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Links 30/12/2022: Ultimate Edition and a ‘Right To Repair’ Bill Scandal





  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Jupiter BroadcastingJellyfin January | Self-Hosted 87

        We kick off our Jellyfin January challenge and invite you to join us. Plus, Chris has some new hardware and our thoughts on the trouble at the Matrix foundation.

    • Applications

      • OMG! LinuxHandBrake 1.6 Released with AV1 Video Encoding Support - OMG! Linux

        A major update to HandBrake, a popular, cross-platform and open-source video transcoder (and then some), has been released.

        HandBrake 1.6.0 is a notable release as it is the first version of the app to support AV1 video encoding. AV1 is a new, open-source video codec that many hope will supplant H.264 as the go-to video standard in the future — momentum its inclusion here is sure to add to.

        Also new in this release is high bit depth and color depth support for many of HandBrake’s existing encoders and filters. Additionally, there are new 4K AV1 General, QSV, and MKV presets; renamed web presets; and VP8 presets removed (as VP8 is RIP).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • LinuxConfigHow to mount a remote filesystem over SSH with sshfs

        SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol used to establish an encrypted connection with a remote machine using a client-server model: the ssh server runs on the machine we want to access remotely, while a client is used on the machines from which we want to connect. Thanks to sshfs, we can use an existing SSH connection to mount a remote directory in a secure way, without using additional services like NFS or Samba.

      • Geetu R VaswaniHow to create and use LUKS encrypted partition in Linux

        It is easy to create a LUKS container and a partition within it, using the GUI on Linux. The application that enables this easily is the gnome-disk-utility. However, if you want to use the command line to set up a LUKS encrypted device, read on.

        Exercise appropriate caution before doing any of the below with appropriate safeguards as they can result in permanent data loss.

      • Unix MenHow To Calculate Ip Subnet Address with Ipcalc

        If you’re working with Linux machines and want to manage a network, the bottom line is that you will need to get a handle on subnetting.€ 

        Subnetting involves breaking down networks into much smaller networks. This helps improve routing efficiency and prevent network-wide threats from taking them down.

        Managing subnetting requires calculating the subnet mask, which demands that binary math be performed with the IP address. This is where the ipcalc command comes in.€ 

      • OMG! LinuxMake Firefox Look Like a Native GTK App - Here’s How - OMG! Linux

        Mozilla Firefox is great: it’s free, open source software that works well, is updated often, and looks great on every Linux distro out there, regardless of desktop environment.

        But did you know you can make Firefox look more at home on the GNOME desktop?

        Yup, you can — all thanks to the Firefox GNOME Theme project!

        In this post I detail just how dramatic this theme is; how you can install it on your system; and mention few additional tweaks you can make to complete the transformation.

      • RoseHostingHow to Install Shopware on Ubuntu 22.04 - RoseHosting

        Shopware Community Edition (CE) is a free and open-source e-commerce application. It is an alternative to another e-commerce application, Magento or Prestashop. Shopware is a very powerful and flexible application. It is built on a number of symphony framework components developed in PhpStorm through the core features and its plugins. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Shopware Community Edition (CE) on a fresh Ubuntu 22.04.

      • H2S MediaAdduser Command usage in Linux with Examples - Linux Shout

        Adding users in Linux using the graphical interface is an easy task. But what about the command line? There are many users who either have only CLI or prefer to use commands for adding a new user.

        We can use the adduser command to create new users. With adduser, not only the user itself is created, but also the other necessary settings are made, such as creating a home directory, assigning the user to a group, setting the login shell, etc. Although it a command line command, but the creation of the user is interactive.

        adduser is typical for all distributions based on Debian, RedHat, and other Linux. Let’s see how to install and use it.

      • UNIX CopHow to install Pix (Linux Mint X-app) on Ubuntu 22.04

        Although I don’t use Linux Mint nowadays, I must admit that your X-Apps are great. Simple, stable, and efficient, they are more than enough for everyone. However, the one I like is Pix. So, today you will learn how to install Pix (Linux Mint X-app) on Ubuntu 22.04.

      • DebugPointHow to Install MX Linux Step-by-Step Guide [Ed: Updated today]

        MX Linux is a Debian-based systemd-free distribution that primarily targets lightweight and older hardware. It became popular recently due to its unique native app tools, stability, active development and a nice community of users & devs. MX Linux currently features Xfce, KDE Plasma and Fluxbox for desktops. The Debian-stable base provides the ultimate stability. Moreover, it also provides a 32-bit installer for that older hardware.

        A simple tutorial shows how to install the popular lightweight distribution MX Linux as a standalone system, dual-boot and in VM.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Linuxiac5 Best Linux Distro Releases for Servers in 2022: Our Top Picks

      Although Linux has grown in popularity on the desktop, its real strength and power remain on the server front, where the OS is the sole leader. And, because the year is ending, we’ve compiled a list of the best server Linux distro releases in 2022.

      So, if you’re in the market for a reliable and high-performing Linux distro for your server, you’re in luck! There are many excellent options, and we’ve rounded up the top 5 in this list. Each of these distros has its strengths and features, making them stand out as the best choices for servers in 2022.

    • New Releases

      • DebugPointVanilla OS 22.10 "Kinetic" Debuts with Groundbreaking Release

        Vanilla OS's maiden release is finally out, bringing a new way of computing with Linux distribution. It has been under development and followed by a closed beta for the last few months. And finally, the team officially released Vanilla OS 22.10 "Kinetic" as their first-ever release.

        Vanilla OS makes its much-anticipated maiden debut with its first release: Vanilla OS 22.10.

        Here's what's new.

      • It's FOSSVanilla OS Stable Release Has Landed!

        Previously, they had also announced that they would use the 'Jade' installer from the Crystal Linux team.

        But, they changed their mind and opted to build the 'Vanilla Installer' on top of their existing 'Vanilla First Setup' project.

