05.14.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 14/5/2021: FreeBSD on the Pine H6, Red Hat Hiring

Posted in News Roundup at 12:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • “Linux Community.” [Ed: Also here. The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (which rejects Linux) has detached any real meaning from the term “Linux”. Linux is not a community. Join GNU for a more community-like experience.]

        I don’t know… it really feels like a community. Maybe that’s just my idealism talking, but in this video I lay out exactly why I think Linux users have organically built a community and my own experiences within it.

      • S14E10 – Stars Grew Firmly | Ubuntu Podcast

        This week we’ve been playing with RISC-V. We discuss the future of Ubuntu releases, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 10 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Confidential Computing Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference [Ed: Surveillance disguised as “confidential” by the LF on behalf of spying firms that pay LF to do this. What’s “confidential computing”? In simple terms, it’s something like, Facebook and Google or Microsoft/NSA stealing your data and then saying, “we don’t want anybody else stealing the data we stole from you…” (and that’s “confidential” computing as promoted by the lobbying front group and PR agency ‘Linux’ Foundation). If the ‘Linux’ Foundation used a name like the “Spying Alliance” to promote this nonsense they call “confidential” computing, then fine, at least we’d know what they stand for. But they’re grossly abusing (milking to death) the brand “Linux”.]

        The Linux kernel recently gained support for SEV-ES and support for Intel TDX is upcoming. AMD SEV will be further enhanced by Secure Nested Paging (SNP). Support for these technologies requires intrusive changes to the Linux kernel for memory integrity and secure interrupt delivery to virtual machines. Designing these changes in a way that works for different confidential computing technologies is one goal of this microconference.

      • Systemd Service Strengthening

        In an age where hacker attacks are a daily occurrence, it is of fundamental importance to minimize the attack surface. Containerization is probably the best way to isolate a service provided for the public, but this is not always possible for several reasons. For example, think of a legacy system application developed on systemd. This could make the most of the capabilities provided by a systemd-based operative system and it could be managed via a systemd unit, or it could automatically pull updates using a systemd timer, and so on.

        For this reason, we are going to explain how to improve the security of a systemd service. But first, we need to step back for a moment. With the latest releases systemd has implemented some interesting features relating to security, especially sandboxing. In this article we are going to show step-by-step how to strengthen services using specific directives, and how to check them with the provided systemd suite.

      • Linux 5.12.4

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.12.4 kernel.

        All users of the 5.12 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.12.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.12.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

        thanks,

        greg k-h

      • Linux 5.11.21
      • Linux 5.10.37
      • Linux 5.4.119
      • Graphics Stack

        • Fedora Magazine: PipeWire: the new audio and video daemon in Fedora Linux 34

          Wim Taymans has a long track record in the Linux community. He was one of the two original developers of the GStreamer multimedia framework and he was the principal maintainer for most of the project’s initial existence. He joined Red Hat in 2013 and has helped maintain GStreamer and PulseAudio for Red Hat since. In 2015 he started working on PipeWire: a project that has come to full fruition in Fedora Workstation 34, where it handles both audio and video. In addition to that, it also merges the world of pro-audio with mainstream Linux. In this interview we will talk about where PipeWire came from, where it is at and where Wim sees it going from here.

        • Intel Posts Latest Linux Patches For Reporting Per-Client GPU/Media Engine Utilization

          For two years now Intel open-source engineers have floated patches for reporting per-client engine utilization for showing on an application level how much it’s leveraging the Intel graphics render/3D, blitter, and video/multimedia engines. This can be used for some nifty system information reporting like a GPU top or other system monitoring functionality. The latest version of these patches were sent out this week.

          The benefit of these patches for Intel graphics hardware on Linux is being able to report on a per-process level how the Intel GPU is being utilized and by what software. This “per-client engine busyness” information is exposed to user-space via sysfs so any interested application can make use of the information.

        • NVIDIA released another small update to their Vulkan Beta Driver

          After releasing upgrading their stable drivers with version 460.80 following the release of the the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti for laptops – a new Vulkan Beta Driver is out now.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to benchmark your websites with the open source Apache Bench tool

        Every business depends on data. It’s how they evolve, improve, pivot, market and grow. The lure of data isn’t limited to marketing and suit-type staff. IT also requires data to not only make decisions, but to improve the technology used to make business happen.

        That’s why you need all the tools to collect information about your systems—every system. One crucial service you need to know about is your web servers. After all, those web servers are how you sell your products and interact with the public.

        How do you collect data about your websites? One way is to use the Apache Bench tool. Apache Bench is a tool used to load test websites and APIs. I’m going to show you how to install and use this handy tool, so you’ll have all the data you require about how your websites are performing.

      • Reynaldo Verdejo: Short tutorial: Digital Television with GStreamer (ATSC setup)

        GStreamer support for Digital Television (DTV) is still working. If you follow a few very simple steps you can get DTV signals tuned-to, captured, decoded and displayed with your computer and a few accessories.

        This short article presents basic instructions for a working DTV setup. I’m going to use ATSC in the US as an example, but these instructions should work equally well for other terrestrial delivery systems and other countries.

        What hardware do you need?

        Beyond a computer, you will need an antenna and a capture device. I recently tested a Hauppauge WinTV-dualHD (ATSC/QAM) USB dongle with a 5-years old Amazon basics flat indoor antenna (that looks pretty much like this one) and it worked quite well at roughly 60km from the repeater station.

        Installation

        The hardware setup is simple. Install the antenna pointing to your repeater station and as high as you can. Your local telecommunications and/or broadcasting association should have data about repeaters near you. You can get this information by ZIP code from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) if you are in the US.

      • Using Finalizers to Control Deletion | Kubernetes

        Deleting objects in Kubernetes can be challenging. You may think you’ve deleted something, only to find it still persists. While issuing a kubectl delete command and hoping for the best might work for day-to-day operations, understanding how Kubernetes delete commands operate will help you understand why some objects linger after deletion.

      • How to Control Vagrant Box Using Vagrant commands

        In the previous article, we have seen how to spin up a virtual machine using vagrant. In this article, we will focus on customizing the vagrant file according to our requirements and see important commands to work with the vagrant.

      • How To Install Ruby On Rails In Linux – OSTechNix

        This guide gives you a brief introduction to Ruby on Rails and then walks you through the steps to install Ruby on Rails in Linux.

      • How to install Essential Multimedia Codecs in Linux

        By default, the Linux system cannot play most video files that are in encrypted formats (proprietary media formats) if you do not have the required Media Codecs installed on your system.

        It contains lots of packages like flash plugin, gstreamer, mp4, libavcodec, etc (especially decoder), which are not open source and some of them involve copyright patent or legal issues. Hence, these are not installed by default nor shipped with official repository.

        If you try to play proprietary media formats without installing media codecs, you will see the following error message “Unable to play the file”.

        In this brief tutorial, we’ll show you how to install Media Codes on Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE systems.

      • Ubuntu Install Buku Bookmark Manager From The Terminal

        Buku is a powerful bookmark manager written in Python3 and SQLite3. It’s a flexible command-line solution with a private, portable, merge-able database along with seamless GUI integration.

        It can auto-import bookmarks from your browser(s) or fetch the title and description of a bookmarked URL from the web. You can use your favourite editor to compose and update bookmarks. With multiple search options, including regex and a deep scan mode (particularly for URLs), it can find any bookmark instantly. Buku can look up the latest snapshot of a broken link on the Wayback Machine. There’s an Easter egg to revisit random forgotten bookmarks too! Buku is too busy to track you: no hidden history, obsolete records, usage analytics or homing.

