[Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Legal sophistry

Summary: An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013…

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

Posted in News Roundup at 6:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Best Linux laptop for 2021: Which one should you buy?

        I remember, back in my early days of Linux, finding a laptop that could run the open-source operating system was tricky business. You might get a distribution to work with the video chipset. You might even find one that interacts with your soundcard. If you could manage to get wireless working, you were something special.

        That was then, and this is a very different time. Now, you can find Linux pre-installed laptops all over the place. Companies like System76, Tuxedo Computers, Juno Computers, Dell, Lenovo and HP are all producing laptops that support or are even fully certified to run Linux.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ten more videos from the LibreOffice Conference 2021 – The Document Foundation Blog

        Here are some more videos from the LibreOffice Conference 2021! Check out the playlist, using the button in the top-right – or scroll down for links to individual videos:

      • Pi for the People | LINUX Unplugged 428

        We try out POP!_OS on the Raspberry Pi 4, and chat with its creator Jeremy Soller from System76.

        Plus our thoughts on the perfect Linux laptop right now, and the clever initiative Valve just launched for the Deck.

        Special Guests: Jack Aboutboul, Jeremy Soller, and Neal Gompa.

      • 20 Things You MUST DO After Installing Zorin OS 16 (Right Now!) – Invidious

        In this video, I’ll be taking you through 20 things that’ll make your computer Perform Better (Preload), your Internet Speed Faster (custom DNS) and so many more improvements.

      • CentOS 8 End of Life – Are you Ready? My thoughts & Suggestions – Invidious

        CentOS 8 will reach its end of life very soon – after December 31st, there will be no more updates for the popular distribution. If you’re using CentOS 8 in your data center, it’s time to make a decision. In this video, I’ll go over my thoughts about the subject, as well as some possible options for how to proceed.

      • mintCast 372 – Ryzen Sun

        1:44 The News
        18:21 Security Update
        21:43 Bi-Weekly Wanderings
        56:20 Announcements & Outro

        First up in the news Pinephone Pro, KDE’s 5.23 on their 25th, Ubuntu Frame, Windows 11 Ryzen slowdowns, and Nvidia updates

        In security Retpolines patches for performance and Azure Linux boot failures

        Then in our Wandering, Joe has some Pi, Norbert edits video, Tony Updates a BIOS, and Nishant upgrades Fedora

      • The Diablo is in the Details | Coder Radio 436

        Why mastering your development environment can be a tricky feat, and a server outage brought to you by the late 1990s.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14.14
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.14 kernel.
        All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.14.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.75
      • Linux 5.4.155
      • Linux 4.19.213
      • Linux 4.14.252
      • Nintendo Wii U Gamepad Linux Driver Support Still Pursuing Mainline – Phoronix

        It’s been a half-year since talking about the Wii U gamepad driver that’s been in development with mainline ambitions for supporting this wireless gamepad in conjunction with the Nintendo Wii U console. The driver has just been revised to address earlier code review comments, again renewing interest in the effort and possible mainlining in a future kernel version.

        The Wii U game console is nearly one decade old for this IBM PowerPC powered device but still is active with some hobbyists for running Linux on the device and other retro gaming purposes. This gamepad Linux driver effort continues to be for those wanting to load Linux on the console and depends upon the wireless gamepad being connected to the console via the DRH internal chip to the Wii U that in turn exposes it as a USB device. There has though been some work towards potentially allowing it to work in the absence of the console.

      • Linux 5.16 To Support The 2021 Apple Magic Keyboard – Phoronix

        Separate from all the ongoing Apple Silicon/M1 bring-up work for the Linux kernel, the Linux 5.16 cycle is set to support this year’s Apple Magic Keyboard.

        Via the Apple-HID driver there has been Linux kernel support for earlier versions of the Magic Keyboard to deal with device quirks and differences around this keyboard that need to be specially handled by the software for making full use of the keyboard, such as for the function (Fn) keys.

      • Apple Silicon PCIe Driver Queued For Linux 5.16 – Phoronix

        Queued this week into the Linux PCI subsystem’s “next” branch is the Apple PCIe driver needed to enable PCI Express support for Apple SoCs such as the M1.

        The “pcie-apple” driver is written by reverse-engineering expert Alyssa Rosenzweig and Marc Zyngier while also based on discoveries by Corellium and OpenBSD developers. At this stage the Apple PCIe controller driver is less than one thousand lines of new code for bringing up the PCI Express bus with Apple SoCs. The focus has been on the Apple M1 with last year’s Apple devices.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to play Nintendo DS games on Linux with MelonDS

        The Nintendo DS was one of Nintendo’s most successful handheld gaming consoles of all time. Sadly, in 2021 it is discontinued. So if you wish to enjoy your favorite Nintendo DS games, you’ll have to emulate them.

        If you’re a Linux user, the best way to emulate a Nintendo DS on Linux is with the MelonDS application. Here’s how to get it to work.

        Notice: AddictiveTips in no way endorses downloading Nintendo DS game ROMS online. If you wish to emulate your favorite games, please use your legal games.

      • How to play Trine 2 on Linux

        Trine 2 is the sequel to Trine, a puzzle-platforming action-adventure side-scroller game. It was developed by Frozenbyte and released in December 2011 for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360. Later in 2012, it made its way to Linux. Here’s how to play it on your Linux system.

      • How to set up Webmin on Ubuntu Server

        Ubuntu Server is an excellent Linux server operating system. It comes with Snaps, which makes setting up apps easier. In addition, it has live patching, so you never miss a security update and many more excellent features.

        Still, for as great as Ubuntu Server is, setting up certain things can be a pain. If you’d like to avoid the annoyances of Ubuntu Server, check out Webmin. It’s a management tool for UNIX-like operating systems. With it, users can manage their Linux systems with an elegant web UI rather than the terminal. Here’s how to set it up.

      • How to install OpenBSD 7.0 – Unixcop

        When I’ve started my migration from privative OS to Linux, after a couple of weeks my first reaction was something like: ¡let’s try them all! I mean, all the linux distributions. Spoiler alert: I couldn’t, there are too many distributions. Even in 1999 there where too many.

        After a couple of months of trying different linux flavors I’ve got a new reaction: ¡let’s try all the others OSes!. And this is why I’m showing how to install OpenBSD.

        From the OpenBSD website: «The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. Our efforts emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. As an example of the effect OpenBSD has, the popular OpenSSH software comes from OpenBSD.»

      • How to Create an SSH Honeypot to Catch Hackers in Your Linux Server – Make Tech Easier

        If you’ve ever looked at the authentication logs for your server, then you know that any server connected to the Internet is under a constant barrage of login attempts from hackers.

        Even if your server is a completely unknown hobby server, automated scripts will find it and continually try to brute force their way in using SSH. Although they’re not likely to get in as long as you’re using complex passwords or other security measures, there’s still always the chance that they could succeed.

        Luckily, there’s a useful and fun way to trap these hackers in your server and keep them too distracted to cause any trouble.

      • How To Install GoAccess on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GoAccess on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, GoAccess is an interactive and real-time web server log analyzer program that quickly analyzes and views web server logs. It provides fast and valuable HTTP statistics for system administrators that require a visual server report on the fly. It parses the specified web log file and outputs the data to the terminal.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the GoAccess real-time web server log analyzer and interactive viewer on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How To Install Drupal on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Drupal on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Drupal is a free and open-source content management system based on the LAMP stack. It has great standard features, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. Flexibility and modularity are some of the core principles that set it apart from the rest.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Drupal CMS on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui Report 16

          Today, we bring you a new report on the Maui Project’s progress.

          Maui 2.0 was released almost four months ago, and since then new features, bug fixes, and improvements have been made to the Maui set of apps and frameworks; the following blog post will cover some of the changes and highlights from the last month of development.

          Among many bug fixes that will be listed below for each individual app, some of the highlights include faster startup times, around 5X faster on the PinePhone and other ARM-based devices, which means that Maui Apps now start under 5 seconds or less in low-end devices with slow speed I/O reads.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Redcore Linux is a Gentoo-based Distro for Human Beings

          Today we’ll take a look at Redcore Linux 2102 codenamed “Polaris”. Redcore Linux is a Gentoo-based live-installable distribution that aims to bring Gentoo’s power to home users. Like Gentoo it is a rolling release, but unlike Gentoo, Redcore Linux provides more current software than Gentoo itself by using the Gentoo testing repositories as its package base.

          Redcore Linux is not a very popular Linux distro, with small development team behind it. Probably not too many people have heard of it. It’s been around for a little bit – in November, Redcore Linux will be 5 years old.

          The Redcore Linux devs team is strongly focused on few goals. They are not trying to be all things to all people like so many other Linux distributions are trying to be. All they are traying to do is make a easy to install Gentoo-based Linux distribution that ships by default with the KDE Plasma desktop. Redcore Linux targets casual desktop users and, to some extent, even power users.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • KDE Plasma Update

          KDE Plasma pkgs were updated to 5.23.1 today. This is a bug fix release update to KDE Plasma 5.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM Unveils ‘Open Source Cloud Guide’ at All Things Open

          One of the announcements made at this year’s All Things Open conference in Raleigh came on Monday when IBM unveiled an Open Source Cloud Guide, which offers a vendor and cloud agnostic view of open source developer tools.

          Unlike past ATOs, this year’s conference was a “hybrid” event, featuring in-person presentations before live audiences, as well as recorded presentations that were available only to online viewers. IBM’s announcement was made in one of the latter prerecorded presentations, called “The Growing Research that Open Source Owns the Future in Cloud,” with the announcement coming from Chris Ferris, IBM’s CTO of open technology.

          “The Open Source Cloud Guide, which highlights various use cases that are important in hybrid cloud environments, features the important open source projects in those areas and discusses how various clouds are using open source in their offerings,” Ferris and Todd Moore, IBM’s VP of open tech, wrote in a blog that was released on the same day. “By open sourcing the guide, developers are able to both use and contribute to the learnings and use cases.”

        • Automating host configuration with Red Hat Satellite and RHEL System Roles

          RHEL System Roles are a collection of Ansible roles and modules that provide a stable and consistent configuration interface to automate and manage multiple releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Our wide variety of System Roles can automate many aspects of RHEL, saving you time and helping to configure your RHEL systems consistently.

          In this post, we’ll walk through how to combine Satellite and RHEL System Roles to provide an effective method of automating the management of RHEL systems.

        • Monitoring eBPF-based metrics

          If you’re a Site Reliability Engineer, or do similar work, you’ve probably heard about eBPF. You might also have tried out a few bcc or bpftrace tools. Have you wondered how you can run these tools 24/7, log historical data and set alerts based on the measured metric values? This post will guide you through setting up Performance Co-Pilot, our monitoring solution for RHEL, and enabling eBPF sourced metrics on RHEL 8.

        • Developer workflows using the VS Code for Java extension 1.0 [Ed: IBM/Red Hat helping Microsoft instead of seeking to replace Microsoft's proprietary software that spies on users and encourages GPL violations]

          The 1.0 release of Language Support for Java by Red Hat on Visual Studio Code is now available on VS Code Marketplace. We’d like to take the opportunity to showcase a few workflows that really make it enjoyable to develop Java applications in Visual Studio Code (VS Code).

        • Announcing Language Support for Java by Red Hat 1.0 for Visual Studio Code [Ed: IBM/Red Hat propping up Microsoft's proprietary software that spies on users and encourages GPL violations]
        • Digital transformation: 3 goals CIOs should prioritize

          CIOs are at the forefront of digital transformation, a position that’s not likely to change. Transformations are never static, although I admit that the word makes it sound otherwise. If your goal is to reach some new fixed state that will carry you over for many years to come, you’ve lost the battle. Ultimately, digital transformation should lead to a state that enables continual change and improvement.

          Today’s CIO is now more involved in the marketing functions than in the past, and for good reason. Where once the CMO may have outsourced to an agency, the CIO is now more central to external customer experiences, in large part because digital technology is creating connections between external and internal users. And unlike with past internal efforts, the CIO needs to worry about the technology used by people over whom they have no control: end customers.

          CIOs also need to figure out the newly emerging internal marketing needs. They’re often brought in to tackle specific tasks but are quickly called upon to solve a host of other challenges within their organizations.

      • Debian Family

        • OpenEmbedded Dunfell complete recompile

          But then I wondered if there might be any repercussions with other packages. Not sure, but decided to do a complete recompile in OpenEmbedded, the Dunfell release with my ‘meta-quirky’ layer.

          Very interesting how long it took this time. Started at 9.30am yesterday, and it finished about 2.00am this morning, that is circa 16 hours. This is on my Lenovo with i3 CPU, 32GB RAM and swap partition on an internal SSD. The build has taken place on an external usb3 SSD, which would probably be the main bottleneck.

