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Links 16/05/2023: Arch's Git Migration



  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • GamingOnLinuxCOSMIC desktop from System76 coming along nicely

        System76 are busy hacking away on their new upcoming COSMIC desktop environment, and their latest development blog post is looking good. They also recently released€ System76 Scheduler 2.0, to further optimize the performance of their Linux distribution.

    • Server

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Unix MenModern eCommerce Development with Headless Frameworks and Synergy of Linux

        In the past, eCommerce developers were limited by the technology they could use. However, today’s advances in eCommerce development have allowed for more innovative solutions that can be created using headless frameworks and Linux servers. This trend is transforming how eCommerce platforms are built, allowing for greater flexibility and scalability.

      • Linux Cloud VPSSign up for a LinuxCloudVPS today

        Apache CouchDB is a free yet reliable non-relational or NoSQL database engine. It is written in Erlang language and natively supports data in JSON format. The data can be accessed and queried via the HTTP protocol, making it easier and more scalable compared to traditional SQL relational databases like MySQL. CouchDB also offers replication capability and provides high availability access. This tutorial will show you how to install CouchDB on AlmaLinux.

      • Kev QuirkUnderline Your Links

        I’ve talked about this myself in the past and I wholeheartedly agree with Jatan on this. While perusing the internet I’ve seen links that are formatted in all kinds of ways, even ones that don’t seem to be formatted at all and are, to my eye at least, completely indistinguishable from the rest of the body text.

      • Jatan MehtaColored vs. underlined links

        Colored text links on the Internet are popular. The familiar blue touted by a majority of hyperlinks on the Web goes back to 1993. However, as the linked article explores, web links used to be underlined for a decade before they went blue. I think we should go back to having underlined links everywhere for several reasons.

      • University of TorontoThe time our Linux systems spend on integer to text and back conversions

        We run the Prometheus host agent on all of our Linux machines. Every fifteen seconds our Prometheus server pulls metrics from all the host agents, which causes the host agent to read a bunch of /proc files (for things like memory and CPU state information) and /sys files (for things like hwmon information). These status files are text, but they contain a lot of numbers, which means that the kernel converted those integers into text for us. The host agent then converts that text back into numbers internally (I believe a mixture of 64-bit integers and 64-bit floats), only to turn around and send them to the Prometheus server as text again (see Exposition Formats, also). On the Prometheus server these text numbers will be turned back into floats. All of this takes CPU cycles, although perhaps not many CPU cycles on modern machines.

      • EarthlyLinux Text Processing Command

        This tutorial aims to introduce you to the concept of Linux text processing, highlight its benefits, and provide an overview of the commonly used text processing commands. You will also learn about their use cases and how they can help automate tedious tasks, making them more manageable in a matter of seconds.

      • DebugPointGuide to Set up Full Wayland with Arch Linux

        Arch Linux users may find setting up a custom install with Wayland complex. Only KDE Plasma and GNOME have up-to-date Wayland support among all the mainstream desktop environments. Xfce, LXQt and other desktops are developing Wayland support, but they are not ready yet.

        On the window manager front, Sway has full Wayland support in Arch Linux. That being said, I wanted to test how Wayland is performing in Arch and want to give you a status check as of today.

        Here's what I found.

      • Make Use OfWhat Is a KVM? Kernel-Based Virtual Machines Explained

        Virtual machines are an essential tool for running guest operating systems. If you’ve never heard of KVMs, you’re not alone. It’s easy to wonder: what is KVM, and what does it stand for? How can you use KVM as a virtualization technology in your projects?

        Getting started with KVMs on Linux is a simple process. If you want to run other Linux distributions or even Windows on your Linux PC, all you need to do is install a few modules and prepare your PC for virtualization. Here's how you can start using KVM on Linux.

    • Games

      • GamingOnLinuxTime running out to swap your Minecraft account over to Microsoft [Ed: An "important reminder" that you should quit playing this game; try Minetest]

        Mojang recently sent out a rather important reminder, as the time is running out to swap your Mojang account for Minecraft over to Microsoft.

      • GamingOnLinuxRoots of Pacha removed from Steam after fight with publisher Crytivo

        Seems the indie team at Soda Den are having some issues with their publisher Crytivo, and their fight has caused Roots of Pacha to be removed from Steam for now.

      • GamingOnLinuxAlbion Online 'Knightfall' is here with new content and improved controls

        Offering up plenty of new content for players to explore, the Knightfall update for Albion Online is here and it may be time to give it another look.

      • GamingOnLinuxRoblox still plan to make it work with Wine on Linux

        The situation is currently a bit messy, with conflicting statements but it appears that Roblox should work again on Linux / Steam Deck with Wine eventually.

      • GamingOnLinuxFanatical's Bundle Fest begins with the Killer Bundle 26

        Fanatical do a Bundle Fest every now and then, where a new bundle of games is announced every day for a week and the first is the Killer Bundle 26.

      • HackadayNew DOS PCs, In 2023?

        It’s not likely that we’ll talk about a new PC here at Hackaday because where’s the news in yet another commodity computer? But today along comes not one but two new PCs courtesy of the ever bounteous hall of wonders at AliExpress, that are unusual enough to take a look at. If you have around $250 to spare, you can have a brand new, made in 2023, 80386sx plamtop PC capable of running Windows 95, or an 8088 laptop for DOS. Just what on earth is going on?

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Silicon AngleTogether raises $20M to decentralize and open-source AI model creation

      As part of this mission, Together aims to establish open source as the default way to design and build AI. One of its aims is to create open models that outperform their closed-source brethren. To do this, Together is collaborating with various open-source groups, academic and corporate research labs, while assembling an impressive team of committed AI researchers, engineers and practitioners.

