Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/12/2021: Avidemux 2.8 Released, GNUnet's GNS Technical Specification at IETF



  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux vs macOS: 5 Reasons To Choose Linux Over OS X

        macOS (Previously OS X) is the default operating system for desktop and laptop computers from Apple. It is a proprietary operating system that only works on Apple hardware by default.

        Users, however, can choose to install Linux on their Apple computers if they wish to. The process is so simple and straightforward, and almost identical to installing Linux on any ordinary machine from other companies.

        This is not quite an uncommon practice; even Linus Torvalds, the Linux creator, uses a Macbook Air after installing Linux on it. He likes the quality of the hardware offered, but still wants a more open source ecosystem to work with, including his own kernel-powered OS.

    • Kernel Space

      • Why Folders are Called Directory in Linux?

        If you start using computers with Windows, you are likely to use the term folder.

        But when you switch to Linux, you’ll find that folders are often termed as directory.

        This may confuse some new Linux users. Should you call it folder or directory? Is there even a difference?

        Here’s the thing. You can call it folder if you want or directory if you like. It won’t make a difference.

        But if you wonder why a folder is called directory in Linux, here is some explanation.

      • Linux Kernel 5.16 Brings Tidings of Memory Management, 8K Video

        The release of Linux Kernel version 5.16 has suffered a slight delay. Said delay was St. Nick and the holiday season. This is fairly typical, as, during the months of November and December, development on the Linux kernel does slow down. To that, Linux keeper Linus Torvalds wrote:

        With the holidays coming up, things are probably going to slow down both on the development and testing front, and as a result, I expect that I will also extend the [release candidate] series by another week not because it’s necessarily needed (too early to tell, but doesn’t feel that way), but simply because nobody will want to open the next merge window immediately in the new year.

        So, if you were hoping Santa Claus would leave you a shiny new kernel in your stocking, you’re going to be disappointed to find that particular repository a bit empty.

        Fret not, that new kernel will be here soon after the holidays.

        But what does it promise? Truth be told, there are no show stoppers in this release. That being said, kernel 5.16 won’t be one to shrug off. Why? Because there’s plenty of new hardware support and features to get excited about.

        Let’s unwrap that give and find out what’s hidden underneath that shiny paper.

      • Mold is a New Linux Linker Aiming to Outperform Lld

        Mold, a modern drop-in replacement for current Unix linkers, has reached version 1.0. Written by the original creator of the LLVM lld linker, mold aims to be several times faster than its predecessor.

      • Systemd Blasts Ahead With A Record Number Of Commits In 2021 - Phoronix

        With the continuously growing set of features and functionality provided by systemd, this year saw the project hitting record growth in terms of commit activity that easily surpassed prior years. Surprisingly, Lennart Poettering dropped from his spot as the one responsible for the most commits each year.

        With the end of the year upon us, I ran some systemd GitStats in being curious how this year panned out from a quantitative perspective on the development pace... Systemd in 2021 features like unlocking encrypted volumes using TPM2 / FIDO2 / PKCS#11 hardware, introduction of the system extension images concept, an option for simple whole file-system A/B updates, maturing of systemd OOMD, and the massive set of changes in systemd 250 released earlier this month.

      • AMD Smart Trace Buffer Support Is Ready For Linux 5.17 - Phoronix

        AMD Smart Trace Buffer "STB" support is ready for the upcoming Linux 5.17 kernel cycle.

        AMD Smart Trace Buffer is an APU/SoC feature for helping to isolate failures on the SoC by analyzing the last feature the system was utilizing when hitting a failure. AMD STB runs transparently in the background and a trace is then stored into the SoC for newer AMD hardware supporting this functionality. The Smart Trace Buffer trace after a hardware failure can then be read by the user via a DebugFS interface.

        The code enablement patches don't make clear all what hardware is covered by AMD STB currently, but from other code hits point to it being supported in at least current generation Cezanne SoCs.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • Avidemux 2.8 Released For This Simple, Open-Source Video Editor

        While not nearly as featureful as say OpenShot or Kdenlive, Avidemux is an open-source video editor that is simple to use and has been around for a long time. Avidemux 2.8 is now available as the latest feature release.

        Avidemux 2.8 features a variety of improvements for this non-linear open-source video editor. Among the many changes with Avidemux 2.8 are:

        - Support for converting HDR vide to SDR with tone mapping.

        - Support for decoding TrueHD audio tracks.

      • Avidemux 2.8 Released with FFV1 Encoder, WMA9 Lossless and TrueHD Decoding

        Avidemux 2.8 open-source, free, and cross-platform video editor software has been released today as a major update that brings exciting new features and many improvements.

        Almost ten months in development, Avidemux 2.8 is here to add the ability to convert HDR (High Dynamic Range) video to SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) with tone mapping using a variety of methods, decoding support for the WMA9 Lossless codec, the ability to decode TrueHD audio tracks and support for them in Matroska (MKV) containers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install MySQL 8.0 on openSUSE Leap 15

        MySQL is a relational database management system based on SQL (Structured Query Language). It is one of the most widely used database software for several well-known applications. MySQL is used for data warehousing, e-commerce, and logging applications, but its more commonly used feature is a web database storage and management.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MySQL 8.0 using the Community Release edition.

      • grep (Global Regular Expression Print) useful command-line utilities.

        Grep is a Linux / Unix command-line tool used to search for a string of characters in a specified file. It’s name comes from the ed command g/re/p (globally search for a regular expression and print matching lines), which has the same effect.

        In the simplest terms, grep (global regular expression print) will search input files for a search string, and print the lines that match it. Beginning at the first line in the file, grep copies a line into a buffer, compares it against the search string, and if the comparison passes, prints the line to the screen. Grep will repeat this process until the file runs out of lines.

      • How to Install Nginx on openSUSE Leap 15

        NGINX is an open-source, free HTTP server software. In addition to its HTTP server capabilities, NGINX can also function as a proxy server for e-mail (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP) and a reverse proxy and load balancer for HTTP, TCP, and UDP servers.

        The goal behind NGINX was to create the fastest web server around, and maintaining that excellence is still a central goal of the Nginx project. NGINX consistently beats Apache and other servers in benchmarks measuring web server performance and is now the most popular used web server according to W3Tech.

        In the tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Nginx on openSUSE Leap 15 with a free TLS/SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

      • How to Install & Configure Redis on openSUSE Leap 15

        Redis is an open-source (BSD licensed), in-memory key-value data structure store used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis supports data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperlog logs, geospatial indexes, and streams. Redis also provides high availability with Redis Sentinel software logic, creating automatic partitioning across Redis nodes with Redis Cluster.

        You will know how to install and configure Redis on your openSUSE Leap 15 operating system.

      • How to Install Vivaldi Browser on openSUSE Leap 15

        Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. It had grown from the downfall of Opera with many disgruntled when it changed from the Presto layout engine to a Chromium-based browser. This platform angered traditional Opera users. Since then, Vivaldi has become one of the most popular alternative Internet Browsers amongst the big three Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

        Vivaldi promotes itself as a leading browser with faster navigation, clever bookmarking, more intelligent browsing, extensive tab management, and a more visual approach.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Vivaldi Browser on openSUSE Leap 15.

      • How to Install Opera Browser on openSUSE Leap 15

        Opera is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Opera Software and operates as a Chromium-based browser. Opera offers a clean, modern web browser that is an alternative to the other major players in the Browser race. Its famous Opera Turbo mode and its renowned battery-saving mode are the best amongst all known web browsers by quite a margin, along with a built-in VPN and much more.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Opera Browser on openSUSE Leap 15.

      • Kannel SMS Gateway on Debian 10/11 - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Kannel is an open source WAP and SMS gateway for GSM networks. Moreover, Kannel can send/receive SMS using a Serial or USB GSM Modem. It is accessible via HTTP API and can be used in sending bulk SMS, OTP etc.

      • Types of a Linux File Systems

        Windows users are restricted to the NTFS file system, and Linux users often stick to the ext4 file system while installing the new Linux distribution.

