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Links 6/3/2021: Linux 5.12 RC2 and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Woes

Posted in News Roundup at 4:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What is Linux, and which versions are best for beginners?

        Linux is not much different from Windows or macOS. It’s basically a graphical operating system that allows you to use apps, browse the web, and perform all the same functions a Windows or Mac computer does.

        Linux has been around since the 1990s and is in more devices than you may know. This versatile operating system is used in routers, smartphones, streaming boxes, televisions, smartwatches, cars, and even appliances. More importantly, this operating system also runs on most servers globally, including the servers that run the internet and government and corporate operations.

        Like its Windows and Mac counterparts, Linux is made up of several code layers that make it work. Layers such as a bootloader, kernel, GUI, and applications. All of these layers work together to create what users see and interact with on their display.

      • Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux laptop now available with NVIDIA RTX 30x series graphics

        The Kubuntu Focus M2 is a 4.4 pound laptop that ships with the Kubuntu GNU/Linux distribution pre-installed. First launched in October, the 4.4 pound notebook has a 15.6 inch, 144 Hz full HD matte display, an Intel Core i7-10875H octa-core processor and NVIDIA graphics.

        When the notebook launched last year it was available with NVIDIA RTX 20 GPUs, but now you can configure the system with up to RTX 3080 graphics.

        Entry-level configurations are also getting a price drop.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12-rc2
        Ok, so this is a couple of days early, but rc1 had the nasty swapfile
        issue, so I'm just accelerating rc2 a bit.
        Outside of the swapfile IO offset fix, the only other thing that
        stands out is some io_uring thread handling re-organization, which not
        only solved a few fundamental issues, but actually made the code
        smaller and simpler too.
        Other than that it all looks pretty normal: drivers dominate (with
        sound being most notable, with the ASoC Intel SOF support being split
        up sanely). But there's some btrfs work, kvm, iscsi, etc. A few random
        things all over.
        Shortlog appended for your viewing pleasure, and I sincerely hope (and
        believe) that rc2 is in a lot better shape than rc1 was.
      • Linux 5.12-rc2 Released Early – A Rare Friday Kernel Due To That Nasty Corruption Issue

        While Linus Torvalds long has released his new kernel releases — both release candidates and the inaugural stable releases — every Sunday, there are the occasional exceptions like this week with Linux 5.12-rc2 being issued on Friday night. The Linux 5.12-rc2 release has come early due to that nasty file-system corruption issue stemming from botched swapfile handling.

        This is the data loss issue I was warning Phoronix readers about for more than one week (and even days prior to that on Twitter when beginning to see this recurring issue) that then was pushed into the spotlight this week. With Intel’s graphics CI systems being hit by the file-system corruption too, developers quickly jumped in on the issue. The corruption was too much for even e2fck to handle correctly and at least in every system I tested led to all the data being lost.

      • Radeon RX 6800 Series Seeing Some Small Gains With Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        When it comes to the AMDGPU kernel driver changes in Linux 5.12 for modern open-source AMD Radeon graphics, most notable is RDNA2 OverDrive overclocking support now being available as well as AMDGPU FreeSync over HDMI (pre-HDMI 2.1). But from initial testing the new in-development kernel is showing mostly subtle performance improvements for the Radeon RX 6800 series over Linux 5.11.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install CHEF Workstation in RHEL and CentOS 8/7

        Chef is one of the popular configuration management tools, which is used to rapidly automate deployment, configurations, and management of the entire IT infrastructure environment.

        In the first part of this Chef series, we’ve explained Chef concepts, which consists of three important components: Chef Workstation, Chef Server & Chef Client/Node.

        In this article, you will learn how to install and test Chef Workstation in RHEL/CentOS 8/7 Linux distributions.

      • Install Libreoffice 7.1.1 on Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS & Fedora

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install LibreOffice 7.1.1 on Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Centos 8, Fedora 33, and LinuxMint 20.1.

        LibreOffice released the newer version in the 7 series as 7.1.1 and it comes with new features and bug fixes and program enhancements.

        All users are requested to update to this version as soon as possible.

      • How to live stream from your Linux desktop | TechRadar

        Live streaming is an increasingly popular medium, enabling you to produce content that’s shared in real time and – if your online provider supports it – available afterwards for those who missed the live show.

        If you’re looking to make your next online live stream something special, then take a look at OBS Studio.

        Not only can you easily combine multiple video and audio sources into a single stream, OBS Studio provides you with a means of breaking down your stream into specific sections, making it easy to seamlessly switch between different sources and screen setups. Crucially, it works with all the major online streaming providers.

      • Specify Name (Save As) When Saving File in vi / vim

        The vi (or vim) text editor is a very effective text editor for Linux / UNIX systems. It has been around since 1976 and you either love it or hate it. In order to be effective with the editor, it is important to know all the commands. One such command is specifying the name, or save as, of the file before you write it to disk. Let’s take a look at how to use the “save as” feature in vim.

      • Josef Strzibny: Download RPM packages locally with DNF

        Sometimes, you only want to download RPM packages without installing them. This is now super easy with DNF.

        If you remember Yum, you had to resolve to installing a yum-plugin-downloadonly plugin or a separate tool to be able to download them for inspection.

      • Arturo Borrero González: Openstack Neutron L3 failover issues

        In the Cloud Services team at the Wikimedia Foundation we use Openstack Neutron to build our virtual network, and in particular, we rely on the neutron-l3-agent for implementing all the L3 connectivity, topology and policing. This includes basic packet firewalling and NAT.

        As of this writing, we are using Openstack version Train. We run the neutron-l3-agent on standard linux hardware servers with 10G NICs, and in general it works really well. Our setup is rather simple: we have a couple of servers for redundancy (note: upstream recommends having 3) and each server runs an instance of neutron-l3-agent. We don’t use DVR, so all ingress/egress network traffic (or north-south traffic) flows using these servers. Today we use a flat network topology in our cloud. This means that all of our virtual machines share the same router gateway. Therefore, we only have one software-defined router.

        Neutron does a very smart thing: each software-defined router is implemented on a linux network namespace (netns). Each router living on its own netns, the namespace contains all IP addresses, routes, interfaces, netfilter firewalling rules, NAT configuration, etc.

        Additionally, we configure the agents and software-defined routers to be deployed on an high availability fashion. Neutron implements this by running an instance of keepalived (VRRP) inside each router netns. The gateway IP is therefore a virtual address that can move between the two instances of the neutron-l3-agent.

