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Links 5/2/2021: Cockpit 237, Arctic Fox 27.11.0

Posted in News Roundup at 1:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • “Think twice before abandoning Xorg. Wayland breaks everything!”

        Wayland is not X.org. Let me repeat that. Wayland is not X.org. If you need the functionality that X.org delivers, then you shouldn’t be using Wayland. This is like buying a Mac and complaining your Windows applications don’t work.

      • Reboot Aversion

        I do have Canonical Livepatch installed on the servers where it’s supported. But I never look to see if there have been patches. I’m a terrible sysadmin, which is one reason why I don’t run Arch or Gentoo, I’m too lazy.

    • Server

      • The Internet Archive exists thanks to Ubuntu and the Linux communities

        The Internet Archive is unquestionably one of the most useful sites on the web. The Wayback Machine makes it possible to find snapshots of most websites at any given point in their history, and the archive itself is also home to a wealth of books, magazines, games, software, movies and more.

        You probably don’t give too much thought (or any thought for that matter) to the day-to-day running of the archive, but it relies on a long-term support server distribution of Ubuntu Linux and everything on its servers (with the possible exception of the JP2 compression library) is free and open-source software.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #391: The Weekender LXV

        Hello and welcome to Episode 390 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts interview Jason, KM4ACK, the author of the Build-a-Pi shack computer build script. We cover where to get the script, how to use it to create your shack machine and a few tips and tricks for better operation and configuration of your ham radio applications. Jason also has an informative YouTube channel and is a great resource. Hope you enjoy this episode and have fun building a Pi for your shack and operating often.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #198

        Ubuntu 21.04 Will Remain on Gnome 3.38 and GTK3


        Corellium the First to Boot Linux on M1 Macs

        Chromium Losing Access to Chrome Sync


        Fedora Won’t Drop Chromium

        MX Linux Community Respin Beta dubbed Ragout Out


        Subiquity 21.01.1 Out


        Snort 3 Out


        Krita 4.4.2 Out


        Virtualbox 6.1.18 Out


        The Raspberry Pi Pico Out


        Diogo Constantino Gains Ubuntu Membership


      • Going Linux #403 · Listener Feedback

        Updates on Bill’s computers, Linux compatibility, and trusted programs. We also have contributions about Photography software, ExpanDrive, Kali, and VLC. We even have a ‘sudo’ story

      • Blender: Video Editor No One Knows About – YouTube

        Next on the chopping block is Blender, which I’m surprised how few people know about. Maybe it’s because the 3D modelling side massively over shadows it. While it’s not the worst thing I’ve tried it’s far from the best but if you are looking for a video editor and already use Blender for some other work it’s not a horrible choice.

    • Kernel Space

      • Easier Sound Debugging With Software Audio Jack Injection Coming To Linux 5.12

        A new developer feature coming to the Linux 5.12 kernel thanks to a Canonical developer is software audio jack injection support.

        This new developer/debugging addition is about allowing Linux to injecting plug-in or plug-out audio jack events to the Linux kernel without physically resorting to disconnecting any audio jacks. It seems like such software jack injection control would have been in place a long time ago but it’s not until now with Canonical’s Hui Wang having worked through the support and it now pending in the sound subsystem’s for-next Git branch ahead of the Linux 5.12 merge window.

      • New Patches Posted For Bringing Up The Apple M1 SoC On Linux

        Security firm Corellium has been working on enabling the Apple M1 SoC under Linux and last month they posted initial Linux kernel patches for the Apple M1. Meanwhile independent developer Hector Martin has also been working on Apple M1 enablement via crowdfunding and today he posted his initial set of Linux kernel patches for bringing up the Apple 2020 hardware under Linux.

        Hector Martin today posted a set of 18 patches as part of his initial bring-up work for the Apple M1 SoC with a focus on the 2020 Apple Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models that use this Apple Silicon. This initial work focuses on UART, interrupts, SMP, and DeviceTree support. There is also a SimpleFB-based frame-buffer implementation for a working albeit un-accelerated display. The DeviceTree is focused on the Apple Mac Mini 2020 model but should be working for the most part with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro too.

      • Linux on Apple M1 Project Reveals New Details About M1 System Architecture

        Corellium, a software company specializing in virtualization solutions, has managed to port Linux to an Apple M1-based PC and even succeeded in making almost all the system peripherals work. In the process, Corellium discovered several interesting details about Apple’s M1 processor and the system architecture.

        A couple of weeks ago, we reported that a startup called Corellium had managed to run Linux on an Apple M1-based computer. Back then, the operating system ran, but it did not support many things, essentially making the PC unusable to a large degree. Recently the company finally managed to make most of the things (including Wi-Fi) work, which means that Linux can now be used on the latest Macs. But the whole project of running a non-Apple OS on such computers has an interesting side effect as it reveals how different Apple’s SoCs are compared to other Arm-based architectures.

      • Managing Linux Kernel Modules – Linux Hint

        The Linux kernel is the core of the Linux operating system. It contains the main components to address the hardware and allows both communication and interaction between the user and the hardware. The Linux kernel is not a monolithic system but quite flexible, and the kernel is extended by so-called kernel modules.

      • AMD Regression On Linux 5.11 Being Addressed By New CPUFreq Patches – Phoronix

        The AMD “frequency invariance” saga with Linux 5.11 continues… While there was a patch to address the previously noted performance regression caused by the introduction of frequency invariance and seen when using the Schedutil governor, a new CPUFreq-side patch series has been proposed instead — both of which are addressing the performance issue with this new kernel for AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 systems.

        It started out prior to Christmas when I noticed Linux 5.11 regressing on AMD systems when tested out of the box. On Christmas I outlined the findings of the AMD performance drops on Linux 5.11 and had narrowed it down to the frequency invariance support added this cycle. When using the default Schedutil governor, it was easy to now encounter slower performance relative to Linux 5.10 and prior.

      • More AMDGPU Patches For Linux 5.12 Point To First Sign Towards PCIe 5.0, FreeSync HDMI – Phoronix

        Sent in today to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.12 kernel cycle were “fixes” but some interesting items worth noting in this batch.

        Primary feature development is over for the DRM graphics drivers of new code they want in for Linux 5.12 since we are now late into the 5.11 release phase, but included as part of today’s fixes pull request were a few more notable items.

      • It’s 2021 And The Linux Kernel’s Floppy Driver Is Still Seeing The Occasional Patch

        The Linux kernel’s floppy driver dates back to the original days of the kernel back in 1991 and is still being maintained thirty years later with the occasional fix.

        Somewhat surprisingly, a patch was sent in to the Linux kernel’s block subsystem ahead of the Linux 5.12 merge window around the floppy code.

        The patch is an O_NDELAY fix for the floppy driver to address a spew of messages in the kernel log from the floppy driver. Additionally, the driver fails a mount prior to being opened without O_NONBLOCK at least once. Those floppy driver issues are fixed with this new patch by longtime kernel developer Jiri Kosina of SUSE.

      • It’s Easy To Help Test Linux Kernel Stable Release Candidates

        Stemming from the attention shined on the matter of uncertainty how long the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel will be maintained due to a current lack of committed support, stable maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman penned a new blog post outlining the (easy) process of testing new kernel release candidates and simply reporting the feedback.

        As noted last week when shining light on the issue with Linux 5.10 LTS currently marked as being maintained through just the end of 2022, Greg is looking for more organizations to commit to testing (and using) the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel before he will commit to maintaining it for six years or so as has recently been the case for long term support kernels.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Broadcom V3D Will See Slightly Higher Performance With Mesa 21.1 – Phoronix

          The open-source Broadcom graphics driver code most notably used by Raspberry Pi devices will be seeing at least slightly better performance come next quarter’s Mesa 21.1 release.

          The open-source Broadcom graphics driver code within Mesa continues seeing improvements via the likes of Igalia developers working in cooperation with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The latest work worth giving a shout-out over is the TMU pipelining support for the Broadcom V3D compiler code in Mesa.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Nv

          I posted yesterday in brief about zink on nvidia blob, But what actually was necessary to get this working?

        • Mesa 21.0 Has Many New Features Especially For Radeon Open-Source Graphics – Phoronix

          With Mesa 21.0 releasing soon here is a look at the new features for this quarter’s release of these open-source Vulkan / OpenGL driver implementations.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel On Their 11th Gen H35 Processors: “Fastest Single-Threaded Laptop Performance”

        As far as AMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile Linux benchmarks, I am very eager for testing and plan to buy a Cezanne laptop for testing as soon as finding one available… (As usual, with most laptop vendors not that interested in Linux, I am usually forced to buy the interesting models for testing.) So stay tuned for plenty of single and multi-threaded benchmarks.

    • Applications

      • Clight Uses Your Webcam To Adjust Screen Backlight Based On Ambient Brightness

        Clight is a tool that uses your computer’s webcam or ambient light sensors to get the ambient brightness, and then calculates and sets the screen backlight accordingly.

        Besides adjusting the screen backlight based on ambient brightness, this program can also adjust the keyboard backlight, and manage the screen temperature (GAMMA support) based on sunset and sunrise times, similar to Redshit. External monitors are also supported. It can also dim your screen after a period of inactivity and manage the screen DPMS.

        The tool works on X11, Wayland and tty, although on Wayland, some protocols need to be implemented by your compositor for this to work.

      • 8 Top Open Source Reverse Proxy Servers for Linux

        A reverse proxy server is a type of proxy server that is deployed between clients and back-end/origin servers, for example, an HTTP server such as NGINX, Apache, etc.. or application servers written in Nodejs, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, and many other programming languages.

        It is a gateway or an intermediary server that takes a client request, passes it on to one or more back-end servers, and subsequently fetches the response from the server and delivers it back to the client, thus making it appear as if the content originated from the reverse proxy server itself.

      • Integrate devices and add-ons into your home automation setup | Opensource.com

        In the four previous articles in this series about home automation, I have discussed what Home Assistant is, why you may want local control, some of the communication protocols for smart home components, and how to install Home Assistant in a virtual machine (VM) using libvirt. In this fifth article, I will talk about configuring some initial integrations and installing some add-ons.

      • 9 Signal Features You Should Start Using – Make Tech Easier

        In the wake of WhatsApp’s recent privacy policy change announcement, record numbers of disgruntled users have opted to switch to alternative apps. If you recently switched to Signal, then you may want to get acquainted with what the app has to offer. Here are some of the best Signal features you should definitely start using.


        If you’re still worried that somebody might be messing with your privacy, despite the safety measures you’ve already employed, you can add another layer of protection.

      • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.10

        Tor Browser 10.0.10 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

        This version increases the availability of version 3 (v3) onion services. The fix is included in the recently released stable tor versions, as well.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Unorthodox way to install Fedora IoT (and FCOS) – blog’o’less

        In a Fedora Magazine article, I was facing the problem that some VPS providers don’t offer Fedora as an option.

        Many of them offer a set of images (usually limited to CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu), and there is no way to upload and use an ISO or an image of your choice. In other words you can’t install a distribution of your choice.

      • How to Install PhpPgAdmin on Ubuntu 20.04

        PhpPgAdmin is a fully managed web-based administration tool for the PostgreSQL database server. It can handle all the basic functionality and advanced features to manipulate database information.

        In this article, we are going to learn how to install PhpPgAdmin on the Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • Check PostgreSQL Version is Running

        PostgreSQL is an open-source relational database management system that is commonly known as Postgres.

        As a system administrator as well as a database administrator, it is most important to know the installed and running version of Postgres in your system. For example, if you are deploying an application that requires a specific version of Postgres, you may need to search for the same version of PostgreSQL Server.

      • Get started with distributed tracing using Grafana Tempo | Opensource.com

        Grafana’s Tempo is an easy-to-use, high-scale, distributed tracing backend from Grafana Labs. Tempo has integrations with Grafana, Prometheus, and Loki and requires only object storage to operate, making it cost-efficient and easy to operate.

        I’ve been involved with this open source project since its inception, so I’ll go over some of the basics about Tempo and show why the cloud-native community has taken notice of it.

      • A hands-on tutorial of SQLite3 | Opensource.com

        Applications very often save data. Whether your users create simple text documents, complex graphic layouts, game progress, or an intricate list of customers and order numbers, software usually implies that data is being generated. There are many ways to store data for repeated use. You can dump text to configuration formats such as INI, YAML, XML, or JSON, you can write out raw binary data, or you can store data in a structured database. SQLite is a self-contained, lightweight database that makes it easy to create, parse, query, modify, and transport data.

      • 4 Ways to Create New File in Linux

        Linux based operating systems are known for their users’ heavy use of command line for performing not only complicated automation but also the most trivial of tasks. However, with the steady growth of Linux distributions in the home desktop market, the onus is on the developers to make the graphical interface as lay user friendly as possible.

        Today, we will see various ways to perform a simple and trivial task; creating a new file, in Linux using the command line as well as the GUI.

      • Different Ways to Create and Use Bash Aliases in Linux

        Alias in bash can be termed simply as a command or a shortcut that will run another command/program. Alias is very helpful when our command is very long and for frequently used commands. Over the course of this article, we are going to see how powerful is an alias and the different ways to set up an alias and use it.

      • From start to finish: How to create a database server on Linux to be used on remote machines
      • How To Import and Export MySQL Database – TecAdmin

        MySQL is an relation database management system to storing data in table format. It is an opensource database server available to install on variety of operating systems

        In case of mysql database migration, you can easily create a dump of database and restore it on target database server. MySQL server provides console utilities to export and import databases.

        This tutorial help you to export MySQL database using system console. Also helped you to restore database from dump file.

      • How to Install GNOME Tweaks on Fedora Linux – It’s FOSS

        If you use GNOME desktop environment on Fedora, you can use the default Settings app to access a wide variety of settings options.

        GNOME Tweaks is a great little app that gives you access to extra options to modify your GNOME experience. This includes everything from extensions, to changing themes and tweaking power settings.

        Today, I’ll be showing you how to install GNOME Tweaks on Fedora.

      • Install SimpleScreenRecorder in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to record screen – Linux Shout

        Follow this tutorial to record the screen of your Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04 Linux using SimpleScreenRecorder (SSR) open-source software…

        SimpleScreenRecorder for Linux is a program that allows users to record screen for games and software. Although there are various tools for this, however, Simple Screen Recorder is one of the best available to easily capture screen elements and later use the same for various purposes. For example, a Youtuber and who wants to record something on Ubuntu or other Linux distros such as gameplay to upload on YouTube, in such scenarios this tool helps a lot.

      • Linux Basename Command – Strip Directory from Filename – Putorius

        The basename command is another gem provided by the GNU Core Utilities. It has very few options and provides a simple function, to remove the directory components from a path. It also comes in very handy for removing file extensions (SUFFIX) from a filename. In this quick tutorial, we will show you how to use the basename command and it’s options with real world examples.

      • View the Contents of a File in Linux Command Line

        The usual way to view the contents of a file is to simply open it in a text editor. However, for more quick viewing and in fact, also for automating in a shell script, the method of using a text editor does not suit.

        There are many commands in Linux to solve this problem: to display the file contents on the command line.

      • Portainer recommends MicroK8s for effortless deployment | Ubuntu

        In their recent publication, ‘How to deploy Portainer on MicroK8s’, the Portainer team share with the community how easy and fast it is to deploy Portainer on MicroK8s. In fact, the entire process only requires a single command!

      • How to take and Share ScreenShot programmatically in Android Studio

        I need to add a new feature in My Android Application to take screenshots of the current activity screen and share images.

        Throughout this guide, we will explain how to take and share screenshots programmatically in Android Studio.

      • How to Check the Linux Kernel Version? – Linux Hint

        The Kernel is the essential component of any operating system because it manages the processes, resources, and provides a mechanism for communication between software and hardware. There are many Kernel versions available; you could face situations where you’ll have to check the version of the installed Linux kernel on your Linux system. For example, if you want to debug the hardware issue, then you will be interested in checking the Linux Kernel version.

        This post presents various commands to check the installed Linux Kernel version on your Linux system. I am using Ubuntu 20.04 for preparing this article and executing the command. The commands used in this article are generic and can be used on other Linux based operating systems like Linux Mint, Fedora, Debian, etc.

      • How to Install LAMP in Fedora Linux – Linux Hint

        The LAMP server is one of the most commonly used sets of open-source applications for building web applications. LAMP is a stable and powerful server structure and, at the same time, is very easy to use and set up. LAMP is an acronym for the four components comprising it: Linux, Apache, MySql, and Php. A similar counterpart for Windows and MacOS is also there, namely, WAMP and MAMP.

      • How to Offline Update Fedora Workstation? – Linux Hint

        Keeping the operating system up-to-date is important as updates contain bugfixes, performance improvements, security patches, and others. In the case of Linux, keeping the system updated mostly means keeping all the installed packages up-to-date.
        Offline updating is an interesting concept when a system needs to be updated but without any reliable internet connection. In such a situation, the update packages are manually downloaded from a different source and applied to the offline machine.

        In this guide, check out how to offline update the Fedora workstation.

      • How to Update a Fedora Linux System – Linux Hint

        No matter whatever distro you’re using, it’s important to keep all the packages up-to-date. Package updates contain various improvements, bug fixes, security patches, and new/improved features.

        In this guide, check out how to update the Fedora Linux system.

      • How to add PHP-FPM support for NGINX sites – TechRepublic

        If you’ve decided to make the switch from Apache to NGINX, one of the questions you might find yourself asking is how to add support for the PHP Fast Process Manager (PHP-FPM). For those that might not know, PHP-FPM is a FastCGI handler for PHP scripts and apps, which makes it possible for a website to handle higher loads. PHP-FPM is much faster than traditional CGI-based multi-user PHP environments and also allows for the hosting of multiple applications using different versions of PHP.

        I want to walk you through the process of installing PHP-FPM and then enabling it in your NGINX sites. It’s not quite as simple as it is with Apache, but it shouldn’t be much of a challenge for any IT pro.

      • How to compile NGINX for ModSecurity support on Ubuntu Server 20.04 – TechRepublic

        ModSecurity is the most widely-used and respected web application firewall for open source web servers. It can be used with both Apache and NGINX to provide protection from a number of HTTP attacks (such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting) against web-based applications like WordPress and Nextcloud. In other words, this module should be considered a must-use.

      • How to install Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How to install multiple domains on a Nginx server – Linux Hint

        Nowadays, many webmasters run multiple domain names in the same server as it reduces the cost, and complexity in handling many web sites. As the web server, this guide uses Nginx due to its high performance, flexibility, and easy to configure. This guide teaches how to install multiple domain names in the same Nginx web server and encrypt the traffic to both the domains for free of charge.

      • How to reset Ubuntu’s forgotten password – Linux Hint

        If you’ve ever lost your password, you’re not the only one. It’s definitely one of the most popular issues with tech support that people have throughout the years. The good thing is that, due to a forgotten password, you do not have to reinstall the whole operating system. In Ubuntu, they have made it extremely easy to restore your password. In VMware, single or dual boot, the methods listed here work to restore the Ubuntu password, and you’ll be able to restore your login credentials within minutes.
        Let’s start by demonstrating Ubuntu Password Reset from Recovery Mode.

      • FreeAptitude – Handling multiple versions of the same application with update-alternatives

        In a previous article I shown how to rollback a package installation, just in case we get a buggy application after an update and want to go back to the previous version. This time I want to show how two or more versions of the same application can be installed without conflicts, and with the help of the small CLI application update-alternatives, how easy it is to switch from a version to another.

      • Sharing audio to a videoconference using pulseaudio · Tomáš Tomeček

        Since I do all the meetings via videoconferencing software in this pandemic, from time to time I need to do something extra than just sharing my face and voice: share a video from my laptop.

        Luckily, pulseaudio has your backs, it’s just not that trivial.

      • Ventoy, multiboot DVD creator

        The other day, I was looking for a tool to create a USB drive with multiple installer ISOs on it. Mainly, I needed a Fedora installer DVD (for my laptop, to make the switch to btrfs), and a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 DVD to reinstall my dad’s workstation (which currently runs CentOS 8, and is in need of actual RHEL).

        There used to be a tool called Yumi to do this with, but their site is dead, and so is multiboot.org. I’m not even going to bother linking to them :/

        Then, on some forum about multiboot DVDs, I read that their demise might have to do with something called “ventoy”, which is being actively maintained and would make both obsolete. Or so they say.

        Needless to say, I was intregued.

    • Games

      • Eat and destroy stars in Stellaris: Nemesis and become the endgame crisis | GamingOnLinux

        Stellaris: Nemesis is going to boost some very exciting things for the grand space strategy game from Paradox, with a huge new endgame crisis coming where you get to pick a side. Not only are we get a whole espionage and spying system, we’re also getting a big boost in endgame content with the Stellaris: Nemesis DLC.

        Players will be tasked with either helping to keep the galaxy under control, or become the actual endgame crisis directly by eating up stars and possibly destroy the entire galaxy. Okay then.

      • FOSS soft-body physics simulator Rigs of Rods has a new release | GamingOnLinux

        In need of a new fun physics sim? How about one that’s free, open source and can be played in multiplayer? Rigs of Rods might be what you’re after and they have a new release.

        What actually is it? Rigs of Rods is a free/libre soft-body physics simulator mainly targeted at simulating vehicle physics. The soft-body physics system is based on mass-spring-damper theory. It’s pretty much a sandbox vehicle playground, one you setup yourself with trucks, cars, cranes, boats, bridges, aeroplanes and much more.

        Not the most beginner friendly game, with it needing plenty of modding and configuration to get it where you want it but it seems like a nice option for some physics amusement. As it turns out, we’ve never written about it here, despite it being around since at least 2005 – madness!

      • Godot Engine – Web Editor release candidate, HTML5 gamepads and more!

        Howdy Godotters! Time for another brief update on the HTML5 export for Godot.


        During December, realizing how poor gamepad support was on the web, I spent some time fiddling around with the HTML5 Gamepad API trying to improve the situation. The standard itself is sadly incomplete (see w3c/gamepad#7 and w3c/gamepad#9) making remapping of controllers hard guesswork.

      • VKD3D-Proton Working On Variable Rate Shading – Phoronix

        In addition to VKD3D-Proton working on support for DXR ray-tracing another high profile Direct3D 12 feature being implemented on top of Vulkan is support for variable rate shading.

        Variable Rate Shading allows for changing the quality of the rendering based upon the region of the frame (screen). This variable rate shading is about allowing for greater performance when not needing consistent rendering quality across the entire frame — such as for racing games if opting for lower quality rendering outside of the main area/focus of the frame.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s February 2021 Apps Updat

          This month, a new app to guide you through FOSDEM’s busy timetable and a new version for our time planner app.


          The launch of Kongress 1.0 took place this month. It’s a conference timetable guide app and is launched just in time for FOSDEM, one of the world’s largest free software conferences happening online this weekend. You can use Kongress to browse the timetable and favourite all the important talks. You can adjust times to your local timezone to avoid confusion.

          KDE will have a stand at FOSDEM with demos and welcoming faces, and as an online event people come visit from all over the world so do say hi on the stall Matrix channel #kde-stand:fosdem.org.

        • From a weird Dolphin bug

          One day when I opened Dolphin I found that it is reporting the file does not exist when I tried to open one with a Chinese file name. “Well, that’s bad,” I thought, and instead opened it in the terminal. Recently I went through the bug list for Dolphin and KIO and saw that encoding-related bugs are all mentioning that file cannot be trashed. Which is not the case for me. So I opened a new bug and started investigating it.

        • KDE 21.04 releases schedule finalized

          Dependency freeze is in five weeks (March 11) and Feature Freeze a week after that, make sure you start finishing your stuff!

        • Create a KDE Plasma Theme with No Code! Part 1
    • Distributions

      • Kaisen Linux – A Dedicated System Rescue Linux Distribution

        Kaisen Linux is an operating system developed for IT professionals to diagnose and deal with the faults/failures of an installed operating system. Kaisen Linux provides all the necessary tools for diagnosing and fixing an installed operating system, recovering lost data, fixing boot problems, formatting disks, and many more.

        Kaisen Linux is a rolling Linux distribution which is based on Debian GNU/Linux testing. As Kaisen Linux is a rolling release, you can always use up to date software/tools on Kaisen Linux.

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS’s First Release of 2021 Brings Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, Xfce 4.16, and More

          EndeavourOS is an Arch-based Linux distribution that is mainly terminal-centric with some GUI tools out of the box. The distribution offers eight Desktop Environments to choose from along with a number of tools to start with.

          Recently, the team behind EndeavourOS released their first ISO of this year with the latest Linux kernel 5.10, Mesa 20.3.4-1, Nvidia 460.39-2, and more. This release includes several improvements as well.

          Let’s see what are the major new features and improvements in this release of EndeavourOS.

        • Linux Release Roundup #21.06: Nitrux 1.3.7, Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, LibreOffice 7.1 and More New Releases

          EndeavourOS is an Arch-based, terminal-centric, Linux operating system with a few GUI tools offered as standard and eight different desktop environments.

          Recently, the team behind EndeavourOS has released EndeavourOS 2021.02.03, their first ISO release of this year.

          It is being offered with new features and improvements, you can read our article for more information.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, EndeavourOS 2021.02.03 and Solus 4.2 out now

          Multiple Linux distributions all had a brand new release in the space of week with Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, EndeavourOS 2021.02.03 and Solus 4.2 all out now for downloads and upgrades.

          For Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, this is the latest point release which gives a refresh for new downloads bundling all the updates since the initial release, and additionally bumps up a bunch of package versions for everyone. It brings in a brand new HWE stack (Hardware Enablement) that will bump the Linux Kernel from 5.4 to 5.8 and newer Mesa 20.2.6 graphics drivers, so that means better support for newer hardware. All users should get the HWE updates by default now too.


          Lastly, Solus 4.2 is also out now bringing with it the usual assortment of updates to various desktop environments, software updates and support for newer hardware. It’s now shipping with Linux Kernel 5.10.12 and the Mesa 20.3.3 graphics drivers. Some multimedia updates included too like GStreamer 1.18 and Pulseaudio 14.1.

          Solus is also interesting as they also have their own custom desktop environment with Budgie, with Solus 4.2 now shipping with the latest Budgie 10.5.2 which has numerous enhancements like a new desktop icons implementation, a rewritten system tray implementation, a redesigned sound applet and more.

        • EndeavourOS Latest Release (2021.02) Brings Xfce 4.16, i3 Setup

          The EndeavourOS team releases the latest version (2021.02) with many new features and improvements. We take a look at what’s new and provide you the details.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Google Chrome updated to 88.0.4324.150

          The official web browser from Google has been updated to version 88.0.4323.150 and shipped to go to the software repository.

        • Opera browser updated to 74.0.3911.75

          Opera the Chrome based browser for Linux has been updated to 74.0.3911.75 and shipped to go to the software repository.

        • Firefox browser updated to 85.0.1

          Firefox browser has been updated to 85.0.1 and is a minor bug fix update. This package has been shipped to go to the software repository asap.

        • Palemoon browser has been updated to 29.0.0

          The Palemoon browser is an alternative to Firefox and has been updated to 29.0.0. This package has been shipped to go to the software repository.

        • Zoom has been updated to

          Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing,
          simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform.
          Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience
          across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

      • Slackware Family

        • A Long Wait Will Soon be Over: Slackware 15.0 Coming Up

          As Slackware fans will have duly noted the team around the BDFL are finally one step, actually untold steps, closer to nearing the long awaited 15.0 release. And high time it is as outdated as 14.2 now is something like 4.5 years into its life. Is anyone actually still running this, except on servers? On 7 December 2020 it was announced that alienBOB’s latest Plasma 5 packages made it into the Slackware-current branch for testing and with that they finally fully replaced KDE 4. Shortly after XFCE 4.16 followed and now even includes the Whisker menu.

          That was soon followed by a mass rebuild against glibc-2.32 which is a pain of you’re running current or just installed somenthing like Slackel which is tracking Slackware-current. Never mind, that’s why it’s called a testing ground. Currently the kernel is Linux 5.10.12. With such a modern base that seems like a good position for an upcoming release.

          I have to admit that with stable getting so old I have switched to other distributions years ago and which are also running nicely. Mostly based on another old favorite, Debian/Devuan, but also Mageia and openMandriva for testing. They didn’t make the cut though. Until recently I got my Slackware fix only via alien’s LiveSlak project, the Plasma edition, which is in all honesty a good way to run Slackware and almost a distribution in itself. You get a ready made vanilla Slackware enhanced by a few choice packages from alienBOB. In between some quick testing of where Slackware development was at with a quick install from a Slackware FTP server and since recently the release of the aforementioned Slackel 7.4 with Openbox, a perfect base to add Plasma packages.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Beta Version of AlmaLinux Now Available

          A beta version of AlmaLinux, the open source fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) built by CloudLinux, is now available for download.

          Launched with the code-name Project Lenix in response to Red Hat’s decision to shift focus away from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream, AlmaLinux is a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8.

        • Automating IP Address Management with Red Hat Ansible and Infoblox

          In our last post we introduced Davie Street Enterprises (DSE), a fictional company at the start of its digital transformation. We’ll be looking at some of their problems, and solutions, through a series of posts.

          DSE, a leading provider of widgets, has many large manufacturing plants around the world. Traditionally, each plant’s local IT staff was in charge of its own operations, with little oversight from corporate IT. As the company grew, each plant became its own de-facto data center. Early attempts at connecting them over a wide area network (WAN) produced mixed results.

        • Enumerating a new network with Nmap | Enable Sysadmin

          Here are some basic Nmap flags that you can use to generate a quick and useful network map for effective troubleshooting and managing network traffic.

        • Community Blog summary: January 2021 – Fedora Community Blog

          This is the latest in our monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

          The big news for the Community Blog in January was integrating the site with Fedora Discussion.

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.27, 7.4.15 and 8.0.2

          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.2 are available in remi-php80 repository for Fedora 31-33 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.15 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-33 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 31 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.27 are available in remi repository for Fedora 31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Cockpit 237

          Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

          Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 237.

        • Astrophotography with Fedora Astronomy Lab: Setting Up

          You love astrophotography. You love Fedora Linux. What if you could do the former using the latter? Capturing stunning and awe-inspiring astrophotographs, processing them, and editing them for printing or sharing online using Fedora is absolutely possible! This tutorial guides you through the process of setting up a computer-guided telescope mount, guide cameras, imaging cameras, and other pieces of equipment. A future article will cover capturing and processing data into pleasing images. Please note that while this article is written with certain aspects of the astrophotography process included or omitted based off my own equipment, you can custom-tailor it to fit your own equipment and experience. Let’s capture some photons!

        • Data without integration is just data[Ed: A lot of it is to do with surveillance]

          The data can come from mainly three different sources, according to Sameer Parulkar, the product marketing director for Red Hat Integration. One is data that is stored in traditional ERP systems, data warehouses, or data lakes. Another is data in motion, which can come from millions of devices, different customer touchpoints and engagements points as well as physical stores. Last is data in action, which is generated by developers, data scientists and architects to develop applications or services.

          “All this data needs to be collected, aggregated, managed, and stored, but there are different data formats. There are different data definitions across different touch points, across different data sources. All of this has to be reconciled in one way or another in a secure way. What about the data quality? All of these are important elements and common pain points with data integration,” Parulkar said.

        • This Year Payments Will Be Faster, Smarter and More Inclusive [Ed: Red Hat spinning privacy violations and war on cash as "inclusive"]

          The payments industry has entered a new era. The way we transacted changed as we physically separated – accelerating the shift to digital commerce that was already underway long before the pandemic hit. And, the way consumers transact will continue to be shaped by this new normal long after the pandemic subsides. The last year has illustrated the urgency of being able to disperse funds quickly, transact digitally, and continuing the disruption of the existing payments value chain, including growing competition from telecommunication and technology industries providing payment services to customers.

          Recent events have also added a renewed focus on payments being a catalyst for financial inclusion. Markets such as India, Brazil, and Mexico have made investments in real time networks with the explicit goal of expanding economic inclusion and opportunity. We expect to see an expansion of these types of initiatives as the world recovers from the pandemic.

        • Get to know a Red Hat Technical Account Manager
        • IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 14.0-2 released! – IBM Developer

          A new update release for the 14.0 series of the IBM® Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available.

        • It’s the season for sysadmin reading | Enable Sysadmin

          January was another amazing month on Enable Sysadmin. We brought in a record number of visitors who gave our content over half a million reads last month, in addition to welcoming several new authors to our community and adding over thirty new articles to our catalog of system administration knowledge.

          As we go roaring into February, let’s take a look back at some of the best articles from the past month. Below are our top ten reads from January, as measured by readership. From intro content to how to use bleeding-edge features in your favorite admin tools, we’re sure you’ll find something of interest.

        • Copr: New Ansible module Copr

          We created a new Ansible module for Copr, which was added to the community general collection in Ansible galaxy during the release of the latest version 2.0.0. The module code can be found in the GitHub repository of the mentioned collection.

        • A guide to planning the next 50 years of your career | Opensource.com

          In the first and second articles of this series, I presented my review of Professor Lynda Gratton’s book, The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here. Those articles outlined the factors Gratton says will impact work in the future and the work environments those forces will likely create for us. I also reviewed how Gratton believes people will (and should) respond to those forces. And I demonstrated that many of her recommendations have roots in open organization principles.

        • Why simplicity is critical to delivering sturdy applications

          If you go back and examine all the steps taken to implement the shopping API in this series, you’ll see a purposeful decision to always stick to the simplest possible scenarios. In the process, you end up with the simplest possible solutions.

          There you have it: ZOMBIES help you deliver sturdy, elegant solutions by adhering to simplicity.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 5.14

          A next point release of Sparky 5.14 “Nibiru” of the stable line is out. This release is based on Debian stable 10 “Buster”.

          Changes between Sparky 5.13 and 5.14:
          * system upgraded from Debian stable repos as of February 2, 2020
          * Linux kernel 4.19.171 (PC) (5.9.15-1~bpo10+1 in Debian backports repo, if you need a newer one)
          * Linux kernel 5.4.83-v7+ (ARMHF)
          * Firefox 78.7.0esr
          * Thunderbird 78.7.0
          * VLC 3.0.12
          * LibreOffice 6.1.5-3
          * LXQt 0.14.1
          * Xfce 4.12.5
          * Openbox 3.6.1-8
          * xterm replaced by spterm, which is used by Sparky tools now

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Core 20 Linux Gets Bolstered Security, Full Disk Encryption for Embedded, IoT

          Canonical’s latest Ubuntu Core 20 Linux operating system now features several important security updates, including anti-malware and anti-hijacking technologies and full-disk encryption capabilities.

          The new version of Ubuntu Core 20, which is built as a minimal, containerized version of Ubuntu Linux 20.04 for use with embedded systems and IoT, was announced by the company this week. Ubuntu Core has been in production since 2016.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS Released with Linux Kernel 5.8 from Ubuntu 20.10, Download Now

          Released on April 23rd, 2020, the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series receives today its second point release, Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, which provides users with an up-to-date installation media that incorporates all the package updates and security fixes published by Canonical during the past six months.

          Compared to the previous point release, Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, which was published in August 2020, the Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS point release finally bumps the kernel and graphics stacks for better hardware support and an improved gaming experience since Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is recommended on Steam for many games.

        • Canonical releases second point release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS – the second point release for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. As with other point releases, Canonical has spun a new ISO that includes all the security and software updates and it comes with the latest hardware enablement stacks so that newer hardware works properly.

          Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS is available for the Desktop, Server, and Cloud products as well as other flavours of Ubuntu such as Kubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu. If you want to download any of the Ubuntu products or the spins, head over to the Ubuntu downloads page and find what you want.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS Released, Powered By Linux 5.8

          It’s here folks: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS is now available to download.

          This is the second point release in the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS series. It rolls together all of the software updates, security patches, and bug fixes issued to the Focal Fossa to date. Plus, it intros a new hardware enablement stack (HWE) composed of a new kernel and updated Linux graphics drivers.

          Wondering what the point of point releases is? They provide users with a freshly pressed ISO that bundles in all of the updates to Ubuntu since the last ISO was made. If you install Ubuntu 20.04 using this point release you won’t have to download and install a tonne of updates (which you would if used an older installer .iso, etc).

          This is the first of two point releases planned for this year. Ubuntu 20.04.3 will roll out in the summer carrying with it the Linux kernel used in Ubuntu 21.04,.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS Released, Download Now | Itsubuntu.com

          Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, the second point release in the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS series is now officially available for download. Ubuntu 20.04.2 is based on Linux Kernel 5.8. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is supported until April 2025.

          Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS ships with the HWE (Hardware Enablement). It let you receive new kernel releases every six months until 2022. You will see GNOME 3.36.8 desktop environment in Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS.

        • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS Released With New HWE Stack For Better Hardware/Graphics – Phoronix

          The second point release to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is now officially released. Notable with Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS is the new hardware enablement (HWE) stack that brings the Linux kernel, Mesa, and related components from Ubuntu 20.10, which means better hardware support that tends to be most notable around better open-source graphics support.

          Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS is available this evening across the entire Ubuntu portfolio from desktop to cloud as well as participating Ubuntu flavors. The HWE stack is enabled by default for improving the newer hardware support. The HWE stack is by default with the Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS desktop while Ubuntu Server sticks to the existing general availability (non-HWE) stack by default but users can opt for the newer kernel at boot time. This HWE stack is back-ported from what is currently offered in Ubuntu 20.10.

        • Lubuntu 20.04.2 LTS Released! | Lubuntu

          Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, we are pleased to announce that Lubuntu 20.04.2 LTS has been released!

        • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS released.

          The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.

          Like previous LTS series, 20.04.2 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures.

          Ubuntu Server defaults to installing the GA kernel; however you may select the HWE kernel from the installer bootloader.

          As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        • Ubuntu Core + Mir Is Powering Smart Exercise Mirrors

          For those wondering where Ubuntu’s Mir is being used in current form with their continued development of it these days as a Wayland compositor, it turns out it is being used within smart exercise mirrors as at least one implementation.

          Within the latest UBports Ubuntu Touch Q/A there was a presentation by Canonical’s Alan Griffiths on Mir in 2021 and in turn the “Miroil” for filling in the missing legacy gaps of Qt Mir support. UBports’ Ubuntu Touch with the transition to an Ubuntu 20.04 base is working to make use of the newer Wayland-focused bits.

        • What is Elasticsearch and how are enterprises using it? | Ubuntu

          Elasticsearch is a real-time open-source distributed search and analytics engine built on top of Apache Lucene™, a fulltext search-engine library and developed in Java. Elasticsearch started as a scalable version of the Lucene open-source search framework that uses a structure based on documents instead of tables and schemas and comes with extensive REST APIs for storing and searching the data.

          Elasticsearch is much more than just full-text search. It can be better described as a distributed real-time document store where every field is indexed and searchable. It is a distributed search engine with real-time analytics that is capable of scaling to hundreds of servers and petabytes of structured and unstructured data. And it packages up all this functionality into a standalone server that your application can talk to via a simple RESTful API, using a web client or from the command line.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Software – January 2021 Updates

        The table above shows articles updated in January 2021.

        For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

      • Top 5 Open-Source Shells for Linux

        In Linux, a Shell offers an interface for a Unix system that allows you to execute commands or utilities more easily. A shell collects an input from a user and executes a program according to that input. You can use a shell to perform various operations, including copying files, installing applications, restarting a system, and more. Linux command shells are divided into two types…

      • Open-Source Slack Alternative ‘Rocket.Chat’ Raises $19M To Add Smart Bots, Improve Security & More

        Rocket.Chat is undoubtedly one of the most impressive open-source slack alternatives available out there.

        Even we at It’s FOSS, utilize it daily to communicate and work. It may not be a perfect Slack alternative from every aspect depending on your requirements, but it does the job that we expect.

        Also, it’s no surprise that every collaboration platform (open-source or not) have seen a significant rise in their user base after the pandemic. Similarly, Rocket.Chat has seen a growth of 500% in their user base and a 260% increase in their open-source community.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 5 February 2021

        Welcome, February –we’re opening the month with another great week. Here’s what the Apache community has been up to:

        ASF Board – management and oversight of the business affairs of the corporation in accordance with the Foundation’s bylaws.

      • Apache DataSketches Promoted For Doing Big Data Analytics – Phoronix

        Following in the footsteps of Apache Superset and Apache ECharts, DataSketches has been promoted to being a top-level project within the Apache Software Foundation.

        There have been a number of Apache Software Foundation projects seeing promotions to top-level status, which basically amount to the flagship projects within this volunteer run free software organization. Apache DataSketches has now reached this peak after starting out nearly nine years ago as a Yahoo project and then spending the past two years as an Apache incubator project.

      • Italian data and ICT agency? Left for grab by Big Tech

        Assinter Italia is the network of the in-house ICT companies of the 20 Italian regions. Almost all those companies are consortiums of smaller public software houses, owned by local Public Administrations (PAs), Universities and healthcare facilities of the corresponding Region.

        The network has the vital role of representing not just the direct ICT interests and needs of italian PAs, but also those of all italian citizens, whenever their digital data are concerned.

        In 2012, a law decree called for a nationwide reorganization of PAs data centers, in order to create National Strategic Poles (PSNs), that is organizations officially qualified to provide cloud services to public administrations.

        By their own nature, all members of Assinter Italia should have played a primary role in the definition, creation and management of PSNs.

      • The Evolution of OSI as a Workplace | Open Source Initiative

        Part of our big growth year at OSI has been on the back end. One piece of that is thinking about our organization as a workplace and what it’s like to work here. We want to be a positive and healthy place to work. A place where folks can succeed without burning out, especially since we hope the next few years are likely to see us transitioning from one full-time person to two or even three full-time staffers.

        The OSI Board has been shedding its involvement in day-to-day activities and becoming more of a visioning board. Non-profit organizations need to be able to respond quickly to new opportunities and to occasionally put out fires, which doesn’t work so well if minor tasks must always be referred back up to a volunteer board, all of whom have many, many other responsibilities. So over the last year, we have been laying the groundwork for an efficient staff-driven organization that is empowered to do whatever needs doing in their day-to-day work. The Board’s job is to collaborate on the vision, act as a resource for staff and as ambassadors to the wider community.

      • Events

        • The Xen Project at FOSDEM: Unikraft and XCP-ng – Xen Project

          It’s that time of year when open source community gathers for FOSDEM! FOSDEM is a free event for software developers to meet, share ideas, and collaborate. This year’s event will take place virtually, making it more accessible than ever. It will take place Feb 6 and 7. The Xen Project will be present in several ways, through both Unikraft and XCP-ng.

        • Do not forget FOSDEM is this weekend!

          The most anticipated Open Source event for Europe is this weekend! Unfortunately this time online.

        • HPE and SUSE ~ Open collaboration & Innovation Together | SUSE Communities

          On behalf of Hewlett Packard Enterprise sponsored by Intel® and in partnership with SUSE, be part of the upcoming digital industry initiative where ANZ Leaders for HPE, Andrew Foote & SUSEs’, Brian Goodman-Jones will be discussing ~ “Modernising Your Mission-Critical Workloads: Reducing Risk, Increasing Scale & Enhancing Performance”.

        • Daniel Stenberg: Webinar: curl, Hyper and Rust

          What is the project about, how will this improve curl and Hyper, how was it done, what lessons can be learned, what more can we expect in the future and how can newcomers join in and help?

          Participating speakers in this webinar are:

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Arctic Fox 27.11.0 release

            This 2020 with COVID, quarantines and lockdown was and is a strange year, but it allowed me to take care of Arctic Fox quite a bit. A lot of work is going on in my Arctic Fox fork, which Matt dutifully imports.

            Thousands of commits flew in into this new release, tackling JavaScript upgrades, build fixes, further metro removal, JIT optimizations. SO much was imported from Firefox that this is really exciting!

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 86
          • What WebRTC means for you – The Mozilla Blog

            If I told you that two weeks ago IETF and W3C finally published the standards for WebRTC, your response would probably be to ask what all those acronyms were. Read on to find out!

            Widely available high quality videoconferencing is one of the real successes of the Internet. The idea of videoconferencing is of course old (go watch that scene in 2001 where Heywood Floyd makes a video call to his family on a Bell videophone), but until fairly recently it required specialized equipment or at least downloading specialized software. Simply put, WebRTC is videoconferencing (VC) in a Web browser, with no download: you just go to a Web site and make a call. Most of the major VC services have a WebRTC version: this includes Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, and Microsoft Teams, plus a whole bunch of smaller players.

          • Improving texture atlas allocation in WebRender – Mozilla Gfx Team Blog

            In order to submit work to the GPU efficiently, WebRender groups as many drawing primitives as it can into what we call batches. A batch is submitted to the GPU as a single drawing command and has a few constraints. for example a batch can only reference a fixed set of resources (such as GPU buffers and textures). So in order to group as many drawing primitives as possible in a single batch we need to place as many drawing parameters as possible in few resources. When rendering text, WebRender pre-renders the glyphs before compositing them on the screen so this means packing as many pre-rendered glyphs as possible into a single texture, and the same applies for rendering images and various other things.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • How did Runeberg’s career progress? AcademySampo helps find the answer from a huge amount of data

          According to Eero Hyvönen, Professor at Aalto University and Director of HELDIG ‘Technically, what is new in the Academy Sampo, are the use of learning artificial intelligence in investigating relationships between different people, and new types of network analyzes, among other things.’

          The service includes intelligent search and browsing functions, which are combined with data analytical tools and data visualizations in the form of networks, statistics, graphs, and maps. Thus, users can easily utilize and visualize data without having to learn to program complex data analytics tools.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice monthly recap: January 2021

          Two days ago we announced the release of LibreOffice 7.1, but a lot happened in the project in January too!

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Community Released With Improved Compatibility, Interoperability and New Features

          The popular open-source office suite LibreOffice recently released the latest version 7.1.

          In the official announcement, they emphasize on it as a community release considering that it is not tailored for enterprises and their support needs.

          This new release brings additions to LibreOffice Writer, improved performance in Calc, physics-based animation in Impress, improvements in the user interface, and more exciting things.

        • Install Libreoffice 7.1.0 on Ubuntu / LinuxMint / Fedora

          In this tutorial, I will show you how to install LibreOffice 7.1.0 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS / 18.04 LTS, LinuxMint 20.1, and Fedora 33.

          LibreOffice an opensource and alternative for Microsoft and open office, unlike others LibreOffice supports lots of tools, this suite contains the following Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.

        • How to Install LibreOffice on Ubuntu 20.04 & Linux Mint 20

          LibreOffice is a free, multi-platform, and open-source office suite used by millions of organizations and people worldwide. LibreOffice is full of features and boosts your productivity to perform your personal as well as official tasks. The LibreOffice suite comprises many useful applications like a word processor, spreadsheet, and drawing & presentation applications.

          LibreOffice can be installed on Ubuntu and Linux Mint from the Software Center, standard repository, snap application manager, and PPA repository.

          We are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for executing the commands and displaying the installation procedure.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Community released with support for M1 Arm Mac and ‘user interface variants’

          The Document Foundation (TDF) has released LibreOffice 7.1 Community, while continuing to complain about free-loading enterprises who do not pay for support. The “community” label is an effort to steer them away, though it is not a cut-down version.

          The download on the LibreOffice site is called 7.1 Community, in an effort to get businesses to sign up with an “ecosystem partner” for paid-for support.

          “An increasing number of enterprises have chosen the version supported by volunteers over the version optimized for their needs. This has had a twofold negative consequence for the project: a poor use of volunteers’ time, as they have to spend their time to solve problems for business that provide nothing in return to the community, and a net loss for ecosystem companies,” complained the post introducing the new release.

          We are also informed that 73 per cent of commits to the LibreOffice code come from developers employed by these companies.

        • elementary Theme for LibreOffice 7.1: Following Upstream’s Brand More Closely

          Not having an coherent and consistent design system has been a big problem for LibreOffice Community. But a branding guideline could help to fill the empty room. At least with a brand guideline, I can be grateful that our products are not designed carelessly.

          Talking about branding, TDF as the organization behind LibreOffice is not too strict in terms of technical implementation. In fact, LibreOffice has always carried the vision of having an interface that blends with the operating system. Something that sounds very familiar to the FLOSS desktop world. With this kind of vision, it feels like the brand’s approach to many design elements – like the interface, for example – on the proprietary operating system becomes a bit strange in my opinion. Obviously, in the world of Windows and macOS, applications usually have their own unique design characteristics without even trying to pretend to be part of the operating system. For example, Microsoft Office, the 2007 version does not have the same interface approach (except maybe the Office button which looks like the Windows Start button) with the Windows XP and Windows Vista interfaces. MS 2010 is the same, even though MS 2013 both adopted a flat appearance like the era of Windows 8 and 8.1 but in terms of interface even icons and background knick-knacks in their windows are different. MS Office 2019 and 365 actually use an interface that has no resemblance to Windows 10 at all (except for the flat part which is trending).

          The same is true for the macOS version of MS Office, each version no one really wants to appear like Finder. Before the era of MS Office 2019/365, the skeuomorphism characteristics were indeed maintained, but we can easily say that MS Office looks like MS Office completely.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Community released

          The Document Foundation released LibreOffice 7.1 Community to the public on February 3, 2021. LibreOffice 7.1 Community is a free version of the Office suite that is designed for non-business users. The Enterprise version of LibreOffice provides Enterprise-related features such as long-term support, service level agreements or assistance on top of that.

          The Document Foundation decided to use the labels — Community and Enterprise — to better distinguish between those two versions.

          The new version of LibreOffice’s Community version is already available on the official download site for all supported operating systems. Users may select Help > About LibreOffice to display the version that is in use at the time.

      • FSFE

        • 20 years FSFE: Interview with Georg Greve, founder president

          In 2021 the Free Software Foundation Europe turns 20. A moment that we like to use to celebrate our community and who has accompanied us in the past or still does with a series of publications. In our first publication we look back where everything got started and conducted an interview with the FSFE’s first president Georg C. F. Greve.

          It was Georg Greve who in April 2001 handed all necessary documents to the notary in Hamburg, Germany, to officially register the association “Free Software Foundation Europe”. Which was only the last official step after many weeks of preparation and strategy meetings beforehand. Neatly with the official registration, Georg Greve became the first President of the newly founded FSFE and led the organisation in a full-time capacity until June 2009. On 18 December 2009 Georg Greve was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for these years and his achievements in Free Software and Open Standards.

          20 years later we interview Greve about the creation of FSFE, his first days in office and how it evolved from there.

        • FOSDEM21: Legal and Policy Issues Devroom agenda

          As every year, the FSFE will be present at FOSDEM, the biggest annual Free Software happening in Europe. In 2021, the FSFE is honored to co-organise the Legal and Policy Devroom at FOSDEM. We are excited and look forward to presenting you an interesting programme throughout the whole weekend.

          While FOSDEM normally takes place every year in the Free University of Brussels, this year it will for the first time happen online. Also for the first time, the FSFE will co-organise the Legal and Policy Devroom on Saturday and Sunday at 14:00 CET.

      • Programming/Development

        • A guide to understanding Linux software libraries in C | Opensource.com

          Software libraries are a longstanding, easy, and sensible way to reuse code. This article explains how to build libraries from scratch and make them available to clients. Although the two sample libraries target Linux, the steps for creating, publishing, and using these libraries apply to other Unix-like systems.

          The sample libraries are written in C, which is well suited to the task. The Linux kernel is written mostly in C with the rest in assembly language. (The same goes for Windows and Linux cousins such as macOS.) The standard system libraries for input/output, networking, string processing, mathematics, security, data encoding, and so on are likewise written mainly in C. To write a library in C is therefore to write in Linux’s native language. Moreover, C sets the mark for performance among high-level languages.

        • How to implement business requirements in software development

          In my previous articles in this series, I explained why tackling coding problems all at once, as if they were hordes of zombies, is a mistake. I’m using a helpful acronym to explain why it’s better to approach problems incrementally.

        • Posix Open Function with C Programming – Linux Hint

          The concept of file handling is extensively used in all programming languages. Specifically for C and C++, you will find a vast literature on the information regarding the concept of file handling. Whenever you want to access or modify a file in C or C++, you must open it first, either for reading or writing. The task of opening a file is accomplished with the help of the Posix Open function.

          This function contains a set of parameters that are passed along with this function to open a specified file. We will discuss these parameters in the next heading of our article. However, the main goal of this article is to educate you about the usage of the Posix Open function in Linux Mint 20. In this article, learn how the Open function works with C programming.

        • How to Save Time Running Automated Tests with Parallel CI Machines | Linux Journal

          Automated tests are part of many programming projects, ensuring the software is flawless. The bigger the project, the larger the test suite can be.This can result in automated tests taking a lot of time to run. In this article you will learn how to run automated tests faster with parallel Continuous Integration machines (CI) and what problems can be encountered. The article covers common parallel testing problems, based on Ruby & JavaScript tests.

        • How to Authorize Users Using Google OAuth in Node.js – Linux Hint

          Open Authorization, also known as OAuth, is a protocol used to authorize a user on your website using some third-party service like Google, Github, Facebook, etc. The third-party service shares some data (name, email, profile picture, etc.) with your website and then authorizes the user on its behalf without managing the passwords and usernames for your website, and saving the users a lot of extra trouble.


          Almost all the programming languages provide different libraries to implement google oauth to authorize users. Node.js provides ‘passport’ and ‘passport-google-oauth20’ libraries to implement google oauth. In this article, we will implement an oauth protocol to authorize users to use node.js.

        • Python

          • How to use python NumPy where() function with multiple conditions – Linux Hint

            NumPy library has many functions to create the array in python. where() function is one of them to create an array from another NumPy array based on one or more conditions. Some operations can be done at the time of array creation based on the condition by using this function. It can be used without any conditional expression also. How this function can be used with multiple conditions in python is shown in this tutorial.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • My Rofi plugin for wtwitch

            I recently wrote about wtwitch (a CLI-client for Twitch) and while it’s a really good client, I was missing the ability to launch the streams via Rofi like I used to be able to do in the past with Twitchy.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Take Me Out to the Capitol…Whoops, I Mean the Ballpark

      The Super Bowl ends the most toxic season ever.

    • The Unbearable Emptiness of Tom Brady

      What Tom Brady has done over two decades is the equivalent of dancing through raindrops without getting wet. He has dominated the most lauded position in American sports—quarterback—to incredible effect. After being drafted 199th in the year 2000 to little notice, he is now set to play in his 10th Super Bowl this Sunday. No other quarterback has ever played in more than five.

    • Self-Perpetuating Hubris
    • I Wish We Could Be Dancing to Sophie

      In a moment when nearly every form of collective mourning is almost impossible, the sudden death of 34-year-old producer and musician Sophie on January 30 is uniquely painful. Over the past eight years, the Scottish-born musician has remade pop and electronic music in her own image, pushing both genres past their breaking point, leaving whole new worlds in their wake. At any other point in time, Sophie’s life would be honored in sweaty, packed nightclubs; instead, we were forced into solitary dance parties in apartments around the globe—still something, but not nearly enough.

    • A Museum Dedicated to Stalin: An Example of How to Deal With Historical Memory

      Gori, where Stalin was born in 1878, is now a dreary small town with a population of 50,000, whose houses have blackened walls and in whose empty streets the wind blows rubbish to and fro. Only when I got to a building reminiscent of a Greco-Roman temple with a visibly Soviet veneer to it, did I start to see the occasional visitor. In front of it, I looked at a wooden cabin. This is the house where Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, later known as Stalin, was born; his father was a cobbler who during his frequent bouts of drunkenness used to beat his wife and son, until the two of them decided to flee. Next to the entrance of the museum, which was built in 1957, four years after the dictator’s death, there stands the train coach in which he travelled, and on blankets stretched out on the ground someone is offering pictures of him, as if they were religious prints.

      Once inside the museum, I went up the steep red-carpeted staircase, presided over by a four metre high statue of Stalin, crowned by a stained-glass window. The staircase certainly fulfils its function: that of giving the visitor the feeling that he is in a temple, walking towards God.

    • I Talked to the Cassandra of the Internet Age

      Most of this came to him in the mid-1980s, when Mr. Goldhaber, a former theoretical physicist, had a revelation. He was obsessed at the time with what he felt was an information glut — that there was simply more access to news, opinion and forms of entertainment than one could handle. His epiphany was this: One of the most finite resources in the world is human attention. To describe its scarcity, he latched onto what was then an obscure term, coined by a psychologist, Herbert A. Simon: “the attention economy.”

      These days, the term is a catch-all for the [Internet] and the broader landscape of information and entertainment. Advertising is part of the attention economy. So are journalism and politics and the streaming business and all the social media platforms. But for Mr. Goldhaber, the term was a bit less theoretical: Every single action we take — calling our grandparents, cleaning up the kitchen or, today, scrolling through our phones — is a transaction. We are taking what precious little attention we have and diverting it toward something. This is a zero-sum proposition, he realized. When you pay attention to one thing, you ignore something else.

    • [Old] Attention Shoppers!

      Attention has its own behavior, its own dynamics, its own consequences. An economy built on it will be different than the familiar material-based one. For the past decade I have been exploring how this new system will work. This article is a rough outline of where we are headed.

      Technically, at least, information and its flow can be accurately detected and counted (in bits, bytes, and baud rates) by simple electronic devices. Attention is more mysterious, a process that can occur only in a mind, yet somehow it moves out into the world as well. If you’re in a phone conversation, your attention goes to the party at the other end of the line. If you’re chatting over the Net, your attention flows through it. The flow may be metaphoric, but it is a metaphor of uncommon depth. Phrases such as “pay attention” and “I can’t give you my full attention right now” trip easily off our tongues – almost as if this state of awareness were a substance.

      “Attention,” write Thomas Mandel and Gerard Van der Leun in their 1996 book Rules of the Net, “is the hard currency of cyberspace.” They’re dead on. As the Net becomes an increasingly strong presence in the overall economy, the flow of attention will not only anticipate the flow of money, but eventually replace it altogether.

    • The Resilience Doctrine: Indigenous Nations Understand Disaster Resilience

      From the perspectives of Indigenous nations, the crises of 2020 have not been something entirely new, or even a significant historical departure from “normal.” Having previously experienced the ravages of violent colonialism, pandemics, environmental catastrophe, and forced assimilation, the current era has long been a dystopia for Native peoples. The Dakota scholar Kim TallBear described 2020 not as an unprecedented apocalypse, or an exception to normalized “progress” in the settler colonial empire, but rather as “a sharpening of the already present.”

      Ann Marie Chischilly, the Diné executive director of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, pointed to previous Indigenous experience with environmental disruptions and pandemics when she said “Resilience is in our DNA.” This meeting of history and present-day realities enables Indigenous peoples to have deeper perspectives on existential crises, and to envision and create innovative paths out of these crises.

    • Of children dead “because” of social media

      On January 21st, 2021, a 10-year old italian girl died in her bathroom, hanged to a belt. So far, it seems very, very likely that she unvoluntarily killed herself, to participate in a challenge seen on the TikTok social network.

    • What do YOU see, if you search “rich” or “poor” people? | Stop at Zona-M

      Now, all search engines results are the outcome of “machine learning”, that is of feeding huge quantities of categorized images to some software, until it becomes able of categorizing by itself new images, as they come. Of course, if almost all the “training” images of rich are of white people, that is what the search engine will learn, and return.

      Besides, artificial intelligence is dumb. Heck, for all I know, the Google algorithms that will parse this page may very well take the two headings above, that obviously have a totally different meaning, as further confirmations that “Rich is white, white is rich”.

      So, sadly, nothing new, so far, even if it is extremely useful to see it in this way. Show this post to your friends. But I would like to know something more.

    • On anger, misunderstandings, and hearing with different ears

      Anger is a feeling that is mostly taboo in our society. People tend to think that anger and rage are the same thing and reject anger. We are taught to suppress it. But: “The suppression of anger can cause a lot of trouble, giving rise to virulent progeny such as malice, passive aggression, hostility, rage, sabotage, hate, blame, guilt, controlling behavior, shame, self-blame, and self-destruction.” (Quoted from: Anne Katherine, “Where to draw the line”).

      When we talk about anger, we need to distinguish between acting out anger, and feeling anger. In general, when you hear me talking about anger, I’m talking about the feeling named anger in English.

      Anger is a normal feeling with a super power: it gives us the energy to change a situation that we consider to be unsustainable. We can express the feeling of anger verbally by saying for example: “That thing makes me really angry”, “I can’t talk right now, I am very angry about what I just heard”.


      Getting back to anger, I think that it’s often not the contents — i.e. the factual facet — of a message that triggers our bottle to overflow, but the (perceived) intention of the speaker, i.e. the appeal facet.

      For example, a speaker might have an intention to silence us by using gaslighting, or tone policing. Or a speaker wants to explicitly hurt us because that’s how they learnt to deal with their own feelings of hurt.


      If we cannot hear each other anymore or always hear only one side of the message, we can try to do a mediation. Obviously, if at that point one side does not actually want to solve the problem, or thinks it’s not their problem, then there’s not much we can do, and mediation would not help.

      The examples above might sound familiar to you. I chose them because I’ve seen them happen around me often, and I understand them as shared patterns. While all beings on this planets are unique, we share a common humanity, for example through such patterns and common experiences.

    • Science

      • Section 1201’s Harm to Security Research Shown by Mixed Decision in Corellium Case

        The District Court’s ruling in Apple v. Corellium makes this shift crystal-clear. Corellium is a company that enables security researchers to run smartphone software in a controlled, virtual environment, giving them greater insights into how the software functions and where it may be vulnerable. Apple sued the company, alleging that its interactions with Apple code infringed copyright and that it offered unlawful circumvention technology under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

        Corellium asked for “summary judgment” that it had not violated the law. Summary judgment is decided as a matter of law when the relevant facts are not in dispute. (Summary judgment is far less expensive and time-consuming for the parties and the courts, while having to go to trial can be prohibitive for individual researchers and small businesses.) Corellium won on fair use, but the court said that there were disputed facts that prevented it from ruling on the Section 1201 claims at this stage of the litigation. It also rejected Corellium’s argument that fair use is a defense to a claim under Section 1201.

        Fair use is part of what makes copyright law consistent with both the First Amendment and the Constitution’s requirement that intellectual monopoly rights like copyright – if created at all – must promote the progress of “science and the useful arts.”

    • Education

      • ‘More Weight’: An Academic’s Guide to Surviving Campus Witch Hunts

        Since these cancellation tactics are increasingly being deployed against academics who advocate mainstream views on any number of subjects—including hiring and admission—I’ve assembled some thoughts based on my recent experience, in the hope that my advice might be useful to others who find themselves in my position. If we’re going to defend the pursuit of truth, the primacy of reason, and academic freedom effectively, we need to discuss tactics that have worked, and build on these successes.

        Readers may notice that my theme is similar to that of Pedro Domingos and Bari Weiss, both of whom recently have offered their own suggestions in regard to fighting cancel culture, each drawing from their own experiences. One point of contrast is that, in responding to the inevitable tension between pushing back against one’s critics and forgiving them, Domingos (a fellow academic) leans a bit more toward the former while I lean a bit more toward the latter. I encourage interested readers to consider these perspectives, and more, in formulating their own views.

      • Covering School Reopening, Chicago Papers Pit Unions Against Parents

        As FAIR (12/9/20) has reported, the New York Times has pushed for reopening public schools over teachers union concerns in New York City.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Vaccine Shortage
      • In Push for Global Vaccine Equity, US AIDS Program PEPFAR Offers Blueprint
      • The Resilience Doctrine: Mutual Aid in the Pandemic and Beyond

        At The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington, our winter-quarter class on “Catastrophe: Community Resilience in the Face of Disaster” began in early January 2020, so our students had early warning of coronavirus as it began to spread around the world, but before the disease or public awareness had reached the United States. COVID-19 had reached Washington state by February, as our class held a Catastroph-Fair, and workshopped disaster scenarios such as a pandemic. After the shutdown began in mid-March, our faculty decided to introduce a new “Pandemic Academy” class, with the “Resilience Doctrine” as my inaugural lecture.

        As I noted at the onset of the quarantine, “We’ve learned from previous disasters that fear makes citizens more obedient to authority. Fear reinforces the superstate as our protector, and justifies oppressive or unequal responses …‘Elite panic’ generates repressive measures that start to bring out the police, vigilantes, and military, ironically in the name of preventing public panic.” President Trump acknowledged as such one week later when he told reporter Bob Woodward, “I always wanted to play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

      • Biden White House Considers Plan Rejected by Trump to Send Masks Through USPS
      • Covering Up Workplace Covid-19

        Of course the Chronicle consigned this article to the business section, when it really belonged on the front page above the fold. And the reporters, Chase DiFeliciantonio and Shwanika Narayan, were a bit hobbled by the need to be “objective” and allow both sides to get their say, as if there is a side that has some reasonable excuse for hiding COVID-19 outbreaks from you and me.

        So, let me up the game a bit. What these public health departments are doing is a simple cover-up, designed to protect the corporate elite at the expense of the health and safety of us workers and our families and friends. You know, like former President Richard Nixon pretending to know nothing about the Watergate break-in.

      • Poultry Bosses Aren’t Calling All the Shots in the US Any More

        But even a trillion wings might not be enough to put poultry industry CEOs in a party mood after a couple of tough first weeks under the new administration in Washington.

        After taking office, Biden officials moved swiftly to block a signature achievement of the Chicken Council’s lobbyists: a Trump administration rule to allow poultry corporations to jack up their line speeds. Industry execs had been looking forward to increasing their profits by forcing workers to process birds at a break-neck speed of 175 per minute, up from the already high max of 140.

      • As COVID-19 Spreads In Virginia Civil Commitment Center, Incarcerated Can’t Get Medical Care

        A few days after Benjamin Bannister tested positive for coronavirus in, he told medical staff at the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation that he was experiencing shortness of breath and headaches. Nurses said he would receive medical attention, but, like with his prior requests for assistance over the last days, nobody offered care. 

        When he stood up the next day for a temperature check, he collapsed, and woke up 27 days later in the Centra Lynchburg General Hospital.

      • Dealing with a Pandemic as If Human Lives Mattered

        Unfortunately, many other wealthy countries, like France, Belgium, and Sweden, have not done much better. They don’t have the excuse of having a saboteur in charge who was actively trying to prevent the relevant government agencies from doing their jobs.

        Anyhow, I thought it would be worth throwing out a few points about how we should have approached the pandemic. While some of this is 20-20 hindsight, I was making most of these points many months ago. I should add, I claim zero expertise in public health, but I do have some common sense, in spite of my training in economics. Of course, if anyone with expertise in public health wants to correct or expand on any points here, I welcome the opportunity to be educated.

      • After Hundreds of Meatpacking Workers Died From COVID-19, Congress Wants Answers

        A key congressional panel launched an investigation this week into the wave of COVID-19 infections that killed hundreds of workers at meatpacking plants nationwide last year and highlighted longstanding hazards in the industry.

        Since the start of the pandemic, the meat industry has struggled to contain the virus in its facilities, and plants in Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas have endured some of the biggest workplace outbreaks in the country.

      • Rich Investors Stripped Millions From a Hospital Chain and Want to Leave It Behind. A Tiny State Stands in Their Way.

        In a David-and-Goliath battle, a group of Rhode Island officials and a union for hospital workers have so far stymied a multi-billion-dollar private equity fund’s attempt to unload its controlling stake in a national for-profit hospital chain. Investors led by the private equity firm, Leonard Green & Partners, previously extracted $645 million in dividends from the investment, and the firm now seeks to leave behind another $1.3 billion in financial obligations at the chain. In the face of more than a year of often-vehement public opposition in Rhode Island, the hospital chain suddenly agreed in the final days of December to pay $27.25 million to resolve a group of lawsuits they had previously refused to settle. But a Jan. 29 deadline for the state to approve the deal has been extended indefinitely and other obstacles remain.

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      • “Viruses Know No Borders”: In Push for Global Vaccine Equity, U.S. AIDS Program Offers Blueprint

        As the U.S. COVID death toll tops 450,000, the Biden administration is attempting to ramp up its vaccination campaign to slow the spread of new coronavirus variants. Meanwhile, health experts warn any vaccination progress in the United States will be threatened without global vaccine equity. “We need to, as quickly as possible, expand access to the vaccines, both in this country, in the United States, as well as around the world,” says Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of the ICAP at Columbia University and professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. She argues that the U.S. needs to do more to supply the world with COVID-19 vaccines, as it did with HIV medications. “This is a model that can be emulated at this point in time in recognition of the fact that viruses know no borders.”

      • Senate Democrats Plan on Moving to Legalize Marijuana Later This Year
      • Delhi Police File FIR Against Unknown Persons For Sharing Farmers’ ‘Toolkit’, Thunberg Not Named

        An FIR was registered by the Delhi Police against unknown persons in connection with the “toolkit”, which was shared by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and others on Twitter, with a top official saying that the initial probe has suggested the document’s link with a pro-Khalistan group.

        Delhi Police’s remarks come in the backdrop of global celebrities such as singer Rihanna and Thunberg supporting the farmers’ protests against the three farm laws.

        Asked whether the FIR has been registered against Thunberg, a top official of the Delhi Police said nobody has been named in the case.

      • Farmers’ protest toolkit: Delhi Police files FIR, suspects Khalistan link

        Addressing a press conference, Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan said the Delhi Police has come across a document “toolkit” which has an action plan to spread social disharmony in the country and registered a case against its author on charges of criminal conspiracy, sedition and others.

      • Delhi Police registers FIR against creators of toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg

        Documents uploaded on social media has proper action plan about organizing a ‘digital strike’ on or before January 26 and ‘tweet-storms’ on January 23, said the Police.

        The FIR has been filed under section 124A of the IPC which deals with sedition; section 153A for promoting hatred amongst various communities on social/cultural/religious grounds; sections 153 and 120B for criminal conspiracy to give shape to such a plan.

        Notwithstanding the controversy over her toolkit document, Thunberg on Thursday again extended her support to “peaceful protest” by farmers asserting that the hate she received online will not change her stance.

      • Delhi Police says farm protest ‘toolkit’ shared by Greta Thunberg had plans on ‘digital strike’

        Delhi Police has taken cognizance of a ‘Toolkit Document’ found on a social media platform that predates and indicates a copycat execution of a conspiracy behind the 26Jan violence. The call was to wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India.

      • What Explains COVID’s East-West Divide?

        The obvious “losers” have been those countries led by right-wing nationalists: Brazil, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and (until recently) the United States. These five countries are responsible for more than half of the world’s coronavirus infections and nearly half the deaths.

        Just as obviously, the “winners” have been the countries of Asia.

      • Rep. Jamaal Bowman Calls On Israel to Vaccinate Occupied Palestinians Against Coronavirus

        “Israel, as an occupying power, has a responsibility to provide vaccines to the Palestinian people,” the first-term congressman asserted in a letter to Israel’s acting consul general.

      • What’s Keeping the Vaccine From Getting to Those Who Need it Most?

        The week before Christmas, hundreds of medical residents at Stanford University Hospital joined an emergency Zoom call. They had been brought together by shared outrage at their administration’s allocation plans for its first 5,000 doses of the newly authorized vaccine for Covid-19, the pandemic that had defined their past year. Only seven of those shots were reserved for residents, the lowest-ranking physicians, even though they’re more often exposed to patients infected with the coronavirus than other employees whose work had been almost entirely remote. But some of those employees—including hospital executives and dermatologists who’d only seen patients virtually—were nonetheless ahead of them in line.

      • Biden’s Coronavirus Plan Will Not Prevent Death and Devastation

        At long last, the United States has a president who appears to understand the threats posed by Covid-19. The incoming administration also has the popular mandate and legislative power to address the crisis. As Americans, we are relieved and, for the first time in many months, cautiously optimistic.

      • Boy Corona

        after John Donne & for N. P.

      • Contractor Who Was Awarded $34.5 Million in Government Money and Provided Zero Masks Pleads Guilty to Fraud

        An amateur mask broker who was awarded more than $38 million in federal contracts to provide N95 masks has pleaded guilty to defrauding three different federal agencies as part of a scheme to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Robert Stewart Jr., 35, pleaded guilty to three counts of making false statements, wire fraud and theft of government funds Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, including charges that he lied to the Department of Veterans Affairs in April in order to win a $34.5 million no-bid deal to supply personal protective equipment to nurses and doctors in a sprawling health system serving 9 million veterans. He similarly acknowledged lying to the Federal Emergency Management Agency when he stated he had masks “stored securely in our climate control warehouse located in VA and PA,” according to his plea agreement.

      • The New Humanitarian | Coronavirus maps and humanitarian data: Tracking COVID-19 and vaccine rollouts

        The coronavirus pandemic continues to test humanitarian responses in 2021, while the world faces new questions about how to ensure equal access to vaccines.

        Many countries have started rolling out coronavirus vaccines, but it’s unclear when – and in some cases, how – these vaccines will reach people caught in crisis zones. The COVID-19 pandemic is driving record-breaking humanitarian needs: Global aid response plans total more than $35 billion this year.

      • Myanmar aid, COVAX doses, and a new US refugee target: The Cheat Sheet

        Low-income countries should receive their first coronavirus vaccine doses through the UN-backed COVAX scheme in late February or early March, the World Health Organization and other agencies announced this week. COVAX was created to try to ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine access, but many countries have found themselves sidelined as wealthier countries scoop up early supplies directly from manufacturers. Current projections call for enough COVAX doses to cover 3.3 percent of participating countries’ populations in the first half of 2021. Still, there are plenty of question marks: for example, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, representing 99 percent of the current pipeline, is still waiting approval for emergency use by the WHO. Countries must also ensure they have the infrastructure in place to roll out the vaccines. It’s unclear how, when, or if refugees, migrants, the displaced, and other vulnerable groups will get vaccines, or if doses will reach communities in conflict zones. Some countries explicitly include refugees in their planning; others have refused or offered mixed signals. There’s a clear disparity between the vaccine haves and have nots: While some countries are already vaccinating lower-risk groups, others with spiralling COVID-19 outbreaks are still waiting for their first doses. For more, track developments on our frequently updated data page.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Kaspersky updates decryptor for Windows Fonix ransomware

          Global cyber security vendor Kaspersky has updated its free decryptor for the Fonix ransomware, which attacks Windows systems, following the decision of this malware group to disband.

        • Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter Target Resellers of Hacked Accounts

          Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter this week all took steps to crack down on users involved in trafficking hijacked user accounts across their platforms. The coordinated action seized hundreds of accounts the companies say have played a major role in facilitating the trade and often lucrative resale of compromised, highly sought-after usernames.

        • Biden: US taking ‘urgent’ steps to improve cybersecurity

          Biden pointed to advances made by his administration including the creation of the new position of deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology. Anne Neuberger, the former director of the National Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Directorate, was appointed to fill the position last month.

          The president did not elaborate on other steps his administration is specifically taking and the White House did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment for further details.

        • Vivaldi 3.6 launches with Two-Level Tab Stacks feature

          Tab Stacks is a feature of the browser that allows users to stack tabs on top of each other. All it takes for that is to drag and drop tabs on top of each other. Besides using it to group sites together, e.g. multiple pages from a single website or pages from different sites that discuss the same topic, it is used to free up space on the tab bar as a single tab is used for a number of open sites when the feature is being used.

        • In the Vivaldi browser, tabs can now be split into two levels or grouped into one

          Vivaldi 3.6 now has the ability to split tabs into two levels. On each of them, you can pin those sites that you visit most often during work or leisure, thereby creating two whole workspaces. For the first time, such a function was introduced in a test build of the browser back in December 2020.

        • Google Releases Chrome 88 to Fix Zero-Day Vulnerability

          Google Chrome users should immediately update to version 88, as the update fixes a vulnerability that is being actively exploited.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Magma could be the Linux of 5G

                Magma seems to be getting the backing of open sourcers to become the Linux of 5G.

                Ironically, Facebook developed the software to help telecom operators deploy mobile networks quickly and easily. The project, which Facebook open-sourced in 2019, does this by providing a software-centric distributed mobile packet core and tools for automating network management.

                This containerised network function integrates with the existing back end of a mobile network and makes it easy to launch new services at the network edge. Magma operators can build and augment modern and efficient mobile networks at scale.

              • Goldman Sachs joins Linux Foundation push for Open Source climate data – Geospatial World [Ed: Greenwashing galore from 'Linux' Foundation, on behalf of people who bankroll or fund the world's biggest polluters]

                OS-Climate today announced that Goldman Sachs has joined its cross-industry coalition seeking to shift global investment toward zero-carbon emissions through the development of comprehensive data sets and evaluation tools that are available to all. We expect Goldman Sachs to provide critical expertise in climate risk, product development, and financial reporting that will result in better tools to help all companies, asset managers, and investors more consistently and effectively evaluate progress against decarbonization goals.

              • Linux Foundation to take over Facebook’s Magma

                Today, the Linux Foundation announced that it will launch an open source industry collaboration focused on enabling a converged cellular core network stack, starting with the Magma open source software platform. Previously open sourced by Facebook in 2019, Magma will now be managed under a neutral governance framework at the Linux Foundation.

              • DT warms to Linux Foundation’s Magma mobile core stack

                Deutsche Telekom (DT) is supporting a effort by the Linux Foundation – a new group tasked with developing an open source, packet core stack for mobile, extending LF’s Magma platform.

                Facebook contributed Magma to the open source community in 2019. It is a mobile packet core platform suitable for carrier Wi-Fi, private wireless networks and fixed wireless access (FWA) deployments as well as 4G/LTE and 5G.

              • Facebook’s open mobile packet core project to reside at Linux Foundation

                The open source project Magma, which has developed mobile core network software, is coming under the management of the Linux Foundation.

                Magma, which was open sourced by Facebook in 2019, will now be managed under a neutral governance framework at the Linux Foundation.

                The Magma mobile packet core software can be used to set up private wireless networks, for carrier Wi-Fi, for mobile broadband or even for fixed wireless access (FWA) deployments.

                The software is access-agnostic, making it suitable for mobile carriers, cable operators, telcos or startups such as community internet providers.

              • A new collaborative tech project to enable better network connectivity

                The Linux Foundation has announced a new project with an ambitious goal: Build an open source, carrier-agnostic, stateless, cloud-managed, elastic mobile network able to integrate with existing LTE. If all of that sounds too good to be true, you might not be aware of the ace up the foundation’s sleeve: The Magma Core.

              • Linux Foundation and Magma collaborate to accelerate deployment of wireless networks – Help Net Security

                The Linux Foundation announced that it will launch an open source industry collaboration focused on enabling a converged cellular core network stack, starting with the Magma open source software platform.

                Previously open sourced by Facebook in 2019, Magma will now be managed under a neutral governance framework at the Linux Foundation.

              • The Open-Source Magma Project Will Become 5G’s Linux
        • Security

          • Apple macOS has a decade-old bug that could grant attackers root-level access
          • Linux sudo vulnerability also affects macOS

            We recently wrote about a serious vulnerability in the sudo tool which could be used to gain root access to Linux systems. Now a security researcher has found that the security flaw also affects macOS Big Sur — including on new M1 Macs.

          • Sudo bug could give an attacker root access to a Mac – 9to5Mac

            A Sudo bug found in the Linux and BSD operating systems has now been found to also be present in macOS.

          • Sudo Bug to Affect macOS Big Sur as it Grants Root Access to Attackers
          • Critical Vulnerability Exists In Libgcrypt Software – Patch Rolled Out

            Developers behind the Libgcrypt software have deployed urgent fixes for a serious security vulnerability in the tool. Exploiting the flaw allows heap buffer overflow with malicious data from an adversary.

          • Doas – A lightweight alternative to sudo

            I was recently made aware of doas, a simplified and lightweight alternative to sudo, which are two utilities to execute commands as another user. The most common use case for these utilities is to execute commands as the “super user” also known as the root user.

            doas was originally written for OpenBSD, but are now ported to Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and illumos.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (glibc, linux-firmware, perl, and qemu-kvm), Debian (dnsmasq), Fedora (netpbm), Mageia (firefox, messagelib, python and python3, ruby-nokogiri, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel, perl, and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (flatpak), and SUSE (openvswitch and python-urllib3).

          • Reproducible Builds in January 2021

            Welcome to the report from the Reproducible Builds project for January 2021. In our reports we outline the most important things that have happened in the world of reproducible builds in the past month. If you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our Contribute page on our website.

          • CrowdSec v.1.0 is out! – Security Automation based on behavior & reputation

            CrowdSec is (and will always remain) an open-source & free security solution able to analyze visitor behavior & provide an adapted response to all kinds of attacks. The solution also enables users to protect each other. Each time an IP is blocked, all community members are informed so they can also block it.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Incoming Biden Administration Officials Should Change Course on Encryption

              But for some years now, federal law enforcement has paid lip service to “cybersecurity,” while actually seeking to make us all less secure. Officials like former Attorney General William Barr, FBI Director James Comey and numerous others have claimed that widespread encryption poses a severe danger to investigations because of the risk of “going dark,” and have called on technology companies to design secure systems that allow the government to access the contents of encrypted data upon request. But it just isn’t possible to combine secure, encrypted systems with a special “backdoor” for law enforcement to gain access, no matter what you call it. 

              There are no golden keys and no magic bullets. It’s time to have law enforcement and intelligence officials who recognize that and say it publicly. Unfortunately, key personnel that have already been selected for the new administration of President Biden don’t have an inspiring history on this topic.

              Let’s start with FBI Director Christopher Wray, who is continuing on from the Trump Administration as part of a standard ten-year term. He’s stated many times that law enforcement should be granted exceptional access to encrypted conversations, and has described “user-controlled default encryption” as a “real challenge for law enforcement.”

            • St. Louis Considers Spy Planes to Survey the City 18 Hours a Day

              A proposal to deploy so-called “spy planes” over St. Louis is all but dead after meeting fierce resistance from city residents and activists due to concerns over privacy and civil liberties.

            • Warnings of Growing ‘Surveillance Empire’ as AI Van Cameras Give Amazon ‘Roaming Eyes in Every Neighborhood’

              “Amazon will have the perfect panopticon in place to sweep up unprecedented amounts of data en masse,” says Fight for the Future.

            • Mass Rapes. Sweeping Surveillance. Forced Labor. Exposing China’s Crackdown on Uyghur Muslims

              China faces widespread condemnation following a BBC report about the mass rape and sexual torture of Uyghur women and other Muslims detained in the province of Xinjiang. Women who spoke with the BBC described gang rapes, routine sexual torture using electrocution tools, forced sterilizations and men outside the prison camps paying for access to the detainees. China has rejected the report as “wholly without factual basis” and claims its mass detention of Muslim minorities is part of a “vocational training” program to counter extremism. Meanwhile, The Intercept has obtained a massive police surveillance database used by the Chinese government to monitor residents of Xinjiang, confirming China collects millions of text messages, phone contacts and call records — as well as biometric data — from Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Information collected is used to decide who to detain. We speak with Abduweli Ayup, a Uyghur linguist and poet who was detained for 15 months for running a Uyghur-language kindergarten in Xinjiang. He says he was raped, tortured with electric shocks and subjected to humiliation rituals during his detention. “What’s happening there is inhuman, and the target is the Uyghur, because of their religion and because of their culture,” he says. We also speak with anthropologist Darren Byler, author of two forthcoming books on China’s treatment of Uyghurs and technologies of reeducation.

            • Lilbits: Is Google getting serious about privacy?

              It’s not a done deal yet, and if and when Google’s new privacy features arrive they’re likely to be less comprehensive than Apple’s because not only would the company risk alienating app developers, but it could see its own revenues fall.

            • Facebook Turns 17, Celebrates It With a Custom Animation About Friendship

              But the biggest controversy surrounding Facebook so far has been the Cambridge Analytica scandal that had Zuckerberg depose before the US Parliament to explain how user data of 87 million Facebook users could be mined for political advertising. The US regulators recently settled the data privacy scandal with Facebook after enforcing a fine of $5 billion (roughly Rs. 38,159 crores).

            • Apple’s privacy policy kicks Facebook where it hurts

              Now privacy is more central than ever to Apple’s brand. Four years ago it stopped tracking users on Safari, its web browser. Google, too, has announced plans to eliminate third-party tracking “cookies” from its Chrome browser by 2022. Ad-industry insiders find it odd that identifiers for advertisers are still around; last year some in the mobile-ad industry reckoned Apple was going to kill them off. With app-tracking transparency at least some users will presumably allow cookies to stay.

            • Despite Progress, Metadata Still Under “Second Class” Protection in Latam Legal Safeguards

              Privacy advocates are working to undo antiquated and artificial distinctions between privacy protections afforded to communications “content” (the words written or spoken) and those provided to “metadata”. Metadata, such as the identification of parties engaged in communication, IP addresses, locations, the time and duration of communications, and device identifiers, can reveal people’s activities, where they live, their relationships, habits, and other details of their lives and everyday routines. As EFF, Article19, and Privacy International stated in PIETRZAK v. Poland before the European Court of Human Rights, “‘metadata’ is just as intrusive as the content of communications and therefore must be given the same level of protection.” Yet domestic privacy laws often treat metadata as less worthy of protection compared to the contents of a communication. Such distinctions were based on artificial analogies to a time when telephone calls used pulse dialing, and personal computers were a rarity. 

              International human rights courts are starting to become more sophisticated about this. The EU Court of Justice stated: 

              Similarly, in the case Escher et al v. Brazil, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights recognized that the American Convention on Human Rights applies to both communications content and metadata. The Court has ruled: 

            • 370 Congressional Aides Urge Senate to Bar Trump From Holding Office Ever Again
            • Immigration Advocates Urge Biden Administration for More Concrete Change
            • Opinion | The Struggle Inside Senator Mitch McConnell’s Brain

              Allowing the Trumpian half of his brain to overpower his judgment and vote to acquit Dangerous Donald would spell disaster for the Republican Party (assuming the Democratic Party doesn’t go to sleep as it did after Obama’s win in 2008).

            • When Law Enforcement Wants Your Private Communications, What Legal Safeguards Are in Place in Latin America and Spain?

              In December 1992, a Paraguayan lawyer discovered the so-called “Terror Archive,” an almost complete record of the interrogations, torture, and surveillance conducted during the 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. The files reported details of “Operation Condor,” a clandestine program between the military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Brazil between the 1970s and 1980s. The military governments of those nations agreed to cooperate in sending their teams into other countries to track, monitor, and kill their political opponents. The Terror files listed more than 50,000 deaths and 400,000 political prisoners throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. Stroessner’s secret police used informants, cameras with telephoto lenses, and wiretaps to build a paper database of everyone who was viewed as a threat, plus their friends and associates. The Terror Archive shows how far a government can sink when unchecked by judicial authorities, public oversight bodies, and an informed public. As we have written, Latin America abounds with recent abuses of surveillance powers, and many countries are still struggling with a culture of secrecy.

              Civil society around the world has been fighting to ensure strong legal safeguards are established and enforced, including those described in the Necessary and Proportionate Principles. Our State of Communication Privacy Laws report builds upon this work to provide an overview of the legal standards and safeguards that apply today for criminal investigations in eight Latin American countries and Spain.

              The most common method of communications surveillance is wiretapping or similar forms of intercepting communications. Most countries’ laws and legal systems explicitly address this intrusion and place limits on how and when it can occur. In Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Spain, the constitution directly states that private communications may not be breached without a court order. Mexico and Panama’s constitutions also protect the secrecy of private communications setting its violation is subject to criminal penalties. Beyond constitutional protections, there are usually criminal statutes against unauthorized interception, such as in Brazil, Peru, and Spain. In a few countries, there is a separate emergency track where a judicial review can come after the interception; Peru, Spain, and Mexico allow this emergency scenario.

            • Full fintech ahead, privacy be damned

              Fintech, or financial technology, is any way to deliver banking, payments and other financial services through software.

              Fintech is undergoing rapid technological changes, accelerated by the increase in demand for digital services triggered by COVID-19. This “raises important questions”, said in late 2020 a blog of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that, if you ask me, also paints a terrifying picture.


              To begin with, note how there are no “citizens” nor “people” here, just consumers. Apart from that, certain usages of “internet searches” for credit scoring are something that, as I commented when I first discovered that IMF post, “should scare the living lights out of EVERYBODY with common sense, conservative or not”. I said so because of what I had read in this comment of the IMF call (synthesizing):

              “The authors of the piece claim that this move is necessary in order to compete with the rise of corporate cryptocurrencies such as the one in development by Facebook… [But even Facebook’s power] pales in comparison to that of the IMF… [giving IMF] the power to track everyone’s search history can lead to some dark ramifications… the distinction between [the Chinese Social Credit system] and what the IMF is pushing for remains ill-defined””.

              “Dark ramifications”: that’s optimism, if I ever saw it.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A Multipoint Plan to End War as We Know It

        As retired Army Major Danny Sjursen recently pointed out, when it comes to foreign policy, President Joe Biden’s new cabinet and advisers are well stocked with retired generals, reconstituted neocons, unapologetic hawks, and similar war enthusiasts. Biden himself has taken to asking God to protect the troops whenever he makes a major speech. (How about protecting them by bringing them home from our pointless wars?) “Defense” spending, as war spending is generally known in this country, remains at record levels at $740.5 billion for fiscal year 2021. Talk of a new cold war with Russia or China (or both) paradoxically warms Pentagon offices and corridors with yet more funds. The only visible dove of peace at Biden’s inaugural was the giant golden brooch worn by Lady Gaga. So what exactly is to be done?

        Peace-driven progressive policies will not emerge easily from the rainbow kettle of hawks Biden has so far assembled, but his inaugural speech did mention leading and inspiring others globally “not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.” It would have been an apt rhetorical flourish indeed, if not for this country’s “forever wars” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere across the Greater Middle East and Africa. America’s harsh war-fighting reality suggests that “the example of our power” still remains standard operating procedure inside the Washington Beltway. How could this possibly be changed?

      • Laughed at by ISIS Is it too soon for Russia to declare victory over extremist groups in the North Caucasus?

        Ten years ago, in January 2011, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. He died on the spot and 37 others died later in hospitals. Like most terrorist attacks in Russia at the time, it was organized by religious separatists from the country’s North Caucasus region. The Russian government declared the defeat of the North Caucasian terrorists a national priority back in the 1990s. Today, they seem to have finally succeeded: Moscow hasn’t seen a major terrorist attack for ten years. But is it too soon for Russia to declare a complete victory over this type of extremism? To find out, Meduza correspondent Maxim Solopov spoke with Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, director of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, about the roots, progression, and ostensible defeat of the jihadist movement in the Russian Caucasus.

      • Cowardly History: Australia Day and Invasion

        Even some of the rough colonists were not oblivious to such a crude record.  Henry Parkes, in planning the Centenary celebrations as New South Wales premier in 1888, was asked by a fellow politician what he would be doing for the poor and needy for the occasion.  Wealthy landed citizens had been promised a banquet of much quaffing and gorging.  As a gesture, Parkes considered the distribution of food parcels.  “Then we ought to do something for the Aborigines,” came the response.  The answer from the premier was coldly revealing: “And remind them that we have robbed them?”

        But the use of such language is frowned upon by flag waving brigades advocating uplift and encouragement, those who can only ever babble about the exceptional country, the remarkable social experiment, the wonders of a Britannic transplant that found itself at the other side of the earth.

      • Opinion | The Bombing of Civilians in Yemen’s Civil War Involves Many Actors, Including Defense Contractors at Raytheon

        It’s time to confront the powerful interests of the arms industry, stop arms sales to those who are indiscriminately bombing civilians, and end U.S. complicity in the war in Yemen for good.

      • ‘A Day Peace Activists… Have Been Waiting For’: Biden Vows to Curb US Support for Saudi-Led War on Yemen

        “This decision is the result of years of activism from Yemeni Americans and grassroots activists all over the world. Congrats to lovers of peace everywhere who know #YemenCantWait.”

      • Bernie Sanders Says Biden Decision on Yemen a Tribute to ‘So Many Activists Over the Years’

        “Yemen needs food, medicine, and healthcare—not bombs and blockades,” said Sanders.

      • Passenger data at German police: Many „matches“ but far fewer „hits“

        According to an EU directive, air passengers must accept that their data is collected, screened with police databases and then stored. For the first time, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior writes which individual alerts lead to police measures at the airport.

      • Jumping on the Hezbollah ‘Narcoterrorism’ Bandwagon

        Italy announced last July 1 the seizure of 84 million counterfeit pills of the amphetamine Captagon, widely used by combatants in the Syrian civil war that began in 2011. The pills, seized in the southern Italian port of Salerno and said to be worth 1 billion euros, were immediately attributed to ISIS, one of the primary parties to the Syrian conflict.

      • How one billionaire family bankrolled election lies, white nationalism — and the Capitol riot

        “The Mercers laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution,” Bannon told The New Yorker in 2017. “Irrefutably, when you look at donors during the past four years, they have had the single biggest impact of anybody, including the Kochs.” Steve Schmidt, a former Republican strategist and co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, sees it differently. Rebekah Mercer, he said in an interview with Salon, is the “chief financier or one of the chief financiers of the fascist movement, and that’s what it is.”

      • FBI in Pittsburgh searching for ‘bullhorn lady’ from Capitol [insurrection]

        A spokesperson for the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office confirmed to CBS affiliate KDKA that their agents were searching for the whereabouts of Rachel Powell, identified on Tuesday in a New Yorker article as the “bullhorn lady” seen wearing a distinctive pink hat during the [insurrection].

      • Can Abolition Work in an Age of Right-Wing Extremism?

        As a sociologist and an anthropologist who study social control in the United States, we know that punishment can radicalize and further alienate people, while social policy and grassroots community building can defuse potential violence. The abolitionist philosophy is precisely what is missing from the current conversation.

      • I’m for Abolition. And Yet I Want the Capitol [Insurrectionists] in Prison.

        No one deserves the dehumanizing treatment that’s endemic to our carceral system. I still want every lawless white supremacist Capitol insurrectionist to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      • Former CIA Officer: Treat Domestic Extremism As An Insurgency

        When it comes to domestic extremists such as those who stormed the Capitol, a longtime CIA officer argues that the U.S. should treat them as an insurgency.

        That means using counterinsurgency tactics — similar in some ways to those used in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Robert Grenier served as the CIA’s station chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2001. He went on to become the CIA’s Iraq mission manager and then director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center from 2004 to 2006.

      • How to Defeat America’s Homegrown Insurgency

        Overrepresented among the ranks of angry but ordinary citizens who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 were others, hardly ordinary, committed to violent extremism: the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, “Christian” national chauvinists, white supremacists and QAnon fantasists, among others. Some of these groups may have planned their incursion in advance, but they could not have breached the Capitol if not for the wave of populist anger that swept them forward and over the barricades.

        Given impetus and, they believed, political cover by former President Donald Trump, the capering idiots who filmed themselves in the Capitol seemed to think they were untouchable. They may be easy to identify and arrest now, but there are others — well armed, dangerous and now forewarned — who had a glimpse of what may be possible in the political environment Mr. Trump created.

      • Canada Lists Proud Boys As A Terrorist Group, Alongside ISIS And Al-Qaida

        Canada’s government designated the Proud Boys and 12 other extremist groups as terrorist entities on Wednesday, placing the groups on the same list as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

      • Corrupt firm funded by right-wing candidate will produce Ecuador election exit polls
      • West Papua Calls for Independence Referendum to Avert Genocide

        West Papua is facing an onslaught of colonial settlement backed by the military of the fifth largest nation in the world, with the largest army in Southeast Asia. Papuans are quickly becoming a minority in their own country, if they are not there already. Former Indonesian intelligence chief Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono recently called for the forced removal of some two million indigenous Papuans to the island of Manado in apparent response to a Dec. 1, 2020 reaffirmation of West Papuan independence, first declared 59 years earlier on that date.

        The pro-independence coalition known as the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on its national independence day raised the outlawed Morning Star flag and named a provisional government headed by interim President Benny Wenda, who was arrested and tortured by Indonesia but now lives in exile in England after escaping from custody 18 years ago.

      • Biden and Iran

        The Trump administration’s decision was in-line with the Israeli and Saudi governments’ position to derail the agreement. Both the Israelis and the Saudis vehemently opposed the JCPOA and lobbied the White House aggressively to rescind its signature. Not only did the U.S. withdraw, the Trump administration reinstated the sanctions against Iran and instituted an ever-expanding regime of maximum pressure tantamount to all-out economic warfare. By all accounts, the campaign of maximum pressure was a massive failure. The American disavowal allowed Iran to limit its compliance with the deal and begin to incrementally violate the agreement. Additionally, the Trump administration’s campaign of maximum pressure isolated the U.S. internationally. This left it without recourse to exert any influence on its European allies to contain the Islamic Republic’s gradual, but certain, path toward abandoning its commitments to the JCPOA.

        During his campaign, Joe Biden never categorically declared that his administration would rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement. During the campaign, in a CNN op-ed, he wrote that he “will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations.” Later he continued that those negotiations would involve the Islamic Republic’s violations of human rights and Iran’s role in the regional conflicts. That convoluted position did not make it clear whether, as the President, Biden would return to the nuclear agreement without preconditions. This uncertainty became more evident. Unlike rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and renewed membership in the World Health Organization with a prompt executive order, President Biden left the decision on reviving the JCPOA to an unspecified future date.

      • How to Question William Burns, Biden’s Pick to Head the CIA

        In view of the various foreign policy scandals and intelligence failures associated with the CIA, however, the committee should use the confirmation hearings to register Burns’ positions and gauge the possibility of reform.

        The Senate intelligence committee has confirmed too many directors in the past who swiftly earned the ire and even condemnation of the committee.  If the committee were given a mulligan on former directors such as William Casey, James Woolsey, and Porter Goss, it might well have reversed its vote to confirm.  In virtually all previous confirmation hearings, moreover, there were virtually no probing questions on CIA transgressions or the purpose, role, and even necessity of the CIA in the post-Cold War world.  It is essential that the committee and the American public get some idea of Burns’ impressions on these important matters, particularly in view of his distinguished career and his thoughtful writings.

      • Atlantic Council Pens Anonymously Authored Expose Calling for Regime Change in China

        Influential D.C. think tank the Atlantic Council has printed a 26,000-word report laying out its strategy for combating China. Published anonymously, the report states that “the single most important challenge facing the United States” in the twenty-first century is China’s growth to rival their own power.

      • To Secure Lasting Peace in Afghanistan, Task Force Proposes Prolonging Longest US War

        “This recommendation is a practical guarantee that U.S. troops will be in Afghanistan until the sun explodes,” said one expert.

      • ‘Makes Us All Safer’: Biden Admin Announces Five-Year Extension of New START Nuclear Treaty With Russia

        “This welcome step is the start of our efforts to pursue effective arms control that lowers the risks of war and helps prevent arms races,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

      • Opinion | White Privilege: Where’s Kyle?
      • After 412 Years and 1,391 Executions, Virginia Poised to Abolish Death Penalty as Senate Passes Historic Bill

        “We’re going to look back 50 years from now, and that electric chair and that lethal injection table, they’re going be sitting in a museum,” predicted Sen. Scott A. Surovell.

      • Seeing the Pentagon Papers in a New Light

        On Jan. 7, The New York Times published an obituary for Neil Sheehan, the veteran foreign correspondent who broke the story of the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. Department of Defense’s deeply critical secret history of America’s involvement in Vietnam. The obituary was accompanied by an article, which Sheehan insisted be published only after his death, that purported to reveal for the first time Sheehan’s account of the “greatest journalistic catch” of a generation: how Sheehan had obtained the top secret documents from Daniel Ellsberg, a Rand Corporation analyst who had turned against the war.

        “Contrary to what is generally believed,” the story reported, “Mr. Ellsberg never ‘gave’ the papers to The Times, Mr. Sheehan emphatically said. Mr. Ellsberg told Mr. Sheehan that he could read them but not make copies. So Mr. Sheehan smuggled the papers out of the apartment in Cambridge, Mass., where Mr. Ellsberg had stashed them; then he copied them illicitly, just as Mr. Ellsberg had done, and took them to The Times.”

      • The New Humanitarian | LRA commander found guilty of war crimes at the ICC

        Dominic Ongwen could face decades behind bars after his conviction today at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes – committed arguably by a victim of extreme child abuse.

        Ongwen was aged about 10 when he was abducted, around 1993, by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, rising to become a commander in the Ugandan armed group, notorious for its abuses against civilians.

        Specific attacks on civilians and displaced people’s camps formed the core of the legal case against Ongwen, which began in December 2016. Ongwen faced charges including “murder and attempted murder; torture; sexual slavery; rape; enslavement; forced marriage as an inhumane act; persecution; and other inhumane acts”.
        From 1987, the LRA rebellion against the Kampala government uprooted millions in northern Uganda as it rapidly degenerated into massacres and abuses of civilians, traumatising many families as children were abducted to be sex slaves or child soldiers. Even when they were released or ran away, returning to normal life proved difficult, especially for girls and women.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Google launches News Showcase in Australia a day after Morrison call

        Google has launched its News Showcase in Australia, a product that was announced in October 2020, but not introduced Down Under till now due to the company’s stoush with the government over the news media code.

      • News media code: in the end, Google gets exactly what it wanted

        Google has very cleverly got its way as far as the news media code is concerned, leading Australian politicians on and ensnaring them in a very neat trap. And the company has ensured that nobody will lose face as a result of all the threats.

      • No Secret Evidence in Our Courts

        The case of New Jersey v. Pickett involves complex DNA analysis using TrueAllele software. The software analyzed a DNA sample obtained by swabbing a weapon, a sample that likely contained the DNA of multiple people. It then asserted that it was likely that the defendant, Corey Pickett, had contributed DNA to that sample, implicating him in the crime.

        But when the defense team wanted to analyze how that software arrived at that conclusion, the prosecutors and the software vendor insisted that it was a secret. They argued that the defense team shouldn’t be allowed to look at how the software actually worked, because the vendor has a commercial interest in preventing competitors from knowing its trade secrets.

        The court correctly ruled in favor of the defendant’s right to understand and challenge the software being used to implicate him. The code will not be publicly disclosed, but will be made available to the defense team. The defense needs this information about TrueAllele so that it can fairly participate in a procedural step known as a Frye hearing, used to ensure that a defendant’s rights are not undermined through the introduction of unreliable expert evidence.

      • Federal Court Orders Destruction Of Illegally-Obtained Sex Trafficking Sting Recordings

        The expiring breaths of a sensationalistic failure are emanating from a Florida sex trafficking investigation’s soon-to-be corpse. A massive sting operation — built on surreptitious recordings of massage parlor employees and their customers — ended with nothing more than a bunch of solicitation charges. The alleged massive sex trafficking operation was actually just a bunch of consensual activity, with massage parlor employees free to come and go as they pleased.

      • Facebook Oversight Board’s First Decisions… Seem To Confirm Everyone’s Opinions Of The Board

        Last week, the Oversight Board — which is the official name that the former Facebook Oversight Board wants you to call it — announced decisions on the first five cases it has heard. It overturned four Facebook content moderation decisions and upheld one. Following the announcement, Facebook announced that (as it had promised) it followed all of the Oversight Board’s decisions and reinstated the content on the overturned cases (in one case, involving taking down a breast cancer ad that had been deemed to violate the “no nudity” policy, Facebook actually reinstated the content last year, after the Board announced it was reviewing that decision). If you don’t want to wade into the details, NPR’s write-up of the decisions and policy recommendations is quite well done and easily digestible.

    • Environment

      • Noise Pollution Threatens Sea Life, Scientists Say

        Far beneath the ocean surface, a cacophony of industrial noise is disrupting marine animals’ ability to mate, feed and even evade predators, scientists warn.

        With rumbling ships, hammering oil drills and booming seismic survey blasts, humans have drastically altered the underwater soundscape – in some cases deafening or disorienting whales, dolphins and other marine mammals that rely on sound to navigate, researchers report in a metastudy published online Thursday and in the Friday edition of the journal Science that examines more than 500 research papers.

      • Campaigners Claim ‘Historic Win’ as France Found Guilty of Climate Inaction

        Today the Paris administrative court concluded France has failed to do enough to meet its own commitments on the climate crisis and is legally responsible for the ensuing ecological damage.

      • Rising sea levels may make some airports unusable

        High flyers could soon have a problem with high water. Rising sea levels could one day shut down airports.

      • NASA Taps Top Climate Researcher for New Advisory Role on the Climate Crisis
      • Opinion | It’s a New Day in the Climate Battle, Now We Must Act With Agency

        We must push forward aggressively now that the wind is finally at our backs, to rescue our planet while there is still time.

      • Recovering atmospheric carbon can make new fuel

        Taking atmospheric carbon dioxide from the air to make fuel could tackle two threats: greenhouse gases and oil shortage.

      • Energy

        • Federal Court Rejects Montana Coal Mine Expansion on Climate, Clean Air Grounds

          A federal court late yesterday ruled against a massive Montana coal mine expansion, finding the federal government inappropriately ignored the climate, environmental, and health consequences of more mining.

          In a rebuke of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Judge Susan Watters found the agency illegally failed to disclose and account for the full impacts of expanding southeastern Montana’s Spring Creek mine, the largest in the state.

        • $1 Trillion in Oil and Gas Pipelines Worldwide Could Become Stranded Assets, New Report Warns

          That loss of insurance coverage comes as the Biden administration and a federal court each must confront a decision about whether to order DAPL to shut down, after a federal appeals court last week upheld a lower court’s finding that the oil pipeline still lacks a completed environmental review. Financial observers have been watching DAPL closely — and a new report warns that DAPL is hardly alone in the oil and gas pipeline industry in facing major financial risks linked to projects’ environmental impacts.

        • Ending fossil fuel subsidies: A climate solution to get behind

          But not to be lost in the shuffle, Biden also ordered “federal agencies to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law.” Recognizing that he could only do so much without Congress, the president went even further in his remarks, saying: “I don’t think the federal government should give handouts to Big Oil to the tune of $40 billion in fossil fuel subsidies.” He signaled he will turn to Congress to strike those subsidies.

          Indeed, every year, the United States government gives away billions of dollars in tax breaks, incentives and other subsidies to fossil fuel companies. It’s hard not to agree with Biden here: why should we use our tax dollars to make global warming worse?

        • The electric Mustang Mach-E takes Ford in a whole new direction

          But that’s what Ford has done with the Mustang Mach-E. It’s taken an idea that’s unfathomable to many — tinkering with What A Mustang Is — and has made it the centerpiece of an $11 billion push to make electric vehicles go mainstream.

        • After ‘Bitterly Disappointing’ Court Ruling on Line 3, Biden Urged to Shut Down Pipeline Project ‘Once and for All’

          After a Minnesota court allowed construction to continue, Rep. Ilhan Omar appealed to President Joe Biden to stop the contentious project.

        • Ilhan Omar Asks Biden to Cancel Controversial Enbridge Pipeline in Minnesota
        • Guyana, Venezuela & Exxon

          Recently Canadian officials criticized Venezuela’s position regarding its territorial dispute with Guyana, which sits on the northeastern tip of South America. Soon after the US put out a statement on the century-old dispute, the Canadian High Commission declared “Venezuela’s recent claim that it has sovereignty over the area adjacent to Guyana’s Essequibo coast is concerning. The decision is in the hands of the International Court of Justice and this judicial process must be respected.”

          The Canadian and US statements were in response to Caracas criticizing an International Court of Justice ruling and a joint US/Guyana coast guard exercise in disputed waters that took place on January 8. After that patrol Commander of the US Southern Command Admiral Craig Faller, spent three days in the former British colony. During Faller’s visit the two countries signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement. The deepening military ties follow on the heels of the first-ever visit by a US secretary of state. In September Mike Pompeo met new Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who Washington backed during an election dispute that paralyzed the country politically for months.

        • Over 50 Water Protectors in Minnesota March Onto Line 3 Pipeline Easement to Stop Construction

          “We are endangering future generations,” said Charles King, who locked himself to construction equipment, “and that’s got to stop.”

        • New Mexico Families in Oil and Gas ‘Waste Zone’ Seek Help

          This story originally appeared in Capital & Main and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Decolonizing Species Names
        • Guardians Seeks Endangered Species Listing Protection for 80 Remaining Texas Ocelots

          WildEarth Guardians has just petitioned for the listing of the Texas population of ocelot—the only existing population in the United States—under the Endangered Species Act, separate from the species as a whole. In recent years, the small population of ocelots found in Texas, estimated to be around 80 wild cats, has been separated from the larger populations in Mexico due to extensive development along stretches of the lower Rio Grande, including Trump’s border wall.

          Ocelots across their range are listed as “endangered,” but the Texas population is unique, distinct, and requires specific protections—known as “distinct population segment” or DPS listing—as a separate entity in order to thwart off extinction. “America is at risk of losing the U.S. population of this beautiful wild cat thanks to the border wall,” said Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians. “Separating the Texas population from other populations of ocelots in Mexico has put them in grave danger of disappearing. We need swift action from the Biden administration to not only permanently halt construction of the wall, but to tear down the existing border wall to ensure that species like the ocelot have the opportunity to recover and thrive.”

        • Will We Ever Fully Understand Humans’ Impact on Nature?

          To say that Earth is in crisis is an understatement. “Atmospheric warming, ocean warming, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, deglaciation, desertification, eutrophication—these are just some of the by-products of our species’s success,” journalist Elizabeth Kolbert warns us about in her new book, Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future. Kolbert has been studying the consequences of humanity’s impact on Earth for decades as a contributor to The New Yorker and as the author of such books as the 2015 Pulitzer Prize–winning The Sixth Extinction, an exploration of the concept of extinction that posits mankind as a cataclysm as great as the asteroid that annihilated the dinosaurs.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Have Democrats Finally Realized That Power Is Only Real If You Use It?
      • Power Games All Over the Place

        Wait a minute. I understood that the power Mitch McConnell wielded over the Senate (and the nation), thwarting all attempts at progressive reform and adequate Covid relief, ended two weeks ago.

        Where are Georgia’s Democratic victories that leveled the playing field? That 50-50 party share in Congress’ powerful upper house would endow VP Kamala Harris with decisive power; wouldn’t it? The hard campaigning that wrenched away two seats from senate Republicans ended McConnell’s rule; didn’t it?

      • Russian prosecutors want five years in prison for ‘undesirable’ activist who organized public debates

        State prosecutors in Rostov-on-Don have asked a judge to sentence activist Anastasia Shevchenko to five years in prison for supposedly violating Russia’s “undesirable organizations” law, her lawyer reported on Thursday. Shevchenko is the first person in Russia to be charged with the felony statute, which lawmakers adopted in 2015. She has been under house arrest for two years already, since January 2019. Her allegedly criminal activity comprises organizing political debates in Taganrog and publishing content about a lecture staged by the banned “Open Russia” group.

      • Trump Won’t Testify at His Own Impeachment Trial, Spokesman Says
      • Opinion | After Years of Outrage Politics, RepubliQans Have Surrendered to the Neo-Nazi Conspiracy Theorists

        The House Republicans have experienced an embarrassing loss of spine, which has reduced them to floundering slugs, because Trump is still the leader of their party and he supports Greene.

      • Top Democrats in Congress Call On Biden—’With the Stroke of a Pen’—to Cancel Up to $50,000 in Student Debt

        Sens. Warren and Schumer, along with Rep. Pressley, are leading the push for the president to “lift this impossible burden” on borrowers.

      • If Senators Won’t Kill the Filibuster, They Should at Least Sweat for It

        The US Senate was a mistake. It’s a fundamentally antidemocratic institution that gives political power to land instead of people, and it was structured that way at the request of slavers who worried about losing their “right” to hold people in bondage. Abolishing it should have been part of the conditions of surrender at Appomattox.1

      • Impeachment Managers Call On Trump to Testify Under Oath for Senate Trial

        “You have… attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense,” the letter to Trump says.

      • Pelosi Calls McCarthy a Member of the “Q” Party After Failure to Act on Greene
      • Billionaire Family Bankrolled Election Lies, Far Right and the Capitol Siege
      • Washington, Heal Thyself

        The insurrection in Washington was planned, instigated and celebrated by none other than their own ex-president who continues to admit that he lost the election. The unbelievably inadequate security at the Capitol and general lack of preparedness were strong indications that there was inside planning behind this attack. As the world watched, the supreme irony was that the USA was the victim of the same monsters – the lies, the denigration of the political process, the refusal to accept election results – that it visits upon the governments it wishes to replace with politicians of its choosing. As Tom Lehrer sang in the sixties about US diplomacy: ‘Might makes right, until they’ve seen the light. They’ve got to be protected, all their rights respected, ‘til somebody we like can be elected’. The sequence is: lies are spread about an election to delegitimize the government, leading to violence, leading to overthrow. In this case, the mob was unsuccessful. A coup planned by idiots would best describe it, yet it was still an attempted coup to overturn legitimate elections and perpetuate a Trump presidency.

        No person of good will could have been happy to see such mayhem, violence, injuries, deaths, and the parade of terrifying neo-fascist and antisemitic symbols and slogans by rampaging white supremist extremists. The whole riot was deplorable, but as well, comically inept but not comic in its consequences.

      • ‘The Q Party Is Born!’: Progressives Slam GOP for Giving Marjorie Taylor Greene Standing Ovation Instead of Discipline

        “The Republican Party backed Greene’s run for Congress. Party bigwigs campaigned for her. The party faithful apparently would be happy to make Greene president in the future. They are now the RepubliQan Party.”

      • AOC Blasts GOP Lawmaker for Her “Deeply Cynical” About Face on Events of Jan. 6
      • Ocasio-Cortez Says Stripping Marjorie Taylor Greene of Committees Isn’t Enough—’She Must Be Expelled’

        House Democrats and 11 Republicans came together Thursday to remove the GOP congresswoman from her committee assignments.

      • ‘It Was That Bad. It’s Actually Worse’: Ocasio-Cortez Hits Back After Republicans Challenge Her Capitol Attack Story

        “You previously told reporters yourself that you barricaded in your office, afraid you’d be hurt,” the New York congresswoman told one of her Republican colleagues. 

      • New Bill From Blumenauer, Ocasio-Cortez, and Sanders Demands Biden Declare a National Climate Emergency

        The Sunrise Movement’s executive director called it “a good sign that our leaders are finally understanding what young people and climate activists have been shouting from the rooftops for years.”

      • ‘Perjury City’: Trump Refuses to Testify in Upcoming Senate Impeachment Trial

        “Trump won’t testify because he is a coward and also because there is no question he would incriminate himself. If his lawyers know one thing, it is that he is incapable of telling the truth.”

      • Presidential Approval Is the Highest It’s Been Since 2009, Poll Shows
      • Pillow Fight: Mike Lindell’s Battle to Save Donald Trump and You

        In the final desperate days of his presidency, a visit by even Mr. Pillow might not seem very important to Trump, but Trump was more isolated than he had been at any time since 2016 and, as we know, he can never get enough attention, enough flattery. And Lindell—whatever he had in mind—was in many respects a flattering replica of Trump.

        Lindell earned the Mr. Pillow moniker through his invention of the pillow he named My Pillow which is also the name of the company that makes My Pillows. Which are patented, by the way. You would know these things if you watched late-night reruns of “Perry Mason” and “Barnaby Jones” like I do. However, Lindell had not come calling to deliver a My Pillow for the President’s highly stable head—he had already done that—he came rather to present an improbable plan to rescue Trump’s floundering attempts to overturn the November election.

      • Sanders Slams GOP for $1.9 Trillion Gift to Rich in First Speech as Budget Chair
      • In First Speech as Budget Chair, Sanders Rebuffs ‘Partisanship’ Complaints From GOP That Unilaterally Passed $1.9T Gift for Rich

        “Eighty-three percent of the benefits of the Trump tax plan went to the 1% and large corporations… There was not one Democrat that voted for that bill.”

      • ‘So Utterly Disingenuous’: Republicans File Slew of Unrelated Amendments as Dems Push Ahead With Covid Relief

        “If the GOP actually wanted to provide Covid relief, they’d introduce amendments to do so. Instead they’re going to introduce what they believe are gotcha amendments to try to trip up Dems.”

      • Pro-China network of fake social media accounts gaining traction online: report

        A pro-China network that uses social media platforms and fake accounts to spread Chinese propaganda is starting to gain traction online.

        Graphika reported on the network, nicknamed “Spamouflage.” The goal of the network is to demonize the U.S. and Hong Kong pro-Democracy movements while promoting China.

        The network, which used to be filled with fake accounts, is now being noticed by influencers and other officials in places like the United Kingdom, Latin America, Pakistan and Hong Kong.

      • Election Tech Company Sues Fox News, Giuliani And Others For $2.7 Billion

        The suit names Fox stars Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, as well as Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

        The defamation and disparagement lawsuit seeks more than $2.7 billion, citing damage from what Smartmatic calls a “disinformation campaign” that was waged by people who were unhappy with President Biden’s victory – but who also hoped to profit from former President Donald Trump’s persistent and erroneous claims that the election was fraudulent.

      • The new avatar of the encryption wars

        The government has proposed a new bill to regulate mathematics. The bill envisages that certain mathematical operations such as multiplication, division, LCM and GCD would be banned, if they are prime numbers and have more than 309 digits and a licensing regime, which would only allow licensed entities to perform these operations.

        If the above reads like a parody, it may soon cease to be and become reality.

      • ‘A Desperate Smear’: Ilhan Omar Slams GOP Over Attempt to Distract From Bigotry of Marjorie Taylor Greene

        “Republicans will do anything to distract from the fact that they have not only allowed but elevated members of their own caucus who encourage violence.”

      • Biden Boots ‘Union Busters and Anti-Government Ideologues’ From Key Labor Panel

        Labor leaders called for replacements “with a background in labor-management relations who are not hostile toward unions.”

      • Now Scotland

        There is a real need for a campaigning organisation for Scottish Independence which people can join and whose sole focus is attaining Independence early, as a matter of urgency. Now Scotland, of which I am an elected committee member, is being launched to fill that gap. It is not a political party, will not stand candidates and all who support Scottish Independence as an overriding political priority are welcome. It is aimed to be the mass membership organisation to which everybody in the wider Yes Movement can belong.

      • Opinion | The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

        Instead of opening doors for American big business or supporting America’s diplomatic position in the world, the U.S. war machine has become a bull in the global china shop, wielding purely destructive power to destabilize countries and wreck their economies.

      • Congressional Staffers Implore Senators to Convict Trump ‘For Our Sake and the Sake of the Country’

        “The use of violence and lies to overturn an election is not worthy of debate,” the staffers wrote. “Either you stand with the republic or against it.”

      • The House Impeachment Memo Is Tragedy. The Trump Defense Is Farce.
      • How Are They Going to Come at Us?

        How will neoliberal Democrats and far-right fascists of the Republican Party come at the political left following the reenactment of the Reichstag fire (1933) at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021?

        Had the forces of reaction had an organized Il Duce (For those still sensitive about labels, the idea of a Fūhrer is also well suited for the role.) at its helm anytime from election day November 2020 on, then those of us on the left would have been in deep shit. We lucked out as a bumbling narcissist was in control.

      • Opinion | The False Equivalence Between the Democratic Left and the Republican Right Is Absurd

        If this country’s media institutions are to truly function as means of public enlightenment and civic education in this very dark time, then they had better be very clear about this difference.

      • Opinion | The Electoral College Is Far Worse Than You Think

        Majority disenfranchisement isn’t its only flaw; it allows fanatical splinter groups to decide elections.

      • Opinion | The Worst Mistake the Democrats Could Make Is To Seek the Center—Again.

        Why Biden and the Democrats must go bold.

      • National Ideals and the 1776 Commission Report: an Analysis

        The actual Donald Trump, of course, does not care about history, of which he knows little. Maybe that is why he did not bother to put any professional historians of U.S. history on the commission. But as president, he knew who his allies were, and if they wanted to prioritize myth and canonize ideals, it was all right with him. And so the major premise of the 1776 Report is that the United States was founded upon, and remains an expression of, “universal and eternal principles.” For instance, the Declaration of Independence’s assertion “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” would be one such.

        As far as the report’s authors are concerned, these basic yet universal “founding principles” of the nation should be front and center in the teaching of national history. The authors are angered by the fact that, in their eyes, this is not being done. Quite the opposite. They believe that what is being taught are the shortfalls from such eternal ideals. How is that a problem? Well, to dwell on the actual, inequitable and often unjust national behavior of Americans is to undermine the unity of the nation and bring low its image. And, for the 1776 Report authors, that is not what education is all about.

      • Jon Ossoff Victory Proves That the Israel Lobby Still Has an Iron Grip on Democrats

        Jerusalem — Jon Ossoff’s historic win was presented as defying America’s far-right. His election to office helped flip the Senate blue and after six long years, changed Mitch McConnell’s title from majority to minority leader. He defeated Donald Trump ally Sen. David Perdue by teaming up with a Black reverend associated with the late civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis. And he was the first Jew to win a Georgia Senate seat while a racist, anti-Semitic mob raided the U.S. Capitol.

      • No More Anti-Protest Laws

        To date, 43 states have considered and 26 have enacted some type of anti-protest law. Such laws are often clearly targeted and certain kinds of protest, such as those that were enacted in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin restricting or prohibiting protest around critical infrastructure, including pipelines.

        In 2017, Florida considered a law that would eliminate driver liability for hitting protesters, although it was defeated. Florida is now considering another anti-protest bill. Two anti-protest bills (SB 484/HB 1) have been filed and are a priority for Governor Desantis. The House bill passed its first committee of reference this week along party lines.

      • Don’t Grade Biden on a Curve

        To give high marks merely for excelling in comparison to right-wing Republicans is to cheer high jumps over very low standards. And the opening months of President Biden’s term are an especially bad time to grade him on a curve, as top appointees take charge and policy directions are set.

        With corporate forces fully mobilized and armies of their lobbyists deployed to constantly push the new administration, the need for activating grassroots counterpressure from the left should be obvious. Yet an all-too-common progressive refrain now is along the lines of “Step back and give Biden a chance!”

      • Extremists and Disappearing Republican Moderates

        These mostly armed Trump militia are anathema to America and its more than two centuries of government of the people, by the people and for the people.

        The revolutionary intentions of white supremacists and their ilk that are based on Trump’s Big Lie that he won the election is another pandemic that can prove just as deadly as the coronavirus. It already has.

      • What BoJo’s Done for the Cause of Scottish Independence

        BoJo made a recent “essential” visit to Scotland– ignoring pandemic travel restrictions in so doing– for one of his now de rigueur but palpably contrived photo ops (featuring hi-vis jackets, hard hats, lab coats, butchers’ aprons, the works).

        While there he, in essence, blamed the Scottish for their ingratitude in not appreciating how much Scotland’s union with the rest of the UK (and especially England) had done for them.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook’s Latest Proposed Policy Change Exemplifies the Trouble With Moderating Speech at Scale

        That’s largely because few people agree about what hateful speech is—whether it is limited to derogations based on race, gender, religion, and other personal characteristics historically subject to hate, whether it includes all forms of harassment and bullying, and whether it applies only when directed from a place of power to those denied such power. Just as governments, courts, and international bodies struggle to define hateful speech with the requisite specificity, so do online services. As a result, the significant efforts online services do undertake to remove hateful speech can often come at the expense of freedom of expression.

        That’s why there’s no good solution to Facebook’s current dilemma of how to treat the term “Zionism.”

        The trouble with defining hateful speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: GitHub Attempts To Moderate Banned Words Contained In Hosted Repositories (2015)

        Summary: GitHub solidified its position as the world’s foremost host of open source software not long after its formation in 2008. Twelve years after its founding, GitHub is host to 190 million repositories and 40 million users.

      • Autocrats Increasingly Quashing Dissent Beyond Their Own Borders

        The report found that 31 countries—such as China, Saudia Arabia, and Russia—carried out attacks against victims in 79 host countries, making for a total six years of more than 600 cases of transnational repression: when governments reach beyond their borders to stifle dissent. More than two dozen were assassinations or assassination attempts since 2016. In all, about 3.5 million people globally have ultimately been impacted by these acts of coercion and intimidation.

        The biggest culprits? China, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey.

      • Listen: Rudy Giuliani Growls After Radio Station Hooks Legal Disclaimer to His Show

        The attorney went on to babble about free speech, even though the constitutional right does not apply in this matter.

      • Twitter cites rulebook, deletes some posts of Kangana Ranaut for violation (details)

        However, from the last 48 hours, Kangana has openly spoken about the ongoing farmer’s protest. The Manikarnika actor attacked international celebs Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and everyone around who supported farmers protests. The actor stooped a new low when she targeted the pop star by calling her ‘pornpopstar’, ‘fool’ among others. She even called the protesting farmers ‘terrorists’.

        On Thursday morning, Twitter took strict action against the actor and deleted two of her Tweets.

      • Myanmar blocks Facebook as resistance grows to coup

        Myanmar’s new military government has blocked access to Facebook as resistance to Monday’s coup surged amid calls for civil disobedience to protest the ousting of the elected civilian government and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

        Facebook is especially popular in Myanmar and the ousted government had commonly made public announcements on the social media site.

        Internet users said the disruption began late Wednesday night, and mobile service provider Telenor Myanmar confirmed in a statement that mobile operators and [Internet] service providers in Myanmar had received a directive from the communications ministry to temporarily block Facebook.

      • Joe Lieberman Couldn’t Understand Content Moderation When He Was A Senator, But Says If We Get Rid Of 230, It’ll Be Fine

        Former Senator Joe Lieberman was a ridiculous censorial problem when he was a Senator. Back in the early days of social media, when the first questions of content moderation were first gaining attention, Lieberman was perhaps the original moral panic Senator, demanding censorship of 1st Amendment protected content. It started back in 2008, when he sent an angry letter to YouTube, saying that they had to take down “terrorist content.” YouTube reviewed a bunch of the links he sent, and removed only the ones that violated YouTube’s policies. That made Lieberman mad and he sent a second letter demanding that the company take down “terrorist” videos. He also did the same thing to Twitter. Because of the political pressure, these companies became more aggressive, leading them to… take down a human rights watchdog that was documenting war crimes. Because sometimes “terrorist videos” are actually… “documenting war crimes.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Women With Torches

        IS say they committed the atrocity in early November last year, when gunmen emptied their magazines into students and faculty going about their progressive business on campus. 32 died, 50 more were injured.

        Before that, in October, an IS suicide bombing vaporised an education centre in their favourite target community, the Hazara. The shockwave from the massive suicide boming outside the Kawsar-e Danish educational centre in west Kabul was amplified by the narrowness of the street in which it was detonated, killing 30 and injuring more than 70. The casualties were mostly children and young adults.

      • Russian human rights activists seek criminal case against police for violating coronavirus regulations

        The Russian human rights organization “Public Verdict” has asked state investigators to launch a criminal case against police officials for violating sanitary and epidemiological rules (article 236 of the Criminal Code) while detaining protesters amid the pro-Navalny rallies on January 23 and 31. 

      • Nothing special about it Take a look inside the ‘special’ detention center where arrested pro-Navalny protesters are being held

        In the aftermath of the mass protests across Russia in recent weeks in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny, a number of protesters in Moscow are serving time in administrative custody. Currently, many of the detainees are being held at a special detention center located in Sakharovo — a village in an area just outside of the Russian capital known as New Moscow. According to multiple reports, police vans carrying detainees have been forced to wait in lines outside of the detention center for hours on end — and the detainees weren’t given food or water while waiting to be processed (they were only allowed out of the van when needed after cajoling the officers transporting them). 

      • Opinion | How “National Security” Disregards Humanity

        As long as there are divisions in humanity, and thus in understanding, no one can possibly be secure.

      • Opinion | More Partisanship, Not Less: Democrats Shouldn’t Compromise Their Solutions to Pander to a GOP That Is Part of the Problem

        There can be no reasonable compromise between those determined to confront the crises America faces and those who deny that the problems exist—and have indeed aggravated them.

      • “Hypothetical” briefing ordered in TSA lawsuit

        The most significant legal challenge since the creation of the Transportation Security Administration to the TSA’s attempt to operate outside the law, and to avoid judicial review of its actions, is coming to a head in the next month in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. It’s a David v. Goliath legal battle, and the plaintiff wants and needs help.

        We’ve talked Sai’s various challenges to TSA practices before. A little over five years ago, Sai (they go by only one name) filed a pro se challenge to the Constitutionality of 49 USC § 46110, the Federal law which establishes special (and especially limited) procedures and criteria for judicial review of “orders” issued by the TSA.

        49 USC § 46110 exempts TSA orders from the usual jurisdiction of Federal District Courts. TSA orders can be reviewed only by the Circuit Courts of Appeal, where there are no trials. Circuit Courts must base their decisions on the “administrative record” as supplied by the  TSA, and must grant the truth of any TSA claims supported by “substantial” evidence, regardless of the existence of any (perhaps more persuasive) evidence to the contrary or impeaching the credibility of the TSA and its claims, and regardless of any evidence that the TSA doesn’t chose to include in its “administrative record”. Needless to say, no objections at all will be in the TSA-created “record” with respect to secretly-issued orders.

      • ED’S DESK: Bogan Evil-Doers With Tenuous Links To Ivan Milat Thrill Court Watchers With ‘Matching White Forensic Jumpsuits’ And ‘Forlorn Expressions’

        ED’S DESK is a new semi-regular column by New Matilda, where we give readers an inside look at the sub-editing process involved in news-making. Or at least, we give you an inside look at what should have been the sub-editing process to correct a steaming pile of sh*t story that actually got published, despite holes in it you could drive a truck through. On that note, over to The Daily Telegraph….

      • “Judas and the Black Messiah” Director Shaka King on Fred Hampton, the Black Panthers & COINTELPRO
      • Opinion | In Honor of Black History Month, Canada Should End Its Support of Authoritarianism in Haiti

        Canadian officials have barely criticized any of Moïse’s authoritarian measures. On the contrary, Ottawa has backed Moïse at almost every turn.

      • [Old] How The Storming Of The Capitol Was — And Wasn’t — About Police

        But Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing, says it’s a mistake to boil Wednesday’s events down to questions of police force and tactics. Rather, Vitale, who is a professor of sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, says that, in addition to examining the role of the police in these incidents, we need to open up a broader conversation about race, politics and justice. (We’ll be talking more about this, and other aspects of Wednesday’s events, on the next episode of the Code Switch podcast.)

        Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

      • Artificial Intelligence in Policing Is the Focus of Encode Justice

        Algorithms failed Parks twice: First, he was mistakenly identified as the suspect; then, he was robbed of due process and jailed for 10 days at the recommendation of a risk assessment tool used to assist pretrial release decisions. These tools have been adopted by courts across the country despite evidence of racial bias and a 2018 letter signed by groups like the ACLU and NAACP cautioning against their use. At one point, Parks told the Times, he even considered pleading guilty. The case was ultimately dropped, but he’s now suing the Woodbridge Police Department, the city of Woodbridge, and the prosecutors involved in his wrongful arrest.

        These are the costs of algorithmic injustice. We’re approaching a new reality, one in which machines are weaponized to undermine liberty and automate oppression with a pseudoscientific rubber stamp; in which opaque technology has the power to surveil, detain, and sentence, but no one seems to be held accountable for its miscalculations.

      • China conducts most sophisticated repression abroad: Report

        The Chinese government conducts the most sophisticated and comprehensive campaign of transnational repression, targeting religious minorities like the Uighurs, political dissidents and former Communist party members who have fled abroad, a new report said on Thursday.

        Applying tactics ranging from co-opting foreign governments to detain them to digital threats and coercion by proxy, the Chinese government’s transnational repression is “unparalleled”, the Freedom House report said.

        “Freedom House’s conservative catalogue of direct, physical attacks since 2014 covers 214 cases originating from China, far more than any other country,” the report titled Out of Sight, Not out of Reach, said.

      • Iran judge to Christian converts: ‘Your actions are worthy of death’

        Open Doors (USA), an organisaton committed to aiding Persecuted Christians around the globe, is encouraging believers to pray for four (4) Christian converts arrested by the Iranian government and accused of “acting against national security by forming a house Church” in the Muslim-majority country.

        Mehdi Akbari, Fatemeh Sharifi and Simin Soheilinia and Mehdi Roohparvar were sentenced to a combined 35 years in prison with Iranian court Judge Mohammad Moghiseh (pictured) telling the converts, ‘your actions are worthy of death’

      • The Police Departments With The Biggest Racial Disparities In Arrests And Killings

        That data is incomplete — the federal government does not collect comprehensive data on police stops, searches or use of force. But it has published data on over 8 million arrests made in 2019. Additionally, nationwide data on killings by police is available from 2013 through 2020, via the Mapping Police Violence database. Police departments with the highest rates of arrests and use of deadly force, especially when applied in racially disparate ways, should prompt the federal government to investigate whether these outcomes are due to discriminatory or unlawful conduct.

        To determine which police departments might fit these criteria, I calculated per capita arrest rates and police killings rates for some of the largest U.S. cities’ police departments (cities with more than 500,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census).1 There are methodological differences to consider when interpreting this data. For example, Hispanic people are coded as Hispanic in the Mapping Police Violence database but coded racially as white or Black in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. This can underestimate the extent to which there are arrest disparities between non-Hispanic Black and white people since Hispanic people, who could have higher arrest rates than white people, are generally coded as white.2

        Still, despite the limits of this data, some clear patterns can be identified. Black people were arrested and killed by police at higher rates than white people in 34 of the 37 largest U.S. cities.

      • Opinion | ‘This Is Just the Beginning’: Why Poland’s War on Abortion Should Scare You
      • Opinion | Biden’s Private Prison Reform Must Include Immigration Detention Centers

        To fully address profit-driven punishment, the Biden administration will need to take aim at every tendril of the private prison industry.

      • ‘We can’t succumb to provocations’ The Kremlin’s spokesman comments on the unauthorized protests in Moscow

        During his daily press conference on Wednesday, February 3, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was predictably bombarded with questions about the protests that ensued after the court ruling in the case of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. The day before, a Moscow court had sentenced Navalny to two years and eight months in prison. In response, people took to the streets of the capital — and the security forces carried out nearly 1,500 arrests while violently dispersing demonstrators. According to Peskov, however, this show of popular discontent was nothing more than a provocation.

      • Immigration Advocates Welcome New “Tone” But Urge Biden Admin for More Concrete Change

        Hundreds have been deported in the last week, even as President Biden signed several executive orders Tuesday to undo the Trump administration’s hard-line anti-immigration policies. The orders include a push to reunify families torn apart under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy and a review of the Trump policy known as “Remain in Mexico” that requires non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their immigration cases wind through court, leaving tens of thousands waiting in dangerous conditions along the border. Reporter Aura Bogado says that despite the Biden administration’s new “tone,” continued deportations of vulnerable people demonstrate “a continuation of the same practices that happened under President Trump and previously under Obama.” Erika Pinheiro, an immigration attorney and the policy and litigation director of Al Otro Lado, a binational nonprofit helping immigrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, says many migrants left waiting in Mexico are losing patience with assurances that the new administration will have a plan for them. “If we don’t have an answer for these people, other groups will fill that information void, like cartels and like smugglers, and ultimately the lack of a plan is going to result in more migrant deaths,” says Pinheiro.

      • KOL317 | Decentralized Revolution (LP Mises Caucus Podcast) – Immigration, Gamestop, IP

        Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 317. This is my appearance on Decentralized Revolution (the LP Mises Caucus podcast), episode 46, with host Aaron Harris.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast Wants A Cookie For Suspending Its Bullshit Broadband Caps For a Few Months

        For years, Comcast has slowly but surely expanded its pointless and arbitrary broadband usage caps and overage fees into all of its markets (picture the boiling frog metaphor, with you as the frog). And for most of that time, the company avoided doing so in the Northeast where it faces more competition from competitors like (uncapped) Verizon FiOS. But recently, likely fearing an incoming Biden FCC willing to do its job, Comcast rushed to finally push these useless, confusing, and expensive restrictions into the Northeast. In the middle of a pandemic. When people were already struggling to pay for basic utilities and rent.

      • We’re Living Our Lives On The Internet, And We Can’t Be Free If It Isn’t.

        Last year, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “offline” world suddenly became a lot more online. All around the world, people have struggled to adapt. Worst off are those who can’t take internet access for granted. The Federal Communications Commission will spend many resources on the domestic side of this challenge, further investing in internet connectivity reach, quality, and affordability. But the international side, known as “internet freedom,” is a harder question.

      • Can a Novel Really Capture the Spirit of the Internet?

        Over a century ago, E.M. Forster wrote his memorable phrase “Only connect!” into Howards End, reemphasizing it as the novel’s epigraph. The phrase might seem quaint or even corrupted today, when most “connecting” is done online—you could plausibly see the words as ad copy in your feed, selling you a phone or a new mattress—but its terse ambiguity poses a question: What is connection, really? Is it something that fiction has a unique power to cultivate? “Only connect” is not a critic’s phrase, although Forster was a good one; instead, it’s a moral imperative, a plea. A beautiful but fuzzy thought, it expresses the difficulty and the fragility of building relationships, both between people and in a person’s inner life. If we could explain how to do it, it would be easy; the phrase safeguards the hope that connection might extend as far as our power to imagine it. As the novel’s protagonist says to herself just after her insight, “Live in fragments no longer.”

      • Can A Community Approach To Disinformation Help Twitter?

        A few weeks ago Twitter announced Birdwatch as a new experimental approach to dealing with disinformation on its platform. Obviously, disinformation is a huge challenge online, and one that doesn’t have any easy answers. Too many people seem to think that you can just “ban disinformation” without recognizing that everyone has a different definition of what is, and what is not disinformation. It’s easy to claim that you would know, but it’s much harder to put in place rules that can be applied consistently by a large team of people, dealing with hundreds of millions of pieces of content every day.

      • Various States All Pile On To Push Blatantly Unconstitutional Laws That Say Social Media Can’t Moderate

        A bunch of Republican state legislators across the country are apparently unconcerned with either the 1st Amendment (or reality) have decided that they need to stop social media companies from engaging in any sort of content moderation. Earlier this week, Florida Man Governor Ron DeSantis proposed just such a law, which would be struck down as unconstitutional with amazing speed. The bill, dubbed the “Transparency in Technology Act” would do a bunch of things laid out in this infographic the Florida GOP sent around, almost all of which the state has no authority to do. On the content moderation front, it would require set standards for content moderation that can’t easily be changed and require the company apply those standards consistently.

      • Indian Government Threatens To Jail Twitter Employees For Restoring Accounts The Government Wants Blocked

        We keep pointing out to people the very slippery slope that happens when we say it’s okay for the government to tell websites how they have to moderate. And what’s happening in India is a very important case study. As you’re hopefully aware, there have been ongoing farmer protests in India, as farmers are quite upset about regulatory changes that they fear will destroy their businesses. The protests have been going on for weeks, but things have recently escalated to include some violence.

      • Google subsea cable set to deliver 250TB data per second

        Crossing the Atlantic Ocean between Virginia Beach in the US and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez on the French Atlantic coast, the system expands Google’s global network to add dedicated capacity, diversity, and resilience, while enabling interconnection to other network infrastructure in the region.

      • Democrats call on FCC to expand remote learning connectivity

        In an open letter on Thursday, dozens of Democrats called on Federal Communications Commission Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel to expand the use of broadband funds for students struggling to stay connected and participate in remote learning.

        In a letter to Rosenworcel, signed by over 30 Senate Democrats, including Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), they requested that the FCC use E-Rate program funds to connect students with devices and home [Internet] access who are currently unable to participate in online learning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The E-Rate program provides universal service funding to connect schools and libraries to the [Internet].

      • Taking on Telecom’s “5G”

        For nearly a decade, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman of the Children’s Health Defense (CHD), and others have raised serious concerns about the health impacts of 5G technology. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and the powerful telecommunications industry have dismissed the critics’ concerns, lumping anyone who raised questions about the technology’s health impact as part of “anti-vaxxer” movement.

        “The American public has been poorly served by the FCC,” warned Kennedy. “The FCC’s guidelines are decades-old and are based on scientific assumptions that were proven false. Its failure and disregard of public health is evident in the growing and widespread conditions involving brain damage, learning disabilities, and a host of complex neurological syndromes.” He added: “The FCC has shown that its chief interest is protecting the telecom industry and maximizing its profits, and its position as put forward in its brief is simply indefensible.”

      • After Years Of Litigation, AT&T Customers Get A Measly $22 For Being Lied To Over ‘Throttling’

        Way back in 2014 the FTC sued AT&T for selling “unlimited” wireless data plans with very real and annoying limits. The lawsuit noted that, starting in 2011, AT&T began selling “unlimited” plans that actually throttled upwards of 90 percent of your downstream speeds after using just two or three gigabytes of data. AT&T spent years trying to wiggle out of the lawsuit via a variety of legal gymnastics, including at one point trying to claim that the very same net neutrality and FCC Title II rules AT&T was attempting to kill, prevented the FTC from holding it accountable.

      • Why you must care that “.ORG was saved” | Stop at Zona-M

        Because the weakness that endangered it is still there.

        Some of the things that keep the modern world up and running (well or not, is another matter) are digital. Most of us don’t even realize that those things exist, or they don’t care, even when those things are single points of failure, in plain sight, and quite fragile.

        This post is about one of those things, the serious risk it faced in 2020, and how it was saved (for now). It is a story that everybody should know, and to make this easier, I am summarizing it from here.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • 14 States Are Now Considering ‘Right to Repair’ Legislation

        Five years or so ago, frustration at John Deere’s draconian tractor DRM culminated in a grassroots tech movement dubbed “right to repair.” The company’s crackdown on “unauthorized repairs” turned countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists, after DRM (and the company’s EULA) prohibited the lion’s share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned. These restrictions only worked to drive up costs for owners, who faced either paying significantly more money for “authorized” repair, or toying around with pirated firmware just to ensure the products they owned actually worked.

    • Monopolies

      • Big Tech’s Playing Monopoly. It’s Going to Lose.

        On the “private sector” side of things, I’ve generally just noted that anti-freedom business practices are bad business practices, that bad business practices tend to be self-punishing, and that none of the Big Actors in Big Tech are, strictly speaking, monopolies.

        Now the war’s been tuning up into its next phase, and Big Tech is finally taking an open stand against, rather than for, freedom. Facebook and Twitter are cracking down on speech (of both “right” and “left” varieties). Google, Amazon, Apple et al. are trying to take down sites and apps on which speech can’t be easily regulated.

      • Food for thought: GI owners call for better online enforcement

        Counsel at European cheese, alcohol, and vinegar consortiums outline key requirements ahead of a potential overhaul of the EU’s GI system

      • The So-Called Moderna Vaccine Is a Publicly Funded Miracle

        The only problem? We don’t have nearly enough doses. But there’s a solution: If the Biden administration allowed generic manufacturers, not just Moderna, to manufacture the vaccine at scale, the United States would no longer suffer from a vaccine shortage.

        This step is entirely appropriate, because the “Moderna” vaccine wasn’t developed by Moderna. The research and development of the vaccine were paid for by our U.S. taxpayer dollars, to the tune of $2.5 billion. In fact, Dolly Parton put more money into the vaccine than the company it is named after when she donated $1 million to the effort.

      • How biotech brands are battling COVID counterfeits | Managing Intellectual Property [Ed: Latching onto fear of the pandemic to pass more aggressive laws against one's competitors, claiming that it's "harmful to health" (they will extrapolate from this; it's the monopolists' oldest playbook)]

        Anti-counterfeiting sources explain how the biotech industry is responding to a rise in fake COVID medication

      • Coca-Cola makes bold diversity demands of counsel [Ed: Coca Cola notoriously worked for literal Nazis and for Hitler, but now it pretends to care for “diversity”. Well, maybe Coca-Cola wants the names of blacks, “LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities” for a list of who to put in “hunger rooms”.]

        Coca-Cola set out new expectations for its external counsel network this week, including that at least 30% of billed lawyers are from diverse backgrounds.

        The company called for the law firms it works with to provide data on racial diversity among staff, as well as information on employees who identify as LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities.

        At the moment, the measures apply only to Coca-Cola’s US business.

        The move follows similar guidelines adopted by pharmaceutical company Novartis and technology business Intel, which also both insisted that the law firms they instruct should meet diversity targets.

        Bradley Gayton, who became Coca-Cola general counsel in September last year, revealed the guidelines in an open letter published last Thursday(January 28). The letter was also endorsed by the firm’s associate general counsel for intellectual property, Benny Lee.

        In the letter, addressed to ‘US law firms supporting the Coca-Cola company’, Gayton – an African-American man – said: “The hard truth is that our profession is not treating the issue of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative.

        “We have a crisis on our hands and we need to commit ourselves to specific actions that will accelerate the diversity of the legal profession.”

      • Patents

        • [Old] The Birth of UNIX with Brian Kernighan

          Brian: So Bell Labs, a scientific research place produced lots and lots of patent applications, typically one or two a day at that point. And those had to be formatted in a very specific way for the patent office, weird stuff, including things like numbering the lines. And at the time there was no commercial word processing systems that could handle numbering the lines, and so people in the Unix group at this point promised that they could deliver such a system so that the patent office could develop their prepare patent applications in the appropriate format, and that this would be delivered well before any commercial operation could provide the same thing.

          And the quid pro quo was that some part of the company, related to parts, I guess, would provide some of the money for acquiring the machine. And so this all came to pass. And so development went on at night when the patent typists were at home, and then in the daytime, just no software development because the typist for typing patent applications.

          Adam: That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s truly time-sharing. So the computer science research group at Bell Labs, it’s a pretty elite group, agrees to build a patent application system for the patent typists. This is strange. I’ve actually played similar games myself before where you know the company wants X and I want to use technology Y. And so I say, “Hey, Y is the perfect thing for X?” And you can sort get some legs for your side project if you try to tie it to something important. I’m not totally sure how ethical it is, but in this case, it worked for the Unix group. I think for them, it meant that the operating system had real users and very practical use cases to hit. And this constraint of being this patent document rendering machine was actually very helpful for the early development.

          Brian: You notice there’s this text formatting thread that goes through all of this stuff?

        • Leading Questions: Hogan Lovells’ Andreas von Falck

          Bloomberg Law: What legal question keeps you up at night?

          Andreas von Falck: The future of the European Unitary Patent Court.

          For decades now, Europe has been trying to find its way towards creating a single European patent court, which would be a vast change compared to the current country-by-country approach.

          Each member state must approve the UPC system, which is why it has taken so long. Then, Brexit meant that the system had to be recalibrated to work without the involvement of the United Kingdom.

          And while it looked like the UPC’s time may finally have arrived, shortly after the German parliament voted to approve the system late last year, constitutional complaints were lodged against the ratification decision in the German Federal Constitutional Court. This has further delayed the adoption of the system.

          I eagerly await to see how these challenges resolve, and whether we will soon have our long-awaited UPC.

        • Chicago Patent Attorneys File Supreme Court Amicus Brief in American Axle [Ed: This is more about patent zealots and profiteers pretending there's "confusion" about software patents etc. being bunk]

          Chicago patent attorneys Kevin E. Noonan, Michael S. Borella, Aaron V. Gin, and Adnan M. “Eddie” Obissi have filed an amicus brief supporting Supreme Court review of the Federal Circuit’s decision to invalidate claims of American Axle’s U.S. Patent No. 7,774,911 under 35 U.S.C § 101. The Attorneys (who are all Patent Docs authors or contributors) argue that the Federal Circuit’s 6-6 split on whether to rehear the case en banc is compelling evidence that the court is severely divided in how it applies the patent-eligibility analysis of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l.

        • FOSS Patents: These should be the top five priorities for those organizations seeking to promote balanced patent policy

          Things haven’t recently gone too well for those opposing patentee overcompensation in the information and communications technology sector and trollish litigation tactics. The German patent injunction reform effort is now at a point where even communists demand strong intellectual property protection. To turn that one around, with the end of the term approaching fast, is like trying to win a chess match after losing too many pieces. But there are five other contexts in which the camp that is making itself completely ridiculous in the German reform process could still bring about really positive developments.


          The above handful of policy issues are likely the most important ones this year and next with respect to patents. Should the Federal Trade Commission file a cert petition in the Qualcomm case, that would make it six (precisely 50% of which would be SEP matters). The deadline is late next month, and I heard from DC circles that this depends on new nominations of FTC commissioners by President Biden. Even if that didn’t work out, it’s key to at least ensure that the Biden Administration’s positions on SEP enforcement will be more like those of the Obama Administration.

        • The Deere v. Gramm Analysis

          In 1966, the US Supreme Court decided Graham v. John Deere, and established the framework for adjudging obviousness under the 1952 Patent Act. In the processes Graham’s plow patent was deemed obvious. In this new case, Deere is looking to invalidate Richard Gramm’s patent. This time though the patentee prevails.

          Gramm’s US Patent No. 6,202,395 covers a sensor and controller for the head-height of a combine harvester. The case is interesting because of its similarity to the spring-loaded shear in the 1966 case. Here, “a flexible sensor arm that engages the soil and is
          dragged across the ground” as the giant tractor rolls along.

          The particular novel aspects of the invention here appear to be related to what happens when the Combine is placed in reverse — we don’t want to bob to snap off. The solution is a spring (“biasing means”) for keeping the arm at an incline but allows for displacement when you reverse. The spring then uses Hooke’s Law to encourage the sensor arm to return to its original position.

          Deere petitioned the USPTO for inter partes review (IPR). Although the Board granted the petition, it eventually sided with the patentee and found that none of the challenged claims had been proven obvious. The case has included some partial institution mix-up following SAS, and the CAFC has previously affirmed the holding with regard to some of the claims, this appeal is related to claims 12-26.

        • Europe’s industrial companies mobilise against weaker automatic injunction [Ed: When you realise patent law is basically written by lobbyists on behalf of super-rich people who profit from monopolies and litigation]

          For the first time, on 27 January 2021, the German Bundestag debated the Patent Modernisation Act. Among other things, the German patent law amendment is intended to better synchronise patent infringement and nullity proceedings. However, over the past two years, a possible weakening of the automatic injunction has caused excitement for technology companies and the legal industry.

          Now, an alliance of technology companies, industry associations and research institutions publicly oppose the government’s plans. §139 of the Federal Patent Law (BPatG) regulates the automatic injunction. In the final draft, the federal cabinet has slightly amended the wording of the provisions set out in the paragraph.

          However, the federal government has emphasised its disinclination to amend §139. Rather, the government wishes only to clarify current case law, as fixed in the Federal Court of Justice’s 2016 ‘heat exchanger judgment’ (case ID: X ZR 114/13). Only in very few cases does the court allow an exception to the automatic injunction.

        • FOSS Patents: The most pathetic lobbying campaign in the history of patent policy: from the far left to the far right, the German legislature opposes serious injunction reform

          It’s been almost 17 years since I first became involved with IP policy, and I was fortunate to need only about a year to make history in that field–not a modest way to put it, but backed up by facts. I thought I had already seen everything in that space. Creative campaigns and uninspiring ones. Authentic and fake grassroot movements. Smart and not so smart people. Suits and hoodies. Shaved faces and long beards. University students and professors. Winners and losers. Narrow and unanimous votes. But with all that active and passive experience I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the transcript (PDF, in German) of a January 27 plenary debate in the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament) on patent (and particularly patent injunction) reform.

          What follows is not even an exaggeration: if those pro-reform companies (the ones who want a proportionality check before courts issue patent injunctions) had never contacted a single person in that parliament, or if they had asked their pets to place phone calls to the parliament, the outcome couldn’t have been much worse; it might even have been better. Those companies actually represent a fairly significant part of the German economy–but clout doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use it, or if you are so misguided that you shoot yourself in the foot every step of the way.

          Terms like “failure” or even “disaster” would have too positive a connotation to describe what has happened. It’s more appropriate to call it an insanity.

        • FOSS Patents: Nokia sought to enforce shaky patent against Daimler just prior to expiration, but Mannheim Regional Court said no

          Nokia is part of a coalition of companies with a strong interest in patent monetization, and that group is at least 100 times better at IP policy than the entire German automotive industry and Deutsche Telekom combined. Nokia and its friends have lobbied the German legislature to the effect that from the far left to the far right, there’s stiff resistance to anything that would significantly limit patentees’ access to injunctive relief.

          Lately, however, Nokia’s litigation results are clearly not at a level with its lobbying sucess stories. Chinese computer maker Lenovo, supported by an intervening supplier (Nvidia), has defended itself so successfully against what Nokia apparently thought were its best H.264 video codec patents that the FRAND royalty for that particular portfolio might even amount to zero. And even in Nokia’s primary domain, cellular standard-essential patents (SEPs), enforcement efforts are about as “successful” as Nokia’s handset business (which some of us remember, but today’s teenagers know only from hearsay) was eight or nine years ago.

          Yesterday (February 3, 2021), Presiding Judge Dr. Holger Kircher of the Second Civil Chamber of the Mannheim Regional Court entered a scheduling order: the trial in Nokia v. Daimler case no. 2 O 37/19 over EP1273199 on a “method and arrangement for maintaining synchronization in association with resetting a communication connection” will take place on June 22, 2021–more than two months after the patent’s expiration date (the priority date according to Google Patents was April 10, 2000, so the 20-year-term will end in about two months).

        • CIPO And EPO Make PPH Program Permanent [Ed: Today's corrupt EPO, which commits crimes even against its very own staff, is all about litigation and monopolists, not scientists and certainly not Europe]

          The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (the “CIPO”) and the European Patent Office (the “EPO”) have announced that their pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (the “PPH”) program has become permanent effective 6 January 2021. The PPH program allows applicants prosecuting a patent application at the EPO or the CIPO to have their application processed faster at the other office if certain requirements are met.

        • Illumina v MGI Part 1: Mr Justice Birss on sufficiency, DNA sequencing and chocolate teapots [Ed: Patent extremists like these keep trying to patent life and nature.]

          In the case in question, MGI’s obviousness and insufficiency attacks on Illumina’s DNA sequencing patents both failed.


          The patents at issue (EP 1530578 and its divisionals EP 3002289 and EP 3587433) related to improved modified nucleotides for use in Sanger sequencing. The claimed modified nucleotides could act as reversible chain terminators (RCTs). RCTs enable the blocking effect of the modified nucleotide to be removed once the identity and position of the modified nucleotide has been confirmed. The next nucleotide in the chain can then be added and the sequencing reaction continued. The RCTs claimed in the patents comprised an azidomethyl group.

        • Software Patents

          • Another Chinese patent challenged, this time against GEVC — Unified Patents

            On February 4, 2021, Unified Patents filed its second Chinese invalidity challenge against CN102939755. The CN’755 patent, originally assigned to Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, was transferred to GE Video Compression (GEVC). The CN‘755 patent is related to patents that are designated essential to the HEVC Advance patent pool as well as SISVEL’s AV1 and VP9 patent pools.

          • $2,000 for DatRec prior art

            On February 4, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 8,156,158. The patent is owned by DatRec, LLC, an NPE and subsidiary of Nacar IP LLC. The ’158 patent generally relates to the use of a database of individuals in personalized medicine based on authenticated medical and other personal data. It is currently being asserted against companies like Athenahealth, Philips, AdvancedMD, and Ancestry.com. View district court litigation by DatRec, LLC.

          • DivX Chinese patent challenged

            On February 5, 2021, Unified filed an invalidity challenge in China against CN101421935 owned by DivX Inc., a subsidiary of well-known NPE Fortress Investment Group. CN’935 is directed to a method for deblocking reconstructed video frames. It is related to U.S. patents that have been asserted against Netflix and Hulu.

      • Trademarks

        • Annual Reminder: You Can Probably Just Call The Super Bowl The Super Bowl

          It’s that special time of year again where we here at Techdirt need to remind you that, no, the NFL cannot keep you from referring to The Super Bowl as The Super Bowl, full stop. While the NFL stomps around the entire country every year, slapping down bars and churches for hosting Super Bowl parties, all while an extremely unhelpful media plays along, the truth is that most of the bullying the NFL does isn’t over actual trademark infringement. Sure, if some business advertises some association or endorsement by the NFL, that would be trademark infringement. Or if they claimed endorsement of the game or the NFL, that too would be infringing use. But a church simply hosting a Super Bowl party is not trademark infringement.

        • Biscuit ruling could ‘eviscerate’ trade dress rights, say counsel [Ed: Monopolies on biscuits based on "dress"; such laws mostly benefit few rich people rather than the general public]

          Companies should be cautious about how they advertise trade dress so long as the Third Circuit’s judgment stands, say lawyers

      • Copyrights

        • Japan Looks To Amend Copyright Law To Force Some Cosplayers To Pay To Cosplay

          When it comes to copyright enforcement, there is always this tension between protection against true copying of expression of content or characters and the benefits of having wider attention paid to the original content. This tension is perhaps most distinctly exhibited when it comes to works and activities done and enjoyed by fans. Fan-fiction, fan-art, fan-made games: these all tend to ride the gray zone between cost and benefit to original creators such that the reactions to them by copyright holders tend to be all over the place. Some creators recognize that most of this expression is a net benefit, while others go the full protectionist route.

        • The Postal Worker, a Sea Shanty and the Public Domain

          Sea shanties have caught the public imagination. Perhaps it is because the thought of an adventure at sea is a magical escape during a global pandemic. When we can’t sing together, play music, or go to a live performance in person, our experiences in the physical world are restricted. Our experiences in the virtual world, however, are expanding. This burst of creativity is enriching the public domain. Globally, people are inspired to remix, rework, and re-use cultural content with life-changing effects. After his sea shanty rendition went viral on TikTok, Nathan was signed by Polydor Records, with his debut single reaching number three in the UK charts.

        • Charter Argues That P2P Piracy is No Longer a Problem, Labels Disagree

          ISP Charter Communications believes that P2P piracy is no longer a problem for the music industry, which makes a ‘ton of money’ from streaming nowadays. Several major record labels clearly disagree with this conclusion, which triggered a new discovery dispute in their ongoing piracy liability lawsuit.

        • Police Arrest 14 People Behind 8 Million-User Piracy & Subtitle Site

          After years of pressure from the authorities and Hollywood, 14 people said to be behind the famous Chinese piracy and subtitling site YYeTs.com have been arrested. At least for now, the site – also known as Renren Yingshi – remains online but for how long isn’t yet clear.

        • Utah Theme Park Sues Taylor Swift Over Album Title After Exploiting It

          It really is kind of crazy just how often Taylor Swift shows up in Techdirt’s pages. One reason for this is that she seems to seesaw in the news between being the victim of and perpetrator of ridiculous intellectual property disputes. The whole “Shake It Off” thing was really silly, for instance, but so were Swift’s attacks on fans and journalists over spurious trademark concerns. And, so, she doesn’t neatly fit as a hero or villain. Instead, every time her name pops up in intellectual property news, the immediate question becomes, “Which side of it is she on this time?”

        • Microsoft Offers To Break The Web In A Desperate Attempt To Get Somebody To Use Its Widely-Ignored Bing Search Engine

          One of the key battles surrounding the EU Copyright Directive involves the threshold at which upload filters will block the use of copyright material in things like memes and mashups. A year ago, Germany was proposing ridiculously tight restrictions: 128-by-128 pixel images, and three-second videos. Now, it is framing the issue in terms of uses that aren’t “automatically” blocked by upload filters. The proposed limits here are 15 seconds of video or audio, 125K graphics, and 160 — yes, 160 — characters of text (original in German). Even these tiny extracts could be subsequently blocked by upload filters, depending on the circumstances.

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  27. GNU/Linux in Honduras: 10% Market Share? (Updated)

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  28. Links 17/03/2023: Update on John Deere’s Ongoing GPL Violations and PyTorch 2.0

    Links for the day

  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 16, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 16, 2023

  30. RMS: A Tour of Malicious Software, With a Typical Cell Phone as Example

    Tonight in Europe or this afternoon in America Richard M. Stallman (RMS), who turned 70 yesterday, gives a talk

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