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Links 30/10/2021: Yocto Project 3.4 and Plans for KDE

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Secure DevOps Platform with Sysdig and SUSE Rancher

        Sysdig Secure DevOps for SUSE Rancher can help you secure your build pipeline and manage your cloud native application landscape with confidence. SUSE is committed to delivering innovative, enterprise solutions with great partners, like Sysdig, that empower customers to overcome their technical challenges.

      • Learn Docker and Kubernetes With the Turing Pi

        ONCE UPON A TIME, if you wanted to install a piece of software, you just stuck an executable file on your hard drive somewhere and went on your merry way. But as computers became more complex, so did installation procedures, which led to problems like "dependency hell," as different applications dueled over conflicting system configurations.

        One increasingly popular solution today is to add a container layer to the software stack, giving each application its own temporary, sandboxed environment without needing the resources required for a complete stand-alone virtual machine. And as a bonus, containers make it easier to deploy applications efficiently in a cloud or across a local computing cluster.

        The idea is straightforward, but the array of implementations is bewildering, especially if, like me, you're not a seasoned system administrator. I wanted to get my feet wet with container technology without the risk of accidentally running up hefty cloud charges, so I decided to try out the Turing Pi, which lets you use up to seven Raspberry Pi compute modules as a cluster.

        The US $199 Turing Pi has the same dimensions as a mini ITX PC motherboard and has USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports. But what looks like a row of slots for memory chips are slots for compute modules. The current version supports the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 1 and Compute Module 3: these are essentially just Raspberry Pi's minus any input/output ports. (A version that supports the latest, Compute Module 4 has been announced but there is no word yet on pricing or a release date).

      • OpenStack vs AWS: which one is better for you?

        OpenStack vs AWS is a discussion that almost every organisation must conduct when adopting a cloud strategy. This is because OpenStack and AWS are undoubtedly some of the most popular cloud technologies in both public and private cloud space. While AWS is the most popular commercial cloud platform, OpenStack remains its most popular open source equivalent. Both have their own pros and cons.

        But which one is better for you? Or even more importantly, can you use both to reap their benefits at no extra cost? In the following blog post, we will try to answer these questions. But first, let’s start with exploring the differences between OpenStack and AWS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink driver (OpenGL on top of Vulkan) has Bioshock Infinite working, close to OpenGL 4.6

          Zink is something quite wonderful. A Linux Mesa driver that creates an OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan and it just keeps on getting more impressive.

          In another update blog post developer Mike Blumenkrantz has given what seems like their final blog post on Zink for 2021 and it's all sounding very positive. Along side Valve developer Samuel Pitoiset, work progress on Zink plus the AMD RADV Vulkan driver, so that now there's "only around 200 failures in the GL 4.6 conformance suite" meaning it's getting really close to being an official conforming driver there.

        • X.Org Server 21.1 Available

          After three and a half years since the last significant release formed release the X.Org Server 21.1 . Starting with the presented branch, a new issue numbering scheme has been put into operation, allowing you to immediately see how long ago this or that version was published. By analogy with the Mesa project, the first number of the version reflects the year, the second number indicates the serial number of the significant release for the year, and the third number is used to flag corrective updates.

    • Applications

      • How to use Tor Tools to protect your Linux desktop privacy

        Tor Tools is an application indicator and GUI frontend for the Tor proxy client service and other technologies to make your Linux system totally private.

        The Tor Browser does a great job as a private browser but there are many other applications communicating with the internet on your system.

        Tor Tools was created to take advantage of the privacy offered by Tor for Linux.

      • Best DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Available for Linux Desktops

        A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) lets you record, mix, and make music. For commercial usage, there are several mainstream options to consider, which are often regarded as industry-standard.

        Full-fledged music DAWs like Steinberg’s Nuendo/Cubase, ProTools, Ableton Live, and FL Studio are the most popular (and expensive) solutions. However, they are not available for Linux.

        Hence, when it comes to Linux, you will have to make a different set of choices as per the available options. And, here, I aim to help you point out the best music DAWs for Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Engineer onboarding: two perspectives

        I’ve been a support engineer for over 20 years, across Operations and System & Database Administration. I’ve always found something very rewarding about helping people solve problems, which rings true for most people who decide to go into Technical Support.

        In this post, I’ll share my experience as an end user of the access plane tech, going into detail on the significant impact it had on my onboarding experience, along with why I decided to join the team as an employee.

      • Migrating from Apache/WordPress to relayd/httpd/Hugo

        WordPress has served me well since 2010. But I finally got bored with managing the OAMP stack and having to deal with plugins updates, spam comments and general security warning because of the PHP backend.

        After reading a lot and testing a few Static Site Generator, I decided to go with Hugo to expose all my HTML stuff. And as PHP is not required anymore, I also decided to replace Apache with OpenBSD’s httpd(8) and relayd(8).

      • Find Files Based on Size in Linux - Linux Nightly

        Finding files based on their size can help you figure out which files are taking up the most space on your hard drive. Whether you need to free up storage, or just want to see which files are largest, there are plenty of Linux commands that can help.

        In this guide, we’ll go over the commands you can use to find files and directories based on their size in Linux. Check out some of the examples below to get started.

      • How to install NextCloud on Debain 11 Bullseye Linux - Linux Shout

        Create your own personal cloud storage by installing NextCloud on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux server using the command given here in this step-by-step tutorial.

      • How to Install Ksnip Screenshot Tool via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        For those prefer native DEB to Flatpak and Snap packages, here’s how to install the latest ksnip screenshot tool using PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.10.

        Ksnip is a free and open-source Qt-based screenshot tool with editing feature. I use the app regularly to add annotations (e.g., arrow, rectangle, border and drop shadow) to my images.

      • Get 500% faster download speeds on Linux with Xtreme Download Manager

        Want to speed up your downloads on Linux? Check out Xtreme Download Manager. It’s an impressive application that can speed up your downloads a whole lot. This guide will show you how to install and use the Xtreme Download Manager on Linux.

      • How to play The Witness on Linux

        The Witness is a 2016 puzzle-exploration game developed and published by Thekla Inc. In the game, the player explores an open island and solves puzzles hidden in the environment. Here’s how to play it on your Linux computer.

      • How to set up FirewallD the easy way on Ubuntu Server

        FirewallD is a complex firewall system for Linux operating systems. It ships by default on Fedora and many other Linux OSes, and for a good reason. It is powerful, highly configurable, and secure. But it isn’t great to set up by hand.

        If you don’t want to fuss around and want to get FirewallD up and running on your Ubuntu Server system so you can get on with your work, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how to set up FirewallD on Ubuntu Server the easy way!

      • How to install RawTherapee on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install RawTherapee 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.

      • How to upgrade Devuan 3.1 to 4.0 Chimaera - Unixcop

        Recently, I’ve discovered Devuan, a Debian GNU/Linux fork free of systemd. Soon after I installed Devuan and wrote an article about, they released a new version. So this article is about how to upgrade Devuan 3.1 Beowulf to 4.0 Chimaera.

      • How to install & configure Redis 6 on Rocky Linux/Centos 8

        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 Fix Broken Ubuntu OS without Reinstalling the System

        Linux users often face issues with broken operating systems due to many reasons. This issue frequently occurs when turning on the system after a major software crush, update failure, or physical damage to the system. It’s not undeniable that getting a shake on the hardware (especially in laptops) might break your current operating system. Now, there is no hassle if you’ve been started using your Ubuntu fresh, but it would be havoc if you’ve been using Ubuntu professionally, and there are tons of files on your system. In that case, you might not want to erase the current operating system entirely and reinstall Ubuntu. There are ways that you can use to fix your broken Ubuntu OS without reinstalling it on your machine.

      • Date Command in Linux with Usage Examples

        The date command in Linux is used to display or set system date and time. It allows users to display time in various formats and calculates the past and future dates.

        In this tutorial, we learn about the date command in Linux with usage examples.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 10 Best Linux Desktop Environments of 2021

        Linux desktop environment contains a bundle of applications created in a manner to work with one another and give a consistent User Experience(UX). A tremendous sum of Linux clients inclines toward to work on the OS through the terminal of the command-line, but you will also be able to use the graphical UI rather than using the terminal. Since there is no particular best Linux desktop environment as it depends upon distinctive components like simple to utilize, memory consumption, compatibility, and usefulness. Every user has their own requirements, so choose the best fit for your own.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 will support the fingerprint reader

          An important announcement was made by Nate Graham, developer of KDE, regarding the KDE Plasma 5.24 release of Plasma , the engine behind the popular desktop manager: support for the fingerprint reader has been added.

          All laptop owners, not just Thinkpads, who have an integrated fingerprint reader or owners of an external reader will be able to configure KDE so that you can authenticate with the tip of your finger.

        • This week in KDE: Accent-colored folders and more!

          Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

        • KDE Ends Out October With More Fixes, Continued Polishing To Plasma Wayland
          KDE Plasma 5.23 offers much better Plasma Wayland support than prior releases but still the journey of polished Wayland support on-par with X11 is not over. KDE developers ended out October working on more Wayland fixes along with other improvements to this open-source desktop.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekly development summary for all of the happenings going on for this major free software project. Some of the KDE highlights for this week included...

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • Yocto Project 3.4 (honister) is Released

        We are pleased to announce the Yocto Project 3.4 Release is now available for download.

      • Yocto Project 3.4 (Honister) released []

        Version 3.4 of The Yocto Project has been released. Yocto provides a system for building embedded Linux distributions. This release comes with "Linux kernel 5.14, glibc 2.34 and ~280 other recipe upgrades", support for building and cross-compiling Rust code, tons of new recipes, a way to create a SPDX bill of materials (BoM), overlayfs and seccomp support, optimizations, bug fixes, and more. The full release notes have further information.

      • BSD

        • My FreeBSD laptop... without a GUI!?

          To take a step back, might lead you to fall off a cliff. I’m working on creating the ultimate “on call” FreeBSD laptop. It needs a few VPN clients, text editors, orchestration tools, QEMU for quick tests, git and rsync for keeping things current, and… that’s about it. When I realised that none of these require a graphical environment, I decided to see if I could live entirely within a tty, just like the old times.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Could "Unbreakable" Oracle Linux be the Logical Enterprise-Ready CentOS Replacement?

          The Oracle Linux team has created a simple script with instructions that you can use to switch your CentOS 8, 7 and 6 systems to Oracle Linux. The script has two main functions: it switches your yum configuration to use the Oracle Linux yum server to update some core packages and installs the latest Oracle Linux’s latest Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. It is not necessary to restart after switching, but we recommend you do to take advantage of UEK. Yes - it really is that easy!

        • How to Install & Configure Apache (HTTPD) with Let’s Encrypt TLS/SSL on Rocky Linux 8 - LinuxCapable

          Apache, also known as Apache HTTP server, has been one of the most widely used web server applications globally for the past few decades. It is a free and open-source web application software maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache provides some powerful features with dynamically loadable modules, easy integration with other software, and handling of static files, among other popular features.