      • Prepare for successful container adoption with these tips

        IT teams use containers to build more dynamic applications and support modern microservice architectures. And containers are a critical tool for IT organizations to take advantage of innovations, such as cloud services, Agile methodology, DevOps collaboration and mobile apps.

        As businesses turn to containers to fuel development and support infrastructures, they must identify which workloads benefit from containerization, as well as strategize automation benefits and deploy the right tools for management.

        As a result, IT teams are better positioned to evaluate savings potential, adopt key DevOps processes and apply IT training where necessary. In this article, we explore containerization’s history and its uses, assess ideal workloads, potential operational savings and key management approaches.

      • How to Install VirtualBox 6.1 On Linux?

        Virtual Machines are software used to run other operating systems within a pre-installed operating system. This self-contained OS runs as a separate computer that has no relation to the host OS. VirtualBox is an open-source cross-platform software that can help you run multiple guest operating systems on a single computer. In this article, let’s look at how to install VirtualBox 6.1 on Linux, easily.

        Why Install VirtualBox?

        One of the most important use cases of VirtualBox is its ability to try out/test various operating systems without fiddling with your internal storage. VirtualBox creates a virtual environment that utilizes system resources like RAM and CPU to power the OS inside a container.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Adaptive panel opacity and auto-restored unsaved documents in Kate!

          A big Plasma feature was added this week: adaptive Plasma panel opacity! Now the panel and panel applets are more transparent than they were before, allowing more of a tint from the beautiful wallpaper on your desktop! But what’s this? You’re about to complain that you maximize all your windows so the increased transparency will look ugly? In fact, we now make your panel and panel applets 100% opaque when there are any maximized windows, ensuring no ugly effect! But what if you don’t want that either? Well, if you don’t want adaptive opacity we now let you make your panel and panel applets always transparent, or always opaque! Hopefully that should make everyone happy. Let’s give a round of applause to Niccolò Venerandi and Jan Blackquill for this work, which will show up in Plasma 5.22.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Christian Hergert: A GTK 4 based Text Editor

          It started as an application for me to verify the correctness of the GtkSourceView 5 API (which targets GTK 4). After that it helped me implement JIT support for GtkSourceView languages. Once that was done it became my test case while I wrote the GTK 4 macOS backend and revamped the GL renderer.

          It is a simple and humble text editor. It does not have all the corner cases you’d expect from a text editor yet. It does not have aspirations to be a programmers text editor.

          Now that you know this is very much a technology preview release only, you might be tempted to keep your important data away from it.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/09

          This week has proven to be challenging for Tumbleweed. We have built and tested 6 snapshots, and only 2 of them were of sufficient quality to send out to the users. Of course, that means our QA infrastructure is well suited in protecting you, the users, from running into trouble – and that is the best thing we can show with this.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Announcing special guests for Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience 2021

          From throwing out the first pitch during a Boston Red Sox game at the iconic Fenway Park and Grammy Award-winning band Weezer rocking the night away at the San Francisco Armory to Neon Trees and Fitz & the Tantrums giving attendees a night to remember at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Red Hat Summit has shown we can bring the excitement and the entertainment to the agenda. In the age of social-distancing however, we can’t bring everyone together for a concert, but we can still show you a good time. This year, at Red Hat Summit 2021, we are going to be joined by several special guests – Ben Folds and Mick Ebeling! These sessions will be hosted by Red Hat solutions architect, Angela Andrews.

        • Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server has maintained the same starting price over the past few years. Now, changes to the way the software is licensed have doubled the cost for some self-support customers using virtual machines.

          The change dates back to 2019, when Red Hat said its Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Self-support (RH0197181) was in the process of being retired and has been superseded by Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server Entry Level, Self-support (RH00005). According to a Red Hat spokesperson, RH00005 debuted in 2013 and RH0197181 stopped being sold in 2015.

          Both of these RHEL SKUs sell, or were sold, for $349 in the US. But only the discontinued product allows the use of virtualization at the lowest price tier.

          Now customers who opted for the discontinued entry-level offering have found they need to pay more than twice as much ($799 for the standard tier) to run a guest VM on a physical system.

          What’s more, Red Hat in its subscription guide declares that its self-supported option “is not intended for production environments,” making it clear that self-supported commercial usage with VM support requires greater investment that before.

      • Debian Family

        • Whonix vs Tails Linux- Difference between the two Incongito Systems

          Well, there is no huge difference between Whonix and Tails Linux systems as both are Debian-based and designed to maintain the privacy, security, and anonymity of the person who uses them. However, there are some features offer by the developers of these secure Linux systems that make them different, and here we know what are those?

          Security is the great concern of people who are in testing, ethical hacking, surfing the Dark web, or just one who worry about its privacy while going online. In such scenarios, Tails, Whonix, and other similar Linux systems will be great options to maintain security and anonymization. Let’s go through the different aspects of these two Linux operating systems to know what makes them different from each other.

          As both the Whonix and Tails are based on Debian thus, in terms of the base code, they won’t be any different. The difference will be in the number of tools, how hardened the OS, portability, and more… For reference see the below table.

        • Yet Another Me – A debuginfod service for Debian

          This last Tuesday, February 23, 2021, I made an announcement at debian-devel-announce about a new service that I configured for Debian: a debuginfod server.

          This post serves two purposed: pay the promise I made to Jonathan Carter that I would write a blog post about the service, and go into a bit more detail about it.


          You can find more information about our debuginfod service here. Try to keep an eye on the page as it’s being constantly updated.

          If you’d like to get in touch with me, my email is my domain at debian dot org.

          I sincerely believe that this service is a step in the right direction, and hope that it can be useful to you :-).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Tantek Çelik: One Year Since The #IndieWeb Homebrew Website Club Met In Person And Other Last Times

            March 2021 is the second March in a row where so many of us are still in countries & cities doing our best to avoid getting sick (or worse), slow the spread, and otherwise living very different lives than we did in the before times. Every day here forward will be an anniversary of sorts for an unprecedented event, experience, change, or loss. Or the last time we did something. Rather than ignore them, it’s worth remembering what we had, what we used to do, both appreciating what we have lost (allowing ourselves to mourn), and considering potential upsides of adaptations we have made.

            A year ago yesterday (2020-03-04) we hosted the last in-person Homebrew Website Club meetups in Nottingham (by Jamie Tanna in a café) and San Francisco (by me at Mozilla).