        Besides Ext4, there are btrfs, exfat, ext2, ext3, ext4, f2fs, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, linux-swap, lvm2 pv, minix, nilfs2, ntfs, reiser4, reiserfs, udf, xfs, and many more. Take a pause, don’t hesitate because most of them are deprecated.

      • How to Install Samba in Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux

        Through TCP/IP protocol, Samba makes file sharing possible between two operating systems not sharing the same architecture. Through CIFS (Common Internet File System) and SMB (Server Message Block) protocols, this open-source software has made file and print sharing services easier for major operating system distributions.

      • How to set up an NFS Mount on Rocky Linux 8

        Network File System or NFS is a distributed file system protocol that allows remote hosts to mount file systems over a network and perform file operations on them as though they are mounted locally. This is particularly useful when you want to share resources from one server over multiple clients or allow multiple clients to write to single storage space.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure the NFS Server and NFS Clients based on Rocky Linux 8. For this, we will set up a host or server to share files and a client to access the host files using an NFS mount.

      • 3 Ways to install Remmina on Linux mint via Terminal

        Remmina is software available for Linux to get access to remote computer systems over a network. Here we learn the steps and commands to install Remmina on the latest Linux Mint 20.1| 20.2 or earlier version system using the terminal.

        Unlike Windows, Linux Mint doesn’t have any software to facilitate the service of remote desktops. Therefore, the user either has to go for some third-party solution such as Teamviewer. Well, what if you don’t want to use the internet for connecting a local system in an organization. There are some solutions like RDP and VNC protocols. Today in this article we are going to talk about Remmina, a remote desktop client for Linux that has several protocols for remote control of computers.

        It is a remote maintenance software that supports the VNC, NX, RDP, XDMCP, and SFTP protocols. Furthermore, it is possible to route a connection through an SSH tunnel, which makes it useful if you normally want to use unencrypted protocols such as VNC over the Internet.

      • Playing with Shelly

        For xmass I got few Shelly lamps to play with. Shelly lamps are simple IoT devices. Super easy to install, configure and use. The Youtube is full with instructions on what can be done with these smart lamps. Naturally my main motivation was to figure out how to hack these devices and how ready my openSUSE servers are with tools and services (spoiler: they are ready)

        Look daddy no cloud

        Needless to say that like most smart home automation devices the Shelly lamps can be operated via the Shelly cloud. I may cover that area in the next post. But now I am interested in what can be done without the cloud. After all, one big selling point of the Shelly devices is that they are fully operable and functional even without Internet connection just on a WiFi LAN. It means that if I am concerned about the security of my home infrastructure I have an option not to expose my smart devices.

      • How To Install Asterisk on Debian 11 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Asterisk on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Asterisk is an open-source framework used for building communications applications including VoIP gateways, and conference servers. Asterisk uses a VoIP protocol that allows you to make a call using the TCP/IP without any cost. Asterisk also supports all currently used protocols such as SIP, IAX2, GSM, G.711, or ISDN.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Asterisk VoIP Server on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • Vorta - A Graphical Frontend For BorgBackup - OSTechNix

        This article is about how to install and use Vorta, a graphical frontend for BorgBackup application. If you are new to using the borg backup tool, please take a look at our guide on how to use borg backup before proceeding with this guide.

      • Workaround PA does not see HDMI

        On my Lenovo desktop PC, the monitor is connected via a HDMI cable, and "aplay -l" lists HDMI as one of the possible outputs. However, pavucontrol only lists "Speakers", "Headphones" and "Line Out".

    • Distributions

      • Why the ISO format has to die

        Someone posted recently to the forum that there are many blog posts about EasyOS that really should be mapped to some kind of wiki at easyos.org. Yes, I know about this problem; an informative blog post will fade away into obscurity as time goes on, people who don't regularly read the blog posts will not see it. I will attempt to improve the mapping of informative blog posts to easyos.org.

      • 7 Linux Distros to Look Forward to in 2022

        Moving forward to 2022, it’s time to expect some exciting distro releases! Here are some of our picks that we think you should keep an eye on.

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD Now Has Working Support For Intel Whiskey Lake Graphics - Phoronix

          The BSDs continue to lag behind Linux when it comes to the graphics driver support, but this time the Intel Whiskey Lake graphics should have been in long ago -- and believed to be -- but adding the PCI IDs were forgotten.

          Back in December of 2020 was a syncing of the Intel graphics driver PCI IDs from Linux 5.8 into the DragonFlyBSD kernel at the time. It should have been a straight-forward update for expanding the support given the commonality of the Intel Gen9 graphics at the time and DragonFlyBSD routinely porting over code from Intel's i915 Linux kernel graphics driver. Last year's commit was intended to bring support for Coffee Lake, Amber Lake, Whiskey Lake, and Comet Lake graphics on Intel processors. Unfortunately, the Whiskey Lake PCI IDs didn't end up being added to the driver list at the time.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 10 inspiring career guides for sysadmins | Enable Sysadmin

          Learn how to increase your earning potential, improve your soft skills, develop your technical knowledge, and more.

        • 4 emotionally intelligent phrases leaders should use in 2022

          The world of work has changed significantly over the past two years. Senior managers’ expectations have shifted, and emotional intelligence has never been more important. According to a Businessolver survey, 83 percent of Gen Z employees (one-third of the global workforce) would choose an employer with a strong culture of empathy over one offering a higher salary. The same survey found that 79 percent of respondents would choose an empathetic employer even if it meant going to the trouble of changing their role, industry, or chosen career path.

          Vibrant workplace cultures value emotionally intelligent leadership above all else. Self-aware leaders recognize the importance of creating and maintaining psychological safety and model behavior and work ethics that lead to collective success. These leaders are approachable and productive, and they set expectations clearly and bring out the best in others.

        • My favorite open source stories from 2021 | Opensource.com

          This year we learned a lot about our community as we embraced our new work-from-home lives. We also met some amazing folks who are leveraging Linux and open source software in their organizations.

        • Fedora Community Blog: F35 retrospective results

          After the release of Fedora Linux 35, I conducted a retrospective survey. I wanted to see how contributors felt about the release process and identify possible areas we can improve. There was no particular reason to start this with F35 except for that’s when I got around to doing it. So how did F35 go? Let’s look at the results from the 63 responses.

          [...]

          I asked respondents to rate the stress of F35 compared to previous releases. 21 people (33%) said it was the same and 19 (30%) said it was less stressful. Only 9 people (14%) felt F35 was more stressful.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Kubernetes infographic: usage of cloud native technology in 2021

          2021 has been an interesting year for the Kubernetes and cloud native ecosystem. Due to the pandemic, cloud adoption saw a big spike in adoption. As the year wraps up soon, we wanted to reflect on the top findings from the Kubernetes and cloud native operations report and we have a cool infographic for you. The new version of the report for 2022 is due some time in January so stay tuned!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Please don't use Discord for FOSS projects

        Six years ago, I wrote a post speaking out against the use of Slack for the instant messaging needs of FOSS projects. In retrospect, this article is not very good, and in the years since, another proprietary chat fad has stepped up to bat: Discord. It’s time to revisit this discussion.

        In short, using Discord for your free software/open source (FOSS) software project is a very bad idea. Free software matters — that’s why you’re writing it, after all. Using Discord partitions your community on either side of a walled garden, with one side that’s willing to use the proprietary Discord client, and one side that isn’t. It sets up users who are passionate about free software — i.e. your most passionate contributors or potential contributors — as second-class citizens.

        By choosing Discord, you also lock out users with accessibility needs, for whom the proprietary Discord client is often a nightmare to use. Users who cannot afford new enough hardware to make the resource-intensive client pleasant to use are also left by the wayside. Choosing Discord is a choice that excludes poor and disabled users from your community. Users of novel or unusual operating systems or devices (i.e. innovators and early adopters) are also locked out of the client until Discord sees fit to port it to their platform. Discord also declines service to users in countries under US sanctions, such as Iran. Privacy-concious users will think twice before using Discord to participate in your project, or will be denied outright if they rely on Tor or VPNs. All of these groups are excluded from your community.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 95.0.2 fixes crashes on systems with certain AMD CPUs - gHacks Tech News

            Mozilla Firefox 95.0.2 was released on December 19, 2021; it fixes a single crash issue that affects certain AMD processors on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 devices.

