04.10.21

Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Work to make Linux run on M1 still in early days, says Torvalds

        Work towards making Linux run on Apple’s M1 platform is still in its early days and to make the hardware useful it needs more of a GPU driver than the basic frame buffer, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has said.

      • Linux 5.13 update expected to add Apple Silicon M1 support

        Although Linux has been already been run on Apple Silicon M1, it’s been through a series of patches designed to make a version boot on the new machines. Now Linux 5.13 is expected to gain preliminary support in its kernel.

        According to Phoronix, developer Hector Martin initial M1 support is in the running to be part of 5.13, which is expected to get a stable release around June 2021. Martin previously launched a Patreon crowd-funding effort to support his development work on the project.

        “This initial Apple M1 Linux port gets the UART, interrupts, SMP, and DeviceTree bits in place for offering basic functionality,” says Phoronix. “There is also a SimpleFB-based frame-buffer but getting working 3D/video acceleration will obviously be a daunting challenge.”

        Key areas of full M1 support have yet to be addressed. Specifically “getting the Apple M1 graphics systems fully working under Linux for day to day use is likely to take some time.”

      • Official support for Linux on the M1 Macs could come as soon as June

        While we’ve seen a variety of different efforts to bring Linux support to the M1 Macs, official support could be coming sooner than expected. As reported by Phoronix, the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle could be when preliminary support for the M1 Macs is added.

      • Asahi Linux devs merge effort to run Linux on Apple M1 silicon into kernel

        The Asahi Linux project, an effort to bring the Linux kernel to Apple’s M1 silicon, has merged its work and is on track to have it accepted in version 5.13 of the kernel.

        A merge from kernel hacker Arnd Bergmann of Linux-on-Arm outfit Linaro and a kernel mailing list post from Asahi Linux backer Hector Martin delivered the news.

        Martin also tweeted an alert, while also acknowledging that Linux overlord Linus Torvalds could banish the effort.

        [...]

        “This has been tested on an Apple M1 Mac Mini booting to a framebuffer and serial console, with SMP and KASLR, with an arm64 defconfig (+ CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE for the fb),” he wrote.

        Instructions on how to boot Linux on an M1 box can be found here.

        The code has been merged for the next version 5.13 of the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds this week issued rc6 of version 5.12, and each release usually runs to eight weekly release candidates and then a two-week merge window. If all goes well, Asahi Linux could therefore be a reality in about 12 weeks.

      • Apple M1 hardware support merged into Linux 5.13

        Asahi is the Japanese name for what we know as the McIntosh Apple—the specific fruit cultivar that gave the Mac its name. Asahi Linux is a fledgling distribution founded with the specific goal of creating a workable daily-driver Linux experience on Apple M1 silicon.

        This is a daunting task. Apple does not offer any community documentation for Apple Silicon, so Martin and cohorts must reverse-engineer the hardware as well as write drivers for it. And this is especially difficult considering the M1 GPU—without first-class graphics support, Asahi cannot possibly offer a first-class Linux experience on M1 hardware such as the 2020 M1 Mac Mini, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro.

        [...]

        As exciting as the news of Martin’s work landing upstream might be, don’t rush out to buy an Apple M1 device for Linux use just yet. It’s been five months since we tested the first Apple M1 hardware—and it’s taken every day of that time to get to a completely vanilla boot environment “just about suitable for debugging.”
        It’s impossible to guess how long it will take the Asahi developers to reverse-engineer the M1′s GPU and produce a quality open source driver. Even now it’s not impossible they’ll fail to do so entirely; or for some reason their work might not be accepted upstream.

        We’re cautiously excited about the idea of first-class Linux support on the M1, but we absolutely do not recommend buying M1 hardware for that purpose unless and until the Asahi project gets much, much farther down the road than it’s managed so far. This isn’t because we doubt Martin—his effort in getting the project as far as it’s gotten already is outstanding—it’s just far too early to assume success, let alone success within a concrete timeline.

      • Vulnerabilities In The Linux Kernels BPF Virtual Machine Lets Any Local User Run Kernel-Level Code

        A new Linux kernel vulnerability identified as CVE-2021-29154 allows regular unprivileged system users on any modern GNU/Linux users to run code in kernel-mode. Proof of concept exploit code exists. The vulnerability is present up to and including Linux 5.11.12, the Linux kernel developers have yet to release a safe version. A patch and workarounds do exist.

        The Linux kernel has a built-in virtual machine called the extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF). It was primarily intended for firewall-related purposes, but it has become much more than that. It is, in essence, a simple general-purpose virtual machine within the Linux kernel.

        It turns out that the Linux kernels eBPF virtual machine can be tricked into running code it shouldn’t due to the way BPF JIT compilers for some architectures compute branch displacements when generating machine code. It is possible to create specially crafted machine code that is executed in kernel mode, thus allowing attackers to execute all sorts of malicious code in kernel mode.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon Vulkan Driver Adds Option Of Rendering Less For ~30% Greater Performance – Phoronix

          If your current Vulkan-based Radeon Linux gaming performance isn’t cutting it and a new GPU is out of your budget or you have been unable to find a desired GPU upgrade in stock, the Mesa RADV driver has added an option likely of interest to you… Well, at least moving forward with this feature being limited to RDNA2 GPUs for now.

          RADV as Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver has added an option to allow Variable Rate Shading (VRS) via an environment variable override. This RADV addition is inspired by the likes of NVIDIA DLSS for trading rendering quality for better performance but in its current form is a “baby step” before being comparable to DLSS quality and functionality.

        • Bas Nieuwenhuizen: A First Foray into Rendering Less

          In RADV we just added an option to speed up rendering by rendering less pixels.

          These kinds of techniques have become more common over the past decade with techniques such as checkerboarding, TAA based upscaling and recently DLSS. Fundamentally all they do is trading off rendering quality for rendering cost and many of them include some amount of postprocessing to try to change the curve of that tradeoff. Most notably DLSS has been widly successful at that to the point many people claim it is barely a quality regression.

          Of course increasing GPU performance by up to 50% or so with barely any quality regression seems like must have and I think it would be pretty cool if we could have the same improvements on Linux. I think it has the potential to be a game changer, making games playable on APUs or playing with really high resolution or framerates on desktops.

          [...]

          VRS is by far the easiest thing to make work in almost all games. Most alternatives like checkerboarding, TAA and DLSS need modified render target size, significant shader fixups, or even a proprietary integration with games. Making changes that deeply is getting more complicated the more advanced the game is.

          If we want to reduce render resolution (which would be a key thing in e.g. checkerboarding or DLSS) it is very hard to confidently tie all resolution dependent things together. For example a big cost for some modern games is raytracing, but the information flow to the main render targets can be very hard to track automatically and hence such a thing would require a lot of investigation or a bunch of per game customizations.

    • Applications

      • Top 14 Terminal Emulators for Linux (With Extra Features or Amazing Looks) [Ed: Updated with 14 instead of 10 as before]

        By default, all Linux distributions already come pre-installed with a terminal application or terminal emulator (correct technical term). Of course, depending on the desktop environment, it will look and feel different.

        Here’s the thing about Linux. You are not restricted to what your distribution provides. You can opt for an alternative application of your choice. Terminal is no different. There are several impressive terminal emulators that offer unique features for a better user experience or for better looks.

        Here, I will be compiling a list of such interesting terminal applications that you can try on your Linux distribution.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Download, Install and Use ExpressVPN on Kali Linux

        It doesn’t come as a surprise to know that Kali Linux and VPNs are a match made in heaven. This Debian-based Linux distribution supports VPNs in many different ways – and we’ll focus on the most effective one. So, here’s how to set up and use ExpressVPN on Kali Linux.

      • How To Install Cinnamon on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Cinnamon on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Cinnamon is a free and open-source desktop environment that provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience for the X Window System, derived from GNOME. It strives to be the best desktop environment for Linux by offering speed, flexibility, and a slew of features.

        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 Cinnamon Desktop Environment on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How To Set A Cron Job In TrueNAS – LateWeb.Info

        TrueNAS allows users to run specific commands or scripts on a regular schedule using cron. This can be helpful for running repetitive tasks.

      • How to Install, Run and Uninstall VMware Player on Fedora Linux

        Vmware Workstation player is one of the best options to run virtual machines on Windows and Linux operating systems. In my personal experience, the interaction with VMs installed on VMware player was better as compared to VirtualBox. So, if you don’t want to use VirtualBox on Fedora Linux to run virtual machines, then here are the steps to set up this free virtualization platform.

      • Virtualization Performance on an Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast Phantom Canyon NUC11PHKi7C

        I’ve previously looked at Windows and Linux performance on the NUC11PHKi7C Enthusiast Phantom Canyon which is Intel’s latest NUC 11 flagship product specifically targeting gamers as it includes an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU.

        One usage aspect I didn’t test was virtualization and this brief article looks at the performance running VirtualBox and WSL2 on the NUC11PHKi7C and comparing it to Intel’s previous NUC with a discrete GPU: the NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon.

      • How To Install and Configure Apache SVN Server On Linux Desktop

        The Apache server is widely used for running servers and sites over the internet. If you own a distributed server where many administrators work together on the same project, you probably face problems keeping a record of who made the server changes. Here comes the Apache SVN server that you can install on your Linux machine to keep the log of your server’s activity and changes. It can maintain the login data, documentation data, source code, and other revisions.

        The Apache subversion system allows users and contributors to make changes, add features, revise and modify the repository with keeping the change records. You can also backup, revert, override, update your repository and delete revisions through the Apache SVN tool.

      • How to Create a Self-Signed SSL Certificate

        SSL certificates are used to facilitate authentication and encryption on the internet. Normally, these certificates are issued by trusted third-party certificate authorities such as Let’s Encrypt. A self-signed certificate is one that is obtained without going through any third-party certificate authority.

        TLS/SSL is a combination of a public certificate and a private key. The private key is stored securely on the server or on the load balancer, whereas the certificate is publicly accessible.

        In this tutorial, we explain how to create a self-signed SSL certificate by using the OpenSSL tool.

      • How to install and configure pCloud on Fedora | FOSS Linux

        You might have heard and used cloud services like DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, and many others. These have already integrated into various applications as an additional cloud storage option. However, one more cloud service seems to be taking the market by a storm due to its amazing features and plans. That’s the pCloud Service.

        pCloud is a cloud storage service from Switzerland and first launched in 2013. It is a cross-platform application with a desktop client available for Windows, Linux, macOS, IOS, and Android. When you first sign-up on pCloud, you are given 10GB of storage completely free. One of their amazing and competitive features is the security implemented on their systems. They even went ahead to hold a pCloud Crypto challenge that brought hackers worldwide to try and break their client-side encryption, but none of them succeeded.

        To ensure reliability in the availability of data, pCloud uses a distributed system architecture. All users’ data are distributed across five (5) servers stored in different locations. Therefore, when one server goes down, you are still assured of data availability. To ensure data security in transit (data being transmitted from your device to pCloud servers and vice versa), pCloud uses SSL/TLS protocols (Secure Socket Layer and Transport layer security. Like most cloud services available, pCloud comes with both free and paid plans. As you would expect, the latter comes with a lot more amazing features, including a lifetime plan.

      • How to create a user on Linux EC2 instance on AWS and add a public key to it using a shell script

        Creating a user and adding a public key to it can be very tedious. In this article, we will see how this process can be automated using a shell script which can help us avoid human errors that can arise if we do the task manually.

      • How to play Total War: ROME II on Linux

        Total War: ROME II is a strategy video game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It focuses on historical Roman society at a time of war. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can get Total War: ROME II working on your system.

      • How to Remove Files and Directories using the Linux Command Line – ByteXD

        In this tutorial we will go through how to remove files and directories in Linux using rm, unlink, and rmdir.

        These commands also work on macOS or other Unix-like operating systems.

        Deleting files using a desktop manager is easy and convenient, and you can usually recover them from the trash if you need them back.

        However, with the command line, it’s easier to delete multiple files, based on various patterns that you can set. However, when removing files and directories using the command line, they are not moved into the Trash, and will be more difficult to recover, if at all.

      • How to install Toontown Rewritten on a Chromebook – updated tutorial

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

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

      • Scan from Raspberry PI terminal with SANE – peppe8o

        With more and more people going near to programming languages, the requirement to get common external devices running from terminal command can become useful for your personal apps. A case use can include driving a scanner from terminal console and getting results with a Raspberry PI and the tool we are going to install is SANE

      • Install Docker on AlmaLinux

        Docker is a tool that is used to run software in a container. It’s a great way for developers and users to worry less about compatibility with an operating system and dependencies because the contained software should run identically on any system.

        [...]

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Docker on AlmaLinux and get started with installing containerized software. After Docker is installed, you can use it to install software packages much the same way you would use your distro’s package manager to download an app. The difference of using Docker is that everything is more automated, with compatibility and dependencies no longer being potential issues.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.6
        The Wine development release 6.6 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Mono engine updated to version 6.1.1, with upstream updates.
          - DWrite and DnsApi libraries converted to PE.
          - Plug & play driver support improvements.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.6.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.6.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
      • Wine 6.6 Released With Better Plug & Play Driver Support

        Wine 6.6 is out as the open-source project’s first release of April for running Windows games and applications primarily on Linux and macOS platforms. With Wine 6.6 comes more feature work that will ultimately be incorporated into the Wine 7.0 release due out in early 2022.