            Normally I go into the office on Wednesdays but I had worked from home that morning. I took the bus (#5736) inbound to work in the afternoon, the last time I rode a bus. I setup a laptop on the podium in the main community room to show demos on the displays as usual.

          • Firefox B!tch to Boss extension takes the sting out of hostile comments directed at women online

            A great swathe of the internet is positive, a place where people come together to collaborate on ideas, discuss news and share moments of levity and sorrow, too. But there’s also a dark side, where comments, threads and DMs are peppered with ugly, hostile language designed to intimidate and harass. Women online, especially women who are outspoken in any field — journalism, tech, government, science, and so on — know this all too well.

            What’s the solution? People being less terrible, obviously. Until we reach that stage of human maturity, the B!tch to Boss extension for Firefox can help by replacing words like “bitch”, often used in derogatory comments and messages directed at women, with the word “boss”.

      • FSF

        • Let’s get excited: The LibrePlanet 2021 schedule is here!

          Can you believe we’re only three weeks away from another inspiring and exciting edition of LibrePlanet? On March 20th and 21st, 2021, free software supporters from all over the world will log in to share knowledge and experiences, and to socialize with others within the free software community.

          We’ve been overwhelmed with support for the upcoming online edition of the conference, first with a record number of speaker submissions, and now with a flood of registrations. Even if attendance is gratis, it’s important that you register in advance, in order to help us prepare for the number of guests we’ll be welcoming.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • EU Open Data Days

            Participate in the first edition of the EU Open Data Days 2021 from 23-25 November 2021.

      • Programming/Development

        • Create a Cross-Platform Twitter Clone with Vue.js

          A fun way to learn new programming skills is to create a clone of a popular app. We’ve released a course that will teach you how to create a Twitter clone using Vue.js, the Quasar framework, and Firebase.

          Danny Connell, from the Make Apps With Danny channel, created this course. You will learn how to create a beautiful, responsive, cross-platform Twitter app from scratch and get it running and working on 5 different platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Web Browser.

  • Leftovers

    • Suzanne Vallie – Ocean Cliff Drive
    • Science

      • ‘Space hurricane’ that rained electrons observed for the first time

        Scientists from China, the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom found the space hurricane while combing through satellite observations from August 2014. As satellites orbited around the planet and passed over the North Pole, they caught glimpses of a massive disturbance in the upper atmosphere.

        The spiral-armed space hurricane swirled roughly 125 miles over the North Pole, churning in place for almost eight hours, Lyons said.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • New York Congressmember Mondaire Jones: Israel Should Ensure Palestinians Have Access to COVID Vaccine

        Israel has failed to make COVID-19 vaccines available to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, despite its responsibility under the Geneva Conventions. Critics in the United States say this “vaccine apartheid” is another example of Israeli human rights abuses going unpunished, even as the country receives billions in U.S. aid each year. Congressmember Mondaire Jones of New York says Israel must ensure that Palestinians are vaccinated. “There’s no question about that,” he says. “I don’t think that anyone can argue otherwise in good conscience.”

      • Harmful messages from authority about the J&J COVID-19 vaccine

        There was some good news about a week ago about COVID-19 vaccines when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA. So now we have three effective vaccines from three different companies against COVID-19. The news got better two days ago, when news stories reported that Merck will team up with J&J to manufacture the new COVID-19 vaccine. I say this is all good news, because anything that makes available a larger supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a good thing and important for helping to end the pandemic.

      • U.S. Agricultural System’s Deadly Apartheid

        Some of the infections are to shed and meat packing workers who work inside in crowded and unsafe conditions in the best of times.  But many of these workers work outside.  So their infections likely don’t come in the course of work but in the places where they live and during the ride to and from work, especially if they ride in labor contractor buses and so on.

        Agricultural workers often live in poor and overcrowded housing, and lack access to proper hygiene and medical care.  These are part of the picture. And it needs to be said that not only are workers trapped in these conditions but their ability to protest and change them are limited by the deprivation of basic human and civil rights.

      • Covid at 1 Year and Counting: The American Book of the Dead

        Beware the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Evolution is playing nasty riffs on the coronavirus, and falling infection rates could be reversed if the more transmissible and virulent British and South African variants become fully naturalized—or if a dangerous California strain, awkwardly known as B.1.427/B.1.429, spreads to the rest of the country. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington recently warned that the national Covid death toll could rise as high as 654,000 by May Day.

      • COVID Deaths Soar in Brazil as Bolsonaro Blasts Lockdowns
      • COVID Deaths Soar in Brazil as Bolsonaro Blasts Lockdowns. Experts Warn It Will “Get Worse.”

        Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll has now topped nearly 260,000, the world’s second worst after the United States, as hospitals are overwhelmed with new cases. International concern is also growing about the P1 variant of the virus, which overwhelmed the Amazonian city of Manaus and caused its hospitals to run out of oxygen. Less than 4% of Brazil’s population has been vaccinated. Marcia Castro, demography professor at Harvard University, says the crisis in Brazil is due to “a combination of inaction and also wrongdoing” by officials, including President Jair Bolsonaro, who has opposed lockdowns, masks and other public health measures. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” warns Castro.

      • Mumia Abu-Jamal Tests Positive for COVID, Prompting Urgent Call to Release Elder Political Prisoners

        Renowned political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal’s lawyers confirmed Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and also has congestive heart disease. Abu-Jamal also suffers from the preexisting conditions of liver disease, which advocates say is directly related to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ failure to treat his hepatitis C in a timely fashion. Mumia’s doctor, Dr. Ricardo Alvarez, says the only appropriate treatment is freedom. Marc Lamont Hill, who co-authored a book with Abu-Jamal titled “The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America,” says this is an opportunity to exercise COVID compassion. “The only possible solution, the only fair solution, is to let Mumia out of prison,” says Lamont Hill. “Not just Mumia, but all political prisoners, all people over 50.”

      • The Pandemic Has Laid Bare the Cruel Burdens Placed on Single Mothers

        In 2002, when my first son was about 6 months old, he, his father and I went to visit some of my extended family. At one point I sat with my young cousin, who was about 7 years old, and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.

