Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 19/11/2021: Arcan 0.6.1 and FreeBSD 12.3 RC2

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Arcan 0.6.1

        Time for another fairly beefy Arcan release. For those thinking in semantic versioning still surprised at the change-set versus version number here (‘just a minor update?’) do recall that as per the roadmap, disregarding the optimistic timeline, we work with release-rarely-build-yourself thematic versions until that fated 1.0 where we switch to semantic and release-often.

        On that scale, 0.5.x was the display server role, 0.6.x is focused on the networking layer as the main feature and development driver. 0.7.x will be improving audio and some missing compatibility/3D/VR bits. Then it gets substantially easier/faster – 0.8.x will be optimization and performance. 0.9.x will be security — hardening attack surface, verification of protections, continuous fuzzing infrastructure and so on.

    • Server

      • Istio 1.12 Upgrade Notes

        When you upgrade from Istio 1.10.0 or 1.11.0 to Istio 1.12.0, you need to consider the changes on this page. These notes detail the changes which purposefully break backwards compatibility with Istio 1.10.0 and 1.11.0. The notes also mention changes which preserve backwards compatibility while introducing new behavior. Changes are only included if the new behavior would be unexpected to a user of Istio 1.12.0.

      • Istio 1.12 Change Notes
    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to use DD command and how to burn ISO using it - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Copying your data as well as backing them up is a day-to-day tasks that we perform regularly. Thus we need a utility to perform these tasks. And as in case of Linux, we can do what we want in various ways using different utilities. Then, our utility today is dd command. As we know everything in Linux is a file and is treated according to this rule even block devices. Which makes dd is useful to copy and backup our data.

      • How To Install Mono on Linux Mint 20 [Ed: Very bad idea. This is a Microsoft pandemic, trying to infect everything in order to undermine it.]
      • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 - Linux Nightly

        This guide will show how to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, which is the latest LTS version of the operating system.

        Canonical releases new LTS (long term support) versions of Ubuntu every two years, in April. They also release interim editions every six months.

        It’s always recommended that you keep Ubuntu up to date with the latest LTS release. Interim versions are okay to skip, unless you want to get a sneak preview on new features to come.

      • Remove an expired key in APT - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, dear friends. Although it is not always recommended, many times to get recent versions of a package or a whole program, we need to add external repositories. Usually, these repositories have a GPG key that allows us to secure the installation. What happens when these GPG keys expire? Well, it is no longer possible to use the repository. So in this post, you will learn how to remove an expired key in APT.

      • How to Install Rundeck on Ubuntu 20.04

        Rundeck is a free open-source software for automation services. It gives self-service access to the processes and tools they need to get their job done. Using Rundeck you can create automation workflows from existing tools or scripts. It provides a web console, CLI tools, and a Web API to run automation tasks.

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install the Rundeck community on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install AlmaLinux 8.5 Step by Step

        As CentOS 8 draws steadily to End of Life on December 31st, 2021, efforts have been made to come up with centos alternative distributions which will fill in the big shoes left by CentOS 8. This comes following RedHat’s decision to dump CentOS 8 in favor of CentOS Stream, something which has elicited mixed reactions.

        Many users have felt betrayed by RedHat’s move to cut short the life of CentOS 8 by 9 years. A good number have also expressed their concerns about the stability and security that CentOS Stream will provide.

      • Using MangoHud to check FPS, CPU & GPU usage on a 'hackendeck' - CNX Software

        Previously I followed Valve’s documentation to build a ‘hackendeck’ using a mini PC to emulate their highly anticipated Steam Deck. Interestingly the ‘hackendeck’ uses a Linux OS, specifically Manjaro, as whilst Valve based their earlier version of Steam OS on Debian, they have now switched to being based on Arch.

        If the ‘hackendeck’ had just been Steam on Windows then to review gaming performance I’d just use MSI Afterburner. Until now, however, for Linux, I’ve always had to estimate the average FPS as I’ve not been aware of a good reliable equivalent.

        Fortunately several ‘commenters’ recommended using MangoHud, a Linux open-source Vulkan/OpenGL overlay for monitoring FPS, CPU/GPU usage, and temperatures similar to MSI Afterburner. So now I’ve been able to capture the average frame rate for the games I previously tested and I’ll present them below.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • On (hopefully) taming Webkit and getting better privacy in GNOME Web with Privoxy.

          Really, it would be nicer if Apple would just double the amount of filter rules allowed in Content Blockers, but it seems they really can’t do much about users who take Privacy matters into their own hands, even on Mac OS, as Privoxy apparently works on Mac OS too!

          Privoxy has been around for 20 years or so and previously went under the name Internet Junkbuster. In fact, it was one of my ad blocking Hosts files that was used as the basis for the early Junkbuster list.

          I got fed up with ads and Windows adware in the late 90s and felt like I could take on the problem of blocking it, and for a while I was correct. However, HOSTS files are no answer for today’s problems on the Web, and Windows will try to revert any changes you make to it with “Defender” anyway if you use Windows.

