Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 22/12/2021: Pi in Short Supply, Alpha 20 of 7 Days to Die

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • IO_uring Network Zero-Copy Transmit Continues Looking Great For Linux - Phoronix

        Sent out last month were an early set of patches working on IO_uring zero-copy send support for the networking subsystem. This work to boost the throughput potential has evolved now into a second revision of the patches and continues looking very promising.

        This work by Pavel Begunkov is for wiring up zero-copy send support with IO_uring, initially for IPv4/UDP while TCP support is also in the works. The v2 patches out today are still being treated as "request for comments", but the performance numbers and overall direction appear to be in good standing.

    • Applications

      • Create your own animations with this open source motion graphics tool

        That's why animation is (relatively) easy with Synfig Studio. As the animator, you only have to account for an element at the start and at the end of its movement. Synfig calculates everything else.

        Synfig is a useful tool for solo animators who don't have a team of assistants to handle their inbetween frames, for users who don't consider themselves illustrators but still need movement in a graphic for a movie or presentation, and users who are confident in their illustration skills but want to focus on animation technique. I once worked on splash screens and motion backgrounds, which are those graphic sequences you see in TV spots and news programs, and I often surprised myself at how quickly they came together in Synfig. I'd create a few graphics, get the color scheme right, set two key frames, and the job's done. It really is as easy as that. Give it a try.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Autodesk ShotGrid

        Autodesk, Inc. is an American multinational software company that makes software products and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries. It bills itself as a “… leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software”.

        The company was founded in 1982 by John Walker, who was a joint developer of the first versions of AutoCAD, the company’s best known software application. Autodesk is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, it has over 11,000 employees, and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

        While Autodesk develops many high quality applications they are proprietary software. And the vast majority of their products are not available for Linux. This series looks at the best free and open source alternatives.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Some usage notes for the Linux ss program
      • How To Install Rudder on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rudder on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, The rudder is a free, open-source, and multi-platform tool that helps you to automate system configuration across large IT infrastructures. It helps you to manage your IT infrastructure by automating system configurations while ensuring visibility and control of your infrastructure. Rudder offers an outstanding web-based GUI that can help ease the burden on your IT staff a bit.

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

      • Kubernetes-in-Kubernetes and the WEDOS PXE bootable server farm

        When you own two data centers, thousands of physical servers, virtual machines and hosting for hundreds of thousands sites, Kubernetes can actually simplify the management of all these things. As practice has shown, by using Kubernetes, you can declaratively describe and manage not only applications, but also the infrastructure itself. I work for the largest Czech hosting provider WEDOS Internet a.s and today I'll show you two of my projects — Kubernetes-in-Kubernetes and Kubefarm.

        With their help you can deploy a fully working Kubernetes cluster inside another Kubernetes using Helm in just a couple of commands. How and why?

        Let me introduce you to how our infrastructure works. All our physical servers can be divided into two groups: control-plane and compute nodes. Control plane nodes are usually set up manually, have a stable OS installed, and designed to run all cluster services including Kubernetes control-plane. The main task of these nodes is to ensure the smooth operation of the cluster itself. Compute nodes do not have any operating system installed by default, instead they are booting the OS image over the network directly from the control plane nodes. Their work is to carry out the workload.

      • How to install Suricata on Debian 11 - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Suricata is a high-performance network IDS (Intrusion Detection System), IPS, and network security engine, developed by the OISF, this is an open-source application, so we will not have too many problems using it in our system.

        Suricata works internally based on a set of externally developed rules to monitor network traffic and provide alerts to the system administrator when suspicious events occur.

        So, Suricata is a great tool to protect our servers, and today you will learn how to use it.

      • Windows games on Linux: How to start games from the Epic Games Store - Market Research Telecast

        You don’t look in the mouth of a given horse: Epic Games’ strategy of expanding its user base with free games is having an effect even on many die-hard Linux gamers. A good 150 games have already gathered in this way in the author’s Epic Games account.

        In many cases, the collected games can also be played under Linux with the help of Wine, but a Linux version of the Epic Games Launcher is not in sight. Open source tools such as Heroic Games Launcher, Legendary or Lutris fill the gap. With the help of the compatibility layer Wine (or its Fork Proton), the tools pretend Windows games to have a suitable operating system environment.

        Lutris brings many different platforms from GOG to Steam to retro emulators under one roof, but it is quite complex). Heroic Games Launcher and the underlying command line tool Legendary, on the other hand, have specialized in making Epic Games’ games run across platforms – on Linux, macOS and Windows.

      • How to Install Remi Repo in RHEL, CentOS, Rocky, & AlmaLinux

        RHEL Linux, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and CentOS systems are all familiar with the YUM package manager, which is used to easily search, download, install, and delete various targeted software packages. Also, we need the YUM package manager for frequent system updates that lead to recent and better OS versions.

      • How to Download & Install Pop!_OS 21.10 from USB Boot Drive - LinuxCapable

        Pop!_OS 21.10 was released and saw the introduction of GNOME 40, Linux kernel 5.15. This Pop!_OS release also introduces a New App Library, and a more excellent search window replaced the full-screen app menu and all the regular updates seen in Ubuntu 21.10 short-term release.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn to install Pop!_OS 21.10 on a fresh PC using a USB Bootable Disk.

      • [Updated] 30 Useful Linux Commands for System Administrators

        In this article we are going to review some of the useful and frequently used Linux or Unix commands for Linux System Administrators that are used in their daily life.

        This is not complete but it’s a compact list of commands to refer to when needed. Let us start one by one how we can use those commands with examples.

      • How to Install MariaDB 10.6 on CentOS 8 Stream - LinuxCapable

        MariaDB is one of the most popular open-source databases next to its originator MySQL. The original creators of MySQL developed MariaDB in response to fears that MySQL would suddenly become a paid service due to Oracle acquiring it in 2010. With its history of doing similar tactics, the developers behind MariaDB have promised to keep it open source and free from such fears as what has happened to MySQL.

        MariaDB has become just as popular as MySQL with developers, with advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, faster cache/indexes, storage engines, and features/extensions that you won’t find in MySQL.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MariaDB 10.6 on CentOS 8 Stream.

    • Games

      • Alpha 20 goes live for survival game 7 Days to Die | GamingOnLinux

        The Fun Pimps have promoted Alpha 20 of 7 Days to Die to the stable release builds making in the new official update and it's a big one again. Players are clearly enjoying it, with it still remaining at a higher player count than it had been seeing months prior to the experimental version.

    • Distributions

      • Top 7 Best Rolling Release Linux Distributions

        There are so many Linux distributions that can be divided into different categories based on their characteristics, features, intended user base and more. In this article, I’ll list some of the best rolling release Linux distributions.

        Do you know what is a rolling release distro? These distros do not wait for six months or more to release a new version with newer versions of Linux kernel, desktop environment and other major software components. They update these components soon after they are released. You don’t have to upgrade your distribution from one major version to the next because your distribution keeps getting the upgrades on a regular basis.

      • BSD

        • What Is DragonFly BSD? The Advanced BSD Variant Explained

          DragonFly BSD is one of the best BSD-based operating systems with a prime focus on stability and robustness.

          When you hear the term BSD, you might think of FreeBSD, NetBSD, or OpenBSD, but there's another BSD variant that seems to get less attention—DragonFly BSD. What is this newest variant of BSD, and is it for you? Read on to find out.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [Old] DigitalOcean Donates $25,000 to BigBlueButton Inc.

        At BigBlueButton, an open source virtual classroom platform supported by Blindside Networks, the pandemic meant a massive increase in usage of BigBlueButton in just a few weeks. Following a two week sprint in 2020, Blindside Networks spun up over 1,000 servers on DigitalOcean, which has led to over half a billion minutes of online classes being hosted on DigitalOcean. We are excited to share that today, DigitalOcean has furthered their support of BigBlueButton by donating $25,000 to BigBlueButton Inc., which will use the donation to promote awareness and advocacy, foster and recognize research, introduce contribution awards, and support more collaboration amongst the BigBlueButton community, all benefiting teachers world-wide.