      • Reckless Governors Are Lobbing a Hand Grenade Into Biden’s COVID Plan
      • 25 Years of GMOs, and Some New Insights from Argentina

        Twenty-five years later, genetically engineered crop varieties are grown on roughly 190 million hectares worldwide – a relatively constant figure since the early to mid-2010s – and the profile of what is being grown and where does not differ very much from the late 1990s. Half the global GMO acreage is in soybeans, with soybeans, corn, cotton and canola representing 99 percent of all genetically engineered crops. Forty percent of all GMO acreage is in the US and 95 percent of the acreage is in just seven countries. Eighty-five percent of GMO crops are engineered to withstand high doses of chemical weed-killers – most often Monsanto/Bayer’s “Roundup” family of herbicides – and more than 40 percent produce a bacterial pesticide aimed to attack various “pest” species, but with long-documented harms for a host of beneficial insects. (The total exceeds 100 percent due to varieties that contain multiple, or “stacked,” engineered traits.)

        As many readers know, this technology has failed to demonstrate any consistent advantages for crop yields or food quality, but has helped drive an unprecedented consolidation of corporate power in the global seed and agrochemical sectors. Following a mid-2010s cycle of mergers – which greatly compounded the impact of the original late-nineties wave of GMO-driven mergers and acquisitions – three global agribusiness empires came to control 70 percent of agrochemical production and more than 60 percent of the commercial seed market. The recently merged entities are Bayer-Monsanto, ChemChina-Syngenta and Corteva, a company formed from the merger of Dow and DuPont’s agribusiness divisions. Four giant grain-trading and processing companies (ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfuss) now control 90 percent of crop export markets worldwide.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • White House calls Microsoft email breach an ‘active threat’

          Cybersecurity group FireEye said in blog post late Thursday night that [attackers] had been in at least one client’s system since January, and that they had gone after “US-based retailers, local governments, a university, and an engineering firm,” along with a Southeast Asian government and a Central Asian telecom group.

        • We can’t teach in a technological dystopia

          I want to argue here that universities are fostering abusive technologies that replace empowerment with enforcement. There are worries, and much evidence, that we are already giving away too much control to Big Tech companies, which not only have vast appetites for our data, but also harbour ambitions to usurp the role of universities. Google offers courses with certificates it considers equivalent to three-year bachelor’s degrees to people it is hiring, for instance. And US universities such as Duke partner with Google Cloud to deliver large parts of their curriculum as outsourced digital education.

          The problem is not that these services are poor substitutes for in-person education. On the contrary, they are very good at providing a narrow range of outcomes: namely, consistent, efficient training and testing. But that is not the same thing as education.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • FBI Director Uses January 6 Insurrection To, Once Again, Ask For Encryption Backdoors

              FBI Director Chris Wray needs to shut the fuck up about encryption.

            • Reddit Takes Step Toward Eventual IPO, Naming Vollero First CFO

              Vollero led Snap Inc.’s IPO preparations when he served as CFO at the social media company from 2015 to 2018. He has also lead finances for Mattel Inc. and most recently at security and facilities services firm Allied Universal Corp. At Reddit, Vollero will expand the finance team as the company grows and looks toward an IPO.

            • Please do not give billionaire Jack Dorsey money for his tweet

              Jack Dorsey, the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Twitter, a man who stans bitcoin right on his Twitter bio, is attempting to sell his very first tweet as an NFT — a digital good that lives on the Ethereum blockchain.

            • How The Third Party Cookie Crumbles: Tracking And Privacy Online Get A Rethink

              Google made some news Wednesday by noting that once it stops using 3rd party cookies to track people, it isn’t planning to replace such tracking with some other (perhaps more devious) method. This news is being met cynically (not surprisingly), with people suggesting that Google has plenty of 1st party data, and really just doesn’t need 3rd party cookie data any more. Or, alternatively, some are noting (perhaps accurately) that since Google has a ton of 1st party data — more than just about anyone else — this could actually serve to lock in Google’s position and diminish the alternatives from smaller advertising firms who rely on 3rd party cookies to bootstrap enough information to better target ads. Both claims might be accurate. Indeed, in the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the UK has already been investigating Google’s plans to drop 3rd party cookies on the grounds that it’s anti-competitive. This is at the same time that others have argued that 3rd party cookies may also violate some privacy laws.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Doctors’ Alliance trade union got donations from eight foreign countries, says Russia’s Justice Ministry

        Two days after designating the Doctors’ Alliance as a “foreign agent,” Russia’s Justice Ministry released information claiming that the organization received money from nationals in Singapore, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Norway, Belarus, and Ukraine. Federal officials also accused the trade union of political activity (Russia’s “foreign agent” designation applies to foreign-funded groups involved in politics) in the form of organizing rallies, mobilizing voters, recruiting minors, and trying to influence public political opinions.

      • Full-Spectrum Extinction

        Well, which malicious “adversary” is it? Will the Putinoids shortly sink the next American vessel to transit the Black or Barents Seas? Are the ever more malevolent Chinese aiming their new supersonic missile ship killers at the next U.S. carrier to transit the straits of Taiwan?

        The Pentagon’s push for “full spectrum dominance” was extolled in the 1990s and it has proceeded full speed. Peace President Obama , having won the Nobel prize before doing anything peaceable, soon asserted his “pivot to the east” in fear of growing Chinese economic and military power. He also initiated the $1 trillion nuclear expansion program, stage managed the bombing and destruction of Libya, and armed the Saudi war in Yemen. Trump may have come close to nuclear war with North Korea but that issue is still on the burner. Not long ago the Pentagon called for a $100 billion development of missiles better able to carry and target nuclear weapons. Last week the U.S. Airforce dispatched B-1 Bombers to Norway that now overfly the Russian base in the Baltic and earlier deployed combat Marine units there as well. Recall that American armed forces are now stationed along Russia’s very borders and the NATO Alliance has essentially encircled Russia and now keens that it must urgently confront the Chinese peril.

      • Tulsi Gabbard calls out the US dirty war on Syria that Biden, aides admit to
      • Marc Lamont Hill & Mitchell Plitnick on ICC Probe & the “Palestine Exception” in Progressive Politics

        Israel and the United States blasted the International Criminal Court’s decision to open a probe into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories, as well as crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the Biden administration “firmly opposes” an investigation. Mitchell Plitnick and Marc Lamont Hill, co-authors of “Except for Palestine,” say it’s an illustration of the “Palestine exception” that makes even supposedly progressive people unwilling to criticize Israel’s human rights abuses and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories. “We are attempting to show that the American left — those who identify as progressive, radical, liberal, what have you — have not held up the bargain in terms of matching their own ideals and values on this question of Israel and Palestine,” says Hill.