          And if you successfully make it ignore that and allow the modifications, Windows Telemetry spyware is IMPOSSIBLE to block with the HOSTS file because it will ignore you if you ad their telemetry sites to it!

          You really should not use Windows….

          Back to Privoxy…. It will not interfere with your VPN software, or at least it shouldn’t (it doesn’t with my setup, using NordVPN), because it is a local proxy. It should enhance the privacy your VPN gives you. In fact, it used to be part of the Tor Browser Bundle.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.3-RC2 Now Available

          The second RC build of the 12.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

          Installation images are available for:

          o 12.3-RC2 amd64 GENERIC o 12.3-RC2 i386 GENERIC o 12.3-RC2 powerpc GENERIC o 12.3-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64 o 12.3-RC2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE o 12.3-RC2 sparc64 GENERIC o 12.3-RC2 armv6 RPI-B o 12.3-RC2 armv7 BANANAPI o 12.3-RC2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD o 12.3-RC2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2 o 12.3-RC2 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD o 12.3-RC2 armv7 RPI2 o 12.3-RC2 armv7 WANDBOARD o 12.3-RC2 armv7 GENERICSD o 12.3-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC o 12.3-RC2 aarch64 PINE64 o 12.3-RC2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS

          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access. Additionally, the root user password is set to root. It is strongly recommended to change the password for both users after gaining access to the system.

          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:

          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.

          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR system or on the -stable mailing list.

          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing system, use the "releng/12.3" branch.

          A summary of changes since 12.3-RC1 includes:

          o Updates to the igc(4) driver.

          o BEAGLEBONE and RPI3 SoC images have been removed, due to late discovered issues.

          A list of changes since 12.2-RELEASE is available in the releng/12.3 release notes:

          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.3-RELEASE cycle progresses.

          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===

          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64 architectures. Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):

          The partition layout is:

          ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label) ~ 1 GB - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label) ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)

          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image formats. The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.

          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the virtual machine images. See this page for more information:

          To boot the VM image, run:

          % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt \ -bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \ -drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \ -device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \ -device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \ -netdev user,id=net0

          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla loading full page ads for their VPN (they just resell Mulvad VPN).

            This behavior is beyond annoying and not at all welcome on the part of the user. Not only does Mozilla do this over and over again (I had it happen more than once), but they load it in your private windows too.

            This time, there’s two more checkboxes to find (good luck). Hint: “recommend extensions as you browse” and “recommend features as you browse”. But this shouldn’t be necessary and using Mozilla software is becoming the literal….Look, next year Webster’s English Dictionary is going to have to put the Firefox logo as the definition of “annoying”.

            Brave, a competing web browser, has a regular “private” window which just means no history logging on your device, but also Private Windows with Tor. It also works atop your VPN if you want to access Tor hidden services.

          • Ring doorbells no longer support Firefox for live view. Recommend Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge.

            Mozilla could probably hack their way around this one with a UA quirk, but will just let company after company keep destroying what’s left of their browser business while they send “Web Compat” emails that go right into the trash to outfits like Facebook, Microsoft Skype, and now Amazon.

      • FSF

        • FSF Giving Guide: Freedom is the greatest gift of all

          It seems like the usual holiday sales just get earlier and earlier. Not content with just hammering us with ads, certain megalithic companies named after large rivers or fruits try to foist their "deals" on us as soon as they can. Given the degree to which our lives are mediated by technology, it's no surprise that so many holiday sales focus on "devices," that catch-all name we've given to those computers that run in our pockets, laps, and living rooms. Yet before you cave to pressure, you should make sure that gift isn't putting your friend or family member under unjust control.

          For the last twelve years, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published our Ethical Tech Giving Guide as a way to help concerned individuals make sure that the gift they might plan on giving their loved ones doesn't deprive them of their freedom. It's natural to want the very best gift for that special person in your life. It's also natural to want that gift to last them as long as possible. But if you plan on giving any devices, it's important to carefully consider the gift that you choose and the message it sends. The Amazon Echo or Chromebook that you're buying today has a good chance of being obsolete in the next few years, and more importantly, could set your friend or family member's digital freedom back even longer.

          Freedom is the best gift you can give, and the one that keeps on giving. Rather than purchasing that new gadget, we encourage you to take the time to explore installing free software on one your friend or family member already owns. Taking your first steps to freedom often doesn't just help you win back your digital autonomy: it provides an opportunity for you to deepen your relationship with the ones you care about through a shared learning experience, and inaugurates you into a worldwide community of users.

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel Releases ControlFlag 1.0 For AI-Driven Detection Of Bugs Within C Code - Phoronix

          Intel last month open-sourced "ControlFlag" for finding bugs within source code by using AI with training off more than a reported one billion lines of code. Intel has said they have successfully been using it within their software from applications down to firmware. The new milestone today is ControlFlag 1.0 being released.

        • Display Git Configuration

          From time to time I tend to forget what’s my effective Git configuration, so I have to check it somehow. Most of the time I’d simply do the following: [...]

