        This guide explains how to set up Redis sentinel failover cluster for caching database or any other data type in high availability node.

      • How To Set Up SSH Keys With YubiKey as two-factor authentication (U2F/FIDO2)

        ll Linux and Unix servers are managed manually or by automation tools such as Ansible using ssh. For example, say you have a server at Linode or AWS. Then you copy your public ssh key to a remote cloud server. Once copied, you can now login to those servers without a password as long as ssh keys are matched. It is the best practice. Unfortunately, you are not protecting ssh keys stored on a local desktop or dev machine at $HOME/.ssh/ directory. If your keys are stolen, an attacker can get access to all of your cloud servers, including backup servers. To avoid this mess, we can protect our ssh keys stored on local dev/desktop machines using physical security keys such as YubiKey.

      • How to find the number of RAM Slots in Linux - nixCraft

        The easiest way is to dig into hardware and BIOS information is to use the following two commands on Linux to understand the RAM configuration using the CLI.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.08

          Welcome to KDE Gear ⚙️ 21.08!

          KDE Gear 21.08 improves KDE apps across the board, bringing you quick and responsive utilities, creativity programs with powerful features, and secure tools for all your work and play needs.

          If this is your first time with KDE software, discover a whole new world of free and secure programs, packed with incredible possibilities. If you are already a KDE regular, check out all the fresh innovations we have added to your favorite apps.

          Either way, go forth and try new things!:

          Dolphin

          Let’s start with your gateway into your system: Dolphin. Officially, Dolphin is labeled as a “file manager”, but it is much more than that. Dolphin does not only let you navigate through the folders and files in your hard drive, but also share them to your phone, social media, or on your instant messaging app. The same goes for the stuff in your cloud and online services, be it Google Drive, NextCloud, DropBox, FTP servers, or Git repositories: you can access all of these services directly without ever moving from Dolphin.

          If you think managing such a wide variety of locations and data would be confusing, fear not: you can easily identify what is what with Dolphin’s file and folder previews. Hover your cursor over a file and it will show you a small preview. Do the same over a folder and it will show you pictures from the files it contains. New in KDE Gear 21.08 is that, if a folder contains a lot of previewable files, it will show you an animated sequence of previews so you can check to see if the folder contains what you are looking for. Dolphin also shows previews for files inside encrypted locations, such as Plasma Vaults. Dolphin’s preview code has also been optimized in this version and thumbnails now pop up faster.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • New GNOME Human Interface Guidelines now official – and obviously some people hate it ● The Register

          Red Hat's Allan Day, a member of the GNOME design team, has said that the project's new Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) are now official.

          The GNOME HIG, as Day explained back in May, was "fairly out of date" both in terms of technical changes for GNOME 40 and GTK (GNOME Toolkit) 4 and also what he called "contemporary design practice."

          GTK 4.x was released in December 2020, and GNOME 40 in March this year, though many Linux distributions are still using GNOME 3.38. Day noted on Twitter that "the new GNOME HIG is now official. There's more work to be done, but I'm pretty pleased with it overall."

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Say hello to Elementary OS Odin

          Elementary Inc recently released the 6th version of their popular Linux Distro, Elementary OS. In typical Elementary OS fashion, the latest version is named after a god. In this case, Odin Borson, the king of Asgard father to Thor and Hela protector of the realm Nine realms and adoptive father to the naughty god and Disney+ hit T.V show main character, Loki.

          Elementary OS aims to be simple and easy to use so it’s rather conservative when it comes to options, what you can customise and how often it is updated. The only thing that you are supposed to change after installing it is perhaps the wallpaper. This is why it’s one of my top five favourite distros. It kind of takes the Mac OS/Windows approach where the designers make something beautiful and hope it will appeal to everyone rather than GNOME’s complex approach.

        • Elementary OS 6 Odin released on a 'pay what you want' basis

          Elementary has released version 6 of its Ubuntu-based operating system, named Odin, on a "pay what you want" model.

          It seems that every other day another Linux distro comes along, claiming to be an easy to use alternative to commercial offerings, and likewise Elementary is billed as a "thoughtful, capable and ethical replacement for Windows and macOS."

          The first look of Elementary OS is appealing, with a somewhat Mac-like Dock, a striking desktop background, and a minimalist user interface. There are some puzzles, though: for example, how to write a review when there is no LibreOffice or equivalent, just a programmer's editor called Code (and no, not the Microsoft one).

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • OKRs: 5 metrics mistakes to avoid | The Enterprisers Project

          “An effective goal-setting system starts with disciplined thinking at the top, with leaders who invest the time and energy to choose what counts, ” writes John Doerr, OKR expert, in Measure What Matters. This gets to the heart of implementing effective OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) into an organization: It requires a thoughtful process supported and promoted from leadership.

          For leaders to run a successful OKR program and create meaningful metrics to track progress, it takes more than general knowledge or simple excitement. OKRs are a methodology rooted in collaboration and transparency. They are most effective when they are transparent and visible to an entire organization, and managed and updated on a regular basis.

        • Digital transformation metrics: 8 counterintuitive lessons learned

          Digital transformation success has always been tricky to measure – partly because the goal lines are always changing. “The primary measure of success last year was survival,” David Cushman, research director in the emerging technology practice at IT consultancy and research firm HFS Research, recently told us. Accordingly, speed was often the key performance indicator.

          But as organizations emerge from the frenzy of pandemic-fueled changes, those measures of success (and the way they are applied) may need to change. “IT leaders need to rethink [these metrics] now, otherwise they will equate their panic reaction and survival using digital tech a win,” says Yugal Joshi, vice president of digital, cloud, and application services research for Everest Group. “This will be problematic going forward.”

          How is the IT organization supporting the business outcomes? Where should you start with updating digital transformation metrics? “The starting point must take into account how the IT organization is supporting the business outcomes,” explains Greg Bentham, vice president, cloud infrastructure services at Capgemini Americas.

        • Nest with Fedora: 2021 – Kevin's musings

          Last week was the 2021 edition of Nest with Fedora. Nest is the all virtual version of Flock, the annual Fedora community conference. While sad we couldn’t all get together in person again this year, the virtual version was fine. The platform again used was ‘hopin’ and it did a reasonable job overall. I did have some problems sharing my presentation for my talk, but otherwise I think everything went smoothly.

        • Kubernetes Memory Manager moves to beta | Kubernetes

          The blog post explains some of the internals of the Memory manager, a beta feature of Kubernetes 1.22. In Kubernetes, the Memory Manager is a kubelet subcomponent. The memory manage provides guaranteed memory (and hugepages) allocation for pods in the Guaranteed QoS class.

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Roll your own Slack alternative

        Having an effective communication strategy is vital for every business, especially in the post-pandemic hybrid work environment.

        As IT teams scurried to draw up a list of collaboration tools to mobilize the remote workforce, Slack emerged as the favorite medium for communication due to its ease of use and cross-platform availability.

        But Slack isn’t the only game in town. Rocket.Chat is a viable alternative that is chock full of features. While Slack is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) app, you can host Rocket.Chat on your own IT infrastructure, without much effort.

      • Redis Labs Rebrands as Simply "Redis" - Database Trends and Applications

        Redis Labs has announced the company is now registered as Redis, dropping “Labs” from its name. According to the company, the change signals the maturation of the company and the Redis open source project, which it has contributed to since 2011 and sponsored since 2015.

        In addition, the company says, the name change also reflects the company’s mission to continue the growth of Redis as a real-time data platform. The company is focused on leading and steering alignment across the community, including individual contributors, customers, and partners, to deliver solutions to technical challenges and maintain its enduring popularity.

        The company adds that the renaming will not affect the licensing of open source Redis, which has always been and will continue to be BSD licensed, nor the governance model, which was introduced last year.

      • Redis Labs Becomes, Simply, Redis
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird 91 is a Major Upgrade That Could Help Reclaim its Position as the Default Linux Mail Client

            Thunderbird, the popular open-source email client, has a major new upgrade. Thunderbird 91 release promises many improvements, some of which we will be looking at here.

            Overall, the release focuses on adding import/export support for Thunderbird profiles, various user-interface improvements, improved Gmail account integration, improved calendar settings, tons of bug fixes, and smaller improvements.

            Read on for a look at all these new features and more.