    • TogetherTogether’s $20M seed funding to build open-source AI and cloud platform

      When Chris, Percy, Ce and I first got together last year, we all felt it was clear that foundation models represented a generational shift in technology, maybe the most significant since the invention of the transistor. At the time, we could see the trend toward centralization of these models within a small number of corporations due to the vast expense of high-end GPU clusters needed for training. Meanwhile, the open community that had led the innovations in AI over the prior decades had limited agency in shaping the coming world of AI. In founding Together, we were driven by the belief that open and decentralized alternatives to closed systems were going to be important — and possibly critical for business and society.

    • Olaf AldersPrettyGoodPing: Now with, you know, Ping

      When I first created prettygoodping.com, it didn’t just check SSL/TLS expiration dates and domain name expirations. It could also ping servers and make HTTP HEAD requests to check URL uptime. However, I didn’t add the existing ping and HTTP HEAD checks to the beta accounts. That made for a simpler launch as there were fewer things to go wrong, but it also made for a more confusing name. PrettyGoodPing didn’t, you know, ping.

      I’ve been beta testing the ping and HEAD checks in my own account for a few months now and I’m happy with them. It’s time to make them more widely available.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

    • Education

      • EuroBSDConEuroBSDCon 2023 will be in Coimbra, Portugal: September 14-17, 2023

        EuroBSDCon is the International annual technical conference held in a different European country each year. It focuses on gathering users and developers working on and with 4.4BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) based operating systems family and related projects.

      • DragonFly BSD DigestSEMI-BUG and CARP tomorrow [iophk: 16 May]

        SEMIBUG’s having a presentation on CARP tomorrow. It’s being given by Nick Holland who has a long presentation history. It’ll be online through Jitsi, so anyone can see it.

    • Programming/Development

      • Daniel LemireComputing the UTF-8 size of a Latin 1 string quickly (ARM NEON edition)

        While most of our software relies on Unicode strings, we often still encounter legacy encodings such as Latin 1. Before we convert Latin 1 strings to Unicode (e.g., UTF-8), we must compute the size of the UTF-8 string. It is fairly easy: all ASCII characters map 1 byte to 1 byte, while other characters (with code point values from 128 to 256) map 1 Latin byte to 2 Unicode bytes (in UTF-8).

      • RlangWorking with Dates and Times Pt 2: Finding the Next Mothers Day with Simplicity

        Mother’s Day is a special occasion to honor and appreciate the incredible women in our lives. As programmers, we can use our coding skills to make our lives easier when it comes to important dates like Mother’s Day. In this blog post, we’ll walk through a simple and engaging R code that helps us find the next Mother’s Day. So grab your coding hats, and let’s get started!

      • TecMintNode.js Version Managers – Install and Run Multiple Node.js Versions

        Node.js version managers, also known as “environment managers” are tools that enable developers or system administrators to install and manage several Node.js versions on their computers or servers.

        These managers are useful since different projects may require different versions of Node.js, and manually switching between versions can be difficult.

      • Python

        • Nicholas Tietz-SokolskyIt's easier to code review Rust than Python

          On Monday, I was talking to a friend about programming and I mentioned that I prefer to review Rust code over Python code. He asked why, and I had some rambling answer, but I had to take some time to think about it. It boils down to the fact that I can give a much better review of Rust code, despite having much more exposure to Python.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • [Old] uni New MexicoIntroduction To Fourier Transforms For Image Processing

        The Fourier Transform ( in this case, the 2D Fourier Transform ) is the series expansion of an image function ( over the 2D space domain ) in terms of "cosine" image (orthonormal) basis functions.

    • Education

      • QuilletteThe Cost of Dissent

        Wherever possible, dissent should proceed from wisdom, which follows dialogue and deliberation. Uninformed dissent inhibits or destroys the very innovation and progress that diversity of opinion is meant to bring about, turning a society into a Tower of Babel, in which atomized individuals spout mutually unintelligible opinions. Such a situation was described by the early modern Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico in his masterpiece, New Science: [...]

      • The Drone GirlSmithsonian Air and Space Museum to host awards ceremony for female drone industry trailblazers

        The 2023 Women in Emerging Aviation Technology Awards is not a new program, but it’s gone through quite the evolution. It started as simply a drone-focused awards ceremony but — as drones have morphed to encompass similar tech like air taxis — the awards program also grew to encompass general ’emerging aviation technology.’

    • Hardware

      • HackadayHackaday Prize 2023: A DIY Voice-Control Module

        If science fiction taught us anything, it’s that voice control was going to be the human-machine interface of the future. [Dennis] has now whipped up a tutorial that lets you add a voice control module to any of your own projects.

      • HackadayThis $12 CNC Rotary Axis Will Make Your Head Spin

        [legolor] brings us a great, cheap rotary axis to add to your small 3 axis CNC mills. How are you going to generate G-Code for this 4th axis? That’s the great part, and the hack, that [legolor] really just swapped the Y axis for the rotation. To finish the workflow and keep things cheap accessible to all there’s a great trick to “unwrap” your 3D model so your CAM software of choice thinks it’s still using a linear Y axis and keeps your existing workflow largely intact. While this requires an extra step in Blender to do the unwrapping, we love the way this hack changes as little of the rest of your process as possible. The Blender script might be useful for many other purposes too.

      • HackadayModern CO2 Laser Reviewed

        If you’ve got a laser cutter, it is highly probable that it uses a laser diode. But more expensive machines use a carbon dioxide laser tube along with mirrors. There was a time when these lasers came in two flavors: very expensive and amazing or moderately expensive and cheaply made. However, we are seeing that even the moderately expensive machines are now becoming quite advanced. [Chad] reviews a 55-watt xTool P2. At around $5,000, it is still a little spendy for a home shop, but it does have pretty amazing features. We can only hope some less expensive diode lasers will adopt some of these features.

      • HackadayA Free TV With A Catch: New Normal Or Inevitable Hardware Bonanza?