            The new version of the Firefox web browser comes just a few days after the release of Firefox 95.0.1, and about two weeks after the release of the last major version release of 2021, Firefox 95.0.

            Firefox 95.0.2 is already available. Installations should receive the update of the browser automatically, provided that automatic updates have not been turned off. Affected users, those on AMD devices on which Firefox crashed frequently recently, may want to run the update as soon as possible to address the issue.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet: GNS Technical Specification Call for Reviews

            We are happy to announce that our GNS specification is currently under review by the IETF Independent Stream Editor (ISE). We have already received feedback from the ISE and made significant, mostly editorial changes to the specification.

            We are inviting anyone reading this to review and provide feedback to the draft and send it to gnunet-developers@gnu.org . Even better, you could write an implementation in your favourite programming language.

      • Programming/Development

        • Bootlin toolchains updated, 2021.11 release - Bootlin's blog

          Bootlin has been offering since 2017 a large set of ready to use pre-compiled cross-compilation toolchains at toolchains.bootlin.com. These toolchains are available for a wide range of CPU architectures and CPU variants, and support either the glibc, uClibc-ng or musl C libraries, where applicable.

          It’s been quite some time since the last release of those toolchains, so we took the opportunity of this quiet period between Christmas and New Year to finally update the toolchains. We’re happy to announce that we have now published a total of 187 toolchains targeting 46 different CPU architecture variants. As the toolchain release name suggests, they are now built with Buildroot 2021.11.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Coq - LinuxLinks

          Coq is a dependently typed language. This means that the types of the language may depend on the values of variables. In this respect, it is similar to other related languages such as Agda, Idris, F*, Lean, and others. Via the Curry-Howard correspondence, programs, properties and proofs are formalized in the same language.

          Coq is developed in OCaml and shares some syntactic and conceptual similarity with it. Coq is a language containing many fascinating but difficult topics.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Coq.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Roll Your Own Network

        Why

        You never lose control over your data and everything is encrypted …

        ● when stored on any device

        ● when transferred over a network

        How

        Using open-source products on your own devices instead of commercial services.

      • [Old] Import, Export, and Convert Data Files

        The idea behind rio is to simplify the process of importing data into R and exporting data from R. This process is, probably unnecessarily, extremely complex for beginning R users. Indeed, R supplies an entire manual describing the process of data import/export. And, despite all of that text, most of the packages described are (to varying degrees) out-of-date. Faster, simpler, packages with fewer dependencies have been created for many of the file types described in that document. rio aims to unify data I/O (importing and exporting) into two simple functions: import() and export() so that beginners (and experienced R users) never have to think twice (or even once) about the best way to read and write R data.

        The core advantage of rio is that it makes assumptions that the user is probably willing to make. Specifically, rio uses the file extension of a file name to determine what kind of file it is. This is the same logic used by Windows OS, for example, in determining what application is associated with a given file type. By taking away the need to manually match a file type (which a beginner may not recognize) to a particular import or export function, rio allows almost all common data formats to be read with the same function.

        By making import and export easy, it’s an obvious next step to also use R as a simple data conversion utility. Transferring data files between various proprietary formats is always a pain and often expensive. The convert function therefore combines import and export to easily convert between file formats (thus providing a FOSS replacement for programs like Stat/Transfer or Sledgehammer).

      • [Old] readODS: Read and Write ODS Files

        Import ODS (OpenDocument Spreadsheet) into R as a data frame. Also support writing data frame into ODS file.

        [...]

        This package should be a silent member of rio, so that you don’t need to care about file format anymore.

      • [Old] Importing Data Into R - Part Two

        Use the read.ods() function from the readODS package to read in your OpenDocument spreadsheets into R and put them into data frames: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Warnings from the Far North

      “Breaking the food chain that supports billions of creatures” is horrific to contemplate. It sends a powerful signal of trouble dead ahead. In that regard, scientists agree that what happens up North signals what’s in store to the South, and what’s happening up North is a gut-wrenching reality of life on a knife’s edge of catastrophe.

      It’s never been more urgent and timely for the world to change its ways and abandon the current economic maelstrom that haunts all life on the planet. The pros and cons of capitalism’s experiment with neoliberal tendencies that enrich the few and bury the many should be debated in the context of strained resources throughout the biosphere, including all life forms. The GDP-to-infinity paradigm is barreling towards a wall of impending extinction. It’s already on a fast track.

    • When Dark Reality Is Unbearable, What Star Is There To Follow?
    • Cinema Without Cinemas: Watching Movies in 2021

      But do these highbrow distinctions have any meaning anymore? Are there even “films” now? There’s still (barely) a Film Forum in NYC, where I would regularly migrate to in the late 70s from college in “film” deprived DC. Fortunately, there’s still Film Comment, a safe space for lofty talk about the current “cinema.” There are even a few holdout directors who insist on shooting on film and having their films run through actual projectors and shown on large, arced screens before live audiences. But they’re mostly insufferable filmmakers–Tarantino, Nolan, Villeneuve, Scott–whose films are artistically attenuated, their visions much smaller than the screens they’re projected on.

      The last film I saw in a theater was Tarantino’s bloated, self-infatuated and nasty Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and, as so often with his movies, it was the soundtrack that kept me hitting the exit after the first hour. The last “film” that rewarded the hassle of getting to the theater (or “cinema,” as we used to say)–no easy journey from the rim of our little canyon–was an immaculately restored copy of “Barry Lyndon” (empty, but sumptuous) shown in a less-than-immaculately restored old movie palace (but no worse for that). The film, like most of Kubrick’s work, was a financial flop. It’s something of a mystery to me as to how Kubrick kept raising money to make expensive visual feasts that were commercial failures. More power to him. But after Barry Lyndon the big screens were commandeered by even emptier, much less sumptuous films made by a pair of his young acolytes, Spielberg and Lucas, who knew how to make the big screens pay even if they didn’t know (or care) how to make them say anything.

    • My Year and Welcome to It

      In my neighborhood at least, as this year draws to a close, that old Lone Ranger line, “Who was that masked man?,” again applies to just about anyone. In fact, as Delta cases rise in New York City and Omicron arrives on the scene in a startling fashion, indoor mask wearing in my own apartment building — from the halls to the elevators to the laundry room — has been reinstituted (not that I ever stopped) and the city’s indoor public-mask mandate is also being restored.

      It’s been that sort of a year, but sadly, as we know, not everywhere in this all-too-unmasked, unvaccinated, disputatious, confrontational, conspiratorial, unnerved, and disturbed country of ours. A year of illness, death, mourning, and ever-increasing political chaos on a striking, if not unparalleled, scale threatens the American system as we’ve known it. Meanwhile, a new kind of weather threatens the world as we’ve known it.

    • Russ Allbery: Review: Out of Office

      Out of Office opens with the provocative assertion that you were not working from home during the pandemic, even if you were among the 42% of Americans who were able to work remotely.

      [...]

      This was a fascinating book to read in conjunction with A World Without Email. Warzel and Petersen do the the structural and political analysis that I sometimes wish Newport would do more of, but as a result offer less concrete advice. Both, however, have similar diagnoses of the core problems of the sort of modern office work that could be done from home: it's poorly organized, poorly managed, and desperately inefficient. Rather than attempting to fix those problems, which is difficult, structural, and requires thought and institutional cooperation, we're compensating by working more. This both doesn't work and isn't sustainable.

      Newport has a background in productivity books and a love of systems and protocols, so his focus in A World Without Email is on building better systems of communication and organization of work. Warzel and Petersen come from a background of reporting and cultural critique, so they put more focus on power imbalances and power-serving myths about the American dream. Where Newport sees an easy-to-deploy ad hoc work style that isn't fit for purpose, Warzel and Petersen are more willing to point out intentional exploitation of workers in the guise of flexibility. But they arrive at some similar conclusions. The way office work is organized is not leading to more productivity. Tools like Slack encourage the public performance of apparent productivity at the cost of the attention and focus required to do meaningful work. And the process is making us miserable.