    • Standards/Consortia

      • XMPP, A Comeback Story: A 20 Year Old Messaging Protocol For Robust, Private and Decentralized Communications

        XMPP has a huge potential to replace platforms like Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp, although its use hasn't reached mass consciousness. Rather then spread awareness of friendly and open technologies like these, big tech companies preferred to build their proprietary solutions ontop of XMPP and market those instead - so you may have been using XMPP this whole time without even knowing it.

        Instead of depending on proprietary centralized chat platforms like Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal we believe that truly decentralized platforms like XMPP can achieve and surpass our needs.

  • Leftovers

    • Surveying the Wreckage of the World and Wondering Where Habermas Fits in These Days

      A military rife with sexual abuse, universities that lack courage to defend freedom of inquiry, a healthcare system that is crumbling beneath too heavy loads, violence against stressed-out and fearful healthcare workers, governments that reek of incompetence of stupid decision-making, a culture that denies science and evidence, churches that advocate reconciliation without justice. God, is every institution, the NHL included, covering up bad and dirty deeds, demeaning some members of our society or sweeping the dirt under some grimy rug somewhere? An inquisitorial and accusatory spirit is roaming the land. Who and what might be next?

      Watched the news this morning, O boy, and learned that some healthcare workers don’t want to be vaccinated. What? The stability and surety of daily life is eroding before my eyes. Marx’s words in The Communist Manifesto of 1848 – “All that is solid melts into the air, all that is holy is profaned and man is at last compelled to face with sober sense, his real conditions of life, and his relation to his kind” – capture our dreadful time of troubles.

    • Inside the Hell That Is The Many Saints of Newark

      The long-running HBO series The Sopranos often ventured into Hell—or, more narrowly defined, into realms beyond death where things feel bad and very little changes. The Many Saints of Newark, a feature film prequel released this year, begins in Hell, with a snaking shot through a graveyard and, in voiceover, Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), a central character in the original series, explaining how he died in the monotone of a man who has told this story many times before. “I met death on Route 23, not too far from here,” he says. Then we see a young Tony Soprano, in 1967, rushing down a pier in bright sunlight: “That’s my uncle.… He choked me to death.”

    • Reassessing the Legacy and Power of DC Hardcore - Censored Notebook

      Premised on the idea that the development, experience, and messaging of music are indivisible from geography and chronology, Shayna L. Maskell, professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University, interprets a lesser known version of Washington, DC history via “DC hardcore;” harDCore, as it was known in the vernacular. Politics As Sound examines this music as “a performance of self…complicated and contradictory,” as well as a presentation of the politics of its circumstances (3).

    • Education

      • Vilnius library builds book pickup lockers throughout city to stay contactless

        According to the library’s press release, the new service allows readers to order library books online and pick them up at a chosen locker at any time of the day.

        “The idea of book pickup lockers came during the quarantine when libraries were closed. At the time, we were looking for ways to keep in touch with readers and issue books in a secure contactless way,” said Rima Gražienė, head of Vilnius Central Library.

      • A Note About Recruiters

        Most people, including me, hate LinkedIn and are there just out of necessity. You’re simply expected to have a LinkedIn profile these days. What’s also true is that most people have turned off any form of emails and notifications from LinkedIn and visit it very rarely (unless actively looking for a job).

    • Hardware

      • Isolated Oscilloscope Design Process Shows How It’s Done | Hackaday

        [Bart Schroder] was busy designing high voltage variable speed motor drives and was lamenting the inability of a standard scope to visualise the waveforms around the switch transistors. This is due to the three phase nature of such motors being driven with three current waveforms, out of phase with each other by 120 degrees, where current flows between each pair of winding taps, without being referenced to a common notion of ground. The average scope on your bench however, definitely is ground-referenced, so visualising such waveforms is a bit of a faff. Then there’s the fact that the motors run at many hundreds of volts, and the prospect of probing that with your precious bench instrument is a little nerve-wracking to say the least. The solution to the issue was obvious, build your own isolated high voltage oscilloscope, and here is the Cleverscope CS448 development journey for your viewing pleasure.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Will You Storm the Capitol if the 2024 Election is Stolen?

        This is not a call to “understand” or “have compassion” for Trump voters.€  Instead, it’s a call for a wholesale political and social indictment of Trump’s Big Lie, along with every elected Republican politician or media member who knows Trump lost but keeps perpetuating that Lie.

        If we fail, history may repeat itself and — this time — the result will be far worse than Bush’s lying us into two wars and privatizing Medicare.

      • Court Cases Show Colombian Government Role in Paramilitary Killings, US Implicated

        The 2016 agreement ending 50 years of armed conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Colombia’s government might have brought peace. Since the accord was signed, however, killers, presumably paramilitaries, have taken the lives of € 292 former FARC combatants and 1241“social leaders.”

        Special Forces General William Yarborough, reporting on a U.S advisory mission to Colombia in 1962, recommended “a civil and military structure … [that could] execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities against known communist proponents.” Even so, paramilitary activities remained quiescent until the 1980s. From then on, paramilitary assaults multiplied in rural areas, leaving deaths, destitution and displacement in their wake.

