Microsoft is Trying to Distract Everybody

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Windows at 6:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The media is helping Microsoft’s vapourware tactics; sadly, over the past few days we saw more than a dozen so-called ‘Linux’ bloggers and vloggers playing along, joining a wave of Googlebombing (interjecting the vapourware into news about Microsoft’s competitors)

JUST as expected a number of days ago, Microsoft bombards every site within its reach (and beyond) with Vista 11 vapourware and other nonsense. Even YouTube channels that typically cover GNU/Linux have fallen for it, not just blogs. It’s like they think a fictional release (that did not even happen yet) should be compared to existing products that are currently available, as we saw in past years. Microsoft always prefers to compare mere promises (or brochures) to actual competitors which have been technically ahead by several years (for a number of decades now).

“Microsoft always prefers to compare mere promises (or brochures) to actual competitors which have been technically ahead by several years (for a number of decades now).”The above video is an offbeat ramble about the sort of things that they may be trying to distract us (through the media) from. There are scandals and blunders going on (here’s a new one), so they try to get us to put blinders on and debate vapourware, not actual news.

“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…

“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft

“Stewart Alsop, industry gadfly, presented Gates with the “Golden Vaporware” award, saying, “The delay of Windows was all part of a secret plan to have Bill turn thirty before it shipped.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Links 26/6/2021: Linux 5.13 Likely Imminent and Huawei Criticised

Posted in News Roundup at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Windows 11 System Requirement is Turning Heads. Time to migrate to Linux?

      Microsoft announced Windows 11 at the official online event. Here’s in this post we brief the Windows 11 system requirement and give you thinking points on whether you should permanently migrate to Linux.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • How I helped my mom switch from Windows to Linux

        About a year ago, I decided to migrate my mom to Linux. A year has passed, so it’s time for retrospection and conclusions.

        Like most of us, I’m officially Mom’s Computer Admin. Mom is a lovely lady in her late 60s—a real sweetheart. Mom’s computer skills are basic. Mom’s computer needs are basic, too. Read the internets, send email, type text, browse and edit photos, play videos and music, call family and friends on Skype or Signal.

        Until last year, she was using a Windows laptop, old but not too bad. Then one day, through deceit, threats, and obnoxious popups, Microsoft finally made her click that dreaded “UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10″ button.

      • 6 Reasons Why You Should Give Linux Another Chance in 2021

        Linux has been around for quite a while now. And while we’re certainly past the days when it was considered unsuitable for home use, there are still lots of people who remain skeptical of what it has to offer in this regard. The operating system is in a pretty good place right now, all things considered.

        But it’s important to have the right expectations when jumping into it. It’s a great system for a wide range of tasks and activities, but there are some things for which Windows—or macOS—remains a better choice.

    • Server

      • The 6 non-negotiable REST architecture constraints

        The term “architectural constraints” refers to the characteristics that an architecture must have to fit the definition of a particular model, such as REST. By adhering to the specific, underlying rules that form the foundation for these architecture constraints, it becomes much easier to understand exactly what makes something “RESTful” — as well as avoid the headache-inducing problems those new to this architectural style often face.

        Unfortunately, many architects continue to allow practices that violate REST principles, yet still believe they’ve mastered RESTful design. However, they would be well-served to learn that there is no way around the basic requirements that define this architecture model.

        Let’s examine the six fundamental REST-based architecture constraints everyone should use to guide a REST-based implementation, including why they are so important and the tactical development and design practices they entail.

      • Will containers kill VMs? There are no winners in this debate

        Reg readers have a reputation as never being short of an opinion. So, it is with more than a little surprise that we must declare our latest debate, on the motion Containers will kill Virtual Machines, was a tie!

    • Kernel Space

      • Huawei dev scolded for pointless Linux kernel code contributions

        Last week, Linux kernel contributor Qu Wenruo scolded another code donor, Zhen Lei, for wasting kernel maintainers’ time with unnecessary patches.

        In a post to Zhen Lei and the rest of the Linux kernel mailing list, Wenruo said he recently found a patch removing a debug out-of-memory error message from a selftest used by btrfs, a file system supported by the Linux kernel.

        “It’s nothing special, some small cleanup work from some kernel newbie,” wrote Wenruo. “But the mail address makes me cautious, ‘@huawei.com’.”

        This is not the first time similar harmless “cleanup” patches have come from Huawei, said Wenruo, who observed those fixes were also “useless.”

        “This makes me wonder, what is really going on here,” he wrote, noting that a quick search found a number of patches to “cleanup” out-of-memory error messages or to fix misspellings.

        Wenruo’s theory is that Zhen Lei submitted this inconsequential patch for Key Performance Indicator (KPI) credit – to do something that gets recognized by an employee performance measurement system as meaningful work.

      • Huawei Proposes In-Kernel Transactional Database For Security Purposes

        While some Huawei engineers are currently facing criticism for submitting superfluous kernel patches in an effort to boost their own or the company’s standing in the kernel community, other engineers at Huawei are working on more substantive kernel patches. Here’s a rather peculiar new patch series out on Friday where a Huawei engineer is effectively proposing an in-kernel transactional database.

        The new proposal is a feature called “Huawei Digest Lists” as an in-kernel database for storing file and metadata digests. The intended use-case would be around integrity measurement (IMA) and exposing the database to user-space through SecurityFS.

      • Linux 5.14 Set To See Many New Features, New GPU Support, Other Exciting Changes

        Linux 5.13 will debut tomorrow if Linus Torvalds is comfortable with the state of the code-base, which in turn will mark the opening of the Linux 5.14 merge window. Here is a look at what is on the table for this next follow-on version of the Linux kernel.

        Linux 5.13 features are quite exciting while as is usually the case, we are already salivating for what should be in Linux 5.14.

      • NVIDIA Proposes The Linux Hardware Timestamping Engine

        A proposal by NVIDIA engineers for the mainline Linux kernel would introduce the Hardware Timestamping Engine (HTE) subsystem.

        This proposal out of NVIDIA is from their Tegra/embedded side rather than their graphics team. This subsystem would offer real-time timestamping through hardware means with the subsystem having the notion of HTE providers and consumers. “This patch series introduces new subsystem called hardware timestamping engine (HTE). It offers functionality such as timestamping through hardware means in realtime. The HTE subsystem centralizes HTE provider and consumers where providers can register themselves with subsystem and the consumers can request interested entity which could be lines, GPIO, signals or buses,” noted NVIDIA’s Dipen Patel.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA DLSS on Linux is straight-up witchcraft and pulls ever closer to Windows | TechRadar

          If you’re a PC gamer you probably use Windows 10 and there’s a strong chance you either own or aspire to own one of the best graphics cards from Nvidia. Windows isn’t the only platform to game on though, and no, we’re not talking about the Mac.

          PC gaming on Linux is growing in popularity and one of the biggest driving forces behind that is Valve. Not only does Steam offer a big selection of native Linux games, but it also has Proton which enables a large array of Windows-only games to play on Linux.

          In the case of Proton, Valve has been working with Nvidia to bring its DLSS magic to Linux gamers and the first fruits of this are now out in the wild. There are only a few games initially and right now it requires a beta driver. But it works. Hoo boy does it work.

    • Applications

      • 15 Excellent Free and Open Source Plotting Tools

        A plotting tool is computer software which helps to analyse and visualize data, often of a scientific nature. Using this type of software, users can generate plots of functions, data and data fits. Software of this nature typically includes additional functionality, such as data analysis functions including curve fitting.

        A good plotting tool is very important for generating professional looking graphics for inclusion in academic papers. However, plotting tools are not just useful for academics, engineers, and scientists. Many users will need to plot graphs for other purposes such as presentations.

        Fortunately, Linux is well endowed with plotting software. There are some heavyweight commercial Linux applications which include plotting functionality.Without access to their source code, you have limited understanding of how the software functions, and how to change it. The license costs are also very expensive. And we are fervent advocates of open source software. The purpose of this article is to help promote open source plotting tools that are available.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 15 excellent plotting tools. Many of the applications are very mature. For example, gnuplot has been in development since the mid-1980s.

        The choice of plotting software may depend on which programming language you prefer. For example, if your leaning towards Python, matplotlib is an ideal candidate as it’s written in, and designed specifically for Python. Whereas, if you’re keen on the R programming language, you’ll probably prefer ggplot2, which is one of the most popular R packages. With good reason, it offers a powerful model of graphics that removes a lot of the difficulty in making complex multi-players graphics. R does come with “base graphics” which are the traditional plotting functions distributed with R. But gpplot2 takes graphics to the next level.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Remote: a little module for more elegant remoting with WebSockets

        Remote1 is a tiny (< 50 lines of code) module that creates a very lightweight façade over a socket connection, using convention over configuration to give you an expressive interface with which to send outgoing messages and handle incoming ones.

      • A couple of Linux top-like programs for network traffic

        I have an enduring interest in programs that give you some sort of top-like view of current network traffic, stemming in part from having our NFS fileservers, an active IMAP server, a sometimes quite used web server, all sorts of NFS clients, and so on. In the shiny future where we have Ubuntu 20.04 and 22.04 machines, this interest will probably be significantly met with eBPF based programs. But for now we’re still mostly on Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.04 doesn’t have good support for eBPF tools, so I have to get by with some old Linux standbys that work through more traditional means.

      • How to Convert File Formats With Pandoc in Linux

        In an earlier article, I covered the procedure to batch convert a handful of Markdown files to HTML using pandoc. In that article, multiple HTML files were created, but pandoc can do much more. It has been called “the Swiss army knife” of document conversion – and with good reason. There isn’t a lot that it can’t do.

        Pandoc can covert .docx, .odt, .html, .epub, LaTeX, DocBook, etc. to these and other formats, such as JATS, TEI Simple, AsciiDoc, and more.

      • How to Create a Sudo User in CentOS/RHEL – TecAdmin

        Sudo allows us to provide superuser privileges to a normal user with restrictions. It allows users to run programs with the privileges of the superuser. You can configure sudo to give root privileges to specific commands only.

      • How To Disable Camera Permanently on Firefox Browser

        To disable camera permanently on Firefox, open the menu button > Preferences > go to Privacy & Security settings > Permissions section > find Camera > click Settings > check Block new requests asking to access your camera > Save Changes > finished. Now every website requiring camera will automatically be blocked to access the camera. For example, it is useful if you often do screen sharing via video conferences but had been disabling manually every camera access so with this trick now you will have it disabled automatically in every conference while all other features like microphone (voice) and text (chat) still work normally. Another important benefit is that now you can disable your camera without putting a sticker to cover it physically. Happy conferencing!

