03.27.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 27/3/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.9 and Speaking to the Lutris Creator

Posted in News Roundup at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • [Old] ZFS 101—Understanding ZFS storage and performance

        Well, today is the day to explore, ZFS-curious readers. Just know up front that in the understated words of OpenZFS developer Matt Ahrens, “it’s really complicated.”

        But before we get to the numbers—and they are coming, I promise!—for all the ways you can shape eight disks’ worth of ZFS, we need to talk about how ZFS stores your data on-disk in the first place.

      • Moving some ZFS filesystems to the ‘trash’ and removing all their snapshots – sanoid

        I recently discovered that you can delete all snapshot from a ZFS filesystem with a single command. It came to me via fortune: [...]

      • Configure SSH ProxyCommand for Ansible AWX on Kubernetes

        There’s no end to the fun that was made of me today for touching the K-word. Be that as it may, I have to do this if I want to continue giving AWX/Tower trainings, and in order to do that I need AWX to use an SSH jump host to get to nodes. The reasons for that lie hidden in here.

        This post is going to be a quick and dirty collection of how I solved the particular issue I requested help on, and the last thing you want to do is to ask me for help on Kubernetes & co. It took me several hours to solve this problem.

        What’s the problem? I need to deploy an SSH key and an SSH conf file into the containers (or are those pods?) the AWX task (awx-task) processes are running in.

      • How to clone an encrypted disk image with Clonezilla
      • How To Install and Use GNU Emacs on Linux Distributions

        The GNU Emacs is one of the best and leading text file editors for software developers and programmers. It is so much more than a text editor that you can use to see scheduled events, browse files, and do other little funny kinds of stuff. If you’re thinking about switching to Emacs on your Linux, or you’ve just switched to it, you will find that Emacs is not that hard to use. The simple and clean user interface of Emacs will attract you.

        Now, you might be comfortable with your existing text editor, but there is no harm in trying a new editor. No matter if you’re a power Linux user or a newbie, you would love to use the Emacs editor on your Linux machine. If you have other operating systems, you can install Emacs on them too; it is also available for Windows and Mac.

      • How To Install NoMachine on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install NoMachine on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, NoMachine is a cross-platform, fastest, and highest quality remote desktop tool that enables you to access the desktop of any other machine with NoMachine installed.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the NoMachine remote desktop on a CentOS 8.

      • How to Change Default Port of Tomcat Server? – Linux Hint

        Before we actually move onto the main step of seeing how we can change the default port of our tomcat server, let us first go into a little more depth and see what actually this tomcat server is and what are some applications where it is mostly used.

        As mentioned before, the Apache Tomcat server is an open-source web server that acts as a servlet container for the implementation of several large-scale Java enterprise specifications such as Java Servlet, Java Server Pages, Java Expression Language, and Java WebSocket technologies. Servlet containers are part of the webserver and can be described as more or less an application server that provides the programming model everything else that it needs – the opening of sockets, managing some components, handling API calls, and so on. The Apache Tomcat server is one of the most widely used servers out there and has been powering up several large-scale enterprise applications. In addition to this, since it is opensource and falls under the Apache License, it includes a large developer list and several forums where people are always providing their input and offering aid to one another.

        Without further ado, let us finally move on to the main topic of our article.

      • Finger command tutorial – Linux Hint

        It is very important to know about the system’s admin. You must have all the information about the system user, who uses your Linux system, or managing the system. Therefore, here is a command that is called a finger.

        In the Linux operating system, a command-line utility known as “finger” is used to display all available information about the system’s user.

        This guide will see how to get the system’s user information through several finger command options.

      • GNU Screen Save Session on Reboot – Linux Hint

        Linux has a utility called Screen, which allows you to use multiple terminal sessions inside a single window. Even if these get disconnected, you can start all over again from that exact spot. Therefore, our discussion topic in this article will be the process of how one can save their session in the GNU Screen utility on rebooting of their Linux systems.

      • How to Delete Duplicate Files in Linux with Fdupes | Tom’s Hardware

        As important as it is to keep your disks clear of duplicate files, finding copies of files is a tiresome job and most people don’t want to do it. This isn’t a problem if all you have are tiny text files that take up a few kilobytes each. But media files, especially raw images and HD videos can eat a lot of disk space, leaving you with less room for new data and apps.

        Thankfully, the Fdupes command-line utility provides a faster and more efficient way of identifying duplicate files than just manually combing through your folders. Released under the MIT License, this nifty tool can be used to find duplicate files in the specified directories. The tool works by comparing the MD5 signature of the files, followed by a byte-to-byte comparison to ensure that all copies are identified.

        In addition to tracking down duplicates, you can also use Fdupes to delete duplicate files, replace deleted files with links to the original, etc.

      • How to Install Apache Tomcat 10 on Debian 10 (Buster)

        Apache Tomcat is free and open-source Java based HTTP Web server which offers the environment where Java code can run. In short Apache Tomcat is known as Tomcat. Recently Tomcat 10 has been released, so in this article, we will demonstrate on how to install and configure Apache Tomcat 10 on Debian 10 system.

      • How to Scan Documents in Linux With SANE’s Most Useful Commands

        Scanner Access Now Easy (SANE) is an application programming interface (API) used to control scanners and cameras. In use, the command line application, scanimage, can be used to quickly and reliably send a scanner commands to perform a number of useful functions.

      • How to Connect to a Ubuntu 20.04 Server via Remote Desktop Connection using xRDP – ByteXD

        xRDP is an open source implementation of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), developed by Microsoft. RDP allows users to establish secure connections to other computers over the internet, and use their mouse and keyboard to interact with the remote server’s graphical user interface in the same way they would interact with a regular desktop.

        xRDP allows connections using RDP to machines running non-Microsoft operating systems, such as Linux or BSD.

        It accepts connections from a variety of clients, such as FreeRDP, rdesktop, NeutrinoRDP and Microsoft Remote Desktop Client (for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android).

      • How to install and use Miniconda on Linux Mint? – Linux Hint

        Miniconda is a minimalistic and free installer for conda. It includes conda, Python, and the small number of packages that the Python and conda depend on. Moreover, it also includes a small number of useful packages like requests, PIP, and many more.
        Linux Mint is used for preparing this post.

      • Fedora Linux Broadcom b43 BCM43228 Wireless Driver Installation – nixCraft

        I am using Dell / Lenovo laptop with Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n based wireless card. How can I install Broadcom-wl STA BCM4322 Wireless driver on a Fedora Linux version 30/31/32/33/34? How can I install kmod-wl and BMC firmware on Fedora Linux?

        Broadcom’s IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n driver can be installed on any Linux disruption including Fedora Linux version 20. This page explains how to enable and install Broadcom b43 driver under a Fedora Linux v29/30/31/32/33/34. The driver (broadcom-wl and kmod-wl) works with the following Wireless chipsets only

      • How to restart systemd without rebooting Linux – nixCraft

        Whenever we update a critical library such as OpenSSL, we need to restart any daemons that use the library. Systemd with PID 1 itself also uses OpenSSL. How do you restart the systemd daemon without rebooting Linux and other services such as Nginx, SSHD, Firewalld? Here are some tips.

        We can use various commands to determine if services or Linux daemons need restarting when critical libs are installed. On many Linux distro, services are automatically restarted. For example, when OpenSSL update is installed but services such as PHP-cgi or Apache/Nginx will not restart. So we need to hunt down those services and restart those services, including systemd.

      • How to Clean Up Snap Versions to Free Up Disk Space

        This quick guide with a script helps to clean up old snap versions and free some disk space in your Ubuntu systems.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: all the things

          Kate and KWrite now have basic touchscreen scrolling support! (Daniel Tang, Kate 21.08)

          System Settings now opens to a new “Quick Settings” page that displays some of the most commonly-used settings, and even includes a link to the wallpaper settings as well! (Marco martin, Plasma 5.22)…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • ‘Just Perfection’ GNOME Shell Extension Now Lets You Customize Your GNOME 40 Desktop

          In case you weren’t aware, though I bet many hardcore GNOME users already have it installed, there’s a GNOME Shell extension called ‘Just Perfection’ that replaces many single-purpose extensions for your GNOME desktop environment, and the latest release works with GNOME 40.

          The Just Perfection extension does a lot of things to let you make the GNOME desktop your own. For example, in GNOME 40 it lets you hide the dash in case you want to use a third-party dock-like application, or you can just move the top panel to the bottom instead or disable the panel completely!

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux vs. Manjaro

        The list of Linux operating systems is not short as there is a huge number of Linux distros available online for satisfying the requirements of different users. There are Linux distros for high-end, mid-end, and low-end hardware so everyone can do their work without any trouble in their way. Mx Linux and Manjaro are both Linux distros that are compatible with mid-end hardware and offer excellent software compatibility. However, it becomes confusing for many people while choosing the one between MX Linux and Manjaro. If you are also some of those people and want to learn which one is best, then read the article below that provides complete details on MX Linux vs. Manjaro with complete comparisons.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian GNU/Linux 10.9 “Buster” Released with 30 Security Updates, GRUB2 Patches

          Debian GNU/Linux 10.9 comes about two months after Debian GNU/Linux 10.8 to provide the Debian GNU/Linux community with up-to-date installation and live images that include all the latest security updates and bug fixes that have been released through the stable software repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 10 Buster operating system series during this time.

          This release consists of 30 security updates and 45 updated packages with miscellaneous bug fixes, including a patched GRUB2 bootloader against some recently disclosed Secure Boot vulnerabilities.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My favorite open source tools to meet new friends

        In March 2020, I joined the rest of the world in quarantine at home for two weeks. Then, two weeks turned into more. And more. It wasn’t too hard on me at first. I had been working a remote job for a year already, and I’m sort of an introvert in some ways. Being at home was sort of “business as usual” for me, but I watched as it took its toll on others, including my wife.

      • CrateDB takes distributed SQL DB fully open source with release of v4.5

        Crate.io has pushed out CrateDB 4.5, the latest version of its clustered SQL database for developers building machine data applications. With this release, the product is also now fully open source with all enterprise features of the database available under the Apache 2.0 license.

        Detailing the changes on its blog, Crate.io said it will no longer implement its Enterprise License, under which organisations paid for commercial use of the product. Instead, the complete set of CrateDB features will be available in a single open source version licensed under Apache 2.0.

      • We Open-Sourced our Encryption Software: Here’s Why

        People spent an incredible amount of time and resources protecting their intellectual property from “thought thieves”. An idea was born, and kept safely hidden from the world until slapped with a patent.

        But ideas are not a finite resource that should be locked away. When ideas are left to grow in the dark, they cannot flourish.