          • Thunderbird 91 is Finally Here with A Lot of Improvements

            After more than a year of development since Thunderbird 78, Thunderbird 91 arrives full of changes, news and improvements of all kinds.

            Thunderbird is a completely free and open source program originally designed by Mozilla (the company responsible for Firefox) as a complete organization suite. This program consists of an email client, a calendar, a to-do list and a chat tool to talk with other colleagues.

            The current version of Thunderbird is 78, which was released in July last year. However, those responsible are going to jump directly to version 91 to match the version of Firefox and try to speed up the development of the program a bit.

          • Thunderbird 91 Released With Big Improvements For This Open-Source Mail Client - Phoronix

            Thunderbird 91 is now available as the first major update in a year for this Mozilla mail client that is succeeding the Thunderbird 78 series.

            Thunderbird 91 is finally set to offer import/export support for Thunderbird profiles, various user-interface improvements, improved GMail account integration, improved calendar settings, and tons of bug fixes and smaller improvements. The user-interface work includes enhancing the message reading UI, the message compose window has also been revamped, calendar UI improvements, and more.

          • Thunderbird Release Notes

            Thunderbird version 91.0 is only offered as direct download from thunderbird.net and not as an upgrade from Thunderbird version 78 or earlier. A future release will provide updates from earlier versions.

          • Thunderbird 91 Arrives with Improved Set-Up Wizard, Better Calendar Support - OMG! Ubuntu!

            Fans of the Thunderbird email client will be eager to go hands-on with the latest release, which is now available for download.

            So what’s new?

            Quite a lot, based on the sheer length of the official Thunderbird 91 release notes!

            And it seems that this release is such a major upgrade that users of Thunderbird 78 —you’re not misreading; that is the preceding version number— can not upgrade directly to the new build, not yet anyhow.

            A future release will re-enable in-place upgrades to allow users to upgrade Thunderbird 78 to 91. But for now, those who want to try the latest features (and there are a lot of them) need to download Thunderbird 91 directly.

          • Firefox 92 Beta Takes Flight With AVIF Image Support

            With this week's release of Firefox 91, like clockwork the beta for Firefox 92 is now available to facilitate wider testing of this next browser release to debut in September.

            Exciting us the most about the Firefox 92 Beta is AVIF image support by default. After previously trying to ship it by default but only to later revert that, Mozilla developers believe their AVIF support is now in good standing and is ready to premiere for Firefox 92.

            The AVIF image format is based on the open-source, royalty-free AV1 video codec. The AV1 Image File Format supports both lossy and lossless compression, multiple color depths, transparency on images, HDR support, and other modern features. Google has supported AVIF within Chrome since last year and various other applications already supporting this image specification while Mozilla was late to the party.

          • Firefox 92.0beta
          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 91 on POWER fur the fowk

            Firefox 91 is out. Yes, it further improves cookie isolation and cleanup, has faster paint scheduling (noticeably, in some cases), and new JavaScript and DOM support. But for my money, the biggest news is the Scots support: aye, laddie, noo ye kin stravaig the wab lik Robert Burns did. We've waited tae lang fur this.

            Anyway, Firefox 91 builds oot o the kist oa, er, Firefox 91 builds out of the box on OpenPOWER using the same .mozconfigs for Firefox 90; I made a wee change to the PGO-LTO patch since I messed up the diff the last time and didn't notice. The crypto issues in Fx90 are fixed in this release.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL 13.4, 12.8, 11.13, 10.18, 9.6.23, and 14 Beta 3 Released!

          The PostgreSQL Global Development Group has released an update to all supported versions of our database system, including 13.4, 12.8, 11.13, 10.18, and 9.6.23, as well as the third beta release of PostgreSQL 14. This release closes one security vulnerability and fixes over 75 bugs reported over the last three months.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Fixing an Interoperability Bug in LibreOffice: Missing Lines from DOCX (part 3/3)

          In LibreOffice, interoperability is considered a very important aspect of the software. Today, LibreOffice can load and save various file formats from many different office applications from different companies across the world. But, bugs are inevitable parts of every software: there are situations where the application does not behave as it should, and a developer should take action and fix it, so that it will behave as it is expected by the user.

          What if you encounter a bug in LibreOffice, and how does a developer fix the problem? In these series of articles, we discuss the steps needed to fix a bug. In the end, we will provide a test and make sure that the same problem does not happen in the future, again.

        • What did Hamsters team do for last 20 days as LibreOffice QA?

          As I wrote before, the Hamsters QA team is trying to decrease a number of unconfirmed bug reports in LibreOffice's Bugzilla. There are 20 persons in the team.

      • CMS

      • Programming/Development

        • The meaning of "hysteresis" and how it relates to alerts

          There's a lot of things in system administration where we want to prevent 'unwanted rapid switching', or unwanted rapid triggering of something, or the like. One way to do this is to not switch (or trigger or etc) if we've already done this recently. This means that the current state of the system depends partly on its history (whether there's been a recent switch), which is hysteresis.

        • Qt

          • Qt Design Studio 2.2 Beta released

            We are happy to announce the beta release of Qt Design Studio 2.2.

          • Qt Creator 5.0 RC released
          • Qt Creator 5.0 Nears With New Features - Phoronix

            Qt Creator 5.0 is offering experimental use of Clangd as the back-end for Qt Creator's C/C++ code model. Clangd will ultimately be used for its code model rather than their existing libclang-based solution. Clangd can be used for providing code completion and other features with the Language Server Protocol. Qt Creator 5.0 is also bringing experimental support for building and running applications within Docker containers. The initial Docker integration is limited to Linux and with code-bases built using CMake.

  • Leftovers

    • Remembering John Wesley Powell in a Dry Year

      One such prophet was Major John Wesley Powell, who embodied all the virtues of the mythical westerner — rugged individualism, independence of mind and spirit, and love of outdoor adventure.

      But, he possessed one quality not included in the aura of true Westerners: he was a natural scientist, largely an autodidact, when in the post-Civil War nation, scientific careers were not limited to exhaustive knowledge of the genome of one or two species. Powell had scope, and his decades of exploration of the West, presented in his 1879 masterpiece,€ Report on the lands of the arid region of the United States with a more detailed account of the land of Utah with maps,€ enunciates one of the core scientific facts of the continental United States: West of the 100th Meridian to the Pacific is an arid region. Powell had ideas about how to develop such a delicate area, which involved changes in land laws like the Homestead Act to bring it into accord with the realities of making a living in the remarkably different environments occurring in the West.€ € Powell even suggested changes in the maps of Western political jurisdictions to organize human political groups around watersheds rather than traditional counties. And he did not believe that rain followed the plow, a common real estate hustle of Western expansion in agrarian times.€ € But he did believe in disinterested public service and federal support and sponsorship of science. He founded the Bureau of Reclamation and was the second director of the US Geological Survey. € His studies of Native Americans had major influence on American cultural anthropology. Powell also believed in democracy and knew that in the West that must take a certain form or else …it would turn out the way it has turned out, agrarian feudalism and urban plutocratic kleptocracy.

    • Cultivated Delusions at the Tokyo Olympics

      It would have been interesting had they noted the militaristic, political echo that follows the beginning, and end, of each Olympic Games.€  “In the Olympic Opening ceremony,” remarked Australia’s foremost sporting journalist Gideon Haigh in 2016, “serried ranks of well drilled, well resourced, uniformed national exemplars march behind their country’s flag.€  Nothing could be a more political event than that.”

      And political it was.€  The torch relay was not, as the intoxicated romantics on the International Olympic Committee payroll claim, a creature of Greek antiquity but one of Nazi creativity. Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels were enamoured with the idea, though it was Carl Diem, secretary general of the organising committee of the 1936 Berlin games who first proposed it.€  That great German armaments institution, the Krupp Company, did its bit, creating and sponsoring the torches which were intended to burn for ten minutes. “The first torch manufactured,” writes German sports historian Arnd Krüger, “was used to ignite a new furnace for the production of long-range Krupp canons.”

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Rise Up Patriots and Resist: A Third of the Country Has Finally Achieved Herd Stupidity, and It's Killing Us
      • YouTube Bans Rand Paul for Urging People to Defy Basic Public Health Guidelines
      • Opinion | Libertarians and the Vaccine: Give Me Liberty and Give Them Death

        As the super-contagious Delta variant of Covid rips across the country, in no small part due to the behavior of the millions of Americans who have so far chosen to remain unvaccinated, the question of whether to make jabs mandatory is becoming urgent. A lot of libertarians are still voicing opposition. What gives?