      • Vaccine Apartheid: Marc Lamont Hill, Mitchell Plitnick on Israel’s “Indifference to Palestinian Health”

        Israel has had the fastest vaccination rollout in the entire world, with 40% of Israelis already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have received almost no doses — a situation critics call “vaccine apartheid.” By one count, just 34,000 vaccine doses have been administered to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, which has a population of over 4.5 million. “What we’re seeing right now is a gross injustice,” says Marc Lamont Hill, author and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University. We also speak with Mitchell Plitnick, political analyst and president of ReThinking Foreign Policy, who rejects Israel’s claim that the Oslo Accords put public health responsibility on the Palestinian Authority. “The Oslo Accords don’t say that,” Plitnick says.

      • Opinion | Rewarding Failure: Why Pentagon Weapons Programs Rarely Get Canceled Despite Major Problems

        As scores of billions of dollars are thrown away on failed weapons systems, America’s roads, bridges, and other forms of infrastructure continue to crumble. 

      • CIA To FOIA Requester: Assassination Attempts Are Illegal So Of Course We Don’t Have Any Records About Our Illegal Assassination Attempts

        The CIA has delivered a rather curious response to a records requester. J.M. Porup sent a FOIA request to the agency asking it for documents about its rather well-documented assassination attempts and received a very curious non-answer from the US’s foremost spooks.

      • ‘They watch television and drink tea’: Here’s what Navalny’s lawyer told us about the detention center where he’s imprisoned

        On February 25, opposition politician Alexey Navalny was transferred from Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison. No official statements were made about his whereabouts, but several media outlets immediately reported that Navalny had been moved to Penal Colony No. 2 in the city of Pokrov, Vladimir Region. A week later, on March 3, Navalny’s lawyers finally managed to locate him: at Pre-Trial Detention Center No. 3 (SIZO-3) in Kolchugino, another town in the Vladimir Region northeast of Moscow. In his own words, Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev tells Meduza about the search for Navalny and the conditions the opposition figure is being held in now.

      • ‘No One Is Above the Law’: Rashida Tlaib Rips Biden Admin’s Opposition to ICC War Crimes Probe of Israel

        The Michigan congresswoman said the ICC “has the authority and duty to independently and impartially investigate and deliver justice to victims of human rights violations and war crimes in Palestine.”

      • Opinion | Why Biden Is Dead Wrong on the ICC and Occupied Palestine

        Since Palestine as a permanent UN observer state is a member of the ICC and invited the court into its territory, the International Criminal Court has every right to investigate violations of the Rome Statute that took place in those territories.

      • Prüm Framework: EU Presidency wants a European Weapons Register

        In a decentralised system, the police forces of the EU member states network DNA files, fingerprints, vehicle data and soon also facial images. The automated retrieval of data in criminal investigations is now to be extended to firearms. However, a feasibility study had rejected this idea.

      • Purging Inconvenient Facts in Coverage of Biden’s ‘First’ Air Attacks

        When the Biden administration bombed Syria on February 25, the attack killed “at least 22,” most of them members of Iraqi militias, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring organization opposed to the Syrian government. The US said the bombing was retaliation for three rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq that it claims were carried out by groups allied with Iran (NBC, 2/25/21). In one of the attacks, rockets fired at Erbil airport killed a military contractor and an Iraqi civilian.

      • We Need an International Treaty to Ban Weaponized Drones
      • Opinion | The US War Machine Doesn’t Want Us to Take War Personally

        The God of War is our ruler, and the job of the guy we elect as president is to slather our every act of war in sophisticated justification, a.k.a., public relations.

      • Analysis Finds Jan. 6 Insurrectionist Mob Was ‘Hodgepodge’ of Unaffiliated Right-Wing Extremists

        “Inspired by a range of extremist narratives, conspiracy theories, and personal motivations, individual believers made up a significant portion of the crowd at the Capitol.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Dissenter Weekly: Report Shows How Whistleblower Protection Laws Often Fail Whistleblowers—Globally

        In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights an important report from the Government Accountability Project and the International Bar Association on the state of whistleblower protection laws in 37 countries.

        Kevin also covers two Congolese whistleblowers who revealed their identities at great risk to themselves. They disclosed information related to a money laundering network in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is tied to the exploitation of resources and minerals.During the final part of the show, he discusses a report on the raw or undercooked food members of the National Guard are being fed while deployed at the Capitol Hill building.

      • QAnon supporters unfazed after another false prediction

        On forums and in chats Friday morning, some QAnon followers quickly began claiming that March 20 was the actual date that Biden would be arrested while others applauded the community for not falling for the March 4 false flag.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • GOP Goes All In to Obstruct Relief Bill Nine Days Before Jobless Benefits Expire
      • Opinion | The Richest Country in the World Should Guarantee Universal Paid Sick and Family Leave

        For workers like my mom, the financial strain caused by a lack of paid leave can be just as stressful as catching COVID-19.

      • Rev. William Barber to Democrats: “Stick Together” and Pass the $15 Minimum Wage
      • What the Ecuadoran Elections Mean for the U.S.

        On February 7, leftist economist, Andres Arauz, 36, received nearly 33 percent of the Ecuadorian vote. He needed 40 percent to win outright, so he will advance to a runoff on April 11. The other two candidates, one a right-winger and the other, Yaku Perez, an indigenous eco-socialist, didn’t come close – each scored nearly 19 percent of the vote. The fact that the two left parties together add up to 52 percent of the vote, speaks volumes about where Ecuador is heading politically. Unfortunately, as often happens on the left, the rift between these two assemblages is bitter. And classic. It literally divides between a readily recognizable if traditional left-wing group focused on social gains and one whose peasant base is particularly incensed about mining and environmental destruction.

        Arauz formerly served as director of the central bank and later as a minister in the government of leftist firebrand and erstwhile president Rafael Correa. That’s the traditional left-wing camp. “Arauz has pledged to end austerity measures imposed by Ecuador’s outgoing right-wing President Lenin Moreno,” according to Democracy Now! “and is close to former President Rafael Correa, who led the country from 2007 to 2017 and has been credited with lifting over a million Ecuadorians out of poverty.” In the February 7 election, other leftist parties made gains, though Arauz’s clearly had the most wins. His closeness to Correa no doubt gave Ecuadorians hope: under Correa, the country’s “minimum wage doubled, poverty plunged, education and health care spending soared, and GDP growth exceeded regional averages,” according to Bhaskar Sunkara’s recent interview with Arauz for Jacobin.