        While profits may be available in the short term, inhibiting widespread access to unique insights and original code can kill our potential for future growth – not just for inidividual projects but for industries at large.

      • FSF

        • Cancelling Richard Stallman?

          Now personally I don’t like RMS much. I believe in permissive licenses and prefer those over copyleft in general and strongly over the GPL license family that Stallman stands for like no other person. I’m a happy Vi user and think that Emacs (RMS’s editor) is a great example for what software should not be like. I’ve also regularly opposed false claims of Stallman’s many fans and their very pessimistic view on important topics like freedom and life in general. In fact I’ve used neologisms like Stallmanism and Stallmanites to describe the indiscriminate ideology of Stallman and his most pig-headed followers.

          Today I’ve signed another Open Letter supporting RMS and I’m even writing this article. How come?

        • Neil Williams: Free and Open

          My problem is not with RMS himself, what he has or has not done, which apologies are deemed sincere and whether behaviour has changed. He is one man and his contributions can be respected even as his behaviour is criticised. My problem is with the FSF for behaving in a closed, opaque and divisive manner and then making a governance statement that makes things worse, whilst purporting to be transparent. Institutions lay the foundations for the future of the community and must be expected to hold individuals to account. Free and open have been contentious concepts for the FSF, with all the arguments about Open Source which is not Free Software. It is clear that the FSF do understand the implications of freedom and openness. It is absurd to then adopt a closed and archaic governance. A valid governance model for the FSF would never have allowed RMS back onto the board, instead the FSF should be the primary institution to hold him, and others like him, to account for their actions. The FSF needs to be front and centre in promoting diversity and openness. The FSF could learn from the FSFE.

      • Programming/Development

        • Compile times, and why “the obvious” might not be so

          One thing which got me thinking the other day was seeing a post where someone was complaining about build times. Apparently they can be really long and annoying. I got the impression they were starting from scratch every time, and wondered why anyone would do that. Then I started thinking about this double-edged sword of things taken for granted and figured “because nobody bothered to tell them about it”.

          So, in that vein, I am going to describe something that happens all the time when I work on stuff, and it seems completely ordinary and boring to me, but might well seem like magic to someone who hasn’t seen it yet. It’s not magic, though. It’s just another way of doing stuff.

        • Opensource from an author point of view

          Hi, today’s article will be a bit different than what you are used to. I am currently writing about my experience as an open source author and “project manager”. I recently created a project that, while being extremely small, have seen some people getting involved at various level. I didn’t know what it was to be in this position.

          Having to deal with multiple people contributing to a project I started for myself on one architecture with a limited set of features is surprisingly hard. I don’t say it’s boring and that no one should ever do it, but I think I wasn’t really prepare to handle this.

          I made my best to integrate people wishes while keeping the helm of the project in the right direction, but I had to ask myself many questions.

        • A Year in the Life of a Compiler Fuzzing Campaign

          In the summer of 2020, we described our work fuzzing the Solidity compiler, solc. So now we’d like to revisit this project, since fuzzing campaigns tend to “saturate,” finding fewer new results over time. Did Solidity fuzzing run out of gas? Is fuzzing a high-stakes project worthwhile, especially if it has its own active and effective fuzzing effort?

          The first bugs from that fuzzing campaign were submitted in February of 2020 using an afl variant. Since then, we’ve submitted 74 reports. Sixty-seven have been confirmed as bugs, and 66 of those have been fixed. Seven were duplicates or not considered to be true bugs.

  • Leftovers

    • Art and Money Today: Goya Meets Beeple

      On March 11, 2021, I bought an etching by Francisco Goya for $500 on eBay. On the same day, two people with the pseudonyms Metakovan and Twobadour bought a Non Fungible Token by Mike Winkelmann (pseud. “Beeple”) for an astonishing $69 million at an online Christies auction. An NFT is a digital token representing the unique version of something, in this case a work of art.

      The Goya print (illustrated above) is titled “Truth Has Died” and the NFT (illustrated below) is titled (redundantly) Everydays: The First 5,000 Days.

    • Spring Fascions
    • Girl Ball Lives

      At this year’s site for the women’s college basketball tournament in San Antonio, the disparity between the men and women’s status was made clear. Stanford coach Ali Kerschner and Oregon player Sedona Prince posted images of a lavish weight room provided to the men players while they got six or seven dumbbells on a rack.  Featured pictures also showed the difference in amenities (“swag bags”) and the food provided. As I recall there were similar differences in NBA and WNBA bubbles last season. After a public outcry about the NCAA’s actions (greatly) helped along by the tweets from male pro players like Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving, the NCAA apologized and improved conditions. But that was after the outcry—it was not the NCAA’s “normal” attitude, which defined their original behavior.

      Unfortunately the NCAA’s views of female athletes has been way too prevalent for a long time. There’s something about strong, capable women ballplayers that does not seem quite acceptable. Girl ball has survived to preserve femaleness and femininity—and to institute limitations to preserve them. So maybe just providing six dumbbells to the women athletes could help do that. In 1912 Dr. Dudley A. Sargent worried in the Ladies Home Journal that athletics were making girls masculine, while exhausting them, and straining their hearts and lungs.  In 1969 Dr. Paul Weiss suggested in High School Sport that women athletes should be viewed as “truncated males.” And Sedona Prince tweeted in 2021—about those dumbbells—that people just don’t think women need weight training.

    • The Olympic Battle for Echo Park

      In the shadow of Hollywood, conflicts continue between a community encampment of the unhoused in Los Angeles’s Echo Park and the LAPD. A push by the police and city government to crack down on the encampment is part of a continued attack on the poor during a crisis of safe and affordable housing. LA’s overall unhoused population is around 66,000. That number is expected to rise by 36 percent by 2023. Last year, Mayor Eric Garcetti called it “the humanitarian crisis of our time.”

    • Roaming Charges: I, the Juror

      My reprieve, however, was short-lived. I was called back in early March. In the past, all I had to do to avoid this civic duty was to identify myself as a reporter, an avocation which prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges generally play to outside the courtroom but recoil from having present in a jury box. But in response to my inquiry about getting another deferral, a clerk informed me rather gravely that the court was desperate for bodies and my normal “get-out-jury-jail” card wouldn’t work this time round.

      So I walked the mile or so to the courthouse on a frosty March morning, carrying Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment in my hand, as a kind of talisman. (I had just finished the section where Raskolnikov comes across the mangled body of his friend Marmeladov, who had been run over in the street, with the drivers and the police rationalizing the incident as the victims own fault–a bloody precursor of today’s plow-down-a-protester laws.) It was almost spring and winter had finally arrived in Oregon. The temperature was below zero…on the Celsius scale, at least.

    • Reporter’s Alert: Part III

      We just started an online webpage: Reporter’s Alert. From time to time, we will use Reporter’s Alert to present suggestions for important reporting on topics that are either not covered or not covered thoroughly. Reporting that just nibbles on the periphery won’t attract much public attention or be noticed by decision-makers. Here is the third installment of suggestions:

      1. Over the past decade the subordination, on a grand scale, of revenue-based spending to debt-incurring spending, has steadily evolved. In recent months, the pace has quickened. This kind of spending has become an increasingly bipartisan practice. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started the federal government has approved spending nearly five trillion dollars relating to pandemic rescues and stimuli expenditures. This outlay was entirely deficit-financed.

    • Froberger’s Melancholic Musical Travels

      No music was cloaked more darkly in the allure and peril of travel than that of the enigmatic seventeenth-century keyboardist Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667). Commemorating encounters, incidents, and personages from across Europe, Froberger’s oeuvre acquired its lasting aura not only through its unmistakable approach to harmony and gesture, but also because the uniqueness of his style was tied to the legend of an extraordinary life chronicled, if episodically, in his suites, as well as in the contrapuntal genres of the Fantasia, Capriccio, and Ricercar inspired by his Italian sojourns. Froberger’s student, Balthasar Erben described his teacher as “well-traveled”—an understatement the combined reverence with irony.

      Froberger’s path took him to the great European capitals for study, competition, command performances at Imperial diets, perhaps even diplomatic intrigues. The impressive circuit of cities which included Rome, Paris, Vienna, Dresden, London, Brussels, Utrecht, has been extended to Madrid. According to a presentation manuscript from Froberger’s own hand auctioned in 2006 at Sotheby’s that fetched upwards of half-a-million-dollars, the hitherto unknown Meditation on the future death of his patroness Duchess Sibylle of Württemberg-Montbéliard was composed in Spain towards the end of Froberger’s life. The dedicatee would outlive the composer.

    • Paradise: a Villanelle

      The Earth regards, with burning eyes As, into chaos, death and dark, He children break from Paradise;

      While hungry planes transect the skies, Her heedless children speed and park. The  earth regards, with burning eyes!

    • How Mark Warner’s ‘SAFE TECH Act’ Will Make Many People A Lot Less Safe

      I’ve already explained how Senator Mark Warner’s “SAFE TECH Act” is an attack on the open internet. However, it goes beyond that. Over at OneZero, Cathy Reisenwitz has written a compelling op-ed explaining how the SAFE TECH Act will actually make the internet a lot less safe for many people.

    • RuNet scammers launch fake ‘business version’ of TikTok

      A fake version of TikTok’s official website has popped up on the RuNet. Promoted by scammers as a “business version” of the wildly popular video platform, tiktok-business.ru is actually an imitation aimed at stealing users’ login credentials. 

    • Letters From Minsk: Toward the Polish Corridor

      I spent less than 12 hours in Berlin, but had I stayed a week I am not sure I would have seen more. My train the next morning to Poznan, in Poland, was scheduled to leave at 7:20 a.m., so I chose a hotel that would give me the best night-time bike rides to and from the main station, a crystal palace that rises in a plain behind the renovated Reichstag.

      I reserved a room in a small hotel (above a lively bar) in a residential section just north of Alexanderplatz, once the heart of East Berlin.

    • I Want Civil Rights, They Want to Talk About Sports

      For the uninitiated, David Cronenberg’s 1986 sci-fi classic tells the graphic story of Dr. Seth Brundel, an ambitious scientist whose carelessness warps his body, twisting him into an inhuman abomination that’s put to death at the end of the film.

      When I got over my shock at being compared to a movie monster, a part of me felt like my Dad wasn’t too far off the mark. I was no movie monster, but my body was really changing.

    • The Third Reconstruction: an Interview with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      Seth Sandronsky: Now that President Biden has signed a COVID-19 relief bill into law without a $15 minimum wage hike, I request your thoughts on political tactics to win this pay increase for poor and working Americans.