        Wine 6.6 isn’t a particularly big release but it does update its Mono engine against v6.1.1, the DWrite and DNSAPI libraries have been converted to portable executable (PE) format, there is plug and play driver support improvements, and a variety of bug fixes. The plug and play work includes a number of improvements to NTOSKRNL and SETUPAPI around storing of root PnP devices and re-enumerating the root devices.

      • Wine 6.6 Is Released

        Wine 6.6 comes with Mono 6.1.1, DWrite and DnsApi libraries ported to portable executables, some plug and play driver improvements and 56 game and application-specific bug-fixes. The DirectX 11 support remains somewhat unimpressive compared to what DXVK offers in certain specific demo scene demos.

        [...]

        Wine 6.6 has fixes a Evil Twin demo crash, it adds ITextServices::TxDraw and ITextServices::TxGetNaturalSize implementations which allows quite a few programs such as Google Talk, WebLoad, XMPSetup, ICQ 6.x, Kugou Music, QQ, Wechat and PVSYST to run, there’s two fixes for software rendering in the Half Life games, there’s two fixes for Breath of Fire IV, a fix for Dune 2000, a crash fix for the ancient Word 97 official application, a fix that allows online multiplayer in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 and a fix that prevents Solid Edge 15 from hanging when files are saved.

        The DWrite and DnsApi Wine libraries have been converted to portable executable (PE), the Mono engine has been updated to version 6.1.1 and some work has been done in the Plug & Play driver area.

        The Wine 6.6 release-notes do not mention any work on the DirectX9-11 to OpenGL translation layers, which is a shame because Wine is still a bit lacking in that area. The Windows PC demo Asahi by Futuris, which took forth place at in the demo competition at the Revision 2020 demo scene party, illustrates this in a rather clear manner. Just consider the following screenshots…

    • Games

      • Dota 2 version 7.29 is out with the new Dawnbreaker melee hero

        Valve has put out a major upgrade for their popular free to play MOBA with Dota 2 getting Dawnbreaker. This brand new hero is focused on melee, with a low-skill entry level so it should be suitable for a lot of players. You can see a dedicated hero page for Dawnbreaker here.

        “Dawnbreaker shines in the heart of battle, happily crushing enemies with her celestial hammer and healing nearby allies. She revels in hurling her hammer through multiple foes and then converging with it in a blazing wake, always waiting to tap her true cosmic power to fly to the aid of her teammates — eager to rout her enemies on the battlefield no matter where they are.”

      • Grape times ahead with the release of Wine 6.6 noting plenty of fixes

        No wine-ing about the puns please. Jokes aside, the tasty compatibility tech that is Wine has a new development release available today with Wine 6.6.

        For newer readers and Linux users here’s a refresher – Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It’s also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Activities on Wayland

          This week the Wayland train continued barreling on, full speed ahead! We picked up a bunch of nice fixes and a big feature…

          The “Activities” feature now mostly works on Wayland! There are a few remaining things to implement to make it 100% comparable to the X11 version, but that should get done in time for the next Major Plasma release (Kevin Ottens, Plasma 5.22)

          Sticky Note widgets now have an option to change the font size (Shantanu Tushar, Plasma 5.22)…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME’s Very Own “GNOME OS” is Not a Linux Distro for Everyone

          Few people know that GNOME has its very own Linux distribution aptly named GNOME OS. Curious? Here’s an overview of this distribution.

        • GNOME 41 Desktop Environment Slated for Release on September 22nd, 2021

          While some of you out there are still waiting for the GNOME 40 desktop environment to arrive in the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, the GNOME Project is already working on the next major version, GNOME 41.

          Development on the GNOME 41 release will kick out soon and it will stick to the same routine as in the GNOME 40 development cycle, meaning that public testers will be able to test drive only an Alpha, a Beta, and a Release Candidate.

    • Distributions

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google’s Invasive Experiment

            FLoC is a terrible idea that should not be implemented. Google’s experimentation with FLoC is also deeply flawed . We hope that this site raises awareness about where the future of Chrome seems to be heading, and why it shouldn’t.

            FLoC takes most of your browsing history in Chrome, and analyzes it to assign you to a category or “cohort.” This identification is then sent to any website you visit that requests it, in essence telling them what kind of person Google thinks you are. For the time being, this ID changes every week, hence leaking new information about you as your browsing habits change. You can read a more detailed explanation here .

            Because this ID changes, you will want to visit https://amifloced.org often to see those changes.

          • The Brave browser basics: what it does, how it differs from rivals

            Boutique browsers try to scratch out a living by finding a niche underserved by the usual suspects. Brave is one of those browsers.

            Brave has gotten more attention than most alternate browsers, partly because a co-founder was one of those who kick-started Mozilla’s Firefox, partly because of its very unusual — some say parasitical — business model.

      • Programming/Development

        • Inkscape compiled in OpenEmbedded

          Cross-compiling can be a challenge with some packages, and some of the big ones, such as SeaMonkey, LibreOffice and Inkscape, I have compiled in a running EasyOS (with the “devx” SFS loaded).
          I have previously compiled LibreOffice in OE, see the Pyro series. But it was a lot of work.

        • Felix Häcker: New Shortwave release

          Ten months later, after 14.330 added and 8.634 deleted lines, Shortwave 2.0 is available! It sports new features, and comes with the well known improvements, and bugfixes as always.

          [...]

          Shortwave has always been designed to handle any screen size from the beginning. In version 2.0 we have been able to improve this even further. There is now a compact mini player for desktop screens. This still offers access to the most important functions in a tiny window.

        • 5 signs you’re a groff programmer

          I first discovered Unix systems in the early 1990s, when I was an undergraduate at university. I liked it so much that I replaced the MS-DOS system on my home computer with the Linux operating system.

          One thing that Linux didn’t have in the early to mid-1990s was a word processor. A standard office application on other desktop operating systems, a word processor lets you edit text easily. I often used a word processor on DOS to write my papers for class. I wouldn’t find a Linux-native word processor until the late 1990s. Until then, word processing was one of the rare reasons I maintained dual-boot on my first computer, so I could occasionally boot back into DOS to write papers.

          Then I discovered that Linux provided kind of a word processor. GNU troff, better known as groff, is a modern implementation of a classic text processing system called troff, short for “typesetter roff,” which is an improved version of the nroff system. And nroff was meant to be a new implementation of the original roff (which stood for “run off,” as in to “run off” a document).

        • Rust

          • AWS’s Shane Miller to head the newly created Rust Foundation

            Miller, who leads the Rust Platform team for AWS, has been a software engineer for almost 30 years. At AWS, Miller has been a leader in open-source strategic initiatives and software engineering and delivery. Miller’s Rust Platform team includes Rust language and compiler maintainers and contributors and developers on the Tokio runtime for writing reliable asynchronous applications with Rust. Under Miller’s leadership, the AWS Rust team is crafting optimizations and tools for the features that engineers will use to build and operate services which take full advantage of Rust’s performance and safety.

        • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Trapped at the Border: Their Fate is Our Fate

      Oh, what to do, what to do? All these people showing up at our back door, trying to get in. They want to take our jobs, drink our water. . . . And think about the dangers they pose for the new president.

      “For a relatively popular Biden administration,” the  New York Times pointed out the other day, “the recent surge of migrants at the southern border has emerged as a glaring vulnerability.”

    • Union Calls Foul Play as Amazon Unionization Vote Fails

      The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) began counting votes for the unionization effort at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, on Thursday. With about two-thirds of the total counted, enough “no” votes have been tallied to thwart the union effort. Last-minute revelations about Amazon’s union-busting efforts, however, have the union alleging foul play.

    • Payments From Gaetz to Indicted Official Prompt Call for Resignation

      Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), currently embroiled in a scandal tying him to an indicted former official in Florida who has been charged with sex-trafficking crimes, reportedly paid that person in two transactions containing the same amount of money later sent to three women.

    • The Trumpet Shall Sound

      I live between a gorge and a graveyard. The gorge just to the south began forming some ten thousand years ago at the end of last Ice Age, and its northern rim is moving inexorably in the direction of our house.

      When the path that runs along the rim of the gorge was built a hundred years ago it stood well back from the edge. Now parts of the path are tipping into the abyss, sections of the guardrail crumbling away. Bits of asphalt tumble down the shale walls to be swept away by the spring-swollen creek below.

    • Fatuous Defence: Australia’s Guided Missile Plans

      The latest instalment in this pitiable train towards conflict was revealed in Canberra last month.  Australia, it seems, wants to make its own guided missiles.  In a joint statement, the Prime Minister and Ministers for Industry and Defence outlined the enterprise.  “The Morrison government will accelerate the creation of a (AU)$1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, boosting skilled jobs and helping secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.”

      Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined his views in a media release on March 31.  “Creating our own sovereign capability on Australian soil is essential to keep Australians safe, while also providing thousands of local jobs in business right across the defence supply chain.”

    • Letters From Minsk: Warsaw, Conrad and the Katyn Woods

      At the main Warsaw train station, I struggled to find a place to check my luggage (okay, saddle bags), coins for the locker, and a tourist office that might have a street map of the city (again, my phone was beyond its GPS affiliations). Once freed of my burdens, I rode into downtown Warsaw on a succession of bike lanes that were heavy with bus and car exhaust.

      At night, the bright lights of Warsaw make it look like Berlin or Stuttgart, but on a cloudy March day it can still feel as though it is a constituent part of a socialist republic.

    • Decolonizing Knowledge Production: a Practical Guide

      While the lecture engaged with the work of some key thinkers in decolonial thought, I tried to keep the focus on the practical side of the matter – how do we do it? I did so because I believe that the concept of “decolonizing” is being circulated, thrown around, and even abused by many individuals who hijacked it without having direct experience and connection to what many decolonial thinkers call the “colonial wound”. In doing so, the concept is at risk of being devoid of its effectiveness and deep meaning. To give a concrete example, I think it is absurd to have many privileged and institutionalized Western professors who have no firsthand experience with the colonial wound to give us lectures, workshops, or write about decolonizing this or that matter. Yet, not everyone who shouts “decolonize, decolonize” is genuine, good intentioned, or most importantly, qualified to do so. Furthermore, my choice to focus on the practical aspects of decolonizing knowledge production is because I seldom see any public writings that provide concrete and meaningful steps on how to decolonize the way we read, write, and engage with the slippery processes of knowledge production.

      As such, building on my own praxis with how I started and continue to decolonize my engagement with knowledge production (reading, writing, sensing, and doing), I would like to address what I see as the most critical components to consider to be able to engage with knowledge as equals not as submissive minds and souls who have nothing to contribute. Before addressing these critical components, I would like to be clear about two things. First, for me, to decolonize knowledge production does not mean to dismiss or never engage with Western knowledge. Rather, as many decolonial thinkers have repeatedly pointed out, it means that the terms of engagement must change. It means that we should not only engage with Western knowledge, but also deeply engage with knowledge from all over the world. It means that we must not use Western knowledge as a compass to measure the value of other forms of knowledge produced around the world. In other words, to decolonize knowledge production is to reject and dismantle the Western hegemony of knowledge production; the Western control on what counts and what does not count as knowledge. As Walter Mignolo has rightly and consistently pointed out in most of his works, decolonizing countries from the West never ended coloniality itself (1). It simply changed its face and manifestations. Furthermore, just because a country was not colonized, it does not mean that it has escaped coloniality. To put this in a concrete example, decolonizing knowledge does not mean that we should stop reading Shakespeare or Jane Austin. It means that they are not the only great writers out there. It means that we should be aware that equally great writers in every field (literature is just an example here) exist in many other countries outside the Western world, and we need to know about them, translate their works, read them, and engage with their work in the same ways the world has been doing with canonized Western knowledge for centuries. And if that has not been done adequately throughout the centuries, it is only because of the suffocating effects of the colonial matrix of power.

    • The Judicial Persecution of Steven Donziger

      The New York federal prosecutor declined to prosecute this case which is based, Donziger says, on lies, so in an astonishing move, Kaplan appointed Chevron’s attorneys. There will be no jury. Judge Preska will doubtless find Donziger guilty – of a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days – though he’s already been under house arrest for over 600 days. The message to the legal community is clear: don’t mess with a fossil fuel company, because if you do, they will find a judge who favors the company and they will destroy you.

      This unprecedented judicial persecution of a human rights attorney has its roots in the Amazon rain forest. Back in 2011, Donziger won a court case in Ecuador against oil giant Chevron. Worse yet for Donziger’s prospects, the Ecuadorian court awarded his indigenous clients $9.5 billion. These Ecuadorians charged that their health and livelihood had been destroyed by Texaco, now owned by Chevron, and its oil spills in the Amazon rainforest. In the face of this staggering penalty, Chevron took action, refusing to pay and, despite the fact that Chevron originally fought to have the trial in Ecuador, it then brought its case to a congenial judge in New York. Donziger’s fate was sealed.

    • A Great Tree Has Fallen: The Passing of Marshall Sahlins

      Marshall was a Chicago native. His brother Bernard founded the Second City comedy troop, helping form some of the 20 th century greatest comedians; and Marshall shared a flare for the comedic and had a lightning-fast wit. His academic path began as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, where he first encountered the cultural determinism and neo-evolutionary anthropology of cryptomarxist Leslie White. While Sahlins’ work departed from White’s cultural evolutionary themes, detectible elements of White’s atavistic notions of culture’s symbolic nature shaped elements of his work. He earned his doctorate in anthropology at Columbia University in 1954, studying Polynesian social stratification. He then taught at the University Michigan where he joined anti-war campaigns. In 1967 he went to Paris for two years, experiencing the student protests of 1968 firsthand and came to know Claude Levi-Strauss. Since 1973, the University of Chicago has been his academic home.