      • Install Audacity 3.0.2 From PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Audacity audio editor and recorder is easy to install in Ubuntu Software via Snap package. For those prefer the classic deb package, the Ubuntu PPA has updated for the latest Audacity 3.0.2.

        Since Audacity 3.0, it requires the development branch of wxWidgets toolkit 3.1.x. However, Ubuntu provides only the stable v3.0 series packages.

        Thanks to Pascal de Bruijn, I’ve successfully built wxWidgets 3.1.3 for Audacity. So the audio editor packages updated for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, and Linux Mint 20.

      • systemd on Linux: Intro and Unit Files

        The first video in the systemd series, covering the basics of Linux init and systemd, including how to create systemd unit files for services.

      • Top 5 Interesting and Funny Commands on Linux (Fun Terminal)

        For a linux user, the terminal or command line is a powerful and important tool for work. A lot of things on linux are done inside the terminal.

        When working on a linux server, the command line shell is the only interface to work with, most of the time. But the terminal is also very textish and a bit non-interesting at time.

        The linux terminal is not always dull and boring. There are commands to make it do some funny acts to entertain the user.

      • How to extract frames from GIFs on Linux

        Got an animated GIF image you wish to extract frames out of on your Linux desktop? Can’t figure out how to do it? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we go over two easy ways to extract frames from GIFs on Linux!

      • Parsing YAML

        This is part of a series of posts on ideas for an Ansible-like provisioning system, implemented in Transilience.

        The time has come for me to try and prototype if it’s possible to load some Transilience roles from Ansible’s YAML instead of Python.

      • How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 21.04 Linux – Linux Concept

        VirtualBox is an Open Source tool, known as a cross-platform virtualization application or software. It used to run multiple operating systems or virtual machines simultaneously on a single hardware.

        In this VirtualBox installation tutorial, we will explain the process to install VirtualBox in Ubuntu 21.04 machine using two different methods. The first method describes the steps to install the latest version of VirtualBox from the Ubuntu repository. The second method will explain the steps to install VirtualBox from the Oracle repository.

        The VirtualBox package is available in the Ubuntu repository, which may is not always the latest version of VirtualBox, as it updated on a time interval. However, if we want to install the latest version of VirtualBox, always use to Oracle repository.

        The same instruction will apply to any other Ubuntu-based distribution like Linux Mint and Elementary OS.

      • How to install and use FFmpeg on Ubuntu 21.04 Linux Operating System – Linux Concept

        The FFmpeg is the most potent and useful command-line tool on Linux system for multimedia files transcoding. You can use FFmpeg to convert multimedia files between various video and audio formats and resize videos. It has multiple audio and video libraries such as libavcode, libavformat, and libavutil.
        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install FFmpeg into Ubuntu 21.04 Linux operating system. Here we will also show you how to install FFmpeg stable and latest version into various Ubuntu distro.
        The same instruction you can use any other Ubuntu-based Linux distribution Operating Systems.

      • understanding thread stack sizes and how alpine is different

        From time to time, somebody reports a bug to some project about their program crashing on Alpine. Usually, one of two things happens: the developer doesn’t care and doesn’t fix the issue, because it works under GNU/Linux, or the developer fixes their program to behave correctly only for the Alpine case, and it remains silently broken on other platforms.

      • Linux: How to send command output to a file – TechRepublic

        If you have a command that outputs a lot of data to the terminal, you might want to send that output to a file for easier (or later) viewing or sharing. Jack Wallen shows you how.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Proton 6.3-5 Released With A Number Of Improvements For Windows Games On Linux

        Valve and their partners have issued a new version of Proton for powering Steam Play to enjoy Windows games on Linux.

        Last week was Proton 6.3-5 RC while now that version has been promoted to stable.

        Proton 6.3-5 has an expanded number of games that should now be playable, including the likes of Civilization VI, Crypt Stalker, Far Cry, Hogs of War, Secret of Mana, Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019, and others. Meanwhile there are rendering improvements too for a number of games including Resident Evil 2/3, Metal Gear Solid V, Bloodstained, Deep Rock Galactic, and Team Sonic Racing.

      • Proton 6.3-5 Adds Support for Civilization VI, Far Cry, Dark Devotion, and More

        Linux gamers rejoice as Proton 6.3-5 is packed with lots of improvements for your favorite games. For starters, it improves video rendering for the Bloodstained, Deep Rock Galactic, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Resident Evil 2 (2019), Resident Evil 3 (2020), and Team Sonic Racing games.

        Then, it adds support for the Crypt Stalker, Dark Devotion, Dorfromantic, Far Cry, Hard Reset, Hogs of War, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, Pro Cycling Manager 2020, Sang Froid – Tales of Werewolves, Secret of Mana, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, and Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019 games, which you can now play on your Linux box.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 5 is Just Around the Corner, Coming with Exciting New Features

          Are you curious about Krita 5? Take a sneak peek at what’s coming in the next major version of this free drawing software.

          Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It is a raster graphics editor designed primarily for digital painting and 2D animation. Krita demonstrate a variety of details which make the creation of gorgeous paintings easier.

          With the release of Krita 4.4.5 earlier this month, all eyes are now focused on the forthcoming Krita 5 release, which is expected to be released in August.

          Krita 5 has a new look with more readable and useful icons. It is packed with new features such as the new animation timeline docker, import video animations and much more.

        • This week in KDE: Post-Akademy bug blitz

          KDE’s annual Akademy conference was held last week, and we’re all kind of still recovering. Nonetheness, we manages to do all kinds of useful work, including a major new Konsole feature and a number of Wayland bugfixes…


          Konsole no longer sometimes crashes when text is zoomed or reflowed (Luis Javier Merino Morán, Konsole 21.08)

          System Settings’ new Quick Settings no longer gets truncated on the bottom when the screen size is very small; it now becomes scrollable instead (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22.2)

          When using Activities in the Plasma Wayland session, new windows are now created in the current Activity, rather than in all Activities (Xaver Hugl, Plasma 5.22.2)

          Hitting the Meta+V shortcut to show the clipboard history in a pop-up menu no longer crashes Plasma when using certain multi-screen arrangements (Felipe Kinoshita, Plasma 5.22.3)

          In the Plasma Wayland session, window rules related to Activities now work (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.22.3)

          In the Plasma Wayland session, the Activity Switcher sidebar now always works (David Redondo, Plasma 5.23)

          Fixed the most common crash in the Plasma calendar (David Edmundson, Frameworks 5.84)

        • KDE Pushes More Plasma Wayland Improvements, Plug-in System For The Konsole

          Even with Akademy 2021 this week as the annual KDE developer conference, thanks in part to it being a virtual event the KDE developers still managed to remain quite productive on new code changes.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekly status report on the happenings for this open-source desktop. During Akademy week there still were Wayland improvements and more…

        • GSoC 2021 KMyMoney – Week 1 and 2

          A significant part of my project is to work on improvements. While starting the project I found that the above UI and the functionality part to create the online quotes page is already written in the libalkimia (master). After implementing the page I noticed a crash when there was some interaction done on the UI buttons or textboxes. By this, I initially thought that it may be due to some slot. Also, the online quotes data weren’t visible on the online quotes that were in the kmymoneyrc config file. I fetched the traceback through the Dr Konqi wizard. It was due to a segmentation fault in a slot. I traced the specified line of code in the log. It pointed me to the function which is used to read the kmymoneyrc file.


          My week 3 and week 4 is planned for writing unit tests. But, in the community bonding meet, Ralf sir said to me that tests are already written. So, I will be running those tests and working on that if something is missing. Also, the “add quote source” button seems disabled that is need to be figured out.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Internet Radio Locator version 11.12 with GeoClue 2.0 Location Services

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11 for GNOME 40 is a Free Software program that allows you to easily locate Free Internet Radio stations by broadcasters on the Internet with the help of map and text search.

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11 for GNOME 40 is developed on the GNOME 40 desktop platform with GNOME Maps, GeoClue, libchamplain and geocode-lib and it requires at least GTK+ 3.0 and GStreamer 1.0 for audio playback.

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11 for GNOME 40 is available with map marker popups for Internet radio stations in 110 world cities as well as text-based location search for 187 Internet Radio stations in 102 world cities.

          You can either zoom/click on the map marker popups to listen to a station or enter city names in the GUI search input field in order to locate radio stations in the city using the text search with auto-completion.

          Wait a few seconds to see your current location on the map in the GNOME Internet Radio Locator application.

          You must enable Location Services to run GNOME Internet Radio Locator 11.

          To enable Location Services in GNOME 40, navigate to the Settings app and choose Privacy/Location Services and make sure Location Services is checked.

        • Manuel Genovés: GSoC update – designing an animation API

          Based on that and on talks with both my mentor (Alexander) and Jonas Dreßler (an experienced GNOME Shell developer who has fought with animation API designing before) I’ve come with the following UML diagram…

        • Everyone Struggles

          I am almost at the end of the third week of my Outreachy internship and the journey has been nothing but phenomenal so far! I’ve learned so many new things! Outreachy has been a journey filled with learning for me, right from the contribution period. This was my first time contributing to open source and was confused by a lot of things.

          Though I have sufficient knowledge of all the required technology stack like Git, JavaScript and Python. It still took me few days to understand what was going on in the community “how the open source contribution works”, “how to make the first contribution” and the list goes on..! To get started, I joined the GNOME matrix channel, introduced myself and started interacting. All the community people were really helpful and suggested me some issues to start with(basically to gain the confidence) and then slowly guided me towards some more technical issues.

          Talking about the vocabulary term, Do you know what AST is? Because I didn’t. It scared me at first. My first response after hearing this keyword was “What!, Another thing to add in the list of unknowns.”. Later it turned out to be a familiar word from compiler design.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD To See Better Low-Level Lock Performance When Heavily Contested

          Software running on DragonFlyBSD and making use of pthreads is set to see better performance around low-level locks when heavily contested.

          This commit has the details on the change by DragonFlyBSD founder Matthew Dillon. But long story short pthreads-using software should benefit from this low-level lock performance improvement.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Flatpak for Beginners: An Introduction to Downloading Software With Flatpak

          Linux newbies are in for a treat since they can install packages while saving time and effort. Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, was the first to implement snaps, a cross-distribution dependency-free software.

          With Snap came Flatpak, another universal packaging system, written in C. Considered a package management utility, it allows a user to install and run applications in an isolated environment.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-25

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          Don’t forget to take the Annual Fedora Survey and claim your badge! Fedora Linux 35 System-Wide Change proposals are due Tuesday.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • CentOS Stream vs. CentOS Linux: Red Hat Explains the Differences | IT Pro

          At the recent Red Hat Summit 2021, the company gave developers everything they needed to assess CentOS Stream vs. CentOS Linux.

