Tor Browser Launcher on Debian is Broken and SPLC Censorship Regime Hates Tor and FOSS, Boosts Bill Gates

Posted in Bill Gates, Debian, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 9:22 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

TThe Tor Browser Launcher is pretty neat.

It downloads the Tor Browser, verifies that it’s properly signed, so you don’t get a fake one planted on your computer, which is a possibility if you went to the wrong Web site or were the victim of a MITM attack, somehow, and then puts launchers and a settings application in your menus.

However, Debian’s package doesn’t work properly on my computer, and when I open it, an invisible window the size of the browser that can’t be closed except from the task manager, or pkill, opens up.

Well, that’s not helpful.

Fortunately, it’s available as a Flatpak too, and that works!

If all else failed, it’s downloadable from the Tor Project directly.

You can verify the bundle’s archive with the .asc key that they provide and then unpack it and then start it with ./start-tor-browser of course, but meh.

I’m lazy.

Moving right along… The Southern Poverty Law Center is probably why you can’t access the Tor Browser’s Web site.

They apparently advise libraries and schools to filter it out as “terrorist”, according to multiple sources I’ve spoken with.

God, these people….

Anyhow… If you already have the Tor Browser on your computer before you get on their WiFi, they can’t do much about that. And after you’re on, you can just use Tor…

Oddly, the library where I live lets Tor function normally even though their firewall blocks the site. I won’t tell here which library because I don’t want to give these jackbooted library thugs(?) any ideas about how to screw around with me if they’re not smart enough to do that already and happen to find this post in Google or something.

The Supreme Court ruled on the issue of Free Speech that you have to be allowed access to the Internet without the firewall in effect, _if you specifically ask for it_.

(Oddly, in Chicago, the city itself, the library doesn’t even block porn. If people are watching it and you complain, they will help you move to another computer, but they won’t stop that other person unless they start playing with themselves or something. Life in a big liberal city is just disgusting everywhere you go. Disgusting, expensive, cramped, polluted, riots breaking out unpredictably. Did I mention expensive? Glad I’m not there anymore.)

However, Tor Browser has another mode, which is intended mostly to deal with situations like the Great Firewall of China, which essentially makes it look like you’re connecting to a Web site in the Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services “cloud”. Obviously, that has privacy issues of its own, but it can’t easily be blocked without a lot of collateral damage.

So hey, there’s something positive that came out of centralizing the Web into the hands of a couple of monopolists? That being said, I’d be careful to use this to evade censorship at the library, but be on guard because your traffic is being tunneled through companies that have affiliations with the intelligence agencies in the United States.

One easy thing you can try if you run into censors and use Brave is to just load a Private Tab with Tor and see if it’s good enough.

If you don’t need a lot of privacy and just need to obfuscate what you’re doing, you can leave it at this and just use a normal browser.

And if none of this works, you can try NordVPN’s obfuscated VPN servers or their browser plug-in, which is basically a proxy that looks like HTTPS instead of a VPN.

So there’s things you can do to avoid government spying at the library and your school and break through even the most pernicious censorship regime, unless they want to do extreme damage to their WiFi network’s usability.

It’s ridiculous that network administrators at a library are stifling free speech based on the SPLC, but suddenly the SPLC’s “naughty software list” makes much more sense.

It turns out that this software gives you most of the tools to bypass authoritarian censors (including those at a public library who try block selected Wikipedia articles so that you can’t read them, on their Windows PC terminals, which tells you that nothing you connect to over HTTPS there is actually secure even if there is no malware other than Windows) such as themselves and read and view whatever you want, and talk to whoever you want, on the Web.

Ironically, they give these tools free advertising by drawing attention to them.

There’s some on there that I don’t even use, even though I knew about them, because they’re proprietary. I don’t think they even mentioned Tox clients though. Those are pretty good if you need anonymous messaging.

Politicians that want to ban your privacy, such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, use Signal (proprietary), which is also on the list. I guess Borisinaro is a terrorist and needs to be moved to UltraMax immediately and fitted for a Hannibal Lecter mask. Tried and convicted by “The Southern Poverty Law Center said so.”.

Where does SPLC get their money, btw? There’s a lot of Hollywood Liberals and GAFAM money in there, but enough of it is in a web of slush funds that make it hard to figure out entirely.

They may well have started out with good intentions. I’m certainly not going to argue that fighting the actual Klan is bad (Because “I hate Illinois Nazis” as much as anyone.), but like most things liberal, they have to paint everything that’s not them as the Klan, including just normal every day decent folks who are trying to raise their kids with some morality and respect for others and for, well, what’s left of the law.

It is perhaps ironic that a lot of kids couldn’t use proprietary GAFAM software if they wanted to because it’s being blocked due to SPLC’s recommendations, and so Matrix is growing.

One told me one one chatroom that their school’s Great Firewall doesn’t know what all of the domains are on which you can use Matrix.

Oddly, Matrix has a lot of kids on it because the grown ups at the school blocked “Skype” and “Facebook” and that ought to be enough, right? It’s not like there is anything other than GAFAM.

An entire generation free of Monopolysoft?

No wonder Skype is dead.

The lying bastards at the SPLC also have to lie through their teeth and accuse platforms that are not GAFAM of being pedophile strongholds.

Just a few short years ago, Microsoft Bing was the preferred place for pedophiles to go.

In at least one case I recall reading about, the police in Texas arrested a man and asked where he got it all, and he said BING. It didn’t do anything at all to filter it. Bill Gates was on the plane with Epstein a lot, trying to buy himself a Nobel Prize. And there was Rick Allen Jones, a CP-hoarder that was literally arrested in the Gates Mansion.

Where’s the warning about Microsoft and Gates?

I don’t recall there ever being one, even though it was more than a little disturbing that the biggest platform for online child sexual abuse material was the default Windows search engine and the default Windows Web browser. For years. And the police did nothing.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Gates Foundation is funding SPLC like they do to corrupt everything else.

Why else would they praise him as anything but some shyster who made good with a crap operating systems (like DOS, which was another incident, but mostly screwing Digital and IBM) called Windows NT which was actually, literally stolen from VMS (which Microsoft settled with Digital about, then betrayed shortly thereafter like they do anyone stupid enough to sign a business deal with them), while attacking his critics and lumping them all in with Alex Jones? It’s not even the first time.

Common Core is nothing more than an attack on public education by billionaires who should be in prison. One of the other promoters is Mark Zuckerberg.

Many, many parents are appalled at the dumbing down of their kids, and parents with a choice take their kids out of failing schools like the ones in Chicago which are a toxic hell stew of political correctness, gangs, drugs, guns, and fat cat public union bosses growing a big fat pension.

They demand school choice vouchers, which is the entire point, because then big business can just run those directly if you want your kids to have any hope at all.

A Chinese dissident who was hailed as a hero in Western media is now being given the silent treatment.

His mistake? Saying out loud that the US is starting to remind him of China (due to authoritarian wokeism), where if you say the wrong thing…..

Well, you don’t just get killed or disappeared….as such. Just professionally ruined.

Perhaps a better example is the concept of “dedma”, a word that Filipino people may be more familiar with, where society will “shun you” and ignore you if it becomes aware you have the wrong views.

Without going too far astray, the wrong opinions to have in America today read like something from bizarro world. If you just say criminals belong in prison and people should be entitled to keep what they earn and the government shouldn’t be throwing thousand dollar bills at people to keep the least productive the most reproductive and pretend it’s all okay for a couple more years until “Build Back Better” causes our country to collapse, and you’re in favor of the entire bill of rights, including the Second Amendment… That’s what happens to you.

They’ve gotten so good at disappearing us using GAFAM, disappearing people who are still in our right minds, that we have to stake out a new frontier and break our old habits and let companies like Facebook turn completely into an echo chamber full of crazy people with distorted thought patterns and advertising bullshit.

I’ve already started my divorce from GAFAM. I’m not replacing my Android phone when it fails, with another Android. I’ll be getting one that runs GNU/Linux.

I don’t care about “apps”. They’re dumb. They’re put there to control people and spy on them by companies who ruined the Web and yet still think its users have too much freedom.

Those companies, including Apple (which fundraises for SPLC), can pay off SPLC through slush funds and proxies to help their assault on your alternatives.

Did you know that there are 7 tracking libraries now in the text messaging app on a Samsung Galaxy phone. One of them even contacts Facebook. Even if you don’t use Facebook! That’s in addition to the Facebook stub apps and the Facebook system service whose only purpose is to wake up and tell Facebook which apps you’re signing into so their tracking libraries can associate them with you, even if “Facebook” isn’t on your phone.

Tracker Control neuters them and I pried out the stubs and disabled the “service”. But this has to be a stop gap solution.

The madness will not end until we shut them down and refuse to use their stinking products.

Oddly enough, Facebook was on SPLC’s list of platforms of concern, but I think it’s mostly to call for more censorship than there already is.

They Rebrand GNU/Linux as ‘Azure’ to Make It Sound Like Microsoft is Suddenly Relevant in HPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Servers at 9:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And the corruptible media plays along with such lies! Misled by posers or complicit in a(nother) googlebombing campaign…

GNU/Linux is 'Microsoft' now... in supercomputers

Summary: Although we’ve omitted all those spammy links (not included in Daily Links, either), it is clear that Microsoft has a new googlebombing ploy, this time for “supercomputers” (Microsoft is extending and stretching “Azure” brand to more and more things that have nothing to do with Clown Computing just to fake ‘growth’ while laying off the staff)

Links 20/11/2021: Unity Desktop’s ‘Renaissance’, Whisker Menu 2.7.0, and Wine 7.0 Code Freeze

Posted in News Roundup at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • OpenHPC Announces Release of OpenHPC 2.4

        This is an update release for the OHPC 2.x branch targeting support for RHEL8 variants and OpenSUSE Leap 15. In addition to a number of component version updates, this release updates previous CentOS8-based recipes to leverage Rocky8.

      • Docker really did change the world | InfoWorld

        In 2013, Docker was the “it” company. Docker made headlines for the critical role it played in bringing containers to the mainstream, and in many ways displaced PaaS as the hotness of the time (Heroku anyone?). Now, the company is back in the press with the introduction of a new model for Docker Desktop that requires larger organizations to buy a paid subscription for the tools. There’s been a vocal reaction to this announcement, one that reminds me of the important role Docker played in popularizing a model we know, love, and now use on a mainstream basis: containers.


        By 2009, the value of using virtualization was well understood and it was widely deployed. Most organizations had already garnered the benefits of virtualization or had a roadmap to get there. The marketing machine was tired of virtualization. People were hungry for the next innovation in IT and software development. It came in the form of Heroku. In fact, PaaS in general and Heroku specifically became wildly popular. So much so that it looked like PaaS was going to take over the world.

        At that time, Heroku was huge. You just go out to this portal and develop your apps and deliver them as a service? What’s not to like? Why wouldn’t you develop apps on Heroku?

        As it turned out, there were a couple of good reasons not to use Heroku and PaaS platforms of its ilk. For example, applications built on Heroku were not portable; they were available only within Heroku. Developers had to work remotely on the PaaS platform if they wanted to collaborate. Unlike Netflix, it turns out, developers love to develop locally. If a developer wanted to work on their local box, they were still left to manually build the environment themselves.

        In addition, although the Heroku model was extremely powerful if you used what was provided out of the box, it was complex behind the scenes. As soon as your team built something more complex than a simple web app, or they needed to customize the infrastructure for security or performance reasons, it became a difficult, very “real” engineering problem.

      • SD Times news digest: Databricks launched Partner Connect; OpenAI’s API now available with no waitlist; Logz.io unveils observability updates – SD Times

        The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit enabling innovation through open source, and The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, have announced that the Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) exam, originally announced last month, is now generally available for enrollment and scheduling.

        In addition, a new online training course, Kubernetes and Cloud Native Essentials, has been released to both prepare individuals for entry level cloud roles and to sit for the KCNA exam. KCNA is made up of a multiple-choice certification exam designed to test entry-level knowledge and skills in Kubernetes as well as the wider cloud native ecosystem.

        The KCNA exam is broken up into different sections, including Kubernetes fundamentals, container orchestration, cloud native architecture, cloud native observability, and cloud native application delivery.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • What is a kernel and why does it matter? – Nation Online [Ed: This might be a plagiarism site]

        Spend enough time around Android, or even PCs, and eventually, you will come across the term, “the Linux kernel.” Android uses the Linux kernel too. In fact, it’s an integral part of the way your phone works, but what is it?

        The “Linux” part is easy enough to understand — it is a play-on-words between Linus and Unix, as in Linus Torvalds, the original creator of the Unix-like OS we call Linux. But kernel? What is a kernel in computers and other devices? What do we mean by the Linux kernel? Let’s find out!

        In a nutshell, a kernel is the core program that manages your phone’s CPU resources, the system memory, and the system devices (including the file systems and networking). It is also responsible for managing all the processes or tasks that are running on your smartphone. That means that when you start an app, it is the kernel that loads the app into memory, creates the processes needed, and starts the app running. When an app needs memory, it is the kernel that allocates it. When the app wants networking, it is the kernel that does all the low-level processing.

        A kernel is the core program that manages your phone’s CPU resources, memory, and system devices.

      • Graphics Stack

        • More RadeonSI Optimizations Land In Mesa 22.0 – Phoronix

          Well known AMD OpenGL open-source driver developer Marek Olšák managed to land yet more performance optimizations this week into Mesa 22.0.

          Even with many strides made to Mesa this autumn around optimizing workstation OpenGL performance with a focus on workload exposure from SPECViewPerf, Marek is continuing into the holiday season with more optimizations abound. The changes are building up for Mesa 22.0 that will be released in Q1.

    • Applications

      • 5 Best Free and Open Source GUI Command Schedulers

        The software utility cron also known as cron job is a time-based job scheduler in Unix-like computer operating systems.

        Users who set up and maintain software environments use cron to schedule jobs (commands or shell scripts) to run periodically at fixed times, dates, or intervals.

        This software typically automates system maintenance or administration such as automating backups, cleaning disk space and other system maintenance tasks. It’s general purpose too making it good for things like downloading files from the Internet and downloading email at regular intervals.

      • Wireshark 3.4.10

        Wireshark is a network packet analyzer. A network packet analyzer will try to capture network packets and tries to display that packet data as detailed as possible. You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device used to examine what’s going on inside a network cable, just like a voltmeter is used by an electrician to examine what’s going on inside an electric cable (but at a higher level, of course). In the past, such tools were either very expensive, proprietary, or both. However, with the advent of Wireshark, all that has changed. Wireshark is perhaps one of the best open source packet analyzers available today.

      • Whisker Menu 2.7.0 released

        Add showing categories as icons on top or bottom (Issue #62)
        Add hiding username (Issue #36)
        Add rounded profile picture
        Add optional AccountsService support
        Add catfish search action
        Add CSS classes for theming
        Improve search result relevance
        Make stripping release builds optional
        Rearrange settings dialog
        Remove sliding out search results
        Remove useless grab check
        Rename icon to follow reverse DNS scheme
        Replace size grip with resizing from edges
        Replace slots with lambdas
        Use original menu layout
        Use dm-tool for switching users
        Translation updates: Basque, Bulgarian, Chinese (Taiwan), Danish, Dutch, French, Greek, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • BPFs

        What are Berkeley Packet Filters? BPF’s are a raw (protocol independent) socket interface to the data link layer that allows filtering of packets in a very granular fashion.

        BPFs were first introduced in 1990 by Steven McCanne of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, according to the FreeBSD man page on bpf.

      • How to install Terraform on Debian 11 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install Terraform on Debian 11.

        Terraform is an open-source infrastructure as code (IaC) software tool that provides a consistent CLI workflow to manage hundreds of cloud services. Terraform codifies cloud APIs into declarative configuration files.

        Terraform Infrastructure as code (IaC) tools allow you to manage infrastructure with configuration files rather than through a graphical user interface.

      • Install Vanilla Arch Linux With GUI Installer?!?! – Invidious

        Arch Linus is notorious for a it’s installation process and even though it’s not that difficult it does scare a lot of people away so what if we had a GUI installer do all the work for us.

      • How to Run Your Own Secure, Portable PC From a USB Stick

        Tails stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System, which is a reference to how your activities are gone for good as soon as you unplug the USB drive from the computer it’s attached to and move on. It’s based on the Debian Linux distribution, and it should work just fine with most computers from the last decade or so.

        To get this up and running, you need a USB stick with a minimum 8 GB of capacity. With that in hand, head to the Tails download page and select the operating system that you’re using to set it up. Follow the instructions on the screen and you’ll get a USB image file around 1 GB in size, which you’ll then need to transfer to the flash drive itself.

        Next, you need a little utility called Etcher (you’ll be directed toward it by the step-by-step installation guide on the Tails website). This takes care of putting the USB image file on the USB drive, a process that should only take a few minutes—you’ll get a notification when the transfer is complete. You’re then ready to start using your portable PC.

        When the setup has been completed, you can plug your Tails USB stick into just about any 64-bit PC with a spare port. It’ll also work on Mac computers, but not those with the newest M1 series of chips (at least not yet, anyway). The computer you’re connecting to should have at least 2 GB of RAM, and you should of course make sure it’s not infected with any viruses or malware beforehand.

      • How To Install DokuWiki on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install DokuWiki on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, DokuWiki is a free open source wiki application written completely in the PHP programming language and often deployed in Linux under the LAMP stack. It offers very useful features such as multiple language support, SEO, authentication, spam blacklist, autosave, read-only pages, simple and lightweight architecture, and more.

        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 the DokuWiki on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How To Install ImageMagick on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ImageMagick on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, ImageMagick is an open-source software suite for creating, editing, converting, and modifying bitmap images. With ImageMagick, you can read and write over 200 image formats, including DPX, EXR, GIF, JPEG, PDF, PNG, and many more. ImageMagick is also available across all major platforms, including Android, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, and many others.

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

      • How to install R and Rstudio on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install R and Rstudio on Ubuntu 20.04.