        The dystopian corporate dominated future may have taken a step closer, as a startup called Telly promises a free 55 inch 4K TV with a catch — a second screen beneath the main one that displays adverts. The viewers definitely aren’t the customers but the product, and will no doubt have every possible piece of data that can be harvested from them sold to the highest bidder. There’s even a microphone and camera pointed at the viewer, to complete the 1984 experience. In a sense it’s nothing new, as certain TV manufacturers have been trying to slip adverts into the interfaces on their paid-for smart TVs for years.

      • HackadayA Paste Extruder For Normal Printers

        In the bright sunshine of a warm spring afternoon at Delft Maker Faire, were a row of 3D printers converted with paste extruders. They were the work of [Nedji Yusufova], and though while were being shown printing with biodegradable pastes made from waste materials, we were also interested in their potential to print using edible media.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Counter Punch2023-04-26 [Older] The Dogs of Chernobyl
      • Common DreamsWitnessing the Resilience of Mothers in Southern Bangladesh

        As we celebrate Mother's Day, I am inspired by the incredible strength and resilience of mothers worldwide. But as an obstetrician-gynecologist who has treated patients in crisis regions around the world, I am reminded of the countless mothers globally who struggle to keep their children healthy and safe, often in the face of insurmountable obstacles. Through my travels, I have witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences that can result when women do not have access to the basic maternal health services they need. The consequences of inadequate maternal health services are heartbreaking, from preventable complications during pregnancy and childbirth to the devastating loss of a child.

      • Pro PublicaFamily That Controlled Liberty HealthShare Shows Financial Strain

        In just a handful of years, members of a Canton, Ohio, family built a financial empire that included a boutique airline, a bank in the Missouri Ozarks, a chain of carpet stores, a marijuana farm in Oregon, and more than $20 million in real estate. The “conglomerate,” as the Beers family calls it, was made possible by hundreds of millions of dollars collected from Americans who thought they had found an affordable alternative to medical insurance. Instead, many were saddled with debt.

        The conglomerate, however, is showing signs of strain as the family downsizes its workforce and sells off some of its holdings. These moves will free up cash, said an attorney who represents several family members, and allow them to pay off a court settlement related to its alleged fraud. Now, another big debt has come their way: Several family members face liens placed against their properties for millions in back taxes.

      • ProtocolKills.com revisited: Misinformed refusal turned up to 11

        A couple of weeks ago, I€ wrote about ProtocolKills.com, a website and effort started by a woman named Greta Crawford in order to “inform”—misinform, actually—the public about the supposed dangers of hospital protocols to treat COVID-19 and how hospitals, not COVID-19, had killed so many people and€ almost killed her, a conclusion that she came to seemingly because everyone in her family caught COVID-19 but she was the only one who was hospitalized with serious illness from it. Basically, a large part of the website includes anecdotes from COVID-19 patients who became severely ill and were hospitalized (or their surviving family members if they didn’t make it), all complaining about how doctors and hospitals wouldn’t treat them or their loved ones with ivermectin or any other unproven/disproven treatment or quackery and how intubation, remdesivir, intubation, and everything else about conventional medicine, not COVID-19, had harmed them or killed their loved ones. Indeed, I had become aware of the website when I saw this poster in a shop window near the barber shop where I had just gotten a haircut (and where I had happened to walk past last week while heading to a restaurant, only to see that the images are still there):

      • The NationWhat Demon Copperhead Gets Right About Appalachia

        Barbara Kingsolver dedicates her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Demon Copperhead to survivors of the opioid crisis and foster care. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the book is dedicated to me: I am an Appalachian who was put in foster care thanks to, in part, my father’s opioid addiction.

    • Proprietary

      • Daniel MiesslerThe AI Attack Surface Map v1.0

        Once those AI-powered products and services start to appear we’re going to have an entirely new species of vulnerability to deal with. We hope with this resource to bring some clarity to that landscape.

      • The EconomistWhat does a leaked Google memo reveal about the future of AI?

        They have changed the world by writing software. But techy types are also known for composing lengthy memos in prose, the most famous of which have marked turning points in computing. Think of Bill Gates’s “Internet tidal wave” memo of 1995, which reoriented Microsoft towards the web; or Jeff Bezos’s “API mandate” memo of 2002, which opened up Amazon’s digital infrastructure, paving the way for modern cloud computing. Now techies are abuzz about another memo, this time leaked from within Google, titled “We have no moat”. Its unknown author details the astonishing progress being made in artificial intelligence (AI)—and challenges some long-held assumptions about the balance of power in this fast-moving industry.

      • NBCNavy retirees see cuts to monthly benefits, must repay $7M after system overpayment error

        The Navy Times first reported the error, which resulted in incorrect service time calculations for 1,283 retirees from August 2019 to February.

        That error created a total debt of about $6.8 million, according to new data obtained by NBC News. The personal debts incurred range from $35 to more than $70,000, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service said Monday.

      • NBCNavy doctors and dentists are told they owe 3 more years of service after military admits to another record-keeping error

        At least 65 dentists and physicians with the Navy Reserves have had three to four years of service erased from their records after an error was discovered in how their retirement credits had been calculated, the Navy said. Navy Reserve dentists and doctors provide care to members of any branch of service and their family members.

        Four affected physicians and dentists came forward with their plights, speaking to NBC News on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation, days after the Army acknowledged a similar administrative error affecting hundreds of aviation officers.

      • NBCArmy aviators, ready to leave the military, are told they owe 3 more years instead

        As part of a program known as BRADSO, cadets commissioning from the U.S. Military Academy or Army Cadet Command from 2008 and 2020 were able to request a branch of their choice, including aviation, by agreeing to serve an additional three years on active duty.

        For years, the Army allowed some aviation officers to serve those three years concurrently, and not consecutively, along with their roughly contracted seven or eight years of service.

        In a phone call with reporters Thursday, Army officials admitted "errors" in the system, which they noticed a few months ago, led to the discrepancy.

      • GannettBuilding curious machines

        “Seafloor mapping can help us understand ocean currents that drive our climate system by moving heat around the planet, help us understand ecosystems, help us find natural resources, help us predict earthquakes and tsunamis, and of course, any time you want to do any kind of engineering on the seafloor, you need a very accurate map,” Mayer said. “But the most exciting thing is that we just don’t know what’s there. You can’t go out and map the seafloor without finding something exciting.”

      • uni MichiganU-M experts: We need to emphasize AI’s societal impacts over technological advancements

        Most importantly, both say we need to be less in awe of the technological advancements and more focused on the societal risks and benefits.

        This conversation is excerpted from the podcast, Business and Society with Michigan Ross.

    • Pseudo-Open Source

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • CoryDoctorowIreland's privacy regulator is a gamekeeper-turned-poacher

          That cozy relationship meant that the US tech giants were well-situated to sabotage Ireland's privacy regulator, who would be the first port of call for Europeans whose privacy had been violated by American firms. For many years, it's been obvious that the Irish Data Protection Commission was a sleeping watchdog, with infinite tolerance for the companies that pretend to make Ireland their homes. 87% of Irish data protection claims involve just eight giant US companies (that pretend to be Irish).

          But even among hardened GDPR warriors, the real extent of the Data Protection Commissioner's uselessness is genuinely shocking. A new report from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties reveals that the DPC isn't merely tolerant of privacy crimes, they're gamekeepers turned poachers, active collaborators in privacy abuse: [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • QuartzThe EU showed it's possible to reduce carbon emissions while posting economic growth

        The European Union (EU) has announced that its carbon emissions significantly declined in the final fiscal quarter of 2022, even as its gross domestic product (GDP) grew. Emissions fell by 4% year-over-year, while GDP increased by 1.5% during the same period.

        This is a major milestone for the trading bloc, which has looked to balance economic growth with its aggressive plan to transition to renewable energy sources.

      • JURISTHRW says fossil fuel phaseout and rights safeguards are essential for Global Plastics Treaty

        Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday urged countries involved in ongoing negotiations for an international anti-plastic pollution treaty to address the role of fossil fuels in plastic production. The organization also cited the need for human rights protections to be included within this Global Plastics Treaty.

        On November 28, 2022, countries began treaty negotiations based on a United Nations resolution mandating the creation of a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution by the end of 2024. Senior HRW researcher Katharina Rall stated that “the race to tackle the plastic crisis and prevent a climate catastrophe requires every country to tackle these problems at their common source by urgently phasing out fossil fuels.” HRW also notes that fossil fuel production, the primary contributor to the global climate crisis, is “the ultimate source of plastic pollution.”

      • DeSmogMontana Is Paying a Climate Denier to Give Expert Testimony in Upcoming Trial

        Montana has hired a climate scientist turned climate contrarian to be an expert witness in an upcoming trial challenging the state’s promotion of fossil fuels.

        Climatologist Judith Curry has already billed the state around $30,000 for a report filed in the case Held v. State of Montana, according to the deposition she made in December to an attorney for the 16 young Montanans suing the state. Curry also claimed that she charged $400 an hour for her consulting work, although she did not disclose the full amount Montana will pay her for appearing in court.€ 

      • DeSmogBreaking The Silence On Climate Change

        It’s the biggest issue of our time. So why are so few of us talking about it?

        In the UK, 57 percent of us talk about climate with friends and family infrequently, rarely, or never.€ 

      • Energy/Transportation

        • ScheerpostSCOTUS Case May Slash Regulation of Everything From Workers’ Rights to Clean Air

          Overruling “Chevron deference” could imperil our health, safety, labor, air, water, food and environmental protections.

        • Michael West MediaThree new coal mines and a coal extension get environmental approval. What's the scam?

          No coal mine will be left behind! Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek waited until media mayhem of the Federal Budget aftermath last Tuesday to approve three new coal mines and a coal mine extension. What’s the scam?

          The scam is to do it when nobody is watching, like the aftermath of the Budget when the story will get buried. In a week when Violet Coco and 7 environment activists were on a 48 hour hunger strike calling for “no new coal no new gas”, the Environment Minister quietly approved three new coal mines, a coal mine extension and there is another coal seam gas project up for approval on Friday?€ 

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • DeSmogScientists Have Now Linked Worsening Western Wildfires to Top Polluters

          New research for the first time links wildfire risks and impacts in western North America to carbon emissions traceable to the world’s largest fossil fuel and cement companies. The analysis has important implications for corporate climate accountability and may help bolster litigation aimed at holding fossil fuel producers liable for climate-related damages, the researchers say.

          According to the study led by researchers at the Union of Concerned Scientists, more than a third of the total area burned by forest fires in the western United States and southwestern Canada since 1986 is attributable to the “Carbon Majors” — a term representing the 88 largest fossil fuel and cement companies that collectively have contributed a majority of the carbon emissions warming the planet.

        • The RevelatorHuman Activities Have Drastically Reduced Habitat for Asian Elephants
    • Finance

      • Mass layoffs continue following growth during pandemic

        Jenny Craig Inc., Gap Inc., Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn Corp. are among the new additions to the growing list of companies cutting the size of their workforce.

        The layoffs come after businesses increased their hirings during the COVID-19 pandemic, when sectors such as retail generated more revenue as a result of increased spending from people working remotely. Additionally, economic uncertainty, especially with the declaration of a recession looming, is also a concern within corporations.

        The unemployment rate was 3.4% in April while productivity fell by 2.7%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      • The world’s largest professional network is laying off workers

        LinkedIn, the professional network that’s become a popular platform for workers to share news of their layoffs, recently announced some layoff news of its own.

      • The Register UKTech companies cut jobs to chase growth, but watch out for those shareholder returns



        Publicly listed technology companies under pressure to make deep job cuts can underestimate the often negative impacts redundancies may cause, both financially and culturally, as well as the harm to shareholder returns.

        According to data tracking service Layoffs.fyi, some 675 technology businesses have so far waved bye-bye to 193,950 employees in the year to date, compared to 164,591 chopped by 1,056 companies in 2022.

      • The StackA technology downturn and mass layoffs are having competing effects on FOSS

        Over the past year, the technology sector has faced mass layoffs and redundancies worldwide. During 2022, there were more than 15 million layoffs in the US alone. According to data gathered on Layoffs.fyi on the technology sector, there have been more than 186,000 roles cut across 637 companies so far in 2023.

      • Microsoft's cost-cutting measures: More jobs on the line, no raise for staff

        Microsoft has started laying off 158 employees at its headquarters in Redmond. The layoffs commenced on May 5th and were documented in a recent filing with the state Employment Security Department (ESD).

      • The NationJoe Biden, Culture Warrior

        Joe Biden is a reluctant culture warrior. For the first half of his presidency, Biden’s theory of politics was based on the idea that Democrats could best rebuild from their losses of the last decade by winning back white working-class voters. This required focusing on bread-and-butter issues while treating culture war topics as distractions. Before the Dobbs decision last June elevated reproductive freedom to a dominant election issue, Biden was notoriously reluctant to even say the word “abortion.” Writing in The Atlantic in March, Ronald Brownstein observed that at the start of his term Biden was “betting that the non-college-educated workers, especially those who are white, who constitute the principal audience for the Republican cultural offensive will prove less receptive to those divisive messages if they feel more economically secure.”

      • Pro Publica5 Lives Upended After Dealing With “We Buy Ugly Houses”

        HomeVestors of America, the company behind the “We Buy Ugly Houses” ads, says it’s in the business of helping people.

        Sometimes, the quick cash its franchises provide in exchange for a property at vastly below market value does help the owner.

      • TechdirtQuest To Replace Chinese Gear In U.S. Telecom Networks Is A Hot, Under-funded Mess

        As the U.S. has tried to untether itself from Chinese tech, one major policy goal by both parties has been to purge U.S. telecom networks of Chinese telecom gear. The worry (sometimes substantiated, sometimes not) is that Chinese intelligence has embedded all manner of nefarious backdoors in sensitive telecommunications gear (you’re to ignore that the U.S. also routinely does this).

      • The NationWith Lula in Charge, What’s Next for the Brazilian Left?

        Brazil is the largest nation with the largest economy in Latin America. It has gone through a tumultuous transition over the past decade: from a left-leaning government to one that was right-wing and authoritarian and now back to a Workers’ Party–led coalition government under President Luis Inacio Lula de Silva. Transcribed by Jana Silverman.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Counter Punch2023-04-17 [Older] Clarence Thomas Proves It’s Time for Supreme Court Term Limits
      • Common DreamsErdoÄŸan's Hold on Power in Question as Votes Counted in Turkey

        Whether Turkey's authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan, maintains power remains an open question as officials continue to count votes following Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections.

      • Democracy NowTurkey Presidential Election Heads to Runoff as ErdoÄŸan Faces Toughest Challenge of 2-Decade Rule

        Turkey’s closely watched presidential election is headed to a May 28 runoff, as both incumbent President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan and his main rival fell short of the 50% needed to win outright in Sunday’s vote. ErdoÄŸan is facing his toughest challenge since coming to power 20 years ago, as opposition candidate Kemal KılıçdaroÄŸlu leads a broad coalition in a bid to unseat him amid criticism for his administration’s economic policies, weakening Turkey’s democracy and poor response to the deadly February earthquakes. KılıçdaroÄŸlu has vowed closer ties with NATO and the EU and to reinforce democratic institutions. We get an update from Istanbul with Turkish historian Kaya Genç, who says ErdoÄŸan’s political survival was a “stunning comeback” that contradicted polls predicting a comfortable first-round victory for KılıçdaroÄŸlu. “This was a total shock for the Turkish establishment,” he says.

      • ScheerpostSpecial Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure

        A four-year investigation conducted by U.S. Special Counsel John Durham has concluded that the FBI lacked “actual evidence” to investigate Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and relied too heavily on unproven claims in the Steele Dossier provided by Trump’s political opponents. Here is an excerpt from the report detailing the FBI’s “confirmation bias:” “Throughout the […]

      • Common DreamsMothers on Six Continents Demand Action to Protect Children From Climate Crisis

        From Australia to Zimbabwe, mothers on Saturday peacefully occupied public spaces and called for urgent societal transformation to avert the worst impacts of the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency.

      • Common DreamsIn Honor of Mother's Day, Let Us Organize

        To be a good mom, you have to be a great organizer. Whether it’s fair or not, in most families, moms organize just about everything—transportation to school and sporting events, shopping, meals, medical appointments, and much more. That’s why we’re the best hope for Americans who are concerned about climate change. We’re already skilled organizers. Many of us are already successfully applying our organizing skills to the climate crisis. If we want to have a planet that is safe for our kids, more of us need to do so.

      • Common DreamsBeyond Cards and Phone Calls: Deepening Mother’s Day

        The 19th century origins of Mother’s Day differ vastly in spirit and purpose from celebrations of it in the 20th and 21st centuries.

      • JURISTTürkiye users’ access to Twitter restricted ahead of presidential election

        Twitter has not made publicly available which information has been affected by this restriction on access. This is the second time this year that the use of Twitter has been limited for users based in Türkiye. In February, the government briefly blocked access to Twitter and other social media platforms in the wake of a devastating earthquake which killed almost 50,000 people.

      • The Washington PostTwitter says it will restrict access to some tweets before Turkey’s election

        The decision once again puts Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s controversial free speech policies into the spotlight. This time, critics say, he is ceding to demands from Turkey’s right-wing leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Much of Turkey’s media is under government control, and critics accuse Erdogan of cracking down on social media companies to stifle opposition voices as he tries to stay in power.

      • JoinupBetter legislation for smoother implementation

        This session explored six elements of the Interoperable Europe Act proposal that are of particular interest to our community. These are: [...]

      • The NationInside a Teamster Rebellion: This Is What Union Democracy Looks Like

        In the early morning of April 12, members of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 90 rallied in the parking lot of the United Parcel Service distribution hub in Des Moines, Iowa, to prepare for what could be the largest strike against a single company in US history later this summer. The sun was shining as the union distributed “hot dogs for breakfast” to a crowd that started small but quickly ballooned to over 100, workers said. People were standing on trucks giving speeches to their coworkers. “We had workers talking about working six days a week, talking about getting written up for calling in sick,” said Tanner Fischer, the 26-year-old president of the local, who has been working for UPS since he was 18.

      • The NationIntroducing the 2023 Puffin Student Writing Fellows
      • The NationHenry Kissinger, War Criminal—Still at Large at 100

        Henry Kissinger should have gone down with the rest of them: Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, Dean, and Nixon. His fingerprints were all over Watergate. Yet he survived—largely by playing the press.1

      • The NationKissinger’s Bloody Paper Trail in Chile

        As Henry Kissinger reaches 100 years of age on May 27, Chileans are preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the bloody military coup that the former US national security adviser helped orchestrate in September 1973. Kissinger’s controversial career is littered with scandals and crimes against humanity: support for mass murderers and torturers abroad, domestic wiretapping, clandestine wars in Indochina, and, as Greg Grandin reminds us, secretly sabotaging the quest for peace in Vietnam. But his pivotal role in the covert US efforts to undermine democracy in Chile, aiding and abetting the rise of the infamous dictator Augusto Pinochet, will always be the Achilles’ heel of Kissinger’s much-ballyhooed legacy. 1

        The declassified historical record leaves no doubt that Kissinger was the chief architect of US efforts to destabilize the democratically elected government of Socialist Party leader Salvador Allende. Once Allende was overthrown, Kissinger became the leading enabler of Pinochet’s repressive new regime. “I think we should understand our policy—that however unpleasant they act, this government is better for us than Allende was,” he told his deputies as they reported to him on the human rights atrocities in the weeks following the coup. At a private June 1976 meeting with Pinochet in Santiago, Secretary of State Kissinger offered platitudes rather than pressure: “My evaluation is that you are a victim of all left-wing groups around the world,” he told Pinochet, “and that your greatest sin was that you overthrew a government which was going communist.” 2

      • Telex (Hungary)Polish Ambassador and Hungary's Chief of General Staff settle dispute

        Gábor Böröndi, Hungarian Chief of General Staff, and Polish Ambassador Sebastian KÄ™ciek met after KÄ™ciek expressed his indignation at Böröndi's words in an open letter.

      • The NationMarianne Williamson: From Third Way to Third Eye

        The right seeks to win converts, an old political adage has it, and the left punishes heretics. Best-selling spiritual author Marianne Williamson scrambles this distinction in more ways than one. Williamson is something of an adept at conversion—having landed the imprimatur of name-brand lifestyle brokers such as Oprah Winfrey behind her justice-minded vision of ecumenical New Age faith. Last week, as Williamson set out to address a packed house at the downtown Washington franchise of Busboys and Poets, a chain of progressive minded bookstore-eateries in metro D.C., it wasn’t quite clear what sort of call to redemption was in the offing.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • TechdirtEU Commission Asks EU Council Lawyers If Compelled Client-Side Scanning Is Legal, Gets Told It Isn’t

        Lots of ideas have been floated by legislators and others in hopes of limiting the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Very few of these ideas have been good. Most have assumed that the problem is so horrendous any efforts are justified. The problem here is that governments need to actually justify mandated mass privacy invasions, which is something that they almost always can’t do.

      • Pro PublicaColorado Law Will Require Homes to Be More Wildfire Resistant

        Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law Friday a bill that mandates a statewide wildfire-resistant building code, a step that scientists say will help protect residents and first responders as climate change intensifies blazes.

        The bill creates a 21-member board charged with developing standards for new and substantially remodeled homes in high-risk areas, including rules for using fire-resistant construction materials and clearing vegetation around residences. The board — which will include building industry representatives; urban and rural residents and government officials; an architect; fire officials; and insurers, among others — must be appointed by Sept. 30 and adopt a minimum building code by July 1, 2025. The law requires the code to be reviewed every three years.

      • Stage Media Company LimitedRushdie awarded Freedom to Publish award at Nibbies

        Supported by the anti-censorship organisation Index on Censorship, the award was presented to Rushdie by author Monica Ali at the British Book Awards held at Grosvenor House on Monday evening (15th May). In a video acceptance, Rushdie said: “We live in a moment, I think, at which freedom of expression, freedom to publish has not in my lifetime been under such threat in the countries of the West.

        “Obviously, there are parts of the world where censorship has been prevalent for a long-time, quite a lot of the world – Russia, China, in some ways India as well. But in the countries of the West, until recently, there was a fair measure of freedom in the area of publishing. Now I am sitting here in the US, I have to look at the extraordinary attack on libraries, and books for children in schools. The attack on the idea of libraries themselves. It is quite remarkably alarming, and we need to be very aware of it, and to fight against it very hard.”

      • SlateElon Musk Didn’t Just Do Turkey’s Bidding. Censoring for Strongmen Is Now a Pattern.

        But the timing upped the stakes here. The restrictions occurred on the eve of a highly anticipated national election, one in which incumbent Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erodgan faced his strongest presidential challenge in two decades. Even more on the nose, Erdogan’s newfound electoral weakness this cycle stemmed in no small part from his disastrous response to the crippling February earthquakes that leveled much of Syria and Turkey while killing more than 50,000 Turks; in the immediate aftermath, one of Erdogan’s first responses was to entirely restrict Turkish citizens’ Twitter access, as the platform was inundated with criticism of the president that one would never find on Turkey’s state-sanctioned media.

      • Business Insider'Free speech opportunist' Elon Musk caved to government pressure to censor tweets ahead of the Turkish election. Critics argue SpaceX dealings with the country's right-wing leader may have caused the reversal.

        Elon Musk's reputation as a free speech absolutist took another hit on Saturday after Twitter sided with the Turkish government and censored the accounts of political opponents ahead of a contentious election.

        In an announcement posted Friday evening, at approximately 6 a.m. in the country, Twitter's official Global Government Affairs account declared the platform would "restrict access to some content in Turkey" in response to legal requests made of the social media site.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Meduza‘I’m not a numerologist, but…’ Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov, reputed to be Putin’s personal confessor, presents a confused jumble of geopolitical ideas — Meduza

        In a new interview with the Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak, Orthodox Christian bishop Tikhon Shevkunov (reputed to be Vladimir Putin’s personal confessor and “spiritual guide”) shared a series of dubious and ill-founded opinions about Russia’s special place in the world, the West’s imminent clash with China, Ukraine’s doomed statehood, and other ideas barely compatible with rationality and informed governance. Paying tribute to Ksenia Sobchak’s father, the former St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, Shevkunov invoked Anatoly Sobchak’s prejudices against Ukraine, voiced back in 1994. Meduza has condensed Shevkunov’s remarks, keeping them in the first person and staying close to his tone and rhetoric. Here’s our summary of the opinions shared by the man entrusted with Vladimir Putin’s spiritual well-being.

      • CNBCVice Media files for bankruptcy to enable sale to lenders including Soros and Fortress

        A consortium of Vice's lenders which includes Fortress Investment, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital is looking to acquire the company following the filing.

      • NPRVice Media, once worth $5.7 billion, files for bankruptcy

        A group of Vice lenders is set to purchase the embattled company's assets for $225 million and take on significant liabilities, listed at $500 million to $1 billion, according to the filing in a New York federal court. That group, which includes Fortress Investment Group and Soros Fund Management, lent it $20 million to keep it afloat during the sale process, during which other lenders can make higher bids.

      • Michael West Media"Hi Babe" Case: Commbank boss Matt Comyn revealed in payments to ASIC star witness

        Commbank CEO Matt Comyn and two high-profile journalists have been dragged into ASIC’s case against bank victim advocate Geoff Shannon – along with NAB. Lisa-Jane Roberts reports startling revelations from a Southport court about dealings between big banks, the corporate regulators and the media.

        The case of Crown v Shannon resumed yesterday after a 6-month adjournment was ordered to give the defence time to sift through approximately 16,000 documents that the corporate regulator ASIC, the complainant, had failed to disclose when the trial began last November.€ 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Counter Punch2023-04-27 [Older] Stop Hiring and Re-Hiring Terrible Officers
      • Common DreamsBeware: Ron DeSantis' Attack on Voting Rights Won't Stay in Florida

        In an increasingly unsafe and, frankly, unhinged America, one of the things that keeps me up at night is the question of whether Governor Ron DeSantis’s far-right Florida will ultimately serve as a model for a national Republican Party in charge of the entire federal government. (Legislative and executive branches aside, of course no political party is technically supposed to control the ostensibly nonpartisan judicial branch. But we all know how that’s going.)

      • ScheerpostTitle 42 Was Inhumane and Illegal. So Are Biden’s New Border Policies.

        Biden’s decision to utilize and repackage rather than reject Trump’s amped-up deportation apparatus is no surprise.

      • TechdirtColorado’s Top Court Seems Reluctant To Give Judicial Blessing To ‘Reverse’ Keyword Search Warrants

        Having figured out the internet is a great place to find things, cops are increasingly relying on warrants that target tech companies in hopes of finding suspects, rather than finding suspects first and working forward from there.

      • TechdirtCourt Suppresses Breathalyzer Results In 27,000 DUI Cases After Years Of Being Jerked Around By The State Crime Lab

        For more than a decade, the Massachusetts State Police crime lab hid information from judges, prosecutors, and criminal defendants. This is nothing unusual for this state and its crime labs. The words “Massachusetts,” “crime lab,” and “scandal” have gone hand-in-hand for years.

      • The NationOne Big Union

        In Butte, Mont., masked men woke up radical labor organizer Frank Little, dragged him from their car, and then hanged his lifeless body from a railroad bridge. In Bisbee, Ariz., the county sheriff organized a gun-wielding posse that packed more than 1,000 striking miners into boxcars and sent them nearly 200 miles into the New Mexico desert without food or water. In the state of Washington, a local jury convicted several working men of murder after they defended their union hall from an armed raid by American Legionnaires, four of whom were killed in the fracas. In Chicago, a federal court found all 101 national leaders of that same union guilty of conspiring to violate the Espionage Act, passed to criminalize opposition to World War I. The trial judge sentenced most of them to lengthy terms in prison, where abuse against anti-war dissenters was common.1

      • EFFPodcast Episode: People With Disabilities Are The Original Hackers
      • Telex (Hungary)President Novák talks with protesting students and teachers face to face

        The protesters invited President Novák to the demonstration planned for 19 May and asked her not to sign the status law, but the President said she could not promise that. After about ten minutes of debate, Novák went to the Presidential Palace, and the queuing teachers and students eventually went inside as well . There, they displayed a banner on the terrace of the palace quoting a blog post written by Katalin Novák in 2010, when she and her family were living in Germany because of her husband’s job:

      • Telex (Hungary)Sharp increase observed in number of foreign workers in Hungary

        By 2030, the Hungarian government intends to increase the number of those employed by half a million, and although it plans to do this mainly from domestic sources, statistics show that companies are increasingly relying on guest workers borrowed from abroad instead of Hungarian labourers, Népszava reports.

      • EFFDigital Rights Updates with EFFector 35.6
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Computer WorldEU Commission OKs Microsoft’s $69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard

        While the Commission said it was reassured that the commitments offered by Microsoft “fully address the competition concerns identified by the Commission,” the approval is conditional on full compliance with the commitments. An independent trustee under supervision of the Commission will be in charge of monitoring their implementation.

        [...]

        To remedy this, Microsoft has offered comprehensive licensing commitments over a 10-year duration that would require the company to license popular Activision Blizzard games automatically to competing cloud gaming services.

      • VoxMicrosoft’s big video game merger just got an extra life

        The decision shows that, though the three countries or regions have expressed similar views about the need to rein in Big Tech’s power, they aren’t in lockstep. Microsoft may have a green light to close the deal in the EU, but it can’t actually do it without getting the same from the UK and the US. The matter is currently winding its way through the court system in the US and the UK’s decision is being appealed. While Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are both major players in the gaming industry and shouldn’t have much trouble carrying on separately, not being able to merge does hurt their ambitions to get even bigger.

        When the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) rejected the Microsoft acquisition, it was because it believed it would make Microsoft too powerful in the nascent cloud gaming market, as Microsoft has the Xbox Cloud Gaming and PC Game Pass offerings, as well as the Azure cloud computing platform. The CMA cited fears that Microsoft would have to increase the price of its Game Pass subscriptions to account for the tens of billions of dollars it spent to acquire Activision, that it would make Activision’s titles exclusive to its own services, and that the games were not open to computers that didn’t have Windows operating systems.

      • QuartzWhat's next for the Microsoft-Activision deal after receiving EU approval?

        Specifically, the regulators require Microsoft to automatically grant a license for Activision Blizzard games to any competing cloud-based gaming service, effectively giving consumers the right to stream any game they had already purchased on any device and using any type of operating system.

      • GamingOnLinuxEuropean Commission approves Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard

        Despite opposition from the UK CMA, and the ongoing legal battle in the USA, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard takes a step forward as the European Commission has approved it now.

      • Patents

        • Excl: Counsel hopeful of EPO quality deal despite latest stalemate

          The EPO met again with in-house counsel who are concerned that patent quality standards are slipping in favour of speedy grants

        • Biglaw Associates Are Growing Increasingly Worried About Layoffs

          You always wake up feeling ‘I could be could be next.’ It’s not at the kind of panic level right now, but a slow broil, where you feel, especially if you’re having a less busy work day, ‘what if we’re next,’ and ‘what if this quietness means that I’m useless and not contributing enough to the firm and I’m actually just dead weight that the firm needs to get rid of.’ That kind of thinking works its way into your bones.”

      • Trademarks

        • TechdirtSmall Cafe Changes Its Name Due To Having Spanish Word For ‘Coffee’ In Its Name

          There are lots of reasons why trademark disputes get really stupid, really fast. The mother of all those reasons is, of course, the USPTO’s inability to cast a critical eye towards the applications its receives. Far too many trademarks are granted for words and terms that are not unique source-identifiers of goods and services. But one other, and I think related, common cause of stupid trademark disputes is when foreign languages get involved. What is an obviously generic or descriptive term in English suddenly confuses the examiners as the Trademark Office the moment those words are in another language.

      • Copyrights

        • LcamtufLarge language models and plagiarism

          My goal here isn’t to downplay the utility of LLMs; I think they are powerful tools that will reshape the way we interact with computers and perform a variety of tasks. But I think we don’t grasp the vastness of the internet and don’t realize how often LLMs can rely on simply copying other people’s work, with some made-up padding and style transfer tricks thrown in here and there.

          As a content creator, I’m not excited about this. I opted my website out from ChatGPT, which is why the chatbot can’t tell you much about vintage propaganda comics or about casting polyurethane resins into CNC-machined molds. But Google doesn’t extend the same courtesy to me: if I want to stay on the open [Internet], I gotta “consent” to Bard.

        • TechdirtCopyright Abuses Preview A World Without Section 230

          Recently artist and actor David Choe€ made headlines€ by citing alleged copyright violations to scrub the internet — including€ journalists’ social media accounts€ — of clips from a 2014 podcast where he seemingly admitted raping a masseuse. He later claimed that he made up the story for shock value and said it should be taken as performance art.

        • Torrent FreakMajor YouTube Copyright Lawsuit Nears Trial With Almost Everything On the Line

          Maria Schneider's lawsuit against YouTube alleges several types of mass copyright infringement and repeat infringer failures. The trial begins next month, with proposed jury instructions already running to 243 pages. YouTube believes it will win, but the stakes are rarely this high. In addition to damages, the plaintiffs want YouTube to disclose details of files that remain on the site after identical copies were removed due to DMCA notices. And that's not all.

        • Torrent FreakCopyright Alliance Backs RIAA in Key YouTube Ripper Lawsuit

          The Copyright Alliance has filed an amicus curiae brief backing the RIAA in its legal battle with stream-ripping site Yout.com. The non-profit group, which represents rightsholders in key legal and policy issues, claims that numerous business models will be devastated if YouTube ripping is declared legal.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Going In Circles

        This might be the start of a company logo from the 1980s or so? (A totally unscientific skim of BYTE magazine vol. 8, no. 8 shows various instances of horizontal lines in e.g. the IBM logo, BASF floppy drive artwork, and a few other places.)


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



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