        BigBlueButton started at Carleton University in 2007 with one goal: to provide the most teacher-centric virtual classroom in the world. As an open source project, it enabled anyone in the world to run on their own servers. For years, Blindside Networks, the main developer of BigBlueButton, was hosting it for many large and small schools all over the world using physical servers.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • [Old] Lossless Image Compression in O(n) Time

          Introducing QOI — the Quite OK Image Format. It losslessly compresses RGB and RGBA images to a similar size of PNG, while offering a 20x-50x speedup in compression and 3x-4x speedup in decompression. All single-threaded, no SIMD. It's also stupidly simple.

          tl;dr: 300 lines of C, single header, source on github, benchmark results here.

        • Coding

          This post is part of a series, starting at Reflections on a decade of coding.

          This is going to be much more vague than the other parts of the series because this is the actual work. Good judgement is learned from experience, not from blog posts. So I think the most useful thing I can convey is what kinds of things I think about when coding, rather than what answers I come up with.

          I'm also trying to focus on things that were non-obvious to me or that run counter to what I was taught.

        • Raku

        • Java

    • Standards/Consortia

      • A challenger to the throne of vector graphics. SVG is dead, long live TinyVG!

        What we really need is a format like PNG for vector graphics. Compact, versatile and simple to implement. What most of us don't need are vector graphic animations or vector graphic applications. What we definitly don't need is a vector graphic format that can do raw sockets.

        After the reasearch I did to implement SVG in Zig, I was disappointed and angry that stuff like vector graphics is so complex and in my stubbornness I decided: [...]

      • The QOI File Format Specification

        QOI will not compress images as well as an optimized PNG encoder and that's OK. We already have image formats that out-compress PNG anyway. QOI's virtue is in its simplicity.

  • Leftovers

    • Busking in the Metaverse

      Those writing the strange history of this pandemic might come to consider August, 2021 as the brief renaissance period, the early stages of the Delta variant, when it was possible to say something like, “I had a great tour of Denmark.”€  But now even Denmark’s viral coping mechanisms are no match for the new variant, and they’re shutting down theaters and cinemas, too.

      As prospects for concert tours in early 2022 are looking pretty bleak, you can bet I’m not the only musician thinking about how to get the best sound quality out of a Quest 2 headset.€  I’m behind the curve as usual, and have no such headset, but what’s cooking here is fairly easy to smell.€  A month ago I was all ready to quit doing gigs on the internet altogether — sick of it, like so many others.€  But that was a long time ago.€  Now there’s Omicron.€  And along with it, the metaverse.

    • Remembering the Clarion Call of bell hooks

      I was always unsure how to greet her, the radiantly brilliant scholar named Gloria Watkins who wrote worlds into being as bell hooks. She was a neighbor of mine in the 1990s; we lived within blocks of each other in Greenwich Village. I did not know her well, but our paths crossed with some regularity because we wrote on overlapping topics—race, gender, class. She was the eminence whose first book—Ain’t I a Woman?, written while still an undergraduate—had revolutionized second-wave feminism. She forced an epistemic rethinking of intersectionality, encapsulated well by the title of the landmark 1982 anthology All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave. € 

    • bell hooks Will Never Leave Us, She Lives on Through the Truth of Her€ Words

      My Nana, who was probably frustrated by my endless complaints about being bored, stuck a copy of “Ain’t I A Woman” in my hand and told me just to “shut up and read.” I remember that summer because after I read that book, all we talked about was bell hooks and who she was and who I wanted to be. I said then that I wanted to be a writer, like bell hooks, and change the world with my words.

      I took her words with me when I went off to college, and by then, I had my own dog-eared copies of some of her books. I went to her work whenever I needed to be reminded of my strength. The world felt much safer when bell hooks and Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou were on the front line, carving out a path to freedom and modeling what a Black woman’s resistance to a system hellbent on trying to make them small looked like. bell hooks’ words went with me everywhere, even while they kept taking me back to myself.

    • bell hooks, We Will Always Rage On With You
    • OnlyFans founder is making way for firm's marketing chief

      Amrapali Gan is currently marketing head at OnlyFans, which is known for hosting adult content, and has seen a spike in use during the pandemic.

      In a social media post Tim Stokely, who founded the company in 2016, said he was stepping down "to pursue new endeavours".

    • Science

      • Progress On DNA Storage

        Now, Scaling DNA data storage with nanoscale electrode wells by Bichlien H. Nguyen et al shows that the collaboration between Microsoft and U. Washington has made significant progress toward this goal. Their abstract reads: [...]

      • Plastics: Photopolymers For 3D Printing And Beyond | Hackaday

        Chances are good that if you’ve done any 3D printing, it was of the standard fused deposition modeling variety. FDM is pretty simple stuff — get a bit of plastic filament hot enough, squeeze the molten goo out of a fine nozzle, control the position of the nozzle more or less precisely in three dimensions, and repeat for hours on end until your print is done. To the outsider it looks like magic, but to us it’s just another Saturday afternoon.

        Resin printing is another thing altogether, and a lot closer to magic for most of us. The current crop of stereolithography printers just have a high-resolution LCD display between a UV light source and a build tank with a transparent bottom. Prints are built up layer by layer by flashing UV light patterns into the tank as a build plate slowly lifts it up from the resin, like some creature emerging from the primordial goo.

        Of course it’s all just science, but if there is any magic in SLA printing, surely it’s in the resins used for it. Their nondescript brown plastic bottles and information-poor labels give little clue as to their ingredients, although their hydrocarbon reek and viscous, sticky texture are pretty good clues. Let’s take a look inside the resin bottle and find out what it is that makes the magic of SLA happen.

      • Ground Effect Aerodynamics On An RC Car | Hackaday

        Ground effect aerodynamics will return to Formula 1 in a big way in the 2022 season, hopefully washing away the bad taste left in fan’s mouths after the recent controversial season decider. [Engineering After Hours] has experimented with F1 aerodynamics on RC cars before, and decided that it was time to try and implement a proper ground-effect design himself.

        The aim of ground effect aerodynamics is to create a constriction for airflow between the bottom of the car and the ground underneath. This constriction accelerates the flow beneath the car, and as per Bernoulli’s principle, causes a corresponding pressure drop, sucking the car down onto the track. Viscosity also plays a role; from the car’s perspective, the road beneath the vehicle is moving backwards at some speed, pulling on the fluid thanks to the boundary layer on the ground itself. This further helps increase the strength of the effect.

    • Education

      • International schools following the Finnish education model get an audit model of their own

        These schools operating in international environments follow locally tailored and approved curricula that are based on the Finnish National core curriculum (2014). These schools following the Finnish education model differ in many respects from Finnish schools operating abroad.

        FINEEC has now developed an audit model for auditing international schools following the Finnish education model. The audits verify that the principles related to these schools’ operation and organisation of education really are in line with the Finnish school characteristics. After having passed the audit, the school receives a quality label that will be valid for four years.

    • Hardware

      • Bubble Lights Made From Scratch | Hackaday

        Bubble lights are mesmerizing things to watch, up there with lava lamps as one of the nicer aesthetic creations of the mid-20th century. [Tech Ingredients] decided to head into the lab to whip up some of their own design, taking things up a notch beyond what you’d typically find in a store.

        Bubble lights have a liquid inside glass that is held under a vacuum. This reduces the boiling point of the fluid, allowing a small heat input to easily create bubbles that float to the top of the chamber inside. The fluid used inside is also chosen for its low boiling point, with [Tech Ingredients] choosing dichloromethane for safety when using flames to work the glass.

