Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 10/12/2022: KDE Frameworks 5.101

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Simon JosefssonHow to complicate buying a laptop - Simon Josefsson’s blog

        I’m about to migrate to a new laptop, having done a brief pre-purchase review of options on Fosstodon and reaching a decision to buy the NovaCustom NV41. Given the rapid launch and decline of Mastodon instances, I thought I’d better summarize my process and conclusion on my self-hosted blog until the fediverse self-hosting situation improves.

        Since 2010 my main portable computing device has been the Lenovo X201 that replace the Dell Precision M65 that I bought in 2006. I have been incredibly happy with the X201, even to the point that in 2015 when I wanted to find a replacement, I couldn’t settle on a decision and eventually realized I couldn’t articulate what was wrong with the X201 and decided to just buy another X201 second-hand for my second office. There is still no deal-breaker with the X201, and I’m doing most of my computing on it including writing this post. However, today I can better articulate what is lacking with the X201 that I desire, and the state of the available options on the market has improved since my last attempt in 2015.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • GamingOnLinuxWindows compatibility layer Wine v8.0 has a first Release Candidate out

        Another year is coming to a close and so the team behind Wine, the Windows compatibility layer, are readying up for another major stable release with version 8.0. For those just joining us: Wine is one of the big parts of Steam Play Proton to run Windows games on Linux desktop and Steam Deck.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 9to5LinuxKDE Frameworks 5.101 Released with Plasma Wayland and Multi-Monitor Improvements

          Coming hot on the heels of KDE Gear 22.12, the KDE Frameworks 5.101 release brings easier creation and setup of environment variables for apps in the properties dialog and KMenuEdit, a feature that will also land in the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.27 desktop environment series, new icon for the SimpleScreenRecorder app in the Breeze Icon theme, as well as a larger corner radius in Breeze-themed Plasma pop-ups to match the corner radius of windows.

          KDE Frameworks 5.101 also updates the separator in various scrollable System Settings pages above the footer buttons to match the separator located above the “Highlight Changed Settings” button on the sidebar’s footer, improves the performance and speed of drawing UI elements in the Plasma desktop and QtQuick-based apps for lower power usage, and removes the “Search For” section in Dolphin’s Places panel.

        • KDEKDE Frameworks 5.101.0
          KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.101.0.

          KDE Frameworks are 83 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks release announcement.

        • Volker KrauseKDE Frameworks 6 Branching

          We are nearing an important milestone in the KDE Frameworks 6 development, branching and thus splitting the development of KDE Frameworks 5 and 6 is getting really close now. That’s not the only noteworthy news from the KF6 work though.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • OpenSource.comHow to use the Linux file manager for GNOME 2

          Before GNOME 3 there was (unsurprisingly) GNOME 2, which had gained an ardent fanbase during its reign as one of the common default Linux desktops. The Mate project (named after the yerba mate plant) began as an effort to continue the GNOME 2 desktop, at first using GTK 2 (the toolkit GNOME 2 was based upon) and later incorporating GTK 3. Today, Mate delivers a familiar desktop environment that looks and feels exactly like GNOME 2 did, using the GTK 3 toolkit. Part of that desktop is the Caja file manager, a simple but robust application that helps you sort and organize your data.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Open Data

        • Creative CommonsOur Work in Policy at CC: Data

          Along with promoting open data, we also believe that other ways to share data better can help build the commons and support our mission of better sharing: sharing that is inclusive, just and equitable — where everyone has wide opportunity to access data and to contribute their own data as they see fit. Of course, not all sharing of data is beneficial; for instance, collection and use of one’s personal data can undermine a person’s choice, autonomy, and fundamental rights and raise real concerns. At the same time, there are other ways to share data beyond merely open data — such as by giving individuals control over sharing of their own data — that hold the potential for meaningful benefits.

  • Leftovers

    • BBCFired Twitter cleaning staff 'treated like garbage'

      The BBC spoke to four cleaners who say they were fired from Twitter on Monday - their interviews were conducted in Spanish.

      Adrianna Villarreal, who worked for Twitter for four years, said she's now worried she won't have enough money to feed her family over Christmas.

    • Counter PunchWords Ache, But Indifference Kills

      Words are not the enemy … stupidity is. And on that score today the United States stands proudly at the head of the class.€  Enter Kanye West, Nick Fuentes and the devoted dupes who relish them as seers of sort; communal gifts from on-high who engender insight, experience and vision. In reality, they add nothing to the challenge of the marketplace of ideas but a call to the rest of us to be worse than we actually are, and can be.

      For the dutiful apologists who remain in his noticeably flaccid ministry, Kanye West’s salvation finds his “recent” descent into madness to be but another, fresher version of his legendary lyrical prowess. To others, his appearance in cotton black-face mask with salute for Hitler’s skillful complexity is little more than a new public runway stroll. Or is that troll? Spare me the debate. West is an accomplished unabashed lunatic. “But I’m gross” says he, looking in the mirror. “I can’t even stomach myself.” Agreed. His words….Not mine. Little more need be said.

    • Terence EdenData Becomes Her

      I never knew my mother. OK, no one ever really knows their mum. But I never even got to meet mine. She made it clear at the hospital that she'd smother me to death if she was ever left alone with a mewling baby. Looking back, I think I might have preferred that fate.

