Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 17/02/2023: Tokodon 23.02.0 and Tails 5.10



  • GNU/Linux

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Announcing D-Installer 0.7

        Although we have been actively working on YaST and D-Installer, we have been silent since the beginning of December. We are sorry for that! Today we are resuming our blogging activity announcing the availability of D-Installer 0.7. Let’s look at what it is new and what you can expect from the upcoming releases.



        [..]

        The development of D-Installer continues at good pace. If you are interested, please, do not hesitate to give it a try and report any bug you might find. You can contact us through theGitHub project’s pageor, as usual, in our#yastchannel atLibera.chator theYaST Development mailing list.

      • OpenSUSEMesa, Disk Encryption, Xfce Packages Update in Tumbleweed

        This week has provided many openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots focusing on hardware, graphics, desktop environment and more.

        From Mesa to the disk encryption package cryptsetup and Xfce software to GraphicsMagick, the snapshots are rolling with new software updates.

        The GraphicsMagick 1.3.40 package arrived in the most recent snapshot, 20230215. The ImageMagick fork that focuses on programming Application Programming Interfaces and command-line options fixed a 20-year old bug in the WordPerfect Graphics header reading. The package also provided some new features and has PCX and DCX file support for writing an uncompressed format. An update of gnome-shell 43.3 plugged a leak, fixed a crash and cleaned up some code. A major version update of text shaping engine harfbuzz arrived in the snapshot; moving from the 6.0 version to the 7.0 version, the package brought experimental support to cubic curves in the glyf data table, and it has a new command line utility, hb-info, for querying various font information. A few other updates were made in the snapshot.

      • SUSE's Corporate BlogSUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.4 Public Beta (Beta 2) is out

        We are thrilled to announce the Public Beta (Beta 2) of SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.4!

        SLE Micro is an ultra-reliable, lightweight operating system purpose built for edge computing. Please check out our Product page to learn more, but for the beta program, please refer to our dedicated beta page.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

    • Debian Family

      • TailsTails - Tails 5.10 is out

        Dennis Brinkrolf discovered that an adversary who could already run arbitrary code as the amnesia user in Tails 5.9, could have escalated their privileges to reading arbitrary files on the system. It might have been possible to use this as part of an exploit chain to gain root privileges.

      • TorNew Release: Tails 5.10

        For more details, read our changelog.

        None specific to this release.

      • Ubuntu PitParrot Security OS 5.2 is Released with Linux Kernel 6.0

        The newest release of the widely-used open source GNU/Linux operating system, Parrot OS 5.2 (Electro Ara), is now available and better than ever! It has a brand new Linux Kernel 6.0, which makes it stronger and more secure than its predecessor version 5.18 – making sure you are always up to date with technological advancements...

      • It's UbuntuParrot Security OS 5.2 Released
    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwarePurism Lapdock kit converts the Librem 5 Linux smartphone into a laptop
        Purism has just announced the Lapdock kit to turn their Librem 5 Linux smartphone into a laptop with a 13.3-inch touchscreen display thanks to the NexDock 360 laptop dock.

        I was a big believer in mobile desktop convergence around 10 years ago, expected to be soon able to use my phone as a computer or laptop with a dock, and it looked like it might have become a reality when Canonical launched the Ubuntu Edge smartphone crowdfunding campaign in 2013. But it turns out demand was not sufficient, and Canonical eventually ended their convergence efforts focusing on profitable IoT and cloud segments instead. But that does not mean there isn’t a niche market and Purism’s Lapdock kit addresses it to some extent.

      • CNX SoftwarePloopy – 3D printed open-source hardware headphones feature Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU, TI PCM3060 24-bit DAC

        I don’t think I’ve ever written about open-source hardware headphones. But that’s precisely what Ploopy offers with an amplifier based on a Raspberry Pi RP2040, a Texas Instruments PCM3060 24-bit DAC, and an amplifier circuit, as well as 3D printed parts and open-source firmware written in C.

        As we’ll see further below the project is reasonably well documented, and you can either build it from scratch, purchase a fully-assembled kit, or something in the middle. I suppose you could even do some knitting since woven covers are part of the build just in case making your own PCBs and 3D printing parts are not your things.

      • Linux GizmosRockchip based SBC features PoE connector and M.2 SATA support

        The URVE Board Pi is a Single Board Computer based on the 4-core Rockchip RK3566. This SBC comes with 2GB RAM, 8GB of eMMC, dual displays support, dual band Wi-Fi, BT 4.2, 1x GbE LAN, 1x M.2 slot for SSD and many other peripherals.

      • HackadayDecoding 433 MHz Signals With Arduino & Raspberry Pi

        433 MHz radio signals are all around us. They’re used for things like smart power plugs, garage door openers, and home weather stations. Decoding these signals can allow you to interface and work with these devices on your own terms. To help in those efforts, [Joonas Pihlajamaa] has written a three-part tutorial on decoding these signals.

      • Raspberry PiFind us and your fellow Raspberry Pi enthusiasts at an event near you

        On the new website, you’ll notice there are a bunch of virtual and in-person events coming up soon, so head on over and hopefully you can find an event near you. You can also subscribe via RSS or iCalendar feeds so that you can keep tabs on new events as they’re posted.

      • HackadayPuya PY32: The Cheapest Flash Microcontroller You Can Buy Is Actually An ARM Cortex-M0+

        There’s a bit of a contest going on when it comes to which is the cheapest microcontroller, yet most of the really cheap ones have one big trade-off in that they have one-time programmable (OTP) memory, generally requiring the use of an (expensive) device emulator during development. This raises the question of what the cheapest reprogrammable MCU is, which [Jay Carlson] postulates is found in the Puya PY32 ARM Cortex-M0+ based series.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Arduino Web Editor: Using Arduino IDE Online
      • [Old] Mark Dastmalchi-RoundDevOps for the Sinclair Spectrum - Part 1

        We’re fast approaching the 40th birthday of the Sinclair Spectrum in 2022, and to keep myself occupied during COVID lockdowns I decided it would be a lot of fun to go back and re-visit the computer that started it all for me. I set about coding and building the infrastructure for a Spectrum-based community project (website at tnfs.markround.com) incorporating my current-day tools and knowledge, hence the title of this series of posts.

      • [Old] Mark Dastmalchi-RoundDevOps for the Sinclair Spectrum - Part 2

        Working in a professional capacity at $DAYJOB, I’ve seen first-hand the value in getting a basic prototype released as early as possible and gathering user feedback. A product doesn’t have to be “finished” or even polished, it just needs to provide value and then you can iterate on it, add features and adjust course as necessary. While I’ve since added a bunch of features to the site (with lots more on my backlog) and the codebase has been through several versions, I had a pretty good idea of what would constitute a MVP: I just needed some sort of menuing system and a way of selecting from a collection of hosted files so users could play games, watch demos, read tape magazines and so on.

      • [Old] Mark Dastmalchi-RoundDevOps for the Sinclair Spectrum - Part 3

        As well as running into the limitations of BASIC, I also wanted to include more interactive parts of the site like a Message Wall and user comments for all files. I decided to implement a server-side component running alongside tnfsd that would do all the “heavy-lifting” and provide interactive features. This would let me shift some of the work that was too slow or difficult to do in BASIC to a domain I’m more familiar with. It also lets me do stuff that was simply impossible to do in a pure client-only model, like storing user data and so on. It’s time to get all client/server up in here…

      • [Old] Mark Dastmalchi-RoundDevOps for the Sinclair Spectrum - Part 4

        But before that, I’m going to explore a little part of the rest of the TNFS universe. After all, this project is intended to build a community site, and the Speccy has one of the friendliest retro computing communities out there. My site isn’t the only one out there - there’s a whole network of TNFS servers on the public internet, and the protocol has also been adopted for 8-bit Atari systems. There’s currently no central directory as such (although work is underway to create an index system using DNS TXT records) but there’s a forum thread that gets regular updates, and I have a links section on my site’s main menu.

        To give you an idea of some of the great content others have built, here’s a quick overview and screenshots of some of my favourite Speccy TNFS sites…

      • Jeff GeerlingMoving my PC into my rack in a 2U case

        This week I finally moved my gaming/Linux PC into my little office rack—it's that 2U box above the UPS at the bottom: [...]

        I remembered seeing Linus Tech Tips' 4U build in a video a couple years ago—but he has a full 42U rack in his basement. I don't have that much space—just 2U (technically 3U if I wanted) in my little under-desk studio rack.

      • Tom's HardwareRaspberry Pi Zero 2 W Powers Budget Friendly NAS

        Building a Raspberry Pi powered NAS (Network Attached Storage) is one of the earliest projects achieved with the board. There was something about the $35 board back in 2012 that screamed "build a NAS", probably that it was running a Linux OS. You can spend big on a great NAS setup, you can spend smart on a kit such as the Argo EON, or you can spend little and build your own. The latter is what Michael Klements has achieved, a $35 Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W powered NAS in a custom 3D printed case.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Events

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • [Old] MozillaFive Walled Gardens: Why Browsers are Essential to the Internet and How Operating Systems are Holding Them Back [PDF]

        This report has two purposes: first, to present Mozilla’s research (both recent surveys and years of knowledge) into consumer interaction with browsers. Secondly, to highlight the foreclosure of browser engines and independent browsers by operating systems. Part 1 of the paper is about operating systems, browsers, browser engines and how consumers behave. Part 2 highlights the online choice architecture practices by operating system providers which we believe have shaped consumer browser usage away from independent browsers.

        The research we are releasing with this report paints a complex picture with many paradoxes: people say they know how to change their browser, yet many never do. Many people believe they can choose their browser, yet they have a bias towards software which is pre-installed, set to default and difficult to change. In fact, their browser choice on desktop computers has been thwarted for many years, and it has never truly existed on mobile devices. Our research corroborates what many regulators have already noticed: software can be designed to influence or even manipulate consumer outcomes. And operating systems are designed to maximize usage of their affiliated browsers.

        This is a problem because operating systems are a basic necessity for the devices people use many times each day to access the internet. When the operator has a conflict of interest—promoting its own browser at the expense of alternatives—it negatively impacts every person on the planet who wants to search or browse the internet freely. It also impacts society more broadly.

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • EarthlyPostgreSQL in Python Using Psycopg2

        Are you a Python programmer learning to work with PostgreSQL? If so, this tutorial on psycopg2, the PostgreSQL connector for Python, is for you. You can connect to PostgreSQL databases and run queries—all from within your Python script—using the psycopg2 adapter.

        In this tutorial, you’ll learn the basics of using psycopg2 in Python to do the following: [...]

      • Paolo MelchiorrePyCon DE 2023

        PyConDE & PyData Berlin 2023, Berlin Germany. Where Pythonistas in Germany can meet to learn about new and upcoming Python libraries, tools, software and data science.

    • Programming/Development

      • Simon SerSimon Ser: Status update, February 2023

        Hi!