      • 1 Click Google Chrome Install On Ubuntu [ Simple and Easy ]

        As of March 2021, StatCounter estimates that Chrome has a 66% worldwide browser market share (after peaking at 72.38% in November 2018) on personal computers (PC), is also dominant on mobile, and has caught up with Safari on tablets (or about a percent-point below at 42.33%), and at 63.59% across all platforms combined. Because of this success, Google has expanded the “Chrome” brand name to other products: Chrome OS, Chromecast, Chromebook, Chromebit, Chromebox, and Chromebase.

      • RPM Commands – Unixcop

        RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) is an default open source and package management utility for Red Hat systems like (RHEL, CentOS and Fedora).

        The tool allows you install, update, uninstall, query, verify and manage system software packages in Unix/Linux operating systems. The RPM known as .rpm file, that includes compiled software programs and libraries needed by the packages. This utility only works with packages that built on .rpm format.

      • How to install the Opera Browser on Deepin 20.2

        Today we are going to look at how to install the Opera Browser on Deepin 20.2. As seen in the video, a person downloads Opera, from the official site, and then installs it with the built-in installer. Enjoy!

      • How to use df command in Linux / Unix {with examples} – nixCraft

        We use the df command to find total disk space and available space on a Linux / Unix file system. Let us see how to use the df command to view the amount of free space left on your Linux, macOS, *BSD and Unix file system. We will also explain how to automate disk space monitoring and send an email alert or push notification to your mobile device.

        The df is an essential tool for a developer as it reports the amount of disk space used and available on file Linux or Unix filesystem.

      • 10 Tips on mastering Sublime Text Editor | FOSS Linux

        Investing in quality development tools will make you more productive and significantly increase code quality. One such tool is Sublime Text 3, and you might be surprised by the many cool things in Sublime Text Editor.

        Sublime Text 3 is a sophisticated text editor for markup, code, and prose. Sublime Text Editor is loved by web developers, engineers, and programmers alike. Sublime Text 3 is built from custom components, a cross-platform UI toolkit, with an unmatched syntax highlighting engine. Sublime Text Editor is very responsive, giving developers excellent performance. It is free for download and is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

        This article will highlight tips, shortcuts, and tricks of getting the most from Sublime Text 3. The article will highlight the must-have packages and project-specific preference settings and tweaks.

      • How to install Growtopia on a Chromebook

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

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

      • LFCA – Useful Tips for Securing Data and Linux – Part 18

        Since its release in the early nineties, Linux has won the admiration of the technology community thanks to its stability, versatility, customizability, and a large community of open-source developers who work round-the-clock to provide bug fixes and improvements to the operating system. By and large, Linux is the operating system of choice for public cloud, servers, and supercomputers, and close to 75% of internet-facing production servers run on Linux.

      • VIM Editor

        Vim is an advanced and highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. Vim text editor is developed by Bram Moolenaar. It supports most file types and vim editor is also known as a programmer’s editor. We can use with its plugin based on our needs.

        Also vim, short for Vi Improved is a command-line text editor. In this vim tutorial, you are going to learn useful tips in using the vim text editor. Without much ado, let’s jump right in.

    • Games

      • Viscerafest is a sci-fi fantasy FPS with lots of punching entering Early Access on May 20

        Ready for more retro-infused first-person shooting action? Viscerafest is now confirmed to be launching on May 20 into Early Access on Steam following a successful Beta. The developer, Acid Man Games / Fire Plant Games have been regularly putting out Beta builds on their Discord which have shown a lot of promise.

        “Viscerafest is a Sci-Fi Fantasy Singleplayer Arena FPS with minor Collectathon elements. Fight through hordes of aliens and eldritch monstrosities wielding a slew of powerful weapons, juggling your resources, and exploring over 26 intricately designed hand crafted levels.”

        [...]

        The Linux version we tested before release has been running exceptionally well, we think this is one you’re going to like a lot if you love arena-styled fast-paced shooters.

      • Google says Stadia is very much ‘alive and well’ according to a new interview

        Despite everywhere you look there’s always someone pointing to the Google Graveyard, the game streaming service Stadia is still soldiering on in the face of overwhelming competition.

        In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Stadia’s developer marketing lead Nate Ahearn says the service is actually “alive and well” and went on to mention how they have over 100 new titles launching for Stadia through 2021. They’re also continuing to grow their Stadia Makers program where they help Unity developers port to Stadia (with another 20 coming from that) along with continuing partnerships with many AAA studios like Capcom, EA, Square Enix, Ubisoft and others.

      • itch.io Creator Day gives 100% of the sales to developers today for 24 hours

        Right now game store itch.io is hosting their first official itch.io Creator Day, where the store gives 100% of the sales back to developers instead of taking a cut. This is not the first time itch.io has done this, as they did so for Black Friday in 2020. Now though, they’ve confirmed that this is going to be a more regular thing which is why they’ve slapped an actual name on it.

        Developers don’t have to do anything, as it’s all automatic. Taking a cut from developers has always been a very open point for itch, as developers set the cut they give to itch themselves – there’s no forced 30% or 12% or anything here. Note: developers don’t entirely get 100% exactly, as there’s still taxes and payment processor fees but you get the point.

      • Steam Still Can’t Seem To Keep Its Hands Off Some ‘Sex Games’ Despite Hands Off Policy

        It’s been three or so years since Valve announced a new “hands off” approach towards approvals for games on its dominant Steam storefront. This new “policy” was unfortunately rolled out in an extremely Steam-like manner: vague and largely indecipherable, full of holes, and all with a caveat baked in that Steam could still do basically whatever it wants. Later, the company clarified that the chief goal with all of this was to allow for more adult-oriented games while still giving Steam the ability to disallow “troll games”, as though that actually clarified anything. Predictably, this new policy set off confusion all over the place, and even years into the change its application appears to be aggressively inconsistent.

      • Proton GE gets some big updates but you may need to remove old Wine prefixes

        Proton GE (GloriousEggroll) is a community-built version of the Proton compatibility layer for running Windows games on Linux through Steam Play. You could compare Proton GE to the Valve-official Proton Experimental, where lots of extra features and fixes go in that haven’t seen as much testing – but both may get you into newer Windows games quicker on Linux.

        If you’re not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It’s a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

        Over the last month or two, Proton GE has seen multiple big new releases (the latest being Proton-6.8-GE-1) based on Wine 6.5 and it also sees big bumps in versions for the likes of DXVK, VKD3D, OpenXR patches, Media Foundation fixes for getting more games video working and the list of changes goes on for some time.

      • Unvanquished 0.52 Beta Released For Open-Source, First-Person RTS Game

        Following this week’s id Tech 3 based Daemon engine update, the open-source first person shooter / real-time strategy game Unvanquished has just issued its long overdue v0.52 beta release.

        Unvanquished has been a very promising open-source game project succeeding the former Tremulous project. As part of Unvanquished, Daemon Engine as their downstream and much improved version of the open-source id Tech 3 has continued advancing.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta Arrives with ‘Hugely Improved’ Wayland Support

          KDE developers have just released the first beta of KDE Plasma 5.22.

          This beta arrives ahead of the planned stable release of KDE Plasma 5.22 on June 8, 2021.

          What have developers who work on for the open-source desktop environment (and its associated technologies) been tending to this time around? Well, there’s been a large focus on patching up paper-cuts within the Plasma experience, and making smaller (but no less important) tweaks to improve the overall quality of the desktop environment.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta Ready For Testing With Much Better Wayland Experience

          KDE developers this week have issued the much anticipated Plasma 5.22 beta for testing, which is exciting this time around largely for bringing its Wayland support up to par for daily use with quite a lot of polishing and optimizations.