      Reverend William Barber: We encouraged the president to support Vice President Harris overriding the parliamentarian decision during the debate about COVID relief because reconciliation offered a way for Democrats to use the power they have to keep the promise they ran on—a $15 minimum wage. Can Biden find 10 Republicans to override the filibuster? Not in Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) caucus. But they still have the power to change the rules in the Senate, and they must do whatever they have to pass $15 minimum wage, voting rights protections, universal access to healthcare, infrastructure for a green economy, immigration reform, and so much more that’s needed to lift this nation from the bottom so that everybody rises.

    • Internet Archive Storage

      The big issue with treating disk as the unit of paired storage is that when a disk fails a new member of the pair has to be created by reading the whole of the good member and writing the whole of the new member. This takes time, during which the good member is under high load and thus likely to suffer a correlated failure. The new member will be at the start of its life so subject to infant mortality, although it is fair to say that drive manufacturers have paid a lot of attention to reducing infant mortality. Edwards reports that the more recent drives are enough faster than the 8TB drives that the risk is manageable, but as the drives get bigger architectural change will be required to manage this.

    • Education

      • The Country Moves Forward, Education Falls Back

        Biden raised hopes when he promised, Dec 16, 2019, that he’d “commit to ending the use of standardized testing in public schools,” saying (rightly) that “teaching to a test underestimates and discounts the things that are most important for students to know.” Yet on Feb 22, his Department of Education did an about-face, announcing, “we need to understand the impact COVID-19 has had on learning …parents need information on how their children are doing.”

        How the children are doing? They’re struggling, that’s how, doing their best, and so are teachers and parents. And it’s the least advantaged who are struggling the most, who, in the transition to online teaching, are likeliest to be without access to the internet, whose families are most vulnerable to loss of jobs, health care, lives. Now this? It costs $1.7 billion to administer these tests, but the toll on kids— the tears, terrors, alienation— is incalculable.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • India’s Farm Crisis: “We Will Protest as Long as Possible”
      • Aging Out of Foster Care during the Pandemic – Validated Independent News

        According to recent federal data, there are more than 400,000 children (equivalent to roughly half the population of Delaware) in the United States foster care system. Many children in the system—who range in age from infancy up to 21 years old in some states—come from abused or neglected households. If no relatives or close friends can care for the child, they are put in the foster care system.

      • How Anthony Fauci “Systematically Thwarted” the Pause in US Gain-of-Function Research: an Interview with Dr. Richard H. Ebright

        Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, Dr. Richard H. Ebright, PhD, is also Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology and serves as project leader on two National Institutes of Health research grants.

        Dr. Richard Ebright received his AB in Biology and his PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University. He has more than one hundred sixty publications and more than forty issued and pending patents. He is member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

      • Opinion | Not Providing Covid-19 Vaccinations to Palestinians Is Proof of Israel’s Medical Apartheid

        The coronavirus does not stop at checkpoints. As an occupier, Israel must provide medical supplies to Palestinians and adopt measures to combat the disease there.

      • Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward

        We have to eat, of course, so what are we to do?

        “Rethinking Food & Agriculture: New Ways Forward,” an anthology edited by Amir Kassam and Laila Kassam, takes a deep dive into these ecological and cultural concerns, from the Neolithic Revolution to the present day, and explores sustainable solutions.

      • Big Ag Billionaires Donate $250,000 to Newsom’s Campaign Against Recall

        Lynda Resnick, the Vice Chairman of the Wonderful Company, donated $125,000 to the “Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom” campaign on March 22, according to California Form 497.

        On the same day, Stewart Resnick, the Chairman and President of the Wonderful Company, also donated $125,000 to the campaign.

      • New California Data Shows COVID Spreading in the Workplace

        This data provides substantial evidence that a significant amount of the spread of the coronavirus has been and is taking place where people work – among workers, customers, and clients alike. Public discourse has focused on family and social gatherings as the chief cause of the “community” spread of the virus. This new data should serve as an important adjustment to that narrative.

        This new data is all the more significant for Californians, now that Governor Gavin Newsom, fighting for his political life in the face of a Big Business recall, is rapidly reopening up many workplaces including, somewhat incredibly, outdoor and even indoor sports stadiums that will shortly be full of screaming fans.

      • Coalition Calls on Biden to Use US-Owned Patent to Share Covid Vaccine With the World

        “The U.S. government can help end the pandemic if it uses its legal leverage with Moderna to jumpstart an ambitious vaccine manufacturing program to benefit the world.”

      • As Rich Nations Protect Corporate Patents, the Global Vaccine Divide is Widening

        People in rich countries, such as the United States and countries in the European Union, are receiving a far larger share of vaccine doses relative to their share of the global population, according to analysis from Agence France-Presse. Meanwhile, the poorest countries are left waiting in despair as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

        Of the more than 455 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines that have been injected, people in in high-income countries have received 56 percent — far more than their 16 percent share of the global population.

      • The “Disinformation Dozen” vs. public health

        Those of us who’ve countered the antivaccine movement for a long time (and I’ve been at this for nearly two decades) know that, not only is there nothing new under the sun when it comes to antivaccine tropes and tactics of spreading fear of vaccines, but that there are certain “super spreaders” of antivaccine disinformation out there. Back in 2005, when the antivaccine movement and antivaccine disinformation became a much bigger focus of my blogging and online discussions, the major purveyors of antivaccine disinformation included Andrew Wakefield (of course!), Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (whose conspiracy theory-laden article for Salon.com and Rolling Stone pushed countering antivaccine disinformation way up my list of blog priorities) the père et fils team of Mark and David Geier, Dr. Rashid Buttar, and J.B. Handley (and his group Generation Rescue), soon to be joined by David Kirby, Jenny McCarthy, and various groups, such as the antivaxxers at Age of Autism, SafeMinds, and others. (Wow, what a blast from the past!) Of course, at the time, there was no “social media” (at least not as we know it now), but rather blogs and websites; so the reach of these nodes of antivaccine disinformation was much more limited. Things have changed, though, as a new report demonstrates that the vast majority of antivaccine disinformation on social media comes from relatively few sources, namely the “Disinformation Dozen”:

      • US Water Shutoff Moratorium May Have Prevented Nearly 500,000 Covid-19 Cases: Study

        “These findings should move us to fight even harder for water justice everywhere.”

      • Conservatives are mad at Michael Moore again — because he’s right about gun culture

        Ultimately, America’s inability to create and enforce effective gun laws is rooted in competing conceptions of freedom. Conservatives emphasize “negative freedom” and a belief that government should be shrunk down to the bare minimum, and that “freedom from” is the most important aspect of democracy and human existence.

        Liberals, progressives and other more humane thinkers understand that government can play a positive role in society. In this conception, “positive freedom” means that citizens can live better and more productive lives where, for example, they are free from anxieties about being killed in a mass shooting, or free from the fear that they may fall ill and not have access to health care, or free from the fear that their environment is dangerously polluted.

        To state this equation differently, a gun owner’s freedom ends at the boundaries and limits of public safety. Likewise, the “personal freedom” not to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic ends at the health and safety of other people.

      • When AI flags the ruler, not the tumor — and other arguments for abolishing the black box (VB Live)

        One of the big issues that exists within AI generally, but is particularly acute in health care settings, is the issue of transparency. AI models — for example, deep neural networks — have a reputation for being black boxes. That’s particularly concerning in a medical setting, where caregivers and patients alike need to understand why recommendations are being made.

      • The vaccine misinformation battle raging in France

        France is one of the most vaccine-sceptical countries in the world – fertile ground for hard-line anti-vaccine activists spreading online misinformation, writes the BBC’s specialist disinformation reporter Marianna Spring.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Why Microsoft wants Discord

          Microsoft is willing to spend big on these services because, outside of Xbox, it doesn’t have a huge consumer-facing community like rivals Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple do. Microsoft has watched Google acquire YouTube and turn it into the world’s biggest video platform, Amazon buy Twitch and dominate streaming, Facebook acquire both Instagram and WhatsApp to control the way millions communicate and socialize online, and Apple rule mobile with its App Store.

          Discord gives Microsoft access to a growing list of more than 140 million monthly active users that includes thousands of top YouTubers, creators, and gamers. Microsoft wants its own community.

        • Restricted Environment IoT Hacking: All You Need Is a Remote Shell

          Yikes! Shell. Upload, download working in Meterpreter. Three hours spent on something which could have been a netcat command

        • Top insurer CNA disconnects systems after cyberattack

          CNA, one of the U.S.’s top providers of cybersecurity insurance, is struggling with a cyberattack that prompted it to disconnect its systems from its network.

          Its website hasn’t been working for the last couple days, and at press time displayed the message, “The attack caused a network disruption and impacted certain CNA systems, including corporate email.”

        • Security researcher launches GoFundMe campaign to fight legal threat over vulnerability disclosure

          A security researcher has launched a GoFundMe campaign to secure legal representation after a responsible disclosure notice apparently went sour.

          In a tweet dated March 8, Rob Dyke, an open source cybersecurity specialist and platform engineer, said he had discovered open code repositories in late February containing API keys, application code, usernames, passwords, and the URLs of third-party, embedded items.

          Two open GitHub repositories were said to have been exposed online for two years, leaving plenty of scope for threat actors to exploit the information posted.

          After verifying the contents and taking screenshots, the security researcher sent a private security advisory to the repo author – a common practice in responsible disclosure.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Dystopia Prime: Amazon Subjects Its Drivers to Biometric Surveillance

              Amazon’s “Privacy Policy for Vehicle Camera Technology” states it may collect “face image and biometric information.” The company uses this information, among other things, to verify driver identity, and to provide “real-time in-vehicle alerts” about driver behaviors such as potentially distracted driving. This sensitive information collected by “safety cameras” mounted in delivery vehicle cabins is stored for as long as 30 days and available to Amazon on request. The company’s “Vehicle Technology and Biometric Consent” document states: “As a condition of delivering Amazon packages, you consent to the use of the Technology and collection of data and information from the Technology by Amazon …” Likewise, the company’s “Photos Use and Biometric Information Retention Policy” states: “Amazon … require[s] that users of the Amazon delivery application provide a photo for identification purposes. Amazon may derive from your stored photo a scan of your face geometry or similar biometric data …”

              According to an Amazon contractor who spoke to Motherboard: “I had one driver who refused to sign. It’s a heart-breaking conversation when someone tells you that you’re their favorite person they have ever worked for, but Amazon just micromanages them too much.” 

              According to another Amazon driver, who spoke to Thomson Reuters Foundation last month about this new surveillance program: “We are out here working all day, trying our best already. The cameras are just another way to control us.”