      I never tried contacting her in my teens - even when things got really bad. I sometimes typed her name into Facebook or LinkedIn, but always chickened out before pressing enter. If she didn't want me, then I didn't need her. A well-meaning friend got me one of those DNA kits for my birthday. It sat unopened for years before I worked up the courage to throw it out. I couldn't stand the thought of any connection between me and my bio-mum.


      Despite her death occurring in an NHS hospital, apparently that data hadn't dripped its way down to her GP. Nor, judging from the next flurry of alerts, had it escaped the silo and made it to her dentist, physiotherapist, and oncologist. In a world of endless data leaks, my mum's death just wasn't viral.

      As the messages began popping up from various medical facilities, I started to build up a picture of my mother's various ailments. Of course, the messages didn't contain too much personal data - but there was enough to know which health professionals she was visiting. She was not a well woman. Either that, or a hypochondriac. Although, given what killed her in the end, maybe not.

    • Science

      • QuilletteHow Do They Know This?

        These are perhaps the worst cases of official statistics being twisted. Bad data is more often the result of human frailty and flawed methods. A lot of statistics are based on surveys, but people do not always tell the truth. They greatly under-report how much alcohol they drink, for example, due to a combination of shame and forgetfulness (we know they under-report thanks to alcohol sales receipts and the miracle of doubly labelled water).

      • ACMRethinking Silicon Valley: Stewart Brand's Lost Journal

        During the fall of 2000 I visited the Special Collection room in Green Library at Stanford University, eager to read Stewart Brand's personal journals. I was researching the political and cultural world surrounding three computer science laboratories that were located adjacent to Stanford during the decade during which the technologies that led to the creation of the personal computer industry and the modern Internet emerged.

        On my initial visit I came away disappointed and it would take almost another two decades before I discovered a missing piece of the puzzle that reframes the early history and impact of Silicon Valley.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • ABCFlint water crisis charges dismissed against ex-Gov. Snyder

        Snyder, a Republican who left office in 2019, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. He was the first person in state history to be charged for alleged crimes related to service as governor.

        Snyder also is the eighth person to have a Flint water case thrown out after the Supreme Court's unanimous June opinion.

      • Pro PublicaEricsson Partnered With Girl Scouts to Push 5G Technology

        Beyond developing their camping skills, participating in a food drive to aid the hungry and donating pajamas for seniors, Girl Scouts across America this year were offered a new way to earn a special uniform patch: learning about the wonders of 5G cellphone technology and, in some cases, promoting it.

        The opportunity came courtesy of Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications giant, which sponsored the “Ericsson Limited Edition 5G & IoT” (Internet of Things) patch program. The program, still available on at least one Girl Scout website, targets all age levels, from Daisies (kindergarten-age Scouts) to Ambassadors (those in high school), with an array of activities intended to “introduce Girl Scouts to 5G and the Internet of Things.”

      • Pro PublicaShould Asbestos Facilities Be Exempt From Surprise Inspections?

        As more workers speak up about being exposed to asbestos in chlorine plants, public health leaders are questioning whether these facilities should be allowed to be in a special program that shields them from scrutiny by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

        OSHA’s Star Program, one of its so-called Voluntary Protection Programs, exempts plants with model safety systems from random, unannounced inspections. At least four of the eight chlorine factories that currently use asbestos are in the program, according to OSHA’s website.

      • FAIRJen Deerinwater on Indian Child Welfare Act
      • Counter PunchHow a Nuclear Site Was Allowed to Poison Its Own Workers


        If you thought breathing in microscopic drops of COVID-19 was bad for your lungs, try inhaling a little of the vapor emanating from the exhaust pipes of Hanford’s burping waste tanks. For years, workers at Hanford—which turned out unfathomable amounts of plutonium for the US’s atomic weaponry, and is now home to the most expensive environmental clean-up ever—received mixed messages about whether or not they should wear respirators while working in areas that could potentially expose them to noxious, even radioactive fumes.

    • Proprietary

      • Linux Apps Support Comes to Cameyo Virtual App Delivery Service -- Redmond Channel Partner

        Cameyo's Virtual App Delivery service has extended its support to Linux applications, the company announced on Wednesday.

        The Cary, N.C.-based virtualization services provider already lets organizations bypass traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) approaches with Windows by letting organizations run Windows apps as progressive Web apps in a browser. Now, Linux applications can be accessed through Cameyo's service, too.

    • Security

      • Matthew Garrettmjg59 | On-device WebAuthn and what makes it hard to do well

        WebAuthn improves login security a lot by making it significantly harder for a user's credentials to be misused - a WebAuthn token will only respond to a challenge if it's issued by the site a secret was issued to, and in general will only do so if the user provides proof of physical presence[1]. But giving people tokens is tedious and also I have a new laptop which only has USB-C but does have a working fingerprint reader and I hate the aesthetics of the Yubikey 5C Nano, so I've been thinking about what WebAuthn looks like done without extra hardware.