      • Opinion | Pandemic Shows Why We Need a Global Green New Deal

        The future of the climate crisis€ does not look pretty if the coronavirus pandemic provides any€ indication of our collective ability to cope with shocks.€ 

      • The Choice to Vaccinate Has Never Been Free

        The uneven toll of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed preexisting fault lines within the United States—between who gets sick and who gets well, who receives care and who goes without, and those whose behaviors are rewarded—or punished—in the ongoing effort to maintain, or return to, some version of “normalcy.”

      • Australia’s Lockdown Troubles

        As Corona death rates still remain rather low, they are on a recent upward trajectory. Simultaneously, what goes down rather rapidly in Sydney is the government’s ability to trace those people who wandered around carrying the virus and infecting unvaccinated others. In the last week of July, the state of New South Wales had 780 Corona infections where the source of the infection could had been traced to its origin. In a further 384 cases, this was no longer the case.

        A week later (early August), the state already had 641 cases where the origin of the Corona virus infection was no longer known – almost double the number. In other words, we increasingly no longer know where Corona infections in NSW’s eight million people (of which 5.4 million live in Sydney) come from.

      • As DeSantis Bans Mask Mandates, Florida Asks Feds for Help With Covid Surge

        With a lagging vaccination rate and the highly contagious Delta variant combining to produce a spike in Covid-19 infections, Florida's Department of Health and Human Services recently requested hundreds of ventilators from the federal government—and the Biden administration reportedly approved a shipment earlier this week.

        When asked on Tuesday about the state health department's request, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis insisted that he was unaware of it.

      • 200+ Scientists, Groups Implore Biden to Ramp Up mRNA Vaccine Production for the World

        More than 200 scientists, public health experts, and global civil society organizations demanded Tuesday that the Biden administration pull out all the stops to ramp up U.S. production of mRNA coronavirus vaccines and distribute the doses to Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and other undervaccinated regions struggling to combat the highly virulent Delta mutation.

        "In a pandemic that kills one person every 5.4 secs, we can't afford to wait any longer."—PrEP4All

      • Medicare Won't Cover Most Vision, Dental and Hearing. Dems Want to Change That.
      • Is city noise making us sick?

        “It’s invisible, it’s colorless, it’s odorless, it’s a physical property rather than a chemical that you can actually smell in the air,” says Rick Neitzel, an exposure scientist at the University of Michigan. “But the European Union and the World Health Organization have accurately recognized this is a pollutant like any other in that it is an environmental hazard that can cause harm to human health.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Achieving SOC2 Compliance for Teleport Cloud with Teleport On-Prem

        SOC2 has a few control areas related to SSH management. Teleport goes beyond what’s typically required, and we hope that SOC2 requirements will eventually be updated to make using certificates the expectation.

      • Proprietary

        • Retail sector top target for ransomware attack in 2020: Report [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The global retail sector faced the highest level of ransomware attacks during 2020, with 44 per cent of organisations hit (compared to 37 per cent across all industry sectors), according to a report by UK-based cybersecurity firm Sophos on Wednesday.

        • Consulting group Accenture hit by cyberattack

          Global consulting group Accenture confirmed Wednesday that it had been hit by a cyberattack, becoming the latest in a string of organizations in recent months to be targeted.

        • Another big company hit by a ransomware attack

          Accenture (ACN)'s encrypted files will be published by the group on the dark web on Wednesday unless the company pays the ransom, LockBit claimed, according to screenshots of the website reviewed by CNN Business and Emsisoft, a cybersecurity firm.

          Stacey Jones, an Accenture spokesperson, confirmed a cybersecurity incident to CNN Business on Wednesday, but did not explicitly acknowledge a ransomware attack.

        • Zoom’s new focus mode could keep students from distracting each other

          Zoom has announced a new Focus mode, which it says is meant to keep students from getting distracted while in a virtual classroom, while still allowing the teacher to keep an eye on everybody. When activated, Focus mode will make it so that a meeting’s participants won’t be able to see each other’s videos or screen shares, while the host is still able to see everyone’s webcams. It provides some of the control found in Webinar mode, without the complexity and lack of flexibility that comes with it — for instance, a teacher could turn on Focus mode while presenting, and then turn it off when it’s time for a class discussion. And, while hosting a Webinar costs money, Focus mode appears to be available to free accounts, based on my testing.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Fundamental Flaw in RNGs Affects Many IoT Devices | Decipher

            The hardware-based random number generators used in most modern IoT devices have a serious fundamental weakness that undermines the security of the encryption keys they generate for communications: The RNGs don’t really generate random numbers.

            That’s a fairly serious issue when the whole function of the RNG is to generate random numbers, which are then used as seeds for encryption keys. Researchers from Bishop Fox found that the overwhelming majority of the tens of billions of IoT devices in use today have flawed RNGs, a vulnerability that is not limited to a group of vendors or specific IoT operating systems. It’s a widespread problem that security researchers have been discussing in various forms for some time, and there’s no simple way to address it.

          • Comparing macOS vs. Windows security [Ed: Apple+Microsoft false dichotomy. Both are proprietary and both admit to providing state-controlled back doors]
          • Network Server Management: Datadog vs. NetCrunch
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Hacked Facebook Users Forced To Buy $300 Oculus VR Headset Just To Talk To Customer Support

              Back in 2014 when Facebook bought Oculus, there were the usual pre-merger promises that nothing would really change. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, who has since moved on to selling border surveillance tech to the Trump administration, made oodles of promises to that effect before taking his money and running toward the sunset. Among those promises was the promise that users would never be forced to use a Facebook login account just to use your VR headset and its games, and that the company wouldn't track your behavior for advertising.

            • Techdirt Podcast Episode 293: Understanding California's Digital Vaccine Records

              The pandemic has brought us face to face with important questions about (among many things) the roles of technology and government in our lives, and especially the intersection of the two. One interesting example that is worth exploration is California's new digital vaccine record system, and who better to discuss it with than the person who spearheaded the project: California's Chief Technology Innovation Officer Rick Klau, who joins us this week to discuss tech, government, and what happens when the two manage to work well together.

            • If You Build It, They Will Come: Apple Has Opened the Backdoor to Increased Surveillance and Censorship Around the World

              For years, countries around the world have asked for access to and control over encrypted messages, asking technology companies to “nerd harder” when faced with the pushback that access to messages in the clear was incompatible with strong encryption. The Apple child safety message scanning program is currently being rolled out only in the United States.€ 

              The United States has not been shy about seeking access to encrypted communications, pressuring the companies to make it easier to obtain data with warrants and to voluntarily turn over data. However, the U.S. faces serious constitutional issues if it wanted to pass a law that required warrantless screening and reporting of content. Even if conducted by a private party, a search ordered by the government is subject to the Fourth Amendment’s protections. Any “warrant” issued for suspicionless mass surveillance would be an unconstitutional general warrant. As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained, "Search warrants . . . are fundamentally offensive to the underlying principles of the Fourth Amendment when they are so bountiful and expansive in their language that they constitute a virtual, all-encompassing dragnet[.]" With this new program, Apple has failed to hold a strong policy line against U.S. laws undermining encryption, but there remains a constitutional backstop to some of the worst excesses. But U.S constitutional protection may not necessarily be replicated in every country.

              Apple is a global company, with phones and computers in use all over the world, and many governments pressure that comes along with that. Apple has promised it will refuse government “demands to build and deploy government-mandated changes that degrade the privacy of users.” It is good that Apple says it will not, but this is not nearly as strong a protection as saying it cannot, which could not honestly be said about any system of this type. Moreover, if it implements this change, Apple will need to not just fight for privacy, but win in legislatures and courts around the world. To keep its promise, Apple will have to resist the pressure to expand the iMessage scanning program to new countries, to scan for new types of content and to report outside parent-child relationships.€ € 

            • Pegasus and the Global Surveillance Business

              Purportedly developed to track criminals and terrorists, Pegasus is also being widely used to hack into the smart phones of human rights activists, journalists, and their political opponents at home and even abroad.

              Who is using Pegasus to track enemies? Only a fraction of the 50,000 hacked phone numbers so far obtained have been examined, but that’s enough to reveal that governments from left to right have made use of Pegasus. Among them: Saudi Arabia, India, and Hungary.

