Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/2/2022: Linux 5.17 RC6 and YottaDB 1.34

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: February 27th, 2022

      This week has been yet another slow week for Linux news and releases, but we got some interesting gems like the release of Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS with newer kernel and graphics stacks, a new NetworkManager release with lots of goodies, and a new release of the minimalist and portable Slax distribution (finally after so many years!).

      On top of that, GNOME desktop fans can now take the beta release for a test drive, KDE Plasma fans got a new bugfix release, Star Lite Mk III laptop owners can now update their firmware, Steam Deck starts arriving in the hands of people, and I take a look at Foliate as the Flatpak app of this week.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17-rc6
        Nobody can claim that last week was *normal*, but whatever crazy
        things are going on in the world (and I personally had "Zombie
        apocalypse" on my bingo card, not "Putin has a mental breakdown"), it
        doesn't seem to have affected the kernel much.

        Things continue to look normal both in commit numbers and in diffstats. We have the usual bulk being drivers (networking, gpu, iio, clk, and usb stand out, but there's a smattering of other stuff), with the rest being mixed. The only thing that stands out as a bit unusual is some further btrfs defrag fixes. But even they stand out not so much because they are enormous, as just because they are bigger than most of the rest, which is pretty small.

        Other notable areas: core networking, tracing, and selftests. As usual, details are in the appended shortlog.

        While things look reasonably normal, we _are_ getting pretty late in the release, and we still have a number of known regressions. They don't seem all that big and scary, but some of them were reported right after the rc1 release, so they are getting a bit long in the tooth. I'd hate to have to delay 5.17 just because of them, and I'm starting to be a bit worried here. I think all the affected maintainers know who they are...

        So if you are a subsystem maintainer, and you have one of those regressions on your list, please go make them a priority. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, please do look up the reports by regzbot and Guenter Roeck. I added links below to make it really easy.

        But on the whole things look fine. Just a few remaining warts is all. But the more testing to verify, the better.


      • IPRoyal with Raspberry PI: passive income service by sharing internet bandwidth

        In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install IProyal in your Raspberry PI in a way that assures your privacy with the help of Docker.

      • Linus Torvalds 'starting to get worried' as Linux kernel 5.17 rc6 lands [Ed: Simon Sharwood is trolling Linus Torvalds again, as usual]

        Linux kernel boss Linus Torvalds is "starting to be a bit worried" by lack of progress on version 5.17 of the project.

        In his weekly state of the kernel post, he opened with an observation that "whatever crazy things are going on in the world (and I personally had 'Zombie apocalypse' on my bingo card, not 'Putin has a mental breakdown'), it doesn't seem to have affected the kernel much."

        But something has affected this development cycle: a number of known regressions that Torvalds said have been known since the January 24 release of version 5.17 rc1.

        "They don't seem all that big and scary," he wrote, but he's sufficiently concerned about them to have flagged the possibility of delays to the release of version 5.17 if they're not fixed.

    • Applications

      • HP Linux Imaging and Printing Drivers Now Support Linux Mint 20.3 and elementary OS 6.1

        HPLIP 3.22.2 is here two and a half months after the HPLIP 3.21.12 release, which only added support for the Fedora Linux 35, elementary OS 6, and MX Linux 21 distributions, to add support for more recent distributions, including Linux Mint 20.3, elementary OS 6.1, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5.

        This means that you can now use your HP printer or scanner device on any of these GNU/Linux distributions if you install the new HP Linux Imaging and Printing version.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • The varying sizes of images on the web today, and remembering that

        Once upon a time on the web, people used relatively small image sizes because it was rude to do otherwise, especially when they were being used for things like icons. If somewhere had visually small icons, they almost always were small in actual image dimensions, and all the same size because the website made you do it that way. Over time that has shifted. People started using larger and larger images, even for things that were destined for little icons, and websites started accepting these images by clamping the image size in their HTML. This mostly works fine (although people on cellular data may be a bit unhappy with you), but it does open the door to accidental mistakes that produce awkward outcomes. Specifically, if you ever reuse the image in a context where it doesn't have its size clamped by some HTML (or CSS), people will see a surprise giant image. Sometimes it can be hard to work out why this is happening.

      • Deadbolt impacts some ASUSTOR NASes — check your backup plan!

        I wasn't explicitly clear on it then, but I will be now: because of the rise of ransomware attacks—where a malicious actor will encrypt all your files and 'ransom' an encryption key (usually in exchange for a small crypto payment)—you must have an offline copy of any data that's important to you.

      • How to Install Lighttpd to Host Website in RHEL 8

        In this article guide, we are going to work on the installation and configuration of the Lighttpd web server on your RHEL 8 operating system.

      • How To Run Long-running Scripts on a Raspberry Pi | Tom's Hardware

        If you need to run a script that takes several minutes or gets run again and again, here’s how.

      • How To Install Cinnamon Desktop on AlmaLinux 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Cinnamon Desktop on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Cinnamon desktop is an intuitive and elegant desktop environment that was initially developed as a fork of the popular GNOME graphical shell, and it is based on the GTK+3 toolkit. It is the default desktop environment on Linux Mint Cinnamon edition. t is the most used desktop environment for workstations and servers like AlmaLinux / Rocky Linux.

        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 Cinnamon Desktop on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How to install and Configure Jenkins in OpenSUSE Leap 15

        Jenkins is an open source automation server which enables developers around the world to reliably build, test, and deploy their software. It is a popular open source automation tool to perform continuous integration and build automation. Jenkins allows to execute a predefined list of steps, e.g. to compile Golang source code to build build binary file. The trigger for this execution can be time or event based.

      • How to Install Flatpak on Debian 11 Bullseye - LinuxCapable

        Flatpak is a tool for deploying and managing software packages on the Linux operating system. It provides an isolated environment where users can run applications without affecting other parts of their computers.

        With Flatpaks, installing an application is like pulling it into your local repository. Links have then generated that point from the right places in Filesystem to where you can find these files–these hard links will be efficient for disk space since they’re simple compared with doing things through traditional methods.

        For Debian users, most would know that the distribution focuses on stability over newer features, it is what Debian is famous for, but for some users, you may want to install an application such as Discord, VLC, Spotify, and the list goes that if available on Debian is not up to date with the newest release and missing features.

        Flatpaks are always known to be up-to-date for the most part depending on the maintainer, but out of third-party managers, they rank amongst the top.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Flatpak on Debian 11 and enable Flathub to search, install, maintain or remove Flatpak applications.

      • How to Install Wine 7 on Debian 11 Bullseye - LinuxCapable

        Wine is a program that allows you to run Windows applications on Unix-like operating systems. Wine translates system calls made by your favorite programs into POSIX ones, used in similar ways across different OSs like Linux and macOS alike!

        Wine 7 is the newest major release; moving from the version 6 era with Portable Executable (PE) format helps Wine feel/behave closer to an actual Windows installation being the major talk in this release.

        Debian 11 users can now install the latest Wine version by importing the WineHQ repository and installing either the stable or development branch.

      • What is sticky bit permission, and how to use it

        In this article, you will see what sticky bit is and how to set and remove sticky bits from directories and files.

      • Redis Default Port
      • How To Install VidCutter on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VidCutter on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, VidCutter is a free and open-source professional-quality video editing software that can be used across different operating systems including Linux. It’s built using Python and Qt5 and uses FFmpeg as its decoding and encoding backend. It lets you cut, split, or trim large video files into smaller, easier to share clips.

        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 VidCutter open-source video editor 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.

      • How to install PIMCore on Ubuntu 20.04

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to install PIMCore on Ubuntu 20.04 using Apache as web server.

      • How to play Banished on Linux

        Banished is a city-building game developed and published by Shining Rock Software. In 2014, it was released on Microsoft Windows. Here’s how you can play this game on your Linux PC.

      • How to play Unturned on Linux

        Unturned is a free-to-play survival game developed and published by Smartly Dressed Games. In 2017, it made its way to Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Here’s how to play it on Linux.

        Note: Unturned uses anti-cheat software. Some servers may have issues running on Linux. Play at your own risk!

      • How to use Archinstall on Linux

        Archinstall is a guided tool included with the official Arch Linux ISO. Users can easily configure and install an Arch Linux desktop with little effort. Here’s how to use Archinstall to install Arch Linux on your PC.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Pop!_OS 21.10

          Pop!_OS 21.10, released in December 2021, is the latest release of Colorado-based computer vendor System76's Linux distribution. Based on Ubuntu 21.10, Pop!_OS 21.10 provides a heavily customized experience. Most packages come from Ubuntu's repositories, but the extra System76 packages change a lot. In this review, I explore what Pop!_OS 21.10 has to offer and take a look at many of the things that make the Pop!_OS desktop experience different from Ubuntu's customized GNOME and standard GNOME.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 36 Release Date and New Features

          Fedora 36 is one of the most anticipated releases of this year.

          While we look forward to every major release, last year, Fedora 35 has set up some exciting expectations with GNOME 41 and a new KDE flavor (Kinoite).

          Fret not; if you cannot wait for Fedora 36, I shall highlight the essential details about the release.

      • Debian Family

        • LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 5 Beta Is Now Available for Public Testing

          Work on LMDE 5 kicked off in early January 2022, shortly after the release of Linux Mint 20.3, which is derived from the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, but it’s built on top of a Debian GNU/Linux 11 base mostly for Linux Mint developers to test the compatibility of their own software stack with Debian GNU/Linux in preparation for the next major Linux Mint release, Linux Mint 21.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Atlassian Statuspage

        Atlassian Corporation Plc is a software company founded in 2002 that develops products for software developers, project managers and other software development teams. It employs over 7,000 people and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

        Atlassian’s range of proprietary software includes software for collaboration, development, and issue tracking software for teams. Atlassian dominates several markets where it still has intense competition.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Google Drive to SQLite

          Here’s how to create a SQLite database of every file you’ve started in your Google Drive, including both files created in Google Docs/Sheets and files you’ve uploaded to your drive: [...]

        • YottaDB r1.34 Released

          While YottaDB r1.34 is an otherwise modest successor to r1.32, internal changes allow the popular programming language Python to be fully Supported. We are excited about making YottaDB available to the large Python user community. Here is a “Hello, World” Python program that updates the database and illustrates YottaDB’s Unicode support: [...]

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.3 Articles in Czech, French and German
        • LibreOffice Writer: Inserting QR Codes

          This tutorial explains how to create and insert Quick Response (QR) codes in Writer, the word processor program of LibreOffice. Why we learn to make QR Codes? Because today, QR Codes are popular thanks to smartphones so people can quickly access address you're point to in your publications like books, registration papers, flyers, posters, etc. This requires Writer 6.4 or later and does not require other program. Now let's do it!

      • Education

      • Programming/Development

        • I've come to think that the Git index is a good thing

          There are two sides of thinking that Git's index is a good thing. The first is the practical side, where I like what it enables me to do. On the level where all VCSes are user interfaces to mathematics, the operations and double checks that the Git index readily enables are both useful and reassuring. Being sure of what you're going to commit before you do it and having powerful selective commit capabilities are both useful, and they're even better together.

        • Squash, Merge, or Rebase?

          When version controlling your code with git, there's generally three choices when merging feature branches into main. Each has its own quirks, so which one should you use?

        • Perl/Raku

          • Finding Unused Perl Variables

            I’ve been working on some linting projects at $work and one thing I’m working on is finding unused variables in our codebase. This can be pretty important in a larger codebase. When you find variables which have not been used, you may find yourself asking, “why is this here?” and you may not easily get an answer. Eliminating unused variables can be good for the performance of the code, but also good for everyone else on your team. So, we want to make sure we can remove old bits of unused code and also prevent new cases.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Who Lives, Who Dies: The Remarkable Life and Untimely Death of Dr. Paul Farmer

      "Who Lives, Who Dies: Reimagining Global Health and Social Justice" was the title of a talk delivered virtually at the University of Hawaii on February 17th by renowned public health physician Dr. Paul Farmer. He was speaking from a hospital in Rwanda that he helped build along with Partners in Health, the global non-profit organization he co-founded in 1987. Paul Farmer talked of his life’s work transforming healthcare systems worldwide, where too often access to care is reserved for the wealthy while the poor are left to die. With characteristic humility, he described healthcare as a human right and his years of what he called “pragmatic solidarity” in scores of countries. The clinics and hospitals he developed in the world’s poorest regions have saved patients from tuberculosis,€ HIV, Ebola, cancer, and more. Four days after giving his talk, Paul Farmer died in his sleep, of an acute cardiac event. He was 62 years old.

    • It Was 40 Years Ago Today

      Sun Microsystems was founded 24th February 1982, and died 27th January 2010. I spent 1982 on sabbatical in Amsterdam waiting for the Sun/1 we had ordered to show up. IIRC I visited their initial offices on Walsh Ave. in Santa Clara in early 1983, and joined the company in September 1985. I owe Sun, and the people who worked there, a debt of gratitude I could never repay.

      In those early days Sun was an extraordinarily interesting company to work for, and throughout its 28-year history it spawned an incredible number of other startups. One of them was Nvidia, which is currently the 8th most valuable company in the world, but there are far too many others to list.

    • Education

      • What to do if you're about to fail real analysis for the second time?

        The higher-level advice here, which I think is generally good, is that while asking on Reddit is quick and easy, it's not likely to produce anything of value. It's like looking for your lost wallet under the lamppost because the light is good. But it doesn't work; you need to go ask the question to the people who actually know what the solutions might be and who are in a position to actually do something about the problem.

    • Hardware

      • Neon, Ukraine, And The Global Semiconductor Industry | Hackaday

        On our news feeds and TV channels at the moment are many stories concerning the war in Ukraine, and among them is one which may have an effect on the high-tech industries. It seems that a significant percentage of the world’s neon gas is produced in Ukrainian factories, and there is concern among pundits and electronics manufacturers that a disruption of this supply could be a further problem for an industry already reeling from the COVID-related chip shortage. It’s thus worth taking a quick look at the neon business from an engineering perspective to perhaps make sense of some of those concerns.

        As most readers will know from their high school chemistry lessons, neon is one of the so-called inert gasses, sitting in the column at the extreme right of the Periodic table. It occurs in nature as a small percentage of the air we breathe and is extracted from the air by fractional distillation of the liquid phase. The important point from the above sentences is that the same neon is all around us in the air as there is in Ukraine, in other words, there is no strategic neon mine in the Ukrainian countryside about to be overrun by the Russian invaders.

      • Hackaday Links: February 27, 2022 | Hackaday

        Also from the “The Welcome to the Dystopian Future” files, White Castle, the chain that literally invented the fast-food restaurant, has announced that they’ll be deploying 100 robotic cooks to stores beginning soon. Ironically, the track-mounted robot arm, which is dubbed Flippy 2, will not be making the company’s iconic sliders on the flattop; rather, it looks like they’ll be stuck making the fries. Flippy 2 is made by Miso Robotics, and basically amounts to a robotic work cell dedicated to fried foods, but it’s easy to see how this could encroach on other parts of the kitchen. But it makes sense to start here, since the fry station is dirty, dull, and often dangerous work with a high turnover rate. We’d just hate to be the field service tech who has to fix these greasy, nasty things when they break.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Ransomware Used as Decoy in Destructive Cyberattacks on Ukraine [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The wiper uses different corruption methods based on the version of Windows running on the machine and partition type (FAT or NTFS). HermeticWiper can damage both MBR and GPT drives and triggers a system reboot to complete the data wiping process, researchers with Cisco’s Talos division note.

          Although executed on February 23, hours before Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, the attacks appear to have been in preparation for months.

        • Microsoft Exchange Bugs Exploited by ‘Cuba’ Ransomware Gang

          The ransomware gang known as “Cuba” is increasingly shifting to exploiting Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities – including ProxyShell and ProxyLogon – as initial infection vectors, researchers have found.

          The group has likely been prying open these chinks in victims’ armor as early as last August, Mandiant reported on Wednesday.

        • Cybercrime getting more destructive, remote workers in the crosshairs [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In addition, the expanding attack surface of hybrid workers and hybrid IT is a focal point that cyber adversaries are attempting to exploit. For a detailed view of the report, as well as some important takeaways, read the blog.

          Derek Manky, Chief, Security Insights & Global Threat Alliances, Fortinet: “Cybersecurity is a fast-moving and dynamic industry, but recent threat events show unparalleled speeds at which cyber adversaries are developing and executing attacks today. New and evolving attack techniques span the entire kill chain but especially in the weaponization phase, showing an evolution to a more advanced persistent cybercrime strategy that is more destructive and unpredictable.

        • Ransomware not slowing: Relentless and more destructive [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Ransomware is not slowing down and continues to be relentless and more destructive, a new report has revealed.

          Fortinet released announced the latest semiannual FortiGuard Labs Global Threat Landscape Report. Threat intelligence from the second half of 2021 reveals an increase in the automation and speed of attacks demonstrating more advanced persistent cybercrime strategies that are more destructive and unpredictable. In addition, the expanding attack surface of hybrid workers and hybrid IT is a focal point that cyber adversaries are attempting to exploit.

        • Security

          • Chinese Experts Uncover Details of Equation Group's Bvp47 Covert Hacking Tool [Ed: No, this is not a back door]

            A team of Chinese researchers has revealed details of a "top-tier" backdoor used by the Equation Group, a APT group linked to the NSA.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • [Old] Bahraini Activists [Cracked] with Pegasus Just Days after a Report Confirming Other Victims

              Our analysis of Al Tajer’s iPhone 11 Pro Max showed that the phone had been [cracked] with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware at least three times in September 2021, starting on September 2, 2021 and ending on September 27, 2021. Al Tajer’s phone was [cracked] while running iOS 14, and the phone does not appear to have been [cracked] after he updated it to iOS 15.0.2 in October 2021. Evidence of the [attack] on Mohammed Al-Tajer’s phone included records showing that three processes were run on the phone in September 2021 that we link to NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware with high confidence.

            • giropay knows what you bought last summer

              Instead of only processing the payment, the German payment service "giropay" (formerly "paydirekt") keeps the information about each individual item purchased in online shops. This may lead to the processing of sensitive, personal data. A customer contacted noyb after seeing a detailed list of products she had ordered in an online pharmacy and a sex shop listed in her giropay account. Such data is specially protected under the GDPR and may not be processed without consent. noyb filed a complaint against giropay today with the Hessian State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Bipartisan Bill for Middle East "Peace" Will Enable Dictatorships and Occupation
      • Opinion | Debunking the Popular—But Dangerous—Assumption That Violence Keeps Us Safe

        One of the most popular—and dangerous—assumptions in the world is that violence keeps us safe.

      • Republicans Are Already Sabotaging Biden’s Fragile Diplomacy With Iran
      • Ukraine Agrees to Meet for Negotiations With Russia at Belarus Border
      • Opinion | Chernobyl Redux?

        Hiding in plain sight amidst the chaos of a possible war in Ukraine is the horrifying potential of another Chernobyl-scale apocalypse.

      • Courage Foundation: Russiagate Smears Against WikiLeaks
      • Ukraine Agrees to Talks After Expelling Russian Troops From Kharkiv

        After Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his invading army to attack "from all directions," Ukraine's defense forces and civilian volunteers reportedly repelled an assault on Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, but battles remain underway nationwide on Sunday as diplomatic efforts unfold.

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Sunday that Kyiv€ intends to send a delegation to the Ukraine-Belarus border to hold discussions with Moscow "without preconditions."

      • ‘I’ve seen the corpses, but I haven’t left Kyiv’: The first few days of Russia’s war against Ukraine — through the eyes of the capital’s residents

        It’s now been four days since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Yesterday, Russian troops advanced into Kyiv and continued shelling the city. As fighting took place on the streets of the Ukrainian capital, Meduza reached out to different Kyiv residents for eyewitness accounts of this past week’s events. Some of the people we spoke to were hiding in shelters, others had decided to join territorial defense groups, and some were evacuating the city altogether. Here are their stories.

      • Opinion | Putin Is Now Doing What He Accused America Of—Regime Change

        Russia's invasion of Ukraine is epoch-making, but not in the way the western powers understand it.

      • Day four of the war: Photographs from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as civilians flee and the fighting grows more intense

        On the fourth day of fighting in Ukraine, refugees are still pouring out of the country — more than 368,000 people have already reached Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and other countries, according to the United Nations. Fierce battles continued on the outskirts of the nation’s capital, Kyiv, and in the streets of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. For the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that its soldiers have been killed and wounded in Ukraine. After several false starts, Kyiv and Moscow, with mediation by Minsk, also agreed tentatively to meet for the first ceasefire negotiations. Meduza presents several photographs from this day in the War for Ukraine.

      • Opinion | Nobody Wins in the Conflict Over Ukraine

        When two scorpions are in a bottle, they both lose. This is the preventable danger that is growing daily, with no end game in sight, between the two nuclear superpowers, led by dictator Vladimir Putin and de facto sole decider, Joe Biden.

      • Opinion | Big Oil Is Trying to Profit from the War in Ukraine

        Putin’s tanks had barely crossed the border into Ukraine before the American Petroleum Institute (API) was out on Twitter attempting to exploit the crisis. Without even a word of solidarity for the people of Ukraine, API launched into a set of four demands for the White House, all of which would benefit the industry while providing no help to Europe or Ukraine.€ 

      • Standing in solidarity with Ukraine

        We are all affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the interests of global peace, whether or not you have family or friends in Ukraine, the brutal aggression by a neighboring state creating a war affecting millions of innocent people has to be condemned in the strongest way possible.

      • 'Unacceptable and Reckless': Putin Puts Russian Nuclear Forces on 'Special Alert'

        Russian President Vladimir Putin was condemned on Sunday after€ ordering€ his military to put its nuclear forces on "special alert."

        "The U.S. and NATO must resist calls to react in kind and inject nuclear weapons deeper into this conflict."

      • Over 2,100 Anti-War Protesters Arrested in Russia

        Russian police arrested 2,114 people at anti-war protests in 48 cities across the country on Sunday, the fourth consecutive day that demonstrators have risked their personal safety to€ hit the streets in opposition to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

        That's according to OVD-Info, a Russian human rights group that has long documented crackdowns on civil liberties in the country. A total of 5,500 anti-war protesters have now been detained since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military assault on Ukraine, said the independent monitor.

      • Taliban staging massive house-to-house sweep across Kabul

        The Taliban have also stepped up street patrols in the capital and established temporary roadblocks at key intersections, where they search vehicles at random or check the identities of those inside.

      • How Four Women Destroyed 1,200 Tons of Poison Gas — and Defused a Crisis

        The unlikely solution would ultimately involve the cooperation of 17 countries, the warp-speed work of a small cohort of U.S. Army chemists, and squabbling and infighting within the highest echelons of the U.S. government. It headed off U.S. military intervention in Syria and helped earn the Nobel Peace Prize for the intergovernmental organization under whose banner it was carried out. But before all that, the kernel of the idea — to destroy Assad’s chemical arsenal on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea — and the duty of seeing it through began with a team of anonymous young women in a dismal office, burrowed deep inside an obscure federal agency.

      • Trumpers fold like cards — you just have to stand up to them

        Unfortunately, what was a delusion for the people who actually stormed the Capitol is just a lived reality for Trump and the other GOP leaders who led the coup from the safety of their overpriced hotel rooms. They are tearing apart our democracy with confidence. Not because they possess courage, but because they believe — so far, with good reason — that their opponents lack it.

        Trump and his allies understand that it doesn't matter if the January 6 committee reveals every detail of the conspiracy to overturn American democracy. As long as none of the ringleaders go to jail for it, they will be free to try again. Next time, however, they will likely succeed.

      • Taiwan to change law to prevent 'economic espionage' by China

        The democratic island of Taiwan on Thursday laid out plans to defend its semiconductor industry from "economic espionage," boosting penalties for anyone leaking its cutting-edge technologies to China or other hostile countries.

        Taiwan currently makes most of the world's most advanced semiconductor chips, which are needed to build smart gadgets and machinery from cell phones to cars to fighter jets.

      • Jihadism and coups in West Africa’s Sahel region: a complex relationship

        The political instability and insecurity in some Sahelian states in West Africa has led to the capture of political power by their military in recent times. Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali have all experienced coups.

        One thing these cases have in common is that the states are grappling with the threat of Islamist insurgency.

    • Environment

      • Nations Approve Major UN Report On Accelerating Impact Of Climate Change

        Nearly 200 nations approved a major UN climate change report detailing the accelerating impacts of global warming on Sunday, at the end of a sometimes fraught two-week meeting overshadowed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

        The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that debates had concluded over the report's crucial "Summary for Policymakers", a 40-page overview distilling the thousands of pages of scientific research, which has been reviewed line-by-line and will be made public on February 28.

        Species extinction, ecosystem collapse, mosquito-borne disease, deadly heat, water shortages, and reduced crop yields are already measurably worse due to global heating.

      • Stopping Africa becoming a dumping ground for plastic

        What can be done to prevent Africa from becoming the world's biggest dumping ground for plastic?

        That's one of the big questions facing United Nations members next week at a stock-taking on Earth's environmental woes.

        From Antananarivo to Dakar via Nairobi and Conakry, African cities are scarred by huge landfills where plastic waste is measured in the thousands of tonnes.

      • Ku Klux Climate: Coal, Petro-Palingenesis, and the Historical Materialism of Fossil Fascism

        To read this article, log in here or subscribe here. In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Translating Research into Practice

          The following is a guest post submitted by Catherine Pérez Vega and Karolina Zielinska-Dabkowska (IDA Technical Committee) about their recently published article “A Systematic Review for Establishing Relevant Environmental Parameters for Urban Lighting: Translating Research into Practice” authored by Catherine Pérez Vega, Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska, Sibylle Schroer, Andreas Jechow, and Franz Hölker. This is an important first attempt to initiate communication between artificial light at night (ALAN) researchers and lighting professionals on the impact of light pollution.

        • Last Irrawaddy dolphin in northeastern Cambodia dies

          The last known endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin on a stretch the Mekong River near Cambodia’s border with Laos died this week, after it was reported snagged in a fishing net, wildlife officials and villagers in the Southeast Asian countries said.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Where Is the Public Bank of New Jersey?

        Over 800 days ago, Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 91 authorizing the creation of a public bank implementation board. At his press conference in Newark on Nov. 12, 2019, he said, "With the creation of this implementation board, I am proud to take the first step toward ensuring that our taxpayer dollars are invested here in New Jersey."

      • There’s No Money? Then How Can There be $10 Trillion for Financiers in Two Years?

        We’re not talking billions here. We are talking trillions.

        For example, the amount of money created by the central banks of five of the world’s biggest economies for the purpose of artificially propping up financial markets since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic totals US$9.94 trillion (or, if you prefer, €8.76 trillion). And that total represents only one program of the many used by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and Bank of Canada.

      • US, allies target 'fortress Russia' with new sanctions including SWIFT ban

        The United States and its allies on Saturday moved to block certain Russian banks' access to the SWIFT international payment system in further punishment of Moscow as it continues its military assault against Ukraine.

      • Western allies to expel key Russian banks from SWIFT payment system; Ukraine fights on

        The U.S. official told reporters that if one of the banks cut off from SWIFT wants to make a payment with a bank outside of Russia, it will likely need to use a phone or fax machine. But the official said most banks worldwide would likely stop all transactions with Russian banks removed from the network.

        The United States and its allies will finalize the list of banks that will by cut off from SWIFT, the official said, adding that banks already under U.S. and European sanctions would be the first ones considered.

      • What Is SWIFT? How A Ban On Russia Will Impact India And Other Countries Too

        Here's why SWIFT is important for international banking and why ban on Russia may impact other countries as well.

      • Russia-Ukraine conflict: What is SWIFT and how cutting off Russian banks could affect Moscow

        The ban on select Russian banks from SWIFT isn't the first time that such a harsh measure has been implemented.

        Iran lost access to SWIFT in 2012 as part of sanctions over its nuclear program, though many of the country's banks were reconnected to the system in 2016.

        When it lost access, Iran lost almost half of its oil export revenues and 30 per cent of foreign trade.

      • What is SWIFT financial system? Know how US, EU can use it to hurt Russia’s economy

        SWIFT can cause a major problem for Russia when it comes to managing international finances, and the country's exclusion from the system could have a major impact on its financial and banking sector.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • YouTube Pauses Monetization for Russian Media Channels Following Sanctions

        YouTube is pausing Russian affiliated channels’ ability to monetize on the video platform, the company announced on Saturday.

        In a statement, YouTube announced it would be suspending several channels’ ability to collect ad revenue, including the state-funded media outlet RT. The move comes just days after Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on Thursday.

      • Google, YouTube impose restrictions on Russian media amid Ukraine crisis

        Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, American online video sharing and social media platform YouTube blocked Russian state media outlet RT and other Russian channels from Ukraine and also suspended its ability to monetize content globally on Saturday (February 26).

      • Predicting developments in real world conflict from patterns of failed logins

        Is it possible to glean useful information about international developments or even predict real world attacks from the activity that we record in the logs of Internet-facing systems?

        b Looking at data I collect for other, quite pragmatic, reasons I see a clear correlation between the run-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this month and the password guessing activity targeting non-classified systems in my care.

        I'll be backing up that assertion with data later, but first, a bit of background.

      • Twitter and Facebook restricted in Russia amid conflict with Ukraine

        NetBlocks metrics confirm the restriction of Twitter in Russia from the morning of Saturday 26 February 2022. Facebook servers have subsequently restricted as of Sunday. The restrictions are in effect across multiple providers rendering both social media platforms largely unusable, and come as Russian authorities and social media platforms clash over platform rules in relation to the invasion of Ukraine.

      • Eurovision 2022 Blocks All Russian Contestants Over Invasion of Ukraine

        The executive board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation by the Eurovision Song Contest’s governing body, the Reference Group. That recommendation was made based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU.

      • 'Putin’s nightmare': How Volodymyr Zelensky is winning the propaganda war

        In the propaganda war with Putin, a supposed master of the art with squadrons of [astroturfers] at his disposal, Mr Zelensky and his camera phone have emerged the winners.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Is Russia winning the disinformation war in Ukraine?

        The social media maskirovka strategy is one that Russia has honed since 2014, when it annexed Crimea, a peninsula that was formerly part of Ukraine. “This is Russia’s bread and butter,” says Ed Arnold at the Royal United Services Institute, a UK think tank. Arnold was serving with NATO in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea.

        Russia can succeed with this strategy where Western governments can’t because of differing attitudes to honesty, he says. “We just can’t compete in the information war,” says Arnold. “Democracies, and the way you do these things, makes it very difficult.”

        Western efforts at combating misinformation instead tend to fall to independent open-source intelligence (OSINT) organisations like Bellingcat, which trawl social media to puncture Russian propaganda.

      • Facebook, Twitter remove disinformation accounts targeting Ukrainians

        Facebook and Twitter removed two anti-Ukrainian “covert influence operations” over the weekend, one tied to Russia and another with connections to Belarus, the companies said.

        One of the operations, a propaganda campaign featuring a website pushing anti-Ukraine talking points, was an offshoot of a known Russian disinformation operation. A Facebook spokesperson said it used computer-generated faces to bolster the credibility of fake columnists across several platforms, including Instagram.

        The other campaign used [compromised] accounts to push similar anti-Ukraine propaganda and was tied to a known Belarusian [cracking] group.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Saudi Arabia: Many activists remain in jail

        If everything goes well, the imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi will be released next week after almost a decade in jail.

        After years of campaigning for his release, human rights activists and his wife Ensaf Haider are pinning their hopes on a release by early March.

        Badawi has spent almost ten years behind bars for publishing a blog called Free Saudi Liberals. He was sentenced to a decade in prison in 2014 for "insulting Islam" because he had discussed the separation of religion and state in Saudi politics on his blog.

      • How Slain Pakistani Model Qandeel Baloch Became A Star On YouTube

        The Lahore High Court recently acquitted the brother of slain Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch in the 2019 honour killing case. A look at Baloch’s audition for Pakistan Idol that racked up 8.3 million hits on YouTube.

      • Prominent blogger Seved Hossein Ronaghi Maleki arrested in Iran after critical tweets

        On Wednesday, February 23, the Tehran home of Ronaghi Maleki, a freelance blogger and freedom of expression activist who posts reporting critical of the government on social media, was raided by unidentified security forces who took him to an unknown location, according to news reports and sources familiar with the case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity due to the fear of reprisal.

        The actions follow a Tuesday Twitter thread by Ronaghi Maleki, posted in both Farsi and English, which condemned the passing of the “User Protection Bill,” a controversial piece of legislation that restricts Iranians’ access to the internet and was ratified by parliament earlier that day.

      • Russia: With War, Censorship Reaches New Heights

        Russian authorities have threatened to fine or block 10 Russian independent media outlets if they do not delete publications about the war in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have interfered with access to Facebook and Twitter and have blocked access to another media website.

        On February 26, 2022, Roskomnadzor, the state media and communications regulator, accused the 10 outlets of publishing “false information” about the war. The alleged false information includes information that the Russian military is shelling Ukrainian cities and causing civilian casualties and references to the armed conflict as “an attack,” “invasion,” or “declaration of war.” The Russian authorities appear to require outlets to refer to the war only as a “special operation in connection with the situation in Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic.”

        “For the past decade, Russian authorities have used a web of vague laws and flimsy pretexts to intimidate and harass independent and dissenting voices,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Now they are bluntly imposing censorship combined with a false narrative that they demand everyone must parrot.”

      • Russia intensifies censorship campaign, pressuring tech giants

        The moves are part of a Russian pressure campaign against foreign technology companies. Using the prospect of fines, arrests and the blocking or slowing down of internet services, authorities are pushing the companies to censor unfavourable material online while keeping pro-Kremlin media unfiltered.

        Apple, TikTok and Spotify have complied with the landing law, according to Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor, and Google has taken steps to do so as well. Twitch and Telegram have not. Meta, the parent of Facebook, and Twitter have complied with some parts of the law but not others.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russia Threatens Local Media Covering Ukraine War

        Roskomnadzor, the regulator, ordered the media to delete the offending information or face restricted access to their websites and media resources.

      • [Old] No legal basis for leaving Assange in high security prison – human rights expert

        Accusations of the psychological torture of Julian Assange have not been addressed, with no legal basis for leaving the WikiLeaks founder locked up in solitary confinement in a high security prison, a human rights expert has claimed.

        Nils Melzer, United Nations special rapporteur on torture, said Mr Assange’s health is being “destroyed” as he remains in Belmarsh prison in London as the United States continues to try to extradite him.

        Mr Assange does not have access to his lawyers and is prevented from preparing his legal case, said Mr Melzer.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Richmond Educators Win Precedent-Setting Fight for Collective Bargaining Rights
      • Jimi Hendrix lyrics pieced together 55 years later
      • The unseen costs of dirty work

        In an insightful new book of the same name, Eyal Press, a journalist, reports unflinchingly on occupations in America that carry the taint of stigma. Among others, he interviews prison guards in Florida and slaughterhouse workers in Texas. The pandemic has changed people’s awareness of some essential work: meat-processing plants were designated as critical infrastructure by the Trump administration in 2020, for example. But these jobs remain largely hidden from view; many are in physically isolated locations. People do not know what these workplaces are like and do not care to.

      • Self-immolation attempt at Tibet’s Potala Palace thwarted by Chinese police

        A Tibetan shouted slogans and attempted to self-immolate in an apparent protest in front of the iconic Potala Palace in the Tibet regional capital Lhasa this week but was thwarted by Chinese police, sources in the region and in India told RFA Saturday.

        Immediately after the incident Friday morning outside the Potala, police took away the Tibetan, whose identity, condition and whereabouts remain unknown, the sources said.

      • Tibetan monk who spent more than 20 years in Chinese prisons dies at 61

        A Tibetan monk who served a 17-year sentence for his participation in the 1987 Lhasa Uprising has died at the age of 61, RFA has learned.

        Ngawang Gyaltsen, one of the 21 monks of Lhasa’s Drepung Monastery who in 1987 took to the streets in a show of support for the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence, passed away Monday at 5:30 p.m.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Liberty Media Swings to Fourth-Quarter Operating Profit, Touts Live Nation Outlook

        Liberty Media, the company controlled by billionaire mogul John Malone that houses assets like audio entertainment giant SiriusXM, the Atlanta Braves baseball club and the Formula One racing circuit, reported improved fourth-quarter financials Friday. And it touted the outlook for live events giant Live Nation Entertainment.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • "Friends" Leaving Netflix Caused a Piracy Spike in The Netherlands

          The final episode of the iconic TV show "Friends" aired nearly two decades ago, but it still has a loyal following. Piracy numbers are relatively modest but in the Netherlands, there was a significant spike in unauthorized downloads earlier this year after the series left Netflix. This one again shows that availability remains an important driver of piracy activity.

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