06.30.21

Links 30/6/2021: Pop!_OS 21.04 Release and MakuluLinux Flash 2021 Desktop

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Open Infrastructure Foundation Unveils OpenInfra Live Virtual Event Schedule

        The Open Infrastructure (OpenInfra) Foundation today announced the schedule of upcoming episodes for its recently launched OpenInfra Live series of one-hour virtual events. OpenInfra Live is a weekly, live-streamed series of one-hour episodes featuring topics such as production use cases around open source projects like OpenStack, Kubernetes and Magma; industry leader conversations; and upstream development updates and roadmaps.

      • Digital delinquent deletes developer’s database during disastrous Docker deployment, defaults damned

        NewsBlur, an RSS news reading app for the web and mobile devices, recently had one of its databases deleted thanks to an insecure default setting that has dogged developers using Docker since 2014.

      • Kubernetes a black hole of unpredictable spend, according to new report

        A report on Kubernetes expenditure from the Finops Foundation, in association with CNCF, shows that costs are rising and companies struggle to predict them accurately.

        The new report is based on a survey of the CNCF and Finops Foundation communities and although it had only 195 respondents, there was a “strong enterprise representation”.

        Spending on Kubernetes was up, according to the survey, with 67 per cent reporting an increase of 20 per cent or more over the last 12 months, and 10 per cent spending more than $1m per month on their deployments.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • A Base Gentoo Installation

        Today, I had a few minutes of free time so I decided to install Gentoo. So I decided to do a Stage 3 installation inside a virtual machine, and it didn’t seem right to install Gentoo and not also record it.

      • Going Deepin on Fuchsia | LINUX Unplugged 412

        Is Fuchsia a risk to Linux? We try out a cutting-edge Fuchsia desktop and determine if it is a long-term threat to Linux.

        Plus, have we all been missing the best new Linux distribution? We give this fresh distro a spin and report.

      • mintCast 364 – The Better Beta

        First up, in our Wanderings, I go ECO friendly, Josh’s DHCP fails, Joe is heavily medicated, and Tony is playing with EndeavorOS while on holiday

        Then, our news Linux Mint Beta is out! Rocky Linux is official, and Elementary OS tries Beta 2

      • Full Circle Weekly News #216
    • Kernel Space

      • OpenZFS 2.1-rc8 Brings Linux 5.13 Compatibility, More Fixes

        The release candidates for OpenZFS 2.1 continue dragging on with Tuesday marking the eighth such test version while bringing Linux 5.13 compatibility and other fixes.

        OpenZFS 2.1 is working up to be a big release with distributed spare RAID (dRAID), a compatibility property for Zpool feature sets, scaling worker threads with increasing core counts, and many other improvements over last year’s OpenZFS 2.0 file-system release for Linux and FreeBSD systems.

    • Applications

      • Children’s Drawing App Tux Paint Now Has Gradient Fill and Pixel Art Options

        Tux Paint is an open source drawing application and an alternative to Microsoft Paint on Linux. It is a cross-platform application and you can also use it on Windows and macOS.

        Tux Paint primarily intends to be used by children between the age of 3 and 12. It is actually used in schools worldwide. It features easy to use interface, sound effect and a Tux mascot that works as guide in an entertaining way.

        Of course, this doesn’t mean that you cannot use Tux Paint if you are 13 or older.

        The developers of Tux Paint have just released the version 0.9.26. Let’s see what new features you get in the latest release.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Go (Golang) Compiler on Ubuntu 20.04

        Go also called Golang is an open-source programming language developed by Google. It is used to build reliable and efficient applications. It is cross-platform and can be installed on Linux, Windows, and macOS. It is a compiled programming language that means you don’t need to compile the source code to create an executable file. It is used by many organizations including, Mangodb, Soundcloud, Netflix, Uber, etc.

        In this post, I will show you how to install the Go programming language on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • Fedora package management with DNF | FOSS Linux

        DNF is a software package manager on RPM distros such as Fedora, CentOS, OpenMandriva, RHEL, and Mageia. It is an installer wizard that installs, updates, and removes packages and is the successor to YUM (Yellow-Dog Updater). It was introduced in Fedora 18 and has been the default package manager since Fedora 22.

        DNF or Dandified Yum automatically computes dependencies to determine the actions required to install packages and maintain packages. With DNF, you do not have to install or update packages using the rpm command manually.

      • How to Install Kubernetes minikube on Ubuntu 20.04

        “minikube” is a lightweight tool that allows you to run Kubernetes locally on your Linux, macOS, or Windows-based systems. It lets you enjoy almost all the features of Kubernetes without actually installing it on your system. It has the ability to run a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your target system. This tutorial shows you how to install minikube on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to install Openoffice 4.1.10 on Fedora 34

        For many people, OpenOffice has proved to be a fantastic alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. OpenOffice can be used for creating and manipulating word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics modules etc. In fact, many options in OpenOffice are designed to work in a way very similar to MS Office. This makes the migration from MS Office to OpenOffice very smooth for new users.

        OpenOffice.org was renamed to Apache OpenOffice in June 2011. It is now developed under the projects of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). A global community of volunteers supports Apache OpenOffice.

        OpenOffice is available to download and install on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and macOS. However, it can’t be installed on mobile devices. Open Document Format (ODF) is the default file format for OpenOffice.

      • How to create database in MySQL | FOSS Linux

        Before we look at what MySQL is, let us first discuss what a database is and its use. In a modern setting, databases are common, and they are a standard way of storing data/information. For instance, when you upload a photo to your social media account, your photo gallery acts as a database.

        Another instance of database use is when you go to websites, for example, online e-commerce shops, to buy an electronic device. The database, in this case, is the shopping cart where the items you are buying are temporarily stored. Therefore, it is evident that a database is a storage mechanism that we all have encountered in our day-to-day lives.

      • How to connect ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors v.6.3 to your Seafile server

        ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors is a free open-source office suite that comprises viewers and editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Along with offline work, it’s possible to connect the app to the cloud (ONLYOFFICE, Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile) for online document collaboration. The package source code is available on GitHub under the AGPL v.3.0 license.

        Seafile is an open-source file collaboration and sharing platform that allows storing and managing documents.

      • How to install MariaDB on Linux and Windows | FOSS Linux

        MariaDB is an open-source relational database system built by the initial developers of MySQL. It is popularly known as an alternative for MySQL. Actually, the database is intended to be a long-term drop-in replacement for MySQL – with the guarantee of remaining open-source.

        The database’s maintenance is done by the MariaDB Foundation that has some of the original developers of the MySQL DB.

        In this article, we will address how to install MariaDB into your local computer. Follow our guidelines, and you find installing MariaDB in either Windows or Linux enjoyable. But, first, go to the MariaDB official page and download the software file using the following link, MariaDB Official Download Page.

      • Rsync Show Progress Bar When Copying Files in Linux

        Rsync is a powerful utility to backup and synchronizes your files and directories. You can see Rsync mainly used as a backup solution to snapshot your files and directories.

        Rsync does an incremental backup, meaning it only captures what is newly modified (created, deleted, updated). There are many backup solutions like Timeshift, which uses rsync in the background to take backups. It is important that you know how to use rsync which will come in handy.

        In this article, I will demonstrate different ways of displaying the progress bar while copying files using the rsync command. As always, either the man page or help command comes in handy to see what options are available for rsync.

      • Print lines in a text file with numbers in first column higher or equal than a value Using awk
      • System Calls in Linux

        System calls are a special set of procedures that regular programs (user space processes) can submit to the Linux kernel for working with files, interacting with hardware, accessing internal OS functionality, implement all sorts of communication and process management and basically do anything else that’s sensitive or performance critical enough that OS kernel must enforce strict controls around it.

        Regular processes interface with the OS kernel by supplying a system call name and parameters, the kernel then verifies validity of a system call and executes it within kernel space, returning data and execution status back.

        Each system call has a unique number and name for identification. There are separate numbers for 32bit and 64bit architectures.

      • Parse JSON configuration files with Groovy | Opensource.com

        For example, LibreOffice Writer gives access to stuff like user data, fonts, language settings, and (much) more through Tools > Options on its menu bar. Some applications (like LibreOffice) provide a point-and-click user interface to manage these settings. Some, like Tracker (the GNOME task that indexes files), use XML files. And some, especially JavaScript-based applications, use JSON, despite the protestations of many (for example, this writer and this other writer).

        In this article, I’ll sidestep the debate about whether or not to use JSON as a configuration file format and explain how to parse this kind of information using the Groovy programming language. Groovy is based on Java but with a different set of design priorities that make Groovy feel more like Python.

      • How To Install Terraform on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Terraform on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Terraform is a free and open-source Infrastructure automation tool by Hashicorp which is used to create, build and change using infrastructure as a code across various cloud providers like AWS, Azure cloud, GCP, Oracle cloud, and many others.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Terraform on a CentOS 8.

      • Building a Transilience playbook in a zipapp

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

        Mitogen is a great library, but scarily complicated, and I’ve been wondering how hard it would be to make alternative connection methods for Transilience.

        Here’s a wild idea: can I package a whole Transilience playbook, plus dependencies, in a zipapp, then send the zipapp to the machine to be provisioned, and run it locally?

      • Antoine Beaupré: Another syncmaildir crash

        So I had another major email crash with my syncmaildir setup. This time I was at least able to confirm the issue, and I still haven’t lost mail thanks to backups and sheer luck (again).

      • Nvidia RTX 3080 Ethereum Hashrate and Mining Overclock settings on HiveOS Linux

        This article will provide you with the information on how to overclock your Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card for a best performance and Hashrate/Watt efficiency. We have performed number of tests by modifying memory clock and absolute core clock parameters on Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card to determine the best configuration.

      • How to install Roblox and Roblox Studio on a Chromebook – Windows Version

        Today we are looking at how to install the windows version of Roblox and Roblox Studio on a Chromebook. Please take note that it can be very laggy on a Chromebook, on mine it is unplayable, but works. My Chromebook has an Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, so if your has a better CPU, it should run better.

      • How to scan your RHEL-based Linux servers for outdated libraries with CloudLinux UChecker – TechRepublic

        Your Linux server libraries might be out of date, leading to security issues. CloudLinux has a tool that can quickly list those out-of-date libraries on AlamaLinux or a similar distribution.

      • How to install FreeCAD on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install FreeCAD on Deepin 20.2.