      • Let's Rock! Arch! - Ultimate Edition

        It was a huge educational tour for me, yes I have it installed. I modified Repostorm to convert software as well as make it build repositories, multiple at that.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • OMG! LinuxPine64 Announce a PineTab 2 is Coming Next Year - OMG! Linux

        If you’ve been pining (heh) for a souped-up, super-fast Linux tablet running on open source software, Pine64 have you covered.

        Today, Pine64 announced the PineTab2 – a successor to its original PineTab Linux tablet released in 2018.

        Not that many people were able to buy the PineTab. Major supply chain disruptions owing to the pandemic (and the ensuring knock-on effects thereof) made it nigh-on-impossible for Pine64 to source the components and manufacturing slots needed to produce it.

        But forget all that; that’s old news.

      • CNX SoftwareKhadas VIM1S review – Ubuntu 22.04 tested on an Amlogic S905Y4 SBC

        In this review of Khadas VIM1S SBC, we’ll install Ubuntu 22.04, and report our experience testing the performance such as memory speed and eMMC flash performance, and 3D graphics capabilities.

        Just like Khadas VIM4 and Edge2, the Khadas VIM1S SBC ships with the OOWOW firmware that allows easy installation of operating systems by downloading the images, and flashing them directly to the eMMC flash. You need just to connect a monitor and a USB keyboard and have an Internet connection through either LAN or Wi-Fi. Let’s start by installing Ubuntu 22.04 on Khadas VIM1S together.

        If no OS is installed, OOWOW will boot automatically, but if there’s already another OS installed, you can press and hold the Function button, press the Reset button, and release the Function button. After a few seconds, the OOWOW Wizard as shown in the picture below should show up. If an Ethernet cable is not connected, we can select Network to configure Wi-Fi as the installation process requires downloading an image from Khadas servers.

      • Linux LinksBrosTrend Linux WiFi Adapter AC1200 AC3L Review

        This review looks at the BrosTrend Linux USB WiFi Adapter AC1200 (AC3L). Unlike most Wi-Fi sellers, BrosTrend provide Linux support for Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros. Their Wi-Fi adapter chipsets and drivers are developed by Realtek.

        The AC3L retails for around €£36 ($41). You get the Wi-Fi adapter, 2 omni-directional Wi-Fi antenna with a gain of 5dBi, a USB 3.0 cradle with 5 foot USB extension cable. There’s a CD with driver and manual (not for Linux systems), and a quick installation guide (paper).

      • Linux GizmosXiaomi first Mini PC features 12th Gen Intel Core i5

        The XM22AL5S is Xiaomi’s first Mini PC featuring the i5 1240 processor (12-Cores/16-Threads). The device is equipped with one 2.5GbE LAN port, 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2x HDMI ports, an active cooling system and WiFi6/Bluetooth 5.3.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • HackadayA Fun Low-Cost Start For Your Macropad Hobby

        If you were ever looking for a small relaxing evening project that you could then use day-to-day, you gotta consider the Pico Hat Pad kit€ by [Natalie the Nerd]. It fits squarely within the Pi Pico form-factor, giving you two buttons, one rotary encoder and two individually addressable LEDs to play with. Initially, this macropad was intended as an under-$20 device that’s also a soldering practice kit, and [Natalie] has knocked it out of the park.

      • HackadayPi-Cast Adds ATX Signalling To KVM

        A KVM is a great tool for administering a number of different computers without cluttering one’s desk with extra peripherals, or for having to re-connect the keyboard, video, and mouse to each new machine as needed. For local administration this can save a ton of time and headache. For remote administration, though, a virtual KVM is needed, and although these solutions are pricey it’s possible to build one around a Raspberry Pi for a fraction of the cost. This one adds even more functionality by also switching the ATX signals from the motherboard and simplifying cable management to boot.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchMy Favorites of 2022

      I’m really not a big fan of these “best of” lists, but of all the new arts entertainment (or€ edutainment as KRS-One would say) I consumed this past year, here’s what helped me most in wading through the radioactive waste of 2022.

    • Counter PunchUnmediated Community – Ten Years of The Invisible Army

      I do not and have never used a smartphone.

      Before you continue reading, I’d like you to stop and ponder that for a moment. Think about how much of your everyday life is now integrated into this machine.

    • Mexico News DailyPoinsettia, from obscure Mexican weed to the ‘Christmas flower’

      However, the poinsettia was still largely unknown in the United States. But all that changed in the early 1900s.

      German emigrant Albert Ecke started a commercial orchard in California in 1909, the Ecke Family Ranch, to cultivate the plant. He started sending free poinsettias to decorate on-air broadcast sets of television studios for the holidays. His plan paid off, and millions began to associate poinsettias with Christmas.

    • GO MediaAndrew Tate Arrested for Human Trafficking in Romania After Pizza Box Gave Away His Location

      A Twitter spat that misogynist social media personality Andrew Tate started with 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg over his masculinity led Romanian authorities to arrest him and his brother, Tristan, for human trafficking and rape on Thursday, according to local media and police.

      Tate taunted Thunberg on Twitter about the carbon emissions of his 33 cars, to which Thunberg replied with a joke about “small dick energy” that racked up millions of likes. Tate then posted a humiliating 2-minute video of himself smoking a cigar in a robe and insisting that he was not at all owned by the teenager. The video prominently featured two boxes of pizza from a local shop, which reportedly tipped off authorities to his whereabouts.

    • BBCAndrew Tate detained in Romania over rape and human trafficking case

      Rumours had swirled online that police had been tipped off to Mr Tate's presence in the country after he posted a video taking aim at the environmental activist Greta Thunberg. However, this is not believed to be the case.

      In the footage he posted, he was handed a pizza box from a local restaurant, which some users suggested had inadvertently revealed his location to officers.

    • Drew Schustersup

      We quickly discovered a few interesting characteristics of net send that could be used for some silliness. For one, the alert dialog that opened up stole keyboard focus and was generally disruptive. You could spam as many net send commands as you wanted and the alerts would just pile up on a user’s screen, with no clear way to dismiss them all. We took advantage of this by mashing up and enter as well as writing batch scripts to render our friends’ computers useless. Eventually a tense truce was called, when we found out that receiving a net send message while playing the hidden copy of Unreal Tournament GOTY we had installed on the school network would temporarily take the player out of the game for just long enough to be killed in a critical moment.