          Plasma 5.22 has quite well-rounded Wayland support now and should deliver a good experience especially for Linux gamers with finally adding direct scan-out support, FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync plumbing, and much more.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • First Cut at a GTK4 Port of LibreOffice

          Early days yet, but here’s some screenshots of an experimental port of LibreOffice to GTK4 I’ve commited upstream during the week. It starts without crashing, renders, accepts user keystrokes and mouse events, basic Input Method support also works.

          Standard GTK file dialog functionality works.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD on the Pine H6

          Pine makes a bunch of different bits of hardware. The Pine64 was a bit of a breakthrough in single-board-computing (SBC) – very different from the Raspberry Pi, and a lot more open-source. We could argue about just how open it is, but it did spawn the Pinebook and the Pinebook Pro. I hear the latter is really nice, and runs OpenBSD and FreeBSD too. Somewhat forgotten amongst all these is the Pine H6.

          When the A64 came out originally (was that 2018?), closely followed by the H6, the H6 was clearly a more-capable board: more memory, even if you can’t access all 4GiB that is soldered on, eMMC, barrel power-connection. The Pine64-LTS remedied a lot of that, and the H6 was then also surpassed in compute-power by the Rock64 and RockPro. By that time, though, I had ordered a couple.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat exec: 500 new jobs to focus on expanding its cloud computing punch

          Red Hat’s hiring spree announced this week is designed to to bolster cloud computing efforts and is seeking employees at each stage of the product development process.

          So says Mike McGrath, vice president of Software Engineering at Red Hat, in an interview with WRAL TechWire.

          The new talent can help the company develop products to meet emerging edge computing needs as requested by current and prospective clients, he added. The cloud and Red Hat’s expertise were the big reasons IBM acquired Raleigh-based Red Hat two years ago for a whopping $34 billion.

        • Red Hat to hire hundreds in Raleigh as IBM’s $34B bet continues to pay off

          IBM is continuing its bet on Red Hat, with plans to add more than 200 Red Hatters to its Triangle operation.

          In an interview, Tim Cramer, senior vice president of software engineering at Red Hat, said the investment is a continuation of the bet IBMm (NYSE: IBM) made on the firm when it purchased it in 2019 for $34 billion.

          “We’re definitely performing,” he said. “We’re doing well, and clearly the open hybrid cloud bet is the one we want to continue on.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu on High Resolution

          Don’t have great displays? Here you can see Ubuntu displayed in high resolutions by 1400′s and better as well as get a way to test them even without buying a monitor device. I tried to collect how it looks starting with normal desktop, menu, and Activities overview, to system tray, calendar tray, Settings, LibreOffice Writer and Ubuntu Software. You will find here multiple aspect ratios by 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10. Lastly, because Ubuntu is based on GNOME desktop environment, this article applies to GNOME as well no matter what other GNU/Linux distro you are using. Now let’s have a look!

        • Every Ubuntu Default Wallpaper So Far

          Each Ubuntu release is different from the other releases in various ways. Each release has a different code name and a different version number. I have explained the logic behind Ubuntu version and codenames so I am not going to bore you with those details again.

          Each Ubuntu release also comes with a different set of wallpapers. There is one default background that you’ll see while installing Ubuntu or when you first log in to it.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Tor 0.4.5.8 Is Released

        Tor is the actual network software for the Tor network. It is not the same as the Tor Browser bundle end-users use to access the Tor network, Tor is just a daemon you run to create a small part of the Tor network. The Tor Browser bundle is a bundle with web browser based on Mozilla Firefox and the Tor daemon configured to run in client mode.

        The latest Tor release is a bit of a yawn. It has a tweak in Tor’s support for the Linux kernels seccomp sandbox that lets Tor use seccomp correctly with Glibc 2.33 (bug 40382) and a tweak that makes GNU Authconf 2.70+ create the build script correctly (bug 40335)

      • Dreaming At Dusk
      • Programming/Development

        • Drop Autotools for CMake | Opensource.com

          In my introduction to Autotools, I demonstrated how to manage building and packaging code with GNU Autotools. It’s a robust and common platform that integrates easily into many packaging systems, including RPM, APT, pkgsrc, and more. Its syntax and structure can be confusing, but luckily there are alternatives, including the open source CMake framework.

          CMake is a cross-platform suite for building, testing, and packaging software. It uses simple and clearly documented syntax, so it’s easy to start using even if you’ve never used a build system before.

        • Qt Safe Renderer 1.2 released

          We are happy to announce the new version 1.2 of the Qt Safe Renderer is now available.

        • Erlang/OTP 24 Highlights

          Finally Erlang/OTP 24 is here! A release that for me has been about 10 years in the making. As is tradition by now, this blog post will go through the additions to Erlang/OTP that I am most excited about!

        • Speedbuilding LLVM/Clang in 5 minutes

          This post is a spiritual successor to my “Building LLVM on OpenBSD/loongson” article, in which I retraced my attempts to build LLVM 3.7.1 on MIPS64 in a RAM constrained environment.

          After reading the excellent “Make LLVM fast again”, I wanted to revisit the topic, and see how fast I could build a recent version of LLVM and Clang on modern x86 server hardware.

          The system I’m using for this experiment is a CCX62 instance from Hetzner, which has 48 dedicated vCPUs and 192 GB of RAM. This is the fastest machine available in their cloud offering at the moment.

          The system is running Fedora 34 with up-to-date packages and kernel.

  • Leftovers

    • The Mundane and Alienated Life of a Freelancer

      I do not, generally speaking, enjoy reading novels whose protagonists both live and think like I do. I’m already doomed to a lifetime in my own head. When I read fiction, I want to visit minds that operate differently from my own. As a result, I was initially put off by how swiftly I saw myself in the unnamed protagonist of the Australian writer Kavita Bedford’s debut novel, Friends and Dark Shapes, and yet I kept reading. Not until several chapters into the novel did I realize that I was reacting to a very specific point of connection between her fictional life and my real one—she’s a freelance writer.

    • Opinion | All You Nations Sleeping
    • The IOC Is Now Daring Olympic Athletes to Protest

      At the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith were told before their 200-meter race that any protest would be met with severe consequences. If they made it to the winner’s podium, they were to stand in silence and do nothing else. The messenger of this ominous warning was none other than 1936 Olympic legend Jesse Owens, bringing the word directly from imperious International Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage. Carlos and Smith were fed up with both the racism in what Brundage termed “the Olympic Movement” and oppression in the broader society. So they dared to raise their fists after coming in first and third, creating a moment that has stood the test of time.

    • Sky Studios Names Cecile Frot-Coutaz CEO

      Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky has named Cécile Frot-Coutaz, former CEO of Fremantle and currently head of YouTube in Europe, the CEO of its production arm Sky Studios, starting in September.

      Current Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey, who launched the business in 2019, remains with the company to ensure a smooth transition before retiring later this year.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • My Medical Records

        This is very difficult for me to do, as I am perhaps guilty of too much pride.

      • Report Debunks Big Pharma’s ‘Dangerous Narrative’ on Vaccine Supplies

        “We need urgent public manufacturing and technology sharing to meet global need and end the pandemic.”

      • Opinion | There Is Something Wrong With the Herd

        The United States won’t achieve herd immunity because a significant portion of the herd is suffering from mad cow disease.

      • Opinion | The Media Is Causing Harm by Reporting Official Covid-19 Figures From Poorer Countries

        The media needs to stop misreporting Covid-19 numbers now, and desist from minimizing the hardships in the parts of the world that are facing the worst—economically, socially, and health wise—aspects of this pandemic.