      • Getting Started With Laravel Artisan CLI

        There are many PHP frameworks to choose from! Laravel is one such framework, and it has been around for more than a decade. Laravel increased in popularity following the release of version three in February 2012. This is because of the usefulness of the Laravel Artisan Command Line Interface (CLI).

      • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Installing Software – Part 7

        This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

        In this article we introduce various ways to install software using a graphical interface.

        On a fresh installation of Ubuntu 21.04, the system prompts us to update. The updates are handled by Software Updater.

        This program updates installed software and their associated packages with important software updates for security or with recommended patches. It also informs users when updates are available, listing them in alphabetical order for users to choose which updates to install.

    • Games

      • Finland’s oldest video game firm acquired by PlayStation Studios

        Sony’s PlayStation Studios announced on Tuesday that it had acquired the Finnish video game firm Housemarque for an undisclosed sum.

        Founded in 1995, Helsinki-based Housemarque is the country’s oldest gaming firm that’s still in operation. In some circles the company is considered to be the mother of the domestic gaming industry.

        Housemarque was started by managing director Ilari Kuittinen along with co-founder Harri Tikkanen.

      • Welcoming Housemarque to the PlayStation Studios family

        Today I’m thrilled to welcome a new member to the PlayStation Studios family! I have been a fan of Housemarque since the studio’s early days when they introduced Super Stardust HD to PlayStation fans. Housemarque’s recent release of Returnal proves the studio is one with incredible vision, capable of creating memorable new games that resonate with our community. This addition enhances the creative force of PlayStation Studios, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Housemarque.

      • Why PlayStation bought Returnal developer Housemarque: the inside story

        Having made its name with smaller, arcade-inspired titles stretching back to 2007’s Super Stardust HD on the PlayStation 3, Returnal saw its maker go all in on big budget adventuring akin to the revered Uncharted and Horizon series. Albeit “big budget adventuring” with a brain-melting sci-fi twist, all the particle effects in the known universe and a difficulty curve that goes from nought to 100 faster than a Tesla Model S Plaid. To put it another way, Returnal proved Housemarque could expand its horizons while retaining its status as a real gamers’ game developer.

        Now Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque’s cofounder and managing director, wants to use this acquisition to really break new ground for the studio. He told us how the deal came about and indulged in a bit of Scandi pride while wearing a black, Returnal-branded T-shirt. It has no real relation to the conversation that follows. We just thought it was particularly, delightfully metal…

      • Sony acquires Returnal developer Housemarque, hints Bluepoint is next

        In a blog post announcing the acquisition, PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst said that the studio “is one with incredible vision, capable of creating memorable new games that resonate with our community.” Although Housemarque has produced games across multiple platforms including PC, iOS, and the Xbox 360, the majority of its recent titles have been exclusive to Sony’s platforms. Prior to Returnal it was best known for the Super Stardust games, which have appeared on the PS3, PS4, and PSP.

      • Rainbow Six Siege out on Stadia today, more games confirmed and a big ‘mega’ sale

        Google continue bringing over more and more titles to Stadia, with the next set of Stadia Pro titles revealed too.

        Firstly, if you subscribe to the optional Stadia Pro from July 1 you will be able to play Moonlighter, Street Power Football, Terraria, and The Darkside Detective free with your sub. Additionally these titles will be leaving Stadia Pro so you should claim them today: Steamworld Dig, Ary & Secret of Seasons, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, PIKUNIKU, and Resident Evil 7: biohazard. Once a title leaves Stadia Pro, you have to buy it as normal in the Stadia store.

        [...]

        Will be nice to have another competitive online FPS that you can play on Linux (providing you use Stadia that is). Hopefully it’s better than the rubbish experience I had trying it on Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud).

      • Surreal point & click horror adventure Strangeland released for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Strangeland from Wormwood Studios and Wadjet Eye Games has just been released for Linux and it looks awesome. Originally released back in May, Strangeland is the second game from Wormwood after the the much loved 2012 game Primordia.

        About the Linux release the developer said in the announcement “First, we are pleased to announce that we now have a Linux build for Strangeland. We’ve always been very fond of the Linux gaming community, and we’re really happy to be able to get a build posted so quickly. Please let us know if you run into any issues, and we will quickly patch them!”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Yakuake: The KDE Terminal Emulator That You Probably Aren’t Using

          With dozens of Linux distributions available for you to choose from, there’s one thing that is common among all of them. Each of these distributions comes with a terminal emulator to access the command-line, such as the gnome-terminal on the GNOME desktop environment.

          But at the end of the day, all these terminal emulators are pretty much the same. But here’s a different one. Yakuake is a drop-down terminal that comes preinstalled with KDE but often goes unnoticed. What’s so special, and should you use it? Let’s find out.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Kai A. Hiller: Search Bar of Doom

          It started benign, it was labeled Newcomers, it felt like a good start into the Fractal NEXT codebase: Make Ctrl+K toggle the room search bar… I was so naive!

          This first issue took me days. It was a task where the high-level idea is very easy, but the concrete idiomatic and robust solution is non-obvious. What followed was a lot of reading and learning of the concepts and the concrete application of general GTK4, its UI Builder, shortcut handling, GActions and GObject bindings.

          [...]

          I spent the next days learning more about the GTK4 and Adwaita widgets, as well as the inner workings of the Fractal NEXT codebase, toying around with some code.

          Based on the room setting design of our trusted GNOME designer Tobias, I started working on turning the pictures into something interactive. For the design I wanted to stay close to the libadwaita widgets and their intended use, so that it gives GNOME users a consistent experience and we can get all the shiny features like searchable preferences for free. The result does in some aspects deviate from the draft, e.g. the members overview got its own tab, but the overall reaction from the community to it was positive. I expect we will go through some iterations before the room settings UI is actually finished – after all: nothing will break your code faster than getting it into the hands of actual users..

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MakuluLinux Flash is Live + Extras !

          We have Just released our new Flash 2021 Desktop, You can read the release notes and grab your copy here.

          [...]

          We have also Updated Both the Core and LinDoz distro’s with our new Hybrid Debian Base and the Gnome framework, Both Editions have undergone significant changes and I recommend you go read up about what has changed and grab your copies here.

          ALL 3 Distro’s are now using the new Hybrid Debian Base, and All 3 distros are now using our heavily modified forked Gnome Framework, There is significant advantages and improvements that come as a result from this bold move. Core, Flash and LinDoz are now Significantly better than their predecessors. Grab your copies in the download links above in the main menu.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • seamonkey browser updated to 2.53.8

          SeaMonkey is a free and open-source Internet suite. It is the continuation of the former Mozilla Application Suite, based on the same source code, which itself grew out of Netscape Communicator and formed the base of Netscape 6 and Netscape 7.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Implementing Apache ActiveMQ-style broker meshes with Apache Artemis

          Apache ActiveMQ and Apache Artemis (or ActiveMQ Artemis) are open source message brokers with similar functionality. Both implementations are venerable, with histories that go back to the early 2000s. However, Artemis is in some senses a more modern implementation because, ironically, it has a smaller feature set. This makes Artemis easier to maintain, which is important if you’re basing a commercial product on it. The smaller feature set means a smaller overall implementation, which fits well with developing microservices.

          Early versions of Red Hat AMQ were based on ActiveMQ, but attention has shifted to Artemis in AMQ 7. ActiveMQ is not maintained as vigorously as it once was by the open source community, but at the time of writing, Amazon is still offering a message broker service based on ActiveMQ. Whether it has a long-term future, at Amazon or elsewhere, remains to be seen.

          Leaving aside ActiveMQ’s complex niche features (such as message routing based on Apache Camel rules), ActiveMQ and Artemis look similar to the integrator and, in most practical applications, provide comparable throughput. However, they differ in important areas. Message distribution in the presence of multiple active brokers causes particular problems for integrators who want to move from ActiveMQ to Artemis.

        • 17 Linux commands every sysadmin should know

          A few months ago, I asked the Enable Sysadmin contributor community to help me make a list of their most essential commands. After processing the results, 17 of the commands emerged as being essential or at least hugely beneficial to the Linux sysadmin job. So without any further delay, let’s jump into these.

        • Making Java programs cloud-ready, Part 3: Integrate MicroProfile services

          The first article in this series presented a legacy Java application that we want to upgrade to a microservices architecture. In the second article, we upgraded the Java EE environment to Jakarta EE. Now, we will add a powerful collection of microservices functionality, writing very little code of our own.

        • Artificial Intelligence (AI): 4 novel ways to build talent in-house

          The analytics leader of a US-based Fortune 200 company was under severe pressure. Her team supported 45,000 employees of the global energy company, and the business users weren’t happy. The analytics deliverables were often late and suffered from poor quality.

          The analytics team was a part of the IT organization and was struggling to fill their open positions. The skills needed couldn’t be found within the IT team. Their office was a 60-mile drive up north from a large metropolitan area in the US, and it wasn’t easy to attract talent.

          Training the few people they managed to hire wasn’t easy, and they often fell short in their business understanding. As a result, the analytics team was notorious for being understaffed, overworked, and facing the wrath of business users.

          Does this scenario sound familiar?

        • Hybrid work: 3 truths leaders can’t ignore

          After more than a year of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, some of us are finally starting to regain a sense of normalcy – one in which many companies have adopted a hybrid work model. While this approach offers flexibility and other advantages, it can also introduce challenges for both workers and organizations.

          For organizations, concerns include the financial aspect of keeping a physical office space, managing employees’ schedules, keeping tabs on a distributed workforce, and making sure everyone has the technology and tools they need.

          Many people have strong opinions on hybrid work – views that generally align with their personal preferences.
          For some employees, lack of in-office contact can make them feel removed from the team. Others may feel pressure to show face when they’re more productive from their kitchen table.

          Finding the right balance is an ongoing task, but many people have strong opinions on hybrid work – views that generally align with their personal preferences. This gives business leaders an extra challenge when it comes to setting the standards and expectations for employees.

        • Red Hat OpenShift 4.8 Helps Drive Developer Productivity For Modern Cloud-Native Applications Across The Hybrid Cloud

          Red Hat has announced Red Hat OpenShift 4.8 to help organizations accelerate the creation of new cloud-native applications without abandoning existing environments and IT investments.

          Red Hat OpenShift 4.8, based on Kubernetes 1.21 and CRI-O 1.21 runtime interface, further simplifies the developer experience while helping expand the use cases and workload possibilities across industries.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Pop!_OS 21.04 Released with New ‘Cosmic’ Desktop

          Like Ubuntu but feel it lacks pizazz? Then you’ll be pleased to hear that Pop!_OS 21.04 is now available to download.

          We took a sneak-peek at a beta build a few weeks back and came away mightily impressed. Today, System76 has announced that a final, finessed, and fully-functional version is ready to download.

          Pop!_OS 21.04 is based on Ubuntu 21.04. This means it inherits a newer Linux kernel, new versions of core apps, gets ongoing security updates, and more. Plus, System76’s engineers have added a stack of their own enhancements, culminating in a new desktop experience they call COSMIC.

        • System76 Releases Pop!_OS 21.04 With New COSMIC Desktop

          Linux PC hardware manufacturer System76 has released Pop!_OS 21.04 as the newest version of their Ubuntu downstream that also features their new GNOME-based COSMIC desktop.

          Pop!_OS 21.04 is based on Ubuntu 21.04 but headlined by their new COSMIC desktop as various customizations like different docking options, improved keyboard shortcut handling, a plug-in system for the launcher, and other configurable items.

        • How we Arrived at the Pop!_OS COSMIC Design

          Pop!_OS 21.04 introduces the COSMIC desktop, which changes the workflow that users have become accustomed to since Pop!_OS first released. With such a considerable alteration, we’d like to walk you through the design decisions that led to the new COSMIC experience, and why we think it improves computing for users and customers.

        • Pop!_OS 21.04: A Release of COSMIC Proportions

          Pop!_OS is developed to help you unleash your potential by providing you efficient tools that streamline your workflow. Pop!_OS 21.04 continues this ethos with COSMIC, a set of catered customizations geared towards accommodating a variety of use cases. Continue below for details on these new features!

        • Pop OS 21.04 Unleashed with COSMIC Desktop. This is What’s New.

          System76 announced the immediate release of Pop OS 21.04 with COSMIC Desktop. We wrap up the release highlights and provide you the download instructions.

        • System76 has launched Pop!_OS 21.04 with the new COSMIC desktop

          The big day for System76 has arrived, as they’ve now officially launched the latest big upgrade to the Pop!_OS Linux distribution with Pop!_OS 21.04 bringing their new COSMIC desktop environment.

          Based upon the stable base of Ubuntu, System76 are continuing to truly make their mark on the Linux landscape with big changes like this. They now do the hardware, the software and tailor the experience to be unique to them. The Apple of Linux? Getting there, little by little.

          “The new COSMIC workflow introduced in Pop!_OS 21.04 is the culmination of years of user research and feedback. We’ve streamlined launching and switching between applications and made the interface simpler and more straight-forward while introducing numerous options to adjust the desktop to personal taste.” — System76.

        • Pop!_OS 21.04 With New ‘COSMIC’ Desktop is Available to Download

          Pop!_OS 21.04 debuts with its brand new COSMIC desktop.

          I shared my experience with the beta release early this month—now, the stable release is finally available to download.

          There are a few additions after our beta release experience, let me highlight what’s new in Pop!_OS 21.04.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How a college student founded a free and open source operating system

        I think even a beginner can get started writing an operating system like FreeDOS, although it would take a more advanced programmer to write the kernel.

        I am a self-taught programmer. I learned about programming from an early age by tinkering on our Apple II computer at home. Much later, I learned C programming—my brother was a computer science student when I was a physics student, and he introduced me to C. I picked up the rest by reading books and writing my own programs.

        I wrote a lot of small utilities that enhanced my command line on MS-DOS or even replaced certain DOS commands. And you can write a lot of those programs even with a basic level of programming experience. You can write file utilities like FIND, FC, CHOICE, TYPE, MORE, or COPY—or user commands like ECHO or CLS—with only an introduction to C programming. With a bit of practice, you can write system-level programs like ATTRIB, or the COMMAND shell.

      • When free and open source actually means £6k-£8k per package: Atos’s £136m contract with NHS England

        French outsourcer Atos has been charging NHS England between £6,000 and £8,000 for packing up popular free and open-source software requested by workers in the non-departmental government body.

        According to documents seen by The Register, data workers in NHS England have to request FOSS packages via their line management. These are fulfilled by outsourcer Atos, as part of its £136m agreement with the Department of Health and Social Care signed in June 2019.

        [...]

        Baw said that NHSX, set up by former Health Secretary Matt Hancock to develop best practice in technology and data usage (“Allow Matt Hancock to access this device’s location”, anyone?), was a case in point.

        “They’ve hired directors of everything, and yet they still haven’t actually turned out any particularly useful products. The NHS COVID app, something they brandish as a success of NHSX… well, that was delivered by NHS Digital.”

        An Atos spokesperson told The Register: “In line with government and NHS policies, all software must be safely and securely deployed within guidelines provided to us. For a small number of users, the client does at times administer software deployment itself but we may be asked to package and deploy the software for a more significant proportion of the workforce.

        “This involves a number of steps including requirements capture, testing, UAT and verification. Such activities and costs associated are always carefully considered and are proportionate and are not on a per user basis.”

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate

          The first release candidate for WordPress 5.8 is now available!

          Please join us in celebrating this very important milestone in the community’s progress towards the final release of WordPress 5.8!

          “Release Candidate” means the new version is ready for release, but with thousands of plugins and themes and differences in how the millions of people use WordPress, it is possible something was missed. WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, 2021, but your help is needed to get there—if you have not tried 5.8 yet, now is the time!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Top 7 free photo editors in 2021

            One of the most popular alternatives to Photoshop is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a free and open-source photo editing program with many powerful features. The software is available on multiple platforms such as Windows, Mac, as well as Linux.

            It can import and export various file formats without any issues, making the software extremely versatile. Unfortunately, there’s no smartphone app for GIMP, which is a bummer for those who would rather edit on their smartphones, and the software has a rather steep learning curve.

      • Programming/Development

        • 9 reasons I love to use the Qt Creator IDE

          Qt Creator is the Qt framework’s default integrated development environment (IDE) and hence the glue between Qt’s rich set of libraries and the user. In addition to its basic features such as intelligent code completion, debugging, and project administration, Qt Creator offers a lot of nice features that make software development easier.

        • Madeline ‘Madds’ Holland: Everyone Struggles

          The theme for week 3 of the Outreachy internship was Everyone Struggles, and fittingly, I struggled a lot while writing this post. I almost had it done then my WordPress tab crashed and come to find out my clicking “save draft” every minute had not actually saved anything, so this is actually my second take for writing this post. When you’re writing something, make sure it’s actually saving when you hit the save button.

          [...]

          2) When context isn’t enough, search! I generally do DuckDuckGo searches with the unknown word or acronym along with the context I found it in, for example not too long ago I came across BBB in the GNOME project’s Rocket Chat webapp, so I knew from the context (it was the flavor text when hovering over a call button) that it had something to do with GNOME and video/audio calls, so I searched for “BBB GNOME” and a few variations in DuckDuckGo and Google, which didn’t give me meaningful results on account of BBB also standing for Better Business Bureau, which led me to:

        • AdaCore Qualifies C Compiler for Alstom’s Safety-Critical Railway Systems
  • Leftovers

    • The Aliens Are Coming to Help
    • The World’s Displaced People: an Egregious Abdication of Responsibility

      Rather than the 21st Century being a time of progress towards equity, or sustainable solutions to our global problems, the latter are instead becoming more intractable, more vicious, and more entrenched. While the international community has been shutting down its borders, resulting in a significant drop in asylum applications, the numbers of those seeking safety has risen inexorably to reach eye-watering proportions.

      Amid some of the worst challenges to global sustainability in the history of human civilization, so-called ‘global leaders’ have fallen over each other to create a more hostile environment for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The United Kingdom has slashed its overseas aid budget and opted for making the English Channel, in Home Secretary Priti Patel’s words, ‘unviable’ as a route of entry.

    • The Myths of Point Reyes

      A critical controversy continues to simmer unnoticed on the West Coast. The question of how to administer one national park, and by extension how to manage public lands, is as-we-speak being answered at Point Reyes National Seashore, just north of San Francisco. So far, the answer ventured has been per the druthers of the ranches and dairies which occupy a third of the park.  But so far, the basic facts of the matter have remained under that simmering pot’s wobbling lid, out of sight and of no concern to the people who own the land – the American public. This series of blogs aims to boil-over what should already be front-page news: a few influential businesses and their in-tow politicians are planning to enshrine a wildly unpopular, environmentally irresponsible, and socially unjust policy under the radar of those directly affected.

      This is part one of a three-part series on this multi-faceted and important issue. Part one introduces the subject with context, and treats the myths of Stewardship, Perpetuity, and Creation.  Part two will explore the myths of Legality, Special Jurisdiction, History, and Economy. Part three will explore the myths of Popularity, Local Authority, and Process. 

    • Liberation and Reaction in the Big Apple

      It was a warm night so many women and some men were scantily attired. I felt very much the way I’ve felt in the South of France in summer when the French eat and drink at small outdoor restaurants with tables and chairs set up in the street and conversation soar.

      I got around the city by subway and by train when I went to Westchester and Columbia counties. I was staying in Brooklyn near the Gowanus Canal in a neighborhood rapidly becoming Yuppified. To visit friends in Manhattan I had a 50-minute or so ride on the F train and also on the 1 and the 6. The subways aren’t the way I remember them from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. I saw no people sleeping in subway cars and subway stations and no signs of crack cocaine, but it’s also a dirty city with garbage everywhere.

    • The Passing of the Present and the Decline of America

      Had I reflected on Vonnegut’s question then, my guess is that I would have judged the present to be both very wide and very deep and, as a white American male, mine to possess indefinitely. Life, of course, was by no means perfect. The Vietnam War had obviously not gone exactly as expected. The cacophonous upheaval known as “the Sixties” had produced considerable unease and consternation. Yet a majority of Americans — especially those with their hands on the levers of political, corporate, and military power — saw little reason to doubt that history remained on its proper course and that was good enough for me.

      In other words, despite the occasional setbacks and disappointments of the recent past, this country’s global preeminence remained indisputable, not just in theory but in fact. That the United States would enjoy such a status for the foreseeable future seemed a foregone conclusion. After all, if any single nation prefigured the destiny of humankind, it was ours. Among the lessons taught by history itself, nothing ranked higher or seemed more obvious. Primacy, in other words, defined our calling.

    • Job Scams Targeting College Graduates Are Common — Here’s What to Look For

      The career center at the University of Texas at Austin, for example, has a dedicated section of its website that includes those alerts from Handshake and other job boards, and vets all jobs before they can be approved for the university’s jobs portal, HireUTexas, powered by Handshake. Of the more than 28,000 jobs approved in the portal during the past academic year, only five were found to be fraudulent, with just four of over 4,000 employers, said Norma Guerra Gaier, executive director of the university’s Texas Career Engagement center.

      But experts tell Teen Vogue that scammers have managed to create work-arounds. Sometimes they email students impersonating university career-service offices or create fake job postings for legitimate companies on copycat web pages. Other times the opportunities come in the form of a message that appears to be from a friend advertising job opportunities, or in the comments section of a news article.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Is Indonesia Really a Pandemic Basket Case?

        The article also reports that a number of doctors and other health care workers have been infected, and several have died, even after getting two shots of Sinovac, one of the vaccines developed by China.

        Unfortunately, the piece does not put any of this in a context that is likely to make it meaningful to most NYT readers. First, it would be helpful to point out that Indonesia’s population is 276 million, more than 83 percent of the size of the U.S. population. That means the 20,000 cases reported on Thursday would be equivalent to roughly 24,000 cases in the United States. The infection rate in the United States peaked in late January at more than 250,000 a day, a figure more than ten times as high, adjusted for population.

      • Ultra-Contagious Covid Delta Variant ‘Wreaking Havoc’ Worldwide

        In Bangladesh, troops are preparing to patrol the streets to enforce newly imposed stay-at-home orders. Australia, recently heralded as a pandemic success story, is returning to strict lockdowns. Scotland is seeing a record-breaking surge in new coronavirus infections. Indonesia is teetering on the edge of a public health catastrophe.

        “We have seen this movie before elsewhere—the Delta variant creeps up from the underbelly of falling cases of other variants, overtakes all variants, and then causes a surge. Don’t let this happen where you are.”—Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, Federation of American Scientists

      • How the Pandemic Made It Harder to Become a Doctor

        Over the past year, college students have been inspired by medical and public health professionals working tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical schools in the United States have seen a 17 percent increase in applications so far, with the average yearly increase in applications usually at less than 3 percent. Geoffrey Young, a senior director with AAMC, called this uptick unprecedented.

      • The Delta Variant and COVID-19: What It Means for Masks, Vaccines, and Restrictions

        What is this Delta variant? How has the virus changed? And what does it mean for the pandemic as we move forward from vaccine rollout to mask mandates to new lockdowns? Here’s what we know.

      • WHO: Delta variant is ‘most transmissible’ identified so far

        The head of the World Health Organization said the COVID-19 delta variant, first seen in India, is “the most transmissible of the variants identified so far,” and warned it is now spreading in at least 85 countries.

        At a press briefing on Friday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the lack of vaccines in poor countries was exacerbating the delta variant’s transmission. He described a recent meeting he attended of an advisory group established to allocate vaccines.

      • Delta is fast becoming the world’s dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2

        According to GISAID, a data-sharing initiative for corona- and influenza-virus sequences, the delta variant has been identified in 78 countries (see chart). The mutation is thought to be perhaps two or three times more transmissible than the original virus first spotted in Wuhan in China in 2019. It is rapidly gaining dominance over others. According to GISAID’s latest four-week average, it represents more than 85% of sequenced viruses in Bangladesh, Britain, India, Indonesia and Russia. It may soon be the most prevalent strain in America, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. (GISAID does not, in its summary data, distinguish between delta, B.1.617.2, and the “delta plus” mutation, AY.1, AY.2.)

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Ransomware a threat to national security, says Deutch counterterrorism office [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Ransomware attacks have the capacity to destabilize the Netherlands and is a threat to national security, the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) said in its annual report on cybersecurity, released on Monday. It is the first time the office has categorized the cyber crime as endangering national security, though the practice of hijacking data, encrypting it, and charging money to unlock it actually dates back to the 1990s.

          The agency suggested cybercrime is showing no signs of slowing down. The theft of data, disrupted systems, blocked data traffic, interrupted communications services, and the possible shut down of utility services like water, gas and energy providers can all have massive consequences for society and the economy.

        • Security

          • Microsoft approved a Windows driver booby-trapped with rootkit malware

            Microsoft on Friday admitted it had signed malicious third-party driver code submitted for certification through its Windows Hardware Compatibility Program.

            According to Microsoft, the miscreant behind the subverted driver was focused on computer game players in China, and is not the sort of nation-state-backed group that has been giving Microsoft and its enterprise customers headaches over the past few months.

          • You can hijack Google Cloud VMs using DHCP floods, says this guy, once the stars are aligned and… • The Register

            Google Compute Engine virtual machines can be hijacked and made to hand over root shell access via a cunning DHCP attack, according to security researcher Imre Rad.

            Though the weakness remains unpatched, there are some mitigating factors that diminish the potential risk. Overall, it’s a pretty neat hack if a tad impractical: it’s an Ocean’s Eleven of exploitation that you may find interesting from a network security point of view.

          • UK Cabinet Office’s spending on cybersecurity training rises by 500% in a year

            The Cabinet Office spaffed almost £300,000 on cybersecurity-related training for its staff in the last year – an eye-popping increase of almost 500 per cent on the year before.

            This is according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by political think tank Parliament Street, which found the Cabinet Office lavished £274,142.85 on cybersecurity training for staff in the 2020/21 financial year, with courses including “The Art of Hacking”, “Digital Forensics Fundamentals”, and “Ethical Hacking.”

          • Avast Threat Labs finds U.S. most vulnerable to tech support fraud

            The COVID pandemic accelerated this concerning global trend, particularly in the United States and Canada. According to the FBI, tech support fraud was one of the top three crime trends in 2020. As more people began relying on the internet for everyday pursuits, this illicit activity increased by over 171 percent from 2019. These scams are particularly insidious as they disproportionately prey on susceptible populations, including those over 60 years of age. Worse still, although seniors make up 66 percent of the victims of tech support fraud, they shoulder a disproportionate amount of the losses at 84 percent in the U.S., which translated to $116 million in 2020.

          • ‘Malicious’ Actor Is Wiping The Data Of Countless Western Digital My Book Users

            Owners of the Western Digital popular My Book external hard drives aren’t having a particularly good week. The company is advising customers to stop using the devices for now after customers mysteriously found their data deleted. According to complaints over at the company’s website (first spotted by Bleeping Computer), many users say they woke up to find that the content of their external USB-connected storage drives had been completely wiped. Worse, they couldn’t log in to the device’s administrative systems to run any kind of diagnosis on the drives:

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facial Recognition’s Latest Failure Is Keeping People From Accessing Their Unemployment Benefits

              Is there anything facial recognition tech can’t do?

            • [Old] How Amazon Assistant lets Amazon track your every move on the web

              While, technically speaking, no remote code is being executed in extension context here, delegating all extension privileges to remote code makes no difference in practice. So Amazon Assistant clearly violates Mozilla’s policies, and we can expect Mozilla to enforce their policies here. With Honey, another shopping assistant violating this rule the enforcement process is already in its fifth month, and the extension is still available on Mozilla Add-ons without any changes. Well, maybe at some point…

            • A Twitter bug temporarily removed the option to switch to the chronological feed on the web

              Twitter has fixed a bug that left some of us horrified when we opened the site (as is often the case, but for different reasons) — those viewing the social network in a web browser found that they no longer had the option to switch between the algorithmic view and the reverse-chronological one. The algorithmic view, which shows tweets out of order, has been much maligned since it first appeared, and the bug on Tuesday had people worried that Twitter was finally starting to force it on everyone.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Though Evidence Is Lacking, US Media Give New Respect to Lab Leak Theory

        While many Western media outlets (e.g., NBC, 5/4/20; BBC, 4/26/20) reported on the evidence-free speculations surrounding a potential lab leak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China’s Hubei province last year (FAIR.org, 4/17/20), it has never enjoyed as much mainstream credibility as it has in recent months.

      • Watchdog Says Insurrectionist Lawmakers, Including Trump, Should Be Barred From Public Office

        Calling on election officials across the U.S. to recognize that the nation “is at a critical crossroads,” a non-profit legal advocacy group on Tuesday cited the 14th Amendment as it demanded Republicans who aided the January 6 insurrection—including former President Donald Trump—be barred from holding public office in the future.

        The democracy watchdog Free Speech for People sent letters to the secretaries of state of all 50 states as part of its 14point3 campaign, calling attention to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states:

      • Czech Republic demands full reparation from Russia over 2014 explosions in Vrbetice

        According to a statement from the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry, Prague has invoked Russia’s responsibility under international law for its alleged involvement two fatal explosions at military ammunition depots in Vrbetice in 2014. 

      • America’s Nearly $1.3 Trillion National Security Budget Isn’t Making Us Any Safer

        President Biden’s first Pentagon budget, released late last month, is staggering by any reasonable standard.  At more than $750 billion for the Defense Department and related work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy, it represents one of the highest levels of spending since World War II—far higher than the peaks of the Korean or Vietnam wars or President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup of the 1980s, and roughly three times what China spends on its military.

      • Biden’s First Pentagon Budget Is One of the Highest Since World War II. Why?
      • Biden’s Latest Middle East Airstrikes Give “More Fuel” to Conflict With Iran
      • Amid Nuclear Talks, Biden’s Latest Middle East Airstrikes Give “More Fuel” to Conflict with Iran

        Criticism is growing of recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, which the Biden administration says targeted Iran-backed militias. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi condemned the attack as a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.” The U.S. airstrikes come as the Biden administration is holding indirect talks with Iran about reviving the Iranian nuclear deal. Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, says the U.S. needs to end its “constant tit for tat” with Iran across the Middle East. “By failing to pivot away from that and instead bombing targets inside of Iraq, we are giving more fuel to this conflict,” he says.

      • Biden’s Failure to End Trump’s War on Cuba Is Threatening Lives

        Imagine a country developing and producing its own Covid-19 vaccines, enough to cover its entire population, but being unable to inoculate everyone because of a syringe shortage. This absurd situation is real, and one that Cuba will soon face. Cuba has already vaccinated about 2 million of its 11 million people, and hopes to have 70 percent of the population vaccinated by August. Yet, because of the 60-year US embargo, which punishes civilians during a pandemic, the country is facing a shortage of millions of syringes.

      • Iran’s Hardliners are Back, Too

        Although certainly distorted by the powerful, U.S. democracy is not entirely scripted. If nothing else, the victory of Donald Trump in 2016 should have dispelled this particular misconception since the array of forces within the Republican Party, the intelligentsia, and Wall Street were initially unified against him. By the same token, the come-from-behind victory of Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush in her House race in Missouri in 2020 also demonstrates, on a smaller scale, that U.S. elections cannot be predicted in advance.

        Iranian elections, on the other hand, are generally considered semi-democratic at best. Here, a true deep state of clerics and security organs really does stage-manage the elections in often quite transparent ways. This year, for instance, the Guardian Council of clerics and lawyers qualified only seven presidential candidates out of the 592 that registered. Forty women threw their hats into the ring, and the Council rejected all of them. It also made sure that no viable reformist candidates would compete in the race.

      • Gunboat Diplomacy will not Revive Britain’s Fading Power, Whatever Boris Johnson Thinks

        “If you are going to bomb a country you might at least pay it the compliment of finding out where it is,” replied Hitchens, as he delivered the knockout blow. Heston angrily but vainly tried to defend his credibility by saying that he had been insulted which provoked a final jibe from Hitchens who told him “to keep his hairpiece on.”

        The exchange elicited much mockery of Heston at the time, but I recalled it this week as politicians, retired military officers and assorted pundits debated the despatch of a modern Type-45 British destroyer, HMS Defender, to sail close to the coast of Crimea. The purpose was to demonstrate that Britain does not recognise the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. I wondered how many of the supposed experts endorsing the British action could pass what might be called the “Heston test” and name the countries bordering the Black Sea.

      • How close did Trump come to attempting a military coup? Much too close

        ProPublica recently obtained emails revealing that the violence by Trump’s followers on Jan. 6 by Trump’s followers was predictable and in no sense unexpected. In their new reporting, Joshua Kaplan and Joaquin Sapien explain that they interviewed “more than 50 people involved in the events of Jan. 6″ and reviewed months’ worth of private correspondence: [...]

      • US Capitol [Insurrection] Arrests Mount While Some Defendants Plead Out

        Weyer’s arrest exemplifies the doggedness with which the FBI is pursuing virtually every person who took part in what officials have decried as an unprecedented assault on American democracy. The attack left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer, and more than 100 other officers injured. Prosecutors say the hours long rampage also caused at least $1.5 million in damage to the historic building.

      • Sikh Groups Protest “Kidnapping, Conversion” Of Women In J&K: 10 Points

        Speaking to news agency NDTV, Mr Sirsa said, “Home Minister Amit Shah has assured us about the safety of minority Sikh girls in the valley and that the girls would be soon returned to their families. He has given time to meet the Sikh delegation soon to discuss their concerns.”

      • Sikh community demands law after reports of woman’s forced conversion, marriage to Muslim man: All you need to know

        Members of the Sikh community took out marches on roads and highways across Jammu and Kashmir to protest against the alleged “abduction and forcible conversion”. Sirsa, also the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, landed in Srinagar on Monday and staged a protest along with a group of Sikhs. The protestors demanded the women’s return to their families and that an anti-conversion law is put into effect in the Union Territory.

      • Protests against ‘conversion’ of 18-year-old in Srinagar intensify

        The stir began on Sunday after police said that the Sikh woman, a resident of Srinagar, was allegedly abducted by a 29-year-old Muslim man. There was, however, no clarity on whether the woman had converted to Islam of her free will or if the abduction charges were genuine.

        Police said the man was arrested on kidnapping charges on Saturday, days after the woman’s parents filed kidnapping charges against the man. They also denied charges of conversion, a charge levelled by the protesters.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Hasan Piker on the problem with YouTube debate culture

        The whole fiasco raised serious questions about debate culture online and how platforms like YouTube and Twitch are influencing politics at large. I asked Hasan Piker, a popular Twitch commentator and former Young Turks broadcast journalist, to talk about it. Piker has been a vocal critic of debate culture without shying away from his channel’s political clout. As he tells it, the “debate me” challenge is just a branding exercise — and it’s one he’s increasingly willing to skip.

    • Environment

      • UK Government in Court over Climate Impacts of the Country’s ‘Largest Ever’ Road Expansion Project

        Campaigners are challenging the UK’s largest ever road building strategy on the grounds that its impact on the climate was not fully considered. 

        During a two-day judicial review hearing in the High Court on June 29 and 30, Transport Action Network (TAN) is arguing that ministers should have evaluated how the government’s whole £27.4 billion second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) would affect the country’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

      • Fact check: Is half a degree of warming really such a big deal?

        Using satellite data to examine glaciers and the poles, scientists from the UK’s University of Edinburgh, University College London and University of Leeds concluded that some 800 billion metric tons of ice was lost annually in the 1990s. By 2017, however, that number had risen to 1.2 trillion tons each year within that time span.

      • I Moved to Portland Because It Seemed Like a Safe Bet in the Face of Climate Change. I Was Naive

        I’ve been writing about global warming for nearly two decades. One of my first features for Rolling Stone, in 2004, “Diary of a Dying Planet,” grappled with the first observable effects of climate change. That story began with a description of a deadly 2003 heat wave that killed some 70,000 people across Europe, and reported that global warming was no longer an over-the-horizon threat, but here and now: [...]

      • Rep. Jamaal Bowman: We Need Climate & Racial Justice Addressed in Broader Infrastructure Package

        As western states battle record-breaking heat waves, climate activists are calling on the Biden administration and congressional Democrats to pass an infrastructure bill that includes major investments in green energy, including a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps. President Biden says he reached a bipartisan deal with senators on a slimmed-down infrastructure spending bill, but Democrats hope to pass a second, larger infrastructure package with a budget reconciliation process that would not require any Republican votes. The bipartisan deal is “completely unacceptable” on its own, says New York Democratic Congressmember Jamal Bowman. “If we want to maintain control and the opportunity to do great work in 2022, it’s time for Democrats to deliver in this moment.’’ We also speak with David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect, who explains why the bipartisan infrastructure bill has been described as a “stalking horse” for privatization, and notes record heat and crumbling infrastructure are “screaming for a change in priorities in America because of the climate crisis.”

      • Northwest Heat Wave Is a Symptom of Terrifying Runaway Climate Feedback Loops
      • Experts Warn Florida Tower Disaster Is Climate Emergency ‘Wake-Up Call’

        In the search for answers following last week’s disintegration of a high-rise condominium tower near Miami, some experts are cautiously pointing to the climate emergency as a possible culprit—or at the very least a risk multiplier in the disaster—underscoring the need for urgent climate and infrastructure action.

        “Climate change can play a role. It can cause settlement of the ground with sea level rise, and corrosion.”—Atorod Azizinamini, FIU

      • Energy

        • 500+ Groups Rally on Capitol Hill Demanding End to ‘Outrageous’ Fossil Fuel Subsidies

          The U.S. movement for climate justice continued a series of actions planned for the nation’s capital this week with a Tuesday morning rally focused on ending fossil fuel subsidies.

          “As discussions around infrastructure and budget reconciliation heat up… one red line for progressives is making sure we end fossil fuel subsidies.”—Joseph Geevarghese, Our Revolution

        • Biden’s Position on Line 3 Abandons His Climate Commitments

          On June 23, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice filed a brief that upheld a Trump Administration position on a federal lawsuit challenging a key permit for the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. The filing stated that the Army Corps of Engineers’s decision to issue a permit for Line 3 had “satisfied NEPA’s [the National Environmental Policy Act] requirements by taking a hard look at the impacts of issuing the Permit and Permission and considering a reasonable range of alternatives.”

        • Climate heat is changing Earth’s water cycle

          Humans have begun to alter Earth’s water cycle, and not in a good way: expect later monsoon rains and thirstier farmlands.

        • Adani Strikes Coal

          The interview set the background for another sad chapter in the continued environmental renting of Australia.  The company had found its first coal seam in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. As the ABC reported, it meant “the extraction of thermal coal at the 44,700-hectare site can begin.” The head of the Indian Adani Group, billionaire Gautam Adani, was celebrating his 59th birthday. “There couldn’t be a better birthday gift than being able to strengthen our nation’s energy security and provide affordable power to India’s millions,” tweeted the delighted chairman.

          Even as oil and gas giants face court decisions and shareholder insurgencies about not having sufficient, tenably projected plans to reduce emissions, Adani remains antiquated in its stubbornness. Its vandalising behaviour flies in the face of even such conservative, pro-fossil fuel defenders such as the International Energy Agency. In its May report, the IEA noted, keeping in mind the target of a net-zero emissions world by 2050, that more simply had to be done. Certainly, it argued, more could be done to meet 2030 targets. “Mandates and standards are vital to drive consumer spending and industry investment into the most efficient technologies. Targets and competitive auctions can enable wind and solar to accelerate the electricity sector transition. Fossil fuel subsidy phase-outs, carbon pricing and other market reforms can ensure appropriate price signals.”

        • Five simple ways to reduce your electricity bill at home

          Why is the electricity bill so high every month? If living in self-quarantine has made you well aware of the extra electricity you’ve been using on lights, there are plenty of simple measures you can take to lower your electric bill. Today, we will tell you 5 ways that you can adopt in order to reduce your electricity bill.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Stopping the Logging of Redwoods on California’s North Coast: Mendocino County’s Jackson Demonstration State Forest

          The Jackson State Demonstration Forest is managed by CALFIRE, the huge state bureaucracy known mainly for fighting fires; that we may be thankful for. Alas, there seems to be very little evidence that CALFIRE is much interested in forest ecology. They do no logging themselves but farm out the work to a garden variety of logging operations, this time to Anderson Logging of Fort Bragg. Financially, it’s no big deal for CALFIRE, a darling of the state in this era of wildfire. Nevertheless, the evidence is that the income (from this “cash cow” as the locals call it) is important for them. Since then Forest’s inception they’ve fought tooth and nail to defeat any and all suggestions to reverse its practice, no evidence to hint that it might be interested in other, better uses for Jackson State. No doubt the high price of timber this spring influenced them to hurry up, but they like other public agencies prefer the fait accompli. They play by the very letter of the law.

          The news of new logging plans – all on the far western slopes of the forest, beginning with the “Caspar 500,” the closest to residential communities – was received with disbelief on the coast, where the forest is cherished (even in its present state) by many – hikers, dog walkers, mushroom pickers, bicycle riders. Chad Swimmer, president of the Mendocino Trail Stewards, a bicyclists’ organization, reported he was “heart broken” when he “first heard that CALFIRE was planning logging in my back yard. I was heartbroken and indignant, but I didn’t know how to contest a timber harvest plan (THP). Now I do, I know the protocol. I also understand that this agency considers itself all powerful and unstoppable – with no need to argue with the public about forest management.”

        • Oregon Lawmakers Set Out to Increase the Timber Industry’s Tax Bill. Instead, They Cut It Again.

          Oregon lawmakers pledged to increase taxes on the timber industry and rein in its influence during this year’s legislative session. Instead, they handed the companies an unexpected gift — another tax break.

          As the session wrapped last week, lawmakers gutted the remaining $15 million annual harvest tax paid by timber companies for cutting down trees. The move eliminated about $9 million in annual revenue that helps fund Oregon State University’s forestry research and the Department of Forestry’s enforcement of state logging laws. Money for the programs will temporarily come from the state’s general fund, forcing the costs onto taxpayers.

    • Finance

      • Peter Thiel Will Pay Zero in Federal Income Tax on His $5 Billion in Gains
      • Dear NPR: The Stock Market Is Not the Economy

        I have a pet peeve with NPR. Why do so many of its top- of- the- hour five minute newscasts begin and end with short stock market updates? Is there no more important factoid its news editors could be passing along to us?

      • Why Your Chipotle Burrito Costs More

        Don’t hold your breath. Or your guacamole.

      • [Cr]ackers have had access to Danish national bank for seven months [iophk: Windows TCO]

        For seven months hackers have been able to bypass Nationalbanken’s IT system. According to Version2, the breach happened in the wake of the global SolarWinds-cyberattack in December 2020.

        It appears that Nationalbanken has only been affected by a so-called stage 1-compromise, which means that a stump of code has informed hackers of a backdoor into the security system that they could potentially use.

      • Mysterious Bitcoin Maximalist Mircea Popescu Allegedly Found Dead

        Just like the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamato sparked a thrilling hunt for the true identity of the person or persons behind Bitcoin, the network has reportedly lost one of its most enigmatic and polarizing figures of the last decade.

        Mircea Popescu, a Romanian national and noted Bitcoin maximalist who promised to dump over one million bitcoins if block sizes were adjusted, supposedly drowned off the coast of Costa Rica on June 23rd. Confirmation of his passing has been scant, with outlets originally reporting that a Polish national had drowned.

        [...]

        Mired in controversy for years, Popescu left behind many quotes and sayings, some of which painted a fairly negative image of the man himself. Yet, none of his antics were taken so seriously as his promise to dump a million bitcoins in the market if changes were made to Bitcoin block sizes (this reportedly occurred in 2016), earning him the moniker “Father of Bitcoin Toxicity.” Eventually, Segwit2x, an initiative designed to double the block size to 2MB, was abandoned and cemented the network’s use of the 1MB block size.

        Despite never being confirmed, it was inferred that Popescu actually did command control over that vast swathe of a million bitcoin, which, if true, made him likely the only bitcoin millionaire (owner of more than one million coins). However, this figure was never confirmed. It did create concerns in light of his alleged death, though, that one million bitcoins could hit the market and cause prices to careen lower.

        For now, the situation remains shrouded in mystery amid the lack of formal confirmation of his passing.

      • Kim’s success secrets: 5 leadership lessons I’ve learned

        I was 25 years old making $150,000 a year, but something was missing. My father thought I was crazy for leaving a great paycheck like that behind, but helping people understand technology and media was my passion.

        [...]

        When I was 8 or 9, she was working on the first video phone, the 411 system, and she was told when she interviewed, “You have four kids, if the kids are sick, you can’t take off.” So, if I was ever sick, she would take me to work with her.

        One time when she took me to work with her, one of her coworkers asked me, “Hey, do you want to play a computer game? It’s called Hunt the Wumpus.” I didn’t know this at the time, but I was beta testing the game. Any time I saw an error code pop up, I was instructed to tell him what the code was, and I was so fascinated by this. They were working on moving the game to another version of Unix at the time, and I was obsessed with helping the process.

        My sisters hated it because I would tie up the phone lines. They sent me home with a computer to keep beta testing! I didn’t know it then, but looking back, that’s when my passion for computers started.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • False facts mistaken for reality by about half of New Zealanders

        Among the 2300 people surveyed, false beliefs included believing scientists were lying about the safety of vaccines, believing 5G communications caused Covid-19, and that climate change was not caused by human activity.

        The [Internet] played a key role in spreading false facts, the survey found.

      • Half the country sucked in by at least one bit of misinformation – chief censor

        Misinformation is common in New Zealand and is undermining the public’s trust, a survey from the country’s chief censor has found. From 1080 to climate change, nearly half the population believes something that isn’t true.

        Along with the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has faced an epidemic of false information over the past year, with the two often linked. The sight of violence at the US Capitol did as much as warnings from the World Health Organisation to underline the dangers of the infodemic.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russian oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin files libel lawsuit against The Insider

        Kremlin-linked catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin has filed a libel lawsuit with Moscow’s Basmanny District Court against the publication The Insider, says the press service for his company Concord. 

      • YouTube Reverses Course on “Permanent” Ban of Media Watchdog Right Wing Watch
      • Once Again: Content Moderation Often Mistakes Reporting On Bad Behavior With Celebrating Bad Behavior

        On Monday, the Twitter account Right Wing Watch — which is famous for highlighting some of the nuttier nonsense said by Republicans — announced that its YouTube account had been permanently banned.

      • Judge tosses frivolous lawsuit by heiress Sulome Anderson seeking to destroy The Grayzone
      • Parler refused Trump demand to ban his critics: book

        Trump never ended up joining the platform after he was kicked off Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks after the Jan. 6 Capitol [insurrection].

        Parler ended up in trouble after the [insurrection] as well as it was kicked off Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

      • January 6 Reckoning

        The veep who’d been slavishly loyal, Mike Pence, Accomplished his duty despite the mob, hence He’s now called a traitor; the hatred’s intense. In cults deviation’s the final offense.

      • Chinese uni students harassed: report

        The study canvassed 22 academics and 26 mostly pro-democracy students in Australia between September and April this year.

        Students were subject to censorship and harassment on social media and feared the consequences for their families back home.

        Human Rights Watch verified three cases where students’ families in China were visited by or requested to meet with police about their activities in Australia.

      • China pressure ‘undermining Australian universities’, report says

        Human Rights Watch found such students feel surveilled in Australia, leading many to self-censor in classrooms.

        Academics teaching China courses in the country say they have also felt pressure to censor themselves.

        The rights group said the perceived pressure was undermining the academic freedom of Australian universities.

        Australia’s higher education system is heavily reliant on fee-paying Chinese students, which accounted in pre-Covid times for about 40% of all international students in the country.

      • Requiem for the American Civil Liberties Union

        The ACLU is now rolling in money, but it is intellectually bankrupt in its defense of free speech and due process—especially when these core liberties conflict with its money-making progressive agenda. This is particularly true with respect to the attacks on free speech and due process on university campuses, which are rampant and largely ignored by the current ACLU.

      • ‘A Form of Brainwashing’: China Remakes Hong Kong

        The Chinese Communist Party is remaking this city, permeating its once vibrant, irreverent character with ever more overt signs of its authoritarian will. The very texture of daily life is under assault as Beijing molds Hong Kong into something more familiar, more docile.

        Residents now swarm police hotlines with reports about disloyal neighbors or colleagues. Teachers have been told to imbue students with patriotic fervor through 48-volume book sets called “My Home Is in China.” Public libraries have removed dozens of books from circulation, including one about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

      • Kyle Rittenhouse, American Vigilante

        Rittenhouse tried to flag down armored vehicles that were now moving toward the victims, but they passed him by, even after witnesses pointed out that he’d just shot people. Next, he approached a police cruiser, but an officer inside apparently told him, “No—go.”

        Two men were fatally shot. A third was maimed. Everyone involved in the shootings was white. The astonishing fact that Rittenhouse was allowed to leave the scene underscored the racial double standard that activists had sought to further expose: the police almost certainly wouldn’t have let a Black man pass.

      • A Florida Free Speech Professor Discusses Ron DeSantis’ Assault on the First Amendment

        University campuses aren’t the only places where DeSantis is working to stifle free speech. In April, he signed an “anti-riot” bill to counter demonstrations around the Derek Chauvin verdict, prompting legal challenges. A month later, he signed a bill that would prevent social media companies from banning accounts of politicians running for office in the state, prompting more legal challenges. A month after that, DeSantis successfully pushed the Florida Board of Education to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in public school classrooms, arguing such a ban would prevent the school system from “indoctrinating” students with “toxic” ideology. (The unspoken but obvious undercurrent here is that DeSantis is jockeying to be the heir to Donald Trump’s bigoted political empire, possibly through a run for president in 2024.)

        As we’ve been reminded with terrifying clarity since Trump took office, not even the most foundational elements of American democracy should be taken for granted. This remains the case in Florida, which is now legislating the former president’s assault on the First Amendment.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russia’s top cop and his curious friends and family Police raid homes of journalists hours before release of report about fabulous wealth and dubious associates linked to interior minister’s relatives

        On June 28, the investigative news website Proekt announced its latest report: a deep dive into the personal history and family wealth of Russia’s top cop, Vladimir Kolokoltsev. The next morning, police officers raided the homes of Maria Zholobova, the story’s author, and Proekt editor-in-chief Roman Badanin. At Zholobova’s home, officials detained Proekt deputy chief editor Mikhail Rubin, whose parents were also visited by the police on Tuesday. The authorities acted under the umbrella of a defamation case related to a documentary series that aired back in 2017 on the television network Dozhd, which Badanin and Zholobova co-created. Despite the raids, Proekt nevertheless released its new report about Kolokoltsev. Meduza summarizes it here.

      • Moscow police raid homes of Proekt journalists who investigated Russia’s top cop

        Police officers in Moscow took three journalists from the investigative outlet Proekt in for questioning after searching their homes on the morning of Tuesday, June 29. The raids coincided with Proekt publishing a major investigative report into the alleged family wealth of Russia’s top police official, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev. The author of the report, Maria Zholobova, was taken in for questioning alongside Proekt editor-in-chief Roman Badnin and deputy editor-in-chief Mikhail Rubin. Officially, the police raided the journalists’ homes as part of a criminal libel case over a 2017 journalistic investigation into alleged mobster Ilya Traber and his links to Vladimir Putin’s inner-circle. Though the statute of limitations for prosecution has technically lapsed, the three journalists have been declared witnesses in the case.