      The most creative exploit we came up with for net send was on students (and teachers) who weren’t yet aware of the feature. We had the ability to open an official windows alert on anyone’s machine, and at a glance it wasn’t obvious these messages were coming from another computer on the network. We started sending messages like “Critical Error: Please Restart Your Computer Immediately” and would watch with glee as our victim sighed deeply before restarting their computer.

    • Common DreamsIn New Year's Address, UN Chief Says 'We Need Peace, Now More Than Ever'

      United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday beseeched humanity to "make 2023 a year when peace is restored to our lives, our homes, and our world," a message that came as dozens of wars and armed conflicts rage around the world.

    • ScheerpostUnited Nations Chief António Guterres Begs the World for Peace in 2023

      Brett Wilkins reports on the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres' poignant and urgent New Year's address.

    • Democracy NowAre Peace Talks Possible? Prof. Gilbert Achcar on Whether Russia & Ukraine Can Negotiate End to War

      The war in Ukraine is now in its 11th month, and Russia unleashed a new bombardment this week of cities across the country, including the capital Kyiv. This comes as both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin have expressed a willingness to negotiate an end to the war — but their positions remain so far apart that there are no real hopes of peace talks, says longtime antiwar activist, author and international relations scholar Gilbert Achcar. “For now, both sides are just probably betting on being able to achieve more on the ground and not really serious about a ceasefire and negotiations under the present conditions,” he says.

    • The NationWe Lost Barbara Ehrenreich in 2022, but We Can’t Lose Sight of Her Visionary American Socialism

      Barbara Ehrenreich was every good thing that was said about her, and more. The visionary author and activist, who died in 2022 at age 81, was, as her September New York Times obituary reminded us, America’s great “explorer of prosperity’s dark side.” With Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class (1989), Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2001), and Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (2005), Ehrenreich developed a fact-based critique of contemporary capitalism that was brilliantly researched and appropriately acerbic—as were the articles, essays, speeches, and media appearances that made her not just a tireless reporter but also a vital social commentator.

    • MeduzaComposer Eduard Artemyev has died — Meduza

      Soviet and Russian composer Eduard Artemyev passed away at 86 years old.

    • HackadayRobot Rebellion Brings Back BBC Camera Operators

      The modern TV news studio is a masterpiece of live video and CGI, as networks vie for the flashiest presentation. BBC News in London is no exception, and embraced the future in 2013 to the extent of replacing its flesh-and-blood camera operators with robotic cameras. On the face of it this made sense; it was cheaper, and newsroom cameras are most likely to record as set range of very similar shots. A decade later they’re to be retired in a victory for humans, as the corporation tires of the stream of viral fails leaving presenters scrambling to catch up.

    • The NationNew Year Wishes
    • TruthOutNew York Prosecutors Open Investigation Into Representative-Elect George Santos
    • HackadayA Nomadic Chair

      There’s no shortage of different types of folding or portable chairs, but designer [Jorge Penadés] built a backpack chair that will go the long haul.

    • HackadayThe Sweetest Glue In The World

      Perhaps we’re not alone in having a penchant for gummy sweets, but we have to admit to never following the train of thought shared by [Lost Art Press]. Upon finding that a hide glue ingredient was raw gelatin obtained from a confectionery company, they stored away the knowledge and eventually tried making some glue using Haribo Goldbears from a gas station.

    • Hackaday2022 FPV Contest: Turbo Super Submarine

      The projects featured on these pages frequently rule the air, the ground, the rails, and even the waves, but very rarely do they rule the deep. Building a submarine is hard, and thus it’s a challenge not taken on by all but the most courageous of builders. This hasn’t discouraged [Timo] though, who has embarked on the construction of what is shaping up to be a very nice underwater ROV build.

    • Science

      • Counter PunchThe Rise and Rise of Artificiality

        it’s a strange world getting stranger each day viruses coming out of the closet păthos rising from marshes to posit terror, and help us throw it all away.

        on the planet with the only known life in the universe, humans are fading artificial beings are persuading and the mad piper is playing his fife.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayDebugging Laser Cut Wobble, The Scientific Way

        [PWalsh] was using his lasercutter to cut acrylic, expecting the cuts to have a pleasantly smooth edge. Alas, the edges turned out to be wobbly and sandpaper-like, not smooth in the slightnest. Bummer! Internet suggested a stepper motor swap, but not much in the way of insights – and that would’ve been a royal pain for sure. How would you approach debugging such a problem? Well, [PWalsh] didn’t want to swap crucial components willy-nilly, going the scientific way instead, and breaks it down for us.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • VOA NewsUS Lawsuit Claims Pharma Distributor Worsened Opioid Epidemic

        The U.S. Justice Department is suing one of the largest U.S. drug distributors for failing to report suspicious orders of prescription opioids, saying the company's "years of repeated violations" contributed to the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic.

        In a civil lawsuit filed Thursday, the department alleges that AmerisourceBergen and two subsidiaries violated the Controlled Substances Act by failing to report "at least hundreds of thousands" of suspicious orders for prescription painkillers to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

        The department is seeking potentially billions of dollars in penalties.

      • Common DreamsBig Pharma and GOP Allies Aim to Sabotage Medicare Drug Price Reforms

        The pharmaceutical industry and its Republican allies in Congress are openly signaling their plans obstruct at every turn as the Biden administration looks to begin implementing a recently passed law that will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in its history.

      • TruthOutBig Pharma and GOP Open About Plans to Obstruct Medicare Drug Price Reforms
      • Counter PunchArchitects of Medicare Privatization: Congress, Biden and the CMS

        It is easy and appropriate to target the private health insurance companies who earn excessive profits from the Medicare Trust Fund through Medicare Advantage plans, especially given the well-documented evidence€ of overcharging and fraud.