          In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Apache Web Server on Rocky Linux 8.

        • How to install Crab Game by Dani on a Chromebook

          Today we are looking at how to install Crab Game by Dani 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 Install GIMP on Debian 11 - idroot

          In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GIMP on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free, open-source raster graphics editing software primarily used for image manipulation and image editing, transcoding between various image formats, free-form drawing, and many more specialized tasks.

          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 through the step-by-step installation of the GIMP open-source image editor on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • Debian Family

        • Tails: The Linux Distribution That Makes You Completely Anonymous Online

          Want to access the internet without leaving any traces? Check out Tails, a Linux distro that focuses on maintaining user privacy and anonymity.

          It’s no secret that many users finally make the switch from Windows to Linux because of a desire to make their own choices and take control of their computer and privacy. Although there are many Linux distros, each different from the next, security and privacy are the common threads running through all of them.

          One such distribution is Tails, a security-focused operating system that maintains your anonymity on the web.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Online 21.10 Released, Lets You Try Ubuntu Desktop in a Web Browser

          Inspired by the Ubuntu Online Tour project created by Canonical a few years ago, the Ubuntu Online project aims to give those with very limited resources the option to try the latest Ubuntu Desktop release in a web browser.

          Ubuntu Online works both online and offline, but for the best experience the files need to be hosted online, in a web server. This is great if you want, for example, to migrate a bunch of computers to Ubuntu/Linux but you want your users to see what the fuss is all about with an online demo.

        • Supporting 'impish' releases

          Now that Canonical has released Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) you can use my latest release of ‘‘ to respin Ubuntu ISOs:

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source JSON Tools

        JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a standard, popular and lightweight data text-oriented format based on JavaScript object syntax to represent structured data. You can use JSON independently of JavaScript, but it strongly resembles JavaScript object literal syntax, and several programming environments can interpret (parse) and create JSON.

        JSON is often adopted in web services and APIs — enabling web applications to transfer and retrieve data with a common format. JSON can be used with many modern programming languages. JSON is considered one of the popular, easiest, and lightweight and formats used for interaction between services.

        JSON has attracted the attention of tool builders, who have created a variety of tools for reformatting, validating, and parsing JSON.

      • Events

        • CloudStack Collaboration Conference 2021 - 8-12 November 2021

          CloudStack Collaboration Conference 2021 - 8-12 November 2021

          For the 9th year running, the global Apache CloudStack community will be holding its major event —CloudStack Collaboration Conference— on 8-12 November 2021. Due to the pandemic, the event will take place virtually to enable even more people interested in CloudStack technology to learn about its latest features, capabilities, and integrations.

          Тhe 2021 edition of the CloudStack Collaboration Conference starts with a full hackathon day on 8 November. The next 4 days acome with numerous exciting technical talks, as well as 5 different workshops that will provide newcomers an in-depth overview of the power of CloudStack technology. A separate track focused on user success stories is expected to be an engaging draw, where attendees will learn about the CloudStack implementations in companies that include NTT Data, CloudOps, EWERK,, and more.


          Apache CloudStack originated in 2008 as a start-up project at, and rapidly evolved through the years to become a favored turnkey solution for Cloud builders, IaaS providers, telcos, and enterprises. CloudStack entered the Apache Incubator in 2012 and graduated as an Apache Top-Level Project in 2013, backed by a vibrant, diverse community of engineers, DevOps, Cloud architects, and C-level leaders united with the aim of advancing the Apache CloudStack project and its community.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 94 To Start Using EGL On Linux - Better Performance, Lower Power Use
          • Firefox 94 comes with EGL on X11

            Firefox 94 is coming out next week and brings awesome news. OpenGL EGL backend its enabled by default on Intel/AMD and recent Mesa for users on X11.

            Historically Linux comes with GLX (OpenGL X11 extension) but that era is finally ending and we’re moving forward to EGL which promises all the goodness you can expect from modern graphics subsystem…or you can create a texture over graphics memory at least.

            I’ll keep aside all EGL / GLX difference and focus to changes from user perspective. GLX is old, well debugged and tied closely to X11 which means seamless experience and wide support by gfx drivers (like proprietary NVIDIA ones). It’s used by most X11 applications and ‘just works’.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Amazon Opens the Code for Babelfish, Extensions to Replace MS SQL Server with PostgreSQL

          Amazon has opened the original texts of the draft ” Babelfish for PostgreSQL “, proposing an extension to the PostgreSQL database with the implementation of specific capabilities database Microsoft SQL Server. The key goal of the project is to provide the ability to run applications written for SQL Server on servers running PostgreSQL. The project code is open under Apache 2.0 and PostgreSQL License.

          Babelfish supports the network protocol used to connect clients to SQL Server, the T-SQL language and SQL Server-specific query language extensions, which allows you to translate running applications from Microsoft SQL Server to PostgreSQL without modifying their code or with minimal changes and without replacing drivers to the DBMS … For applications, Babelfish looks like a regular SQL Server. The project is already in use on Amazon Aurora.

        • A Puzzling Performance Problem

          During the troubleshooting phase; it was clear that the CPU queue was going high while it shouldn’t have! This was causing the poor system performance. The only fact that brought to mind the idea of enhancing CPU performance by setting the tuned profile to throughput-performance , thus forcing the CPUs to work at maximum performance, was

          After enabling this profile, the system performance improved, and the CPU queue became empty in a few seconds!

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Software Freedom Conservancy Takes On Vizio in Lawsuit Alleging GPL Violations

            The Software Freedom Conservancy announced that it is suing Vizio, an American TV manufacturer, for what it alleges are “repeated failures to fulfill even the basic requirements of the General Public License (GPL).”

            The 501(c)(3) charity organization is a non-profit that provides infrastructure support for free and open source software projects, defending users’ rights under copyleft licenses and the GPL. A few of its member projects include BusyBox, Git, Homebrew, OpenWrt, and phpMyAdmin. As part of its mission, the Conservancy assists member projects in enforcing the terms of FLOSS licenses, including through litigation.

          • Mastodon puts Trump’s social network on notice for improperly using its code

            Mastodon has sent former President Donald Trump’s company a formal notification that it’s breaking the rules by using Mastodon’s open-source code to build its social network, named Truth. This news comes from a blog post by Mastodon’s founder Eugen Rochko, but others have previously pointed out that the organization behind Truth, the Trump Media and Technology Group (or TMTG), was violating Mastodon’s software license by not providing the source code for the site built on top of it. Trump’s group has 30 days from when the letter was sent to comply with the license or stop using the software, or it could lose the right to do so.

          • Trump's Truth Social Could Have Software License Revoked Unless Source Code Made Public

            Trump announced his new social media site, Truth Social, last week, touting the platform as a new beacon of free expression online. Truth Social's terms of use claim that "all" its source code is its "proprietary property," but users quickly noticed that the site clearly used Mastodon code.

            Mastodon is an open-source social media framework that aims to allow people to create online platforms without relying on big tech. However, its AGPLv3 license requires users to make the source code and any modifications public. In the Friday blog post, Mastodon's founder, Eugen Rochko, said that his company had warned Truth Social that its license could be permanently revoked within a month if it does not comply with this requirement.

          • GPL Open Source Litigation Could Open the Door to Other Suits [Ed: Litigation lawyers like these ones are hostile towards sharing; they have spread this widely. So lawyers that hate Free software, love Microsoft, love software patents, and want lots of litigation... dislike the GPL. By means of reverse psychology we can deduce GPL is very effective against bad people.]

            In today’s digital age, the question isn’t whether there is open source software being used in a company’s products, but how it is being used and what license governs its use. Open source is ubiquitous. Despite its widespread use over the past decade, the provisions of open source licenses have been interpreted by only a handful of U.S. and foreign courts. Open source-related disputes do not usually reach court as open source advocacy groups that enforce open source license provisions often work out a resolution between the parties without litigation.

            However, one recent open source dispute has reached the courthouse. As discussed below, a new case filed in California state court could test the enforcement of one of the most common family of open source licenses, the GNU General Public Licenses or “GPL.” If the plaintiff is successful, the case could have the effect of expanding enforcement of GPL licenses under the rubric of consumer protection and allow a broad range of parties to bring claims under the GPL as third party beneficiaries of those licenses.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • The Internet Archive Transforms Access to Books in a Digital World

            The Archive is a nonprofit digital library that has had one guiding mission for almost 25 years: to provide universal access to all knowledge. Democratizing access to books is a central part of that mission. That’s why the Archive has been working with other libraries for almost a decade to digitize and lend books via Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).

            This service has been especially crucial during the pandemic, but will be needed long afterwards.

            CDL allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less, and only permits patrons to check out as many digital copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. Lending happens on an “own to loan” basis—if a digital copy is checked out to a patron, the physical copy is unavailable to other patrons as well. CDL does use DRM to enforce that limited access, but it is still true that anyone with an Internet connection can read digital versions of the great works of human history.

        • As Open Access Week 2021 Draws to a Close, the UK Prepares to Host COP26

          As International Open Access Week (25 – 31 October) draws to a close, the UK prepares to welcome the world to the COP26 summit (31 October – 12 November). Creative Commons CEO, Catherine Stihler, says the UK has the opportunity to unlock digital democracy if the government invests in and commits to open software, openly licensed content, research and data.

    • Programming/Development

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel: dang 0.0.15: Small Correction

        A bug-fix release of the dang package arrived at CRAN a little while ago. The dang package regroups a few functions of mine that had no other home as for example lsos() from a StackOverflow question from 2009 (!!), the overbought/oversold price band plotter from an older blog post, the market monitor from the last release as well the checkCRANStatus() function tweeted about by Tim Taylor.

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel: td 0.0.5 on CRAN: New Reference Accessors

        The td package for accessing the twelvedata API for financial data has been updated on CRAN to version 0.0.5.

        This is version is mostly the work of Kenneth who suggested to add accessors for reference data, and then did just that. So if you already use td, good news as you now have nine or so more functions getting data for you!

      • A simple CSS trick for dark mode

        You're likely already familiar with media queries. They're in widespread use for making websites responsive. The width and height properties contain the viewport's dimensions. You then use CSS to render different layouts at different dimensions.

        The prefers-color-scheme media query works the same way. The user can configure their operating system to use a light or dark theme. Prefers-color-scheme contains that value. The value is either light or dark, though the W3C spec states that it might support future values like sepia. I specify different values of CSS variables for both modes and let the user's OS decide.

      • Print a Halloween greeting with ASCII art on Linux |

        Full-color ASCII art used to be quite popular on DOS, which could leverage the extended ASCII character set and its collection of drawing elements. You can add a little visual interest to your next FreeDOS program by adding ASCII art as a cool “welcome” screen or as a colorful “exit” screen with more information about the program.

        But this style of ASCII art isn’t limited just to FreeDOS applications. You can use the same method in a Linux terminal-mode program. While Linux uses ncurses to control the screen instead of DOS’s conio, the related concepts apply well to Linux programs. This article looks at how to generate colorful ASCII art from a C program.