      • Where The Rubber Meets The Computer | Hackaday

        If you ever get a chance to go to Leiden, take it. It is a beautiful little city that hides some high-power university research. It also boasts the world’s first rubber computer. You won’t be running Crysis on it anytime soon, though. The fledgling computer has memory and can count to two — really more of a state machine. It is easier to watch the video below than try to fully explain it. Or you can read through the actual paper.

        If you watch the video, you’ll see that deformation in the corrugated rubber structure is apparently repeatable and represent bits in the machine. Pressing and releasing pressure on the structure forms both input and clock and it is possible for the material to go from state A to B on compression, but when you release pressure, it reaches state C. The compression and the angle of the pressure allow for different input conditions. One example rubber state machine counts how many times you compress the piece of rubber.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Opinion | OSHA's Employee Vaccine-Or-Test Mandate Is Smart Public Policy

        The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for employers to cope with the health dangers posed by COVID-19. The centerpiece of the ETS is a vaccine-or-test mandate for employees working at firms with over 100 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate is good public policy: it will reduce deaths and hospitalizations, and it will also increase economic growth and reduce the main inflationary pressures facing the U.S. economy.

      • To End 'Deafening Noise of War,' Pope Says Nations Must Fund Education Over Weapons

        Pope Francis has released a new peace message in which he rebukes soaring military spending and praises work and activism that uplift the common good.

        "We ought to esteem and encourage all those young people who work for a more just world."

      • Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law on Illegal Covid Gatherings

        This was what Britain was told by the government of Boris Johnson, a man famed for his rutting proclivities, to behave, huddle and battle SARS-Cov-2, and its disease, COVID-19.€  But the manner he, and his officials, have done so have shown the country’s citizenry that Johnson’s Law on Illegal Covid Gatherings is in full swing, a glorious exemption that few can partake in.

        There was Prime Minister Johnson himself gleefully shaking the hands of infected patients, thereby infecting himself despite telling others not to shake hands.€  There was the grasping, emotion starved canoodling of former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, whose amorous (and camera captured) embrace with senior aide Gina Coladangelo jarred with public health orders.

      • Holiday Omicron Wave Could Mean Overwhelmed Health Systems and More Deaths
      • 2022 Must Be the Year the Left Proactively Shapes the COVID Agenda
      • This Scientist Created a Rapid Test Just Weeks Into the Pandemic. Here’s Why You Still Can’t Get It.

        When COVID-19 started sweeping across America in the spring of 2020, Irene Bosch knew she was in a unique position to help.

        The Harvard-trained scientist had just developed quick, inexpensive tests for several tropical diseases, and her method could be adapted for the novel coronavirus. So Bosch and the company she had co-founded two years earlier seemed well-suited to address an enormous testing shortage.

      • Biden Admin to Distribute 500 Million Free COVID Tests After Mocking Idea
      • 'Finally': After Mocking Idea, Biden Administration to Distribute 500 Million Free Covid Tests

        After mocking the idea just two weeks earlier, the Biden White House on Tuesday announced a plan to distribute 500 million free at-home coronavirus tests to households across the U.S. as the administration ramps up its effort to combat the surging Omicron variant, which now accounts for nearly 75% of the nation's new cases.

        According to a fact sheet the White House unveiled Tuesday morning, the administration will soon "purchase a half-billion at-home, rapid tests this winter to be distributed for free to Americans who want them, with the initial delivery starting in January 2022."

      • WHO Chief: Holiday Omicron Wave Could Mean 'Overwhelmed Health Systems' and 'More Deaths'

        The head of the World Health Organization delivered a stark warning Monday about the state of the coronavirus pandemic as the highly transmissible Omicron strain continued to rip through large swaths of the global population, posing the greatest threat to poor countries that have been denied access to vaccines.

        "An event canceled is better than a life canceled."

      • Some Prisoners Released During Pandemic Can Stay on Home Confinement, Says DOJ

        Rights advocates and progressive U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday welcomed an announcement that some federal prisoners released to home confinement during the Covid-19 pandemic will not be required to return to prison—a reversal of a controversial Trump administration policy.

        "We are very grateful to the Biden administration for fixing this mistake."

      • 'We Can Do It Again': Citing Covid-19 Test Reversal, AOC Calls On Biden to #CancelStudentDebt

        Amid reports that his administration is considering extending the federal college loan payment moratorium scheduled to expire on February 1, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday added her voice to the growing chorus of calls by progressives for President Joe Biden to cancel student debt.

        Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) cited the Biden administration's about-face decision to distribute millions of free at-home Covid-19 testing kits, tweeting that the idea was "initially laughed at, yet now it's happening."

      • Not How Any Of This Works: Pandemic's Wrongest Man Sues Twitter For Kicking Him Off The Platform

        For good reasons, Alex Berenson has been dubbed the "pandemic's wrongest man." He played up the fact that he once wrote for the NY Times and turned that into a weird, shady attack on pot, before going all in on medical misinformation. In the early days he played down the threat of COVID, and has since become a leading vaccine disinfo spreader. He had built a large Twitter following for his nonsense, and shortly before his Twitter account was finally shut down, he had warned that if it was shut down he would sue Twitter... for defamation. Then, once he was banned, he (in typical grifter fashion) immediately went into fundraising mode even though the extraordinarily wealthy heir of a frozen food fortune promised to fund such a lawsuit.

      • Can smartphone usage by parents hinder child’s development? Here’s what a study says

        Are you addicted to your smartphone and use it extensively? If yes, then you need to step back, as a new study claims parents’ use of smartphones has the potential to disrupt their children’s development. As per the study, the interaction between mothers and their toddlers is reduced by a factor of four when they use their smartphones extensively, negatively impacting their growth.

        Published in the Child Development Journal and led by Dr Katy Borodkin of the Department of Communication Disorders at the Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine of Tel Aviv University, the research examined 33 Israeli mothers and their 16 toddlers, all boys aged between 24-36 months.

      • Chicago mandates vaccine passports as the vaccine fails to slow the spread of COVID. – BaronHK's Rants

        Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) has announced that everyone who wants to go pretty much anywhere but the grocery store and church will need a vaccine passport starting January 3rd.

        The COVID vaccine campaign has utterly failed to even slow it down.

        Lying politicians on “both sides of the aisle” have different responses.

        In Indiana, which is governed by Republicans, they reported 119 COVID deaths today according to worldometer, and in Florida, with 5 times as many people, they reported nearly 13,000 new cases an 0 deaths.

        Nobody believes Ron DeSantis, but at the same time, I think the Indiana approach is probably for the best. Give people the real facts but let them decide how to mitigate risk, or not.

        The only thing the Democrats are accomplishing here in Illinois is to make everyone depressed and fat and unable to go anywhere, while killing the businesses that employ people, even though all of the federal unemployment aide is gone thanks to Biden allowing it to expire.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Authentication and Authorisation Using Single Sign-On

        In the first blog of this series, we explored multi-factor authentication and a move away from credentials that can be stolen, as motivated by recent attacks. This blog will dive into authorisation and single sign-on to aid in technology selection and deployment considerations. It provides a foundation for the following blog post that introduces emerging standards that have taken into account learnings from the challenges of past protocols, reducing points of vulnerability where possible.

      • Proprietary

        • Attackers have found a way to bypass a crucial Microsoft Office patch | TechRadar

          Attackers have managed to create a novel exploit capable of bypassing a critical remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Office which was patched earlier this year.

          According to new research from the cybersecurity firm Sophos, the attackers were able to take a publicly available proof-of-concept Office exploit and weaponize it to deliver the Formbook malware.

          Back in September, Microsoft released a patch to prevent attackers from executing malicious code embedded in a Word document that downloads a Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) archive containing a malicious executable. By reworking the original exploit and placing the malicious Word document inside a special crafted RAR archive, the attackers created a “CAB-less” form of the exploit capable of successfully evading the original patch.