            • VPNs Are Not A-OK: Turkmen Internet Users Forced To Swear On Koran They Won't Use Them

              Internet users in the tightly controlled Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan say they are being forced to swear on the Koran that they will not use virtual private networks (VPNs).

              Several Internet users across the extremely isolated former Soviet republic told RFE/RL that they were instructed by the authorities to swear on the holy book of Muslims that they will never use VPNs after they applied for an Internet connection in their homes.

            • Apple Adds a Backdoor to iMesssage and iCloud Storage

              This is pretty shocking coming from Apple, which is generally really good about privacy. It opens the door for all sorts of other surveillance, since now that the system is built it can be used for all sorts of other messages. And it breaks end-to-end encryption, despite Apple’s denials: [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘There were no KGB officers on the plane’ Detained Russian national Sofia Sapega appears in Belarusian state television interview

        On the evening of August 10, Belarusian state television aired a brief interview with Russian national Sofia Sapega. The 23-year-old was detained in Minsk alongside Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich on May 23, shortly after the forced landing of a Ryanair plane. After spending weeks in a detention center run by Belarus’s intelligence agency (the KGB), Sapega and Protasevich were transferred to house arrest in late June. They are now awaiting trial on multiple felony charges. In conversation with television host Ksenia Lebedeva, Sapega recounted their circumstances surrounding the arrests. Among other things, she underscored that “there were no KGB officers on the plane.”

      • Opinion | Biden Must Call Off the B-52s Bombing Afghan Cities
      • Documents Show No One In The Defense Department Is Doing Much Vetting Of Law Enforcement Requests For Military Gear

        We've covered the Defense Department's 1033 program several times here at Techdirt. The program allows law enforcement agencies to acquire surplus military gear at low, low prices in exchange for little more than their claim to need anything from filing cabinets to grenade launches to mine-resistant armored personnel carriers (MRAPs).

      • US Foreign Policy Adrift: Why Washington is No Longer Calling the Shots

        “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,” Goldberg wrote, quoting Ledeen.

        Those like Ledeen, the neoconservative intellectual henchman type, often get away with this kind of provocative rhetoric for various reasons. American intelligentsias, especially those who are close to the center of power in Washington DC, perceive war and military intervention as the foundation and baseline of their foreign policy analysis. The utterances of such statements are usually conveyed within friendly media and intellectual platforms, where equally hawkish, belligerent audiences cheer and laugh at the war-mongering muses. In the case of Ledeen, the receptive audience was the hardline, neoconservative, pro-Israel American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

      • Give Cubans a Chance

        Let’s see. It hasn’t improved an iota the situation of the Cuban people. It hasn’t broken the Castro brothers authoritarian ruling of the country. It hasn’t fostered a popular uprising against the regime leading to its downfall. It hasn’t improved the U.S. image in the world. It hasn’t led to a better communication and a mutually convenient commercial exchange with the Cuban government. And we could go on…

        If anything, the embargo has succeeded in subjecting Cubans to a miserable standard of living. On several visits to the island on UN-sponsored public health missions I was able to see the limited food choices available to Cubans. Going into a bodega was an exercise in frustration. Store shelves were emptier than an unlucky beggar’s cup –not so the stores for the diplomatic corps or for the government elite and its favored artists or sports figures.

      • Taliban’s Sweeping Offensive in Afghanistan Was “Inevitable” and Stems from Brutal U.S. War

        The Taliban have continued to seize territory in Afghanistan as the U.S. completes its withdrawal of ground troops from the country, with the militant group now controlling a majority of Afghanistan’s districts and a quarter of provincial capitals. The strength of the Taliban offensive in recent weeks has put the future of Afghanistan’s government in doubt. “This kind of a crisis was inevitable whenever the U.S. pulled out, whether it had been 10 years ago, 19 years ago or 10 years from now,” says foreign policy scholar Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. “This was rooted in the nature of the U.S. occupation that began in 2001.” Congressmember Ro Khanna calls American involvement in Afghanistan a “fool’s errand” that should have ended years earlier.

      • The tale of the lost tablet BBC investigation sheds new light on Russian mercenaries’ presence in Libya

        Journalists from the BBC published a new investigation (available in English and Russian) about the operations of the Russian mercenary group Wagner in Libya. The report is largely based on information obtained from an electronic tablet that was allegedly retrieved from a battlefield in western Libya. A local contact handed the device over to the BBC back in February. Upon gaining access to the information on the tablet, the journalists discovered that it contained dozens of files, including maps indicating Wagner positions, fighters’ codenames, and the locations of mines. The BBC also obtained a separate 10-page document from a Libyan intelligence security source that allegedly “hints” at who could be funding the Wagner group.

      • It might still be possible to save Afghanistan

        America’s rush for the exit has allowed the Taliban to drop the pretence of negotiations and redouble their campaign to remove the government by force. The insurgents did not control any of the 34 provincial capitals last week. They have since seized nine. Three of the country’s biggest cities, Herat, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif, are under attack. America no longer has any military aircraft based in Afghanistan able to repel such assaults. Instead, it is dispatching them from distant bases in the Gulf and carriers in the Arabian Sea—a much less effective arrangement. And many of the mechanics who were helping maintain the Afghan air force’s planes have left with the Americans, further reducing the government’s firepower.

        That has led to a rout which, if it continues, will be a disaster. When the Taliban last ran the country, in the 1990s, they kept girls out of school, confined women to their homes and beat anyone who listened to music or wore the wrong clothes. They have not changed much since then. In areas they now control, they are murdering civil servants and NGO workers, and ordering families to hand over single women to “marry” their troops.

      • How is the Taliban gaining so fast in Afghanistan?

        Over the past few days, Taliban fighters have reportedly taken over nine provincial capitals. The siege comes after a relentless, monthslong offensive in the country that has stretched Afghan government forces. Since the US began withdrawing its troops from the country at the start of May, the Taliban has swept through about half of Afghanistan’s 400 districts.

      • Brighton man appears before Old Bailey judge on charge of encouraging terrorism

        A Brighton man has appeared before a judge at the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – in London on a charge of encouraging terrorism at a Brighton mosque.

        Abubaker Deghayes, 53, of Arundel Drive East, Saltdean, is alleged to have spoken about armed jihad in a speech at the mosque in Dyke Road, Brighton, in November last year.

      • Bangladesh: Muslim Mob Vandalizes and Loots Hindu Temples, Shops, Homes

        But the ire of the Muslim mob was not placated by the desecration of these Hindu temples alone. They shifted their ire to human beings and their livelihood. Dozens of shops belonging to the Hindus, including Ganesh Mallick’s drug store, Sourav Mallick’s tea and grocery store, Srivastava Mallick’s grocery store, Anirban Hira’s tea shop and his father Majumdar’s shop situated in the local marketplace, were plundered; over fifty-five Hindu houses were ransacked and emptied of valuables. The jihadi crowd also looted milching cows and other cattle belonging to the Hindus, which provided a source of nutrition as well as income to the hapless people from the marginalized community. Numerous unarmed Hindu villagers were assaulted and suffered severe injuries in this clash; many were brutally beaten when they tried to defend their shops from the jihadist plunderers.

      • Jihad murder is having a successful trial run in Nigeria- and the media are ignoring it

        Since 52 Muslims were killed by a white supremacist in New Zealand, heinous crime has rightfully become a world event. But absolute silence surrounds the daily slaughter of thousands of Christians by Muslim militants in Africa, the media preferring rhetorical stunts such as the demolition of statues because they would be instruments of "white supremacy", such as a clock in England and a monument to the Boer war these days, or demonstrations in America for the removal of Confederate statues.

        "All the news that’s fit to print", reads the famous slogan of the New York Times, the manual of all the European mainstream media. The massacre of Christians is never among this news. Why?

      • Amnesty reports widespread rapes ‘with impunity’ in Tigray

        Dozens of women have described shocking sexual assaults by Ethiopian soldiers and allied forces in the country’s Tigray conflict, says an Amnesty International report published Wednesday, and its researcher calls it striking how the perpetrators appeared to act without fear of punishment from their commanders.

      • Sexual violence used as weapon of war in Ethiopia’s Tigray, Amnesty finds

        As the conflict has deepened, the humanitarian toll has spiked, with aid workers struggling to reach cut-off populations and 400,000 people facing famine-like conditions in Tigray, according to the UN.