        Let's talk about the broad set of problems first. For this to work you want to be able to generate a key in hardware (so it can't just be copied elsewhere if the machine is compromised), prove to a remote site that it's generated in hardware (so the remote site isn't confused about what security assertions you're making), and tie use of that key to the user being physically present (which may range from "I touched this object" to "I presented biometric evidence of identity"). What's important here is that a compromised OS shouldn't be able to just fake a response. For that to be possible, the chain between proof of physical presence to the secret needs to be outside the control of the OS.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • TechdirtState TikTok Bans Are A Dumb Performance And Don’t Fix The Actual Underlying Problem

          For decades, U.S. politicians leaders utterly refused to support most meaningful privacy protections for consumers. They opposed any nationwide privacy law, however straightforward. They opposed privacy rules for broadband ISPs. They also fought tooth and nail to ensure the nation’s top privacy enforcement agency, the FTC, lacked the authority, staff, funds, or resources to actually do its job.

        • TechdirtThe US Finally Has A Chance For A Federal Privacy Law. It Should Take It

          Strong privacy rights are a crucial first step to a healthy and productive online ecosystem. The European Union figured this out years ago, enacting the General Data Protection Regulation. In contrast, the U.S., the land of tech innovation, is tripping over its own feet at the finish line and hoping nobody notices we’ll be without a consistent and consequential law protecting internet users for at least a few more years. It’s well past time to put politics and personal gripes aside and bring up the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) for a vote in the House of Representatives before the end of the year.

        • Counter PunchJ Edgar's Legacy of Surveillance

          Of course, the gathering of US residents’ personal data by the US government is not a new phenomenon. Police informants and other types of infiltrators have been employed by law enforcement agencies at all levels of policing. However, this activity became more widespread and certainly more centralized after the creation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation. However, it wasn’t truly the monolithic, invasive and outside-the-law agency it became until J. Edgar Hoover became its director in 1924. That appointment symbolized the beginning of the United States as a police state. Despite the media presentation of the FBI as a police agency going after bank robbers, bootleggers, and other criminals during Prohibition USA, Hoover’s focus was the growing leftist influence in the country. According to the agency’s propaganda, which is repeated on the current FBI wikipedia page, Hoover focused on the Ku Klux Klan and various pro-nazi groups in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. The truth is somewhat different.

          That truth is the subject of anthropologist David Price’s newest book. Titled The American Surveillance State: How the U.S. Spies on Dissent, Price’s text is a collection of case studies detailing US government spying on its citizens. Utilizing the advent of wiretapping as a means of investigation, J. Edgar Hoover institutionalized government surveillance and used it primarily against left-leaning and anti-racist individuals and organizations. Author Price filed dozens of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests in order to write this book. Like anyone requesting these materials knows, it is both a painstaking and often frustrating process. After all, it is the same government that compiled these files that determines whether or not a requester gets access to them. Likewise, it is up to that government as to how much of the information provided will be redacted or just not included. In his discussions of the process, Price makes these aspects clear and occasionally questions the government response to some of his requests.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Eesti RahvusringhäälingEstonia completes cyber lab to enhance Ukrainian Armed Forces' resilience

        A cyber lab to enhance the resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' (UAF) cyber defense units was installed by Estonia's e-Governance Academy (eGA) and CybExer Technologies this week as part of an EU-funded project.

      • MeduzaMediazona: Almost 300,000 Ukrainians received Russian citizenship between February and October. Many had no choice. — Meduza

        Between the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine and the end of October, almost 300,000 Ukrainians received Russian citizenship, the independent outlet Mediazona reported on Friday, citing data from Russia’s Interior Ministry.

      • TechdirtDenver PD Sued After SWAT Team Raid Of 77-Year-Old Woman’s House Based On Nothing More Than Phone Pings

        Once again, law enforcement’s enthusiasm for violent warrant service has combined with its disinterest in responsible policing to result in a civil rights lawsuit. Here’s how that all played out, as reported by The Denver Post. (h/t Techdirt reader BentFranklin)

      • Counter PunchThe Americans Started the US War with Russia

        The ‘American view’ towards the war, informed domestically by an absence of the political violence that the US so regularly visits upon innocents around the globe, rank ideology, state propaganda, ignorance of world history, and the narrow economic interests of American oligarchs, imagines that it is fighting Frankenstein’s monster when it is that monster. What is the strategic interest of Ukraine to the US? More importantly, is it worth a potentially world-ending war?

        In recent history, the US could have abided by the 1991 promise made by the George H.W. Bush administration to keep NATO away from Russia’s border. The US could have negotiated a security agreement with the Russians— as they have regularly requested over the last three decades. The US could have made Ukraine abide by the Minsk Accord(s) to which the Ukrainians and Russians had in principle agreed. There have been so many requests from the Russians to negotiate a lasting peace with the US that there is no convincing argument that the US didn’t want this war.

      • Counter Punch"Amerika": Republi-Fascism, Despicable De-Railing Dems, Constitutional Termination, Lucy and Charlie, and Revolution

        I ran across this interesting fact while leafing through the British historian Martin Gilbert’s€ massive history€ of the Second World War.

        Some might find this strange, given the fact that Hitler’s Third Reich was formally at war with the United States between December 8, 1941, and April May 7, 1945.