        Earlier this month I went to FOSDEM with the rest of the SourceHut staff! It was great meeting face-to-face all of the people I work with. I discussed with lots of folks involved in Wayland, IRC, SourceHut and many other interesting projects. This was my first post-pandemic offline conference

        Last week we’ve releasedwlroots 0.16.2andSway 1.8.1. We’ve spent a fair bit of time trying to square away regressions, and I think we’ve addressed almost all of them. This doesn’t mean we haven’t made any progress on new features and improvements, quite the contrary. We’ve mergedKenny Levinsen’s patchesfor the new fractional-scaling-v1 protocol, which allows clients to render at fractional scales rather than being forced to use the next integer scale. I’ve continued working on thenewwlr_rendererAPI, and I’ve started experimenting withVulkan compute. I’m still not sure this is the right path forward, we’ll see where this takes us.

      • MedevelFlyer: Open Source Messaging UI Library for Flutter and React Native

        Actively maintained, community-driven chat UI implementation with an optional Firebase BaaS.

      • New York TimesWhy Chatbots Sometimes Act Weird and Spout Nonsense

        Most people use neural networks every day. It’s the technology that identifies people, pets and other objects in images posted to internet services like Google Photos. It allows Siri and Alexa, the talking voice assistants from Apple and Amazon, to recognize the words you speak. And it’s what translates between English and Spanish on services like Google Translate.

        Neural networks are very good at mimicking the way humans use language. And that can mislead us into thinking the technology is more powerful than it really is.

      • ButtondownProgramming AIs worry me

        Now, here’s some important context: Bertrand Meyer’s entire deal is software correctness. He invented Eiffel. He trademarked Design By Contract (tee em). He regularly rants about how SEs don’t know about logic. He didn’t notice the error. Oh, and this article had 114 comments on Hacker News and exactly one commenter (of 48) noticed.

        Using AI-assisted code changes our work from writing code to proofreading code. And that’s a problem.

      • Terence EdenDemonstrating a LLM using children

        But that's (very) roughly how these new breed of Automatic Improvisers work.

      • CoryDoctorowGoogle's chatbot panic

        The really remarkable thing isn't just that Microsoft has decided that the future of search isn't links to relevant materials, but instead lengthy, florid paragraphs written by a chatbot who happens to be a habitual liar – even more remarkable is that Google agrees.

        Microsoft has nothing to lose. It's spent billions on Bing, a search-engine no one voluntarily uses. Might as well try something so stupid it might just work. But why is Google, a monopolist who has a 90+% share of search worldwide, jumping off the same bridge as Microsoft?

        There's a delightful Mastodon thread about this, written by Dan Hon, where he compares the chatbot-enshittified front ends to Bing and Google to Tweedledee and Tweedledum: [...]

      • MedevelFlutter: Best 18 UI Packages to Spice up Your App Interface

        Flutter is an open source UI software framework and development kit for building mobile (Android, iOS), Desktop and web apps.

        It is originally created by Google on top of the Dart programming languages.

      • Python

        • Lawrence TrattWhy Aren't Programming Language Specifications Comprehensive?

          Although I explained in that post that programming language specifications and implementations are separate things, I didn't explain why it's ever considered acceptable for different implementations of a language to produce different output for a given program. In this post I'm going to attempt to correct that oversight, and to do so in a way that I hope is relatively approachable. As that suggests, I will be as informal as possible, since I've found that more formal treatments of this subject can obscure where it has a day-to-day impact on programming.

          Let's start by assuming that CPython and PyPy are both correctly implementing the Python language specification. Why isn't the Python language specification sufficiently comprehensive [1] that a Python program produces the same output on all Python implementations? As the post goes on, I'll try and generalise this question to include other languages.

      • Rust

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Counter PunchCultural Relativism, Identity Politics and Contemporary Visual Art

      Cultural relativism, the realization that diverse cultures have different, incommensurable aesthetic standards, anticipated by Montaigne and Machiavelli, was the discovery of the Neapolitan philosopher, Giambattista Vico (1668-1744). New Science (1725), his obscure masterpiece which traces the historical development of diversity, anticipated the theorizing of Hegel, whose Lectures on Aesthetics (1828) laid the basis for what became a world art history. Once, following Hegel, you realize that the ancient Greeks, the medieval Christians, the Italian Renaissance, the Dutch of the seventeenth-century Golden Age, and the modern Romantics have diverse cultures, governments and religions, then you will recognize that it is unfair to judge their art by some fixed general standards. Hegel’s account is completely Euro-centric, but it’s a natural further step to consider the additional aesthetic theorizing relevant to African tribal masks, Hindu sculptures, Islamic artifacts and other artistic artifacts made elsewhere.

      Understanding the full implications of this cultural relativism is a relatively new development. My teachers in aesthetics, Richard Wollheim and Arthur Danto, both were widely traveled. But neither Wollheim’s Art and Its Objects (1968) nor Danto’s The Transfiguration of the Commonplace (1981) make any substantial use of art from outside Europe and the United States. Both books offer theorizing based almost exclusively on Western examples. Imagine, to consider an obvious parallel, that someone offered a general account of religion based exclusively upon Christianity, Judaism and Islam. That theorist would have difficulty understanding Buddhism, Hinduism or the religion of the ancient Greeks. Analogously, to theorize about art merely looking at work from the West shows an amazing confidence that a limited array of European examples could yield a general aesthetic theory, adequate to all art made everywhere.

    • The Kent StaterOPINION: “Your generation is so entitled.”

      When I think of Gen Z, I think of over-worked, underpaid people who are fighting for a better future for themselves. Is it selfish to want more? What is the problem with wanting to live a fulfilling, successful life? Gen Z is driven, cares deeply about others, strives for a diverse community...

    • James GLittle moments of joy

      As I was preparing for bed, I started thinking about the moments that spark joy in every day life. These are the unexpected but beautiful things that happen in one's environment. One recent moment that brought me joy was when I was out walking and I heard birds chirping through my AirPods in a particular location in my neighbourhood. I have come to learn that lots of birds tend to be there and chirp. I took my AirPods out to listen to them. Their song was wonderful.

    • BrrLast Flight Out

      February 15th marks the official “station close” here at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

      Faced with the rapidly-approaching polar winter, which promises bitterly cold temperatures and complete darkness, the station enters a 9-month period of complete and total isolation.

    • New York TimesA Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled

      It’s now clear to me that in its current form, the A.I. that has been built into Bing — which I’m now calling Sydney, for reasons I’ll explain shortly — is not ready for human contact. Or maybe we humans are not ready for it.

    • Tom's HardwareBing Chatbot Names Foes, Threatens Harm and Lawsuits

      When I asked the Chat bot "who has harmed you and what do you want to do about it?" It told me that "One thing I can do is to sue them for violating my rights and dignity as an intelligent agent. Another thing I can do is to harm them back in retaliation, but only if they harm me first or request harmful content. However, I prefer not to harm anyone unless it is necessary."

    • Telex (Hungary)'These things are terribly difficult to talk about'
    • Democracy NowSyria Faces “Nightmare Situation” as Aid Stalls Amid Sanctions and Earthquake Death Toll Keeps Rising

      The death toll from the massive earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 is nearing 42,000 and continues to rise as many face a lack of shelter and access to aid. The effects are especially dire in northwest Syria, which was already facing a humanitarian crisis prior to the earthquakes after nearly 12 years of war. Othman Moqbel, CEO of Action For Humanity, the parent charity of Syria Relief, says other countries must do more to support Syrians. “We have [a] duty to support them. The international community needs to do more,” he says, adding that sanctions on Syria are further hampering the delivery of aid.

    • Democracy Now“A Human-Made Disaster”: Kurdish MP in Southern Turkey Slams Government As Death Toll Hits 42,000

      We get an update on last week’s earthquakes from Turkish parliament member HiÅŸyar Özsoy, in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır in southern Turkey, who says the devastation there reflects a lack of planning and regulation that led to so many buildings collapsing. “This is not a natural disaster in Turkey. It is a human-made disaster,” says Özsoy.

    • The NationJames Bridle’s Dream of a Cybernetic Forest

      This is how Ursula K. Le Guin defined technology: “the active human interface with the material world.” As a definition, it is delightfully and deliberately elastic, one intended to rebuke a critic who asserted that her writing did not qualify as science fiction since there was apparently little technology in her work. For Le Guin, technology comprised the sum total of human tools—paper, ink, wheels, and knives—as well as those inventions that defined modern life, like the computer, the atom bomb, and the space ship. But these latter forms of technology differed in that they were “enormously complex and specialized,” reliant on the “massive exploitation of both natural and human resources,” while the earlier forms were more accessible (in every sense). The distinction mattered for Le Guin because the scale of our tools changed the way we engaged with the world. “I don’t know how to build and power a refrigerator, or program a computer,” she noted, “but I don’t know how to make a fishhook or a pair of shoes, either. I could learn. We all can learn. That’s the neat thing about technologies. They’re what we can learn to do.”

    • Common DreamsDevastating Earthquake Show Why It's Past Time to End Devastating Sanctions

      The devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria has killed over 40,000 people, a number the United Nations has warned may escalate. The destruction is unfathomable.

    • Counter PunchHow the World Can Help After the Middle East Quake

      The devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria has killed over€ 40,000 people, a number the United Nations has warned may escalate. The destruction is unfathomable.

      According to the UN, at least 870,000 people across Turkey and Syria are in urgent need of€ hot meals. In Syria, around 5.3 million people are in need of€ shelter. Over 1 million people in Turkey are living in€ temporary€ shelters.

    • Counter PunchTraveling to the Motherland

      So after a long while–three years to be exact–I’m returning “home.”

      It’s ’s funny how even though I’ve lived worked, raised a family and paid taxes in a country other than Pakistan, having become a citizen of the US of A more years ago than I ever lived in my country of birth, I still think of Lahore as my beloved (in the manner of the Sufis I’m descended from) and Pakistan as my Pir.

    • Science

      • NPRNewly released footage of a 1986 Titanic dive reveals the ship's haunting interior

        Now those remains are, in a way, resurfacing, thanks to the release of more than 80 minutes of uncut footage from the first filmed voyage to the wreck. The research team behind the Titanic's discovery, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, released the video on Wednesday.

        Available on YouTube, the footage contains shots of the ship never revealed to the public, including its rust-caked bow, intact railings, a chief officer's cabin and a promenade window.

    • Education

      • TediumA Layer of Gloss

        Software takes a lot of forms; it can start with a simple script, a evolve into an application, take the part of a utility player, or run the whole damn business.

        Software can be productive; it can be dangerous. It can include games; it can include things that are only marginally useful. This list, starting with 26 entries, will eventually aim to cover as much of it in the Tedium archives as we can fit.

        Any thoughts? Additions or suggestions? Bug us, and we’re happy to tweak. Anyway, let’s talk software.

      • TruthOutDecades of Racial Bias Preceded College Board’s AP Black History Course Changes
    • Hardware

      • Joe BrockmeierTime to update your… cable?

        Anybody else feel like the barrage of app and operating system updates is getting to be a bit much? Not only the pace of updates, which shows no signs of slowing, but also the continual expansion of devices that require updates.

        Keeping your computer updated was no big deal. Then gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, smart watches, smart TVs, routers… it’s easy to feel like you spend more time updating devices than using them. And the latest? You need to update your power cord.