      • The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms

        One of the reasons why President Harry S. Truman created the Central Intelligence Agency, also in the National Security Act, was to have an independent civilian agency challenging the Pentagon’s self-serving briefings on Capitol Hill for increased defense spending.€  The imperative for the military is to ensure the continued flow of funding for its arsenal.€  To this end, it will always posit the worst case possible that it must defend against.

        The mainstream media should be well aware of the dangers of relying on military briefings and assessments when editorializing about the capabilities and intentions of putative adversaries such as Russia and China.€  But the€ Washington Post, which has been beating the editorial drums for challenging Beijing, is currently using the Pentagon’s latest report to the Congress on China’s military strength to promote increased U.S. defense spending and additional military deployments in East Asia.€  The€ Post€ and the€ New York Times€ regularly cite the U.S. Cold War with China, a very dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.

      • Cubans More Excited About School Reopening Than Regime Change

        Even after the Cuban government denied the protesters a permit on the grounds that they were part of a destabilization campaign led by the United States, anti-government forces insisted that they were undeterred and were ready to take the risks. But in the end, their Field of Dreams turned out to be an illusion. What happened?

        Intimidation of dissidents was certainly a key factor. The leader of the Facebook group Archipelago, Yunior Garcia, was kept under virtual house arrest. Other leaders were threatened with arrest and repudiated by their pro-revolution neighbors.

      • The Fiscal-Military-Corporate State We Cannot Sustain

        A parade of weapons manufacturers is plying members of Congress with arguments for new weapons technologies and dollars for the next election cycle. Leading the way: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon Technologies.

        The top 20 Defense contractors contributed $47 million to federal candidates in 2020. € Lobbying efforts of defense contractors totaled more than $87 million in 2021.

      • Kyle Rittenhouse Is on Trial for Murder. Matt Gaetz Says He'd Be a Good Intern.
      • In Charlottesville, Rittenhouse and Arbery Cases, White Supremacy Is on Trial
      • Censure Is "Not Enough": Rights Groups Call for Expulsion of Paul Gosar
      • Ed Dept. Opens Inquiry on District That Wanted "Opposing" Lessons on Holocaust
      • US Policy on Taiwan is a False and Dangerous Two-Step

        Biden, however, managed to score a double own goal on the subject of Taiwan by simultaneously justifying bad US foreign policy and endorsing Beijing’s false “One China” claim.

        On one hand, the US has neither any obligation nor any good reason to continue guaranteeing Taiwan’s€  de facto independence from the mainland regime.

      • Gosar Censured Over AOC Murder Video, As AOC Slams GOP: “What Is So Hard About Saying This Is Wrong?”

        Republican Congressmember Paul Gosar is the first lawmaker to be censured in more than a decade for posting an animated video on social media where he murders Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacks President Biden. The U.S. House of Representatives also voted Tuesday to censure Gosar and strip him of committee assignments. He has refused to apologize and after the vote he retweeted the video. Speaking from the House floor before the vote Congressmember Ocasio-Cortez said: “This is not about me. This is not about Representative Gosar. This is about what we are willing to accept.” The co-sponsor of the censure vote, Congressmember Jackie Speier of California, said “Congressmember Ocasio-Cortez has become the go-to subject of the radical right to stir up their base, as too often is the case for women of color.”

      • Three White Supremacy Trials: Dahlia Lithwick on Charlottesville, Rittenhouse & Arbery Murder Case

        Jurors in Charlottesville, Virginia, are hearing closing arguments today in a civil trial that seeks to hold white supremacists accountable for organizing the deadly “Unite the Right” rally there in 2017, and conspiring to commit racially motivated violence. Two of the white supremacists have been defending themselves in the courtroom: Richard Spencer and Christopher Cantwell. They took the stand Tuesday, and tried unsuccessfully to have the judge dismiss the case for lack of evidence, even as they used racial slurs during the trial. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Friday. Both Spencer and Cantwell have “failed utterly to take responsibility for the roles they played,” says Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick, who lived in Charlottesville during the 2017 rally and is reporting on the trial, which is not being broadcast. She also discusses the homicide trial of white teenage gunman Kyle Rittenhouse and the broad use of the “self defense” argument by white supremacists on trial.

      • The Latest Round of Protests in Cuba Are a Bust—for Now

        Havana—After weeks of media hype, planned anti-government demonstrations that had been billed here as a nationwide March for Change fizzled out on Monday. Around the country, at least 11 protesters that did come out were arrested. In downtown Havana, handfuls of university students wearing white walked around looking for a march to join—but found only throngs of police and plainclothes state security officers.

      • Sanders Says Deficit Concerns 'Seem to Melt Away' When It's Time to Fill Pentagon Coffers

        Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont noted in a floor speech Wednesday that concerns about the deficit curiously disappear on Capitol Hill when it's time to authorize the annual U.S. military budget, which lawmakers are preparing to boost to $778 billion for fiscal year 2022.

        "All of this money is going to an agency, the Department of Defense, that continues to have massive cost overruns."