        • List of Top 5 CentOS Linux Alternatives 2021

          Red Hat recently announced that CentOS Linux is to be terminated and all the focus and energy will be shifted towards the development of CentOS Stream. While ecosystem developers are happy with the announcement as CentOS Stream is mainly a platform for upstream development, CentOS Linux users have already searching for a viable alternative to CentOS.

          In this article, we will discover and analyze the various CentOS Linux alternatives and their features.

      • Debian Family

        • Pranav Jain & Debian, DebConf, unfair rent boy rumors

          In our last blog, we looked at the Ubuntu/Canonical employee Lucas Kanashiro coming into Debian as a mentor and having a relationship with an intern. Out of fairness, we need to look at other relationships too.


          Pranav was appointed as an administrator shortly after this meeting but the Debian Project Leader did not revise the delegation email naming the administrators until one year later, effectively making it harder for other candidates and observers to know about Pranav’s role. These hidden conflicts of interest are very common in Debian, people see it as a game pretending to be open and transparent.

          Nonetheless, Google found out and got really mad. They wanted to expel both Pranav and Minkush but it looks like Chris Lamb and Molly de Blanc did a lot of backstabbing to make it look like somebody else was responsible. This is scapegoating. Molly de Blanc was no less guilty than anybody else in this affair. At the time, other mentors and Google were not informed that Chris Lamb and Molly de Blanc were in that relationship. Lamb used his position as DPL to defend his girlfriend in the eyes of Google.

          Nonetheless, there is another big question to answer: what does Pranav Jain actually do in Debian?


          Many more experienced developers never receive a travel grant for DebConf. Why has this young man from a developing country become so popular, receiving his tickets just as easily as the young women from developing countries?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Free 3D software Blender with enterprise support from Canonical

          Anyone who wants to use Blender in their company can in future purchase a package with professional support from Canonical. It is the LTS version of the 3D software. In addition to the guaranteed security updates, Canonical particularly emphasizes direct customer contact with technical questions from the infrastructure to the application itself.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Coreboot Is Ridding Its Need For Intel’s FSP-T Blob

        Coreboot making progress on its temporary RAM initialization code (cache as RAM) means that its usage of the FSP-T binary blob is increasingly unnecessary.

        Thanks to work by consulting firm 9elements Cyber Security, it’s now possible with Coreboot to get open-source cache as RAM (CAR) code working even if using Intel BootGuard. This working open-source code thereby makes Intel’s FSP-T binary more redundant and thus can be avoided for an increasing amount of Intel hardware out there. FSP-T is still needed for some platforms like Skylake-SP, Cooperlake-SP, and Denverton-NS for FSP-T’s other hardware initialization bits.

      • Events

        • KDE Akademy 2021 Recap

          Yesterday night KDE Akademy 2021 ended after eight fun and productive days filled with talks, BoFs, workshops, discussions and meetings with old and new friends.

        • elementary Developer Week 2021

          For years we’ve dreamed about creating a conference for open source app developers. There are conferences for the people already on the inside—the ones building platforms and big first-party apps, but we’re bringing in those on the outside to include them in the process. This conference is our way of reaching out to app developers, sharing the knowledge we’ve all collected over the years, and providing a space to ask questions and provide feedback.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Digital transformation, changes in the database market drive Postgres growth

          Anyone looking at the history of the open-source relational database management system Postgres, which dates back to the 1970s with Ingres, would expect an outdated technology, no longer in use today. It turns out that the recent acceleration of digital transformation and changes in the database market, as well as product innovations themselves, have made it more current than ever – and growing rapidly.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Collabora Online Community Roundup #11 [Ed: After taking money from Microsoft the Collabora company outsourced to Microsoft's proprietary software trap/prison]

          On 1 October 2020, Collabora Online moved to its new home on GitHub, and started settling in the new infrastructure, expanding its fantastic community, and continuing the work to deliver the latest and greatest developments in productivity and collaboration together. Check our community website for all the details!

      • Education

        • The pandemic showed remote proctoring to be worse than useless

          But rather than rethinking assessment, educational institutions doubled down on remote proctoring, throwing stupendous sums at companies that made outrageous promises about their ability to automatically detect cheating with “AI.”

          While this threw every student into a meat-grinder of opaque algorithmic cruelty, not every student suffered equally. In “Rejecting Test Surveillance in Higher Education,” Georgetown Law’s Lindsey Barrett describes the unequal and disproportionate harms.

      • Programming/Development

        • On tail calls and register allocation

          Josh Haberman has a blog post on using tail calls to speed up interpreters and parsers, with protobuf (upb) as a case study. It’s a brilliant insight, and I believe one of the most significant developments of high-performance C over the last decade. (The super-short TL;DR is to use the argument registers as fixed storage for important variables, and write each function so that it essentially becomes a basic block with no prologue. It’s mostly applicable for code where you have very complex and unpredictable control flow stemming from input data, where the compiler’s register allocation and basic block layout generally doesn’t do too well.) However, there are some practical considerations around register allocation that I don’t believe Haberman addresses fully, so I’d like to expand a bit.

          The background is that Rune Holm wrote a series of interpreters for a toy bytecode language, as investigations for the https://github.com/captain-amygdala/pistorm (based on Musashi). It turned out that the tail call technique worked great for x86 and Aarch64 (Apple M1), but much worse on the target platform of Cortex A53 (in 32-bit mode).

          It turns out that the tail call technique requires the compiler to never ever use a callee-saved register; if you used e.g. r5, the Arm EABI requires you to save that so that it’s preserved as viewed from the caller, and then you get the function prologue that you wanted to avoid. Now, the caller doesn’t care much about r5, since it’s just tail-calling into you anyway, but the compiler cannot know that; the ABI generally has to be followed.

        • RapidDisk 7.2.1 now available

          RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Promotion: Knight’s Challenge

            A coding puzzle for “The Weekly Challenge ‐ Perl & Raku” I made has been released this week!

            You have 46- hours to play with it if you align with official deadline. It probably spends you 2~5 hours in this weekend. Beware! Doing the bonus part may spend you a block of extra 2 hours or more.

            I wish more people will participate and show different approaches to the task. (And, may the participant gives me some feedback as a puzzle creator?)

        • Python

          • The State of Python Packaging in 2021 | Bastian Venthur’s Blog

            Every year or so, I revisit the current best practices for Python packaging. I.e. the way you’re supposed to distribute your Python packages. The main source is packaging.python.org where the official packaging guidelines are. It is worth noting that the way you’re supposed to package your Python applications is not defined by Python or its maintainers, but rather delegated to a separate entity, the Python Packaging Authority (PyPA).

  • Leftovers

    • Toasting Our Destruction
    • The Development of Robert Moses

      New York City Parks Commissioner, City Construction Coordinator, and head of multiple city and state agencies and public authorities, as well as Secretary of State of New York in the 1920s, Moses left a monumental, and monumentally toxic, legacy. To be sure, no brief introduction to Moses life and work can adequately describe the unjust and ecocidal mess he’s fixed in place in the layout of streets, in steel and concrete, in highways, buildings, and bridges, in the New York metropolitan region and beyond.

      If you’ve ever visited Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan, or Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, or Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, or Lake Belmont State Park in Long Island and wondered why these parks, among many others across the New York metropolitan area, all have multi-lane highways thundering through them, spreading noise pollution, in addition to poisoning the air in spaces ostensibly dedicated to distance from such forces, the answer is: because Robert Moses, crusader of “progress, growth and development,” wanted it that way.

    • #FreeBritney Is Damn Right

      The law has failed Britney Spears. The nearly 40-year-old celebrity has been locked in a “conservatorship”—which is the state of California’s word for a “legal guardianship” designed for the very old, very young, or mentally incapacitated—for 13 years, against her will. That conservatorship, controlled by her father, again, against her will, has been allowed to control Spears’s life in minute detail—including allegedly forcing unwanted birth control upon her—and none of the lawyers or judges involved has done a damn thing to stop it. Spears appeared in court, via telephone, this week to voice her objections to her continued conservatorship, and her story should lead to immediate lawmaking and change.

    • What Might the World Be Like in 2040?

      “During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the world of its fragility and demonstrated the inherent risks of high levels of interdependence,” notes the report in its introduction. Not surprisingly, given that we’ve been living through the most significant global disruption since WW2, GT2040 paints a rather dark picture of what lies ahead.

      “In coming years and decades, the world will face more intense and cascading global challenges ranging from disease to climate change to the disruptions from new technologies and financial crises. These challenges will repeatedly test the resilience and adaptability of communities, states, and the international system, often exceeding the capacity of existing systems and models. This looming disequilibrium between existing and future challenges and the ability of institutions and systems to respond is likely to grow and produce greater contestation at every level.” As a NY Times editorial observed, “Experts in Washington who have read these reports said they do not recall a gloomier one.”

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Analysis Interminable: On Janet Malcolm

        Early last week I was lying prone on my couch reading a passage from Janet Malcolm’s 1980 book-length report on characters in and around the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession, to my boyfriend as he sat behind me in an armchair. The passage I read introduces an analyst who is given the pseudonym Gregory Cross. As with so many of Malcolm’s characters (“subjects” never seem like the right word, although she was a journalist by trade), our first glimpse of Cross is hinted at by the manner of the room in which we find him: his consultation area, which “had the harsh and anguished modernity of the rooms in paintings of Francis Bacon.” Such observations culminate in a withering evaluation of his person: “He was a man without charm, without ease, without conceit or vanity, and with a kind of excruciating, prodding, twitching honesty that was like an intractable skin disorder.”

      • Examining the Origins of Covid-19 and Preventing Future Pandemics

        Where did COVID-19 come from? The source of the pandemic is a subject of immense importance. But more than 18 months after the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), the question of the pathogen’s origin remains unsettled. More transparency and clarity on the debate could help to resolve the source of the virus and also head off future pandemics.

      • Dire Warnings as Covid Delta Variant Runs Rampant in Unvaccinated Missouri

        First detected in India and now present in at least 80 countries across the globe, the ultra-contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 is now running rampant through communities in the United States, with the most devastating impacts occurring in areas with low vaccination rates.