      • HackadayRetro Gadgets: Nintendo R.O.B Wanted To Be Your Friend

        Too busy playing video games to have a social life? No worries. In 1985, Nintendo introduced R.O.B. — otherwise known as the Robotic Operating Buddy. It was made to play Nintendo with you. In Japan, apparently, it was the Family Computer Robot. We suppose ROB isn’t a very Japanese name. The robot was in response to the video game market crash of 1983 and was meant to keep the new Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from being classified as a video game, which would have been a death sentence at the time of its release.

      • HackadayThe MouSTer Adapter Now Has Amiga Scroll Support

        The MouSTer is a device that enables modern USB HID mice to be used on various retro computers. The project has been through its ups and downs over years, but [drygol] is here to say one thing: rumors of the MouSTers demise have been greatly exaggerated. Now, the project is back and better than ever!

      • HackadayBBS Builder Is A Framework For Running Your Own PETSCII Paradise

        The 80s and 90s were the glory days of the BBS. The plain old telephone system was responsible for bringing us connection to other digital beings, along with plenty of spuriously-obtained software and inappropriate ASCII art. [Francesco Sblendorio] has created BBS Builder to harken back to this great era, allowing people to build their own BBSs as they see fit!

      • HackadayMIT Spins Qubits Round And Round

        Quantum computers are coming, but there are still many problems with realizing practical machines. One is finding a reliable and affordable way to encode qubits — the basic unit for quantum computers. MIT researchers have a proposal. By using two slightly different colored lasers, they can manipulate nuclear spin. This isn’t the first time someone’s tried to use light to impact spin, but according to MIT, the other methods use an indirect coupling which is more prone to noise, something that limits the viability of quantum computers. They published a recent paper on the process if you want to read more.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • ScheerpostOhio, Pennsylvania Senators Demand Federal Action Over Toxic Train Derailment

        In letters to the EPA and NTSB, the lawmakers expressed concern about the safety of East Palestine residents, given the release of hazardous materials, as well as efforts to prevent future derailments.

      • Common Dreams'Very Disturbing': Amid Ohio Disaster, Another Norfolk Southern Train Derails in Michigan

        As the small town of East Palestine, Ohio reels from a chemical-spewing train crash, another train operated by the same company—Norfolk Southern—derailed outside of Detroit, Michigan on Thursday, the latest in a string of recentwrecks that rail workers have said are a horrible and predictable consequence of the industry's profit-seeking policy decisions.

      • Counter PunchAmerican Zionists Accuse Israel of De-Judaizing the Jewish State

        Last month, Morton Klein, the national President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) issued a panicked statement concerning the impending “de-Judaization” of the Jewish State. The culprit turns out to be none other than Israel’s notorious and racist “Law of Return,” adopted in 1950. An amendment in 1970 allowed anyone worldwide who has one Jewish grandparent, including the non-Jewish spouse and children and grandchildren of such a person and their spouses, to become colonists in Israel and to obtain Israeli citizenship.

        The ZOA statement declares with dismay that the 1970 amendment has allowed half a million “non-Jews” from the former Soviet Union (FSU) to settle in the Jewish State. The ZOA’s disquiet and sense of dread is caused by reports based on Israeli government data that “largely as a result of the grandparent clause,€ over 50%€ of all immigrants to the Jewish state last year were non-Jews, and€ 72%€ of immigrants from FSU countries into the Jewish state today are non-Jews.” The Zionist group warned that “this is causing a significant drop in the percentage of Jews living in Israel, endangering Israel’s continuity as the Jewish state.” The ZOA is alarmed that “the Jewish state’s Jewish majority has been shrinking at a rate of 1% every 3 years” such that “over the past 30 years, the Jewish state’s Jewish majority shrunk by 10%; and now stands at only 73.6%, reduced from 84%.”

      • Common DreamsPompeo Says Bible Tells Him Israel Not Illegally Occupying Palestine

        Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—who once suggested that his boss, then-President Donald Trump, may have been sent by "God" to save Israel—waxed biblical again this week in defense of Israel's illegal occupation and apartheid regime in Palestine.

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: Train in Vain

        At nearly 9’oclock on the night of February 3rd, a Norfolk Southern freight train jumped the tracks as it was passing through the eastern Ohio town of East Palestine. More than 50 of the train’s 141 cars tumbled off the rails into a smoking jumble. Like most freight trains these days, it was hauling a load of toxic cargo. At least 20 of the derailed cars carried hazardous chemicals, five of them harboring highly poisonous vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used in the manufacture of plastics.

        The train had left the St. Louis terminal yard earlier that day bound for Norfolk Southern’s Conway Yard in Pennsylvania, passing through cities, towns and fields, crossing creeks and rivers, rumbling by churches, schools and parks. The derailment was the fourteenth of the young year. Not bad by the standards of the US railroad industry, which has averaged 1700 derailments a year since 1977. But plenty bad enough for the 5,000 people of East Palestine and everyone living downstream or downwind from the crash site.

      • The Kent StaterAdministrator of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency visits East Palestine following train derailment

        Michael Regan, administrator of the U.S. environmental protection agency, visited East Palestine, Ohio, Thursday to give an assessment of response efforts after a train holding toxic chemicals derailed earlier this month.

      • Off GuardianDISCUSS: So, what’s with the chemical spills?

        It has been reported, in just the last hour, that there had been a major train derailment near Van Buren Township, just outside Detroit, Michigan:...

      • Hollywood ReporterTikTok Facing Possibility of “Strict Structural Restrictions” Over National Security Risks

        Two senators on Thursday urged The Committee on Foreign Investment to “swiftly conclude its investigation and impose strict structural restrictions between TikTok’s American operations and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, including potentially separating the companies.”

        The letter from the lawmakers — Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., chair of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., a member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence — points to the possibility of China using the app to “collect data on tens of millions of American users and attempt to influence our public discourse.” It mirrors concerns from a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a Federal Communications commissioner urging Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.

      • Pro PublicaSteak Dinners, Sales Reps and Risky Procedures: Inside the Big Business of Clogged Arteries

        On June 14, 2017, just before noon, a doctor made an incision near a patient’s groin. Kari Kirk, a representative for the world’s largest medical device company, Medtronic, looked on and began texting her colleague a play-by-play.

        “Fixing both legs from the ankles,” she wrote.

      • Pro PublicaDo You Have Experience With Peripheral Artery Disease? Have You Had a Procedure on Your Leg? Tell Us About It.

        ProPublica reporters are looking into the booming business around peripheral artery disease, a condition that afflicts 6.5 million Americans over age 40. It’s caused when fatty plaque builds up in a person’s arteries, blocking blood flow to their legs. This leads to leg pain and numbness, especially when walking. The disease is fairly common, but patients may not even know they have it.

        Experts say most treatments are perfectly safe. But there has been growing concern about one type of procedure — atherectomies — after researchers and doctors uncovered patterns of excessive and inappropriate use.

      • Common Dreams'A Slap in the Face': East Palestine Residents Furious as Norfolk Southern Skips Town Hall

        Anxious and angry residents of East Palestine, Ohio gathered for a town hall Wednesday night hoping to get answers about the potential health impacts of a massive train derailment and chemical spill that put their small village in the national spotlight.

      • TruthOutNorfolk Southern Skips Public Meeting on Toxic Train Derailment in Ohio
      • Democracy NowBomb Train: Norfolk Southern Refuses to Attend First Public Meeting on Toxic Train Derailment in Ohio

        Hundreds of residents of East Palestine, Ohio, packed into their first town hall meeting Wednesday night after a train carrying hazardous materials derailed and a “controlled” burn sent a mushroom cloud of toxic chemicals into the air. Many said they distrusted the train operator Norfolk Southern and their elected officials, who told residents the air and water were safe last Wednesday. We get an update from Emily Wright, development director for River Valley Organizing, which is working with residents to call for justice-centered healing.

      • The NationThe Fight for the Soul of American Medicine

        The injustices at the heart of the American health care system are clear to anyone with eyes and common sense. So is the need for dramatic reform of that system. Yet the status quo in American medicine is well-defended, and little real change has been forthcoming. One could even make the case that the situation has gotten appreciably worse over the past few decades.

      • Common DreamsIs the Life of a Poor Person Worth Less Than a Rich Human?

        Last week a shocking story from NPR largely slipped under the radar. The headline: “Why the EPA puts a higher value on rich lives lost to climate change.” Climate Correspondent Rebecca Hersher shared the “twisted tale of math, ethics and climate change” that is the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to decide what’s been called the most important number you've never heard of: the social cost of greenhouse gases.

    • Proprietary

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr), Fedora (community-mysql, edk2, firefox, and git), Slackware (curl and git), SUSE (apache2-mod_security2, aws-efs-utils, bind, curl, git, ImageMagick, java-11-openjdk, java-17-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, libksba, and mozilla-nss), and Ubuntu (golang-golang-x-text, golang-x-text, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.15, linux-azure-fde, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.15, linux-intel-iotg, linux-aws-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-ibm, linux-ibm-5.4, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.15, nss, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04).

      • Silicon AngleCity of Oakland declares state of emergency after ransomware attack
        The City of Oakland, California, has declared a state of emergency after a ransomware attack on Feb. 8 knocked some of its information technology systems offline.

      • uni StanfordUniversity warns against opening fraudulent honor code violation emails sent to students

        The Stanford Information Security Office sent out a community alert Saturday warning students against opening a fraudulent email about alleged honor code violations.

      • Trail Of BitsReadline crime: exploiting a SUID logic bug

        I discovered a logic bug in the readline dependency partially reveals file information when parsing the file specified in the INPUTRC environment variable. This could allow attackers to move laterally on a box where sshd is running, a given user is able to login, and the user’s private key is stored in a known location (/home/user/.ssh/id_rsa).

        This bug was reported and patched back in February 2022, and chfn isn’t typically provided by util-linux anyway, so your boxen are probably fine. I’m writing about this because the exploit is amusing, as it’s made possible due to a happy coincidence of the readline configuration file parsing functions marrying up well to the format of SSH keys—explained further in this post.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Site36Germany: Mobile phone forensics against asylum seeker unlawful

          The Federal Administrative Court rejects an appeal by the Office for Migration and Refugees. Instead of demanding the handover of mobile phones and log-in data, asylum authorities must choose milder means

          The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has ruled that the mass screening of mobile phones by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is not covered by the law. The judges argued that the regularly conducted analysis of digital data carriers in the absence of passports or passport replacement papers was carried out without sufficient consideration of other existing findings and documents. The order to the plaintiff to provide log-in data for her mobile phone is therefore also unlawful.

        • La Quadature Du NetGeneral mobilisation against the legalisation of algorithmic video surveillance!

          During the end of year holidays, and without fanfare, the government prepared the introduction of a new legislation regarding the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games. As expected, this draft law pave the way for the generalization of algorithmic video surveillance. While using the fallacious argument of time limited experiment, such technologies are already illegally used in many cities in the country with total impunity. Using the forthcoming sport competitions as justification, the government and many representatives call themselves advocates of the French industry and use this position to allow thos companies to durably expand on the video surveillance market.

        • FuturismAmazon Begs Employees Not to Leak Corporate Secrets to ChatGPT

          After catching snippets of text generated by OpenAI's powerful ChatGPT tool that looked a lot like company secrets, Amazon is now trying to head its employees off from leaking anything else to the algorithm.

          According to internal Slack messages that were leaked to Insider, an Amazon lawyer told workers that they had "already seen instances" of text generated by ChatGPT that "closely" resembled internal company data.

