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Links 29/10/2021: Elive 3.8.24 Beta and Nitrux 1.7

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • How Ubuntu Brought My Ancient Chromebook Back from the Dead

        Alright, I’m not exactly Dr Frankenstein, but I did exhume the corpse of a forgotten Chromebook from its eternal resting place (my bookcase) to enact a macabre ritual. My goal? To bring it back to life. Thankfully I didn’t need any spare body parts or a maniacal god complex for my resurrection, just a few choice terminal commands and an Ubuntu-based Linux distro called Gallium OS. I’ll get to what Gallium OS is in a bit, but first I need to answer the question you’re probably thinking in your head: “Chromebooks run Chrome OS. It is a Gentoo-based Linux distro. Why do you need to do this?”.

      • What Are the Drawbacks of Switching to Linux? [Ed: Freedom and control over one's computers is worth some temporary inconveniences and adaptations]

        Linux evangelists (like myself) are quick to point out the many benefits of switching over from Windows and macOS. But no operating system is perfect, and many have gone Linux and gone back. So what’s the catch? I’ve spent over two years with Linux as my daily driver. Though I do my share of proselytizing, I’d be lying if I said conversion to Linux is always totally smooth, or even that it’s always a good idea. There are certainly some issues that make Linux a dead end for some people, and that still vex even the most loyal Linux users.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Calibre 5.31 Ebook Manager Adds Support the New Kindle Paperwhite 2021

        New Calibre versions are released almost every Friday, but the Calibre 5.31 release is a bit more important than others because it introduces support for the new Kindle Paperwhite 2021 ebook reader from Amazon. That’s right, if you own the Kindle Paperwhite 2021, you can now use Calibre to manage ebooks in the device

      • CudaText – cross-platform text editor

        My first article for LinuxLinks went down like a lead balloon. It’ll probably get voted as the least popular article of the year! I acknowledge that writing an article about Windows 11 on a site frequented by devotees of Linux was unlikely to be as popular as sliced bread. But it’s important to stay abreast of the competition if only to know you’re heading in the right direction. Having narrowly avoided the sack, and signed a pledge to focus on open source software, here’s my second article. It’s a review of CudaText. CudaText is a free and open source native GUI text and source code editor. It’s a replacement for the discontinued SynWrite. CudaText is developed using Lazarus, a visual integrated development environment for rapid application development.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Advanced ZFS Snapshots: Taking a Deeper Dive Into OpenZFS’s powerful Snapshotting Feature

        Today’s article dives a bit deeper into OpenZFS snapshot management with snapshot holds, clone creation and promotion, and assigning permissions to snapshot-related operations.

      • How To Install Volatility on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Volatility on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, The Volatility framework is a set of tools for memory forensics analysis, threat hunting, and extracting valuable information from RAM. This tool can easily be used with any of the following three operating systems i.e. Linux, macOS, and Windows. 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 Volatility framework 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.

      • Install openSUSE Leap 15.3 Desktop - A Step By Step Guide - OSTechNix

        This step by step guide explains how to download the latest openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed editions and how to install openSUSE Leap 15.3 desktop edition with screenshots.

      • How to Add a User to Sudoers on Pop!_OS - LinuxCapable

        When installing Pop!_OS, the user account created during the initial setup has sudo rights. However, there may be a need to add additional sudo users or to remove the access. This is a straightforward process with a few commands. In the following tutorial, you will learn to add a user to the sudoers group on any current Pop!_OS system.

      • How to Delete a File on Git – TecAdmin

        During the development process bunch of files will be added to your repository. On the other hand, a bunch of them will be removed. Either because they are no longer needed or because they became surplus to the requirements. Deletion of something is easy in the IT industry, it tends to happen accidentally and when we least want it to happen, right? The same is with file deletion on Git. But to avoid all the confusion between deletion of the file from the repository or from the filesystem, in this tutorial we will learn how to delete files on Git. That way we can be sure that accidental removal of the files will become thing of the past.

      • How to Install Discord on Pop!_OS 20.04 - LinuxCapable

        Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app used by tens of millions of people ages 13+ to talk and hang out with their communities and friends. Users communicate with voice calls, video calls, text messaging, media, and files in private chats or as part of communities called “servers.” Discord is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux Distros. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Discord client on Pop!_OS 20.04.

      • How to Install Java JDK and JRE on Rocky Linux

        Java is a class-based and object-oriented programming language created by Sun Microsystem in 1995. Java is a high-level programming language designed to be portable and to have as few dependencies as possible to run on any system. The general purpose of the Java programming language is to let developers write programs or applications once, but the application itself can be run on any system across multiple operating systems. OpenJDK is a free and open-source implementation of Java Standard Edition (Java SE) and Java Development Kit (JDK). The OpenJDK was initially released in 2007 under the GNU General Public License, its a result of the Sun Microsystem development that started in 2006. The Java OpenJDK shares the same code as OracleJDK, also feature compatible with OracleJDK. The main difference between the two of them is OpenJDK is free open-source, and OracleJDK is a closed source. In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Java OpenJDK on the Rocky Linux system. You will be installing Java with some different methods, and setting up the Java default version for your development and production environment. Also, you will learn how to set up the $JAVA_HOME environment variable that will determine which Java version will be used to run applications.

      • How to Install Slack on Pop!_OS 20.04 - LinuxCapable

        Slack is one of the most popular collaboration communication platforms in the world. From it was initial launch in 2013, it has grown. It is now favored amongst development teams and corporations to integrate many services, run groups, meetings, etc. The way Slack works is to create channels for your teams, topics, customers, or co-workers. Slack also features voice and video calls, file sharing. In the following tutorial, you will know how to install the Slack communication platform on Pop!_OS 20.04.

      • How to Install Telegram on Pop!_OS 20.04 - LinuxCapable

        Telegram is a popular free cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging system. Telegram is famous for providing end-to-end encrypted video calling, VoIP, file sharing, amongst many other features. One of the main attractions of Telegram, it is unique in having no ties or shared interests with the big social media giants such as Facebook or Twitter. The application is also cross-platform, with app versions available for most operating systems for desktops and mobile/tablet devices. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the Telegram client on Pop!_OS 20.04.

      • How to Install VLC Media Player on Pop!_OS 20.04 - LinuxCapable

        The VLC media player is an open-source, free portable, cross-platform media player software and streaming media server developed by the VideoLAN project. VLC can play nearly all known multimedia files and DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols and can be extended and customized with multiple plugins. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install VLC Media Player on your POP!_OS 20.04 operating system.

      • How to Install and Configure Zabbix Agents on Remote Linux – Part 3 [Ed: New update]

        Continuing the Zabbix series, this tutorial will guide you on how you can install and configure Zabbix agents on Linux (Debian-based systems and RHEL-based distros) in order to actively monitor local resources on remote systems. The main job of Zabbix agents consists in gathering local information from the targets where they run and sending the data to a central Zabbix server to be further processed and analyzed.

      • How to install and configure docker In Fedora 34/35

        Docker is a set of platform as a service products that use OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Containers are isolated from one another and bundle their own software, libraries and configuration files; they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels. Docker is an open source containerization platform. It enables developers to package applications into containers—standardized executable components combining application source code with the operating system (OS) libraries and dependencies required to run that code in any environment.

      • Disabling broken webcam on demand

        This is more like a self-written notes post about a problem I’m facing, since my laptop’s web camera is starting to deteriorate. I’ll update the post if I find more useful bits of how to tweak with USB. For the first few weeks I was suspecting a Tumbleweed problem, but eventually I booted up Ubuntu LTS from USB stick and managed to see the problem also there.

      • Kubernetes: How to install arkade - Anto ./ Online

        This guide will show you how to install arkade on Ubuntu. arkade was built initially by the OpenFaaS community to install OpenFaaS on Kubernetes. But, it now supports over 40 Helm Charts. Essentially, arkade makes it easy to install and manage Kubernetes apps.

      • How to install Jump Force Mugen on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Jump Force Mugen 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. 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 play Spelunky on Linux

        Spelunky is a 2D platformer game for Microsoft Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, Chrome OS, and Nintendo Switch. Here’s how you can play Spelunky on your Linux computer.

      • How to install Pinta on Elementary OS 6.0 - Invidious [Ed: Sadly, this drags in Microsoft Mono, which is better avoided]

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Pinta on Elementary OS 6.0.

      • How to run Cassandra 4 with Docker and Docker-Compose

        In this guide we are going to explore how to run Cassandra locally with docker and docker compose. This can be helpful if you want to run Cassandra locally without installing it in your server or if you want to run multiple versions of Cassandra seamlessly.

