06.05.21

Links 5/6/2021: GNU Poke 1.3, GNU Scientific Library 2.7, EasyOS 64-bit for Raspberry Pi 4

Posted in News Roundup at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Why my need for control made me switch to Linux

      I am a control freak. I like to be in control. I got my pilot’s license so I could fly an airplane for fun, but it also helped me understand what is happening when I fly commercial. So now I find myself explaining to other travelers that, while not a normal occurrence, landing with the malfunctioning flaps in the up position is something that all pilots train extensively for. Yes, that is something that happened to my wife and me on a commercial flight a couple of years ago.

      I am like that about my computers, too. I like to be able to control everything. Most small business owners like to be in control, too.

      Linux lets you do anything. You can terminate any process you own or delete any file you own. If you log in as root, also called the administrator or superuser, Linux assumes you know what you’re doing. Once you become root, everything is allowed; you can even delete files and terminate processes that belong to other users.

    • Isn’t It Time to Switch to Linux? 12 Reasons to Abandon Windows

      So you’ve been using Windows for a long time. You’ve heard about this Linux thing and maybe you’ve even tried it, but you still haven’t made the switch. Maybe the newest Windows update really chafed you and you’re seriously considering a change.

      To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a look today at what Linux can offer as a Windows replacement. Below are some of the best reasons Windows users switch to Linux. If they don’t convince you, then maybe nothing will.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Framework Laptop Overview By An Ubuntu User

        It does not come with GNU/Linux operating system preinstalled. Buyers must install the operating system themselves if they don’t choose Windows 10 preinstalled. Currently, the W10 version price is $999 while the non-OS version price is $756.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • NVMeTCP Offload Bits Coming For Linux 5.14 To Lower CPU Utilization, Better Latency – Phoronix

        Adding to other networking changes queuing up for the upcoming Linux 5.14 cycle, NVMeTCP Offload has begun landing into “net-next” ahead of this next kernel merge window.

        Queued this week into net-next is the NVMeTCP Offload ULP host layer support as part of the broader ongoing effort for complete NVMeTCP Offload infrastructure for use by relevant network drivers/hardware. NVMeTCP Offload will provide full offloading of the NVMeTCP protocol, including the TCP level.

      • -O3 Compiler Optimization Level Still Deemed Too Unsafe For The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        Due to not too old versions of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) possibly generating bad code with the “-O3″ compiler optimization level and sometimes there not being performance benefits, Linus Torvalds remains against using this optimization flag when compiling the Linux kernel.

        Sent in this week as part of the networking fixes for the Linux 5.13 kernel were WireGuard fixes that among them dropped compiling the WireGuard module with the “-O3″ C flag.

    • Applications

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source Linux Music Tag Editors

        A tag editor (or tagger) is an application which allows users to edit metadata of multimedia files. Metadata is the data about the audio data. It lets information about the audio file such as the title, artist, conductor, album, track length, lyrics, embedded images, and other information be stored in the audio file itself.

        The most common form of audio tag is ID3, of which there are two unrelated types (ID3v1 and ID3v2). There are also other types of audio tags, including Vorbis Comments (found in Ogg and FLAC audio files), and APE tags. Tag editors are not just confined to audio files. Taggers for graphic formats (such as JPEG and TIFF) are also available.

        Tag editors are frequently used to correct and organise multimedia files and they support popular digital audio formats. They can rename files based on the tag information, replace words in tags and filenames, create playlists, and import/export tag information. An important feature we look for is the ability to make online database lookups, saving valuable time in collating tags and cover art for your music collection.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 7 proficient music tag editors. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to keep their music collection organised.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to run LXC/LXD Containers on AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux 8

        LXD, the “Linux Container Daemon”, is a management tool for Linux operating system containers built using LXC. LXC is a container-based virtualization technology at the level of the operating system. Both have been developing by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux.

      • How To Install Caddy on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the Caddy on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, The Caddy web server is an open-source web server written in Go. It is designed around simplicity and security that comes with a number of features that are useful for hosting websites. Caddy has been designed to support all popular platforms that’s why it is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, Android, Solaris, 32-bit, x64, ARM, mips64, and more.

        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 Caddy web server on a CentOS 8.

      • How to Install Asterisk in Unbuntu 20.04 – Cloudbooklet

        Asterisk, a popular open-source platform for developing communication applications and is used by a lot of people. Voicemail, On hold music, conference calling, call recording, interactive voice response, and much more are the features of Asterisk platform. In this tutorial we will learn how to install and setup Asterisk in Ubntu 20.04

        This setup is tested on Google Compute Engine VM Instance running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        This setup will work fine for any virtual machine on AWS EC2 Instance or DigitalOcean or any other cloud hosting servers or VPS or Dedicated.

      • Enrico Zini: Ansible blockinfile oddity

        was reading Ansible’s blockinfile sources for, uhm, reasons, and the code flow looked a bit odd.

        So I checked what happens if a file has spurious block markers.

      • Deployed my blog on Kubernetes
      • How To Install Kodi on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kodi Media Player on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Kodi formerly and popularly known as XBMC is a free media player that is designed to look great on your big screen TV but is just as at home on a small screen. It means that it is designed in such a way that it looks equally appealing no matter which device you are using it.

        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 the step-by-step installation of Kdenlive open-source video editing on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How To Install Paru AUR Helper In Arch Linux – OSTechNix

        In this brief tutorial, we will see what is Paru AUR helper program, how to install Paru AUR helper in Arch Linux, EndeavourOS, Manjaro Linux, and finally how to install AUR packages using Paru package manager.

      • How to Rename Multiple Files at Once on Linux – Linux Nightly

        Renaming multiple files on Linux sounds like a simple task, but it can get rather complex. It’s possible to bulk rename files with the mv command and a bit of Bash scripting, or use the mmv and rename utilities – which aren’t ordinarily installed by default. In this guide, we’ll show various examples for renaming multiple files at once from the Linux command line.

      • Top 10 Most Useful rsync Commands

        The rsync Linux command is a versatile tool for incremental file transfers. Specifically, it keeps two directories in sync, whether they be local directories or remote. As you can imagine, this works incredibly well for backups or for directories that receive gradual file changes.

        It’s almost impossible to overstate the versatility of rsync. The command is packed with options that allow for granular control over file transfers. rsync is the type of utility that you can use for a long time, while still discovering new things you didn’t know it could do.

        And that’s why we’ve created this guide – to help you understand some of rsync’s most popular and powerful features. In the following examples, you’ll see 10 of the most useful rsync commands that every Linux user ought to know. Let’s dive in!

      • Add User to sudoers File on Debian – Linux Nightly

        This article shows how to add a user to the sudoers file on Debian Linux. This will allow a normal user to run commands with elevated privileges by prefacing a command with sudo. Without going through these steps, it’s common to receive the error message below.

        linuxnightly is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.
        The sudoers file can be found at /etc/sudoers, but it’s not recommended to edit this file directly. Instead, follow the steps below to grant a user sudo privileges.

      • How to Host a Node.js Website With Apache on Ubuntu – Linux Nightly

        Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that can be used to create websites or web-based applications. The process for hosting a website that has been built with Node.js differs quite a bit from a “normal” HTML website, or even those that use PHP or other languages. In this guide, we’ll go over the instructions to host a Node.js website with Apache on Ubuntu Linux.

        Towards the end of the guide, we’ll show how to get a free SSL certificate for your website from Let’s Encrypt. We’ll also go over installation of PM2, which is used to monitor your Node.js application and automatically restart it when it goes offline or detects changes to the code.

      • How to Uninstall NGINX From Ubuntu – Linux Nightly

        NGINX is a popular choice for web servers, but if you’d like to remove the software, we’ve got you covered here. In this guide, we’ll show how to properly uninstall and remove NGINX from Ubuntu Linux.

        The best way to remove NGINX from Ubuntu is by using the built-in APT package manager. APT gives us two different options for uninstalling software: remove and purge.

        If you remove NGINX from Ubuntu, APT leaves behind the package’s configuration files. Namely these would be the files inside the /etc/nginx directory, where the settings for your website(s) are stored.

      • How to Install Google Chrome on Ubuntu Linux – Linux Nightly

        In this guide, we’ll see how to install the Google Chrome browser on Ubuntu Linux in a few short steps. Chrome must be downloaded from Google’s website, since it’s not included in Ubuntu’s package repos, as a result of being proprietary software.

      • How to Log rsync Transfers on Linux – Linux Nightly

        When running the rsync command, especially with the -v (verbose) option, you’ll see related output in your terminal. But what if you need to save this output, either because you want to refer to it later, or you need to check on unattended rsync transfers? In this guide, we’ll see how to log rsync transfers on Linux.

        There are several ways to send rsync’s output to a log file, depending on what exactly you’d like to do. Check out the examples below for various ways to do it.

      • Backup and Restore MySQL Databases via Linux Command Line – Linux Nightly

        If you are running MySQL on Linux and need to back up your databases, you can use Bash commands from the terminal to accomplish the task. A simple script could even make daily backups. In this guide, we’ll show you how to backup your MySQL databases and restore data from those backups.

      • How to Install Google Chrome on Debian Linux – Linux Nightly

        In this guide, we’ll see how to install the Google Chrome browser on Debian Linux in a few short steps. Chrome must be downloaded from Google’s website, since it’s not included in Debian’s package repos, as a result of being proprietary software.

      • How to Host a Killing Floor 2 Server on Ubuntu – Linux Nightly

        This guide will explain the step by step instructions to host a Killing Floor 2 server on Ubuntu Linux. Follow along below to get your server configured and be up and running quickly.

        To keep things simple, we will be using /kf2 as our installation directory, and we’re assuming that you are doing everything with your system’s root account. You can adapt these details according to your own setup preferences.

      • How to Reset Forgotten Root Password on Fedora – Linux Nightly

        Help! I’ve forgotten the root password! Even if you’ve forgotten the root password to your Fedora Linux system, it’s pretty easy to recover access to the root account by setting a new password. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set a new password for your root account in a few short steps.

      • How to Install Nginx on Ubuntu 21.04 Server – Linux Concept

        Nginx is the most potent, open-source, and a high-performance Web server. It can work as a reverse proxy server also, nowadays, is used by most of the most significant websites on the internet.

        People pronounced “engine x” for Nginx; it is the hot choice for every website owner to power their site with Nginx.

        In comparison to the Apache web server, Nginx is capable of handling more connections with a few amount of memory footprint in each connection.

      • Embedding other language codes or scripts in Linux bash script – Linux Concept

        We may need to include other language scripts in Bash for certain reasons such as the fact that a certain complex task is already coded in another language. For example, storing the values for pi; other languages could be better at getting the precise value of pi due to their library functions. Let us assume that the user knows Lua language scripting. Then, embedding Lua language script in Bash would be undertaken as follows:

      • Backup of files in Linux using command line – Linux Concept

        In IT or our day-to-day computer industry activities, taking backup is one of the most important activities. Previously, offices were required to keep important paper in a safe place; but if a fire breaks out, then everything is finished. In the digital world, taking backup makes our life easier and safeguards us against data loss.

        There are many software tools available on the market for taking software backups. We will study one of the most popular software backup command-line utilities, rsync.

      • sed – non-interactive stream editor uses in Linux – Linux Concept

        The stream editor (sed) is a very popular non-interactive stream editor. Normally, whenever we edit files using the vi editor, we need to open the file using the vi command, then we interact with the file to see the content of the file on screen, then edit it, and then save the file. Using sed, we can type commands on the command line and sed will make the changes to the text file. sed is a non-destructive editor. sed makes the changes to the file and displays the content on screen. If we want to save the changed file, then we need to redirect the output of sed to the file.

        The procedure to install sed is shown here.

      • Install Ubuntu 20.04 Alongside With Windows 11 In Dual Boot | Itsubuntu.com

        Ubuntu 20.04 was released on April 23, 2020. It is the latest LTS version at the time of this article writing. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will have a support of 5 years, by Canonical.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 6.10 Ships With Just Under 600 Patches Atop Upstream Wine

        It’s been a few releases since there has been much in the way of new additions to Wine-Staging worth talking about. This staging/experimental version of Wine has at some points carried 700+ patches over upstream Wine but with not many new patches introduced recently while the flow of patches from staging to upstream Wine continuing, at this point its down to “only” 571 patches. With today’s Wine-Staging 6.10 there are also some new improvements incorporated into this build.

    • Games

      • DOOMBRINGER is a new first-person shooter veterans of the Doom and Quake communities

        Need a new retro styled FPS? Veterans of the Doom and Quake communities seem to have delivered with DOOMBRINGER. A new first-person shooter, offering up a single-player and multiplayer with some furious fast-paced action with tight-movement like out of the classics.

        It’s currently in Early Access with a first single-player story episode containing 8 main levels, 1 secret level and there’s also 5 main Deathmode mode arenas. Multiple online modes to including free-for-all, Team Death match and more. They mentioned how “the game is very solid, a lot of work and care has gone into making it as polished as we can”.

        “Using atmospheric story telling, DOOMBRINGER chronicles the clash between two rival clans. The Order of Sil’ocy and the Brotherhood of R’whin, dwindling factions of a wasted world. You enter the pivotal silo that supports Sil’ocy life, hoping to carve out a better life for your kind. DOOMBRINGER wears its influences on its sleeve. Exploration, weapon variety and tight movement are emphasised above all else. It’s a chaotic, superlative experience – while very familiar for any Arena FPS fan.”

      • itch.io is hosting a huge Indie bundle for Palestinian Aid

        The new charity bundle on indie store itch.io is up for the Indie bundle for Palestinian Aid. It’s absolutely massive and there’s some great stuff included. Working towards a $500,000 goal, it’s been up less than a day and already managed to reach well over $142,000.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Plasma 5.22 is nigh

          In just four days, Plasma 5.22 will be released, with all the features, bugfixes, and improved Wayland compatibility that we’ve been working on over the past few months! So it’s time to start working on 5.23 features. We also got a lot of work done for our apps too!

          It’s now possible to globally disable IPv6 in the Plasma networks GUI settings (Jan Grulich, Plasma 5.23)

          Gwenview now inherits the sorting order from Dolphin if Dolphin is used to open an image, so that you’ll never have that experience of opening an image in Gwenview and navigating to the next one, only to discover that it goes to an image other than the one you expect (Marco Martin, Dolphin and Gwenview 21.08)

          You can now add a button to the toolbar in Okular to quickly toggle color-changing modes for the active document (David Hurka, Okular 21.08)…

        • KDE Gears Up For The Plasma 5.22 Release Next Week

          Next week will mark the release of the Plasma 5.22 desktop with its Wayland support now much more mature alongside various performance improvements and a variety of other enhancements. Plasma 5.22 is a big step forward while already some feature work is going into Plasma 5.23 and the next round of KDE application updates.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekly development summary.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • timeshift updated to 20.11.1 » PCLinuxOS

          Timeshift for Linux is an application that provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and the Time Machine tool in Mac OS. Timeshift protects your system by taking incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes to the system.

        • wireshark updated to 3.4.6 » PCLinuxOS

          Wireshark is a network traffic analyzer for Unix-ish operating systems. It is based on Qt5, a graphical user interface library, and libpcap, a packet capture and filtering library.

        • evolution email client updated to 3.40.2 » PCLinuxOS

          Evolution is a mailer, calendar, contact manager and communications tool. The tools which make up Evolution will be tightly integrated with one another and act as a seamless personal information-management tool.

      • Arch Family

      • Debian Family

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series version 2.8 for the Raspberry Pi4

          EasyOS 64-bit version 2.6 for the Pi4 was released in January 2021, see blog announcement:

          https://bkhome.org/news/202101/easyos-dunfell-261-released-for-the-raspberry-pi4.html

          Mostly since then I have been working on the x86_64 PC build of EasyOS, however, things have been happening with the Pi4 build. I don’t have detailed release notes, as a lot of things happened and I didn’t post to the blog.

        • Initial Server Setup with Debian 10/9/8

          We have launched a new Debian Linux instance to run it as a production server for our new applications. This is a good practice to perform an initial server setup with the Debian Linux system. Which will enhance the primary server security and usability for your new server.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LG opens open-source licence compliance tool source

        Korean mega-corp LG has open-sourced the in-house toolbox it uses identify and manage open-source software licences within its own business.

        Known as FOSSlight, the suite helps users to ensure they are using code as permitted by its licence, looks out for known vulnerabilities in free and open-source software (FOSS) so that developers address those holes, and can also check FOSS libraries and projects offered by third parties.

        The software thus creates a workflow for checking compliance.

        The FOSSlight GitHub repo includes the FOSSlight Source scanner, which as the name implies scans code and detects wording related to copyright and licences. Whatever the scanner finds is added to spreadsheet files developers and their managers can use to audit their projects for compliance.

        There’s also the FOSSLight Dependency Scanner that reviews your code and reports any open-source dependencies you need to know about. The Dependency Scanner works with the Gradle, Maven, npm, Pip, Pub, and Cocoapods package managers, so covers Java, Node.js, Python, Dart, and Swift.

      • CMS

        • Top 8 Best Chatbot Plugins for Your WordPress Website in 2021

          Chatbot plugins give the online business or your company a new face. It is sometimes the first touchpoint for some visitors when they visit the company website. The personality of the chatbot is very important as it can influence the experience of the visitor of your website. The personality of the chatbot of your company also decides the customers and also targets the possible customers for the company through the website. Chatbots lay the foundation of digital marketing strategy.
          As in traditional marketing, human assistance may not be able to provide the service as desired by the customer, but chatbots can work 24/7. This is really helpful for the company to impress the customers with the service. Chatbots don’t need to get paid for the service, and it also works on the weekend and holidays.
          By the outstanding management of information, chatbots offer the potential of targeting the right customer at the right time. This can significantly help in increasing the chances of a sale.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU poke 1.3 released

            I am happy to announce a new release of GNU poke, version 1.3.
            This is a bug fix release in the poke 1.x series.
            See the file NEWS in the released tarball for a detailed list of
            changes in this release.
            The tarball poke-1.3.tar.gz is now available at

            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/poke/poke-1.3.tar.gz.

            GNU poke (http://www.jemarch.net/poke) is an interactive, extensible
            editor for binary data. Not limited to editing basic entities such
            as bits and bytes, it provides a full-fledged procedural,
            interactive programming language designed to describe data
            structures and to operate on them.
            This release is the product of a month of work resulting in 41
            commits, made by 4 contributors.
            Thanks to the people who contributed with code and/or documentation to
            this release.

          • GNU Scientific Library 2.7 released

            Version 2.7 of the GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is now available. GSL provides a large collection of routines for numerical computing in C.
            This release introduces some new features and fixes several bugs. The full NEWS file entry is appended below.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 18 Open-source Free Low- & No-Code platforms for enterprise

          A low-code development platform is an application development platform which uses graphical wizards to create and build software. Unlike, the traditional approach which uses computer programming languages to build apps.

          Hence, the name low-code or no-code, a close to none code is written in many cases, as a visual development tools to aid designers with drag-and-drop, components browser and logic-builders.

          The main concept of low-code/ no-code is not new, rather it goes back for over a decade with programming without a code (PWCT) and similar systems. However, there were not that usable or supported among developer communities.

          Nowadays, dozens of low-code/ no-code platforms and services are swarming the internet, as the concept proven to be more than for prototyping quick projects.

          So, in this article we are introducing a list of the best open-source low-code and no-code platform for personal and enterprise use.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: td 0.0.4 on CRAN: More Maintenance

          The still fairly recent td package for accessing the twelvedata API for financial data has been updated on CRAN this morning, and is now at released version 0.0.4. This corrects something the previous 0.0.3 release from last weekend was meant to address, but didn’t quite do it.

          Access to the helper function finding a proper user config file (for .e.g., the API config) is now correctly conditioned on R 4.0.0, and the versioned depends has been removed.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • New versions of Bash (and readline) default to special handling of pasting into the shell (or other programs)

            People who are more familiar with Bash and readline than I was already know what this is; this is the Bash readline setting of enable-bracketed-paste. OpenBSD 6.9 is the first Unix I’ve encountered where this was turned on by default. This isn’t because OpenBSD did anything special; instead, it’s because OpenBSD 6.9 is the first Unix I’ve used that has Bash 5.1. As mentioned in the detailed Bash list of changes, bracketed paste mode was enabled by default starting in bash-5.1-alpha. The reverse video behavior of it is also new there; in 5.0 and before, nothing special shows in bracketed paste mode to signal that something unusual is going on.

  • Leftovers

    • The Promise of Agroecology Is Under Threat Worldwide
    • Following DC Circuit Ruling In Public Records Case, New Request Demands Senate Intel Committee Reveal Full CIA Torture Report

      Earlier today the DC Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a public records case brought by Judicial Watch against Rep. Adam Schiff. In an odd way, the ruling may have opened up a way to get the full copy of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s giant locked up report on the CIA’s torture program. And someone — namely journalist Shawn Musgrave along with public records lawyer extraordinaire Kel McClanahan — has jumped up to try. But, first, some background.

    • I Know Who is Scarier Than the Big Bad Wolf, Do You?

      In turn, Idaho legislators responded the way that folks, who would most definitely never eat a cow, would respond: they swiftly passed legislation to exterminate 90% of those terrible cattle and sheep eaters with a veto-proof majority. With the wave of his hand, Governor Bill Little signed this legislation, sentencing 90% of the estimated 1,500 wolves in Idaho to death. Night vision hunting is permissible. Gassing or burning wolf families in their dens is permissible, as is aerial gunning and hunting from snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

      I know who is scarier than the big bad wolf.

    • Finding Ourselves at Peehee Mu’huh: An Interview with Daranda Hinkey

      On January 15th, 2021 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued permits to Lithium Americas Corporation for an open-pit lithium mine that would destroy over 17,000 acres of Paiute-Shoshone ancestral homeland at Thacker Pass, Nevada. This mine would pollute groundwater with uranium, arsenic, and heavy metals; deplete already overdrawn aquifers; threaten endangered species including golden eagles; and pose additional threats to indigenous women by bringing man camps into the area. This decision by the BLM was made after an inadequate review process and without the free, prior, informed consent of local tribes.

      On the same day that the BLM issued the record of decision, Protect Thacker Pass (PTP) began continuous occupation of the site. I met Paiute-Shoshone tribal member Daranda Hinkey when I visited the PTP camp for two weeks in early April. Later, on May 11, I spoke with her about her people’s opposition to the lithium mine at Thacker Pass. A transcript of that interview follows.

    • Do We Humans Have Too Much Power?
    • It’s A Man’s World

      That said, the book I am writing about here—titled King Kong Theory—seems to be written with the same attitude. In other words, it is pushing people to bring out the knives. Wield them from behind your toxic masculinity and your ambition-informed liberal feminism. Wield them from your need to demean your lover and the sex worker you pay online. Wield them from your university posts and your political campaign offices. Wield them from the backseat of your car parked in the “dangerous” part of town after that sex act you paid for is over. Wield them from the safety of your suburban home after your errant children have gone off to school. Wield them from Hollywood and a studio of porn.

      King Kong Theory is a text that is decidedly anti-capitalist and a little bit punk. Like much of the left and anarchist writing from the west since the 1960s, individualism clashes with class understanding and political economics with cultural revolution. The author, Virginie Despentes, is a French novelist, who left her home for Paris when she was a teen; her punk lifestyle had outgrown her hometown, so to speak. Like so many people that age, she had a variety of jobs, including as a sex worker. It was the experiences she accrued during that time that informed her fiction, including one on rape which became a movie called F*ck Me and was ultimately banned in France. This particular title is a collection of essays on all of those topics and more.

    • Thinking Like an Octopus

      At the time, I made a mental note to myself to learn about octopuses. From the time that I read about Inky, interest in the creatures has increased dramatically with this year’s Oscar for documentary going to “My Octopus Teacher.” Nearly everybody who spends time looking at octopus YouTube videos, or going further and reading books about them, will be struck by both their intelligence and inscrutability.

      This article will discuss Sy Montgomery’s best-selling “The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” and Peter Godfrey-Smith’s “Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness.” It will also review “My Octopus Teacher.” Despite the inclusion of the word “consciousness” in both titles, there are vast differences between the two. Montgomery’s focus is on the interplay between humans and the octopus taking place in aquariums just like the kind that Inky fled, while Godfrey-Smith applies neuroscience and Darwinism to a creature that seemingly defies what these disciplines hold as sacrosanct. In either book, you’ll discover that both authors have the kind of love for the octopus that other authors had for the chimpanzee or the wolf. I, of course, am referring to Jane Goodall and Farley Mowat respectively.

    • Databases for word-to-sign language help create an inclusive society

      Word-to-sign concerns people who have hearing disabilities and allows connecting written words to sign language. As sign language is one hundred precent visual with its own grammar, it is not a given that deaf children can access written language as their hearing peers do.

      Once sign language is seen and certified as a national language alongside the spoken and written forms, this opens to an inclusive society. Sign language databases are part of this acceptance. For instance, in New Zealand there are 5.000 deaf persons, but 25.000 people use sign language, such as the parents of deaf children.

      Signs are not universal, and there is a myriad of local and national varieties. As a consequence, there are many websites and apps for different languages. You can visit the following links to see how the English word ‘woman’ differs from the German equivalent ‘frau’.

    • 2021-06-02 a history of powerpoint

      Visual aids for presentations could be said to have gone through a few generations: large format printed materials, transparent slides, and digital projection. Essentially all methods other than projection have died out today, but for a time these all coexisted.

    • Science

      • LUMI pilot projects selected

        The projects for the first pilot phase of LUMI have been selected and the pilots will start to run on the CPU partition of LUMI in September 2021.

        The first pilot phase aims to test the scalability of the CPU partition and generate workloads on the CPUs, particularly to stress test the storage systems for stability testing. Furthermore, the aim is to provide early access to LUMI to obtain feedback from the pilot users before the launch of LUMI’s regular operations.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As Dems Push Medicare Expansion, Survey Shows Most Americans Support Drug Price Negotiations
      • “Disaster Patriarchy”: V (Eve Ensler) on How the Pandemic Has Unleashed a War on Women

        The pandemic has led to a sharp rise in gender-based violence, job losses in female-dominated industries, greater parenting duties for mothers, and other pressures that primarily fall on women around the world. These effects amount to a kind of “disaster patriarchy” in which “men exploit a crisis to reassert control and dominance and rapidly erase the hard-earned rights of women,” says V, the artist and activist formerly known as Eve Ensler. “Women are losing their safety, their economic power, their autonomy, their education, and they are pushed onto the frontlines, where they are often used, unprotected and sacrificed.”

      • World’s Peasant Farmers Unveil ‘Anti-Imperialist Manifesto’ in Defense of Nature
      • How to Make Money Off a Pandemic

        Now that we’re all unmasking and the economy seems set to roar into the 2020s, what will we remember about how disastrously, how malignantly, the Trump administration behaved as the pandemic took hold? And will anyone be held to account for it?

      • Schumer’s Anti-China Bill Sacrifices Climate for Empire

        Schumer’s laborious 1,445-page bill, the product of six Senate committees, would have the U.S. compete with China by creating tech hubs of robotics and artificial intelligence in U.S. cities, promoting school programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), accelerating production of semiconductor chips and spending $600 million to ramp up U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to show China the U.S. still rules the world.

        Collaborate with China to thwart climate catastrophe?

      • A Chinese PhD Thesis Sheds Important New Light On The Origin of the COVID-19 Coronavirus

        RaTG13 came from the freezers of the WIV.

        In one sense, there is nothing unusual about that. Researchers often have old samples stored away and the WIV has the largest collection of coronaviruses in the world. On the other hand, Wuhan is considered an unlikely locality for a coronavirus outbreak.

      • U.S. Finally Offers to Send Vaccines Abroad, But Lack of Global Plan Leaves Poorer Nations in Crisis

        The Biden administration on Thursday announced that the U.S. will donate 25 million surplus doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, pledging to donate a total of 80 million doses by July. Economist Jeffrey Sachs says rich countries have enough production capacity to speed up vaccine distribution and immunize the whole world within the next year. “There’s massive supply, but there’s no plan for allocation,” he says. We also speak with South African health justice activist Fatima Hassan, who says the global vaccine imbalance comes down to political will. “Even now countries are still sitting around a table and talking and having long conversations instead of figuring out an urgent way to ramp up manufacturing, scale up production and get as many doses to as many people as possible all over the world.”

      • Worried About Tracfone Merger Approval, Verizon Pretends It Didn’t Exploit COVID Emergency Program

        Prodded by Congress, a few months back the FCC launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a $3.2 billion program designed to provide folks struggling economically during COVID a little extra help affording broadband. Under the program, users get a $50 discount off their broadband bill, a total that jumps to $75 for those living on tribal areas. As we’ve well covered, regional telecom monopolization and corruption results in Americans paying some of the highest prices in the world for broadband, a problem that hits low income consumers and marginalized communities the hardest.

      • Covid-19 Is a Boon for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Buds

        London—Chumocracy. That’s what critics have been calling the British government during the pandemic—and not without reason. A report in the British Medical Journal found that over the past year, as Britain’s Covid-19 death toll mounted to nearly 130,000 deaths, one in five government Covid-19 contracts had signs of possible corruption. It seems that as soon as Covid-19 began to spread through the British Isles, Conservative officials and their high-ranking business buds were coming up with ways to reap financial benefits from the deadly crisis. Yet, despite ongoing controversy and increased public scrutiny, there seems to be no end in sight to this sort of pandemic profiteering, with new examples emerging even as the country begins to shed its stringent restrictions.

      • Lessons from the Pandemic

        The wrong, and the right, approach to the pandemic

        The policies by the Trump administration to the pandemic can be categorized as a “tragedy of errors”. From denying its existence, to minimizing its seriousness, to delaying the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospital workers and people at large, to trusting people without any experience in managing pandemics and disregarding experts’ advice, the former administration’s approach was responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of lives.

      • Del Bigtree could have died because he refused transfusion from donors vaccinated against COVID-19

        Those of us who’ve followed the antivaccine movement for a while have noticed that antivaccine activist Del Bigtree, producer of the antivaccine propaganda movie disguised as a documentary VAXXED, host of The Highwire video podcast, and founder of ICAN, an antivaccine organization dedicated to suing government public health departments and the CDC for various perceived infractions against “informed consent” regarding vaccines, has apparently been ill. He missed two weeks of The Highwire and failed to show up at a scheduled demonstration at Rutgers University against COVID-19 vaccine mandate. This week, he came back, and for the last 25 minutes or so of his nearly three hour long Highwire, he discussed his recent health problems. It’s a lot to unpack, but most curiously, he said that he needed a transfusion, but did not want blood from any donor who had been vaccinated against COVID-19. I learned yesterday that Bigtree almost bled to death from internal hemorrhoids, and it didn’t help that he delayed getting a needed transfusion until he could fly to Cancun for “unvaccinated blood.”

      • How Getting a Vaccine in India Is a ‘Privilege’ Especially For Those in Rural Areas

        The second surge of the virus in India has wreaked havoc in the largely unconnected and inaccessible rural areas, and according to an analysis by Down to Earth, these areas have accounted for “more than half of India’s… COVID-19 deaths” in April. There is not only a lack of information and facilities provided by the government to the rural population on how to protect themselves against the virus but also a lack of access to medical facilities or even vaccines, which had led to the rural areas being left completely vulnerable to the virus.

        In India, efforts to vaccinate enough people to create the much-needed herd immunity and manage the number of infections and deaths in the country during the second wave have been marked by confusion and a lack of planning by the government, especially the BJP-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the center that has mostly left it to the states to figure out how to vaccinate their residents. The result is that vaccinations have become a privilege that seems mostly unattainable by the poor and marginalized populations of the country. According to a doctor that I spoke with, Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, “it is mostly a privilege vaccine meant for the rich and influential… the system is anti-rural and anti-poor.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Content Moderation Case Study: Roblox Tries To Deal With Adult Content On A Platform Used By Many Kids (2020)

              Summary: Roblox is an incredibly popular online platform for games, especially among younger users. In 2020, it was reported that two-thirds of all US kids between 9 and 12 years old use Roblox, and one-third for all Americans under the age of 16. The games on the platform can be developed by anyone, as Roblox has set up a very easy environment, using the scripting language Lua, so that many of the games themselves are developed by Roblox’s young users.

            • That Old Story: Spying on Friends

              Having spilled such valuable beans, Snowden readied us for what should have been regarded as banal, even farcical.  As Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists summarised, “The rule is that everybody spies on everybody – except when they have an agreement not to.”  And, just in case you were in doubt “they may still do so.”  In terms of the United States, he was not shy: “We are photographing and listening to the entire globe.”

              The entire globe naturally includes peeking into the affairs of one’s allies.  “Even among friends,” a serious Charles Kupchan of Georgetown University said in 2013, “a lot of espionage takes place, and some of that espionage is targeted against national security.”  Kupchan sees this as solid bookkeeping. “There is more mundane day-to-day intelligence gathering, which is focusing on intelligence that would be relevant to American statecraft: who is likely to be the next foreign minister, what’s Germany’s position on negotiations with Iran?”

            • Greece: EU Commission upgrades border surveillance – and criticises it at the same time

              The Greek border police are using a sound cannon and drones on a new border fence, and the EU Commission expresses its „concern“ about this. However, it is itself funding several similar research projects, including a semi-autonomous drone with stealth features for „effective surveillance of borders and migration flows“

            • FBI sought info on who read USA Today news article for case

              The FBI issued a subpoena – an order to submit evidence – to USA Today’s owner Gannett, asking it for information about anyone who clicked on an article published in February about the fatal shooting of two of the bureau’s agents in Florida.

              The subpoena sought the IP addresses and phone numbers for readers of the piece during a 35-minute window. IP addresses can be used to find a computer’s location and owner.

            • Digital Services Act: LIBE Rapporteur Patrick Breyer Wants To Tackle Surveillance Capitalism

              In line with the responsibilities of the LIBE Committee, the measures proposed by Breyer focus on better protection of fundamental rights. Most of the proposals implement reports and opinions that have already had a majority backing in committee or in plenary. Key proposals are: [...]

            • AK: Bill centralizing citizen biometric data meets EKRE pushback

              A bill which has been put before the Rigiikogu would allow the organization of biometric data of citizens into one central database.

              Doing so would lead to efficiency gains, supporters say, though the opposition Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) has tabled over 100 amendments, in an effort to obstruct it.

              EKRE MP and former IT minister Kert Kingo said: “Is this needed to just to provide a job for IT companies; I don’t know why this data is being collected, where it is going to be forwarded and for whom.”

              “Is there a desire for still greater censorship and controls on what we do and in so doing, violating constitutional human rights? Because there are no reasons to have such a database,” Kingo added.

            • Confidentiality

              • End-to-End Encryption: Important Pros and Cons

                According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report by Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, data breaches are costing enterprises $3.86 million on average, and they’re taking an average of 280 days to discover the problem. Clearly, hackers can and already do easily identify and access both corporate and personal information when files are transmitted from device to device unless certain cybersecurity measures are put into place. End-to-end encryption is the easiest solution for protecting this data so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

                End-to-end encryption is the practice of encrypting data and information as it passes from device to device. The sending and receiving devices can see the original contents, but no other interceptors have the correct keys to decrypt the message. This approach to cybersecurity offers many benefits to companies and users that implement the protection, but there are still some drawbacks in areas like consumer-provider relationships. Read on to learn more about how end-to-end encryption works, as well as some of the pros and cons of end-to-end encryption security.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • America’s Nazi Problem and the End of Policing

        This is not to suggest that the United States, especially under the Trump regime, replicated precisely Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Trump is not Hitler nor is Trumpism a precise replica of Nazi ideology. Robert Jay Lifton is right in arguing that the United States may not be “headed inevitably for an authoritarian society or Nazi-like society. What I am saying is that there are parallels. And they’re dangerous. You know, the Nazis didn’t do away with the major institutions of Germany.”[2] Trump, his incorrigible followers, and the Republican Party have unleashed elements of an authoritarian irrationality–a dark and menacing underside of a racist, anti-democratic politics and psychology. This is evident not only in a history of slavery, lynchings, and the mass incarceration of Blacks, but also in conditions that led to the storming of the Capitol by Trump’s followers.

        Put in a broader historical context, the attack on the Capital was an act of political terrorism made in the name of white supremacy. It echoes a sordid history that included the violence against Blacks that took place in Tulsa a hundred years ago. Tulsa was destroyed as a result of white supremacist violence and over 300 Black people were killed. That was an act of economic terrorism. Today economic and political terrorism are unified and drive a Republican Party that is relentless in its destruction of the rights of Black people and its willingness to destroy democracy as well. In the current moment, politics has become an extension of racial violence; this is a politics that no longer hides in the shadows or margins of society and has become a governing principle of the Republican Party.

      • Peace-Washing: Is a Network of Major Donors Neutralizing Activism in the Peace Movement?

        When it came to matters of war and peace, virtually everything Trump did internationally — his fawningly friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, his Tomahawk cruise missile attacks on Syria, his coziness with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his ordering of a drone assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, his massive military budgets — was criticized mercilessly by progressives, the liberal establishment and groups in the Democratic mainstream.

        With the arrival of the Biden presidency, the dynamics have changed dramatically. Consider the liberal response to the Biden transition team floating Michèle Flournoy’s name as a potential secretary of defense. Instead of outrage at the idea of someone who had spent the previous four years helping arms contractors win business with the Trump Pentagon and who is an advocate for tough, even aggressive stances towards Russia, China and Iran, we saw an open letter of support signed by 29 key people active in the peace and arms-control arena. Signatories included Joe Cirincione, former president for 12 years of the Ploughshares Fund, along with Tom Collina, Michelle Dover and Emma Belcher of that same well-endowed grant-offering organization. They were joined by the likes of Tom Countryman and Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association, Rachel Bronson of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Ilan Goldenberg of the Center for New American Security, Joan Rohlfing of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and others.

      • The Geneva Summit: Biden and Putin Need to Pull Back From the Nuclear Brink

        Recent Russian provocations — the hacking of sensitive U.S. government and corporate computers, meddling in the last two U.S. presidential elections, annexation of Crimea, and military hostilities in Ukraine — likely will provide topics for frank discussion.

        Nuclear weapons and “strategic stability” should top their agenda.

      • Vicious Wave of Repression Sparks Global Movement to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners

        That’s what Mariam Claren told her imprisoned mother, a 66-year-old, dual German-Iranian citizen and women’s rights activist, before her first Iranian court appearance on April 28.

        As the world’s attention concerning Iran largely focuses on the nuclear negotiations between governments (Iran, the U.S. and other big powers), the Islamic Republic has unleashed a sweeping but largely unreported wave of arbitrary arrests.

      • Newly-Released Body Cam Footage Shows Louisiana State Troopers Beating A Man To Death

        Two years after cops killed Ronald Greene following a car chase, the Louisiana State Police have finally released the recordings. Greene led officers on a high-speed chase before being stopped, subdued, and ultimately killed. Here’s how the State Police described it two years ago when it still had control of the narrative.

      • U.S. Imperialists Deprive Cuba of Syringes That Are Needed Now

        Syringes are lacking all over. The New York Times estimates an overall need of between “eight billion and 10 billion syringes for Covid-19 vaccinations alone.” Manufacturing capabilities are increasing, but that’s of no use to Cuba.

        According to Global Health Partners, “Cuba needs roughly 30 million syringes for their mass Covid vaccination campaign and they’re short 20 million.” Solidarity organizations are seeking donated funds to buy syringes and ship them to Cuba. (Readers may donate by contacting Global Health Partners or visiting here.)

      • Peace in Colombia Should Mean Land Reform and an End to Hunger

        The Comunes party was formed in 2017 by members of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army). Granda, who is known internationally for his former role as the foreign minister of the FARC, is now in the national board of the Comunes party. As a legal political party, Comunes is a direct product of the 2016 Havana peace accords signed by the Colombian government and the FARC. Over the past two years, members of the Comunes have been on the streets alongside their fellow Colombians who are fighting to bring democracy to the country’s economy and politics. Granda spoke to us about the ongoing protests and helped to put these protests in the context of the long history of struggle in Colombia.

        Colombia’s Violent Oligarchy

      • Top 10 Signs of Looming Fascism
      • Lies About January 6

        So, like the January 6 capitol riot itself, this latest attempt to pretend it didn’t happen is botched from the get-go. Trump wanted a coup, but with the little reason left him apparently perceived that declaring martial law wouldn’t fly. Similarly, GOP history revisionists promote the narrative that the January 6 storming of the capitol was nothing unusual, when every American with a brain knows, and clearly remembers, it was an attempted putsch that would have terminated a democracy already on life-support.

        The logical solution here was a bipartisan commission on the January 6 uprising. But due to no doubt Trump-inspired GOP obstruction, such a move was DOA. Now Biden is reportedly considering a presidential commission. But there exist other avenues to truth. According to congressional scholar Norm Ornstein, interviewed in the Washington Post, Biden and the Dems should have the justice department empanel a group to recommend for or against prosecutorial action. Even better, as far as I can see, would be a special prosecutor; though don’t expect anything nearly that aggressive from any Biden appointee. The advantage here of either a committee or a prosecutor is justice department subpoena power.

      • An Ordinary German Neo-Nazi Death Squad Man

        As reported by his schoolteachers, Franco Albrecht showed no racist or xenophobic tendencies as a young boy. Yet he always wanted to join Germany’s Bundeswehr – the successor to Hitler’s Wehrmacht. By the age of seventeen, Franco began keeping a diary in which he recorded his rising right-wing faith in Germanness (Deutschtum). By 2007, he was talking about his nationalistic pride and claiming that Germany’s media and the state were discrediting the beloved Fatherland, the Germanic nation.

        All the while, Franco Albrecht was planning a career in the armed forces, seeking to reach the top ranks in Germany’s military. In the long-term, he was planned to carry out a military coup to establish a Neo-Nazi regime (Aryan Volksgemeinschaft). He fancied leaders like Napoleon, Atatürk and Hitler.

      • Biden’s Unconscionable Military Budget

        There are some good things in the budget. It rightly calls for major increases in domestic investment, especially for green infrastructure jobs and programs to support families, and funds them with taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

        But at the same time, it not only preserves the massive Pentagon spending hikes of the Trump era, but expands them. Under Biden’s plan, military spending would rise to $753 billion, up from the already staggering $740 billion from the last fiscal year.

      • The Notorious London Spy School Churning Out the World’s Top Journalists

        In a previous investigation, MintPress News explored how one university department, the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, functions as a school for spooks. Its teaching posts are filled with current or former NATO officials, army officers and intelligence operatives to churn out the next generation of spies and intelligence officers. However, we can now reveal an even more troubling product the department produces: journalists. An inordinate number of the world’s most influential reporters, producers and presenters, representing many of the most well-known and respected outlets — including The New York Times, CNN and the BBC — learned their craft in the classrooms of this London department, raising serious questions about the links between the fourth estate and the national security state.

      • Joseph Torres on Media & Tulsa Massacre
      • US Sanctions Against Venezuela Cause Shortages in Diesel, Editorial Standards

        Western corporate media have time and again proved to be reliable allies for US regime change efforts against Venezuela (FAIR.org, 12/19/20, 1/22/20, 9/24/19, 6/26/19, 5/1/19). Alongside the occasional military threat, Washington’s strategy in recent years has relied on unilateral coercive measures commonly known as sanctions. Despite these measures being classified as “collective punishment” and found responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, corporate journalists have been for a long time happy to downplay or totally ignore them.

      • How the Tulsa Race Massacre Was a Violent Act of Racist Economic Injustice

        In the span of just 24 hours, an army of deputized white men devastated the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, burning down what had been known as “Black Wall Street,” and killing hundreds of residents and business owners. There has never been a full accounting of the murder and mayhem unleashed upon the community, and some estimates put the minimum death toll at 300.

        While major media outlets are finally covering this dark incident as a symbol of historic white supremacist violence, a critical lesson of the Tulsa Race Massacre is how economic injustice was foisted upon Black America and how wealth was stripped out of the hands of those few Black Americans who found success within a capitalist system.

      • Boko Haram Isn’t Nigeria’s Biggest Problem

        The violence in the northwest does not appear to be religiously motivated, although this has not stopped Nigeria’s jihadists from attempting to benefit from the instability. There is growing evidence that jihadists have been in contact with bandits to make inroads into the Muslim-majority northwest, which would mirror approaches deployed by jihadists elsewhere in West Africa. But it is unclear how successful the jihadists’ overtures have been. Indeed, the situation in the northwest remains ambiguous, with officials expressing uncertainty about the identities, relationships, and objectives of many of the bandits.

      • Taliban Capture 7th Afghan District as Foreign Forces Pull Out

        The Taliban seized a district in southern Afghanistan Friday without facing any resistance from Afghan government security forces, bringing to seven the number of districts the insurgents have overrun since the United States and its NATO allies began withdrawing their troops from the country a month ago.

        Separately, an overnight roadside bombing of a vehicle in the national capital, Kabul, killed a young female Afghan television anchor and her mother, and wounded her sister. Mina Khairi was working for the Ariana News channel for the past three years, her employer said.

      • Questions Linger About Jan. 6 Capitol [Insurrection]

        Various Senate and House committees — Homeland Security, Oversight, Judiciary — are conducting hearings. But the scope of committee probes is restricted to their specific jurisdictions and purviews, making a comprehensive congressional review all but impossible absent a commission with a broad mandate and subpoena power.

      • World reacts as Denmark passes law to process asylum-seekers outside Europe

        On Thursday the whole world reacted as Denmark passed a law that enables the country to send asylum-seekers outside Europe while they are under review.

        The law was passed with 70 lawmakers in favour, and only 24 against, and it makes Denmark the first country to pass such a law.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Psychopath-Driven Inequality Is Making Our Society Sick
      • ‘$2 Trillion Was Already the Compromise’: Progressive Revolt Brews Over Biden’s Infrastructure Offer to GOP
      • “We Are a Plutocracy”: Jeffrey Sachs Slams Biden for Offering to Preserve Trump’s Corporate Tax Cuts

        As Democrats and Republicans in Washington continue to negotiate over an infrastructure bill, President Biden is reportedly considering dropping his demand to roll back the 2017 Trump tax cuts — which primarily benefited corporations and the richest people in the country — in order to gain support for infrastructure spending of at least $1 trillion. Biden is offering to keep Trump’s tax cuts and shrink the size of his infrastructure proposal in exchange for a minimum 15% corporate tax rate for all companies. Economist Jeffrey Sachs says a capitulation on the Trump tax cuts would be a huge mistake for the Biden administration. “The corporations have had an unbelievable run of unjust and unaffordable tax cuts,” he says.

      • The Emergence of Central Bank Digital Currencies

        Bitcoin was created in October of 2008 with the release of Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, the original design paper which also introduced the blockchain architecture. A decade later, The Economist published a detailed evaluation of Bitcoin which succinctly concluded that “Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are useless.”

        “Bitcoin, the first and still the most popular cryptocurrency, began life as a techno-anarchist project to create an online version of cash, a way for people to transact without the possibility of interference from malicious governments or banks,” it further argued. “A decade on, it is barely used for its intended purpose. Users must wrestle with complicated software and give up all the consumer protections they are used to. Few vendors accept it. Security is poor. Other cryptocurrencies are used even less.”

        But last month, the May 8 issue of The Economist reached a very different conclusion in its assessment of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), – i.e., e-dollars, e-yuans, or e-euros, – which it called “The digital currencies that matter.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • No Time to Relax: Dark Clouds in Biden’s America

        On April 20th, a multiracial jury delivered a guilty verdict on all murder counts in the trial of Derek Chauvin, suggesting that the previous year’s giant George Floyd Rebellion might have helped advance the fight against racist police violence.

        Since January 20th, the White House, the news cycle, and social media are no longer menacingly occupied by a malignantly narcissist neofascist hate machine who turned the U.S. presidency into a frightening embarrassment that led even many Trump fascism-deniers to liken the 45th president to Adolf Hitler. Trump stirred the white nationalist and sexist hate and anti-truth pot on a regular basis, creating no small traumatic stress for untold millions of American and world citizens.

      • Montana: Worth Fighting For, Despite the State’s Current Political Mess

        Republicans now control the Montana government and they are dead set on tearing down our great state to the lowest level possible. Dignity and fairness have gone out the window. Montana, thanks partly to its ultraconservative billionaire governor Greg Gianforte, is being reshaped into a rich person’s hideout, a necon paradise of giant private land holdings, minimal taxes and extremely conservative politics. The wealthy have dwelled here for a long time and have built their enclaves like the Yellowstone Club. But now the Koch brothers-fueled feeding frenzy is ramping up and everything, from wildlife to public lands to river access to hunting privileges to access to housing, is up for grabs.

        Govrnor Gianforte has shown his true colors – he was the guy who stated that Noah kept working at 800 years old and did not need to retire – by making Montana the first state to refuse the $300 per week federal unemployment boost, instead trying to force people to go back to work regardless of their circumstance. He has signed many new laws into place that benefit the few and the rich.

      • 126 Nobel Laureates Warn ‘Humanity Taking Colossal Risks With Our Common Future’
      • Democrats Should Just Create More Federal Holidays

        Democrats tend to leave easy points on the playing field out of a misguided sense of modesty, the term Joe Biden used recently when recounting his experiences in the Obama White House. By refusing to take a “victory lap” and crow about his accomplishments, President Biden argued, Barack Obama failed to maximize the political benefits from the things he did.

      • A Tale of 2 States
      • How the International Community is Supporting an Illegal Power Grab in Haiti

        The billboards are plastered across Port-au-Prince and throughout the country, as the government launches an all-out push ahead of a referendum planned for next month. The government is holding televised “debates,” printing ballots, lobbying international organizations, and apparently laying the groundwork for what it claims is a necessary effort to put Haiti’s governance on a path to success.

        The catch? The campaign is only happening on one side. The entire effort is contested by myriad civil society organizations, grassroots groups, and political parties, all of whom maintain that the referendum is an illegal power grab on the part of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse. In fact, over the last week, a number of prominent political actors have called on the population to revolt against the referendum and use whatever means possible to prevent the vote from taking place.

      • The Patriot Party and Trump

        The reason that conservatives are embracing a “Patriot Party” label is so bizarre to me. In 1969, I was a co-founder of the Young Patriot Organization, a group of young radicals living in Uptown, Chicago at the time. Our group of poor southern white migrants were publicizing and trying to resolve the chronic problems of the poor, mostly white residents: police brutality, unemployment, slum living conditions, urban renewal, class hatred, racism, hunger and lack of medical care, all inflicted upon them by Mayor Richard J. Daly’s political machine and the capitalist system, which did not recognize them as significant people. YPO would eventually become one of the original member groups of the Rainbow Coalition, co-founded by Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, an alliance which brought together the Panthers, the Young Lords (a Puerto Rican gang turned revolutionary), and southern whites like myself, to work together in order to empower Chicago’s poor communities toward self-determination and the control their own destinies.  The Young Patriots were radical revolutionaries who redefined the meaning of the word ‘Patriot’ by identifying themselves as descendants of the early American revolutionaries who fought for freedom. The difference was that the Young Patriots fought for equality for all oppressed people and not for the capitalist system. We were driven by a strong desire for independence and challenging classism/racism to eliminate the conditions that breed oppression and misery.

        Our movement, the Young Patriot Organization, eventually split, with a portion of us moving to New York City to form the Patriot Party. Although the name had changed slightly from its Chicago origins, the goal of the Patriot Party was still radical social change and revolution. It moved toward a more national scale, while the YPO retained its concentration in the Chicago area. Both organizations worked to empower poor communities to fight against racism and classism.

      • Democracy on the Precipice?

        Authoritarianism, like war, makes headlines. It’s hard for democracy to compete against political crackdowns, military coups, and unhinged pronouncements. Sure, democracies engage in periodic elections and produce landmark pieces of legislation. But what makes democracy, like peace, successful is not the unexpected rupture, such as the election of Barack Obama, but the boring quotidian. Citizens express their opinions in public meetings. Lawmakers receive constituents in their offices. Potholes get fixed. That’s not exactly clickbait.

        Because the absence of war doesn’t make headlines, as Stephen Pinker has argued, the news media amplifies the impression that violence is omnipresent and constantly escalating when it splashes mass murder, genocide, and war crimes on the front page. Peace may well be prevalent, but it isn’t newsworthy.

      • AMLO Has Been a Disappointment to the World—for Mexico, He’s Been Far Worse

        For the past 25 years, Lucía Mixcoatl has sold cactus pads in the sprawling Hidalgo Market in the Mexican city of Puebla. But since the pandemic started, sales of the cactus pads—called nopales and considered a staple of the Mexican diet—have dropped precipitously. “Before the pandemic started, I could sell a thousand or more nopales every day; now I’m lucky if I sell 500 or 600,” she told me through a black KN-95 mask. Each piece sells for about 7 cents, meaning her already modest income, which she uses to support four children as a single mother, has fallen by half. Two of her four children have since dropped out of school, and she’s struggling to pay for an Internet connection for her other kids, who now take classes online.

      • The Future For Belarus

        The chief executive of Ryanair, Mr Michael O’Leary, swung into action immediately, and after the New York Times reported the Lithuanian police as stating that five people who had boarded the aircraft in Athens did not arrive in Vilnius, “Mr. O’Leary said some of the passengers may have been agents of the Belarusian intelligence service, which is still known by its Soviet-era initials.”  He said “We believe there were some KGB agents offloaded at the airport as well.”  This was given much publicity but went off the boil when it became apparent that although it had been a conveniently exciting assertion it was totally incorrect.  There were, indeed, five fewer people on the aircraft when it arrived in Lithuania but, as noted by the BBC, in addition to the detained journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend the other three were ordinary civilians who had valid reasons for staying in Minsk.

        Indignation grew in western capitals, however, with every effort being made by the media to associate Moscow with the affair in some manner. In this they were aided by the British foreign minister, Dominic Raab, who took time off from Britain’s never-ending and sadly ludicrous parliamentary pantomime, to declare it was “very difficult to believe” that diversion of the flight and detention of Mr Protasevich could have taken place “without at least the acquiescence of the authorities in Moscow.”  He did add that it was “unclear as yet” exactly what had happened, but when asked by reporters why the diversion could not have happened without Russia being aware he replied that his belief was “Based on all the circumstances. But we don’t know – it is just the proximity of the relationship between Minsk and Moscow.”

      • ‘The Modis, the Trumps, the Bolsonaros Come Out of the Wreckage of Neoliberal Policy’

        Janine Jackson interviewed author and editor Vijay Prashad about India, Covid and Modi for the May 28, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Jeff Bezos’ Fake News in the Newspaper He Really Owns

        Media criticism sometimes involves reading between the lines, assessing the layered meanings of journalistic rhetoric, or considering what’s left unsaid in a given conversation. But we shouldn’t be numb to all the times media problems hit you like a sock in the jaw.

      • Bernie Sanders Is Fed Up With Republican Obstruction—and Democratic Caution

        Bernie Sanders ran for president promising a political revolution. When he did not secure the Democratic nomination, the unapologetic progressive immediately threw in as a supporter of a more moderate Democrat, Joe Biden, and became an ardent advocate for his former rival.

      • Stability: Media Codeword for ‘Under US Control’

        The world watched aghast last month as Israeli forces during Ramadan stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, attacking and injuring hundreds of worshipers. The IDF proceeded to target schools, media centers and hospitals in Gaza—frequently described as the world’s largest open-air prison because of the state of siege it’s been under since 2007—killing hundreds, injuring thousands and forcing tens of thousands to flee.

      • Roaming Charges: Trumpism With a Human(oid) Face

        + To say that my expectations for Biden were low is to admit to having had expectations at all.

        + Biden is the ultimate company man, who plays by the company’s rules, which, of course, aren’t the rules rest of us are allowed to play by.

      • European regulators launch fresh probes of Facebook, Google

        The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said in a simultaneous announcement that it launched its own probe to examine whether Facebook’s collection and use of data gave it an unfair advantage over competitors providing classified data and online dating services.

      • Facebook Suspends Donald Trump’s Account for Two Years

        In addition to the announcement about Trump’s accounts, Facebook said that it will begin adding more clarity and transparency around its “newsworthiness allowance,” in which it allows posts to stay up even if they violate its community standards. Politicians have traditionally been given extra leeway when it comes to their posts on Facebook, but the company says it will end that practice: “We will not treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else. Instead, we will simply apply our newsworthiness balancing test in the same way to all content, measuring whether the public interest value of the content outweighs the potential risk of harm by leaving it up.”

      • Facebook suspends Trump’s accounts for 2 years, citing public safety risk

        Clegg tied the ban to Trump’s role in the [insurrection] at the Capitol, when a mob of his supporters stormed the building in an attempt to interrupt the counting of the electoral votes that solidified Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

      • Trump’s Facebook Suspension Set to Expire in January 2023, Just in Time For the Next Presidential Race

        [Insurrectionists] would later roam the halls, chanting “Hang Mike Pence” and searching for the then-vice president, who had a ceremonial role in the certification. Footage screened at Trump’s second impeachment trial showed just how narrowly Pence and his family escaped the mob. In remarks Thursday, Pence said, “President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day.”

        Facebook’s announcement today comes roughly one month after the social network’s 20-member Oversight Board — made up of lawyers, academics and journalists from around the world — upheld Facebook’s ban of the former reality TV star. In their ruling, the board, which Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has likened to a Supreme Court for the social media site, criticized the open-endedness of the suspension, calling it an “indeterminate and standardless penalty.”

      • Facebook suspends Trump until at least 2023

        The platform is also publicly publishing its strike system that it uses to determine the severity of punishment that can be doled out to successive infringements of Facebook policies.

        Trump was initially suspended for posts made about the 2020 election and deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Other platforms, including Twitter, went further than Facebook and instituted a permanent ban on the former president.

      • Facebook Suspends Trump for at Least Two Years

        The ban expires on January 7, 2023, two years after Facebook first blocked the former president.

      • Trump Suspended From Facebook, Instagram for Two Years

        In addition, Facebook will not “treat content posted by politicians any differently from content posted by anyone else” in determining whether its “newsworthiness” outweighs potential harm, VP of global affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post, a change to how it has applied its rules to politicians.

      • Facebook bans former US president Trump for 2 years

        Facebook also said it will no longer give politicians blanket immunity for deceptive or abusive content at the social network based on their comments being newsworthy.

      • Facebook gives Trump a 2-year suspension, changes rules for politicians

        The suspension accompanies a broader change in how Facebook treats “newsworthy” posts that break its rules and speech by politicians. The social network will still allow some violating content that is “newsworthy or important to the public interest” to remain online. But as The Verge reported yesterday, it will begin publishing the “rare instances” when the newsworthy exemption is applied. And going forward, politicians will be subject to the same content rules as other users, a sharp reversal from Facebook’s previous policy that mostly shielded elected officials from such enforcement.

      • There’s nothing “delusional” about Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories. They are working

        Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where it’s unwise to underestimate Donald Trump.

        It’s true, of course, that there is no pathway (outside of a true military coup, which Trump is almost certainly not up to organizing) that would oust Joe Biden and install Trump in the White House within three months. But after all of this time, one would hope that U.S. punditry would grasp the fact that Trump’s conspiracy theories are often not so much literal as they are aspirational.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Western Democracies Ramp Up Efforts To Censor Social Media, Russia Appears To Feel Emboldened To Do More Itself

        With various legislative efforts in Western democracies designed to force websites to take down perfectly lawful, but “awful” speech, it appears that more authoritarian countries are feeling even more emboldened to do more of the same. Case in point: Russia.

      • Microsoft says Bing’s ‘Tank Man’ censorship was a human error

        A stranger searched for “Tankman” or “Tiananmen Square Tankman” and found normal search results in Bing, but strangely the image was missing.when The Barge When I asked Microsoft for an explanation, “This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve it. “

      • Bing Censors Image Search for ‘Tank Man’ Even in US

        Bing, the search engine owned by Microsoft, is not displaying image results for a search for “Tank man,” even when searching from the United States. The apparent censorship comes on the anniversary of China’s violent crackdown on protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

        “There are no results for tank man,” the Bing website reads after searching for the term. “Tank man” relates to the infamous image of a single protester standing in front of a line of Chinese tanks during the crackdown. Advertisement

        China censors and blocks distribution of discussion of tank man and Tiananmen Square more generally. This year, anniversary events in Hong Kong have dwindled in size after authorities banned a vigil.

      • Microsoft says Bing’s ‘Tank Man’ censorship was a human error

        It’s an unfortunately timed accident given that June 4th, 2021 is the 32nd anniversary of the student-led protests in China — an uprising in response to changes in the country that was met with assault rifles, tanks, and a massacre. Microsoft did eventually restore results to the specific search, though it’s still noticeably missing the well-known image. Adding in a mention of “Tiananmen” or “Tiananmen Square” pulls up what you’d expect, however. It’s not clear why Bing would weigh generic images of tanks more heavily than a famous piece of visual history, but we’ve reached out to Microsoft see if that’s normal.

      • Microsoft Bing censors results for ‘tank man’ on Tiananmen Square anniversary

        Queries in multiple other countries also provided no results, while in some cases, results surfaced showing pictures of tanks but without showing the famous image from 1989.

        China is known to require search engines operating in its jurisdiction to censor results, but those restrictions are rarely applied elsewhere.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Echo Chambers
      • Sinema’s Position on the Filibuster Echoes Goldwater’s Case Against Civil Rights

        Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s latest reasons for supporting the legislative filibuster—and effectively killing voting rights legislation for the near future—reminded me of another specious political argument. But whose? It took me a day to make the connection.

      • Supreme Court Finally Limits Widely Abused Computer Hacking Law… But Just A Bit

        For many years we’ve written about the problems with the CFAA. That’s the supposedly “anti-hacking” law, with both civil and criminal components, that makes it a violation to use a computer in a manner that “exceeds authorized access.” Law enforcement and the courts in the past often (though not always) took an extremely broad read of “unauthorized access” in a such a manner that basically all sorts of cases that involved a computer included CFAA claims. And even if all the other claims fell away, the CFAA claims often lasted, which is why it has been dubbed “the law that sticks.” Part of the underlying issue is that law enforcement and some courts wanted to read “unauthorized access” to include using a computer system you had legitimate access to, but for unauthorized purposes.

      • Small Town Police Chief Hit With Actual Criminal Charges After Threatening A Critic With Bogus Criminal Charges

        The corollary to “play stupid games, win stupid prizes” is that the thinner a public servant’s skin is, the more damaging the outcome when they decide to abuse their power to get even.

      • Google, Facebook And Chaos Computer Club Join To Fight New German Law Allowing Government Spies And Police To Use Trojans Against Innocent Citizens

        One of the curious aspects of Germany’s surveillance activities is the routine use of so-called “state trojans” — software that is placed surreptitiously on a suspect’s system by the authorities to allow it to be monitored and controlled in real time over the Internet. The big advantage of this approach is that it lets intelligence agencies get around end-to-end encryption without needing backdoors in the code. Instead, the trojan sits at one end of the conversation, outside the encryption, which lets it eavesdrop without any problem. This approach goes back at least a decade, and now seems to be an accepted technique in the country, which is rather surprising given Germany’s unhappy history of state surveillance and control during the previous century. The German government likes state trojans so much it wants to give the option to even more of its services, as Netzpolitik explains (original in German, translation by DeepL):

      • There Have Been Huge Gaps in FBI Hate Crime Data for Years. A New Law Aims to Fix That.

        On May 20, President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. Beyond including provisions intended to combat the recent increase in bias-motivated violence against Asian Americans, the law also provides money to help states and local law enforcement agencies collect better, more comprehensive data on hate crimes.

      • The Safe Connections Act Would Make It Easier to Escape Domestic Violence

        In August 2020, EFF joined with the Clinic to End Tech Abuse and other groups dedicated to protecting survivors of domestic violence to send a letter to Congress, calling them to pass a federal law that creates the right to leave a family mobile phone plan that they share with their abuser.

        This January, Senators Brian Schatz, Deb Fischer, Richard Blumenthal, Rick Scott, and Jacky Rosen responded to the letter by introducing The Safe Connections Act (S. 120), which would make it easier for survivors to separate their phone line from a family plan while keeping their own phone number. It would also require the FCC to create rules to protect the privacy of the people seeking this protection. EFF is supportive of this bill.

        The bill got bipartisan support and passed unanimously out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation on April 28, 2021. While there is still a long way to go, EFF is pleased to see this bill get past the first critical step. There is little reason that telecommunications carriers, who are already required to make numbers portable when users want to change carriers, cannot replicate such a seamless process when a paying customer wants to move an account within the same carrier.

      • Where to See the EFF Staff at RightsCon 2021

        We hope you have an opportunity to connect with us at the following: 

        7:45-8:45 am PDT – Taking stock of the Facebook Oversight Board’s first year Director of International Freedom of Expression, Jillian York

        9:00-10:00 am PDT– RightsCon: Upload filters for copyright enforcement take over the world: connecting struggles in EU, US, and Latin AmericaAssociate Director of Policy and Activism, Katharine Trendacosta

      • Craig Murray’s Trial: What Happens Next
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Guilbeault’s Gag Order: Government Plans Motion to Stop Bill C-10 Debate

        The appropriate response is for the creator lobby groups who claimed to be ardent supporters of free speech to speak out against a legislative gag order, for opposition parties to say no to a process unworthy of a government that proclaimed that better is always possible, and for the government to live up to those ideals by withdrawing the bill and hitting the reset button.

    • Monopolies

      • European Regulators Announce Antitrust Probes Into Facebook’s Ad Data Collection
      • EU, U.K. Open First Antitrust Probe Into Facebook

        The European Commission said it will investigate whether Facebook misuses a trove of data gathered from advertisers to compete against them in classified ads. It will also check if the company unfairly ties its Marketplace small ad service to the social network.

        At the same time, the U.K said it was opening probes into Facebook’s Marketplace and Dating services hours after Germany’s antitrust watchdog announced a case targeting the Google News Showcase product.

      • EU, U.K. Launch Antitrust Probes Into Facebook Classifieds, Dating Services

        The probes of the social media giant, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were announced by the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust arm, and Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), saying they will look at whether Facebook uses data gathered from advertisers to provide illegal advantages to its own offerings.

      • Copyrights

        • New Triller Lawsuit Targets Young YouTuber For Jake Paul Fight Piracy

          Triller is continuing its pursuit of companies, business entities and individuals who allegedly posted the recent Jake Paul fight online without permission. The latest target is the operator of a small YouTube channel that showed the fight less than 300 times. Nevertheless, Triller is demanding damages that could reach tens of millions of dollars. A lot for what appears to be a very young man.

        • Anti-Piracy Outfits Target Anti-Piracy Company With Questionable DMCA Takedowns

          The CoPeerRight Agency is a French anti-piracy company that’s been around for nearly two decades. Aside from targeting pirated content on P2P networks and video hosting services, the company shares promotional trailers for clients as well. Ironically, many of these authorized videos are taken offline by fellow anti-piracy groups. To stop this abuse, the CoPeerRight Agency calls for more manual verification.

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