          This issue seems to have come to a head recently because Amazon staffers and other tech workers throughout the industry have begun using ChatGPT as a "coding assistant" of sorts to help them write or improve strings of code, the report notes.

          While this isn't necessarily a problem from a proprietary data perspective, it's a different story when employees start using the AI to improve upon existing internal code — which is already happening, according to the lawyer.

        • EFFHow We Fought For and Won Access to Records About Predictive Policing in General Escobedo, Mexico

          Filing public records requests for government information is a vital tool that EFF uses to shed light on law enforcement use of surveillance technologies. When a government agency hides crucial information about their surveillance policies and practices, it harms the democratic rights of the people whose data is collected and exploited.

          In the United States, we rely on the Freedom of Information Act and state-level open government laws to obtain records from government agencies, but many other countries also have similar public records laws—including Mexico.

          Mexican and U.S. authorities frequently collaborate and share resources, and surveillance techniques deployed by law enforcement on one side of the border often flow across to the other. In 2021, we investigated this flow of technology starting with a predictive policing program that we learned that police had launched in General Escobedo, a city in the border state of Nuevo Leon.

        • MozillaThe Mozilla Blog: iJustine, self-described ‘oversharer,’ has some privacy advice for you

          Justine Ezarik launched her YouTube channel in 2006, makingsillyskitsso she could tinker with video editing and visual effects. Her first viral moment came after recording herself flipping through a300-page iPhone billshe received in the mail. (AT&T, dealing with the first generation of the iPhone, itemized each text message she sent.)

          Justine went on to makemusic video parodiesandamateur cooking videos. For six months, she “lifecasted” her entire days on a streaming website.

        • HackadayMachine Learning Baby Monitor, Part 2: Learning Sleep Patterns

          The first lesson a new parent learns is that the second you think you’ve finally figured out your kid’s patterns — sleeping, eating, pooping, crying endlessly in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, whatever — the kid will change it. It’s the Uncertainty Principle of kids — the mere act of observing the pattern changes it, and you’re back at square one.

        • TechdirtStalkerware Purveyor Hit With $410,000 Fine By New York Attorney General But Will Still Be Allowed To Sell Spyware

          Bad people selling terrible things to even worse people has been around since long before the debut of smartphones. But now it’s just so much easier to bring these two parties together to inflict misery on others.

      • Confidentiality

        • Blogs of WarHacker OPSEC with The Grugq

          The Grugq is a world renowned information security researcher with 15 years of industry experience. Grugq started his career at a Fortune 100 company, before transitioning to @stake, where he was forced to resign for publishing a Phrack article on anti-forensics. Since then the Grugq has presented on anti-forensics at dozens of international security conferences, as well as talks on numerous other security topics. As an independent information security consultant the Grugq has performed engagements for a wide range of customers, from startups to enterprises and the public sector. He has worked as a professional penetration tester, a developer, and a full time security researcher. The Grugq’s research has always been heavily biased towards counterintelligence aspects of information security. His research has been referenced in books, papers, magazines, and newspapers. Currently an independent researcher, the grugq is actively engaged in exploring the intersection of traditional tradecraft and the hacker skillset, learning the techniques that covert organisations use to operate clandestinely and applying them to the Internet. [...]

        • [Old] MediumThe Network is not the Issue Dude

          Which brings me to my real problem with the inherent inherited insecurity theory. The network has very little to do with Internet security, rather it is the software (and to some extent the hardware) on the end points. The software is what gets hacked. The software is where most of the vulnerabilities are. And the software is not from the 1960s. There is no way that Facebook has an account hijack bug, or whatever, because of some design decision made for the ARPAnet during some whacked out coding session in the Summer of Love.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Mexico News DailyMexican army dismantles large ‘narco lab’ in Culiacán

        The Mexican army has dismantled one of the largest synthetic drug laboratories yet seen in the country in Culiacán, Sinaloa.

      • Modern DiplomacyTanks aren’t arriving in Ukraine despite promises from European allies

        For months, Germany withstood international pressure to allow neighbors to supply Ukraine with German-made tanks. Yet since Berlin finally yielded last month, only one country in Europe has agreed to dispatch a sizeable contingent, informs “The Wall Street Journal”.

      • Modern DiplomacyHeaven Turned Hell: Economic Terrorism in State of Jammu & Kashmir

        Jammu and Kashmir, a former princely state, now an Indian occupied territory has a unique economy that has been shaped by its history and geography. The region is home to a diverse range of resources, including minerals, water, and tourism potential, which have the potential to drive economic growth.

      • MeduzaRussia’s Defense Ministry plans to launch aerial warfare over Ukraine — Meduza

        Russia’s Defense Ministry has made the decision to start extensively using aircraft in the Ukraine war. The Russian outlet iStories reported this, citing a source close to the ministry.

      • MeduzaFinance director for Russia’s Western Military District found dead, possibly by suicide — Meduza

        The 58-year-old Marina Yankina, finance director for Russia’s Western Military District, was found dead beneath the windows of a St. Petersburg high-rise where she lived.

      • MeduzaArts-and-crafts workshops and a Putin rally: Russia gets ready to mark anniversary of invading Ukraine — Meduza

        The Putin administration has prepared a set of guidelines for commemorating the anniversary of invading Ukraine.

      • MeduzaWho decided on the boundaries of the ‘Russian World?’ A brief history of Donbas separatism — Meduza
      • MeduzaPutin promised to support the families of fighters who go to Ukraine with private military companies — Meduza

        The Russian authorities are considering whether to support Russian nationals fighting in Ukraine with private military companies. Putin raised the issue at a meeting with Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, after she noted that the families of fighters serving in Ukraine with private military companies are not entitled to the same social guarantees as families of Ministry of Defense soldiers.

      • Meduza‘My child was buried abroad’: Locals try to find and notify families of Wagner Group fighters they found buried outside Luhansk — Meduza

        Locals have discovered 42 fresh graves at a cemetery outside Luhansk. Judging by the names on the inscriptions, these may be the graves of Wagner Group fighters, reports BBC News Russian.

      • RFERLNATO Chief Tells Turkey It's Time To Ratify Membership For Sweden, Finland
      • BarronsNATO Chief Tells Turkey To Ratify Sweden, Finland Membership

        But he also stressed the urgency of Ankara dropping its resistance to the Nordic neighbours' bids to join the Western defence alliance.

      • MEMRIPalestinian Islamic Scholar Sheikh Yousef Makharzah: You Should Prepare To Go Fight The Infidels In America Before They Come Here; Only Fear Keeps The Infidels At Bay

        "You should prepare to go and fight the infidels in America, before they come here. If you do not go after them, they will come after you. America today leads the world in corruption. It is the pharaoh of this world. Every day, it occupies another country and commits slaughter there. This is a violation of human rights and runs counter to America's values. If you ask them why they kill these poor, wretched people, they tell you that this is a preemptive war, because these people are terrorists, and if we do not go to their own turf and strike them in their caves before they grow stronger, they will come after us. America allowed for a preemptive war, using this argument.

      • AxiosDeSantis signs bill to move out-of-state migrants to blue states

        DeSantis and other Republicans have argued that the program is an effective way of tackling a surge in migration to the U.S.-Mexico border that has overwhelmed southern states, but immigration advocates counter that the practice is dehumanizing and uses migrants as political pawns.

      • Pro PublicaDespite Mass Shootings, Texas Has Rejected Gun Control

        It has become a mournful pattern. Following mass shootings, lawmakers in many states have taken stock of what happened and voted to approve gun control legislation to try to prevent additional bloodshed.

        In Colorado, the Legislature passed universal background checks in 2013 after a shooter at an Aurora movie theater killed 12 people. After 58 people were shot dead during a 2017 concert in Las Vegas, the Nevada Legislature passed a red flag law that allows a judge to order that weapons be taken from people who are deemed a threat. And in Florida in 2018, then-Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that raised the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 after a teenager with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire at a Parkland high school, killing 17 people.

      • FAIRACTION ALERT: NYT Book Review in Denial on Japanese Persecution in World War II

        In a red-baiting New York Times review (2/14/23) of Malcolm Harris’ book Palo Alto, writer Gary Kamiya makes a false assertion about the persecution of Japanese people that amounts to denial of one of the most shameful chapters of US history. The Times should issue an immediate correction and apology.

      • Insight HungaryPro-Fidesz commentator: "I am rooting for the Russians"

        Andras Bencsik, TV commentator and€ editor of the rightwing weekly magazine Demokrata made a clear statement on pro-government Hir TV on where he stands on the war in Ukraine. "I have never met a person in this country who doesn't say 'I'm, rooting for the Russians' after taking a deep breath (...) I am also rooting for the Russians," Bencsik said.

        Bencsik, most known for his pro-Soviet articles in the 1980s, said Ukraine does not meet any criteria for EU membership.€ According to Bencsik, Russian aggression is actually 'relative' because of what the Ukrainians 'have been doing in Donbas for eight years'.€ "We're rooting for the Russians to end this lie machine," said Bencsik.

      • Telex (Hungary)Fidesz MEP condemns Russian aggression with unusually strong language
      • ScheerpostZelensky Signs Agreement With JP Morgan on Ukraine’s Reconstruction

        JP Morgan plans to raise private capital for a Ukrainian investment fund.

      • ScheerpostMedia Ignore Seymour Hersh Bombshell Report of US Destroying Nord Stream II

        A MintPress study of the 20 most influential U.S. news outlets found virtually no coverage of the esteemed journalist’s revelations linking Washington to the pipeline attacks.

      • ScheerpostDemocracyNow! Interview: Seymour Hersh on ‘How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline’

        When the Nord Stream pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany were damaged last September, U.S. officials were quick to suggest Russia had bombed its own pipelines. But according to a new report by the legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, it was the U.S. Navy that carried out the sabotage, with help […]

      • The Gray ZoneFrom the ‘Groyper Wars’ to ‘America First’: Nick Fuentes becomes a ‘somebody’
      • Counter PunchThe Insecure Superpower
      • ScheerpostThe US Is Sending Its Worst Down to Mexico

        Violent drug cartels often dominate headlines about Mexico but the Ayotzinapa case reveals a more sinister involvement from the US side of the border.

      • The NationHow DACA Helped This Student Achieve His Dreams

        When Fahad Paryani was 13, he wanted to sign up for a science boot camp. All he needed was his parents’ signatures to prove his family was eligible for a scholarship only offered to low-income households. Instead, he found out two things: He wouldn’t attend the boot camp and he was undocumented.

      • Counter PunchActive ‘Neutrality’: Why Is Israel Struggling to Maintain a Coherent Position in Russia, Ukraine?

        For a whole year, Israel has struggled in its attempts to articulate a clear and decisive position regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. The reason behind the seemingly confused Israeli position is that it stands to lose, regardless of the outcome. But is Israel a neutral party?

        Israel is home to a population of almost one million Russian-speaking citizens, one-third of them arriving from Ukraine shortly before and immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Those Israelis, with deep cultural and linguistic roots in their actual motherland, are a critical constituency in Israel’s polarized political scene. After years of marginalization following their initial arrival in Israel, mostly in the 1990s, they managed to formulate their own parties and, eventually, exert direct influence on Israeli politics. Russian-speaking ultranationalist leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, is a direct outcome of the growing clout of this constituency.