        But it is essential that we remember that it has been the U.S. Congress and the Executive Office that promoted the privatization of Medicare, to varying degrees, since it was first signed into law by President Johnson in 1965 and enacted the following year.

      • TechdirtUniversity Of Oklahoma The Latest To Issue A Performative Ban Of TikTok

        Pretending that you’re actually fixing the world’s privacy and national security issues by banning TikTok is just so very hot right now. Numerous states have passed new rules banning TikTok on government employee devices. And Marco Rubio has proposed a federal law that would ban TikTok unless ByteDance is willing to sell the popular app to an American company (presumably GOP-aligned Oracle).

      • ABCIndiana blocks Chinese-owned app TikTok from state devices

        The blockage came on the same day that Indiana's attorney general sued TikTok, claiming the video-sharing platform misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and security of consumer information.

      • Common DreamsDOJ Suit Accuses Major Drug Distributor of Fueling US Opioid Crisis

        The Biden administration on Thursday filed suit against one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical distributors, AmerisourceBergen, and two of its subsidiaries for allegedly violating federal law and contributing to the opioid epidemic.

      • Pro PublicaHow Fraud Increases Medicare Spending on COVID-19 Testing

        As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to churn, Medicare spending on testing for the virus continued to increase in 2022 and is outpacing the two prior years.

        Through Oct. 31, Medicare had spent $2 billion on COVID-19 tests in 2022, an amount that will surpass last year’s total as claims are filed, according to new data provided to ProPublica by CareSet, a research organization that works to make the health care system more transparent.

      • Common DreamsHouse Dems Say FDA 'Inappropriately Collaborated' With Biogen on New Alzheimer's Drug

        Nearly two years after a leading U.S. consumer advocacy group sounded the alarm on the matter, House Democrats released a report Thursday showing the Food and Drug Administration and pharma giant Biogen "inappropriately collaborated" prior to the controversial approval of a new $28,000-per-year Alzheimer's drug of questionable efficacy.

    • Security

      • Krebs On SecurityHappy 13th Birthday, KrebsOnSecurity!

        KrebsOnSecurity turns 13 years old today. That’s a crazy long time for an independent media outlet these days, but then again I’m bound to keep doing this as long as they keep letting me. Heck, I’ve been doing this so long I briefly forgot which birthday this was!

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • NPRA U.K. medical office mistakenly sent patients a text message with a cancer diagnosis

          About 20 minutes later, the "NHS-NoReply" number messaged: "Please accept our sincere apologies for the previous text message sent. This has been sent in error. Our message to you should have read We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

        • EFFSurveillance in San Francisco: 2022 in Review

          Unfortunately, San Francisco took a wrong turn in 2022. Over objections of many community groups, the Board of Supervisors passed temporary legislation allowing police to get live access to private security cameras to address any crime, no matter how minor. We’ll be back in 2024, when the ordinance sunsets, to demand that the city not restart this surveillance program.€ 

          € The prolonged fight began in early 2022 with the threat of dueling ballot measures on whether to strengthen or weaken the surveillance control ordinance.€  A coalition came together, and the measures were withdrawn. Then the fight shifted to a new proposed ordinance to authorize a specific surveillance ordinance. The bill would allow police to request live access from the owner of any private security camera for up to 24 hours after an alleged crime, as well as during any “significant events.”

          The SFPD’s proposal allowed the police to access thousands of private surveillance cameras,including those outside of residences and businesses, as well as the massive surveillance camera networks of the many Business Improvement Districts and Community Benefit Districts in various neighborhoods around the city. Before the new legislation, police could only request historical footage from these cameras. But this new proposal gave police the power to live monitor “significant events”—defined to include any “large or high-profile event,” implicating people exercising their First Amendment rights during protests or religious gatherings. The concern was far from hypothetical: EFF and the ACLU of Northern California sued the city after SFPD accessed a business district’s camera network to monitor protests for 8 days following the police murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.

        • TechdirtPhone Malware Company Linked To Greek Domestic Surveillance Scandal Raided By Law Enforcement

          NSO Group isn’t the only phone malware firm to draw international attention. Sure, NSO’s decision to sell to human rights abusers and aid/abet surveillance of journalists, lawyers, government critics, and political leaders drew the most attention, but there were others. And all of these malware purveyors seem to have sprung from the same source: spies whose last employer was the Israeli government.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • MeduzaRussia fires new wave of missiles across Ukraine Thousands are without power in Kyiv, Lviv, and beyond after Moscow's latest attack — Meduza

        On the morning of December 29, the Russian army launched another round of shelling attacks on Ukraine. Air raid alerts were issued for all of Ukraine’s regions. Before the shelling began, Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovich reported that Russia was expected to fire about 100 missiles over multiple waves. His colleague Mykhailo Podolyak later said that the country had actually been targeted by 120 missiles, though after the shelling stopped, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that the total number of missiles was 69. According to Mykolaiv Regional Governor Vitalii Kim, in addition to missiles, Russia also used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine’s territory. The previous massive shelling attack against Ukraine occurred on December 16.

      • MeduzaLavrov rejects Zelensky’s ‘peace formula,’ questioning his sanity — Meduza

        Russia is rejecting the 10-step peace plan proposed by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview to the state-run RIA Novosti. In his own words,

      • TruthOutCan Russia and Ukraine Negotiate an End to War Amid New Wave of Strikes?
      • TruthOutJanuary 6 Committee Withdraws Trump Subpoena
      • Counter PunchUnderwhelmed: Some Predictable Silences in the U.S. House Select Committee Report on January 6th

        What to make of the Final Report of the US House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol (hereafter “the report”)?

        Let’s start with the good news – the discovery, telling, and re-telling of some basic truths. The report shows beyond serious doubt that the wannabe fascist strongman€  Donald Trump was the “the central cause” of the insurrection. “None of the events of Jan. 6,” the committee rightly found, “would have happened without him.”