      • ‘I’ll survive some community service’ Proekt’s journalists talk to Meduza after facing police raids and interrogations

        On the morning of June 29, Moscow police raided the homes of three journalists from the investigative outlet Proekt: editor-in-chief Roman Badanin, his first deputy Mikhail Rubin, and correspondent Maria Zholobova. After seizing their laptops, cell phones, flash drives, and SIM cards, the police took the journalists in for questioning. They were later released after being declared witnesses in a criminal libel case initiated in late 2017 at the request of businessman Ilya Traber — an alleged mobster from St. Petersburg, who’s also a long-time acquaintance of Vladimir Putin. After leaving the interrogation, Roman Badnin told the press that the reason for the raids wasn’t the Traber case, but rather an investigation that Proekt published that same day: a deep dive into the alleged family wealth of Russia’s top police official, Vladimir Kolokoltsev (You can read Meduza’s summary here). Meduza special correspondent Anastasia Yakoreva spoke with the three journalists about what the police were looking for, the questions they asked, and what Proekt plans to do next. 

      • FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart

        On the final day of the Assange extradition hearing, magistrate Vanessa Baraitser refused to accept an affidavit from Assange’s solicitor Gareth Peirce, on the grounds it was out of time. The affidavit explained that the defence had been unable to respond to the new accusations in the United States government’s second superseding indictment, because these wholly new matters had been sprung on them just six weeks before the hearing resumed on 8 September 2020.

      • Holder, Barr, DOJ and FBI Outed in Slimy Plot Against Assange

        Undeterred by the 2011 mess, in May of 2019 William Barr (probably with equally enthusiastic approval from his boss) stepped into Holder’s shoes by reigniting the disgusting Assange frame-up plot. Quite incredibly, he and the FBI re-embraced the same old child-molesting embezzler–now freshly out of the Icelandic penitentiary–to bear false witness on a raft of newly concocted DOJ criminal charges against Assange. As part of the payoff to their jailbird stool pigeon, the FBI-DOJ even promised him US immunity from whatever string of fraud, forging and hacking crimes he had committed in Iceland over the years–immunity that apparently inspired this creep to launch a new and expanded crime wave.

        I defy you to find a whisper of this major scandal anywhere in our MSM (save Amy Goodman, who managed to get this past the NPR filter). Nor will you find a whisper in the UK’s MSM, who of course will be busy covering up Westminster District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s complicity in the fraudulent US charges.

      • Attorney General Says He’ll Support Legislation That Bans The DOJ From Targeting Reporters During Leak Investigations

        The first half of this year has been periodically interrupted with news of the DOJ’s attempts to obtain journalists’ phone and email records. The Trump Administration targeted journalists at CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post while trying to sniff out the sources of White House leaks.

      • At least 22 newspapers “murdered” in the past five years

        One of the few leading Chinese-language media outlets that was still criticising the Chinese government, Apple Daily is just the latest example of a newspaper that was deliberately “murdered” by means of often drawn-out but ultimately lethal judicial harassment or economic strangulation.

        They include Vtime, a Russian online newspaper that closed earlier this month, Akhbar Al-Ayoum, a Moroccan daily that shut down in March, and two newspapers in Myanmar, 7 Day News and Eleven. The following non-exhaustive lists shows how newspapers in all parts of the world were “put to death” in a wide range of political circumstances.

      • Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation launches fundraising campaign with $6 Million in new support

        Seed grants from the Annenberg Foundation and Knight Foundation will help fund a national memorial to commemorate America’s commitment to freedom of the press and those who died advancing it

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Are Pro-Choice Catholics Worthy of Communion?

        When it comes to talking about the Catholic Church, it’s always advisable to take the long, broad view. The recent vagaries of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have been well-publicized: Following conspicuously Catholic President Biden’s reversal of a decades-long ban on federal abortion funding, the USCCB voted to draft a document that would redefine the Eucharistic discipline (that is, encourage or possibly even mandate priests not to grant communion to openly pro-choice Catholic politicians). A subsequent document apparently backtracked on the decision, claiming, “There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians.” All of a sudden, everyone had an opinion.

      • Free the Children: Advocates Demand Biden Close Fort Bliss Detention Center Holding 800 Migrant Kids

        Migrant children held by the Biden administration are reporting suicide and escape attempts and conditions of spoiled food, extreme heat and panic attacks in the largest so-called emergency shelter for migrant children in the U.S., at the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas. More than 14,000 migrant children are currently in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, which has set up 15 emergency sites like the one at Fort Bliss to get them out of overcrowded Border Patrol holding facilities. Vice President Kamala Harris did not visit the Fort Bliss tent city on her recent visit to the southern border, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra was met with protests when he toured the facility Monday. “We have seen so many instances of potential abuse inside that specific detention center,” says Fernando García, founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, who met with Harris during her visit. “Instead of investing in jails,” he says the administration should take a more humane approach and “build welcoming centers to expedite family reunification.”

      • UK Weighs ‘Shockingly Cruel’ Plan to Detain Refugees in Offshore Holding Centers

        European officials and human rights groups warned the United Kingdom’s right-wing government is on the brink of violating the Geneva Conventions if it follows through with a plan to open an offshore hub where refugees will be sent if they attempt to enter the country.

        Home Secretary Priti Patel plans to introduce the Nationality and Borders Bill next week, seeking to enable the government to send asylum-seekers to an offshore location in Africa for “processing.” 

      • The Brazilian Government Is Waging War on Indigenous Rights
      • Advocates Denounce ‘Horrifying’ SCOTUS Ruling Upholding Indefinite Immigrant Detention

        In a decision called “horrifying” by human rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the government may indefinitely detain previously deported immigrants who claim they will be tortured or persecuted if returned to their countries of origin.

        “Why would Congress want to deny a bond hearing to individuals who reasonably fear persecution or torture, and who, as a result, face proceedings that may last for many months or years?”—Justice Stephen Breyer, dissenting

      • Russia announces international manhunt for top Navalny aide, arrests him in absentia

        On June 29, Moscow’s Nagatinsky District Court arrested top Navalny aide Ivan Zhdanov in absentia. Earlier, his lawyer told the state news agency TASS that the Russian authorities had added Zhdanov to an international wanted list.

      • Many Children Left Behind

        One year after America’s public schools were forced to go remote overnight in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we know that students have lost time with teachers, friends, and extended family; have lost the daily interactions with crossing guards, cafeteria cashiers, and other workers who once seemed like a small part of their lives but are now starkly missed; and have even lost loved ones, financial security, and health—as well as, we are told, “significant ground” in learning. Above all else, what the pandemic revealed about our educational system is that public schools provide far more than they should, serving as “the great equalizer” in an increasingly stratified society—serving in fact as welfare states, as health care facilities, as child care centers, as sources for counseling and for free breakfasts and lunches.

      • While Average People Suffered, 5 Million People Became Millionaires Under COVID-19

        Most of the increase in wealth was concentrated in already wealthy countries, with the United States accounting for a third of the new millionaires. The number of millionaires in China is increasing and has now reached around one in two hundred; but in the United States, 8 percent of the population are now millionaires.

        How is it that the countries worst affected by the pandemic were also those that registered some of the largest increases in wealth over the course of the last year? One reason stands out above all others: central bank asset purchases.

      • 751 unmarked graves discovered at Canadian residential school site in Saskatchewan

        The Cowessess First Nation has announced that 751 unmarked graves have been discovered on reserve land that once housed the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley.

        This grisly discovery comes just weeks after the remains of 215 children were discovered on the site of an Indian residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, and sheds light, yet again, on the brutal and inhumane treatment Canadian capitalism and its state have meted out to the indigenous population.

      • This Suicidal, Gasoline-Drenched Man Burned to Death After Cops Tased Him. A Federal Court Says That’s Reasonable Force.

        The lower court in this case withheld qualified immunity from the officers. But the 5th Circuit overturned. “In what legal universe is it not even plausibly unreasonable to knowingly immolate someone?” Willett asks. “How is it reasonable—more accurately, not plausibly unreasonable—to set someone on fire to prevent him from setting himself on fire?”b

      • EFF to Ecuador’s Human Rights Secretariat: Protecting Security Experts is Vital to Safeguard Everyone’s Rights

        The circumstances around Ola Bini’s detention, which was fraught with due process violations described by his defense, sparked international attention and indicated the growing seriousness of security experts’ harassment in Latin America. The criminal prosecution has dragging out for two years since Bini’s release. And as a suspect under trial, Ola Bini continues to be deprived of the full enjoyment of his rights. During 2020, pre-trial hearings set for examining Bini’s case were suspended and rescheduled at least five times. The Office of the IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression expressed concern  with this delay in its 2020′s annual report.

        Last suspended in December, the pre-trial hearing is set to continue this Tuesday (6/29). Ecuador’s new President, Guillermo Lasso, recently appointed a new head for the country’s Human Rights Secretariat, Ms. Bernarda Ordoñez Moscoso. We hope Ms. Ordoñez can play a relevant role by bridging the protection of security experts to the Secretariat’s mission of upholding human rights.

        EFF’s letter calls upon Ecuadors’ Human Rights Secretariat to give special attention to Ola Bini’s upcoming hearing and prosecution. As we’ve stressed in our letter,

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Support For Community Broadband Could Be On Chopping Block As ‘Bipartisan Broadband Negotiations’ Continue

        We’ve already noted how the Biden broadband plan was good, but arguably vague. As in, the outline proclaims that the government will boost competition and lower prices, but it doesn’t actually get at all specific about how it actually hopes to do that. For example the plan proposes providing more support for community broadband, but with 17 ISP-backed state laws prohibiting such efforts (and new ones popping up in states like Ohio), it’s not clear what that support will actually look like.

      • Biden Compares His Broadband Push to Early 20th Century Rural Electrification

        Broadband [Internet] “isn’t a luxury. It’s now a necessity, like water and electricity,” the president remarked in his latest speech outside Washington to push for congressional passage of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

      • Don’t forget that not all [Internet] access is created equal

        Given the disparities evidenced in our research, HEIs could specifically target students from rural areas and/or those receiving financial aid to canvass their views. They may find that these students had a very different experience from that presented at the national level. Second, and relatedly, we suggested in our research that HEIs need to consider the specific characteristics of their student population in terms of socio-economic background, geography and the level of campus access when deciding upon the scale and scope of online offerings in the future. A teaching and learning strategy based upon sophisticated and best-practice online delivery approaches from the teaching side will be of limited use if the relevant student population doesn’t have the resources to engage effectively with online content.

      • The CRTC “Will Be Picking Winners and Losers”: A Report on Day Two of the Senate Bill C-10 Debate

        The Bill C-10 debate continues in the Senate for one more today later this afternoon.

      • A Wide, Diverse Coalition Agrees on What Congress Needs to Do About Our Broadband

        What Unifies so Many Different Groups? Fully Funding Universal, Affordable, Future-Proof Access

        For months Congress has been hounded by big ISP lobbyists interested in preserving their companies’ take of government money. However, the big ISPs—your AT&Ts, Comcasts, and the former Time Warner Cable—want to preserve the monopolies that have resulted in our current limited, expensive, slow internet access. All Americans have the opposite needs and interests. We need a strong focus on building 21st century ready infrastructure to everyone.

        At the core of all new networks lies fiber optic wires, which is an inconvenient fact for legacy monopolies that intended to rely on obsolete wires for years to come. And all this opposition is happening while a billion fiber lines are being laid in the advanced Asian markets, primarily led by China, calling into question whether the United States wants to keep up or be left behind. They’ve argued that broadband is very affordable and that efforts to promote the public model to address rural and low-income access was akin to a “Soviet” take over of broadband.

    • Monopolies

      • Court Ruling in Facebook’s Favor Seen as Reason for Urgent Antitrust Reform

        A federal court’s Monday dismissal of lawsuits against Facebook brought by the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of state attorneys general elicited fresh calls for antitrust reform.

        “Once again, our antitrust laws have been shown by the courts to be woefully inadequate to address the abuses of the richest companies in the world,” said Alex Harman, competition policy advocate for Public Citizen, in response to the ruling.

      • The Biden Administration and Congress Have a Chance to Tame Big Tech

        Earlier this month, President Biden appointed Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission, the agency tasked with protecting consumers and promoting competition. A leader in the movement for strong antitrust enforcement and an unflinching critic of Big Tech, Khan was confirmed by the Senate in an unusually bipartisan vote, with 21 Republicans joining 46 Democrats and two independents to support her nomination. What makes this rare show of cross-party unity even rarer is that it was in support of a cause that progressives can be genuinely enthusiastic about. But strengthening antitrust protections could be a path to realizing a major progressive priority: reversing the concentration of wealth that has fueled growing inequality.

      • Court Tosses Both FTC And States’ Antitrust Cases Against Facebook; You Gotta Have More Than ‘Big Facebook Bad’

        As you’ll almost certainly recall, last December the FTC filed an antitrust case against Facebook. That happened the same day 46 states (and DC and Guam) also sued Facebook for antitrust violations in a separate case. Also it was right after the DOJ went after Google on antitrust grounds.

      • Germany opens antitrust probe against Apple

        The watchdog said it has initiated the first stage of the probe to determine if Apple has “cross-market significance”.

        [...]

        “A key focus of the investigation will be the operation of the App Store, because in many cases, it empowers Apple to have an influence on the business activities of third parties,” he added.

      • Sen. Warren calls for ‘meticulous’ review of Amazon’s MGM acquisition

        The FTC is said to be reviewing the deal as part of a larger antitrust investigation of Amazon’s business. In her letter to Khan, Warren cited Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act as barring mergers for which the outcome “may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly.” Warren argued that because Amazon’s economic impact is so far-reaching — including but not limited to its services business — a deal that benefits its streaming service Prime Video will only strengthen its position in the marketplace.

      • Google-Microsoft Truce Crumbles Amid Feud Over Cloud, Ad Tech
      • America world’s sole cyber superpower, ten years ahead of China, says Brit think tank

        The United States is comfortably the world’s most powerful nation when measured on “cyber capabilities that make the greatest difference to national power,” according to British think tank The International Institute for Strategic Studies.

        [...]

        America was ranked the sole Tier-One Nation, meaning it possesses “world-leading strengths in all the categories in the methodology”.

        The report says America’s “capability for offensive cyber operations is probably more developed than that of any other country, although its full potential remains largely undemonstrated”.

        An interesting observation given the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident is that “The US has moved more effectively than any other country to defend its critical national infrastructure in cyberspace”. That opinion is tempered with the observation that the United States “recognises that the task is extremely difficult and that major weaknesses remain”.

        Australia, Canada, China, France, Israel, Russia, and the UK were rated Tier-Two nations, meaning they possess “world-leading strengths in some of the categories”.

      • Patents

        • Facebook just filed a patent for a baseball cap with a built-in AR headset and it looks terribly cringe

          This is an opinion piece. All views expressed in this article belong to me, the editor.

          I don’t believe in punching down. As the editor of a pretty well-to-do design magazine, it makes little sense to call out individual designers and students over their work. I do, however, believe in being able to hold larger companies and billion-dollar OEMs to a different standard. There is power in being able to critique designs and help the world understand what’s measurably good and what isn’t… which is why I think it’s alright to sometimes critically look at Apple’s Cheesegrater Mac, the Tesla Cybertruck, or in this case, Facebook’s AR Baseball Cap which is frankly ugly enough to make Google Glass look cutting-edge.

        • Noxopharm secures key European patent allowance for Veyonda® anti-cancer drug candidate [Ed: This won’t help tackle cancer

          Specifically, the European Patent Office has issued a formal Notice of Allowance of claims for patent application number 17778482.4, indicating an intention to move to the patent grant stage.

          Overall, Noxopharm believes the patent allowance bodes well for related Veyonda patent applications in Europe and other important territories such as the US.

          [...]

          Once granted, Noxopharm’s new European patent will be tied to the therapeutic use of its idronoxil immune-oncology drug in a suppository dosage formulation, intended to provide a steady-state blood level of drug.

          The patent will run through to April 2037, meaning Noxopharm’s Veyonda candidate has enforceable rights under patent protection for another 16 years.

        • Software Patents

          • Jenam Tech settles with Unified

            On June 29, 2021, the Board issued an order terminating IPR2020-00742 pursuant to a joint settlement request filed by Unified Patents and Jenam Tech, LLC, an NPE and Oso IP affiliate. U.S. Patent 9,923,995 is generally directed to sharing information for detecting an idle network connection between two nodes, and has been asserted in district court cases against LG, Samsung, and Google.

      • Copyrights

        • Is the Pirate Queen of Scientific Publishing in Real Trouble This Time?

          It’s been a rough few months for Sci-Hub, the beloved outlaw repository of scientific papers. In January its Twitter account, which had more than 180,000 followers, was permanently suspended. In response to a lawsuit brought by publishers, new papers aren’t being added to its library. The website is blocked in a dozen countries, including Austria, Britain, and France. There are rumors of an FBI investigation.

          And yet Alexandra Elbakyan, the 32-year-old graduate student who founded the site in 2011, seems more or less unfazed. I spoke with her recently via Zoom with the assistance of a Russian translator. Elbakyan, who is originally from Kazakhstan, has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and coded Sci-Hub herself. She lives in Moscow now and is studying philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Back when she started the site, which offers access to north of 85 million papers, she didn’t expect to be fending off lawsuits and dodging investigations a decade on.

          “I thought Sci-Hub would become legal in a couple of years,” she said. “When the laws are obviously in the way of scientific development, they should be canceled.”

        • Court Orders YouTube Rippers to Log and Share Data with Record Labels

          A Virginia District Court has ordered the Russian operator of two popular YouTube rippers to keep extensive logs of user activity and hand these over to the major record labels. The order was requested by the labels, which argue that FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com facilitate massive copyright infringement in the United States and abroad.

        • High Court Grants Default Judgment in Bitcoin.org Copyright Infringement Case

          The High Court in London has issued an injunction in favor of Craig Wright, the self-professed inventor of bitcoin. The Australian computer scientist filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against ‘Cøbra’, the operator of Bitcoin.org, demanding that they stop making available a copy of the bitcoin white paper published under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.

        • Ubisoft Teams Up With Mystery Rights Holder To Remove Fun Fan-Made ‘GoldenEye 007′ Maps From ‘Far Cry’

          We have seen our monumentally absurd permission and copyright culture kill off all sorts of cool fan projects. Perhaps no industry is impacted by this more than the video game space, where you have the combination of rabid fans of particular games and franchises coupled with an above average level of technical skill in exhibiting that fandom. This combination sees an absolute ton of fan-made projects, including ports of games to different hardware, fan-made games, and even the re-creation of old games within new ones. It should be obvious that all of this carries very little monetary risk for the game makers, and, in fact, often times could be a boon, and yet it is all too common for publishers and developers to sic lawyers on their own fans rather than figuring out a way to coexist or benefit from them.

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  12. Links 3/8/2021: Raspberry Pi ‘WeatherClock’ and IPFire 2.27 - Core Update 159

    Links for the day



  13. IBM's Attack on the Community and on GPL/FSF is an Attack on Red Hat's Greatest Asset

    Ever since IBM bought Red Hat it has repeatedly attacked the FSF (in a malicious and personified fashion), looking for its own ‘copyright grab’ whilst outsourcing loads of code to proprietary software monopolisers who attack the GPL; by doing so, IBM is destroying the value of what it paid more than 30 billion dollars for (IBM is governed by pretentious fools, according to IBM insiders; they’ve already lost Red Hat’s longtime CEO and IBM’s new President), so it’s falling back on openwashing of IBM's proprietary software with help from the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation



  14. Four Weeks of Non-Compliance: EPO Only Accepts Courts That It Rigs and Controls

    Compliance is for suckers, believes the “Mafia” which runs the EPO; it is not even responding (for three weeks!) to letters from the victims who won the cases; this is bad for Europe's image and it sets a dangerous precedent



  15. Seven Eleven: 11 is to 10 What 7 Was to Vista

    Microsoft is, as usual, aggressively manipulating/bribing the media (hyping up a shallow version inflation along with paid-for vapourware advertising) while strong-arming the market; there’s no other way they can compete anymore



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, August 02, 2021



  17. Links 3/8/2021: Nitrux 1.5.1 and Gerbera Media Server 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  18. Links 2/8/2021: XEyes 1.2 and Fwupd 1.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).



  20. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts



  21. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day



  22. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations



  23. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess



  24. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 01, 2021



  26. Links 1/8/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 RC2 and Lakka 3.3

    Links for the day



  27. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s



  28. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises



  30. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass


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