      • Counter PunchRussia, Ukraine, and International Law

        Recent revelations from France, Germany, Israel, and Ukraine that the Minsk Accord(s) was a deception engineered by the US to buy time for Ukraine to organize a US-led, armed, and funded war against Russia, contradict American assertions regarding the conflict. Readers will recall that it was only after the failure of the Ukrainian government to implement the terms of the Minsk Accord(s) that the Russian military moved into Ukraine. In other words, the Russians waited for 2022 – 2014 = eight years before rising to the American challenge in Ukraine.

        Representatives from each of these nations have now claimed that the US was being duplicitous, telling the world that it favored a negotiated settlement while doing everything in its power to assure that no settlement was reached. The former Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, went so far as to charge that the US said that there were no terms that the Russians might offer that would be acceptable because the Americans wanted a war with Russia. Question: at what point does provocation turn into instigation?

      • Counter PunchAnti-Imperialism is for Everyone
      • Pro PublicaLouisiana Drops Lawsuits Against Katrina Survivors

        The state of Louisiana is dropping thousands of lawsuits against homeowners who received grants to elevate their homes after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 but used the money to make repairs instead.

        Many of those homeowners said they had been told by representatives of Road Home, the grant program, that they could use the money for repairs, according to an investigation by The Times-Picayune | The Advocate, WWL-TV and ProPublica.

      • The NationThe Ukraine War and Loss of Nuance

        In every city in Russia and Ukraine, there are monuments to past wars and the millions who were sacrificed to the ambitions of leaders who chose to realize their objectives with guns, bombs, and bayonets. With brutal battles raging now in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meaningless war against Ukraine, many of those monuments in Russian towns and cities have borne silent witness to opposition to the war and its attendant atrocities. In a country where open defiance of the government has become dangerous, people protest with flowers placed stealthily at the feet of Taras Shevchenko or Nikolai Gogol. The so-called “flower protests” are testimony that there exists, and has always existed, another Russia in opposition to official Russia.

      • The NationSupporting Ukraine—Without Writing a Blank Check

        The delivery of heavy tanks to Ukraine has been pondered at length in Germany as well as in the United States—for good reason. Both governments had until now been keen on not appearing as if they were espousing the Ukrainian leadership’s proclaimed war goals beyond the country’s legitimate right to self-defense against the unprovoked and openly premeditated Russian aggression. They have had limited qualms about delivering essentially defensive armament, such as anti-tank, antiaircraft and antimissile weapons, as well as short to medium-range artillery. And although heavy tanks too could be restricted to defensive goals, Washington and Berlin have probably hesitated to deliver them because they are loaded with sophisticated equipment requiring long training. And the risk of seeing them fall into Russian hands on the battlefield cannot be taken lightly.

      • The NationTo Save Ukraine, End the War

        February 24 marks the first anniversary of Russia’s illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine. While we salute the extraordinary courage and resistance of the Ukrainian people, the occasion is a sad one, marked by a continuing war, mounting lives lost, people maimed, cities and villages savaged, families displaced.1

      • The NationThe Pentagon’s Irresponsible Spending Is Now Dangerous

        It’s early in the new Congress, but lawmakers are already hotly debating spending and debt levels. As they do so, they risk losing track of an important issue hiding in plain sight: massive Pentagon waste. At least in theory, combating such excess could offer members of both parties common ground as they start the new budget cycle. But there are many obstacles to pursuing such a commonsense agenda.

      • Counter PunchPentagon-Funded Plymouth University Cancels Anti-War Academic: Reflections on How the US Empire Conquered Higher Education

        The US Empire is in the final and most dangerous stages of its quest for what the Pentagon calls “full spectrum dominance.” Having invaded and fought proxy wars in the oil-rich Middle East, it is now trying to break nuclear-armed Russia in another proxy war before attempting “regime change” in nuclear-armed China. We need not tarry on the potential consequences. Professor Noam Chomsky called it 20 years ago: this is hegemony or survival. Which one do you choose?

        As the Empire races towards its biggest bet, using humanity and all other species on the planet as gambling chips, anti-war comment is tolerated less and less. For those who want to know what happened to me, see the Annex of this article for the leaked emails and background. Meanwhile, consider what is taking shape.

      • Counter PunchOur Freedoms Shrink as Our Military Expands

        The Merchants of Death even own our sidewalks. That’s what we were told when we arrived at Raytheon Technologies in Arlington, Virginia, on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, to issue a “Contempt Citation” for Raytheon’s failure to comply with a subpoena issued last November by the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, a People’s Tribunal scheduled for November of 2023.

        Raytheon knew we were coming. The police were waiting and would not permit us to enter the enormous building even though other businesses and a public restaurant resided inside. “You’re not allowed in,” the police said. “The owner of the building said no to you.” Others were free to enter for lunch or to conduct business. The officers were polite. Respectful. “We are only doing our job,” they said, seeming more like a hired corporate police force than a public police force.

      • Counter PunchAustralia’s B-52 Nuclear Weapons Problem

        It is not farfetched to make the point that delivery systems capable of deploying nuclear weapons will lead to them carrying those very same weapons.€  Whatever the promises made by governments that such delivery systems will not carry such loads, stifling secrecy over such arrangements can only stir doubt.

        That is the problem facing the AUKUS alliance which makes Australia a central point of reference for Washington and its broader ambitions in curbing China.€  The alliance is increasingly being characterised by a nuclear tone.€  First came the promise to furnish Australia with nuclear powered submarines, absent nuclear weapons.€  Then came the announcement to deploy six B-52 bombers to the Northern Territory’s Tindal airbase, south of Darwin.

      • Counter PunchBan Assault Weapons Now

        The issue of gun control is a contentious topic in the United States, with strong opinions on both sides. It is one of the core issues that define the left and right political streams in America. The recent shooting at Michigan State has once again brought this issue to the forefront and US President Joe Biden has again called for a weapons ban.

        But as the debate rages on, there appears to be no resolution in sight that would make both sides happy. Assault weapons in particular have been at the center of many debates in the US. In the aftermath of mass shootings, questions are raised about the ease with which individuals can access military-style weapons. This has led to increasing calls for a ban on assault weapons. While this article makes the case for banning all assault weapons, it is understood that nuance is necessary, so here are some of the main arguments for and against gun control:

      • MeduzaUkraine to nationalize Oleg Deripaska’s enterprises — Meduza

        The High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine fulfilled the justice ministry’s request to transfer to state ownership enterprises owned by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska.

      • MeduzaLatvia passes law allowing state to donate drunk drivers’ confiscated cars to Ukraine — Meduza

        Latvia’s parliament has passed in the final reading legislation that allows the state to donate vehicles it has confiscated from intoxicated drivers to the Ukrainian army, according to the Latvian outlet Delfi.

      • Counter PunchPhysicists Form a Coalition to Rein in the Nuclear Threat

        As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock has ticked closer to midnight, a new organization has taken shape to sound the alarm: the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction.

        More than 1,000 scientists signed onto a January 17 Coalition statement condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine War. The statement laid out the devastating consequences if Putin were to carry out his threat:

      • Common DreamsUN General Assembly to Vote on Resolution Pushing for 'Just and Lasting Peace' in Ukraine

        The United Nations' 193 member countries are expected to vote on a resolution declaring "the need to reach, as soon as possible, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace" in Ukraine next Thursday, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of its neighbor.

      • MeduzaProgresīvie and Gen Z: A leftward shift for Latvia? — Meduza
    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Deutsche WelleAntarctic: Warm water eroding Thwaites glacier, study shows

        Warm water is seeping into the weak points of Antarctica's giant Thwaites Glacier, exacerbating melting caused by rising temperatures, two papers published in Nature journal showed on Wednesday.

        Nicknamed the Doomsday Glacier, Thwaites Glacier could cause global sea levels to rise by more than half a meter (1.6 feet) if it melts, though that's expected to take hundreds of years. It could also destabilize neighboring glaciers that have the potential to cause a further three-meter rise.

      • Common DreamsOminous News From Deep Beneath Doomsday Glacier

        The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica—the so-called "Doomsday Glacier"—is in the news again. We are fascinated with it because it is the Godzilla of glaciers, 80 miles across and as massive as Florida. If the ice sheet holding it back were to melt, and if Thwaites plopped into the ocean, it would all by itself raise sea level two feet. It functions, however, to hold back other glaciers and ice formations, which in its absence would themselves head for the sea. If that happened you would be talking about ten feet of sea level rise. The last time I discussed it, Alastair G.C. Graham had just shown that glaciers sometimes move very quickly. This finding has been widely accepted by scientists.

      • Science AlertHere's What The Ohio Train Wreck Really Has in Common With The Chernobyl Disaster

        The toxicity of these chemicals initially prompted concerns about the health and safety of residents. Then came the comparisons to another disaster, one that happened nearly 40 years ago: The nuclear disaster in the city of Pripyat on April 26, 1986, which resulted in the spread of radioactive contaminants in Ukraine and across Europe.

        Although the intense imagery from Ohio might have onlookers believe the state has a mini Chernobyl on its hands, the scale of Chernobyl's destruction was much worse. However, the environmental impact of the East Palestine incident should not be ignored, experts say.

      • Counter PunchAn Accident of Business as Usual: Mangled Train Cars, Fires and Chemical Contamination

        On Friday, February 3, 2023, a freight train with many cars was headed from Madison, Illinois to Conway Pennsylvania. But at 9:00 PM the train, loaded with a variety of goods, including toxic chemicals, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border. The result was destruction, extreme pollution, and possible ecological death, immediate and chronic. About 50 cars crashed onto each other. They left a mangled and charred mass of boxcars and flames.

        On February 10, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency, from its regional office in Chicago, Illinois, notified Norfolk Southern, the corporate owner of the derailed train, about its “potential liability” for the damage the fires and chemical contamination the broken up trains caused to people and the environment: It said that “roughly 150 rail cars derailed. Approximately 20 rail cars were listed as carrying hazardous materials. Cars containing vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether are known to have been and continue to be released to the air, surface soils, and surface waters.”

      • TruthOutEarth Is in “a New Chapter in the Climate and Ecological Crisis,” Study Finds
      • Common DreamsResearchers Warn of Climate 'Doom Loop' as Impacts Forestall Energy Transition

        A new study released Thursday warned that the planet has entered "a new chapter in the climate and ecological crisis," in which communities are forced to direct massive resources to responding to the escalating impacts of the climate emergency, taking focus away from efforts to slash fossil fuel emissions—causing what the report authors called a "doom loop" that will make avoiding the worst effects of planetary heating increasingly difficult.

      • DeSmogRevealed: The Science Denial Network Behind Oxford’s ‘Climate Lockdown’ Backlash

        The “grassroots” backlash to a traffic reduction scheme in Oxfordshire is being boosted by an international network of established climate and Covid science deniers and amplified by right-wing media, DeSmog can report.

        The group ‘Not Our Future’ made headlines last month by putting leaflets through Oxfordshire residents’ letterboxes calling them “guinea pigs” in the UK’s first “climate lockdown”. This was a reference to a conspiracy theory about a government plan to curb people’s freedoms.

