Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 22/04/2022: FreeBSD 13.1-RC4 and All Things Open Back to Raleigh Convention Center

  • GNU/Linux

    • Applications

      • CNX SoftwareQEMU 7.0 released with support for RISC-V KVM, Intel AMX, and more

        QEMU (Quick EMUlator) is an open-source emulator used to run OS or programs on various architectures such as Arm, RISC-V, and many others when you don’t own specific hardware, or for quick testing.

        The developers have released QEMU 7.0 a few days ago with over 2500 commits from 225 developers. New features include support for RISC-V KVM and vector extensions, Intel AMX (Advanced Matrix Extension), improved flexibility for fleecing backups, various new features for Arm, and many more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • uni TorontoMy virtualization setup so far with Linux's virt-manager and friends

        My primary use for virtualization requires the servers to have IPs on one of our (public) networks, one that my work desktop is also connected to. This has been a long standing weak point of the official Linux virtualization solutions, and I dealt with it in a way that was suggested to me way back then: I added another network interface to my desktop, connected it to the relevant network, and dedicated it to being a bridge to the virtual machines (in what is known as a 'macvtap' bridge). This is well documented by libvirt and seems to be the default behavior if you tell libvirt to bridge to some interface. I set my bridged network up by copying the XML from this 2016 article, making appropriate changes for my network device names, and loading it with 'virsh net-define ...'. Possibly I could also have set it up inside virt-manager, but I didn't try. This works fine to let my desktop talk to guests, although the traffic makes a round trip through my office switch.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Glances System Monitor on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

        Glances System Monitor is free, an open-source command-line tool for process monitoring, system resources such as CPU, Disk I/O, File System, Load Average, Memory, Network Interfaces, and processes. Glances are built with Python language. Glances support cross-platform monitoring, which can be used with a web-based interface.

        One of the excellent features Glances supports is setting thresholds in the program. You can set careful, warning, and critical in the configuration file, which will then relay information in colors that can show alerts to systems resources bottlenecks, system resources issues, and much more. Glances, by default, comes with a pre-set list of colors, but you can modify and add additional configs.

        The following tutorial will demonstrate how to install or enable and configure Glances System Monitor on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish Desktop or Server using the command line terminal.

      • Print with tabular Using column, head, sed, tr
      • LinuxiacHow to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to 22.04 LTS: A Step-by-Step Guide

        This guide shows you how to easily and safely upgrade the existing version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’ to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ‘Jammy Jellyfish.’

        Long waited Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ‘Jammy Jellyfish’ was released recently. One method for getting Ubuntu 22.04 is downloading the installation media (ISO image) and installing it from scratch.

        But if you already have Ubuntu 20.04 LTS installed and running, configured to your preferences, doing a brand new install and setting it up from scratch is something everyone would like to avoid.

        Fortunately, you can upgrade your existing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS operating system directly to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, performing an in-place upgrade.

      • UNIX CopHow to install Dotnet in Rocky Linux 8 / Alma Linux 8
      • Linux CapableEnable & Configure Gzip Compression on Nginx

        Part of any website operation is to make sure visitors can view the site as quickly as possible. Still, one of the biggest causes of slowdowns is loading resources that depend on size can severely impact a website without GZIP enabled to a similar website.

        NGINX is an excellent web server, built for speed, lightweight to handle multiple connections, and it does come with GZIP support, but this can be a double-edged sword as using GZIP increases CPU utilization. Depending on your server and its resources, it could have the opposite impact enabling it without optimization.

        So interested in the topic so far? In our tutorial, you will learn the basic GZIP setup and configuration on Nginx, which can be used on any operating system, UNIX or Windows.

      • Customizing Ubuntu ISOs: Documentation and examples of how to use ''

        This script is a ​progression of ''. Whilst 'isorespin' was created to support Ubuntu and similar Linux distributions on mini PCs, some of the functionality that was developed is now unused. Additionally with ​Canonical now trialling a new ​Ubuntu ​desktop installer and the ISO using a new multi-layer filesystem, rather than hack the ​earlier code to coerce compatibility I'​ve​ developed a new script ​which I've called ​'' ​which provides the most useful features and ​addresses the functionality that is ​now relevant to​ ​respinning.

      • TechRepublicHow to quickly deploy the SuiteCRM Customer Relationship Management platform as a virtual machine | TechRepublic

        SuiteCRM is an outstanding Customer Relationship Management platform that is very powerful, includes all the features you need in a CRM tool and is free to use. The one caveat to SuiteCRM is that it can be a bit challenging to deploy. So, if you’re in a hurry to get this tool up and running, what do you do? One method is to use the TurnKey Linux virtual appliance.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Find Longest Line(s) in a File in Linux

        The Linux operating system likes to brag about its computing power and prowess. Its algorithmic approach to things like file processing especially under file management yields important milestones for Linux users on the quest to mastering Linux administration footprints.

        One aspect of file processing under the Linux operating system environment that we must greatly consider is identifying the longest lines within an editable Linux-supported file.

    • Games

      • HackadayOptimized Super Mario 64 Offers Exciting Possibilities

        When working on any software project, the developers have to balance releasing on time with optimizations. As long as you are hitting your desired time constraints, why not just ship it earlier? It’s no secret that Super Mario 64, a hotly anticipated launch title for the Nintendo 64 console in 1996, had a lot of optimizations left on the table in order to get it out the door on time. In that spirit, [Kaze Emanuar] has been plumbing the depths of the code, refactoring and tweaking until he had a version with€ serious performance gains.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • UndeadlyApril 21, 2022: OpenBSD 7.1 Released

          The new release supports 13 distinct hardware platforms with thousands of prebuilt packages for all platforms.

          If you want to delve further into the details before (or while, after) installing or upgrading to the new release, the detailed changelog has all the details. Those upgrading from the 7.0 release (or earlier) should consult the Upgrade Guide.

        • OpenBSDOpenBSD 7.1 Released Apr 21, 2022. (52nd OpenBSD release)

          This is a partial list of new features and systems included in OpenBSD 7.1. For a comprehensive list, see the changelog leading to 7.1.

        • Data SwampOpenBSD 7.1: fan noise and high temperature solution

          OpenBSD 7.1 has been released with a change that will set the CPU to max speed when plugged to the wall. This brings better performance and entirely let the CPU and mainboard do the frequency throttling.

          However, it may doesn't throttle well for some users, resulting in huge power usage even when idle, heat from the CPU and also fan noise.

          As the usual "automatic" frequency scheduling mode is no longer available, I wrote a simple utility to manage the frequency when the system is plugged to the wall, I took the opportunity to improve it, giving better performance than the previous automatic mode, but also giving more battery life when using on a laptop on battery.

        • FreeBSDFreeBSD 13.1-RC4 Now Available
          The fourth RC build of the 13.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

          Installation images are available for:

          o 13.1-RC4 amd64 GENERIC o 13.1-RC4 i386 GENERIC o 13.1-RC4 powerpc GENERIC o 13.1-RC4 powerpc64 GENERIC64 o 13.1-RC4 powerpc64le GENERIC64LE o 13.1-RC4 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE o 13.1-RC4 armv6 RPI-B o 13.1-RC4 armv7 GENERICSD o 13.1-RC4 aarch64 RPI o 13.1-RC4 aarch64 PINE64 o 13.1-RC4 aarch64 PINE64-LTS o 13.1-RC4 aarch64 PINEBOOK o 13.1-RC4 aarch64 ROCK64 o 13.1-RC4 aarch64 ROCKPRO64 o 13.1-RC4 riscv64 GENERIC o 13.1-RC4 riscv64 GENERICSD

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

          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:

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

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

          If you would like to use Git to do a source based update of an existing system, use the "releng/13.1" branch.

          A summary of changes since 13.1-RC3 includes:

          o Several manual page fixes and updates.

          o The cft.h header file has been imported from OpenBSD, with additional follow-up fixes and updates.

          o A fix in libcxxrt to restore API/ABI has been added.

          o A change to make files opened with O_PATH avoiding blocking non-forced unmount has been reverted.

          A list of changes since 13.0-RELEASE is available in the releng/13.1 release notes:

          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be updated on an ongoing basis as the 13.1-RELEASE cycle progresses.