      • MeduzaChechen opposition politician: blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov is alive — Meduza

        Chechen blogger Tumso Abudrakhmanov, whose death was reported last week, is alive, according to Prime Minister of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Akhmed Zakayev. The publication Kavkaz.Realii reported the news.

      • MeduzaBBC and Mediazona confirm 10,000 Russian soldiers dead in Ukraine — Meduza

        The BBC’s Russian Service, Mediazona, and volunteers working with open source data have confirmed that, as of December 9, 10,002 Russian service members have been killed in Ukraine.

      • Meduza‘What he’s accused of simply can’t be true’ Prominent graphic designer Grigory Kochenov fell to his death from his balcony in Nizhny Novgorod during a police search — Meduza

        Grigory Kochenov, the 41-year-old creative director of Agima, a large Russian IT company, fell to his death from his balcony in Nizhny Novgorod while police officers were supposedly conducting a search of his apartment. Local Telegram channels NiMash and 112 have suggested that the search took place in connection with a “pedophilia” investigation, but no formal charges against Kochenov could be confirmed. According to NiMash, Kochenov opened the door, signed the search warrant, and let the police into his apartment. Then he allegedly went to the balcony and fell out.

      • Counter PunchThe US Imperium Garrisons Australia

        The Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) is really a chat fest held between Australian Ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs along with the US Secretaries of State and Defense, accompanied by officials of touted seniority.€  Advertised as an occasion for the states “to discuss and share perspectives and approaches on major global and regional political issues, and to deepen bilateral foreign security and defence cooperation,” it is more accurately an occasion for Washington to keep an eye on its satellite.

        The occasion would have been a disappointment for sceptics of the US-Australian alliance, one that has seen Australians join, with somnambulistic facility, failed distant, needless wars.€  Even with a change of government in Canberra, it is clear that the US security lobby remains ascendant, tranquilising Australian politicians with the virtues of the alliance.

      • Counter PunchManifesting the New Iran

        A basic truth exists, if you don’t know where you are going any direction you choose is the right one. Simply toppling the Shah without working on what was to replace his regime has resulted in forty-three years of a religious dictatorship controlled by fake Muslims, traitors, and thieves. So, having a clear vision of the New Iran is critical, primarily to prevent more suffering for the Iranian people and avoiding the hijacking of this uprising.

        Below is the outline of the New Iran through peaceful regime change...

      • Counter PunchIsrael’s Nuclear Weapons ‘Deliberate Ambiguity’

        In 1996, the International Court of Justice declared that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.” The threat to use nuclear weapons is thinly veiled by Obama, Trump, Putin, and Netanyahu, as in “all options are on the table”.

        Israel gained access to nuclear weapons production in 1957 through French socialist governments. Ben-Gurion was passionately committed to nuclear weaponization and he had total control over his party “like that of a Mafia don” [1] Current estimates (Janes, SIPRI) are that Israel possesses between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads, deployable by land, air, or sea. Israel’s Jericho I, II and III long-range surface-to-surface missiles are nuclear capable and have a range up to 7,800km (4,800 miles). Israel’s nuclear warheads can also be deployed by American-supplied F-16 jets. Germany subsidized the sale of Dolphin-class submarines to Israel, partly as Holocaust reparation(!). The submarines are capable of carrying nuclear warheads

      • Meduza'We know what Russian captivity means' Mariupol survivor Ivan Gonchar entered an occupation checkpoint in April. His family hasn't seen him since. — Meduza
      • MeduzaNovoshakhtinsk shooter claims having mistaken Russian police for Ukrainian troops — Meduza

        Pavel Nikolin, the Wagner Group deserter who opened fire on local police officers in Novoshakhtinsk, a mining city in the Rostov region, has appeared before the court in Rostov-on-Don.

      • MeduzaMassive fire sweeps through mall in Moscow suburbs — Meduza

        A fire broke out at a mall in Russia’s Moscow region at around 6:00 am on Friday morning. At least one person was reportedly killed.

      • MeduzaOne dead after flames engulf hardware store in Moscow suburbs Authorities say fire caused by safety violations — Meduza

        Early in the morning on December 9, a fire broke out at the Mega Khimki shopping center in the suburbs of Moscow. The fire started in OBI, a home improvement store, at about 6:00 am. It grew to encompass the entire building and caused multiple explosions before it was extinguished. By 8:25, it was contained within an area of roughly 7,000 square meters (about 75,000 square feet). OBI was almost completely destroyed, though the other buildings in the complex were not damaged.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • The EconomistChina’s deep-water fishing fleet is the world’s most rapacious

        A third differentiating feature is the fleet’s rapaciousness and lack of scruple in an industry notorious for both. In its wake comes overfishing, some of which is outright illegal; the collapse of local stocks; smuggling; links to organised crime; and the forced labour and general mistreatment of those who serve on the boats.