      • Counter PunchLife After Trump

        What I find so hopelessly frustrating about the January 6th inquiry is this. Yes, it is no doubt true that Trump, his cohorts and a sizable amount, if not the entire Republican Party is corrupt, quite likely criminal in nature as well but definitely complicit in corruption and in the defense of Trump and his actions. Yes, Trump and his cohorts should be tried and punished in that so rare of things, a just and fair manner, and we as a nation should be able to put this whole affair, the Trump era that is, behind us

        Yes, the American democratic experiment is at stake as we so often hear these days. But the threat to our democracy is from both sides of the aisle (oh the irony) and a “turning point”, as they also like to say, may have been reached (really?). But will prosecuting a number of the January 6th rioters or even the “Orange One” himself bring much real satisfaction and save our democracy? I think not.

      • Common DreamsFaith Leaders Say Jan. 6 Committee Report Downplays Role of Christian Nationalism

        In an effort to fill in what they say are critical gaps in the U.S. House select committee's report on the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, faith leaders are pushing the corporate media and the American public to confront the role Christian nationalism played in the insurrection, warning that ignoring the link could make similar violence more likely in the future.

      • TruthOutJan. 6 Transcripts Show Trump Wanted “Blanket Pardon” for Capitol Attackers
      • Common DreamsThe January 6 Committee's 'Crime and Punishment'

        The most surprising thing about the final report of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol isn’t the mountain of evidence of Donald Trump’s criminality that it contains nor the criminal referrals it makes to the Justice Department, but its readability. According to The New York Times, at least a half dozen publishing houses are releasing their own editions of the 845-page tome. On a December 22 broadcast, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell nailed it when he remarked, “This is the way a great novelist would lay out this story.”

      • Counter PunchWhite Supremacy and January 6: What’s Missing from the Congressional Report

        In the run-up to the two-year anniversary of January 6th (J6), the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has released a new report highlighting some troubling realities regarding Donald Trump’s failed insurrection. Unfortunately, it falls short in exposing the extent of the threat of rising white supremacy in America. At a whopping 814 pages, the report is incredibly thorough in documenting what happened on J6 and Trump’s role in stoking a failed coup. The report blames “one man” for the insurrection, emphasizing a “multi-part conspiracy” on the former president’s part to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election.” Those who’ve paid close attention to news reporting in the wake of the J6 attack are unlikely to be surprised by any of the committee’s major findings. Some of the most detailed scholarship on this matter (see here and here) has already sketched out the story of J6, which is reinforced in this report, including the following:

        One of the recommendations from the J6 committee is that Trump should be prosecuted for his actions in relation to the insurrection and failed coup. As the report states:

      • Common DreamsBlackRock Accused of 'Trying to Cash In On the Disaster' With Ukraine Reconstruction Deal

        Investment behemoth BlackRock was accused Thursday of what author Naomi Klein termed "disaster capitalism" after war-ravaged Ukraine's president announced he would work with the firm to coordinate foreign investment in the country's reconstruction.

      • The Gray ZoneDeclassified intelligence files expose inconvenient truths of Bosnian war
      • Counter PunchThe Kremlin Goes Neocon
      • Counter PunchWars and More Wars: The Sorry U.S. History in the Middle East

        The American republic morphed well over a century ago into an empire of many endless wars. With U.S. troops still in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and numerous African countries, with over 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and a war budget of roughly one trillion dollars a year, it’s no surprise that one of our main exports is weapons and that arms merchants call the shots in Washington. Presidents come and go, but the wars don’t: they drag on. And when a president does manage to extract the country from one of these military quagmires, as Biden did in Afghanistan, he gets nothing but grief.

        This only serves to encourage barbarity – like freezing Afghanistan’s $7 billion in the bank, while Afghans starve due to the U.S. having bombed their country back almost to the stone age. Afghans need their funds. They have an absolute moral right to them, as most of the world recognizes, because famine kills them in greater numbers without those monies. Indeed, after the U.S. military departure, reparations would have seemed to be in order. But no. Washington just stole their money and walked away.

      • Counter PunchThe Radioactive Legacy of the Cold War

        That the world hasn’t been the same since the ignition of the Atomic Age in the 1940s is certainly an understatement, yet the public’s awareness of how the nuclear industry operates has always been dismally low. Secrecy has played a part — especially in relation to bomb-making activities — but so too has the establishment news media, which focuses on individual events and sidelines institutional factors. So an accident is news (if it’s not covered up), but not the regular practices or misguided motivations that led to it, even though they were ultimately responsible.

      • Counter PunchThe Dialogic of Violence

        The word “dialogic” refers to the logic of dialogue. Dialogue is more than just two people talking “at” each other – you know, throwing opinions around like candy. “Dialogue” refers to an exchange of ideas. Opinions just come and go. But in dialogue, ideas address each other. Underlying each statement in a dialogue is the (often unspoken) question, “why do you think what you just said is so, or even meaningful, to either of us?” It is the fact that participants can answer that question as their exchange proceeds that drives each dialogue to new and more insightful ideas (about whatever they are talking about). The ethics of that question provide inclusion in mutual reasoning and the building of thought; it enables each participant to reach into the universe of the other, which makes both bigger. It brings people together. The luxury of throwing around opinion-candy leaves one isolated in what just tastes good personally.

        Crime is not an opinion. And neither is police brutality. Both are forms of social violence for which the gnawing question silently lurks: “why are you doing this?” Though it asks for reasons, the act of violence never goes beyond its raw existence. It simply violates. Period. Whatever the robber is responding to in his past, or in his situation, the meaning of the theft is performative, nothing else. When a cop gives a command, and responds to disobedience with violence, its performativity is its reality. It simply exists. Indeed, if the cop had a warrant, he would simply serve it. But when the cop shoots a person, he is by-passing that “detail.” No warrants are served, and no messages are given. The relevance of any message (such as for justice) would have already died under the force of that violence. When somebody dies, it is too late to make a “message” relevant to them. Only the “fear component” of law enforcement is left, lying around on the ground for others to see.