      • Small Acts

        While we don’t know what the final bill will look like, at least now we can get an idea of what is in it. Overall, as expected, the provisions in the bill will help to provide some financial assistance to some people, but they won’t solve the crises we face. And the Biden administration is backtracking on promises made on the campaign trail.

        As Alan Macleod writes, Biden has abandoned raising the minimum wage, ending student debt and the promised $2,000 checks. His focus is on forcing people back to work and school even as new, more infectious and more lethal variants of the virus causing COVID-19 threaten another surge in cases and deaths. There is only one promise Biden appears to be keeping, and that is one he made to wealthy donors at the start of his campaign when he said, “nothing would fundamentally change.”

      • Essential Workers Deserve $15 an Hour

        And we’re struggling so hard to make ends meet.

        Congress is debating whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Experts say this would raise wages for 32 million workers like me.

      • ‘Shameful’: Millionaire Senators Vote Against Popular Minimum Wage Raise That Would Lift Millions Out of Poverty

        “It is despicable and unacceptable that there is not unanimous support among Democrats in Congress for a $15 minimum wage,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

      • Opinion | Essential Workers Deserve $15 an Hour

        We care for your parents, children, and homes. We should make enough to care for our own, too.

      • Here Are the 8 Democrats Who Just Joined GOP to Vote Down Sanders’ $15 Minimum Wage Amendment

        “Every single Dem who voted against a $15 minimum wage should be primaried.”

      • Michelle Holder on Black Women & Minimum Wage, Alice O’Connor on the War on Poverty
      • Snatching Conceit From the Jaws of Victory

        We are also right and good to pretend that false promises of $2000 “will go out the door” if people emerge in a pandemic to turn their red state blue. Wasn’t this supposed to happen right away? Is it really good practice to be shady with people’s money when so many are broke? I don’t think anyone enjoys small print legalese behavior,and will probably file that incident away in their mind as “wow, I’m so glad these smarmy, arrogant bastards asked me to do something for them and they are not producing what they said they would in return. I will definitely turn out again to do them a favor next time they ask.” Even if the Dems get the reduced $1400 out presumably sometime before the next germ out there in some unspoiled wilderness gets released via condo construction—well, they will have still squandered all the good will for largely no decent reason other than a cruel adherence to neo-liberal austerity group-think and a sexually based penchant for Lucy and the football based scenarios.

        Then there are those who are following geopolitical events in between their anxiety attacks–they will say “I”m also impressed that rules have been bent to bomb people I don’t know in Syria, but I see that rules can’t be broken to help me be able to afford even 75% of an average rental in my state via minimum wage increase—but at least I have the knowledge that someone has been bombed.” So there’s that.

      • Rev. William Barber to Democrats: Overrule the Senate Parliamentarian & Pass the $15 Minimum Wage

        The Senate has voted to open debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The legislation has widespread support from voters, with one new poll showing 77% of Americans support the bill, including nearly 60% of Republicans. But the Senate bill has some key differences from the package approved by the House, including a reduction in the number of people eligible for direct stimulus checks and no provision to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. However, the Fight for 15 continues, with the Senate considering an amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour over a five-year period. Reverend Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach, notes that 140 million people in the U.S. were already living in poverty before this pandemic, and he urges Democrats to “stick together” and push through the minimum wage hike.

      • Unemployment Drops to 6.2 Percent — But Long-Term Unemployment Continues Soaring
      • ‘Stop Nickel and Diming the American People’: Anger Grows as Senate Democrats Move to Deny Relief Checks to 17 Million

        “While you’re quibbling over who you want to exclude, people are suffering. SEND THE CHECKS.”

      • The Pandemic’s Existential Threat to Black-Owned Businesses

        Of all the products made at Danette Wilder’s small manufacturing plant near the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the products she depended on most for sales were the O-rings cranked out by her vintage presses.

        Each month, Wilder’s crew of six people, working at long tables as they listened to a soundtrack of funk and R&B, made thousands of the rubber loops, cut from spools into precise strips and spliced into uniform perfect circles.

      • AOC Slams Biden Administration Over Lowering COVID Stimulus Income Thresholds
      • Opinion | Will 2021 Be Public Banking’s Watershed Moment?

        For local governments, public banks offer a path to escape monopoly control by giant private financial institutions over public policies.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Former Impeachment Manager Sues Trump Over January 6 Capitol Breach
      • The Long History of America ‘Uncanceled’

        The conference was light on policy and heavy on grievance. One New York Times reporter said it was a clear sign that “Trumpism is replacing conservatism” in the GOP. But in a lot of ways the “uncanceled” theme fit right in with currents that have defined the movement for decades.

        Conservatives like to advocate for “individual freedom,” but they don’t mean it in the way you might think.

      • Arabs Warn Biden: We Do Not Want Another Obama

        Prominent Arab political analysts and commentators are dumbfounded that the Biden administration has chosen to appease Iran and Islamists instead of working with Washington’s traditional and long-time allies in the Arab world.

        In a series of articles published after the release of the US intelligence report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, many Arab analysts and columnists have warned that the Biden administration was harming US interests in the Middle East.

        Some said they saw the decision to release the report as a kind of sequel to the Obama administration’s failed policy of meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

      • John McAfee indicted by US officials for alleged cryptocurrency scheme

        Charges against the men were unsealed in a Manhattan federal court on Friday. Both are alleged to have used McAfee’s Twitter account to spread information on cryptocurrency investments to hundreds of thousands of followers and profit from the effort.

        The cryptocurrencies the defendants are alleged to have promoted were bought up by McAfee, Watson and other members of their team ahead of time. McAfee then advertised the cryptocurrencies on social media as good investments without disclosing that he had bought large quantities, inflating their market prices.

      • How Bruce Springsteen – and the left – can reclaim and cultivate a vocabulary of patriotism

        Beyond the ignorance of the Trump insurrectionists, it is essential for the left to evaluate how the far right monopolized patriotism and the hallmarks of Americana without much difficulty. The left has always demonstrated a healthy aversion to displays of national pride. Understanding the manipulative power of the flag, and that maudlin tributes to “God and country” typically shadow the ongoing injustices that take place under their invocation, progressives have largely neglected to offer a counterargument to operationally anti-American pundits and politicians who personify the words of Jewish activist and journalist James Wise, often misattributed to Sinclar Lewis: “If fascism comes to America . . . it will probably be wrapped up in the American flag and heralded as a plea for liberty.”

      • Skeletons in the Neoliberal Cupboard

        And neoliberalism also has many other skeletons lurking in a cupboard. Largely, this is not what the prophets of neoliberalism want you to know. Well, it is bit of a Rumsfeld moment. There are many things we know about neoliberalism that they think we don’t know. But there are things we do not know about neoliberalism. Finally, there are things the fortune-tellers of neoliberalism do not want us to know.

        Now we will expose some of these secrets, the things the demagogues of neoliberalism do not want us to know.

      • Georgia Bill Would Criminalize Giving Water to Voters Waiting in Long Lines
      • Biden’s Foreign Policy: No Joy in Mudville

        For four years, that was the excuse I got from anti-war Donald Trump supporters every time he escalated one of the several wars he inherited from George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

        I expect to start hearing it from anti-war Joseph Biden supporters soon.

      • Right-Wing Supreme Court Justices May Weaken Key Provision of Voting Rights Act
      • Biden, Team D and the Dimming Prospects of Getting Anything Meaningful Through the Senate

        1. A nominal 50-50 split,

        2. Joe Manchin and Kysten Sinema enjoying the power that having a line-item veto provides,

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russian catering mogul Evgeny Prigozhin wins another defamation lawsuit against Alexey Navalny, along with almost $7,000

        Alexey Navalny is locked away for the next two and a half years, but catering mogul Evgeny Prigozhin’s litigation against the opposition politician drags on. A court in Moscow has granted another of Prigozhin’s defamation claims, at least in part, awarding the businessman 500,000 rubles ($6,710).

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Bumble Shuts Down Sharon Stone’s Account, Not Believing It’s Really Her (2019)

        Summary: Almost any platform that allows users to create accounts eventually has to deal with questions of identity and impersonation. Many platforms set up systems like “verified” or “trusted” users for certain recognizable accounts. Others focus on real name policies, or trying to verify all users. But services often discover challenges that come with celebrity users and verification.

      • Opinion | Ma Bell with Mind Control: Liberalism, Radicalism, and the Evolving Face of Censorship
      • Two Christians Sentenced to Prison and Heavy Fine in Algeria

        “Continuing our fight, we asked the administrative court to intervene,” Pastor Seighir said. “Here too we were successful, and the judgment arrived on October 13, 2019 ordering the removal of the seals and the reopening of the bookstore, with financial compensation of 500,000 dinars [US$3,745]. Unfortunately, the wali did not comply with the order of justice, and the bookstore remained closed. Four years of closure.”

      • A Cardinal Sin

        Free speech matters more to me, I suspect, than to a scholar of French fiction. It might even be said that my family came to Stanford in 2016 as free-speech refugees. My wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s public criticisms of her former religion are regarded by Islamists as blasphemy, punishable by death. Her name appeared on an Al Qaeda list of 11 targets which included the editor of Charlie Hebdo. Following the massacre in Paris that claimed his life in 2015, we were advised to relocate from Harvard because of the ease with which we could be tracked down. After 12 years of teaching some of the history department’s most popular courses, I was reluctant to leave—all the more so when I was informed that the Stanford history department had no interest in offering me even a courtesy appointment, much less a joint one. But we had to move, and Hoover’s offer was in many other ways attractive.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Detroit Will Use $200,000 in Taxpayer Money to Fund Claim Against BLM Group
      • The House Passed a Bill Named for George Floyd. It Won’t Stop Police Killings.
      • Cornel West: The Whiteness of Harvard and Wall Street Is “Jim Crow, New Style”
      • Israel: Orthodox Parties Shaken by Court Ruling on Law of Return

        In a groundbreaking eight-to-one decision, the Israeli Supreme Court recently ruled that the Law of Return, which grants citizenship to any Jewish person who comes to Israel, applies to anyone who converted to Judaism while in Israel through a non-orthodox conversion. This ruling has created a great deal of political turmoil and anger among Zionist-religious parties and the State chief rabbinate.

      • Ruling on Murder Case by Judge Suffering From Dementia Will Stand, Court Says

        A New York judge has rejected the claim of a Brooklyn man who said his bid to have his murder conviction overturned was mishandled by a judge later found to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

        Judge Raymond Rodriguez of State Supreme Court said he found no evidence that his former colleague’s illness had affected her decision to deny the man’s motion to have his 1999 murder conviction vacated.

      • Court says you can sue TSA agents who don’t let you film them

        Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that TSA checkpoint staff can be sued (and, potentially, held personally liable for damages) for stopping a traveler from recording video with his cellphone of them searching (“patting down”) his wife, and ordering him to delete the video.

        The initial decision in the case of Dyer v. Smith is likely to be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. But Judge Gibney’s ruling is an important step toward holding the TSA accountable to the 1st Amendment (freedom of speech and of the press) and 4th Amendment (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure) to the US Constitution.

        In particular, Judge Gibney not only (1) recognized that members of the public have a Constitutional right to film at TSA checkpoints, and not to have their recordings seized, but also (2) rejected the claim that this right was not “clearly established” and thus that TSA checkpoint staff should have “qualified immunity” from lawsuits, and (3) allowed the lawsuit against the TSA to go forward, under the so-called “Bivens doctrine” already recognized by courts in other contexts, even though there is no specific law (other than the Constitution itself, which ought to suffice) providing for lawsuits against TSA staff who violate travelers’ Constitutional rights.

      • Egypt – Another Terrifying Case of Anti-Christian Persecution

        Even today, though, most human beings on the Earth haven’t the luxury of fabricating such ideologically-useful fantasies as “micro-aggressions” and the like over which to be aggrieved. They can’t afford to deny the self-evident tenuousness of the social order in which they find themselves and the ubiquity of the inhumanity with which all too many people treat others. The pseudo-sophistication that permits affluent Westerners to dismiss Good and Evil as the imaginary preoccupations of the superstitious and uneducated most of the rest of the planet, if they thought about it at all, would recognize as both demonstrably stupid and a fast track to certain death.

      • Federal Legislators Take Another Run At Ending Qualified Immunity

        Last summer as protests raged around the nation in response to the killing of an unarmed black man by a white Minnesota police officer, federal legislators offered up a solution to one of the hot garbage problems of our time. A federal police reform bill contained a number of fixes to policing in America, including one crucial element that would make it far easier for citizens to pursue lawsuits over rights violations: the termination of the qualified immunity defense.