        Missouri—where less than half of the population over the age of 18 has been fully inoculated—has emerged as the U.S. hot spot for the Delta strain, which officials say is fueling the alarming surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations that the state has experienced in recent weeks even as cases decline in the U.S. as a whole. Missouri currently has the highest rate of new Covid-19 infections in the country.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • From Code Quality to Total Security

          Poor code quality is actually a widespread problem and quite a bit of evidence supports the claim that bad coding practices lead directly to vulnerabilities. While this isn’t new, perhaps the first time that people truly became aware of it was in 2001 when the Code Red worm exploited a buffer overflow attack on Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS)…

        • I Will Never Use a Microsoft Account to Log Into My Own PC
        • “I’m totally screwed.” WD My Book Live users wake up to find their data deleted
        • MyBook Users Urged to Unplug Devices from Internet

          Hard drive giant Western Digital is urging users of its MyBook Live brand of network storage drives to disconnect them from the Internet, warning that malicious hackers are remotely wiping the drives using a critical flaw that can be triggered by anyone who knows the Internet address of an affected device.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Federal Judge Says FBI Obtained Twitter Employee’s Emails Illegally

              In late 2019, the federal government indicted a Twitter employee, accusing him of acting as an agent of Saudi government. The allegations were pretty ugly.

            • Clearview Forbids Users From Scraping Its Database Of Images It Scraped From Thousands Of Websites

              Clearview continues to dominate the “Most Hated” category in the facial recognition tech games. And with Amazon tossing aside its “Rekognition” program for the time being (it’s spelled with a K because the AI tried to spell “recognition” correctly and failed), Clearview has opened up what could be an insurmountable lead.

            • Decoding California’s New Digital Vaccine Records and Potential Dangers

              First, with minimal effort, businesses could use the information in the vaccination record to track the time and place of our comings and goings, pool that information with other businesses, and sell these dossiers of our movements to the government. We shouldn’t have to submit to a new surveillance technology that threatens pervasive tracking of our movements in public places to return to normal life.

              Second, we’re concerned that the Digital Vaccine Record might become something that enables a system of Digital Vaccine Bouncers that limit access to life’s necessities and amplify inequities for people who legitimately cannot get a vaccine. It’s good that California has not, at least so far, created any infrastructure to make it easy to turn vaccination status into a surveillance system that magnifies inequities.

              We do not object per se to another feature of California’s new Digital Vaccine Record: the display on one’s phone screen, in human-readable form, of the information on one’s paper vaccine card. Some people may find this to be a helpful way to store their vaccine card and present it to businesses. Unlike a QR code, such a digital record system does not readily lend itself to the automated collection, retention, use, and sharing of our personal information. In terms of fraud, there are laws in place where it is a crime to present a false vaccination record already, but there is little accountability for our data.

            • [VISUAL] The Overlapping Infrastructure of Urban Surveillance, and How to Fix It

              But if you could take a cross-section of the average city block, you would see the ways that the built environment of surveillance—its physical presence in, over, and under our cities—makes this an entwined problem that must be combatted through entwined solutions.

              Thus, we decided to create a graphic to show how—from overhead to underground—these technologies and legal authorities overlap, how they disproportionately impact the lives of marginalized communities, and the tools we have at our disposal to halt or mitigate their harms.

            • Banning Surveillance-Based Advertising

              The Norwegian Consumer Council just published a fantastic new report: “Time to Ban Surveillance-Based Advertising.” From the Introduction: [...]

            • Time To Ban Surveillance-Based Advertising

              It is becoming clear that a majority of consumers do not want to be tracked and profiled for advertising purposes. In a population survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Norwegian Consumer Council, just one out of ten respondents were positive to commercial actors collecting personal information about them online, while only one out of five thought that serving ads based on personal information is acceptable. This resembles similar surveys from both sides of the Atlantic, and indicates that consumers do not regard commercial surveillance as an acceptable trade-off for the possibility of seeing tailored ads.

            • „Battlefield information“: EU police to cooperate more closely with secret services and military

              Authorities in the European Union use biometric data and crime scene evidence from Iraq and Syria to process war crimes, secretly track suspects and control migration. Now the procedure is to be extended to African countries.

            • [Old] Edward Snowden Hails Court Ruling as Progress on Acknowledging ‘Devastation’ of Mass Surveillance

              On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)—in Big Brother Watch and Others v. the United Kingdom—upheld a 2018 ruling by the court’s lower chamber, determining that mass surveillance by the British government breached human rights laws under the European Convention aimed at safeguarding Europeans’ rights to privacy.

              The court’s 17 judges unanimously agreed that the mining of billions of calls, emails, text messages and other data by British intelligence services lacked the independent scrutiny to protect the right to privacy and freedom of expression.

              However, most of the judges allowed for the continued sharing of intercepted digital communications with foreign governments or intelligence agencies.

            • [Old] EFF 30 Fireside Chat Surveillance, With Edward Snowden (transcript)

              This is being provided in a rough-draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

            • EFF 30 Fireside Chat Surveillance, With Edward Snowden

              In this livestream conversation, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joins EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, EFF Director of Engineering for Certbot Alexis Hancock, and EFF Policy Analyst Matthew Guariglia as they weigh in on surveillance in modern culture, activism, and the future of privacy.

            • [Old] Danish public broadcaster reveals ongoing NSA spying on top EU officials

              On Monday evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron protested official revelations of electronic spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA), aided by Danish intelligence, targeting top German, French, Norwegian and Swedish officials. The targets included Merkel, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and former social-democratic chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • It’s Time to Talk About Michael Flynn and His Cronies
      • Meet the Dad Who Tricked Ex-NRA Head Into “Graduation Speech” for Empty Chairs
      • Nicaragua, July 4, 1986: Field Notes From a “Secret” War
      • UN General Assembly Once More Announces US Blockade of Cuba

        All along, the United States and Israel have opposed the resolution, alone on ten occasions, especially since 2010. One or two other nations occasionally joined them, often the U.S. dependencies Palau and the Marshall Islands.

        Prior to the vote this year, representatives of national delegations, some representing regional alliances, testified against the blockade. Many gave high praise to Cuba’s international outreach in providing medical care in dozens of countries and welcoming at no personal cost tens of thousands of students from the Global South into Cuban medical schools. They applauded Cuba’s accomplishment of producing vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, despite restrictions imposed by the blockade. Speakers offered critiques on grounds of cruelty, immorality, and/or violation of international law.

      • Henry Kissinger’s Famous Diplomacy Achieved Nothing

        He has been honored for two things: establishing relations with the People’s Republic of China and negotiating peace in Vietnam. Next month is the fiftieth anniversary of the former, so it is a good time to take a cold look at both these events.

        The opening to China

      • Dividing the World Into Opposing Camps Is the Road to Armageddon

        The leaders of the Western world—meeting first as the G7 powers in Cornwall, England, on June 11-13 and then as the NATO members in Brussels on June 14—did not exactly initiate Cold War II. However, they did lay the necessary groundwork by describing a world divided along fundamental ideological lines.

      • The Einsatzgruppen Were Militarized Police

        Here in the United States we are well versed in the folklore and stories of the actions, tragedies and victories that emerged from the War In Western Europe during WWII, but we are much less aware of the magnitude of the Russian (Soviet Union) contribution made, and sacrifices suffered, to secure victory for the Allies (the “United Nations”) in May 1945. Without diminishing the dedicated, painful and heroic contributions of the U.S.A, and its Allies, it is nevertheless a fact that, by and large, Nazi Germany (and its fascist Eastern European allies and proxies) was defeated by Russian guns carried forward by an ocean of Russian blood, and the Russian state and the Red Army were fed large transfusions of American military supplies to supplement their own industrialized war machine.

        Hitler had planned Operation Barbarossa not merely as a war of armed political conflict and territorial conquest, but as a war of annihilation: Jews, and Communists with any degree of political or administrative power, were to be killed. The Nazi’s estimated (in written reports) that the number of Jews they wished to eliminate from Europe totaled 11 million. Specialized militarized “death squad” troop were formed to execute Jews (primarily) as Nazi armies raced eastward through Poland (from 1 September 1939) and then during Operation Barbarossa into the Baltic States (which Stalin had recently annexed), Western Russia (nearly up to Moscow), the Ukraine, Crimea and Southern Russia (as far as Stalingrad = Volgograd). Those death squad troops were call the Einsatzgruppen.

      • Meatball Subs, Not Nuclear Subs: Or How to Deliver 16,128 Hiroshimas

        Naval Submarine Base New London stretches along the east side of the Thames River, straddling the towns of Groton and Ledyard. Occupying at least 680 acres, the base has more than 160 major facilities. The 15 subs based there are the largest contingent in the nation. They’re manufactured just down the river at Electric Boat/General Dynamics, which once built the Polaris and Trident nuclear submarines, employs more than 12,000 people in our region, and is planning to hire another 2,400 this year to meet a striking “demand” for the newest version of such subs.

        Some readers might already be asking themselves: Are submarines still a thing? Do we really still put men (and women) far beneath the ocean’s surface in a giant metal tube, ready to launch a nuclear first strike at a moment’s notice? At a time when the greatest threats to human life may be viruses hidden in our own exhales, our infrastructure is crumbling, and so much else is going wrong, are we really spending billions of dollars on submarines?

      • As Chauvin Sentenced, George Floyd’s Family, Advocates Call for Systemic Policing Reform

        While welcoming the accountability represented by Friday’s sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to over 22 years behind bars for the murder of George Floyd last year, progressive lawmakers and racial justice advocates joined relatives of the slain unarmed Black man in demanding systemic policing reforms.

        “Justice means stopping police violence before it happens, not merely punishing individual police officers for it once it’s done.”—Rashad Robinson, Color of Change

      • Chauvin Gets 22.5 Years for Murder of George Floyd

        Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in April of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, outside a convenience store in May 2020 was sentenced Friday afternoon to 22.5 years in prison.

        “Justice is about more than a single sentence or a single verdict: Justice would mean George Floyd was still alive today.”—Ben Feist, ACLU of Minnesota

      • Bombing Afghanistan After the Troops are Gone

        I confess I did a double-take reading this apparent mucking up of the chain of command. We all knew that military bigwigs become rebellious when told to wind down a war. We got a display of that when Trump tried to pull troops out of Syria – and that’s just what we mere mortals read about in the press. Who knows what temper-tantrums exploded behind closed doors at the Pentagon? But still, going to the media with promises to continue Afghan bombing after Biden withdraws the troops, well, that seemed excessive. But then the article made clear that this bombing post-military-adieu debate has old roots: It has been under discussion, probably for years, ever since the U.S. realized it couldn’t win and would have to retreat. And of course, these nameless sources could well have spoken with Biden’s blessing. We plebs have no way of knowing.

        Particularly repulsive was the Times’ eagerness to provide these anonymous officials with a platform – essentially putting their views on equal footing with stated U.S. policy, namely ending the war. But that was the whole point of the exercise, right? To show that when it comes to dragging out a 20-year war that has killed thousands of American soldiers, thousands of Afghans and cost trillions of dollars, military bureaucrats are in the driver’s seat, regardless of official white house policy. Frankly, the whole display was sickening.

      • Revealed: How the CIA Turned Afghanistan into a Failed Narco-State

        The COVID-19 pandemic has been a death knell to so many industries in Afghanistan. Charities and aid agencies have even warned that the economic dislocation could spark widespread famine. But one sector is still booming: the illicit opium trade. Last year saw Afghan opium poppy cultivation grow by over a third while counter-narcotics operations dropped off a cliff. The country is said to be the source of over 90% of all the world’s illicit opium, from which heroin and other opioids are made. More land is under cultivation for opium in Afghanistan than is used for coca production across all of Latin America, with the creation of the drug said to directly employ around half a million people.

      • Civil War in Afghanistan Will Threaten Afghanistan, China and Pakistan

        Civil War

        There are two forms of war that exist in Afghanistan.

      • Onward, Marxist Soldiers: Critical Race Theory Comes to the Pentagon

        Until May 14, Col. Lohmeier headed the 11th Space Warning Squad at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado.  He was relieved of his command in May after appearing on the conservative podcast “Information Operation” (May 7, 2021) during which he warned of the growth of Marxism in the armed forces in the guise of Critical Race Theory.  A spokesperson for Space Force said that Colonel Lohmeier’s demotion was prompted by “loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead.”  (Translation: the guy’s a nut.)  Lohmeier’s future in Space Force is now uncertain.

        Prominent Republicans blasted the decision to remove Colonel Lohmeier from command.  Congressman Matt Gaetz (yes, that Matt Gaetz) tweeted that “Lt. Col. Lohmeier is a Patriot telling the truth about the attempted wokeification of our military—and worse.  His demotion is clearly retaliatory.’”

      • Wikipedia and the Military-Intelligence Complex: How the Free Encyclopedia Feeds the National Security State from Which It Emerged

        Wikipedia is part of the very internet developed by the military with public money in the 1950s-60s, then called ARPANET. Generally speaking, corporations hope that the systems developed in the military that evolve in the public-corporate realm—satellites, computers, data analysis, etc.—will inspire new military-intelligence innovations in a permanent feedback loop.

        In 2003, the CIA’s Director of Central Intelligence established the Galileo Awards Program to inspire those in the intelligence community to submit unclassified papers to shape the CIA’s adaptive capacities to cope in the information age. One partly-declassified report from 2004 states that times have changed and that the CIA now exists in a real-time information environment.

      • New Details Suggest Senior Trump Aides Knew Jan. 6 Rally Could Get Chaotic

        On Dec. 19, President Donald Trump blasted out a tweet to his 88 million followers, inviting supporters to Washington for a “wild” protest.

        Earlier that week, one of his senior advisers had released a 36-page report alleging significant evidence of election fraud that could reverse Joe Biden’s victory. “A great report,” Trump wrote. “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

      • Afghan President Ghani Visits White House as His Government Nears Collapse

        The Taliban have continued seizing districts in Afghanistan ahead of the U.S. military pullout set for September 11, now holding twice as much territory as they did two months ago. According to a Wall Street Journal report, U.S. intelligence agencies believe the government of Afghanistan could collapse within six months of the U.S. withdrawal. The Biden administration is reportedly planning to keep 650 troops in Afghanistan after the September 11 deadline, and the U.S. is also looking for nearby military bases for future aerial bombings and other operations. Afghan American scholar Zaher Wahab says Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who is meeting with President Joe Biden this week, is “terribly isolated, out of touch and without much support” as the government continues to lose ground. “The situation in Afghanistan seems to be unraveling rather fast,” says Wahab.

      • A Political Solution Is the Only Way: Crisis Escalates in Ethiopia Amid War, Famine & Elections

        An Ethiopian military bombing of a marketplace in the Tigray region killed at least 64 people in one of the deadliest attacks since government forces invaded the region last November. The bombing came just a day after Ethiopians voted in national and regional elections, but polls could not open in some areas due to ongoing fighting. The country is still waiting for results that will determine if the ruling coalition, led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, stays in power. Thousands of people have been killed, and an estimated 2 million people have been displaced, since Ahmed ordered the Ethiopian military to invade Tigray, which is home to Ethiopia’s former governing party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The invasion has led to massive food shortages, with aid groups warning 350,000 people in Tigray are on the brink of famine. “Both the famine and the bombing are not separate things from what has been happening in Tigray for the last eight months,” says Ethiopian journalist Tsedale Lemma, who says what was cast as a minor “enforcement” action has “morphed into a civil war” with no clear resolution. “The war is not ending. There is no end in sight,” says Lemma.

      • Chauvin Is Sentenced to 22.5 Years. But Who Killed Winston Smith?

        Minneapolis, Minn.—Hours before Derek Chauvin is set to be sentenced, George Floyd Square is filled with families. More than two months have passed since a crowd gathered in the protest zone for Chauvin’s guilty verdict—a court ruling that, despite a staggering amount of video footage and personal and expert testimony, was far from a given. The square was held as a pedestrian-only space until recently.

      • Meet the Father Who Tricked Ex-NRA Head into Addressing 3,044 Empty Chairs for Gun Violence Victims

        The parents of a student killed in the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School duped a former president of the National Rifle Association into giving a high school graduation speech defending gun rights in front of 3,044 empty white chairs — one chair for each student who could not graduate this year because they were killed by gun violence. David Keene, who still serves on the NRA board, thought he was giving a rehearsal speech for graduating students at the James Madison Academy in Las Vegas, but no such school exists. Video of the speech was turned into a viral video promoting universal background checks. The stunt was organized by the group Change the Ref, which was founded by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin was shot dead in the Parkland, Florida, massacre. Manuel Oliver says the video has led to an outpouring of support from across the U.S. “We need to do these more often, because it shows that the NRA, the gun industry and the gun lobby are not as powerful as they say,” he says.

      • 5 Marvels Of History That Got Trashed By Morons

        Yes, the statues survived more than a millennium of Afghanistan shenanigans, including Genghis Khan sacking Bamiyan and the Mughal emperor Babur ordering that they be beheaded. Then came the Taliban. The statues were idols, declared the Taliban, and therefore had to be destroyed in the name of Islam.

        Objections came from all over the world, including all over the Islamic world — Muslims in general saw no threat from the statues, and there had in fact been no Buddhists in Afghanistan to even worship at Bamiyan for almost a thousand years. But still, the Taliban figured the giant symbols of a culture other than theirs had to go. They blew the statues up. Plain dynamite didn’t do the trick, so a combination of explosives packed into holes, mines, and rockets had to bring them both down.

    • Environment

      • House Passes Resolution to Reverse ‘Reckless’ Trump-Era Methane Rule

        Progressive advocates celebrated the U.S. House’s passage Friday of a resolution to reinstate federal regulations on methane pollution, while also emphasizing that confronting the climate emergency requires implementing stronger safeguards.

        “Friday’s vote brings us one step closer to undoing the Trump administration’s reckless assaults on vital climate and public health protections.”—Mahyar Sorour, Sierra Club

      • Sizzling in the South: Gulf Coast Communities Fight for Equitable Climate Solutions
      • ‘We Are in a Climate Emergency’: As Temps Soar, Over 90% of Western US Gripped by Drought

        Over 90% of the U.S. West is currently experiencing drought, federal authorities said Thursday, amid warnings of “unprecedented and dangerous heat” heading to the Pacific Northwest and fresh declarations that  humanity is in the midst of a climate emergency.

        According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 91% of the western region is in some level of drought, affecting over 58 million people. That includes nearly 56% of the region being in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, the monitor’s most severe classifications.

      • The Paths of Justice for Berta Cáceres

        The crime against our mother, Berta, occurred within the context of impunity and violence against land defenders. Early on March 3, 2016, government officials publicly asserted that the murder was a common crime, offering no evidence. But the murderers of Berta Cáceres have names—at the time, they were shareholders in DESA [the company that was building the hydroelectric project she and the Lenca communities opposed]. Today DESA remains only in name, a name stained with blood.

        From the point of view of Berta’s friends and family, justice is profound: it is built by the peoples, in the communities, by moving forward in their projects to defend life and the future. It is also built by demanding that the justice institutions do their job.

      • Infrastructure Wars II: On the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

        Spring turned to summer, under looming imperatives for action to implement “Green New Deal”-style federal policies, for recovery from the pandemic crash, and for general purposes of surviving increasingly grim prospects for democracy.  Crucial months were consumed in patently fruitless negotiations between the Biden administration and the GOP death cult.  Now the idea of broader frames is truly emergent.

        The debate over “infrastructure” was rapidly enclosured – reframed by corporate power for their profits – as if it were merely about evaluation of the Biden administration.  To be meaningful, which it really should be – this being our lives, our water and all – the conversation (as I argued in “Infrastructure Wars”) simply has to be broader and deeper than that!  So let’s try again.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Brazilian Native Peoples Are at Risk of Losing Their Reservations

          The anti-government protestors also demanded the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for his mismanagement of the pandemic, which has already claimed 500,000 lives. They also appealed for more vaccines and an increase in emergency assistance.

          “Bolsonaro represents the Genocide and Ecocide of Brazil,” tweeted Sonia Guajajara, the Executive Coordinator of the Articulation of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples (APIB). She posted her statement while attending one of the weekend marches in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. “#ForaBolsonaro (#OutBolsonaro) now, we can’t wait! We come together on #19J (June 19) for life, vaccination, and guaranteed rights!” She added, “#Demarcaçāojá,” which translates to #DemarcationNow, alluding to indigenous peoples’ Constitutional right to establish reservations.

        • We Can’t Fireproof Fire-Dependent Forests, But We can Fireproof Homes

          Researchers from the Universities of Montana and Wyoming recently published findings that show wildfires are burning more high-elevation forests now than at any time over the last 2,000 years. Couple this with the fact that humans cause between 80-90 percent of wildfires, and the logical conclusion is that we urgently need to protect forests and stop burning fossil fuels.

          Meanwhile, some lawmakers, federal and state agencies, and timber industry proponents claim that wildfires can be—and must be—stopped by more logging. The tired refrain goes that fires won’t burn if we just suspend environmental safeguards and allow tree “thinning” and associated road construction across vast landscapes. Of course, fires do not burn without fuel and decades of fire suppression have prevented fire from playing its natural role, in some ecosystems more than others. However, despite the scary images and rhetoric, most fires have a range of severity leaving some patches entirely unburned, or burned at low to moderate intensity. Fire plays a crucial role in providing habitat for species that rely on burned areas, and most forests need fire to regenerate— even high severity fire. In other words, wildfires—including high intensity fires—are an essential component of healthy forest ecosystems.

        • Great Barrier Reef Wars

          But the Reef’s health record has been patchy.  Each year brings a series of negative assessments about the patient. Its ticker is having palpitations; its central mineral supports in the form of coral life is being bleached.  Water quality is being affected.  The crown-of-thorns starfish, richly stimulated by nutrients from runoffs, has grown in number to savage the unmoving coral with relish.

          With such activity, it was little wonder that the World Heritage Committee, under the umbrella of UNESCO, has suggested placing the Reef on the endangered list.  While taking note of “many positive achievements by the State Party [Australia], progress has been insufficient in meeting key targets of the Reef 2050 Plan.  The Plan requires stronger and clearer commitments, in particular towards urgently countering the effects of climate change, but also towards accelerating water quality improvement and land management measures.”

        • New Bill Would Require Biden to Declare Wildlife Extinction Crisis a National Emergency

          Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Friday that would require President Joe Biden to declare the wildlife extinction crisis a “national emergency,” a move advocates say would allow the president to use specific executive powers to stem the destruction of habitats and protect species imperiled by human activity.

          “Day by day, the number of animals in the U.S. facing extinction grows, creating a national emergency that needs to be addressed.”—Rep. Marie Newman

        • Buffalo’s Next Mayor Is Putting Electeds on Notice

          Sometimes, the good people win, and that’s just what happened on June 22  in Buffalo, NY when community organizer, working mom and self-described socialist India Walton won the Democratic primary to stand for mayor in that Democratic town.

    • Finance

      • Biden Extends Eviction Moratorium for One Last Month as Crisis Looms
      • A Bitcoin Transaction Tax

        The idea that it would be a useful alternative currency is laughable on its face. How can you have a currency that wildly fluctuates year to year and even hour to hour?  Imagine if you had a wage or rent contract written in Bitcoin. Both your pay and your rent would have more than tripled over the last year, likely leaving you unemployed and unable to pay your unaffordable rent. Economists often exaggerate the problem of inflation, but having currency that has large and unpredictable increases and decreases in value is a real problem.

        So, Bitcoin may not be very useful as a currency, but maybe we can just treat as an outlet for harmless speculation, like baseball cards or non-fungible tokens. Well, it turns out that Bitcoin is not entirely useless. It is the currency of choice for those engaging in illegal activities like dealing drugs and gun-running, and of course extorting companies with ransomware. (Its value for this purpose took a major hit when the FBI was able to retrieve much of the money paid by Colonial Pipeline to the hackers who infiltrated its system. Apparently, Bitcoin transactions are not as untraceable as advertised.)

      • Domestic Workers Are Using the Gig Economy Against Itself

        There are at least 2.2 million people working at a home in America. And I don’t mean working from home; I mean working for a home—our homes, specifically. I am talking about domestic workers: the nannies, home care workers, and house cleaners who do the essential task of taking care of us and our loved ones.

      • The Fight Against Homelessness in California Is Just Beginning
      • How They Stole $50 Trillion. How We Take It Back

        The mid-20 century was no golden age. But, it does stand as a measure of just how much — and just how little — economic democracy the existing order will allow. Black and Brown workers, for example, saw the gains last and least but suffered from the austerity counter-attack first and foremost. While progressive reforms won during those four mid-century decades did help working people, the system still belonged to the bosses and they still called the shots.

        Against the backdrop of Cold War anti-communism, the US Congress restricted workers’ rights while top labor “leaders” pledged their allegiance to the empire. New global institutions such as the IMF were the cutting edge of austerity protecting the rule of big money by pitting workers vs. workers worldwide.

      • The Ultrawealthy Have Hijacked Roth IRAs. The Senate Finance Chair Is Eyeing a Crackdown.

        Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said on Thursday he is revisiting proposed legislation that would crack down on the giant tax-free retirement accounts amassed by the ultrawealthy after a ProPublica story exposed that billionaires were shielding fortunes inside them.

      • Poll Finds Socialism Increasingly Seen as ‘Badge of Pride’ in US

        While a majority of U.S. adults still have more positive than negative perceptions of capitalism, less than half of the country’s 18 to 34-year-olds view the profit-maximizing market system favorably, and the attractiveness of socialism continues to increase among people over 35, according to a new poll released Friday.

        “The pandemic is sure to have lasting impact for decades to come.”—Jon Cohen, Momentive

      • Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Could Cut Unemployment Benefits, Experts Warn
      • Experts Warn Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Could Slash Unemployment Benefits

        The bipartisan infrastructure deal that President Joe Biden touted in front of the White House on Thursday contains a proposed funding mechanism that experts fear could unjustly strip unemployment benefits from jobless workers under the guise of combating fraud.

        A White House fact sheet on the new agreement lists “unemployment insurance program integrity” as one of the $579 billion plan’s pay-fors, alongside other funding sources that critics say amount to an infrastructure privatization scheme. The bipartisan group of senators that struck the deal with Biden reportedly believes $80 billion in revenue can be derived from a crackdown on unemployment fraud.

      • Warren Buffett Moves to Distance Himself From Bill Gates

        Warren Buffett, the ninth-richest person in the world, appears to be taking steps to distance himself from his embattled billionaire friend Bill Gates, resigning from his position as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation after 15 years in that role.

      • China’s Cryptocurrency Crackdown

        Miners in China are now looking to sell their equipment overseas, and it appears many have already found buyers. CNBC’s Eunice Yoon tweeted early Monday that a Chinese logistics firm was shipping 6,600 lbs (3,000 kilograms) of crypto mining equipment to an unnamed buyer in Maryland for just $9.37 per kilogram.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • State of Matter

        This is the same Ronny Jackson who was WH physician to Trump, G W Bush, and Barack Obama, the same Ronny Jackson nominated by Trump to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs before allegations arose about Jackson’s on-the-job drinking and workplace hostility.

        I don’t disagree with Jackson about this letter to Biden, this particular urgency; However, I’d take it further. Not only should Biden undergo cognitive testing, so should all potential and sitting politicians tasked with making decisions that affect the lives of their constituents. All potential and acting politicians that determine a US foreign policy so damaging/deadly to people who live in countries rich in resources required to keep a dying US Empire intubated.

      • Government Be Gone!

        These days I have noticed a similar cynicism about government festering in every country of the world; no matter what political party or ideology, it seems to be as rampant as the Covid-19 virus. But it also remains pre-political. In other words, naysayers usually attach the problem to a particular administration or leader, a stance that gives them the idea that resolution is merely to elect a different collection of officials.

        Now into this snowballing of suspicion and scorn enters… Kirkpatrick Sale.

      • ‘This Is Bonkers’: Right-Wing ‘Spies’ With Deep Pockets Infiltrated Democratic Party Across West

        In a “bonkers” report that drew comparisons to a movie script or Tom Clancy novel, the New York Times on Friday exposed a sophisticated right-wing plot to infiltrate Democratic politics in three Western states using undercover operatives.

        “The use of spies is an escalation of tactics by Wyoming’s political far-right.”—Better Wyoming

      • Laura Carlsen on Biden’s Central America Policy, Greg LeRoy on Texas Corporate Subsidies
      • ALEC Lawmakers Look to Spread Arizona-Style Election Audits to Other States
      • ‘The Filibuster Functions as a General Block on All Legislation’

        Janine Jackson interviewed the Daily Poster‘s Andrew Perez about the filibuster for the June 18, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • How the Dianne Morales Campaign Fell Apart

        For a moment, Dianne Morales seemed like the left’s best shot at stopping the more moderate front-runners in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary race, businessman Andrew Yang and ex-cop Eric Adams. Though she was always a long shot, consistently polling in the single digits, Morales began gaining traction among the city’s fragmented left after allegations of sexual harassment and abuse upended the campaign of city Comptroller Scott Stringer, who had hoped to consolidate progressive support. Morales, a former nonprofit executive, positioned herself as the most left-wing candidate in the crowded field and started bringing in impressive fundraising hauls, qualifying for millions of dollars in matching funds for the first time in March.

      • Why Washington is Fawning Over Israel’s New Government

        “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” Obama said at a campaign event in 2008. The maxim indicates that superficial changes have no bearings on outcomes and that modifying our facade does not alter who we really are.

        American politicians are an authority on the subject. They are experts on artificial, rhetorical and, ultimately, shallow change. Once again, Washington’s political make-up artists are busy at work.

      • Trumpists Have Made Alarming Advances in Their Quest to Control Elections
      • Roaming Charges: Lost in Biden’s Triangle

        + Bubba has gone curiously silent lately, but Morris continues to philosophize, largely on Newsmax, where he could be seen this week offering a novel interpretation for  the subliminal dangers lurking in Critical Race Theory:  “What does this do to the children? What does this do to a kid? A quarter of all Black marriages are intermarriage, racially. So what does that do to a Black boy whose mother is Black and his father is white? What does he think? ‘My father exploited my mother and that’s how he got successful?’ Does this reinforce the Oedipal notion that all kids have wanting to kill their father and marry their mother?”

      • Orwellian Hellscape v. Neoliberal Caretakers: American Politics in the “Post-Trump” Era

        Disappointing Their Base: Neoliberal Democrats Rise Again

        It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Biden wing of the party has disappointed liberals. They campaigned on politically empowering the poor and people of color, on implementing a $15 minimum wage, on expanding access to health care through a public option, on providing relief on the student loan front, and combating the steadily intensifying climate crisis. Thus far, there has been little by way of delivery. The “For the People Act,” which is meant to combat Republican efforts to suppress voting among the poor and poor people of color, has passed the House by 220-210 votes, but remains stalled in the Senate by a few conservative Democratic holdouts – Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. The party hasn’t acted on passing a $15 minimum wage due to resistance from these senators and a few others who have also blocked action. Biden has refused to prioritize action on student loan debt relief, claiming he doesn’t have executive authority to grant it, and only calling for $10,000 in forgiveness for each federal borrower. On health care, Biden has proposed $200 billion to expand the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies, but failed to put forward as promised a proposal for a “public option,” and his opposition to Medicare for All is well known.

      • Kevin McCarthy and Mark Meadows Have Long History of Nepotism and Self-Dealing
      • Susan Collins Sums Up Her Scorching Cynicism With a States’ Rights Defense of Voter Suppression

        Maine Senator Susan Collins, the supposed moderate who always has an excuse for failing to moderate her own Republican Party, is now making states’ rights excuses for assaults on democracy by her fellow partisans.

