Links 2/10/2021: KQuickImageEditor 0.2 and Another Wayland Push

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Video Editing with Linux: Kdenlive Video Editor Reviewed

        Next in our video editing series for the Librem 14, Gardiner Bryant shows off the pros and cons in an in-depth review of Kdenlive, an open source video editing solution. In this video Gardiner discusses the pros and cons of this libre software. We hope you find this series useful and informative, and we hope to do similar projects like this in the future so if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to cover, please let us know!

    • Kernel Space

      • The Soul of the Movement: 30 Years of Linux (Part 1)

        On August 19, 1991, Linus Torvalds, humbly conducted his own poll, querying interest in a Usenet posting to the comp.os.minix group at the University of Helsinki:

        I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since April and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system due to practical reasons among other things).

        Just a hobby? In the middle of the “free software movement” and years ahead of the launch of “open source,” a month later the first Linux kernel occupied 65 KB and had about 10,000 lines of Torvalds’ code.

      • Linus Torvalds, a Finnish Swede who changed computing forever

        Linux is used in a wide variety of computer and mobile systems today. To list just a few things that rely on Torvalds’ brainchild, NASA’s computers, Instagram, the Hadron Collider, the vast majority of supercomputers, and the US Department of Defense are all powered by Linux. Even if you have never booted up Linux Kernel on your laptop, you have benefitted from this open-source software.

        What few people know is that, although Torvalds was born and raised in Helsinki, he is actually part of Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority, the Finland Swedes. As the 30th anniversary of the release of Linux fast approaches, we thought we’d continue our ongoing Finnish-Swedish culture series by looking at the life and achievements of one of the most famous members of this community.

        Although Torvalds resides in the heart of Silicon Valley today and has a net worth of around $150 million, his origins are somewhat humbler, although by no means working class. He was born on 28 December 1969 to Finnish Swedish parents, one of whom is the journalist and MP Nils Torvalds. His grandfathers were Leo Törnqvist, another famous Finland Swede who was Finland’s first-ever statistician, and Ole Torvalds, the celebrated poet, and journalist. It was Törnqvist, his maternal grandfather, who first sparked Torvalds’ interest in computing, after asking him to help program his brand-new Commodore VIC-20 computer in 1981.

        It was during his bachelor studies in computer science at the University of Helsinki where Linux first came together. Torvalds has his own personal Microsoft computer, which had an OS that was not compatible with the system used by the University, UNIX. To rectify this, he began to develop a system similar to UNIX that would be compatible with personal computers. He first posted the open-source code on a computing forum in 1991, and it proved such a hit among the programming community that Linux as we know it was born shortly after.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Distros Which Adopted Wayland in 2021

          This article lists out several major GNU/Linux operating systems which adopted Wayland technology in favor of the older Xorg by default. Through this article we also introduce two new software called Sway and Wayfire that work with Wayland. This includes Ubuntu and Debian, several more, and some important information about Wayland at the end of article.

    • Applications

      • KQuickImageEditor 0.2 released

        I’m happy to announce the 0.2 release of KQuickImageEditor. KQuickImageEditor is a QML library providing basic image editing functionality. It is currently used by Koko, NeoChat and Maui Pix.

        In this release, Noah Davis worked on improving the usability and design of the the existing croping feature. It now features more touch friendly handles that are consistently looking with the one from Spectacle.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Tr Command In Linux Explained With Examples For Beginners

        The real power of Linux is there are many programs/utilities created to make our lives easy. When you write a lot of shell scripts in your environment this set of programs comes in handy, where you will use these programs to manipulate your input or output in your scripts. One such utility is tr, which stands for translate. As the name implies, the tr command is used to translate, squeeze, and delete characters from standard input, writing to standard output in Linux and Unix-like operating systems.

        In this article, we will learn tr command usage with practical examples. At the end of this guide, you will be comfortable in using the tr command and you will come to know in which scenario using this command would be beneficial.

      • mv Command in Linux

        The mv command is one of Linux’s built-in commands, and its primary function is to move files and directories. However, the mv command’s function is not limited to moving files; it also performs a variety of other tasks. In Linux, mv stands for move.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to move files and directories in Linux using mv Command.

      • Claimed 2TB USB SSD is only 128GB
      • Install ifconfig on debian 11 or 10, if command not found – Linux Shout

        After installing Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster, if you get ifconfig: command not found error while using it to check the system’s Ip-addresses, then here are the steps to solve the problem.

        It is the command tool that is used on the Linux system to look for its current IP address and other information of the network.

      • How to create a shared folder in VirtualBox – TechRepublic

        VirtualBox is a great tool for creating, running, and managing virtual machines. It’s free, it’s flexible, and it’s powerful. If you use this tool in your data center, you might find the need to create a shared folder between a host and a guest. In fact, this is a solid way to share a folder with multiple guests or use it as a way to expand the available storage for your virtual machines.

        No matter how you use these shared folders, you have to know how to create them first. Let me show you how to do so in VirtualBox 6.1.

      • How to Create a Cold Storage Crypto Wallet with a USB Memory Stick
      • How to Sync Two Web Servers in Linux Automatically

        As you graduate from a Linux enthusiast to a Linux administrator/superuser in a production/server environment, you start to see the sense in working with more than one web server.

        Right now, you might not see the logic in having two similar web servers running at the same time but there will come a time when having an extra server environment creates an ideal backup plan for your primary server.

      • How to Install and Configure Git in Debian 11 – Unixcop

        Today we will learn how to configure Git with Debian 11. Consider a scenario where multiple developers are working on the same project. How to keep control of a different version of their work? Git is the answer! it’s one of the most famous version control of today.

        Git was originally developed by Linus in 2005. Git is designed for such developers who just need nothing but a straightforward version control system.

        What is a version control system? Well, you can assume it as a centralized repo. Where are developers can work on the same project or on a module/part of the project? Without affecting other team member’s work they can keep contributing.

        Developers can keep their work intact in form of branches. In branches, developers can develop, stage, and commit their codes.

      • How to use head command – Unixcop
      • How to install MongoDB 5.0 Server on Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        MongoDB is a database based on a non-relational document model. As a so-called NoSQL database (NoSQL = Not-only-SQL) it differs fundamentally from conventional relational databases such as Oracle, MySQL, or the Microsoft SQL Server. The name MongoDB is derived from the English word “humongous”, which roughly means “gigantic”.

      • How to Scan Open Ports with Nmap – TecAdmin

        Nmap (Network Mapper) is the most popular discovery tool used by Network Administrators for security auditing and mapping their network. This core tool is furthermore used for finding live hosts, OS detection, performing port scanning, and version detection.

        In order to detect various available hosts on the network, the services they’re offering, the version of operating system they’re running, and the type of firewall they are using, nmap uses the raw IP address. Whenever we’re having connectivity issues of network or firewall configuration, the first thing we check is which ports are open.

        There are several commands available to check open ports and scan them on your system, but nmap is the most used command for this purpose. In this article, we’ll discuss how to scan all open ports with nmap on your Linux system.

      • How to Install and Configure Apache Cassandra on Linux System

        The Apache Cassandra is a widely used cross-platform NoSQL database for handling big data and live data. Many tech giants use the apache Cassandra database as a not conventional relational database engine; instead, it’s a wide column store, database engine. The Apache Cassandra tool is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. In the benchmark, the speed of apache Cassandra is higher and trustworthy. If you own a large amount of data, you can surely use apache Cassandra for data security.

        Moreover, it also allows a distributed method of sharing and handling data. The Cassandra cloud and DB engine can help you to build your own server. Handling data scalability, Hadoop MapReduce, and other features have made the apache Cassandra a giant tool for data management.

      • How to Install Zoom Client on Ubuntu 20.04

        Zoom is a communications technology platform that provides videotelephony and real-time online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and much more.

        In the following tutorial, you will know how to install Zoom on your Ubuntu 20.04 desktop.

      • How to Install PHP ImageMagick (IMAGICK) on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Imagick is a PHP extension to create and modify images using the ImageMagick library. Those unfamiliar with the ImageMagick software are open-source, free software that can convert, read, write, and process raster images. Currently, the PHP extension only supports PHP 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. Currently, no PHP 8.0 or 8.1 support exists at this current time.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install PHP ImageMagick (IMAGICK) on Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • How to Install Debian 11 (Bullseye) Step by Step Guide

        Hello, friends. How to install an operating system is always a task that we must know to perform our work in a better way. So, in this post, I will show you how to install Debian 11. The process will be done in a virtual machine and it will be guided.

        Debian 11 is the latest version of this popular operating system that pretends to be universal. That is to say, that is so robust in a desktop as in server, and thanks to the great number of available packages we will not lack anything more.

      • How to Get Discord for Linux – TechnoChops

        Are you also tired of locking up yourself inside your house away from any activity and people are known as ‘Quarantine period’? In these challenging times when people were unable to meet each other and were missing all these gatherings, Discord has played its magic and succeed in winning everyone’s hearts. This famous online communication app helped people stay connected with their fellows and friends through text messages, voice chats, and video chats.

        In short, it is very rightly said that Discord had made its name popular very early, especially in the last decades when people were surviving this deadly coronavirus pandemic. It was introduced to people in 2015, primarily for gamers, but its versatility made it an all-rounder platform that helped everyone from different communities. This online app has also gained the trust of many other outsources and clients with its excellent services. So, now we will discuss how to get Discord for Linux.

      • How To Install ProFTPD on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ProFTPD on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, ProFTPd is an open-source FTP server application that allows you to set up your own FTP servers on a Linux system. It stands out for being highly configurable and for having great documentation available for all users.

        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 ProFTPD 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.

      • How To Install Apache NetBeans on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache NetBeans on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, The NetBeans (also known as Apache Netbeans) is an integrated development environment (IDE) for all Java application development. So, Apache NetBeans provides editors, wizards, and templates to help you create applications in Java, PHP, and many other languages. Apache NetBeans is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Solaris.

        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 Apache NetBeans on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How To Get The Number Of Bytes In A String In JavaScript – linuxwebdevelopment.com

        Getting the number of bytes in a JavaScript string can be very useful.

        For example, at the time of this article being written, 01 October 2021, Twitter limits posts to 280 bytes. If you use just Latin characters, numbers, or other ASCII characters in a Twitter post, then the number of characters would be equal to the number of bytes since each ASCII character is made with 1 byte.

        But in other languages, or other non-ASCII characters like emojis, the character would likely be made with more than 1 byte.

        Essentially there are 2 steps to getting the number of bytes in a string in JavaScript.
        1. Convert the string into a Blob object.

    • Games

      • Valve Enables Experimental Nvidia DLSS Support For DirectX 12 in Proton | Tom’s Hardware

        Valve’s Steam Deck console runs Arch Linux. It uses the Proton compatibility layer to translate Windows-specific API calls to Linux API calls, thus allowing Windows games to work in Linux. This latest experimental update will benefit Linux gamers in general, but it will also benefit the Steam Deck tremendously.

      • Best Emulators To Play Free Games On PC And Mobile

        Emulators have become an essential part of the modern-day gaming experience. Nowadays, gamers prefer to play their favorite games on their chosen platforms. However, this is only possible with the help of emulators. We have gone ahead and put together a list of some of the best emulators for PS2, PS3, Nintendo, and Android games.

        Every emulator on this list stands out in its respective field and is the best at what it does. Gaming fans might want to check out our other emulator guides for Nintendo DS, Switch, Android, PlayStation, GameCube, GBA, NES, SNES, and more.

      • For a third month in a row, Linux remains above 1% on the Steam Hardware Survey | GamingOnLinux

        I still can’t quite believe it but the Linux user share on Steam has not only remained above 1% for three months, it’s actually risen again. We continue to track it each month on our dedicated page but I think it deserves a mention again.

        This has been relatively big news for a few months now as we covered when it initially hit 1% again, and last month where it actually stuck. As of September 2021, Linux has managed to hit 1.05% on the Steam Hardware Survey.

      • Epic Games To Release AntiCheat For Linux

        The day I’ve been looking forward to for years. When I first started blogging in 2014, I published a number of pieces about Linux gaming. Readers were not interested in Linux gaming at the time since it required too much portability of tools, especially anti-cheat software.

        In some ways, porting games to Linux seems tough due to anti-cheat software, but as Steam Play and Proton ported hundreds of recent games for Linux, Linux users felt excited about more game developers releasing their software for Linux. Recently, one of the biggest gaming platforms Epic announced its anticheat being made available for Linux and Mac. It is exciting news as you will soon be able to play Epic games on Linux.

      • 15 of the Best Linux Games in 2021

        There have been many false dawns for Linux gaming, but in recent years things have been improving unabated. The launch of the Proton compatibility layer meant that thousands of DirectX-only games can now be translated to Vulkan and therefore work on Linux, while new Linux-compatible games continue to be released as well.

        If you want to play Windows-only games on Linux, see our guide on how to set up Proton and Steam Play. If, however, you just want to check out all the best native Linux games in 2021 you can play, then read on below.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.23 Lands More Last-Minute Fixes To Avoid Wayland Crashes

          Plasma 5.23 stable is due to be released in two weeks while until then KDE developers are scurrying to land more fixes in this next desktop update.

          This past week KDE Plasma 5.23 has seen many more fixes, especially as it concerns the Plasma Wayland session and in particular addressing a number of crash fixes for the KWin compositor. Some of the changes that landed in the KDE space this past week includes:

          - Fast user switching now works under Plasma 5.23′s Wayland session.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 35 bridges the gap between the seasoned and the new user

          For the longest time, I considered the Fedora Linux distribution to have an audience of one—those dyed-in-the-wool, experienced users. There’s a good reason for that. Fedora is a bleeding-edge distribution, so things can break, go south or not work.

          I’ve been reviewing Linux distributions for decades now, so I’ve experienced several Fedora releases. When this particular flavor of Linux first hit the virtual shelves, it was very much not a platform for the new user. It would break and require admin-level attention.

          But something happened along the way to number 35. Fedora became really solid. This was partially bolstered with the help of the rock-solid GNOME desktop. And even with Fedora including the newest versions of GNOME didn’t seem to cause the operating system to falter.

          To borrow a cliché, it all just works.

          However, it does more than just work. I’d go so far as to say that the last few Fedora releases have worked exceptionally well, as well as any other desktop distribution. And Fedora 35 is no exception to this new rule.

        • Fedora 35 Beta Linux distribution with GNOME 41 now available for download

          Today is finally the day many of us have been waiting for — Fedora 35 has officially reached Beta status, and you can download the pre-release operating system immediately. For many Linux users, Fedora is considered the best distribution based on that open source kernel. Why? Well, the distro focuses on truly free and open source software — a pure Linux experience. It is also fairly bleeding edge, while at the same time, remaining stable enough for daily use.

          What makes Fedora 35 Beta so exciting? This pre-release version of the upcoming operating system uses the brand-new GNOME 41 as its default desktop environment. GNOME 41 is notable for having significant performance improvements when using Wayland. Speaking of Wayland, Fedora 35 Beta will run faster when using it with an NVIDIA GPU. Plus, version 35 Beta gets NVIDIA with XWayland, for an improved experience when using apps that aren’t designed for Wayland.

          “Fedora Linux 35 Beta is all about polish — extending existing features and adding new features or support to level up the experience of using Fedora Linux. Whether you use Fedora on the desktop, as a cloud-based image, or as a Linux container image, you’ll find improvements that make Fedora 35 a pleasant upgrade,” says Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader.

        • Wayland Support Plan for Firefox

          Martin Stransky, the Firefox package maintainer for Fedora and RHEL, who is responsible for porting Firefox for Wayland, has published a report summarizing the latest advances in Firefox in Wayland environments.

          In the coming releases of Firefox, it is planned to address the issues observed in builds for Wayland with the clipboard and popup handling . These features could not be immediately implemented due to differences in the approach to their implementation in X11 and Wayland. In the first case, difficulties arose due to the operation of the Wayland clipboard in asynchronous mode, which required the creation of a separate layer to abstract access to the Wayland clipboard. The specified layer will be added to Firefox 93 and enabled by default in Firefox 94.