          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===

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

          BASIC-CI images can be found at:

          The partition layout is:

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

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

        • CNX SoftwareUbuntu 22.04 LTS "Jammy Jellyfish" released - CNX Software

          Canonical has just released Ubuntu 22.04 LTS “Jammy Jellyfish” right on schedule. The new version of the Linux operating system provides cloud confidential computing, a new real-time kernel for industrial applications, Arm optimization, support for Raspberry Pi SBCs, as well as support for enterprise Active Directory, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FIPS, and FedRAMP compliance.

          Confidential Computing aims to improve data protection and privacy in public clouds without requiring any changes to existing application deployments, and Ubuntu 22.04 supports Azure Confidential VMs. Speaking about cloud computing, Canonical also says they optimized Ubuntu 22.04 LTS images for AWS Graviton for greater performance on Arm servers. The new real-time PREEMPT_RT kernel is currently in beta and available for both x86 and Aarch64 architectures. It is designed for telco (5G gateways) as well as other latency-sensitive applications such as industrial automation and robotics.

        • Canonical have announced the release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish)

          For the last few years I've respun various ISOs to support running Ubuntu, Ubuntu flavours and Ubuntu-based distros on mini PCs by specifically addressing the issue of those devices that use restrictive bootloaders including 32-bit GRUB.

          I've relied on donations to support my work and cover development and storage costs. Recently these have been few and far between indicating that the demand for such ISOs is not there. As a result I'm reducing the number of ISOs I provide and only offer some examples of how my '' script works.

        • 9to5LinuxUbuntu Cinnamon Remix 22.04 LTS Released with Cinnamon 5.2 Desktop Environment

          Two years in the works, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 22.04 LTS is based on the upstream Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) release and comes with the latest Cinnamon 5.2 desktop environment (version 5.2.7 is included by default in the ISO image).

          In addition, this release includes fixes for the background and screen tearing issues.

        • Experience Ubuntu Unity 22.04 LTS With These New Features

          A list of new features and packages in Ubuntu Unity 22.04 LTS that brings the curated Unity desktop.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Raspberry PiAI literacy research: Children and families working together around smart devices
        • Jeff Geerling8 New Compute Module 4 boards for Spring 2022

          It's been a busy start to the year on my Raspberry Pi PCIe Devices website. Not only have we finally made some significant progress learning about the BCM2711's PCIe bus (both good and bad), I've also added a few dozen new Raspberry Pi CM4-based boards to the site.

        • An Introductory Guide to Open-Source Hardware

          Yet, you can also use “open-source” to denote a particular type of hardware. Although it refers to a similar concept in both cases, it’s worth digging a little deeper into exactly what it means in the context of hardware in order to better understand its usage

          But before we do, let’s take a quick look at a superordinate concept. “Open design” means technological development through the use of publicly shared information. This is generally facilitated through the internet, without remuneration.

          With this notion in place, we’re ready to deep dive into just what open-source hardware really is.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Unicorn MediaATO to Host Free Online Talks on UX Design and Contributing to Samba

          By now, I’m sure that practically everyone involved in open source knows about All Things Open, the open source conference that for the past decade has cranked up every October at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina with a focus on…well, all things open source.

      • Programming/Development

        • Java

          • Notes on fixing a Java issue on Mac OS Big Sur

            The second one—how to stop the program that runs all the programs that are being tested. The code used the process ID to terminate that program by shelling out to run `kill -SIGINT pid`. It turns out the Java `Process` object does have a `destroy()` method [2] (it sends a `SIGTERM` to a process, which is fine). It was just a simple matter to update the code to use the `destroy()` method to terminate the program rather than trying to obtain the process ID in a dodgy way. That issue fixed.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Daniel Aleksandersen: Get your logo into inboxes with BIMI and email best practices

        To comply with these email standards, you must maintain records that precisely describe which servers are allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain. These descriptions are stored as machine-readable records in the Domain Name System (DNS). In the case of DKIM, you must also commit to cryptographically signing every outgoing message.

        BIMI is a new addition to the DNS record acronym soup. It puts aside the stick and offers senders a carrot instead. In exchange for configuring your domain with a strict DMARC policy built on SPF or DKIM (or both), you might have your brand’s logo show up next to your messages in recipient inboxes. The logo shows up in a square or round frame next to the message sender’s name; a spot typically reserved for contact photos from your address book.

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayThe Honda Takedown: How A Global Brand Failed To Read The Room

      Perhaps the story of the moment in the world of 3D printing concerns a Japanese manufacturer of cars and motorcycles. Honda has sent a takedown notice requesting the removal of models starting with the word “Honda” to the popular 3D printing model repository site Printables. It’s left in its wake puzzlement, disappointment, and some anger, but what’s really going on? Perhaps it’s time to examine what has happened and to ponder what it means for those who put online printable parts and accessories for cars or any other item manufactured by a large corporation.

    • HackadayWatch A Complete Reflector Telescope Machined From A Single Block Of Glass

      If this is the easy part of making a complete reflector telescope from a single piece of glass, we can’t wait to get a load of the hard part!

    • HackadayElectric Chopsticks Bring The Salt, Not The Pain

      The Japanese people love their salt, perhaps as much as Americans love their sugar high fructose corn syrup and caffeine. But none of these are particularly good for you. Although humans do need some salt in their diets to continue existing, the average Japanese person may be eating too much of it on a regular basis — twice the amount recommended by the World Health Organization, according to Reuters. Cue the invention of electric chopsticks, which provide salty flavor without the actual sodium.

    • Counter PunchWho was Vine Deloria Jr.?
    • Counter PunchJaguars Could Return to the US Southwest, But Only If They Have Pathways to Move€ North

      In the Americas, the jaguar has long been an icon and symbol of power and connection to the spiritual world in mythology, philosophies, culture and art. Jaguars are apex predators with diverse diets that include more than 85 different prey species. This gives them a specific but prominent role in each ecosystem where they are found.

      The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies jaguars as “near threatened,” with total population estimates ranging between 64,000 and 173,000. But evidence shows that local populations across the continent are decreasing at alarming rates. Jaguars’ total range has shrunk by more than half in the past 70 years, mainly because of hunting and habitat loss.

    • NBCYouTuber who jumped from plane purposefully caused crash to record it, FAA letter says

      The FAA letter says that “during this flight you opened the left side pilot door before you claimed the engine had failed.”

      The letter says Jacob made no attempt to contact air traffic control on an emergency frequency, to restart the engine by increasing airflow over the propeller or to look for areas to safely land “even though there were multiple areas within gliding range in which you could have made a safe landing.”

      He also put on a sport parachute backpack before the flight, attached multiple cameras to the outside of the plane and used a "selfie-stick" to record after he jumped, the letter says.

      Jacob recovered the wreckage of the plane and disposed of it and retrieved the cameras that had been attached to it before the flight, the letter says.

    • Hollow Art and Human Apathy

      Why are we so complacent about the world around us?

    • Science

      • Hackaday2022 Sci-Fi Contest: A Star Wars Mouse Droid Of Your Very Own

        The show-stealing droids of Star Wars,€ R2-D2 and C-3PO, are quite challenging to replicate at home, due to their size and complexity. [curiousmarc] had built the former, with much work going into drawing and design. The more humble Mouse Droid, as seen skittering about the halls of the Death Star, is a considerably easier build — especially with this somewhat improvised approach.

      • NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars

        NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has captured dramatic footage of Phobos, Mars’ potato-shaped moon, crossing the face of the Sun. These observations can help scientists better understand the moon’s orbit and how its gravity pulls on the Martian surface, ultimately shaping the Red Planet’s crust and mantle.

        Captured with Perseverance’s next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2, the 397th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, the eclipse lasted a little over 40 seconds – much shorter than a typical solar eclipse involving Earth’s Moon. (Phobos is about 157 times smaller than Earth’s Moon. Mars’ other moon, Deimos, is even smaller.)

    • Hardware

      • HackadayCar Hacker Hacks Lawn Care Carb Into Hot Rod Car

        Internal combustion engines have often been described (quite correctly) as air pumps, and because of this nature, they tend to respond very well to more air. Why? Because more air means more fuel, and more fuel means more power- the very nature of hot rodding itself. [Thunderhead289] is an accomplished car hacker, and he’s decided to take things the opposite direction: Less air, less fuel… more mileage? As you can see in the video below the break, [Thunderhead289] has figured out how to mount a single barrel carburetor from a€ lawn mower to the four barrel intake of a Ford 302– a V8 engine that’s many times larger than the largest single cylinder lawnmower!

      • HackadayScanning Receipts Proves Trickier Than Anticipated

        It’s one of those things that certainly sounds simple enough: take a picture of a receipt, run it through optical character recognition (OCR), and send the resulting information to whatever expense-tracking website or software you wish. There’s already company’s that offer such a service, so it can’t be too difficult to replicate on your own…right?

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Common DreamsNational Nurses United Urges Biden Admin to Crack Down on Hospital Monopolies

        National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S., is calling on the White House to bolster federal antitrust probes and rules to reduce the detrimental impacts of healthcare industry mergers and acquisitions on patients, workers, and communities.

        "Consider any merger or acquisition in the healthcare sector, particularly hospital acquisitions, to be anti-competitive."

      • OracJennifer Margulis goes from antivax to anti-COVID-19 vaccine

        Having been writing about the antivaccine movement for a long time, I’ve long been familiar with what I like to call “old school” antivaxxers. It’s an artificial demarcation. Basically, for my purposes “old school” means before COVID-19, in contrast to the new wave of antivaxxers who have arisen since COVID-19. For example, Andrew Wakefield, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Dr. Bob Sears, and the like are old school, while Dr. Robert Malone, Geert Vanden Bossche, Dr. Peter McCullough, and Steve Kirsch (and many more) are the new wave, people who were not—detectably, at least—antivaccine before the pandemic but have used the pandemic to spread anti-COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and become famous antivaxxers themselves. Of course, many “old school” antivaxxers quickly leapt on the anti-COVID-19 vaccination bandwagon and also enthusiastically embraced all forms of COVID-19 conspiracy theories, whether vaccine-related, mask-related, or other. This brings me to Jennifer Margulis.

      • Pro PublicaLook Up Nursing Home Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

        On Thursday, ProPublica added staff COVID-19 vaccination data to the Nursing Home Inspect project.

        The virus has killed more than 150,000 nursing home residents and staff since the beginning of the pandemic. Experts say that staff vaccination is a key part of protecting residents from outbreaks in their homes, but thousands of workers remain unvaccinated despite a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care employees. Some of those unvaccinated workers are claiming medical exemptions, which doctors say should be rare.

      • Pro PublicaVaccine Medical Exemptions Are Rare. Thousands of Nursing Home Workers Have Them.

        More than a year after COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in nursing homes nationwide, the facilities have gone a long way toward blunting the virus’s threat to their most vulnerable residents.

        Today, 88% of nursing home residents and 89% of employees are fully vaccinated, outstripping the rate among the general public. Even as cases soared to record levels in January with the rise of the omicron variant, the death rate of nursing home residents was a fraction of what it was during the surge at the end of 2020.

      • TruthOut"It's Not a Drought, It's Looting": Water Rights Activists Organize in Mexico
      • TruthOutSenate Agreed to $10 Billion COVID Package, With No Money for Global Response
      • New York TimesRiding a Bike in America Should Not Be This Dangerous

        It is tempting to call what happened that morning in Mountain View a freak accident, the sort of cosmic pileup of time and space that can never be avoided in a complicated world. But as the journalist Jessie Singer has argued, in much of American life, many “accidents” are far from accidental — they are instead the inevitable result of political and economic choices that society has made, and they might have been prevented had we made other, safer choices.

        States and cities will soon be showered with $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funding that Congress allocated last year. Some traffic safety advocates told me they see this money as a huge opportunity to save our roads — but to make the best use of that money, they said, we have to be willing to think about road safety in a transformative way.

      • New RepublicThe Invention of “Accidents”

        There Are No Accidents looks at a wider range of fatalities that have been chalked up, at various times in the past century, as accidents or mere flukes: not just car crashes but also toxic chemical spills, catastrophic mine explosions, collapsed bridges, the Boeing 737 Max plane crashes, opioid overdoses, and more. In chapter after chapter, Singer makes the case that we should think of accidents not as “chance mishaps but systemic inevitabilities.” The stories she tells share a theme: that in the U.S. whether a person’s death is deemed an accident or not is largely a measure of that person’s proximity to power. The “power to demand that your workplace is safe, the power to fireproof your home, the power to drive instead of walk” all lower the risk of so-called accidental death. Because accidents, she argues, often provide cover for flaws in infrastructure, systemic racism, ableism, and a host of other ills.

      • uni MichiganFirearms now top cause of death among children, adolescents

        U-M researchers Jason Goldstick, Rebecca Cunningham and Patrick Carter co-authored an article published April 20 in The New England Journal of Medicine that quantifies the leading causes of death nationwide for individuals ages 1 to 19.

        Based on their analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearm-related deaths among children and adolescents increased by 29 percent from 2019 to 2020.

      • NEJMCurrent Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States

        In addition, drug overdose and poisoning increased by 83.6% from 2019 to 2020 among children and adolescents, becoming the third leading cause of death in that age group. This change is largely explained by the 110.6% increase in unintentional poisonings from 2019 to 2020. The rates for other leading causes of death have remained relatively stable since the previous analysis, which suggests that changes in mortality trends among children and adolescents during the early Covid-19 pandemic were specific to firearm-related injuries and drug poisoning; Covid-19 itself resulted in 0.2 deaths per 100,000 children and adolescents in 2020.1

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Notes on obtaining a process ID from Java on Mac OS Big Sur

          This horrible bit of code does work under Linux, and it works on older versions of Mac OS-X. But Belial is a more modern version of Mac OS-X, on the new Apple M1 architecture. Here, `sippPid` is always 0.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • TechdirtIndian Government’s Massive Biometric Collection About To Become Even Bigger

              Back in 2017, the Indian government — having collected at least some biometric records from most of its 1.2 billion citizens — did what was previously considered unthinkable: it opened up access to these records to anyone willing to pay for the privilege. What had been collected involuntarily was sold to private companies for use in verifying users’ identification and, presumably, to find more efficient ways to sell them goods and services.

            • Site36Disrupted supply chains: Chip shortage hampers new EU databases

              An EU agency is building a recognition system with biometric data on 400 million travellers. The contractors seem to have overstretched themselves

            • TechdirtResearchers Again Show How Major VPNs Quietly Undermine User Security

              Given the seemingly endless privacy scandals that now engulf the tech, telecom, and adtech sectors on a near-daily basis, many consumers have flocked to virtual private networks (VPN) to protect and encrypt their data.€ One study found€ that VPN use quadrupled between 2016 and 2018 as consumers rushed to try and protect themselves in the wake of scandals, breaches, and hacks.

            • New YorkerHow Democracies Spy on Their Citizens

              Commercial spyware has grown into an industry estimated to be worth twelve billion dollars. It is largely unregulated and increasingly controversial. In recent years, investigations by the Citizen Lab and Amnesty International have revealed the presence of Pegasus on the phones of politicians, activists, and dissidents under repressive regimes. An analysis by Forensic Architecture, a research group at the University of London, has linked Pegasus to three hundred acts of physical violence. It has been used to target members of Rwanda’s opposition party and journalists exposing corruption in El Salvador. In Mexico, it appeared on the phones of several people close to the reporter Javier Valdez Cárdenas, who was murdered after investigating drug cartels. Around the time that Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia approved the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a longtime critic, Pegasus was allegedly used to monitor phones belonging to Khashoggi’s associates, possibly facilitating the killing, in 2018. (Bin Salman has denied involvement, and NSO said, in a statement, “Our technology was not associated in any way with the heinous murder.”) Further reporting through a collaboration of news outlets known as the Pegasus Project has reinforced the links between NSO Group and anti-democratic states. But there is evidence that Pegasus is being used in at least forty-five countries, and it and similar tools have been purchased by law-enforcement agencies in the United States and across Europe. Cristin Flynn Goodwin, a Microsoft executive who has led the company’s efforts to fight spyware, told me, “The big, dirty secret is that governments are buying this stuff—not just authoritarian governments but all types of governments.”

            • Site36Predator by Cytrox: Spyware discovered on phone of Greek journalist

              A committee of enquiry in the EU Parliament is to look into the use of mercenary spyware against opposition members and media workers in Europe. German clients could also be in the spotlight, according to an analysis by the Meta Group.

            • RTLSpyware allegations poison Spain's ties with Catalan separatists

              Catalan separatists have accused Spain's intelligence services of using spyware to snoop on their mobile phones, reviving tensions with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's minority leftist government which relies on their support to pass legislation.

              Canada's Citizen Lab group said Monday that at least 65 people linked to the Catalan separatist movement had been targets of Pegasus spyware in the wake of a failed independence bid in 2017.

              Elected officials, including current and former Catalan regional leaders, were among those targeted by the controversial spyware made by Israel's NSO group.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • TruthOutUkrainian Officials Call for Humanitarian Corridor in Last Mariupol Holdout
      • Common DreamsCivilians Trapped as Putin Orders Russian Forces to Blockade Last Mariupol Holdout

        Ukrainian officials made urgent appeals Thursday for a humanitarian corridor to allow trapped civilians, including children, to safely escape Mariupol as Russian forces surrounded a steel plant that is believed to be Ukraine's final holdout in the strategic port city.

        Declaring that his forces have secured the "liberation" of Mariupol—where Ukrainian officials say at least 20,000 people have been killed—Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops not to storm the steel plant but to "block it off so that a fly can't get in." Ukraine's leadership said Putin's claim of victory in Mariupol is "premature."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Only Answer to the War in Ukraine Is a Negotiated Peace Deal

        There is only one answer to the war in Ukraine: a peace deal.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The US Spent 7.5 Times More on Nuclear Weapons Than Global Vaccine Donations

        Since the pandemic began, the United States has spent 7.5 times more money on nuclear weapons than on global vaccine donations. Stated another way, the money put towards global vaccine donations has amounted to just 13% of the money put toward nuclear weapons. The comparison shows that, even during a€ shared international crisis, in which an outbreak anywhere threatens people everywhere, the U.S. political apparatus is far more willing to fund instruments of death than vaccines that protect€ life.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Humanity: Evolving in Spite of Itself

        As wars rage, as cruelty shatters lives across the planet—as nuclear Armageddon remains a viable option for all of us—I think it's time to claim some stunning awareness in this regard.

      • Democracy NowAs Russia Intensifies Attack on Ukraine’s Donbas, Volunteers Try to Help Civilians in Leveled Cities

        We get an update on the Donbas region of Ukraine, where Russian forces are now focused. Russia has backed a separatist movement in the Donbas since 2014 and used protecting the Russian-speaking population there as a justification for its invasion in February. We speak with Brian Milakovsky, who lived in the Donbas town of Severodonetsk before he evacuated to Croatia in January and is now fundraising for people trying to flee Russian attacks. The Russian obsession with annexing the Donbas region is part of a “fanatical belief that the East really must be actually a part of Russia,” says Milakovsky. “They’re leveling these cities,” and “it’s not really clear for what purpose except for bolstering their own narrative,” he adds.

      • Democracy NowMatrix of War: Russian Elites Unlikely to Split from Putin Despite War Losses & Western Sanctions

        Russians are weathering the fallout of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine with no sign of a negotiated peace deal soon. Economic sanctions have driven up food prices, and there has been repression of political dissent within the country. We speak with author Tony Wood, a member of the New Left Review editorial board, who says the crushing Western sanctions are unlikely to end Putin’s rule and are only hardening attitudes. “The Russian elite has already been fully consolidated around Putin since 2014, if not before,” he says. “These sanctions are not going to split them off.”

      • Democracy NowUkrainian Historian Says Putin’s Invasion Is an Imperialist War Akin to U.S. Attack on Iraq

        We go to Ukraine, where Russia continues its assault along a 300-mile frontline in the eastern region. This comes as the U.S. and Western allies promise more weapons for Ukrainian defenses, prompting worry of escalation as Russian President Vladimir Putin abandons negotiations for a ceasefire agreement. We speak with Ukrainian political scientist and historian Denis Pilash, who is a democratic socialist, part of Sotsialnyi Rukh, and is also involved in humanitarian aid efforts in western Ukraine that he calls “the backbone of Ukrainian resistance.” He says Putin’s imperialist military aggressions should be seen as analogous to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and other nations.

      • The NationAgainst World War III

        Russia invaded Ukraine in violation of international law, and now we stand on a precipice. Advocates of war are saying that World War III has already begun, and the United States should therefore plunge in. How can they say that? People may finally hurl themselves into an abyss from the sheer terror of falling.

      • The NationThis Is How We End the War in Ukraine

        As the war in Ukraine heads for its third month amid a rising toll of death and destruction, Washington and its European allies are scrambling, so far unsuccessfully, to end that devastating, globally disruptive conflict. Spurred by troubling images of executed Ukrainian civilians scattered in the streets of Bucha and ruined cities like Mariupol, they are already trying to use many tools in their diplomatic pouches to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to desist. These range from economic sanctions and trade embargoes to the confiscation of the assets of some of his oligarch cronies and the increasingly massive shipment of arms to Ukraine. Yet none of it seems to be working.

      • Meduza‘There was no time to cry’ A firsthand account of how Russian troops laid siege to a care home in occupied Borodyanka

        Borodyanka is a small town outside of Kyiv, not far from Bucha. At the beginning of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces occupied both towns, only to retreat from the Kyiv region in early April. During the occupation of Borodyanka, troops from Russia’s Chechnya seized the local psychoneurological care home. In an interview with Meduza, the care home’s director Maryna Hanitska gives a firsthand account of how its staff and residents survived the siege.

      • MeduzaPutin changes tack in Mariupol The president ordered Russian forces to block the Azovstal metal works “so tightly that not even a fly can get through”

        Vladimir Putin called off the assault on the Azovstal steel works, saying the move was “unnecessary.” “This is a case where we need to think —€ of course, we almost need to think about this, but in the current situation even more —€ about saving the lives and the health of our soldiers and officers. There’s no need to climb into those catacombs and crawl under the earth through those industrial facilities,” said President Putin at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

      • Counter PunchNuclear Proliferation is Not the Answer to Russian Aggression

        Keep in mind, a single nuclear weapon can devastate a city, killing hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. According to NukeMap, a tool that estimates the impact of a nuclear attack, over eight million people would be killed, and another nearly seven million injured, if the largest Russian nuclear bomb were to be dropped on New York City.

        Thirteen Thousand Nuclear Bombs Around The World

      • Common DreamsFamily Vows to 'Keep Fighting' for Federal Charges Against Cop Who Killed Laquan McDonald

        Relatives of Laquan McDonald and activists in Chicago made clear Thursday that they will continue to fight for federal civil rights charges against Jason Van Dyke, who murdered the Black teenager while working as a police officer.

        "This is not—and should not be—how the justice system works."

      • HungaryThe refugees among us – a Hungarian photographer's photo series

        In the future, the photos from the Russian-Ukrainian war will be our documents and proof – both for the truth and for the lies.

      • Mint Press NewsCIA Files Confirm Guantanamo Bay Torture Program's MKULTRA Roots

        In March the CIA declassified a 2008 CIA Inspector General report on the agency’s treatment of 9/11 suspect Ammar al-Baluchi at overseas ‘black sites’ and Guantanamo Bay. The report was released as a result of legal submissions and its shocking contents offer an unprecedentedly candid snapshot of the brutal physical and psychological torment to which he and hundreds of others were subjected by the agency over many years, under its global torture program.

      • Mint Press NewsWith Hadi’s Ouster, Saudi Arabia’s True Ambitions in Yemen Come to the Fore

        In perhaps the most significant political shake-up since 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Western allies have finally abandoned and ousted Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. On April 7, Hadi used his presidential authority to sign power over to an eight-man body known officially as the Presidential Command Council (PCC). The Saudi-led Coalition launched its brutal military campaign in Yemen in 2015 to restore Hadi to power following his ouster on the heels of Yemen’s Arab Spring popular protests.

      • ABCExplosion hits marketplace in northeast Nigeria; 6 killed

        The attack occurred on Tuesday evening at a busy cattle market in the Ardo-Kola local government area of Taraba state where villages have been largely unaffected in the last year by the decade-long Islamic extremist violence in the northeast.

    • Environment

      • Common DreamsOpinion | US Must Tackle Interconnected Child Care and Climate Crises

        Far from centering the welfare of seven future generations, as directed by the Iroquois, we have let the mindless imperative of the profit motive shape our economy and public policies. The result is that we short change our children and the future. We invest far too little in children, wasting human potential with every year that passes, and face catastrophic climate change unless we take urgent action. We can't let the immediate need to respond to Russian invasion of Ukraine be so consuming that we fail to act this year to take better care of our children and to leave them a livable planet.

      • Common DreamsUS Mobilization Planned to Demand 'Livable, Just, and Healthy Planet for All'

        Over 20 advocacy organizations are planning a nationwide "Fight for Our Future" mobilization for Saturday to demand climate action from the Biden administration and Congress.

        "There's a clear path forward for critical investments in climate, care, jobs, and justice, and Congress must seize this crucial opportunity to truly ensure the future we all deserve."

      • The NationEarth Day Is Every Day
      • FAIRMedia Need to Treat Every Day as Earth Day if We Want a Livable Planet

        On Earth Day, no doubt most major media will pay lip service to the extreme dangers of climate change. But what happens the next day?

      • The Nation“Act or Die”: Earth Day, Still a Question of Survival

        This story originated in Columbia Journalism Review and is part of “Climate & Democracy,” a series from the global journalism collaboration Covering Climate Now.

      • DeSmogBrazilian Meat Giant JBS a Bigger Emitter Than Italy, Study Estimates

        Greenhouse gas emissions produced by JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, have surged more than 50 percent in the past five years as the company has acquired new poultry and livestock units – meaning it now has a larger climate footprint than Italy, according to a new study.

        The findings, published ahead of the Brazilian company’s annual general meeting on Friday, prompted renewed calls from climate campaigners for asset managers to divest from JBS – despite its pledge to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

      • Counter PunchEarth Day: Enemies and Opportunities

        That doesn’t mean there are no differences in individuals’ contribution to those crises. Landowners, not agricultural workers who harvest crops, bear responsibility for chemical contamination of the soil. A fast-food restaurant cashier who has to drive to work and the CEO of an oil company cashing in on hydrocarbons are not equally culpable.

        But how much are landowners’ choices constrained by economic realities outside their control? If all the energy companies stopped producing fossil fuels in the coming decades, would consumers happily embrace a major down-powering and the accompanying lifestyle changes? Kelly’s statement may have lacked nuance, but so do many of the environmentalists’ platitudes that ignore the depth of change necessary in both economic institutions and people’s expectations.

      • The VergeThis Earth Day, cut through the corporate climate hype

        There are some databases out there, however, that can help break things down for consumers. Dowell recommends the nonprofit CDP, formerly called the Climate Disclosure Project. CDP scores companies with letter grades, A through D- (like in school), when it comes to their action on climate change. But that only includes about 12,000 companies that agree to participate and share their environmental data.

        There’s another tool called the Net Zero Tracker that assesses close to 2,000 companies with net zero pledges, which has information on some companies like Amazon that haven’t made their data available through CDP. The tracker was created by research labs out of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Oxford and a couple nonprofit environmental organizations. They even created a helpful Twitter bot last month that tweets out its assessments of environmental pledges.

        But some people may want try to assess a company’s pledges on their own. Here are just a few key points for the environmentally-minded consumer to watch for as they try to sort out green pledges from greenwashing:

      • PC WorldGot tech junk? Here’s how to recycle or sell it on Earth Day

        On Friday, April 22, UBreakiFix stores will hold a one-day recycling event for Earth Day. That means it’s a fine time to clear out any old electronics that you can’t easily sell for cash.

        UBreakiFix’s eligible device list includes DVD players, cables, keyboards, mouses, and printers, most of which will have little to no value on tech buyback sites. You can find nearby UBreakiFix stores by scrolling down to the “Find your store” section on this page.

      • Common DreamsClimate Group Calls Biden's Earth Day Order for Old-Growth Forests 'Grossly Inadequate'

        U.S. President Joe Biden's reported plan to protect old-growth forests—which help combat global temperature rise by storing planet-heating carbon—is "grossly inadequate," one climate advocacy group said Thursday.

        "President Biden seems to think we're celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970."

      • Energy

        • TechdirtBattery Shortage Poses Major Innovative Threat To Electric Vehicle Push

          In most people’s heads, electric vehicles are going to very quickly supplant gas-powered vehicles in the next few years, resulting in massive disruption and a massive boost to climate change mitigation. But there’s trouble in paradise: experts continue to warn that we lack the elements and supply chain necessary to ramp up production of electric vehicles at the scale that exists in everybody’s imagination.

        • DeSmogBoris Johnson Meets Coal Baron on India Tour Despite Calling For End to Dirtiest Fossil Fuel

          Boris Johnson has met with the head of an Indian multinational conglomerate building Australia’s largest coal mine, despite having called on the world to phase out the fuel as part of the UK’s COP26 presidency.€ € 

          The UK prime minister met with billionaire Gautam Adani this week on a trip to India to strengthen relations between the two countries and promote “jobs, growth and opportunity”.€ 

        • New York TimesI Spoke to the Experts. Bitcoin Isn’t Going to Change.

          The European Parliament is moving toward insisting that all cryptocurrencies meet environmental sustainability standards, although in March a draft document stopped short of banning the proof-of-work system that Bitcoin uses. Also in March, Greenpeace USA, the Environmental Working Group, and other environmental advocacy groups began the Change the Code campaign, which involves advertising as well as putting pressure on cryptocurrency fanboys like Elon Musk of Tesla and Jack Dorsey of Block (formerly Square), as well as Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments, which manages mutual funds that invest in Bitcoin miners. The campaign got a $5 million boost from Chris Larsen, the executive chairman, a former chief executive and a co-founder of Ripple, a blockchain company for global enterprises.

        • ViceLeaked ‘Shill Price List’ Shows Wild World of Crypto Promos

          On Monday, an independent researcher who exposes hacks and scams in the world of crypto published a purported list of influencers and how much they charge to "shill" crypto projects on Twitter. The list quickly went viral, starting a conversation about how essentially any cryptocurrency project can simply pay influencers to retweet or promote their projects to hundreds of thousands or millions of people on social media.

        • CS MonitorCryptocurrency for beginners: What is it and how does it work?

          Cryptocurrency mining consumes a great deal of energy. One peer-reviewed study calculated that, as of November 2018, bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption was 45.8 terawatt hours, comparable to Hong Kong’s net electricity consumption in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

          That doesn’t even take into account energy consumed by other cryptocurrencies. And bitcoin’s energy consumption has increased annually: The Bitcoin Mining Council estimated the cryptocurrency consumed 220 terawatt hours of energy in 2021.

          When judging the environmental impacts of cryptocurrencies, it’s important to consider the electricity’s source. Miners want electricity at the lowest cost, which sometimes leads them to polluting energy sources like coal. Other times, they can find the cheapest energy from renewable sources like hydroelectric dams. It really comes down to location. Those variables make it complicated to calculate cryptocurrencies’ exact energy consumption and environmental impacts.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Common DreamsMore Than Half of US Student Loan Borrowers Say They Can't Afford Single Payment

        A survey out Thursday shows that more than half of student loan borrowers in the United States say they would not currently be able to make a single monthly debt payment if they were required to, a finding that comes amid mounting calls for universal student debt cancellation.

        The new poll, conducted this month by the firm Payitoff, also finds that 64% of U.S. student loan borrowers say they "would not make a payment until they are legally required to do so." The average monthly student loan payment in the U.S. is $460, according to the Education Data Initiative.

      • The NationWe’re in the Midst of a White-Collar Crime Wave

        Everywhere you look in America, crime is out of control. Whether it’s Elon Musk—the world’s richest man—cutting regulatory corners in public, professional son-in-law Jared Kushner getting a $2 billion payoff from the Saudis, hackers draining hundreds of millions of dollars out of a crypto game, or the meatpacking industry boosting profits through price gouging, the economy’s winners color outside the lines with increasing chutzpah. There’s a lot of evidence that the country is in the middle of an alarming white-collar crime wave, but, unlike street crime, the phenomenon doesn’t show up much in our political discourse. It’s time to change that.

      • FAIRBlaming Workers, Hiding Profits in Primetime Inflation Coverage

        Rising prices directly impact virtually the entire population, so it’s not surprising that there has been a constant drumbeat of reports in the corporate media laying out the factors contributing to inflation as well as its economic and political consequences. But while the media cite many legitimate factors, including pandemic-induced effects on supply and demand, their choices of which causes to emphasize can have political and economic consequences of their own.

      • Project CensoredDonor-Advised Funds Take Advantage of Tax Loopholes - Validated Independent News

        As reported by National Philanthropic Trust in a 2021 study, donor-advised funds grew massively between 2019 to 2020, with charitable assets increasing from $145 billion to nearly $160 billion.

      • Project CensoredState of the Billionaire Press: Concerns over Media Objectivity after Bill Gates Gives $319 Million to News Outlets - Validated Independent News

        One donation in awarded $3.6 million grant CNN’s reporting on gender inequality in developing nations. Another considerable donation was given to the Texas Tribune€ to increase social awareness and support for education reform in the state. The Gates family are supporters of the charter system, it is possible the Texas Tribune grant could inspire pro-charter school propaganda.

      • Project CensoredMcDonald’s Dodged Millions in Taxes with an IOU to Itself - Validated Independent News

        Instead of paying this amount using money, the UK McDonald’s subsidiary used three loan notes, similar to an IOU, and wrote this off as an expense. The notes were then passed from one McDonald’s subsidiary in Singapore to another, where yet again no tax was paid because of Singapore’s tax code. Next the notes were sent to a McDonald’s subsidiary in Delaware, which sent them back to the McDonald’s subsidiary in the UK that had originally issued them. Since an entity cannot owe itself money, the loan notes were promptly canceled. The UK McDonald’s subsidiary in essence got the rights to collect franchise fees while spending no money and paying no taxes. In fact, even though the UK McDonald’s subsidiary had a revenue of $493 million in 2018, it claimed that the franchise fees it acquired through the circular transaction scheme amortized, basically depreciated, by $283 million, and so it paid no taxes in the UK that year.

      • Counter PunchWestern-Led Globalization Might End, but the New Globalization Might Have an Eastern Face

        Australia and many countries in Asia, including India and Japan—which are otherwise reliable allies of the United States—are unwilling to break their economic and political ties with China and Russia. The 38 countries that did not vote at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on March 24 to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine included China and India; both of these countries “account for the majority of the world’s population,” Micklethwait and Wooldridge observe in their Bloomberg article. If the world bifurcates, “the second great age of globalization… [will come] to a catastrophic close,” the article states.

        In 2000, Micklethwait and Wooldridge published the manual on this wave of globalization called A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization. That book cheered on the liberalization of trade and finance, although its authors acknowledged that in this free market society that they championed, “businesspeople are the most obvious beneficiaries.” The inequalities generated by globalization would be lessened, they suggested, by the greater choices afforded to the consumers (although, as social inequality increased during the 2000s, consumers simply did not have the money to exercise their choices). When Micklethwait and Wooldridge wrote A Future Perfect, they both worked for the Economist, which has been one of the cheerleaders of Western-shaped globalization. Both Micklethwait and Wooldridge are now at Bloomberg, another significant voice of the business elites.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The NationThe New York Times Book Review at a Crossroads

        For more than a century, The New York Times Book Review has been one of the most influential, if not most august, institutions in American letters. This rarefied status is largely attributable to its endurance. Once upon a time, every major newspaper had a books section. Some, such as the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle, even had their own stand-alone supplements. But after decades of contraction in the news business, dedicated books divisions have all but perished. Among the daily newspapers, just the Book Review remains. Its only real competition now comes from general interest magazines that tend to cover roughly the same number of books in a year as the Book Review does in a month

      • FAIR‘This Portrayal of Urban Environment Definitely Did Fuel Fear’

        Janine Jackson interviewed the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Layla A. Jones about “Lights. Camera. Crime,” for the April 15, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Pro PublicaConditions at Mississippi’s Most Notorious Prison Violate the Constitution, DOJ Says

        Conditions at Mississippi’s notorious Parchman state prison violate the Constitution, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

        “Our investigation uncovered evidence of systemic violations that have generated a violent and unsafe environment for people incarcerated at Parchman,” Kristen Clarke, the U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights, said at a press conference. “We are committed to taking action that will ensure the safety of all people held at Parchman and other state prison facilities.”

      • Counter PunchObscene Outsourcing: the UK-Rwandan Refugee Deal

        In no small measure, the agreement between London and Kigali emulates the “Pacific Solution”, a venal response formulated by the Australian government to deter asylum seekers arriving by boat and create a two-tiered approach to assessing asylum claims.€  The centrepiece of the 2001 policy was the transfer of such arrivals to Pacific outposts in Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru, where they would have no guarantee of being settled in Australia.€  Despite being scrapped by the Labor Rudd government at the end of 2007, the policy was reinstated by a politically panicked Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012 under what was billed the Pacific Solution Mark II.

        The victory of the conservative Liberal-National Party coalition in the 2013 elections led to its most cruel manifestation.€  Operation Sovereign Borders, as the policy came to be known, cast a shroud of military secrecy over intercepting boats and initiating towaways.€  The crude, if simple slogan popularised by the Abbott government, was “Stop the Boats”.€  Such sadistic policies were justified as honourable ones: preventing drownings at sea; disrupting the “people smuggler model”.€  In truth, the approach merely redirected the pathways of arrival while doing little by way of discouraging the smugglers.

      • Counter PunchInternational Solidarity in Action: Lessons From a Path-Breaking US-Mexico Union Alliance
      • Counter PunchDoña Rosario: The Unfinished Legacy of a Fiery Mexican Mother and Activist

        Retired from public life in recent years, doña Rosario died Saturday, April 16, in her home city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. She was 95 years old.

        As a middle-aged housewife in Monterrey, doña Rosario’s activism began in 1975 after her son Jesús, who was a medical student linked to the guerrilla September 23 Communist League, was captured and disappeared by Mexican security forces.

      • The NationMcConnell and McCarthy Are Craven Trump Bootlickers, Part Infinity

        Like it or not, the Politico Playbook is a must-read for political writers, even if it’s occasionally a hate-read, so diligently does it parrot conventional wisdom (with a particular fondness for “Dems in disarray” stories). On Thursday, it gave its prime real estate to a “scoop” from New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, an excerpt from their new book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.

      • Counter PunchIs America a Sacrifice Zone?

        Learning out in the open

        My teaching was about our environmental tragedy: how corporate business money captured the government, academia, journalism, and the medical establishment, with the result of giving polluters a free hand. The consequences of this massive corruption, I told my students, was cancer and debilitating neurological diseases and ecocide pushing wildlife towards extinction — and the rising climate chaos.

      • Counter PunchYour Liberal Heroes Really Aren’t Heroes

        Former Student for a Democratic Society Dick Flaks once said€ “the people who are running society are the corporate liberals. They want to stabilize, not repress.”€ They want to stabilize business as usual and even extreme repression, as we saw under Trump, becomes destabilizing. It’s why you saw everyone from Wall Street CEOs like Chase’s Jamie Dimon to the anti-worker National Association of Manufacturers to the Wall St. Journal saying the 2020 election wasn’t stolen and denouncing the Capitol Riot.

        The ruling class prefers corporate liberals like Joe Biden or Jeb Bush than a lunatic like Trump at the helm. Unfortunately, for the rest of us and fate of human existence on this planet, they also prefer having oil and gas as part of their “business as usual.” This is why Democrats like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were top recipients of oil and gas dollars. It’s also why Manchin and Sinema and 50 Republican senators have so much sway over our political system. The oil and gas industry gave over $139 million to both parties into the 2020 election.

      • HungaryOrbán's private audience with the Pope

        Pope Francis received the Hungarian Prime Minister at a private audience.

      • HungaryThe Hungarian-American pastor who held services a block away from the White House while working as an FBI agent

        Stephen Sziarto (Sziártó István) was born in 1910 to Hungarian immigrants in the southern part of West Virginia. He was fluent in Hungarian, and despite never having visited Hungary, his dual Hungarian-American identity stuck with him throughout his adventurous life. He worked as a Hungarian Reformed pastor, a special agent for the FBI, and even an entrepreneur in forestry. How did a talented boy born into a coal-mining family become a prominent member of the Hungarian-American community?

      • Mint Press NewsBen Norton on the US-Backed Coup in Pakistan, Neverending War in Ukraine, and a Multipolar World
      • Counter PunchWas Imran Khan Trying to Address the Plunder of Poor Countries by the Wealthy?

        This piece led noted author and activist Maude Barlow to tweet: “Wonder if this is why he was thrown over…”

        I was just looking at Khan’s statement to the UN General Assembly from last September and it’s quite remarkable:

      • ABCRussia's latest sanctions target US power players including Kamala Harris and Mark Zuckerberg

        The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday indefinitely barred 29 more Americans from entering Russia, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in what it said was retaliation for "ever-expanding anti-Russian sanctions" by the United States.

        Addressing the latest Russian sanctions at Thursday's press briefing, State Department spokesperson Ned Price -- who was also targeted -- said it was "nothing less than an accolade to have earned the ire of a government that lies to its own people, brutalizes its neighbors, and seeks to create a world where freedom and liberty are put on the run -- and if they had their way, extinguished."

      • Counter PunchThe Deferentials

        Suppose that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Cuban president Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez€ issued a joint announcement stating that North Korea had accepted an invitation to install some of its nuclear missiles in Cuba. The announcement made it clear that although the missiles could reach any American city, they would be entirely for the defense of Cuba, not for the purpose of attacking the United States.€ 

        There is no question but that as sovereign and independent countries, North Korea and Cuba have the “right” to enter into a defensive alliance with each other, just as Ukraine has the “right” to enter into an alliance with the United States or with the U.S. government’s Cold War dinosaur NATO.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Common DreamsSocial Media Giants' Climate Misinformation Policies Leave Users 'In the Dark': Report

        Weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified disinformation as a key driver of the planetary crisis, three advocacy groups published a report Wednesday ranking social media companies on their efforts to ensure users can get accurate data about the climate on their platforms—and found that major companies like Twitter and Facebook are failing to combat misinformation.

        The report, titled In the Dark: How Social Media Companies' Climate Disinformation Problem is Hidden from the Public and released by Friends of the Earth (FOE), Greenpeace, and online activist network Avaaz, detailed whether the companies have met 27 different benchmarks to stop the spread of anti-science misinformation and ensure transparency about how inaccurate data is analyzed.

      • DeSmogSocial Media Giants Get a Failing Grade on Climate Disinformation

        The first page of Menlo Park, California’s 2030 Climate Action Plan shows a map predicting which parts of the city will be underwater by the end of the century, flooded by the rising waters of San Francisco Bay. The famed headquarters of Facebook’s parent company Meta appears as an island, the roads leading to 1 Hacker Way erased by a sea of blue.

        Sea level rise is just one imminent threat for Silicon Valley. Concerns about the upcoming wildfire season are looming over California, with over 95 percent of the state experiencing severe or extreme drought. Climate scientists warn future years may bring wildfire smoke at levels the San Francisco Chronicle calls “practically unbearable.”

      • The HillObama points finger at tech companies for disinformation in major speech

        Former President Obama placed blame on tech companies for failing to address the disinformation problem he said the industry has amplified during a speech Thursday at Stanford University.

        The new information ecosystem, fueled by the rise of dominant social media platforms, is “turbocharging some of humanity’s worst impulses,” he said in the roughly hourlong speech.

      • The VergeObama’s plans to fight disinformation are better than most

        A former president of the United States has their pick of big problems to tackle once they leave office. Jimmy Carter worked on housing. Bill Clinton spent much of his time working to fight HIV and AIDS. Barack Obama, who has been out of office for six years, has so far led a fairly quiet post-presidency. But in recent weeks, he has begun drawing attention to an issue that advisers say has become increasingly important to him: disinformation, and the broader problems with our fractured information ecosystem.

      • SalonLibs of TikTok: The Twitter troll who took Trump's place

        How many millions of words have been exhausted by pundits trying to figure out what appeal Donald Trump has to the MAGA base? For years, theories were floated about his "populism" and the way that his run on "The Apprentice" deluded people into thinking he was actually a successful businessman. Much digital ink was spilled wondering how his followers didn't notice his comical comb-over, orange make-up and the massive gap between his self-image as a tough manly man and the doughy senior citizen that he actually is. The curiosity lingers: What accounts for the charisma that his followers see that is utterly invisible to people with any modicum of decency?

        Turns out the secret to Trump's success was not all that mysterious and staring us right in the face, 240 illiterate letters at a time: The man is a relentless Twitter troll.

        So "relentless Twitter troll" is now the main skillset required not just to skyrocket to the top of the GOP attention economy, but to become the de facto party leader. When Republicans think of who they want as their leader for both the policy agenda and political strategy, the main thing they're now looking for is someone with that right combination of total moral depravity and desperation for attention that drives them to abuse social media in the worst possible way.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Patrick BreyerShowdown on DSA: Pirates demand protection of fundamental digital rights against censorship and espionage

        On Friday, representatives of the EU Parliament, Commission and Council will meet for what is expected to be the last round of negotiations on the EU Digital Services Act (DSA). After MEPs from the Pirate Party were able to successfully make important contributions to the protection of the privacy of users in the parliamentary position, it will now be decided where the EU governments under the leadership of the French Council Presidency are willing to go along.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Don't Extradite AssangeLetter from Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace laureate

        A court in Great Britain ordered the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. This decision leads to a death sentence for defending freedom of the press.We call on all media, journalists who fight for freedom to speak out and demand the freedom of Julian Assange who with civic courage, publishes US documents that violate human and peoples’ rights.Allowing Julian to be extradited is a threat to freedom of the press and a grave warning to those who question the repressive policies and serious violations of human and peoples’ rights committed by the United States.Julian Assange is a victim of US policy of oppression for defending freedom of the press.We reject the decision of the British justice system and demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Common DreamsUnions Say Amazon Should Return New York Taxpayer Money Over Anti-Worker Conduct

        Unions representing more than two million workers on Thursday urged New York's attorney general to investigate Amazon's eligibility for a tax incentive program that is contingent upon the company's adherence to labor laws, while demanding that the tech titan pay back $400 million in credits for allegedly violating those laws.

        "Every way you can think of the typical union busting stuff—they've been doing it all."

      • Common DreamsTemporary But 'Crucial' Win as Judge Blocks Kentucky Abortion Ban

        Reproductive rights advocates on Thursday welcomed a federal judge's ruling that temporarily blocked Kentucky's new anti-choice law, allowing the state's two clinics that offered abortions to continue doing so for the next two weeks.

        "This is a win but it is only a first step."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Labor Movement Is About the Fight for True Democracy

        This spring, we find ourselves in precarious waters.

      • Common DreamsDems Chant 'Black Votes Are Under Attack' as Florida GOP Rams Through DeSantis' Map

        Florida's Republican-controlled House voted along party lines Thursday to approve a congressional map drawn by the office of right-wing Gov. Ron DeSantis, a move that came after state Democrats staged a sit-in on the chamber's floor to condemn the redistricting plan as unconstitutional and racist.

        The map, which cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, now heads to DeSantis' desk for his signature—a mere formality given that he preapproved the district lines at the behest of the state Legislature's Republican leaders, who ceded control of the process.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Living in Poverty: The First and Worst Hit by Pandemics of Every Sort

        The 54th anniversary of the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., just passed. Dr. King was shot down while organizing low-wage sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. At that time, he was building the Poor People's Campaign, an effort to organize America's poor into a force to be reckoned with. In his opposition to the Vietnam War and his promotion of a campaign to lift the load of poverty, he suggested that racism, poverty, and militarism could only be dealt with by uniting millions of poor people to change the very structure of our national life.

      • TechdirtDOJ Agrees To Return Cash Seized From Company Transporting Proceeds From Sales Of Legal Weed

        In February, cash transport business Empyreal Logistics sued the DOJ and a California sheriff for the lifting of nearly $1.2 million in cash from its drivers during two traffic stops. Empyreal, which notes that it follows all federal guidance for the transport of cash generated by legal marijuana sales, was hit twice in California, resulting in officers walking away with a whole lot of legal cash (and bringing in the feds to ensure they could take home up to 80% of the take). Other Empyreal drivers were pulled over in Kansas, during which $165,000 was seized by law enforcement and handed over to the DEA.

      • TechdirtCourt Tells Cops That Legally Owned Guns Are Evidence Of Nothing, Order Return Of Seized Money

        The opportunistic actions of drug warriors has often been encouraged by courts, which have been willing to grant considerable leeway to law enforcement, even when their articulated suspicion is contradictory or could be read to cover nearly 100% of the American public. (And when that fails, there’s always the ever-popular “odor of marijuana” claim which generally can’t be disproven in court.)

      • Common DreamsDrug Policy Alliance Applauds Biden's Embrace of Harm Reduction

        A leading U.S. drug policy reform advocate on Thursday welcomed the inclusion of harm reduction policies in President Joe Biden's inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, a plan that comes amid a record surge in fentanyl-driven overdose deaths.

        "We must embrace the evidence-based public health approaches we know work and save lives."

      • YLEHistoric Wolt takeover deal worth half the value following share price collapse

        The all-stock deal was reported to be worth around seven billion euros, with Wolt saying at the time the takeover would generate about 600 million euros in tax revenue for the Finnish state "when the shares exchanged in the transaction become taxable".

        However, because the deal was made in the form of a share exchange — meaning Wolt's owners would receive payment in the form of shares in the acquiring company Doordash — the value of the acquisition has since almost halved.

      • BBCThe sex myth that's centuries old

        And many doctors worldwide offer highly profitable hymen repair as a surgery for women who have had pre-marital sex and fear the consequences if discovered. As I wrote my book – a year before politicians decided to outlaw the procedure in the UK, in January 2022 – I emailed a London surgeon about virginity tests. His assistant told me that I'd be able to get a medical report confirming I had an intact hymen after a €£300 ($390) consultation, if I had one. If I didn't, a €£5,400 ($7,000) hymen repair surgery awaited me – after which I would be issued with the same medical report.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • RE: My common Gemini crawler pitfalls

        Yeah... that's my crawler. I shall fix it. Upon investigation, it seems to be the issue of the capsule. For full transparency, I'll share the DB queries and command that I run to figure out what's going on.

      • Bad Bot?

        At precisely 2022-04-21T06:02:02.444-0000, a Swedish IP starting hitting this Gemini server. Over the course of the following 133 *milli*seconds, the same IP sent no less than five hundred thirty-nine requests. 539. In 133 milliseconds.

        With this limited data, I have to assume that the the source is 1 of 3 things, most likely the first:

        - A buggy bot - A buggy client, possibly someone writing a new one? - Someone attempting a DOS attack

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hollywood ReporterCNN+ Is Dead, But Its Owner Isn’t Giving Up Global News Ambitions

        The subscription streaming service, which launched on March 29 and will shut down on April 30, was misaligned with the long-term strategy outlined by Discovery executives, who took over WarnerMedia just a week or so after the service launched, and who plan to create a super-service that combines entertainment and news into one compelling package.

      • The VergeCNN Plus is shutting down only a month after it launched

        The network seemed to be doomed from the very beginning. CNN imagined the service as a new way of thinking about news coverage, with new personality-driven shows and access to some of CNN’s best original series. It had a somewhat confusing relationship with the parent network; CNN Plus didn’t offer a streaming version of the linear channel and instead tried to build a different, more personalized version of the news report. The company was also attempting to figure out how to bring news content to a more on-demand audience and make the news a more interactive process.

      • The Telegraph UKCNN shuts down streaming service after just one month

        The service topped 100,000 subscribers in the first week after its March 29 launch. However, it was used by fewer than 10,000 people at any given time. It cost $5.99 (€£4.60) per month, the same as competitor Fox News’s paid streaming service.

      • The Telegraph UKThe Obamas and Spotify part ways after they fail to impress streaming bosses

        The former first family's production company, Higher Ground, has opted not to sign a new deal with the audio giant in favour of releasing more content on other platforms.

      • The NationIn Defense of Winning Time

        HBO’s Winning Time, a bawdy, untethered, stealthily political dramatization of the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, is a critical and audience success, but not everyone is taping up the purple-and-gold streamers. The series, based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime (a title that HBO, of course, was not going to use), is like Adult Swim for sports junkies. All our favorite “characters” are there: Magic, Kareem, Jerry West, Pat Riley, and—standing astride them all, armed with a toupee, a pair of plaid slacks, and a lecherous gleam—the franchise’s owner, Dr. Jerry Buss. This story, in the hands of filmmaker Adam McKay, just off the Oscar-nominated satire Don’t Look Up, is visually compelling, and amid the slam dunks, no-look passes, and adult situations, there is sly commentary about wealth, fame, and racism in the 1980s. (The recent episode about Magic and Larry Bird is particularly sharp. Using the Coup’s “My Favorite Mutiny” for the opening theme song is just icing on a surprisingly substantial cake.)

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Creative CommonsEpisode 24: Open Culture VOICES – George Oates

          Welcome to episode 24 of Open Culture VOICES! VOICES is a vlog series of short interviews with open GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) experts from around the world. The Open Culture Program at Creative Commons aims to promote better sharing of cultural heritage in GLAMs collections. With Open Culture VOICES, we’re thrilled to bring you various perspectives from dozens of experts speaking in many different languages on what it’s like to open up heritage content online. In this episode, we hear from George Oates, Executive Director of the Flickr Foundation. George is an Australian-born designer and entrepreneur best known for being the first designer of the photo sharing website Flickr and for creating the Flickr Commons program. She’s been working in the cultural heritage sector since 2007, and is increasingly seen as a go-to expert on digital archives.

        • Creative CommonsMeet the Judges #CCSharesCulture: João Pombeiro

          Creative Commons’ Open Culture Remix Art Contest #CCSharesCulture is open until 30 April 2022. So there’s still plenty of time to remix existing art and turn it into something fresh and exciting under the theme “Love Culture? Share Culture!”

        • Creative CommonsEpisode 23: Open Culture VOICES — Catherine Eagleton

          In this episode, we hear from Dr. Catherine (Katie) Eagleton, Director of Libraries and Museums at the University of St Andrews. Throughout her career, Katie’s work has combined library, archival and museum collections. Moving into the cultural heritage sector after completion of her PhD at the University of Cambridge, she became a curator in the British Museum, developing new projects on global history and the history of Africa, and then Head of Asian and African Collections for the British Library, initiating many large digitization projects, international collaborations, and service improvement projects.

        • Torrent FreakSpanish Pirate Site Operator Gets Two-Year Prison Sentence, Mother Walks Free

          A Spanish man who operated five pirate sites, offering a wide variety of content, has received a two-year prison sentence from a Madrid court. At trial, the parties agreed to suspend the sentence on the condition that he pays €500,000 in damages and stays out of trouble. The accusations against the man's mother were also withdrawn as a result.

        • Torrent FreakMPA Wins Piracy Battle, US Court Orders PrimeWire to Shut Down

          Several Hollywood studios and Netflix have prevailed in their battle to shut down pirate streaming site PrimeWire. Despite PrimeWire recently removing all links to pirated movies and TV shows and losing more than 60% of its traffic in a month, a US court found the streaming site liable for copyright infringement. PrimeWire's domains will now be seized.

        • TechdirtAngry Joe Threatens To Sue CBS Over Continued DMCA Claims On ‘Halo’ TV Show Review Videos

          Angry Joe, real name Jose Antonio Vargas, has appeared on our pages several times in the past. In addition to being a famed YouTube creator with a huge following, Angry Joe also regularly rages against the DMCA machine. Whether he’s criticizing Twitch’s takedown policies, swearing off Nintendo for being bullies, or battling CBS over television show reviews that were taken down, he tends to fight the good fight.

        • TechdirtCourt Says Carl Malamud Can Keep Freeing The Law

          We’ve written a bunch about Carl Malamud, who has devoted so much of his time and energy towards freeing the law. While that may sound ridiculous that the law needs to be “freed,” Malamud noticed, before most others, different forces that were looking to lock up (and often from) the actual text of the laws. And Carl, rightly, believes that everyone should be able to read the law freely, otherwise how can people be expected to know what’s legal and what’s not?

        • TechdirtAppeals Court Says That Scraping Public Data Off A Website Does Not Violate Hacking Law

          For years now we’ve been following cases related to scraping data off of websites and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The CFAA is an extremely poorly drafted law, that has been stretched by both law enforcement and civil plaintiffs alike to argue that all sorts of things are “unauthorized access” and therefore hacking. We’ve covered many of these cases over the years. The courts have at least started to push back on some of the more extreme interpretations of the law, though it’s still problematic.

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