09.15.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 15/9/2021: Another Azure Catastrophe and Darktable 3.6.1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 369.5 – The LMDE to Be

        2:02 Linux Innards
        23:36 Vibrations from the Ether
        44:48 Check This Out
        50:36 Announcements & Outro

        In our Innards section Debian 11, and what that means for LMDE

        And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions

        Twitter. Discord. Telegram. Matrix. Reddit. Youtube.

      • Success is not Illegal | Coder Radio 431

        The more you read into it, the worse it gets.

        At least we have new devices to keep us happy.

      • What Makes a Linux User? | LINUX Unplugged 423

        Why it might be time to re-think who is and who is not a Linux user, plus we do a reality check on the state of Linux phones.

    • Applications

      • Plasma System Monitor and FreeBSD

        Arjen and David – also other KDE contributors, but I’ll name those two because they suffered the brunt of my questions and merge requests – have come up with KDE Plasma System Monitor, which is an application for monitoring system resource usage, sensors and processes. It is a successor to the venerable ksysguard (14 years between those two posts), and promises better pluggability and a nicer UI.

        In packaging System Monitor for FreeBSD, we had forgotten some bits and pieces, so until today the application would start, but not actually display anything useful. There’s lots of new code, and there is a code being moved from one library to another, so here’s a comparison shot of the old libraries and old UI (KSysGuard) and the new tools…

      • Darktable 3.6.1 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Improves Camera Support, Fixes Bugs

        Released in early July, Darktable 3.6 arrived as a major release that introduced numerous new features and improvements, and now, Darktable 3.6.1 is here as the first point release to fix some nasty issues and also add support for new digital cameras.

        First, Darktable 3.6.1 adds base support for the Leica C-Lux (3:2), Nikon D6 (12-bit compressed, 12-bit uncompressed, 14-bit compressed, and 14-bit uncompressed), Nikon Z fc (12-bit compressed and 14-bit compressed), Sony Alpha 7R III (ILCE-7RM3A), and Sony Alpha 7R IV (ILCE-7RM4A) cameras. Second, it introduces a noise profile for the Ricoh GR III camera.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Yammer

        Microsoft’s stance for decades was that community creation and sharing of communal code (later to be known as free and open source software) represented a direct attack on their business. Their battle with Linux stretches back many years. Back in 2001, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously tarnished Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches”. Microsoft also initiated its “Get the Facts” marketing campaign from mid-2003, which specifically criticized Linux server usage, total cost of ownership, security, indemnification and reliability. The campaign was widely criticized for spreading misinformation.

        However, in recent years, there has been a partial shift by Microsoft to embrace the open source software paradigm. For example, some of their code is open sourced. Examples include Visual Studio Code, .NET Framework, Atom, and PowerShell. They have also made investments in Linux development, server technology and organizations including the Linux Foundation and Open Source Initiative. They have made acquisitions such as Xamarin to help mobile app development, and GitHub a hugely popular code repository for open source developers. And they have partnered with Canonical, the developers of the popular Ubuntu distro. But many developers remain hugely sceptical about Microsoft and their apparent shift to embrace open source.

      • Linux Top 4 Apps that any Ubuntu user should install

        Ubuntu is one of the best Linux distros, both for those who take the first steps within this operating system and for those users already initiated within this ecosystem. This system, developed and maintained by Canonical, has its pluses and minuses, like everything else, but overall it offers a balance between usability, ease, and the ‘Linux experience’, which over the years has gained the trust of many users. and have one of the largest communities.

        As standard, Ubuntu comes with the GNOME desktop and a series of additional programs that allow us to start using our computer from the first moment. However, if we really want to get the most out of it, it is necessary to install other interesting applications by hand. Let’s see what some of them are.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • File Permissions in Linux – Read/Write/Execute

        File permissions, ownerships control the access level of files and system process specific to users. This makes sure that the authorized users and process can only access the specific files and directories.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to assign permission access rights to different classes of users.

      • How to install Krita on Ubuntu 20.04

        Many Open Source applications are very popular even within Windows or other proprietary systems. One of them is Krita. That’s why we’ll show you how to install Krita on Ubuntu 20.04

      • How to Pass Password to SSH Command in Linux

        The only way a user can accomplish a complete Linux operating system experience is if this user has had a partial or full glimpse of both sides of the Linux environment. Linux operating system exists both as a desktop environment and as a server environment.

      • Install Zoom on Ubuntu

        Zoom is a secure ( lol ), reliable propriety video teleconferencing software program developed by Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

        The free plan allows up to 100 concurrent participants, with a 40-minute time restriction. Users have the option to upgrade by subscribing to a paid plan. The highest plan supports up to 1,000 concurrent participants for meetings lasting up to 30 hours.

        It supports all the popular OS and device platforms.

      • How to Pass Password to SCP Command in Linux

        As you progressively graduate in your Linux operating system user experience, you are bound to either find yourself in a Linux desktop-to-server or Linux server-to-server entanglement. In most cases, these scenarios are related to prioritized OS objectives such as the transfer of useful files and directory copies.

      • How to Install Fail2ban on Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux

        Written in Python, Fail2ban is a free and open-source Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) that protects the server against brute-force attacks.

        After a specified number of incorrect password attempts, the client’s IP address is banned from accessing the system for a specified period or until the system administrator unblocks it. This way, the system is safeguarded from repeated brute-force attacks from a single host.

      • Here’s what happens when you run sudo rm -rf / in Linux? – Invidious
      • How to Install Oracle Java 17 LTS On Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint Or Pop!_OS Via APT PPA Repository – Linux Uprising Blog

        Oracle Java 17 LTS has been released recently, and is now available to install from the Linux Uprising Oracle Java PPA on Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux distributions based on these, such as Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, Zorin OS, etc.

        Java 17 is the latest long-term support (LTS) release, and with it, the license has changed, the binaries being free (no cost) to use in production and free (no cost) to redistribute until a full year after the next LTS release. Previously (from Oracle Java 11 until now), Oracle Java used a commercial license that allowed downloading and using it at no cost for development and testing only, but it required paying a fee to use in production.

      • How to Install and Use Ansible on Debian 11

        Ansible is a free, open-source, and one of the most popular configuration management tools. It is a cross-platform tool that simplifies cloud computing, configuration management, package installation, and service configuration. It uses a YAML file that contains the steps which the user wants to run on a particular machine. With Ansible, you can configure and manage more than hosts with a single command. Ansible is an alternative to the other configuration management tools like Chef and Puppet.

        In this article, I will show you how to install and use Ansible configuration management tool on Debian 11.

      • How to Install Rust on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Rust is an open-source systems programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and parallelism. Developers use Rust to create a wide range of new software applications, such as game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components, and simulation engines for virtual reality. Rust is syntactically similar to C++ but can guarantee memory safety by using a borrow checker for validating references.

        For users, especially developers wanting to try out Rust Programming language, you will know how to install Rust Programming Language on Rocky Linux 8.

      • How To Install iRedmail on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install iRedmail on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, iRedMail is an open-source mail server solution. The right way to build your mail server is with open-source software. iRedMail allows you to create as many mailboxes as you want through their built-in web interface. It provides a web-based interface for managing mails, folders, sieve filters.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the iRedmail free and open-source mail server solution on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • A guide to web scraping in Python using Beautiful Soup

        The simple answer is this: Not every website has an API to fetch content. You might want to get recipes from your favorite cooking website or photos from a travel blog. Without an API, extracting the HTML, or scraping, might be the only way to get that content. I’m going to show you how to do this in Python.