    • Science

      • Laser Doping His Way To Homemade Silicon Chips | Hackaday

        It’s a pity that more electronics enthusiasts haven’t taken the hobby to its ultimate level: making your own semiconductors. There are plenty of good reasons for that: chief among them is the huge expense involved in obtaining the necessary equipment. But for the sufficiently clever, there are ways around that.

        [Zachary Tong] is dipping his toes into the DIY semiconductor world, and further to the goal of keeping costs to a hobbyist scale, is experimenting with laser doping of silicon. Doping is the process of adding impurities to silicon wafers in a controlled manner to alter the electrical properties of the semiconductor. [Zach]’s doping method is a more localized version of the simple thermal diffusion method, which drives a dopant like phosphorus into silicon using high temperatures, but instead of using a tube furnace, he’s using a fiber laser.

        The video below shows his two-step process, which first blasts the silicon oxide layer off the wafer before doping with the laser shining through a bath of phosphoric acid. The process is admittedly fussy, and the results were mixed at best. [Zach]’s testing seems to suggest that some doping occurred, and it even looks like he managed to make something reasonably diode-like using the method.

      • E.O. Wilson, a Pioneer of Evolutionary Biology, Dies at 92

        When Dr. Wilson began his career in evolutionary biology in the 1950s, the study of animals and plants seemed to many scientists like a quaint, obsolete hobby. Molecular biologists were getting their first glimpses of DNA, proteins and other invisible foundations of life. Dr. Wilson made it his life’s work to put evolution on an equal footing.

        “How could our seemingly old-fashioned subjects achieve new intellectual rigor and originality compared to molecular biology?” he recalled in 2009. He answered his own question by pioneering new fields of research.

        As an expert on insects, Dr. Wilson studied the evolution of behavior, exploring how natural selection and other forces could produce something as extraordinarily complex as an ant colony. He then championed this kind of research as a way of making sense of all behavior — including our own.

    • Education

      • Haters: The world according to Mark Levin.

        Mark R. Levin’s American Marxism, a polemic against all manner of progressive ideas and movements, may rival its predecessors in popularity. Published this past summer, it spent weeks perched at or near the top of the best-seller list. But American Marxism represents a distinct dumbing-down of the kind of book-length attacks on the left that have appeared over the past century. Hayek and Bloom produced rigorous critiques of the liberal ideology and left policies they abhorred, which required them to take the time to learn about them. Levin just slaps the label of “Marxism” on the various political phenomena he detests—from critical race theory and “genderism” to environmental justice, teachers unions, and the bias of the liberal media. He also accuses the Democratic Party of embracing these ideas and institutions and “adopting Marx’s language of class warfare” in order to put its own “interests…before those of the country,” thereby destroying what makes (or made), in his view, America so great. American Marxism is a virtual digest of familiar attacks on all the favorite targets of the contemporary right, and it suggests the depths of the right’s commitment to depicting its opponents not just as wrongheaded but as sworn enemies of the nation itself. Of course, liberals and leftists revile conservatives, too. But most of us refrain from accusing the entire Republican Party of harboring treasonous thoughts or wanting to overthrow the republic (the January 6 insurrectionists notwithstanding).

    • Hardware

      • NOVELDA UWB X4 sensor can detect submillimeter movements - CNX Software

        We’ve just written about an ESP32 UWB board equipped with an ultra-wideband module designed for indoor positioning with about 10 centimeters accuracy, which should be good enough for many applications, but it turns out UWB sensors can be made to be much more accurate.

        NOVELDA has just announced the UWB X4/X4F103 sensor and development kit that can detect submillimeter micro-movements such as breathing for human presence detection and does so at a really low power consumption of under 2mW.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Ethical Dilemmas and Painful Decisions: Triage in the Time of a COVID Surge

        Hospitals were overflowing with sick and dying patients, while ventilators and personal protective equipment were in short supply. Patients sat for hours or days in ambulances and hallways, waiting for a hospital bed to open up. Some never made it to the intensive care unit bed they needed.

        I’m an infectious disease specialist and bioethicist at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus. I worked with a team nonstop from March into June 2020, helping my hospital and state get ready for the massive influx of COVID-19 cases we expected might inundate our health care system.

      • We Are Not Returning to "Normal." 2022 Must Be a Year of Change.
      • A Plant That Sterilizes Medical Equipment Spews Cancer-Causing Pollution on Tens of Thousands of Schoolchildren

        Jennifer Jinot didn’t expect to retire early from her role as an environmental health scientist for the federal government. She’d spent 26 years assessing the dangers of toxic chemicals for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The job could be frustrating but, more than that, rewarding.

        Early in her career, Jinot evaluated the health impacts of secondhand smoke exposure. It took four years — a pace she remembers thinking was “crazy slow” — to develop a final risk assessment, published in 1993, that determined secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and impairs the respiratory systems of children. The tobacco industry sued the agency. But, in the end, her work spurred changes to the law. The victory was invigorating for Jinot, who had long dreamed of doing what she calls “socially useful” science.

      • As Omicron Surges, Sanders Says Congress Must Ensure Mass Distribution of N95 Masks

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday demanded that Congress act urgently to ensure the widespread distribution of N95 masks to U.S. households as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to rip through the country, overwhelming already-strained hospitals nationwide.

        "As we face the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, we should remember that not all face masks are created equal," Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, wrote on Twitter. "Congress must demand the mass production and distribution of N-95 masks, the most effective way to stop the spread of the Covid virus."

      • Minister rages over “sabotaging” social media groups

        “I made this Digital Civil Ulydighed because I have a child and she shouldn’t be left a future which involves forced vaccinations twice a year,” Bæk told TV2 News.

        Bæk estimates that hundreds of people are part of the operation relating to the vaccination appointments. And it’s just the beginning, he contends.

        The group will soon send a massive number of document access requests to ministries as a protest of ‘offentlighedsloven’ – the public access to information act.

      • Optometrists continue to openly sabotage people who prefer to buy eyeglasses online. – BaronHK's Rants

        He needed a routine eye exam, and the optometrist took forever. We had a 2 PM appointment, and we weren’t done until nearly 5:30 because the whole process was so slow. They even tried to skip over us in line when we were called because they ran out of room in the waiting area, forcing us to sit inside the store.

        At the end, we got a hard copy of his prescription and left. I knew not to even ask for the PD measurement, because only three states in America mandate that they give it to you, while the other 47 let you leave with a partial prescription and figure out how to get that last number yourself. The FTC’s eyeglasses rule does not require a PD value, and few optometrists will tell it to you.

        See, about a decade ago, online eyeglasses became a thing. No longer were savvy shoppers bound to the physical stores where Luxottica controls 80% of the market and Walmart controls most of the rest (although they also sell some Luxottica brands).

        Budget-conscious shoppers found out how badly they were getting screwed over at the Big Boys, and they took their prescription and went online.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Holiday gifts taken from luggage, replaced with dog food

        A woman who returned from a flight to Europe with more than $3,000 worth of gifts in her luggage found the contents gone — and replaced with dog food.

      • Proprietary

        • Experts Detail Logging Tool of DanderSpritz Framework Used by Equation Group Hackers

          Cybersecurity researchers have offered a detailed glimpse into a system called DoubleFeature that's dedicated to logging the different stages of post-exploitation stemming from the deployment of DanderSpritz, a full-featured malware framework used by the Equation Group.

          DanderSpritz came to light on April 14, 2017, when a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers leaked the exploit tool, among others, under a dispatch titled "Lost in Translation." Also included in the leaks was EternalBlue, a cyberattack exploit developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) that enabled threat actors to carry out the NotPetya ransomware attack on unpatched Windows computers.

        • Shutterfly hit by ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Photography company Shutterfly announced this week that it had been hit by a ransomware attack that had impacted some services, making it the latest in a string of companies to be targeted by hackers looking for a payout.