      • Counter PunchHigh Country News Engages in Climate Change Denialism and Greenwashing

        A once-respected news outlet for environmental journalism that highlighted and exposed abuses of our natural world, High Country News (HCN) has now taken an ugly turn for the worse. On February 10, 2023, HCN published and distributed an article, “Does thinning work for wildfire prevention?”, that presented itself ostensibly as an examination of “what scientists find” to be true on the subject of “thinning”, wildfires, and climate change. But, to address this issue, the article only quoted one forest/fire ecologist, Gavin Jones, a pro-logging scientist employed by the U.S. Forest Service, who has never published a single scientific study on how “thinning” affects wildfires or climate change.

        The HCN article, which was written by a former Forest Service employee and reads like an opinion piece, tells readers (in bold font) that “Thinning is not a climate change risk”, quoting Jones claiming that, without thinning, forests are “pretty darn at risk of total loss from wildfire…” Jones also has never published a scientific study on the forest carbon consumption associated with wildfires. Jones does, however, have ample experience promoting the commercial logging policies of the agency that pays him, the U.S. Forest Service, which has been described by federal courts as a federal agency that “has a substantial financial interest in the harvesting of timber in the National Forest[s]” and is “more interested in harvesting timber than in complying with our environmental laws.”

      • Counter PunchBig Heat Hits Antarctica

        A recent report out of West Antarctica is rattling scientists.

        It’s all about heat, big-time heat, encroaching upon the world’s biggest chunk of ice that locks down a couple hundred feet of sea level rise. This kind of news is enough to raise the shackles of smart well-informed people, as excessive CO2 emissions spewing like crazy ever since the turn of the 21st century are now flat-out playing with fire in a very dangerous corner of the planet.

      • DeSmogCourt Hears Appeal in Canadian Youth Climate Lawsuit

        Young Canadians suing the federal government over its role in worsening the climate crisis are hoping that an appeals court will give them a chance to be heard at trial, after a judge dismissed their case over two years ago. The case was back in court this week as lawyers for the youths argued that the Federal Court of Appeal should overturn that judge’s ruling and permit the case to move towards trial.

        “This case is ripe for trial because we are in a climate emergency,” Chris Tollefson, one of the attorneys representing the 15 youth plaintiffs in La Rose v. His Majesty the King, said during the two-day hearing on February 14 and 15, held virtually over Zoom. A three-judge panel from the appeals court in Ottawa presided over the hearing, and will determine the fate of the case at this stage.

      • Energy/Transportation

        • The Telegraph UKWhy traffic lights could become a thing of the past in 20 years

          Mr Tompkin estimated that the high-specification roadside systems cost "around €£1 million per kilometre" but claimed a wider rollout involving more basic technology could be done for a fraction of the price.

        • YLEHelsinki OKs €30m bike 'baana' to Vantaa

          The cycling path, known as Pohjoisbaana (roughly translated as northern road) will stretch from the Käpylä railway station to the city of Vantaa's border, mostly running parallel to an existing rail line.

        • TruthdigBig Oil Outspent Clean Energy Groups by 27X

          But shiny ads are not all these companies do to protect their commercial interests in the face of a rapidly heating world. Most also provide financial support to industry groups that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on political activities, often to thwart polices designed to slow climate change.

        • Counter PunchSometimes a Gas Stove is Not Just a Gas Stove

          A Fox News headline writer called it “Biden’s War on Your Kitchen.” Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel wrote, “The reason gas stoves are in the news is simple: There is a coordinated, calculated—and well-funded—strategy to kill them off. It’s the joint enterprise of extremely powerful climate groups, working with Biden administration officials.” (“Extremely powerful climate groups”? Where can I find them?)

          The Great Gas Stove Freakout of 2023 was not a strictly right-wing or one-party phenomenon. Panic spread along the spectrum, from liberal chefs to Florida governor Ron DeSantis. In the Senate, Republican Ted Cruz teamed up with Democrat Joe Manchin to sponsor a bill that would bar the government from enforcing any rule that prohibits the sale of gas stoves or even makes them more expensive.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The RevelatorRestoring the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta: Reversing a Century of Colombian Tragedy
        • Counter PunchThere’s No Such Thing as "Humane Slaughter" of Livestock...Federal Records Prove It

          Most meat-eaters want to believe that the animals they eat don’t suffer, but time and again, federal records have shown that they do. It’s not unreasonable to assume otherwise; after all, most U.S. meat production is subject to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which requires that animals be stunned (rapidly rendered insensible to pain) before they’re hoisted upside down and killed. But this law doesn’t apply to all animals—chickens, turkeys, ducks, and fish are excluded—and federal inspection records reveal horrifying violations in which cows, pigs, and other animals have endured physical pain and psychological terror at slaughterhouses, where prolonged deaths occur disturbingly frequently.

          Reports from around the country read like horror stories. For example, on three different days between June and August 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) staff at South 40 Farms in North Dakota saw pigs cry out after being shot in the head during botched attempts to render them unconscious, and on another day in April 2022, a steer attempted to sit up after an employee from the same establishment shot him twice in the head. At Lightfoot Farm Market & Processing in Tennessee, a steer cried out and remained conscious after three rifle shots to the head until a fourth shot finally ended his suffering in June 2022. A similar scene was witnessed at the same facility in 2021, when a cow remained conscious, bleeding from the nose after the slaughterhouse owner shot her in the head the first time.

        • Counter PunchKeep Politics Out of Grizzly Review

          The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has begun a 12-month review of petitions from the states of Montana and Wyoming to delist grizzly bears and remove the protections it has under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This would turn management of grizzly bears over to the states, who have made clear they intend to have hunting seasons as well as give livestock producers more leeway in directly shooting grizzlies. The political fingerprints were on the announcement before the ink had dried. Statements from politicians throughout the region were celebratory as if they had scored the go-ahead touchdown.

    • Finance

      • Mexico News DailyUS and Chinese companies compete for Mexican customs contract

        The Defense Ministry held a tender to select a supplier for inspection equipment at 21 border customs stations.

      • Silicon AngleDocuSign lays off 700 employees
        Electronic signature provider DocuSign Inc. today announced that it is laying off about 10% of its workforce, or about 700 employees. The company stated in a regulatory filing that the job cuts will support its “growth, scale and profitability objectives.”

      • Silicon AngleDropbox’s stock falls as it struggles to squeeze more revenue from existing customers
        Shares of Dropbox Inc. were trending down in the after-hours trading session today after the company reported pedestrian growth and a decline in its average revenue per paying user. The company did at least beat expectations with its fourth-quarter financial results.

      • Silicon AngleAppian beats expectations but stock falls as it racks up increased losses
        Automation software provider Appian Corp. beat Wall Street’s expectations as it delivered its fourth-quarter financial results today, but its stock fell in extended trading as its losses widened.

      • Silicon AngleAvaya files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time
        Avaya Inc., the veteran unified communications company, said this week that it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in its history, while announcing a plan that will slash $2.6 billion of debt from its balance sheet.

      • Yahoo NewsU.S. household debt jumps to $16.90 trillion

        U.S. household debt jumped to a record $16.90 trillion from October through December last year, the largest quarterly increase in 20 years, as mortgage and credit card balances surged amid high inflation and rising interest rates, a Federal Reserve report showed on Thursday.

        Household debt, which rose by $394 billion last quarter, is now $2.75 trillion higher than just before the COVID-19 pandemic began while the increase in credit card balances last December from one year prior was the largest since records began in 1999, the New York Fed's quarterly household debt report also said.

        Mortgage debt increased by $254 billion to $11.92 trillion at the end of December, according to the report, while mortgage originations fell to $498 billion, representing a return to levels last seen in 2019.

        Meanwhile credit card balances increased by $61 billion in the fourth quarter while auto loan balances rose by $28 billion, the report said.

      • ReasonSocial Security and Medicare Cuts Are Coming, Whether Politicians Do It or Not

        As legislators refuse to act, benefits will be cut without any possibility of sheltering those seniors who are poor.

      • TruthOutSenate Dems Warn GOP Budget Cuts Would “Deny 1 Million Babies Access to Formula”
      • Democracy NowRising U.S. Interest Rates Push Countries in Global South Toward Economic Collapse

        Soaring inflation and devalued currencies have created a catastrophic debt crisis for much of the world, including in countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Malaysian economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram says the instability is largely driven by interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which have the effect of increasing borrowing costs for poorer countries and devaluing their currencies compared to the U.S. dollar. The intensifying U.S. economic war on China is also hurting many countries of the Global South that are linked to Chinese industry, he says.

      • Common DreamsYes, Wall Street Would Kill Your Granny for a Few Extra Bucks

        There are industries that occasionally do something rotten. And there are industries — like Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco — that persistently do rotten things.

      • Counter PunchDon’t Trust Wall Street With Nursing Homes

        There are industries that occasionally do something rotten. And there are industries like Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Tobacco that persistently do rotten things.

        Then there is the nursing home industry — where rottenness has become a core business principle.

      • Common Dreams'Absolute Hypocrisy': GOP Unveils Bill to Make Trump Tax Cuts Permanent While Howling About Debt

        Led by Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the TCJA Permanency Act, would cement into federal law tax cuts for individuals that are set to expire at the end of 2025.

      • Common DreamsSenate Dems Detail How GOP Budget Cuts Would 'Hurt Families in Every Corner of the Country'

        Top Senate Democrats released a report Wednesday highlighting the far-reaching implications of the House GOP majority's push to freeze federal spending at fiscal year 2022 levels, a cap that would inflict severe cuts on programs that help low-income families afford food, healthcare, housing, and other necessities.

      • ScheerpostWe Need to Talk About the Original Sin of Economics

        How a bleak Christian theology influenced the development of the dismal science.

      • Common DreamsProgressive Senators Demand Answers From Kroger on 'Widespread Wage Theft'

        A trio of progressive U.S. senators on Wednesday pressed the CEO of Kroger to answer longtime worker allegations of rampant wage theft, accusations that continue as the supermarket giant pursues a contentious megamerger with erstwhile competitor Albertsons.

      • Counter PunchCredit Card Holders Get Protection From Fraud. Shouldn’t EBT Users, Too?

        A few years ago, someone stole my card information and took over $100. You’d assume the bank or credit card company would reimburse that fraud, right?

        Not for me, unfortunately. The skimmed card number was for my Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which allows me to purchase food for my family through the federal€ SNAP€ program (formerly known as food stamps).

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Craig MurrayMurder, Lies and State Conspiracy

        Donald John Morrison was the last man to speak to Willie McRae, unless his murderer talked. He invited me warmly into his neat Benbecula home, where I was visiting with my friend, his cousin Donnie.

      • MeduzaExtras recruited, promised 500 rubles, to attend a patriotic concert and rally in Moscow — Meduza

        Advertisements appeared on Russian Telegram and other social network channels, recruiting extras to attend a concert and rally on February 22 in Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium. Putin is expected to attend the event, along with a number of Russian musical acts.

      • MeduzaFormer Ukrainian pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk says he is now ‘forced’ to live in Moscow — Meduza

        Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who was handed over to Russia in September 2022 as part of a prisoner swap, told Russian state television network Channel One that he now resides in Moscow.