      His 1972 book, Stone Age Economics , established him as one of American anthropology’s most significant theorists; he argued that hunter-gatherers were not some primitive undeveloped representation of human potential but were in fact the original affluent society. Sahlins challenged anthropologists who used western economic models to study nonmarket economies, eventually insisting that materialism was nothing but a form of idealism. In the years that followed he wrote books cutting through the codes of history, culture, kinship, and mythos, frequently revealing culture at the core of what was otherwise was conceived in some other way; all this presented with frequent surges of brilliance.

    • Disruptions and threats plague Russia’s top documentary film festival

      Over the course of the past week, Artdocfest — the largest documentary film festival in Russia — has been disrupted by the police, Russia’s consumer protection agency, threats, and pro-Kremlin activists. In response, Artdocfest’s organizers have been forced to cancel screenings and pull films, and have done their best to see the festival through regardless. Meduza breaks down the chain of disruptions and threats that have plagued Artdocfest 2021.

    • Church-Based Cuckoldry Gone Wrong

      Apparently, this Unholy Trinity first assembled at the Super 8 Motel, where I’d imagine they had sex (there’s no room to do much else in a Super 8 Motel room), and which they continued doing on “more than one occasion.” Considering their mug shots, it looks like the classic stereotypical “interracial” cuckold arrangement, where the “bull” or “other lover” (in this case, a 20-years younger African American man) has sex with the (Caucasian) “hot wife” (or “ cuckoldress”) while the cuckold husband watches, and possibly the two men also have sex, depending on the trio’s preferences. The sex may have been in conjunction with various forms of kink, BDSM, domination, humiliation, penis size comparison, crossdressing, trust games and compersion (taking pleasure in your lover’s pleasure).

      As long as it’s all between consenting adults, there nothing wrong with any of this, even if some of it sounds a little *strange* to many people. Consensual cuckolding can be a pleasurable and meaningful experience for all. There are many reasons it excites some people, including the arousing phenomenon of “ sperm wars.” It’s surprisingly common, at least as a fantasy, and it’s becoming more popular for adventurous couples to explore as a reality. The “ interracial” aspect is particularly popular, especially in somewhat segregated cultures or areas, like the American Midwest. Though controversial and at heart, racist, or at least, connected to racism (otherwise, why call it that?), being intimate with people one usually thinks of as *different* can be a very positive and even healing experience for all.

    • The Last Time People Tried to Get Baseball to Move the All-Star Game

      In 2021, Major League Baseball defied decades of entrenched conservatism within its ruling ranks and moved the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, Ga., to Denver, Colo. The GOP is still reeling from this decision, reduced to claiming—I kid thee not—that baseball is a part of a global communist conspiracy. But the question that lingers is why. Why has baseball defied its own culture to make such a move?

      One way to understand it is to look back a decade ago, to the last time there was a public push to move the MLB All-Star Game. Back then, all eyes were on Arizona. The state’s governor, Jan Brewer, signed SB 1070, the “papers please” bill, into law on April 23, 2010. The law in its worst form would have not only given law enforcement the right to ask anyone for their immigration papers; it would have criminalized citizens who had any knowledge of undocumented people in the midst but did not report them. It was brutal. It was ugly. And the sports world took note, both on and off the field.

    • On I, Claud: the Autobiography of Claud Cockburn

      Claud Cockburn was born in Peking (now Beijing) in 1904. His father, “a younger son of Lord Cockburn, the great Scottish advocate and judge who shone so brightly in the golden age of Edinburgh society,” had passed the necessary exam at age 19 and become British Vice-Consul in “the then-remote city of Chungking…

      Claud was educated in England with an interlude in Budapest, where his father was posted for three years. “The valley of the Danube was the first area in which I ever felt immediately and completely at home,” he writes. “Since then I have twice experienced the same sense of being immediately at home in an entirely strange place —once in New York and once in Oklahoma City.”

    • Why Do We Believe in Photographs?

      One of the more speculative tales surrounding the Shroud of Turin, which supposedly depicts the face of Jesus Christ, purports that the cloth was actually made by Leonardo da Vinci. The story goes that Leonardo passed off his own image as Christ’s, possibly as an act of hubris or to trick the Catholic Church. The theory has merits. According to traditional belief, Jesus imparted his image to his burial cloth when he was wrapped in it, but radiocarbon testing has dated the fabric to the Middle Ages. Yet dating the image’s genesis even to the 14th century is mystifying. The linen fiber is neither painted nor dyed—how was the image made?

      We know that Leonardo, who made his masterpieces in the late 15th century, experimented with aged cloth. We know that he encoded his own face within the Mona Lisa and Salvator Mundi. We know he was fascinated by the anatomical effects of crucifixion. We also know that the optical science underlying photography was more or less understood in Renaissance Europe and during the Arabic Golden Age—Ibn al-Haytham’s Book of Optics had been translated into Latin by the early 13th century—and that alchemists knew its basic chemistry. And really, who other than Leonardo would have been as capable of creating such an enigmatic and technically inexplicable image?

    • The Spook to Bellingcat Pipeline: How Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press

      Investigative site Bellingcat is the toast of the popular press. In the past month alone, it has been described as “an intelligence agency for the people” ( ABC Australia ), a “transparent” and “innovative” ( New Yorker ) “independent news collective,” “transforming investigative journalism” ( Big Think ), and an unequivocal “force for good” ( South China Morning Post ). Indeed, outside of a few alternative news sites, it is very hard to hear a negative word against Bellingcat, such is the gushing praise for the outlet founded in 2014.

    • Florida Senate Advances ‘Dangerous’ Bill Critics Warn Criminalizes Peaceful Protest

      “H.B. 1 is a direct attack on the First Amendment. It is designed to stifle Floridians’ right to peacefully assemble and seek change in their democracy.”

      Civil rights and free speech advocates on Friday decried the advancement in the Florida Senate of a controversial bill that the ACLU says “aims to silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians for exercising their First Amendment right to protest.”

    • Deceptive Checkboxes Should Not Open Our Checkbooks

      A pre-checked box to donate more than you intended is just one  example of a “ dark pattern ”—a term coined by user experience (UX) designer Harry Brignull to define tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, such as buying a service. Unfortunately, dark patterns are widespread. Moreover, the pre-checked box is a particularly common way to subvert our right to consent to serious decisions, or to withhold our consent. This ruse dupes us into “agreeing” to be signed up for a mailing list, having our data shared with third party advertisers, or paying recurring donations . Some examples are below.

      The National Republican Congressional Committee, which uses the same WinRed donation flow that the Trump campaign utilizes, displays two instances of the pre-checked boxes.

      The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s donation site, using ActBlue software, shows a pre-selected option for monthly donations. The placement is larger and the language is much clearer for what users should expect around monthly contributions. However, this may also require careful observation from users who intend to donate only once.

    • How John le Carré Became Irish

      Nicholas Cornwell said his father, best known for his Cold War thrillers, became an Irish citizen before his death, aged 89, in December. The reason for the change of heart? One word. Brexit. It infuriated le Carré. “This is without doubt the greatest catastrophe and the greatest idiocy that Britain has perpetrated since the invasion of Suez,” le Carré said of Brexit at the time. “Nobody is to blame but the Brits themselves – not the Irish, not the Europeans.”

      He thought it was a massive own goal. “The idea, to me, that at the moment we should imagine we can substitute access to the biggest trade union in the world with access to the American market is terrifying,” he said.

    • Variety Wins 20 Awards, Including Best Entertainment Website, at National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards

      Variety was nominated for a record 99 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism awards. Organizers noted that total submissions for the awards topped more than 1,000 for the first time.

    • Sysrv Botnet Expands and Gains Persistence

      The attack we’ve seen so far specifically targets port 8081, which affects a web based MongoDB admin interface known as “Mongo-Express”. Mongo-Express is a web-based admin interface used to manage MongoDB databases. Exploiting this interface could allow the attacker to gain access to the MongoDB databases. As of this writing, there are 847 public IPs in Shodan.io that are hosting this service.

    • Education

      • Alarm grows over cheating services in Australia

        Reports of essay mills mushroomed in Australia after parliament passed legislation to outlaw the provision and promotion of contract cheating services, according to a first-of-its-kind report from the higher education regulator.

        The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Teqsa) fielded 23 complaints about commercial cheating services in 2020 – more than four times the previous year’s tally. Most were lodged late in the year, following the regulator’s “outreach” to publicise its new Higher Education Integrity Unit.

      • University student ordered to undergo PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION & then suspended after questioning definition of ‘microaggressions’

        A student who was suspended by the University of Virginia for daring to ask questions during a presentation about ‘microaggressions’ has taken the institution to court, with his story sparking disbelief and anger on social media.

        The bizarre saga begins in October 2018, when Kieran Bhattacharya, a student at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine, attended a panel discussion on the subject of ‘microaggressions.’ During a Q&A session, Bhattacharya asked the presenter, an assistant dean at the university, to clarify what constitutes a mini form of aggression.

      • UVA Student Suspended For “Antagonizing” Questions During Social Justice Lecture

        Kieran Bhattacharya, a second-year medical student at the University of Virginia, was suspended for allegedly becoming “unnecessarily antagonistic and disrespectful” during a panel lecture on microaggressions.

        Bhattacharya asked a series of questions during the Q&A portion of the event that eventually led to his suspension.

        Published on SoundCloud, Bhattacharya has released audio recordings of both the classroom incident and the disciplinary hearing.

        As can be heard in the recording, beginning at the 28:44 minute mark, Bhattacharya’s questions call out one of the speakers for apparent contradictions.

      • Ex-UVA student can sue school after asking questions during a panel got him expelled: judge

        A former University of Virginia medical student can proceed with a lawsuit against the school over his expulsion — which stemmed from questions he asked about the nuance of microaggressions during a panel discussion that led to him being branded a threat, a federal judge has ruled.

      • Students are copying from the internet. And it’s because of how we teach

        Since the onset of COVID-19 last year, it’s not only the virus that has perfected the art of copying. Students across the globe are acing it. With an expansive, permanently available repository at their fingertips, copying is a breeze. In online exams, students have the choice of copying from each other, from the internet and from other resource material. Consequently, setting a question paper in these times has become more challenging than answering one.

        For most subjects, evaluation is a fundamentally problematic task anyway. When confronted with an answer, the evaluator has to convert the worth of the answer into a number. Even with a rubric at hand this is never straightforward. And it would be best to not talk about the reliability of these scores. Different evaluators at different times and the same evaluator at a different time would rarely give the exact same marks to an answer. It is such a fragile scoring system on which entire careers are built. The pandemic has compounded the difficulty of evaluation.

        Do I give more marks to an answer that is original but incomplete or even off-the-mark or to an answer that’s more comprehensive but is copied?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Cuba’s Medical Investments Led to Lower Death Rates and Aid for Other Nations

        Since last year, approximately 440 Cubans have died from COVID-19, giving Cuba one of the lowest death rates per capita in the world. Cuba is also developing five COVID-19 vaccines, including two which have entered stage 3 trials. Cuba has heavily invested in its medical and pharmaceutical system for decades, in part because of the six-decade U.S. embargo that has made it harder for Cuba to import equipment and raw materials from other countries. That investment, coupled with the country’s free, universal healthcare system, has helped Cuba keep the virus under control and quickly develop vaccines against it, says Dr. Rolando Pérez Rodríguez, the director of science and innovation at BioCubaFarma, which oversees Cuba’s medicine development. “We have long experience with these kinds of technologies,” he says. We also speak with Reed Lindsay, journalist and founder of the independent, Cuba-focused media organization Belly of the Beast, who says U.S. sanctions on Cuba continue to cripple the country. “Cuba is going through an unbelievable economic crisis, and the sanctions have been absolutely devastating,” says Lindsay.

      • Florida Plans Audit of Program That Blocks Parents of Brain-Damaged Newborns From Suing

        Declaring that Florida leaders “can and will do better” for the families of catastrophically brain-damaged children, the state’s top financial regulator Thursday initiated an audit of the state program that oversees care for those injured in childbirth.

        Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said Thursday that the Office of Insurance Regulation, which he supervises, will examine the books of the state’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA. Patronis’ office already has begun an “inspection” of the program, which was the subject of an investigative report published hours earlier by the Miami Herald and ProPublica.

      • She Can’t Sue Her Doctor Over Her Baby’s Death. When She Spoke Out, She Was Silenced Again.

        On the day Reggie Jacques was born, doctors at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando told his parents that there was no hope, that his brain had gone too long without oxygen during his difficult birth. But Reggie refused to die.

        On his sixth day, said parents Jean and Ruth Jacques, doctors urged them to remove Reggie from his ventilator. They said he would surely stop breathing. The couple agreed a month later. But Reggie wouldn’t die.

      • Opinion | Arm Our Cities With Military-Grade Healthcare, Not Weapons

        It might not be perfect, but in contrast to the rest of our healthcare sector, instead of being fragmented, fractious, profit-driven, and poorly prepared, the VA is national, integrated, non-profit, and relatively effective.

        American police are armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons, and the results are in. The more combat gear, the more combat.

      • Yemen is a Public Health Catastrophe

        The country’s civilians have been the unwilling participants in a proxy war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and has left the public health system in shambles. Last December, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the conflict in Yemen has claimed over 233,000 lives over the last six years, either directly due to the conflict or for causes related to it, calling this number “unfortunate and unacceptable.”

        The conflict started in 2014 when Iranian-backed Houthi fighters seized Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, and much of the north of the country. The Houthis were confronted by a U.S.-backed Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a bid to bring back Yemeni President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi (who had been forced to resign) to power, without success. Since 2017, Hadi has reportedly been living in Saudi Arabia.

      • How the Pandemic Laid Bare the Cruelties of Capitalism

        The medical staff, grocery clerks, janitors, sanitation workers, transportation services, delivery people, all of them have been the ones on the front lines, not only of potential exposure to a lethal pathogen, but to abuse from privileged customers, clients or patients who feel their rights have somehow been violated for being asked to simply wear a mask. There are countless videos of people (mostly white and middle to upper middle class) berating workers. And this often takes on a racist tone.

        Over the past year we have witnessed people throwing groceries at workers, spitting at them, calling them names. In various states, from California to Texas to Florida, there have been mobs that invaded stores like Target or Home Depot without masks and carrying anti-masker and “Covid is Hoax” signs, even physically attacking other customers and workers. And in one recent instance in British Columbia an older white male customer was asked to wear a mask in a pizza restaurant. He answered angrily: “are you f**king Middle Easter or where are you from?” Concluding with “I’m worth $50 million, you’re worth zero.” He and his companion then went on to assault a teenage customer outside tearing his mask from his face.

      • Amnesty Int’l: COVID-19 Exacerbates Inequality in Americas as U.S. Policy Drives Refugees to Border

        A new Amnesty International report lays out how the pandemic has significantly exacerbated inequality across the Americas over the past year. Over 1.3 million people have died in the region from COVID-19, making the Americas the hardest-hit area in the world. Women, refugees, migrants, underprotected health workers, Indigenous peoples, Black people and other groups historically excluded and neglected by governments have borne the brunt of the pandemic, according to the report, which also points out the rise in gender violence and lethal crackdown on human rights defenders. “It’s not a surprise that the Americas has been the region worst hit by the pandemic,” says Erika Guevara-Rosas, a human rights lawyer and Americas director for Amnesty International. “Growing inequality, corruption, violence, environmental degradation and impunity created a fertile ground for the Americas to become the epicenter.”

      • The Top Ten Things I’ll Miss When the Pandemic is Over

        On June 14, 2020, I bought the last four boxes of Kellogg’s Grape Nuts at my local Publix, leading to a nationwide panic and global shortage. I also stocked up on Marmite, smoked tempeh, dietary yeast, and fresh cranberries leading to a scarcity of those too. You can blame me.

        9. Crossing to the other side of the street when someone walks toward me.

      • Greta Thunberg Says She’ll Skip UN Climate Conference Over Covid-19 Vaccine Inequity

        “Of course I would love to attend the Glasgow #COP26,” she tweeted Friday. “But not unless everyone can take part on the same terms.”

        Drawing attention to the issue of global coronavirus vaccine inequity, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said Friday that she plans to skip this November’s United Nations climate conference in Scotland because the uneven immunization rollout meant that countries cannot participate equally.

      • How Cuba Beat the Pandemic: From Developing New Vaccines to Sending Doctors Overseas to Help Others

        Since last year, approximately 440 Cubans have died from COVID-19, giving Cuba one of the lowest death rates per capita in the world. Cuba is also developing five COVID-19 vaccines, including two which have entered stage 3 trials. Cuba has heavily invested in its medical and pharmaceutical system for decades, in part because of the six-decade U.S. embargo that has made it harder for Cuba to import equipment and raw materials from other countries. That investment, coupled with the country’s free, universal healthcare system, has helped Cuba keep the virus under control and quickly develop vaccines against it, says Dr. Rolando Pérez Rodríguez, the director of science and innovation at BioCubaFarma, which oversees Cuba’s medicine development. “We have long experience with these kinds of technologies,” he says. We also speak with Reed Lindsay, journalist and founder of the independent, Cuba-focused media organization Belly of the Beast, who says U.S. sanctions on Cuba continue to cripple the country. “Cuba is going through an unbelievable economic crisis, and the sanctions have been absolutely devastating,” says Lindsay.

      • Protect Care Workers…You’ll Probably Need Us One Day

        Clients, especially elderly people, were suddenly uncomfortable with letting outside people into their homes for fear of contracting the virus. A lot of my work dried up. I feed my children only by the grace of God — and the help of food banks. But even food banks can’t pay our rent or utilities.

        I’m one of 2.5 million domestic workers in this country. We’re all fighting so our kids can have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.

      • CDC Declares Racism a ‘Serious’ Public Health Threat

        Public health specialist and physician Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones explained to Scientific American in 2020 how racism, public health and the pandemic have intersected to cause these inequities. “Race doesn’t put you at higher risk. Racism puts you at higher risk,” Phyllis Jones said. “It does so through two mechanisms: People of color are more infected because we are more exposed and less protected. Then, once infected, we are more likely to die because we carry a greater burden of chronic diseases from living in disinvested communities with poor food options [and] poisoned air and because we have less access to health care.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • LinkedIn denies data leak after two-thirds user base is compromised

          Personal data of 500 million LinkedIn users, two thirds of its user base, has been scraped and is for sale online, according to a report from Cyber News.

          The data up for sale on a popular hacker platform includes account IDs, full names, email addresses, workplace information and links to social media accounts of users hosted on the platform.

        • Linkedin data leak: Major breach exposes 500 million users on Microsoft platform [details]

          While people are yet to digest the huge Facebook data leak of 533 million users (including 6.1 million Indians), Microsoft-owned professional networking platform LinkedIn is now facing a massive data leak of 500 million users that is allegedly being sold online.

          An archive with data purportedly scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles has been put for sale on a popular [cracker] forum, with another 2 million records leaked as a proof-of-concept sample by people behind the [crack].

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • ClamAV 0.103.2 Is Released With Security Fixes For Four Vulnerabilities

            The free software anti-virus scanner ClamAV has, ironically, made a security release fixing four vulnerabilities. Two of them could cause it to crash, one could cause it to enter a endless loop and a Windows-specific vulnerability could lead to privilege escalation. ClamAV has 8,532,858 virus signatures it can scan for in its database.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Oracle’s Projection: As It Accuses Google Of Snooping On You, It Has Built A Huge Data Operation That It Doesn’t Want Regulated

              Over the last decade or so, the fight between Oracle and Google has seemed incredibly personal — at least on the Oracle side. Of course, many have argued the main reason for Oracle’s attacks on Google were to pressure the company into settling its long-running fight over the Java API — and the Supreme Court just put an end to that — so it will be interesting to watch whether or not the attacks continue. But there’s an important point buried in all of this. Almost everything Oracle accuses Google of doing… it does itself. Often in much more nefarious ways. I mean, Oracle even copied an API without a license. But Oracle’s grand projection in blaming Google for the things that Oracle actually does (in much worse ways) goes way further than that.

            • What the Great Personal Data Leak of 2021 tells us about Facebook, the GDPR, and privacy

              For the latest Facebook leak, details include phone number, Facebook ID, full name, location, past location, birth date, email address (for some), account creation date, relationship status, and biography. As Gal points out, this is core information, and it will be used for identity theft, social engineering, scams and hacking. Much of this data can’t be changed, which means the loss of it is extremely serious. And yet Facebook’s official response is this:

            • EFF Challenges Surreptitious Collection of DNA at Iowa Supreme Court

              The case, State v. Burns , involves charges from a murder that occurred in 1979. The police had no leads in the case for years, even after modern technology allowed them to extract DNA from blood left at the crime scene and test it against DNA collected in government-run arrestee and offender DNA databases like CODIS . 

              In 2018, the police began working with a company called Parabon Nanolabs, which used the forensic DNA profile to predict the physical appearance of the alleged perpetrator and to generate an image that the Cedar Rapids Police Department released to the public. That image did not produce any new leads, so the police worked with Parabon to upload the DNA profile to a consumer genetic genealogy database called GEDMatch, which we’ve written about in the past. Through GEDMatch, the police linked the crime scene DNA to three brothers, including the defendant in this case, Jerry Burns. Police then surveilled Mr. Burns until they could collect something containing his DNA. The police found a straw he used and left behind at a restaurant, extracted a profile from DNA left on the straw, matched it to DNA found at the crime scene, and arrested Mr. Burns.

              The State claims that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply in this context because Mr. Burns abandoned his privacy interest in his DNA when he left it behind on the straw. However, we argue the Fourth Amendment creates a high bar against collecting DNA from free people, even if it’s found on items the person has voluntarily discarded. In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not protect the contents of people’s trash left for pickup because they have “abandoned” an expectation of privacy in the trash. But unlike a gum wrapper or a cigarette butt or the straw in this case, our DNA contains so much private information that the data contained in a DNA sample can never be “abandoned.” Even if police don’t need a warrant to rummage through your trash (and many states disagree on this point), Police should need a warrant to rummage through your DNA. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why the U.S. Shouldn’t Play Games With Cyberwarfare as Its Power Declines

        In the SolarWinds hack, a backdoor in one of the components was downloaded to the systems of 18,000 organizations, including the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department.

        In the Microsoft Exchange Server hack, an estimated 250,000 machinesworldwide might have been affected by a vulnerability that allowed hackers to control the machines and even infect other systems in the internal network of the targeted companies. Four major vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server were reported to Microsoft in early January. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until early March that Microsoft released patches, according to ZDNet. These vulnerabilities were used by the hackers during the period that Microsoft had either not released the patches, or companies had not upgraded their systems and installed the patches.

      • Zelensky: NATO to stop Donbas War

        This is the parliament that in 2015 passed laws proclaiming two WWII paramilitaries—the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—”heroes of Ukraine” and making it a crime to argue otherwise. (These forces had cooperated with the Nazis in slaughtering over 70,000 Jews.) The U.S. media has never acknowledged the obvious—that the coup favored by Victoria Nuland in 2014 had a strong fascist element, indeed depended on its use of terrorist violence to topple the former democratically elected administration. In 2014 Nuland was the top State Department official dealing with Ukraine; she is returning now as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. (Recall she’s the one caught on tape in 2014 saying “Fuck the EU!” if the EU dared to contest Washington’s choices for Ukraine. And when asked at a House hearing about the role of neo-Nazis in the Maidan coup, Nuland acknowledged that “there were many colors of Ukraine involved including very ugly colors.” The problem is she’s comfortable with ugly colors.)

        Over 13,000 people, including military and civilians have been killed in the conflict provoked by the putsch, over half on the Donbas side. But since 2016 fewer than 400 have died in the conflict. Two peace plans have been imperfectly implemented but at least staved off all-out war. Moscow has for its part refused requests for annexation by the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and proposed a federal system in Ukraine.

      • More Than Two-Thirds of Students Want Police Out of Schools

        A new survey of more than 600 middle and high school students across four states finds that 41 percent feel “very unsafe” or “unsafe” when they see police officers at their public schools. One-third said they feel targeted by police based on an aspect of their identity, such as race, primary language, sexual orientation or gender identity, and students reported bullying and sexual harassment by police at multiple public schools.

      • Congress Urged to Reject Biden’s Pentagon Budget Increase

        President Joe Biden on Friday is reportedly expected to request a $715 billion budget for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2022, a slight increase from the previous year and a far cry from the substantial reduction that progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups are demanding.

      • Back to the Future at the Pentagon

        Sure, there’s been progress of a sort in the heavens. Elon Musk’s Space X may keep going down in flames, but the Chinese now have their very own moon rocks. As the old-timey, unmanned Voyager probe continues to glide beyond our solar system, Mars is a subject for research by new probes hailing from the United Arab Emirates, China, and the U.S. Meanwhile, the International Space Station continues conducting research in low-earth orbit.

        As with space exploration, so, too, with America’s military. What amazes me most in 2021 is how much of its structure and strategy resembles what held sway in 1981 when I joined the Air Force as a college student in ROTC. Instead of futuristic starship troopers flying around with jetpacks and firing lasers, the U.S. military is still essentially building the same kinds of weaponry we were then. They’re newer, of course, glitzier, if often less effective, but this country still has a Navy built around aircraft carriers, an Air Force centered on fighter jets and stealth bombers, and an Army based on tanks, helicopters, and heavy brigades. Admittedly, that Army may soon spend $20 billion on “ augmented reality goggles” for the troops. (Perhaps those goggles will be programmed so that “reality” always looks like we win.)

      • Film as Art and Weapon: Raoul Peck’s “Exterminate All the Brutes”

        We also see a savage attack on the Congolese people in 1892, during King Leopold’s reign. In this reenactment, a Catholic mission founded by the Swedish priest Edward Sjoblom witnesses a white rubber plantation owner storming into the modest church, gun in hand, and forcing a Black parishioner from his pew. As everyone gathers outside the church, the colonist fires a bullet into the man’s head and then forces a young parishioner to cut off his hand to be proof to the authorities that law and order was being upheld, just as white settlers often took Indian scalps in the USA.

        The source of these narrative set pieces is two books that are very close to my heart. The Seminole massacre is from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s “’ An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”, a book I reviewed for CounterPunch in 2017.

      • Khanna Criticizes Biden for Proposing Pentagon Budget Larger Than Trump’s

        “It’s disappointing that President Biden would propose a budget of $715 billion for the Pentagon.”

        Congressman Ro Khanna of California was the first House Democrat to speak out Friday against President Joe Biden’s request for a $715 billion Pentagon budget for Fiscal Year 2022, an increase from the current $704 billion level approved under former President Donald Trump.

      • Congress Urged to Reject Biden’s ‘Unconscionable’ $715 Billion Pentagon Budget

        “Throwing money at the Pentagon does not keep us safe from modern day threats.”

        President Joe Biden on Friday is reportedly expected to request a $715 billion budget for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2022, a slight increase from the previous year and a far cry from the substantial reduction that progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups are demanding.

      • Ratner for the Defense: the Legacy of a Lefty Lawyer

        American Lawyer David Cole, one of Ratner’s most diligent protégées, explained in an article titled “Michael Ratner’s Army” that “it says much about…his legacy that so many of the nearly eight hundred prisoners once housed at Guantánamo have been released, and that those remaining have forceful and dedicated advocates working on their behalf.” The National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Cole noted that while Bush and Obama deserve some recognition for the release of detainees, most of the credit belongs to “the hundreds of lawyers and thousands of activists” who advocated for the Guantánamo inmates. Cole added that many of these same lawyers and activists owe much of their inspiration to “one man: the human rights attorney Michael Ratner.”

        I suppose I was one of those inspired activists. In 1991 I joined a lawsuit charging Bush, Cheney and Powell with censoring the news about the war in the Persian Gulf,  and specifically the use of “press pools.” At the time I said, “This is a violation of constitutional guarantees.“ I added “It’s the first time in American history that journalists have been prevented from reporting freely about a major war.” That probably wasn’t true, but it sounded good and felt good to say it.

      • International Law Uncanceled: Biden Lifts Sanctions Against ICC, But It’s Not Enough

        And yet, time and again, it has been the loony right that has been so eager to hit the delete button.

        These supposed defenders of everyone’s right to voice opinions attempted to cancel an entire presidential election because it failed to produce their preferred result. They’ve spent decades trying to cancel voting rights (not to mention a wide variety of other rights). They’ve directed huge amounts of time and money to canceling social benefits for the least fortunate Americans. Throughout history, they’ve mounted campaigns to cancel specific individuals from Colin Kaepernick and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to the black lists of the McCarthy era. They’re also not above canceling entire groups of people, from the transgender community all the way back to the original sin of this country, namely the mass cancelation of Native Americans.

      • New Revelations on Germ Warfare: It’s Time for a Reckoning with Our History from the Korean War

        It’s been 70 years since the beginning of the Korean War. For young adults in their twenties today, that’s ancient history. It is as distant to them as the 1905 Russo-Japanese War was to me when I was 20 years old! But in both China and North Korea, the memory of the Korean War and charges of war crimes against America from that war remain a vivid part of the national consciousness, stoked at various times by the regimes in charge.

        The North Korean and Chinese allegations of American use of biological weapons during the Korean War made headlines at the time, and the controversy over U.S. Air Force officers admitting under enemy interrogation details of germ warfare attacks rocked the U.S. defense establishment. In 1998, scholars connected to the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) at the Wilson Center published documents that they claimed showed the germ warfare charges were a hoax, “a grand piece of political theater,” as Milton Leitenberg, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland,  notably put it.

      • Biden’s Empty Gesture: Houthis No Longer “Terrorists” but Yemen’s Suffering Only Grows

        In explaining a much-lauded move, President Joe Biden said that the reason the United States was removing Yemen’s Ansar Allah movement from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list was to avoid exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country and to allow much-needed aid to reach local residents. Yet images of children with jutting ribs, swelling bellies, and loose skin that have come to symbolize the war for the past six years can still be found all over Yemen.

      • Chip Gibbons on Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale
      • Biden Calls U.S. Gun Violence an “International Embarrassment.” Will Congress Finally Act?

        President Joe Biden has ordered a series of executive actions on gun control in the wake of mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and elsewhere, calling gun violence in the U.S. an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment.” The most significant executive order aims to crack down on so-called ghost guns — easily assembled firearms bought over the internet without serial numbers, which account for about a third of guns recovered at crime scenes. Biden has also nominated gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but acknowledged this week that major new gun control measures, like an assault weapons ban and universal background checks, will require legislation from Congress. “We are calling on Congress to carry the torch here and pass additional laws to keep Americans safe and save American lives,” says Brian Lemek, executive director of Brady PAC.

      • Anti-war activist visited by police after posting embarrassing AOC video
      • The Origins of Nazi Violence

        In 2020, another German Neo-Nazi killed nine people, as well as his mother and himself in the western German city of Hanau. One of the more infamous political assassination by Germany’s right-wing extremists was of Regierungspräsident (region district president) Walter Lübcke in 2019. The worst excess of right-wing terrorism, however, occurred more than forty years ago in Munch in 1980. It became known as the “Octoberfest bombing” when Neo-Nazi Gundolf Köhler murdered thirteen people.

        Right-wing terrorism in Germany has a one-hundred year old history. Dating back to the end of the Great War (World War I), argues Florian Huber in his book Revenge of the Losers. The beginnings of right-wing terrorism in Germany date to the tumultuous years of what one of Germany’s most astute observers, Sebastian Haffner, once called “a failed revolution” in his seminal book, Failure of a Revolution. This was an era of private militias, militant gangs of trade unionists and communists, and various nationalist groups fighting during the anarchy that followed the end of the First Reich’s monarchy.

      • The Cold War Is Being Rebooted and Rebranded

        The future isn’t what it used to be. As a teenager in the 1970s, I watched a lot of TV science fiction shows, notably Space: 1999 and UFO , that imagined a near future of major moon bases and alien attacks on Earth. Movies of that era like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey envisioned colossal spaceships and space stations featuring international crews on mind-blowing missions to Jupiter and beyond. Who’d have thought that, 20 years after Kubrick’s alternate reality of 2001, we humans would effectively be marooned on a warming “ sixth extinction” planet with no moon bases and, to the best of my knowledge, no alien attacks either.

        Sure, there’s been progress of a sort in the heavens. Elon Musk’s Space X may keep going down in flames, but the Chinese now have their very own moon rocks. As the old-timey, unmanned Voyager probe continues to glide beyond our solar system, Mars is a subject for research by new probes hailing from the United Arab Emirates, China, and the United States. Meanwhile, the International Space Station continues conducting research in low-earth orbit.

      • Remains of a dozen expats killed in Mozambique hotel attack found

        The Mozambique government has called for international support after the most serious terror attack since the start of the Islamic State insurgency four years ago.

        The remains of a dozen expats were discovered outside the Amarula Hotel in Mozambique as they attempted to flee jihadist militants who surrounded it as part of the attack.

      • In France there is a city with just one Jew

        They call it the “bunker”- a few windows, all screened, a flag on the roof. “It looks like a foreign embassy in a hostile country”. In July 2013, following a police check on a veiled woman, 400 residents stormed the building. The siege lasted several hours and required, from the police, 700 stun grenades and tear gas. A helicopter was mobilized.“It looked like a war scene,” a policeman said at the time.

        The attacks have continued since then. The latest dates back to Saturday 27 March. Eight mortar rounds with fireworks hit the front of the building.

        What building? It is the police station of Trappes, a French town of 35,000 inhabitants, at the center of a long investigation by the weekly Valeurs Actuelles.

        The “brigades” go around the city. Those so called are the followers of the Islamic fundamentalist movement Tabligh who, all dressed in white, enforce the religious prescriptions on the inhabitants. Sharia law, Islamic law. They intervene against those who drink, against a lightly veiled woman …

    • Environment

      • Rising Tides
      • Economists Warn Democrats ‘Going Too Small’ on Infrastructure Risks Economic and Climate Catastrophe

        “The costs of inaction outweigh the risks of borrowing to take action—by trillions of dollars.”

        Pointing to the nation’s tepid recovery from the 2009 financial collapse as a cautionary tale, economists are pressing Democratic lawmakers to dramatically expand President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal in order to equitably rebound from the coronavirus crisis, achieve full employment, and combat the existential climate emergency.

      • Climate Hacking Experiments Already Taking Place

        But I was off some (as were some sources I consulted  like this one).  It was actually the first test in the stratosphere, the higher layers of the atmosphere, and “the most formal geoengineering experiment to date,” reported James Temple in  MIT Technology Review.  So I changed the article to reflect that and published a correction. It turns out there have been some experiments which actually went further to spread sun-blocking materials at lower levels of the atmosphere. These experiments only serve to underscore the fundamental point I made in the piece, that any field testing of geoengineering technologies must take place under an international protocol that takes account of the risks.

      • Bernie Sanders Invites Oil Executives to Testify at Hearing on Climate Crisis

        Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has called on top oil and gas executives to testify at a hearing on “The Cost of Inaction on Climate Change” before the budget committee next Thursday.

      • ‘Lukewarmist’ Peer Set for Role Scrutinising Government Climate Policy – DeSmog
      • Despite Pledges on Tribal Relations and Climate, Biden Declines to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

        “If Biden wants to be a climate leader on the world stage, he needs to start at home.”

        Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden’s refusal to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

      • The Environmental Impacts of “Green” Technology

        Solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars have long been touted as solutions to the climate crisis.

        The “green” image attached to these technologies masks a dark reality; they are adding to the problem of environmental destruction, failing to reduce CO2 emissions, and accelerating the mass extinction of life on the planet.

      • Scientists Warn 4°C World Would Unleash ‘Unimaginable Amounts of Water’ as Ice Shelves Collapse

        “Limiting warming will not just be good for Antarctica—preserving ice shelves means less global sea level rise, and that’s good for us all.”

        A new study is shedding light on just how much ice could be lost around Antarctica if the international community fails to urgently rein in planet-heating emissions, bolstering arguments for bolder climate policies.

      • Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach 3.6 Million-Year High

        Because the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive economic slowdown, experts had hoped that the decline in transportation and manufacturing might slow greenhouse gas emissions at least a little.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Southern Africa’s Ivory Delusion
        • Reflections on  Forestry When Confronted With the First Timber Harvest Plan  of the Year in My Watershed

          The  minuet, made famous by Louis XIV of France, used to have meaning: it was metaphor for the serene, hierarchical  architecture of society, where every character played a discrete  part in time and place. In the modern world, however, timber harvest plans  are an oxymoronic  metaphor for chaos.  Outside the ballroom, chunks of Antarctica the size of  New York are falling into the sea. The Gulf Stream  vacillates uncertainly. Scientists grasp at fantastically expensive and risky schemes to sprinkle the stratosphere with sunlight-reflecting particles. And, as Earth warms, a quarter of  its people  face  dying  of thirst while others are swept away by floods or freezes.

          The skies are emptying, one third fewer birds now  than when the  California Forest Practice Rules were written  almost 50 years ago.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, taken together, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have  declined  70%. The insect  apocalypse is hurtling along  8 times faster.

        • Grazing and Climate Change: the Influence of Livestock on Soil Carbon Storage

          Allan Savory has generated a significant amount of response based upon his TED talk where he claimed that increasing livestock grazing could reverse climate change (Savory, A. 2013)/

          Though many question many of Savory’s assertions of successful livestock production and improvements in rangeland health (Wuerthner, George, 2002b; Jamus, Joseph et al., 2002; Briske, D. et al., 2013; Carter, J. et al. 2014; McGuire. Andrew 2018; Skovlin, Jon. 1987; Holechek, Jerry., 2000; Sundt, Peter. 2013).

        • Rich world’s demands fell poorer world’s forests

          The tropical forests maintain global climate and nurture the riches of nature. The rich world’s demands are destroying them.

    • Finance

      • Time to Get Government Off Our Lawns

        The lawn is such a familiar part of everyday American life that it might seem like the natural state of things.  In reality, it’s evolved over the last two centuries from an aristocratic plaything to what Washington Post columnist Christopher Ingraham rightly calls a “soul-crushing timesuck” that most of us would be better off without.

        More to the point, the lawn is effectively a regressive tax scheme that benefits the sellers of expensive equipment and  those who use that equipment in our stead if we can afford to hire them.

      • New York to Offer Undocumented Migrants Up to $15,600 in Pandemic Relief

        “Today, our work today has been recognized,” said one undocumented worker and organizer. “Our dignity has been recognized, and our dignity has been lifted by passing this fund.”

        Immigrant and worker rights advocates welcomed this week’s passage of a New York state budget package containing a provision authorizing payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented migrants who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

      • Global Just Recovery Gathering Kicks Off to Harness ‘Collective People Power’ and Create a ‘Better Future for All’

        The event is being called “an invitation for us all to build a movement that is massive and that shakes the foundations of power and money and greed that seem to hold all the cards right now.”

        A three-day event called the Global Just Recovery Gathering kicked off Friday and is aimed at being “a space to design new pathways for a better future for all.”

      • The End of Trickle-Down Economics

        1) “We don’t have the money.”

        The power elites tell us it would be nice to do the big-ticket reforms America needs, but the money just isn’t there. Then a pandemic slammed into America, and suddenly trillions of dollars gushed out of Washington for everything from subsidizing meatpackers to developing vaccines, revealing that the money is there.

      • Capitalism Versus Economic Democracy, Minimum Wage Edition

        The question of why elected officials are required to consider the consequences to the Federal budget of raising the minimum wage, which is paid by private employers, is simple: they created the process that way. First passed in 1990 and updated in 2010, PAYGO is the Congressional rule requiring that new legislation that impacts the Federal budget be offset by cuts to government spending elsewhere. The origin of PAYGO was Reaganite efforts to slash social spending using the pretext of a budget crisis. The method was to divert money into private coffers via military spending and then pretend that arbitrary budget rules required cuts to social expenditures.

        Raising the minimum wage would only impact the Federal budget indirectly— through changes in tax receipts that result from the legislation. Through PAYGO, legislators and the White House can claim that the hindrance to raising the minimum wage is a budget constraint that they created, rather than on the demands of their corporate benefactors. Great Depression-era economist John Maynard Keynes gave them an out through tying wages to consumer spending. Employers benefit from raising wages when circumstances are amenable. PAYGO is the legislative rejection of Keynes’ out.

      • Roaming Charges: Just a Shot Away

        + The Chinook settlement known as Middle Village (Lewis & Clark dubbed it Station Camp) was very close to where the Chinook River spills into the Columbia, just a few river miles southeast of the Pacific Ocean. This was one of the most prolific salmon runs in the world. Even though the Chinook River is only 8 miles long, tumbling out of the (now butchered) Willapa Hills, it ran thick with several species of salmon, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout. By the 1890s, the McGowan Cannery had been erected on the village itself and the hauls of fish were almost unimaginable. Even more unimaginable is that 50 years later many of those runs were nearing extinction…

        + Native households only have 8 cents of wealth for every dollar that the average white American household has.

      • The Daleys of Chicago Need Accountability in Ongoing Loan Scandal

        So, it’s worth asking now: will similar irregularities occur with the still-unfolding Washington Federal Bank for Savings loan scandal, since it directly involves both Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson and Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley, the two remaining Daley family members still in public office?

        As periodic reporting elaborates, a sleepy Chicago bank saw millions of dollars disappear and then its president John Gembara found dead of apparent suicide at a customer’s home, right before the feds closed it in December 2017. Investigations and indictments are ongoing.

      • Biden and the Jobs Revolution

        Led by a determined, ambitious, surprisingly energetic President Joe Biden backed up by a team of progressive Democrats, the United States finally is turning nation-building toward home after years of throwing American lives and treasure at fruitless, seemingly endless wars.

        Biden now proposes to spend $2.2 trillion on rebuilding 20,000 miles of the nation’s roads, repairing bridges, expanding high-speed broadband to rural areas, fixing other infrastructure like pipes and creating millions of jobs to get it all done. The idea is to finish it in eight years and pay for it over 15 years by raising corporate taxes from 21 percent to 28 percent.

      • Signal’s Massive Crypto Payments Mistake

        The Signal chat app has decided to develop a private payment system behind closed doors but rather than doing crypto payments with a well established privacy coin like Zcash or Monero they’ve instead gone with MobileCoin a coin that has onlt existed for 4 months publically.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The De-Humanization of Free and Fair Elections

        America has a critical illness that has nothing to do with Covid 19. The symptoms are the attempts by states in significant sectors of the country to rewrite election laws in detriment to black and brown voters. Leading the pack is the Georgia state legislature,

        What makes this organized effort particularly ironic is the renewed threat it poses to America’s already tarnished democratic image. Reactionary lawmakers in state capitals such as Atlanta, Des Moines and Phoenix seem to think that nobody is looking. But the entire world is following this latest assault on the Americans’ vaunted democracy.

      • ‘We Really Can’t Take Anything These Companies Say at Face Value’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Public Citizen’s Jane Chung about Big Tech lobbying for the April 2, 2021, episode of CounterSpin . This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Putin appoints his Siberian envoy as the acting head of North Ossetia

        President Vladimir Putin has appointed Sergey Menyaylo as the new acting head of Russia’s North Ossetia, according to the Kremlin’s website.

      • Fatal Instincts
      • McConnell Has No Trouble With Corporate Speech—as Long as It Takes the Form of Bribery

        There has never been a politician more consistently cynical than Mitch McConnell. He’s the guy who wrote about how moved he was to witness the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965—as a young aide to Kentucky Senator John Sherman Cooper—and then blocked efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act after it was eviscerated by his conservative allies on the US Supreme Court. He’s the guy who blocked President Obama’s 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court because, he said, the Senate shouldn’t confirm new justices in election years—and then rushed through the confirmation of right-wing Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the election year of 2020. And, of course, he’s the guy who this year condemned President Trump’s incitement of insurrection right after leading Senate Republicans in blocking accountability for, that’s right, President Trump’s incitement of insurrection.

        But the most jaw-droppingly cynical move McConnell has ever made came this week, when the Senate minority leader dragged himself up to the bully pulpit to tell corporate CEOs to keep quiet about political issues—unless they’re bribing him to do their bidding.

      • GOP: The Pretend Party

        They’re pretending that their four-plus years of overt racism and hatred of immigrants, science and minorities had not been broadcasted each and every night. That their explicit efforts to curtail the US democratic system was just a bad dream. That Trump’s Covid-related racism did not help fuel 3,800 incidents against largely East and Southeast Asian Americans, including a massacre in Georgia where a white guy blamed Asian American masseuses for his own ‘evil’ sexual urges. That when the GOP rails against the recent Covid relief package and Biden’s infrastructure plan that they, as supposed fiscal conservatives, care only about fiscal responsibility and the prevention of waste – despite increasing military spending by $100 billion under Trump and enlarging the national debt to $7.8 trillion, the third largest increase in US presidential history. (Even before the pandemic, the federal debt had skyrocketed in Trump’s America; he had been on track to leave it 50% higher than when he came into office).

        Through all this pretending, the GOP assumes, as they chastise Biden’s “ far-left spending spree,” that the American people not remember their tango with the Proud Boys or their support for a failed coup.

      • In Ecuador, a Presidential Election With Global Reach

        On Sunday April 11, Ecuadorians are scheduled to vote in a runoff election for president. The candidates are Guillermo Lasso, a 65-year-old elite banker, and Andrés Arauz, a 36-year-old progressive former central bank official. There is no doubt that the outcome will have a profound impact on the nation’s future; the candidates have sharply distinct visions for moving Ecuador out of the pandemic and an ongoing economic slump. But while the race has received scant international attention, it has global implications.

        It is easy for many in the United States to overlook Ecuador, a small Andean nation of less than 18 million tucked between Peru and Colombia. Beginning in 2016, however, the country took leadership in a global campaign against the use of offshore tax havens. The upcoming election will be key in determining if that leadership will continue.

      • Georgia’s Voter Suppression Is Sparking Boycotts. History Shows They Can Work.

        Georgia’s new voting law, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, is part of a nationwide voter suppression effort involving hundreds of bills. No serious analyst buys the Republican claim that voter fraud is widespread: it’s virtually nonexistent. The real rationale for these bills is occasionally admitted, as when North Carolina Republicans said they outlawed Sunday voting because Sunday voters were “disproportionately black” and “disproportionately Democratic.”

      • ‘A declaration is another thing’: Journalists asked the Kremlin’s spokesman about Ramzan Kadyrov’s wealth. Here’s what he said.

        On Friday, April 9, journalists asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to comment on the wealth of Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov. This came after the investigative outlet Proekt published an investigation into the assets held by Kadyrov and his wives (both official and alleged). (The investigation is available in English here). Despite probing questions from the press, Peskov maintained that the asset declarations of all Russian officials are subject to anti-corruption inspections. He could not, however, confirm whether or not Proekt’s findings about Kadyrov’s wealth were reflected in official audits.

      • 100+ Groups to Schumer: Throw Filibuster ‘Into the Dustbin of History’

        In a letter to the Senate majority leader, the coalition says the rule is a “Jim Crow relic” standing in the way of progressive legislative proposals like the For the People Act.

        Nearly 150 progressive organizations put new pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Friday to abolish the filibuster, saying the Senate rule is blocking democracy-strengthening reforms and must be “tossed into the dustbin of history.”

      • Opinion | Trump Has Left White House, But What Has the Left Learn?

        Democrats often blame their election losses on gerrymandering and voter suppression, but progressive initiatives win all over the country. It is time to embrace a bold agenda and then fight like hell to to win it.

        The surreal presidency of Donald Trump was filled with confusion, contradictions, anxiety, and missed opportunities. His rhetoric inflamed political tensions in every facet of American life, from football to COVID-19. Corporate media split along party lines as never before and accentuated all the ugliest aspects of American society. It seemed like anything was possible, up to and including civil war.

      • The Rise of Right-wing Libertarianism Since the 1950s

        One of the useful functions of the latter book, in particular, is that it brings force and clarity to one’s prior knowledge of the dangers of right-wing libertarianism, or more generally anti-government and pro-“free market” thinking. In fact, this sort of thinking is an utter catastrophe that threatens to destroy everything beautiful in the world. I know that sounds like an absurd exaggeration, but it’s not. What with society and nature teetering on the brink, it’s the literal truth. I suppose the reason leftists don’t always take right-wing libertarianism as seriously as it deserves—despite their deep awareness of the evils of capitalism—is simply that it’s embarrassingly easy to refute. It’s a childish, simplistic, vulgar hyper-capitalist ideology that, once you examine it a little, quickly reveals itself as its opposite: authoritarianism. Or even totalitarianism, albeit privatized totalitarianism. Noam Chomsky, as usual, makes the point eloquently:

        “…Here [in the United States] the term ‘libertarian’ means the opposite of what it meant to everybody else all through history. What I was describing [earlier] was the real Adam Smith and the real Thomas Jefferson and so on, who were anti-capitalist and called for equality and thought that people shouldn’t be subjected to wage-labor because that’s destructive of their humanity… The U.S. sense [of ‘libertarian’] is quite different. Here, every word has taken on the opposite of its meaning elsewhere. So, here ‘libertarian’ means extreme advocate of total tyranny. It means power ought to be given into the hands of private unaccountable tyrannies, even worse than state tyrannies because there the public has some kind of role. The corporate system, especially as it’s evolved in the twentieth century, is pure tyranny. Completely unaccountable—you’re inside one of these institutions, you take orders from above, you hand them down below…there’s nothing you can say—tyrannies do what they feel like—they’re global in scale. I mean, this is the extreme opposite of what’s been called libertarian everywhere in the world since the Enlightenment…”

      • Biden Creates Commission to Study Supreme Court Expansion, Other Reforms

        “To restore our democracy, we must expand the Supreme Court,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones. 

        President Joe Biden won praise Friday for signing an executive order to create a 36-member commission that will analyze arguments for and against reforming the U.S. Supreme Court.

      • My Predictions for Biden’s Probably-Truncated Presidency

        “In a dictatorship,” I noted, “particularly where the despot is a megalomaniac in the vein of a Saddam Hussein or a Muammar Gaddafi, citizens obsess over the Great Leader’s every move.” Never have the American people obsessed for four exhausting years over a president as we did over Trump and his autocratic style.

        “People who have done time will tell you that it’s important to study the guards, particularly the sadistic ones.” Like prison inmates, we studied Trump and his tweets and his strange corrupt family incessantly in a vain attempt to isolate the methods to his multiple madnesses.

      • Support the Tropes

        In an earlier piece ( FAIR.org, 3/3/21), we explored some country case study examples of how the press helps to manufacture consent for regime change and other US actions abroad among left-leaning audiences, a traditionally conflict-skeptical group.

      • Voter Suppression is an Attack on Democracy…and My Faith

        The bill, formally SB 202, infamously makes it illegal to give people food or water while they’re waiting in line to cast their ballot. Providing food for the hungry and water for the thirsty are tenets of my Catholic faith.

        So is standing with the marginalized. People don’t like to bring race into the conversation, but we have to be honest about how this bill harms people of color.

      • African Cyber Experts Fellowship: lessons learnt report 2020

        Following the London 2018 Commonwealth Cyber Declaration, the UK government implemented a series of projects to help Commonwealth countries improve their cyber security capacity.

        The Cyber Experts’ Fellowship: Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap in Africa created a working network of African cyber security policy experts. They act as a hub for cascading best practice in important cybersecurity challenges across the continent through individual and joint projects.

        The Fellowship Network itself is the key output of the project, to be referred to as the Africa Cyber Experts Network.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Proekt’ hit with DDoS attacks after publishing investigation into Ramzan Kadyrov’s wives

        The website of the investigative outlet Proekt has been subjected to DDoS attacks for the past two days, its editor-in-chief Roman Badanin told Meduza on Friday, April 9.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Dealing With Podcast Copycats (2020)

        Summary: Since the term was first coined in 2004, podcasts have obviously taken off, with reports saying that around 55% of Americans have listened to a podcast as of early 2021. Estimates on a total number of podcasts vary, but some sites estimate the total at 1.75 million podcasts, with about 850,000 of them described as “active.” Still, for many years, actually hosting a podcast remained somewhat complicated.

      • Russian state television channel deletes Chechen beauty pageant newsreel featuring Kadyrov’s ‘second wife’

        The Russian state television channel Perviy Kanal (Channel One) has removed a 2006 news report from its website about a beauty pageant in Chechnya, which included footage of Fatima Khazuyeva, the alleged second wife of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

      • Khloe Kardashian Streisands A Photo She Wanted Taken Down By Issuing Takedowns

        The Kardashians are no strangers to Techdirt’s pages. Being comprised of family members who are by and large famous for being famous, the Kardashians have been notorious for a heavy-handed approach to policing their own images, often times through spurious claims on intellectual property or publicity rights. So, heading into this story, it should be noted that the default posture of this particular family tends to be the use of IP claims to police anything to do with the family’s image on the internet.

      • Muslim advocacy group calls on Valve to drop Six Days in Fallujah from Steam

        The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington DC-based civil rights and advocacy group for Muslims, is asking Valve, Microsoft, and Sony to refuse to distribute Six Days in Fallujah, an upcoming tactical FPS based on the Second Battle of Fallujah, one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq War.

      • The cost of speaking up against China

        In conversations with the BBC over the past few weeks, 22 people who have left Xinjiang to live abroad described a pattern of threats, harassment, and public character attacks they said were designed to deter them from speaking out about alleged human rights abuses back home.

      • Sharing News About Tibet Is High Risk for All Involved

        Eight years after he was jailed for sharing news about protests in Tibet, Kunchok Jinpa died in a Lhasa hospital.

        Jinpa, who in 2013 was sentenced to 21 years in prison for “leaking state secrets,” had been transferred to a hospital without his family’s knowledge. The 51-year-old suffered a brain hemorrhage and was paralyzed, rights groups said.

        His experience sheds light on the dangers for Tibetans who share news about the region with outside sources.

      • World Must Stand With Tibet

        The gross human violations in Tibet is not a new story and is not hidden from anyone despite the media ban and propagandistic approach adopted by Chinese govt. to have the control of one’s destiny is the luxury Tibetans don’t have. The excruciating pain shivers the spine when you see that you are not even allowed to decide on the number of children you can have. The free and fair process of governance in Tibet is just a mirage and the reality, just the opposite. The dilapidated condition of Tibetans is mostly being ignored and not reported, however, the reports which come out as Tibetans flee from Tibet in search of a peaceful asylum are very disturbing. The missing list of people from Lhasa and adjoining areas is growing and no political rival is left unmonitored. The accounts of the torture being administered to politically active workers in Tibet has seen no parallel.

      • China’s ‘new’ border rules in Tibet point to same old dispute with India

        Carrying or disseminating newspapers, books or electronic products deemed to endanger national security is among the acts banned under the rules

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • FSB agents search the home of ‘iStories’ chief editor Roman Anin

        FSB agents are carrying out a search at the home of Roman Anin, the editor-in-chief of the investigative outlet iStories Media.

      • Navalny’s lawyers file complaint over release of prison surveillance footage

        Alexey Navalny’s defense team has filed a complaint over the publication of a video of him filmed inside the penal colony where he is being held, said his lawyer Olga Mikhailova, as reported by RIA Novosti. 

      • The Loss of Fear: Russian Dissidents From Dostoevsky to Navalny

        Russia has a long history of dissenters and rebels who were sentenced, due to their attitude, to penal colonies in the 19th century and to the Gulag in the twentieth; both types of facility are forced labor camps. In 1825, a powerful group of revolutionaries called the Decembrists prepared a coup d’état against the Tsar, in an attempt to democratize a feudal Russia. The coup failed and the plotters who weren’t shot were sent to Siberia where they were forced to do hard labor. Dostoevsky wrote admiringly about the Decembrists and their wives, who had accompanied them into exile. He himself experienced Siberia personally. As a member of the Petrashevsky revolutionary circle, he was sentenced to death; at the last minute the Tsar changed his mind and sent the young writer and his companions to a penal colony in Siberia. Since then Dostoevsky, who was transformed by that experience, wrote several novels in which he analyzed the revolutionaries ( Demons) and the punishment to be meted out for any crime against humanity ( Crime And Punishment).

        After the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks set up forced labor camps, later known as Gulags, where they sent people opposed to the Soviet regime. During Stalin’s purges, between 1937 and 1948, eighteen million people ended up in the Siberian Gulags, which made it possible for Stalin to create a system of free labour when it came to the toughest jobs, such as felling trees, building railway lines or working in the mines. Solzhenitsyn was one of the first writers whose work on the Gulag reached the West, where many left-wing intellectuals, who had previously been followers of the doctrines of Soviet Communism, began to change their tune.

      • Disappear the System: A Critical Hegemonic Function of Capitalist Media

        This is just one example among many. A fundamental rule in corporate-crafted U.S. media-politics culture is that the systemic taproot of the people’s pain must be ignored and obscured. The nightly news gives a running record of inner-city bloodshed but never includes serious discussion of the savage race-class apartheid that generates misery and violence in deeply impoverished and hyper-segregated communities of color. What results is a decontextualized “ urban nightmare” horror show that feeds white racist “law and order” sentiments.

        CBS lets Charles Barkley observe (during the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four last weekend) that American politicians play the game of racial “divide-and-conquer” in order to “keep their grasp on money and power.” It was neat to see “Chuck” speak that basic truth. But the network would never bring on a W.E.B. DuBois scholar (or a radical NBA veteran like Craig Hodges, pushed out of the NBA because of his left politics) to explain how racial division and Machiavellian Othering are rooted in the nature of the national and world capitalist system.

      • China’s Propaganda Against Foreign Media Increases

        Both John Sudworth, a journalist with the BBC, and Vicky Xu, a researcher and reporter based in Australia, have refused to be silenced by what Sudworth has referred to as China’s “highly asymmetric battle for the control of ideas.” 

        Sudworth, who reported from Beijing for nearly nine years, relocated with his family to Taiwan last week after an increase in legal threats and other pressure from authorities. His is the latest in a series of sudden departures by foreign media. 

        In an article, he said that China’s “wolf-warrior” diplomats — a term referring to envoys using a more aggressive approach — have unleashed tweet-storms, lambasting foreign reporting including that of the BBC.  

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Striking Alabama Miners Push Back on Contract Settlement

        The 1,100 workers at Warrior Met Coal, Inc. in Brookwood, Alabama are entering their eighth day of a strike over working conditions and “unfair labor practices.” The stories the workers tell about their day-to-day lives in the mines — mandatory 12-hour shifts that make workers strangers to their children, injured miners forced back on the job, “healthcare” that leaves miners thousands of dollars in debt, and wages that are much lower than similar jobs in the area — paint a picture of enormous exploitation for workers who do some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The workers, organized by the United Mine Workers (UMWA), have been in a fierce contract negotiation battle with Warrior Met since late last month after the company presented them with a contract that made cuts to their wages, healthcare, pensions, and protections.

      • ‘Sacrifice Zones’: How People of Color Are Targets of Environmental Racism

        Designated by corporations and policymakers, these areas are a product of environmental racism, the systemic social, economic and political structures—including weak laws, lack of enforcement, corporate negligence and less access to health care—that place disproportionate environmental health burdens on specific communities based on race and ethnicity. Because they live in sacrifice zones, people of color in the United States are more likely to breathe polluted air, drink polluted water and be exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals and particulate matter.

        The Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a nonprofit environmental activism group based in Falls Church, Virginia, asserts that “[d]ue to redlining, low property values, and other social factors, these communities have historically consisted of [low-income] and/or minority populations.” The group adds, “Current federal air policies regulate facility emissions one stack at a time and one chemical at a time. Impacted communities, however, are exposed to the cumulative impact of multiple pollutants released over an extended period of time from a cluster of facilities.”

      • Opinion | Poor Nation’s of the Earth Host Millions of Refugees as US Refuses to Host Just a Few Thousand

        The factors that drive displacement are often complex, but welcoming refugees isn’t.

        Thousands of desperate migrants, mostly from Central America, are stuck at the U.S.-Mexico border. Most are families and unaccompanied children.

      • How Corporate America Exploits Social Justice (in New & Fun Ways!)

        If you’ve been paying even a modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.

      • ‘Retire, Breyer’: Progressive Group Joins Growing Call for SCOTUS Justice to Step Down

        “We cannot afford to risk Democrats losing control of the Senate before a Biden nominee can be confirmed,” asserted Demand Justice director Brian Fallon. 

        A left-leaning advocacy group on Friday joined the growing chorus of calls for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer to retire so that President Joe Biden can nominate a liberal replacement while Democrats control the Senate. 

      • Crime Rates Drop After The City Of Baltimore Decides It’s Not Going To Waste Resources Prosecuting Minor Offenses

        The argument against anything perceived as “defunding” cops or going just a bit lighter on suspected criminals (like decriminalization of drug possession or the elimination of cash bail) is that the criminals will win. Apparently all they’ve been waiting for is fewer laws so they can break more laws… or something.

      • Black Cowboys

        Based on the young adult novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri, director-writer Ricky Staub’s film fictionalizes the tale of Cole, a wayward youth from Detroit played by Caleb McLaughlin. After a school fight that spurs expulsion, Cole’s frustrated mom takes him to stay with his dad, Harp, who lives in North Philadelphia. Idris Elba, the British actor who rocked it in Molly’s Game, portrays Harp with aplomb.

        Like Detroit, Philadelphia is deindustrialized. Capital fled labor for reasons of profits and market share in both cities. That is how capitalism operates stateside and around the world.

      • New Immigration Policy Is Opening Doors for Mixed-Status Families

        Earlier this week, with little fanfare, the Biden administration announced in the Federal Register that it would be rolling back one of the cruelest of Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals: namely, denying all mixed-status families—households where some members are US citizens and others are undocumented immigrants— access to public and subsidized housing.

        Under Trump’s proposal, these families faced a Sophie’s Choice: Either kick out the undocumented member (usually a parent) and keep the home, or maintain the integrity of the family and end up on the streets.

      • Trapping: New Mexico Moves Forward, Montana Leaps Backward

        Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is infamous for assaulting a journalist, attempting to undermine democracy, and violating his state’s hunting regulations (at least twice). News recently broke that Gianforte illegally trapped and killed a wolf that had ventured a few miles outside of the protections of Yellowstone National Park in February. This brazen and horrific act is par for the course for a man who continues to damage Montana’s reputation.

        In New Mexico, we have elected officials on both sides of the aisle who seem to genuinely care about accountability, integrity and our state’s future — and who represent their constituents with grace and humility.

      • Nonviolent Intervention and George Floyd

        On that terrible day—May 25, 2020—while Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, and two rookie officers pinned down Floyd’s legs, several onlookers became concerned. Floyd was handcuffed and face-down on the ground. They heard him calling for help, groaning in agony, and saying, over and over, “Please, I can’t breathe!”

        A man named Donald Williams tried to shame Chauvin, calling him a “bum” and, sarcastically, a “tough guy” and a “real man.” Realizing the situation had become critical, Williams shifted to pleading, saying “He ain’t resisting” and “You’re stopping his breathing, man” and “You can get him off the ground” and “He’s human.”

      • Minneapolis Grieves for George Floyd

        Minneapolis, Minn.—Last week, the trial of Derek Chauvin began in the Hennepin County Government Center. 1

        Twenty-nine years after the officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted. 2

      • The Only Treatment is Freedom: Mumia Abu-Jamal and COVID

        Within two hours of that call, the movement to free Mumia mobilized hundreds of supporters to call the prison and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to demand immediate medical care for Mumia and his immediate release.

        Tried and true, the call-to-action worked. The next day guards entered the imprisoned radio journalist’s cell and without notice, escorted him to the prison infirmary. On Monday, Mumia’s attorneys inquired about their client’s health with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections attorney who reported that Mumia had been tested for COVID over the weekend and the results were negative. None of us had heard from Mumia directly, however.

      • TSA posts video showing how you can fly without ID

        For years Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and their state government collaborators have been repeating the big lie that all airline passengers must have government-issued ID credentials. That lie has been included in TSA and DHS press releases, airport signage, and Tweets from the official DHS and TSA accounts.

        This public relations lie has been disclaimed, over and over, in TSA and DHS court filings and sworn testimony. But now it has been contradicted on the TSA’s official Twitter feed.

        Tonight the TSA Tweeted a video showing some of the ways you can fly without “acceptable” ID or without any ID at all.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Amazon and Google’s Retaliation Against Whistleblowers

        In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights the turmoil at Google, which inspired a shareholder to demand the corporation adopt protections for whistleblowers. Amazon is in the midst of thwarting workers at a plant in Bessemer, Alabama, from forming a union. Kevin covers a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, which concluded two Amazon employees were illegally fired for their whistleblowing. Later in the show, Kevin provides an update on the fallout from a scandal in Colorado involving the state’s air pollutions department, which falsified data to fast-track permits for companies. And we wish Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who turned 90 on April 7, a happy birthday.

        Former Employee: Transocean Nearly Caused Oil Rig Catastrophe During Hurricane Zeta Colorado Groups Demand Governor Fire Air Pollution Control Director After Whistleblower Complaint National Labor Relations Board Says Amazon Illegally Fired Whistleblowers

      • Despite Defeat, Sanders Calls Those Behind Amazon Union Drive an ‘Inspiration to Workers’ Nationwide

        The senator also called for changes in federal law, declaring that “workers should not be intimidated or badgered by a company” for organizing.

        Although employees of an Amazon warehouse in Alabama ultimately voted against forming a union, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday called for reforming federal labor law as he applauded the efforts of organizers who took on the retail giant.

      • Medical examiner who ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide blames police pressure for his death

        Baker’s findings were at odds with those of other prosecution expert witnesses who were explicit in their assessments that Floyd died from asphyxia.

      • Opinion | Amazon Union Vote in Bessemer Shows Exactly Why We Need the PRO Act

        U.S. workers will continue to face a rigged system until lawmakers finally stand up to entrenched corporate power.

        The results of the election at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama reveal a broken union election system. It is clear that if policymakers do not reform our nation’s labor law system, then they are effectively denying workers a meaningful right to a union and collective bargaining. If they don’t take action, policymakers will be the architects of an economy marked by continued inequality and injustice. Further, policymakers will be sanctioning workplaces where workers are dehumanized and their health and safety is put at risk.