          Surprisingly though, this novel exploit was distributed using spam emails for approximately 36 hours before it disappeared completely. Sophos' researchers believe that the exploit's limited lifespan could mean that it was a “dry run” experiment that could be used in future attacks.

        • Attackers find new way to exploit Office hole patched by Microsoft

          The original exploit affected the Office file format. To take advantage of this flaw, attackers could execute malicious code embedded in a Word document that downloads a Microsoft Cabinet archive, which, in turn, contained a malicious executable.

          A statement from Sophos said: "Attackers have reworked the original exploit by placing the malicious Word document inside a specially crafted RAR archive. The newer, 'CAB-less' form of the exploit successfully evades the original patch.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • France Says Clearview Broke Privacy Laws, Orders It To Delete Residents' Data

              Clearview is again on the receiving end of an order demanding it delete all the local data it scraped from thousands of websites and social media platforms.

            • Facebook Blocks Seven Malware Purveyors, Deletes Hundreds Of Accounts, Notifies 50,000 Potential Hacking Targets

              Thanks to the ongoing onslaught of negative press involving malware merchants like Israel's NSO Group, tech companies whose devices and platforms have been used to deploy exploits targeting journalists, activists, and religious leaders are punching back. You're a human rights abuser with high-dollar spyware at your disposal? Too bad. Ask for a refund, I guess.

            • Podcast Episode: The Life of the (Crypto) Party

              Join EFF’s Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they talk with Matt, who has worked as a data journalist, a software engineer, a security researcher, a trainer, and a hacker—and learn more about how education, transparency, and building trust can increase privacy and safety for everyone. And best of all, you get to go to a party while you’re doing it.

            • Israeli spyware was used against US diplomats in Uganda

              The advanced spyware Pegasus, created by Israeli firm NSO Group and used by governments like Saudi Arabia to gather intelligence on those it deems terrorists or criminals, has reportedly been detected on at least 11 iPhones used by US officials in Uganda or conducting business related to the country, as well as locals working for the embassy.

              That news — first reported Friday by Reuters — will likely exacerbate NSO Group’s fraught relationship with the US government; while the company says Pegasus can’t be used on phones with US numbers, the recent hack shows there are loopholes that allow foreign governments to spy on US citizens and government employees. It’s the first known incident of the technology being used against American officials, although it’s not yet known which of NSO Group’s clients hacked the devices.

            • Spy Tool Was Deployed in State-Sponsored [Crack] of Ugandans

              Two journalists and one politician said they received alerts warning them of “state-sponsored” attacks on their iPhones. At least one of those attacks was linked to the powerful Israeli cyberespionage tool, Pegasus.

            • Confidentiality

              • Disclosing Shamir’s Secret Sharing vulnerabilities and announcing ZKDocs

                These bugs allow a malicious user of the threshold signature scheme to steal the secret keys of other users or to crash their nodes. Exploiting these vulnerabilities is simple: an attacker just needs to configure a malicious ID at the start of either the key generation protocol or the resharing protocol.

              • Semi-self-hosted email

                To figure out how to handle my email, I needed to have some explicit goals in mind:

                I want all my email on my own server, under my control, and searchable/archivable in an easy plain text format, like Maildir or mbox.

                I would prefer email I send to my friends/colleagues to be routed and stay within my country, rather than being routed to and stored in/via another country (unless they are using GMail or similar).

                I don't want to have to work constantly with domain settings and requesting myself removed from spam blacklists, etc.

                If I use a hosting provider for my email, I'd like to be able to quickly switch to another hosting provider with minimal downtime. I don't want to be tied to a specific provider.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • “Shut Down Those Tanks”: Anger Grows in Hawaii After U.S. Navy Fuel Site Contaminates Water

        The United States Navy is facing growing calls to permanently shut down one of their fuel storage facilities in Hawaii after a petroleum leak contaminated the water supply that serves over 90,000 families around the naval base of Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. The storage site, called the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, has long been protested by environmental activists in part because of its location just 100 feet above the primary groundwater aquifer for Honolulu and the rest of Oahu. We speak with two Native Hawaiian guests: civil rights lawyer Camille Kalama and Kamanamaikalani Beamer, a former commissioner of the Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management. “This is the most critical threat that we’ve ever had to our groundwater resources,” says Beamer. “The Navy assured us and promised our state Water Resource Management Commission that this would never happen, and yet here we are.”

      • Trump to Mark Anniversary of Capitol Attack With News Conference at Mar-a-Lago
      • Social Movements in Chile Fend Off Far Right Threat With Gabriel Boric’s Victory
      • Chileans Elect Gabriel Boric as New President, Reject Ultra-Conservative Candidate

        At stake were prospects for overcoming left-overs from the Pinochet dictatorship that ended in 1990. Policies in place had prompted massive protests in October 2019 and for weeks afterwards. Demonstrators demanded rights for youth, labor, pensioners, and indigenous people. They called for a new Constitution to replace the one imposed by the dictatorship. Under fire, the Pinera government prepared for a Constituent Assembly, which voters authorized in May, 20121.

        Delegates to that Assembly are at work now presumably removing constitutional protection for Pinochet-era laws and regulations, neo-liberal in nature. With Kast as president, approval of a new constitution and then implementation would likely have been problematic.

      • Opinion | Mission Unaccomplished: Describing Failing US Military as 'Awesome'

        Professional sports is a cutthroat business. Succeed and the people running the show reap rich rewards. Fail to meet expectations and you get handed your walking papers. American-style war in the twenty-first century is quite a different matter.

      • Jan. 6 Committee Makes First Request for Testimony From a Member of Congress
      • Balhaf: The Oil Port Where UAE Loots Yemen and Imprisons and Tortures Yemenis

        Al-Shabwani, a resident from Ateq city in Shabwa province who requested that only his nickname be used, told MintPress News that he was detained for months and tortured in a secret prison inside Balhaf. Since 2016, when the UAE first entered Yemen’s most productive oil and gas areas in Shabwa, Abu Dhabi has carved out Balhaf as its personal fiefdom and turned the former gas facility into a military camp and secret prison. “Balhaf should be a lifeline for us in this difficult time, not a military camp and secret prison,” al-Shabwani said. “It’s time to kick the UAE forces and their mercenaries out.”

      • Protecting the Nazis: The Extraordinary Vote of Ukraine and the USA

        This is verbatim from the official report of the UN General Assembly plenary of 16 December 2021:

      • In a Public First, Jan. 6 Committee Requests Information From a Sitting Member of Congress

        As Alex Jones filed suit against the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 and indicated his intent to plead his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate, the committee moved forward with its investigation, asking Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) to provide documents and testimony. Perry is the first known member of Congress to be asked to supply information to the committee.

        The committee requested testimony from Perry, one of 21 Republicans who voted against a bill to honor Capitol Police officers who responded to the insurrection, in a letter requesting his voluntary cooperation. It has not yet issued a subpoena to Perry.

      • Retired US generals warn of 2024 election coup

        The three retired generals—Steven Anderson, Paul D. Eaton and Antonio M. Taguba—all veterans of the Iraq war and other US military conflicts around the world, declare that the approaching first anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol should be the occasion for considering what could happen if the outcome of the 2024 presidential election is disputed.

      • Why the Taliban Still Love Suicide Bombing

        On a separate occasion, the Taliban memorialized suicide bombers at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. This time, the regime’s interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani—head of the notorious Haqqani network —addressed hundreds of men representing the family members of suicide bombers. Haqqani congratulated the men for their loved ones’ divine sacrifice and gifted them with clothes, cash, and the promised allocation of land plots. And in October, amid increasing tensions with Tajikistan, the group announced the deployment of 3,000 suicide bombers to the border between the two countries.

      • Islamic extremists sidestep Facebook’s content police

        Photos of beheadings, extremist propaganda and violent hate speech related to Islamic State and the Taliban were shared for months within Facebook groups over the past year despite the social networking giant's claims it had increased efforts to remove such content.

        The posts — some tagged as “insightful” and “engaging” via new Facebook tools to promote community interactions — championed the Islamic extremists’ violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, including videos of suicide bombings and calls to attack rival across the region and in the West, according to a review of social media activity between April and December. At least one of the groups contained more than 100,000 members.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • A Julian Assange Update Featuring Kevin Gosztola - The Project Censored Show

        The Official Project Censored Show A Julian Assange Update Featuring Kevin GosztolaPlay EpisodePause EpisodeMute/Unmute EpisodeRewind 10 Seconds1xFast Forward 30 seconds 00:00 /SubscribeShare

      • What Julian Assange Told Us about Central America

        A decade ago, the controversial WikiLeaks offered an unprecedented window into the workings of the U.S. government in Central America. Now the possible extradition and trial of founder Julian Assange may set a dangerous precedent for the criminalization of commonplace news-gathering activities, press advocates say, and contradict moves by Biden to punish those seeking to harm journalists around the world.

    • Environment

      • Alfred Döblin’s Surreal Foray Into Climate Fiction

        Alfred Döblin’s sprawling 1924 epic, Berge Meere und Giganten—recently translated into English for the first time as Mountains Oceans Giants—begins in a relatively near future when the earth is on a crash course for disaster. “None were still living of those who came through the war they called the World War,” Döblin writes. A fading memory in the space of the text, World War I retained a decisive influence over the author’s Weimar Republic in both symbolic and material terms. The German scholar Rudolf Kayser was likely thinking of the brutality of mechanized trench warfare when he remarked, in 1932, that the human race was “dying of its own works.” By then, the Great Depression and contemporary political turmoil would have colored his outlook as well (the Weimar Republic itself “died” early the following year). If some Germans in the interwar period saw promise in technological acceleration, more dreaded its consequences. Facing threats from the sky to the factory floor, people had to wonder: How long could humanity hold out?

      • How Black Communities Become “Sacrifice Zones” for Industrial Air Pollution

        Every time Pam Nixon drives along Interstate 64, she sees the Union Carbide plant. Wedged between a green hillside and the Kanawha River, the sprawling facility has helped define West Virginia’s “Chemical Valley” for the better part of a century, its smokestacks belching gray plumes and fishy odors into the town of Institute, population 1,400. To many West Virginians, the plant is a source of pride — it was a key maker of synthetic rubber in World War II — and a source of hundreds of jobs. But to Nixon and others in Institute’s largely Black community, it has meant something else: pollution. The plant reminds Nixon of leaks, fires, explosions — dangers she’s dedicated most of her adult life to trying to stop.

        Now, on a warm September evening, the 69-year-old retiree was at it again.

      • Despite Climate Imperative, 94% of Analyzed Coal Companies Have No Phaseout Plan

        With a new analysis in hand, an international climate advocacy group on Tuesday demanded that banks and investors worldwide use their leverage to force the coal industry to more rapidly end their planet-wrecking operations.

        "Credible transition plans are all the rage, but our analysis reveals that the overwhelming majority of coal companies have no such thing."

      • 2021: A Year in Photos From the Front Lines of the Climate Crisis

        This was the year the United Nations Secretary-General declared human-driven global heating a “code red for humanity.” And this selection of photos I shot for DeSmog throughout 2021 offers visual proof€ that his warning is merited.€ 

        My work documents the ongoing trend of science denial becoming increasingly woven into right-wing rhetoric by steadfast Trump supporters, the impacts of extreme weather fueled by climate change, and the actions taken by climate advocates fighting for environmental justice and against pollution from the fossil fuel industry.€ 

      • Energy

        • Toxic waters in war-torn Ukraine: How not to phase out coal

          When a mine ceases to operate, water must be constantly pumped out of the underground shafts and chambers to prevent them from flooding. Groundwater that does enter can become contaminated with heavy metals, which may then permeate underground aquifers and the surrounding soils, rendering them unusable for farming.

        • RadioShack Turns to [Cryptocurrency] With RADIO Tokens

          RadioShack, which you might best remember for carrying all manner of trending electronics goods since its founding in 1921, is restructuring. The company has decided that its steps toward ecommerce weren't enough; it now wants to turn to blockchain technology. Specifically, it wants to become a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) provider. And it's positioning itself as the only entity that can " the bridge between the CEO's [sic] who control the world's corporations and the new world of cryptocurrencies." To help that ...interesting string of words move toward reality, the company plans to launch its own token: RADIO.

        • Unintuitive conclusions from urban planning

          This one is pretty well-known but bears repeating. Thanks to induced demand, adding more highway capacity causes more people to use the highway, because it’s now the most convenient option. Hence, the highway becomes more congested until it returns to the steady-state equilibrium of the maximum sadness people are okay with. This is usually when people start getting annoyed at congestion and push for the highway to be expanded.

          There is one counterargument to this: even if congestion didn’t get any better, surely we at least were able to transport more people to places they wanted to go? I think the response to this is that while this is true, expanding roads also strengthens the norm that it’s ok to travel 10, or 20, or 30 miles for a brief errand. This alters the pattern of development such that people start building destinations further away. If we assume the quality of each destination is the same regardless of theoretical distance, this means we’re having people drive further, and experience equivalent levels of traffic, for the same quality of destination.

          That seems bad.

        • Car supremacy and America's traffic paradox

          In urban planning, there is an idea called the "Downs-Thomson Paradox," which holds that "the equilibrium speed of car traffic on a road network is determined by the average door-to-door speed of equivalent journeys taken by public transport." In other words, as the Not Just Bikes show explains, "car traffic will get worse and worse and worse until it becomes faster to take the bus or the metro or the tram." When this concept was originally developed decades ago, it was often used as an explanation for the fact that expanding road capacity does not usually reduce traffic. American cities have seen this proved thousands of times — you add a lane to a highway or street, and within a few weeks or months the road is just as jammed as it was before.

          Public transit comes into the picture by considering the large population of people who are neutral between transportation options. Some people love cars or trains, of course, and will go out of their way to use them, but many (perhaps most) people just want convenience — whatever option is fastest, that's what they'll take. So if driving becomes faster thanks to a new lane or road, car traffic will simply increase to the point where driving roughly matches the speed of public transit once again. That's the paradox.

        • [Old] Did a conspiracy really destroy LA’s huge streetcar system?

          Elkind says the streetcar still could have been saved, but that “it would have taken some imagination and foresight on the part of the public to think, ‘what if we did subsidize this transit service? We might be able to address some of the problems that we have and make it a better service.’”

          Instead, local and state officials repeatedly punted on plans to finance badly needed infrastructure that could have helped salvage key portions of the streetcar system.

          A Pacific Electric-backed plan to build elevated tracks in Downtown Los Angeles was defeated at the ballot box in the 1920s. Instead, voters chose to fund Union Station, which gave the city a consolidated rail terminal but no infrastructure to speed up streetcar service.

        • [Old] Designing to Move People

          While street performance is conventionally measured based on vehicle traffic throughput and speed, measuring the number of people moved on a street—its person throughput and capacity—presents a more complete picture of how a city’s residents and visitors get around. Whether making daily commutes or discretionary trips, city residents will choose the mode that is reliable, convenient, and comfortable.

          Transit has the highest capacity for moving people in a constrained space. Where a single travel lane of private vehicle traffic on an urban street might move 600 to 1,600 people per hour (assuming one to two passengers per vehicle and 600 to 800 vehicles per hour), a dedicated bus lane can carry up to 8,000 passengers per hour. A transitway lane can serve up to 25,000 people per hour per travel direction.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Another Yellowstone Bison Slaughter

          Yellowstone’s wild bison were declared our national mammal in 2016 and are of international significance.

          Yellowstone bison are not the same as other bison scattered around the West. They are the most genetically pure bison left on the continent, largely influenced by natural evolutionary processes.

        • A Christmas Confession: I'm Taking an Eco-Holiday From It All

          There, I’ve said it! It feels good to get that off my chest, even if it makes me sound like a cold-hearted Grinch of a mother. But maybe that’s what it truly takes to be a good environmentalist these days.

          On the radio recently, I heard this stumper: the U.S. economy depends on consumers consuming and the earth depends on us not consuming. Which are we going to choose? Once the conundrum of this moment was posed that way, I knew instantly where I stood. With the earth and against consumption! I raised my fist in support, even as I maneuvered my empty seven-person, gas-fed minivan down the highway. I mention that lest you jump to the conclusion that I’m a 100% eco-soul, which, of course, none of us can be in this strange world of ours. (On that, more to come.)

      • Overpopulation

        • Media Forget Afghan Plight as US Sanctions Drive Mass Famine Risk

          As the United States withdrew militarily from Afghanistan in August, US TV news interest in the plight of the country’s citizens spiked, often focusing on “the horror awaiting women and girls” (CNN Situation Room, 8/16/21) to argue against withdrawal (, 8/23/21).

    • Finance

      • Rare Unionizing Opportunity in Big Box and Retail Chain

        Chalk it up to the pandemic’s dislocations when millions of workers left their jobs, and many have not yet returned. The€ International Brotherhood of Teamsters€ (IBT), the€ United Food & Commercial Workers International Union€ (UFCW), and the€ Service Employees International Union€ (SEIU) see the opportunity of a lifetime, but are they putting enough organizing resources into this effort?

        For over four decades, unions of all kinds in the corporate economy have been in decline. Only six percent of private sector workers are now in unions. However, polls are showing a high favorability level for unions, following worker heroics on behalf of Covid-19 victims.

      • Tornadoes Can Kill. So Can Amazon's Business Model
      • Build Back Better Now DOA: Next Phase in US Economic and Political Crisis€ Begins

        But Manchin’s real objective has always been to shit can the bill, in order to prevent the necessity of raising taxes on corporations and investors in order to pay for it. To borrow a phrase: “It’s the Tax Cuts, Stupid!”.

        The taxes involved in the Build Back Better bill were just a small part of Trump’s $4.5 trillion 2018 tax cuts. The Build Back Better bill’s funding involved partially raising Trump’s corporate taxes. But even that was too much for the thousands of corporate lobbyists who descended on Washington in recent months; their single objective has been to ensure corporate interests in the Senate–within the Democrat party as well as the Republican–don’t pass the Build Back Better bill in any form, since paying for it involved to a significant extent clawing back some of Trump’s $4.5T tax cuts for corporations and investors. Their lobbying effort has proved quite successful.

      • Opinion | What's Driving Higher Prices? Unchecked Corporate Power
      • ‘A For-Profit Company Is Trying to Privatize as Many Public Libraries as They Can’

        Janine Jackson interviewed librarian Caleb Nichols about defending public libraries for the December 17, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • What’s Gone Wrong at Chicago’s Last Black-Owned Bank?

        The bank’s board meeting on April 28, 2016, started with a prayer. Then it turned to plans for keeping the bank alive.

        That week, federal regulators had signed off on a deal allowing new owners to take control of Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan, one of the last Black-owned banks in the country. For more than a year, regulators had warned the bank could be shut down if it didn’t raise capital. They had also ordered it to improve its management.

      • Warren Slams Grocers for Raising Prices While Raking In Profits
      • Kellogg Strike Ends After 11 Weeks as Workers Approve New Contract
      • Manchin Under Fire for Blowing Potential $60 Billion Hole in US Economy During Pandemic

        Beyond its near-immediate—and potentially devastating—impact on millions of families with children, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin's obstruction of his party's Build Back Better package could have far-reaching consequences for the overall U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage at home and abroad.

        "Without BBB, the economic recovery will be vulnerable to stalling out."

      • Coal Miners Union Rebukes Manchin for Effort to Kill Build Back Better

        The push for passage of the Build Back Better Act got a potential boost late Monday as the United Mine Workers of America, the coal miners' union that Sen. Joe Manchin counts as a key ally, called on the right-wing Democratic senator to reconsider his opposition to his party's signature economic agenda.

        UMWA president Cecil Roberts outlined several provisions in the $1.75 trillion investment in anti-poverty programs and climate action which would directly benefit the union's 80,000 members, and made clear that coal miners are counting on the West Virginia lawmakers to "revisit his opposition."

      • Is Killing the Build Back Better Act Part of Manchin’s Run for President?
      • 'A Wake-Up Call to Restaurants': New Campaign for $15 Minimum Wage Kicks Off in Michigan

        Amid historic and ever-increasing wage inequality and as a record number of U.S. jurisdictions are set to raise their minimum wages in 2022, Michigan food service industry employees, owners, and advocates have launched a campaign in support of a ballot initiative to lift the state's hourly pay floor from under $10 to $15 for all workers, including those who receive tips.

        "The restaurant industry has had the lowest-paying jobs for generations, largely due to the money, power, and influence of a trade lobby called the National Restaurant Association."

      • As Pressure Mounts, Biden Considers Extending Pause of Student Loan Payments

        This is a developing news story, check back for possible updates...

        The Biden administration is reportedly considering another extension of the federal student loan payment pause that is set to end on February 1, a shift that comes as the White House is facing growing pressure from progressive lawmakers and grassroots advocates.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • GOP 'Tidal Wave' of Voter Suppression Set to Intensify in 2022, Analysis Warns

        Republican state lawmakers are showing no signs of slowing down the "tidal wave of restrictive voting legislation" that ramped up across the country in 2021, according to a new analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice on Tuesday that warns such attacks are set to continue or even escalate in the New Year.

        "Congress has the power to take bold action now to protect American voters from the kinds of restrictions enacted this year and the looming threats to voters and elections that may be imposed in 2022 and beyond."

      • In the Great Tradition of Populist Leaders, Boris Johnson Can No Longer Tell Truth From Falsehood

        Johnson required no tuition in mendacity since he had practiced it continually throughout his career, but he was nevertheless impressed by Trump’s expertise in selling falsehoods.

        Johnson’s own record of duplicity in word and deed is, in my view, unrivalled in British politics: “He has mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial,” wrote Rory Stewart, who was a minister at the Foreign Office when Johnson was foreign secretary, last year. “He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy. He is equally adept at the ironic jest, the fib and the grand lie; the weasel word and the half-truth; the hyperbolic lie, the obvious lie, and the bullshit lie – which may inadvertently be true.”

      • Confirmation Bias

        But essential as the reporting is, it nevertheless sits uneasily with me. In fact, I’m infuriated by it, in particular its focus on “confirmation bias”: The psychological tendency, as Times reporters summarize it, “to search for and interpret information in a way that confirms a pre-existing belief.” Examples highlighted in the articles include the mistaken belief that “people streaming toward a fresh bombing site…are ISIS fighters, not civilian rescuers,” or that “men on motorcycles” are fighters in formation, not just random men on motorcycles. In another example cited by the Times, intelligence reports of an alleged car bomber driving a “darkly-colored heavily armored vehicle” were used by an “air support coordinator” to justify destroying an unarmored blue car and a white van following it. Seven people were killed, all of them civilians instructed by Isis to flee the area. One of the dead was an infant child on his mother’s lap. That’s not “confirmation bias,” that’s manslaughter.

        In Florida (where I live), manslaughter (stat. €§782.07) is defined as: “The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification.”€  There are usually under 100 cases per year of negligent manslaughter in Florida. They involve vehicular negligence, negligent handling of a weapon by an adult, children playing with guns and “34 other negligent killings.”

      • The Challenge of Chile

        There are many reasons the resounding victory of Gabriel Boric, a millennial left-wing congressman, in Chile’s presidential elections will echo far beyond the borders of that Andean nation.

      • Gabriel Boric Win in Chile Is “Huge Victory” for Social Movements That Fought Off Far-Right Threat

        Former student activist and leftist Gabriel Boric will become Chile’s youngest president after easily defeating the far-right candidate José Antonio Kast with over 55% of the vote. Boric has vowed to fight for progressive social reforms and overhaul the neoliberal economic policies left by the U.S.-backed dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. We speak with Chilean writer Pablo Abufom and feminist activist Javiera Manzi, who say Boric’s victory signals an opening for progressive policy in Chile and Latin America more broadly.

      • Opinion | Left Wave Continues in Latin America With Historic Victory in Chile

        With 99.9% of the votes counted, Chile elected progressive Gabriel Boric over right-wing candidate José Antonio Kast on Sunday December 19, 2021. Boric won 55.9% (4,618,480) of the total votes, leaving Kast trailing with 44.1% (3,648,394) as polls closed at 6 pm local time.

      • ‘I hate that I’m broken’ Two years ago, Dasha Lesnykh’s partner was sent to prison as part of the ‘Moscow Case.’ Photographer Evgeny Feldman captures her life on the outside.

        In December 2019, “Moscow Case” defendant Egor Lesnykh proposed to his girlfriend Dasha during his final courtroom remarks. The next day, he was sentenced to three years in prison. Egor was charged with assaulting a police officer at a rally after he tried to protect other protesters from being beaten by members of the National Guard. Today, he’s serving his sentence in an open prison near Volgograd; he’s due to be released in June 2022. Approximately once every two months, Dasha is able to visit Egor in prison. Over the course of several weeks, Meduza photographer Evgeny Feldman snapped photos of Dasha before and after one such visit.

      • Facing six years in prison in Belarus, Russian national Sofia Sapega appeals to Lukashenko for clemency

        Awaiting trial in Belarus and facing a minimum of six years in prison, Russian national Sofia Sapega has already asked Alexander Lukashenko to grant her a pardon, her stepfather Sergey Dudich told the radio station Ekho Moskvy on Tuesday, December 21.€ 

      • How Democrats Lost Build Back Better

        The Build Back Better Act, President Joe Biden’s signature social safety net legislation, is now dead—in its current form, at least. After months of grueling negotiations, during which the initial $6 trillion proposal slowly shrunk to $1.7 trillion over 10 years, Senator Joe Manchin went on Fox News last weekend to deliver the final blow.

      • The Coverage of Build Back Better’s Failure Is Focused on the Wrong Culprits

        Political suicide is painful to watch. That’s especially true right now, with Democrats apparently intent on losing to a craven Republican Party trying to systematically undermine American democracy. President Biden has had to punt both his Build Back Better bill and the election reform bills to next year, but he still doesn’t have the votes for either of them. The failure to deliver hurts working Americans, has ominous implications for our democracy, and is ruinous for Democratic prospects in the 2022 elections.

      • Fauci: Fire Fox News Host Who Called for ‘Ambush’

        Watters told college students in the crowd that he was going to “deputize” them to be “little James O’Keefes,” referring to the Project Veritas founder and activist who uses hidden cameras and deceptive editing to film “gotcha” videos in an attempt to “expose” mainstream media outlets and progressive groups as frauds. And he used a violent metaphor to get his point across.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • 5 Years for a Retweet: Egyptian Rights Activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah Sentenced by Emergency Court

        An emergency court in Egypt has sentenced leading human rights activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah to an additional five years in prison on the charge of “spreading false news undermining national security” for sharing a post on Twitter. El-Fattah has been imprisoned since his arrest in September 2019, just six months after he was released following a five-year prison term for his role in the peaceful demonstrations of 2011 that led to the fall of Egypt’s longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. “Alaa wasn’t even in the courtroom,” says El-Fattah’s aunt, the acclaimed Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, who was in the courtroom at the time of his sentencing. “What Alaa did was he had one retweet, and they are punishing him for that with a five-year prison sentence.”

      • Senate Dems Tell Facebook, Google CEOs to Fulfill Pledges to End Spread of Climate Disinformation

        A trio of Democratic U.S. senators on Tuesday sent a letter demanding that the CEOs of Facebook and Google follow through on their promises to stop the spread of climate disinformation on their platforms.

        "Disinformation that downplays the crisis or rejects climate change threatens the potential for humankind to act collectively to pull itself back from the brink."

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Plans to Save the Local Newspaper

        My friends, Robert McChesney and John Nichols, have put forward the “Local Journalism Initiative (LJI)” to answer the call. (A fuller version is available here.) Their proposal would set out a pot of money to be distributed to local newspapers, based on votes at the county level. They propose elections take place every three years, with each person given three votes. The money would be distributed to news organizations in proportion to the votes received, with a cutoff of 1.0 percent required to get any funding, or 0.5 percent in large counties.

        They envision the total size of the pot to be equal to 0.21 percent of GDP or roughly $46 billion in the 2021 economy. This is their estimate of the size of the subsidy from the Postal Service to newspapers in the 19th century, when it was required to deliver newspapers at a loss.

      • 'How do you justify this?' | Twitter Hammered For Blocking Journalist Who Sought Protection For Brother In Kashmir

        In another arbitrary step, Twitter temporarily blocked the account of Kashmiri journalist ⁦Aarti Tikoo⁩ for a tweet where she is looking out for her brother Sahil Tikoo, whose life is allegedly threatened by terrorists. Claiming that Sahil Tikoo was being openly threatened by 'jihadi' terrorists Aarti Tikoo took to Twitter to seek protection and safety for her brother.

      • Opinion | Defending Julian Assange Is Defending Anyone Who Dares to Speak the Truth

        December 10 was International Human Rights Day. It is always a sham holiday for the United States, which locks up its own people at rates exceeding those of every other country, and routinely makes war against the rest of the world. In 2021 the date was treated as even more of a mockery than in the past. Joe Biden convened a bizarre democracy summit, wherein he declared other nations good or bad based on whether they go along with the dictates of the U.S. empire. Although it was in London where the U.S. behaved in a particularly shameful manner, working with the United Kingdom to secure the right to extradite Julian Assange.

      • Assange to seek Supreme Court leave to appeal against extradition

        ...newspaper's Washington correspondent, Adam Creighton, used strong language to call for Assange's release, saying: "The Biden administration could have dropped the pursuit [of Assange], showing itself to be above the sort of petty, vicious vendettas that motivate authoritarian regimes."

        He wrote that the true casualty count of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which WikiLeaks disclosed, had already come to light.

        "The US has never made a convincing case that the information, related to events that occurred more than five years earlier, put anyone’s life in danger – the traditional argument for censorship. No 'clear and present danger' from publication existed," Creighton claimed.

        He also had harsh words for Australia and the UK. "Nothing Assange did was illegal in Britain or Australia, both of which have shamefully facilitated his extradition and probable imprisonment. Both rely on the US militarily and economically, especially Australia, but combined they could have acted to thwart his extradition, as the US would have done for its own citizen, a point made by [Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby] Joyce."

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | Migrants and Refugees Face Devastating Hardships This Festive Season

        Many of us welcome the first signs of winter and snow with delight. We associate it with warmth: knitted jumpers, cosy fireplaces, end of year festivities and children playing in the snow. But for others, the onset of winter marks the beginning of a potentially life-threatening period.

      • Before Roe v. Wade: How to Get a “Therapeutic Abortion”

        How to Get a “Therapeutic Abortion”

        Abortion was illegal, dangerous, expensive, and commonplace in New York in the fifties. It was the nightmare threat, the dark cloud of death that shadowed the freedom of sexual liberation in the days of its first dawn, not just for wild young people who were out for kicks, but starry-eyed romantics who believed they were truly in love and dared to bring their passion to physical completion without the sanction of marriage. It was not just pot-smoking beatnik girls who got pregnant when they weren’t married; it was ‘nice girls’ who graduated from Vassar and Smith, girls as bright, sensitive, and serious as Salinger’s much-beloved Franny Glass.

      • Federal Class-Action Suit Filed Over Haitian Migrants 'Abused and Dehumanized' at US Border

        A group of Haitian asylum-seekers and their advocates on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit against President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and numerous U.S. agencies and officials alleging physical abuse, racism, unlawful expulsion, and other "inhumane" mistreatment at the hands of immigration authorities.

        "By deporting me and other asylum-seekers, President Biden has condemned us to death."

      • Never Again
      • A Sheriff for the People

        Longtime independent police monitor and criminal justice reformer Susan Hutson seemingly pulled off the impossible on December 11 when she beat incumbent Marlin Gusman to become sheriff-elect of Orleans Parish. Hutson will be the first African-American woman to run the city’s jail—indeed, the first ever female black sheriff in Louisiana history.

      • Russian court rejects prison officials’ petition to jail Doxa editors who missed curfew because of their own wedding

        A Russian court has rejected a petition from the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) to transfer student journalists Alla Gutnikova and Vladimir Metelkin to a remand prison.

      • My Neighbor Protested His Family’s Expulsion From Its Home—Now He’s in an Israeli Prison

        When Israeli officers and undercover agents raided Murad Attieh’s home and arrested him on August 10, his mother, Nuha, had hoped he would be out of the interrogation room in a matter of hours. She’d seen many of her neighbors in Sheikh Jarrah—including my siblings and myself—detained, interrogated, and released shortly after and assumed her son would fall into this pattern. Today, however, marks Murad’s 133rd day in prison. No one knows if and when he will be released.

      • The Mind Numbing Hypocrisy of the Supreme Court

        In July, the Supreme Court refused to hear my appeal against eight months imprisonment for Contempt of Court by the High Court of Edinburgh. And yet yesterday they issued a judgment stating in the strongest possible terms that there should be a right of appeal in Contempt of Court cases.

      • Girl shot dead by Taliban while family was preparing to flee to Canada

        It’s unclear why the Taliban shot at the family’s vehicle. Bashir said they may have been targeted because he worked for the Canadian and U.S. forces, but there were also indications it was a result of Taliban negligence.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The (Still Secret) Online Harms Consultation: What the Government Heard, Part Two
      • As U.S. Prepares Big New Broadband Plan, Few Notice Our Last Major Broadband Plan Was A Major Dud

        "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it" isn't just a quaint saying. Especially in tech or telecom policy. If you don't learn from the mistakes you made the last time you tried to tackle a complex policy issue, you're just going to repeat some or all of the process and see similar results. But it often seems as if the United States has a severe allergy to learning from history and experience, especially if it's in certain companies' best interests that we not learn from our past policy failures (see: banking, airlines, insurance, energy, health care, pharma...).

      • On The Legacy of Rob Blokzijl

        In 1989, Rob was one of the co-founders of the European Network Operators Group – in French, the Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE). Over the next 25 years, in his role as RIPE Chair, his vision and expertise were essential to the growth and spread of this well-respected forum, which acted as a model for many community organisations that would form later on.

        Through this time, looking beyond RIPE itself, Rob also did an extraordinary amount of work to enable and support people who were trying to build the Internet in their own regions. The kind of locally focused collaboration and cooperation that Rob fostered among regional Internet communities was essential for the success of the Internet as a whole.

      • Mobile data is now just 3.2% short of beating out voice calls as the top earner

        The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has today released its sector performance report for Q3 2021. And as I am sure you all expected, mobile data has continued its march upwards. According to the report, mobile internet traffic increased by 10.4% to record 25,902,392,908MB from the 23,436,332,679MB registered in Q2 2021.

      • IFF wrote to the MHA and the DOT seeking implementation of the recommendations made on internet shutdowns by the Standing Committee on Communication and Information Technology

        The Standing Committee on Communication and Information Technology (‘Standing Committee’) released its report on ‘Suspension of telecom services/internet and its impact (‘Report’) on December 1, 2021 highlighting several important recommendations taking into account the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India, and representations made by various stakeholders (including IFF) working on the issue of internet shutdowns. Previously, we summarised the recommendations in the Report. We have now written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (‘MHA’) and the Department of Telecommunications (‘DoT’) urging them to implement the most relevant recommendations at the earliest.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Google is turning off the controls for OnHub routers at the end of 2022

        Google’s insistence on cloud-based controls for its networking products has occasionally caused issues, even though it was supposed to make life with OnHub routers simple. Now it will be a reason pushing anyone still using the OnHub to find a replacement by the end of next year when Google’s apps stop allowing owners to change the settings on their devices. An email went out to users, and a support page revealed the changeover is scheduled for December 19th, 2022 (via Droid-Life).

        When it still seemed unusual for Google and Amazon to make their own hardware, Google teamed up with TP-Link and, eventually, Asus to build OnHub routers that made a point of blending in seamlessly with the rest of your house. They had slick mobile apps to simplify setup and controls, plus a style that blended in so people were more likely to place them in a central location, which could improve WiFi coverage.

    • Monopolies

      • Details Leak On Apple's Secret $275 Billion Deal With The Chinese Government

        More troubling news has surfaced about Apple's and China's relationship. Apple relies on Chinese manufacturing to make its phones and the Chinese government relies on its massive amount of power to leverage deals that allow it to achieve its ends, many of which are oppressive.

      • Oxfam Files SEC Complaint Against Moderna for Deceiving Investors Over Patent Dispute

        Oxfam America filed a complaint Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that accuses vaccine maker Moderna of making "deceptive and ambiguous statements" that "were designed to hide damaging information from investors," in violation of disclosure laws.

        Those alleged "misleading statements" center on Moderna's ongoing dispute with the U.S. government regarding intellectual property rights to the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, and the language the company used to convey that fight in reports to shareholders.€ 

      • Microsoft accused of letting NHS use Teams for free to enact 'takeover by stealth'

        Microsoft made Teams available for free to NHS members of staff in the United Kingdom in March 2021. The move was made to help NHS staff members communicate during the pandemic, according to Microsoft. Competitors of the Redmond-based tech giant appear to view Microsoft's efforts in a different light. According to the Daily Mail, the UK's Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Kwasi Kwarteng, is looking into Microsoft's maneuver.

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Digital Services Act — Is the EU legislative train on the right track?
          On the concerning side, we warn against the use of upload filters, which absent human moderation are highly prone to error. We also do not want to see a version of the internet where sharing occurs on proprietary platforms designed to keep users within their own, non-interoperable, systems. These “walled gardens” impose strict legal terms and use technical functionality that undermine better sharing and permissive copyright licensing, as well as sharing of Creative-Commons-licensed content. When content does move across platforms, widespread norms have emerged that have reduced creator autonomy and impeded on users’ freedom to share.

        • Another Example Of How The Playing Field Is Tilted In Favor Of Copyright Owners

          It's widely known that artists of all kinds often get a raw deal from the contracts they sign. But this kind of legal unfairness is not the only danger they face: copyright can also be turned against creators in other, illegal ways. For example, according to a report on MarketWatch:

        • Hollywood & Netflix Win High Court Order to Block 15 Major Pirate Sites

          Several Hollywood studios and Netflix have been awarded a High Court injunction to block 15 pirate streaming sites in the UK. Under the banner of the Motion Picture Association, the injunction compels six major ISPs including BT, Sky, and Virgin Media to block 17 domains that have pulled in hundreds of millions of visitors over the past six months alone.

        • Kim Dotcom Suffers Setback in His U.S. Extradition Battle

          Kim Dotcom and former colleagues Mattias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk have encountered a setback in their attempt to avoid extradition to the United States. The Supreme Court of New Zealand has denied an appeal of a previous court ruling, rejecting the defendant's argument that there was a miscarriage of justice.

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