      • How to install and configure Redis 6 on Fedora 34 – Citizix

        Redis is an in-memory data structure store, used as a distributed, in-memory key–value database, cache and message broker, with optional durability. Redis supports different kinds of abstract data structures, such as strings, lists, maps, sets, sorted sets, HyperLogLogs, bitmaps, streams, and spatial indices.

      • How to set up the Ajenti server management tool on Ubuntu Server

        Ajenti is a web-based monitoring tool for servers and VPSes. Once installed, Ajenti is able to provide real-time monitoring, a web-based shell for terminal commands, and many other things. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Ajenti on Ubuntu Server.

      • How to install LosslessCut on Linux

        Are you in need of a good video editor on Linux that can handle lossless footage? Check out Lossless Cut. It is a light non-linear editor for Linux and can take your footage without any quality loss. Here’s how to install it on Linux.

      • What is NFS and how to install it on Linux - Unixcop

        This is a rich topic which contains a lot of information that may interest you if you are into the storage area to be a system, storage or may be backup administrator. There are variant types of file systems and our main topic today is about one of them and that is NFS.

      • How I made Firefox much faster with an Estonian ID card « Ville-Pekka Vainio's blog

        I haven’t blogged in almost ten years, wow. This time I discovered something that I think deserves a blog post. I have an Estonian e-Residency because I speak Estonian and visit quite often (at least when there’s not a pandemic going on). My default Firefox profile is easily more than 10 years old. With the Estonian ID card inserted into a card reader, Firefox has always been very slow with that profile, pretty much unusable.

    • Games

      • Sorry, Meta: Epic Games is already winning the metaverse race

        So, what is the metaverse? It depends on who you ask. The most basic explanation is that its series of shared digital spaces that goes a few steps beyond the current [Internet]. It’s theoretically a place where you could live a whole digital life. That could mean that you have your own digital avatar who spends a form of virtual currency on digital goods. We’ve already seen bits and pieces of that emerging over the past few years especially, but Meta is looking to accelerate the process.

        There’s only one problem: It’s already too late to the game. Sketches of the metaverse already exist in the video game world, with Epic Games leading the charge in particular. And frankly, Meta isn’t cool enough to compete.

      • Steam and GOG both have their big Halloween Sale live | GamingOnLinux

        You have money left from all the previous sales right? Well, prepare your wallet (again) for even more sales from two of the biggest stores around. Both Steam and GOG have their Halloween sales live, and of course there's almost no-end to the discounts. Over on Steam, the new sale page actually highlights at the top various in-game events going on which is incredibly useful for those who want to dive into them and as you scroll down there's game after game to choose from. The special page also has various easy category links.

      • The Battle for Wesnoth hits new landmark with release 1.16 | GamingOnLinux

        The last time we covered the Battle for Wesnoth, the team was on the lookout for new contributors and regular members, as it prepared for a major release. On the 25th of October, the team finally announced the newest 1.16 stable build, hitting yet another milestone for the now 18 year old project.

      • Valve adds support for games using CEG DRM through Steam Play Proton | GamingOnLinux

        If you have the latest version of Proton Experimental, Valve just recently put up a new Steam Client Beta (October 28) too which allows playing Windows games on Linux that make use of their older CEG DRM. This is quite a big one actually, as it was a total showstopper for numerous games. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said on Twitter it's only "initial" support and to post any you test on the official GitHub bug report for it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Systemd-Free Nitrux 1.7 Is Out Now with the Latest KDE Plasma 5.23 Desktop

          The monthly Nitrux releases continue, and Nitrux 1.7 is here to join the KDE Plasma 5.23 bandwagon. The new release ships with the latest KDE Plasma 5.23.2 point release, which brings initial support for NVIDIA GBM, as well as the KDE Gear 21.08.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.87 software suites for the best Plasma desktop experience. On top of that, users will enjoy some of the latest software releases, including the Mozilla Firefox 93 web browser, Kdenlive 21.08.2 video editor, Latte Dock 0.10.75 dock-like app, Heroic Games Launcher 1.10.3 native GUI Epic Games launcher, and Window Buttons Applet 0.10.0 plasmoid.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • BSD

        • What every IT person needs to know about OpenBSD Part 1: How it all started

          This series aims to highlight the project’s signature security features and development practices — razor-sharp focus on correct and secure code coupled with continuing code audit — as well as the project’s role as a source of innovation in security practices and an ‘upstream’ source for numerous widely-used components such as OpenSSH, PF, LibreSSL and others. This post will focus on the history, Part 2 will focus on usage and user experience, and Part 3 will look at that packet filter.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Developing VR on Fedora Workstation

          One area of computing that is rapidly evolving and becoming more and more popular is that of Virtual Reality and Augmented reality. Thanks to Valve there is full support for the HTC headsets under Linux, and thanks to community developers there is also work happening to support the Oculus headsets under Linux. In this interview Christian Schaller speaks with Jan Schmidt who is working on reverse engineering a driver for the Oculus Rift VR headset. They talk about the general state of VR under Linux, Jan’s use of Fedora Workstation, and his specific work on his driver.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Goodbye Microsoft SQL Server, Hello Babelfish

          Many of our customers are telling us they want to move away from commercial database vendors to avoid expensive costs and burdensome licensing terms. But migrating away from commercial and legacy databases can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. When migrating your databases, you can automate the migration of your database schema and data using the AWS Schema Conversation Tool and AWS Database Migration Service. But there is always more work to do to migrate the application itself, including rewriting application code that interacts with the database. Motivation is there, but costs and risks are often limiting factors.

        • Amazon Open-Sources Babelfish for PostgreSQL To More Easily Move Away From Microsoft SQL

          Amazon Web Services today announced the open-source Babelfish for PostgreSQL server project. Babelfish allows for applications written against Microsoft SQL Server to work seamlessly with PostgreSQL. Babelfish interprets the Microsoft SQL Server wire protocol so applications written against that licensed Microsoft software instead can target the open-source and free-of-charge PostgreSQL database server. Babelfish supports the Tabular Data Stream (TDS) and also allows PostgreSQL to understand T-SQL.

      • Education

        • The use of open source cloud in education: Cases of HPI Schul-Cloud and Sciebo in Germany

          This study focuses on two cases of the use of open source cloud technology in Germany: the HPI Schul-Cloud, a solution mainly used by primary and secondary schools nationwide, and Sciebo, which is developed and used by the academic and research community in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Open source cloud technology refers to any type of cloud service or solution built on the basis of open source software or technologies. In addition to giving an overview on how these two open source cloud solutions are implemented at different educational levels, this study will also present how German public administrations are involved in their development.

      • FSF

        • Free Software Awards: Nominate those who help us live liberation by November 30th

          The dedication of the developers, documentation writers, community organizers, and volunteers of the free software movement is what has helped us all live liberation in the years the free software movement has been active. Just using free software makes you part of our collective journey to freedom, but some go above and beyond in their dedication to the free software movement. Now, it's time for us to show those community members and projects that we appreciate their vital work.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Software Freedom Conservancy's DMCA Exemption Requests Granted for Alternate Router Firmware, Copyleft Compliance Investigation and More

            Software Freedom Conservancy is proud to announce that its efforts to stand up for the rights of FOSS developers have been successful and that it has been granted almost all of the exemptions that it requested in the Librarian of Congress' recent rule making, according to the final rule Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, which was published today. Effective today, the Librarian of Congress ("LoC") granted DMCA exemptions for installing alternate firmwares on routers and for investigating copyleft compliance, and the exemption that Software Freedom Conservancy previously applied for and received on Smart TVs was also expanded. While our formal request to extend the security research exemption to include privacy research was not granted, the Register clarified that privacy research is indeed included in security research. Our executive director, Karen Sandler, also participated as an individual in a request to expand the existing exemption for medical devices which was also successful.

          • Software Freedom Conservancy's DMCA Exemption Requests Granted

            Software Freedom Conservancy has had several exemptions granted that it requested to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by the US Library of Congress for activities of interest to free-software developers...

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Inequitable Access: An Anti-Competitive Scheme by Textbook Publishers

            Educators are moving increasingly towards digital textbooks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has left publishers scrambling to keep access limited and revenues high with paywalls, DRM, and expiring access. These options force students to choose between a rotten deal and gambling with their grade by skipping the purchase altogether.

            Rather than challenge these artificial scarcity tactics by embracing Open Education, colleges are making a deal with publishers by creating "inclusive access" models—but this positive sounding name isn't inclusive at all. Under inclusive access, colleges simply charge students for digital textbooks and materials on their tuition bill—and their access often expires when the course is over. This automatic billing only serves to ensnare students. Exploding digital textbooks don't belong on your tuition bill when open licensing offers more equitable alternatives.