        R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on different platforms including Windows, Linux, macOS.

        Rstudio provides free and open-source tools for R. Rstudio is an application like Microsoft word, except that instead of helping you write in English, Rstudio helps you write in R.

        Even if you want to run on Rstudio completely, you still need to have R on your system because Rstudio helps you use the version of R that lives on your computer, but it doesn’t come with a version of R on its own.

      • How to Use make and makefile in Linux – ByteXD

        One of the main reasons why Linux is popular among C/C++ programmers is the support provided by Linux to them. This includes the g++ compiler suite and its related tools used for program development such as the make command.

        In this tutorial, you will learn about the make command in Linux, its use, the basis of the makefile, and how it is used with the make command.

      • How to install Ubuntu 22.04 LTS container on Docker – Linux Shout

        Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is the latest (scheduled for April 2022) Long term version from Canonical developers. Well, while writing this article it was still in its developing stage but available as ISO as well as Docker image to install. Hence, those who are interested in testing Ubuntu 22.04 LTS can install it on a Docker container using the steps given here.

      • How to upgrade to Fedora 35

        Fedora 35 is here! With this new exciting release, the Fedora project has included tons of new features, including the latest Gnome Shell desktop, an updated FirewallD, gcc 11, glibc 2.34, binutils 2.37, and gdb 10.2, and much more. Here’s how you can upgrade to Fedora 35 on your computer.

        Note: Before attempting to upgrade to Fedora 35, please make a backup of your data. While Fedora’s upgrade is considered safe, a backup is always a good idea.

      • Install Stremio app on Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        There is an app called Stremio meant to play various videos from different sources using the Add-ons developed by its community. It is available for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Here we learn the steps to install the Stremio app on Debian 11 using the command terminal.

        Stremio is an open-source streaming app, the project is available on GitHub along with Add-ons that allow users to stream online video, music, movies, the website from various sources such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Torrent, Hotstar, etc.

      • How To Install Odoo on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Odoo on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Odoo is an integrated ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) application. That is to say, it works by installable modules that make the application have many functionalities. It includes a wide range of applications such as CRM, e-Commerce, website builder, billing, accounting, manufacturing, warehouse, project management, inventory, and much more, all seamlessly integrated. Odoo currently has two versions, one of them is the community that is free and completely open source and another version Enterprise for professional corporate support. This post focuses on the community version.

        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 the Odoo 15 on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to Enable Minimize on Click in Ubuntu

        Many Ubuntu users coming to Linux from Windows find themselves looking for a way to make their new Linux system minimize open windows when the corresponding dock or taskbar icon is clicked. Unfortunately, Ubuntu doesn’t provide a direct configuration option to enable this behavior.

        While all things may not be immediately obvious, a big part of what makes Ubuntu special is that it is highly customizable if you know where to look. When it comes to turning on the click to minimize window behavior, you don’t have to look too far.

        You can enable the click to minimize functionality through the command line or a graphical interface. We’re going to show you how to do both.

      • How to Easily Batch Uninstall Apps on Android – Make Tech Easier

        Have you ever filled up the available space in your Android phone storage and couldn’t download an app you want to install? Of course you have. We all have. Going through and selecting the apps you want to delete to make more space for the new one can be tedious if you have to go through them one by one. It’s much faster to batch uninstall apps and remove all unwanted apps at once.

      • How to Create simple API using FastAPI in Python – UX Techno

        Nowadays the whole world revolves around API. So get into the API world today I am going to explain to you “How to Create simple API using FastAPI in Python”.

      • How to Delete Background in Image Using GIMP

        Removing background of an image is super easy if you know how to do it. Here in this tutorial we will explain 5 different ways which you can use to remove background in Image Using GIMP.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.22 is out bringing Mono 7, more Joystick work | GamingOnLinux

        The Wine hackers continue to be exceptionally busy trying to catch up with Windows and a new development release is out with Wine 6.22. This is the compatibility layer that allows you to run games and applications developed for Windows – on Linux. Part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made which will be Wine 7.0 likely in January 2022.

      • Wine 7.0 Code Freeze To Begin In Early December

        As expected when writing about Wine 6.22 yesterday that the annual stable release dance was likely upon us, plans were laid out today for that Wine 7.0 release.

        Wine project leader Alexandre Julliard has laid out plans for releasing Wine 7.0 in January as is tradition. For that to happen, the plan is to have Wine 6.23 in two weeks and one week after that to mark the start of the code freeze. After Wine 6.23 with any remaining features, Wine 7.0-rc1 will come one week later on 10 December with the hard code freeze in place.

    • Games

      • 5 ways to break into the video game industry

        Worth an estimated US$336 billion, the video game industry is bigger than TV, movies and music combined. And since the industry is growing at a rapid pace, there are plenty of opportunities to work in this field. From game designers and software engineers who program the games to graphic artists or electrical engineers who design the game consoles, careers in the video game industry abound.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 5 Years Later, Unity Desktop Is Forming an Accidental Renaissance

        It has been 4 and half years since Canonical announced their decisions to drop Unity desktop for GNOME, drop the convergence experience and shift focus towards the cloud and IoT devices.

        The Linux community reactions back then were mixed. Some people liked GNOME and some people didn’t. Those who didn’t switched to other desktops such as Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce. Ubuntu users after 2017 may not even know that Unity desktop existed.

        But a group of people refused to let go of Unity. Those people went to form their own Ubuntu derivative called “Ubuntu Unity Remix” and later known just as Ubuntu Unity.

        Version 21.10 of Ubuntu Unity was released last month, among all its sister Ubuntu 21.10 spins as well.

        In today’s article we will dive into whatever remains of Unity’s ghost in Ubuntu Unity 21.10, and see how possible to use the nostalgic desktop is in its current form and shape. We also evaluate how wise the decision of dropping Unity for GNOME was after 5 years.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Discover gets update to prevent you breaking your Linux system

          I must say, I appreciate the attention to make things not only simpler but less breakable lately. First we had APT being patched to stop users removing essential packages, now the KDE Discover software manager gets a similar upgrade.

          Developer Nate Graham has written up another great “This week in KDE” blog post, going over changes and improvements coming to the next release of Plasma and the various applications. One small change really caught my eye though! Discover now has a new way to ensure you keep a working system, with an updated mechanism to detect important packages getting removed and give you a friendly warning on it free of too much technical jargon.

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 Adds An Overview Effect Inspired By GNOME’s Activities Overview

          Even with the holidays ahead the KDE developers remain very busy improving their desktop software stack for Plasma 5.24 and other forthcoming component releases.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his weekly development summary of all the free software contributions heading into this desktop. Some of the highlights for the past week include:

          - KWin has added an overview effect for showing KRunner search results that is similar to GNOME’s Activities Overview feature. This GNOME inspired feature is coming for Plasma 5.24.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Top 10 Best Dark Themes for Ubuntu Linux To Reduce Digital Eye Strain

          Using the default theme on any desktop and server is pretty decent and optimistic for normal usages. Using a few dark themes rather than the default theme is good for Ubuntu and other Debian distributions. You can change the user interface, color scheme, opacity and tweak other settings using a new customized theme. No matter which type of theme you like for your Ubuntu system, dark or light, almost every theme lets you switch from dark to light and vice-versa.

          Installing a dark theme on Ubuntu brings a professional vibe to the desktop, and it also kind of makes you feel that you’re doing more productive things while using a dark theme. Installing and using them on Ubuntu is pretty easy and straightforward.

        • KGX – Minimal Terminal Emulator Aims to be Core App for GNOME & Phosh

          KGX is a simple and user-friendly terminal emulator for GNOME. It aims to be a “Core” app for GNOME and Phosh, graphical shell for mobile devices like Purism’s Librem 5.

          Rather than replacing GNOME Terminal, it’s on target to serve casual Linux user who rarely needs a terminal to carry out simple command line tasks. Via libhandy library, the terminal adjusts nicely to small screen sizes and for touch usage.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • TrueNAS SCALE Goes Far Beyond a Simple Network Storage

          Built on the shoulders of TrueNAS CORE, TrueNAS SCALE adds Docker Containers, VMs (KVM), and scale-out ZFS storage capabilities.

          TrueNAS SCALE is an exciting new addition to the TrueNAS software family. If you are unaware with TrueNAS CORE, it’s probably the best known and powerful free and open source NAS software out there.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • My #1 Reason to Love OpenMandriva Lx

          I want to start this post with a disclaimer: I am aware that all Linux distros have their pros and cons, and my purpose is not to berate any OS choice readers have made. I simply want to share with you what happened to me recently, as I upgraded to OpenMandriva Lx 4.3. This experience reminded me why, after all these years, I still love OpenMandriva.

          A second point I’d like to clarify is that I am not discussing benchmarks, compilers, package managers or any other technical matters here. To be honest, they go beyond my understanding: I am a non-technical Linux user.

          I was running the rolling version of OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 and I realized that a major upgrade was available. So, I decided to upgrade and here is where my story starts.

          After a whooping number of packages had upgraded in a process that took like 45 minutes (I do not have a very fast connection), I booted into a soundless system: the computer said that there was no sound. I did not panic and visited the OpenMandriva forums. There, I found a post that I should have read BEFORE attempting the upgrade. In it, ben79 described all the steps to have a successful upgrade.

          Of course, I had not followed any of the steps, so my system was operational, but erratic. And, although I could enable the sound easily following the post instructions, I decided to roll back and start over.

          So, I put my old OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 back in, upgraded following the steps and this time I booted into a far better system. I corrected the sound issue by installing the pulseaudio package from the repository and then started to configure the system.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 Adds Insights Services, New ‘System Roles’

          IBM subsidiary Red Hat, one of the world’s leading providers of open-source solutions, has announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 (RHEL 8.5) the latest incarnation of its enterprise Linux platform.

          RHEL 8.5 builds on Red Hat’s 20+ years of Linux expertise to provide a common, open operating system that extends from clouds and traditional datacenter operations to edge-computing environments. It’s a platform that was designed to span public cloud providers, multiple hardware architectures, virtualized environments, and edge computing models.

          “Linux is the common language spoken across nearly every public cloud, private cloud, edge deployment, and datacenter,” Gunnar Hellekson, general manager of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Group, said in a statement. “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 reinforces the role of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform in the multi-cloud ecosystem, providing new capabilities to meet evolving and complex IT needs, from enhanced cloud-native container innovations to extending Linux skills with system roles, on whatever footprint our customers require.”

        • Fedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly Update – Week of November 15th – 19th

          This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat (https://libera.chat/).

      • Debian Family

        • Debian vs Ubuntu (2021 Comparison): 101 Guide to Choose Your Distro

          These two are the most dominant distros out there in the market. Roughly there are 290 Linux distro variations out of which 131 are driven out from Debian and 58 directly from the code. Pretty interesting, right? Both have quite a few things in common and Ubuntu is developed based on other testing snapshot releases. Though there are some differences as well.

          We have all heard very good things about both of these. However, today I have compared 14 features in this Debian vs Ubuntu 2021 comparison article. T

        • Proxmox VE 7.1: Seamlessly virtualize Windows 11 and TPM 2.0 [Ed: Automated translation]

          Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH from Vienna has published the Proxmox Virtual Environment 7.1, with the help of which virtual machines and Linux containers can be conveniently managed on one platform via a graphical web front end. The core system is now based on Debian GNU / Linux “Bullseye” 11.1 and a current Linux 5.13. QEMU 6.1 provides virtual machines, Linux containers run under LXC 4.0. Ceph Pacific 16.2.6 in combination with OpenZFS 2.1 serves as an open source and distributed storage solution.


          The Linux containers based on LXC 4.0 now also support the current Fedora 35 and Ubuntu 21.10. Container templates can be compressed using the Zstandard compression of OpenZFS (Zstd). In order to avoid problems with systemd in the containers, the “nesting” function is activated by default for newly created unprivileged containers. This should improve the interaction with systemd versions, especially from the newer templates.

        • True Convergence is Here: PureOS 10 is Released for all Librem Products

          Purism’s PureOS offers a freedom-respecting OS for a truly convergent user experience for Librem mobile phones, laptops, mini and desktop computers.

        • Donald Norwood & Debian spamming users with defamation and dirty politics

          Many Debian users received spam from Donald Norwood through the debian-news email list and social media networks this week.

          Norwood has attacked a developer with over 20 years experience.

          Looking at Norwood’s own profile, we see that he has never made a single package. He is one of the non-developing developers. Many of these non-developing developers are wives and girlfriends who have an honorary title. We don’t know exactly how Norwood got this title but nonetheless, if he never made a package himself, how can he judge the competence of a real Debian Developer?

          Any genuine expulsion involves a tribunal or grievance process where both sides get to review the evidence together and the accused has a right of reply. When we look at the accusations from Norwood, there is no hint of any evidence, no references, no report from any tribunal. It is pure defamation.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Best Raspberry Pi Black Friday Deals for 2021

        With more than 40 million units sold and a powerful community of makers and fans behind it, Raspberry Pi is more than a single-board computer; it’s a huge platform with an even bigger ecosystem behind it. Whether you want to build your own robot, create an A.I.-powered security camera or just set up a simple computer for programming and web surfing, the Pi is for you.

        With the holiday shopping season starting earlier than ever in 2021, you can find deals on everything from Raspberry Pi cases to screens, kits and perhaps even add-on boards. These are great for your Raspberry Pi projects or to give as gifts for the maker in your life. Don’t expect to find sales on the bare boards, though, as these never drop below the MSRP.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Arduino + Ham Radio = Texting | Hackaday

          Over on the Spectrum web site, [Dale] — a relatively new ham radio operator — talks about his system for sending text messaging over VHF radios called HamMessenger. Of course, hams send messages all the time using a variety of protocols, but [Dale] wanted a self-contained and portable unit with a keyboard, screen, and a GPS receiver. So he built one. You can find his work on GitHub.

          At the heart of the project is MicroAPRS, an Arduino firmware for packet radio. Instead of using a bigger computer, he decided to dedicate another Arduino to do everything but the modem function.

        • It’s Doom, This Time On A Bluetooth LE Dongle | Hackaday

          By now most readers should be used to the phenomenon of taking almost any microcontroller and coaxing it to run a port of the 1990s grand-daddy of all first-person shooters, id Software’s Doom. It’s been done on a wide array of devices, sometimes only having enough power for a demo mode but more often able to offer the full experience. Latest to the slipgate in this festival of pixelated gore is [Nicola Wrachien], who’s achieved the feat using an nRF52840-based USB Bluetooth LE dongle.

          Full details can be found on his website, where the process of initial development using an Adafruit CLUE board is detailed. A 16MB FLASH chip is used for WAD storage, and an SPI colour display takes us straight to that cursed base on Phobos. The target board lacks enough I/O brought out for connection to screen and FLASH, so some trickery with 7400 logic is required to free up enough for the task. Controls are implemented via a wireless gamepad using an nRFS1822 board, complete with streamed audio to a PWM output.

        • PinePhone Speed Up Takes Soldering | Hackaday

          It is no secret that we like a good hack and [Federico Amedeo Izzo] explains a hack for the PinePhone that can double the speed used for the device’s memory chips. Like many good hacks, it all started with a question. [Federico] was reading a review of the PinePhone Pro (the source of the image for this post) and apparently, the eMMC memory in that phone clocks in at about 150 MB/s. The original phone gets about 50-80 MB/s.

          Reading some datasheets, it looked like the same chips are in both phones and should support not only DDR52 mode — the mode the original phone uses — but also HS200 and HS400 modes which top out at 200 and 400 MB/s, respectively. But there was one problem.

          The eMMC used has two power supply lines: one for the memory and another for the interface management hardware. If the interface power supply is at 3.3V, the chip can’t support the faster modes. The original phone, of course, does provide 3.3V to this chip and, apparently, the new phone uses a lower supply.

        • IPod Mod Puts Pi Zero In New Bod | Hackaday

          We sure love to see nicely designed products get a new lease on life. Just as the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 was being announced, [production] was stuffing an original RPi Zero into an old iPod’s case.

          [production] cites several previous, similar projects that showed how to interface with the click-wheel, a perfectly fitting color display from Waveshare, and open-source software called Rockbox to run on the pi. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [Older] Nextcloud and TrueNAS Announce Partnership

        Nextcloud GmbH, the company behind the worlds’ most deployed on-premises content collaboration platform, and iXsystems inc., developers of the industry’s number one Open Storage platform, announced a partnership to bring the full suite of Nextcloud Hub features to TrueNAS. Tens of thousands of TrueNAS systems already run Nextcloud and availability of a supported, well-integrated offering will give larger organizations more confidence to deploy.

        “As self-funded companies that share a strong Open-Source philosophy, Nextcloud and TrueNAS are natural partners,” said Frank Karlitschek, CEO and Founder, Nextcloud. “Our mutual customers will benefit from an open and flexible platform with strong enterprise support capable of delivering efficient collaboration at any scale.”

      • Pantheon Kicks off Program to Give Back to Open Source Communities with Second Annual Gift of Open Source

        The program’s ultimate goal is to provide resources and mentorship to engage and energize first-time contributors to give back to open source. Opportunities are broad, spanning code- or non-code-based contributions to Drupal or WordPress projects, Pantheon repositories, GitHub pull requests or adjacent projects. For each contribution up to 500 contributions made, Pantheon will donate $20 to the Drupal Association and WordPress Foundation, for a total potential of $5,000 to each organization to support their efforts.

      • In the ’80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done

        Just a fortnight under 40 years ago, the BBC Micro was released. Although it was never primarily a games machine – it was too expensive, for a start – nonetheless one of its defining programs was a video game: Elite.

        Its source was released a few years ago, but your correspondent just discovered a lavishly described and documented online edition if you want to see exactly how it was done. The annotations were written by Mark Moxon, a web dev and journalist who among many other things was once editor of Acorn User magazine.

        Elite was famous for several things, including its very considerable difficulty and amazing – for 1984 – wireframe 3D graphics with hidden-line removal. This was displayed on a screen which combined high-resolution and multi-colour graphics in a way the BBC’s hardware couldn’t natively do: the game changed screen modes from Mode 4 (medium-resolution monochrome) to Mode 5 (low-resolution four-colour) two-thirds of the way though generating each screen. At 50Hz, on a 2MHz 6502.

      • Friday FOSS fest: Franz, RamBox, Pidgin and more • The Register

        Most modern chat systems are entirely proprietary: proprietary clients, talking proprietary protocols to proprietary servers. There’s no need for this: there are free open standards for one-to-one and one-to-many comms for precisely this sort of system, and some venerable clients are still a lot more capable than you might remember.

        But as it is today, if you need to be on more than one chat system at once, the official way is to install their client app, meaning multiple clients – or at best, multiple tabs open in your web browsers. Most of these “clients” are JavaScript web apps anyway, running inside Electron – an embedded Chromium-based single-site browser. Which is fine, but Chrome is famously memory-hungry.

        There is a brute-force way round this: have one app that embeds lots of separate Electron instances in tabs. There are a few of these around – first came RamBox, followed by Franz. Both use the “freemium” model: there’s a completely functional free client, plus subscriptions for extra features. If you prefer to avoid such things, both services have no-cost forks: Ferdi from Franz and Hamsket from RamBox. A newer rival still is Station.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Google Chrome vs Chromium: What’s the difference?

            Google Chrome is the most popular web browser. No matter whether you prefer to use it, Chrome manages to offer a good user experience.

            Even though it is available for Linux, it is not an open-source web browser.

            And, if you need the look and feel of Google Chrome but want to use an open-source solution, Chromium can be your answer.

            But isn’t Google Chrome based on Chromium? (that’s a Yes.) And, it’s also developed by Google? (Also, Yes.)

            So, what are the differences between Chrome and Chromium? In this article, we shall take an in-depth look at both of them and compare them while presenting some benchmarks.

          • Chrome 96 rolls out with a slew of security updates

            We’re only two weeks away from the landmark release of Chrome OS 96 that will bring the Chrome browser and the Chrome operating system back into parity of release schedules. After the release of Chrome OS 96 in late November, the browser and the OS will enjoy a 4-week release cycle with the desktop browser releasing roughly two days prior to Chrome OS. For now, we have a two-week gap between the two pieces of software, and this week, version 96 of the Chrome Desktop Browser has landed with a slew of security updates and patches. Check out the eighteen security fixes and who reported them in the list below.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla sprinkles Firefox Relay with Premium fairy dust

            Mozilla hopes to ramp up the monetisation machine with a paid premium version of its Firefox Relay service, upping the current limit of five email aliases to a near-unlimited number.

            Firefox Relay hides a user’s real email address behind an alias to both protect the user’s identity and spare their inbox from spam. A relatively simple system, Firefox Relay sends and forwards incoming email from a user’s alias email addresses to a primary email address, meaning that the primary address is kept hidden from prying eyes in favour of aliases.

            Relay turned up last year in beta form and if it all sounds a bit familiar, it should. The tech giants have been grappling with the problem for a while. Apple recently added a Hide My Email option to generate a random email address to forward messages to an actual address.

          • Github cookie leakage – thousands of Firefox cookie files uploaded by mistake

            Remember when people used to upload their SSH keys onto Github and similar code sharing sites by mistake?

            Two years ago, we wrote about the fact that incautious software developers had uploaded hundreds of thousands of private access control keys, entirely unintentionally, along with source code files that they did intend to make public.

            Typically, this sort of blunder happens because Linux and Unix computers don’t display directories or filenames that start with a dot character (period, full stop, ASCII 46, hexadecimal 0x2E) by default.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Microsoft Office vs. LibreOffice: Differences, Similarities and More

          LibreOffice is the premier open-source office suite, and it is the default office package on most Linux distributions. However, can a free product go head-to-head with Microsoft Office?

        • Announcing the Impress Guide 7.2

          Thanks to the LibreOffice Documentation Team, the Impress Guide 7.2 has just arrived with the latest LibreOffice Impress 7.2 developments.

          This 374 pages book covers the main features of Impress, the presentations (slide show) component of LibreOffice. You can create slides that contain text, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, charts, clip art, and other objects. Impress comes with prepackaged text styles, slide backgrounds, and Help. It can open and save to Microsoft PowerPoint formats and can export to PDF, HTML, and numerous graphic formats.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • ADA Finance Wins “Best DeFi Project of the Year”

            The code is released under the GNU General Public License. This means that anyone can fork the code, as long as they also make their own staking code public.

          • Best photo editing app 2021: From beginners to pros | ZDNet

            The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a bit different from programs like Canva and Adobe, allowing for enhanced, high-quality photo manipulation. GIMP considers itself a more sophisticated photo editor that is appropriate for more experienced users, like graphic designers, photographers, and scientists. This is an open-source image editor that allows for the change and distribution of its source code. Designed to work with both digital and printed media, GIMP allows for high-fidelity color reproduction. Additionally, users can enjoy the program for image composition, retouching, and authoring. With several options available for customization, GIMP serves as a framework for special programming algorithms, working with multiple languages to include C, C++, Perl, Python, and Scheme. As a cross-platform editor, it offers wide compatibility with several third-party plug-ins and a variety of systems, including Windows, macOS, and GNU/Linux. It is also recommended for workflows with other software like Scribus, Inkscape, and SwatchBooker.

          • Which Image Editor Is Better to Choose

            GIMP is the most powerful and well-known of the free and open-source graphic editors. It is developed by enthusiasts from all over the world. It can run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and many other operating systems. There are many different add-ons for GIMP.

            The tools of GIMP are very similar to those of the well-known Adobe Photoshop, there is support for layers, animation, a large set of filters, gradient fills, etc., set by default. It’s also worth noting the set of tools – it has everything you need even for complex graphic processing. The program allows you to open images directly from the Internet – just give a link to the picture, and then edit it as you like.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • COP26: Why a data commons is needed to secure net zero commitments

            We don’t have time for everyone to build their own financial and non-financial data aggregation platforms in order to facilitate capital allocation. Open-source collaboration could be the answer.

            At COP26 in Glasgow, I was invited to be the master of ceremonies for an event hosted by Federated Hermes’ Daniel Godfrey, and delivered by OS-Climate.

            In a giant inflatable igloo on a carpark next to the main venue, Truman Semans, the founder of OS-Climate, explained his vision: a data commons in the cloud – based on open-source community principles – that will connect investors, investees and entire ecosystems to the data and needed to facilitate capital allocation to green projects. This is what the planet and its inhabitants urgently need.

      • Programming/Development

        • A beginner’s guide to BeagleBoard

          If you haven’t heard of the BeagleBoard, it’s time to get caught up. Not only does it offer a similar experience as Raspberry Pi, but it is also small and compact enough to make it a convenient choice for building prototypes. In this article, we will explore a little bit more about the BeagleBoard and what you can do with it.

        • Printing an Integer Array in Assembly

          For the next couple tasks I want to do in assembly, I need to be able to inspect an array of numbers. This is useful for debugging searching and sorting algorithms. Since my last attempt to convert binary to ASCII was so ugly, I figured I would clean that up at the same time.

          It turns out I can use the reverse code as well.

          Unlike my last couple of posts where I show each of the interim steps, I have made this one work, and will just go through the final product. There was a lot of trial and error getting this to work, and I can see the need for getting organized in Assembly. The scale of the programs will quickly get beyond the scope of what I can keep in my head.

          One thing this code required me to learn was how to nest function calls. I have two functions, one which calls the other. Thus, the return location for the first needs to get pushed on the stack before it calls the second, and needs to get popped off the stack at the end.

        • Picolibc 1.7.4 Brings Improved Meson Support, Restructured Math Code

          Picolibc as the open-source C library optimized for small embedded systems with limited RAM capacities is out with a new update.

          This very lightweight C library as a reminder is the project started by well known X11 developer Keith Packard and began as a hybrid of Newlib and AVR Libc code. This tiny libc implementation can work on ARM, i386, x86_64, RISC-V, PowerPC, and also other architectures like for the Xtensa ESP8266.

        • Tech has a validation problem. It’s time to change… | ITProPortal

          Something to note. The point where the cost of preproduction validation surpasses that of in-production validation isn’t static. The cost of testing in production is somewhat fixed and the cost of thorough pre-production testing increases with the growing complexity of development processes. The threshold is something that needs to be dynamically assessed.

          Change validation is founded on best practices like continuous integration/continuous delivery and release orchestration. The new learning is that in this world of software supply chains and the cloud, testing in production has become an important additional tool to know if changes to code work as intended before releasing to the world.

          No one can adopt new technologies like AI and machine learning without knowing if changes happening in their apps are effective. In fact, where advanced technologies make changes to the code themselves, tracking the source of changes is critical!

        • Business and Technical Agility with Team Topologies

          Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais explore how the patterns and principles from Team Topologies promote true business and technical agility.

        • 5 software architecture patterns: How to make the right choice
        • Jonathan Dowland: hledger footguns

          I wrote in budgeting tools that I was taking a look at Plain Text Accounting and in particular, hledger. My Jury’s still out on the tools, but in the time I’ve been looking at them I’ve come across a couple of foot-guns I thought it was worth writing down.

          hledger’s ledger format is derived from that of its predecessor ledger, and so some of the problems might be inherited.

        • Low-Code and the Democratization of Programming

          In the past decade, the growth in low-code and no-code solutions—promising that anyone can create simple computer programs using templates—has become a multi-billion dollar industry that touches everything from data and business analytics to application building and automation. As more companies look to integrate low-code and no-code solutions into their digital transformation plan, the question emerges again and again: what will happen to programming?

          Programmers know their jobs won’t disappear with a broadscale low-code takeover (even low-code is built on code), but undeniably their roles as programmers will shift as more companies adopt low-code solutions. This report is for programmers and software development teams looking to navigate that shift and understand how low-code and no-code solutions will shape their approach to code and coding. It will be fundamental for anyone working in software development—and, indeed, anyone working in any business that is poised to become a digital business—to understand what low-code means, how it will transform their roles, what kinds of issues it creates, why it won’t work for everything, and what new kinds of programmers and programming will emerge as a result.

        • Legacy IT and recognizing value | ITProPortal

          In a fast-paced world of business technology, innovators and users scramble to stay at the cutting edge – at the head of the comet. Yet further back in the comet tail lies long-standing, trusted technology, often referred to as “legacy” systems. The idea of “legacy systems” means different things to different people. Yes, there are some consistent elements: people are usually talking about the use of COBOL or mainframe systems. But the binary of new vs. old that the term presents – good vs. bad – is at minimum misleading, to others potentially harmful to business.

          Talking to one CIO who, when some of his applications were referred to as “legacy systems”, he brusquely responded, “these are not legacy; they are my core business”. Therein lies the core challenge: what might be a legacy system to an outside observer may in fact represent crown-jewel core business functionality to the organization. The real dilemma of course, is ensuring today’s IT needs can be addressed at the same time as supporting tomorrow’s opportunities. Keeping things running smoothly in the short term is critical — no matter what is going on or whichever future plans are made. And simply said, rip and replace tactics can be hugely cost-prohibitive, cause business downtime, and guarantee technical debt.

        • Java

          • Oracle JDK Is Free Again, But OpenJDK Still Recommended

            Oracle has reversed course on a controversial decision to charge companies a licensing fee to use its Oracle Java Development Kit (JDK) and has once again make the Java technology free, starting with the recently released Oracle JDK version 17. However, the move hasn’t changed IBM’s recommendations regarding which Java package IBM i shops use to run Access Client Solutions (ACS) software

            Oracle angered the Java-using community back in 2018 when it decided to stop distributing the Oracle JDK version 11 for free and charge companies a fee for commercial use (starting at $30 per desktop per year, and $300 per processor for server deployments). At the same time, the tech giant restricted access to Java Standard Edition (SE) version 8, which it also distributed under an Oracle Technology Network (OTN) license.

            The change in licensing term included this Oracle threat: “You may not use the Programs for any data processing or any commercial, production, or internal business purposes other than developing, testing, prototyping, and demonstrating your Application.” Anybody who questioned Oracle’s resolve probably hasn’t been on the pointy end of a software audit by the Redwood City, California company.

            Oracle’s stick was accompanied by a carrot. Organizations that wanted to continue using a free version of the JDK were encouraged to adopt OpenJDK, the open source version of the JDK that Sun Microsystems launched in 2006. The software, which is licensed via GPL and supported by Oracle, IBM, and other members of the Java community, has been the official reference implementation of Java SE since version 7.

            Adopting OpenJDK and the associated runtimes was the course of action that IBM recommended for its IBM i community back in 2018, and it’s still the recommended action. However, Oracle’s move resulted in widespread pushback, as surveys showed that many organizations preferred using the Oracle JDK.

          • [Older] Oracle’s JDK 17 – Free Again for Commercial Use

            The Oracle JDK is available free of charge for production use again – under the new “Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions” (NFTC) license. This move reverses a 2018 decision to charge for Oracle JDK production use and does not affect Oracle‘s OpenJDK distribution. The NFTC applies to the recently released version 17 of Oracle JDK and future versions.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • The Pros And Cons Of A Power Flush Toilet | Hackaday

        By and large, toilet design hasn’t radically changed in a good long time. The problem was considered solved, and society moved on. However, [Handy Geng] was tasked by a friend to build a toilet with an extra-powerful flush, so he went ahead and did just that.

        The concept is simple; the water tank in the custom-built toilet can be charged with pressurized air from a compressor when an more powerful flush is needed. Then, when the lever is pulled on that flush, the water will blast into the bowl with significantly more ferocity than usual.

        [Handy Geng] also notes a further benefit from the system. By bolting down the toilet lid, using a gasket to seal it to the toilet bowl, the air pressure system can be used to blast out blockages and clogs.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • NCSC on rise in ransomware attacks [Ed: A Windows problem]

          Over the past 12 months the UK official National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has responded to a rise in ransomware attacks, and a range of services have been provided to businesses over the year to help protect them from ransomware. That’s according to the NCSC’s annual report on its fifth year of working, to August 2021.

        • Open-source leaders seek to fill the gaps in software supply chain security [Ed: These are proprietary software issues]

          Security of the software supply chain has gained significant attention over the past year. Two major cybersecurity attacks — SolarWinds and Kaseya — proved sharp reminders to reexamine every component of software development and deployment, including what they are and where they came from.

          The first signs of major supply chain vulnerability actually showed up over four years ago when the malware wiper NotPetya was launched against Ukraine in 2017. NotPetya attackers, believed to be threat actors in the Russian military, allegedly injected malicious code into accounting software owned by a Ukrainian company. The result was an estimated $10 billion in damages that impacted organizations across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

        • Security

          • Intel audio drivers give Windows 11 the blues and Microsoft Installer borked following security update

            Windows 11 has continued to notch up known issues as Microsoft admitted to problems in the Intel Smart Sound department and Microsoft Installer following a security update.

            The former turned up earlier this week, when Microsoft realised that “certain versions” of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (SST) could tip Windows 11 into a blue screen (of death). The driver involved is IntcAudioBus.sys and file versions and earlier or and earlier are affected.

            The workaround is, unsurprisingly, to get an updated driver from one’s OEM. and later or and later should do it, according to Microsoft. Slightly confusingly, “for addressing this issue, 10.30.x versions are not newer than 10.29.x versions.” The key bit is the last of the version number.

          • [Older: AMD fixes dozens of Windows 10 graphics driver security bugs
          • New Alder Lake Linux bug is similar to Ryzen CPPC bug on Windows 11, patch incoming – Neowin

            When Intel introduced its Alder Lake architecture back at its 2021 Architecture Day event, the company touted its performance optimization surrounding Microsoft’s Windows 11. However, the same can not be said for Linux it seems. As only a few days ago, we reported on an Alder Lake bug that was causing performance loss on the upcoming Linux 5.16 kernel; and yesterday, a new patch was submitted for another issue detected on Alder Lake.

          • Linux Kernel Patches Updated for x86/x86_64 SLS Mitigation – Phoronix

            With GCC 12 having added a new option to enable Straight Line Speculation “SLS” mitigation for x86/x86_64 CPUs, Linux kernel developers are preparing to enable this new compiler feature for further reducing undesirable speculation exposure.

            GCC 12 landed the -mharden-sls= option this week for x86/86_64 after Arm merged its Straight-Line Speculation mitigation to the open-source code compilers last year. The -mharden-sls= option supports values of none, all, return, or indirect-branch. The behavior mitigates against straight-line speculation of speculatively executing instructions linearly in memory past an unconditional change in control flow.

            The kernel patch sent out on Friday proposes adding straight-line speculation mitigation handling and can be configured via the SLS Kconfig switch.

          • New Side Channel Attacks Re-Enable Serious DNS Cache Poisoning Attacks

            Researchers have demonstrated yet another variant of the SAD DNS cache poisoning attack that leaves about 38% of the domain name resolvers vulnerable, enabling attackers to redirect traffic originally destined to legitimate websites to a server under their control.

            “The attack allows an off-path attacker to inject a malicious DNS record into a DNS cache,” University of California researchers Keyu Man, Xin’an Zhou, and Zhiyun Qian said. “SAD DNS attack allows an attacker to redirect any traffic (originally destined to a specific domain) to his own server and then become a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacker, allowing eavesdropping and tampering of the communication.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Police killing of Colorado ‘hero’ illustrates issues cops face in regulating concealed guns

        The police killing of a Colorado man praised as a hero for preventing a mass shooting earlier this year illustrates how laws that allow the concealed or open carry of guns in public complicate police response to shootings.

        Police say that John Hurley, 40, confronted Ronald Troyke after he shot and killed Officer Gordon Beesley in the west Denver suburb of Arvada. Investigators recovered a document written by Troyke with statements revealing his intent to kill police officers, including, “Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can.”

    • Environment

      • Imagine If Stopping Climate Change Was More Important Than Creating More Climate Change Billionaires – OpEd

        We are still getting through a worldwide pandemic that has taken tens of millions of lives. While we did develop effective vaccines, they were not produced and distributed quickly enough to prevent enormous loss of life. This is a tragedy that should force us to ask how we could have done better.

        On the other side, some people did manage to get enormously rich from the pandemic. Specifically, those who had patent monopolies on the mRNA vaccines did very well, as the stock prices of both Pfizer and Moderna soared during the pandemic. Back in April, Forbes identified 40 people who became billionaires as a direct result of their ownership of stock in companies that were profiting off the pandemic. Three of these were from Moderna alone. The number has surely grown, as the stock market has gone up further in the last seven months.

        The reason why the Moderna billionaires might be especially upsetting is that so much of what they did was with government funding. The development of mRNA technology, beginning in the early 1980s, was accomplished almost entirely on the government’s dime. While Moderna did do further research to develop a foundation for producing vaccines, the money to actually develop and test Moderna’s vaccine came entirely from the government through Operation Warp Speed. The government also signed a large advance purchase agreement, which would have required it to pay for several million Moderna vaccines, even if other vaccines were superior.

        In spite of all this government assistance, Moderna was allowed to gain control over key patents and other intellectual property claims. It can therefore restrict the distribution of its vaccine and charge whatever price it chooses.

        In short, we structured the relationship with Moderna so that it was able to profit enormously. Its profits come directly at the expense of lives. While we could have insisted that all the work on done on pandemic vaccines, tests, and treatments be fully open (at least those projects relying on government funding or past government-funded research), we instead had the taxpayers pick up the tab and then give Moderna, Pfizer, Merck, and the rest patent monopolies.


        The companies currently in the industry may resist changing their business model, but it is possible to force the issue. Suppose the government is putting up funding for developing solar panels, with the condition that all the technology would be fully open. If a solar panel manufacturer chose to remain outside the system, they are soon likely to find themselves competing with panels that are sold at much lower prices, since they don’t have to cover the cost of the technology. (We need a provision like “copyleft” developed by the free software movement that prohibits the use of the technology developed through this system by anyone who themselves claim patent or other IP protection.)

        This prospect is likely to lead most of the companies currently involved in producing clean energy to join the system. Since the government payments are meant to be an alternative to patent monopolies, rather than a supplement, they will have to be larger relative to the research spending than we saw under OWL. It will likely be necessary in many cases to compensate companies for intellectual property claims they already possess to persuade them to join the system.

      • Talking climate change at the Europeana Foundation: a ‘green’ team and community action

        The Europeana Foundation’s Business Plan 2021, ‘Towards a digital public space for cultural heritage’, highlights five themes that run through all aspects of our work. We explore these themes with a series of interviews with Europeana Foundation staff. Here, Shadi Ardalan and Patrick Ehlert talk about the Europeana Foundation’s environmental responsibility.

      • Computer-assisted classification of contrarian claims about climate change

        A growing body of scholarship investigates the role of misinformation in shaping the debate on climate change. Our research builds on and extends this literature by (1) developing and validating a comprehensive taxonomy of climate contrarianism, (2) conducting the largest content analysis to date on contrarian claims, (3) developing a computational model to accurately classify specific claims, and (4) drawing on an extensive corpus from conservative think-tank (CTTs) websites and contrarian blogs to construct a detailed history of claims over the past 20 years. Our study finds that the claims utilized by CTTs and contrarian blogs have focused on attacking the integrity of climate science and scientists and, increasingly, has challenged climate policy and renewable energy. We further demonstrate the utility of our approach by exploring the influence of corporate and foundation funding on the production and dissemination of specific contrarian claims.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Invasive species, growing human activity threatens Antarctica’s ecosystems – Hindustan Times

          We tend to think Antarctica is isolated and far away – biologically speaking, this is true. But the continent is busier than you probably imagine, with many national programs and tourist operators crisscrossing the globe to get there.
          And each vessel, each cargo item, and each person could be harbouring non-native species, hitchhiking their way south. This threat to Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem is what our new evaluation, released today, grapples with.
          We mapped the last five years of planes and ships visiting the continent, illuminating for the first time the extent of travel across the hemispheres and the potential source locations for non-native species, as the map below shows. We found that, luckily, while some have breached Antarctica, they generally have yet to get a stranglehold, leaving the continent still relatively pristine.

        • ‘No One Who Hears Them Is Left Unaffected’: Bernie Krause on Turning the Sounds of Nature Into Art

          The musician and soundscape ecologist is behind ‘The Great Animal Orchestra,’ an audio-visual experience commissioned by the Cartier Foundation in Paris—now opening in the U.S.

      • Overpopulation

        • Engineer Helps Villages Become Drought-Free & Save 165 Crore Litres Water

          In 2013, Maharashtra experienced one of the worst droughts in 40 years. Villages such as Shelkewadi, Randulabad, Satichiwadi, Muthalane, Phalakewadi and Thapewadi, faced a severe crisis as they fell in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats.
          Falling in the rain shadow region meant the villages were located behind the mountains, resulting in lesser clouds and low rainfall.

          But today, the villages turned these odds in their favour by becoming water sufficient and creating water management policies that ensured the residents never suffered the same fate again.

          This is all thanks to Pune-based Rahul Bakare, one of the key players who established the Participatory Groundwater Management Network that helped the villages become drought-free.

    • Finance

      • Charities see more crypto donations. Who is benefiting? – Los Angeles Times

        As the biggest cryptocurrencies ebb and flow in value, notching record highs one week before retreating the next, they’re increasingly becoming bigger sources of revenue for charities. However, the number of charities accepting the virtual currencies, known for their volatility, remains limited.

        Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, hit nearly $69,000 for the first time in its history earlier in November, roaring back after sinking below $30,000 during the summer. The value of ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency, also hit a record high.

        Both cryptocurrencies have dropped from their record levels after helping push the overall market cap of cryptocurrencies past $3 trillion, according to CoinGecko pricing. As of Friday, CoinMarketCap, another popular measure, listed the market cap at $2.6 trillion.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Report Finds Gruesome Medical Malpractice and Death in Arizona Prisons

        A paraplegic man was left to physically deteriorate until his penis had to be amputated. A man with undiagnosed, untreated lung cancer lost 90 pounds and died “slowly and agonizingly” without pain medication. A woman’s multiple sclerosis was ignored and misdiagnosed until she was left, at age 36, nearly completely paralyzed.

        Arizona’s prison system is on trial once again in a long-running civil lawsuit over claims of medical neglect, including the examples above, and a doctor’s testimony in the case paints a stomach-churning picture of unnecessary suffering, malpractice, and death behind prison walls.

        In an expert witness report filed last week in the lawsuit, Tod Wilcox, medical director of the Salt Lake County Jail System, describes several cases of preventable deaths that he says were offensive to him as a medical professional and showed that Arizona prisons put incarcerated people at unacceptable risks of harm.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Bridging Africa’s digital divide: The rise of community internet

        As a child growing up in war-torn northern Uganda, Daniel Komakech’s education was interrupted every time he had to flee rebels and hide in the bush for days to avoid being abducted.

        Today, Komakech, 34, helps run a locally owned internet network that ensures villagers in the former conflict zone can study and stay in touch with each other – without unwanted interruptions.

        “Accessing the internet was a turning point in my life,” said Komakech, programme coordinator for the non-profit Battery Operated System for Community Outreach (BOSCO), one of a growing number of community-led internet and phone networks in Africa.

      • Decentralized network develops solution in support of a free and open internet

        As new technology becomes available to more and more end-users, our world is only becoming more interconnected. However, as the spread of such technology progresses, so does the reach of big tech.

        Many of these companies now hold vast amounts of personal user data — information that includes a user’s location, their activity on third-party websites and even the contents of users’ emails — this is astonishing for those in a liberal democracy where concepts of freedom and social responsibility were both built upon expectations of privacy in one’s own communications.

        As a result, your personal data may be subject to more than the stated monetization. Data tracking and the ability to censor individual users raises profound questions about the most basic precepts of our societies.

      • Eighty Civil Society Groups Ask for Swift Confirmation of FCC, NTIA Nominees : Broadband Breakfast

        Eighty civil-society groups have penned a letter to Senate leadership requesting a swift confirmation process for President Joe Biden’s nominees to the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

    • Monopolies

      • Wolfire versus Valve antitrust lawsuit gets dismissed

        Well this was very much expected wasn’t it? A judge has ruled in the case of Wolfire versus Valve to dismiss the case.

        As a brief reminder of what’s been going on – Wolfire Games took Valve to court over a couple of things like: the 30% cut Valve take, and an apparent clause that forces developers match their prices on Steam to other stores if they release their game elsewhere. Valve of course moved to have it dismissed and now a ruling has been passed down.

        In the new filing on November 19, the judge has dismissed and denied the case in part, giving Wolfire leave to amend their case, which going by the documentation Wolfire requested and it has been granted, so we might see Wolfire back again with an amended case at some point (they have 30 days).

      • How big tech is changing who’s in charge of our rights and freedoms

        Since the end of the 20th century, daily life for most of us has increasingly moved into the digital sphere. This has led to the rise of the so-called “onlife” dimension, which represents the intimate intertwining of our online and offline lives. One day we may see the creation of the so-called metaverse, a perpetual online environment providing new digital spaces where people can interact, work and play as avatars.

      • On the way to a European digital public sphere

        The European public sphere has become dysfunctional. Against this background, a debate has unfolded in recent years about a European digital public sphere (EDPS), exploring the possibilities of how another communicative digital infrastructure can emerge—not subject to the deformations resulting from the dominance of the United States digital giants of ‘GAFAM’ (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft).


        EPOS (European Public Open Spaces) is the upshot of scholars who wanted to stimulate open arenas in digitally-networked public space. It is concerned with ‘spaces that serve the public interest, are free of state and market influences and have a European dimension’. The project recognises that public-service media remain, also in the digital-media world, one of the most important places for public policy, culture and integration.


        A paper by Acatech, the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, which is funded by the federal and state governments, advocates a sovereign European digital infrastructure, democratically accountable to citizens, which enables further offers and platforms. In this context, the public-service media are not seen as prominent players but as one content provider among others.

        To develop this system, a governance unit, a European digital agency or network, together with an alliance of European actors—including providers of content, services and infrastructure components, civil-society initiatives and research institutions—is considered necessary. So too is state funding, in conjunction with a European regulation.

      • The Amazon lobbyists who kill U.S. consumer privacy protections

        Jeffrey Dastin, Chris Kirkham, and Aditya Kalra of Reuters report: In recent years, Amazon has killed or undermined privacy protections…

Number of Known Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Networks Grew About 10% Since Freenode’s Collapse, Number of Simultaneous Users Globally Around a Third of a Million

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 249a768218bbf62742a061319e515bca

Summary: About 333,000 simultaneous users in known (to netsplit.de) networks is nothing to sneeze at; contrary to what obituaries and epitaphs want us to believe, IRC hasn’t died and we look at where users have moved to in 2021

THERE are not many sites that keep abreast of IRC. Many wrongly assume that it barely exists anymore, but it has been around for a very long time. As netsplit.de puts it: “Internet Relay Chat (short: IRC) [...] a chat protocol that was developed in 1988 and that’s internationally used for text based communication over the Internet.”

Here’s a list of currently-known networks “in alphabetical order” (Techrights has only just been added, but like many other networks it was “unseen” for a long time).

Based on these known networks alone, the number of users peaks at around third of a million:

IRC totals
Quite steady, quite respectable

“The largest of them that take part in our comparison of IRC networks are contained in the top 100 list,” the page says, “but there are also some IRC networks that are big and run out of competition.”

Well, the collapse of Freenode gave more reasons for many projects to at least consider branching off. I suggested this to the FSF and GNU, but they lacked time and manpower.

“There are 528 known IRC networks listed below,” it currently says, but by using the Wayback Machine we can see that prior to Freenode’s collapse we were only at the 400s. For history’s sake we’re including the screenshots below.


netsplit.de networks survey for 1998


netsplit.de networks survey for 2000


netsplit.de networks survey for 2001


netsplit.de networks survey for 2004


netsplit.de networks survey for 2006


netsplit.de networks survey for 2008


netsplit.de networks survey for 2010


netsplit.de networks survey for 2012


netsplit.de networks survey for 2014


netsplit.de networks survey for 2015


netsplit.de networks survey for 2018


netsplit.de networks survey for 2019

January 2021

netsplit.de networks survey for 2021-jan

February 2021

netsplit.de networks survey for 2021-feb

April 2021

netsplit.de networks survey for 2021-apr

June 2021

netsplit.de networks survey for 2021-jun

July 2021

netsplit.de networks survey for 2021-jul

October 2021

netsplit.de networks survey for 2021-oct

Links 20/11/2021: Blender 2.93.6 and Lots of Politics

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Mint 20.3 Backgrounds

        Today we are looking at Linux Mint 20.3 beautiful backgrounds and how to download them and use them as you like. I have a feeling that we can expect Linux Mint 20.3 Beta to arrive in about a week’s time as changing the backgrounds are normally one of the last things they do before releasing the beta release. Enjoy!

      • Linux Mint 20.3 Backgrounds Slideshow – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at the beautiful backgrounds of the upcoming Linux Mint 20.3.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Patch Fixes Alder Lake XMP, Overclocking Performance | Tom’s Hardware

        According to Phoronix, a new patch for the Linux kernel is coming soon that deals with core prioritization problems on Alder Lake CPUs. The issue stems from enabling XMP memory profiles in the UEFI or manually overclocking Alder Lake chips. Doing either of the two causes Linux to put improper workloads on the wrong cores, reducing system performance.

        More specifically, it appears that Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology is the main culprit. Linux requires functional Turbo Boost Max code to enable proper core prioritization. However, this code can easily be disabled automatically by the motherboard if it uses an XMP mode or the user enters a custom core overclock.

      • Box86 + Box64 Updated For Running Linux x86/x86_64 Programs On Other Architectures

        Box86 as the open-source project to run Linux x86 binaries on other CPU architectures like ARM is out with a new feature release along with the accompanying Box64 project for x86_64 treatment. With today’s Box86 update is even expanded Vulkan support now good enough for handling DXVK.

        Box86 aims to run Linux x86 binaries on other CPU architectures with better performance than QEMU or other forms of virtualization. With Box86 also comes the ability to utilize OpenGL acceleration and even running some Steam / Wine games when taking some additional steps. Though in order for Box86 to work out, the operating system does need a working 32-bit subsystem/libraries. Besides ARM, Box86 could prove important with the growing interest in RISC-V as well as there having been interest from the (Open)POWER side too. Meanwhile Box64 has also been updated as the adjoining project providing similar treatment for running x86 64-bit binaries on other architectures.

    • Applications

      • Blender 2.93.6

        Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Through it’s open architecture, Blender provides cross-platform interoperability, extensibility, an incredibly small footprint, and a tightly integrated workflow. Blender is one of the most popular Open Source 3D graphics application in the world.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What data about your NVMe drives Linux puts in sysfs

        Linux has a habit of exposing information about various devices in sysfs (normally visible on /sys). NVMe drives are one such device, especially because NVMe drives are PCIe devices. Recently I found myself wondering what information is exposed here. The answer turns out to be less than I expected.

      • Why we have a split-horizon DNS setup

        In our network layout, we have a lot of internal machines that are on subnets with private IP addresses; in fact, most of the machines on our networks are in private IP address space. These machines need DNS names, both for us (to keep track of them) and sometimes for other people (to talk to them). Using split-horizon DNS means that we can avoid leaking private IP addresses into public DNS results (well, more or less) while still allowing people to have names under our public subdomain for internal machines.

      • A cow and bull story about Ansible

        Back in the days when Ansible was invented, support for cowsay was implemented very early on, and I even added code for angry cows indicating failed tasks, but Michael rejected that patch.

      • Dynamic Color Manipulation with CSS Relative Colors

        CSS relative colors enable the dynamic color manipulation I’ve always wanted in vanilla CSS since Sass’ color functions first came on the scene (darken(), lighten(), etc.).

        Allow me to explain a bit more about why I’m so excited.

      • How to install OpenToonz eXperimental on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install OpenToonz eXperimental on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Create Nginx Virtual Host (Server Block)

        Nginx is designed to handle multiple domains on a single server and IP address. In other words, If you have a single server that is used as web server and it has allocated one IP address only, then in order to have more than one website or domain running on the server, you use Nginx virtual hosts.

        Before you begin this tutorial, you’ll need to install Nginx. To learn how, read How to Install and Configure Nginx Web Server.

      • How to create long screen recordings using OBS Studio

        There are plenty of tools for screen recording. Some are even now included in your favorite operating system: QuickTime Player for macOS and the Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10, for example. Yet the Xbox Game Bar allows only up to four hours of recording. QuickTime Player allows more (the limit is in theory the space available on the storage device) but it is sometimes tricky to make it work nicely, depending on the configuration, especially for the audio part.

      • TaskBoard Kanban-inspired app installation on Debian 11 Bullseye

        TaskBoard is a very Kanban-inspired app for keeping track of things and scheduling applications, which helps people to keep track of their daily important tasks. TaskBoard is free, open-source, PHP-based, and a self-hosted application available for all the Debian 11 users. It comes with a simple but intuitive UI, which helps the user to manage all their tasks and schedule from one place. TaskBoard is massively being used by many teams & organizations around the world to represent work and path of completion. So, yes you can use it as a lightweight project management tool as well.

      • 6 use cases for Docker containers — and when to pass

        From app testing to reducing infrastructure costs and beyond, Docker has many great use cases. But developers should remember that, like any technology, Docker has limitations.

      • How to Run Your Own Secure, Portable PC From a USB Stick

        We all have once thought in our life to be able to carry our whole computer system in a pocket wherever we go.

        But what if we tell you that it is very much possible for you to carry around your system just on a USB drive? Unbelievable, isn’t it?

        It’s very much possible. You can easily plug the USB in either Windows or Apple computer and once you are finished with the work you can detach it.

        USB will carry all the data of your computer and all it will be e borrowing from the system it is plugged into to is the hardware and the software to use the information stored in it.

        Such one enabler is TAILS, this pre-configured program, helps you set up your complete computer on a USB without much hustle and all you need is a USB drive for it.

      • How to Install osTicket on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Here in this tutorial, we will install the OSTicket open source support ticketing system on Debian 11 Bullseye using Apache, PHP, and MySQL, or MariaDB.

        osTicket offers free, open-source ticket management and customer care solutions for businesses of all sizes, especially small and medium-sized businesses. The software can be used to capture tickets and assign custom fields to each ticket, creating a list of data associated with each ticket that can be shared with customers in the knowledge base. You can create automatic reply templates for incoming email tickets, and rich text HTML lets you add your logo, images, and videos to tickets.

        With the ticket filter tool provided by osTicket, you can define routing rules for tickets so that tickets are sent to the correct person or department. Tickets can also be reassigned if not received by the correct person, and notes on all actions are logged in the ticket thread. The ticketing software helps to further streamline operations by preventing agent collisions using the ticket lock tool. Other features include an autoresponder, customer portal, and dashboard reports.

      • Creating a Horizon Linux Client, Part 2: Installing the Horizon Client

        In the first article in this series, I discussed how, due to lack of the availability of new systems, many companies and educational institutions have chosen to repurpose existing systems as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) clients by installing Linux and a VDI native client on it. In that article, I installed Ubuntu 20.04 on a virtual machine (VM) — first for testing and then on two old, under-powered systems. All three of these systems ran without any issues.

    • Games

      • Steam Client Now Supports VA-API Hardware Encoding on Linux, CEG DRM Games

        Good news for Linux users! The new Steam Client update adds support for VA-API hardware encoding on Linux. Users who don’t want this feature will be able to disabled it by turning off AMD and Intel hardware encoding in the Remote Play advanced host settings.

        Moreover, Valve added support for DMABUF PipeWire capture on Linux, which can be enabled by launching Steam with the -pipewire-dmabuf argument, and it requires the 32-bit version of the libgbm.so.1 library.

      • Compute PBO Download Support Merged For Mesa 22.0, Xnine Comes For Source Engine Games – Phoronix

        Following experimental Zink work to improve the NVIDIA driver support as part of the broader Copper initiative that also allows running Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan for Wayland’s Weston compositor, another milestone has now been reached.

        As what developer Mike Blumenkrantz says will be his last update of the calendar year, the latest excitement is getting compute PBO download support merged into Mesa 22.0-devel. For some select scenarios it can lead a “2-10x performance improvement” but more important making some games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive now work well on Mesa 22.0. The PCSX3 emulator is another use-case that will work much better now with Zink thanks to this pixel buffer object download support using compute shaders.

      • If you love the JRPG style, keep an eye out for Alterium Shift | GamingOnLinux

        Alterium Shift is an in-development indie RPG styled like JRPG classics including inspiration from Chrono Trigger and FFVI.

        “In this game you will experience a story rich, living world, where choices and interactions matter! You’ll journey with three heroes in training; Pyra, Atlas, and Sage. Their teacher, the war hero Dolion, strives to mold his students into heroes, ones better than himself. You start the game with the three heroes taking their final test before being sent off on an important and life changing mission. What fate awaits these heroes and can they accomplish the tasks set forth before them?”

      • Valve provides a deep dive into Steam Deck’s custom hardware design

        Valve’s portable Steam Deck hardware may be delayed by a couple of months, but that didn’t stop Valve from discussing plenty of interesting details about the system during a wide-ranging developer-focused livestream Friday. That included a lot of nitty-gritty talk about hardware specs and software interpolation, but also design decisions surrounding how to balance hardware-power and battery-power concerns.

      • SteamOS 3.0 will be released to the public after the release of Steam Deck

        SteamOS 3.0 will mark a before and an after in the functioning of SteamOS since it is a version developed from scratch on Arch Linux to take advantage of its system of constant updates that allow adding new features much faster and easier. This allows solutions such as the universal FSR to be integrated without much effort, and every time a new feature is ready, it is provided via an update, unlike other Linux distributions that release updates every three or even six months and have to wait a long time for new features.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: most of GNOME shell in the Overview effect

          This week the new KWin Overview effect gained the ability to shows results from KRunner when you search! This brings it fairly close to feature parity with GNOME’s central Activities Overview feature!

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

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Raspberry Pi OS updated: camera and video access simplified

          “Debian Bullseye has relatively few major changes which are visible to users,” according to Raspberry Pi. “There are some under-the-hood changes to file systems and printing, but most of the changes are patches and upgrades to existing applications and features. However, over and above the changes in Debian itself, the Bullseye version of Raspberry Pi OS has a number of significant changes to the desktop environment and to the support for Raspberry Pi hardware.”

        • Most Read articles – Raspberry Pi OS, IBM’s qubit chip, Huawei switchgear

          Raspberry Pi OS, the custom operating system for Raspberry Pis, has had a major upgrade. It is now based on Debian Bullseye, Linux which has replaced two year old Debian Buster. “Debian Bullseye has relatively few major changes which are visible to users,” according to Raspberry Pi. “There are some under-the-hood changes to file systems and printing, but most of the changes are patches and upgrades to existing applications and features. However, over and above the changes in Debian itself, the Bullseye version of Raspberry Pi OS has a number of significant changes to the desktop environment and to the support for Raspberry Pi hardware.”

        • Gunnar Wolf: For our millionth bug, bookworms eat raspberries alive

          I guess you already heard, right? The Debian Bug Tracking System has hit a big milestone! We just passed our one millionth bug report! (and yes, that’s a cause for celebration; bug reporting is probably the best way for the system to grow and improve)

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Infrastructure as a Service with Apache CloudStack 4.16: LTS release brings something new – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation from German]

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has released CloudStack 4.16. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) software is used to deploy and manage extensive networks of virtual machines. Compared to the previous version, there are 22 major innovations as well as over 244 changes and fixes. It is again a release with long-term support (LTS).

      • Open source powers the United Nations’ sustainability goals

        Although the United Nations (UN) has previously spoken well of open source development, several recent events show the UN taking definitive actions to introduce the entire world to the open source way. In July, the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a draft resolution introduced by the representative of Pakistan titled Open source technologies for sustainable development. ECOSOC noted the availability of open source technologies that can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The council invited the Secretary-General to “develop specific proposals on ways to better leverage open source technologies for sustainable development based on inputs from interested Member States and other stakeholders.”

        Open source technology development can be an effective and rapid tool for innovation. Applying it to appropriate technologies to help reach SDGs is extremely promising. “Appropriate technologies” encompass technological choices and applications that are small-scale, economically affordable, decentralized, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and easily utilized by local communities to meet their needs. There is a particularly strong case for open source appropriate technologies (OSAT). OSAT can help everyone out of poverty and into a sustainable state by leveraging the same type of development that makes open source software such a slamming success.

      • 6 Top Open Source 3D/2D Animation Software

        Proprietary software solutions have dominated the 3D/2D animation landscape for most of the last 30 years. The animation software area is one of the sectors where proprietary solutions are gatekeeping the entire industry; it takes tens and hundreds of dollars to get a good working software, and hence, individual animators or small-sized studios don’t even have a chance of entering the market.

        But this is gradually changing, and open source solutions have started to catch up with the competition and offer a similar quality to their rivals.

        That’s why open source solutions have become more important: Beside the fact that they are free as in freedom, they are also free as in terms of cost. They have helped many small indie animators work on their novice animation projects easily, and even turn it into professional projects later on.

      • Web Browsers

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • My Favorite Warnings: deprecated

            The deprecated warning is a grab-bag. Basically, anything that is deprecated causes this warning to be generated, and the list changes from release to release.

            The only reason I can think of ever to turn this off is around a deprecated construction while you are actively working to eliminate it. Silencing it and then forgetting about it will bite you, eventually.

        • Rust

    • Standards/Consortia

      • One of these JPEGs is not like the other

        “JPEG” or the image encoding specification by the “Joint Photographic Experts Group” (JPEG) is a truly universal format at this stage. You really cannot go very far on the internet without seeing a JPEG file. The amount of content encoded in JPEGs must be surely biblical by now. If there is one thing that is going to carry into the future for historians, It will surely be a JPEG decoder.

  • Leftovers

    • Miramax’s Bizarrely Ridiculous Lawsuit Against Quentin Tarantino Over His Pulp Fiction NFTs

      Miramax, the film studio originally founded by Harvey Weinstein before being sold to Disney, then spun out, and currently owned jointly by a Qatari media company, beIN, and ViacomCBS, is in the news for suing Quentin Tarantino over his collection of NFTs about Pulp Fiction — one of Miramax’s biggest hit films in the 90s, and the one that put Tarantino on the map. Like many other content creators, Tarantino is exploring the NFT space, and his experiment is actually somewhat interesting. It’s using a modification of typical NFTs, where some (or all) of the content remains “access controlled” and only available to the purchaser. In other words: it’s DRM’d NFTs, which seems to miss the entire point of NFTs, which is creating a new scarcity of ownership without the scarcity of content access. But, hey, it’s Hollywood, so restricting access and using DRM is kind of in their DNA.

    • Take a Deep Breath Before the Big Plunge

      But I also felt a serious sense of disquiet that took form in these distinct words: “This is just our chance to take a deep breath before the big plunge.” In the year since then, this feeling has not only persisted but has deepened, and has been confirmed by events and by other cultural observers.

      Put another way, Biden’s election was not an automatic “undo” of Trump and everything he did. (Or as I would say to my geek friends: “Biden was not a ctrl+Z.”) First because some of what Trump did is virtually irreversible (like court appointments), secondly because some will take time (like rebuilding regulatory agencies) and thirdly because some is consistent with what Biden also wants (neoliberal economics, militarism).

    • The Withering Away of the States Can’t Happen Soon Enough

      As Austin’s hospitals filled with Covid cases over the summer, city council member Greg Casar was outraged: “The state had been sitting on hundreds of millions of federal dollars that should be used to assist us in the Covid 19 crisis.” Instead of helping cities like his own to keep their hospitals running, Texas state legislators instead “spent their time on, you know, attacking abortion and suppressing voting rights.”

    • Roaming Charges: Muzak for the Cancer Ward

      Mostly the art of summitry comes down to stagecraft and after three decades of these kinds of performances the mechanics of the event are pretty well scripted. Indigenous leaders are brought in from the Arctic and Amazonia to bless the event. Global leaders memorize their lines and pitch coins into fountains for good luck, by far the most assertive act for of the entire affair. News is carefully leaked about fake fights behind the scenes in the anterooms of the conference, which threaten to imperil any agreement. The leaders of island nations are given a few moments before the cameras to declaim how many acres of their land mass have been lost to rising seas since the last summit and the members of the press try earnestly to recall how to spell the names of their countries before they disappear altogether.  Outside protesters from around the world swarm the streets, lending the whole affair a gravitas that these hollow exercises wouldn’t have without them.

      The lobbies of nearby hotels are turned into showroom floors for the latest quick-fix technologies marketed by corporations, most of them also Pentagon contractors, seeking to capitalize on a global green new deal. The rituals of the COP are followed as diligently as the secret salutations and backroom handshakes at Davos and Bohemian Grove. The most important thing, of course, is that whatever agreement is reached–even if it’s an agreement in name only (often the most preferable outcome)–must be good for the bottom line. It must make the crypto-carbon-futures markets jump.

    • Sweets for the Season? Consider the Source

      By buying cheap chocolate, we enable Cargill, Hershey, Nestlé and other multinationals to exploit West African workers. Here’s a brief look at what’s still wrong with the industry—and what else these companies are selling to us.

      Meet the “Architects and Defenders of the Cocoa Production System of Côte D’Ivoire…”

    • Why We Made Going for Broke

      One month after the successful launch of the podcast Going for Broke With Ray Suarez, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and The Nation invite you to a special conversation on work, making ends meet, and the hardships people face in everyday life. Going for Broke host Ray Suarez joins guest Ann Larson, a cultural critic who works in a pandemic-era grocery store, as they talk about how they personally experienced what was broken about today’s work world and economy, and what they’ve come to understand from their experience and reporting on how to fix it. They’ll also explain why they chose to participate in this podcast, and what they hope audiences will get from the show.

      Got a question about work, or an experience you want to share? We’ll be taking audience questions and stories throughout the event. The panel will be moderated by Laura Flanders, host and executive producer of The Laura Flanders Show.

    • Teamsters Elect New President Who Vows to Go After Amazon
    • North Carolina Prison Has Ignored Woman’s Pleas for Gender-Affirming Surgery
    • Whose Money is It?

      Starting with a question: In a democratic country — government of the people, by the people, for the people — who “owns” the government’s money?

      Either money is privately owned (people, companies, corporations, investment banks, etc) or it’s publicly owned.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Opinion | The Corporate Plan to Murder Medicare Runs Through Medicare Advantage

        In 2003, George W Bush set up the destruction and privatization of Medicare. The end of “real Medicare” is getting closer every day, and Congress and Medicare’s administrators are doing nothing.

      • Anti-Vaxxers Go Berserk

        This bioluminescent hallucination definitely belongs in the top ten greatest anti-vax lunatic hits. It’s up there along with the claim that the covid vaccine makes you magnetic. One nurse, Joanna Overholt attempted to convince the Ohio legislature of this. She “tried to place a key and bobby pin against her body in an effort to prove that both would stick to her skin…the attempt ultimately failed,” the Hill reported June 12. Another anti-vax fanatic, Sherri Tenpenny, believes not only that the vaccine magnetizes you, but that it can “interface” with 5G cellular towers. What it does then is an open question; maybe it enables hostile aliens in their spaceship laboratories to decode the DNA of freedom-loving Amuricans and “interface” with it. Probably something like that. No doubt the best protection against this 5G interface is a tin foil hat. The already-vaccinated could use their magnetism to keep it in place on a windy day.

        Also ready for the men in the white coats are those convinced the covid vaccine turns people into zombies. According to a video shared in a March 31 Facebook post, USA Today reported, the mRNA vaccine transforms the human body into a “viral making factory” that “attacks itself, ultimately giving rise to a generation of zombies.” This novel theory laid out in the video “has amassed nearly 10,000 interactions on Facebook.”

      • German Vaccination Hesitancy: a Union View

        By mid-November 2021, this number, according to Germany’s most recognized news broadcaster “Die Tagesschau” was above 300. Meanwhile, the total number of all infections had risen to over 50,000. All these indicators were markedly higher than two years ago, at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

        Germans are increasingly worried about the stratospheric growth rate just before the beginning of the 4th Corona wave. The RKI notes that vaccinated people are currently still four times less likely to develop symptoms of Covid-19 than unvaccinated people. If infection numbers continue to rise – so will the number of deaths.

      • Louisiana Cancer Alley Community Leaders Praise EPA Administrator Regan During Visit as He Wraps ‘Journey to Justice’ Tour

        After long feeling ignored by Washington, D.C., this week Louisiana Cancer Alley community leaders were elated following a visit from the federal government’s highest ranking environmental regulator, Michael Regan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator met with environmental advocates in New Orleans, Reserve and St. James on November 16, as part of his “Journey for Justice,” a five-day listening tour of environmental justice communities in states along the Gulf of Mexico. The EPA tour started in Alabama on November 15 and ended today, November 19, in Texas.

        Regan promised community leaders that they will have a seat at the table during national discussions aimed at advancing environmental justice, a Biden administration priority. Though he didn’t elaborate on any specific local actions his agency will take to help those in Louisiana communities suffering from the effects of industrial pollution, he assured them that their concerns are his concerns.

      • US states to investigate harm Instagram does to young people

        A bipartisan group of U.S. state attorneys general has begun an investigation into Instagram, it was announced today.

        So far it looks as though nine states are on board. The investigation comes on the back of recent news that Meta Platforms Inc., formerly Facebook Inc., knew that its Instagram app was causing mental harm to teenagers but did nothing about it.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The ‘Zelle Fraud’ Scam: How it Works, How to Fight Back

          One of the more common ways cybercriminals cash out access to bank accounts involves draining the victim’s funds via Zelle, a “peer-to-peer” (P2P) payment service used by many financial institutions that allows customers to quickly send cash to friends and family. Naturally, a great deal of phishing schemes that precede these bank account takeovers begin with a spoofed text message from the target’s bank warning about a suspicious Zelle transfer. What follows is a deep dive into how this increasingly clever Zelle fraud scam typically works, and what victims can do about it.

        • Nokia to launch cloud-based software subscription service

          Nokia NOKIA.HE said on Wednesday it plans to launch a cloud-based software subscription service targeting telecom companies for providing software around analytics, security and data management.

        • TPM vs HSM – what’s the difference?

          Hardware security modules (HSM) and trusted platform modules (TPM) seemingly do the same thing: they manage secret keys and enable data protection.

          But what does “managing secrets” mean, and what’s the difference between the two? Before diving deeper, let’s explore why computers need help with managing their secrets.

        • Not even YouTube co-founder was fan of removing dislike counter, looks like it’s back

          The dislike button and counter is part of what makes YouTube great. YouTube co-founder, Jawed Karim, perfectly summed up why that was a bad move.

        • Number of cyber-attacks infiltrating critical New Zealand networks soars

          More than 400 such incidents were recorded between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, up from 352 a year earlier, according to the NCSC’s latest annual threat report, published today (November 16).

          More alarmingly still, the proportion of these incidents that reached the post-compromise stage – where threat actors manage to access and move laterally through networks or otherwise cause the victim harm – more than doubled, from 15% to 33%.

        • Microsoft claims open source is unprofessional, while their own games have “boobies” and “f***face” in them. Bonus: Sexual Harassment [Ed: They even infect Linux with obscene words]

          Microsoft trolls claim open source is unprofessional, leading to censorship, while their own games have “boobies” and “f***face” in them.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Good Governance: OSPO Alliance Announces Handbook for Open Source Projects [Ed: Automated translation from German]

              The OSPO Alliance, consisting of four non-profit open source organizations, has published the first version of the Open Source Handbook of Good Governance. OW2, the Eclipse Foundation, the OpenForum Europe and the Foundation for Public Code have jointly developed the manual as part of their good governance initiative. It offers know-how for introducing a professional management of open source software in organizations.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Instagram Founder’s Instagram Locked When One Person Convinced Instagram He Had Died

              We have talked a long, long time about how the concept of content moderation at the kind of scale of the largest internet and social media platforms is essentially impossible. But it’s not just content moderation that is proving difficult for those platforms. Policing those platforms for anything that relies on user-based input is difficult as well. For instance, Instagram recently found out that its process for locking up the accounts of the deceased may need some work, as one person was able to get Instagram founder Adam Mosseri’s Instagram account locked.

            • The TSA’s 20th Birthday Should Be Its Last

              Two decades later, the TSA has more than 54,000 employees, a budget of $8 billion dollars, and a long track record of harassing passengers for no good reason. Far from contributing to actual safety, the TSA is a stunning example of government failure: Its absurd travel restrictions make air travel no safer, deprive passengers of their civil liberties, and make the process of flying much more costly, time-consuming, inconvenient, and unenjoyable. The agency should never have been created, and its 20th birthday is as good a time as any to abolish it.

              For starters, the TSA routinely fails at its main purpose: preventing passengers from carrying deadly weapons onto airplanes. TSA agents constantly miss weapons, drugs, and other illicit items when government agents try to smuggle them in as part of testing.

            • Tor Project unveils plans to route device traffic through Tor anonymity network with new VPN-like service

              The Tor Project is going beyond the browser with plans to develop VPN-like software in order to offer enhanced privacy safeguards.

              Tor VPN will initially be developed for Android, with a target delivery date in 2023, before porting to desktop platforms over an unspecified timescale.

              The development work will initially involve a collaboration between developers on the Tor Project and Guardian Project, which is known for Orbot, a proxy server that provides anonymity to users.

            • Rejection of indiscriminate data retention: ECJ Advocate General delivers opinion on German data retention law

              Today, Manuel Campos Sánchez-Bordona, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), presented his opinion in the legal dispute between SpaceNet AG and the Federal Republic of Germany on the German law on general and indiscriminate retention of all traffic, location and internet access data. In his opinion, he states that the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data is permissible only exceptionally in the event of a threat to national security, and under no circumstances permanently as provided for in the German law on data retention.

            • Why The Metaverse Will Succeed: The metaverse as humanity’s escape hatch

              I just don’t think enough people—whether normies or journalists—are getting how annoyed people are getting with reality. Speaking just for the US, and just for the bottom 75% of the socio-economic field, life is fucking hard.

            • On Her Majesty’s Secret Server: how the spooks recruited Big Tech

              Amazon is reported to have signed a deal with GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 for its cloud computing arm to run big data tasks for the UK’s three spy agencies. It would make Skyfall’s plot, of an ex-MI6 agent stealing a hard drive with top secret information, a thing of the past as espionage goes digital.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Charlie Brown, Michael Moore, and Insurrection

        What is to be done about the capital-driven fascistic and ecocidal madness afoot in the world’s most dangerous nation – the subjects of my last three Counterpunch essays? Let’s reflect a bit on what is not to be done. The ongoing sado-capitalist slashing and potential liquidation of the Build Back Better Bill is a good time to reflect on a comic strip analogy. Again and again, I have seen progressives, including some very sophisticated thinkers, behave like Charlie Brown in the “Peanuts” cartoon. Even when they know better, they continue to place hopes in Democratic politicians who make progressive-sounding promises that will not be carried into policy. It is reminiscent of the scene where Lucy is holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick and then pulls the ball away at the last second before his foot can make contact. She keeps playing this trick and he keeps falling for it, again and again.

        Think of Lucy as the nation’s unelected de facto dictatorship of concentrated wealth and empire. Think of progressive Dem politicos like George McGovern, Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders and even of Citigroup Democrats who pose as progressives (Barack Obama being the classic example) as football coaches telling Charlie to run back into the ballot box and give it one more kick. “Go ahead, this time you can get good things like health care as a human right and green jobs programs!” The ball is always removed during or after savagely time-staggered, once-every-four-year elections, exposing the coaches as Judas Goats whose basic function is to herd people into a hopelessly compromised, corporate-owned and elite-crafted electoral slaughterhouse. The result is mass political disillusionment and disengagement in the working and lower classes especially, which opens the door for the Republicans, who are in fact the greater evil between the two parties – not because the Democrats are any damn good but because the GOP has now gone full-on white nationalist-authoritarian, eco-cidal, and pandemofascist.

      • An Addictionary of Violence

        Avital Ronell: OMG, violence has had brilliant handlers, beginning with Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt in our modernity all the way through your own work, that of Vincent Emmanuelle on radio, Kathy Acker, Sophie Wahnich, Angela Davis, Allen Feldman and those who have addressed the unceasing yields of violent imposition and over-punishment. Our exposure to violence is manifold, nearly unlocatable. It is hard to extricate ourselves from codified forms of sociality that inflict pain and hierarchy, often juridically backed and meted out in terms of retribution, as Nietzsche argued. Violence swarms us, even in the form of what’s purportedly good for us. Pain and gain used to rhyme. I’ll try to be clear on these points, though the promise of “clarity” is already doing violence to a complicated set of existential givens.

        We deal on a daily basis with the gridwork provided by our techno-media outlets, fielding covert as well as more virulent attacks on our personhood and histories. Sometimes the violence to which we are prey and prone is of a linguistic nature. The way we use and are used by language spills over to our zones of relatedness. We each have a place in a linguistic chain gang that keeps us limited to what can be said or done. Derrida used to say that we are stuck in the rut of paleonymy—old ways of saying, feeling, directing our actions that often are reductive, insufficient, stopping short of inventiveness and resourceful audacity. But violence takes different forms, and sometimes language itself is off limits or can’t rescue the deeply distressed. Everyone has been shut down by depressive stalls and repressed history, friendless moments, or the vacancy of being to which we are all prey, no matter how high on the food chain of protected species one may perch. There really is no violent-free zone. Birth is a breach. Violence ranges from circumscribed playing fields, including sports events, to how and what we eat. Historically, the return of the repressed exemplifies a type of violence psychically dealt and institutionally absorbed, replicated, laundered. This propensity for being absorbed and recast also means that violence undergoes changes that render it compatible with aspects of desire. The internalization of violence, its headquarters in one’s internal tribunal, what Freud discovered as the Superego, requires rigorous analysis if we are to sift through prevalent forms of violent episodes that accrue to our social body, its controlling mechanisms and repressive acts.

      • The American Abyss of Weapons and Warming

        In God We Trust is on all our coins. But, again, which god? The one of “turn the other cheek”? The one who found his disciples among society’s outcasts? The one who wanted nothing to do with moneychangers or swords? As Joe Biden might say, give me a break.

        America’s true god is a deity of wrath, whose keenest followers profit mightily from war and see such gains as virtuous, while its most militant disciples, a crew of losing generals and failed Washington officials, routinely employ murderous violence across the globe. It contains multitudes, its name is legion, but if this deity must have one name, citing a need for some restraint, let it be known as the Pentagod.

      • Opinion | Insurrectionist ‘Shaman’ Gets What He Deserves

        On Jan. 6, Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon Shaman, became the symbol of insurrection in America with the shocking takeover of the U.S. Senate chamber. 

      • Digging for Peace: Resisting Nuclear Weapons

        Besides our small multinational protest, on that same day the Dutch and U.S. militaries at Volkel were participating in another international collaboration, this one for a different purpose than ours, the annual NATO exercise “Steadfast Noon,” literally a rehearsal for the extinction of humanity.

        As we gathered at a wayside near the base with F16 fighters roaring over us, a few of the local police watched from a distance. We greeted old and new friends, sang, prayed, shared food and distributed pink shovels and conspired to dig our way into the base, onto the runway and disrupt the practice. Hardly a clandestine plot, this “digging for peace” was organized openly and local authorities were informed. Our purpose was get into the base, “to advocate that the old nuclear bombs be removed and the CO2 emissions of the armed forces be counted in the climate targets and to protest against the arrival of new nuclear bombs,” but our expectation was to be stopped while trying.

      • The Military-Industrial Complex Needs Perpetual Confrontation

        When US climate envoy John Kerry announced the agreement he acknowledged that although “the United States and China have no shortage of differences” it seemed that “on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done.” In this, however, he seemed to be taking a different track to President Joe Biden, who played into the ever-welcoming hands of Washington hawks on November 2 when he castigated Presidents Xi and Putin for non-appearance at the COP gathering.  This, he declared, was a “big mistake” and contrasted with the fact that “we showed up” but “they didn’t show up . . .  It is a gigantic issue and they just walked away. How do you do that and claim to have any leadership mantle?”

        It is barely credible that the President of the United States would state that the Presidents of the world’s other most important countries are not effective leaders.  The BBC’s record of his diatribe is disturbing, as it demonstrates a desire for confrontation rather than a genuine preparedness to calm things down.  He said that “the fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader — not showing up, come on.”  He continued by declaring that Russia’s wilderness was burning while President Putin “stays mum” about the problem.  He did not know, or deliberately ignored the fact that, as the BBC reported, “before Mr Biden’s speech Mr Putin virtually addressed a meeting on forest management at the COP26 summit on Tuesday, saying that Russia takes the ‘strongest and most vigorous measures to conserve’ woodlands.”

      • Progressives Slam GOP’s ‘Shameful’ Attempt to Add Another $25 Billion to Pentagon Budget

        Progressive advocacy groups on Friday denounced Sen. Roger Wicker’s last-minute attempt to add another $25 billion on top of the United States’ already gargantuan military budget—arguing that the Mississippi Republican’s proposal reflects Congress’ skewed priorities and underscores the need to redirect Pentagon funding to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges in a humane, rather than violent, fashion.

        “It’s time to fix our broken budget priorities, and start putting human needs over Pentagon greed.”

      • From Pegasus to Blue Wolf: How Israel’s ‘Security’ Experiment in Palestine Became Global

        Until recently, however, Israel has been spared due criticism, not only for its unlawful spying methods on the Palestinians but also for being the originator of many of the technologies which are now being heavily criticized by human rights groups worldwide.

        Even at the height of various controversies involving government surveillance in 2013, Israel remained on the margins, despite the fact that Tel Aviv, more than any other government in the world, uses racial profiling, mass surveillance and numerous spying techniques to sustain its military occupation of Palestine.

      • From Empire to Regional Communities: the Democratic Vision of William Appleman Williams

        They were known as the revisionists, as well as the Wisconsin school, because the dean of revisionism, William Appleman Williams, taught there, and his students became major figures in the school.  Coming from a left perspective, Williams and his followers saw the U.S. global empire as primarily economic, driven by the imperatives of its capitalist ruling classes for expansion and profit. In his keystone work, Tragedy of American Diplomacy, Williams focused on the Open Door Notes issued in the 1890s during the McKinley Administration.

        The European colonial powers were eager to dice up China into exclusive economic zones. In the Notes, the U.S. said no, an open door to free trade and movement of capital must be maintained throughout China. The U.S. economy was already the largest in the world. Its leaders knew the U.S. would have advantage over competitors in a free trade environment.

      • Opinion | As the World Burns, Glasgow’s COP26 Deemed a Failure
      • Opinion | It Will Take Much More Than Electric Cars to Fix the Climate Crisis

        That was illustrated at the recent 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit, in Glasgow, where governments, automakers and airlines worked on deals to cut global transport emissions. Because transportation is responsible for one-fifth to one-quarter of global emissions, that seems like a good step.

      • Opinion | Biden Cannot Be Held Hostage on Climate: The US Is Needed Globally

        In the months before COP26, America’s leadership swore that they understood the magnitude of the challenge, the urgency of the need, and recognized the opportunity that this summit could be. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry called COP26 “our last, best chance to save the planet.” We were told that the American delegation would arrive in Glasgow with a historic new legislative package to put the USA on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030.

      • Will Voters Choose to Make Chile Terrible Again?

        My fear lifted substantially two years ago, when the largest social justice protests in Chile’s history led to 80% of the electorate voting to replace Pinochet’s fraudulent 1980 constitution, which had been constraining indispensable reforms. The way the constitutional convention, in session since July, has been reconceiving a deeply democratic government seemed a sign that the perverse institutions and advocates of dictatorship were being permanently consigned to ashes and irrelevance.

        I should not have been so optimistic.

      • The Trap at the Poland–Belarus Border

        In a sense, Poland’s turning what was initially a minor border crisis into an “existential threat facing the nation” was overdetermined, meaning there was no way the government of Jarosław Kaczyński could have treated it as anything else. I remember one of the first days after his Law and Justice party (PiS) took control of the national news channel in 2015, when broadcasters gloated that now they can talk about Muslim immigrants “for who they really are: terrorists.” Since then, it has been a never-ending deluge of the worst kind of dehumanizing cant.

      • The GOP Is Now Gosar’s Own Party

        United States Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) posted an anime-style video earlier this month that depicted him stabbing a fellow House member to death. The target of the congressman’s online murder fantasy, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), called out her “creepy” colleague for his inexcusable action. Gosar’s response? He claimed that he amplified this snuff film in order to “reach out to the newer generation that likes these anime, these cartoons fabricated in Japanese likeness to actually tell them what is harmful in this bill [Biden’s Build Back Better plan] that they’re missing.”

      • Canadian Cops Unleash Assault Rifles, Helicopters Against Indigenous Protesters
      • Minneapolis Man Acquitted Of Charges After Mistakenly Shooting At Cops Sues Officers For Violating His Rights

        It’s not often a citizen shoots at a cop and lives to tell about it. It’s even rarer when they walk away from criminal charges. When it’s considered “assault” to be anywhere in the general location of an angry cop, actual shots fired tend to be greeted with severe charges. Acquittals are unicorns in the court system, which largely tends to believe people who shoot at cops always have zero justification for their actions.

      • Despite Pledge, Biden Leaves Tap Open, Approving Billions in Arms Deals to Saudi Arabia

        “The war in Yemen must end,” declared President Joe Biden in his first major foreign policy speech; “and to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive [Saudi] operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.”

      • Kyle Rittenhouse Has Gotten Away With Murder—as Predicted

        Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old when he shot three people, killing two, officially got away with murder. A jury of his white peers ruled that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he illegally acquired a gun, traveled across state lines, lied about his status as a medic, pointed his gun at protesters, and then used it to kill others.

      • ‘Saddening, Infuriating, and Utterly Unsurprising’: Rittenhouse Acquitted

        Racial justice advocates reacted with outrage and a complete lack of surprise Friday after a Kenosha, Wisconsin jury found Illinois teenager Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges for killing two men and wounding a third during a 2020 protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, with some observers asserting that the verdict encourages vigilante attacks on protestors.

        “Judge Bruce Schroeder presented a case study in how the judiciary upholds systems of white supremacy. And he’s no anomaly.”

      • Kenosha Killer Kyle Rittenhouse’s Republican Internship Offers Disgust Progressives

        Progressives recoiled in disgust Friday after at least three Republican U.S. lawmakers offered Kyle Rittenhouse congressional internships as relatives of the Kenosha killer’s victims wept over his acquittal.

        “They are sending a message to America that violence is not only acceptable, it’s a resume booster for politics.”

      • cyber is what threat actors make of it

        The very term cyberspace creates a distorted understanding of what is actually happening, making us think it must be happening somewhere.

        But we know this is false. Cyber is not a space. There is no there, there.

        This is recognised in a way by the Russians and Chinese who talk about the “information sphere” rather than “cyberspace.” To them, computers are information systems. To the West, computers are a location where the cyber resides. This is a profound difference of understanding that has led to strategic surprise when it turned out that their understanding is more valid than ours.

      • Maybe Don’t Blow Up Satellites in Space

        The space experts I spoke with all characterized this week’s situation as, well, bad. No one wants “a debris-generating event in outer space,” as U.S. officials put it on Monday. Close passes between satellites can happen, and they’ve become more common in recent years. Two years ago, for example, a European Space Agency satellite was forced to dodge a SpaceX internet satellite. Everyone has to simply watch their own flank: Without an international system monitoring satellite traffic, satellite providers are stuck literally emailing each other when they anticipate an uncomfortably close pass. In some cases, reaching out is a challenge. Bill Gerstenmaier, a vice president at SpaceX, said at an industry conference yesterday that while SpaceX notifies the ISS about any close approaches of its internet satellites, the company isn’t sure how to contact Tiangong, the Chinese space station, which currently has a crew of three.

      • U.S. Military Training in Mexico Increased as Human Rights Waned, New Database Reveals

        In the years after the U.S. pledged to invest in human rights and rule of law, the Pentagon spent millions training elite Mexican units how to fight.

    • Environment

      • Burning Planet
      • To Govern the Globe: Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change

        World orders are deeply rooted global systems that structure relations among nations and the conditions of life for their peoples. For the past 600 years, as I’ve argued in my new book To Govern the Globe, it’s taken catastrophic events like war or plague to overturn such entrenched ways of life. But within a decade, climate change will already be wreaking a kind of cumulative devastation likely to surpass previous catastrophes, creating the perfect conditions for the eclipse of Washington’s liberal world order and the rise of Beijing’s decidedly illiberal one. In this sweeping imperial transition, global warming will undoubtedly be the catalyst for a witch’s brew of change guaranteed to erode both America’s world system and its once unchallenged hegemony (along with the military force that’s been behind it all these years).

        By charting the course of climate change, it’s possible to draw a political road map for the rest of this tempestuous century — from the end of American global hegemony around 2030, through Beijing’s brief role as world leader (until perhaps 2050), all the way to this century’s closing decades of unparalleled environmental crisis. Those decades, in turn, may yet produce a new kind of world order focused, however late, on mitigating a global disaster of almost unimaginable power.

      • Noam Chomsky: Ending Climate Change “Has to Come From Mass Popular Action,” Not Politicians

        Chomsky spoke with Poyâ Pâkzâd and Benjamin Magnusson from the Danish magazine Eftertryk in October 2021 about the war in Afghanistan, ongoing US-instigated conflicts with China, climate change, and anarchism. You can watch the conversation on YouTube here. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

      • Cameroon Struggles To Combat Illegal Fishing

        An influx of foreign industrial trawlers in Cameroonian waters has led to an increase in illegal fishing and highlighted the nation’s maritime and national security issues, according to a new study.

        An estimated 70 industrial fishing vessels operate in Cameroon, but most of them are Chinese or Nigerian, according to research by Maurice Beseng of the United Kingdom’s University of Sheffield. Beseng studies fisheries crimes in the Gulf of Guinea region.

        As in other areas in the region, the vessels are known to fish in areas designated for artisanal fishing, use prohibited chemicals, fail to declare catch data, submit fraudulent documents to fish and bribe local officials.

      • Lesson from Glasgow Conference: Protecting the Climate Requires Anti-Capitalist Struggle

        With smooth words obscuring a grim reality, the New York Times reporter describes “a major agreement … calling on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb their planet-warming emissions.” COP26 left “unresolved the crucial question of how much and how quickly each nation should cut its carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over the next decade.”

        The Conference’s hesitant approach originates from past difficulties in reaching collective and binding agreements. In recognition of such, the 2015 COP meeting ruled that henceforth nations need only submit goals voluntarily for reducing emissions.

      • How Permaculture Offers a Path to Climate Justice

        A potential antidote to harmful monocultures is a form of community farming invented back in the 1970s: permaculture. Permaculture is not just about farming; it incorporates economic and social principles.

        I am an environmental sociologist, and I have witnessed permaculture working in two urban farming communities. I study ways that environmental justice, global development and social equity affect climate change.

      • COP26 Is Over. When Will Congress Do Its Part and Stop Subsidizing Extinction?
      • Thermal Videos Reveal Heavy Pollution From the Texas Oil Boom
      • Extreme Temperatures From Climate Change Will Harm Workers

        Both summaries use the EPA analysis based on a 2°C level of warming from the 1986 to 2005 base period. Prior to the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference, referred to as COP26, we were on track for 2.7°C of warming. Based on the commitments made at COP26, we may now be on track to limit warming to somewhere between 1.8°C and 2.4°C. Given this predicted increase in warming and that extreme heat is the deadliest of all weather hazards, the impacts of extreme temperatures must be examined. This article emphasizes the importance of considering the effects of extreme temperatures on workers, as climate change drives up the number of days a year with temperatures above 32°C (90°F). This analysis does not evaluate changes in labor hours that may result from other climate-driven weather events that may affect labor, such as hurricanes, forest fires, flooding, and other extreme weather disasters. The EPA report focuses primarily on the direct effects of extreme temperatures on labor hours in weather-exposed industries, such as construction and agriculture. In this article, however, we will take a broader look at these direct effects, as well as the potential indirect effects on worker health and well-being, and we will contextualize how these events may also harm industries that are not considered “weather-exposed,” such as retail.

        The Direct Effect of Extreme Heat on Work Hours Across the United States

      • Democrats Must Stand Firm on Funding the Civilian Climate Corps

        It’s been called the Great Resignation, as millions of workers opt out of degrading or potentially dangerous work under the shadow of Covid-19. But for the youngest segment of the workforce, it’s hardly a choice at all. In September, almost a full quarter of Americans ages 20 to 34 were not working or on the job hunt.

      • Why Our Climate Isn’t Jumping for Joy After COP26

        After more than two weeks of intense discussions—and many evenings of corporate-funded cocktail parties—the most powerful countries in the world left the convention center pleased not to have altered the status quo.

        The focus of the discussions and negotiations by world leaders during COP26 seemed to be on the change of a word in the Glasgow Climate Pact, the final document that will be adopted by nearly 200 nations. Initially, the countries had begun to agree to the “phase-out” of coal; the final version of the document, however, merely said that the countries would “phase down” coal. During the last hours of the COP26 summit on November 13, Swiss Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga took the microphone and expressed her “profound disappointment” with the change. “The language we had agreed on coal and fossil fuel subsidies has been further watered down as a result of an untransparent process,” she said.

      • COP26: Greenwashing, Plutocratic Misadventures — and the Possibilities of Radical Transformation

        We need justice. But that word — Justice! — despite all of the philosophical pontificating from John Locke to John Rawls, is a concept incompatible with the rapacious civilizational logic of a colonial/capitalist system based on self-interest, greed, and social Darwinism. Yet, without a firm commitment to the institutionalization of a just world order in which the gifts of mother-earth are equally shared along with respect for the earth and its natural order, the evidence is now irrefutable – human society will not survive.

        The elementary logic of this observation suggests the necessity for a radical divergence from production processes, consumption patterns, destructive relationships to the natural world, and degrading social relationships, is denied by powerful Northern capitalist countries.

      • COP26: What You’d Expect When Oil Companies Are in and Environmentalists Are Out

        The 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, otherwise known as COP26, concluded its two weeks in Glasgow with congratulations all around for themselves by government participants, as is traditionally the case. If you were to judge by the participants’ pronouncement, you’d think the environment is on the verge of being saved.

        For example, the official communiqué issued by the conference loftily declared, “COP26 has today concluded in Glasgow with nearly 200 countries agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement.” To be fair, there was more acknowledgment that more work needs to be done than is customary, as the communiqué also said, “The Glasgow Climate Pact, combined with increased ambition and action from countries, means that 1.5C remains in sight, but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts.”

      • If You Think the Pushback Against Vaccine Mandates is Unhinged, Wait for the Climate Mandates

        Most Americans have gotten vaccinated because they simply want protection from COVID-19. Some small number of citizens have gotten jabbed in order to go to restaurants, attend sporting events, or qualify for lottery prizes.

        You’d think that would be enough. Effective vaccine against a life-threatening disease, opportunity to regain some semblance of normalcy, a coupon for 10 percent off your next purchase at the store where you got your shot: truly a no-brainer.

      • The Streets of New Orleans

        Environmental Justice Communities

        After 18 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, we decided it was time to hit the streets and visit some of our “environmental justice communities” on the Gulf Coast. Environmental Justice Communities (EJC) are non-white or working-class neighborhoods that have been flooded, burned, poisoned, or impoverished by the petrochemical, biomedical, transportation, real estate, timber, animal agriculture, or financial service industries. Another way of putting it is that residents in these neighborhoods are the screwed of the screwed. Whereas poverty and discrimination typically expose people to substandard housing, poor municipal services and street crime, industrial pollution in EJC communities additionally subjects residents to discomfort, ugliness, and disease. Global warming has made these impacts even worse, for example by flooding mines and factories, spreading toxic agents into adjacent residential neighborhoods.

      • Energy

        • “Miseducation”: How Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Push Climate Denialism to Kids in U.S. Schools

          We look at how the fossil fuel industry is shaping childrens’ education in the United States. The Texas State Board of Education is set to vote on whether or not new science standards for middle schoolers should include climate change. The language they choose will ultimately dictate how textbooks nationwide address the issue. The Board already watered down the standards after fierce lobbying by fossil fuel companies, despite urging from climate scientists that school curriculums should reflect how human activity, such as the release of greenhouse gases, has affected the climate. We speak with investigative reporter Katie Worth, who visited schools across the United States and found corporate and political interests are blocking the truth about the climate crisis from being taught in classrooms. Her new book is “Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America.” “There’s a long history of the fossil fuel industry trying to get their messages to children, because that shapes how future generations will think about their industry and how they will regulate their industry,” says Worth.

        • Cheap Wind and Solar Should Prompt ‘Rethink’ on Role of CCS, Paper Argues

          The falling cost of wind and solar power significantly reduces the need for carbon capture and storage technology to tackle climate change, a new paper has argued.

          CCS, which removes emissions from the atmosphere and stores them underground, has long been presented as critical to restricting global heating to 1.5C by the end of the century.

        • Canadian Police Raid Wet’suwet’en Pipeline Blockade, Arrest 15 Land Defenders

          Wielding assault rifles, helicopters, and canine units, Canadian police raided Wet’suwet’en territory this week and arrested 14 people in effort to break up the Indigenous-led blockade of the multibillion dollar Coastal GasLink pipeline being constructed by TC Energy. The occupation started in September and halted the company’s efforts to build a key portion of the over 400-mile pipeline within Wet’suwet’en lands that violates both Wet’suwet’en and Canadian laws. We speak with land defender and matriarch of the Gidimt’en Clan of Wet’suwet’en Nation Molly Wickham, one of the witnesses to the police raid. “This project does not have free, prior, informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en people,” says Wickham. “It’s as if we don’t exist as Indigenous people, and that we don’t have our own governance and that we don’t have our own system of law.”

        • Cryptocurrencies Can Destabilize Nations, Hillary Clinton Warns

          Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a swipe at cryptocurrencies, saying they have the power to weaken entire countries eventually.

        • Construction begins on Finland’s largest wind farm

          Once completed, the total capacity of the wind farm will be 455.4 MW (megawatts).

          The 650 million-euro project will be funded and implemented by a consortium of Finnish energy companies in collaboration with Swedish renewable energy and construction company OX2.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Humans and Jaguars Can Live Together — Here’s How
        • Biden Applauded for Reversing Trump Assault on ‘Priceless’ Tongass National Forest

          “We need to continue to protect old forests and big trees, such as those in the Tongass, to ensure our future includes essential species and a livable climate.”

          “We applaud the Biden administration for listening to the voices of Southeast Alaska communities who have been relentless in their advocacy to protect the livelihoods, local economies, and wildlife that depend on the Tongass,” said Sierra Club Alaska chapter director Andrea Feniger in a statement. “The Tongass is a priceless resource and a critical tool in the fight against climate change, and this action brings us one step closer to ensuring that our forest wildlands remain protected for good.”

        • Brazil, Amazon, World: West Papua’s Green State Vision, an Appeal to Lula

          This is a big, very bold question because it would, in fact, challenge the Eurocentric, imperially-based Westphalian system and embrace the broader idea of Indigenous systems that recognise “interdependencies between political actors and relations to the land”. Powerful political actors, all too often presented as paragons of diplomacy, present a problem here because state-level support for the West Papuan project would entail enraging the Indonesian regime and its big western backers (as we’ll explain below). Yet, if ever there was a global display of the fact that small states and ordinary people must wrest power from those who presently wield it if this planet and its creatures are to have a decent future, it’s just been acted out in Glasgow.

          After COP(OUT)26—where the largest delegation, if they represented a nation, consisted of over 500 oil, gas, and coal lobbyists, plus “nature-based” mavens from BP, Amazon, Air France, Coca-Cola, Dow, et tutti quanti—we can only assume that if this is really our “last, best hope”, we’re toast. The rich and powerful have once again swanked their stripes and aren’t even going to contemplate the changes the “last, best” hope requires. Hope dwells elsewhere. To cut to the chase, the rich and powerful need to be taxed out of the existence they enjoy now, and the rest of us need to heed the COP26 Coalition spokesperson Asad Rehman. “The richest have ignored every moral and political call to do their fair share. Their broken promises across 26 COPs are no longer fooling anyone…We know it is ordinary people who change history, and we will change history.”

    • Finance

      • After House Passage, Sanders Vows to Strengthen Build Back Better ‘In a Number of Ways’

        Sen. Bernie Sanders praised House Democrats on Friday for passing their version of the Build Back Better Act but made clear he intends to push for significant improvements to the $1.75 trillion social spending and climate package before it reaches President Joe Biden’s desk.

        “The American people overwhelmingly demand that we ask the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.”

      • Opinion | Our Economic Model Is Failing Working People: Bring On the Scapegoats

        As the economy gradually melts down into levels of deprivation and drudgery not seen in decades, working people are subjected to a chorus of misinformation from liberal sources.

      • ‘There Are No Excuses Left’: Climate Groups Demand Swift Senate Passage of Build Back Better

        In the wake of Friday’s passage of Democrats’ flagship Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill by the House of Representatives, climate campaigners turned their attention to the U.S. Senate, urging members of the upper chamber to approve the $1.75 trillion social and climate investment package without delay.

        “We’d be lying if we said the Build Back Better Act passing the House was not a historic moment for climate action, but it means nothing if the Senate does not pass it.”

      • ‘Time to Deliver’: House Democrats Pass Build Back Better Act With Zero GOP Votes

        Democrats broke out into applause and celebratory chants on the House floor Friday after the chamber passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion package that includes hundreds of billions in funding for climate action, child care, housing, and other longstanding priorities.

        “President Biden and Majority Leader Schumer must ensure that Democrats pass the Build Back Better Act—without further cuts—immediately.”

      • ‘Bad Politics, Bad Policy’: Sanders Slams House Democrats for Including Tax Cut for Rich in BBB

        “You can’t be a political party that talks about demanding the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, and then end up with a bill that gives large tax breaks to millionaires.”

      • An LA Councilman Tried to Help the Homeless. Now He May Lose His Job.

        In October, Los Angeles City Council member Mike Bonin sat in the courtyard of a Ramada Inn, talking to a slender 29-year-old named Ololade Oguntayo. After spending four months homeless on Venice Beach, Oguntayo had recently accepted transitional housing at the Ramada. Oguntayo told Bonin about moving back to LA at the beginning of the pandemic. “I figured the world was ending, so let me just live with my family,” Oguntayo explained. But they soon clashed with their mother’s partner, who wasn’t accepting of their gender identity. So they ended up on the beach, living with a group of other young people. It was a grueling and often dangerous experience. “Physically, I didn’t know how strong my body was,” Oguntayo said, “whether it was healing a wound or going however long without food or just finding ways to make the day go by and stay sane.” Bonin, 54, told Oguntayo that he could sympathize. His own father had struggled to accept that he was gay. And when Bonin was in his 20s, he spent nights on the waterfront, sleeping in his car. The two of them laughed at the realization that they’d both attended the same Sunday morning Alcoholic Anonymous meeting on Venice Beach, which had certain attractions common to such gatherings (coffee, pastries) and others—the crash of the waves, a view of the surfers entering and exiting the water—not found elsewhere.

      • Jon Schwarz on Inflation, Enrique Armijo on Alex Jones

        This week on CounterSpin: If you read a paper, you know that inflation is a dire, important thing right now, a problem for the Biden administration, for economic policymakers, and for…regular folks who want to buy milk? You don’t need to understand it, elite media seem to say, but you do need to be mad about it, and direct blame for it toward…yourself? Jon Schwarz writes about elite media’s confusing and conflicting instructions around inflation, among other things, at the Intercept; we’ll talk with him about the current economic reality—and storyline.

      • ‘Now Fire DeJoy’: Biden Moves to Replace Trump-Picked Postal Board Members

        President Joe Biden won applause Friday for moving to replace Ron Bloom and John Barger, two members of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors who’ve shown unwavering loyalty to scandal-plagued Postmaster General Louis DeJoy even as he’s dramatically worsened mail delivery performance.

        “It’s affirmatively good to remove Bloom and Barger from the board, men who said they were ‘tickled pink’ with DeJoy’s actions.”

      • Kevin McCarthy Derided Over ‘Unhinged’ 8-Hour Speech Against Build Back Better Act

        House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is drawing widespread ridicule for his rambling, marathon floor speech against the Build Back Better Act, which the California Republican characterized as the “single most reckless” spending bill in U.S. history despite it being a fraction of the cost of the tax cuts he championed just four years ago.

        “McCarthy must only hate prosperity for families, because he joyfully passed $2 trillion in corporate giveaways.”

      • The Dead End of Public Transit for Profit

        The reason I mention my minimal time behind the wheel is to bring home how familiar I am with public transportation. I’ve been riding it since my last year in junior high when my family moved to Frankfurt am Main in western Germany. Streetcars, subways, and buses were cheap. In fact, a ride cost the Deutsch Mark equivalent of less than a nickel a ride when we first moved there. For the first time in my life I was quite mobile and did not have to depend on parents or other adults with cars. The price of a ticket from the conductor or the vending machine was the price of freedom. Ever since, I’ve been taking the bus or the train whenever I can.

        There’s a certain atmosphere on city buses, a certain set of understandings. One learns a lot from watching, listening, and occasionally conversing with the people around them. It’s not always pretty, but it is almost always informative. There are those who treat the bus as car service and there are those who treat it as a temporary home. In many cities I have ridden in, it is the minimum wage worker, the houseless person, the older individual, and the single parent with small children who are the most frequent passengers. To the suburban mentality, this is often threatening. I attribute that to the antisocial nature of suburban living.

      • Arizona Airport Workers Are Going on Strike

        There’s been a lot to think about nationally this week. There was the extraordinary report showing that between April 2020 and April 2021 more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses: I can’t think of any single piece of data I’ve seen in recent years that so succinctly shows the scale of America’s current addiction tragedy, or the vastness of the societal dysfunction and desperation unleashed these past decades by peddlers of death such as the Sackler family. There was also news on California’s budget front showing that the state is once again improbably flush with cash, and heading for a $31 billion budget surplus. That will open up doors for more expansive social policies and safety net programs. On the other hand, there’s been the relentlessly bad news about inflation and supply chain snarls, and the impact this is having on national politics and on the public perception of the Biden administration.

      • Native Americans Need to Be Included in Annual Census Reports on Income and Poverty

        The Official Poverty Measure (OPM) is widely regarded by experts as the federal government’s worst statistical indicator. It combines an anachronistic poverty line, which has defined poverty down over the last half century, with an income definition that fails to take account of the benefits provided by major social assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The SPM takes these benefits into account as well as some work expenses and out-of-pocket medical expenditures. In most respects, the SPM improves on the OPM, so it is unfortunate that the Census Bureau does not publish SPM poverty estimates as part of its annual reports on poverty and income.