    • Environment

      • Drax Denies ‘Conflict Of Interest’ Over Lobbyist’s Climate Advisory Role

        The question of Drax’s influence on national climate policy has come under renewed scrutiny after it emerged for a second time in two months that a senior PR executive advised on government climate strategy with an apparent conflict of interest.

        Rebecca Heaton, Drax’s head of sustainability and policy, announced in July she would be stepping down four months early from her position on the Climate Change Committee (CCC). Heaton had faced mounting pressure from campaigners questioning the compatibility of her role on the CCC’s mitigation committee with her position at the taxpayer-funded biomass company.

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • 'Utter Lack of Credibility as a Climate Leader': Biden Pressures OPEC to Pump More Oil

        Two days after U.S. President Joe Biden responded to the IPCC's latest report about how fossil fuel emissions are intensifying extreme weather by saying, "We can't wait to tackle the climate crisis," the White House on Wednesday urged the oil-producing giants of OPEC to increase production as a way to bring down gasoline prices.

        National security advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement that "higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery."

      • World shudders at 'terrifying' UN climate report

        Frans Timmermans, the European Union's deputy climate chief, said the 3,500-page report proved "it's not too late to stem the tide and prevent runaway climate change".

      • UNICEF Urges Fight Against Climate Change

        "We must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in adaptation and community resilience because all children deserve a livable planet," the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore said via Twitter.

        According to UNICEF "approximately two billion children live in areas where air pollution levels exceed standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO) ─ causing them to breathe toxic air and putting their health and brain development at risk. Every year, over half a million children under the age of 5 die from air-pollution-related causes."

      • 3 Things To Know About What Scientists Say About Our Future Climate

        More than 200 climate scientists just released a stark look at how fast the climate is warming, showing heat waves, extreme rain and intense droughts are on the rise. The evidence for warming is "unequivocal" but the extent of future disasters will be determined by how fast governments can cut heat-trapping emissions. Here are the top findings from the report.

      • Capitalism Is What’s Burning the Planet, Not Average People

        Unlike the IPPC report’s assessments of likely degrees of warming, anticipated extreme heat, and predicted sea level rises, the suggestion that humanity in general is to blame is not a scientific claim. It is an ideological one. In this instance, it insulates the ruling class from blame.

        This is unlikely to be the explicit intention of the scientists at the IPCC. The popular tendency to talk about human-caused climate change is surely a response to well-funded climate denial. However, climate denial is now no longer the main blockage — instead, it’s the delay and inaction of the capitalist class.

        It is capitalists who profit from the climate crisis while the poorest suffer. It is the capitalist system putting profit above all else that blocks decarbonization while the world burns. Of course, it is technically correct to say that climate change is human-induced. As far as I know, the capitalist class are all human (unless David Icke knows something we don’t). But this doesn’t mean that all humans have played a role in producing the crisis.

      • Opinion | "This Was Avoidable," Climate Activists Say About Apocalyptic UN Climate Report

        The United Nations COP 26 climate summit this November was already set to be one of the most important diplomatic gatherings in history, a meeting where world leaders will, without exaggeration, decide the future of life on earth. In a landmark report released Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some of the world's foremost climate scientists added further urgency to the summit by clarifying that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), as envisioned in the Paris Agreement signed at the last major climate summit in 2015, is imperative. Temperatures have already risen by 1.1 degrees C; current trends point to a rise of a ruinous 3 degrees C later this century.€ 

      • From California to Greece to Siberia, Wildfires Rage Worldwide—and More Expected

        Officials from the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. to Southern Europe are€ warning of extreme heatwaves expected in the coming€ days, sparking fears of even more wildfires like those that have€ laid waste to millions of acres worldwide in recent weeks, including in Oregon, California, Greece, Turkey, and Siberia.

        The prime minister of Portugal warned Wednesday that with temperatures expected to reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit this week, officials are bracing for potential wildfires like the ones that killed more than 100 people in 2017.€ 

      • Seeing the Climate Crisis Through the Eyes of Henry Thoreau

        The path to Walden, as you walk north along the western edge of Adams Woods, comes to a fork just beyond the Concord line. If you’re heading to Henry Thoreau’s most famous pond, take the trail to the right for a half mile or so, keeping the swampy Andromeda meadows below you on the left, until you cross the tracks of the Fitchburg railroad and you’re standing on the shore looking north across the water toward Henry’s cove, his cabin site hidden in the dense woods on the higher ground.1Excerpted from Now Comes Good Sailing: Writers Reflect on Henry David Thoreau, edited by Andrew Blauner. Copyright €© 2021 by Andrew Blauner. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

      • Climate: Time to Saw Through Our Ankle

        That prompted me to this:

        At the end of the Mad Max movie (the very first one), Max cuffs, by the ankle, one of the psychopaths that killed his family, to an overturned car whose ruptured gas tank is leaking, dripping. He props a lit cigarette lighter near the drip, and tosses the prisoner a hacksaw. Max says: “Those cuffs are made of high tensile steel, it takes about 10 minutes to saw through them, the gas should explode by then. It only takes about 5 minutes to saw through your ankle.” He then drives away slowly. In the distance through his rearview mirror he sees a big explosion, the prisoner never emerged.

      • Oil & Gas UK Says It ‘Backs’ IPCC Report While Claiming Sector Can Be Part of the Solution

        The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry body has been accused of “sneakily” blocking action to cut carbon emissions after claiming it supports a major new report on climate change – but adding that oil and gas should continue “to 2050 and beyond”.€ € 

        Oil & Gas UK released a statement saying it “backs” Monday’s report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “for adding new impetus to the transition to low-carbon energy”.€ 

        Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 'A Five-Alarm Voting Rights Fire': Senate Urged to Fight Back After GOP Blocks For the People Act Again

        After GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas blocked a trio of bills on voting rights, gerrymandering, and campaign finance disclosure early Wednesday, progressives called on congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden to share their plans to protect U.S. democracy.

        "Democrats and the Biden administration... must outline a path forward to ensuring our freedom to vote, and not let an arcane Senate rule impede progress."—Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

      • Poll: Majority of US Voters Want Biden to 'Fight' for Key Voting Rights Bill

        Hours after the Senate GOP once again blocked debate on the For the People Act, progressive organizations on Wednesday released the results of a survey showing that a majority of U.S. voters—including nearly three-quarters of Democrats—want President Joe Biden to "take a more active role in the fight" to pass the sweeping voting rights legislation.

        "Americans need—and want—a president who will do whatever it takes to protect the freedom to vote, end partisan gerrymandering, and reduce the role of big money in politics."—Adam Eichen and Kevin Rissmiller

      • No Bipartisan Deal Without Reconciliation Bill, House Progressives Insist
      • One Country, Two Systems
      • California Gubernatorial Recall Could See Newsom Replaced by a Republican
      • Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev transferred RussNeft stake to his brother prior to sanctions

        Russneft founder Mikhail Gutseriev, who recently came under EU and UK sanctions, transferred his 37.15 percent stake in the oil company to his younger brother Sait-Salam Gutseriev back in June.

      • Alexey Navalny indicted for creating an organization that infringes on Russian citizens’ rights

        The Russian investigative Committee has indicted jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny for creating a nonprofit organization that infringes on the liberties and rights of Russian citizens.

      • On $3.5 Trillion Package, McConnell Meets Defeat -- But the Fight's Not Over
      • “The End of Neoliberalism”: Rep. Ro Khanna Hails “Historic” $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan

        Senate Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution early Wednesday morning that would vastly expand the social safety net, increase taxes on the rich and corporations, improve worker rights and include measures to combat the climate crisis. The budget blueprint passed 50-49, less than 24 hours after a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was approved 69-30 in the Senate. Both spending packages now go to the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated she will not bring the bipartisan bill to the House floor unless the reconciliation bill is considered at the same time. California Congressmember Ro Khanna calls the budget bill “a historic piece of legislation” that marks “the end of neoliberalism” in the United States. “It is a major investment in the American people,” Khanna says.