            • Privacy Laws Giving Big Internet Companies A Convenient Excuse To Avoid Academic Scrutiny

              For years we’ve talked about how the fact that no one really understands privacy, leads to very bad attempts at regulating privacy in ways that do more harm than good. They often don’t do anything that actually protects privacy — and instead screw up lots of other important things, from competition to free speech. In fact, in some ways, there’s a big conflict between open internet systems and privacy. There are ways to get around that — usually by moving the data from centralized silos out towards the ends of the network — but that’s rarely happening in practice. I mean, going back over thirteen years ago, we were writing about the inherent conflict between Facebook’s (then) open social graph and privacy. Yet, at the time, Facebook was cheered on for opening up its social graph. It was creating a more “open” internet, an internet that others could build upon.

            • Zuckerpunch

              Mark Zuckerberg may be a mediocre sociopath with criminally stupid theories of human interaction that he imposes on 2.6 billion people, but he is an unerring bellwether for policies that will enhance Facebook’s monopoly power.

              Pay attention whenever Zuck proposes a “solution” to the problems he caused (not just because creating a problem in no way qualifies you to solve that problem) – the only “problem” he wants to solve is, “How do I monopolize all human interaction?”

              Today, Zuckerberg is testifying about his monopoly power to Congress. Hours before he went on air, he released a proposal to “fix Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.”

            • Confidentiality

              • Recovering A Full PEM Private Key When Half Of It Is Redacted

                The @CryptoHack__ account was pinged today by ENOENT, with a CTF-like challenge found in the wild: Source tweet. Here’s a write-up covering how given a partially redacted PEM, the whole private key can be recovered. The Twitter user, SAXX, shared a partially redacted private RSA key in a tweet about a penetration test where they had recovered a private key. Precisely, a screenshot of a PEM was shared online with 31 of 51 total lines of the file redacted.

                As ENOENT correctly identified, the redaction they had offered wasn’t sufficient, and from the shared screenshot, it was possible to totally recover the private key.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • As Myanmar Death Toll Tops 320, UN Expert Warns Crisis Will Worsen Without World’s Help

        “I fear that the international community has only a short time remaining to act,” said United Nations special rapporteur Tom Andrews. 

      • U.S. Joins “Rules-Based World” on Afghanistan

        Blinken was clearly speaking from experience. Since the United States dispensed with the UN Charter and the rule of international law to invade Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, and has used military force and unilateral economic sanctions against many other countries, it has indeed made the world more deadly, violent and chaotic.

        When the UN Security Council refused to give its blessing to U.S. aggression against Iraq in 2003, President Bush publicly threatened the UN with “irrelevance.” He later appointed John Bolton as UN Ambassador, a man who famously once said that, if the UN building in New York “lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

      • The Day I Became Antiwar

        On 9/11, I was a Catholic school eighth grader. I’ll never forget my teacher, Mrs. Anderson, saying simply: “I have something to tell you.” She explained something awful had happened and wheeled the TV into the room so we could see for ourselves.

        That afternoon, we were sent to a prayer service in the neighboring church and then sent home early, all of us too shocked to teach or learn anything.

      • Lift the Blockade on Yemen Now

        In addition to air attacks, the Saudi-led coalition conducts a land, sea, and air blockade on Yemen.  The coalition says that the blockade’s purpose is to interdict weapons shipments from Iran to the Houthis.  The coalition justifies the blockade as enforcement of the arms embargo on Yemen established in UN Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015).  Paragraph 15 of UNSCR 2216, according to Reuters news service, allows “Yemen-bound vessels [to] be inspected if there were ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect they were carrying arms.”  (Notably, UNSCR 2216 condemns “aggression by the Houthis,” but says nothing about Saudi and Emirati aggression.)

        The UN has called Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”  Even before the war and blockade, Yemen was the Arab world’s poorest country.  Today, Yemen is on the brink of famine with most of its 28 million people relying on scanty humanitarian aid to survive.  The UN calls Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

      • Biden’s New Foreign Policy Hire Considers Sanctions an Art Form

        Under the Trump administration, the United States imposed a wave of aggressive sanctions on countries like Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela—inflicting suffering on their populations and hampering the countries’ ability to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Biden administration is now conducting a review of US sanctions policy, and the potential consequences of these punitive economic restrictions, to determine which of former President Donald Trump’s sanctions it will keep. The new administration has the ability to roll back many of these brutal sanctions, but isn’t expected to stray too far from Trump’s approach.

      • Whatever Happened to War?

        After Macedonia annexed Ancient Greece, Alexander the Great launched a conquest machine that dominated much of the known world.

        Soon afterward, the Roman Empire spread via military force as far as the British Isles. Eventually, associated with his desire to gain battle victories, Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.

      • US Media Smears Venezuelan Elections… Again – Validated Independent News

        While the PSUV were celebrating the results, not everyone was in high spirits. After the election, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “Venezuela’s electoral fraud has already been committed. The results announced by the illegitimate Maduro regime will not reflect the will of the Venezuelan people. What’s happening today is a fraud and a sham, not an election.” Further rejection of the results includes the self-declared and US government recognized president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó, who called for another coup on social media shortly after the election.

      • Atlanta Murders Reporting Relied on Law Enforcement Narratives

        Gunman Rob Aaron Long opened fire in three Asian-owned spas in the Atlanta, Georgia area on March 16, 2021, killing Yong Ae Yue, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Delaina Ashley Yuan, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng and Paul Andre Michels.* Six of the eight victims were Asian women.

      • Repression in Myanmar

        The coup was met by an extraordinary outburst of popular protest, reminiscent of the 1988 uprising against military rule that resulted in thousands of deaths.  The military’s response to the peaceful protests this time has been horrific: a violent crackdown, including use of torture and kidnapping; attacks on people’s homes and on hospitals that are treating injured protesters; and “disappearing” people, whose relatives are unable to learn their fate. News reports say the body count is over 200 at this writing, but based on reports from my contact in Myanmar, that figure is a considerable understatement.  (For example, this contact tells me that in one 3-day period in March, in just one district of Yangon, the capital, there were “242 fatalities, 60 arrested and missing, 27 dead bodies missing,” according to a medical team.)

        As for the political opposition, Suu Kyi and many members of the NLD have been detained at some unknown location. The New York Times reports that an unofficial opposition group has formed under the leadership of a speaker in parliament before the coup.  The group, calling itself the Committee Representing the Myanmar Parliament, has promised a federal form of government that would give equal rights to Myanmar’s many ethnic groups, some of which remain in active rebellion against the government.  (Nothing was said about justice for the Rohingya Muslims.) This change would be in keeping with the country’s history as a community of ethnic groups that happen to be incorporated in a nation-state.  As Prof. John Badgley, a noted authority on Burma’s history and politics, observes:

      • In Yemen, 6 Years of Suffering and Death in an Ill-Fated War

        On March 26, 2015, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an ill-fated war on Houthi-led rebel forces in Yemen, inaugurating what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he’s known, the architect of the Saudi war effort, asserted that it would be a short conflict, with a swift Saudi victory. The Obama administration, which apparently believed MBS’s claims, supported the war effort with tens of billions of dollars in arms sales and logistical support. Six years later, bin Salman’s prediction of a short war seems like a cruel joke, and the continued US role in supporting the Saudi/UAE coalition is unconscionable.

      • Daniel Ellsberg Isn’t Stopping Now
      • Igor Volsky on Ending Gun Violence, Robert Dreyfuss on Iraq War
      • As House Requests Docs on Capitol Breach, Trump Downplays Violence of Mob
      • Confused in Afghanistan: the Biden Administration’s Latest Trick

        The cupboard of calamities is well stocked, with the US facing an emboldened Taliban keen to hold Washington to its word in withdrawing the last troops by May 1.  In doing so, there is little chance that the US sponsored government in Kabul would survive.  But dithering past the date will also be an open invitation to resume hostilities in earnest.

        As things stand with the Afghanistan Peace Agreement, the Taliban have every reason to chortle.  “There is little sign that this particular peace process,” opines Kate Clark of the Afghan Analysts Network, “has blunted the Taliban’s eagerness, in any way, to pursue war.”  Not only have they been brought into any future power sharing arrangements with Kabul; they are also entertaining a new constitution with a good dose of Islamic policing.  A powerful Islamic Jurisprudence Council with veto powers over laws is contemplated.  All of this comes with the departure of US troops provided the Taliban prevent Al Qaeda and other designated terrorist groups from operating within the country’s borders.

      • Waging War … At the Supermarket

        In the past week or so, there have been two more of them.

        “This cannot be our new normal. We should be able to feel safe in our grocery stores. We should be able to feel safe in our schools, in our movie theaters and in our communities. We need to see a change.”

      • Massage Parlor Massacre: Guns, God & Sex Addictionology

        By the time I received my test results (no ‘Rona,, thank Goddess, just a touch of “Walking Pneumonia” which should be sung to the tune of “Waltzing Matilda” whilst downing copious fluids and antibiotics), the horror story of the massage parlor massacre or “spa shooting,” as MSM was calling it (which doesn’t quite convey the gruesome magnitude), was taking shape.

        Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old Evangelical Christian youth minister, confessed to the crime, on account of his “sex addiction,” according to Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

      • After 30 Years of War Against Iraq, Americans Must Make Reparations

        Thirty years of conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and injured many times more.

        Millions of people have been displaced directly by American bombing and invasion and indirectly by the rise of militia and paramilitary groups that flourished after the U.S. dismantled the Iraqi state. Extensive bombardment has destroyed thousands of homes, mosques, schools, and hospitals.

      • Femicide Census Connects Killings in the UK with Global Wave of Violence Against Women – Validated Independent News

        According to the Femicide Census, sixty-two percent of the 1,042 women killed by men from 2009-2018 in the UK were killed at the hands of an abusive partner, and the remaining thirty-eight percent were either killed by family members or someone they’d just met. Of the 888 women killed by abusive partners, thirty-eight percent were killed within the first month after separating from their partner, eighty-nine percent were killed within the first year of separating or attempting to separate, and five percent were killed three or more years later. Fifty-nine percent of the femicides reported by the Femicide Census in familial abuse cases had a known history of abuse and one-third of those women had disclosed to police.

      • Google’s triumphant 11 zero-day report exposed govt operation: claim

        The Silicon Valley giant did not attribute the attack and left out many crucial details from its reports, which appear to have been issued to burnish its security credentials given the level of sophistication involved in the attacks.

        A report in the Technology Review site said the decision to publicise this campaign had caused internal divisions at Google and also raised questions among American intelligence services.