          The company announced the attack in a statement posted to its website on Sunday, noting the incident had impacted portions of the Lifetouch and BorrowLenses business, along with Groovebook, manufacturing and some corporate systems. Shutterfly.com and other related websites were not hit.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Study Reveals Open-Source Community’s Diversity Pain Points, Progress [Ed: Latest 'Linux' Foundation dross finds a home in the media]

                The Linux Foundation (LF) has little concern from within the open-source community over diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), according to the first open-source DEI study in at least four years.

                LF, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, on Dec. 14 announced the release of its latest LF Research study, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Source.” The study includes the results of qualitative interviews and a worldwide survey with more than 7,000 initial responses from the open-source community.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Interview With Dr. Tirthankar Ghosh – UWF Center for Cybersecurity

              Tirthankar Ghosh:€ My formal education was in electrical engineering in the early ‘90s. After a few years of working as an electrical engineer, I decided to go back to school and got a master’s and a PhD in computer and electrical engineering.

            • How to Create a Convincing Persona to Hide Your Identity Online

              Forget the expertly illustrated political sketches, cutting cartoons, and lampoons of Americana — what has appealed most to readers and meme recyclers for the last 30 years has been the concept of online anonymity.

            • The Battle for Communications Privacy in Latin America: 2021 in Review

              Both appear tied together, for example, in renewed attempts to compel individuals to give their biometric data in order to access mobile phone services, as we saw in México and Paraguay in 2021, with fierce opposition from civil society. The Supreme Court in Mexico indefinitely suspended the creation of the Padrón Nacional de Usuarios de Telefonía Móvil (PANAUT), a national registry of mobile users associated with their biometric data, after the federal agency assigned to implement the registry filed a constitutional complaint affirming its budgetary autonomy and its duty to ensure users' rights to privacy, data protection, and access to information. In Paraguay, the bill forcing users to register their biometrics to enable a mobile telephone service was rejected by a parliamentary commission and has been halted in Congress since then.€ 

              This post highlights a few relevant developments this year regarding communications privacy in Latin America in its relation with other rights, such as freedom of expression and assembly.

              In the wake of Colombia’s tax reform proposal, demonstrations spread over the country in late April, reviving the social unrest and socio-economic demands that led people to the streets in 2019. Media has reported on government crackdowns against the protestors, including physical violence, missing persons, and deaths. Fundación Karisma has also stressed implications for the right to protest online and the violation of rights due to internet shutdowns and online censorship and surveillance. Amid the turmoil, EFF has put together a set of resources to help people navigate digital security in protest settings.

            • Apple's iPhone 15 Pro might come without SIM card slot

              According to GSM Arena, the latest rumours claim Apple will ditch the physical SIM card slot beginning with the iPhone 15 series in 2023. Word comes from a Brazilian publication Blog, which says that the 2023's Pro models (tentatively called iPhone 15 Pro) will not have physical SIM card slots and will rely entirely on eSIM technology for connectivity.

            • Sketchy Rumor Claims iPhone 15 Pro Won't Have Physical SIM Card Slot

              Given that iPhone 15 Pro models are still two years away from being released, this rumor should be treated with some skepticism until it is corroborated by other sources. Blog do iPhone is also not a well-established source of Apple rumors.

            • Apple iPhone 15 may come without physical SIM slot, will support eSIM

              The rumour stems from a Brazilian Blog post, which says that the 2023 Pro models will not have physical SIM slots and will rely entirely on eSIM technology for connectivity. The source also claimed that these iPhones will come with dual e-SIM support. At the moment, Apple’s iPhones feature an eSIM along with a slot for a physical SIM card.

            • Canada’s public health agency admits it tracked 33 million mobile devices during lockdown
    • Defence/Aggression

      • January 6 Committee to Investigate Trump's Calls to Allies Before Capitol Breach
      • Judge Wants To Know If DOJ Ignored Its Own Journalist-Targeting Guidelines When Investigating An Infowars Host Who Raided The Capitol

        Sometimes tough questions about rights have to be asked even when central figures are far from sympathetic. Good case law is sometimes made by bad people (or, at least, people accused of doing terrible things).

      • Cori Bush: Congress Should Mark Jan 6. by Expelling Members Who Helped Incite Attack

        U.S. Rep. Cori Bush declared Monday that lawmakers should commemorate the upcoming one-year anniversary of the deadly January 6 attack by passing her resolution to "investigate and expel the members of Congress who helped incite the violent insurrection at our Capitol."

        "They have broken their sacred oath of office."

      • Better off without Russia: Putin says the U.S. planned Russia’s partition in 1918. It’s true. (And Lenin was on board!)

        Last week, at a press conference with 500 journalists, Vladimir Putin reiterated his suspicions about American intentions toward Russia, recalling that one of President Woodrow Wilson’s advisers once endorsed the partition of Russia, writing more than a century ago: “It would be better for the whole world if a state in Siberia and another four states emerged in the European part of what is now greater Russia.” The quotation is real — it belongs to Edward House, Wilson’s informal chief adviser on European politics and diplomacy during World War I. To find out more about America’s proposal to carve up the Russian Empire (and to get some much-needed historical context), Meduza turned to historian Alexander Etkind, who recently authored a book about William Bullitt, the U.S. diplomat sent to negotiate with Lenin on behalf of the Paris Peace Conference. It was Bullitt who devised the plan in 1918 to partition Russia.

      • Opinion | Corporate Media Ignore US Sanctions Driving Starvation Threat in Afghanistan

        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 (FAIR.org, 8/23/21).

      • The Pentagon Just Got $778 Billion, But USAID Is Running Out of Money for Covid-19 Vaccines?

        Sharply contrasting with the $778 billion in new military spending authorized Monday by President Joe Biden, the U.S. Agency for International Development reportedly can't find the funds to pay for the Biden administration's effort to help vaccinate the world's population against Covid-19, according to two agency officials interviewed by Politico.

        In an article published Monday by the website, a pair of unnamed sources at USAID—the main goverment agency in charge of distributing coronavirus vaccine doses to COVAX, the global vaccine equity program—are concerned that efforts could stall in the coming spring should the administration fail to find new funding sources.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Confused Judge Grants Project Veritas' Prior Restraint Against The NY Times

        This is so bizarre. Last month we wrote about how the incredibly hypocritical oafs at Project Veritas were, on the one hand, screaming about their own press freedoms (for potentially legitimate reasons) while simultaneously trying to get a prior restraint order against the NY Times using the famed press silencers at the censorial thuggish law firm Clare Locke. Somewhat incredibly, on Christmas Eve a New York Supreme Court judge granted the request.

      • Digital Transparency Year in Review 2021

        Throughout 2021, we have tried to raise awareness around the various policies and projects that the Central and State government have developed and introduced. By utilising the Right to Information Act, 2005 as well as the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (‘IT Rules 2021’), we have tried to bring transparency & accountability in the working of every public authority and significant social media intermediary. These transparency efforts are towards ensuring that the gap between the public and public policy can be bridged and more people get to engage in processes that set the digital frameworks that govern their present and future.

    • Environment

      • The Revelator’s Top 12 Environmental Commentaries of 2021
      • California is suing Walmart over alleged improper disposal of e-waste and other hazardous materials

        State investigators conducted 58 inspections across 13 counties from 2015 to 2021 and said they found classified hazardous and medical waste in each store’s trash compactors, as well as customer information that should have been rendered indecipherable. The California DOJ estimates that Walmart’s unlawfully disposed waste totals 159,600 pounds or more than 1 million items each year.

      • World's Most Destructive Climate Disasters of 2021 Cost Nearly $200 Billion
      • Government Action, Not Consumer Action, Will Stop Climate Change

        The strategy has worked like a dream because Americans prize personal responsibility. Ronald Reagan was speaking for many of us when he said: “It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

        Which brings us to climate change. Once again, it is individual consumers and not the fossil fuel industry who are being blamed for the potential destruction of our planet. Only this time it isn’t just powerful corporations and their trade groups wagging the finger at individuals for not doing enough to halt global warming. It is also many climate change activists, who continue to press individuals to do more, to, for instance, purchase expensive solar panels for their homes.