      • Opinion | Viruses Don’t Recognize Borders and Neither Should Vaccines

        As an Indian American, my family has experienced the worst of this pandemic in two countries. For any of us to be safe, we all need vaccine equity.

      • Study Showing 100% of Breast Milk Samples With ‘Forever Chemicals’ Bolsters Call for PFAS Ban

        “Moms work hard to protect their babies, but big corporations are putting these, and other toxic chemicals that can contaminate breast milk, in products when safer options are available.”

      • Mismanagement of the COVID-19 Crisis Increases Food Insecurity in India and Brazil

        In one of Asia’s largest slums, Dharavi, Mumbai, putting food on the table is proving to be a pressing challenge for the population of about 1,000,000 living in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. “Hunger is a major problem,” says Nawneet Ranjan, founder of the nonprofit Dharavi Diary (Gyanodaya Foundation), who has been working in Dharavi for the last several years. “In the last six or seven years that I have worked here, I have never seen anything like this,” he says, referring to the helplessness being felt by the marginalized sections of India’s societies who have been facing increasing food insecurity, especially during the second wave. “Food is a bigger priority than sickness,” he explains. He has recently started a crowdfunding effort to provide the residents of Dharavi with food supplies, especially the most vulnerable sections like single mothers, the elderly and the transgender population.

        During the second week of May, India recorded more than 400,000 daily infections and more than 4,000 deaths, surpassing earlier records, and has overtaken Brazil as having the second-largest number of COVID-19 cases in the world (after the United States of America).

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • FAQ: DarkSide Ransomware Group and Colonial Pipeline

          Ransomware is a combination word of “ransom”—holding stolen property to extort money for its return or release; and “malware”—malicious software installed on a machine. The principle is simple: the malware encrypts the victim’s files so that they can no longer use them and demands payment from the victim before decrypting them.

          Most often, ransomware uses a vulnerability to infect a system or network and encrypt files to deny the owner access to those files. The key to decrypt the files is possessed by a third party—the extortionist—who then (usually through a piece of text left on the desktop or other obvious means) communicates instructions to the victim on how to pay them in exchange for the decryption key or program.

          Most modern ransomware uses a combination of public-key encryption and symmetric encryption in order to lock out the victim from their files. Since the decryption and encryption key are separate in public-key encryption, the extortionist can guarantee that the decryption key is never (not even briefly, during the execution of the ransomware code) transmitted to the victim before payment.

        • RemotePC adds new features for Linux remote access

          Users can connect to their remote Linux machines directly from any web browser via RemotePC Viewer Lite, without the hassle of any additional software installation.

          RemotePC offers many features that make it the perfect solution for Linux remote access. It is platform independent, so remote computers and servers can be accessed from any PC, Mac, or Linux machine, as well as iOS and Android devices. The software also allows users to perform remote access functions such as lock screen, blank host screen, adjust the screen of the remote computer, and block remote input during a session.

        • Who’s in charge here? Colonial Pipeline [crack] exposes huge holes in U.S. cyber defenses, say experts

          The weaknesses have been known for years: Eighty-five percent of American critical infrastructure is owned by private companies, and few regulations govern how those companies must protect their computer networks. Criminal [attackers] like the ones the FBI says attacked Colonial Pipeline are given overseas sanctuary by hostile foreign governments, out of reach of American law enforcement. The vast majority of ransomware attacks originate abroad, many of them from Russia, experts say.

        • Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid the [cracker]s nearly $5 million, despite suggestions to contrary

          The news is also a little worrying because of how a successful ransom might encourage [attackers] in future. Over the years, we’ve heard reports of smaller companies and local government entities paying ransoms to regain access to their computers, but this is perhaps one of the most high-profile examples of ransomware yet, and the news might inspire copycats.

        • EnergyColonial Pipeline has no plan to pay ransom to [crackers] -sources

          Officials so far have found no significant connection to the Russian government, instead concluding that the pipeline company delivering 45% of the U.S. East Coast’s oil was crippled by ransomware attack.

          DarkSide lets “affiliates” [crack] into targets elsewhere, then handles the ransom negotiation and data release.

        • Colonial Pipeline did pay ransom to [crackers], sources now say

          The group, previously identified as DarkSide, demanded nearly $5 million, two other sources familiar with the incident said. The sources CNN spoke to Thursday did not say how much the company paid. Bloomberg first reported the ransom payment.

          CNN was previously told by multiple sources that Colonial Pipeline had not yet paid the ransom, but two sources said on Thursday that the company did pay as it sought to retrieve the stolen information. It is not clear when the payment was made.

        • The Microsoft Surface Duo Fire Sale Is Here, and It’s Still Not Worth Buying
        • Microsoft Outlook update actually crashed the whole system

          A recent change to the component responsible for displaying text in Microsoft Outlook is preventing users from creating and viewing emails in the desktop version of the email client.

          The bug in Outlook Build 13929.20372 (version 2104) was spotted and reported by several users from all over the world, and has now been confirmed by Microsoft as well.

          The issue causes emails inside the affected Outlook version to appear blank. Users have also reported all kinds of graphical anomalies including blank screens shortly after using the client to send and receive emails.

        • Windows 10 KB5003173 update fails with error 0x800f0922, how to fix [Ed: Even Microsoft boosters like Lawrence Abrams know that Windows is "DA BEST!"]

          The Windows 10 KB5003173 cumulative update may fail to install with an error 0x800f0922 if Microsoft Edge has been previously uninstalled.

        • Security

          • Colonial reportedly paid nearly $5 million ransom to bring pipeline computers back online [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]
          • Some health service disruption after HSE cyber attack [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO with lives on the line]
          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (jetty9, libgetdata, and postgresql-11), openSUSE (java-11-openjdk), SUSE (dtc, ibsim, ibutils, ipvsadm, and kernel), and Ubuntu (awstats and glibc).

          • Surveillance

            • Americans Willing To Pay More For Privacy On Social Media And Smartphones, Researcher Finds

              A study by a marketing expert found Americans are willing to pay more for full data privacy on social media and their smartphones, which he said could pave the way for a new class of companies that could fulfil those privacy needs.

              In an interview with Broadband Breakfast, Ajit Ghuman, who runs marketing at customer engagement platform Narvar, sat down to discuss why Americans are willing to pay extra for privacy when it comes to their smartphone uses, and why men are particularly willing to pay more than double than women for full privacy on social media.

              The definition of full privacy in this study means customer data cannot be sold to advertisers and is not kept by the company.

            • Anthropologists say smartphones are now “the place where we live”: what does that mean for privacy?

              The smartphone is amazing not just for the computing power it packs into its pocketable format. It has become a universal digital tool: a typical model today includes phone, pager, computer, still and video camera, calculator, diary, multimedia player, radio, TV, clock, maps, GPS, voice recorder, e-book reader, translator, weather station, authenticator, gaming device, WiFi hotspot, and flashlight. No wonder, then, that a group of anthropologists at University College, London, found that the smartphone now occupies a special place in many people’s lives:

            • Dartmouth’s Insane Paranoia Over ‘Cheating’ Leads To Ridiculous Surveillance Scandal

              The NY Times had an incredible story a few days ago about an apparent “cheating scandal” at Dartmouth’s medical school. The problem was, it doesn’t seem like there was any actual cheating. Instead, it looks like a ton of insane paranoia and an overreliance on surveillance technology by an administration which shouldn’t be in the business of educating kindergarteners, let alone med students. We’ve had a few posts about the rise of surveillance technology in schools, and its many downsides — and those really ramped up during the pandemic, as students were often taking exams from home.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Video Showing GA Congressman Lying About Jan 6 Events Goes Viral on Social Media
      • Time for Mutiny Over Turkey’s Bounties on Kurdish Leaders

        On April 20, the State Department renewed multimillion-dollar bounties on three senior leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK): Cemil Bayık, Duran Kalkan, and Murat Karayılan. Bayık and Karayılan are founding members of the PKK and Kalkan is a senior commander.

      • Why the Pentagon’s Budget Never Goes Down

        And indeed, as far as, say, infrastructure or pandemic vaccination goals, Biden has delivered in a major way. Blindly funding the Pentagon and its priorities in the stratospheric fashion that’s become the essence of Washington has, however, proven another matter entirely. One-hundred days later and it’s remarkable how little has changed when it comes to pouring money into this country’s vast military infrastructure and the wars, ongoing or imagined, that accompany it.

        For the past decade, debate about the Pentagon budget was governed, in part, by the Budget Control Act, which placed at least nominal caps on spending levels for both defense and non-defense agencies. In reality, though, unlike so many other government agencies, the Pentagon was never restrained by such a cap. Congress continued to raise its limits as military budgets only grew and, no less important, defense spending had a release valve that allowed staggering sums of money to flow without serious accounting into an off-budget fund meant especially for its wars and labelled “the overseas contingency operations account.” The Congressional Research Service has estimated that such supplemental spending from September 11, 2001, to fiscal year 2019 totaled an astonishing $2 trillion above and beyond the congressionally agreed upon Pentagon budget.

      • Palestinian Solidarity Demonstrations Erupt Worldwide as Israeli Violence Intensifies

        “It’s up to us to keep demonstrating and keep hammering home that people will not sit back and tolerate Israel’s system of apartheid.”

      • AOC Says Biden’s Refusal to Condemn Israeli Attacks on Palestinians ‘Takes a Side—the Side of Occupation’

        The New York Democrat criticized Biden for failing to acknowledge “what precipitated this cycle of violence—namely, the expulsions of Palestinians and attacks on Al-Aqsa.”

      • Muna is Palestine, Yakub is Israel: The Untold Story of Sheikh Jarrah

        The obvious story is that of the nightly raids and violence meted out by Israeli police and Jewish extremists against Palestinians in the devastated East Jerusalem neighborhood.

        For weeks, thousands of Jewish extremists have targeted Palestinian communities in Jerusalem’s Old City. Their objective is the removal of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They are not acting alone. Their riots and rampages are directed by a well-coordinated leadership composed of extremist Zionist and Jewish groups, such as the Otzma Yehudit party and the Lehava Movement. Their unfounded claims, violent actions and abhorrent chant “Death to the Arabs” are validated by Israeli politicians, such as Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir and the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Arieh King.

      • A Nightmare of Terror Across the Landscape of Palestine

        I have been trying to think of a moment since 1948 when so broad a range of Palestinians have been exposed to as great a level of Israeli violence as they have been these last few days—and I don’t think I can.

      • Trump’s Obsessive Attacks Won’t Silence Ilhan Omar’s Defense of Palestinian Human Rights

        On Monday evening, Representative Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat who is the former cochair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, responded to news reports of surging violence in Israel and Palestine. Referencing the deaths of Palestinians following Israeli air strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip—including those of a number of young children—the representative declared, “We cannot just condemn rockets fired by Hamas and ignore Israel’s state-sanctioned police violence against Palestinians—including unlawful evictions, violent attacks on protestors and the murder of Palestinian children. U.S. aid should not be funding this violence.”

      • Nathan Thrall on the Historic Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Control from the River to the Sea

        We look at the crisis unfolding in Israel-Palestine with Nathan Thrall, former director of the Arab-Israeli Project at the International Crisis Group and writer now based in Jerusalem, who says despite a buildup of Israeli troops on the Gaza border, Israel wants to avoid a ground invasion of the besieged territory and return to the status quo that existed before the latest round of violence. “Israel’s preference and its policy is to have Hamas remain in control of its little island of Gaza after this is finished,” Thrall says.

      • ‘It Must End’: House Dems Blast Israel’s Assault of Gaza, Decades of Occupation Enabled by US

        “Palestinians aren’t going anywhere,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, “no matter how much money you send to Israel’s apartheid government.”

      • Palestinians Face Mob Attacks Inside Israel as Assault on Gaza Escalates
      • “Lynch Mobs”: Palestinians Face Brutal Attacks Inside Israel as Assault on Gaza Escalates

        Televised images of Israeli mobs attacking Palestinians have been widely denounced by Israeli media and public figures, but Palestinian writer Budour Hassan says the selective outrage ignores decades of occupation that have led to this point. “There is some mention of these lynch mobs that are attacking Palestinians in mixed cities. What is not mentioned is who emboldened these lynch mobs. We’re talking about state-sponsored, decades-long discrimination, isolation and erasure that emboldened these groups,” says Hassan, legal researcher for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, who joins us from Nazareth.

      • Opinion | If Biden Is Serious About Ending Forever Wars, the US Needs to End Support for Israel

        Cutting military aid to a state that oppresses its Palestinian population would show that the U.S. is serious about human rights.

      • Israeli Defense Minister Threatens ‘Gaza Will Burn’ as IDF Readies Plans for Ground Invasion

        Benny Gantz’s comments “should be entered directly as evidence of war crimes to the International Criminal Court,” said one critic.

      • Poet Mohammed El-Kurd Detained in Sheikh Jarrah After Condemning Israeli Apartheid on U.S. TV

        On Monday, we spoke to writer and poet Mohammed El-Kurd, whose family is facing forceful eviction from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. He also spoke on CNN and MSNBC. After these interviews, Israeli forces arrested him and forcibly removed him from Sheikh Jarrah. It was captured in a dramatic video shared widely on social media. “They just threw me in the street and told me that I couldn’t come back into the neighborhood,” El-Kurd says. “They’ve done this many times to us, many of my family members, many of my neighbors. They do this routinely.” El-Kurd has been one of the most prominent Palestinian voices in recent weeks describing what is happening in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where Israeli authorities’ planned evictions of several Palestinian families to give their homes to Jewish settlers has been widely described as “ethnic cleansing.”

      • “The Scene Is Horrific”: Gazans Trapped as Israel Escalates Bombing, Killing Dozens in the Territory

        The death toll in Gaza has reached at least 83, including 17 children, and hundreds of people have been injured, as Israel’s aerial bombardment of the besieged territory continues. Israel is now sending troops to the Gaza border for a possible ground invasion as many Palestinians are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The Biden administration on Wednesday gave Israel a green light to continue its assault, and Israel has reportedly rejected calls for an immediate ceasefire, despite growing international condemnation. Issam Adwan, Gaza project manager for We Are Not Numbers, a youth-led initiative to share Palestinian stories with the wider world, says many international observers make the mistake of viewing the latest violence in isolation. “They think this war is the only violation of human rights Israel is doing to the people of Gaza. Over the past 15 years, we have witnessed three brutal wars, and this is a fourth one,” says Adwan.

      • The US Must Finally Acknowledge That Israel Is an Apartheid State
      • Israeli Ground Troops Attack Gaza as Palestinian Death Toll Tops 100

        “We will continue to do what we’re doing with great intensity,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed that “Gaza will burn.” 

      • ‘We need to get these people out’: Lawmakers warn Pentagon of impending bloodbath for Afghan partners

        Two lawmakers who are veterans of the war in Afghanistan warned a Pentagon official on Wednesday that Afghans who had worked for the U.S. government would be hunted down by the Taliban unless the Biden administration organized an emergency evacuation before American troops withdraw in four months.