      • Announcing marked-it v2: Transform your Markdown source into HTML5 output

        marked-it is an open source generator that transforms Markdown source into HTML5 output. Created by IBM, marked-it adds to the basic Markdown markup with extensions that make your content web-ready.

        In marked-it version 2.0, we refactored the code to make it easier for users to code, customize, and contribute their own enhancements to the project.

      • Commercial LTS Qt 5.15.7 Released

        We have released Qt 5.15.7 LTS for commercial license holders today. As a patch release, Qt 5.15.7 does not add any new functionality but provides bug fixes and other improvements.

      • Qt Creator 6 - CMake update

        Qt Creator 6 comes with bug fixes and new features that affect CMake projects.

      • RAII Footguns in Rust and C++

        RAII classes are often used to keep resources alive or hold locks for a given scope. There observable side-effects usually occur only in the constructor and destructor. However, it is quite easy in both languages to forget a tiny detail that will lead to the RAII object being destroyed too early

      • Perl/Raku

        • My Favorite Warnings: redefine

          Sooner or later any programmer, writing in any language, will run across something like this Perl warning: Subroutine foo redefined. This is telling you that somehow, somewhere, you tried to create two subroutines with the same name.

      • Python

        • Things to do in Python 3 when your Unix standard input is badly encoded

          Today I had a little adventure with Python 3. I have a program that takes standard input, reads and lightly processes a bunch of headers before writing them out, then just copies the body (of an email message, as it happens) from standard input to standard output. Normally it gets well formed input, with no illegally encoded UTF-8. Today, there were some stray bytes and the world blew up. Dealing with this was far harder than it should have been, partly because the documentation has issues.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Bash String Manipulation

          One thing that bash is excellent at is manipulating strings of text. If you’re at the command line or writing a small script, then knowing some bash string idioms can be a lot of help.

          So in this article, I’m going to go over techniques for working with strings in bash.

  • Leftovers

    • Cry the Beloved Country: The Roots Poetry of Tijan M. Sallah

      Since then The Gambia has had a stormy political life, some of which is reflected in the poetry of Tijan M. Sallah, who was born in The Gambia in 1958, a year after Ghana gained independence from Great Britain and Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of the independent nation. For a small nation, The Gambia has produced large number of exceptional poets such as bah momodoup (no capitals) and Marabi Amfaal Hydara who has been called “the humanitarian poet.”

      Sallah, who was educated in the U.S and who has a Ph.D from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, is the best known Gambian poet both inside and outside The Gambia. For two decades he was the lead operations officer at the World Bank. He has published five volumes of poetry, plus short stories, criticism, a biography of the famed Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, and a work of ethnography about the Wolof people who live in Senegal, Mauritania and The Gambia. Now 63 years old and conscious of aging—see the poems “Growing Old” and “Meditation on White Hair” —Sallah, it seems, would like to be remembered as a writer as much if not more than for his work at the World Bank.

    • Do We Need Faith as the World Feels Like It’s Ending?

      I’m writing this while on the road with the Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants, a collective whose children were disappeared on the migrant trail by cartels, government agents, or traffickers. For these women, the world has already ended. It ends every time they wake up and confront life without their children. Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Get€ The Nation’s Weekly NewsletterFridays. The best of the week. By signing up, you confirm that you are over the age of 16 and€ agree to receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

    • Graying, Gen X and Generational Leapfrog

      It means more than you think.

      Girls can go gray as young as age 13. Teens who go prematurely silver are abandoning what would have been the standard shame-based response of the past, racing to buy hair dye. Now gray-haired teens and twentysomethings are joining their black- and red-haired, blonde and brunette brethren—and what would have prompted stares a decade ago suddenly seems normal.

    • No Time To Think: The Changing Geopolitics of International Blockbusters

      One effect of this narrative style is to put more emphasis on the story of Bond and less on the usual geopolitics and action we associate with Bond films. Now this is very interesting considering that if one was to ask oneself: which country would be the most likely target and villain of the latest Bond film as a cultural representative of the world’s imperialist and neo-colonial powers? It would have to be: China.

      Who’s bad?

    • My Surreal Encounter With Mort Sahl

      I first met Mort in a little jazz club (maybe, 60-70 people, max) in Hollywood, in 1985. € He was booked Thursday to Sunday. € We attended Thursday night, positively loved him, then tried to return on Friday, but Mort refused to perform unless a minimum of 20 people showed up, so we went to see him on Saturday. € Don Rickles gets 800 people in Las Vegas, but Mort Sahl can’t even get 20 people to show up!!?

      While he was waiting to do his act on Saturday, I took a chance. € With him sitting in a pantry among the canned goods and booze (this man, this comedy legend, didn’t even have his own goddamn dressing room!), I busted in on him…literally. € Not expecting him, Mort was visibly startled when I entered.

    • The Faintest Hint Of Regulatory Accountability Has Tesla Acting Like An Adult

      Coming from telecom, I'm painfully aware of the perils of the "deregulation is a panacea" mindset. For literally thirty straight years, the idea that deregulation results in some kind of miraculous Utopia informed U.S. telecom policy, resulting in a sector that was increasingly consolidated and uncompetitive. In short, the entirety of U.S. telecom policy (with the short lived sporadic exception) has been to kowtow to regional telecom monopolies. Efforts to do absolutely anything other than that (see: net neutrality, privacy, etc.) are met with immeasurable hyperventilation and predictions of imminent doom.

    • She’s On a Roll

      As we see,€ Prerna’s€ family is a member of the lower caste, part of a€ social order€ with€ an upper caste€ that€ rules the€ social€ roost.€ (In the view of author and scholar Oliver C. Cox, the Indian caste system and American racial stratification were so different that the former cannot explain the latter.)

      As€ Skater Girl€ opens,€ we€ discover€ that€ while€ Prerna€ does not attend the local school, her brother does.€ Male privilege can and does begin at an€ early age.€ Eventually, she does return to school.€ This part of the film speaks volumes about female€ equality and€ opportunity under patriarchy, or male dominance over females. This social order persists near and far, to the detriment of half of humanity.

    • Meadows’s Delay to Comply With Jan. 6 Subpoena May Lead to Contempt Charges
    • “A Pivotal Change”: Economist Darrick Hamilton on What the Build Back Better Act Could Accomplish

      Democrats in Washington remain divided over two key bills at the center of President Biden’s domestic agenda: a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $1.85 trillion Build Back Better plan, which has been cut down from $3.5 trillion. Even though Biden’s latest framework is almost half the size of the original proposal, conservative Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are still refusing to commit to its passage. The new proposal strips out several key provisions, including paid family leave, free community college, expanded Medicare coverage for dental and vision, and prescription drug reform. Key elements still in the framework include provisions to provide universal pre-K education, an expanded child tax credit for another year, affordable child care, affordable housing, free school meals, expanded Medicare for hearing services, as well as $555 billion in climate initiatives. Economist Darrick Hamilton, founding director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School, says that despite the smaller size of the package, it would still transform the U.S. economy after decades of austerity and budget cuts. “This is a pivotal change,” he says.

    • Opinion | America's Killer Diet

      My title is not hyperbole. I sure wish it were.

    • Help us Beat the Devil

      Yet, here I am, doing the very thing I despise the most.

      It’s interesting the things you will do when your back is against a wall, and that’s exactly the position CounterPunch finds itself in. We are in a financial pickle. In our case, we are talking about survival, and what the future of our modest, independent media operation will look like.

    • Forget Twitter Threads; Write A Blog Post Instead!

      All of the kool kids in Twitter land seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of a very annoying craze. Twitter threads. Please stop; write a blog post instead.

    • Seven Year Itch and the House of Seven Gables: A Halloween Tale

      Jeff and Laura stood in the graveyard with their Irish Setters, Ginger Rogers and Freud Austere, the bitches steaming after a long trot down, then back up Hathorne Hill, on a late autumn afternoon in Danvers, the dying trees full of majestic color exploded all around them, carping. Always carping and carrying on, scratching-and-sniffing at each other all day long, like they couldn’t wait to get to The Seven Year Itch, the anticipated scent of new feral moans seemingly driving them forward together and apart. They were in year six of their marriage, the same age as their twin daughters, Laura (I), named after her mother, and Anne, named after their Dad’s paternal grandmother. And therein was the Rub: Who would get the kids in the split up ahead? Laura wanted Jeff to take them; Jeff preferred the traditional alimony and child support route instead. They were discussing this situation now.

      “You’re so selfish sometimes, Jeff,” said Laura, haughty from the left. “Why can’t you take them? I’m so busy. You work from home. You can have the house if you keep the kids.”

    • Science

      • Plos One retracts article tied to MIT and Epstein

        Plos One, in a notice of retraction, cited a series of concerns about accuracy and replicability in the article by authors at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin who promised a breakthrough technology in cyber-agriculture.

    • Education

      • Florida Program to Aid Brain-Damaged Kids Often Told Families No. It’s Promising to Change.

        In what would mark a major reversal, Florida’s program for children born with severe brain damage is poised to drop a much-despised policy requiring parents seeking therapy and medicine for their kids to try to get it first from the state’s health care safety net for poor people.

        Under the existing policy, the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA, will only provide services or supplies if Medicaid says no and then only after all appeals fail — a bureaucratic gantlet that can take months.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • It’s Time to End Murder by Spreadsheet

        There have been 13 deaths at Rikers Island this year already, while white-collar criminals rarely even get ankle bracelets as they await trial. This month, as the Chamber of Commerce amped up its campaign to stall legislation that would hold the Sackler family accountable for the deaths they caused and profited from by encouraging the over-prescribing of opioid drugs, a poor man in a wheelchair was killed by Covid. He’d been charged with gun possession and became the 13th Rikers’ death because he couldn’t afford $100,000 bail.

      • Progressives Say 'It's Not Too Late' to Prevent Big Pharma From Destroying Democrats' Drug Price Promise

        While expressing their frustration with the gutting of President Joe Biden's agenda to tax corporations and the wealthy to fund expanded public benefits and climate action, healthcare advocates are stressing that there is still an opportunity for progressive lawmakers to fight for the inclusion of expanded Medicare benefits and lower drug prices in the Democratic Party's not-yet-finalized reconciliation bill.

        "Democrats still have a huge opportunity to deliver on a promise they have been making for decades to lower drug prices."

      • FDA Approves Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Kids Age 5 to 11
      • As Pharma Cash Rained Down, Sinema Killed Democrats' Prescription Drug Plan
      • 'End the Pandemic... Share the Vaccines!': All-Night Vigil Held Outside House of Top Biden Covid-19 Official

        A group of social justice advocates staged an overnight vigil Thursday into Friday outside the home of top White House coronavirus official Jeff Zients urging the Biden administration to take greater actions to "vaccinate the world."

        "We rallied today, we marched, we spoke, and we visited Jeff Zients to make it clear to this administration that this pandemic will not end until we take global action," said Vinay Krishnan, Center for Popular Democracy Action's national field organizer, in a statement.

      • America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.