      • Counter PunchSeeking Justice in the Name of Hate: In Defense of BDS

        With this clarion call born of principle and necessity, a respected Rabbi and leader of the American Jewish community of the early 1930’s called for an absolute boycott of German goods as the “duty of all self-respecting Jews.”

        He urged the boycott not because German’s were white, or Christian, or blonde haired and blue eyed. And few if any in the United States accused him of any such mindless targeted hate. The boycott, which was fundamentally rooted in human rights, was necessary in an effort to try to stem the growing odium and bloodletting sure and soon to follow.

      • Counter PunchZelensky’s Visit and the Season’s Spirit

        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s surprise visit to Washington on December 21 was hailed as “historic.” It came 300 days after the Russian invasion and at a critical time for the continuation of robust United States aid and support. While Zelensky got much of what he asked for in terms of military equipment (Patriot air defense system) and cash ($850 million in security assistance), a holiday season perspective offers a different focus on the visit. While accepting that Zelensky told the Congress, “Your money is not charity. It is an investment in global security and democracy,” one should wonder about the presents given by the U.S. Congress (and taxpayer) in the spirit of the holiday season.

        All Christmas presents given to children are investments in one way or another. As for giving during Hanukkhah, gifts are exchanged each of the eight days and nights, and often “Hanukkah Gelt (money)” is given to children as are books and educational material.

      • Counter PunchUkraine Women Prove Resilient in the Face of War

        The war in Ukraine is having growing negative effects on women and girl’s health and well-being. They encompass not only gender-based violence, but include all aspects of women’s and girl’s lives. Access to basic services and life-saving sexual and reproductive health care have been drastically disrupted.

        Since the 2013 Maidan revolution, also known as “dignity revolution,” Ukrainian women have been increasingly engaged in the political, social, and economic affairs of the country. This engagement has led to an increase in women’s political participation, manifested by gains in parliamentary seats and in village and regional councils. As a result, Ukraine has ratified or joined most international agreements on gender equality.

      • Counter PunchGo Bonobos in 2023!

        Moving through the fog of perma-war, pestilence, puritanism and greed into the bright, blinding light of a brand new year that’s looking to be worse—much worse!—I will fear no evil, as I continue along the Bonobo Way of peace, love, equality, ecology and good sex.

        At least, that’s what I keep telling myself as I pop the bubbly for a “Happy Nude Rear,” kick up my heels and say “Howdeeeee 2023!”

      • ScheerpostState Department Approves $180 Million Arms Sales for Taiwan

        The deal is for Volcano anti-tank mine-laying systems.

      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: The Souls of Ukrainian Folk

        As Kyiv prepares to persecute the souls of its own people, it seems we are about to witness just how inhumane this project has been from the outset.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • ScheerpostFBI Cointelpro Is Back and Worse Than Ever

        Elon Musk has opened the floodgates to expose the FBI’s latest war on Americans’ freedom of speech.€  The FBI massively intervened to pressure Twitter to suppress accounts and tweets from individuals the FBI disapproved, including parody accounts.€  The FBI and other federal agencies also browbeat Facebook, Instagram, and many other […]

    • Environment

      • Eesti RahvusringhäälingFrom new year 'blue' diesel will only be available with prior registration

        Special-purpose diesel, known as "blue" diesel, has a lower excise tax and is intended for farmers who use tractors to till fields and fishermen. However, the cheaper fuel is frequently purchased and used for other purposes.

      • Common DreamsI'm Dreaming of a Warm Christmas

        2:00 am. Boink! My eyes pop open. It's Christmas Eve, but it's not that I just heard Santa wandering through the house. It's far more banal: gotta use the bathroom. I crawl out of bed, step bare-assed into... oh my God... a learning experience.

      • The NationA Habitable Earth Depends on Lula

        On January 1, the moment he is sworn in as president of Brazil for a second time, Lula da Silva will become perhaps the most important person in the worldwide effort to confront the climate emergency. Usually, the obstacles to slowing global warming are somewhat dispersed: wasteful electric utilities in rich nations; multiple oil giants, ranging from Chevron to Saudi Arabia’s national producer; even individual consumers who persist in buying gas-guzzling SUVs. No one person or single government can challenge them all at the same time.

      • TruthOutClimate Crisis Made Everyday Life More Expensive in 2022
      • Counter PunchAnother Blistering Year Next Year?

        NASA claims that 2022 was one of the hottest years ever recorded. Furthermore, according to CareOurEarth.com, this past year experienced: “Record-Breaking Heatwaves Around the World.”

        It was the year of fires (everywhere, big fires), scorching heat (globally) floods (Pakistan! Europe, China) loss of potable water (especially France and Italy) nearly impassable commercial waterways (Danube, Po, Rhine, Mississippi) sunbaked droughts (US Southwest, Chile) sputtering water reservoirs (Lake Mead). In all, a mini-biblical-scale worldwide disaster scenario that conditioned people of the world for what to expect when global warming really cranks up bigtime.

      • Counter PunchBan the Bomb Cyclone!

        As I write, a bomb cyclone has turned much of the continental United States into an ice palace. In Wyoming the temperature dropped 40€°, from 43€° to 3€°, in a half an hour, breaking all records. NBC reports 55 dead in a “once-in-a-lifetime” blizzard. The New York Times reports 29 people died in western New York state. The dead included, “people found trapped in their cars and those who had “cardiac-related events” while removing snow from driveways outside their homes and businesses I email my 82-year-old retired doctor friend in Woods Hole, “How are you doing?” after I look up the temperature there and see that it’s 15€°. He’s doing fine. He sends pictures of snow in his front yard. He’s got an insulated house, heat pumps, and radiant floor heating– the comforts money can buy. Others are not so lucky.

        The article in the New York Times and NBC news report do not mention climate change. It’s hard to believe the subject never occurred to the reporters or their editors. So why not add a paragraph quoting a climate scientist on the subject. Were they concerned if they interviewed one saying, yes, these events are going to become more common, because of climate change they would need to interview another with an opposing opinion, and readers would lose interest. Or is there some other reason?