          With regard to pop-up dialogs, the main difficulty was that Wayland requires adherence to a strict hierarchy of pop-ups, those. the parent window can create a child window with a popup, but the next popup initiated from this window must bind to the original child window, forming a chain. In Firefox, each window could spawn multiple popups that did not form a hierarchy. The problem was that when using Wayland, closing one of the pop-ups requires rebuilding the entire chain of windows with other pop-ups, while the presence of several open pop-ups is not uncommon, since pop-ups are implemented as pop-up menus. prompts, add-on dialogs, permission requests, etc. The situation was also compounded by flaws in Wayland and GTK , where small changes could lead to various regressions. However, the pop-up handling code for Wayland has been tweaked and is planned for inclusion in Firefox 94.

        • If Fedora won’t package KDE properly, they should drop the packages and tell people to use some other operating system.

          A while back, IBM bought Red Hat and now exercises complete control over Fedora. They really are just a GNOME distribution, and it’s quite apparent that nobody there really cares if KDE works properly or not.

          As a guy who uses GNOME, I do want to point out that KDE isn’t bad software, but many distributions don’t do it justice, and the last time I even bothered trying Fedora with KDE, it was so hopelessly broken that it’s essentially not even worth downloading anymore.

          For example, they kicked out the one person left who did care, over bullshit “Code of Conduct” violations. He hurt the “feelings” of corporations, for example. That would be Kevin Kofler.

          Then they essentially turned it over to people who use Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 as their main systems. I know this because Fedora-KDE’s official rooms on Matrix dot org expose what browser and OS the person is logged into, and the top two Fedora-KDE people with mod hats and activity in the Fedora build system, primarily use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 and Safari on a Mac.

        • Open Mainframe Project Announces New Milestones and Opportunities

          The Open Mainframe Project recently announced record growth in contributions–with more than 105.31 million lines of code written and more than 9,600 commits submitted by Open Mainframe Project communities so far this year. This is 100% more code than last year with an increased number of active participants in the 20 project and working groups. These numbers will only increase as Open Mainframe continues to be the cornerstone of governance and innovation for modernizing the mainframe and its path to IoT, Cloud and Edge Computing.

      • Debian Family

        • Linux 5.10.70 lands in Debian 11 Proposed Updates

          Debian 11 is bringing in the latest LTS Linux kernel very soon.

          This morning, I noticed that Linux 5.10.70 was available in Debian 11’s proposed updates and installed it over 5.10.46. A quick line count shows roughly ~2,200 bugs fixed all around the kernel tree between the two releases.

          Nothing out of the ordinary. Wifi, bluetooth, file system, graphics adapter, power management bugs zapped. Many HP laptop owners get better audio and hotkey support. Many, many other small improvements.

          Some Intel Wifi problems, in particular, should be smoothed out, although at least one of them was functionally pointless. “Inclusive language”. Blacklist = Blocklist, Whitelist = Allowlist, Master = Primary, Slave = Peripheral. Woke crap that doesn’t really fix anything in the driver.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • EasyOS: SeaMonkey updated to

          I have compiled SeaMonkey in EasyOS.
          Really do need to get EasyOS 3.0 out-the-door. The days are rolling by as I play with compiling Chromium.
          Chromium is compiling on this PC right now. If it succeeds, will probably make it into an SFS, and make it available for EasyOS 3.0 users.

        • Another Chrome emergency update to patch 0-day vulnerabilities is now available

          Google released another security update for the company’s Google Chrome web browser that brings the version of the browser to 94.0.4606.71. Google Chrome 94.0.4606.71 is a security update that fixes two vulnerabilities that are actively exploited in the wild according to Google. The update is the third update that Google released this month to address 0-day security issues in Google Chrome that are exploited in the wild.

          Google is rolling out the update to all Chrome installations, but users may want to speed up the discovery and installation of the update by loading chrome://settings/help in the browser’s address bar, or selecting Menu > Help > About Google Chrome from the menu.

          Chrome displays the installed version on the page that is loaded and will run a check for updates. Updates that are discovered during the check are downloaded and installed automatically. The new Extended Stable channel has been updated as well.

        • Better future? Safari browser extension is preparing for Apple’s ‘post-privacy’ world

          “Better protects you from trackers in Safari on iOS and macOS, where it is available as an app,” Aral Balkan, the developer of Better, told The Daily Swig.
          With some technical knowledge, it can be applied to other browsers as well.
          “You can also use the blocking rules on other platforms (e.g, GNOME Web and Firefox etc) by adding the rules to your browser (in WebKit content blocker format) or to a separate extension like uBlock Origin (in EasyList format),” Balkan said.

          Thomas Reed, director of Mac and mobile at Malwarebytes, who looked at Better, told The Daily Swig: “The app privacy disclosure info on the App Store says that Better does not collect any data, which is great and what I would expect.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Open-source veteran PostgreSQL emits release 14: Tweaked, scalable, and ready to get heavy

          Open-source database fans were given reason to celebrate this week with the release of PostgreSQL 14, an iteration of the RDBMS featuring performance improvements for heavy and distributed workloads.

          The seasonal autumn release was posted yesterday, and though PostgreSQL 14 may not include a set of big wow new features, more than 220 updates add up to performance improvements for high-end systems, said Umair Shahid, head of PostgreSQL at open-source technology consultancy Percona.

          “The sheer number of additional features is significantly larger, but no single feature carries the entire release. The release focuses on the performance of the database: not just the database internals performing better, but also the SQL queries running faster and a focus on parallelism,” Shahid said.

          While PostgreSQL was designed as a vertically scaling database, the open-source community has been focused on trying to implement features that help with horizontal scalability, which makes it much easier to scale applications and improve database performance, he said.

      • CMS

        • WooCommerce Marks 10 Year Anniversary of Forking Jigoshop

          WooCommerce is celebrating 10 years since WooThemes launched the first iteration of the WooCommerce plugin. Paul Maiorana, WooCommerce’s current CEO, covered a few high highlights of the plugin’s rising popularity over the years in his anniversary post. After 16 months in the wild, WooCommerce had been downloaded 500,000 times and passed the 1 million downloads milestone just 137 days later. In 2014, the night before the very first WooConf, the plugin celebrated passing 5 million downloads. It was acquired by Automattic in 2015 in a deal rumored to be more than $20 million.

          WooCommerce’s anniversary post, which glossed over its checkered origin story, reignited some of the controversy surrounding the Jigoshop fork. While the post mentions that WooThemes hired two Jigoshop developers “to create a dedicated eCommerce plugin called WooCommerce,” it neglected to mention that the initial version was actually a fork of Jigoshop. WooThemes had convinced Mike Jolley and Jay Koster to fork the work they had done for their previous employer, Jigowatt, after failing to make a deal with the Jigowatt team.

      • Education

        • Moodle LMS review

          Despite the open source origin, Moodle still has plenty of features. A notable one is the modern interface, that is designed to be used via a web browser on a desktop or laptop, or on mobile platforms with available iOS and Android apps (see below). This interface includes a personalized dashboard that can display a list of courses, including the current ones, along with past courses, and future ones as well. Also displayed are the pending tasks.

          There are plenty of advanced features as well that go beyond the basics. A good example is the text editor. This easy to use text editor is designed to work from within the web interface, and facilitates both formatting text, and also adding in images and other content. There is also file management, and allows users to drag and drop files from popular online cloud storage providers, such as DropBox and Google Drive. There is also an all-in-one calendar to track everything from group meetings and personal events.

          Moodle also encourages collaboration among educators and among learners. To this end, there is support for a variety of activities, such as chat, wikis, forums, database activities and glossaries. Teachers can also encourage interaction, by including full quizzes, or even a single multiple choice question that is called ‘Choice.’

          Teachers not only can grade an assignment online, but also can provide comments to guide the student’s learning. Surveys can also be created for learners to provide feedback and to guide lessons. Workshops can also be created to get a peer assessment.

      • FSF

        • Free Software Foundation Introduces JShelter Browser Add-on to Restrict JavaScript API

          The Free Software Foundation has unveiled the project JShelter , which develops a browser add-on to protect against threats posed by JavaScript on websites, including hidden identification , movement tracking, and user data collection. The project code is distributed under the GPLv3 license. The add-on is prepared for Firefox , Google Chrome , Opera , Brave, Microsoft Edge and other browsers based on the Chromium engine.

          The project is being developed as a joint initiative funded by the foundation NLnet Foundation. JShelter has also been joined by Giorgio Maone, the creator of the add-on NoScript , as well as the founders of the project J ++ and the authors of the add ons JS-Shield – and JavaScript Restrictor . The add-on is used as a basis for the new project JavaScript Restrictor .

          JShelter can be thought of as a firewall for JavaScript APIs available to sites and web applications. The add-on provides four levels of protection, as well as a flexible API access configuration mode. Level zero completely allows access to all APIs, the first one includes minimal locks that do not disrupt the work of pages, the second level balances between locks and compatibility, and the fourth level includes strict blocking of everything unnecessary.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Core Utilities 9.0: Slight improvements for most free systems

            The developers around Pádraig “pixelbeat” Brady have released version 9 of the GNU Core Utilities. Every GNU / Linux user at some point stumbles across terminal commands like ls, cat, cp, rm and dd. These basic commands of any Unix or Unix-like system are standardized and summarized in the GNU Core Utilities.

            The individual programs, which are emphasized in accordance with the Unix philosophy, have been around for over 30 years (at that time still file, sh and text utils, for 20 years coreutils) – one would think that they have matured so slowly and without errors . Compared to the previous version, the GNU Core Utilities 8.32 from March 2020, around half of the changes concern pure error corrections, only the other half are changes in behavior, new functions and other improvements.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Confusion and conflicts around Open Source in Italy

          A recent decree has assigned to the individual Public Administrations the financial resources provided for the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). From past experience, it is very likely that each administration will take that money and do its own things. The question is, will anybody coordinate all that spending (to try to minimize it)?

          In the “fat cows” climate like the one that PNRR will surely create, promoting reuse and sharing (of ideas, solutions, etc.) may seem anachronistic, but is it really so?

          Since no hardware will be bought, in favour of cloud computing solutions, all the money will be spent on software. Will it be possible to know which software will be bought, by whom, and if and how it will be reusable, and actually reused, with Open Source licenses?

      • Programming/Development

        • 3 Excellent Free Books to Learn Dylan

          Dylan is a multi-paradigm programming language that includes support for functional and object-oriented programming (OOP). This language is dynamic and reflective while providing a programming model designed to support generating efficient machine code, including fine-grained control over dynamic and static behaviors.

          Dylan uses an algebraic infix syntax similar to Pascal or C, but supports an object model not unlike the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS).

          It was created in the early 1990s by a group led by Apple Computer.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Java

          • Monitor your Java on Linux with jconsole | Opensource.com

            The Java Development Kit (JDK) provides binaries, tools, and compilers for the development of Java applications. One helpful tool included is jconsole.

            To demonstrate, I will use the WildFly J2EE application server, which is part of the JBOSS open source application server project. First, I start up a standalone instance.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Braids of Nylon, Everywhere

        Here’s something we haven’t talked about a ton. In the past five or so years, braided nylon has become a huge part of our lives, carried into tens of millions of homes along with our smartphones. Many of our cables use it—and honestly, it’s significantly better than many of the plasticky, rubbery alternatives. For one thing, it doesn’t fray quite as easily, and the texture makes it much more grippable. (Plus, it arguably looks nicer.) But its evolution into the cable variant of choice seems to have come out of nowhere. Did it? Today’s Tedium breaks down the evolution of braided nylon cables. — Ernie @ Tedium


        Wires like HDMI or USB, which exist in the billions, show the maturity of cable manufacturing. These devices generally combine a number of cables, are consistent in length, they’re relatively thin, and they’re well-shielded. The process is mostly (but not completely) automated, particularly in the case of USB-A, where connectors have a standard style and consistent manufacturing process. This video, from the YouTube channel Kit Box, shows off the fascinating process of manufacturing USB cables:

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Rethinking Digital Strategy for the Post-Pandemic Era

        “One year into the COVID-19 crisis, our newest McKinsey Global Survey on digital strategy indicates that the pandemic has increased the pace of business and that technology capabilities will be critical to companies’ COVID-19 exit strategies as well as to what comes next,” said a recent McKinsey report, The new digital edge: Rethinking strategy for the postpandemic era. The survey was conducted online in January of 2021, and received responses from over 1,100 C-level executives, business unit heads and senior managers from different industries, functions, company sizes and regions.

        The survey’s overriding finding is that the pandemic has sped up the adoption of digital technologies by several years. “The imperative for a strategic approach to technology is universal, yet some companies are already leading the pack; their responses show that better overall technology capabilities, talent, leadership, and resources (what we call a company’s technology endowment) are linked to better economic outcomes. At the same time, the results confirm that many organizations could be missing opportunities to invest in the areas of their business models that are most at risk of digital disruption.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Why I turned down “Free” phones from T-Mobile and stuck a new battery in my spouse’s iPhone SE (2020).

              T-Mobile has been trying to trick Sprint customers into accepting “free” phones.

              They have been very aggressive about it. They act like you won the lottery, in fact, with in-page pop ups about their “Sprint Select deal”.

              It’ll probably be another 2-3 years before we have to give up our Sprint plan, but if we take these “free” phones, we have to use a T-Mobile plan, which increases our bill 30%.

              It also locks us into a 30 month agreement with T-Mobile. If you cancel before the 30 months (2.5 years!) are over, the phones aren’t really free. You have to pay them the remaining balance, because it acts as an early termination fee. The phone is billed to your account at full price (full carrier price!) and then comes off each month in pieces as a credit.

              So my spouse complained that his 18 month old iPhone SE (2020) was getting poor battery life, so I took him to Batteries Plus Bulbs and had them swap it out for a new battery. Hopefully, the phone behaves for a while longer because we’re running these Sprint phones into the ground, and then I may just switch to Google Fi or something.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Australian Chinese language newspapers print censored news – report

        Chinese language community news groups in Australia are publishing news censored by translators they use in China to avoid potential repercussions in Beijing, an Australian think tank said.

        A report by the Lowy Institute found that staff working in mainland China exercised self-censorship when translating news stories taken from mainstream Australian media into Chinese for community newspapers because they feared retribution by the Chinese authorities over any content perceived as negative.

      • [Older] targeted ads always divide

        if many people see, for example, an outrageously sexist, physical billboard in a subway station, all together, they could stimulate each other’s indignation enough that at least one of them calls some watchdog, that will eventually remove that billboard, and fine its authors.

        But if the same people see exactly the same content (or customized versions of it!) alone, each on their smartphone in their own bathrooms or beds… it is much more likely that none of them will do anything but passively absorb the ad, and its more or less hidden message.

        Besides, exactly because the ads are served and customized on millions of individual devices, it is impossible for regulators to supervise them. That task is left to “algorithms” that more often than not fail, and it may make no difference whatsoever if they fail in your phone, instead of some server.

What are Flatpaks and How Do They Help on a GNU/Linux Distribution Such as Debian? Why Are They Better Than Snaps?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Red Hat at 4:22 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Flatpak picture

Every GNU/Linux distribution has a “native” package manager system.

In Debian-family distributions, this has normally been Debian Packages. (Although, arguably, Snap may eventually replace it in Ubuntu.)

These DEB files, managed by dpkg, are in turn managed overall by the Advanced Packaging Tool, or Apt, which tracks dependent libraries and programs of what the user is trying to install, and which offers to clean up orphaned packages when nothing is left that requires them.

“One thing that these different systems have in common is they’re basically incompatible with each other, even when it’s the same package management system on each distribution.”In Red Hat distributions, these are RPM files, managed by…well, RPM, which in turn is now managed overall with dependency tracking and orphan cleanup by DNF (still called YUM in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but it’s DNF now in RHEL 8).

One thing that these different systems have in common is they’re basically incompatible with each other, even when it’s the same package management system on each distribution. If you install an Ubuntu package or software repo in Debian, you’ll probably break Debian, and vice versa, and the same holds true with Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Mageia, even though they all use RPM.

Sometimes you can get away with it, or the author has taken into account that he or she needs to set the stuff in a place where it won’t collide with anything from such a distribution, and you have “universal” RPMs or DEBs that you can install locally, but this is also a pain because it’s not guaranteed to work.

Enter Flatpak.

Flatpak, formerly called xdg-app, is a “universal” package system for GNU/Linux distributions, where developers can write a program, build it once, and deploy it to users of multiple, otherwise quite incompatible GNU/Linux distributions, and it works. Why? They’re fairly self-sufficient in “containers”, and while they have dependencies, they can satisfy them by bringing in those other Flatpaks which contain the foundations the program needs.

In fact, when most people (including me) first see the disk space calculation to install a Flatpak app, they freak out because it’s misleading. It looks like they’re gigantic, but they’re really not that bad. First of all, the more of them you install, the more dependencies you’re going to get, and eventually the next programs you get will need less and less that you don’t already have.

Then, there’s the fact that the containers are compressed.

They install very quickly, and I’ve been messing around and have converted several of the applications I use to Flatpak format and I’m finding the system quite fast. There actually is not much in the way of “install” because it just puts them where it puts them and that’s basically it.

Applications default to being installed for all users on the system, but can be installed for a particular user. Although for the sake of efficiency, you probably want system-wide installations.

Every once in a while, you should run flatpak uninstall –unused to remove orphans, but in my case there are none at the moment.

How does this help a desktop user?

Well, it helps in a few ways.

“…Flatpak lets you have your Debian cake and eat it too.”You get software a lot faster than a distribution is going to package it, at least if you use a Debian or Enterprise or Long Term Support distribution, where the packages available in the native format can go stale rather fast.

On a system like Fedora, where applications are packaged rapidly from upstream, or a rolling release like Manjaro or Arch, or even a 6 month release of Ubuntu, this may not be as important, but these systems exact a toll on the user by forcing them to stop and deal with problems along the way, including in the core OS, the desktop environment, etc. All of which is essentially super stable and maintained with security and bug patches in a longer-lived distribution.

In other words, Flatpak lets you have your Debian cake and eat it too.

When I was a Fedora user, I used to spit and curse all the time when they brought in some new kernel that did more harm than good. They always do more harm than good once your computer works well enough that you’d be better parking yourself on a LTS Linux kernel. (These special kernels are maintained for years by various stakeholders and get hundreds of stabilizing releases, and a little new hardware support if it won’t risk rocking the boat too much.) Other parts of the system could be brought in by Fedora that do something terrible.

Once, they brought in a new build of the 32-bit x86 libc that contained “optimizations” that turned out to brick some of my Steam games and I had to wait for them to revert it. When they’re just bringing in new junk all the time and pimping your ride, you just never know what will happen next. It’s barely tested. In fact, you are the tester.

Then, a while later, they brought in a Linux kernel where Intel tried closing a minor security problem in the graphics driver by disabling its power management, thereby causing my Skylake U-based Yoga 900-ISK2 (which was basically a SoC architecture design) to consume twice as much power. All of a sudden, my usual 6-8 hours away from the wall became 2 or 3, and I had to back out that kernel and go to an older kernel _and_ version-lock it.

By the time Intel “fixed” the power mess, by giving up on fixing the security issue (LOL), my computer had over 160 unpatched security vulnerabilities before I could upgrade the kernel again.

“It used to be that Fedora was more hit or miss, and now it’s just some janky semi-rolling crap that IBM hardly even cares about.”

Now I can just strap some Flatpaks onto Debian 11 and let Debian worry about keeping the underlying system nice and stable, and my computer working properly, and if there is a failure in one of my Flatpak apps, at least it doesn’t spill out and ruin the entire OS like a bad OS update could.

It used to be that Fedora was more hit or miss, and now it’s just some janky semi-rolling crap that IBM hardly even cares about.

Flatpak also gets around distribution packaging policies that you don’t agree with.

Debian has their “Free Software Guidelines” and for the most part, this helps us because they’re not spamming proprietary software, but sometimes you want a program like SNES9x, which Debian considers non-Free because it has source available, you can redistribute it with modifications, but you can’t use it for commercial purposes.

In other words, you don’t care. Why would you care if a company can make a product with SNES9x? You just want to load ROM files in it and play Super Nintendo games.

Flatpak has it. Honey Badger don’t care about no commercial use on an SNES emulator.

There’s also a potential security upside with Flatpak applications.

Thanks to sandboxing and a permissions system, they might be safer than non-Flatpak applications, especially if they have to handle untrusted data from the Internet, or run media codecs, which are notoriously insecure.

Web browsers and VLC are in Flatpak format.

Flatpak is the end of dependency hell, system file stomping from third party repos, and many other kinds of problems.

When you add third party repositories to your distribution’s package manager, and that person doesn’t take care to get along with the OS and not overwrite any of its files, or you install multiple such repositories, you can end up in big trouble really fast.

In fact, OpenSUSE used to encourage the user to set up multiple such repositories to get extra software, and then the system was immediately broken at setup with food fights over which version of what package to install, which broke this or that, and then broke the package manager and then the OS was ruined.

Although that was an extreme example. Most distributions are smart enough not to do this. Stupid krauts.

How is the system integration?

Usually pretty good. I noticed that Debian doesn’t install the Adwaita-Qt theme or set the environment variable to make sure Qt applications look close to native on your GNOME desktop, especially if you use dark themes. I love dark themes.

“…you may hit minor bumps here and there, but overall they integrate pretty well with the system.”You can either set up Adwaita-Qt, or you can let Flatpak handle your Qt or KDE apps, like VLC (Qt) and Krita (KDE). Normally, APT would just bring in a ton of stuff from Qt and KDE and then maybe it does a good job tracking and getting rid of it if nothing needs it, and maybe it doesn’t.

I tweak my GNOME settings to work better as a more traditional desktop, and to look more “correct” for an American PC user, and to blow away some of the settings that I’ve always hated, like middle click paste.

While I was messing around with Flatpak Firefox, I noticed it was middle click pasting. Well, this is a problem because I enable autoscroll in about:config, and so every time I’d hit scroll, it would paste random crap into a blog post or something, so I had to go back into about:config and find a setting to disable middle click paste. The Firefox ESR from Debian respects your system settings.

So you may hit minor bumps here and there, but overall they integrate pretty well with the system.

How do Flatpaks compare with Snap from Ubuntu?

I hate Snap, and that won’t change. I think they implemented it poorly.

It requires a system service that takes hundreds of MB of RAM to manage the software images. Flatpak doesn’t.

When I tried using Snap on Ubuntu, there were many Snaps that just didn’t work at all, and one of them was GZDoom, which I have installed on Debian 11 as a Flatpak, and which works fine.

Snaps require AppArmor, which Debian has since version 10 (but not all distributions do!), or else there’s no sandbox at all, Flatpaks have their own sandbox methods. Snaps are bigger and don’t integrate as well with system settings. Flatpak is Free Software on the client _and_ server side, but Snap is totally proprietary on the server side and only Canonical can run a Snap store.

Canonical claims that Snaps are universal “Linux” programs, but it doesn’t really work properly on other distributions, and most of them have rebuked Snap in forceful language and purged it from their distribution completely, including the Ubuntu-based Mint and Fedora.

Microsoft loves Snap. Of course, when they packaged a DEB, they clobbered Debian system files with it, so when they’re too $%#$ing stupid to package an application and they love Snap, you should know to run. Hell, they screw up their own OS all the time with bad updates.

So I hope this encourages some interest in Flatpak.

I think it’s a really neat and exciting software management system that compliments the usability of a very stable and long-lived distribution such as Debian.

Microsoft Secure Boot and Intel VMD Pointless on GNU/Linux and Lenovo’s Documentation Recommends That You Turn Them Off

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Security at 2:32 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Secure Boot is Microsoft trash that was designed to paper over some of the reputation of Windows as a malware plaything.

The problem is that Secure Boot doesn’t actually work. uEFI firmware has been so horrendously bad from its inception that there’s always a Secure Boot escape.

Microsoft introduced the Windows RT (ARM, not the standard x86 instruction set CPU) devices, based on Windows 8, and there was a Secure Boot escape almost immediately. It was necessary to escape Secure Boot were there to be any other operating systems for these devices, because there was no option to turn it off. Something that may be coming with new “Windows 11” PCs, since Secure Boot is required or else Windows will refuse to load.

“Sometime they lose billions of dollars and quietly write it down.”Someone got Grub (the bootloader program commonly used with GNU/Linux) to work on the Surface RT, but GNU/Linux was never ported to these things due to lack of interest at the time. Nobody bought the product and it was just another Microsoft FAIL. They have many of them, like Windows Phone. Sometime they lose billions of dollars and quietly write it down.

GNU/Linux has never had a big malware problem. Microsoft pays the “tech media” to imply otherwise, but it always turns out to be a bald-faced lie. More propaganda. More Microsoft bullshit!

In these churnalism articles, EVERYTHING with an open source license inevitably becomes “Linux”, even if it has the same problem on Windows. Even if it’s a part of Windows (like OpenSSL is). In some cases, when they refer to “Linux malware”, they mean malware that runs on Windows if you use the fake Linux (virtual machine with bad performance) in Windows, called WSL/WSL2.

And frankly, I’m getting sick and damned tired of Microsoft paying for this crap to be typed up and then Googlebombing Linux as part of their most recent smear campaign.

In South Park, Mr. Garrison, as a stand in for Donald Trump, defined something called DARVO, wherein the bully denies their bad behavior, then goes on the attack by reversing the victim and offender.

““Get The Facts”, “GPL is Communism”, and “Linux is a cancer”, never stopped. They just changed the signaling.”It’s hard to come up with a better description of what Microsoft has been doing for the past two decades. “Get The Facts”, “GPL is Communism”, and “Linux is a cancer”, never stopped. They just changed the signaling.

And of course, it’s easier to try to imply that GNU/Linux has problems than it is to fix your own Windows mess.

In the past 20 years, GNU/Linux has had fewer viruses and worms than you can count on your fingers which were even worth mentioning. None of them “just happened”, either. You had to defy GNU/Linux best practices of getting signed packages from your distribution or other trusted source, and grab random unsigned software from some internet site and jam it in somehow.

Grabbing random things from the Internet and hoping for the best is how most software gets installed on Windows.

In fact, according to most antivirus companies, Windows gets that in under a typical hour.

They don’t even try to keep up with detection patterns for most specific threats because they can’t. So, antivirus on Windows becomes mostly a guessing game except for the very most prevalent threats.

And when this happens, many threats are missed.

“Grabbing random things from the Internet and hoping for the best is how most software gets installed on Windows.”That’s why you hear about Ransomware attacks that mean no gasoline on the eastern seaboard of America or how a poultry plant can’t process chickens. The media, bribed by Microsoft money, never mentions Windows.

Windows Security is so godawful that they add tons and tons of fake security bullet points that are trivially bypassed and probably don’t do much except break legitimate applications that are just too old to anticipate them, or need to write somewhere and aren’t automatically allowed to.

Did you enable Controlled Folder Access to “protect against Ransomware” and now LibreOffice can’t save your documents?

Congratulations. Even though there are 4 ways to use the Windows system to evade this protection, and malware authors will do it, your LibreOffice broke.

“Disable Secure Boot and turn off Intel VMD.”What’s more telling is that Lenovo’s documentation on how to install GNU/Linux recommends changing uEFI (BIOS) settings.

Specifically, they tell you to do what I did when I changed over to Debian 11 GNU/Linux on this PC.

Disable Secure Boot and turn off Intel VMD. (VMD was previously called RST. Which is pointless under Linux, hides the storage from Linux and makes it impossible for you to install and use GNU/Linux until you figure out that this is why.)

Here’s some images from their PDF for installing Ubuntu on several of their notebooks.

Ubuntu setup
Ubuntu setup manual


Secure boot
‘Secure’ boot

Secure Boot is a bandaid for Windows.

Lenovo knows it. They support GNU/Linux on some of their models and probably don’t want their customers calling in when something like this inevitably happens again.

The uEFI key revocation problem struck me a while back when I had been running Kubuntu on my Lenovo Yoga 900-ISK2 (older laptop) and then went to boot Fedora. Ubuntu had “updated the dbx” and ended up revoking Microsoft’s permission (yes, you heard this right) for Fedora to run on MY LAPTOP.

“Moreover, with the mess that uEFI and Secure Boot have been over the last decade plus, why would I enable this antifeature when all it will cause is more problems for me?”So, it was at that point I disabled Secure Boot, which the Fedora Wiki said to do for the time being, as well as resetting the Secure Boot system in the BIOS, although I never turned it on again for obvious reasons. Why exactly, the hell, should Microsoft have any say over what I do with my laptop, which doesn’t even run their OS, ever?

Moreover, with the mess that uEFI and Secure Boot have been over the last decade plus, why would I enable this antifeature when all it will cause is more problems for me?

This is another reason why dual booting with Windows is unwise and you should just let GNU/Linux completely take over the PC. Not only does Windows ultimately end up hosing Grub and causing both systems to fail, but these key revocations can be pushed by Windows Update with total disregard for whether GNU/Linux will boot up again.

It’s bad enough that this Microsoft/Intel trash, uEFI, completely screwed up the relative simplicity of installing and using operating systems that the “Legacy BIOS” provided for, but it didn’t even improve anything.

Right before uEFI became common, I bought the best computer I could afford at the time, a quad core Phenom II based system, with a Legacy BIOS, expecting early uEFI to be a disaster, and it was.

“And even years later, there are killer pokes when operating systems use uEFI interfaces, and it’s becoming apparent that this situation is uEFI Groundhog Day. It’s always going to be broken.”Right off the bat, many OEMs permanently walled off the native interface and had it expose itself to the OS in (Legacy) BIOS mode because they knew their own native uEFI interfaces were too bad to trust, and the BIOS CSM sort of acted like a condom to filter what the OS was doing with the firmware, to prevent a “killer poke” that left the computer unusable.

And even years later, there are killer pokes when operating systems use uEFI interfaces, and it’s becoming apparent that this situation is uEFI Groundhog Day. It’s always going to be broken.

Ubuntu introduced the intel-spi driver in one release (I think it was an LTS, but don’t quote me.), and inadvertently caused the Yoga 900-ISK2’s settings to become read-only as soon as the pointless (to most people) driver was loaded. At the time, I was spared because it was part of the -staging tree for known bad drivers and ones that are not high enough quality to merge yet, and Fedora wasn’t building it. Many people booted Ubuntu after the new kernel went out and had to figure out how to fix their firmware after just booting the OS up even once!

“This is touted by people like Linux saboteur Matthew Garrett, who implemented Security Theater Boot in Linux as if it were an improvement.”Plus, there were/are still numerous cases where operating systems use a native uEFI interface as documented and the computer never boots again.

This is touted by people like Linux saboteur Matthew Garrett, who implemented Security Theater Boot in Linux as if it were an improvement.

It’s an improvement if we rewrite the dictionary to say that a convicted software monopolist that hates Linux and wants you to have problems with it, who sponsored Garrett indirectly to put it in the kernel, and succeeded, has improved the situation. I think my computer potentially not booting because of this rat’s nest is not an improvement, but what do I know, right?

“They don’t get any pushback ever since they started using their money to corrupt many organizations including the Linux Foundation.”Regardless, I think Lenovo’s advice of just shutting it off…. Look, you’re probably only going to hear me say this once or twice in my life. Listen to Lenovo!

All I can say is that the Free Software Foundation must be truly hopeless if it mostly gives awards to treacherous scumbags these days, and this is at least the second major incident. The first was when they gave Miguel de Icaza one for implementing the patent mess called Microsoft .NET Runtime on Linux. His company was bought by Microsoft as a golden parachute after Novell (his former employer, a Microsoft collaborator) went under.

In closing…

I’d like to summarize that this is a small taste of the bad behavior that continues at Microsoft. They don’t get any pushback ever since they started using their money to corrupt many organizations including the Linux Foundation.

Linus Torvalds has been put on mute even though he used to say things about Microsoft and Intel in particular that were not family-friendly.

Is there really any hope for the future of the x86 PC or are people who want their computing to work going to have to abandon it entirely in the era of Windows Vista 11?

Comments welcome.

[Meme] Margot Forgot UPC Facts

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gurry Batty Campy: Nothing to see here, move along

EU coverup: Does anybody know where is the UPCA Impact Assessment (IA)? In the IA on the 2 regulations, you can find this curious statement: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2011:0483:FIN:EN:PDF “Finally, this IA does not address the unified patent litigation system that follows a parallel work stream and will be subject to different legal instrument.” FFII has also published some allegations in June: https://ffii.org/european-commission-cheated-unified-patent-courts-impact-assessment-to-hide-the-high-costs-for-smes/ “according to a testimony we received [Margot Frohlinger] did not want to “redo the impact assessment because it would attract critics”.” The Commission is obliged to ship Impact Assessments attached to each of their proposals (which was correctly done for the 2 regulations), why was it not done with the UPCA?
One of the latest comments

Summary: Sometimes you have to wonder why the EPO is so scared of facts, courts that it does not control, and bloggers that it blackmails (and whose sites are blocked)

Angela Merkel’s Coalition Has Not Helped EPO Staff and Not Even Bloggers Blackmailed by EPO Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Heiko Maas
Heiko Maas of the Merkel government served to reinforce the idea that it was in the back pockets of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos over the past decade

Summary: Without admonishing any individual in particular, as there was at least some written and verbal communication (the other two who claim to be interested in SLAPP just completely stonewalled), we finally share our findings about Germany’s passive role in enabling the EPO’s abuses

Now that the election is over nobody would accuse us of trying to ‘meddle’ or influence the outcome. Regardless, just for the record, I’ve long supported Angela Merkel and the EU. That’s hardly a secret. When it comes to EPO abuses, however, Merkel’s complicity by inaction/silence seems to be consistent (also consistent with her objection to Biden’s and others’ vaccine patent waiver proposal). Merkel herself is a scientist, not a lawyer, so why is she a patent maximalist even when people’s lives depend on access to medicines (or vaccines)? When it’s so darn obvious that artificial scarcity and patent pools are designed to drive up the price and deprive poor people of vaccination? To the point where these things are pushed onto rich children (who hardly face risk for their lives anyway) instead of elderly people in poor countries? Because the latter are a lot less profitable…

Anyway, this post isn’t about patent policies and the issues I’ve raised are limited/related purely to freedom of the press (it seems like FTI Consulting, the EPO’s PR firm, might be lobbying these politicians, based on what I heard). For the sake of transparency but at the same time in the interests of privacy I’ve decided to share my written (non-verbal) correspondence with an office belonging to Merkel’s grand coalition. EPO insiders, who can still remember the role of Heiko Maas, won’t be surprised by the outcome. In short, it feels like a total waste of time. They care more about the image of the EPO and themselves; they’re thus unwilling to rock the boat.

I started with this message:

Dear ████████ ████████,

I found your name in a report about SLAPP in Europe. Over the past 7+ years I’ve been regularly exposing corruption in Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, providing the occasional leaked proof and reaching the attention of most EPO staff (about 7,000 of them). I wrote about 3,500 articles about the EPO over the years, but the EPO blocks my site and has hired several British law firms to threaten me with frivolous lawsuits. They also spied on me. I’m not alone, either. This is part of a vicious campaign of censorship. The EPO has gone to great lengths to intimidate and silence those who expose very serious corruption, both internally and externally. Oddly enough, the EPO enjoys diplomatic immunity, which it is happy to exploit, and its corruption has already spilled over to EU authorities (the EPO and EU are otherwise separate, but there’s a cross-pollination in the staff sense). A lawyer that I spoke to earlier this month suggested that I reach out to you. Would you be willing to help? These EPO matter impact every single European citizen, but they’re under-reported due to systematic muzzling.




████████ ███████ wrote on 22/09/2021 17:10:
Dear Mr Schestowitz,

On behalf of ██████ ██████ I thank you for your Email. Would it be possible to have a phone call so I can understand better what the situation is?

Kind regards,


Hi, thank you for getting back to me.

Yes, discussing the situation over the phone would probably be beneficial to both of us. My phone number at home is █████████████████████.

Kind regards,


████████ █████████ wrote on 23/09/2021 09:03:
I would call you today at 14h00 if that works for you as well?

After speaking for over half an hour I obeyed the amicable request for previous questions on the matter and wrote:

Hi █████████,

Regarding questions to the EC:


There are also older ones (many) including


Thanks for chasing this, do keep in touch please.

That was on the 23rd of September, almost 10 days ago. Reply? None.

I pushed again around 5 days later:

I know you have been busy with elections and holidays (you alluded to that on our last call), but can we have a follow-up call and discuss progressing SLAPP discussion wrt EPO in Munich?

Several days have passed and not even an acknowledgement. Nothing. There’s no excuse for that. Not a valid one. 10 days is more than enough.

It is starting to look like the bottom line is, German/EU officials are unwilling to do anything to stop the EPO’s practice of SLAPP against the media/journalism/bloggers. At best, they’re willing to listen; but that’s not the same as actually tackling the issue.

Links 2/10/2021: OpenBSD Explained, Monthly Fortran Report, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Getting Plasma 5.23 ready for release

          We continue to squash bugs in the Plasma 5.23 beta release with the aim of getting it into great shape for general release in about two weeks! As with last week, I’ll again strongly encourage anyone with the skills to do so to focus on fixing these bugs! Every little bit helps.

          Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • What every IT person needs to know about OpenBSD

          “Functional, free and secure by default”, OpenBSD remains a crucial yet largely unacknowledged player in the open source field. This talk aims to highlight the project’s signature security features and development practices — razor sharp focus on correct and secure code coupled with continuing code audit — as well as the project’s role as source of innovation in security practices and ‘upstream’ source for numerous widely used components such as OpenSSH, PF, LibreSSL and others.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Discover the three major CentOS clones

          Many businesses used CentOS as a reliable, free and open source Linux distribution that could power many ecosystems — until IBM Red Hat decided to end CentOS in favor of the rolling release candidate, CentOS Stream. Some admins and companies had no choice but to drop CentOS because common software, such as web hosting software cPanel, no longer worked with CentOS Stream.

          Fortunately, several open source clones of CentOS have arisen, all of which are 1:1 binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). That means any of these clones behave exactly like the original CentOS did.

        • 8 Big New Revelations About IBM’s Kyndryl Spin-Off [Ed: IBM layoffs spun as "spinoff".]

          As IBM’s Kyndryl spin-off nears, an SEC filing reveals updates on Kyndryl’s financial results, workforce reductions, vendor partnerships (including with VMware and Microsoft) and top competitors (including DXC).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • See what sounds look like with Raspberry Pi Pico
        • Attaching to a Raspberry Pi’s Serial Console (UART) for debugging

          The Raspberry Pi can output information over a ‘serial console’, technically known as a UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter). Many devices—including things like storage controller cards, which in a sense run their own internal operating system on an SoC—have a ‘UART header’, which is typically three or four pins that can connect over the RS-232 standard (though many do not operate at 12v like a traditional serial port! Use a USB-to-TTL adapter like the one I mention below).

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • The Mozilla Blog: Miracle Whip, Finstas, #InternationalPodcastDay, and #FreeBritney all made the Top Shelf this week [Ed: What on Earth does this have to do with Mozilla and/or Firefox?]

            At Mozilla, we believe part of making the internet we want is celebrating the best of the internet, and that can be as simple as sharing a tweet that made us pause in our feed. Twitter isn’t perfect, but there are individual tweets that come pretty close.

            Each week in Top Shelf, we will be sharing the tweets that made us laugh, think, Pocket them for later, text our friends, and want to continue the internet revolution each week.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Top Publishers Aim To Own The Entire Academic Research Publishing Stack; Here’s How To Stop That Happening

            Techdirt’s coverage of open access — the idea that the fruits of publicly-funded scholarship should be freely available to all — shows that the results so far have been mixed. On the one hand, many journals have moved to an open access model. On the other, the overall subscription costs for academic institutions have not gone down, and neither have the excessive profit margins of academic publishers. Despite that success in fending off this attempt to re-invent the way academic work is disseminated, publishers want more. In particular, they want more money and more power. In an important new paper, a group of researchers warn that companies now aim to own the entire academic publishing stack:

      • Programming/Development

        • Fortran newsletter: October 2021

          Welcome to the October 2021 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out at the beginning of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

        • Python

          • Django Diabetes: a self-hosted Personal Glucose Manager

            As there is a shortage of open-source patient-centered apps, like personal health records, medication reminders, and diabetes trackers.

            So, we are delighted to share with this astonishing open-source application Django Diabetes which was built to help patients track and manage their blood glucose.

            Django Diabetes, as its name suggests, is built on Django; the popular Python web framework. It is a lightweight web-based app that makes use of Django built-in admin, and multi-database support.

  • Leftovers

    • A Great American Author of Proletarian Literature is Ready for His Close Up

      Algren is a nonfiction biopic about the first author to win the National Book Award for Fiction. At a New York ceremony in 1950 former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt presented that coveted accolade to Nelson Algren for The Man with the Golden Arm. Previously, Algren – who was born 1909 in Detroit and moved to Chicago’s South Side when he was three – received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1947, the same year his short story collection The Neon Wilderness was published and two of its stories were given an O. Henry Award. No less a luminary than Ernest Hemingway, recently the subject of a Ken Burns PBS series, gushed: “Mr. Algren, boy, you are good.”

      Golden is about junkies, poker players and flophouses. Neon’s characters include prostitutes, hustlers and drunks. In Algren, author/academic Bill Savage, one of the documentary’s many talking heads, observes Algren wrote about “the marginalized of America.” On camera, novelist Russell Banks adds that Algren’s fiction “go[es] into the lower depths.” As Nelson himself (voiced onscreen by Veep actor David Pasquesi) put it, he explored “the other side of the billboards.”

    • PS4 Battery Time-Keeping Time-Bomb Silently Patched By Sony; PS3 Consoles Still Waiting

      Over the past several months, there have been a couple of stories that certainly had owners of Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 consoles completely wigging out. First came Sony’s announcement that it was going to shut down support for the PlayStation Store and PlayStation Network on those two consoles. This briefly freaked everyone out, the thinking being that digitally purchased games would be disappeared. Sony confirmed that wouldn’t be the case, but there was still the question of game and art preservation, given that no new purchases would be allowed and that in-game purchases and DLC wouldn’t be spared for those who bought them. As a result of the outcry, Sony reversed course for both consoles specifically for access to the PlayStation Store, nullifying the debate. Except that immediately afterward came word of an issue with the PS3 and PS4 console batteries and the way they check in with the PlayStation Network (PSN) to allow users to play digital or physical game media. With the PSN still sunsetting on those consoles, the batteries wouldn’t be able to check in, and would essentially render the console and all the games users had worthless and unplayable.

    • Bad Guys: A Mini-Memoir in Serial

      I woke wincing, my body naked and tangled in a sea of baby blue. Fog-filtered sun flooded the room from the north-facing wall of glass. The bay stretched in a sparkling gray sheet straight from the edge of the windows to the mouth of the Golden Gate. The surface of the water caught every shard of sunlight and sent the beams straight into my eyes, blinding me in the white light of San Francisco morning.

      Paralyzed in the bed of a vice cop, I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. I pulled the satin sheets to my chin, but my grip didn’t hold. My body slipping and sliding from under the sheets, every sixteen-year-old inch of me was caught in the searing glare of sunlight spilling from the windows. I never felt so naked in my life. My eyes winced and scrunched tight, setting off explosions of multicolored glitter. I clenched myself into a knot in silent rebellion against the reality morning dished up for breakfast.

    • Karachi: Dystopian Modernity?

      A recently published book titled Karachi Vice: Life and Death in a Contested City brought this young person’s memory back. The text, written by London-based Pakistani journalist Samira Shackle, describes a sprawling city divided by ethnicity, religion, politics and class. It also describes a city as vibrant and inspiring as New York, London, Beijing or Berlin. Written over the course of several years, Shackle tells a story of city struggling through crisis brought on by poverty and capitalist greed, foreign wars and international drug trafficking. Shackle warns the reader her text is not a history., yet her narrative invokes the history of Karachi and of Pakistan itself. The reader is brought into the lives of at least eight residents of Karachi via Shackle’s stories; stories which vibrate with the immediacy of the streets and the integrity of her subjects.

      There is an ambulance driver who sees his work as a mission, a crime reporter whose ego is fed by his work even while he reckons with its dangers in a city where the criminal underworld is a powerful political and commercial presence. There are a young man and a woman who is his elder whose work involves both community organizing and the daily grind of individual social work. A young woman whose education is curtailed when she gets married, despite her grandfather’s desire to see her continue school no matter what custom demands. Instances in each of these individuals’ lives are chronicled in a manner that reads like the topnotch journalism it is. Individual acts of courage are contextualized within the reality of Karachi’s gangland warfare and tense politics of the period Shackle was composing her book. She writes of the connections between political parties and various criminal overlords. She describes ethnic rivalries between neighborhoods and, in doing so, summarizes the history of a nation birthed in conflict from a ravaged colony.

    • Progressive Caucus Applauded as House Delays Bipartisan Infrastructure Vote

      The House Democratic leadership on Thursday was once again forced to delay a scheduled vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill as progressive lawmakers—acting as a coordinated bloc—held firm to their longstanding demand that Congress pass a reconciliation package first.

      “Four percent of all the Democrats in the House and the Senate are blocking the Build Back Better Act from passing.”—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

    • My porn is art, claims Danish former erotic actress

      Katja K intends to transform some of her old scenes into crypto art, which will see it converted into non-fungible tokens. Furthermore, at the age of 53 she intends to produce new material in homage to classic moments from films such as ‘Basic Instinct’ and ‘When Harry met Sally’

    • France: Illusions and Debasement

      The sudden tearing up of ‘the contract of the century’ bearing on the purchase of French submarines has been denounced as a ‘stab in the back’ by Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The recall of our ambassadors from Australia and especially from the United States was pointed out a hundred times as an event without precedent in Franco-American relations. Alas, far from opening a crisis, it was a matter of simple posturing before turning the page.

      Following a telephone exchange between Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden, the communiqué of 22 September agreed that some ‘open consultations between allies’ could have avoided the crisis and recognize the role of France in the Indo-Pacific region. But the vague regret expressed by the American President and the polite assurances that he doles out to us changes nothing in reality: it is the United States which will supply the submarines to Australia.

    • Education

      • “Compulsory Irish”: the Place of the Irish Language in Ireland’s Post-Colonial Education System

        The “debate” often occurs during the summer months. In June, tens of thousands of young people take their Leaving Certificate examinations. One of the required subjects they must study in their final two years of secondary school is the Irish language.

        Some people, including journalists, disliked their experience of learning Irish in secondary school. This compels many of these tortured souls to put pen to paper every summer to vent their spleen, their aim being the removal of “compulsory Irish” from the Leaving Certificate course.

      • Auch 2021 leider kein Congress in Leipzig

        Over the past few weeks, we have carefully evaluated the possibilities for a Chaos Communication Congress 2021 in Leipzig. In a joint discussion of the many different teams involved in the organization, we have determined: The necessary protective measures and restrictions would distort the spirit of the event beyond recognition.

        For this reason, we have jointly decided not to have a presence event in Leipzig this year.

      • Some students don’t understand the concept of computer files and folders

        WTF?! To readers of this site, the idea that some students on courses ranging from engineering to physics don’t know what files and folders are might seem strange, but it’s true. According to a new report, the fault lies with popular modern operating systems and devices that include all-encompassing search functions or hide file structures from plain view.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Baby Food Alert: Interview With Asian-Based Food Processing Consultant

        As a food processing consultant, Frank A. worked with over 60 food manufacturing, processing and packaging companies in Australia, China, Surabaya Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore and talks, in this interview, about some disturbing food practices.

        MR: In the late 1970s, Nestle’s promotion of infant formula over breastfeeding in poor countries was seen as unethical and causing infant deaths. But forty years later, you say the marketing continues?

      • DEA Warns of Counterfeit Pill “Surge” Following Its Crackdown on Prescriptions
      • Merck to Submit First Pill-Based COVID Treatment For FDA Approval
      • “Trust No One”: Anti-Vax Meeting Devolves Into Paranoia

        A meeting hosted by anti-vax group Stand Up Massachusetts on September 13 included exactly the kind of paranoid, delusional ramblings you’d expect to hear from conspiracy theorists—including thinly veiled accusations that others on the call were double agents.

        Featuring members of the medical conspiracy theory organization America’s Frontline Doctors and a number of fringe characters in the Massachusetts anti-vax movement, the call aimed to educate members “on current freedom-focused school issues and homeschooling.”

      • Opinion | Eating in the Age of Climate Crisis

        If you tuned in to gawk at the creative costuming of this season’s Met Gala, you may have done so knowing every celebrity crossing the beige carpet was going on to dine on a meat-free meal. Download Buzzfeed’s Tasty recipe app and the first prompt will ask: “Quick question: Are you a vegetarian?” Pull up a chair at New York City’s three-Michelin-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park and your options will now extend across the vegetable kingdom—but not beyond. These are just some of the signals of a cultural shift away from meat and toward plant-centered cuisines, by default. But addressing the environmental and health impacts of the livestock industry will take more than just changing the menus of high-end restaurants and some app nudging. Thankfully, we’re seeing strategies that work to make this change at scale emerging around the world. 

      • As Rich Nations Waste Doses, Most African Countries Miss 10% Vaccination Goal

        More than two-thirds of Africa’s 54 countries were denied the ability to vaccinate at least 10% of their populations against Covid-19 by September’s end—a modest World Health Organization target—as rich nations continue to hoard doses and shield the pharmaceutical industry’s monopoly control over production.

        According to the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa, just 15 of the continent’s countries reached the 10% vaccination goal. Half of the 52 African nations that have received coronavirus vaccines have fully inoculated 2% or less of their populations, the WHO said Thursday.

      • Big Pharma Makes More Off of US Sales Than Rest of the World Combined
      • Why the Taliban’s Promise to Stop the Opium Trade Rings Hollow

        At its first press conference in Kabul on August 17, after entering the city just two days earlier and solidifying their control over the country, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid vowed that their new government would not let Afghanistan become a “full-fledged narco-state.” “We are assuring our countrymen and women and the international community that we will not have any narcotics produced,” Mujahid said. “From now on, nobody’s going to get involved (in the heroin trade), nobody can be involved in drug smuggling.”

        But, as with the Taliban’s other plans for the country, there is reason to be skeptical about this claim; the notion of a ban on opium production runs afoul of economic and political realities on the ground. The challenge is that the opium crop is a key component of the Afghan economy, accounting for somewhere between 7 percent and 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and bringing in as much as $2 billion in 2019, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The gross income generated from opiates was “also worth between 24 and 44 percent of the value of the licit agricultural sector of the country” in 2018-2019. And now, opium looms ever larger because the major pillar of the Afghan economy was foreign financial assistance—accounting for 40 percent of GDP—which has now vanished, as the West tries to figure out how to deal with the Taliban, which “led a deadly insurgency against the U.S.-backed government” before seizing power.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple making display repairs harder on iPhone 13 Pro is a step too far

          Apple has placed a barrier to screen replacements on the iPhone 13 Pro by killing Face ID when a third-party display swap is performed. That’s a step too far for the company.

          Similar issues have come up in the past. Back in 2018, an iOS update killed the touch functionality on some iPhone 8 models if they were repaired by a third party.

        • White House plans 30-country meeting on cyber crime and ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

          An online session hosted by the White House National Security Council will also be aimed at “improving law enforcement collaboration” on issues like “the illicit use of cryptocurrency,” Biden said in a statement.

          The Biden administration has elevated the response to cybersecurity to the senior-most levels of the administration following a set of attacks this year that threatened to destabilize U.S. energy and food supplies.

        • Security

          • FCC Proposal Targets SIM Swapping, Port-Out Fraud

            The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking for feedback on new proposed rules to crack down on SIM swapping and number port-out fraud, increasingly prevalent scams in which identity thieves hijack a target’s mobile phone number and use that to wrest control over the victim’s online identity.

          • Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome

            Google has released Chrome version 94.0.4606.71 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This version addresses vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

          • Flaw In AMD Platform Security Processor Affects Millions Of Computers | Hackaday

            Another day, another vulnerability. This time, it’s AMD’s turn, with a broad swathe of its modern CPU lines falling victim to a dangerous driver vulnerability that could leave PCs open to all manner of attacks.

            As reported by TechSpot, the flaw is in the driver for AMD Platform Security Processor (PSP), and could leave systems vulnerable by allowing attackers to steal encryption keys, passwords, or other data from memory. Today, we’ll take a look at what the role of the PSP is, and how this vulnerability can be used against affected machines.

          • Bits related to Alpine Security Initiatives in September

            As I noted in my last status update, we began the process to migrate the distribution to using OpenSSL 3. As a result of this, we have found and mitigated a few interesting bugs, for example, ca-certificates-bundle was being pulled into the base system as a side effect rather than intentionally, despite apk-tools explicitly needing it for validating the TLS certificates used by Fastly for our CDN.

            Migrating to OpenSSL 3 has not been without its share of difficulties however, as I noted in a blog post earlier in the month discussing some of these difficulties. I hope to be able to fully finish the OpenSSL 3 migration during the Alpine 3.16 development cycle as the last remaining packages such as mariadb and php make releases which support the new API. One other major issue needing to be addressed is updating wpa_supplicant and hostap to use the new OpenSSL APIs, but WPA requires the use of RC4 which has been moved to the legacy provider, so this will require programmatic loading of the legacy OpenSSL provider. Accordingly, we moved it back to OpenSSL 1.1 for now until upstream releases an update to address these problems.

            OpenSSL 3 also introduces some unintended regressions. Specifically, a bug was reported against apk-tools where using apk –allow-untrusted would result in a crash. After some debugging work, I was able to reduce the issue to a simple reproducer: the EVP_md_null digest family was never updated to be compatible with the new OpenSSL 3 provider APIs, and so attempting to use it results in a crash, as the prerequisite function pointers never get set up on the EVP_MD_CTX context. This means that apk-tools is still using OpenSSL 1.1 for now, despite otherwise working with OpenSSL 3.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tampa Bay PD’s ‘Crime-Free Housing’ Program Disproportionately Targeted Black Residents, Did Nothing To Reduce Crime

              It looks like landlords in Florida want to get back to things that made this country great: bigotry, segregation, and oppression. And look who’s willing to pitch in! Why, it’s that old friend of racists, local law enforcement. (h/t WarOnPrivacy)

            • Google cancels plan to offer bank accounts to users

              In a statement to The Hill, a Google spokesperson said the company is “updating our approach to focus primarily on delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services.”

            • [Older|Repeat] KDE’s Telemetry: The Tip Of The Iceberg?

              Coincidence or not, in the past years many popular Linux distributions started rolling out optional telemetry. Then it was the time of computer programs: news broke out in May regarding Audacity, a popular audio editing app, which announced it was starting the use of telemetry. The move was finally pushed back after users revolted against it.

              But in Plasma’s case, it is not just an app or a single distro, but an entire desktop environment, employed in several Linux distributions, that is being shipped with telemetry. While many point out that the data collection is by opt-in and entirely anonymous, others have found that, even if you don’t activate telemetry, data is still collected, using computer resources, registering “apps and boot, number of times used and duration in /home/user/telemetry folder.” As such, they argue that, because of the way Linux permissions work, other programs could have access to these log files. KUserFeedback’s FAQs page confirms this: [...]

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Unrepentant US Empire

        Not even a month. No sooner had the Taliban taken control of Kabul airport than the neocons re-emerged from the shadows. Now that the West has ‘lost’ Afghanistan, they argue, it needs to reassert itself elsewhere to teach its strategic rivals, China and Russia in particular, that it will not back down from the next fight. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney summed up: ‘The war is not over. We are in a much more dangerous position and are going to invest, I am afraid, more resources to keep ourselves safe’ (1). After sowing chaos in the Middle East, the US is turning to the Pacific and its navy is heading for China. Clearly nothing to worry about…

        The key issue in the diplomatic squabble with France is not its pique at having lost a juicy contract for submarines, but how Europe reacts to the anti-Chinese military alliance the US has just formed with the UK and Australia.

      • Tone Deaf: Obama, Biden, AOC and the Swiss Purchase of F-35s

        Barrack Obama has every right to celebrate his 60th birthday. You don’t have to be an ex-president to throw a big affair on reaching six decades. But inviting 600 people during the Covid-19 pandemic surely sounds like a precursor to a super spreader event. To add on to the tone deafness is the fact that the event was to take place at his $12 million home on tony Martha’s Vineyard during a time of economic hardship for many Americans. The fact that several of the invitees were “disinvited” because of criticism does not atone for the original sin. Even recognizing that Obama will never run again for public office, the lavishness of the event buried all positive “public sentiment” of the first African American president who came to the Oval Office shooting hoops and made Jesse Jackson cry for joy. Unfortunately, Obama finished his two terms in office with high society ambitions as an unrepentant golfer at elite clubs, a substantial Netflix contract and a mansion on the Vineyard. The humanitarian, humble example of ex-president Jimmy Carter Obama is not. What happened to our South Side brother?

        Joe Biden is all multilateralism and unity. That is except when his Trumpian instincts trump all. Talk about America First. The French had a submarine deal with Australia. At least they thought they had one until they discovered that behind their backs the U.S. had worked out a deal with the Brits and Aussies. Tone deaf? Tony Blinken, he of French schooling and a français parfait, didn’t understand how furious the French would be? The French recalled their ambassador to Washington for first time in history. Listen to the words of the French foreign minister about the post-Trump multilateralists’ behind-the-back move: “This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do.” The ultimate insult! “I am angry and bitter,” Jean-Yves Le Drian added. “This isn’t done to allies.” Forget Lafayette and the Statue of Liberty. The adage goes: “The United States has no friends, only interests.” Chalk up another case study. As an expert opined: “Make no mistake. This is a crisis, not a spat.” Add on the surprise U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan without fully consulting its NATO allies, and Biden’s foreign policy team sounds like The Best and the Brightest 2.0.

      • Reflections on Political Violence and Terror

        Manufacturing Consent with Rifles, Tear Gas and Military Helicopters

        Frontier Fascism: “No Good Anarchists but Dead Anarchists”

      • Droning On: Assassins-in-Chief and Their Brood

        I’m thinking, of course, about CENTCOM commander General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr.’s belated apology for the drone assassination of seven children as the last act, or perhaps final war crime, in this country’s 20-year-long Afghan nightmare.

        Where to begin (or end, for that matter) when considering that never-ending conflict, which seems — for Americans, anyway — finally to be over? After all these years, don’t ask me.

      • Manchin Rejects $3.5 Trillion Social Investment After Backing $9+ Trillion for Pentagon

        Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday derided his own party’s plan to spend $3.5 trillion over the next decade to combat the climate crisis, invest in child care, and expand Medicare as “fiscal insanity.”

        “All this operatic moaning about $3.5 trillion is ridiculous hypocrisy. Manchin has casually voted for nearly three times that for defense spending.”

      • Empire’s Sometime Handmaidens: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

        On Cuba, their roles are reversed. Back in 2017, HRW announced that undoing Obama’s more open Cuban policies would be a bad idea. But just this past July, Amnesty called on the U.S. not to ignore Cuba’s “crackdown on freedom of expression.” This was just throwing fuel on the blockade fire. The U.S. government needs no encouragement to get tough on Cuba. It’s been doing just that, with gusto, for generations.

        But perhaps its most recent finest, and the best you can say about both organizations, involves their stance on the prosecutorial abuse of Julian Assange. Both Amnesty and HRW have managed to acknowledge Assange’s horrendous plight. Further violating Assange’s human rights was a CIA plot, revealed on September 26, to kidnap and assassinate him, the sort of thing Assange claimed was going on all along and that pusillanimous reporters for publications like the Guardian pooh-poohed. One hopes that Amnesty and HRW will weigh in on this, because on issues of concern to critics of the capitalist empire, these two marquee human rights bodies display a spottily passable record. But they lack even a few spots in their support of the expansionist U.S. empire and their eagerness to label as human rights violations any government’s acts of self-defense, taken in response to U.S. regime change schemes.

      • Former Cuban Intelligence Chief Sees Cuban Revolution in Danger, Calls for Action

        Writing September 23 on Cuba’s Pupila Insomne website, Escalante notes that, “the internal counterrevolution is reorganizing its forces and is on the offensive.” They are “calling for a ‘national strike’ for October 11 … to secure the ‘liberation of political prisoners.’”  He insists that, afterwards, “a group of ‘activists,’ presumably counterrevolutionaries,” will be seeking authorization from Havana municipal authorities “for a peaceful march against ‘violence’ in November.”

        He regards the timing as crucial, inasmuch as in November Cuba will be re-opening its borders to international tourists; they’ve been excluded since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. At issue is revival of Cuba’s economy.

      • Afghanistan’s Impoverished People Live Amid Enormous Riches

        Hanif is right to point out that the governments of Presidents Hamid Karzai (2001-2014) and Ashraf Ghani (2014-2021), despite receiving billions of dollars in economic aid, failed to address the basic needs of the Afghan population. At the end of their rule—and 20 years of U.S. occupation—one in three people are facing hunger, 72 percent of the population lingers below the poverty line and 65 percent of the people have no access to electricity. No amount of bluster from the Western capitals can obscure the plain fact that support from the “international community” resulted in virtually no economic and social development in the country.

        Poor North

      • Russian FSB approves new list of information that could pose national security threat

        The Federal Security Service (FSB) released a new list of information that “could be used to threaten the security of the Russian Federation.” Though the list doesn’t concern state secrets, collecting any information included in the new order carries the threat of a “foreign agent” designation.

      • Opinion | Corporate Media Myths About the Chaos on Capitol Hill

        If you get your news about politics from corporate media, you’re getting myths from journalists and pundits instead of clarity. 

      • Corporate Media Myths About the Chaos on Capitol Hill

        At Thursday’s boisterous news conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a reporter used the phrase “the two biggest spending bills of this Congress” to describe the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIF) and the Democrat-only Build Back Better (BBB) reconciliation proposal. The phraseology about “the two big” or “biggest” spending bills is a common media refrain. And it’s a myth.

        The supposedly $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate in August and was delayed Thursdday in the House actually would provide only $550 billion in new spending — and that’s over a period of 5 years — to modernize infrastructure like roads, bridges, ports, airports, transit systems, Internet and water systems.

      • Don’t Pursue War, Pursue War Crimes: Michael Ratner’s Decades-Long Battle to Close Guantánamo

        We look at the life and legacy of the late Michael Ratner, the trailblazing human rights lawyer and former president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, with three people who knew him well: Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Vince Warren, the organization’s executive director; and Lizzy Ratner, Ratner’s niece and a senior editor at The Nation magazine. Michael Ratner spent decades opposing government abuse and fought to close the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay, first in the 1990s when it was used to hold thousands of Haitian asylum seekers and later when the George W. Bush administration opened a military prison there to detain hundreds of people from the so-called war on terror. Ratner died in 2016 at age 72. His posthumous memoir, “Moving the Bar: My Life as a Radical Lawyer,” has just been published.

      • Colleagues of Michael Ratner Blast Samuel Moyn’s Claim That He Helped Sanitize the “War on Terror”

        Friends and relatives of the late radical attorney Michael Ratner respond to the recent controversy over Yale University professor Samuel Moyn’s claim that Ratner “prioritized making the war on terror humane” by using the courts to challenge the military’s holding of prisoners at Guantánamo. Ratner’s longtime colleagues blast Moyn for failing to recognize how the late attorney had dedicated his life to fighting war and U.S. imperialism. “Michael opposed war with every fiber of his being in every medium he had access to: the courtroom, the classroom, in the media,” says Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “And he knew that legal challenges to protect humans from authoritarian abuses and violence and torture were necessary.”

      • Fight to Close Guantánamo Urgent as Biden Plans New Migrant Jail at Base
      • China’s Belt and Road Initiative Is About Profit, Not Development, Study Finds

        A new report on China’s international development projects initiated between 2000 and 2017 demonstrates that extensive high-interest lending by China’s state-backed banks has left countries across much of the developing world struggling under onerous debt loads, even as some of the development projects those loans funded face major implementation problems.

        The study conducted by AidData, a research lab at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, provides a clearer picture than had previously been available of the extent to which China has invested its enormous foreign currency reserves in loans to the developing world.

        Unlike funds provided by many Western governments, those loans are designed, first and foremost, to turn a profit for China, Parks said.

      • Paris attacks: Haunting survivors’ memories shake terror trial

        The personal stories of people caught in the November 2015 attacks are now at the heart of the jihadist trial that began in Paris three weeks ago.

        For the next five weeks around 350 survivors and relatives of the dead are scheduled to give their accounts. Some have already proved to be unbearably poignant.

    • Environment

      • Memories On Fire
      • Links From the Brink: 8 Good Environmental News Stories You Might Have Missed
      • COP26 ‘won’t be easy’, UN climate chief admits

        The forthcoming COP26 summit — which could determine the viability of the Paris Agreement — will “not be easy” but an outcome matching the urgency of the crisis is an “absolute necessity”, the UN’s climate chief said Wednesday.

        As the world faces stronger and more frequent droughts, wildfires, flooding and storm surges made worse as the planet warms, the COP26 summit in Glasgow is being billed by organisers as a key milestone for keeping the Paris goals within reach.

      • Earth is dimming due to climate change

        The Earth is now reflecting about half a watt less light per square meter than it was 20 years ago, with most of the drop occurring in the last three years of earthshine data, according to the new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, which publishes high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences.

      • Earth is losing its shine and scientists suspect climate change is the culprit

        In a study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on Aug. 29, researchers examined the Earth’s “albedo” by analyzing earthshine at the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California between 1998 and 2017 — equivalent to around 1,500 nights of data. This analysis allowed them to assess how much light is reflected by the planet.

      • Earth Is Literally Dimmer Today Than It Was In The 1990s

        When the sun shines on our planet, the Earth reflects nearly a third of that light back out into space, but scientists say that warming oceans thanks to climate change have actually caused a drop in that reflectance, commonly called albedo.

      • Earth’s Albedo 1998–2017 as Measured From Earthshine

        The net sunlight reaching the Earth’s climate system depends on the solar irradiance and the Earth’s reflectance (albedo). We have observed earthshine from Big Bear Solar Observatory to measure the terrestrial albedo. For earthshine we measure the sunlight reflected from Earth to the dark part of the lunar face and back to the nighttime observer, yielding an instantaneous large-scale reflectance of the Earth. In these relative measurements, we also observe the sunlit, bright part of the lunar face. We report here reflectance data (monthly, seasonal and annual) covering two decades, 1998–2017. The albedo shows a decline corresponding to a net climate forcing of about 0.5 urn:x-wiley:00948276:media:grl62955:grl62955-math-0003. We find no correlation between measures of solar cycle variations and the albedo variations. The first precise satellite measures of terrestrial albedo came with CERES. CERES global albedo data (2001-) show a decrease in forcing that is about twice that of earthshine measurements. The evolutionary changes in albedo motivate continuing earthshine observations as a complement to absolute satellite measurements, especially since earthshine and CERES measurements are sensitive to distinctly different parts of the angular reflectivity. The recent drop in albedo is attributed to a warming of the eastern pacific, which is measured to reduce low-lying cloud cover and, thereby, the albedo.

      • Climate Critics Warn Joe Manchin ‘Holding a Gun to the Planet’s Head’

        Climate campaigners on Friday responded to Sen. Joe Manchin’s unrelenting obstruction of his own party’s efforts to spend $3.5 trillion to combat the climate crisis and make other major social investments by accusing the right-wing West Virginia Democrat of doing the fossil fuel industry’s bidding, and drawing attention to the “modern-day coal baron’s” staggering conflicts of interest.

        “Should any lawmaker with such a sizable financial conflict of interest wield decisive influence over what the U.S. government does about a life-and-death issue like the climate emergency?”

      • Green Groups Formally Object to Biden’s Plan for Fossil Fuel Leasing on Public Lands

        Nearly 10 environmental groups on Friday filed formal objections to the Biden administration’s plan to open up 734,000 acres of public lands to fossil fuel extraction—a decision that critics have called “insane policy in light of the climate crisis” and a clear violation of President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign promise to ban federal sales of new oil and gas leases.

        “We can’t confront the climate crisis if we can’t keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

      • Joe Manchin Just Cooked the Planet

        Last night, during the insane and at times comical negotiations over President Biden’s infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion Build Back Better agenda (aka the reconciliation bill), Manchin let it be known that he was not going to vote for any measure above $1.5 trillion. And because Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote in the Senate, if Manchin won’t vote for it, the reconciliation bill won’t pass.

        The $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill includes a long list of programs and tax reforms that will help reduce poverty and improve the social safety net, such as universal child tax credit, universal pre-K, free community college, and an expansion of Medicare. But it is also the primary vehicle for President Biden’s ambitious climate action agenda, including cuts in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, and, most importantly, the Clean Energy Performance Package (CEPP), which is a clean energy standard that incentivizes power companies to shift away from fossil fuels.

      • Canada’s ‘Fully Modelled’ Emissions Plan a Few Months Away, Wilkinson Says

        Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says a detailed plan showing how Canada might finally meet a greenhouse gas emissions target will be ready in a few months, but not likely in time for this fall’s global climate change conference in Scotland.

        Wilkinson is in Milan this week for meetings with his global counterparts to set the final agenda for negotiations at this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26, in Glasgow in early November, The Canadian Press reports.

      • Bias in Economic Research Helps Fossils Delay Climate Policy

        Inherent biases in economics and a “litigation-type approach to science” have allowed the fossil industry to weaponize economic consultants against climate regulation “without challenge,” says a recent paper.

        “Industry has been promoting certain people, certain models, and even a certain paradigm [of neoclassical economics] because it favours the industry,” said the paper’s author, Benjamin Franta, in conversation with climate economist Gernot Wagner for Bloomberg Green. 

      • ‘Time Is Running Out,’ Says UN Chief as Thunberg and Nakate Lead Climate March in Milan

        One day after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told a group of diplomats that “time is running out” to address the planetary emergency, hundreds of young people marched in Milan on Friday to demand rapid and transformative climate action.

        At the front were Swedish activist Greta Thunberg—catalyst of the Fridays for Future school strikes that have brought millions to the streets in cities around the globe since 2018—and Ugandan youth climate leader Vanessa Nakate.

      • Companies Vowing Climate Action Also Back Lobby Groups Trying to Kill Landmark Climate Bill

        “Let’s be clear: Walmart, one of the biggest companies in America, says they support the climate initiatives in the Build Back Better Plan. But the company is actively fighting its passage.”—Accountable.US

      • The UN Crisis

        The planet faces enormous threats at the moment. The pandemic is still raging throughout the world. Climate change is an immediate risk. Wars continue to devastate Yemen, Ethiopia, and Syria.

        Given these crises, the United Nations is needed more than ever. And yet the body could not compel Jair Bolsonaro to get vaccinated or risk the fallout of preventing him from speaking to the General Assembly.

      • Energy

        • Of Indigenous Peoples, Environmentalism, and Atonement

          Early conservation figures often reflected the racist views of their times. In most cases, lands protected for environmental conservation gained official designation long after their Indigenous inhabitants were exterminated or deported to reservations. Nonetheless, all of these lands were occupied at one time or another, sometimes continuously, by Indigenous cultures.

          Today’s environmentalists are wisest when we approach this issue with humility, recognizing the original inhabitants’ relationship with the land, so much more mutualistic environmentally sustainable than our own. Certainly, Indigenous peoples set fires to improve hunting and habitat for game species, and in some North American regions even engaged in intensive crop farming and (here I include present-day Mexico) built complex cities. Overall, the native ecosystems and the biodiversity of native life that existed, for example, when the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the Northern Plains, was far more diverse and abundant than anything we have seen since. With EuroAmerican settlers came market hunting, single-crop farming on a vast scale, deforestation, fires far beyond what the land had heretofore seen, predator extermination programs, fencing of open lands, acid mine drainage, invasive weeds, wagon roads and railroads and ultimately highways, and later powerlines and oilfields and strip mines. It was environmental devastation and extinction on a continent-wide scale, and the best efforts of environmentalists over the past two centuries have thus far succeeded in protecting or restoring only a tiny fraction in a relatively natural state.

        • Six-Month Sentence for Lawyer Who Took on Chevron Denounced as ‘International Outrage’

          Environmental justice advocates and other progressives on Friday condemned a federal judge’s decision Friday to sentence human rights lawyer Steven Donziger to six months in prison—following more than two years of house arrest related to a lawsuit he filed decades ago against oil giant Chevron.

          “Chevron caused a mass industrial poisoning in the Amazon that crushed the lives of Indigenous peoples. Six courts and 28 appellate judges found the company guilty. Fight on.”—Steven Donziger

        • Circular Economy Approach Could Boost Energy Self-Reliance in India

          The urgent need to cut emissions, reduce waste, and build a sustainable and self-reliant economy could push India toward recycling and reusing its end-of-life solar energy components, says a new report.

          “The adoption of a circular approach to managing end-of-life solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, wind blades, and batteries would reduce future wastage of the high-value, critical raw materials needed for India’s massive clean energy transition,” writes the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA. 

        • Enbridge Celebrates, Indigenous Campaigners Vow to Fight, as Line 3 Pipeline Starts Up Today

          Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 pipeline replacement project is expected to enter into service on today, making it the first major Canadian pipeline project to be completed since 2015. The milestone has fossils declaring a significant victory, while Indigenous campaigners vow to disrupt construction work that is still under way.

          “This is a big win for sure,” Leo Golden, Enbridge’s vice-president of Line 3 Project Execution, told The Canadian Press. “I think part of it has been just how long it has taken us to get here.”

        • MIT Study Sees Hydrogen for Grid Backup, Despite Emissions Impact of Gas Feedstocks

          Hydrogen will be a competitive source of back-up power for renewable sources like wind and solar, according to a new study by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITei).

          Power storage and back-up generation will become increasing important in providing back-up peaking power as variable and intermittent renewables account for a growing share of power generation. So MIT researchers conducted a technical and economic review of power supply options for the California grid, including lithium-ion batteries, green hydrogen, and blue hydrogen, TechXplore reports.

        • SoCalGas to Pay $1.8B for Aliso Canyon Methane Leak

          Sempra Energy’s SoCalGas in California will pay a total of US$1.8 billion in settlement claims to atone for a 2015 gas leak at its Aliso Canyon storage facility that was, to date, the worst methane discharge in U.S. history.

          “Nearly 36,000 individuals were plaintiffs in lawsuits brought against SoCalGas over the years, prompting the company to settle the outstanding cases with an initial $1.1 billion to be paid this month,” reports The Hill. The company says the cost will not be shouldered by customers.

        • Wet’suwet’en Call for More Support as Coastal GasLink Threatens Sacred River

          Having been unable to protect a sacred village site from Coastal GasLink’s wrecking ball, the Wet’suwet’en are now fighting to protect a vital watershed as the pipeline company moves to drill beneath a pristine river in northwestern British Columbia.

          The access road to a worksite on the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) “was destroyed and blockades have been erected ‘to stop the drilling under the sacred headwaters that nourish the Wet’suwet’en Yintah and all those within its catchment area’,” reports Bloomberg, citing a release from the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). 

        • Climate Advocates Voice Concerns Over Fossil Fuel Handouts in Stalled Infrastructure Legislation

          “Blah, blah, blah … Build back better. Blah, blah, blah …” Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, said this week, taking a jab at President Biden’s signature legislative agenda, which is currently imperiled by disagreements within his own party. The pair of bills — a $1 trillion infrastructure package that passed the Senate with bipartisan support and the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act filled with social and climate program expansions — purports to take on climate change, but Thunberg dismissed the legislation in her comments during the opening session of the Youth4Climate event in Milan, Italy, on September 28. She added, “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: Net zero by 2025. By 2050! Words that sound great, but so far have led to no action.”

          In hurricane-ravaged Louisiana, Traditional Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe can relate to Thunberg’s words. She has not heard a single word from any politicians about what “building back better” looks like in practice since Hurricane Ida destroyed her home and the homes of thousands of others in south Louisiana just over a month ago. And she is painfully aware of projections from the United Nations that carbon emissions are on track to blow past Paris Agreement goals by 2030, with even more devastating consequences to come from the additional global heating.In early September, I photographed Parfait-Dardar in her destroyed home in Chauvin, Louisiana, about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, where her family is facing the impacts of the climate crisis in real time. Later that month, she told me that she sees the continued destruction of coastal communities as a reminder that leaders have done little to protect us from the catastrophic impacts of global warming despite decades of warnings from climate scientists. 

        • Anti-’Pinkwashing’ Campaign Sets Sight on Komen Partnership With Fossil Fuel-Backer Bank of America

          As corporations nationwide “go pink” in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month beginning Friday, an advocacy group has launched a campaign targeting one of the best known names related to the fight against the disease—Susan G. Komen—over the organization’s partnership with Bank of America, which “funds the cancer-causing fossil fuel industry.”

          The campaign is part of Breast Cancer Action’s ongoing efforts to push back against what it’s coined “pinkwashing”—when a company promotes a product emblazoned with pink ribbons signifying the battle against breast cancer but simultaneously markets or produces a product linked to the disease.

        • Helsinki to set sight on becoming carbon neutral by 2030, instead of 2035

          The Finnish capital has estimated that meeting the objective will require a decline of 80 per cent in emissions compared to 1990, a tall ask in light of the assumption that the decrease in transport emissions caused by the coronavirus epidemic is only temporary, according to the public broadcasting company.

          The target does not include emissions from, for example, food consumption and air travel by local residents.

        • In Your Facebook Feed: Oil Industry Pushback Against Biden Climate Plans

          The paid posts are part of a broad attack by the oil and gas industry against the budget bill, whose fate now hangs in the balance. Among the climate provisions that are likely to be left out of the plan is an effort to dismantle billions of dollars in fossil-fuel tax breaks — provisions that experts say incentivize the burning of fossil fuels responsible for catastrophic climate change.

        • Puerto Rico is on the brink of a power supply crisis. Protesters demand answers.

          Puerto Rico residents will see another increase in their electricity bill, even though they already pay twice as much as mainland U.S. customers for unreliable service.

          The increase comes the same week in which hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican power customers were subjected to blackouts several days in a row.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • For the Wolf

          Bumper stickers expressing the callous nature of the killers brazenly show two wolves in a rifle scope’s crosshairs, with the caption “Smoke a Pack a Day.” Let’s not be lulled into construing such vileness as mere differences in values.

          Such acts steal another’s right to life, allowing the thief to believe themself a great hunter for having “taken” the wolf. Never mind that the splendor of that wolf is snuffed out at all, and never mind that it furthermore was done in defiance of fair chase hunting ethics. There is nothing potent or masculine in this, nothing indicative of a brave or great white hunter.

        • We’re Living Through One of the Most Explosive Extinction Episodes Ever

          Climate change and biodiversity loss are locked together in a cycle of destruction and must be dealt with in tandem. The demise of the world’s coral reefs offers an example. Scientists predict that 70 to 90 percent of coral reefs will disappear over the next 20 years because of warming sea temperatures, acidic water and pollution. This will put at risk 4,000 species of fish and approximately a half billion people globally who depend on coral reef ecosystems for food, coastal protection and employment. Damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef alone could cost $1 billion a year in income from tourism spending and 10,000 jobs.

          The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the window is closing fast to avoid the worst climate outcomes. But the biodiversity crisis is even more immediate, and at least as alarming. With climate change, we have a plausible, if imperfect, strategy to avoid the worst outcomes. The world needs to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by around 2050 by reducing emissions and taking carbon out of the atmosphere.

        • The World Wants Greenland’s Minerals, but Greenlanders Are Wary

          At the moment, only two mines in Greenland are active, one producing rubies and the other anorthosite, used in paints, plastic coatings and special varieties of glass. But dozens of companies have exploration projects underway, and five have licenses to begin digging.

          Leaders of the new government in Greenland see the country’s ore as a means to work toward financial independence from Denmark. Greenland has a Parliament that oversees domestic affairs, but Denmark determines foreign policy and subsidizes the Greenland budget with 3.9 billion Danish kroner per year, or about $620 million.

          No one believes that Greenland’s reserves are big enough to make it the Saudi Arabia of nickel or titanium. Denmark would take a big share of any mining royalties.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | 2022 Must Be the Year We Defeat All the Political Corporate Grifters

        We’ve reached “maximum grift” in America, both in business and politics. We’re on the edge of a tipping point.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Slams Manchin for Opposing $3.5T Bill But Approving Defense Budget
      • By a Huge Margin, Berlin Votes to Expropriate Corporate Landlords

        Berlin—Sunday’s election results in Germany made one thing clear: Politics here is about to get a lot messier. After years of Merkel’s even-keeled, centrist reign atop a grand coalition of the center-right CDU and center-left SPD, the national election left the SPD scrambling to assemble a viable coalition on the left. But, while most international coverage either lamented Merkel’s departure or tried to make sense of the complex coalition negotiations confronting the SPD’s Olaf Scholz, another more stunning victory took place in Berlin. Following a years-long campaign by leftist activists, residents of the German capital voted to expropriate more than 240,000 privately owned apartments, in a referendum aimed at combating skyrocketing housing costs. The campaign, pointedly named “Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen” (Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co.), had defied negative polling, warnings from business leaders, and opposition from major political parties to win a decisive 56.4 percent to 39 percent victory in Berlin.

      • “Feel-Good” News Story or Poverty Propaganda?

        A staple of the feel-good news cycle—along with pieces about skateboarding dogs and friendships spawned by misdialed texts—is the story of human suffering overcome through community, charity, and old-fashioned pluck. There is the 14-year-old who spent his summer vacation selling homemade popsicles to help his mother pay for food, rent, and a motorized wheelchair. In Utah, a couple crowdfunded $20,000 for their Papa John’s delivery guy, an 89-year-old retiree who returned to working 30 hours a week delivering pizzas because his monthly Social Security checks don’t cut it.

      • Opinion | Why Billionaires Love to Park Their Dynastic Wealth in Places Like South Dakota

        Billionaires love South Dakota, a sparsely-populated state with a population of 884,000.

      • Opinion | Failure to Suspend or Raise Debt Limit Would Hurt States

        State policymakers should be deeply concerned that Congress might act irresponsibly and fail to suspend or raise the debt limit—the maximum amount of money the federal government may legally borrow. If that happens, the federal government will need to impose massive reductions totaling roughly $1.2 trillion in the federal fiscal year that begins October 1, and likely will severely cut federal aid to states for schools, health care, and other services, which accounts for nearly a third of state spending nationally. The federal reductions also would likely drive the economy into recession, forcing down state revenues even as states struggle to address the COVID-19 crisis. A sharp fall in the stock market could do additional damage, causing the value of state pension funds and other investments to plummet. The economies of states, localities, and U.S. territories with large military installations and other federal operations would be hurt especially badly, as would tribal governments already reeling from the pandemic and its related effects.

      • Opinion | What This $3.5 Trillion ‘Build Back Better’ Battle Is Really About

        It’s crunch time for the Biden Budget, and likely for the future of the Biden administration, Democratic control of Congress, the fate of American democracy and hope for the world. No pressure! We tend to see political issues in ideological terms of Left versus Right, but in this situation that really gives too much credit to those throwing sand in the gears.

      • Top Bernie Sanders Aide Details Just How Popular the $3.5 Trillion Package Truly Is

        A video out Friday featuring numerous polls showing the popularity of the programs included in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that Democrats are trying to push through Congress—and narrated by one Sen. Bernie Sanders most senior aides—offered a scathing indictment of those within the party who continue to oppose the sweeping investments in childcare, Medicare expansion, housing, higher education, and climate.

        Warren Gunnels, longtime staff director and policy advisor for Sanders (I-Vt.) who sometimes referred to as the “keeper of receipts,” argues in the video that is not members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who are demanding passage of unpopular programs, but rather it is corporate Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona who are blocking an agenda that is widely supported by the American public.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • She Should Have Been the First Woman Democratic Nominee for Vice President

        The 1972 Democratic National Convention was a breakthrough moment for women in American politics. US Representative Shirley Chisholm’s groundbreaking candidacy for the presidency “as a Black person and as a female person,” which had been crudely dismissed by party power brokers, finally got its moment in the spotlight. With the collapse of Hubert Humphrey’s candidacy, many Black delegates who had been aligned with the former vice president shifted their support to Chisholm, giving her 152 votes for the nomination—far fewer than nominee George McGovern got, but far more than Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, who had once been the front-runner, and many of the other men who had bid unsuccessfully for the party’s nod.

      • When a Delay in Congress Is Actually a Win

        All day long on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted she would move the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the floor, even though there was no agreement on the Democrats’ historic child care, elder care, Medicare-enhancing, climate-change-fighting reconciliation bill.

      • California Wins Labor Reforms That Republicans Nearly Made Impossible
      • Britain’s Labour Party Is Still Missing in Action

        Brighton, UK—There have been 19 Labour leaders over the past 121 years, but only four of them have led their party to a general election victory. Don’t count on Keir Starmer being the fifth.

      • How the “Polarized” Political Parties Work Together Against the Public Interest

        The quiet harmony between the two parties created by the omnipresent power of Big Business and other powerful single-issue lobbyists is often the status quo. That’s why there are so few changes in this country’s politics.

        In many cases, the similarities of both major parties are tied to the fundamental concentration of power by the few over the many. In short, the two parties regularly agree on anti-democratic abuses of power. Granted, there are always a few exceptions among the rank & file. Here are some areas of Republican and Democrat concurrence:

      • House Delays Bipartisan Infrastructure Vote as Progressives Hold the Line
      • Former Sinema Aide Now Fights Tax Hikes as JPMorgan Chase Lobbyist
      • German Elections: a Rough Loss and a Triumph

        They were edged out by their SPD ex-partners, headed by Olaf Scholz, 63, with 25.7%. A pillar of the right wing of his party, he is burdened by shady corruption scandals from his earlier days as mayor of Hamburg and his recent years as Minister of Finance. But his confident, nonchalant personality and his party’s position as lesser evil won out after an amazing upward swoop from its hand-wringing debility and despondency less than a year ago.

        But to head a new government a majority of the Bundestag seats is necessary. In the past this always required a twosome. But the big chamber, jammed with 735 deputies, is now split up among six (or seven parties if one counts the Bavarian “Christians” separately), making it almost impossible for even two parties to reach a majority; so Olaf Scholz now needs two partners for a threesome. If his attempts fail, the Christians would get the option, and if they can harness up such a troika, they might still get to drive the ruling sleigh despite their second pace in the voting. Their losing leader Armin Laschet is still pressing  a political defibrillator with such hopes, but many in his Union blame him for the defeat and now prefer to drop him and his dreams of reversing fate. In this case, fate depends on two smaller parties, who must join three-player Skat with the Union or with the SPD.

      • Israel Has Not Earned an African Welcome

        Though he tenaciously believed in African unity, the African liberation struggle and its social and economic freedom, with these words legendary Pan-Africanist, Thomas Sankara spoke of a world community, one that transcended the narrow confines of birth and gender, of class and color, of faith and futility. Sankara urged “nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future . . .  a new society,” one built of freedom and equality.  Were this iconic African leader alive today he surely would be stunned by the warm embrace by some in the African continent of a supremacist state that promotes all that Sankara soundly rejected and for which he gladly gave his life as sacrifice to principle and purpose.

        Fashions come and go, cycling through the years—the cut of one’s suit narrows or widens; the hemline on a dress rises and falls, then rises again, to suit the changing tastes of the day. Yet every old fashion eventually comes around again. Just so, political accommodation with morally bankrupt regimes—like wide lapels or padded shoulders—never really goes away: rather, every few years we are treated to the same old rhetorical rags, pulled from the back of the closet, and paraded down the catwalk of international relations, generally for the benefit of unseen vested interests, all in the name of “pragmatism” and “reasonableness.”

      • Advocates Blast Biden for Embracing Trump’s ‘Racist’ Policy as Court Upholds Title 42 Expulsions

        Migrant rights advocates on Friday accused President Joe Biden of embracing his predecessor’s racist policies and endangering families following a court ruling that will allow the administration to continue expelling asylum-seekers under the pretext of protecting public health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

        “The president has adopted Trump’s racist policy as his own, without regard for the families and children harmed as a result.”—Neela Chakravartula, CGRS

      • “God’s Will Is Being Thwarted.” Even in Solid Republican Counties, Hard-Liners Seek More Partisan Control of Elections.

        Michele Carew would seem an unlikely target of Donald Trump loyalists who have fixated their fury on the notion that the 2020 election was stolen from the former president.

        The nonpartisan elections administrator in the staunchly Republican Hood County, just an hour southwest of Fort Worth, oversaw an election in which Trump got some 81% of the vote. It was among the former president’s larger margins of victory in Texas, which also went for him.

      • Opinion | Your Mail Is About to Get Slower and More Expensive—Blame Trump’s Men, Seriously

        Starting today, October 1, 2021, every American will face a real adverse consequence of Donald Trump’s making: slower mail at a higher price.

      • Europe After Angela Merkel: Is the Atlantic Era Over?

        The one thing that is certain is that after 16 years in power, Merkel will soon exit the scene. So the question that now arises is: What shape will post-Merkel Europe take?

        Any answer must begin with an eye on the Élysée Palace, as French President Emmanuel Macron is set to become the senior most partner in the Franco-German partnership that has steered the EU since its founding in 1993.

      • YouTube Removes Legendary Meme Video After 14 Years for ‘Violence’

        “It’s got nothing to do with YouTube trying to clean up their image as there’s far worse content out there that they’re clearly not going to do anything about,” Weedon said. “I’m just sort of bewildered by the whole thing, but more than anything I’m just frustrated that a bunch of re-uploads of it are still allowed to stay online while mine has been taken down.”

      • Facebook whistleblower isn’t protected from possible company retaliation, experts say

        A Facebook whistleblower who provided tens of thousands of internal documents to federal regulators that reportedly show that the company lied about its ability to combat hate, violence and misinformation on its platform is set to reveal her identity in a nationally broadcast interview Sunday on CBS.

        The same ex-Facebook employee plans to testify Tuesday before Congress about the company “turning a blind eye” to harm caused by its products, including the impact on teens’ mental health.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook: Amplifying The Good Or The Bad? It’s Getting Ugly

        When the New York Times reported Facebook’s plan to improve its reputation, the fact that the initiative was called “Project Amplify” wasn’t a surprise. “Amplification” is at the core of the Facebook brand, and “amplify the good” is a central concept in its PR playbook.

      • Alex Jones cries foul after court rules he must pay for his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories

        The fatal shooting occured back in December 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza stormed the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school and gunned down twenty children and six adult staff. Shortly after the tragedy, Jones began to promulgate baseless conspiracy theories alleging that the event was staged by “crisis actors,” many of whom, he said, were parents of the victims.

        In 2018, six families of the Sandy Hook victims filed a defamation suit against Jones, claiming that they were subject to harassment, stalking, and death threats by Jones’ supporters. Another suit was filed by Leonard Pozner, another parent of the Sandy Hook victim, who Jones also accused of being a crisis actor.

      • Alex Jones loses twice in Texas court for failing to back up Sandy Hook school massacre lies with proof

        Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones may have to pay a fortune in damages to the parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre after he failed to produce evidence to back up lies he spread calling the 2012 shooting a “giant hoax,” according to court documents unsealed Thursday.

      • Where Breitbart’s False Claim That Democrats Want Republicans To Stay Unvaccinated Came From

        These differences in vaccination rates and COVID-19 death rates can be attributed to a few factors, including misinformation online and the erosion of trust in institutions such as the medical system and the media over the past few years. It can also be partly attributed to the rhetoric from Republican leaders and figures on the right, especially when you consider that similar partisan gaps have not been seen in other countries.

      • Science journal calls on scientists to combat Facebook misinformation

        The former chemistry professor added that social media had been skillfully exploited by “antiscience forces,” singling out Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino, right wing public figures who have built up loyal followings.

        Communicating about research is inherently difficult because the scientific process is slow and iterative, with caveats and answers that aren’t always definitive, conceded Thorp — and such content does not always lend itself to viral posts.

        But the problem is “the antiscience opposition doesn’t care about the caveats,” he added.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Murderous Fantasies: the US Intelligence Effort Against Assange

        From the moment classified US documents were released with daring aplomb on the WikiLeaks site, Assange was treated as a political target sneeringly condemned by Joe Biden (then Vice President) as a “cyber terrorist”.  It did not matter that he had been granted political asylum by a foreign government, or that he had exposed the vicious nature of the US war machine in foreign lands.

        The central strategy of the enraged in the face of such exposure is conventionally dull.  Mock the publisher; redirect attention away from exposing the bloody mischief of empire.  In the court of public opinion, such an individual can be queered and rendered indigestible, motives rubbished, intentions trashed.  Cheeky public disclosure contrarians can be dismissed as cranks and discredited.

      • CIA reportedly plotted to kidnap and assassinate Julian Assange

        Media reports that the CIA considered criminal acts in pursuit of Julian Assange are deeply troubling.

      • Roaming Charges: The Dirtiest Word of All

        Of course, Trump had spent much of the previous year singing the praises of the Australian muckraker, as Wikileaks posted troves of damning emails and documents from the DNC and HRC’s campaign itself, disclosures which may have tipped the election to Trump. These campaign-stump encomiums to Assange by Trump led many of Assange’s supporters to believe that Trump might pardon Assange. But loyalty is fleeting in Trump World and it now seems likely that if Trump had pardoned Assange it would have been as the prelude to a hit.

        Even though Obama’s crackdowns on whistleblowers rivaled Nixon’s in their ferocity, he backed off from indicting Assange, even after the DNC hacks, perhaps fearing that it might have left a permanent blemish on his record. Whether he, too, secretly contemplated covert actions against Assange is not yet known. Though both Hillary and Democratic Party insiders like Bob Beckel openly mused about droning both Assange and Edward Snowden.

      • CIA plan to poison Assange wasn’t needed. The US found a ‘lawful’ way to disappear him

        A Yahoo News’ investigation reveals that, through much of 2017, the CIA weighed up whether to use wholly extrajudicial means to deal with the supposed threat posed by Julian Assange and his whistleblowers’ platform Wikileaks. The agency plotted either to kidnap or assassinate him.

        Shocking as the revelations are – exposing the entirely lawless approach of the main US intelligence agency – the Yahoo investigation nonetheless tends to obscure rather than shine a light on the bigger picture.

        Assange has not been deprived of his freedom for more than a decade because of an unimplemented rogue operation by the CIA. Rather, he has been held in various forms of captivity – disappeared – through the collaborations of various national governments and their intelligence agencies, aided by legal systems and the media, that have systematically violated his rights and legal due process.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • House Hearing on Abortion Was Historic. Now We Fight Hard for Abortion Access.
      • A Setback for Immigrant Rights – and a Reminder of Our Hollowed-Out Democracy

        This is a significant, if unsurprising, setback for immigration reform. It’s also a painful reminder that our democracy, already undermined by the disproportionate power of moneyed interests, is obstructed by the silent stranglehold of the filibuster.

        According to a number of recent polls, more than two-thirds of Americans (69 percent of likely voters) favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and this undocumented population includes not only DACA recipients (individuals brought here as children), but also recipients of Temporary Protected Status for humanitarian reasons, as well as millions of undocumented people working in essential jobs in farms, factories, and medical settings (eight million people in all).

      • My Time With the FBI

        One of the FBI’s biggest blunders occurred when it falsely accused a hapless security guard of masterminding an explosion at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.  Richard Jewell heroically saved lives by detecting and removing a pipe bomb before it exploded.  But the FBI decided that Jewell had actually planted the bomb and leaked that charge to the media, which proceeded to drag Jewell’s life through the dirt for 88 days. The FBI did nothing to curb the media harassment long after it recognized Jewell was innocent. I flogged the FBI’s vilification of Jewell in my 2000 book,  Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion & Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years.

        In August 2001, I took a brief vacation in the mountains of western North Carolina. My then-spouse was leafing through a tourist guidebook and swooned over a chalet inn she saw that was far off the beaten path.  Alas, the directions to that hideaway were not worth a plug nickel. After futilely roving that zip code for an hour, I pulled up in front of a hardware store in Whittier, a one-stoplight  hamlet,  to cuss and recheck the map.

      • Why Are the Democrats Handing the Judicial Branch Over to the GOP?

        The Trump administration had very few accomplishments. Oh, they succeeded at destroying any number of things, like faith in democracy, but Trump and his cronies achieved very few of their “policy” goals. They didn’t build a wall. They didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare. They didn’t make America great. They didn’t really do anything they promised to do, except cut taxes for rich people—and stack the judiciary with conservative judges. In that one area, the Trump administration was wildly successful. It left behind over 200 federal judges who will be pushing the Republican agenda long after Trump (and many people reading this column) have slipped this mortal coil.

      • The Supreme Court and the Coming End of Abortion Rights

        Roe v. Wade is the famous US Supreme Court decision declaring that women have a constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies.  The 1991 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision modified Roe, but a majority of Justices in the latter including Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter ruled that under most circumstances women still had a right to an abortion under most circumstances. Roe and Casey are constitutional precedents but remain controversial. Many would like to see Roe overturned.

        Roe v. Wade is legal precedent.  All things being equal, it should be followed.  Yet over the last 50 years since Roe was decided  presidents such as Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George Bush, and Donald Trump appointed Supreme Court Justices with the aim in part to overturn Roeand abortion rights.  Moreover, the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts have crafted the legal argument for rejecting Roe  as precedent.  How has this happened?

      • The U.S. – Haiti Border: How the United States Blocks Haitians Wherever They Go

        The U.S.-Haiti border had arrived. It came with 16 Coast Guard cutters roaming Haitian shores and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security opening up detention beds run by the private prison company GeoGroup in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. U.S. officials call this elastic apparatus in Caribbean waters, which can expand at a moment’s notice, the “third border.” Here, there is an enforcement web of many agencies—including the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, CBP Air and Marine, ICE, and even U.S. Southern Command—that emanates from the U.S. in Puerto Rico and South Florida. All these agencies participate in joint annual exercises, known as Integrated Advance, that are meant to deal with “maritime mass migration in the Caribbean.” Integrated Advance is part of Operation Vigilant Sentry, the DHS migration interdiction plan in the Caribbean. In 2015, officials even disguisedthemselves as migrants heading north on boats as part of the exercise and set up a command and control center. “A migrant operation is one of our most likely missions at Army South, so we have to be prepared,” said Major General Joseph P. DiSalvo, Army South’s commander.

        These DHS agencies also collaborate with local police units, such as Puerto Rico’s FURA, or help create and train them, like the Dominican Republic’s CESFRONT, the Dominican border guard. All these different factions of border enforcement wrap around Haiti like a boa constrictor. For example, when a 185-foot Haitian freighter carrying 80 Haitians crashed into Mona Island, a U.S. territory, the passengers jumped off the sinking ship and swam ashore, but since they lacked authorization to be in the United States, park rangers arrested them and transferred them to the U.S. Border Patrol in Puerto Rico. Within a week, they were back to Haiti, all thanks to a stroke of bad luck. A park ranger who had arrested the Haitians told me this story in 2012, but it could just as easily have happened in 2021.

      • Ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili arrested upon returning to Georgia

        Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili was arrested upon returning to the country on Friday, September 1, Interfax reported.

      • Opinion | The Expulsion of Migrants in Texas Highlights Decades of Failed US Foreign Policy Toward Haiti

        Just days before President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly, declaring his commitment to protecting human rights and dignity, the news was filled with images of U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents on horseback whipping migrants in Del Río, Texas.

      • The Fire This Time
      • Missing and Murdered People of Color an Afterthought to Gabby Petito’s Case

        The missing person case of 22-year-old Gabrielle (Gabby) Petito blew up headlines and social media in the weeks after her disappearance on a cross-country van trip with her boyfriend. In the wake of the Petito case, conversations about missing people of color have finally entered the national spotlight. But fights for publicity for these missing people began way before Petito’s tragic story broke.

      • B.C. Judge Rejects Extension of Fairy Creek Protest Injunction

        A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has refused a request from Teal Cedar Products to extend an injunction against anti-logging blockades at the Fairy Creek protest site.

        In delivering his judgement, Justice Douglas Thompson said the way the RCMP have been enforcing the injunction has led to “serious and substantial infringement of civil liberties, including impairment of the freedom of the press to a marked degree,” reports CBC News. First granted in April, the ban against old-growth logging protests at the site expired this week. 

      • ECHR suspends human rights activist’s deportation from Russia

        The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia must not deport migrant rights activist Valentina Chupik to Uzbekistan until at least October 17. Chupik, who is an Uzbek citizen, has been in custody at an immigration detention center at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since September 25. 

      • Alec Karakatsanis on ‘Crime Surge’ Copaganda, Jane Manning on Gender-Based Crime
      • ​​Will the United States Officially Acknowledge That It Had a Secret Torture Site in Poland?

        One of the longest-held prisoners in the U.S. global war on terror is finally getting a day in court. Sort of. The prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, who has never been charged with a crime, has been waiting 14 years for a federal judge to rule on his habeas corpus petition that challenges the legality of his detention. But next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a separate case: Zubaydah’s request that he be permitted to take testimony from the two CIA contractors who oversaw his torture.

        The Trump administration intervened to block public disclosure about how Zubaydah was treated while in U.S. custody, or even where he was held, and the Biden administration is continuing the fight. In its Supreme Court briefs, the administration has cited an array of arguments against allowing the two men to be deposed, citing everything from the state secrets privilege, which shields highly sensitive government information from being revealed in civil litigation, to the plot of the Oscar-winning thriller “Argo.”

      • Female Afghan judges hunted by the murderers they convicted

        They were the trailblazers of women’s rights in Afghanistan. They were the staunch defenders of the law, seeking justice for their country’s most marginalised. But now, more than 220 female Afghan judges are in hiding due to fear of retribution under Taliban rule. Six former female judges spoke to the BBC from secret locations across Afghanistan. All of their names have been changed for their safety.

      • Undercover operations: UK special court sentences police for sexual relations

        In at least 27 cases, British police officers have deceived women and entered into intimate relationships with them in undercover missions. According to a verdict handed down yesterday, the police force in charge also interfered with the physical integrity, privacy and political activities of those involved.

      • Kate Wilson deceived into relationship with undercover Met cop wins tribunal case against Metropolitan Police

        In 2010, Ms Wilson found out he was a married police officer called Mark Kennedy, who had been sent to spy on activists as part of the Met’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPIOU).

        Kennedy had sexual relationships with as many as 10 other women during his deployment, including one with a woman which lasted for six years before she discovered a passport in his real name.

      • Deceived activist Kate Wilson wins tribunal against Met Police

        The Met and NPCC accepted Mr Kennedy’s actions amounted to a breach of those rights but had denied other officers, apart from Mr Kennedy and his cover officer, knew or suspected that Ms Wilson was in a sexual relationship with the officer.

        However, Ms Wilson argued there was “widespread indifference, or express or tacit encouragement” for undercover officers to begin intimate relationships while they were deployed.

      • Activist duped into relationship with spy wins case against UK police

        However, in a ruling on Thursday, the tribunal found the Met’s claims undercover officers (UCOs) knew sexual relationships were banned were “materially undermined by the sheer frequency with which [Mr Kennedy] (and other UCOs) did conduct sexual relationships without either questions being asked or action being taken by senior officers”.

      • Los Angeles Cops Want $18 Million For Surveillance Software and Snacks

        The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition released a letter on Monday blasting the 183-page report. The proposal requests nearly $18.44 million to support many of the things that the community has spent recent years protesting. The letter, which was co-signed by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles, describes the LAPD’s list of demands as a “disgusting insult to hundreds of thousands of people who took the streets last summer.”

        In the proposed budget, the LAPD requested $2 million to hire people to monitor social media accounts using a surveillance system that reportedly provides a “more holistic background on target subjects.” The system is already being used by the Major Crimes Division, but ten more licenses for other units would cost the city $450,000. This request also comes just weeks after it was revealed that LAPD officers are directed to collect and store social media handles when stopping civilians.

      • Family of Mona Rodriguez, Who Was Left Brain Dead After School Officer Shooting, Calls for Justice

        Eighteen-year-old Mona Rodriguez was left brain dead after a Long Beach, California, school resource officer fired at a car that was fleeing a scattering fight among teenagers on September 27.

      • Why the word “woman” is tying people in knots

        “BODIES WITH vaginas” is an odd way to refer to half the human race. Yet it was the quote that the Lancet, a medical journal, chose to feature on the cover of its latest issue, telling readers that “historically, the anatomy and physiology” of such bodies had been neglected. After complaints about dehumanising language, the Lancet apologised. But it is not alone. A growing number of officials and organisations are finding themselves tongue-tied when it comes to using the word “woman”.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Blumenthal’s Finsta Debacle: It Remains Unacceptable That Our Politicians Are So Clueless About The Internet

        Fifteen years ago, the best example of how out of touch elected officials were regarding the internet was Senator Ted Stevens’ infamous “it’s a series of tubes” speech (which started out “I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday.”) Over the years, this unwillingness of those who put themselves in the position to regulate the internet to actually bother to understand it has become something of an unfortunate running joke. A decade ago, in the midst of the fight over SOPA/PIPA, we pointed out that it’s no longer okay for Congress to not know how the internet works. And yet, a decade has passed and things have not gotten much better. Senator Ron Johnson tried to compare the internet to a bridge into a small creek. Senator Orrin Hatch has no clue how Facebook makes money.

      • Tracking the Submissions: What the Government Heard in its Online Harms Consultation (Since It Refuses to Post Them)

        Blayne Haggart and Natasha TusikovDarryl Carmichael and Emily LaidlawFenwick McKelveyMichael GeistValerie Webber and Maggie MacDonald

      • The ‘Digital Divide’ Didn’t Just Show Up One Day. It’s The Direct Result Of Telecom Monopolization

        We’ve noted for a while that the entirety of DC has a blind spot when it comes to discussing the U.S. broadband problem. As in, U.S. broadband is plagued by regional monopolies that literally pay Congress to pretend the problem isn’t happening. That’s not an opinion. U.S. broadband is slow, expensive, patchy, with terrible customer service due to two clear things: regional monopolization (aka market failure), and state and federal regulatory capture (aka corruption). That the telecom industry employs an entire cottage industry of think tankers, consultants, and policy wonks to pretend this isn’t true doesn’t change reality.

      • Africa [Internet] riches plundered, contested by China broker

        Millions of [Internet] addresses assigned to Africa have been waylaid, some fraudulently, including through insider machinations linked to a former top employee of the nonprofit that assigns the continent’s addresses. Instead of serving Africa’s [Internet] development, many have benefited spammers and scammers, while others satiate Chinese appetites for pornography and gambling.

        New leadership at the nonprofit, AFRINIC, is working to reclaim the lost addresses. But a legal challenge by a deep-pocketed Chinese businessman is threatening the body’s very existence.

      • South Korean ISP SK Broadband sues Netflix for millions in bandwidth usage fees

        Netflix strikes deals with service providers like Comcast in the US so that its connection gets priority treatment and, ultimately, better video quality. However, Netflix is in a different position now than when it agreed to pay Comcast — it already lost in court, and SK Telecom isn’t incentivized to make a deal while regulators consider a pending Big Cable merger — so even though it has more weight to throw around, it’s also already provided an example of why it might pay in the first place.

      • S.Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge from ‘Squid Game’

        But the Seoul Central District Court ruled against Netflix in June, saying that SK is seen as providing “a service provided at a cost” and it is “reasonable” for Netflix to be “obligated to provide something in return for the service”.

      • Netflix’s net neutrality logic loses ground in Korea

        A Seoul court’s decision last week that effectively confirmed Netflix‘s obligation to pay network usage fees to mobile carriers suggests that the global video streaming giant might have to change its business strategy in South Korea, according to industry sources Monday.

      • Netflix Sued By South Korean Internet Provider After ‘Squid Game’ Causes Traffic Surge

        In 2020, South Korean lawmakers passed an amendment to the country’s Telecommunications Business Act that effectively holds content providers like Netflix and YouTube liable to network issues stemming from high consumption of their content. Several experts have argued that the law violates the principle of net neutrality. Net Neutrality is a key principle of the open [Internet] that prevents [Internet] service providers from discriminating against certain types of data. Advocates of the principle claim that Korea’s policy only serves to hamper smaller content providers as larger providers will simply be able to pay [Internet] service providers for a more seamless service.

      • [Old] Netflix-SK dispute over net neutrality to continue

        “Netflix repeats claiming that transfer is free according to the principle of net neutrality,” SK said. “But the court said net neutrality is a separate issue from paying network usage fees in its first decision, and it is clear to the whole industry. Netflix is alone bucking the industry’s trend.”

    • Monopolies

      • Google Tells Judges It’s So Popular It’s Bing’s Top Search Term

        Google is so successful that it’s the most searched for term on Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine, the company’s lawyer told a European Union court on Tuesday.

      • Google says Bing users search for Google more than anything else

        “Google” is the most searched term on Bing “by far,” according to a lawyer working for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. According to Bloomberg, Google made the argument while trying to get its $5 billion antitrust fine from the EU overturned, using the statistic as evidence that people use Google by choice, not force.

        The fine Google faces is from the European Commission, which says that Google has abused its position as the maker of Android. The regulator says that Google will have to stop forcing handset makers to pre-install Chrome and Google search if they want to have Android. Google’s argument? That most people would just use its search engine anyway.

      • Copyrights

        • Scarlett Johansson and Disney Settle ‘Black Widow’ Pay Lawsuit

          Scarlett Johansson and Disney have reached a settlement over her blockbuster lawsuit that accused the studio of sabotaging the theatrical release of “Black Widow” to prop up Disney Plus.

          Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Johansson had sought a $50 million payout from the studio.

        • ERR and Telia reach agreement on TV transmission

          Telecoms firm Telia and public broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringääling (ERR) have reached an agreement which will enable the continuation of TV service provision. The news ends several months of impasse, though agreements with the two other major providers, Elisa and STV, are still to be reached.

        • Scarlett Johansson, Disney Settle Explosive ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

          The explosive suit, filed by the actress in July in Los Angeles Superior Court, claimed that the studio sacrificed the film’s box office potential in order to grow its fledgling Disney+ streaming service. Disney countered that Johansson was paid $20 million for the film.

        • Bond’s “No Time to Die” Leaks on Pirate Sites Before U.S. Premiere

          A new James Bond release is a big deal in the movie industry, one that usually comes with increased security precautions. That didn’t prevent “No Time to Die” from leaking on pirate sites soon after it hit international theaters and ahead of the US release. Whether many pirates will be interested in the low-quality ad-ridden footage, is up for debate.

        • EU Parliament Committee Adopts Digital Services Act

          The EU’s plans to modernize copyright law in Europe are moving ahead. The Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) has just adopted a draft of the new Digital Services Act. This brings the implementation of various new copyright restrictions, including rapid 30-minute takedowns and requirements to deal with “repeat infringers,” a step closer.

        • Pirate IPTV Service Nitro IPTV Asks Court to Dismiss Hollywood Lawsuit

          Last year a coalition of entertainment companies headed up by Universal, Paramount, Columbia, Disney and Amazon sued Alejandro Galindo, the operator of pirate IPTV service Nitro TV. After the case got bogged down with discovery issues due to fears of a criminal prosecution and a failure to serve, Galindo is now calling for the civil lawsuit to be dismissed.

Open Source Initiative (OSI) Leadership Changing, Quite Likely for the Better

Posted in Free/Libre Software, OSI at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 17ea55bffa7f1309cff0c7f16cb20529

Summary: The Open Source Initiative (OSI) changed its public faces and judging by what we’ve been seeing in recent weeks there’s room for hope because of the new leader’s history/track record

OUR Web site is not an enemy but a friend of the OSI. For evidence, which exists, look what we wrote about the OSI about a decade ago. It wasn’t always what it became in recent years (it could barely run an election) and we expressed concerns, amicably, when we felt like the OSI was going astray.

The new leadership is, on the surface, a step in the right direction. Last month we explained why, but some people might not be happy about this. As if the OSI must crash and burn regardless; the way we see it, the OSI was becoming like Linux Foundation but wasn’t quite there (yet). There was still a glimmer of hope, just like Mozilla (need to change management urgently).

Let’s hope we can get the old OSI back. Maybe it can even work with the FSF instead of against it (as happened earlier this year).

To be clear, I’m not concern-trolling and in the above video (totally spontaneous) I take a look at the current board and a bunch of other pages, including this new sponsors page, which lists Google and IBM, then Microsoft (twice). As a reminder, the Open Source Initiative is about 95% companies-funded. That was years ago. We doubt they’ve convinced many individual members to shell out more money since then.

The arrival of Stefano Maffulli as Executive Director of OSI and, as of days ago, the departure of a back-stabbing colleague, who had raised money from Microsoft and attacked RMS after receiving an award from him, is noteworthy. The condemnation of RMS wasn’t even based on actual facts!

Let’s try a fresh start, judging with an open mind the direction of the OSI, bearing in mind the intolerance of critics from the Board’s Chair, still attacking RMS on personal/political grounds, not technical, using pseudo-ethical angles while amassing corporate money, which is the real problem.

Whether we like it or not, for historical reasons OSI still plays an important role. The same is true for Creative Commons. Let’s try to fix them, not destroy them.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 01, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:41 am by Needs Sunlight

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