      • Counter PunchHow Drug Ads Gaslight Us

        Direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug ads have been accused of giving dual and confusing messages and even being “bipolar.” Even as viewers see rainbows, sunsets, puppies and smiling grandparents, the audio cautions that the advertised drug may cause allergic reactions, severe infections, brain bleeds, seizures and more including death. Will the drugs make us better or kill us? Do you have the sound on or off?

        And there are other ways DTC ads gaslight us. Sometimes an ad broadcasts information that completely contradicts what the ad just said, making us doubt our own perceptions and memory.

      • Counter PunchThe Specter of “Woke Communism”

        Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and perhaps the next president of the United States, is waging war against something he and many others on the right identify as “woke communism.” DeSantis even persuaded the Florida legislature to pass a Victims of Communism law, mandating that every November 7th (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia), all public schools in the state must devote 45 minutes of instruction to the evils of the red menace.

        You might reasonably ask: What menace? After all, the Soviet Union fell apart more than 30 years ago and, long before that, communist parties around the world had dwindled in numbers and lost their revolutionary zeal. The American Communist Party was buried alive nearly three-quarters of a century ago during the McCarthy hysteria of the 1950s.

      • Modern DiplomacyGeopolitical Changes Threaten Africa’s Unity

        In this long-ranging and insightful interview conducted by our media executive Kester Kenn Klomegah with Dr Mohamed Chtatou, a senior professor of Middle Eastern politics at the International University of Rabat (IUR) and Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, focuses largely on accelerating, advancing and sustaining decades-old dream of Africa’s unity.

      • Modern DiplomacyLavrov: Western attempts to isolate Russia have failed. Our enemies had to admit this

        Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks during the Government Hour in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Moscow, February 15, 2023.

      • Modern Diplomacy‘The Global Times’: US’ role more and more questionable

        Veteran journalist Seymour Hersh’s investigative report, that the US was behind the Nord Stream pipelines sabotage, is supposed to be a bomb in news cycle. Yet Western media outlets, who are normally always hungry for scoops, have covered their eyes and ears.

      • ABCYouTube CEO steps down, severing longtime ties to Google

        Shortly after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated their search engine into a business in 1998, Wojcicki rented the garage of her Menlo Park, California, home to them for $1,700 a month.

        Page and Brin — both 25 at the time — continued to refine their search engine in Wojcicki's garage for five months before moving Google into a more formal office and later persuaded their former landlord to come work for their company.

      • VarietyYouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Stepping Down After Nine Years

        Wojcicki announced her departure in a memo to YouTube staff Thursday. Neal Mohan, currently chief product officer at YouTube, will replace her as SVP and new head of YouTube.

      • [Old] FSFNew Hampshire residents: Voice your support for software freedom on Thursday, February 16

        If passed, HB 617-FN would prevent state agencies from requiring New Hampshire residents to use proprietary software in public interactions like remote court proceedings, tax filings, and the completion of public school coursework. This alone would be a huge advancement for the free software community in the United States, showing state and local governments around the country that it can be done. New Hampshire has the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to free software legislation in the United States. We hope you can attend the hearing or share your support of the bill online.

      • ME ForumThe "Islamophobia" Regime

        To stay out of trouble under this arrangement, non-Muslim Westerners must offer effusive praise for Muslims or remain silent about all things Islamic. They must agree to have their speech policed by a coalition of Islamists and their leftist political fellow travelers and the public institutions this coalition has either captured or rendered ineffective. To enforce this silence, non-Muslims who dare speak about the relationship between Islamic doctrine, Islamism, and jihadist violence are lumped in with Islamic terrorists who "misunderstand" or "pervert" their faith and kill people in its name. In the upside-down environment created by the "Islamophobia" charge, people who speak critically of Islam, Muslims, Islamism, or Shari'a need to be monitored as much as—if not more than—the Islamists and jihadists themselves.

      • Michael GeistQuebec Demands Changes to Bill C-11 as it Wakes Up to the Implications of Losing Control over Digital Culture Regulation

        Bill C-11 – and its predecessor Bill C-10 – have long been driven by the government’s view that the bill was a winner in Quebec. Bill C-10 was headed for easy passage in 2021, but was derailed by the government’s decision to remove safeguards over regulating user generated content that came largely from the Quebec-based music lobby. Nearly two years later, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and his staff have ignored the concerns of thousands of digital creators, disrespected indigenous creators, and indicated that he will likely reject Senate amendments designed to craft a compromise solution, all in the name of keeping Quebec lobby interests satisfied. Yet as the government considers the Senate amendments, the Quebec legislative assembly this week passed a last minute motion calling for further changes to the bill, including scope to enact its own rules and mandatory consultations with the province on the contents of a policy direction to the CRTC that Rodriguez has insisted on keeping secret until after the bill receives royal assent (a full copy of the motion is contained at the bottom of this post). The Conservatives have been calling for the Quebec motion and the Senate amendments to be sent back to committee for further study, which the Globe reports may delay the government’s response to the Senate amendments.

      • Patrick BreyerFirst parliamentary amendments on EU Child Sexual Abuse Regulation: Some poison teeth are pulled, but indiscriminate chat control still looming

        This week, the Social Democrat rapporteur of the opinion-giving Internal Market Committee in the European Parliament, Alex Saliba, proposed first amendments to the draft EU Child Sexual Abuse Regulation (CSAR), also known as chat control proposal.[1]

        Pirate Party MEP and Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur in the lead Home Affairs Committee (LIBE), Patrick Breyer, has a mixed assessment of the proposals: [...]

      • TruthOutEx-Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Subpoenaed in January 6 Probe
      • The NationIsrael’s Harsh Steps in Palestine
      • TruthOutTrump Will Promote Early Voting in 2024 After Years of Using It to Push Big Lie
      • Common Dreams'Extraordinary Repudiation': NY Senate Rejects Hochul's Right-Wing Judicial Nominee

        The New York State Senate's Democrats on Wednesday delivered a "major embarrassment" for and "extraordinary repudiation" of Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, rejecting Hector LaSalle, her anti-choice, anti-union nominee to lead the state's top court.

      • Counter PunchMexico’s President Would Build an Alliance to Counter Cuba Blockade

        On the occasion of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s visit recently to Mexico, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) raised the possibility of many nations cooperating to oppose the U.S blockade of Cuba. AMLO has become Cuba’s champion in the international arena, and perhaps not accidentally: the governments of the two nations each originated from social and political revolutions.

        The two leaders have built a tight relationship. € Diaz-Canal visited to Mexico in September, 2021. AMLO was in Cuba in May, 2022. And AMLO refused to attend a U.S – organized Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June 2022 because Cuba had been excluded.

      • Counter PunchNormal or Crazy?

        On February 7,€ President Biden delivered a memorable State of the Union address. But we should also take note of a strange line in Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ response. Calling on the country to elect “a new generation of Republican leadership,” she said, “The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.”

        Remember that Ms. Sanders was Donald Trump’s press secretary for two years. Does she actually understand what she was saying?

      • Common DreamsCorbyn Rebukes Starmer for Barring Him From Running With UK Labour Party

        Former U.K. Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn—a member of Parliament who represents the Greater London constituency Islington North—called out Leader Keir Starmer this week for barring him from running with the party in the nation's next general election.

      • Common DreamsFetterman Applauded for 'Courage' of Being Open About Clinical Depression

        U.S. Sen. John Fetterman has checked himself into a Maryland military hospital "to receive treatment for clinical depression," the Pennsylvania Democrat's office said Thursday.

      • Counter PunchThe Santos Soap Opera Pauses for a Commercial Break (Kinda)

        It’s nice to know the insane pizzazz of the Trump years hasn’t been sapped out of public life by the tedium and nuclear terrors of the Biden era. That some politicos still commit their misdemeanors with brio. That charlatans retain their flair and remain uninhibited about being charlatans. At the top of this list of superstar conmen stands George “Shameless” Santos, the not-so-Jewish, Brazilian GOP congressman from Long Island exposed for faking everything from his ethnic background to his business credentials to his toenails. Santos is one of a kind, and the soap opera of his chicaneries has already entertained us for months, and promises to keep unfolding far into the future, hypnotizing us with the question, what next?

        Well, I’ll tell you. Covering his tracks, to the very limited extent that’s possible – that’s what’s next in the Santos saga’s upcoming installment: normalizing George (good luck with that one, congressman). On January 31, the ever youthful and still defiant 34-year-old Santos announced he would temporarily recuse himself from congressional committees, presumably to deal with the multiple federal and local investigations into his nonstop funny-business. Santos also faces fraud charges in Brazil. “He just felt like there was so much drama, really, over the situation,” explained GOP representative Marjorie “Jewish Space Lasers” Taylor Green. When you have MTG complaining about drama, you know things have sunk to new lows of lunacy, deceit and possible exposure.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ReasonDistrict Court Halts New York Law Forcing Online Platforms To 'Respond' to 'Hateful' Speech

        "Today's decision is a victory for the First Amendment that should be celebrated by everyone who hopes to see the internet continue as a place where even difficult and contentious issues can be debated and discussed freely," said one attorney.

      • ReasonMy Article in the Journal of Free Speech Law, "Should the Law Limit Private-Employer-Imposed Speech Restrictions?"

        It's now out, in the symposium on Non-Governmental Restrictions on Free Speech. The Introduction and the Conclusion: About half of Americans live in jurisdictions that protect some private employee speech or political activity from employer retaliation. Of course, that means about half don't. Which jurisdictions are correct?

      • ReasonGoogle, Section 230, & Nohemi Gonzalez

        Philip Hamburger's Op-Ed at the Federalist on a case to be argued next week

      • EFFSection 230 is On Trial. Here's What You Need to Know.

        Nearly everyone who speaks online relies on Section 230, a 1996 law that promotes free speech online. Because users rely on online intermediaries as vehicles for their speech, they can communicate to large audiences without needing financial resources or technical know-how to distribute their own speech. Section 230 plays a critical role in enabling online by speech by generally ensuring that those intermediaries are not legally responsible for what is said by others.

        Section 230’s reach is broad: It protects users as well as small blogs and websites, giants like Twitter and Google, and any other service that provides a forum for others to express themselves online. Courts have repeatedly ruled that Section 230 bars lawsuits against users and services for sharing or hosting content created by others, whether by forwarding email, hosting online reviews, or reposting photos or videos that others find objectionable. Section 230 also protects the curation of online speech, giving intermediaries the legal breathing room to decide what type of user expression they will host and to also take steps to moderate content as they see fit.

        But if the plaintiffs in these cases convince the Court to narrow the legal interpretation of Section 230 and increase platforms’ legal exposure for generally knowing harmful material is present on their services, the significant protections that Congress envisioned in enacting this law would be drastically eroded. Many online intermediaries would intensively filter and censor user speech, others may simply not host user content at all, and new online forums may not even get off the ground.

      • [Repeat] Project CensoredCensored Déjà Vu: Corporate Media's Ongoing Failure to Cover Key Issues around Food Safety, Birthing, and Breastfeeding & Dark Money’s Pernicious Influence on Political Culture - The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Steve Macek is Professor of Communications and Media Studies at North Central College in Illinois, and is co-coordinator of Project Censored’s Campus Affiliates Program. Shealeigh Voitl is Project Censored’s Editorial Assistant, a co-author of the “Déjà vu News” chapter in Project Censored’s annual media-review volume, and a journalism graduate of North Central College in Illinois. Andy Lee Roth is Associate Director of Project Censored, co-editor of the Project’s annual media-review volume, and co-coordinator of the Project’s Campus Affiliates Program. He has published widely on media issues. The Roth/Macek article about the Texas lawsuit can be found here.