          The external SSD is 1TB, and the build has consumed almost 280GB. That is just for the x86_64 build. I also have the aarch64 build on the SSD, which has consumed almost as much. That is why I need a 1TB drive!

          The build has taken longer due to more packages compiled. I have posted about the gradual addition of more packages, and this latest build is 839 packages. That is original packages, not split up into several smaller packages like Debian does.

        • A look at old desktop themes

          I am planning a new theme for EasyOS 3.1. The theme in 3.0 and earlier has been in use for a long time, really do need a change.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Fintech Open Source and Cybersecurity

          The fintech ecosystem is flourishing and exciting things are happening these days at the intersection of digital technology and financial services – thanks in part to an infusion of global fintech investment that reached US$98 billion across 2,456 deals in H1’21. This far outpaces last year’s annual total of $121.5 billion across 3,520 deals.

          Fintech companies are creating and rolling out a wide range of solutions that are impacting nearly everyone, dramatically broadening the reach, flexibility, and level of innovation in financial services. In addition, technology is helping enable enormous progress in bringing financial services to the many people who have previously been excluded from the formal financial system.

        • Help Us Chart the Ubuntu Community Roadmap

          It hasn’t even been a week since the release of Impish Indri, and we already are gearing up for the journey to Jammy Jellyfish. If releases were a roadtrip, this is when we pull over, have some snacks, and find the best way to get to our next destination. The Desktop and Community Team want to know what your priorities are to be better advocates for the community and to make a better Ubuntu community roadmap, together!

        • Snapcraft experimental login – new, secure Web-based authentication method

          Some Snapcraft operations mandate that users identify themselves. For example, if you want to push your snap to the Snap Store, you need to login on the command line. The process relies on the internal login mechanism built into Snapcraft.

          A preview functionality for a new Web-based authentication flow is available as an experimental feature in Snapcraft since release 4.6. This allows you to complete the login process in a simple, secure manner using the browser, and extends the macaroon-based authentication currently in use.

        • Canonical at Cloud Expo Europe Madrid 2021

          The leading fair in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Singapore will open the doors of its first edition to C-level experts and executives in Madrid. Canonical will be attending as a Silver level Sponsor, presenting strategies and trends for industry leading companies, as part of the DevOps stream.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open-Source Collaboration Platform ‘Twake’ is Out of the Beta Phase With New Feature Additions

        Twake is a modern Nextcloud alternative that is relatively new to the scene. You can use it for free or opt for paid options to unlock more features. If needed, you can also host it yourself.

        It depends on your requirements to use it as a replacement to a Nextcloud instance. However, if you are looking for an open-source solution to replace Slack, Google Drive, Trello, and Teams, Twake app should be an exciting choice.

        Even in the beta phase, I gave it a try and was pretty happy with it. Now that it is out of the beta phase, Twake 2.0 is the full release updated with new features and improvements.


        Twake 2.0 is a promising Nextcloud alternative along with the potential to replace other collaboration tools like Slack.

      • OK Lenovo, we need to talk!

        I’ve been wanting to publicly comment on Lenovo’s statement on Linux support for a while, as there’s much to say about it, and my failing attempt at finding a suitable replacement for my venerable T510 gave me an excuse to document my love-hate relationship with Lenovo all at once.

        This is of course my own personal views and ideas, and does not reflect the Haiku project’s position on the topic, nor that of Haiku, Inc. But I feel they deserve to be brought here due to history and the direct and indirect effect it might have had on the project, including previous failed attempts at commercial applications using it.

        While Lenovo is still above many other manufacturers on some aspects, and on others domains, well, nobody does any better anyway, they purport to perpetuating the IBM legacy, so I think (sic) they should be held up to the standard they claim to follow. Yet the discussion about repair and documentation pertains to almost every vendor.

        Also, it’s a long read, an hour or so, so make yourself comfortable, get a coffee, or tea and biscuits.

        Skip to the middle for the more political views on Right to repair, schematics and specifications, but you’d really be missing some history and facts for the subsequent discussion, and rants about the T510 and nvidia. If you just want to see me complain about current hardware just go further down.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 released

          The PostgreSQL JDBC team is proud to announce version 42.3.0

          The major change here is that we have dropped support for JAVA 6 and JAVA 7

          This allows us to move forward with further changes

      • Programming/Development

        • Your “21st century banking” is sixty years old [Ed: At least COBOL, unlike "modern" and bloated frameworks, remains relevant and still works after all these years]

          There is one software language that controls all your money. A language that pretty much runs, all by itself, the cores of the worldwide financial systems. It cannot be replaced (not without great expense and risk, that is), and cannot be kept either, because the experts that really know it are dying out.

        • Qt Online Installer 4.2.0 beta released
        • Why Coda thinks documents are the internet’s next big platform

          The way Shishir Mehrotra sees it, digital documents haven’t really changed in 50 years. Since the days of WordStar, Harvard Graphics and VisiCalc, the basic idea of what makes up a document, presentation and spreadsheet haven’t really changed.

          Now, thanks to companies like Coda — where Mehrotra is founder and CEO — along with Notion, Quip and others, that’s starting to change. These companies are building tools that can do multiple things in a single space, that are designed both for creating and for sharing, and that turn documents from “a piece of paper on a screen” into something much more powerful. And to hear Mehrotra tell it, documents are headed toward a future that looks more like an operating system than a Word file.

          Mehrotra joined the Source Code podcast to talk about Coda’s recent announcements, the two-year project to rebuild its core technology, Coda’s future as a platform and why he thinks documents can be much more than just documents going forward.

        • Node.js 17 released, not intended for production use • The Register [Ed: Microsoft Tim on how Microsoft is weaponising TypeScript and GitHub to take over Node.js; there's also an outpost in the Linux Foundation that's controlled by a Microsoft mole, "Open"JS]

          Node.js 17 is out, loaded with OpenSSL 3 and other new features, but it is not intended for use in production – and the promotion for Node.js 16 to an LTS release, expected soon, may be more important to most developers.

        • GammaRay 2.11.3 Released!

          GammaRay 2.11.3 has been released! GammaRay is KDAB’s software introspection tool for Qt applications. Leveraging the QObject introspection mechanism, it allows you to observe and manipulate your application at runtime. This works both locally on your workstation and remotely on an embedded target. Version 2.11.3 will be the last in the 2.11 series.

          After this release, we will turn our attention to GammaRay 3.0, with the primary focus of adding support for Qt 6.

        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Would I Lie to Monty Hall?

      The logic problem involving a game show host that drove people crazy in the early ’90s … and whether it applies to the panel shows of today.

    • COVID-19, a lost opportunity for italian administrations

      Nineteen months ago, when Italy went in lockdown, I wrote almost immediately that this, at least, could and should be an excellent occasion to throw away and redesign from scratch many services, if not the whole economy, in ways that finally make sense.

      Nineteen months ago, the forced, hurried adoption of all sorts of “remote working” seemed to offer, if not a perfect field trial towards that goal, at least a great list of things to avoid.

    • Pandemics, kicking cars out of the stone age

      By now, you probably know that production of cars has slowed down worldwide, due to a shortage of electronic components, or “chips” for the sake of simplicity. Initially, the carmakers thoughts, or said, that this would only affect production for a few months. but this is not happening. One reason is [relatively] well known, and is the general mess of worldwide supply chains. The other is less known, and more interesting too.

    • Hardware

      • Refining The Greatest Joystick Of The 1980s | Hackaday

        The Competition Pro joystick is often considered to be the pinnacle of input devices, at least as far as the 1980s gaming goes. But the design isn’t perfect, and time hasn’t been kind to certain aspects of its mechanism. For example, the large rubber disc used to keep the stick centered on early generations of the hardware will invariably be hardened up on any surviving specimens. Looking to return these classic controllers to their former glory, and then some, [mageb] has released a number of 3D printed modifications for the Competition Pro that should be of great interest to the vintage gamer.

      • Know Audio: It All Depends On The DAC | Hackaday

        All of these are essentially sigma-delta DACs, and they approach the problem of moving the out-of-band noise upwards by producing pulse chains at a high multiple of the sample clock where the number of pulses corresponds to the value of the sample being converted. By sampling with lower resolution, but much faster, the associated out of band noise is shifted much higher up the frequency range, which makes the job of separating it out from the signal much easier. It can be decoded into an analogue signal by means of a fairly straightforward low-pass filter. These are the “Bitstream” and “1-bit” DACs advertised on those 1990s CD players, and what was once the bleeding edge of audio technology is now commonplace.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The ELISA Project Continues to Grow its Global Ecosystem by Welcoming Red Hat as a Premier Member and Banma, Lotus Cars and SUSE – Linux Foundation

                Today, the ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) Project, an open source initiative that aims to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications and systems, announced that it Red Hat has upgraded its membership to premier member and welcomes Banma, Lotus Cars and SUSE as the newest members.

                Linux is used in all major industries because it can enable faster time to market for new features and take advantage of the quality of the code development processes. Launched in February 2019 by the Linux Foundation, ELISA works with Linux kernel and safety communities to agree on what should be considered when Linux is to be used in safety-critical systems.

                “Linux underpins many applications today that have safety-critical and cybersecurity implications,” said Kate Stewart, Vice President of Dependable Embedded Systems at The Linux Foundation. “By collaborating together, the ELISA members are defining the best practices for use of Linux in these systems. We look forward to continuing to build consensus and welcoming expertise and collaboration from these new members.”

              • The ELISA Project Continues to Grow its Global Ecosystem by Welcoming Red Hat as a Premier member and Banma, Lotus Cars and SUSE

                Today, the ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) Project, an open source initiative that aims to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications and systems, announced that Red Hat has upgraded its membership to premier member and welcomes Banma, Lotus Cars and SUSE as the newest members.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (ffmpeg, smarty3, and strongswan), Fedora (udisks2), openSUSE (flatpak, strongswan, util-linux, and xstream), Oracle (redis:5), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, openvswitch2.11, redis:5, redis:6, and rh-redis5-redis), SUSE (flatpak, python-Pygments, python3, strongswan, util-linux, and xstream), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.11, linux-hwe-5.11, linux-kvm, linux-raspi and strongswan).

          • JavaScript Packing Found in More Than 25% of Malicious Sites
          • Textbook Rental Scam – Schneier on Security

            Here’s a story of someone who, with three compatriots, rented textbooks from Amazon and then sold them instead of returning them. They used gift cards and prepaid credit cards to buy the books, so there was no available balance when Amazon tried to charge them the buyout price for non-returned books. They also used various aliases and other tricks to bypass Amazon’s fifteen-book limit. In all, they stole 14,000 textbooks worth over $1.5 million.

          • Amazon textbook rental service scammed for $1.5m

            A 36-year-old man from Portage, Michigan, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly renting thousands of textbooks from Amazon and selling them rather than returning them.

            Andrew Birge, US Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said Geoffrey Mark Hays Talsma has been indicted on charges of mail and wire fraud, transporting stolen property across state lines, aggravated identity theft, and lying to the FBI.

            Also indicted were three alleged co-conspirators: Gregory Mark Gleesing, 43, and Lovedeep Singh Dhanoa, 25, both from Portage, Michigan, and Paul Steven Larson, 32, from Kalamazoo, Michigan

            From January 2016 through March 2021, according to the indictment, Talsma rented textbooks from the Amazon Rental program in order to sell them for a profit. The indictment describes what occurred as “a sophisticated fraud scheme.”

          • Google Releases Security Updates for Chrome

            Google has released Chrome version 95.0.4638.54 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This version addresses vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit to take control of an affected system.

            CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Chrome Release Note and apply the necessary update as soon as possible.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Mark Zuckerberg will soon be named in a major a privacy lawsuit

              The attorney general of Washington DC told The New York Times Wednesday that he plans to name Mark Zuckerberg in a privacy lawsuit that stems from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The suit, first filed in December 2018, charges Facebook with misleading DC residents about their privacy, because Cambridge Analytica was able to illicitly obtain data on tens of millions of users.

              Attorney general Karl Racine told the Times that new information had shed light on Zuckerberg’s role in product changes that enabled third-party developers to collect data on their users’ friends, a technique that allowed a Cambridge University researcher to collect reams of data and sell it to Cambridge Analytica. “Under these circumstances, adding Mr. Zuckerberg to our lawsuit is unquestionably warranted, and should send a message that corporate leaders, including the C.E.O., will be held accountable for their actions,” Racine told the Times.

              Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone called the allegations “meritless” in a statement to the Times and said, “We will continue to defend ourselves vigorously and focus on the facts.”

            • The difference between Instagram and TikTok, and why it matters

              TikTok upload length of 15 seconds is feasible even without broadband. This, together with lack of curation or standards for it, was a godsend for creators from rural, poorer or marginalized caste backgrounds, who were otherwise invisible on the Indian internet. It gave them concrete opportunities to make decent money, even with theoretically unpolished content like joyfully “singing indigenous rhymes as floodwaters clogged their mud house”, and gained TikTok 200 million users in India in 2020, mostly outside the middle classes.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Pork is already super expensive. This new animal-welfare law could push prices higher

          Pork, much like everything else these days, has gotten more expensive due in part to the supply chain issues and inflationary pressures spurred by the pandemic.

          And now comes another wildcard: The pork industry’s ability — and desire — to adapt to a new animal welfare law in California, its largest US market.
          The voter-approved measure taking effect on January 1 requires pork products sold within the state to adhere to standards that mother pigs are given at least 24 square feet of space each and kept out of gestation crates — 7-by-2-foot stalls where their movements are severely restricted.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Undercover political campaigners are arrived | Stop at Zona-M

        Voters engagement and voting advocacy are absolutely necessary to keep democracy alive. When they happen online, however, they can be controlled like any other political campaigning tool, but with much greater accuracy. Choosing the right messengers, in fact, allows to target specifical constituencies with great accuracy, each with a different message from the person that is more popular among them.

        This is true with all voters, of course. However, it is particularly relevant, at least now, among young voters, who as a group spend more time on social media but have less experience.


        Regulated, yes. Undercover, “clandestine” political campaigning is not good. Problem is, how do you do it without even worst side effects?

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Will the Right to Protest survive its migration online? – Access Now

        The human right to protest is crucial because it is a gateway right — it onboards us to other rights. Even for those who have never participated in a protest, or ever plan to, many of the rights we enjoy today are the result of others in the past exercising their right to protest for those rights.

        For example, it’s in large part because of the suffragette movement that women can vote today, and it is largely thanks to the sacrifices of the labor movement that many enjoy a 40-week workweek as a norm today. Contemporary history is signposted with protests that have enabled us to live the lives we currently live.

        I recently gave a TEDx talk recalling some of these history-defining protests — an anti-nuclear war protest held in Sydney in the ‘80s, and the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Egypt. In it I explain why the right to peaceful protest matters, now more than ever. But also how it is at risk due to the advent of new technologies. I inquire whether the right to protest will survive its migration online.

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

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gurry and Alicja Adamczak

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

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

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 66c7f313ceb97a42492bc0dee6dfa26d

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

WE have only just published Part 18, which is about Finland, a country that’s particularly strategic to the EPO’s management as a sort of Baltic ‘corridor’ (passageway through which to capture states formerly part of the Soviet Union). It’s tempting to game the system (no need for gerrymandering) when Latvia, for instance, has 44 times fewer citizens than Germany but precisely the same voting weight. Hard to believe? Well, that’s how it is! Poor design of a system for oversight…

“Finland’s patent office should be governed by popular demand of Finnish people, not self-serving fraudsters.”Our articles aren’t political per se, but patent offices are controlled by politically-appointed ministers and the EPO is highly political now that it’s run by politicians rather than scientists (Benoît Battistelli is a failed politician and António Campinos is the son of a famous politician).

The video above comments on Part 18 in its draft form; it’s mostly personal views, based on past experiences with Finland’s patent regime (highly influenced by Nokia because of its relative size). Finland’s patent office should be governed by popular demand of Finnish people, not self-serving fraudsters.

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

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Helsinki’s Accord

Rauni Hagman and Antti Riivari
The Finnish delegation: Rauni Hagman and her deputy Antti Riivari.

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

In this part we turn our attention to the Finnish delegation, one of the three Nordic delegations which voted in favour of Benoît Battistelli‘s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013.

“The new head of the Finnish delegation, Rauni Hagman, was assisted by her deputy, Antti Riivari, a senior civil servant at the Ministry for Employment and the Economy.”At the time in question the Finnish delegation was headed by Rauni Hagman who had been appointed as Director General of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) in 2010.

Hagman had taken over at the helm of the PRH following the departure of Martti Enäjärvi who retired in June 2010 after he had come under suspicion of repeated and persistent misuse of his official credit card following an official audit of the PRH.

Enäjärvi’s influence on EPO and OHIM/EUIPO affairs over the last decade or so – including his close connections with both Battistelli and António Campinos – has been dealt with in detail in an earlier series about Battistelli’s 2010 “Baltic Crusade”.

“Riivari later succeeded Hagman as head of the PRH when she retired in 2016.”By June 2013 Enäjärvi was no longer active on the EPO’s Administrative Council. Having been put out to grass in Finland, he was enjoying his retirement as a "Special Advisor" to the Chief Executive of the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO, António Campinos.

The new head of the Finnish delegation, Rauni Hagman, was assisted by her deputy, Antti Riivari, a senior civil servant at the Ministry for Employment and the Economy. Riivari later succeeded Hagman as head of the PRH when she retired in 2016.

It’s not known what exactly induced the Finnish delegation to vote in favour of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013 but there are rumours that he had obtained their favour by promising a senior management post at the EPO for someone from Finland.

There is only one Finnish person of prominence inside the EPO – Heli Pihlajamaa – who has been languishing at Director level for the past 25 years. So, it’s conceivable that Battistelli held out the prospect of promoting her to a Principal Director position in the EPO’s Directorate of Legal and International Affairs. But if that’s the case, then it turned out to be an empty promise – as with much else in “le système Battistelli”!

“It’s not known what exactly induced the Finnish delegation to vote in favour of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013 but there are rumours that he had obtained their favour by promising a senior management post at the EPO for someone from Finland.”Nevertheless, some time later in March 2018, Antti Riivari – by now head of the Finnish delegation – was elected to the Board of the Administrative Council, the exclusive “inner circle” which prepares the agenda for the Council’s quarterly meetings. Perhaps this little sinecure for Riivari was intended as a reward for his earlier complicity in Battistelli’s “reign of terror”?

Finland is a somewhat peripheral country which, at first glance, doesn’t seem to be of much significance in the grand scheme of European “IP”.

However, mainly due to its influence over the neighbouring Baltic states, Finland has managed to carve out a strategic role in the world of EPO realpolitik which enables it to punch above its weight.

“Finland’s influence over its Baltic neighbours in “IP” matters persists following Enäjärvi’s departure.”These matters have been elaborated in detail in the earlier series referred to above. In particular, it was explained how Battistelli’s Finnish "facilitator" Martti Enäjärvi assisted him in implementing his strategic plan to “co-opt” the EPO’s Baltic states – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – in support of his bid to become EPO President in 2010.

Finland’s influence over its Baltic neighbours in “IP” matters persists following Enäjärvi’s departure. The Finnish delegation continues to play a prominent role in the annual meetings of the heads of the Nordic and Baltic “IP” offices.

Nordic-Baltic 'IP' office love-in held in Reykjavík, May 2018
Photo-op from the Nordic-Baltic “IP” office love-in held in Reykjavík, May 2018.
Back row (l. to r.): Margus Viher (EE), Per Foss (NO), Sune Stampe Sørensen (DK), Peter Strömbäck (SE).
Front row (l. to r.): Arūnas Želvys (LT), Sandris Laganovskis (LV), Antti Riivari (FI), Borghildur Erlingsdóttir (IS).

Like his mentor Battistelli, Campinos also appreciates the “EPO-political” significance of the Finnish connection and he makes every effort to secure Helsinki’s accord for his endeavours.

For example, during his whistle-stop tour of the Nordic region in September 2019 (warning: epo.org link), Campinos made sure that he did not neglect to pay a visit to Helsinki to meet with the current boss of the PRH, Antii Riivari.

Team Campinos in Finland
Team Campinos pays a visit to Finland in 2019

That concludes our look at the role of the Finnish delegation in the adoption of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013.

In the next part we will look at how the representatives of the “captured” Baltic States played their expected part in the rubber-stamping of these manifestly unlawful regulations.

[Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO trap

Summary: The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)

Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

Posted in News Roundup at 1:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 5 Best Ways To Secure Your Linux System Distribution

      There are many ways to secure your Linux system distribution. Today, cyber attacks and computer hacking can be prevented by bolstering security systems. By securing a Linux system, a computer is shielded from identity theft, data extraction, and other forms of malware. Different ways of securing a Linux system can teach users how to avoid spam, scams, and phishing campaigns. As a Linux developer, you should follow basic principles to increase privacy, security and stability. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways you can secure your Linux system.

      Enable full disk encryption (FDE) to secure your Linux system. You should encrypt your entire hard disk regardless of which operating system you are using. This will ensure that your data remains secure if the device is stolen. First, take advantage of full disk encryption at install time if possible. By encrypting your hard disk, a criminal will be unable to extract your information without an FDE password. Encrypt your full disk so you don’t have to worry about temporary files, swap files, or other directories containing sensitive information. Furthermore, you will notice that encrypting your full disk allows your computer to function at a similar level of performance. Certainly, consider FDE as a cybersecurity tip to help Linux users protect their computers.

    • Server

      • The love/hate relationship the cloud has with Linux

        The cloud is run by Linux and open-source. There is no debating that claim at this point. It’s fact. And not only does Linux power all of those cloud services we deploy and use, but the hold it has over that particular tech sector is also only going to get stronger as we march into the future. I predict that, over the next five years, the cloud and Linux will become synonymous to the point everyone (from CEOs to end-users) will finally get just how important and powerful the platform is.

        So it’s safe to say, there would be no cloud without Linux.

        There would also be no cloud-native development, Kubernetes, Docker, virtual machines or containers in general.

        With that in mind, it should stand to reason that the relationship between Linux and the cloud would be all love.

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance Rising Even Higher With Newest Open-Source Driver

        Just one week ago was the public launch of the Radeon RX 6600 as the newest offering in the RDNA2 GPU line-up. While in our Radeon RX 6600 Linux review the performance was good on AMD’s well regarded open-source driver stack and standing ground against the likes of the GeForce RTX 3060 with NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux driver, it turns out the RX 6600 Linux performance can be even better already. Here are benchmarks of the Radeon RX 6600 on Linux across six different driver configurations.

        In particular, it appears that the driver state around 1 October that was used for the launch-day RX 6600 Linux review is actually less than ideal — there appears to have been a regression around that point and with newer (as well as 21.2 stable) driver code there can be measurable gains to Linux gaming performance.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What’s in a hostname?

        You can spend a surprising amount of time chasing RFCs and finding out more than you ever thought you’d need to know about something as trivial as “hostnames”.

        The Internet is a Playground, the DNS a never-ending source of entertainment and astonishment, and hostnames… largely undefined.

      • How to change the colour of the underline in gspell

        gspell is GNOME’s spell-checking library.

      • How To Install Calligra Office Suite on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Calligra Office Suite on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Calligra Suite is an office and graphic art suite by KDE similar to the LibreOffice. It is available for desktop PCs, tablet computers, and smartphones. It contains applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, vector graphics, and editing databases.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Calligra Office Suite 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 Convert a Webpage to PDF in Linux – It’s FOSS

        Saving a webpage as a PDF comes in handy when you archive certain resources or use them for educational purposes.

        But, how do you convert a webpage to PDF in Linux?

        You can either choose to go the easy way out using the web browser (GUI) on every Linux distribution or use the terminal to turn a webpage into a PDF file.

      • How to Install GoAccess Web Log Analyzer on Rocky Linux 8

        GoAccess is an open-source lightweight log analyzer that can read and analyze log files of multiple formats, including Apache, Nginx, Amazon S3, Elastic Load Balancing, CloudFront, Caddy, etc. It is written in C language and uses the ncurses library for its dashboard interface, which can be accessed from the command line.

        It can generate reports in HTML, JSON, and CSV format, which can be shared with others. You can even generate real-time HTML reports that can be displayed via a public link.

        In this tutorial, you will learn to install GoAccess Analyzer on a Rocky Linux-based server and configure it to read Nginx logs and serve real-time reports.

      • How to Install Prometheus System Monitoring Tool on Debian 11

        Prometheus is a free, open-source and web-based monitoring application that collects metrics from your services and stores them in a time-series database. Prometheus default configuration only exports metrics about itself. But, you can extend it by installing exporters, and other programs. It supports a multi-dimensional data model, multiple modes of graphing and dashboarding.

        In this post, we will show you how to install Prometheus monitoring on Debian 11.

      • How to Install R Programming Language on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        R is an open-source programming language, and free software environment for statistical computing and graphical representation created and supported by the R Core Team and the R Foundation. R’s popularity is widely used amongst statisticians and data miners for statistical and data analysis software developers.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install R using the CRAN repository and install packages from both R’s CRAN repository or PPA cran2deb4ubuntu on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Run Android Apps on Linux

        Ever wanted to run an Android app on Linux but didn’t want to mess with debugging bridges, development environments, or sideloading apps? An app called Anbox makes it possible, and we show you how to use it.

      • GNU Linux Debian – apt package management – what does this two-letter-package-status mean anyway? (ii rc)
      • How to install Mattermost Server on Rocky Linux 8

        Mattermost is messaging software that can be configured to support your organization’s messaging requirements.

        It works just like messaging software you will have used before. Users are able to log in and use the messaging platform to send messages of any kind between themselves or directed at other users which they choose to subscribe to their messaging feed. It also supports group messaging, where a conversation thread emerges between more than one person. Messages also include file attachments, images, links, etc, for sharing across an organization. Additionally, there are some interesting extra features that can be enabled, such as video conferencing if required.

        Developers want to use this software because it’s easy to configure, it can be hosted in your own private cloud, it’s free, and messaging is an important requirement for most organizations.

      • Install APEX and ORDS on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Oracle Application Express is a low-code development platform that enables you to build scalable, secure enterprise apps, with world-class features, that can be deployed literally anywhere.

        Also it’s a proprietary web-based integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Oracle Corporation for creating and managing Oracle databases and other related database functionality. In addition to, With it developers can quickly develop and deploy compelling apps that solve real problems and provide immediate value, even it’s not necessary to be an expert in a vast array of technologies to deliver sophisticated solutions.

      • Install Proftpd on Centos and Rockylinux 8 – Unixcop

        Proftpd is an Opensource ftp Server compatible with Unix-like systems its easy to install , fast and secure . lets show you in this how to install this software.

        In my case i’am using vzlinux its one if the Centos derivatives.

        Proftpd doesn’t exit on the standard Redhat/Centos repositories this is why we need to create extra repositories to make this possible, we need epel-repository.

      • Install and Configure Squid Proxy on Rocky Linux 8 – kifarunix.com

        In this guide, we are going to learn how to install and configure Squid proxy on Rocky Linux 8.
        Squid is a full-featured web proxy cache server application which provides proxy and cache services for HTTP, FTP, SSL requests and DNS lookups. It also performs transparent caching that reduces bandwidth and improves response time by caching and reusing frequently requested web pages.

      • Install and Setup Squid Proxy on Debian 11/Debian 10 – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install and setup Squid Proxy on Debian 11/Debian 10.

        Squid is a full-featured web proxy cache application which provides proxy and cache services for HTTP, FTP, SSL requests and DNS lookups. It also performs transparent caching that reduces bandwidth and improves response time by caching and reusing frequently requested web pages.

      • Bash String Manipulation – OSTechNix

        String manipulation is one of the fundamental concepts in bash scripting. In programming, strings are one of the data types which are an ordered sequence of characters. It is important that you know how to create and manipulate strings in bash. In this guide, we will learn string manipulation in Bash shell scripting with simple examples. You will be comfortable working with bash strings at the end of this article.

      • Using Thunderbolt 3 or 4 on Ubuntu – ByteXD

        When purchasing any laptop, you need to take a keen look at all the ports available since they connect your system to other devices in the digital world. When Apple released the new style MacBook Pro in 2015, people were amazed. This machine ditched all the available ports on the previous releases and replaced them with only Thunderbolt 3 and a headphone socket. Standard ports like the charging socket, display ports (HDMI), USB, and SD card reader, which you will most likely find on most laptops, were all removed and are now supported by the Thunderbolt 3 port.

      • Multipath TCP on RHEL 8: From one to many subflows

        Many years ago, Hercules was traveling back to Athens when he lost his way in a wood. Arriving at a crossroad, he found two women. One of them was Aletheia, the goddess of truth, and the other was Apate, the goddess of lies. But he didn’t know who was who. Hercules needed all his intelligence to find the only question capable of revealing the way to Athens.

        If you are lost in a computer network and don’t know which path to take, don’t worry—you don’t need Hercules to find your way: You can use Multipath TCP.

      • Deploy and remove a web server with Ansible

        ​Ansible is an agentless IT automation tool that unravels the mystery of how work gets done. Many sysadmins run Ansible ad hoc commands or playbooks daily to handle their automated tasks. They rely on Ansible’s default command-line interface (CLI) output to visualize and understand what happens after their command or playbook finishes running.

        Since Ansible’s CLI standard output is clean and lean, one option for tracking runtimes, getting metrics, understanding resource consumption, and gathering other information is to modify the output to include more details through using callback plugins. This article explores how to use two different Ansible callback plugins to profile system activity and maximum memory usage of tasks and full execution using cgroups.

      • Can you turn a Raspberry Pi into a satellite deco? | ITIGIC

        The Raspberry Pi have been receiving different versions over time, with improvements in USB ports, HDMI, and even Ethernet in the most recent models. Along with them, a constant has been the 40-pin GPIO connector , thanks to which we can hook all kinds of modifications and improvements.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Wine – Part 21

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

        Part 20 of this series explored VirtualBox, virtualisation software that lets you run operating systems (including Windows) as a guest operating system. With VirtualBox you can therefore run Windows software on a Linux machine. There is another, and very different way, of running native Windows software. It’s called Wine.

        Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a free and open-source compatibility layer that aims to allow computer programs developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems including Linux.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • PSA: gnome-settings-daemon’s MediaKeys API is going away

          In 2007, Jan Arne Petersen added a D-Bus API to what was still pretty much an import into gnome-control-center of the “acme” utility I wrote to have all the keys on my iBook working.

          It switched the code away from remapping keyboard keys to “XF86Audio*”, to expecting players to contact the D-Bus daemon and ask to be forwarded key events.

          In 2013, we added support for controlling media players using MPRIS, as another interface. Fast-forward to 2021, and MPRIS support is ubiquitous, whether in free software, proprietary applications or even browsers. So we’ll be parting with the “org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.MediaKeys” D-Bus API. If your application still wants to work with older versions of GNOME, it is recommended to at least quiet the MediaKeys API’s unavailability.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Redcore Linux Hardened 2102 Polaris stable | Redcore Linux Project

          We’re pleased to announce that Redcore Linux Hardened 2102 (codename Polaris) is now available for download. This cycle was a rather smooth one, without major incidents, until the nasty portage bug announced in our last blogpost. But that one was not the only bug we addressed since our previous release. In fact, this release is mostly focused on polishing and fixing bugs, so you won’t find many exciting new features inside. Though, we still updated over 1300 packages since our previous release and, to top it off, we did a mass rebuild of the whole repository.

        • Redcore Linux Still Aims to Bring Gentoo Linux to the Masses, Now Ships with Linux 5.14

          Over the past five years, Redcore Linux’s goal has always been to bring the power of the source-based Gentoo Linux operating system to the masses, offering users up-to-date and hardened live ISO images with the most recent KDE Plasma desktop environment and a carefully selected set of applications for office, multimedia, gaming, and Internet browsing needs.

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 7.0 Release Brings in Improved Apple M1 Support and Adds More Platforms

          OpenBSD 7.0 is the 51st OpenBSD release that brings in significant changes and multiple features.

          Let’s discover the changes OpenBSD has made.


          In brief, the security-focused operating system OpenBSD is making its way towards success.

          OpenBSD 7.0 presented more features and more support than before. You can try to install it if you are keen to know the interoperability of this system’s components.

        • How BSD Authentication Works

          The way OpenBSD authenticates users is quite different from other Unix-like operating systems. Most other systems like AIX, Solaris, Linux, the other BSDs, and MacOS, use a framework called Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM). The two main implementations are Linux PAM and OpenPAM. PAM modules are created as dynamically loaded shared objects, which communicate using a combination of common and implementation specific interfaces (Linux-PAM and OpenPAM). It’s configured using the pam.d directory and pam.conf file. While it can be flexible, it’s highly complex and very easy to mis-configure, leaving you open to strange and hard to track down authentication bugs. On top of that, the fact that it’s a shared library means that any vulnerability in a poorly vetted authentication module gives attackers direct access to the internals of your application. Author Michael W. Lucas said it best when he described PAM as unstandardized black magic.

          OpenBSD on the other hand uses a mechanism called BSD Authentication. It was originally developed for a now-defunct proprietary operating system called BSD/OS by Berkeley Software Design Inc., who later donated the system. It was then adopted by OpenBSD in release 2.9. BSD Auth is comparatively much simpler than PAM. Modules or, authentication “styles”, are instead stand alone applications or scripts that communicate over IPC. The module has no ability to interfere with the parent and can very easily revoke permissions using pledge(2) or unveil(2). The BSD Authentication system of configured through login.conf(5).

        • Explaining top(1) on FreeBSD

          We all know and have at least once used the top(1) command to track information about our cpu and processes, but how many of you know what each field means? Today we will guide you through each of these fields. By default, top(1) displays the ‘top’ processes on each system and periodically updates this information every 2.0 seconds using the raw cpu use percentage to rank the processes in the list.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Hospital to run GNU Health, openSUSE

          Thousands of patients in the coastal area of Kribi, Cameroon, are set to gain enhanced health-care delivery as a hospital in the city expands with the use of energy efficient open-source solutions.

          The Ebomé Hospital, which is on the southern coast of central Africa, has 24-hour emergency services, an operating room, radiology, maternity, a laboratory, a pharmacy and other services. The hospital treats thousands of people every year.

          As the facility expands, it will use the Hospital Information System GNU Health to manage patient records, laboratory information and administrative services. The system will be running openSUSE Leap 15.3 on several Raspberry Pi 4 computers.

          “The excellent, long time relationship among openSUSE and GNU Health communities have resulted in a solid infrastructure that delivers state of the art technology all while delivering outstanding performance and protecting the privacy of the patients and health professionals,” said computer scientist, physician and Free Software advocate Luis Falcón. “From Single Board Computers to enterprise grade servers, to mobile phones. Our communities will continue pioneering and delivering state-of-the-art technology in the areas of public health, hospital and laboratory management, bioinformatics and personal health tech like MyGNUHealth.”

      • Arch Family

        • You Can Now Install the UnityX Desktop in Arch Linux, Here’s How

          UnityX is the successor of the Unity7 desktop environment created by Canonical for its popular Ubuntu Linux distribution back in 2011 with the Ubuntu 11.04 release. But Canonical pulled the plug on Unity7 after seven years of development, yet the community wasn’t ready for this major change.

          In May 2020, developer Rudra Saraswat created an unofficial Ubuntu flavor called Ubuntu Unity, which features the good old Unity7 desktop environment. Now, the Ubuntu Unity creator wants to take Unity7 to the next level and created UnityX, a modern, yet simple desktop environment.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Paradox of the perfect code editor

          Imagine if someone summoned a magical genie and wished for a perfect code editor. Since it is perfect, does that mean it provides you everything you ever need to code the optimal solution? Or since it is perfect, does it enable you to accomplish the coding aspect instantly?

          Thus, the paradox:

          Does the perfect code editor mean that you spend nearly 100% of your work time using the editor or does it mean you spend nearly 0% of your work time using the editor?

        • I write code 100 hours/week, here’s why I probably won’t stop

          I feel strongly you should never feel compelled or required to do what I am doing. Any company, manager, or person asking you to do so is horrible and you should get out quick. I don’t want to contribute to that culture or feed it.

          But-I love what I’m doing. I love the amount of progress I’m able to achieve every day. I love my time spent solving problems. I love what I’ve achieved so far. I want to go further than ever before – I’ve been marathon coding for as long as I can remember, and I’m not going to stop. I need to see how far I can go.

          I love the choices I’ve made in life. I hope you love yours too.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The reports of Perl’s death have been greatly exaggerated

            But you know what? Perl’s still going. It’s had a steady cadence of year­ly releas­es for the past decade, intro­duc­ing new fea­tures and fenc­ing in bad behav­ior while main­tain­ing an admirable lev­el of back­ward com­pat­i­bil­i­ty. Yes, there was a too-​long adven­ture devel­op­ing what start­ed as Perl 6, but that lan­guage now has its own iden­ti­ty as Raku and even has facil­i­ties for mix­ing Perl with its native code or vice versa.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Seeing the Future

      It was 1968. “He” was Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy. As that campaign slogan suggested, his strong second-place showing in the Maine primary was proof that opposition to the Vietnam War had finally become a viable platform for a Democratic candidate for president. I volunteered in McCarthy’s campaign office that year. My memory of my duties is now vague, but they mainly involved alphabetizing and filing index cards containing information about the senator’s supporters. (Remember, this was the age before there was a computer in every pocket, let alone social media and micro-targeting.)

      Running against the Vietnam War, McCarthy was challenging then-President Lyndon Johnson in the Democratic primaries. After McCarthy had a strong second-place showing in Maine, New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy entered the race, too, running against the very war his brother, President John F. Kennedy, had bequeathed to Johnson when he was assassinated. Soon, Johnson would withdraw from the campaign, announcing in a televised national address that he wouldn’t run for another term.

    • The Mirror

      The entertainment industry is in a golden age of reboots. Some stories, it seems, are compelling enough—after a few obligatory tweaks in style and tone—that an audience can be persuaded to make a repeat visit every five or 10 years. An incomplete list of such archetypes includes: A misanthropic clown commits crimes but has interesting reasons for doing so. Beset with bad health insurance, a chemistry teacher becomes a drug kingpin. Four female friends drink cosmos and have unrealistically large apartments in New York City. And on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, bloodthirsty cliques of teenagers party and scheme, surveilled by an anonymous blogger known as ”Gossip Girl.”

    • In the New Year

      Sun on my face and the train slips

      into the tunnel. Dim reflection confronts.

    • We Came Here to Get Away From You
    • Modernity: Never Shutting Up

      Fear and giddiness, disorientation, ghosts of the future… No wonder everyone wanted to go back to a sylvan past that never really existed. Sentimental burgomasters, proto-fascists, fitness cults and lousy painters invented paradises and tried to return there; a new stratum of nervous clerks, perused by the snickering men of the crowd, emerged from below and pressed into the concrete city nightscape. Voices and more voices, more and more voices. Modernism as logorrhea, an unhealth of speech. We became uncertain of who was speaking and from whence they spoke. Clouds heavy with words. Air buzzing with recording ice. Elevator doors like human mouths in constant jabber. Newspapers as teeming hives of detail, sardines of useless certitudes meant to stun the public via sheer factoid attrition. Was the multitude having its revenge on courtly silence, cowed deference, and late Victorian martial fatigue? Schizophrenia is a natural response to surroundings that have grown more and more averse to silence, an inward multiplicity called into being to meet multiple outsides. This is how the mind attempts to heal itself, and fails. Which was another proposition of Freud’s, maybe his most profound.

      Noise made new kinds of books, plays, and plastic. In 1889, Arno Holz and Johannes Schlaf published Papa Hamlet, which became the babbling sensation of the day. In a nod to the Nordic dramatists, the genuine avant garde back then—also perhaps in recognition of the slippery quality of modern identity—the pair wrote it under the pseudonym “Bjarnbe P Holmsen”. Ostensibly the tale of a failed actor, the preposterously named Niels Thienwiebel, the novella reads like Zola’s gin palace given over to Tourette’s and set in an earthquake. Thienwiebel’s family hover around destitution: his wife gives birth to a sickly doomed kid (called Fortinbras, of course), while the landlady demands her rent and various weird neighbors enter with obscure and probably larcenous motives. Crisis upon crisis accumulates, while Thienwiebel shrieks out snippets from the Danish Play and warns of dark powers lurking beneath the city sidewalks[2]. It is hard to tell exactly what is going on in Papa Hamlet, and even harder to tell who is speaking, despite the total absence of anything remotely fantastic or uncanny. Most contemporary reviewers thought it was a bad joke on the reader, but like Tristram Shandy, the book was a great success with both the public and the intellectuals. It has now been part of German school curricula for well over a century. Rixdorf Editions offers the Anglophone world this influential classic for the first time, collected with the authors’ other fugitive pieces, and rendered as painlessly as possible (but with the right agony) by the brilliant translator, James J. Conway.

    • I Just Chose My Place and Let the Circle Form Around Me
    • Art at the Border of Power and Ecology

      Miguel Fernández de Castro’s white Toyota pickup truck rolled into the empty gravel lot outside the Santa Ana bus station a few minutes after 5 pm. We were two hours south of the Arizona border, in the desert state of Sonora, one of the most sparsely populated regions in Mexico. I had met Fernández de Castro six months earlier in Brooklyn, at a Japanese-inspired cocktail bar run by the art magazine e-flux, where he was screening his experimental film Grammar of Gates. Released in 2019, the video examines the plight of the Tohono O’odham, the Indigenous group from which he is descended and whose territory straddles the US-Mexico border. Pairing drone footage of the tribe’s ancestral lands with clips from the kitschy 1970 western Geronimo Jones, it’s an impressionistic portrait of a nation encroached on from all sides. From the south, cartels have established trafficking routes that snake through the territory. From the north, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has occupied the reservation as a base of operations. At the time of the screening, Fernández de Castro was nearing the end of a fellowship, and he and his partner, the anthropologist Natalia Mendoza, were preparing to return to Altar, the town in Sonora where he was born and raised. When he said I was welcome to visit, he probably didn’t think I’d take him up on the offer. But there I was, sitting on the curb outside the bus station next to a taco stand, watching 18-wheelers trundle by on Federal Highway 2.

      Fernández de Castro pulled up to the curb. He is 35 years old, with dirty blond hair and striking gray-green eyes. He wears blue jeans, brown cowboy boots, and a dark baseball cap with a curved brim. When he’s driving, he always has a playlist at the ready—often corridos tumbados, the emerging genre that combines Mexican country music with hip-hop production and pop songwriting. Altar was an hour away, so after a few minutes on the highway, he decided to pull over to grab two Tecate Lights from the cooler in his truck bed. “Don’t expect to find craft beer out here,” he teased as he cracked a can and placed it in his cupholder.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Caskading Failures

        In case you hadn’t heard, Let’s Encrypt’s root certificate expired on September 30th, causing many old applications and devices to reject connections to any site secured by certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt. At Cider and Saddle, all of our services are backed by a Let’s Encrypt wildcard certificate, which we’d configured to automatically renew when needed. We thought that meant we’d be in the clear; after all, we were sure to keep our production system up-to-date, and as long as the system’s CA certificates were fresh, there shouldn’t be any issues.

        We were wrong.

        On October 3rd, one of our community members noticed Cask was throwing 500 errors upon visiting the page. Scrubbing through the logs, it was pretty easy to guess what was going on: [...]

      • Proprietary

        • SoftMaker FreeOffice 2021 released — free Word, Excel and PowerPoint alternatives for Windows, Mac and Linux

          German developer SoftMaker Software GmbH has unveiled the latest version of its free office suite for Windows, Mac and Linux. SoftMaker FreeOffice 2021 is the first major release in over three years, and provides free alternatives to the key components of Microsoft Office, namely Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

          New features are thin on the ground, and form just a subset of those that accompanied the commercial release of SoftMaker Office 2021 last year.

          Word processor TextMaker 2021 gains support for ‘simultaneous use of footnotes and endnotes within the same document’, while Powerpoint alternative Presentations 2021 adds new OpenGL-based animations and slide transitions, which — SoftMaker promises — improves compatibility with PowerPoint documents.

        • Sinclair hit by ransomware attack, TV stations disrupted [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates dozens of TV stations across the U.S., said Monday that some of its servers and work stations were encrypted with ransomware and that data was stolen from its network.

        • Sinclair hit by ransomware attack, TV stations disrupted [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Hunt Valley, Maryland-based company either owns or operates 21 regional sports network and owns, operates or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Project Zero: How a simple Linux kernel memory corruption bug can lead to complete system compromise

            This blog post describes a straightforward Linux kernel locking bug and how I exploited it against Debian Buster’s 4.19.0-13-amd64 kernel. Based on that, it explores options for security mitigations that could prevent or hinder exploitation of issues similar to this one.

            I hope that stepping through such an exploit and sharing this compiled knowledge with the wider security community can help with reasoning about the relative utility of various mitigation approaches.

            A lot of the individual exploitation techniques and mitigation options that I am describing here aren’t novel. However, I believe that there is value in writing them up together to show how various mitigations interact with a fairly normal use-after-free exploit.

            Our bugtracker entry for this bug, along with the proof of concept, is at https://bugs.chromium.org/p/project-zero/issues/detail?id=2125.

            Code snippets in this blog post that are relevant to the exploit are taken from the upstream 4.19.160 release, since that is what the targeted Debian kernel is based on; some other code snippets are from mainline Linux.

            (In case you’re wondering why the bug and the targeted Debian kernel are from end of last year: I already wrote most of this blogpost around April, but only recently finished it)

            I would like to thank Ryan Hileman for a discussion we had a while back about how static analysis might fit into static prevention of security bugs (but note that Ryan hasn’t reviewed this post and doesn’t necessarily agree with any of my opinions). I also want to thank Kees Cook for providing feedback on an earlier version of this post (again, without implying that he necessarily agrees with everything), and my Project Zero colleagues for reviewing this post and frequent discussions about exploit mitigations.

          • Crims target telcos’ Linux and Solaris boxes, which don’t get enough infosec love [Ed: Microsoft-connected CrowdStrike badmouthing Microsoft’s rivals again while mostly ignoring the elephant in the room, Windows with its notorious (and confirmed) back doors]

            A mysterious criminal gang is targeting telcos’ Linux and Solaris boxes, because it perceives they aren’t being watched by infosec teams that have focussed their efforts on securing Windows.

            Security vendor CrowdStrike claims it’s spotted the group and that it “has been consistently targeting the telecommunications sector at a global scale since at least 2016 … to retrieve highly specific information from mobile communication infrastructure, such as subscriber information and call metadata.” The gang appears to understand telco operations well enough to surf the carrier-to-carrier links that enable mobile roaming, across borders and between carriers, to spread its payloads.

          • Patch PowerShell now, Microsoft tells admins [Ed: Should one feel sorry for fools who put this thing on a GNU/Linux box despite all the warnings including Microsoft's back doors agenda?]

            Microsoft has asked system administrators to patch their PowerShell 7 installations against two vulnerabilities that can allow attackers to bypass Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC) to run arbitrary code, and even gain access to plain text credentials.

          • What’s new in security for Ubuntu 21.10? | Ubuntu

            Ubuntu 21.10 is the latest release of Ubuntu and comes as the last interim release before the forthcoming 22.04 LTS release due in April 2022. As the interim releases are often proving grounds for upcoming features in the LTS releases, this provides a good opportunity to take stock of some of the latest security features delivered in this release, on the road to 22.04 LTS. In this blog post, we will take a look at those features and improvements that add to the overall security of an Ubuntu system and which help to enable your Linux cybersecurity strategy.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EFF Files New Lawsuit Against California Sheriff for Sharing ALPR Data with ICE and CBP

              Last week, EFF filed a new lawsuit on behalf of three immigrant rights activists against Sheriff Bob Doyle and Marin County for violating two California laws that protect immigrants and motorists’ privacy. Our co-counsel are the ACLU Foundations of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego & Imperial Counties, and attorney Michael Risher. We seek a court order prohibiting the Sheriff from sharing ALPR data with out-of-state and federal agencies.

              The Marin Sheriff’s ALPRs scan thousands of license plates each month. That sensitive data, including photos of the vehicle and sometimes its drivers and passengers, is stored in a database. The Sheriff permits over 400 out-of-state and 18 federal agencies, including CBP and ICE, to run queries of full or partial license plates against information the Sheriff has collected.

              This data sharing particularly impacts the safety and privacy of immigrants, communities of color, and religious minorities. Like many other surveillance technologies, ALPRs have a history of disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. ICE has used ALPR data to detain and deport immigrant community members. NYPD used ALPRs to scan license plates near mosques.

            • Illegal credit scores: noyb to amplify pressure
            • Security Risks of Client-Side Scanning

              I’m part of a group of cryptographers that has just published a paper discussing the security risks of such a system. (It’s substantially the same group that wrote a similar paper about key escrow in 1997, and other “exceptional access” proposals in 2015. We seem to have to do this every decade or so.) In our paper, we examine both the efficacy of such a system and its potential security failures, and conclude that it’s a really bad idea.

              We had been working on the paper well before Apple’s announcement. And while we do talk about Apple’s system, our focus is really on the idea in general.

            • Irish regulator proposes € 36 million Facebook privacy fine

              The draft ruling explained the infringement as serious in nature and Facebook criticized the lack of transparency.

              Facebook was unable to comment immediately.

              Schrems criticized the findings, showing that DPC emphasized that Facebook would circumvent the EU’s GDPR privacy rules by moving terms of agreement related to areas such as advertising and online tracking to the Terms of Service. ..

              A DPC spokesperson sent the draft decision to other supervisors and said there was no further comment as the process was underway.

            • TikTok Launches First “Discover List” to Highlight Top Creators

              The list, released on Tuesday morning, focuses on five categories: icons, innovators, foodies, change makers and originators. To create the list, TikTok’s community team — led by TikTok’s director of creator community, Kudzi Chikumbu — nominated creators and examined measurements like “engagement, views, video creations, account growth, likes, interactions with followers, and also which creators and content have sparked conversations both on and off the app,” according to a TikTok spokesperson.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Lawsuit Against January 6 Commission Is a “Delay Tactic,” Members Say
      • What Riot?

        Mike Pence stood up to Donald Trump’s tirade. He certified the vote. He was unflinching. He now implies that day’s been overblown, Though he’s the one the mob had talked of lynching.

      • Senate Quietly Adds $10 Billion to Pentagon Budget While Blocking Climate Action
      • As Sirhan and Hinckley Prepare to Walk Free, Why is Ruchell Magee Still in Prison?

        On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. walked up to then-President Ronald Reagan outside of a Washington, D.C., hotel with gun in hand. He fired multiple shots, striking Reagan in the chest, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy in the side, District of Columbia police Officer Thomas Delahanty in the neck and White House Press Secretary James Brady in the head, leaving him partially paralyzed.

        In light of the prospect of two would-be presidential assassins walking the Earth as free men, it’s worth inquiring why similar consideration isn’t being given to Ruchell Magee, a Black man who has been imprisoned in California for more than 50 years.

      • To Avoid Armageddon, Don’t Modernize Missiles—Eliminate Them

        The single best option for reducing the risk of nuclear war is hidden in plain sight. News outlets don’t mention it. Pundits ignore it. Even progressive and peace-oriented members of Congress tiptoe around it. And yet, for many years, experts have been calling for this act of sanity that could save humanity: Shutting down all of the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles.

      • Super Imperialism: The economic strategy of American empire with economist Michael Hudson
      • Biden and Other Democrats Helped Colin Powell Spread George W. Bush’s Iraq Lies
      • Legacy of Shame: Colin Powell’s Blood-Soaked Service to the Empire

        The man who helped whitewash the massacre of civilians at My Lai during the war against Vietnam, pushed hard for the Gulf War in the 1990s, and gave the green light to Ariel Sharon in his murderous assault on civilians in Jenin and land grabs in the occupied West Bank, also sold the war against Iraq at the beginning of this century with a fistful of lies. Iraq never attacked the US. It did not have “weapons of mass destruction.” But the Bush administration was salivating for blood and oil after the attacks on the US on the 11th of September, 2001. And any morsel of fiction that would justify their lust for violence was welcomed.

        Powell would later blame his role in peddling these lies on an “intelligence failure.” This is the go-to excuse for the American military establishment, as we see with the latest atrocity they committed in Afghanistan, the recent drone bomb incineration of a family in Kabul after the disastrous pull out of American troops. Now that he is dead, he will not face justice at the Hague for these crimes. But really, no member of the American ruling class ever does.

      • A Reluctant Warrior? An Examination of Gen. Colin Powell’s Bloody Legacy from Iraq to Latin America

        We look at the life and legacy of Colin Powell, who is best known for giving false testimony to the U.N. Security Council in 2003 about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, paving the way for the U.S. invasion and occupation that would kill over 1 million Iraqis. Powell, who was the first Black secretary of state, the first Black and youngest chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black national security adviser, died on Monday due to blood cancer and Parkinson’s disease that left him vulnerable to infection from COVID-19. Tributes poured in from top U.S. leaders in both Republican and Democratic circles on Monday, but in other parts of the world Powell is remembered very differently. We speak with journalist and author Roberto Lovato, and Clarence Lusane, activist, journalist and political science professor at Howard University. Lusane describes Powell as “a complicated political figure who leaves a complicated legacy” whose public image was “in conflict with many of the policies of the party he supported and the administration in which he was involved.” Assessing Powell’s role in U.S. invasions around the world, from Vietnam to Central America, Lovato says “he’s made a career out of being a good soldier and supporting U.S. mass murder around the world, but evading the credit for it.”

      • Rikers Detainees Are Being Transferred From One “Hellhole” to Another

        Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that nearly 230 women and trans-identified people held at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex will be transferred to two women’s prisons—Bedford Hills and Taconic Correctional Facilities in Westchester County. Beginning October 18, transfers of 10 to 20 people will occur twice a week. After being tested for Covid, the new arrivals will be integrated into the prisons’ existing housing units, rather than separated into their own unit.

      • How to Solve the Crisis on Rikers Island

        For 37 years, I have led an organization that is likely the longest-serving and largest nongovernmental presence on Rikers Island, where we offer discharge planning; educational, therapeutic, and vocational programs; and visiting support.1

      • Huge Crowds in Yemen Celebrate Prophet’s Birth and Recent Military Successes — Pledge Full Liberation

        Carrying a green flag in his hand and with ribbons tied on his wrist, Walid Ahmed al-Thueli, accompanied by a big family, arrived at the Square of the Seventy in the capital Sana’a early morning of Monday. He came to celebrate the birthday of Islam’s Holy Prophet Muhammad and recent victories that have been achieved by Yemeni forces against Saudi-led Coalition. The Yemeni’s family, which abides in the Rawdah neighborhood north of Sana`a, left their house at 6 a.m. to ensure finding a good place in the arena but were unable to reach the center of the square. Inside the square filled with celebrators, thousands of protesters were singing traditional songs collectively and dancing to the tune of “al-Baraa,” a dance of the Yemeni heritage.

      • US military may get a dog-like robot armed with a sniper rifle

        Ghost Robotics displayed the armed version at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army held in Washington DC this week. The robot is fitted with a Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle pod from Sword Defense, with a powerful 6.5mm sniper rifle. This has day and night cameras and an effective range of 1200 metres.

      • Lev Golinkin Texas’ Holocaust both-sides-ing debacle is scary. Worse? It’s already happening.

        Unfortunately, this revisionism is not only an insult to the dead but also a danger to the living. Wherever you see monuments and books presenting “opposing perspectives” about the Holocaust, you see angry — and organized — men carrying torches and focused on violent agendas. In Hungary, neo-Nazis use World War II anniversaries to celebrate their heroes and network among various groups. Torches light the nights in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Spain and Croatia, among other countries. All these are ostensibly to offer “opposing perspectives” on the Holocaust. All provide a chilling view of the dangers of such rhetoric.

      • How kidnappers, zealots and rebels are making Nigeria ungovernable

        Nigeria is not yet a failed state, but large parts of it are failing. This matters not only because one sub-Saharan African in six is Nigerian. The country also has Africa’s largest economy, whose dire performance holds the continent back. And its conflicts are spilling across borders, destabilising fragile neighbours such as Niger and Chad and amplifying the jihadist threat across the Sahel.

      • Why aren’t attacks on mosques in Afghanistan a crime against humanity?

        Recent mass murders of Muslims in attacks on mosques in Afghanistan have led to the deaths of hundreds. On October 8, a targeted attack led to the murder of more than 100 Muslims. Then another attack on Friday in Kandahar on October 15 led to the deaths of almost 50 people.

        These are targeted attacks, during Friday prayers, designed to commit genocide against Shi’ite Muslims. However, such attacks are generally ignored by the international community. Countries that have backed the kind of extremism that leads to attacks on Shi’ites, such as Pakistan’s support for extremists like the Taliban, generally prefer not to condemn these attacks. Yet the same countries tend to speak out about “Islamophobia” in the West and condemn attacks on mosques in places like New Zealand.

      • Rescued from ISIS dragnet in 2017, Kashmiri youth slips again and lands in jail

        After being rescued from the clutches of banned ISIS terror group from Turkey in 2017, Afshan Parvez has been found to be a sleeper cell of a terror module in Jammu and Kashmir that is promoting the armed crusade against the sovereignty of the country, officials here said on Sunday.

        Parvez, a resident of the downtown area in Khanyar, was 21 when he was rescued from Ankara, after his parents claimed he had been misguided by some people to join the terror ranks. And, showing a humane face, a young officer from the J&K police tied all the loose ends and brought him back to India.

        But after remaining dormant for sometimes after his return from Ankara, Parvez, now 25, was again seen active but in a different way as he was using mobile phones of unsuspecting people to carry forward his agenda at the behest of the banned terror group, according to officials.

    • Environment

      • Africa’s Last Mountain Glaciers Will Soon Be Gone, U.N. Report Warns

        While African nations contribute less than 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the report by the World Meteorological Organization and other agencies underscored the outsize impact that changes in the climate are having on the continent’s 1.3 billion people as floods grow worse, droughts last longer and temperatures continue to rise.

      • Climate Change Will Melt All Glaciers In Africa By The 2040s, UN Report Says

        “The rapid shrinking of the last remaining glaciers in eastern Africa, which are expected to melt entirely in the near future, signals the threat of imminent and irreversible change to the Earth system,” Taalas said in a statement.

      • Climate change triggers mounting food insecurity, poverty and displacement in Africa

        Glaciers: Presently, only three mountains in Africa are covered by glaciers – the Mount Kenya massif (Kenya), the Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda) and Mount Kilimanjaro (United Republic of Tanzania). Although these glaciers are too small to act as significant water reservoirs, they are of eminent touristic and scientific importance. Their current retreat rates are higher than the global average. If this continues, it will lead to total deglaciation by the 2040s. Mount Kenya is expected to be deglaciated a decade sooner, which will make it one of the first entire mountain ranges to lose glaciers due to human-induced climate change.

      • Africa’s Disappearing Glaciers Signal ‘Irreversible’ Threat to Earth System: Report

        “In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could further lower gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 3% by 2050.”

      • Opinion | Digital Farm Technology Is Not the Climate Panacea Corporations Want You to Think It Is
      • Opinion | Climate Despair, Hope, and My Long Walk to the Top of a Beautiful World

        Thirteen thousand feet high on the far side of the Himalaya mountains, we have entered the past and the future at the same time. We are a medical expedition and also a pilgrimage, consisting of doctors, nurses, Buddhist clerics, supernumeraries like me, and a large staff of guides, muleteers, and camp tenders. We are bound for the isolated villages of Upper Dolpo, a remote region of northwestern Nepal, land of the snow leopard—both the actual animal and The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s nonfiction classic. We are traveling the same trails Matthiessen walked in 1973.

      • Cheap Grace and Climate Change: Australia and COP26

        The language was promoted through sponsored imagery in Times Square, New York, with advertising space purchased by a crowdfunding campaign of considerable success.  Billboards featured the prime minister as a “Coal-o-phile Dundee”, mercilessly mocked Australia’s climate policies and responses to the murderously scorching bushfires of 2020.

        It had begun modestly: a target of $12,500 to fund a few billboards in Glasgow during COP26 as part of the project JokeKeeper: Shaming Australia’s climate inaction, described as, “Subversive comedy to ridicule fossil fuel supporting parties in the upcoming federal election.”

      • ‘Delay Is the New Denial’: Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

        The lead author of a new study showing that 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers released over the past decade agree that global heating is caused primarily by human activity said Tuesday that the research should be “the last word” in the purported—but largely contrived—debate about what’s causing the climate emergency.

        “The reality of ACC is no more in contention among scientists than is plate tectonics or evolution.”

      • New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented ‘Permian Climate Bomb’ in Texas

        With oil and gas executives looking to increase fossil fuel production in the Permian Basin in the coming years despite the climate crisis, a new multimedia report out Tuesday reveals how a major fracking boom in Texas endangers vulnerable communities from New Mexico to the Gulf Coast—and ultimately poses a threat to life on Earth.

        “To head off climate catastrophe, oil and gas production and consumption must decline.”

      • The West Wants to Engage Russia and China on the Climate Crisis While Also Demonising Them – It Won’t Work
      • Geopolitics Will Cost Us Our Planet

        This summer we witnessed, with brutal clarity, the Beginning of the End: the end of Earth as we know it—a world of lush forests, bountiful croplands, livable cities, and survivable coastlines. In its place, we saw the early manifestations of a climate-damaged planet, with scorched forests, parched fields, scalding cities, and storm-wracked coastlines. In a desperate bid to prevent far worse, leaders from around the world will soon gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for a UN Climate Summit. You can count on one thing, though: All their plans will fall far short of what’s needed unless backed by the only strategy that can save the planet: a US-China Climate Survival Alliance.

      • Energy

        • Puerto Ricans Fight Privatization of Energy and Demand Democratic Ownership
        • The Virtues of Passenger Rail for Rural America

          The good news is we may see passenger service return on the southern route — which would be a boon for all Montanans.

          A recent study, done by the Rail Passengers Association at the request of the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority, found restoring passenger service to the once-famed North Coast Hiawatha Trail would serve 426,000 passengers annually.

        • ‘Stop Line 5′: Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

          Water protectors donning masks gathered at a pump station outside of Vassar, Michigan on Tuesday and chanted “stop Line 5″ as an unidentified activist crawled under a fence then used a pipe wrench to close a valve of Enbridge’s oil pipeline.

          “Out of fear for our lives we shut down Line 5.”

        • London Science Museum Accused of ‘Jumping Into Bed With Big Coal’ After Adani Sponsorship

          The London Science Museum was the source of both disappointment and outrage Tuesday following the institution’s announcement that a new gallery related to the climate emergency will be sponsored by an arm of the coal giant Adani.

          “I can’t believe that the Science Museum—of all institutions and this of all years—has accepted money from Adani, one of the greatest climate criminals,” tweeted Global Witness co-founder Patrick Alley, calling it “a gobsmackingly stupid decision.”

        • Coal Mining Giant to Sponsor ‘Green Energy’ Gallery at UK Science Museum

          A coal mining conglomerate is to fund a new Science Museum gallery on the “energy revolution” in the latest sponsorship controversy to hit the institution.

          The new gallery at the 164-year-old central London museum will be sponsored by the wind and solar arm of the Adani Group, a controversial coal giant led by Indian billionaire Gautum Adani, it was announced today.

        • Norway Is Choosing Its Fossil Fuel Industry Over Climate Action

          Disappointing hopes of a government of the Left, Støre’s negotiations with the Socialist Left Party quickly reached an impasse. It soon became clear that the Labor leader was neither willing to renegotiate last year’s tax-stimulus package for the oil industry — a measure originally implemented by the Conservatives — nor question the government system for handing out licenses for petroleum exploration.

          Audun Lysbakken, leader of the Socialist Left Party, told reporters that his party had disagreements with Labor over taxes and wealth distribution, the privatization of public services, and environmental issues. But the key deal-breaker seems to have been a disagreement on oil policies and the continuation of exploration activities.

        • UK outlines net-zero strategy and green investment plans

          Johnson kicked off a Global Investment Summit in London by announcing a £400 million partnership with the Bill Gates Foundation to invest in “the next generation of ground-breaking clean energy technologies”.


          The investment summit, however, was attacked for “corporate greenwashing”.

          Social activism group Global Justice Now noted four banks invited have invested a combined $173 billion in fossil fuels in recent years.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The National Park Service could soon have its first Native American director

          As NPR’s Kirk Siegler reports, the next Park Service director will be faced with a backlog of maintenance and critical infrastructure projects at national parks, as well as the consequences of record-breaking crowds during the pandemic.

          The National Park System covers more than 85 million acres in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

      • Overpopulation

        • Satellites reveal the secrets of water-guzzling farms in California

          Then Limas heard that researchers at California Polytechnic State University had developed a way to estimate the amount of water used by agricultural crops from images recorded by NASA-operated satellites miles overhead.

          Land IQ, meanwhile, was using that same technique — supplemented with stations on the ground — to collect data on field-by-field water use. It sounded like “Star Wars stuff,” Limas recalls. But it did sound easier and cheaper than getting water meters installed on every well in his district.

          The technique involves several steps. The first is figuring out which crops are growing on each field. The satellite images, which are updated almost every week, contain clues: the shade of green, the spacing of vegetation, the time of year the field turns green. Combining those clues, Kimmelshue says, produces a fingerprint of each crop. “We have a fingerprint for walnuts, and a fingerprint for alfalfa, tomatoes, and all these different crops.”

        • [Old] As California’s drought deepens, water use drops only 1.8%

          Officials warn that next year’s cuts in water supply could go even deeper as severe drought grips nearly 90% of California. North Coast and Bay Area residents cut water use while Southern Californians didn’t.

        • [Old] Amid Drought, Billionaires Control A Critical California Water Bank

          Wonderful, the closely held company owned by billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick, can buy up huge amounts of water whenever it needs more. Most of the Resnicks’ water comes from long-term contracts and other water from land rights they have from the farms they own. Around 9% of the total water used by Wonderful is bought out on the open water market. While that’s not a huge amount of the water it uses, the company can outspend pretty much every other farmer in the region, which can influence water prices.

    • Finance

      • The Trump Administration Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain, Congressional Investigators Find

        A $6 billion federal program created to provide fresh produce to families affected by the pandemic was mismanaged and used by the Trump administration for political gain, a new congressional report has found.

        As a ProPublica investigation revealed last spring and as the new report further details, the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience and often lacked necessary licenses. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which released its report last week, found that former President Donald Trump’s administration did not adequately screen contractor applications or identify red flags in bid proposals.

      • This 3-Minute Video Explains How Richie Neal Turned Paid Family Leave Into Insurance Giveaway

        “When we make voters feel that government can’t deliver, it hurts the entirety of the progressive agenda.”

      • The High-Paid Media Types are Unhappy Workers are Getting Higher Pay

        For those of us who think that all workers should be able to get decent pay, have decent working conditions, and be treated with respect on the job, the idea that large numbers of workers now feel they can quit jobs they don’t like is really great news. And, the increased labor market power for those at the bottom of the ladder is showing up in higher pay.

        Here’s the story for production and non-supervisory workers in six of the lowest-paying industries. Note, these numbers are adjusted for inflation, so they take account of the extent to which higher prices have reduced purchasing power since the start of the pandemic.

      • The same Trump supporters who claim nobody wants to work, also pay about $8.65 an hour with no benefits, and feed people food out of the garbage.

        A man in Florida applied for 60 jobs that were entry level and complained nobody wanted to work, and got an interview 1.7% of the time.

        In one case, the $10 an hour turned out to be a bait and switch. Already not enough to live on in America in 2021, the employer demanded that he work for $8.65, which is the minimum wage in Florida, and work part-time hours, but had to remain “available” if they wanted to work him more.

        In no case did this guy apply for anything fancy. It was all entry level with minimal experience, and he targeted any business that complained that they couldn’t find anyone and were desperate to hire.

        I know of several business owners like this. One of them has a fast food restaurant and they tell their workers to feed people food that they threw in the trash can because “That stuff costs money!”, and then the Coke machine has black mold in it.


        The economy is undergoing a realignment. With any luck, these small business owners who are being assholes on Facebook find themselves working as a stock boy at a big box store, and get a lesson in what getting up every morning and punching a clock for a living is like.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Can “Glenn Trumpkin” Both Embrace and Escape the Disgraced Ex-President?

        Glenn Youngkin, the fleece-vested Carlyle plutocrat, pulled off an amazing political feat last week. Well, almost.

      • Ilhan Omar Calls Manchin’s Demand to Limit Child Tax Credit a “Terrible Idea”
      • Democracy at a Tipping Point
      • Manchin’s Shameful Child Care Stance Isn’t Just Bad Politics. It’s Self-Defeating Policy.

        Senator Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) is reportedly asking Democrats to sacrifice all but one of the essential child-care policies from President Biden’s Build Back Better plan to cut down the bill’s $3.5 trillion price tag.

      • Texas GOP’s Electoral Map Gives White People Disproportionate Control Over State
      • Opinion | Devastating US Sanctions Policies Need Accountability

        In the 20 years since 9/11 and the start of the “Global War on Terror,” sanctions have become one of the most dominant tools in the U.S. foreign policy tool chest. Yet despite limited evidence of success and abundant evidence of serious consequences, the U.S government does little to evaluate the impact these blunt instruments have on civilian populations or even on U.S. foreign policy objectives. Congress has a chance to change that.

      • Will Dems ever get tough with Manchin/Sinema?

        The problem is no one knows what Manchin/Sinema’s demands are, short of slashing the price tag on Build Back Better by about half.

        Congressional Democrats, including progressives, have pretty much accepted defeat and are now tinkering with Biden’s plan—not to mention our planet’s future—over what to cut and what to eliminate entirely. Do we say to hell with climate change action and thus to hell with future generations? Or do we say goodbye to eye exams for seniors and nix mandatory paid family leave? How much can we undo the child tax credit Democrats wanted to make permanent? Basically everything is on the cutting block but new roads and bridges.

      • India Walton Didn’t Come Out of Nowhere

        A few roads in America provide a spectacular introduction to its cities, but of those I have driven none is so boldly demanding as Buffalo’s Skyway. Imagine you are approaching downtown from the south. You motor along Route 5, past relics from the lost steel empire, past the wind turbines and the beaches and the Outer Harbor’s parkland. You follow the signs. Nothing indicates you are about to be swept 110 feet off the ground. You are hurtling in the flow of traffic now, high in the wind, and there is no escape. The slim road arcs. To one side is the built world: a vista of urban architecture and transport routes punctuated in concrete by the largest collection of grain elevators on earth. To the other side, Lake Erie. You notice all this only in flashes; you’re moving, hands gripping the steering wheel.

      • Opinion | The Freedom to Vote Act Is a Big Deal for Democracy—But Democrats Must Act Fast

        The redrawing of congressional maps around the country has started in earnest, and there already are disturbing signs that communities of color will once again be squarely in the sights of map drawers. But Congress has the power to change this trajectory in a big way with the Freedom to Vote Act—the slimmed-down version of Democrats’ omnibus democracy reform bill that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced on September 14, with support from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), among others.

      • ‘End the Filibuster’: GOP Ready to Tank Even Manchin’s Compromise Voting Rights Bill

        With Senate Republicans expected to block a compromise voting rights bill backed by the chamber’s full Democratic caucus on Wednesday, progressives are ramping up calls to finally kill the filibuster to protect American democracy and advance Democrats’ other top priorities.

        “The question is what President Biden and Senate Democrats do next. Do they throw in the towel or fight to amend the filibuster and save the republic?”

      • ‘A Toxic Presence in the Party’: Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

        U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday joined progressive colleagues and activists in calling for the resignation or removal of New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs after he compared India Walton—a Black woman running for mayor of Buffalo—to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

        “India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys’ club is going to change that,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted.

      • As Corporate Dems Belly-Ache Over Social Investments, Senate Panel Approves Extra $29 Billion for Pentagon

        As a handful of right-wing Democrats demand significant cuts to proposed anti-poverty programs and clean energy initiatives in their party’s far-reaching reconciliation package, a Senate panel on Monday approved an annual Pentagon budget of $725.8 billion—handing the U.S. military $29 billion more than last year and $10 billion more than requested, with no objection from Sens. Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and other so-called deficit hawks.

        “That’s $100 billion over 10 years—or half the cost of universal pre-K, which we’re told we can’t afford,” journalist Mehdi Hasan tweeted, referring just to the additional $10 billion in military spending approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel.

      • ‘Resign or Be Removed’: Outrage After Top NY Dem Compares Buffalo’s India Walton to David Duke

        The chair of the New York State Democratic Party sparked anger, rebuke, and calls for his resignation Monday after comparing India Walton, winner of the party’s nomination for Buffalo mayor and a black woman, to notorious racist and white supremacist David Duke.

        “It is clearer than ever that [corporate Democrats would] rather uphold the status quo than fight for a bold, progressive vision that works for all Buffalonians.”

      • Top New York Democrat Sparks Outrage by Comparing India Walton to David Duke
      • Report: The Trump Administration Used Its Food Aid Program for Political Gain
      • ‘What Republicans Want to Do Everywhere’: Outcry Over New Voting Maps in Texas

        Texas’ GOP-controlled Legislature late Monday approved new and aggressively gerrymandered political maps that have prompted sharp criticism from voting rights advocates who are warning of a Republican power-grab.

        “The Texas congressional map passed yesterday is so skewed that it would fail four out of four test elections under the Freedom to Vote Act and be enjoined from use pending full litigation,” tweeted voting rights expert Michael Li of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, referring to proposed federal voting rights legislation.

      • Chicago Groups Unite With Message to US Senate: ‘Reject Rahm’

        Asserting that former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s role in covering up the police murder of Laquan McDonald disqualifies him from consideration as U.S. ambassador to Japan, a coalition of activists held a Tuesday press conference condemning his nomination ahead of a scheduled Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday—the seventh anniversary of the Black teen’s death.

        “Rewarding Rahm Emanuel’s cover-up of Laquan McDonald’s murder with an ambassadorship is not an act that reflects a value of or respect for Black lives.”

      • Bernie Sanders Shows Democrats How to Deal With Joe Manchin

        The senator from Vermont went on to explain that while the plan is opposed “by every Republican in Congress as well as the drug companies, the insurance companies, the fossil fuel industry and the billionaire class,” Republicans aren’t the only obstructionists. “Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote ‘yes.’ We now have only 48. Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.”

        Sanders was just stating the facts. But Manchin couldn’t handle the truth.

      • Turkey summons Finnish ambassador over support for political prisoner

        Kavala has been imprisoned since 2017, with rights groups saying his incarceration was part of President Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on dissent.

      • Turkey summons 10 ambassadors after call for philanthropist’s release

        The Turkish businessman has been in prison since late 2017 without being convicted, in what rights groups say is symbolic of a crackdown on dissent under President Tayyip Erdogan.

        The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) called for Kavala’s immediate release in late 2019 over a lack of reasonable suspicion that he committed an offence, ruling that his detention served to silence him.

      • Facebook content moderators demand pay hike

        An international group of Facebook content moderators are calling on subcontractor Accenture to raise their pay.

        The workers sent a letter Monday to Accenture CEO Julie Sweet making their demands clear. The letter was organized with support from the legal nonprofit Foxglove.

      • Facebook to roll out features on state elections

        Facebook is rolling out a suite of features aimed at providing users with reliable information ahead of a slate of state-level elections next month.

        Users based in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington will soon be shown details about how to vote in their upcoming elections.

        The day before the statewide elections, Facebook will display a reminder with how to find polling locations and other important voting info.

      • Fox News War on Christmas. “Biden” is the reason you can’t duck out on Thanksgiving to buy crap at Walmart. – BaronHK’s Rants

        A “War on Christmas” explains the global supply chain problems that have snarled the economy for two years, and largely due to incompetent politicians like Trump, Bolsonaro, and Boris Johnson.

        My family is pretty terrible. They’re all Republicans, so they’re not only such a bunch of malicious trolls that they’ll scream at you, unprompted, during a holiday dinner, but if you actually defend your position with logical and common sense retorts, you won’t ever be invited to one again.

        They feel like they are entitled to ruin what was going to be a relatively uneventful evening, unprompted even, but that you’re supposed to just sit there and take it.

        It’s no wonder Trump acted so unpresidential and so much like a child who had been given too much candy at the debates. That’s how his voters act.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Microsoft’s Censorship of ‘Tank Man’ Came from ‘a Team Located in the US and China’

        The media inferred that the removal of Tank Man occurred at the hands of Chinese engineers driven by China’s censorship policies. But by focusing only on foreign worksites, news outlets failed to consider whether foreign workers within the United States may have played a role in the censorship. It’s important to remember that Silicon Valley employs thousands of Chinese nationals via H-1B visas and the controversial Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for foreign “students”. Microsoft’s new information about the incident makes it entirely possible that the censoring of Tank Man images occurred in the United States by a Microsoft employee hired through an immigration program.

        When Microsoft refers to “human error” they don’t mean that Tank Man images disappeared after an employee accidentally spilled coffee on their keyboard and fried some circuit boards, coincidentally on the 32nd anniversary of the Tank Man protest. As the media outlets infer, it is more likely that employees intentionally edited the company’s search engine algorithm to prevent the images from being seen in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries.

      • Mob in Bangladesh torches over 60 houses of Hindu community over Facebook post

        According to Mohammad Sadequl Islam, the chairman of the local Union Parishad, around 65 houses were torched during the attack on Sunday night, resulting in at least 20 houses being completely burnt down. The attackers, Islam alleged, were from the local units of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.

      • French left-wing extremists call teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by Islamists, partly to blame for this terrorist attack

        Just over a year ago, Samuel Paty was beheaded in front of his school by a young jihadist of Chechen origin, who was shot dead by the police shortly afterwards. A few days earlier, the history and geography teacher had shown Charlie Hebdo cartoons in class as part of the civics lesson. As a result, a young pupil had complained to her father and lied. The latter then issued a fatwa against the teacher together with an Islamic preacher who was on the S-list for terrorism. A wave of social pressure on social media resulted in the teacher’s murder on October 16, 2020. One year later, however, many public figures still believe that the problem lies in the teacher’s responsibility in this chain of events that led to the worst. The tweet published by Islamic scholar François Burgat on Saturday October 16 is a case in point.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Opinion | Empty Gestures or Substantive Change? On the Nobel Prize in Literature and Its Discontents

        The fact that Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature is welcome news, especially as the Swedish Academy is historically known for lacking in diversity, as if intellectual creativity is largely confined to Western intellectual circles.

      • A Secretive Hedge Fund Is Gutting Newsrooms

        Spend some time around the shell-shocked journalists at the Tribune these days, and you’ll hear the same question over and over: How did it come to this? On the surface, the answer might seem obvious. Craigslist killed the Classified section, Google and Facebook swallowed up the ad market, and a procession of hapless newspaper owners failed to adapt to the digital-media age, making obsolescence inevitable. This is the story we’ve been telling for decades about the dying local-news industry, and it’s not without truth. But what’s happening in Chicago is different.

        In May, the Tribune was acquired by Alden Global Capital, a secretive hedge fund that has quickly, and with remarkable ease, become one of the largest newspaper operators in the country. The new owners did not fly to Chicago to address the staff, nor did they bother with paeans to the vital civic role of journalism. Instead, they gutted the place.

      • The Chicago Tribune is being murdered before our eyes

        Remember, the Tribune was profitable. So were many of the 200+ other newspapers that Alden now controls, and which it is slowly strangling.

        If you learned about business from Econ 101 high school civics, this is baffling. How is it good business to buy a profitable business and render it UNprofitable?

        The short answer is financialization – the end state of capitalism, in which the productive economy is destroyed by the socially useless finance sector.

      • Nobel Prize committee hails US-aligned journalists, silent on Assange

        As has been the case many times before when it comes to the Nobel Peace Prize, even limited scrutiny belies the lofty rhetoric. Founded by Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, the award has always reflected the political interests and concerns of powerful sections of the European ruling class, and often the US state, rather than the disinterested promotion of high ideals that it purports.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Appeals Court Says Couple’s Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue

        Another attempted government theft has been thwarted by the courts. The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has ruled in favor of a couple whose vehicle was carjacked by Arizona law enforcement officers while their son used it for an extended road trip.

      • Forlorn Farmers, Fatal Fears
      • Criminalizing Teens’ Google Searches Is Just How The UK’s Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll

        Governments sure seem to hate online advertisers and the platforms that profit from targeted advertising and tailored content algorithms. But they don’t — at least in this case — have anything against engaging in exactly this sort of behavior if it helps them achieve their ends.

      • Can the Most Powerful Global Tax Organization Shed Its Racist Ways?

        We tax lawyers take pride in the complexity of our handiwork. The website of the US Internal Revenue Service quotes no less than Albert Einstein for the proposition that “the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” We take comfort in the notion that its complexity shields tax law from the damage done by ordinary human foibles. How could rules so byzantine possibly be distorted by racism?

      • After Years of Delays and Alarmingly Flimsy Evidence, Security Expert Ola Bini’s Trial Set for This Week

        For over two years EFF has been following the case of Swedish computer security expert Ola Bini, who was arrested in April, 2019, in Ecuador, following Julian Assange’s ejection from that country’s London Embassy. Bini’s pre-trial hearing, which was suspended and rescheduled at least five times during 2020, was concluded on June 29, 2021. Despite the cloud that has hung over the case—political ramifications have seemed to drive the allegations, and Bini has been subjected to numerous due process and human rights violations—we are hopeful that the security expert will be afforded a transparent and fair trial and that due process will prevail. 

        Ola Bini is known globally as a computer security expert; he is someone who builds secure tools and contributes to free software projects. Ola’s team at ThoughtWorks contributed to Certbot, the EFF-managed tool that has provided strong encryption for millions of websites around the world, and in 2018, Ola co-founded a non-profit organization devoted to creating user-friendly security tools.

      • Young Men Aren’t Falling Behind Young Women

        In the figures below, we add to that picture by charting the percentage of young men and young women who are not in school or paid employment, segmented by age levels. Internationally, this is sometimes referred to as the “not in employment, education, or training,” or NEET rate, a term we use here with the caveat that it isn’t clear how well short-term job training is captured in US data.

        As the figures show, young women at all age levels are less likely than young men at all age levels to be in school or work, however the NEET gender gap widens after age 24. Figure 1 charts NEET rates since 2013 for young women and men in three age bands (20–24; 25–29; and 30–34). In the first quarter of 2021, about 18 percent of men aged 20–24 and 18.5 percent of women in that same age range were not employed or in school. Among young men and women aged 25–29, about 17 percent of men and 23 percent of women were not employed or in school. Finally, among men and women aged 30–34, the NEET rates are 15 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

      • Central Europe, From Postcommunism to Democracy?

        The lady with the little blue flag with yellow stars would surely like to say goodbye to populism in her country in the next elections, just as the Czechs did last October 9 when they said their big NO to the oligarch Andrej Babiš and his ANO movement (which in Czech means “yes”). For months, many Czech citizens had been waiting for the elections as the time to free themselves from the corrupt populist Babiš, one of the richest oligarchs in Europe, who owns a large part of the Czech media.

        “We are the change, just as you are,” political scientist Petr Fiala, leader of the Spolu (“Together”) coalition – which with nearly 28% of the vote narrowly beat ANO – told his voters, thanks to whom he will be the next prime minister. Babiš, by using his campaign to badmouth almost all the other parties, made it impossible for some aprties which might have formed a coalition with him to enter the Parliament and ensured that those parties which did manage to do so, avoided entering a coalition with ANO because they preferred to strengthen the winning formation. With his poisonous rhetoric Babiš dug his own grave, politically speaking.

      • Deported to Haiti, Activist Jean Montrevil Returns to US on Special Parole
      • “Second Chance”: Deported to Haiti, Immigrant Activist Jean Montrevil Returns to U.S. on Special Parole

        In an exclusive interview, we speak with Jean Montrevil, an immigrant rights leader who was deported to Haiti in 2018. He returned home to New York and reunited with his family Monday on a special 90-day parole. He hopes to stay longer. Montrevil was a founding member of the New Sanctuary Coalition, which worked with Families for Freedom to engage churches in immigrant defense. ICE targeted him for his activism, using a decades-old conviction as pretext to deport him. In his first interview since landing, Montrevil tells Democracy Now! he will continue to speak out and implore the current administration to “take a second look at their policies and to stop deportations to Haiti.” His longtime lawyer Alina Das says, “We don’t believe that anyone should be targeted for deportation, to be jailed, to be taken away from their family, to be expelled from this country because they’ve chosen to speak out.”

      • A missing Alabama woman’s body is found in a parked, unoccupied police van

        The police van, according to police, was purchased in 1995 and was initially used to transport inmates to jail. However, in the early 2000s, the van was repurposed and used by employees to “transfer evidence” approved for destruction from cleared investigations.

        “Because of its original design, it does not have handles inside. It was made for transporting inmates,” McCarver said. “You cannot exit once you’re inside.”

        The van was last used in March 2021, police said.

      • Seven of a family killed in Muzaffargarh house fire

        Regarding the possible motive, Mehmood said that he had married a woman named Fouzia Bibi out of free will, alleging that his father-in-law and brother-in-law were unhappy with the marriage and they set his home ablaze “in rage”.

      • It’s Islamic – Kwara cleric justifies brutalisation of Arabic students

        One of the clerics in Musbaudeen Al Islamy Arabic School, Ganmo in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State have justified the brutalisation of some students of the Arabic school.

        Daily Post reported earlier that the students, five males and a female in their teens, were seriously flogged by their senior colleagues, as seen in viral videos circulating on social media.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Illegal CCTV deployment in Delhi is alarming #SaveOurPrivacy

        In the last 10 years, surveillance in the name of public (and women’s) safety has increased exponentially. The Smart City initiative, which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Central Government, covers 100 Indian cities, has as a “core infrastructure element” the “safety and security of citizens, particularly women”. The initiative has a proposed budget of Rs. 48,000 crores over five years i.e. on an average Rs. 100 crore per city per year. One area in which utilisation of these funds has been consistent across cities is investment in developing a robust surveillance infrastructure. There is also the “Safe City” initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs, being undertaken under the Nirbhaya Fund in eight Indian cities. It aims to “create a safe, secure and empowering environment for women in public places, to enable them to pursue all opportunities without the threat of gender-based violence and/or harassment” and has an estimated budget of Rs. 2,919.55 crores. Six lakh CCTV cameras were proposed to be deployed in Telangana by the end of 2020 because a “safe Hyderabad” is a “shaandaar hyderabad”.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink

        For more than a decade now, computer printer manufacturers have been engaged in an endless quest called: “let’s be as annoying as humanly possible.” That quest, driven by a desire to monopolize and boost the sale of their own printer cartridges, has resulted in all manner of obnoxious DRM and other restrictions designed to make using cheaper, third-party printing cartridges a monumental headache. Often, software or firmware updates have been designed to intentionally grind printing to a halt if you try to use these alternative options.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • [Old] DRM Patent Claim Against Deemed Unenforceable, in Major Legal Win For Apple

            U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Texas found that Personalized Media delayed its application to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a bid to claim more money at a later date. The patents involved go back as far as the 1980s. At that point, patents lasted 17 years, this changed to 20 in 1995. They also include many dated in the 1990s, but then there was a gap until it Personalized Media had 101 issued from 2010 onwards.

      • Copyrights

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