      • Handling filenames with spaces in Linux – TecAdmin

        It’s normal that we make files and directories (or we can say folders) in our machines to keep them organized, so when we need to, we can easily search for them. Sometimes we save them with the names having spaces, for example, we save a file with the name “my file” now in this case the Linux terminal will create an error. Can files not be saved with spaces in Linux? Yes! we can but they will be accessed differently in the terminal.

        This write-up is focussing on what errors we face while accessing files and directories with space in their names and how to avoid such errors.

      • How to check for update info and changelogs with rpm-ostree db – Fedora Magazine

        This article will teach you how to check for updates, check the changed packages, and read the changelogs with rpm-ostree db and its subcommands.

        The commands will be demoed on a Fedora Silverblue installation and should work on any OS that uses rpm-ostree.

    • Games

      • Linux Gaming Guide: How To Easily Install And Update Proton GE

        If you’re a PC gamer, or you’ve been tracking the news around Valve’s Steam Deck, you’ve probably heard about Proton, a “compatibility layer” built into Steam that makes Windows-only games playable on Linux. Valve and Codeweavers (the company behind WINE) are responsible for this wizardry that makes Linux gaming surprisingly awesome.

        Perhaps you’ve also heard rumblings about Proton-GE, or you’ve seen YouTube videos with references to “Glorious Eggroll.” Glorious Eggroll is also known as Thomas Crider, a senior engineer at Red Hat. And he creates a custom version of Proton that is immensely useful.

      • Many players report that Splitgate is crashing for them on Linux

        Splitgate is one of the latest titles that gained massive popularity after its recent release on the Xbox and PlayStation. Built using Unreal Engine 4, it is a combination of Portal and Halo.

        The developers, 1047 Games, soon grew from a team of just 4 people and managed to raise $10 million in a recent funding round. While the developers welcomed the sudden influx of money, it also resulted in the game being pushed to an August release date.

      • Intellectual Pinball

        Hey there, Ernie here with a piece from Michael Bentley, who knows a ton about the intersection between trivia and technology. The two avenues crossed paths in a big way in the mid ’80s.

      • Bringing a Ruined Game Boy Cart Back To Life with Tons of Soldering

        The cartridge was badly corroded, with many of the traces eaten through, rendering the game inoperable. First, all the components were removed, and the board was cleaned. This allowed easy access to the traces across the whole board. Then, the job was to delicately remove some solder mask from the parts of the traces still remaining, and bridge the gaps with fine copper wire. Even worse, several vias were damaged, which [Taylor] tackled by feeding jumper wires through the board and executing a repair on each side.

        It’s a simple enough repair for the experienced hand, but virtually magic to a retro gaming fan that doesn’t know how to solder. [Taylor] has given us a great example of how to deal with corroded carts properly, with enough detail to be quite educational to the beginner.

      • Steam Deck might only be able to run 72% of the top 50 games on Steam

        Ever since Valve announced its Steam Deck handheld console, there’s been questions over how much of Steam’s huge library the device will be able to run – and it appears that, out of the box, it may struggle to run some of the most popular games.

        As Toms Hardware reports, a recent survey by the Boiling Steam website found that of the current top 50 games on Steam, only 72% can be played on Linux, either natively or using Proton, the compatibility layer that allows Windows games to run in Linux.

      • How Making Video Games Became a No-Win Situation

        In May 2012, the video game company headed up by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling shut down. 38 Studios had only just relocated from Massachusetts to Rhode Island thanks to a $75 million loan brokered by then-Governor Don Carcieri, a Republican, who hoped to transform the state into an East Coast Silicon Valley. The company expanded rapidly to meet the terms of the deal, co-launching the fantasy role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning while lining up the release of its own ambitious online RPG, code-named Copernicus. But the money ran dry, and at the time of its demise, Schilling’s studio listed an eye-watering $150 million in debt, $22 million in assets, and $320 in petty cash. Its nearly 400 employees were fired abruptly over e-mail, unable to claim their last paycheck.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Subtitles Free Subtitle Editor Software Gets a Major Update After Two Years of Silence

          If you never heard of GNOME Subtitles before, let me tell you that it’s a powerful subtitle editor for the Linux desktop, supporting most common text-based subtitle formats and offering features like subtitle translation, synchronization of times and frames, as well as built-in video previewing.

          The new release, GNOME Subtitles 1.7, is here to rewrite the GStreamer media playback engine to support newer and modern video formats. In addition, it improves audio and video playback support by allowing users to open an audio file after a video file display the last played frame, fixes video player stutters, fixes an issue with the side bar resizing itself during video playback, and disables VAAPI by default to prevent playback issues.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11: Moving forward while standing still

          For those who are new to Linux, I’d love to be able to recommend Debian 11 to you. However, because the installation isn’t nearly as simple as is that of, say, Ubuntu, you’d be best served either having someone with more experience install Debian for you, or wait it out until you have a bit more familiarity with Linux under your belt. Although you won’t be asked to manually partition your drive, there are questions about mirrors and domains that could easily trip you up. So if you’re new to Linux and you insist on experiencing the remarkable stability that is Debian 11, I’d suggest you do a bit of research into the Debian installer before you do.

          However, you shouldn’t let that warning put you off. Even those without any Linux experience could muddle their way through installation, I’d hate for someone new to Linux to be turned away because the Debian installation isn’t a two- or three-click process. So if you are new to Linux, grab a friend who has installed Linux and let them walk you through the process.

          Trust me, Debian 11 is worth the smallest bit of extra effort you might have to go through to complete the installation. It’s that good. In fact, it’s one of the few instances where I can say a Linux distribution moves forward while standing firmly in place.

          Download your copy of Debian 11 now.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • A conversation about open source design and ethical funding

        Penpot does exist because at some point—six or seven years ago—Kaleidos was a very developer-centric company and didn’t have UX or UI in-house. We saw the potential for multi-functional teams where you would have design—UX/UI design, in general—and code working together, but we needed to use open source because that’s our ethos. Kaleidos would use open source as an end in itself but also as a means to an end.

        We started by creating Taiga, which is a project management platform. We’re all about processes and how to do stuff, not just what, but how we achieve things and team management and all that. We were happy to have that agile mindset built in a tool for teams like ourselves. But as you can imagine, at some point, designers at Kaleidos, being open source proponents, said: Look, we are not first-class citizens in open source. We are happy with Inkscape, GIMP, and some tools, but you developers have everything to choose from. You can choose the best of the best. You live in this paradise world where you don’t know how privileged you are. We agree with you. We are all about open source, absolutely, but you have to understand that we are frustrated with the professional quality of some tools. We want to achieve parity with you developers.

      • Zathura – An Open Source Document Viewer for Linux

        Zathura is a plugin-based customizable and functional document viewer. It features a minimalistic user interface and is built to be light on resources. The feature that makes Zathura stand out is its flexibility as it can be customized all the way from its UI to its functionality.

        Zathura got its name from the 2002 book Zathura which had a film adaptation, Zathura: A Space Adventure, released in 2005. A lot of its usage focuses on keyboard interactions due to its Vi-type key bindings – a feature that has made it popular among veteran Linux users.

      • ‘Indian tech biz must fund FOSS developers’

        India has the second largest number of developers in the world, and many of them use and collaborate on open source projects. But very few open source projects originate in India. Given that much of the world’s backend software now runs on open source, developing an indigenous FOSS ecosystem is seen to be crucial. “In China, there’s been an exponential rise in quality open-source projects over the last five years,” Kailash Nadh, CTO of Zerodha, said. Nadh and Mehta together founded the FOSS United Foundation a year and a half ago with the objective of building the ecosystem in partnership with the Indian tech industry.

      • Programming/Development

        • Java

          • Java 17 LTS Released

            Java 17 with Extended Support (LTS) has been released. The previous version with extended support, Java 11, was released in 2018.

            The most notable change in this release is that support for sealed classes and interfaces has moved out of the preview stage and is now ready for use.

            Sealed types are classes or interfaces that impose constraints on other classes or interfaces that can extend or implement them. To declare a sealed class or interface, use the modifier sealed… The list of subtypes can be listed by declaring a sealed class or interface after the keyword permits… If the subtypes are in the same package or module, the compiler itself can display the list of subtypes and permitscan be omitted in a sealed class or interface declaration.

  • Leftovers

    • Double-Crossed
    • Spain Hopes to Lure Digital Nomads to Save Dying Villages

      Campaigners have now saved the hamlet by attracting five permanent residents, many working remotely or coming for short stays.

      Spain hopes to help save struggling communities like Sárnago by offering visas and tax incentives to digital nomads, who work from their laptops around the world, to encourage them to live in what many here have come to describe as España Vacia, or “Empty Spain.”

      The draft start-up law will offer 12-month visas to non-European Union residents.

    • Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch Calls TMZ Buy “Very Modest”

      Praising TMZ’s digital presence, Murdoch told a Bank of America conference Tuesday that “when we look at TMZ, we see a business that we were not in, in terms fo celebrity or entertainment news, but can absolutely fit alongside all of our other brands and platforms, and can help drive it across the board.”

    • Amid Workplace Tumult, Activision Blizzard Hires Disney, Delta Execs in Top Roles

      Activision Blizzard on Tuesday revealed the hiring of Julie Hodges and Sandeep Dube, who will take the positions of chief people officer and chief commercial officer, respectively.

    • Britney Spears deletes Instagram following engagement news

      Spears, 39, chose to deactivate her account and take a break from her preferred social media platform, NBC News confirmed Tuesday.

    • Education

      • How Republicans Turned “School Choice” Into a Losing Issue

        Concord, N.H.—Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo was back in New Hampshire, his day filled with the sorts of activities befitting a wannabe president in the home of the first-in-the-nation primary. He’d hobnobbed with state GOP members and toured a local defense contractor in the state’s booming southern suburbs. Here at the state capital, Pompeo is tag-teaming with another former Trump secretary, Betsy DeVos, at an event to promote a signature issue for the GOP: school choice.

    • Hardware

      • A ThreadRipper Pro is coming.

        In case you think I can put a regular ThreadRipper on the board, nope only will take a Pro. What is the difference between a ThreadRipper and a Pro, other then twice the money? Took 2 years before I could build one. Leveno was evidently exclusively licensed to be able to do that. VERY expensive. I am only about $2,600.00 into the build & I can see it getting very extravagant.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The “Advantage” War Against Medicare

        It’s also one of the most effective ways that insurance companies could try to kill Medicare For All, since about a third of all people who think they’re on Medicare are actually on these privatized plans instead.

        Nearly from its beginning, Medicare has allowed private companies to offer plans that essentially compete with it, but they were an obscure corner of the market and didn’t really take off until the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress rolled out the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. This was the GOP’s (and a few corporatist Democrats’) big chance to finally privatize Medicare, albeit one bite at a time.

      • Dilapidated Buildings Increase Risk of COVID Transmission as School Year Begins
      • Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of Iowa Mask Mandate Ban
      • Experts Warn Biden’s Global Vaccine Plan Lacks Ambition Crisis Demands

        Public health campaigners and experts warned Tuesday that the Biden administration’s new strategy to bolster lagging global Covid-19 vaccination efforts is nowhere near ambitious enough to meet the life-or-death needs of poor nations, which are home to billions of people who have yet to receive a single dose.

        “We need a real strategy, not just a vague commitment to expand manufacturing.”—Zain Rizvi, Public Citizen

      • UN Report Calls for ‘Repurposing’ $470 Billion in Agriculture Support to Serve People and Planet

        Ahead of three upcoming summits, a trio of United Nations organizations on Tuesday released a report highlighting how billions of dollars in governments’ support for agriculture worldwide could be repurposed to transform the global food system in a way that benefits both humanity and the planet.

        “By shifting to more nature-positive, equitable, and efficient agricultural support, we can improve livelihoods, and at the same time cut emissions, protect and restore ecosystems, and reduce the use of agrochemicals.”—Inger Andersen, UNEP

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • OMIGOD: Azure users running Linux VMs need to update now [Ed: They need to abandon Microsoft Azure and get reprimanded by the employer for ever choosing this NSA company as a host in the first place]
        • Microsoft September 2021 Patch Tuesday: Remote code execution flaws in MSHTML, OMI fixed
        • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, September 2021 Edition

          Microsoft today pushed software updates to plug dozens of security holes in Windows and related products, including a vulnerability that is already being exploited in active attacks. Also, Apple has issued an emergency update to fix a flaw that’s reportedly been abused to install spyware on iOS products, and Google‘s got a new version of Chrome that tackles two zero-day flaws. Finally, Adobe has released critical security updates for Acrobat, Reader and a slew of other software.

        • Apple Patches Up Devices In Response To The Exposure Of Yet Another NSO Group Exploit

          Israeli digital arms merchant NSO Group continues to sell its malware to a wide variety of governments. The governments it sells to, which includes a bunch of notorious human rights abusers, continue to use these exploits to target dissidents, activists, journalists, religious leaders, and political opponents. And the manufacturers of the devices exploited by governments to harm people these governments don’t like (NSO says “criminals and terrorists,” long-term customers say “eh, whoever”) continue to patch things up so these exploits no longer work.

        • It’s not just you: Emergency software patches are on the rise

          Researchers raised the alarm Monday about a big one: The Israeli spyware company NSO Group, which sells programs for governments to remotely take over people’s smartphones and computers, had figured out a new way into practically any Apple device by sending a fake GIF through iMessage. The only way to guard against it is to install Apple’s emergency software update.

        • Apple Rushes Out Emergency Update to Stop ‘No Click’ Spyware

          The flaw, disclosed Monday by Citizen Lab, allowed a hacker using NSO’s Pegasus malware to gain access to a device owned by an unnamed Saudi activist, according to security researchers. Apple said the flaw could be exploited if a user on a vulnerable device received a “maliciously crafted” PDF file.

        • Security

          • Kali Linux 2021.3 Released: OpenSSL, Virtualization Improvements, And More

            Offensive Security has released Kali Linux 2021.3. The new build brings wide OpenSSL compatibility, better Virtual Machine support, new tools, and a lot more. Here’s everything you need to know.

            The new build comes with a wide OpenSSL compatibility by default. This enables Kali to talk to ancient systems that are still using legacy protocols like TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1. Old ciphers are also enabled by default. It’s a great addition as it’ll allow the OS to talk to more systems.