      • Energy

        • The Hill‘Absolutely shocking’: Traveler records airport police threatening to arrest Southwest customers

          While inside the terminal, they were approached by a BNA police officer. The video, captured by Robinson, showed the officer saying, “You and her need to leave or you’ll be arrested for trespassing.”

          Morrison couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

          “You said you’re going to arrest people for trespassing, for being at a ticket counter for a flight?” Morrison asked in the video.

        • Counter PunchHalf Lives, Half Strories and Half Truths from Department of Energy This Week

          When Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy, posthumously restored the security clearance of Robert Oppenheimer this week, she revealed little that had not been known about the “father of the Atomic Bomb”, and more about the culture of secrecy that surrounds the history of nuclear weapons.

          Testimony in secret committee hearings about Oppenheimer’s loyalty to the United States, declassified after sixty years, attested to Oppenheimer’s patriotism, his singular contribution to the development of the fission bombs that destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and his ardent support for tactical nuclear weapons defending Europe against Soviet invasion.

        • Counter PunchAmtraks Across America: The City of New Orleans to Chicago

          This is the eighth part in a series about Amtrak travels during summer 2022.

          Before leaving New Orleans, I made the long bike ride out to Chalmette, where in 1815 the last battle of the American Revolution (well, officially it was in the War of 1812) was fought between Andrew Jackson’s rabble-at-arms and British redcoats under the command of General Sir Edward Pakenham.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Common DreamsWest Virginia Journalist Fired in Alleged Retaliation Over Reporting on Abuse in State Facilities

        A journalist at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the state's public television and radio news network, was fired from her position after reporting on abuses taking place at state-run psychiatric facilities—reporting that allegedly sparked threats from state health officials and pressure on the network to change its coverage of the state government.

      • VOA NewsFleeing Taliban Rule, Journalists Find Themselves Trapped in Iran

        Shortly after, Taliban fighters stormed the paper’s office in Kabul, Rasoli said, and warned the staff “not to publish anything that is not in line with the group’s policies.”

        Rasoli said the Taliban were angry that the paper had used the term “suicide attackers” instead of “self-sacrificing.”

        The Taliban did not respond to VOA’s request for comment.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • MeduzaPutin signs law making 'sabotage' punishable by life in prison — Meduza

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a federal law making activities classified as “sabotage” punishable by up to life in prison.

      • Counter PunchConfessions of a Vegan Evangelist

        What omnivores complain about is true

        Vegans are evangelical. Case in point: On the day I ate my last morsel of Parmigiano Reggiano, I was born again, and I wanted everybody to know that my animal-eating sins were washed away. It didn’t matter how many hot dogs, hamburgers, rashers of bacon, pounds of beef and chicken, cheese balls or ice cream cones I ate in my former life, I was now as guiltless as a new-born babe – even more so, since I didn’t drink milk. And in the glow of my conversion, I felt like my other sins were cleansed too. If Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were vegans, he’d have found a good night’s sleep and she’d have washed away that “damned spot.”

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: Watching the Detectives, the Year in Police Crime

        + Since 1970, the number of incarcerated people in the US has increased by 700%, to the point that the US prison population is the largest in the world both per capita and in total numbers. As of 2019, there are an estimated 2.3 million people behind bars.

      • Counter PunchHelping These Groups Helps You and Reflects Your Generosity of Spirit

        It is that time of the year when generous people make donations to civic organizations that are the bedrock of our democratic society. Some are worthy charities. Others are advocates for change through advancing justice.

        Below are many nonprofit groups working for causes furthering environmental and consumer health and safety, economic well-being and peace.

      • Counter PunchBecause Polygamists Are Queer People Too, Goddammit

        Nicky, why can’t you just smile and join the pride parade? I must hear this refrain at least ten times a day from people both inside and out of my community. With all the progress, with all the popular approval, why can’t I just be one of those happy Queers you see on TV? Why must I insist on being such a fucking bummer? And sometimes I wish it was that easy too. That I could just put on a pair of heels and embrace the simple pleasures of mainstream inclusion. The only problem is that I know way too much about the history of Western Civilization to pretend that progress isn’t a fucking trap.

        I can’t pretend that the globalized corporate culture that defines the collective West isn’t a moral desert defined by commercialism, conformity and assimilation. I can’t pretend that this culture isn’t the direct descendant of the White Anglo-Saxon Puritan culture that wiped out the pagan tribes who once revered my people for what made us unique, and I can’t pretend that being Queer isn’t defined by our long history of resistance to this culture and that allowing ourselves to be absorbed into it would be tantamount to genocide.

      • Democracy NowIran Protests Pass 100 Days as Demonstrators Facing Brutal Crackdown Request International Solidarity

        Anti-government protests in Iran, launched in September following the death of Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police, have passed their 100th day, even as demonstrators have been met with widespread arrests, brutal violence by police and executions. The Human Rights Activists News Agency reports thousands of protesters have been arrested and more than 500 protesters have been killed so far, including 69 children. At least 26 more demonstrators are facing execution. As calls grow for the United States and the international community to respond to Iran’s brutal crackdown, President Biden has hinted attempts to restore the Iran nuclear deal may be dead. We’re joined by Hadi Ghaemi, executive director and founder of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, and Nahid Siamdoust, a former journalist who is now Middle East and media studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

      • Counter PunchJames P. Cannon: America's Pioneer Trotskyist

        A Review of Bryan D. Palmer’s James P. Cannon and the Emergence of Trotskyism in the United States, 1928–38

        (This is an expanded version of Murray E.G. Smith’s presentation at “Historical Materialism 2022,” November 13, 2022, SOAS, University of London)

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtAT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile Could Dodge Millions In Location Data Fines Thanks To Industry Attacks On FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn

        Telecom and media giants are running a€ sleazy year-long smear campaign€ against Biden FCC nominee Gigi Sohn aimed at miring the agency in perpetual consumer protection gridlock. The attacks have been carefully seeded across the US press through various think tanks and nonprofits, and falsely accuse Sohn of everything from€ hating police to being an enemy of rural America. The lies are baseless, but have proven effective enough to stall Senate confirmation.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • EFFThe Year We Got Serious about Tech Monopolies: 2022 in Review

        As they address tech monopolies, courts and enforcement agencies are beginning to acknowledge the interplay of user privacy and security concerns with antitrust, thanks in part to EFF’s advocacy. In February, we explained to a federal appeals court that Apple’s total control over apps on its mobile devices is not necessary to keep users safe, and in fact makes many users less safe.