      • Getting Real About Democratic Equality “For the People” in the Face of Republican Authoritarianism

        The “For the People Act” has been a central legislative priority for the Democratic party, and especially its progressive wing, ever since its introduction, and passage, in 2019. There have been especially high hopes for this bill since January, in the wake of the January 6 insurrection and the ongoing Republican “Stop the Steal” election subversion, and with the start of a new legislative term, with the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

      • 70+ House Dems Call On Biden to Acknowledge Israeli Settlements Are Illegal

        A new letter from a group of over 70 congressional Democrats calls on President Joe Biden to reverse the Trump administration’s “abandonment” of longstanding U.S. policy toward Israel and recognize the West Bank and Gaza as occupied and formally declare settlements illegal under international law.

        Referring to Israel’s latest bombing campaign against Gaza and attacks against Palestinians resisting expulsion from their homes, the lawmakers wrote (pdf) that the “outbreak of violence was a painful reminder that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has no military solution and can only be resolved through diplomacy and a negotiated two-state solution that guarantees the civil and political rights, safety, and self-determination of both peoples.”

      • We Can Have the Filibuster or Democracy, But Not Both

        Voters of all stripes broadly agree on the kinds of changes they’d like to see. We need less money in politics. It should be easier to vote — early, in person, or by mail. And voters should be able to pick their own representatives, not the other way around.

        The For the People Act, which passed the House earlier this year, would do all of these things. It includes new ethics rules for members, protects and expands the right to vote, and would restrict the extreme partisan gerrymandering that’s become commonplace. No wonder it’s popular — around two-thirds of Americans tell pollsters they support it.

      • ‘Move Forward’ on Infrastructure, Ocasio-Cortez Says Amid GOP ‘Fury’ Over Two-Track Approach

        Some progressives are celebrating President Joe Biden’s commitment to a two-track approach to infrastructure despite reports of GOP “fury” over his comments that the $579 billion bipartisan deal and a Democratic reconciliation bill must come to his desk “in tandem.”

        In a pair of Friday tweets about the Republican reaction to Biden’s remarks, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) addressed some of the progressive priorities that are expected in a reconciliation bill that could be passed by Democrats without any GOP support.

      • How Biden Helped Hardliner Raisi Win Iran Election

        Raisi has a record of brutally cracking down on government opponents and his election is a severe blow to Iranians struggling for a more liberal, open society. He also has a history of anti-Western sentiment and says he would refuse to meet with President Biden. And while current President Rouhani, considered a moderate, held out the possibility of broader talks after the U.S. returned to the nuclear deal, Raisi will almost certainly reject broader negotiations with the United States.

        Could Raisi’s victory have been averted if President Biden had rejoined the Iran deal right after coming into the White House and enabled Rouhani and the moderates in Iran to take credit for the removal of U.S. sanctions before the election? Now we will never know.

      • Biden’s European Tour: “The United States is Back” and the Limits of Nostalgia

        Biden’s meetings with the G-7, NATO and European Union leaders confirmed this. After President Donald Trump’s erratic unilateral diplomacy, Biden declaration asserted that transatlantic relations were being reset and stabilized with the American president re-assuming America’s traditional leadership role.

        While this answer may satisfy those who have longed for the post-1945 U.S. “indispensable” role after four years of Trump’s creative destruction, nostalgia has its limits.

      • Letters From Minsk: the Stalin Lines

        Once I got the hang of riding my bicycle on the sidewalks in Minsk, I found the city pleasant, even in late winter, as the sidewalks are wide and there were few people on foot, except during rush hours. And I was there before tens of thousands took to the streets in opposition to the strong-man band of President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

        On most days I set off with a checklist of things to see—Oswald’s apartment, Central Square, the art museum, etc.—and so long as I stayed out of the streets no one minded the intrusion of a bicycle in the capital, although I only saw a handful of other riders during my stay.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Texas Supreme Court Completely Confuses Section 230, Makes A Total Mess Of FOSTA

        So, this is… not great. Last year we wrote about a ridiculously bad ruling in Texas regarding a string of what certainly appear to be vexatious lawsuits that try to blame Facebook for sex trafficking. Texas’s Supreme Court has now made its ruling on the matter and… it completely upends the limits of FOSTA by literally ignoring what the law explicitly says, and insisting it must mean something different. It is one of the strangest rulings I’ve ever seen.

      • Stop Using Content Moderation Demands As An Effort To Hide The Government’s Social Policy Failures

        We’ve been seeing over and over again lately that politicians (and, unfortunately, the media) are frequently blaming social media and content moderation for larger societal problems, that the government itself has never been able to solve.

      • Fact Specific Analysis is Key when Restricting on Employee Expression

        Earlier this year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Ninth Circuit”) affirmed a lower court’s decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (9th Cir. 2021) 991 F.3d 1004, holding that a school district’s direction to a high school football coach not to engage in religious conduct through prayer immediately after the game in front of students and spectators did not violate the coach’s First Amendment right to free speech. On balance, the Ninth Circuit confirmed that allowing the conduct would have risked the school’s violation of the Establishment Clause. As outlined below, the case outcome was fact-specific and driven by the unique circumstances giving rise to the Coach’s claim.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Joint Chiefs Chair Rebuffed Trump’s Demands to “Crack Skulls” of Protesters
      • “Better Than Trump” Isn’t Good Enough. End Deportation Now.
      • Building the Prison-to-College Pipeline

        Danny Murillo was sent to prison the day he turned 18. “My sister and I had been good at selling crack together,” he told me. “I started with a $6 rock, and sold it on the street for $100. I was earning $6,000 a week when I was 15.” But he was arrested in a drug deal gone bad, and received a 15-year sentence. Because he was labeled a high-level gang member, he wound up at Pelican Bay, California’s only maximum-security prison, where he spent a decade in solitary confinement.

      • US Justice Department Sues Georgia Over State’s Voter Suppression Law

        U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday vowed “to ensure that we protect every qualified American seeking to participate in our democracy” at a press conference announcing a Department of Justice lawsuit against Georgia over the state’s new voting law, which the Biden administration and civil rights advocates allege is meant to disenfranchise Black voters.

        “Our careful assessment of facts and law demonstrates that Georgia’s law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”—Kristen Clarke, DOJ

      • The NYT Tries to Dunk on LeBron

        Mark Stein, who covers the NBA for the New York Times, an obvious  company man, filed a piece June 2 that dissed the great LeBron James.  “James Insists Season / Was Too Much too Soon”  was the hed above Stein’s piece in the print edition June 2, and it caught the writer’s tone. “Insists” hints that James was being stubborn, maybe even irrational.  “James Says NBA Season…” would have been a better fit.

        The so-called regular season has ended and four teams are left in the play-offs. (The addict watches the inevitable dwindling of his stash.) There have been so many injuries this season that who wins will be determined by who survives physically.It is obvious that the athletes have been overworked. From the billionaires’ POV, their horses are dying and their hoopsters are pulling up lame. Yet this year they devised a way to extend the season by creating a “play-in” that forced the teams finishing seventh through tenth in each of the two NBA conferences to play extra games. Addicted fans watched the games, of course, even those of us who saw the “play-in” as a variant of the speed-up.

      • What’s Going On: Personal and Racial Trauma in the Music of Marvin Gaye

        From this context, the police murder of George Floyd just one short year ago is nothing new.  But from the perspective of the continuing outrages of the current era, this murder means everything, especially for African Americans but, insofar as we are all connected to each other, for all of us.  And right now I am hoping that there will come forth a poet to bind up our national wounds, someone who might prove the equal of Marvin Gaye, although we really, really need—what we have always needed—is profound social change.  But great art not only binds up our wounds but points the way toward the change we need.  Marvin Gaye had that kind of gift.

        Marvin Gaye is my favorite artist of the classic Motown era, and although people generally do not think of him as a poet the way we might think of Bob Dylan, or the way we might think of Smokey Robinson, the most important songwriter at Motown, he was most assuredly a great writer, not to mention a great singer.  The voters for the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time clearly feel the same regarding his masterpiece What’s Going On, which now tops that particular poll. Much though I love this record, this is not a judgment I share, for in my opinion, the greatest album of all time would be John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme or Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue or Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come or Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um, all of which appear on the Rolling Stone list, or maybe Thelonious Monk’s Brilliant Corners, which is apparently a little too esoteric for the list, even if it is Monk’s best. I suppose it depends on how I am feeling on a given day. But as for Marvin Gaye’s writing prowess, however, consider also that he is one of the cowriters of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Streets,” perhaps the greatest example of a party song that is actually also a political anthem. Or consider his 1963 hit, “Hitch Hike,” also cowritten by Gaye, with Martha and the Vandellas providing gospel-style backing vocals. It is just a 12-bar blues, albeit one some unusual percussive accents and, most unusual in the world of rhythm and blues, a flute solo. But Gaye also played drums and piano on its rhythm track, and its opening riff was so catchy that it was also the opening riff for the Velvet Underground’s “There She Goes Again” in 1967 and the Smith’s “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” in 1985. Without any formal musical training, Gaye was a figure of musical brilliance.

      • Thoroughly Modern Milley
      • Living in the Shadow of Human Extermination

        Groton and New London, Conn. are home to about 65,000 people, three colleges, the Coast Guard Academy, 15 nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarines capable of destroying the world many times over, and General Dynamics’ Electric Boat, a multibillion-dollar private corporation that offers stock options to its shareholders and mega-salaries to its top executives as it pockets taxpayer dollars and manufactures yet more of those stealthy, potentially world-ending machines. Whew! That was a long sentence!

      • Nine Points of Difference: A Response to Noam Chomsky on American Fascism

        There’s much to agree with here, of course. Yes, the GOP is now a radical right-wing insurgency uninterested in compromises and heavily invested in irrationality, white nationalism/supremacism. Yes, the assault on critical race theory is “concerning.” Yes, contemporary Republican “proto-fascism” takes place in the late-capitalist neoliberal era and framework, different from the Fordist-era fascism that arose in Europe’s horrific thirty years war (1914-1945). Yes, the Trump base’s attitude are terrifying. And yes to much more in the interview from which this passage is extracted, especially Chomsky’s dire warnings on the climate catastrophe and climate denial.

        So, what might one find objectionable, in this passage above? Nine things.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Congressman Nadler Throws The World’s Worst Slumber Party In Order To Destroy The Internet

        House Judiciary Chairman Congressman Nadler really does not like “big tech” companies, and four of them (Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon) in particular. His antipathy has led him to bypass any further subcommittee inquiry to identify which issues raised by these companies might be suitable for regulation, or to develop careful language that could remediate them without being an unconstitutional and counter-productive legislative attack on the entire Internet economy.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • [Older] Supreme Court May Be Stuck With Patent Doctrine It Never Developed [Ed: Patent maximalists attacking courts that aren't into the 'religion' of patent maximalism]

          The justices sounded disinclined Wednesday to throw out the doctrine of assignor estoppel. But there seemed to be no shortage of ideas for modifying it.

        • The Best Defense Against the Delta Variant Is to End Vaccine Apartheid

          The term “delta” in science and mathematics denotes a difference, or a gap; as in the delta between two values. In geography, a delta is where a river meets the sea, spreading out, covering the most area in its course. In reference to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Delta is the highly contagious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is tearing through unvaccinated populations around the globe. First referred to by scientists as B.1.617.2, the Delta variant is more contagious than others and may lead to more serious cases of COVID-19. The best protection against this or other coronavirus variants is to get vaccinated. In wealthy nations like the United States, where over 62% of the eligible population has received at least one vaccine shot, COVID-19 case rates and deaths are the lowest they have been since March of 2020, and continue to fall. Conversely, in the world’s poorest countries, only between 0.3 to 0.9% of the population has gotten a vaccine shot, and the virus is spreading virtually unchecked.

      • Copyrights

        • Standing With Security Researchers Against Misuse of the DMCA

          As Dean of Research for our graduate school (sans.edu), I often assist students in developing their research ideas. The research conducted by our students is valuable and important to defend our networks against highly organized and well-funded threat actors. Any restriction on our student’s ability to conduct their research, and sharing their results freely, only adds additional unnecessary burdens on us as network defenders. With that, I am happy that I was able to co-sign the attached statement by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of the SANS Technology Institute. Legal threats against good faith security researchers only discourage the open exchange of ideas. If we hope to have a chance to defend, we will have to keep exchanging these ideas, learn and we need to continue to be curious hackers exploring the technologies that are the foundation of our everyday living.

        • Top EU Court Rules Online Platforms Are Not Liable For Copyright Infringements Of User Uploads, Unless They Actively Intervene

          One of the most contentious areas of Internet law is the extent to which sites are responsible for the actions of their users. One issue concerns user-uploaded materials: if these infringe on copyright, should the platform be held responsible too? The EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), has just ruled on two cases touching on this question. One concerned the posting of music recordings to YouTube, while the other involved medical textbooks published by Elsevier, which appeared on some filesharing sites. Both cases were before the Federal Court of Justice in Germany, which asked the CJEU to provide guidance on the liability of online platforms as regards to copyright materials posted by users. The basic decision is straightforward (pdf), explained here by the court’s press release:

        • Triller Sues Scam Streaming Site AccessTVPro For Jake Paul Fight Piracy

          Triller has filed yet another lawsuit targeting entities that supposedly streamed the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight back in April. The defendants in the latest complaint are pirate streaming site AccessTVPro and its presumed Bangladesh-based operator. The big question, however, is whether this platform ever streamed the site since all the signs point to this being a scam operation.

        • Steinberg Wins WIPO Domain Dispute Against ‘VST’ Plugin Pirate Sites

          There are several ways copyright holders can deal with pirate sites. Music software company Steinberg, known as the inventor of the VST format for software plug-ins, recently took a relatively exotic route. It filed a WIPO domain dispute against various pirate sites, including vsttorrents.net. Steinberg won the arbitration case, but the pirates seem rather persistent.

        • Nintendo Continues To Make It Hard To Play Classic Games Legitimately

          When it comes to being crazy restrictive on all things IP coupled with being amazingly combative with making lots of properties readily available for legitimate purchase, Nintendo barely needs an introduction. This is the company that has taken down ROM sites for classic games all over the internet, taken down fan-made games that use Nintendo properties, taken down all manner of fan-made ports of Nintendo properties onto other hardware, and has even taken down fan-made creations that involve putting Nintendo characters and the like into 3rd party creative games and software. Now, to be clear, Nintendo can do all of this. The open question has always been why it bothers to do so. What threat is a fan-game to legitimate Nintendo titles? Especially when Nintendo often times makes it quite difficult to legitimately get classic Nintendo games on its current hardware.

[Meme] The EPO’s Hand on the Scales (With Fixers Inside the Most Important Hearings)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Justice is blind
The ‘fixer’ of António Campinos is a stain on the hearings

Bloody scale is wrong!



Summary: It is hardly surprising that the EPO keeps approving European software patents when António Campinos infiltrates and lobbies the Boards of Appeal; he’s ‘fixing’ the cases, much like in Hungary where the Chief Prosecutor is a loyalist of the party in charge (also in charge of justice, i.e. it won’t scrutinise itself), choosing panels and court compositions assured to attain a certain (favourable) outcome

Why IRC is Best Off When Self-Hosted (and Large IRC Networks Are Just a Temporarily Convenient Trap)

Posted in Site News at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: IRC is Free software (protocol implemented mostly using code anybody can deploy and use); recently we’ve experimented with self-hosted Web-based IRC gateways and we continue to drift further and further away from centralised (or third-party) services

THEY say you should walk the walk, not just talk the talk. This is why, over time, we’re increasingly self-sufficient on the Internet and we no longer rely on the Web either (we use 4 Internet protocols, not just the World Wide Web/HTTP/S).

“This is why, over time, we’re increasingly self-sufficient on the Internet and we no longer rely on the Web either (we use 4 Internet protocols, not just the World Wide Web/HTTP/S).”The video above explains what we posted here early in the morning, notably the parts about choosing to self-host IRC and why it is so important. It would be nice to see thousands more sites and projects doing the same thing. At a later date we might share some technical details and give examples (like configuration files) detailing the process, including the setup of bridges to other networks for ‘legacy’ purposes (staying connected to older networks for redundancy/failsafe and backward compatibility amid soft transition).

The European Patent Office (EPO) Articles, Almost 3,500 of Them in Total, Now Listed in Gemini

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: All our EPO articles have long been available over Gemini protocol (gemini://) and today we have a complete list of all those articles (in gemini://)

THE EPO ‘Telenovela’ has been going on for very many years. Starring the latest 3 seasons was António and his Iberian compatriots, continuing a tradition of lawlessness, secret affairs, nepotism, and despotism.

“Get a proper Gemini client/browser to view/browse that because as Gemini space expands it’ll come handy for other capsules.”This morning, as part of a longer weekend, we finally had time to catch up and set up an index of all EPO articles in gemini://, which is hosted completely separately from the Web site. The address for it is gemini://gemini.techrights.org/epo/ though it requires a Gemini client/browser. Here’s a Web proxy for it (that gets truncated about a third of the way down) and the video above explains what’s shown or how it works. Get a proper Gemini client/browser to view/browse that because as Gemini space expands it’ll come handy for other capsules.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 25, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:31 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmVNzqDueGs83u64F2ZBkDD29732NRnMkodATfPrbffALe IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmRWxPjPMpayr53CLzbuSLojU1fgaoZm8ZUhMNE7QVHdr8 IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmWRgstHcMHyix2viLtXZpEVFcgaTVetoWrkk3VtREdGw7 IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmaUbR7rS6PcemBwBVLLxpjQiRxzjHGrwTZf6wDajCxLvi IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmPv5bk3dvK1Tryap6He7iNySchi8CAhZyzWJeaNGmdQiN IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmZev1ZshRxqA2je7NJ9CSgLzuAu4aJwYYdLNJAVUbm7Mt IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmeXtBxJB23ANuwR1nNySUQcpi9huDt2hKy7tZU4zRSh6S IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmbWcBRRDFqM717MQxtFqeX3K3qFy2Qg1voMxiiMmg1PwD IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs

IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmXWM739fasQ1QSDPyf7CYGbRzny4RnfstXa97sZoavDtt

G 1/21 is a Catastrophe for the EPO’s Legitimacy

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You don't need to kidnap judges if you control all the judges' boss

Summary: Team Campinos is sinking in a sea of scandals; it won’t be long before the public finds out, even if much of the media is deeply compromised (on the receiving end of EPO threats and/or bribes)

THIS coming Friday G 1/21 will resume,unless further delays (or cancellations) are to be announced on the day or before that date.

Don’t expect media to cover this. If any so-called ‘IP’ site covers G 1/21 next week, expect mostly fluff/puff pieces such as this.

“Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ and defamed judges whom he didn’t like (before collective punishment), whereas Campinos uses more subtle tactics to accomplish the same thing.”It is generally expected that law firms will respond to the EPO and operatives of António Campinos will carry on pretending that this case still has legitimacy. Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ and defamed judges whom he didn’t like (before collective punishment), whereas Campinos uses more subtle tactics to accomplish the same thing.

Before we reach Friday and before we publish any further commentary on the matter, let’s look back at some of the series we’ve been dealing with since March.

Privacy Violations (How EPO Has Been Outsourced to the United States):

Government Complicity Series (How Germany Helps EPO Management):

Oversight by Kangaroo Courts (Longstanding Loss of Independence):

Hearing on G 1/21 (Resulting in Postponement):

  1. Virtual Injustice — Part 1: António’s Increasingly Wonky Legal Fudge Factory
  2. Virtual Injustice — Part 2: The ViCo Oral Proceedings of 28 May 2021
  3. Virtual Injustice — Part 3: All the President’s Men…
  4. Virtual Injustice — Part 4: Mihály Ficsor, the EPO’s Hungarian “Fixer”
  5. Virtual Injustice — Part 5: Benoît’s “Friends” in Budapest
  6. Virtual Injustice — Part 6: Best Buddies With António
  7. Virtual Injustice — Part 7: Musical Chairs and Revolving Doors
  8. Virtual Injustice — Part 8: A Well-Connected ‘IP’ Maximalist
  9. Virtual Injustice — Part 9: Heli, the EPO’s Nordic Ice-Queen
  10. Virtual Injustice — Part 10: Vapid and Superficial Coverage in the ‘IP’ Blogosphere
  11. Virtual Injustice — Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism
  12. Virtual Injustice — Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!
  13. Virtual Injustice — Part 13: Let the Games Continue…
  14. Virtual Injustice — Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”
  15. Virtual Injustice — Part 15: A Pandora’s Box… But for Whom?

There’s more to come. The outcome is unknown, but judging by DDOS attacks we’ve suffered for the past couple of days it seems likely someone is very eager to make the site unavailable. If such attacks becomes successful, use IPFS and Gemini. Everything is there too.

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