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: The Mask of Order

        + The Washington Post examined 1500 different scenarios for the planet’s climate future. The results weren’t encouraging: “When we look at those scenarios that have the temperature closing out the century below 1.5C, there is a big problem. With their dramatic plunges in greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2025 — just three years away — some of the scenarios, which were finalized in 2021 at the latest, increasingly conflict with reality. After all, the world just saw emissions rise in 2022…”

        + According to the latest data from NOAA, global heat content of the oceans has reached another record high…

      • Counter PunchRefreeze the Arctic

        For eons the world’s biggest reflector of incoming solar radiation has been the Arctic’s multi-year ice pack 10-20-30 feet thick. Now it’s merely a shadow of its former self whereas it used to reflect 80%-90% of solar radiation back into outer space. But a lot of that solar radiation is now absorbed by the planet. This loss of mojo is the result of human-generated greenhouse gases that heated up the atmosphere 3-fold more in the Arctic than elsewhere on the planet. As a result, multi-year ice has taken a big hit.

        Meanwhile, the Arctic is fast approaching the dreaded Blue Ocean Event BOE, which means a period of time with essentially no ice, and which is packed full of negative connotations so far-reaching for the hemisphere that it’s beyond the scope of this article.

      • Energy

        • Counter PunchThe EU's Oil Price Cap on Russia

          The latest, including: – EU agrees to cap on Russian oil price – How will Russia respond to price cap? – What impact will this have on global energy markets? – China, Qatar sign historic LNG deal that could leave Russia in the cold – How does China-Qatar relationship shift dynamics in Persian Gulf? – Ukraine may want to go slow in retaking Crimea – Crimea strategy as part of the war – Why Ukraine is winning the drone war

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The HillFauci blasts ‘cowardly’ trolls harassing wife, children

        Anthony Fauci in an interview with the BBC blasted the “cowardly” internet trolls who harass his wife and children, saying it’s a part of the backlash he’s experienced over the COVID-19 pandemic.

        “These people who troll about, they harass my wife and my children because they can figure out where they live and what their phone number is,” the immunologist told BBC’s “Americast” podcast.

      • The Washington PostThe painter in Italy who informed the world about China’s protests

        Every few seconds, Li Ying receives a message on Twitter. University students are demanding transparency from school administrators; workers in Fuzhou are sleeping in tents in an unheated university dining hall despite orders for campus lockdowns to be lifted; residents in Xi’an are lining up at midnight to take PCR tests so they can go to work the next day, even though coronavirus testing requirements were supposedly lifted.

        None of these events will be reported by China’s domestic news outlets or appear on social media before being scrubbed by censors. Li, a 30-year-old painter originally from Anhui province and now living in Milan, sees it as his responsibility to get this information out to the wider world.

      • Broadband BreakfastMore Twitter Files, FTC Sues to Stop Microsoft Deal, Broadband Bills on Space

        Weiss’s tweet thread, posted Thursday night, says Twitter, without notifying users, prevented certain accounts from appearing in user searches, hashtag searches, or the platform’s “trending” section. Affected accounts included talk-show host Dan Bongino; activist Charlie Kirk; and the once anonymous video-repost account, “Libs of TikTok.”

      • Counter PunchIt’s the Message Not the Messaging:€  The Future of the Republican Party

        All this may be correct but something more fundamental may be at root.€  It is not the messaging but the actual message or vision that is the problem.€  And it will grow as a problem into the future as the Republican Party faces an existential crisis in the coming years as its base is literally dying out.

        America needs viable party competition.€  There is no democracy in the world that is a one-party state.€  The parties too must reflect majority preferences, tempered by respect for the rights of minorities.€  But€  to win elections and govern parties must build coalitions and form majorities.€  This means they need to reflect majority preferences or face oblivion.

      • The VergeThe unbearable lightness of BuzzFeed - The Verge

        The BuzzFeed article, titled “People Are Sharing Non-Obvious Signs That Are Actually A Cry For Help, And It’s Eye-Opening,” was taken from a Reddit thread posted earlier in the day asking how to recognize when someone is struggling with mental health issues. The story pulled in more than a dozen Reddit responses to create a numbered list. A comment Nina had left was right at the top.

        “I posted something extremely personal and it happened to be the first quote in their article which was one of the top articles of the day on Apple News,” Nina told The Verge in an email. (Nina requested a pseudonym to protect her privacy.) “That’s scary. I had no idea, I didn’t know my username would be linked with it, and it was a total accident I stumbled upon it.”

        When Nina asked other Redditors about BuzzFeed’s sourcing practices, she found a sense of resignation but also open frustration — a sense of theft. BuzzFeed was “sleazy,” some said, and most journalism was a “clickbait fiesta.” Even a few conspiracy theories emerged, like the suggestion that BuzzFeed writers planted r/AskReddit questions for upcoming stories. (BuzzFeed spokesperson Matt Mittenthal says the outlet doesn’t do this, instead crowdsourcing responses from readers.)

      • FAIRIn 2022 Midterms, Media Were Again Misled by Generic Ballot

        Last October (, 10/3/22), I warned about “The Persistently Faulty Record of Generic Ballot Polling.” The message was that it’s dicey to predict House election outcomes based on the national polling.

      • TruthOutCritics Slam Sinema for Leaving Democratic Party Days After Warnock’s Win
      • Common Dreams'She's Just Awful': Critics Swing After Sinema Ditches Dems Just Days After Warnock Win

        Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced early Friday morning that she has officially left the Democratic Party, registering as an independent in her state and surprising very few people who have seen her as a major obstacle to her party's progressive agenda while serving powerful corporate interests.