      • Blowout in Bessemer: A Postmortem on the Amazon Campaign

        The stories of horrific working conditions at Amazon are well-known. Long before the campaign at Bessemer, anyone paying even scant attention would be aware that workers toil at such a grueling pace that they resort to urinating in bottles so as not to get disciplined for taking too much time to use the facilities, which the company calls “time off task.” Christian Smalls was fired a year ago for speaking publicly about people not getting personal protective equipment in his Amazon facility, in bright-blue state New York. Jennifer Bates, the Amazon employee from the Bessemer warehouse, delivered testimony to Congress that would make your stomach turn. Workers at Amazon desperately need to unionize, in Alabama, Germany—and any other place where the high-tech, futuristic employer with medieval attitudes about employees sets up a job site of any kind. With conditions so bad, what explains the defeat in Bessemer?

        Three factors weigh heavily in any unionization election: the outrageously vicious behavior of employers—some of it illegal, most fully legal—including harassing and intimidating workers, and telling bold lies (which, outside of countries with openly repressive governments, is unique to the United States); the strategies and tactics used in the campaign by the organizers; and the broader social-political context in which the union election is being held.

      • Working Multiple Jobs Is a Financial Necessity for Many Young People

        By the fall she had landed a new full-time teaching position, but it paid less than her previous position. She had to keep up her tutoring side hustle to make up the difference. The new routine meant that some days started before dawn, with a 5 a.m. commute from New Jersey to New York City for a full day of teaching, and ended at 8 or 9 p.m., after four hours of tutoring students from her car.

        This kind of professional scramble is one of the narratives that the pandemic has clarified: Side hustles are generally not glamorous. Most people don’t particularly want to work multiple jobs to get by. A lucky few have been able to turn a hobby into a career during these strange, slow months, but many more, like Chavarria, have been left wondering if they could stay in their field of choice at all, cobbling together piecemeal work or several jobs to pay their bills. According to data from the Census Bureau, the percentage of workers in the United States with multiple jobs has been increasing over the past two decades.

      • ‘As if she had never existed’: The graveyards for murdered women

        There are cemeteries like this in several parts of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, full of the unmarked graves of women and girls who have been murdered by male relatives in the name of “honour”.

        Since the 1991 uprising of the Kurdish region, which spans a number of different internationally-recognised countries, including Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, more than 20,000 Kurdish women have been killed in so-called “honour crimes”.

      • Islamic Misogyny: Erdogan Humiliates EU President – Refuses To Let Her Sit With Men (Video)

        Turkish Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan humiliated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during an important meeting on Tuesday, April 6th. The Islamic Supremacist leader left only two armchairs for the meeting, one for himself, the other for Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.

        Despite public outcry, left-wing leaders and their media refuse to address the motive behind the supposed “”gaffe“”. The reality is that Erdogan’s treatment of the European Union’s president is merely an expression of classical Islamic doctrine, history and scripture.

        In a video of the awkward moment in Ankara, von der Leyen seems confused as to where to sit, she gestures with her right hand and says “ehm” as Erdoğan and European Council President Michel take their seats.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Wall Street Analysts Say Musk’s Starlink Poses No Real Threat To Traditional Broadband

        To be clear: Space X’s Starlink broadband service won’t be taking on traditional broadband providers in major metro areas. Instead, the company will be using thousands of low orbit satellites (with lower latency than traditional satellite broadband) to deliver marginally decent service to under-served rural Americans, assuming it winds up being profitable longer term. In a country where an estimated 42 million can’t get any broadband at all (during a raging pandemic, no less), any improvement helps.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Jessie Henderson Joins Apple as Features Executive

        Movie executive Jessie Henderson has joined Apple Studios in its features division.

        Henderson, who was previously at HBO Max where she held the title of exec VP, original feature films, will report to Apple Original Films’ head of features Matt Dentler and will be based in Los Angeles. She begins next week.

        Apple is in the midst of growing its film team and Henderson’s arrival comes on the heels of hiring of executive Lejo Pet, who recently joined Apple from Paramount Pictures.

    • Monopolies

      • Opinion | All Workers—Including Amazon’s Employees in Alabama—Deserve the PRO Act

        It’s time to change the power dynamics in America and give working people a real say in our future.

        In all of my years in Alabama’s labor movement—and at this point in my career, it’s been several decades—I have never witnessed the energy nor the momentum that we are seeing right now.

      • Union to File Charges Against Amazon Over ‘Blatantly Illegal Conduct’ in Bessemer Election

        “Amazon’s conduct has been despicable. We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon’s behavior in corrupting this election.”

        This is a developing news story… Check back for possible updates…

      • Apple refuses request to testify for Senate app store hearing

        Senate Judiciary Committee leaders are demanding that Apple provide a witness for an upcoming hearing on app stores and digital competition after the iPhone manufacturer has refused to participate, according to a new letter to the company released Friday.

        In the letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) say the company “abruptly” decided not to provide a witness for an April hearing on digital markets focused on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.

      • FOSS Patents: Bipartisan senators’ letter to stonewalling Apple bookends week with public sentiment turning against App Store terms, policies, and practices

        There was a high density of significant–mostly regulatory–developments concerning Apple’s App Store policies during the first week of March. The week that is ending now is at least as important, but in a different way. It looks like the tide has turned against Apple, with more and more decision makers and opinion leaders starting to realize just how harmful Apple’s abuse of its App Store monopoly is.

        When Epic Games sued Apple last summer, I was glad about it in one way but skeptical in others. I was equally unconvinced of whether the subsequently founded Coalition for App Fairness could achieve its goals. By now I actually think it’s a question of when, not if, the App Store monopoly will fall. I’m looking forward to the day–whenever it may finally come–when I’ll be able to install apps from third-party app stores on an iPhone or iPad. Short of that option, Apple’s conduct is going to create too many problems for regulators to keep up with.

        Change is potentially coming from different directions. Apple (and Google, the sole ally it has in this) can put out some fires, or contain them for the time being, such as in the Arizona state legislature. But there’s already far more than just a crack in the shell. It won’t go quite as fast as Scrat’s continental crack in the Ice Age movie, yet jurisdiction by jurisdiction, #OpentheAppStore is going to become a reality.

        In the middle of the night from Wednesday to Thursday, Epic and Apple filed their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law (see also my two other posts about those documents: redefinition of “commission”, full text of requested injunction).

      • Patents

        • VLSI v. Intel patent trial to go forward in Western District of Texas on Monday as judge denies Intel’s last-minute transfer motion

          Intel argues that it can’t get a fair trial in Waco so shortly after the big news that the early-March verdict made in the local media: “juror awareness of the prior enormous verdict would be highly prejudicial to Intel.”

          I guess Intel knew from the beginning that Judge Albright was going to go ahead with the second VLSI v. Intel trial no matter what. But if Intel lost and appealed, then it preserved certain arguments by way of this motion.

          Intel and Apple are challenging Fortress Investment’s aggregation of patents in an antitrust action in the Northern District of California, where they recently brought their second amended complaint after the original complaint and the first amended complaint had been dismissed. Meanwhile, Fortress-funded entities are pursuing infringement cases against Apple and Intel in different jurisdictions.

        • FOSS Patents: Amicus briefs in support of Ericsson against Samsung by Sen. Tillis, former Fed. Cir. CJ Michel, former USPTO Director Iancu, InterDigital, NYIPLA, and 13 professors

          After former NIST Director Dr. Copan (whose amicus brief I criticized harshly), some other “friends of the court” have made filings in support of Ericsson against Samsung. Other than noting that there are multiple references in those filings to Munich antisuit case law, I don’t intend to comment right now and will just publish those documents below.

        • Lithium Australia set to progress VSPC patents and LieNA pilot plant in the near-term

          The company’s ongoing strategy is to advance proprietary, downstream lithium and battery technologies and to deliver an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals for batteries through innovative minerals processing and battery recycling techniques, creating an energy-metals loop.

        • A Pervasive Threat to Biodiversity and Human Security

          According to Prof. Wijesundara, in 1994, a multinational company, W.R. Grace and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were granted a patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) “Covering a (special) method for controlling fungi on plants by the aid of a hydrophobic extracted neem oil” that is diluted with a certain percentage of water was withdrawn in 2000. Lot of concern after 10-year battle, some patents on neem were squashed some still prevail. There are 65 patents so far only for neem. According to Prof. Kotagama, a US company wanted to produce insecticide from neem. They came with Azadariktin as a product. They obtain the patenting required to use and own neem. There is a law that if you are contesting patenting right it has to be in the country it is registered at. So the neem battle has to be fought in the US. With lot of money and help from the NGOs and help along with the Indian government they fought against this patenting. The company contested that they did not bring neem from Asia or India, they brought it from Africa because it grows in Africa. But it was identified that the seeds that had gone to Kenya had been coming from Sri Lanka according to the Registers of the forest department records from Sri Lank. Based on that evidence the patent was revoked. The neem campaign was consisting of a group of NGOs and individuals was initiated in 1993 in India. This was done to mobilize worldwide support to protect indigenous knowledge systems and resources of the Third World from piracy by the west particularly in light of emerging threats from intellectual property rights regimes under WTO and TRIPS. Neem patent became the first case to challenge European and US patents on the grounds of biopiracy.

        • Howard Dean Is Out Stumping For Big Pharma Patent Protection, No Matter How Many People In Poor Countries Die As A Result

          If ever there was a situation that called for a circumvention of the normal patent process and lifespan, surely it would be the COVID-10 pandemic. It seems obvious that a global pandemic is the perfect situation to go beyond the normal restrictive patent protections for things like therapeutics and vaccines and instead operate from a posture of information-sharing and collaboration so that the world can get back to something resembling normalcy. Instead, products of research that are often based on publicly-funded scientific campaigns are being locked up in patent offices, fought over among patent holders, and used for pure profiteering over a public health crises. It’s in that reality that we’ve had to witness some folks who absolutely know better, such as Senator Ben Sasse, advocate for longer patent protections for COVID-19 treatments, rather than the opposite.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for Tekvoke prior art

            On April 9, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 6,687,343. The patent is owned by Tekvoke LLC, an entity of notorious NPE, IP Edge.

            The ’343 patent is directed to an Internet communication control apparatus selectively connected to communication terminals and a computer network and a method for controlling such an apparatus. This patent has been asserted against over 20 companies, including Cable One, Intrado Corporation, AireSpring, Block Communications, Brekeke Software, IDT Corporation, and Nextiva. Tekvoke is targeting web-based PBX (private box exchange) connected to telephones and smart device apps.

      • Trademarks

        • MSCHF Settles Upgraded Shoe Dispute With Nike And Promises (Wink, Wink) To Buy Back Satan Shoes

          There were actually a whole bunch of interesting legal questions raised by Nike’s trademark lawsuit against MSCHF the weird “structured chaos” organization that seems to basically sell publicity stunts as a business model. It had teamed up with the musician Lil Nas X to sell 666 pairs of upgrade Nike Air Max 97, complete with red ink (and, it claimed, a single drop of blood) inserted in the sole of the shoe. The lawsuit raised issues regarding first sale/resale rights, art, freedom of expression, trademark, ownership, property, dilution, confusion and more. And… all of it’s going nowhere, because a settlement has been reached.

      • Copyrights

        • Taylor Swift releases a ‘perfect replica’ of Fearless

          The backstory is complicated – but here’s a brief overview: Swift’s recording career started in 2005, when she signed a 12-year deal with Nashville’s Big Machine Recordings. Her first album went seven-times platinum in the US and after switching lanes to pop music on 2012′s Red, she became a global superstar in the process.

          In 2018, she signed a new deal with Universal Records, and Big Machine sold the rights to Swift’s first six albums to Scooter Braun – Kanye West’s former manager, whom Swift claimed had “bullied” her for years.

          Braun later sold the rights to an investment fund for an estimated $300m, although he reportedly retains a financial interest in the music.

          Swift was incensed that he would profit from her records, characterising the sale as an act of aggression that “stripped me of my life’s work”.

        • EU Parliament Wants Pirated Sports Streams Taken Down Within 30 Minutes

          The European Parliament is considering a draft resolution that requires online services to take pirated sports streams offline within 30 minutes. This includes a proposal to allow copyright holders to act as trusted flaggers. According to Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer, the plan is dangerous as it can cause massive collateral damage.

        • France’s New Strategy For Tackling Online Piracy Presented in New Bill

          France is set to take a fresh approach to online anti-piracy enforcement. A new bill presented to the Council of Ministers this week has several key goals including a pirate site ‘blacklist’, mechanisms to deal with mirror sites, and a new system to tackle live sports piracy. A new regulatory body will also be formed by merging Hadopi and the Higher Audiovisual Council.

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    Links for the day



  19. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  20. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  22. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  24. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  25. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  27. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that



  28. Links 3/5/2021: Sparky 5.15, Bill Gates Divorce, Netflix Fraud

    Links for the day



  29. Links 3/5/2021: New in OpenBSD 6.9 and Audacity Acquired By Muse Group

    Links for the day



  30. Adding, Seaming Together, Merging, or Concatenating Videos From the Command Line With FFMPEG (Scripting for Streamlining of Workflows)

    In order to enrich the looks of videos with almost no extra time/effort (all scripted, no GUIs should be needed) use ffmpeg with the concat operator; but there are several big gotchas, namely lack of sound and need for consistency across formats/codecs and even sampling rates


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