      • The Real Question Is Why Andrew Cuomo Took So Long to Fall

        For the 11 years Andrew Cuomo was governor of New York, he acted like a caricature of someone drunk with power, a boy-king gifted the position by his father’s name, greedy for acclaim and control. He grabbed everything for himself, literally and figuratively. He harassed and assaulted state employees and other women because he thought he could—and that no one would dare speak up. He retaliated against the smallest slight. He used state workers to grab himself a multimillion-dollar book deal. He lied about people’s deaths, trampling on the sacred with an entitled shrug. And he lied for the simplest and grossest of reasons: because telling the truth about nursing home deaths would take the shine off his glory, and cost him his book deal and his victory lap.

      • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Resigns After Sexual Harassment Probe
      • “A Petty Tyrant with Too Much Power”: Former Cuomo Rival Zephyr Teachout Responds to Resignation

        Law professor Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Cuomo for the New York Democratic nomination for governor in 2014, describes Cuomo as “extraordinarily vengeful” and applauds the bravery of the women who spoke up about his behavior. “He never hesitated to use the power of the state, state resources, to serve his own ends,” says Teachout.

      • Gov. Cuomo Resigns After Sexual Harassment Probe; Critic Says He Is “Still Gaslighting New Yorkers”

        New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his resignation, effective August 24, after a week of intense pressure from fellow Democrats for him to step down. Cuomo, who has been in office since 2011, had few allies left after an investigation by New York’s attorney general found he had sexually harassed at least 11 women — allegations he continues to deny. “Governor Cuomo is still gaslighting New Yorkers,” says Yuh-Line Niou, a member of the New York State Assembly representing Manhattan, who says Cuomo must still be impeached. “Impeachment means that New York will not be paying Andrew Cuomo’s pension for the rest of his life. Impeachment means that Governor Cuomo will not be able to run for office again.”

      • Corporate Liberalism is No Match for Trumpism

        Anti-democratic ducks are being lined up in Republican-run state legislatures to deliver the White House to the party nominee. Driven by Trumpian mindsets, it’s a scenario that could become a dystopian reality.

        In early June, the New America organization issued a€ Statement of Concern, signed by 199 eminent “scholars of democracy” in the United States, warning that “Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election. Collectively, these initiatives are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Hence, our entire democracy is now at risk.”

      • More Cheap Fun: Job Growth, Trump v. Biden

        So, here’s where we stand now. After yesterday’s big jobs number, Biden has now created 4.1 million jobs in the first six months of his presidency.€  Trump lost 2.9 million jobs over his four years in office.

        This originally appeared on Dean Baker’s Beat the Press blog.

      • Cash Rules

        The title of Julia Cagé’s The Price of Democracy will prompt Americans to think of the obscene cost of their elections. The amount spent on the 2020 federal races is said to have been a staggering $14 billion (more than twice the price tag for 2016). State elections consumed close to $2 billion. Almost 90 percent of the House candidates who spent the most money ended up winning.

      • Opinion | Gerrymandering: The Upcoming Redistricting Battle
      • Thwarting the Republican Backlash Against Democracy

        My father, Athan G. Theoharis, passed away on July 3. A leading expert on the FBI, he was responsible for exposing the bureau’s widespread abuses of power. He was a loyal husband, dedicated father, scholar, civil libertarian, and voting rights advocate with an indefatigable commitment to defending democracy. He schooled his children (and anyone who would listen, including scholars, journalists, and activists from a striking variety of political perspectives) to understand one thing above all: how hard the powers-that-be will work to maintain that power and how willing they are to subvert democracy in the process. His life is a reminder that much of American politics in 2021 is, in so many ways, nothing new.

      • New State-by-State Scorecard Details GOP Assault on Voting Access

        As Texas Republicans sought the arrest of Democrats blocking voter suppression legislation and U.S. senators left Washington, D.C. without passing a major pro-democracy bill on Wednesday, a new state-by-state report detailed the GOP's ongoing assault on ballot access.

        "Voting rights legislation must be passed urgently by Congress when they return from reces s before more damage is done."—Caleb Jackson, CLC

      • Koch Network Infiltration of Public Schools 'Harms Students, Teachers, and Our Democracy': Report

        A new report published Wednesday reveals how the Koch network—a shadowy group of wealthy capitalists acting to push the U.S. in a more conservative direction—is methodically working to undermine and privatize public education for financial gain.

        "The Koch network has financed local, state, and national mechanisms to create multiple crises, only to turn around and cite these same crises as reasons to adopt their free market solutions."—UnKoch My Campus

      • Tennessee Compiled Secret Dossiers on Civil Rights Protesters
      • A nation committing suicide: Sweden

        Thus opens a dramatic account in the weekly The Economist on Sweden. According to a recent report by the National Crime Prevention Council, Sweden has recorded the highest death rate from shootings in Europe in the past 15 years. Analyzing data on 22 European countries provided by Eurostat and the World Health Organization, council researcher Klara Hradilova-Selin calculated that Sweden ranks first. Most of the victims are men between 20 and 29 years old.

        “The murder rate per firearm in Sweden is two and a half times the European average”.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • You damn, dirty apes Facebook bans a network of accounts coordinated from Russia that spread disinformation about Western coronavirus vaccines in multiple languages

        Dr. Zaius and Charlton Heston first battled for the fate of mankind more than half a century ago, but the original Planet of the Apes made something of a comeback in 2021, albeit mangled by online anti-vaxxer propaganda. In part at least, that is one of the revelations in Facebook’s latest report on disinformation. Meduza breaks down how a Russia-linked ad agency recycled a monkey meme for a juvenile but apparently serious campaign against the West’s coronavirus vaccines.

      • Physicians who promote COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation should lose their medical license

        Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I not infrequently went on record arguing that physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation should lose their license to practice medicine. The most recent example I could find occurred nearly a year before things started shutting down due to COVID-19, when I noted the case of Dr. Larry Palevsky, who had recently spoken at a rally opposing vaccine mandates issued in response to measles outbreaks that had been occurring due to low MMR vaccine uptake. (Truly it was a simpler—and far less lethal—time two years ago.) At the time, I argued that antivaccine physicians, particularly antivaccine pediatricians like Dr. Palevsky, should be subject to sanctions by their state medical boards, up to and including losing their license to practice medicine. Before that, I had applauded the Medical Board of California for having suspended the license of Dr. Robert Sears (who like to go by “Dr. Bob”) for deficiencies in practice related to vaccination, among other things), having said at the time action was first taken that “it was about time” and then approving of the sanctions the board finally issued, while lamenting that, not only did Dr. Bob get off easy, with just a suspension of his license, but he was being defended with massive false balance.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Laura Loomer Owes $124k In Legal Fees After Losing Lawsuit Over Having Her Twitter Account Reported And Banned

        Alt-right "personality" (I guess?) Laura Loomer keeps filing lawsuits and losing them. Loomer seems to believe it's legally actionable to be moderated by social media services. No court has agreed with her. Between Section 230 and the First Amendment, Loomer doesn't have a case. Oblique approaches -- like claiming getting kicked off Twitter is tortious interference in a (nonexistent) business relationship (Loomer and Twitter, according to Loomer, but definitely not according to Twitter) -- haven't been any more successful.

      • Bad Faith Politicians Are Using Social Media Suspension To Boost Their Own Profiles

        You may have heard that conspiracy theorist and nonsense-spouting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has, not for the first time, been temporarily suspended from Twitter for passing along conspiracy theory nonsense regarding vaccines. She's unable to tweet for 7 days. I, unfortunately, can't find the tweet now, but back in July when she was similarly suspended for just 12 hours, I saw someone jokingly note that temporarily suspending someone like Greene was the equivalent of Twitter throwing her a fundraiser, since she would immediately turn around, play the victim, and get her gullible, duped followers to throw more money at her. And, no doubt the same is true with this suspension as well. She's already put out a statement and the usual "conservative" media orgs are already talking about how "Twitter can't handle the truth" or some such nonsense.

      • Louisiana & Alabama Attorneys General Set Up Silly Hotline To Report 'Social Media Censorship' They Can't Do Anything About

        While various states are pushing unconstitutional laws to try to compel social media websites to host content they don't want to host, it appears that some state Attorneys General are seeing what kinds of questionable things they can do even without a law. Florida's law was already declared unconstitutional, but other states are still trying to pass these laws. One feature seen in a bunch of them is the ability for residents in a state to complain to the Attorney General and to ask the AG to investigate.

      • Instagram apologizes for Almodóvar film's poster censorship

        Instagram has apologized for removing the official poster for Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's new film from the social network because it showed a female nipple, after the poster's designer complained of censorship.

        Instagram's parent company Facebook told The Associated Press on Wednesday that several images of the poster for “Madres Paralelas,” which shows a lactating nipple, were removed “for breaking our rules against nudity” after they were uploaded on Monday.

      • Instagram 'sorry' after pulling poster for new Almodovar film

        Spanish designer Javier Jaen, who created the poster, had hit out in a post on the network saying: "You should be ashamed of yourselves, Instagram."

        He accompanied the text with a screen grab of a message he received from Instagram on Monday stating that the image had been taken down because it violated the network's rules.

      • Instagram says sorry for removing Pedro Almodovar film poster

        The film, which will open the Venice Film Festival on 1 September, stars Penelope Cruz as one of two women whose paths cross in hospital as they prepare to give birth.

      • Turkish influencer prosecuted 'for photos at Amsterdam sex museum'

        Merve Taskin, 23, shared pictures of sex toys she bought at the museum during a birthday trip to the Netherlands in January last year.

        A few months later she says she was arrested in Turkey, where sharing obscene content is considered a crime.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘He protected us’: Remembering Yassen Zassoursky, the journalism scholar who midwifed Russia’s post-Soviet free press

        Yassen Zassoursky helped shape generations of Russian journalists. Earlier this month, he died at the age of 91. Before becoming the president of the journalism department at Moscow State University (MSU), Zassoursky€ served as dean from 1965 to 2007. Students who graduated during his tenure now occupy positions across Russia’s political spectrum, from liberal intellectuals like Sergey Parkhomenko and Dmitry Bykov to United Russia State Duma deputies like Pyotr Tolstoy and Alexander Khinstein. Andrei Richter was a long-time professor at MSU’s School of Journalism who now serves as an adviser at the OSCE Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media and as a professor researcher at Comenius University in Bratislava. At Meduza’s request, he shares his thoughts about Yassen Zassoursky’s life and legacy.

      • Five photojournalists sue NYPD over 'assaults' and 'arrests' during Black Lives Matter protests
      • Economy dominates Zambia's general election

        The situation is exemplified by the state of press freedom in the country. A newspaper and a TV station critical of the government were closed under pressure from the authorities. Government intimidation attempts against journalists and direct attacks on them have increased, according to the organization Reporters Without Borders.

        "To prosecute journalists, the government either uses financial pretexts (such as non-payment of taxes) [...] or the various laws regulating defamation and sedition," reads a Zambia detail page on the RDF website.

        In the organization's Press Freedom Index, Zambia has dropped an average of 30 places since 2015.

      • Further Blow to Press Freedoms as US Wins Appeal in Effort to Extradite Julian Assange

        As Britain's High Court on Wednesday handed the United States a win in its bid to extradite Julian Assange, press freedom and other human rights defenders renewed calls for the Biden administration to drop all charges against the WikiLeaks founder.

        "It is now time for President Biden to do the right thing and help end this farcical prosecution which should never have been brought in the first place."—Nils Muižnieks, Amnesty International

      • In Assange Extradition Case, British High Court Expands US Appeal

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter. For a limited time, take 25% off a monthly subscription and help us boost our coverage of the Assange case.

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was astounded by Britain’s High Court after it reversed a prior decision and permitted the United States government’s appeal on grounds related to his health.

      • U.S. allowed to expand scope of Assange appeal

        In January of this year, the District Court blocked Assange’s extradition to the United States on the grounds that sending the WikiLeaks publisher to the harsh conditions of U.S. imprisonment would put him at grave risk of suicide. In the final days of the Trump administration, prosecutors acting on behalf of the U.S. filed an application to appeal that decision to the UK’s High Court, requesting permission to appeal on five lines of argument. A High Court judge granted the U.S. limited permission, on three of the five grounds for appeal, and today two separate High Court judges heard arguments over whether to allow the remaining two grounds.

      • Julian Assange: US still pushing for extradition

        As German Green Party MP Margit Stumpp explained to DW: "The judge rejected his extradition solely on humanitarian grounds, citing the poor conditions in US prisons." However, she added: "She (the judge) did not reject or even question any of the reasons cited by the US to justify their case. The implication is that Assange can still face extradition if the American authorities deliver credible assurances that the prison conditions he would likely face would not be detrimental to his health or a threat to his life."   

        This issue will be at the center of the retrial. The High Court judges accepted three out of five reasons for the appeal. Wednesday's initial hearing will deal with the remaining two to determine whether or not they will also be accepted. 

      • Julian Assange’s partner seeks end to ‘nightmare’ of ‘threats and intimidation’

        At Wednesday’s hearing, Lord Justice Holroyde ruled in favour of the US authorities and allowed them to expand their arguments for the main appeal, which will take place over two days in October.

      • U.S. tries again to extradite Wikileaks’ Assange from Britain

        Lawyers for both sides agreed that the full appeal hearing should be scheduled for October 27 and 28.

      • Cambodia to use “ethics committee” to censor journalists

        Several Cambodian journalists told RSF they were concerned about the impact this ethics committee could have. “I wonder how they will judge journalists’ performance,” Voice of Democracy journalist Min Pov said. “Because there are media outlets that question the government’s performance that are already on a blacklist.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | The "Impossible" Rebellion

        The summer of 2021 has seen a delayed Olympics where humanity has guardedly emerged from a global pandemic which has claimed over four million lives. Records have been broken in water and on land, but sadly Olympic venues are not the only places where records have been obliterated.€ 

      • Good Fire / Bad Fire: a False Paradigm

        The assumption is that fuels are the problem is widespread and repeated over and over by the media and agency folks so this mantra is nearly internalized in the public mind.

        A new twist on the same theme is the left’s social justice movement new found interest in Native American burning, which many suggest was a “good fire”that reduced fuels and thus prevented large fires.

      • Police Arrest 10 People as Mountain Valley Pipeline Protests Top 932 Days
      • Abortion and the Culture War

        Having said this, I do not want the reader to believe that there is no moral question when it comes to abortion. From an evolutionary standpoint, the fetus is a potential human being upon conception and may well have a “moral right” to that life trajectory. Yet that right exists within a broader context which requires that it should be balanced against a woman’s “moral right” to control her own body and the child’s “moral right” not to be born into an environment where he or she is basically unwanted. If we were to deal with this issue logically, the real answer to the dilemma of competing rights is surely free and universally available contraception—along with sensible sex education.

        Anti-Abortion and Gun Mania—An Eerie Connection

      • At Risk in Israel’s Backlash Against Ben and Jerry’s? The Right to Protest.

        Ben and Jerry’s recently announced that it will not renew its agreement with its Israeli licensee when it expires in 2022, stating that it is “inconsistent” with the brand’s values “to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).” The decision, which has created tension between the brand’s independent board and its British parent company, Unilever, was the culmination of years of pressure from Palestine advocates and, more recently, the Movement for Black Lives, which views the fight for Palestinian rights as integral to the struggle for Black freedom.

      • UN Official Decries Biden's 'Troubling' Deportations Under Pretext of Pandemic

        Citing the imperative for all governments to uphold applicable international law, the United Nations refugee agency on Wednesday expressed concern over the Biden administration's continued use of a Trump-era "expedited removal" process by which families seeking asylum in the U.S. are flown back to Mexico under pretext of mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic.

        "These expulsion flights of non-Mexicans to the deep interior of Mexico constitute a troubling new dimension in enforcement of the Covid-related public health order known as Title 42."—Matthew Reynolds, UNHCR

      • Do We Need Police?

        A s a former career police officer, I know that good police want the same things that most abolitionists do: safe, healthy, and empowered residents and investments in programs that prevent crime from occurring in the first place. The question is: How do we get there? Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Get€ The Nation’s Weekly NewsletterFridays. The best of the week. By signing up, you confirm that you are over the age of 16 and€ agree to receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

      • Alaskan Law Requires DNA From Accused Criminals, but Officials Failed to Collect Samples From 21,000 People

        Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Tuesday that state law enforcement agencies had failed to collect the DNA of more than 21,000 people arrested for a variety of crimes, a task officials were required to perform under Alaska law.

        The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica reported in December that some law enforcement agencies were not aware of the law or were not following it. As a result, authorities neglected to collect DNA swabs that might have solved cold cases and put serial offenders behind bars.

      • Belarus imprisons kickboxing champion extradited by Russia

        Belarusian kickboxing champion Alexey Kudin (Aliaksei Kudzin) has been handed a prison sentence in Belarus, just weeks after Russia delivered him to Minsk. On August 11, a court in the Belarusian city of Maladzyechna sentenced Kudin to two and half years in prison for resisting arrest at a protest rally, the Viasna Human Rights Center reported.€ 

      • TX Voting Rights Fight Takes Ugly Turn as House GOP Vote to Arrest Dem Lawmakers
      • End of the line for Uber

        Uber is a bezzle ("the magic interval when a confidence trickster knows he has the money he has appropriated but the victim does not yet understand that he has lost it"). Every bezzle ends.

        Uber's time is up.

        Uber was never going to be profitable. Never. It lured drivers and riders into cars by subsidizing rides with billions and billions of dollars from the Saudi royal family, keeping up the con-artist's ever-shifting patter about how all of this would some day stand on its own.

      • The West is a featherweight

        When the Taliban raided an Afghan district this month, they terrorized residents and ransacked businesses, but then they did something even more troubling: they asked for the names and ages of girls and women who they would marry the fighters. They forced the residents to show them the closets with their clothes to determine the age of the girls and women who lived there. Terrified women packed their bags, rented cars and freight wagons, or simply set out to escape their worst nightmare: being kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery by the Taliban. They regard women as "kaniz" or commodities, and as "qhanimat", the spoils of war.

        And all of this is happening for one reason only: "The West has betrayed Afghan women," writes Shabnam Nasimi in the Daily Telegraph. “Afghanistan: the West's route”, headlines Le Point on the cover. The Taliban have resumed stoning women. "If you are married and commit adultery, you must be stoned," Mullah Maulavi Inayatullah Baleegh said during a sermon at the Pul-e Khishti mosque, the largest in Kabul.

        And while the glitterati of “inclusion” are jubilant for Tokyo’s transgender craze, the Taliban was spreading a fatwa: "We want all girls over 15 and widows under 45".

      • [Old] The West has betrayed the women of Afghanistan

        While two generations of American and [NATO] troops fought and bled in the Hindu Kush, the country changed dramatically. Since 2007, I have made several trips to the country of my birth and seen the difference that the West has made. I was astonished when I spoke to fathers who proudly said, “my daughter works as a doctor”, or “my daughter works as a teacher”, or “my daughter is top of her class” in a country that, prior to 2001, wouldn’t even allow women out of the house without a man accompanying her.

        Under western protection, the extent to which large parts of Afghanistan had shaken off some of the awful practices that defined the Taliban years is underappreciated. Millions of girls are now in school. There are women at the top of politics – with a combined 28 per cent representation in the House of the People and the House of the Elders, Afghanistan has a higher proportion of national parliament seats held by women than the United States. In the major cities, for the first time in decades, it has been possible for women to live largely independent lives.

        All of this is now under threat, as the West leaves precipitately and unnecessarily – allowing the Taliban to return without a fight and telling the people of Afghanistan to deal with it on their own. The past few months have seen thousands of assassinations targeting human rights advocates, journalists, civil servants, and other young Afghans who had seized the opportunities created by the American-led intervention in their country in 2001. It is a campaign of demoralisation designed to signal that the Taliban’s return is an inevitability.

      • Alibaba fires manager accused of sexually assaulting colleague
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Bell Labs descendant sues Apple for infringing on clutch of patents
        • Graf von Westphalen wins appeal for Hörmann against Assa Abloy over industrial doors

          The subject of the dispute between Assa Abloy and Hörmann was the latter’s patent EP 2 103 771 B2, which protects a warehouse door with a wicket door. This has a low threshold to prevent tripping and thus meets the requirements for an escape door.

          The European Patent Office had upheld the patent in modified form during opposition and subsequent appeal proceedings in early 2020. Defendant Assa Abloy was one of eight opposing parties, and one of the three appellants.

          Assa Abloy Entrance Systems manufactures sectional doors, which are used in warehouses. In one of its product catalogues, the Swedish manufacturer offered them in two possible versions. One version features a cap on the threshold of the escape door, which raises its threshold. The second version lacks this element and, according to Hörmann, infringes its EP 771.

          [...]

          However, the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf ruled that the alternative door design, where the threshold is covered with a steel cap and thus has a trip hazard, did not infringe the patent.

      • Trademarks

        • Manchester United Becomes Manchester UFC In 'Football Manager 22' Over Dumb Trademark Spat

          It won't be a massive surprise that Manchester United, the famed Premier League football club, has made it onto our pages before. As the "Yankees of European soccer", it would be shocking if the club hadn't at some point taken aggressive action in the technology and IP space. Still, there isn't a great deal of posts in there, so you would be forgiven if you thought of Man-U as generally not bad on this sort of thing.

      • Copyrights

        • UK-based song-investment fund Hipgnosis has officially acquired the 115-track catalog of Fleetwood Mac vocalist and keyboardist Christine McVie.

          Hipgnosis just recently unveiled the high-profile deal, which represents the latest in a decidedly long line of multimillion-dollar plays for the entity. To be sure, the Merck Mercuriadis-founded business dropped north of $1 billion on music IP [sic] in the 2021 fiscal year (covering the 12 months ending on March 31st), including all or part of catalogs from Beats by Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine, Shakira, L.A. Reid, and Chrissie Hynde, to name just some.

          Though the financial specifics of Hipgnosis’s Christine McVie agreement haven’t been publicly revealed – the same is also true of the three-year-old company’s other IP [sic] investments – higher-ups previously stated that they pay an average acquisition multiple of 15 times catalogs’ market valuations. Some industry estimates have placed said multiple at over 20 times for marquee catalogs.

        • Apple Drops iPhone Copyright Lawsuit Against Cyber Startup Corellium

          Just as the two-year-long legal tussle between Apple and a cybersecurity startup Corellium looked set to go to trial, the pair have settled out of court.

          Back in August 2019, Apple accused Corellium of both violating its copyright and breaching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by creating “virtualized” versions of the iPhone. Corellium had caused a stir in the security community in 2018 when Forbes revealed its plans to allow researchers to spin up iPhones on their laptops to start probing iOS for security weaknesses or usability flaws.

        • Netflix Intensifies ‘VPN Ban’ and Targets Residential IP-addresses Too (Updated)

          Netflix has stepped up its efforts to ban VPN and proxy users from bypassing geographical restrictions. The streaming service is now blocking residential IP addresses too, since some unblocking tools use these to bypass restrictions. This isn't without collateral damage as many regular Internet users without a VPN now report "missing content" on Netflix.

        • YouTuber Receives Strikes For Reviewing Legal Video Apps Available on Google Play

          TechDoctorUK is experiencing some interesting problems with YouTube's policies that ban discussion of ways to bypass payment for digital content and services. The popular YouTuber has had tutorial videos for legal apps downloadable from Google Play flagged numerous times and is currently suspended from YouTube for 'banned' content that doesn't appear to be illegal.



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Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
US Surgeon General's Advice on Social Control Media (and "Smart" Phones) Seems Reasonable
People forget what the real world is about
Quiet at Planet Debian
planet.debian.org has not had any updates since 5 days ago
Belarus: Bing Fell From 1.1% to 0.6% Since Microsoft Started the LLM Hype (Yandex is 50 Times Bigger Than Bing)
Now enter Belarus
Morale at Microsoft Sinks to New Lows
The annual 'Employee Signals' survey showed a drop from 69% to 62% in positive responses
Microsoft Windows is Being Abandoned in the UK, Relative to Other Platforms (New All-Time Lows)
Windows at new lows
Links 18/06/2024: More Executives Leave Microsoft, Attacks on the Press in Russia and 'Exile'
Links for the day
[Meme] Always Livecasting
Wait Till Systemd-Recall
Australia: Bing Lost Market Share Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
Google rose, Bing went down
Gemini Links 18/06/2024: Unconscious Consumption and Firewall Autoban
Links for the day
[Meme] Canonical Has Basically Become Novell II
Today's Canonical...
While Everyone is Furious at Vista 11 (Over TPM, Recall and Other Malicious 'Features') Canonical is Selling It to People
So the only thing Canonical says about Windows is that you should give it a try?
Links 18/06/2024: Adobe and Internet Archive in Trouble
Links for the day
Peter Duffy Explains SystemD
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!
[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters