10.15.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • TriggerMesh cloud-native automation goes open source

        You can call what TriggerMesh does a lot of things. It’s cloud-native integration, event-driven cloud automation, Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), or, of course, serverless computing. No matter what name you use — TriggerMesh’s creators like “serviceful” — the game is to enable you to easily hook, deploy and manage cloud functions into powerful programs. Personally, I find it handy to think that TriggerMesh takes the DevOps concepts of such programs as Ansible, Chef, and Puppet and moves them from the operating system level to the cloud layer. Now, TriggerMesh has taken a major step forward by becoming an open-source program.

      • KuberLogic open-source platform turns infrastructure into a managed PaaS

        In a rapid automated DevOps environment, organizations have dedicated teams that handle all the provisioning overhead for developers. Organizations without a dedicated team struggle to find the right solution that will automate the provisioning of managed database services. KuberLogic solves this problem by automatically provisioning and managing database clusters using the K8S operator.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • xorg-server 21.0.99.902
          This is the second release candidate of Xorg 21.1.0 release.
          We have a number of fixes since the first RC.
          
          Alex Richardson (1):
                 dix/privates.c: Avoid undefined behaviour after realloc()
          
          Mario Kleiner (6):
                 xfree86: Avoid crash in xf86RandR12CrtcSetGamma() memcpy path.
                 xfree86: Let xf86RandR12CrtcComputeGamma() deal with non-power-of-2 sizes.
                 Revert "modesetting: Only use GAMMA_LUT if its size is 1024"
                 modesetting: Enable GAMMA_LUT for lut's with up to 4096 slots.
                 modesetting: Handle mixed VRR and non-VRR display setups better.
                 modesetting: Consider RandR primary output for selectioh of sync crtc.
          
          Olivier Fourdan (1):
                 glamor: Fix leak in glamor_build_program()
          
          Povilas Kanapickas (1):
                 xserver 21.1 RC 2
          
          Ray Strode (1):
                 xkb: Drop check for XkbSetMapResizeTypes
          
          nerdopolis (1):
                 xf86: Accept devices with the 'simpledrm' driver.
          
          git tag: xorg-server-21.0.99.902
          
        • X.Org Server 21.1 RC2 Brings Fix For Mixed VRR/Non-VRR Multi-Monitor Setups – Phoronix

          X.Org Server 21.1 continues running slightly behind schedule but out today is a second release candidate of that upcoming xorg-server version — the first in more than three years.

          X.Org Server 21.1 brings Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support for the xf86-video-modesetting driver, more mature Meson build system support, GLAMOR acceleration for Xvfb, X Input 2.4 with touchpad gestures, the DMX DDX has been removed, HiDPI improvements, and a large number of other changes that have accumulated in Git since 2018.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Persistent Live USB vs. Full Linux install on a USB drive | FOSS Linux

        Live USB is a fascinating way of testing out any Linux distro without msodifying or making changes to your computer. Unknown to many, there is data persistency mode in the Live session. So you can make some changes and save the file to your Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive. The data will remain still even after powering off the live session.

        You can run a test drive on installing the distro to your USB drive after testing out the live session instead of the internal hard drive. Accordingly, there are two more test-driving a Linux distro – Persistent Live USB drive and Full distro install USB drive.

        The two methods will still allow you to boot Linux from a USB drive and save your data. Some may be thinking about the differences between the two methods and which one you should opt for.

      • How To Install Franz Messaging on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Franz Messaging on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Franz is a third-party powerful application that allows users to access various social media accounts. This app supports 14 messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Slack, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Skype, Discord, and Skype are currently supported with more to follow soon. Franz is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows.

        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 Franz Messaging 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 chat in Twitch streams on the Linux desktop with Chatterino

        Before we can go over how to use Chatterino to chat with your favorite Twitch streamers on the Linux desktop, you’ll need to install it on your computer. To start the installation, open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop.

        You can open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or, search for “Terminal” in the app menu. When the terminal window is open and ready to use, follow the installation instructions below that corresponds with the Linux OS you use to get Chatterino up and running.

      • How to Transfer Files Between Linux, Android, and iOS Using qrcp

        File-sharing apps make it easier to transfer files between mobile devices and computers. But while these apps generally work well, they tend to cause compatibility issues with certain platforms owing to their limitations.

        This is where qrcp comes in. Qrcp is a file transfer utility that works via the terminal and relies on Wi-Fi to carry out file transfer. As a result, you can use it to share files between any computer and mobile phone, irrespective of their operating systems.

        Here’s a guide detailing qrcp and the steps to use it for transferring files between your Linux computer and a mobile device.

      • How to Set Date and Time on Rocky Linux 8 Desktop and Server

        Here are the two ways to set a date and time on Rocky Linux 8 or AlmaLinux using the command terminal and graphical user interface.

        There are many processes on the Linux operating system that requires the correct system date and time. Also, to update the system properly and other processes like cronjobs we must need the up-to-date time & date. However, Linux or any other OS automatically syncs the system time from the server, in case not or you want to change the timezone manually then let’s explore how to do that.

      • How to install Devuan – Unixcop

        Let’s see how to install Devuan, a Debian GNU/Linux fork free of systemd as is main feature. This is the first article of a series of two on installing Devuan

      • Configure Gitlab to use Gmail SMTP for Outbound Mails – kifarunix.com

        This tutorial will describe how to configure Gitlab to use Gmail SMTP for Outbound mails. In our previous tutorials, we learnt how to install and setup Gitlab CE.

      • Deploying and Running BCC in Your Kubernetes Cluster

        In 2021, extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) is becoming an increasingly popular tool for DevOps professionals and backend engineers alike—and rightly so. Using eBPF you can deliver features and experiences instantaneously by instrumenting directly from the kernel. And fortunately, kernel versions are at a great place making it easier for engineers to deliver these solutions to the masses.

    • Games

      • Valve Reluctantly Shows How To Mod The Steam Deck | Hackaday

        As the narrator in this official instructional video from Valve reminds the viewer several times, the gaming company would really rather you not open up your brand new Steam Deck and start poking around. They can’t guarantee that their software will function should you start changing the hardware, and since there’s no source for replacement parts yet anyway, there’s not much you can do in the way of repairs.

        That said, Value does believe you have the right to take apart your own device, and has produced the video below as an aid to those who are willing risk damaging their new system by opening it up. Specifically, the video goes over how to replace the most likely wear items on the handheld, namely the thumb sticks and the SSD. It seems inevitable that the stock thumb sticks will wear down after a couple years of hard use, so we’re glad to see they are easily removable modules. As for the SSD, it stands to reason that users would want to swap it out for faster and higher capacity models as they become available in the coming years.

      • The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is out now with improved Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is the latest set of funny games from Jackbox Games, Inc. and they teamed up with porter / FNA developer Ethan Lee to deliver improved Linux support.

        Speaking on Twitter, Lee mentioned the Linux version includes fresh SDL2 with support for Vulkan and OpenGL, along with the latest Wayland work so it should run well there too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Linux / Unix-Desktop KDE celebrates its 25th birthday: Happy Birthday! – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation]

          Today, October 14th, the KDE project celebrates its birthday: 25 years ago the first version of the “Kool Desktop Environment” appeared, from which the popular Linux / Unix desktop environment KDE Plasma emerged. The KDE team is celebrating the special day with a new plasma version, but also with various events and extras for the community on their own birthday website.

          For the 25th KDE birthday, we take a look back at the previous history of the KDE project – and forward to the current birthday campaigns. We are dedicating a separate message to the new KDE Plasma 5.23, which we will link to at this point later.

          KDE: emergence and first hurdles
          On October 14, 1996, the computer science student Matthias Ettrich resigned in the Usenet group de.comp.os.linux.misc the “Kool Desktop Environment (KDE)”. It should not only simplify the operation on Linux and Unix systems, but also bring along all the applications necessary for the work and give them a uniform appearance at the same time. The commercial Common Desktop Environment (CDE) served as an obvious model. Other comrades-in-arms quickly found themselves around the world who actively pushed the project forward. The team bundled its campaigns early on in KDE eV, which has since assumed financial responsibility for the project, organizes conferences and provides organizational support for the community.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 7.0 released, Oct 14

          We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 7.0. This is our 51st release. We remain proud of OpenBSD’s record of more than twenty years with only two remote holes in the default install.

          As in our previous releases, 7.0 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system: [...]

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Respin of openSUSE Leap Images are Coming

          In response to feedback from openSUSE users, Leap is expecting to have regular rebuilds of the distribution on a quarterly or as needed basis soon.

          These respins, which rebuild the ISO image, will receive openQA testing and have a rhythmic release now that the setup process is complete.

          These respins allow users to take advantage of the latest bug fixes and updates immediately, which reduces the bandwidth for online updates after an installation of the General Availability (GA) release. Amended ISO images can update packages like GRUB and shim to improve these bootloader and firmware packages for users.

          The updated ISO images, which contain a number extension in the filename like 15.3-X to distinguish from the GA release, will have a different checksum than the previously released images. The old ISO image found on get.opensuse.org will be removed and replaced with an up-to-date respin image.

        • openSUSE Leap ISOs To See Regular Respins For Integrating Latest Updates – Phoronix

          Douglas DeMaio shared today that they will begin offering regular respins of the openSUSE Leap ISOs to include the latest bug fixes and package updates on the ISOs themselves to reduce time and bandwidth post-installation. OpenSUSE will leverage openQA testing to try to ensure these regular new releases are in good shape.

      • Devuan Family

        • Devuan 4.0 Released As Debian 11 Without Systemd – Phoronix

          Devuan 4.0 “Chimaera” is officially out today as the latest stable release of this Linux distribution known for being a close rebuild of Debian but without a dependence on systemd.

          Devuan 4.0 allows the choice of SysVInit, Runit, or OpenRC as the init system in place of systemd. Devuan 4.0 is otherwise based on the Debian 11.1 “Bullseye” release with the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel.

        • Devuan Chimaera 4.0 stable release

          Dear Friends and Software Freedom Lovers,

          Devuan Developers are delighted to announce the release of Devuan Chimaera 4.0 as the project’s new stable release. This is the result of many months of painstaking work by the Team and detailed testing by the wider Devuan community.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.10 has landed | Ubuntu

          14 October 2021: Today, Canonical released Ubuntu 21.10 – the most productive environment for cloud-native developers and AI/ML innovators across the desktop, devices and cloud.

          “As open source becomes the new default, we aim to bring Ubuntu to all the corners of the enterprise and all the places developers want to innovate,” said Mark Shuttleworth. “From the biggest public clouds to the tiniest devices, from DGX servers to Windows WSL workstations, open source is the springboard for new ideas and Ubuntu makes that springboard safe, secure and consistent.”

        • Ubuntu Server 21.10: What’s new? | Ubuntu

          Ubuntu Server 21.10 (Impish Indri) expands on edge use cases with a minimised system installation option in the Ubuntu Server Live Installer. It also comes with needrestart enabled by default for automated daemon restarts after applying library updates. In addition, the latest development cycle brings native, certified drivers for NVIDIA vGPU software on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS, fully supporting sophisticated AI/ML workloads.

          Ubuntu Server 21.10 will be supported by Canonical until July 2022. All new features will be available in the upcoming Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS release.

        • Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) released [LWN.net]

          The latest release of the Ubuntu Linux distribution is out: Ubuntu 21.10, code named “Impish Indri”.

        • Ubuntu 21.10 Review – A risk-free transition release (+flavors) – Invidious

          Ubuntu 21.10 has been released. It’s an interesting one, not because it adds many features that you’ve never seen before, but because it’s a transition release. It introduces a bunch of new systems, that, while not enabled by default, will probably be in the next LTS.

        • The newest Ubuntu Linux, Impish Indri, arrives

          As such, while we usually think of Ubuntu as a desktop Linux distribution, it’s far more than that. As Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder says, “We aim to bring Ubuntu to all the corners of the enterprise and all the places developers want to innovate. That goes from “the biggest public clouds to the tiniest devices, from [Nvidia] DGX servers to Windows WSL [Windows Subsystem for Linux] workstations, open source is the springboard for new ideas and Ubuntu makes that springboard safe, secure and consistent.”

          On the desktop, the new Ubuntu default interface is GNOME 40. While you can use the brand-spanking-new GNOME 41, that’s not the interface 21.10 comes with. Still, a few GNOME 41 apps such as Calendar app, GNOME Disk Utility, Eye of GNOME (aka Image Viewer), and GNOME System Monitor have made it into this new Ubuntu.

        • Top 6 projects from our Hackathon | Ubuntu

          On the 4th and the 5th of October 2021, the Web & Design team ran a remote Hackathon. The theme of it was to build tools that would make our life easier at Canonical.

          Creativity and collaboration are at the heart of any Hackathon. 26 visual and UX designers, developers and project managers split into 6 groups participated in this adventure. Here is a highlight of what was built over the course of those two days.

        • Mir 2.5, incorporating new features to improve the development of embedded graphic applications | Ubuntu

          With another release of Mir, we have prepared a new blog with the a roundup of the product’s newest features. Mir is our flexible display server that provides a set of libraries and a Wayland compositor for building Wayland-based shells with integrated window management. Today, Canonical is launching Mir 2.5, a new version of Mir that aims to help developers. Mir 2.5 brings new features to reduce development time and integration hassle.

        • Canonical Presence at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA: Keynote by Founder/CEO Mark Shuttleworth, Announcement of Ubuntu 21.10 Beta | Ubuntu

          Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu, will have a major presence at this year’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s flagship conference brings together adopters and technologists from leading open-source and cloud-native communities. It takes place Oct. 11-15 in Los Angeles and with a virtual option.

          Ubuntu is the foundation for the three public cloud providers’ managed Kubernetes services – Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKS) – which is why it is the only OS that can seamlessly support workloads on any of them.

        • Driving innovation in autonomous mobile robots – University of Hawaii hits Indy 500 | Ubuntu

          On October 23, the historic Indy 500 will experience a new type of race. Not just a race for all the fans and lovers of racecars, but a race that is now changing the future of driving. Autonomous mobile robots will be racing to see not only who is the fastest, but also the most technically advanced car on the track.

          The Indy Autonomous Challenge brings together universities and organizations from around the world to design and create a new generation of automated vehicle software. Competitors are working to achieve the goal of crossing the finish line in the 20-lap race in 25 minutes or fewer at speeds of more than 120 mph. The race is an excellent showcase of state-of-the-art autonomous mobile robot technology.

          Increasing awareness for autonomous mobile robots, and cutting edge technology in general, is a mission that closely aligns with Canonical’s values. That’s why we are a proud supporter of the competition and sponsor of the University of Hawaii.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • i.MX8M Mini based mini-PC starts at $305

        ICOP’s “EBOX-IMX8MM” embedded computer runs Android 9 or Linux on an i.MX8M Mini with up to 4GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC plus 2x GbE, 3x USB, 4x COM, WiFi/BT, and a 12-36V input.

        Taiwan-based ICOP is primarily known for its embedded boards and systems based on x86 based CPUs from its sister company DM&P Group (DMP), as in its Vortex86EX-based Ebox-3100. Yet the company recently launched a compact embedded PC based on NXP’s i.MX8M Mini. The company announced the product back in May, and it recently began shipping from WDL Systems for $305 with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, and the optional -40 to 80°C instead of the standard 0 to 60°C operating range.

      • Signage player taps Ryzen V2000 for video wall displays [Ed: They make is sound like Ubuntu is supported but any other GNU/Linux distro is not]

        Ibase has launched an “SI-334” signage player that runs Ubuntu or Win 10 on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V2000. There are 4x HDMI 2.0 ports with EDID and CEC plus 2x GbE, 3x USB 3.1 Gen2, and 3x M.2 with SIM.

        [...]

        The SI-334 runs Ubuntu or Win 10 IoT Enterprise on a choice of any of the four octa-core and hexa-core V2000 parts, ranging up to an octa-core, 2.9GHz/4.25GHz V2748. AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V2000 advances to 7nm-fabricated Zen 2 CPU cores and doubles the multi-threaded performance-per-watt compared to the V1000. It also offers up to 30 percent better single-thread CPU performance, claims AMD. With its Radeon graphics with 6x or 7x compute units, graphics performance is claimed to be 40 percent higher.

      • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC ships with up to 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD – CNX Software [Ed: This is not even competitive with ARM SBCs and "ships with Windows 10 Pro," so it's coming with malicious stuff]

        Beelink U59 is a Jasper Lake mini PC based on an Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that ships with 8GB RAM and a 256 GB M.2 SSD for $279+ on Amazon or Banggood, or $349+ with 16GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD.

        The mini PC offers two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and supports one 2.5-inch SATA drive up to 7mm thick.

      • The Compute Module Comes Of Age: Say Hello To The Real Cutting Edge Of Raspberry Pi | Hackaday

        If we wanted to point to an epoch-making moment for our community, we’d take you back to February 29th, 2012. It was that day on which a small outfit in Cambridge put on the market the first batch of their new product. That outfit was what would become the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and the product was a run of 10,000 Chinese made versions of their very first single board computer, the Raspberry Pi Model B. With its BCM2835 SoC and 512 megabytes of memory it might not have been the first board that could run a Linux distribution from an SD card, but it was certainly the first that did so for pocket money prices. On that morning back in 2012 the unforseen demand for the new board brought down the websites of both the electronics distributors putting it on sale, and a now-legendary product was born. We’re now on version 4 of the Model B with specs upgraded in almost every sense, and something closer to the original can still be bought in the form of its svelte stablemate, the Pi Zero.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Should we teach AI and ML differently to other areas of computer science? A challenge
        • Connect your space heater to the Arduino Cloud and control it via Alexa | Arduino Blog

          Being able to design your own custom smart home device is a great way to both have fun experimenting with various hardware/software and to escape the walled IoT device ecosystems that so many users find themselves trapped within. One maker who goes by mrdesha came up with a smart heater solution that utilizes the new Arduino Oplà IoT Kit to provide voice functionality to their room heater.

          In terms of hardware, mrdesha’s project is quite simple as it just needs a few parts to function. The main component is the MKR IoT Carrier board from the Oplà Kit, along with the MKR WiFi 1010 that fits into it. Because the Oplà has two relays onboard, a pair of buttons on the heater’s remote were connected to the common (COM) and normally closed (NC) terminals, allowing for a single GPIO pin to digitally “press” each button.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 Hackathons for Building Your FOSS Skills

        As previously mentioned, Hacktoberfest 2021 is going on right now, with the aim of encouraging increased participation in the open source community.

      • 9 ways to use open source every day | Opensource.com

        Recently I was invited to present on free and open resources that are available on the web. This presentation was part of a local effort to keep our community working—sponsored by the Foster Center at St. Bonaventure University near my home. Some of the resources I shared were not open source and merely cost $0, but many of the tools were also open source.

        It was interesting to see how many folks recognized the tools I mentioned. Many people are unaware that the tools they use every day are open source, and they can share them with others.

      • The French public administration is opening up public data, algorithms and source codes.

        On 27 September, the French Minister of Public Transformation and Service Amélie de Montchalin presented the 15 ministerial roadmaps on public data, algorithms and public source codes, which represents a milestone in the digital transformation strategy of the current French public administration. The same Ministry will monitor the implementation phase of all the roadmaps, and the Prime Minister will then evaluate the programme as a whole at the next inter-ministerial committee for public transformation.

        This initiative has been supported by DINUM (Direction Interministérielle du Numérique, or Interministerial Digital Directorate) and stems from the Circular 6264/SG sent in April by the Prime Minister Jean Castex, who mandated the Ministry of Public Transformation and Public Service to open up public data, algorithms and source codes “for the benefit of users, researchers, innovators and citizens”. Additionally, the circular called for the designation of departmental data, algorithm and source code (AMDAC) administrators in every department – all nominated in May – who will supervise the implementation of the roadmaps and build an inter-ministerial network for information sharing.

      • Raising Pressure on Biden, Dozens of Indigenous Activists Occupy Bureau of Indian Affairs and Climate Justice Advocates Decry Gulf ‘Sacrifice Zones’

        This week, environmental advocates addressed intensifying fossil fuel pollution, climate injustices, and the Biden administration’s failure to take the lead on climate change solutions during the People vs. Fossil Fuels protests in Washington, D.C. Their goal remains to increase the pressure on the President to declare a climate emergency. The Indigenous-led actions are supported by dozens of environmental and social justice groups from around the country and have resulted in 585 arrests so far. They began on Indigenous People’s Day, October 11, and will continue through October 15. 

        Thursday morning, October 14, 130 people were arrested in front of the White House. For four days, activists have marched each morning  from Freedom Plaza to the White House. Some protest on the sidewalk in front of the fence and are arrested after defying orders to  disperse,  while others cheer them on from across the street. They say they are doing this to bring their message to Biden’s doorstop ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland next month.

      • Environmental and Labor Groups Urge Canada to Support Just Transition

        Canada has not provided a transition pathway for its fossil fuel workers to move into other industries, and as global demand for oil and gas wanes, tens of thousands of workers could lose their jobs, say the authors of a new report.

        Roughly 167,000 people are directly employed in Canada’s oil and gas industry, but increased automation combined with the energy transition and climate policy mean that half of those jobs are slated to disappear by the end of the decade, according to a report published on October 13 by the Climate Action Network Canada and Blue Green Canada, which is a coalition of labor and environmental groups.

  • Leftovers

    • Is “Progress” at a Standstill?

      John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and Karl Marx (1818-1883) offered different but complementary, if less critical, notions of progress. “Truth, in the great practical concerns of life, is so much a question of the reconciling and combining of opposites,” Mills wrote. “Even progress, which ought to superadd, for the most part only substitutes, one partial and incomplete truth for another.”  Marx’s belief in progress extended Hegel’s more spiritual notion that history was the process by which of humanity toward true freedom, through what he called historical materialism.

      In our era, the notion of progress has become anchored in a liberal, neo-Marxian materialism of everyday life.  Writing in The Atlantic, Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen noted “by ‘progress,’ we mean the combination of economic, technological, scientific, cultural, and organizational advancement that has transformed our lives and raised standards of living over the past couple of centuries.”

    • America as a “Shining City on a Hill”—and Other Myths to Die By

      We all need myths to live by, and some of these stories we tell ourselves are ones we will cling to until the grave. In 1630, on the Arbella as it sailed toward North America, Puritan leader John Winthrop delivered a sermon called “A Modell of Christian Charity” asserting that this new land “shall be as a city upon a hill.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because on several occasions Ronald Reagan spoke of a shining city on a hill, sitting above other nations. Laying out an argument for American exceptionalism, Reagan claimed “that that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage,” concluding at the very first Conservative Political Action Conference in 1974 that “we are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.” Of course, this kind of mythmaking requires an imperviousness to facts, a commitment to burying parts of our history, telling lies to ourselves and others to make them believe.1

    • Be The Face of Change and Pledge for EFF Through CFC Today!

      The Combined Federal Campaign is the world’s largest and most successful annual charity campaign for U.S. federal employees and retirees. Since its inception in 1961, the CFC fundraiser has raised more than $8.5 billion for local, national, and international charities. This year’s campaign runs from September 1 to January 15, 2022. Be sure to make your pledge before the campaign ends!

      U.S. government employees can give to EFF by going to GiveCFC.org and clicking DONATE to give via payroll deduction, credit/debit, or an e-check! Be sure to use EFF’s CFC ID # 10437. You can even scan the QR code below!

    • Science

      • Technology and the Golden Age of Taxonomy

        By organizing our knowledge about life, these databases promise to bring taxonomy into a golden age of reliability and accessibility. Information that once existed only in the heads of experts and rotting scrolls is now in reach of anyone with a computer.

    • Education

      • Southlake school leader tells teachers to balance Holocaust books with ‘opposing’ views

        A top administrator with the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake advised teachers last week that if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also offer students access to a book from an “opposing” perspective, according to an audio recording obtained by NBC News.

        Gina Peddy, the Carroll school district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, made the comment Friday afternoon during a training session on which books teachers can have in classroom libraries. The training came four days after the Carroll school board, responding to a parent’s complaint, voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom.

        A Carroll staff member secretly recorded the Friday training and shared the audio with NBC News.

    • Hardware

      • A Deep Dive Into The Sound Of An Apple II | Hackaday

        A major part of the retrocomputing scene for many of us lies in the world of chiptunes, music created either using original retrocomputing hardware or in the style of those early synthesiser chips. There’s one machine we don’t hear much about among all this though, and that’s the Apple II. Though probably one of the most expandable of all the 8-bit home computers, it lacked a sound channel beyond a speaker hooked up to a memory location port so any complex sound work had to be done via an add-on card. It’s something [Nicole Branagan] has investigated in depth, as she demonstrates first the buzz from the speaker and then what must have been an object of extreme desire back in the day, a Mockingboard sound card.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Dermatology’s Academic Medical-Industrial Complex: Another Marker of a Wider Problem

        Here, a six-year study is reported of the conflicts of interest (COIs) of key opinion leaders in dermatology, their ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and implications of how coopted this specialty has become. A list of the board members of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) was compiled from the society’s website. Their names were entered into the CMS Open Payments database, which includes general payments ranging from consulting fees, speakers’ honoraria, and other honoraria for food and beverage. All compensation data were collected from 2014 to 2020, as permitted by Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2010.

        As of April 1, 2021, there were 30 officers and directors of the AAD. Seven were employed by academic institutions that do not allow them to receive general payments from industry, while the other academic institutions do not have this policy. These conflicts of interest were identified among the remaining 23:

      • The Preventable Horrors of the Pandemic and the Short Case for Open Research

        Across the world, the number of Covid infections are declining: the United States numbers are finally falling after the Delta variant sent it soaring in the late summer; India-perhaps the hardest hit country in the world where cases peaked at more than 400,000 a day in early May, is now reporting just over 20,000 cases daily, the equivalent of 5,000 a day in the United States. Similar declines can be seen in countries around the world.

        This drop worldwide is due to a combination of both the spread of vaccines and, perhaps more importantly, natural immunity arising out of many infections.  According to a New York Times article, for example, the number of infections in India as of early May was likely close to 540 million, when the official count was just 27 million. Since the pandemic was still in full force in the country at the time, an extrapolation would imply 750 to 800 million infections, close to 60 percent of the country’s population.

      • Biden Warned Not to Nominate Robert Califf, ‘Recycled FDA Commissioner’ Tied to Big Pharma

        Critics of Big Pharma’s influence on U.S. politics urged President Joe Biden not to nominate former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf to reclaim his old post following reports Thursday that the move is likely.

        “There are plenty of other, highly qualified doctors and leaders who don’t bring his corporate ties to this most crucial agency.”

      • Taiwan can issue fines for those using phones at red lights

        After examining the evidence, trial judges pointed to Article 31-1 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act, which states: “While driving a car, if the driver uses handheld mobile phones, computers, or other similar devices to make calls, talk, send/receive data, or perform other operations that can inhibit the vehicle’s safe operation, he/she shall be fined NT$3,000.” The fine for the same violation for a motorcycle or scooter rider is NT$1,000.

        Noting that stopping for a red light is only temporary and does not mean the process of driving has ended, the judges ruled against the driver, according to the office. The office went on to say that its statistics show that there have been 5,893 such violations in New Taipei in the first eight months this year.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Windows error screen on display at UK A&E • The Register

        There may be no better place for Windows to seek comfort in desperate times than the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) – and sure enough a good old fashioned blue screen of death has popped up an A&E waiting room.

        The borkage was spotted by a Register reader attending the Accident & Emergency department of a city hospital in the north of Britain.

        The screen would normally have info on COVID-19 rules, and display the wait times for the various ticket numbers (in order) dished out by the nurses who do triage when you enter A&E. Instead, it appears that Windows has simply given up the ghost.

      • Proprietary

        • Nations vow to combat ransomware at US-led summit [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The nations also resolved to work together in law enforcement operations — which are challenging because they cross borders and require special skills — and the use of diplomatic pressure.

        • Apple warns: Sideloading apps threatens an iCrime wave

          Apple is fighting back against growing pressure to support sideloading on its App Stores with an extensive 28-page white paper in which it offers stark security and privacy warnings.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Google’s VirusTotal reports that 95% of ransomware spotted targets Windows [Ed: Even Microsoft Tim seems to grasp the concept that people should be fired or sued for deploying Microsoft Windows, more so when ransom strikes]

            Google’s VirusTotal service showing that 95 per cent of ransomware malware identified by its systems targets Windows.

            VirusTotal, acquired by Google in 2012, operates a malware scanning service that can be used manually or via an API, to analyze suspicious files. The team collected data between January 2020 and August this year to investigate how ransomware is evolving. VirusTotal receives over two million suspicious files per day from 232 countries, it said, placing it in a strong position to analyse the problem.

          • Ongoing Cyber Threats to U.S. Water and Wastewater Systems Sector Facilities

            CISA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) have released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) that details ongoing cyber threats to U.S. Water and Wastewater Systems (WWS) Sector. This activity—which includes cyber intrusions leading to ransomware attacks—threatens the ability of WWS facilities to provide clean, potable water to, and effectively manage the wastewater of, their communities. The joint CSA provides extensive mitigations and resources to assist WWS Sector facilities in strengthening operational resilience and cybersecurity practices.

          • Far-right Missouri Governor threatens criminal charges against reporter for telling the state about a security vulnerability.

            Far-right lunatic Missouri Governor Mike Parson threatens criminal charges against reporters who found that the state’s IT department was so incompetent that over 100,000 state employee Social Security numbers were embedded in the HTML source code of the state’s website.

          • Implementing form filling and accessibility in the Firefox PDF viewer

            Last year, during lockdown, many discovered the importance of PDF forms when having to deal remotely with administrations and large organizations like banks. Firefox supported displaying PDF forms, but it didn’t support filling them: users had to print them, fill them by hand, and scan them back to digital form. We decided it was time to reinvest in the PDF viewer (PDF.js) and support filling PDF forms within Firefox to make our users’ lives easier.

            While we invested more time in the PDF viewer, we also went through the backlog of work and prioritized improving the accessibility of our PDF reader for users of assistive technologies. Below we’ll describe how we implemented the form support, improved accessibility, and made sure we had no regressions along the way.

          • Missouri Governor Vows to Prosecute St. Louis Post-Dispatch for Reporting Security Vulnerability

            On Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story about how its staff discovered and reported a security vulnerability in a Missouri state education website that exposed the Social Security numbers of 100,000 elementary and secondary teachers. In a press conference this morning, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said fixing the flaw could cost the state $50 million, and vowed his administration would seek to prosecute and investigate the “hackers” and anyone who aided the publication in its “attempt to embarrass the state and sell headlines for their news outlet.”

          • Missouri governor threatens criminal prosecution of reporter who found security flaw in state site

            Hancock reports, “The Post-Dispatch discovered the vulnerability in a web application that allowed the public to search teacher certifications and credentials. The Department removed the affected pages from its website Tuesday after being notified of the problem by the Post-Dispatch. Based on state pay records and other data, more than 100,000 Social Security numbers were vulnerable. The newspaper delayed publishing this report to give the Department time to take steps to protect teachers’ private information, and to allow the state to ensure no other agencies’ web applications contained similar vulnerabilities.”

          • Missouri goes after man who looked at source code on state site

            A newspaper in St Louis, Missouri, which discovered that the social security numbers of school teachers, administrators and counsellors across the state were publicly exposed and informed the authorities, has been threatened with unspecified action by the state’s governor.

          • Missouri Governor Is Extremely Confused About What Constitutes ‘Hacking’

            Reporter Josh Renaud was browsing a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education web application that lets users search for teachers’ certifications and credentials when he looked at the site’s HTML source code (something that usually requires zero hacking skills, only the use of a right-click). In the source code, he found sensitive data belonging to the state’s teachers, including Social Security numbers and other private information.

          • No it isn’t: Missouri governor says viewing HTML source code containing private data the state published on every page, is a crime

            Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday condemned one of Missouri’s largest newspapers for exposing a flaw in a state database that allowed public access to thousands of teachers’ Social Security numbers, even though the paper held off from reporting about the flaw until after the state could fix it.

          • Gov. Parson threatens legal action against reporter who exposed flaw on state education department’s website

            The reporter found hundreds of thousands of Missouri educators’ social security numbers were accessible to the public in the HTML code for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website.

            Parson said the Cole County prosecutor and the Missouri State Highway Patrol Digital Investigations Unit are now investigating the incident and it could cost taxpayers up to $50 million.

          • Missouri Governor Says HTML Source Code ‘Decoded’ by ‘Hacker’ Reporter

            Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri announced that an individual stole Social Security numbers after they “decoded the HTML source code.” However, a local media publication is disputing this claim and saying the individual was their own reporter who warned Parson’s administration about the security flaw and let them fix it before reporting about it. The word “SSNs” began trending on Twitter after Parson’s announcement, as people pointed out that if the Social Security numbers were in the source code, that meant they were easily viewable by just hitting F12.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • New Python-based Ransomware Encrypts Virtual Machines Quickly [Ed: This make it sound like a Python issue, but it is a proprietary software issue completely irrelevant to the programming language]

              VMware ESXi datastores rarely have endpoint protection, the researchers noted, and they host virtual machines (VMs) that likely run critical services for the business, making them a very attractive target for hackers. In the threat landscape, it’s like winning the jackpot.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • “Smart Borders?” High-Tech ‘Virtual’ Walls Are Even More Invasive Than Iron Walls

              College student Nicholas Paúl told me his city’s designation “was a proud moment” for his community. Raised on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, Paúl is emblematic of many residents from Chula Vista. “I’m a fronterizo,” he told me. Every weekend he crossed the border to Tijuana to visit family and friends. “It’s a way of life,” he said. “It’s not something that is unique to me. It’s my whole family, my whole neighborhood.”

              So it came as a shock to Paúl a year later, in December 2020, when an exposé by San Diego’s daily newspaper revealed that the Chula Vista Police Department was sharing information from automated license plate readers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol, and of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

            • Tor’s Bug Smash Fund Year 3: $107K Raised!

              Hello, Tor world! We owe you a thank you.

              This August, we asked you to contribute to the Tor Project’s Bug Smash Fund. We created this fund in order to create a reserve that would help us find bugs, complete maintenance work, and do all of the “dirty jobs” that are necessary to keep Tor Browser, the Tor network, and the many tools that rely on Tor strong, safe, and running smoothly.

            • Court Says Google Translate Isn’t Reliable Enough To Determine Consent For A Search

              The quickest way to a warrantless search is obtaining consent. But consent obtained by officers isn’t always consent, no matter how it’s portrayed in police reports and court testimony. Courts have sometimes pointed this out, stripping away ill-gotten search gains when consent turned out to be [extremely air quotation marks] “consent.”

            • California Activists Sue Marin County Sheriff for Illegally Sharing Drivers’ License Plate Data With ICE, CBP and Other Out-of-State Agencies

              Targeting Immigrant CommunitiesDocuments show that the sheriff’s office shares and transfers ALPR information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), over a dozen other federal law enforcement agencies, and over 400 out-of-state law enforcement agencies.“In the hands of police, the use of ALPR technology is a threat to privacy and civil liberties, especially for immigrants. Federal immigration agencies routinely access and use ALPR information to locate, detain, and deport immigrants. The sheriff’s own records show that Sheriff Doyle is sharing ALPR information with two of the most rogue agencies in the federal government: ICE and CBP,” said Vasudha Talla, Immigrants’ Rights Program Director at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (ACLU NorCal). “Police should not be purchasing surveillance technology, let alone facilitating the deportation and incarceration of our immigrant communities.” Using its ALPR system, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office scans tens of thousands of license plates each month. That sensitive personal information, which includes photographs of the vehicle and sometimes its driver and passengers, is stored in a database. The sheriff permits hundreds of out-of-state agencies and several federal entities, including units of the Department of Homeland Security, to run queries of a license plate against information the sheriff has collected. The agencies are also able to compare their own bulk lists of vehicle license plates of interest, known as “hot lists,” against the ALPR information collected by the sheriff’s office. California’s S.B. 34, enacted in 2015, bars this practice. The law requires agencies that use ALPR technology to implement policies to protect privacy and civil liberties, and specifically prohibits police from sharing ALPR data with entities outside of California. The sheriff also violates the California Values Act (S.B. 54), also known as California’s “sanctuary” law. Enacted in 2018, the law limits the use of local resources to assist federal immigration enforcement.In 2019, ACLU NorCal released documents revealing that ICE agents use their access to the license plate data gathered by police agencies across the nation to find and arrest people.“This lawsuit sends a message to other California law enforcement agencies that are unlawfully sharing ALPR data and helping ICE—and we know there are others,” said EFF Staff Attorney Saira Hussain. “In recent years, California has enacted laws specifically to protect immigrant communities and prohibit the sharing ALPR data with entities outside the state. Local police and sheriffs are not above the law and should be held accountable when they violate measures designed to protect the privacy of all Californians generally, and vulnerable communities specifically.” The lawsuit is the first of its kind to challenge the sharing of private information collected by ALPR mass surveillance.

            • Amazon Alexa: Woman used smart speaker to threaten ex’s new partner

              Phillipa Copleston-Warren, 46, had access to the Amazon Echo at her former boyfriend’s home 100 miles away.

              She used an app to blare “get the whore out” from the smart device when the other woman entered into his bedroom, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

            • Mafia bosses worry for future as ‘soft’ millennial mobsters prefer texting to pistol-whipping

              The situation has left aging crime family bosses concerned over their succession, and has also meant they have had to be more personally involved in the minutiae of criminal operations, leading to their more frequent arrests.

              Using text messages to make threats also leaves potentially damning evidence for the FBI to find.

              “Everything is on the phones with them,” one former senior member of New York’s Colombo crime family complained to The Wall Street Journal , criticizing the younger generation.

            • Tech industry bodies urge government to revise emergency powers bill

              The Information Technology Industry Council, the Australian Information Industry Association and the Cybersecurity Coalition wrote to Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews on Thursday, saying that while their members shared the government’s commitment to protecting critical infrastructure against cyber threats, the bill remained “highly problematic and largely unchanged despite extensive feedback from our organisations”

              The bill in question was reviewed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security which said, on 30 September, that it be split up into two, in order to pass what it characterised as “urgent reforms”.

            • The 4 Most Secure Phones for Privacy [Ed: Missing options: none or landline.]

              Recent years have shown us how insecure our smartphones can be. They pose a risk if we misplace them, as all our confidential data is stored on the device, but they also represent an enormous privacy risk.

              Google and Apple monitor a lot of you do on your smartphone, and then manufacturers will add their own invasive software into the mix. The situation can seem bleak for the privacy enthusiast.

              Fortunately, you do have options if you’re after the best phone for privacy. Let’s take a look at the top choices.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How America Learned to Outsource Its Dirtiest Work to the Least Powerful

        For over a decade, anti-war protesters across northern California have congregated at Beale Air Force Base to condemn US drone strikes abroad. Located an hour north of Sacramento, the base employs imagery analysts and drone operators who perform reconnaissance and order strikes. At one protest, a banner displayed near the entrance of the base asked, “Do the drones hear the cries of children dying on the ground?” At another protest, in 2017, activists stopped traffic from coming into the base for almost an hour. “Beale personnel in the Global Hawk drone program witness…carnage on their computer screens,” read one of the leaflets the activists passed out to drivers. “What toll is taken on their psychic and spiritual well-being?”

      • Opinion | Despite Taliban Rule, Feminists Must Not Abandon Afghan Women

        Since the Taliban took control of Kabul and the central government on August 15, efforts to support Afghan women have become extremely challenging. According to some prominent U.S. feminists with strong ties to Afghan women, the Taliban “has no legitimacy beyond the brutal force it commands,” and governments, the United Nations and regional actors should not recognize or work with it. For some, this means isolating the Taliban by continuing to freeze Afghan funds held overseas and suspending any assistance that is coordinated with a government agency. But does that position really help Afghan women?

      • Afghan Interpreter Who Rescued Biden in 2008 Is Evacuated from Afghanistan with His Family

        After weeks of pleading for help, an Afghan interpreter, who helped rescue then-Senator Joe Biden when he was stranded 13 years ago in Afghanistan, has finally escaped Afghanistan. Aman Khalili describes his journey out of the country, and we speak with the reporter who broke the story. “I was in the safehouse for 15 days,” Khalili tells Democracy Now! Khalili is “representative of a group of people that are still appealing for help from America and anyone else that can help them,” says Dion Nissenbaum, with The Wall Street Journal.

      • Trump’s Coup Nearly Succeeded. He May Try Again in 2024.
      • Biden Formally Rejects Trump’s Executive Privilege Objections to Jan 6 Committee
      • The Nation’s John Nichols: Trump’s Coup Nearly Succeeded. He Will Try Again in 2024

        As the House committee probing the January 6 attack on the Capitol ramps up its investigation, new details continue to emerge about former President Donald Trump’s efforts to stay in the White House despite losing the 2020 election. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently revealed Trump directly asked the Justice Department nine times for help overturning the election. One of Trump’s lawyers also wrote a memo detailing how Trump could stage a coup by getting electors from seven states thrown out, thus denying Biden’s victory. The House select committee may also file charges against top Trump adviser Steve Bannon if he refuses to testify and hand over documents. John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, says Trump’s continued grip on the Republican Party and his likely run for president in 2024 make the investigations vital to safeguarding democracy. “We really are looking at the prospect that Trump will seek to implement exactly the strategy that he was trying to implement before January 6 again in 2024,” says Nichols.

      • Prosecutors Drop Criminal Charges Against Fake Terrorist Who Duped Canadian Gov’t, NYT Podcasters

        For a couple of years, a prominent terrorist remained untouched by Canadian law enforcement. Abu Huzayfah claimed to have traveled to Syria in 2014 to join the Islamic State. A series of Instagram posts detailed his violent acts, as did a prominent New York Times Peabody Award-winning podcast, “Caliphate.”

      • Snipers Fatally Attack Protesters in Beirut as Lebanon Reels from Devastating Economic Collapse

        At least five people were shot today in Beirut after snipers opened fire on a protest as Lebanon faces a growing economic and political emergency amid widespread corruption. Over the weekend, Lebanon fell into darkness for 24 hours after the nation’s electric grid collapsed. Within the past year, the Lebanese currency has fully collapsed as it continues to grapple with the aftermath of last year’s deadly port explosion. This comes as the country’s political class is expected to accelerate even harsher austerity and privatization efforts in exchange for international support, says Lara Bitar, editor-in-chief of The Public Source, a Beirut-based independent media organization, adding, “The international community holds huge responsibility in constantly allowing the political class to reproduce itself, of throwing it a lifeline whenever it is in crisis.”

      • How Feminists Can Support Afghan Women Living Under the Taliban

        Since the Taliban took control of Kabul and the central government on August 15, efforts to support Afghan women have become extremely challenging. According to some prominent U.S. feminists with strong ties to Afghan women, the Taliban “has no legitimacy beyond the brutal force it commands,” and governments, the United Nations and regional actors should not recognize or work with it. For some, this means isolating the Taliban by continuing to freeze Afghan funds held overseas and suspending any assistance that is coordinated with a government agency. But does that position really help Afghan women?

      • ‘Weapon of War’: Cori Bush Decries Unregulated Use of Tear Gas on US Civilians

        “For protest to truly be a right, we must ensure that we are never again met with weapons of war on our streets.”

        “Tear gas is dangerous, and despite this, manufacturers have continued to profit off its sale.”

      • A Failure to Negotiate: How the US Lost Its War in Afghanistan

        In its October 3, 2001 edition, the Chicago Tribune declared, “Afghanistan’s Taliban government again refused to turn over suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden .  . .” Most US newspapers were saying the same, and probably most Americans today believe that’s what happened: the US demanded bin Laden’s extradition, the Taliban refused and would not negotiate, so the US had every right to invade. That makes a smooth story. But it’s not what happened.

        What happened is that Afghanistan’s Taliban government agreed in principle to the detention and extradition of bin Laden, and called for negotiations.  But they said that to extradite him they would need to be shown evidence that he was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack. This offer was reported in many, though not all, news outlets. For example:

      • Eyes Are Always on You: Life in the Post-9/11 Military

        Now, be patient with me while I start my little exploration of such an American state at the most personal level before moving on to the way in which we now live in ever more of a — yes — surveillance state.

        A Navy Wife’s Perspective on Military Life, Post-9/11

      • Capitol [insurrectionist] admits to new felonies while representing himself. Prosecutors are loving it.

        Master criminals these insurrection defendants are not. Anyone who grew up watching the mob movies of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s would have a hard time imagining the gangster characters of “The Godfather” or “Goodfellas” posting videos of their heists to Instagram or making TikToks out of bank robberies. Longer ago, before the [Internet] had even been invented, insurrectionists in other countries were wearing balaclavas to hide their faces.

      • ‘Good’: House Panel Moves to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

        The U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is moving to hold former President Donald Trump’s erstwhile strategist Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena to testify about the right-wing attack on the Capitol, the panel announced Thursday.

        “The select committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas.”

      • Jan. 6 Committee Will Move to Bring Criminal Charges Against Steve Bannon

        Bannon, a former adviser to Trump, sent a letter to the committee on Wednesday reiterating his intent to defy a subpoena seeking testimony and documents related to January 6th. In the letter, Bannon’s attorney wrote that because Trump is claiming executive privilege, the former White House strategist will not testify until Trump reaches an agreement with the committee or a court makes a decision on the issue.

      • January 6 panel moves to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt

        The committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill [insurrecion] announced Thursday it is moving forward to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena, as his game of chicken with the House panel now enters a new and critical phase.

    • Environment

      • 75% of Democrats Want Party to Go Big on Social Spending, Climate Action: Poll

        As congressional Democrats wrangle over the cost and coverage of their flagship Build Back Better package, new polling published Wednesday shows that an overwhelming majority of Democratic voters favor a progressive bill that goes further to combat social inequality and the climate emergency over a scaled-down package.

        “Now is the time to restore the faith of the American people in their government, to show them that we in fact can deliver for them, that we can improve their lives… Let’s get it done.”

      • ‘Welcome to the Chamber of Climate Chaos’: Activists Target Powerful Lobbying Group

        Amid a wave of climate protests in Washington, D.C. this week, some campaigners scaled the U.S. Chamber of Commerce office to call out the nation’s largest lobbying group for fueling climate chaos and urge members to cut ties with the business association.

        Activists flanked the building’s entrance with a pair of banners that said: “Welcome to the Chamber of Climate Chaos” and “Your Business Costs the Earth.”

      • Energy

        • Opinion | California Oil Spill Exposes Newsom-Biden Failures on Drilling

          Everybody knows Orange County by its postcard-perfect beaches. Those of us born and raised in the OC, take immense pride in—and feel intensely protective of—the natural beauty of our shores. As a kid, I didn’t have much, but I had the beach.

        • Fossil Fuel Expansion in Africa ‘Not Compatible With a Safe Climate Future’: Report

          Fossil fuel corporations have plans to expand dirty energy extraction in Africa—proposing more than a trillion dollars worth of new oil, gas, and coal projects over the next three decades—even though such an undertaking would exacerbate climate chaos and create “stranded assets that leave behind unfunded clean-up, shortfalls of government revenue, and overnight job losses.”

          That’s according to a new report published Thursday by Oil Change International in partnership with Oilwatch Africa, Africa Coal Network, 350Africa.org, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, WoMin African Alliance, and Center for International Environmental Law.

        • Opinion | Indigenous People Remain Crucial to Ending the Fossil Fuel Era

          Oil is now flowing through the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. The 1,097-mile-long pipeline, owned by the Canadian company Enbridge, includes 337 miles in northern Minnesota. It has faced strong resistance for years from indigenous people and other environmental activists known as “water protectors.”

        • In Step Toward ‘Ensuring a Liveable Climate,’ US Announces Boost to Offshore Wind

          The Biden administration announced Wednesday an expansion of the nation’s offshore wind capacity, revealing plans for up to seven leases off the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts by 2025.

          “Climate change is the challenge of our lifetime,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland tweeted Wednesday.

        • The Fossil Fuel Industry Is Holding Up the Democratic Agenda

          This will probably be the last chance Democrats get to pass meaningful climate action and stave off disaster. They have roughly one year to enact the White House’s agenda and save the country (and world) from the worst effects of climate change, before the midterm elections jeopardize their narrow control of Congress. Negotiations over the scope of Democrats’ climate and social safety net bill continue, but Democratic leaders are already preparing for crumbs.

        • ‘We Will Never Forget What You Have Done’: Climate Activist Grills Shell CEO at TED Forum

          A Scottish climate activist was hailed Thursday for poignantly challenging the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell—a company that’s known since at least the 1980s that its products fuel global heating—during a TED event in Edinburgh.

          “I hope you know that as the climate crisis gets more and more deadly, you will be to blame.”

        • ‘Justice Is With Us!’: Climate Groups Cheer French Court Order to Cut Emissions

          Climate campaigners across France celebrated Thursday after the administrative court of Paris ordered the French government to honor its commitments to cut planet-heating emissions and “repair the ecological damage for which it is responsible” by the end of next year.

          The Case of the Century, or l’Affaire du Siècle, was launched three years ago by four advocacy groups: Oxfam France, Notre Affaire à Tous, Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme, and Greenpeace France.

        • Big Tobacco Got Caught in a Lie by Congress. Now It’s the Oil Industry’s Turn

          Here’s the part that today’s Big Oil chieftains particularly don’t want to see repeated: Five weeks after that hearing, the first lawsuit was filed in what became an avalanche of litigation that resulted in a $206 billion judgment against Big Tobacco and a permanent sullying of its public image.

          The parallels with Big Oil today are uncanny. The Big Tobacco lawsuit was “premised on a simple notion,” said Mike Moore, the attorney general of Mississippi, who initiated the case: “You caused the health crisis—you pay for it” by reimbursing states for the extra costs that smoking imposed on their public health systems. Replace “the health crisis” with “the climate crisis” and you have the very same argument that New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and dozens of other state and local governments have made in their pending lawsuits against oil companies.

          And just as tobacco companies lied for 40 years about the dangers of smoking, so too have the oil companies lied for decades about the dangers of burning fossil fuels. They saw today’s climate crisis coming—their own scientists repeatedly warned top executives about it—and decided, bring it on.

        • [Cryptocurrency] Industry’s Hard Lobbying Push Now Includes Coinbase

          The largest U.S.-based [cryptocurrency] exchange released a policy proposal on Thursday calling for the U.S. government to put a new regulator in charge of digital assets and to create a new set of crypto-specific rules, instead of applying decades-old law that governs the rest of the financial system.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • In Defense of Mother Earth, Indigenous Leaders Occupy Bureau of Indian Affairs

          Declaring that “another world is possible,” a group of Indigenous leaders on Thursday occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.—the first time such an action has taken place in roughly 50 years.

          According to a statement from the Indigenous Environmental Network, 55 people were arrested and taken away to D.C. Metro police stations.

    • Finance

      • Leaked Email Shows Verizon Pushing Employees to Oppose Corporate Tax Hike
      • Opinion | Our Long Neoliberal Nightmare: Congress Should Not Begrudge $3.5 Trillion Reconciliation Package for the People

        A half century of neoliberal economic policy unleashed by the Reagan administration to enhance corporate wealth while effectively crushing unions and flattening workers’ wages, has exploded massive U.S. wealth disparity. A 2020 Rand Corporation study reveals a stark truth: $50 trillion of U.S. wealth has been transferred from the bottom 90 percent of U.S. workers to the wealthiest 1 percent over a little more than four decades. Simultaneously, self-professed deficit hawks have ballooned deficits in order to benefit corporate elites with deregulation and huge tax cuts, like Trump’s 2017 $1.5 trillion corporate tax cuts, even as they invoke deficit-cutting as a means to eliminate social programs in which workers are invested, such as Medicare and Social Security.

      • Condemning ‘Stunning’ Ethics Violations, Warren and Jayapal Demand Answers on US Judges With Financial Conflicts

        “A decisive response from the judiciary is urgent and necessary.”

      • Corporate Greed the ‘Real Culprit Behind Rising Prices,’ Researchers Say

        Amid mounting data showing that people are paying more for food at grocery stores around the United States, a new analysis out Wednesday reveals how corporate power is “the real culprit behind rising prices at the checkout line.”

        “Addressing this crisis means recognizing these price increases for what they are: the result of deeply entrenched concentrated corporate power.”

      • Wall Street’s Barons Are Causing Homelessness for Profit
      • No, We Don’t Have to Pick Just One Policy to Help Kids and Families!

        The New York Times’ “Upshot” section is often interesting, trying to quantify things that would sometimes seem to resist that approach. On Wednesday, it cited Axios’s reporting that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was demanding that Democrats narrow their ambitious, yet essential, “family policy” proposals in their reconciliation bill from four to one, and it interviewed experts to see which one they’d pick.

      • The Case for a Substantive Universal Basic Income

        By UBI, I am referring to a policy where every resident of a society is guaranteed an income sufficient to meet basic needs.  This includes immigrants, documented and undocumented, and those incarcerated.

        I will focus on U.S. although important to conceptualize globally.

      • Build Back Better Legislation: New Keynesianism or Neoliberal Public Relations Stunt?

        But the media’s tendency to reduce this struggle to a battle of personalities distorts, in a fundamental way, the real interests at play in this fight. The intra-party struggle of Democrats is a crystallization of the complex and contradictory reality of the intra-class struggle within the dominant wing of the capitalist class on the correct strategies for dealing with the ongoing and deepening capitalist crisis.

        The real terms of the struggle are between the class faction that sees the need to preempt potential radical working-class rebellion by making non-threatening reforms meant to bring some psychological relief and minor material benefits to the laboring classes as some of the provisions in the BBB legislation would bring.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Meet Representative Elaine Luria, Chowderhead

        Representative Elaine Luria, a Democrat representing Virginia’s Second Congressional District, is in a hawkish mood. The former career naval officer wants the United States to gird itself for a showdown with China over Taiwan. Writing in The Washington Post, she proposes to “untie the hands of our president.” In the event of a prospective crisis involving Taiwan, Luria wants President Joe Biden to have “the necessary authorities” to use force without the hassle of seeking further congressional approval. In a nutshell, she proposes to confer on the present commander in chief—and presumably any successor—full authority to go to war with China, taking her congressional colleagues and all the rest of us along for the ride.

      • Former Trump Official Is Head of Wisconsin GOP’s “Audit” of the 2020 Election
      • Is Donald Trump Trying to Destroy the Republican Party?
      • Opinion | There Can Be No Compromise on Voting Rights

        In a year that began with the promise of a new direction for our country, few things have been more disheartening than the eruption of voter suppression laws in Republican-led states. These laws gut the voting rights that Black and brown voters fought and died to secure.

      • House Progressives to Pelosi: Reject Divisive Means-Testing in Favor of Universal Benefits

        Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Wednesday reiterated their top-level priorities for the nascent reconciliation package and urged their fellow Democrats to pursue universal programs instead of “complicated methods of means-testing that the wealthy and powerful will use to divide us.”

        “The CPC agrees that President [Joe] Biden has made a compelling case to the American people that government can, and should, be a force for good in this country, and we agree that bold investments in good-paying union jobs, climate action, immigration reform, and caregiving are essential to uplifting families and building back better,” reads a letter that the CPC’s executive board sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). “This is our moment to make the president’s vision a reality.”

      • Opinion | Did the United Nations Just Abandon Yemen?

        Monday, October 11, marked the official closure of the U.N. Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (also known as the Group of Experts or GEE). For nearly four years, this investigative group examined alleged human rights abuses suffered by Yemenis whose basic rights to food, shelter, safety, health care and education were horribly violated, all while they were bludgeoned by Saudi and U.S. air strikes, drone attacks, and constant warfare since 2014.

      • UN Human Rights Council Abandons Yemen

        Yemen has been at war since 2014, when the country’s Houthi rebels (Ansar Allah) toppled the internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.  In 2015, a military coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen, ostensibly at President Hadi’s request.  The Saudi-led coalition is backed by the US and UK, while the Houthis receive support from Iran.  Also at war in Yemen are the Southern Transitional Council, a separatist movement in Yemen’s south; Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; and Al-Islah, the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood; as well as a variety of extremist militias and tribes.  The Group of International Experts has concluded that it has “reasonable grounds” to conclude that all of these actors have committed serious human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law.[1]  Yet none of them voted against the October 7 resolution.  Saudi Arabia and the US are not even members of the Human Rights Council.  So, who killed the GEE’s investigation?

        Eighteen members of the Human Rights Council voted to continue the GEE’s mandate, twenty-one voted against, and seven abstained.[2]  Three of the 28 states voting against the resolution were Russia, China, and Bahrain. All three are repressive states with miserable human rights records.

      • US Urged to ‘Step Up’ at Home After Reelection to UN Human Rights Council

        The United States was urged Thursday to “step up and prioritize human rights in domestic policy” in response to its reelection to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

        The U.S. was among the 18 members the U.N. General Assembly elected for the human rights body for a three-year term beginning next year. 

      • Trump Says His Base Won’t Vote in 2022, 2024 Unless Bogus Audits Continue
      • Manchin Has Received $1.5 Million From Corporate Interests Attacking Biden Agenda: Report

        Sen. Joe Manchin, one of a handful of Democratic lawmakers threatening to tank President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, has received at least $1.5 million in campaign donations from the businesses and trade groups leading corporate America’s lobbying blitz against the Build Back Better reconciliation package, a new analysis by Accountable.US reveals.

        The watchdog group’s report, provided exclusively to Common Dreams, shows that corporate powerhouses including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the highest-spending lobbying firm in the U.S—and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have donated a combined $1,525,700 to Manchin (D-W.Va.), a key swing vote who is currently working to lop as much as $2 trillion off his own party’s popular legislation.

      • FTC carpet bombs industry with letters warning that fake reviews will be punished

        US companies ranging from Amazon to Applebee’s, Google to Gap, IBM to IHOP, and Microsoft to McDonald’s have received warnings from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about fake reviews and misleading endorsements.

        The competition and consumer protection regulator says it has fired off “Notice of Penalty Offense” [PDF] letters to over 700 companies – from the biggest of Big Tech and Big Pharma down to iconic purveyors of Americana across the world. If you’ve heard of them, they’re probably on the list [PDF].

      • Krysten Sinema is the Epitome of Political Corruption

        Which brings us to the story of Kyrsten Sinema.

        For a  republican democracy to actually work, average citizens with a passion for making their country better must be able to run for public office without needing wealthy or powerful patrons; this is a concept that dates back to Aristotle’s rants on the topic. And Sinema was, in the beginning, just that sort of person. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

      • Poll: Kyrsten Sinema Would Lose to Progressive Challengers If Primary Were Now
      • Sinema Takes Off to Europe for Fundraising While Obstructing Democratic Agenda
      • While Roadblocking Party Agenda, Sinema Absconds to Europe for Fundraising

        With President Joe Biden’s popular legislative agenda hanging in the balance largely due to her obstruction, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema left the country this week to raise campaign cash in Europe—a trip that was reported as new polling showed she is completely underwater with Arizona voters.

        “⁦She’s not only endangering her own reelection, but the reelection of Dems across the board.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • University Of Hong Kong Wants To Remove A Sculpture Commemorating Tiananmen; To Preserve It, People Have Crowdsourced A Digital 3D Replica

        As Techdirt has chronicled, the political situation in Hong Kong becomes worse by the day, as the big panda in Beijing embraces a region whose particular freedoms were supposed to be guaranteed for another 25 years at least. One manifestation of the increasing authoritarianism in Hong Kong is growing censorship. The latest battle is over a sculpture commemorating pro-democracy protesters killed during China’s 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square, and on display in the University of Hong Kong. South China Morning Post reports:

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Tumblr’s Approach To Adult Content (2013)

        Summary: There are unique challenges in handling adult content on a website, whether it’s an outright ban, selectively allowed, cordoned off under content warnings, or (in some cases) actively encouraged.Tumblr’s early approaches to dealing with adult content on its site is an interesting illustration in the interaction between user tagging and how a site’s own tools interact with such tags.

      • House Democrats announce bill to rein in tech algorithms

        Top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday announced legislation aimed at holding online platforms accountable for content promoted by their algorithms.

        The Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides platforms with immunity from content posted by third parties and allows good faith moderation, to make platforms liable for certain dangerous content.

        The bill would only apply to platforms with over 5 million unique monthly visitors and contains exceptions for web hosting sites.

      • Freedom of speech should not be restricted lightly

        It is important to set these events in context. The right to freedom of expression, and the concept of human rights in general, is under attack. Right-wing populists such as Jair Bolsonaro, Donald Trump, Narendra Modi and Victor Orbán have found common cause with religious conservatives to deride the notion of fundamental individual rights. Yet, rather than defend them, many critics on the Left also deride rights as Enlightenment-inspired, Eurocentric figleaves for racism, sexism and imperialist apologism.

      • Georgia’s University System Takes On Tenure

        “The faculty voice is now being heard less and less,” said Matthew Boedy, a tenured associate professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of North Georgia, a public university, and the president of the Georgia conference of the Association of University Professors.

        He considers the decision, he said, to be a “deep ideological attack on higher education,” adding, “Every person involved in higher education will recognize the headline that tenure died in Georgia today.”

      • Todd Haynes’ new film takes us deep into The Velvet Underground

        The content hindered the record’s promotion – radio stations refused to play the songs and legal challenges to a photograph on the back forced the record company to recall the album just as it was gaining steam. Sales in the first two years topped off somewhere in the tens of thousands, considered a commercial failure at that time. Nico left for a solo career. Reed fired Warhol and then Cale, then steered the songs toward a decidedly more radio friendly sound, reflected in songs like the aptly titled “Rock & Roll.” The Velvet Underground disbanded completely within a few years.

      • Microsoft shutting down LinkedIn in China, to offer new app

        Microsoft also said it would launch a modified China-specific version of the site for job hunting later this year, but without the social media aspects of the site such as the social feed and ability to share posts.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Canada Then and Now

        Manning is the whistleblower who leaked documents to WikiLeaks about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her admirable actions and released in 2017 by then-President Barack Obama. If a person attempts to enter Canada for an offense that may have been punishable by a sentence of 10 years or more, that person can be barred from entry into Canada and thrown out of the country.

        Canada has been the stepchild of US policy, both foreign, domestic, and especially economic. While a somewhat more liberal Western Europe social order is present in Canada, its proximity to the US has often cast Canada in the subservient role to the dictates of US policy.

      • Consortium Behind Pegasus Project Wins EU Journalism Prize

        The consortium of journalists behind the Pegasus Project investigation into malware from Israel-based NSO Group won the top European Union journalism prize Thursday. The group provided further evidence that the malware was used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and political dissidents.

        The European Parliament said in a statement that the “unprecedented leak of more than 50,000 phone numbers selected for surveillance by the customers of the Israeli company NSO Group shows how this technology has been systematically abused for years.”

      • A Russian editor says he won the Nobel because his slain colleagues could not

        The day before Dmitry Muratov won the Nobel peace prize, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta stood in remembrance outside the Moscow apartment block where his newspaper’s most famous journalist was murdered exactly 15 years before. Anna Politkovskaya was shot on October 7th 2006—Vladimir Putin’s birthday. Her death, Mr Putin said at the time, caused more damage to Russia’s authorities than her work. This callousness offended Mr Muratov. It hurts that the statute of limitations has passed and those who ordered the killing have still not been named.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • New York City’s State of Permanent Crisis

        Benjamin Holtzman’s new history of New York City, The Long Crisis, begins and ends with a pair of proclamations the city’s newspapers and magazines have long enjoyed making: declarations of crisis. Holtzman sets his scene in 1965, when the New York Herald Tribune asserted, “New York is the greatest city in the world, and everything is wrong with it.” He closes 25 years later with the launch of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, which promised “radical solutions to New York’s radical problems” (from a conservative think tank).

      • Women’s March in Brooklyn 2021
      • Opinion | We Love You George Floyd. We Got You This October 14th #TeachTruth National Day of Action for Your Birthday

        George Perry Floyd Jr. would have turned 48-years-young on Thursday, October 14, 2021—if it wasn’t for structural racism and its conduit in the form of police officer Derek Chauvin.

      • Tom Hanks: The Trojan Horse in a Citadel of Labor

        Is Thomas Jeffrey Hanks a Steely Mogul-Bossman or a Union Loyalist?

        Can the Beloved Icon be Both?

      • ‘Shameful and Dangerous’: Oklahoma Woman Faces 4 Years in Prison for Miscarriage

        “Policies and practices that criminalize individuals during pregnancy and the postpartum period create fear of punishment… and prevents many pregnant people from seeking vital health services.”

      • Heroes or Parasites: Europe’s Self-serving Politics on Refugees

        The wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries in recent years have resulted in one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes, arguably unseen since World War II. Instead of developing a unified global strategy that places the welfare of the refugees of these conflicts as a top priority, many countries ignored them altogether, blamed them for their own misery and, at times, treated them as if they were criminals and outlaws.

        But this is not always the case. At the start of the Syrian war, support for Syrian refugees was considered a moral calling, championed by countries across the world, from the Middle East to Europe and even beyond. Though often rhetoric was not matched by action, helping the refugees was seen, theoretically, as a political stance against the Syrian government.

      • Texas Abortion Providers Are “Hitting Their Limits”

        Austin, Tex.—Months before Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) went into effect, staff and providers at Whole Woman’s Health—a network of abortion clinics—anxiously braced for the impact of one of the most extreme anti-choice laws in the United States. They spent countless hours in meetings strategizing how best to comply with the onerous Texas law, which bars abortion care once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, typically around six weeks of pregnancy. As more than 80 percent of pregnant people in the state receive care past this time frame, the law amounts to a near-total abortion ban.

      • Conservationists See Rare Nature Sanctuaries. Black Farmers See a Legacy Bought Out From Under Them.

        The Sweet Fern Savanna Land and Water Reserve, in the heart of Pembroke Township, Illinois, offers a glimpse into what much of the area looked like before European settlers drained swamps and cleared forests to grow corn and soybeans.

        At least 18 threatened or endangered plant and animal species, including the ornate box turtle and regal fritillary butterfly, have been sighted here. Mature oaks tower over verdant fields of clustered sedge and Carolina whipgrass. Warbling songbirds and buzzing cicadas add a mellow soundtrack to the tranquil scene.

      • They put me in solitary for drugs I didn’t have: Many prisons use faulty drug tests

        The kits seem simple — mix a chemical or two with the suspicious substance and see what color it turns. But the tests are imprecise and prone to user error, so they can flag everything from doughnut glaze to motor oil as illegal substances. They’ve generated so many wrongful convictions that some courts refuse to allow them as evidence. Even so, many prison systems still rely on them to punish people for drugs they don’t have.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Broadband Data Caps Mysteriously Disappear When Competition Comes Knocking

        We’ve noted for years how broadband data caps (and monthly overage fees) are complete bullshit. They serve absolutely no technical function, and despite years of ISPs trying to claim they “help manage network congestion,” that’s never been remotely true. Instead they exist exclusively as a byproduct of limited competition. They’re a glorified price hike by regional monopolies who know they’ll see little (or no!) competitive or regulatory pressure to stop nickel and diming captive customers.

      • House Democrats Decide To Hand Facebook The Internet By Unconstitutionally Taking Section 230 Away From Algorithms

        We’ve been pointing out for a while now that mucking with Section 230 as an attempt to “deal” with how much you hate Facebook is a massive mistake. It’s also exactly what Facebook wants, because as it stands right now, Facebook is actually losing users to its core product, and the company has realized that burdening competitors with regulations — regulations that Facebook can easily handle with its massive bank account — is a great way to stop competition and lock in Facebook’s dominant position.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon accused of copying merchant products in India • The Register

        When asked in July, 2020, by US Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) whether Amazon ever mined data from its third-party vendors to launch competing products, founder and then CEO Jeff Bezos said he couldn’t answer “yes” or “no,” but insisted Amazon had rules disallowing the practice.

      • Patents

        • WHO Chief Warns ‘Morally Repugnant’ Vaccine Hoarding Is Giving Virus ‘Free Rein’ to Mutate

          As wealthy nations continue hoarding Covid-19 vaccine stockpiles and pharmaceutical corporations keep refusing to vaccine technology, the head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday stressed that rich countries have the tools to end the pandemic, while warning of potentially deadlier mutations if action is delayed.

          “At the time of writing, close to 10,000 people were recorded as dying every single day because of this virus. We can end this crisis, but only with the support of key countries and vaccine manufacturers.”

        • As Moderna Refuses, Democrats Push Biden to Share Vaccine Recipe With the World

          A dozen congressional Democrats on Wednesday urged the Biden administration to do everything in its power to force Moderna to share its coronavirus vaccine with poor nations, including potentially using the government’s authority under a federal contract to unilaterally release the pharmaceutical giant’s manufacturing process.

          “The federal government must use all its tools, including legal action, to get them to transfer this urgently needed technology.”

      • Trademarks

        • Public Backlash Leads Tulsa Park To Stop Bullying Coffee Shop Over Trademark

          A good public outcry and backlash can lead to many, many good things. We see it here at Techdirt all the time, particularly when it comes to aggressive bullying episodes over intellectual property. Some person or company will try to play IP bully against some victim, the public gets wind of it and throws a fit, and suddenly the necessity over the IP action goes away. Retailers, manufacturers, breweries: public outcry is a great way to end ridiculous legal actions.

      • Copyrights

        • Hollywood and Netflix Signal “Piracy as a Service” (PaaS) as New Threat Vector

          The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has submitted its latest overview of ‘notorious’ foreign piracy markets to the US Trade Representative. Aside from The Pirate Bay’s and Fmovies of this world, Telegram, Baidu, and various domain registries are called out. In addition, MPA highlights ‘Piracy-as-a-Service’ as a new threat vector.

        • Hollywood and Publisher Injunctions Lead to New UK ISP Piracy Blocks

          Movie, TV show and publishing companies have obtained permission to block yet more piracy and piracy facilitating sites in the UK. In addition to various streaming portals, the MPA also targets a popular unblocking service. Companies involved in the publishing sector are also trying to plug holes by blocking access to workarounds for Sci-Hub and similar platforms.

        • The 2021 CC Global Summit Keynotes Are Here!

          Alongside the 170+ sessions that took place at this year’s virtual event, we hosted five keynotes from global leaders in the open movement, who shared their work in open data, science and health, software and law. We’re excited to share these recordings of the keynotes with you today!

        • Reflections from the 2021 CC Global Summit
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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  3. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  5. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  6. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  7. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  8. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  9. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  10. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  12. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  13. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  14. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  15. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  19. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  20. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  21. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  23. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  24. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  25. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  26. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  27. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  29. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021


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