            The rising cost of college textbooks has been an absurd joke for decades. Publishers convince an instructor to use their book and gain potentially hundreds of obligatory student customers, with a renewed demand every semester. While students’ pesky habits of sharing and reselling textbooks puts some downward pressure on the price of new books, strategic releases of new editions have managed to keep those forces at bay.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • Halloween Costumes
    • Citizen Into Émigré

      Two weeks ago, my wife, the British-born environmentalist Harriet Festing, was granted U.S. citizenship. From application to approval, the whole process took about three years, culminating in a swearing-in ceremony. The latter was an awkward and hybrid affair — like going to a DMV to get married. And when it was over, I thought about the prejudices that disfigure the immigration system, the rudiments of a better structure, and my future as a U.S. citizen.

      Everyone at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service office in suburban Jacksonville – about an hour from our home in Micanopy — was very kind. As we approached the front door of the building, we were greeted by a guard with a clipboard who checked off Harriet’s name. After passing through a metal detector, we entered a dimly lit waiting room – like a small-town bus station — with about 50 seats occupied by a dozen people, all masked and well-spaced. Either due to Covid restrictions or security concerns, non-applicants are required to remain outside, but because Harriet is mostly deaf, I was allowed to come along as her interpreter. When she was called up for her final, brief interview before the oath-swearing, however, I botched the job. I was supposed to listen to the questions posed by the masked immigration official, then lower my mask and repeat them to Harriet so she could lip-read. Instead, I kept forgetting to lower my mask, prompting Harriet for some reason to lower hers to hear me, and then answer the questions as best she could.

    • The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables

      Unfortunately, in practical terms, local involvement and “reaching out” really means placing the most financially conflicted boosters and predevelopment local interests at the decision-making table. To achieve a pseudo “balance” to these consensus processes, agencies “reach out” to enlist local environmentalists—preferably cooperative ones. But few activists have any training in negotiating. They also lack experience with the consensus-management processes bureaucrats use to achieve agreements. Local participation has become the magic wand which can simply make federal and state laws disappear, to be replaced with good old boys always anxious to open up the “free store.”

      I am not opposed to local consensus processes per se; for certain kinds of problems where public assets are not on the table—and the parties do not have large financial interests—they can be extremely productive. But I am concerned that land management agencies are adopting “partnership” processes which bring people with financial conflicts of interest directly into agency decision-making when the sale, rent, or gift of public assets are involved. It is only common sense to involve a whole community to design a skate park or develop a plan to control noxious weeds. But it is not OK for a consensus or partnership process to decide if a particular forest should be logged or whether a specific grazing allotment should be leased.

    • Science

      • Anti-Intellectualism and the US Left

        Historian Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in US Life is often seen as an indictment of conservatism and reactionary politics. Anti-intellectualism is for Hofstadter a “resentment and suspicion of the life of the mind.” It is a conservative politics based on fear, nativism, emotion, and simply a repudiation of science, facts, and knowing. It is a dismissal of intellectuals as snobbish, elitist, and out of touch with ordinary US citizens. The Adlai Stevensons of the world are depicted as pointy-headed intellectuals. Vice-president Spiro Agnew once labeled them as an “effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.” Trumpistas and Fox News hosts such as Tucker Carlson who espouse alternative facts about the covid vaccine and the 2020 election returns are only the latest manifestation of a reactionary and often paranoid anti-intellectualism that goes back to the Salem Witch Trials beginning in 1692. Yet the right no longer has a monopoly on its disdain or divorce from intellectualism–the contemporary left in America is increasingly captured by a similar disease.

        Historically leftist politics was guided by intellectuals and theory. Think of Karl Marx and Antonio Gramsci as theoreticians of radical politics. They crafted political economic critiques of capitalism, defining a plan for action that included criticism, strategy, and goals. It was the linking of theory to practice that defined left politics. Similarly, Michael Harrington, one of the founders of Democratic Socialists of America, fashioned a theory of politics and a vision for political movement in books such as The Twilight of Capitalism and The Next Left. Others such as Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West were progressives who bridged the gap between intellectualism and political activism. Progressive politics linked the intellectuals to the movement, working together to forge a plan for action that included policies, goals, and a strategy. Ideas mattered.

      • New Study Indicates Recreational Screen Time For Kids Makes Very Little Difference

        When I became a parent nearly seven years ago, I tasked myself with reading up on what to expect and how to be a good parent. Among many more important things, one prominent point of reading that led to many discussions in our household was screen time for children. And, as you might expect, that conversation has been ongoing to date. There are lots of theories out there about just how much screen time kids should get at certain ages, but the unifying force behind those theories typically is that it should be relatively limited. Some nations have even gotten into the game of forcing screen time limitations on children, or at least many have gone that route for targeted types of screen time, such as video games.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • 26 States Are Primed to Effectively Ban Abortion If "Roe v. Wade" Is Overturned
      • The American Founders Didn’t Believe Your "Sacred Freedom" Means You Can Do Whatever You Want, Not Even When It Comes to Vaccines and Your Own Body

        Meanwhile, a similar move in New York City to enforce vaccinations has resulted in more than a dozen businesses’ being fined for flouting the rules.

        The basic idea behind the objections: Such mandates, which also extend to requirements to wear masks and quarantine if exposed to COVID-19, are a breach of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which states that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

      • The Latest Chapter in Vietnam’s Valiant Battle Against the Delta Variant

        The good news is that most Vietnamese and expats are beginning to bask in the light at the end of tunnel. To the collective relief of a combined total of 15 million souls in HCMC and Hanoi, most of the lockdown restrictions were lifted on October 1st in the former and the third week of September in the latter.

        A comparison of the number of new cases in August vs. October 2021 illustrates the dramatic progress that is being made on a daily basis. On August 27th, Vietnam confirmed a single-day record of 17,409 new cases and a one-week average of 12,431. By contrast, the one-day increase for October 26th was 3,592 new cases and a one-week average of 3,690.

      • Opinion | Trump as Mass Murderer? Former President's Top Pandemic Official Suggests He Is

        In remarks this month to Congress, Dr. Deborah Birx, former member of Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, estimated that Trump’s COVID policies cost between 130,000 and 160,000 lives that need not have been lost.

      • Health Care Workers Sound Off About Solidarity and Why They’re Ready to Strike
      • Lead pipe replacement can't wait any longer

        The federal government’s threshold for taking action is when lead is detected at a level above 15 parts per billion. In Benton Harbor, some homes have tested as high as 889 parts per billion. To right this injustice, advocacy groups have filed an emergency petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demonstrating that dangerous levels of lead have been reported for the last three straight years. Given the severity of Benton Harbor’s lead exposure, it is clear the community cannot wait for weeks of debate in Washington. But it can serve as a model for how we can use infrastructure legislation to fight environmental injustices and ensure that all Americans have access to the basic right of safe drinking water.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Leaked Customer Data, Just Like Sister Firms Jared, Kay Jewelers Did in 2018

          In December 2018, bling vendor Signet Jewelers fixed a weakness in their Kay Jewelers and Jared websites that exposed the order information for all of their online customers. This week, Signet subsidiary updated its website to remediate a nearly identical customer data exposure.

        • Senate approves bill to protect telecommunications infrastructure from foreign threats [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed legislation to take steps to further crack down on the use of telecommunications products from companies deemed to be a national security threat, such as those based in China.

          The Secure Equipment Act would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from considering or issuing authorization of products from companies on the agency’s “covered list.”

        • [Old] Guideline on public procurement of Open Source Software: March 2010 [PDF]

          Open source software licences may be available free of charge. This does not mean that the use of open source software is free, of course. Several costs may be involved in the operation of software, including associated hardware, support and maintenance, training and other services. The exit cost is also an important consideration: the cost incurred in migrating to another IT system, which should properly be accounted for as a cost not of the new system being migrated to, but the old system being migrated from. After all, if the old system were based on open standards, migration would not be as expensive, thus the cost of migration is imposed by the current, old system.

          Even if open source software licences are in fact free of charge (and therefore do not even need a call for tenders in order to be acquired, as they can simply be downloaded by a public sector organisation: see the next section), these other costs need to be estimated over the long term. A decision on the software system to be used needs to be made after evaluating all the long term costs associated with the use of that software system.

          Similar considerations could be taken into account for the evaluation of proprietary software, which also has requirements for hardware, support, customisation, training and other services. With proprietary software, Guideline on Public Procurement of Open Source Software P. 22 though, a long term evaluation of costs could include the frequency and necessity of purchasing upgrades.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • 5 Really Wrong Myths About US-Based VPNs [Digital Privacy]

              These myths are recycled by well-known online publications and foreign-based VPN companies, all of whom cite each other, never addressing the lack of accuracy in the others’ arguments. This feedback loop perpetuates a deeply flawed message about VPN companies based in the United States. 

            • Clearview Is So Toxic Even Other Surveillance Tech Purveyors Want Nothing To Do With It

              Outside of Clearview's CEO Hoan Ton-That, it's unclear who truly likes or admires the upstart facial recognition tech company. In the short time since its existence was uncovered, Clearview has managed to turn itself into Pariah-in-Chief of a surveillance industry full of pariahs.

            • Facebook changes its company name to Meta

              The company also replaced its corporate sign, which featured a picture of a "thumbs up," outside of its California, headquarters with one touting its new logo: a blue infinity sign.

              Facebook did not announce any executive changes on Thursday. But on Zuckerberg's personal Facebook page, his job title was changed to: "Founder and CEO at Meta."

            • Facebook Changes Corporate Name to ‘Meta’

              The rechristened Meta, as the parent company of Facebook’s social services and AR/VR businesses, is intended to reflect Zuckerberg’s positioning of the company as focused around “metaverse” experiences and services, which he hopes will reach 1 billion people in the next decade.

            • Facebook changes company name to Meta

              The name change was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference. The new name reflects the company's growing ambitions beyond social media. Facebook, now known as Meta, has adopted the new moniker, based on the sci-fi term metaverse, to describe its vision for working and playing in a virtual world.

            • Facebook officially changes its name to ‘Meta’ as it strives to be a ‘metaverse company’

              The existing apps, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. all remain with Meta being the umbrella they all live under instead of Facebook.

            • In the Middle of a Crisis, Facebook Inc. Renames Itself Meta

              Skeptics immediately accused the company of trying to change the subject from the Facebook Papers, the trove of leaked documents that have plunged it into the biggest crisis since it was founded in Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room 17 years ago. The documents portray Facebook as putting profits ahead of ridding its platform of hate, political strife and misinformation around the world.

            • Facebook Changes Name to Meta Amid PR Scandals

              The rebrand was met mostly with jokes about the name choice and reminders of the tech giant’s existing problems, including a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the company is a monopoly.

            • 'Don't Be Fooled': Critics of Facebook Say Name Change Can't Hide Company's Harm

              Tech ethicists and branding professionals on Thursday said consumers should not be hoodwinked by Facebook's name change, which numerous observers compared to earlier efforts by tobacco and fossil fuel companies to distract attention from their societal harms.

              "Don't be fooled. Nothing changes here. This is just a publicity stunt hatched by Facebook's PR department to deflect attention as Zuckerberg squirms."

            • Facebook rebrands as Meta to emphasize ‘metaverse’ vision

              Skeptics point out that it also appears to be an attempt to change the subject from the Facebook Papers, a leaked document trove that has revealed the ways Facebook ignored internal reports and warnings of the harms its social network created or magnified across the world.

            • Facebook Rebrands as Meta, Shifts to Virtual Reality Focus

              As part of the name change, which highlights the company's focus on the "metaverse," Facebook will change its stock ticker to MVRS beginning Dec. 1.

            • Facebook goes Meta: Zuckerberg announces new corporate name

              The rebrand comes as Facebook faces a deluge of news stories and public scrutiny based on thousands of internal corporate documents obtained by news organizations, including NBC News. The documents, originating with former Facebook product manager and whistleblower Frances Haugen, reveal internal employee dissent over the platform's policies.

              The change won't affect the name of the company's signature blue-colored app, which will keep the name Facebook. But it will mean a new identity for the corporate umbrella that also owns Instagram and WhatsApp.

            • Facebook rebrands as 'Meta'

              That version of the metaverse is largely illusory, however. Despite meaningful advancements in virtual and augmented reality technology over the last decade, the level of ubiquity that Meta’s presentation Thursday envisioned would take significantly more.

            • Mark Zuckerberg on why Facebook is rebranding to Meta

              Zuckerberg knows that the timing of this rebrand is suspect. Over the past few weeks, the company has been hit with a nonstop barrage of criticism, thanks to leaked internal documents provided to the media by a former employee named Frances Haugen. Facebook is perhaps the most scrutinized company in the world right now, and its brand has soured in the eyes of young people. To the many critics, distancing the company brand and Zuckerberg from the name Facebook will be seen as an evasion tactic.

            • Facebook just revealed its new name: Meta

              Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday at his company’s Connect event that its new name will be Meta. “We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Push for Nukes in Space

        The advocacy of Representatives Don Beyer and Eddie Bernice Johnson for nukes in space was strongly criticized in a subsequent interview by Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

        Representative Don Beyer opened the October 20th hearing in Washington by declaring: “Space nuclear propulsion can produce thrust far more efficiently than conventional chemical systems, allowing for shorter tip times to Mars. Why does this matter? One reason is that shortening the trip reduces the risk of space radiation exposure to our astronauts.”

      • Do We Really Need Another Cold War?

        Before it’s too late, we need to ask ourselves a crucial question: Do we really—I mean truly—want a new Cold War, this time with China?

      • American Coups: a Recurring Nightmare?

        Hold it! My old memory’s playing tricks on me again. That wasn’t the U.S. Capitol in January 2021. That was the Manila Hotel in the Philippines in July 1986. Still, the two events had enough similarities that perhaps I could be forgiven for mixing them up.

        I’ve studied quite a number of coups in my day, yet the one I actually witnessed at the Manila Hotel remains my favorite, not just because the drinks kept coming, but for all it taught me about the damage a coup d’état, particularly a political coup, can do to any democracy. In February 1986, a million Filipinos thronged the streets of Manila to force dictator Ferdinand Marcos into exile. After long years of his corruption and callous indifference to the nation’s suffering, the crowds cheered their approval when Marcos finally flew off to Hawaii and his opponent in the recent presidential election restored democracy.

      • Why Falsely Claiming It's Illegal To Shout Fire In A Crowded Theater Distorts Any Conversation About Online Speech

        It keeps coming up, the all-too-common, and all-too-erroneous, trope that "you can't shout fire in a crowded theater." And it shouldn't, because, as a statement of law, it is completely wrong. It's wrong like saying it's legal to rob a bank. Or, perhaps more aptly, it's wrong like saying it's illegal to wear white after Labor Day. Of course such a thing is not illegal. It's a completely made-up rule and not in any way a reflection of what the law on expression actually is, or ever was. And it's not without consequence that so many people nevertheless mistakenly believe it to be the law, and in so thinking use this misapprehension as a basis to ignore, or even undermine, the otherwise robust protection for speech the First Amendment is supposed to afford.

      • The GOP’s Grievance Industrial Complex Invades the Classroom

        Just one year ago, fourth grade teacher Rickie Farah was honored as a teacher of the year in Southlake, an affluent community outside of Dallas, Tex. Now, she was on the cusp of being singled out for punishment by the school board. Her crime: A student in her class had taken home a copy of teacher Tiffany Jewell’s best-selling book, This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, from Farah’s classroom library. When the child’s parents filed a complaint with the school district, alleging that the book was inappropriate, administrators declined to punish Farah. Then Southlake’s new conservative majority school board intervened. By a vote of three to two, members agreed to direct school administrators to place a letter of reprimand in Farah’s personnel file, permanently blemishing the record of one of the district’s star teachers.

      • The Moral and Magical Political Fictions of Carolina de Robertis

        In 1975, a profoundly disillusioned ex-CIA officer named Philip Agee blew the whistle on his former employer in astounding fashion: He published the diaries he’d kept while serving at the CIA stations in Ecuador and Uruguay. Agee arrived in Uruguay in 1964, not long after the radical labor organizer Raúl Sendic first assembled the group of guerrilla revolutionaries that would become central to Uruguayan history. Agee, whose initial assignment was to deal with Cuban influence, first mentions this group with bemusement, writing on January 15, 1965, that “the name ‘Tupamaros’ [has] appeared at several…recent bombings. Commissioner Otero, chief of Police Intelligence, is trying to find out who these people are.” Eight months later, Agee was confident that Sendic was the leader of the Tupamaros and was encouraging Otero to “concentrate on” them. After two more months, he began fretting that Otero would begin not only detaining but also torturing Tupamaros—a disingenuous concern, given that, by 1965, the United States was already in the habit of exporting police and FBI officers to train the Uruguayan security forces in the latest torture techniques.

      • Public Records Plumb The Depths Of Illinois Law Enforcement's Accountability Black Hole

        The Chicago Police Department isn't willing to police itself. That much is apparent from the actions of its officers, which includes the department setting up an inner city "black site" where arrestees were separated from the rights and representation in order to coerce confessions.

      • Opinion | Anti-Imperialism You Can Try at Home

        Robin Rue Simmons had been very curious about the truth of American life as a young person. But it was only after she finished high school, left her native Evanston, Illinois, and returned as an adult—ready to buy a house in the historically Black neighborhood in which she grew up—that she delved deep into her city's history and fully understood the policies that had kept Black residents poor while enriching their white neighbors. Of course, this isn't the kind of history that's taught in school, even if today's students do sometimes learn unsavory truths about the American empire. Local history is different, perhaps because it can be especially uncomfortable to examine how that empire's economic plunder shaped our present-day communities. Yet experiencing such discomfort may be preferable to any alternative—and I write this as a white person.

      • Opinion | The Myth of Redemptive Violence

        Several million dollars' worth of fiction exploded the other day, leaving cinematographer Halyna Hutchins—age 42, a wife, a mom—dead, and plunging Alec Baldwin, who accidentally shot her, into a state of unimaginable hell.

      • The Media’s Lies About Colin Powell’s Lies

        Former Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Colin Powell received virtually wall-to-wall adulation in corporate media coverage of his death last week.

      • Dozens of Traumatized Afghan Kids Struggle Inside a Shelter That’s Ill-Equipped to Care for Them

        Some children who were evacuated from Afghanistan and are being cared for at a Chicago shelter for immigrant minors have hurt themselves, harmed other children or threatened staff. Others have tried to escape or talked about wanting to die. Some have required psychiatric hospitalization.

        These events at the shelter were described by three employees and other people familiar with the conditions there, as well as being detailed in police records and internal documents obtained by ProPublica.

      • Interpol Has Been Weaponized By Governments Seeking To Hunt Down Critics And Activists

        Interpol has become a weapon. The international consortium of law enforcement does have a legitimate purpose. It's there to prevent people from escaping justice just because they've left the country where they've committed crimes. It's a worthy goal, but it's an easily abused mechanism.

      • Opinion | Military vs Climate Spending: A Moral Catastrophe in Three Pictures

        The financial reconciliation agreement announced by the White House includes $555 billion for climate change, to be spent over the next ten years. The current level of federal spending on climate change is roughly $2.4 billion per year, making this an enormous boost in the government's commitment to climate change.

      • 12 Million Angry Men

        Abdul Shukkur Rashad, a 40-year-old judge, was one of those charged with running a shadow court in Ghazni province’s Qarabagh district, southwest of Kabul, for years. It was always busy, he said. Today, he sits in the main court of Ghazni city, alongside four muftis. All were educated in religious institutions, rather than in law schools; the judge’s desk is full of religious books, and the room is decked with flags of the so-called Islamic Emirate.

      • Open Letter Warns Trump's 'Big Lie' GOP Poses Existential Threat to Democracy

        Warning that the Republican Party—which "remains under the sway" of former President Donald Trump—poses a "serious danger" to U.S. democracy, a group of writers, academics, and political activists spanning the ideological spectrum published an open letter Wednesday imploring Americans to come together despite their differences to "defend the things we value in common."

        "The threat to liberal democracy has never been greater in our lifetime."

    • Environment

      • There’s No Cheap Way to Deal With the Climate Crisis

        There will be no bargains with an overheating climate.

        As President Joe Biden takes an unfinished plan for U.S. emissions cuts to a global climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, next week, Congress and the country remain hung up on what that agenda, wrapped in the Build Back Better Act, might cost.

      • Key Global Systems Need 'Complete U-Turns' to Avoid 'Disastrous Tipping Points' for Planet

        A new global assessment out Thursday has found that across the vast number of key systems in human society—including energy, manufacturing, transportation, agricultural, and finance—not a single one is transforming fast enough to mitigate the "code red" warnings that scientists and experts have issued on the planetary climate emergency.

        "It is clear that the climate crisis is still outpacing our response. This report is a call to action."

      • Will They Lie or Finally Come Clean?: Watch Fossil Fuel CEOs Testify at Historic Hearing

        U.S. House Democrats on Thursday are set to grill executives of top fossil fuel companies at what is being billed as a "historic" hearing on Big Oil's intentional and coordinated contribution to decades of climate misinformation.

        "Big Oil will finally have to answer to the American public," Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), chair of the House Environment Subcommittee, said in a video message shared online Wednesday.

      • House Dems say Big Oil pays lip service on climate

        Congressional Democrats accused the petroleum industry of paying lip service to climate change Thursday, releasing an analysis that showed little effort by oil majors to advance green policies in Washington.

        A memo prepared ahead of Thursday's hearing with Big Oil chief executives said the industry -- while professing to support the Paris Climate Agreement and carbon pricing -- has done virtually no lobbying in Washington to enact policies consistent with those goals.

      • Why the COP26 climate summit will be both crucial and disappointing

        The main reason the UNFCCC and COP process matters is that the science, diplomacy, activism and public opinion that support it make up the best mechanism the world currently has to help it come to terms with a fundamental truth. The dream of a planet of almost 8bn people all living in material comfort will be unachievable if it is based on an economy powered by coal, oil and natural gas. The harms from the cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide would eventually pile up so rapidly that fossil-fuel-fired development would stall.

      • Timothée Chalamet Compares Manchin to Dune Villain Harkonnen

        What they have in common, according to the joke: Both “[use] the government to enrich themselves via their family mining company, [ignore] the overwhelming will of the people out of naked greed,” and both are “actively destroying the climate, dooming millions.” A tweet with a screenshot from Chalamet’s story has over 15,000 likes on Twitter as of this writing.

      • Climate change: Major US oil companies face grilling by Congress

        "I have tried very hard to obtain this information voluntarily, but the oil companies employ the same tactics they used for decades on climate policy: delay and obstruction," she said.

        Throughout proceedings, Democrats were keen to draw parallels between their climate disinformation probe and the House's Big Tobacco investigation in the 1990s, which, after months of testimony, concluded that cigarette companies tried to conceal evidence that their products were addictive and harmful.

      • Chomsky and Pollin: COP26 Pledges Will Fail Unless Pushed by Mass Organizing
      • New Climate Denial Group Run by Celebrity PR Exec Behind ‘Net Zero Referendum’ Poll

        A poll showing public support for a referendum on the UK’s net zero goal covered on the front page of yesterday’s Telegraph was paid for by a newly-launched climate science denial group run by a leading figure in actor Laurence Fox’s political party.

        The survey, conducted by YouGov, was commissioned by “CAR26”, a campaign group that questions whether carbon dioxide is a “significant factor in global warming” and suggests teaching children about the dangers of climate change is “borderline child abuse”.

      • Cover the COP26 Climate Summit Like Our Lives Depend on It

        This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration cofounded by CJR and The Nation strengthening coverage of the climate story. The author is CCNow’s deputy director.

      • Energy

        • Congress Has Oil Executives Cornered. But Will They Lie Under Oath?

          This story originally appeared in The Guardian and is part of “Climate Crimes,” a special series by The Guardian and Covering Climate Now focused on investigating how the fossil fuel industry contributed to the climate crisis and lied to the American public. Mark Hertsgaard is Covering Climate Now’s executive director.

        • Opinion | Young Climate Organizers Are Calling Out Wall Street

          My name is Sof Petros and I am a youth climate organizer. Now, at 24, I have the words to describe the things I saw growing up but couldn't name—we live in a world where profit comes before people and the environment. That is why I've joined the growing movement of young people who are calling on big corporations and financial institutions to take accountability for their role in advancing the climate crisis.

        • With Fossil Fuel Subsidies Intact, Climate Groups Decry BBB Framework as 'Failure of Leadership'

          "A climate plan that fails to directly confront the oil and gas industry cannot possibly be considered meaningful."

          "We cannot rely on credits, grants, and loans to incentivize our way out of the worsening climate crisis," Jones added, referring to plans to expand grants and loans to boost clean energy in rural areas and the agricultural sector, manufacturing credits, and other initiatives.

        • Opinion | Today Was the Day Big Oil Lied Before Congress

          The Big Oil Hearings just wrapped up a few minutes ago, so I wanted to share a few thoughts on today’s historic events. This was the first time that oil executives have been called to testify before Congress about their role in spreading climate disinformation and the hearings didn’t disappoint. Here’s my take.

        • UN-Approved ‘Green’ Investors Funding UK Airport Expansion Bids

          Investors in all of the UK airports planning to expand are members of a UN-backed green investment scheme, a DeSmog investigation has found, highlighting what experts say is a “gulf” between the financial world’s environmental pledges and its actions.

          The news follows criticism from the government’s own climate advisers that the country’s recently-announced net zero strategy excludes measures to tackle aviation growth, an increasing source of emissions.

        • Watch 'Inspiring' House Progressives Grill Big Oil CEOs on Climate Lies

          While congressional Republicans on Thursday repeatedly apologized to Big Oil executives for Democrats' demands that their companies stop lobbying against climate action, progressive lawmakers took turns grilling the fossil fuel industry leaders.

          "This is the type of leadership that climate activists have been hungry for."

        • House Dem Announces Subpoenas to 'Get to the Bottom' of Big Oil's Climate Disinformation

          In a surprise move at the end of Thursday's highly anticipated congressional hearing on fossil fuel companies' climate misinformation, the chair of the House Oversight Committee announced she will subpoena four Big Oil corporations and an industry lobby group that she accused of not cooperating with the panel's investigation.

          Maloney said she plans to subpoena ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) to compel them to hand over documents they've withheld concerning the fossil fuel industry's efforts to misinform the public about their causal role in the climate emergency.

        • Opinion | Are These Big Oil CEOs About to Lie Straight to Congress?

          Today is a day of history-making climate drama in Washington. At the Capitol Hill end of Pennsylvania Avenue, an unprecedented event: the CEOs of four of the world’s biggest private oil companies are summoned to testify under oath to Congress about their companies’ decades of lying about the lethal dangers their products pose.

        • China at COP26: Beijing's coal addiction is key to climate summit

          It is home to the world’s largest solar farm, a rolling ocean of 4 million panels high up in the Tibetan plateau that’s large enough to cover Manhattan. Some 600 miles to the east, in Inner Mongolia, are the belching smokestacks of the Tuoketuo power plant, the world's largest coal-fired power station and one of the biggest single sources of pollution ever created.

          On Sunday, at the start of COP26, the world may get a clue as to which of China’s two extremes will dominate the coming decades — and potentially shape the future of the world.

    • Finance

      • Rebel Capitalist: Global Elite Deep Dive… What Is Their History, Motive, and True Plan?
      • Low-Income Americans to Congress: 'I Am the Cost of Cutting Build Back Better'

        With President Joe Biden and many congressional Democrats bowing to right-wing party members' demands to gut their once far-reaching agenda to tax corporations and the wealthy to fund expanded public benefits and climate action, low-income people from across the United States convened in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to say that "I am the cost of cutting the Build Back Better plan."

        "We need to stop asking, 'How much does a bold Build Back Better agenda cost?' and instead ask, 'How much does it cost not to Build Back Better?'" Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, said during Wednesday's rally, which was organized by the Poor Peoples' Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, an effort that he co-chairs.

      • To Build Back Better, Progressives Need to Fight Back Harder

        Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez walked into Thursday’s meeting between House members and President Joe Biden with precisely the skepticism that the moment required. As the president prepared to outline another “framework” for a scaled-down domestic agenda, the progressive Democratic representative from New York said, “We need certainty.”

      • Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Vote as Progressives Refuse to Budge Without Build Back Better Act

        U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday abruptly delayed a vote on bipartisan infrastructure legislation after progressives reasserted their commitment to not vote for that measure without also advancing the Build Back Better budget reconciliation package.

        Instead, the House voted Thursday night to temporarily reauthorize transportation funding, which came hours after President Joe Biden announced a drastically watered-down version of the social spending plan.

      • Progressive Dems Balk at “Trust Manchin” After Frantic Push by Biden and Pelosi
      • Joe Manchin Is Reviving Harmful Myths About Poverty

        Earlier this month, as negotiations over the Build Back Better bill wore on, The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent called Senator Joe Manchin’s obstructionist position on the very popular child care, elder care, family leave, free community college, green jobs (and much more) reconciliation bill “arbitrary centrism.” Someone he interviewed, Samuel Hammond from the centrist Niskanen Center, called it “performative austerity.” That sent me to “dog whistle,” personally, though I’m not sure Sargent or Hammond would sign on to that. But let’s be clear: Manchin’s language—about “entitlement” and “means testing” in particular—is straight out of the 1990s. That’s when white Democrats (and even a few Black Democrats, to be honest) attacked many programs set up to help poor families by claiming that they enabled their supposedly worst habits: idleness and—I’m not sure there’s a single word here—failure to marry.

      • 'Hold the Line': Progressives Push to Block Vote on Weaker Bill Without Final Text of Build Back Better

        As President Joe Biden arrived on Capitol Hill to meet with Democratic leadership and caucus members on how to finalize agreement on a pair of bills designed to fix the nation's physical and care-giving infrastructure systems, progressive advocates mobilized Thursday to make sure lawmakers do not fully cave to the pressure of corporate lobbyists who have swarmed Congress over recent months to kill key aspects of the Build Back Better Act's social investment programs like Medicare expansion, paid family leave, bold climate action, elder care, and lower drug costs.

        With the possibility for a vote on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIF) possible as early as later in the day, Indivisible issued a call to action via email Thursday morning and told its members: "If the Democrats let conservatives push through BIF without also passing the reconciliation package (that's the one that covers healthcare, climate, childcare, and more), we are going to squander our trifecta and accomplish nothing. We can't let Democrats cave. That's why it is urgent you call your representatives and tell them to vote no on the BIF until they've passed an inclusive recovery bill that works for everyone."

      • Opinion | Squid Game Reflects a Deeper Meaning About Globalization and Inequality

        You've either seen the Netflix show Squid Game, considered watching the South Korean series before giving it a pass because of its violence, or read about it and wondered what all the fuss is about. You know, therefore, that this global hit is about hundreds of indebted Koreans competing against one another for a huge jackpot. The competitions are children's games like tug-of-war and marbles. The penalty for losing is death.

      • Why I Remain Hopeful
      • Burr’s Brother-in-Law Called Stock Broker, One Minute After Getting Off Phone With Senator

        After Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina dumped more than $1.6 million in stocks in February 2020 a week before the coronavirus market crash, he called his brother-in-law, according to a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

        They talked for 50 seconds.

      • Ilhan Omar Says "Follow the Money" in Rebuke to Conservative Democrats
      • Opinion | SSI Is Outdated, Complicated, and Cruel. Build Back Better Can Fix It.

        For the last 17 years, I’ve had to fight two painful battles. One is against a chronic illness. The other is against my own government, to qualify for and keep the disability benefits and health care that I need to survive. No one should ever have to go through what I’ve been through. Congress now has a rare chance to fix and update some of the key problems with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as part of the Build Back Better package.

      • How a False Narrative Against Government Spending Shapes Legislation

        Now, several progressive lawmakers are working on such counternarratives. Senator Bernie Sanders’ office recently released a statement pointing out that many Americans know about the cost of the Build Back Better bill—an omnibus piece of legislation that embodies much of President Joe Biden’s agenda—but know little about what the bill actually includes and how it would benefit a majority of Americans.

        Sanders was likely referring to an October 10 CBS News/YouGov surveyrevealing that nearly 60 percent of those polled knew that bill was priced at $3.5 trillion but only a paltry 10 percent knew the contents of the bill in great detail. The poll also revealed that those who knew the bill’s contents were more likely to support it, and found strong majority support for specific aspects of the bill.

      • How to Make the Most of This ‘Tax Billionaires’ Moment
      • 'Too Bad We Can't Tax Egos': Elon Musk Blasted for Attack on Billionaire Tax

        "Millions of hard-working people who do their part for the country every day, while entitled 'technokings' like Elon Musk shirk their most basic responsibilities."

      • 'Pelosi Absolutely Destroyed' Tax on Billionaires, Says Democratic Insider

        Although right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin publicly attacked a proposed billionaires' tax almost as soon as it was unveiled, one journalist argued Wednesday that blaming the West Virginia coal baron for shooting down the popular provision is an oversimplification that lets other conservative Democrats—including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reportedly criticized the measure behind closed doors—off the hook.

        Just hours after Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced his plan to make a few hundred super-rich tax dodgers pay a fairer share, Manchin threw cold water on the idea, calling it divisive to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to fund expanded public benefits and climate action by "targeting" those with $1 billion in assets or $100 million in annual income for three straight years. That led House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) to declare that congressional support for the proposal is insufficient.

      • 'All You Have to Do Is Follow the Money': Ilhan Omar Rebukes Corporate Democrats

        Congresswoman Ilhan Omar offered what she termed "an honest accounting" late Wednesday night of the "ever-evolving negotiations" to do with the Democratic effort in Congress to pass the once sweeping, but now hobbling 'Build Back Better' bill that has been ransacked by a small handful of corporate-backed members of the party.

        "We did not come to Congress to watch our entire agenda get torpedoed by corporate lobbyists, billionaires, and coal company owners hellbent on screwing over the American people."

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Reporters Blast Wall Street Journal for Publishing Misleading Trump Op-Ed
      • Democratic Eco-Socialism in Australia

        Australia’s fragile ecosystem has been under serious threats in recent years. For example, 2019 constituted the hottest year on record in Australia. Globally, 20 of the 21 hottest years on record have occurred during the 21st century. We are barely twenty-one years into this century.

        Furthermore, 2019 to 2020 also saw the most extensive bushfires on record impacting on 80% of Australians. In an almost classical calamity, Australia’s neoliberal prime minister – Scott Morrison – undertook a secret holiday to Hawaii during the bushfires until it was uncovered. It became known as the Hawaiian shirt escape.

      • With Reconciliation Hacked in Half, Sanders Warns US Democracy Is “in Danger”
      • 'Progressives Won't Leave Working Families Behind': Jayapal Stands Ground Against Pelosi-Biden

        In the wake of President Joe Biden's announcement Thursday of a new framework for a dramatically pared-down Build Back Better package, disappointed but resolute progressives vowed they "won't leave working families behind" and reasserted that the budget reconciliation and much narrower infrastructure bills must be passed in tandem.

        "Progressives won't leave working families behind," insisted Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) "We've been clear since the spring: the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act pass together—and that hasn’t changed."

      • Big Pharma Delivered Campaign Cash to Key Lawmakers With Surgical Precision
      • 'Outrageous and Shameful': Dems May Cut Paid Leave Due to Manchin's Opposition

        Progressive U.S. lawmakers and advocates for working families were outraged Wednesday by reporting that congressional leaders are planning to fully cut paid leave from Democrats' Build Back Better package due to opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin.

        "Congress cannot accept a final Build Back Better deal without paid leave."

      • EU inches towards big tech clampdown

        The tech giants are spending millions of euros on lobbying to influence lawmakers in the European Parliament and across the 27 member states, eager to protect their powerful profit centres such as targeted ads or big fees on app stores.

        The EU has split its regulatory revolution into two laws, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act.

      • Personal Data Bill panel takes input from officials, companies

        The committee members met officials of capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and National Payments Corp of India (NPCI) – which runs the popular Unified Payments Interface payments railroad - in Mumbai on Wednesday, following which it was slated to meet representatives of IT services providers Infosys and Wipro in Bengaluru on Thursday.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • "They're Lying": Lots of Climate Misinformation Detected During Testimony of Big Oil CEOs

        Fossil fuel executives who testified Thursday at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing focused on decades of coordinated industry misinformation refused to pledge that their companies will stop lobbying against efforts to combat the climate emergency driven largely by their businesses.

        That joint refusal came in response to a challenge from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform—who at the end of the hearing announced subpoenas for documents the fossil fuel companies have failed to provide.

      • Let Me Rewrite That For You: Washington Post Misinforms You About How Facebook Weighted Emoji Reactions

        Journalist Dan Froomkin, who is one of the most insightful commentators on the state of the media today, recently began a new effort, which he calls "let me rewrite that for you," in which he takes a piece of journalism that he believes misled readers, and rewrites parts of them -- mainly the headline and the lede -- to better present the story. I think it's a brilliant and useful form of media criticism that I figured I might experiment with as well -- and I'm going to start it out with a recent Washington Post piece, one of many the Post has written about the leaked Facebook Files from whistleblower Frances Haugen.

      • Big Oil Gets Grilled by Congress Over Climate Disinformation

        The House panel sent letters to oil executives last month outlining the lengths those companies have gone to in order to deceive the public about climate science. The letters argued that Big Oil’s tactics are similar to those of Big Tobacco, which culminated in a series of landmark congressional hearings in the early 1990s. Rep. Ro Khanna, who chairs the oversight subcommittee on the environment, told E&E News that the hearing is intended to be the “start of the investigation” into the industry’s role in the climate crisis.

      • How decades of disinformation about fossil fuels halted U.S. climate policy

        Two names likely to come up at the hearing are Charles and David Koch, the conservative petrochemical magnates. They have poured millions of dollars into efforts to discredit the science of climate change. The brothers have given over $145 million to climate-change-denying think tanks and advocacy groups between 1997 and 2018. The Kochs were joined in their efforts by Exxon, which has given nearly $37 million over the same time to spread climate misinformation.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • RFK Jr. Abusing The Courts To Harass Pseudonymous Blogger For Pointing Out RFK Spoke At German Event Organized By Far Right Extremists

        How big of an embarrassment is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.? Beyond all the anti-vax nonsense, he filed a ridiculously embarrassing lawsuit against Facebook because he was fact checked. The case was laughed out of court earlier this year. And now he's trying to abuse the courts to out a pseudonymous blogger for writing about how RFK Jr. spoke at a German rally last year that appeared to be organized by folks with ties to rightwing extremists.

      • ‘Every Turn in This Case Has Been Another Brick Wall, and Behind It Is Chevron’
      • Concerns as network shutdown in Sokoto, Zamfara fail to stop killings, abductions

        Of all the measures, the suspension of telecommunications services has been the most controversial. According to the government, the measure will reduce the impacts of informants and reduce coordination by bandits.

        While there have been cases of mass surrendering by bandits, however, the stringent measures have not stopped cases of killings by bandits in the region.

      • Uncertain future for Kabul booksellers

        The fundamentalist Taleban movement seized the city in August and have declared Afghanistan an Islamic Emirate. They have not yet ordered bookshops shut nor imposed censorship, but a climate of tension prevails and an economic crisis has hit takings.

      • Access Now addresses the U.N. Security Council on countering hate speech online

        On October 28, 2021, before the United Nations Security Council, Access Now spoke on addressing and countering online hate speech and preventing incitement to discrimination, hostility, and violence on social media. The Security Council is the United Nations’ most powerful body, with “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.” This event, chaired by Kenya, is an important acknowledgement from the U.N. Security Council that addressing conflict offline also requires rights-respecting approaches to hate and incitement to violence online. Far too often, governments use “combating hate speech” as an excuse for repressive policies, and companies are complicit in this crisis and must do better. States need to step up and lead. (Access Now has a comprehensive roadmap to guide decision-makers toward good policy on these issues.) The Security Council has been too slow to acknowledge the impact of the internet, as well as new and emerging technologies, on its mandate and work. The U.N.’s most powerful body needs to understand and recognize its place in the digital age, and it cannot do that without robust support from civil society, technologists, academia, and, most importantly, the communities affected by violence and conflict that shift online and off. Today, we pressed the Council to open its doors to more of our partners and community.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Defense chronology surrounding Assange’s family and Dr Kopelman
      • Appeal Hearing: Prosecutor Attacks Judge’s Decision, Which Blocked US From Extraditing Assange

        The Crown Prosecution Service, which represents the United States government, went before the British High Court of Justice and bashed the work of the district judge, who blocked the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in January.

        James Lewis QC argued Judge Vanessa Baraitser approached the extradition law incorrectly when she focused on predicting “future uncertain events,” which might result in a deterioration of his mental health. Baraitser wrongly assessed Assange’s risk of suicide, and “she should have weighed crucial factors in the psychiatric evidence significantly differently.”

      • Julian Assange Extradition Appeal: Day 2

        Before the proceedings began, Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris clarified some misreporting about Julian’s condition. “Reports that Assange didn’t attend court in person due to medication are incorrect,” she wrote. “He asked to appear in person. The request was rejected. The medication interfering with his ability to follow has nothing to do with the fact he wasn’t permitted to attend court.”

      • The US Appeal Against Assange Opens

        Despite her finding, the judge still left the door open for her own bit of oppression by refusing Assange bail as the US appeal process got underway.  To date, he remains in the high security Belmarsh prison facility.

        James Lewis QC of the Crown Prosecution Service opened proceedings by directing several salvos at Baraitser’s decision.  Reliance was placed on five grounds: that the district judge did not correctly apply UK extradition law; that Baraitser should have sought assurances from the US authorities after deciding to deny the request; that she ought to have disqualified the expert psychiatric evidence of defence witness Michael Kopelman; that she erred in assessing the evidence of suicide risk; and that the UK government was issued a number of assurances going to the problems identified in the court decision.

      • Declaration of Assange attorney Gareth Peirce on Prof Kopelman
      • Declaration of Maureen Baird, U.S. Prison Warden
      • Tariq Ali: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Must Not Be Extradited for Exposing War Crimes in Afghanistan

        As an appeals court in London is deciding whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes, we go to London to speak with British writer and activist Tariq Ali. Assange faces up to 175 years in prison in the U.S. under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ali calls the case “a political trial” and a “punitive attempt by the British government … to try and punish Julian on behalf of the United States.” We also discuss the significance of WikiLeaks revelations in exposing U.S. drone strikes, civilian deaths, torture and other abuses committed in Afghanistan, which Ali examines in his new book, “The Forty-Year War in Afghanistan: A Chronicle Foretold.”

      • The horrific persecution of Julian Assange continues

        The US government benefitted throughout from the lower court judge’s original rotten ruling in January, blocking extradition solely on the grounds of Assange’s mental health and risk of suicide, while accepting every other argument put forward by the prosecution. Lewis therefore did not need to address the use of the Espionage Act to pursue a journalist who exposed state crimes, the repeated abuse of his due process and use of fabricated evidence against him, or the mortal threat posed to him and his family. These outrages have already been accepted.

        The longer proceedings drag on the more Kafkaesque they become, as the real reasons for Assange’s persecution disappear behind discussions of his health and the legal minutiae of extradition law. It is the responsibility of all opponents of capitalist violence and oppression to come to Assange’s aid by joining the fight to organise the international working class in his defence.

      • Assange appeal outcome awaited, US lawyers mum on alleged CIA plot

        Lawyers pushing to overturn a British verdict to deny the extradition of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange to the US have avoided any mention of a report that the CIA planned to kill him in 2017, during the two-day appeal that ended on Thursday.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Resistance Has Come Too Far to Stop Now

        Democrats are tired. I get that; I’m tired too. Lefties made fun of the woman—yes, blond and white—carrying a sign at the 2017 Women’s March that read “If Hillary was president we’d be at brunch.” How bourgeois can you get! Imagine wanting to have pancakes and mimosas out with your friends instead of demonstrating, going to meetings, door-knocking, leafleting, fundraising, and all the fun things so many of us spent so much time doing in the Trump years. In fact, women like that sign-holder geared up for action and became the much-mocked “Resistance,” which did so much to deliver the House, the Senate, and the White House to Democrats. For some, activism became a way of life. But it’s not surprising that a lot of people would like to step back now. Oscar Wilde is credited with quipping that the trouble with socialism is it takes too many evenings. As Michael Walzer pointed out, that’s true of participatory democracy, too.

      • In Minneapolis, the Movement Heads for the Voting Booth

        “What I’ve said from the start of this campaign is that the reason that people took to the streets last year was because their voices aren’t heard,” said Sheila Nezhad, a 33-year-old community organizer running to be the next mayor of Minneapolis in the city’s first municipal elections since the murder of George Floyd.1

      • Reparations May Be One Cure for What Ails Us

        In 2017, Simmons ran for Evanston City Council and won. She was interested in the idea of reparations and began studying a bill that has been sitting in Congress for decades. H.R. 40, as it’s called — the number refers to a broken promise of the post-Civil War era that formerly enslaved people should receive 40 acres and a mule — would establish a commission to examine the legacy of slavery and how restitution could be made. Federal reparations will be necessary to address this country’s vast racial wealth gap that’s the cumulative result of economically oppressive policies since the plantation era. Yet Simmons also knew that the federal government was hardly alone when it came to committing such injustices — and here she had a visionary idea.

        “I thought, I’ll start with one in my community,” she told me by phone. Specifically, she would seek reparations for harms caused by her own city’s twentieth-century housing policies, which effectively restricted Black residents to a single neighborhood known as the 5th Ward. As Evanston’s Black population grew during the Great Migration — in which African Americans fled terror and oppression in the South — the 5th Ward became overcrowded, and the cost of housing ballooned. By 1940, when the Home Owners Loan Corporation of the Federal Loan Bank Board drew up a map denoting the “risk” of lending in certain places, it shaded the 5th Ward red. That nationwide practice, known as redlining, indicated that the area was ineligible for the sort of loans that would help white families build intergenerational wealth. Today, whites in Evanston on average enjoy property values twice that of their Black neighbors.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Opinion | The FCC Has the Perfect Toolbox to Make the Internet Work for Everyone

        For the internet, a lot is riding on the game of chicken Congress is playing around the infrastructure packages. The current legislation includes billions of dollars to fund a more permanent benefit that would make internet bills more affordable for struggling families—a historic step toward bridging the digital divide.

      • T-Mobile, Dish Continue Petty Squabbles As Sprint Merger 'Solution' Looks Shaky

        To gain regulatory approval for its $26 billion merger with Sprint, T-Mobile made numerous promises. One was that the deal would immediately create jobs (there've been 5,000 layoffs so far). Another was that the company would work closely with Dish Network to help them build a fourth wireless network that would replace Sprint, theoretically "fixing" the reduction in competition the deal created. As predicted, that plan isn't working out so well.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • You shouldn’t buy a TPM for Windows 11. Here’s why

        By now, nearly everyone knows you need a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 for Windows 11. But many people still aren’t sure if you have to go out and buy a module to fulfill that requirement.

      • The new DRM-breaking exemptions just dropped [sic]

        That means that, every three years, these same volunteers and staffers will have to use their precious time to fight for this commonsense exemption. More importantly, it means they won't be able to use that time to produce cogent, evidence-based cases for more exemptions to benefit people with disabilities, including print-disabled people who aren't blind. Ebook DRM isn't just a problem for visual impairments – people with dyslexia, people who are paralyzed or missing limbs or have coordination and muscular impairments can call struggle with the arbitrary limitations of DRM.

        The triennial exemption hearings are frustrating for all concerned. Many Library of Congress/Copyright Office staffers (even lawyers!) have privately expressed their outrage over the statutory limitations of the triennials to me. Congress should fix this idiotic, symbolic kabuki and replace it with a better system.

        They could start by issuing a blanket exemption for all circumvention that doesn't result in a copyright infringement, and for all the tools needed to effect those circumventions. If you buy a gadget, you should be able to decide how it works, and you should be able to ask other people to help you make it do what you want. You bought it, it's yours. Period.

    • Monopolies

      • The Strange State of the Novel in the “Age of Amazon”

        One can read countless novels without coming across any mention of Amazon, but the company’s dominance of the literary marketplace is unquestioned. From its origin in 1994 as a modest online book vendor, Amazon has grown to control the lion’s share of the e-books market and sell more than half of all print books in the United States. In the interim Amazon acquired Goodreads and and established 16 publishing imprints of its own. Given this context, it seems almost quaint to note that the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, ranks Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 novel Remains of the Day among his favorite books and is said to have used it to model a “regret minimization framework,” part of his corporate ethos. Bezos’s ex-wife Mackenzie Scott, who’s written two works of literary fiction and has a net worth at least 50 times greater than J.K. Rowling’s, is the richest novelist in the world. Inspiration for the company’s Kindle e-reader was derived from Neal Stephenson’s 1995 science-fiction novel The Diamond Age, which features a book that changes according to the needs of its owner.

      • Patents

        • Vaccine Inequity: Meet the Doctor Refusing a Booster as Rich Nations Get 16x More Doses Than Poor [Ed: Patents in action]

          Wealthy nations have received over 16 times more COVID-19 vaccines per person than poorer nations dependent on the COVAX program backed by the World Health Organization, according to a new Financial Times analysis. COVAX, which was set up to ensure global equitable access to vaccines, has delivered only 400 million doses after promising 1.4 billion this year. Higher-income countries struck separate vaccine deals with manufacturers, leaving COVAX with less negotiating power. While the United States rolls out booster shots and stockpiles six vaccines per person, less than 3% of people in low-income countries have received at least a single dose. Infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi says she will not receive a booster as a healthcare worker because of the global vaccine inequity, and argues the push for boosters “detracts from the fact that we in no way have fulfilled a moral and ethical obligation to the world.” We also speak with Kate Elder, senior vaccines adviser for Doctors Without Borders, who says that it is a structural issue caused by global leaders who are not “equitably sharing vaccines around the world.”

        • Rich Nations Have Received 16 Times More Vaccine Doses Per Person Than Poor
      • Trademarks

        • Court Case Brought By Dairy Queen Over 'Blizzard' Trademark Infringement On 'Blizzard Water' Begins And Is Dumb

          I don't know how in the world I missed this over the past couple of years, but I'm just in time to introduce you to a trademark lawsuit brought by the Dairy Queen people against W.B. Mason, an office supply and grocerer, over the latter's "Blizzard Water" brand. This story actually starts back in 2017, when W.B. Mason applied for a trademark on the water product. The company had actually been selling Blizzard Water since 2010, but the trademark application appears to have been what made Dairy Queen aware of that.

      • Copyrights

        • US Copyright Office Expands Jailbreaking Exemption to Roku and Apple TV

          The US Copyright Office has published a list of new exemptions to the DMCA's anti-circumvention rules. Several new freedoms were granted this round, including broader right to repair permissions. The right to jailbreak also expanded to include streaming TV devices such as Roku and Apple TV boxes, despite Hollywood fears that this will boost piracy.

        • Netflix's Army of Thieves & Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin Leak to Pirate Sites

          Army of Thieves will premiere on Netflix this Friday, hoping to follow emulate the success of Army of the Dead. While millions will watch legally, pirates have already jumped ahead of the game. In the past few hours, a very good copy landed on pirate sites. It was followed by high-quality leaks of Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, Apex and Lamb.

Recent Techrights' Posts

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Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
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Personal Identification on the 'Modern' Net
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The Future of the Web is Not the Web
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YouTube Has Just Become Even More Sinister
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