        Antitrust cases against the tech giants still face serious obstacles from a judiciary that’s become increasingly hostile to claims of monopoly abuse. EFF’s brief was filed in Epic Games’s challenge to Apple’s restrictive App Store policies, which was thrown out by a district court and is now awaiting an appeals court ruling. The FTC’s challenge to Facebook (now Meta) over its history of acquiring potential competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp has faced similar obstacles. We’ve also seen some small but significant wins, including suits against legal research provider Westlaw and computer gaming giant Valve getting past their initial legal hurdles.

        It’s important that antitrust enforcers persist in their efforts because we can’t count on internet platforms and services that don’t face real competition to safeguard users’ rights. Sometimes they fail spectacularly. And even when they do a good job of protecting users, their protection is fickle, able to be stripped away with the whims of a mercurial CEO, or when cooperation with government surveillance suits their business interests.

      • Copyrights

        • [Old] uni North Texas17 USC €§ 109: The First Sale Doctrine

          There are at least two issues with digital files that make a digital first sale rule problematic. First, it is difficult to transfer digital files without creating a copy in some way. If I want to sell you a song I legally purchased from iTunes, I will almost certainly create a copy when I give it to you. If I email it to you, I create a copy when I attach it to the email and you create a copy when you download it. If I burn it to a CD, I create a copy on the CD and you create a copy when you put it on your computer. Or if I put it on a flash drive, I create a copy when I put it on the drive, and you create a copy when if access it from the drive. I might be able to get around this by selling you my hard drive, but not only is that impractical, it’s also not clearly permitted by the law. The problem is that when you access the file, your computer still create a copy in some way, and that may still trigger infringement.

          Second, digital files are infinitely and perfectly copyable in a way that physical media are not. As such, it's much harder to be sure the thing you’re transferring is, in fact, the original, or even what the original is. Even if I decide to sell you my iTunes songs by giving you my hard drive, it is difficult to ensure I didn’t create a copy for myself and stash it on my other hard drive. The first sale doctrine allows people to dispose of the works they have purchased, but does not permit them to keep a copy for themselves. So we have to be careful how to apply this doctrine to digital works.

        • [Old] uni MassachusettsFirst Sale (or Exhaustion) Doctrine in Copyright

          “First Sale” (also called the “exhaustion doctrine”) is the name in US copyright law for the idea that owners of copies of copyrighted works have the right to re-sell, lend, give away, or even destroy their personal copies of works. The copyright holder’s right to control the distribution of their work goes away after the “first sale” of the work. The “First Sale Doctrine” is codified in U.S. copyright law at 17 U.S.C. Section 109.

          In other areas of law, such as patent law, this principle is called the “exhaustion” principle.

        • Torrent FreakPirate Movie Cammers Plagued UK Cinemas After COVID Shut Them Down

          Protecting movies from piracy during their theatrical windows is an industry priority but week in and week out, 'cammed' copies stubbornly appear online. This summer several unusually good copies were linked to cinemas in the UK, where 'camming' can result in a prison sentence. Logically, camming should be incredibly rare, but that's certainly not the case, far from it.

        • Counter PunchThe Radically Changing Art Market

          The art world system includes artists, dealers, curators, collectors and critics. Artists make works sold by dealers, who sell with the help of museum curators and private collectors. And critics interpret and validate this art. But right now the role of the critic has become deeply insecure. At present, it’s almost impossible to make a living as a freelance critic. And the number of journalistic posts for critics is vanishingly small. Gentrification which transforms former down-and-out neighborhoods like Manhattan’s East Village, good places for writers and young artists, into trendy sites has transformed the entire art world. Young artists can no longer afford lofts, and art dealing has become much more expensive. The same is happening in many other cities. And so while in the mid-twentieth century there were important independent scholars, now it’s no longer possible to make a living from art writing.

          The value of many commodities is established by the marketplace. And so we don’t require critics to establish the value of raw materials or useful goods. But we do need critics to establish the value of the artifacts that are displayed to be sold in the art market. No one needs a painting- and there is no particular relation between the cost of art production and its exchange value. An enormous number of paintings are produced, and just a few of them have economic value. This present role of art criticism is a relatively new development associated with modernism. In the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt, Saenredam and Vermeer didn’t need art critics. And outside of Europe, often art worlds functioned without art criticism. The importance of art criticism in modernism and what comes after is in part a response to the very nature of this art. In this period, when radical aesthetic innovation is the norm, we need theorization provided by critics in order to identify what art matters. Without art critics, we wouldn’t know what to make of the paintings of Jackson Pollock, Robert Ryman or Sean Scully, who all rework tradition in ways that require articulation in order to be understood.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Fountain Pen Notebooks

        I own a Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen, a fairly expensive pen but well worth the price for me. In two years I've only seen it clog once, after almost two straight months of no use--which if course was my own fault.

        Fountain pens tend to write better on certain types of paper than others. Glossy paper can interrupt the smooth flow of ink from the pen's nib, and in extreme cases can cause the pen to either leak or clog. Coarse paper can transmit a scratchiness through a fountain pen that would otherwise be dampened by the rollerball in a ballpoint or gel pen. Other types of paper are prone to feathering (ink spreading along the surface of the paper) or bleeding (ink soaking through the paper and becoming visible on the other side).


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



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