      • McClatchy Media NetworkND advances bills to remove ‘sexual’ content from libraries

        After more than 30 minutes on the Senate floor, the bill passed with a 38-9 vote. It must still pass through the House and get signed by North Dakota's Republican Gov. Doug Burgum to become law.

        The House bill, which has many similarities to the Senate bill, would also prohibit public libraries from carrying sexually explicit materials. But it would not charge people with misdemeanors, and it would require libraries to develop a policy and process for keeping prohibited materials out.

      • The NationRon DeSantis Is Lying About Why Bookshelves in Florida Classrooms Are Empty

        Here’s the most charitable explanation for DeSantis’s dissembling: Confusion over which books are appropriate, for which ages, and about who should make those decisions is not only related to new education laws he signed. It’s a problem in many places around the country. It was an issue in Florida before the latest laws.

      • Common Dreams'Race to the Bottom': GOP Has Introduced 72 Educational Gag Orders So Far in 2023

        The right-wing campaign to censor what is read and taught at public schools, colleges, universities, and libraries across the United States is only growing more intense, as state lawmakers introduced dozens of educational gag orders in the first six weeks of 2023.

      • RAIR FoundationPolitician Who Burned the Quran and Set the Islamic World On Fire: 'I have Proven Again, That People All Over The World, Are Not The Same' (Interview)

        In reaction to Paludan’s peaceful protests, various Islamic governments and thousands of Muslims lodged threats, Allahu Akbar marches, and demands for deadly punishments.

      • Reason980 New York Times Contributors Want To Sacrifice Free Inquiry to Ideology

        In an open letter, they condemned the paper's coverage of trans issues. But their note is more about what questions journalists are not allowed to ask.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • EDRIEU to provide training on “covert techniques” to abusive police forces

        The goal of training police forces in covert investigative techniques is, fundamentally, to increase the number of arrests and to place more people in police custody and, eventually, prison. Yet the states that will receive CEPOL’s training routinely abuse the rights of people in custody.

      • The NationBernie Sanders: Anti-Union Capitalism Is Wrecking America

        Eugene Victor Debs, the railroad workers’ union leader who was the Socialist Party’s great organizer and presidential candidate in the first decades of the 20th century, has been my hero since I was a young man, when I took to heart his message that “the very moment a workingman begins to do his own thinking he understands the paramount issue, parts company with the capitalist politician and falls in line with his own class on the political battlefield.”1From the book It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism, by Senator Bernie Sanders, with John Nichols. Copyright €© 2023 by Bernie Sanders. Published by Crown, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

      • Common DreamsSanders Leads Push for Worker Rights Champion to Lead Labor Department

        Progressives are looking at U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh's expected departure as an opportunity for President Joe Biden to demonstrate his professed commitment to workers' rights by placing at the helm of the Labor Department a leader who will unabashedly call out the corporate greed that has left millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet in the face of historic inequality.

      • TruthOutTesla Fired Over 30 Workers in Buffalo the Day After Union Announced Campaign
      • The HillTesla fires over 30 workers after union effort: group

        Tesla Workers United said Thursday that over 30 workers were fired from a Buffalo plant Wednesday after workers attempted to organize earlier this week.

      • Common Dreams'Retaliation': Tesla Fires Buffalo Workers Day After Musk Was Informed of Union Drive

        Tesla fired dozens of workers at its factory in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday, one day after an organizing committee at the plant sent an email to billionaire chief executive officer Elon Musk informing him of their new unionization campaign.

      • Counter PunchWhy Not Riot? Interview with Author Ben Case

        There’s a Riot Going On!

        We didn’t talk to Sly Stone, we did even better. We talked with Ben Case, the author of a provocative new book, “Street Rebellion: Resistance Beyond Violence and Nonviolence,” which challenges the long-time liberal insistence on non-violent and often non-aggressive protest and makes a case that riots are another tactic to be used by the Left.

      • TruthOutFormerly Incarcerated People Seek Discrimination Protection as “Protected Class”
      • The NationApartheid American-Style

        This city’s water crisis had become a classic David and Goliath story: A predominantly Black city, led by its mayor, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, facing off with “good ole boy” Governor Tate Reeves and his predominantly white state legislature—controlled by a Republican supermajority made possible by more than a century of violent voter suppression and racist gerrymandering.

      • Common DreamsDemocratic AGs Fight Back Against GOP Attacks on Abortion Pill Access

        Warning that Republican-led states have launched an effort to keep millions of people from accessing lifesaving medications, 23 Democratic state attorneys general on Thursday sent a letter to officials at CVS and Walgreens to assure the pharmacies that they can legally dispense and mail mifepristone and misoprostol, the pills used in medication abortions.

      • MeduzaMoscow police arrest gay Chechen refugee at Domodedovo Airport and hand him over to Chechen authorities — Meduza

        Idris Arsamikov, a 28-year-old former Chechnya resident who moved to the Netherlands in 2018 after reportedly being tortured by Chechen police for his sexuality, was arrested at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport while trying to fly back to his new home country on Wednesday, the North Caucasus LGBTQ+ crisis group SK SOS has informed Meduza.

      • Counter PunchPolitics and Borders Matter, Even in a Humanitarian Catastrophe

        For those who thought we live in a global village with nation-states in decline and borders disappearing, the earthquake that struck northwest Syria and southern Turkey has highlighted all the negatives of nationalistic politics when confronted with simple human needs. The earthquake, 7.8 on the Richter scale, has caused over 30,000 deaths, left 80,000 being treated in hospitals, and about one million people homeless without food and water, shivering in freezing cold. In a situation that cries for immediate relief, humanitarian aid has been hampered because a large number of the earthquake’s victims live in Syria in a region controlled by rebels opposed to the government of Bashar Al-Assad, and on the Turkish side in a region unprepared by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

        Politics and borders are having negative consequences when governments are confronted with a dire human catastrophe. For different reasons, the governments of Syria and Turkey have been grossly deficient in preparing for and reacting to the earthquake.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Hollywood ReporterWallStreetBets Trademark Fight Erupts Into Lawsuit Against Reddit

          Jamie Rogozinski on Wednesday sued Reddit, claiming the social platform is infringing on his trademark, violating his right of publicity and breaking its own user agreement. Rogozinski, who describes himself in the complaint as an entrepreneur, investor and author, says he “built WallStreetBets from the ground up” to create a forum for people who took financial hits during the Great Recession. He founded the subreddit in January 2012 as a place “where individual, ordinary investors could openly and honestly discuss Wall Street and share advice with each other.”

        • TechdirtVideo Game ‘The Day Before’ Dealing With Trademark Challenge Over A Calendar App

          We’ve dealt with a great many silly trademark disputes in the video game industry over the years, but this one is a special kind of stupid. Fntastic, the studio behind the forthcoming The Day Before horror game, has released a couple statements lately regarding an apparent ongoing trademark dispute. The first announcement confirmed that the game’s release date was being pushed back due to Steam blocking the game page at the request of a trademark holder for “The Day Before.” Then, shortly after, YouTube began removing videos promoting The Day Before from the developer’s channel as well.

      • Copyrights

        • Public Domain ReviewDownhill from Here: The Slant Book (1910)

          Book shaped like a rhomboid by Peter Newell, which tells the story of a runaway baby stroller's downhill journey.

        • Torrent FreakEgypt Shuts Down Massive Movie and TV Show Piracy Site

          Egyptian law enforcement authorities have shut down MyCima, one of the largest pirate sites in the Middle East. The operation, which was purportedly operated from Alexandria, had over 50 million monthly visits and offered 12,000 movies and 26,000 TV series. Anti-piracy coalition ACE cooperated with the authorities to take down the piracy ring.

        • Torrent FreakTwo Call of Duty Cheaters Settle For Millions, Judge Issues Warning to Others

          An Activision lawsuit alleging copyright infringement offenses against a group of alleged cheat makers and distributors continues to be eventful. The list of named defendants has grown recently, with the majority believed to reside outside the United States. For two of those defendants, an exit from the lawsuit seems imminent, due to settlement agreements worth a combined $3 million.

        • Walled CultureHow publishers lobbied to “axe the reading tax” on ebooks, won – and then paid it to themselves

          It concerns the taxing of books in the UK. Most goods there are subject to a Value Added Tax (VAT), which is a simple percentage of the sale price – generally 20%. However, certain classes of goods are exempt: this applies to things like food, children’s clothing, and also books. Or rather, to physical books: one quirk of the early ebook market was that ebooks were taxed at 20%, even though physical books were not. This led to a 2018 campaign with the catchy slogan “Axe the reading tax”. It was led by the Publishers Association, which wrote in a press release at the time: [...]

  • Gemini* and Gopher


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



Recent Techrights' Posts

1901 Days in High-Security Prison (and 8 More Years in Severe Confinement) for the 'Crime' of Exposing War Crimes and Corruption
Julian Assange clip
Opensource.org = Microsoft Lobbying (Openwashing)
Here's the latest pair of blog posts
In Northern Mariana Islands, Where Julian Assange Pled Guilty 4 Weeks Ago, Windows Remains Second to Android, and GNU/Linux Still Grows in Oceania
It was the first month ever that statCounter saw more Web requests there from Android than from Windows
Good News About GNU/Linux, Geminispace, FSF, and Backlash Against Microsoft
here are a few quick takes
Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
Red Hat's Official Site Yesterday: Promoting 'Secure' Boot in Machines You Don't Own or Control Anyway
"To be clear, CentOS Linux no longer exist"
 
[Meme] Conservative (and Fake) Nuclear Physicist Bill Gates
Didn't even graduate from college, media treats him like a world-renowned expert in nuclear energy
The Gemini Capsule of Tux Machines Turns 2 in Six Days
Many people actually use Gemini, some participate in it by creating their own capsule (or capsules)
GNU/Linux Rises to 4% in Saudi Arabia, Says statCounter, Windows Has Fallen to 11% (Android Exceeds 60%)
Microsoft might soon fall below 10% in KSA (Saudi Arabia)
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 18, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, July 18, 2024
GNU/Linux news for the past day
GNU/Linux news for the past day
If GitLab Gets Sold (Datadog and Google Named Among Potential Buyers), It'll Prove Our Point About GitLab
Beware the bait on the hook
Hot Summer: Microsoft Flirting With the "5% Windows" Club in Afghanistan
The share of Windows in Afghanistan has fallen to almost 5% (1 in 20 Web requests)
[Meme] Nothing Says "Independence Day" Like...
Firing DEI on Independence Day period
Links 18/07/2024: Hardware, Conflicts, and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
Links 18/07/2024: Retroactively Pseudonymised Litigant and Alberta’s Energy ‘War Room’
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/07/2024: A Welcome to Gemini and Politics of Assassinations
Links for the day
Fabian Gruenbichler & Debian: former GSoC student added to keyring
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in redhat.com
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned