04.27.21

Links 27/4/2021: Fedora 34, GCC 11.1 and IBM-Hatted Summit

Posted in News Roundup at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Easily deploy and manage Mattermost on Kubernetes with the new Juju charmed operator

        The Mattermost Operator is part of Canonical’s Open Operator Collection, the largest collection of application operators, and can be deployed on Windows and Linux across Kubernetes and virtual estates. Features include PostgreSQL support on the backend, an Ubuntu SSO option for Mattermost Enterprise Edition E20, clustering, the storage of images and attachments in S3 and a Prometheus exporter for performance monitoring. This charmed operator also offers seamless Mattermost version upgrades, initiated by switching to an image with a newer version of Mattermost than the one currently deployed.

        As a high trust collaboration platform for enterprises, data security and developer productivity are vital to our customers – across the full operational life cycle of our software,” says Mattermost co-founder and CEO Ian Tien, “With the Canonical open-source operators, Mattermost can be installed in minutes with the assurance the implementation utilizes best practices – not just for deployment, but also for patching, upgrading and even re-architecting. In addition to full automation of day-to-day operations, these capabilities enable a unique combination of effortless ease of use across the entirety of the service life alongside a compliance-level rigor to data integrity and security.”

    • Kernel Space

      • Char/Misc Brings Binder Freeze, PVPANIC, Habana Labs Improvements To Linux 5.13 – Phoronix

        The “char/misc” continues to be the random catch-all subsystem for the Linux kernel for drivers and buses not fitting well into other areas of the Linux kernel. Increasingly char/misc is hosting various accelerator/offload devices with the kernel still not yet introducing its own formal accelerator subsystem. With Linux 5.13 the “char/misc” pull continues to be heavy on a wide assortment of changes.

        The char/misc pull request submitted on Monday by Greg Kroah-Hartman has around fifteen thousand lines of new code added to the kernel.

      • EROFS Sends In “Big Pcluster” Support For Linux 5.13, Other Improvements – Phoronix

        The EROFS read-only file-system developed by Huawei is seeing some new feature work with the in-development Linux 5.13 kernel.

        The main feature being added to EROFS with Linux 5.13 is “big pcluster” support, which will allow EROFS to compress data into more than one file-system block. Basically, EROFS big pcluster allows for compressing variable-sized input to variable-sized blocks. Performance figures and more technical details on the implementation can be found via this patch series.

      • USB + Thunderbolt Updates Hit Linux 5.13 – Phoronix

        Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the big batch of USB and Thunderbolt subsystem updates on Monday for the in-development Linux 5.13 kernel.

        While no single “big ticket” USB/Thunderbolt feature for Linux 5.13, there is a wide assortment of smaller changes this cycle.

      • EasyOS: Linux kernel 5.10.32 compiled

        Ramachandra has reported the internal SSD not recognized by EasyOS booted from USB stick, on his new HP laptop.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan gets a new extension to aid API-translation layers like OpenGL on top of Vulkan

          The Vulkan API has been updated once again with the latest 1.2.177 spec update available, and curiously it pulls in a new extension to help API translation layers.

          VK_EXT_provoking_vertex is the new extension worked on by the likes of Google, ARM, Valve, NVIDIA, AMD and others. This isn’t the first time Vulkan has gained an extension to help a translation layer, as we’ve seen in the past developers who work on DXVK also help with extensions.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking transparent versus 1GiB static huge page performance in Linux virtual machines

        It is one of the Linux kernel’s responsibilities to manage the translation between virtual and physical addresses for each process. Memory is organized into pages; a page table is consulted when performing virtual-to-physical address translation. In order to avoid repeatedly walking the page table, a cache known as the translation lookaside buffer (TLB) is utilized to improve performance. The size of the TLB is limited, so on machines with large amounts of physical memory, it can be advantageous to use larger page sizes to reduce the number of TLB misses.

        On the x86-64 architecture, the default page size is 4KiB, though larger page sizes of 2MiB and 1GiB are both supported. The 1GiB huge pages are supported only on processors with the pdpe1gb CPU flag.

        QEMU/KVM, by default, attempts to allocate virtual machine memory using the transparent huge page mechanism, which uses 2MiB pages. Larger 1GiB pages may be allocated to the virtual machine if both the virtualization host and virtual machine have been configured to use them. These 1GiB huge pages may be allocated either statically at boot time or dynamically at runtime. I ran my experiments using static boot-time allocation. Dynamic allocation is somewhat more complicated; other resources should be consulted if you want to use dynamic, non-transparent huge page allocation. It should also be understood that 2MiB pages may be statically allocated, but doing so is not as compelling because the transparent huge page mechanism already uses this page size.

    • Applications

      • 10 Most Popular Download Managers for Linux in 2021

        Download managers on Windows are one of the most things that are missed for every newcomer to the Linux world, programs like Internet Download Manager & Free Download Manager are very wanted, too bad they are not available under Linux or Unix-like systems. But fortunately, there are many alternative download managers under the Linux desktop.

        [...]

        You can download the Motrix AppImage and run it directly on all Linux distribution or use snap to install Motrix, see GitHub/release for more Linux installation package formats.

        These are one of the best download managers available for Linux. Have you tried any one of them before? How did it go with you? Do you know any other download managers that should be added to this list?

      • 5 Best To-Do List Apps for Linux Desktop in 2021

        Although some big-name software companies tend to stay away from Linux Desktop, Linux still has no lack of apps that can completely replace those. Whether it’s MS Office alternatives, Photoshop alternatives, or something else, Linux has plenty of good alternatives and for free. When it comes to task managing apps there’s plenty to choose from. In fact, there are so many To-Do list apps on Linux desktop you might even get confused. That’s why we have compiled a list of the 5 best To-Do list apps for Linux desktop.

        To-Do list apps are one of the most abundantly available apps. This is because like a calculator or calendar app, the feature set is rather limited and there isn’t a lot to do. These are simple apps meant for simple things. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t bad and good To-Do list apps. Some can be too basic and stick with letting users organize themselves. Others could be packed with features such as calendar integrations or integration with your emails. You’ll find all kinds of apps on this small list. If you own an Android device, here are some of the best to-do list apps that you should try.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • LFCA: Learn Fundamentals of Cloud Computing – Part 13

        Cloud computing is a popular buzzword that refers to an on-demand technology that has taken over the technology world by storm and simplifies the way we provision IT resources and access data. To better understand and appreciate the concept of Cloud computing, let’s go back in time and see how the technology environment looked like before the advent of cloud technology.

        Traditionally, an organization would procure physical servers and set them up in its own office. As the company grew, the growing business demands would compel the company to shift its resources to a data center where it would procure additional resources such as servers, networking equipment, backup power, and cooling systems. Now, this worked just fine but the setup presented a couple of challenges.

      • Examples on how to use xargs command on Linux

        The xargs Linux command allows a user to execute command lines from standard input. If that sounds confusing, it might be easier to look at a basic example. The following command would use xargs to cat all the files listed by the ls command.

      • Doing simple backups to Google Drive on Ubuntu 20.04

        Like everyone else I am one of those people who like to speak about the importance of backups, in reality, I rarely follow through on my own advice especially when it comes to important files on my computer. That changed this weekend when I decided to roll my sleeves and implement automatic backups on my primary laptop. It wasn’t at all what I expected.

      • Manipulating the Ubuntu dock to keep favorite apps handy

        If you’re a Linux user, you are undoubtedly familiar with the “dock”–that column of icons lined up on the side of your screen that includes important applications, your favorites. It allows you to open the applications simply by left clicking on one of the icons.

        But did you know that you can add or remove applications from your dock and sometimes even change the location of the dock on your screen? This post shows you how to make these changes on Ubuntu.

        To add an application to the dock, start the application in the usual way. Once it’s open, you should see that it’s been temporarily added to the dock. If you want it to stay there for future use, just click on its icon in the dock and select “Add to Favorites” from the menu that opens. In this screenshot, the terminal window is being added to the dock.

      • 10 monitoring tools for Linux system administrators you should know about

        Our job as system administrators has always had two things that never seem to disappear, the first one is backing up data and the second one is to monitor this and to monitor that. In this article we are going to check out some of the best Linux monitoring tools in the terminal, starting with number 10 the all well known and built in top command.

      • File transfer protocols: FTP vs SFTP

        You have both secure and non-secure choices for file transfer, and each can have different advantages in different situations.

      • How to install Free Download Manager on Debian-based distros (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop!_OS…)?

        If you are a previous/current Windows user you might hear about Free Download Manager as a free opensource alternative to IDM. Previously FDM was only available on windows but recently the Team behind it make it available for Linux users. With plenty of choices you may have as a penguin user, The features-rich FDM is a big addition to your apps arsenal. In this article, we will learn how to install it on a Linux system, specifically on Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu.

      • Maybe a local, on-machine caching DNS resolver should be standard (for us)

        So far, we’ve been aggressive about disabling systemd-resolved in our install system (and haven’t set up any other local caching resolver). However I’m starting to wonder if we should change that, especially if Ubuntu switches to normally wanting systemd-resolved on (so that, for example, netplan is unhappy with you if resolved isn’t running).

      • [Old] Speech to birdsong conversion

        A proof-of-concept script using the Perl-SoX-csdr command-line toolchain is available (source code here). The result sounds surprisingly blackbird-like. Even the little trills are there, probably as a result of FM noise or maybe vocal fry at the end of sentences. I got the best results by speaking slowly and using exaggerated inflection.

      • How to Generate Strong and Random PSK Keys on Linux

        During data encryption, a PSK key is required for authentication purposes. It is an effective security protocol as someone who doesn’t know about the key won’t be able to decrypt the data. Therefore, choosing a strong PSK key is important if you are serious about protecting your data from intruders.

        But why are PSK keys important and how you can generate strong and random PSK keys automatically in Linux?

      • How To Install Apache on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache is one of the most popular and longstanding HTTP servers. It’s an open-source and cross-platform web server software providing powerful features which can be extended by a wide variety of modules. Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation.

        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 Apache webserver on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • How To Install GNOME 40 On Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo For Testing Purposes [PPA] – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to install GNOME 40 on Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) for testing purposes, using a third-party PPA.

        GNOME 40 includes a new Activities Overview design with workspaces arranged horizontally and Dash at the bottom of the screen, updates to the GNOME apps, and much more, which you can read here. Ubuntu 21.04, which was released recently, continues to use GNOME 3.38, so you’ll have to wait another 6 months to get GNOME 40 on Ubuntu, unless you use something like the PPA mentioned in this article.

        It’s very important to note that the PPA is neither official nor stable. It should only be used for testing purposes. Below you’ll find instructions for reverting the changes and purging the PPA, but that doesn’t always work properly!

        For example, I had this PPA for a few days, and this morning when trying to purge it, it wanted to remove half the GNOME packages installed on my Ubuntu 21.04 desktop. I was able to fix this, but if you don’t know how to do this, you’ll end up with a broken desktop.

      • How to Delete Files and Directories Using the Terminal in Debian 10

        We have already covered how to search for a file in Debian. In this article, I am going to demonstrate how you can delete files and directories using the terminal. There are several commands and I’ll explain them one by one with examples. I am using Debian 10 here. However, the commands and procedures mentioned below should be almost the same across different Linux distributions.

      • How to Generate UUID in Linux

        UUID (Universally Unique identifier) is a 128-bit unique number standardized by the Open Software Foundation. This number is universally unique and really impossible for a user to guess.

        This tutorial shows how to generate UUID in Linux using uuidgen command line utility tool.

      • How to Install LEMP Stack on Ubuntu 20.04

        The LEMP stack is a group of software used to create and deploy dynamic websites and web applications. This group of software comprises Linux, Nginx, MySQL or MariaDB, and PHP.

        Linux is the host operating system, Nginx handles HTTP requests from web clients, MySQL or MariaDB manages the storage, retrieval, and manipulation of data, and lastly, PHP handles the dynamic processing of web contents.

      • How to Upgrade Fedora Linux 33 to Fedora Linux 34

        Users of the Fedora Linux 33 release can now upgrade their installations to the recently released Fedora Linux 34, so here’s a quick and painless tutorial for those who don’t know yet how to upgrade their Fedora Linux installations.

        Fedora Linux 34 is out today and it’s packed with lots of goodies, including the latest GNOME 40 desktop environment for the Fedora Workstation edition, Linux kernel 5.11, improved Btrfs file system, Wayland by default for the KDE Plasma spin, PipeWire as default sound management system, and much more.

        As expected, Fedora Linux 33 users will want to upgrade their installations right now to enjoy the new features. And, to achieve that, you will first have to ensure that your Fedora Linux 33 installation is up to date by installing all the updates that are available in the software repositories.

      • 4 Ways to Install deb Files in Ubuntu [Beginner's Guide]

        This absolute beginner’s guide explains the steps required to install deb (*.deb) files in Ubuntu. This applies to all Ubuntu-based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, elementary OS, etc.

    • Games

      • Save islands from sinking by spreading life across them in Regrowth

        On the surface Regrowth seems simple, with you growing plants across islands to stop them from sinking. However, it’s surprisingly challenging and quite lovely. It reminded me instantly of Terra Nil, with the same basic idea of spreading life across the land. Here though, it’s down to the Earth warming and some unhappy gods.

        You’ve been tasked to help the planet cool down with greenery, with various levels giving you different island layouts and different gameplay features to complete the task. Note: the developer provided a key to our Steam Curator.

      • Become an owl in Down Ward, an upcoming flight-platformer set in the haunted wilds

        Planned to release for Linux along with a successful Kickstarter campaign, Down Ward from solo developer Fisholith.

        With what the developer says is a unique flight system, it gives your little Owl unlimited airtime but you need to keep up your momentum and some skilful manoeuvring to keep going. You set out on an adventure to “rekindle the dormant relics of a land long abandoned to ruin”.

      • Co-op News Punch Podcast – Episode 29

        We’re back, we’re early this time! As usual, it’s a very casual and frank chat between two friends (myself – Liam) and GOL contributor / Linux livestreamer Samsai about many different Linux-related topics.

      • Block-pushing puzzler with horror elements Dark Sheep is out with music made on Game Boy

        Block-pushing puzzles with a horror twist? What more could you possibly need in such a Sokoban game? Well, Dark Sheep has some twists and turns to it you might enjoy.

        It’s a love-letter to the classic world of Commodore 64 gaming, it puts a twist on it as “Two sheep cannot take the same path, forcing you to find even more creative solutions and more!”. Not only that, the soundtrack was made using a real modified 1989 Nintendo Game Boy. The sound effects used are also retro made using “SID chip emulation”. Everything about it screams retro.

      • Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan expansion is out now, plus the free Majapahit update

        Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan brings with it a number of new diplomatic and domestic options, with more opportunities for expanding and improving your nation’s position as it competes for power from the Renaissance to the Age of Revolution. The first expansion to be developed by the newer Paradox Tinto studio too.

      • Silicon Dreams is a pretty rad cyberpunk interrogator sim out now

        Clockwork Bird have managed to created a thoroughly unique cyberpunk experience with Silicon Dreams, which is out now with Linux support.

        You take on the role of an interrogator android, in a “corporate-controlled dystopian future where the lines between the real and the artificial have blurred to almost nothing”. During these interviews you get to monitor their emotions including joy, sadness, anger, disgust, shock, and fear – while also using each to your own advantage. Not all is as it seems of course, secrets are hidden beneath the surface and eventually you will need to pick a side resulting in multiple endings depending on your choices.

      • Microsoft fixes Windows update that impairs gaming performance

        PC gamers have been complaining about impaired gaming performance in the wake of one of two Windows 10 patches; the KB5001330 update, or the preview version of the same which was dubbed KB5000842. An official Nvidia staff member on the GeForce forums has already recommended those affected by slower gaming after these updates to ‘roll them back’. Now Microsoft has at last acknowledged the problem and started an action to fix the mess.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Mobile Update Introduces New App to Listen to YouTube Music, Multiple Homescreen Pages

          Now that PINE64 choose to ship their latest PinePhone Linux phones with the KDE Plasma Mobile UI on top of the Arch Linux-based Manjaro Linux ARM distribution, the KDE Project is working day and night to improve Plasma Mobile by offering more new features, new apps, and whatnot to make your Linux phone experience better.

          The Plasma Mobile updates for March and April 2021 brings several new apps to the ever-growing collection of mobile apps. These include AudioTube, a new application to listen to YouTube Music, DayKountdown, a new application for managing countdowns of special dates, Keepassk, a client for the KeePass password manager, OptiImage, an image optimizer, and Kolibri, a basic email client that currently only lets you read emails.

    • Distributions

      • [Reposted] 5 Linux Distributions That are Inspired by the Look and Feel of macOS

        There are several beautiful Linux distributions already present in the Linux world. But for some reason, people are fixated on the looks of Apple’s macOS.

        Now, not everyone can afford or would want to buy a MacBook just to use macOS. You could go for a Hackintosh but that would mean ditching Linux, something a Linux lover like me wouldn’t do.

        The good thing about Linux is that it has endless possibilities. When it comes to tweaking its looks, you can do wonders. Imagine making Ubuntu look like MacOS. It’s totally possible.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • tor-browser-bundle updated to 10.0.16 » PCLinuxOS

          The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

        • strawberry updated to 0.9.3 » PCLinuxOS

          Strawberry is a audio player and music collection organizer. It is a fork of Clementine. The name is inspired by the band Strawbs.

        • worker updated to 4.8.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Worker is a graphical filemanager for the X Window System. It use the classical two-panel-view of the files and directories. It hast many intern operations while any extern program can also be used for operate on the selected items. You can easily add actions to filetypes or buttons with the builtin configuration program.

        • telegram-desktop updated to 2.7.2 » PCLinuxOS

          Telegram is an Open Source instant messaging platform for mobile and desktop focused on privacy.

        • solaar updated to 1.0.6 » PCLinuxOS

          Solaar is a Linux device manager for Logitech’s Unifying Receiver peripherals. It is able to pair/unpair devices to the receiver, and for most devices read battery status.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Linux 34 Officially Released with GNOME 40, Linux Kernel 5.11, and More

          The first biggest change in the Fedora Linux 34 release is, of course, the inclusion of the latest and greatest GNOME 40 desktop environment in the Fedora Workstation edition. This change alone brings many changes to the way Fedora Workstation looks and feel due to the Activities Overview redesign of the GNOME 40 release.

          Fedora Linux will now start in the Overview mode after login. Due to this change, the GNOME Welcome Tour app has been adapted to the new design for an integrated and cohesive look, according to the Fedora Project, but this change will probably only affect newcomers, not those who will upgrade from Fedora Linux 33.

        • Fedora 34 Released with Cutting-Edge Tech. What’s New and Download Details

          Fedora team made available the Fedora 34 release .iso across workstations, spins, and servers. Fedora 34 release brings massive changes and cutting-edge tech across desktops, servers, and packages. This is what’s new.

        • Fedora 34 Released As A Hugely Exciting Update For This Linux Distribution

          It’s Fedora 34 day! Fedora 34 is now officially available and it’s quite exciting on the feature front especially with the changes to be enjoyed in Fedora Workstation 34.

          Fedora 34 has successfully managed to switch over to PipeWire from PulseAudio for its audio needs, Fedora Workstation 34 continues making use of Btrfs as the default file-system while now has enabled Zstd-based transparent file-system compression by default, systemd-oomd is being used for handling out-of-memory / memory pressure situations, toolchain upgrades with GCC 11 / Binutils 2.35 / Glibc 2.33 / LLVM 12 are exciting for developers and those with newer processors, and Wayland by default for the Fedora KDE Plasma desktop version, and HarfBuzz has been enabled in FreeType for better looking font rendering. XWayland is also in better shape with Fedora 34 thanks to using the standalone XWayland build.