      • America's Climate Emergency

        The treachery of the Republicans

        The country, but especially its political class, is divided sharply as if on the eve of civil war. The so-called Republican senators are united in their opposition to any government measures to diminish the consumption (perpetual burning) of fossil fuels, prime causes of climate chaos.

      • World's Top 2021 Climate Disasters Cost Nearly $200 Billion: Study

        A new report out Monday shows that 2021 continued the trend of annual climate devastation worldwide that is costing the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars as planet-heating emissions unleash exactly the kind of damage scientists have warned about for decades.

        "The costs of climate change have been grave this year, both in terms of eye-watering financial losses but also in the death and displacement of people around the world."

      • We’ll All Eventually Think ‘Don’t Look Up’ Is Laughing At Us If Nothing Fundamentally Changes

        Most contemporary satirical films are compared to Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb.” It is the standard by which critics and viewers decide if the satire succeeded. Yet in the past decades no film has come close to matching the sharpness and wit of the classic.€ 

        However, Adam McKay and David Sirota’s “Don’t Look Up” nearly equals the potency of “Dr. Strangelove,” and as time passes, “Don’t Look Up” may prove to be even more sophisticated and meaningful.McKay and Sirota recognize climate disruption is hurtling humanity toward mass extinction, and corporate, media, and political elites in the United States would rather not act than jeopardize their self-interest. Developing a farce about their lack of a response would probably have a limited impact. So McKay and Sirota take what is most distressing and infuriating about climate inaction and map it onto a story about a comet hurtling toward Earth.

      • Don't Look Up: See It

        However, since the full arc of the Climate Change story is several decades long, for dramatic punch DON’T LOOK UP has compressed that timeline down to six months — from first detection to final impact — by being an allegorical satire where the real problem of Climate Change has been substituted for in the movie’s story by a planet-killing comet larger than the Chicxulub bolide of 66Mya heading straight toward Earth.

        Mass media, Trump-style American government, Gates-Zuckerberg tech fantasy grandiosity and Bezos-Musk-Branson billionaire space privatization fantasy (the last two types of fantasts being wrapped up in one character), are all deliciously eviscerated in this movie.

      • Climate Denial Satire "Don't Look Up" Now Top Film on Netflix Worldwide

        The new feature film "Don't Look Up," a dark comedy satirizing the complacency and mendacity of elites in the face of an existential threat to human civilization, is now the most popular movie on Netflix worldwide, according to data compiled by FlixPatrol.

        "Absolutely love to see a climate movie hitting this huge a global audience on the world's largest platform," journalist David Sirota, who co-created the story for the film, tweeted Monday. "An amazing success for the team that made the movie and for everyone who has been spreading the word."

      • Opinion | Why the Very Worst People Really Don't Want Us to Look Up

        On Christmas Eve, Louise and I watched on Netflix the brilliant Don't Look Up! starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, written and produced by Adam McKay and David Sirota.

      • Energy

        • 2021 Trends that Could Drive the Energy Transition Further Next Year

          As the impacts of fossil fuels and air pollution on the world’s climate became ever more apparent in 2021, it was easy to miss some of the slower-brewing stories of the past year.

          That’s in part because it was a year marked by disruption by climate-related disasters, as many reading this likely experienced personally. We now live in a world that’s 1.1 degrees hotter, where one out of every three Americans lived in a federally-declared disaster area because of a flood, wildfire, or other weather-related catastrophe — over the past summer alone.€ 

        • Opinion | Let's Replace Dystopian Dirty Energy With Renewables and Climate Justice

          The Biden administration inherits the interconnected climate and biodiversity crises from predecessors of both political parties, and now is embarking on an ambitious, multi-faceted campaign to find solutions. The stalled Build Back Better Act, representing the administration's priorities, places heavy emphasis on promoting and subsidizing utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands, while largely missing out on the opportunity to focus on distributed renewable solutions sited in urban and/or already developed areas to avoid environmental impacts and preserve public land.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Radical Democracy Is Resurgent in Latin America. How Will the US Respond?
      • The Mayor Nobody Knows

        On the first day of the new year, Eric Adams will be sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City. The former police captain, state senator, and borough president has, in one sense, taken an entirely conventional path to one of the most celebrated offices in America. He painstakingly scaled the ladders of city and state government, working corporate boardrooms and Democratic club dinners, forging alliances with outer borough pastors and Manhattan finance titans alike.

      • Three Reasons for Hope as a Hard Year Comes to an End

        Yet, there is more than just Senator Joe Manchin’s coal and Omicron fears in our stockings this holiday season. There are some reasons to be hopeful too.

        The first reason to be hopeful is — us. We the people.

      • Leaked Files Expose Syria Psyops Veteran Astroturfing Breadtube Star to Counter COVID Restriction Critics

        The Grayzone — Leaked documents have revealed a state-sponsored influence operation designed to undermine critics of the British government’s coronavirus policies by astroturfing a prominent founder of the BreadTube clique of “anti-fascist” YouTube influencers.

      • The Big Lie

        Biden has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer and now he finds a knife in his back. However, the idea that any of this is surprising is just plain wrong and it’s so obvious to everyone on the outside. Biden acting betrayed by Manchin gives a message that Biden is naive and completely unable to read the room. That is true. But it also demonstrates just how weak Biden is. He has no intention of being a President and he likely never wanted to be one in the first place.

        That doesn’t mean Biden didn’t lie to the American people by promising Build Back Better. He can run all he wants but the fact is he’s the President and this failure falls squarely on his shoulders. However, I would push back on two assumptions I see going around. The first assumption is that Biden is toast politically. If you’re foolish enough to put hope in Joe Biden then you aren’t paying attention. The American people know as much. The second question I have is if Biden really wanted to get any of this done in the first place.

      • Jayapal Warns Political Disaster Looms If Democrats Fail to Deliver in the New Year

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal warned her fellow Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden on Sunday that failure to deliver their promised social spending and climate agenda could have disastrous political consequences, feeding voter disillusionment and leaving millions of people without badly needed economic aid amid a deadly pandemic.

        "Democrats must prove that their voices and their votes matter, and that we can produce tangible economic assistance."

      • Opinion | Why We Must Challenge Zuckerberg's Ring of Power

        Once upon a time, in the ancient kingdom of Lydia, a shepherd called Gyges found a magic ring, which, when rotated on his finger, made him invisible. So, Gyges walked unseen into the royal palace, seduced the queen, murdered the king, and installed himself as ruler. If you were to discover such a ring or another device that granted you exorbitant power, Socrates asked, would it be wise to use it to do or get whatever you want?

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • 2021: The year the weaponization of VAERS went mainstream

        About a year ago, I wrote about how 2020 had been a€ year of physicians behaving badly—or perhaps I should say more badly than even before the pandemic, when they behaved plenty bad. Of course, it’s been long documented on this blog and elsewhere how badly certain doctors and scientists have been behaving, be they quacks, antivaxxers, grifters, or cranks, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic provided a€ golden opportunity for quackery€ to the point that “magic dirt” and€ nebulized hydrogen peroxide€ (for example) have been peddled as cures for COVID-19 and€ turbocharged antiscience conspiracy theories€ even€ more than they had been€ a year ago. As I sat down yesterday to consider what to write—too many possible topics, I fear!—I rapidly encountered a piece of misinformation about vaccines of the sort that has dominated 2021 and looks to continue to be a major antivaccine technique to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (a.k.a. FUD) about COVID-19 vaccines in 2022; so I thought I’d discuss it now. I had thought about saving this topic for a year-end post next week, but it’s on Joe Mercola’s website, which means that it will disappear by tomorrow. The reason is that a few months ago, in a pique about “censorship”, über-quack “Dr.” Mercola removed all the articles from his website and set all new articles to “expire” and disappear after 48 hours. (Mercola also set his robots.txt file to exclude all his articles from being archived by the almighty Wayback Machine over at Archive.org). So I thought I should write about Jessica Rose now, as she appears in an article from Sunday titled “What the€ VAERS€ Data Tell Us About COVID Jab Safety“.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Combating Islamophobia Act: On Hate Crimes and ‘Irrational Fears’

        Disquietingly, Congress was nearly split on the vote. While 219 voted in favor of the resolution, 212 voted against it. What is so objectionable about the resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar, that prompted a ‘nay’ vote by such a large number of American representatives?

        The resolution – ‘Combating International Islamophobia Act’ – merely called for establishing the position of a “Special Envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia”. Arguably, HR 5665 would have not passed, were it not for the embarrassing episode last September, when Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado mouthed off such obscene and racist language, in which she suggested that Rep. Omar was a terrorist.

      • Rights Groups Accuse Tech Giants of Throttling Content on Abortion Pills

        As anti-choice lawmakers ramp up attacks on reproductive freedom across the United States, new reporting on Monday raised alarm about Big Tech companies limiting access to scientifically accurate content from abortion rights organizations while allowing the spread of misinformation.

        "When there are efforts or blockages that are imposed by these companies, that impacts our ability to get the word out."

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Opinion | Julian Assange, PEN America, and Ruling Class Acquiescence

        Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, is one of the very few establishment figures to denounce the judicial lynching of Julian Assange. Melzer's integrity and courage, for which he has been mercilessly attacked, stand in stark contrast to the widespread complicity of many human rights and press organizations, including PEN America, which has become a de facto subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.

      • Chris Hedges: PEN America and the Betrayal of Julian Assange

        Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, is one of the very few establishment figures to denounce€ the judicial lynching of Julian Assange. Melzer’s integrity and courage, for which he has been mercilessly attacked, stand in stark contrast to the widespread complicity of many human rights and press organizations, including PEN America, which has become a de facto subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.

      • Taliban Arrest Head of Private TV Network

        The whereabouts of a prominent Afghan TV station owner remains unknown a day after he was arrested by the Taliban on Sunday, according to the executive's son.

        Mohammad Arif Noori, the founder and owner of Noorin TV, one of Afghanistan's leading private TV networks, was taken from his home in Kabul on Sunday afternoon, according to his son Roman Noori.

        The younger Noori accused Taliban forces of "raiding" and searching his family's house without a warrant before taking his father to an unknown location.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Unsecured Data Leak Shows Predicitive Policing Is Just Tech-Washed, Old School Biased Policing

        Don't kid yourselves, techbros. Predictive policing is regular policing, only with confirmation bias built in. The only question for citizens is whether or not they want to pay tech companies millions to give them the same racist policing they've been dealing with since policing began.

      • How Exploited Job Insecure Part-Time Faculty Get Screwed at Progressive City College of San Francisco

        Compared to many other part-time faculty, I am lucky—I still have a job teaching the same number of classes. Those who lost their jobs are taking a 100% cut in pay.

        In a May 8,€  2021 union bulletin, the leaders of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 2121, representing CCSF faculty, described the one-year agreement as consisting of “progressive concessions on salaries” in which the cuts “range from 4% to 11%,” a sacrifice that would preserve jobs. Their description grossly understated the impacts of the cuts on part-time faculty.[1]€ 

      • Bullet
      • How Workers Can Win in 2022

        In the first full year of the Covid pandemic, Elon Musk’s wealth skyrocketed from $25 billion to $150 billion. Jeff Bezos became the first person on the planet to possess a fortune of more than $200 billion. The Financial Times has been fretting all of this past year about a crisis in superyacht production, and lately it’s been reporting on another crisis afflicting the rich. Flexjet and NetJets, two of the most well-known private-jet charter companies operating in the United States, recently stopped accepting new clients because they simply can’t acquire enough jets to accommodate the explosive growth of the billionaire class. Not only is this eye-popping wealth not being hidden; it’s being flaunted. After being propelled by his Blue Origin rocket for fewer minutes than the lifetime of a female mayfly, Bezos enthusiastically thanked Amazon’s employees and customers for allowing him to act as if he’d joined the ranks of astronauts like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. Our new Gilded Age of obscene wealth and arrogance stands in stark contrast to the everyday struggles faced by tens of millions of exhausted workers fighting just to stay healthy and alive, avoid eviction, make the next month’s rent payment, or find the kind of job that will leave enough free time to help their children with homework. In April, 3.8 million Americans quit their jobs, which prompted headlines about “the Great Resignation” and “the Big Quit.” By July, that number would climb to over 4 million in a single month, bested again in August (4.27 million) and then again in September (4.43 million). By October, pundits in the mainstream media began invoking a new trope, “Striketober,” as 10,000 workers walked off the job in the first strike against John Deere since 1986, with another 60,000 film production workers and 50,000 health care workers at Kaiser Health threatening to strike, along with dozens of small and medium strikes and work stoppages scattered across the country (including at Kellogg, Nabisco, and Catholic Health, in Buffalo). Although there’s no doubt that the abysmal treatment at the hands of absentee corporate bosses during the pandemic has led individual workers to resign in droves—and has caused a small uptick in strikes—anger at the elite and collective action by workers predate Covid.1

      • Desmond Tutu Opposed Capitalism, Israeli Apartheid and US/UK Imperialism, Too

        It seems very important to mention, because of the way this man is already being remembered by the world’s pundits and politicians.€  As anyone could have predicted, Tutu is being remembered as the great opponent of apartheid in his native South Africa, who was one of the most recognized and most eloquent leaders of the anti-apartheid struggle there, for most of his adult life.

        Being a leader in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa was probably the greatest achievement of the man’s life work, and it should come as a surprise to no one that this is the focus of his many obituaries, along with the Nobel he was awarded in 1984.€  After Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, he was remembered by the establishment in much the same way, as a leader of the movement against apartheid in the US.€  The fact that he had become one of the most well-known and well-loved voices of the antiwar movement in the United States and around the world at the time of his death has largely been written out of the history books, a very inconvenient truth.

      • Desmond Tutu (1931-2021) Speaks on Apartheid, Palestine, Climate Crisis and More
      • California Police Officers' Bigoted Text Messages Have Just Undone Dozens Of Felony Cases

        Racism and policing go hand-in-hand. It's been this way ever since police forces were created for the purpose of tracking down escaped slaves and returning them to their owners. Flash forward 150 years and very little has changed other than the ending of slavery.

      • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931-2021) on Apartheid, War, Palestine, Guantánamo, Climate Crisis & More

        Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African anti-apartheid icon, has died at the age of 90. In 1984 Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work fighting to end white minority rule in South Africa. After the fall of apartheid, Archbishop Tutu chaired the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he pushed for restorative justice. He was a leading voice for human rights and peace around the world. He opposed the Iraq War and condemned the Israeli occupation in Palestine, comparing it to apartheid South Africa. We reair two interviews Archbishop Tutu did on Democracy Now!, as well as two speeches on the Iraq War and the climate crisis.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Google Will Cripple OnHub Routers Starting Next Year

        We've long written about how you don't really own what you buy in the modern era. Books, games, and other entertainment can stop working on a dime due to crappy DRM. Game consoles you've purchased can find themselves suddenly with fewer features. Or worse, hardware you've bought thinking you'd own it for a decade can wind up being little more than a pricey paperweight.

      • 3 Out Of 4 Americans Support Community Broadband, Yet 19 States Still Ban Or Hinder Such Networks

        For years a growing number of US towns and cities have been forced into the broadband business thanks to US telecom market failure. Frustrated by high prices, lack of competition, spotty coverage, and terrible customer service, some 750 US towns and cities have explored some kind of community broadband option. And while the telecom industry routinely likes to insist these efforts always end in disaster, that's never actually been true. While there certainly are bad business plans and bad leaders, studies routinely show that such services not only see far better customer satisfaction scores than large private ISPs, they frequently offer better service at lower, more transparent pricing than many private providers.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EPO Announces End Of Arrangements To Automatically Obtain Priority Documents From Certain Other Patent Offices [Ed: The defunct and corrupt EPO will sooner or later will have nobody's blessing but WIPO's and Team UPC's. Organised crime tends to sort of alienate the European public, which cannot be kept ignorant eternally, e.g. by bribing and SLAPPing the media]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has been participating in WIPO's Digital Access Service (DAS) for the exchange of certified copies of priority documents since 2018 (see our earlier report here). Initially, the EPO's participation in DAS did not affect pre-existing arrangements through which the EPO automatically obtained copies of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and US priority applications even when a DAS code was not provided.

          However, the EPO announced in March 2020 that its arrangement with the Japanese patent office would cease on 31 December 2021 and that the EPO would no longer automatically obtain copies of Japanese priority documents from 1 July 2020 onwards (for further details, please see the EPO announcements here and here).

          The EPO has now announced that it will also be ceasing its arrangements with the Chinese, Korean and US patent offices on 30 June 2023 and will no longer automatically obtain copies of Chinese, Korean and US priority documents from 1 January 2022 onwards (for further details, please see the EPO announcements here and here).

        • PTE Alert: interlocutory injunction refused in Tecfidera€® dispute [Ed: Will Australia carry on cracking down on manic patent maximalists?]

          In early November Pearce IP reported on a number of Federal Court decisions which appear to indicate flaws in the Australian Patent Office’s interpretation of the eligibility requirements for a patent term extension (PTE). Orders made yesterday in the Biogen v Pharmacor (Tecfidera€®) litigation refusing Biogen’s interlocutory injunction application may add to that trend, although the reasons have not yet been published. The orders also indicate that the tide may be turning against patentees in relation to interlocutory injunctions.

          [...]

          In her first substantive patent judgment, Justice Rofe refused the interlocutory injunction application. The judgment was not published pending an opportunity for the parties to seek suppression of any confidential information in it. As such, we do not yet know the Court’s findings on the above issues. The reasons for judgment will be published on 23 December 2021, and will no doubt contain important lessons for patent litigators and prosecutors alike.

          However at a more general level, the Pharmacor’s successful resistance of an interlocutory injunction seems to at least widen the hole in what has been a largely impenetrable interlocutory injunction net for generics to date. In recent years, Courts hearing such applications have placed increasing emphasis on the strength (or lack thereof) of the infringement case when viewed in the context of the invalidity arguments. We assume that the strength of Pharmacor’s invalidity arguments was a key factor for the Court in this case too. Additionally, recent damages inquiry cases have highlighted the difficulties in establishing and quantifying the damage to a generic if an injunction is wrongly granted, with several judges sounding warnings to this effect in interlocutory injunction contexts. It may be that Rofe J’s judgment in this case indicates a further application of these principles to limit cases in which interlocutory injunctions will be granted in pharmaceutical cases.

        • USPTO is Changing Policy for Electronic Retrieval of European Priority Applications [Ed: EPO is chaotic in recent years]

          The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Digital Access Service (DAS) will be used to manage the electronic retrieval of European (EP) priority applications beginning on January 1, 2022.

        • EPO rejects DABUS appeal [Ed: Trolling for a living; these people know they are attacking the very basic notions of patent systems, but they crave publicity for their trolling]

          The EPO Board of Appeal confirmed on Tuesday, December 21, that European patents must name human inventors, in a defeat for the legal team behind the Artificial Inventor Project.

          The decision emerged from an appeal seeking to have the AI tool DABUS recognised as an inventor.

          The board has yet to issue a written decision but explained that under the European Patent Convention (EPC), an inventor had to be a person with legal capacity.

          Where no such natural person exists, there can be no patent, the board contended.

          Ryan Abbott, the lead for DABUS’s legal team, commented in a social media post: “The board recognised this means that there is no way to patent AI-generated inventions under the EPC despite widespread support, including from EPO, for protecting such inventions.”

          Speaking to Managing IP earlier this month, Marcus Rieck, one of the lawyers representing the DABUS team at the EPO, expressed hope that the office might find a solution to this problem.

          His comments came after Germany’s Federal Patent Court ruled that applicants must name human inventors but could specify if AI tools were also involved in the inventive process.

          The edict demonstrated that intellectual property offices were keen to find a solution to the problem of how to protect AI-generated inventions, Rieck said.

          The EPO appeal was the DABUS team’s final shot in what has been something of a breakthrough year for the AI tool.

          A judge at Australia’s Federal Court ruled in favour of recognising DABUS as an inventor in July, leading to an appeal from the country’s IP office.

          The team has also filed an appeal at the UK Supreme Court against the refusal to grant a UK patent naming DABUS as the inventor.

          The England and Wales Court of Appeal ruled in a two-to-one decision in September that a successful patent application required a human inventor.

          Notably, Lord Justice Colin Birss dissented, although his opinion turned mostly on points of procedure.

        • EPO Appeal Board Affirms Only Humans Can Be Inventors [Ed: British university continues to waste money and embarrass itself by trolling courts and patent offices; only the delirious patent extremists are enjoying this]

          The board that oversees European Patent Office appeals said on Tuesday that only humans can be listed as inventors on patents, shooting down a scientist who is trying to get an artificial intelligence machine named on patents.

          Under the European Patent Convention, patents can only be granted with humans as inventors, according to the Legal Board of Appeal. The board was reviewing an appeal filed by Stephen Thaler, who has been trying to get patents around the world for inventions by his AI machine called DABUS — Device for Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience — that did not involve human intervention....

        • UK review offers first test of SEP policy after Brexit [Ed: UK policy and patent trolls disguised using euphemisms such as "SEP" (the #patents that ought not exist at all)]

          Implementers say the review gives them an opportunity to drive necessary change in the post-Unwired Planet patent stronghold

        • Top patent partner and judge moves 2021 [Ed: JUVE continues to prop up illegal agenda with statements like "UPC increases footfall"; this is a great example of corrupt media whose business model is to spread lies for those standing to benefit from the lies; in this case a crime, too. Fake news is a whole industry now.]

          In Germany, Allen & Overy hired former Hogan Lovells partner Stephan Neuhaus as partner in an important move to strengthen the firm’s presence in Düsseldorf. Then, in November, IP boutique Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner became the latest US firm to pitch up on German soil.

      • Trademarks

        • Hey The North Face! When You Said Sending Us A Bogus Trademark Threat Was A Mistake, We Believed You; So Why Did You Do It Again?

          Hey The North Face! Hi, how are you? We keep meeting like this and I really wish it would stop. As you may recall, last month, the "brand protection" company that you hired, Yellow Brand Protection, currently owned by Corsearch, sent us a completely bogus legal threat claiming that our news story from nine years earlier -- about someone you threatened for creating a parody image of a patch (not an actual patch and not for sale) saying "Hey Fuck Face" -- was somehow infringing.

        • Recommended Reading: The Trademark Reporter, November-December 2021 Issue

          INTA has published the November-December, 2021 (Vol. 111 No. 6) issue of The Trademark Reporter (TMR). [pdf here]. Willard Knox, Editor-in-Chief, summarizes the contents as follows (and below): "In this issue, we offer our readers the 2021 Ladas Memorial Award-winning articles in the Student category—one on cultural misappropriation and the other on obscene, profane, and vulgar trademarks—and a review of an essential one-volume treatise on likelihood of confusion."

      • Copyrights

        • 'Widevine Dump": Leaked Code Downloads HD Video from Disney+, Amazon, and Netflix

          A GitHub user who goes by the name "Widevinedump" has published several repositories that allow people to download HD video from popular streaming platforms, including Disney+, Amazon, and Netflix. The code appears to be the real deal but the 'free' use is fairly limited and may not be very secure either.

        • Judge Throws Out Triller Lawsuit Against 'Jake Paul' Pirate Streaming Site

          Triller's legal campaign against sites that allegedly streamed the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren boxing match last April has suffered another setback. Alleged pirate streaming site Online2LiveStream has been sued twice by the promotor but in common with the first dismissal, a court has thrown the second case out after Triller failed to comply with the court's orders.



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