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Data Shows LA Sheriff's Department Is Stopping Tons Of Latino Bicyclists, Rarely Finding Anything Illegal

        Law enforcement doesn't just engage in pretextual stops of cars. Bicyclists are on the radar as well, especially if they happen to be minorities. That's according to data obtained by the Los Angeles Times, which shows the LA Sheriff's Department (which has buried the needle on the far end of "problematic" for years) is targeting bike riders with tactics that fall somewhere between pretextual stop and stop-and-frisk.

    • Environment

      • 'Encouraging': Unlike Trump, Biden Backs Global Treaty for Plastic Pollution

        In stark contrast to the U.S. position under former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration on Thursday signaled support for developing a global treaty to tackle marine plastic pollution, winning swift applause from environmental campaigners.

        "As a major producer and exporter of plastic, the U.S. has a responsibility to take a leadership role."

      • Dem Lawmakers, Climate Groups Urge Biden Administration to Support Kids Climate Case

        Four dozen federal lawmakers and scores of advocacy groups on Thursday sent President Joe Biden and other leaders within his administration letters in support of the yearslong climate case that accuses the U.S. government of violating young Americans' constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and failing to protect essential public trust resources.

        "We urge the DOJ to reverse its position, stop fighting the youth, and bring to the settlement table tangible ideas to significantly address the youth's concerns for a safe environment."

      • Opinion | Bipartisan American Empire and Catastrophic Climate Change

        When the leaders of more than 100 nations gathered in Glasgow for the U.N. climate conference last week, there was much discussion about the disastrous effect of climate change on the global environment. There was, however, little awareness of its likely political impact on the current world order that made such an international gathering possible.

      • Markey Amendment Would Redirect 1% of Funds From 'Bloated' Pentagon to Address Climate Crisis

        Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts filed an amendment Thursday that would cut the Senate's proposed $768 billion Pentagon budget by 1% and invest the resulting savings in global programs aimed at helping low-income nations build resilience against the climate crisis.

        "Unfettered military spending will not protect us from the destruction of the environment and worsening climate chaos."

      • Opinion | Big Oil, Lurking in Shadows, Continues to Call Shots on Climate

        During the Second World War, no Canadian would have been satisfied to learn that, while the Allies were making progress, their efforts wouldn't be enough to stop Hitler. Any possibility of Hitler winning was unacceptable; accordingly, the Canadian government devoted itself unwaveringly to mobilizing a national war effort against him.

      • Opinion | World Leaders Failed Us at COP26, but Change Always Comes From the Power of People

        If it wasn't for the greenhouse effect, the Earth would be as cold and dead as the far side of the moon.

      • Imagine If Stopping Climate Change was More Important Than Creating More Climate Change Billionaires

        On the other side, some people did manage to get enormously rich from the pandemic. Specifically, those who had patent monopolies on the mRNA vaccines did very well, as the stock prices of both Pfizer and Moderna soared during the pandemic. Back in April, Forbes identified 40 people who became billionaires as a direct result of their ownership of stock in companies that were profiting off the pandemic. Three of these were from Moderna alone. The number has surely grown, as the stock market has gone up further in the last seven months.

        The reason why the Moderna billionaires might be especially upsetting is that so much of what they did was with government funding. The development of mRNA technology, beginning in the early 1980s, was accomplished almost entirely on the government’s dime. While Moderna did do further research to develop a foundation for producing vaccines, the money to actually develop and test Moderna’s vaccine came entirely from the government through Operation Warp Speed. The government also signed a large advance purchase agreement, which would have required it to pay for several million Moderna vaccines, even if other vaccines were superior.

      • COP26: Capitalism = Death

        For many, the U.S.-China deal, like much of the other proclamation made by government leaders at the conference, exemplified what Swedish climate activities Greta Thunberg dubbed the great “blah, blah, blah.”€  As she said at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan (Italy) in September:

        Looking critically at COP26, Thunberg argued, “It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place.” She added, “The COP has turned into a PR event, where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets, while behind the curtains governments of the Global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action.”

      • Energy

        • This City in Oregon is Making Moves to Ban Natural Gas in New Homes and Buildings

          The City of Eugene, Oregon, initiated a process on November 17 that could lead to a ban on new natural gas hookups in residential and commercial buildings, following in the footsteps of dozens of other cities around the country. The move would be the first in Oregon, and activists believe it could set off a domino-like trend in the state and more broadly across the Pacific Northwest.€ 

          The Eugene City Council approved a process in which they would consider a ban on new gas hookups in the coming months, with the ban tentatively planned to take effect in January 2023. Wednesday’s vote did not immediately approve the prohibition, but the apparent strong support from a majority of the City Council suggested that there is considerable momentum in that direction.€ 

        • Gulf Coast Tribe Vows to Resist Enbridge's New Pipeline Expansion Plans
        • Applause for 'All Who Fought' as Boston City Council Votes to Divest From Fossil Fuels

          Progressives praised the Boston City Council after its members voted unanimously Wednesday to divest city funds from the fossil fuel industry, a major endorsement of clean energy investment that came as Massachusetts lawmakers prepare to debate how to allocate the state's financial resources.