        "She's driven by which corporations and lobbyists are giving her the most money — which makes her an elected mercenary, not an elected representative of the people."

      • The NationKyrsten Sinema Formally Enrolls in the Party of Wall Street and Big Pharma

        At the end of a week when Democrats cinched 51-49 control of the Senate, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who has served in the chamber as a Democrat, announced that she was reregistering as independent. The news was shocking only because of its timing; Sinema will continue be what she has long been—a uniquely cynical political careerist in a chamber that is not exactly short on cynicism or political careerists.

      • The NationHerschel Walker and the Failure of the GOP’s Diversity Pitch

        Herschel Walker, after being defeated in the runoff for the Georgia Senate race, is now touted as another prominent example of the failure of Trumpist candidates to appeal to moderate and independent voters. This description has a fair bit of truth: Walker might not have won the GOP nomination to be senatorial candidate if not for Trump’s endorsement. But it’s a mistake to overstate Trump’s role. Trump was by no means the only Republican who promoted Walker, a candidate with numerous personal flaws that contributed to his defeat.

      • The NationIf Merrick Garland Had the Courage of His Convictions…

        The US Department of Justice is not an independent agency, like the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Federal Trade Commission. Its head, the attorney general, is not just the country’s lawyer in chief. He is a member of the Cabinet, which was created to advise the president on all manner of things, including national security, the president’s chief responsibility. The Justice Department itself has a National Security Division. Another of its divisions is the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

      • ScheerpostGabor Maté: Who’s Crazy, You or Your Nation?

        Dr. Gabor Maté’s new book strips back the realities of the neoliberal system that has been plaguing the health of US and the world citizens.

      • ScheerpostThe World Cup Isn’t Over Yet, but Palestine Has Already Won

        We can only guess at who might take home the World Cup. But Palestine has won people’s hearts and captivated the world’s attention — and its team isn't even playing.

      • Counter PunchHow Big Tech and Billionaires Dodge 1st Amendment Laws and Censor the€ World’s Big News Platforms

        Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates has provided $319 million to fund news outlets, journalism centers and training programs, press associations, and specific media campaigns around the world. Zuckerberg hired “fact checkers” from the Atlantic Council (a NATO lobby group) and, in the name of combating online “misinformation,” has stifled and de-platformed countless independent news voices, mostly those critical of US foreign policy, official narratives around COVID-19, and other controversial issues.22€ 

        Resembling previous generations of billionaires who owned legacy media outlets, today’s digital tech titans blur the lines between journalism, entertainment, and consumption (of goods and information). They increasingly partner with the military–industrial complex in service of “national security” and state surveillance. They also aim to collect and monetize any available information about the people who use their platforms. As critics including Shoshana Zuboff, Alan MacLeod, and Nolan Higdon have noted, Big Tech billionaires harvest and exploit our online data for profit, political influence, and social control, a power dynamic Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism.”

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • VOA News67 Journalists, Media Workers Killed on the Job this Year

        The International Federation of Journalists says that 67 journalists and media staff have been killed around the world so far this year, up from 47 last year.

        The Brussels-based group also tallied 375 journalists currently imprisoned for their work, with the most in China, Myanmar and Turkey. Last year's report listed 365 journalists behind bars.

      • Counter PunchWeakened International Pushback Enables Extradition of Assange

        The New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais and Der Spiegel on November 28 issued a joint letter stating that the U.S. indictment against Assange “sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.” A recent statement from the€ International Federation of Journalists€ points out that, “None of WikiLeaks’ media partners have been charged … because of their collaboration with Assange.”

        High officials have weighed in. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on November 30 assured legislators he was “clear to the US administration—that it is time that this matter be brought to a close.” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet indicated that Assange’s “potential extradition and prosecution of Assange raises concerns relating to media freedom.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • TechdirtLAPD Thinks Best Response To Leaked Recording Of Councilmembers’ Racist Remarks Is Going After Reddit Users

        The Los Angeles Police Department is here to serve and protect… the powerful. The rest of you are on your own.

      • TechdirtGuy Who Sued YouTube Because Someone Else Copied A Bit Of His YouTube Video Loses (Again)

        You may recall that, back in August, we wrote about the bizarre situation of a company called “Business Casual” and its CEO, Alex Edson. Business Casual makes highly produced videos. It made a few on historical topics, including taking some public domain images and modifying them significantly to make “paralax images” that added a sort of 3D feel. Edson/Business Casual claim (credibly!) that RT Arabic, the Arabic language wing of Russia Today, owned by TV-Novosti, copied parts of some of their videos. There were some DMCA claims he filed and then a lawsuit against TV-Novosti.

      • ScheerpostBernie Sanders Calls for Revolutionizing America’s Broken Media System

        Kenny Stancil reports on the Vermon senator's statement issued on the heels of mass New York Times walkouts.

      • Scheerpost70+ Lawmakers Demand Biden Provide Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

        Julia Conley reports that lawmakers, including progressive stalwarts, are calling on the president to provide sick days to rail workers.

      • Counter PunchThe Predictable Resurgence of Fascism and Nazism On Both Sides of the North Atlantic and Its Consequences

        Fascism and Nazism were the products of the Great Depression. The deteriorating economic situation had disastrous effects on the quality of life and well-being of the popular classes and undermined the credibility and legitimacy of democratic systems and governments in the United States and Europe. Fascism in southern Europe and the United States, and Nazism in central and northern Europe and also in the U.S., capitalized on the resulting discontent. These movements acquired significant influence on both sides of the North Atlantic, ultimately governing several countries of Western Europe.

        The message of each was authoritarian and antidemocratic. Fascism and Nazism regarded all other political options as illegitimate, the basis for justifying their elimination. Both advocated extreme nationalism based on classism, racism,and machismo, presenting themselves as defenders of the Christian civilization and promoting force and violence against the “other”, whom they defined as an enemy. The two movements were profoundly antiunion, anticommunist, and antisocialist. These views made them attractive to the economic and financial power establishments who felt their power threatened by protests fueled by the labor movements. Hence, influential sectors of these establishments financed Fascism and Nazism.

      • Counter PunchAn Epidemic of White Supremacy in the Queensland Police?

        Audio recordings, in which a number of Australian police officers in the city of Brisbane were revealed to have openly expressed racist views about black people, Indians, aboriginal Australians and discussed Islamaphobic theories about a Muslim takeover of white majority European nations. Heard in the conversations are comments that allude to fears of minority groups that are supposedly taking over Australia, in addition to remarks about “beating and burying” black people.

        The comments, made by members of the Queensland Police Service (QPS), have since been condemned as “sickening and disturbing” by QPS’s acting deputy commissioner Mark Wheeler and an apology has been issued. However, days later, the Guardian revealed that Kerry Johnson, the QLD’s police head for its First Nations Unit, that deals with Aboriginal Australians, is now under investigation for alleged racism. Out of over 300 commissioner officers in QPS, not a single one of them identifies as indigenous, clearly outlining a lack of Aboriginal representation in the police. In October, the second top officer in the QPS was also accused of using racialised language against elderly leaders of the State’s indigenous communities.

      • Counter PunchThe World Cup Runneth Over

        Can chronopolitics, a theory of the importance of the power of speed and time developed by the French cultural theorist Paul Virilio, offer an insight into how the current World Cup moved from FIFA’s (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) dubious selection of the host country to setting record breaking numbers of people watching in the stadiums and on television?

        Did time collapse between the initial selection of Qatar, criticisms of the selection, and record attendance and television viewers?

      • Counter PunchOn ‘Hate’ and Love at the World Cup: Palestine is More Than An Arab Cause

        The starting point to my argument is Rome, Italy, not Doha, Qatar. In August 2021, I attended a friendly football match between Morocco’s Raja Casablanca, and the Italian AS Roma. Thousands of Moroccan fans accompanied their team. Although fewer in numbers, their matching outfits, songs, chants and group dances in the stands made them more visible than the rest.

        Although the environment of the game had little or no political context, the Moroccans sang for Palestine and wore Palestinian kuffiyas draped with the colors of the Palestinian flag. It was a heartwarming gesture, typical of Arab fans at football matches. As the fans began leaving the stadium in larger numbers, I realized that the very fan culture of Raja Casablanca was modeled entirely around Palestine. Their main slogan is Rajawi Filistini – Palestinian Rajawis, the words embroidered on their sports jerseys.

      • Counter PunchSelling Blood, Skipping Meals, Sleeping in Cars: Why Academics Strike

        The striking researchers, postdocs, graders and teaching assistants want a minimum annual salary of $54,000 for graduate students and $70,000 for postdocs – something commensurate with the cost of living in California, where the average annual rent in Los Angeles surpasses $36,000 a year. For teaching assistants earning $24,000 that often means sleeping in their cars. Lots of these workers resort to selling blood to make ends meet. Welcome to the lousy underside of academic labor in America, famishing scholars so parasites in university administrations can bloat up on six-figure salaries.

        United Auto Workers bargains for these workers. Its president of “Local 5810, which represents more than 11,000 UC postdocs and academic workers,” according to the Washington Post November 14, accuses the university of acting unlawfully at the bargaining table. This is probably a gross understatement. Negotiations have already dragged out over a year, so you can imagine the sorts of brazen shenanigans pulled by university poohbahs protecting their pelf. For those besotted with a tinsel image of these hacks, who cry, No! However on earth could it be? University luminaries twisting the financial knife with bargaining mischief? Shocking! To such people I can only say, the blood of impoverished intellectuals waters the groves of American academe, literally, and has done so for decades. The fact that “the University of California strike is also the largest strike in higher education in U.S. history, according to the UAW,” per the Post has more than a little to do with the nonsense labor has had to tolerate at the bargaining table.

    • Monopolies

      • Vox MediaFTC sues Microsoft to block Activision Blizzard deal - Polygon

        The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is suing Microsoft over its planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying that the deal “would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.”

        In a news release, the FTC said that Microsoft has a record of “acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles,” pointing to the company’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. The FTC noted Microsoft’s plan to keep next year’s Starfield from Bethesda Game Studios and Redfall from Arkane as Microsoft exclusives. Those games will be available on Xbox platforms and Windows PC, and the company’s Game Pass subscription service.

      • John GruberFTC Sues Microsoft to Block $69B Activision Blizzard Acquisition

        We’ll see how it plays out, but my gut feeling is that this is a mistake on the FTC’s part. The video game industry is incredibly competitive today. Yes, Xbox and PlayStation are the only two high-end consoles, but the Switch is quite arguably Nintendo’s most successful platform ever. And it’s not like Sony is some shrinking violet and lacks for its own exclusive titles. Exclusive titles are a big part of competition. It’s also the case that the dominant players in console and PC gaming are not the dominant players in mobile gaming (Apple and Google). Let the market play this out, I say.

      • TechdirtThe EU-Canada Trade Agreement CETA Still Isn’t Done, And May Be Partially Undone Because Of Its Corporate Sovereignty Provisions

        The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is one of several long-running trade deal sagas covered by Techdirt. It seemed to be almost over in 2017. After a constant on-off excitement about whether CETA would survive, it was ratified by the European Union. But it still needed to be approved by all the EU Member States’ national parliaments before it came into force. The chief stumbling block to national ratification was the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which would allow investors to sue governments over laws or decisions which could potentially harm future profits. This imposition of corporate sovereignty through trade deals is an issue that Techdirt has been covering for many years. Despite widespread concerns about ISDS, in 2019 the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU’s top court, ruled that corporate sovereignty was compatible with EU law, apparently removing the last obstacle to CETA’s ratification by Member States.

      • BBCActivision Blizzard: US seeks to block Microsoft's $69bn acquisition - BBC News

        The US is entering a legal battle with Xbox-maker Microsoft to block its plan to purchase the gaming firm behind hit titles such as Call of Duty. Regulators cited competition concerns, saying they feared that if the deal went through, Activision Blizzard's games would stop being offered on non-Microsoft gaming consoles.

        The Activision purchase was set to be the biggest in Microsoft history.

        The company said it would fight to complete the $69bn (€£56bn) deal.

      • Patents

      • Software Patents

        • NikkeiNissan-Renault talks likely to drag into 2023 over patent impasse

          Negotiations to reshape the alliance between Nissan Motor and its French partner Renault are now likely to continue into next year after the two sides missed yet another target date over disagreements regarding intellectual [sic] property [sic].

        • Crypto News BTCGlobal Perspective on Patenting of Blockchain, [Cryptocurrency], and DeFi Technologies

          The proliferation of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralized finance (DeFi) purposes lately has been accompanied by a surge in patent filings worldwide by blockchain tech builders. And, regardless of some early reluctance of nationwide patent workplaces to acknowledge the patentability of those rising applied sciences, many nationwide patent regulation and patent utility examination laws have been revised lately to acknowledge their patentability. This has resulted in hundreds of patents being granted worldwide for blockchain, [cryptocurrency], and DeFi innovations.

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakAdvanced Pirate IPTV Blocks Proposed By Football Club-Owning Politician

          Italy's campaign against pirate IPTV will receive a big boost if new amendments are signed into law. ISPs must aim to block unlicensed streams immediately but certainly within 30 minutes. The proposal was signed by Senator Claudio Lotito, who happens to own top-tier football club Lazio and is currently the vice-president of Italy's Budget Commission.

        • Counter PunchTaylor Swift’s Anti-Heroics

          At least since homo sapiens first howled at the moon, music has been the best medium for baring the soul. The tight-trousered, atavistic power-chording of cock rock likely has more in common with the proto-musical impulses of our most distant forebears, but as civilization advanced (if that is the direction it goes) the modes of self-reflection become more subtle, involving instead the allusive melody echoing in the shadows, a guitar gently weeping. For many, lament is impossible without music.

          Whether soothing or aggravating melancholy, these plaints were generally private affairs, though such compositions could be aired before family, friends, patrons and sometimes, though print, a wider public.

        • Torrent FreakGoogle Reveals Surge in Questionable Removal Requests From Russian Government

          Russia has sent a record number of takedown requests to Google in the first half of this year. In the past, copyright infringement was the most cited reason for action but that has been replaced by 'national security', currently a top priority for Russia. Google, however, is wary of overbroad censorship and hasn't complied with most requests.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

    • Politics

      • Non-Player Characters

        The term 'non-player character', to my knowledge, originated in the MUDs of the 80s and 90s. Colloquially referred to as 'NPC', it referred to the automated / scripted characters that are found in these games. They are only capable of speaking and acting in the exact way that they were programmed or scripted by their designers, the game programmers and/or world builders. This is obviously in comparison to the player characters encountered in the world, controlled by humans on the other end of the keyboard.

        In the modern day, these NPCs have carried over into visual video games, and have, or will, presumably, carry over into the so-called 'metaverse'. I won't get into my thoughts on the metaverse in this post (that would be deserving of a dedicated post), but suffice it to say I hope that that technology is an utter failure.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

Recent Techrights' Posts

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Over at Tux Machines...
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IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
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[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
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Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
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Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
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Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
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[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
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Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
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history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
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IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
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[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week