      • Lampedusa: Italy’s gateway to Europe struggles with migrant influx

        She tells me she paid smugglers 8,000 Libyan dinars (£1,300; $1,800) for the three-day boat crossing to Lampedusa. Italian intelligence reportedly estimate that 50-70,000 people may be on Libya’s shores waiting to take a similar journey.

      • Yes, Mitch McConnell, Republicans Are Trying to Restrict Voting

        The recently passed restrictive voting law in Georgia reduces time to request absentee ballots, reduces voting hours, limits the number of ballot dropboxes and bans giving water to voters waiting in line at a polling place. According to Anderson, that bill contained “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended.” She also bragged about meeting with Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, just days ahead of him signing the bill. Another bill, similar to Georgia’s, is making its way through the Texas legislature and has “19 provisions” from Heritage, Anderson said.

        Anderson went on to say that sometimes Heritage actually “draft[s] the bill” for the legislators, or if there is a lawmaker who may not be open to hearing from groups like Heritage, they simply have someone else deliver their message. “We have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe,” she said.

    • Environment

      • [Old] Cell phones thrown in the trash are exploding, causing 5-alarm fires in garbage trucks

        Last year, 65% of waste facilities fires in California began with lithium-ion batteries. And when one goes, others can, too.

        “If there are multiple batteries there, you will have not just a fire, you will have explosions,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, a national recycling program funded by battery manufacturers.

      • Antarctica’s Doomsday Glacier: How Doomed Are We?

        Last week, two new papers were published simultaneously in the science journal Nature that offer radically different visions of the Doomsday glacier, as well as radically different visions of how climate models work and what they can tell us about the future. But they agree on one thing: “Both papers make it very clear that human decisions are important, and that limiting warming can limit sea level rise,” says Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State and one of the most respected ice scientists in the world. But beyond that, the two papers may as well be describing life on different planets.

      • Progressive Groups Demand Biden Appoint Chair Who Will End Fed’s Funding of ‘Climate Destruction’

        “If the Fed did not begin moving aggressively on Day One of the Biden administration (if not long before that), then the Fed is contributing to the climate crisis.”

      • EPA Data Kept Secret Under Trump Shows Climate Crisis Becoming ‘More Evident, Stronger, and Extreme’

        “Combating climate change—it’s not optional. It’s essential,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

      • Why I Am Not a Climate Doomist

        Despite all that, I am not a doomist, and believe we still have possibilities to leave our children and their generations with a world with which they can cope.  After many years working on climate, that is how I express my climate mission.  There is no doubt that humanity will be adapting to the consequences of our fossil-fueled bacchanal for generations, if not millennia. We will learning to live with far less water in certain regions, and too much in others.  We will be dealing with dustbowls where there were breadbaskets, and retreating from coastal cities. Storms will be ravaging, and wildfires widespread. But we will be coping, and will have eliminated the root causes of climate chaos, fossil fuel pollution and deforestation.

        We will do it because we have to.  Because the story will changed, we will realize what we face, and as humans can do in the face of disasters, pull together in a common response. Facing the most challenging crises in human history, we will rise to the better angels of our nature, and leave the children of the future with a world in which they have possibilities other than coping with collapse.

      • Redefining the Anthropocene

        Many scientists and conservationists argue that we should do our utmost to prevent artificially-caused extinctions, which collectively are causing a Sixth Mass Extinction far more rapid than previous ones from the fossil record, with human failures as the cause. Other researchers contend that we can do more good by protecting healthy ecosystems, rather than focusing on individual species. The reality is that individual species protection, and broader habitat protection, are two equally necessary sides of the same conservation coin. Doing one in no way precludes pursuing the other; in fact, if you’re doing it intelligently, there is synergy in pursuing both at the same time. That’s what E.O. Wilson was driving at when he advocated for saving half the Earth in a natural state, to solve (or at least slow) the Biodiversity Crisis. Saving ecosystems is absolutely necessary to provide habitats required by individual species, and saving species is essential for maintaining healthy and functioning ecosystems, which fall apart in unpredictable ways when their component parts are removed. Single-species and ecosystem-based conservation methods aren’t contradictory; they’re two essential sides of the same coin.

        The more fundamental schism lies between those who see value in conserving and restoring wild, self-willed nature, and those who are bent on human domination and control. Only the former can legitimately call themselves conservationists, but the latter don’t even deserve to be called pseudo-conservationists. They are dominionists, and their guiding principle is that humanity ought to control everything, including natural processes.

      • Drastic methane cuts are both urgent and possible

        It’s a very potent greenhouse gas, and very short-lived. So drastic methane cuts should be a priority for rapid action.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Bridger-Teton National Forest Proposal Threatens Grazing Allotment Retirements

          Grazing on public lands is a privilege, not a right. Nevertheless, the political power of the livestock industry makes it nearly impossible to remove domestic animals even where there is apparent damage to public values like water quality, wildlife habitat, and wildlife.

          A potential solution has been the Voluntary Grazing Allotment Permit Buyout. The way it works is an agreement is reached between a rancher and some funding source, typically a private foundation or conservation organization, to close the allotment in exchange for a mutually agreeable fee. Usually, the managing agency, whether the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, or National Park Service, often agrees to close the allotment to future livestock use.

        • The Natural Brightness of the Night Sky: Analyzing 44 of the Darkest Places in the World

          A recent study analyses data collected at 44 of the darkest places in the world, including the Canary Island Observatories, to develop the first complete reference method to measure the natural brightness of the night sky using low-cost photometers.

          Of the 44 photometers in the survey, the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma, Canary Islands) stands out at the darkest of all the skies analyzed.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The FBI Investigates Rudy Giuliani
      • Emergency Federal Protections Sought for Imperiled Joshua Tree

        Guardians submitted these petitions to list the Joshua tree on an emergency basis under the ESA, while simultaneously challenging the Service’s 2019 decision under the Trump administration to deny Joshua trees protected status as a “threatened” species in federal court—a listing decision that was prompted by a previous petition submitted by Guardians in 2015.

        Guardians’ emergency petitions were submitted in advance of what is expected to be yet another severe fire season in Southern California. Last summer, the Mojave Desert reached a record-breaking 130 degrees while enormous wildfires like the Dome Fire also decimated thousands of acres of Joshua tree habitat, destroying an estimated 1.3 million Joshua trees.

      • Political Rashomon: The Latest NYC Sex Scandal

        Compounding the election shuffle, the City is introducing what is known as “ranked-choice voting” by which voters can vote for multiple candidates in order of preference.  A voter indicates their first to fifth pick in order of preference and the one that receives a majority (50% plus 1) is the winner.

        While the mayoral race has drawn eight very different Democrats into the primary, the most controversy has erupted over an alleged incident of sexual misconduct by Scott Stringer, the City Controller.  His accuser, Jean Kim, a 41-year-old lobbyist, declared in a statement released by her attorney on April 28th: “One evening, shortly before the [2001] primary, I was talking to Stringer about the primary when without warning, and without my consent, he kissed me using his tongue, put his hand down my pants and groped me inside my underpants.” She added, “I pulled away and tried to avoid him.” The Gothamist, a city website owned by WNYC, a local public radio station, reported that she said he asked her on more than one occasion, “Why won’t you fuck me?”

      • Trump Extradition Orders Could Be Blocked or Delayed by DeSantis
      • Sanders Urges Labor Secretary to Protect Jobless Benefits as GOP Governors Race to Cut Them Off

        The Vermont senator warned that many workers “will be forced into poverty” if Republican leaders are permitted to end emergency unemployment benefits.

      • South Dakota Court Says Government Doesn’t Need To Pay For Home Cops Destroyed To Find A Fugitive Who Wasn’t There

        Destroying houses appears to be a cop hobby. Somehow searching for suspects involves punching larger-than-man-size holes in walls, shattering every pane of glass that separates cops from perps, and forcibly removing every door that would otherwise open as designed if officers attempted to use the handles.

      • In Ousting Cheney, Republicans Reinforce the Big Lie

        They may be following him over a cliff, hopefully.

        House Republicans led by their leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, followed through on their threats and ousted three-term Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from the party’s No. 3 position as conference chair for repeatedly condemning Trump for his Big Lie about a “rigged” election that was “stolen” from him.

      • Republicans Would Back a Stinkbug If It Made the Base Wave Their Flags
      • The Blemishes of John Stuart Mill’s Liberalism

        However, Mill’s vision was deeply contradictory. Mill was an integral member of the Radical Liberals, who lamented the miserly electoral gains from the 1832 Reform Act. Yet he remained committed to Classical Liberalism (in spite of his musings on socialism) to the end. Undoubtedly his self-submersion and attachment to the rigors of Classical Political Economy contributed mightily to his faith. He retained a purist commitment to ‘free trade’ and ‘competition’ in the abstract. For example, competition was even an undiluted vehicle for good for wage labour, a ‘source not of low but of high wages’.

        In some of Mill’s most quoted works there is minimal acknowledgement and account of the convulsions of his time. Those mentioned in his Autobiography are mostly external to Britain, as in 1830 and 1848 France, Ireland (with English culpability ignored) and the 1865 Jamaican Morant Bay massacre.

      • Opinion | Liz Cheney: And Thus, the Revolution Devours Its Children

        At some point, the GOP will use bullets rather than ballots.

      • Major Corporations Are Backing Politicians’ Anti-Voting, Anti-Protest Efforts Around the Country

        Since the start of the year, conservative lawmakers have promoted and enacted legislation in state capitols that seek to make it harder to vote. At the same time, state legislatures are passing laws to impose harsh punishments on public protests.

        The dual efforts, aimed at subverting democracy, are also targeted to constrain the growing campaigns for racial and climate justice, and they have been aided by prominent corporations, according to a new report from Greenpeace.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Foreign IT firms must open offices in Russia under new draft law: Lawmaker

        Foreign technology companies will be forced to open offices in Russia or face penalties such as advertising bans under draft legislation, a senior lawmaker said on Thursday, in a fresh move by Moscow to exert greater control over Big Tech.

        Russia is keen to strengthen control of the internet and reduce its dependence on foreign companies and countries. It has imposed a punitive slowdown on social network Twitter over its failure to delete content Moscow says is illegal.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Moscow court sends 140 fines against RFE/RL’s Russian Service for re-examination

        Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court has overturned a decision from a magistrate’s court to impose 140 fines on RFE/RL’s Russian Service and its director Andrey Shary. The Tverskoy Court sent the proceedings for re-examination.

      • How China Used Foreign Media to Reset Image During Pandemic

        In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, China sought to block news of the rapidly spreading virus, detaining those who tried to speak out. But in the months that followed, as the pandemic ravaged families and economies worldwide, Beijing sought to reset its public image through foreign media, research published Wednesday by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) shows.

        A survey of 54 journalist unions in 50 countries found a rise in the number of countries reporting a visible Chinese presence in their media, from 64% to 76% in a year. In countries where China has offered support and training to local media, a higher percentage said coverage of Beijing was more favorable, the IFJ report found.

      • Conviction of Blogger Casts Chill Over Uzbek Media

        He and dozens of bloggers and media watched on May 10 as a judge in the Surkhandarya region convicted their colleague, Otabek Sattoriy, of extortion and slander.

        The prosecutor asked for 11 years, accusing Sattoriy of blackmailing and defaming local officials for personal benefit. The judge threw out some accusations but sentenced Sattoriy to 6½ years in prison.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • New York County Jails May Close Their Doors to ICE

        On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden vowed to end the federal government’s use of private prisons for any detention, including the detention of undocumented immigrants. Shortly after entering office, Biden delivered on one aspect of his promise, issuing an executive order to end the use of private facilities by the Department of Justice. But he still hasn’t issued a corresponding order addressing for-profit detention centers operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

      • The ‘ICE Kids’

        On a cold, rainy night last November, Bastian Rodriguez spent the first hours of his 18th birthday inside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement van. Rodriguez was aging out of the Cowlitz County Youth Services Center, a juvenile jail in Longview, Wash., and was on his way to the Northwest ICE Processing Center, a privately run immigration detention facility for adults in Tacoma. He had already spent more than two years in ICE custody. This piece was published in partnership with the ACLU.

      • Indigenous Rights Defenders Condemn Government Probe Into Critics of Bolsonaro’s Covid Response

        A federal judge denounced an investigation into two Indigenous leaders as “an illegal embarrassment.”

      • Border Policy Is Getting More and More Convoluted. That’s Creating False Hope for Migrants.

        No matter how hard he tried, Jonatan Garcia said, he couldn’t find steady work in Guatemala. He dabbled in construction, and on some days picked beans, after losing his sales job at a TV station a few weeks after the pandemic shuttered businesses and further stifled employment in his country.

        Desperation quickly mounted for Garcia. He struggled to make enough money to provide food for his wife and two small children, and they faced eviction from the three-room house they rented in the mostly indigenous and impoverished rural state of Baja Verapaz.

      • The Decline of Freedom

        This commitment to freedom emerged from bitter experience with tyranny and the invention of democracy.

        Democracy and freedom

      • Opinion | Mother’s Day Tears and the Fierce Prophetic Vision of Poor Women

        This past year-plus has laid bare the pressures, burdens, and violence that women, especially poor women and women of color, face every day.

      • I Went Down to the Demonstration to Get My Fair Share of Abuse

        Although the movement against the US war on the Vietnamese was not in the newspapers as much as it had been up to a year earlier when weeks of antiwar protests culminated in an attempted shutdown of Washington, DC, it regathered its forces. Protests may have been smaller in numbers in some cities and campuses, but on others they were better attended than at any time since the student strike in May 1970 after the invasion of Cambodia. The politics were certainly more clearly anti-imperialist in nature and the protesters seemed to be more militant overall. People were tired of the war and the system it maintained. The death of the hated FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover at the beginning of the month was already forgotten as police and protesters battled across the nation. Highways were taken over in several cities, riots took place in several campus towns, including Rochester, NY., Davis, CA., Berkeley, College Park, MD., and near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Police fired into crowds near the Albuquerque campus of the University of New Mexico, wounding at least two people. Protesters in other cities reported the use of live ammo by police, as well.

        I vividly recall attending at least two protests that May. One was a rally at the Opernplatz in Frankfurt am Main in what was then called West Germany. There were several thousand in attendance. The speakers were from different antiwar student groups, the German communist party, and a member of the international wing of the Black Panthers. The latter two organizations had previously sponsored a very successful fundraising rally with Fania Davis as part of the international campaign to free her sister Angela. After the rally we marched towards the headquarters of the US Army’s V Corps, located in the IG Farben building which Eisenhower had appropriated from the Nazis after their defeat in World War Two. The police, who were set up at different intersections along the route and carrying automatic weapons, prevented the march from getting too close to the building. A big reason for the show of force was the bombing of the US Officer’s Club by the Rote Armee Fraktion on May 11, 1972. The bombing was but one of several that month aimed at the US military presence in Germany and the complicity of the West German government in the US Empire.

      • Alexey Navalny files another lawsuit against Russian prison officials

        Opposition politician Alexey Navalny has filed a lawsuit against the staff of the prison where he is being held for allegedly preventing his lawyers from bringing cell phones and laptop computers to their meetings. Navalny has been in custody in Correctional Facility No. 3 (IK-3) in Vladimir since his transfer to a prisoners’ hospital there in mid-April.

      • Team Navalny to refrain from announcing new protests in advance

        Alexey Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, has announced that his team plans to abandon its tactic of organizing street protests and notifying their supporters about new rallies in advance, reports Voice of America.

      • Who needs owners with sales like these? BBC obtains records further corroborating Alexey Navalny’s investigation into ‘Putin’s Palace’

        The BBC Russian Service obtained a new trove of documents corroborating much of what Alexey Navalny reported earlier this year about the schemes used to obfuscate who really owns a massive residence and network of vineyards near Gelendzhik, known colloquially as “Putin’s Palace.” The records leaked to the BBC go up until the early 2010s, focusing mostly on early 2011, when longtime Putin ally Nikolai Shamalov sold away the rights to the properties for a pittance to the billionaire Alexander Ponomarenko. Meduza summarizes Andrey Zakharov’s report for the BBC (available in both text and video formats).

      • This 38-Year-Old Man Will Spend Life in Prison Over 1.5 Ounces of Marijuana

        The U.S. Supreme Court “has held that a particular sentence is unconstitutional in a case that is not materially distinguishable from the case in front of us,” the dissenting judges noted, meaning the Mississippi Appeals Court is “obliged to apply the Supreme Court’s decision and vacate the sentence.”

      • Court To Cops: Waiting Sixteen Months To Search A Seized Phone Violates The Fourth Amendment

        A recent case handled by an Illinois Appeals Court has some interesting things to say about cellphones and searches. It also contains some rather interesting assertions by law enforcement, which apparently didn’t feel all that compelled to search a seized phone for more than a year after it was seized. (via FourthAmendment.com)

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault Signals Canadian Government Abandoning Support for Net Neutrality

        Altering the presentation content to support Canadian content is precisely what Guilbeault and the government have in mind in Bill C-10. As he signals in his comments to the Toronto Star, the government is abandoning its longstanding commitment to net neutrality. In fact, with plans to introduce website blocking, mandated content takedowns, and the creation of a new social media regulator, the future of net neutrality in Canada is very much in doubt.

      • Why Is Wired So Focused On Misrepresenting Section 230?

        We’ve already highlighted our concerns with Wired’s big cover story on Section 230 (twice!). The very same day that came out, Wired UK published a piece by Prof. Danielle Citron entitled Fix Section 230 and hold tech companies to account. Citron’s proposal was already highlighted in the cover story and now gets this separate venue. For what it’s worth, Citron also spent a lot of energy insisting that the Wired cover story was the “definitive” article on 230 despite all of its flaws, and cheered on and liked tweets by people who mocked my arguments for why the article is just not very accurate.

      • Cable Lobby Working Hard To Ensure Biden Broadband Plan Doesn’t Encourage Real Competition

        While the Biden administration’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan set aside $100 billion for broadband infrastructure, the details of how that money is to actually be spent remains murky. Enter cable industry lobbyists, who are hard at work attempting to dictate who gets access to those funds, while also trying to make sure the funds aren’t used for anything that could threaten their regional monopolies. They’re particularly worried about the Biden administration’s promise that a big focus of the effort will be on giving aid to locally owned and operated broadband networks, as detailed in this good piece by Issie Lapowsky at Protocol:

      • EFF to Ninth Circuit: Don’t Block California’s Pathbreaking Net Neutrality Law

        For those who haven’t been following this issue: after the Federal Communications Commission rolled back net neutrality protections in 2017, California stepped up and passed a bill that does what the FCC wouldn’t: bar ISPs from blocking and throttling internet content and imposing paid prioritization schemes. The major ISPs promptly ran to court, claiming that California’s law is preempted– meaning, the FCC’s choice to abdicate binds everyone else – and asking the court to halt enforcement until the question was resolved. On February 23, 2021, Judge John Mendez said no, making it pretty clear that he did not think the ISP’s challenge would succeed on the merits.  As expected, the parties then headed to the Ninth Circuit.

        Our brief supporting the district court’s decision explains some of the stakes of SB 822, particularly for communities that are already as a disadvantage. Without legal protections, low-income Californians who rely on mobile devices for internet access and can’t pay for more expensive content may face limits on that access which is critical for distance learning, maintaining small businesses, and staying connected. Schools and libraries are also justifiably concerned that without net neutrality protections, paid prioritization schemes will degrade access to material that students and public need in order to learn. SB 822 addresses that by ensuring that large ISPs do not take advantage of their stranglehold on Californians’ internet access to slow or otherwise manipulate internet traffic. The large ISPs also have a vested interest in shaping internet use to favor their own subsidiaries and business partners, at the expense of diverse voices and innovation. Absent meaningful competition, ISPs can leverage their last-mile monopolies to customers’ homes and bypass competition for a range of online services. That would mean less choice, lower quality, and higher prices for users—and new barriers to entry for innovators.

        We hope the court recognizes how important SB 822 is, and upholds Judge Mendez’s ruling.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Bipartisan FTC Study Confirms Everything ‘Right to Repair’ Advocates Have Been Saying For Years

        For years, “right to repair” advocates have been warning about the problems with efforts to monopolize repair. Whether it’s Apple’s efforts to bully small repair shops, Sony and Microsoft’s efforts to monopolize repair of game consoles, or John Deere’s implementation of DRM and repair restrictions so onerous customers have to drive a thousand miles and pay a small fortune to repair their own tractors, the impact is rather obvious. And the impact has only been more pronounced during Covid, as hospitals complain about the difficulty in obtaining the documentation and parts necessary to repair ventilators in a timely fashion.

    • Monopolies

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 17/10/2021: GhostBSD 21.10.16 and Mattermost 6.0

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 16, 2021



  3. [Meme] First Illegally Banning Strikes, Then Illegally Taking Over Courts

    The vision of Team Battistelli/Campinos is a hostile takeover of the entire patent system, not just patent offices like the EPO; they’d stop at nothing to get there



  4. Portuguese Network of Enablers

    Instead of serving Portuguese people or serving thousands of EPO workers (including many who are Portuguese) the delegation from Portugal served the network of Campinos



  5. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  6. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  8. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day



  9. “Facebook Whistleblowers” Aside, It Has Been a Dying Platform for Years, and It's Mentally Perverting the Older Generation

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  10. [Meme] Microsoft Has Always Been About Control Over Others

    Hosting by Microsoft means subjugation or a slavery-like relationship; contrary to the current media narrative, Microsoft has long been censoring LinkedIn for China’s autocratic regime; and over at GitHub, as we shall show for months to come, there’s a war on information, a war on women, and gross violations of the law



  11. EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  12. The Reign in Spain

    Discussion about the role of Spain in the EPO‘s autocratic regime which violates the rights of EPO staff, including Spanish workers



  13. [Meme] Spanish Inquisition

    Let it be widely known that Spain played a role in crushing the basic rights of all EPO workers, including hundreds of Spaniards



  14. Why You Shouldn’t Use SteamOS, a Really Incompetent GNU/Linux Distribution With Security Pitfalls (Lutris is a Great Alternative)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 15, 2021



  16. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  17. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  18. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  20. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  21. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  22. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

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  23. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  24. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  25. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  28. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  29. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day



  30. [Teaser] What Miguel de Icaza Really Thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Following the opening of a new series about Microsoft GitHub we drop a little teaser today; we expect dozens of parts to be released in the coming weeks/months as facts are being validated and organised


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