        • Fedora Linux 34 is officially here!

          Today, I’m excited to share the results of the hard work of thousands of contributors to the Fedora Project: our latest release, Fedora Linux 34, is here! I know a lot of you have been waiting… I’ve seen more “is it out yet???” anticipation on social media and forums than I can remember for any previous release. So, if you want, wait no longer — upgrade now or go to Get Fedora to download an install image. Or, if you’d like to learn more first, read on.

          The first thing you might notice is our beautiful new logo. Developed by the Fedora Design Team with input from the wider community, this new logo solves a lot of the technical problems with our old logo while keeping its Fedoraness. Stay tuned for new Fedora swag featuring the new design!

        • Fedora Community Blog: The Fedora Podcast is back! But it needs your help

          The Fedora Marketing team is bringing back the Fedora Podcast. We have two main people working on it currently: Eduard (x3mboy) and me (Grayson/computerkid). That has been working great to get things rolling but there is plenty to do and. We need to bring in more of the community After all, Fedora is Friends and we need help from our friends! We also want to have a diverse group of folks involved in the Fedora Podcast project.

        • Using open hybrid cloud to take full advantage of cloud computing

          To gain all the benefits of the cloud, a hybrid approach is a must.

        • The evolution of computing and open hybrid cloud

          For cloud computing to evolve, we need to democratize its tremendous power through open standards at every level – from service APIs to hardware.

        • RHEL 8.4 brings continuous stability plus innovation

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4 will be available in the coming weeks. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the highlights and important features coming in 8.4 for RHEL subscribers and on-demand public cloud users as well. Across the hybrid cloud, all the way to the edge, RHEL 8.4 has improvements that will help simplify the deployment and management of applications and infrastructure.

        • Assess. Build. Deploy. Manage. Every CIO is now a cloud operator.
        • Insight into Red Hat Insights: From open hybrid cloud visibility to supporting innovation
        • Introducing Red Hat OpenShift API Management
        • Introducing Red Hat OpenShift Data Science
        • Introducing Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka
        • CloudLinux Announces Commercial Support for its CentOS Alternative AlmaLinux OS

          CentOS alternative AlmaLinux announced the availability of their first stable release a month back.

          If you are planning to replace your CentOS deployments or have already started to utilize AlmaLinux OS, you will be happy to know that you are about to get commercial support and premium support soon.

          CloudLinux, the sponsor of the project announced that it will start providing multiple support options next month.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ELBE: automated building of Ubuntu images for a Raspberry Pi 3B

          Typical embedded Linux systems include a wide number of software components, which all need to be compiled and integrated together. Two main approaches are used in the industry to integrate such embedded Linux systems: build systems such as Yocto/OpenEmbedded, Buildroot or OpenWrt, and binary distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora. Of course, both options have their own advantages and drawbacks.

          One of the benefits of using standard binary distributions such as Debian or Ubuntu is their widespread use, their serious and long-term security maintenance and their large number of packages. However, they often lack appropriate tools to automate the process of creating a complete Linux system image that combines existing binary packages and custom packages.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 released

          Ubuntu 21.04 is an important release, if only because of the switch to Wayland, following in Fedora’s footsteps. Ubuntu did opt out of shipping GNOME 40, though, so it comes with 3.38 instead. The step to Wayland is surely going to cause problems for some people, but overall, I think it’s high time and Wayland is pretty much as ready as it’s ever going to be. Remember, Wayland is not X, as I said a few months ago..

        • Upgrading to Ubuntu 21.04 Is Not a Good Idea Right Now

          Last week, Canonical released Ubuntu 21.04, which as usual results in a rush of upgrades from the previous version. However, Ubuntu users are now being told not to upgrade manually, and won’t be seeing the upgrade notification pop-up for some time.

          As OMG!Ubuntu reports, the unusual situation where developers are telling users not to upgrade to the latest version of their operating system has come about because of a serious bug.

          Brian Murray, Ubuntu Bugmaster working at Canonical, wrote an email to the Ubuntu developer mailing list explaining, “In case you missed it in the release notes[1] and hear people asking about it, I wanted to let you know that users of Ubuntu 20.10 are not being prompted to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 … This is due to a bug[2] with the current version of shim in Ubuntu 21.04 which can cause systems with an early version of EFI to fail to boot after the upgrade.”

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is out, here is why you shouldn’t upgrade yet

          Everybody loves shiny new things and those who love Ubuntu are no different. The latest shiny thing in the Ubuntu world came out last Thursday in the form of the latest Ubuntu release 21.04 code-named Hirsute Hippo. As I have already hinted in my brief review of the beta version, while Ubuntu 21.04 doesn’t look that different from its predecessor, it does come with plenty of changes under the hood.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 Open-Source Software Options You Should Know About

        In a world seemingly dominated by a few tech giants and closely kept company secrets, open-source software bucks the trend. Encouraging the sharing of knowledge and collaboration on tech projects, some companies are proving that giving everyone the opportunity to improve and innovate can accelerate progress.

        Open-source software is where users are able to view, access, and edit source code. This can be carried out by an individual or as a collaborative project among users working towards a common goal. The ability to call upon the knowledge and experience of people from a variety of backgrounds can often lead to more effective solutions and greater innovations.

      • Perform Linux memory forensics with this open source tool

        A computer’s operating system and applications use the primary memory (or RAM) to perform various tasks. This volatile memory, containing a wealth of information about running applications, network connections, kernel modules, open files, and just about everything else is wiped out each time the computer restarts.

        Memory forensics is a way to find and extract this valuable information from memory. Volatility is an open source tool that uses plugins to process this type of information. However, there’s a problem: Before you can process this information, you must dump the physical memory into a file, and Volatility does not have this ability.

      • Upgrade your Linux PC hardware using open source tools
      • How Xiaomi Became an Internet-of-Things Powerhouse

        When Xiaomi entered the fiercely competitive smartphone market in 2010, it did so without even offering a real phone. The company only offered a free Android-based operating system (OS). Yet, within seven years, Xiaomi became one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, reaching $15 billion in revenue. Accelerating its growth rate, Xiaomi transformed into the world’s largest consumer IoT (Internet of Things) firm by 2020, with its revenue surpassing $37 billion and more than 210 million IoT devices (excluding smartphones and laptops) sold across more than 90 countries.

        [...]

        Xiaomi released a new OS version for download every Friday afternoon, as its tech-savvy consumers were heading home for the weekend. Its engineers followed up on user suggestions as soon as they were received, often corresponding with users to resolve issues together. This co-development process enhanced Xiaomi’s brand awareness and likability and prepared a segment of potential consumers for the entry of Xiaomi’s phones, without spending money on traditional advertising.

      • A ransomware gang made $260,000 in 5 days using the 7zip utility

        A ransomware gang has made $260,000 in just five days simply by remotely encrypting files on QNAP devices using the 7zip archive program.

        Starting on Monday, QNAP NAS users from all over the world suddenly found their files encrypted after a ransomware operation called Qlocker exploited vulnerabilities on their devices.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a15

            Tor Browser 10.5a15 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

      • Programming/Development

        • GCC 11.1 Released
          The GCC developers are proud to announce another major GCC release, 11.1.
          
          This release switches the default debugging format to DWARF 5 [1] on most
          targets and switches the default C++ language version to -std=gnu++17.
          It makes great progress in the C++20 language support, both on the compiler
          and library sides [2], adds experimental C++23 support, some C2X enhancements,
          various optimization enhancements and bug fixes, several new hardware
          enablement changes and enhancements to the compiler back-ends and many other
          changes.
          
          Some code that compiled successfully with older GCC versions might require
          source changes, see http://gcc.gnu.org/gcc-11/porting_to.html for
          details.
          
          See
          
          https://gcc.gnu.org/gcc-11/changes.html
          
          for more information about changes in GCC 11.1.
          
          This release is available from the WWW and FTP servers listed here:
          
          https://sourceware.org/pub/gcc/releases/gcc-11.1.0/
          
          
          https://gcc.gnu.org/mirrors.html
          
          The release is in the gcc-11.1.0/ subdirectory.
          
          If you encounter difficulties using GCC 11.1, please do not contact me
          directly.  Instead, please visit http://gcc.gnu.org for information about
          getting help.
          
          Driving a leading free software project such as GCC would not be possible
          without support from its many contributors.
          Not only its developers, but especially its regular testers and users which
          contribute to its high quality.  The list of individuals
          is too large to thank individually!
          
        • GCC 11.1 Released With Initial Work For Intel AMX / Sapphire Rapids, More C++20/C++23 – Phoronix

          GCC 11.1 is out today as the first stable release of the GNU Compiler Collection 11.

          GCC 11 as the annual feature release to this open-source, multi-language code compiler is now officially out in the form of v11.1. GCC 11 is already found in Fedora 34 while it will work its way into more Linux distributions and other environments as the year progresses.

          GCC 11 features include support for a number of recent and upcoming Intel, AMD, and Arm processors. GCC 11 also now defaults to C++17 mode by default, improves its C++20 support, adds in more early C++23 features, works on its C2X language coverage, has begun preparing for Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), and much more as outlined in the aforelinked article.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials and Resources to Learn J

          The J programming language, developed in the early 1990s by Kenneth E. Iverson and Roger Hui, is an array programming language based primarily on APL (also by Iverson). It’s available on a wide variety of computers and operating systems. J is distinguished by its simple and consistent rules, a large set of built-in capabilities, powerful facilities for defining new operations, and a general and systematic treatment of arrays.

          The J system provides: an engine for executing J; various front ends that provide user interfaces to the J engine; a library, written in J, that provides an IDE (interactive development environment), numerous tools, utilities, demos, tutorials; and online documentation.

          J is a very terse array programming language, and is most suited to mathematical and statistical programming, especially when performing operations on matrices. It has also been used in extreme programming and network performance analysis.

          J supports function-level programming via its tacit programming features.

          J is free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License version 3.

        • Stephen Kelly: Location, Location, Location

          As of a few days ago, a new feature in clang-query allows introspecting the source locations for a given clang AST node. The feature is also available for experimentation in Compiler Explorer. I previously delivered a talk at EuroLLVM 2019 and blogged in 2018 about this feature and others to assist in discovery of AST matchers and source locations. This is a major step in getting the Tooling API discovery features upstream into LLVM/Clang.

        • A theory of how developers seek information

          Researchers have been developing a theory, Information Foraging Theory (IFT), of how people seek information, whether it be on the web, in a filing cabinet, or even in source code. It follows a metaphor that stems from animals looking for food in the wild.

        • Some useful regular expressions for programmers

          In my blog post, My programming setup, I stressed how important regular expressions are to my programming activities.

          Regular expressions can look intimidating and outright ugly. However, they should not be underestimated.

          Someone asked for examples of regular expressions that I rely upon. Here a few.

        • 11 Most Common Mistakes That Android Developers Make

          Android is a reliable, customizable, free, and widely used operating system. During the process of developing an android app, we make a lot of mistakes and most of them are common. That’s not the issue that we are making mistakes, but it is always a bigger issue than anything else if we are not learning something by doing a mistake. Learning from mistakes should be in our attitude as an android app developer.

          Also, It is advisable by experts that we should not make the same mistake repeatedly. To doing so, we have to identify that mistake and after learning from it, we should try our best to not make that mistake again. That approach will be an overall development approach for ourselves. The first step is the identification that what we are doing wrong. In this article, we will know about the Top 11 most common mistakes that android developers make.

  • Leftovers

    • The Craft of John Edgar Wideman

      John Edgar Wideman has outlived many of his peers. Born in Washington, D.C., in 1941, he grew up in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh and went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania. In 1963, he became the second African American to win a Rhodes scholarship, and in 1965, he began an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he studied under Kurt Vonnegut, among others. In 1967, Harcourt published his first novel, A Glance Away, and he was off to the races. Since then, Wideman has published nine more novels, six collections of short stories, and five memoirs, earning nearly every award possible in the process. Despite this long career, and despite the deaths of many of his contemporaries, Wideman shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. His commitment to finding new stories to tell, his attentive chronicling of persistence through loss, and his dedication to craft have made him one of the greatest living Black writers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

    • The Billionaires Who Couldn’t Kick Straight
    • Jesus on a Spike

      Why did they shoot Jesus? They ask Confronted by these idols For Jesus said: let’s share the bread Help the poor None should go hungry When there is such plenty None should be homeless

      Let’s care for each other And healed people’s blindness

    • Short Cuts: Films From the Vault

      Au Hasard Balthazar, Robert Bresson (1966) +++

      Le Proces de Jeanne d’Arc, Bresson (1962) +

    • A Mistaken Take on Revolutionary Strategy, the Case of 1905

      To date the most important revolutionary movement that wrested power from the powerful and placed it firmly in the hands of organised workers was the Russian Revolution of October 1917. As such critical lessons can be learned from this historic event. First off, we should note that the transfer of power to the Russian masses is commonly disparaged by its ideological opponents as representing a coup d’état that was carried through by a small band of revolutionaries. This is a lie: because the October Revolution’s success was built upon the power of a genuine mass movement of millions. Secondly, the Revolution is presented by its critics as an act of violent bloodletting when it was nothing of the sort. The real violence came through the capitalist counterrevolution. Rather than let Russia’s democratic workers’ state remain intact, more than twenty foreign states unleashed a vicious civil war on the Russian people.

      Violence on trial

    • Science

      • CSC joins the OpenMP effort

        32 vendors and research organizations now collaborating on developing a standard parallel programming model.

        CSC has joined the OpenMP ARB, a group of leading hardware vendors, software vendors, and research organizations creating the standard for the most popular shared-memory parallel programming model in use today.

      • Space is the Place

        Recently I read an article in one of my favorite alternatives to the MSM, Business Insider, “Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have profound visions for humanity’s future in space. Here’s how the billionaires’ goals compare.” As the title suggests, the two billionaires, when not fucking around with gadgetry and automation and the realignment of democracy on Earth, have their minds entangled in ideas of space colonization and exploitation. The article details the differences in their goals and approach.

        Elon Musk scares me. Something doesn’t smell right.  Maybe it’s the pigs he’s implanting mind control devices in that bothers me; the oinkers shitting themselves as Musk keeps their eyes open — ala Clockwork Orange — and forces them to watch the animated Animal Farm film and choose between Napoleon and Snowball. Fascism or Socialism. Supplementary feed is up for grabs. No time to wallow in the mud.

      • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 85: Céline Castets-Renard on Europe’s Plan to Regulate Artificial Intelligence

        Credits:EuroNews, ‘The higher the risk, the stricter the rule’: Brussels’ new draft rules on artificial intelligence

    • Education

      • Washington State Lawmakers Approve Capital Gains Tax on Wealthiest to Fund Public Education

        “This is the most equitable change to Washington state’s upside-down tax code in nearly 90 years,” says the Washington State Budget and Policy Center.

      • A White Providence Public School Teacher Writing in Tears

        I don’t doubt that a few of my colleagues have some rather retrograde opinions. I know that some of my coworkers voted for Trump. But on a very simple gut level, none of us want to see our kids end up getting killed over an iced tea and Skittles.

        When I saw the news about the Chicago Police murder of Adam Toledo, I sat in my car and burst into tears. As I have watched the news coverage of Duante Wright’s mother speaking to the press, a woman who looks like the majority of the membership of the Providence Teachers Union, I cannot help but imagine how they would feel about a cop shooting their kid. Ma’Khia Bryant resembles so many girls that I have joked around with in class over the years about the most shallow of topics in the catty banter that helps build student-teacher relationships, from television to music to mall shopping.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘They think one healthy X chromosome is enough’: Russians doing battle with rare diseases are also fighting government officials to get the medications they need

        There are many people in Russia battling rare diseases. But no one knows exactly how many. Their treatment is often expensive with some drugs costing millions of rubles. Though the Russian state claims to be helping them, in practice its officials find many ways to “save money” on such people — in some cases, they even ignore court rulings obliging them to provide seriously ill patients with necessary medicines. Meduza investigates why this is happening and whether there might be a way to fix it.

      • Scores of House Dems Demand Biden Act on ‘Important Expansion of Medicare’

        “Lowering the Medicare eligibility age and improving its benefits package would provide immediate and substantial relief for millions of individuals throughout the United States.”

      • Biden Admin Plans to Help 34 Million Kids Losing School Lunches in Summertime
      • At India’s Request, Twitter Blocks Posts Critical of Modi COVID Response
      • The COVID-19 Catastrophe in India Keeps Growing

        It is difficult to overstate the grip of COVID-19 on India. WhatsApp bristles with messages about this or that friend and family member with the virus, while there are angry posts about how the central government has utterly failed its citizenry. This hospital is running out of beds and that hospital has no more oxygen, while there is evasion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet.

        Thirteen months after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the world was in the midst of a pandemic, the Indian government looks into the headlights like a transfixed animal, unable to move. While other countries are well advanced on their vaccination programs, the Indian government sits back and watches a second wave or a third wave land heavily on the Indian people.

      • Why Do We Forget Pandemics?

        The second Moderna shot made me sick—as predicted. A 24-hour touch of what an alarmed immune system feels like left me all the more grateful for my good fortune in avoiding the real thing and for being alive at a time when science had devised a 95 percent effective vaccine in record time.

      • Parents Want Justice for Birth Injuries. Hospitals Want to Strip Them of the Right to Make That Decision.

        Ashley Lamendola was still a teen when medical staff at St. Petersburg General Hospital delivered the awful news that would change her life forever: Her newborn son, Hunter, had suffered profound brain damage and would do little more than breathe without help.

        “It was like an atomic bomb went off in my life,” she said.

      • Christian Elliot’s “18 Reasons I Won’t Be Getting a Covid Vaccine”: 18 antivaccine lies

        As a general practice, I tend to be reluctant to do point-by-point rebuttals of listicles published by antivaxxers, quacks, conspiracy theorists, and other cranks, not so much because it isn’t worthwhile to do so, but generally because, the longer the listicle, the longer the rebuttal. Worse, these disinformation vehicles tend to be written in such a way that each rebuttal tends to take a lot of verbiage, ballooning the rebuttal to levels of verbosity that to make even me hesitate. Still, enough readers have sent me a post by someone named Christian Elliot that appeared a week ago on Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s antivaccine website Children’s Health Defense entitled “18 Reasons I Won’t Be Getting a COVID Vaccine”. Apparently, he originally published it on his own website, Deconstructing Conventional, a week and a half before even that. Somehow I missed it when it first showed up, but now I’m seeing both versions everywhere, posted by antivaxxers as though they were Gospel about COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, Mr. Elliot’s listicle is nothing more than a “greatest hits” of antivaccine tropes, both general and specific to COVID-19 vaccines, all gathered in one handy place for antivaxxers to share. No wonder his post went viral.

      • Spermageddon: everyday chemicals lead to 50% drop in sperm count in Western men

        Women will struggle to get pregnant naturally in the next few decades without stronger regulation of chemicals. Rates of miscarriages, abnormalities in penis development and intersexuality are all increasing at alarming levels. Professors Alex Ford and Gary Hutchison report.

        The sperm count of Western men has plunged by more than 50% in less than 40 years according to a raft of evidence detailed by epidemiologist Shanna Swan in her new book “Countdown”.

        If the data is extrapolated to its logical conclusion, men could have little or no reproductive capacity from 2060 onwards. And one of the main causes of the declining sperm levels is the chemicals we’re surrounded by in our everyday lives.

      • Beware Of Humans

        Coleman knew those risks because of his job. Researchers had figured out a little more than a decade ago that scientists themselves were spreading white-nose syndrome from bat colony to bat colony. Full of good intentions but lacking gloves, researchers had become partly responsible for the epidemic. Obviously a horrific loss for the bats themselves, it has also affected humans. That’s because bats are an important part of our food supply, eating insects that would otherwise attack crops and pollinating some of our favorite fruit trees. White-nose syndrome has killed at least 7 million bats in North America since 2006. Humans have helped spread it, worsening the crisis.

        That realization changed how research like O’Keefe’s is done. After that discovery, she began to wear gloves, changed them between handling each bat and boiled her teams’ gear and clothes in a daily dance of decontamination. Reverse zoonosis put the fear of God into the bat research community.

        But, more broadly, reverse zoonosis is still a risk that isn’t taken as seriously as it should be, scientists told me. It’s probably more common for viruses to spread from humans to animals than we even know, said Kevin Olival, vice president for research at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. And a virus that does this is a virus you can’t eradicate. It becomes endemic, waiting patiently, changing in ways that can make it able to infect us again.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • EU-backed tool to combat cheating in online exams finally ready

          Amid reports of a spike in cheating, technology companies rushed out online proctoring products during 2020. But many faced a backlash from students who found tools such as video monitoring intrusive, while academics questioned the efficacy of such products.

        • Roku Warns Users That YouTube TV May Be Pulled Over Google Dispute

          Roku, in a message sent to YouTube TV subscribers that use its platform, said that Google demanded that Roku prioritize YouTube content in its search results, and demanded that it use certain chips or memory cards that would force the company to raise the prices of its hardware.

        • The erosion of personal ownership

          These problems share a legal history. Traditionally, in US law, the so-called “first-sale doctrine” (also known as exhaustion) limits sellers’ ability to control what a customer does with their copy of a copyrighted work after purchase (e.g., reselling a book). But with the advent of intangible goods like software, which could be copied identically from a purchased version, rights holders grew concerned over a single sale’s potential widespread duplication. Courts struggled to apply the laws concerning traditional property to goods that did not exist in physical space. As Washington and Lee University law professor Joshua A.T. Fairfield writes in his book Owned: Property, Privacy, and the New Digital Serfdom, intellectual [sic] property [sic] law filled the void.

          A crucial decision came in 1993 when the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals ruled in MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer Inc. that the local, impermanent copy of an operating system that is loaded into a computer’s RAM upon its booting up — a necessary component of a computer’s operation — is, by virtue of making a copy of intellectual [sic] property [sic] (the operating system), subject to copyright law. This “deeply stupid ruling,” Fairfield tells Vox, laid a trap, making the use of any software (broadly meaning nearly anything used on a computer system) a copyright violation unless the user followed rules set unilaterally by the manufacturer and/or seller. “That was the case that handed the keys to the kingdom to these companies,” Fairfield says.

          These legal principles have carried over to the so-called Internet of Things, in which tangible objects are embedded with copyrighted software (a.k.a. smart devices, like smart refrigerators and televisions and cars). As discovered by those John Deere customers, even wholly purchased real-world objects are subject to user agreements imposed by the seller. Here Fairfield cites the tech principle known as Doctorow’s First Law: “Anytime someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won’t give you a key, they’re not doing it for your benefit.”

        • Apple will spend $1 billion to open 3,000-employee campus in North Carolina

          Apple’s expansion will be located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area, which gets its name from nearby North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina. Apple CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams have MBAs from Duke. Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue, who is in charge of the company’s online services, graduated from Duke.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Trust and Taint – University of Minnesota Banned By Linux

                The irony of this situation is that the controversial project that led to loss of trust in the University of Minnesota was intended to improve the security of Linux. The research, conducted in August 2020, was by Kangije Lu, Assistant Professor and graduate student Qjushi Wu and their paper “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits” has been accepted for 42nd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. The research, which was supported by the NSF (National Science Foundation), included explicit safeguards to ensure that no bugs were merged into the Linux Kernel as a result of the experiment, although it now seems that a mutex close error many have slipped though, an error that has been fixed.

                The ban however wasn’t made as a response to this paper. Instead the trigger was a more recent set of “obviously-incorrect patches” submitted by Aditya Pakki, another of Lu’s Ph.D students who has explained that they were submitted as a result of his work on “a new static analyzer”.

                For Kroah-Hartmann, who as the main Linux kernel maintainer, has the ultimate responsibility for its safety and security, the submission of new buggy patches was the last straw and his suspicion was that it again part of some research experiment as reflected in his tweet:

              • Linux Foundation demands action from university found meddling with kernel

                Following the recent “Hypocrite Commits” row, it’s now being reported that the Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board, representing the interests of the kernel community, has asked the University of Minnesota (UMN) to undertake certain actions before their people will be allowed to contribute to Linux again.

                This follows the recent incident where a couple of UMN computer scientists riled up Linux developers by intentionally submitting questionable code to the mainline kernel.

                The dubious code submissions were done for the purposes of a research paper, titled, “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits.”

              • The Linux Kernel Team May Not Be Entirely Happy with University of Minnesota’s Apology

                Recently, University of Minnesota was banned from contributing to Linux Kernel code.

                If you have been following up with that news, you probably know that it was all supposedly a part of study (research) to review the process of submitting Linux kernel patches and assessing the security risks associated.

                However, without consulting the Linux Kernel maintainers or taking any permission, it was a breach of trust, which is a big deal for the Linux developers.

              • Get to Know GitOps [Ed: LPI seems to be in the bag of the Linux Foundation, i.e. overlapping interests that are Free software-hostile and buzzwords-leaning (to misleading people)]

                If you’re working in today’s IT world, you probably know about DevOps, but you may not be familiar with the more recent concept of GitOps. That’s ok; both the definition and practices of GitOps are still evolving. And, although GitOps is difficult to explain in a few words, the resources provided in this article will help you understand the basics.

        • Security

          • Hashicorp revoked private key exposed in Codecov security breach [Ed: Centralisation as security risk that extends to Microsoft servers, which often serve malware (e.g. GitHub/NPM)]

            Codecov’s breach is a form of supply chain attack, where attackers target a company’s suppliers or vendors. By compromising Codecov, the attackers got their hands on all kinds of API keys, login credentials, and other security information. In the case of HashiCorp, if the attackers had tampered with the company’s tools, that would be yet another supply chain attack because those tools are widely used within enterprises.

          • Experian’s Credit Freeze Security is Still a Joke
          • Signal Founder Cracks Cellebrite Phone Hacking Device, Finds It Full Of Vulns

            A pretty hilarious turn of events has led to Cellebrite’s phone hacking tech being hacked by Signal’s Moxie Marlinspike, revealing the tech law enforcement uses to pull data from seized phones is host to major security flaws.

          • Microsoft Teams was down worldwide for many users for two hours
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Louisiana Drug Warriors Bungle Surveillance So Badly Their Target Catches Them Placing A Tracking Device On Her Car

              You’d think a team of highly trained professionals working in the narcotics enforcement field would be a bit more careful than this. (via Jalopnik)

            • Ban facial recognition in Europe, says EU privacy watchdog

              Facial recognition should be banned in Europe because of its “deep and non-democratic intrusion” into people’s private lives, EU privacy watchdog the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said on Friday.

              The comments come two days after the European Commission proposed draft rules that would allow facial recognition to be used to search for missing children or criminals and in cases of terrorist attacks.

              The draft rules, which need to be thrashed out with EU countries and the European Parliament, are an attempt by the Commission to set global rules for artificial intelligence, a technology dominated by China and the United States.

            • English Soccer Will Boycott Social Media to Protest Online Abuse

              English soccer officials said Saturday that they would conduct a social media blackout next weekend to protest “the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.”

              The boycott has the support of a coalition of groups, including the Premier League, the richest and most high profile soccer league in the world, but also England’s soccer federation; the top two professional tiers of men’s and women’s soccer; referees; the country’s players union, and others.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden Is Reviewing US Policy in North Korea. The Brutal Sanctions Must End.
      • Did They Miss Yet Another F-35 Cost Overrun?

        A compressed summary of the hearing and an explanation of the apparent overrun follow.

        The Joint House Armed Services Subcommittees hearing on the F-35 was summarized effectively by USNI News, Bloomberg, Breaking Defense and Defense News. The hearing started with aggressive (F-35 critical) statements from the two Democratic Subcommittee Chairmen: Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee and Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., of the Readiness Subcommittee. (See Breaking Defense and Defense News.) Additional important content of the hearing, covered by Bloomberg and USNI News, centered on the huge and growing costs to operate and support (O&S) F-35s – currently estimated to be $1.266 trillion in GAO’s testimony. Recurring O&S subjects in the hearing included the growing cost to update the F-35 with what are called Block 4 and Technology Refresh Three (TR 3), ongoing and future problems with the engine, inadequate spare parts and the low readiness of all variants of the F-35 as measured by Mission Capability (MC) or – better – Fully Mission Capability (FMC) rates.

      • How to be a German Neo-Nazi Girl

        Eventually Irma Grese managed to get out of the far-right world of violence, authoritarianism and strict adherence to the code of Nazism. able to escape largely because she had, during those dark decades, continued contact with what Neo-Nazis call “the outside world” – that is, Germany’s civil society. Irma Grese’s son also played a crucial role in her decision to leave the stinking swamp of Nazism behind.

        Irma Grese left the far-right scene in 2008. Afraid of the vindictiveness of her old Neo-Nazi companions, only today is she willing to tell her story. For Germany’s local police as well as its secret police – the Verfassungschutz – Irma Grese’s unexpected departure was sensational news. At that time, both police forces could hardly believe their good luck, that a hard-core member of the Neo-Nazi’s inner circle left the movement. It came as a complete surprise. They wondered if she would talk and reveal the long-sought-after secrets of these extremist groups.

      • Ethiopia: Violence Instability and the Need for Law and Order

        With around 117 million people, Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa, made up of 80 or so tribal groups, all with their own cultures, language or dialect. Three big ones dominate: The Oromo (35% of population), Amhara (27%) and Tigrayan (6%). Historic disputes over land and power exist between these powerful groups; grievances which are being aggravated by pernicious elements attempting to destabilize the country.

        On November 5th 2020 an armed conflict erupted in the Tigray region, between the federal government and the armed wing of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). It had been brewing for some time and both sides were prepared, itching for a fight. The Ethiopian government invited Eritrean troops to the party and then denied they were fighting side by side against a common enemy — the TPLF, widely hated in Eritrea and by many Ethiopians.

      • Opinion | America’s Ruinous Pursuit of Mission Impossible in Afghanistan

        The graveyard of empires redux.

      • Global Military Spending Grew to Nearly $2 Trillion in 2020 Despite Pandemic

        At $778 billion, U.S. military expenditure—4.4% higher in 2020 than in 2019—accounted for 39% of the world total.

      • Justice Department Investigations Don’t Actually Challenge Police Violence
      • A Kinder, Gentler Foreign Policy

        Sadly, an equally urgent need for structural change is missing from his foreign policy agenda.

        The progressive steps taken by the Biden administration so far are important and commendable. Reaffirmations of the steps needed for protection against the spread of the Covid virus have gone remarkably well. Provisions for an economic stimulus targeting the neediest of our society are welcome. In addition, there is much to admire in the goals on environmental sustainability, the new levels of visible concern over violent actions whether by police or civilians, and the appointment to cabinet positions of competent indigenous and union leaders are all signs that this administration may be leading an important historical change. Progressive critics are reluctant to declare this another FDR moment citing the depth of problems still remaining. Nevertheless the Biden overtures represent a dramatic opening for continued dialogue on needed policies.

      • Opinion | Even During an Ongoing Pandemic the World Cant Quit Weapons

        A new report found that military spending around the world got a boost last year despite floundering economies due to COVID-19.

      • Moscow prosecutors suspend the work of Navalny’s political movement pending court ruling

        The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has suspended the activities of Alexey Navalny’s political network, pending a ruling from the municipal court on a lawsuit seeking to declare it an “extremist organization.”

      • Alexey Navalny’s lawyers file three lawsuits against prison officials

        Alexey Navalny’s lawyers have filed three lawsuits against the administration of the prison where he is serving his sentence, the Russian state news agency TASS reported on Monday, April 26, citing the secretariat of the Vladimir region’s Petushinsky District Court. 

      • As Alexey Navalny’s Life Hangs in the Balance, the Movement’s Momentum Flags

        Imprisoned in Penal Colony No. 2 outside Moscow, Alexey Navalny had spent 24 days on a hunger strike before Russian authorities granted his request to be seen by civilian doctors on Friday. Although it is not clear that public pressure forced the government’s hand, the Kremlin’s concession followed protests in 23 Russian cities and several foreign capitals, in which thousands of people demanded Navalny’s release.

      • A new type of ‘countersanction’ Maxim Trudolyubov explains how torturing Alexey Navalny and repressing his supporters may fit into the Russian government’s larger foreign policy strategy

        The Russian authorities recently threatened to designate the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, and Team Navalny’s offices as “extremist organizations.” In Russia’s hierarchy of “internal enemies,” any connection to an “extremist” organization can carry even more severe consequences than a connection to an “undesirable” organization or a “foreign agent.” Designating Navalny’s organizations as extremist would bring with it a wave of repression, implicating the many people who have helped these groups either through personal participation or financial contributions. The Russian authorities issued the threat immediately after the U.S. government announced new sanctions against Russia. Maxim Trudolyubov, editor of Meduza’s Ideas section, believes that the current wave of pressure on Navalny and his associates might be Moscow’s new way of issuing “countersanctions” in the absence of other options.

      • The Cold War Truth Commission – The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Jim Lafferty is former executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles Chapter. Peter Kuznick is Professor of History at American University, and coauthor of The Untold History of the United States. Alice Slater is a board member of World Beyond War, and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Norman Solomon is an author, media critic, and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy. Rachel Brunke (Witness for Peace Southwest) and Frank Dorrel (Veterans for Peace) were the hosts of the event.

      • Police Violence: the Standards are Topsy-Turvy

        That seems obvious, but when it comes to police officers, the American justice system routinely gets it backward.

        I’m not just talking about “qualified immunity,” a pernicious judicial doctrine that sets a higher bar for holding government employees accountable for criminal acts. That’s part of it, but not even close to the whole story.

      • Opinion | Media Evasions on Racism and the Role of Derek Chauvin

        Although it’s acknowledged that Black people and other people of color are consistently at the bottom of the caste system, there’s no examination of the powerful interests that put them there.

      • The Backlash to Derek Chauvin’s Conviction Is Already Here

        A few hours after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, Fox News host Tucker Carlson opened his nightly white-power hour with a typically misinformation-filled rant about the decision.

      • Media Evasions on Racism and the Role of Derek Chauvin

        They’ve even learned to throw around the phrase “systemic racism” – while avoiding scrutiny of the corporate systems that propel and reinforce racism.

        The view of the world projected by such coverage is typically that of victims without victimizers. Although it’s acknowledged that Black people and other people of color are consistently at the bottom of the caste system, there’s no examination of the powerful interests that put them there – the profiteers who, for so many generations, have had their knees on the necks of poor people of color.

      • Killer Cop Derek Chauvin is Guilty, But the Struggle Continues!

        A giant cheer went up from the crowds of expectant protestors gathered near the courthouse and at George Floyd square when the verdict was announced. The City of Minneapolis has been on edge for weeks throughout the trial as security measures, including concrete barriers and barbed wire went up downtown. Some 2,000 National Guard forces were mobilized in Minneapolis and nearby cities. The cop and Guard presence served as an ominous warning that city and state officials were fully prepared to repress mass protests in the event of a Chauvin acquittal. Armored trucks and gun-carrying Guard members patrolled the streets. Storefronts were boarded up. The immediate area around the courthouse was closed down completely.

        Last week, union members kicked the National Guard out of the St. Paul Labor Center after they stationed their trucks there and partially headquartered at the labor facility. The police murder of a 20-year old Black man, Daunte Wright, a week earlier in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, had sparked mass protests across the state and nationally. On Monday high school students across the state walked out of their schools to call for justice for George, Daunte and other people killed by police.

      • Outrage in Kenosha as Cop Who Shot Jacob Blake Returns to Work
      • “Our Demand Is for Him to Be Fired”: Outrage in Kenosha as Cop Who Shot Jacob Blake Returns to Work

        Relatives and supporters of Jacob Blake staged a sit-in with arrests outside the Kenosha police headquarters in Wisconsin to protest the department’s decision to allow police officer Rusten Sheskey to return to work. Sheskey, who is white, fired seven shots at point-blank range into the back of Jacob Blake last August, leaving the 29-year-old African American father partially paralyzed and sparking massive protests. Sheskey had been on administrative leave but faced no charges for the shooting. “There’s been so many injustices carried on through this investigation,” says Jacob Blake Sr., the father of Jacob Blake, who has also filed a lawsuit against the officer. “Our demand is for him to be fired.”

      • GOP Criminalizes Dissent with Anti-Riot Laws Targeting Black Lives Matter & Anti-Pipeline Protests

        We look at a slew of anti-protest laws pending in Republican-led states, and some that have already passed, such as in Florida, where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a controversial measure known as the “anti-riot bill” that is widely viewed as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to “defund the police.” Under the new law, a public gathering of three or more people can be classified as a “riot,” and anyone who “willingly” participates in such a gathering can be charged with a third-degree felony. Many of the anti-protest bills pending in other states have the exact same language as the Florida plan. “These are really extreme laws,” says Nick Robinson, a senior legal adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, which has tracked 81 anti-protest bills introduced in 34 states so far this year. They “expand the definition of rioting” in order “to target protesters,” Robinson tells Democracy Now!

      • Florida Governor Signs Law That Punishes Protesters For Protesting, Denies Them Bail

        Even though Florida didn’t see many of the anti-police violence protests that spread across the nation in the wake of the George Floyd killing, its legislature and its governor have apparently decided protesters have it too easy. Governor Ron DeSantis feels the best approach to handling people fed up with police brutality and their lack of accountability is to throw more protesters (and rioters) in jail more often, and for longer.

      • “Open Season”: Heather Heyer’s Mother Slams New Laws Giving Immunity to Drivers Who Hit Protesters

        Many of the anti-protest laws pushed by Republicans include measures that provide civil or criminal immunity to drivers who hit demonstrators with their vehicles. A pending Oklahoma measure would offer both. “It’s declaring open season,” says Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was killed in 2017 when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. “Since when do we allow the public to become judge, jury and executioner? Because that’s what this amounts to: Let’s go hunt protesters.”

      • Biden’s MacArthur Moment

        Truman biographer David McCullough reports that in November 1950, Gen. “MacArthur called on the administration to recognize the ‘state of war’ imposed by the Chinese, then to drop 30 to 50 atomic bombs on Manchuria and the mainland cities of China.”

        MacArthur then urged that the US “‘sever’ Korea from Manchuria by laying down a field of radioactive wastes, ‘the by-products of atomic manufacture,’ all along the Yalu River.” In April 1951, President Truman fired MacArthur, replacing him with Gen. Matt Ridgeway.

      • Biden Recognizes Armenian Genocide of 1915, Despite Decades of Lobbying & Denialism by Turkey

        As President Joe Biden makes history by explicitly describing the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as a “genocide,” we speak with Peter Balakian, Pulitzer Prize-winning Armenian American poet and professor at Colgate University. On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Empire began a systematic, premeditated campaign targeting the Armenian people, an unarmed Christian minority living under Turkish rule. More than a million Armenians were exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture and forced death marches. Another million Armenian people fled into permanent exile. “It’s an important statement,” responds Balakian to Biden’s decision. “The plan was systematic,” he says of the genocide. “It involved the implementation of parliamentary acts, military intervention, mobilization of killing squads in order to arrest and deport every Armenian family from Turkey.”

      • The Armenian Genocide and my grandmother’s secret

        And just to bring things full circle, consider the primary role model for caliphate-wannabes like ISIS. No, it’s not Hitler, even though ISIS and Hitler share an infinite hatred for Jews. Rather, it’s the world’s previous Sunni Islamic caliphate – namely, the Turkish Ottoman Empire, whose martyrdom of 1.5 million Armenian Christians is being remembered today.

      • Afghan interpreters rejected for resettlement ‘face death’ after UK exit

        “There is a suspicion that the dismissals were used for HR management. There is very little evidence for why people were dismissed. What we’re asking for is that their cases are all reviewed.”

    • Environment

      • California will be able to set its own tailpipe standards again

        California is on track to regain its power to set tougher vehicle emissions standards than the rest of the US. The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it’s reconsidering a Donald Trump-era edict that sought to strip California of that ability. The EPA plans to rescind the Trump decision altogether after a public comment period ends on July 6th, the Los Angeles Times reports. Last week, the Department of Transportation moved to repeal a related Trump-era rule that barred individual states from setting their own tailpipe standards.

        California has been able to set its own tailpipe standards since it was granted a waiver under the 1970 Clean Air Act. At the time, the Golden State was grappling with an air quality crisis that it sought to solve, in part, with tougher standards for tailpipe pollution. Since then, California has essentially set the tone for the country. In order to sell in California, the nation’s biggest auto market, automakers have had to adhere to the state’s stricter standards.

      • A warmer, drier world’s deeper wells spell trouble

        A warmer world could for billions be drier. The resultant deeper wells spell trouble for those reliant on groundwater.

      • Slashing Methane Emissions Must Play Larger Role in Fighting Climate Crisis, UN Says

        The report confirms that “natural gas is the precise opposite of a climate solution,” wrote author and activist Bill McKibben. 

      • Virtual Bunny Hugging: Boasting About Climate Change Goals

        Ahead of the summit, Nobel Prize laureates had added their names to a letter intending to ruffle summit participants.  Comprising all fields, the 101 signatories urged countries “to act now to avoid a climate catastrophe by stopping the expansion of oil, gas and coal.”  Governments had “lagged, shockingly, behind what science demands and what a growing and powerful people-powered movement knows: urgent action is needed to end the expansion of fossil fuel production; phase out current production; and invest in renewable energy.”

        Deficiencies in the current climate change approach were noted: the Paris Agreement, for instance, makes no mention of oil, gas or coal; the fossil fuel industry was intending to expand, with 120% more coal, oil and gas slated for production by 2030. “The solution,” warn the Nobel Laureates, “is clear: fossil fuels must be kept in the ground.”

      • Energy

        • Fossil Fuel Companies Are Promoting ‘Lower Carbon,’ ‘Responsibly Sourced’ Oil and Gas

          This month, EQT, the nation’s largest natural gas producer, plans to launch a pilot project that will certify it to start selling not just natural gas, but something it calls “responsibly sourced natural gas.”

          EQT’s move comes on the heels of a similar announcement from Chesapeake Energy, one of the pioneers of fracking which recently emerged from bankruptcy. Both EQT and Chesapeake will seek certification from outside providers, including a business called Project Canary, which touts its ability to collect data on methane emissions and pollutants from oil and gas wells and offers a certification it calls TrustWell™. 

        • Five questions with Dr. Chomora Mikeka, Greening the Internet Research Programme Grantee

          Associate Professor Chomora Mikeka is the Director of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) in the Ministry of Education of Malawi Government, and former Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Malawi. His PhD research was about power autonomous sensor radio based on cellular and digital TV RF energy harvesting. He is a 2021 awardee of our Research Grant Programme that examines the impact of the Internet on the environment.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Opinion | How Lifting Children Out of Poverty Today Will Help Them in the Future

        When families with young children get access to cash welfare, that support has even been linked to higher earnings in adulthood and longer lives.

      • Want to Fix the Racial Wealth Gap? Start By Canceling Student Debt.

        Haz clic aquí para leer este artículo en español.

      • How Venezuela is Rebuilding Its Industrial Base, One Volunteer at a Time

        Venezuela’s productive capacity has declined precipitously due to U.S. sanctions. The country is impeded from accessing the international financial system, leading to a fall in investment. Even importing spare parts or industrial equipment is next to impossible. As a result of this, factories have trouble completing regular maintenance and repairs.

        In 2016, Requena and others were invited to help La Gaviota, a fish meal plant and sardine cannery that was paralyzed due to a broken oven. They traveled 500 kilometers, spent five days sleeping and working inside the factory, and successfully repaired not just the oven, but five other pieces of damaged machinery as well. After their visit, the factory went from producing nothing to producing 260 tons of fish meal.

      • How Not to Fix the Post Office or Government in General

        I threw the other nine letters away but decided to check out what DLCC was up to. When I tore it open, something like a bumper sticker fell out bearing seven decals, including SAVE USPS, THANK YOU POSTAL WORKERS, and DUMP DEJOY. Thanks for that, DLCC. I’ll stick a couple on my mailbox to express solidarity with my letter carrier.

        The envelope also informed me it held a petition to sign. You must have likely received any number of petitions from political pressure groups that always seem to come with an attached donation form, as did this one. If not petitions, than opinion surveys, with questions phrased such that it’s hard to disagree. (“Do you favor making polluters pay?”)

      • 10 Years Ago Today, Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Sent His Final Message

        On April 26, 2011, Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto sent his final emails to fellow developers in which he made clear he had “moved on to other projects,” at the time handing over a cryptographic key he had used to send network-wide alerts.

        Flash forward to 2021 and the Bitcoin story is, in many ways, still just beginning. With the price reaching new highs above $60,000, there is increasing recognition of Nakamoto’s invention – a digital money free from the control of any central party or government – and its necessity.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • China censored social media posts about Chloé Zhao’s Oscar win

        But according to the Journal, early messages congratulating Zhao had been scrubbed from Chinese social media sites by midday Monday, and searches on Chinese search engines Baidu and Sogou had few links to the Oscar news. There was no news about Zhao’s win on China Central Television, the Xinhua News Agency, or the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily on Monday, the Journal reported; according to a state media reporter, the country’s propaganda ministry told the outlets not to report the win due to “previous public opinion.”

      • Basecamp Follows Coinbase In Banning Politics Talk at Work

        Basecamp, a productivity software maker, said that it’s banning employees from “societal and political discussions” on internal workplace tools. The move, which was met with swift criticism online, mirrors the controversial no-politics-at-work policy set by crypto startup Coinbase Global Inc. last October.

        Political discussion at work is “a major distraction” that “saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places,” Basecamp’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Jason Fried, wrote in a blog post on Monday. “You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target.”

      • Algeria: Islamic scholar sentenced to three-year prison term for “offending Islam”

        Said Djabelkheir told Amnesty International that he was not notified about his prosecution and that he first learned of it when friends alerted him in January 2020 about it. Said Djabelkheir said that during the course of the investigation into his case by the Sidi Mhamed first instance court judge he was never summoned for interrogation. He was not informed of his trial date, and again only learned of it via Facebook posts shared by the lawyers of the university teacher. His trial took place at the Sidi Mhamed court on 1 April.

        Said Djabelkheir is the victim of an ongoing online and offline harassment for expressing his views. He told Amnesty International that he received numerous death threats on Facebook since he joined the social media in 2007.

      • Algerian scholar handed 3-year jail term for ‘offending Islam’

        The Algerian League for Human Rights condemned the court’s “criminalization of ideas,” and Amnesty International described the sentence imposed on Djabelkhir as “outrageous.”

        Djabelkhir, the author of two well-known works critical of dogma on Islam, had written that the sacrifice of sheep pre-dated Islam.

        He had also criticized the marriage of pre-pubescent girls and the mandatory use of head coverings in some Muslim societies, asserting that Islamic scriptures did not make these practices obligatory.

      • Algerian Professor Gets 3-Year Jail Term for Offending Islam

        Before his conviction, Djabelkhir told the French daily Le Figaro that it is “the first time in the history of Algeria that a university professor is (being tried) for giving his opinion in his own domain of specialization.”

      • Algerian author Said Djabelkhir sentenced to jail for offending Islam

        Speaking to AFP news agency after being released on bail, Mr Djabelkhir said: “The fight for freedom of conscience is non-negotiable. It is a fight which must continue.”

        Mr Djabelkhir, 53, has written two books on Islam.

        He has been quoted in media reports as calling for “reflection” on Islam’s founding texts.

      • Algerian Islamic Scholar Gets 3 Years in Prison for “Offending Islam”

        [Algerian] law imposes a fine or prison sentence on “anyone who offends the Prophet or denigrates the dogmatic precepts of Islam, whether it be by writings, drawings, a statement or another means”….

      • I Left Islam for Liberal Values. Now Woke Liberals Are Embracing a New Religion

        The dam broke. Once they started calling it racist to criticize Islam, it was easy to shut the conversation down completely. The accusation meant the accused was morally beyond the pale, and thus completely dismissible. Words like micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and safe spaces became mainstream. An emphasis on pervasive racism grew exponentially. To even question the extent to which racism was everywhere resulted in accusations of being a racist. Like with religious blasphemy codes, you can only talk about certain topics in specific ways.

