Links 9/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2 and qBittorrent 4.4.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17 to release improvements & optimizations to Intel, AMD, & even Apple M1, offers AMD P-State capability

        Tomorrow should see the release of Linux 5.16, the newest and most stable kernel, delivering massive improvements to start off 2022 on a strong foothold. Linux users and enthusiasts are showing a lot of excitement for this new update, and are even more excited to see 5.17, the predecessor to tomorrow’s kernel, which is to show some exciting enhancements.

      • Linux 5.17 To Bring AMD P-State, Many AMD & Intel Improvements, New Optimizations – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.16 stable kernel is slated for release tomorrow and it delivers on some grand improvements to kick off 2022. But as for great as the Linux 5.16 features are, we are already looking forward to the enhancements on deck with Linux 5.17.

        After the Linux 5.16 kernel debuts, the Linux 5.17 merge window opens like clockwork. With my constant monitoring of Linux mailing lists and Git repositories, here is a look at some of the features on trajectory for landing over the next two weeks for Linux 5.17. The Linux 5.17 kernel in turn will debut as stable around the end of March. Linux 5.17 has a lot of work as usual on new AMD and Intel hardware support, new Arm improvements including the ongoing Apple M1 bring-up, new I/O and network optimizations in particular are exciting on the performance front, and a ton of other exciting hardware driver fun.

      • Fast Kernel Headers v2 Posted – Speeds Up Clang-Built Linux Kernel Build By ~88% – Phoronix

        What may end up being one of the greatest Linux kernel features of 2022 is the recently published “Fast Kernel Headers” effort for cleaning up the kernel headers and dramatically speeding up Linux kernel builds both for absolute/clean and incremental builds. Fast Kernel Headers can cut the Linux kernel build time in half or greater and out this weekend are the v2 patches.

        Last week Ingo Molnar sent out the initial Fast Kernel Headers work to cut the Linux kernel build time by 50~80%. The roughly 2,300 patches clean up the kernel’s “dependency hell” and completely rework the header file hierarchy. Ingo was working on this patch series for more than one year and likely the single ever biggest “feature” to the Linux kernel.

    • Applications

      • qBittorrent 4.4.0

        The qBittorrent project aims to provide a Free Software alternative to µtorrent. qBittorrent is an advanced and multi-platform BitTorrent client with a nice user interface as well as a Web UI for remote control and an integrated search engine. qBittorrent aims to meet the needs of most users while using as little CPU and memory as possible. qBittorrent is a truly Open Source project, and as such, anyone can and should contribute to it.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install MariaDB on NetBSD? | LibreByte

        NetBSD is a UNIX-like operating system with a focus on security, simplicity, elegance and clean source code, it is highly portable and robust.

        MariaDB is a RDBMS created from MySQL 5.1 source code by the original MySQL developers and designed as a direct and improved MySQL replacement. MariaDB is fast, scalable, and robust, with a rich ecosystem of storage engines, plugins, and other tools that make it versatile and flexible in different scenarios.

        MariaDB is available on the official NetBSD repositories then we can install it using the pkgin package manager.

      • How to install Java on Linux Mint | FOSS Linux

        Whether it’s the versatile development potential or its multifaceted portability, Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It has many development-friendly features that make it stand out from its competition. For starters, the ability to run compiled Java code on any supported platform without having to recompile it is one of the defining functions that Java boasts.

        In this article, we will learn how to install Java (OpenJDK) on Linux Mint version 20. OpenJDK is a free and open-source distribution of Java. There is also another Java distribution called Oracle JDK, but that comes commercially packaged and is not required unless you have specific requirements.

        We will be using the Cinnamon edition of Linux Mint 20.2, which is most widely used among the operating system’s three different versions. However, the installation method used here should work on the other two, MATE and Xfce. Let’s get right into the installation now.

      • How to Install SQLite 3 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        SQLite is a free, lightweight relational database management system (RDBMS) in a C library. SQLite is not a client-server database engine. Instead, it is embedded into the end program. Primarily all programming languages support SQLite, which how languages embed the program is with a file with .sqlite3/.sqlite/.DB extension. The software is a popular choice for local/client storage such as web browsers, Android devices, and much more. The list is quite extensive.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install SQLite 3 with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to list all the loaded extensions by PHP – Linux Shout

        In this tutorial, we will see how to install and check the PHP extensions loaded on Linux using a command terminal or GUI web interface.

        PHP is a popular computer language used by thousands of web servers to run various web applications. It is open source distributed under the PHP license. The abbreviation PHP originally stands for Personal Home Page Tools also popularly known as Hypertext Preprocessor. The PHP infrastructure is installed on an estimated 82% of all web servers on the Internet. More than 200 million apps and websites developed with PHP are online. Over 5 million software developers use the programming language.

      • How To Install Rust on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rust on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Rust is an open-source programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and parallelism. Developers use Rust to create a wide range of new software applications, such as game engines, operating systems, file systems, and simulation engines for virtual reality. Although it is sponsored by Mozilla and Samsung, it is a community project. Its focus is primarily on large programs that run on the client and server-side.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Rust Programming Language on a Fedora 35.

      • Useful Wget Command Examples in Linux System

        Wget command is one of the most used and handy tools for downloading files, packages, and directories from the web server in Linux and Unix-like operating systems. Usually, you can download any big or small-sized files through the wget tool; the wget does not limit the file size. Originally the Wget command was abbreviated to the combination of the terms World Wide Web and Get. This handy tool was built under the GNU project.

        It can access both FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, and other local servers for downloading files on Linux. Even with proper configuration, the wget command can access firewall-protected servers. As we will be talking about the wget, so for making diversity we will often use the term ‘World Wide Web and Get’ instead of the wget.

      • How to Fix Sudo Command Not Found in Debian VPS.

        In this article, we will show you how to fix sudo command not found in Debian 10 VPS.

        Sudo is a program for Unix-like computer operating systems that enables users to run programs with the security privileges of another user, by default the superuser.It can stand for “superuser do”, as originally that is all it did however, now it might stand for “substitute user, do”, because sudo can run a command as other users as well.

        After a fresh Debian 10 installation, you could not execute the privileges tasks by running the sudo command. You will get the error ‘sudo command not found in Debian 10′.

      • Stop using Virtualbox, Here’s how to use QEMU instead – Invidious

        In the first 60 seconds of this video I benchmark Virtualbox vs QEMU.

      • How to install Composer on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Learn the commands to install and use PHP package manager Composer on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal fossa. Composer can be used to manage your packages, download new packages, and update existing ones.

      • How To Install VLC Media Player on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VLC Media Player on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, VLC is a free and open-source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files. VLC can play almost any multimedia file, as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

        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 VLC Media Player on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to Install Nextcloud on Ubuntu: A Step-by-Step Setup Guide

        If you’re looking for a true self-hosted file share and sync platform, then Nextcloud is a good place to start. Here I will show you how to install Nextcloud on Ubuntu in a few easy-to-follow steps.

        Nextcloud is a self-hosted file sharing application server that allows you to store your files, documents, and contacts from a centralized location. It is a true open source platform similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other proprietary online storage services.

        The problem with the big players is that you don’t know where your data is exactly and whether it is really safe from access by others. When it comes to some classified data that you don’t want to store on some third-party servers then it is good to go for something that you can control completely.

        With Nextcloud you can synchronize everything between your devices and share files with others as well. Furthermore, you can create multiple accounts for friends/family. They will then be able to log into the server and store data, very similar to Dropbox, etc.

        The server-side program of Nextcloud is meant to work on Linux operating systems, therefore any Linux user even the beginner one can easily install it. So without further ado, let’s get down to installation.

      • How to Install Zoom Client on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

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

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the Zoom Cloud Meetings client on Linux Mint 20 using three various methods.

      • Interrupt or Suspend a Command Execution in Linux – TREND OCEANS

        An accidentally executed sequence of command and system files is in danger now. Any time they will wipe out, What should I do now?

        The situation is familiar; most Linux beginners face this situation and do something unintentionally which risks their files.

      • How to install TermPair to share and control terminals in real time from Web Browser

        TermPair is a web service that allows anyone to view and control their Terminal sessions in real time from a web browser. Simply put, it lets people collaborate, view, share, all in real time.

        You can quickly and securely share your Terminal to the Web and access as well as control it.

        TermPair is good for those who wants to collaborate in real-time. It also has some security loopholes. If you’re not careful, it could be a catastrophic mistake.

      • How to Check Linux Memory Usage – buildVirtual

        How to check memory usage on linux using commands such as top and free and how to query /proc/meminfo to get detailed memory usage stats

    • Games

      • The Legend of Tianding: Review on Linux – Boiling Steam

        The Legend of Tianding is a Taiwanese game. Asia is comprised of many small countries but very few are actually powerhouses when it comes to video game development. Japan more or less created the video games industry in the first place (Nintendo created the worldwide mass market with the NES and everything derived from there), then Korea created the online PC gaming market before anyone else, and… that’s about it. China has its owned closed market that nobody knows (or cares) about, so it’s kind of irrelevant. Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan have a few devs here and there but by far and large nothing major. So I had very low expectations to begin with. Well, virtually anyone with half a brain can make a 2D platformer, but doing it well requires talent and experience. In that context, The Legend of Tianding is an excellent surprise.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Set fire to your applications with Burn My Windows 7 – Neowin

        Those effects were amazing, and not for their time. It was able to minimize your windows using a Mac OS X-like genie effect, dissolve them, rotate your desktop on a cube, and even burn your windows alive! It even inspired StarDock’s WindowFX. Many of the more practical effects like genie minimization, have been available in Kwin (the venerable KDE’s window manager) all along, but they’ve completely disappeared on the contemporary, GTK powered side of the Linux desktop.

        No longer. Open-source developer Simon Scheegans is working on a project called Burn My Windows that restores classic desktop effects like burning windows to Gnome 3x and Gnome 40x, respectively. The project debuted only 3 weeks ago and is hilariously already on version 7. Version 5, which introduced the compelling if not somewhat terrifying T-Rex-Attack effect, was released only two days ago. At this rate, it may be at version 2005 sometime next year.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Libadwaita 1.0 released

          Libadwaita is quite controversial, as aside from dark mode and a (promised) colour API, applications that use Libadwaita cannot be themed. It’s all the result of developers being unhappy us pesky users get to decide what our computers look like, so they decided to prevent users from theming their systems at all. GNOME’s own applications will surely transition to it, and it remains to be seen if the wider Gtk developer community will opt for it as well.

    • Distributions

      • The Top 8 Linux Distros That Have Adopted Flatpak

        In a market dominated by premium-grade OSes with dedicated COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) software, Linux users must make do with open-source variants of such premium applications.

        And a distro-agnostic way to distribute such software on Linux is Flatpak. This is why flatpak packages are rapidly becoming the buzz-phrase amongst users with a Linux-based stack.

        But what is Flatpak and which Linux distros have transitioned to Flatpak? Let’s find out.

      • The 8 Smallest Linux Distros That Are Minimal and Lightweight

        Strapped for hard disk space? Install one of these small and lightweight Linux distros to make your PC usable again.

        Do you have an old PC lying around gathering dust? Would you like to make use of the old small-capacity USB flash drive sitting in your draw? You can reuse your old computer and a USB flash drive by installing a super small Linux distribution on them.

        Here are eight of the smallest Linux distros that need almost no space!

      • New Releases

        • Clonezilla Live Disk Cloning and Partitioning Tool Is Now Powered by Linux 5.15 LTS

          Clonezilla Live 2.8.1 is here one and a half months after Clonezilla Live 2.8 and it’s the first release of the live Linux system to be powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series. The previous release was powered by Linux kernel 5.14, which reached end of life in November 2021.

          Linux kernel 5.15.5 LTS is included by default in the Clonezilla Live 2.8.1 release, which also improves support for detecting hd1, hd2, etc. disks, adds a new functionality to no longer split the image file of a partition when saving an image by the ocs-sr script.

        • EasyOS version 3.2 released

          EasyOS 3.1 was released on October 25, 2021, see announcement at Distrowatch. Since then, we have been steadily working toward 3.2 …and, oh man, so many changes, where to start… Alright, an announcement blurb, doesn’t cover everything, just some highlights:

          Since version 3.1, EasyOS has undergone major structural changes and many new applications added. Some of the structural changes include a move from ALSA-only to Pulseaudio, applications running as their own user, improved hardware-profiling for audio, fixes for samba, audio and video, more video drivers, new /files top-level folder. Software changes include a recompile of all packages in OpenEmbedded (OE) and the addition of major multimedia applications such as LiVES video editor, VLC video player, OBS Studio video recorder/streamer and Scribus desktop publisher — all cross-compiled in OE. Qt5 packages are now compiled in OE. More development packages in the ‘devx’ SFS, including Mercurial source-control and Nemiver debugger. Numerous bug-fixes and improvements.

        • What’s Next for Shift ?

          What’s next for Makulu Shift ? Well, They say a Picture Speaks a Thousand Words, So …

      • BSD

        • Pfsense Box mini PC with 6 Gigabit Ethernet from $417

          A new mini PC equipped with 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports has been recently launched powered by an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor and offering support for open source router, VPN, and firewall software. Enabling you to add a firewall or upgrade your existing network with a number of extra options depending on your preference.

          Available in a variety of different configurations the barebones model is priced at $417 and is now available to purchase from online retailers such as Amazon or AliExpress. Powered by an Intel Celeron 6305 processor or Core i5-1135G7 the mini PC is available with also available with 32GB of RAM and 512GB of solid state storage if you would prefer a system that works straight out-of-the-box. The mini PC router also features a configuration with an optional 4G LTE and SIM card slot. The Fanless Tech website explains a little more :

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • GCC 12 + Glibc 2.35 Planned For Fedora 36 – Phoronix

          It should hardly come as a surprise given Fedora’s history of always shipping with the very latest GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), but with this spring’s Fedora 36 the plan is to ship with the yet-to-be-released GCC 12 and other very latest open-source compiler toolchain components.

          Fedora 36 continues its feature development for this next Fedora Linux release that should be out by the end of April. One of the latest change proposals is for shipping Fedora 36 with GCC 12, which itself will be released in March or April as usual. This isn’t surprising with Fedora always shipping the bleeding-edge compiler even if it means initially shipping with a near-final pre-release package.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.3 is Out! Full Dark Mode, Theme & XApps Updates | UbuntuHandbook

          The third point release of Linux Mint 20 is out! Unlike Ubuntu, it has different code names for each point releases. And, Linux Mint 20.3 codenamed ‘Una’.

          The release still has Kernel 5.4 though user may install updated Ubuntu patched Kernels using ‘Update Manager’. And, it features Cinnamon 5.2, MATE 1.26, and XFCE 4.16 for each desktop editions.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source contributors have edge in jobs [Ed: This article is fake news. It says: “Black Duck is an open source software company.” It’s not. It’s a Microsoft proxy and proprietary software thug, FUD source etc.]

        CarbonData stores and archives all sorts of complex data and enables these to be accessed quickly. It has features like multiple indexes to quickly access the data, intelligent scanning, and most importantly, it enables easy scaling. “The biggest problem with most data warehouses is that the storage and compute functions are clustered together. We separated these two to work and scale independently of each other. In case of a system failure, there should be no loss of data.”
        It took seven months to build the project before it began the incubation phase at Apache where it was assigned a mentor. It took another year to mature the project. It was finally declared as one of the top-level projects, and became a mainstream Apache project.
        “When I was a student, we didn’t have access to software technologies because companies kept them private. But it’s very different now, with open source code available for free,” Raghunandan says. He urges students and enthusiasts to contribute to open source projects. A good way to begin, he says, is by adding documentation to existing projects. Enthusiasts can find something they are interested in and improve it, build it, or maintain it. Beginning with something you’re familiar with helps you get started with the process.

      • WWW/Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • 4 Best Free and Open Source Clojure Static Site Generators

          LinuxLinks, like most modern websites, is dynamic in that content is stored in a database and converted into presentation-ready HTML when readers access the site.

          While we employ built-in server caching which creates static versions of the site, we don’t generate a full, static HTML website based on raw data and a set of templates. However, sometimes a full, static HTML website is desirable. Because HTML pages are all prebuilt, they load extremely quickly in web browsers.

          There are lots of other advantages of running a full, static HTML website.

        • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Oracle Web Cache

          Oracle is a computer technology corporation best known for its software products and services like Java.

          In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company in the world by revenue and market capitalization. They employ over 130,000 people, and sell cloud-engineering services and systems and database management systems.

          Oracle has a fairly prominent position with open source. They are a supporting member of the Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, and the Java Community Process.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ruby 3.1 lands with new debugger in tow

          As has become the custom, the team behind Ruby has used the end-of-year holiday break to push out a feature update for the programming language. Version 3.1 is now available and mostly bestows performance and debugging improvements upon developers.

          Amongst the highlights of version 3.1 is a new debugger that replaces lib/debug.rb. According to Ruby committer Yui Naruse, lib/debug.rb wasn’t well maintained and showed some performance and feature issues.

        • A simple automated build pipeline for Node.js | InfoWorld

          Build processes can be quite sophisticated for enterprise applications, but even simple and early-stage projects can benefit from automated build pipelines. This article describes a quick-to-deploy system for running an automated build, test, and deploy pipeline with Node.js, Jenkins, and Git.

          You’ll need Git and Node/NPM installed on your system to follow along. You’ll also need a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) account. (Google offers a generous free trial account.)

        • Nibble Stew: Portability is not sufficient for portability

          Before looking into portable software, let’s first examine portability from a hardware perspective. When you ask most people what they consider a “portable computer”, they’ll probably think of laptops or possibly even a modern smartphone.


          Some years ago I ported a sizable fraction of LibreOffice to build with Meson. It worked only on Linux as it used system dependencies. I rebased it to current trunk and tried to see if it could be built using nothing but Visual Studio by getting dependencies via the WrapDB. This repo contains the code, which now actually does build some code including dependencies like libxml, zlib and icu.

          The code that is there is portable in the laptop sense. You only need to do a git checkout and start the build in a VS x64 dev tools prompt. It does cheat in some points, such as using pregenerated flex + bison sources, but it’s not meant to be production quality, just an experiment.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Rust

          • Dyn async traits, part 7: a design emerges?

            Hi all! Welcome to 2022! Towards the end of last year, Tyler Mandry and I were doing a lot of iteration around supporting “dyn async trait” – i.e., making traits that use async fn dyn safe – and we’re starting to feel pretty good about our design. This is the start of several blog posts talking about where we’re at. In this first post, I’m going to reiterate our goals and give a high-level outline of the design. The next few posts will dive more into the details and the next steps.

        • Java

          • Java & JVM Panel

            Simone Bordet, Cay Horstmann discuss Java’s new release cadence which brings exciting new features at a more consistent pace, what have been the strongest points of Java, what are we missing?

  • Leftovers

    • How to type foreign languages without looking stuff up • The Register

      Smug Linux types have it built in, on pretty much every Linux desktop. All you have to do is enable it, for instance with GNOME Tweaks, KDE System Settings or Xfce’s Settings editor.

    • Science

      • Can a goldfish drive a car on land?

        Are animals’ innate navigational abilities universal or are they restricted to their home environments? Researchers designed a set of wheels under a goldfish tank with a camera system to record and translate the fish’s movements into forward and back and side to side directions to the wheels. By doing so, they discovered that a goldfish’s navigational ability supersedes its watery environs.

      • Mechanism that helps immune cells to invade tissues

        To fight infections and heal injuries, immune cells need to enter tissue. They also need to invade tumors to fight them from within. Scientists have now discovered how immune cells protect their sensitive insides as they squeeze between tissue cells. The team lays the foundation for identifying new targets in cancer treatment.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Officials react to Omicron’s spread

        Nationally, hospital admissions due to COVID-19 are rising for children, the CDC reported.

      • UT is Working to End the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health and Offer Support | The Alcalde

        When the last slice of pizza had disappeared, the 30 students at the NAMI on Campus meeting quieted and turned their attention to their vice president, psychology junior Alexis McDonald. The agenda for this meeting in October 2018 included a talk about depressive disorders, followed by a National Alliance on Mental Illness tradition: McDonald would share her own story.

        “In high school, I experienced a lot of depression and anxiety, but I had never seen a therapist or had a diagnosis,” she began. “I thought things would improve in college, but my freshman year was the most lonely, isolating experience of my life. I was so anxious I couldn’t go into social spaces and introduce myself. When I walked around, I felt no connection to anyone.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • An Inside Look at a K-12 Ransomware Incident (Part 2) [Ed: Responsible teachers and pupils don’t use Microsoft Windows in schools]

            In 2020, there were 408 publicly-disclosed cyber incidents impacting K-12 school districts. Of those 408 incidents, roughly 50 consisted of ransomware. These incidents often resulted in school closures and prevented districts from accessing sensitive data and critical systems because they were encrypted by cybercriminals.

            During an attack, school district IT teams scramble to find all the ransomware symptoms to see which systems have been impacted and assess the severity. Another threat emerging is the exfiltration of data by attackers to try and force school districts to pay the ransom. This makes data loss prevention for districts more critical to have in place as part of their cloud application security checklist.

          • WebSpec, a formal framework for browser security analysis, reveals new cookie attack

            Folks at Technische Universität Wien in Austria have devised a formal security framework called WebSpec to analyze browser security.

            And they’ve used it to identify multiple logical flaws affecting web browsers, revealing a new cookie-based attack and an unresolved Content Security Policy contradiction.

            These logical flaws are not necessarily security vulnerabilities, but they can be. They’re inconsistencies between Web platform specifications and the way these specs actually get implemented within web browsers.

            WebSpec was developed by Lorenzo Veronese, Benjamin Farinier, Mauro Tempesta, Marco Squarcina, Matteo Maffei in an effort to bring rigor to web security through automated, verifiable rule checking rather than manual evaluation.

          • Wireshark 3.6.1

            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.

          • Broward Breach Highlights Healthcare Supply-Chain Problems

            The attackers breached the Broward Health network by compromising a third-party provider on Oct. 15, according to the organization’s disclosure, accessing: patient names; dates of birth; addresses; phone numbers; financial or bank information; Social-Security numbers; insurance information and account numbers; medical information including history, treatment and diagnosis; driver’s license numbers; and email addresses.

          • Latest web hacking tools – Q1 2022 | The Daily Swig

            After our recent end-of-year retrospectives, it’s time to look back again – this time at some of the most compelling open source hacking tools released during the final quarter of 2021.

            The arsenals of pen testers, researchers, and bug hunters have been bolstered for 2022 by new tools for detecting dependency confusion attacks, finding novel HTTP request smuggling techniques, and uncovering leaked, paired private and public keys that are potentially dangerous.

          • Key Considerations for Canada’s Forthcoming National Cyber Security Strategy

            On December 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released mandate letters tasking his ministers of national defense, foreign affairs, public safety, and industry to develop a new “National Cyber Security Strategy.” He specifically highlighted the need for the strategy to “articulate Canada’s long-term strategy to protect our national security and economy, deter cyber threat actors, and promote norms-based international behavior in cyberspace,” as quoted by Global News.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Book Review | Raising a toast to 15 British men who parted veil of India’s history

        The first British who came to rule India were men of the Enlightenment with an intense curiosity

        It has become fashionable in India to condemn British who came to India during the Raj as nothing but freebooters, racists and british administrators. The portrayal is entirely negative: British rule is generally considered to be an unmitigated disaster that led to impoverishment, subjugation and dishonour. This, however, is not the complete picture.

        Authors and amateur historians, Rupa and Gautam Gupta, have unveiled an entirely different aspect of British rule in India, one that is far from negative. Their focus is on British men long dead who helped revive the forgotten glory of the Indian civilisation.

      • Gold Mine Collapse Leaves 38 People Dead in Sudan
      • Why Libyans want the UK ambassador expelled

        On 24 December, the United Kingdom embassy in Tripoli, Libya, issued a statement on its Twitter and Facebook accounts that, at first, looked like a routine statement on developments in the country—something major countries’ embassies, including the United States, used to do. Not this time. A few moments later, Libyans in their thousands, were flocking to social media platforms to call for the ambassador to be expelled.

        The statement reiterated the UK’s support for elections but what enraged people is a sentence that says that the UK will continue to recognise the current Government of National Unity (GNU) as “the authority tasked with leading Libya to elections and does not endorse the establishment of parallel” authority. The current caretaker GNU government and its Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, have been accused of corruption, waste of resources and, above all, Mr. Dbeibah is accused of using public finances for his own presidential bid. There has been a debate among politicians if GNU should stay or not.

      • As China Fishes in Lankan Waters, India Must Assess Cost and Benefit of Bailing out Neighbour

        Much has been written about the economic crisis staring at Sri Lanka and most of it ends up blaming the incumbent government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and excludes the role of the previous regimes since the country’s Independence in 1948. Question is should India bail out the strategically located southern neighbour, why and how.

        Sri Lanka’s economy was designed to implode from time to time, and that has happened without fail at every turn. Unlike on previous occasions, this time round, the global COVID-19 pandemic hit the forex-centric economy so hard that it will continue to reel under its effect for years and decades to come, even if it overcomes the current crisis.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Northern Ireland aims to break free from BT’s 27-year reign with £125m procurement of land registry systems

        Northern Ireland’s Land and Property Services, part of the Department of Finance, is planning an IT procurement worth up to £125m to replace an ageing BT system running since 1999.

        Costs on the BT contract to build and run LandWeb, a land registry system, more than doubled since it was first signed more than two decades ago leading to investigations by government auditors.

        The Land and Property Services is now looking for a “Land Registration Delivery Partner” to help build a “modern digitally-enabled ICT solution that will support the transformation of Land Registration Services,” according to a tender document published before Christmas.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • John Goerzen: Make the Internet Yours Again With an Instant Mesh Network

        Every device on the Internet, at one time, had its own globally-unique IP address. This number was its identifier to the world; with an IP address, you can connect to any machine anywhere. Even now, when you connect to a computer to download a webpage or send a message, under the hood, your computer is talking to the other one by IP address.

        Only, now it’s hard to get one. The Internet protocol we all grew up with, version 4 (IPv4), didn’t have enough addresses for the explosive growth we’ve seen. Internet providers and IT departments had to use a trick called NAT (Network Address Translation) to give you a sort of fake IP address, so they could put hundreds or thousands of devices behind a single public one. That, plus the mobility of devices — changing IPs whenever they change locations — has meant that a fundamental rule of the old Internet is now broken:

        Every participant is an equal peer. (Well, not any more.)

        Nowadays, you can’t you host your own website from your phone. Or share files from your house. (Without, that is, the use of some third-party service that locks you down and acts as an intermediary.)


        Or, I can join the global Yggdrasil network. Each device, in addition to accepting peers it finds on the LAN, can also be configured to establish outbound peering connections or accept inbound ones over the Internet. Put a public peer or two in your configuration and you’ve joined the global network. Most people will probably want to do that on every device (because why not?), but you could also do that from just one device on your LAN. Again, there’s no need to explicitly build routes via it; your other machines on the LAN will discover the route’s existence and use it.

        This is one of many projects that are working to democratize and decentralize the Internet. So far, it has been quite successful, growing to over 2000 nodes. It is the direct successor to the earlier cjdns/Hyperboria and BATMAN networks, and aims to be a proof of concept and a viable tool for global expansion.

        Finally, think about how much easier development is when you don’t have to necessarily worry about TLS complexity in every single application. When you don’t have to worry about port forwarding and firewall penetration. It’s what the Internet should be.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • The Year Of Owning It | Hackaday

        Talking over the year in review on the Podcast, Tom Nardi and I were brainstorming what we thought was the single overarching trend in 2021, and we came up with many different topics: victories in the right to repair, increasingly dystopian service contracts, a flourishing of cyberdecks, and even greater prevalence of reverse engineering style hacks. And then we realized: they are all different faces of the same beast — people just want to own the devices that they own.

        Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, our modern Internet-connected-everythings have two sides. On one side, we get so much additional functionality from having everything on the net. But on the other, if your car is always connected, it gives Toyota a means to make you pay a monthly fee to use a car fob, and if you have to use Cricut’s free online service to upload designs to the cutter, they can suddenly decide to start charging you. It allows Samsung to not only spy on whatever you’re currently watching on your smart TV, but to also brick it if they want to. More and more, we don’t actually own (in the sense of control) the devices that we own (in the sense of having purchased).

      • Keurig ‘Recyclable’ K-Cups Not Quite That Recyclable After All
    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Ethical aspects relating to cyberspace: Copyright and privacy

          In recent years, there has been a trend in cyberspace ethics towards the emergence of intra-net mechanisms and self-regulatory systems. In particular, in many European countries, information service providers have started to introduce voluntary self-limitation. For instance, in the UK, there is an independent Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org), whose representatives develop rating systems for Internet resources, by maintaining constant monitoring to collect information that infringes moral and legal standards on websites, and – where necessary – block access to them.

          A solution to the problem of the quality of information provided on the Internet can probably come from traditional media, which in recent years have been increasingly committed to acquiring an electronic version of their print or radio and television editions. Moreover, exclusively online newspapers and magazines have already emerged which, thanks to their serious and cautious approach, have won the online public’s trust. These publications can play an extremely important role through widely applied survey protocols; evaluation of electronic publications; maintenance of the virtual media’s reputation; and supervision of the implementation of the basic rules and principles of professional journalistic ethics on the Internet.

Installing and Configuring/Using Kristall (Gemini Client) on GNU/Linux Distros Using AppImage

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 6:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d4e05ba0bbb95b71786564dc18e02ee3
Installing and Using Kristall
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The Qt-based (i.e. decent KDE integration) Kristall is now available for download as an AppImage file; it’s rich in terms of features and it supports gemini, http, https, gopher, finger etc.

EARLIER today I discovered that Kristall is now available as AppImage, just like Moonlander (GTK) and Lagrange (SDL2). They’re other GUI-based browsers (other Gemini clients), but this one is Qt-based. So I turned on video and documented my experience installing it, then toying around with it. Earlier today in IRC we had a discussion about the need to convince GNU/Linux maintainers/packagers/developers to adopt these bits of software and make them easier to install. For a lot of people a Flatpak or AppImage file would likely suffice, but in the long run there are also downsides. Anyway, Felix “xq” Queißner’s Web page/site is here. Nightly AppImage (x86_64) of Kristall is here. Maybe we’ll demonstrate Kristall’s usage more and more in the coming months.

Gopher and Gemini Can Co-exist, They’re Not the Same

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Protocol, Site News, Standard at 2:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 605608feb13aaba90bda86094d6fcd6c
Gemini and Gopher Compared
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: There are some misconceptions about what Gemini is compared to Gopher; the video above demonstrates the difference by browsing/navigating through some Gopher pages

Little less than a year ago people expressed scepticism and also ridiculed us for embracing Gemini and adding presence in Geminispace. Some people who had relied on hearsay decided to dismissively say that Gemini Protocol is little but a “love letter to Gopher” (as if it’s just another Gopher). Since then adoption of the protocol — in terms of the number of capsules — has more than trebled. Yes, in less than a year!

Castor with geminiSoftware with support for Gemini is increasing in terms of size and in terms of number (e.g. number of Gemini clients and scripts/converters for GemText). There are already several search engines for Geminispace (Totally Legit Gemini Search (TLGS) continues to grow) and Gemini’s founder came back from a long hiatus just over two months ago. In his own words: “Despite my total lack of involvement for several months and the lack of any progress on the spec, Geminispace *itself*, which is our real goal, has neither stagnated nor shrunk. It has only gotten better. Awesome things like smol.pub have turned up. All the time there are more and more people setting up little digital homes in Geminispace, who accept and embrace Gemini as it is right now, and many of them are very happy with the status quo. They are writing truly wonderful content, and I have not come across a single thing written there yet which made me think “right now this is merely good, but it could be excellent if only Gemini supported X, Y or Z”. And all of this is hosted on diverse servers and compatible with diverse clients, including clients which have not been updated in months. All of this says we have gotten the most important things right or close enough to right already, and there is no risk of catastrophically messing anything up if we simply resolve outstanding technical issues with the minimum possible change.”

I'm NOT Gemini (meme)Any further changes to the protocol (GemText in particular) would likely entail a massive overhaul in capsules, e.g. regenerating all pertinent pages, which is time-consuming and risky (cannot test things exhaustively to assure sanity in our case because we have close to 40,000 pages in Gemini).

On a separate note, it may help to think of Gemini as a modernised Gopher rather than profoundly more advanced (read: complicated) variant of Gopher. As Gopher is mostly an historical thing from another era we can leave it aside and focus on Gemini instead. No need for Gopher to go away, it can co-exist with a sort of ‘successor’, made to adopt encryption and broader character sets.

An associate reminds us that “in Gemini, TLS is obligatory. Also it has links and some limited structural elements.”

Contrariwise, “Gopher is just a plain file + a directory structure, without encryption. The main downside to Gemini is the bug where it does not send the size of the file in advance.”

What Gemini Clients to Use in 2022

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Review, Site News at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum c0cb7c0e43bf111fb7e014c9c69804f2
A Gemini Clients Survey
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: As another year starts it seems like a good time to revisit the options one has in Geminispace, comparing a bunch of decent Gemini clients (like Web browsers but for gemini://)

“My son and I have been experimenting with #gopher and #gemini,” said this person the other day. “As a browser, we are most often using #lagrange,” he added.

There seems to be a lot of consolidation among users around Amfora and Lagrange [1, 2], so few have paid attention to Telescope [1, 2] in the command line (a much lighter alternative to Amfora, and one that does not use Rust) and Moonlander for a GUI. Both projects aren’t being developed anymore, maybe due to a lack of broad userbase, but there are signs of revival in Telescope. Kristall and Bollux are demonstrated in this video from last year, but the above video of ours does not cover them because I never used them. All in all I tried more than half a dozen Gemini clients and it’s hard to recommend just one because it depends on the user and the sorts of needs one has (e.g. RAM available, access to images, tabbing etc.) and the platform one uses. For me, personally, Lagrange is something I can settle and stay with. It seems to have the most features and its developer ‘gets’ software freedom.

Links 8/1/2022: KDE Frameworks 5.90.0, Kazakhstan’s Tough Times

Posted in News Roundup at 10:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Why I (still) use ext4 for my Linux root filesystems

        The practical answer is that I know much more about managing and troubleshooting ext4 (and software RAID mirrors) than I do about either XFS or especially btrfs. It’s easier for me to create and operate ext4 filesystems on top of software RAID mirrors, and I have a high confidence that I know how to recover from problems in one way or another. My most recent XFS experience is on actual SGI hardware and I have no real btrfs experience.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 7 Ways to Kill Unresponsive Programs in Linux

        Linux software is robust enough to work without causing problems, but sometimes even the best apps might hang. Rather than wait for them to crash, you can kill these unresponsive programs. In fact, there are so many ways to kill Linux programs that you might find you’re spoiled for choice!

      • How to Install Google Chrome on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – LinuxCapable

        Google Chrome is the most used Internet Explorer software on the earth, with a recent update in 2021 that Chrome is currently the primary browser of more than 2.65 billion internet users. However, as you would know, after installing CentOS 9 Stream, only Mozilla Firefox is packaged with the distribution but luckily, installing Google Chrome is a straightforward task.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Google Chrome in three alternative ways, with the stable, beta, or unstable versions on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish.

      • How to Install KDE Plasma on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        The name KDE comes from “K Desktop Environment.” It is a free, open-source desktop environment for those not familiar with KDE Desktop. It provides Linux users with an alternative graphical interface to customize their desktop environment and applications for everyday use enhancement.

        In Linux Mint’s case, this is GNOME. Besides the graphical enhancements and changes, it is also a lightweight, fast, smooth environment with superior performance compared to native shipped desktops with some Linux Distributions.

        In the following tutorial, you will have learned how to install KDE Desktop Environment on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to list all the loaded extensions by PHP – Linux Shout

        In this tutorial, we will see how to install and check the PHP extensions loaded on Linux using a command terminal or GUI web interface.

        PHP is a popular computer language used by thousands of web servers to run various web applications. It is open source distributed under the PHP license. The abbreviation PHP originally stands for Personal Home Page Tools also popularly known as Hypertext Preprocessor. The PHP infrastructure is installed on an estimated 82% of all web servers on the Internet. More than 200 million apps and websites developed with PHP are online. Over 5 million software developers use the programming language.

        It is a scripting language runs on server side to used to convert PHP coded text files into machine code by the web server when they are called up. It is platfrom independent and can be used on any hardware.

      • How to Install OpenJDK 17 on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented multipurpose programming language that is popular due to the design of having lesser implementation dependencies, meaning that the compiled Java code can be run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is also fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.

        The tutorial will install the OpenJDK version instead of the default Oracle JDK. The difference between these two is licensing. OpenJDK is an entirely free open-source Java with a GNU General Public License, and Oracle JDK requires a commercial license under the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement. Other differences are release schedules and other factors that come into play; however, performance is pretty much the same.

      • How to upgrade to Linux Mint 20.3

        It is now possible to upgrade Linux Mint 20, 20.1 and 20.2 to version 20.3.

        If you’ve been waiting for this we’d like to thank you for your patience.

      • File Transfer with SSH, Tee, and Base64

        Even if SCP, SFTP, port forwarding, and remote command execution without a login shell are forbidden, as long as we get a login shell on our terminal and we can print data on the terminal, we are already able to transfer data from the remote system to our local system. The data is in the terminal. It is now only a matter of figuring out how to copy that data to a file.

      • How to install APF on Debian 11

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to install APF on Debian 11. But first, let’s talk a brief about it.

      • Install Arduino Libraries: methods to add libraries with Arduino IDE – peppe8o

        Installing libraries with Arduino IDE is important to enhance your code to support external devices with the help of pre-built software defining communication protocols

      • [Fixed] username is not in sudoers file

        In this article, we will fix a common error that new Linux users encounter username is not in sudoers file. The problem is related to user permissions and can be simply resolved with a single command.

        If you have recently established a new user on your Linux distribution, you may see the error “username is not in soders file” when using sudo. The error occurs because the logged-in user lacks the ability to execute commands as sudo.

        If you’re in a rush and need to fix the issue without knowing the context of the error, here’s how. Please use any of the following methods to grant user sudo access, depending on the Linux distribution you’re using.

      • [Old] How to set up SDL2 on Linux

        We need to link in the SDL2 libraries, which is why we add the -lSDL2 -lSDL2main. Be aware that those start with a lowercase L, not a 1. The program should compile. It won’t show you anything if you run it, but now you know that you’re all set up to write SDL2 programs on Linux.

      • [Old] Beginning Game Programming v2.0

        In this tutorial we will be setting up the SDL library and creating our first window.

      • [Old] Ryan Gordon gets an Epic MegaGrant to further improve SDL, helping with next-gen APIs

        What is SDL? Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) is a cross-platform development library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, and graphics hardware. It is used by video playback software, emulators, popular games and some game engines.

        Ryan Gordon is one of the people responsible for its development, and Gordon has also ported plenty of games to Linux, macOS and other platforms over many years. In a new post on Patreon, a fun announcement was detailed about an approved Epic MegaGrant and how it’s going to be used to improve SDL.

      • [Old] Intro to Software Rendering with SDL2

        Lets display some pixel data on the screen with SDL2 in C. There are a few ways to do this, each with their own trade-offs. I am going to assume that you already have SDL2 set up. Here is the basic framework that our program will use, with the relevant pieces slotted in where the comments are.

    • Games

      • Wordle: What’s the Best Starting Word?

        Figuring out the best first word is simply running the algorithm over each (guess, solution) pair and averaging the filtered words by guess. Here’s a chart of the results. (It took about 20 minutes to run my messy, unoptimized code on my laptop).

      • Little useless-useful R functions – Mastermind board game for R

        The gameplay is simple and so are the rules. The board contains 10 rows (or more) with possibilities of four colours and code pegs (white or black). R engine stores a secret colour combination and user selects a random combination.

        Based on selection, the R engine returns the black or white pegs. Black peg represents that one colour is at the right place, white that the colour matches, but not the position. No pegs would mean that none of selected colours matches the secret colour combination.

      • Playing Super Hang-On With Hacked Controller Gives Reason For Paws | Hackaday

        There’s a thing that happens when you’re shopping at a second hand store. You know how it goes: You see an item that strikes your fancy, your mind immediately locks in, and the item just has to be yours. [Tom Tilley] experienced this when he saw a Paw Patrol kids toy at a local thrift store, and you can see the results of his holiday hacking sessions in the video below the break.

        How did [Tom] put the Paw Patrol game to use? Looking like a motorcycle cockpit left him with few choices. Before long he’d flipped the game over over, pulled the innards, and hacked together what just might be the most perfect toy based interface we’ve seen lately.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • What is KDE Connect? How Do You Use It? [Beginner's Guide]

          In this article, we explain what is KDE Connect, its main features, basic usage guide and installation steps.

        • This week in KDE: better MTP support – Adventures in Linux and KDE

          Many of us are still getting over our new years’ food comas, but we managed to get some cool things done anyway!

        • KDE Kicks Off 2022 With New Feature Work

          KDE developers have kicked off 2022 into full-swing with new features and other improvements now on their way to the next round of KDE software releases.

          Nate Graham is out with his first KDE development summary of 2022 work. Among the changes that KDE developers addressed in this first week of the year include:

          - A volume slider has been added to Plasma’s Task Manager tooltips for windows playing audio.

        • KDE Frameworks 5.90 Arrives with More Improvements for Your Favorite KDE Apps

          KDE Frameworks 5.90 is here to improve the scroll (mouse and touchpad) behavior in QtQuick apps, especially in the Plasma Wayland session when using fractional scaling, add a more modern style without frames to System Settings pages that display a single big grid or list, as well as to improve file listing speed in directories that contain lots of files and folders.

          The scrollable controls in the Plasma desktop and various QtQuick-based apps have been improved as well to change their contents only when the user scrolls on them when the cursor is over them, not when the it passes over them.

        • KDE Ships Frameworks 5.90.0

          KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.90.0.

          KDE Frameworks are 83 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks release announcement.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • Christmas 2021 … – bembel.net

          … is already a few days ago and I finally come around to share one of my gifts with the KDE community.

          After 7 years I replaced (actually had to replace) my old mobile with a new one. The new one however has a camera that sticks out of the back of the mobile for a few millimeters which I don’t like. My daughter designed a custom cover for my wife’s phone a while back, and I asked her, if she can design something for me

        • November/December in KDE PIM

          Since the last summary two month ago we have seen the 21.12 feature releases of Kontact, and more than 1800 changes by 35 contributors have been integrated. While a large focus remains on preparing for a smooth transition to Qt 6 and KDE Frameworks 6, there have been many other additions and improvements to the PIM applications as well.

        • KDE Developer Contributes To GNOME!? – Kockatoo Tube
      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 5 Tiny Yet Useful Features I Would Like to See in GNOME in 2022 – It’s FOSS News

          GNOME is the default choice of desktop environment on many Linux distributions. It’s also my favorite one as it gives a modern desktop experience.

          But that doesn’t mean GNOME is perfect and doesn’t need improvements. In fact, here are a few suggestions to improve the overall user experience.

        • GNOME On Wayland Lands Improved Handling For Direct Scanout Support

          Adding to the changes for GNOME 42 this spring is the Mutter Wayland compositor now taking into account sub-surfaces when determining direct scanout capabilities.

          GNOME’s Mutter already supports direct scanout for full-screen clients to reduce latency and resource use for games and other full-screen software by avoiding any extra screen copy of the screen contents and instead sending the application/game’s contents directly to the output. Just earlier this week Mutter landed DMA-BUF feedback support for improving its direct scanout capabilities particularly for multi-GPU/hybrid setups while on Friday another optimization was merged.

    • Distributions

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo Linux Packages Up AMD ROCm, Makes Progress On RISC-V, LTO+PGO Python

          Gentoo Linux developers were very busy over the course of 2021 for this popular rolling-release operating system choice.

          The Gentoo project has published their 2021 recap this week that outlines all of the achievements made over the past calendar year. Some of the highlights for Gentoo in 2021 included:

          - AMD’s ROCm compute driver stack is now fully packaged for Gentoo. While NVIDIA CUDA support is relatively easy to deploy across distributions. having Gentoo Linux package Radeon Open eCosystem is actually an achievement… AMD with ROCm binaries only officially supports enterprise Linux distributions while those distributions independently working to package the ROCm sources have seen mixed success. Gentoo packaging -all- ROCm packages is the first I’ve heard any major Linux distribution achieving that independent milestone.

      • Debian Family

        • An annoyance with Debian postinstall scripts during package upgrades

          Both RPMs and Debian packages have broadly the same high level features, which isn’t surprising because they’re facing (and solving) the same problems. For example, both have postinstall scripts. However, the details and the social customs that result are different between the two, and so every so often I find something that irritates me about one or the other (usually Debian). Today’s irritation is in postinstall scripts.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Install Linux Mint 20.3 ‘Una’ this weekend if you have absolutely nothing better to do

          Well, folks, we finally made it; the weekend is officially here! Hopefully you have some exciting activities planned. Maybe you are going to a party or taking someone out for a romantic dinner date. Or maybe, just maybe, you have absolutely nothing planned. You know what? That’s OK. A lot of people are lonely and/or have no prospects. And for them, Linux exists.

          Thankfully, Linux Mint 20.3 (code-named “Una”) has finally exited beta, giving countless computer nerds around the world something to do this weekend. And yes, this includes me — I had nothing planned other than a trip to Costco on Saturday and watching my New York Jets lose on Sunday. But now I will be installing the stable version of Linux Mint 20.3 “Una” as well. Huzzah!

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • 11 open source ideas for being more eco-friendly in 2022 | Opensource.com

          For governments and large organizations, open source continued to be a critical component for policy decisions and sustainability goals in 2021. The United Nations is one such organization that is relying on open source to reach its goals across a wide spectrum of issues including climate change. While it is crucial for world leaders to make big decisions to save the planet, many average citizens are also eager to contribute to the cause. Last year on Opensource.com, several authors shared their projects and ideas for making an impact on climate change. If you have a goal to make more eco-friendly choices in 2022, give these articles a read.

        • Raspberry PI headless Transmission torrent client with web GUI – peppe8o

          Even if the streaming services have changed a bit the roles, internet downloads have evolved during the years to optimize the traffic load and keep simpler sharing larger files. The BitTorrent distribution has played (and still plays) a great role on file sharing. Raspberry PI also can use Trasmission client to join the torrent advantages.

        • Stepper Motor with Raspberry PI Pico: 28BYJ-48 and ULN2003 wiring and MicroPython code – peppe8o

          Stepper motors can trasform your code logic into move in robotic projects. The 28BYJ-48 stepper motor (with ULN2003 motor driver) is the cheapest model and works with a simple code on Rapsberry PI Pico

          In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to wire and use the 28BYJ-48 and ULN2003 with Raspberry PI Pico, with MicroPython code.

          Please note that, if you need the code for Raspberry PI computer boards, you can refer to my Controlling a stepper motor with Raspberry Pi Zero W tutorial.

        • 555 Timer On Its Own In Electronic Dice | Hackaday

          One of the most common clichés around here is that a piece of equipment chosen for a project is always too advanced. If a Raspberry Pi was used, someone will say they should have used an Arduino. If they use an Arduino, it should have been an ATtiny.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Government issues high severity warning for Google Chrome users

          The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the IT ministry has issued a high severity warning for Google Chrome browser users. The warning is for the users who are using browser’s version prior to 97.0.4692.71. As per the warning, multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in Google Chrome which can be exploited by someone to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system.

      • Education

        • Top 7 Best R Shiny Books and Courses That Are Completely Free

          So, you want to become an R Shiny Developer? 2022 is the year to do it. Learning a new language, library, or framework can be stressful – even expensive at times! That’s why we decided to share the 7 best R Shiny books and courses you can follow from the comfort of your home completely free of charge.

          You should have at least the basic R programming skills under your toolbelt if you want to become proficient in R Shiny. Some of the top 7 R Shiny books and courses you’ll see below provide a brief refresher in R, but it shouldn’t be your first exposure to the language.

      • Funding

        • Software Freedom Conservancy Reaches Milestone in Fundraiser Ending Jan 15 – FOSS Force

          Good news on the fundraising front from the folks at Software Freedom Conservancy.

          When the organization began its annual fundraising drive back in November it announced that all donations up to $159,191 would be matched by “a few very generous anonymous donors” — its largest match offer ever. On Thursday, SFC announced that the match amount had been reached, meaning that the fundraiser has raised at least $318,382 so far.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Libreboot – New Hampshire (USA) may soon enshrine Software Freedom into law. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!

            This event of such global importance to Free Software projects, and the movement as a whole, has made me decide to write this article. The events in question, covered by this article, will occur on 11 January 2022. This is just three days away, so if you make a decision, you should make it now, today, and prepare. Please continue reading.

            If you live in New Hampshire or in one of the neighbouring states, especially Massachusetts, please listen up! If you are further away and unable to reach New Hampshire all that easily, please spread the following news anyway. It’s important. As alien as it may seem to many of my readers, I’m actually writing parts of this article as though someone who has never heard of Free Software is reading it, because I expect precisely that such people will read this particular article.

            You will see the term Free Software used in this article, but some people call it Open Source Software. However, you should call it Free Software. The word “free” refers to freedom, not price, though the software is usually also free as in gratis / zero price.

            The opposite of Free Software is called proprietary software, or non-free software. Proponents of Open Source sometimes call non-free software Closed Source, but you should call it non-free or proprietary, to highlight the fact that it isn’t free.

      • Programming/Development

        • Exciting recent developments for Fortran coders

          Expert Network member Sam Harrison describes some exciting recent developments for Fortran coders

          At the end of last year, a new Twitter channel @FortranTip was launched, with the goal of sharing bite-sized tips on Fortran coding best practices, similar to the @SciPyTip channel does for scientific Python tips.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Why “process substitution” is a late feature in Unix shells

            Process substitution is a great little feature and it feels very Unixy, but it took a surprisingly long time to appear in Unix and in shells. This is because it needed a crucial innovation, namely names in the filesystem for file descriptors, names that you can open() to be connected to the file descriptor.

          • Shell Eval

            In this post, we will perform a few experiments to see the usefulness of the eval command for a particular scenario in a POSIX-compliant shell. At first, we prepare a test file that contains a space in its name and define a variable as follows:

            $ echo lorem ipsum > "foo bar"
            $ cmd='cat "foo bar"'

            We will use this file and the variable in the experiments below. All output examples below are obtained using Dash 0.5.11 on a Debian GNU/Linux 11.2 (bullseye) system. Dash stands for Debian Almquist Shell which is a POSIX-compliant shell available in Debian. Any POSIX conforming shell should produce similar output. On Zsh, use the command emulate sh before running these examples to get similar output.

        • Java

          • FTC to Go After Companies that Ignore Log4j

            The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will muster its legal muscle to pursue companies and vendors that fail to protect consumer data from the risks of the Log4j vulnerabilities, it warned on Tuesday.

            “The FTC intends to use its full legal authority to pursue companies that fail to take reasonable steps to protect consumer data from exposure as a result of Log4j, or similar known vulnerabilities in the future,” according to the warning.

  • Leftovers

    • Some Hazy Cosmic Jive

      Among those authors were Roger Zelazny, Samuel R. Delany, Poul Anderson, Harlan Ellison, John Brunner, Ursula K. Leguin and Robert Heinlein—all of whom had sold hundreds of thousands of their works in those decades. By the end of the 1980s, it seemed the genre was going the way of the guitar in rock music. Just like the synth was replacing electric guitar in popular music, fantasy fiction was replacing science fiction in popular fiction. I suppose part of this transition could be attributed to the overall growth in book sales and the advertising business’s new trend towards what they called niche marketing. As almost any cognizant person who lived in the US at the time might recall, the ability to focus capitalism’s consumer goods at particular audiences was rapidly taking over the marketplace by 1990. This would become the case even more so when the world wide web advanced technologically to the point where advertisers could literally send an ad to a very select group of people based on their use of the internet. What this often meant was that products could be sold to those most likely to buy them. That was the theory, at least. Ultimately, this type of marketing means that what people with more specific tastes are exposed to is ever more limited to those tastes. If you never read sci-fi, the internet is unlikely to try and sell you scifi.

      As an occasional reader of science fiction, I am happy to say that the genre seems to be experiencing n uptick in popularity. New authors like N.K. Jemison and Liu Cixin are quite popular, but so are many of those who were popular a few decades ago. Those who think about these things speculate that some of this popularity is due to a common human desire to escape. This is certainly true. However, I think another reason is a desire to try and understand the future we are living in. Given that so much of the genre’s literature is dystopian—and our present has been described as such—this makes sense. However, there is also the possibility that the futures presented in science fiction provide the reader with some potential hope.

    • There Will Be Many Acts of Kindness on the Way Down

      It’s now Thursday, and trees and branches have been coming down all over the place. We shook branches repeatedly as the snow was first arriving, to get some of it off. We still had a dogwood tree come down in the back yard, and some parts of crepe myrtles on the driveway, and other limbs and branches all around. We shoveled the snow off the house roof and the awnings over the doors as well as we could.

      Many houses and businesses around here still have no electricity. Grocery stores have empty shelves. People sat in cars on Interstate-95 for over 24 hours. People are renting hotel rooms, but the hotel staff can’t all get there due to the road conditions. More snow is predicted for tonight.

    • The Wave of Crazy

      It reminds me of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 that killed over 200-thousand people.

      I remember news footage of that immense wall of black water hitting Japan, exploding its way into fields and city, ports and roads, homes and rivers — a liquid wood chipper of broken debris pulverizing people and places along its dreadful way, invading every nook and cranny of human construction. It was an apocalyptic horror.

    • Spider-Man: Doxing, Security Culture and Web-Slinging

      The first two decades of the comic book superhero film renaissance were definitely a mixed bag. Kicked off in the summer of 2000 with Bryan Singer’s X-Men and rapidly followed by Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) and Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003), the genre was reborn from the ashes of the Batman and Superman franchises, which had ingloriously crashed and burned by the mid-Nineties after noble beginnings. True, there were antecedents, such as Wesley Snipes’ Blade trilogy and M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, but both films were marketed as horror/thrillers rather than catalysts to a new family-inclusive franchise.

      The years between 2000-2008 will be remembered as a period when popular comic book titles were adapted in a fashion that was, like the early days of cinema, open to a type of experimentation and innovation that rapidly dissipated by the end of the decade. Sin City, Road to Perdition, V for Vendetta, and American Splendor remain outliers in terms of style, themes, and screenwriting, By the time Marvel had devised the notion of Iron Man (2008) being the start of a multi-picture single-narrative franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, things were becoming sclerotic and conventional. The summer of 2012 release of the MCU tentpole The Avengers proved the films were becoming the cinematic equivalent of Lisa Frank’s color-by-numbers paintings, with Joss Whedon’s lugubrious script and direction crystalizing everything wrong with the MCU.

    • Opinion | Spreading Light and Joy in 2022 as We Fight for a Better World

      Above all is the sun—the ultimate source of all our energy. But we rely on plants, algae and some bacteria to obtain this energy through photosynthesis. According to a Lumen Learning article, “It is the only biological process that can capture energy that originates in outer space (sunlight) and convert it into chemical compounds (carbohydrates) that every organism uses to power its metabolism.”

    • Macedonian Ramble: Gallipoli as a Colonial Subdivision

      From the British sector, my guide Bulant and I drove toward what was called S Beach, where the French landed after their earlier feint at Kim Kale across the strait. Behind S Beach there was more of an empty plain than at Cape Helles, although the French had no more luck than did the British in reaching their inland objective of Achi Baba, and soon they too were entombed in their own trench lines.

      Bulant took me to the French cemetery and explained that it had, of late, generated a ministerial hissy fit, when someone in the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan realized that under many French markers (metal crosses) were muslims legionaries from places such as Tunisia and Algeria.

    • Lawsuit says Meta shares blame in the killing of a federal guard.

      Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, has been sued over the 2020 killing of a federal security guard, a move that aims to challenge a federal statute that shields websites and social media platforms from liability for what users post.

      The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by Angela Underwood Jacobs, the guard’s sister, argued that Facebook was responsible for connecting individuals who sought to harm law enforcement officers and sow civil discord. Ms. Jacobs’s brother, Dave Patrick Underwood, who served at a federal building and courthouse in Oakland, Calif., was shot and killed in May 2020 by an Air Force sergeant with antigovernment ties, according to the F.B.I.

    • Science

      • How To Solve A Rubik’s Cube For Beginners

        This is a simple beginner’s guide on how to solve a 3×3 Rubik’s Cube. I’ve split the process up into steps that hopefully make it easier to learn.

        It won’t teach you to be a speed cuber, but it will teach you how to solve the Rubik’s Cube…hopefully.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • We just have to talk about the BMW that changes colour at will via an app

        The concept car is called the BMW iX Flow and its exterior is wrapped in a material that allows for the chameleon-like superpower. BMW says the material can also be used in the interior, though not showcased on the iX Flow. Allowing for on-the-fly customization that even James Bond could only dream about in 2021.

      • Production PCB And Pogo Pins Produce A Clever Test Jig | Hackaday

        [Hans Summers] runs a site qrp-labs.com, selling self-assembly kits mostly for radio gear and GPS applications, and had some production problems with his QCX+ 5W QRP transceiver kit. They were using an assembly house that had some problems with a sub-contractor going under during the pandemic, and the replacement service was somewhat below the expected level of quality, resulting in a significant number of SMT populated boards coming out non-functional. Obviously, not wanting to pass these on to customers as a debug problem, they set to work on an in-house QA test jig, to give them the confidence to ship kits again. The resulting functional test jig, (video, embedded below) takes a fairly interesting approach. Skip the video to 9:00 for the description of the test jig and detailed test descriptions.

        By taking an existing known-good PCB, stripping off all the SMT parts, and moving the through hole components to the rear PCB side, pogo pins could be soldered to strategic locations. Building the assembly into a rudimentary enclosure made from sawn-up raw copper clad board, with the pogos facing upwards, and a simple clamp on top, allowed the PCB-under-test (let’s call it the UUT from hereon) to be located and clamped in place. This compressed the pogos in order to make a firm electrical contact. A piece of MDF that had been attacked with a dremel did duty as a pressure plate, with cutouts around the SMT component areas to achieve the required uniform board pressure and keeping the force away from the delicate soldered parts. All this means that with an UUT connected via pogo pins to a through-hole only test PCB, the full circuit would be completed, if and only if the UUT was completely functional, and that means defect-free soldering and defect-free components.

      • Baby Steps Toward DIY Autonomous Driving: VW Golf Edition

        [Willem Melching] owns a 2010 Volkswagen Golf – a very common vehicle in Europe – and noticed that whilst the electronic steering rack supports the usual Lane Keep Assist (LKAS) system, and would be theoretically capable of operating in a far more advanced configuration using openpilot, there were some shortcomings in VW’s implementation which means that it would not function for long enough to make it viable. Being very interested in and clearly extremely capable at reverse engineering car ECUs and hacking them into submission, [Willem] set about documenting his journey to unlocking openpilot support for his own vehicle.

      • China demos space station’s robotic arm • The Register

        The China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) says it has completed load-bearing tests on its space station’s 10m robotic arm.

        The test involved lifting and moving the Tianzhou-2 cargo ship in a 47-minute operation that assessed the arm’s ability to assemble sections of the station while in orbit, which is exactly what space boffins want to do during upcoming construction tasks on the unfinished outpost.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Living in Epoch-Defining Times: Food, Agriculture and the New World Order

        This is the future that big agritech and agribusiness envisage: a future of ‘data-driven’ and ‘climate-friendly’ agriculture that they say is essential if we are to feed a growing global population.

        The transformative vision outlined above which is being promoted by the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation amounts to a power grab. Whether through all aspects of data control (soil quality, consumer preferences, weather, etc), e-commerce monopolies, corporate land ownership, seed biopiracy and patenting, synthetic lab-made food or the eradication of the public sector’s role in ensuring food security and national food sovereignty, the aim is for a relative handful of corporations to gain full control of the entire global food system.

      • Covid Colonizes the Future

        It didn’t have to be this way. As countries like China and New Zealand demonstrated, covid can be controlled. But for this you need a strong central government that cares about public health. Even better would have been a U.N. on steroids, a strong, central WORLD government, which, other than world capitalist rule, global political and military bigwigs are in no way ready for. And in any event, the window for humanity to contain this disease closed over a year ago. The death cult that is capitalism refused financial sacrifice for human well-being. Thereafter, we all live with the consequences.

        How well we manage this now endemic virus lies mostly in the hands of individual national rulers. And by that metric, the U.S. does quite poorly. Trump pretended covid didn’t exist (killing hundreds of thousands of people). Biden rode the fact that it did into the white house, promising to tame the virus with “science.” Then he put all his eggs in one basket – vaccination. This strategy was a bust, because many Americans bizarrely confuse simple, sane, public health measures with insulting infringements on freedom.

      • WHO Says Omicron Variant Is Not “Mild” as ER Doctor Describes New COVID Wave Overwhelming Hospitals

        We look at the skyrocketing number of COVID infections. Coronavirus cases hit record highs this week, with global cases climbing 70% from last week to 9.5 million and the U.S. reporting a single-day record of 1 million new cases on Monday. In the U.S., the extraordinary volume of cases is filling up emergency rooms nationwide and exhausting healthcare workers, says emergency room physician Dr. Craig Spencer, who has been treating coronavirus patients since the pandemic began. “We’re much better at treating this disease now,” says Spencer, “but the problem is that the amount of volume that we’re seeing threatens to really wash away any added benefit from either a milder variant or even all that experience that we’ve learned and those tools that we’ve built up over the past few years.” Spencer also critiques the U.S. government’s role in prolonging the pandemic, saying, “Global vaccine inequity has been one of the most profound and disappointing aspects of this pandemic over the past year.”

      • A High-Risk Medical Device Didn’t Meet Federal Standards. The Government Paid Millions for More.

        In 2014, when the Food and Drug Administration found serious problems with a life-sustaining heart pump, its warning letter to the manufacturer threatened to notify other federal health agencies about the inspection’s findings.

        But for years, no such alert ever went out. Instead, the agency added the warning letter to an online database alongside thousands of others, following its typical procedures, an FDA spokesperson said.

      • EPA’s First New Air Pollutant Addition in 30 Years Reveals Agency Failings: Critics

        The Environmental Protection Agency announced this week the addition—for the first time in over three decades—of a new substance to its list of hazardous air pollutants.

        The chemical compound called 1-Bromopropane or 1-BP—used in dry cleaning and automobile care products and linked to cancer and other adverse human health impacts—is now among 188 pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, and methanol on the list established in 1990 under the Clean Air Act.

      • Caravans Across California Set to Hit the Road as State’s Single-Payer Bill Advances

        As a bill to deliver single-payer healthcare to Californians is set to advance to a state legislative health committee next week, more than a dozen automobile caravans will take to the streets of cities and towns across the Golden State on Saturday to promote and show support for what could be a first-in-the-nation universal care program.

        “Now is the time to realize healthcare is a human right—and California will lead the way with CalCare.”

      • If Biden Doesn’t Act Quickly, Millions Could Lose Medicaid as Omicron Surges

        Unless the Biden administration extends a public health emergency declaration that’s set to expire in just nine days, millions of vulnerable people across the U.S.—including many children—could soon be booted off Medicaid amid a record surge in Covid-19 cases.

        The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a relief package that Congress approved in March 2020, requires states to provide “continuous coverage” to Medicaid enrollees for the duration of the federally declared public health emergency (PHE), which has been renewed several times since the start of the pandemic.

      • Right-Wing Justices Appear Poised to Kill Biden Vaccine Rules Despite Raging Omicron

        Amid expert warnings about the dire implications for public health and democracy, right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday appeared poised to strike down the Biden administration’s contested federal vaccination requirements even as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the country.

        “Why shouldn’t the federal government… have a national rule that will protect workers?”

      • Not One—But Two—Lawyers Who Argued Against Covid Safety Rules Before Supreme Court… Had Covid

        As the right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared ready Friday to strike down the Biden administration’s Covid-19 safety guidelines for workplaces, the nine justices were protected in their own workplace from exposure to the disease.

        According to Reuters, two of the attorneys arguing against the vaccination, testing, and mask-wearing rules spoke to the court remotely because they had tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the proceedings.

      • WHO Says Omicron Variant Is Not “Mild” as New COVID Wave Overwhelms Hospitals
      • Tech is finally killing long lines

        What’s happening: Physical lines are disappearing at theme parks, doctor’s offices, clothing stores and elsewhere, replaced by systems that let you book a slot online and then wait to be notified that it’s your turn.

      • R.I.P., Gayle DeLong

        My last post of 2021 discussed how that had been the year that the old antivaccine tactic of “dumpster diving” in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database had been mainstreamed by antivaxxers as part of their ongoing efforts to portray COVID-19 vaccines as deadly. I was reminded of this earlier this week, when I learned of the death of Gayle DeLong, PhD. One reason is that Dr. DeLong’s passing reminded me of a phenomenon that has come to dominate bad science about COVID-19, specifically an expert in one discipline unrelated to vaccines and infectious disease thinking herself an “expert” in COVID-19 vaccines.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • GnuPG PIN cache, Smartcards, YubiKeys and notifications

        I am still obsessed with the OpenPGP smartcard. I know, it is definitely far inferior to YubiKey. It has far, far less features and it’s GnuPG implementation is even riddled with serious bugs that can take days to work around. It definitely has it’s peak years behind. But no matter how bad it is, I simply like it’s form-factor.

        I cannot state this enough. I like how it fits to my wallet, along other items with similar taxonomy, like credit cards or an electronic ID card. It also sticks much less intrusively out of the laptop, neatly and quite subtly. It is not occupying any USB ports, which is what I hate the most about YubiKeys. There are million form-factors of YubiKeys and all have to go to some USB port. When my laptop is in the dock, I have to reach out to touch it (this is important, we get to this in a moment). When not docked, it is easy to touch, but sticks out awkwardly and it can result it accidents.

      • Proprietary

        • How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication for SSH

          One way to enhance SSH login security is by using two-factor authentication (2FA). This approach forces an administrator to self-identify with an additional security verification in addition to the local admin credentials.

          This tutorial guides you through setting up Google Authenticator PAM to enable 2FA for users connecting to SSH on a Linux server. We’ll use nano as our editor in examples.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Stop data pollution from turning your company’s data lake into a swamp

              More data isn’t always better. Companies should be cautious about collecting and storing data for which they have limited tangible use. Not only does this present security, privacy, and compliance risks, storing and managing such data also represents an unnecessary expense. Instead, focus on data that has value and utility – you probably have more than enough of it already!

            • How Signal is playing with fire

              Last year, current and former Signal employees told me they were worried about what that combination would bring to the app. Anonymous transactions would likely attract criminals, they told me, and that in turn would attract regulatory scrutiny. Given that end-to-end encryption already faces legal challenges around the globe, they said, Signal’s addition of anonymous payments was a needless provocation. And it could give more ammunition to lawmakers who want to end encryption as we know it.

            • Worst of CES Awards: The least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable [Ed: I wish Doctorow knew that EFF had begun promoting fake privacy connected to Microsoft]

              Six right-to-repair advocates assembled on Friday morning to present Repair.org’s second annual Worst in Show Awards, a selection of the “the least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable gadgets at CES.”

              In a presentation streamed on YouTube, author and activist Cory Doctorow presided over the condemnation session. He said that he has been attending the Consumer Electronics Show for decades and vendors will gladly enumerate the supposed benefits of their products.

              “But what none of those people will ever do is tell you how it will fail,” said Doctorow. “And that’s kind of our job here today, to talk about the hidden or maybe not so hidden and completely foreseeable failure modes of these gadgets.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Myth of the Good War

        I have an advantage here. When I get a communique like this, I know the writer read my column in a regular newspaper, not a progressive site on the Internet — and that’s a good thing for multiple reasons.

        One: The mainstream media is often fearful of a viewpoint like mine, which is critical of war and nukes and nationalism and border cages and such, so I always feel delight on learning I’ve made it into mainstream print.

      • Getting Away With Murder Wasn’t Enough for Tony Blair

        My first response to finding out that Tony Blair had been inducted into the Most Noble Order of the Garter was to wonder out loud what on earth that even was. A quick Google search followed and I was navigated to the official website of the British Royal Family where I learnt to my amusement that “King Edward III was so inspired by tales of King Arthur…that he set up his own group of honourable knights.”

      • Sudan Protests Demand End to Military Rule: “No Negotiation, No Partnership, No Legitimacy”

        We get an update from Sudan, where at least three pro-democracy protesters were killed by security forces on Thursday, bringing the death toll to at least 60 since the military coup on October 25. Thursday’s protest came four days following Abdalla Hamdok’s resignation as Sudan’s prime minister, after he was deposed in the October coup and then shortly restored to power by the military in November. However, protesters on the ground find Hamdok’s resignation insignificant and consider him irrelevant to the fight for full democratic control over the government, says Sudanese activist Marine Alneel, who joins us from Khartoum. The civilian slogan is now “no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy,” she explains, saying protesters are no longer interested in preserving the joint military-civilian governing deal signed after mass protests in 2019 that toppled longtime leader Omar al-Bashir. “In 2019, many people were displeased with the partnership, and now mostly people are outright rejecting any form of partnership with the military,” she says.

      • 1/6, 9/11 and Glenn Greenwald

        Before I go any further let me offer an embarrassing confession. It wasn’t long ago that I was defending Greenwald to anyone I could. What is Greenwald’s appeal? Now that I’m revolted by him as most healthy people are, I have to say that I must have forgotten even what I liked about him in the first place, and his allure remains a mystery.

        One thing I will never forget is 1/6. Liberal corporate media is telling me to never forget 1/6. Conservative corporate media like Greenwald tell me to forget quickly. The coverage is strikingly similar to 9/11. Fox News correspondent Glenn Greenwald is having a field day with that. But I’m skeptical. Is the new war on terror really on the American right, as Greenwald claims?

      • January 6, a Year Later

        This stability was unquestionably a great achievement for an ethnically and religiously diverse country with a large population, but this American record should be celebrated cautiously, with humility, and massive qualifications that must never be ignored. This U.S. rise to great power status rested on genocidally driven ethnic cleansing of Native Americans combined with economic prosperity for a land-based settler colonial white elite that owed its high standard of living to the racist and exploitative benefits of slavery. Even after the American Civil War and the end of slavery, racism remained, was cruel in its dehumanizing effects on perpetrators as well as victims, and extended to the entire country. That the United States could constantly invoke its own exceptionalism and convince most of the world that it was ‘the city on the hill,’ ‘the new Jerusalem,’ and ‘a light unto the nations’ remains without doubt a masterful triumph of public relations and state propaganda, a precursor of the capitalist empires built by Madison Avenue advertising ingenuity. But truth it is not, and never was!

        What was true, which was a truthful exception to the big early lies, was the widespread adherence to the electoral process by which political leadership was determined, and legitimized. Procedural democracy at its core remains about the sanctity of elections as credible expressions of citizen consent. Even though there is no text it was this core provision of the social contract that was dangerously weakened by the January 6th assault on the Capitol, and even more than the assault itself, by the instigating and cheerleading role played by Trump and his immediate entourage. Even more telling is the commitment a year later by one of the two major political parties to a manifest falsehood of the greatest political consequence. The Republican Party overwhelmingly supports the central lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and this Trump deserves to be president. We can safely assume that most of the Republican leadership knows that it is endorsing a falsehood, but does so nevertheless for cynical reasons associated with calculations about their own political futures.

      • Six Things the Media Won’t Tell You About Ukraine

        Here are six crucial pieces of background that the western media will not tell you.

        The NATO Promise

      • The End of US?

        This critical moment takes place before a civil war breaks out or an official ceremony of dissolution is held. At some point, the citizens of the country stop thinking of themselves as members of a common association. At some point, the mystic chords of memory transmogrify into mutual disgust and incomprehension.

        At that moment, the us is over.

      • Opinion | In Praise of Joe Biden’s Fighting Words

        The January 6 speeches by both Biden and Harris were terrific. On January 5,  I published a piece at The Bulwark arguing that January 6 was a day not to preach about healing but to renew the fight to defend democracy. Yesterday morning’s speeches, especially the one by Biden, exceeded my wildest expectations.

      • ‘Intentional, Criminal Act’: Fire That Destroyed Tennessee Planned Parenthood Clinic Was Arson

        After authorities in Knoxville announced Thursday that a New Year’s Eve fire at the only Planned Parenthood clinic in East Tennessee was arson, local and national leaders at the healthcare group condemned the act and vowed to resume services as soon as possible.

        “All too often, bad actors emboldened by the rhetoric of anti-abortion politicians and antagonists intentionally work to interrupt patients’ access to healthcare and providers’ ability to give it.”

      • Opinion | Attacks on Emma Watson Make Clear the Demonization of Palestine Solidarity

        Whatever one’s reservations about our celebrity-orientated culture, there’s a lot to be said for big names coming out in support of important causes. In what some would say was a key moment for the mainstreaming of the Palestinian liberation movement, Harry Potter star Emma Watson yesterday shared an image on her Instagram account—with sixty-four million followers—featuring the text ‘Solidarity is a verb’ against a backdrop of Palestinian flags.

      • Opinion | On Hearing From People Who Hate That I Hate War

        Love thy enemy? I get a chance to do so on a regular basis, thanks to the email (or nasty-mail) I sometimes get in response to my column, e.g.:

      • Opinion | From Honduras to New Orleans, Without a Safe Path Forwards

        I grew up in Honduras with my grandparents, as my mom came to the United States years prior with the dream of setting up a better life for me and my younger brothers. Five years ago, when I was 17 years old, I was in the middle of school classes when I received a text from her asking “Are you ready to come to the US next week?” She had arranged for a coyote. I managed to cross the border by car, inflatable raft and walking, and once stateside, immediately crossed paths with border patrol who took me to a detention center in McAllen, Texas. There was only one bathroom for 75 people, the food offered was terrible. They gave me an aluminum cover wrap, but it did nothing to keep away the bitter cold. I was released after a day and a half and sent to a shelter in Miami, and then to Metairie, New Orleans where I reunited with my mom. We were able to hug for the first time since I was six years old.  

      • Trump Was Against Telling Mob to “Stay Peaceful” During Jan. 6, Former Aide Says
      • Opinion | The Blood Spilled on Jan. 6 as Rorschach Test

        It won’t take long — maybe a generation or two — but one day, Jan. 6, 2021, will be just another day of infamy just like all the rest. It will contain only a shadow of its former dread. It will be turned into an occasion for cosplay and winter barbecue by tens of thousands of Americans who will remember it fondly.

      • January 6 Showed Why D.C. Deserves Statehood

        The phone call from my mom was more direct: Were my partner and I safe, and did we have a plan in case things went south at the Capitol?

        The insurrection instigated by Donald Trump has become a kind of political north star in the year that’s passed since. An entire ecosystem of post-mortem analyses has grown up around the day.

      • PD Whose Officers Brutalized A Black Soldier For Driving To A Well-Lit Area Sued By Virginia Attorney General

        Windsor, Virigina was the recipient of unflattering nationwide news coverage due to two police officers deciding a black driver — and Army medic — needed to be brutalized for seeking a well-lit area to pull over. The whole thing was caught on the officers’ body cameras, including their threats to make Lieutenant Caron Nazario “ride the lightning” (a reference to the officer’s Taser) as well as the officer’s affirmation that Nazario was right to be scared to exit his vehicle.

      • Maryland Court Says Baltimore Prosecutors Can’t Hide Their ‘Do Not Call’ List Of Bad Cops From The Public

        Changes in law, court decisions, and transparency efforts have resulted in the public release of names of officers prosecutors consider too unreliable to ask to testify in court. Officers with histories of misconduct or perjury are placed on “do not call” lists by prosecutors who are supposed to hand this information over to criminal defendants.

      • Father and Son Who Murdered Ahmaud Arbery Given Life in Prison Without Parole

        This is a developing news story… Check back for possible updates…

        Three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery last year in Georgia were sentenced Friday to life in prison, and the judge denied parole to the father and son who armed themselves and hunted down the 25-year-old Black man.

      • Remembering 1/6
      • A dream of power, an awakening to destruction

        In a situation where he is installed as president after losing an election, Mr. Trump would vainly try to control what will quickly cease to be the United States. His allies who wish to destroy the state will be the only winners. The precise scenario of the collapse of the United States is impossible to predict, but some of the following is likely to happen, and quickly.

        Tens of millions of people protest. Paramilitaries on both sides emerge. Violence leads to fake and real stories of deaths, and to revenge. Police and armed forces will know neither whom they should obey nor whom they should arrest. With traditional authority broken, those wearing uniforms and bearing arms will become partisans, take sides, and start shooting one another. Governors will look for exit strategies for their states. Americans will rush to parts of the disintegrating country they find safer, in a process that looks increasingly like ethnic cleansing. The stock market and then the economy will crash. The dollar will cease to be the world currency.

      • Taliban to include suicide bombers in their army

        Officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said that they will create a special battalion of suicide attackers to be part of their future army.

        Deputy Minister of information and culture and spokesperson of the Taliban Zabiullah Mujahid said that the battalion will be part of their special forces and will be active under Defense Ministry.

      • Boko Haram Fighters Invade Borno Community, Burn Houses, Loot Shops

        Militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād have attacked a community in Borno State, destroying buildings and looting shops.

    • Environment

      • Tired of inaction, two students brought recycling to their Jalisco community

        I live in Pinar de la Venta, a rural community in the municipality of Zapopan, Jalisco, that’s perched on a mountaintop not far from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Not long ago, in our local WhatsApp chat, I began to see notices every two weeks, inviting people to collect and contribute their recyclables.

        The posts came from two young women living in my neighborhood named Xela Lloyd and Xochil Vandroogenbroeck, both of them students. I asked them why they had decided to start this project instead of spending all day with their noses in a smartphone, like so many other young moderns.

      • Coverage of Tory MPs’ Energy Bills Letter Ignores Ties to Climate Science Denial Group

        A media blitz by backbench Tory MPs calling for cuts to green taxes, more North Sea oil and gas extraction, and the return of fracking, is led by politicians with close links to the UK’s main climate science denial group and reflects many of its demands.

        A letter by the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) of 19 MPs and one peer, published in the Sunday Telegraph this week and covered on the front page of Monday’s Daily Mail as well as by the BBC, has fed into the ongoing debate around rising energy bills. 

      • Opinion | The Biggest Threat in ‘Don’t Look Up’ Are the Capitalists on Earth

        As the dust settles on a movie that has well and truly got people talking about the climate crisis in a way that no other movie has, it is worth talking about one of the most important messages of the movie, and one that has largely been ignored. 

      • Greenland Ice Sheet Shrunk for 25th Year Straight in 2021, Report Shows

        “2021 is the 25th year in a row in which Greenland’s ice sheet lost more mass during the course of the melting season than it gained during the winter.”

        That’s according to the latest report from Polar Portal, a website featuring observations from Danish research institutions that monitor the Greenland Ice Sheet and the sea ice in the Arctic.

      • The Climate Emergency Is ‘Now’: Over 400 Weather Stations Set New Heat Records in 2021

        Last year saw record-breaking high temperatures recorded at more than 400 weather stations around the world, with meteorologists voicing alarm over what climate scientists say is the shape of things to come, according to a report published Friday.

        The Guardian reports that 10 countries—Canada, Dominica, Italy, Morocco, Oman, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States—set or matched their national monthly high temperature records last year.

      • When to Build Sea Walls

        The most recent warning on December 30th is of deteriorating conditions at the Arctic and Greenland. The second warning is the threatening collapse in Antarctica of one of the largest glaciers in the world. As these events unfortunately coincide so close together, one at the top of the world, the other at the bottom, should coastal cities plan to build sea walls?

        The scale of time and material and costs to build seawalls is nearly overwhelming. In fact, it is overwhelming. The US Army Corps of Engineers is already drafting plans for a gigantic seawall to protect New York-New Jersey Harbour and Tributaries from surges and flooding. It’s a multi-year study that should be completed this year, 2022. The estimated cost is US$119 billion built-out over a period of 25 years for 6 miles of seawall. Yet, already there is concern that it may prove inadequate, only defending against storm surges, not rising sea levels. NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has suggested 520 miles of exposed shorelines as an alternative plan. (Source: US Army Weighs Up Proposal For Gigantic Sea Wall to Defend NY From Future Floods, ScienceAlert, January 20, 2020)

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Democracy Is on the Ballot in 2022. Summer Lee Is Ready for This Fight.

        Americans are worried about the battered condition of this country’s experiment with democracy. They know that, as President Biden stated in his address Thursday, one year after the January 6 US Capitol attack, “We are in a battle for the soul of America, a battle that by the grace of God and goodness of this nation, we will win.”

      • Republicans Are on the Retreat in California
      • In Search of Shallow Doctrines: Joe Biden and Trumpism Shorn

        Much of this is often simple mythmaking for the imperial minder in the White House, betraying what are often shallow understandings about global politics and movements.  Clarity and details are often found wanting.  Variety in such doctrinal matters, the Soviet Union’s veteran diplomat Andrei Gromyko noted in casting his eye over the US approach, meant that there was no “solid, coherent and consistent policy” in the field.

        In the case of President Joe Biden, any doctrine was bound to be a readjustment made in hostility to the Trump administration, at least superficially.  But in so many ways, Biden has simply pulled down the blinds and kept the US policy train going, notably in its approach to China and its unabashed embrace of the Anglosphere.  There remain smatterings of nativism, doses of protectionism.  There is the childlike evangelism that insists on enlightened democracy doing battle with vicious autocracy.  This was, according to Foreign Affairs, the “everything doctrine”.

      • Election Reflection: What Does the Honduran Presidential Election of November 28 Tell Us?
      • Plutocrats are Working Overtime to Cancel Democracy

        The European think tank International IDEA certainly thinks so. International IDEA recently labeled the U.S. a “backsliding democracy.” This designation is in line with what most Americans believe—that American democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.”

        This crisis of American democracy is not by accident or by chance. (In politics, nothing is by accident or chance.) The plutocrats who hold the strings of power are working overtime to cancel democracy. Real democracy means sharing power with the masses, and why would powerful elites want to do that? Real democracy means that the wealthy would pay their fair share of taxes, and an end to foreign wars that weaken America while enriching arms manufacturers—and they certainly don’t want that to happen. It would mean strong voting rights legislation, an end to the electoral college.

      • Biden Warns of “Dagger at the Throat of America”; Fascism Expert Says Trump’s Personality Cult Growing

        President Joe Biden warned about the looming threat of autocracy during his speech marking the first anniversary of the January 6 Capitol attack on Thursday and denounced his predecessor Donald Trump for inciting the rioters. In a statement responding to Biden’s speech, Trump continued to falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged. To discuss further, we are joined by historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an expert on the psychology of authoritarianism, who says Trump has grown his “personality cult” since his election loss and converted the GOP into “a far-right authoritarian party which has enshrined violence as part of the practice of power.” She also discusses Trump’s recent endorsement of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has been recognized by European Union leadership as a threat to democracy, and calls Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a “mini-Trump” who is planning for “an authoritarian system at the state level.”

      • GOP “Entitlement Reform”: Will Disabled Vets Become the New Welfare Queens?

        Since 2015, billions of dollars have been diverted from VHA care to private doctors and for-profit hospitals who treat veterans in costlier and less effective fashion.  This cannibalization of the VHA budget began under President Obama, escalated during the Trump era, and continues under Joe Biden.

        Up until now, few Republicans, or their allies like the Koch Brother-funded Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), dared to attack the VA-run Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), a sacred cow even for conservatives. Nearly six million veterans currently receive payments for service-related medical conditions that left them partially or totally impaired; among them are 1.3 million men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their total compensation, plus pensions, costs the public about $110 billion per year.

      • Trump is Winning the New Nightmare Years

        So what if he tried to overthrow constitutional rule of law and what’s left of civil decency and democracy? The white nationalist GOP is his Republifascist baby. It’s still the Amerikaner Party of Trump (APoT). He’s still its grand poohbah, with his Big Hitlerian Lie of a stolen election as his great gaslighting club, accepted by three in four Republicans.

        While the minority rule governance order inherited from the nation’s slave-owning Founders is already fixed well to the right of the populace, the APoT is ratcheting things farther starboard the name of the Big Lie. It is purging the small number of its elected and election officials who dared oppose Dear Leader Orange and the attempted destruction of previously normative bourgeois electoral democracy. It is passing state-level measures to suppress what it sees as illegitimate and un-American minority and Democratic votes. It is working to cancel popular presidential votes and Electoral College slates that don’t align with its ethno-nationalist program. It is conducting state-level gerrymandering on racist and partisan steroids to further ensure the emergence of a US House of Representatives that will end serious legislative branch investigation of the January 6, 2021, coup attempt.

      • Republicans Are Trying to Pass More Voting Restrictions Ahead of 2022 Midterms
      • Voting Rights Groups Tell Biden: Don’t Come to Atlanta Without a Plan
      • Chile’s “New Left” Brings Hope
      • Selling Out Democracy for Political Influence

        Confederate flags were waved inside the Capitol. People with zip ties and weapons were ready to do harm or even kill members of Congress and the vice president. These were right-wing extremists who had the encouragement, and even help, from Trump allies in Congress.

        When the dust settled, many corporations rightly spoke out and pledged to halt contributions to lawmakers whose rhetoric and actions played a part in the insurrection — including those who voted to throw out the 2020 presidential election results in service of the Big Lie, a group now known as the “Sedition Caucus.”

      • A Nation Coming Apart at the Seams

        It’s easy to forget just how long this world has been a dangerous place for human beings. I thought about this recently when I stumbled upon a little memoir my Aunt Hilda scrawled, decades ago, in a small notebook. In it, she commented in passing: “I was graduated during that horrible flu epidemic of 1919 and got it.” Badly enough, it turned out, to mess up her entry into high school. She says little more about it.

        Still, I was shocked. In all the years when my father and his sister were alive and, from time to time, talked about the past, never had they (or my mother, for that matter) mentioned the disastrous “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918-1920. I hadn’t the slightest idea that anyone in my family had been affected by it. In fact, until I read John Barry’s 2005 book, The Great Influenza, I hadn’t even known that a pandemic devastated America (and the rest of the world) early in the last century — in a fashion remarkably similar to, but even worse than, Covid-19 (at least so far) before essentially being tossed out of history and the memory books of most families.

      • Iran’s wrestling president says ‘Death to America’ before US match

        Pashaei, asked: “Why should someone (Alireza Dabir) who has been one of the athletes very close to the Iranian government in all the past years and part of the government’s propaganda be able to travel freely to the United States?”

      • Islamophobia envoy’s mission should focus on Muslim countries

        Only 9 percent of all religious hate crimes in the United States and 1 percent of all hate crimes are directed at Muslims. How many government positions are created to address a problem that affects 1 percent of the population?

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The Next Big Lies: Jan. 6 Was No Big Deal, or a Left-Wing Plot

        By Thursday’s anniversary of the violence that has been connected to at least seven deaths and left some 150 police officers injured, it was an article of faith among vast swaths of conservative Americans that the riot was just “one day in January,” in the words of former Vice President Mike Pence, whose life was directly threatened. For the half of Republicans who now believe the rioters were at the Capitol to “protect democracy,” according to the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll, any talk of Jan. 6 as a singularly violent episode in American democracy would likely be taken as liberal, mainstream-media claptrap.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Veteran actor faces 2 years in prison on charges of insulting the Turkish nation

        İlyas Salman, 72, is accused in the indictment of insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish Parliament and government and legal institutions of the state in a video he posted on social media on Jan. 25, 2021. The charges are based on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which criminalizes public denigration of “Turkishness, the Republic or Grand National Assembly of Turkey.”

      • What Kazakhstan Isn’t

        Knowledge of Kazakhstan in the West is extremely slim, particularly among western media, and many responses to events there have been wildly off-beam.

      • Day six of Kazakhstan’s unrest Police are ordered to shoot to kill, the president doubles down on ‘terrorists and killers’ rhetoric, and rumors spread about Nazarbayev

        Police and soldiers have “essentially” restored order across Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared on Friday. “The local authorities control the situation, but terrorists are still using weapons and damaging people’s property. That is why counterterrorist actions will continue until the complete destruction of the militants,” Tokayev said at a meeting on January 7 with the nation’s law enforcement heads.  

      • Kazakhstan President Condemned for ‘Shoot to Kill’ Orders Against Protesters

        Human rights advocates expressed alarm Friday after Kazakhstan’s president ordered security forces to “shoot to kill without warning” protesters engaged in ongoing demonstrations over high fuel prices, economic inequality, and corruption.

        President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced he had given the order in a speech as he also accused media outlets of encouraging unrest and claimed without evidence that demonstrators have taken orders from a “single command post” and have “a clear plan of attacks on military, administrative, and social facilities in all areas.”

      • Kazakhstan president gives shoot-to-kill order against protesters, dismissing calls for negotiations

        In contrast to this portrait of the demonstrators as hardened militants, several thousand demonstrated peacefully in the city of Zhanaozen, one of the first hotspots of the riots, on Friday. They issued the most specific list of demands to date, asking for a change in power, freedom for civil rights activists, and a return to a 1993 version of the constitution, which is considered to have a more democratic tone and a clearer division of power than the current one.

      • Kazakh president orders security forces to shoot to kill after days of violent protests

        Kazakhstan is experiencing the worst street protests since the country gained independence three decades ago. The demonstrations began over a near-doubling of prices for a type of vehicle fuel and quickly spread across the country, reflecting wider discontent over the rule of the same party since independence.

        Protests have turned extremely violent, with government buildings set ablaze and scores of protesters and more than a dozen law enforcement officers killed. Internet across the country has been shut down, and two airports closed, including one in Almaty, the country’s largest city.

      • Kazakh leader rejects talks, tells forces to “shoot to kill” as Russia helps quash anti-government unrest

        Long seen as one the most stable of the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia, energy-rich Kazakhstan is facing its biggest crisis in decades. Protesters stormed government buildings in Almaty on Wednesday and fought running battles with police and the military, with officials saying 748 security officers were wounded and 18 killed.

      • Kazakhstan’s president gives shoot to kill orders against anti-government protestors

        In a televised address to the nation, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev used harsh rhetoric, referring to those involved in the turmoil as “terrorists,” “bandits” and “militants” — though it is unclear how peaceful protests gathered steam and then descended into violence.

        “I have given the order to law enforcement and the army to shoot to kill without warning,” Tokayev said. “Those who don’t surrender will be eliminated.”

      • Kazakhstan: President gives shoot-to-kill order against protesters

        Reid Standish from Radio Free Europe told DW that the president’s announcement is likely to escalate the situation.

        “It’s certainly likely to enflame the situation. It’s definitely going to be taken seriously. All last night there was fighting taking place across Almaty, gunshots could be heard across the city until the morning, so that speech shows that the government is digging in deep and they have no qualms about using force against people who are on the streets.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Craig Aaron on Local Journalism, Barbara Briggs on Workplace Disasters

        This week on CounterSpin: At FAIR, we say you can change the channel all you want, but you can’t turn on what isn’t there. The loss of an information source—a particular place for debate, for conversation, on issues relevant to you—is incalculable, but very real. We talked about the loss of local journalism, and why we can still be hopeful, with Craig Aaron of the group Free Press.

      • To Redact the Truth or Not to Redact the Truth: Is That the Question?

        My article recounted at great length the war crimes revealed in a major New York Times 2-part article entitled, “Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes.” But in the section entitled, “Assange and the New York Times on collateral damage,” I wrote:

        “In contrast,” I asserted, incorrectly, “Assange’s revelations, received from U.S. soldier whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, were not redacted.” [Emphasis added].

      • Opinion | Biden Must Halt the Assault on Free Press and Drop the Prosecution of Julian Assange

        Gathering threats to democracy are front and center as the United States marks the first anniversary of the January 6th Capitol insurrection, when President Donald Trump incited thousands of supporters to violently storm Congress, attempting to overturn the 2020 election. While the Republican Party descends into the cult of Trump, progressive activists across the country are fighting to expand voting rights and protect free and fair elections. One of democracy’s principle bulwarks is a free press. Sadly, with its ongoing prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the Biden administration is leading the attack on journalism, strengthening the hand of would-be autocrats everywhere.

      • Taliban Rules Bring Uncertainty for Provincial Media

        Uncertainty over restrictions for Afghanistan’s provincial media is making it impossible for journalists to work under the Taliban, local journalists and station managers say.

        Media need prior approval to cover news, in some provinces women are still not allowed to work, several stations have dropped entertainment segments, and others have stopped broadcasting altogether.

        On Monday, representatives from 85 local radio stations met with members of the Talban to ask the group to clarify its position on the media laws under the previous government. They also asked that female journalists be allowed to work.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A New Year One for Gotham

        Few would vouch that de Blasio’s administration had lived up to Eric Alterman’s first-year hopes that the post-Bloomberg mayor would “use the power of the city government to make New York a fairer and more equal place for all its inhabitants.”

        Was the relentlessness of inequality since 2014, even well before the unexpected effects of COVID, merely due to de Blasio being the wrong choice to steer “the power of the city government,” or disgraced governor and sometime de Blasio foe Andrew Cuomo likewise mishandling state government, not the nature of government power itself?

      • Plans for Mass Shipments of High-Level Radioactive Waste Quietly Disclosed

        Last month US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff quietly reported preparing for tens of thousands of cross-country shipments of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear reactors to the desert Southwest. The oft-disparaged US infrastructure of decrepit of roads, faulty bridges, rickety rails, and rusty barges may not be ready for such an onrush of immensely heavy rad waste casks.

        Diane D’Arrigo, of Nuclear Information and Resource Service in Maryland, and Leona Morgan, with Nuclear Issues Study Group in New Mexico, report for NIRS that the transports would carry “the hottest, most concentrated atomic waste from the nuclear fuel chain, misleadingly dubbed “spent nuclear fuel. This radioactive waste can cause death in minutes if unshielded, and remains radioactive for literally millions of years; it is one of the most deadly materials on Earth.”

      • Free Jarvis Jay Masters!

        The California Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code released an advisory report in November 2021 that called for the state to end, once and for all, a capital punishment regime that hasn’t seen an execution at San Quentin State Prison since January 2006, when Clarence Ray Allen was executed at the age of 76. He went to the gas chamber just a month after the state killed the Nobel Prize–nominated Crip founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams. Both men had sought and been denied clemency from then-Goveror Arnold Schwarzenegger.

      • Minneapolis Oversight Board Says Police Department Should Ditch ‘Excited Delirium’ Training

        Excited delirium isn’t a medical condition. It’s just post-death rationalization that shifts the culpability for deaths at the hands of law enforcement to the corpses the cops created. This supposed medical diagnosis didn’t reach critical mass until the introduction of one of the most infamous “less-lethal” weapons ever created: the Taser.

      • Widespread Discontent Drove Labor’s Advances in the Private Sector in 2021
      • Full return to office is ‘dead,’ experts say — and remote is only growing

        Employees hold more cards than usual. One ace they have is a two-year track record of working from home without a drop in productivity — and many report an increase. Workers want remote options so they can cut out the commute, be their best both at home and at work, have more child care flexibility and reduce ongoing concerns about Covid exposure. It’s a reckoning for employers.

      • Dozens of protesters, 12 police dead in Kazakhstan protests

        One police officer was found beheaded in the unrest, which poses a growing challenge to authoritarian rule in the former Soviet republic.

      • Man, 41, arrested with fresh human parts in Lagos

        He further disclosed that an Islamic cleric, whose identity he did not reveal, told him to get the parts to prepare a sacrifice that would make him rich.

      • Christian killed after New Year’s prayer meeting

        “Attacks of this nature have been ongoing for the past 20 years and the silence is deafening,” he said.

        “While the government claims to be doing its best to curb the violence, the reality paints a different picture of a Muslim-led government allowing anti-Christian violence to continue without consequence.”

      • Taliban Orders To Close All General Baths For Women In Northern Balkh Province: Report

        According to the head of the DPVPV in Balkh province, the decision was taken after meetings with religious scholars, who are also known as Ulama. “Men are allowed to go to general baths as people do not have access to contemporary baths at home, while women are supposed to go to private baths while wearing hijab,” stated the DPVPV head as per Khaama News. Meanwhile, boys under the age of 18 are prohibited from using public baths, and body massage is prohibited in the baths. Local officials in western Herat province had previously temporarily closed women’s general baths, reported the Afghan media outlet.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Revisits Transparency ‘Nutrition Label’ For Broadband

        For years we’ve noted how broadband providers impose all manner of bullshit fees on your bill to drive up the cost of service post sale. They’ve also historically had a hard time being transparent about what kind of broadband connection you’re buying. As was evident back when Comcast thought it would be a good idea to throttle all upstream BitTorrent traffic (without telling anybody), or AT&T decided to cap the usage of its “unlimited” wireless users (without telling anybody), or Verizon decided to modify user packets to track its customers around the internet (without telling anybody).

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • How John Deere created its autonomous tractor

        Adding new brawn to the self-driving vehicle industry, John Deere unveiled a 40,000-pound autonomous tractor at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that it says will be commercially available by the end of 2022.

        The system uses six pairs of stereo cameras combined with GPS guidance to drive a Deere 8R tractor with a chisel plow and the capability to tow other equipment. A farmer can put the tractor to work with a swipe of a smartphone app and then walk away to spend time with family or attend to other business, using the app to monitor the tractor’s progress plowing a field or performing some other task — and to receive alerts of anomalies the software doesn’t know how to handle. While it’s working, the tractor can also gather data about the health of crops in the field, the health and moisture content of the soil and other metrics.

    • Monopolies

      • Sen. Warren & Rep. Jayapal Want Google To Stop Asking For DOJ’s Kanter Recusal

        Following Kanter’s confirmation in the Senate in November, Google requested the DOJ review whether he should be recused from cases and investigations involving its business. Google cited Kanter’s prior work for its rivals like Yelp in antitrust matters involving its business, and pointed to previous statements about Google’s alleged dominance to argue he’d already made up his mind on its liability.

      • Sen. Warren and Rep. Jayapal tell Google to stop trying to ‘bully’ DOJ antitrust chief into recusal

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday to stop trying to “bully” Department of Justice antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter into recusal in a new letter shared exclusively with CNBC.

        “Google should focus on complying with antitrust law rather than attempting to rig the system with these unseemly tactics,” the lawmakers wrote.

      • Patents

        • Senator Tillis Holds Secret Meeting With IP Maximalists To Discuss A Single US ‘IP’ Agency

          Senator Thom Tillis is chock full of bad ideas about copyrights and patents — mostly focused on making things worse for the public by expanding the monopoly powers granted to patent and copyright holders. So I guess it comes as little surprise that he held a secret meeting that appears to have only been attended by copyright maximalists to talk about trying to merge the Copyright Office into the US Patent & Trademark Office.

        • Software Patents

          • Google Infringed on Sonos Speaker Technology, Trade Court Rules

            The final ruling by the United States International Trade Commission, a quasi-judicial body that decides trade cases and can block the import of goods that violate patents, closes a two-year investigation into the intellectual-property [sic] dispute.

            Sonos had asked the trade commission to block imports of Google products that the speaker company says infringes on its patents. They include Google Home smart speakers, Pixel phones and computers, and the Chromecast streaming video device. Those items are made in China and shipped to the United States.

          • Google Infringed On Multiple Sonos Patents, U.S. International Trade Commission Rules

            The underlying legal battle initiated in January of 2020, when Sonos formally accused Google of infringing upon five patents involving smart-speaker technology. And as part of the firmly worded complaints – Sonos filed two separate lawsuits – the 20-year-old audio company asked the ITC to bar Google from selling laptops, phones, and smart speakers alike in the United States.

            Google and Sonos had partnered in 2013 to bring Google Play Music support to the latter entity’s products. And Google, the patent-infringement actions claimed, had used proprietary information obtained through this partnership to lift Sonos’ multi-room speaker technology, purportedly violating a grand total of some 100 patents in the process.

          • Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we’ve changed our code to avoid infringement

            Those patents describe methods to manage the volume of multiple audio players on a network from a controller-like hub, pairing players, and so on.

            Sonos’ chief legal officer Eddie Lazarus told the New York Times: “We appreciate that the ITC has definitively validated the five Sonos patents at issue in this case and ruled unequivocally that Google infringes all five. That is an across-the-board win that is surpassingly rare in patent cases.”

            Google builds its gear in China and ships it to the US. Although the heavy-worded ruling seemingly affects Google’s ability to import a range of network-connected music-playing devices, from its Chromecast and Google Nest to Google Home and Pixel smartphones, in reality, Google is unlikely to be impacted by the ban, which takes effect in 60 days.

            That’s because after a warning shot last year from the ITC that Google was potentially infringing Sonos’s patents, Google pledged to make changes to its software and firmware to avoid violating that intellectual property.

      • Copyrights

        • Anti-Piracy Outfit Rightscorp’s Corporate Status is Void Due to Unpaid Tax Bills

          Rightscorp is a key evidence provider in several multi-million dollar piracy lawsuits and a trusted anti-piracy partner of the RIAA. The evidence provided by Rightscorp is not without controversy, however. The company itself has issues too, as the state of Delaware has voided its corporate status after it failed to pay more than $450,000 in taxes.

        • UK Online Piracy Increases Slightly But Over Five Years Remains Stable

          A new report published by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office reveals that online piracy was slightly up in 2021 versus the previous year. Overall, however, online piracy figures have remained fairly stable over the past five years, with some tentative signs that hardcore pirates are still on the wane.

        • Court Orders Twitter Reveal Anonymous Tweeter Over Sketchy Copyright Claim, Because That Tweeter Won’t Show Up In Court

          Back in November we wrote about a very bizarre attempt to abuse copyright law to uncover who was behind a Twitter account, @CallMeMoneyBags. That account tweeted out various things mocking and shaming various extremely wealthy people, including billionaire Brian Sheth, a private equity bro. Some of the tweets in the fall of 2020 lightly mocked Sheth, including suggesting potential infidelity. The images themselves appeared to be social media-type photos of young women (or possibly just one young woman).

IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 07, 2022

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