        In this article, we take a first step toward addressing this problem by calculating poverty rates for Native Americans using the SPM. We define “Native American” in the same way as Gabriel R. Sanchez, Robert Maxim, and Raymond Foxworth do in a recent Brookings Institute blog post on how the federal government’s monthly jobs report does not include Native Americans:

      • Biden Won’t Reappoint Ron Bloom to USPS Board, Key Ally to Louis DeJoy
      • There will be no escaping Ghana’s new levy on electronic transactions

        The proposed levy, which will come into effect on 1 February 2022, is a charge of 1.75% of the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. The originator of the transactions will bear the charge except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 ($16) per day.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Former Kentucky Secretary of State Faces Ethics Charges

        Kentucky’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission accused Democratic former Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of misusing her office for personal and political purposes, according to an initiating order filed by the commission on Thursday.

      • Biden’s Progressive Vision Just Isn’t Enough

        In a provocative recent essay in The New York Times, the political historian Jon Grinspan places the distemper currently afflicting American politics in a broader context. In essence, he contends that we’ve been here before.

      • GOP Election Maps in Ohio Latest Evidence of ‘Redistricting Apocalypse’ Now Underway

        Amid an effort by the Republican Party to seize power with redrawn voting boundaries nationwide, GOP lawmakers in Ohio on Thursday approved a new congressional map that democracy advocates rebuked as “a classic partisan gerrymander.”

        “We are in a 1965 moment for democracy.”

      • The Rise of the Right in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Georgia

        In her first election, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a gun-toting Georgian who owned a couple gyms, grabbed 75 percent of the state’s 14th Congressional District votes. That was in 2020. A few months earlier, she’d clobbered her Republican primary opponents—including a former prosecutor, a school superintendent, an Air Force veteran, and a brain surgeon. How did she do it?

      • House Democrats Just Gave Their Party a Fighting Chance in 2022

        The November 2 off-year elections sent a wake-up call to President Joe Biden and Democratic Party leaders in Congress, after the party suffered setbacks in Virginia, New Jersey, and other states. The voters who in 2020 gave the president and his party control of the White House and Congress were tired of bickering and wanted results.

      • Macedonian Ramble: the Slow Train to Thessaloniki

        To get from Bitola (North Macedonia) to Thessaloniki (Greece), after yet another fruitless due diligence visit to the railway and bus stations, I decided to hire a taxi to travel the twenty miles across the border to Florina, where I could catch a morning train.

        I arranged for the taxi to collect me at the Hotel Theatre at 7:45 a.m., which allowed me a last breakfast in the lobby restaurant, where the resident cat, Mustafa, seemed to be in charge.

      • Biden Administration Intervenes In Donald Trump’s Silly Lawsuit Against Twitter To Defend Section 230

        As you’ll recall, a few months ago, former President Donald Trump sued Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube claiming that his own government violated the 1st Amendment… because those three private companies kicked him off their services for violating their policies. Yes, the premise of the lawsuit is that while he was president, the actions of three private companies somehow proved that the government (which he ran) was violating his rights. The lawsuits are nonsense and they have not gone well for Trump at all. Part of the (very) ridiculous argument is that Section 230 is unconstitutional.

      • ALEC “Academy” Featured a Who’s Who of Voter Suppression Leaders
      • McCarthy Mocked for 8.5 Hour Long Speech About Hitler, McDonalds, and More
      • ‘I Did!’: Ocasio-Cortez Interjects After McCarthy States ‘Nobody Elected Joe Biden to Be FDR’

        Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among those who shouted backed overnight during the historic and “unhinged” marathon speech by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy when the Republican from California stated that there was no person in the country who voted for President Joe Biden last year who did so because they hoped he would act like former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who ushered through the 20th century New Deal.

        Quoting a recent comment from Rep. Abigail Spannberger (D-Va.) during his speech in order to argue that Democrats are misguided to make sweeping social investments as part of their Build Back Better Act—which received a final vote in the House on Friday morning—McCarthy stated, “Nobody elected Joe Biden to be FDR.”

      • Meadows Blasts McCarthy’s Leadership, Says Trump Should Be Speaker of the House
      • I’m a Defense Industry Worker. It’s Time to Cut the Pentagon Budget.

        It’s time to cut the bloated Pentagon budget and use those resources where they will actually serve my fellow workers: funding good, green, union jobs.

        In September, the House of Representatives passed legislation authorizing an astonishing $778 billion 2022 Pentagon budget. That’s a $37 billion boost from the year before, and more than twice the per annum size of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that has become the center of a storm of Beltway scrutiny. But because it was for the Pentagon, rather than the people, few even batted an eye.

      • National Cyber Security Centre to be designated as Finland’s National Coordination Centre in the EU network for cyber security matters

        The new role would improve the opportunities of the Cyber Security Centre to support Finnish business and industry based on cyber security. Cooperation with an EU-wide network would strengthen the role of the National Cyber Security Centre and support the development of the Finnish cyber security branch.

        The designation is based on the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres. The Regulation entered into force on 28 June 2021. It aims at deepening the cooperation between the public and private sectors and the research community in the field of cyber security.

      • Australia’s anti-democratic electoral laws “are to maintain the duopoly,” SEP electoral members say

        representatives in federal parliament. It requires that a 1,500-membership list, treble the previous number, be submitted by December 2 or the party faces deregistration. This would mean SEP candidates could not run under the party name during elections.

        In today’s interviews electoral members draw the connection between the laws and the persecution of Julian Assange. They refer to the devastating impact of the pro-business National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which slashes service provisions for people with a disability.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and the problem of COVID-19 misinformation

        Longtime readers might remember that a a frequent topic here at Respectful Insolence was a certain Houston-based cancer quack named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. He was a frequent blog topic, particularly between around 2010-2014. When last I wrote about him, it was before the pandemic and in the context of Amazon, Facebook, and other social media’s early attempts to crack down on antivaccine misinformation. At the time, I noted how Amazon Prime had ceased to host several documentaries featuring antivaccine disinformation and quackery but had continued to host a number of others, including a documentary about Burzynski. My point was that health misinformation consists of more than just antivaccine misinformation and that it’s not enough to deplatform just antivaccine quackery, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories. As I said at the time, “Antivaccine movies are gone, but quack movies aplenty remain.”

      • U.S. Cybersecurity Researchers Link Belarusian Government To [Cracking], Disinformation Campaign

        Researchers with the cybersecurity firm Mandiant said in a report issued on November 16 that the campaign, known as Ghostwriter, was primarily aimed at sowing discord and stealing information.

        The researchers said they assessed that the [cracking] group, which it calls UNC1151, is linked to the Belarusian government, and the group provides technical support to the Ghostwriter campaign.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Yemeni journalist in Saudi Arabia gets 15 years for apostasy

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Ali Aboluhom, a Yemeni journalist based in Saudi Arabia who has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for tweets that, according to the Saudi authorities, constituted apostasy.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • China Enters Era of Cultural Resolution

        The mountains are high and the emperor is far away is a saying in China that hints at how difficult it is to run a country of 1.4 billion people across 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities and two special administrative regions. Then there are 3,000 prefecture  and county level regions, and at least 40,000 township divisions. Consequently, local governments have long turned a blind eye to some Beijing diktats, a dynamic captured by a saying in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: “A general in the field is not bound by the orders from his sovereign.” China is top heavy. Public dissent is verbotten, and officials hide problems and silence whistle-blowers. Simply put there is often nothing to be gained by trying to correct a wrong. When Covid-19 first appeared in Wuhan, police targeted eight doctors who tried to warn the public. The city’s mayor later said he had to wait for Beijing’s instructions before releasing information on the outbreak.

        The cult of personality, once believed dead and buried, has been resurrected. No, we are not on the verge of a new cultural revolution but we are in a time of cultural resolution.

      • Who Killed Malcolm X? Two Men Are Exonerated As Manhattan DA Reveals Details of FBI Coverup

        We speak with independent researcher Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, whose work is featured in the Netflix documentary “Who Killed Malcolm X?” and helped ignite widespread public support for two men falsely convicted of assassinating the civil rights activist in 1965. Muhammad was in the court room this week a judge exonerated 83-year-old Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam due to revelations uncovered by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the Innocence Project that key evidence was withheld at the trial. Aziz has maintained his innocence, and addressed the court after he finally received an official apology, saying his false conviction was “the result of a process that was corrupt to its core.” Muhammad says being in the courtroom was “surreal.” “To watch the government admit that these brothers were sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit was stunning.”

      • Angela Davis: “Forces of White Supremacy” Are Behind Attacks on Teaching Critical Race Theory

        We speak to legendary activist and scholar Angela Davis about the latest war waged by ultraconservative lawmakers against teaching the racist history of the United States. North Dakota’s Republican Governor Doug Burgum signed legislation banning the teaching of critical race theory, defining it as any suggestion that racism is systemically embedded in American society. The law prohibits even discussion of the law in state schools. Critics say the ban also endangers honest narratives of slavery, redlining and the civil rights movement. “What we are witnessing are efforts on the part of the forces of white supremacy to regain a control which they more or less had in the past,” says Davis.

      • Opinion | How Many Dead Kids Before We Admit US “National Security” Is a Lie?

        A new defense budget looms. Maybe we’re running out of wars to fight, but no matter. The proposed figure before Congress is bigger than ever: $778 billion.

      • Still Searching for Justice in Oklahoma

        That’s the good news.

        I am happy that the government will not kill another black man today. I am overjoyed that his mother will see him again. I applaud the tireless work of Cece Jones-Davis and others who have had a hand in bringing this to pass.

      • ‘Victory of Global Significance’: Modi to Repeal Laws That Sparked Year-Long Farmers’ Revolt

        Workers’ rights activists around the globe rejoiced on Friday after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government will repeal three corporate-friendly agricultural laws that the nation’s farmers have steadfastly resisted for more than a year.

        “We will wait for the day when the farm laws are repealed in Parliament.”

      • Split Screens
      • Critical Race Theory in Real Time

        At the age of 16, Kalief Browder was sent to Rikers Island, a prison complex for adults notorious for its rampant violence, for allegedly stealing a backpack. He was held there without trial from 2010 to 2013 and put into solitary confinement for two of those years. While incarcerated, he was repeatedly beaten by gang members and correctional officers. At least once, he was handcuffed while assaulted by guards. He attempted suicide at least three times. And just two years after he was released, Kalief hanged himself at his parent’s home after suffering from major depression and PTSD.

        In contrast, at age 17 Kyle Rittenhouse traveled across state borders to deliberately enter a Black Lives Matter protest fully armed with an AR-15 rifle. There he killed two people and attempted to kill a third. Claiming self defense later, he was able to walk right past the police with his rifle strung across his shoulder. They declined apprehending him despite witnesses shouting to them that he had just shot three people. In addition to this, some of these officers were seen fraternizing with him earlier in the evening.

      • Digital Rights Updates with EFFector 33.7

        Make sure you never miss an issue by signing up by email to receive EFFector as soon as it’s posted! Since 1990 EFF has published EFFector to help keep readers on the bleeding edge of their digital rights. We know that the intersection of technology, civil liberties, human rights, and the law can be complicated, so EFFector is a great way to stay on top of things. The newsletter is chock full of links to updates, announcements, blog posts, and other stories to help keep readers—and now listeners—up to date on the movement to protect online privacy and free expression. 

      • Budapest Convention: Council of Europe decides to facilitate the exchange of electronic evidence

        Just in time for the 20th anniversary of the Convention on Cybercrime, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted a second Additional Protocol on Wednesday. Under the title „enhanced co-operation and disclosure of electronic evidence“, the signatory governments want to commit themselves to the mutual release of data on servers in their territory. The treaty is to be published for signature in May 2022.

        The Council of Europe brings together 47 states, including all Schengen members, as well as countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the candidates for accession to the European Union. The Additional Protocol to the Cyber Crime Convention („Budapest Convention“), adopted in 2001 in Budapest, is currently signed by 19 other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel and Chile. At least ten countries have been invited to join.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • TECHLASH 2.0: The Next-Gen TECHLASH Is Bigger, Stronger & Faster

        The roll-out of the “Facebook Papers” on Monday October 25 felt like drinking from a fire hose. Seventeen news organizations analyzed documents received from the Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, and published numerous articles simultaneously. Most of the major news outlets have since then published their own analyses on a daily basis. With the flood of reports still coming in, “Accountable Tech” launched a helpful aggregator: facebookpapers.com.

      • Copyrights

        • Creative Commons welcomes EC recommendation on common European data space for cultural heritage

          The recommendation encourages Member States to digitize by 2030 all monuments and sites that are at risk of degradation, and half of those highly frequented by tourists. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “We owe the preservation of our European cultural heritage to future generations. This requires building and deploying our own technological capabilities, empowering people and businesses to enjoy and make the most of this heritage. We must take advantage of the opportunities brought by artificial intelligence, data, and extended reality.” This last point was reinforced by the EC on Twitter: “3D, artificial intelligence or virtual reality can accelerate the digital transformation of the cultural sector.”

        • Sci-Hub: Researchers File Intervention Application To Fight ISP Blocking

          Last December, academic publishers Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society filed a lawsuit demanding that Indian ISPs block access to Sci-Hub and Libgen for copyright infringement. The ongoing case now includes an intervention application from a group of social science researchers who say that blocking the platforms would result in a great societal loss to the country.

        • SPARKS Piracy Bust: Extradited Brit Pleads Guilty to Criminal Copyright Infringement

          One of the key defendants in the criminal prosecution of the Scene piracy group SPARKS has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. The US Government signed a plea deal with British national George Bridi, who explained that there was no financial incentive, but that it was all about winning the race from other groups.

Microsoft-Captured USPTO Doubles the Fines for Patent Applicants That Don’t Use Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The latest from the USPTO, based on a communication from yesterday afternoon, may serve to suggest the blowback is growing and applicants aren’t happy to be forced to use Microsoft’s OOXML (or face severe penalties)

A reader who is a GNU/Linux user has alerted us that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is still working to impose Microsoft’s monopoly and proprietary formats by means of penalising those who don’t ‘play ball’. We’ve long written about this injustice, to put it mildly (more like overt corruption considering what likely led to it; akin to the EPO outsourcing everything to Microsoft, which isn’t even a European company).

Here’s a message sent by the USPTO yesterday (less than a day ago):

USPTO to delay the effective date of the non-DOCX filing fee

From: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Reply-To: subscriptioncenter@subscriptions.uspto.gov
Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 1:42 PM

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Patent Alert

USPTO to delay the effective date of the non-DOCX filing fee

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a final rule that delays until January 1, 2023, the effective date of the fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(u) for any nonprovisional utility patent application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111, including any continuing application, that is not filed in DOCX format. Prior to this final rule, the fee was set to take effect on January 1, 2022. The delay will enable the USPTO to undertake enhanced testing of its information technology systems as more users file in DOCX, and it also will give applicants more time to adjust to filing patent applications in DOCX format.

You can find the full text of the final rule in the Federal Register and on the USPTO’s Patent Related Notices webpage.

We’ve included a screenshot at the top.

To put all this in context, our reader explains: “I just got an e-mail from the USPTO saying that they were going to delay the $400 penalty for using pdfs instead of DOCX. I recently discovered from Techrights that the USPTO’s DOCX plot includes forcing application files to pay a $400 penalty for using pdfs. First, it was the $200 penalty – the “Electronic Filing Incentive” – to force paper filers to file electronically, which would be with pdfs. Now, the plot is a $400 penalty for using pdf.”

This reader has meanwhile complained [PDF] about David Kappos, who is alleged to be connected to this mess (Microsoft and IBM controlled the USPTO at the time; Kappos lobbies for both now).

“One of the perks that they gave Kappos for corrupting the USPTO,” the reader explains, “is a teaching position at the prestigious Columbia Law School, and I decided to write to the dean, so on 11/11/21 I sent her e-mails – I had sent a paper letter a few days earlier – telling her about Kappos, and suggesting that she could help getting him disbarred, or at least she could fire him. inviting her to help me get Kappos disbarred, or at least fire him.”

He told her about Microsoft and DOCX: “Paper is the thin end of the wedge. I suppose you might not care about somebody who puts a patent application on paper. But, what about a pdf? Do you use pdfs? Would you be surprised that, with their success in penalizing patent application filers for using paper, the Kappos-corrupted USPTO is now planning to penalize patent application filers for using pdfs? See the accompanying “The problem with the USPTO’s proposed non-DOCX penalty.” [See https://blog.oppedahl.com/?p=4623 , and much more here https://blog.oppedahl.com/?p=7101] Having penalized patent application filers for using the ubiquitous paper to force them to use Microsoft Windows, now the plot is to penalize patent application filers for using the ubiquitous pdfs to force them to use Microsoft’s proprietary DOCX software. And, do you think they will stop there? Why should they, now that Kappos has corrupted the USPTO for them? Will they develop a proprietary Microsoft keyboard that must be used, because there are newly-developed symbols or codes that they come up with and that must be used?”

It’s very plausible that other people have complained, hence the delay. They kick the can down the road for a little while longer. Maybe the next USPTO Director (there’s none at the moment; it is a ‘placeholder’ ad interim) will reverse this awful decision, seeing that Microsoft is floundering anyway. It’s truly insane to do such a thing in 2021!

“I would like to think that she got angry and contacted Kappos and Kappos contacted the USPTO,” the reader notes. “I KNOW that didn’t happen, but you never know: if the right person makes a certain phone call, things can happen. Again, I know that didn’t happen, but it’s good to see DOCX is being delayed.”

Usually it’s a sign of problems, like the US military delaying the implementation of HoloLens (a truly ridiculous rollout of a product from a company whose entire staff Microsoft sacked!). It was all along just a sort of bailout (or grifting), in effect President Biden misusing “defence” budget to prop up Microsoft, the password-stealing company, in the same way Trump had done that with JEDI. Trump passed billion of dollars to Microsoft and to Bill Gates in a number of other ways, as we noted here before. They’re misusing taxpayers’ money (or growing national debt) to feed grifters and crooks.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 19, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:47 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

Over HTTP:

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts