Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 13/8/2021: Thunderbird 91 Removes 'Master', New Article on 'IBM’s Fall From World Dominance'

  • GNU/Linux

    • Emulate the Amiga home computer with Linux

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

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

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

    • Kernel Space

      • Cirrus Logic "Dolphin" Audio Support Coming For Linux 5.15 - Phoronix

        Cirrus Logic has contributed a number of improvements to their CS8409 HDA audio driver for the Linux kernel that includes support for new "Dolphin" audio hardware.

        Cirrus Logic open-source developers have been working on a set of more than two dozen patches for their Cirrus audio driver code for the kernel. This includes reorganizing code, support for multiple companion codecs connected to the CS8409, and new hardware support dubbed Dolphin as the successor to Cyborg.

      • Linux 5.15 To Allow Reading From The Nintendo OTP Memory Area - Phoronix

        For hobbyists that enjoy tinkering around with Linux running on the Nintendo Wii or Wii U game consoles, a new driver coming for Linux 5.15 allows accessing the specialized OTP read-only memory area that contains the encryption/decryption keys and other data.

        The "nintendo-otp" driver was published by independent developers in working towards allowing this read-only memory area on at least the Nintendo Wii and Wii U consoles to be exposed by Linux. This special memory area contains encryption/decryption keys and signatures. The one-time programmable area contains just 128~1024 bytes for these keys and signatures. These per-console keys can be necessary for accessing peripherals and dealing with various attached storage.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Clear RAM Memory Cache, Buffer, and Swap on Linux

        Like any other operating system, GNU/Linux has implemented memory management efficiently and even more than that. But if any process is eating away your memory and you want to clear it, Linux provides a way to flush or clear ram cache.

      • Install Any Application on Chrome OS - Invidious

        Learn to install desktop applications on Chrome OS AND install unsigned apps by sideloading on Chromebook as well!

      • How to install elementary OS 6 - Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install elementary OS 6

      • How To Install HardInfo on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install HardInfo on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, HardInfo is a system profiler and benchmark tool used in Linux to check hardware information. Using this you can get hardware and some software information about your system. It is a clean and neat graphical UI application in this category. You can generate all your system report in HTML or in plain text.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the HardInfo on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install vnStat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, vnStat is an open-source tool that can be used to monitor the network resources of your system by using the console. With vnStat, you can monitor network statistics over various time periods. It is simple, lightweight, and consumes a small portion of your system resources. vnStat allow you to generate the network traffic data in an hour, day, month, week, and day.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the vnStat network traffic monitor on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install WordPress with LAMP and free Let's Encrypt SSL on Rocky Linux

        WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) right now, it's used by millions of people. The WordPress project started in 2003 as a fork from the CMS "b2/cafelog", comes with a GPLv2 license, and becomes free and open-source software.

        As for now, more than 34% of websites on the internet are using WordPress. One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is because it's simple, easy to use, and flexible. With hundreds/thousands of plugins, WordPress can be used in some different ways, such as simple blogging engine, eCommerce websites, simple company profile, online forum community, etc.

        In this guide, you will learn how to install WordPress CMS on the Rocky Linux 8.4. You will be installing WordPress under the LAMP Stack (Linux, Apache2/httpd, MySQL/MariaDB, and PHP).

      • How to dual boot Windows 11 and Linux
      • How to Record Audio in Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        An audio or sound recording tool is vital since it allows you to get a voice-over on a clip or perform other jobs. Nevertheless, capturing audio using Ubuntu is constantly a topic of discussion. There have been some tools that can help you do it quickly, but rather an integrated system cannot record audio. If you’re looking for a simple way to record voices on your Ubuntu system, check out the post below. We’ve covered all of the details and solutions for recording audio using Ubuntu. Open your Ubuntu 20.04 system and log in from it. You need to open your command shell via Ctrl+Alt+T because we have to work on the command line to install an audio-recorder tool or program.

      • How to Install Ubuntu Alongside With Windows in Dual-Boot

        This tutorial will guide you on how you can perform the installation of Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 19.04, Ubuntu 18.10, or Ubuntu 18.04 in dual-boot with a Microsoft Operating System on machines that come pre-installed with Windows 10.

        This guide assumes that your machine comes pre-installed with Windows 10 OS or an older version of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows 8.1 or 8.

        In case your hardware uses UEFI then you should modify the EFI settings and disable the Secure Boot feature.

        If your computer has no other Operating System already installed and you plan to use a Windows variant alongside Ubuntu, you should first install Microsoft Windows and then proceed with Ubuntu installation.

      • How To Backup And Restore Data Using Restic In Linux - OSTechNix

        This guide explains what is Restic, how to install Restic in various Linux distributions, and finally how to backup and restore data using Restic in Linux operating systems.

      • Deep dive into Ansible ad hoc commands | Enable Sysadmin

        Automation plays a vital role in a sysadmin's or DevOps administrator's day-to-day life; patching, installing, managing components, automating network devices, and dealing with containers are tasks that automation can handle. Due to the sequential behavior of scripting, many sysadmins have not considered automation to be a promising tool. Ansible, as an automation tool that executes in parallel, appears to be changing that trend and becoming widely used.

        Ansible uses ad hoc commands and playbooks to achieve automation. Ad hoc commands are mostly single linear commands that can execute from controllers. Ad hoc commands make Ansible useful even when a sysadmin needs to perform a one-time activity.

      • Test container images in Red Hat OpenShift 4 with Ansible and CI/CD | Red Hat Developer

        Several repositories offer ready-made container images for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other systems running Linux. The InterOp team at Red Hat tests these application images in Red Hat OpenShift. To simplify the integration of tests into the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) process, we are adding Ansible playbooks to the repositories that host the container images. The Red Hat Software Collections GitHub repository currently has the first of these Ansible playbooks, but we will add playbooks to other repositories over time.

        This article shows how to submit a test to a repository, and how to download the tests if you want to run them in your own container environment.

      • Use dnf updateinfo to read update changelogs - Fedora Magazine

        If you have used any type of computer recently (be it a desktop, laptop or even a smartphone), you most likely have had to deal with software updates. You might have an opinion about them. They might be a “necessary evil”, something that always breaks your setup and makes you waste hours fixing the new problems that appeared, or you might even like them.

        No matter your opinion, there are reasons to update your software: mainly bug fixes, especially security-related bug fixes. After all, you most likely don’t want someone getting your private data by exploiting a bug that happens because of a interaction between the code of your web browser and the code that renders text on your screen.

        If you manage your software updates in a manual or semi-manual fashion (in comparison to letting the operating system auto-update your software), one feature you should be aware of is “changelogs”.

        A changelog is, as the name hints, a big list of changes between two releases of the same software. The changelog content can vary a lot. It may depend on the team, the type of software, its importance, and the number of changes. It can range from a very simple “several small bugs were fixed in this release”-type message, to a list of links to the bugs fixed on a issue tracker with a small description, to a big and detailed list of changes or elaborate blog posts.

        Now, how do you check the changelogs for the updates?

        If you use Fedora Workstation the easy way to see the changelog with a GUI is with Gnome Software. Select the name of the package or name of the software on the updates page and the changelog is displayed. You could also try your favorite GUI package manager, which will most likely show it to you as well. But how does one do the same thing via CLI?

      • Junichi Uekawa: openvpn client configuration with systemd.

        openvpn client configuration with systemd. Spent a while trying to figure out why my configuration file /etc/openvpn does not take effect. It was because I needed to tell systemd to reload the daemon stuff and trying to restart openvpn only did not have any meaningful effect. After I learnt how things work it made some sense, but I expected /etc/init.d/openvpn restart to do the right thing.

    • Games

      • AMD and Valve Optimizing Steam Deck for Linux

        According to Phoronix, AMD and Valve are working together to further optimize the AMD APU inside the Steam Deck for Linux. And while this is good news to hear, it isn’t really a surprise, given that both AMD and Valve have expressed more interest in taking Linux more seriously. Valve has been pouring resources into its compatibility layer, Proton, while AMD has been on a hiring spree for Linux engineers this summer.

        And of course, both parties also have a vested interest in making the Steam Deck as successful as possible. One key area of focus seems to be improving the CPU frequency and power scaling while using Steam Play (Proton). AMD and Valve’s combined efforts could lead to improved CPUFreq driver code based on the ACPI CPPC (Collaborative Processor Performance Control) specification.

        With AMD also beefing up development around its Linux scheduler, it’s also possible that AMD could be overhauling the Schedutil governor to better target CPU frequency scaling. As Phoronix notes, AMD will have a presence at this year’s X.Org Developer Conference (XDC), so we can expect to know more then.

      • Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu gets much improved performance and rendering accuracy

        While it's still a real PITA to setup, the Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu has released what they call Project Hades, a massive rewrite to their shader decompiler which is a big thing for it.

        In their fresh update blog post the team notes how it took them six months of work to accomplish with around 50,000 lines of code written but it's finally released. The result? They say it fixes "an innumerable amount of rendering bugs, reducing shader build times, improving compatibility, and increasing performance by over 30% for all GPU vendors" and is one of the biggest changes made to date.

        Right now they're still keeping OpenGL as the default API but they're suggesting people test with Vulkan now too, as it should have a significant boost in performance and compatibility and that "rendering and shader build performance almost always beat OpenGL".

        One of the major changes here is how they handle shader building with Vulkan, which uses all CPU threads to do it in parallel so it works your machine harder but the result is a much smoother first-time gameplay experience while it builds up a cache to load from.

      • s&box from Facepunch 'works great' on the Steam Deck but no native Linux plans | GamingOnLinux

        So it's going to entirely rely on Steam Play Proton for the Steam Deck (like most other major games will) and it won't be supported in any way on Linux outside of being used on the Steam Deck.

      • Developer ehmprah gives an update on how Core Defense did a year later | GamingOnLinux

        Core Defense is a "roguelike tower defense game with a dash of deckbuilding" and now it's been out for little over a year, developer ehmprah gives an overview of how the indie release went. This is something of a follow-on to their previous post that we covered where they went over how blown away they were by the first week sales.

        Overall, it sounds like it actually went quite well, especially for an indie Tower Defense title that was quite simplistic in many ways - although the deck-building aspect did give it a unique edge. On Steam the developer managed to gross $67,404 from 7,872 copies sold in the first year, which is quite impressive for a solo developer with very little spent on marketing - they were quite savvy with how they marketed it though across a few places but they didn't have a big budget to spend on it.

      • Don't Starve Together: Waterlogged is out adding a new ocean biome | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to set sail once again? Don't Starve Together: Waterlogged is the latest free expansion for the popular gloomy survival game from Klei Entertainment.

        "Left adrift at sea in the sweltering heat, our Survivors thought they were surely done for. And perhaps they would have been if luck hadn’t landed them beneath the protective boughs of an enormous tree. A tree that, remarkably, seemed to spring from the ocean itself. Believing themselves to be saved, the Survivors began collecting the bounty of fruit and materials the great tree had to offer, not realizing that they were not the only ones to have found safe harbor beneath the canopy..."

      • CS:GO gets some fun new music and a music video from various video game composers | GamingOnLinux

        Introduced back in 2014, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) added in Music Kits to replace music in game and to play if you're the MVP to bug everyone else with and they just released a fun sounding Tacticians Music Kit Box.

        The new box is notable as it includes the works of various video game composers like Austin Wintory (Journey, Abzu, Banner Saga 1-3, Assassin's Creed Syndicate), Chipzel (Dicey Dungeons, Super Hexagon, Interstellaria), Freaky DNA (Retro City Rampage), Jesse Harlin (Mafia: Definitive Edition, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars: Battlefront II), Laura Shigihara (Deltarune, World of Warcraft, To the Moon, Rakuen) and also Sarah Schachner (Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Assassin's Creed Origins, various films and more).

      • Proton 6.3-6 gets a Release Candidate with new game support and fixes | GamingOnLinux

        Valve and CodeWeavers are working towards a fresh release of Proton with plenty of goodies including like more games working, and plenty of bug fixes too. If you don't know what Steam Play Proton is be sure to check our dedicated page.

        Proton 6.3-6 has a first Release Candidate build available for testing, which you can try out directly in the Steam Client on Linux. However, it comes with a major change for save files that needs testing and so any game you want to try with it - ensure you've looked up how to backup your save. It's supposed to fix the Steam cloud sync feature for a number of games and should auto-migrate but it's a test build - you've been warned. This save adjustment should help Guilty Gear -Strive-, Death Stranding, Katamari Damacy Reroll and Scarlet Nexus.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Gnome desktop & HD scaling tricks

          Linux desktop usage problems and challenges come in many guises and forms. Then, you find yourself with monitor that offers HD resolution (or higher), only shown on a relatively small canvas of pixels, e.g.: a laptop, and you gain a whole new set of problems and challenges.

          For a few years now, I've contended with the topic of HD displays, HD scaling and such. My first encounter was back in 2014, with my IdeaPad Y50-70 laptop, which has a 4K 15.6-inch display. Then and there, Unity handled scaling all right, better than Windows 8.1. Fast forward to my Slimbook Pro2. This is where things got rather serious, as I started using this laptop for day-to-day productivity work. In fact, the Plasma desktop is truly the only environment that offers really good scaling results. So the question is, if you prefer Gnome, what options do you have vis-a-vis HD scaling?

        • Sam Thursfield: Automated point and click

          I have been watching GNOME’s testing story get better and better for a long time. The progress we made since we first started discussing the GNOME OS initiative is really impressive, even when you realize that GUADEC in A Coruña took place nine years ago. We got nightly OS images, Gitlab CI and the gnome-build-meta BuildStream project, not to mention Flatpak and Flathub.

          Now we have another step forwards with the introduction of OpenQA testing for the GNOME OS images. Take a look at the announcement on GNOME Discourse to find out more about it.

    • Distributions

      • Elementary OS 6 Odin ISO Download

        Elementary OS Linux distribution is known for its beautiful interface and recently with the release of the latest version 6 new features have been added. So, if you want to try them out, here is the way to download the latest Elementary OS ISO bootable file to install on a PC or VirtualBox virtual machine.

        After two years’ hard work, the development team of Elementary OS has released the new of its Linux distribution. Elementary OS 6 code name is “Odin”. For those who don’t know about this Linux, it is also based on Ubuntu but with lots of customizations to make it beginner users friendly for those who want a macOS look.

        The developers of the OS have further refined the new version and it now enables users to adapt the given user interface more closely to their own preferences. The noticeable change is the new installer, AppCenter programs now include Flatpak packages and the OS has the updated base on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS to ensure better hardware support. It also gives it an up-to-date kernel 5.11 including new drivers, which means better hardware support and a bug-free base as most of the glitches have already been rectified by the Ubuntu team in version 20.04.2.

      • Zorin OS 16 Pro brings a little Windows 11 flavour to Linux

        Zorin OS 16 Pro, the upcoming release that will replace Zorin OS Ultimate has been announced and one of the features they're showing off is a pre-made style to look like Windows 11.

        It was only a matter of time of course until someone or some distribution put up an official Windows 11-like style, and surprisingly it actually looks quite nice. Only available in the Pro edition, this is their paid version of Zorin OS Linux that provides a bunch of extras.

        "The Windows 11-like desktop layout is brand-new in Zorin OS 16 Pro. It features a modern and streamlined UI that adapts well to computers with touchpads, mice, or touchscreens. The new grid menu, activities overview button, and taskbar icons are placed front and center for easy access and effortless navigation on screens of all sizes.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • IBM emeritus IWB: The New Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative

          Following World War II and the onset of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the US undertook a series of measures to strengthen the resilience of the nation. These included a significant expansion of government support for scientific research in universities and R&D labs, leading to product innovations from the private sector and better weapons from the defense industry which contributed to making the US the most prosperous and secure nation in the world.

          In the 1950s the government enacted the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, which led to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Act had a dual purpose: facilitating the economic growth of the country as well as supporting the country’s defense during a conventional or nuclear war should it be necessary.

          And, last but far from least, in the late 1960s the Department of Defense launched ARPANET, the digital infrastructure that eventually became the Internet. ARPANET was designed as a flexible digital network that would enable computers to continue to communicate with individuals and with each other following a military attack.

          Fortunately, we never had to test the Internet’s ability to keep the US going following an attack or invasion. But, who would have thought that 50 years after the launch of ARPANET, it would be a global pandemic that’s been testing the Internet’s ability to fulfill its original objective of keeping nations and economies going during arguably the biggest shock the world has experienced since WWII.

        • IBM’s Fall From World Dominance
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Remote Desktop: How to Set Up and Connect to it

          This step-by-step guide explains how you can enable an Ubuntu remote desktop so that you can access and control it remotely.

          Remote Desktop is a service that allows you to take over and use another computer remotely. In Ubuntu, it can be enabled on a graphical client machine to control a host machine. This feature is beneficial for users who are using a GUI interface or are not familiar with a command line.

          In this tutorial, we walk you through the process of setting this up and then connecting to that Ubuntu remote desktop via the Remmina remote desktop client.

        • Open Source Robotics Challenges – Planning for Security

          Open Source Robotics Challenges is a series of blogs that will share guidelines and advice for open source companies to overcome market barriers.

          We will touch on topics regularly raised by companies in our open source community such as security awareness, prototyping strategies, safety architecture, adoption and more. Our aim is to help organisations overcome the barriers associated with open source adoption in robotics so they can experience the inherent benefits that come with open source technologies. Agility, modularity and adaptability are some of the biggest benefits that open source robotics has been bringing to the field. This first blog will talk about security and security compliance.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Snapcraft for Windows – Preview [Ed: Canonical works for Microsoft]

          Two weeks ago, Snapcraft reached its fifth milestone release, 5.0. This version brings in a number of significant changes, including the removal of the base (core) snap, which has been relegated to the 4.X channel track. For snap developers, especially those working in mixed environments, the availability of the first preview release of Snapcraft for Windows(!) will more likely be the interesting piece of good news.

          Since its inception, the goal of Snapcraft has been to provide a robust, friendly development platform, regardless of your choice of operating system. The original Linux support has since been extended to macOS and now, Windows. You can build your snaps inside a Windows system, or upload them to the store, without having to have a Linux machine handy.


          Snapcraft for Windows is an important addition to the snap ecosystem, offering developers across the operating system board to create and publish their applications with ease. At the moment, there might be some rough edges, but you can already make decent progress and test the functionality, including store-related commands and perhaps even build operations. We’d also appreciate feedback, so if you have anything to share, please join our forum and let us know what you think.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 13 August 2021

        We're wrapping up another great week with the following activities from the Apache community...

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird 91 lands: Now native on Apple Silicon, swaps 'master' for 'primary' password, and more

            Thunderbird 91 has been released with support for Apple Silicon and other enhancements.

            This version entered the release channel yesterday, according to the release notes, and follows the emission of Firefox 91. You can fetch Thunderbird directly from here, or wait for your system package manager to catch up and hand it out.

            Mozilla's Thunderbird is a cross-platform, open-source email client. Its future looked uncertain in 2015 when Moz CEO Mitchell Baker said "sooner or later paying a tax to support Thunderbird will not make sense as a policy for Mozilla." Early last year, though, matters improved, with the formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary, MZLA Technologies Corporation, to manage the project.

          • Firefox 91 available in antiX

            Firefox 90 are subject to a vulnerability which is present on linux systems. Users are strongly advised to upgrade to Firefox 91 series.

      • Programming/Development

        • GSoC 2021 Partial Evaluation Report

          For those who don't know me, my name is Leandro Doctors (allentiak on IRC), and I'm the Debian Clojure Team's GSoC 2021 intern. My mentor is Louis-Philippe Véronneau[*] (pollo on IRC). My co-mentor is Utkarsh Gupta (utkarsh2102 on IRC). My 'no-mentor' :) is Elana Hashman (ehashman on IRC).

        • How does Google Authenticator work? (Part 3)
        • What is an API?

          If you’ve read the Contentful docs, you’ll have seen that we provide a REST API and a GraphQL API to access and manage your content. But what is an API?

          API stands for “Application Programming Interface,” which is a way to communicate between different software services. Different types of APIs are used in programming hardware and software, including operating system APIs, remote APIs and web APIs — like the APIs that Contentful provides. A web API is a set of tools that allow developers to send and receive instructions and data to and from web servers — usually in JSON format — to build applications. Read more about JSON on MDN.

        • Use local go modules

          When dealing with go modules, sometimes it’s handy to test some changes from a local repository instead of using the upstream one.

        • Arm Working On Clang C++ For OpenCL 2021 (OpenCL 3.0 Compatible) - Phoronix

          With LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler front-end squaring away its OpenCL C 3.0 language support, Arm engineers are now working on the C++ equivalent support.

          They are pursuing "C++ for OpenCL 2021" as the C++ equivalent to OpenCL 3.0.

        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: Inequality

            As stated before, I like to read code I didn’t write myself. Flavio had trouble with triples. One line stood out to me.

  • Leftovers

    • "Should I Feel Guilty?"

      Quick background. My first ESL job was in 1982 but quickly laid off due to Reagan budget cuts to social services, with Democratic Party acquiescence and submission. Had some years off in-between then and now but have been in the field for most of my career. I have never been an in-school leader (such as a department chair) but have been an in-school agitator. I have served as president of my state’s ESL affiliate as well as taken leading roles in international circles, with the expected workshop presentations, articles, etc.

      But right now students and teachers are more on the chopping block then ever before. This time, the chopping block is almost literal. I have known teachers and others who have died due to the Trump pandemic and I would be afraid to return, even though I am fully vaccinated. But hell, I’m old. That’s enough to scare me from returning. But am I abandoning my comrades?

    • Ghost Canaries in the Amerikaner Mine

      Cancel Culture and Calling the Capitalist Obama Catastrophe

      Call me one of the unheard leftist canaries in the capitalist, imperialist, and fascist mines. I started warning in published essays that Barack Obama was a disastrous, deeply conservative neoliberal imperialist as early as the summer of 2004. My judgement was based on years of close observation in Chicago and Springfield (the state capital of Illinois) and no small amount of empirical research on Obama’s unseemly life and career.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Dems in Congress Urged to 'Go Big' as Biden Endorses Bold Reforms to Slash Drug Prices

        Congressional Democrats on Thursday faced calls to resist pharmaceutical industry lobbying and take action to lower sky-high prescription drug costs after President Joe Biden voiced support for several major reforms, including a popular proposal to allow Medicare to directly negotiate prices.

        "American families have been getting mugged at the pharmacy counter while Medicare has one hand tied behind its back."—Sen. Ron Wyden

      • Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Indiana University's Vaccine Mandate

        After losing two rounds in lower federal courts, a group of Indiana University students challenging the school's coronavirus vaccine were dealt a final blow Thursday as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the college's vaccination requirement.

        In the first coronavirus vaccine mandate challenge of its kind before the nation's highest court, the eight Indiana University (I.U.) students requested an emergency order, arguing that they are adults who are "entitled to make their own medical treatment decisions, and have a constitutional right to bodily integrity, autonomy, and of medical treatment choice in the context of a vaccination mandate."€ 

      • Silicon Valley, New Zealand and Pandemic Exceptionalism

        Google’s co-founder was granted residency under New Zealand’s wealthy investors scheme, requiring an investment of at least NZ$10 million (US$5 million) over a period of three years.€  Immigration New Zealand enthusiastically promotes the “Investor Plus” visa as giving the applicant a chance “to come to New Zealand with your family and enjoy our unique lifestyle”.€  The successful applicant is also permitted “to bring your car, boat and household items to New Zealand, free of customs charges.”

        Page’s application was lodged in November, though it could not be processed as he was offshore at the time.€  This changed in January, when he was permitted to land in New Zealand because his son faced a medical emergency.€  “Once Mr Page entered New Zealand, his application was able to be processed and it was approved on 4 February 2021,” Immigration New Zealand stated.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • After Pegasus Exposé, UN Rights Experts Urge Moratorium on 'Life-Threatening' Spyware

          Echoing calls from advocacy organizations and other surveillance critics after the Pegasus exposé broke last month, a group of United Nations human rights experts on Thursday called for a global moratorium on the sale and transfer of surveillance technology.

          "International human rights law requires all states to adopt robust domestic legal safeguards to protect individuals from unlawful surveillance, invasion of their privacy, or threats to their freedom of expression, assembly, and association."—U.N. experts

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Sandboxing in the Linux kernel: eBPF gets organization from the Linux Foundation [Ed: Translation from German]

                The companies Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix have founded the eBPF Foundation under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. The announcement will be made shortly before the free online event eBPF Summit, which will bring lectures on the use of eBPF on August 18 and 19, 2021

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (commons-io, curl, and firefox-esr), Fedora (perl-Encode), openSUSE (golang-github-prometheus-prometheus, grafana, and python-reportlab), Oracle (.NET Core 2.1, 389-ds:1.4, cloud-init, go-toolset:ol8, nodejs:12, nodejs:14, and rust-toolset:ol8), SUSE (aspell, firefox, kernel, and rpm), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial and postgresql-10, postgresql-12, postgresql-13).

          • Security updated kernels in antiX

            Latest security fix kernels should now be in the repos. All users are strongly advised to upgrade (via synaptic, cli-aptiX or package-installer).

          • Apple’s Rotten Scanning | Self-Hosted 51
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Time to Suspend the US-ROK Joint Military Exercises?

        While the resumption of regular communications between the two Koreas might be thought to signal potential progress toward regional reconciliation, perennial US dominance of inter-Korean relations makes this far from a foregone conclusion.€  After three rounds of US-North Korea summits, the Trump administration intensified rather than softened its maximum pressure campaign against the North and blocked Seoul’s attempts to implement inter-Korean agreements on exchange and cooperation. The new Biden administration, in spite of promising a more “practical and calibrated” policy toward the North, has made it clear that peace negotiations are not a top priority. Meanwhile, amid the ongoing cycle of US – North Korea tensions, experts warn that the intensifying regional rivalry in East Asia between the US and China is increasing the risk of conflict between the US and the nuclear-armed North. American dominance of South Korea, which has remained under virtual US military occupation for seven decades, guarantees that Seoul would be on the front line of any such conflict.

        Washington has historically dismissed inter-Korean engagement as a sideshow, derided by US hawks and their conservative collaborators in South Korea, who react to any signs of progress with maximalist aggressiveness. Inter-Korean reconciliation is perceived as a threat to the network of interconnected US interests that works to perpetuate the permanent state of war in the Korean peninsula, which in turn rationalizes the ongoing military occupation of the South as a forward US base against China. According to Tim Beal:

      • 'It Should Be Unthinkable': EU Nations Told to Immediately End Deportations to Afghanistan

        As Taliban insurgents continue to capture provinces throughout Afghanistan en route to the capital city of Kabul, the International Rescue Committee on Thursday urged all countries in the European Union to stop deporting Afghan asylum-seekers to the embattled Central Asian nation.

        "E.U. countries should re-examine all final negative decisions for Afghan asylum-seekers still present in European countries in light of the current situation and the very real risk of future persecution."—IRC

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Study Warns 'Blue Hydrogen' Funded in Bipartisan Plan More Polluting Than Coal

          While celebrated as a climate victory by the Biden administration, the large infrastructure bill passed in the U.S. Senate this week includes billions of dollars of funding toward "blue hydrogen," which new research published Thursday finds is more polluting than coal.

          The $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure package passed Tuesday includes $8 billion to develop "clean hydrogen" via the creation of four regional hubs.

        • Massive Payouts to Bankrupt Oil and Gas Firm Execs Are 'Fueling Failure': Report

          Dozens of executives at U.S. fossil fuel firms that failed during the recent surge in oil and gas company bankruptcies nevertheless reaped massive payouts before taking their leave, a new report published Thursday by Public Citizen and Documented revealed.

          "The fossil fuel industry has been a poster child for ill-conceived corporate welfare for decades, benefiting from numerous subsidies, tax breaks, and regulatory favors."—Robert Weissman,Public Citizen

        • Evaporating evidence Russian investigators conduct search at Caspian Pipeline Consortium following Black Sea oil spill

          Russian investigators began carrying out searches at the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) on August 12 — the day after media reports emerged about an oil spill in the Black Sea that took place over the weekend. The criminal investigation regarding the spill was also reclassified under more serious marine pollution charges, which carry punishments of up to two years behind bars. At the same time, the CPC’s chief executive insists that a slick in the Black Sea identified by Russian scientists is not oil, and the regional governor says there are no visible oil spills along the coastline. Scientists refute these claims. As one environmental expert told Meduza, oil residue on the water’s surface has likely evaporated due to heat, but there’s still a risk of environmental damage from the spill.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Wisconsin on Track for Another 'Wolf Slaughter,' Sparking Calls for Federal Protections

          Less than a year after a February wolf hunt condemned as "an outright slaughter," conservation advocates are warning that the animals in Wisconsin are at risk of being wiped out after state officials voted Wednesday to approve a kill quota of 300 wolves for the fall 2021 hunting season—more than twice the number proposed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

          "Authorizing another aggressive hunt this year creates a real risk of nearly wiping out Wisconsin's wolves."—Collette Adkins, Center for Biological Diversity

        • Defanging Nature: How Human Exceptionalism is Destroying the Wild

          Together, the states of Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming rake in billions of dollars in tourism revenue, much of it coming from outdoor—as opposed to cultural—attractions.€  “If Utah don’t got it, you don’t need it,” Utah. Com’s website assures.€  “Open your mind and invigorate your senses. Because some things can’t be explained, only experienced,”€€ says. Idaho’s marketers skip the metaphysics and say only that “there’s an adventure for you in Idaho.”€  For insight into what these experiences and adventures entail, look at the photo galleries on these states’ various tourism websites, which typically feature images of individuals and families engaged in wholesome, low-intensity activities—walking, canoeing, fly-fishing, and horseback riding—as well as images of tranquil landscapes and wildlife, with distant mountains, rivers, trout, elk, and bison as the clear favorites.

          Effective advertising (which is just hyper-abbreviated, dopamine-triggering story telling) depends on the manipulation of human emotions and desires, so depicting smiling people surrounded by clear skies, open landscapes, and non-predatory wildlife makes sense. Humans (especially humans with young children) want to feel safe when they are in nature, even when they are not.€  “There’s a dark and a troubled side of life,” one song goes.€  “But there’s a bright and a sunny side, too.”€  Tourists usually (and understandably) desire the latter; images that signal danger of any kind (and thus inspire fear or unease) are therefore verboten from a marketing perspective.

    • Finance

      • Limits to Growth Now Undeniable and Inescapable

        But now the continent is covered coast to coast and the once abundant resources have been seriously diminished through over-use, pollution, outright destruction and unbridled consumption. The old myth that continuous growth was not only possible, but necessary, has hit the wall of our current state, national and global reality. We are running out of water, clean air and livable habitat not only for the once-abundant wildlife and fish but for humans as well. As this desperate summer of climate-change induced and exacerbated drought, wildfires, insect infestations and extreme weather events bluntly portends, we have “hit the wall” on our myopic approach to how much more we can squeeze from already over-extended systems.

        Montana’s Upper Missouri River Basin had the€ lowest run-off in 123 years. To put that number in perspective, it’s less water that ran off the east slope of the Continental Divide since eight years after Montana became a state and is a shocking 34% of average — which has been falling consistently as the drought years stack up.

      • Neoliberalism: America Has Arrived at One of History’s Great Crossroads

        Milton Friedman began selling neoliberalism to America in the 1950s, and we fully bought into it in the 1980s.€  Most Americans had no idea, really, what this new political/economic ideology meant; they just knew it involved free trade, economic austerity/tax cuts and deregulation/privatization.

        The free trade part, we were told, would bring about the end of great-power wars because countries that were economically interdependent wouldn’t dare ruin their own economies by going to war with a significant trading partner.

      • DOJ Announces Investigation Of Phoenix PD's Use Of Excessive Force And Abuse Of Homeless People

        With a new Attorney General in charge and a new President in the White House, the Department of Justice is getting back to taking care of the uncomfortable business of investigating local law enforcement agencies. This part of the DOJ's responsibilities was largely abandoned under Trump, who opened up his presidency by declaring he would "end" the "dangerous anti-police atmosphere."

      • What’s Good and What’s Dangerous in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

        Let the record reflect: On Tuesday, I was proven wrong twice.

      • Behind the Crisis in Lebanon, a Vast Bank-Run Ponzi Scheme

        I left Beirut on the anniversary of the explosion that tore a giant gash through the center of the city, killing hundreds of people and shattering Lebanon’s often-tested faith in itself. The third-largest explosion ever recorded (exceeded only by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) was the outcome not of enemy action but of sheer administrative incompetence. Despite all the warnings of port inspectors, those in positions of authority had allowed thousands of tons of abandoned, unstable, and highly explosive ammonium nitrate to deteriorate for years in a warehouse in the middle of Beirut, until the fire that set it off. Not a single official has yet been held accountable.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • American Seismographies

        That is, the somewhat inchoate times of “Sleepy Joe”, the nature of which is still in the course of being determined, as Biden and his team gauge which parts of the Bernie Sanders’ agenda can be cannibalized while still keeping neoliberalism safe.

        This seems to be the underlying context of this emerging Bidenism—he is not fashioning an updated facsimile of the New Deal, at least not yet, but the Covid pandemic has impelled a level of state intervention, both social and economic, that was unthinkable even in the Obama years—not that Obama set a high bar when it came to putting neoliberalism on a leash.

      • The War on Wokeness

        The Democratic Party has long used identity politics to mobilize certain sections of its base, whether they are women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ, etc. By speaking directly to and promising to address the unique challenges and injustices that each group faces, the Democrats have been able to ignore other, more unifying issues such as economic class disparity, the lack of universal healthcare, corporate crimes, the lack of affordable housing, increased surveillance and policing, never ending war and rampant environmental degradation.

        It is a cynical, but rather effective, method. And many liberals, as well as Democratic Party officials, have used it to tar the reputation of anyone who dissents from their neoliberal policies. For example, many leftists who opposed Barrack Obama’s drone wars, record deportations, or attacks on whistleblowers were labeled racists. Progressives and leftists who refused to support Hillary Clinton were often labeled misogynists. The Republican Party, too, has used identity as a way of uniting their traditional base. Evangelical Christians, the white middle class and white men, to be exact. But lately, there has been a growing backlash against “wokeness culture.” On the right, the paranoid hysteria being peddled is about the ludicrous threat of censorship and “cultural Marxism.”

      • Andrew Cuomo, Donald Trump, and the Epidemic of New York Strongmen

        I have some idea of what it means to be “New York tough.” When I was young, I was holding my mother’s hand as we rushed through Penn Station and a man walking in the opposite direction hit me with his very impressive briefcase right between the eyes, opening up a blood vessel. The man never slowed down, and neither did my mother. I was wailing and bleeding, and my mom said, “We can still make the train,” without breaking stride. I appreciate that tristate area commuters have little time for such niceties as “Sorry I brained your child” or “Mommy can take a later train.”

      • The Wake-Up Call of Nina Turner’s Loss

        Nina Turner has been criticized for a lot of things in the wake of her loss in the Cleveland, Ohio, special election last week. The conventional wisdom is that her politics were too leftist, and that she was too confrontational, to win in a time when Biden-like moderate politics are the order of the day. Those takes are nonsense; the race was eminently winnable. If there is a single critical mistake Turner made, it was placing her campaign in the hands of strategists who squandered her financial firepower on ineffective and ill-conceived expenditures.

      • Pussy Riot activist Rita Flores detained immediately upon release from jail

        Pussy Riot activist Rita Flores was released from jail on August 12, after serving a 15-day sentence, only for Moscow police officers to detain her at the detention center’s gates. The reason for her arrest remains unknown.

      • Pskov activists sentenced to more than 10 years in prison on drug charges

        A Russian court has sentenced activists Liya Milushkina and Artyom Milushkin to more than decade behind bars each on drug charges, the local news outlet Pskovskaya Gubernia reported on Thursday, August 12.€ 

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Shiva Ayyadurai Drops His Potentially Interesting Lawsuit About Massachusetts Officials Complaining To Twitter About Tweets

        Just last week we had Prof. Genevieve Lakier on our podcast to talk about the 1st Amendment and the concept of "jawboning": government officials using informal pressure and wink-wink-nudge-nudge efforts to pressure companies into doing things that they are allowed to do as private companies, but which the government is forbidden from doing under the 1st Amendment. The key court case on this is the Bantam Books Supreme Court ruling in 1963. But there are questions about how this applies in a social media era, when you have politicians on both sides of the aisle leaning on social media companies to remove or punish speech they dislike.

      • Twitch Finally Gets Around To Letting Banned Streamers Know Why They Were Banned

        We've covered Twitch's no good, very bad time for many months now, which should give you an indication just how bad this time has been. If you need a brief background, the major points of contention have been the Amazon-owned company having a laughably one-sided approach to DMCA takedowns of content, its complete inept method for temp-banning its own creative community over copyright claims, and its totally vague approach to banning creators over various rule-breaking when it comes to Twitch's indecipherable guidelines and the capricious manner in which it applies them.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Twitter Temporarily Locks Account Of Indian Technology Minister For Copyright Violations (2021)

        Summary: In late June 2021, Twitter briefly suspended the account of Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Indian government's Technology Minister because his content violated copyright. Although Prasad was given a copy of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown request, he posted a short Twitter thread that claimed this moderation action was Twitter silencing him, rather than simply responding to a takedown notice targeting alleged copyright violations.

      • Why Banning Free Porn Would Hurt, Not Help, the US

        To be fair, this is far from the first time a nation has banned porn. Currently, 37 countries in the world have sweeping bans against pornography, with many others having heavy censorship and restricted access, including some surprise nations such as the United Kingdom and Australia. But from Playboy Magazine to Pornhub, explicit adult materials have been a part of the American media industry dating back to the early 20th century. By many accounts, the first pornographic film produced in the United States is 1915’s “A Free Ride,” a 9-minute piece of history dating back to the days of World War I. However, today’s pornographic industry isn’t constrained to 35mm film and movie theaters, all you need is the internet and device to access it.

        Many Americans conflate their personal morals and objective views of the law of the land. However, one only has to look to The Supreme Court of the United States to understand the difficulty in regulating what some would consider “obscenities.” It has been held that sex and obscenity are not synonymous, and that the State has no business in telling a person sitting alone in their own home what books they may read or what films they may watch. Yet here we are today with calls for regulations to do just that. In fact, in the state of Utah such regulations are already being put in place.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Sexual Abuse and the Committees of the Elite

        The puppet masters of the committees of the elite would rather have the mild-mannered Joe Biden at their helm than the embarrassment that is Donald Trump. They accepted Trump, but would much rather paint the face of empire with a Biden. Biden’s a better cover.

        Some may believe that there is a world of difference between a Biden and a Trump. Look at their foreign policy overlaps and it’s discernible just how alike these two committeemen are.

      • Judge Orders FBI To Return $57,000 Seized From A US Private Vaults' Customer Since It Apparently Can't Justify Keeping It

        The judge, who blocked the FBI from moving forward with forfeiting property from certain US Private Vaults' customers who haven't been accused of crimes, is now ordering the FBI to return money to one of the people contesting the seizures.

      • Family of John Lewis Joins Demand That Biden Kill Filibuster to Defend Voting Rights

        "All these petition signatures represent voters across the political spectrum who want to see Congress pass the 'For the People Act.'"—Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause

        "If President Biden and Senator Schumer truly care about ending the war on voting rights they have to use their political will to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act immediately," added Sciales.

      • ACLU Sues DC, Cops Over Attacks on Journalists at 2020 Racial Justice Protests

        Noting that Washington, D.C. police violently attacked reporters whose job was covering officer brutality during last summer's racial justice protests, the ACLU on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia and Metropolitan Police on behalf of two photojournalists who were accosted with "less-lethal" weapons during the demonstrations.

        "I found a voice photographing protests against police brutality but ended up fleeing it myself."—Oyoma Asinor, journalist and plaintiff

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T CFO Wants A Cookie For Screwing Up The Time Warner, DirecTV Mergers

        We've noted more than a few times how the AT&T Time Warner and DirecTV mergers were a monumental, historical disaster. AT&T spent $200 billion to acquire both companies thinking it would dominate the video and internet ad space. Instead, the company lost 9 million subscribers in nine years, fired 50,000 employees, closed numerous popular brands (DC's Vertigo imprint, Mad Magazine), and basically stumbled around incompetently for several years before recently spinning off the entire mess for a song.

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