          "The climate crisis requires us to take immediate steps toward a cleaner future."

        • From Glasgow to Gulf of Mexico, Fossil Fuel Industry Shows Us Who’s in Charge
        • HS: Peat has lost its significance for security of supply in Finland

          It is important to distinguish between the use and production of peat, reminded Helsingin Sanomat. Production, in particular, can fluctuate noticeably based on demand and weather conditions: heat production plants are this winter expected to burn through reserves left over from the good peat year that was 2018.

          Salo also pointed out that the production of energy peat has fallen from about 15–16 million cubic metres in the 2010s to about 6.5 million cubic metres in 2020 and possibly as low as two million cubic metres in 2021.

          Energy peat has typically made up 85–90 per cent of all peat produced in Finland. The other types of peat include white peat, which is used in greenhouses and livestock farming.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How Progressives Can Mobilize to Win

        This is a pivotal moment. In recent years we’ve witnessed the awakening and uprising of creative, courageous people demanding justice and equality—from #BlackLivesMatter to #protecttranskids, #LandBack to #MeToo and disability justice to immigrant rights. Politically, these movements have spurred progressive candidates at every level of government, from new members of the “Squad” in congress to diverse and bold progressive candidates winning at every level. Our multicultural and participatory democracy is within reach.

      • Finnish Democracy Is on the Brink

        Last week, a noose and an unprintably racist message were delivered to a Muslim lawmaker. The target wasn’t Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, as you might well have imagined, but—shockingly—Suldaan Said Ahmed, a first-term member of the Finnish Parliament. “This repulsive act is only part of the racist feedback and harassment I’ve faced during my time in politics,” said Ahmed. “I thought it was important to show what it’s like also publicly. This is what people still have to face in Finland in the 2020s. I want to work to make sure no child has to face anything like this in the future.”

      • Sunrise Endorses Cisneros Over Corporate-Backed Cuellar in Texas Democratic Primary Fight

        The Sunrise Movement announced Thursday its endorsement of progressive Jessica Cisneros in her primary challenge to oust Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar and represent Texas' 28th Congressional District.

        "She knows that it takes bold solutions to solve the crises we face."

      • Opinion | Was Frederick Hayek a Bernie Sanders Socialist?

        Of course not!€ 

      • Texts Show Kimberly Guilfoyle Bragged About Raising Millions for Rally That Fueled Capitol Riot

        Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., boasted to a GOP operative that she had raised $3 million for the rally that helped fuel the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

        In a series of text messages sent on Jan. 4 to Katrina Pierson, the White House liaison to the event, Guilfoyle detailed her fundraising efforts and supported a push to get far-right speakers on the stage alongside Trump for the rally, which sought to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • High Profile Commission On Disinformation Unable To Solve Disinformation Despite Having Prince Harry On Board

        Dealing with disinformation is not an easy problem to solve. Part of the problem is that very few people even agree how to define disinformation, or how subjective it is. Indeed, as we've noted, most of the reporting on disinformation itself is misinformation (or, at the very least misleading). That said, I still had decently high hopes for the Aspen Institute's "Commission on Information Disorder." The Aspen Institute tends to do more credible and serious work on tech policy issues than many other groups. And the project was supported by Craig Newmark, who has been funding a bunch of important research over the past few years. And, while some of the choices for who was on the Commission struck me as odd (Prince Harry?!? Katie Couric?!?), there were some very serious and very thoughtful participants on the Commission itself, acting as "advisors" to the group, and who participated in the various discussions they held.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | John Oliver Just Aired the Best Anti-Union Busting Segment We've Ever Seen

        October saw the largest number of workers on strike in years, and 2021 has seen a dramatic rise in coverage of unionization efforts. John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, took aim on his show at the efforts by companies to keep unions out. Whether or not you are likely to see a union drive at your workplace, it matters that more Americans understand how union busting and corporate pressure tactics work; the more you know, the better you can push back against their deceitful propaganda.

      • Only Democracy Can Save One of America’s Greatest Unions

        Last month was Striketober. Fueled by historic labor shortages, 100,000 workers either went on strike or prepared to strike, in some of the largest coordinated labor actions in recent US history. This is encouraging. With gridlock in Congress holding up a social safety net bill, the United States needs strong unions more than ever. The trends are very clear: When unions are weak, the highest incomes go even higher, but when unions are strong, middle and lower incomes go up.

      • We Need Barcelona’s Hidden Radical History Now More Than Ever

        In the United States, there is a mighty and deeply reactionary movement for historical erasure. Its aims are nothing less than to prevent teaching the truth about the ugliest parts of the history of this country. The bewitching, paradoxical city of Barcelona presents a vision of what it could look like if such a movement were to reach its goals.

      • Uncivil War on Democracy
      • Morality Plays: When Entertainers Draw the Line

        Our ethics, however capricious they’ve become, evolve largely from the mega entertainment industry. Authors and athletes, singers and poet-rappers, television hosts and comedians, even though they sometimes do so unwittingly, guide our choices, consequently our values as well. Today’s A-list stars —oh, how we adore them—they are who pronounce what’s good and right, bad and wrong. At least we endow them with that power. Even when they don’t intend their statements to be a moral judgement, even after they’ve moved beyond whatever they’re charged with.

        Columnist Paul Street, addressing the weakening role of journalism, hints at the moral implications of that slide: “In the name of political neutrality”, he writes, “‘the news’ often produces moral (my emphasis) and intellectual paralysis in its consumers…”.

      • 'Morally Repugnant': Video Shows Israeli Troops Waking, Photographing Palestinian Kids

        Human rights groups this week reacted with outrage to video footage showing Israeli troops forcing Palestinian children from their slumber and photographing them outside their family home—an act that Israel's military admits was "not proper."

        "It seems that for the army, all Palestinians, including boys and girls of elementary school age, are potential criminals."

      • 'Drop the Charges': Greece Delays Trial of Humanitarians Who Aided Refugees at Sea

        Human rights defenders expressed renewed demands on Thursday for charges to be dropped against a group of humanitarian activists now facing trial in Greece for aiding refugees at sea off the country's coast.

        "All we have done is assist people seeking safety at a time of need."

      • Yes, Even If You Think Project Veritas Are A Bunch Of Malicious Grifters, FBI Raid Is Concerning

        I am no fan of Project Veritas. They appear to be a group of malicious grifters, deliberately distorting things, presenting them out of context to fit (or make) a narrative. Even so (or perhaps, especially so), we should be extremely concerned about the FBI's recent raid on Project Veritas' founder James O'Keefe and two of his colleagues.

      • 'Solidarity Forever': 40,000 Kaiser Workers Set to Strike to Defend 700 Fellow Union Members

        "It's so important for working people to stand together, and we hope that with the nurses by their side, Kaiser engineers will win meaningful change for working people, and for safe patient care conditions."

      • “The Dawn of Everything”: David Wengrow & the Late David Graeber On a New History of Humanity

        In an extended interview, we speak with archeologist David Wengrow, who co-authored the new book “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” with the late anthropologist David Graeber. The book examines how Indigenous cultures contributed greatly to what we have come to understand as so-called Western ideas of democracy and equality, but argues these contributions have been erased from history. “What the broad sweep of history shows is that living in large-scale, densely populated, technologically sophisticated societies really doesn’t require people to simply give up social freedoms,” says Wengrow. The two completed the book just weeks before Graeber died unexpectedly last year at the age of 59. Graeber is credited with helping to coin the phrase “We are the 99%.” His book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” made the case for sweeping debt cancellation.

      • Julius Jones Will "Fight Another Day" — Death Sentence Commuted
      • There’s Still Time to Save Julius Jones

        UPDATE: Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt commuted Julius Jones’s death sentence to life without parole just hours before Jones was scheduled to be executed for a murder that he says he did not commit. Read more about the Justice for Julius movement here.

      • 'Hallelujah!': Justice Advocates Rejoice at 11th-Hour Halt to Julius Jones Execution

        Human rights advocates rejoiced Thursday after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt heeded the advice of his state's pardon board—which found compelling evidence of the condemned man's innocence—and commuted the death sentence of Julius Jones to life imprisonment without parole with just hours to go before his scheduled execution.

        "Now we organize to get Gov. Stitt out of office so Julius Jones can gain his full freedom back."

      • IFF releases Legislative Brief on Digital Rights for Winter Session 2021

        Before the commencement of the Winter Session of the Indian Parliament, we have prepared our second Legislative Brief on Digital Rights. In our brief, we highlight some of the focus areas within the larger issues of data protection and digital rights that call for the extensive deliberation in the houses of the Parliament.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The FCC Ponders A Hugely Problematic Tax On WiFi

        For years, we've noted how telecom and media giants have been trying to force "big tech" to give them huge sums of money for no reason. The shaky logic usually involves claiming that "big tech" gets a "free ride" on telecom networks, something that's never actually been true. This narrative has been bouncing around telecom policy circles for years, and recently bubbled up once again thanks to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.

      • .net Forever

        Let’s talk a bit about .net. No, not Microsoft’s .NET, but the other .net - one of the original top-level internet domains. Given how popular .com has become, I find it really strange that .net failed to reach such prominence. Even .org is more popular than .net!

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Windows Store causes errors in Firefox, makes Accessibility unusable.

        They shilled Microsoft’s new DRM store, and all they got were more bugs to fix, Edge using nasty tricks to steal their users from them, and this lousy T-shirt.

      • Apple’s Self Service Repair Program Must Live Up To Its Promises

        This is a major shift for the company, which has fought for years against movements to expand people’s right to repair their Apple products. Right-to-repair advocates have not only pushed the company to move on this issue, but also to get regulators and lawmakers to acknowledge the need to protect the right to repair in law. Apple’s announcement is only one illustration of how far the advocacy on the right to repair has come; in just the past two years, advocates have won€ at the ballot box in Massachusetts, received a supportive€ directive from the Biden Administration, changed€ policy at Microsoft, and made some gains at the Library of Congress to expand repair permissions.

        The Self Service Repair Program could be another feather in that cap. But now that Apple has announced the program, we urge them to roll it out in ways that truly expand their customers’ access and choice.

        It’s important that Apple’s program, or any program, does not come with strings attached that make it unworkably difficult or too expensive for a normal person to use. In the past, Apple has done both—as YouTuber and professional repairer Louis Rossman pointed out.

    • Monopolies

      • [Old] How Piracy Opens Doors for Windows

        “The first dose is free,” said Hal Varian, a professor of information management at UC Berkeley, facetiously comparing Microsoft’s anti-piracy policy to street-corner marketing of illicit drugs. “Once you start using a product, you keep using it.”

      • Trademarks

        • EFF Tells Court to Protect Anonymous Speakers, Apply Proper Test Before Unmasking Them In Trademark Commentary Case

          EFF filed its brief in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit after several anonymous defendants in a case brought by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund appealed a district court’s order that mandated the disclosure of their identifying information. Everytown’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants used its trademarked logos in 3-D printed gun part plans and sought the order to learn the identities of several online speakers who printed them.

          Unmasking can result in serious harm to anonymous speakers, exposing them to harassment and intimidation, which is why the First Amendment offers strong protections for such speech. So courts around the country have applied a now well-established three-step test when parties seek to unmask Doe speakers, to ensure that the litigation process is not being abused to pierce anonymity unnecessarily. But in granting the order in this case, the district court instead applied a looser test that is usually used only in P2P copyright cases. The court then ruled that the online speakers could not rely on the First Amendment here because “anonymity is not protected to the extent that it is used to mask the infringement of intellectual property rights, including trademark rights.”

          That ruling cannot stand. As we explained in our friend-of-the-court brief, “Although the right to speak anonymously is not absolute, the constitutional protections it affords to speakers required the district court to pause and meaningfully consider the First Amendment implications of the discovery order sought by Plaintiffs, applying the correct test designed to balance the needs of plaintiffs and defendants in Doe cases such as this one.”€  By choosing to apply the wrong test, and even then in the most cursory way, the district court fell far short of its obligations.

      • Copyrights

        • Is Protecting Copyright More Important Than Saving Lives During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

          Although the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked terrible suffering across the world, we are fortunate that we already have several vaccines that have been shown to be highly effective in reducing the number of deaths and hospitalization rates. Discovering vaccines proved easier than expected, but ensuring that everyone – including people in developing countries – has access to them has proved much harder. The main reason for that is an intellectual monopoly: patents. Even though at least two of the main vaccines were developed almost entirely using public funds, which ought by rights to mean that the results are in the public domain, companies have obtained exclusionary patents on them. This has led to calls for a patent waiver of some kind to allow countries to produce their own supplies of medicines, without needing to pay licensing fees.

        • "The NFT Bay" Shares Multi-Terabyte Archive of 'Pirated' NFTs

          NFTs are unique blockchain entries through which people can prove that they 'own' something. However, the underlying images can be copied with a single click. This point is illustrated by The NFT Bay which links to a 19.5 Terabyte collection of 'all NFTs' on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. And it comes with an important warning message too.

        • YouTubers Who Uploaded Movie Edits Receive Suspended Prison Sentences

          After being arrested earlier this year, three people have been handed suspended prison sentences and fines for uploading so-called "fast movies" to YouTube. Their trial, which took place in Japan, heard that the defendants uploaded minutes-long movie summary edits to YouTube with accompanying commentary. All three pleaded to criminal breaches of Japan's copyright law.

        • CC Certificate Alumnus, Mostafa Azad Kamal on his work with open education policies and practice

          After launching in 2018, and certifying approximately 1000 graduates from 56 countries, Creative Commons (CC) is taking stock of the incredible community of Certificate participants and alumni. We are particularly interested in learning about local “case studies” of open licensing in local country contexts, and asking alumni about their experiences. CC Certificate alumni have used the certificate course in a number of ways—read about alumni testimonials here, and an in-depth adaptation one alumnus made of course content here. In this interview, we highlight one Certificate graduate’s work in Bangladesh, and celebrate the momentum he’s built in open education.€ 

        • 'GTA' Modding Group Doesn't Fold, Fights Back In Court Against Take-Two, Rockstar [Ed: Delete Microsoft GitHub]

          We've been talking a great deal about Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games lately as it relates to their aggressive actions on modding communities for the Grand Theft Auto series. This new war on modders really kicked off over the summer, with the companies looking to shut down a bunch of mods that mostly brought old GTA content into newer games for retro fans. Then came one modding group managing to reverse engineer the game to create its own version of the source code, which it posted on GitHub. Rockstar DMCA'd that project, but at least one modder managed to get GitHub to put it back up. That project was called "GTA RE3" and was supposed to be the basis to let other modders do all sorts of interesting things with the game from a modding standpoint, or to forklift the game onto platforms it wasn't designed for, say on a Nintendo console. Take-Two and Rockstar then cried "Piracy!" and filed a lawsuit.

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