      • Arkansas Lawmakers Pass Near-Total Abortion Ban in Bid to Force SCOTUS Review
      • What the Horrific Crash on the Border Says About U.S. Immigration Policy

        The cause of the collision between an SUV and a semitruck that left 13 dead in Holtville, California, on Tuesday morning is still a horrific mystery. But federal investigators are exploring a likely explanation for why the overloaded car sped through an intersection in the rural area: a case of human smuggling turned deadly.

        Surveillance footage shows the 1997 Ford Expedition and another SUV loaded with people entering the U.S. through a breach in the border fence shortly before the crash. Ten victims were Mexican nationals; the other three were women from Guatemala. While consular officers keep working to confirm victims’ names, special agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement began piecing together how 25 adults came to be crammed into a vehicle meant for no more than eight.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why You Can’t Sue Your Broadband Monopoly

        The relationship between the federal judiciary and the executive agencies is a complex one. While Congress makes the laws, they can grant the agencies rulemaking authority to interpret the law. So long as the agency’s interpretation of any ambiguous language in the statute is reasonable, the courts will defer to the judgment of the agency.

        For broadband access, the courts have deferred to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) judgment on the proper classification of broadband services twice in the last several years. In 2015, the Court deferred to the FCC when it classified broadband as Title II in the Open Internet Order. In 2017, it deferred again when broadband internet was reclassified as Title I in the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. A Title II service is subject to strict FCC oversight, rules, and regulations, but a Title I service is not.

        Classification of services isn’t the only place where the courts defer to the FCC’s authority. Two Supreme Court decisions – Verizon Communications, Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC v. Billing – have established the precedent that if an industry is overseen by an expert regulatory agency (such as broadband being overseen by the FCC) then the courts will defer to the agency’s judgment on competition policy because the agency has the particular and specific knowledge to make the best determination.

      • Tim Wu, the ‘father of net neutrality,’ is joining the Biden administration

        Wu is a prominent voice online, as one of the most well-known advocates for a free and open internet. He’s spent years arguing for the concept of net neutrality — the idea that the internet should be free of throttling or control from the government or companies that provide it.

        He’s also been a prominent voice in recent years on the subject of antitrust regulation against big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, arguing that these companies have gotten too large and lack competition.

      • Biden appoints tech critic to competition policy role

        A notable critic of the biggest tech companies, Columbia University Law School professor Tim Wu, is joining the Biden administration in a role focused on addressing the market power of the tech giants.

        The White House on Friday announced Wu’s appointment as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy.

      • AT&T Spins Off DirecTV After Losing Billions On Its TV Dreams

        We’ve noted a few times how giant telecom providers, as companies that have spent the better part of the last century as government-pampered monopolies, are adorable when they try (then inevitably fail) to innovate or seriously compete in more normal markets. Verizon’s attempt to pivot from curmudgeonly old phone company to sexy new ad media darling, for example, has been a cavalcade of clumsy errors, missteps, and wasted money.

      • Electricity vs. Broadband: Does History Repeat Itself?

        One can see something similar with regard to the introduction of revolutionary technologies like electricity and broadband.

        Today, Americans take household electric for granted, but this was not always the case. Millions of U.S. households have access to electricity to power water heating, lighting, refrigeration, TV, telephone and other products. And yet, according to one estimate, about 15,000 families — 60,000 people – are not connected to the electric grid; many are located on Native American reservations. (In addition, about 18,000 families don’t have running water in their house.)

    • Monopolies

      • Could One of Your Facebook Friends Be the Next Qanon Shaman?

        “In the past you had to seek it out,” Phillips explains. “Now, it comes to you. Algorithms often know things about us that we might not know ourselves.” This feedback loop massively accelerates the ferment of a conspiratorial mindset. Computer scientist Tristan Harris, formerly of YouTube’s parent company Google, told The New York Times that the promotion of “extreme” content could be, to some extent, by design. “If I’m YouTube and I want you to watch more,” he said, “I’m always going to steer you toward Crazytown.” Beliefs that might have previously calcified through a much longer process—a lifetime of evenings spent tuning to conspiracy theory radio or perusing titles in the shadier corners of specialty bookstores—now take hold seemingly overnight.

      • Copyrights

        • Should CC-Licensed Content be Used to Train AI? It Depends.

          CC is dedicated to facilitating greater openness for the common good. We believe that the use of openly accessible content can lead to greater innovation, collaboration, and creativity. We also believe that the limitations within copyright law, which generally privilege the reuse of the facts and ideas embodied in creative works, contribute to a rich and generative public domain. CC thus supports, in principle, broad access and use of copyright works, including openly licensed content, to train AI in the public interest. Such access can, for instance, help reduce bias, enhance inclusion, promote important activities such as education and research, and foster beneficial innovation in the development of AI.

        • EA College Sports Is Back, But Some Schools Are Opting Out Until Name, Image, Likeness Rules Are Created To Compensate Athletes

          Way back in 2013, a class action lawsuit started by ex-UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon resulted ultimately in the NCAA found to have violated antitrust laws. The antitrust bit comes from a waiver the NCAA forces student athletes to sign that removes their ability to be compensated for their names, images, or likeness (NIL). While this restriction has been in place at the NCAA for eons, this case came about due to O’Bannon discovering that he was represented in EA Sports’ NCAA Basketball game in a “classic” team loaded into the game.

        • RomUniverse Owner Opposes Nintendo’s $15 Million Piracy Damages Request

          The owner of RomUniverse has asked a California federal court to deny Nintendo’s motion for summary judgment, including $15 million in piracy damages. In a pro se defense, the owner denies that he uploaded pirated games, while pointing out that others had access to the now-defunct site and its social media accounts.

        • New UK Police Unit Announces Two Arrests Following Pirate IPTV Investigation

          A hitherto unknown police unit formed by City of London Police, the Intellectual Property Office and the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, has announced two arrests in the UK following an investigation into pirate IPTV. The fledgling North West Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit says it executed five warrants and also seized electrical items, cash and counterfeit goods.

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DecorWhat Else is New

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  2. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

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  3. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

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  4. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

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  5. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

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  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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  7. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

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  8. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

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  9. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

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  10. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

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  11. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”

  12. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?

  13. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products

  14. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

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  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

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  16. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

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  17. Proprietary Software is Pollution

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  18. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

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  20. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

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  21. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

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  22. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day

  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022

  24. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying

  25. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day

  26. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)

  27. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close

  28. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day

  29. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."

  30. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022

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