          • Kali Linux 2021.3 released with new pentest tools, improvements

            Kali Linux 2021.3 was released yesterday by Offensive Security and includes a new set of tools, improved virtualization support, and a new OpenSSL configuration that increases the attack surface.

            Kali Linux is a Linux distribution designed for cybersecurity professionals and ethical hackers to perform penetration testing and security audits.

            With this release, the Kali Linux Team introduces the following new features…

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Protestors Nationwide Rally to Tell Apple: “Don’t Break Your Promise!”

              The last time EFF held a protest at an Apple store, in 2016, it was to support the company’s strong stance in protecting encryption. That year, Apple challenged the FBI’s request to install a backdoor into its operating system. This year, in early August, Apple stunned its many supporters by announcing a set of upcoming features, intended to help protect children, that would create an infrastructure that could easily be redirected to greater surveillance and censorship. These features would pose enormous danger to iPhone users’ privacy and security, offering authoritarian governments a new mass surveillance system to spy on citizens. 

            • EFF and Allies Urge Council of Europe to Add Strong Human Rights Safeguards Before Final Adoption of Flawed Cross Border Surveillance Treaty

              At the highest level, the current Protocol should establish clear and enforceable baseline safeguards in cross-border evidence gathering, but fails to do so. Though new police powers are mandatory, corresponding privacy protections are frequently optional, and the Protocol repeatedly defers to harmonised safeguards in an active attempt to entice states with weaker human rights records to sign on. The result is a net dilution of privacy and human rights on a global scale. But the right to privacy is a universal right. International law enforcement powers should come with detailed legal safeguards for privacy and data protection. When it comes to data protection, Convention 108+ should be the global reference. By its recommendations to the Council of Ministers, PACE has an opportunity to establish a commonly acceptable legal framework for international law enforcement that places privacy and human rights at its core.

              Substantively, we have concerns regarding Article 7 of the Protocol, which permits direct access by law enforcement in one country to subscriber identity information held by a company in another country. In our opinion, Article 7 fails to provide, or excludes, critical safeguards contained in many national laws. For example, Article 7 does not include any explicit restrictions on targeting activities which implicate fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression or association, and prevents Parties from requiring foreign police to demonstrate that the subscriber data they seek will advance a criminal investigation.[1]

              We are particularly concerned that Article 7’s explanatory text fails to acknowledge that subscriber data can be highly intrusive. Your IP address can tell authorities what websites you visit and what accounts you used. Police can also request the name and address associated with your IP address in order to link your identity to your online activity, and that can be used to learn deeply intimate aspects of your daily habits. Article 7’s identification power undermines online anonymity in a context that embraces legal systems with widely divergent approaches to criminal justice, including some governments that are autocratic in nature. The resulting threat to journalists, human rights defenders, politicians, political dissidents, whistleblowers and others is indefensible.

            • Messaging And Chat Control

              But this is not the end of the story: For autumn 2021, European Commission announced that it will propose a follow-up legislation that will make the use of chatcontrol mandatory for all e-mail and messenger providers. This legislation might then also affect securely end-to-end encrypted communications. However, a public consultation by the Commission on this project showed that the majority of respondents, both citizens and stakeholders, oppose an obligation to use chat control. Over 80% of respondents oppose its application to end-to-end encrypted communications. As a result, the Commission postponed the draft legislation originally announced for July to

              September December 2021 (page 4 of the pdf).

            • TikTok’s lead EU regu lator opens two data privacy probes

              TikTok’s lead data privacy regulator in the European Union has opened two inquiries into the Chinese-owned short-video platform related to the processing of children’s personal data and transfers of personal data to China.

              Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which is lead EU regulator for many of the world’s top internet firms due to the location of their regional headquarters, is allowed to impose fines of up to 4% of global revenue.

            • TikTok: Social media giant to roll out support for users’ mental health

              A report by the Education Policy Institute and The Prince’s Trust earlier this year found that teenagers’ mental health was being damaged by heavy social media use.

              It was linked to negative wellbeing and self-esteem, regardless of a young person’s mental state, with more girls experiencing feelings of depression and hopelessness, the study said.

            • Forget video, Zoom wants to fuse Slack and Teams

              This is part of what Zoom calls “continuous collaboration,” where you’ll be able to chat about a task, exchange documents, drop into a video call, and even share automated video transcriptions and translations—a feature that Microsoft Teams helped pioneer, and now Zoom is adding, too. Zoom also said that it’s partnering with Microsoft SharePoint and Box to allow you to share files. Finally, Chat is adding a “Huddle View” for closer team collaboration.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • George W. Bush Spent This 9/11 Moralizing. What About His Own Big Lie?
      • ‘Dismaying’: Human Rights Groups Blast Biden Plan to OK Millions in Military Aid for Egypt

        Left-leaning Democratic lawmakers joined human rights groups Tuesday in decrying the Biden administration’s reported decision to withhold a small portion of the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Egypt over human rights crimes perpetrated by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

        “Egypt has 60,000 political prisoners. They torture political dissidents. The administration should have held back the full $300 million. This half-measure sends a muddled message about our commitment to human rights and democracy.”—Sen. Chris Murphy

      • Canadian Imperialism in Africa

        On Twiter K. Diallo recently posted a map of the continent with the sum of Canadian mining investment in each African country under the words “75% of mining companies globally are now Canadian. Canada is a great source of corporate neocolonialism expansion.” The tweet received 25,000 likes and 8,500 retweets.

        But the map is dated. It said there was $31.6 billion worth of Canadian mining investment in Africa yet Natural Resources Canada put the number at $37.8 billion in 2019. The scope of Canadian resource extraction on the continent is remarkable. Many companies based and traded here have taken African names (African Queen Mines, Asante Gold Corporation, Tanzanian Royalty Exploration, Lake Victoria Mining Company, Société d’Exploitation Minière d’Afrique de l’Ouest, East Africa Metals, International African Mining Gold (IAMGOLD), African Gold Group, etc.).

      • Opinion | The True Lessons of the Afghan War

        Disagreements over how to assess the American exodus from Afghanistan have kept the pundits busy these last weeks, even though there wasn’t much to say that hadn’t been said before. For some of them, however, that was irrelevant. Having overseen or promoted the failed Afghan War themselves, all the while brandishing various “metrics” of success, they were engaged in transparent reputation-salvaging.

      • A Journey With the Last Survivor of an Amazon Massacre
      • Never Forget Victims of the Drone Program

        The US military surveilled 43-year-old Zemari Ahmadi throughout his final day. He went about his normal routine as a Kabul-based employee of the aid group Nutrition and Education International. Ahmadi dropped off his co-workers at various locations throughout Kabul, filled water cartons at his office, and drove home to a residential compound where he lived with his family and his brother’s family. As his own children and his brother’s children ran to greet him, a US air force Reaper drone launched a missile at his car, incinerating him and the nine loved ones gathered around him.

        This is the story that The New York Times uncovered through extensive interviews with Ahmadi’s neighbors, colleagues, and medical experts. The Washington Post did its own extensive reporting and reached the same conclusion of the events. The story that US joint chiefs of staff chair, Gen. Mark Milley, gave to the public to justify the strike is very different.

      • Tulsi Gabbard Uses 9/11 Anniversary to Spread Islamophobic Message of Hate

        Tulsi Gabbard on Saturday used the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to promote an anti-Muslim message, the latest in a series of moves by the former congresswoman aimed at courting the right-wing.

        “Let us #NeverForget that it was the Islamist ideology which inspired the terrorist attacks and declaration of war against America on 9/11,” Gabbard tweeted. “And it is this Islamist ideology that continues to fuel terrorist attacks around the world and is the foundation for so-called ‘Islamic’ countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory policies against Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, etc.”

      • By Letting Saudi Arabia Off the Hook Over 9/11, the US Encouraged Violent Jihadism

        The Saudi Arabia embassy in Washington this week issued a statement detailing its anti-terrorist activities and ongoing hostility to Al-Qaeda. This was briskly rejected by the lawyers for the families of the 9/11 victims who said that, “what Saudi Arabia desperately does not want to discuss is the substantial and credible evidence of the complicity [in the attack] of their employees, agents and sponsored agents”.

        Saudi Arabia claims that the 9/11 Commission Report, the official American inquiry published in 2003, cleared it of responsibility for the attacks. In fact, it found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials as individuals had funded Al-Qaeda. But this is not an exoneration since the Saudi government traditionally retains deniability by permitting Saudi sheikhs and wealthy individuals to finance radical Sunni Muslim movements abroad. A former Taliban finance minister, Agha Jan Motasim, revealed in an interview with the New York Times in 2016 that he went to Saudi Arabia several times a year to raise funds from private donors for his movement.

      • 9/11′s Border Legacy: Razor Wire, “Smart” Surveillance, and Billions in Security Contracts

        By “inherited,” I do not mean just from Trump. What I’m referring to is $332.7 billionthat the US federal government has dedicated to Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement since the Department of Homeland Security opened for business in 2003. This is nearly an eight-fold increase over the previous 19 years (1984–2002), which totaled $42.7 billion under the Immigration and Naturalization Service. When Trump took office in 2017, this cumulative juggernaut of federal money and private contracts formed an arsenal of more than 20,000 agents, 650 miles of walls and barriers, and billions of dollars in deployed technologies. Even though he spent his 2016 presidential campaign claiming there was no enforcement on the border, the annual budget for border enforcement had already ballooned to $17 billion under President Obama, having steadily grown every year since 2001. Trump’s own CBP/ICE budget in 2017 was $20 billion. The product of age-old xenophobic rhetoric about our southern border, Trump benefited from a bipartisan industrial complex, without which he could not have so easily torn children from their parents and incarcerated them in crowded cells or even have built hundreds of miles of a 30-foot wall.

        Biden repudiated this cruel system during his campaign. “Trump has waged an unrelenting assault on our values and our history as a nation of immigrants,” he said. “It’s wrong, and it stops when Joe Biden is elected president.”

      • Anger After UAE Soldiers Torture, Kill Yemeni-American Student Abdulmalek Alsanabani

        As his hope that the Sana’a International Airport will be reopened has faded, smiley-faced Abdulmalek Anwar Alsanabani — a 25-year-old Yemeni-American living in Fresno, California — finally decided to take the risky journey across the south of Yemen in order to see his family in Sana’a. Al-Sanabani had gone eight years away from his loved ones. On Wednesday, he arrived at southern Yemen’s Aden Airport, where he shared his last Facebook post before his smiley face became bloodied and bruised.

      • “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire”: Deepa Kumar on How Racism Fueled U.S. Wars Post-9/11

        According to the Costs of War Project, the wars launched by the United States following 9/11 have killed an estimated 929,000 people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. The true death toll may never be known, but the vast majority of the victims have been Muslim. “Racism is baked into the security logic of the national security state in the U.S., as well as in terms of how it operates abroad,” says Islamophobia scholar Deepa Kumar, a professor of media studies at Rutgers University. “The war on terror was sold to the American public using Orientalist and racist ideas that these societies are backward.” Kumar is the author of “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire: 20 Years After 9/11,” an updated version of her 2012 book that examined how the war on terror ushered in a new era of anti-Muslim racism.

      • 3 former U.S. intelligence operatives to pay over $1.6 million to resolve mercenary [cracking] charges

        Three former U.S. intelligence operatives, who went to work as mercenary [crackers] for the United Arab Emirates, will pay over $1.68 million dollars to resolve federal charges of conspiring to violate [cracking] laws, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

      • Pence Had to Ask Dan Quayle If American Democracy Should Continue

        The authors write that Pence sought advice from Dan Quayle, the only living Republican vice president who had been in the position of certifying an election where his ticket was the losing one. And it was Quayle — the same man who has been something of a national punchline for a decade — who talked Pence off the ledge and into doing the right thing.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • It Was The Deadliest Year Ever For Land And Environmental Activists

        Ntshangase is one of 227 activists that the group says were killed last year in connection to their grassroots environmental efforts, according to a report released Monday.

        Her killing was one of two in South Africa in 2020 attributed to environmental activism. However, the group says many more occurred elsewhere, with more than half occurring in just three countries: Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines.

      • Climate Inaction Has Left Majority of Young People Believing Humanity Is ‘Doomed’

        “If this isn’t a wake up call for world leaders, what is?” —Avaaz

        The survey “shows eco-anxiety is not just for environmental destruction alone, but inextricably linked to government inaction on climate change. The young feel abandoned and betrayed by governments,” Hickman told the BBC. “Governments need to listen to the science and not pathologize young people who feel anxious.”

      • 2,180+ Scientists Worldwide Demand ‘Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’

        As the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly begins Tuesday amid an unrelenting wave of extreme weather, thousands of academics from around the globe are urging governments to negotiate an international treaty to bring about a rapid and just transition away from coal, oil, and gas—”the main cause of the climate emergency.”

        “This is a global emergency. It requires global coordination to quickly eliminate the immediate cause: deadly fossil fuels.”—Peter Kalmus, NASA

      • Reporting on Climate Injustice in One of the Hottest Towns in America

        Two years ago, a friend and I went on a weekend trip from San Diego up to Joshua Tree National Park. We took the scenic route, through the deserts east of the California coast and past the Salton Sea, an aptly named saline lake. Dust blew across the road. Sometimes we could see people racing dune buggies over the rocks and sand. Other times, the horizon was empty but for a few scrappy bushes.

        It felt like another planet.

      • Opinion | There Is Little Doubt the Climate Crisis Is Here—Now What Do We Do About It?

        Record fires in Oregon and California. Floods in Houston and New York. Deadly winter storms in Texas. Droughts across much of the west.

      • 10 Days After Hurricane Ida, Historic Black Louisiana Town Contends With Scattered Coffins As Floodwaters Drain from the Streets

        Ten days after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, Wilkie Declouet, a former law enforcement officer, and lifelong resident of Ironton, posted photos to social media of coffins and tombs scattered around his neighborhood. 

        Earlier that day, local officials were telling residents that the town was still inaccessible, but Declouet knew better than to take what they said on face value and checked for himself — and found a way back in. Like the rest of the community, he evacuated before the storm hit. 

      • Energy

        • Indigenous-Led Logging Blockade Is Canada’s Largest Act of Civil Disobedience
        • Oil Industry Wages Major Lobbying Campaign to Kill Proposed Methane Fee

          The oil industry has launched an all-out pressure campaign to kill an attempt by Congressional Democrats to tax methane – an extremely powerful greenhouse gas – for the first time. 

          The American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry’s most powerful lobbying group, enlisted over 130 state-level chambers of commerce, oil lobbying outfits, and labor groups, and together they wrote a letter on September 7 to U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which is considering the methane fee as part of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. 

        • House Democrats’ Tax Plan Fails to Eliminate Domestic Fossil Fuel Subsidies
        • Fairy Creek: Indigenous-Led Blockade of Old-Growth Logging Is Now Canada’s Largest Civil Disobedience

          Tension is rising between Canadian police and activists who have been staging a months-long anti-logging resistance in Vancouver Island’s ancient forests. The protest has been underway for two years, led by environmental and First Nations activists, and is considered to be Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience ever. Canadian authorities have arrested nearly 1,000 people at Fairy Creek in British Columbia, and the protests show no sign of slowing down. “We have a long history of asserting ourselves as coastal people, where our inherent right is not only based in our relationship to our communities but is based on our relationship and our legal systems and with the land,” says Kati George-Jim, a Coast Salish and Nuu-chah-nulth woman who joined the blockade in September 2020 and has been arrested numerous times. “The police have no jurisdiction, and industry don’t have jurisdiction, on stolen land,” she says. We also speak with lawyer Noah Ross, who says police have used excessive violence to break up protests. “There’s been many, many instances where people of color have been specifically targeted,” says Ross.

        • How Students Pressured Harvard to Divest From Fossil Fuels– and Won

          For nearly a decade, we petitioned, protested, and politicked. We met with members of the Harvard Corporation, several of whom have personally profited from the fossil fuel industry, only to hear them repeat the same empty talking points. We risked and incurred arrest storming the Harvard-Yale field in the largest university divestment protest ever. Most recently, we filed a legal complaint against Harvard with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. What did we get from Harvard in return? A whole lot of obfuscation and some half-measures. Or so it seemed until last week. In a surprise announcement last Thursday, Harvard finally announced that it would divest from fossil fuels.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Smoke from wildfires kills thousands annually

          Smoke from wildfires, linked to climate, grows daily more of a threat. Now science can see the direct human health cost.

        • Inside a Timber Sale Scam

          Amazingly the Forest Service claims that if they don’t log the forest (killing the trees with chain saws), the trees will die from root rot, beetles, and other “calamities” In other words, death by chainsaws is acceptable, but mortality by natural agents is not.

          Killing trees because they “might” die is analogous to killing people at 40 years old because they “might” die from a heart attack or cancer.

      • Overpopulation

        • Water crisis could lead to conflicts in the Middle East

          Water crises have been ranked in the top five of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks by Impact list nearly every year since 2012. The phenomenon of “water refugees” has made its appearance, as the population is displaced due to water shortages. In 2017, severe droughts contributed to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two, when 20 million people across Africa and the Middle East were forced to leave their homes due to the accompanying food shortages and conflicts that erupted.

        • Fresno County towns with no drinking water drown in debt while residents wait for new well

          Now, with the drought, those well projects are in a race against dropping groundwater levels as farmers, cut off from surface water supplies, are leaning more heavily on the aquifer.

        • We Need to Talk About Overpopulation: An Interview with Nandita Bajaj

          Nandita: There is no dearth of media reports on “baby bust” alarmism. Such reports perpetuate the narrative that our economies and elderly-care costs will greatly suffer if we don’t keep adding more people. Certainly, we have to ensure that with what is ultimately a necessary reduction in population, we attend to the challenges that will arise, but the current alarmist narrative assumes a model of perpetual population growth on a planet with finite resources. We must remember that with population growth comes environmental degradation; habitat loss and destruction of other species; increased global warming and frequency of climate-related disasters such as fires, floods, droughts, coral bleaching, melting glaciers, and desertification; increased vulnerability to pandemics and epidemics; as well as an increased vulnerability to global supply shocks.

          Let’s remember, we are adding about 80 million people a year, which is about 1 million people every five days. While the global fertility rate has halved from an average of about 5 children per woman to about 2.5 children per woman since 1950, we have three times as many people giving birth today, meaning we are adding to our numbers faster than ever and are on pace to hit 9.7 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100, according to UN projections. All this would be less problematic if our current 7.9 billion wasn’t already consuming more resources than the Earth can sustainably provide.

        • Letter: Overpopulation is cause of every environmental problem we face

          I am dismayed by the lack of interest by the media and those they support in the real cause of every environmental problem we face — overpopulation of the human species. Instead they push treatment of symptoms, such as the human contribution to greenhouse gases (only one of the three major contributors of climate change).

    • Finance

      • Amid Give-Back Demands: Workers Can Still Safeguard Pensions

        This book will be a critical resource for defending retirement security at the bargaining table and in the political arena. The Labor Guide is not only a highly readable account of retirement plan financing and administration, with a handy glossary of layperson explanations of sometimes confusing technical terms. It’s also a call for labor action to strengthen “our national pension plan,” aka Social Security, which is the sole source of retirement income for 1 out of 4 recipients and a perennial target of privatization efforts.

        Now a professor at Portland State, the author first got involved in pension struggles when his own individual retirement account, as a Connecticut public employee, took a hit in the Great Recession of 2008. Russell helped lead a successful campaign to allow state workers, with inferior 401(k)-style coverage, make a rare switch to a defined-benefit plan with better benefits. (For more on that fight, see Russell’s previous book, Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis, (Beacon Press, 2015).

      • How One Little-Known Loophole Fuels Toxic Dynastic Wealth
      • Who Pays for Eldercare in the US? Women and the Economy
      • ‘Incredible’: Covid Stimulus Funds Reduced Overall US Poverty in 2020

        Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing spike in unemployment, poverty in the U.S. declined by roughly 2.6% from 2019 to 2020 as a result of the federal government’s expansion of the social safety net, new data released Tuesday shows.

        “When government responds to the needs of the working class, millions of families are lifted out of poverty.”—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Why SDRs Belong to States, Not Central Banks

        Since SDRs are relatively unknown to many policymakers in Latin America, Latindadd, a civil society organization who works on tax, debt, and development, put out a handbook for the fiscal use of SDRs in August to help guide policy in this area. As they noted, SDRs represent an international reserve asset that was created by the IMF in 1969 to help facilitate balance of payment settlements. Even so, SDRs themselves do not constitute debt or loans, but potential claims on the freely usable hard currencies of other IMF members. Historically, these claims have been used on occasions to pay back IMF loan programs. This implies the assets are, and always have been, closely connected to fiscal budgets.

        Nonetheless, in Mexico, the country’s central bank, known as Banxico, recently published a statement asserting that it, rather than the government, should maintain control over the $12 billion worth of SDRs the state has received in the latest IMF issuance. Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, disagrees. He believes the SDRs should go to the government’s budget.

      • The History of Wealth Extraction in the US: a New Online Educational Tool
      • Up to Half of Pentagon Spending Since 9/11 Has Gone to War Profiteers
      • Warren Says Reconciliation Bill Should Include Wealth Tax
      • ‘A Monumental Mistake’: Wyden Warns House Democrats’ Tax Plan Lets Billionaires Off Easy

        Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, warned Tuesday that House Democrats’ newly released tax plan would let U.S. billionaires off the hook by omitting key reforms that progressive lawmakers, advocacy organizations, and President Joe Biden have embraced.

        “The nurses, firefighters, and teachers who pay their taxes with every paycheck know the system is broken when billionaire heirs never pay tax on billions in stock gains.”—Sen. Ron Wyden

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Tennessee pastor Greg Locke accused of spreading false info about COVID banned from Twitter

        Controversial Tennessee pastor Greg Locke, who has repeatedly been accused of spreading misinformation about COVID-19, was banned from Twitter on Tuesday.

      • Everyone will be able to clone their voice in the future

        Cloning your voice using artificial intelligence is simultaneously tedious and simple: hallmarks of a technology that’s just about mature and ready to go public.

        All you need to do is talk into a microphone for 30 minutes or so, reading a script as carefully as you can (in my case: the voiceover from a David Attenborough documentary). After starting and stopping dozens of times to re-record your flubs and mumbles, you’ll send off the resulting audio files to be processed and, in a few hours’ time, be told that a copy of your voice is ready and waiting. Then, you can type anything you want into a chatbox, and your AI clone will say it back to you, with the resulting audio realistic to fool even friends and family — at least for a few moments. The fact that such a service even exists may be news to many, and I don’t believe we’ve begun to fully consider the impact easy access to this technology will have.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Commentator Insists That Fact Checking Is An Attack On Free Speech

        There are some really bizarre ideas out there — and one that has popped up a bunch recently is the idea that fact checking is antithetical to free speech. We’ve seen a few faux “conservatives” arguing that fact checkers should be regulated and that they’re not protected by the 1st Amendment. This is wrong of course. Fact checking is (1) speech, and (2) stating an opinion on the veracity of some other content. It’s quintessential protected opinion.

      • Beijing Targets Megastars and Their Fan Clubs

        By September 2, China’s National Radio and Television Administration had published a new set of guidelines banning artists with incorrect politics, purportedly to protect youth from “bad influence” and the “social atmosphere” from “severe pollution.” The directive also advocated for “professional, authoritative critiques” of performers and putting “political correctness and the socialist values above all forms of arts.”

        Akio Yaita, a onetime Beijing correspondent and Taipei bureau chief for a conservative Japanese newspaper, told VOA Mandarin that the crackdown reflects power struggles between President Xi Jinping and his opponents.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Writers Guild East Election: Candidates Who Back Digital Media Organizing Growth Win Council Seats

        With a two-year term ahead of them, the union’s new top officers and Council members will lead the Guild both through the identity issues regarding digital journalists that many Council candidates talked up in their campaigns and its next Minimum Basic Agreement negotiations in 2023. After current president Beau Willimon decided not to seek re-election this year after four years in the role, Winship, initially reluctant, was persuaded by other union members to run for the role. During the campaign, he told The Hollywood Reporter that when in office he will work with Solidarity Slate writers “with an eye toward how we can all work together and move forward in very good and positive ways.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In America, Where There’s Religious Smoke, There’s Usually A Capitalistic Fire

        Since the beginning of contemporary history (or post World War II) that kind of religious fervor has quelled substantially. Even the religious patriarchal gaze still aimed at Islamic women, in stable Middle Eastern societies, is beginning to blink profusely – as their women advocate for equality, under a new empowering and ever-developing 21st century status quo, inspired by the unflinching feminism pervading the G 7 countries of the world. This modern devout reality makes the recent legislative bullet, fired at the distaff citizens of Texas, by a hegemonic catholic regime, rather unconventional and hard (for ME) to fathom.

        For forty-eight years the women of the Lone Star State (and abroad) have utilized their “Right to Privacy,” allotted via Roe versus Wade, with grace and diligence. So this antiquated regurgitation of “right to life,” for me, reeks of nothing more than typical American subterfuge. Being ensconced in the abundantly generous Information Age, political chicanery, even under the honorable guise of religious conviction, is not difficult to recognize. To do so, all one has to do is dwell, intellectually, in the chasm between statistics and intuition – while never relinquishing the inescapable fact that America was constructed with the inhumane mechanism of, cheap labor.

      • The United States’ Recent Failures in War and Fighting Racism Should Serve as a Warning to Its Allies

        Right on schedule, the nation’s finest intelligence analysts delivered their report to the White House on August 24 and released an unclassified summary three days later. The once hotly anticipated story landed like a damp squib and was buried by the regular news cycle in less than a day. In part, this was due to the inconclusive nature of the findings: four intelligence community (IC) elements and the National Intelligence Council assessed “with low confidence” that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from “natural exposure,” another IC element leaned “with moderate confidence” toward lab leak, and three others did not commit either way, though they naturally all agreed that “Beijing… continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries, including the United States.” But what really doomed the report to oblivion was a signal failure of U.S. intelligence—and the entire imperial apparatus—on a far grander scale: the utter rout of the United States’ puppet regime in Afghanistan by the Taliban, who in 10 days capturedevery provincial capital (save one), including Kabul.

        One underexplored throughline linking both events is Biden’s fraught though largely earnest attempts to restore the traditionally multilateral basis of the U.S. empire, drawing a sharp distinction with his predecessor Donald Trump. While Trump dramatically withdrew the United States from the WHO at the height of a global pandemic in 2020, alleging an entirely illusory pro-China bias, one of Biden’s first acts in office was to rejoin the organization. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus duly celebrated the restoration of U.S. funding by contradicting the WHO mission’s own assessment, as part of a joint study with China, that “introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.”

      • Germany’s Secret Success: Turning Immigration Into a Nonissue

        Berlin—A visitor wanted to know about the upcoming elections here: How would concerns about migration affect the outcome? They wouldn’t, his host replied, because migration wasn’t an issue in the elections.

      • ‘Reproductive Freedom’ Defenders Demonstrate Outside Brett Kavanaugh’s House

        A group of pro-choice activists directed outrage Monday at Supreme Justice Brett Kavanaugh, bringing banners, loudspeakers, and demands for his resignation to the right-wing justice’s Washington, D.C.-area home.

        The event was organized by ShutDownDC, which said that between 50 and 70 people took part. Photos showed protesters holding signs with messages including “Repro Freedom for All,” “Kavanaugh resign,” and “Safe abortion is a human right.”

      • Boycott Texas

        I’m not a big fan of state boycotts. They’re such a blunt instrument. They risk hurting ordinary people just trying to make a living, including people in the very category you’re trying to help. (I’ll never forget the e-mail I got from the gay owner of Replacements, a wonderful north Carolina seller of china and other table ware, pleading with online customers not to boycott his store over the anti-gay “bathroom bill.“) Boycotting conventions and tourism can mean you ding the rare blue dot in a red state. And then there is the question of whether boycotts reinforce the target state’s orneriness and sense of persecution.

      • Opinion | DOJ Pushback on Texas Abortion Ban Is a Welcome Sign

        Like nearly everyone else on the left, I’ve been waiting for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the department he leads to repair the rule of law in the aftermath of the Trump presidency.

      • DOJ Says Federal Agents Will Start Wearing Body Cameras

        At long last, Department of Justice agencies are joining the 21st century. Years after many local law enforcement agencies (with budgets that amount to rounding errors for DOJ components) have adopted body cameras, the DOJ is finally getting into the act.

      • Forfeiture Case Shows Cops Don’t Even Need Drug Dogs To Alert To Engage In A Warrantless Search

        Another magical drug dog case has surfaced, showing yet again why cops like having “probable cause on four legs” on hand to turn stops into searches and searches into seizures. This forfeiture motion [PDF] — highlighted by Brad Heath — starts with a stop and quickly devolves into ridiculousness.

      • NYT OpEd Celebrates Labor Day By Proving It Knows Nothing About Sex Work

        Throughout MacKinnon’s reductive essay – which among other cringe-worthy mistakes, falsely blames the media for popularizing the term “sex work,” (in reality, a sex worker and activist named Carol Leigh coined the term in the late 1970s, which is still widely favored today), consistently confuses sex work with trafficking, and claims sex work can never be consentual as it’s selling one’s body (just wait until she learns about manual labor jobs!) — there is one thing missing: A single f—ing scrap of nuance.

      • Apple Fires Manager Who Complained; She Gains Right to Sue

        Apple Inc. employee Ashley Gjovik, who filed allegations with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board last month, said she was illegally fired in retaliation and will continue pursuing her legal complaints against the tech giant.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • I Am Rupert Murdoch’s Total Lack Of Shame: Now Demanding Intermediary Liability Protections For News Corp.

        Let’s talk a bit about Rupert Murdoch. To his slight credit, in the early 2000s, he seemed to realize that the internet would be big for media. He also realized that he might be missing out. He went on an internet buying spree. It got to the point where Newsweek was praising Murdoch’s “smart bets” on the internet. The cornerstone of Murdoch’s digital empire was MySpace; a site that was once so dominant, the media insisted that no one could ever surpass it — not even a dumpy little startup like Facebook.

      • Biden ‘Competition Council’ Urges Biden FCC To Do Things It Can’t Do Because Biden Hasn’t Fully Staffed It Yet

        Back in July, the Biden administration signed an executive order creating a new “competition council” tasked with taking a closer look at competition and monopoly issues in various business sectors. One of those sectors was telecom, which remains dominated by a handful of politically powerful regional monopolies, resulting in decades of spotty broadband service, high prices, and terrible customer service.

    • Monopolies

      • US Media Support Tech Regulation—Unless It Comes From China

        Recently, US media have been aghast at legislation affecting China’s tech sector.

      • The McMystery That’s Getting the Feds Involved

        It also comes down to simplicity, as Boston.com and the WSJ suggest. “There are a couple reasons behind this phenomenon, though only one has the FTC interested. As these ice cream makers are “so over-engineered it is silly. Sometimes simple is just better.” Making ice cream in a bag might be a better option at this point if we’re talking real simple. (Don’t act like you’re too good to scoop handfuls of bagged Oreo soft serve in your mouth.) As most of the machines are only manufactured by Taylor Commercial Foodservice LLC, which doesn’t exactly make it easy for an employee to try their hand at fixing it. (It is rumored that legally, employees doing so is forbidden.)

      • Epic’s win over Apple is actually an Apple victory

        A big factor in the decision was the definition of the “market” Apple allegedly had a monopoly over. This was a sticking point in the trial: Apple argued that the market was all gaming platforms; Epic said the market was just Apple’s App Store. Gonzalez Rogers said during the trial that she thought the market might be all mobile gaming, which would include other mobile platforms and stores like Google Play. And that’s the definition she went with in her ruling. It’s hard to prove that Apple is a monopoly when the judge’s definition of the market also includes its competitors.

        The one victory Epic Games did achieve was a limited one: Though Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Apple had to allow developers to show app users links where they can make purchases outside of the App Store (purchases Apple won’t get a cut of), Epic is still not allowed to insert its own payment method in the app itself, nor can it place its own app store on Apple devices.

      • Patents

        • Update: Federal Judge Rules That Only Natural Persons Can Be Inventors [Ed: Court just states the obvious, but that's not good enough for patent maximalists]

          The case arises from an appeal filed by Stephen Thaler and his legal team concerning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) treatment of U.S. Patent Application Nos. 16/524,350 (“the ‘350 Application”) and 16/524,532 (“the ‘532 Application”). Thaler is the creator of an artificial intelligence machine known as “Device for Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience” aka “DABUS. An Application Data Sheet (“ADS”) was filed in each case identifying a single inventor with the given name “DABUS” and a family name “Invention generated by artificial intelligence”.[1] The ADSs also identify Stephen Thaler as the Applicant and Assignee. In both cases, the USPTO responded by issuing a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Patent Application (“the Notice”) and asserted that the ADS did not identify each inventor by his legal name.[2] A subsequent petition to request supervisory review of the Notice and vacate the Notice was then filed by Thaler and dismissed by the USPTO.[3] Thaler then appealed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking, among other things, a reversal of the USPTO’s decision on the petition.

        • Critics Of Patent Waivers Are Claiming They Were Right… Despite No Patent Waiver Actually Issuing Yet

          We were surprised, but pleased, when the US announced plans to support a patent waiver for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines (over Hollywood’s strenuous objections). As you’ll recall, the TRIPS agreement (an onerous, oppressive set of “intellectual property” rules that many countries have agreed to) includes a “waiver” process, in which the WTO will effectively waive international patent protection on certain patented items in an emergency situation. The COVID-19 crisis seemed to fit the exact intent of the waiver process, and yet there’s been a lot of pushback from patent and copyright maximalists who hate the very idea of waiving copyright or patent monopoly rights on anything for any reason at all.

        • Ex-Heads of State, Nobel Laureates Urge Merkel’s Successor to Back Vaccine Patent Waiver

          More than 140 Nobel laureates and former heads of state signed an open letter Tuesday urging the next German chancellor to throw their support behind a proposed patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines, a step the nation’s outgoing leader has steadfastly refused to take.

          Addressed to Annalena Baerbock, Armin Laschet, and Olaf Scholz—the leading contenders in Germany’s September 26 election—the letter stresses the urgency of ramping up vaccine production and distributing doses to low-income countries that have been denied the resources necessary to inoculate their populations, leaving billions of people vulnerable to the coronavirus and its dangerous variants.

        • Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Black Widow’ vs. ‘Shang-Chi’ Piracy and the Return of Disney’s Box-Office Exclusives

          After simultaneously releasing several movies in theaters and on its streaming platform, Disney is granting an exclusivity window to the box office again. Simultaneous releases trigger a piracy surge, which becomes clear from a comparison between the ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Shang-Chi’ piracy numbers.

        • Hollywood Demands $16.35m From Operator of Pirate IPTV Services

          A coalition of Hollywood studios, with the addition of Amazon and Netflix, are demanding $16.35m in damages from the operator of Altered Carbon, Area 51, and several other pirate IPTV services. In addition to a permanent injunction, they also seek execution of an earlier settlement agreement that wasn’t honored plus $332,600 in attorney’s fees.

        • Kickstarter For Hand-Drawn Video Game Manuals Shuts Down Due To IP Threat

          You may recall that about a year ago we discussed one man’s attempt to digitize the game manuals for really old games. Notably, that project didn’t appear to face any threats over copyright laws by the normal companies — Nintendo, Konami, etc — though that almost certainly was partially the result of the project not being a commercial endeavor, but a simple attempt at art preservation that would clearly be covered by fair use. But the overall point is that there is a thirst for this sort of thing, especially when you realize that some of these game manuals are endangered species, close to being lost for all eternity.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  2. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  3. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  4. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  5. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  7. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  8. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  9. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  11. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  13. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  15. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  17. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  18. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  19. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  21. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  22. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  23. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  24. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  26. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  27. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  29. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed


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