    • Environment

      • A Turtle’s Life Cycle?
      • Climate change threatens the displacement of millions of people globally – Validated Independent News

        As Turse wrote, “a recent forecast suggests that, by the year 2050, the number of people driven from their homes by ecological catastrophes could be 900% greater than the 100 million forced to flee conflicts over the last decade.”

      • Coastal Darkening Threatens Ocean Food Chains – Validated Independent News

        Coastal Darkening is usually the result of introducing organic matter, known as Terrestrially derived Organic Materials (or TOM), into an aquatic environment. TOM can be added naturally by heavy rain stirring up organic matter. Other TOMs are introduced as a result of human interference, such as using fertilizer or boating. When fertilizer is washed away and ends up in a large body of water it causes an algal bloom in that area. These algae works in the same way as the organic matter stirred up by heavy rain and creates a similar light-blocking layer. Boating across a body of water causes silt to be kicked up. This silt gathers and creates yet another light blocking layer. Light-blocking layers caused by humans are the most significant causes of coastal darkening.

      • Greedy Pigs, Bad Pork, and the FBI – Validated Independent News

        Lucas Walker, a truck driving, gun-owning Trump supporter who also herds cattle, describes himself as a Libertarian with a distrust for organized power structures. He was working for Iowa Selects when the company, facing the slowdowns and stoppages at meatpacking plants across the state, decided to kill off thousands of pigs it could not process and sell by locking them in their pens, cutting off ventilation, and raising the heat. The hogs died over hours, agonizingly and in increasingly large numbers. While not an animal rights activist by any means, Walker was disgusted by Iowa Selects’ clear violations of animal welfare standards.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Want the Rich to Pay Their Fair Share? Don’t Call It a Tax

        Reframing taxes as an investment in public services that we all use or benefit from—such as roads and bridges, water and sewer systems—would be one approach.

      • An Inclusive Child Allowance Would Strengthen the Public Child Support System

        If anything, a well-designed, inclusive child allowance program, the kind that is normal in most other rich countries, would reduce the financial pressures that too often set struggling parents at odds. It would also make it easier to improve the current public child support system to work much better for struggling parents and strengthen family bonds, including cooperative bonds between co-parents who live apart, and emotional bonds between noncustodial parents and their children.

        How Child Support Works in the United States

      • Indonesia’s Omnibus Labor and Wage Law Encounters Massive Popular Resistance – Validated Independent News

        Indonesia is struggling to emerge from a past marked by a militarized police state that violated human rights and massacred its opponents on the left. The ruling elite in Indonesia can be traced back to the dictatorship of ‘president’ Suharto’s New Order, which lasted for 31 years until his resignation in 1998. The legacy of Suharto’s regime has been the creation of a political edifice of oligarchs, consisting of older elites and military forces who dominate both the executive and legislative branches of government and have expanded the power of the National Armed Forces and the National Police, both groups which have devastated civilian life in Indonesia.

      • Crypto earnings are not passive income

        As of this writing, the US tax code does not classify earnings from crypto as passive income. Sure, ‘passive income’ when expressed in plain English just means income made as an aside, but I do believe most tubers are using the term as one would use it to describe actual bone fide ‘passive income’ as defined by the IRS.

        First off, I am not a tax advisor, so only take my words with a grain of salt: do your own research and do seek professional tax council. That said, it’s interesting to note how little the IRS deems ‘passive income.’

      • Stripe migrates servers hosting data of Indian customers to comply with local laws

        Stripe, the world’s most valued fintech firm, is overhauling its tech infrastructure in India and migrating servers hosting data of its Indian customers to within the country as mandated by local laws, the firm said in a blog post.

        The move is aimed at complying with the Reserve Bank of India’s regulation on data localisation as is part of the Irish American payment firm’s continued investment in India’s burgeoning digital payments market, the firm said, adding that the overhaul could temporarily affect some of its services.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Can Social Movements Realign America’s Political Parties to Implement Big Change?

        Groups such as Sunrise and Justice Democrats are reviving the old idea of realignment, with hopes of provoking new political transformations.

      • Dear Republican Voters, What Did You Expect?

        When Ted Nugent, the NRA and the GOP told you that more guns would make America a less violent society, what did you expect? Did you really think that suddenly every American would become a fast-draw marksman and vigilante justice would take us back to some happy Wild West movie fantasy?

        When Trump said Covid was “just like the flu” at the same time he was telling Bob Woodward it was a killer, what did you expect? When he pushed refusing to wear a mask as if it were some sort of declaration of masculinity, and openly encouraged states and cities to remain open to produce “herd…er…thinking” did you really believe that would keep a half-million Americans from dying?

      • Indigenous Peoples Call for Change from Biden Administration – Validated Independent News

        In the first weeks of his new presidency, Biden is expected to restore the boundaries of the Bears Ears Monument, a national monument in the southeast, according to a High Country News report. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, a group of tribal governments, had worked with the US government in the past to establish the boundaries of this historically and environmentally important preserve. This did not stop locals from forcefully driving Native American tribes away, leading to years of internal conflict within the state of Utah; in 2017 the Trump administration reduced the size of the monument from 1.35 million acres to just 200,000 acres.

      • Georgia Rep. Charged With Felonies for Knocking on Kemp’s Door as He Signed Voter Suppression Bill

        “This is straight out of Jim Crow.”

      • America Radiates Violence: Challenging the Politics of Isolated Incidents

        America radiates violence and mass shootings are only one register of this plague. The richest country in the world is armed, has one of the largest prison systems in the world,  rings the planet with over 800 military bases in 70 countries, and has a military budget of $738 billion that is insanely bloated and is larger than the next ten countries combined. Moreover, it criminalizes social problems, has an entertainment culture that trades in violence as a spectacle, demonizes people of color, militarizes its police forces, and elects politicians who denounce democracy and support a former president who emboldens right-wing violent extremists by using language as a vehicle to glorify violence as a way of solving social problems.

        Sadly, 75 million Americans voted for Trump whose penchant for violence is only matched by his hatred of democracy and a celebration of ignorance and the crushing of dissent.

      • Evanston, Illinois, to Pay Reparations to Black Families Harmed by Decades of Racist Housing Policies

        Evanston, Illinois, has become the first city in the United States to make reparations available to its Black residents for past discrimination and the lingering effects of slavery. The Chicago suburb’s City Council voted 8 to 1 to distribute $400,000 to eligible Black households, with qualifying residents receiving $25,000 for home repairs or down payments on property. The program is being funded through donations and revenue from a 3% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana, and the city has pledged to distribute $10 million over 10 years. “There’s no way to express how significant this is,” says Danny Glover, an actor and activist who is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission. “Imagine how that resonates beyond Evanston, Illinois. Imagine the kind of discourse that happens, the discussions in community by ordinary citizens about reparations.” We also speak with Robin Rue Simmons, a member of the Evanston City Council and reparations advocate, and Dino Robinson, a historian and executive director of the Shorefront Legacy Center, the only community archive for Black history on Chicago’s suburban North Shore.

      • How Biden Looks at the World

        As Biden explained, U.S. engagement is based, first and foremost, on U.S. global power, “our inexhaustible source of strength” and “abiding advantage.” That power has historically consisted of military force, economic pressure, and diplomatic engagement. Rhetorically at least, Biden has favored a recalibration away from a reliance on the military, insisting that force will be a “tool of last resort.”

        In practice, however, Biden has adopted a more ambiguous position toward military power. Reflecting both budgetary concerns and public skepticism of America’s recent record of military interventions, the new president has promised a Global Posture Review of U.S. military footprint overseas, which would likely lead to a redeployment rather than a radical reduction of American military power. Biden’s early actions have reflected this cautious approach, ending U.S. support for offensive military operations in the Saudi-led war in Yemen but freezing some of the troops withdrawals his predecessor had instituted at the end of his term. Looking to the future, the president has promised to phase out America’s “forever wars” but has also pledged to focus more on pushing back against other great powers, namely Russia and China.

      • The Night the Nazis Came to Murder My Grandfather

        As World War I decimated a generation, a young Berlin artist born Helmut Herzfeld changed his name to John Heartfield to protest out-of-control German nationalism. In 1918, he was a founding member of Berlin Club Dada—a group of artistic rebels whose influence in all areas of culture continues to this day.

      • Threat of Authoritarianism Is No Longer on the Horizon: It’s Arrived in the GOP
      • Associate of Hunter Biden Defense Attorney Appointed to DOJ Position in Biden Administration – Validated Independent News

        A February 19, 2021 Washington Examiner article explains that after Republican Senators Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) raised concerns about McQuaid and some of the President’s other selections for DOJ staff members, the DOJ sent the senators a letter suggesting that McQuaid had been recused from cases involving his former law firm. However, the article noted that the DOJ’s letter left some of the questions Johnson and Grassley posed unanswered. The Epoch Times reports that law firm Latham and Watkins declined Fox News’ request to comment on the collaboration between Clark and McQuaid. The Examiner reported that the Justice Department has also declined to comment on the matter.

      • Right-Wing Groups Attack Election and Ethics Reform Bill
      • Senator Elizabeth Warren Goes Over The Line; Threatens To Punish Amazon For ‘Snotty Tweets’

        It’s no secret that Elizabeth Warren thinks the big internet companies should be broken up. She’s made that argument emphatically over the years. I’m not exactly clear what breaking them up actually accomplishes beyond punishing the companies, but as a Senator, she can certainly make the arguments for why it makes sense, or pass laws that impact how antitrust works.

      • Will Lula Make a Comeback? Global Imperialists and Resource Extractors Shudder at the Prospect

        Will the world’s sixth most populous country move away from fascism and towards a social democracy putting economic justice and anti-imperialism first once more?

      • Police Use of Dogs as Instruments of Violence Targets People of Color – Validated Independent News

        According to the latest in a series of articles published on The Marshall Project’s website, the rate of police K-9 bites in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a majority-Black city of 220,000, averages more than double that of the next-ranked city (Indianapolis) and of those bites nearly a third are inflicted on teenage men, most of whom are Black. As it stands, Baton Rouge’s police dogs bite their city’s teenagers, ages thirteen to seventeen, “once every three weeks, on average,” according to the city’s Police Department data.

      • McConnell: the Man Without Juxtapositions

        On March 3, 2021, Mitch explained to Martha MacCallum on Fox News, that as a result of the Biden package:  “There is a concern about making it more advantageous to stay home rather than going back to work.  If we could do it all over again, we-meaning Republicans-may offer an alternative that we think fits the situation.  And it’s considerably less than $1.9 trillion. . . .”  At a press briefing before it was voted on, he described the bill as “wildly expensive” and “largely unrelated to the problem.”

        Led by Mitch, the Republicans in the Senate, to a man and woman, ever mindful of their taxpaying constituents and the need to protect the taxpayers’ dollars and make sure they are appropriately used, on March 6, 2021, voted against the stimulus package sent to them by the House. It was hardly Mitch’s fault that three days before the vote took place, and on the same day he was being interviewed on Fox News, we learned of Elaine’s lack of concern for the very same taxpayers that Mitch was so interested in protecting from Biden’s profligacy.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Whistleblowers Help Shut Down Detention Center In Pennsylvania Where Child Abuse Occurred

        In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights the record number of workplace complaints that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US Labor Department received in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        He covers a whistleblower story involving an employee at Tesla, who faced retaliation when he raised concerns about solar power systems that were prone to catching fire. And he amplifies a horrific story involving abuse of children at a juvenile detention center in Pennsylvania, which was shut down as a result of whistleblowers and public defenders who raised their voices. Finally, like most weeks, we conclude with an update on the global campaign to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the extradition case against him.

      • Can Social Movements Realign America’s Political Parties to Win Big Change?
      • Georgia Republicans Just Passed a Law to Make It Easier to Overturn Elections
      • GA Rep. Arrested for Knocking on Kemp’s Door as He Signed Voter Suppression Bill
      • Amnesty International condemns conditions of Alexey Navalny’s detention

        The human rights organization Amnesty International condemns the conditions of Alexey Navalny’s detention and once again demands the opposition politician’s immediate release, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe and Central Asia, told Meduza on Friday, March 26.

      • The Persistence of Idiocy

        (After the assassination of John F. Kennedy the Democrats contrived the myth of the Kennedy White House as Camelot, the magical kingdom of King Arthur in the then popular musical. In Kennedy’s short tragic term they found in retrospect the “fleeting wisp of glory called Camelot” that Richard Burton sang about. Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American” lacks the wistful appeal of the Lerner and Loewe tune but perhaps rings with similar nostalgia for the grieving, defeated Trumpian. Now that the U.S. is no longer free, but taken over by the communists, how to be proud?)

        Trump, believes the Trumpian, made the world respect us again! He gave us the best economy the world had ever seen! He did more for the blacks than any president ever, including Lincoln! He fought back for freedom against that horrible “political correctness,” and let us keep our guns! He kept out the Chinese, to stop the China Flu invented in a Chinese Communist Party lab. He gave us back Christmas. He held up the Bible and made it okay to pray again. He protected the children from the pedophile satanist cannibals who kidnap, rape, kill and eat them with Pelosi’s full knowledge.

      • Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol wins petition to ease house arrest

        Despite being under house arrest as a suspect in the so-called sanitary case, opposition figure and Navalny aide Lyubov Sobol is now permitted to attend church and take her daughter to school.

      • Alexey Navalny speaks out about the health problems he’s experiencing in prison

        Opposition politician Alexey Navalny has released a statement on social media about the health problems he’s experiencing while in custody in Penal Colony No. 2 (IK-2) in Pokrov. 

      • Flowers against bullets: Belarusian women are turning everyday objects in protest symbols — and facing persecution for it

        On March 25, Belarus commemorated Freedom Day — an unofficial holiday marking the date in 1918 when the Belarusian Democratic Republic declared its independence. Traditionally, this day is an occasion for opposition marches and rallies, making it a thorn in the side of dictator Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) and his regime. Ahead of Freedom Day 2021, Meduza asked a photographer known by the pseudonym Volya to photograph Belarusian women involved in the country’s ongoing protest movement, alongside the everyday objects they have used to express their political discontent. Since these women are under threat in Belarus, their stories and commentary remain anonymous.

      • A new strategy for Moscow During this year’s State Duma race, Russia’s ruling party hopes to split the opposition, deceive inattentive voters, and (as always) mobilize state employees

        Russia’s ruling political party is concerned about its low electoral ratings in Moscow. According to the latest VTsIOM survey, United Russia only stands at 20 percent — but the party is holding out hope for an even better result in the September 2021 State Duma race than in the previous parliamentary elections. As such, United Russia is preparing to counter Alexey Navalny’s strategic voting initiative — including by betting that inattentive voters will fall for fraudulent websites and misleading bots. The ruling party is also preparing to drive a wedge between Russia’s opposition parties, by creating “inter-party conflicts” and turning “opposition events into a circus.” Meanwhile, their “Full Speed Ahead” project for controlling turnout at polling stations awaits state employees. Or at least that’s the plan according to the strategy for United Russia’s Moscow branch obtained by Meduza. 

      • Jim Crow Redux: Georgia GOP Governor Signs “Egregious” Voter Suppression Law Targeting Black Voters

        Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp has signed a sweeping elections bill that civil rights groups are blasting as the worst voter suppression legislation since the Jim Crow era. The bill grants broad power to state officials to take control of election management from local and county election boards. It also adds new voter ID requirements, severely limits mail-in ballot drop boxes, rejects ballots cast in the wrong precinct and allows conservative activists to challenge the eligibility of an unlimited number of voters. Since the 2020 election, Republican state lawmakers have introduced over 250 bills in 43 states to limit voter access. The elections bill is “extremely egregious” in its restriction of voting rights, says journalist Anoa Changa. “They’re continuing to put processes in place that reinforce these narratives that … have long existed within the Republican toolkit to help get their base fearful in terms of what might come in terms of Black voters and other voters of color.”

      • Amazon keeps trying to troll US Congress members in perplexing new PR strategy

        Somehow, one of the most powerful and valuable companies on Earth has decided its bold new PR strategy should involve playing immature semantics with a US senator.

      • Facebook’s Tech Regulation Idea Isn’t as Transparent as It Looks

        Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg pushed his idea this week that Big Tech can self-police content by publishing reports and data on how well the industry removes objectionable posts. The problem is Facebook has a system in place already that’s done little to improve accountability, according to outside experts.

      • Second voting machine company sues Fox News over disinformation

        Dominion Voting Systems has become the second voting tech company to sue Fox News for airing conspiracy theories about its products. The company sued Fox News for defamation in Delaware state court today, saying the network “endorsed, repeated, and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies” claiming Dominion manipulated votes and rigged the election against former President Donald Trump. It’s requesting $1.6 billion in damages alongside expenses for security and combating a “disinformation campaign.”

      • Dominion Voting Systems Sues Fox News for $1.6 Billion
      • What to know about Dominion’s legal fight with Fox News

        Dominion Voting opened a new front Friday in the high-stakes clash over alleged Trump-inspired media disinformation by filing a $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News.

        Here are the main questions and answers about the latest legal standoff to arise from former President Trump’s post-election falsehoods, which the lawsuit alleges were unlawfully amplified by Trump’s media allies to a global audience.

      • Pressed by Congress, Big Tech Defends Itself and Offers Few Solutions After Capitol [Insurrection]

        The heads of the largest social media companies largely defended their platforms, reiterated what they’ve done, and offered few solutions to the problems that ail them during a congressional hearing Thursday.

        But, under harsh questioning from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, none of the CEOs of Google, Facebook or Twitter were given chance to respond to questions for more than 30 to 60 seconds on a given topic.

        The hearing was about misinformation on social media in the fallout of the January 6 Capitol riot. The CEOs said dealing with the problem of dis- and misinformation on their platforms is more difficult than people think.

      • Why Georgia’s New Voting Law Is Such A Big Deal

        Republicans are trying to enact laws making it harder to vote across the country, and it’s not clear that Georgia’s will be among the most aggressive when all of them are finalized. But considering what happened in Georgia from November to January, the enactment of this law in that state is a particularly alarming sign that the Republican Party’s attacks on democratic norms and values are continuing and in some ways accelerating.

      • [Old] Digital Sovereignty and Open Source

        Recently, the context of digital sovereignty has been critical in Europe which led to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the US-EU Privacy Shield framework. Nevertheless, the topic still looms large with open questions on data security, cloud and software usage, to name a few.

        Open source adoption: public organisations take the lead

        When it comes to software usage, public organisations are at the forefront as they keep looking for efficient and effective ways to deliver quality technological services, while being obliged to shareholders, investors or taxpayers for keeping costs under check.

        However, the tipping point in costs is not the only factor. The important aspects driving organisations’ move away from use of proprietary software include:

        Dependency on a limited set of providers, vendor lock-in

        Inability to share and collaborate openly

        Lack of access to source code

        No control over product evolution/innovation

      • Internet: Medium For Communication, Medium For Narrative Control — The Actors And Incentives: New Economies

        Life in an information society is about moving data, the new raw material, around our manufacturing pipelines. This data is then consumed by either paying with attention or money. Data and attention are the two assets of the digital economies that emerged.

        Whoever holds the means of productions, by centralizing and monopolizing them, has a tremendous advantage in any economy. In a data economy these are the data brokers who figuratively data mine the raw material, store it, and keep it well guarded — as is required in any intangible economy to succeed (See Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy).

        The other new asset is attention. In an environment where it is at the same time so hard to reach an audience and, once reaching a threshold, so easy to spread virally, having the skills to capture attention is valuable. This is due to multiple factors such as the rise of social media, the average users becoming generator of content, and the ever growing infobesity.

      • 5 Takeaways From Big Tech’s Misinformation Hearing

        The hearing was centered around misinformation. It was the first time the executives took questions from lawmakers since the riot at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters on Jan. 6 and since the widespread rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine began.

        Here are five takeaways from the virtual hearing (which featured surprising few technical issues, other than the usual confusion over finding the mute button): [...]

      • Special Operations team in Pacific will confront Chinese information campaigns

        The Joint Task Force Indo-Pacific team will be focused on information and influence operations in the Pacific theater, a part of the world receiving much the military’s attention because of China’s growing capabilities.

        The team is poised to work with like-minded partners in the region, Gen. Richard Clarke, commander of Special Operations Command, said before the Armed Services Committee. “We actually are able to tamp down some of the disinformation that they [China] continuously sow,” he said of the task force’s efforts.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Even with Changes, the Revised PACT Act Will Lead to More Online Censorship

        Despite the PACT Act’s good intentions, EFF could not support the original version because it created a censorship regime by conditioning the legal protections of 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”) on a platform’s ability to remove user-generated content that others claimed was unlawful. It also placed a number of other burdensome obligations on online services.

        To their credit, the PACT Act’s authors—Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and John Thune (R-SD)—listened to EFF and others’ criticism of the bill and amended the text before introducing an updated version earlier this month. The updated PACT Act, however, contains the same fundamental flaws as the original: creating a legal regime that rewards platforms for over-censoring users’ speech. Because of that, EFF remains opposed to the bill.

        Notwithstanding our opposition, we agree with the PACT Act’s sponsors that internet users currently suffer from the vagaries of Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s content moderation policies. Those platforms have repeatedly failed to address harmful content on their services. But forcing all services hosting user-generated content to increase their content moderation doesn’t address Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s dominance—in fact, it only helps cement their status. This is because only well-resourced platforms will be able to meet the PACT Act’s requirements, notwithstanding the bill’s attempt to treat smaller platforms differently.

      • ‘I wanted to work with people’ State television channel takes down viral news segment featuring Russian National Guard officers beating up a mannequin

        The state television channel GTRK Mari El has taken down a news segment about a female inspector in the Russian National Guard after the video went viral on Friday, March 26. During the segment, Inspector Alina Klenchiva tells reporters that joining the National Guard was her childhood dream, because she “wanted to work with people” — meanwhile, in the background of the shot, her colleagues can be seen beating up a mannequin with truncheons.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Facebook Removes A Picture Of A Famous Danish Mermaid Statue (2016)

        Summary: For over a century, Edvard Eriksen’s bronze statue of The Little Mermaid becoming human has been installed on a rock along the water in Copenhagen, Denmark. The statue was designed to represent the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, and has become a tourist attraction and landmark.

      • Warner presses Zuckerberg to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook, Instagram

        Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Friday pressed Facebook to do more to combat the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on both its platform and Instagram.

        In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Warner detailed his concerns that the social media giant is not doing enough to get a handle on the increasing tide of misleading information around the safety of the vaccines.

      • Tech Groups Stand Fast With Section 230, Algorithmic Reform, Broadband Funding for States

        The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has released a statement doubling down on the importance of internet liability protection under Section 230 ahead of a congressional hearing on disinformation Thursday.

      • Section 230 Needs Thoughtful Reform, Says ITIF

        Section 230 has come under the regulatory microscope as Congress evaluates the impact of harmful online activity like disinformation and the role of online platforms in preventing and addressing this activity. Section 230 continues to be instrumental in enabling innovative online business models that rely on user-generated content and providing companies the liability protection necessary to allow them to moderate user content.

      • How the Section 230 Uproar Misses the Point

        Washington’s loathing of Section 230 — legislation that generally offers protections to Internet platforms against liability regarding user posts — has been constant and bipartisan.

      • Rights groups slam EU online terrorist content law

        A potential EU law that would force Google, Facebook and Twitter to remove terrorist content within an hour is being seen as a risk to fundamental rights, according to 61 civil rights groups.

        “We urge the European Parliament to reject this proposal, as it poses serious threats to freedom of expression and opinion,” the groups stated in a letter sent to members of European Parliament.

        The civil rights groups include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Civil Liberties Union for Europe and the European Federation of Journalists.

      • Zuckerberg suggests how to tweak tech’s liability shield

        The other side: Smaller tech companies and online sites will balk at any Section 230 changes, even if considered narrow. The biggest companies have the greatest ability to respond and adapt to legislation.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Judicial Right Is Coming After Freedom of the Press

        Then–President Donald Trump’s call to widen libel laws to make it easier to sue media outlets for defamation was, at the time, seen as one of his many political theatrical stunts, throwing red meat to his voting base (New York Times, 1/10/18). Following his lead, his supporters had long referred to the press as “fake news,” sometimes using the Nazi expression lügenpresse, meaning “lying press” (Time, 10/25/16).

      • Michael Flynn’s family members file $75M lawsuit against CNN over QAnon video

        Two family members of Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s short-lived national security adviser turned conspiracy-theory firebrand, filed a $75 million lawsuit Thursday against CNN, accusing the cable network of besmirching their reputations. This comes in response to CNN’s accurate reporting on the Flynn family’s recitation of a far-right, QAnon-associated pledge called “Oath of the Digital Soldier,” which Flynn posted to Twitter last July 4.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Home Care Attendants Are Leading the Fight to Reclaim the Workday

        In 2014, Lai Yee Chan, a home attendant working in New York City, received an unexpected $200 check from her employer, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). Too afraid to ask her employer why, Yee was informed by an accountant that this check was the extent of her overtime pay since 2007.

      • Students in Turkey Are Standing Up for LGBT Rights

        Tensions had been running high for weeks at Bogazici University, Turkey’s top-ranked institution of higher learning, but it was a student-organized art exhibit that brought about a police crackdown on the university’s campus.

      • Amazon’s Ring Proactively Partnering with Police Across the United States – Validated Independent News

        Many of the implications here are clear, but one of many specific active threats this poses has to do with the policing of protests. Allowing police to identify protestors gives them reach that was previously inconceivable. According Sam Biddle’s February 16, 2020 article in The Intercept, emails exchanged by Los Angeles Police Department personnel show that officers were requesting footage from Ring owners captured during demonstrations in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. That same year, local law enforcement agencies made requests for over 22,000 incidents, with almost 2,000 of them being court orders, search warrants, or subpoenas used after Ring owners actually denied the initial request, as reported by the Verge.

      • Baton Rouge Police Department Unleashes Dogs on to Black Teens – Validated Independent News

        According to records reviewed by the nonprofit criminal justice organization The Marshall Project, between 2017 and 2019, Baton Rouge police dogs bit at least 146 people. Fifty-three of those people were 17-years old or younger. A majority of the dog-bite victims were Black, most of them unarmed, and suspected by police of nonviolent crimes such as driving a stolen vehicle or burglary. The Baton Rouge Police Department to harmful effect, especially against teenagers,  more often than any other police department in the country, according to the Marshall Project. On average, a Baton Rouge police dog will bite a teenager once every three weeks. In a joint investigation The Marshall Project and The Advocate found that the BRPD had “the second highest per-capita rate of dogs biting suspects of the cities examined. Only the police department in Auburn, Washington, a much smaller city, had a higher rate.”

      • I Am a Victim of Republican Cancel Culture

        But Republicans have been canceling people for much longer.

        I am living proof.

      • Underreported Epidemic of Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans – Validated Independent News

        From verbal harassment and physical assault to discrimination and intimidation, the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the New York area faced an astounding 1900% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the year 2020 according to New York Police Department data, Brittany Wong reported for Huffington Post. Those who used to be considered the “model minority” are now being targeted across the country as dirty, disease-spreading conspirators. The upsurge of violence against the AAPI community has been heavily influenced by the hateful xenophobic rhetoric of Donald Trump and his political allies, who describe the COVID-19 coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” “kung flu,” “plague from China,” and other names that falsely vilify Asian-Americans.

      • Opinion | The Border Is Not a ‘Crisis’ But People Are Suffering

        Wisconsin immigration lawyers worry about misinformation and backlash.

      • Opinion | For the Right and Corporate Media, Border Is ‘Political Crisis,’ Not Humanitarian Emergency

        The people coming to the border are real people, most of them going through a harrowing and dangerous journey to escape even more harrowing situations.

      • Desperate at the Border

        Note that there are very few Nicaraguans among the migrants deluging the border. Why? Because by and large Nicaraguans are satisfied with their socialized economy and their very livable country. But the U.S. isn’t satisfied. No. The U.S. agitates for regime change in socialist Nicaragua, presumably to install a narco-dictator like Juan Hernandez who the U.S. backs in Honduras; the U.S. wants to embed somebody at the helm in Nicaragua who has the Chamber of Commerce seal of approval, a stalwart anti-socialist, who will unleash death squads on leftists and send those Nicaraguan campesinos scrambling to Texas. Did I say U.S. policy is just plain stupid? Let’s repeat that: It’s as stupid as it gets.

        The U.S. also supports the relatively new, right-wing president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who came to power defeating the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front by means of some “anti-corruption” hullaballoo. After the way the anti-corruption business was deployed in Brazil against former presidents Dilma Rousseff and Lula, whoever uses it as a path to power deserves skepticism, to say the least. And Bukele is quite authoritarian. At one point he sent soldiers into the legislative assembly to help pass a bill and, reportedly, to overthrow that assembly. Despite a 2020 cut in aid to Bukele’s government, the Trump administration was generally one of his biggest boosters. For the most part, he has U.S. support. Let’s hope that doesn’t mean, as it so often does, that tens of thousands of El Salvadorans hit the road again on their way north. Because that will educe a geschrei of rage from Trump nativists and thus propel the next, Trump-imitating neo-fascist’s quest for the U.S. presidency.

      • Borders are a Weapon of Mass Destruction

        They call this a crisis at the border, but the border is the crisis. Ever since Bill Clinton moved to militarize this country’s massive federally centralized border back in 1994, we’ve been violating migrant rights as if it were a competitive sport. Building bigger and bigger prisons and meaner and meaner posses of Border Patrol thugs whose authority stretched deeper and deeper into the heartland. All for a senseless war on the crime of crossing an invisible line scribbled by conquistadors and other assorted savages in the desert centuries ago. Borders, especially big borders, are nothing but another excuse to give the state unspeakable powers to do unspeakable things to desperate people. Fuck all of them. They all make me fucking sick.

        My violent allergy to borders is more than just a side effect of my anarchism. It runs in my veins as an Irish Catholic daughter of renegade stock. There was a time when this awful country at least had relatively open borders. When they welcomed your poor, your tired, your sick… My ancestors were all of the above, fleeing for their lives from an English-enforced starvation genocide straight out of Madeline Albright’s wet dream journal called the Irish Potato Famine. In fact, if it wasn’t for the lax border politics of 19th Century America, there is a very real possibility that I wouldn’t even exist to bitch at you today. Millions more would have starved in the Crown’s final solution to their long Irish problem. So Morrigan help me, this issue is more than a little personal. Just add a history of child abuse and stir and you get one pissed-off tranny who sees herself in the thousand-yard stare of every hungry five-year-old confined in one of Mr. Biden’s fabulous decorated new cages. I get sick headaches just writing about it. But my Irish heritage includes another very different border crisis that I believe shines a light on not only the famines, but the bitter-sweet policies that saved us from them, and the very nature of mass immigration laws themselves.

      • Historic Wave of Wildcat Strikes for Workers’ Rights Ignored – Validated Independent News

        Traditionally, workers go on strike after receiving consent from their union representatives. However, wildcat strikes occur when workers without unions, or without approval by the unions they do have, collectively stop working and go on strike. Over the past year, there have been hundreds of reported work stoppages across various essential industries including food service, meat processing, retail, manufacturing, education, transportation, and healthcare. Most wildcat strikes last for a few days, often resulting in employers making some concessions to worker’s demands.

      • Nawal El-Saadawi and the Barriers of Patriarchy

        I was accompanying the Egyptian writer to the Manhattan studio of the national radio network, and sat behind her in the glass-walled booth as the interview got underway. It was the early 1990s when the Western public was newly aware of Muslim people—as individual women and men. The interviewer (a well-known radio personality) actually began with a question other guests might stumble over, be outraged by, or possibly be moved to cancel the discussion altogether.

        “Are you a good Muslim?”, asked the host.

      • Zach Snyder’s Justice League: a Four Hour Ayn Rand Fantasia

        And yet here we are, one year into an extremely weird annum that seems to oftentimes reflect Objectivism’s worst implications, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League has plopped into our midsts.

        The film’s plot is the same as the previous iteration released four years ago. After the death of Superman, Bruce Wayne races to build the Justice League, including Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and eventually a resurrected Kryptonian. Their major antagonist is Steppenwolf, an extra-terrestrial with magnificent strength and abilities that is seeking to gain control of and then unite three Mother Boxes in service of a larger scheme that was intended to branch across two Justice League sequels that now may never be actually produced but (confoundingly) were foreshadowed in not one but two films. The major difference in the picture boils down to tone, length, and magnanimity.

      • Danny Glover on Amazon Union Drive, the Power of Organized Labor & Centuries of Resistance in Haiti

        As workers in Bessemer, Alabama, continue to vote on whether to establish the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States, we speak with actor and activist Danny Glover, who recently joined organizers on the ground to push for a yes vote. “This election is a statement,” says Glover, one of the most high-profile supporters of the closely watched union drive. Nearly 6,000 workers, most of them Black, have until March 29 to return their ballots. If workers successfully unionize, it could be a watershed moment for the U.S. labor movement, setting off a wave of union drives at Amazon facilities across the country. “Once unions are there, once workers have representation on all levels, once they have a seat at the bargaining table, it’s another kind of expression and a new relationship,” says Glover.

      • Danny Glover Joins Amazon Organizers on the Ground in Lead-Up to Union Vote
      • Senator Demands Postal Board Fire DeJoy Over ‘Pathetic 10-Year Plan to Weaken USPS’

        “He is a clear and present threat to the future of the Postal Service and the well-being of millions of Americans.”

      • Senator Demands Firing of Postmaster General Over 10-Year Plan to Weaken USPS
      • Internal Documents Show Amazon Knows Its Drivers Urinate, Defecate in Trucks
      • Complexities at the Border Are Lost as Media, GOP Paint Situation as a “Surge”
      • Biden Administration Says There’s Nothing Wrong With ICE Setting Up A Fake College To Dupe Foreign Students Out Of Their Money, Residency

        In 2019, facts came to light showing ICE had set up an entire fake college in Michigan to “catch” foreign visitors in the act of COMPLYING WITH FEDERAL LAW by continuing to pursue advanced degrees. Student visas remain valid as long as foreign visitors continue their education. The dwindling supply of H-1B visas under Trump meant that staying on top of educational obligations was a priority for those already in the country.

      • California Sent $8 Billion to Counties to Improve Jails and Services But Failed to Track the Money, Says Auditor

        A decade after California embarked on a sweeping prison overhaul that diverted thousands of inmates to county jails, state and local governing bodies have failed to adequately track billions of dollars intended for improving county lockups and rehabilitating offenders, a state audit has found.

        The lack of oversight has created enormous budget surpluses, opaque spending practices and progress reports to lawmakers that are “inconsistent and incomplete,” California Auditor Elaine M. Howle’s office said in a wide-ranging report issued Thursday.

      • A Police Union Contract Puts Taxpayers on the Hook to Defend Officers When the City Won’t

        Even among the hundreds of videos capturing the violent police response to Black Lives Matter protests last year, this one stood out.

        A muscular male officer, in a navy blue shirt with “NYPD” across the back, lunged at a young demonstrator, shoving her several feet and sending her crashing to the ground on a street in Brooklyn.

      • Mariame Kaba, Abolitionist and Author, on We Do This Til We Free Us

        Mariame Kaba is one of those organizers. She has been active in the movement for 35 years and is the founder and director of Project Nia, an organization focused on ending youth incarceration.

        Kaba recently released a collection of her writings on abolition, gender, and racial and transformative justice, titled We Do This ‘Til We Free Us, with Haymarket Books. Teen Vogue had a chance to speak with Kaba about abolition and how we got to this point.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • How bad for the climate is bingeing Netflix?

        Using the data, Netflix has revealed some stats on its emissions for the first time. The company says that one hour of streaming uses less than 100g CO2 equivalent (emissions from all greenhouse gases, not just CO2). Wired reports that this is similar to driving a car for a quarter of a mile, or running a 1,000-watt air-conditioning unit for 15 minutes in the US (and for 40 minutes in Europe).

        But with more than 203 million people now subscribed to Netflix, it’s hardly insignificant.

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: FTC apparently decided not to seek Supreme Court review of Ninth Circuit ruling in Qualcomm’s favor

        In October, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc by the United States Federal Trade Commission in its Qualcomm case. The FTC could have filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States, but it was already reported a couple of weeks ago that this probably wouldn’t happen. That’s what the Wall Street Journal learned at the time.

        [...]

        A different source had told me that the deadline would be March 27, i.e., Saturday, and I haven’t been able to verify whether a cert petition deadline falling on a weekend would automatically be extended to Monday. I trust Mr. Sangam had checked on this before he tweeted.

      • FOSS Patents: Has European Commissioner Thierry Breton already announced that Apple will have to allow alternative app stores? A matter of interpretation.

        One of the first LinkedIn posts I read this morning was from the Coalition for App Fairness, which was founded last year by Epic Games, Spotify, Match Group and others. When the CAF started, I firstly wanted to wait and see, but at the start of this year I already predicted on this blog that it would keep growing. My own app development company may at some point apply for membership, but even in that case I’d obviously retain my independent opinion. It was high time someone founded the CAF, given that a couple of other organizations claim to represent app developers while in reality being paid and remote-controlled by Apple in one case, Google in the other. It’s laughable when an entity claims to represent app developers but doesn’t support Epic against Apple, for example.

        So the CAF pointed to an article published by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton on LinkedIn, entitled DSA/DMA Myths — What is the EU digital regulation really about?

        According to CAF’s interpretation of the article, Mr. Breton is “stressing the importance that all gatekeepers allow other app stores on their platforms. This would mean that for the first time, there will be real competition for the App Store.” (emphasis added)

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: Samsung gets ‘westerndistricted’ by non-practicing entity asserting LED patents in Waco, TX

          When companies like Ericsson, but also numerous non-practicing entities, want to sue Samsung over U.S. patents, they traditionally went to the Eastern District of Texas. This Harvard Business School Working Knowledge article discusses how Samsung seeks to generate goodwill from the local community (from which the court picks its jurors) such as by building the only outdoor ice skating rink in Texas and an annual Wonderland of Lights festival, which “started with the Samsung Holiday Celebration Show, featuring music by the local symphony as 250,000 Christmas lights lit up the county courthouse.”

          But there’s an east-to-west “case drain” with the Western District of Texas having gone from a secondary patent litigation forum at best to the undisputed “market leader” among all roughly 100 U.S. federal judicial districts.

          [...]

          In order to have a perfect basis for selecting this particular forum, other than seeking to benefit from it the way Caltech is trying against Microsoft and others are trying against Tesla all the time, the plaintiff would have to be able to allege that Samsung’s Austin operation is where the alleged act of infringement primarily occurred. Should Samsung’s Austin presence have nothing to do with the specific issues of this case, the plaintiff can still try to leverage the combination of formally being a local Waco company and of Samsung having at least some significant presence in the Western District. Judge Albright, like his colleagues in the Eastern District, isn’t quite inclined to transfer cases out of his district, but the Federal Circuit can do so.

          If Samsung brings a motion to transfer venue, where would it suggest the case be transferred? The Eastern District of Texas? If it happened, it might be unprecedented at least in recent history for a defendant to an NPE patent case actually asking for the case to be sent to the Eastern District of Texas, rather than for it to be transferred out of there…

      • Trademarks

        • Poof! Taylor Swift, Evermore Theme Park Lawsuits Dropped With No Money Exchanged

          Well, that didn’t last long. You will recall that in early February a Utah theme park called Evermore filed a very stupid trademark lawsuit against Taylor Swift. At supposed issue was Swift’s new album, Evermore, and the associated merchandise for it. The theme park claimed that Swift’s album was driving their search engine rankings down, that people would be confused thinking she was somehow connected to the theme park, and that the park also produces some music, putting them in the same competitive marketplace as the singer. Swift’s team countersued, alleging that some of the park’s actors would sing and perform copyrighted music, including Swift’s. It was all, frankly, very dumb.

      • Copyrights

        • ACE Lawsuit: YouTuber ‘Touchtone’ Was Paid $500,000 To Market Pirate IPTV

          Last April, ACE – a coalition of entertainment companies headed up by Universal, Paramount, Columbia, Disney and Amazon – sued the alleged operator of pirate IPTV service Nitro TV. In a second amended complaint, ACE expands the list of defendants to include YouTuber ‘Touchtone’, who is said to have received more than half a million dollars to sell and market the service.

        • Pirated Screener Leaks Drop to New Low as Release Windows Shorten

          The number of leaked pirate screeners has dropped to an all-time low. Thus far, only three screeners of Oscar contenders have been released, which slashes the previous low in half. While it may be tempting to conclude that Hollywood finally has the screener problem under control, shortening release windows and online streaming premieres appear to be the main driver.

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  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 27, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 27, 2022



  5. Links 28/1/2022: GNU Poke 2.0 and OPNsense 22.1 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Links 27/1/2022: Archinstall 2.3.1 and Nix 2.6.0

    Links for the day



  7. On the Internet, Trust Should Not Become Centralised

    “Trust” is a word that lost its meaning in the era of “TPM” and fancier names for 'Palladium'; we need to reject this idea that computers need to check with Microsoft if the operating system is trusted (not just Windows!), check with Gulag/Chrome if a Web site is trusted, and whether it's OK to run some application/s on one's own computer (as if Jim Zemlin et al get to decide what is trusted)



  8. Microsoft-Connected Publishers Suffer and Perish With Microsoft (While Peddling 'Fake News' for Their Beloved Sponsor)

    IDG and other fake news outlets/networks/sites (selling to companies flattering articles about themselves or renting out 'news space' to them, not just ad space) want us to think Microsoft is doing very well, but it's just that same old Ponzi scheme



  9. Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022



  11. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)



  12. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats



  13. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  14. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography



  15. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)



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

    Links for the day



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

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



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

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



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

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



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

    Links for the day



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

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



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

    Links for the day



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

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  25. [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”



  26. 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?



  27. 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



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

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



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

    Links for the day


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