        I couldn’t help but notice there was an almost fundamentalist, faith-like aspect to these claims. It was as if in the years since I’d been gone, our society had decided to adopt the blasphemy codes of my youth. When I heard people asked to check their privilege or introspect the ways they have been racist, it sounded like the inner jihad that Muslims are supposed to perform to make sure they are on the correct path.

        How did this happen? How did the religious tenets I had abandoned come to take over the liberal culture I had abandoned them for?

      • Student’s Snapchat profanity leads to high court speech case

        The case has its roots in the Vietnam-era case of a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, that suspended students who wore armbands to protest the war. In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court sided with the students, declaring students don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

      • Censorship in not a new thing for the Information & Communication Technologies Authority

        The Consultation Paper does not provide enough of what we may call supportive statistics & documentation. On radio programmes the ICTA Board Chair, Mr. Dick Ng Sui Wa, mentions « dérapages sur facebook » but does not provide any statistics on those ‘dérapages’ or what they are. He said that there are posts on Facebook that may disturb our social harmony.

      • China Censors Chloé Zhao’s Oscar Win, but Fans Find Ways to Rejoice

        Chloé Zhao’s historic Oscar win should have been met with jubilation in China, the country of her birth. On Sunday night, she became the first Chinese and woman of color to be named best director, for “Nomadland,” which also took home the prize for best picture.

        Instead, the Chinese government imposed a virtual news blackout, and censors moved to tamp down or scrub out discussion of the award on social media.

        Chinese state-run news media outlets — which are typically eager to celebrate recognition of its citizens on the global stage — made nearly no mention of the Oscars, let alone Ms. Zhao. Chinese social media platforms raced to delete or limit the circulation of articles and posts about the ceremony and Ms. Zhao, forcing many internet users and fans to use homonyms and wordplay to evade the censors.

      • China Mutes Reaction to Zhao’s Oscars as S. Korea Lauds Youn

        Instead, there was even censorship. A post announcing Zhao’s directing win by film magazine Watch Movies, which has over 14 million followers on the ubiquitous Weibo microblog, was censored a few hours after it appeared Monday morning. A hashtag called “Chloe Zhao wins Best Director” was also censored on the platform with users coming across an error message saying, “according to relevant laws and regulations and policies, the page is not found.”

        Some users resorting to using “zt” to post about Zhao, using the initials of her full name in Chinese, Zhou Ting. Typing in Zhou’s name in Chinese on Weibo brought up only unrelated posts from the beginning of April. A search for “Oscars” showed only official posts from the South Korean and U.S. embassies.

        Douban, an app popular with film buffs, banned searches for “Nomadland” and “Zhao Ting” saying that “the search results could not be displayed in accordance to relevant laws and regulations.” Multiple discussion threads about Zhao’s win were deleted on the app as well. A news article on WeChat, the largest messaging app in the country, was also deleted.

      • Europe, why aren’t you protecting those who criticize Islam?

        A famous Algerian academic, Saïd Djabelkhir, was sentenced to three years in prison by a court in Algiers for “insulting the precepts of Islam”. It has never happened before. His lawyer said he was “shocked”. “It is a struggle that must continue for freedom of conscience, opinion and expression,” said the academician after the sentence. “It is a non-negotiable struggle,”

        Djabelkhir had criticized some practices such as the marriage of prepubescent girls and actions of Saudi Arabia (“since 1979 they have spent $ 64 billion to propagate Islamic fundamentalism,” he said).

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Meduza is a ‘foreign agent’ now. What’s next? Spoiler: We don’t know

        On Friday, April 23, the Russian Justice Ministry added Meduza to its list of “foreign agent” media outlets. Glance at the Russian-language side of our operation and the reverberations of this police action are unmistakable: Russian law requires us to notify readers about our new status in every message, whether it’s a news report or a post on social media. Crippling us further, these notifications must appear in a font that is twice the size of our actual content. That’s the law.

      • Moscow court eases preventive measures for two ‘Doxa’ editors

        The Moscow City Court has eased the “ban on certain activities” affecting Armen Aramyan and Natalya Tyshkevich — two editors from the student journal Doxa, who are facing criminal charges for allegedly involving minors in illegal protests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Libertarian activist Mikhail Svetov jailed for nine days

        On Monday, April 26, Moscow’s Savelovsky District Court jailed libertarian activist Mikhail Svetov for nine days. The “Civil Society” movement chairman was found guilty on administrative charges of organizing an unauthorized rally (a violation of Russian Administrative Code article 20.2, section 2). 

      • If Biden is a “Union Guy” – Go After the Taft-Hartley Monster!

        Setting records for raising Wall Street campaign cash, Obama reneged on his 2008 promise to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.50 per hour by 2011. He reneged on a promise to the AFL-CIO to push for “card check” to facilitate workers wanting to form a union. He did nothing to preserve traditional earned worker pensions provided by corporations while bailing out Wall Street crooks whom he refused to prosecute.

        Obama stubbornly blocked an eager Biden from going to speak at a massive workers’ rally in Madison, Wisconsin at the critical time when Democrats were challenging corporatist Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union “budget repair bill.”

      • How Sexism Is Coded Into the Tech Industry

        Let’s say you’re trying to decide where to order lunch. Once upon a time, you might have had a Zagat guide on the shelf—or depending on your lifestyle, a Michelin. Today, you’re more likely to go online. On a website like Yelp, you can find the same collection of opinions, the same star rating system, and the same index of logistical facts like addresses and phone numbers. But while that information was once collected by a staff of experts, it’s now provided by someone else: you. Whatever else Yelp is, it is an enormous repository of labor.

      • EU project iBorderCtrl: Is the lie detector coming or not?

        A document made legible again reveals how the beneficiaries of EU security research have been pushing for legislative changes for the introduction of prohibited technologies. The EU Commission is now funding a follow-up project with 8 million euros.

      • GOP Oklahoma Governor Signs Trio of ‘Cruel and Unnecessary’ Anti-Choice Bills Into Law

        “These extreme bills are designed to cut off abortion access for people in Oklahoma—a state that already has more abortion restrictions than almost any other.”

      • ‘Stop This Bill’: GOP-Led Florida Senate Sparks Alarm With Attack on Voting Rights

        “We call on all legislators to break down—not erect—barriers to Floridians’ fundamental right to vote.”

      • Rights Groups Demand Records on Trump Admin’s ‘Death Flight’ Deportations of Cameroonian Asylum Seekers

        “The government’s mass deportations of Cameroonian and other Black immigrants are inhumane and targeted.”

      • House Dems Propose Lifting ‘Cruel’ Ban on Former Drug Felons Receiving Food and Cash Aid

        “Once a person has served their time, we should be ensuring they have the tools to succeed and become productive members of society.”

      • Here Are 458 California Law Enforcement Agencies’ Policy Documents All in One Place

        At this moment in history, law enforcement agencies in the United States face a long-overdue reevaluation of their priorities, practices, and processes for holding police officers accountable for both unconscious biases and overt abuse of power. 

        But any examination of law enforcement requires transparency first: the public’s ability to examine what those priorities, practices, and processes are. While police are charged with enforcing the law, they too have their own rules to follow, and too often, those rules are opaque to the public. An imbalance in access to information is an imbalance of power. 

        Today, EFF in partnership with Stanford Libraries’ Systemic Racism Tracker project is releasing a data set with links to 458 policy manuals from California law enforcement agencies, including most police departments and sheriff offices and some district attorney offices, school district police departments, and university public safety departments. This data set represents our first attempt to aggregate these policy documents following the passage of S.B. 978, a state law that requires local law enforcement agencies to publish this information online. 

      • How does ‘taking the knee’ help Qatar’s World Cup slaves?

        What was going through the minds of England players as they took the knee, yet again, prior to their victory over Poland in their 2022 World Cup qualifier at Wembley last week? George Floyd? Racism in sport? Nothing in particular?

        We’ll never know. But it seems unlikely they were thinking too hard about the destination where, if their good form holds, they will be representing their country next winter: the tiny gulf state of Qatar. If they had, they might have spared a thought, and perhaps a gesture, for the 6,500 migrant workers estimated to have died since Qatar won the right to host next year’s tournament.

      • Police dealing with increase in reports of illicit video leaks

        Police are dealing with an increasing number of reports of sexually explicit videos and pictures being leaked and shared without the person’s consent, figures reveal.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • 5,000 T-Mobile Employees Lost Their Jobs Post-Merger While Ex-CEO John Legere Saw A $137 Million Golden Parachute

        To be clear, former T-Mobile CEO John Legere did some amazing things with T-Mobile. After regulators blocked AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile in 2011 (which wound up being a very good thing), he took the $3 billion break up fee and turned an also-ran into a major thorn in the side of AT&T and Verizon. Legere accomplished this by (gasp) generally treating consumers well, eliminating annoyances like long-term contracts, sneaky fees, and many other telecom industry mainstays. He also did it by embracing an entertaining, wise ass persona in an industry not known for having a sense of humor.

      • How Do You Debate Section 230 When One Side Constantly Lies About It?

        The Federalist Society this week released an interesting and well-produced video all about the Section 230 debate. Whatever you might think about the Federalist Society, the video is worth watching. The video does not take a position on 230 but basically presents it as if there are two equally competing visions of 230 — one in which it’s good and one in which it’s a problem. And if you just watch the video, you might think that this is because there are just disagreements about how 230 works and the impact it has on speech online. But that’s only because one side of the debate is completely making shit up and the other is being accurate.

      • The Case Against Deregulation, Repealing Section 230, Looking Back At AT&T’s Breakup

        An article published by The American Prospect argues why deregulation is not inherently pro-competition as the Biden Administration prioritizes universal broadband coverage for Americans.

        Sean Gonsalves and Christopher Mitchell penned a piece that detailed why properly funded, public, municipal broadband services are necessary to promote competition and affordability, particularly in rural and underserved communities across the U.S.

    • Monopolies

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