        In May 2018, a rare and virulent strain of salmonella caught the attention of America’s top disease detectives. In less than two months, the bacteria had sickened more than a dozen people, nearly all of them on the East Coast. Many said they’d eaten chicken, and federal food safety inspectors found the strain in chicken breasts, sausages and wings during routine sampling at poultry plants.

        But what seemed like a straightforward outbreak soon took a mystifying turn. Cases surfaced as far away as Texas and Missouri. A 1-year-old boy from Illinois and a 105-year-old woman from West Virginia fell ill. There was a teenager who’d just returned from a service trip in the Dominican Republic and a woman who’d traveled to Nicaragua. But there were also people who hadn’t traveled at all.

      • “They Deserve to Be Safe”: Candidates Call on Florida to Investigate the Health Effects of Sugar Cane Burning

        Florida Democrats running to represent the state’s largest sugar-growing region in Congress say that state officials need to examine whether the industry’s harvesting practices are harming the health of residents in Florida’s heartland. The primary election, which will be held Tuesday, will likely decide the ultimate winner, given the heavily Democratic district.

        The calls came in response to an investigation by The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica that found the Florida Department of Health ignored the recommendations of its own researchers to do such an assessment five years ago, despite mounting complaints from residents and multiple studies linking a practice known as cane burning to toxic pollution. Sugar companies are the largest employers in the region.

      • Food Contaminated With Drug-Resistant Salmonella Strain Continues to Be Sold
      • Documents reveal Facebook targeted children as young as 6 for consumer base

        In the internal blog post published April 9, the author wrote that the company planned to hire several positions as it expanded into offering its full range of products to children younger than its current threshold of 13 years old. Diagrams illustrate proposed new target age groups, ranging from kids 6 to 9 years old and tweens 10 to 12 years old -- along with existing targets of early teens from 13 to 15 years old, late teens from 16 to 17 years old, and adults.

        “These five age groups can be used to define education, transparency, controls and defaults that will meet the needs of young users,” wrote the Facebook employee.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Ransomware Has Disrupted Almost 1,000 Schools in the US This Year [iophk: Windows TCO]

          But it is less often reported that, ransomware attacks have also ravaged U.S. schools. So far this year, almost 1,000 schools across the country have suffered from a ransomware attack, and in some cases had classes disrupted because of it, according to tallies by Emsisoft, a cybersecurity company that specializes in tracking and investigating ransomware attacks, and another cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

        • “Public” Private Cobalt Strike Keys [iophk: Windows TCO]

          If you want to integrated these 6 keys in your own tools: be my guest. You can find these key pairs in 1768.json.

        • Cobalt Strike: Using Known Private Keys To Decrypt Traffic – Part 1 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          We found 6 private keys for rogue Cobalt Strike software, enabling C2 network traffic decryption.

        • Cobalt Strike: Using Known Private Keys To Decrypt Traffic – Part 2 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In this blog post, we will analyze a Cobalt Strike infection by looking at a full packet capture that was taken during the infection. This analysis includes decryption of the C2 traffic.

        • Accenture lost 'proprietary information' in summer ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The SEC filing filed Friday provides additional detail on a breach the company first discovered on July 30 and disclosed in early August. The disclosure coincided with the ransomware gang LockBit 2.0 leaking information from the consulting giant after saying Accenture failed to pay a $50 million ransom by its deadline.

        • Africa sees increase in ransomware, botnet attacks – but online scams still pose biggest threat

          The study (PDF), published by Interpol yesterday (October 25), found that internet-enabled fraud was the biggest risk to African countries, which have reported a sharp increase in the number of online banking scams, including instances of banking and credit card fraud, in 2021.

        • Video: C Programming on System 6 - Amend Revision Control System

          It’s been almost a year since my last confessional video. A few weeks ago I started working on a small revision control system to handle my C projects developed on my Mac and it’s now at the point where I can at least manage commits to the tool itself.

        • Disabling ssh password auth on Monterey is different

          If you're riding the bleeding edge of Mac software updates, you might have just installed Monterey, or you will soon. If you're also running sshd so you can log in remotely, you should be aware that the typical "revert your config" shenanigans have happened, so you are once again accepting password authentication, and thus are subject to a brute-force attack.

        • Security

          • Hive ransomware now encrypts Linux and FreeBSD systems [Ed: Microsoft boosters trying to prop up this idea that UNIX is the ransomware target [1, 2, 3, 4]; Slashdot now helps these Microsoft boostesr.]

            The Hive ransomware gang now also encrypts Linux and FreeBSD using new malware variants specifically developed to target these platforms.

            However, as Slovak internet security firm ESET discovered, Hive's new encryptors are still in development and still lack functionality.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Swiss Court Says ProtonMail Isn't A Telecom, Isn't Obligated To Retain Data On Users

              ProtonMail offers encrypted email, something that suggests it's more privacy conscious than others operating in the same arena. But, being located in Switzerland, it's subject to that country's laws. That has caused some friction between its privacy protection claims and its obligations to the Swiss government, which, earlier this year, rubbed French activists the wrong way when their IP addresses were handed over to French authorities.

            • AOC calls Facebook a ‘cancer to democracy’ after Meta rebrand

              Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called Facebook a “cancer to democracy” in a tweet on Thursday shortly after the company announced that it was changing its corporate name to Meta to better represent its focus on building the metaverse.

              “Meta as in “we are a cancer to democracy metastasizing into a global surveillance and propaganda machine for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civil society… for profit!” said Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday.

            • Why has Facebook changed its name to Meta and what is the metaverse?

              It is important to note that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram will all be keeping their names. But the company that produces and maintains them will now be called Meta – similar to Google’s 2015 corporate restructuring into a parent company called Alphabet. Facebook (the company) even changed the logo outside its building on 28 October.

            • Meta: Facebook's new name ridiculed by Hebrew speakers

              Facebook's announcement that it is changing its name to Meta has caused quite the stir in Israel where the word sounds like the Hebrew word for "dead".

              To be precise, Meta is pronounced like the feminine form of the Hebrew word.

              A number of people have taken to Twitter to share their take on the name under the hashtag #FacebookDead.

            • Bias in FB algorithm a serious issue: Chandrasekhar

              Chandrasekhar said that the government is concerned about potential abuse and misuse of social media users, and wants that user safety be accorded primacy by internet giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, YouTube and others that operate across the online space in India. “The issue of bias in algorithms is a serious issue for governments, consumers and regulators all over the world. Our jurisprudence and laws and regulations must — sometime in the future — be able to address this issue,” Chandrasekhar told TOI, in the first official comment by the government following the global outrage over Haugen’s revelations that the Mark Zuckerbergled Facebook and his company Instagram had been cavalier about user safety as they chased profits and neglected algorithms that fuelled hate.

            • Facebook Is Now Meta. And It Wants to Monetize Your Whole Existence.

              On Thursday, Facebook changed its name to Meta, as part of a broader shift toward the so-called metaverse — a network of interconnected experiences partly accessed through virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) devices. In Zuckerberg’s own words, “you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it.” The most recognizable examples of this in action are virtual office meetings with VR goggles, playing games in an expansive online universe, and accessing a digital layer on top of the real world through AR.

              As owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the virtual reality firm Oculus, the holding company now known as Meta plans to create an interconnected world in which our work, life, and leisure all take place on its infrastructure — monetizing all aspects of our lives. For now, this is still the stuff of fantasy. Yet it’s also the fantasy of one of the most powerful men in the world — and for this reason, it deserves our attention.

            • Facebook stops just short of rebranding to ‘The Web’

              By the time Meta figures out its metaverse business model, few people will use that word to describe any of this. It’ll sound strange in the same way “World Wide Web” does today.

              Meta would be like Microsoft changing its name to The Web in 1999 — only, somehow, even worse.

            • An Interview with Mark Zuckerberg about the Metaverse

              This interview was conducted on Tuesday, two days before the Facebook Connect keynote where Zuckerberg unveiled his vision for the metaverse, and announced his company’s new name: Meta. There were no limitations on the interview; it was my choice to focus on the company’s new vision and not the current controversies about Facebook.

              This interview is also available as a podcast; to listen in your podcast player register for a free Stratechery account and add your personal podcast feed.

            • Facebook and the Metaverse with Ryan Cristián

              Whitney and Ryan Cristian discuss the recent news of Facebook rebranding as a “metaverse” company and provide important background on what the metaverse is and what its ambitions really are.

            • No esKAPE from Kape? Don’t run from Five Eyes, they are your friends! -“Private” Internet Access

              Dodgy company KAPE has been on a VPN buying spree.

              ZeroHedge noticed this a while back and wrote an article about the people involved with the company.

              “The VPN Empire Built By Intelligence Agents”

              Now, Kape themselves have posted on one of their front companies, Private Internet Access, which was, I believe, the first to be quietly taken over, in 2019.

              They have a “Get the Facts” style campaign going about why there’s absolutely nothing to fear about US-based VPNs (after years of making it seem like they were based in the UK), and why Five Eyes is nothing to be concerned about.

              Which is, of course, bullshit.


              After Roy Schestowitz brought my attention to this post, I double checked to make sure my PIA subscription was, in fact, canceled.

            • Reality 2.0 Episode 90: Can Facebook Be the Good Guy?

              New episode of the Reality 2.0 podcast is uploaded and out today: Reality 2.0 Episode 90: Can Facebook Be the Good Guy? Tune in to our new episode! Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Shawn Powers and Petros Koutoupis about Facebook’s metaverse focus and whistleblower problems.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Capitol Police Wrongly Worried About Leftist Counterprotesters on January 6
      • Every House Member Who Aided the January 6 Rioters Must Be Expelled

        Congress should identify, investigate, and expel members of the House and Senate who aided and abetted the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. That is the constitutionally appropriate and practically necessary response to a coup attempt that now appears to have involved not just violent right-wing extremists from across the country but also Republican representatives who swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

      • What Are the Prospects for Peace: an Interview With Dan Kovalik

        Dan Kovalik is the author of critically-acclaimed No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian’ Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests,€ The Plot to Scapegoat Russia,€ The Plot to Attack Iran,€ The Plot to Control the World, and€ The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela€ and has been a labor and human rights lawyer since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. He has represented plaintiffs in ATS cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. He received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford Law School, and has lectured throughout the world. His responses below are exactly as he provided.

        The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.

      • Psychology of the Iraq War

        In 1895, Gustave Le Bon, a French social psychologist, published “La psychologie des foules,” a seminal book on crowd psychology that became a classic in its genre and a basic source for Sigmund Freud when he dealt with this subject. Pertinent to this day, Le Bon€´s ideas laid the groundwork for hypotheses by later authors to explain tragic historical events such as the role of Nazi Germany in World War II.

        Although Le Bon wrote mainly about the psychology of crowds, his thoughts can also be applied to populations. Though different, both share some common characteristics. Crowds are transitory and tend to gather because they are homogeneous in their beliefs about specific subjects or events. Populations are groups of people with different ways of thinking, living in a place geographically defined but who, similar to crowds, can be swayed by mass media or by a leader.

      • How U.S. Interference in Cuba Creates a False Picture of Its Society

        A quick study of the Diario de Cuba website reveals that it regularly€ publishes€ news relating to Marco Rubio’s views against the Cuban government. According to the Diario de Cuba article shared by Rubio on the November 20 march, the initiative has been promoted by a group called€ Archipiélago€ that proposes to carry out such peaceful€ demonstrations€ throughout Cuba. Rubio has extended his support for the march and on September 29€ tweeted€ about a request by the citizens of Guantánamo seeking similar permission to hold a march on November 20. In his tweet, he shared an article from the news site CiberCuba, which is operated from Florida and Spain. There are€ several€ other news sites reporting on Cuba that are funded by the United States government and by foundations like the Open Society and NED, including ADN Cuba, Cubanos por el Mundo, Cubita NOW, CubaNet, El Estornudo, Periodismo de Barrio, Tremenda Nota, El Toque, and YucaByte.

        A wide range of these U.S. government-funded websites and politicians such as Rubio have been leading the propaganda to support more protests in Cuba. On October 5, the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden also provided support to this agenda. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Brian Nichols€ tweeted, “The fight for a free press and free expression continues in Cuba.” Meanwhile, during an event€ hosted€ by Georgetown Americas Institute, Juan Gonzalez, the senior director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, criticized the Cuban government for€ arresting€ artists and protesters. “[W]hen you put artists in jail for singing and for demanding freedom, there’s something wrong with you,” he€ said.

      • Fate Like a Sandstorm: Jordan and the Middle East

        As fate would have it, these past 12 months have seen so much chasing and adjusting for Jordan and the mother of all political sandstorms has run amok. Not only an alleged coup but aggressive scrutiny over the Pandora Papers. They say particles of sand vibrate in a sandstorm. Jordan has been royally convulsing.

        Every week King Abdullah of Jordan is under attack in the media from some quarter or another. Last week it was Quin Hillyer in the Washington Examiner, showing particular disdain for Jordan’s imprisonment of US citizen Bassem Awadallah, at the same time as pointing out the country is receiving $1.5 billion in aid from the US each year.

      • US Coalition Calls on Biden to Denounce Israel's Crackdown on Palestinian Rights Groups

        A broad coalition of nearly 300 U.S.-based social justice groups on Friday urged the Biden administration to "immediately and unequivocally" condemn the Israeli government's recent decision to classify a half-dozen Palestinian human rights groups as "terrorist organizations."

        "Smearing the promotion and defense of human rights as 'terrorist' activity is a dangerous, well-worn tactic of authoritarian regimes."

      • 'This Sends the Wrong Message': Biden Blasted for New Iran Sanctions Ahead of Nuclear Talks

        U.S. President Joe Biden faced criticism Friday for imposing fresh sanctions on Iran as he heads into weekend talks with European leaders prior to potential direct negotiations with Tehran over the nuclear deal ditched by his predecessor over three years ago.

        The U.S. Treasury Department announced the new sanctions—which target individuals and companies tied to Iran's drone program—while the president was in Rome for a Group of 20 summit, during which he's expected to discuss the Iranian nuclear program with European attendees, according to Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser.

      • Ethiopia: Assailed by Terrorists and Betrayed by the West

        Aided by mainstream western media – The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Facebook (who, according to former employer now whistleblower, Frances Haugen, is “fanning ethnic violence in Ethiopia”) and others – they have spread misinformation and lies about the situation inside Ethiopia. False accusations that Abiy’s government is deliberately “starving its own people”, “blocking humanitarian aid” from reaching displaced groups and carrying out atrocities in the region are widespread on such platforms.

        They receive their information not from Ethiopian journalists working on the ground, or well-informed local people, but, it seems, from statements issued by the US administration, UN agencies, external organizations and TPLF spokespeople. The same material is published or broadcast by each media outlet, more or less. It is consistently untrue and serves to undermine the Ethiopian government, create confusion and strengthen the TPLF’s campaign. What western governments don’t mention, and consistently fail to condemn, are the atrocities perpetrated by the TPLF.

      • Who's Responsible for the Rust Shooting?

        Reportage generally describes the shooting as an “accident,” but it wasn’t. There are two kinds of firearms discharges: Intentional and negligent. This incident is no exception. But that doesn’t mean the intent or negligence was wholly Baldwin’s.

        Was the shooting intentional or negligent? And whose intent or negligence contributed to it? From afar, this looks like a complicated question.

    • Environment

      • The Centerpiece of the Build Back Better Climate Plan Has Been Stripped Out
      • Despite Cutbacks, ExxonMobil Continues to Fund Climate Science Denial

        “Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes,” McCoy, then ExxonMobil’s senior director of federal relations, said during the interview. “Did we join some of these ‘shadow groups’ to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about that. We were looking out for our investments. We were looking out for our shareholders.”

        For all his candor, McCoy got at least one thing wrong. ExxonMobil did “join”—in other words, pay—denier groups to spread disinformation to blunt initial government attempts to curb carbon emissions. But McCoy inaccurately used the past tense. In fact, the company continues to fund them.

      • Rain Falls on California, but Water Is Still Scarce
      • In Their Own Words: The Dirty Dozen Documents of Big Oil’s Secret Climate Knowledge

        “Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes,” said ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy. “Did we join some of these ‘shadow groups’ to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about that.”

      • What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change, in Its Own Words

        I pored over boxes of papers, thousands of pages. I began to recognize typewriter fonts from the 1960s and ‘70s and marveled at the legibility of past penmanship, and got used to squinting when it wasn’t so clear.

        What those papers revealed is now changing our understanding of how climate change became a crisis.

      • Energy

        • Fossil Fuel Interests Continue to Block Climate Action in Europe Ahead of COP26
        • Democrats Will Subpoena Big Oil to Force Disclosure of Climate Denial Campaigns
        • Ahead of COP 26, Worldwide Mobilizations Launched to Demand Big Banks End Fossil Fuel Destruction

          Friday marked the start of a suite of coordination global actions by climate activists demanding financial institutions stop backing fossil fuel projects.

          "Financial institutions who run our economies... must do their part by halting all of their funding of climate chaos."

        • 'The Supreme Court Could Destroy the Planet': Review of EPA Power Triggers Alarm

          As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares for a consequential United Nations climate summit in Scotland, the Supreme Court on Friday provoked widespread alarm by agreeing to review the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to limit planet-heating pollution.

          "The Supreme Court could destroy the planet. Pass it on," tweeted Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) in response to the decision.

        • Congress Grills ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron and the American Petroleum Institute on Their Roles in Spreading Climate Disinformation

          Top executives from ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, and the American Petroleum Institute appeared virtually on Thursday to testify before the House of Representatives on climate change. The day-long hearing drew comparisons to hearings decades ago when big tobacco executives were similarly forced to answer questions in front of Congress about the addictiveness of their products and the risks faced by smokers.

          While some observers are already suggesting that this time around, Congress may have been “outmatched” by the oil executives, the day was nonetheless marked by a number of moments that could be consequential over the long run in holding Big Oil accountable for its role in the climate crisis.€ 

        • To Tackle Climate Change, Hold Fossil Fuel Conglomerates Accountable
        • North Sea Oil Industry ‘Voted’ on New ‘Climate Compatibility’ Drilling Policy, Minutes Show

          Oil and gas companies have been given the chance to “vote” on what a new climate test for North Sea drilling projects should look like, ahead of a public consultation on the scheme, official meeting minutes show.

          The opportunity arose through a collaborative forum between the industry and its regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority – evidence that the sector is being allowed to “mark its own homework”, according to the Scottish Green Party.

        • Democrats Add $775 Million Oil and Gas Subsidy to Bill After Lobbyist Campaign
        • The Divestment Movement’s Big Month
        • How Venture Capitalists Think [Cryptocurency] Will Reshape Commerce

          In first three quarters of 2021, venture capitalists poured a record $21.4 billion into cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies, in 1,196 deals, according to Pitchbook, a market data provider. That is more than five times as much money compared to last year.

          No one is placing a bigger bet than Andreessen Horowitz, also known by the nickname A16Z, a Silicon Valley firm whose founders helped build and fund today’s internet. They say the “digital status quo is broken,” with giant tech gatekeepers profiting off everyone’s creativity and data.

        • Cuba’s communist regime is trying to control [cryptocurrency]

          Initially many of these transactions happened informally over social-messaging apps. As [cryptocurrency] became more common, people turned to specialist platforms, such as BitRemesas, founded in September 2020 by Erich García, a Cuban YouTube influencer who makes videos about the internet. BitRemesas matches [cryptocurrency] sellers outside the country with buyers on the island through auctions.

        • Blockchain Experts Debate Just How Much Internet Needs to Change

          The Senate introduced controversial language on cryptocurrency to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last month that has spurred renewed discussion about the blockchain.

          That bill includes tax reporting requirements for wallet developers and cryptocurrency miners that blockchain enthusiasts criticize as overly burdensome. There are different opinions about whether these provisions will be addressed via amendment, or included in the measure when it is ultimately teed up for passage by the House.

          Panelists at the event reacted to this development by discussing whether proper groundwork is being laid to support future advancements in cryptocurrency.

        • How Practical is Harvesting Water from the Air?

          For those with solar panels and battery storage, the energy cost may not seem like a problem. However, for those stuck paying grid prices, such an installation in drought-struck California would cost on the order of $27-36 a day to run, given the current energy price of around 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. It’s a huge price to pay for water, given the average bill in California currently sits at just $65 a month.

          The key really is pairing such technology with solar power, in order to avoid contributing further to the climate change problem that causes hot weather and droughts in the first place. Bay Area man Don Johnson lives in the city of Benicia, and bought himself a Tsunami 500 in order to supply his garden’s water needs. However, he found that the machine was able to generate more than enough water to cover both his garden and his household usage. With the benefit of a large solar install on his roof, Johnson hasn’t had to deal with excessive power bills when running the system.


          Given the huge cost, it’s unsurprising that this technology is not yet mainstream. Tsunami Products reportedly sold just 20 units in 18 months prior to coverage by AP News. Since then, the company has reported a torrent of interest, and hopes to close on 50 orders by year’s end. Given the anxieties created by drought, it’s perhaps unsurprising that those with the means are jumping at the chance to secure their own water supply.

          It does, however, raise the idea that perhaps the technology could be used in a more sustainable fashion. Anyone that’s seen water dripping off an air conditioner unit will be familiar with the principles at play. There’s perhaps scope to investigate capturing condensation from large air conditioning units in commercial and industrial installations, where it could be purified for use on-site. This could potentially reduce water use without increasing power usage, as it relies on the existing air conditioning system as it’s already employed. It’s something unlikely to work on the smaller home scale, due to the lower amounts of water such a system would harvest. However, for larger installations, it could prove beneficial.

          Overall, however, water production from humid air remains an energy-intensive, and thus costly, exercise. While atmospheric water capture may find some applications in off-grid areas and with cashed-up homeowners, it’s in no way likely to serve as a widespread solution to the water woes of California and other drought-stricken areas. More traditional methods of saving and capturing water will have to be employed.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Opinion | The Battle Over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Is About More Than Just Oil

          Seventy percent of Americans are opposed to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and millions have made their voices heard through public administrative comments, and yet for the last four years our government has failed to listen. That could all soon change, however, as Congress and the Biden administration continue to work toward legislation—the Build Back Better Act—that would undo the Arctic Refuge oil and gas program and buy back all current leases. The time to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge is here, and it is clearer than ever that its fate will greatly impact our collective future.

        • The ‘Lord God Bird’ Might be Extinct, But the Story of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Isn’t Over Yet

          In its most recent report to the U.S. government, the Fish and Wildlife Service identified 23 lost causes, including the Kauai O’o, Bachman’s warbler and seven freshwater mussel species. Few have caused as much outcry, though, as the iconic ivory-billed woodpecker.

        • The Latest Logging Industry Smokescreen

          In a sense, however, this is not the fault of the Forest Service; it’s fundamentally the fault of the U.S. Congress, which created the federal laws upon which this troubling system has been built, and it is the ultimate responsibility of Congress to pass new laws to get the Forest Service out of the commercial logging business.

          For years, hundreds of independent scientists from universities and non-governmental organizations have been producing research that has increasingly questioned the claims and assumptions used by the Forest Service to perpetuate its logging program. In response, the Forest Service has, over the past two decades, allocated tens of millions of dollars to pay a few dozen agency and university scientists to attack this much larger group of independent scientists, who are not funded by the Forest Service or any other logging entity. But the scientists and agencies whose funding is tied to logging keep ending up on the losing end of the scientific debate in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Recently, agencies and scientists affiliated with the logging industry have turned to€ whisper campaigns and character assassination, as well as social media and certain willing news outlets to personally attack independent forest, fire, and climate scientists, including myself, rather than try to debate us on the evidence.

    • Finance

      • 'He Needs to Step Up': Ocasio-Cortez Urges New Student Debt Relief From Biden

        "Now that his agenda is thinly sliced he needs to step up his executive action game and show his commitment to [delivering] for people."

      • The Real Meaning of Squid Game

        It’s not a reality show. But this fictional drama does accurately reflect the reality of living in South Korean society these days.

        The commentary about€ Squid Game€ has emphasized the economic precariousness in which so many Koreans live. Household debt in South Korea is€ over 100 percent€ of the country’s GDP. Housing is expensive while secure jobs are scarce. A few years ago, young people started referring to their country as€ Hell Chosun, a place where they simply couldn’t get ahead. Competition is ruthless for spots at the top universities and choice positions in the leading conglomerates known as chaebols. The resulting inequality has become€ a major theme in Korean culture, which came to the attention of global audiences in 2019 with the popular movie€ Parasite.

      • Don't Be Fooled Squid Game Fans, by Many Measures the US is More Unequal Than South Korea

        This is not the first time South Korea’s entertainment industry has focused on the dark side of contemporary capitalism. Squid Game appears a few years after the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s popular and critically acclaimed movies Parasite and Snowpiercer critiqued class inequality. Squid Game’s dramatization of extreme economic hardship in South Korea might lead some to feel that conditions are better in the United States. However, the United States has more inequality than South Korea by several economic and social measures. We will discuss a few below, but we are not attempting a comprehensive review.

        When looking at the ratio of the average disposable income of the top 20 percent of households to the bottom 20 percent, the United States has more inequality than South Korea (Figure 1). In the United States, the richest 20 percent have an average income 8.4 times the lowest 20 percent; in South Korea the ratio is 6.5 times. The gap between rich and poor is larger in the United States.

      • Class War Heats Up

        U.S. billionaires pretty much have the run of Congress and the White House. Just to make that clear, corporate lobbyist heavy hitters from the Chamber of Commerce, Pfizer, ExxonMobil and the Business Roundtable brazenly and intensely assaulted BBB tax raises, which would have brought their taxes up to a mere 28 percent from 21 percent. They did this so defiantly and ostentatiously that back on September 9, 100 groups from the other side urged congress to stand up to this plutocratic bullying.

        These 100 opposing organizations, led by the Economic Policy Institute, denounced the tens of millions of dollars spent by wealthy corporations to attack “the most transformative and equitable budget proposed in a generation.” The EPI assemblage included the AFL-CIO, Americans for Tax Fairness, Center for American Progress, League of Conservation Voters and dozens more. Suffice it to say these signatories are pissed. They don’t like what corporate America is up to.

      • Subway’s Sandwich Mogul Meets — and Beats — the IRS
      • There's a 'Squid Game' cryptocurrency – and it's up nearly 2,400% in the last 24 hours
      • The Billionaires Tax Isn’t New

        Having stumbled in their attempts to raise taxes on the wealthy in the conventional way, Democrats in Congress moved to unconventional measures.

        The proposal was to tax billionaires on their so-called unrealized gains — the growth in the value of assets, such as stocks and real estate, that have not yet been sold. To understand why lawmakers might look to a group of more than 700 billionaires to underwrite a massive spending program, consider this statistic: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, billionaires have seen a 70% increase in their wealth, from nearly $3 trillion to an almost incomprehensible $5 trillion, according to Forbes data analyzed by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality and the Common Good.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Efforts to Ban Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” Are at Center of Virginia Governor Race
      • Macedonian Ramble: Ohrid's Divided Legacy

        The border guards at the Sveti Naum post (it’s named after the nearby medieval monastery) stamped me into the Republic of North Macedonia, and one of them said that occasionally a bus came out to the frontier, although he didn’t know the schedule.

        I found the bus stop by the roadside, but after waiting in the cold for fifteen minutes I decided that my best chance to connect with civilization would be to walk to the monastery, which was about a mile away.

      • Virginia Governor’s Race Tightens as Focus Grows on “Parents’ Rights,” Abortion & Trump

        We look at the Virginia gubernatorial race, where former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is facing Republican Glenn Youngkin, the former CEO of a private equity firm. President Joe Biden, who has campaigned with McAuliffe, warns Youngkin is an extremist in the vein of former President Trump. A major point of contention is Youngkin’s push for “parents’ rights” — a catch-all phrase adopted by right-wing opponents of vaccine and mask mandates, transgender rights and critical race theory. Julia Manchester, national politics reporter for The Hill, says that Youngkin has essentially portrayed elected school board officials as “political figures trying to influence Virginia students’ education.”

      • Opinion | The Path Toward a Just, Feminist Future in Haiti

        As Haiti experiences a surge of crises—political upheaval, an earthquake in August, tropical storms—we might ask ourselves what we can do to support people there whose lives have been upended. But the better question is: what does the world, and especially the US, owe to the Haitian people, as a matter of justice?

      • Who Goes Fascist? A Political Psychologist Explains.

        In April 2018, an audience packed the American Academy in Berlin to listen to the political scientist Kristen Renwick Monroe. The room crackled with energy. Donald Trump had been president for just over a year, and people desperately wanted insight into the tumultuous changes happening in the United States. The newspapers were filled with stories about the Muslim travel ban, a planned wall along the US-Mexican border, and White House attacks on the press.1

      • Opinion | What Seattle Can Teach the Country About Fixing Our Democracy

        Far from the dysfunctional tumult in Congress, Seattle has found two keys toward fixing problems that plague our democracy. The country should pay attention.

      • Prospects for Chile: New President, New Constitution, Continuing Turmoil

        But turmoil and volatility prevail, as evidenced in presidential elections taking place on November 21, continuing street demonstrations, and preparations for a new Constitution.

        Elections at hand

      • On Mass Political Inattention

        Speaking to Salon’s Chauncy de Vega about how the United States is mired in a crisis of democracy that shows parallels with Germany’s descent into Nazism during the 1930s, Norman Ornstein recently noted that “Most people don’t pay close attention, day to day,€ to what’s going on” in the political sphere.

        Speaking just anecdotally, my guess is that Ornstein is correct.€  In my experience, most people I talk to outside of my pre-existing left circles have only the foggiest notion about the specifics and meaning of current events. “The news” holds little real interest and significance for everyday Americans. And the notion of doing the work to “pay close attention, day to day,” is simply beyond the pale of imaginable life activity for most ordinary citizens in the nation that absurdly claims to be the world’s greatest democracy.

      • Blame Manchin and Sinema for the Delay on the Infrastructure Vote

        All day Thursday, I found myself torn about whether the House Progressive Caucus should accept a “framework” for a pared-down “Build Back Better” bill in exchange for its members’ votes for the ballyhooed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought up for a vote again yesterday. Together, the two bills would provide an almost $3 trillion investment in our future. And while lots of important priorities got cut from the BBB “framework,” what remained was indeed what Pelosi termed “transformative.” Universal pre-kindergarten, investments in child care and elder care, health care funding, a half-billion in climate change mitigation programs, an unexpectedly progressive tax plan, and more. I always thought that in the end, progressives would accept the “framework” of the BBB, rather than demand a vote on the bill, in order to proceed with a vote on infrastructure.

      • Should Andrew Cuomo Go To Jail for “Forcible Touching”?

        “Waaaah!” go the white men.

      • Opinion | US Policy Toward Venezuela Was Never About Promoting Democracy

        Last year, then Special Representative Elliott Abrams€ declared€ that the Trump Administration was "working hard" to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Now Abrams (currently€ a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations), together with the Biden Administration, is€ urging€ the Venezuelan opposition to participate in the upcoming state and local elections this November.

      • 'Hands Off,' Varoufakis Tells Zuckerberg After Facebook Steals 'Meta' Name From Anti-Capitalist Think Tank

        As Facebook faces a firestorm for changing its corporate name to Meta amid heightened scrutiny over how the tech titan harms humanity, Greek economist and Progressive International co-founder Yanis Varoufakis on Friday called out the company for stealing the moniker of a global anti-capitalist think tank.

        Varoufakis, in a tweet, took aim at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who announced the new name at a conference Thursday, as the social media company contends with widespread criticism of its practices thanks to revelations from former-employees-turned-whistleblowers.

      • Roaming Charges: In the Time of Passive Non-Resistance

        Of course, Biden’s pledge to become the new FDR was always hollow, almost comically so for those who’d paid the slightest attention to his career in the US senate. When the “new Democrats” finally took power and Clinton began dismantling what remained of FDR’s political legacy, Biden ran interference for him on the Hill, helping to smother what little internal resistance the Democrat’s put up to Bubba’s drive to “end the Era of Big Government.” It takes a politician more gifted than Biden to authentically fake fury at the shriveling of policies that he never really believed in to begin with.

        + When fools rush in…

      • GOP Efforts to Ban Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” Now at Center of Virginia Governor’s Race

        Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin caused public uproar this week when he released a political ad featuring a white mother who advocated banning Toni Morrison’s novel “Beloved” from schools. The woman, Laura Murphy, describes the book as “some of the most explicit material you can imagine.” In 2013, Murphy fought to have the “Beloved bill” passed, which was eventually vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is running again for governor against Youngkin in the current race. Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of a family of former enslaved people set after the American Civil War. Dana Williams, professor of African American literature at Howard University, says the fight over “parents’ rights” has become a racist dog whistle. “Books like 'Beloved' really do force us to have real conversations about history,” she says.

      • Facebook Removed the News Feed Algorithm in an Experiment. Then It Gave Up.
      • Karen Dolan on Build Back Better, Tim Karr on Changing Facebook
      • A Livable Future Is Possible: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

        This month will mark a critical juncture in the struggle to avoid climate catastrophe. At the COP26 global climate summit kicking off next week in Glasgow, Scotland, negotiators will be faced with the urgent need to get the world economy off the business-as-usual track that will take Earth up to and beyond 3 degrees Celsius of excess heating before this century’s end, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Yet, so far, the pledges of rich nations to cut greenhouse-gas emissions have been far too weak to rein in the temperature rise. Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s climate plans hang in the balance. If Congress fails to pass the reconciliation bill, the next opportunity for the United States to take effective climate action may not arise until it’s too late.

      • Noam Chomsky: “It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way”

        In a new interview, Noam Chomsky argues that a livable future free of catastrophic climate change is possible — we just have to take on the billionaires standing in the way.

      • Meta and the Facebook Papers: Why Mark Zuckerberg has nothing to fear

        With great fanfare on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his company's much-anticipated name change. While he sidestepped some of the more obvious possibilities — "The Borg" or "The Matrix" come to mind — the name that was eventually settled on, Meta, proved to be no less ominous. That was doubly so because Zuckerberg's vision for the company's future was to create a "metaverse," which he has described as an "embodied internet" and "a persistent, synchronous environment." Casey Newton at The Verge described it as "a more maximalist version of Facebook, spanning social presence, office work, and entertainment." One does get the strong impression that Zuckerberg envisions a future where people never unplug from his metaverse, putting them under very non-stop corporate surveillance for profit.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • US Congress grills oil executives over climate disinformation in day-long hearing

        Top executives of ExxonMobil and other oil giants denied spreading disinformation about climate change as they sparred Thursday with congressional Democrats over allegations that the industry concealed evidence about the dangers of global warming.

      • “Fetal cells” in COVID-19 vaccines…again

        I realize that I probably sound a lot like one of those annoying scolds who keeps saying, “I told you so,” but, nearly two decades into my second “career” writing about pseudoscience and conspiracy theories like those promoted by the antivaccine movement, it’s hard to resist. The reason is that everything old is new again. The same claims that I’ve been discussing right here on this very blog since 2004 and then before that on Usenet and other discussion forums have not only resurfaced since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in early 2020, but they’ve been turbocharged. Somewhat annoying to us relative old-timers, a lot of colleagues are now noticing antivaccine lies and conspiracy theories that we’ve known about and been warning about for years and years, such as the misuse of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database; claims that vaccines kill, cause infertility in girls, and the like; fear mongering over vaccines selecting for more deadly variants of the coronavirus; and minimization of COVID-19 as a disease that is not dangerous to the virtuous “healthy” people. (Just never mind those old people, who can’t help being old right now, because no one can control when they are born, and don’t get me started on the resurrection of old antivax conspiracy theories about the CDC.) So it is, yet again, with the claim that COVID-19 vaccines contain “aborted fetal tissue,” “fetal cells,” or “fetal DNA.” Just for yucks, I searched for the first time I ever wrote about this particular antivax trope, and it turned out to have been in 2005, when an antivaxxer claimed that the varicella vaccine contained “aborted fetal tissue.” (Hint: It didn’t and doesn’t.)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Prudes Drive Social Media Takedowns, Museums Embrace... OnlyFans?

        Over the last few years, we've seen more and more focus on using content moderation efforts to stamp out anything even remotely upsetting to certain loud interest groups. In particular, we've seen NCOSE, formerly "Morality in Media," spending the past few years whipping up a frenzy about "pornography" online. They were one of the key campaigners for FOSTA, which they flat out admitted was step one in their plan to ban all pornography online. Recently, we've discussed how MasterCard had put in place ridiculous new rules that were making life difficult for tons of websites. Some of the websites noted that Mastercard told them it was taking direction from... NCOSE. Perhaps not surprisingly, just recently, NCOSE gave MasterCard its "Corporate Leadership Award" and praised the company for cracking down on pornography (which NCOSE considers the same as sex trafficking or child sexual abuse).

      • China is destroying Hong Kong’s culture – just look at its film scene

        In Hong Kong cinema’s near three-decade heyday, elegant wuxia (ancient martial-arts tales) rubbed up against moody neon-drenched cops-and-gangsters thrillers, dizzying kung fu spectacles and achingly sexy art-house romances. It was a cultural powerhouse in East Asia and a cult sensation in the West. What’s more, unlike many other distinctive national cinemas, it thrived without a scrap of government subsidy. As the great critic and film historian David Bordwell once observed: “Hong Kong movies were made simply because millions of people wanted to watch them.”

        Yet this once vibrant industry is now facing extinction. On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council voted in swingeing new censorship laws that align with the political interests of the Chinese regime. The measures give politicians the power to ban any film which is deemed to “endorse, support, glorify, encourage [or] incite activities that might endanger national security” – terms loose enough to encompass anyone and anything China might take against.

      • Hong Kong Passes Film Censorship Law; ‘Will Impact the Film Industry and Diminish Creativity,’ Says Expert

        Dr Kwok-kwan Kenny Ng, Associate Professor at the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University, one of whose areas of research is film censorship, tells Silverscreen India that the clause initially said films “that endangered national security” should be prohibited, but the amendments in August changed it to “contrary to the interests of national security.”

        The new law also grants powers to the Film Censorship Authority to enter and search any premises without a warrant to prevent the unauthorised screening of films.

        It further rules out the usual appeal process through the Board of Review (Film Censorship) against any decisions made by censors on the grounds of national security. Filmmakers must now appeal to the courts for a judicial review instead.

      • Social Media Companies Noncommittal on Bipartisan Calls for Changes to Content Regulation

        During the hearing, subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said his staff had created a TikTok account and while at first they were shown videos of dance trends that have been popularized on the app, it only took one week for the app’s algorithm to place videos encouraging suicidal ideation on their feed. Blumenthal also noted that through viewing fitness-related videos geared toward a male audience on social media, it only took one minute to find posts promoting illegal steroids.

      • The Week in Internet News: Snowden Warns of Anti-Encryption Efforts

        The power to censor: Meanwhile, the government of Russia has been taking several steps to censor Internet communications, the New York Times reports. In addition to demands from regulators going to Internet companies, the government has installed “black boxes” on the networks of telecom providers there, with the equipment “giving authorities startling new powers to block, filter and slow down websites that they did not want the Russian public to see.”

      • Germany: How does it deal with Chinese censorship?

        Talks on the biography Xi Jinping: der mächtigste Mann der Welt (Xi Jinping: The most powerful man in the world), written by German journalists Stefan Aust and Adrian Geiges, were supposed to be held at the Confucius Institutes in Hannover and Duisburg.

        But organizers were pressured into canceling the events, said Ulrich Radtke, rector of the University of Duisburg-Essen, at the beginning of an online presentation of the book held on Wednesday that was organized at short notice as an alternative to the canceled events.

        The circumstances leading to the cancelation are still being investigated, explained Radtke, who added: "This is not a random case for us; it touches on our academic freedom."

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Biden's DOJ Dismissed Suicide Risk for Assange in Appeal of Extradition Denial
      • The Most Important Battle for Press Freedom of Our Time

        Assange, with long white hair, appeared on screen the first day from the video conference room in HM Prison Belmarsh. He was wearing a white shirt with an untied tie around his neck. He looked gaunt and tired. He did not appear in court, the judges explained, because he was receiving a “high dose of medication.” On the second day he was apparently not present in the prison’s video conference room.

        Assange is being extradited because his organization WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs in October 2010, which documented numerous US war crimes — including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the€ Collateral€ murder€ video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to US checkpoints. He is also being targeted by US authorities for other leaks, especially those that exposed€  the hacking tools used by the CIA known as€ Vault 7, which enables the spy agency to compromise cars, smart TVs, web browsers and the operating systems of most smart phones, as well as operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux.

      • Appeal Hearing: CIA’s War On Assange, Their ‘Most Prominent Critic,’ Takes Center Stage

        The Central Intelligence Agency’s record of retaliation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including reported plans to kidnap or assassinate him, was focused on during the second day of the United States government’s appeal hearing.

        It was part of the Assange legal team’s effort to convince the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom of the gravity of the risks, which Assange would face if they overturn a district judge’s decision and allow extradition.

      • U.S., 17 Other Nations Condemn Russia’s ‘Intensifying Harassment’ Of Media, Journalists

        An 18-member group of nations, including the United States and United Kingdom, has expressed “deep concern” over what it calls the Russian government’s “intensifying harassment of independent journalists and media outlets” in the country.

        The statement, issued on October 28 under the name of the Media Freedom Coalition, was also signed by Ukraine and North Macedonia, along with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

      • HS journalists face prosecution over intelligence centre story

        The Deputy State prosecutor has filed charges against three Helsingin Sanomat employees over an in-depth look at an intelligence facility located in Central Finland, published in 2017.

        The three have been charged with disclosure of state secrets or attempted disclosure of state secrets. The offences carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison; however it is unlikely that a non-suspended jail term would be imposed.

        The pre-trial investigation found that HS had not used illegal means to acquire the documents, so the charges relate to the publication of the information they contained.

      • Journalists at Helsingin Sanomat charged for publishing classified defence documents

        The pre-trial investigation found that the journalists employed no unlawful means to obtain the information.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Use and Disadvantage of Doctrine in the Classroom

        The BLM at School Movement seems to have been the first name it gave itself, but its enemies stole a march on the popular mind and rechristened it “the CRT curriculum.” The left-wing dodge was to say that conservative critics were simply confused, since critical race theory is an intricate program, excogitated by a few legal academics in the 1980s and ’90s, which could not possibly be conveyed to children still learning their ABCs. The deflection deserved to fail, and it did fail. No matter what you call it, something new is plainly happening to the way history and social studies are taught in grades K-12.

      • 'A Human Experiment': John Marion Grant Convulsed, Vomited at Oklahoma Execution

        "There should be no more executions in Oklahoma until we go trial in February to address the state's problematic lethal injection protocol."

        "Oklahoma knew full well that this was well within the realm of possible outcomes in a midazolam execution. It didn't care... and the Supreme Court apparently didn't either."

      • Mexico, US Imperialism and the Border

        Over the course of the next two years, unions in all three countries organized opposition to NAFTA. By the time Bill Clinton was elected president in November 1992, most people had at least heard of the agreement. Many Democrats had come out in opposition to it and Clinton pretended he was one of them. As it turned out, he wasn’t and NAFTA passed into law in 1994. Most of what the opposition predicted would happen, did. Wages fell in the United States, small farmers in Mexico saw the value of their crops drop, US corporations moved into Mexico, and Mexicans who had lost their livelihoods began heading to the US in great numbers. These are but a few examples of how NAFTA changed the economies of North America.

        Of course, NAFTA is not the sole reason for the situation working people in North America find themselves in. Numerous other causes exist; some were foreseeable outgrowths of capitalism’s ongoing crisis while others—like COVID-19—were not. Likewise, not all workers in all three nations have experienced this crisis in the same ways. It seems fair to state that it is the Mexican working class and small farmers who have suffered the most. Forced to migrate to cities or the United States in order to find work, these people’s very lives end up criminalized. Sneaking across harsh terrain surveilled by high-tech machinery and often brutal police agencies, these migrants are also looked upon as prey by unscrupulous coyotes, drug traffickers and just plain criminals. Should they make their way across the US southern border alive, they often end up in detention camps filled with stories of abuse, neglect, and sickness. The brutality required to keep borders closed to human beings is both graphic and appalling beyond belief.

      • “Shadow Units”: How Secretive Border Patrol Teams Shield Agents from Accountability

        A human rights network of 60 organizations working along the U.S.-Mexico border released a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging them to investigate “shadow police units” that have helped cover up beatings and killings by Border Patrol agents for more than three decades. The shadow units, identified in the letter as “Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams,” are said to possibly be “the largest and longest standing shadow police unit that is operating today in the federal government.” New details came to light when attorneys investigating the 2010 Border Patrol killing of Mexican father Anastasio Hernández Rojas found a secretive special investigative unit tampered with and even destroyed evidence in the case to shield the agents involved. Investigative journalist John Carlos Frey, who reported on the case and helped uncover the shadow groups, says agents “tampered with evidence, they obstructed justice, and they violated the law,” adding that Border Patrol is being permitted to “investigate itself without any oversight.”

      • “If Black Women Were Free”: An Oral History of the Combahee River Collective

        Last year, fierce protests erupted across the US out of rage against austerity, a botched Covid-19 response, and the brutal murder of George Floyd. Demonstrators blocked traffic, occupied public spaces, and destroyed police property. At the same time, there was an upswell in mutual aid, rent strikes, and labor organizing.

      • Opinion | The Poisonous 'Citizens United' Decision Gave Corporations the Power to Slash and Burn Build Back Better

        If President Biden's Build Back Better plan goes down in flames, you can blame the US Supreme Court. Their Citizens United decision, in fact, is destroying both American politics and the planet.

      • The Window to Act Is Closing Fast
      • Status Coup
      • The Supreme Court Wants to Make It Even Harder to Sue Abusive Cops

        Qualified immunity is a legal concept that sounds wonky but is not difficult to grasp. Put simply: Government workers, including members of law enforcement, cannot be sued in their capacity as private individuals for actions they take as part of their official responsibilities.

      • Oklahoma inmate dies vomiting and convulsing in first state execution since 2015

        Condemned Oklahoma prisoner John Grant convulsed and vomited before dying from a cocktail of drugs on Thursday as the state conducted its first execution in years despite questions about its lethal injection protocol, a witness to the death reported.

      • Doctors question sedative dose used in Oklahoma execution

        “Either they lied to the public and they can’t be trusted or they told the truth and the protocol can't be trusted,” Denham said.

      • 118 days: No justice for those targeted by the “Sulli Deals” incident.

        On July 4, 2021, the news first broke about the “Sulli Deals” incident, in which Muslim women were specifically targeted due to their gender and religious identity. However, after much furore and backlash, there is still no end in sight for them. We wrote to the Delhi Police asking them to expeditiously investigate the incident to provide closure and support to those targeted.


        The lack of progress made in the “Sulli Deals” incident signals a worrying trend for women and minorities in India who wish to safely access the internet. Social media platforms are the town halls of our modern times. Yet, the persistent incidents of sexual harassment have made these platforms highly unsafe and toxic for women, ultimately leading them to disengage from social media altogether after facing harassment.

        According to a study conducted by Plan International, one in every five young women have opted out of social media after being targeted or harassed. The abuses are further aggravated in cases of women who voice their opinions as well as those women who belong to minority communities on social media platforms and in turn, dissuade them from expressing themselves without any fear or inhibitions. Here, it is also important to note that some female journalists, who face constant harassment due to their gender and religion, were also targeted. This squarely violates the women’s right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • NY Times Continues Its Inability To Report Accurately On Section 230 And Content Moderation

        Daisuke Wakabayashi is a NY Times business reporter who seems to have a weird blind spot regarding Section 230 and online content moderation. Actually, perhaps "blind spot" isn't the right term for it. Two years ago, he was responsible for the massive full page, front page of the Business Section article falsely claiming that Section 230 was responsible for hate speech online. That's the one* where, infamously, the NY Times had to write a correction that completely undermined the headline of the article:

      • Everything You Know About Section 230 Is Wrong (But Why?)

        There are a few useful phrases that allow one instantly to classify a statement. For example, if any piece of popular health advice contains the word "toxins," you can probably disregard it. Other than, "avoid ingesting them." Another such heuristic is that if someone tells you "I just read something about ۤ230..." the smart bet is to respond, "you were probably misinformed." That heuristic can be wrong, of course. Yet in the case of ۤ230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has been much in the news recently, the proportion of error to truth is so remarkable that it begs us to ask, "Why?" Why do reputable newspapers, columnists, smart op-ed writers, legally trained politicians, even law professors, spout such drivel about this short, simple law?

      • Tired Of Federal Apathy, Oakland Moves To Ban Anticompetitive Broadband Landlord Deals

        We've noted for years how corruption and apathy have resulted in the U.S. broadband sector being heavily monopolized, resulting in 83 million Americans having the choice of just one ISP. Tens of millions more Americans only have the choice of their local cable company or an apathetic local phone company that hasn't meaningfully upgraded their aging DSL lines in twenty years. On top of that problem is another problem: ISPs routinely bribe or bully apartment, condo, and other real estate owners into providing them cozy exclusivity arrangements that block broadband competition on a block by block level as well.

      • IPv4 addresses are silly, inet_aton(3) doubly so.

        Now all of this is largely esoteric and not something that you can or should really rely on. inet_aton(3) has inherited this behavior from the early days due to classful networking, which we haven't used in decades, and all of this only applies to IPv4, not IPv6. inet_pton(3), which you should be using anyway, does not encourage such shenanigans. However, because getaddrinfo(3) explicitly uses inet_aton(3) itself for AF_INET, citing RFC3493, you will encounter this behavior in various applications, and it may be used -- besides as a party trick for very peculiar parties -- as an obfuscation technique by e.g., malware, and thus is something that it's good to be aware of.

      • European Union’s Network and Information Security Directive Threatens Internet with Fragmentation and Creates Security Risks

        The second iteration of the European Union’s Network and Information Security Directive, NIS 2, was written with good intentions. But many worry the cybersecurity rules could splinter the Internet and undermine security. Among those concerned are Internet Society chapters and members in Europe.

        While the directive’s goal is to improve security online, a newly-published Internet impact brief highlights how it could undermine the key qualities of the Internet. By regulating providers of Internet architecture, NIS 2 could impose a rigid top-down governance approach on existing community-led initiatives, stifling their long-proven effectiveness in innovating and adapting to new cybersecurity challenges.

      • Latency Into Your Network - As Seen From RIPE Atlas

        As RIPE Atlas is deployed worldwide, one can easily look for probes that are hosted in a particular network to get an idea of where a network is deployed. But that doesn't give the full story. As probes perform a massive amount of traceroutes, we can also get an idea of how far from a particular network a probe is by looking at the IP address with the lowest latency for that particular network.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • [Old] castLabs assists Formuler to verify Widevine device integration as an authorized 3PL partner selected by Google

        "The rapid growth of over-the-top content delivery platforms and shifting consumer content consumption patterns requires secure end-to-end delivery of premium contents to any connected device. Widevine provides standardized, multi-platform, multi-format, industry-leading secure content protection trusted and used by all major OTT service providers and broadcasters. Formuler has chosen to implement Widevine Level 1 content protection in its products and castLabs, a Google 3PL partner, played an integral role in the Widevine certification process for Formuler OTT devices," said Andrew Kim, General Manager at Formuler.

      • PC games using Valve’s CEG DRM now work with Proton

        For Linux users, the issue of games that make use of Valve’s own custom executable-generation (CEG) DRM not launching was reported via Github back in 2018.

        Earlier today (October 29), a post from GamingOnLinux reported that Linux users with the latest version of Proton Experimental using Steam Play can now play Windows games that use the old CEG DRM. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais tweeted that this is “initial support”, encouraging others to “comment if you test any” via Github.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • DMCA Exceptions To Allow Router Firmware Replacement

          Human rights organizations Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have make amendments in the “Law on Copyright in the Digital Age” (DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act ), adding firmware to the router in the list of exceptions, which are not subject to restrictions DMCA.

          Every three years, a special committee convenes at the US Library of Congress, which, during a public hearing, decides to revise the list of exemptions describing situations to which the DMCA law cannot apply. This list is formed to protect against possible abuse and unreasonable restrictions that can be promoted under the guise of the DMCA, without being the object of copyright infringement.

        • Feds Indict ‘Pirate’ Sports Streams Operator Who Settled with Hollywood

          Sports streaming service HeHeStreams shut down earlier this year after reaching a settlement with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. While saddened by his site's demise, the operator felt that things could've been worse. They now are. The Department of Justice says that following a separate investigation, HeHeStreams' founder has been charged with several crimes, including one under a brand new law.

        • Goodbye Hadopi: France Will Launch New 'Arcom' Anti-Piracy Agency in 2022

          After more than a decade of operations, France's Hadopi agency will now complete its merger with the Higher Audiovisual Council to create a new and powerful regulator. Following the French parliament's adoption of a new law last month, the Arcom body will launch in January 2022, tackling everything from illegal streaming and site blocking to the disruption of unlicensed sports broadcasts.

        • Copyright Regulator Eases Restrictions on Research, Education, and Repair

          Every three years, the DMCA requires the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress to consider the public’s requests for exemptions to this terrible, restrictive law. Building on our previous successes protecting security research, remix culture, jailbreaking, and more, we again participated this cycle.

          The latest exemptions [PDF] are mostly an improvement over previous exemptions and represent a victory for security research, accessibility, education, preservation, and repair. While the exemptions do continue to contain unnecessary and harmful limitations, we’re pleased with the additional freedom to operate that the Librarian granted in this rulemaking, including new exemptions to jailbreak streaming video devices like Apple TV or the Fire Stick; to jailbreak routers; and to circumvent in order to identify violations of free, libre, and open-source licensing terms. The latter two exemptions were championed by our friends at the Software Freedom Conservancy.

          On the repair front, we achieved an important victory by expanding the scope of the exemption to cover all consumer electronics (with a couple of small carveouts for certain vehicle systems and parts of video game consoles). This means that manufacturers won’t be able to use the law to prevent independent repair. This was a joint effort between advocacy groups and repair organizations representing independent repair of everything from medical devices to boats.

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